Constitution & Bylaws

Bylaws of Northern Illinois University



3.1 Order of Business and Parliamentary Authority

3.1.1 The order of business shall be:

Call to Order
Adoption of Agenda 
Approval of Minutes
President's Announcements
Consent Agenda
Reports from Councils, Boards, and Standing Committees
Unfinished Business
New Business
Comments and Questions from the Floor
Information Items

3.1.2 Except as otherwise provided by the University Council, its meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order Revised. 

3.1.3 A parliamentarian, who shall be appointed by the president, shall perform the usual duties appertaining to this position. 

3.1.4 A majority of the members of the University Council eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum. 

3.2 Minutes of the University Council

3.2.1 The executive secretary shall make a draft copy of the minutes which shall be forwarded to council members prior to the next regular meeting of the University Council. As provided in the order of business, University Council minutes must be approved by the University Council. Approved minutes of the University Council shall be distributed to University Council members and to faculty and supportive professional staff in a timely manner. 

3.2.2 Prior to approval of the minutes of the University Council, official statements on the business of the University Council shall be released only by the presiding officer or the executive secretary of the University Council. 

3.2.3 A copy of the minutes shall be regularly deposited in the university archives. The University Council website is the official medium for the publication of the minutes of the University Council. 

3.3 Voting Procedure of the University Council

3.3.1 Action shall be taken by majority vote of the members voting. When the motion is called, members may vote in favor of the motion, against the motion, abstain from voting, or indicate that they are present but not voting. Those present and not voting shall not be counted in computing whether the appropriate majority has been obtained for passage of a motion. The question of whether a roll call vote shall be taken may be incorporated in the motion or a motion to amend may be offered to request a roll call vote. 

3.3.2 Proposals affecting policy must be presented in writing and may be discussed at the meeting at which first presented, but shall be held until at least the next regular meeting for action. By approval of three-fourths of the members voting, however, this waiting period may be waived for a particular proposal, and final action may be taken on the proposal in question at the meeting at which it is first presented. 

3.3.3 Substantive amendments to policy proposals shall ordinarily be presented in writing and distributed to members prior to the meeting at which they are to be considered, either by a member or through the executive secretary of the University Council. By approval of three-fourths of the members voting, however, action on substantive amendments to policy proposals may be taken at the meeting at which it is first presented. 

 3.4 Consent Agenda

3.4.1 The Steering Committee of the University Council shall place on the consent agenda those items of business requiring University Council action which, in its judgment, are not likely to require University Council discussion and which are expected to receive unanimous approval from University Council members. 

3.4.2 When the consent agenda is called at any meeting of the University Council, members of the University Council shall first have an opportunity to object to the placement of any item on the consent agenda. Any item receiving such an objection from any five voting members of the University Council shall be removed from the consent agenda and placed in the appropriate later category of the meeting's agenda. Removal of items from the consent agenda shall not be debatable. 

3.4.3 After items to which objections have been raised are removed from the consent agenda, the University Council chair shall call for a single vote to approve all of the matters of business remaining on that agenda. 

3.5 Procedure for Implementing and Appealing University Council Actions

Any action approved by the University Council shall go into effect immediately or at a date specified. In the event that the approval of the Board of Trustees is required or deemed necessary, the action of the University Council shall not be effective until appropriate action is taken by the Board. Action of the University Council on matters affecting policy may be appealed by written petition of five percent or 500 members, whichever is smaller, of any constituency (faculty, student, supportive professional staff, operating staff) represented by a voting member of the University Council. Such petition shall be made to the president within 10 days of the official publication of the action. The president shall, if necessary, call a special meeting of the University Council or, in accordance with Section of these bylaws, place the appeal on the agenda of the next regular meeting to require the University Council to reconsider the vote on the action taken.

3.6 Office of the Executive Secretary

3.6.1 The executive secretary of the University Council shall be provided by the president with an office, secretarial assistance, and the supporting resources pertaining thereto. The outgoing executive secretary shall prepare an annual office budget as part of the normal university budget process. The budget shall provide salaries for the executive secretary, secretarial assistance, as well as supporting resources pertaining to the office. The budget shall also include funding for the Office of the Ombudsman, the Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor, and the Faculty Representative to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. 

3.6.2 The executive secretary shall be paid from the budget of the academic department in which the individual holds rank and tenure for a regular nine-month full-time appointment. That department shall be compensated by a transfer of funds from the budget of the University Council to support instructional costs incurred by the department as a consequence of the executive secretary's assignment to University Council duties. The actual allocation to the department shall be determined on the basis of discussions involving the department chair, the dean of the college, the executive vice president and provost, and the office of the president. The budget of the University Council shall also fund an additional three months' salary for the executive secretary. 

Article 3.6.1 amendment approved by University Council on 04/09/2008.
Amendment approved by University Council on 04/30/2008.
Article 3.1.1, 3.2.1, and 3.2.3 amendments approved by University Council on 02/22/2012.
Article 3.2.1 amended to reflect Article 2.3 amendments approved by University Council on 4/29/2015.
Article 3.6.2 amendment approved by University Council on 05/03/2017.