Faculty Senate Bylaws

Preamble

Article 1: Membership of the Faculty Senate 

Article 2: Officers of the Faculty Senate

Article 3: Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate

Article 4: Academic Councils and Committees of the University

Article 5: The Colleges 

Article 6: Operating Procedures of the Faculty Senate 

Article 7: Duties and Responsibilities of the Faculty Senate  

Article 8: Personnel Review Responsibilities

Article 9: The Academic Personnel Process

Article 10: General Academic Personnel Procedures

Article 11: Appeal Procedures for Academic Personnel Decisions

Article 12: Sabbatical Leave Policy

Article 13: Faculty Senate Responsibilities to the Faculty

Article 14: Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor

Article 15: Grievance Procedures for Violation of Academic Freedom

Article 16: Elimination of Academic Programs & Reassignment of Faculty

Article 17: Statement of Professional Ethics for Faculty at NIU

Article 18: Amendment of Faculty Senate Bylaws


Preamble 

It is essential to the character and mission of a mature university that the faculty have the primary authority and responsibility to develop, sustain, and enhance the intellectual quality and reputation of the institution and to maintain its academic integrity. In accordance with this principle, the Northern Illinois University Constitution provides for university governance as a shared process with faculty predominance in all policy decisions relating to the university curriculum, to student admissions and academic standards, and to the faculty personnel process, with active faculty participation in many other areas of university policy and operations. The Northern Illinois University Faculty Senate is established, together with its related councils and committees, with the responsibility to establish, direct, and oversee academic matters. Academic matters are defined by the purpose of the Faculty Senate in items 1-7 of this preamble. In addition, to ensure effective faculty involvement in university governance, Article 7.3 of the University Constitution establishes a Faculty Senate as the representative body of the faculty. The purposes of the Faculty Senate are:

  1. To make policy decisions relating to the faculty personnel system, to the university curriculum, and to policy decisions concerning admissions and academic standards;
  2. To promote a climate of academic freedom for the university community;
  3. To advance the instructional mission of the university by maintaining an optimal learning environment throughout the university;
  4. To encourage research and artistry and the appreciation of the intellectual values of the arts, the humanities, the sciences, and the professions;
  5. To serve as the legitimate representative of faculty concerns vis-a-vis the university administration;
  6. To define and establish standards and procedures of accountability concerning professional faculty ethics and responsibilities, and to promote adherence to those standards and procedures; and
  7. To encourage an informed, continuing, and academically responsible participation in those faculty governance roles defined in the University Constitution and Bylaws.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 1:  
Membership of the Faculty Senate

1.1 Voting Members

1.1.1 Election of Voting Members

Voting members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected in the following manner:

(A) One member of the Faculty Senate shall be elected from and by the tenure-track faculty of each academic department or school in the degree-granting colleges of the university, with two elected from each department or school of over 50 faculty members, and one faculty member each from the College of Law and the University Libraries. Members of the University Council may not serve as the elected Faulty Senate representative of an academic department. Alternates for elected members of the Faculty Senate shall be selected from the member’s department. Alternates may attend and participate as voting members in the event the elected member is unable to attend.

In addition, 10 non-tenured instructors as defined by the Instructors Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 1, shall be voting members. One instructor will be selected by each of the seven degree-granting colleges. The remaining three instructors will be selected at large.

One clinical faculty member will be selected by the Council of Deans.

Two Supportive Professional Staff members will be selected by the Supportive Professional Staff Council.

Two Operating Staff members will be selected by the Operating Staff Council. Operating Staff will serve one-year terms.

(B) When the Faculty Senate does not contain at least one elected faculty representative who is a member of a minority racial group, the elected faculty members of the Faculty Senate shall meet and elect such a representative. The person thus elected shall be chosen from among the faculty members of the university who are eligible for election as a faculty representative of the Faculty Senate. Prior to conducting such an election, the elected faculty representatives on Faculty Senate shall seek nominations from the college faculties and shall elect one of the persons thus nominated. The position thus filled shall be in addition to the number of seats otherwise apportioned. The faculty representative so elected shall serve a term of three years.

(C) Eleven students will have voting membership on the Faculty Senate. One student will be selected by the Student Advisory Committee from each of the six undergraduate degree-granting colleges. Two undergraduate students will be selected by the Student Government Association. Two graduate students will be selected by the Graduate Council. One College of Law student will be selected by the College of Law. Students will serve one-year terms. Students will not vote on faculty and staff personnel matters.

1.1.2 The terms of office for all voting members of the Faculty Senate, except students and operating staff, shall be for three years and shall begin July 1 of each year.

1.2 Nonvoting Members

1.2.1 Any faculty member of the University Advisory Committee (UAC) to the Board of Trustees who is not a voting member of the Faculty Senate shall be an ex officio nonvoting member.

1.2.2 If not otherwise a member of the Faculty Senate, the faculty representative to the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Committee shall be an ex officio nonvoting member.

1.2.3 If they are not otherwise voting members of the Faculty Senate, the faculty serving as assistant chairs of the Academic Planning Council, the Graduate Council, and the Baccalaureate Council, shall sit as ex officio nonvoting members of the Senate during their terms of office.

1.2.4 If not otherwise a voting member of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Athletics Representative shall be an ex officio nonvoting member.

Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 11/19/2008.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 05/02/2012.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 09/01/2021.

Back to Top

Article 2:
Officers of the Faculty Senate

2.1 The president of the Faculty Senate shall be elected as follows:

2.1.1 The initial selection of candidates for the office of president of the Faculty Senate shall take place at the third spring semester meeting of the Faculty Senate. Any Faculty Senate voting member may nominate or second the nomination of a candidate. To be qualified to serve, the candidate must be an elected tenure-track faculty member of the Faculty Senate for the current year and for the ensuing year.

2.1.2 Candidates for the office of Faculty Senate president shall submit a letter of acceptance of nomination to be included with the agenda for the fourth (last) spring semester regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate.

2.1.3 An election of the Faculty Senate president shall be conducted by secret ballot at the last regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meeting of the normal academic year. All Faculty Senate voting members present may cast a ballot for the candidate. If there are more than two candidates, one must receive a majority of the votes cast in order to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, subsequent ballots will be taken, removing the candidate receiving the fewest votes until one is selected.

2.2 The Faculty Senate shall elect from its voting members a vice president. The president of the Faculty Senate shall appoint a parliamentarian with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate. The parliamentarian shall be a member of the faculty but need not be a voting member of the Faculty Senate.

2.3 The election of the vice president, and the consent of the parliamentarian appointment, shall take place at the first Faculty Senate meeting of the academic year.

2.4 The term of office for the president shall begin July 1 and shall be for one year. The term of office for the vice president and parliamentarian shall begin August 16 and shall be for one year. The vice president and parliamentarian may serve successive terms.

Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 01/27/2016.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 04/26/2017.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 04/25/2018.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 3:
Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate

3.1 Steering Committee

3.1.1 Composition

The Steering Committee shall be chaired by the president and shall consist of the following:

The chairs of the Faculty Senate standing committees;

The president and vice president;

With the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate, additional members shall be appointed by the president to include one instructor, one operating staff member, one supportive professional staff member, and one student member. In addition, the president shall assure that each degree-granting college and the University Libraries are appropriately represented.

3.1.2 Duties

3.1.2.1 The Steering Committee shall advise the president between meetings of the Faculty Senate.

3.1.2.2 The committee shall prepare the agenda for distribution to Faculty Senate members prior to meetings of the Faculty Senate.

3.1.2.3 In addition, the committee shall perform other duties as are assigned to it.

3.2 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee

3.2.1 Composition

The membership of the committee shall be appointed by the president of the Faculty Senate and approved by the Faculty Senate. One faculty senator will be appointed to the committee to represent each of the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts. A faculty senator representing University Libraries and a faculty senator representing the College of Law may be appointed upon their expression of interest in service on the committee. Other faculty senators may be appointed to the committee to a maximum of 12 members.

3.2.2 Duties

The committee shall advise the Faculty Senate on matters and issues concerning:

Representation of the faculty in the governance of the university;

Compensation and benefits for faculty not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement;

Faculty participation in the development of university policies, procedures, and practices which advance the academic mission of the university and a learning environment throughout the university;

Collective and individual faculty prerogatives in university policies and procedures;

Standards and procedures of accountability concerning faculty ethics and responsibilities and adherence to those standards and responsibilities;

The climate of academic freedom for the university community and policies, procedures, and practices of the university as they affect academic freedom;

Specific academic freedom issues which warrant Faculty Senate attention;

The administration and effectiveness of the faculty grievance processes.

3.3 Faculty Senate Personnel Committee

3.3.1 Composition All voting members of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall be tenured members of the faculty. The committee shall consist of members chosen as follows: 

3.3.1.1 Seven members of the Faculty Senate: one each from the faculty elected to represent the colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, and two from among the faculty elected to represent the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

These members shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate prior to the selection of other members of the committee and shall serve staggered two-year terms during their membership on the Faculty Senate. 

3.3.1.2 One member from each of the following college councils chosen by members of that college council: Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts; such members shall not be chosen from the same academic departments as the members selected for the committee from these colleges by the Faculty Senate.

3.3.1.3 One member each from the faculty of the College of Law and the University Libraries chosen by that faculty.

3.3.1.4 The vice president for research and innovation partnerships, who shall serve ex officio, and who shall not vote; 

3.3.1.5 The vice provost for faculty affairs, who shall serve ex officio as chair, and who shall not vote;

3.3.1.6 The executive vice president and provost who shall serve ex officio, and who shall not vote. 

3.3.2 Duties – Except as covered by the faculty union collective bargaining agreement, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee will: 

3.3.2.1 Provide the colleges and the faculty with university criteria, current policies, and compliance dates for various personnel actions. 

3.3.2.2 Review and formulate recommendations regarding all proposed changes in university policy pertaining to tenure, promotion in rank, leaves-without-pay, and for sabbatical leaves for academic personnel. All such recommendations shall be reported to the Faculty Senate. 

3.3.2.3 Ensure that the personnel policies and procedures of the individual colleges and of the University Libraries are up-to-date, in compliance with university policies, adequate to the demands and expectations placed upon them, and properly enforced and implemented in all situations.  

3.3.2.6 Formulate recommendations regarding sabbatical leave applications in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of these bylaws. 

3.3.2.7 Review and forward its recommendation to the president on each case involving promotion, tenure, or sabbatical leave in which the executive vice president and provost disagrees with a unanimous recommendation made by the college and department concerned. 

3.3.2.8 Serve as an appeals board to hear and forward recommendations to the executive vice president and provost on individual cases involving:

  1. Allegations of procedural violations at the college level;
  2. Disagreements on a personnel decision/recommendation between a college and a department;
  3. Disagreements on a personnel decision/recommendation between a dean and a college council or college personnel committee;
  4. Concerns of the executive vice president and provost about a possible violation of personnel procedures or standards which was not resolved at the college level.

The definition of this review authority is further specified in Article 11.3.4 of these bylaws.

3.3.2.9 Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by these bylaws. 

3.4 Faculty Senate-University Council Rules, Governance and Elections Committee

The president of the Faculty Senate shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate, those members of the Faculty Senate who shall represent the Faculty Senate on the Faculty Senate-University Council Committee on Rules, Governance and Elections. One member of the Faculty Senate representatives to that committee shall serve as liaison-spokesperson at meetings of the Faculty Senate and the Steering Committee of the Faculty Senate. Reports from the delegation shall be given, in the order of business, during the presentation of reports from standing committees. The Faculty Senate representatives are responsible for running all pertinent elections affecting the Faculty Senate.

3.5 Social Justice Committee

3.5.1 Composition

The membership of the committee shall be Faculty Senate members appointed by the president of the Faculty Senate and approved by the Faculty Senate. One faculty senator will be appointed to the committee to represent each of the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts, as well as University Libraries and the College of Law. A committee chair will be appointed from the tenured and tenure track faculty members. In addition, one student, one instructor, one operating staff member and one supportive professional staff member serving on Faculty Senate will also be appointed.

3.5.2 Duties
The committee shall be a primary voice of tenured and tenure track faculty and advise the Faculty Senate on matters and issues to include:

3.5.2.1 Identify the intersecting structures contributing to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, transphobia, homophobia and ableism at NIU, particularly within policies, procedures and practices; and create strategic plans and take actions to correct them with approval of Faculty Senate. Evaluate progress on an annual basis with penultimate reviews every five years.

3.5.2.2 Coordinate and communicate with other campus entities to pursue social justice initiatives.

3.5.2.3 Report to Faculty Senate and provide guidance and input on issues related to institutional racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.

3.5.2.4 Facilitate discussions on social justice issues and community engagement for faculty, staff and students.

3.5.2.5 Work witih relevant units/committees to strengthen anti-racism and social justice curriculum at NIU.

3.6 Other Committees

The Faculty Senate may establish whatever standing committees and special committees which it considers appropriate. The creation of additional standing committees shall be accomplished through amendments to these Bylaws. Special committees may be established by action of the Faculty Senate and do not require bylaw amendments.

Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 09/02/2015.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 09/30/2015.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 10/30/2019.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 11/20/2019.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020
Proposed amendments approved by Faculty Senate 09/30/2020.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 11/18.2020.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 03/24/2021.

Back to Top

Article 4:
Academic Councils and Committees of the University

4.1 Principles Governing Curriculum Development

4.1.1 Responsibility for the university's curriculum is vested in its faculty. As the university's body of learned scholars, the faculty shall have primary, determinative influence over matters of curriculum policy. 

4.1.2 All councils, boards, or committees dealing principally with curriculum matters shall consist primarily of faculty members. Final decisions regarding curriculum, wherever made in the university, shall be made by a committee on which at least a majority of the voting seats are held by faculty. 

4.1.3 Consistent with the maintenance of university and college curriculum standards, policies with respect to particular components of the curriculum shall be made by those faculty associated with the academic units responsible for the delivery of those components. 

4.1.4 It is the responsibility of university-level curriculum bodies to define university-wide criteria and guidelines governing degrees offered at each academic level. It is the responsibility of the colleges and their departments to define and develop their individual degree programs within those criteria and guidelines. 

4.1.5 Final decisions on matters of curriculum shall be made by the curriculum council or committee in whose jurisdiction the decision appropriately falls. All curriculum decisions involving course content, description, titles, and numbers shall be considered and resolved at the department and college level. Curriculum decisions involving general education, course duplication or overlap between colleges, cross-college concerns, or university standards shall be resolved at the university level. Curriculum decisions requiring notification or action of the Board of Trustees or of the Illinois Board of Higher Education shall be finalized by appropriate action at the university level prior to submission to the board. 

4.2 Development of the Instructional Program

4.2.1 Final campus responsibility for the development of the university's instructional program shall reside in the university faculty. To enable the faculty to discharge that responsibility, and to assure appropriate input from students and administrative officers, the following structure is established to make instructional program decisions. It shall be the responsibility of the Faculty Senate to see that this structure operates effectively and to assure coordination among its component parts. Nothing set forth in this bylaw should be interpreted as giving the Faculty Senate final authority to review and revise the decisions appropriately made by the academic councils and committees established by these bylaws. 

4.2.2 University Structure for Instructional Program Policy 

4.2.2.1 The Faculty Senate shall discharge its responsibilities for scholarly programs through three academic councils: the Academic Planning Council, the Baccalaureate Council, and the Graduate Council. All other university-level councils, boards, and committees responsible primarily for curriculum-related decisions shall work under the jurisdiction of one of these three councils. 

4.2.2.2 When any two or more of the university academic councils share concurrent curricular jurisdiction, it shall be the responsibility of the Faculty Senate to ensure that mutually satisfactory procedures for considering and approving curricular proposals falling within the shared jurisdiction are developed by the affected councils. 

4.2.2.3 Faculty membership on the university academic councils shall be based on a combination of representation of colleges, representation based on the proportionate number of faculty within each college, and representation of degree programs. The faculty to be represented shall be those regular, full-time university faculty (as defined in Article 6.1.1 of the Constitution) in the academic division of the university, including department chairs but excluding members of the president's staff and the executive vice president and provost's staff, deans, members of the deans' staffs, and members of the supportive professional staff. Regular faculty members are those whose contracts do not carry the designation "temporary" or “adjunct.”

4.2.2.4 The ratios for representation on the academic councils shall be reviewed in September by the Faculty Senate-University Council Rules, Governance and Elections Committee in those years which are multiples of three, and the distribution of membership shall be adjusted if need be. 

4.2.2.5 No department shall have more than one faculty representative on any one academic council at any one time, except that, for the Graduate Council, the dean of the Graduate School may appoint a second representative from an academic department in apportioning the three additional seats if, in the dean's judgment, an additional representative is merited from a college in which each academic department is already represented on the council. 

4.2.3 College Curriculum Structure 

4.2.3.1 Each college shall discharge its curriculum responsibilities through its college curriculum committee. 

4.2.3.2 Colleges with departments shall provide for the participation of those units in the development of the curriculum components for which they are responsible.  

4.3 Academic Planning Council

4.3.1 Composition 

4.3.1.1 Faculty Representation

(A) Eight faculty representatives shall be chosen as follows: one each from the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Law, and Visual and Performing Arts, and one from University Libraries.

(B)
 College faculty shall be elected by the college council of the college they represent, or by the college faculty if there is no college council. Library faculty shall be elected by the University Libraries faculty. Faculty members shall serve three-year staggered terms beginning in the fall semester. If no elected faculty representative is a voting member of the Faculty Senate, the Senate shall elect one Senate member to serve on the council as ex officio, nonvoting member. No department shall have more than one faculty representative at any one time. 

4.3.1.2 Student Representation

(A) One student, either an undergraduate or graduate student, shall be appointed annually as a voting member of the council. The appointment shall be made by the president of the Student Government Association. Terms of office for student members shall begin at the beginning of the fall semester; no such term shall extend beyond the beginning of the succeeding fall semester. Students shall be eligible for reappointment to successive terms. 

4.3.1.3 Administration Representation

(A) The executive vice president and provost, who shall serve ex officio.

(B)
 The vice provost for institutional effectiveness, who shall serve ex officio, without vote:

4.3.2 Chair 

4.3.2.1 The executive vice president and provost shall serve as the chair of the council and shall vote when necessary to break a tie vote. 

4.3.2.2 The faculty representatives on the council shall elect from among their members a faculty representative who shall serve as the assistant chair of the council. The assistant chair shall preside over council meetings in the absence of the chair, act as a liaison between the chair and council members between meetings of the council, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by either the council or the council chair. The assistant chair shall be chosen annually at the first meeting of the council each fall semester and shall serve a renewable term of one year. 

4.3.3 Duties – Reporting to the Faculty Senate, the council shall: 

4.3.3.1 Prepare and periodically update the academic mission statement for Northern Illinois University. 

4.3.3.2 Develop and periodically bring up-to-date plans and strategies to fulfill the university's academic mission. 

4.3.3.3 Review college and University Libraries reports of the periodic review of academic programs in terms of their quality and their consistency with the institution's academic mission.

4.3.3.4 Advise the executive vice president and provost on academic priorities and strategies for the achievement of those priorities, including the establishment of priorities in budgeting. 

4.3.4 Academic Planning Council minutes and reports are to be distributed to all Faculty Senate and University Council members and deposited in the university archives.

4.3.5 All substantive policy recommendations are subject to Faculty Senate approval. 

4.4 The Graduate Council

4.4.1 Composition 

4.4.1.1 Faculty Representation

(A) One seat shall be apportioned to each graduate degree-granting college.

(B)
 The remaining faculty seats shall be apportioned as follows:

1.  Determine an allocation of eight additional seats in accordance with the ratio between the number of regular full-time members and associate members of the graduate faculty in each college, excluding the College of Law and members of the supportive professional staff, to the total number of such faculty members in all colleges, this being the number reported by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost on January first of each year. 

2.  Determine an allocation of eight additional seats in accordance with the ratio between the number of graduate academic degree programs in each college to the total number of such degree programs in all colleges. Degree programs shall be considered to be those programs offered by departments for which a separate degree title is offered; options and specializations within degree programs shall not be considered as separate degree programs. 

3.  Each college shall receive the maximum number of seats on the Graduate Council to which it would be entitled under either formula (1) or formula (2) of this subsection. The number of faculty seats on the council apportioned under this subsection shall be increased above eight if necessary to accommodate the total number of seats determined to be needed under the application of these formulae.

(C) Faculty members shall be elected by and from the university faculty who are eligible to elect, or be elected as, members of the Faculty Senate, who are tenured, and who are also members of the graduate faculties of the college each represents, for three-year staggered terms to begin at the start of the fall semester.

(D)
 Three additional faculty representatives shall be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. These positions shall be apportioned to ensure adequate representation of those graduate degree programs producing the largest number of graduates and those programs offering doctoral degrees. Appointed faculty representatives shall also serve three-year, staggered terms.

(E)
 If, in a given year, no voting member of the Faculty Senate has been elected or appointed to the Graduate Council under the provisions of Articles 4.4.1.1 (C) and (D) of these bylaws, the Faculty Senate shall elect one Faculty Senate member to serve on the council as an ex officio nonvoting member for that year.

(F)
 There shall also be one representative of the College of Law who shall be entitled to vote only on matters pertaining to the College of Law, and who shall be elected by and from the faculty of that college to serve a three-year term. 

4.4.1.2 Student Representation There shall be one graduate student member from each college. This representative shall serve a one-year, renewable term beginning at the start of the fall semester and ending at the start of the succeeding fall semester. Each department granting graduate degrees shall nominate one graduate student from its department to the college student advisory committee which shall select the college representative. 

4.4.1.3 Administration Representation

(A) The dean of the Graduate School shall serve ex officio as a member of the Graduate Council.

(B)
 A representative of the University Libraries, appointed by the dean of the University Libraries, shall serve ex officio on the council, but shall vote only on matters pertaining to the University Libraries. 

4.4.2 Chair 

4.4.2.1 The dean of the Graduate School shall serve as the chair of the Graduate Council and shall vote when necessary to break a tie vote. 

4.4.2.2 The faculty representatives on the Graduate Council shall elect from among their members a faculty representative who shall serve as the assistant chair of the council. The assistant chair shall preside over council meetings in the absence of the chair, act as a liaison between the chair and council members between meetings of the council, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by either the council or the council chair. The assistant chair shall be chosen annually at the first meeting of the council each fall semester and shall serve a renewable term of one year. 

4.4.2.3 The Graduate Council chair shall be responsible for transmitting to the chair of the Baccalaureate Council, the Office of Registration and Records, and the editor of the university catalogs curricular proposals approved by the Graduate Council for recording and publication. 
4.4.3 Duties 

4.4.3.1 Establish general policies for graduate study, including policies applicable to students-at-large. 

4.4.3.2 Establish standards for admission, retention, and awarding graduate degrees by the Graduate School. 

4.4.3.3 Promote scholarship, research, and artistic activities among faculty and graduate students, and create an environment on campus which is conducive to the pursuit of research and graduate studies. 

4.4.3.4 Promote excellence in teaching among graduate faculty and encourage, where appropriate, the development of excellence in teaching among graduate students.

4.4.3.5 Promote, where appropriate, the integration of professional practice, teaching, and scholarly activity. 

4.4.3.6 Approve graduate curricular proposals, including changes in graduate curriculum, submitted by departments and colleges; and approve and recommend all new graduate programs. 

4.4.3.7 Subject to approval by referendum of the graduate faculty, the Graduate Council shall determine criteria for recommendations by departments and other instructional units of the university, for appointments to the graduate faculty. 

4.4.3.8 Request the college curriculum committees to report their decisions involving a duplication of courses for graduate credit to the chair of the council and to the executive vice president and provost. 

4.4.4 Minutes and reports of the Graduate Council shall be deposited in the university archives and distributed in a timely fashion to all Faculty Senate members, and to such others as deemed appropriate by the Graduate Council. 

4.4.5 Substantive changes in policies under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Council must be reported to the Faculty Senate. If it disapproves, the Faculty Senate shall report its disapproval, together with a written statement of its rationale, to the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council shall reconsider policy changes in question and either:

(i)  agree with the Faculty Senate and rescind its prior action;

(ii)  modify the policy change and notify the Faculty Senate of its action; or

(iii)  reaffirm its policy decision. If the council reaffirms its policy position, it shall report that action to the Faculty Senate, together with a written statement of its rationale. The policy proposal shall take effect unless disapproved by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate shall have no authority to alter, amend, or otherwise modify a policy decision of the Graduate Council. Policy changes reported by the Graduate Council to the Faculty Senate shall be considered approved by the Faculty Senate unless the Faculty Senate takes action to disapprove the proposed policy within six consecutive weeks of fall or spring semester classes after receipt of the proposal from the Graduate Council. 

4.5 Baccalaureate Council

4.5.1 Composition

4.5.1.1 Faculty Representation

(A) One faculty seat shall be apportioned to each undergraduate degree granting college and to the University Libraries.

(B) The remaining faculty seats shall be apportioned as follows:

1.  Determine an allocation of nine additional seats in accordance with the ratio between the number of regular full-time faculty members in each college, excluding the College of Law and members of the supportive professional staff, to the total number of such faculty members in all undergraduate colleges, this being the number based on the most current data available from Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

2.  Determine an allocation of nine additional seats in accordance with the ratio between the number of undergraduate degree programs in each college to the total number of such degree programs in all colleges. Degree programs shall be considered to be those programs offered by departments for which a separate degree title is offered; minors and emphases within degree programs shall not be considered as separate degree programs.

3.  Determine an allocation of nine additional seats in accordance with the ratio between the number of undergraduate credit hours taught per year in each college to the total number of undergraduate credit hours taught per year in all colleges.

4.  Each college shall receive the maximum number of seats on the council to which it would be entitled under either formula (1), formula (2), or formula (3) of this subsection. The number of faculty seats on the council apportioned under this subsection shall be increased above nine if necessary to accommodate the total number of seats determined to be needed under the application of these formulae.

(C) Faculty members representing the colleges shall be nominated by their respective college curriculum committees and elected by their respective college faculties. The University Libraries faculty representative to the BC shall be elected by the faculty of the University Libraries. The elections shall be conducted before the end of the spring semester to select those faculty members whose term begins on the following August 16. Those elected shall serve three-year staggered, renewable terms.

(D) If, in a given year, no member of the council is a voting member of the
Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate shall elect one Faculty Senate member to serve on the council as an ex officio nonvoting member for that year.

4.5.1.2 Student Representation

Student members shall be selected by the Baccalaureate Council from:

(A) There shall be one undergraduate student member from each college. This representative shall serve a one-year, renewable term beginning at the start of the fall semester and ending at the start of the succeeding fall semester. Each department granting undergraduate degrees shall nominate one undergraduate student from its department to the college student advisory committee (SAC), which shall select the college representative. An annual deadline will be set to facilitate the nomination from each college's SAC. If the SAC nomination deadline passes without reaching the maximum representation of seven students, 

(B) Then the Baccalaureate Council may nominate students, from across undergraduate degree-granting colleges, to sit on the committee. If the Baccalaureate Council nominates a student from a college, the SAC from that college can no longer select a college representative

(C) If the above selection procedures do not produce a minority student, or a non-traditional student, the president of the Student Government Association or Baccalaureate Council shall appoint such a student as a voting member.

(D) The total number of students to sit on the Baccalaureate Council shall not be greater than seven, one from each college and a student as defined by item C.

4.5.1.3 Administration Representation

(A) The vice provost responsible for undergraduate education shall serve ex officio as a member of the Baccalaureate Council.

(B) One advisor shall be elected by and from the persons with overall responsibility for undergraduate student advisement in each of the undergraduate degree-granting colleges and the Academic Advising Center. The person shall be a voting member.

(C) The following, or their designees, shall serve ex officio, nonvoting: associate vice president for Student Affairs; director of Admissions; Transfer Center coordinator; a representative of Educational Services and Programs appointed by the vice provost; a representative from the University Committee on Initial Educator Licensure (UCIEL).

4.5.2 Chair

4.5.2.1 The vice provost responsible for undergraduate education shall serve as
chair of the council, and shall vote when necessary to break a tie vote.

4.5.2.2 The faculty representatives on the council shall elect from among their members a person who shall serve as the assistant chair of the council. The assistant chair shall preside over council meetings in the absence of the chair, act as a liaison between the chair and council members between meetings of the council, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by either the council or the council chair. The assistant chair shall be chosen annually at the first meeting of the council each fall semester and shall serve a renewable term of one year.

4.5.2.3 The Baccalaureate Council chair shall be responsible for transmitting curricular proposals approved by the council to the chair of the Graduate Council, the Office of Registration and Records, and the editor of university catalogs for recording and publication.

4.5.3 Duties

4.5.3.1 To establish general policies for undergraduate studies and baccalaureate programs, including university requirements for undergraduate programs of study.  

4.5.3.2 To review proposed new undergraduate programs of study.

4.5.3.3 In accordance with the policies defined by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Board of Trustees, and the Faculty Senate, to determine undergraduate policies, regulations, and standards dealing with:

  • Admission of entering freshman students;
  • Admission of transfer students;
  • Academic probation;
  • Academic dismissal;
  • Readmission;
  • Reinstatement;
  • Admission to impacted and restricted programs;
  • Retention, both in the university and in particular programs;
  • Undergraduate curricular policy;
  • Student progress toward graduation.

4.5.3.4  To review college, school, and department policies regarding admission, retention, academic standards, and graduation requirements for their individual programs.

4.5.3.5  To review and approve decisions from the college curriculum committees regarding the substitution, alteration, addition, or deletion of undergraduate courses and programs not in the area of general education. Curriculum decisions involving course content, description, title and number shall only require Baccalaureate Council action or comment if they involve course duplication or overlap between colleges, cross-college concerns or university standards.

4.5.3.6 To coordinate the intercollegiate aspects of undergraduate education and encourage cooperation among units and colleges.  This includes reviewing and resolving issues concerning course duplication or overlap between colleges, cross-college curricular concerns, or conflicts with university standards. 

4.5.3.7 To serve as the curricular body for interdisciplinary undergraduate curricular material not located in an academic college or colleges such as UNIV and curricular offerings from the Division of International Programs and the Center for Black Studies. This responsibility includes usual curricular activity (new, revised, and deleted courses as well as other catalog changes), and review of these units’ overall curricular offerings.

4.5.3.8 To receive reports from its subcommittees regarding their work.

4.5.4 Minutes and reports of the Baccalaureate Council shall be deposited in the university archives and distributed in a timely fashion to the president of the Faculty Senate, to the executive vice president and provost, to deans of the undergraduate degree-granting colleges and the dean of the University Libraries, and to such others as deemed appropriate by the council.

4.5.5 Substantive changes in policies under the jurisdiction of the Baccalaureate Council are subject to review and potential disapproval by the Faculty Senate. The Baccalaureate Council shall report to the Faculty Senate changes that the Baccalaureate Council considers to be substantive. The Faculty Senate may also determine that it considers an issue to be substantive and subject to Faculty Senate review. To do so, at its next regularly scheduled meeting after receipt of such a report, the Faculty Senate will have the opportunity to indicate (by a majority vote of those present and voting) an intention to review an action of the Baccalaureate Council that was not referred to it.  Whether an item is referred to Faculty Senate or is voted by Faculty Senate as substantive, Faculty Senate shall act on the proposal within the next two subsequent meetings. If the Faculty Senate does not, on the timetable indicated, indicate its intention to review an action and then vote on that action, then the action of the Baccalaureate Council will be deemed to be approved.

4.6 Standing Committees of the Baccalaureate Council

4.6.1 General 

4.6.1.1 The Baccalaureate Council shall be assisted in its work by its standing committees. The standing committees shall be those listed in Article 4.6, plus other standing committees that the Baccalaureate Council, subject to the approval of the Faculty Senate, shall establish. 

4.6.1.2 Faculty and student representatives on the Baccalaureate Council shall be appointed by the council to serve on at least one of the standing committees. Such appointments shall be for one-year terms, beginning in the fall semester, renewable so long as the appointee continues to serve on the council. Should the required number of faculty members from the Baccalaureate Council be unable to serve on a particular standing committee, the Baccalaureate Council shall be empowered to select a faculty member or members to serve on that standing committee. 

4.6.1.3 Faculty members appointed to a standing committee by a college curriculum committee shall serve a three-year, renewable term beginning in the fall semester. Terms of college appointees shall be staggered. 

4.6.1.4 Student members on the committees shall serve one-year, renewable terms beginning in the fall semester. 

4.6.1.5 Unless otherwise noted, the chair of each committee shall be named by the Baccalaureate Council from among the council's faculty members assigned to the committee. Chairs shall provide liaison between the council and the committee which they chair. They shall serve one-year, renewable terms of office beginning in the fall semester. 

4.6.1.6 Recommendations from the standing committees regarding policy changes shall be forwarded, together with a written statement of the rationale for such changes, to the Baccalaureate Council for further action. 

4.6.1.7 Minutes and reports from the standing committees are to be distributed to all Faculty Senate members and copies are to be deposited in the university archives. 

4.6.2 General Education Committee

4.6.2.1 Composition

(A) Faculty Representation

1.  Three faculty representatives from the Baccalaureate Council shall be chosen by the faculty of the Baccalaureate Council.

2.  One faculty representative shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of each undergraduate degree-granting college except the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

3.  Three faculty representatives shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including one from the humanities, one from the social sciences, and one from the other sciences.

4.  The chair shall be elected by the voting members of the General Education Committee and shall serve a one-year renewable term beginning in the fall semester.

(B) Student Representation

Student members shall be selected by the General Education Committee from:

1.  Nominees submitted by the student advisory committees (SAC) of the undergraduate degree-granting colleges. An annual fall deadline will be set to facilitate the nomination from each college's SAC.

2.  If the SAC nomination deadline passes, without reaching the maximum representation of three students, then the General Education Committee may nominate students, from across undergraduate degree-granting colleges, to sit on the committee. If the General Education Committee nominates a student from a college, the SAC from that college can no longer select a college representative

The total number of student members selected to sit on the General Education Committee, from the nominees recruited directly by the committee and the nominees submitted by the SACs, shall not be greater than three students.

(C) Administrative Representation  

1.  One advisor shall be elected by and from the persons with overall responsibility for undergraduate advisement in each of the undergraduate degree-granting colleges and the Academic Advising Center. The person shall serve ex officio without a vote.

2.  The following shall serve ex officio without a vote: the vice provost responsible for undergraduate education and one designee of t he provost from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

4.6.2.2 Duties

(A) To monitor and evaluate the university general education program.

(B) To recommend policies and procedures to manage both the general education program as a whole, and individual components of that program.

(C) To make suggestions to colleges and departments regarding improvements that can be made in the general education curricula.

(D) To approve the addition or removal of courses from the general education curriculum.

(E) To oversee the improvement, including the design, of the general education program and of individual components of that program.

(F) To report its work to the Baccalaureate Council.

4.6.3 Honors Committee

4.6.3.1 Composition

(A) Faculty Representation

1.  One faculty representative from the Baccalaureate Council shall be chosen by the faculty of the Baccalaureate Council.

2.  One faculty representative shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of each undergraduate degree-granting college except the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

3.  Three faculty representatives shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to represent the areas of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

4.  One faculty representative shall be appointed by the faculty of the
University Libraries.

5.  The chair shall be elected by the voting members of the Honors Committee and shall serve a one-year renewable term beginning in the fall semester.

(B) Student Representation

Five student members shall be selected by all students enrolled in the
honors program from among the students in the program, one to be nominated to serve on the Baccalaureate Council.

(C) Administration Representation.

The vice provost for undergraduate education and the director for University Honors shall be ex officio, nonvoting members. 

4.6.3.2 Duties

(A) To advise the director for University Honors on the administration of the program.

(B) To monitor and evaluate the University Honors Program, and to make recommendations for its improvement.

(C) To evaluate individual components of the Honors Program and make recommendations to the colleges and departments for their improvement.

(D) To participate in the selection of the director for University Honors.

(E) To advise the director for University Honors on extracurricular components of the program.

(F) To report its work to the Baccalaureate Council.

4.6.4 Committee for the Improvement of the Undergraduate Academic Experience

4.6.4.1 Composition

(A) Faculty Representation

1.  One faculty representative shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of each undergraduate degree-granting college except the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

2.  Three faculty members shall be appointed by the curriculum committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to represent the areas of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

3.  One faculty representative shall be appointed by the faculty of the University Libraries.

(B) Student Representation

1.  Seven students shall be selected so that there are two undergraduate student members from within the College of Liberal Arts and sciences and one undergraduate student member from each of the remaining undergraduate degree-granting colleges.

2.  A representative of the Student Government Association, appointed by the president of the Student Government Association, shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the committee.

3.  If the above selection procedures do not produce a minority student, or a non-traditional student, the president of the Student Government Association shall appoint such a student as a voting member.

(C) Alumni Representation. A representative from the NIU Alumni Association, appointed by that association, shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the committee.

(D) Administrative Representation. The following shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the committee:

1.  Vice provost responsible for undergraduate education or designee;

2.  Director of one of the special academic units focusing on minority student concerns; (The executive vice president and provost shall annually, by September, designate the director who is to serve on the committee during the academic year.)

3.  Associate vice president for student affairs or designee;

4.  A representative from Housing and Dining appointed by the executive director;

5.  Director of University Honors.

(E) Chair.  The chair shall be elected by the voting members of the Committee for the Improvement of the Undergraduate Academic Experience.

4.6.4.2 Duties

(A) To monitor and evaluate the campus environment from the perspective of its compatibility with, and support for, the learning process and the development of an appreciation for learning, and to recommend to the Baccalaureate Council policies and programs to strengthen that environment.

(B) To act as an advisory board for the First- and Second-Year Experiences.

(C) To establish policies and procedures and select the recipients for the annual awards recognizing innovative teaching practices and outstanding undergraduate educators at NIU.

(D) To monitor and evaluate undergraduate mentoring programs as well as initiatives involving NIU alumni and students and recommend appropriate changes as necessary.

(E) To report its activities and recommendations related to purpose and duties to the Baccalaureate Council.  

4.7 Committee on Initial Educator Licensure

4.7.1 Composition 

4.7.1.1 Faculty Representation There shall be one representative from each initial licensure program. Cross-listed or administratively combined programs shall be allocated one voting member for their combined programs. Representation may be granted, at the discretion of the committee, to departments that provide service courses for initial educator licensure programs or have administrative responsibility for special endorsement areas. Each licensing college shall have the responsibility and authority to determine who may serve as program representatives. Each of these representatives shall be elected annually by the faculty of the department having administrative responsibility for the program being represented and shall serve until replaced. 

4.7.1.2 Clinical Placement Representation There shall be one clinical placement representative from each licensing college and each representative shall have one vote. 

4.7.1.3 Student Representation There shall be one student representative. The student representative shall have one vote. The student representative must be admitted to, and enrolled in, an approved initial educator licensure program. The committee shall determine the method of selection of the student representative, who shall serve a term of one year beginning August 16 or as soon as approved thereafter.

4.7.1.4 Administrative Representation The following, or their designees, shall be ex officio nonvoting members of the committee: The vice provost responsible for undergraduate education, the dean of each college housing an initial educator licensure program, the dean of the Graduate School, the director of the Office of Registration and Records, the Transfer Center coordinator, the catalog editor and curriculum coordinator, the associate vice provost for educator licensure, the university licensure officer, the associate director for educator licensure, the associate director for the edTPA, and the associate director for professional development schools. Each administrative representative shall serve as long as he or she holds his or her office.

4.7.2 Chair and Other Officers Each spring the committee shall elect a faculty representative to serve as chair-elect commencing with the start of the following academic year.

The chair elect shall serve one year in that capacity, then serve as chair for one year, and then be designated as past chair for one year. The chair shall serve as presiding officer of the committee. In the absence of the chair, the chair-elect shall serve as chair. In the absence of both the chair and the chair-elect, the past chair shall serve as chair.

The committee shall elect other officers, and establish committees, as it deems necessary for its operation. 

4.7.3 Duties Each faculty representative, or his/her designee, shall serve as the official program contact person for the educator licensure program represented.

Responsibilities of the committee include reviewing all curriculum relevant to educator licensure, developing policy and procedural proposals specific to initial educator licensure and reviewing and advising on preparation of reports for relevant external accreditation. 

Minutes and reports of the committee will be distributed in a timely manner to members of the committee and to the Faculty Senate. Substantive changes in policies under the jurisdiction of the committee must be reported to the Faculty Senate. 

4.8 University Assessment Panel

4.8.1 Composition The University Assessment Panel shall consist of the following members: 

4.8.1.1 Chair The vice provost for institutional effectiveness who shall serve as the chair of the University Assessment Panel, ex officio, nonvoting.

4.8.1.2 Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Representation Tenured and tenure-track faculty members from each of the colleges, as follows: 

(A) Fourteen tenured and tenure-track faculty representatives shall be chosen as follows: One from the College of Law; two each from the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts; and three from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (one each from the areas of humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences);

(B) Tenured and tenure-track faculty shall be elected by the college council of the college they represent, or by the college faculty if there is no college council. They shall serve three-year staggered terms beginning in the fall semester.

4.8.1.3 Staff Representation 

(A) One staff member from academic support and/or student affairs units, appointed by the vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs.

4.8.1.4 Libraries Representation

(A) One staff or tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the University Libraries.

4.8.1.5 Student Representation

(A) Two students, one undergraduate and one graduate, shall be appointed annually as voting members of the panel. The appointments shall be made by the president of the Student Government Association from a list of nominees submitted by the college student advisory committees. Each student advisory committee shall be entitled to nominate annually one undergraduate and one graduate student, as appropriate to degrees offered in that college. Terms of office for student members shall begin at the beginning of the fall semester; no such terms shall extend beyond the beginning of the succeeding fall semester. Students shall be eligible for reappointment to successive terms.

4.8.1.6 Administration Representation

(A) One associate or assistant dean responsible for curriculum assessment, appointed by those persons; they shall serve a two-year term beginning in the fall semester;

(B) Director, Accreditation, Assessment, and Evaluation, ex officio, nonvoting, serving as an assistant chair;

(C) Associate director, Educator Licensure and Preparation, ex officio, nonvoting.

4.8.2 Duties The duties of the University Assessment Panel shall be:

4.8.2.1 To review the university mission statement, other statements of university objectives, and state-level policies as a context for assessment;

4.8.2.2 To serve in an advisory capacity to review and provide input on activities pertaining to regional accreditation, and to support the university with preparation of assurance arguments and other initiatives conducted to fulfill accreditation mandates;

4.8.2.3 To provide advice on performance measures and benchmarks to be used externally for state approval and internally for program review processes;

4.8.2.4 To review and approve assessment plans for new programs prior to submission for IBHE review;

4.8.2.5 To work with the General Education Committee and the Committee on Initial Educator Licensure Preparation on assessment activities in the general education program and in initial teacher licensure programs, respectively;

4.8.2.6 To support campus-wide assessment activities to improve learning outcomes; to support programmatic assessment activities in coordination with academic program review schedule, advise departments preparing for program review, and provide input to the Academic Planning Council on assessment progress of student learning outcomes or programs under review;

4.8.2.7 To support departments and colleges preparing for the assessment component of discipline-specific accreditation reviews;

4.8.2.8 To review and update the university academic assessment plan to make recommendations for funding support for expanded assessment activities of departments and colleges.

4.9 Committee for Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence (CAEIE)

4.9.1. Composition Membership of the committee shall consist of the following:

Chief Diversity Officer, ex officio, nonvoting;
Director, Center for Black Studies, ex officio, voting;
Director, Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, ex officio, voting;
Director, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, ex officio,
voting;
Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, ex officio, voting;
Director, Disability Resource Center, ex officio, voting;
Director, Asian American Studies Certificate, ex officio, voting;
IT Accessibility Officer, ex officio, voting;
Representative from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic
Affairs, nonvoting;
Representative from the Division of Student Affairs, nonvoting;
Representative from the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning;
One faculty member from each degree-granting college and from University Libraries, voting;
One instructor, voting;
Director, Testing and Academic Affairs Research Support, ex officio, nonvoting;
One supportive professional staff member, voting;
One curricular associate dean, nonvoting;
One undergraduate and/or graduate student, voting.

Faculty and staff members shall be appointed to serve three-year staggered terms beginning in the fall semester, not to exceed two consecutive terms. All other members, or their designees, shall serve continuous terms. Members shall be appointed by the Provost.

4.9.2 Chair The chair position of the committee will be held by the chief diversity officer, and the directors of the academic diversity centers may serve as co-chairs as needed.

4.9.3 Duties The duties of the committee shall include the following:

1.  To identify academic achievement gaps among all students;

2.  To identify and implement effective, sustainable, and measurable intervention strategies to ensure equity for all students;

3.  To monitor academic achievement among students from underserved populations;

4.  To develop criteria by which the human diversity degree requirement will be satisfied;

5.  To promote multicultural curriculum transformation on campus in partnership with the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) and academic diversity centers by establishing faculty-mentored student research opportunities that impact diverse communities and transform curricula;

6.  To advise the provost and university bodies on multicultural curriculum transformation issues;

7.  To submit an annual report on activities of the committee to the provost;

8.  To regularly monitor available data on undergraduate student participation in multicultural and diversity centered academic programs, minors, and certificates;

9.  To support collaboration between academic centers' minors and certificates and NIU PLUS pathways;

10.  To provide opportunities for faculty participation in academic diversity programs and initiatives.

Proposed amendments approved by University Council 09/07/2011, 10/05/2011, 11/02/2011.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 11/07/2012.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 05/01/2013.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 12/03/2014.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 10/07/2015.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/06/2016.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 10/05/2016.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 02/01/2017.

Proposed amendment approved by University Council 01/31/2018.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 10/10/2018.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/29/2020.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate 04/22/2020.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 09/30/2020.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 10/28/2020.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 1/20/2021.
Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 2/17/2021.

Back to Top

Article 5:
The Colleges

The mission of the university – the discovery and dissemination of knowledge – is achieved through the work of the university's academic agencies: the schools and departments which are the focal points for instruction, academic research, and artistry; and the institutes, centers, and programs which marshal resources for the discovery, transmission, and application of knowledge and understanding. Most of all, the mission of the university is achieved through the efforts of its faculty and their attendant staff and support systems. The organizational units which link these resources together, coordinate their work, stimulate and reward their achievements, and foster the sense of community so unique and vital to academe are the colleges.

The colleges are unified by their instructional and scholarly orientation. They are responsible for promoting the spirit of the teacher/scholar, nurturing a climate conducive to inquiry, fostering intellectual freedom, and stimulating the pursuit of excellence in the transmission of knowledge. The colleges provide the essential community – the organizational structure and the framework for intellectual interaction – that makes the academic enterprise operational. The colleges, then, are a basic mechanism through which the faculty discharges its prerogatives and responsibilities.

5.1 Standing Committees of Colleges Containing Academic Departments

5.1.1 The College Council 

5.1.1.1 Composition The college council shall consist of tenured faculty of the college. There shall be a minimum of one member from each department elected by and from the faculty of that department. Additional eligibility criteria shall be determined by the faculty of the college. The dean of the college shall serve as chair and shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for council approval. 

5.1.1.2 Duties

(A) To act in an advisory capacity to the dean of the college on policy with respect to academic activities of the college;

(B) To serve as the college personnel committee and advise the dean of the college concerning salaries, promotions, tenure, and sabbatical leaves;

(C) To make recommendations to the Faculty Senate concerning the policies of the college and the university;

(D) To select the college council's representatives from that college to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee. Each such appointee must not be a department chair, nor a member of a department, one of whose members is already serving on that committee.

(E) To exercise all of the functions assigned to the college personnel committee by these bylaws. 

5.1.1.3 Minutes Minutes of each college council meeting shall be distributed in a timely fashion to the faculty of the college. 

5.1.2 The College Senate 

5.1.2.1 Composition The college senate shall consist of the department chairs of the college, the dean of the college, and such additional academic personnel as the dean shall deem appropriate and necessary to the work of the senate. The dean, or the dean's designee, shall serve as chair of the senate and be responsible for preparing the agenda. 

5.1.2.2 Duties The college senate shall consider and review administrative matters of the college and advise the dean of the college on such matters. 

5.2 Standing Committees of All Colleges 

5.2.1 The College Curriculum Committee 

5.2.1.1 Composition The composition of the college curriculum committee shall be determined by the regular full-time faculty within each college. The dean, or the dean's designee, shall serve as chair of the committee. 

5.2.1.2 Duties

(A) Be responsible for studying, approving, disapproving, or returning for revision all proposals submitted by members of the college faculty or by department curriculum committees for establishing new courses, programs, or curricula, for deleting or substituting courses, and for changing existing courses, programs, or curricula.

(B) Submit all college proposals involving the general education program and new or revised undergraduate programs to the Baccalaureate Council or its appropriate standing committee with its recommendations.

(C) Submit all proposals involving new or revised graduate programs to the Graduate Council.

(D) Submit all proposals involving changes in the curriculum of the College of Law to the faculty of that college. 

(E) Initiate curricular proposals.

(F) Subject to Article 4.1.5 of these bylaws, have final authority for the substitution, alteration, addition, or deletion of courses other than those involving the general education program. It shall report final recommendations on undergraduate curriculum matters to the Baccalaureate Council's standing committee on curriculum, and, on graduate curriculum matters, to the Graduate Council. 

5.2.2 The Student Advisory Committee 

5.2.2.1 Organization

(A) Each college shall establish a student advisory committee and shall provide a constitution or set of bylaws governing the role, organization, operation, and duties of such body.

(B) Each college shall keep on file, in the college office and in the office of the Student Government Association, an up-to-date copy of its student advisory committee constitution or bylaws where it is available for student inspection.

(C) Each college shall transmit, on or before October 15 of each academic year, a list of the officers and members of its student advisory committee for that year to the Student Government Association and to the president of the Faculty Senate. 

5.2.2.2 Composition The composition of each college student advisory committee shall be determined by the student advisory committee constitution or bylaws of that college.

5.2.2.3 Duties The duties of the college student advisory committees shall include, but need not be restricted to, the following:

(A) Advise the dean of the college on all matters of direct concern to students.

(B) Advise the student representatives from the college to the Faculty Senate on matters of direct concern to students.

(C) Nominate or appoint student members to university committees, councils, and boards.

(D) Screen and select the student member nominees for the Faculty Senate. 

5.3 Standing Committees of Colleges Without Academic Departments

5.3.1 College Personnel Committee 

5.3.1.1 Composition The composition of the college personnel committee shall be determined by the regular, full-time faculty within each college. The dean of the college may be a nonvoting member of the committee and may serve as chair. The chair shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for the committee's approval. 

5.3.1.2 Duties

(A) Be responsible for exercising all of the functions assigned to a college personnel committee by these bylaws.

(B) Exercise such other powers and duties as may be assigned to it by the regular, full-time faculty within the college or by the dean of the college.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 6:
Operating Procedures of the Faculty Senate

6.1 Order of Business and Parliamentary Authority

6.1.1 Except as otherwise provided, the Faculty Senate meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order Revised.

6.1.2 A parliamentarian, who shall be appointed by the president, shall perform the usual duties expected of this position.

6.1.3 A majority of the elected members of the Faculty Senate shall constitute a quorum.

6.1.4 Consent Agenda

6.1.4.1 The Steering Committee of the Faculty Senate shall place on the consent agenda those items of business requiring Faculty Senate action which, in its judgment, are not likely to require Faculty Senate discussion and which are expected to receive unanimous approval from the Faculty Senate. Any such item may be removed from the consent agenda at the time that agenda is presented to the Faculty Senate if any five voting members request its removal. Removal of items from the consent agenda is not debatable.

6.1.4.2 After items to which objections have been raised are removed from the consent agenda, the Faculty Senate president shall call for a single vote to approve all of the matters remaining on that agenda.

6.1.5 Comments or Questions from Nonmembers

Faculty or staff who are not members of the Faculty Senate may be granted the opportunity to address the Faculty Senate if no objection is raised by members of the Faculty Senate at the time the request is made. The Faculty Senate president may limit the time a nonmember may have on the floor.

6.2 Minutes of the Faculty Senate

6.2.1 Faculty Senate meeting minutes shall be prepared by the Faculty Senate president and forwarded to members prior to the next meeting. Minutes must be approved by the Faculty Senate and once approved distributed to Faculty Senate members and other appropriate members of the university community in a timely manner.

6.2.2 Prior to approval of the minutes of the Faculty Senate, official statements on the business of the Faculty Senate shall be released only by the president.

6.2.3 A copy of the minutes shall be regularly deposited in the university archives.

6.3 Voting Procedures of the Faculty Senate

6.3.1 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.

6.3.2 Proposals for formal Faculty Senate action may be discussed and voted on at the meeting at which they are first presented, but can be held for action at a subsequent meeting of the Faculty Senate if two-thirds of the members voting favor such a delay.

6.3.3 All formal positions taken by the Faculty Senate shall be executed through public and recorded majority vote of the voting members of the Faculty Senate and so recorded and reported by the president of the Faculty Senate.

6.3.4 There shall be no use of proxy votes in the Faculty Senate.

6.4 Office of the President of Faculty Senate

6.4.1 The president of Faculty Senate shall serve as presiding officer of the Faculty Senate. In the absence of the president, the vice president shall preside. The presiding officer shall be entitled to vote.

6.4.2 The president shall appoint members and chairs of all standing and special committees with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate.

6.4.3 The university shall provide facilities and resources to support the Faculty Senate. The president of the Faculty Senate shall prepare an annual Faculty Senate operating budget as part of the normal university budget process and shall be responsible for administering that budget once it is authorized. 

Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 03/07/2012.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 7:
Duties and Responsibilities of the Faculty Senate

7.1 The Faculty Senate shall serve as the official voice of the faculty of Northern Illinois University and as the authoritative representative liaison body between the faculty and (1) the University Council, (2) the president of the university, (3) the executive vice president and provost, (4) other vice presidents with respect to their responsibilities affecting the faculty, and (5) the chair and the Board of Trustees. The Faculty Senate is the body empowered to act as an agent for the university faculty with the power to formulate policies regarding educational functions of the university.

7.2 In accordance with the Preamble and Article 7.3 of the University Constitution and the stated commitment to university governance as a shared process, the Faculty Senate shall serve the following purposes:

7.2.1 Faculty shall predominate in all policy decisions relating to the faculty personnel system, the university curriculum, and to policy decisions concerning admissions and academic policies and standards.

7.2.2 To promote the representation of the faculty in the governance of the university;

7.2.3 To encourage active faculty participation in the development of university policies and procedures;

7.2.4 To discuss and recommend as a Faculty Senate policies affecting the university as a whole;

7.2.5 To promote the welfare of the faculty and the university.

7.3 To achieve these purposes the specific functions of the Faculty Senate shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

7.3.1 To review academic policies, procedures, and practices at the university level, and to make recommendations on such matters to the appropriate administrative officers and governance bodies of the university;

7.3.2 To advance collective and individual faculty prerogatives in university policies and procedures;

7.3.3 To make recommendations on matters affecting faculty welfare;

7.3.4 To monitor and annually assess and report to the faculty and the administration the effectiveness of the faculty grievance processes;

7.3.5 To articulate and promulgate faculty positions on issues of general concern within and to the university;

7.3.6 To define and recommend mechanisms for faculty participation in university governance and in system-wide and state-wide issues;

7.3.7 To be consulted by and to advise the president of the university, the executive vice president and provost, and other appropriate university-wide administrative officers through mutually acceptable means on matters concerning university priorities, university budgets, university facilities, and university long-range planning, and on proposed changes in the administrative organizations of the university directly or primarily related to its academic mission.

7.3.8 To maintain an interactive liaison with those university shared-governance bodies established by the University Constitution and Bylaws, particularly the University Council, the Academic Planning Council, the Baccalaureate Council, and the Graduate Council;

7.3.9 To render advice and, if appropriate, act upon matters laid before it by the president of the university, other governance bodies of the university, or members of the faculty;

7.3.10 To elect faculty to serve on the University Advisory Committee (UAC) to the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 8:
Personnel Review Responsibilities

The Faculty Senate has the responsibility for annual reviews of the Faculty Senate president/University Council chair and the faculty personnel advisor. In the case of the president/chair, the Faculty Senate evaluation shall constitute the total personnel rating for that portion of the year the position is held. In the case of the faculty personnel advisor, the Faculty Senate evaluation shall constitute one-half of the personnel rating for that portion of the year the position is held. These evaluations shall be forwarded to the executive vice president and provost who shall determine the annual salary increment for the president/chair and who shall determine the salary increment for the faculty personnel advisor after receiving the evaluation given for other professional activities by the faculty personnel advisor's academic department.

The annual evaluation of the services of the faculty personnel advisor shall be conducted by a committee composed of three members of the Faculty Senate chosen by lot and one member of the SPS Council. The annual evaluation of the services of the president/chair in performance of that role shall be conducted by a joint committee composed of seven members of the Faculty Senate and University Council chosen by lot: Two faculty members from the Faculty Senate; two faculty members from the University Council; one supportive professional staff member from either Faculty Senate or University Council; one operating staff member from either Faculty Senate or University Council; and one student member from either Faculty Senate or University Council. The committee is empowered to seek and receive individual recommendations from the members of the Senate and University Council, and to seek such other information as it may find necessary in order to complete its task. The completed evaluation shall be presented to the Faculty Senate for its endorsement, and then it shall be forwarded to the executive vice president and provost of the university for appropriate action.

Proposed amendment approved by Faculty Senate 10/01/2014.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 9:
The Academic Personnel Process

Northern Illinois University strives for excellence in all academic matters. The academic personnel process is designed to facilitate the evaluation of faculty, in the light of this quest for excellence, in a fair and professional manner. To do so requires the exercise of informed, professional judgment as well as respect for the rights and responsibilities of all persons involved in the process. The university is best served when personnel matters can be decided, and disagreements resolved, in an environment of informal cooperation and full discussion, based upon clearly stated criteria for evaluation.

9.1 Principles Regarding Personnel Matters

9.1.1 The faculty personnel process at Northern Illinois University is a dual track system with faculty and administrators comprising the two distinct tracks and each track composing distinct evaluations. This system originates at the department level and progresses through the college and university levels to final on-campus recommendation by the president. 

9.1.2 Each department and college must maintain written policies and procedures for carrying out their roles and responsibilities in the personnel process indicated in these bylaws. Those documents are to be made available to the affected faculty. 

9.1.3 If departmental personnel policies and procedures do not contain provisions for their amendment, they may be amended in accordance with the principles of Article 18 of these bylaws. In that case, those eligible to vote on the amendment are the regular, full-time faculty members of the department. If college personnel policies and procedures do not contain provisions for their amendment, they may be amended in accordance with the principles of Article 18 of these Bylaws. In that case, those eligible to vote on the amendment are the members of the college council, or in colleges without a council, the regular, full-time faculty as a whole. 

9.1.4 All departmental personnel policies and procedures must be approved by the appropriate college faculty personnel body, and the college personnel procedures by the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee prior to their implementation. 

9.1.5 The affected faculty member has the right to know of the disposition of a personnel recommendation in process within 30 working days after its receipt at the next higher level of decision making, unless an appeal is filed within those 30 days. 

9.1.6 A written report on a recommendation concerning promotion, tenure, or sabbatical leave will be sent to the faculty member affected by each of the following levels of decision-making after that level has acted on the recommendation: department, college, university. A written notice of merit ratings for pay increment purposes shall be sent to the affected faculty member from the department. All such notices shall contain pertinent information regarding the opportunities for and regulations governing requests for reconsideration or appeal. 

9.1.7 Non-tenured faculty in tenure-track positions shall be entitled to receive annually a written evaluation of their progress toward the achievement of tenure. A copy of each such annual report shall be forwarded to the appropriate college dean. 

9.1.8 Appeals of personnel recommendations and alleged violations of policy or procedure shall be restricted to the level above the level at which the appealed recommendation was made. All appeals shall be filed by 14 days from the date of notification of the affected faculty member. 

9.2 University Criteria for Arriving at Personnel Decisions

9.2.1 General Criteria for Arriving at Personnel Decisions 

9.2.1.1 Recommendations concerning promotion, tenure, retention, and salary should reflect careful evaluation of: (1) effectiveness in teaching or, for library faculty, in librarianship, (2) scholarly contribution, including research, artistry, and any external peer evaluation of research and artistry, and (3) service to the university community and profession. Recommendations should be based only upon the professional performance of the faculty member. Utmost care must be exercised by all individuals and bodies making personnel recommendations to exclude possible prejudice concerning such matters as sex, race, national origin, marital status, age, color, political views or affiliation, religious views or affiliation, sexual orientation, handicapped status, or other such factors unrelated to professional performance. 

9.2.1.2 The reason the university exists is to serve society by encouraging learning. In order to do this most effectively, it must focus its activities on all of learning – the discovery, transmission, and application of knowledge. 

9.2.1.3 Effectiveness in teaching is a significant aspect of a faculty member's professional performance. For library faculty, effective librarianship is the criterion equivalent to effective teaching for other faculty members. Where a library faculty member's assignment involves teaching regularly scheduled classes, that teaching shall be evaluated. 

9.2.1.4 Scholarly inquiry and research and artistic production are an integral component of the university and are indispensable in insuring the vitality of the entire instructional, research, and artistic programs of the university. To be an effective teacher, a faculty member needs to engage in related scholarly (research and artistic) activities designed to ensure continued currency and familiarity with the academic discipline and field of specialization in which the teaching occurs. 

9.2.1.5 Professionally oriented public service activities are an important part of the university's obligations, particularly as they relate to its central mission: the service of society through the promotion of learning. Such activities enable scholars to test new insights. They expand the experiences, knowledge, and professional competence of faculty. Public service* thus has a potential parallel to research in its capacity to enrich teaching or librarianship and as such should be given adequate recognition in the evaluation of faculty. 

*The term, public service, does not exclude professionally oriented activities in the private sector of society. It refers, rather, to scholarly activities other than those of an instructional or research nature in which the academics are invited to participate because of their scholarly expertise which involve, directly and explicitly, their professional competencies, which are not related to their personal membership in religious, civic or community organizations, and which do contribute directly to growth in their scholarly competencies. Colleges and departments should define public service activities which are appropriate for their particular scholarly competencies.

9.2.1.6 Criteria upon which personnel decisions are appropriately based include:

(A) Effectiveness in teaching or librarianship:  

1. Teaching

(a) Command of subject matter.
(b) Skill in presenting material.
(c) Respect for the student as a co-learner.
(d) Effectiveness in creating an atmosphere that will encourage and facilitate students' efforts to learn and strengthen their capacities for valid reasoning and independent thought.
(e) Openness in the examination of a variety of views and tolerance for the expression of different views.
(f) Fairness and skill in evaluating student performance.
(g) Acceptance of responsibility for assessing and improving effectiveness as a teacher.
(h) Acceptance of responsibility for continually updating and improving courses taught. 

2. Librarianship

(a) Command of subject matter.
(b) Skill in presenting material in the context of reference service, instruction, bibliographic control, or collection development.
(c) Respect for users of library resources.
(d) Effectiveness in creating an atmosphere that will encourage and facilitate the library clientele's efforts to learn and strengthen their capacities for valid reasoning and independent thought.
(e) Openness in the examination of a variety of views and tolerance for the expression of different views.
(f) Fairness and skill in evaluating the needs of library users.
(g) Acceptance of responsibility for assessing and improving effectiveness as a librarian.
(h) Acceptance of responsibility for continually updating and improving the library's collection, access to information, and the services extended to its clientele. 

(B) Scholarly Performance and Achievement:  

1. Success in keeping up to date in the field of scholarly competence.

2. Quality of scholarly or creative productivity.

(C) Service to the University Community and Profession:  

1. Service to the department, college, and university through the competent performance of committee and other assignments or activities, including academic advisement, mentoring, faculty advisement to student organizations, and other student-oriented service.

2. Performance in facilitating the work and advancing the mission of the department, college, and university.

3. Service to professional societies and groups.

4. Quality of professionally oriented public service activities.

5. Service to department, college, and university is an integral and expected part of university membership. Hence, it should be accorded appropriate credit in annual merit evaluations, especially when it is of an extraordinary nature. However, for purposes of tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, it should be accorded significantly less importance than effectiveness in teaching and scholarly achievement.

9.3 University Criteria for Promotion

9.3.1 Beyond the Board of Trustees' minimum requirements for the various academic ranks, individuals being recommended for promotion should meet the following criteria: 

9.3.1.1 Teaching or Librarianship Effectiveness
Individuals teaching regularly scheduled classes being recommended for promotion must have demonstrated successful teaching and show continuing concern for critical assessment and improvement of their teaching. Library faculty being recommended for promotion must have demonstrated successful librarianship and show continuing concern for critical assessment and improvement of their librarianship. In considering individuals for promotion to associate professor, which recommendation normally will be accompanied by a recommendation for tenure, particular care should be given to assessing effectiveness of teaching or librarianship. Individuals being recommended for promotion to the rank of professor should present a continued record of successful teaching or librarianship. 

9.3.1.2 Department, College, and University Service
Individuals being recommended for promotion must have given evidence of an ability and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues in efforts to support and improve the programs of the department, college, and university. 

9.3.1.3 Scholarly and Professional Achievement

(A) Promotion to rank of assistant professor: Promise, as demonstrated by an earned doctorate or similar educational or professional accomplishment, of an ability for leadership in the faculty member's scholarly or creative field.

(B) Promotion to rank of associate professor: Ordinarily, evidence that the faculty member is in the process of achieving professional recognition among leaders in the individual's discipline through scholarly publications, papers presented at professional meetings, artistic achievements, or other forms of scholarly activity. Professional public service may be judged as contributing to professional recognition, but it does not substitute for evidence of scholarly achievement in research or artistry.

(C) Promotion to rank of professor: Evidence that the faculty member has achieved significant professional recognition among other leaders in the individual's discipline through publications, papers presented at professional meetings, artistic achievements, public service related to the discipline, or other forms of scholarly activity. Professional public service* may be judged as contributing to professional recognition, but it does not substitute for evidence of scholarly achievement in research or artistry. 

9.3.2 Realistically, it is not expected that, to be eligible for promotion, a faculty member will have demonstrated outstanding achievement in all of these areas. In all cases, however, a recommendation for promotion will require a demonstrated ability in teaching or, for library faculty, librarianship plus clear evidence of continued professional growth and activity in scholarship and service. Those making recommendations for promotions in rank should bear in mind that maintenance of the integrity of the academic ranks at Northern Illinois University requires that the standards for promotion be comparable to those institutions to which Northern Illinois University wishes to be compared. 

9.3.3 A faculty member on joint appointment will have the teaching and/or librarianship, scholarship, and service expectations specified in the Memorandum of Understanding provided at the time of the initial appointment. These expectations must not exceed the overall requirements for faculty members not on joint appointment. 

9.3.4 Time in Rank for Promotion to the Ranks of Associate Professor and Professor 
Promotion from assistant to associate professor will not be recommended until an individual has served at the lower rank, at this and other institutions of higher education, for a total of six years, except in the instance of extraordinary circumstances or an extraordinary record of achievement. Likewise, promotion from associate professor to professor will not be recommended until the individual has served at the rank of associate professor, at this and other institutions of higher education, for a total of six years, except in the instance of extraordinary circumstances or an extraordinary record of achievement. Each college shall establish criteria to be used in identifying those circumstances and records of achievement deemed “extraordinary.” 

9.4 University Criteria for Tenure
The decision to recommend a faculty member for a tenure appointment is the most critical decision made by an academic department, a college, and the university. Each department has the responsibility of building the most capable faculty possible within its means. The process of building a strong faculty involves not only the recruitment of the most promising candidates available, but also the critical evaluation of their teaching or librarianship, scholarship and service to the university community and to their profession during their probationary period.
Decisions on tenure substantially determine the quality of teaching, librarianship, scholarship, academic counseling, and creative planning available to the department, college, and university. Accordingly, a recommendation for tenure is justified only for those faculty members who have demonstrated to the satisfaction of appropriate faculty bodies and administrative officers that they are fully qualified to discharge their responsibilities in advancing the mission of the department, college, and university on a long-term basis as a teacher-scholar.

Ordinarily, the criteria for tenure are similar to those for promotion to the rank of associate professor. Only in unusual circumstances should tenure be recommended for assistant professors without the concurrent recommendation for promotion to associate professor.
A faculty member on joint appointment will have the tenure criteria and procedures specified in the Memorandum of Understanding provided at the time of the initial appointment. These expectations must not exceed the overall requirements for faculty members not on joint appointment. The procedures must specify how recommendations at the unit and college levels will be made and how "agreement at the department and college level" (in the sense of Article 10.3.4.1) is to be defined.

Faculty members on non-tenure appointment must recognize that their appointments are probationary. During this probationary period, it is their obligation to establish that they are qualified for a tenure appointment.

Each faculty personnel committee and chair shall have procedures for the annual evaluation of the cumulative progress toward tenure of all probationary faculty members and for communicating the results of such evaluations to them. The criteria to be used for the evaluation shall be those guidelines for tenure most recently published by the academic unit in which the applicant holds a tenure-track appointment. The results of the annual evaluation shall be shared with the faculty member in writing as well as in personal consultation with the academic unit's chief administrative officer. The written evaluation may be composed by either the personnel committee or the chief administrative officer or both working together. If the personnel committee and the chief administrative officer agree on the report, both shall sign it. If they disagree, two written reports shall be shared with the faculty member and placed in the faculty member's file. This procedure shall be followed in all required evaluation reports: ordinary annual reviews done at the time of recruitment of faculty for whom tenure may be awarded in fewer than five years, and the formal and particularly thorough evaluation done once for each faculty member on a five-, six-, or seven-year tenure track.

In the case of a faculty member on a seven-year tenure track, the evaluation in the third year shall be a formal and particularly thorough cumulative review which shall be conducted in the spring of that year by the personnel committee and chief academic officer of the academic unit in which the person being evaluated holds an academic appointment. A statement shall be appended to this evaluation which specifies the academic unit's anticipated long-term need for the position held by the probationary faculty member. This evaluation shall be shared with the concerned probationary faculty member and, where the academic unit involved is an academic department, with the appropriate college dean.

For faculty members on a four-year tenure track, it is expected that, at the time of recruitment, their previous professional performance shall be subject to an evaluation by the faculty personnel committee and the chair using the same criteria and expected level of performance as applied to those in the third year of a seven-year tenure track.

For faculty members on a five- or six-year tenure track, it is expected that at least one year before their evaluation for tenure, at a time agreed upon at the time of recruitment, a particularly thorough and formal cumulative evaluation of the progress toward tenure shall be conducted. It is further expected that, at the time of recruitment, their previous professional performance shall be subject to an evaluation by the faculty personnel committee and the chair using the same criteria and expected level of performance as applied to those in the third year of a seven-year tenure track.

A probationary faculty member who feels that an annual evaluation is unfair, inadequate, or otherwise inconsistent with the relevant published guidelines for achieving tenure may place a written response to the evaluation in the personnel files maintained on that faculty member by appropriate university offices. However, the annual evaluation of progress toward tenure of a probationary faculty member shall not itself be subject to the personnel appeal process.

9.5 Non-reappointment of University Probationary Faculty
A decision not to renew an appointment of a probationary faculty member may be made at any time during the probationary period. Adequate notice, as required by the Board of Trustees governance documents, must be given in the case of a decision not to reappoint. If requested, reasons, in writing, for non-reappointment should be given; however, it is clearly understood that this is a courtesy to the faculty member and that the department is not obligated to prefer charges nor to provide evidence of a juridical nature except when the reason(s) for non-reappointment entails allegations of unprofessional or unethical behavior.

9.6 Faculty and University Discretion
Nothing in this article or in these bylaws, including the results of periodic reviews of tenure status as reported to probationary faculty in accordance with the provisions of this article, should be construed to create any contractual entitlement to tenure.

Proposed amendment approved by University Council 05/01/2013.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 10:
General Academic Personnel Procedures

The procedures described below provide a mechanism whereby the objectives of the personnel process can be met. They do not ensure those objectives, since any set of procedures must be effectively administered in order to produce the desired results. Furthermore, they do not, and cannot, foresee all possible circumstances that may arise in the evaluation of faculty members for personnel decisions. Hence, these procedures must be supplemented by the detailed procedural and policy statements of departments, colleges, and the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee. The following statement sets forth the principles and procedures to be followed in the future development of the academic personnel process.

10.1 General Academic Personnel Procedures

In addition to the personnel procedures stipulated in the personnel principles set forth in Article 9.1 of these bylaws, the following procedures shall also be faithfully followed:

10.1.1 On-campus recommendations regarding promotion in rank, tenure status, and sabbatical leave shall be completed during the fall semester of each academic year for the following academic year. Exceptions shall be permitted only for recommendations on which an appeal or request for reconsideration has been filed. 

10.1.2 Annual faculty merit ratings and recommendations regarding salary increments for the following academic year shall be started and completed during the spring semester of each academic year for faculty service and accomplishments during the previous calendar year of service. Departments, at their option, may choose to base such evaluations upon a “rolling average” of the two or three previous calendar years of service. Each department shall inform its faculty about which method of calculation is to be used prior to the start of the period to be evaluated. 

10.1.3 All faculty salary adjustments require faculty involvement in decision making. The ordinary salary increment process depends on faculty merit ratings and recommendations (Bylaws 10.1.2) under policies created in accordance with Bylaws 3.3.2.2. 

10.1.4 The selection process for the chair of each personnel committee at the department, college, or university level shall be specified in the appropriate policies or bylaws of the academic unit involved. When such committees are formulating recommendations regarding merit evaluation, salary increments, promotion, tenure, or sabbatical leaves, the academic unit's administrative officer (chair, dean, executive vice president and provost) shall be a nonvoting, ex officio member of the committee. 

10.1.5 When both the department personnel committee and the department chair agree not to recommend a faculty member for promotion, tenure status, or sabbatical leave, no further consideration is necessary unless the faculty member wishes to file a formal appeal to the college. However, all tenure recommendations in the penultimate year, whether positive or negative, must be forwarded to the college even though no further action is required at that level. 

10.1.6 In any case involving an appeal of a personnel decision (e.g., regarding annual evaluation, tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave), the members of the body which made the decision being appealed shall be obliged to abstain from voting on the appeal. 

10.1.7 Persons in the terminal year (e.g., denied tenure, resigning, or dismissed for cause) may participate in discussion of personnel matters to be effectuated after their departure from the university but shall not vote on such matters, unless either general policy or a specific motion inviting them to vote shall have been approved by the department faculty. This policy does not apply to retiring faculty. 

10.1.8 It is preferable that all members of the departmental personnel committee or the appropriate college faculty committee in colleges without academic departments be tenured. If there be non-tenured members, they shall not be a majority and they shall neither participate nor vote on evaluations for, or recommendations regarding, tenure. 

10.1.9 Under the Board of Trustees Regulations, time on total or partial leave does not count toward tenure unless it is agreed before the leave begins that it will count. When continuing but not yet tenured faculty go on total or partial leaves of absence, whether or not the time on leave is to count in the years-to-tenure, such total or partial leave may not continue for more than one year without the approval of both the department personnel committee and department chair, or in colleges without departments, the college personnel committee and dean. Ordinarily, the maximum extension of the tenure track achieved by total or partial leaves of absence shall not exceed two years. 

10.2 Personnel Procedures at the Department Level
Academic departments bear the principal responsibility for evaluating the professional competence and achievements of their faculty members.

10.2.1 Departments shall provide faculty members with statements of criteria and policies for various personnel actions, the types of evidence to be evaluated, the procedures to be followed in making personnel recommendations-including provisions for student participation in the personnel process-and dates for compliance. Each departmental statement shall be submitted to the appropriate college where it must be reviewed and approved before it is disseminated or implemented. Each new faculty member, appointed on a regular faculty contract, shall be given a copy of these and all other pertinent college and university personnel policies when employed. 

10.2.2 A faculty member on a joint appointment between units will receive, at the time of appointment, a Memorandum of Understanding, prepared by the units and endorsed by the dean(s) to whom they report, specifying the conditions of the appointment, including the responsibilities to and support from each unit and the teaching, scholarship, and service expectations of the individual. This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended at any time by agreement of all concerned parties. A person on joint appointment shall not be disenfranchised from the university governance system because of that appointment. 

10.2.3 Departments shall make personnel recommendations on the basis of department, college and university guidelines and policies. 

10.2.4 As a part of its regular personnel procedure, each department shall notify faculty members of recommendations affecting them. All faculty members shall be given an opportunity to have each recommendation affecting them reconsidered within the department, prior to its being submitted to the college. Procedures for reconsideration shall be established by each department and approved by the appropriate college. In accordance with college time schedules, departments shall submit recommendations for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leaves to the deans for review at the college level, making clear any discrepancy that may exist between the recommendations of the department chair and the personnel committee. 

10.2.4.1 When the department personnel committee and the department chair agree to recommend a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, written comments in support of that recommendation shall be prepared and discussed by the committee and the chair and the recommendation and commentary shall be submitted to the college for review. 

10.2.4.2 When the department personnel committee and the department chair agree not to recommend a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, written comments in support of that decision shall be prepared and discussed by the committee and the chair and concurrently submitted to the college, and the faculty member shall be entitled to appeal that decision to the college in accordance with the provisions set forth in Article 7 of these bylaws. That appeal shall constitute the faculty member's right to appeal to the "level above the level at which the appealed recommendation was made" under Article 10.1.6 of these bylaws. 

10.2.4.3 When the department personnel committee and the department chair disagree on a recommendation of a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, the committee and the chair shall each prepare a separate written statement supporting their respective recommendations and shall share and discuss those statements with each other before submitting them to the college for review. 

10.2.5 Merit Ratings of Persons Who Have Been on Leave 

10.2.5.1 Sabbatical Leaves
Within 30 days after return to regular duties, each person who has been on leave shall present to the department chair, department personnel committee, and the executive vice president and provost's office a report of personal professional activities during the leave. The report shall describe the activities undertaken during the leave and the scholarly or other creative results of those activities. If this report reflects significant professional activity, the department personnel committee will award a merit rating which will be at least an average of that person's merit rating for the previous three years. If the report reflects inadequate professional activity, the merit rating may be lower.

When a faculty member is on leave for less than the whole evaluation period, the regular merit evaluation process will be used for that portion of the evaluation period during which the faculty member was not on leave. When the sabbatical leave occurs late in the evaluation period, care shall be taken to obtain the faculty member's service report before the leave begins. If a faculty member's leave begins in one evaluation period and continues into another, so that a merit rating must be given before the sabbatical report is due, the faculty member's rating for the first portion of the time on leave shall be either the average of that person's merit rating for the previous three years or that person's merit rating for the portion of the evaluation period for which the faculty member was not on leave, whichever is higher. The merit rating for the evaluation period during which the second portion of the leave occurs shall be determined in accordance with the first paragraph of this Bylaw. 

10.2.5.2 Leaves Without Pay
When a faculty member returns from leave without pay, the sabbatical rules shall apply if the individual has been engaged in professional activities. In other instances, the individual shall be assured at least the lowest merit rating earned by that individual in the preceding three years unless the dean of the college, at the time the leave was approved, specified that there would be no increment for the leave year. 

10.2.5.3 Sick Leaves
When a faculty member returns from extended sick leave or disability leave, the dean and the department chair, in consultation with the department personnel committee, shall make a recommendation to the executive vice president and provost as to an appropriate salary adjustment. 

10.2.6 Merit Ratings for Persons with Multiple Appointments
An individual with an appointment in more than one campus unit which involves some salary payment from the budget of each such unit shall be evaluated separately for each appointment by each unit in which a salaried appointment is held.

The evaluators in each unit shall take into consideration the proportional amount of time allocated by the individual's official notification. An overall merit rating, which shall be assigned by the lowest level academic administrator with supervisory responsibility for all of the academic units participating in the multiple assignment, shall be a composite of the individual ratings for each assigned role and shall reflect the proportional amount of time allocated to each unit by the individual's official notification. An individual's annual incremental dollars shall reflect the person's merit rating and shall be commensurate to the incremental dollars assigned to the same rating in the unit of origin. 

10.3 Personnel Procedures at the College Level
The college has two types of responsibilities in the personnel process. It establishes academic standards and procedures for the college as a whole, and it ensures that departments conform to them as well as to their own established standards and procedures. While each department bears the principal responsibility for evaluating the professional competence of its own faculty members, the college must be satisfied that such evaluations are in accordance with high academic standards in each discipline and with college policies. The college retains the authority to reject a department recommendation if the college is not persuaded of its validity.

10.3.1 The college personnel committee shall provide departments and faculty members with college criteria and current policies for various personnel actions, the types of evidence to be evaluated, and the dates for compliance. College statements shall be submitted to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee where each must be reviewed and approved before it is implemented. 

10.3.2 The college personnel committee shall review all department personnel recommendations to ensure (1) that appropriate professional standards of evaluation have been applied; and (2) that college guidelines, policies, and appropriate procedures have been followed.

If, on the basis of the evidence submitted by a department, the college is not persuaded that an individual recommendation should be approved, the college shall return the recommendation to the department for reassessment, with a statement of reasons in writing. A copy of the statement shall be made available to the individual involved. In consultation with the individual, the department may respond to the college statement and resubmit its recommendation if it wishes to do so. Where a decision involves the professional competence or achievements of an individual faculty member, the department's judgment shall be overridden only on the basis of substantial evidence that inadequate professional standards of evaluation were applied by the department. The college shall determine how such evidence is to be obtained and evaluated. 

10.3.3 Where noncompliance with college policies and standards persists after reassessment by the department, the college council shall deny the recommendation and take steps to bring the department into conformance with college policies and standards.

10.3.4 The college shall forward its recommendations for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave to the executive vice president and provost for review at the university level, along with supporting evidence and appropriate aggregate data, making clear any disagreements that may exist between the recommendations of the dean and the college council. 

10.3.4.1 Decisions not to recommend tenure, promotion in rank, or sabbatical leave shall be forwarded by the executive vice president and provost to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee for review and action on the university level only if there has not been agreement on the decision at the department and college levels. Agreement at the department and college level shall be considered to exist when the college personnel committee, the college dean, and either the department personnel committee or the department chair are in agreement. When there has been such agreement, those decisions shall be forwarded by the executive vice president and provost to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee only for information purposes. For recommendations to grant early tenure or early promotion in rank, the executive vice president and provost may seek the advice, but not formal action, of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee concerning the required justification of extraordinary circumstances or an extraordinary record of achievement. 

10.3.4.2 When the college council and dean agree to recommend a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, written comments in support of that recommendation shall be prepared and discussed by the council and the dean, the recommendation and commentary shall be submitted to the executive vice president and provost, and that officer shall forward it to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee only for information purposes. 

10.3.4.3 When the college council and the dean agree not to recommend a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, and when that faculty member had been recommended for the tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave by the department personnel committee, the department chair, or both, the council and dean shall prepare and discuss written comments in support of their decision, and, the faculty member shall be entitled to appeal that decision to the university in accordance with the provisions set forth in Article 11 of these bylaws. 

10.3.4.4 When the college council and the dean disagree on a recommendation of a faculty member for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, the council and the dean shall each prepare a separate written statement supporting their respective recommendations and shall share and discuss those statements with each other before submitting them to the executive vice president and provost for review at the university level. 

10.4 Personnel Procedures at the University Level
Like the colleges, the university, through its Faculty Senate Personnel Committee, has two types of personnel responsibilities. The Faculty Senate Personnel Committee establishes, in conjunction with the Faculty Senate, personnel policies, standards, and criteria affecting the entire faculty; it ensures that colleges carry out their responsibilities effectively and equitably. A major part of its effort should be directed toward studying major personnel issues of general importance to the university, and proposing policy initiatives and changes to the Faculty Senate. Normally, the committee is not involved in the professional evaluation of individual faculty members, nor in assessing the procedures and standards used by departments in personnel decisions. However, it retains responsibility for ensuring that the colleges conduct the personnel process with a high degree of professionalism and equity. As part of this responsibility, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee has the authority to overrule a college personnel recommendation when the committee concludes that such an action is necessary to maintain high standards of academic excellence.

10.4.1 The Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall provide colleges and the faculty with university criteria, current policies, and compliance dates for various personnel actions, and shall approve statements of college criteria, policies, and procedures. 

10.4.2 The executive vice president and provost shall give to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee for review, and the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall review, only those personnel recommendations specified in Articles 3.3.2.7, 3.3.2.8, and 10.3.4 of these bylaws. The executive vice president and provost shall submit a summary report on all other college personnel recommendations to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee for the committee's information. 

10.4.3 Where the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee reviews a college recommendation and concludes that it does not conform to university standards, policies, or criteria, the recommendation shall be returned to the college for reassessment with an explanation in writing. The college may consult with any department or individual involved, and may alter its recommendation or resubmit it with additional explanation or evidence, if it wishes to do so. 

10.4.4 Where noncompliance with university standards, policies, or criteria persists after reassessment by a college, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall deny the recommendation, and take steps to bring the college into conformance with university standards. 

10.4.5 The executive vice president and provost shall submit to the president the personnel recommendations of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee on cases which it heard pursuant to Article 10.4.2 above, the executive vice president and provost's own recommendation on such cases, and all other personnel recommendations submitted by the colleges. 

10.4.6 The Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall submit an annual personnel report to the Faculty Senate.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 11:
Appeal Procedures for Academic Personnel Decisions

The regular personnel process provides two means by which disagreements over the personnel recommendations described in Article 10 of these bylaws may be resolved through informal consultation and negotiation: the re-consideration procedure on the department level, and the reassessment procedure on both the department and college levels, through which additional evidence may be adduced prior to a final department or college decision on an individual recommendation. It is intended that these procedures provide a means whereby disagreements over personnel recommendations may be resolved, whenever possible, without resort to formal appeal procedures.

Where disagreements are not resolved in this way, any party involved may initiate a formal appeal. The principal objectives of the appeal process are twofold: to provide for consideration of allegations by a faculty member who claims to have been unfairly or inadequately evaluated, or for a department or college which alleges inappropriate actions by higher level committees; and to identify deficiencies in department and college procedures, standards, and policies, so that they can be corrected.

In general, appeal procedures correspond to the jurisdiction appropriate to each level in the personnel process. Thus, appeals to the college are based on actions by departments, and appeals to the university are based upon actions by colleges, except for cases of university-wide concern (described below in Article 11.2.1.3). Appeals to the next level shall be reviewed only after consideration and appeal procedures have been exhausted at the lower level. Except for appeals involving issues described under Article 11.2.1.3, the right and opportunity for appeal shall extend only to appeals made to the decision level immediately above the level at which the appealed decision originated.

11.1 Appeals at the College Level

11.1.1 Colleges shall entertain appeals, on appropriate grounds, against department recommendations, or against the failure of departments to make recommendations which individuals feel are merited. 

11.1.2 Appeals, which must be filed within 10 working days of notification of the appellant of the appealed action, shall be based on one (or more) of the following general grounds: 

11.1.2.1 That inappropriate procedures were followed by a department; 

11.1.2.2 That insufficient or inappropriate criteria or evidence were used in arriving at a department recommendation; 

11.1.2.3 That other circumstances exist which the college considers a legitimate basis for an appeal. (However, where an appellant alleges actions of the types described under Article 11.2.1.3 the appellant shall address the appeal directly to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee.) 

11.1.3 Appeal statements shall be in writing and shall set forth the specific grounds for appeal and all pertinent evidence. In all appeals of a department action, the department shall have an opportunity to respond prior to a decision by the college. Likewise, the appellant shall be informed of the department statement and shall have an opportunity to respond to it. 

11.1.4 As in the regular personnel process, where a decision involves the professional competence or achievements of an individual faculty member, the department's judgment shall be overridden only on the basis of substantial evidence that inadequate or inappropriate professional standards or evidence were used by the department. The college shall determine how such evidence is to be obtained and evaluated. 

11.1.5 Where an appeal against a department decision is sustained, and if the deficiencies persist, the college shall take steps to correct whatever deficiency in department procedures or standards gave rise to the original decision. 

11.2 Appeals at the University Level

11.2.1 The Faculty Senate Personnel Committee is principally concerned with college-wide personnel standards and procedures, and with policy matters affecting the entire university faculty. It is not involved in the professional evaluation of individual faculty members, except for the situations listed in Articles 3.3.2.7 and 3.3.2.8 of these bylaws. In addition, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall entertain appeals only when it finds clear, unambiguous, and pressing reason to do so on the following grounds: 

11.2.1.1 Where the procedures, standards, or policies of a college are alleged, by an individual or a department, to be unfair or inappropriate; 

11.2.1.2 Where a college is alleged not to have protected a faculty member from departmental failure to adhere to specific procedural requirements set forth in the University Constitution, in these bylaws, or in the guidelines currently in force in the college and department, and where that failure, in the view of a majority of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee, affected the recommendations made to the extent that, had the violations not occurred, there might not have been agreement as defined in Article 11.3.4.1 of the bylaws. In such cases, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee's review of the appeal shall be limited to the procedural questions raised by the appellant and shall not extend to the substantive issues involved in the personnel decision. If the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee finds for the appellant in such a review, it shall report its finding to the executive vice president and provost and return the matter to the college and department involved, together with a written statement describing the issues, the evidence, the committee's finding, and the reasons for that finding, and direct the college and department to take appropriate remedial action. Where the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee finds that egregious procedural errors have been sufficiently substantial to preclude fair action in the college and department on the action or recommendation appealed from, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee may recommend to the executive vice president and provost, without returning the case to the college and department, the action originally sought by the appellant; 

11.2.1.3 Where an agency or individual within the university is alleged to have discriminated against a faculty member during the personnel process on the basis of sex, race, national origin, marital status, age, color, political views or affiliations, religious views or affiliations, sexual orientation, handicapped status, or other such factor unrelated to professional performance; 

11.2.1.4 Where a faculty member alleges that an agency or individual within the university has infringed upon the faculty member's academic freedom. 

11.2.2 Appeals to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall be filed no later than 10 working days after notification to the appellant of the appealable action. Appeal statements shall be in writing and shall set forth the specific grounds for the appeal along with all pertinent evidence. Before accepting an appeal, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall make an inquiry to determine whether the grounds are sufficient to justify an appeal at the university level. 

11.2.3 When accepted, appeals of types 11.2.1.1 and 11.2.1.2 will be heard by the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee. Appeals of type 11.2.1.3 will be heard by a special hearing board established in accordance with Article 11.2.5 of these bylaws. Appeals of type 11.2.1.4 will be heard in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 15.1 of these bylaws. All parties to the dispute shall have a right to be heard. 

11.2.4 Where a department or college persists in its use of inappropriate procedures or inadequate standards, the committee on the next higher level may recommend appropriate sanctions to be imposed by the chief administrator on that lower level. 

11.2.5 Special Hearing Board for Appeals Filed Under Article 11.2.1.3: The appeal procedures of the university policies and regulations regarding the personnel process provide that appeals at the university level which involve an allegation of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, marital status, age, color, political views or affiliation, religious views or affiliation, sexual orientation, handicapped status, or other such factor unrelated to professional performance shall be heard by a special hearing board established in accordance with university policy. This hearing board shall be available to any faculty or administrative employee with the exception of operating staff, whose appeals are conducted under civil service provisions. 

11.2.5.1 Membership: The Hearing Board shall consist of 15 faculty and administrative employees to be selected at the beginning of each academic year by the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee from a list of names, five names submitted by each of the respective college personnel bodies and five from the supportive professional staff. Within the 15 members, there may be persons who have had prior involvement in a case brought to the board who would wish to disqualify themselves from participation in the hearing of that case. Either party may request the disqualification of any member(s) of the Hearing Board on the grounds of conflict of interest. Those members of the board not challenged shall determine the validity of a challenge. In the event that more than five members of the board are disqualified, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall name additional member(s) - from the original individuals nominated - to ensure a minimum of 10 members of the board hearing any given appeal. Women and members of minority groups shall be represented on the Hearing Board. Consequently, in nominating individuals for the Hearing Board, the college personnel committees and other groups shall endeavor to ensure that women and minority groups are appropriately represented. The chair of the Hearing Board shall be selected by the membership of the Hearing Board. The chair should be a member of the university community with appropriate qualifications or experience in this capacity. If the chair is selected from among the membership of the board, the chair shall have a vote. The Hearing Board may consult with the director of the office of Affirmative Action and the university general counsel on questions relating to federal and state laws regarding affirmative action, university regulations and policies relating to affirmative action, and procedural requirements applicable to the board's work. 

11.2.5.2 Cases to be Considered: Appeals involving allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, marital status, age, color, political views or affiliation, religious views or affiliation, sexual orientation, handicapped status, or other such factor unrelated to professional performance received by the Faculty Senate Personnel committee shall be referred to the Hearing Board with a notice to the office of Affirmative Action. Also, the office of Affirmative Action may refer grievances involving allegations of discrimination filed with that office to the Hearing Board. In all cases the allegation must be forwarded in written form over the signature of the person making the appeal. When an appeal is forwarded to it, the Hearing Board shall first make an inquiry to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to justify a hearing. In all cases where a judgment of insufficient grounds is rendered, the Hearing Board shall report this to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee and provide the complainant and the Affirmative Action office with a summary of the judgment rendered. When an appeal or grievance is found to have sufficient grounds to warrant a hearing, the Hearing Board shall schedule a hearing. 

11.2.5.3 The Hearing: The Hearing Board shall provide opportunities for all parties to the dispute to be heard. All parties shall be allowed to have observers (not to exceed three for each party) and each may choose a faculty or administrative employee as a representative. The executive vice president and provost or an Affirmative Action officer shall, if requested by the complainant, assist the complainant in finding a suitable representative. No party to the dispute shall be accompanied by, or be represented by, general counsel. The Hearing Board shall act as a fact-finding body with the right to call witnesses, ask questions, hear evidence presented by both parties, and examine university documents pertaining to the case. At the hearing, either party or a party's representative shall have the right to call witnesses, to ask questions of all witnesses, and to examine university documents pertaining to the case and evidence submitted to the Hearing Board. If a dispute should arise over access to, or relevance of documents or information, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall review the material, along with any recommendations the Hearing Board may wish to make as to its relevance, and determine whether the information shall be released to the concerned parties. The Hearing Board shall base its decision exclusively on information presented during the course of the hearing and thereby available to all concerned parties. Reasonable provision shall be made for university employees to appear as witnesses or representatives at the hearing on behalf of either party without loss of pay. A transcript of the hearing shall be kept and be made available to all persons involved in the dispute. The chair shall make and enforce such rules for the conduct of the hearing that provide for an orderly and fair hearing for all parties. The recommendation of a majority of the Hearing Board present and voting shall be the decision of the Hearing Board. This recommendation, along with the rationale for the recommendation, shall be forwarded to the president, to all parties involved in the appeal or grievance, to the office of Affirmative Action, and to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee within seven (7) days after the closing of the hearing. If no recommendation is made by a majority of the Hearing Board, the recommendations and rationale of each faction shall be forwarded to the president and others as indicated above. 

11.3 Due Process
This Article provides principles and procedures for the resolution of questions resulting from the dismissal for cause of a tenured member of the faculty, or from the dismissal for cause of a non-tenured member of the faculty before the expiration of that faculty member's contract period. These principles and procedures do not apply to probationary tenure-track faculty members whose contracts are not renewed or expire during or at the end of their probationary period, or to temporary faculty members whose appointments are not renewed at the end of their contract period. 

11.3.1 Statement of Principles 

11.3.1.1 Established and orderly procedures insuring fairness afford the best protection of the rights and welfare of both the faculty member and the university. Such procedures are also indispensable for safeguarding the public interest in the integrity of the university as a center of higher learning. 

11.3.1.2 If it is recommended that a tenured member of the faculty be dismissed for cause, or that a non-tenured member of the faculty be dismissed before the expiration of the contract period, the burden of proof that such action is justified shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole. 

11.3.1.3 Adequate cause for dismissal must be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of the faculty member in the member's professional capacity as teacher, scholar, or colleague. Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or of their rights as American citizens. 

11.3.2 Statement of Procedures
A faculty member recommended for dismissal shall be guaranteed academic due process in accordance with the following procedures:

(A) Step 1: Informal Efforts at Conciliation
It is appropriate for the university, including the interested personnel committees at the department and college levels and the appropriate officers of academic administration, to seek to resolve differences without recourse to a formal hearing. In an effort to secure such resolution, both the university administration and the faculty member should consider inviting the assistance of additional parties. In informal discussions involving the faculty member and representatives of the university, the faculty member shall have the right to be accompanied by an academic adviser of the faculty member's choice. Since these discussions look toward conciliation, no transcript or recording shall be made of such meetings. The faculty member may waive informal discussions.

(B) Step 2: Preliminaries to a Hearing
In advance of a hearing in which the university administration will attempt to substantiate charges against a faculty member, the executive vice president and provost shall send the faculty member:

1. A copy of the Board of Trustees Governance Documents, the university constitution and bylaws, and such other statements as may concern the rights of the faculty member; 

2. A copy of specific charges against the faculty member; 

3. A summary of the principal evidence presented in support of the charge, and a preliminary list of witnesses the university administration plans to call; 

4. The names of the members comprising the Hearing Panel; 

5. Notice of the date of the hearing, insuring that at least 20 days elapses between the date on which the chair of the Hearing Panel notifies the faculty member of the hearing date and the date of that hearing so that the faculty member can prepare a defense; 

6. A formal invitation to attend the hearing and notice of the right to be accompanied to the hearing by an NIU faculty colleague and general counsel. The faculty member shall acknowledge to the executive vice president and provost, in writing, receipt of the notices.

(C) Step 3: The Hearing

1. The Hearing Panel from which a hearing committee may be chosen shall comprise 20 members elected by the Faculty Senate by secret ballot. Prior to the balloting, the Rules, Governance and Elections Committee shall, by lot, select the names of 34 tenured members of the university's faculty from a list containing the names of all such tenured members of the university's faculty except those members holding a university administrative appointment or those on leave. Members of the Hearing Panel shall serve one-year terms and shall be eligible for re-election. When a hearing is to be held, the chair of the Rules, Governance and Elections Committee shall notify the executive vice president and provost and the faculty member concerned of the names of the hearing panel members. Within a week of this notification, the executive vice president and provost and the faculty member concerned shall, at their discretion, exercise no more than three challenges each. Members of the Hearing Panel may, on their own initiative, inform the chair of the Rules, Governance and Elections Committee that they wish to be removed from the Hearing Panel because they are interested parties connected with the pending case. The chair of the Rules, Governance and Elections Committee shall convene the remaining members of the Hearing Panel who shall choose by lot a committee of five to conduct the hearing. The hearing committee shall select one of its number as chair. 

2. A hearing shall be closed unless the faculty member requests it to be open; however, the hearing committee may upon its own initiative, or shall in response to a request by the faculty member or the executive vice president and provost, invite one or more educational associations concerned with academic freedom to send a representative as an observer. 

3. The hearing committee shall arrange to have a verbatim record kept of the hearing, and shall make a copy of this record available in identical form and at the same time to the faculty member (without charge) and to the president of the university. 

4, The hearing committee will grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence concerning which the committee deems a valid claim of surprise has been made. 

5. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence, and the executive vice president and provost will, insofar as possible, secure the cooperation of such witnesses and make available necessary documents and other evidence possessed by the university. 

6. The faculty member and the university will have the right to confront and question all witnesses. Where a particular witness cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of that witness's statement, the committee will identify the witness, disclose the statement, and, if possible, provide for written answers by the witness to questions posed by the parties to the dispute. 

7. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from this university or other institutions of higher education. 

8. The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which may be of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every effort shall be made to obtain all such evidence. 

9. The findings of fact and the decision will be based solely on the hearing record. 

10. Except for such simple announcements as may be required, covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or the university will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings, including any consideration by the Board of Trustees, have been completed. The president and the faculty member shall be notified of the decision in writing and shall be given a copy of the record of the hearing. 

11. If a majority of the hearing committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence of the record, it will so report to the president. If the president rejects the report, the reasons for the rejection shall be stated in writing to the hearing committee and to the faculty member and provide an opportunity for response before transmitting the case to the Board of Trustees. If the hearing committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has been established but that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate, it shall so recommend, with supporting reasons.

(D) Step 4: Appeal to the Board of Trustees
If dismissal or other penalty is recommended, the president shall, on request of the faculty member, transmit the record of the case to the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees agrees to consider the case, the following procedure is recommended. The board's review should be based on the record of the committee hearing, and it should provide opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals at the hearing or by their representatives. Either the decision of the hearing committee should be sustained, or the proceeding should be returned to the committee with specific objections. The committee should then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. It is recommended that the Board of Trustees make a final decision only after study of the committee's reconsideration.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 12:
Sabbatical Leave Policy

12.1 The university shall award sabbatical leaves for the purpose of supporting and encouraging scholarship (research or artistry) on the part of individual faculty members in order to strengthen the academic programs of the university.

12.2 The criteria upon which the merit of sabbatical leaves shall be judged shall be the quality of the proposed scholarship, the capacity of the applicant to conduct the work, reports on previous sabbatical leaves by the applicant, and the likelihood of the completion of the proposed project.

12.3 The procedure followed is presented below:

12.3.1 Each applicant for sabbatical leave shall propose a program of scholarship which is capable of being substantially advanced by means of the leave. The applicant shall indicate the nature of the program, its present state of development, and, in some detail, plans for advancing the program during the leave. Documentation may be submitted in support of the application. 

12.3.2 Each application shall be submitted through the chair of the department in which the applicant holds rank for review by the department personnel committee. In consultation with the chair, the committee shall (1) evaluate the merit of each sabbatical leave application in the department; (2) if there is more than one such application, rank them in order of merit; and (3) recommend the approval or disapproval of each application, forwarding it through the dean to the appropriate college personnel committee. The chair shall prepare a cover letter to accompany the committee's rankings which explains how the rankings were developed and how the criteria were applied. In the case of multiple applications from the same department/school, the chair/director, in concert with the department personnel committee (and with the dean if necessary), shall determine if sufficient resources are available to reasonable accommodate the absence of all faculty members requesting sabbaticals. Only sabbatical requests that can be reasonable accommodated shall be forwarded to the college personnel committee. Differences of opinion between a majority of the personnel committee and the department chair shall be resolved at the department level whenever possible. Otherwise, they shall be reported in detail to the college personnel committee. The department chair shall notify each applicant, in writing, concerning the committee's recommendation including ranking. A request for reconsideration of the committee's recommendation shall be filed within 14 days of the date of the notification from the chair. They shall be heard within the department in accordance with department policies, prior to the start of the deliberations of the college personnel committee. 

12.3.3 Individuals with academic rank in the University Libraries or in a college without academic departments shall submit their applications to the personnel committee of their unit. Those leaves which are approved shall be forwarded with accompanying justification to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee. The chief administrative officer of the unit shall prepare a letter to accompany the committee's rankings which explains how the rankings were developed and how the criteria were applied. 

12.3.4 The college personnel committee, in consultation with the dean, shall evaluate the applications from all departments in the college, taking into account department recommendations. The committee shall review any differences of opinion referred to it by the departments and act in accordance with its own best judgment on the dispute. On a college-wide basis, the committee shall rank applications recommended for approval by the department personnel committees. The ranking shall respect, insofar as possible, the rankings provided by the departments and shall be based upon the committee's judgment of the relative scholarly (research or artistry) merit of each project. Any changes in departmental ranking of sabbatical leave applications shall be explained in writing to the affected department and applicants in a timely manner, with specific reason(s) given for the ranking changes. The college dean shall notify each applicant, in writing, concerning the committee's recommendation. Appeals of the committee's recommendation shall be filed within 14 days of the dean's notification; they shall be heard in accordance with the policies of the college, prior to the deliberations of the university-level personnel committee. The college committee, through the dean, shall forward its recommendations to the executive vice president and provost. The dean shall prepare a cover letter to accompany the college recommendations which explains how the rankings were developed and how the criteria were applied. Where differences between a majority of the college personnel committee and the dean are not resolved at the college level, they shall be reported in detail to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee. 

12.3.5 Individuals with rank in an academic department, but assigned to more than half-time administrative duties outside the college or department, as well as faculty no-rank persons, may submit a sabbatical proposal for scholarship on a topic appropriate to the applicant's responsibilities and in accordance with the expertise involved in the person's position. Such requests shall be submitted to the personnel committee of the administrative unit involved, or, where no personnel committee exists, to the applicant's immediate supervisor. Those leaves which are approved shall then be forwarded with accompanying justification to the next level until they reach the level of dean or vice president. The sabbatical leave requests should be rank ordered at that level and then submitted through the executive vice president and provost to the Faculty Senate  Personnel Committee. 

12.3.6 Taking into account the recommendations of the appropriate committees, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee, in consultation with the executive vice president and provost, shall evaluate all applications for sabbatical leaves. The committee shall resolve any differences of opinion referred to it. The committee shall combine the rankings of the several colleges, taking care in the process to retain the relative rankings of the applicants from each college. The university rankings shall be based upon the committee's judgment of the relative scholarly merit of each proposal. Taking into account the number of leaves available and its merit-ranking of proposals, the committee shall assign each application to one of three classes: (1) leaves granted, (2) standby leaves, (3) leaves disapproved. Any changes in departmental ranking of sabbatical leave applications shall be explained in writing to the affected department and applicants in a timely manner, with specific reason(s) given for the ranking changes. The executive vice president and provost shall notify each applicant in writing concerning Faculty Senate Personnel Committee's action. Appeals of the committee's action shall be filed within 14 days of the executive vice president and provost's notification and they shall be heard, and action taken on them, before the committee's action is forwarded to the president by the executive vice president and provost. If an approved leave is declined by a faculty member, the executive vice president and provost shall assign that leave to the highest-ranking applicant on the standby list. 

12.4 Sabbatical Policies

12.4.1 Sabbatical leaves shall ordinarily be limited to tenured faculty members and non-temporary supportive professional staff members. Throughout Bylaw 12.4, the term "faculty" shall include both ranked and no-rank (supportive professional staff) faculty, unless specifically specified to the contrary. 

12.4.2 Sabbatical leaves shall be granted only in connection with proposed or ongoing programs that promise to enhance the professional competence and improve the professional standing of the faculty member. 

12.4.3 Sabbatical leaves ordinarily shall not be granted to a faculty member in order: (a) to revise books designed primarily for use as texts, (b) to retrain or develop competencies primarily for a different professional position; (c) primarily to visit various locations of general, professional, or academic interest; (d) to perform full-time duties at another institution similar to the duties presently performed at NIU; (e) to complete a doctoral or other terminal degree; (f) to carry out formal study at NIU. Sabbatical leaves for a semester at full pay shall not be granted to a faculty member if, during the leave, the faculty member is to undertake full- or part-time employment that is not an integral part of the scholarly purpose of the leave. 

12.4.4 Within 30 days following resumption of regular duties at the university, the faculty member shall submit a written report to the department or division chair, to the dean or director, and to the executive vice president and provost, describing the personal scholarly activities during the sabbatical leave. Each report must include a brief statement of the scholarly purpose for which the leave was granted. The report shall become a part of each ranked faculty member's service record for the purpose of merit evaluation as described in Article 10.2.5.1 of the Bylaws, and as a basis for evaluation of subsequent leave requests for all faculty. The departmental personnel committee and the department chair will review the report and indicate whether there is adequate documentation of the completion of work outlined in the sabbatical proposal or its equivalent. This departmental review will be completed during the same semester that the sabbatical report has been submitted. A copy of the review will be sent to the dean and executive vice president and provost's office for incorporation with the report in the faculty member's sabbatical record for consideration in recommendations by the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee regarding future sabbatical leave proposals. An individual granted a sabbatical leave assumes a professional obligation to return to NIU for a period of at least one year subsequent to the leave. At the request of the executive vice president and provost approximately two years after the sabbatical leave, each faculty member will submit a report on the sabbatical outcomes related to research and artistry, teaching, and/or engagement and outreach. This information will be compiled for a report to the NIU Board of Trustees.

12.4.5 Sabbatical leaves shall be for one semester at full pay, or one academic year at half-pay or for equivalent time as agreed among the faculty member, the employing unit(s), and the relevant vice president. Persons on 12-month appointments are also eligible for two consecutive summer sessions at full pay. 

12.4.6 Each sabbatical leave application and project shall be considered anew each year. 

12.4.7 A first sabbatical leave shall be granted only to a faculty member who will have completed five years of full-time service by the time the leave begins. Full-time service on a temporary appointment shall count toward a sabbatical leave. Periods of time on leaves of absence without pay shall count toward a sabbatical leave provided the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee judges the activity associated with that leave without pay to be comparable in professional significance to service as a member of the faculty. 

12.4.8 A subsequent sabbatical leave may not begin before a faculty member has completed full-time service for six years (i.e., 72 months) since the end of his or her most recent sabbatical leave.

Then NIU Bylaws, Article 8.4.4 amendment approved by the University Council on 2/22/2012.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 13:
Faculty Senate Responsibilities to the Faculty

13.1 The Faculty Senate shall report its proceedings to the faculty on a timely basis, shall distribute in advance its schedule of meetings, and shall inform the faculty of significant issues coming before it.

13.2 At the request of one-third of the Faculty Senate voting membership present, any matter must be submitted to the faculty for consideration, either by mail ballot or at a faculty meeting.

13.3 The Faculty Senate shall have the right to call meetings of those university faculty who, regardless of tenure status, meet the definition of faculty in Article 6.1.1 of the NIU Constitution.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 14:
Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor

The Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor is a resource person whose services are available to any faculty member (ranked or no-rank faculty), administrator, Supportive Professional Staff member, or personnel body in the university. The advisor's role includes such activities as the following:

  • To advise faculty and SPS members about the personnel policies and procedures within the university and the courses of action open to faculty and SPS members; 
  • To advise and assist faculty and SPS members who are experiencing difficulties with the personnel process; 
  • To advise and assist faculty and SPS members dissatisfied with personnel decisions; 
  • To observe the workings of the personnel process and to recommend needed changes or clarification; 
  • And to serve as grievance officer in cases of faculty pursuing the grievance procedure set forth in Article 15.2 of these bylaws. 

14.1 Qualifications
The advisor shall be a full-time, tenured faculty member. The advisor shall have had experience with the personnel process at various levels, and be familiar with the administrative structure and operations of the university.

14.2 Conditions of Employment

14.2.1 The advisor shall receive compensation equal to one month of the median salary of all tenured professors each semester and summer session funded through the budget of the University Council.

14.2.2 Secretarial assistance shall be provided. 

14.2.3 The advisor may not hold membership on any personnel committee within the university dealing with matters relating to merit evaluations of faculty not holding administrative positions, salary increments, tenure, promotion in rank, or leaves of absence. 

14.2.4 The advisor shall receive an initial two-year appointment consisting of eleven months each year, renewable for an additional 11 months. The advisor shall be ineligible for a successive term. 

14.2.5 Files generated by the Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor are the property of the office of the Faculty and SPS Advisor and shall be kept for eight years. Only the Faculty and SPS Advisor shall have access to the files. After eight years, the files shall be destroyed, except that non-identifying, aggregate data may be kept indefinitely. 

14.2.6 The Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor shall make an annual report which will summarize the activities of the advisor (in such a way as to keep clients' identities anonymous), identify the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel process, and make recommendations for changes in the personnel process. The Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor Annual Report shall be submitted to the University Council and the Faculty Senate. The FSPSPA Annual Report will be submitted by July 31 of each year. 

14.3 Method of Selection
The Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor shall be elected by the Faculty Senate in the spring for a two-year term to begin at the start of the fall semester. 

Proposed amendment approved by University Council on 04/09/2008.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council on 04/30/2008.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council on 04/29/2015.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 15:
Grievance Procedures for Violation of Academic Freedom

This article provides opportunities through which faculty members can seek adjudication of allegations of violations of their academic freedom by other members of the university administration, faculty, or staff. Opportunities for adjudication of allegations regarding unfair treatment during the operation of university personnel procedures are provided in Article 11 of these bylaws. Opportunities for adjudication of allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, handicapped status, religious views or affiliation, political views or affiliation, or other factors unrelated to professional performance are provided under Article 11.2.5 of these bylaws.

15.1 In all cases in which a faculty member alleges violation of his or her academic freedom, the burden of proof that such a violation has occurred shall lie with the faculty member, who shall have responsibility for making a case in accordance with the procedures stipulated.

15.2 If the faculty member believes that his or her academic freedom has been violated, whether by an administrator, other faculty or students, or by majority decision of an elected faculty committee, the faculty member shall assemble all available evidence which sustains such an allegation. An attempt shall first be made to resolve the issue through informal procedures, including conferences with those alleged to have committed the violation, with the appropriate dean, and with the executive vice president and provost.

15.3 If such procedures fail to resolve the issue, the complainant shall submit to the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee a written statement including (1) the names of those charged with the academic freedom violation, (2) a list of specific charges with reference to each person charged, and (3) a request for a hearing. The Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall meet with the complainant and consider the evidence. Thereafter it shall determine whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant a hearing. No officer of academic administration shall participate in this determination. The decision of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee shall be final.

15.4 If the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee determines that sufficient grounds do exist, it shall grant the faculty member the proceedings set forth above under Article 11.3.2(C), Step 3: The Hearing. In those proceedings, the burden of proof that decisions or actions have violated the complainant's academic freedom shall lie with the complainant.

15.5 If the final decision supports the complainant, the body reaching that decision shall recommend such redress as it deems suitable.

Proposed amendment approved by University Council on 05/05/2004.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020

Back to Top

Article 16:
Elimination of Academic Programs & Reassignment of Faculty

16.1 Principles Governing Consideration of Program Elimination
Whenever elimination of an academic program is under consideration, every effort shall be made to ensure that all discussions and deliberations regarding program elimination are as open and inclusive as possible. In particular, regardless of the specific mechanisms and procedures through which these deliberations occur consistent with established principles of "shared governance," all members of the university community, including University Council, shall be explicitly invited, in as timely a fashion as possible, to make their views known to those charged with making the recommendation regarding retention or elimination of an academic program.

16.2 Principles Governing Reassignment of Tenured Faculty
In the event that an academic program is eliminated:

16.2.1 The university shall make every effort to expedite reassignment of affected faculty to compatible units on the campus. 

16.2.2 The faculty personnel advisor and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning shall be available to assist in making such reassignments as easy as possible for both individual faculty members and the academic units concerned. 

16.2.3 The executive vice president and provost's office shall actively assist deans and chairs to help ensure that all such reassignments occur with a minimum of difficulty and disruption. 

Proposed amendment approved by University Council on 04/30/2008.
Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 17:
Statement of Professional Ethics for Faculty at NIU

17.1 Faculty, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject as researchers and scholars is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although faculty may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

17.2 As teachers, faculty encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Faculty demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Faculty make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They do not discriminate against, exploit or harass students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.

17.3 As colleagues, faculty have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Faculty do not discriminate against, exploit or harass other faculty members or staff. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas faculty show due respect for the opinions of others. Faculty acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Faculty accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

17.4 As members of an academic institution, faculty seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although faculty observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Faculty give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, faculty recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.

17.5 As members of their community, faculty have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Faculty measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, faculty have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Article 18:
Amendment of Faculty Senate Bylaws

18.1 Written notice of a proposed amendment to the Faculty Senate Bylaws may be presented at any regular meeting of the Faculty Senate, but no action shall be taken on a proposed amendment until at least the next regular meeting of the Faculty Senate. The waiting period may be waived by a vote of three-fourths of the members voting.

18.2 No amendment may be in conflict with the provisions of either the University Constitution or the University Bylaws.

18.3 To become effective, an amendment must be approved by a vote of two-thirds of those voting provided at least two-thirds of the voting members are present.

Proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate Bylaws approved by Faculty Senate on 04/22/2020.

Back to Top

Contact Us

University Council
Altgeld Hall 103

Peter Chomentowski
President, Faculty Senate
Chair, University Council
815-753-9306
pchomentowski@niu.edu

Pat Erickson
Administrative Assistant
815-753-1732
pje@niu.edu

Steven Howell
Faculty Personnel Advisor
showell2@niu.edu

Linda Saborío
Faculty Advisory Council to the IBHE
lsaborio@niu.edu

Back to top