Article 3:
Operating Procedures of the University Council

3.1 Order of Business and Parliamentary Authority

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

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

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

3.2 Minutes of the University Council

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

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

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

3.3 Voting Procedure of the University Council

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

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

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

3.3.4 No votes shall be cast at University Council meetings by proxy or absentee ballot.

3.4 Consent Agenda

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

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

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

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

3.6 Office of the Chair of the University Council

3.6.1 The chair of the University Council/president of Faculty Senate shall serve full-time in that position for a one-year term beginning July 1. The chair shall be provided by the president with an office, secretarial assistance, and the supporting resources pertaining thereto. The outgoing chair shall prepare an annual office budget as part of the normal university budget process. The budget shall provide salaries for the chair, secretarial assistance, as well as supporting resources pertaining to the office. The budget shall also include funding for the Office of the Ombudsperson, the faculty personnel advisor, and the faculty representative to the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. 

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

3.7 Operating Outside the Academic Year
In order for the University Council to advise the president and the executive vice president and provost on critical, time-sensitive budget and other issues affecting the university, the University Council is authorized to operate outside the academic year calendar without a quorum, providing there are at least five voting members, the majority of which must be faculty. If needed, alternates for the University Council, when operating outside of the academic year calendar, will be selected by the chair of the University Council.

Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/09/2008.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/30/2008.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 02/22/2012.

Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/29/2015.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 05/03/2017.
Proposed amendment approved by University Council 04/29/2020.

Contact Us

University Council
Altgeld Hall 103

Kendall Thu
President, Faculty Senate
Chair, University Council
815-753-9306
kthu@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

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