Matters of GOVERNANCE and related procedures | Kent State University

Matters of GOVERNANCE and related procedures

The Kent State Stark Faculty Council (hereafter “Council”), is composed of faculty elected from and by the faculty as provided by the “Faculty Council Constitution.” This Council is an advisory and recommendatory body to the Campus Dean and Chief Administrative Officer (hereafter “Dean”), who serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member. It is the purpose of the Council, or designated subcommittees on which tenure-track faculty constitute a majority, to advise and recommend on all faculty matters, including, but not limited to, the following: faculty personnel issues, appointment of new resident faculty, review of full-time non-tenure-track (FTNTT) faculty assigned to the campus, allocation and reallocation of faculty positions, campus program development, evaluations relating to faculty salary adjustments, campus planning and budget priorities, issues relating to teaching assignments and workload equivalencies, faculty professional improvement and other scholarly leaves, issues relating to the advising and retention of students, and ensuring that instructional standards are followed.

  1. Faculty Council Constitution

    We the faculty of Kent State Stark hereby establish a democratically elected Council for the purposes of being a recommendatory and/or advisory body to the Dean. The Council shall be responsive to the faculty and exist on its good graces. It shall follow the letter and spirit of all University Collective Bargaining Agreements and the University Policy Register.

    ARTICLE ONE: There shall be a Constituency Representative Council with six (6) constituencies. Constituencies I through V will represent tenured and tenure-track faculty and Constituency VI will represent FTNTT faculty. The disciplines represented by Constituencies I through V will be defined in the By-Laws (Section I.B). To the extent possible, Constituencies I through V will each contain similar disciplines and represent approximately equal numbers of faculty.

    All tenured and tenure-track faculty members vote to elect representatives in all constituencies. The top three recipients of votes in constituencies I through VI shall be elected.

    All terms shall be for one year. The Dean and Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Stark Campus shall be ex-officio, non-voting members.

    Constituency VI will include all FTNTT faculty. Annually, the representatives from this constituency will be elected by the entire full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track & FTNTT) to serve a one-year term as voting members of Council.

    ARTICLE TWO: The officers of the Council shall be elected by the Council. They shall consist of a Council Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer, elected by a secret ballot of the elected representatives and shall serve for the duration of the Council term.

    ARTICLE THREE: All meetings, including general faculty meetings called by the Council, are sessions of record, if a majority of representatives (or of the faculty in the case of general meetings) shall be present. All resolutions, bills and other statements of policy shall be passed by a simple majority of those present and voting. The Council, at its option, may submit referenda to the faculty at large on important issues. A petition on a given issue signed by eight (8) faculty members shall require the Council to hold referenda at any time. The results of the referenda shall have the force of official policy if a majority of the faculty votes. A simple majority of those voting shall carry an issue.

    ARTICLE FOUR: Council shall establish both Standing Committees as described in the By-Laws (Section I.B) and ad hoc committees as necessary. Unless otherwise specified in the By-Laws, each committee shall be chaired by a Council representative and may include faculty members who are not members of Council. Non-council members of committees will be nominated by the Cabinet and ratified by Council.

    ARTICLE FIVE: The Council shall be the sole determiner of its own rules and procedures, provided these are consistent with this Constitution and the University Collective Bargaining Agreements and the University Policy Register.

    ARTICLE SIX: All faculty members have the right to engage in the discussion at the meeting of the Council, with the exception of personnel matters (e.g., Merit) when the Council declares itself in executive session. The agenda will be made public forty-eight (48) hours prior to meetings, except in the case of immediate, urgent issues.

    ARTICLE SEVEN: This Constitution shall be ratified by a majority of the faculty. It shall be amended by a similar majority in a referendum, which may be initiated either by the Council or upon petition of eight (8) faculty members.

    ARTICLE EIGHT: A meeting of the entire faculty will be held at least once a semester, and more often at the discretion of the Council, for reporting and presenting to the faculty matters of concern. If a motion, resolution, or bill is to be presented at such a meeting for a vote, a quorum for such meeting is a majority of faculty members. The time and agenda for the meeting will be determined by the Cabinet, a majority of the Council, or by a faculty petition. Notice of the meeting will be distributed to the faculty in a week prior to the meeting.

  2. Kent State at Stark Campus Faculty Council By-Laws

    Nothing in these By-Laws shall be contrary to the spirit or the letter of the Council Constitution, the University Policy Register, or the Collective Bargaining Agreements.

    ARTICLE ONE - Membership:

    Section 1. All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty with Kent State University Regional Campus contractual teaching arrangements assigned primarily to Kent State Stark are eligible for election to constituencies I - V. All FTNTT faculty so assigned are eligible for election to constituency VI. FTNTT representatives may not serve as officers.

    Section 2. Disciplines represented by each Constituency shall be examined periodically to ensure that all disciplines are represented, and should be altered as necessary so that Constituencies I through V represent roughly equal numbers of faculty.

    1. Constituency I: Arts and Humanities
    2. Constituency II: Social Sciences
    3. Constituency III: Science and Math
    4. Constituency IV: Language Arts
    5. Constituency V: Professional Programs
    6. Constituency VI: FTNTT

    Section 3. An elected representative wishing to resign from Council shall submit his or her resignation in writing to the Council Chair. The Chair shall announce this resignation at the next Council meeting.

    ARTICLE TWO - Officers:

    Section 1. The Council Chair shall:

    1. be responsible for scheduling all meetings.
    2. prepare agenda in concert with the Dean and the Cabinet.
    3. be the official spokesperson for the Council.
    4. be (or shall appoint) the Council delegate in its external relations, except where the Constitution or these By-Laws provide for other delegates.
    5. be recognized as the official chair of Kent State Stark Faculty by the University at large.
    6. prepare a year-end report which shall be provided to the succeeding Council Chair.
    7. be (or shall appoint) the recorder of Council minutes in the absence of the Secretary.

    Section 2. The Vice-Chair shall:

    1. assume the chair in the absence of the Chairperson.
    2. chair the Professional Activities Advisory Committee.

    Section 3. The Secretary shall:

    1. keep all records of the Council.
    2. be responsible for all correspondence of the Council.
    3. give notice of all meetings and distribute agenda to all faculty members two working days (48 hours) prior to the meetings except in the case of constitutionally permitted exceptions.
    4. distribute copies of the minutes (including attendance information) to all faculty, administrators (local and Central Office), and the Student Government Advisor.
    5. distribute copies of the Council Constitution and By-Laws to all members of the new Council at the end-of-year meeting.
    6. prepare and distribute to the entire Faculty a yearly attendance report.

    Section 4. The Treasurer shall solicit and bank funds, keep records, and pay bills on behalf of the faculty.

    Section 5. The Cabinet consisting of the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the immediate past Chair and appointees for each constituency group not otherwise represented shall:

    1. formulate Council agenda.
    2. nominate all committee members including the committee chair.
    3. distribute workload to committee.
    4. schedule and conduct elections and referenda when necessary.
    5. authorize distribution of monies from the Faculty Expense Fund.

    ARTICLE THREE - Meeting and Operation of the Council:

    Section 1. Council meetings will be held at 2:00 on the third Friday of each month during the regular academic year except May (during which the meeting will be held on the last Friday of the semester before finals week). There will be no regular meeting during December.

    Section 2. Council may be convened for special meetings at the call of the Council Chair, upon petition of at least one-fourth of the Council members; or of 10 percent of the Faculty. Only subjects specifically listed in the proposed agenda for a special meeting may be considered at the meeting. The meetings may be held at any time including the summer months if a quorum of representatives are in attendance.

    Section 3. The presence of a quorum (a simple majority) shall be determined by the Council Chair at the beginning of each meeting and at other times at the request of a representative.

    Section 4. All meetings are open to all members of the campus community except when Council declares itself in executive session.

    Section 5. After the agenda for a meeting has been distributed to the faculty at large, items on the agenda may be deleted or added, or the order of consideration changed, by a 2/3rds vote of the Council.

    Section 6. The normal order of business for Council meetings shall be as follows:

    1. Call to order.
    2. Roll call and determination of quorum.
    3. Approval of minutes of last meeting.
    4. Chair’s report.
    5. Dean’s reports.
    6. Committee reports.
    7. Old business.
    8. New business.
    9. Announcements and statements for the record.
    10. Adjournment.

    ARTICLE FOUR - Committees:

    Section 1. Six standing committees shall be established by Council:

    1. Committee I, Professional Activities Advisory Committee, is charged with advising the Dean on such matters as Faculty Travel Requests, Sabbaticals, Load Lifts and Grants. This Committee will be chaired by the Vice-Chair and will include five (5) faculty members selected by the Cabinet and on the advice of the Dean.
    2. Committee II will serve Council for the numerous general tasks requiring short-term attention. The chair must be a member of Council with the other members representing each constituency.
    3. Colloquium Committee plans faculty colloquia and other faculty seminar series.
    4. Social Committee, chaired by the Council Treasurer, plans various social events, e.g., holiday and spring dinners.
    5. Technology Committee is the advocate for appropriate uses of instructional technology on the Stark Campus. The chair need not be a member of Council.
    6. Handbook Committee is charged with proposing timely revisions to the Stark Campus Faculty Handbook in response to changes in university and campus policies and procedures. The chair must be a member of Council.

    Section 2. The Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment Committee shall make advisory recommendations to the Dean about tenure, and tenure-track faculty personnel actions. The Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment Committee will be chaired by the Council Chair, and will consist of all tenured Council representatives and Kent State Stark tenured full professors who are not members of Council. If the Committee consists of fewer than four members, including the voting chair, then a special procedure for enlarging it shall be developed by the Dean with the advice of the Council and the approval of the Vice President for System Integration. No member of the Committee shall be present during deliberations or votes on the promotion, tenure, or reappointment of an individual in a rank higher than that of the individual member of the Committee, or on the promotion, tenure, or reappointment of a domestic partner or relative.

    Section 3. The FTNTT Performance Review Committee shall make advisory recommendations to the Dean about FTNTT reappointments. The FTNTT Performance Review Committee will be chaired by the Council Chair, and will consist of all tenured Council representatives and all promoted Council FTNTT representatives. If the Committee consists of fewer than four members, including the voting chair, then a special procedure for enlarging it shall be developed by the Dean with the advice of the Council and the approval of the Vice President for System Integration. No member of the Committee shall be present during deliberations or votes on the reappointment of a domestic partner or relative.

    Section 4. All tenured or tenure-track Council representatives are full participants in advising the Dean on Merit Awards. FTNTT faculty representatives may not participate.

    Section 5. Ad Hoc committees will also be commissioned when required.

    ARTICLE FIVE - Elections:

    Section 1. The election of members to the Council of Kent State Stark shall take place in April.

    Section 2. All faculty who wish to stand for election shall so indicate on a form distributed by the Secretary at the appropriate time.

    Section 3. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members vote to elect representatives in all constituencies. The representatives from constituency VI will be elected by the entire full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track and FTNTT). The top three recipients of votes in all constituencies shall be elected.

    Section 4. The incumbent Council Chair shall convene old and new Councils to:

    1. introduce and orient new representatives.
    2. discuss Council directions for the following year.
    3. nominate and elect Council officers. The incumbent Council Chair will preside. Nomination shall be received and voted on in the following order: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. A candidate must receive a majority of votes cast to be elected. If a majority is not received, successive balloting will be conducted until this is achieved. The incumbent chair shall appoint two tellers from the new Council who are not running for office. These tellers will be responsible for counting the ballots, determining whether a candidate has received a majority of votes and certifying those receiving a majority as elected. The tellers will announce the tallies for these elections.

    Section 5. The incumbent Council Chair shall transfer all authority and records to the incoming Chair on May 15th.

    Section 6. If in any constituency fewer than three faculty members agree to stand for election to Council, then that constituency will operate for the academic year with fewer than three representatives on Council. If a vacancy on the Council should occur due to a member’s inability to complete the term, but with five or more weeks before a new Council is to be elected, then a by-election will be held to fill the vacancy. If the vacancy should occur within the final five weeks due to a member’s inability to complete the term, then Council shall operate with one fewer member, with the quorum correspondingly reduced.

    Section 7. If a referendum is held, the Cabinet will conduct the balloting and counting of the ballots.

    ARTICLE SIX - Parliamentary Authority:

    Section 1. The rules in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order New Revised shall govern the Council in all cases to which they are applicable. When they are inconsistent with the Council Constitution, these By- Laws, and any special rules of order the Council may adopt, shall govern the Council.

    ARTICLE SEVEN - Adoption and Amendments of these By-laws:

    Section 1. Adoption and Amendment of these By-laws requires ratification by a majority of the representatives at a regular meeting of the Council after the text of the proposed amendment has been distributed with the agenda for that meeting.

  3. Search Committees

    Kent State Stark search committees are formed by the Dean and approved by the Office of Affirmative Action. Committees generally consist of tenured or tenure-track faculty (although provisions are sometimes made for the participation of FTNTT faculty) and the chair is usually a senior faculty member in his or her discipline. Once committees are formally charged by the Dean, they are provided with training sessions to ensure fair-hiring practices and the following of hiring protocols (especially those developed by the Office of Affirmative Action).

  4. Faculty Grievances and Appeal Procedures

    The Collective Bargaining Agreements for tenured or tenured-track faculty and for FTNTT faculty outline the grievance and/or appeal procedures available to a faculty member adversely affected by an academic judgment, for example, in the areas of reappointment, tenure or promotion, academic freedom, professional ethics, sanctions for cause, and disciplinary actions.

    1.   General Appeal Process for Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty. The Collective Bargaining Agreement for tenured or tenure-track faculty describes in detail the general appeal process available to those faculty members whose employment status is adversely affected by a substantial academic judgment in the areas of granting or denial of tenure, reappointment, or promotion at the level of the Provost or President, academic freedom, professional ethics, or sanctions for cause (see CBA). The CBA refines the general appeal process for appeals resulting from the denial of tenure, reappointment or promotion.

    2.   Appeals Following the Denial Promotion, Tenure or Reappointment at the Level of the Provost or the President. The CBA for tenured or tenure-track faculty describes the appeal process specifically resulting from the denial of tenure, promotion or reappointment at the level of the Provost or the President. This appeal process is similar to the general appeal process, but it specifies certain options and restrictions.

    3.   Procedures for Appealing Negative Tenure, Promotion and Tenure-Track Reappointment Recommendations. Besides these appeal avenues, a faculty member may appeal a negative tenure, promotion or reappointment recommendation to the administrator at the next level of review. This type of appeal allows the faculty member to present his/her case orally to the administrator and/or advisory committee at the next level of review and is initiated by the faculty sending an appeal letter to the administrator at next level of review (amongst other places). The reader should consult the appropriate CBA appendices or sections of the annual Procedures and Policies Governing the Review of Faculty for details regarding how to initiate an appeal following a negative recommendation letter and related issues like how to attach a written statement to a file addressing alleged procedural or errors of fact contained in a recommendation letter or obtaining advisory ballots when they are not automatically forwarded to the candidate.

    4.    Grievance and Arbitration Procedures. The CBA for tenured or tenure-track faculty and Article VI of the CBA for FTNTT faculty outline the procedure for handling faculty grievances and the arbitration process that may result in an unresolved grievance. If a formal grievance is filed, the Grieving Party is represented by a designate of the Association in all formal meetings with the University. If after the grievance procedure has ended and the Association is not satisfied with the University's response, the Association has the right to appeal the grievance to arbitration.

    5.    In the grievance process for FTNTT faculty, there is a stronger emphasis on informal resolution and there are differences in the deadlines for written statements to be submitted. Otherwise, the grievance process for FTNTT faculty is fairly similar to the grievance process for tenured or tenure-track faculty.

  5. Handbook Modification, Amendment and Revision

    Except for the Council By-Laws (Section I.B), any modification of this handbook must be approved by a vote of the Council (full-time tenured, tenure-track and FTNTT faculty) at Kent State Stark. If a proposed change affects only tenure-track faculty, only tenure-track faculty will vote. If a proposed change affects only FTNTT faculty, only FTNTT faculty will vote. Modifications can be suggested by Council or Cabinet, or initiated by a petition signed by a minimum of eight (8) full-time Kent State Stark faculty.

    A vote of the proposed modifications will be conducted by Council, who must set a specific date for discussions of the proposed changes after all faculty have been made aware of the changes and have had convenient access to the proposed changes to the handbook for a minimum of ten (10) days before the discussion and vote. Approval of the suggested changes requires a 2/3 positive vote of the members of Council.

    Upon Council approval of the suggested changes, the revised handbook will be sent to the Dean for approval. Upon approval at the Dean’s level, the handbook will be forwarded to the appropriate offices on the Kent Campus (as outlined by University Policy and the CBA) for eventual approval by the Provost.