Constitution and Bylaws of the Academic Senate
R. Drew University
of Medicine and Science
Approved by the University Faculty
November 16, 2009
Ratified by the Board of Trustees
December 10, 2009
Amended by the Academic Senate Legislative Council: February 5, 2013
Amended by the Academic Senate Legislative Council: February 26, 2013
Amended by the Academic Senate Legislative Council: March 18, 2014
October 20, 2009
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF
THE ACADEMIC SENATE OF THE
OF MEDICINE AND SCIENCE
The Academic Senate of the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is a federation of the governing faculties of the University’s colleges. Everyone who holds a regular-series Academic or Career Academic faculty appointment in one of the colleges (as Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) is a member of the Senate once their appointment has been duly approved by the Appointments and Promotions Committee of their college or of the university. Others (including administrators and affiliated teachers and researchers) may be given college-faculty appointments with Senatorial status in recognition of their expertise, responsibilities, and contributions to the University.
Normally the President and Vice Presidents of the University and the Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans of its colleges enjoy Senate membership. But administrative officers may not hold elective or appointive Senate positions except as non-voting members of Committees. Neither may Senate members receive any emoluments from the Administration for their Senate service.
Article II. Authority
The Senate possesses legislative authority, delegated by the University Board of Trustees, over academic policies, programs, and personnel. The Senate also serves as a forum for discussion and a source of advice on academic and community-health issues, on the supervision of clinical programs and personnel, on matters of budget, finance, and development, and on the rights and welfare of faculty. All academic and clinical responsibilities performed by non-Senate employees and affiliates of the University lie within the legislative authority of the Senate.
The Senate may enact legislation on the following subjects:
Amendments to this Constitution;
Procedures for conducting Senate elections and otherwise implementing this Constitution;
The establishment, revision, and rescission of academic programs, departments, colleges, and degree requirements;
Rules and requirements governing the admission, dismissal, and financial support of students and clinical trainees;
The administration of research and educational grants, including the ethical use of human and animal subjects, personal and institutional rights to proprietary information and to intellectual property, and potential conflicts between the interests of donors and the freedom of academic researchers;
Academic personnel decisions, including appointments, promotions, merit raises, terminations, awards of academic status, and the adjudication of charges of misconduct against academic employees and of grievances by academic employees.
Policies that fall under these headings cannot be adopted, rescinded, or altered without Senate approval. The Senate alone governs the implementation of this Constitution. Senate concurrence is required for Constitutional amendments, for degree requirements, for the granting of degrees and academic honors to specific individuals, and for academic appointments that carry Senate membership.
Article III. The Legislative Council of the Senate
The Legislative Council of the Senate consists of a maximum of four Senate members from each college faculty, two elected each year for a two-year term. Vacancies shall be filled by election for the remainder of the vacated terms. Senate members appointed in more than one college must choose one as their voting constituency.
The Immediate Past President of the Academic Senate and the chairs of the Faculty organizations of each College are non-voting members of the Legislative Council and do not count toward a quorum.
Each candidate for election shall have received at least one written nomination from a fellow Senate member entitled to vote in the same college faculty. To fill a given number of Council positions, that number of candidates who receive the greatest number of votes shall be elected. In an election to serve or complete two or more terms of unequal length (including the initial election of two representatives for one year and two for two), longer and shorter terms shall reflect more or fewer votes. Any ties shall be resolved by chance.
The Council may legislate on any matter within the legislative authority of the Senate. The Council may also express opinions, concerns, and recommendations to the Senate, the Administration, the Trustees, the wider University community, and the general public. The Council may, in addition, conduct open forums to solicit the opinions and concerns of Senate members and others and may interpolate Senate Committee Chairs, Administration officers, and those who manage educational, research, or clinical programs under the authority of the University.
In the Council a quorum for taking action of any sort is fifty percent of elected representatives (unfilled positions not counted). Constitutional amendments require the affirmative votes of two-thirds of Council members present. All other acts require a simple majority of those present.
Any member of the Council may propose legislation for discussion and, if seconded, for a vote, but proposed legislation must be circulated to the whole Senate at least a week before the Council votes unless the Council decides, by the votes of two-thirds of those present, that a delay would imperil some University interest. Any proposal from a Senate Committee or, by petition, from at least twenty Senate members must be voted on by the Council (no second required). It is subject to the same rule of advance notification as proposals from Council members.
Every member of the Senate has the right to be heard by the Council.
Any three members of the Council or the President of the Academic Senate may demand a secret ballot to protect members from reprisals. Absent a secret ballot, any member may demand that individual votes be recorded.
The Council shall meet at least once every month of the academic year.
Article IV. Direct Votes of the Senate
Instead of taking a decision itself, the Legislative Council may, on any matter within the Senate’s authority, call for a vote of the entire Senate, by mail or electronic ballot or in a plenary meeting. A Senate-wide vote or meeting may also be demanded by petition from twenty percent of the Senate. A quorum for action in any such case shall be one-third of Senate members in residence (not on extended leave, or sabbatical) at the time, and the same majorities are required for passage as in the Council.
Article V. The Senate President and Vice President
A Senate President shall be elected at large for a two-year term. He (or she) may succeed himself (herself) only once but may be elected again after a two-year gap. He/she may not serve simultaneously as an elected representative on the Council.
Candidates must be Senate members nominated by three other Senate members. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is thereby elected, with any tie resolved by chance.
A Senate Vice President is elected by the Council for a two-year term; election requires a simple majority for the motion to elect. Should the position of Senate President become vacant, the Vice President succeeds to that position for the remainder of the President’s term, which, if more than twelve months, counts as a whole term for the rule on self-succession. Should the position of Vice President become vacant, the Council elects a new Vice President for the remainder of the vacated term. The Vice President may serve simultaneously as an elected representative on the Council.
The Senate President calls, presides at, and sets the agenda for Council and plenary meetings, refers complaints, proposals, and inquiries to the Council or Committees , negotiates with the Trustees an annual budget for Senate operations, appoints and supervises Senate staff, serves on the Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs, advises the Administration and Trustees on any issues that he/she or they may raise, certifies all Council actions and reports them to the Senate, Administration, and Trustees, submits an annual report on Senate concerns and accomplishments to those same audiences, and serves as public spokesman for the Senate.
The Senate President may participate in Council and Senate-wide votes, but in the Council he/she votes last and may not cast a secret ballot. There he/she counts as present only when he/she does vote and never counts toward a quorum.
The Vice President meets with the Council, acts as President in the President’s absence, and serves as secretary of the Senate by announcing Council and plenary meetings and circulating their minutes (unless Council votes to proceed in secret to protect someone from injury), by maintaining records of Senate actions and a census of Senate membership, and by publicizing elections and reporting their results.
Article VI. Committees
The Senate has eight Standing Committees appointed by the Council. Besides Chairs, who may vote, they have equal numbers of additional voting members from each college’s faculty and any nonvoting members whom the Council may wish to include for their expert advice. Appointments are for two years, with no limit on reappointment. Committees elect their own chairs subject to the approval of the Council.
All subcommittees of the Academic Senate report to the Academic Senate President and to the Legislative Council of the Academic Senate. Confidential matters related to the Academic Rights, Privileges and Grievances Committee and to the Academic Appointments and Promotions Committee will be reported only to the Academic Senate President (the Academic Senate President at his/her discretion may share reports from the Academic Rights, Privileges and Grievances Committee and from the Academic Appointments and Promotions Committee with the Legislative Council of the Academic Senate as needed).
The Student Learning and Assessment Committee guides the implementation of policies that facilitate effective program, college, and university-wide student learning outcomes assessment. The committee’s charter includes: (i) monitoring national standards in student learning outcomes assessment, (ii) ensuring that program and college level assessment plans are tied to university-wide student learning goals, (iii) making recommendations for revisions to program, college, or university-wide assessment plans based on the university’s strategic and academic plans, and, (iv) making recommendations for improvements to the university’s infrastructure in order to support effective student learning and appropriate standardized student learning assessment.
The Committee on Academic Personnel reviews legislation and recommends policy at the university-wide level on the recruitment, appointment, and promotion of Senate faculty and other academic personnel (adjunct and clinical).
The Committee on Academic Programs reviews and recommends legislation to the Council on the establishment, revision, and rescission of admissions, financial aid, curriculum changes, and degree requirements and of departments, colleges, and programs of instruction.
The Committee on Research reviews legislation and operations and makes recommendations to the Council, Administration, and Trustees on all aspects of research conducted at the University or under its authority or supervision, including but not limited to sources of funding, the allocation of overhead charges, the use of human and animal subjects, the sharing of information, and the protection and sharing of intellectual property.
The Committee on Budget, Finance, and Development helps the Administration develop the annual budget of the University, reviews it before submission to the Board of Trustees, and does the same for any later modifications. The Committee also studies and makes recommendations on problems and prospects of private and public funding and on ways to mobilize and coordinate the participation of Senate members in helping to procure funding
The Committee on Clinical and Community Programs oversees all clinical and other community-service programs that the University has established, approved, or assigned academic responsibilities. Besides recommending policies as it sees fit to the Council, Administration, and Trustees, the Committee shall seek ways to enable and encourage community members to sound effective alarms in reaction to poor performance and unmet needs.
The Committee on Academic Rights, Privileges, and Grievances hears, evaluates, and recommends responses to complaints of misconduct against Senate members as well as complaints by Senate members of unfair treatment by agents or agencies of the University.
The Committee on Ceremonies and Special Events oversees all university ceremonies and special events that take place on the university campus. In particular, this committee is responsible for the annual commencement exercises, and approves any special use of campus facilities by non-university groups.
Each standing committee shall meet at least once every semester.
Every member of the Senate has the right to be heard by any Standing Committee.
Each Standing Committee shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Council. Absent a vote to proceed in secret lest the University or some individual suffer harm, each Committee shall also keep a record of its proceedings and make it available to any interested Senate member.
The Legislative Council may establish other, Ad Hoc Committees to serve for long or short durations and report to the Council on subjects specified in their charge.
Article VII. Exclusion from Votes and Removal from Positions
Members of the Council and Committees, including presiding officers, shall notify fellow members of any votes in which they have a special financial interest and of any that differentially affect their own welfare or that of their close friends or relatives. In case they do not recuse themselves, a majority of their fellow members may demand their exclusion from such a vote.
The Senate President, Vice President, Council members, and Committee members may be removed from their positions for cause (for malicious, irrational, or dishonest conduct or for dereliction of duty but not for unpopular positions or their advocacy), and upon the votes of two-thirds of the whole Council (President included).
Article VIII. Ratification
This Constitution goes into effect upon its endorsement by the Board of Trustees and the favorable votes of a majority of regular-series faculty* of all the schools/colleges at Charles Drew University. The incumbent Senate Executive Committee shall conduct both that vote and the first election for the new Council and President.
* Additional Senate members are permitted by the Constitution, but they must first be recognized as such by the Committee on Academic Personnel after ratification, elections, and Committee appointments.
Article IX. Closed sessions
At every regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Academic Senate, there shall be an open session to discuss matters of general concern, followed by a closed session to discuss matters of a sensitive and or confidential nature that may be of concern to Senate members. Resolutions passed in a closed session shall be duly reported at the next open Academic Senate session.
Article X. Presence of faculty with senior administrators/faculty designations in closed sessions
During closed Senate meetings where a potential conflict of interest may exist because a faculty member has both an administrative and faculty role, e.g., discussions of concerns about the administration, any faculty member(s) with a senior administrative role (President, Vice Presidents, Provost, Associate and Assistant to Provost and Vice Presidents, Deans, and Associate and Assistant Deans, etc.) must be recused from participation in said meeting(s).
Once a simple (50%) majority of the Academic Senate Legislative Council members are present at the general assembly of the Academic Senate, quorum is achieved.
The president of the Academic Senate or any three members of the Academic Senate may demand a secret ballot to protect members from reprisals.
Article XIII. Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be the authority for any procedure not specifically covered in this constitution, or special rules of order or policies of the Academic Senate. The Faculty, Academic Senate officers, chairs and members, President, Vice Presidents, Provost, Associate and Assistants to Provost and Vice Presidents, Deans, and Associate Deans, and other participants, agree to abide by these rules at all duly constituted meetings of the Academic Senate.