Faculty Constitution

FACULTY CONSTITUTION (PDF)

PREAMBLE
ARTICLE I: THE FACULTY ASSEMBLY
ARTICLE II: THE FACULTY SENATE
ARTICLE III: STANDING FACULTY COUNCILS
ARTICLE IV: THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLIES
ARTICLE V: STANDING CONSTITUENT COMMITTEES
ARTICLE VI: SPECIAL STANDING ADVISORY COMMITTEES
ARTICLE VII: DEPARTMENTAL OR OTHER EQUIVALENT UNITS (INCLUDING PROGRAMS)
ARTICLE VIII: ELECTIONS
ARTICLE IX: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
ARTICLE X: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND REVIEW

PREAMBLE

This constitution establishes the processes by which the faculty of Northeastern Illinois University shall practice in the governance of the University, subject to the laws of the State of Illinois, the University governing policies, and the terms of any appropriate collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Trustees of Northeastern Illinois University and the recognized representatives of the faculty. Shared governance requires mutual respect and demands mutual consideration for all. Free speech, full consultation, and mutual regard among all members of the academic community impose obligations as well as rights upon all. To function properly, shared governance must operate within a climate of freedom of inquiry and to this end public understanding of academic freedom must be fostered.The UPI and Administration shall respect and uphold the language, spirit, and integrity of the Faculty Constitution.

ARTICLE I: THE FACULTY ASSEMBLY

A. Membership

The Faculty Assembly shall consist of all tenured/tenure track faculty members; Chairs of academic departments who are classified as administrators by University governing policies; and faculty who serve as Resource Professionals. Administrative personnel are excluded from membership in the Faculty Assembly for such time as they may serve in that administrative constituency. Professors Emeriti are not members of the Faculty Assembly.

B. Officers

Only tenured/tenure track faculty are eligible for holding office. The officers of the Assembly shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair and a Secretary.

1. The Chair of the Assembly shall be the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

2. The Vice-Chair of the Assembly shall be Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate.
3. The Secretary of the Assembly shall be the Secretary of the Faculty Senate.

C. Functions

The functions of the Faculty Assembly shall be:

1. To receive information from the President, the Faculty Senate, or any other organizations concerned with the affairs of the University.

2. To act as a referendum body for developing faculty recommendations on all matters referred to it by the President, by the Faculty Senate, or by a faculty petition in accordance with Assembly bylaws.

3. To develop and approve bylaws for the Faculty Assembly.

4. To elect members of faculty governance bodies.

D. Meetings

1. The Assembly shall meet at least once a year at a time and place designated by the Chair to receive a State of the University address by the President.

2. Additional meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chair, or upon receipt by the Chair of a petition signed by not fewer than ten percent of the membership of the Assembly, at the request of the Faculty Senate, or by request of the President.

3. A written notice of the meeting and agenda shall be sent by the Secretary to each member of the Assembly not less than one week before the meetings, except in cases of emergency, as designated by petition of the Assembly or at the discretion of the Chair as defined in the bylaws.

4. The quorum shall be established through the bylaws of the Faculty Assembly, but the quorum requirements shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the membership.

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ARTICLE II: THE FACULTY SENATE

A. Membership

1. Voting membership shall include representatives selected according to the following formula: a. from the Faculty Assembly, three members elected by the College of Arts and Sciences, three members elected by the College of Business and Management, three members elected by the College of Education, and three members elected by Resource Professionals;

b. three percent of the tenured/tenure track faculty, or the nearest whole number thereto, elected at-large by members of the Faculty Assembly;

c. three non-tenure track faculty (one from the College of Arts and Sciences, one from the College of Business and Management, and one from the College of Education) elected by the non-tenure track faculty from within his/her respective College;

d. one faculty representative from each standing Faculty Council, selected by faculty members of that Council at the first meeting of that Council in the academic year.

2. Alternates to fill vacancies on the Senate shall be selected during the election process. There shall be election of one alternate from each College and the Resource Professionals. An alternate shall also be elected for each non-tenure track faculty seat. Each alternate shall be considered as the person who received the next highest number of votes but was not elected. In the event that there were not competitors, the Chair of the Senate may appoint a previously serving Senator to fill the vacancy. Conditions for replacing Senators shall be defined in the Senate’s bylaws.

3. Senators selected by each Faculty Council shall serve for the academic year term in which they were selected.

4. The University President or designee shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

B. Officers

1. The officers of the Senate shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary.

2. The officers of the Senate, plus two additional Senators, shall serve as the Faculty Senate Steering Committee, meeting regularly to set agenda and to confer with the University President.

3. The officers and members of the Steering Committee shall be elected for a term of one year at the first meeting of the new Senate by and from the membership of the Senate.

4. Special elections shall be held to fill any vacancies.

C. Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Faculty Senate shall be:

1. to ensure faculty participation, as mandated by the University governing policies in developing and recommending University-wide policy in matters of:

a. academic affairs, including but not limited to admissions, retention, and graduation from the University, curriculum matters, academic standards, program priorities, and long range planning;

b. faculty affairs, including but not limited to academic freedom and other matters not within the scope of bargaining as established by the University governing policies for collective bargaining by academic employees;

2. to coordinate, primarily through councils on which faculty are represented, the development of faculty recommendations and to forward to the President concerns regarding implementation of faculty recommendations;

3. to act as the faculty advisory body to the University President;

4. to interpret and adjudicate issues that arise in regard to the Faculty Constitution.

a. When the Senate is not in session (e.g., summer sessions, winter break), questions of interpretation and adjudication of this article shall be by the Steering Committee of the Faculty Senate.

b. A petition of 25% of Senators in good standing may request an appeal of its interpretation and/or adjudication and seek full Senate discussion on interpretation and adjudication of the issue. A majority of Senators present may override the interpretation and/or adjudication of the Steering Committee.

D. Functions

The Faculty Senate:

1. Shall develop and approve bylaws for the Senate, and approve bylaws of each Faculty Council;

2. Shall receive information from the President and the faculty;

3. Shall hear, as regular agenda items, reports from Senators who serve as Faculty Council representatives;

4. Shall act on matters received, or refer appropriate matters to councils or committees for consultation and/or action;

5. Shall receive minutes and other reports from all faculty and the Standing Faculty Councils of Special Standing Advisory Committees. Such minutes and reports shall be transmitted to the President and to the appropriate Vice President or other major positions reporting directly to the President;

6. May, following action by the Standing Faculty Councils or Special Standing Advisory Committees transmit to the President and the appropriate Vice President its comments pertaining to policy issues;

7. May review policy recommendations of faculty councils above the constituency level at the request of a majority of Senators during a period of not more than 14 days when classes are in session following receipt of a report on a council action. In an emergency, as defined by Senate bylaws, the Steering Committee may review council actions. Senate review may result in postponing Presidential action on a council recommendation for a reasonable period of time during which the following shall take place:

a. at its next meeting, the council may incorporate the suggestions of the Senate in developing a new recommendation, or failing that

b. within three weeks when classes are in session following (a) above, a joint committee with an equal number of members representing the council and the Senate shall arrive at a mutually agreeable recommendation as demonstrated by a majority vote of both bodies, or failing that

c. at its next meeting following (b) above, the council with an action in question may consider Senate objections and override the Senate’s authority by a two-thirds vote of the council, or failing that

d. the Senate recommendation shall prevail;

8. Shall consult with the President and/or his/her designee and other constituencies in establishing areas of responsibility, the number of faculty representatives, and selection procedures for all committees and councils on which faculty serve established under this Constitution or established by the Faculty Senate in the future consistent with University governing policies and any appropriate collective bargaining agreement;

9. Shall provide for the election of members of the Faculty Senate, each Standing Faculty Council, and each Special Standing Advisory Committee; and shall provide for the election of faculty representatives to the Standing Faculty Councils or the Special Standing Advisory Committees as permitted by the procedures of the University governing policies and any appropriate collective bargaining agreement. In electing constituency and at-large representatives to the councils and committees, the Senate shall provide for election of at least one alternate from each constituency and from the assembly at-large. Alternates shall serve as replacements to fill vacancies;

10. Shall make recommendations to the University President, when appropriate, in jurisdictional controversies between or among standing faculty councils and constituent faculty assemblies;

11. Shall establish as committees of the Senate an Academic Freedom Committee and other committees as needed to fulfill functions of faculty governance and as permitted by University governing policies;

12. Shall provide consultation in the creation of administrative positions at the level of Dean and Vice President as set forth in the University governing policies;

13. Shall participate in the selection of Deans and Vice Presidents as provided in the University governing policies;

14. Shall provide, at the request of the President, consultation in the selection of administrative employees when deemed appropriate by the President in accord with University governing policies;

15. Shall arrange at least once per semester a meeting between its Steering Committee and the President of the University;

16. Shall transmit its policy recommendations to the President. Within two weeks, the President shall provide notice in writing to the Senate of the disposition of such policy recommendations and shall state a rationale in those cases in which such recommendations are rejected;

17. Shall prepare and submit to the Faculty Assembly the approved minutes of Senate proceedings within one week following their approval.

E. Meetings

1. The Senate shall meet twice monthly during the regular academic year at a time and place designated by the Chair.

2. Additional meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chair or by petition signed by not fewer than twenty-five percent of the membership of the Senate.

3. A written notice of the meeting and agenda shall be sent by the Secretary to each member not less than one week before the meeting except in cases of emergency meetings, as defined in the bylaws.

4. The quorum shall be established by the bylaws of the Senate.

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ARTICLE III: STANDING FACULTY COUNCILS

There shall be a Faculty Council for each Vice President and for such other major positions reporting directly to the President as deemed necessary by the Senate. Membership to the following standing Faculty Councils shall be limited to tenured/tenure track faculty.

A. Membership

1. Voting membership for all but the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs and the Faculty Council on Technology shall be one faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, one from the College of Business and Management, one from the College of Education, one from Resource Professionals and two elected at-large by and from the Faculty Assembly. Membership on the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs shall be three faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, three from the College of Business and Management, three from the College of Education, two from Resource Professionals, and three elected at-large by and from the Faculty Assembly. Membership on the Faculty Council on Technology shall be one from the College of Arts and Sciences, one from the College of Business and Management, one from the College of Education, one from Resource Professionals, one elected at-large by and from the Faculty Assembly, one elected from each of the Faculty Councils, and two elected from the Senate. Membership limitations are described in Article VIII.

2. Faculty members of each council shall be determined by election. Alternates shall be elected as replacements to fill vacancies. Conditions for replacing elected members shall be defined in council bylaws.

B. Officers

Each Faculty Council shall elect a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary from its faculty membership.

C. The general functions of each Standing Faculty Council shall be:

1. to develop bylaws which shall be sent to the Faculty Senate for approval;

2. to receive information from and make recommendations to the appropriate Vice President or other major position reporting directly to the President about broad policy matters that affect faculty, as opposed to the day-to-day administrative operations of any Vice Presidential area or other major position reporting directly to the Presidential area;

3. to forward recommendations of the council in writing through the appropriate Vice President, or other major position reporting directly to the President, to the President with a copy to the Chair of the Faculty Senate within five calendar days of council adoption. Following a two-week review period, such recommendations will be accepted or rejected by the President, providing that the President shall not be required to act upon any recommendations with respect to which the Faculty Senate has initiated proceedings in accordance with Article II.D.7. until two weeks after such proceedings have been concluded. The President shall provide notice in writing to the council of the disposition of such recommendations and shall state a rationale in those cases in which such recommendations are rejected, with a copy to the Faculty Senate;

4. to elect one faculty representative from each council to serve as a Senator for the period of the academic year for which they are elected. A Senator elected to serve in this capacity shall be responsible for keeping the Faculty Senate apprised of relevant Council matters for seeking the Senate’s advice, when appropriate;

5. to establish needed subcommittees, as permitted by University governing policies. Students and University personnel shall be invited to participate, as appropriate.

D. Specific Functions

1. The Faculty Council on Academic Affairs

In addition to the general functions of each Standing Faculty Council, the functions of this Council shall be:

a. to provide from its membership one faculty representative and an alternate to the University Budgetary Council;

b. to develop faculty recommendations in consultation with the Provost or his/her designee on matters of admissions, retention, and graduation from the University, curriculum, academic standards, long range academic planning, and other matters pertinent to the development of educational policy, and to submit such recommendations to the Faculty Senate, to the Provost, and to the President of the University;

c. to approve bylaws of each Standing Advisory Committee described in Article VI;

d. to receive policy recommendations from the constituent academic affairs committees, and to recommend resolutions through the Provost to the President on any procedural or inter-constituency jurisdictional disputes;

e. to review policy recommendations from each Special Standing Advisory Committee. Review may result in a decision by the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs to postpone for a reasonable time the transmittal of such recommendations to the Provost, the President of the University, and the Faculty Senate. During this time one of the following shall take place:

(1). at its next meeting, the Committee may incorporate the suggestions of the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs in developing a new recommendation, or failing that

(2) within three weeks when classes are in session following (1) above, a joint committee, convened by a designated Council member, with an equal number of members representing the Council and the Special Standing Advisory Committee, shall arrive at a mutually agreeable recommendation as demonstrated by a majority vote of both bodies, or failing that

(3) the Special Standing Advisory Committee recommendation shall prevail;

f. to receive and make recommendations on the academic long range plan and to forward these to the Faculty Senate and to the Provost and the President of the University;

g. to recommend approval, when appropriate, of all new or revised academic programs approved by academic affairs committees in the colleges, and to review all college actions on courses, only to ensure that such actions do not create inter-constituency jurisdictional conflicts or violate published curriculum policies;

h. to make recommendations to the President of the University, the Provost, and to the Faculty Senate in inter-constituency jurisdictional disputes or in intra-constituency disputes involving procedural questions on educational policy.

2. The Faculty Council on Finance and Administration

In addition to the general functions of each Standing Faculty Council, the functions of this Council shall be to make recommendations, developed in consultation with the Vice President or his/her designee, through the Vice President to the President regarding appropriate matters in the area of Finance and Administration.

3. The Faculty Council on Marketing and Communications

In addition to the general functions of each Standing Faculty Council, the functions of this Council shall be to make recommendations, developed in consultation with the Director or his/her designee through the Director to the President, regarding appropriate matters in the area of Marketing and Communications.

4. The Faculty Council on Student Affairs

In addition to the general functions of each Standing Faculty Council, the functions of this Council shall be to make recommendations, developed in consultation with the Vice President or his/her designee through the Vice President to the President, regarding appropriate matters in the area of Student Affairs.

5. The Faculty Council on Technology

In addition to the general functions of each Standing Faculty Council, the functions of this Council shall be to make recommendations to the Faculty Senate regarding appropriate matters in the area of technology, which are developed in consultation with the appropriate Vice Presidents and any other major positions reporting directly to the President and/or his/her designee.

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ARTICLE IV: THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLIES

A. Membership

Each of the following constituencies, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Management, College of Education, and Resource Professionals, as well as any future constituency, shall have a Constituent Assembly composed of all members of the Faculty Assembly assigned to it.

B. Officers

1. The officers of the Assembly shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary each serving for a term of two academic years.

2. Special elections shall be held to fill any vacancy which may occur.

C. Functions

1. To seek and receive information from the Chief Administrative Officer(s) of the constituency or any organization concerned with the constituency;

2. to act as a referendum body for the final constituency recommendation on appropriate matters referred to it by the Chief Administrative Officer(s) of the constituency or by faculty petition in accordance with Constituent Assembly bylaws;

3. to develop and approve bylaws for the Constituent Assembly to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate;

4. to constitute each Standing Constituent Committee and to approve the bylaws of each.

D. Meetings

1. The Assembly shall meet at least once each year at a time and place designated by the Chair to receive a state of the constituency address by the Chief Administrative Officer, and to hear reports from each Standing Constituent

Committee.

2. Additional meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chair, upon receipt by the Chair of a petition signed by not fewer than ten percent of the membership of the Assembly, or by request of the Chief Administrative Officer(s).

3. A written notice of the meeting and agenda shall be sent by the Secretary to each member of the Assembly not less than one week before the meeting except in cases of emergency meetings as defined in the bylaws.

4. The quorum shall be established through the bylaws of the Constituent Assembly, but the quorum requirement shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the membership.

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ARTICLE V: STANDING CONSTITUENT COMMITTEES

Each constituency shall have standing committees for purposes of developing faculty recommendations with respect to the matters set forth in Article III.D.1.c. Resource Professionals may function as a Standing Committee of the whole. Membership to the following standing constituent committees shall be limited to tenured/tenure track faculty.

A. Membership

1. The membership of each standing committee shall consist of one representative from each department/unit in the constituency, as determined by election in that department/unit. All voting members of the department/unit may participate in the election. The Chief Administrative Officer(s) or designee(s) shall serve on each standing committee in a non-voting capacity.

2. Each department/unit shall elect one alternate for each standing committee. The alternate shall attend meetings in the absence of the unit representative.

3. The term of office shall be two academic years.

B. Officers

Each standing committee shall have its own Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, elected by and from the faculty representatives.

C. General Functions

The general functions of each standing committee shall be:

1. to develop bylaws which shall be approved by the appropriate Constituent Assembly;

2. to report annually to the Constituent Assembly;

3. to act on requests, proposals, and plans originating in departments or equivalent units;

4. to provide recommendations to the Chief Administrative Officer(s) of the constituency;

5. to select a representative from each standing committee to serve on the constituency long range planning group;

6. to utilize relevant points in the University’s Provost’s Planning Group, Tier III process;

7. to transmit all recommendations to the appropriate review body;

8. to transmit recommendations to the Chief Administrative Officer(s) of the constituency. The administrator, within two weeks, shall provide in writing to the appropriate committee an explanation for the disposition of the recommendation;

9. to distribute minutes and other relevant records to department/unit members.

D. Specific Functions

In addition to the general functions referred to above, the standing constituent committees shall perform specific functions consistent with their individual areas of responsibility.

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ARTICLE VI: SPECIAL STANDING ADVISORY COMMITTEES

There shall be a Graduate College Advisory Committee, a Committee on General Education, an Advisory Committee on Awards, an Advisory Committee on the Honors Program, an Advisory Committee on Library, an Advisory Committee on Non-Traditional Degree Programs, and an Advisory Committee on Academic Development, and other Advisory Committees as the Faculty Senate deems appropriate for each non-College Dean or Special area. Unless otherwise specified as part of the terms creating any additional Standing Advisory Committee, the Membership, Officers, and Functions of any additional Standing Advisory Committee shall be as specified below.

A. Membership

1. For the Graduate College Advisory Committee, the Committee on General Education, and the Advisory Committee on Awards, voting membership shall include two faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, two from the College of Business and Management, two from the College of Education, one from Resource Professionals, and two elected at-large by and from the Faculty Assembly. Students, when appropriate, shall be invited to serve. Appropriate administrators or their designees shall serve as non-voting members.

2. For the Advisory Committee on the Honors Program, the Advisory Committee on Library, Advisory Committee on Non-Traditional Degree Programs, and the Advisory Committee on Academic Development, voting membership shall include one faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, one from the College of Business and Management, one from the College of Education, one from Resource Professionals, and one elected at-large by the Faculty Assembly. Students, when appropriate, shall be invited to serve. Appropriate administrators or their designees shall serve as non-voting members.

B. Officers

Each Advisory Committee shall have its own Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, elected by and from the faculty representatives.

C. Functions

1. develop bylaws which shall be approved by the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs and the Senate;

2. develop policy recommendations for each designated area and to transmit these to the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs and to the Faculty Senate, for review.The Advisory Committee on Awards shall develop recommendations regarding criteria and procedures for awarding faculty sabbaticals, Northeastern Illinois University Foundation Fellowships, Committee on Organized Research Awards, Faculty Excellence Awards, and other faculty awards. This Committee shall publish approved procedures, receive applications, and recommend approval on appropriate applications for faculty awards;

3. transmit faculty recommendations to the appropriate administrative officer and, on occasions when faculty recommendations are not accepted, to receive from that officer a written rationale for his/her actions.

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ARTICLE VII: DEPARTMENTAL OR OTHER EQUIVALENT UNITS (INCLUDING PROGRAMS)

Each College and Resource Professional area is divided into departmental or other equivalent units. The embodiment of the University is the academic department. It initiates all matters regarding curriculum and must approve all curriculum proposals before they are considered by the appropriate College Academic Affairs Committee. Department/unit/program bylaws shall not be inconsistent with the Faculty Constitution.

A. Voting Membership

Only tenured/tenure track department/unit faculty members shall be entitled to vote in department/unit elections and all other department/unit matters with further specifications below. Non-tenure track faculty shall be consulted on matters that directly and indirectly affect their teaching duties. Administration and personnel (A and P) members are excluded from voting.

B. Officers

1. Each department/unit shall have a chair or equivalent administrative officer. In addition, each department/unit/program may select non-administrative officers as it deems necessary. Only tenured/tenure track faculty are eligible for holding the position of Chair.

2. A department/unit headed by a chair shall hold an election to recommend a reasonable number of candidates as Chair to the Dean of the College or equivalent administrator. The recommendation for Department Chair shall include those individuals who receive the highest number of votes by secret ballot of all department/unit faculty eligible to vote. Provisions shall be made to protect the secrecy of mail ballots cast by absent, eligible voters.

3. Chairs shall be appointed by the Dean or equivalent administrator, subject to the approval of the Provost and the President. Elections shall be held in March, with the assumption of office to begin on the following July 1. Special elections shall be held in accordance with the above provisions to make recommendations to fill vacancies. In such cases, those elections and the assumption of office shall take place immediately following appointment by the Dean or equivalent administrator, and shall continue for the remainder of the term.

4. The duties of a Chair are defined in the University governing policies.

C. Functions

1. To develop and approve bylaws;

2. to develop educational policy, curriculum, budgetary and long range planning recommendations for the department/unit. Departments/units shall carry on programs of instruction, research and service in particular fields of knowledge. They also shall be responsible for initiating and recommending faculty appointments for the department/unit.

D. Meetings

1. Each department/unit shall meet at least once a term and such other times as the bylaws or Chair may stipulate. Meetings may also be called on the request of a majority of the voting members of the department/unit.

2. Minutes of all department/unit meetings shall be distributed to all members of the department/unit, and a record of all minutes and actions taken shall be on file in the office of the Chair.

E. Committees

Each department/unit shall establish standing and ad hoc committees as it shall deem necessary, as permitted by the University governing policies.

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ARTICLE VIII: ELECTIONS

All elections provided for in this document shall be held in March with terms of office to begin the following Fall term.

A. Elected Senators, Standing Faculty Council members, and Special Standing Advisory Committee members shall serve for a term of two academic years.

B. No elected Senator, member of a Standing Faculty Council, or member of a Special Standing Advisory Committee shall serve more than four consecutive years.

C. If, at the conclusion of a regular election, vacancies remain on the Senate, any Standing Faculty Council, or any Special Standing Advisory Committee, any outgoing members who had been ineligible to seek re-election under Article VIII.B., and who wish to continue as a member of that body will fill available vacancies. If necessary, selection shall be made by lot.

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ARTICLE IX: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

In the absence of provisions in this Constitution or in various bylaws the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order (most recent edition) shall be the parliamentary authority for all bodies created pursuant to this Constitution.

ARTICLE X: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND REVIEW

A. Amendments to this Constitution may originate in the Faculty Senate or by a petition signed by at least ten percent of the Faculty Assembly and presented to the Faculty Senate. The proposed amendment(s) shall then be submitted for adoption to all members of the Faculty Assembly specified in Article I.A by mail ballot at least two weeks prior to the deadline for voting.

B. An amendment shall be adopted if approved by either two-thirds of those voting or a majority of those eligible to vote, subject to review by the University President in accordance with its governing policies.

Ratified April 1981

Amended 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2007

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