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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSED CHANGES FROM THE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AFFECTING TERMS OF SERVICE, TERM LIMITS, CHAIRS, AND CHAIR ELECTS

Professor Dominic Lasorsa (professor, journalism) submitted the following eight proposals on behalf of the Faculty Committee on Committees recommending changes that affect terms of service, term limits, committees’ chairs and chair elects. The proposals will be voted on by the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 22, 2010. The secretary has classified this resolution as general legislation.


Greninger Signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council



PROPOSED CHANGES FROM THE COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES AFFECTING TERMS OF SERVICE, TERM LIMITS, CHAIRS, AND CHAIR ELECTS

Proposal to have the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets elect its own chair.

Legislation: The Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets shall elect its own chair.

Rationale: The voting members of each standing committee other than the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets elect in the spring semester a chair elect who assumes the office of chair on the first class day of the fallowing fall semester for a term of one year. In the case of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets, the President every third year selects a new chair of the committee who is a member of the General Faculty, from the Faculty Council’s nominations. Since the budget advisory committee is the only standing committee which does not elect its own chair, this change will make its chair selection process consistent with those of all other standing committees.

Proposal to increase committee term lengths to three years.

Legislation: Except where otherwise provided by the Council, terms of office for faculty members of standing committees shall be three years, commencing on the first class day of the fall semester, with one-third the faculty membership appointed each year. Faculty members are eligible for immediate reappointment to a new term of service unless they have just served six or more consecutive years, in which case they must be off the committee for at least one year before serving on the committee again.

Rationale: Currently, all but two standing committees have two-year terms, and members may be appointed for one additional two-year term. This legislation increases the term lengths of these committees to three years. Earlier this year, the Committee on Committees informed the chairs of all standing committees that it was reviewing the term limits of all standing committees, as well as other issues relating to ways to improve committee effectiveness. The Committee on Committees said that it “wants to make sure that committees have continuity of memberships to facilitate efficient operations but, at the same time, the CoC wants to make sure that committees have diversity of memberships to avoid stagnation and encourage new ideas and vitality. The CoC hopes that you can help arrive at the best ways to strike a balance between these two critical yet sometimes conflicting goals.” Overwhelmingly, committee chairs expressed concerns about membership continuity issues relating to their committees, and cautioned that a lack of continuity was the most serious hindrance to the effective operation of their committees. The Committee on Committees has concluded that one of the best ways to help ensure continuity is to move from two-year to three-year terms on most committees. At the same time, the committee does not believe that such a change necessarily will inhibit diversity of membership. Furthermore, proposals to help facilitate diversity and limit stagnation are being recommended concurrently with this legislation. Together, the committee believes that the proposed legislation strikes a necessary balance. In addition, this change will reduce the amount of work of a number of University units involved in the annual appointments of committee members, including the Committee on Committees, the Faculty Council, the Office of the General Faculty, the provost’s office, and the president’s office.

Proposal to set maximum term limits on committee appointments.

Legislation: Overriding any other rule which would extend a committee member’s consecutive service on a committee, in no case shall a faculty member serve more than six consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is two years; more than eight consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is three years; or more than 12 consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is five years.

Rationale: The general rule that faculty members shall be limited to no more than two consecutive terms on a committee is sound. However, specific rules allow term extensions in extenuating circumstances. In addition, in determining term limits only Presidential appointments are taken into consideration, not Faculty Council appointments. Consequently, it is possible for a faculty member to serve on a committee for considerably more years than the general rule stipulates. By setting a cap on the maximum number of consecutive years a faculty member may serve on a committee, this legislation supports the spirit of the general rule. While continuity of service is important on committees, safeguards are in place to maintain continuity, including staggered appointments, timing of elections for vice chairs and chair elects, and special rules allowing term extensions. Equally important for the efficient operation of standing committees is the need for a fresh and diverse influx of new members. This legislation is designed to set a balance between these two important yet somewhat conflicting goals.

Proposal to limit years a chair may serve.

Legislation: A faculty member shall serve no more than three consecutive years as chair on committees with three-year terms. A faculty member shall serve no more than eight consecutive years as chair on committees with five-year terms. Overriding any other rule which would extend a committee member’s consecutive service on a committee, in no case shall a faculty member serve more than six consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is two years; more than eight consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is three years; or more than 12 consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is five years.1

Rationale: With two-year terms, a faculty member could serve as chair for four straight years. With three-year terms, a faculty member could serve as chair for six straight years. With five-year terms, a faculty member could serve as chair for 10 straight years. The Committee on Committees believes that if term lengths are increased from two to three years for all but one committee then a limit should be placed on how long a single faculty member should lead that committee. For the one committee with five-year terms, the Faculty Building Advisory Committee, the committee believes that chairs also should be limited in terms of the number of consecutive years they serve. The FBAC has a longer term of appointment because building projects take years to complete. Therefore, continuity is a crucial concern on this committee. However, the Committee on Committees believes the same leadership for longer than eight years could threaten the vitality of the committee and make it susceptible to stagnation. In the cases of all committees, regardless of term lengths, this legislation goes along with the Committee on Committee’s general principle of trying to balance continuity concerns and diversity/stagnation concerns.

Proposal to specify a deadline for the election of standing committee chair elects.

Legislation: In the spring semester no later than the last Friday in February, standing committees shall elect a chair elect to serve as chair the following academic year.

Rationale: The current rule states that chair elects be elected during “the first half of the spring semester.” This legislation specifies an election deadline whichensures that the CoC and the Faculty Council know who the chair elects are before they nominate and appoint committee members. Such information will be helpful to both bodies.

Proposal to change the eligibility of chair elects to serve beyond their term limits.

Legislation: A chair elect whose term of service does not extend through the following academic year shall serve as chair for that academic year. That chair shall be eligible to serve on the committee again following at least a one-year break in service. Overriding any other rule which would extend a committee member’s consecutive service on a committee, in no case shall a faculty member serve more than six consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is two years; more than eight consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is three years; or more than 12 consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is five years.1

Rationale: The current rule states that a chair elect whose term of service does not extend through the following academic year will be reappointed for an additional term. There has been some confusion regarding the length of a term. For instance, Faculty Council appointments are for one year but all other standing committee appointments are for two years, with the exception of two committees. Budget Advisory Committee terms are three years and Faculty Building Advisory Committee terms are five years. This change limits the extension of a chair elect’s term to one academic year. This will make all chair elect extensions uniform.

Proposal to allow committees to have the past chair serve an additional year.

Legislation: Each standing committee shall make a determination to be included in its statement of composition which stipulates whether a chair whose term limit has been reached shall continue on the committee as an ex-officio non-voting past chair for one year. This one-year non-voting membership shall not constitute a break in service from the committee.Overriding any other rule which would extend a committee member’s consecutive service on a committee, in no case shall a faculty member serve more than six consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is two years; more than eight consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is three years; or more than 12 consecutive years on a committee whose term of appointment is five years.1

Rationale: This change gives standing committees the option of allowing someone who has led a committee to continue to serve the committee in a non-official role for one additional year. This may help committees for which continuity of service is deemed particularly crucial. Since this does not constitute a break in service from the committee, the past chair will not be eligible for reappointment to the committee again for one full year after having served as past chair.

Proposal to clarify rules relating to vice chair and chair elect positions and elections.

Legislation: Vice chairs shall be elected at the beginning of the fall semester. Vice chairs shall not automatically assume the position of chair elect. Chair elects are elected in the spring semester to serve as chair the following academic year.

Rationale: This clarifies existing rules from 2005 legislation proposed by the Committee on Committees. Some committees have been violating the rule by having vice chairs automatically become chair elects. Some committees also have been violating the rule by having elections at the wrong time.



1 Friendly amendment approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 22, 2010.

Posted on the Faculty Council web site on March 12, 2010.