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May 9, 2011


D. Proposed Changes from the Committee on Committees to Increase General Faculty Standing Committee Terms of Service to Three Years (D 8664), and
E. Proposal to Clarify Rules Relating to the Elections of Vice Chairs and Chairs Elect of General Faculty Standing Committees (D 8665).

Because Committee on Committees Acting Chair Megan Seaholm (history) was unable to attend the Council meeting, Chair Elect Alan Friedman, who serves on the committee, presented the proposed legislation from the committee. Although the two proposals had been separately submitted for Council consideration, the two became merged together during the presentation and discussion. Chair Elect Friedman reported there had been complaints about the current two-year term of service on Standing Committees of the General Faculty. Some felt the term limit was too short and resulted in many committee members rotating off just about the time they had learned to be effective members. He said the proposed legislation, as presented in D 8664, would increase the term of service on most committees from two to three years, with the possibility of an immediate second term. The rationale was that the longer term length would improve committee continuity and functioning. The second proposal, as presented in D 8665, would provide improved flexibility for committees in selecting a chair elect or vice chair in the fall of each academic year. Although he indicated it would be ideal to have the chair elect also serve as the vice chair, some committees had not been able to accomplish this goal. As a result, he said the proposal would allow each committee to determine in the fall if a chair elect or vice chair would work better for its membership.

Chair Neikirk added that the second proposal also limited the total number of years that an individual could consecutively chair a committee. He said in the past a person elected as committee chair generally received an extension on his or her term of service in order to fulfill the leadership role. On certain committees, such as the Faculty Building Advisory Committee, where the normal term of service is five years with the possibility of reappointment, he said this could potentially allow the same individual to consecutively chair the committee for as long as nine to twelve years, and this was generally perceived as not in the best interests of the committee. As a result, he said the proposed legislation limited the number of years an individual could chair a committee with a three-year term of service to three consecutive years and a committee with a five-year term of service to five consecutive years.

Chair Neikirk summarized the two proposals from the Committee on Committees as recommending the following changes: (1) specifying a three-year term of service for most committees; (2) allowing the committee to choose a chair elect or vice chair in the fall, but requiring those opting for a vice chair to elect a chair elect the following spring; and (3) setting a maximum number of years an individual can consecutively chair the same committee to three years for most committees and five years for those with a normal five-year term of committee service. Chair Neikirk asked if there was any discussion from the floor regarding the proposed legislation, and there was none. He called for the vote and the two proposals (D 8664 and D 8665) were unanimously approved together by a single voice vote of the Council.

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