Procedures of the Academic Council
Last Revised October 10, 2012
Throughout the document the titles Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor refer to full-time appointments unless stated otherwise.
A. The membership of the Academic Council is to be comprised of twelve professors. The members shall be nominated by qualified voting faculty (as defined in III below) and are appointed by the President. The intellectual areas of the Homewood faculty are to be represented by two (2) members from the Social Sciences, three (3) from the Humanities, three (3) from the Natural Sciences and four (4) from the School of Engineering.
B. The membership of the Academic Council is to include the President of the University (see IV.A. below). The Provost, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Engineering and Vice Dean for Faculty of Engineering are members of the Academic Council without voting privileges.
C. A list of members of the Academic Council and these rules of procedure shall be kept available on the Academic Council website.
II. Term of Office
The term of office for all members nominated by the qualified voting faculty shall be four years. One year must elapse before a member, having served for four years, is again eligible for Academic Council nomination.
III. Eligible Voters
Those eligible to vote for nominees to the Academic Council are professors, associate professors and assistant professors.
IV. Officers of the Academic Council
A. The President of the University is the permanent Chair of the Academic Council. The Provost is to preside in the absence of the President. If neither the President nor Provost is present to preside, then the Dean of Arts and Sciences presides in the Fall and the Dean of Engineering presides in the Spring unless an appointment or a promotion case from that School is being considered, at which time the Dean from the other School presides.
B. A Secretary is to be elected by the members of the Academic Council for a term of at least one semester. Each academic year the outgoing Secretary shall sollicit nominations for Secretary for fall and spring semester for the following academic year, from among the members of the Academic Council. Nominees may be for fall and spring semester seperately, or the same individual(s) may be nominated for both semesters. Votes in the Academic Council shall be scheduled for no later than the final meeting of spring semester. Iff the office of Secretary becomes vacant unexpectedly, the Provost shall sollicit nominations from among the members of the Academic Council, and a vote scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Council.
V. Preparation of the Agenda
A. The Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering (on alternate semesters) will be responsible for the agenda. Items of policy for discussion at Academic Council meetings are to be incorporated into the agenda a week in advance of the meeting, and circulated confidentially to the members of the Academic Council.
B. Any full-time faculty member, or group of such members, may petition the Academic Council to discuss a matter of concern by submitting a request in writing to either the designated Council Secretary, the Dean of Arts and Sciences or to the Dean of Engineering. Such requests must ordinarily be received by the Secretary or Deans at least ten days prior to the Council meeting at which discussion is sought. The Secretary or Deans of the Homewood Schools will transmit the request to the full Council for information and will, if appropriate, place the request on the agenda of the earliest possible regular meeting.
C. The list of non-tenured appointments to be approved by the Academic Council is to be circulated to the members of the Academic Council at least two days before the meeting of the Academic Council.
D. Materials concerning impending appointments to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor are to be circulated as far in advance of a meeting as possible, normally at least one week.
VI. Vacancies in Council Membership
In the event that a member of the Academic Council is unavailable to serve or goes on leave, the members of the Academic Council will nominate an eligible professor to serve during the period of unavailability of the member up to one year, following the procedure presented in VII.B. If the period of unavailability exceeds one year, the position on the Academic Council will be filled by the regular election procedure of VII.A, at the same time as the election of regular 4-year members.
VII. Election Procedures
A. Member nominations
1. The three (3) members of the Academic Council required to be elected each year are to be nominated during the month of April. To secure the nominations of faculty who are willing to serve for a full four-year term, the Deans of the Homewood Schools will notify the electorate, the chairs of all departments and the Nominating Committee of the need for nominations not later than March 22nd each year. The electorate will be sent a list of the current members of the Academic Council and a list of those faculty eligible for nomination. Eligibility includes any tenured full professor who will not be on leave of absence for all or part of the next academic year and who is not completing a 4-year term in the year prior to the year of nomination.
2. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the three (3) members of the Steering Committee of the Homewood Faculty Assembly and two (2) senior members of the Academic Council. One Academic Council member shall be from the Engineering or Natural Sciences area, and the other from the Humanities or Social Sciences area of the Homewood faculty. These two members of the Nominating Committee shall be chosen by vote of the Academic Council. The Nominating Committee is charged with securing the names of sufficient numbers of eligible candidates in each of the intellectual areas in which there will be an election so that all elections will be contested. In particular, if there are a total of N regular 4-year and special election slots to be filled in a given intellectual area, then a total of at least N+1 candidates in that area must be recruited.
3. The selection of candidates for the election of nominees shall occur in two stages. In the first stage, faculty can declare an intention to stand for election or can be so nominated by another faculty member by informing the Nominating Committee. After these nominations are received, the Nominating Committee is charged with filling out the slate of candidates, in particular to ensure that there are at least N+1candidates for the election of each member, as described in VII.A.2. The Nominating Committee is to present the slate of eligible candidates to the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of Engineering by April 15th. All candidates on the ballot must agree in advance to serve if elected.
4. Once the slate of candidates has been received by the Deans, the names of each candidate within each area will be sent to the electorate. Candidates may provide a short biography and link to their website along with their names. A website will be established which allows authenticated secure voting by the electorate via the internet. In the absence of such an electronic voting system, paper ballots may be provided to each eligible voter.
5. The maximum number of votes which a member of the electorate can cast is the number N of seats to be filled (regular 4-year terms and additional members in special elections as provided for in VI). Voters may vote for candidates regardless of intellectual area. A preferential balloting system is to be used. For a ballot to be valid, it must have a vote for a single candidate indicated as the first preference (“one” or “1”). A voter may also express preferences for up to N-1 additional candidate(s) by marking second preference(s) ("two" or "2") for any of these candidate(s).
6. The canvassing committee (the Dean for Faculty in the Krieger School, the Vice Dean for Faculty in the Whiting School and the Secretary of the Academic Council) will tally the votes to secure the three (3) elected members for regular 4-year terms and any additional members in special elections as provided for in VI through the following procedure: Each first-preference vote on a ballot is assigned one point, while each of the second preference votes, if expressed by the voter, is assigned one half point. All points for each candidate are counted and tallied.
7. In each intellectual area, the candidate receiving the largest number of points is elected. In the event that there is also a special election in an intellectual area, as provided for in VI, the candidate in that area with the highest number of points is elected to the regular 4-year term, while the candidate in that area with the second highest number of points is elected to the special term.
8. In the event of a tie in the number of points received by candidates in a given intellectual area, the candidate with the largest number of first-place votes (“one” or “1”) will be elected. If the voting remains tied, the elected member will be decided by lot.
B. One- semester and one- year member nominations
1. In the event of a one-semester or one-year vacancy, the election procedure is as follows. A short list of eligible candidates in the appropriate intellectual area is generated from recommendations of the continuing members of the Academic Council. These candidates should have already shown a willingness to serve if so elected. The election itself is by secret ballot by the voting members of the Council that are present. The ballot counting procedures are those as enumerated above (see VII A) for campus wide elections of four-year members. Impasses in voting due to ties will be decided by lot. (Vacancies longer than one year shall be filled by the procedure described in VII.A.)
2. When electing one-semester or one-year members, the Council has traditionally sought to ensure a balance of representation reflecting the diversity of academic fields; above all, the Council has sought to ensure that the intellectual areas of the Homewood faculty are represented in approximate proportion to the size of their respective faculties.
C. Procedure for elected members
Following any election, the canvassing committee will forward the name (or names) of successfully elected candidates to the President for his/her action.
VIII. Faculty Appointments
A. Recommendation for appointment as Assistant Professor, Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Homewood Professor, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer, Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Visiting Research Professor, and Visiting Associate Research Professor is made by the Department Chair to the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering with the approval (which is recorded in the written request) of the tenured department faculty. The Dean, if he/she approves, then makes the presentation to the Academic Council, and this presentation must include appropriate biographical data and bibliography. In the case of appointments as or promotions to Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Visiting Research Professor, and Visiting Associate Research Professor the Dean then forwards to the Board of Review the appropriate material.
B. When no University funds are involved, or when the term of appointment is less than a semester or the equivalent, appointments as Homewood Professor, Lecturer, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, and Adjunct Assistant Professor are normally reported to the Council as information items only. Appointments as Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Assistant Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Adjunct Associate Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Adjunct Assistant Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Visiting Assistant Research Professor, Visiting Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Fellow-by-Courtesy, Doctor of the University and Postdoctoral Fellow are also normally reported as information items to the Council. Promotions to and appointments as Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Principal Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Adjunct Principal Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Adjunct Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Visiting Research Professor and Visiting Associate Research Professor positions are made by the Deans upon recommendation by the Board of Review (see Standing Committees in Section XI, E below).
C. For appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, the Department Chair (with the approval of the tenured department faculty) requests the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to make recommendation to the Academic Council.
D. The Ad Hoc Committee is to be composed of not fewer than two faculty members from departments other than the one in which the promotion or appointment is to be made. For appointment or promotion to the rank of Professor the Ad Hoc Committee is to be composed of Professors. For appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor the Ad Hoc Committee may include Associate Professors as well as Professors. A member of the candidate’s department shall be designated as the department liaison to the committee. A member of the Academic Council committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure should be identified at the time each ad hoc promotion or appointment committee is appointed to act as liaison between the committee and the Council.
E. All Ad Hoc Committees appointed are to be announced by the appropriate Dean to the Academic Council at its first meeting following the appointment of the committee.
F. Ad Hoc Committees submit their reports to the Academic Council via the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering, depending upon the school of the candidate for appointment or promotion, who lists the report on the agenda of the Academic Council meeting following receipt of the report. Any report received by the Academic Council office later then twenty days before a scheduled meeting normally will be placed on the agenda of the following scheduled meeting. The ad hoc committee report normally will be distributed to Council members at least one week in advance of the meeting during which the report is to be considered.
G. The report of the Ad Hoc Committee is presented to the Academic Council by the Ad Hoc Committee Chair and the Department Chair who are invited to the Academic Council meeting for this purpose. These visitors will also make themselves available during any following meetings of the Academic Council during which the case is further considered.
H. Normally, action on the Ad Hoc Committee report is not taken at the meeting at which it is presented but at the next succeeding meeting. Action to waive this "holdover" rule may be taken by the Academic Council.
IX. Meetings of the Academic Council
A. The Academic Council will meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month beginning in September and ending in May. By action of the Academic Council this date may be changed for the convenience of the Academic Council members. Additional meetings may be called during the academic year as needed.
B. The twelve elected members of the Academic Council are to meet not less than twice each year to consider problems of interest to the academic community and to suggest items for incorporation into the agenda. The chair of this group is the Council member who has been elected Secretary for that semester. The group is not to have authority to take official action but may only present suggestions to the Academic Council. The Deans of Arts and Sciences and Engineering or other guests may attend by invitation.
X. Ad Hoc Committees
The Academic Council may appoint such Ad Hoc Committees as it deems necessary.
XI. Standing Committees
The Academic Council shall establish the following Standing Committees:
A. School of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee and the Whiting School of Engineering Curriculum Committee
1. These subcommittees of the Academic Council have the following charge:
Fostering the enhancement of the undergraduate curriculum, giving special consideration to interdepartmental programs and general distribution requirements.
Reviewing existing undergraduate programs where appropriate.
Reviewing proposed undergraduate programs.
Through the two Associate Deans for Academic Affairs, the committee brings recommendations of policy regarding these matters to the Academic Council subcommittee on Academic Affairs, with a recommended action for the Academic Council. Such policy issues may include, but are not limited to, creating or deleting majors and minors, results of reviews of existing programs and modification of distribution requirements.
Procedural issues with respect to undergraduate education will normally be the purview of the two Associate Deans for Academic Affairs. Such matters will generally be decided by these two Associate Deans, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Advising and the Chair of the Student Council Education Committee. Such procedural issues typically would include changes in academic calendar deadlines as well as procedures and forms for registration, resolution of incompletes, informal mid-term freshmen reports, and independent study.
2. Each committee consists of four faculty members and four student members. The Chair of the Student Council Education Committee, Associate Dean for Academic Advising and a member from the Academic Council serve ex-officio. Each committee is chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the corresponding school.
Committee members are appointed by the Academic Council. Faculty members are nominated by the appropriate Associate Dean and serve rotating two-year terms. Student members are nominated by the Student Council, with the help of the two schools, and serve for one year.
The committees meet monthly, either separately or as a joint committee of the whole. They must meet together at least three times a year, including the first meeting of each school year, and may meet more often at the discretion of the two Associate Deans. Joint meetings are co-chaired by the two Associate Deans, taking primary responsibility for the agenda on a rotating basis.
3. The two Associate Deans are responsible for communicating with the Academic Council, implementing Academic Council decisions on curriculum, and coordinating curriculum matters with appropriate advising offices.
4. The Academic Standing Committee functions as an extension of the two Curriculum Committees. Its membership consists of the two Associate Deans, the Associate Dean for Academic Advising, and the faculty members of the two committees. Matters are brought to the Academic Standing Committee by either of the two Associate Deans or by the Associate Dean for Academic Advising. For the sake of timeliness, the Academic Standing Committee may meet as an extension of just one of the two Curriculum Committees to consider issues concerning undergraduates in that particular school.
B. The Homewood Graduate Board
1. This Board shall be responsible for the following actions pertaining to Ph.D. degrees awarded in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering:
a. Recommendation to the Doctor of Philosophy Board of all Ph.D. degrees awarded by departments.
b. Administration of approved policies and procedures for the Ph.D. degree.
c. Recommendation to the Academic Council of changes in the existing programs or approval of any new programs for the Ph.D. degree.
d. Continuous review of the standards and procedures for the admission of Ph.D. students.
e. Policy formulation for selection and award of financial aid to Ph.D. students.
f. Assuring that administrative practices include an appropriate information system concerning graduate education.
g. Reporting to the Doctor of Philosophy Board the Ph.D. degrees and new Ph.D. programs that have been approved by the Academic Council.
2. This Board shall be responsible for the following actions pertaining to Masters degrees awarded in the full time programs of the School of Arts and Sciences:
a. Recommendation to the Academic Council of all Masters degrees awarded by departments.
b. Administration of approved policies and procedures for the award of Masters degrees.
c. Recommendation to the Academic Council of changes in the existing programs or approval of any new programs for the Masters degree.
3. This Board shall be composed of nine faculty members, two graduate students, and ex-officio members. The academic areas represented and the members’ terms are described below.
a. Five faculty members from the School of Arts and Sciences.
b. Three faculty members from the School of Engineering.
c. One faculty member from either the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering who will serve as a non-voting Chair.
d. The intellectual areas represented by the faculty members on the Board should be distributed broadly across major disciplines: biological sciences, humanities, physical sciences, social sciences, mathematical and computational sciences, physical engineering, and biological engineering. There should at all times be at least one member of the Homewood Graduate Board from the School of Arts and Sciences from each of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The non-voting ex-officio members are faculty who serve as liaison to the Doctor of Philosophy Board. Their term is specified in Section B.5.c.
e. Two Ph.D. students, one from the School of Arts and Sciences and one from the School of Engineering. The Ph.D. students are not permitted to vote on the awarding of Ph.D. degrees.
f. Appointments are to be recommended by the Deans of the two schools and approved by the Academic Council.
g. Terms of appointment for faculty members are three years, and are staggered to provide continuity.
h. Terms of appointment for graduate students are one year.
i. To be eligible for appointment, a faculty member must hold a regular, full-time appointment as professor, associate professor, or assistant professor in a Ph.D. granting department in either the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering.
4. This Board’s meetings shall be structured to include an Open and Closed Session, not necessarily in that particular order.
a. The Open Session will act as the appropriate venue to review and/or discuss any agenda items pertaining to policy and procedures, programs, and practices. All members of the Homewood Graduate Board (voting and non-voting) are permitted to attend this session.
b. The Closed Session will act as the appropriate venue to review and/or discuss any agenda items pertaining to the approval of specific Masters and Ph.D. candidates, and any issues related to a specific student which requires the discussion of uniquely identifiable or non-directory information on said student. To maintain student confidentiality, during the Closed Session the two student representatives serving on the board should not be in attendance.
a. Each year the Graduate Board shall form a subcommittee of four members who will serve as representatives to the university-wide Doctor of Philosophy Board (DPB). The committee will be comprised of three appointed faculty members and the Academic Council liaison to the Graduate Board. The four members will consist of three (3) faculty members from the School of Arts and Sciences, one each from Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences, and one (1) faculty member from the School of Engineering, as required by the bylaws of the DPB. The composition of the subcommittee must be approved yearly by the Academic Council.
b. Terms of appointment for faculty members serving on the subcommittee are three years and are staggered to provide continuity.
c. Appointed faculty members are required to be serving members of the Graduate Board when they are first appointed to the Doctor of Philosophy Board. If their appointment to the Doctor of Philosophy Board extends beyond their term on the Graduate Board they will be required to continue to attend meetings of the Graduate Board as non-voting ex-officio members until the end of their appointment with the Doctor of Philosophy Board.
d. The Graduate Board is empowered to establish subgroups as it deems desirable. Other faculty members may serve on these subgroups as members by appointment of the Chair.
6. The Homewood Graduate Board shall make an annual report to the Academic Council. Unless specifically requested to include additional information, the annual report will consist of the minutes from the meetings.
C. The Whiting School Graduate Committee
1. This Committee shall be responsible for:
a. Recommendation to the Academic Council of all Whiting School requirements for graduate degrees (including M.A. and M.S.) other than the Ph.D. degrees.
b. Administration of approved policies and procedures for the award of degrees other than the Ph.D. degrees.
c. Recommendation to the Academic Council of changes in the existing programs or approval of any new programs for Whiting School degrees and certificates other than the Ph.D.
d. Continuous review of the standards and procedures for the admission of graduate students.
e. Policy formulation for selection and award of financial aid to graduate students.
f. Assuring that administrative practices include an appropriate information system concerning graduate education in the Whiting School.
2. This Committee shall be composed of:
a. Six faculty members of the Whiting School of Engineering, all of whom will serve staggered three-year terms, and at least four of whom must hold a full-time, tenured or tenure-track appointment at the rank of assistant professor or above;
b. One resident, full-time engineering graduate student who will serve a one-year term; and,
c. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Whiting School of Engineering, as a non-voting chair, and the Associate Dean for Part-Time Programs as ex-officio members.
d. The faculty members and the graduate student member will be appointed by the Dean of Engineering upon approval by the Academic Council.
The Whiting School Graduate Committee is empowered to establish subgroups as it deems desirable. Other faculty members may serve on these subgroups as members by appointment of the Chair.
4. The Whiting School Graduate Committee shall make an annual report to the Academic Council.
D. Board of Review Committee
1. This subcommittee of the Academic Council is charged to make recommendations to the Deans and Academic Council of candidates for promotions and appointments at the ranks enumerated as follows: Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Visiting Research Professor, Visiting Associate Research Professor, Principal Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer, Adjunct Principal Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer and Adjunct Research Scholar/Scientist/Engineer.
2. The membership of this subcommittee consists of six professors or tenured Associate Professors from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering each appointed for a term of three years. The appointment of these members is made by the Deans of Arts and Sciences and Engineering from a list of names approved by the Academic Council.
Two new members are appointed each year, during Spring semester, with the appointment effective September 1. The chair of this subcommittee is appointed each year by the Deans.
XII. Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs Academic Committee
One of the functions of the Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Academic Committee is to approve all new degrees, certificates and concentrations offered by Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs, after which they must be transmitted to Academic Council for approval. Although the AAP Academic Committee is not a subcommittee of the Academic Council, the Academic Council shall appoint a liaison who will meet with the Committee when it is considering a matter requiring eventual Academic Council approval.
XIII. Academic Council Reports
The Academic Council shall report on its major activities at each semi-annual meeting of the Faculty Assembly. The report is to be made by the permanent chair of the Academic Council or by either the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Engineering.
XIV. Review of Department and Non-Tenured Faculty
The Academic Council shall conduct each year a review of a selected number of departments, institutes, programs and other institutional units (e.g., MSE Library, etc.).
XV. Rules of Order
The Academic Council shall operate according to the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order except for the specific exceptions noted below:
Votes of the Academic Council normally shall be by majority vote. However, all votes concerning appointments, promotions, and tenure of faculty shall require a majority of the members present.
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