Faculty Constitution PDF Version
Boise State University
Amended: May 2016
Effective Date: Upon Board Approval
To facilitate communication, understanding, and cooperation among the officers of Boise State University, and to ensure the orderly development of educational programs and policies committed to our trust, we, the President and Faculty of Boise State University, do hereby subscribe to this constitution establishing principles of organization, authority, and responsibility of the Boise State University Faculty. In adopting this constitution the President and Faculty of Boise State University affirm our belief in academic freedom and responsibility as specified in the Idaho State Board of Education policy (Section III.B, April 2002) and the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
Whereas, institutions of higher education are established for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole, and the common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition through scholarship.
Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to teaching, research, and service. Academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Academic freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in service is fundamental to the advancement of the common good and the development of educational programs and policies. Academic freedom should not be abridged or abused. Academic freedom carries with it duties correlative with rights.
Faculty are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.
Faculty are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
Faculty are entitled to speak or write freely without institutional discipline or restraint on matters pertaining to faculty governance and development of educational programs and policies.
College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of the educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
Article I: Name
The Boise State University faculty as defined by Article II shall be referred to throughout this document as “the Faculty”.
Article II: Membership
The Faculty of the University shall comprise five categories of members hereinafter referred to as: 1) Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty, 2) Teaching Faculty, 3) Clinical Faculty, 4) Research Faculty, and 5) Administrative Faculty.
Associated faculties constitute a sixth category: 6) Adjunct, Affiliate, and Visiting Faculty; members have the privilege of participation without vote in meetings of the University faculty.
Section 1: Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty
The Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty of the University will include all Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty with appointments as Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, Departmental Chairpersons and professional librarians other than the Dean of the University Libraries.
Section 2: Teaching Faculty
The Teaching Faculty of the University will include all persons with appointments as Lecturer, Associate Lecturer, Assistant Lecturer.
Section 3: Clinical Faculty
The Clinical Faculty of the University will include all persons with appointments as Clinical Professor, Associate Clinical Professor, Assistant Clinical Professor and Clinical Instructor.
Section 4: Research Faculty
The Research Faculty of the University will include all persons with appointments as Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, and Assistant Research Professor.
Section 5: Administrative Faculty
The Administrative Faculty of the University will include the President of the University; the Provost of the University; administrative Vice Presidents; executive Heads or Deans of Colleges, Schools, Units, Divisions, Supportive Services, and the Library; and all such permanent administrative officials so designed by the President of the University and the State Board of Education.
Section 6: Adjunct, Affiliate, and Visiting Faculty
The Adjunct, Affiliate, and Visiting Faculty include those faculty with a limited contractual relationship with the University, including part-time (adjunct), non-compensatory (affiliate), and visiting faculty. This category of faculty is not eligible to vote in faculty-wide deliberations or to have interest-group based representation on Faculty Senate. Individuals in this category are not part of The Faculty.
Article III: Powers and Authority
Section 1: General; Recommendations are made to the President and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University.
a. The Faculty will provide recommendations on matters of educational policy within the limits prescribed by federal and state law and the regulations of the Idaho State Board of Education. Educational policy pertains to such matters as curricula, methods of instruction, facilities and materials for instruction, standards for admission and retention of students, and criteria for the granting of degrees. It also includes those aspects of student life that relate directly to the educational process including the establishment of regulations concerning financial aid, academic performance, extracurricular activities, and freedom of action and expression.
b. The Faculty will recommend policies and procedures governing the performance of research, scholarship and creative activities.
c. The Tenure/Tenure Eligible and Administrative Faculty will recommend policies and procedures governing faculty appointment, tenure, and promotion.
d. The Faculty will normally function through its representative body, the Faculty Senate (see Article V). However the Faculty will also have the rights of initiative and referendum, as specified in Article IV: Section 2e, Article V: Section 3d, and in Article VI: Section 1.
Section 2: College, School, Unit, Division, Department, and the Library
Within the limits of policies approved by the Idaho State Board of Education, the policies and practices within the particular College, School, Unit, Division, Department, or the Library will be determined by the Tenure/Tenure Eligible and Administrative Faculty of the specific College, School Unit, Division, Department, or the Library and will normally be implemented by the interested Dean or Chairperson.
Article IV: Organization of the Faculty
Section 1: Officers
a. Presiding Officer – The President of the Faculty Senate or his or her designee will preside at the meetings of the Faculty Senate, and will oversee the reporting and distribution of the non-transcripted summary of the meeting. Upon completion of a one-year term, the President of the Faculty Senate will serve an additional year as past President.*
b. Vice President of the Faculty – The Vice President of the Faculty Senate (Article V, Section 3, a.1) will be the presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the President of the Faculty Senate, will chair the Nominating Committee, and will be a member of the Steering Committee. In the event the President of the Faculty Senate is unable or unwilling to fulfill his/her duties, the Vice President will preside over the Senate until such time as the President is able to resume his/her duties or the President’s original term expires. The Vice President of the Faculty Senate will administer, record, and report within that period specified in the Bylaws of this constitution to the Faculty (Article IV, Section 2). Following the completion of a one-year elected term, the Vice President will be the successor to the presidency of the Faculty Senate for a period of one year, provided a simple majority of the Senators present and voting are in agreement.* If a simple majority is not obtained, another nominee may be selected and voted into the position of President with a simple majority of the Senate present and voting.
c. Past President to the Faculty – The past President to the Faculty Senate will serve as a member of the Steering Committee and as an advisor to the President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate. They may be either a current member of the Senate or hold an ex-officio seat on the Senate. *In the event the President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate are nominated, agree to serve, and are voted for by a simple majority of the Senators present and voting, subsequent terms of office will be allowed.
Section 2: Meetings of the Faculty
a. Schedule – Meetings of the Faculty may be called by the President of the University or the President of the Faculty Senate. The President of the Faculty Senate must call a meeting at the written petition of ten percent of the Faculty or a majority vote of the Senate.
b. Notice – Written notice of each meeting shall be circulated to the Faculty at least one week prior to the date of the meeting. The agenda for each meeting will be attached to the notice.
c. Quorum – Twenty-five percent of the Faculty constitute a quorum. Members must be physically present at such a meeting. Proxy votes will not be recognized for absent individuals. The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide on September 1 the number of the Faculty as described in Article II.
d. Procedure – Each member of the Faculty will have a free and equal voice in all deliberations. Each member of the Faculty will be entitled to one vote. Any member of the Faculty may submit agenda items to the Faculty Senate President. Such items must be received at least one week prior to a scheduled meeting. In the absence of special regulations to the contrary, the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order as designated by the President of the Faculty Senate shall govern the procedure of all meetings of the Faculty
e. Faculty Review of Senate or Presidential Action
(1)The Faculty may contest an action taken by the Faculty Senate or a failure to act on an initiative petition. To override a specific action of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty may conduct a vote. A two-thirds majority among the voters will override a Faculty Senate action. A majority of those present and voting at a meeting may call for a vote of the Faculty. According to the provisions of Article V, Section 3d, such ballot will be accompanied by the minutes of the meeting sent to each member of the Faculty. The Vice President of the Faculty Senate will administer record and report the vote within that period specified in the bylaws of this constitution.
(2)The Faculty may contest a University Presidential action. A two-thirds majority among the voters will be required to contest an action of the University President. The President of the Faculty Senate will communicate the results of a contested action to the Idaho State Board of Education if a two-thirds margin is achieved.
f. Financial Support – Financial support will be provided by the Office of the Provost in negotiation with the President of the Faculty Senate.
Article V: The Faculty Senate
Section 1: Membership
(1) Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty; Voting Members
(a) Each College, School, Unit, or Division will be entitled to at least two Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty representatives to the Faculty Senate except the library which will be entitled to at least one Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty representative. Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty representatives will be elected by the Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty in the College, School, Unit, or Division of the University.
(b) Senate representation will be determined on the ratio of one Senator per 25 Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty in the College, School, Unit, or Division of the University with the exception of the Graduate College which will have no more than two Senators.
(c) Every January at the first meeting of the spring semester, the Provost will provide the Faculty Senate with data on faculty membership. The Faculty Senate will review the apportionment of the Faculty from each College, School, Unit, or Division, and adjust apportionment as necessary to meet constitutional membership.
(2) Teaching and Research Faculty; Voting Members
(a) Teaching and Research Faculty will have one voting representative on the Faculty Senate.
(b) Teaching and Research Faculty representatives will serve two-year terms.
(3) Clinical Faculty; Voting Members
(a) Clinical Faculty Senate representation will be determined on the ratio of one Senator per 50 Clinical Faculty.
(4) Nonvoting Members
(a) The President of ASBSU or his or her designee.
(b) The President of the University or his or her designee.
(c) The Dean or Head of each College, School, Unit or Division and Library.
(1) Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty
(a) Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty Senators will be elected by each College, School, Unit or Division of the University.
(2) Teaching and Research Faculty
(a) The process of electing Teaching and Research Faculty Senators will be established in the Senate Bylaws.
(3) Clinical Faculty
(a) The process of electing Clinical Faculty will be established in the Senate Bylaws.
c. Term of Office
Elected members normally will serve for two years. Initially, provision shall be made for rotating terms of office so that one half of the elected-chairs will be vacated each year.
Recall of any Tenure/Tenure Eligible or Administrative Faculty elected members of the Senate will be considered only at a meeting of the Tenure/Tenure Eligible and Administrative Faculty from the College, School, Unit or Division that elected the Senator, called for such a purpose at least one week in advance of the meeting date. Approval will require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Tenure/Tenure Eligible and Administrative Faculty from that College, School, Unit or Division who are present at that meeting.
Recall of any elected Clinical Faculty members of the Senate will be considered only at a meeting of the Clinical Faculty at least one week in advance of the meeting date. Approval will require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Clinical Faculty who are present at that meeting.
All members of the Senate are uninstructed representatives. Having sought the counsel and advice of their colleagues, Senate members will be free to exercise their own judgment on matters of decision and vote.
Newly created Colleges, Schools, Units, and Divisions of the University will be represented as provided in Article V, Section l a. (1-3). Implementation will be in accordance with the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.
Section 2: Authority and Functions of the Faculty Senate
The Faculty Senate will have the authority and responsibility to act for and in behalf of the Faculty. Actions of the Faculty Senate will be effective without approval of the Faculty except that such actions will be subject to challenge, by the Faculty (as specified in Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph e) or by the President of the University.
Within the framework established by the Idaho State Board of Education, the Faculty Senate will, as the representative body of the Faculty:
(1) Recommend to the President and Provost and Vice President of academic affairs requirements for admission and for degrees.
(2) Act upon all new courses and curricula, changes in established curricula, and curricular policies involving relationships between Colleges, Schools, Units, or Divisions.
(3) Recommend to the President and Provost and Vice President of academic affairs criteria for academic rank, tenure, and professional welfare.
(4) Provide for the review and mediation of disputes involving professional ethics and grievances.
(5) Recommend to the President and Provost and Vice President of academic affairs policies and procedures governing the performance of research, scholarship and creative activities.
(6) Maintain such committees and councils as are necessary for the implementation of Article III, Section 1, of this constitution.
(7) Receive and consider reports from committees and councils and take appropriate action thereon.
(8) Inform the Faculty of its actions.
Section 3: Organization of the Senate
(1) The Senate shall elect annually from among its academic members a President and Vice President.
(1) Regular and special meetings of the Faculty Senate will be held throughout the academic year at times specified in the bylaws.
(2) Regular and special meetings of the Faculty Senate are open.
(3) Non-Senate members may only address the Senate when called upon by the Faculty Senate presiding officer.
(4) Executive session of the Faculty Senate may be called for by the President of the Faculty Senate. An Executive session is a closed meeting of the Steering Committee.
The Faculty Senate is empowered to make rules governing its own organization and procedure subject to the conditions of this Constitution and the following:
(1) A simple majority of voting members of the Senate will constitute a quorum. If quorum is lost, the meeting will be immediately adjourned and the discussion will continue at the next regularly scheduled meeting or special session of the Faculty Senate.
(2) All actions of the Senate will be by simple majority of members present and voting, unless otherwise specified in the bylaws.
(3) A digest of the Senate meeting minutes will be distributed to the Faculty without delay.
At least one week prior to any Senate meeting, the President of the Faculty Senate will publish an agenda and distribute the agenda to the Faculty. Any Senator may submit items for the agenda. Any item submitted by at least ten percent of the Faculty through petition of whose signers, half must be Tenure/Tenure Eligible and Administrative Faculty must be placed on the agenda for the next regular Senate meeting. Items not on the agenda of a given meeting may not be brought to formal vote at that meeting without unanimous consent of those present.
Article VI: Amendment
Section 1: Of the Constitution
a. Amendments may be proposed by either:
(1) A two-thirds vote of the Senate present and voting, or
(2) Twenty percent of the Faculty through initiative petition presented to the President of the Senate. The proposed amendment to the constitution will be placed on the agenda on the next regular meeting of the Senate for open discussion, a written copy of the proposed amendment, including explanation and justification, will be distributed to each member of the Faculty, after which it will be submitted to a special meeting of the Faculty. An amendment thus submitted will become part of the constitution when approved by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the Faculty.
Section 2: Of the Bylaws
The Bylaws of the Faculty Senate may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, present and voting.