Bylaws Committee Meeting
October 21, 2000


  1. Revision in the membership of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee

    We discussed the concerns of a growing number of Senators that the removal of administrators as members of the Executive Committee, particularly the Chief Academic Officer, has resulted in a lessening of communication between faculty and administrators that is a major purpose of the Senate. We discussed reasons for the number of administrators we believe are needed and the offices represented by such members. We also discussed the need to clarify how these members will be selected. Our motion is as follows:
    The Bylaws Committee recommends the revision of the first paragraph of Article III. Committees, Section 2. Standing Committees, subsection F.(1) Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. The revision is recommended in order to further communication between the faculty and university administrators and to further its purpose and duties.

    Current narrative:
    III.2.F.(1) Membership shall consist of the chairs of the Standing Committees of the Senate; the officers of the Senate, including the Immediate Past President; and four at-large faculty members.

    This committee shall represent the Senate as called on in meetings with the administration and other groups, shall handle necessary business on an emergency and interim basis between Senate meetings, shall recommend and review assignments to other committees, and shall establish ad hoc committees on behalf of itself or as directed by the Senate.

    This committee shall not concern itself with individual salaries nor with college or departmental allocations, except as they may relate to the aforementioned educational policy decisions.

    When campus or system administrative appointments are to be filled and where it is appropriate for faculty to be of assistance in the recruitment and screening of candidates, the Executive Committee will assist in the selection of the faculty members of such screening committees and lend its counsel to the development of procedures for recruitment and screening of such candidates.
    Recommended change in first paragraph:
    III.2.F.(1) Membership shall consist of the chairs of the Standing Committees of the Senate; the officers of the Senate, including the Immediate Past President; four at-large Senators selected by the Committee on Committees including one administrator who is an elected Senator; and shall include the Chief Academic Officer of the University as an ex-officio member.
  2. Clarification of Objectives for the Bylaws Committee, 2000/2001

    Committee members discussed our role in the proposed restructuring of the Faculty Senate and revision of the bylaws. Loretta stated that while the Bylaws Committee is the appropriate group for recommending revisions in the bylaws for clarification and consistency, it is not the appropriate group to lead a major restructuring of the Faculty Senate. This year's Bylaws Committee, for example, is composed of the President-Elect (with three and one-half years experience on the Senate), one member who served a term as a Senator several years ago, and three members serving their first semester ever as Senators. The process of major restructuring will take two or more years and the committee membership changes each year. Jens and I agreed and all of us propose that our committee focus on making changes in the bylaws for purposes of clarification and consistency in the type of information being shared.

         (Special note: After the meeting I remembered that a formal charge was given to the Bylaws Committee last March by the Senate. The wording is such that we may need to ask the Senate to modify the charge. You can find it at I have talked with Bob Glenn about this and he thinks we do need to make a formal request of the Senate to change the charge. When I read the resolution I think that we will be doing enough to make a change in the resolution unnecessary. Please take a look and let us all know via e-mail what you think. See also the e-mail I am forwarding shortly after I send this message that includes statements from Friedman re the restructuring of the Faculty Senate at the University of Texas.)

    We decided that the committee should move ahead with housekeeping changes in the Bylaws. We discussed the need to gather information from Senators regarding such issues as the following:
    • critical attributes of Senate committees (do all current committees appropriately further the purpose of the Senate?)
    • the need for consistency and/or flexibility across committees re number of members, voting, selection of chair, selection of student members, etc.
    • the feasibility of clustering certain committees, making some subcommittees of an umbrella committee and furthering communication across appropriately grouped committees through representatives of subcommittees on the umbrella committee
    • clarifying duties for each committee and determining whether these duties should remain in the bylaws or be shared in a separate document

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