February 14, 2006

 

To:       Carmen Wilson, Faculty Senate Chair

 

From:  Dave Koster, Articles and Bylaws Chair

            Sue Anglehart

            Joyce Shanks

Keith Sherony

Sarah Shillinger

 

Re:     Proposed revisions to the articles and bylaws

 

Proposed revisions to the Articles of Faculty Organization, Faculty Organization and Policies, and Faculty Senate Bylaws that were unanimously approved by the committee are attached. These revisions were necessitated by Faculty Senate actions and the reorganization of the university. The Articles and Bylaws Committee was charged with developing these revisions in several communications from the Senate Executive Committee.

 

Revisions to Articles of Faculty Organization and Faculty Organization and Policies

 

At its March 10, 2005 meeting, the Faculty Senate passed a motion “to instruct the Articles and Bylaws Committee to modify the policy on faculty status for instructional academic staff to find appropriate language, which grants that faculty status be immediately given to those academic staff for whom faculty status is appropriate.” In her August 26, 2006 letter, Carmen Wilson, Faculty Senate Chair, charged the committee to “[r]eview election committee bylaw IX.E. relative to the inclusion of all instructional academic staff under Faculty Senate representation.”

 

1.      The March 10 senate action fundamentally changed who is represented by Faculty Senate. The existing wording in Article I. of the Articles of Organization defines the members of the faculty. Furthermore, Article IV.B.3. awkwardly extends membership to “those members of the academic staff with faculty status” via Bylaw IX. The proposed wording now identifies in Article I. (pg. 1 of the proposed revisions document) all those who are represented by Faculty Senate for governance purposes.

 

2.      Section UWS 1.04 Wisconsin Administrative Code defines faculty as “persons who hold the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor in an academic department or its equivalent in an institution.”[1] The proposed wording for Article I. (pg. 1) expands the definition to include two other Administrative Code appointment titles: Instructional Academic Staff[2] and Academic Librarian.[3] Instructional Academic Staff are included per the March 10, 2005 senate action; at UW-L, Academic Librarians have historically been represented by the Faculty Senate. Proposed Article I.B. (pg. 2) stipulates who among the broader class of academic staff may be represented by the senate and how they would be classified for such representation. Proposed Article IV.B.3. (pg. 4) drops the reference to “those members of the academic staff with faculty status.” Proposed Article I. (pg.1) drops the reference to “unranked faculty members” because there no longer are and can never again be unranked faculty members at UW-L.

 

3.      The proposed wording in Article I.A. (pgs. 1-2) introduces the term ranked faculty, which includes all persons of the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor, and is used to facilitate the distinction between the statutory and local definitions of faculty. (This terminology is also used throughout the remainder of this report.)

 

4.      Existing Article IV.C.4. (pg. 6) contains redundant wording about department affiliation based on ranked faculty’s tenure or probationary status. Since department affiliation is a matter of appointment and not tenure/probationary status, the proposed Article IV.C.4. uses the more efficient reference to members of the faculty. Furthermore, given the proposed local definition of the term faculty, proposed Article IV.C.4. also addresses department affiliation for Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians.

 

5.      The reorganization of the university into three colleges necessitated the proposed changes to Article IV.B.1. (pg. 3).

 

6.      On April 24, 2003, the Faculty Senate approved an Articles and Bylaws committee recommendation that reduced the number of faculty members on Faculty Standing Committees to nine and shifted appointment of the Articles and Bylaws Committee members to the senate. The senate has not acted on the latter portion of its decision because it requires a change to the Articles of Faculty Organization. Articles and Bylaws reaffirms its recommendation that its members be appointed by the senate. Our opinion is that, like the other Senate Committees, Articles and Bylaws serves the senate directly, and does not serve as an intermediary between the general faculty and the senate in a manner analogous to Faculty Standing Committees. The proposed wording to Article IV.F. (pgs. 8-9) adds the Articles and Bylaws Committee as a Senate Committee.

 

7.      Existing Bylaw XI. denotes the protocol for amending the bylaws. It is somewhat incongruous for a bylaw to stipulate the method by which a bylaw is changed. Rather, the method to amend bylaws is more appropriately a matter of Articles of Organization. The wording for amending the bylaws appears in the proposed Article VI. (pg.11) and follows the article that describes how the articles are amended. Subsequent articles have been renumbered accordingly.

 

8.      The Articles of Faculty Organization (and Faculty Senate Bylaws) are laden with mixed use of terms and punctuation. For example, executive committee, senate executive committee, faculty senate executive committee, executive committee of the senate, and executive committee of the faculty senate can be found with varying use of upper and lower case. The proposed wording eliminates these vagaries by using like terms and case.

 

9.      Senate Executive Committee communications with Articles and Bylaws suggested that the senate’s organization, policies, articles and bylaws document may be confusing. When the committee reviewed the section on Faculty Senate Bylaws, it agreed that the awkward use of bylaws to stipulate both the responsibilities of senate committees and, for example, the remuneration of department chairs is indeed confusing. The committee believes the former are appropriately referred to as bylaws because they detail the organization’s internal operating structure. In contrast, the latter should be referred to as policies, as they relate to the position the senate has taken on matters that are external to the senate itself. In the proposed wording, the terminology Faculty Senate Policies has been added to the section Faculty Organization and Policies (pg.1) and Article I. (pg. 1), and reference to the senate forming its own policies has been added to Article IV.D.7. (pg. 7).

 

 

Revisions to the Faculty Senate Bylaws

 

1.      The order of the current bylaws is not parallel with the articles, which introduce the Senate Committees first and then the Faculty Standing Committees (pgs. 8 & 10). The proposed wording titles the bylaws for the Senate Committees and places them first in order as Bylaw I. (pg. 11).

 

2.      If adopted, proposed Article I. will necessitate an annual audit of the membership of the Instructional Academic Staff to determine who is a member of the faculty and thereby eligible to nominate, vote for and serve as a member of the senate, or serve on senate committees. The proposed wording in Bylaw I.B.3. (pg. 12) assigns that responsibility to the Senate Election Committee.

 

3.      Per recommendation 6 above, the bylaws for the Articles and Bylaws Committee are relocated within those of the Senate Committees as Bylaw I.D. (pg. 13-14). Per recommendation 9 above, the proposed wording adds to Articles and Bylaws’ responsibilities that of reviewing and phrasing Faculty Senate Policies.

 

4.      In the proposed document, the bylaws that pertain to Faculty Standing Committees are titled and renumber Bylaw II. The proposed Bylaw II.(a) emphasizes the proposed Articles of Organization definition of faculty to include Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians, and drops the reference to Bylaw IX. Proposed Bylaw II.(b) preserves the existing Bylaw IX. ban on academic staff serving on the Promotion, Tenure and Salary Committee (pg. 14).

 

5.      The reorganization of the university into three colleges necessitated revision to committee membership description for:

·        The Academic Planning Committee

·        The Academic Policies and Standards Committee

·        The Academic Program Review Committee

·        The Consultative Layoff Committee

·        The General Education Committee

·        The Graduate Council

·        The Graduate Curriculum Committee

·        The International Education Committee

·        The Library Committee

·        The Teacher Education Governing Council

·        The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

·        The Undergraduate Research Committee

The revisions included dropping the name of the defunct college, changing of the name of an existing college, or changing the number of committee members designated to each college. In those instances in which the number of faculty members from a college is stipulated in the committee’s membership, the proposed reallocation of committee members was made with attention paid to the relative size of the colleges in the reorganized university. In those instances in which it was not possible to reallocate the committee membership so that it both reflected the relative size of the colleges and resulted in whole number member assignments, the phrase “at least” is added to the wording, thereby designating the minimum number of members from a given college.

 

6.      Per recommendation 6 above, the bylaws for the Articles and Bylaws Committee are dropped from those of the Faculty Standing Committees (pg. 18). Subsequent bylaws have been renumbered accordingly.

 

7.      Per the Committee’s August 26, 2005 charge letter from the Senate Executive Committee, the vice-chair of the senate is designated as convener of the Budget Review Committee (pg. 18).

 

8.      Per the recommended revisions to the Articles of Organization, reference to “academic staff with faculty status” is dropped in the proposed wording of the bylaws for the Faculty Development Committee (pg. 21-22). Also, all references to OPID are dropped per a November 7, 2005 directive from the Senate Executive Committee.

 

9.      Per the recommended revisions to the Articles of Organization, reference to “academic staff with faculty status” is dropped in the proposed wording of the bylaws for the Research and Grants Committee (pg. 32-33).

 

10. Per the recommended revisions to the Articles of Organization, Bylaw IX. and XI. are dropped (pg. 49).

 

11. Per the recommended revision to the Faculty Organization and Policies and Article IV.D.7. (#9, pg.3 of this report), existing Bylaws III. through VIII. and X., and the UW-L Faculty Workload Policy are re-titled Faculty Senate Policies (pg. 36) and numbered I. through VIII.

 

12. Proposed Policies IV.F.1. (pg. 40), IV.G.1. (pg. 41), V.A.1. (pg. 44) and VII. (pg. 49) contain wording that emphasizes the proposed Articles of Organization definition of faculty to include Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians, and drops the reference to “academic staff with faculty status.”

 

13. Proposed Policy VIII. is re-titled UW-La Crosse Ranked Faculty Workload Policy because it is clear that the intention of the policy is to address the workload of persons of the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor.

 

In doing its work, the committee was conscious of the need to strike a balance between proposing a document that efficiently articulates who the Faculty Senate is and what it does, and minimizing the number of changes to the existing document. We believe we have found that balance, and encourage the Senate Executive Committee, the Faculty Senate and the general university faculty to endorse our recommendations.

 


 

[2] ibid., p.11

[3] ibid., p.55