Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-1110

Faculty Council

The University of Texas at Austin

Executive Sponsor: Executive Vice President and Provost

May 6, 2011

 


 

  1. Authority and General Functions
  1. The Faculty Council, subject to review by the General Faculty, shall exercise the powers vested in the General Faculty except for establishment of rules of membership and procedure for itself and for college and school faculties; choice of its Secretary and its representatives on the Faculty Council; structure and legislative powers of the Faculty Council; and action on recommendations of the General Faculty Rules and Governance Committee. Specifically, it shall have authority to consider the following:
  1. All matters of educational policy. Except for those matters that are specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see HOP 9-1240), the Council shall establish the necessary procedures for enlisting the aid of the faculty in developing educational policies for the entire University.
  1. Regulations dealing with student activities.
  1. Requirements for admission, honors, or degrees except to the extent such authority is specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see HOP 9-1240).
  1. Approval of degree candidates.
  1. Catalog changes requiring approval of the UT System Board of Regents except to the extent that such authority is specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see HOP 9-1240).
  1. Reports of special and standing committees, including the committees of the General Faculty, with the exception of the General Faculty Rules and Governance Committee.
  1. The Council shall have the authority to conduct studies and inquiries, to initiate legislation, and to act upon any recommendations made to it by a college or school faculty, by a committee of the Faculty Council, or by a qualified petitioning group of the faculty.
  1. The Council may, by affirmative vote, delegate for any academic year the approval or disapproval of all candidates for degrees to the respective deans. Should this duty not be delegated to the deans, the Registrar shall furnish to the members of the faculty a complete list of the degree candidates each semester for recommendation. The Registrar, as soon as possible after each commencement, shall provide the Secretary of the General Faculty with a complete list of all successful degree candidates, and the Secretary shall insert the list in the Documents and Minutes of the General Faculty.
  1. All actions by the Faculty Council, excepting those requiring ratification by the General Faculty, constitute recommendations to the President. In matters that require approval at the UT Austin level, the recommendations are subject to the President's review and final action. In matters that require approval at the UT System level, the recommendations are subject to the President's review and transmission, with such recommendations as the President may deem appropriate, for review and approval by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Board of Regents (See sections E.6 and 7 below.)
  1. Committees
  1. The Council shall have the authority to create standing committees of the General Faculty. All voting members of the General Faculty, whether members of the Council or not, shall be eligible to serve on standing committees. The Chair of the Council shall appoint two elected faculty members of the Council to serve on each standing committee for one year. The other faculty members of these committees shall be chosen by the President from lists submitted by the Faculty Committee on Committees unless otherwise specified by the Council in the legislation establishing or modifying the committees. The number of names on the lists shall be at least two more than the number of places to be filled. Each General Faculty Standing Committee shall elect a Chair Elect or Vice Chair at the beginning of the fall semester. If the committee opts for a Vice Chair, the the Chair Elect shall be elected in the spring semester. The Chair Elect shall be elected no later than the last Friday in February. Faculty members of the committee whose terms of service extend through the following year or who are eligible for reappointment to the committee are eligible to be elected as chair elect. A chair elect whose term of service does not extend through the following academic year will be reappointed for an additional year. Individuals on phased retirement, or modified service shall not be eligible to serve on standing committees when the membership is elected. Committee Chairs shall submit written reports to the Council at least annually by April 1 on their committees' activities, with copies to the President and the Chair of the Faculty Committee on Committees. The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair and shall become Acting Chair if the Chair becomes incapacitated.
  1. Except where otherwise provided by the Council, terms of office for faculty members of standing committees shall be three years, commencing on the first class day of the fall semester, with one third of the faculty membership appointed each year. Faculty members are eligible for immediate reappointment to a new term of service unless they have just served six or more consecutive years, in which case they must be off the committee for at least one year before serving on that committee again.
  1. The Council shall have the authority to create special committees. The membership of these committees shall be appointed by the Chair unless otherwise provided by the Council in the legislation establishing or modifying the committees. All voting members of the General Faculty, whether members of the Council or not, shall be eligible to serve on special committees.
  1. The Council may refer any matter to an appropriate committee, or to a college or school faculty or administrator, for consideration.
  1. Membership
  1. Composition. The membership shall be divided into categories as follows:
  1. Elected faculty members with vote. The Council shall include sixty-two (62) or more voting members of the General Faculty with vote elected as follows:
  1. The faculty member who is elected to serve as the Secretary of the General Faculty shall be an ex officio member of the Council. The Secretary of the General Faculty shall also serve as Secretary of the Faculty Council.
  1. The faculty member who is elected to serve as Chair (or as Chair Elect in the absence of the Chair) of the Graduate Assembly shall be an ex officio member of the Council.
  1. Twenty (20) voting members of the General Faculty elected at large in odd-numbered years to serve two-year terms commencing on the first class day of the fall semester following their election, distributed as follows:
  1. Ten (10) from the group of professors and associate professors.
  2. Ten (10) from the group of assistant professors and instructors.
  1. Forty (40) or more voting members of the General Faculty elected in even-numbered years by the colleges and schools to serve two-year terms commencing on the first class day of the fall semester following their election (see Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM for an explanation of how seats are allocated among colleges and schools and how "free" seats may be given to smaller colleges and schools.)
  1. Administrative members ex officio without vote. The Council shall include ex officio members without vote as follows: President, Executive Vice President and Provost, all Vice Presidents, all Deans of colleges and schools, Dean of Continuing Education and Extended Education, Vice Provost of University of Texas Libraries, Senior Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Vice Provost and Director of Admissions, and Registrar. Administrative members ex officio without vote are not eligible for election as voting members.
  1. Student members with vote. The Council shall include seven (7) student members with vote as follows: three (3) students to be selected annually by the student government to serve until replaced, two (2) students to be selected annually by and from the Senate of College Councils to serve until replaced, and two (2) students to be selected annually by the Graduate Students' Assembly to serve until replaced. The candidates for and the holders of these positions

     

    1. must be bona fide, full-time students (that is, undergraduate students registered for at least 12 semester hours and law or graduate students registered for at least 9 semester hours, except that the President of the Graduate Student Assembly may serve if registered for at least 6 semester hours),
  1. if undergraduate students, must have an overall U. T. Austin grade point average of at least 2.50; if graduate students, must have an overall UT Austin Graduate School grade point average of at least 3.25;or if law students, must have a UT Austin Law School grade point average of at least 2.50, and
  1. if undergraduate students, must have completed at least 30 semester hours in residence at UT Austin. No students selected by the Student Government shall be from the same college or school, no students selected by the Senate of College Councils shall be from the same college or school, and no students selected by the Graduate Students’ Assembly shall be from the same graduate program. Student members shall take office on the date of the first meeting of the Faculty Council in the fall semester following their election.
  1. Staff members without vote. The Council shall include two (2) staff members without vote, one to be selected by members of the staff each year for a two-year term commencing on the first class day of the fall semester following his or her selection.
  1. Election of General Faculty Members. The By-Laws of the Faculty Council (see Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM) shall include the procedure for electing the voting members of the General Faculty.
  1. A vacancy shall be declared by the Secretary of the Council if an elected voting member of the General Faculty misses two meetings without an excuse in an academic year. The vacancy shall be filled by the next runner-up from the previous election. If the runner-up list is exhausted, a special election will be held to fill the vacancy.
  1. Organization

     

    1. Each year the voting members of the Council shall elect a Chair Elect from the elected faculty members who shall serve in that capacity for one year. At the end of the year the Chair Elect shall become Chair; and the Chair shall become Past Chair; if the Council term of a Chair or Past Chair would otherwise end, said individual shall be an ex officio member of the Council (with normal voting rights) for that year. The Chair shall preside over the Council. The Chair Elect shall serve as Vice Chair if necessary. The Past Chair shall represent the Council at inter-institutional activities and shall advise the Chair and Chair Elect on matters pertaining to Council business. The Chair (or the Chair Elect in the absence of the Chair) shall be a voting member of the Graduate Assembly and shall be a member of its agenda-setting group. The Chair and the Chair Elect shall represent UT Austin on the UT System Faculty Advisory Council. For the first election of officers to the Faculty Council only, the Chair shall be elected and serve for one year; the Chair Elect shall be elected at the same time and also serve for one year in that capacity before succeeding as Chair. If either the Chair or the Chair Elect should cease to be a member of the Faculty Council, the Council shall promptly elect a successor. If a Past Chair should cease to be a member of the Council or be unable to serve, the Chair shall designate an elected member of the Council to carry out the duties of the Past Chair.
  1. The Secretary of the General Faculty shall be ex officio Secretary of the Council.
  1. The functions of the Secretary, other than those listed elsewhere, shall be as follows:

     

    1. In relation to the Faculty Council, the Secretary shall send out all notices and communications, prepare the agenda, keep a record of attendance, record proceedings, receive (before presentation) copies of all matters to be presented, and preserve all records of the Council.
  1. In relation to the General Faculty and to the college and school faculties, the Secretary shall report recommendations of the Council and refer matters from the Council to the General Faculty or the college or school faculties.
  1. In relation to the President, the Secretary shall report actions taken by the Council and requiring approval of the President, the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, or the UT System Board of Regents; and certify the list of members elected to the Council.
  1. The Parliamentarian of the Faculty Council shall be appointed annually prior to the start of the fall semester by the Faculty Council Executive Committee and may be reappointed.
  1. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Council (a standing committee of the Faculty Council).

     

    1. Composition. The Chair, Chair Elect, and Past Chair of the Faculty Council; the Secretary of the Faculty Council; the Chair (or the Chair Elect in the absence of the Chair) of the Graduate Assembly; and three Faculty Council members elected by the voting members of the Faculty Council. Terms of service commence on the first class day of the fall semester; they are for one year (though renewable).
  1. Function. To facilitate the work of the Faculty Council and to see that the Council has the benefit of the work done by the standing committees and by the special committees of the Faculty Council; to plan the Council's agenda and other related activities; and to meet at least monthly with the President and his or her designated representatives in order to discuss and advise on educational, institutional, and faculty matters.
  1. Legislation

     

    1. The Secretary shall classify proposed legislation as

       

      1. of exclusive application and of primary interest only to a single college or school,
  1. of general interest to more than one college or school (but not for submission to the General Faculty), or
  1. of major interest (for submission to the General Faculty).

In addition, any of these three types of legislation may be classified as emergency legislation. The Council may, by vote, reclassify any legislation. Specific information on each type of legislation shall be included in the By-Laws of the Faculty Council (see Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM).

 

  1. Except in the case of emergency legislation, legislative matters classified as of general interest to more than one college or school (but not for submission to the General Faculty) or of exclusive application and of primary interest only to a single college or school shall be presented to the Faculty Council for discussion, consideration, or action, providing notice thereof has been circularized among its members on or before ten (10) calendar days prior to the meeting at which the matter is to be presented. The circularization procedure shall be described in the By-Laws of the Faculty Council (see Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM).
  1. Legislative matters classified as of major interest may be presented to the Faculty Council for discussion or consideration at any time. The Faculty Council shall not take action on such legislation for at least twenty-one (21) calendar days after its circularization, except in the case of legislation classified as emergency legislation. The circularization procedure shall be described in the By-Laws of the Faculty Council (Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM). Any legislation classified as of general interest to more than one college or school (but not for submission to the General Faculty), approved by the Council, but declared of major interest by the President, shall be submitted for vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council, with circularization as provided in paragraph 1 above.
  1. Proposed legislation may be initiated for consideration in the Faculty Council by written petition addressed to the Secretary by twenty-five (25) or more voting members of the General Faculty.
  1. In an emergency, a matter may be brought before the Council without prior notice if a majority of those voting consent.
  1. On matters within the province of UT Austin authority, the actions of the Faculty Council and of the General Faculty constitute recommendations to the President. All such matters shall be presented and discussed at an Executive Committee meeting with the President. Should the President be inclined to disapprove Council legislation, or to approve it only with substantive change, the matter will be returned by the President to the Council so that the Council will have an opportunity to consider the objections and to modify, withdraw, or reaffirm the original legislation before the President acts on it. Within a reasonable time, the President will inform the Council of the review that the matters have been given and of the disposition that has been made of each recommendation. The President shall also consult with the Faculty Council (or its Executive Committee) whenever the administration proposes to take action that significantly affects the faculty or the University's educational mission so that the Council has opportunity to respond prior to such action being taken.
  1. Should the President object to any recommendation of the Faculty Council or of the General Faculty that requires the approval of the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or the UT System Board of Regents, he or she shall make those objections known either directly to the Council or through the Executive Committee so that the objections may be answered and the Council may have an opportunity to modify, withdraw, or reaffirm the proposed legislation before it is transmitted by the President to the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The final version of the legislation that is approved by the Faculty Council or by the General Faculty shall be transmitted by the President to the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and, if necessary, to the UT System Board of Regents, along with such recommendations as the President and, if necessary, the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs may choose to make. At each meeting of the Council, the President, either directly or through the Secretary, shall report on all actions of the Council and General Faculty transmitted to the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and to the UT System Board of Regents and the action, if any, taken on each. Differences, if any, between what the Council or General Faculty recommend and what the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or the UT System Board of Regents approves shall be noted and explained by the President.
  1. Meetings

     

    1. Unless the Council determines otherwise, its regular meetings shall be held the third Monday of each month, with the first meeting of the year being held in September.
  1. Special meetings shall be called by the Chair of the Council at his or her own instance or at the request of five (5) or more members of the Council.
  1. Meetings of the Council are open to the public.
  1. At the invitation of the Chair or by a majority vote of the Council, when subjects relevant to them are under discussion, faculty, students, administrators, and staff who are not members of the Council may participate in the discussion but not vote.
  1. The presiding officer may control the use of tape recorders, cameras, and like devices as necessary to the orderly work of the Council.
  1. Resolutions and legislation may be introduced by any member of the Council, but all resolutions and legislation must have at least two sponsors, at least one of whom must be an elected faculty member.
  1. Rules of Procedure
  1. The rules of the General Faculty shall be followed by the Council as far as practicable. Any exceptions and provisions of order of business and rules of debate shall be included in the By-Laws of the Faculty Council (see Policy Memorandum 2-1120-PM).
  1. A quorum shall be a majority of the voting members of the Council.
  1. Records of the Council

     

    1. Minutes of the proceedings and other records of the Council shall be kept by the Secretary.

       

      1. The minutes shall be paged and indexed.
  1. Notices of actions by the President, the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the UT System Board of Regents on faculty legislation shall be included in the official Documents of the General Faculty.
  1. Copies of the Documents of the General Faculty shall be made available to the members of the Council, members of the General Faculty who desire them, the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, members of the UT System Board of Regents, and selected members of the non-academic staff who desire them.
  1. Bound volumes of the Documents of the General Faculty shall be kept in the office of the Secretary of the Faculty Council and the Texas Collection of the Barker Texas History Center.
  1. An annual report of the activities of the Council shall be prepared and presented to the General Faculty by the Secretary at the fall meeting of the General Faculty. It shall be made available in advance of the meeting. It shall consist of two parts as follows:

     

    1. A list of actions taken by the Council, classified according to type of action, such as approval, rejection, references to the General Faculty for review, etc. in chronological order within each class.
  1. A statement of educational policy to which the Council has given attention, or is giving attention, or which has been placed on the Council's calendar for future consideration.

 

Previously HOP 1.3