Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-1120-PM

By-Laws of the Faculty Council

POLICY MEMORANDUM  

The University of Texas at Austin
Executive Sponsor: Executive Vice President and Provost
December 17, 2009

 


 

HOP 2-2110 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures contains information regarding the Faculty Council. The following rules and regulations of a procedural nature constitute the by-laws of the Faculty Council.

 

  1. Election of Members
  1. The schedule for Council elections shall be as follows, with election of all-University representatives (those elected at-large by the General Faculty) in odd-numbered years and election of college or school representatives in even-numbered years:

All-University (nominating) primary election -- second week in March

 

All-University final election -- first week in April

 

College or school (nominating) primary election -- second week in March

 

College or school final election -- first week in April

 

  1. The electors in all-University elections shall be the voting members of the General Faculty. There shall be just one constituency in the primary and final election of all-University representatives, but this constituency shall vote on two separate panels:
  1. a panel made up of instructors and assistant professors, and
  1. a panel made up of associate professors and professors.
  1. The electors in each college or school election shall be the voting members of that college or school.
  1. All candidates, both all-University and college or school, shall be voting members of the General Faculty.
  1. Elected members shall take office on the first class day of the fall semester following their election.
  1. No elected member shall serve for more than two successive terms.
  1. Faculty members on phased retirement, or modified service shall not be eligible to serve on the Faculty Council.
  1. Vacancies shall be filled from the original panel in the order of the preferential ranking in the election of the member whose seat is being filled. For an elective position, either two consecutive unexcused absences or a leave of absence for more than one semester shall create a vacancy. A member may have an absence excused by contacting the Office of the Secretary.
  1. The Chair of the Faculty Council shall inform the Secretary of the General Faculty of any vacancy as soon as possible after the vacancy has been created.
  1. Distribution of Seats Among Colleges and Schools. The number of voting members shall determine the number of seats given to a college or school, provided, however, that a college or school that would not be entitled to a seat on the basis of proportional representation, shall, nevertheless, be given one "free" seat. The distribution shall be made in two steps:
  1. Ascertain those colleges or schools with fewer voting members than the quotient obtained by dividing 40 into the total number of voting members of the General Faculty. One seat shall then be allotted to each such college or school.
  1. Apportion 40 seats among those colleges and schools with enough voting members to receive at least one seat by apportionment. The quota for a seat by apportionment shall be the quotient from dividing 40 into the sum of the number of voting members in such colleges and schools. The number of seats allotted to each such college or school shall be equal to the number of times its faculty is the multiple of the prescribed quota, the undistributed balance of the 40 seats to be allotted to the colleges or schools having the largest remainders.

A reapportionment of the college and school seats shall be made in early spring of even-numbered years. The Secretary of the General Faculty shall make the apportionment applying the method prescribed above.

 

  1. Method of Election. All-University elections and elections for colleges or schools having two or more elective representatives shall use the election method prescribed below. Colleges or schools having only one elective representative shall use a method determined by the Secretary of the General Faculty. All voting shall be by secret ballot, either electronically or by mail.
  1. Nominating or primary election. In an election in which one or two seats are to be filled, a voter shall nominate in the primary election no more than one candidate. In an election in which more than two seats are to be filled, the voter shall nominate no more than two candidates. (In the selection of the all-University representatives, up to two names chosen from a group consisting of assistant professors and instructors with voting membership in the General Faculty and up to two names from a group consisting of associate professors and professors shall be nominated by each voter.) The persons receiving the highest number of nominations shall be the candidates for the final election. At least two names shall be presented for each place, unless, in the judgment of the Secretary and consistent with fairness and the spirit of these rules, there is a practical reason for a different number.
  1. Final election. The following preferential voting process, the Hare-Clark System, a version of the Hare System, shall be followed in the final election of all-University representatives.
  1. The final ballot and the casting of the vote
  1. On the final ballot the names of the nominees shall be either in alphabetical order or in random order (that is, with all orderings equally likely). In all-University elections there shall be two separate and distinct ballots, one for candidates nominated from the group of instructors and assistant professors, and the other for the candidates nominated from the group of associate professors and professors. Each voter shall record his or her choices for the positions to be filled in order of preference, the number "1" indicating first choice, "2" second choice, and so on, through all of the voters' choices.
  1. Determining the results
  1. Electoral quota. An electoral quota, q, shall be computed as follows: If n denotes the number of ballots cast and p denotes the number of positions to be filled, then q shall be the greatest whole number (positive integer) not exceeding (n/(p + 1)) + 1. That is, if (n/(p + 1)) + 1 is a whole number, then that whole number is q; otherwise, q is (n/(p + 1)) + 1 rounded down to a whole number.
  1. Initial step. The initial vote for a candidate shall be the number of first choices for the candidate.
  1. Any candidate whose vote equals or exceeds the electoral quota, q, shall be elected. If p of the positions are filled after this step, the process is complete.
  1. Subsequent steps. If the process is not complete at the end of the preceding step, then it shall continue by repeatedly transferring ballots (votes) among candidates according to rules (e) and (f) which follow. When rule (e) is applied, the weight of each transferred ballot will be decreased as described in (e). Thus, after the initial step, at which each ballot has a weight of one, a candidate's vote total need not be a whole number.

If the process continues beyond the initial step, it will be complete when either (i) all of the positions have been filled by transfers using (e), or (ii) the number of candidates who have not been eliminated using (f) equals the number of positions to be filled, at which point the candidates not eliminated are elected.

 

  1. Transfers from elected candidates. After any step in which a candidate has been elected with v (q or more) votes, determine the surplus, s = v - q, of votes for that candidate. (If v = q, then proceed to the next paragraph.) Multiply the weight of each of the candidate's ballots by s/v, and then transfer each such ballot to the candidate who is the next choice on the ballot. If the next candidate has been either elected or eliminated, go to the next choice, and so on until, if possible, reaching a candidate who has been neither elected nor eliminated; then add the weight of the ballot to that candidate's total vote.

When the preceding step has been completed for each previously elected candidate, return to step (c) if any candidate is newly elected, and otherwise go to step (f).

 

  1. Transfers to eliminate candidates. After the initial step or any application of step (e) in which no candidate is newly elected, the remaining candidate with the least number of votes shall be eliminated. (In the event of two or more candidates with the same least number of votes, use (g) which follows.) Each of the eliminated candidate's ballots shall be transferred to the candidate who is the next choice on the ballot; if the next choice has been either elected or eliminated, go to the next choice, and so on until, if possible, reaching a candidate who has been neither elected nor eliminated; then add the weight of the ballot to that candidate's total vote. Now return to step (c).
  1. Ties. If a tie occurs at any point in the process, the choice shall be made in such a way that the candidates who are tied have equal chances of being selected.
  1. Preferential ranking. For the purpose of filling vacancies, the preferential ranking of candidates not elected shall be the reverse of the order in which the candidates were eliminated in the election process, that is, the last candidate eliminated shall be the first preferential choice, and so on.
  1. Election Officials
  1. The Secretary of the General Faculty shall be responsible for conducting elections and shall announce the results to the General Faculty.
  1. The General Faculty Rules and Governance Committee shall make the final ruling in any election dispute or on any election matter not covered by these rules.
  1. Legislation
  1. The notice advising members of the Faculty Council of a matter to be discussed, in addition to stating in substance the motion, if any, to be offered, shall include a summary of data which, if studied before the meeting, will contribute to a more intelligent understanding and analysis of the issues involved. The Secretary shall use the following form in sending out documents for the consideration of the Council:
  1. Caption, descriptive of content.
  1. Classification and notice of procedure.
  1. The report, which is to consist of:
  1. date of adoption by recommending body, if any;
  1. if a catalog change is being proposed, citation of catalogue with page(s) and line(s) to be changed;
  1. the recommendations;
  1. the reasons for the proposal.
  1. Statement of the protest procedure, if appropriate.
  1. Date of filing the report or recommendations with the Secretary.
  1. Date of distribution.
  1. Proposed legislation shall be classified by the Secretary for handling as follows:
  1. When circumstances warrant, any of the three types of legislation described below may also be classified as emergency legislation. Except for legislation that is also classified as major [see section (iv) below], emergency legislation approved by the Council may be sent directly to the President, UT System, and, if necessary, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for adoption without first being presented to the General Faculty. It shall be put into operation immediately upon approval by the Faculty Council. Should emergency legislation later be disapproved by UT System or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, it shall cease to be in operation.
  1. Legislation adopted by a college or school faculty and of exclusive application and of preliminary interest only to a single college or school shall be classified as exclusive legislation. Exclusive legislation may be approved by the Faculty Council by no-protest procedure, provided no protest is received from a member within seven (7) calendar days after notification, excluding official University holidays.
  1. The notification for no-protest procedure shall include information about deadlines and the procedure for filling objections (e.g., "if no objection is filled with the Secretary within seven (7) calendar days from the date of circularization notification, excluding official University holidays, the legislation proposed will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If objection is filed within the prescribed period, the proposed legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting.")
  1. Should a protest be received, the legislation shall be brought before a formal session of the Council.
  1. Should the legislation be approved by no-protest procedure, it shall be forwarded to the President, and, if appropriate, to UT System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for action without being submitted first to the General Faculty.
  1. Legislation of general interest to more than one college or school (but not for submission to the General Faculty) shall be classified as general legislation. General legislation may be approved by the Faculty Council by no-protest procedure, provided no protest is received from a member within fourteen (14) calendar days after notification, excluding official University holidays.
  1. The notification for no-protest procedure shall include information about deadlines and the procedure for filing objections (e.g., "If no objection is filed with the Secretary within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of circularization notification, excluding official University holidays, the legislation proposed will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If objection is filed within the prescribed period, the proposed legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting.")
  1. Should a protest be received, the legislation shall be brought before a formal session of the Council.
  1. General legislation approved by the Council may be sent directly to the President, and, if appropriate, to UT System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for adoption without first being presented to the General Faculty. The President has the power to change the classification from general to major legislation for fourteen (14) working days following Council action, excluding official University holidays.
  1. Legislation submitted to the Faculty Council that must subsequently be submitted to the entire General Faculty for adoption before being transmitted to the President, and, if appropriate, to UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for adoption shall be classified as major legislation. Once the Faculty Council has acted on major legislation, affirmatively or negatively, the legislation must be submitted to the General Faculty for final action.
  1. Major legislation approved by the Faculty Council shall be sent to the General Faculty by the Secretary with notification that it will be presented to the President, and, if appropriate, to UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval as General Faculty legislation unless signed protests, in writing, with reasons, have been received by the Secretary from twenty-five (25) voting members of the General Faculty within twenty-one (21) calendar days after notification, excluding official University holidays. If sufficient signed protests are received, the legislation shall be presented to the General Faculty for discussion at a meeting, which shall be held as early as practicable, and in no case later than thirty (30) days after the protest has been made.
  1. Major legislation not approved or else fundamentally amended by the Faculty Council shall be sent to the General Faculty by the Secretary with notification that if protests of this Council action are received by the Secretary from twenty-five (25) voting members of the General Faculty within twenty-one (21) calendar days after notification, excluding official University holidays, the legislation shall be presented to the General Faculty for a decision at a meeting, which shall be held as early as practicable and in no case later than thirty (30) calendar days, excluding official University holidays, after the protest has been made.
  1. If legislation is being referred to the General Faculty because of a protest from a qualified group of the General Faculty, the Secretary shall so report and attach to the Council recommendations the statement of the protesting group.
  1. In the event that the protested legislation is not considered at a General Faculty meeting due to lack of a quorum, the legislation shall be returned to the Faculty Council for action. The decision of the Council will be final. The signed protestors of the legislation shall receive advance notice of this meeting and be given the opportunity to present arguments to the Council. If the Council so chooses, it may call a second meeting of the General Faculty to consider the protested legislation.
  1. Unless it is also classified as emergency legislation, major legislation shall not be submitted to the General Faculty by the no-protest procedure during the months from June through August.
  1. Before it can be presented to the Faculty Council for action, each piece of non-emergency general and major legislation must be studied by a body of General Faculty members, and that body must report its findings and/or recommendations to the Council. Legislation that has not previously been studied by a body of the General Faculty will be referred by the Secretary to such a body for study before it is presented to the Council for action.
  1. Rules of Procedure
  1. A request for a record vote shall be granted only if made by as many as three members of the Council.
  1. Questions of jurisdiction arising between the Faculty Council and the General Faculty shall be referred to the General Faculty Rules and Governance Committee for determination.
  1. Questions of interpretation of rules of procedure shall be determined by the General Faculty Rules and Governance Committee.
  1. The order of business shall be as follows unless the Executive Committee or the Council shall otherwise determine:
  1. Report of the Secretary
  1. Approval of Minutes
  1. Communication with the President
  1. Comments by the President
  1. Questions to the President

Involved questions of major importance and questions the answers to which may require preparation of factual material should be submitted in writing to the Secretary for transmittal to the President at least one week before the date of the meeting at which the questions are to be considered.

 

  1. Report of the Chair
  1. Report of the Chair Elect
  1. Special Orders
  1. Petitions
  1. Unfinished business
  1. Reports of the General Faculty, Colleges and Schools and Committees:
  1. General Faculty
  1. College or School Faculties (in chronological order of filing)
  1. Standing Committees (in chronological order of filing)
  1. Special Committees (in chronological order of filing)
  1. New business
  1. Matters presented by the President
  1. Matters presented by the Chair
  1. Matters presented by elected faculty members
  1. Matters presented by administrative members
  1. Matters presented by student members
  1. Matters presented by staff members
  1. Announcements and comments
  1. Questions to the Chair
  1. Adjournment
  1. If any parliamentary ruling by the presiding officer is appealed, a majority or tie vote sustains the decision of the Chair.

 

 

Previously PM 1.301