Departmental Bylaws (Operating Procedures)
Academic Unit Bylaws/Operating Procedures Items List
Faculty Affairs Committee, Spring 2019
The following document was created to assist faculty in modifying existing (or creating new) "bylaws/operating procedures" for the governance of academic units.
Article V, Section 2 the UNF Constitution:The particular governance mechanisms employed by an academic unit, the terms of office of academic administrators, and the manner in which academic administrators are selected and removed shall be determined through consultations between the appropriate faculty and the President or the President's designee and shall be set forth in the unit's bylaws/operating procedures, subject to the limitations prescribed below. Prior to the final approval by the President, the unit's bylaws/operating procedures shall be adopted by the faculty of the academic unit and reviewed by any higher-level academic unit and the Faculty Association. Upon approval, each academic unit's bylaws/operating procedures shall be filed with the Secretary of the Faculty Association for inclusion in the Academic Policy Manual.
The term "bylaws/operating procedures" refers to the policies by which academic units define membership, leadership/management, and carry out the business of operating as an academic unit. These bylaws/operating procedures should not be confused with "evaluation guidelines" which are developed by the unit faculty to aid administrators in the consistent evaluation of faculty performance. There should be nothing in a unit's bylaws/operating procedures that deals with matters of employment or evaluation.
Nothing in this document implies any restriction on the rights and responsibilities either of the university's administration or the faculty as these rights and responsibilities are specified in UNF governance documents, typically the UNF Constitution, the UNF-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, the UNF Policies and Regulations, and the UNF Faculty Handbook.
Bylaws/Operating Procedures of an academic unit typically should:
- Describe the name of the unit
- Describe the placement of the unit in the overall university structure
- Describe the purpose of the unit
- Describe the members/constituent groups/academic sub-units within the unit, and the qualifications/attributes of members
- Define regular meetings/activities that pertain to the entire unit membership (as opposed to sub-units, which might require their own bylaws/operating procedures defining such activities in addition to those of the superior unit). Items to consider may include:
- Meeting frequency/Standing rules and procedures
- Conditions for quorum and proxies
- Responsibilities of the general voting membership (standing commitees (charges and rules), councils, boards, elections/nomination, procedures, administrative, budgetary, ad-hoc committee processes)
- Meeting record (responsibility to record minutes)
- Describe the administrative structure of the unit:
- Unit leader Title (i.e. chair, director, dean)
- Unit leader - preferred qualifications
- Typical Unit leader Responsibilities duties and authority
- Term of Service, retention for additional terms
- Procedures for a vote of no confidence
- Temporary leadership assignment in absence of the unit leader and/or rules for interim leadership assignment
- Selection process in the event of vacancy (i.e. preferred makeup of a search committee)
- Administrative Faculty positions within the unit, not defined as leadership of an academic sub-unit (eg. Associate Deans, Program Coordinators, etc.)
- Describe all academic sub units of the unit
- Describe the term after which bylaws/operating procedures must be amended, and/or renewed
- Define and describe the process of reviewing and amending bylaws/operating procedures
FA Approval of bylaws/operating procedures:
- Omission of any of the items described above shall not necessarily constitute grounds for FA not to approve a unit's bylaws/operating procedures.
- When FA is reviewing bylaws/operating procedures, potential issues which could raise concern, and possibly prevent approval might include:
- Definition/description or omission of items described above that endanger the rights of faculty in shared governance (a reviewer's personal disagreement with the manner in which a unit has voted to administer itself is not grounds for disapproval by FA)
- Conflict between the bylaws/operating procedures and the CBA (matters of employment such as annual review, promotion, leave, grievance, etc.)
- Conflict between the bylaws/operating procedures and the UNF Constitution (i.e. enumerating powers outside of the academic unit or inconsistent with the administrative authority above the unit)
- Conflict with a superior academic unit (i.e. departmental bylaws in conflict with college bylaws/operating procedures, in which case college bylaws/operating procedures supersede)
- Conflict with existing university Policies and Regulations, or local, state and federal law.
- Following FA approval, bylaws/operating procedures are subject to review and approval by Academic Affairs and the President.
Approved Department/College Bylaws