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Agenda Item FA 19-04

Submitted by the Academic Standards Committee

Procedure for Reorganization and/or Renaming of Academic Units

The item is submitted jointly by FA Academic Standards and Faculty Affairs Committees

01/10/19: Withdrawn

Introduction

This procedure is designed to set forth the process of collegial governance and consultation on issues of the organization, reorganization and renaming of academic units, in instances where the President or his/her designee is required to receive advice from the faulty, per the UNF constitution.  Article V, Section 5 of the UNF Constitution states, “Academic units may be established, altered, and/or transferred from one college to another, or abolished by the University Board of Trustees.  The normal procedures prior to such action by the Board shall include a recommendation by the President, who shall solicit the advice of members of the respective faculty and administrators, and the Faculty Association.”  The procedure described below shall be used as the mechanism by which the President receives advice from the members of the respective faculty and administrators, and the Faculty Association.  Furthermore, Article II of the Faculty Association Bylaws empowers the Faculty Association with jurisdiction over academic programs and organization, and therefore it shall administer this procedure, and ensure its veracity.

This procedure applies to academic units providing major programs of study, and does not apply to the Hicks Honors College or the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.  In addition, this policy concerns structural/organizational renaming, and shall not be necessary in the event of renaming of units that results from monetary contribution to the university.  Any proposal for the reorganization or renaming of an academic unit must include compelling evidence of the need for the proposed change, based on discipline specific conventions, size of programs/majors and/or complexity of the programs housed therein. For the purpose of this policy, creation of a new academic unit shall be considered a reorganization of the parent unit. 


Typical naming convention for academic units:

College : An academic unit comprised of primary academic units.

School :  A subunit of a college, and primary academic unit that offers multiple academic majors, including at least one graduate major.

Department: A subunit of a college and primary academic unit that offers at least one  academic major.

 

Procedure for reorganization/renaming proposals

 

  1.  A reorganizational/renaming proposal must be developed to explain both the nature of and the reason for reorganization/renaming.  
    • The proposal can be initiated at any level in the organization (i.e. faculty up or administration down). 
    •  The proposal must contain a clear written explanation of the rationale behind the proposal, as well as any supporting documentation. 
    •  The proposal must clearly present the monetary impact on the university in either cost savings or additional funds required. 
    •  The proposal must identify the party requesting the change. 
    •  The proposal must provide a list of all affected academic units and their administrators. 
    •  Submission of the proposal must be made electronically to the Faculty Affairs Committee, who shall confirm that the contents of the proposal meet requirements, and then distribute the proposal, via email, to the FA President and Secretary, affected academic units and their administrators.  
     
  2.  Following the submission of a reorganization/renaming proposal, a vote of support (“yes” in favor of the change, “no” in opposition to the change, or “Abstain”) of the proposed reorganization/renaming shall be taken of the full-time faculty members of the affected primary academic unit(s) within 30 calendar days: 
    •  The vote will be administered by Faculty Affairs Committee and conducted electronically, by means of a voting mechanism that ensures anonymity, while also ensuring that each faculty member only gets one vote. 
    •  Faculty Affairs Committee will report the vote to the unit faculty and its administrators as “YES-NO-ABSTAIN” along with an account of the total unit membership.   
     
  3.  Following the vote from the primary unit(s), the administrator(s) of the primary unit shall produce a letter of his/her support or opposition, which must address any resources or funding changes necessitated by the proposed change as well as identifying the source of any additional funds needed. The administrator of the primary unit(s) shall produce these materials electronically to the Secretary of the Faculty Association and the Chair of the Faculty Affairs committee within 14 calendar days. 
  4.  Following the vote from the primary unit(s), and receipt of the primary unit administrator letter(s), Faculty Affairs Committee will inform all full-time faculty members of the college of the voting results and provide copies of the letter from the unit administrator(s) prior to a college-wide vote.  The college faculty will have 30 calendar days from receipt of the materials to review the proposal, voting results and primary unit administrator letter(s).   
  5.  After 30 calendar days, a vote will be held of the full-time college-wide faculty.  Votes shall be reported as “YES-NO-ABSTAIN” along with an account of the total unit membership.  Results of the vote will be made public to the college faculty and administrators. 
    •  The college-wide vote will be administered by the Faculty Affairs Committee and conducted electronically, by means of a voting mechanism that must ensure anonymity, while also ensuring that each faculty member only gets one vote. 
    •  Faculty Affairs Committee will report the vote to the college faculty and its Dean as “YES-NO-ABSTAIN” along with an account of the total unit membership.    
     
  6.  Following the college-wide vote, the Dean shall produce a letter of his/her support or opposition, which must address any resources or funding changes necessitated by the proposed change as well as identifying the source of any additional funds needed. The Dean shall produce these materials electronically to the Secretary of the Faculty Association and the Chair of the Faculty Affairs committee within 14 calendar days. 
    •  Upon receipt of these materials, the Faculty Affairs Committee shall audit the proposal, voting results and letters to ensure that the correct procedure has been followed before voting it through to the Faculty Association Executive Committee.  The Faculty Affairs Committee may not block the progress of a proposal package for any other reason than procedural noncompliance.    
     
  7.  The Faculty Affairs Committee shall then forward the proposal and related materials to the Faculty Association Executive Committee for placement of the item on the Faculty Association general meeting agenda. 
    •  The Faculty Association Executive Committee shall review the audit to ensure that the correct procedure has been followed, and may not block progress for any other reason.   
     
  8.  The proposal and all related materials shall then be presented to the Faculty Association for a general vote of approval. 
  9.  Following the Faculty Association vote, the proposal and all related materials shall be forwarded to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, including documentation of the Faculty Association voting result. 
  10.  The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall then forward the proposal and all recommendations and vote counts, along with his/her letter of support or opposition to the President.  
  11.  The President shall then make a recommendation to the University Board of Trustees on the proposed reorganization/renaming after considering all of the information gathered through the proposal process. 
  12.  Following an approval by the University Board of Trustees, the affected academic unit(s) will be notified and appropriate changes to the organizational description within the unit Bylaws/Operating Procedures must be made.  

Withdrawing a reorganization proposal  

A proposal for the consideration of creation of a new academic unit, renaming of an academic unit or reorganization of an academic or units may be withdrawn at any time, but only by the original submitter(s) of the proposal.

 

Timely Execution of the process

At no point in the process will a faculty group or administrator be permitted to stall the process by failure to vote, or produce a letter of support or opposition.   Failure to vote or provide the necessary documentation of support or opposition in the prescribed time frame will be construed as a vote/letter of abstinence, and such documentation will be recorded in the supporting materials of the proposal.