Bylaws of the Carleton College Faculty
The Bylaws of the Faculty describe the procedures by which the faculty fulfills its responsibility for formulating and implementing the educational policy of the College and its other responsibilities for working efficiently and effectively with other constituencies of the College. Authority and ultimate management of all operations of the College rest with the Carleton Board of Trustees, as indicated by Minnesota Statutes Section 317A.201. In its statement of Board responsibilities, the Carleton Board of Trustees has delegated responsibility for academic affairs to the President and the faculty.
Membership on the Faculty
The Carleton College Faculty consists of those persons, and only those persons, authorized to teach on campus as instructors of record. The College makes faculty appointments and promotions as described in the Faculty Handbook in the section titled “Faculty Appointments.” Certain staff members also hold faculty rank, enabling them to serve occasionally as instructors of record.
A. The following persons are entitled to vote at faculty meetings and in faculty elections:
- tenured and tenure-track faculty members, both full-time and part-time, except those serving in administrative positions without teaching duties;
- PEAR faculty members, both full-time and part-time;
- faculty members on continuing appointment, both full-time and part-time;
- any other faculty members, as defined in Article I, during terms in which they teach at least one six-credit class (or the equivalent).
B. As stated in Robert’s Rules of Order, the faculty member who presides over the faculty meeting shall vote only when that vote would make a difference in the result, i.e., to create or break a tie.
C. No proxy votes are allowed.
D. Unless otherwise noted, the winner(s) of each election will be determined by Borda count method, provided that any quorum requirement is satisfied.
Officers of the Faculty
A. President of the Faculty
The faculty shall elect a President of the Faculty, who shall be a tenured member of the faculty or one on continuing appointment in PEAR. The duties of the president of the faculty shall include (1) presiding at meetings of the faculty; (2) serving as an ex officio member, with vote, of the Faculty Affairs Committee; (3) preparing the agenda for faculty meetings; (4) at the invitation of the president of the College, serving as a member of the College’s Administrative Council; (5) facilitating communication between faculty members and others in various public and private matters; (6) serving as a representative of the faculty in various public and private venues; (7) serving to facilitate communication between the faculty and the Board of Trustees by attending trustee meetings with the privilege of the floor but without vote.
The faculty shall elect the President of the Faculty to a three-year term by mail or electronic ballot majority vote during the Winter Term preceding the Fall-Term commencement of the term of office. Every faculty member who will be tenured or on continuing appointment in PEAR and on campus during all three terms of the first year in office is eligible to be elected President of the Faculty.
B. Secretary of the Faculty
The Faculty Affairs Committee shall appoint a Secretary of the Faculty, who shall record and publish the minutes of meetings of the faculty and preserve permanent copies of those minutes and other relevant documents distributed before or during faculty meetings.
C. Parliamentarian of the Faculty
The president of the faculty shall appoint a member of the faculty to serve as Parliamentarian of the Faculty during faculty meetings. The parliamentarian shall give interpretations of procedure when requested to do so by the presiding officer, or on his or her own volition. Any interpretation by the parliamentarian shall hold unless it is overruled by a two-thirds majority of those faculty members present and voting.
Administrative Functions of the Faculty
A. Adoption of Resolutions
The faculty shall be the final on-campus voting authority on all matters of educational policy. The faculty may adopt resolutions originating from other sources, such as its own and other College committees.
B. Maintenance of the Faculty Handbook
The faculty shall be the final on-campus authority for the content of the Faculty Handbook sections on “Appointment to the Faculty” and “Policies and Procedures Concerning Terms of Appointment and Tenure.” All proposed changes to the content of the “Appointment to the Faculty” and “Policies and Procedures Concerning Terms of Appointment and Tenure” sections of the Faculty Handbook shall be presented to the faculty by the Faculty Affairs Committee.
C. Faculty Meetings
At its meetings, the faculty hears reports and announcements from its committees and from representatives of other College constituencies, adopts resolutions, debates proposals and issues facing the College that affect educational policy or faculty life at the College, and may conduct elections (see section IV.D.4).
D. Membership on Committees
The faculty’s work is done principally through its own elected committees and through its elected and appointed representation on other College committees.
- The faculty shall elect members to the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Education and Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Faculty Grants Committee, the College Council, the Budget Committee, and the Faculty Judiciary Committee.
- Through its Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC), the faculty shall appoint members to other standing College committees (including, but not limited to, the Commencement and Honorary Degrees Committee and the Academic Standing Committee) in a manner determined by the FAC.
- The Faculty Affairs Committee may also appoint and the faculty may also elect committees and representatives to committees created for limited and clearly specified purposes not falling under the jurisdiction of standing committees.
- The faculty delegates the method of election of faculty representatives to all committees to the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC). Normally nominations and elections will be conducted on line, using a secure balloting system. The election administrator will be the chair of the FAC or, in her/his absence, another member of that committee. Only members of the FAC will have access to voting data. If the FAC decides that circumstances warrant, elections and/or nominations may be carried out at faculty meetings using paper ballots. In all cases the confidentiality of voters will be preserved to the fullest extent compatible with the election process. The totals in faculty elections are not made public.
E. Honorary Degrees
Upon recommendation of its Commencement and Honorary Degrees Committee, the faculty shall recommend to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees candidates to be awarded honorary degrees.
- Normally, a candidate recommended for an honorary master’s or doctorate degree will have some connection with Carleton. However, one honorary degree each year may be awarded to an individual of exceptional merit who does not have a Carleton connection. Honorary master’s and doctorate degrees will normally be awarded at Commencement and never in absentia.
- The faculty may recommend that a student in good standing at the College who dies before graduation be awarded an honorary B.A. degree.
- Faculty members will hold the names of persons recommended for honorary degrees in strictest confidence until the College has publicly announced these names.
F. Bachelor of Arts Degrees
The faculty, through its Academic Standing Committee, shall consider all candidates for undergraduate degrees and recommend to the Board of Trustees all who have complied with the requirements of the College for their degrees.
A. Normally, the president of the faculty presides over meetings of the faculty. If the president is absent, the chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee presides. If that chair is also absent, the president’s designee presides.
B. Administrative officers may attend any faculty meeting with the privilege of the floor but with the privilege of voting only as stated in Article II.A.1. above. Student members of the Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC) may attend that part of a faculty meeting during which pending ECC business is discussed and voted upon, with the privileges of the floor but without vote. Other students may petition the ECC co-chairs for permission to attend that part of faculty meetings during which pending ECC business is discussed and voted upon, with privileges of the floor but without vote. Other persons may attend faculty meetings as guests at the discretion of the presiding officer.
C. The faculty ordinarily meets at 4:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month during the academic year, unless the first Monday falls within a recognized vacation period. The president of the faculty may change the day and time of a faculty meeting, may call special faculty meetings, or may cancel any regularly scheduled faculty meeting, upon 24 hours prior notice. If one-tenth of the voting faculty requests by written petition that a special faculty meeting be held, or that a canceled meeting be reinstated, the president of the faculty shall call the meeting.
D. The president of the faculty may call special meetings of the faculty with as much advance notice as possible, but in no case in less than twenty-four hours. The call for a special meeting may be electronic (e.g. email) or both electronic and by campus mail and shall include a statement of the purpose of the meeting.
E. The president of the faculty shall give notice of a regular faculty meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. This notice shall include an agenda as prepared by the president of the faculty. It shall also include the minutes of the previous faculty meeting and supporting documents for items on the meeting agenda.
F. Any member of the faculty may request permission for any item to be placed on the agenda for a future meeting by making a written (including email) request to the president of the faculty.
G. The Faculty Affairs Committee may act for the faculty when immediate action is necessary and a meeting of the faculty inexpedient. Any such action is to be reported to the faculty promptly, and is to be considered the decision of the faculty unless the faculty acts by a simple majority to reverse it within ten days after such action.
H. No unannounced proposal may be voted on at a faculty meeting unless it is (1) of an emergency nature and put on the agenda by a unanimous vote; or (2) clearly germane or indispensable to a measure or matter already contained in the agenda for the meeting.
I. Faculty members of a College committee, task force, or working group may offer a motion to the faculty to ascertain the sense of the faculty on a matter under their group’s consideration; but, the decision of the faculty on the motion is not binding upon the faculty members of that constituency.
J. Proposals for action at a regular faculty meeting shall ordinarily be circulated to members of the faculty and others who will attend the meeting at least 48 hours before the meeting at which they will be presented. In situations where such circulation would be undesirable (such as a proposed slate for recipients of honorary degrees), the president of the faculty is empowered to make an exception to this rule.
K. Ordinarily, proposals presented are passed by a simple majority vote. However, any faculty member may move for a 2/3 approval of any proposal. In order to be in force, this motion must be seconded and passed by a simple majority.
L. Resolutions to the faculty from the Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC) shall be presented at two faculty meetings (they need not be successive meetings) and not voted upon at the first of these faculty meetings. Any ECC resolution amended on the floor of the faculty meeting must be returned to ECC for deliberation before it can be submitted to the faculty meeting for a vote; but, this requirement does not apply to minor changes in wording accepted by ECC members present at the faculty meeting.
M. During its meeting, the faculty may, by normal parliamentary procedure, postpone or table proposals.
N. Any faculty member wishing to make an announcement at a faculty meeting should contact the president of the faculty at least twenty-four hours before the meeting is to be held with a request and description of the proposed announcement. The faculty president retains discretion to permit or deny the proposed announcement.
O. Regular attendance at faculty meetings is important and encouraged. While such attendance is optional, participation in the academic governance of the College is a responsibility of each faculty member.
P. A presiding officer and one-fourth of the voting faculty shall constitute a quorum for a faculty meeting. In the absence of a quorum, the faculty at its meeting may hold discussions and hear reports and announcements, but the only business that may be conducted at the meeting is to take measures to obtain a quorum, to fix the time at which to adjourn, and to adjourn.
Q. Ordinarily, voting in faculty meetings shall be by voice vote. Upon request of any member of the faculty, a secret ballot shall be taken. Members of the Faculty Affairs Committee who are present at the meeting shall conduct this ballot.
R. When not inconsistent with these Bylaws, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall dictate the parliamentary procedures at faculty meetings.
S. It is the responsibility of individual members of the faculty to abide by the proposals adopted at a faculty meeting.
Elections and Appointments to Committees
The Faculty Affairs Committee conducts all faculty elections and makes and monitors faculty appointments to all permanent and temporary College committees. The Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) shall resolve all situations concerning elections and appointments that are not covered in this Article of the Bylaws.
A. General Principles
- Faculty members elected or appointed to a committee, except those serving in an ex officio capacity on that committee, shall be tenured, tenure-track, continuing, or PEAR members of the faculty whose primary responsibility is not administrative. If a faculty member on continuing appointment wishes to serve on appointive committees in a faculty capacity, that person should make this known to the Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee and will then be eligible for appointment.
- Terms of service on a committee expire at the conclusion of an academic year, at which time newly elected or appointed members take office.
- Ordinarily, faculty members are not expected to serve on more than one elected or appointed committee.
- Normally, a faculty member on leave shall not serve on a College committee.
- A faculty member elected or appointed to a committee will be expected to serve during the term of membership except for absences of at most one term per academic year. The FAC will make appointments, if the FAC decides it is necessary, to fill one-term faculty vacancies on committees.
- A faculty member elected or appointed to a committee who takes a two-term or longer leave of absence from the committee in one academic year shall resign from the committee or (with approval of the FAC) take a leave from the committee.
- The FAC shall conduct elections or make appointments, as it deems necessary, to fill unexpired terms and leaves of absence it approves in the midst of terms of service.
- Faculty members in their first year of employment at the College shall not serve on any elected or appointed committee.
- No faculty member may serve simultaneously on two elected standing committees, which are defined below in Article VI.B.1.
- Generally speaking (with two exceptions to (b) below, in Articles VI.B.5. and VI.B.6. below), faculty members eligible for election or appointment to a standing committee for a given year are those tenured, tenure-track, continuing, or PEAR faculty members who (a) will be on campus for at least two terms in that year and (b) are not currently serving on an elected standing committee other than the Faculty Judiciary Committee.
- Ex officio members of a committee shall be full voting members of the committee.
- A quorum for a committee meeting consists of a presiding officer plus one-half of the regular members of the committee.
B. Elected Committees
- The elected standing committees are the President of the Faculty, the Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC), the Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC), the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC), the Faculty Grants Committee, the College Council, the Budget Committee, and the Faculty Judiciary Committee (FJC).
- The Faculty Curriculum and Planning Committee (FCPC) is defined as the provost and vice president for academic affairs, an associate provost of the College, and the elected faculty members of the ECC.
- As in Section IV.D.3, The faculty may create ad hoc elected committees for limited and clearly specified purposes not falling under the jurisdiction of standing committees.
- In any year, the election of faculty members to standing committees will be held in the order the committees are listed in Section B.1. of this Article.
- No term of service of at least one year on the ECC, FAC, Faculty Grants Committee, College Council, or Budget Committee may be succeeded by another term of service on any of these committees without an interval of at least one year, with one exception: such a term of service may be succeeded immediately by a term of service as President of the Faculty.
- FPC members may serve two or more consecutive terms on the FPC, but may not be elected to another committee after completing service on the FPC without an interval of at least one year.
- No faculty member shall stand for election to the FPC who plans to interrupt the first two years of service on the committee with a leave or off-campus program.
C. Appointed Committees
The Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) appoints faculty members to the College committees made up of students, faculty, and staff members. The FAC shall maintain a list of these committees and update the list each year. The list shall be made available to the faculty through print or electronic means.
Faculty Membership on Elected Committees
A. President of the Faculty
For a description of duties, qualifications, method of election, and term of office, see Article III.A. above.
B. Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC)
- General purpose: To oversee the professional growth of the faculty from the time of hiring throughout their professional careers. Especially important, the committee is charged with monitoring third-year reviews and participating in tenure reviews.
- Membership: The president and provost and vice president of academic affairs and five tenured faculty members, one from the social sciences, one from natural sciences/mathematics, two from combined humanities and arts and literature, and one tenured five years or fewer at the time of election. No two members are from the same department.
- There shall be no alternate members of the FPC. If a tenure candidate is from the same department as an elected FPC member, that member shall remove him- or herself during the deliberation about the candidate and shall not participate in the voting concerning the candidate. In such a case, if no other elected member of the committee is from the same division as the tenure candidate, the most recently retired FPC member from a different department in the candidate’s division shall serve as a non-voting consultant to the FPC to provide discipline-specific advice.
- Term of membership: Three years.
C. Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC)
- General purpose: to function as a hearing and policy formulation committee reporting to the faculty. ECC is responsible for the articulation of educational policy and will receive occasional reports from those College committees (e.g., the Academic Standing Committee) that are primarily concerned with educational or curricular matters.
- Membership: The provost and an associate provost of the College, five tenured, tenure-track, continuing or PEAR faculty members (including the Co-chair and the Co-chair-elect), five students. The provost is Co–chair of the ECC. One faculty member is from the social sciences, one is from natural sciences/mathematics, two are from combined humanities and arts and literature, and one is elected at-large, i.e., without specific divisional representation. One of the previous five members is elected by the faculty to serve as Co-chair-elect for one year and then Co-chair for two years.
- Term of membership: Two years, except for the co-chair-elect/co-chair, who has a three-year term.
D. Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC)
- General purpose: To oversee the general welfare of faculty members at the College. The FAC also conducts all faculty elections and makes and monitors faculty appointments to all College committees.
- Membership: The president of the faculty and at least five other faculty members, three tenured when elected, two tenure-track when elected, and one on continuing appointment (if this seat is not filled, it will remain vacant until the next election.) One of the members tenured when elected is elected to serve as chair-elect for one year and then chair for two years.
- Term of membership: Three years.
E. Faculty Grants Committee
- General purpose: to advise the provost and vice president for academic affairs on the awarding of College grants for faculty development.
- Membership: The provost and vice president for academic affairs and four tenured faculty members. The provost and vice president for academic affairs is the chair of the committee. One member is from the social sciences, one member is from natural sciences/mathematics, two members are from combined humanities and arts and literature.
- Term of membership: Two years.
F. College Council
- General purpose: to function as a hearing and policy formulation committee for non-curricular policies concerning the life of the College at large. The Council functions through subcommittees called into being to deal with particular policy issues.
- Membership: Four senior administrative officers, two staff members, five faculty members, five students, one alumni observer and one trustee observer. The president of the College is the chair of the Council. The president of the faculty and the chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee are ex officio members of the Council. The faculty elects the other three faculty members, one tenure-track when elected and two tenured when elected. One of the three elected faculty members on the Council also serves as a faculty member of the Budget Committee, which is a permanent subcommittee of the Council.
- Elected faculty term of membership: Two years.
G. Budget Committee
- General purpose: To formulate recommendations regarding annual budgets and longer-term financial plans. The Budget Committee is a standing subcommittee of the College Council.
- Membership: The provost and vice president for academic affairs, the vice president and treasurer, one faculty member and one student member of the College Council, one other faculty member and one other student, and such other members of the community as will be determined by the presidents of the College, the faculty, and the Carleton Student Association. The provost and vice president for academic affairs is the chair of the committee. One faculty member is tenure-track and one is tenured when elected.
- Faculty term of membership: Two years.
H. Faculty Judiciary Committee
- General Purpose: to conduct hearings on faculty disciplinary matters in which the president of the College or his or her designee has proposed a sanction of suspension or dismissal.
- Membership: Ten tenured, tenure-track or PEAR faculty members, five members and five alternates. Each group of five is to include at least two women, at least two men, at least one person non-tenured when elected, at least one person who is a person of color.
- Term of membership: Three years.
Interpretation and Amendment of these Bylaws
The Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) shall rule on any question of interpretation of these Bylaws, though such rulings may be reversed by a two-thirds vote of the faculty. Any FAC ruling regarding interpretation of these Bylaws is to be reported to the faculty at its immediately subsequent meeting.
- A proposed amendment to these Bylaws may be initiated by the Faculty Affairs Committee or by ten percent of the voting faculty.
- Any amendment shall be circulated to members of the faculty at least two weeks before it is to be brought before the faculty for vote.
- A proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda of a meeting of the faculty, discussed, and voted upon. If it passes this reading by majority vote (with provision for amendment, by majority vote, of the proposal), it shall be read a second time at a subsequent faculty meeting, At this second reading, no amendment of the proposal held by the president of the faculty to be a substantial alteration of the proposal shall be entertained. This second and final reading shall require for passage a vote in favor by a two-thirds majority. Any amendment of these Bylaws shall take effect upon final passage or at a date set by the faculty.
- Any amendment of these Bylaws is subject to veto by the Board of Trustees.
Last Revised: February 10, 2023
Approved by the Carleton faculty on October 8, 2007.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on May 17, 2008.
Revised and approved by the Carleton faculty on February 2, 2015.
Revised and approved by the Carleton faculty on November 2, 2020. Approved by the Board of Trustees on February 6, 2021.
Revised and approved by the Carleton faculty on November 2, 2020.
Revised and approved by the Carleton faculty on January 9, 2023. Approved by the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees on February 9, 2023.
Last Reviewed: July 11, 2022
Maintained by: Office of the Provost