FAFC Ballot Initiative, 2011-2012

Faculty Assembly Ballot: Proposed Changes to the Constitution.

The ballot closed on March 1, 2012.

The Ballot recommended the following changes.  (Additional details are available here: FAFC Constitution-Proposed changes. Use this as a guide when casting your vote.)

The Constitution of the Faculty Assembly and the By-laws are available here.

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Recommended Changes

Question 1: Membership and Voting in the Faculty Assembly

The Faculty Council proposes to amend Article III of the Constitution to revise the criteria for membership in Faculty Assembly and to eliminate the two-tiered voting system.

Original Text

Section 1

All members of the faculty of Boston University of professorial rank and who hold at least one-fourth time appointments shall be members of the Faculty Assembly.

Section 2

Members with full-time appointments, as defined in the Faculty Manual, shall cast one vote; members with part-time appointments, as defined in the Faculty Manual, shall cast one-half vote.

 

Proposed Changes

Section 1

All members of the faculty of Boston University of professorial (other than adjunct, emeritus or visiting) or lecturer rank and who hold at least one-half time appointments shall be members of the Faculty Assembly.

Section 2

Each Faculty Assembly member shall cast one vote.

 

Question 2: Membership in the Faculty Council.

The Faculty Council proposes to amend Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution to revise the criteria for membership in the Faculty Council.

Original Text

Section 1

All members of the Faculty Assembly shall be eligible to serve as members of the Faculty Council.

Proposed Change

Section 1

All members of the Faculty Assembly shall be eligible to serve as representatives or alternates of the Faculty Council.

 

Question 3: Eligibility to Serve as an Officer.

The Faculty Council proposes to amend Article VIII, Section 2 of the Constitution to revise the criteria for serving as an officer of the Faculty Council.

Original Text

Section 2

Faculty Council representatives, alternates, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Council, and the chairs of the various standing committees of the Faculty Council at the time of the election, or who have served in any of these capacities at least one year during the four-year period preceding the election, are eligible for election as officers. Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible for election as officers of the Faculty Council during the period for which they are elected to serve.

Proposed Changes

Section 2

Faculty of professorial rank who, at the time of the election, have served as Council representatives, alternates,  Secretary-Treasurer of the Council, or chairs of the various standing committees of the Faculty Council at the time of the election, or who have served in any of these capacities at least one year during the four-year period preceding the election, are eligible for election as officers. Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible for election as officers of the Faculty Council during the period for which they are elected to serve.

 

Question 4: Procedural changes “subject to the by-laws.”

The Faculty Council proposes that procedural changes to the Faculty Council Committees should be “subject to the by-laws,” rather than the Constitution.

The Faculty Council voted unanimously in Fall 2010 to recommend the following procedural changes to the governing documents:

1. Extend the term of the Secretary-treasurer from one year to two years, and permit candidate to stand for re-election for one additional term.

2. Extend the term of the Nominating Committee from one year to two years.

3. Extend the term limit for Standing Committee Chairs, to permit a chair to stand for re-election for a second term.

In April 2011, the Faculty Council voted to recommend that these procedural changes should be “subject to the by-laws,” thus delegating management to the by-laws, rather than the Constitution.

 

Question 5: Immediate Past-chair.

The Faculty Council proposes an addition to Article VIII, Section 1 to stipulate that the immediate Past-chair may not be a candidate for Vice-chair until at least one year after the expiration of his/her term as Past-chair.

Original Text

Section 1

The Officers of the Faculty Council shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair or Past Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer. The Chair shall serve for a two-year term, or until a successor is installed. A Vice-Chair shall be elected to serve during the second year of the Chair’s term, and shall succeed the Chair in office at the end of that time. Until a new Vice-Chair is elected and installed, the immediate Past Chair shall assume the duties of Vice-Chair. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected to serve a one-year term, and may be a candidate for reelection.

Proposed Changes

Section 1

The Officers of the Faculty Council shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair or Past Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer.  The Chair shall serve for a two-year term, or until a successor is installed.  A Vice-Chair shall be elected to serve during the second year of the Chair’s term, and shall succeed the Chair in office at the end of that time. Until a new Vice-Chair is elected and installed, the immediate Past Chair shall assume the duties of Vice-Chair. The immediate Past Chair may be not a candidate for Vice-chair until at least one year after the expiration of his or her term as Past Chair.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected to serve a two-year term, and may be elected to serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Question 6: Term of Secretary Treasurer.

The Faculty Council proposes an addition to Article VIII, Section 1 to extend the term of service of the Secretary-treasurer to two years, and to limit service to no more than two consecutive terms.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected to serve a two-year term, and may be elected to serve no more than two consecutive terms.


Background Information

In Fall 2009, the Faculty Council held its first strategic planning retreat in response to the BU Strategic Plan and One BU initiative. An ad hoc committee was formed to draft a strategic plan for the Faculty Council, based on the deliberations initiated by the retreat. In February 2010, the NTT Task Force Report was published and recommended that the Faculty Council review the criteria for membership in the Faculty Assembly. In Spring 2010, the Faculty Council adopted its Strategic Plan. Among the recommendations, the Plan called for a review of the governing documents of the Faculty Assembly/Faculty Council. In Fall 2010, the Chair of the Faculty Council charged the Credentials and By-laws Committee to review the governing documents and conduct a long discussion with the full Council about membership in the Faculty Assembly.

The Credentials and By-laws Committee met throughout the 2010-2011 session and presented its findings to the  Faculty Council on November 2, 2010; February 15, 2011 in a special session; March 22, 2011; and April 5, 2011. The minutes of those meetings are available here. In addition, members of the Council were encouraged to contact the committee members directly with their comments.

Procedure for Amendment and Adoption

The procedure for amending the Constitution of the Faculty Assembly/Faculty Council is stated in Article XVII, printed here in its entirety.

Section 1

Amendments to this Constitution may be initiated by a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Faculty Assembly, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at a meeting of the Faculty Council, or by petition of ten percent of the membership of the Faculty Assembly, no more than half of which shall come from any one School or College, presented to the Chair.

Section 2

Amendments to this Constitution shall take effect when approved by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a confidential electronic or written ballot that has been returned by a majority of the full-vote equivalents represented by the Faculty Assembly, and when approved by the Trustees of Boston University.

On April 5, 2011, the Faculty Council voted unanimously to adopt the committee’s recommendations and to propose the following changes to the Constitution of the Faculty Assembly/Faculty Council.

In proper observance of Article XVII, Section 1, the proposed changes are brought forward for consideration by the Faculty Assembly and for a vote.

 

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