Article VI: Academic Council

Section 1. Membership

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  • Academic Council will consist of 19 members elected for terms specified in the section on Elections.
  • In addition to elected members, the following will hold seats on Academic Council:
    • The Chair of the University Curriculum Committee, without vote
    • The President, without vote; and/or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, without vote
  • On occasions when Academic Council so requests, the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will not meet with Academic Council. Such requests may be made as a matter of course and need not signify any exigency. In addition, the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will not meet with Academic Council when it is serving as a nominating committee or as a hearing committee.

Eligibility to Serve

To serve as a voting member of Academic Council, a faculty member must be a voting member  under the terms of these bylaws and must have two years of service on the faculty. Divisional and school representatives must hold the rank of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, or above; at-large members must hold the rank of Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Assistant Librarian or above. No more than two members of the faculty whose principal duties are administrative may serve on Academic Council at any one time.

Eligibility to Vote for Members

All faculty members who have voting privileges under the terms of these bylaws will be eligible to vote for members of Academic Council. The only exception to this will be for the part-time representative who will be elected by part-time faculty.

Elections

Academic Council will solicit interest in serving, but will not provide a slate of nominees. All nominations for Academic Council will be made from the floor. All voting will be by secret ballot. Elected members of Academic Council will take office during the last Academic Council meeting of the academic year and will serve until their successors are duly installed.

At the March Faculty Meeting or the February School/College Meeting, elections of members will follow a prescribed cycle.

In year one, at-large members will be elected by full voting faculty at the March Faculty Meeting. A representative of the staff with faculty rank will also be elected in year one at a meeting of that group coordinated by the current Academic Council member. In years two and three, divisions and schools will elect their representative at the February School/College meeting. The current Academic Council members from each division and school will coordinate these elections.

Year One

  • One member of staff with faculty rank
  • Three at-large members. Two of the at-large teaching faculty members will be from Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and one University-wide at-large faculty member.

Year Two

  • One member from the division of Arts and Humanities
  • One member from the division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • One member from the division of Social Sciences
  • One member from the School of Education
  • One member from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business
  • One member from the School of Communications
  • One member from the School of Health Sciences

Year Three

  • One member from the division of Arts and Humanities
  • One member from the division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • One member from the division of Social Sciences
  • One member from the School of Education
  • One member from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business
  • One member from the School of Communications
  • One member from the School of Health Sciences

Vacancies

In the event of an elective vacancy on Academic Council, an election will be held at the next regular meeting of the faculty to fill the unexpired term. The manner of election will be the same as that by which the vacating member was elected.

Right of Recall

The faculty reserves the right of recall of any member of Academic Council. A two-thirds vote of the faculty will be required.

Re-Election or Reappointment

No member of Academic Council will serve for more than two consecutive terms.

Election of the Part-Time Representative

The part-time faculty representative will be elected bi-annually in April by an online election. They must be currently employed by the university as a part-time faculty member during their term, and have taught a minimum of two contiguous semesters at the university.

Section 2. Officers of Academic Council

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The members will elect annually a Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect will serve one year in that role and then assume the duties of chair in the following year. In the third year he/she will serve as Past-Chair.

Duties of the Chair - Elect

  • Serves in the place of the Chair in his/her absence
  • Serves on the Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee
  • When possible, attends meetings between the Chair and the President and/or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Acts as a liaison between Academic Council and the Standing Committees of the Faculty
  • Serves as recorder at the teaching faculty Town Hall Faculty Forums

Duties of the Chair

  • Serves as Chair of the Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee
  • Meets regularly with the Provost’s Advisory Council and the Academic Affairs Advisory Council
  • Works with the President in planning the agenda for the Full Faculty Meetings. Assembles the agenda for and presides over the Academic Council portion of the Faculty Meetings and the Academic Council Faculty Forums
  • Assembles the agenda for and presides over the regular meetings of Academic Council. In consultation with the administration, the Chair will designate on each item on the agenda the capacity in which Academic Council will serve on that item: Make a decision, make a formal recommendation, advise, or receive a report.
  • Acts as a liaison between the administration and the teaching faculty and academic support staff with faculty rank in meetings with the President and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Duties of the Past-Chair

  • Serves on the Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee in an advisory role
  • In the eventuality that the Past-Chair is not a member of Academic Council, he/she will not attend the regular meetings of the Academic Council.

Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee

Academic Council will have an Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee consisting of:

  • Chair of Academic Council who will serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee
  • Chair-Elect of Academic Council
  • Past-Chair of Academic Council
  • Chair of the University Curriculum Committee

The Academic Council Chair Advisory Committee will advise the Academic Council Chair in her or his duties and will act as a bridge between Academic Council and the University Curriculum Committee.

Section 3. Powers and Responsibilities of Academic Council

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  • Academic Council will act as coordinating committee of the Faculty and will deliberate on any matter within the province of the faculty for the purpose of formulating general policy for approval or disapproval of the faculty. Those matters that are the responsibility of standing committees will be referred to the appropriate committee.
  • On issues that do not fall within the purview of a standing committee, Academic Council may create a task force to investigate and offer policy suggestions. In doing so, Academic Council will follow the Guidelines for Academic Council Task Force.
  • Academic Council will work with the President in planning the agenda for meetings of the faculty in order to provide for timely and appropriate discussion of faculty business and to provide adequate information about matters of concern to the faculty.
  • In its role as coordinating committee of the Faculty, Academic Council will communicate regularly with members of standing committees. Faculty representatives of standing committees who have concerns about issues of shared governance in areas relevant to their committees should report those concerns to Academic Council. Academic Council will consider these concerns and, where it deems appropriate, formally address them in regular Academic Council meetings. On matters deemed to be of general concern, Academic Council may report directly to the faculty, or request that standing committees do so. In addition, Academic Council will collect formal reports on a yearly basis from the chairs of all standing committees.
  • Academic Council will act in an advisory capacity to the President. It will advise the President on the setting of priorities and the planning of long-range goals for the University. Academic Council will obtain pertinent information that is required to carry out these advisory duties effectively.
  • Academic Council will act in an advisory capacity to the administration, assisting in the selection of members for all campus-wide ad hoc committees and advising the administration in the early stages of explorations of new programs that do not originate in a department or school.
  • Academic Council will supply the faculty yearly with information relevant to its participation in the formulation of the goals and priorities of the University and will supply the faculty yearly with information relevant to these priorities and goals.
  • Academic Council will serve as an appointing committee for elective members of standing committees of the faculty with the exception of Academic Council, the University Curriculum Committee, and the Promotions and Tenure Committee.
  • Academic Council will oversee the non-bylaws portion of the Faculty Handbook by approving or disapproving changes. A detailed account of such changes will be included in the minutes of the meeting.
  • Academic Council will oversee editorial changes to these bylaws by approving or disapproving the changes. Examples include changes to the bylaws that reflect a modification of the wording of a title, changes in the name of a division, department, etc.
  • Academic Council will develop and maintain a Statement of Professional Standards and publish it upon adoption by the faculty. Council will submit proposed amendments to this statement to the faculty. Approval will require an affirmative vote of the majority of the voting members present at a regular meeting of the faculty subsequent to the one in which the proposal was presented.
  • Elected members of Academic Council will serve as a hearing committee, when a hearing is to be held, in cases involving 1) the dismissal or suspension of a faculty member or 2) charges of unprofessional conduct against a faculty member with the exception of complaints of harassment or discrimination based on membership in protected categories in Elon’s Non-Discrimination Statement. Any dismissal, suspension, or disciplinary action as a result of a finding of a violation of the University’s Non-Discrimination/Non-Harassment policies may, upon request by the accused faculty member, be heard by Academic Council.
  • Academic Council will solicit names and appoint faculty to serve as temporary replacements on all standing committees of the faculty as necessary, except Academic Council, the University Curriculum Committee, and the Promotions and Tenure Committee.

Section 4. Meetings and Procedures of Council

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Academic Council will determine its place of meeting and its procedures. Meetings of Academic Council will be held no less than twice a month during the academic year and at such other times as it will deem necessary. At least one monthly meeting will be of the entire Academic Council, and at least one monthly meeting will be of the elected members, the part-time representative, and the Chair of the University Curriculum Committee.

Section 5. Reports

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  • The Chair of Academic Council will make reports on the deliberations and recommendations of Academic Council at all full faculty meetings and will make such other reports as may be required by the faculty.
  • The agenda for each meeting of Academic Council will be distributed by the elected representatives of each division and school to their constituencies at least two days in advance of the meeting.
  • Academic Council will produce minutes for each meeting. Council will edit and approve the minutes at the next regular meeting of Academic Council. The elected representatives of each division and school will distribute the minutes to their constituencies within one week of their approval.
  • Academic Council will maintain its annual goals and objectives and any reports submitted to it in a print or electronic venue that is easily accessible to all faculty members. Each item in the annual goals and objectives should be clearly labeled with a contact person to whom questions may be directed.

Section 6. Committee on Committees

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At the beginning of each academic year, the chair-elect will select seven additional members of Academic Council to serve on the Committee on Committees, ensuring that all four of the schools, all three of the divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the staff with faculty rank are represented. The Chair-Elect will serve as Chair of the Committee on Committees.

  • In order to help Academic Council fulfill its responsibility to act as the coordinating committee of the Faculty, the Committee on Committees will perform the following duties.
    • Oversees the collection of annual reports from the chairs of standing committees
    • Serves as the liaison between Academic Council and the standing committees. In that role, the Committee on Committees will receive concerns from faculty representatives of standing committees about issues of shared governance in areas relevant to their committees and will communicate with chairs of standing committees on behalf of Academic Council.
  • In order to help Academic Council fulfill its responsibility to act as the appointing committee for standing committees and as an advisory committee to the administration in the creation of campus-wide ad hoc and special committees the Committee on Committees will have the following duties:
    • Creates and maintains a database of all faculty members serving on standing committees, advisory committees, special and ad hoc committees, search committees, and task forces.
    • Submits to Academic Council a slate consisting of one name for each opening on standing committees of the faculty (with the exception of Academic Council, the University Curriculum Committee, the School- and Division-Based Curriculum Committees, and the Promotions and Tenure Committee) at least one week in advance of the April meeting of Academic Council. The Committee on Committees will secure the consent of persons being nominated.
    • Submits to the University Curriculum Committee one or more suggestions for their Chair Elect in advance of their April meeting in Year One of the University Curriculum Committee's three-year election cycle.
    • Serves as a nominating committee for elected members of the University Curriculum Committee and the Promotions and Tenure Committee, submitting to Academic Council during the month in advance of either the March Faculty Meeting or the February School/College Meeting the recommended names for each place to be filled. Normally, the number of nominees will exceed the number of positions to be filled. The Committee on Committees will secure the consent of people being nominated.
    • Appoints committee replacements when membership positions on standing or special committees other than Academic Council, University Curriculum Committee, or Promotions and Tenure Committee are vacated during the year and reports all appointments to Council on or before the next meeting of Academic Council.
    • Recommends to Academic Council faculty members to serve on ad hoc or special committees created by Council.
    • Recommends to the Chair of Academic Council faculty members to serve on ad hoc or special committees created by the President or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Chair of Academic Council will forward these names to the President or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
    • Recommends to the Chair of Academic Council faculty members to serve on search committees for administrators with faculty rank. The Chair of Academic Council will forward these names to the President or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Committee on Committees will attempt to balance the need to provide opportunities for committee service to interested faculty with its responsibility to ensure that standing and special committees successfully contribute to effective shared governance.

Section 7. Faculty Handbook Language Subcommittee

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At the beginning of each academic year, the chair of Academic Council will select three members of Academic Council to serve on the Faculty Handbook Language Subcommittee. The chair of Academic Council will appoint one of the three members to serve as chair of the subcommittee.

In order to help Academic Council fulfill its role (stipulated in Article 13. Section 2) in bringing proposed Faculty Handbook bylaw changes to the faculty for consideration and to help Academic Council fulfill its responsibility (stipulated in Article 6. Section 3) to approve or disapprove non-bylaw changes to the Faculty Handbook, the Faculty Handbook Language Subcommittee will act in an editorial and advisory capacity in performing the following duties.

  • Receive and organize proposed Faculty Handbook changes from standing committees, working groups, task forces and other concerned individuals or constituencies. Typically, proposals will be submitted at the beginning of fall and spring semesters.
  • Review and provide feedback to those proposing handbook changes in terms of clarity of the proposed language, the rationale for the proposed changes, and any clerical issues. In providing feedback, the committee will avoid endorsing or attempting to block handbook language that is being proposed.
  • Work with the chair of Academic Council to schedule a time for the proposer of the language to present the proposal to Academic Council.
  • Work with the proposer of the language to provide the chair of Academic Council with the proposed language for inclusion in upcoming meeting materials.
  • At end of the academic year, provide the Provost's Office with electronic copies of all approved Faculty Handbook language changes for inclusion in the following year's Faculty Handbook at which time the changes will take effect.
  • Additionally, the committee will regularly review the Faculty Handbook bylaws and non-bylaws. And, as the committee considers appropriate, propose changes to Academic Council for consideration.

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