Constitution Of The General Faculty of Heidelberg College

Approved April 1, 2008

Article I – Definition and Membership

Section 1. The General Faculty of Heidelberg University—herein “the Faculty”—is a deliberative assembly. This Constitution comprises the policies and procedures the Faculty has selected to govern itself, and defines the membership, responsibilities, and operational components of the General Faculty. As rules of a deliberative assembly, the provisions of this Constitution do not address the employment relationship between the University and an individual Faculty member, and do not extend, limit, interpret, or otherwise concern the employment contract.

Section 2. The membership of the General Faculty is defined as follows:

  1. the President of the University;
  2. the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University—herein “the Dean;” [n.b.: should be changed to PROVOST OF THE UNIVERSITY]
  3. full-time employees of the University who hold the academic rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, or other academic ranks designated by the President and approved by the General Faculty;
  4. full-time employees of the University who hold the title of Librarian, Registrar, or other ranks or titles designated by the President and approved by the General Faculty;
  5. the President of the Student Senate, or designee;
  6. the Vice President for Administration, the Vice President for Enrollment, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Vice President for Student Affairs; and [titles should be corrected]
  7. other persons contributing to the teaching and research missions of the college, for example, instructors with Significant Part-time contracts, who are appointed to the Faculty on a term basis at the last regular meeting of the General Faculty each spring for the following academic year.

Section 3. In the context of this Constitution, the term “Faculty member” is used to designate a member of the General Faculty. Further meaning of the term “Faculty member” is provided in the Heidelberg University Faculty Manual.

Article II – Duties and Responsibilities

Section 1. The duties and responsibilities of the General Faculty of Heidelberg University shall be to establish and implement policies concerning the academic life of the University, to advise the Board of Trustees, the President, the Provost of the University, and others concerning the academic life and general welfare of the University, and to implement University objectives established in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, the President, and the Provost of the University.

At the request of the Faculty, the Faculty's decisions and recommendations shall be reported by the Chairperson of the Faculty to the Provost of the University the President, or to the Board of Trustees through the President. Whatever action the Provost, the President, or the Board of Trustees takes with respect to such recommendations and decisions shall be promptly reported by the Chairperson to the Faculty.

Section 2. The Faculty discharges its duties when assembled under the provisions of Article IV, through standing and ad hoc committees and task forces as provided in Article V, through the Faculty Executive Committee as specified in Article V, and through the various academic departments as provided in Article III.

Article III – Administrative Organization of General Faculty Members

Section 1. Members of the General Faculty holding academic rank are organized into two administrative divisions: the division of Arts and Sciences, and the division of Graduate and Professional Studies. Each division is in turn organized into academic departments and programs. The academic divisions and departments of the University have academic functions under the provisions of this Constitution as well as administrative functions defined by their own internal policies, by the administrative policies of Heidelberg University specified in the Heidelberg University Faculty Manual and other documents, and by administrative policies established by the Provost of the University.

Article IV - Officers and Meetings

Section l. The position of Chairperson of the General Faculty is normally filled by succession of the Chairperson pro tempore as provided for in Article IV, Section 2. When necessary, the General Faculty shall elect a Chairperson, at or before the first Faculty meeting of the academic year or as necessary to fill the position. The Chairperson of the Faculty shall preside at all meetings of the Faculty, shall be an ex officio non-voting member of all Faculty committees, shall be responsible for constructing the agenda for all meetings of the General Faculty, and shall perform other duties as the Faculty shall so direct. The term of office shall be for one year, beginning with the first day of the Fall semester.

Section 2. The Faculty shall elect a Chairperson pro tempore, at or before the first Faculty meeting of the academic year or as necessary to fill the position. The Chairperson pro tempore shall preside at the Faculty meetings in the absence of the Chairperson and on other occasions when it is necessary for the Chairperson to vacate the chair. The term of office shall be for one year, beginning with the first day of the Fall semester. The incumbent Chairperson pro tempore shall then become the Chairperson of the General Faculty in the following academic year.

Section 3. The Faculty shall elect annually, at or before the first meeting of the academic year, a Secretary whose duties shall include recording and distributing minutes of all Faculty meetings; preparing and distributing agenda of such meetings; keeping and making available for inspection the records of Faculty bodies; and such other duties as the General Faculty shall direct. The Secretary shall seek administrative support for necessary clerical assistance in the discharge of his or her duties.

Section 4. The Faculty shall elect annually, at or before the first meeting of the academic year, a Parliamentarian whose principal duty shall be to advise the presiding officer on procedure.

Section 5. The Faculty shall elect when necessary, at or before the first meeting of the academic year, a tenured member of the Faculty to serve as Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees of the University. The reporting duties to the General Faculty by the Faculty Representative to the Board shall be prescribed by the Faculty, consistent with the policies of the Board of Trustees.

Section 6. The Faculty shall seek a report from the Provost regarding the disposition of all matters brought to the Provost by the Faculty according to the provisions of this Constitution.

Section 7. The Faculty is in session from the first day of class in the Fall semester through the last day of the final examination period in the Spring semester, excluding those days when the University is not in session. The Faculty shall establish a schedule of regular monthly meetings to be held at a designated time during the academic year while the University is in session.

The Secretary of the Faculty shall notify members of the Faculty in writing not less than 48 hours in advance of regular meetings. This notification shall include a list of the matters which may come before that meeting, as well as the minutes of the previous regular meeting and of any special or emergency meetings which may have intervened.

Section 8. All meetings of the General Faculty are called by the Chairperson of the Faculty. Special meetings may be directed by petition of at least ten members of the Faculty. The petition shall be brought to the Chairperson of the Faculty who will then call the special meeting. The Secretary of the Faculty shall notify members in writing not less than 48 hours in advance of special meetings. That notification shall include a complete list of the petitioners and a brief statement of the matters to be considered at the special meeting.

Meetings may be called under special conditions as defined by the Provost of the University with less than 48 hours notice.

Section 9. At all meetings of the Faculty a quorum shall be 40 percent of the current membership of the General Faculty. Members who are on academic leave shall not be counted for the purpose of this Article.

Section 10. At all meetings of the Faculty passage of any motion shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of those members voting. An abstention from voting is not a vote. A record of the number of affirmative votes, negative votes, and abstentions from voting shall be kept for all motions with respect to which a division of the assembly has been requested.

Section 11. At all meetings of the Faculty a secret ballot shall be taken on any question at the request of any member of the Faculty.

Section 12. In the event of a vacancy of an elected officer of the Faculty, an election shall be held at the next regular meeting of the Faculty, to fill the unexpired term of the vacator.

Section 13. The General Faculty aims to set the example of making its regular meetings open to observation by interested persons of the University community. Nonmembers may address the Faculty assembled only upon request of a member in attendance or upon invitation of the Faculty Executive Committee. The privilege of participating in deliberation is reserved to members of the Faculty.

Article V - Faculty Committees

Section 1. General Faculty committees are either standing committees, or ad hoc committees and task forces. Standing committees are defined in their entirety through the provisions of this Constitution. Ad hoc Faculty committees and task forces are defined, created, and dismissed by the Faculty assembled or by standing committees of the Faculty, according to the provisions of this Constitution. Both types of Faculty committees are creatures of the General Faculty, i.e., the nature, composition, scope of duties and responsibilities, and internal function are controlled in their entirety by the General Faculty, subject to the provisions of this Constitution. The Chairperson of the Faculty, the President, and the Provost are ex officio, non-voting members of all Faculty committees.

Section 2. The standing committees of the Faculty of the University shall be the

  1. Academic Assessment Committee,
  2. Academic Policy Committee,
  3. Community Engagement Committee,
  4. Faculty Development Committee,
  5. Faculty Executive Committee,
  6. Faculty Personnel Committee,
  7. Graduate Curriculum Committee,
  8. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Section 3. Membership and charges of these standing committees shall be as follows:

  1. Academic Assessment Committee (AAC)

    Membership: Four Faculty members, one or two elected each year for three-year terms; and one undergraduate student appointed by the Student Senate for a term of one year.

    Charges: AAC shall determine campus assessment policy and ensure implementation of assessment activities, including but not limited to

    • reviewing and evaluating student learning goals of the University and each academic unit;
    • advising, assisting, and reviewing all academic assessment activities on campus. This includes assessment of learning outcomes of departments, of the college, and of the general education curriculum;
    • regularly reviewing the Heidelberg assessment plan and reporting to the campus community an evaluation of all academic assessment processes; and
    • studying and evaluating Heidelberg University with respect to Criterion Three (Student Learning and Effective Teaching) of the Criteria for Accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, publishing reports as appropriate.
  2. Academic Policy Committee (APC)

    Membership: Six Faculty members consisting of two with primarily undergraduate teaching responsibilities, two with primarily graduate teaching responsibilities, and two Faculty members at large, one from each of the three categories elected each year for a term of two years; the University Registrar; one undergraduate student appointed by the Student Senate for a term of one year; and one graduate student appointed by a process determined by the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies for a term of one year.

    Charges: The Academic Policy Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty concerning matters of undergraduate and graduate academic policy including, but not limited to

    • admissions, placement, scholarships, academic probation, suspension, dismissal, academic honesty, student appeals including grade appeals, and matters of student academic life;
    • general matters of academic administrative policy including, but not limited to, the University calendar, library policy, and honorary degrees;
    • any educational endeavors which will have an impact on long-or short-range academic policy of the College; and
    • studying and evaluating Heidelberg University with respect to Criterion One (Mission and Integrity) of the Criteria for Accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, publishing reports as appropriate.
  3. Community Engagement Committee (CEC)

    Membership: Four Faculty members, two elected each year for two-year terms; one student appointed by Student Senate for a term of one year.

    Charges: The Community Engagement Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty concerning facilities, resources and programs which contribute to the overall growth and development of the students including, but not limited to

    • promoting volunteerism and citizenship among Heidelberg students in coordination with the Service Learning Coordinator of the Honors Program;
    • planning and promoting events on campus that further the academic mission of the University;
    • providing the appellate hearing body for student disciplinary cases;
    • planning and coordinating educational programs with Tiffin-area organizations including but not limited to Tiffin University, Tiffin Public Schools, Tiffin Catholic Schools, Ritz Theater, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library; and
    • studying and evaluating Heidelberg University with respect to Criterion Five (Engagement and Service) of the Criteria for Accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, publishing reports as appropriate.
  4. Faculty Development Committee (FDC)

    Membership: Four Faculty members, one or two elected each year for a three-year term.

    Charges: The Faculty Development Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty concerning overseeing and facilitating resources and programs, outside the scope of faculty evaluation, that promote a life of learning through growth and development of Faculty members in their instructional, scholarly, and institutional endeavors including, but not limited to

    • gathering information on advances and new concepts in teaching, both on and off the campus, and organizing workshops, discussion groups, notices, and literature to help the faculty keep abreast of such information;
    • planning, implementing, and evaluating mentoring programs for new and continuing faculty;
    • considering the selection of faculty to be awarded stipends to be used for research or course development (in conjunction with the Vice President for Academic Affairs);
    • establishing, maintaining, and supporting programs beyond sabbatical leaves, leaves of absence, and release time, that encourage professional activities, growth, and development;
    • establishing and maintaining programs to promote and facilitate faculty interaction and congeniality;
    • maintaining a dialogue about educational resource development and allocation between the Faculty, Grants Director, CNIT, Beeghly Library, Media Center, and Academic Affairs;
    • studying and evaluating Heidelberg University with respect to Criterion Four and its associated core components (Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge) of the Criteria for Accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, publishing reports as appropriate.
  5. Faculty Executive Committee

    Membership: The Chairperson of the Faculty, the Chairperson pro tempore, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees shall comprise the Executive Committee of the Faculty.

    Charges: The Executive Committee shall construct the agenda of all meetings of the Faculty, schedule regular and special meetings of the Faculty, invite student members of Faculty committees to hear and comment on their respective Committees’ reports, invite other persons of the University community to address the Faculty assembled, and perform other duties according to the provisions of this Constitution and as the Faculty may so direct.

  6. Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC)

    Membership: Four Faculty members consisting of three tenured full-professors and one tenured associate professor, with one elected each year for a four-year term. The committee member with the most consecutive years of service on this committee will be Chair.

    Charges: The Faculty Personnel Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty, and where appropriate, on behalf of the Faculty to the President and the Board of Trustees, on a wide range of faculty employment and welfare issues including, but not limited to

    • advising the President and Board of Trustees, through the Vice President for Academic Affairs, on the following matters, including but not limited to
      • promotion
      • tenure
      • initial appointment and re-appointment
      • release time
      • sabbatical leaves and leaves of absence
      • termination
      • other faculty personnel matters determined by the President;
    • conducting faculty elections for standing committees, and of faculty representatives to administrative committees;
    • overseeing all faculty evaluation procedures;
    • updating the faculty manual; and
    • studying and making recommendations to the Faculty regarding compensation, benefits, workload, intellectual property, and the teaching and research environment.
  7. Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC)

    Membership: All Graduate Directors, one full-time Faculty member, two Faculty members who are teaching or who have taught in the Graduate program, the Registrar, and one graduate student appointed by the committee chairperson for a term of one year.

    Charges: The Graduate Curriculum Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty concerning matters of the graduate curriculum including, but not limited to

    • reviewing, approving and recommending changes in the graduate curriculum and academic programs; and
    • any educational endeavors which will have a long- or short-range impact on graduate academic programs.
  8. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC)

    Membership: Four undergraduate Faculty members, two from Arts and Sciences, one from Graduate and Professional Studies, and one Faculty member at large, two elected each year for terms of two years; the Registrar; and one undergraduate student appointed by the Student Senate for a term of one year.

    Charges: The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall study and make recommendations to the General Faculty concerning matters of the undergraduate curriculum including, but not limited to

    • the undergraduate general education curriculum, majors, minors, internships, externships, clerkships, practicums, service learning, and other academic programs; and
    • any educational endeavors which will have a long- or short-range impact on undergraduate academic programs.

Section 4. Faculty elections to these standing committees shall take place annually, at or before the first Faculty meeting of the academic year using the rotating system in practice where applicable.

Section 5. In the event of a vacancy of an elected Faculty member on any of these standing committees, an election shall be held no later than the next regular meeting of the Faculty, to fill the unexpired term of the vacator.

Section 6. Each of these standing committees shall meet at least once a semester during the regular academic year.

Section 7. Unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution, each of these standing committees has the duty to deliberate matters within its charges raised by itself or

  1. any active member of the General Faculty,
  2. the General Faculty,
  3. any body defined within this Constitution.

Section 8. Committees in addition to these standing committees may be established. The size, qualifications of members, and terms of office of members of such committees may be prescribed by:

  1. the General Faculty, or
  2. any of the standing committees of the General Faculty.

Section 9. Each of these standing committees, and each committee established pursuant to Section 8 of this Article shall

  1. elect a chairperson at the beginning of each semester, unless another method of selecting a chairperson is provided by this Constitution or by a standing rule of the General Faculty;
  2. establish and make known to the Faculty in written form the time and place of its regular meetings and the procedures for the conduct of its business pursuant to Article V, at the beginning of each semester;
  3. provide annual budget requests to the Provost in a timely manner, and expend any budgeted funds according to the direction of the General Faculty;
  4. report to the Faculty all matters which have come before the committee, all actions taken thereon, and all matters which are pending before it no later than the last meetings of the General Faculty in the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively. These reports shall be agenda items as provided for in Article V, Section 6 of this Constitution; and
  5. publish and distribute to the Faculty all reports and recommendations made. The Secretary of the Faculty shall maintain a permanent file of such reports.

Article VI -- Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. The Faculty and committees provided for in this Constitution shall be governed by the rules contained in this Constitution and any Bylaws enacted in accordance with this Constitution. Meetings of the Faculty and of all the committees provided for in this Constitution shall be governed by the rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, where those rules are consistent with this Constitution. The Faculty may adopt special rules of order for itself and its committees as it sees fit. Those rules shall supersede any contrary rules of Robert but otherwise shall be consistent with the provisions of this Constitution.

Article VII – Bylaws and Standing RuleS

Section 1. The Faculty shall make bylaws and standing rules as may be necessary for the proper conduct and regulation of its business, provided those rules do not conflict with this Constitution. Such bylaws and rules shall be adopted or amended and become effective upon an affirmative vote of a majority of those present at a meeting of the Faculty.

Section 2. Bylaws may be adopted or amended at a meeting of the Faculty only when the proposal has been circulated to the Faculty by the Secretary with the agenda for the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.

Section 3. All bylaws and standing rules shall be entered in a Faculty Register by the Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain and publish the Register in paper and electronic form in a manner and location determined by the Faculty. The Register shall be available to the University community.

Article VIII -- Amending the Constitution

Section 1. The following procedure is the only method by which the Constitution of the General Faculty of Heidelberg University may be amended:

  1. A written proposal to amend the Constitution of the Faculty may originate as a petition signed by at least 25% of the membership of the Faculty, or as a proposal from the Faculty Personnel Committee. In both cases, the amendment proposal shall be filed with the Secretary of the Faculty.
  2. The Secretary shall distribute to the Faculty this written proposal of amendment not more than ten calendar days after it has been filed with the Secretary.
  3. The Faculty shall vote on the proposed amendment at a meeting not less than four calendar days, nor more than sixty calendar days, from the time the proposal of amendment has been distributed to the Faculty. The proposed amendment must be read at at least two meetings before a vote is taken.
  4. For an amendment to become effective it must receive an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all votes cast.
  5. For purposes of amending the Constitution of the Faculty, the following rules apply:
    1. in computing time, summer vacation and all other vacations during the academic year shall be excluded;
    2. for the purpose of voting, absentee ballots shall not be counted.
  6. When a motion to amend the Constitution of the Faculty has received the necessary votes, it shall become effective immediately, unless the proposal itself otherwise provides.

Article IX -- Constitutional Review

Section 1. At intervals of five academic years, beginning in 2013, the Faculty shall convene a committee to review the Constitution and to recommend to the Faculty such amendments as it may deem appropriate.

Section 2. The provisions of this Constitution shall be consistent with the law, the University Charter and Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, and other Board policies. Any provisions of this Constitution considered to be counter to applicable State or Federal Laws shall be null and void.

Article X -- Enactment

Section 1. The Constitution of the General Faculty of Heidelberg University shall become effective on April 29, 2008, following its approval by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the votes cast at a meeting for which due notice of the proposal has been given.