The Standing Rules of the Faculty

[As amended through November 11, 2003]

The Standing Rules of the Faculty supplement the By-Laws of the Faculty as well as Robert’s Rules of Order, both of which govern the conduct of the Faculty Meeting. All three are designed to facilitate the orderly conduct of Faculty business and especially to help committees, departments and programs make efficient use of their limited resources. The rules are intended simply as guidelines reflecting University norms of fairness, professionalism and reasonableness. They are not intended to be inflexible and rigid and they do not confer a set of binding entitlements on faculty members. They are minimal, and committees, departments and programs are encouraged to adopt such additional rules as are appropriate to local circumstances. They should do so, however, in consultation with the Office of the Academic Secretary, who, in turn, is responsible for administering the Rules and informing the community of current Faculty practices.

For rules regarding the schedule and notice of faculty meetings and the procedures followed in faculty meetings, see Part IV of the By-Laws of the Faculty.

Part I. Faculty Legislation

Section 101. Except as otherwise provided by these Rules, all Faculty legislation shall originate with a duly constituted faculty committee.

Section 102. Except as otherwise provided in the Rules, reports and initiatives from duly constituted faculty committees shall take precedence on the agenda of the Faculty Meeting, provided that this provision may be waived or suspended with the consent of the Chair of the Faculty Meeting and the Chair of the relevant committee, and, provided further, that this provision does not apply to special meetings of the faculty.

Section 103. All proposed faculty legislation shall be clearly labeled as to subject matter and shall include the following information:

(a) a title
(b) the office or individual responsible for administering the policy or program
(c) the scope of the delegated authority
(d) the effective date of the policy
(e) the duration of the policy or program
(f) the faculty body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the
the scope of the delegated authority the effective date of the policy
the duration of the policy or program
policy or program
(g) the provisions for review and assessment of the policy or program
(h) the timetable for reporting to the Faculty Meeting.

Section 104. There shall be a standard format for recording faculty legislation, which shall include the following information:

(a)  a title
(b)  an identification and reference (filing) number
(c)  the date of the motion
(d)  the text of the legislation
(e)  a list of supporting documents and reports.

Part II. Faculty Elections

Section 201. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, faculty elections shall be conducted according to the following schedule and in the following manner:

(a) Group 1. The election of department and program Chairs - to be completed by December 1 of the academic year preceding the expiration of department Chair’s term of office.

(b) Group 2. The election of all other committee members as well as the Vice-Chair of the Faculty - to be completed by April 1.

Section 202 (a). Group 1. Department and program Chairs shall be elected by a simple majority vote of eligible department and program faculty, provided that the time and manner of electing the Chair be on file with the Department and the Office of the Academic Secretary.

(b) Group 2. All others, including the Vice-Chair of the Faculty, shall be elected by the method of approval balloting adopted by the faculty on May 3, 1995. To be elected to the position of Vice-Chair of the Faculty, a candidate must receive a vote total equal to or greater than fifty percent of all ballots cast. Those elected to committee positions must receive votes amounting to at least forty percent of all ballots returned. Runoff balloting shall be conducted, as necessary, to achieve these percentage thresholds. (Note: procedures for election to the Advisory Committee and to the Review and Appeals Board are specified in the By-Laws of the Academic Council.)

Section 203. The sequencing of the elections shall proceed as follows: voting for the Vice-Chair of the Faculty and for members of the Advisory Committee shall take precedence. Once these positions have been filled, voting to fill vacancies on other committees will begin. These elections shall be completed in the following order: Educational Policy Committee, Committee on Compensation and Benefits, Honors Committee, Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities.

Section 204. Elections of faculty members to Committees of the Board of Trustees shall proceed as follows: a faculty representative to the Campus Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees and a faculty representative to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees shall be chosen by approval balloting from a list of three candidates nominated by the Vice-Chair of the Faculty.

Section 205. Vacancies in the membership of any committee arising before the expiration of a regular term of service shall be filled according to the procedures established in the faculty by-laws (see Faculty By-laws, Section 503(d).

Part III. Faculty Committees - In General

Section 301. All standing and special committees of the Faculty shall adopt and publish rules, which shall include the following (the standing committees are the Educational Policy Committee, the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, the Committee on Honors, and the Committee on Compensation and Benefits):

Section 302. The Committee Chair

(a) Each standing and special committee of the faculty shall elect a Chair, who in all cases shall be a tenured member of the Faculty, and a Vice-Chair, who shall also be a tenured member of the Faculty and shall be Acting Chair in the Chair’s absence.

(b) The Chair shall be elected for a term of one year in the spring semester preceding his or her term by the continuing and newly elected members of the committee.

(c) The Chair may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee, and replaced by the Vice-Chair.

(d) The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Committee, set the agenda, and call special meetings. The Chair shall also serve as the official spokesperson for the committee and as the official contact person with the administration.

(e) The Chair and Chair-elect of each committee shall arrange for a transitional meeting between the old and new committee, to be held following the spring elections to the committee.

Section 303. Committee Membership and Service Relief. The Faculty consider service on faculty committees to be a collegial obligation. Faculty may be exempted from serving on faculty committees if they meet the conditions established in Sec. 503(c) of the By-laws of the Faculty or if they meet the conditions established by the Policy of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Chairs of departments and programs are not automatically exempt from election to faculty committees. They may decline to be on the ballot for election to major committees because of the demands of departmental duties during their tenure as chair.

Section 304. Conflict of interest

(a) Whenever a voting member of a committee recognizes that he or she has a conflict of interest on a matter before that committee, he/she shall promptly declare it to the rest of the committee.

(b) Any committee member having a conflict of interest on a matter before the committee shall not vote on that matter or participate in discussions, provided, however, the committee member shall not be prevented briefly from stating his/her position on the issue nor prevented from answering pertinent questions asked by other committee members.

(c) The minutes of the committee meeting shall reflect that the declaration was made and that the member recused him or herself.

Section 305. Recusal of Committee Members

(a) The Chair or any voting member of a Faculty committee may propose the recusal of any other member on the grounds that said member faces a conflict of interest on a specified matter before the committee. If non-members of the committee are aware of a conflict of interest faced by a member of the committee they may so inform the Chair.

(b) The committee shall review the request in a timely fashion and in any event shall suspend deliberations on the matter specified in the recusal request. In doing so the committee member whose recusal has been requested should be given an opportunity to be heard and to respond to questions.

(c) Following the review, the committee may by a two-thirds majority require the member to recuse him or herself from further committee deliberations. The Chair shall inform the member in writing of the outcome of the committee decision.

Section 306. Committee Organization and Jurisdiction

(a) Each committee shall adopt a statement of its organization, jurisdiction, procedures and sources. Such statement shall be published as part of these Standing Rules and shall include at a minimum:

i. all standing subcommittees, task-forces or working groups to which the committee has delegated authority

ii. all administrative offices or faculty bodies to which the committee has delegated authority; and

iii. all committee documents, memoranda of understanding or other sources whereby the committee delegated authority to others.

Section 307. Committee Procedures

(a) Each committee shall be responsible for keeping the Faculty and the University community informed about its procedures, including the time and place of its regular meetings, the means for petitioning the committee, and the rules governing testimony before the committee.

(b) Attendance at committees shall be limited to committee members, except that the committee may request members of the Faculty and the University community to appear before the committee, provided that those asked to appear before the committee shall be afforded due notice as to the time, place, and subject matter of the discussion.

(c) Committees may request the appearance and testimony of any member of the Wesleyan community as well as documents and material the committee considers relevant to its proceedings. Each committee shall maintain a written record of the testimony and materials it requests, along with the reasons given by those who decline to cooperate.

(d) Each committee shall maintain the minutes of its meetings. Committee minutes shall include the following: the date and time of each meeting; the agenda; the attendees; reports submitted; motions offered; the disposition of each motion; recorded votes; such other material as the committee deems appropriate.

(e) The first order of business at each committee meeting shall be the reading and approval of the previous meeting’s minutes.

(f) Each committee may, at its discretion, require confidentiality of its members, except that such a requirement shall not, except in the case of individual student records and the proceedings of the Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, prevent committee members from discussing issues before the Faculty Meeting.

(g) Whenever a committee proposes policy on matters under its jurisdiction it shall do so in such a way as to provide the following information. See, also, Sections 103 and 104 above.

i. the title of the motion
ii. the author of the motion
iii. an identification and reference (filing) number
iv. the date of the motion
v. the full text of the motion
vi. whether the motion was passed, defeated or tabled
vii. the yeas, nays and abstentions on each vote
viii. the office responsible for administering the policy and its reporting responsibilities
ix. where the full text of the motion is on file
x. where the full text of reports are on file

Part IV. Amendments

Section 401. The Executive Committee of the Faculty, in consultation with the Academic Secretary, is authorized to propose amendments to the Standing Rules of the Faculty, provided:

(a) that a majority of the voting members of the Committee vote in the affirmative to recommend such an amendment;

(b) that the proposed amendment is distributed to the Faculty, along with a report explaining why the amendment is needed and how it impacts on Faculty governance;

(c) that the Faculty vote on the proposed amendment either at one of its regular Meetings, or at a Meeting specially called for this purpose.

Section 402. Any tenured or tenure track member of the Faculty may submit a proposed amendment to the Executive Committee for its review. The Committee shall forward the original proposal to the Faculty Meeting along with any amendments to it the Committee might wish to propose. Provided:

(a) The Committee may recommend the Faculty adopt the proposal as submitted or one the Committee has amended, provided five of the nine members of the Committee vote in the affirmative to do so.

(b) If the Committee recommends the original proposal or one the Committee has amended, it shall require an affirmative vote of sixty percent of a quorum voting by secret ballot at a Faculty Meeting to approve the proposed change in the Standing Rules.

Part V. Proviso

Section 501. The Standing Rules of the Faculty and all amendments thereto shall be consistent with and are subordinate to the By-Laws of Wesleyan University, the Standards and Procedures for Regulating Conduct, and the By- Laws of the Faculty. Any conflict between the Rules and those documents shall be resolved in favor of those documents. Nor shall any of the Standing Rules be construed in such a manner as to interfere with the responsibilities and powers delegated to Faculty Committees under the By-Laws of the Faculty or those documents.