Bylaws of the Faculty, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Article I. Definitions:
- The Voting Faculty of the Department of APS shall, for these Bylaws, be defined to consist of all individuals who hold the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, Teaching Associate Professor and Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department.
- The Non-Voting Faculty of the Department of APS shall consist of those individuals holding academic appointments of any professorial level in the following categories: Attendant, Adjoint, Adjunct, Research, Visiting, and Emeritus, as well as Lecturer and Scholar-in-Residence.
- The Faculty of the Department of APS shall consist of the Voting Faculty and the Non-Voting Faculty.
- An absence of a faculty member is defined as a period during which the member is unable to fulfill their duties or participate in meetings (either in-person or remotely). Absent faculty members and faculty members on temporary leave (e.g., on sabbatical or parental leave) remain members of the Voting Faculty and are eligible to vote on all matters.
- A quorum for any matter brought to a vote in a faculty meeting is defined as the presence (either in-person or remotely via videoconferencing) of a majority (more than half) of the Voting Faculty eligible to participate in the vote. For a written ballot, a quorum is defined as the submission of a ballot by a majority (more than half) of the Voting Faculty eligible to participate in the ballot.
Article II. Departmental Governance:
1. The Chair is the executive officer of the Department, and as such shall be responsible for ensuring that the Department follows departmental, college, and university policies and for coordinating department and interdepartmental activities. The Chair shall call and preside at departmental meetings, act on specific recommendations of the Faculty, oversee the teaching mission, plan the departmental budget, and carry on such financial negotiations with the responsible administration as are deemed necessary for the academic program of the Department. The Chair shall oversee personnel matters and coordinate efforts at recruitment of new faculty. As outlined below, the Chair shall appoint all standing committees and ad hoc committees (Article IV), but not the Executive Committee (Article III) or the Nominating Committee (Article II.A.5), and shall provide adequate supervision to ensure that the functions herein assigned to such committees, or to the Faculty as a whole, are carried out. In all such duties, the Chair shall actively seek the advice of the Faculty.
- The Chair shall communicate to the University administration results of faculty votes where appropriate, recommendations for salary increases as presented by the Executive Committee (Article III), and their own recommendations on reappointments, terminations, promotions, and tenure.
- The normal term of office of the Chair shall be three years.
- The Chair shall be a tenured Professor or Associate Professor of the Department.
- At the beginning of the final year of the Chair's term, the Voting faculty shall select from its membership, excluding the Department Chair, a Nominating Committee of at least three persons whose responsibility shall be first to canvass the opinion of the Voting Faculty and then to present a slate of candidates for Chair. A previous or current Department Chair shall be eligible for renomination.
- The Voting Faculty shall recommend to the Dean a nominee for Chair no later than the beginning of the final semester of a Chair's term. A nomination shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Faculty by written ballot (Article VI.G.1).
- The Chair-elect (if different from the current Chair) shall serve in a non-voting role on the Executive Committee during the spring semester before their term begins, to facilitate the transition.
- The Voting Faculty of the Department may recommend to the Dean that a Chair be removed from that position by a two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Faculty taken by written ballot (Article VI.G.2).
- Associate Chairs
- The APS department shall have two Associate Chairs, an Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education, and an Associate Chair of Graduate Education.
- The Associate Chairs shall be nominated and elected to serve two-year terms, preferably staggered, and are subject to annual approval of the Chair. The chief functions of the Associate Chairs shall be to assist the Chair in their duties with concurrence of the Dean.
- The Associate Chairs shall be members of the Voting Faculty, in compliance with Article III.B, and shall be nominated by the Chair or Chair-designate. Election of an Associate Chair shall require a two-thirds majority of the Voting Faculty.
- The Associate Chair of Undergraduate Education shall oversee all aspects of the APS undergraduate program. They report to the Chair. They shall serve as chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum and Concerns Committee (Article IV.C.2.iii). They shall coordinate the efforts and monitor the progress of standing and ad hoc committees that affect the APS undergraduate program. They shall assign peer review visits of all APS classes.
- The Associate Chair of Graduate Education shall oversee all aspects of the APS graduate program. They report to the Chair. They shall serve as a member of or chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee (Article IV.C.2.i) and as chair of the Graduate Curriculum and Concerns Committee (Article IV.C.2.iv). They shall coordinate the efforts and monitor the progress of standing and ad hoc committees that affect the APS graduate program. They shall ensure that annual progress reviews of graduate students are conducted, approve graduate exam and thesis committees.
- The Chair can modify the duties of Associate Chairs without amending these bylaws after consultation with the Executive Committee (Article III).
- The Chair may appoint an Associate Chair or, if an Associate Chair is not available, a member of the Voting Faculty to serve as Acting Chair during absences of the Chair of less than one month. The Acting Chair must hold the rank of Associate or Full Professor.
- If the Chair is to be absent from the Department for longer than one month, the Chair’s appointee (following the conditions in Article II C.1 above) must be confirmed for the designated period of absence by a simple majority of the Voting Faculty, and subject to approval by the Dean.
Article III. Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee provides a forum for detailed consideration and discussion on a timely basis of all matters of potential concern to the Department. The committee shall advise and assist the Chair, shall help to coordinate the interdisciplinary functions and communications within the Department, and shall assume responsibilities for initiating faculty personnel actions (Article III.E). The committee shall be sensitive to issues that may require discussion and decision by the Faculty after preliminary work is conducted by the Executive Committee.
- In addition to the Chair and Associate Chairs, two members of the Voting Faculty shall serve as members of the Executive Committee for two-year terms. Preferably, the terms should be staggered so that one member is replaced each year. They shall be elected by the Voting Faculty by written ballot for each position to be filled. The executive committee shall have at least three members holding the rank of tenured Professor or Associate Professor.
- The Chair or an Associate Chair shall conduct the meetings of the Executive Committee. A quorum requires at least three members to be present. The Chair may make temporary appointments to the Executive Committee by way of replacement of elected members who are absent for at most an academic term, such appointments to lapse upon the return of the member. For longer absences, the Voting Faculty shall elect a replacement.
- The Executive Committee shall normally meet twice per month during the fall and spring semesters, with additional meetings as required. The administrative directors or chairs of the Institutes, Centers, and other entities (SBO, Fiske, etc) associated with the Department may be invited to participate in meetings of the Executive Committee in order to facilitate communication and coordinate activities between groups within the Department and to address issues of mutual concern. The Executive Committee shall inform the Faculty of its discussions and actions in a timely fashion.
- The Executive Committee shall be responsible for initiating personnel actions and carrying out in-depth discussions with a representative group of Faculty, including all Voting Faculty members, on matters of new faculty appointments, renewal/non-renewal of existing appointments, promotions, tenures, post-tenure reviews, requests for sabbaticals and leaves of absence, special assignments, and salary issues. The deliberation and recommendations of this committee shall be reported to the Voting Faculty, for votes when required (Article VI). The actions shall be transmitted by the Chair to the University administration.
- The Executive Committee shall review the status of appointment (i.e., reappointment, promotion and/or tenure) for each Assistant Professor and Associate Professor and each non-tenure-track member of the Faculty each academic year or upon the request of the faculty member concerned.
- The Executive Committee shall make recommendations regarding salary adjustments for all Faculty members rostered in the College of Arts & Sciences for transmittal to the University administration. Any of the committee's recommendations and the basis for these shall, upon request, be made available by the Chair to the faculty member concerned. Any member of the committee whose appointment or salary shall be discussed by the committee will depart the room for the duration of the deliberations about them.
Article IV. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees
- All members of the Faculty shall be eligible for service on standing and ad hoc committees.
- The Department Chair shall appoint all standing and ad hoc committees and name a chair for each committee. Graduate students may be appointed to any standing or ad hoc committee at the discretion of the Chair.
- Standing committees
- The normal term of service on any standing committee shall be for one year.
- The standing committees established by these Bylaws shall be:
- Graduate Admissions: This committee shall be responsible for reviewing all applications for admission for graduate study in the Department and for indicating to the Chair appropriate action on each application. The committee shall be responsible for revising just and equitable guidelines for review of graduate applications. The committee shall coordinate efforts to provide financial support in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching and research assistantships for both incoming and continuing students.
- Graduate Examinations Committee: This committee shall be responsible for making arrangements for comprehensive examinations to be given to graduate students. Final decisions, based upon evaluation of each student's complete examination performance, shall be made by the Faculty, with the results communicated in writing to each student by the Department Chair. The Examinations Committee will also work with core course instructors to develop and approve the syllabus for each offering of a core course.
- Undergraduate Curriculum & Concerns Committee: This committee shall be responsible for maintaining and administering the undergraduate curriculum and addressing concerns related to the undergraduate program in the Department. This committee shall periodically review the overall curriculum and, with input from the course schedulers, recommend to the Chair for final approval the undergraduate courses to be offered each semester. The committee shall also present recommendations to the Faculty for adding or deleting courses.
- Graduate Curriculum & Concerns Committee: This committee shall be responsible for maintaining and administering the graduate curriculum and addressing concerns related to the graduate program in the Department. This committee shall periodically review the overall curriculum and, with input from the course schedulers, recommend to the Chair for final approval the graduate courses to be offered by the department. The committee shall also present recommendations to the Faculty for adding or deleting courses, as well as revisions to the departmental Comprehensive Examination.
- These standing committees can be modified in their responsibilities and new standing committees added without amending these Bylaws by action of a two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Faculty (see VI.G). Any such changes effected shall be recorded in writing and kept in official Department records.
- Ad hoc committees
- Ad hoc committees shall be appointed and given a charge by the Chair as needs arise.
- Ad hoc committees are formed for a limited period to address a specific need. When the work of the ad hoc committee is completed, the committee is dissolved. An ad hoc committee may exist for less than a year or for a year or more depending on the extent of the work assigned to it.
Article V. Regular and Special Faculty Meetings
- Regular meetings of the Faculty shall be called on a schedule determined by the Chair, after consultation with the Faculty. The regular meetings shall be used as forums for points of information and general discussions among the Faculty and for making decisions appropriate to the Faculty. The standing and ad hoc committees may seek the intent and advice of the faculty and present their recommendations in the general meetings.
- The Chair shall call a special meeting of the Faculty whenever at least one-third of the Faculty so desire, or when the Chair decides a special meeting is necessary. A special meeting should only be called when business cannot wait until the next regular meeting.
- An agenda for a regular or special meeting shall be compiled by the Chair and made available to the Faculty at least one day prior to the meeting.
- Regular and special meetings shall be conducted by the Chair, an Associate Chair, or other designee of the Chair.
- An option for attending a meeting remotely via videoconferencing shall always be made available. Those attending remotely will be considered to be ‘present’ at the meeting for quorum and voting purposes.
Article VI. Voting and Ballots
- No formal decisions may be made at a faculty meeting unless a quorum is present.
- Any Voting Faculty member may bring a motion to the floor for consideration by the Voting Faculty. Each member of the Voting Faculty present may vote in voice or hand votes. No proxy votes are allowed.
- A motion to require a written (electronic) ballot on a motion on the floor takes precedence over the motion on the floor and passes if it receives at least four affirmative votes.
- In voice or hand votes or in a written ballot, an abstention does not count as a vote cast, and will be used only to establish a quorum (as defined in Article I.E). In voice and hand votes, and in written ballots, the recorded total number of votes cast plus abstentions must meet the requirement for a quorum (as defined in Article I.E) to be valid. But only the votes cast (yes/no) will be used to determine if a motion passes.
- With the exception of issues enumerated below (Article VI.G) motions shall carry by a majority (more than half) of votes cast.
- A written ballot shall be conducted according to the following procedures:
- The written ballot shall be a secret ballot.
- The written ballot shall be distributed to all Voting Faculty eligible to vote on the matter at hand.
- The deadline for return of ballots shall be clearly communicated and be at least 5 days after the ballots are distributed.
- The following votes shall be conducted by written ballot with a restricted eligibility and a supermajority of votes cast required to pass:
- Election of a nominee for the Department Chair: two-thirds majority of votes cast by the Voting Faculty.
- Recommendation to the Dean for removal of the Department Chair from that position: two-thirds majority of votes cast by the Voting Faculty.
- Election of an Associate Chair: two-thirds majority of votes cast by the Voting Faculty.
- Recommendations on promotion to Professor: three-fourths majority of the votes cast by the group consisting of the Voting Faculty holding the rank of Professor, absent the Chair.
- Recommendations on tenure, for promotion to Associate Professor, and reappointment of tenure-track faculty: three-fourths majority of the votes cast by the group consisting of the Voting Faculty holding tenure, absent the Chair.
- Recommendations on the initial appointment of tenured or tenure-track faculty: three- fourths majority of the votes cast by the group consisting of the Voting Faculty holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor.
- Recommendations on the initial appointment of non-tenure-track faculty, reappointment of non-tenure-track faculty, and for all other faculty appointments of more than one year duration: three-fourths majority of the votes cast by the Voting Faculty holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Professor, and Teaching Associate Professor.
- Modifications of the duties of any standing committee or addition of a new standing committee: two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the Voting Faculty.
- Amendment of these Bylaws: three-fourths majority of the votes cast by the Voting Faculty.
Article VII. Status of Bylaws
These Bylaws, and any amendments thereto, shall be the operating rules of the Department of APS when submitted to the Voting Faculty for their advice and consent, adopted by the Voting Faculty as specified in Article VI.G.9, and approved by the Dean.
Adopted May 16, 2023