Constitution of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Adopted by the Faculty May 11, 2007; amended March 25, 2010; November 12, 2015; October 21, 2016)
Article I. Preamble
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is central to the academic mission of the University of Florida. The advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the humanities; social and behavioral sciences; the natural, physical and mathematical sciences; and related interdisciplinary fields constitute the intellectual foundation of the entire University. As such, research and teaching in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are the basis of all of the applied and professional schools of the University of Florida.
The Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are dedicated to preserving standards of excellence and quality in all graduate and undergraduate programs of study and research, with the understanding that a truly great university serves the needs not only of the state and the nation but also, in this era of internationalization, the world.
The Faculty of the College recognize that its mission and goals can be achieved only through an acknowledgment of the principles of shared governance. Working relationships between administrators and faculty and among faculty within the academic units must be based on mutual respect, transparency, representative participation, and clarity of roles. The Constitution of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences aims to establish principles and operating procedures grounded in acceptance of mutual accountability and shared commitment.
This Constitution is intended to be consistent with Florida law, the University Constitution, the rules and regulations of the Florida Board of Governors and the University of Florida Board of Trustees, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the United Faculty of Florida. In matters that conflict, the University Constitution, the policies and regulations of the Florida Board of Governors and the University of Florida Board of Trustees, and the Board of Trustees/United Faculty of Florida Collective Bargaining Agreement are the ruling documents. Operating within these contexts and within the provisions of the Constitution, the Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have responsibility for policy development and program planning.
The Faculty of the College shall establish requirements for entrance into programs of major study and for graduation, designate the undergraduate and graduate degrees to be conferred, and determine the curricula. They shall certify to the President those of its students who have completed requirements for degrees.
Article II. Organization
A. The College Assembly
The College Assembly and its committees are the agencies by which its members may act collectively in matters of concern to the whole College.
The College Assembly consists of the Faculty of the College as defined in Article II D 1 (below), plus ten students designated annually by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council (CLASSC).
The Assembly shall meet on dates to be set by the Assembly Steering Committee. There shall be at least one meeting of the Assembly in the Fall semester and at least one meeting in the Spring semester. Meetings may be called by the Dean or by the Assembly Steering Committee, or upon the petition of twenty-five or more members to the Assembly Steering Committee. Meetings may also be ordered by the Assembly. The Assembly Steering Committee shall determine the time and place of Assembly meetings and prepare an agenda to be received by each member of the Assembly at least two days before the meeting. Items for the agenda may be forwarded by any member of the College Assembly. The Assembly Steering Committee shall meet not more than twenty-one nor fewer than five days in advance of a meeting of the Assembly to prepare the agenda. A quorum for any meeting of the College Assembly shall consist of sixty members.
B. Departments, Programs, and Centers
The department shall be the fundamental unit of academic and administrative organization within the College. The program of a department shall be conducted by the department Faculty through a chair, who shall have general responsibility for the activities of the department. Within the parameters of the Preamble, authority on academic matters rests with the departmental Faculty. Mechanisms for determining general departmental policy will be adopted by majority vote of all Faculty members or by a Committee elected by all Faculty for the purpose of setting general departmental policy. Centers and Programs with an academic mission that do not reside within a department shall be administered as are departments.
2. Programs, Centers, and Institutes
Degree and non-degree programs, including centers and institutes, may be established as necessary to assist the College in its teaching, service, and research programs within the guidelines of the University. The abolition or consolidation of a program shall be voted upon by the faculty of the affected units.
3. Procedures for Establishing, Ending, or Consolidating a Department
The formation of a department shall require a vote of the College Assembly. The abolition of a department, or its consolidation with another, shall be voted on by the faculty of the affected units and by the College Faculty Council.
C. The Dean
1. Responsibilities of the Dean
The Dean is the chief executive and administrative officer of the College. The Dean is responsible to the President of the University for the administration of the College and acts as agent of the Faculty for the execution of educational policy. The Dean is to foster and to participate actively in shared governance with the Faculty of the College.
2. Selection of the Dean
The Dean is appointed by the President. In making this appointment, the President shall give consideration to the recommendation of a Special Advisory Committee representing the Faculty.
This Special Advisory Committee shall include three members elected by each of the electoral groups defined in Article IV, C 2 and according to the procedures outlined in Article IV, A, B, and C 1. The Committee so elected will then elect a chair, and then this Committee may select up to three additional faculty members to insure a diversified committee. The Committee will also include three students appointed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council.
D. Faculty and Chairs
1. Definition and Authority of the Faculty
The Faculty of the College shall consist of: (a) all persons who are appointed (partially or fully) in the College or one of its constituent units, and who hold one of the following titles (without Visiting or Adjunct modifiers): Eminent Scholar, Graduate Research Professor, Distinguished Service Professor, Distinguished Professor, Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor, Master Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer, Research Associate, Scholar, Associate Scholar, Assistant Scholar, Scientist, Associate Scientist, Assistant Scientist, Senior Associate in _______________ , Associate in ________________ , and Assistant in ________________, Chair, Program Director, or Center Director; (b) the Dean, Assistant, and Associate Deans of the College, as ex-officio members. and (c) the University President, as an ex-officio member.
In accordance with their by-laws, departments, centers, and programs may elect to include as Departmental, Program, or Center Faculty persons with adjunct, affiliate, provisional, courtesy, emeritus or visiting appointments and persons in specialty faculty titled positions. Persons with these appointments may not vote on College matters or participate in College governance unless they qualify as College Faculty in accordance with the preceding paragraph. Descriptions of faculty, equivalent faculty and specialty faculty titles can be found in University regulation 6C1-7.003.
The Department Chair is to be nominated by the Dean after formal consultation with the Chair Search Committee. The Chair Search committee (which may include untenured as well as tenured departmental faculty) shall be composed of (a) members from the departmental faculty elected by a majority vote of the department’s tenured members and (b) a faculty member from a related field outside the department appointed by the CLAS Dean to serve as the Dean’s representative on the committee. This Committee so comprised will elect its chair, and then may select up to two additional faculty members to insure a diversified committee. In the absence of action by the Committee, the Dean may appoint up to two additional faculty members to serve on the committee to achieve such diversity. Committee composition shall remain such that a majority of the Committee members are full-time faculty in the department.
The Search Committee shall advise the Dean by nominating two to three Chair candidates. If the Search Committee is unable to nominate more than one candidate, an exception to this number may be made by mutual agreement between the Dean and the Search Committee. The Dean’s nomination shall be forwarded to the President for approval. If the Search Committee does not concur in the Dean’s nomination, then the Committee’s dissenting report shall be forwarded to the President along with the nomination made by the Dean.
3. Faculty Rights
(a) The faculty believes that academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a university and apply to teaching, research and creativity. Therefore, the faculty must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence.
(b) Faculty members have the right to know what is required of them in their work and how that work will be evaluated. Faculty members shall be provided with a statement of their responsibilities and criteria by which they will be evaluated upon initial appointment and at least annually thereafter
(c) All decisions regarding tenure, promotion, sabbatical leaves, salaries, salary increases and evaluations, and all results of those decisions, shall be made known to the individual faculty member in a timely manner. Faculty members have the right, in a timely manner, to appeal such decisions consistent with applicable policies and procedures and to expect a timely reply.
(d) On all matters relating to tenure and promotion, faculty members have a right to receive, in a timely manner, the results of departmental votes, the college committee’s individual assessments, the chair’s/director’s letter, and the dean’s letter and recommendation.
(e) The faculty have a right to assemble to discuss matters of concern to the faculty.
(f) All faculty members have the right in accordance with University Policy to see any and all information about themselves kept in any official personnel files within the college or department, and have the right to reply in writing as set forth in University policy.
4. Faculty Responsibilities
Faculty members must fulfill their responsibilities to society, their professions and the University by manifesting academic competence. The responsibilities of the faculty shall include but are not limited to:
(a) Teaching, research, and service.
(b) Contributing to the governance of the College and the departments within the College.
(c) Establishing the curricula of the College and the departments within the College.
(d) Serving on University committees and on the Faculty Senate.
E. Chair of the College Assembly
The Chair of the College Assembly shall preside at the meetings of the College Assembly; serve as Chair of the Assembly Steering Committee; and, in addition, at the beginning of the fall term, convene and preside over the election of the chairs for all committees of the college except for the Petitions Committee, any special committees appointed under Article III, B 3, and the Special Advisory Committee defined in Article II, C 2.
The Chair of the College Assembly shall be an ex-officio member of the College Faculty Council.
The Chair of the College Assembly shall serve for one year and take office at the beginning of the fall term after the spring election.
F. Secretary of the Faculty
(a) Distribute to members of the College Assembly, and such other persons as the Assembly or Dean may direct, all notices, calls, agenda, and minutes of all meetings of the College Assembly.
(b) Record and preserve minutes of all meetings of the College Assembly, and votes taken therein, special reports, and all other official actions.
(c) Notify committees of all business referred to them, and furnish them documents and papers laid before the Faculty relating to such business.
(d) Secure from the presiding officer of all elected committees, except for the Tenure and Promotion Committee, and all appointed committees involved with curriculum or student matters, agendas of future meetings, reports and other notices of official actions. Such materials shall be kept in the Office of the Dean and shall be open and accessible to all Faculty and other interested parties.
(e) In all elections the Secretary shall direct the balloting.
The Secretary of the Faculty shall be appointed at the beginning of the fall term by the Nominating Committee from among the Faculty and may serve successive terms.
The Dean shall appoint annually the Parliamentarian for the College Assembly. The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair of the College Assembly and the Faculty on questions of parliamentary procedure. The latest edition of Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by Alice F. Sturgis shall be the parliamentary authority for this Assembly in all cases to which the rules apply and in which its rules are not contradictory to the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws.
Article III. College Committees
A. Committees Elected by the Faculty
1. College Faculty Council
The College Faculty Council represents the Faculty to the Dean on all matters of concern to the College. It shall have monthly meetings with the Dean. It shall be concerned with the College strategic plan, the welfare of the College Faculty, the full development and maturation of its students, and resource allocation. The College Faculty Council shall have power to create ad hoc committees to assist it in its tasks. The College Faculty Council shall annually review the state of shared governance in the College and report to the College Assembly. Based on this review it shall recommend appropriate changes in the policies and procedures of the College to the College Assembly. The College Faculty Council shall consist of twelve elected faculty members.
At any time there shall be four members of the committee from each electoral group of the College. Members shall serve two years. Two members shall be elected from each electoral group each year. Faculty may not serve more than two consecutive terms. To complete the term of any member who is unable to or fails to serve, an eligible replacement from the same electoral group shall be appointed by the Chair of the College Assembly. Immediately after election, the Chair of the College Assembly shall meet with the College Faculty Council to preside over the election of a Chair of the College Faculty Council who shall preside over all meetings of the College Faculty Council and shall meet at least monthly with the Dean.
In addition to the elected faculty members, the Chair of the College Assembly and the Chair of the Finance Committee shall serve as ex officio members.
There shall be two student members: one undergraduate chosen by the undergraduate majors of the College and one graduate student chosen by the graduate students studying in the College. The student members shall serve one year. The student members shall have voting rights on issues relating to students. The student members shall not vote in the election of the Chair.
2. College Finance Committee
The College Finance Committee represents the Faculty to the Dean on all financial matters of the College. The Dean shall inform and consult with the College Finance Committee on the construction and implementation of the College budget. The College Finance Committee shall review funding, allocations, and expenditures of the College and report to the College Assembly each semester of the academic year. The College Finance Committee shall consist of ten members. There shall be two elected members of the committee from each electoral group. There shall be one member appointed by the Dean from each electoral group. The Dean’s appointed members shall be from different departments than the elected members serving. The Faculty members shall serve three years. There shall be one student member chosen by the students of the College. The student member shall serve one year. Faculty may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Immediately after election, the Chair of the College Assembly shall meet with the College Finance Committee to preside over the election of a Chair of the committee who shall preside over all meetings of the College Finance Committee and shall be an ex officio member of the College Faculty Council. One member of the College Finance Committee shall be chosen to serve on the Assembly Steering Committee.
3. The Curriculum Committee
The Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for approving all changes in curriculum and for evaluating existing programs. The committee shall make periodic reports to the Faculty. It shall consist of 3 members elected from each electoral group as defined in Article IV, C 2, and according to the procedures of Article IV, A, B, and C 1. The members will elect the chair. In addition, there shall be three student members selected by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council. Members of the College Faculty who sit on the University Curriculum Committee shall be non-voting members of the Curriculum Committee. The Dean or the Dean’s representative shall appoint one member of the College Faculty serving on the General Education Council as a non-voting member of the Curriculum Committee. A representative of the Dean’s Office assigned to curriculum matters shall also meet with the committee in an advisory capacity.
4. The Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall elect its chair. The Nominating Committee shall present to the Assembly at the appropriate time its nominees for the various elected offices of the College. The Nominating Committee will also appoint the Secretary of the Faculty. Each spring the Nominating Committee shall also propose a list of names of College faculty as candidates for election to the Faculty Senate in accordance with the provisions of the University Constitution.
5. The Tenure and Promotion Committee
The College Tenure and Promotion Committee, a fact-finding committee, is comprised of tenured faculty members of the college holding the rank of full professor or above. The committee is made up of three representatives from each of the three electoral areas of the college (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences). Each member serves for three years, and terms are staggered such that each year three new members join the committee. Two of the three members of each area are elected by tenured faculty through College Assembly nomination procedures. A third member is appointed by the Dean of the College. When a committee member has to leave the committee for sabbatical, research, or other reasons, the Dean appoints a temporary member from the same area.
The committee shall provide recorded individual assessments to the Dean as part of its fact-finding and consultative role. An individual assessment shall consist of a committee member’s indicating whether or not the candidate meets the standards for tenure and/or promotion within the college. The individual faculty members making the assessment shall not be identified. The Dean will provide the committee’s individual assessments to the candidate and to the University’s Academic Personnel Board.
B. Committees Appointed by Officers of the College, or the College Assembly
1. Undergraduate Committee
The Undergraduate Committee shall be responsible for initiating and reviewing College rules and regulations as they relate to students and making recommendations to the College Curriculum Committee or, when appropriate, to the College Faculty. The Committee shall consist of the undergraduate coordinators or equivalent officer from every department and academic program and four students to be selected from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council. The Committee shall elect a chair from among its membership. A representative of the Dean charged with student advisement shall meet with the committee in an advisory capacity.
2. Petitions Committee
The Petitions Committee shall act on all student petitions requesting waivers of college requirements. This Committee shall also act for the Faculty of the College in certifying students for graduation. The size, composition and term of the members of this Committee shall be determined by the Dean. The Dean shall also appoint the chair.
3. Special Committees
Special Committees may be created by the Faculty or by the Dean and their members appointed by the Dean, except as the Faculty may otherwise provide with respect to special committees the Faculty creates. However, any special committee appointed by the Dean with a charge wholly or partially concerned with curriculum matters shall have a voting member of the Curriculum Committee as a member.
C. Committees With Ex-Officio Membership
1. Assembly Steering Committee
The Assembly Steering Committee shall set the time, place, and agenda for the meeting of the College Assembly in accordance with provisions of Article II, A 3. The membership shall consist of the Dean of the College, the chairs of the Curriculum Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Undergraduate Committee, the College Faculty Council, the Secretary of the Faculty, one member of the Finance Committee, the Parliamentarian, one student to be appointed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council, and the Chair of the College Assembly. The last shall be the chair.
2. Constitution Review Committee
The Constitution Review Committee shall meet at least once yearly to review the Constitution and to consider any proposals for change that may have come before it. The membership shall consist of the Dean, the Parliamentarian for the College, the Secretary of the Faculty, and the immediate past Chair of the College Assembly. The Parliamentarian shall call and preside over the meeting(s) of the Committee.
Article IV. Nominations and Elections
Each year, the Assembly Steering Committee shall designate a spring meeting of the Assembly to receive nominations for elective offices. Before the designated meeting of the Assembly in the spring term, the Nominating committee shall solicit suggestions for nominees for Chair of the College Assembly and for the elected standing committees of the College. (When a Special Advisory Committee is to be elected to represent the faculty in the selection of the Dean in accordance with Article II, C 2, above, the Nominating Committee shall likewise solicit suggestions for nominees to serve on that committee.) The Nominating Committee shall present its slate of candidates prior to this meeting of the Assembly. All slates will include at least two persons for each open position. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.
Any member of the Faculty shall be eligible for office with the following exceptions:
(a) No Dean, Assistant Dean, or Associate Dean in the College Office shall be eligible.
(b) The Curriculum Committee and the Tenure and Promotion Committee shall have no more than one member from a single department, excluding ex-officio and student members. All other committees shall have no more than two members from a single department, excluding ex-officio and student members.
(c) In the case of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, only tenured full professors shall be eligible.
Elections shall be held electronically or by mail after the meeting of the College Assembly designated for the Nominating Committee’s presentation of slates and receiving nominations from the floor. The Nominating Committee shall conduct the election with assistance of the Dean’s Office.
The Nominating Committee shall designate the seats to be filled alphabetically (e.g., Seat A, Seat B, etc.), and shall name at least two persons for each seat to be filled
The Nominating Committee shall determine the time for the election of the Special Advisory Committee to represent the Faculty in the selection of the Dean if such election is required at a time other than the designated spring College Assembly meeting.
C. Electoral Procedures
Balloting, directed by the Secretary of the Faculty, shall occur by electronic secret ballot or mail secret ballot. Each Faculty member may vote for the Chair of the College Assembly and for committee members representing the electoral group of the member’s department. Elections shall be determined by majority vote. If a majority is not secured, a run-off election between those receiving the highest and second highest number of votes shall be held within two weeks of the regular election. The Secretary of the Faculty shall notify those elected within two weeks of the election.
2. Electoral Groups
For the purpose of nomination and election, the College Faculty shall be divided into three electoral groups. Constituents of electoral groups may be changed only with the approval of the College Assembly. Members of the College Faculty not affiliated with departments or programs listed below will be placed in an appropriate electoral group by the College Faculty Council.
The humanities electoral group shall include the faculties of Classics; English; History; Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Philosophy; Religion; Spanish and Portuguese Studies; and Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research.
The natural, physical, and mathematical sciences group shall include the faculties of Astronomy; Biology; Chemistry; Geological Sciences; Mathematics; Physics; and Statistics.
The social and behavioral sciences electoral group shall include the faculties of African Studies; Anthropology; Economics; Geography; Linguistics; Political Science; Psychology; and Sociology and Criminology & Law.
Faculty with dual appointments in units in different electoral groups will vote in the electoral group associated with the faculty member’s tenure and/or promotion home.
D. Terms of Office
Unless specified otherwise in Article III, elected members of standing committees shall serve for a term of two years and until their successors have been elected and taken office. They shall take office at the beginning of the fall term after the spring election.
Vacancies in elected positions on standing committees may be filled by individuals appointed by the Chair of the College Assembly of the College to serve until their successors can be elected at the next regular election and assume office at the beginning of the fall term. Such individuals must meet regular eligibility requirements.
Article V. Adoption
The Assembly Steering Committee, in consultation with the Dean and the Constitution Review Committee, shall call a special meeting of the faculty to discuss the draft constitution. A final draft of the constitution shall be posted and provided to all members of the faculty on the College website. Not earlier than two weeks and no later than four weeks after dissemination of the final draft, a vote of the faculty by written ballot shall be conducted to adopt or reject the constitution. Approval of this constitution shall require the majority vote of all those faculty voting.
Article VI. Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds of the votes cast by the College faculty, provided that the amendment shall have been proposed by the Constitution Review Committee and then discussed at a meeting of the College Assembly, and that at least two weeks prior to this meeting of the College Assembly, the faculty shall have received the text of the proposed amendment and notification that it will be discussed at this meeting. Balloting, directed by the Secretary of the Faculty, shall occur by electronic secret ballot or mail secret ballot no earlier than seven days and no later than thirty days after the meeting of the College Assembly.
Amendments shall be effective upon written notice of adopted changes which are to be sent by the Secretary of the Faculty to all Faculty members within two weeks of their adoption.
Article VII. Effective Date
This Constitution shall become effective upon approval by the College Faculty.