Constitution of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Adopted by the Faculty May 11, 2007)
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
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
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
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
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 all persons who are budgeted
(partially or fully) in the College and who hold a faculty titled rank
of lecturer or above in the departments, centers, or programs that belong
to the College; non-teaching researchers who are budgeted (partially
or fully) in the College and who hold a equivalent faculty titled rank
of assistant scientist (scholar) or higher; and the Dean, Assistant and
Associate Deans of the College, and the University President as ex-officio
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. 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
(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 requiring a mail ballot the Secretary shall be responsible
for conducting the balloting and reporting the results to the faculty.
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. Special elections shall be held to complete
the term of any member who is unable to or fails to serve. 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 weekly 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
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 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
(a) No Dean, Assistant Dean, or Associate Dean in the College Office shall
(b) No department shall have more than one member on any committee.
(c) In the case of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, only tenured full
professors shall be eligible.
Elections shall be held 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 be by mail.
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
The humanities electoral group shall include the budgeted faculties of
African and Asian Languages and Literatures, Classics, English, Germanic
and Slavic Studies, History, Linguistics Program, Philosophy, Religion,
and Romance Languages and Literatures.
The natural, physical, and mathematical sciences electoral group shall
include the budgeted faculties of Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry, Geological
Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, and Zoology.
The social and behavioral sciences electoral group shall include the budgeted
faculties of Anthropology; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Criminology,
Law and Society; Geography; Political Science; Psychology; and Sociology.
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 a two-thirds vote of those present
and voting at any meeting of the Assembly provided that written notice
and text of proposed amendments are received by the Faculty at least two
weeks prior to the meeting at which action on the amendments is to be taken.
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