Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(2)    Faculty Governance Structure

(2A)    CONSTITUTION OF THE FACULTY ORGANIZATION

(2B)    UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM COUNCIL BYLAWS

(2C)    UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM COUNCIL STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

(2D)    FACULTY SENATE BYLAWS

(2E)    STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY


(2B)    UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM COUNCIL BYLAWS
(Approved by the Academic Faculty, April 29, 1991)

For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. Authority

  2. Membership (Constitutional Provision; Composition and Election According to Act of Academic Faculty Assembly; Resignations and Replacements; Organization of the Council; Committees)

  3. Meetings (Schedule; Quorum; Docket and Disposition of Business)

  4. Consent and Discussion Agendas

  5. Effective Dates of Council and Faculty Actions

  6. University Curriculum Council Standing Committees

  7. Adjunct Bodies

  8. Procedures

  9. Amendments

 

ARTICLE I:    AUTHORITY

The University Curriculum Council [is] the agency of the Faculty exercising the Faculty’s authority and responsibility in the area of curriculum and academic policy. Actions of the Council will be subject to approval by the Academic Faculty and, where appropriate, by the Board of Trustees. (Quoted from the Constitution of the Faculty Organization (Chapter 2A), Article III.A.)


ARTICLE II:    MEMBERSHIP

A.    Constitutional Provision

The basis for membership of the University Curriculum Council will be determined by act of the Academic Faculty Assembly, although proposals may originate from the University Curriculum Council, the Faculty Senate, or the Administration. If persons other than members of the Academic Faculty are to be included as members of the Council, the overall basis for membership will be subject to approval by the President. (Quoted from the Constitution of the Faculty Organization (Chapter 2A), Article III.B.)

B.    Composition and Election According to Act of Academic Faculty Assembly
Article II.B was adopted by the Academic Faculty March 6, 1991 in accordance with Article II.A: Constitutional Provision (above).

1.    Composition

The University Curriculum Council consists of eleven voting and four non-voting members. Of the voting members, nine are representatives of the faculty with seven elected from the seven groups listed below (one from each group) and two elected at large; one is a member of the Association of Student Representatives; and one is from the office of the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs.     

Group 1:  History, Classical Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures   

Group 2:  English, Philosophy, Religion

Group 3:  Art/Art History, Communication, Human Communication and Theatre, Music

Group 4:  Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics and Astronomy

Group 5:  Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics

Group 6:  Education, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology

Group 7: Business Administration, Health Care Administration, Economics

The four non-voting members are a secretary appointed by the Vice President for Faculty and Student  Affairs, the Registrar, a representative from the Library, and a student alternate appointed by the Association of Student Representatives. The student alternate shall vote in the absence of the voting student member.

None of the nine faculty representatives on the Council shall hold an administrative position above that of departmental Chair. No faculty member is eligible to serve on the Council until he or she has completed one full year of service at Trinity University. No more than one member of a department shall serve on the Council at the same time.

2.    Election and Terms of Service

The term of faculty membership is three years. At the conclusion of a three-year term, a member is ineligible for reelection to the University Curriculum Council for one year. Faculty who have been granted a leave during the academic year following the election shall be ineligible for nomination to the University Curriculum Council until the leave is completed. Faculty who anticipate a leave occurring during the term of service on this council are requested to consider postponing their nomination until after the leave is completed.

The faculty representative for each departmental group is elected by the Academic Faculty members of that departmental group. The at-large faculty representatives are elected by the entire Academic Faculty. Elections will be on a staggered basis in order to retain continuity of the Council. The Executive Committee of the University Curriculum Council conducts the election of Council members.

After February 15, the Executive Committee shall call for nominations to fill the vacancies on the University Curriculum Council. Nominations shall be by petition to the Committee in writing and bearing the signatures of two members of the Academic Faculty. Each member of the Faculty may nominate only one candidate for each of the vacancies.

The Executive Committee shall distribute ballots to members of the Academic Faculty within one week after receiving the nominations. Each Academic Faculty member may vote once for each full term vacancy. Election shall be by majority of the total ballots received. If no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot, the Committee shall conduct a runoff election with the names of the leading candidates whose combined votes constitute a majority of the ballots cast. This process shall be repeated if necessary, or in case of a tie. If the second runoff does not produce a candidate with a majority of the votes, the Committee shall determine the outcome by plurality, or in case of a tie, the outcome shall be decided by lot.

Should an election be necessary to fill replacement positions of shorter than a full term, these elections will occur after the full term elections have been completed. These procedures will occur in a fashion similar to the full term elections but shall include only one runoff. Candidates nominated for full terms may choose to enter these elections without repeating the nomination process. Vacancies of equal term length will appear on the same ballot. Vacancies of unequal term will be filled by consecutive elections, occurring in decreasing order of term length.

The departmental group elections will occur after the at-large elections have been completed. All elections will be completed in time for report at the last Faculty Assembly of the academic year. The terms commence at the conclusion of the spring semester.

 

C.    Resignations and Replacements

A faculty member who wishes to resign from the University Curriculum Council will submit a letter of resignation to the Chair of the Council. The Executive Committee will immediately conduct an election to fill the unexpired term at the earliest possible date. The same replacement procedure will apply in the event of vacancies caused by death or departure from the university. A faculty member may withdraw from the Council during a period of leave or temporary disability without forfeiting the position. A temporary replacement will be selected by the Executive Committee in such cases.

D.    Organization of the Council

The Chair and the Vice Chair will be elected from the faculty membership of the University Curriculum Council. The Vice Chair will be elected each year from the first or second year faculty members and will succeed to the Chair in the following year. Should it happen that the Vice Chair becomes unavailable to succeed the Chair in the following year, the Council may elect any one of its faculty members to the Chair at the same time that it elects a new Vice Chair. No one may serve as Chair for more than one year during a single term of membership on the Council.

  1. The Chair, in consultation with the Vice Chair and the Secretary, sets the agenda for council meetings. The Chair calls and conducts the Council’s meetings, and normally presents the recommendations of the Council to the Academic Faculty Assembly.

  1. The Vice Chair performs the functions of the Chair in the latter’s absence.

  1. The Secretary, who is assigned to the Council by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, performs such duties as the following in accordance with instructions from the Chair: receives proposals from the Faculty, issues the agenda and other notices before meetings of the Council, prepares and circulates the Consent and Discussion agendas and related documentation to the Academic Faculty before meetings of the Academic Faculty Assembly, records the minutes of Council meetings and circulates them to the Academic Faculty, and maintains the Council’s files.

  1. The Executive Committee is composed of the Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.

E.    Committees

The University Curriculum Council may establish such committees and task forces as its responsibilities and needs may dictate. The Council may appoint members of the Academic Faculty to these groups. It may also request the Association of Student Representatives and the Administration to appoint members when the Council deems this appropriate.


ARTICLE III:    MEETINGS

A.    Schedule

The University Curriculum Council sets its own meeting schedule.

B.    Quorum

Seven voting members of the University Curriculum Council (including the student alternate if the voting student member is not present) constitute a quorum.

C.    Docket and Disposition of Business

1.    Types of business

a.    Proposals initiated by the University Curriculum Council. The Council may initiate, discuss and bring to the Faculty for adoption proposals on any matters within its area of competence.

b.   Curriculum proposals. Any department, or program, may bring business before the University Curriculum Council. Proposals relating to courses, departments, and programs will first be endorsed by the appropriate departmental group. However, the Council may review proposals not endorsed by a departmental group when asked to do so by a member of the faculty as a matter of appeal. Proposals having a substantive impact on more than one departmental group should be reviewed by all the relevant departments.

c.    Common Curriculum requirements and University degree requirements. Proposals regarding general University degree requirements including the Common Curriculum may be brought to the Council by any member of the Academic Faculty or by the Administration.

d.    Academic policy proposals. Matters of policy relating to curriculum may be brought to the Council by any member of the Academic Faculty or by the Administration.

2.    Disposition of business

a.    No fewer than seven days before each meeting of the Council, the Secretary will circulate to the Academic Faculty an agenda showing the time and place of the meeting and a list of the specific items of business to be brought before the Council. A copy of the documentation provided for members of the University Curriculum Council will be placed on reserve in the library.

b.    Although all business brought to the Council must be in writing, the originating person, department, or program, may ask for time to present the proposal orally.

c.    Upon deliberation, the Council may dispose of a proposal in various ways, including the following:

  1. The Council may approve a proposal and recommend it to the Academic Faculty on either the consent agenda or the discussion agenda.

  2. The Council may defer a proposal pending further study by the members, or refer it to a committee or task force for further study and recommendations.

  3. The Council may remand a proposal to the originating person or body with suggestions, questions, or recommendations for possible re-submission.

  4. The Council may reject a proposal. In this case, the originating person or body may exercise the right of appeal by taking the proposition directly to the floor of the Academic Faculty Assembly, using established procedures for placing matters on the Assembly agenda.

3.    Executive Session

The Council by two-thirds vote may decide to go into Executive Session.

4.    Participation of Nonmembers

In addition to the provisions regarding opportunity to present their case for sponsors of proposals and for departments affected by substantive proposals of a type likely to go on the Discussion Agenda, the Council by majority vote or consent may invite or permit nonmembers to address the Council. Invitation of specific persons may also be applied to the whole or to a limited part of an executive session.

5.    Reporting to the Faculty

After each meeting of the University Curriculum Council the Secretary will circulate to the Academic Faculty a list of the propositions to be approved by consent (cf. Article IV.A: The Consent Agenda) or to appear on the agenda of a meeting of the Academic Faculty Assembly (cf. Article IV.B: The Discussion Agenda). The Secretary will send one copy of the documentation for both the consent and discussion agendas to all  departmental Chairs, and program Chairs, to the President, and to the  Association of Student Representatives. Such documentation will be available to interested students and faculty. For proposals on the Discussion Agenda either the complete documentation or an abbreviated form of it prepared by the Council will also be circulated to all members of the Academic Faculty.

Ordinarily the consent and discussion agendas will be circulated along with the minutes of the meeting at which the action was taken. However, consent or discussion agenda items may be submitted to the Academic Faculty immediately following action by the Council when the Council deems such submission desirable. Documentation will be distributed as described above.

A minimum of twenty-one days must elapse between distribution of the proposals and documentation to the Academic Faculty and the meeting at which they are to be discussed. Amendments to such proposals should be circulated in writing at least seven days prior to the meeting. Other amendments or substitute motions to a circulated proposal will be in order if their effect is to lessen the degree of change from the present status as compared with the effect of the circulated proposal. Amendments to a previously circulated amendment will be in order if their effect is to lessen the degree of change from the original proposal as compared with the effect of the circulated amendment. (Article III.C.5: Reporting to the Faculty is based on and in large part quoted from Article II.D.3 of the Constitution of the Faculty Organization [Chapter 2A].)


ARTICLE IV:    CONSENT AND DISCUSSION AGENDAS

The Academic Faculty must approve all proposals from the University Curriculum Council concerning curriculum and curricular policy. These proposals will be presented to the faculty in the form of a consent agenda or a discussion agenda item.. Items on the Consent Agenda, if not challenged within fifteen days, will stand approved. If any item on a consent agenda should be challenged by any member of the faculty, then this item will be transferred to the Discussion Agenda. Items on the Discussion Agenda will be presented to the faculty as motions from the Council for deliberation and vote at a meeting of the Academic Faculty Assembly.

A.    The Consent Agenda is intended for items of the following kind:

1.    Course additions, changes and deletions;

2.    Course changes in the Common Curriculum;

3.    Changes in major requirements;

4.    Other minor program changes that do not significantly affect the requirements for graduation;

5.    Amendments to the University Curriculum Council Bylaws other than proposals affecting the basis of membership or other constitutional provisions.

B.    The Discussion Agenda is intended for items of a substantial curricular nature, such as the following:

1.    Changes in academic policy;

2.    Changes in University requirements, such as graduation or Common Curriculum requirements;

3.    Amendments to grading policies or course scheduling;

4.    Addition and deletion of degree programs.


ARTICLE V:    EFFECTIVE DATES OF COUNCIL AND FACULTY ACTIONS

An action involving an addition, deletion, or change in title of a major or degree becomes effective with the academic year of the bulletin in which the change is first published. An action involving a change in degree requirements becomes effective permissively in the semester following the one in which the action is approved by the Council and the Academic Faculty and becomes mandatory for students entering under the first bulletin in which the changed requirements are published. Unless otherwise specified in the action, curriculum changes are effective the semester following approval and other actions are effective immediately upon approval.


ARTICLE VI: UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM COUNCIL STANDING COMMITTEES

A.  COMMISSION ON GRADUATE STUDIES

1.    Authority and Responsibility

By way of implementing its constitutionally delegated authority and responsibility for curriculum and academic policy, the University Curriculum Council establishes the Commission on Graduate Studies and delegates to it authority and responsibility for graduate studies. The authority and responsibility of the Commission shall be exercised in three areas: (1) areas where the Commission acts independently of the Council, (2) areas where the Commission reports its actions to the Council as information, and (3) areas where the Commission recommends actions to the Council.

a.    In the area of exceptions to policy for graduate students and in any other areas that may be agreed upon by the Council, and the Commission, and the Academic Faculty Assembly, the Commission shall act independently of the Council and need not report its actions to the Council.

b.    In the area of administrative policy relating exclusively to graduate studies, the Commission shall submit its recommendations directly to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs: Student Academic Issues, and/or other administrative officers of the University, reporting such recommendations to the Council as information.

c.    In the area of academic policy relating exclusively to graduate studies and in the area of exclusively graduate courses, requirements, and programs, the actions of the Commission shall be reported to the Council. The Council will forward such actions to the Academic Faculty on the Discussion or Consent Agenda as appropriate, and may at its discretion attach its own evaluation or recommendation.

d.    In the area of academic policy involving both graduate and undergraduate studies and in the area of courses, requirements, and programs involving both graduate and undergraduate studies, advice of the Commission will be sought prior to formal action by the Council.

2.    Procedures

The Commission shall establish its own standing rules and procedures and shall elect its own officers.

3.    Membership

The membership of the Commission shall consist of one faculty member elected by each academic department or program offering a graduate degree, two graduate students (one voting member and one alternate) selected by the Graduate Student Association, the Registrar or his/her representative, and the Vice President for Faculty and Student  Affairs or his/her representative. Members shall be selected in April/May and shall serve one-year terms commencing June 1.

4.    Approval of Actions

Actions of the Commission on Graduate Studies in the areas of academic policy and curriculum shall be subject to approval by the Academic Faculty Assembly in the same manner and according to the same principles distinguishing the Consent Agenda and Discussion Agenda as actions of the University Curriculum Council.

B.  FIRST YEAR SEMINAR STEERING COMMITTEE
(Amended September 11, 1992)

1.    The First Year Seminar Steering Committee is established by and responsible to the University Curriculum Council. It is responsible for the coordination, evaluation and oversight of the First Year Seminar. The Steering Committee will carry out the functions of a department, insofar as appropriate, in the administration of the Seminar. In its oversight role, the Steering Committee will bring recommendations for improvements in curriculum and policy to the Council.

Specific responsibilities of the Steering Committee include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.    Organizing and coordinating the Seminar.

b.    Assisting in the recruitment of Seminar faculty and peer tutors.

c.    Organizing meetings of Seminar faculty and peer tutors, workshops for faculty, and an orientation program for peer tutors.

d.    Reviewing proposed syllabi for the Seminars, discussing them with instructors as necessary, and maintaining a file of syllabi actually used in the Seminar.

e.    Upholding the criteria for the Seminars as established by the Faculty.

f.    Conducting evaluations of the individual Seminars, using a supplementary evaluation form distinct from the standard University course evaluation.

g.    Serving in the role of the department when students appeal grades according to established University procedures.

h.    Reviewing the operation of the Seminar and forwarding recommendations regarding content or policies to the Council for consideration.

2.    Membership

The membership of the Steering Committee shall consist of six members of the Seminar faculty elected by the Seminar faculty, one student with First Year Seminar peer tutor experience selected by the Association of Student Representatives, and one administrator from the Office of Academic Affairs. Faculty members shall serve two-year terms with three members retiring each year (one from each division). Faculty positions shall be filled by election during the spring or summer of each year; those eligible to vote are Seminar instructors for the coming academic year. The student member shall serve for a one-year term and shall be selected during the spring semester. All terms of office begin at the beginning of the fall semester.

3.    Procedures

The Committee shall elect its own officers and shall establish its own standing rules and procedures.

4.    Reporting to the University Curriculum Council

a.    The Steering Committee will report to the Council on a regular periodic basis regarding the quality and operation of the Seminar.

b.    The Steering Committee shall forward to the Council any recommendations it may have regarding changes in the content or requirements of the Seminar or the principal policies governing its operations. As with all business brought to it, the Council will determine what recommendations, if any, it will make to the faculty.

C.  COMMITTEE FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF THE COMMON CURRICULUM

1.    The Committee for the Assessment of the Common Curriculum is established by and responsible to the University Curriculum Council. It is responsible for the creation of procedures for and coordination of the ongoing assessment of the Common Curriculum.

2.     Membership

The membership of the Committee shall consist of six members to include one current member of the University Curriculum Council, one student selected by the Association of Student Representatives, three faculty members, and one administrator from the Office of Academic Affairs. Members will serve for three years and will be appointed by the UCC on a staggered basis in order to retain continuity on the Committee.

3.    Procedures

The Committee shall elect its own officers and shall establish its own standing rules and procedures.

4.    Reporting to the University Curriculum Council

The Committee will report to the Council on a regular basis regarding the assessment of the Common Curriculum and shall forward to the Council any recommendations it may have regarding changes in the content or requirements of the Curriculum or the principle policies governing it. As with all business brought to it, the Council will determine what recommendations, if any, will be recommended to the faculty for its consideration.

D.    INTERDISCIPLINARY SECOND MAJOR COMMITTEE

    1.    Authority and Responsibility

      a.    The Interdisciplinary Second Major Committee is established by and responsible to the University Curriculum Council. It is responsible for the coordination, evaluation, and oversight of the Interdisciplinary Second Major. The Committee will carry out the functions of a department, insofar as they are appropriate, in the administration of the major. In its oversight role, the Committee will bring recommendations to the University Curriculum Council regarding changes in requirements for the major and policies governing the Committee.

      b.    The general purpose of the Committee is to assist students who wish to declare an Interdisciplinary Second Major and faculty involved in such a major, and to insure the quality of such majors.

    2.    Membership

      a.    The Committee will consist of (i) five faculty members who generally represent the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and mathematical sciences, and professional programs, and (ii) two non-voting members: an Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and a student.

      b.    Faculty members will be appointed by the University Curriculum Council, and will serve for three years. Their terms will be staggered for the purpose of continuous operation. The Associate Vice President will be appointed by the Office of Academic Affairs. The student member will be appointed by the Association of Student Representatives.

      c.    The Committee will elect one of its members chair.

    3. Procedures

      a.  The Committee shall establish its own standing rules and procedures.

      b.     The Committee shall consider any student proposal for an interdisciplinary second major.

      c.     Upon approval, the Committee shall recommend a student’s proposal to the University Curriculum Council for approval, providing the proposal meets the requirements set out in the Courses of Study Bulletin.

    4.    Reporting to the University Curriculum Council

      a.    The Committee will report to the Council on a regular basis regarding (i) its operations, (ii) the employment of the Interdisciplinary Second Major by students, and (iii) the completion of Interdisciplinary Second Majors.

      b.    The Committee will forward to the Council any recommendations it has regarding (i) changes in the requirements for the major or (ii) the principal policies governing the Committee’s operations.

      c.    The Committee will make recommendations to the Council for approval of student proposals for Interdisciplinary Second Majors.


ARTICLE VII:    ADJUNCT BODIES

Certain other standing committees of the University with responsibility for academic programs, activities, or requirements are established by and report to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. Insofar as their actions or recommendations affect matters of policy or requirements for which the University Curriculum Council has responsibility, their actions and recommendations should be submitted to the Council for approval. These committees include the Council on Teacher Education, the Committee on Academic Standing, committees for area studies and interdisciplinary studies programs, the Committee on Study Abroad, the Health Professions Advisory Committee, and the Prelaw Advisory Committee.


ARTICLE VIII:    PROCEDURES

Robert’s Rules of Order (latest edition) will be used for all matters not covered in the Bylaws. The University Curriculum Council meetings, except those of Executive Session, are open to all Trinity University faculty, students, and administrators.


ARTICLE IX:    AMENDMENTS

With the exception of the provisions quoted from or otherwise controlled by the Constitution of the Faculty Organization (Chapter 2A), amendments to these Bylaws may be approved by a majority vote of the University Curriculum Council, provided that any proposed amendment has been distributed in writing to all members of the Council at least seven days prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be considered. Amendments approved by the Council shall be forwarded to the Academic Faculty, normally on the Consent Agenda. Any proposed change in conflict with provisions of the Faculty Constitution (Chapter 2A) must be accompanied or preceded by a proposed constitutional amendment submitted in accordance with the Constitution’s amendment procedures (Chapter 2A Article VI). The Council, the Faculty Senate, or any member of the Academic Faculty may propose such amendments. Changes regarding the basis of membership must be submitted to the Academic Faculty Assembly in accordance with the constitutional provision (University Curriculum Council Bylaws  Article II.A; Constitution of the Faculty Organization [Chapter 2A]  Article III.B).


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