Adjunct Faculty Council Bylaws
The Adjunct Faculty Council serves as a forum for adjunct faculty to communicate and interact with each other, provide feedback on and identify opportunities for improving the situation of adjunct faculty, and strategize ways of better integrating adjunct faculty into our university community.
Approved by the President’s Cabinet on June, 2017
ARTICLE I. NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF ORGANIZATION
The name of the organization is the Adjunct Faculty Council (AFC). The constituency served by the AFC includes all faculty members of the University classified as adjunct faculty, who are not regular full-time or part-time employees of the University of St. Thomas. Adjunct faculty are individuals appointed to part-time teaching positions, and who normally teach fewer than three courses per semester.
ARTICLE II. AUTHORITY AND OBJECTIVES
The AFC is an advisory body, authorized by the President and sponsored by the Office of the Provost, which provides support and oversight of the AFC and its budget.
B. Roles and Responsibilities
- Considers and makes recommendations regarding matters of common concern to its constituency that originate with its constituency or that are referred to it by the University of St. Thomas senior administration.
- Serves as a forum to foster communication and collaboration at all levels of the institution.
- Seeks to promote and maintain strong morale among adjunct faculty and a high quality work environment that enables its constituency to advance the mission of the University of St. Thomas.
- Is the recognized body for recommending adjunct faculty as appropriate to serve on standing committees of the university, task forces, ad hoc committees and other bodies established from time to time by the university that will include adjunct faculty participation, other than the Faculty Senate. The election of adjunct faculty to the Faculty Senate is governed by the Faculty Handbook.
- Works to promote opportunities for adjunct faculty development.
- Works to promote effective communication and issue resolution by inviting the appropriate administrators to participate in informational meetings and discussions to facilitate solutions.
- Promotes understanding and fairness with regard to benefits, employment, and other areas of concern.
- Is not responsible for and will not replace channels or processes that would more appropriately be handled by the Office of the Provost, Human Resources or individual departments. For the avoidance of doubt, the AFC does not and will not hold itself out as a labor organization and is in no way a collective bargaining representative, exclusive or not. Rather, it provides a process for the constituency to confer with each other and engage in the university’s dialogue on issues affecting the constituency. The AFC has no representative authority to engage in collective bargaining over, or otherwise deal directly with the university in negotiating, the terms and conditions of employment for the constituency or any subset of it, or to bring for redress by the university or otherwise resolve any grievance or dispute, with or on behalf of any individual or group.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP AND REPRESENTATION
The AFC consists of 21 voting members, each of whom must have been in the constituency for at least two years or four courses (does not have to be consecutive) at the time of election and remain in the constituency for the duration of the term. To remain in the constituency, an adjunct faculty member must teach at least one course at the University of St. Thomas per academic year. Effort will be made to encourage candidates from all areas of the university and from both undergraduate and graduate programs. One representative from each college/school will be elected (CAS, CELC, OCB, SOD, SOE, SOL, SSW). The remaining 14 positions will be determined based on head count or credit hour counts of the academic units. The number and distribution of AFC representatives will be re-assessed annually.
B. Term and Term Limits
Members are elected for two-year terms, in accordance with the election procedures detailed in Article IV. An elected member may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms (four years in all), except that members elected to fill vacancies may serve more than four consecutive years as a result of filling the vacancy. A former AFC member may run for another single (two-year) term of office after being off the AFC for at least one term (two years). No adjunct faculty member may serve on the AFC for more than three full terms in all. AFC terms will be arranged so that fifty percent of the members are up for election each year.
Individuals who initially serve for the one-year term will be eligible to serve for two 2-year terms after the initial one-year term.
C. Mid-Term Vacancies
- Vacancies on the AFC that occur between elections, as a result of a member’s termination, resignation or otherwise, will be filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the vacating member’s election. Such vacancies will be filled for the balance of the original term.
- If for any reason a vacancy cannot be filled by the above means, the AFC will determine who will fill the position for the completion of the term by a majority vote of the remaining AFC members.
- If an AFC member transfers to a university position with a different classification that is not part of the AFC constituency (e.g., regular faculty or staff), the member automatically will terminate his or her membership concurrent with the change in position. Similarly, members whose employment with the university terminates during their term automatically will terminate their membership concurrent with their termination of employment. In both situations, the AFC position will be declared vacant.
The AFC can remove members by a 2/3 majority vote of its members.
ARTICLE IV. ELECTION OF MEMBERS
Elections for vacant AFC positions will be held annually during spring term, conducted by secret ballot under the supervision of the AFC officers.
- Information concerning vacancies and election procedures will be published on the AFC website and distributed by email to the AFC constituency during spring term.
- No later than 14 days following date of publication constituents will nominate candidates for the available AFC positions. Self-nominations are acceptable. In either case, nominations should include a profile of the nominee including, at a minimum, his or her length of service as an adjunct faculty member, the department(s) in which he or she has taught, and a brief explanation of the reasons for the nomination. When candidates are nominated by another party, the AFC will contact the candidate to confirm his or her willingness to serve as a nominee prior to submitting the nomination to the constituency.
- The identification of all nominees who have consented to run and a profile of each candidate prepared by the nominator, and reviewed in advance by the nominee and the AFC, will be published on the AFC website and distributed to the constituency promptly following the nomination deadline.
- During spring term, the AFC will administer an election, and each adjunct faculty member in the constituency may vote for the candidate(s) of her/his choice to fill the open positions. Each voting constituent will be able to vote for the number of candidates that matches the number of open positions.
- Election to the AFC will be determined by filling the open positions with the candidates receiving the most votes. For example, if there are nine open positions, the 9 candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to fill those positions. In the event of a tie for a vacancy, a second ballot will be cast to determine between the tied candidates. The individual receiving the most votes on the second ballot will fill the position.
- Results of the election will be announced promptly to the constituency via the AFC website and email.
- Elected members will begin service effective the first meeting of fall term.
ARTICLE V. OFFICERS
A. Officer Positions
The AFC officers will be a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, and a communications chair.
B. Election of Officers
- The AFC chair, vice-chair, secretary, and communications chair will be nominated and elected annually or as vacancies occur. Self-nominations are acceptable. Voting will be by a secret ballot under the supervision of the secretary or, if the secretary is running for another term, as determined by the AFC.
- Election to office will be determined by simple majority vote. In the event of a tie, a second ballot will be cast to determine between the two candidates, and the candidate who receives the most votes on the second ballot will fill the officer position.
- AFC officers may be re-elected for multiple terms.
Officers elected serve a one-year term beginning July 1. Officers who are elected to fill a vacancy that occurs between elections will be elected for the remainder of the vacated term.
D. Responsibilities of the Officers
- Preside at all AFC meetings, and enforce the bylaws of the AFC.
- Prepare and distribute an agenda prior to each AFC meeting.
- Schedule an annual meeting of the constituency with the Executive Vice President and Provost or other designated administrators as described in Article VII.
- Assume the responsibilities of the Chair in the Chair’s absence.
- Coordinate planning of meetings of the constituency.
- Oversee annual elections of AFC members.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Ensure that minutes of the AFC meetings are recorded, and submit the minutes to the AFC for review and approval within one week of the Council meeting.
- Ensure approved minutes are posted on the AFC Blackboard site and delivered to the Communications Chair for distribution to the constituency and administration in a timely manner.
- Maintainthe official copy of the bylaws.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Coordinate communications to the constituency and to the wider University through email, news releases, and the website.
- Ensure access to Blackboard, or any learning management system, for AFC members.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
ARTICLE VI. COMMITTEES
A. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the AFC
- Standing Committees will include:
- Elections and Nominations Committee: The Elections and Nominations Committee shall be responsible for the smooth and timely conduct of elections to the Adjunct Faculty Council, for advising and consulting with the Committee on Faculty Nominations and Elections (CFNE) on adjunct faculty elections or appointments to the Committees of the Faculty, and with the administrative officers of University Committees.
- Governance Committee: The Governance Committee shall be responsible for communicating as needed with the Administration, Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate, and with Deans of Colleges and Schools about issues that affect adjunct faculty. It shall also be responsible for creating and maintaining an Adjunct Faculty Resource Guide and for consulting with the Provost and the Faculty Affairs committee about the Faculty Handbook, insofar as it touches upon adjunct faculty members.
- Compensation and Benefits: The Compensation and Benefits Committee shall be responsible for advising and consulting with the Office of the Provost, Human Resources, and other pertinent members of the Administration on issues of import to adjunct faculty members, including but not limited to: rank, promotion, compensation, and benefits.
- Committee Membership: Committees shall be chaired by a Member of the Adjunct Faculty Council. No more than two Officers shall serve on any one Committee. The Committee Chairs, in consultation with the AFC Chair, may determine the membership of such committees to ensure an equitable number of members and representation across schools and colleges. Each AFC member shall be a voting member on one a committee and may self-nominate according to their preference. Eligible non-AFC adjunct faculty may also self-nominate for volunteer service on one a committees, as a voting member. Committee meetings shall be open to the university community, and members of the university community may serve on committees as ex-officio non-voting members. Each committee chair shall maintain a record of the members of the committee and shall submit such records to the Secretary of the Council. Committee membership shall be a term of one-year. AFC and non-AFC faculty members may apply self-nominate for subsequent one year terms.
- Action by Committees: Unless otherwise stated in the resolutions creating them, or in these Bylaws, committee actions shall be taken only upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the committee. Failure to reach agreement upon any issue before it shall require referral of said issue to the Council. Committee actions are recommendations until approved by the Council.
B. Service to the University
- The AFC Elections and Nominations Committee will oversee the election of adjuncts faculty members to seats on the Faculty Senate and appointments to standing committees of the Faculty and the University. (the following sections are changed to letters, per standard bylaw configuration)
- The AFC Elections and Nominations Committee will oversee the appointment of adjuncts faculty members to seats on ad hoc committees, advisory committees, search committees, and task forces, as per the Faculty Handbook.
- The AFC will determine and publicize the process for recommending adjunct faculty members for such service. The process will be fair and equitable.
- If members’ terms on the committee or other body are not determined by the committee charter or a similar governing document, the term will be determined by the AFC.
- Adjunct faculty members serving are expected to regularly attend and actively participate in such committees and other bodies.
- At a minimum, the AFC will evaluate its recommendations of adjunct faculty members for service on university committees, faculty committees, task forces, and other bodies of the university prior to renewing such membership.
ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES
- The AFC generally will meet monthly. The AFC will meet with the Executive Vice President and Provost at least once each semester. AFC meetings will be open to the constituency with limited floor privileges.
- A meeting of the full constituency will be held at least once during each of the Fall and Spring academic terms. At least one of these meetings will be with the Executive Vice President and Provost or other designated administrators by invitation of the AFC.
- Meetings with the Administration: any member, committee chair, or officer who seeks to meet with any member or group of the Administration will communicate in advance with the Council chair and relevant committee chair and formally report, in writing, the content of the meeting to the Council.
AFC members who cannot attend a scheduled meeting will inform an AFC officer prior to the meeting. Members who regularly miss meetings may be removed from office in accordance with these bylaws.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
Any member of the AFC may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments must be made to the AFC chair in writing at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to a regularly scheduled AFC meeting. The chair will distribute copies in advance to each AFC member. Adoption will be by a two-thirds majority of elected AFC members with proxy voting disallowed. Final approval is subject to the action of the President of the university.
Constituents can propose amendments to the AFC Governance Committee.