College of the Liberal Arts Constitution

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS

RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE LIBERAL ARTS FACULTY

October 3, 2014

ARTICLE I – NAME
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS

Section A Regular and Special Meetings
Section B Attendance
Section C Agenda

ARTICLE VI – ELECTIONS

Section A Electorate
Section B Election Procedures

ARTICLE VII – COLLEGE COMMITTEES

Section A Appointments to Standing, Area Studies, and Ad Hoc Committees
Section B Committee Operation
Section C Committees

  1. Administrative Committee
  2. The Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators
  3. Faculty Advisory Committee
  4. Undergraduate Studies Committee
  5. Research and Graduate Studies Committee
  6. Promotion and Tenure Committee
  7. Curricular Affairs Committee
  8. Sabbatical Leave Committees
  9. Academic Computing Committee
  10. The College Ombudsperson

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS

Section A Amendments to Rules and Procedures
Section B Editorial Change to Rules and Procedures

APPENDIX A – Procedures for Approval of Academic Programs and Courses


 

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS

 RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE LIBERAL ARTS FACULTY

ARTICLE I

NAME

The name of this Organization is the Faculty of the College of the Liberal Arts.

ARTICLE II

 PURPOSES

The purposes of this Organization are to: represent and further the interests of the College of the Liberal Arts within the structure and mission of The Pennsylvania State University in respect to teaching, research, and service; contribute to the creation and maintenance of a climate that fosters excellence within these spheres; and assure a meaningful presence of the Liberal Arts in higher education more generally.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP

The Liberal Arts faculty includes all full- time faculty at all locations whose tenure home is in the College of the Liberal Arts or who hold academic appointments in the College. Persons not meeting these qualifications may petition the Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators to request membership.

ARTICLE IV

OFFICERS

The Officers of the Liberal Arts faculty are the Chair and the Secretary. The Chair and Secretary are elected annually by the voting members of the Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators.

ARTICLE V

MEETINGS

Section A. Regular and Special Meetings

Meetings of the Liberal Arts faculty are held, as needed, on dates chosen by the Dean, or at the request of ten percent of the full-time faculty.

Section B. Attendance

Attendance and participation are limited to members of the Liberal Arts faculty and the faculty representatives to the College from other colleges, except as indicated below.

  1. Officers of the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council and student representatives to Liberal Arts committees are invited to attend faculty meetings as observers.
  1. Any members of the Penn State academic community may petition the Dean for the opportunity to make a forensic presentation at faculty meetings. Such petitions must be presented to the Dean by noon on the day preceding the faculty meeting.
  1. Guests may be invited by the Dean to address the faculty on appropriate agenda items.

Section C. Agenda

The Dean and the Chair of the Caucus of Senators will establish the agenda, which will be made available at least one week prior to the meetings.

ARTICLE VI

ELECTIONS

Section A. Electorate

  1. Except as specified elsewhere in this document, the electorate for elections within the College of the Liberal Arts is as defined in Article III of this document.
  1. The electorate for the Senate is all persons who are not candidates for degrees at Penn State, who hold full-time academic appointments as outlined in Policy HR21 – Definition of Academic Ranks.

Section B. Election Procedures

1. General Procedures

a. The nominating committee for all elections will be the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) of the College of the Liberal Arts.

b. The Dean will issue a written call for nominations to the faculty. Upon receipt of nominations, the Dean will consult with the FAC to prepare a final slate that will include at least twice as many nominations as seats to be filled.

c. Except as described in #2 below, the Dean’s Office will be responsible for the preparation, distribution, and counting of ballots.

d. Ballots will indicate the maximum number of votes that can be cast, which will equal the number of candidates to be elected. Electors may vote for as many candidates as they wish up to the maximum.

2. Election of Senators

a. Each candidate for a faculty Senate position may prepare a brief statement of personal qualifications and the ideas or programs to be pursued, if elected. Any such statement will be given to the Office of the Dean at least five (5) calendar days prior to the commencement of the balloting period and will be distributed by the Office of the Dean.

b. The Dean will ensure that each person receives a ballot, and the voting will be by secret ballot.

c. The number of Senators to be elected is designated by the Senate Office.

d. Those persons receiving the highest number of votes will be declared elected to the designated number of full, four-year terms. Those receiving the next highest number of votes will be declared elected to any open three-, two-, and one-year terms, in that order. The candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected alternates to fill the unexpired terms. Ties will be broken by lot.

e. In the event that the number of alternates to fill unexpired terms is insufficient to replace Senators who have resigned or will be absent for a period of more than three months, the College will address the shortfall by special election, the procedures for which consist of: (1) the Caucus Chair, after consultation with the Dean of the College, will appoint the necessary number of faculty members to restore membership to its Senate-approved level for the appropriate period(s) of time, with (2) concurrence of the majority of those eligible to vote who are attending the closest forthcoming business meeting of the Caucus of Liberal Arts Senators. If these Senators do not concur, the Caucus Chair will suggest one or more further faculty members for approval by the body

ARTICLE VII

COLLEGE COMMITTEES

Unless otherwise specified, each committee will contain faculty representation from both the social sciences and humanities.

Section A. Appointments to Standing, Area Studies, and Ad Hoc Committees

1. Standing Committees. In the Spring of each year, faculty will be asked to express their preferences for standing committees on which they wish to serve. Taking into account these preferences, and after consulting the Faculty Advisory Committee, the Dean will appoint members and chairs for those standing committees on which membership is not otherwise specified. Unless otherwise specified, terms of office will be for two years with half chosen each year.

2. Area Studies and Other Committees. The Dean will make appointments to each area studies committee after consultation with the person in charge of the program and others as appropriate.

Section B. Committee Operation

The chair of each committee is responsible for calling and conducting meetings and filing copies of the minutes with the Dean’s Office. Faculty may contact committee members directly to raise matters the committee should pursue. The Dean will make public a list of members of the standing committees of the College as early as possible each academic year. At the end of each year, the chair of each committee will submit a brief report to the Dean, summing up major accomplishments and recommending, as appropriate, action for the next committee to consider. These reports will be made available to any interested faculty member.

Section C. Committees

  1. Administrative Committee. This Committee is made up of the department heads of the College, members of the Dean’s staff, Directors of designated programs or entities such as Schools, and the Chair of the Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators.
  1. The Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators.

a. The Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators. This body consists of those individuals in the College elected to the University Faculty Senate, as well as the Dean and Associate Deans of the College who have ex officio status. The Caucus represents the voting unit of the Liberal Arts faculty at University Park in its relations with the University Faculty Senate. The Caucus addresses the current business of the Senate. It may recommend legislation and other actions to the Senate. In its consultative role to the Office of the Dean, the Caucus may review, study, and evaluate College-wide programs, as well as recommend legislation to the Dean and Liberal Arts faculty as it sees fit. The Caucus will also review nominations for the promotion and tenure committee as submitted by the Dean (see also 6a).

b. The Caucus of Liberal Arts Senators annually elects its Chair and such other officers as may be necessary for the Caucus to conduct its business.

3. Faculty Advisory Committee. The function of the Committee is to address matters that the Committee, the Faculty, or the Dean consider appropriate and to make recommendations to the Dean.

The Committee’s membership will consist of eight University Park faculty and the Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. Seven faculty members are elected by a direct vote of the University Park Liberal Arts College faculty. Members of the College of the Liberal Arts Administrative Committee are not eligible for election to the Faculty Advisory Committee. The Chair of the Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators also serves. The Dean will serve as Chair.

4. Undergraduate Studies Committee. The Committee’s missions are to promote excellence in undergraduate teaching and advising and to serve in an advisory capacity to the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education.

The Committee’s membership will consist of seven to nine members, including: (1) Liberal Arts faculty from both the social sciences and the humanities; (2) one undergraduate officer; (3) one undergraduate student; (4) one member from Curricular Affairs; and (5) the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education.

The Undergraduate Studies Committee and its chair will be responsible for:

a. serving as the Letters, Arts, and Sciences faculty advisory committee;
b. making recommendations for awards and scholarships;
c. other functions as deemed appropriate.

5. Research and Graduate Studies Committee. The Committee’s missions are to promote excellence in research and graduate study within the College and to serve in an advisory capacity to the Associate Dean for Research.

The Committee’s membership will consist of seven to nine members, including (1) Liberal Arts faculty from both the social sciences and the humanities, (2) one Graduate Council representative, (3) one graduate officer, and (4) the Associate Dean for Research.

6. Promotion and Tenure Committee. The college promotion and tenure committee consists of seven tenured professors. Members will serve three-year staggered terms. At the beginning of the academic year, each department of the College, by a procedure of election or selection established by its faculty, will be invited to nominate one professor with tenure, who need not be a member of the department. Department heads and members of the Dean’s staff are not eligible. From this list of nominees, and after consultation with the Liberal Arts Caucus, the Dean fills vacancies in the seven positions on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. If all seven members are from UP, the dean will replace one member with a Liberal Arts tenured professor from a non-UP location for non-UP promotion or tenure cases.

7. Curricular Affairs Committee. The missions of the Curricular Affairs Committee are to assess the state of the curriculum of the College’s programs and make suggestions for changes, when appropriate, and to oversee the process of curricular change, as outlined in Appendix A to this document. The Committee will consist of six to eight faculty members appointed by the Dean.

Proposals for College-wide curricular changes, such as changes to the general requirements for B.A. or B.S. degrees, will be discussed at a College faculty meeting, open to amendments at that time, and submitted to a faculty vote through a mail ballot.

8. Sabbatical Leave Committee. A sabbatical leave committee will review sabbatical proposals from Liberal Arts faculty. Membership is limited to tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor or professor. The Committee will consist of five members, and will be invited to make its recommendations to the Dean. Members will serve three-year staggered terms. Appointments to the Committee are made by the Dean according to the following procedures: each department, by selection procedures established by its faculty, will provide one nominee for the Committee. The nominee need not be a member of the department. From that slate, the Dean will appoint new members of the Committee.

9. Academic Computing Committee. The mission of the Academic Computing Committee is to advise the College on issues relating to academic computing. The Academic Computing Committee, appointed by the Dean, will include representatives of the humanities and the social sciences.

10. The College Ombudsperson. The role of the Ombudsperson is to advise faculty and administrators; assist in the informal resolution of differences; and help assure that appropriate department, college and/or campus procedures are exhausted before referring the case to higher levels. The Ombudsperson will inform the appropriate college or campus officials if a matter cannot be resolved at the lower level. The Ombudsperson is specifically enjoined not to exceed the role of conciliator and adviser by holding hearings, substituting his or her judgment for that of appropriate administrative or faculty bodies, or serving as counsel for either party to a complaint before a hearing board.

The Ombudsperson will be chosen for a two year term by the Faculty Advisory Committee in the spring semester. Any Liberal Arts faculty member, except department heads and members of the Dean’s staff, who is not a member of either the College’s Committee on Promotion and Tenure or the University’s Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, is eligible for election to the position of Ombudsperson or alternate Ombudsperson. Any retired faculty member of the College who was an eligible voter for Senate elections at the time of retirement and expects to reside in the University Park area is also eligible.

ARTICLE VIII

AMENDMENTS

 Section A. Amendments to Rules and Procedures

Except as provided above, amendments to the body of this document may be adopted by a majority of the Liberal Arts faculty voting by mail ballot, with the specification that the rationale for, as well as sponsor(s) of, each such amendment be clearly edited in a document that accompanies the ballot. A mail ballot will be conducted in the manner prescribed for elections in Article VI, Section B. The Dean will establish the deadline for receipt of ballots at the time of mailing, and the date of this deadline will be placed on each ballot.

Section B. Editorial Changes to Rules and Procedures

The Chair of the Liberal Arts Caucus of Senators is authorized to appoint an editorial subcommittee. This committee will have the power to make editorial nonsubstantive changes in any part of this document. These changes will be reported to the faculty at the earliest convenient time subsequent to their being made.

 

Approved:       June 1976
Amended:       June 1977
Amended:       March 1978
Amended:       June 1978
Amended:       October 16, 1979
Revised:          April 6, 1982
Approved:       May 24, 1982
Revised:          September 26, 1985
Approved:       October 25, 1985
Revised:          March 2, 1987
Approved:       March 20, 1987
Revised:          May 4, 1993
Approved:       July 1, 1993
Revised:          April 12, 1995
Approved:       May 9, 1995
Revised:         March 19, 1997
Approved:       April 14, 1997
Revised:          March 4, 2000
Approved:       October 10, 2000
Revised:         March 20, 2003
Approved:       May 15, 2003
Revised:          August 12, 2010
Approved:       August 19, 2010
Revised:          September 26, 2014
Approved:       October 3, 2014

APPENDIX A

Procedures for Approval of Academic Programs and Courses

1. Organization

The College will designate a senior staff person as the Curricular Affairs Coordinator. He or she will be the contact person for departments wishing to submit curricular affairs proposals.

A. Each department will designate an individual to serve as the department curricular affairs liaison with the College Curricular Affairs Coordinator in handling curriculum proposals. Separate individuals may serve for graduate and undergraduate proposals, if the department desires. All correspondence from the College concerning a particular department’s curricular proposals will be directed to that individual with copies to the department head and the faculty member submitting the proposal, if appropriate.

B. The Dean shall appoint a Curricular Affairs Committee consisting of six to eight faculty members. The Curricular Affairs Coordinator will provide staff support for that committee.

II. Proposal Review

A. The Curricular Affairs Coordinator will make available to departments an appropriate computer template so that proposals may be submitted in paper or electronically.

B. All proposals for curricular changes, including new programs and courses, changes to existing programs and courses, and course deletions, will be submitted by department heads, or persons they designate, to the Curricular Affairs Coordinator.

C. At the time of submission, departments should request expedited or full review, as appropriate (see IID and IIE below).

D. Expedited review

1. Normally, requests for expedited review should be made for proposals for changes in existing courses, minor changes in existing programs, course deletions, name changes in programs, and individual new courses. Where appropriate, evidence of consultation with related units will be included in the proposals at this time.

2. The Curricular Affairs Coordinator will notify the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education and the members of the Curricular Affairs Committee of requests for expedited review on a regular basis.

3. The Curricular Affairs Coordinator can reject the request for expedited review if he or she believes that the proposals raise college wide or unresolved inter-departmental issues.

4. Proposals receiving expedited review will be reviewed by the Curricular Affairs Coordinator who may seek further information from the department or may request changes in the department’s proposal. As appropriate, the Coordinator may seek advice from a subset of faculty on the Curricular Affairs Committee.

5. If there is disagreement as to whether expedited review is appropriate, the final decision rests with the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education for both undergraduate and graduate proposals.

E. Full review

1. Proposals for new programs, substantial changes to existing programs, deletion of programs, and changes in requirements for all B.A. or B.S. degrees will receive review by the full committee.

2. Before submitting the proposal to the committee for its review, the Curricular Affairs Coordinator may seek further information and preliminary changes from the submitting department.

F. Notice.

1. After review by the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education, the Curricular Affairs Coordinator shall prepare and circulate a summary report of the preliminarily approved proposals to members of the administrative committee, departmental curricular affairs liaisons, the directors of academic affairs in the commonwealth college campuses, deans of non-UP colleges, and the Liberal Arts representatives on the campuses. Members of the administrative committee, the DAAs and Deans, will make the report available for members of their faculty. Transmission of this report will be, as much as feasible, via computer. Comments and objections must be received within 15 days during the academic year, 30 days during the summer or if circumstances warrant the longer period.

2. At the same time the summaries are circulated, the Curricular Affairs Coordinator will provide copies of the full proposals to the Dean.

III. Final College Approval

A. If written objections are received to circulated proposals, the Curricular Affairs Coordinator will seek their resolution through discussions with the affected parties. If the objections cannot be resolved, the Curricular Affairs Coordinator may refer the issue to the Committee for discussion.

B. Proposals for College wide curricular changes, such as those in the general requirements of the B.A. or B.S., will be placed on the agenda of the faculty meeting for discussion and possible amendments.

C. The Dean has final authority to determine whether a proposal should be sent forward to the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee (or Graduate Council if it concerns the graduate curriculum). The Dean may, of course, call on the administrative committee, other College committees, or the full faculty for further discussion before making a decision.

Approved:       April 12, 1995
Revised:          March 19, 1997
Approved:       April 14, 1997
Revised:          August 12, 2010
Approved:       August 19, 2010
Revised:          September 26, 2014
Approved:       October 3, 2014