Collegiality is faculty involvement in university administration through two norms: the norm for the chief administrative officers to be full participating members of the faculty, and the norm for the administrative officers to consult with the faculty and to rely on advice and assistance from the faculty in the performance of administrative responsibilities, particularly where administrative officers are called upon to make decisions bearing directly on the central academic functions of the faculty. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University at Buffalo affirms its commitment to collegiality as the most effective basis upon which to manage the affairs of and maintain excellence in this College. The Bylaws of the College are to be interpreted in this light. [Adapted from the “Preamble” of the Bylaws of the Voting Faculty of the University at Buffalo.]
I. Name and Purpose
The College of Arts and Sciences of the University at Buffalo [hereafter ‘the College’ and ‘UB’ respectively] advances teaching, research and creative activities and service within and across the several arts and sciences. These Bylaws provide for the collegial faculty governance of the College.
The voting faculty of the College [hereafter ‘the faculty’] are the Dean, the Associate Deans holding academic rank, the full-time faculty of the College who are members of the UB voting faculty pursuant to UB’s Bylaws of the Voting Faculty, and full-time staff of the College holding academic rank.
III. Duties and Responsibilities
The governance duties and responsibilities of the faculty include but are not limited to:
a. establishing, pursuant to UB’s Bylaws of the Voting Faculty, bylaws and standing or special orders for the conduct of the College’s governance, and reviewing these at least quinquennially;
b. initiating, approving, disapproving, or amending policies and procedures
for: curricula; evaluation of academic performance; recruitment, admissions, enrollment, and retention of students; award of degrees; conduct and evaluation of teaching, research and service; appointment, promotion, and continuing appointment of faculty;
c. reviewing prior to its adoption the formation, reorganization, dissolution or renaming of a department or other degree-granting unit of the College;
d. establishing procedures for hearing, investigating, and reporting to the appropriate officer(s) and person(s) complaints or charges brought by faculty against other faculty or administrative officers and by students against faculty or administrative officers of the College.
The officers of the College include the Dean, the Associate and Assistant Deans, the department Chairs, and the Directors of degree-granting programs, centers, and institutes. They are expected to fulfill the responsibilities enumerated in these Bylaws.
1. The Dean is the chief administrative officer of the College, appointed by the President of UB after consultation with the College’s Policy Committee. The Dean shall: hold academic rank; guide the teaching, research and service of the College; present matters for action by the faculty; preside at meetings of the faculty; attend or appoint a deputy to attend meetings of the Chairs and Directors and of the Policy Committee and its Steering Committee; and present an annual report to the faculty on the condition and future of the College.
2. The Dean, upon consultation with the Policy Committee, may recommend to the President the appointment of Associate or Assistant Deans to assist in the administration of the College.
3. Chairs of departments and Directors of degree-granting programs, centers and institutes [hereafter ‘academic unit’ or ‘unit’] are appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Dean after consultation with the faculty of the unit. Chairs and Directors shall normally serve terms of three years and may be reappointed after consultation with the unit’s faculty. Chairs and Directors shall guide the teaching, research and service and conduct the administrative operations of the unit, represent the unit to the College and the University, report promptly to the Dean on matters affecting the welfare of the unit, and report and recommend actions regarding the unit’s programs, activities and faculty, including faculty appointments, promotions and the terms and conditions of appointments.
4. Chairs and Directors of academic units shall be advised with regard to their units’ teaching, research and service activities and recommendations of actions affecting programs and faculty by an advisory or executive committee elected by and from the faculty of the unit.
The faculty governance of the College shall be conducted by its Policy Committee, such other committees as may be established pursuant to these Bylaws, and such referenda as may be authorized pursuant to these Bylaws.
1. The Policy Committee shall be the primary means by which the faculty carry out their governance duties and responsibilities. The Committee shall fulfill the governance duties and responsibilities of the faculty specified in these Bylaws, advise the Dean regarding the programs and activities of the College, recommend members of decanal committees, and establish and appoint committees pursuant to these Bylaws.
The Committee shall be one representative elected by and from the faculty of each academic unit of the College and nine representatives elected by and from the College faculty at large; no two at large representatives shall be from the same academic unit, and membership shall be restricted to faculty who are not, at the time of service on the Policy Committee, officers of the College as previously defined in Section IV (Officers). The representatives’ terms shall be three years and shall begin on 1 July; one-third of the unit representatives and three at large representatives shall be elected to full three-year terms each year; the balance of any at large representative’s term vacated ad interim shall be filled in the same election; elected representatives shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified. Representatives may be reelected without limit. The Committee shall annually elect its Chair and Vice Chair by and from its members.
The Committee shall meet at least monthly during the academic year. Actions shall be by majority vote of those present unless otherwise specified pursuant to these Bylaws. The Committee may adopt, amend or repeal standing or special orders for the College upon advance notice of consideration and a two-thirds majority vote of those present. A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
The Steering Committee shall recommend the agenda for each meeting of the Policy Committee, serve as the committee on committees, and carry out such other duties as the Policy Committee may assign. Its Chair shall be the Policy Committee Chair; its members shall be the Vice Chair of and seven members elected annually by and from the Policy Committee; no two shall be from the same unit.
2. There shall be a meeting of the faculty at least once each academic semester.
3. A special meeting of the faculty may be called by the Dean, by a majority vote of the Policy Committee, or by a petition signed by at least ten percent of the faculty and delivered to the Dean or the Chair of the Policy Committee. The call or petition for the meeting shall specify the agenda; no other business shall be considered. The meeting shall occur within three weeks, exclusive of University recesses, of its announcement or of receipt of the petition unless otherwise specified in the petition.
4. Any resolution other than an amendment to these Bylaws proposed at a meeting of the faculty shall be submitted to a referendum by the faculty upon a favorable majority vote of those present at the meeting. For this purpose, the meeting shall have a quorum of at least thirty-five percent of the faculty.
5. Each academic unit of the College shall adopt bylaws for the faculty governance of the unit.
The standing committees of the College shall be those specified in these Bylaws or the standing orders of the College. Unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the Chair and members of each standing committee of the College shall be appointed by the Policy Committee to annual terms beginning 1 July, shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified, and shall be eligible for reappointment. Standing committees shall meet at least once each semester, may meet by electronic mail, and shall submit a report to the Dean and the Chair of the Policy Committee each semester. Each standing committee, except the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, shall include a member of the Policy Committee and an ex officio representative of the Dean.
Other committees may be established, charged and appointed by the Policy Committee; each charge and appointment shall include the term of the committee, its members, and its Chair.
1. The Elections Committee shall conduct nominations and elections for the Policy Committee, the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, the College’s Senators in the UB Faculty Senate, any other College nominations and elections established pursuant to these Bylaws, and all ballots on College referenda and amendments to these Bylaws.
The Committee shall be five persons appointed by the Policy Committee, who shall also appoint its Chair; the Chair and members shall serve two-year terms, and may be reappointed without limit.
2. The Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure shall consult, review and recommend to the Dean all appointments or promotions to Associate Professor with continuing appointment [tenure] and all appointments or promotions to Professor and any Distinguished Professorship in the College.
2a. The Committee shall be twelve Associate Professors or Professors of the College; all shall have continuing appointment; at most three shall be Associate Professors; no two shall be from the same academic unit; none shall be an academic unit Chair, a College officer, or a member of UB’s
Presidential Review Board. Members shall serve three-year terms beginning 1 July, and may serve at most two terms consecutively. Four members shall be elected annually pursuant to the procedures specified in these Bylaws. The Chair shall be a Professor elected at the beginning of each academic year by and from the Committee.
2b. Each candidate for promotion to Associate Professor with continuing appointment or to Professor shall designate a faculty advocate. The candidate’s academic unit Chair and the candidate’s faculty advocate shall present the candidate’s case to and discuss the case with the Committee.
2c. The Committee’s procedures shall include: opportunity for the academic unit Chair to present and discuss the case of that unit’s candidate for initial appointment with continuing appointment or as Professor or to a Distinguished Professorship; the right of a Committee member to participate in consideration of a candidate from the member’s unit; the report of the Committee’s vote on and recommendations of each candidate to the Dean; and the presence of the Dean or the Dean’s designee at each meeting of the Committee as an observer.
2d. The Dean shall include the Committee’s vote and recommendations in the Dean’s report to the Provost regarding any proposed initial appointment with continuing appointment, promotion to Associate Professor with continuing appointment, or appointment or promotion to Professor or a Distinguished Professorship.
VII. Elections and Votes
Elections and votes on amendment of these Bylaws shall be conducted by mail or secure electronic ballot or a combination thereof; referenda may be conducted by mail or secure electronic ballot or a combination thereof. Any ballot shall be submitted with identification of the voter by the voter’s signature on the transmittal envelope of a mail ballot or equivalent identification of an electronic ballot. The Elections Committee shall prescribe procedures in accord with these Bylaws, and shall be the sole judge of the validity of ballots and votes.
In any College-wide election, only faculty who notify the Elections Committee by written or electronic notice that they will serve if elected shall be included on the ballot.
In any College-wide election, if a tie vote shall qualify more candidates than there are positions to be filled, the Elections Committee shall conduct a vote on the tied candidates by the Policy Committee.
All College-wide election ballots shall include the faculty rank and home academic unit of each candidate.
Faculty holding joint appointments shall notify the Elections Committee of the academic unit to be considered the unit in which they will participate in unit nominations and elections for College positions.
1. Policy Committee representatives shall be elected each Spring semester; elections of academic unit representatives shall be completed prior to election of at large representatives.
1a. Policy Committee academic unit representatives shall be elected by units whose representatives’ terms end at 30 June that year. Each unit shall solicit nominations; each nominee who agrees to serve if elected shall be included in the unit ballot; the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected unless unit bylaws require election by a majority of the votes cast. Nominations and voting may be conducted electronically; units shall complete these elections not later than 15 March.
Unit representative positions vacated ad interim shall be filled promptly upon vacancy by the same procedures.
1b. Policy Committee at large representative nominations may be proposed by academic units, by petition of five faculty, or by the Policy Committee. Nominees who are not from the same unit as a continuing at large member of the Committee shall be included on the ballot. Each CAS faculty member shall be eligible to cast a cumulative ballot. The total number of votes a voter may allocate among candidates on the ballot shall equal the number of at large Policy Committee representatives to be elected, including positions vacated ad interim; the voter may allocate these votes to one or more candidates in whole units. The three candidates from different units who receive the highest numbers of votes cast shall be elected to full three-year terms. An at large position vacated ad interim shall be filled for the remainder of that position’s term by the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes who is not from the same unit as any continuing or newly elected at large member of the Committee.
The Policy Committee may appoint faculty to at large positions vacated ad interim to serve until the next annual election, but no such appointment shall result in more than two representatives from the same academic unit. Appointees shall be eligible for election to full or partial terms in the next annual election.
2. Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure members shall be elected each Fall semester for terms beginning the following 1 July.
One nominee may be proposed by each academic unit that will not have a continuing member of the Committee as of the following 1 July. Faculty may cast one vote for each of no more than four candidates. The four candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes shall be elected unless that would place more than three Associate Professors on the Committee, in which case the next highest Professor candidate(s) shall be elected instead.
A Committee vacancy ad interim shall be filled by the next highest eligible candidate on the most recent ballot for members of the Committee.
Upon review of a recommendation for appointment, promotion, or tenure of a candidate, eligible members of the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (APT) shall vote either in support or in opposition of the recommendation; abstention shall no longer be an option. The following arguments were made in support of this policy by members of the Policy Committee at its meeting on September 25, 2023:
Conflicts of interest at the APT Committee are resolved via recusal of members with the particular conflict of interest.
Abstaining without sufficient explanation is more likely to harm an appointment, promotion, or tenure case. When voting is secret, additional explanation for abstentions cannot be provided.
Each APT Committee member has an obligation to deliver an unambiguous opinion on an appointment, promotion, or tenure recommendation.
3. Senators representing the College in UB’s Faculty Senate shall be elected at large by and from the UB voting faculty of the College. No more than four Senators may be elected from any one academic unit of the College. Elections shall be conducted each Spring semester.
The Elections Committee shall solicit Senatorial nominations no later than 15 March. Candidates shall be nominated by academic units or College faculty: each academic unit of the College may nominate three candidates; any faculty member of the College may nominate a candidate.
Ballots shall be distributed no later than 15 April and returned no later than 1 May. Each UB voting faculty of the College shall be eligible to cast a cumulative ballot. The total number of votes a voter may allocate among candidates on the ballot shall equal the number of Senators to be elected, including positions vacated ad interim; the voter may allocate these votes to one or more candidates in whole units. The candidates shall be ordered high to low according to votes received. Those receiving the largest pluralities of votes shall be elected subject to these conditions: full terms shall be filled by those receiving the most votes; any partial terms shall be filled by those receiving fewer votes; if the ordering would result in more than four Senators from the same academic unit, the next highest candidate(s) who would be the fifth or subsequent Senator(s) from that unit shall be disqualified.
The Policy Committee may appoint UB voting faculty of the College to Senatorial positions
vacated ad interim to serve until the next annual election, but no such appointment shall result in more than four CAS Senators from the same academic unit. Appointees shall be eligible for election to full or partial terms in the next annual election.
4. Any referendum shall be conducted within four weeks of its proposal by ballots distributed to the faculty. The ballot shall present the proposal and the options ‘For’ and ‘Against’. Ballots shall be returned not later than two weeks after their distribution. The proposal shall be adopted by a favorable two-thirds majority of the votes cast by at least fifty percent of the faculty. University recesses shall be excluded from the determination of these time periods.
VIII. Parliamentary Authority
Meetings, elections and ballots of the College faculty and its committees shall be governed
by Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, except as otherwise provided by these Bylaws or the standing orders of the College.
Amendments to these Bylaws shall be adopted by a favorable two-thirds majority vote in a mail or secure electronic ballot or combination thereof in which at least thirty-five percent of the faculty return valid ballots. The ballot shall be distributed with the proposed amendment not earlier than four weeks and not later than eight weeks after the proposed amendment is advanced by a majority of the Policy Committee or by a petition signed by at least ten percent of the faculty of the College. If a special faculty meeting discusses the proposed amendment, however, the ballot shall be distributed not later than two weeks after that meeting. Any proposed amendment advanced during the last four weeks of an academic year shall not be submitted to mail ballot earlier than the fourth week of the following academic year. Ballots shall be returned not later than two weeks after their distribution. University recesses shall be excluded from the determination of these time periods.
X. Separability and Compatibility
If any article, section, sentence, or clause of these Bylaws is adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not invalidate the remainder of these bylaws.
These bylaws shall be compatible with and subordinate to UB’s Bylaws of the Voting Faculty, the laws of the United States of America and the State of New York, the authority and Policies of the Trustees of the State University of New York, and the authority and policies of the Council of the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Adopted: April 30th, 2003 [replacing in entirety the previous Bylaws]
Section 1. These Standing Orders provide for all variable and readily amendable matters of structure and governance within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Section 2. Any amendment to these Standing Orders requires a simple majority vote of the Policy Committee.
Section 1. The Policy Committee has the power to create, appoint, and charge any standing and ad hoc committees it may deem appropriate. The appointment term for committee members and chairs is normally two years, except for 1) those standing committees which have elections of members provided by statute, and 2) ad hoc committees. Committee chairs and members will continue to serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
Section 2. The standing committees of the College of Arts and Sciences include but are not limited to the following:
2.a. The Curriculum Committee shall consult, review, report, and recommend to the Policy Committee matters concerning educational programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, including programs sponsored jointly with other schools and colleges at the University at Buffalo. These matters include (but not limited to) admission standards, degree requirements, and course development and approval.
2.b. The Committee on Awards and Recognitions shall consult, review, report, and recommend to the Policy Committee on matters concerning nominations, awards, and recognitions of students, faculty, and staff for meritorious teaching, service, and scholarship. The committee shall have no fewer than five, but no more than seven, appointed faculty members, in addition to a representative of the Policy Committee and an ex officio representative of the Dean. Faculty members shall be appointed to terms of two years and shall be eligible to serve no more than two terms consecutively. All attempts shall be made to balance representation among the academic divisions of the College. Faculty members shall be nominated to serve by the appropriate Associate Dean or by the department chairs via the solicitation of the Elections Committee. Members shall be appointed by vote of the Policy Committee.
2.c. The Budget Committee shall consult, review, report, and recommend to the Policy Committee and advise the Dean on matters concerning the development of the budget for the College of Arts and Sciences. Its duties and responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, assessment of the Dean’s initiatives and review of major expenditures in the Dean’s office. It shall advise on the allocation of the College’s fiscal and tangible resources and on long-range financial planning, as well as consider trends in the annual College budget and other matters relating to priorities in fund raising for expenditures on educational programs. Its aims shall be to foster transparency in fiscal decision-making and to advocate for the primacy of the academic and research mission of the College within the planning and allocation process. The Committee shall meet at least once each semester with the chief financial officers of the College. The Committee shall meet at least monthly throughout the academic year, and it shall report, via the Policy Committee, to the CAS faculty at least once each academic year. The Committee shall not have the power to deal with individual faculty salaries, and shall not be informed of individual faculty salaries. The Committee shall consist of six members elected from the voting faculty. These elections will be conducted by the Elections Committee. Each division of the College – Natural Sciences & Mathematics; Social Sciences; and Humanities & the Arts – shall be represented by two members; no unit shall have more than one member. Terms shall be for two years, and members shall be eligible to serve no more than three terms consecutively. The Committee shall select a chair from among its members on a yearly basis, with preference given to those in their second (or subsequent) year of service on the Committee.
2.d. The PhD Excellence Oversight Committee shall oversee implementation of the recommendations of the PhD Excellence Bridge Committee and the PhD Excellence Curriculum and Teaching Committee to maximize the benefits and minimize potential harm of the PhD Excellence Initiative to Departments and the College. The Committee's primary responsibilities are as follows:
1) Review the method used by the Dean's Office to allocate teaching assistantships across doctoral programs and advise the Dean on any distribution of resources based on program performance metrics.
2) Work with departments and administration to increase representation of traditionally underrepresented minorities in PhD programs.
3) Advise departments regarding efforts to improve mentoring, TA training, and other professional development for PhD students.
The Committee shall have eleven members: seven tenured or tenure-track faculty members serving as departmental representatives; one non-voting representative of the CAS Policy Committee; one non-voting ex officio representative of the Dean's Office; and two non-voting graduate student representatives from any two of the four major divisions. Each departmental representative will be selected by the faculty in their department; two each from Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Humanities, and one from Arts; the departments (with CAS-funding teaching assistants) in each division will be given the opportunity on a rotating basis to name a representative. The rotation for each division will be set by the Policy Committee using a random selection process. Only one faculty member from each unit may serve on the Committee, and membership shall be restricted to faculty who are not, at the time of service on the Committee, officers of the College. Terms for faculty representatives shall be two years begining 1 July; selection of departmental representatives shall be coordinated so that three or four of the faculty representatives are replaced each year. If a faculty representative cannot complete their term, their department will select another faculty member to do so. If necessary, the Policy Committee may appoint faculty to vacant faculty representative positions to serve until the next annual election. Graduate student representatives shall be determined annually by a vote of currently enrolled PhD students, and their term shall be one year beginning 1 July. Only one graduate student from each unit may serve on the Committee.
The Committee shall annually elect a chair from among its faculty members who have experience serving on the Committee. The Committee shall meet at least monthly throughout the academic year. Full minutes shall be collected for each meeting by a staff person from the Dean's Office and made available to CAS faculty.
Department Divisions for the PhD Excellence Oversight Committee
1) Natural Sciences and Math: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Geology, Mathematics, Physics
2) Social Sciences: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Environment and Sustainability, Geography, Linguistics, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology
3) Humanities: Africana and American Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, Indigenous Studies, Jewish Thought (does not currenlty have TA lines), Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures
4) Arts: Art (does not currently have TA lines), Media Study, Music, Theatre and Dance
Section 1. Officers of the College, who include department Chairs and program directors (see article IV of the Bylaws), shall not serve on the Policy Committee or any other committee formed by the Policy Committee for the purpose of faculty governance.
Section 2. Interpretation of the College’s Bylaws must conform with the Policies of the SUNY Board of Trustees, which states in Article VI, subsection 2 that voting members of the University faculty “shall be entitled to one vote.” Voting faculty shall have only one vote in any actions involving faculty governance, including appointment, promotion, and tenure decisions.
Section 2a. Members of the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (APT) who have the right to “participate in consideration of a candidate from the member’s unit” (as stipulated in subsection 2c of Article VI of the College’s Bylaws) must do so at the unit level (revised and approved 10/13/23).
Section 2b. Advocates are obligated to participate in consideration of the candidate at the unit level. Given this obligation, if the Advocate is a member of the APT Committee, they shall not participate in consideration of the candidate at the Committee level even if their unit has a formal policy stating otherwise.