Articles of Procedure

Articles of Procedure
(Adopted December 8, 2016)

1. Any faculty member, current or retired, may voice a suggestion for the good of the University or submit a request for consideration of a grievance to any Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) member. FAC members may not refuse to hear a suggestion or grievance. The FAC member who is consulted shall promptly report the matter to the FAC. A faculty member may also request FAC consideration of any matter which is in the interest of the University and/or which is related to any grievance. In performing its functions, the committee upon the request of the chancellor, the president, or any  member of the academic staff, or upon its own initiative shall make investigations
and hold consultations as it may deem to be in the best interest of the University.
The FAC prefers to investigate a suggestion or grievance after all other University avenues of appeal have been exhausted. Further, the faculty member submitting a grievance is informed of the inadvisability of concurrent investigations of his/her case by other University or external channels and the FAC. The FAC shall suspend an investigation upon request of the faculty member who initiated it.

2. The FAC distinguishes between consultations and cases:

Consultations. Any faculty member may request a meeting with the FAC. This meeting, or series of meetings, is termed a consultation. Whenever practical, two members of the FAC take part in the initial consultation. At this stage we collect information pertaining to a suggestion or grievance, and offer advice on how to proceed. Throughout a consultation, the consulting FAC member(s) report to the committee as a whole. After the FAC as a whole has reviewed the matter, the committee may offer further advice or recommend that the faculty member (a) pursue other options or (b) exhaust other avenues of appeal; the committee may also offer additional advice. In some instances the FAC may determine that the matter is outside of its purview.

Cases. If the FAC determines the matter to be within its scope, the committee may assign case status and instruct the chair to (a) take up the matter with appropriate University authorities, or (b) appoint a subcommittee from the FAC membership. The subcommittee shall investigate and report its findings and recommendations to the FAC. This investigation often involves interviews with faculty member who contacted the FAC and with other relevant faculty and administrators. The Committee shall review the subcommittee report and (a) return it to the subcommittee with appropriate instructions, (b) arrange a meeting(s) of the committee or subcommittee with the parties concerned,
(c) take up the matter with appropriate University authorities, (d) recommend any action it deems in the best interest of the faculty member involved and of the University, (e) communicate its conclusions to the faculty member and to appropriate administrators and others, or (f) dismiss the matter. Normally recommendations arising from cases are made to the Provost and/or Chancellor.

3. Whenever the committee recommends that administrative action be taken, appropriate parties to the grievance shall be notified promptly and given an opportunity to bring to the committee’s attention, within a reasonable time, any misunderstandings which might have affected the committee’s conclusions, or bring to the committee’s attention any additional information relevant to the matter.

4. A recommendation involving administrative action will be accompanied by the request that the matter be considered within thirty (30) days and the committee informed of the outcome.

5. Any matter coming before the committee shall be held confidential unless the grievant and the committee agree otherwise. If this should occur or if a public statement is made concerning the committee’s role in the matter, confidentiality will continue to be maintained for those aspects of the matter not mentioned in the public statement. Public statements are made by the committee only in rare cases and shall be made by the chair or his/her appointee and shall have prior approval by a majority of the entire committee. If litigation should occur in a matter before the committee and it becomes impossible to avoid disclosure of documents or testimony because of court orders, the committee as a body or any member of the committee must comply. All parties interviewed in connection with FAC cases shall be informed of this confidentiality policy.

6. At the request of the chair, and with the approval of a majority of the committee members, a former member may be recalled to participate in current committee deliberations and actions involving a case in which he/she previously performed a principal role. During such deliberations, the former member shall be accorded the same rights and obligations of committee membership outlined in these procedures, except that he/she shall not be counted in determining a quorum nor have voting

7. In accordance with the FAC File Policy, committee minutes and records shall be considered confidential and open to inspection only for reasons satisfactory to the committee and authorized by it in writing, or by court order. The committee’s records shall be kept on file in the FAC Office for 20 years. After that time, the files shall be transferred to the University Archives where they will remain closed for an additional 10 years. (Copies of the committee’s File Policy are available upon request.)

8. A chair is elected by a majority vote of the entire committee. The chair may designate a chair pro tempore to conduct official business of the committee in his/her absence. As an elected member, the chair shall have one vote on all questions, except as noted in Article 9 below.

9. A member of the committee shall be recused, either by his/her own initiative or by a majority vote of the committee, from any participation on any matter with elements of conflicting interest. On those occasions when the chair might be deemed to have a conflict of interest, a chair pro tempore shall be designated to conduct official business of the committee.

10. A committee member shall accept no gifts from any party to a consultation or case before the FAC.

11. A majority of the elected membership shall constitute a quorum. Attendance by teleconference or videoconference will count towards a quorum as long as (1) all members have received a copy of all pertinent documents and (2) all members participating can hear each other at the same time. Approval by a majority of those members present shall be required for adoption of any measure, including public statements, member replacements, or amendments to these articles, as indicated
below. A minority may file a statement to accompany any recommendation by the majority.

12. If a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee resigns, he/she will be replaced by the person who received the highest number of votes among those who failed to be elected in the most recent election. The replacing member will complete the term of the member being replaced.

13. The chair of the committee may, with the approval of a majority of the committee members, request the resignation and replacement of a committee member who fails to attend committee meetings regularly and who does not participate fully in the work of the committee.

14. These articles of procedure may be amended at any time by a majority vote of the entire committee and are adopted on an annual basis by the committee.

15. The committee shall report to the faculty annually and at such other times as it may deem appropriate. Copies of such reports shall be sent to the Provost, the Chancellor, the President, and the Clerk of the Senate.

Amended 01/28/2014

Adopted 12/08/2016