Exhibit A. Faculty Constitution

Created by: Stephanie Ferguson on 05/22/2007
Category: ;
Current File: Exhibit A. Faculty Constitution
Adoption Date: 05/16/2015
Reviewed for Currency: 05/16/2015
Replaces File: Exhibit A. Faculty Constitution
Date of Origin: 09/10/1975
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

Exhibit A. Faculty Constitution













            The Constitution of the Faculty of Furman University is drawn under the authority of the Board of Trustees and the President of Furman University, and all actions of the faculty are subject to review and approval by the President and Board, as stipulated in the Charter granted to the Trustees by the State of South Carolina on December 20, 1851, renewed, amended, and revised, including the Bylaws, through January 6, 1987.


            As authorized, therefore, by the Board of Trustees and the President, the faculty of Furman University shall be responsible for setting academic policy, determining the curriculum, defining requirements for degrees, and conducting academic instruction.  The faculty and academic administration shall devise and implement the most feasible and effective means of executing academic policy, utilizing the curriculum and providing academic instruction.


Article I.  Name


Section 1.  The name of the organization shall be the Faculty of Furman University.


Article II.  Membership


Section 1.  Membership in the faculty shall consist of those persons in the teaching and research faculty who are employed by Furman on contracts for teaching and research for half-time or more, those persons who are principal officers of the administration (See Bylaw 3), the professional library staff, commissioned members of the ROTC staff, and all tenured persons.


Section 2.  Voting privileges shall be limited to the members of the faculty as defined in Section 1 above.  Challenges to the eligibility of voters are to be voted upon by the faculty upon recommendation by the Policies and Procedures Committee.


Article III.  Officers


Section 1.  The officers of the Faculty shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice President, and a Recorder.


Section 2.  Officers of the faculty shall perform those duties commonly associated with their respective positions.  The following description of specific duties does not place any limitation on the functions of the various officers.

(a) The Chairperson shall preside at meeting, prepare notices of regular and special meetings, determine the order of business at all meetings, and with the Polices and Procedures Committee shall make assignments of questions to regular faculty committees and appoint ad hoc committees for special tasks.

(b) The Vice Chairperson shall assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson whenever the Chairperson is absent or for any reason is unable to serve.

(c) The Recorder shall keep a roster of the members of the faculty, distribute notices of meetings at the direction of the Chairperson, prepare and distribute minutes of all meetings, preserve official copies of the minutes and all appendices as part of the official records of the University, and handle faculty correspondence not otherwise provided for.


Section 3.   The officers shall be elected annually.  The Nominating Committee shall present one nominee for each office at the April faculty meeting, at which time the election shall take place.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor.


Section 4.  Any officer may be re-elected, but the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall not serve in the same office for more than two consecutive years.


Section 5.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall become Chairperson Pro Tem.  When a vacancy occurs in any office, the Nominating Committee shall present a nominee or nominees for election at the next regular meeting of the faculty.  Holding an office for less than four academic months shall not be considered as holding office for one year.


Article IV.  Meetings


Section 1. Meetings of the faculty shall be held regularly during the academic year.

Section 2.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting membership of the faculty, excluding (a) those on sabbatical leave, leave of absence, or study away in a given term, and (b) those teaching or research faculty not on continuing contracts for full time.


Section 3.  Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chairperson of the Faculty and shall be called upon written request of the President, of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, or of at least ten voting members of the faculty.


Section 4.  Notices of meetings shall be distributed through the campus mail at least four days before the date of the meeting.  It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson to have the notices prepared and distributed.


Section 5.  Routine votes by the faculty shall be taken by voice.  A standing vote may be taken when the Chairperson is unable to determine the decision by voice vote.  No vote shall be taken by proxy.  At any time, a secret ballot may be taken when requested by at least ten members of the voting faculty.  Officers shall be elected and decision made by a majority of those present, a quorum being present.


Section 6.  Faculty meetings are open to all members of the faculty and to any observers invited by the Chairperson of the Faculty for either a single session or the sessions of any entire year.  By majority vote of faculty present an observer may be granted the privilege of the floor.


Section 7.  By majority vote the faculty present may go into executive session (at which only voting members may be present).


Article V.  Committees


Section 1.  Committees on which faculty members serve are of four types: faculty standing committees, faculty ad hoc (or special) committees, administrative standing committees, and administrative ad hoc (or special) committees.


Section 2.  Faculty standing committees are responsible for recommending academic policy changes to the faculty.  Faculty and student members of the faculty standing committees shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the faculty.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor.


Section 3.  The Chairperson of the Faculty shall have the authority to appoint faculty ad hoc committees to perform special tasks related to the conduct of the faculty business or may request the Nominating Committee to make nominations.  The Policies and Procedures Committee may also recommend to the faculty the establishment of faculty ad hoc committees; members of committees so recommended shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the faculty.  Nominations will be allowed from the floor.


Section 4.  Administrative committees upon which faculty serve shall be determined and appointed by the President or the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.  Such committees shall assist the administration in establishing and carrying out administrative policy and in implementing approved academic policy.


Section 5.  The standing faculty committees shall be charged as follows:

(a) Academic Policies.  This committee, in cooperation with the academic administration, shall develop curricular policies and recommend changes in these policies for all undergraduate academic programs—regular session, summer session, and special programs.  In addition, the committee is charged with developing polices on all academic matters affecting undergraduates, including but not limited to academic calendar, course-weight proposals, graduation requirements, general education requirements, probation, transfer of credit, grading, and dual-degree programs (engineering, medicine).  The committee shall submit its recommendations to the faculty.  One member is to serve concurrently on the Curriculum Committee.

(b) Curriculum.  This committee shall study proposals involving addition and deletion of specific courses in the light of Furman's purposes, policies, and curricular goals.  The committee shall submit its recommendations to the faculty.  One member is to serve concurrently on the Academic Polices Committee.

(c) Faculty Status.  This committee shall make recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean and President on policies and their application concerning promotions, tenure, nonrenewal of contract, the general level of faculty salaries, and other matters of professional concern.  The accepted policies and their application are published in the Faculty Handbook.

(d) Admissions.  This committee shall determine requirements for admission to undergraduate degree programs of the University and rule on applicants for admission to these programs.  The committee may delegate the administration of the requirements for admission to the appropriate admissions officers.

(e) Research and Professional Growth.  This committee shall recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean polices and participants in programs of sabbatical leaves of absence, educational travel, and other plans or projects designed to enhance the professional growth and effectiveness of the faculty.

(f) Faculty-Administration Liaison.  This committee shall be responsible for ascertaining the faculty's views and concerns regarding University matters and transmitting these—with suitable information—to the appropriate officers of the administration.  It shall also convey to the faculty pertinent views and concerns of the administration.

(g) Appeals.  This committee shall rule on requests for exceptions to academic requirements and regulations as set forth in the catalog or approved by the faculty.

(h) Due Process.  This committee shall be responsible for seeing that procedures concerning faculty rights in matters of promotion, tenure, nonrenewal of contact, and appeal are carried out in accordance with current and accepted principles and practices, including those of the American Association of University Professors.

(i) Nominating.  This committee shall nominate annually for election by the faculty the officers; members of faculty standing committees; faculty representatives on the All-University Traffic Board; faculty representatives on special committees or task forces, at the direction of the Chairperson of the Faculty; and some members of the Graduate Council (See Article VII, Section 2).  The Nominating Committee shall include no members serving either wholly or partly as administrative officers.  Department Chairperson shall not be regarded as administrative officers.

(j)  Library.  This committee shall make recommendations on the operation and policies of the library and shall establish guidelines for the disbursement of library funds for books and periodicals.

(k) Policies and Procedures.  This committee shall study questions of constitutional matters and of policies and procedures of the faculty.  It shall make, with the Chairperson of the Faculty, assignment of questions to faculty committees.  It shall make suggestions to the administration concerning matters which may be considered by the administrative committees.  It shall continually study the role of the faculty in University governance.  It shall review annually the Faculty Handbook to keep its policies updated.  Changes in Handbook policy statements regarding faculty status, benefits, and performance recommended by the committee and accepted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean and President should be submitted to the vote of the faculty for adoption.

(l) Individualized Curriculum Committee.  This committee shall receive, approve or disapprove, review, and oversee the degree programs of students whose needs are best served by programs different from the ones prescribed by the catalog.  The committee shall establish policies and procedures for doing its work efficiently.  It shall report policies and changes in policies to the faculty; it is autonomous in its decision on individual cases.

(m) The Cultural Life Committee.  This committee shall supervise the Cultural Life Program.  It shall develop policy for the administration of the program and select events to be included in the program.

(n) Fringe Benefits and Welfare Committee.  This committee shall review fringe benefits and other concerns of faculty welfare, and bring recommendations to the faculty and administration concerning these matters.  Relevant policies and their application are published in the Faculty Handbook.

(o) Committee on Academic Computing.  This committee shall advise the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean regarding policies, procedures, planning, needs and faculty expectations related to providing and maintaining effective and sufficient equipment and personnel for meeting the changing needs of the faculty and students for academic computing resources.

(p) Academic Discipline Committee. This committee is responsible for reviewing cases of student academic misconduct and reporting to all parties concerned their findings on both responsibility and appropriate penalties.

(q) Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee. This committee shall oversee the selection process for student awards given by the faculty including the Faculty Scholarship, Bradshaw-Feaster and Donaldson-Watkins medals.

(r) Study Away Committee. This committee is responsible for working with the administration and academic departments to develop and maintain study away programs. It shall also review affiliated and student exchange programs. In addition, it shall report and make recommendations to the faculty on the availability, affordability, and academic quality of the University's study away programs.

(s) First Year Seminar Oversight Committee. This committee is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the First Year Seminar Program, with particular attention to the following areas: course development and recommendation, faculty recruitment and support, scheduling and evaluation.

(t) May Experience Oversight Committee.  This committee is responsible for ongoing maintenance of the May Experience Program, with particular attention to course development and approval and faculty recruitment and support.

Section 6. Faculty members who have voting privileges are eligible to serve on faculty committees, except as modified in Article V, Section 5, paragraphs (h) and (i) and in Section 8 below.


Section 7.  The Academic Policies, Admissions, Curriculum, Library, Individualized Curriculum Cultural Life, Academic Discipline, Study Away, First Year Seminar Oversight and May Experience Oversight Committees each shall include two student members who shall be selected annually and may serve successive years. The President of the Student Government Association shall be asked to recommend two students for each committee vacancy, and the Nominating Committee shall select a nominee for each vacancy. Student members shall have voting privileges on these committees.


Section 8. Each faculty committee shall include no more than ten members. At least five members, but not more than six, shall be full-time faculty members. No more than two members shall be officers of the administration, and no more than two shall be students. Administrative members of all faculty committees shall be appointed by the President of the University. Administrators on the Faculty Status Committee and the Research and Professional Growth Committee shall be non-voting members. Special provisions for the Due Process Committee are described in Article VI.



Section 9. Efforts will be made to provide that the membership of the faculty committees, except for the ad hoc committees, shall be distributed across divisions, rank, and length of service; and a faculty member shall not serve more than three successive years on the same standing faculty committee, except for Due Process (Article VI). In normal circumstances, about one third of the committee should be rotated each year.



Section 10. In selecting or appointing members of committees the Nominating Committee shall try to avoid having a faculty member serve on more than one faculty committee. Necessary exceptions are described in Article V, Section 5, paragraphs (a) and (b) and in Article VI.



Section 11. The Chairperson of each faculty committee shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee when it nominates the members of each committee. Each committee shall select its own secretary, whose duty shall be to keep minutes of committee members and deposit a permanent record of meetings with the Chairperson of the Faculty.



Section 12. Faculty committees shall report to the faculty and to the President at least annually. More frequent reports may be made when deemed desirable. Action on reports may be taken by the faculty if warranted; and, where delay is necessary for discussion and consideration, final action may be delayed until the next regular meeting of the faculty.



Section 13. In cases where the academic administration or the President chooses not to follow a recommendation of the faculty or of a committee on matters of academic policy or procedure, the reason or reasons for such action should be conveyed in writing to the faculty or appropriate committee.


Article VI. Due Process

Section 1. The Faculty Committee on Due Process shall be responsible for seeing that procedures concerning faculty rights in matters of promotion, tenure, nonrenewal of contract, and appeal are carried out in accordance with current and accepted principles and practices including those of The American Association of University Professors. This committee, if requested, has the responsibility of advising faculty members of their rights and of providing guidance through the appeal procedure.


Section 2. The Faculty Committee on Due Process is composed of five members who have tenure and are elected annually by the faculty. The Nominating Committee must nominate at least one, but ordinarily not more than two, member(s) of the Committee annually. No member may serve more than four consecutive years. The member with seniority of consecutive years of service on the Committee will be chair. In the event of equal seniority, the one with the greatest length of service to Furman University will be chair. Service on the Due Process Committee does not prejudice service on another faculty committee (See Article V, Section 10).


Section 3. The Due Process Committee shall report all findings to the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Faculty Status Committee, and faculty.


Article VII. Graduate Council

Section 1. A Graduate Council shall formulate all policies and regulations affecting graduate degrees in programs administered solely by Furman University and shall determine qualifications for membership in the graduate faculty.


Section 2. The Graduate Council shall be composed of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Director of Graduate Studies (who shall serve as the chair), the Librarian, the chair (or designated representative) of each department that offers a graduate major, and two other faculty members, these last two to be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the faculty.


Section 3. The Graduate Council shall report to the Curriculum Committee, as information, matters concerning graduate curriculum, and shall report to the Faculty of Furman University, for approval, all matters concerning admission requirements, degree requirements, and curriculum.


Section 4. All actions of the Council shall be subject to review by and approval of the President.


Article VIII. Amendments

Section 1. The Constitution of the Faculty may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the faculty at two regular faculty meetings provided a quorum is present. Any member of the faculty may present a proposed amendment or amendment change in writing to the faculty. No exceptions shall be made to the requirements. After approval by the faculty, amendments will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for ratification.


Section 2. If the Board of Trustees chooses not to approve a change or amendment in the Constitution of the Faculty as recommended by the faculty, the Board is requested to convey, in writing, to the faculty the reason or reasons for its action.


Section 3. Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote at a single meeting, a quorum being present.

Adopted October 13, 1975

Revised October 6, 1981

Revised May 15, 1984

Revised May 10, 1988

Revised November 19, 1991

Revised May 18, 1992

Revised May 10, 2004

Revised October 29, 2005

Revised October 28, 2006

Revised February 7, 2007




(1)   Prior to a faculty meeting any member who desires to present a report to the faculty shall schedule his or her appearance with the Chair, who shall place the item on the agenda for the particular meeting.  Ordinarily, the person responsible for the report shall provide the Chair with any material for circulation prior to the meeting.


(2)   The Chair of the Faculty shall be elected from the Professors on tenure and the Vice Chair elected from the Associate or Assistant Professors on tenure.


(3)   The "principal officers of the administration," with respect to Article II, section 1 of the Faculty Constitution, shall be the President and Vice Presidents, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of Continuing Education, the Associate Academic Dean, the Assistant Academic Dean, and the Associate Dean and University Registrar.


(4)   The Chair of the Faculty shall determine the order of business and hall appoint the Faculty Parliamentarian.  The parliamentary authority shall be Robert's Rules of Order.


(5)   The list of faculty committees nominated for the following year shall be distributed at least one week prior to the April faculty meeting, and the election shall take place at the April meeting.


(6)   The Chair of the Faculty shall schedule the annual committee reports at faculty meetings.


(7)   The Recorder shall keep a current roster of the members of the faculty (See Article II) and shall provide copies to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Faculty and the Chair of the Policies and Procedures Committee.

(8) A consent agenda may be presented by the faculty chair at the beginning of the faculty meeting. Items may be placed on the consent agenda by sending them to the faculty chair. No item may be added to the consent agenda later than four business days before the scheduled meeting. Items may be removed from the agenda on the request of any one voting member. Items not removed may be adopted by general consent without debate. Removed items will be taken up in the normal order of business.

Adopted February 9, 1976

Revised September 8, 1993

Revised May 15, 1984

Revised September 7, 1993

Revised October 8, 1984

Revised February 12, 1996

Revised September 2, 1986

Revised April 19, 2004

Revised March 14, 2005

Revised May 9, 2005

Revised May 18, 2007

Revised May 16, 2015