Constitution of the Faculty Assembly of the College of William and Mary
Purpose and Authority
Section 1. The Faculty Assembly (or the Assembly) of the College of William and Mary in Virginia (or William & Mary) is the elected faculty body that regularly advises the President and the Provost on matters affecting the welfare of the university and that ensures effective faculty participation in the governance of the university as a whole.
Section 2. The Assembly shall assess the impact of proposed programs and proposed changes in existing programs that affect more than one faculty or significantly affect the university’s resource allocation or educational mission. The Assembly will evaluate the impact of university plans on educational policy, admission policy, student affairs, personnel policy, and resource allocation within the university.
Section 3. The Assembly through its Executive Committee shall provide faculty liaison to the Board of Visitors and shall provide faculty representation to all long-range planning committees.
Section 4. The Assembly shall have the authority to establish its own committees and bylaws.
Section 5. At its discretion, the Assembly shall call university-wide faculty meetings.
Section 6. The Assembly shall recommend the faculty representatives to all university-wide appointed committees. At its discretion, it may delegate these recommendations to the faculties.
Section 7. The Assembly shall review periodically the jurisdiction, composition, and activities of the university-wide committees; and shall recommend changes it deems necessary. Such a review should be conducted at least once every four years.
Section 8. The Assembly shall review personnel policies, tenure and promotion standards, recruitment policies, and the policy aspects of faculty compensation and benefits.
Section 9. The Assembly may review and make its own recommendations on policy changes proposed by standing or ad-hoc university-wide committees.
Section 10. The Assembly may formulate recommendations on matters that are not under the direct jurisdiction of standing or ad-hoc university-wide committees. It may adopt resolutions on matters affecting the university as it deems appropriate.
Section 11. The Assembly shall collect information relating to matters of concern to the faculty and ascertain the priorities of the faculty.
Section 12. The Assembly shall have timely access to the agendas of the Board of Visitors, reports of all university-wide committees, and preliminary drafts of the university budget.
Section 13. The Assembly’s jurisdiction shall not supersede the authority of the constituent faculties as provided in their bylaws and approved by the Board of Visitors.
Section 1. The Assembly shall represent the five faculties of the university: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Arts & Sciences) and the separate faculties of the schools of Business, Education, Law, and Marine Science.
Section 2. Constituencies. The five faculties shall be divided into seven constituencies: Arts & Sciences departments shall be divided into Areas I, II, and III as defined in the Arts & Sciences Bylaws; the schools of Business, Education, Law, and Marine Science shall each constitute one constituency.
Section 3. Proportionality. The Assembly shall include twenty elected members representing seven constituencies. Each of the Arts & Sciences constituencies shall be assigned four seats; each of the other constituencies, two seats.
Section 4. Each constituency shall have no more than one elected non-tenure eligible (NTE) representative on the Assembly at any given time.
Section 5. If, at the time of the Annual Meeting, no NTE faculty would otherwise be one of the elected members for the coming year, the Executive Committee will appoint a non-voting representative from the NTE faculty to serve on the Assembly for a term of one year, which is renewable at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
Section 6. “Assembly-eligible” faculty means those faculty members eligible to serve on the Assembly as provided in III.2. Should the ratio of Assembly-eligible faculty in Arts & Sciences to Assembly-eligible faculty in the schools fall below 11:9 or rise above 4:1, the allocation of seats between Arts & Sciences and the schools shall be reconsidered and a recommendation made to the Assembly by the Executive Committee.
Section 1. The Assembly shall be composed of twenty-one voting members. Twenty of those shall be elected to represent the constituencies (II.2). The faculty representative to the Board of Visitors shall be an additional voting member of the Assembly, ex officio. In some years, the Assembly may include one additional non-voting NTE member as provided in II.5.
Section 2. Eligibility. The membership of the Assembly shall be limited to tenured and tenure-eligible faculty, and to continuing full-time NTE faculty.
Section 3. Terms. The elected members of the Assembly shall serve for terms of three years so adjusted that the terms of approximately one-third of the members shall assume office at the first regular meeting of each academic year. A member shall be eligible for re-election to one additional consecutive term, following which two years must pass before he or she is again eligible. For purposes of eligibility, a partial term, to fill out the unexpired term of some other elected member or for any other reason, shall be counted as a full term.
Section 4. Vacancies shall be filled promptly through election by the original constituency.
Section 5. The Provost shall serve as a non-voting administrative representative to the Assembly.
Section 1. Each faculty of the university shall determine who is a voting member of that faculty for Assembly representation. Members of more than one faculty may vote in only one faculty.
Section 2. Except as otherwise provided in Sections 3 and 4, each member of the Assembly shall have one vote.
Section 3. Any NTE member appointed under II.5 will not have voting rights on the Assembly.
Section 4. Elected NTE members will not have voting rights on matters related to tenure and the promotion of tenure-line faculty.
Amendment of the Constitution
Section 1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of the full Assembly membership, excluding any non-voting member.
Section 2. Ratification of amendments to this constitution must be approved by 5 out of the 7 of the constituencies of the Assembly (or by Arts & Sciences and two schools), and by the Board of Visitors.
Dissolution of the Assembly
The Assembly may be dissolved by approval of 5 out of the 7 constituencies of the Assembly (or by Arts & Sciences and two schools).
Bylaws of the Faculty Assembly of the College of William and Mary
Section 1. Regular Meetings. The regular meetings of the Assembly shall be held at least once per semester, and not more often than once per month. Regular meeting dates shall be announced at least ten days in advance.
Section 2. Agenda. Items may be placed on agendas for regular meetings by the President of the Assembly, by the Executive Committee, by any committee of the Assembly, or by any two members of the Assembly. Items to be placed on the agenda shall be submitted to the Secretary at least ten days prior to the next regular meeting.
Section 3. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Assembly may be called by the President of the Assembly or by the Executive Committee and may be called upon the written request of ten members of the Assembly. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. Except in cases of emergency, at least ten days’ notice shall be given.
Section 4. Meeting Format. All meetings of the Assembly may be held in person, online, or in a hybrid format.
Section 5. Quorum. A majority of all voting members of the Assembly shall constitute a quorum. A majority of all voting members of a committee shall constitute a quorum on that committee.
Section 6. Meetings of the Assembly are open to attendance by all members of the university community. However, the Assembly may move into executive session by a majority vote of the Assembly members present.
Section 7. The Assembly may invite persons who are not members of the Assembly to speak. Non-members may also be granted the privilege of the floor by the presiding officer.
Section 8. Voting on motions shall normally be viva voce or by show of hands, but five members may require a roll call vote upon any motion. Voting will take place either in person, online, or both. There shall be no proxy votes. A faculty member who will be absent from a meeting may appoint as an alternate member for that meeting any person from his or her constituency who recently has served on the Assembly. Such alternate members shall have the same debating and voting privileges as the regular members they replace.Meetings
Section 1. The Officers of the Assembly shall be the President of the Assembly (hereinafter, “the President”); the Vice President and President-Elect (hereinafter, “the Vice President”), who shall succeed to the Office of President on July 1 following his or her term as Vice President; and the Secretary. Each of the officers shall represent a different constituency.
Section 2. Officers shall serve one-year terms and shall assume their duties on July 1.
Section 3. Officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Assembly (see VIII).
Section 4. President. The President shall preside over meetings of the Assembly and of the Executive Committee. He or she shall serve on all long-range planning or long-range advisory committees of the university.
The President shall appoint a Parliamentarian, who shall attend all Assembly meetings and advise the President on parliamentary procedure.
Section 5. Vice President. The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President during his or her absence and shall serve on all long-range planning or long-range advisory committees of the university. The Vice President shall coordinate faculty presentations to the Board of Visitors. The Vice President shall recommend a slate of candidates at the Annual Meeting (IV.2).
Section 6. Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain the membership roster; prepare and distribute to each member of the faculty the agenda for regular meetings at least seven calendar days prior to the meetings; prepare and publish the minutes of meetings of the Assembly, as well as the Assembly’s reports and resolutions.
Section 7. When the elected President, Vice President, or Secretary is unable to take office, or is unable to complete a term of office, a replacement shall be elected to complete the term, by the means described in IV.1-2.
Section 8. The faculty representative to the Board of Visitors shall not serve as an officer of the Assembly or as a member on the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Faculty Affairs, or the Committee on Planning and Resources.
Section 9. The appointed NTE representative (when one is serving on the Assembly) shall not serve as an officer of the Assembly.
Elections of Representatives
Section 1. Regular elections for Assembly representatives and alternates shall be held by March 1 of each year, with elected members assuming their duties on July 1 after their election. However, newly elected members shall attend the Annual Meeting (see IV.1).
Section 2. Appointment of the non-voting NTE faculty representative shall be made, when necessary, by the Executive Committee at the Annual Meeting.
Election of Officers and Committees
Section 1. The Annual Meeting. Each spring, after the election of the new members of the Assembly and prior to Commencement, the incumbent officers shall convene the following year’s Assembly for the Annual Meeting. The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be to elect the officers, the chairs of the three governing committees (the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Faculty Affairs, and the Committee on Planning and Resources), and the members of the Executive Committee and the Committee on Planning and Resources (COPAR).
Elections shall proceed in the following sequence: President (if necessary), Vice President, Secretary, the chairs of the three governing committees, and the remaining members of the Executive Committee and COPAR. The incumbent officers shall officiate at this meeting and shall distribute notices of the meeting and minutes as for regular meetings. Only the members of the following year’s Assembly are eligible to vote at this meeting.
Section 2. Nominations. Nominations for President (if necessary) shall first be made by the incumbent President. Otherwise, the incumbent Vice President, in consultation with the other officers, shall recommend a slate of candidates for the following year’s Vice President, chairs of governing committees, Executive Committee, and COPAR. The Assembly may make other nominations at this time.
Section 3. In the event that more than two candidates are nominated for a position and none receives a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot, balloting continues with the name of the candidate receiving the fewest votes being dropped from the ballot, after each vote. In the event that there is no one candidate with the fewest votes, balloting continues with all names included until such time as a candidate receives a majority of votes cast (in which case he or she is declared elected) or until a candidate receives the fewest votes (in which case his or her name is dropped from the ballot and the balloting continues).
Section 4. Following the election of the officers, the chairs of the three governing committees, the Executive Committee, and COPAR, Assembly members shall each sign up for service on the Faculty Affairs and Academic Affairs committees. The three governing committees shall each have at least ten members and shall draw their members from the Executive Committee and from the rest of the Assembly membership. The Executive Committee and the Committee on Planning and Resources shall have balanced representation (two from each Area of Arts & Sciences and one from each school).
As officers of the Executive Committee, the President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Assembly are ineligible to serve as chairs of the governing committees.
Each member of the Assembly shall serve either on two of the governing committees, or on the Executive Committee and one of the governing committees. The President and Vice President serve on the Executive Committee and the Committee on Planning and Resources.
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of eleven voting members, two from each Area of Arts & Sciences, one from each school, and the faculty representative to the Board of Visitors. The officers of the Assembly are included in these eleven members. If an NTE representative is not among the voting members, one will be appointed as a non-voting member. The Provost shall serve as a non-voting administrative representative.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the President of the Assembly. Members shall serve one-year terms and shall assume their duties on July 1.
Section 3. Except for the officers and the faculty representative to the Board of Visitors, the Executive Committee shall be nominated and elected by means of the procedures in IV.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall administer the affairs of the Assembly between its meetings, set the hour and agenda of meetings, make recommendations to the Assembly, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws. The Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Assembly, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Assembly.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall serve as a liaison to the Board of Visitors, to the President, and to the Provost and shall provide representation on such other policy committees of the university as the Assembly shall approve.
Section 6. The Executive Committee shall monitor all Assembly committees to assess their continuing usefulness; at least once every four years, review the jurisdiction, composition, and activities of university-wide committees to assess whether the committees, individually and collectively, meet the needs of the university; and present recommendations to the Assembly for modifying the university-wide committee structure. In addition, the Executive Committee shall recommend to the Assembly the members of its special committees, and faculty members of campus-wide committees, except as provided in VII.3.
Section 7. During the summer recess, the Executive Committee may act on behalf of the Assembly and shall report all such actions to the Assembly at its next meeting. During the summer recess the Executive Committee shall normally follow the operating procedures set forth in the bylaws.
Section 8. Consistent with the bylaws and constitution, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to resolve ambiguities in the eligibility and participation of NTE faculty with respect to the Assembly and shall report their actions to the full Assembly.
Section 1. Committees, standing or special, may be established as the Assembly deems necessary. The purpose and charges for new Assembly committees shall be determined by the Assembly upon recommendation from the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Committee members may be drawn from the faculty, faculty emeriti, administration, professional staff, alumni, and student bodies of schools and such other constituencies as may be required or appropriate.
Section 3. The chair of each Assembly committee shall hold open hearings on issues when appropriate; give regular reports to the Assembly; and submit to the Assembly Secretary committee recommendations to be placed on the Assembly’s agenda.
Section 4. The standing governing committees of the Assembly shall include:
a. The Committee on Academic Affairs. The Committee on Academic Affairs shall consist of ten members. Members of the Committee shall be selected by the Assembly during the Annual Meeting by means of the procedures described in IV. Members shall serve one-year terms and shall assume their duties on July 1.
The Committee on Academic Affairs shall report to the Assembly on matters concerning educational policy, admission policy, and student affairs, including athletic policy, within the university. It shall receive reports from the Admission Policy Advisory Committee and the University Library Committee. The Committee will maintain liaison with long-range planning committees.
b. The Committee on Faculty Affairs. The Committee on Faculty Affairs shall consist of ten members. Members of the Committee shall be selected by the Assembly during the Annual Meeting by means of the procedures described in IV. Members shall serve one-year terms and shall assume their duties on July 1.
The Committee on Faculty Affairs shall report to the Assembly on personnel matters, broadly conceived, including personnel policies, recruitment policies, faculty research and development programs, and the policy aspects of faculty compensation and benefits.
Every third year, the Committee on Faculty Affairs shall conduct a survey of faculty attitudes, perceptions, and opinions on a wide range of issues. The Committee shall write a summary of the results and send them to the university faculty and administration.
The Committee on Faculty Affairs shall receive reports from the Faculty Research Committee.
c. The Committee on Planning and Resources (COPAR). The Committee on Planning and Resources shall consist of ten members, two from each of the Areas of Arts & Sciences and one from each school. Members of the Committee shall be elected by the Assembly during the Annual Meeting by means of the procedures described in IV. Members shall serve one-year terms and shall assume their duties on July 1.
The Committee on Planning and Resources shall report to the Assembly on matters concerning the development and allocation of resources, broadly conceived, including budgeting, undergraduate enrollment policies, fundraising and development, the development or renovation of the physical plant of the university, and financial aspects of faculty compensation and benefits. The Committee will maintain liaison with the Faculty Compensation Board and University Advancement. The members of the Committee on Planning and Resources serve as the faculty members on long-range planning committees.
Other Committees Reporting to the Assembly
Section 1. Standing committees of the Assembly, which are established by the Assembly and whose members are appointed by the Assembly, shall include:
a. The Admission Policy Advisory Committee helps to develop undergraduate admission policy. The Committee advises the office of Undergraduate Admission and acts as a review committee in special cases. The Committee submits to the Assembly’s Academic Affairs Committee an annual report that includes a freshman profile developed by Undergraduate Admission.
b. The Faculty Compensation Board works with the Committee on Planning and Resources to improve compensation for all university faculty. It informs itself of evolving statutes and regulations that deal with matters of faculty compensation and discusses with the administration ways to present faculty concerns to state agencies including the General Assembly, Governor’s Office, State Council for Higher Education, and the Department of Planning and Budget. The Board reports annually to the Assembly.
c. The Faculty Research Committee fosters and promotes research activity at the university. It administers a program of subsidized faculty research, establishes procedures governing the program, solicits applications, reviews them, and selects grant recipients for recommendation to the Provost. The Committee reports annually to the Assembly’s Faculty Affairs Committee.
d. The University Library Committee, in consultation with the Dean of University Libraries, advises the Assembly, the President, and Provost on policy consistent with standards of accrediting agencies. It reports in writing at least once a year to the Assembly’s Academic Affairs Committee.
University-wide Advisory Committees
Section 1. University-wide committees may be established as the Provost or other appropriate person deems necessary upon consultation with the Executive Committee. A university-wide committee is a committee which affects more than one faculty or school or significantly affects the university’s resource allocation or educational mission. Purposes and charges for such university-wide committees shall be determined by the Provost or other appropriate person upon consultation with the Executive Committee.
Section 2. On the advice of the Executive Committee, the Assembly shall recommend to the appropriate appointing authority, in a timely manner, the individuals who represent the faculty on search committees for university-wide administrative positions including President, Provost, Vice Presidents, and Dean of University Libraries, and on all university-wide standing and ad-hoc committees other than long-range planning and long-range advisory committees. Terms of office shall be recommended by the Assembly. Except as specified in VII.3, each constituency has the right of representation on every university-wide committee. Care should be taken to ensure representation of NTE faculty and Arts & Sciences faculty from graduate programs. Each constituency may recommend faculty, administrators, or professional staff to represent it on university-wide committees if appropriate.
Section 3. Long-range planning or long-range advisory committees of the university shall include the President, Vice President, and most recent past President of the Assembly. On the advice of the Executive Committee, other faculty members of any such committees shall be approved by the Assembly.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Assembly in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Assembly may adopt.
Amendment of Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the full Assembly membership (all members except any NTE appointed under II.5) and approval by the Board of Visitors.