Constitution of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly

Preamble

In order to further the purposes of Berea College, to facilitate its program through consideration of matters of concern to the institution and to provide for appropriate action, this Constitution is established for the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly.

Article I: Powers of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly

Section 1: The General Faculty Assembly considers and makes recommendations regarding issues concerning the whole institution with the exception of matters related to the academic program. Issues considered by the General Faculty Assembly include, but are not limited to, matters affecting the health, safety and comfort of the members of the college community, matters affecting the welfare and direction of Berea College, and such other matters as may be referred to it by the President or other governance bodies.

Section 2: The College Faculty Assembly considers issues affecting the academic program (such as curriculum, majors, etc.) and makes recommendations dealing with College Faculty personnel policies.

Section 3: The General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly function as independent bodies ordering their own internal affairs. Each Assembly has the power to establish such policies and practices as are needed to fulfill its functions except where its recommendations require approval by the President, Administrative Committee, or Board of Trustees. These policies and practices include, but are not limited to, curricular modifications (e.g., the addition or deletion of a general studies curriculum or an academic major) and modifications in the personnel policies for College Faculty.

All actions of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly must be consistent with the Articles of Incorporation of Berea College and with the Bylaws and policies established by the Board of Trustees. The General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly may, however, recommend changes in policies to the President and Trustees. Neither the General Faculty Assembly nor the College Faculty Assembly may authorize the expenditure of funds.

Section 4: Amendments to student judicial codes and all major changes in policies governing student life and conduct must be reviewed and approved by a majority vote of the General Faculty Assembly before becoming effective. Such matters also will be submitted for review and action to the Student Government Association, and their recommendations will be considered in General Faculty Assembly action.

Section 5: All major changes in policies governing the labor program must be reviewed and approved by a majority vote of the General Faculty Assembly before becoming effective.

Section 6: An action of the General Faculty Assembly or the College Faculty Assembly becomes effective upon assent of the President unless approval by the Administrative Committee and/or Board of Trustees is required. If the President withholds assent, the General Faculty Assembly or College Faculty Assembly may then reconsider the issue at a subsequent meeting. If the action is reaffirmed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the concerned body present and voting, and the President still withholds assent, the matter will be referred to the Board of Trustees for final action.

Article II: Membership

Section 1: The General Faculty Assembly shall consist of (1) all members of the College Faculty Assembly; (2) the President, Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Student Life, Vice President for Alumni and College Relations, Vice President for Finance, and Vice President for Operations and Sustainability; (3) up to 58 divisional delegates appointed by the administrators from their respective areas*; (4) up to 39 elected at-large delegates*; (5) a maximum of 12 Student Government officers as selected by the Student Government Association; and (6) for the duration of their service, anyone serving on an approved council or committee in the campus governance system, including groups (committees, task forces, teams, etc.) put together by the Executive Council.

*Procedures for appointing and electing members to the General Faculty Assembly can be found in the General Faculty Assembly section of this publication.

Section 2: The College Faculty Assembly shall consist of (1) all full-time faculty members who hold tenured, tenure-track, or continuing non-tenurable appointments (i.e., all full-time faculty except those with temporary appointments); (2) Administrators who have faculty rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor; (3) Faculty members with part-time teaching assignments (a) whose instructional load has been at least half-time for two consecutive years and (b) whose instructional appointment is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Article III: Officers

Section 1: The Executive Council annually designates who will preside over meetings of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly.

Section 2: The Executive Council appoints a secretary to serve for the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly meetings.

Article IV: Meetings

Section 1: Joint meetings of the General Faculty Assembly and the College Faculty Assembly are held monthly during the academic year and are scheduled by the Executive Council. Additional special meetings of the General Faculty Assembly and the College Faculty Assembly may be scheduled by the Executive Council. All Berea College non-student employees may attend these meetings and participate in the discussions. Voting privileges are reserved for members of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly within their respective areas of authority.

Section 2: Regular and special meetings of the General Faculty Assembly and the College Faculty Assembly will be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. A secret ballot, however, will be administered for any question under consideration upon the request of one individual.

Article V: Voting

Section 1: All members of the General Faculty Assembly and College Faculty Assembly present at a meeting shall be entitled to vote on all matters within their jurisdiction. General Faculty members are eligible for election to committees as provided by the Faculty Council and Committee Structure. Provisions for voting by mail in elections may be made at the discretion of the Executive Council.

Section 2: A majority of the members of the General Faculty Assembly or College Faculty Assembly shall constitute a quorum on matters within their respective jurisdictions. Quorum will be established by the Executive Council at the beginning of each term. For purposes of quorum calculations, members on approved leave will not be counted as voting members.

Article VI: Councils and Committees

Section 1: Standing councils and committees shall be constituted in such a manner and shall exercise such duties as provided by the Faculty Council and Committee Structure. The constituent councils and committees within the Faculty Council and Committee Structure derive their authority from the Board of Trustees through the General Faculty Assembly and the College Faculty Assembly.

Section 2: The Executive Council may establish ad hoc committees, task forces, teams, etc., as needed within the campus governance structure. These committees act under the authority of the Executive Council as provided in the Faculty Council and Committee Structure. Administrative officers and other bodies as appropriate may put in place ad hoc groups that are not related to the campus governance structure.

Article VII Amendments

Section 1: Amendments to this Constitution and any proposal affecting the campus governance structure may be adopted at any meeting of the General Faculty Assembly or College Faculty Assembly, provided that the proposed amendment has been reviewed by the Executive Council, has been presented in writing to the membership of the General Faculty Assembly or College Faculty Assembly, and has been discussed by the appropriate body during a faculty meeting occurring not less than two weeks prior to final action.

Section 2: The assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting shall be required to amend this Constitution or change the campus governance structure.

Section 3: An amendment to this Constitution or change to the campus governance structure becomes effective upon the assent of the President and, if substantive, the Board of Trustees. If the President withholds assent, the General Faculty Assembly or College Faculty Assembly may then reconsider the issue at a subsequent meeting.  If the action is reaffirmed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the concerned body present and voting, and the President still withholds assent, the matter will be referred to the Board of Trustees for final action.