UMass Boston

Bylaws and Constitution

Read the Faculty Council Constitution

General Provisions

1. Adoption and Changing of Bylaws

A. The Faculty Council shall adopt, amend or rescind the bylaws of the Faculty Council by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting at a meeting where the proposed action has appeared on the published agenda. All votes concerning actions on the bylaws shall be by written ballot unless those present rule otherwise by a two-thirds (2/3) majority.

2. Parliamentary procedures

A. Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised shall be the parliamentary guide.

3. Elections to the Council

A. Annual elections to the Faculty Council as provided in the Constitution shall occur no later than April 10.

4. Meetings and Agendas

A. Each semester the Faculty Council shall convene a general faculty meeting and set the agenda thereof. All ensuing recommendations shall be placed upon the agenda of the next Council meeting.

B. The first regular meeting of the Faculty Council shall take place next year during the month of May; the Chancellor shall convene this meeting and seat the new Council. The Council shall then establish a schedule of regular meetings, with its first meeting being called by the Council Executive Committee.

C. Regular meetings of the Faculty Council shall be held monthly during the academic year.

D. Additional meetings of the Council may be called by:

  1. The Chancellor;
  2. The Council Executive Committee;
  3. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the Councilors petitioning the Council Executive Committee;
  4. Ten percent (10%) of the full-time faculty petitioning the Council Executive Committee.

E. The agenda of meetings with all appropriate documents including the corrected minutes shall be prepared and distributed by the Council Executive Committee at least six days in advance of any meeting to the following:

  1. All members of the Faculty Council;
  2. The Chancellor and all Vice Chancellors;
  3. Deans and Directors and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research;
  4. Department chairpersons or equivalents;
  5. The following administrators: Dean of Enrollment Services, Director of Extended Day, Director of Continuing Education, and Director of Libraries;
  6. The Speaker of the Student Senate, the Chairperson of the Professional Staff Association; the chairs of the campus governance bodies; the leadership of the FSU.

F. The Chancellor, committee chairpersons and individual members shall advise the Council Executive Committee in matters they desire to place before the Council in sufficient time that such matters may appear on the agenda six days in advance of the meeting.

G. The question of approving or amending the agenda shall appear as the first item of the new business at the earliest possible meeting. Otherwise, the order of the agenda shall be proposed by the Council Executive Committee.

H. Matters designated as urgent by the Chancellor shall appear as the first item of new business at the earliest possible meeting. Otherwise, the order of the agenda shall be proposed by the Council Executive Committee.

I. A quorum for business published on the agenda of the Council shall consist of the voting members present.

J. A quorum concerning items not appearing on the published agenda shall be a majority of the voting members of the Council.

K. The Associate Chair, Secretary of the Council, shall be responsible for keeping and circulating the Minutes of each meeting. These minutes must include all motions, amendments and rulings of the Chair. They may also include, at the discretion of the Secretary, summaries of the debate. Corrections in the minutes must be noted in the minutes of the meeting at which the corrections were made.

L. A copy of the agenda and of the approved minutes, without attachments, shall be distributed to all faculty not included in the above list prior to each meeting.

5. Procedures for Voting

A. All motions presented for final vote must appear on the agenda of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken, unless this provision is waived by a two-third (2/3) vote of the Faculty Council.

B. To adopt a motion whose wording appears on the Council agenda, only one passing vote is necessary.

C. A second reading at a subsequent meeting is necessary for all motions whose wording did not appear on the agenda of the meeting which it received first approval, and for any motion whose wording is substantially amended from that presented in the agenda.

D. At a second reading any amendment or substitution to a motion must achieve a majority to pass, and such change, if substantive, shall return a motion to its first reading.

E. In exceptional circumstances when time is of the essence, the requirement of a second reading may be waived by a 2/3 vote of the members of the Council present and voting.

F. All agendas and minutes of the Governance Bodies and similar agencies of the Colleges shall be submitted to the Council for determination of whether any educational policy action involves a University-wide issue or conflict among Colleges. The Council will within two weeks of said action notify the Governance Body of any such potential University-wide issue or conflict. Should the Council then determine that said action involves a University-wide issue or conflict among Colleges, a positive recommendation from the Faculty Council is required before that action of the college may be forwarded to the Chancellor for approval and implementation as a faculty-initiated measure.

6. Visitors and Floor Privileges

A. Speaking privileges may be extended to non-members of the Council in the following cases:

  1. All members of a Council Committee which is presenting a report or other business to the Council.
  2. Guests of the Council when recommended by the Council or by the Executive Committee.
  3. Officers of the Governing Bodies of the Colleges.

7. Vacancies in Council Membership

A. Should a member resign or be declared ineligible, the remainder of the term shall be filled by the Council Executive Committee’s seating of the candidate who received the largest vote in the election of the councilor vacating the seat.

B. Should there be no candidate who received the next largest vote, the Colleges concerned shall elect a replacement according to its own procedures.

C. Should the Chair resign or be declared ineligible, the Associate Chair shall serve as Chair until the next election with a new Associate Chair be selected from the membership of the Council. Should the new Associate Chair be selected from the membership of the Council Executive Committee, an election shall then be held for the fifth Council Executive Committee member.


8. Definitions

A. "Standing Committees" shall be defined as subordinate units of the Faculty Council established for the following purposes:

  1. To develop policy recommendations within their assigned responsibilities. These recommendations shall be presented in the form of reports, with motions for subsequent Faculty Council action;
  2. To review and evaluate existing campus policies and programs within their assigned responsibilities, and to report thereto to the Faculty Council; and
  3. To provide advice on operations and implementation of existing policy within their assigned responsibilities. If such advice is provided directly to the administration, detailed summaries of advice rendered shall be immediately reported to the Faculty Council.

9. Duties

A. Standing committees shall:

  1. Meet at least once every semester;
  2. Exercise their powers and duties as prescribed by the Constitution and by these bylaws;
  3. Keep and distribute minutes of all meetings. Two copies of all minutes, together with relevant documents shall be placed on file with the Chair of the Faculty Council who shall make them available to inquiring faculty members. One copy of all minutes and relevant documents shall be sent to each of the following: The Chancellor, the Provost, and such others as the Faculty Council may designate;
  4. Prepare and submit an annual report by June 1st of each year, and such other reports as may be ordered. Besides reporting on the completed action of the committee, the annual report shall also delineate areas of future concern for the committee;
  5. Establish and appoint such subcommittees as are provided by bylaw or as may be deemed necessary provided that the chairperson shall be drawn from the membership of the committee.

10. Membership

A. the composition of all committees shall take the following into consideration:

  1. Some continuity in committee membership;
  2. The interests and expertise of potential committee members;
  3. Diversification of committee members with regard to faculty rank, department, and division;
  4. Sex and minority representation; and
  5. The composition of all committees shall take the following into consideration: All committees shall have no less than five (5) faculty members and no more than nine (9) faculty members with preference for a representative from each of the College constituencies.

B. The agreement of the nominee shall be secured before nomination.

C. When Committees of a new session are to be formed, the Council Executive Committee shall nominate to the Council a single slate of voting members for each Committee. The Council shall approve or recommit with instructions. The Council shall not discuss the personal qualifications of nominees except in unusual and compelling circumstances.

D. Except, as otherwise provided, the term of office of faculty members on all committees shall be one year.

E. Except, as otherwise provided, the selection of voting members shall be by nomination of the Council Executive Committee serving as a committee on committees, of which the Provost shall be a members, and ratification of the Faculty Council. Ex officio members shall be non-voting.

F. Except, as otherwise provided, the chairperson of each standing committee shall be elected annually, in the fall, and shall be eligible for re-election. Non-voting committee members may not serve as chair. Committee chairpersons who are not Council members shall be accorded the privilege of the floor, when deemed appropriate by the Presiding Officer.

G. Each standing committee shall include at least one elected member of the Faculty Council, except as may otherwise be provided, who shall convene the first meeting.

H. As provided in the Constitution, each standing committee shall have the opportunity for non-voting membership by a representative chosen by the Student Senate and a representative chosen by the Professional Staff Association.

I. Committee members may resign from membership at any time prior to the expiration of a term, by notifying the Chair of the Faculty Council in writing.

J. Each standing committee may by vote invite other individuals to participate in the discussion Committee.

11. Ad Hoc Committees

A. Motions establishing ad hoc committees shall include:

  1. The name of the committee and its charge;
  2. Its size, composition, and when appropriate, its chair;
  3. Whether it shall be elected or appointed, and by what methods; and
  4. A date by which the committee is expected to present a progress or final report.

B. Ad hoc committees shall keep and distribute minutes of all meetings in the manner prescribed for standing committees.

12. Floor Action on Committee Reports

A. A copy of each report of all standing committees and ad hoc committees shall be sent to each Faculty Council member at least six working days before its presentation. The report shall contain a summary of the matters considered, a list or recommendations, and in the form of motions, for Council action and, where appropriate, reference to prior Council actions and policies.

B. Committee recommendations shall be subject to Council action except, when the Council empowers a committee to act for it, in which case the committee’s annual report shall include a full account of actions taken.

C. When a committee report is under consideration by the Council, all of its members shall have speaking privileges.

13. Council Executive Committee

A. The Council Executive Committee shall consist of five (5) members:

  1. A Chair who shall serve for two years and be presiding officer of the Faculty Council and of the Council Executive Committee.
  2. An Associate Chair who shall act as secretary of the Faculty Council.
  3. Three other councilors.
  4. No more than three Council Executive Committee members may be elected from the same college.

B. The Council Executive Committee shall have the following functions:

  1. To inform the colleges of vacancies in Council seats by at least February 15 of each year for regular elections and within two (2) weeks of the creation of a vacancy to be filled.
  2. Serve as the Committee on Committees, with the Provost as a member, to nominate to the Faculty Council for ratification all members of all Council standing and ad hoc committees.
  3. To approve the charges of the standing and ad hoc committees.
  4. To specify issues for discussion and request recommendations from standing and ad hoc committees.
  5. Receive from the President, Chancellor, Provost and Deans requests for Council advice, and refer them to the appropriate committees for study. The Chair of the Council shall publicize requests that have been acted upon, indicating to which body each has been referred.
  6. Receive from the Chair of the Council all items of new business, and determine the appropriate disposition.
  7. Report regularly regarding the status of all items of business submitted to the Council Executive Committee.
  8. Prepare the Faculty Council agenda.
  9. Review the Constitution and bylaws and the committee structure for needed revisions and report thereon, not later than February of each year.
  10. Continuously review and investigate the implementation of actions of the Faculty Council and its committees, and report thereon at least every semester.
  11. Act in an advisory capacity to the President and/or the Chancellor during the summer months, and in the cases of emergency, as determined by the President or the Chancellor. The Council Executive Committee will keep the Council informed on any actions taken.
  12. Be empowered to carry on the business of the Faculty Council during the periods when the faculty is not in session. A report of all actions taken will be presented at the first regularly scheduled Council meeting thereafter.
  13. Be empowered to implement Section 5, F of the Bylaws by:
  • a. Maintaining continuing communication with the Chairpersons of the Governance Bodies of the Colleges;
  • b. Reviewing agendas and minutes of the Governance Bodies and similar agencies of the Colleges and determining whether a University-wide issue or potential conflict among Colleges exists;
  • c. Where such an issue or conflict exists, notifying the Faculty Council and the appropriate Governance Body or similar agency of the Council Executive Committee’s determination; such notification shall be given within two weeks of the date on which the Council Executive Committee received formal notice of the action taken by the Governance Body or similar agency; and
  • d. When there is a determination that an educational policy action involves a University-wide issue or conflict between colleges, placing this item of business on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Faculty Council meeting.

14. Academic Affairs Committee

A. The Committee shall develop recommendations concerning matters of educational policy which have a Campus-wide effect, except as otherwise provided. Among its duties it shall:

  1. Recommend the list of candidates for undergraduate degree;
  2. Examine all proposals of an academic or curricular nature from the several colleges and programs to ensure adherence to Campus-wide policies. After consideration, the committee shall make its recommendations to the Council;
  3. Review academic regulations and graduation requirements;
  4. Recommend procedures for the selection of candidates for honorary degrees and recommend, directly to the Provost, appropriate candidates;
  5. Review and recommend policies regarding academic advising and academic support services;
  6. Prepare the academic calendar and present same to the Council for its approval;
  7. Establish a standing subcommittee on Standards and Credits consisting of no fewer than three of its members and including the Registrar of the University as an ex officio member.

B. Composition

  1. Voting Members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership
  2. Non Voting Members: One member chosen by the Student Senate; one member chosen by the Professional Staff Organization; the Provost ex officio.

15. Academic Technology Committee

A. This committee shall

  1. Make recommendations on hardware and software acquisitions intended for Campus-wide academic use;
  2. Formulate plans for expansion and improvement of academic computing facilities;
  3. Recommend policies, based on curricular considerations, for determining distribution of, and access to, Campus-wide academic computing resources;
  4. To review all requests to acquire academic computing facilities, except those that are funded by external grants to provide dedicated computing facilities for sponsored research; and
  5. To advise and consult with the Provost’s Computing Advisory Group and the Computer Use Development Committee.

B. Composition

  1. Nine voting members as follows: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership
  2. Non-voting Members: One member chosen by the Student Senate, one member chosen by the Professional Staff Association, the Director of Computing Services ex officio, the Director of Computer User Development ex officio, the Provost or designee ex officio.
  3. By vote of the Committee, other individuals may be invited to participate in the discussions of the Committee.

16. Budget and Planning Committee

A. This committee shall

  1. Participate in the planning and development of the University, especially in the creation of new units and colleges and to consult with appropriate administrative offices thereto;
  2. Review and make policy recommendations concerning the planning, development and use of all physical facilities of the Boston campus, and to monitor and report upon the implementation of such policy;
  3. Review Library planning and purchases;
  4. Make its reports and recommendations in a timely fashion, taking into account the master calendars of the Boston campus, the Office of the President and the Board of Trustees;
  5. Report to the Faculty Council at least once each semester, accompanying its report with such recommendations as it deems appropriate;
  6. Review budget proposals and report to the Council regarding them before they are formally approved by the administration; and
  7. Review and report to the Council of the administration of funds on the Boston campus.

B. Composition

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10.A.5. Membership
  2. Non-Voting members: The Chancellor ex officio; the Provost ex officio, the Director of Libraries as provided by the Constitution, one member chosen by the Student Senate, and one member chosen by the Professional Staff Association.

17. Financial Aid, Admissions and Records Committee

A. This committee shall review and recommend policies concerning:

  1. Admissions and readmissions of students;
  2. Admission goals and student recruitment;
  3. Financial Aid;
  4. Transfer Credit;
  5. Registration; and
  6. Academic records and distribution of grade reports;

B. At the request of the Provost or of the Dean of Admissions, the committee may recommend action in individual cases.

C. Composition

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership
  2. Non-Voting Members: The Dean of Enrollment Services or the designee ex officio, one representative chosen by the Student Senate, and one representative chosen by the Professional Staff Association.

18. Graduate Studies Committee

A. This body shall

  1. When appropriate provide advice to the Dean Of Graduate Studies and to the Dean or Director of the appropriate college or unit on academic matters relating to the administration of graduate programs;
  2. Develop policy recommendations on matters relating to graduate studies within the University, including:
  • a. Policies governing the establishment, modification and termination of all graduate programs, including cooperative graduate programs with other colleges and universities;
  • b. Policies governing graduate student admission, financial aid, and graduation;
  • c. The qualifications required for faculty participation in graduate programs, including the direction of theses and dissertations; and
  • d. If not covered by other grievance procedures the development of a system designed to resolve such differences as may arise between graduate students and members of the faculty.
  1. Examine proposals of graduate programs and courses to ensure adherence to University policies and make recommendations to the Council concerning their adoption:

B. Composition

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5.Membership
  2. Non-Voting Members: The Dean of Graduate Studies ex officio, the Director of Libraries as provided in the Constitution, one representative chosen by the Student Senate, and one representative chosen by the Professional Staff Association.

19. Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects Committee

A. This committee shall review and recommend policies for research involving human subjects.

B. This committee shall conduct reviews of all proposals for research or instruction in which the use of human subjects is proposed in order to determine:

  1. Whether these subjects will be placed "at risk," i.e., "Exposed to the possibility of injury, including physical, psychological or social injury, as a consequence or participation as a subject in any research, development, training grant or related activity which departs from the application of those established and accepted methods necessary to meet (their) needs, or which increases the ordinary risks of daily life, including the recognized risks inherent in a chosen occupation or field of service," and if so
  • a. That "the risks to the subject are so outweighed by the sum of the benefit to the subject and the importance of the knowledge to be gained as to warrant a decision to allow the subject to accept these risks;"
  • b. That "the rights and welfare of any such subjects will be adequately protected;"
  • c. That the "informed consent" of all individuals placed "at risk" shall be obtained from those individuals or their legally authorized representatives, "so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice without undue inducement or any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress or any other form of constraint or coercion," the informed consent to be in written form;
  • d. That, in those special cases where the investigator is convinced that it is not feasible to make full disclosure of the matters in e below, the investigator incurs added obligations to protect the welfare and dignity of the subjects and to establish the merit of the cases to the satisfaction of the Committee;
  • e. That the information provided prospective human subjects shall include:
  1. a fair explanation of the procedures to be followed, their purposes and the identification of any procedures which are experimental;
  2. a description of any attendant discomforts and risks reasonably to be expected;
  3. a description of any benefits reasonably to be expected;
  4. a disclosure of any alternative procedure that might be advantageous for the subject;
  5. an offer to answer any inquiries concerning the procedures;
  6. an instruction that the person is free to withdraw his consent and to discontinue participation in the project or activity at any time without prejudice to the subject; and
  7. a statement of the existence of the Human Subjects Review Committee which protects the rights of the investigators and participants.
  • f. That if human subjects are recruited from among students in lecture, laboratory or discussion classes, such service shall be entirely voluntary and that if any extra credit, grade consideration, or other reward is offered for participation as a volunteer, alternative methods requiring a similar workload and carrying equivalent reward shall be offered to those students within the class who do not wish to participate as human subjects.
  • g. Departmental or administrative unit committees shall review all questionnaires to be used in obtaining information for study from the members of any section of the university community or general public, if such questionnaires are involved with University instruction.

C. The procedures of the Committee shall include and conform to the following:

  1. The Director of the Office of Grant and Contract Administration shall be responsible for the prompt transmittal to the Committee members of all federally funded grant, contract, training grant or fellowship proposals which require the use of human subjects or survey research or research requiring the examination of data about human subjects.
  2. The Committee shall review all grant, contract, training grant, survey research or fellowship proposals involving the use of human subjects within 60 days after the receipt date, the deadline for proposal (or request for renewal) submission or within 60 days following the actual submission date of the proposal.
  3. The Chairperson shall schedule the meetings with regard to necessary timeliness.
  4. Failure to complete review within 60 days shall not be construed as approval by the Committee.
  5. One-half of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
  6. No members of the Committee who have conflicting or vested interests in the proposal shall be involved, except to provide information to the Committee; in keeping with this principle the ex officio members shall not have voting privileges on the Committee.

D. Composition

  1. Voting Members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership plus four students to include one graduate student, one representative on University research centers and institutes, 3 members of the civic community who shall not be employees of the University.
  2. Non-Voting Members:
  • a. Director of Graduate Studies ex officio
  • b. Director of the Office of Grant and Contract Administration ex officio

20. Library Committee

A. This committee shall:

  1. Develop recommendations on the general policies of the Library.
  2. Monitor the holdings of the Library to ensure appropriate support for the present academic programs of the University and notify the Faculty Council or areas of concern.
  3. When Faculty Council action is required on new academic programs, report to the appropriate Faculty Council Committee on the adequacy of Library holdings for the program.
  4. When appropriate, advise the Director of the Library in matters such as budget, acquisition policy, and administration of the Library.

B. Composition:

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5 Membership
  2. Non-voting members: One representative chosen by the Student Senate and one by the Professional Staff Association; and the Director of the Library ex officio.

21. Joint Athletics Committee

A. This Committee shall:

  1. Recommend campus policies and procedures on matters related to athletics; and;
  2. Report these recommendations to the Faculty Council and the Student Senate for discussion and approval.

B. Composition

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership plus four members of the Student Body, three members of the Professional/Classified Staff, one Alumnus, one Community Representative; that as provided by the NCAA-ECAC regulations, the Chairperson of the Committee be a member of the Faculty.
  2. Non-voting members: The Director of Athletics ex officio

C. Term of Office:

  1. Members will be appointed for a two-year term.

22. Joint Discipline and Grievance Committee

A. This committee shall:

  1. Review and recommend to the Faculty Council and the Student Senate discipline and grievance policies and procedures.
  2. Exercise jurisdiction over individual cases as specified in any discipline and grievance policies which may be approved by the Faculty Council, the Student Senate, the Administration and the Board of Trustees.

B. Composition:

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership. Plus five students chosen by the Student Senate and GSA with the appointment of seats for the two associations based on the proportion of the total number of undergraduate and graduate students on campus; each of these two associations must have at least one representative. One representative from the Professional Staff Association.
  2. Non-voting members: Dean of Students ex officio

23. Joint Sexual Harassment Hearing Board

A. The members of the Hearing Board shall act at all times to preserve the confidentiality of complaints and respondents. Board members shall participate in sexual harassment training workshops designed to sensitize them to the issues encompassing sexual harassment, including confidentiality, and the hearing procedures herein.

B. Composition

  1. The Chancellor, in consultation with the appropriate governing and administrative bodies, shall appoint a 12-member Sexual Harassment Hearing Board. The Sexual Harassment Officer shall act as the Coordinator of the Board. The Hearing Board shall be composed of 3 faculty members, 3 members of the professional staff, 3 classified employees and 3 students. Appointments will be guided by considerations of continuity, experience, a sensitivity to the concerns of those most profoundly affected by sexual harassment. Insofar as possible the Board shall reflect the diversity of the campus community. The membership of each constituency shall include at least one women and one man. Members are to serve staggered terms for three years.

24. Quality of Life Committee

A. This committee shall:

  1. Study the quality of the physical facilities and of the social environment and make recommendations to the Faculty Council and to the Administration.

B. Composition:

  1. Voting members: Refer to 10 A.5. Membership; one member of the Professional Staff Association; one student member selected by the Student Senate
  2. Non-voting members: The Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance ex officio
  3. This committee must comprise one member from each of the University’s buildings.