Article VII

Faculty Council

The inter-collegial body called the Faculty Council will represent and express the voice of the Upstate Faculty. The Faculty Council will address issues thatare of concern to more than one college. Individual college issues are addressed through appropriate college level governance. Faculty Council involvement in multi-college issues is for promoting communication between colleges, development of recommendations for the betterment of Upstate and for influencing administrative actions and opinions.

A. Upstate Faculty Council Collaborative Relationships

The Faculty Council shall be the liaison between the Faculty and other constituencies of Upstate. It shall serve as the Faculty’s governance body under these Bylaws. “Meaningful faculty consultation can only occur when direct communication of the issue needing resolution exists between the administration and the elected faculty representatives of the faculty governance organization or the entire Faculty. While this communication should occur as soon as possible when an issue is identified, the Faculty representatives should have time to provide a meaningful response. Normally a minimum of 30 days should be allowed. In special circumstances, a shorter time for Faculty response may be required. Ongoing, complete communication of important issues between the administration and the faculty governance body shall help improve decision making in the university.”1

  1. Upstate Council
    At the invitation of the President and in accordance with the SUNY Board of Trustees Bylaws2 (VIII:3), the Faculty Council Chairperson shall serve as the faculty liaison to the Upstate Council, attending all regular meetings.
  2. Administrative Officers and the President
    1. The President is responsible to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees for, and shall administer Upstate Medical University, promoting its development and effectiveness. The Upstate Faculty Council shall assist the President through the Council's significant participation in Upstate's governance processes.
    2. The Administrative Officers, including the President, recognize the Faculty Council and its committees as the voice of the Faculty.
    3. The Administrative Officers, including the President and at the discretion of the President, shall meet with the Faculty Council Executive Committee at least 4 times per year to discuss those activities, plans and/or changes in policies that affect the mission of Upstate.
    4. The President shall consult with the faculty regarding Administrative Officer and Dean searches.
    5. Any action of the Faculty Council is non-binding on the President, and in a collegial spirit input is provided for thoughtful consideration and discussion.
  3. Upstate Medical University
    1. The Faculty Council shall discuss and provide suggestions on proposals and policies regarding the mission of Upstate.
    2. Academic Freedom
      It is SUNY policy to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research. The principle of academic freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility.2 (XI) The Faculty Council shall act for and represent the University Faculty in all matters pertaining to freedom of speech and assembly on the campus. While the Faculty recognizes that the authority to speak on behalf of the University resides with the President and can only be exercised by the President or the President's authorized delegates; the right to speak, at any level of governance, is a part of that person's right as a citizen and shall not be abridged by the institution (within the existing legal bounds relating to defamation of character).
  4. College Governance Units/Organizations
    1. These bylaws govern the entire University Faculty. As such, each College’s Assembly bylaws must be in compliance with these Bylaws.
    2. The Faculty Council shall review and provide support for colleges regarding their Bylaws to assure compliance with Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York and with the Faculty Council bylaws provided, however, that the Faculty of individual colleges shall not be deprived of their own independent authority to make and revise their own Bylaws.
    3. Council members shall be the primary mechanism for which communication occurs between colleges and the Council.
  5. Students
    The Upstate Faculty Council recognizes the value of an organized student voice and encourages student involvement on the Academic and University Affairs standing committees. In addition the Council encourages the colleges to engage representation from the students on their governing bodies.

B. Roles and Responsibilities of Faculty Council

The Faculty Council in concert with the colleges shall provide consultation to Upstate Administration on matters including but not limited to:

  1. Development and conduct of education, research and service programs of Upstate.
  2. Search process and or selection of multi-college Administrative Officers and Deans. 2 (IX: B:2)
  3. Strategic planning process for Upstate.
  4. Upstate policies or standards regarding students and faculty that affect multiple colleges including but are not limited to:
    1. Academic Affairs
    2. Faculty Affairs
    3. Awards and promotion to Distinguished Rank
      1. SUNY Distinguished Service, Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Professorship and Distinguished Librarian Awards
      2. SUNY Chancellor's Awards
    4. Commencement
    5. Related university programs (Library, Ed Comm., IT, public safety, etc)
  5. Other Responsibilities
    1. Discuss and act upon all matters which the Council's Executive Committee place on the Faculty Council agenda.
    2. Review the reports of the Upstate University Faculty Senators, suggesting items to be taken up by the SUNY University Faculty Senate.
    3. Appoint special committees and task forces as needed to address relevant issues.
    4. Councilors are responsible to bring for report and/or discussion issues, concerns and plans from within their college faculty governance organization, which have the potential to impact other colleges or the University overall. It is also their responsibility to bring information and suggestions back to their college faculty governance organization for discussion.
    5. Responsive to University administration requests

C. Membership

  1. Each college shall have equal representation through 2 elected Councilors.
  2. Voting Members of the Faculty Council shall be comprised of the 3 elected officers, 8 members called Councilors and 4 Senators:
    1. 4 SUNY University Faculty Senators (elected by the University Faculty)
    2. 2 members from the College of Medicine (elected by COM faculty)
    3. 2 members from the College of Health Professions and library (elected by CHP and Library faculty)
    4. 2 members from the College of Graduate Studies (elected by CGS faculty)
    5. 2 members from the College of Nursing (elected by CON faculty)
  3. Ex-officio members without vote include:
    1. Alternate Councilors
    2. Alternate SUNY University Faculty Senators
    3. Chairs of the Standing Committees
    4. Chairs of the individual colleges' governance bodies
    5. Council immediate past Chair (unless a current seated Councilor)
    6. Administrative Officers and Directors with cross-college responsibilities (e.g. President, Human Resources, Library, Education-Communications, etc)
    7. Student representative from the Upstate Student Government

D. Nomination & Election of Councilors and Alternates

  1. Councilors and Alternates of the Faculty Council (except for SUNY Faculty Senators) are elected from the college of their primary appointment.
  2. Alternates are elected simultaneously with the Councilor for the same terms. If, at any time, there are fewer than 2 alternates, an alternate may serve for more than one Councilor. The names of those elected are submitted by a specified date to the Council Operations committee according to individual college governance policies and procedures.

E. Terms

  1. Terms of Councilors shall be 3 years, or until a successor is elected, beginning immediately upon election.
  2. Alternate Councilors shall serve simultaneous terms with Councilors and be limited to 2 consecutive terms as an Alternate.
  3. Councilors shall serve no more than two consecutive terms in any office unless one year has elapsed from the conclusion of the 2nd term.
  4. Elected Councilors or their alternate must attend at least 75% of all regular Council meetings, annually. If more than 25% of all regular meetings are missed without representation that Councilor is automatically removed and cannot be eligible for membership for a period of 2 years, following the year of removal. The Councilor's alternate then shall serve out the remainder of the Councilor's term.

F. Vacancies

  1. In the event a Councilor cannot complete the term, the Alternate shall serve the remainder of the term. If less than half of a full term is completed by the Alternate, the Alternate is eligible to be elected for two full terms.
  2. If both the elected Councilor and Alternate are unable to complete their term, the Secretary of the Faculty Council shall ask the college Governing Body Chair to appoint a representative in accordance with the colleges' Bylaws.

G. Officers

  1. Council Officers shall be the Chairperson, Vice-chairperson and Secretary.
    To be eligible, the nominee shall have completed at least one full term as Councilor, Senator or on a Faculty Council committee.
  2. Election of Council Officers
    1. The Council Operations committee shall present a slate of officers at the March meeting in accordance with the Faculty Council policies and procedures.
    2. Council Officers shall be elected from the voting members of the University Faculty by a plurality vote no later than the May meeting and shall assume office June 1.
    3. Ballots are secret and votes may be written or electronic.
    4. Procedures for conducting the election are in accordance with the policies of the Faculty Council.
  3. Terms
    1. Council Officer terms shall be 3 years or until a successor is elected.
    2. Council Officers may be re-elected for one additional term in the same office.
    3. One year must elapse before being eligible for additional terms in the same office.
    4. Term limitations are for a single office. A faculty member may serve in multiple offices consecutively without limitation.
  4. Vacancies
    1. In the event of a Chair vacancy, the Vice-chair shall serve as Chair for the remainder of the term.
    2. Should the Vice-Chair or Secretary be unable to serve or be removed from office, the Council Operations committee shall present a slate for a replacement at the next regular Council meeting, provided that a notice to this effect is put on the agenda and distributed at least one week in advance of the meeting.
    3. Election for a replacement shall be by majority vote of the Faculty Council.
  5. Responsibilities of the Council Officers
    1. Chair
      1. Presides at the Upstate Faculty and Faculty Council meetings.
      2. At the invitation of the President, attends meetings of the President's Leadership Council.2 (VIII: 3)
      3. Represents the Faculty at any other meetings or events as deemed appropriate by the Administrative Officers, the President and the Faculty Council.
      4. Participates in the SUNY Faculty Senate as a Campus Governance Leader.
      5. Appoints standing committee chairs, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
      6. Consults with the President regarding agendas for the University Faculty meeting and Faculty Council meetings.
      7. Presents the agenda for Faculty Council and Upstate Faculty meetings.
      8. Has the discretion to invite any person to attend a Faculty Council meeting and to speak within limits set by the Faculty Council Executive Committee.
      9. Makes an annual report of the Faculty Council at the Upstate Faculty meeting.
      10. Considers any business brought before the Upstate Faculty and Faculty Council.
    2. Vice-chair
      1. Assists the Faculty Council chair in fulfilling the duties of Chairperson.
      2. Presides at meetings of the Upstate Faculty and Faculty Council meetings in the absence of the Council Chair.
      3. Fills the unexpired portion of the term of the Chair in the event the Chair's office becomes vacated or the Chair is unable to complete the term.
    3. Secretary
      1. Is responsible for ensuring the minutes of Upstate Faculty and Faculty Council meetings are recorded and disseminated.
      2. Records attendance at Upstate Faculty and Faculty Council meetings.
      3. Works with and provides input to the Human Resources department regarding an official and current membership list of Faculty.
      4. Notifies Faculty and Administrative Officers, including the President, of meetings in accordance with the Faculty Council's policies and procedures.

H. Meetings

  1. Regular (voting)
    There shall be at least 6 regular, open meetings, held on the third Monday of the months of September, November, January, March, May and July.
    1. Any person may be invited by the Chair to attend a meeting and speak within the limits imposed by the Chair.
    2. Faculty who are not members of the Faculty Council have the right to speak and make motions upon recognition of the Chairperson. They may obtain the same privileges by written request to the Chairperson of the Faculty Council or by majority vote of the Council at any meeting.
    3. Additional regular meetings (voting) may be called with 30-day notice to the Faculty by the:
      1. SUNY Chancellor or Upstate University President
      2. Chairperson of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, or
      3. Five members of the Council with written, signed petition
    4. Agenda and Conduct of the Meeting
      1. The Chairperson of the Faculty Council submits the agenda of any meeting to the Faculty one week prior to the meeting.
      2. The Chancellor and President must have the opportunity to present reports.
      3. Other reports include:
        1. Senators' report
        2. College reports
        3. Standing committee reports
      4. Any member of the faculty may submit an agenda item, provided it is submitted to the Secretary of the Faculty Council prior to the dissemination of the agenda and is approved by the Faculty Council's Executive Committee.
      5. The Faculty Council's Secretary or designee shall record attendance.
      6. Voting
        1. A Quorum of two-thirds of the Faculty Council's elected members is required for any action.
        2. An alternate may vote in a Councilor's absence upon notification to the Secretary prior to the vote.
      7. Minutes: The Secretary of the Faculty Council is responsible for ensuring minutes are recorded and disseminated.
      8. The Faculty Council shall adopt such rules for transaction of its business as it may deem necessary.
      9. The Faculty Council may appoint someone to serve as parliamentarian to advise in matters of parliamentary procedure.
  2. Special Meetings (non-voting)
    1. Special meetings of the Faculty Council may be called with 7-day notice to the Faculty by:
      1. The SUNY Chancellor
      2. The Upstate University President
      3. The Chairperson of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, or upon
      4. 10 members of the Faculty with representation of all 4 colleges upon signed petition.
    2. The business of a special meeting shall be confined to the announced purpose of the meeting.
  3. Special Forums
    The Executive Committee of the Faculty Council in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Faculty Council may call special forums. No official business can be conducted at a special forum.

I. Committees

  1. Executive Committee
    1. The Officers of the Faculty Council and the immediate past-Chair shall comprise the Executive Committee.
    2. The Executive Committee shall act on behalf of the Faculty Council between meetings.
    3. Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at regular intervals.
    4. Three of four voting members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
    5. The Executive Committee may adopt such rules for transaction of its business, as it may deem necessary.
  2. Standing Committees shall be Academic Affairs, Upstate Affairs, Faculty Affairs and Council Operations.
    1. General responsibilities of standing committees in consultation with the appropriate Upstate constituency shall be to:
      1. Bring to committee for report and/or discussion those issues, concerns and plans from their college faculty governance which fall within the purview of the committee and to bring information and suggestions back to their college faculty governance for discussion.
      2. Request information and reports from, and provide suggestions to: the President, appropriate President appointed committees, other administrative officers and college assembly chairs with respect to any matter affecting Upstate.
      3. Deal with matters referred to the committee.
    2. Committee specific areas of involvement
      1. Academic Affairs1
        The Academic Affairs committee shall be responsible to address issues such as but not limited to:
        1. Interprofessional Education: educational opportunities with potential for multi-college involvement.
        2. Accreditation issues and experiences.
        3. Commencement and Faculty Convocation.
        4. Infrastructure and planning as it relates to the academic mission of Upstate.
        5. Upstate Faculty research issues.
        6. Academic calendars of Upstate.1
        7. Supportive services. (i.e. library, informational technology, etc)
        8. Addressing other issues as assigned by the Faculty Council.
      2. Upstate Affairs
        The Upstate Affairs committee shall be responsible to address issues such as but not limited to:
        1. Participating in budget process through President's Budget Forums or other appropriate mechanisms.6
        2. Participating in the development and implementation of the strategic plan process.
        3. Participating and providing suggestions regarding University-wide initiatives affecting student and faculty life such as diversity and environmental programs and regional community involvement.1
        4. Discussing and providing suggestions regarding University Faculty and Student Judicial policy and professionalism standards.
        5. Address other issues as assigned by the Faculty Council.
      3. Faculty Affairs
        The Faculty Affairs committee shall be responsible to address issues such as but not limited to:
        1. Reporting on Faculty demographics.
        2. Faculty development programs and activities.
        3. Evaluation of Faculty teaching effectiveness.
        4. Faculty awards.
        5. Multi-college administrators' search process.1,2(IX:B:2)
        6. Participate in multi-college Administrative Officers' and President performance review process.1,7 (C:2), 8
        7. Addressing other issues as assigned by the Faculty Council.
      4. Council Operations
        The Council Operations committee shall be responsible to address issues such as but not limited to:
        1. Conducting nomination and election process for
          1. SUNY University Faculty Senators
          2. Faculty Council Officers
          3. Elected Standing Committee members
        2. Periodic review of the Faculty Governance and SUNY Board of Trustees Bylaws including pertinent Upstate and SUNY policies to ensure compliance.
        3. Oversight of Faculty Council and committee performance.
        4. Oversight and updating of Faculty Governance webpage
        5. Addressing other issues as assigned by the Faculty Council.
      5. Composition of Standing Committees
        1. Standing committees shall be comprised of at least 7 faculty elected members from at least 3 colleges and the Library. The candidates with the most votes (plurality) who ALSO represent 3 different colleges and the library will be elected.
        2. In addition to the above-mentioned members the student governing body shall be invited to appoint one undergraduate and one graduate student to serve on the Academic and University Affairs committees.
        3. Terms of committee members shall be staggered 3-year terms.
      6. Vacancies
        1. The Faculty Council appoints any vacancies on the Council committees to serve out the remaining term. 
      7. Chairpersons of Standing Committees
        1. The Chair of the Faculty Council with consultation from various constituencies shall select the chairpersons of each standing committee.
        2. The committee chair serves at the will of the Faculty Council Chair and resigns as committee chair at the end of the Faculty Upstate Council Chair's term.
  3. Special committees/task forces
    The Faculty Council may establish committees and task forces as necessary.