USGFC Bylaws - January 2020
Revised June 24, 2019 (Approved July 15, 2019 by the Chancellor, Dr. Steve Wrigley)
Article I. Name
The name of the body hereby constituted is the University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC).
Article II. Mission
The purpose of the University System of Georgia Faculty Council is to promote and foster the welfare of system faculty through the combined creativity and expertise of faculty representatives from system institutions.
Article III. Responsibilities and Functions
The USGFC will participate in the process of University System of Georgia governance by advising, recommending, and consulting with the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee(s) concerning the establishment of rules and regulations deemed necessary or appropriate for the promotion of the general welfare of the University System of Georgia. The USGFC will formulate and recommend to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee(s) University System of Georgia policies and procedures related to but not exclusive to system faculty. The USGFC will develop and maintain a system-wide communications network to provide for efficient transmission of relevant information to faculty.
Article IV. Membership
Membership of the USGFC shall be composed of Institutional Representatives, Officers, and Affiliates.
IV.1. Institutional Representatives.Each USG institution shall have one voting representative, who must be a member of that institution’s faculty and selected by a process determined by the faculty or faculty body (council, senate, assembly, etc.) of that institution. Institutional Representatives serve for a term of one academic year (July 1 – June 30) and may serve multiple consecutive terms. Institutions are expected to select their representative prior to July 1 of each year and Institutional Representatives are expected to inform the USGFC Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and IT Coordinator when a new representative is selected, so that the correct records can be kept.
IV.2. Officers and Executive Committee.The officers of the USGFC shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Past-Chair, a Secretary/Treasurer, a Parliamentarian, and an Information Technology (IT) Coordinator. The USGFC Chair may not also serve as an Institutional Representative; other officers may, but are not required to, also serve as Institutional Representatives. No individual may simultaneously serve in multiple officer positions. Collectively, the officers comprise the Executive Committee of the USGFC.
IV.3. Affiliates.To improve collaboration and coordination, the Executive Committee may invite or approve requests for non-voting affiliates from other organizations (e.g., USG Retiree Council, USG Staff Council, AAUP Georgia Conference). Such appointments shall be approved annually by the Executive Committee and by the Chancellor (or designee). Affiliates will be listed on the USGFC roster, included in communications, and may participate in USGFC meetings without the right to vote or to propose motions.
IV.4. Officer and Executive Committee Duties.The duties of the officers and Executive Committee are as follows:• Chair – overall leadership of the USGFC, appoint standing committee members, preside at all USGFC and Executive Committee meetings, and coordinate with the USG Chancellor’s Office, as needed, for planning and responding to requests for action.
• Chair-Elect – substitute for the Chair in cases of absence or incapacity, assist in the planning of meetings, chair the Strategic Planning Committee, and perform other duties as assigned by the Chair.
• Past-Chair – substitute for the Chair in case of absence or incapacity of both the Chair and Chair-Elect and perform other duties as assigned by the Chair.
• Secretary/Treasurer – maintain the current roster of members and institutional contacts, prepare minutes of each meeting, and coordinate with the Chancellor’s Office and institutions on budgetary and financial matters, as necessary.
• Parliamentarian – maintain current versions of the Bylaws and other governing documents; chair the Bylaws, Statutes & Administration Committee; and interpret these Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order during meetings.
• IT Coordinator – maintain and update the USGFC website, assist the Secretary/Treasurer in maintaining the roster of members and contact information, and coordinate technology needed at USGFC meeting sites.
• Executive Committee – communicate recommendations and decisions to the USG Chancellor (or designee), prepare meeting agendas in consultation with the Institutional Representatives and the Chancellor’s Office, and represent the USGFC in ad-hoc meeting with USG officers and in providing timely responses to their requests. When the Executive Committee acts on behalf of the USGFC between meetings, it shall promptly report those actions to the members.
IV.5. Officer Terms and Succession.Officers serve a term of one academic year (July 1 – June 30). On July 1, the Chair shall become the Past-Chair and the Chair-Elect shall become the Chair. The Secretary/Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and IT Coordinator may serve multiple consecutive terms. If annual elections are not held prior to July 1, succession of the chairs shall still occur; however, the Chair-Elect position shall be vacant and the other officers shall continue to serve until the election is held. If a vacancy occurs during the year, the Executive Committee, at its discretion, may leave the position vacant, appoint someone for the remainder of the term, or hold a special election to fill the position.
IV.6. Officer Elections. .At the Spring USGFC meeting, elections shall be conducted for the positions of Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and IT Coordinator. Nominations (including self-nominations) for each position shall be solicited from the USGFC members. Nominees must be current Institutional Representatives or Officers; the current Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair are not eligible. Voting for officers shall be conducted in compliance with Article VI.2 of these Bylaws. If no candidate for a position receives a majority, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two candidates receiving the most votes.
Article V. Meetings
V.1. Frequency.In-person meetings normally occur once each fall and spring. The Executive Committee is responsible for determining meeting dates and locations. Additional in-person or electronic meetings may be scheduled by the Executive Committee as necessary.V.2. Proxies and Observers.If an Institutional Representative is unable to attend a meeting, another faculty member from that institution may be designated as a Proxy to that meeting. If the Institutional Representative is also an officer, the proxy shall serve only in the Institutional Representative role. Institutions also may send a non-voting Observer to a meeting.V.3. Participation.In addition to attending meetings in person, members or their proxies may also participate remotely.
Article VI. Voting
The USGFC uses two forms of voting, Combined Voting and Tier Voting, as described in the following sections. Tier Voting is required for amending, repealing, or replacing these Bylaws. Combined Voting is required for the election of officers. In all other cases, Combined Voting shall be used unless a voting member requests that a particular vote be conducted using Tier Voting; such a request does not require a second, is non-debatable, and requires a majority vote for approval.
VI.1. General Voting Requirements.Voting may take place synchronously during a meeting of the USGFC or asynchronously by electronic communication or other means as determined by the Executive Committee in consultation with the membership of the USGFC. A quorum shall consist of at least fifty-percent (50%) of those eligible to vote. For a synchronous vote, a motion passes if it is approved by a majority of votes cast, provided a quorum is present. For an asynchronous vote, a motion passes if it is approved by a majority of those eligible to vote. An approval threshold greater than a majority may be required for some actions, if specified in these Bylaws or Robert’s Rules of Order.
VI.2. Combined Voting.Each Institutional Representative or designated proxy shall have one vote. Officers who are not also Institutional Representatives shall not have a vote. The presiding officer shall be entitled to vote only if that vote will change the result or if the vote is being conducted by secret ballot.
VI.3. Tier Voting.Each USG institution shall have one vote, cast by the Institutional Representative or designated proxy. Officers who are not also Institutional Representatives shall not have a vote. The vote shall be conducted separately within each tier of institutions, as defined by the USG. The list of USG institutions and their respective tiers for voting purposes shall be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer. Within each tier, the vote shall be conducted in compliance with Article VI.1 and a motion must be approved by all tiers in order to pass.
Article VII. Committees
In addition to the Executive Committee described previously, the USGFC has established certain ongoing committees and may create other temporary committees to undertake specified activities. These committees do not have authority to act on their own, but generally make recommendations to the Executive Committee or the entire USGFC. Committees may meet as part of the agenda for regular USGFC meetings or conduct business via email, conference calls, or other means.
VII.1. Tier Committees.These committees correspond to the USG institutional tiers, as defined in Article VI.3 and the membership of each committee consists of the Institutional Representatives from those institutions. Tier Committees provide a forum for discussion of issues specific to those institutionsVII.2. Standing Committees.These committees provide an ongoing forum for discussion and actions related to topics in areas of continuing interest to the USGFC. Members are appointed annually by the USGFC Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee. The chairs of certain committees are defined in these Bylaws; the other committee chairs may be designated by the USGFC Chair or elected from their membership. Officers are considered ex-officio members of all standing committees and may attend and participate in their meetings. The Standing Committees are as follows:
• Academic Affairs Committee – Review and recommend actions related to academic issues at the institutional or USG level; e.g., general education policies, USG initiatives, new degree programs and formats.
• Bylaws, Statutes, & Administration Committee – Review and update USGFC Bylaws and other governance documents, make recommendations on proposed Bylaws changes, new standing committees, or other USGFC policies. Chaired by the Parliamentarian.
• Human Resources Committee – Review and recommend actions related to faculty; e.g., salary and benefit policies, workload issues, faculty recruitment and retention.
• Organizational Committee – Review and recommend actions related to USG organization and relationships with academic institutions or units; e.g., dealing with consolidation, administrative reviews, search committees, shared governance.
• Strategic Planning – Identification and planning related to long-term initiatives, structure, and activities of the USGFC; annual transition planning. Chaired by the Chair-Elect.
VII.3. Ad-hoc Committees.Ad-hoc committees are intended to focus on a specific, short-term issue. Both the purpose of the committee and its expected ending date must be specified when it is formed. Ad-hoc committees may be formed by the Executive Committee or by the USGFC as a whole. Members and committee chairs may be named at the time of formation or appointed later by the USGFC Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
Article VIII. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the USGFC in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, any special rules of order the USGFC may adopt, and any policies of the USG. The Parliamentarian shall have the authority and responsibility for interpreting these documents and issuing rulings on parliamentary inquiries.
Article IX. Amendments
Any proposal to amend or repeal these Bylaws shall be submitted to the Bylaws, Statutes, & Administration Committee, which shall review the request and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee. A copy of the proposed changes, along with the recommendation of the Executive Committee, shall be distributed to members in printed or electronic form at least 30 days prior to the meeting of the USGFC at which they will be discussed. The voting shall be conducted in compliance with Article VI.3.