Operating bylaws of the Lynn University Academic Council

Preamble

In order to promote the mission and goals of Lynn University, the Administration and Faculty must deliberate upon and make recommendations to the President concerning matters important to the academic life of the University. Such matters shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, curriculum, learning and teaching, the educational environment, academic standards, professional development, and relevant institutional planning. Therefore by means of these Operating Bylaws, Lynn University formally establishes an Academic Council.

Article I - Members of the Council

The Council shall consist of the following:

  • President of Lynn University;
  • Members of the President’s Cabinet;
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Registrar;
  • All college deans;
  • All full-time faculty;
  • All library professional staff;
  • All directors of academic units, programs, or related student services; and
  • Any part time or visiting faculty upon successful application to the Executive Committee.

Article II - Purview of the Council

The Council, through its standing committees, shall be empowered to discuss, examine, assess and recommend, to the President or his/her designee, policies relevant to the academic life of Lynn University. Recommendations of the Council and its standing committees constitute formal approval at their level. Further, the Council shall be responsible for establishing those policies and procedures that ensure free exercise of the Council’s authority. Such policies and procedures shall involve evaluating the operation and effectiveness of the Council, and recommending changes, as appropriate.

Article III - Officers of the Council

Section 1 - Chair of the Academic Council

The Chair of the Academic Council shall be the President of the University.

Section 2 - Vice Chair of the Academic Council

The Vice Chair of the Academic Council shall be elected from the Council membership. The Vice Chair shall be a full time faculty member. The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair in conducting Council business. In addition, the Vice Chair shall:

  • Serve as Chair in the absence of the Chair, or upon designation by the Chair.
  • Serve as parliamentarian of the Council or designate a Council member as parliamentarian.
  • Convene the first meeting of each Standing Committee during the Fall Semester, and oversee the election of each Committee Chair and Secretary.
  • Forward recommendations from the Council to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and President.
  • Initiate and facilitate the meetings of the Executive Committee.

Section 3 - Secretary of the Academic Council

The Secretary of the Academic Council shall be elected from the Council membership. The Secretary shall record minutes of Academic Council meetings and record the results of any formal voting. In the absence of both the Chair and Vice Chair, the Secretary shall become the temporary presiding officer for the duration of the meeting. The Secretary shall prepare and distribute, to Council members, the agenda and the minutes of each Council meeting in electronic or printed form.

Section 4 - Executive Committee of the Academic Council

The Executive Committee of the Academic Council shall consist of the elected Vice Chair of the Council, elected Secretary of the Council, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University, , and the elected Chairs of the Faculty and Standing Committees of the Academic Council.

Its responsibilities are to assure a comprehensive and relevant agenda for all meetings, make recommendations to the Chair and Vice Chair regarding all Council matters, set priorities for the Council and its committees, and oversee compliance of Operating Bylaw matters and election procedures.

In matters pertaining to elections, the Vice Chair will appoint a committee member to oversee the responsibilities for the elections of Council Officers for each Academic Year and when necessary to conduct elections to fill any effective vacancies of Council Officers that may arise during the Academic Year; to oversee the voting activities of the Council; and to review the applications of part-time or visiting faculty seeking Council membership.

Article IV - Academic Council Committees

The Faculty Committees of the Academic Council shall be: Faculty Standards and Professional Development; Academic Standards and Curriculum; and the Committee on Rank and Advancement.

Section 1 - General Guidelines

Purview and Charge: The primary business and responsibilities of the Academic Council will be conducted by the Faculty Committees and the Standing Committees. The membership of those committees serve as representatives of the entire Council pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 and therefore must be selected with due care. Within the purview and charge of each committee is the responsibility to keep the faculty informed, involved, and represented.

Proposals to Committees: Proposals presented to the Faculty Committees or the Standing Committees of the Academic Council shall be open for discussion at the time they are introduced. However, such recommendations shall not be subject to formal approval by the Committee until the next regularly scheduled Committee meeting. At that time, such proposals shall be reintroduced as “unfinished business,” and subject to further discussion prior to formal consideration. When urgent matters must be addressed, additional meetings may be called by the Committee Chair. Committee meetings will be open to any member of the Academic Council. If necessary, Committees may meet in executive session.

Appointment of Ad Hoc Committees: Ad hoc committees will be appointed by the Chair or Vice Chair of the Council, when required.

Section 2 - Membership of Faculty Committees

Formation of Faculty Committees: At the first regular meeting of each college and the Conservatory, during the fall semester, two representatives for specific faculty committees, as prescribed, will be elected by the faculty of that unit. All members of faculty committees must be full-time faculty members and will be elected for two-year terms. During the first subsequent meeting, or at the first meeting of the academic year in the fall semester, each faculty committee shall elect its own Chair and Secretary to call and conduct regular meetings. The Chair and Secretary each shall serve two-year terms. The Secretary of each standing committee must maintain a record (e.g., agenda and minutes) of all Committee meetings. No Committee Chair or Secretary may be re-elected to serve more than one successive term, except by prior approval of the Council Chair. The Council Vice Chair shall be a member ex-officio (non-voting) of all Faculty Committees.

Multiple Committee Service: Faculty members shall not serve on more than one committee, except upon approval of the Chair of the Academic Council or the Chair’s designee.

Section 3 - The Faculty Committees of the Academic Council

The Faculty Committees of the Academic Council shall be: Faculty Standards and Professional Development Committee; the Curriculum Committee and Academic Standards; and the Committee on Rank and Advancement.

Faculty Standards and Professional Development Committee

Purview and Charge: This Committee’s responsibilities are to consider and make recommendations concerning opportunities for professional development in such areas as teaching pedagogy, student learning and assessment, curriculum design, scholarship, research and public service. This Committee’s responsibilities are to consider and make recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs on all matters pertaining to: the standards and criteria used for determining faculty competence, rank, promotion, salary, merit pay, other remuneration, contractual parameters, and eligibility for sabbatical or other leave of absence arrangements. In addition, the committee shall make recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs on issues of professional concern and any other policies as deemed appropriate by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Membership: Two members from each College and from the Conservatory. On matters requiring a vote, each college will cast a single vote.

Curriculum Committee and Academic Standards

Purview and Charge: This Committee’s responsibilities are to make recommendations concerning curriculum, standards and assessment, including, but not limited to: curriculum process; review of all proposals for substantive changes in courses and programs for duplication and conformity; minimum academic standards required for acceptable student performance; and issues concerning standards in teaching and learning. On an annual basis the Vice President for Enrollment Management will submit an annual report to the Academic Standards and Curriculum committee on the academic profile of the admitted class.

Procedures for Curriculum Changes:

All final curriculum proposals will be submitted by the proposing College to the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.

The Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee will review all proposals for academic merit, consistent rigor, and potential overlap and/or duplication with existing courses and programs, and make recommendations. (Changes in course coding/numbers should be referred directly to the Registrar.)

The Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee will forward its recommendations directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the Academic Council.

Committee on Rank and Advancement

Purview and Charge: The Committee Rank and Advancement is responsible for reviewing all advancement in rank applications and making recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Procedures for Promotion: The general procedure and timeline for advancement in rank are described in Section 4.5 of Volume IV of the Lynn University Policy Manual.

Membership: One member from each academic unit with the rank of Professor or where deemed appropriate senior faculty with the rank of Associate Professor.

Section 4 - Standing Committees of the Academic Council

The Dialogues of Learning Core Curriculum Steering Committee

Purview and Charge: The Dialogues Steering committee’s responsibilities are to oversee and make recommendations concerning the undergraduate core curriculum, the Dialogues of Learning. The Steering Committee, under the direction of the Chair of the Dialogues of Learning and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, reviews all proposals for courses, curricular changes, and other substantive changes in the requirements or standards. The Committee also makes recommendation for faculty development programs to support the quality of teaching and learning within the core curriculum.

All proposals for Dialogue courses must be reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee to insure the academic integrity and consistency of standards within the core curriculum.

The Dialogues Steering Committee will forward recommendations regarding substantive changes in the curriculum to the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee of Academic Council.

Membership: The Chair of the Dialogues of Learning serves as the Chair of the Steering committee. Other members are appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs based upon their qualifications. At least eight members of the faculty with a minimum of one year of teaching in the Dialogues will serve on the Committee. In addition, a Reference Librarian, and a professional staff member from the institute for Achievement and Learning will also serve on an annual basis.

Article V - Meetings of the Council

Section 1 - Organizational Meeting for the Election of Officers

At the last regularly-scheduled meeting of the Academic Council, during the Spring Semester of the academic year when necessary, the Council shall conduct an election for Vice Chair and Secretary. The Executive Committee shall prepare and announce a slate at least two weeks prior to the election. The Committee shall also accept nominations from the floor during the meeting, immediately preceding the election. The Vice Chair and Secretary shall be elected by simple majority vote of a quorum of the Council membership, to serve a term of two academic years, commencing in the subsequent fall semester. An officer may be reelected to serve no more than one successive term. A Council member’s vote shall be counted only of the Council member is both (a) present at the election and (b) has presented a completed, written ballot to the Executive Committee. Proxy votes shall not be permitted.

Section 2 - Regular Meetings

Meetings of the Academic Council shall be held at least two times during each of the Fall and Spring Semesters as scheduled and arranged by the Chair or Vice Chair.

Section 3 - Additional Meetings

The Council Chair, Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice Chair may call additional meetings of the Academic Council when required.

Section 4 - Procedure for Meetings

Agenda: New business for inclusion on the Council Agenda should be submitted in writing to the Council Secretary at least one week prior to a scheduled Council meeting. The agenda will be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice Chair of the Council and distributed to Council members, by the Secretary, at least two days prior to the Council meeting.

Quorum: A quorum of the Academic Council shall consist of at least 1/2 (one-half) of the current Council membership. A quorum for the standing committees shall consist of at least 2/3 (two-thirds) of the committee’s current membership.

Order of Business:

  • Call to Order;
  • Agenda Approval;
  • Minutes Approval;
  • Reports;
  • Unfinished Business;
  • New Business;
  • For the Good of the Order;
  • Adjournment.

Discussion and Recommendation Procedures: Voting on matters requiring approval of the Academic Council shall be conducted by voice vote. If the result of the voice vote is, in the Vice Chair’s sole discretion, deemed to be inconclusive, a hand vote shall be conducted. Vote by secret written ballot shall occur (1) at the request of any Council member, or (2) for any issue deemed by the Vice Chair, in the Vice Chair’s sole discretion, to be controversial in nature, or (3) for membership applications of part-time or visiting faculty, as enumerated in Article I and Article III Sections 2 and 3 for election of the Vice Chair and Secretary of the Council, as enumerated in Article V, Section 1. Unless otherwise indicated, all Academic Council votes, shall require affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of the current membership present at a regular Council meeting.
The duly-appointed Executive Committee member per paragraph Article III, Section 4 and Article V, Section 1 shall be responsible for preparing ballots, counting ballots and tabulating votes.

Confidentiality: Deliberations of the Academic Council shall be confidential; Dissemination of Council actions and recommendations shall be through the official minutes. All non-members present at Council meetings shall be identified and may be excused upon (1) request of the Chair or Vice Chair, or (2) majority vote of the Council members present.

Article VI - Forwarding Committee of Council Recommendations to the Administration

Recommendations from Committees of the Academic Council shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will review the recommendation(s) with the Dean’s Council. The Vice President will report to the Council the recommendations from the Deans to the Council. The Vice Chair and the Chair of the Committee presenting the recommendation will present the formal proposal from the Committee to the Council membership and the Vice President for Academic Affairs will present the academic administration’s recommendations.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall report the result of the Council’s deliberations to the President. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will report to the Council the President’s decision/response to the Councils recommendation. Proposals and recommendations requiring approval of the Board of Trustees will be brought to the Board at its next scheduled meeting, and the decision of the Board conveyed to the Council, in writing, as indicated above.

Article VII - Contingency for Interim Academic Council Officers

Should the position of any elected Council officer become effectively vacant during an academic year, the Executive Committee shall convene and recommend candidates to fill the vacant position on the Council. The Executive Committee shall then conduct an election pursuant to paragraph Article III, Section 4 to elect a replacement. An interim officer shall serve for the remainder of the current academic year. After the conclusion of the current academic year, an election shall be held for that office for a new two-year term. Notwithstanding term limits enumerated in Article V, Section 1, the replacement officer is eligible for election to the same position for a full term beginning at the start of the next regular term for that office.

Article VIII - Recal of Academic Council Officers

Any elected Council officer may be recalled for just cause by affirmative vote of at least three quarters (3/4) of the current membership present at a regular Council meeting. Such vote shall take place in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 4 and Article V, Section 1

Article IX - Amendments to Academic Council Operating Bylaws

The Academic Council Operating Bylaws may be amended by affirmative vote of at least two thirds (2/3) of the current Council membership present at a regular Council meeting. Such vote shall take place in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 4 and Article V, Section 1. All proposed amendments to the Academic Council Operating Bylaws are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. An amendment is considered in effect when also approved by the President of the University.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018