Constitution and By-Laws of
the Faculty of SUNY Cobleskill
The Constitution and By-Laws have been developed to establish the basis and provide the means by which the Faculty of the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill can govern itself as a body within the College, involve itself in the governance of the College, and carry out its responsibility to participate in the development of the educational program of the College and to conduct this program.
The Constitution and By-Laws are in accordance with the requirements and policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.
Article I - Name
The Name of this organization shall be THE FACULTY of the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill.
Article II - Purpose
To study problems and to help formulate policies of the College pertaining to the development and conduct of the educational program.
To provide the faculty with an opportunity for expression of personal or professional interests and to take any action deemed necessary.
Article III - Voting Faculty
The voting faculty of the College shall be composed of:
Article VI - Officers
The Officers of this organization shall be the College President, Presiding Officer, and Secretary.
Article V - Faculty Representatives
These representatives will represent the faculty in their respective organizations, a University Faculty Senator, University Faculty Senator Alternate, two Cobleskill Auxiliary Services representatives, a College Foundation representative.
Article VI - Amendments
This Constitution may be amended, repealed, or altered in whole or in part by a two-thirds vote of the membership, and with the approval of the President of the College. An amendment may not be acted upon at the same meeting at which it is proposed. All proposed amendments must be presented in writing.
Article I - Parliamentary Procedure
Parliamentary Proceedings shall be according Roberts' Rules of Order, Newly Revised (1990).
Article II - Meetings
Faculty meetings shall be held at least three (3) times during the academic year and scheduled in the following manner:
The regularly scheduled faculty meetings shall be convened on the officially announced date of return of the faculty for the commencement of each semester and at the end of the spring semester. Additional faculty meetings may be called at the discretion of the Presiding Officer after consultation with the Faculty Governance Executive Committee.
Special meetings may be called by petition of at least 10 percent of the Faculty or by the Chairperson of the Faculty.
Article III - Elections, Duties and Responsibilities of Officers
Chairperson - The Chief Administrative Officer of the College shall be the Chairperson of the Faculty of the College.
Section 2 - Presiding Officer
The Presiding Officer shall be elected in October for a term of two years and will take office on January 15. Following the election, the Presiding Officer-Elect will begin his or her transition to this leadership position by attending Executive Committee meetings and all other important administrative functions. Whenever the Presiding Officer is on leave for any reason or any length of time, the Faculty Senator will assume the role of Presiding Officer and the Alternate Faculty Senator will assume the role as Faculty Senator.
The Presiding Officer, Faculty Senator and Faculty Secretary will attend Governance Leadership meetings with the President, Provost and VP.
The roles of the Presiding Officer are to:
Section 3 - Secretary
The Secretary shall be elected in October (approved 8/08) for a term of two years, to coincide with the term of the Presiding Officer. The Secretary shall serve as Faculty Secretary, determine quorums and majorities and distribute meeting minutes. The Secretary shall post draft Faculty Meeting minutes on SharePoint within one month of that meeting and shall post official Faculty Meeting minutes on Faculty SharePoint within one week of approval by The Faculty. The Secretary shall send electronic and hard copies of the official Faculty Meeting minutes to the library for archival storage. The Secretary shall also coordinate all committee nominations and elections. The Secretary shall assume office duties as of January 15 and shall appoint a Secretary pro-tem at any time there will be an absence from duty. However, when the Secretary is on leave for more than one semester, an election will be held to fill the vacancy.
Article IV - Elections, Duties and Responsibilities of Elected Representatives
Section 1 - Faculty Senator
1.1 To determine the opinion of the Faculty on issues coming before the Senate;
1.2 To see that matters of concern to the Faculty are brought to the Senate for consideration;
1.3 To represent the Faculty at meetings of the Senate;
1.4 To report fully and regularly to the Faculty on the activities of the Senate;
1.5 To serve as an ex-officio member on the Faculty Governance Executive Committee.
In carrying out the above duties and responsibilities, the Senator should consult with and report to appropriate committees of the Faculty on activities of the Senate that fall within their areas of concern. The Faculty Senator shall be elected in January for a three-year term of office commencing July 1.
Section 2 - Faculty Senator Alternate
To serve in the absence of the Faulty Senator as prescribed in the Constitution of the University Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senator Alternate shall be elected in January for a three-year term of office commencing July 1.
Section 3 - Cobleskill Auxiliary Services | Academic Directors of the Board
Four (4) full-time academic employees which may be teaching or non-teaching (including librarians) faculty members of the College, to be nominated by the Faculty Nominating Committee and elected by the Faculty as may be prescribed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Faculty of the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, New York. The Academic members shall be elected to serve two-year terms to begin at the next Annual Meeting of the Corporation and initially directors shall be established so that one-half shall serve for the balance of the fiscal year in which they are elected and one (1) additional year, another one-half of the directors shall serve for the balance of the fiscal year in which they are elected and two (2) additional years.
Article V - Committees
Section 1 - Participation
1.1 Service on College Committees is a Faculty responsibility.
1.2 Membership on standing committees should be distributed as widely as possible among the total Faculty.
1.3 As a general principle, a Faculty member should not serve on more than one standing committee concurrently.
1.4 On those committees whose purview is campus-wide, membership will include other members of the campus community as appropriate. Nominations from CSEA/Council 82/PEF/Research Foundation will be submitted to the Executive Committee who will select the membership.
Section 2 - Responsibilities
2.1 Standing committees of the College are the means by which the Faculty make recommendations to the Chief Administrative Officer or his designee by initiation and development of policies in the different areas of College governance.
2.2 Standing committees, as representative groups of the Faculty, have the responsibility of promoting the best interests of their colleagues, of the students, and of the College as an educational institution.
2.3 Committee members should not be obligated to represent the views of any one faction, faculty, or administrative officer but should act as free agents who consider the expressed views of the total Faculty.
2.4 It is a committee's obligation to consult with the administrative officer whom it advises and to whom it makes recommendations.
2.5 Prior to May 31 of each year, the outgoing Chairperson shall call a meeting of all members of each committee and conduct an election of a Chairperson for the succeeding year.
Section 3 - Membership
3.1 Membership on standing committees shall be open to all members of the faculty pursuant to the composition of each committee.
3.2 On those committees whose purview is campus-wide, membership will include other members of the campus community as appropriate.
Section 4 - Selection
4.1 Election of members to elected standing committees shall be on the basis of departmental representation for academic committees and at-large for all other committees. Members will be elected either by the Faculty or by each department as specified for each committee under Section 7.
4.2 The Presiding Officer shall notify faculty of pending at large and area-specific committee vacancies by January 31. Election of department or school representative(s) to elected committees shall be held prior to March 1 by secret ballot in the manner of the collective bargaining unit elections. Election results shall be reported to The Faculty by March 1. Election of at-large members to standing committees and appointment to appointed committees shall be completed by May 1. Student members on committees shall be appointed by March 1 for terms to begin in fall semester. (approved 9/4/12)
4.3 In the Spring semester, the following committee membership shall be nominated and elected: Academic Personnel Policies, Academic Policies, Curriculum, Governance Executive, Facilities & Space, Fiscal Affairs and Strategic Planning (FASP), Professional Development & Training, and Technology. The following committees will be appointed: Cultural Diversity and Student-Faculty Judiciary. Service on these committees will not commence until the subsequent Fall semester.
4.4 Appointments to appointed standing committees shall be made by the College President in consultation with the Presiding Officer of the Faculty.
4.5 Selection for committee membership should be made with consideration of the following: a Faculty member’s expressed interest for service on a particular committee; a Faculty member's past experience and educational background, if either or both of these make him or her especially qualified to serve on a particular committee; a Faculty member's other College or College-related assignments, duties and obligations; a Faculty member's seniority
4.6 When a department does not have sufficient eligible faculty to meet its membership obligations on committees requiring school representation, the necessary members shall be selected from the Faculty at-large.
4.7 Each Faculty member appointed to a committee should be notified of their appointment by the Faculty Governance Secretary.
4.8 A Faculty member should have the privilege of accepting or declining an appointment to a particular committee.
4.9 Vacancies on Elected Committees:
Section 5 - Reports
5.1 Standing committees have an obligation to keep the Faculty informed of what they have been and are concerned with, and each committee should make at least one detailed and comprehensive report of its activities to the Faculty during each academic year.
5.2 Copies of the approved minutes of all standing committees, appointed committees, task forces, and ad hoc committees shall be posted on Faculty SharePoint within two weeks of committee approval and electronic and hard copies shall be sent to the library by respective committee secretary for archival storage. (approved 4/12)
5.3 When, on any committee, there is a minority in disagreement with a decision or recommendation of a majority of the committee, this minority may present a separate report setting forth its position and indicating the points on which it is not in agreement with the report of the majority.
5.4 The minutes and reports of all standing committees shall be made available to all faculty members through the Library.
Section 6 - Committee Chairperson
On all committees, an acting chair shall be appointed by the Presiding Officer of the Faculty.
Section 7 - Operational Guidelines
7.1 If a majority of the committee petitions the chairperson, a meeting must be called.
7.2 Committee members will determine what items are established for the agenda and the priority of each item.
7.3 The committee will publish its own minutes by posting on Faculty SharePoint within two weeks of committee approval and will submit electronic and hard copies to the library for archival storage. (revised 4/12)
7.4 The administrative person whom the committee advises shall not be entitled to a vote on committee decisions.
7.5 Any faculty member may discuss an item of concern with a committee member and request committee consideration of the matter. This action shall not be construed as undue pressure on the committee.
7.6 The Chairperson of a committee, in consultation with the members of that committee, shall have the authority to request the appropriate office to replace any member who is not actively participating. (The Presiding Officer for appointed committees, the Governance Executive Committee for elected committees and Student Government for student members of elected committees.)
7.7 Committees may conduct meetings and distribute materials to be considered by electronic means.
7.8 Members of a committee may similarly participate in meetings they are unable to attend in person.
7.9 Committees may conduct discussions, and with the consent of a quorum of their members, vote electronically. (7.7, 7.8, 7.9 added July 2014)
Section 8 - Elected Standing Committees
8.1 Academic Personnel Policies Committee
Composition- School representation based on a ratio of 1 representative for every 15 full time faculty and one librarian (representatives must be tenured). Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.2 Academic Policies Committee
Composition- Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (ex-officio, non-voting), eight teaching faculty, preferably one from each academic department, a librarian, a representative from EOP, the Registrar‘s Office and a student. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.4 Curriculum Committee
Composition- Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (ex-officio, non-voting), Registrar (ex-officio, non-voting), one teaching faculty from each academic department and one librarian. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.5 Governance Executive Committee
To receive items from members of the Faculty which they wish to have brought before the Faculty and to forward such items to the Presiding Officer for listing on the agenda of the Faculty meetings.
Composition- The Committee is comprised of the Chairs of the Standing Committees and Chairs of the Appointed Standing Committees. The Presiding Officer, the Secretary, and the Faculty Senator will serve as ex-officio members. The Presiding Officer will serve as Chair of the committee. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.6 Facilities and Space Committee
Composition- VP for Operations (ex-officio, non-voting); fourteen additional members: Director of Facilities Management, Six from the teaching faculty with equal representation from each school; two from professional staff, two from CSEA/PBA, one from CAS, one from Educational Support Service; and one SUNY Cobleskill student. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.7 Fiscal Affairs and Strategic Planning Committee.
Composition- Vice President for Administration and Finance, Controller or designee (ex-officio, non-voting), teaching faculty preferably one from each department, three professional staff, one CSEA/PBA staff, one Advancement Office representative, a librarian and a student. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.8 Professional Development and Training Committee
Composition- Teaching faculty, two from each school, two professional staff, one management confidential employee, two CSEA/PBA members, one information technology representative and a student. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
8.11 Technology Committee
Composition- Teaching faculty, three elected from each school, preferably from different departments, a representative appointed from each of the following areas: ITS Support Staff, Director of ITS (ex officio, non-voting), Assistant Director of Technology Services, Instructional Technologies Coordinator, representative from the Business Office, Educational Support Services, Student Affairs, Library, and a student. Terms for elected members shall be staggered evenly to provide continuity; there is a term limit of two consecutive three-year terms of service by elected members on this committee.
Section 9 - Appointed Standing Committees
9.1 Cultural Diversity
Purpose- To promote the respect and understanding of all cultures, lifestyles, origins, abilities, orientations and beliefs in an effort to foster growth, development, and equity among all members of the community. The Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Quality of Student Life Committee and Faculty Governance and the President of the college.
Composition- Members will be appointed for a 3-year term from those who express interest. Every effort will be made to have a committee which reflects the diversity of the campus.
9.2 Student - Faculty Judiciary
Composition- Three Boards are constituted. Each Board has five members:
Operational guidelines are stated in the Student Handbook.
Section 10 - Special Appointed Action Groups or Ad Hoc Committees
The College President, in consultation with the Presiding Officer and Executive Committee, may appoint members to serve on Action Groups or Ad Hoc Committees to work on problems of a seasonal nature, those of a temporary nature, and such others as are deemed necessary in the operation of a unified College.
Article VI - Voting
All decisions shall be made by a majority vote, that is, a majority of votes cast, excluding blanks, of the voting faculty qualified to vote as stated in Article III of the Constitution.
Voting for officers and committee members shall be by secret ballot.
In elections, if no candidate receives a majority vote on the first ballot, those candidates (ranked highest to lowest) whose votes total up a majority of the votes cast, will be retained on subsequent ballots until the election is decided.
In elections, if a majority vote is obtained by more candidates than the number of positions to be filled, the candidate with the least votes will be eliminated, and a subsequent election will be conducted.
Article VII - Quorum
Those present at a meeting of the Faculty shall constitute a quorum.
Article VIII - Minutes
The complete minutes of each meeting of the Faculty shall be published and distributed to all members within two weeks of the meeting. These minutes shall be kept on file.
Article IX - Amendments
The By-Laws may be amended, repealed, or altered in whole or in part by a simple majority of the votes cast by the membership, and with the approval of the President of the College. An amendment may not be acted upon at the same meeting at which it is proposed. All proposed amendments must be in writing.
Article X - Agenda
The order of the agenda for regular faculty meetings shall be as follows:
Agenda items may be submitted by individual faculty members directly to the presiding officer and/or to the Faculty Committee for forwarding to the presiding officer.*
Under normal conditions, the presiding officer shall issue an announcement calling for agenda items for a faculty meeting not later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting and publish the agenda not later than three (3) work days prior to the faculty meeting. Wherever possible, all items requiring faculty action shall appear in written form.**
In accordance with the revision of Article X of the Policies of the Board of Trustees during the May, 1972 meeting, "By-Laws shall be consistent with and subject to the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the laws of the State Of New York, and the provisions of agreements between the State of New York and the certified employee organization established pursuant to article 14 of the civil service law. Provisions of by-laws concerning consultation with the faculty shall be subject to approval of the chief administrative officer of the College. All actions under by-laws shall be advisory upon the chancellor and the chief administrative officer of the College."
* As stated in the current Cobleskill By-Laws
** As stated in Article III of the By - Laws Election, Duties and Responsibilities of Officers: Section 2: Presiding Officer
Role of the Department Chair
The primary role of the department chair is to be an advocate of the department, and a liaison from the department to the dean, providing leadership to faculty, student and Department matters.
Each Chair carries a teaching load of no more than 9 contact hours/semester. More than that will result in extra service pay. Chairs will maintain a ten month contract, unless departmental needs require summer work, in which case a stipend will be paid.
Duties That Department Chairs Assume
Department Chair By-Laws