Faculty Congress Bylaws (revised May 10, 2013)

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1. Disclosure Rule

Any business not routine in nature or any proposal of more than 15 words must be available for review by members at least 48 hours before consideration by the Congress. This rule may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Congress members present.

2. Quorum

One-half of the voting members of the Congress shall constitute a quorum. Likewise, one-half of the voting members of Congress standing committees shall constitute a quorum.

3. Election of Chairperson

The Chairperson of the previous year will preside over the election of a new Chairperson as prescribed in Article II, section 3 of the Charter.

4. Seating of Standing Committees

Standing Committees must be appointed before October 31 of each school year for a term of 24 months. Membership on Standing Committees is not restricted to Congress members save that, at the time of appointment, Chairs of Standing Committees shall be Congress members. Committee Chairs whose terms of service on the Congress conclude prior to their terms of office as Committee Chair shall continue as ex officio members of the Congress. Terms of office will be overlapped so that each year half of the membership will be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

5. Standing Committee Membership

The Executive Committee will submit to the Congress a slate of candidates and the name of a recommended Chair. Congress members may also submit candidates’ names under the same conditions. Members and Chairs of Standing Committees shall be appointed by majority vote of the Congress.

a. Academic Policy Standing Committee

The Congress will appoint an Academic Policy Standing Committee that should have broad general membership from across various units. The Congrss will appoint a member to serve as Chair of a standing Academic Policy Committee. The chair will select no fewer than five faculty members and one student representative to serve for the ensuing academic year, and their selection will be subject to the approval of Congress. If feasible, the Committee should be comprised of at least one representative from each college at UH Hilo. The purview of this committee will be undergraduate academic policy issues affecting more than one college. These may include, but are not limited to, policy on student enrollment, grading, classification, degree requirements, academic honesty, and disability services and compliance. Agenda items will be routed to the committee through the Chair of Congress. The Chair of Congress may negotiate with the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for a course reduction for the chair of this committee.

 

b. General Education Standing Committee

The Congress will appoint a General Education Standing Committee of no fewer than five faculty members and one student representative. The Congress will also appoint a faculty member to chair this committee. This committee shall be charged with advising the Congress on all matters relating to campus-wide General Education, developing policies and procedures for implementing and monitoring General Education, including certifying and and re-certifying courses, and undertaking regular assessments of the effectiveness of General Education. The General Education Committee will work with the Assessment Support Committee and other appropriate constituencies to produce periodic assessments and evaluations of the quantity and quality of UH Hilo General Education.

The General Education Committee will also advise Congress on all matters relating to the campus-wide Writing Intensive requirement, including maintaining all UH System Writing Intensive policies, developing campus policies and procedures for implementing and monitoring Writing Intensive that include certification and re-certification of WI courses, and undertaking regular assessment, sometimes in collaboration with the Assessment Support Committee, of the effectiveness of Writing Intensive education.

Members shall serve two-year staggered terms. The Congress Chair may negotiate a two-course release reduction per academic year with the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the chair of this committee, depending on the committee's agenda for the upcoming year. Terms of office will be overlapped so that each year half the membership will be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

 

c. Assessment Support Standing Committee

Beginning in 2014, all institutions will be reviewed by WASC; by 2017, all institutions will have created a plan, identified standards of performance at the institutional and/or program level, and implemented assessment for all five competencies: written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and the habit of critical analysis of data and argument. (CFR 2.2a)
The new Accreditation guidelines also state that “The new institutional review process calls upon institutions to ensure that, upon graduation, students have achieved a defined level of performance of these five core competencies” (2013 Handbook of Accreditation Except, p. 22) WASC also recognizes that “The institution’s student learning outcomes and standards of performance are developed by faculty and widely shared among faculty, students, staff, and (where appropriate) external stakeholders. The institution’s faculty take collective responsibility for establishing appropriate standards of performance and demonstrating through assessment the achievement of these standards” (2013 Handbook of Accreditation , p. 13)

To help UH meets these requirements, Congress will appoint a standing Assessment Support Committee, which will have two functioning bodies embedded within it: (1) a standing group of WASC-trained faculty experts to assist their peers develop assessment in their courses (for GE-certification) and within their programs (for Program Review); and (2) a working sub-committee of faculty from across the colleges to undertake a cycle of assessing the 5 core competencies required by WASC for Accreditation per the 2013 revision of the Standards, to be henceforth called the “Core Competency Working Sub-Committee.”

The Congress will also appoint/elect a faculty member, who has been or will be trained in WASC assessment requirements, to serve as Chair. The Chair will familiarize him- or herself with:

  1. WASC Assessment Approaches: http://wascsenior.org/redesign/assessmentapproaches
  2. The 2013 Handbook of Accreditation: http://wascsenior.org/content/draft-2013-handbook-accreditation
  3. The most current research on assessment methodologies 4. Other key initiatives such as the Lumina DQP, the AACU’s LEAP, etc.

Chair Responsibilities:

  1. Annually convening and maintaining training of the Peer-Support Committee on Assessment
  2. Bi-annually convening a group that will develop institution-wide data on Assessment Targeting WASC Core Competencies
  3. Providing routine information to Congress on the progress of these efforts.

Committee Responsibilities:

Per WASC CFR 4.1: 4.1 The institution employs a deliberate set of quality assurance processes in both academic and non-academic areas, including new curriculum and program approval processes, periodic program review, assessment of student learning, and other forms of ongoing evaluation. These processes include: collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; tracking learning results over time; using comparative data from external sources; and improving structures, services, processes, curricula, pedagogy, and learning results” (2013 Handbook of Accreditation , p. 17)

  • promote a campus climate of assessment by working with peers in their departments, programs, divisions, and/or colleges
  • promote and provide for assessment training for their peers
  • serve as faculty (peer) resources for assessment
  • collect annual assessment reports from departments and colleges
  • review and provide input on annual assessment reports from departments and colleges
  • work with departments and programs to develop assessment of the 5 core competencies at time of graduation for majors
  • disseminate information/research on best assessment practices
  • maintain a website where assessment data is made available to the public

Core Competency Working Sub-Committee Responsibilities:

The Charge of the Core Competency Working Sub-Committee is to facilitate in 2-year cycles assessment of one of the competencies (Written Communication, Oral Communication, Information Literacy, Quantitative Fluency, and the Habit of Critical Analysis of Text and Information).

  • Develop and run an institution-wide assessment of one of the 5 core competencies in a bi-annual cycle
  • Routinely report to the Congress on campus assessment activities, results and costs, which will form the basis of periodic reports to accrediting commissions
  • Develop (with the General Education Committee and the Program Review Advisory Committee) annual campus-wide assessment initiatives, plans, and projects
  • Develop (with the General Education Committee and the Program Review Advisory Committee) long-range assessment plans to meet WASC requirements
  • Propose ways for “closing the loop” (improving student learning based on data results
  • In years when expenditures is needed, propose purchases (i.e. resource books) and other expenditures (i.e. WASC training)

The Committee works by gathering as much faculty input as possible—planning and the scope of all assessment activities is the responsibility of faculty, and as such, the role of the Assessment Support Committee is to integrate faculty directives (in terms of what they can do given their workloads) with an ongoing culture of assessment that can satisfy accreditation needs. Committee members, trained in assessment, can provide advice and assistance to their peers in their departments/programs/colleges. When necessary, the Committee can advocate for additional resources as needed by the faculty to undertake meaningful assessment.

Members shall serve for two-year staggered terms. In recognition of the duties and responsibilities associated with this office, the University shall grant the Chair a course reduction of not less than one course per semester. Terms of office will be overlapped so that each year half the membership shall be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

 

d. Budget Standing Committee

The Congress will appoint a Budget Standing Committee composed of one faculty member from each degree granting college/school (except that there shall be one faculty member from each CAS Division/School), one faculty member from the Office of Student Affairs, one faculty member from the Library, and a student representative. The Congress will also appoint a faculty member to serve as Chair of this Committee. The Committee shall be charged with assuring that all information concerning current budgets, resource allocation, and processes used to develop future budgets are widely available to all members of the UH Hilo community, and with representing the UH Hilo faculty and participating with UH Hilo administration in the development of future budgets and resource allocation. Specifically, the Chair of the Committee and one other faculty Committee member selected by the Committee shall, with the agreement of the UH Hilo administration, participate in those decision-making processes leading to the development of budgets and resource allocation priorities.

Members shall serve for two-year staggered terms. In recognition of the duties and responsibilities associated with this office, the University shall grant the Chair a course reduction of one course the semester before the preparation of the biennium budget. Terms of office will be overlapped so that each year half the membership shall be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

e. Student Success and Admissions Standing Committee

The Congress will appoint a standing Student Success and Admissions Committee composed of no fewer than five nor more than seven UH Hilo faculty members. The Congress will also appoint a faculty member to chair this committee. The chair will ensure that committee membership represents a wide cross section across colleges and units. The Director of Admissions will be invited to serve as an ex officio member. The committee will be charged with:

  • Reviewing and recommending general admission standards for UH Hilo undergraduates. These standards will address first-time new students, transfer students, home schooled students, dismissed students, and students who would otherwise be denied admission but have exceptional skills and talents of interest to the university. While the committee makes recommendations for general admission standards, it will not infringe on the prerogative of individual colleges to 1) establish higher admission standards for students enrolling in its courses or programs, and 2) establish admission opportunity programs for students that would not otherwise meet the university’s general admission standards
  • Making periodic assessments of admission standards in light of the mission of the university, the strategic plan, financial considerations, University of Hawai‘i system policies, and Board of Regents policies; making periodic, evidence-based assessments of admission opportunity programs established for students that do not meet the general admission standards. These assessments must also address whether the admission opportunity programs have admission standards, a faculty review process, an on-going academic support structure to assist students, and an evaluation component to monitor effectiveness of the program
  • Facilitating discussions and initiatives aimed at improving overall student success. The Committee will solicit input from faculty and works towards addressing such areas as admissions, matriculation, retention, graduation rates, engagement, transfer and other such factors that affect student performance and achievement. By working with the General Education Committee and the Assessment Support Committee, the Student Success Committee may also review data from assessment to develop initiatives that can help the campus “close the loop” and improve learning.

The Student Success and Admissions Committee will report to Congress. Faculty members shall serve for two-year staggered terms. The Congress Chair may negotiate a course reduction with the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the Chair of this Committee, depending on the agenda of the Committee for the upcoming year. Terms of office for faculty committee
members will overlap so that each year half the membership shall be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

f. Curriculum Review Standing Committee

The Congress will appoint a Curriculum Review Committee of not less than five members with at least one member and one alternate from each degree-granting College, one member and one alternate from the Graduate Council, and the University Registrar or his/her designate. The Congress will also appoint a faculty member currently serving on Congress to serve as Chair of this Committee. The purview of this committee will be to approve all curricular revision and new curricula university-wide. Members shall serve two-year staggered terms. The Chair of this committee will receive a one-course course reduction or one-course overload payment for year. Terms of office will be overlapped so that each year half of the membership will be replaced to provide continuity from year to year.

g. Academic Program Review Advisory Committee

The Congress will appoint a standing Academic Program Review Advisory Committee (PRAC) composed of an executive committee of no fewer than three and no more than five UHH faculty members, with broad general membership from across the various units.  Congress will also appoint a faculty member to serve as chair. 

The Executive Committee will:

  • identify and invite faculty members with recent experience in Program Review to serve as PRAC members to assist in training other faculty whose programs are scheduled for PR in the next 1 – 2 years;
  • identify and invite faculty from programs scheduled for PR within the next 2 years to serve as PRAC members in order to help facilitate their PR training, especially on programmatic level assessment and alignment with WASC mandates for program review;
  • supervise committee meetings with programs at the beginning of the PR process to inform the program faculty members of what to expect during the PR process, the deadlines that need to be met, best practices with respect to obtaining required information and distributing the work among the faculty members, how to identify and invite an external reviewer, and negotiating the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) development process (note: programs may choose to decline this offer of assistance);
  • continually review the Program Review Guidelines and revise as needed per changing requirements set forth by WASC and/or the Federal Department of Education;
  • supervise a PRAC internal review of Program Review documents prior to external reviewer visits and provide feedback to programs;
  • review [optional] program  annual reviews that highlight progress or lack thereof within the MOUs, and assist programs with their ongoing negotiations with the administration when progress is deemed insufficient.

PRAC Executive Committee members shall serve two-year staggered terms.  Committee members serving in the trainee-capacity shall serve through the completion of their program’s PR and will be encouraged to continue for at least one year in a trainer-capacity to provide continuity from year to year.  The Congress Chair may negotiate a course reduction with the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the chair of this committee depending on its agenda for the upcoming year.

 

 

6. Administrative Review

Congress will conduct an annual administrative review. Tenured and tenure-track faculty will be sent a confidential form via electronic or written means. If the form is mailed, it is to be returned in a blank inner envelope with the faculty member’s name on the outer envelope. At least three Congress members will oversee the opening of the envelopes such that confidentiality is maintained. The forms will be analyzed and summarized with a report sent to the appropriate supervisor. In the case of an electronic form, every reasonable means should be taken to ensure confidentiality, anonymity, and one vote per person. At least three Congress members will oversee the electronic assessment and compilation of results. In the case of a Presidential evaluation, a report will be sent to the Board of Regents. In the case of a Chancellor evaluation, a report will be sent to the President. In the case of Vice Chancellor evaluations, a report will be sent to the Chancellor. In the case of Deans, a report will be sent to the Chancellor via the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Academic units may choose to administer their own Dean evaluations, but if they have not done so by April 15 of each year, Congress will be charged with administering the Dean evaluation. The report summary will be reviewed by Congress in executive session and shall not be reported in the minutes.

7. Support Staff

The University shall provide the Congress with student clerical support of twenty hours per week and with a separate budget account sufficient to carry out its responsibilities.

This page last revised February 24, 2010.