Charter (Approved by the Faculty January 13, 2010)

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Article I, Name and Purpose

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Faculty Congress (hereinafter referred to as "the Congress").

Section 2. The Congress is the policy making body of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (hereinafter referred to as ‘UH Hilo’) for all academic matters of concern to more than one unit. On system-wide issues, the Congress shall convey the views of the UH Hilo faculty to the President through the Chancellor.

Article II, Membership

Section 1. Membership: The Congress shall be composed of faculty representatives of all colleges at UH Hilo, the Library, and the Division of Student Affairs (hereinafter referred to as ‘units’). In addition, one voting member of the Congress shall be a student, who will be selected from among and by the ex-officio, non-voting student members described in Section 2 below.

All faculty representatives must be tenure-track or other full-time faculty in rank I/S/R-2 or higher.Each college or unit shall have a representation of 1 faculty member for every 15 qualified faculty members or fraction thereof. The Chairs of the College Faculty Senates will automatically be voting members of the Congress in addition to these members.  Faculty Congress will hold elections for representatives to the Congress each spring semester. Each unit will elect its own representatives to the Congress. If a member misses more than three regular meetings of the year, they shall be disqualified and the faculty member with the next highest votes for that unit from the previous election will be elected to that position.

Section 2. Ex-officio, nonvoting members: Ex-officio administration members shall include the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs,  the Deans of the Colleges, the Director of Athletics, and the Director of Libraries. Ex-officio student members shall be elected by the student government association, with 2 representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and 1 representative from each of the remaining colleges.

Section 3. First Meeting of the New Congress: New members shall be seated at the last meeting of the Congress of the academic year, at which time they shall entertain nominations and elect their officers for the coming academic year.

Section 4. Term: Members shall serve staggered 2 year terms.

Membership: The Congress shall be composed of faculty representatives of all colleges at UH Hilo, the Library, and the Office of Student Affairs (hereinafter referred to as ‘units’). In addition, one voting member of the Congress shall be a student, who will be selected from among and by the ex-officio, non-voting student members described in Section 2 below.

All faculty representatives must be tenure-track. Each college or unit shall have a representation of 1 faculty member for every 15 tenure-track faculty members or fraction thereof. The Chairs of the College Faculty Senates will automatically be voting members of the Congress in addition to these members.  Faculty Congress will hold elections for  representatives to the Congress each spring semester. Each unit will elect its own representatives to the Congress. If a member misses more than three regular meetings of the year, they shall be disqualified and the faculty  member with the next highest votes for that unit from the previous election will be elected to that position.

Article Ill, Officers

Section 1. Election of officers: The Congress shall elect its officers from among its membership and shall include the following offices: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary. All officers shall serve until their successors are seated.

Section 2. Chairperson: The Chairperson of the Congress shall hold office for one year and may be elected for a second consecutive term. In recognition of the duties and responsibilities associated with this office, the University shall grant the Congress Chairperson a course reduction of not less than one course per semester.

Section 3. Vice-Chairperson: The Vice-Chairperson shall act as presiding officer in the absence of the Chairperson, shall be responsible for the minutes and the membership roll, and shall hold office for one year and may be elected for a second consecutive term.

Section 4. Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for communications related to the actions and decisions of the Congress, and shall be responsible for the minutes and the membership roll when the Vice-Chairperson is the presiding officer. The Secretary shall also keep an official file of the minutes with the Congress Chairperson and deposit two copies in the UH Hilo Library and submit it for inclusion in established electronic archives, as appropriate. The Secretary shall hold office for one year and may be re-elected for a second term.

Section 5. Representation: No more than two officers shall come from any representative unit.

Section 6. Election Procedures: a) Nominations shall be received from the members of the Congress at the last meeting of the academic year (as provided in Article II, section 3 above); b) Elections shall be by sealed ballot; c) Two members who are not candidates for office shall volunteer to tabulate the votes; d) Officers shall be elected by majority vote.

Section 7. Vacancies: Vacancies to any office of the Congress shall be filled by special election, except as otherwise designated in the Charter.

Section 8. Executive Committee: All of the officers listed above, the chairs of each of the Standing Committees of the Congress, and the student voting member shall constitute the Executive Committee, which shall be responsible for setting the agenda, calling such meetings it deems necessary, and acting on behalf of the Congress between meetings, subject to ratification at the next meeting of the Congress.

Article IV, Meetings

Section 1. Meetings: During the academic year the Congress shall meet at regularly prescribed times, but not less often than once per semester.

Section 2. By-Laws: The Congress shall adopt Bylaws as it deems necessary. Passage or repeal of Bylaws shall require a majority vote of the total membership of the Congress after two readings.

Section 3. Rules of Order: Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised (latest edition) shall govern the Congress in all cases where they are applicable and not inconsistent with the Charter and Bylaws of the Congress.

Section 4. Quorum for meetings: The Congress shall set quora for regular meetings of the Congress and its committees as shall be specified in the Bylaws.

Section 5. Recall of members: Recall of members of the Congress or elected Congress committee members may be initiated by petition to the Congress by at least 20% of the constituency which elected the Congress or committee member. The same constituency shall be entitled to vote in the recall referendum (to be conducted by a special committee formed for that purpose by the Congress). A majority of votes cast shall be necessary to recall a member of the Congress or committee member.

Article V, Committees

Section 1. The Congress shall create standing committees and ad hoc committees deemed necessary and proper to carry out its responsibilities.

Article VI, Adverse Action

Section 1. Academic policy actions of the Congress shall be subject to adverse action by the Chancellor of UH Hilo only in exceptional circumstances and only upon the submission to the Congress of a written explanation for the adverse action within thirty calendar days of official notification of the Congress’s action.

Section 2. A unit may request reconsideration of any policy action or amendment to the Bylaws of the Congress by a two-thirds vote of the faculty in that unit. The request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to the Chairperson of the Congress within thirty calendar days of official notification of the Congress’s action. During the period while the action or amendment is under reconsideration, said action or amendment cannot be implemented. Further, a unit may appeal any policy action or amendment of the Congress to the Chancellor. The Chancellor must act on that appeal within 30 calendar days after receipt of the appeal.

Article VII, Amendments to the Charter

Whenever after two readings, a majority of the Congress votes to amend the Charter, the proposed amendment shall be referred to the faculty for ratification, and written or electronic ballots shall be distributed to all UH Hilo tenure-track faculty. The Charter shall be amended when proposals are approved by a majority of those voting.

Last updated: January 13, 2010