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College Governance

A3: The Faculty

  1. Designation

  2. "The faculty of the College shall be composed of the President, the chief academic officer, all full, associate, and assistant professors with regular full-time appointment, and any other instructional and administrative positions as may from time to time be authorized by the Board of Trustees."  (Bylaws of the College)  Currently faculty designation includes those holding the rank of lecturer, librarian and instructor. (For further details see B2.)

  3. Responsibilities in Governance

    In general, the faculty has major responsibility for determining the academic criteria for admission of students, the curriculum, requirements for earned degrees, nature of the degree to be conferred, and policies for conduct of the educational work of the College.  Further, it participates in budgeting, long‑range planning, the selection process for academic officers, and the formulation and administration of policies on such matters of faculty status as appointments, promotion, tenure, non-renewal, salaries, and working conditions.  Finally, it plays a major role in determining the policies to be followed for campus student life, including all co-curricular activities and discipline.

  4. Organization and Operation

  5. Except for a professor-at-large, who reports to the Provost, and for the academic administrative officers, all faculty members are members of a particular department and a particular division.  Each full-time professional librarian holding faculty status is assigned by the Provost to an academic division.  Faculty members are responsible, therefore, to participate in departmental and divisional meetings, as well as meetings of the full faculty.  In all three of these types of meetings, there is opportunity for the individual faculty person to present ideas for new policy and evaluative criticism of current policy.  However, the actual shaping of policy and formal evaluation of it is done through the committee and board structure described below.  The individual faculty member's role in the structure is first to participate in the selection of the membership on these boards and committees by direct election in the case of boards, and more indirectly by election of the Status Committee, which makes the committee appointments, subject to faculty approval.  Second, since significant policy is aired at open hearings, the faculty members who are interested and concerned can best bring their influence to bear on the shaping of policy at this point.  They also have opportunity to present their views on committee policy recommendations as they come to the boards.  It is therefore important that faculty members read the minutes of these bodies and participate at the proper stage.  Finally, faculty members participate when there is a request for full-scale faculty review of policy legislation (see A3.f).  Attendance at faculty meetings is open to all full- and part-time faculty.

  6. Voting Privileges

    Voting privileges in faculty meetings and mail ballots are held by all regular faculty (see B2.a1) except visiting faculty; by adjunct faculty (see B2.e5), if teaching at least half-time; and by administrative officers with faculty status (see A2.c).  In case of faculty review, voting privileges are extended to the administrators and students serving on the three boards.

  7. Faculty Meetings

    1. Quorum.  A quorum, defined as 50 percent of the eligible voters, shall be necessary for the transaction of any business.

    2. Officers

      Chairperson: The President is designated chairperson of the faculty for meetings of that body.  In the President's absence or at the President's request, the Provost acts as chairperson.  The chairperson does not vote except in case of a tie.
      Secretary: The secretary of the faculty is appointed by the President to serve for an indeterminate period.  S/he is responsible for keeping minutes, for distributing them to all faculty members, and for any correspondence that the faculty request be written in their behalf.

      Faculty Moderator: The faculty moderator works with the Provost to plan faculty meetings.  S/he also serves as the member-at-large of the President's Advisory Committee, and is a nonvoting member of the Professional Interests Committee.  At the request of the chairperson, s/he assumes the chair of the faculty session, when the chairperson wishes to participate in discussion.  The faculty moderator also serves to enhance communication between faculty and administrators.
      The faculty moderator is elected by the faculty for a two-year term, from a slate of two candidates nominated by the Professional Interests Committee and from any candidates presented by a petition from the faculty that has the signatures of 25 or more voting faculty members.  A faculty member may sign only one such petition.  If no candidate receives a majority of the ballots cast, a run­off election takes place between the two receiving the greatest number of votes.
    3. The Faculty Moderator will:

      1. Not simultaneously serve as an elected member of the Professional Interests Committee, Status Committee, or Board of Trustees.
      2. Be an Associate or Full Professor.
      3. Be tenured

    4. Time and Frequency.  Faculty meetings are held monthly (except December) during the academic year beginning in September, normally on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  During the Pre-College Conference in August there is also a special business meeting, primarily for the purpose of acting on standing committee nominations [see A4.d2b1)].

    5. Agenda. Items for the agenda of a faculty meeting may be submitted by administrators, boards or committees, groups or individual faculty members.  They should be presented to either the Provost or the faculty moderator, if possible, at least two weeks in advance.  The first order of business at the meeting is to consider and act on the proposed agenda.

    6. Purpose of Faculty Meetings.  Faculty meetings serve several purposes.  They are a means of communication between the administration and faculty.  (The President and the Provost frequently report on their activities and on other aspects of the College program.)  They are a means of communicating current issues before standing committees and boards.  (A regular item of the agenda is a brief status report by the chairperson of each of the boards and, when appropriate, of various standing committees.)  They are a means to enable faculty members to ask questions about any aspect of the college.  (In Question Time questions may be asked directly from the floor or indirectly through the Faculty Moderator).  They are a means of addressing as a collegial body issues relating to the College and its mission that are of concern to the faculty.  They also serve as a means for professional growth.  (On occasion outside speakers or faculty papers constitute a part of the meeting.)  Finally, on occasion, they serve as the means for faculty review of policy legislation that has been enacted by any of the three campus boards.  (See next item.)

  8. Faculty Review of Policy

    Major responsibility for formulating and shaping policy is vested in the three boards and the committees under them.  The faculty as a whole, however, reserves the right of review of policy as formulated and passed by the three boards.  This, in essence, is a right to veto.
    Formal faculty review of policy that has gone through the proper procedures at the committee and then the board levels should be relatively rare.  The initial shaping of policy legislation will be done, normally, at the level of the standing committees.  Through the open hearings, the individual faculty member who is interested and concerned can best bring his/her influence to bear on the shaping of policy.  Opportunities also exist to present reactions on the committee policy recommendations as they come to the board that then considers these recommendations.  It is imperative, therefore, not only that the student­faculty committees and the boards follow the procedures outlined below (see A4), but that each faculty member read the minutes of these groups and participate at the proper stage.
    Formal faculty review of policy legislation requires a petition of at least 20 percent of the voting faculty membership in order to be placed on the agenda of a faculty meeting.  This request may take the form of a written petition, or it may be by vote at a regular faculty meeting itself.  One of the primary orders of business, then, at a regular faculty meeting, shall be consideration of the agenda.
    Review by the faculty is limited to discussion of the policy as presented by the appropriate board, and a vote on that policy.  The following actions are possible: acceptance of the recommended policy, rejection, referral back to the board with or without instruction, or postponing of action (to allow further discussion) until the next faculty meeting.  When a policy recommendation is to be reviewed, the full membership (including students) of the three policy boards shall be invited to participate in the review discussion and vote.
    Minutes of the meetings of all boards are distributed to every faculty member.  Unless the faculty requests review of previous actions of the board at the faculty meeting following release of such minutes, the policy action taken by the board is considered to be approved by the faculty, provided that prior notification of the action taken by the board has been given in writing to the faculty at least six days before a faculty meeting.
    The faculty may, in case of Presidential veto of a policy (See A4.i) approved by the faculty, present its recommendation directly to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees by two­thirds vote of the total faculty membership with voting privilege

  9. Representatives to the GLCA Academic Council

    The GLCA Academic Council serves principally as a means of sampling representative faculty opinion and of informing faculty about projects contemplated, in progress, or completed by the GLCA.  The Academic Council serves, further, as an advisory body to the three GLCA elected faculty representatives on the GLCA Board.
    The Hope faculty elects two representatives to the GLCA Academic Council to staggered three­year terms.  Faculty members are initially asked to nominate four people to serve as a Hope College representative, later choosing between the two people who received the most votes on the nominating ballot.