UNLV Bylaws Amendments

2016-2017 Proposed Changes to the UNLV Bylaws
and Senate Constitution

The Faculty Senate has worked steadily and productively this year on a variety of issues. Some of the changes we have proposed require an affirmative vote of the Faculty, so that we may amend the UNLV Bylaws and the Senate Constitution. These issues are outlined briefly below, with the details of the proposals following this summary.

Item 1:
Amendment to the Senate Constitution Regarding Membership.

In keeping with the collegial nature of the University, and in keeping with the trends from around the country to expand the voices participating in shared governance, the Senate voted to add the Chair of the Administrative Faculty Committee to the Senate as a voting member (except on curriculum issues), and the Provost, Classified Staff Council chair, CSUN President, and GPSA President as ex officio, non-voting members. In addition, two critical committees chairs, those of Bylaws, and of Campus and Fiscal Affairs, would also become ex officio non-voting members. We share so many issues, including health care, campus climate, retention, and student success, that improving our ability to work together should prove beneficial.

As part of this amendment, the Senate is also proposing a change which will allow it to create a representation model for Faculty in Residence, Part-Time Instructors, Letter of Appointment faculty, and others. While FIRs are technically eligible to be elected to the Senate from their units, they rarely are, and when they are, their responsibility is to represent that unit, which may not serve the interests of the FIR community. PTI's and other, non-traditional, appointments have no current mechanism for representation. The discussion of exactly how they will be represented in the future will begin upon passage of the proposal by the faculty.

Item 2:
Amendment to the Senate Constitution Regarding Representation

With the UNLV School of Medicine coming on board with more than 500 faculty, the Senate desired to change the representation model as represented in the current Constitution. Questions were raised about the size of the Senate going forward, growing to more than 80 members within a few years, creating problems with managing the group, and possibly with maintaining a quorum. Questions likewise arose about how the Division of Health Sciences could have broad representation when one unit will be many times the size of all the others combined.

The Senate proposes to change the model by granting Senate status to any unit governed by a Dean, which has four or more academic faculty, while limiting the total number of Senators from any unit to six. No current unit will lose representatives, and the School of Medicine will be able to elect a reasonable number of representatives.

This plan constrains the size of the Senate and the size of any unit’s delegation. It mandates representation to each School within the Division that has a Dean. It also does not change the committee representation model, so elections will not become more complex. It has the side effect of eventually granting Faculty Senate representation to the Honors College and Academic Success Center as they grow. This guarantees that the broadest range of academic faculty will be represented, that is, we will not have islands of faculty who are in units ineligible to elect senators as we do now.

Item 3:
Amendment to the UNLV Bylaws creating a Course Attendance Policy

You may remember that the Board of Regents removed from their Handbook the policy that stated that students are expected to attend class, that faculty can build attendance policies into their syllabi, that there could be consequences for missing class, that accreditation standards must be met, and that students are responsible for contacting the professor and arranging to make up any missed assignments.

The Senate has voted to put this policy, essentially as originally written, into the UNLV Bylaws.

Item 4:
Amendent to the UNLV Bylaws Concerning Assistant and Associate Deans

The Senate has proposed a policy requiring faculty input into the hiring of Assistant and Associate Deans, and the use of faculty input in their annual evaluations.

Item 5:
Amendment to the UNLV Bylaws Concerning the Peer Review Process

Faculty who do not agree with their annual evaluation are entitled to a Peer Review. There is a lack of consistency concerning what materials the Peer Review committee currently receives, with some being given extra materials outside of the faculty member's packet submitted for the evaluation. The Senate has proposed a policy that would standardize the materials given to the committee by limiting them to those used by the Chair to make the original evaluation, a copy of that evaluation, and any subsequent peer file that has been created. The proposal also clarifies what happens to the committee recommendation when it goes to the president.

Item 1: Proposed Change to Membership

Changes in Italics

Senate Constitution

Section 2. Membership.

2.1 All academic faculty and administrative faculty who hold at least a fifty percent professional contract with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as defined in Title 4, Chapter 3 of the Board of Regents Handbook, are eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate and its standing committees.

2.2 Executive faculty as defined in the Board of Regents Handbook Title 2, Section 1.6.1; Title 4, Section 2, 1.C.1; and Title 5, Section 4.1.4, shall not be eligible to hold voting membership in the Faculty Senate, nor voting membership on its standing committees. These faculty members include the President, the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provosts, Associate Provosts, Assistant Provosts, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Directors -- where equivalent to Academic Deans, and Department Chairs.

The Executive Vice President and Provost, the Chair of Classified Staff Council, the President of the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, and the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the Faculty Senate.

2.3 The Chair of the Administrative Faculty Committee , when not already an elected senator, shall be a voting member of the Faculty Senate, except that they may not vote on matters of curriculum.

Tthe Chair of University Bylaws Committee and the Chair of the Campus and Fiscal Affairs Committee, when not already elected Senators, shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the Faculty Senate.

2.4 The Faculty Senate shall, in its Bylaws, through committees and/or the election or appointment of no more than three non-voting members of the Senate provide for representation by Faculty in Residence and professional employees who fall outside of representation provided in Sections 2.1 to 2.3 above, such as Part-Time Instructors, Letter of Appointment faculty, and Medical Residents.

Item 2 - Proposed Change to Representation

Changes in Italics

Senate Constitution

4.1 Any campus unit which is governed by a Dean and has more than four academic faculty reporting to that Dean shall be entitled to representation on the Senate, and shall have one representative for each thirty faculty or fraction thereof, up to a maximum of six, to be elected by the members of the unit from among its eligible members. The Administrative Faculty unit shall have one representative from each of the following areas: (1) Administration and Advancement; (2) Athletics and the Thomas and Mack Center; (3) Research and Graduate College; (4) Finance and Business; and (5) two representatives from Student Affairs; as well as (6) two representatives from the Provost area for a at total of eight representatives to be elected by the members of each unit from among its eligible members.

Item 3 - Course Attendance Policy

Entire section would be an addition to the UNLV Bylaws

UNLV Bylaws, Chapter II
Section 12. Course Attendance Policy

12.1 Instructors may set course attendance requirements in their syllabi, which may include consequences for absences that are not in conflict with Board of Regents, institutional, or unit policies governing student absences. All institutional and unit policies shall take into consideration absences in courses where specialized accreditation or the coursework’s nature may necessitate the student’s presence. Students are expected to attend the classes in which they are enrolled unless absent for approved activities or other reasons allowed under policy. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the professor in advance, or as soon as possible, regarding any absence and to arrange for the completion of all missed coursework, if permitted by policy and established course requirements.

Item 4 - Assistant and Associate Deans

Changes in Italics

UNLV Bylaws, Chapter II, Section 10.8
Selection of Department Chairs, Associate/Assistant Deans, and School Directors
(f) The dean may appoint an associate/assistant dean, permanent or interim, from within the college or school only after establishing and implementing an equitable, documented process for consulting with the faculty of the college/school. Such consultation shall be in accordance with unit bylaws and established policies and procedures. The dean shall elicit and utilize feedback from unit faculty for the annual evaluation of associate/assistant deans.

Item 5 - Peer Review Process

Additions in Italics. Bold and Italic means a replacement of existing text.

UNLV Bylaws, Chapter II, Section 10.8
Selection of Department Chairs, Associate/Assistant Deans, and School Directors
8.3 Evaluation by Administrator. The department chair or supervisor shall write an annual evaluation and present it to the faculty member for review. For tenure track faculty, the department chair shall meet with the tenured faculty and thereafter incorporate in the chair’s annual evaluation the sense of the tenured faculty on the progress of the candidate towards tenure and promotion. If the faculty member disagrees with the evaluation, then he or she (a) within thirty calendar days after notification, may submit a written rejoinder to the evaluation to be incorporated therewith, and (b) within fifteen calendar days after notification, may request in writing to the college dean or appropriate vice president the formation of a committee of peers to conduct a separate annual evaluation. Each college or unit shall establish in its Bylaws procedures for forming an elected peer review committee, and operational guidelines deemed necessary. In the case of academic faculty, the elected peer review committee shall consist of tenured faculty members regardless of rank. The peer review committee shall be constituted within fifteen calendar days after receipt of a request for peer review. The peer review committee shall be provided the same materials used by the department chair or supervisor in the annual evaluation of the faculty member as well as the original evaluation and any subsequent peer evaluation file (Section 8.4). The committee's purpose shall be to conduct a separate annual evaluation and file a report, which either recommends upholding or changing the administrator's original evaluation. The committee shall complete its work no later than the end of the faculty member’s contract period. If the peer evaluation results in a recommendation that the initial evaluation be changed, that recommendation shall be forwarded to the president or designee who may change the faculty member’s evaluation by an addendum attached to the front of the evaluation stating how the evaluation is being changed and the reasons for the change. If the president or designee does not change the evaluation, the reasons shall also be stated by means of an addendum attached to the front of the evaluation. The president or designee shall sign the addendum and provide a copy to the faculty member. The supervisor’s evaluation, the faculty member’s rejoinder, and the peer evaluation report will be retained in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Date the Note was Sent Out: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017