Skip to main content
Article I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Valley City State University Faculty Association.

Article II. Purpose

The purpose of the Association shall be to foster a liberal education of high quality that is consistent with the University mission, to make determinations regarding the role and status of the faculty, and to render formal advice to the President of the University on such matters. A key objective underlying the purpose is to increase the power of the faculty in governance and in professional performance. Guiding principles shall be: empowerment of the faculty to initiate action and improve quality; facilitation of responsible faculty initiatives by the administration in a spirit of cooperation based on clear definition of roles; and implementation of initiatives through the governance structure.

Article III. Membership

The Faculty Association voting membership, hereafter referred to as Members, shall consist of all faculty with rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, and any other faculty teaching half-time or more. Non-voting Associate Members shall include all professional-level administrators. Hereafter, Membership shall refer to all those who belong to the Association, including both Members and Associate Members.

Article IV. Meetings

The Association shall have two required meetings, one within thirty days after the beginning of nine month faculty contracts and the second within the forty five days preceding graduation. Additional meetings may be necessitated by Association action or called by the President of the Association, by majority vote of the Faculty Senate, or by petition containing signatures of ten members. The President of the Association will provide notice and agenda of regular meetings to the membership one week prior to regular meetings and forty-eight hours prior to special meetings. Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, latest edition. Members present shall constitute a quorum.

Article V. Officers

The elected officers of the organization shall consist of a president, a vice president, and a secretary. The president and vice-president will be elected in odd years and the secretary will be elected in even years. Term of office shall be two years. Election of officers will occur at the April meeting. Term of office begins June 1.  

Section A. President

The president shall preside at meetings of the Association and Faculty Senate and otherwise act as the chief executive officer of the organization; appoint a parliamentarian; and coordinate dissemination of pertinent information to appropriate persons.

The president shall select an initial chair for each of the Association committees which elects its own chair. This chair need not be a member of the committee. The only duty of this initial chair is to call the first meeting of the committee and set the agenda for the organizational meeting.

Section B. Vice-President

The vice president shall preside at meetings in the absence of the president; serve as assistant to the president and carry out duties the president may deem necessary.

Section C. Secretary

The Secretary shall record and file minutes of each meeting of the Association and of the Faculty Senate and distribute copies of said minutes to the Membership within one week after each meeting, file received Association committee minutes, keep a record of membership and activities of the Association, and make provisions for balloting at any and all Association meetings.

Section D. Vacancies

Representatives of the Senate shall nominate at least one candidate for any vacancy occurring during a term of office. Nomination may also be by petition as stipulated in Article VI. The secretary shall circulate a list of all nominees to the membership one week prior to the election which shall be held at the next scheduled Association meeting or by mail ballot.

Article VI. Qualification, Nomination, and Election of Officers

Section A. Qualification

The offices of President and Vice-President will be elected by the membership of the Association at the last Association meeting of the school year, when necessary. A period of at least one year shall elapse before an officer may be re-elected to the same post.  Qualifications for the office of Secretary may be waived by a four-fifths majority vote of those present in an Association meeting.

Section B. Nomination

Each participating department will elect its representative to Senate and forward the name of the Senator to Senate at least one week before the last Association meeting of the school year.  Departments may also nominate candidates for the position of Secretary under the same time constraints.  If no nominations materialize, Senate will activate a nominating committee for that position.

Section C. Election

The election of the President and the Vice President of the Association shall reflect a simple tally of the members voting. Election will be by plurality, with the person receiving the most votes being named President, and the runner-up being named Vice President.  In case of a tie, a run-off election between tied candidates shall be held at the same meeting. If another tie occurs, a coin flip will decide, unless the two candidates agree to a different arrangement approved by a majority Association vote. 

The office of Secretary will be established by a vote on a similar ballot, but from the list of names forwarded to Senate specifically for that office. Election of the Secretary shall be by plurality.

The elected term of office begins June 1 and ends May 31; terms of office shall be two years. In the event the President is no longer able or willing to serve, the sitting Vice-President will assume that office, with a new vote being held to determine the Vice-President.  Should both offices be vacated, a new vote will be held as outlined above to elect those offices.

Article VII. Faculty Senate

Section A. Membership

The Faculty Senate shall be composed of one member elected by each participating department, the Secretary of the Association, the representative to the Council of College Faculties, a student representative selected by the Student Senate, and the President of the University or his/her representative. Voting members include elected departmental representatives with the exception of the presiding officer, who may only vote in the case of a tie.

Members elected by each department shall have one academic year of Association membership prior to the semester in which they are elected.  Each department shall submit the name of its Senator to Faculty Senate at least one week before the last Association meeting of the school year.  If any department fails to do so, it forfeits Senate representation for that school year, but will be eligible to forward a name the following year.  The elected term of office begins June 1 and ends May 31.  There will be no term limits for Senators. Vacancies among elected members shall be filled for the duration of the vacated term by election from the affected department.

Section B. Officers

Article VI above describes the process for electing officers and Article V outlines their duties.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities

Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be held monthly during the nine-month academic year. Special meetings may be called by the President of the Association by giving written notice to the members twenty-four hours in advance of such a meeting. A quorum shall be greater than 50% of elected senators

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Receiving proposals, suggestions, and information from faculty, staff, administrators and students.  With the exception of constitutional amendments, such proposals and suggestions when supported by at least 80% of Senators in attendance will be reported to the Association and the administration as action taken. Votes on issues receiving less than 80% will be placed on the Association’s agenda.  Constitutional amendments follow the procedures outlined in Article XVII.
2. Preparing the agenda for the Association meetings which shall include a review of action taken.
3. Appointing members to committees as called for in this constitution or establishing temporary committees as deemed necessary.
4. Receiving reports from the administration on proceedings of the Board of Higher Education or legislative bodies concerning the University and keeping the Association informed regarding pertinent actions by these groups.
5. Expressing and passing on to the Association for consideration opinions and resolutions on any questions relating to Valley City State University.
6. Requesting that directors and other academic officers present summaries as it deems appropriate.


Article VIII. Curriculum Committee

Section A. Membership

Curriculum Committee membership shall consist of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Registrar of the University, the chair or a designee of the Teacher Education Committee, five members elected by the Faculty Association, and one student nominated for a one-year term by the Student Senate and appointed by the Committee. Voting committee members include only the elected faculty members. No department may have more than one member on the committee. Departments will forward nominations to the association. Elections shall be held at the first Faculty Association meeting of the academic year. 
 
Members shall serve five-year terms. One Curriculum Committee member shall be elected each year. Eligible members must be tenure-track, have completed one year of teaching at VCSU, and may serve multiple consecutive terms. Department Chairs are not eligible to serve as elected members. In the event that a member cannot complete a term, the same process of nomination and election will be used to elect a replacement to finish the former member’s term.

Section B. Officers

The Committee shall elect its own chair.  The chair shall be a faculty member and may serve multiple consecutive terms. 
  
In the absence of a committee-elected chair, the President of the Faculty Association will appoint a temporary chair to call an organizational meeting within a period not to exceed three weeks from the initial election of committee members to elect the committee chair. Curriculum Committee chairs may serve multiple terms.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year. 
  
Activities shall include, but are not limited to, receiving department and school-approved requests for curriculum changes and making recommendations concerning them to the Faculty Senate.

Article IX. The Graduate Council

Section A. Membership and Organization

Membership on the Graduate Council shall include the following voting graduate faculty members: two from the School of Education and Graduate Studies, one from each graduate program concentration, and two from the graduate faculty-at-large. The Administrator of Graduate Studies and Research shall vote only in case of a tie, and prepare the agenda for council meetings. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall serve as an ex-officio member without the right to vote.

The Graduate Council Chair, in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, shall appoint all members for the Council except the two graduate faculty-at-large. The Graduate Council chair shall receive nominations from the graduate faculty for the two graduate faculty-at-large members and submit nominations to the Faculty Senate for a vote. These members shall serve two year terms.

In the event that a member cannot complete a term, that term will be filled using the same process of appointment or nomination and election. Members may serve multiple consecutive terms.

Section B. Officers

The Administrator of Graduate Studies and Research shall serve as chair.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities

The Graduate Council derives its powers from the Constitution of the Valley City State University Faculty Association. All matters impacting graduate education will be conducted in accordance with the policies of the Faculty Association constitution and Graduate Council.

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Promoting graduate education at Valley City State University.
2. Recommending addition or termination of graduate courses and graduate program concentrations.
3. Determining standards and policies for selection and evaluation of graduate faculty and graduate instruction.
4. Determining standards and policies for selection, retention, and graduation of graduate students.
5. Acting upon appeal by petition of graduate standards and policies by faculty and students and assuring uniform application of the standards and policies.

Article X. Faculty Advocacy Committee

Section A. Membership

Membership on the Faculty Advocacy Committee shall consist of one member elected from each division and school of the University. Elections shall be held at a division or school meeting during the Fall Semester, no later than September 1. The President of the University, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Vice President for Business Affairs shall serve as ex-officio members. The ex-officio members may not vote.

Members shall serve two-year terms. The School of Education and Graduate Studies, and the Division of Mathematics, Science, and Health & Physical Education, and the Division of Fine Arts shall elect members in odd-numbered years; and the Division of Communication Arts and Social Science and the Division of Business and Information Technology shall elect members in even-numbered years. Members may serve multiple consecutive terms. In the event that a member cannot complete a term, that term will be completed by another faculty member from the same unit using the same process of nomination and election.

Section B. Officers

Section B. Officer.
The Vice President of Faculty Association will serve as chair of the committee.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities.
The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Researching, recommending, and reporting to Faculty Senate on any regulations and procedures that increase and maintain legal requirements for safety and well-being of faculty as directed by the Vice President of Business Affairs, Faculty Senate, or Faculty Association.
  2. Functioning as an advisory body to the President of the University in the preparation of the budget, payroll and related salary issues.
  3. Researching, recommending, and reporting to Faculty Senate on any budgetary and salary matters as directed by the President of the University, the Faculty Senate, or the Faculty Association.
  4. Acting in an advisory capacity to the Vice President of Academic Affairs in how funding requests will be distributed in relation to faculty development, travel, and research.
  5. Supporting faculty morale by planning and implementing events and procedures, including social activities.
  6. Acting in an advisory capacity to the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University concerning faculty welfare.
  7. Serving as a clearinghouse for the faculty in all other matters relating to faculty welfare.

Article XI. General Education Committee.

Section A. Membership.

The committee shall consist of the Vice President of Academic Affairs as a non-voting, ex officio member, and ten faculty members including two divisional representatives from each Division and School.  Senate will elect membership from Division and School nominations.  The term of office for faculty members will be three years, and members may serve multiple consecutive terms.  In the event a member cannot complete a term, that term will be completed by another faculty member from the same Division using the same process of nomination and election. Additionally, one of the two campus representatives to the NDUS General Ed Council must come from among the sitting members of the General Education committee.  That representative will be elected by this committee and confirmed by Senate.
 
Section B. Officer.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall serve as committee chair until the committee elects a new chair. The chair votes only in the event of a tie.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities.

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Reviewing proposed changes to the General Education program for recommendation to the Curriculum Committee.
  2. Establishing and overseeing a process for the assessment of the General Education program.
  3. Aligning the General Education program with other campus programs and initiatives as it deems appropriate

Article XII. Standing Committee on Faculty Rights

Section A. Membership

The Standing Committee on Faculty Rights of Valley City State University shall consist of five tenured faculty members, elected for staggered five-year terms. No department may have two members serving concurrently. Departments will forward eligible candidate names to the Association.

The nominees will be elected at the first meeting of the Faculty Association in the fall of the year. Members may serve multiple consecutive terms. In the event that a member cannot complete a term, that term will be completed by another faculty member using the same process of nomination and election.

Section B. Officers

The Committee shall elect its own chair for a two year term. The chair shall be a faculty member and may serve multiple consecutive terms.

In the absence of a committee-elected chair, a temporary chair will be appointed by the President of the Faculty Association to call an organizational meeting within a period not to exceed three weeks from the initial election of committee members. The members are to elect the permanent chair and determine their methods of procedure at this first meeting.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Investigating any alleged violation of the Regulation on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Due Process.
2. Holding and conducting hearings according to governing State Board of Education policies on all matters referred to it under these policies.
3. Holding and conducting meetings in accordance with State Board of Higher Education policy concerning mediation, faculty grievances, hearings and appeals.
4. Performing any other duties and responsibilities as articulated by State Board of Higher Education policies.

Article XIII. Teacher Education Committee

Section A. Membership

The Teacher Education Committee shall consist of one faculty member from each academic division or school, the Chair of Teacher Education, Director of Field Experiences, and Assessment Coordinator. These faculty members shall be chosen by their respective units from faculty members who have professional preparation and experience in Teacher Education. They shall be elected prior to September 1. In addition, two public school teachers, one elementary and one secondary, and one public school administrator shall be members as well as two students enrolled in the VCSU program, with one majoring in Elementary Education and one enrolled in Secondary Education. The Chair of Teacher Education, in consultation with the committee, will select public and student members. All of the aforementioned shall be voting members of the Committee, except the chair, who shall vote only in the case of a tie. Terms consist of two years. Members may serve multiple consecutive terms. In the event any member is unable to complete his or her term, a replacement will be selected according to the processes outlined above.

Section B. Officers

The Chair of Teacher Education shall chair the Teacher Education Committee.

Section C. Responsibilities of the Committee

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Committee activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Assisting the Chair of Teacher Education and the Director of Field Experiences in the administration of admission to Teacher Education and admission to Student Teaching. The Committee shall, by vote, admit, deny admission, or grant provisional admission to Teacher Education. After reviewing student progress the Committee shall vote to admit or deny admission to student teaching.
2. Reviewing curricula changes including the introduction of new courses, adjustments in programs, changes in exiting courses, the addition of programs of study which relate directly to Teacher Education. The Committee shall provide advice and consent to the institutional Curriculum Committee concerning any curricular proposals before that Committee affecting Teacher Education.
3. Periodically reviewing the policies which govern Teacher Education. The Committee shall provide advice and consent to policy changes initiated by institutional committees, or the School of Education and Graduate Studies which directly affect the administration of the Teacher Education program.

Article XIV. Council of College Faculties

The Council of College Faculties is a structure of the North Dakota University System with faculty representation from each campus, representatives serving three year terms. Association Members who have held membership two full academic years prior to taking office are eligible to serve. The VCSU representative shall be nominated and elected in the same manner and timing as the officers of the Association and will become a member of the Senate. Term of membership begins June 1.

The representative or alternate shall attend Council of College Faculties meetings or send a Senate-approved alternate. The representative shall report the actions and concerns of the Senate/Association to the Council and shall report the actions and concerns of the Council to the Senate/Association. The representative shall submit an annual report to the Senate in May, summarizing the activities of the Council.

Article XVI. Constitution Review Committee

Section A. Membership

The committee shall consist of the parliamentarian and two additional faculty members appointed by the Senate. The term of office for the two faculty members will be two years and they may serve multiple consecutive terms.

Section B. Officer.

The parliamentarian shall serve as committee chair unless the committee elects a new chair.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities.

The Chair will ensure that minutes from meetings are forwarded to the Faculty Association Secretary within two weeks from the date of the last meeting, and submit a summary of committee activities no later than the first Senate meeting of the following year.

Activities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Preparing amendments to the VCSU Faculty Association Constitution which will be forwarded to the Senate for placement on the Association docket.
2. Reviewing proposed amendments to the VCSU Faculty Association Constitution which will be forwarded to the Senate for placement on the Association docket.

Article XVII. Promotion and Tenure Committee.
  
Section A. Membership.

Membership of the University Promotion and Tenure committee will consist of six tenured faculty members selected from the faculty at large. No more than one member of each department can serve on the committee. Department chairs may not serve on this committee.

Members shall serve staggered three years terms.  Elections of members shall be held at department meetings during the Fall Semester, no later than September 1.  Departments that do not have a member on the committee will forward to faculty association a faculty member to be on the committee. A department without a qualified faculty member need not forward a name for consideration.  Faculty Association will vote from the pool of candidates for committee members.

Section B. Officer.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the chair but shall be a non-voting member.

Section C. Duties and Responsibilities.

The University Promotion and Tenure committee is responsible for the evaluation of tenure and promotion requests submitted by departments. The committee forwards a recommendation to the president, regardless of the vote on the recommendation. The committee also reviews the portfolios of tenure track faculty and provides feedback to the faculty member. A member is not eligible to vote on faculty tenure and promotion of a faculty member of the same department.

Article XVIII. Other Committees

Appointments to the following standing committees shall be made during September. Faculty members shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate and students by the Student Senate. Appointments shall provide for staggered two-year terms. Individuals may be appointed to continuing service on a committee for any number of consecutive terms.

A. Financial Aid Committee

This committee shall consist of the Director of Financial Aid (designated as chair), the Foundation Director, the Director of Enrollment Services, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice President for Business Affairs, two faculty members elected by the Faculty Association for a two year term, and one student appointed by Student Senate. All members vote.

The purpose of the committee shall be: to recommend policies and procedures related to financial aid; to establish scholarship policies and scholarship criteria; and to serve as the hearing body for the appeals of Financial Aid suspension.

B. Diversity Waiver Selection Committee

This committee shall consist of the Vice President for Student Affairs (designated as chair), the Director of International Programs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her representative, Director of Enrollment Services, the Assistant Financial Aid Director, two faculty members elected by the Faculty Association for two year terms, and one student appointed by Student Senate. All members vote.

The purpose of the committee shall be to establish criteria, review applications, and make selections for Foreign Student Waivers and Cultural Diversity Waivers.

C. Academic and Scholastic Standing Committee

This Committee shall consist of the Registrar of the University, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director of Student Academic Services, and two members of the faculty at-large. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the chair of the committee.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The Committee shall consider petitions and routine matters concerning student academic affairs and advise the Vice President for Academic Affairs in the areas of academic and scholastic standing.

D. Online Standards Committee

This Committee shall consist of the Office of Instructional Design Director, one member elected by each division or school, and two at large members elected by the Association. At least one member of the committee must be from the graduate faculty. The term on the committee will be two years. The Division of Communication Arts and Social Science; the School of Education and Graduate Studies; and the Division of Business and Information Technology shall elect members in odd-numbered years, and the Divisions of Fine Arts; and Mathematics, Science, and Health & Physical Education shall elect members in even-numbered years. A member may be elected to successive terms.
The committee shall organize itself and elect its own chair. The duties of the Online Standards Committee shall include the following:

1. Developing and forwarding online course standards and policy recommendations to the Senate.
2. Advising the Senate and Association on any issue regarding online education.
3. Upon request, providing peer review of online course designs and materials, mentoring, and other activities to facilitate the improvement of online offerings.

E. Additional Committees

The Faculty Association and the Faculty Senate shall have the prerogative to create ad hoc committees when necessary.

Article XIX. Amendment Procedure

Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be presented in written form at a regular Association meeting and distributed to the voting membership by the secretary within one week after the meeting. At least thirty days shall elapse between the distribution of proposed changes and the vote, which shall be by written ballot at an Association meeting. The Senate shall set a date for voting, and the secretary shall provide opportunities for absentee voting prior to the meeting. If the proposed amendments are approved by a two-thirds majority of those voting, the Constitution shall be amended, pending approval by the University President and the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.

Article XX. Ratification

Ratification of this Constitution shall be by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Association.

Article XXI. Academic Units

The Association shall recognize three types of Academic Units: schools, divisions and departments. Schools and divisions shall have the same standing in regards to representation on committees. A school shall have as its head a dean, while a division shall have as its head a division chair. A department is the sub-division of a division or school approved by that division or school with the consent of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Each division and department shall adopt a democratic model for recommending chairs and department heads to the Vice President for Academic Affairs; faculty with continuing appointments shall have the right to evaluate their division chairs and department heads on a regular basis. Deans are appointed by the administration.

BY-LAWS

Amendments to or revisions of the by-laws must be proposed in writing at a regular meeting of the Faculty Association one month prior to voting on the above. The by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members present at any Faculty Association meeting.

Article I. Other Membership

Membership in the Faculty Association shall include:
Associate membership in the Faculty Association shall include all other faculty and all professional level administrators. Associate members are not eligible to vote.

Article II. Annual Reports of Standing Committees

The Chair of each standing committee shall submit to the Faculty Senate an annual report consisting of a summary of the committee's activities with a due date to be determined by Faculty Senate in the last meeting in May.



Sponsored by: VCSU Faculty Association

Revised: April 24, 2003
Effective: Fall, 2003

Amended: April 18, 2005
Effective: Fall, 2005

Amended: April 11, 2007
Effective: Fall, 2007

Amended: November 9, 2009
Effective: Fall, 2009

Amended: April 2010
Effective: Upon Ratification (April 2010)

Amended: April 2011
Effective: Fall 2011

Amended:  April 2013
Effective:  Fall 2013

Amended:  April 2015
Effective:  Fall 2015