2022 approved revision:
Constitution of the Faculty Assembly
University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
Article 1: Purpose
The UMES Faculty Assembly (FA) is established with the belief that those involved in conducting the University’s academic programs should participate in the formulation of policies governing the establishment of those programs. The Faculty Assembly shall function to direct the collective intelligence of the Faculty towards the academic well-being of the University.
Article II: Membership
Voting membership in the Faculty Assembly shall consist of all teaching, research and Extension faculty, department chairs, professional library staff, and adjunct faculty. The FA Chair and the Provost will announce the number of members of the FA in the agenda of the first meeting each semester.
Article III: Functions and Responsibilities
The Faculty Assembly shall be a voice of the faculty in recommending policies concerning all factors influencing the academic and intellectual environment of the University. FA representatives to the UMES Senate are the voice of the FA to issues considered by the Senate. The FA shall elect representatives and alternates to the Council of the University of Maryland System Faculty (CUSF), the Faculty Advisory Council of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and other agencies and bodies as appropriate. Election procedures shall be as prescribed in Article VII. For matters of great importance to the faculty, as determined by the FA, full faculty voting will be solicited.
Sec. A. The Faculty Assembly shall:
- act as the collective voice of the faculty,
- participate actively in the process of formulating policies and procedures relating to issues of academic importance,
- through its Executive Board, advise the President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Chancellor of the University of Maryland System, the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Board of Regents, and other bodies on significant issues pertinent to the faculty, and
- serve as the referendum body of the faculty.
Sec. B. The membership of the Faculty Assembly, the UMES President (or designate), Vice Presidents, and official representatives of the UMES Senate may present matters to the FA in accordance with procedures specified in this constitution.
Sec. C. The FA shall develop resolutions on behalf of the UMES Faculty. Resolutions adopted by the FA shall be presented to the President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore or to official agencies, through the Executive Board, as appropriate, in accordance with procedures specified in this constitution.
Article IV: Organization and Duties
Sec. A. Officers
The officers of the FA shall consist of a Chair, Chair Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, Secretary, Parliamentarian, chairs of standing committees, and any other officers deemed necessary by the Faculty Assembly. Officers shall constitute the Executive Board.
- The Chair shall serve a term of one year, presiding over all meetings and serving as an ex-officio member of all standing committees. After one term of one year the Chair shall succeed to the office of Immediate Past Chair.
- The Chair Elect shall act as Chair in the absence of the Chair and shall also be the coordinator of committee reports. After one term, the Chair Elect shall succeed to the office of the Chair.
- The Immediate Past Chair will serve in an advisory capacity and will act as Chair in the absence of the Chair and the Chair Elect.
- The Secretary shall compile and distribute agendas in advance of meetings, and shall keep and distribute minutes of all the proceedings of the meetings of the FA and of the Executive Board meetings.
- The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair regarding parliamentary and constitutional procedures.
Sec. B. Duties of Executive Board
- The FA Executive Board shall meet and/or communicate before each regularly scheduled meeting of the FA to set the agenda and to discuss other matters of importance.
- The Executive Board shall be responsible for the implementation of decisions made by the FA.
- The Executive Board shall coordinate the functions of the standing and ad hoc committees.
- The Executive Board shall oversee the preparation of FA reports submitted to interested agencies, bodies and individuals.
Sec. C. Committees
- Standing Committees
- There shall be three (3) standing committees:
- Faculty Concerns Committee
The committee shall review and recommend policies, in consultation with the Provost and other administrators, on all matters which affect the Faculty in the areas of appointment, promotion, tenure, post-tenure, salary, leave of absence, sabbatical, retirement programs, insurance, benefits, academic freedom and responsibilities, grievance procedures, and other matters pertaining to the well-being and activities of the faculty. The Chair or another member of the committee will participate and attend administrative meetings to provide input on behalf of the Faculty Assembly where changes to these areas are concerned.
- Academic Committee
The committee shall review matters and recommend policies pertaining to academic courses and standards, admissions, orientation, general education, curriculum, library, academic facilities, summer terms, winter term, academic calendar, catalog campus programs, Extension programs, honorary degrees, and recognition awards.
iii. Communication Committee
The committee shall implement. manage, ensure transparency, validity, and report expediently to the Executive Board on all FA surveys and elections. The communication committee, under direction of the committee chair, shall facilitate the electronic aspects of virtual meetings. No one running for any FA elected office shall serve simultaneously on the communication committee.
- Standing Committee Membership
- Committees shall consist of a Committee Chair and Chair Elect and at least three (3) other members, all of whom shall be members of the FA.
- No committee shall have more than one member from any one academic department.
- Chair and Chair Elect are elected by members of the committee. If the office of Chair becomes vacant for any reason, the Chair Elect becomes Chair. Upon vacancy of either office, the Chair will instigate this process to fill the vacancy.
- Election of Chair Elect shall occur in April. Terms of service will begin May and end in May of the year following the election.
- All members of standing committees shall serve a term of 3 years and terms can be renewed..
- Members of the FA shall indicate the committees on which they wish to serve. From these lists each Committee Chair shall select the committee membership. In the absence of volunteers, committee members will be recruited and appointed by the Committee Chair. Upon vacancy of any member, the Committee Chair will instigate this process to fill the vacancy.
Standing committees may establish temporary subcommittees as required by simply notifying the Executive Board of their intent to do so in writing.
- Committee Reports
Committees shall meet and report, at least once per semester, to the FA. Reports should include summaries of any discussions and recommendations to the FA. Committees can make additional reports on an as needed basis.
- Ad Hoc Committees
- Ad Hoc Committees may be established by the FA Executive Board as required.
- All matters concerning functions, election of committee chairs, and membership of an ad hoc committee shall be determined by the FA Executive Board at the time of its establishment.
Article V: Meetings
Sec. A. Types of Meetings
- The FA shall hold regular monthly meetings during the fall and spring semesters at dates and times to be determined by the Executive Board.
- The Chair may call special meetings of the FA at the request of the UMES President or their designated representative, or by a petition by a simple majority of the Executive Board, or by a petition signed by 33% of FA members. Members shall be given as much prior notice as is possible, but in no case less than twenty-four (24) hours.
Sec. B. Agenda
- The agenda for each regular meeting of the FA and the FA Executive Board shall be distributed to all members of the respective body at least two business days prior to the meeting. This requirement may be suspended by a motion of the respective body.
- Agenda items shall be submitted to the Chair for consideration by the FA Executive Board at least one (1) week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting wherein such items are to be discussed. This requirement may be suspended by a motion of the Executive Board.
- The agenda for special meetings shall be included with the notification of such meetings.
Sec. C. Minutes
Minutes of all meetings of the FA and the FA Executive Board shall be kept and distributed to the respective body prior to the next regular meeting.
Sec. D. Quorum
Attendance by twenty five (25) percent of the members of the FA shall constitute a quorum at a regular or special meeting of the FA.
Sec. E. Parliamentary Authority
Meetings of the FA shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Article VI: Amendments
A proposed amendment to this constitution shall be presented at a regular meeting of the FA. The proposed amendment shall be distributed to all members of the FA two weeks prior to the meeting. Proposals shall be made by:
- A petition signed by ten percent (10%) of the members of the FA; or
- The Executive Board of the FA; or
- An Ad Hoc Constitution committee established pursuant to Article IV, Section C, Paragraph 2.
The proposed amendment shall be distributed to the FA by the Secretary, not later than five (5) business days after the meeting at which the amendment was proposed.
Amendments to this constitution shall be voted on (Article VII, Sec. B). The voting shall begin ten (10) business days after the distribution.
An amendment to this constitution shall become effective upon approval by (1) a two-thirds majority of the FA members who vote and (2) the UMES President.
Article VII: Elections
Sec. A. Officer Nominations and Elections
Officers shall serve one year terms and may be re-elected. During the March meeting of the FA, nominations will open for the offices of Chair Elect, Secretary, Parliamentarian, two members of the Council of University System Faculty, one member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and other representatives, as appropriate. Nominations shall be taken until the April meeting.
Sec. B. Election Process
Elections shall occur in April, or when called to fill a vacancy, by means deemed most appropriate by the Executive Board and the Communication Committee, to ensure maximum participation and ballot privacy. A nominee who receives a simple plurality of the votes cast shall be deemed elected. In the event of a tie vote, there shall be a runoff election in May .
Sec. C. Beginning of Term of Service
All newly elected persons shall begin their terms in May.
Sec. D. Special Elections
Special elections shall be carried out through the election process described in Article VII Sec. B.
Article VIII: Vacancies in Office
If the FA Chair is unable to complete a term of office, the Chair Elect shall serve as Chair for the remainder of that term.
A vacancy in the Chair Elect position shall be filled by a special election carried out through the election process described in Article VII Sec. B.
If the Chair and the Chair Elect of the FA are simultaneously unable to serve during the given academic term, the Immediate Past Chair shall serve as Chair pro tem until a special election is carried out through the election process described in Article VII Sec. B. If none of these three persons are able to serve in any given academic term, the order of succession to the office of Chair pro tem shall be the Chair of the Faculty Concerns Committee, then Secretary, and then the Parliamentarian.
If a vacancy shall occur in the office of Secretary or Parliamentarian, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the FA Chair with the approval of the Executive Board.
Article IX: Recall
Each member of the Executive Board can be subject to recall on grounds of: misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform duties prescribed by this Constitution. A petition to recall an officer requires signatures from the number of FA members equal to 33% of the voters in the last election. A recall election shall take place after certification of the recall petition. If the majority vote in the recall election is to remove the officer, the vacancy shall be filled by election procedures described in Article VII Sec. B.