Faculty committees derive their powers and responsibilities from the Faculty. Committees in general take routine actions without specific faculty approval but with notice to the Faculty through committee minutes. In all more important matters, committees bring recommendations to the Faculty, and a majority of the voting members of every standing committee of the Faculty will be full-time-teaching faculty members. Ex officio members are without vote unless otherwise indicated. Student members are voting members. The standing committees of the Faculty transact most of the business of the Faculty in their specific areas of concern and responsibility. Each faculty committee has four general tasks within its sphere of responsibility:
- Faculty committees serve to keep the academic program under continuing scrutiny, minimizing weaknesses and encouraging improvements, by functioning as a forum for ideas and by investigating academic policy.
- Faculty committees recommend policy to the Faculty by guiding the Faculty through carefully formulated proposals. The Faculty then enacts or rejects that policy.
- Once the Faculty has approved a policy, faculty committees see that the policy is properly administered, that exceptions are mediated, and that details are tended to. Committees are empowered and encouraged to delegate administrative authority within their bodies so long as the committee retains supervisory and review authority.
- With the exception of the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Appeals Committee, each Faculty committee must inform the Faculty of its actions, normally through reports made at faculty meetings. The exceptions for the two stated committees are in regard to confidential matters only; those committees must report to the Faculty regarding other (non-confidential) committee actions.
All standing committees function under the general oversight of the Faculty Governance Committee. Except for at-large members, all committee members are nominated and elected by their division within the faculty. Probationary members of the Faculty are not normally expected to serve on standing committees until after their third year of full-time service. Elections for all at-large members of all faculty standing committees and Faculty Trustees are normally held at the April meeting of the Faculty. Faculty Governance Committee divisional representatives will call divisional elections, and they should be held prior to the April meeting of the Faculty.
Each committee has a Chair and a secretary. The full-time faculty members of each faculty committee for the next Academic Year will meet shortly after the May elections to elect a committee Chair and to consider the committee’s agenda for the next year. When necessary and without special permission of the Faculty, committees may meet or otherwise conduct their business during the summer recess, though all such business must be reported and approved as usual at the stated meeting of the Faculty in August or September. During any such summer work, the committee shall consist of continuing and newly-elected committee members; any member unavailable for the summer may be replaced for that time by an available outgoing former member by vote of the committee. In the rare instance where a member of the faculty needs to resign from a standing committee of the faculty (or an equivalent service activity), written notice is to be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the Committee on Committees.
The Chair calls the committee meetings and carries out all other duties appropriate to the position. Each committee selects its own secretary unless a member of the administrative staff has been assigned to the task. The secretary keeps minutes, distributes minutes to the committee members, and works with the Chair in maintaining communication between the committee and the rest of the College.
Student members of the Faculty committees are appointed by the Rhodes Student Government. Appointees are nominated by the Rhodes Student Government Internal Affairs Committee which will, prior to the nominations, solicit applications from the student body at large to identify interested candidates. The slate of nominations must be approved by the Committee on Faculty Governance, with an eye to diverse student representation. Nominations will be voted upon by the Student Senate for final approval. Student representatives will be accountable to the Rhodes Student Government, and shall, after each meeting of their committee, submit a written report of the meeting to the chair of the Internal Affairs Committee within five days of the meeting. The representative may then be requested to attend the next Student Senate meeting to elaborate upon that report if the Internal Affairs Committee deems that to be appropriate.
No faculty member shall serve simultaneously on more than one of the following committees: Appeals, Tenure and Promotion, and Faculty Professional Interest.