Quorum. A quorum is constituted by a majority of the voting members of the Faculty.
Attendance, Participation, and Voting. Regular meetings of the Faculty or special sessions of the Faculty are not open to all members of the community unless so designated by action of the entire Faculty.
Only members of the Faculty are eligible to vote in Faculty meetings. However, others may attend Faculty meetings and participate in discussion. Persons normally permitted to attend Faculty meetings are the President of the Rhodes Student Government, members of the Senior Leadership Team, the Chief Information Officer, and the Registrar. Members of the Board of Trustees, Officers of Instruction who are not members of the Faculty, and one of the student members of any standing committee of the Faculty may attend Faculty meetings as they wish.
In addition, individuals whose views on a particular issue are important to the conduct of Faculty business may be invited to attend a Faculty meeting and participate in discussion of that issue. These invitations are made by the Faculty Governance Committee or by the Faculty as a whole.
The Faculty will vote by voice unless a show of hands is necessary to decide a majority. However, an anonymous ballot can be called for by the presiding officer or by majority vote.
Agenda. The normal order of business at meetings of the faculty shall be as follows:
- Call to Order
- Reports from Officers of the College
- Items for Faculty Action from Standing Committees
- Items for Information or Discussion from Standing Committees
- Old Business
- New Business
“Items for Faculty Action” (3) includes all business submitted by standing committees for faculty approval. This would include motions from standing committees that constitute some change in current practice and require faculty approval, or resolutions from standing committees aimed at an expression of the will of the faculty.
“Items for Information or Discussion” (4) includes routine announcements from committees, but also business which standing committees wish to bring before the faculty to present important information or to invite preliminary or informal discussion on a matter of concern. Committees may use this time to make routine announcements; these need not be included in committee minutes as agenda items. Committees wishing to report to faculty with needed information, or to invite discussion on an upcoming question or matter of concern, will normally submit these items with their minutes, in a separate section marked “For Faculty Information or Discussion.” These items will be included in the agenda, allowing faculty to acquaint themselves with the questions in advance. Questions brought by committees here may take the form of a draft or tentative motion, on which a committee requests preliminary feedback, or may be stated informally as topics of potential faculty interest. Where appropriate, faculty may be asked by a standing committee to register their initial view of such questions, using a system of balloting which makes all responses anonymous. Results of such polls will be available for all faculty but will be used only to provide information to the relevant committee to guide their further work. No items included in Part 4 of the meeting agenda may be brought for a faculty decision until a subsequent meeting.
New Business may be introduced from the floor of the meeting by any member of the Faculty, but any decision by vote on such business must be delayed until a subsequent meeting in order to satisfy the 48-hour notice rule.
Upon the passage of a motion from the floor, the order of consideration of agenda items may be changed at any time during the meeting.
Minutes. Detailed minutes of the Faculty meetings shall be kept by the Faculty Secretary and shall be filed in the Academic Affairs Office along with the relevant agenda and supporting documents.
Specific actions of the Faculty shall be communicated in writing by the Faculty Secretary to the individuals or committees affected by the action. The Faculty minutes shall be available to any Faculty member who wishes to see them.
Confidentiality. Deliberations or actions of the Faculty judged to be confidential by the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Presiding Officer, or the Faculty shall not be discussed outside its membership. A designation of “Confidential” shall be made by the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, by the presiding officer, or by vote of the Faculty at the time of such deliberation or action. Announcement of the confidential Faculty action should be made only by the presiding officer or, if requested by the presiding officer, by the Secretary of the Faculty.
Important Matters. An action being considered by the Faculty may be designated an “important matter” when the importance of the action is deemed sufficiently great to demand extended deliberation. A matter may be declared an “important matter” by any one of the following methods:
- The President or the presiding officer at the Faculty meeting may so designate it;
- If the matter comes to the Faculty from a standing committee, the committee may so designate it by a majority vote; or,
- Upon a motion from the floor, in which case the motion requires the affirmation of one-third of the Faculty present.
In every case, the designation must take place prior to the final vote on the action.
When a matter has been declared an “important matter,” final vote on it shall be taken at a meeting subsequent to the meeting in which the matter was introduced for consideration. The matter may be debated on its first introduction, and will be discussed. It will be debated again at the subsequent meeting, at which time the final vote will be taken.
Nonconcurrence of the President. If an action is taken by the Faculty in which the President does not concur, the President may announce the nonconcurrence immediately after the Faculty action, or, in writing, at some later time. Notification of nonconcurrence by the President has the effect of tabling the action of the Faculty. The matter may then be reopened for debate at a subsequent meeting and if two-thirds of the Faculty members present vote affirmatively on the matter, the President must present the action to the Board of Trustees along with the President’s recommendation.
Parliamentary Rules. Faculty meetings shall be conducted in accordance with these rules and procedures and with Roberts’ Rules of Order, latest edition. The Faculty’s own rules and procedures shall have precedence. The Faculty Parliamentarian shall give interpretations of correct procedure when requested by the presiding officer or upon the Parliamentarian’s own volition. Procedural questions not specifically covered by these specified sources shall be decided by majority vote of the Faculty. These rules of procedure that do not limit the presiding officer may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty present.
Revision of Rules and Procedures for Faculty Meetings. All amendments to the Rules and Procedures for Faculty Meetings must be approved by the Faculty. Proposals for revision shall be presented at a Faculty meeting at least one month before a final vote on the matter is taken. Ordinarily such proposals will be referred for study and recommendation to a committee appointed for this purpose by the Faculty Governance Committee.
Electronic Meetings. The Faculty Governance Committee may call for a meeting to be held through electronic means. Meetings conducted through electronic means shall follow the College Handbook to the extent possible, as determined by the Faculty Governance Committee. During electronic meetings the following rules shall additionally apply: Participants shall identify themselves as required to sign in to the electronic meeting service.
Participants are responsible for their own audio and internet connections; no action shall be invalidated on the grounds that the loss of, or poor quality of, a participant’s individual connection prevented participation in the meeting.
The Presiding Officer may cause or direct the disconnection or muting of a participant’s connection if it is causing undue interference with the meeting.
Votes shall be taken by the anonymous voting feature of the electronic meeting service, unless a different method is agreed upon by faculty vote. Business may also be conducted by unanimous consent.