BYLAWS APPROVED IN MAJORITY VOTE BY NEBRASKA ENGINEERING FACULTY, APRIL 2013
The College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is administered through a system of shared governance between the College administration and the Engineering faculty. In developing policies and procedures and in administering the College, the College of Engineering administration and faculty may consult with students, alumni, employers and other constituents when appropriate.
These Bylaws govern the affairs of the College of Engineering, and its faculty and Academic Units. An Academic Unit is a department, a school, or a division that offers one or more degree programs that hold or seek accreditation from ABET Inc. and/or the American Council of Construction Education (ACCE).
Role and Mission
The UNL College of Engineering is the state’s foremost resource for engineering instruction, research and outreach. The College’s students, faculty, staff and alumni are committed to engineering excellence in serving our communities at state, national and global levels.
Our five guiding principles in achieving engineering excellence are:
- We will be excellent in undergraduate education.
As a college, we must remain true to our legacy and our commitment to outstanding undergraduate education. We will maintain outstanding curricula, state-of-the-art tools and facilities, committed faculty, and a supportive environment for our students to learn and socially and academically thrive.
- We will be internationally known for our fundamental engineering science research.
The reputation of the College of Engineering lies in the strength of our basic research in engineering sciences. It is the archival publications and the faculty participation at research conferences that build the intellectual knowledge base and provide the platform for multidisciplinary problem solving.
- We will be leaders of large multidisciplinary teams addressing complex problems of socio-technological importance.
The most visible role of an engineering college is solving complex technological problems of importance to society. This requires not only world-class basic engineering science expertise but also the ability to team in multidisciplinary ways. We will model these problem-solving skills and integrate them into the curricula at all levels.
- We will engage and partner with our constituent communities.
In order to solve problems of societal importance, we need to team with all the communities with whom we interface. This includes working with the K-12 STEM community to prepare and engage future engineering students, partnering with industry to develop new methods and technologies, collaborating with government to advance the engineering science knowledge base and build meaningful and sustainable technology policy, working with underrepresented groups/cultures to ensure everyone is an equal partner in this enterprise, and soliciting the help of alumni in all of these activities.
- We will focus on service at all levels.
Our primary functions as a college and individually is serving students, the state, and society as a whole. This singular focus on service will help us successfully fulfill the requirements of our other four principles.
Article I. Administrative Structure
The Dean of the College of Engineering is the chief executive officer of the College and is responsible for formulating the strategic mission of the College. The Dean shall be a tenured (full) professor in the College. The Dean shall be the presiding officer of the College faculty and the chief adviser to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in regard to the College's welfare. The Dean shall submit recommendations to the office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs concerning the appointment, reappointment, non-reappointment, promotion, granting of continuous appointment, demotion, transfer, dismissal, or removal of members of the college faculty and staff. All requisitions chargeable to funds apportioned to the College are subject to approval by the Dean, or his or her designee. The Dean shall adhere to University procedures and policies, including consultation with appropriate faculty committees, prior to taking actions. The Dean is reviewed by the College and higher administrative officers of the University and other constituents after every five years of service, or sooner as initiated by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The Associate and Assistant Deans, who are recommended for appointment by the Dean with the approval of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, are assigned responsibilities for matters relating to the College's administration, budget, committees, university liaison, interdisciplinary programs, student academic programs, scholarships and advising. The Dean's Office will each year make available to the College faculty and staff specific descriptions of responsibilities assigned to each Assistant or Associate Dean. Associate deans shall be tenured faculty members.
An Academic Unit shall be responsible for administering one or more degree programs that hold or seek accreditation from ABET or ACCE. The tenure home of eligible faculty members shall be an Academic Unit. Each Academic Unit may offer one or more degree programs and shall have Bylaws governing its affairs. An Academic Unit is led by a Chair, a Head or a Director who is a tenured faculty member.
The leader of an Academic Unit is responsible for administration of the Unit and is recommended for appointment by the Dean after appropriate consultation with the Unit’s faculty with the approval of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or another senior officer. The Unit leader is the chief adviser to the Dean on matters concerning the Unit and is appointed for renewable specific terms of 3-5 years. The Dean shall conduct a review of the Unit leader to ascertain the opinion of the faculty and other constituents regarding reappointment for another specific term. When an Academic Unit is jointly administered by two colleges, the college Deans shall coordinate their actions for appointment, reappointment and review of the Academic Unit leader.
Article II. Faculty
II.1 Faculty Privileges
Within the limits established by the Bylaws and Rules of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, the tenured and tenure leading Faculty shall:
- Establish rules for the conduct of its business and approve or disapprove proposals for changes in the College Bylaws.
- Establish committees for the conduct of Faculty business and assign functions and responsibilities to them.
- Set entrance requirements to the College and requirements for degrees; approve or disapprove the establishment of programs for majors and minors and of courses to be offered for credit in the College; determine scholastic standards to be met by students in the College; establish procedures for probation, dismissal, reinstatement, and other measures related to the maintenance of academic standards; and establish other rules concerning curricula, instructional programs, and grading regulations.
- Consider other business brought before it by the Dean, the standing Committees, and the Faculty.
- Consider other items of broad interest to the welfare of the students and Faculty.
II.2 Faculty Classifications
A College faculty member shall have an appointment in one or more of the College Academic Units and shall hold an appropriate rank in one of the six faculty classifications. The classifications are: a) tenured/tenure-leading faculty, b) research faculty, c) practice faculty, d) visiting faculty, e) courtesy faculty, and f) emeritus faculty.
- A tenured/tenure-leading faculty member shall have an appointment at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or (full) professor, and shall have an apportionment of duties in teaching, research, service, administration and/or extension. Tenured and tenure-leading faculty members shall have voting and participation rights for i) hiring across all faculty classifications; ii) promotion and granting of tenure at their or lower ranks across all faculty classifications; iii) hiring and review of the academic unit leader; and iv) have all faculty privileges listed in Section II.1.
- A research faculty member shall be appointed for a specific term at the rank of research assistant professor, research associate professor or research (full) professor. The primary duty of a research faculty member is to conduct high quality research and engage in training of graduate students. Research faculty members shall have voting rights for i) hiring and promotion of other research faculty members at their or lower ranks within their Academic Unit, ii) Unit’s research policies and procedures, and iii) hiring and review of Academic Unit leader. Research faculty members do not have voting rights on matters related to promotion of tenured and tenure-leading faculty members and granting of tenure. Research faculty members shall have the privilege of serving on the College Special committees (see III.D).
- A practice faculty member shall be appointed for a specific term at the rank of lecturer, assistant professor of practice, associate professor of practice, or (full) professor of practice. The primary duties of a practice faculty member are teaching and student advising. Practice faculty members shall have voting rights for i) hiring and promotion of other practice faculty members at their or lower ranks; ii) Unit’s teaching and advising policies and procedures; and iii) hiring and review of Academic Unit leader. Practice faculty members do not have voting rights on matters related to promotion of tenured and tenure-leading faculty members and granting of continuous appointment. They also may serve as members of the College standing Curriculum and Academic Standard Committee or other Special committees.
- A visiting faculty member shall be appointed for a specific term at the rank of visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor, or visiting (full) professor. This classification of appointment is ordinarily reserved for faculty members who are on leave from other institutions or whose professional or other accomplishments warrant such appointments. A visiting faculty member may be assigned duties in teaching, research and/or service.
- A courtesy faculty member shall have a tenured or tenure-leading appointment at the University of Nebraska. An invitation to join the faculty of an Academic Unit as a courtesy faculty member is made by the faculty of the Unit and does not include compensation or benefits. Courtesy appointments may be made at the rank of courtesy assistant professor, courtesy associate professor or courtesy (full) professor.
- An emeritus faculty member is a retired faculty member who wishes to continue his/her involvement and affiliation with the College. An emeritus faculty appointment shall have the positive recommendation of the majority of tenured faculty of the respective Academic Unit.
Article III. Committees
Committees, and in particular standing committees, play a central role in College shared governance. The College shall have three standing committees: A) the Leadership Committee, B) the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and C) the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee. In addition to the standing committees, the Dean and/or faculty may appoint special committees to address issues of interest to the College.
- The Leadership Committee shall consist of the Dean, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans and Chairs, Heads and Directors of the College Academic Units. The committee shall assist and advise the Dean in managing the affairs of the College. In addition, upon request of the Dean, the Committee shall advise the Dean in formulating his/her recommendations to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs regarding the promotion and continuous appointment recommendations of tenured or tenure-leading faculty members.
- The Promotion and Tenure (P&T) Committee shall consist of tenured members of the College faculty. Each Academic Unit of the College shall elect one voting representative on the Committee. An Academic Unit representative on the Committee shall be elected by the tenured and tenure-leading faculty of the respective Unit. The Chair of the Committee shall be elected by the members of the P&T Committee. Members of the Leadership Committee and vice-leaders (e.g., associate chair or similar positions) of Academic Units are not eligible to serve on the P&T Committee. The P&T Committee is responsible for making an independent recommendation on promotion of tenured, tenure-leading, research and practice faculty members, and granting of continuous appointment in the College. In addition, the P&T Committee shall serve as the arbitrator of workload apportionment disputes in the College. The P&T Committee shall have an operating procedure delineating the tenure criteria and review process, and operation of the Committee. The Committee’s operating procedure must be approved by the assembly of the College faculty.
- The Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee shall consist of tenured, tenure-leading and/or practice faculty, and students of the College. Each Academic Unit of the College shall elect a voting representative to the Committee for each of its degree programs that holds or seeks accreditation from ABET Inc. and/or the American Council of Construction Education (ACCE). The Dean shall appoint an Associate Dean and two under graduate students of the College as voting members of the Committee. More than half of the members of the Committee shall be tenured or tenure-leading faculty members.
The Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee shall have an operating procedure delineating standards of its operation. The Committee’s operating procedure must be approved by a majority vote of the assembly of the College faculty.
In considering curricular and academic standards matters, the Committee's concerns shall include student needs, duplication of courses and services, intellectual content of the curricula, and relationships with other College and University programs. Specifically, the responsibilities of the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee shall be as follows:
- To approve additions, deletions, and revisions of courses and to determine their applicability toward degree requirements.
- To approve non-substantive changes regarding major and minor requirements and to make recommendations to the Faculty regarding substantive changes in major and minor requirements.
- To make recommendations to the Faculty regarding substantive changes in degree requirements within the College.
- To make recommendations to the Dean and the Faculty to improve the quality of advising in the College.
- To encourage the improvement of curricular programs within the College.
- To concern itself with the quality of instruction within the College and to promote its excellence.
- To concern itself with the quality of content in supporting courses offered by other colleges.
- To establish a subcommittee on Special Student Requests to consider independent petitions of a non-routine nature referred to it by the Dean's Office for student academic programs such as the waiving of College-wide academic requirements. The subcommittee may have members who are not on the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.
- To ensure that courses are accurately described in the UNL Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletins.
- To render opinion on grade appeals filed by students.
- Special committees may be appointed by a majority vote of the faculty or by the Dean to address a specific issue of interest to the College affairs. Faculty-appointed special committees shall be dissolved when their objectives are accomplished. The Dean-appointed special committees may be dissolved when their objectives are accomplished or may become an advisory committee only to the Dean. An advisory committee is only formed for the benefit of the Dean in carrying out his/her duties and any opinion of the advisory committee shall be maintained in confidence by the Dean.
Article IV. Faculty Meetings
Faculty meetings are important for building a cohesive community. The voting members shall be tenured/tenure leading, research and practice faculty members. The voting rights of research and practice faculty members are defined in Section II.2.B and C, respectively. Tenured faculty members, faculty members on specific term or special appointments of fifty percent or more, and those on professional development leave are eligible to vote.
- There shall be a minimum of two meetings each academic year, including one in the first semester and one in the second semester. Additional meetings may be called by the Dean or ten (10) faculty members representing at least three (3) Academic Units.
- The Dean or an associate Dean designated by the Dean shall preside at the meetings.
- A secretary shall be elected from among the tenured faculty of the college at the first meeting of the academic year and shall serve for two years. The Secretary shall sign the minutes of each meeting. The minutes shall contain all motions voted upon and a summary of arguments, pro and con, germane to the motions. The signed minutes shall be maintained by the Dean’s Office and be available to the faculty and staff.
- The notification of the meetings and copies of the agenda shall be provided to the faculty at least one week in advance of the meeting. Items shall be placed on the agenda by the Dean, and/or at least ten faculty members submitting items to the Dean in writing at least one week in advance of the meeting.
- Subsequent to the availability of a meeting agenda, items may be placed on the agenda by the Dean, and/or by action from the floor provided that no substantive matter is voted on during the same meeting. If necessary, a faculty vote will determine if an issue is substantive.
- Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used at the meetings.
- The college faculty may adopt electronic or mail voting procedures.
- A motion to refer to a closed or electronic/mail ballot of the faculty shall be in order provided proper procedures have been adopted by the College faculty and such motions requires a majority vote.
- A quorum shall consist of 25 percent of the tenure and tenure-leading faculty of the College.
Article V. Advisory Boards
The College and its Academic Units shall each have an External Advisory Board. The mission of External Advisory Boards is to provide a continuing liaison between the academic community and the practicing profession and to assist the College of Engineering and its Academic Units in providing the highest quality of engineering instruction, research, and outreach. In addition, the College shall have a Student Advisory Board. The mission of the Student Advisory Board is to provide a continuing liaison between the College students and the College Dean for the betterment of the College and to advise the Dean on student issues.
Article VI. Amendments and Interpretation
These Bylaws shall be interpreted to be consistent with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents and the Bylaws of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These Bylaws may be amended from time to time by a simple majority approval of the voting faculty (as defined in Article IV) of the College.
Article VII. Adoption
The initial adoption of these Bylaws requires a simple majority approval of the voting faculty (as defined in Article IV) of the College. The voting shall be done through secret ballot, and each Academic Unit may organize its own voting. The Academic Units’ votes shall be tallied to determine the adoption of these Bylaws by the College faculty. Existing tenure home for individual tenured college faculty not affiliated with an Academic Unit shall not be affected by the approval of this set of Bylaws.