By-Laws of the General Faculty Council

  1. Name
  2. The name of this body shall be the University of Virginia General Faculty Council (hereafter the "Council").

  3. Representation
  4. The Council represents full and part-time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (hereafter the "NTTF") and Senior Professional Research Staff (hereafter the "SPRS") at the University of Virginia (hereafter the "University"). These faculty and staff positions are categorized as follows:

    1. Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (NTTF)
    2. These positions are divided into the following categories, each of which are detailed under the University's Policy on "Employment of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty." https://policy.itc.virginia.edu/policy/policydisplay?id=HRM-003

      1. Teaching and Research NTTF
      2. Positions in this category customarily require teaching, research, or public service as a principal activity. The Teaching and Research NTTF shall include all persons who have been designated as Academic NTTF under the University's Policy on "Employment of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty."

      3. Administrative and Professional NTTF
        1. Positions categorized as Administrative NTTF require the performance of work directly related to the management of the educational and general activities of the institution, department or subdivision thereof. Members of this category typically perform senior level management duties (e.g., finance, personnel, and program administration).
        2. Positions designated as Professional NTTF require advanced formal education and/or specialized work experience. This category includes but is not limited to librarians, counselors, coaches, lawyers, physicians, dentists, veterinarians and other professional positions serving education, research, athletic, medical, student affairs, and development functions or activities.

    3. Senior Professional Research Staff
    4. Positions categorized as SPRS require advanced formal education and involve organizing and/or leading research groups. This category includes those designated as SPRS (Research Scientists, Senior Scientists, and Principal Scientists) under the University's Policy on "Professional Research Staff - Terms and Conditions of Employment." (http://www.virginia.edu/provost/docs_policies/profres.html)

  5. Mission
  6. The Council exists to represent the interests of the NTTF and SPRS to the University, to advise the University on matters pertaining to the NTTF and SPRS, and to provide service to the University.

  7. Responsibilities
    1. To provide a channel of communication between the Council's constituents and with the University Administration including the President and the Senior Cabinet.
    2. To provide a channel of communication between the Council's constituents and with the Faculty Senate and Employment Communication Councils.
    3. To promote the interests of the NTTF and SPRS.
    4. To advise the University President and Administration with respect to policies and procedures of importance to the NTTF and SPRS, including but not limited to rank and status, review, reappointment, and promotion; grievance and disciplinary procedures; general policies and handbook; evaluation and compensation; and benefits and leave.
    5. To consult actively with the Council's NTTF and SPRS constituents and to keep them informed. Council chair shall call meetings of the full NTTF and SPRS whenever the Council judges such a meeting to be appropriate.

  8. Definition of Council Year
  9. A council year begins >with its first meeting in June and ends in June of the following year.

  10. Membership
    1. There shall be a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 21 elected, voting members of the Council.
    2. Members of the Council shall serve for a term of three council years, commencing in June of the year in which they are elected.
    3. The seat of an elected representative shall be deemed vacant when the incumbent resigns and is no longer a member of the NTTF or SPRS or no longer holds a position in the area that she or he was elected to represent.
    4. Elected Council Members shall serve with the expectation of consistent attendance at scheduled Council meetings. If the Council Member is unable to attend a regularly scheduled Council meeting, s/he should designate a person from his/her represented area to attend the meeting in his/her place, as well as notify the Council Chair of his/her absence. If a Council member misses three consecutive Council meetings without explanation, and fails to send a designee to represent him/her or to assign a vote proxy to another Council member, the seat will be considered vacant.

  11. Election Procedures
    1. Areas to be represented by Council members shall be defined by the Council Areas and their definitions shall be reviewed and revised as necessary by the Data Management Committee and approved by the Council. Represented areas are Administration, Arts & Sciences, Athletics, At-Large, Education (Curry and Continuing Education), Engineering, Health Sciences, Libraries, Professional Schools (Architecture, Batten, Commerce, Darden, and Law), and Student Affairs.
    2. Eligibility to vote

      1. All those represented by the Council (see II) shall be eligible to vote in elections for Council membership.
      2. Each eligible voter may vote only for candidates from the area in which he or she holds an appointment.

    3. Eligibility for Council:
    4. Persons eligible for election to Council shall:
      1. Be currently NTTF or SPRS;
      2. Have been NTTF or SPRS for at least 12 months prior to nomination;
      3. Expect to hold appointments that extend through the first year of the term of office;
      4. Have served no more than one immediately preceding term on the Council.

    5. Conduct of Elections
      1. Council shall appoint an Elections Chair annually to implement the elections procedure;
      2. Persons running for election or re-election to Council shall be ineligible to serve as the Elections Chair;
      3. The Elections Chair shall be responsible for soliciting nominations, distributing ballots, tabulating ballot results, and communicating the results to the Council Chair;
      4. The Council Chair shall report results to the council and membership and notify nominees regarding election results;
      5. Election procedures:
        1. There shall be annual elections for Council membership;
        2. For each election, there shall be a public call for nominations;
        3. The ballot shall list the names and platform statements of all nominees who are eligible to serve on Council;
        4. At least one candidate for each vacant Council seat must be listed on the ballot;
        5. Tie votes shall be resolved by a run-off election;
        6. Specific election procedures shall be set out in a document approved by the Council and reviewed annually.
      6. In order to provide continuity of membership, the three-year terms of Council members shall be staggered so that six to seven members of Council shall be elected each year.
      7. Resignations shall be submitted in writing to the chair of the Council.
      8. If vacancies occur on the Council during the first six months following an annual election, a single mid-term election will be conducted to fill those vacancies. Vacancies occurring after the mid-term election will be filled during the normal annual election. Council members filling vacancies with less than one-half of the first term remaining will be eligible to run for two additional terms.

    6. Officers
      1. Chair
        1. During the first meeting of each year, the Council shall elect from its members a Chair and Chair-Elect for a term of one year. The Chair shall be its presiding officer. It is expected that the Chair-Elect shall assume the Chair position for the following year.
        2. The Chair will serve as an At-Large member of the Council during his/her term as Chair.  If the Chair has remaining time in his/her three-year term, the Chair will vacate his/her regular seat on the Council.  A new member will be elected in the regular spring elections to fill the incoming Chair's seat for the remaining term.
        3. The Chair of the Council shall be responsible for soliciting agenda items and for establishing and circulating the agenda at least one week prior to each meeting and for convening Council meetings.
        4. The Chair or the members designated by the Chair shall poll the Council membership by phone or email as needed when issues arise between meetings. These discussions will be reported at the next Council meeting and relevant information will be recorded in the meeting minutes.
        5. The Chair-Elect shall convene Council meetings in the absence of the Chair, and shall assist the Chair in the performance of the duties of that office.
        6. The Chair shall designate a Council member to act as a Treasurer.
          1. The Treasurer is responsible for monitoring and reporting on Council financial transactions.
        7. The Chair shall be responsible for new Council member orientation.
        8. The Chair shall be an ex officio member of all standing committees.

      2. Past Chair
        1. Provides institutional memory for the Chair, Chair-elect and Council as a whole. The immediate past Chair shall remain a member of the Executive Committee for the term succeeding their tenure as Chair.

      3. Ex-Officio Council Membership
        1. The Council invites the Faculty Senate Chair to have an ex-officio seat on the Council and encourages regular attendance at its monthly meetings for the purpose of open communication and coordination of interests.

      4. Secretary
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall also elect one of its members Secretary.
        2. The Secretary shall be responsible for:
          1. Maintaining a roster of Council members;
          2. Ensuring that the minutes of meetings of the Council are recorded. The minutes shall include an announcement of the next meeting and a general call for agenda items. Minutes shall be distributed in a timely fashion and be made publicly available;
          3. Maintaining the files of the Council.

      5. Communications Chair
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall also appoint one of its members to serve as Communications Chair.
        2. The Communications Chair shall be responsible for:
          1. Appointing a webmaster to maintain the Council website;
          2. Managing publicity about and outreach for the Council;
          3. Arranging informational and social events for the NTTF and SPRS;
          4. Keeping written records of all Communication Committee meetings and correspondence.

      6. Policy Chair
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall also appoint one of its members to serve as Policy Chair.
        2. The Policy Chair shall be responsible for:
          1. In consultation with the Policy Committee, reviewing and suggesting revisions to the University's policies on NTTF and SPRS;
          2. Serving as liaison to the Executive Vice President and Provost regarding approval of revisions to the above policies;
          3. Ensuring that relevant policies are readily available via the Council website and other appropriate means;
          4. Working with the University Administration to promote the interests of the NTTF and SPRS;
          5. Keeping written records of all Policy Committee meetings and correspondence.

      7. Elections Chair
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall also appoint one of its members to serve as Elections Chair.
        2. The Elections Chair shall be responsible for:
          1. Implementing Election Procedures as outlined in the "Procedure for Elections" which is posted on the Council website;
          2. Keeping written records of election results;
          3. Reviewing and revising the election procedures annually;
          4. Keeping written records of all Elections Committee meetings and correspondence.

      8. Bylaws Chair
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall also appoint one of its members to serve as Bylaws Chair.
        2. The Bylaws Chair shall be responsible for:
          1. Reviewing and suggesting revisions to the bylaws of the General Faculty at least every four years;
          2. Keeping written records of all Bylaws Committee meetings and correspondence.

      9. Data Management Chair
        1. During the first meeting in June of each year the Council shall appoint one of its members to serve as Data Management Chair.
        2. The Data Management Chair shall be responsible for:
          1. Obtaining and maintaining the database of the NTTF and SPRS of the University;
          2. Reviewing Council's constituent allocation every year and revising as appropriate;
          3. Updating the database and email list;
          4. Ensuring that there is an updated list with which to revise the NTTF and SPRS email lists (gf-roster and one for each of 9 constituencies) in the fall prior to annual elections;
          5. Assisting other committees with projects that require data, such as surveys or data analysis;
          6. Keeping written records of all Data Management Committee meetings and correspondence.

      10. Council Executive Committee
        1. The officers of the Council (1-7 above) will form the Council Executive Committee. The Council Chair will call meetings of the Council Executive Committee as needed. In the event of an officer vacancy, members of the Council will elect (in the positions of Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary) a replacement, or appoint (in the positions of Communications Chair, Policy Committee Chair, Elections Chair/Co-Chair, Bylaws Chair, and Data Management Chair) a replacement. The Secretary shall keep written records of all Executive Committee meetings.

  12. Conducting Business
    1. Council shall meet a minimum of 10 times per year at a time and place designated by the Council chair.
    2. Special meetings of Council may be called at the discretion of the Chair or on request made to the Council Chair in writing by any one of the following:
      1. Any three members of the Council.
      2. Any five members, or more, of the full NTTF and SPRS.
      3. The University President or members of the Senior Cabinet.
    3. The agenda for each meeting, along with supporting papers, shall be distributed by the Chair to all Council members at least one week prior to the meeting whenever possible. The agenda shall likewise be distributed to the NTTF and SPRS members as appropriate.
    4. A quorum shall consist of 50% of filled council positions.
    5. Method of voting may be show of hands, voice vote, or may be conducted electronically as deemed appropriate by Council chair.
    6. All measures shall pass by a simple majority of the Council members present and voting.
    7. Robert's Rules of Order Revised shall govern in all cases in which they are applicable and not in conflict with these Bylaws.
    8. Council may establish or discontinue standing and ad hoc committees. Council may provide for membership on such committees by persons who are not members of Council, but the chair of any committee and the majority of members of a standing committee must in all cases be elected members of the Council.
    9. A member who is unable to attend a Council meeting may send a non-voting representative or assign a vote proxy to another Council member.
    10. All Council meetings shall be open unless the majority of the Council members present vote to go into executive session. Representatives of absent members may remain during an executive session.

  13. Changes to the Bylaws of the Council
    1. In the case of changes or amendments to the Bylaws, the Bylaws Chair shall be responsible for administering voting procedures.
    2. Any member of the Council may propose changes to the Bylaws of the Council at a regular meeting of the Council. To be approved, the proposal must receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council.
    3. Such changes will be administered by the Bylaws Chair and shall be submitted to the NTTF and SPRS for a vote to be returned via e-mail or written mail, if necessary.
    4. Adoption of changes to the Bylaws shall require an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the members returning ballots.

  14. Authorization
  15. These Bylaws shall be reported to the NTTF and SPRS for approval according to the procedures listed for changing the Bylaws and shall be presented, when approved, to the University President and the Senior Cabinet. Approved 1994, amended March 1996, amended March 1999, amended March 2002, amended May 2003, amended March 2009, amended March 2012, amended March 2013, amended March 2014, amended May 2014.