Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Terms of Reference & Bylaws/Voting Process Changes

Science Faculty Council

Terms of Reference and Bylaws/Voting Process Changes

Ratified: October, 2007
Updated: October, 2014

  1. Definitions

For purposes of these bylaws the following definitions shall apply:

  • TRU - Thompson Rivers University
  • Council - Faculty of Science Council
  • Senate - Thompson Rivers University Council
  • Chair/Vice Chair - the Chair/Vice-Chair of the Faculty of Science Council
  • Dean - refers to the Dean of Science
  • Faculty member - a person employed by TRU, full time or part time, in the Faculty of Science, as an Instructor, Lecturer, Lab Faculty, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor
  • Student member - an undergraduate or graduate student, chosen to represent the interests of Science Students on the Faculty of Science Council
  • Staff member - a person employed by TRU, full time or part time, in the Faculty of Science, as support staff or administrator
  • Proxy - voting-members unable to attend a meeting may delegate another voting-member to vote on their behalf on extraordinary resolutions. A written request for proxy must be submitted to the Chair at the beginning of the meeting at which the vote will take place
  • Ad Hoc Committee - a committee struck for a specific purpose, case or situation at hand and dissolved once completed
  • Collegial governance is a process by which decisions made by council are done in an open and transparent way. Collegial governance is contingent on the right and obligation of council members' participation
  1. Purpose and Responsibilities

The Faculty of Science Council is the senior academic governance body of the Faculty of Science. The purpose of the Council is to promote collegial governance by providing a forum for discussion, to share information, to approve recommendations from its Committees and to make recommendations related to the Faculty of Science to the University Senate.

Council has the responsibility to:

  • Operate democratically through collegial governance
  • Recommend to Senate programs of study leading to diplomas, degrees and certificates in the Faculty of Science, conditions of admission to these programs and descriptions of such in the University Calendar
  • Vote on recommendations from its Committees pertaining to issues regarding operations in the Faculty of Science, including planning, priority-setting, development, management and ongoing review of programs and services
  • Submit to Senate names of candidates for Honorary Degrees
  • Make recommendations to Senate appropriate for enhancing the teaching, learning and research environment of the University
  • Pass such regulations and by-laws as may be necessary for functions of the Faculty of Science and the Council
  1. Structure of Faculty Council
    1. Membership:
      1. Voting members:
  • All full-time and part-time Faculty members in the Faculty of Science
  • At least two student representatives, representing undergraduate and graduate students, serving for one-year terms. (Terms may be extended for an additional year if the incumbent is re-elected). Election of student representatives shall be co-ordinated by the Steering Committee. No more than one student shall represent each Department
  • One non-faculty representative elected for a 2-year term (may be extended additional terms if the incumbent is re-elected). Election shall be co-ordinated by the Steering Committee
  • The Chair and Vice-Chair of Council shall be voting members
  • The Dean and Associate/Assistant Dean(s)
  • The Academic Director/Co-ordinator of Open Learning programs offered by the Faculty of Science
  1. Non-voting members:
  • Ex-officio non-voting members include: President, the Provost and Vice-President Academic, Associate Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies, Vice-President Open Learning, the University Registrar, the University Librarian, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Senate and the Planning Council for Open Learning or their delegates
  • With approval of Council, non-voting community representatives may serve on Council
  1. Chair and Vice-Chair
    1. Election:
  • Any full-time, tenured or tenure-eligible Faculty member as well as the Dean, Assistant/Associate Dean(s) shall be eligible to run for Chair or Vice-Chair of Council
  • The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be elected annually for a one-year term running from June 1- May 31. Normally the election shall be held at the April Faculty Council meeting. Individuals may serve more than one term
  • Nominations must be sent to the Steering Committee; nominees can choose to put their names forward for both positions; a candidate who is not elected as Chair may run for the position of Vice-Chair
  • The positions shall be elected by simple majority of the members present at a regular meeting. Voting will be done by secret ballot
  • Election of the Chair shall take place first, and the Vice-Chair election will follow
  1. Duties:
  • The Chair and Vice-Chair, in consultation with the Dean, shall ensure that an agenda is prepared and distributed for each meeting
  • The Chair shall preside over all meetings of the Council; the Vice-Chair shall act as Chair if the Chair is unable to attend a meeting. Duties shall include developing a speakers’ list for each motion or amendment and conducting the meeting in accordance with Robert’s Rule of Order (Newly Revised)
  • The Chair shall represent the Faculty of Science Council and act as a liaison with the Senate and other Faculty Councils
  • The Vice-Chair shall fulfill the duties of the Chair in the Chair’s absence and shall assist the Chair in the performance of his/her duties
  1. Supporting Staff:

Duties shall include:

  • Maintaining a current list of Council members
  • Posting the agenda and materials for Council meetings at least 1 day in advance of a regular Council meeting and 7 days in advance of an extraordinary meeting
  • Maintaining and posting an up-to-date record of minutes of Council meetings and Standing/Ad Hoc Committee meetings
  • Other supporting duties for Council and its Committees as requested by the Chair and Dean
  1. Regular Meetings
    1. Scheduling
  • Regular meetings of Council will normally be held once each month, except July and August when there will be no regular meeting scheduled
  • Regular meetings may be called at other times with a minimum of 48 hours notice
  • Extraordinary meetings may be called as outlined below
  1. Agenda Posting and Minutes
  • The agenda for a regular meeting of Council must be circulated or posted a minimum of 24 hours in advance; items from the floor can be added to the agenda at the meeting
  • The Chair and Dean shall call for agenda items at least one week in advance of the scheduled meeting. Items must be received a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the next meeting
  • Standing agenda items shall include the Dean’s report and reports of Council Standing Committees
  • Minutes of Council meetings shall be circulated normally within a week following each meeting. The Deans office shall maintain a record of all minutes and related documents
  1. Procedures
  • The meetings of Council shall be governed by:
  • these Bylaws and
  • Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) with respect to procedural matters not governed by these Bylaws
  • Motions: Notice of motions will be sent electronically to each voting member of faculty council with a brief and fair description of the motion. Each member shall have one vote. Once notification has been sent, voting will be open for a minimum of 7 days
  • Extraordinary resolutions: (see below) may be proposed at or in advance of a regular meeting; these must be circulated 7 days in advance of a vote, thus a special meeting may be called to deal with such motions. When proposed at a Council meeting, a majority vote is required to declare a motion an “Extraordinary Resolution.”
  1. Extraordinary Resolutions
  • Extraordinary resolutions are required in the case of:
  • Amendments to the Council Bylaws
  • Removal of the Chair or Vice-Chair
  • Approval of academic standards, evaluation procedures or other significant matters that must be forwarded to Senate
  • Other exceptional matters as Council may from time to time require
  • Extraordinary resolutions may be proposed at or in advance of a regular or special meeting
  • When proposed at a Council meeting, a majority vote is required to declare a motion an “Extraordinary Resolution”
  • Passage of an extraordinary resolution requires a majority of not less than 2/3 of the total votes posted electronically as per the electronic voting procedure
  1. Special Meetings and Extraordinary Resolutions
    1. Scheduling

A special meeting shall be called by the Chair, in consultation with the Dean if:

  1. an extraordinary resolution needs to be dealt with before the next regularly scheduled Council meeting, OR
  2. requested by any 10 (ten) members, OR
  3. other matters arise that the Chair or Dean may deem significant.
  1. Agenda posting
    1. The agenda for a special meeting must be circulated or posted a minimum of 24 hours in advance unless an Extraordinary Resolution has been proposed; items from the floor can be added to the agenda at the meeting
    2. An agenda that briefly and fairly describes any proposed Extraordinary Resolution must be posted a minimum of 7 days in advance of a meeting at which the Extraordinary Resolution will be presented
  1. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the Council
    1. Standing Committees:
  • Steering Committee
    • Nominates individuals for Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the Council, elected officers of the Council, delegates to other Faculty Councils and Senate, and such other panels or committees as may be requested from time to time
    • Nominates candidates for University committees, honorary degrees, and promotes faculty-based teaching, service and research awards
    • Periodically reviews the composition of committees of the Council and undertakes such other duties as are assigned by the Council
  • Academic Standards Committee
    • Develops and reviews periodically faculty-wide standards related to teaching, service and research
    • Promotes and supports academic quality assurance in the areas of instruction, learning, and faculty development
    • Monitors academic standards and procedures that affect the welfare and reputation of the Faculty of Science in the wider community
  • Educational Planning Committee
    • Recommends course/program changes and new courses/programs to Council
    • Monitors and responds to curriculum changes across the university
    • Periodically reviews programs in the Faculty of Science
  • Faculty Leadership Committee
    • Membership will consist of Department Chairs, B.Sc. Advisor, Dean of Science, and Faculty of Science Administrative Coordinator
    • Responsible for communication and general management of Departments and the Faculty of Science
  • Safety Committee
    • Develops policy for workplace safety procedures, respond to safety related issues and conduct safety inspections
  • Physical Resources Committee
    • Reviews and recommends physical space allocation and utilization to Council
  • Recruitment and Retention Committee
    • Develops student recruitment and retention strategies for the Faculty of Science
  1. Ad Hoc Committees
  • May be struck by council to deal with issues of importance to the Faculty of Science
  • Are designed to make recommendations to council to deal with short term issues
  1. General Bylaws of Council Standing Committees
    1. Attendance
  • The Chair, Vice Chair, and members of Council committees, shall forfeit their positions if they miss 3 consecutive meetings. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for nominating new candidates
  1. Election of Committee Chairs
  • Each committee shall elect a Chair from its membership
  1. Length of term of members
  • Three years normally, renewable for one or more terms with approval from the member’s constituency. Initial terms should be staggered to maintain continuity of membership
  1. Frequency of meetings
  • Will be determined by each committee
  1. Minutes
  • An up-to-date record of action minutes shall be maintained and posted
  1. Reporting to Council
  • Shall report verbally at monthly Council meetings
  • Shall submit a written annual report to Council in June
  1. Ad hoc subcommittees
  • May be struck by standing committees to deal with issues of importance. At least one member of the standing committee shall serve on the ad hoc subcommittee to facilitate communication between the groups. Ad hoc subcommittees should seek appropriate representation from Faculty of Science Departments

Voting Process Changes

Created: May, 2012

  1. Motion: To make the following bylaw changes to allow for electronic voting to replace voting during faculty council meetings.
  2. Rationale: Electronic voting gives all members of faculty council the opportunity to vote including those who are unable to attend meetings due to scheduling conflicts.
  3. Procedures:
  • The meetings of Council shall be governed by:
    • these Bylaws and;
    • Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) with respect to procedural matters not governed by these Bylaws
  • Motions:   Notice of motions will be sent electronically to each voting member of faculty council with a brief and fair description of the motion. Each member shall have one vote. Once notification has been sent, voting will be open for a minimum of 7 days
  • Extraordinary resolutions(see below):  may be proposed at or in advance of a regular meeting; these must be circulated 7 days in advance of a vote, thus a special meeting may be called to deal with such motions. When proposed at a Council meeting, a majority vote is required to declare a motion an “Extraordinary Resolution”
  1. Extraordinary Resolutions:
  • Extraordinary resolutions are required in the case of:
    • amendments to the Council Bylaws;
    • removal of the Chair or Vice-Chair;
    • approval of academic standards, evaluation procedures or other significant matters that must be forwarded to Senate;
    • other exceptional matters as Council may from time to time require
  • Extraordinary resolutions may be proposed at or in advance of a regular or special meeting
  • When proposed at a Council meeting, a majority vote is required to declare amotion an “Extraordinary Resolution”
  • Passage of an extraordinary resolution requires a majority of not less than 2/3 of the total votes posted electronically as per the electronic voting procedure