ABOUT

DATE:             April 16, 2015
TO:                  Voting Members of the General Faculty
FROM:            Stephen Clarke, Vice-Chair, OSU General Faculty and Faculty Council
SUBJECT:       Proposed Amendement to “Charter and Bylaws of the General Faculty”

On April 14, 2015, the OSU Faculty Council approved a proposed amendment to the “Charter and Bylaws of the General Faculty”.  The next step in the process is to put this amendment before the OSU General Faculty for approval.  On May 15, 2015, the voting period to approve the proposed amendment will be opened for two weeks.  A brief explanation of the proposed amendment is located below.
Proposed Amendment to “Charter and Bylaws of the General Faculty of Oklahoma State University”.

Existing:
Article I (The General Faculty), Section 3. (Meetings). “The General Faculty shall meet in November and April of each year and at other times upon call of the President of the University, the Chair of the General Faculty, the Faculty Council, or by petition of fifty (50) members of the General Faculty. A quorum shall consist of one hundred (100) voting members of the General Faculty.”

Proposed:
Article I (The General Faculty), Section 3. (Meetings). “The General Faculty shall meet in November and April during the fall semester of each academic year and at other times upon call of the President of the University, the Chair of the General Faculty, the Faculty Council, or by petition of fifty (50) forty (40) members of the General Faculty. A quorum shall consist of one hundred (100) forty (40) voting members of the General Faculty.”

Rationale:
Over the past few years, the attendance at the Fall and Spring General Faculty meetings has declined to ~30 or fewer faculty (excluding administrators).  Of these two meetings, the Spring meeting is the least well-attended.  Further, due to scheduling challenges, it is not always possible to schedule the meeting in a specific month (e.g., November).  It is generally assumed that the meeting will occur in October to early November, but the flexibility afforded by using “fall semester” rather than November allows Faculty Council and the Administration to work together to schedule a date for the meeting that best meets the needs of faculty and administrators.

When the Charter was originally adopted in 1953, the speed of communication across the campus(es) was far slower than it is in 2015.  Many, if not all, official announcements are currently communicated through electronic mail, and may play a part in the diminished participation in the General Faculty meetings.  Currently, Robert’s Rules of Order states that the quorum should consist of “as large as can be depended upon for being present at all meetings when the weather is not exceptionally bad.”  Based on attendance at recent General Faculty meetings, we propose that a quorum be reduced from 100 to 40 voting members of the General Faculty.

One additional implication of these proposed amendments relates to Part II of the “Bylaws of the General Faculty” that states “Individual notices of regular meetings specified in the Charter, Article 1, Section 3, shall be sent by the Secretary to members of the General Faculty.  The regular meetings shall normally be held on the third Tuesdays of November and April.”  Should the proposed amendment be approved, Part II of the “Bylaws of the General Faculty” will need to reflect the changes in Article I, Section 3 of the “Charter and Bylaws of the General Faculty of Oklahoma State University”.