volume 42, number 4
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

Statement of Guiding Principles for Collegial Assembly Bylaws

By The Faculty Senate Steering Committee


   The Faculty Senate Steering Committee believes that two fundamental tenets should underlie the way Collegial Assemblies are constituted and function:

First, as originally adopted by the Faculty Senate and approved by the Board of Trustees in 1969, “Each school of the University shall have its own Collegial Assembly with its own presiding officer, executive and standing committees, with regular meetings and such rules and procedures as it may deem necessary. Each Collegial Assembly shall determine its own membership provided that all University Senators shall be members thereof.”

Second, Collegial Assemblies should fulfill a role in a college analogous to that of the Faculty Senate in the university and mirror its autonomy.

   Collegial Assemblies can then be essential components of shared governance at Temple University, performing essential functions in establishing, maintaining, and implementing the quality and academic integrity of programs, curricula, and scholarship at the school or college level. They should also ensure the quality, integrity, productivity, and morale of faculty and other personnel engaged in the teaching and scholarly missions of the University. They should reflect and embody the academic and ethical norms, methods, and processes of the academic and/or professional disciplines they represent. They can also follow the democratic traditions of faculty governance to which Temple University is committed. Each Collegial Assembly should guarantee that faculty can speak with an independent voice.

   For these purposes, the Collegial Assembly must be able to conduct business in an atmosphere free from coercion, while fostering collaborative decision making. Its deliberative processes should not be subject to domination or control by administrators. While a Dean has ultimate responsibility for deciding what actions to take, the Dean should seek recommendations from the Collegial Assembly on major decisions and matters affecting the school or college, so that there is open and constructive communication between administration and faculty through the Collegial Assembly. It is equally important that the Collegial Assembly provide means by which faculty may independently initiate recommendations, raise concerns, and deliberate matters related to the school or college.

   To accomplish these objectives, the faculty of each college or school must develop Collegial Assembly Bylaws tailored to meet its unique characteristics. The University Faculty Senate Steering Committee has identified the following principles, which we believe should guide this process:

1. The Collegial Assembly is a creation of, and responsible to, the faculty.

Each school and college faculty should determine its own Collegial Assembly and committee structure and create its own Bylaws consistent with the Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws, Fac-ulty Handbook, and collective bargaining agreements.

● The Senate Constitution requires that all representative senators and the Faculty Senate steering committee representative be elected by Collegial Assemblies. There should be a means for these representatives to report on Faculty Senate matters and a means for facilitating college participation in university faculty governance. There should also be elected alternates to these positions.

2. All Collegial Assemblies should have a steering (or executive) committee elected by the faculty.

● Faculty members should chair the steering committee and all standing committees. The Collegial Assembly chair would normally chair the steering committee.

● Unless otherwise stipulated by collective bargaining agreements, officers and members of all committees should be elected by the faculty.

● There should be a means by which members of the assembly may call a meeting.

● Solicitation of nominees for elected committee members should come from and be controlled by faculty. If non-faculty committee members are mandated for any committee, the nomination and selection of these members should be clearly articulated and should privilege faculty input.

The terms and conditions of committee membership and service should be stipulated in the Bylaws.

3. Collegial Assembly meetings should be open to receive motions, resolutions, or recommendations from its committees or individual faculty members. Such matters should be subject to full deliberation by the members of the Collegial Assembly, and to final determination by a vote of its members. The results of such a vote should be recorded in minutes of the Collegial Assembly meetings and communicated to the faculty and Dean.

4. Ordinarily, Collegial Assembly Bylaws should ensure that faculty members can meet to discuss issues without the presence of administrators. Collegial Assemblies should be able to seek and receive information from administrators in appropriate circumstances, and attendance of such individuals as guests at Collegial Assembly meetings may be desirable for specific matters.

5. Matters that are within the purview of any Collegial Assembly committees should ordinarily be directed by the Dean and/or Chair of the Collegial Assembly to such committees for consideration. Where the Dean has established administrative committees, cabinets, or other executive leadership groups, those committees and groups should coordinate their work with the relevant committees of the Collegial Assembly. The Collegial Assembly steering committee should provide oversight to ensure that proper coordination takes place. •