Section 1. Collegiate Name and Purpose.
The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), a collegiate unit of the University of Minnesota, is dedicated to education and scholarship in support of food and nutrition systems, agriculture, environment and natural resources. The purpose of these educational programs is to offer instruction and degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels. It is equally the responsibility of CFANS to encourage and maintain disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and service activities which will enlarge these bodies of knowledge and serve society. Our mission is to provide extraordinary education, impactful research, and dynamic public engagement as we strive to be a world leader in advancing solution-driven science in food, agricultural and natural resources to improve the human condition.
CFANS is committed to demonstrating excellence through diversity and inclusion and providing a diverse faculty and staff environment. CFANS is also committed to policies that provide equal access to and opportunities in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Section 2. Constitution.
The purpose of this constitution is to provide a framework that enables the members of the college to work collaboratively to fulfill the college mission and that defines the roles of the members of the college in the initiation of recommendations, formulation of decisions, and communication of the basis for decisions to those affected.
This constitution is not part of the employment contract between the University and its employees. It does not establish terms and conditions of employment.
Article I. General Powers.
All matters relating to the educational and administrative affairs of CFANS are committed to the Dean and the College Assembly (See section III.5.1 and Article IV) as delegated by the Board of Regents and in accordance with the constitution of the University Senate, and consistent with actions of these bodies heretofore or hereafter taken. Policies and procedures of CFANS shall be consistent with those set out by the Board of Regents, the University Senate, and others who are constitutionally authorized to set university policy.
Article II. Dean of the College.
Section 1. The Dean.
The Dean is the chief academic and executive officer of CFANS responsible for overseeing the academic priorities and day-to-day administrative operations of the college, including but not limited to establishing a strategic vision and aligning college resources to support that vision; inspiring and supporting faculty, staff, and students in the activities of teaching and learning, research, and public engagement; garnering internal and external support for the college; and building relationships and support with alumni, donors, civic and business leaders, and other key partners in the community.
The Dean is ultimately accountable for the quality of the faculty and the programs of CFANS, and responsible for formulating and implementing policies that lead to the improvement of the educational and research programs of the college. The Dean shall consult with the appropriate college committee regarding matters relating to the duties of that committee. The Dean shall notify these committees of actions taken in their relevant areas. To foster open communications between the Dean and the faculty, the Dean shall meet with each academic department at least once annually.
Section 2. Dean Appointment.
The Dean will be appointed in the manner prescribed by the Executive Vice President and Provost. The CFANS Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) and members of the College Assembly will be involved in the search and selection process in an appropriate manner, including periodic appraisal on the conduct of the search and interviews with final candidates. The Dean will be or will become a tenured member of the faculty in one of the departments of the college. The majority of the search committee will be faculty members from within the college.
Section 3. Review.
Review of the Dean will take place in the manner prescribed by the Executive Vice President and Provost. The CFANS FCC and the College Assembly will be involved in the review and expect that a review will take place no later than three years after the initial date of appointment. The college will also consult and seek input from department chairs, heads, and center directors during the review. A summary of the review will be provided to the CFANS FCC.
Section 4. No Confidence Petition.
Following the first comprehensive review of the Dean’s performance and on each subsequent annual anniversary, CFANS faculty may request that the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost end the appointment of the Dean by filing a petition of no confidence supported by a majority vote of the regular CFANS faculty. The CFANS FCC shall be responsible for initiating the faculty vote, preparing the petition and forwarding the results to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
Article III Administrative Structure
Section 1. College Office.
III.1.1. The Dean shall determine the administrative structure and staffing within the college. The Dean may convene individuals to assist in the planning, coordination and execution of the programs of the College.
III.1.2. The Dean’s Council, as determined by the Dean, may include associate and assistant deans, key advisors and others.
III.1.3. The College Leadership Council (CLC) may include associate and assistant deans, department heads, Research and Outreach Center heads, Bell Museum director, Minnesota Arboretum director, the CFANS FCC Chair, as well as key advisors and program directors, as determined by the Dean.
Section 2. Assistant and Associate Deans.
The Dean may create and/or dissolve positions of associate and assistant deans, following appropriate consultation with senior leadership, and assign specific administrative duties and delegate executive authority to them. The Dean will inform the college community of the principal areas of responsibility delegated to the associate and assistant deans. Associate and assistant deans serve at the pleasure of the Dean.
The Dean will seek input from the CFANS faculty, as appropriate given the nature of the duties assigned to associate and assistant deans, to inform the Dean’s performance review of associate and assistant deans. The CFANS faculty may request that the Dean not continue the appointment of an assistant or associate dean by filing a petition of no confidence supported by a simple majority vote of the regular CFANS faculty. The CFANS FCC shall be responsible for initiating the faculty vote, preparing the petition and forwarding the results to the Dean.
Section 3. College Committees.
III.3.1. Committees shall be established as necessary to conduct the college's affairs. Committees shall be established by the Dean or by the CFANS FCC. These committees shall consider requests arising from the faculty, from other college committees, from the Dean or from their own membership on matters appropriate to the committees.
III.3.2. Collegiate standing committees, their responsibilities, and membership are specified in the By-laws. A list of committees with identified membership and responsibilities shall be made available online on the College website at the beginning of the fall semester.
III.3.3. Committee members shall be appointed by the Dean or be elected by vote of college personnel as appropriate to the purposes of the committee. Appointments shall be made with appropriate consideration for continuity, rotation and individual expertise.
III.3.3.1. The Dean shall appoint faculty members upon recommendation from department heads, the Elections and Nominations Committee, or nomination bodies as stated in the By-laws.
III.3.3.2. Academic professional and administrative staff without a faculty appointment and civil service/labor-represented staff shall be nominated by department heads, the Elections and Nominations Committee, or nomination bodies as stated in the By-laws.
III.3.3.3. Student representatives on college committees may be nominated by the Elections and Nominations Committee or nominating bodies as stated in the By-laws.
III.3.3.4. The Dean is encouraged to foster diverse unit representation within a committee when making faculty, civil service/labor-represented staff, professional and administrative staff, and student appointments.
III.3.4. A quorum for all College standing committee meetings shall be 50 percent of the members with voting rights.
Section 4. Units
III.4A. Structure and Function.
III.4A.1 The department shall be considered the basic organizational unit of the college. Departments represent a community of interest supporting faculty and staff in teaching, extension, research, and service activities. Departments also provide a voice for their members on issues of common interest and an identity to their stakeholders. Departmental structure should reflect contemporary disciplines of importance and also support teaching and research that spans multiple disciplines. Hereafter “Unit” refers to a department, combination of departments or any other entity whose leader (head, chair, or director) serves on the CLC. Units are administered in accordance with the Unit’s written policies and procedures approved by a majority of the Unit faculty, and subject to final approval by the Department Head, Chair, or Director, and the Dean.
III.4A.2. A Unit may elect to have, but is not required to have, a Unit constitution that must align with the College constitution. A system of review of the Unit head, chair, or director by the faculty and staff must be included in unit’s governance documents.
III.4A.3. The Dean of the College in consultation with groups directly concerned, including the Unit faculty and relevant CFANS committees, and Human Resources shall review proposals for change in the Unit structure such as creation of a new Unit, splitting a Unit, combining two or more Units, or dissolving a Unit. At least 6 months prior to a planned change being made, a proposal for changing Unit structure shall be made to the College Assembly for consultation. Then, a vote on the proposed change will be made by members of the College Assembly with voting rights (See III.5.1. and Article IV, Section 1). Final approval of these actions rests with the Dean.
III.4B. Unit committees.
III.4B.1. Units may establish committees as necessary or desired to conduct the Units’ affairs. Committees shall be established by the Unit leader or by a majority vote of the Unit’s eligible voting members. These committees shall consider requests arising from the faculty, other Unit committees, Unit leaders, the Dean, or from their own members on matters appropriate to the committees.
III.4C. Unit meetings.
III.4C.1. The Unit leader shall call at least one meeting of the Unit faculty each fall and spring semester (minimum two meetings per year). The date and time of Unit faculty meetings shall be provided to faculty and official representatives from other constituencies at least ten days before the meeting.
III.4C.2. The Unit head also shall call a faculty meeting within ten days of receipt of a petition for such a meeting signed by at least 30% of voting Unit faculty.
III.4D. Unit Head/Chair/Director.
The department head, chair, or director serves as the leader and chief administrator of the department and represents the department to all levels of the CFANS and University administration and external stakeholders. The department head/chair/director provides leadership for teaching (including making teaching assignments), research, and engagement; manages financial resources; has administrative responsibility for faculty, students, and staff; and encourages and challenges all department employees to excel in their respective positions. The head/chair/director also communicates to the department updates and developments from the CLC.
The Dean is responsible for appointing, reappointing, and terminating department heads/chairs/directors. During the search process for a new department head/chair/director, the Dean shall provide departmental faculty opportunities for input regarding membership of the search committee, the search process, and final selection. Departments may bring nominations to the Dean. After soliciting and considering input from the faculty, the Dean shall appoint or renew department heads/chairs/directors for a specific term. The Dean is also responsible, after soliciting and considering input from the faculty, for any early termination of a department head/chair/director appointment. The Dean’s annual evaluations of department heads/chairs/directors shall include a mechanism for faculty evaluation of the head’s/chair’s/director’s performance.
The regular faculty in a department shall have the ability to exercise the right of a vote of no confidence in the department head/chair/director. A petition to conduct a vote of no confidence must have signatures of a minimum of twenty percent of the regular departmental faculty. Two-thirds of the regular faculty must vote to pass a resolution of no confidence in order to forward it to the Dean.
Section 5. College Assembly.
III.5.1. The College Assembly includes all of the constituencies described in Article IV and shall meet to discuss College direction, make recommendations, and advise the College administration on issues affecting the College.
III.5.2. The College Assembly shall meet a minimum of twice during the academic year at a time and place determined by the FCC in consultation with the Dean. Special meetings may be called by the Dean, the FCC or by a petition from at least 10 members of the College Assembly submitted to the Dean and the FCC. An agenda describing the items brought forward from the Dean, College Committees or the FCC for action shall be sent to all members at least one week before each meeting. Minutes of each meeting will be made available to all members. The meeting of the College Assembly shall be chaired by the Chair of the College FCC or the committee’s designee.
III.5.3. The voting membership of the College Assembly shall consist of (a) all faculty (defined in Article IV, section 1) with appointments of at least 75 percent time or on phased retirement; (b) an elected representative of the Civil Service/Labor Represented constituency; (c) an elected representative of the Council of Academic and Professional Administrators constituency; and (d) the Presidents of the College Student and Postdoc Boards. In cases where one person appears to have the right to vote more than once due to representing two or more groups listed above, the rule of one vote per person shall prevail.
III.5.4. Voting will be done by electronic means during a five-working-day period following placement of the ballot issue online after discussion at a meeting of the College Assembly. A quorum shall be 50% of all those eligible to vote unless otherwise specified by action of the CFANS FCC.
III.5.5. In all other matters, Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition) is used to conduct meetings.
Article IV. Constituencies.
The college community consists of the following constituencies: faculty, academic professional and administrative personnel, civil service/bargaining unit personnel, student/professional appointees, and undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty and staff shall be recruited and hired according to the University’s human resources policies and procedures. The college will make a serious effort to recruit people from underrepresented groups to develop and maintain a diverse college community.
Section 1. Faculty.
IV.1A.1. The voting faculty of the college includes all faculty personnel holding appointments as regular tenure/tenure-track and non-tenure track term faculty and academic professional and administrative staff holding faculty rank (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor or regents’ professor), whose salaries are budgeted partially or totally through either the Unit’s teaching, research, extension and outreach activities or the Office of the Dean for teaching, research and extension. Faculty members on leave and the Dean and associate and assistant deans of the College are included provided they have faculty positions.
IV.1A.2. Faculty shall have voting rights in only one unit unless granted voting privileges by a majority vote of the eligible voting faculty of the unit.
IV.1B.1. Adjunct faculty are highly qualified persons associated with academic Units of CFANS who are located on or off campus through Memoranda of Understanding or personal and professional interests. These persons are:
- Not in tenured or tenure-track positions.
- Date-specific; that is, the appointment terminates at the end of a period specified in the appointment letter without further notice to the appointee.
- Expected to make significant contributions to the achievement of the missions and goals of the CFANS Unit.
- Expected to complement faculty expertise.
- Expected to assist faculty and students in teaching, research, and outreach activities.
- Appointed with approval of the regular faculty of the Unit and the Unit leader.
- Reviewed annually by the Unit leader and at least once each six (6) years by regular faculty.
- Non-participants in the governance of the Unit, unless otherwise specified by vote of Unit regular faculty.
- Not permitted to vote in Promotion & Tenure decisions.
Section 2. Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) Personnel.
IV.2.1. The academic professional and administrative constituency includes personnel who are budgeted through the CFANS Units or the Office of the Dean; hold primary responsibility for enhancing the teaching, research, extension and public engagement functions of the College; are involved in policy development or execution; and/or direct, coordinate or supervise activities in the College.
Section 3. Civil Service/Bargaining Unit Personnel.
IV.3.1. Civil service/bargaining unit personnel are hired to support the research, teaching, extension, and engagement functions of the College, as well as the College’s administrative functions.
Section 4. Undergraduate, Graduate Students and Student/Professional Appointees.
IV.4.1. Students are those undergraduate students enrolled and currently registered in undergraduate degree programs and all those graduate students admitted to a graduate degree or post-baccalaureate program affiliated with the college.
IV.4.2. Student/professional training appointees are those holding appointments in the 95xx classes, such as graduate teaching or research assistants, administrative fellows and post-doctoral associates and fellows who are in good standing and currently enrolled in graduate or post-baccalaureate programs affiliated with the college or engaged in teaching, research or outreach in CFANS.
IV.4.3. The CFANS Graduate/Post Baccalaureate Student Board shall be the principal channel for achieving participation of graduate and post-baccalaureate students in the affairs of the college and is charged with nominating their representatives to all appropriate committees of the college.
IV.4.4. Undergraduate students are students in good standing that are enrolled in a baccalaureate program affiliated with the college. The CFANS Student Board shall be considered the official channel whereby recommendations from the student body as a whole are brought to the college. The Board shall be the principal instrument for achieving participation of undergraduate students in the affairs of the college and shall nominate their representatives to all appropriate committees of the college.
Section 5. Expectations and Privileges.
Members of constituencies defined in Article IV (Sections 1-4) are expected to participate in the affairs of the college, its departments and divisions, including its governance, its committees, its grievance procedures, and the revision of the college constitution. Representatives from these groups shall serve on college committees and should be chosen according to the college election or appointment process as specified in committee guidelines in the bylaws.
Article VI. Faculty Representatives to the University Senate
Section 1. Eligibility.
VI.1.1. The Constitution of the University Senate specifies (a) who shall be eligible for election to that body, (b) the number of Senate members each college, school or other unit may elect, and (c) who shall be eligible for reelection.
Section 2. Invitations for Nominations of Faculty Representatives.
VI.2.1. The information dealing with faculty representatives referred to in Section 1 shall be transmitted annually in the spring term, by the Dean, to the College’s Elections and Nominations Committee which shall solicit nominations for faculty representatives to the University Senate from each eligible unit of A ballot with a double slate of candidates will be prepared. The winning candidates will serve their prescribed term.
VI.2.2. The losing candidates will serve as alternates to the University Faculty Senate. The terms of office for alternates shall be one year. Any representative may designate any alternate from CFANS to serve in the representative's place by written notice to the clerk prior to the commencement of any meeting.
Section 3. Methods of Election.
VI.3.1. Election to the University Senate shall be by electronic ballot. The ballots shall be prepared by the Elections and Nominations Committee in conjunction with the College Office. Electronic ballots shall be distributed to all faculty members who are defined to be eligible by the University Senate Constitution and Bylaws and are administratively within CFANS. All ballots received by the College Office within five working days of their issuance shall be counted. Election results shall be verified by the FCC and summarized by listing the candidates in descending order of the number of votes each received. In an election in which N representatives are to be chosen, the N individuals on this list shall be elected representatives and the remaining shall be elected as alternates. In a circumstance in which an election for one or more of the senate seats is for part of a full term, those seats which carry a full term shall be assigned to those candidates receiving the highest number of votes. The candidate receiving the next highest number of votes shall be assigned to the seat with the largest fractional term. This procedure shall be followed until all N positions are filled. Ties will be broken by a coin flip or equivalent method. The results of the election, including the number of votes received by each candidate, shall be reported to the faculty and the clerk of the University Senate.
VI.3.2. Vacancies which occur in the list of Senate representatives shall be filled with an appointment by the Dean. The individual appointed shall be the Senate alternate who in the previous election received the largest number of votes among all current Senate alternates.
Article VII. CFANS Faculty Committees
Section 1. Purpose.
The purpose of CFANS faculty committees is to meet regularly and discharge their responsibilities outlined in the CFANS By-Laws, assigned by CFANS Administration, or approved by a majority of the committee members.
Section 2. Standing CFANS Committees
VII.2.1. Standing CFANS committees are described in the CFANS By-Laws. The CFANS committees will include, but are not limited to:
- Faculty Consultative
- Graduate and Research Policy and Review
- Undergraduate Policy and Review
- Promotion and Tenure Advisory
- Collegiate Fees
- Health and Safety
- Civic Engagement and Outreach
- Diversity and Inclusion
VII.2.2. Standing CFANS committees may establish and maintain subcommittees.
VII.2.3. CFANS Standing and subcommittee committee responsibilities, membership and leadership election shall be described in the CFANS By-Laws.
Article VIII. Amendments and Bylaws.
Section 1. Amendment Process.
VIII.1.1. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by faculty, staff, students or committees associated with the College, or by a petition signed by at least ten (10) members of the College Assembly and presented to the College administration. Proposed amendments are to be reviewed by the College’s FCC and its recommendations presented to the voting membership of the College Assembly at least 30 days before the body meets to discuss and vote on the proposed amendment.
VIII.1.2. The constitution of the College may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting membership of the College Assembly. A quorum shall be 50% of all those eligible to vote (as defined in Article III, Sec. 5). Votes must be cast during a five-working-day period following placement of the ballot issue online after adjournment of the college-wide meeting at which the item was considered.
VIII.1.3. An amendment to the constitution that is consistent with University policy becomes effective when approved by the Dean and the University’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
Section 2. Interpretation.
VIII.2.1. Final authority for interpretations of this constitution resides with the College Assembly, but authority for interim interpretation is delegated to the CFANS FCC to be performed in conformance with existing University policies.
Section 3. Implementation.
VIII.3.1. Adoption requires a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members of the College Assembly and approval of the Dean of the college, who then submits the constitution to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for final approval. Upon approval, the constitution and future amendments will be hosted on the college’s website and on the University’s Policy Library website with recorded approval dates.
Section 4. Bylaws.
VIII.4.1. An amendment to the bylaws may be proposed by faculty, staff, students, and committees associated with the College; by a petition to the Dean signed by at least ten (10) members of the College community; or at a college-wide meeting. Proposed amendments are to be reviewed by the College FCC and its recommendations presented to the voting membership of the College Assembly at least 30 days before that body meets to discuss and vote on the proposed amendment.
VIII.4.2. The bylaws to this constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting membership of the College Assembly. A quorum shall be 50% of all those eligible to vote (as defined in Article III, Sec. 5). Votes must be cast during a five-working-day period following placement of the ballot issue online after adjournment of the college-wide meeting at which the item was considered.
Article IX. Effective Date of Constitution.
IX.1.1. This Constitution shall take effect following its approval by the CFANS College Assembly, the Dean of the College and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
Approved: (May 13, 2008), Amended: (May 26, 2012), Amended: (May 22, 2015), Amended: (April 19, 2023) College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science.