University Extension Constitution & Bylaws

Date Adopted: April 2015 - Date Published: July 2019

The purpose of this constitution is to provide a framework supporting faculty, academic, civil service and bargaining unit staff, and Extension administration to work together to accomplish the goals of Extension. This constitution is not part of any employment contract between the University and its employees and it does not establish terms and conditions of employment.

The University of Minnesota Extension, herein after called Extension, established in 1909, is a partnership between the University of Minnesota, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the state of Minnesota, in cooperation with local governments and local people. Extension is an education and outreach unit of the University of Minnesota.

I. Approval Process

All Extension affiliated faculty and academic professionals defined below are voting Extension faculty:

  1. Extension affiliated faculty are employees with an Extension appointment or assignment. 
  2. Academic professional and administrative (P&A) are employees parented to Extension. 
  3. Both Extension affiliated faculty and academic professionals hold primary responsibility for enhancing the teaching, research, and public outreach of Extension; or who are involved in policy development or execution; or direct, coordinate or supervise activities in Extension. 

Adoption of the constitution is defined by a vote of the Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A with the following conditions:

  1. A minimum of 30% of eligible Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A must vote.
  2. A two-thirds vote is required to pass the constitution.
  3. Vote may be taken at a meeting, by mail or by technological methods.

Adoption of the constitution requires approval by the Extension dean who then submits the constitution to the Executive Vice President and Provost for final approval.  Upon approval, this constitution and future amendments will be hosted on the University’s Policy Library website with recorded approval dates.

II. Mission

The University of Minnesota is one of the nation’s more than 100 land-grant universities with a mission of “Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota” through teaching, research and outreach. The land-grant university system was founded by our country’s federal and state governments initiated by the Morrill Act in 1862 (teaching), Hatch Act in 1887 (research) and the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 (outreach). University Extension organizations were developed through the authorization and funding of federal, state and county governments to “extend” scientific knowledge and expertise to the public in priority areas including food and agriculture, communities, environment, youth and families.

As part of the University of Minnesota, Extension maintains a strong statewide presence, bringing University research and education that improves economic, social and environmental conditions to all of Minnesota. Extension’s network of education and research faculty and staff live and work across the state, listening and collaborating with individuals, organizations and communities to develop and deliver research-based education and information that is relevant, practical and valued.

III. The Dean

The dean is the chief academic and executive officer of Extension, responsible for overseeing the academic priorities and day-to-day administrative operations of the college, including but not limited to, setting a vision and aligning Extension 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 appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the Executive Vice President and Provost, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents. The Executive President and Provost has sole authority and responsibility for decisions related to the dean's employment, including but not limited to selection, performance evaluation, and termination.

IV. Extension Affiliated Faculty and Academic professionals

Extension affiliated faculty are employees with an Extension appointment or assignment. Academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees are parented to Extension. Both Extension affiliated faculty and academic professionals hold primary responsibility for enhancing the teaching, research, and public outreach of Extension; execution of policy or direct, coordinate or supervise activities in Extension.

All Extension affiliated faculty and academic professionals defined above are voting Extension faculty.

V. Other constituents

Civil Service/Bargaining Unit Personnel

Extension staff refers to all Extension civil service and bargaining unit personnel.

VI. Governance

The Extension Deans (EDs) have authority to advise the dean on system-wide issues such as compact planning, budget overview and legislative issues.  See the Administrative Leadership tab of the Extension intranet for committee membership. 

The Dean’s Leadership Council (DLC) has authority to advise the dean on issues of program priorities, faculty and staff positions, and policies.  See the Administrative Leadership tab of the Extension intranet for council membership. 

Associate and Assistant Deans

The dean may create positions of associate and assistant dean and assign specific administrative duties and delegate executive authority to them.  The dean informs the Extension community of the principal areas of responsibility delegated to the associate and assistant deans. 

Extension Faculty Consultative Committee (EFCC)

EFCC membership is to be elected from Extension affiliated faculty and Academic Professional staff.  Committee elections, terms of office and mission are defined in the Bylaws, Section 1, Extension Faculty Consultative Committee.

Extension Staff Consultative Committee (ESCC)

ESCC membership is to be elected from Civil Service and Bargaining Unit staff.  Committee mission is defined in the Bylaws, Section 1, Extension Staff Consultative Committee.

Amending the constitution

The constitution of Extension may be amended by a vote of the Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A with the following conditions:

  1. A minimum of 30% of eligible Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A must vote.
  2. A two-thirds vote is required to pass the constitution.
  3. Vote may be taken at a meeting, by mail or by technological methods.

Such amendments may be introduced by the dean after consultation or by the EFCC or by a petition signed by 30% of the voting faculty and presented to the dean or the Chair of the EFCC.  All amendments shall be reviewed by the EFCC and their recommendation presented to the affiliated faculty. Notice of such proposed amendments, together with the recommendation of the EFCC shall be sent in writing to all staff at least 30 days before the mail or an appropriate technological ballot is taken. The amendments will become effective when approved by the appropriate University senior administrative official.

All committees, councils, provisions, rules, and regulations in existence at the time this constitution becomes effective, and not in violation of its provisions, shall continue until modified in accordance with provisions and procedures established herein.

Bylaws

Section 1. Standing committees

Standing and ad hoc committees of Extension may be established by action of the Extension faculty or the dean. Committees established by action of the Extension faculty may be terminated by action of the Extension faculty at any regular or special meeting. Committees established by the dean may be terminated by the dean.

With the exception of those committees to which the Extension affiliated faculty elect members, members of ad hoc or standing committees of Extension will be appointed by the dean.

All Extension faculty committees of Extension standing or ad hoc shall keep minutes of their meetings and proceedings.

Extension Faculty Consultative Committee (EFCC)

There shall be an Extension Faculty Consultative Committee (EFCC) which shall be elected according to the attached operational guidelines, see appendix A.  The EFCC shall advise and make recommendations to the dean on matters of concern. The EFCC shall give primary attention to the determination, interpretation, and review of policies affecting the internal affairs of Extension.  It is the responsibility of the EFCC to take appropriate action if there should be a question of whether or not administrative actions are consistent with established policy.

Extension Staff Consultative Committee (ESCC)

There shall be an Extension Staff Consultative Committee (ESCC) which shall be recruited by the Extension civil service and bargaining unit staff, according to procedures established by the ESCC.  The ESCC shall advise and make recommendations to the dean on matters concerning Extension faculty- civil service/bargaining unit relationships and in areas of civil service/bargaining unit concern which come under the jurisdiction of the dean. The ESCC shall develop bylaws for its operation.

Section 2.  Constituency membership on extension committees

There shall be at least one civil service/bargaining unit representative on all standing and ad hoc committees of the University of Minnesota Extension that are concerned with civil service/bargaining unit personnel and staff welfare or with programs in which civil service personnel are directly involved.

Section 3. Extension faculty meetings

A quorum of Extension affiliated faculty shall consist of 30% of Extension affiliated faculty members with voting privileges. Multiple meeting locations may be used if all locations are linked together by a communication system.

All members of the Extension affiliated faculty have the right to attend, to be recognized by the Chair and to speak at any meeting of the Extension affiliated faculty except that only those with voting privileges shall vote. Voting may occur by voice, raised hands, written ballot, or mail ballot or other appropriate technological system unless otherwise specified in this Constitution.  A faculty meeting may be called by the dean or by EFCC with the appropriate notice.

Section 4. Extension faculty consultative committee

Membership/representation in EFCC:  see Operational Guidelines.  The EFCC Operational Guidelines may be amended by the EFCC. 

Section 5. Extension staff consultative committee

The Extension Staff Consultative Committee will develop Bylaws for its operation.

Section 6.  Amendments to bylaws

Any proposed amendment of the Bylaws must be submitted for review and comment at a regular meeting of the EFCC with the dean present. Such proposed amendment of the Bylaws may not be voted upon until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the EFCC.

Bylaws may be amended by a vote of the Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A with the following conditions:

  1. A minimum of 30% of eligible Extension affiliated faculty and Extension P & A must vote.
  2. A 2/3 vote is required to pass the amendment.
  3. Vote may be taken at a meeting, by mail, or by technological means.