School of Nursing Constitution

Date Adopted: July 2019 - Date Published: July 2019

Preamble

In addition to the accepted powers of the faculty of the School of Nursing (SoN) at the University of Minnesota as described in this Constitution, all members of the organization ascribe to the following underlying principles and intend that these members shall:

  • Embrace a commitment to the genuine sharing of perspectives which facilitates nimble decision-making in the service of the mission of the school.
  • Respect and honor the roles, responsibilities, and differential contributions of faculty, staff, and students as outlined by the policies set forth by the Regents and University of Minnesota governing bodies.
  • Develop and support a governance structure that is purpose-driven, efficient, and effective.
  • Encourage models of governance that rely on elected representation.
  • Honor the rights and responsibilities of faculty to assemble, discuss, and deliberate matters of concern within the scope of their accountabilities and influence related to faculty welfare, educational and research matters, and academic personnel allocation.
  • Invite and actively engage faculty, staff and student participation in governance, dialogue, and decision making regarding relevant matters.
  • Define the differences between faculty and administrative support functions that serve the strategic and operational efforts of the SoN within the Academic Health Center and university at large.
  • Uphold the consultative, steering and executive functions of the Faculty Leadership Council (FLC) as the governing body for conducting faculty business in the SoN.

Article I: General Powers

The name of this organization shall be the University of Minnesota, SoN. The purpose of this Constitution is to foster an active and informed faculty and to promote open communication and deliberation among all members of the community of the SoN. To this end, the Constitution provides a democratic framework in which are defined the roles of the dean, the faculty, staff, and students in initiating recommendations, formulating decisions and communicating the basis for decisions to those affected. The framework provides guidance in the governance of the SoN in accordance with the policies of the University of Minnesota, including Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure and is consistent with university definitions and recognizes differences among categories of faculty.

This Constitution is not part of the employment contract between the university and its employees, and therefore does not establish terms and conditions of employment.

Section A: Approval, adoption, and amendment procedures

Approval of the Constitution of the SoN shall occur by ballot and shall require affirmation by two thirds of the votes cast based on participation by a simple majority of members of the Faculty Assembly by ten days after presentation of the Constitution. Voting members of the Faculty Assembly include those faculty members in the SoN as described under Article IV: The Faculty.

Following approval of the Constitution by the Faculty Assembly, the Constitution shall be sent to the dean by the chair of the Faculty Assembly for approval, after which the dean shall submit the approved document to the Executive Vice President and Provost for final approval.

Amendments to the Constitution of the SoN may be initiated by any voting member of the Faculty Assembly. Proposals shall be submitted to the chair of Faculty Assembly in writing at least ten (10) working days prior to the scheduled discussion in Faculty Assembly. Following discussion, a draft of the proposed amendment and a ballot shall be submitted to each voting member of the Faculty Assembly. Voting shall occur by mail ballot ten days after presentation of the amendment and requires affirmation by two thirds of the votes cast based on participation by a simple majority of members of the Faculty Assembly. Amendments approved by the voting membership of the Faculty Assembly shall be in effect the day following their approval.

Article II: Mission of the school of nursing

The mission of the school is to generate knowledge and prepare nurse leaders who will create, lead, and participate in holistic efforts to improve the health of all people within the context of their environments.

Article III: The Dean

Section A: Authority, role and responsibilities

The dean is the chief academic and executive officer of the college, responsible for overseeing the academic priorities and day-to-day administrative operations of the college in consultation with the faculty as described in Article IV: The Faculty. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, setting a vision and aligning college resources to support that vision, inspiring and supporting faculty, staff, and students in the activities of teaching and learning, research, public engagement, institutional and professional service, 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 shall have responsibility for the regular review of organizational units and shall take such actions as are appropriate to the implementation of recommendations resulting from these reviews. The dean operates within the policies established by the University and the Board of Regents.

Section B: Selection and appointment

The dean is appointed by, and serves at the discretion of, the Executive Vice President and Provost, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents. The Executive Vice 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.

A search committee will be appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost, and its membership shall be made up of representatives from college constituencies, including faculty, staff, and students. The search process shall provide faculty, staff, and students with an opportunity to meet with and hear in a public forum from candidates who are announced as finalists for the position, and allow for input to the Executive Vice President and Provost. Interim appointments will be made by the Executive Vice President and Provost, after consultation with the faculty and staff.

Section C: Provision for a vote of recall

The procedure for the SoN faculty to recommend a recall of the dean is initiated by the filing with the Executive Vice President and Provost of a petition to recall signed by a minimum of 30 percent of the voting members of the Faculty Assembly as defined in Article VI A. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the voting members based on participation by a quorum of the Faculty Assembly shall be required to recommend to the Executive Vice President and Provost that the dean be terminated.

Section D: Associate deans, assistant deans, directors

The dean shall have the right to appoint associate deans, assistant deans, unit chairs, and program directors as appropriate to organize and direct the administrative operations of the SoN. These appointments shall be made in a manner consistent with University search and tenure policies. The conditions of their appointment, the delegation of authority and responsibilities to them and criteria for their annual review shall be determined by the dean after consultation with the faculty of the school as described in Article IV: The Faculty. Reappointment will be determined by the dean and made in accord with university policy.

Article IV: The Faculty

Section A: Definition

For the purposes of this Constitution and Bylaws, the term "faculty" shall include regular faculty and clinical faculty. Regular faculty members are those individuals who hold full-time or part-time regular appointments as defined in Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure. Clinical faculty members are those individuals who hold annual or multi-year renewable term appointments as defined in the University of Minnesota Faculty Senate Constitution.

Section B: Rights and responsibilities

Consistent with the policy on Academic Governance in the University of Minnesota, the regular faculty as described in Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure shall hold the primary responsibility for governance. This responsibility shall include governance of the unit in policies related to research, curriculum and degree requirements, academic personnel allocation, and faculty welfare in consultation with the dean. Faculty rights and responsibilities include those contained in the tenure regulations and in the SoN’s 7.12 statement as well as those embedded in other Regents’ and university policies. Faculty responsibilities shall be consistent with the Senate Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibility or the most recent revision of that document. In the SoN, these rights and responsibilities are shared among all members of the faculty as defined in Article IV A.

Section C: Faculty Tenure and Promotion

The SoN shall follow the tenure policies and regulations approved by the University Senate and other university and Board of Regents’ policies. Procedures concerning faculty tenure, including post-tenure review and removal for cause, shall be consistent at all times with procedures adopted by the Board of Regents and embodied in the document Regulations Concerning Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure or the most recent revision of that document. In addition, the SoN shall follow Administrative Procedure: Procedures for Reviewing Candidates for Promotion and/or Tenure: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty.

Section D: Clinical Faculty Promotion

The SoN shall follow its own approved clinical faculty promotion policies and procedures.

Article V: Other Constituents

Other members of the SoN community comprise staff, and students enrolled in any academic degree program of the SoN. Roles and responsibilities of constituents related to governance are specified in the SoN Bylaws.

Article VI: Collegiate Governance

The Faculty of the SoN, as defined in Article IV above, shall hold the primary responsibility for governance. This responsibility shall include governance of the unit in faculty welfare, research policy, curricular policy and degree requirements, and academic personnel allocation, in consultation with the dean.

Article VI A: Faculty Assembly

  1. Authority and responsibility
    1. The Faculty Assembly shall have general legislative authority over policies related to research, curriculum and degree requirements, academic personnel allocation, and faculty welfare in the SoN. The authority of the Faculty Assembly shall include, but not be limited to, primary responsibility for educational and research policies, providing advice to the dean concerning the SoN’s budget, accreditation, designation and granting of honors, and policies concerning faculty appointment.
    2. The Faculty Assembly may delegate authority and responsibility to SoN faculty committees related to faculty welfare, research policy, curricular policy and degree requirements, and academic personnel allocation.
    3. Only those members of the Faculty Assembly who hold probationary or tenured faculty appointments may vote on changes to the Nursing 7.12 statement.
  2. Membership
    1. The Faculty Assembly of the SoN shall be composed of all voting and non-voting faculty members. A simple majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum.
    2. Voting members shall be defined as Voting Faculty (VF) and shall include: (1) regular faculty (those tenured or on the tenure-track) and, (2) clinical faculty who have full-time appointments.
    3. Non-voting faculty (NVF) shall be those appointed to the clinical faculty who hold part-time appointments (<67%); NVF may attend and participate in Faculty Assembly, including having floor privileges, but may not vote.
    4. Exceptions to extend voting privileges shall be determined by a majority vote of the Faculty Assembly.
  3. Officers

    Officers shall include the chair and chair-elect, both of whom shall be voting members of the Faculty Assembly. The position of chair shall rotate annually between members of the clinical faculty at the rank of associate professor and above and members of the regular faculty.

    The chair shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the Faculty Assembly and shall serve a term of one year as chair and one year as past chair to support the new chair in the second year.

    The chair-elect shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the Faculty Assembly and shall serve one year as chair elect and shall then serve in the second year as chair. Officers are members of the FLC.

  4. Meetings

    The Faculty Assembly shall hold regular meetings at a time and place determined by the FLC and approved by the chair. At any regular or special meeting of the Faculty Assembly, a majority of its membership shall constitute a quorum.

  5. Committees

    The Faculty Assembly may establish standing committees from its membership and may also create special committees to facilitate carrying out the responsibilities of the faculty in relation to faculty welfare, research policy, curricular policy and degree requirements, and academic personnel allocation. Membership on committees established by the Faculty Assembly and procedures for electing or appointing members is described in the Bylaws. Committees may appoint subcommittees. The Faculty Assembly shall periodically review the need for the function of all its committees.

Article VI B: Faculty Leadership Council

The FLC shall represent the faculty and all constituents in the SoN and shall serve as the consulting body to the dean and as the executive committee of the Faculty Assembly.

  1. Membership

    Elected members

    Elected members of the FLC shall be elected by the Faculty Assembly and shall serve two year terms according to procedures outlined in the Bylaws. The following faculty will comprise membership of the FLC:

    1. Three regular faculty who are members of Faculty Assembly: one tenure-track and two tenured. One shall be the elected chair or chair elect of Faculty Assembly.
    2. Three clinical faculty voting members of Faculty Assembly - at least one at the rank of associate professor or professor. One shall be the elected chair or chair elect of Faculty Assembly.
    3. At least one Faculty Senator who represents the SoN on the University Faculty Senate and who is a voting member of the Faculty Assembly.
    4. The SoN representative to the Academic Health Center Faculty Consultative Committee.

    Ex officio voting members

    1. The chairs of the standing committees as defined in the Bylaws.
  2. Officers

    There shall be a chair and vice-chair of the FLC. The chair and vice-chair of the FLC shall not serve simultaneously as the chair or chair elect of Faculty Assembly.

    The chair shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the FLC and shall serve a term of one year.

    The vice-chair shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the FLC and shall serve a term of one year.

  3. Duties and responsibilities

    Consultative

    1. To discuss with the dean issues or policies of the School of concern to the faculty and, as appropriate, to make recommendations concerning such matters to the Faculty Assembly.
    2. To request studies from the dean or from committees of the Faculty Assembly.
    3. To consult with the dean on planning, the annual budget, and the biennial request.
    4. To advise the dean on procedures for making major administrative appointments.
    5. To receive from any faculty member notification of concerns which may require consultation with the dean.
    6. To consult with the dean as requested by the chair of the FLC or at the request of the dean who shall ask to be placed on the agenda for that meeting.

    Steering

    1. To establish, appoint members and direct all standing committees of the Faculty Assembly, which includes the authority to require that any committee of the Faculty Assembly report on any matter within its jurisdiction within 30 days.
    2. To receive recommendations of any faculty member who wishes to present a proposal to the Faculty Assembly and to refer or act upon such recommendations as it deems appropriate.
    3. To route to the appropriate body all documents, proposals, or papers on any matter pertaining to the affairs of the Faculty Assembly.
    4. To serve as a coordinating body between the dean and the Faculty Assembly or a committee of the Faculty Assembly.
    5. To be responsible for the review, approval, and distribution of the agenda for each meeting of the Faculty Assembly.
    6. To recommend, with the approval of the Faculty Assembly, such rules of procedure as are not provided in the Constitution or Bylaws.
    7. To evaluate the published Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of the Faculty Assembly every five years.

    Executive

    1. To serve as a deliberative body of the Faculty Assembly on all major items it deems necessary and appropriate.
    2. To act on behalf of the Faculty Assembly when a decision is required prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Faculty Assembly and when a decision is required when it would not be possible to convene a special meeting of the Faculty Assembly in a timely fashion; such actions will be reported to the Faculty Assembly at its next meeting and the Faculty Assembly may then overrule the FLC. To report regularly on any matters which, in its judgment, should be brought to the attention of the Faculty Assembly.
    3. To approve editorial changes in existing administrative policies previously approved by the Faculty Assembly and in the Constitution and Bylaws. To correct grammatical and punctuation errors and to approve other non-substantive technical amendments in existing administrative policies previously approved by the Faculty Assembly, including the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules; such actions will be reported to the Faculty Assembly at its next meeting. The Faculty Assembly may then overrule the FLC.
  4. Meetings

    The FLC shall meet at least once monthly and shall publish its agenda for the faculty; these meetings are open to all faculty members unless otherwise stated in the published agenda. Additional meetings may be called for consultation with the dean.

Bylaws

Bylaws stipulate processes and procedures required to carry out the requirements of the Constitution, as well as other college business.