Constitution of the Undergraduate Faculty of Newcomb-Tulane College of Tulane University
Role of Newcomb-Tulane College
The Constitution presents a vision for shared governance. Shared governance is defined as a meaningful partnership between the faculty and the Newcomb-Tulane College leadership, who work together to achieve our goal of creating and implementing an enriching and rewarding undergraduate academic experience. Faculty can most meaningfully exercise their rights to shared governance through participating in Newcomb-Tulane College committees and faculty meetings.
Newcomb-Tulane College’s role in the undergraduate academic experience is fundamental. In partnership with the Schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Science and Engineering, the college is responsible for ensuring that every student has access to a comprehensive, flexible education; that each student can chart their own academic pathway; and that they participate in a rich, inclusive academic culture on campus. The college is best placed to see the entirety of the undergraduate academic experience and to understand how Tulane’s academic programs and requirements interact with one another and affect our students. Thus, in partnership with the schools the college organizes campus-wide conversations and decisions about undergraduate academics.
Each of the schools offering undergraduate programs (currently the School of Architecture, the A.B. Freeman School of Business, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the School of Liberal Arts, and the School of Science and Engineering) is responsible for informing the other schools offering undergraduate programs as well as the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Social Work, the School of Professional Advancement, and Newcomb-Tulane College and its faculty of significant changes to curriculum -- pre-requisites, majors and minors, and degree requirements -- that affect undergraduate students. The Dean of each school or designate will notify the Newcomb-Tulane College Dean and faculty of such changes via a report to the Committee on Academic Requirements by the end of the fall semester of the year prior to the academic year in which the changes are to take effect. This mechanism ensures clear channels of communication among the schools and the college and allows for feedback about the potential outcomes and consequences of the changes or new academic initiatives and for any subsequent revisions before the annual updates to the academic catalog.
Article I: Organization
The name of the organization constituted herein shall be the Undergraduate Faculty of Newcomb-Tulane College of Tulane University.
Article II. Membership
The Undergraduate Faculty of Tulane University shall consist of voting and non-voting members. All members shall have the privilege of the floor at faculty meetings. Rules defining voting and non-voting members will apply to all committees.
- Voting Members
- Full-time tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure track, and administrative faculty members whose primary appointment is in the School of Architecture, the A.B. Freeman School of Business, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Science and Engineering, or a Tulane center or institute that has as a primary focus undergraduate education, except as stipulated in section II B, constitute the voting members of the faculty.
- Non-Voting Members
- Special Members
- Visiting faculty
- Research track faculty
- Ex officio members
- The dean of Newcomb-Tulane College
- The associate deans of Newcomb-Tulane College
- The assistant deans of Newcomb-Tulane College
- The University Registrar or designate
- The deans of the School of Architecture, the School of Business, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the School of Science and Engineering, and the School of Professional Advancement
- The president of Tulane University
- The provost of Tulane University
- Special Members
Article III. Responsibilities of The Voting Faculty
The voting faculty shall have primary responsibility for:
- Formulation and implementation of academic plans and policies relating to Newcomb-Tulane College and its students
- Discharging the following responsibilities (where appropriate, through committees of the faculty):
- Establishment of academic standards to be met by undergraduate students
- Setting of requirements for the undergraduate core curriculum and certifying completion of such requirements
- Establishment of policies that apply to all students in the college and are related to enrollment, satisfaction of degree requirements and related matters
Article IV. Secretary
The faculty shall elect a secretary from its voting members to serve a term of two years, with re-election possible for consecutive terms. With the support of the dean’s office, the secretary shall prepare minutes of the proceedings.
Article V. Meetings
- Regular Meetings
- There shall be at least two regular meetings of the faculty during each semester. These meetings may be held in person or virtually.
- Special Meetings
- Special meetings may be initiated by the dean or by a petition signed by at least ten voting members of the faculty. Upon receipt of such a petition, the dean must convene a meeting within two weeks of presentation of the petition, excluding vacation time.
- Forty voting members of the faculty shall constitute a quorum.
- Presiding Officer
- The dean shall preside at faculty meetings. In the dean’s absence, or in case of a conflict of interest, the dean may designate a presiding officer.
Article VI. Voting
- Voting for Candidates
- Whenever a slate of candidates is presented for election, there shall be an opportunity for nominations from the floor. All candidates shall be voting members, and elected candidates shall be chosen by a vote of the faculty. Elections shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast.
- Online Voting
- A majority of the voting members present at a faculty meeting may authorize online voting. When there is a need for prompt action and a meeting of the faculty is impractical, the Executive Committee may authorize online voting, and where the issue is an election, write-in votes will be permissible. Such action must be reported at the next regular or special meeting of the faculty and may be reconsidered then. Synchronous voting during a virtual meeting does not constitute online voting.
- Voting by Ballot
- Voting by ballot may be ordered by a majority of the voting members present at a faculty meeting or by the presiding officer.
Article VII. Committees
There shall be standing committees and special committees. Administrators who qualify as voting members above but whose title includes "dean" or "provost" shall be excluded as voting members of standing committees. Committees may meet in person or virtually and may conduct online voting.
Except where otherwise stipulated, membership on standing committees shall be divided as proportionally as feasible among voting members of the constituent schools: in the ratio of two members from the School of Liberal Arts, two from the School of Science and Engineering, two from the School of Business, one from the School of Architecture, and one from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Except for ex officio members, no more than one committee member shall be from any one academic department. Except where otherwise stipulated, members shall serve staggered three-year terms and shall not hold consecutive terms.
Except for ex officio members, all voting members of the following standing committees shall be chosen or elected by the individual schools in accordance with individual school procedures. The names of student members shall be provided by the Tulane University Undergraduate Students Government in accordance with their nominating procedures.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall be composed of eight faculty members, the secretary of the faculty (ex officio), and the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College as chair. The committee shall meet on call of the dean, and a meeting must be called when requested by three or more of its members.
- In addition to the duties described elsewhere in the constitution, the duties of the Executive Committee are as follows:
- To serve as an advisory committee to the dean on any matter of administration;
- To receive and act on routine reports of ordinary standing and special committees;
- To act for the faculty at the direction of the faculty;
- To review faculty and student candidates for awards given by Newcomb-Tulane College, including the Duren Professorships, senior awards, and any other awards for students and faculty that may be created within the college at a future date, and to make recommendations to the Dean or designate for winners;
- As needed, to propose new awards to recognize faculty service to Newcomb-Tulane College and/or exceptional academic achievement by Newcomb-Tulane College students;
- To issue an annual report;
- To issue special reports when appropriate
- In addition to the duties described elsewhere in the constitution, the duties of the Executive Committee are as follows:
The Curriculum Committee
- The Curriculum Committee shall consist of eight faculty members. Nonvoting members of the committee shall include two student members, and ex officio the dean of the School of Professional Advancement, the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, and the University Registrar or designate(s). The committee shall elect annually one of the faculty members as a voting chair, who will report to the faculty.
- The functions of the committee shall be to deal with all matters relating to the undergraduate core curriculum, including:
- To make recommendations concerning the core curriculum, including recommendations to the faculty of courses for addition to or deletion from the core curriculum;
- To hear student petitions pertaining to the core curriculum
The Committee on Academic Requirements
- The Committee on Academic Requirements shall be composed of eight faculty members. Nonvoting members of the committee shall include a representative from the Academic Advising Center, one student member, and ex officio the dean of the School of Professional Advancement, the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, and the University Registrar or designate(s). The committee shall elect annually one of the faculty members as a voting chair, who will report to the faculty.
- The committee is charged with maintaining academic standards, as established by the faculty, and shall concern itself with the administration of the academic progress of the students in the college. The committee shall consider petitions for the waiver of any academic policies of Newcomb-Tulane College other than those pertaining to majors or grievances. The committee shall propose new policies regarding academic matters or the revision and/or deletion of existing policies to the faculty. The deans of the Schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Science and Engineering or their delegates shall bring to the committee their significant changes to academic policies related to the curriculum -- pre-requisites, majors and minors, and degree requirements-- that affect undergraduate students by the end of the fall semester of the year prior to the academic year in which the changes are to take effect. The committee’s oversight shall limit to the extent possible adverse effects on currently enrolled students of changes to academic policies.
The Study Abroad Committee
- The Study Abroad Committee shall be composed of eight faculty members and the executive director of the Center for Global Education as chair. Nonvoting members shall include two student members and ex officio the director of the Office of Study Abroad, the study abroad administrators if applicable in the Schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Science and Engineering, the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, and the director of the Language Learning Center or designate(s). The committee shall elect annually one of the faculty members as a voting chair, who will report to the faculty.
- The committee shall establish academic policies and procedures relating to study abroad.
- The members of this committee review for approval all applications from students who wish to enroll in study abroad programs and review programs for addition or deletion from Tulane’s offerings abroad.
Committee on Academic Integrity
Newcomb-Tulane College has university-wide oversight for adjudicating all cases of suspected academic misconduct by undergraduate students. This process is handled through the Code of Academic Conduct and the Honor Board.
- The Committee on Academic Integrity shall be composed of the Faculty Chair of the Honor Board; two undergraduate student members from Newcomb-Tulane College; and eight faculty members. These faculty and student members shall be drawn from members of the Honor Board and shall not serve on the Honor Board during their appointment to the Committee on Academic Integrity. The committee shall also include ex officio the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Newcomb-Tulane College or designate(s). The Committee shall be chaired by the Faculty Chair of the Honor Board.
- The committee shall make recommendations on policies and procedures pertaining to the Code of Academic Conduct and the Honor Board to the faculty.
- The committee shall serve on appellate panels to reconsider Honor Board hearings and decisions. Appellate panels will include three faculty members of this Committee. Procedures for Honor Board appeals are outlined in the Code of Academic Conduct.
- Each standing committee shall issue an annual written report to the faculty.
Special committees may be authorized by the Executive Committee, the dean, or the faculty. Upon their completion of their duties, special committees will report to the authorizing body.
Article VIII. Recall
All representatives and members of committees shall be subject to recall. Recall procedures can be initiated by a written petition of one-quarter of the voting members of the faculty to the Executive Committee. Recall requires a majority vote on a mail or electronic ballot. Following a recall, ordinary procedures shall be used to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term as soon as feasible.
Article IX. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the faculty in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with this constitution and any special rules of order the faculty may adopt.
Article XI. Amendments
This constitution may be amended by two-thirds of those members present and voting at a meeting of the faculty, provided that the amendment has been proposed in writing at a previous meeting of the faculty, held at least one week before. Amendments shall be recommended through the president to the board of administrators at its regular or Executive Committee Meeting. Amendments shall take effect after ninety days of their passing unless an objection is received from the president.
Special Rules of Order
Guests, Observers, and Student Representatives
- The faculty may vote to invite non-members to a particular meeting. The motion to invite shall stipulate whether the non-member has the privilege of the floor.
- The dean of Newcomb-Tulane College may invite non-members to a particular meeting.
- The presiding officer or a majority of the members present at a faculty meeting may decide that the meeting shall be held in executive session with only the voting members present.
Procedures for Meetings
- The normal order of business for regular meetings shall include:
- Approval of the minutes
- Report and announcements by the dean, provost, or president as needed
- Reports with motions from standing committees
- Reports with motions from special committees
- Unfinished business
- New business, initiated by the dean, by committees, or by individual faculty members
- In special meetings of the faculty, the first order of business shall ordinarily be the subject or subjects for which the meeting was called. In an emergency in which urgent action is required, other business may be considered if approved by a two-thirds vote of those present. Such action must be ratified at the next regular meeting of the faculty.
- For all regular Newcomb-Tulane College faculty meetings, an agenda and related documents shall be distributed by email at least one week before the meeting.
- For special Newcomb-Tulane College faculty meetings, with the exception of emergency meetings, faculty shall be notified at least one week in advance. An agenda and related documents shall also be distributed at least one week in advance. In the case of emergency meetings, all faculty shall be notified as soon as the need for the meeting is ascertained. All faculty shall be notified of the meeting time as soon as the emergency meeting is scheduled.
- Documents that are distributed less than a week before the meeting cannot be considered a first or second reading or voted upon.
These special rules of order may be amended by a two-thirds vote at a meeting of the faculty at which a quorum is present if previous notice has been given at the preceding meeting. Without previous notice, amending the special rules of order requires a vote of a majority of the entire membership. Special rules may be suspended according to the procedures and limitations in the parliamentary authority.