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Bylaws

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PREAMBLE: 
The Murray State University Academic Council is established by Section 3 of the University Governance System document approved by the Murray State University Board of Regents on October 21, 1981, which describes it as “an agency created to assist the faculty and the administration in the discharge of their responsibility for academic programs” and defines its composition and specific functions.  The Bylaws are enacted by the authority of that document.  In the event of any conflict the University Governance System document shall take precedence over these Bylaws.  The Academic Council shall adopt Standing Rules consistent with these Bylaws.

I. Officers of the Academic Council

A. Chair: 
The Chair of the Academic Council shall be the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The Chair shall compose the agenda for and preside at meetings of the Council and shall be the Chair of the Executive Committee.  The Chair may create ad hoc committees subject to the approval of the Council no later that the next regular meeting.
B. Vice Chair: 
The Vice Chair shall be elected from the membership of the Council for a one-year term.  The Vice Chair shall preside at meetings in the Chair’s absence.  The Vice Chair shall receive proposals made to the Council and shall assign them to the appropriate Committee of the Council or recommend to the Chair that they be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of Council.  The Vice Chair shall prepare the Committee Status Report.

C. Secretary: 
The Secretary shall be elected from the membership of the Council for a one- year term.  The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Council meetings, prepare the agenda for Council meetings, distribute the agenda, the minutes of the previous meeting, and the Committee Status Report to Council members, President, Vice Presidents, departmental chairs and campus media and present a written annual report of the Council’s actions.  The Secretary may designate a recording secretary to assist in these functions.

II. Standing Committees of the Academic Council: 
All committees of the Council shall report to the Council for appropriate action.

A. Executive Committee 
1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the following members of the Academic Council:  The Chair, the Vice Chair, the Secretary, the Chairs of the Standing Committees, and two additional members elected from the floor. 
2. The functions of the Executive Committee shall be: 
a. to serve as an advisory board to the Council Chair, 
b. to initiate review procedures provided for by the University Governance System document, 
c. to coordinate the annual elections for the membership of the Council and to supervise the election of Council officers, 
d. to consider suggested changes in Section 3 of the University Governance System document, in the Bylaws, and in the Standing Rules of the Council and to make recommendations to the Council, 
e. to review annually the functioning of the Council and to make recommendations concerning its operation.
B. Undergraduate Studies Committee
1. The Undergraduate Studies Committee shall be composed of the following members of the Academic Council:  two academic deans, at least one representative from each college/school and the library, two Faculty Senate representatives, two students and the Registrar.  No more than 2 representatives from any one college/school may serve, including the dean/director of that unit.

2. The functions of the Undergraduate Studies Committee shall be: 
a. to study and make recommendations on specific proposals in the areas of undergraduate University and program admissions, new undergraduate degree programs, major changes in existing undergraduate degree programs, proposals for new courses, and any other area of academic policy, as assigned by the Vice Chair of the Council, 
b. to investigate, review, and formulate proposals in the area of undergraduate academic policy, as requested by the Executive Committee of the Council, 
c. to implement and enforce regulations or standards of professional associations, as requested by the Chair.

3. Voting on curriculum proposals may not occur at the same meeting of the Undergraduate Studies Committee at which the proposal was presented.

C. Graduate Studies Committee
1. The Graduate Studies Committee shall be composed of the following members of the Academic Council:  two academic deans, at least one representative from each college/school and the library, two Faculty Senate representatives, two graduate students, the Dean of Continuing Education and Academic Outreach, the Graduate Coordinator, and, in an advisory, non-voting capacity, the Registrar.

2. All faculty members on the Graduate Studies Committee shall be members of the Graduate Faculty.

3. The functions of the Graduate Studies Committee shall be: 
 a. to study and make recommendations on specific proposals in the areas of graduate University and program admissions, new graduate programs, major changes in existing graduate degree programs, and any other area of academic policy, as assigned by the Vice Chair of the Council, 
b. to investigate, review, and formulate proposals in the area of graduate academic policy, as requested by the Executive Committee of the Council, 
c. to implement and enforce regulations or standards of professional associations, as requested by the Chair.

D. Library and Academic Support Systems Committee
1. The Library and Academic Support Systems Committee shall be composed of the following members of the Academic Council:  two academic deans, at least one representative from each college/school and the library, two Faculty Senate representatives, two students, and in an ad hoc non voting capacity the Dean of the Libraries, Chair of the University Studies Committee, Chief Information Officer, and the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

2. The functions of the Library and Academic Support Systems Committee shall be: 
a. to study and make recommendations on specific proposals involving University policy concerning the University Libraries, Academic Computing Systems, and other segments of the University which serve to support academic programs, as assigned by the Vice Chair of the Council, 
b. to investigate, review, and formulate proposals concerning the policy of the University Libraries, Academic Computing Systems, and other segments of the University which serve to support academic programs, as requested by the Executive Committee of the Council, 
c. to implement and enforce regulations or standards of the professional associations, as requested by the Chair.

III. Operation of the Academic Council

A. Collegiate elections to fill vacant positions on the Academic Council shall be held in April and the term shall begin the following May.  If an unexpired term is vacated, the dean/director of the affected college/school shall appoint a substitute to serve until the Executive Committee conducts on election to fill the unexpired term.

B. All faculty members shall be eligible to participate in elections for and serve as members of the Council who hold full time positions at the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor and who are engaged at least half time in either teaching, research or library services.

C. A quorum of the Council shall be twenty voting members or their substitutes.

D. No voting, except elections, shall be by secret ballot.

E. All actions of the Council shall be by the whole body, and its authority shall not be delegated except as specifically designated in the Bylaws.

F. The two graduate student members described in section 3.1.4 of the University Governance System document shall be appointed in the following way:  Deans/Director of the colleges/school will nominate two (2) graduate students from their unit during the first full week of classes of each fall semester, these names will be submitted to the university’s Graduate Coordinator who will convene a meeting of these nominees, at which the graduate students will elect two (2) of their number to serve on the Graduate Studies Committee and the Academic Council.  Those elected will be from different colleges.

G. No member of the Academic Council shall be a voting member of more than one of the following standing committees:  Undergraduate Studies Committee, Graduate Studies Committee or the Library and Academic Support Systems Committee.

H. Recommendations by the Council in accordance with Section 3 of the University Governance System document which would involve changes in the Faculty Handbook shall be made through the Faculty Senate for its review in accordance with Section 2.3.

I. The Academic Council shall act on proposals submitted by the Board of Regents, the President of the University, the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association, a Dean or Director, the Executive Committee of the Council, the Chair of the Council, or any other member of the Council.

J. Recommendations and/or actions of the Council on proposals not included on the written agenda shall require two readings.

IV. Amendments to these Bylaws shall require:

A. presentation in writing at a meeting of the Council,

B.  approval at subsequent meeting by a two-thirds majority of the voting membership of the Council. 

Adopted by the 
Academic Council  
February 4, 1982 
Revised April 28, 1985 
Revised November 2000

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