C&T Meeting Guidelines

This document serves as an introduction to new members of C&T, those considering becoming members or nonmembers who may be participating in an upcoming meeting and want to understand the process. It is a mixture of official rules, advice, observations and attempts at humor. I welcome any comments that will improve this document.

D. Boucher, February 2004

 

The Committee:

The Committee on Curriculum and Teaching, C&T, is a standing committee of the Faculty Council. See pp. 66-8 of the Nov. 2003 edition of the Faculty Handbook for the exciting details. Highlights and additional information:

The committee is composed of:

 

 

Purview of C&T

Broadly speaking, C&T oversees the curriculum generally. Any new minor or major programs must be approved by C&T; likewise the deletion of major or minor programs. At the individual course level, C&T really only has power over the Core curriculum. Individual courses within major programs are controlled by the department(s) that offers them.

The more nebulous realm of “Teaching” includes procedures for evaluation (e.g. surveys, etc.) and rulings on new and perhaps controversial classroom practices. Once things start to sound “legal” it is generally a job for the Committee on Academic and Professional Affairs, A&P.

Ultimately, C&T works on issues that FC deems necessary. However, it is possible, and encouraged, that individual members of C&T bring issues to meeting that they would like discussed. They may do that themselves or on behalf of the faculty members they represent.

 

Power of C&T

C&T is completely subservient to FC. It can only send recommendations to FC. It also must do, or at least consider, any tasks given to it by FC.

 

Rules and Procedures:

The Faculty Meeting and other faculty governance committees, The Faculty Council (FC), the Committee on Curriculum and Teaching and the Committee (C&T) on Academic and Professional Affairs (A&P) are subject to the guidelines set forth in the Nov. 2003 Faculty Handbook, pp.  60-73, specifically pp. 72-73 concerning parliamentary procedure. Where this short account may lack the details needed to resolve an issue of procedure, the standard is Sturgis’s Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, available in the King’s Library and any good bookstore.

 

Specifics for C&T

 

Quorum:

To hold a meeting that can make legal decisions, it is necessary that a minimum number of members be present. This is called a quorum. C&T currently has 8 members plus the Chair for a total of 9 voting members.

Following the guidelines in the FH, a quorum of the FM is 40% +1 member. For C&T, that is 3.6 members plus one, which yields 4.6 members. Let’s call that 5, so as to avoid severed limbs and so forth. Sturgis is a bit easier to follow here, as a quorum is a simple majority, which is 5 in this case.

So, either way: A quorum on C&T is 5 members.

Now, it is crucial to stress that a quorum is counted among members present and not members voting. An item passes on a simple majority of those voting. Thus, it is possible that, if on a given issue, only 5 are present, but 4 abstain from voting, a single vote can pass or reject a legally binding decision. One hopes that such power will not be abused.

 

Voting:

A vote is taken via a voice vote or show of hands. A simple majority decides an issue. There are no secret ballots in C&T. The meetings are supposed to be public. If you serve on the Committee, be prepared to have an opinion and to express that opinion. Hey, you’re an academic, and as a group we have opinions in abundance!

 

Movements and Motions:

Any official action requiring a vote during a Committee meeting must be implemented thusly:

1. The Chair calls for a motion to take the action. The action could be a vote on a document, an agenda change, tabling an issue (suspending action on it until some later date) and last but not least, the popular “Move to Adjourn.”

2. The Chair asks for a “second” to the motion. That is, is there at least one other person present that thinks a vote should be taken? This also serves to wake up those who might not have been giving the meeting their undivided attention.

3. If a second is heard, a vote is taken. [1]



[1] In the case of a motion to adjourn, it is interesting to note that no living  member of the faculty has ever voted “nay.”