CON Rules of the Faculty Organization

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Rules of the Faculty Organization Subsection: 4.1
Section 4.0 - Faculty Policies Originating Date: May 1982
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Faculty Coordinating Council
General Faculty Organization
Revised: January & April 1999
Revised: January 2000
Revised: November 2001
Revised: April 2006
Revised: April 2007
Revised: March 2008
Revised: May 2010
Revised: November 2011
Revised: November 2012
Revised: March 2013
Revised: May 2015 (changes)
Revised: December 2017 (changes)
Revised: May 2022 (changes)

Congruent with the overall mission of the University of Nebraska and in accordance with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, the mission of the College of Nursing is to improve the health of Nebraska through premier nursing education programs, innovative research, the highest quality patient care, and service to underserved populations.


The College of Nursing (CON) is integral to the academic health science center and is comprised of five divisions across the state in both urban and rural environments.


Faculty governance is defined as a collaborative partnership between faculty and administration with shared power in policy formulation and implementation in the domains of curriculum, teaching, research, faculty practice, service, and faculty status. Faculty accept responsibility, accountability and active decision making for curriculum, teaching, research, practice, service, and faculty status (Faculty status refers to the privileges and responsibilities associated with a faculty position; Bylaws of the Board of Regents University of Nebraska 2.12.1.). The shared governance components shall be the General Faculty Organization (GFO), Faculty Coordinating Council (FCC), and Executive Council (EC). Refer to Policy 3.3. for details of the Executive Council.

    The Faculty Governance system shall provide an avenue for:
    1)   collegiality and responsiveness to change.
    2)   consensus building among faculty, staff, administration, and students.
    3)   input into short and long-term strategic planning.
    4)   leadership in policy making and implementation in relation to teaching, research, faculty practice, and service.
    5)   input into needed resources and technology allocation.

Section 1. Faculty Component

1.0      The faculty form the core of the organization and give it meaning and purpose.
    The faculty acts through GFO, FCC and standing or special committees to carry out its governance responsibilities.
    The faculty of the College of Nursing shall:
    a.   develop, implement, evaluate, and revise the philosophy and objectives of the College and its curriculum.
    b.   identify the resources and technology necessary to provide optimal learning experiences.
    c.   establish written standards and policies for selection, admission, promotion and graduation of students and awarding of scholarships/grants.
    d.   participate in evaluating and recommending appointment of faculty applicants and in promotion and tenure of peers.
    e.   nominate and elect faculty to standing committees.

Section 2. General Faculty Organization

2.0   The GFO is the committee-of-the-whole. The purpose of the GFO is to provide structure through which the faculty can exercise the privileges and responsibilities of college governance.
2.0.1   Membership. The members of the GFO shall be:
    a.   professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and shall include full-time and part-time faculty of 0.5 or greater FTE.
    b.   those persons having responsibilities related to the educational programs for nursing students and shall include nurses and non-nurses with courtesy, adjunct, or clinical faculty appointments.
    c.   students, elected or appointed, representing each academic program.
2.0.2   Officers. The officers of the GFO shall be the chairperson, chairperson-elect, and secretary.
    a.   The chairperson-elect shall be elected for a one (1) year term from the faculty members holding full-time positions, who have completed at least two academic years of 0.5 FTE employment with the College of Nursing. At the end of the academic year, the chairperson-elect assumes the position of chairperson. Having served as chairperson for one (1) year, the chairperson serves for an additional year as GFO past chairperson. The chairperson and chairperson-elect each serve in their positions for one (1) year. Should the office of the chairperson become vacant, the chairperson-elect shall then fill the unexpired term and serve the term for which he/she was elected. If the chairperson-elect position becomes vacant between the time of the regular faculty election and the end of the following fall semester, the vacancy shall be filled as soon as possible by special election (refer to Committee on Nominations, Rules of the Faculty Organization, 4.1.2). If the chairperson-elect position becomes vacant early in the spring semester, the vacancy shall be filled by the regular election process.
    b.   The position of secretary is elected for a two (2) year term from the faculty members holding full-time faculty positions. An individual may hold two (2) successive terms.
2.0.3   Parliamentarian. A parliamentarian shall be elected by the faculty for a one (1) year term. If the parliamentarian is a faculty member, the parliamentarian shall not vote during the term of service. A CON staff member may serve as parliamentarian to GFO.
2.0.4   Rules. Robert’s Rules of Order has been adopted to direct function of the GFO, FCC, standing and special committees.
2.0.5   Meetings. Meet at least twice a semester and hold an annual meeting in May. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or on written request to the chairperson by ten (10) percent of the faculty. A calendar will be developed annually prior to the beginning of the fall semester to reflect the dates and times of all scheduled meetings for the organization. During GFO meetings, any agenda item requiring action will require a quorum for a valid vote to occur. According to Robert’s Rules, a quorum consists of a simple majority of the voting members.
2.0.6   Voting Privileges. The voting membership of the GFO shall consist of all full-time and part-time faculty of 0.5 or greater FTE whose primary responsibility is in the College of Nursing (refer to 2.0.1 above). Faculty who are enrolled as a student at the UNMC College of Nursing or the UNMC Graduate College to pursue an advanced degree (while they continue to teach) are given the title of specialist. Specialists do not have voting privileges in the College of Nursing (Refer to the Graduate College Policy Handbook under Related Policy Documents, Section II. Policy on the Pursuit of Graduate Degrees at the University of Nebraska by Persons Holding the Rank of Assistant Professor or Above or Equivalent). In addition, individuals with the title of specialist in the CON may not serve as a committee/division/department representative. The eligible faculty will carry out voting privileges, after the discussion of the item is completed in the GFO meeting, using a special email ballot link approved by the GFO chair and/or secretary. The results of the voting will be placed into the minutes for review and approval of the minutes at the next GFO meeting.
2.0.7   Responsibilities:
    a.   Responsibilities of the GFO include:
(1)   establishing and maintaining sound academic and governance policies for the College of Nursing;
(2)   proposing, approving and promoting academic programs of the College of Nursing;
(3)   providing a forum for inter- and intra-campus communication; and
(4)   receiving, considering, and acting upon reports and recommendations from FCC, the standing committees, and special committees of the GFO.
    b.   Responsibilities of the chairperson include:
(1)   preparing for and presiding at all meetings of the GFO;
(2)   serving as representative of faculty on the EC;
(3)   serving as chairperson of FCC;
(4)   preparing and prioritizing agenda to accomplish GFO business with inclusion of items suggested by faculty members; an item placed on the agenda for action (vote) requires that the item and essential supplemental information be circulated to faculty one (1) week prior to the GFO meeting. Non-circulation of a proposal will allow discussion, but no action can be taken until the next meeting;
(5)   establishing special committees or task forces as needed;
(6)   preparing notices of special meetings of the GFO; and
(7)   serving as GFO and FCC representative on the Strategic Planning Committee.
(8)   serving as GFO and FCC representative on the Evaluation and Effectiveness Committee (EEC).
    c.   Responsibilities of the chairperson-elect include:
(1)   serving on the Strategic Planning Committee;
(2)   presiding at meetings of the GFO or FCC in the absence of the chairperson;
(3)   attending EC and EEC meetings in the absence of the chairperson, as needed;
(4)   chairing special FCC-initiated committees or task forces for specific assignments, as needed; and
(5)   serving as a member or chair of the Subcommittee of FCC for Rules of the Faculty Organization.
    d.   Responsibilities of the secretary include:
(1)   Collaborates with the Dean's Administrative Assistant for recording, distributing, and filing the minutes of GFO meetings
(2)   Act as a historian
    e.   Responsibilities of the parliamentarian include:
(1)   serving as parliamentarian during GFO meetings; and
(2)   serving as consultant to the chairperson, chairperson elect, secretary, and faculty members concerning Robert’s Rules of Order.
    f.   Responsibilities of the FCC division representatives at GFO meetings include:
(1)   Dissemination of information to each division and bringing discussion points to FCC and GFO
(2)   if the division representative cannot be present at a meeting of GFO or FCC, that representative shall arrange for a voting-eligible GFO member to fulfill their responsibilities;
(3)   in the event of a written vote at a GFO meeting, the division representative will obtain the written ballot prior to the meeting and arrange for distribution of the ballot, collection of the completed ballots, and tabulation of the vote; the division representatives are responsible for destroying and disposing of written ballots.
2.0.8   The Standing Committees shall be:
    Academic Review Committee
Committee on Nominations
Faculty Practice Committee
Nursing Research Committee
PhD Affairs Council
Professional Graduate Nursing Affairs Committee
Promotion and Tenure Committee
Undergraduate Admission, Progression, Graduation and Scholarship/Grant Committee
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Undergraduate Exam Support Committee
Global Health Standing Committee
2.0.9   Special Committees shall be:
    Ad hoc or task forces to study and resolve specific needs/problems of the GFO or GFO standing committees.
2.0.10   Standing Committee Chairpersons:
    Chairpersons of all standing committees, except for PhD Affairs Committee, who have special bylaws for selection, shall be elected by the membership of each committee at the end of the Spring semester and prior to the start of the next academic year. The role of chairpersons is to implement committee bylaws, represent the standing committee bylaw implementation and viewpoint at FCC and GFO meetings, disseminate information, review/revise policy/procedures every five (5) years or as needed, bring items for a vote to the GFO and ensure that policy/procedure revisions are implemented at the system level working with the Dean’s administrative team.

Section 3. Faculty Coordinating Council (FCC)

3.0   The purpose of the Faculty Coordinating Council (FCC) is to provide leadership in faculty governance by facilitating clear communication, acting as representatives of the General Faculty Organization (GFO) and promoting effective collaboration among faculty, committees, and Executive Council (EC) of the College of Nursing (CON).
3.0.1   Functions:
    a.   Facilitate communication between GFO, CON standing committees, and EC.
    b.   Facilitate the implementation of GFO decisions.
    c.   Provide oversight for CON Rules of the Faculty Organization (See Guidelines 3.0.3 a, b, c).
    d.   Provide a formal mechanism for divisions, committees, and EC to discuss issues/proposals in shared domains and disseminate this information throughout the CON.
    e.   Serve as a resource to faculty and standing committees to promote effective accomplishment of CON business.
    f.   Provide input into the development of the CON Strategic Plan.
    g.   Provide oversight and coordination to the faculty awards process within the CON.
    h.   Review nominations and select recipients for the Kathryn Sandahl Philp Award for Creativity and Innovation; for the Donna Westmoreland Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award; and for the Spirit of Shared Governance Award.
    i.   Facilitate, promote and support nominations of candidates from the CON for UNMC and University-wide awards.
3.0.2   Membership:
    a.   Chairperson of the GFO shall be the chairperson of the FCC.
    b.   Council composition: The Council will be composed of the chairpersons from all eleven (11) standing committees, one (1) elected representative from each division, and the GFO chairperson-elect. The Dean serves as an ex-officio member.
    c.   Division representatives will serve two-year terms staggered so that two (2)/three (3) will rotate off each year. Division representative will be elected by the faculty on the division. The division will decide if the FCC representative serves as the chair of the division or if another faculty serves as chairperson for the division meeting. Division representatives shall function to communicate and disseminate information to FCC and GFO and promote discussion of impact of system level issues at the campus level. If a division representative is not able to attend FCC and GFO meetings, they will assign a voting eligible faculty in their place.
3.0.3    Guidelines:
    a.   An important function of FCC members is to facilitate communication between FCC and the faculty they represent.
    b.   FCC member responsibilities:
  1. Serves as liaison between the GFO standing committees and FCC to share information regarding committee activities and participate in shared governance decisions
  2. Attends FCC meetings or sends another eligible committee member to represent the committee
  3. Collaborates with the Chair, Chair-elect, secretary and designated staff associate to disseminate the committee's agenda, minutes, and attachments for committee discussion
  4. Work with the GFO Chair and designated staff associate to request GFO agenda time for presenting committee policy changes, verifies the policy changes after the webmaster notifies that the policy changes have been made.
    d.   The subgroup of FCC for Rules of the Faculty Organization will consist of the GFO chairperson-elect, the five (5) division representatives, and an appointed member from FCC who will serve as the chairperson of this group.
    e.   The subgroup for Rules of the Faculty Organization will review all new or revised rule changes to assure the consistency and integrity with the CON rule documents as a whole; this will be completed prior to a change of rules vote by the GFO. FCC as a whole may serve as a consultant regarding these changes in rules. Other policies/guidelines are reviewed/revised by the specific standing committee that is listed as the Responsible Reviewing Agency and taken to the appropriate faculty for approval. GFO chairperson/FCC chairperson is contacted when standing committee policies/guidelines need to be brought to the faculty for consideration to be placed on the agenda to be considered for approval.
    f.   Each CON Rules of Organization (standing committees) will be systematically reviewed every five (5) years from the last review or revision date.
    g.   All FCC members will have voting privileges.
    h.   FCC will meet monthly and as called by the chairperson.
    i.   A quorum representing simple majority of voting members is required for action (vote).

Section 4. Students

4.0      Students participate in governance through representation on CON committees. Students may serve for up to two (2) years. . Students shall attend meetings and bring forth items for discussion working with a faculty liaison. Students serving must be in good standing per policy in accordance with the University Student Code of Conduct.

Section 5. Staff

5.0      Staff provide input through representation on CON standing or other committees. The guidelines for service terms and voting on a faculty governance or other CON committee is by written rules contained in the faculty governance or other CON standing committee bylaws and in the General Staff Organization (GSO) guidelines/bylaws.