300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance


FAC 301. Faculty Authority in the Context of McPherson College

The final authority in the college rests in the Board of Trustees, as set forth in Article II, Section 1, of the Bylaws of the McPherson College Board of Trustees. Decision making for college operations is delegated to the President of the College, and authority for the academic program is delegated by the President to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the faculty. Faculty Meeting is the highest decision-making authority for the faculty; however, the faculty delegates authority to committees, divisions, departments, and individual faculty members of the college. Different authority is given to each level of governance, and while all levels are subject to oversight, each level has the authority to make and implement some decisions. Thus, each level of governance has both independent decision-making authority and decision-making authority that is dependent on approval of other parts of the governance. The faculty as a whole has decision-making authority in the academic program, but not complete authority. Decisions such as the content of this handbook depend on the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President of the College, and some areas of handbook content require the approval of the Board of Trustees. Other decisions, such as appointment of faculty members to faculty committees, the approval of new courses, or the approval of individualized interdisciplinary programs are made independently, based on the faculty’s delegated authority. This distinction is fundamental for understanding faculty governance because it is important to differentiate between faculty decisions that may be immediately enacted under the authority of the faculty and those that may only be enacted pending the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 302. Areas of Faculty Authority and Responsibilities

At McPherson College, faculty authority resides in the general faculty. At times this authority may be delegated to some legitimate faculty body such as a faculty committee or task force to expedite the work of the faculty. Yet the final authority still resides with the general faculty, which has the authority to confirm or overturn actions by its designated delegates. The faculty is given both independent decision-making authority and conditional authority, the authority to recommend and execute pending confirmation by higher authority. The authority of the general faculty to govern and recommend consists of the following areas:


FAC 302.1      Authority of Faculty to Govern

  1. Control academic affairs, including general academic policies and academic regulations;
  2. Regulate academic matters affecting more than one department or division;
  3. Determine requirements for degrees in all programs;
  4. Approve general education requirements for all degree programs;
  5. Approve general admission requirements;
  6. Approve curricula and program changes;
  7. Approve interdisciplinary programs involving more than one department or division;
  8. Establish residence requirements for degrees;
  9. Establish basic language requirements for admission of foreign students;
  10. Enact and enforce academic regulations for students in matters of attendance, examinations, grading, scholastic standing, honors, etc.;
  11. Call meetings of faculty members when needed;
  12. Determine voting rights;
  13. Determine what constitutes a quorum;
  14. Elect faculty officers;
  15. Approve college or university calendar.


FAC 302.2      Authority of Faculty to Recommend

  1. Candidates for degrees in all programs;
  2. Regulations governing student discipline, conduct, dismissal, probation, etc.;
  3. Policies governing appointments, ranks and promotions;
  4. Faculty compensation policies and structure for salary plan;
  5. Administrative action on policies affecting faculty members as a whole;
  6. Tenure regulations and modifications;
  7. Faculty appointments to college-wide committees;
  8. Organization of faculty and bylaws for its operation;
  9. Teaching loads.


Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 310. Organization of the Faculty

The McPherson College faculty is organized according to the Constitution of the Faculty of McPherson College (see Appendix 2). The faculty constitution provides a governance structure intended to enable the faculty to care for its principal responsibilities: (1) curriculum and educational policies, (2) the library and classroom instructional resources, and (3) matters relating to faculty personnel, including evaluation and promotion.

Faculty gather as a whole in Faculty Meeting to hear reports from standing committees and ad hoc task forces and to make decisions and recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs on matters related to faculty responsibilities. Four governance committees (Educational Policies Committee, Instructional Resources Committee, Faculty Review Committee, and Faculty Policies Committee) are commissioned to process issues and make recommendations on behalf of Faculty Meeting. A fifth governance committee, Faculty Executive Committee, serves to oversee and evaluate all aspects of faculty governance. As the five governance committees are chosen by and act on behalf of the faculty meeting, their decisions carry the authority of the whole faculty.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 311. Faculty Meeting

As a rule, Faculty Meeting occurs twice each month. Voting and non-voting membership criteria as well as specific information on faculty meeting are found in the faculty constitution (see Appendix 2).

Faculty Executive Committee plans and organizes agendas for regular Faculty Meetings. Agendas for upcoming meetings as well as minutes from the immediately preceding meeting are distributed to all faculty members at least 48 hours before the upcoming meeting. As a rule, agendas include reports from standing committees and a time for announcements from individual members. Although faculty may always make a motion from the floor to add items to a Faculty Meeting agenda, members are urged to direct requests for Faculty Meeting agenda time to Faculty Executive Committee for consideration.

In addition to regular meetings, a special Faculty Meeting may be called by the President of the College, by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or by Faculty Executive Committee. Individual members may submit requests for special meetings to the Faculty Executive Committee for consideration.

Unless otherwise stipulated by Faculty Meeting action or by the faculty constitution, a simple majority of voting members constitutes a quorum, and a simple majority of members present is required for passage of business items. Business of the faculty shall be conducted according to the latest revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 312. Expectations for Faculty Committee Membership

All full-time faculty are expected to serve on faculty and/or campus-wide committees as part of their terms for employment at McPherson College. In some cases, individual faculty can control which committees they serve on by accepting or declining the nomination of their division or the faculty at-large. Faculty Executive Committee may appoint or recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs appointment to ad hoc committees or to campus-wide committees. Faculty Executive Committee is responsible for seeing that committee workloads are equitably distributed among all faculty. Except in the case of extenuating circumstances, faculty are expected to accept appointments to committees issued by FEC or by the President.

Faculty are expected to take their committee responsibilities seriously. They should work with their chair to arrange a meeting time that is convenient for the majority of committee members. They should attend all meetings regularly and prepare adequately enough to contribute to committee processes. When absence is necessary, they should notify the chair ahead of time. Committee members should voluntarily assume a fair share of committee workload and, in general, accept responsibilities delegated by the chair. In general, there are three types of committees: Faculty Governance Committees, Faculty Committees, and Campus Committees.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 320. Committees Requiring Faculty Participation

FAC 320.1 Faculty Governance Committees

The five Faculty Governance Committees are created by Faculty Meeting to provide a governance structure for oversight and implementation of policies, programs, and curriculum.

  1. The Faculty Executive Committee (FEC)
  2. The Faculty Review Committee (FRC)
  3. Faculty Policies Committee (FPC)
  4. Educational Policies Committee (EPC)
  5. Instructional Resources Committee (IRC)

Elections for these committees take place in the spring. The bylaws for these governance committees are found in the appendices, and additional information is provided under Section 321.

FAC 320.2 Faculty Committees

Faculty Committees and appointees implement academic programming.

  1. The Academic Assessment Committee provides resources and expertise on assessment methods as well as oversight of assessment procedures and reports generated by the college.
  2. The Concert and Lecture Committee arranges lectures at the college.
  3. The Teaching Effectiveness Task Force prepares faculty development programming.
  4. The Teacher Education Board is the unit for the Teacher Education Program at McPherson College. The board’s responsibility is to foster and sustain a quality professional education program by maintaining curricular accountability and by ensuring admission of quality teacher education students to the program.
  5. The Stine Committee awards research support funds to support senior projects in the Natural Science Department.
  6. The Freshman and Sophomore Seminar Advisory Board develops and implements the seminar program.
  7. The Degree Completion Advisory Board oversees the R3 degree completion program.
  8. One faculty member is appointed by FEC to be the program liaison and serve as coordinator of the process for selecting senior students to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
  9. One faculty member is appointed by FEC to serve as program liaison for Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA).
  10. Two faculty members are elected in Faculty Meeting to serve as observers to the trustees, one for the fall, the other for the spring.
  11. The Advising Task Force provides guidelines and develops best practices for advising of students at the college.
  12. The Faculty Salaries Committee is assembled by FPC on a need-only basis in order to gather information and prepare reports or recommendations as directed by FPC.
  13. The Institutional Review Board is an ad hoc committee that reviews research studies conducted on campus and ensures that the well-being of research participants, researchers, and the institution is appropriately safeguarded.
  14. One faculty member is appointed by FEC to serve as program liaison for the Chicago Center for Urban Life.


FAC 320.3 Other Campus Committees and Faculty Assignments

Numerous other committees and programs require faculty participation. Appointment criteria for these committees vary widely from committee to committee. Committees and programs in which faculty participate include the following:

  1. The Strategic Planning Committee provides for long-range planning.
  2. The Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (IAC) reviews and approves McPherson College athletic policies, regulations, and scheduling.
  3. The College Auto Restoration Council reviews and advises the auto restoration program.
  4. The Campus Hearing Board reports to the Dean of Students and adjudicates cases of student violation of community codes.
  5. The Diversity Task Force oversees and promotes programming aimed at developing college diversity and creating diverse opportunities for students.
  6. The Enrollment Committee works with admissions staff to establish enrollment guidelines for the college.
  7. The Personnel Committee reports to the President and evaluates and recommends employee benefits and hears employee grievances.
  8. The Retention Task Force develops methods for improving student retention.
  9. The Safety Committee establishes best practices in campus safety.
  10. Additional ad hoc committees and/or task forces may be organized by the administration or standing committees for short-term special assignments. These committees exist only until the special task is accomplished. A final report to the responsible committee represents the termination of an ad hoc committee or task force.
  11. Other committees, such as the Homecoming Committee or the Church Relations Committee, may request faculty participation as needed.


Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 321. Faculty Governance Committees and the Faculty Governance Process

Faculty governance is the process of integrating the organizational units of the faculty for decision making and execution of faculty responsibilities as outlined in section 301.2. The organizational units involved in the governance process are Faculty Meeting, committees, divisions, and departments.

The central tools of faculty governance are the Faculty Governance Committees. Faculty Governance Committees are decision-making bodies that govern issue areas. The bylaws of each committee (found in the handbook appendices) specify the Purpose of each committee and a Committee Charge: Responsibilities & Accountabilities, which outlines the responsibilities of each committee. Furthermore, committee bylaws specify Reporting Relationships, the processes available for executing committee decisions. These bylaw specifics are fundamental for the efficient execution of the responsibilities of the faculty because many types of decisions may be made directly by committees based on the authority delegated to them by the faculty. Other types of decisions are subject to a review process, such as being sent to Faculty Meeting or to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval. In order for committees to function efficiently, it is essential that the members of committees clearly understand the bylaws of their committees. As committee membership changes on a yearly basis, it is recommended that each committee review its bylaws at the beginning of the academic year to ensure that members understand the purpose, jurisdiction, and reporting relationships of their committees. Detailed descriptions of the Faculty Governance Committees may be found in the committee bylaws appendices of the Faculty Handbook. A brief overview of the Faculty Governance Committees, including descriptions of purposes and responsibilities follows:

FAC 321.1 Faculty Executive Committee (FEC)

Faculty Executive Committee is the point of leadership for faculty governance. FEC sets agendas for the faculty, both in a narrow sense of setting schedule for faculty meeting and in the broader sense of establishing goals for the faculty governance system and monitoring the work of the committees to ensure that those goals are met. It is the responsibility of FEC to be informed on the progress of deliberation and decision making within faculty committees and to ensure that faculty deliberation translates into faculty action in a timely manner. The membership of FEC makes it especially well suited for this task. As FEC is composed of the division chairs, the faculty chair, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, FEC is well positioned to coordinate decision making within the academic program.

To serve as a coordinating group for Faculty Meeting and faculty committees and functions; to monitor the flow of work among various levels of faculty organization and to evaluate the effectiveness of faculty governance.

Plan fall faculty retreat. Plan faculty meetings. Serve as nominating committee for faculty committee positions. Delegate members to serve as liaisons to EPC, IRC, EPC, and other campus committees. Monitor workflow within the faculty committee structure, suggesting alternatives for revision of structure or process. Oversee ad hoc faculty committees and task forces. Review and refer items from committees to Faculty Meeting, from committee to committee (faculty or joint), or to administrative offices from faculty governance entities. Process appeals from committee to Faculty Meeting.

FAC 321.2 Educational Policy Committee (EPC)

To provide oversight of the academic program, curriculum, and academic policies.

Approve new courses and changes to courses. Approve individualized interdisciplinary programs, the academic calendar, and the course schedule. Recommend additions, alterations, or deletions of programs of study and academic departments. Interpret academic policy, recommending new policy as appropriate. Recommend changes in academic requirements—e.g., general education curriculum or graduation requirements.

FAC 321.3  Instructional Resource Committee (IRC)

To provide oversight of instructional resource needs and use, including library, classrooms and other facilities. To oversee efficient use of resources and acquisitions.

Review academic computer usage and the plan for maintenance and update of academic computing systems. Review other technology-related needs for the academic program. Serve as liaison between library personnel and faculty. Advise on library acquisitions and priorities, library services, and long-range planning. Assess classrooms and educational facilities. Recommend institutional priorities for funds available for instructional resources.

FAC 321.4 Faculty Policies Committee (FPC)

To provide oversight of policy concerning faculty personnel, faculty hiring, sabbaticals, faculty evaluation and promotion, faculty compensation, and other such matters as the President may request.

Review the Faculty Handbook, faculty hiring process, and faculty evaluation policies. Review tenure, promotion, and sabbatical policy. Review compensation policies and the structure of the salary plan.

FAC 321.5  Faculty Review Committee (FRC)

To provide oversight of the performance of individual faculty members.

Oversee faculty evaluation process. Evaluate faculty effectiveness and make recommendations regarding continuation of contracts, promotion and tenure, and the granting of sabbaticals for individual faculty members. Recommend the awarding of emeriti status and honorary degrees.


Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 330. Divisions

Currently, McPherson College faculty are organized into three academic divisions, each composed of a cluster of academic departments as follows:

Division of Humanities
Modern Languages
Performing Arts
Philosophy and Religion

Division of Science and Technology
Natural Science

Division of Social Sciences
Curriculum and Instruction
History and Politics
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Behavioral Science

As a rule, divisions meet twice each month. Divisions assume the initial responsibility for reviewing and approving curriculum changes proposed by departments. Division meetings also serve as the principal vehicle through which faculty learn about curriculum and program changes adopted by Educational Policies Committee and/or Faculty Meeting and through which faculty review and evaluate such changes.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 340. Division Chairs: Appointment and Responsibilities

Divisional chairs are elected by their respective divisions. Chairs are responsible to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Their specific duties and responsibilities include

  1. Perform necessary duties commonly afforded to the role of a chair, i.e., preparing agenda, calling and chairing meetings, and ensuring that records of all meetings are kept;
  2. Represent the division on Faculty Executive Committee;
  3. Serve as liaisons on the respective policy committees, determined by the Faculty Executive Committee in its organizational meeting;
  4. Receive recommendations concerning curriculum changes from department chairs and, after assuring approval from appropriate sub-committees, present those recommendations receiving divisional approval to Educational Policies Committee;
  5. Serve as member of search committees for departments in the division;
  6. Serve as member of program review committee for programs within division (This can be optional when all parties agree);
  7. Provide written documentation of evaluation for division faculty members;
  8. Review academic program budget requests, prioritize and make budget recommendations to the Strategic Planning Committee, and advocate on behalf of the budget requirements of the instructional program;
  9. Monitor catalog copy within the division;
  10. Assume the major responsibility for establishing and maintaining a good esprit de corps within the division.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|

FAC 350. Department Chairs: Appointment and Responsibilities

Department chairs are appointed by the administration and are responsible to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Administrative duties for the academic operation of departments are the responsibility of departmental chairpersons. Special duties and responsibilities include

  1. Perform necessary duties commonly afforded to the role of a chair, i.e., preparing agenda, calling and chairing meetings, and ensuring that records of all meetings are kept;
  2. Arrange the schedule of course offerings and departmental teaching assignments for each term in consultation with departmental faculty members. If adjunct assistance is required, advise the Vice President for Academic Affairs of departmental needs in a timely manner and offer suggestions of qualified lecturers to fill these needs;
  3. With the input of departmental faculty, prepare an annual budget for the department and supervise departmental expenditures within the current budget;
  4. Consult with the Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding departmental faculty concerns and personnel needs;
  5. Seek to stimulate high standards of achievement within the department and to effect consensus about the purposes of the department, the division, and the college;
  6. Acquaint colleagues, particularly new faculty members, with details associated with library acquisition policies, audio-visual equipment, student work study availability, department budget, acquisition of supplies, etc.;
  7. Supervise the preparation of catalog material for the department;
  8. Prepare documents required of all departments in collaboration with other department faculty. These may include, but are not limited to, annual reports to the President, competencies growth plan, major assessment plan, etc.;
  9. Oversee the implementation of the departmental assessment plan;
  10. Carry major responsibility in advisement of students, especially of those majoring in the department;
  11. Assume the major responsibility for establishing and maintaining a good esprit de corps within the department;
  12. Perform other supervisory departmental duties not specifically reserved for the division chair or the administration;
  13. Oversee department coordination with the admissions department staff to promote recruiting of new students.

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010

UPDATED: June 1st, 2009|300-399 Faculty Membership, Faculty Organization, Governance|