Constitution & Bylaws

Constitution of Northern Illinois University

Preamble
Article 1: The University Council
Article 2: Membership on the University Council
Article 3: Officers of the University Council
Article 4: Standing Committees of the University Council
Article 5: Meetings of the University Council
Article 6: Faculties, Standing Committees, Councils and Boards of the Faculty and Administration
Article 7: Related Councils
Article 8: Selection of a President
Article 9: Human Rights
Article 10: Amendment Procedures


ARTICLE 2:
MEMBERSHIP ON THE UNIVERSITY COUNCIL

2.1 Composition

2.1.1 The University Council shall consist of representatives of the university faculty, students, administration, supportive professional staff, and operating staff. 

2.1.2 Representation on the University Council must be apportioned so that elected faculty voting representation shall at all times comprise 51 percent to 60 percent of the total number of University Council voting seats, and so that student representation shall at all times comprise 25 percent to 30 percent of the total number of University Council voting seats. 

2.1.3 Subject to the call of the University Council, other persons, serving as consultants, shall have the right to participate in the deliberations of the University Council, but shall not have the right to vote. 

2.1.4 Subject to the provisions contained in this constitution, the bylaws shall apportion the voting seats on the University Council among the several constituencies, and specify the manner of selection of persons to fill those seats. 

2.2 Apportionment of Faculty Representation

2.2.1 For purposes of representation on the University Council, the faculty shall be defined as those regular, full-time university faculty (as defined in Section 6.1.1 of the Constitution) in the academic division of the university, excluding the president, the president's staff, the executive vice president and provost, the executive vice president and provost's staff, the deans, and the deans' staffs. Regular faculty members are those whose contracts do not carry the designation "temporary" or "adjunct." 

2.2.2 Faculty eligible to serve on the University Council, or to serve as electors in University Council elections, shall hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor, and shall meet the definition of faculty set forth in Section 2.2.1. 

2.2.3 One representative on the University Council shall be apportioned to the faculty of each-degree-granting college and the university libraries. The distribution of the remaining faculty positions on the University Council shall be apportioned so as to reflect the ratio between the number of regular full-time faculty members in each degree-granting college to the total number of such faculty members in all colleges, this being the number reported by the office of the executive vice president and provost on January first of each year. 

2.2.4 The ratio of the regular, full-time faculty members in each degree-granting college to the total number of such faculty members in all colleges shall be reviewed by the University Council every third year prior to the election in those years which are multiples of three, and the apportionment of representation among the colleges adjusted if need be. 

2.2.5 When the University Council does not contain an elected faculty representative who is a member of a minority racial group, the elected faculty representatives shall meet and elect such a representative. The person thus elected shall be chosen from among the faculty members of the university who are eligible for election as a faculty representative to the University Council. Prior to conducting such an election, the elected faculty representatives on the council shall seek nominations for this position from the college faculties, and shall elect one of the persons thus nominated. The faculty representative so elected shall serve a term of three years. The position thus filled shall be in addition to the number of seats otherwise apportioned to the elected faculty representatives of the university, or of any college therein, by this constitution and its bylaws. 

2.3 Apportionment of Student Representation

2.3.1 Subject to the provisions set forth in this section, the University Council, through the bylaws, shall determine the eligibility of students to serve as members of the University Council and as electors of such members, and the apportionment of seats among constituencies within the student body. 

2.3.2 The president of the NIU Student Association shall be a voting member of the University Council. 

2.3.3 In the apportionment of student seats on the University Council, at least one seat shall be apportioned to the student advisory council of each degree-granting college and the Graduate School, to be chosen by the student members of each such council. 

2.4 Representation of the University Administration

2.4.1 The university administration shall be represented on the University Council by the president of the university, by the executive vice president and provost, by the dean of each of the degree-granting colleges, of the Graduate School, and of the University Libraries, and by such other university officers as may be specified in the Bylaws. These members shall be entitled to participate in the deliberations of the University Council and to vote. 

2.4.2 There shall be such additional representatives of the university administration who shall serve on the University Council with the right to participate in the deliberations of the University Council, but not to vote on matters coming before the University Council, as may be specified in the Bylaws. 

2.5 Representation of the Supportive Professional Staff

2.5.1 Those persons employed as full-time supportive professional staff of the university shall have one or more representatives on the University Council. The number of such representatives and the manner of their selection shall be specified by the university bylaws. 

2.5.2 Full-time supportive professional staff members are those whose appointments designate them as holding (a) no-rank faculty status, or (b) faculty rank with administrative assignments outside the academic division of the university. 

2.6 Representation of the Operating Staff

2.6.1 Those persons employed as members of the operating staff of the university shall have one or more representatives on the University Council. The number of such representatives and the manner of their selection shall be specified in the university bylaws. 

2.7 Alternates for Members of the University Council

2.7.1 Each voting and nonvoting member of the University Council is expected to attend University Council meetings regularly. In order to assure full representation at meetings, an alternate shall be designated to represent that member's constituency or office when the member is absent. The designated alternate shall have the same power and privileges as the member. 

2.7.2 The bylaws shall specify the manner of selection for persons designated as alternate members. 

2.7.3 No votes shall be cast at University Council meetings by proxy or absentee ballot. 

2.8 Terms of Office

2.8.1 Persons elected to the position of University Council member shall serve terms of three years, except for persons elected as student representatives who shall serve terms of one year. Ex officio members of the University Council shall serve for the duration of their term of office. 

2.8.2 Terms of office for all members shall begin on July 1. Persons elected or appointed to fill mid-term vacancies on the University Council shall be eligible to begin service on the University Council three days after the executive secretary of the University Council has been officially notified in writing of their election or appointment. 

2.9 Removal from University Council Membership

2.9.1 An elected member of the University Council shall be subject to removal by a two-thirds vote of the total University Council voting membership after three successive absences from regularly scheduled meetings of the University Council. 

2.9.2 Vacancies created by removal shall be filled for the balance of the term remaining by the procedures established in the bylaws for filling vacancies in that office.

Article 2.4 update approved by University Council 01/26/2000;
approved by faculty referendum 04/2000;
and approved by Board of Trustees 06/15/2000.