Section 17: Constitution and Bylaws of the College

(Spring 1969)

Nothing in the Faculty Handbook shall be taken to supersede or circumvent the Charter or the Bylaws of the College.


I. Composition of the Faculty

The faculty consists of those persons serving full time as professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and lecturers (including those in such ranks, but not engaged in teaching); the President of the College; and Provost and Dean of the College. All members of the faculty are entitled to vote in meetings of the faculty.

II. Officers of the Faculty

Officers of the faculty are the chair and the secretary.

The chair is the President of the College or, at his or her designation, the Provost or another member of the faculty. The chair will prepare the agenda for meetings of the faculty and will preside.

The secretary to the faculty shall be elected annually by the faculty at the first meeting of the college year. The secretary will maintain a permanent record of the deliberations of the faculty in its regular and called meetings and will prepare and distribute minutes of each meeting of the faculty to all those eligible to attend faculty meetings. The secretary will inform the Student Senate, the student newspaper, and other appropriate student bodies of faculty actions of legitimate concern to them.

III. Areas of Responsibility of the Faculty

The faculty, with the President and the Board of Trustees, has the power and responsibility to govern and conduct the affairs of the College, to supervise the academic program of the College, and to approve candidates for degrees in accordance with the charter and bylaws of the College.

In accordance with the charter and the bylaws of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, meeting in official session, is the academic legislature of the College and has the authority to recommend to the President and, if necessary, directly to the Board through its representatives on the Board, the educational program of the College in such areas as the following: admissions, curricula, student life, approval of honorary degrees, and recommendations of persons for academic degrees in course. The faculty may be charged with additional responsibilities as directed by the Board of Trustees.

IV. Faculty Meetings and Committees

The faculty exercises its legislative functions when it meets in official session.

Properly constituted committees of the faculty may exercise functions of the faculty when policy changes are not involved.

The faculty shall meet in official session, at a regular time and place chosen by the faculty annually at its first meeting of the college year.

The President and the Provost may call meetings of the faculty in addition to the regular meetings and must do so upon signed petition of twenty-five percent of the voting membership of the faculty.

The faculty shall make decisions by majority vote of those present and voting.

For called meetings, a quorum of fifty percent of the total voting faculty will be necessary for faculty action.

Robert's Rules of Order is the parliamentary authority, except as hereinafter provided.

V. Academic Departments

Members of the teaching faculty shall be assigned to academic departments within the College. The functions of faculty members shall be determined in a manner specified by the bylaws.

Chairs of departments are appointed by the administration of the College and the Board of Trustees. Under the President and Provost, they have designated administrative functions. The position of departmental chair is not a tenured one.

Upon appointment, the chair of a department assumes responsibilities of departmental governance consistent with the principle that he or she serves as a chair of a staff of scholars involved in a common discipline. Functions of the chair shall be determined in a manner specified by the Bylaws.

VI. Academic Divisions

The three academic divisions are the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The member departments of the divisions shall be specified in the Bylaws. The separate divisions are not charged with administrative authority over the academic departments.

Division chairs are elected by members of the three divisions for terms of office decided upon by the divisions.

The functions of divisions and division chairs shall be determined in a manner specified in the Bylaws.

VII. Amendments and Bylaws

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the voting faculty in regular or called meetings, provided that the proposed amendment has been circulated at least two weeks before action and provided that the President of the College and the Board of Trustees concur.

Bylaws may be appended to this constitution, provided that the proposed bylaws have been circulated at least two weeks before action, provided that they are passed by a simple majority of the total membership of the voting faculty, and provided that the President and the Board of Trustees concur.

VIII. Ratification

This constitution becomes effective when approved by two-thirds of the faculty, by the President of the College, and by the Board of Trustees of the College.


I. The Faculty Handbook

The faculty of Centenary College shall establish principles of academic procedure, contracts, tenure, and related matters, such as departmental governance, and these principles shall be set forth in a faculty handbook. Once accepted by the Board of Trustees, these principles shall be binding on all parties. Changes in the faculty handbook must be approved by a simple majority of the total membership of the voting faculty and concurred in by the President and the Board of Trustees.

II. Committee Structure

The faculty of Centenary College shall establish a committee structure for the execution of delegated business and the making of proposals, and this committee structure, together with guidelines on procedure and composition, shall be set forth in the faculty handbook.

III. Faculty Meetings

Normally, new business will not be transacted at a faculty meeting without its first having been referred to an appropriate committee.

The order of business for faculty meetings will normally include a roll call of committees for reports.

The chair and the secretary of the faculty shall determine whether a person other than those provided for in Article I of the Constitution is eligible to attend a meeting and have the privilege to discuss.

The following non-faculty members of the college staff, though not necessarily holding academic rank, have voting privileges in meetings of the faculty (except in election of members of the Faculty Personnel Council): the Vice-President for Development; the Vice-President for Finance and Administration; the Registrar; the Dean of Student Life; and the Dean of Enrollment Management.

Any retired Centenary faculty member with emeritus status may vote in faculty meetings during any regular semester in which he or she is teaching three or more semester hours.

Administrative officers not provided for in Section III above and part-time teaching personnel may attend meetings of the faculty with the privilege to discuss but without the power to vote.

IV. Academic Divisions

The humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences divisions include the following departments: humanities — art and visual culture, religious studies, English, ancient and modern languages, philosophy, theatre/dance, and the School of Music; natural sciences — biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics and computer sciences, and physics; social sciences — the School of Business, education, health and exercise science, psychology, history and political science, and sociology.

Functions and duties of divisions and divisional chairs shall be specified in the faculty handbook.

Last updated March 2012.