George Washington University Faculty Association Bylaws
Article I. Name. The name of this organization, referred to as “Association” in these By-laws, is The George Washington University Faculty Association.
Article II. Purposes and Functions
Section 1. The Association shall have as its general purposes: a) to represent the interests of all full-time faculty at George Washington University. b) to support and enhance substantive and meaningful shared governance at George Washington University as an indispensable mechanism for ensuring that the university continues to prioritize its core commitments to teaching, research, and service. c) to maintain and, where applicable, achieve salary and benefits commensurate with other top-ranked private universities located in high-cost urban areas. d) to maintain traditional standards of professional excellence in the academy, including classroom engagement between students and faculty. e) to reestablish the tenured and tenure-track research faculty position as the norm for academic employment at George Washington University. f) to support related activities of part-time faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students to achieve similar goals commensurate with creating an excellent and equitable university.
Section 2. The Association shall have as its principal functions:
To inform, consult with, and represent faculty interests to all officials and entities whose decisions affect the faculty, and to gather and disseminate to the faculty information on all relevant issues before such officials and entities. These officials and entities encompass the administration (including the President and the Provost), the Senate, and the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University.
To encourage the development of, maintain contact with, coordinate its activities with, and form liaisons with parallel or similar organizations on other university campuses.
To prepare for the possibility of collective bargaining by continually informing itself and the faculty on all relevant issues. It will monitor and attempt to influence any university policies or legislation that might be regarded as affecting collective bargaining by university faculty, so as to protect and further faculty interests such as the right to self-determination. With authorization of collective bargaining it may, upon approval of the membership, seek to become the collective bargaining agent for the faculty.
Article III. Membership. Membership in the Association is open to all full-time faculty at the George Washington University who support the purposes and functions of the Association, as laid out in Article II of these bylaws. Members whose primary appointment is in administration at the college or university level may not be members of the Steering Committee.
Article IV. Steering Committee and Officers. Section 1. The Association shall have a Steering Committee consisting of no fewer than five and no more than fifteen members elected by the members of the Association. Section 2. The officers of the Association shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The officers shall be selected by the Steering Committee from its own members following each election of Steering Committee members, and shall serve for two years. Officers may serve no more than two consecutive two-year terms in the same office. Officers once selected may be removed by a majority of the steering committee at a meeting called for that purpose. Section 3. The term of Steering Committee members shall be two years, beginning July 1 and ending June 30. Section 4. Vacancies on the Steering Committee or among its officers shall be filled by action of the Steering Committee. The term of an appointment to the Steering Committee shall expire on the June 30 following the appointment. The remaining period of the term, if any, shall be filled by election at the next Steering Committee election. Section 5. The annual elections for the Steering Committee shall be conducted in May by electronic ballot of the members in good standing as of April 1 of that year. The Steering Committee shall review the electronic membership list serve to verify that it is accurate prior to the notice of election and electronic ballots. All Steering Committee positions with terms expiring June 30 of that year (including Steering Committee positions filled by appointees which have one more year to run) can be contested. Members will receive an electronic notice of election by May 15 and electronic voting shall begin no later than May 20. Members will have ten (10) days to vote electronically. The Steering Committee shall appoint an Election Committee of three association members, which will certify the results of the vote within one week after electronic voting ends. Section 6. The Steering Committee shall arrange for the annual election of members to the Steering Committee in the following manner:
By April 1 the Steering Committee shall ask for self-nominations or nominations of association members from all members of the association. Any member in good standing, who self-nominated or was nominated by a member in good standing and has agreed to run, will be a candidate.
By May 15 the Steering Committee shall circulate via the electronic list serve of the general membership of the Association the names of candidates along with electronic ballots.
The ballot shall instruct the members to vote for only as many candidates as there are positions to be filled. The ballot shall provide for write-in candidates. The ballot shall provide the instructions of the electronic voting system. The ballot shall provide the exact time frame for the elections. The
electronic balloting system shall be so designed as to enable votes to be cast secretly and only once per election.
Once all votes have been received, the Election Committee shall verify that all and only ballots to be counted have been submitted by members in good standing, and, if no irregularities have been found, will certify the election and communicate the results to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will provide a membership list to the Committee for this purpose.
The Steering Committee shall declare elected to the Steering Committee the candidates necessary to fill all vacant positions having the highest vote counts. Tie votes for the last positions to be filled shall be broken by lottery in which the names of the tied candidates are placed in a closed box and the necessary number of names is drawn out by the President.
Article V. Duties of the Steering Committee and its officers Section 1. The Steering Committee shall meet at the discretion of the President or at the request of three members of the Steering Committee. Four members of the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum for conducting business. The Steering Committee shall keep itself and the Association informed on all matters that may concern the Association’s purposes and functions as stated in Article II and may create, when appropriate, committees to assist in these duties; it shall act as the governing body of the Association between Association meetings; it shall direct the recruitment of new members. Section 2. The duties of the officers are as follows:
The President shall preside over meetings of the Association and of the Steering Committee, and shall issue the call for such meetings, and shall supervise the administration of the Association’s programs. The President shall be the Association’s representative unless otherwise delegated.
The Vice-President shall assist the President in the supervision of the general program of the Association and shall act in the President’s stead at all Association and Steering Committee meetings which the President is unable to attend. The Vice-President shall be the Association’s alternate representative, unless otherwise delegated.
The Secretary shall keep records of the Association, including the minutes of all regular and special meetings of the Association and all meetings of the Steering Committee, shall conduct the ordinary correspondence of the Association, and shall issue notice of the call to regular and special meetings of the Association when requested to do so by the President.
The Treasurer shall serve as the custodian of Association funds and shall keep funds in a suitable depository keep the Association’s financial statement up to date at all times and make it available to the Association upon request, shall maintain and keep a current list of the membership in good standing and make it available at any meeting of the Association when called for, disburse funds of the Association as authorized by the Steering Committee, and receive the payment of any
membership dues the Association may elect to levy.
One Steering Committee member in addition to the Treasurer shall have signatory authority over the Association’s accounts. The President shall place a financial report on the Agenda at least bi-annually, and the Treasurer shall make all account statements since the prior report available to the Steering Committee.
Section 2. Members of the Steering Committee shall perform such other functions as the Steering Committee may determine or supervise others in the performance of the Association’s business, such as maintenance of the Association’s website and organization of electronic voting. The Association or the Steering Committee may establish such committees and positions as circumstances require.
Article VI. Dues and Assessments. Section 1. The Association may elect to levy dues on its members with the approval, in an electronic ballot of the membership in good standing, of a majority of those casting valid ballots. Section 2. Special assessment may be levied upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee and upon approval by a majority vote via electronic ballot. Any such assessment should be considered an extraordinary measure. The Steering Committee shall provide a detailed, written justification of the assessment sent to all members, and make provision for a plenary meeting of the Association, followed by an electronic balloting of all members in good standing. Section 3. In the event the Association dissolves, in accordance with applicable law, any remaining assets shall be divided equally among the members in good standing after all debts have been paid.
Article VII. Meetings. Section 1. The Association shall schedule at least one plenary meeting of members during each semester of the academic year. Section 2. The President shall call a special meeting of the Association within two weeks when requested to do so by a majority of the Steering Committee or a petition signed by at least ten per cent of the membership in good standing. Section 3. The quorum for any Association meeting shall be twenty Association members in good standing or five percent of such membership, whichever is higher. Any action taken at an Association meeting shall be submitted for approval to the membership by electronic ballot upon request of one-third of the members in attendance at that meeting or of a majority of the Steering Committee . Section 4. The Secretary shall issue a notice of any regular or special meeting of the Association at least seven days prior to the meeting date, unless the Steering Committee deems that circumstances require shorter notice. Section 5. Disputes concerned with procedures to be followed at meetings of the Association shall be resolved whenever possible according to Roberts’ Rules of Order (newly revised, 11th edition). When this code does not resolve the procedural difficulty, the dispute may be settled by a ruling of the presiding officer, subject to
reversal on appeal only by a vote of at least two-thirds of those members present and voting.
Article VIII. Voting and Electronic Ballots. Section 1. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, those eligible to participate in any vote or electronic ballot must be members in good standing (cf. Art. III) as of one month prior to either the date of the vote or the return date of the electronic ballot. Section 2. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, matters submitted to a vote or electronic ballot shall require for adoption only a simple majority of casting valid votes or ballots. Section 3. Electronic ballots other than those required or scheduled by these Bylaws may be initiated for any purpose by the Steering Committee or by direction of a regular or special meeting of the Association. Unless the Steering Committee shall declare that an emergency exists requiring a shorter period, or that careful deliberations is needed requiring a longer period, all electronic ballots shall require members to vote within two weeks of the date of notice, and this shall be indicated on the ballots and electronic notices to members.
Article IX. Amendment of these Bylaws. These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds or greater favorable vote of the voting membership in good standing responding to an electronic ballot. Proposed amendments will be submitted to such ballot either on recommendation of the Steering Committee or by petition of one-third of the membership in good standing.
Article X. Effective Date. The Bylaws become effective on July 1, 2014. Amendments to the Bylaws shall take effect immediately upon certification of the electronic election, unless otherwise specified.