ADJUNCT COUNCIL CHARTER
(REVISED February 11, 2016)
The Adjunct Council’s mission is (a) to represent the professional interests of the adjunct faculty at National Louis University (b) to enhance the adjunct faculty role at National Louis University through active participation in shared governance, and (c) to advise the Provost and President on matters that concern the adjuncts at NLU.
Article I. Formation of the Adjunct Council
The process of including adjunct faculty in governance activities at National Louis University began during the 1999-2000 academic year, when a Senate-appointed task force was assigned to study issues relating to adjunct faculty within the University’s academic operations. The Task Force submitted their recommendations to the Faculty Senate in May 2001. The Task Force’s recommendation to develop methods of involving adjuncts in faculty governance resulted in the creation of a two-year pilot project by the Faculty Senate to establish an Adjunct Council so that adjunct faculty will have a voice in governance at the Senate level. The Adjunct Council held its first meeting in March 2002. In January 2004, the Council submitted a proposed charter to the Senate for approval. The Faculty Senate approved the Adjunct Council Charter in March 2004. The definition of an adjunct faculty member, the Adjunct Council’s mission, goals, articles of governance, and amendment process are presented herein. In February 2016, the Council submitted a revision of the Adjunct Council Charter, completed in cooperation with the Governance Committee of Faculty Senate and with the Provost's Office; the Faculty Senate approved that revision in March 2016.
Article II. Goals
Section 1 — Goals.
The Council’s mission consists of eight goals:
- Encouraging and securing adjunct faculty participation in shared governance throughout the University
- Raising adjunct faculty issues for consideration by the University administration, Board of Trustees, colleges, and/or Faculty Senate
- Improving the quality of professional life for adjunct faculty throughout the University.
- Working with the University administration and/or Faculty Senate in all matters that concern adjuncts
- Promoting and supporting National Louis University programs
- Representing adjunct faculty throughout National Louis University
- Developing and maintaining a communications link with adjunct faculty by using the University’s e-mail system and all other appropriate methods
- 8. Working with the NLU administration, Faculty Senate, and the colleges to secure adjunct faculty participation and voting rights on committees and task forces where adjunct faculty interests are involved or where adjunct perspective/expertise is appropriate
Article III. Adjunct Faculty Member Defined
Section 1 — Definition.
An “adjunct” is defined as a part-time faculty member of National Louis University on active status consistent with prevailing hiring practice.
Section 2 — Credentials and Qualifications.
An adjunct’s professional credentials and qualifications are determined by the program the adjunct is to teach in, which reviews the prospective faculty member’s résumé or curriculum vitae to determine compliance with requirements of the Higher Learning Commission and other bodies as deemed appropriate by the University.
In accordance with the Higher Learning Commissions guidelines, an adjunct’s professional credentials and qualifications are determined by designated representatives in each program after review of the prospective adjunct faculty member’s résumé, curriculum vitae, official transcripts and other documentation deemed appropriate by the university.
Article IV. Articles of Governance
Section 1 — Meetings of Adjunct Council.
Council meetings are open to all adjuncts. The Chair and Chair-Elect of the Adjunct Council shall announce scheduled meeting dates and times to adjunct faculty at least two weeks prior to the scheduled meetings. All meetings shall be held through communication methods that allow adjunct faculty from across the different campuses to attend.
The Adjunct Council will hold monthly meetings beginning in July each academic year. The meetings will be held at a time and frequency as determined by a majority of the members. The latest Robert’s Rules of Order will be used.
A quorum, defined as a majority, of the Adjunct Council members is required to conduct official business. Each member shall have one vote when deciding official business. The Council may adjourn into executive session by majority vote. Meetings may be canceled by majority vote. The Chair and Chair-Elect of Adjunct Council shall also use appropriate outlets of communication by which to announce cancellation(s)/change(s) of meetings.
Section 2 — Eligibility.
In order to become a member of the Adjunct Council, an adjunct faculty member must be at least a Tier 2 adjunct and have taught at least two courses during the last two academic years.
Section 3 — Election Criteria.
Election to, and continued service on, the Adjunct Council will be contingent upon:
a) willingness to serve on the Adjunct Council and committees as assigned and/or appropriate
b) attendance at all Adjunct Council meetings
c) active involvement in Council meetings and activities
d) attendance at the Fall Connection meeting in person
e) commitment to serving the full term
f) willingness for active collaboration and communication with adjunct faculty and Deans/Executive Directors at the college/regional level
g) representation of adjuncts’ interests as appropriate
Any full-time staff, full-time faculty, or person designated to serve in an administrative role may not serve on the Adjunct Council, even if this person has received an adjunct contract, since the primary relationship to the university is as a full-time employee. In the event an Adjunct Council member’s status changes to a full time employee, the member is obliged to resign from Adjunct Council, but may serve the remainder of the academic year.
Section 4 — Membership.
There are nine voting members on the Adjunct Council, serving staggered terms with one-third new members each academic year, four from the National College of Education (NCE), four from the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA), and one from the Library and Learning Support (LLS). If a member from LLS is not available, a member teaching for another college may be elected for the three-year term. Without LLS adjunct representation on the Council, a LLS designee may be invited to serve as a non-voting ex-officio member. The Chief Academic Officer or designee shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Council. Ex-officio members cannot hold office within the Adjunct Council and cannot vote.
Section 5 — Term of Office.
A term on the Adjunct Council is for three years. Members are limited to serving two consecutive terms at a time. A member can be elected to a second consecutive three-year term applying the standard nomination and election process. After serving two consecutive terms, a minimum of one year off of the Council is required before being considered for service again. All qualifications must be met and the application of the standard nomination and election process is required. Terms run from July 1 – June 30.
Section 6— Service on Adjunct Council.
An adjunct faculty member may serve out his or her term of elected office regardless of whether he or she continues teaching during that term. However, the adjunct must be an active faculty member, consistent with prevailing hiring practice, by attending college meetings, serving on committees, and representing the college as appropriate.
Section 7 — Compensation.
Compensation for the adjunct faculty serving on the Adjunct Council is determined by the current adjunct rate and the workload assigned each academic year.
Section 8 — Adjunct Council Succession.
If a vacancy occurs during the year, the Adjunct Council’s Nominating Committee (ACNC) will convene. The ACNC will convene to determine if there is an already-vetted candidate from the prior election process who represents the specific college with the vacancy and could serve, or if a new nomination and election process is needed. During any time with vacancies, the Council’s Executive Committee shall continue the meetings and functions of the Adjunct Council, even if no quorum exists, until appropriate representation can be elected.
Section 9 — Executive Committee of the Adjunct Council
The Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary comprise the Executive Committee of the Council. Elections for the Executive Committee occur at the July meeting of the full Council. This includes the Council Chair-Elect and Secretary. In the event the previous Chair-Elect resigns, the Council will elect a Chair. The Council Chair and Secretary serve one-year terms. The Chair-Elect serves one year and then succeeds the Council Chair for a one year term. The Secretary can serve a maximum of two, one-year terms.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Council Chair and Chair-Elect preside at all Council meetings and represent the Council with regular updates at Faculty Senate meetings and other university functions as appropriate.
The Chair shall draft the Annual report of the Adjunct Council and submit to fellow members for review and approval. The Chair will be responsible for scheduling, meeting logistics and notifying the NLU community of all Council meetings at least two weeks prior to the given meeting. The Council Secretary attends university functions as appropriate, including the Connections Committee, as required.
The Council Secretary maintains and archives all Adjunct Council's current records including, but not limited to, meeting minutes, sending e-mails of the approved meeting minutes to all adjunct faculty members, the Faculty Senate, and the Chief Academic Officer in a timely manner. Additional responsibilities of the Secretary will be determined by majority vote of the Council.
Section 10 — Election to the Adjunct Council.
All new members of the Adjunct Council will be actively recruited and evaluated by the Council. Election to the Council is achieved in the following way:
a) In March, the Adjunct Council’s Executive Committee will post notice to the NLU community of all upcoming vacant Adjunct Council positions and shall electronically solicit nominations of qualified and willing candidates for vacant positions. The numbers of anticipated vacancies by college shall be specified in that notice. Eligible adjuncts can self-nominate. All nominations must be submitted by the last day in March. At the same time, the Adjunct Council Nominating Committee is formed.
b) The purpose of the Adjunct Council Nominating Committee is to verify eligibility of those nominated, interview candidates for adjunct council, and develop a list of recommended nominees, and create a ballot for the elections. The ACNC consists of:
- The Adjunct Council Executive Committee
- Three most senior Adjunct Council members not currently serving on Executive Committee
- One Tier 3 adjunct faculty from each college, and the LLS.
These three representatives will be identified by the Chair Elect who works with the Provost Office to facilitate the recruitment and workload with the colleges.
In the event that there are not Tier 3 adjunct faculty available from within a college, a Tier 2 adjunct faculty who has taught at least four courses within the past two academic years and is not currently serving on council, and is not intending on running for election in the upcoming elections may serve.
c) In April, the ACNC will confirm all nominations and collect current resumes and completed applications. In collaboration with the Provost Office and Human Relations, the ACNC will verify qualifications, eligibility, and potential contributions to the Council and University.
d) By mid-May, the ACNC will interview all candidates and present the ballot to the Adjunct Council for their information and the starting of the election process.
e) The Adjunct Council Chair-Elect will supervise the conducting of the electronic all adjunct faculty voting process for the Adjunct Council elections.
- By no later than mid-June, the one-week election process will take place.
- Adjunct faculty will vote within their primary assigned college, for only those nominees from that constituent body.
- When elections are closed, the ACNC will report the winner(s) of the Adjunct Council positions.
- The winner(s) are determined as such by majority vote in the affirmative of those adjunct faculty members who voted within the time frame of the election process.
f) At the June meeting of the Adjunct Council, the Adjunct Council will affirm the election process report from the ACNC. The Adjunct Council Chair-Elect will notify the election winners of the results, and notify them of the July meeting of the Adjunct Council.
Section 11 — Committee Assignments of Adjunct Council members.
Adjunct Council members will provide representation on Senate committees and University committees and Councils and participate in other workgroups to advance the work of the university. Committee assignments will be made by the Adjunct Council Chair in consultation with the Adjunct Council member and workload determined between the Adjunct Council Chair and Provost.
Section 12 — Annual Summary of Activities.
The Adjunct Council will submit an annual summary of Council activities by the end of June (or earlier if asked by the administration to do so) to the University President, Provost, Faculty Senate, and college deans.
Section 13 — Decision-Making.
Adjunct Council decisions will be made by either (a) consensus or (b) majority vote. If members of the Council opt to decide an issue by a form of consensus, an appropriate form must be specified, otherwise Robert's Rules of Order remain in effect to decide issues and conduct official business of the Council. Any Council member can request a majority vote on any issue, consistent with Robert's Rules of Order.
Section 14 — Resignation and Removal from the Adjunct Council.
Council members resigning before the end of their term shall submit their resignation to the Council Chair in writing. A Council member can be removed from the Council by majority vote for failing to comply with the appointment criteria. If there is a vacancy due to removal or resignation, a replacement will be elected and will serve the remainder of the term of the person replaced. If there are more than 18 months remaining on the term of the replaced member, the newly elected member may only be elected to one additional consecutive full term on the Council.
Article V. Charter Amendment/Revision
The Adjunct Council Charter may be amended/revised by the following process:
- a motion and second to draft an amendment/revision to the Charter approved by a majority vote of the council.
- a motion and second to adopt the amendment/revision to the charter approved by a majority vote of the council.
- Approval of amendment/revision by University Administration and Faculty Senate.
All Charter amendments/revisions must include a parenthetical date of the amendment. Other relevant information regarding the change or addition to the Charter is also included with the date if the information is critical to understanding the amendment. All amendments are to be listed in Section VII and all revisions are to be listed in the applicable sections of the Charter.
Article VI. Charter Ratification
In September of 2006, after a thorough review of the current Adjunct Council Charter, goals, and participation in shared governance initiatives, the Adjunct Council determined that a comprehensive reorganization of the council would be required if they were achieve the mission and goals as presented in the original charter. In October 2015, the Adjunct Council sought to align its charter, consistent with the Faculty Association constitution at National Louis University, to clarify its mission, operation, and methods.