College By-Laws

By-Laws of the Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts

Revised and Adopted May 2019

Article I. Personnel

The Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts shall consist of all Instructors, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors in the departments listed below; the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts as Chair, and the Associate and/or Assistant Dean(s) of the College.

The following Department, Institutes, and Programs, plus other departments, institutes, and programs which subsequently may be assigned to the College through appropriate procedures will comprise the College:  Anthropology; Art and Art History; Center for the Humanities; Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies; Communication; Education; English; Geography; History; Humanities Program; Justice Studies; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Theatre and Dance, Women’s and Gender Studies.

Tenure-track members of the Faculty, as defined above, shall be entitled to vote on all matters brought before the College.

Article II. Meetings

The Faculty shall meet at least once each semester. Special meetings may be called by the Dean or upon the request of 15 members. Notification of meetings shall be given to all members.

At appropriate times each year the Faculty shall, in a general meeting, consider and vote upon the granting of academic degrees and privileges to candidates for graduation. The Faculty shall also discuss and vote upon the creation of new major and minor programs of study within the College and upon such policy matters that are presented to the Faculty by the Dean or upon the recommendation of the standing committees.

Article III. Quorum

A quorum shall consist of 50 members, but a smaller number may adjourn from hour to hour until such a quorum is secured.

Article IV. Parliamentary Rules

In its proceedings, the Faculty shall be governed by Roberts’ Rules of Order, except in such cases as shall be otherwise provided.

Article V. Order or Business

Minutes of preceding meeting
Communications from the Dean
Reports of standing committees
Reports of special committees
Unfinished business
New business

Article VI. Officers

The Dean of the College shall be the presiding officer of the Faculty. In the absence of the Dean, the presiding officer shall be the senior Associate Dean present; in the absence of any Associate Dean, the presiding officer shall be the Department Chair present who has had the longest service in that capacity.

The Secretary of the Faculty shall be appointed by the Dean either from the membership of the Faculty or from the staff of the Dean’s Office.

The Dean is responsible for recommending the appointment of Chairs for the departments in the College, in accordance with the provisions in the Faculty Handbook.

Article VII. Office of the Dean

The Dean is the chief executive officer of the College and acts on behalf of the College Faculty in carrying out its academic programs. In all matters where authority has not been specifically delegated elsewhere by these or other By-Laws, it is the responsibility of the Dean to take appropriate action. Such action may include establishing ad hoc committees that bring recommendations directly to the Faculty or which advise the Dean on matters of importance.

The senior Associate Dean present shall, in addition to carrying out such responsibilities as may be assigned by the Dean, act for the Dean in the Dean’s absence.

Article VIII. Divisions

In order to facilitate the representativesness of the Faculty on certain College committees, the departments, institutes, and programs are organized into divisions. There shall be Divisions as follows: Humanities, Social Science, Fine and Performing Arts, and Education. The personnel of each Division shall consist of all tenure-track Faculty members assigned to appropriate units of the College of Liberal Arts. Membership in a Division for a faculty member is defined by the home department. The Divisions have no legislative function and have no requirement to meet, though the Faculty in a Division may at any time choose to meet to consider matters of mutual interest and concern.

Each Division, except Education, shall elect by ballot from its members a Chairperson who shall hold office for one year. The Chairperson shall be a member of the Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts. Division officers shall be elected in April of each year and shall take office on the Commencement day following. The Chairperson shall be responsible for holding the elections each year and for presiding over any meetings the Division may choose to hold.

The Humanities Division

The Humanities Division shall be composed of the staffs of the Departments of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies; English; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Philosophy; and Women’s and Gender Studies.

The Fine and Performing Arts Division

The Fine and Performing Arts Division shall be composed of the Faculty of the Departments of Art and Art History, Music, and Theatre and Dance.

The Social Science Division

The Social Science Division shall be composed of the staffs of the Departments of Anthropology, Communication, Geography, History, Justice Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

The Education Division

The Education Division shall consist of the members of the instructional Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts who are teaching professional courses in education. It shall also include such members of the College of Liberal Arts staff as may be engaged in supervising student teaching.

It shall be the function of the Education Division to promote the integration and continued development of teacher-education activities of the University, and to recommend to the appropriate Colleges and department administrative officers such changes in curricular offerings or requirements necessary to increase the effectiveness of teacher preparation at the University.

The Chairperson of the Education Division shall be the Chairperson of the Department of Education, who is charged by the State of New Hampshire with teacher certification validation.

Article IX. Standing Committees

The following constitute the standing committees of the College Faculty:

  1. Executive Committee
  2. Policies Committee
  3. Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure

The Executive Committee and Policies Committee shall report and be responsible to the College Faculty; the Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall report in its advisory capacity to the Dean.

Article X. Constitution and Appointment of Standing Committees

  1. The Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee shall consist of the Dean of the College as Chairperson, an Associate or Assistant Dean as Non-voting Secretary, and the Chairpersons of the several Divisions. A Division Chairperson who is unable to attend a meeting of the Committee shall designate a representative from the Division to serve at that meeting.

  2. The Policies Committee

    The Policies Committee shall consist of five regular members of the College Faculty as defined in Article I: one representative from Humanities, one representative from Fine and Performing Arts, two representatives from Social Science, and one representative from Education. The faculty members of the Committee shall be elected in April by their respective Divisions for two-year terms, and shall take office on the following Commencement Day. A faculty member withdrawing shall be replaced by another member elected from the Division, whose term shall expire when that of the original member would have expired. No faculty member shall be eligible for re-election until the election following the expiration of the previous term.

    The Committee shall select from its membership, in any manner satisfactory to a majority thereof, a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and secretary, each to serve for one year, though each such officer shall be eligible for re-election. Officers of the Committee shall be elected between May 1 and Commencement Day of each year. Members whose terms have not expired and new members only, may vote for Committee officers. Terms of office shall begin on Commencement Day of each year. Meetings of the Policies Committee shall be called by the Chairperson or any three members.

  3. The Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure

    The Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall consist of ten tenured members of the regular College faculty at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor. They shall act as two autonomous panels of five members each, independently making their recommendations concerning promotion and tenure to the Dean.

    No member of the committee may simultaneously be a Department Chair, or Faculty Fellow within the Office of the Dean of the College. Faculty on leaves of absence or on exchange assignment abroad are also ineligible to serve. However, Department Chairs, Faculty Fellows, and faculty on leave are eligible to vote in the election because of their faculty status. Tenured faculty who are not members of the bargaining unit are eligible to vote but not to serve.

    Faculty being considered for tenure and/or promotion may not serve on the committee. If a member of a review panel comes from the same department as a case being reviewed, that person must withdraw from consideration of the case which will then be reviewed by the remaining members of the review panel.

    The Dean’s Office shall, by October 1, send to each full-time faculty member holding a tenure-track appointment in the College a ballot that lists those eligible for service on the committee. The ballot shall contain the names of continuing members of the committee and provide instructions on voting and on the vacancies to be filled, to complete the composition of the committee as described below.

    Faculty members shall vote for as many candidates as they wish and shall not rank their choices. Faculty members may vote for candidates in any department and division. Ballots shall be unsigned.

    To insure confidentiality of the process, the Dean’s Office shall rely on specially designated department secretaries to perform the task of distributing and collecting ballots within each department by a specified date and time of day. The secretary shall return all ballots by a specified date and time to a designated person in the Office of the Dean. Department Chairs should alert secretaries to the importance of accuracy and confidentiality in this process.

    The Executive Committee shall be responsible for tallying the votes and for designating members of the Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure from those nominees receiving the greatest faculty support consistent with the following considerations:


    1. The entire Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall have at least one representative from each Division within the College.
    2. Each panel shall have at least two members at the rank of Professor.
    3. Neither panel shall have more than one member from a single department.
    4. The entire Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall be constituted in such a way as to ensure representation by both sexes. No panel shall consist entirely of members of one sex.

    If the process fails to generate appropriate representation, the Executive Committee will be charged with designating the appropriate member from among the next highest vote getters. Election results, including the total number of valid ballots cast and a list of all numbers of votes and names of all faculty who received as many or more votes as the lowest vote-getter designated to the Committee shall be made public. Disqualifiers shall be stated where application of conditions specified above may prevent top vote-getters from being designated. 

    Each member shall serve for two years; five new members shall be designated each academic year. Members shall not serve consecutive terms. The process of forming the committee shall be completed each year by November 1.

Article XI. Duties of Committees

  1. The Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee shall assist the Dean in the administration of the affairs of the College. It shall have no legislative authority. Requests for the waiving of or the substitution for, College requirements will be acted upon by this committee. A copy of the minutes of the Executive Committee will be sent to each member of the faculty.

  2. The Policies Committee

    The Policies Committee shall study and recommend to the Dean or College Faculty, action on any matter of administrative or educational policy entrusted to the College, and shall review current direction of the College and plan for its future development. Action may be initiated by the Committee itself, or by the Dean, or by any member of the College Faculty. No College policy shall become operative until it ha been considered by the Committee. The Policies Committee shall schedule hearings for the full and free discussion of matters which are likely to have a particular effect on the work of a given department or curriculum before action may be recommended thereon to the Dean or College Faculty. It may request the Dean’s assistance in securing the services of any member of the College Faculty. If no action has been taken on a recommendation of the Committee within three months from the date of the vote to recommend, the Policies Committee may refer the matter in question to the College Faculty for action. The minutes of each meeting of the Policies Committee shall be transmitted to the entire membership of the College Faculty as defined in Article I. The Policies Committee may establish from its membership such sub-committees as it deems necessary for the proper discharging of its responsibilities.

  3. The Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure

    The Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall advise the Dean on all promotion and tenure matters.

    The Dean shall distribute cases equally to the panels on the basis of random selection, except that insofar as possible, cases will not be sent to panels that include members of the same department as that of the faculty member under consideration. Should this not be possible, such panel members shall disqualify themselves.

    The Dean shall make available to the appropriate panel the complete materials forwarded to the College by the departments of the faculty members under consideration. The panels may request additional information they deem relevant to a thorough evaluation of each case. Such information may come from interviews and/or written communications with individuals on or off campus.

    Each panel shall make its recommendations independently to the Dean. If a decision is later to be reviewed at the College level, the case will go to the other panel, provided the faculty member approves.

    All ten members shall meet as a committee with the Dean before starting the annual consideration of cases so that procedures and criteria for recommendation may be clarified. They will meet again with the Dean after final decisions have been made by the Board of Trustees for the purpose of reviewing the role of the Committee in the recommendation process.

XII. Special Committees

Special committees for specific purposes may be created by the College Faculty or appointed by the Dean. Such committees will disband automatically upon completion of the work assigned them or they may be dissolved at any time by the creating agent.

XIII. Amending the By-Laws

These By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the College Faculty by unanimous consent of the members present. They may also be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided that notice of the proposed amendment has been given to the members at least one week in advance.