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Monday, April 6, 2020


Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020

Vote on College Faculty Bylaws

From the Chair of the College Senate
According to Section X of the State University of New York Policies of the Board of Trustees, the faculty of each SUNY college must have bylaws that specify a variety of important matters concerning the shared governance of that college.

In 2019, it was discovered that it was not clear that the Buffalo State College faculty had legitimate bylaws. More specifically, while the Buffalo State College faculty wrote and approved bylaws in the 1970s, at some point between 1977 and 1991, the local practice developed of referring to those bylaws as the “College Senate Bylaws.” This practice gave the impression that these were bylaws of the College Senate rather than bylaws of the college faculty. Moreover, the college faculty made numerous amendments to the 1977 version of the College Faculty Bylaws under the false impression that the bylaws they were modifying were the College Senate Bylaws. Owing to the confusion surrounding the status of these bylaws, at least some of these amendments are not legitimate, since they conflict with stipulations in the Policies of the Board of Trustees.

Upon recognizing the above, the College Senate Bylaws and Elections Committee worked with the college president and SUNY counsel to devise the following plan. The College Senate’s Bylaws and Elections Committee would construct College Faculty Bylaws that conform with the Policies of the Board of Trustees. In doing so, it would adopt the philosophy that the college faculty intended to change its bylaws in the same ways in which the College Senate Bylaws were amended between 1991 and 2009. Accordingly, the newly constructed College Faculty Bylaws would resemble the current College Senate Bylaws except where modifications were required for compliance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees, would clarify the system of shared governance embedded in these bylaws, or were requested to this system of shared governance by the College Senate or college faculty.

It was further agreed that, once these bylaws were approved by the College Senate, they would be put, as a whole, to the college faculty for approval and, if approved, proceed to the president, the College Council, and the SUNY Board of Trustees for approval and execution.

At its March meeting, the College Senate passed this resolution (DOCX , 66 KB) concerning the College Faculty Bylaws. The college faculty will vote on the approval of the bylaws included in this resolution the week of April 20–24. For further information about these bylaws or this vote, please contact Julian Cole, chair of the College Senate Bylaws and Elections Committee.

Submitted by: Vincent T Masci
Also appeared:
Monday, April 13, 2020