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The University of Texas System
Faculty Advisory Council
The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council (UTSFAC) is advisory to the Board of Regents and to the U.T. System Administration and functions to define, analyze, resolve, and make recommendations on faculty issues concerning the well-being and excellence of The University of Texas (U.T.) System and to contribute to a more general process of providing leadership in setting a strategic agenda for faculty development in the U.T. System.
Charge to The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council
The UTSFAC is charged with:
1. Identifying issues of concern to the faculty, Board of Regents, or well-being of the U.T. System.
2. Responding to issues at the request of the Board of Regents, Chancellor, U.T. System Administration, and/or UTSFAC membership.
3. Conducting fact-finding, background exploration, exposition, analysis, and deliberation on issues and to develop recommendations and/or action plans for review by the UTSFAC.
4. Disseminating information to the UTSFAC, Board of Regents, and faculty and administrators of U.T. System institutions.
Each U.T. System institution, through its faculty governing bodies, selects two designated representatives and an alternate to the UTSFAC. These individuals become regular members of the UTSFAC for the length of their terms of service in their respective governing bodies. If a member's local governance term of service expires at the end of a spring term, the member shall continue his or her FAC service up to, but not including the first UTSFAC meeting of the following academic year. Each alternate, if asked to represent his/her institution in the absence of a regular member, will enjoy the full rights and responsibilities of regular members. Terms of service are determined by the institution, with a one-year term being the standard. In selecting their designated representatives, institutions should strive to maintain continuity of membership and ensure broad faculty input. The names of faculty-designated representatives to UTSFAC are certified by the respective institutional president as to meeting the institution's criteria for UTSFAC representation and forwarded to the Chancellor. New members begin service at the first meeting of the academic year.
Mode of Operation
The UTSFAC conducts its business through committees, in which issues are deliberated and open forum, in which issues are decided. Committees include an Executive Committee and three Standing Committees: Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality, Governance, and Health Affairs. Ad hoc committees may be appointed. Roberts' Rules of Order serves as the standard for the conduct of meetings. A quorum at meetings is constituted by the presence of greater than 50% of voting members. Business may be conducted electronically providing a majority of members participate.
• The Executive Committee is composed of the UTSFAC Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, immediate Past-Chair, and Co-Chairs of each of the Standing Committees.
• The Executive Committee sets the agenda for meetings, recommends changes in the Organizational Guidelines and/or procedures, establishes rapport and coordination with external agencies or individuals to facilitate the work of the UTSFAC, and provides general guidance for the UTSFAC.
• The Executive Committee serves as an informational resource and consulting group for the Chancellor on legislative issues related of the U.T. System and its faculty.
• When possible, the Executive Committee meets with the executive vice chancellor prior to each UTSFAC meeting to identify issues for discussion of the meeting.
At the first meeting of the academic year, each member chooses a Standing Committee on which to serve, with approval of the UTSFAC Chair. Members of each standing Committee choose Co-Chairs to lead the Committee for a one-year renewable term.
Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality
The Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality Committee makes recommendations on issues related to the academic mission, well-being, recruitment, retention, and support of the faculty, including:
• Academic standards of excellence and professional ethics
• Resources for academic infrastructure to deliver academic programs
• Relations with students, including instruction, discipline, and ethics
• Program initiation, review, and termination
• Faculty responsibilities and workload
• Faculty compensation, including equity among U.T. System institutions and with their academic peer universities, and the basis for merit salary increases
• Faculty benefits and other quality of life issues, including insurance, retirement programs, educational benefits, sufficient support personnel, and family related issues
• A supported professional development leave program
The Governance Committee makes recommendation related to the role, status, and well-being of the faculty, including:
• Faculty participation in academic decision-making, institutional budgets and planning, and management and administration at the departmental, college, and System levels
• Faculty governance processes
• Hiring, evaluation, continuation, tenure, promotion, and termination of faculty
• Selection, evaluation, continuation, and termination of administrators
The Health Affairs Committee makes recommendation related to the role, status, and well-being of the faculty at the medical components, including:
• Faculty compensation
• Policies for sharing of expertise within the U.T. System and the community
• Ethics and informed consent issues
• Oversight of health and dental benefits
• Guidelines for peer review of clinical practice
• The UTSFAC meets in regular session three times each year in a location chosen by the Chair with approval of the Executive Committee and the U.T. System Administration
• Notice of meetings is sent to the membership before each meeting
• UTSFAC meeting are open to visitors, unless there is a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote to close the meeting, or a portion of the meeting
• In addition to the regularly scheduled meetings of the UTSFAC, special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee
• Officers include the Chair, Chair-Elect, immediate Past-Chair, and Secretary. Officers are considered to be ex-officio members, are not considered to be official representatives of their respective component institutions, and serve without vote, except that the Chair may vote in case of a tie.
• The incoming Chair-Elect and Secretary are elected annually. Officers are permitted to serve their full terms of office, so long as they remain members of a U.T. System faculty. UTSFAC Members who move into full-time administrative appointments and are no longer eligible to serve on their institution's faculty governing body may not serve on the UTSFAC.
• The Secretary is elected for a two-year term.
• The term of office is one year beginning at the conclusion of the meeting at which officers are elected. If the Chair resigns, the Chair-Elect assumes the responsibilities and title of Chair for the remainder of the unexpired term and for the Chair-Elect's regular term as Chair. If the Chair-Elect or Secretary resign, a special election shall be held at the next meeting to fill the vacancy. The secretary may serve no more than three consecutive terms.
• The duties of the Chair include conducting meetings of the UTSFAC and its Executive Committee: implementing the Organizational Guidelines; communicating with the Chancellor, Board of Regents, and other System officials; appearing before the Board of Regents at least annually to report on the activities of the UTSFAC, receiving and communicating to the membership nominations for officers, and representing the UTSFAC to its constituents and outside parties.
• The Chair-Elect serves in the absence of the Chair.
• The immediate Past-Chair serves in an advisory capacity.
• The Secretary records and distributes minutes of meetings.
• The Chair, Chair-Elect, and immediate Past-Chair shall develop a slate of candidates, consisting of one candidate per open position, for the position of Chair-Elect and Secretary (if the Secretary needs to be elected).
• Only designated representatives may be elected to the position of Chair-Elect and Secretary.
• In odd-numbered years, the Chair-Elect is elected from members representing a general academic institution. In even-numbered years, the Chair-Elect is elected from members representing a health institution.
• Members seeking the office of Chair-Elect or nominating other members, should notify the Chair.
• The Chair shall notify the membership of the names of the candidates on the slate no later than the beginning of the meeting during which elections are to occur.
• At the meeting at which the election is held, each candidate for the position of Chair-Elect may address the members.
• Nominations for Chair-Elect may be made from the floor by any member of the UTSFAC.
• The election for Chair-Elect is conducted by secret ballot. Tellers appointed by the Chair tally the ballots and the Chair announces the results. A simple majority of the votes is required for a candidate to be elected.
• In case no candidate receives a simple majority of votes in the first round of balloting, a run-off election is held among the smallest number of candidates who received a simple majority of votes. Balloting will continue in this manner until one candidate receives a simple majority of the votes.
• Procedures for electing the Secretary are the same as those for the Chair-Elect.
• Committee Co-chairs take office at the conclusion of the same meeting at which the Chair-elect and Secretary are elected.
• Proposed amendments(s) to the Organizational Guidelines should be provided to the membership at least thirty (30) days before the meeting at which the amendments(s) are to be voted on. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the quorum is required for passage.
• If less than thirty (30) days advance notice is given, a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the quorum is required for passage.
Date accepted: September 1999 updated: June 2009. Updated March 2017. Updated October 5, 2017.