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Bloomington Faculty Council discusses changes to its constitution


The Bloomington Faculty Council meets from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month during the regular school year. Council meetings are open to non-members as provided in the policy. Xiaoan Guan Buy Photos

Amendments to the Bloomington Faculty Council constitution were proposed at the council's Tuesday meeting, drawing lengthy discussion about language that specifies who is considered faculty.

Fourteen proposals to amend the council’s constitution were listed on the agenda, but discussion only made it to the first eight proposals, meaning the last six will be tabled until the next meeting, Tuesday, March 20.

Today's Proposals

The first two proposals, which help define the non-tenure-track academic-appointees considered to be faculty, drew the most discussion. The second proposed amendment allows changes to be made to non-tenure-track faculty titles without having to make changes to the constitution.

However, some were concerned making the language more generic could allow future categories of non-tenure-track faculty to be considered faculty without the BFC deciding whether or not they fit that designation. 

Four proposals will be discussed further at the March 20 meeting before being voted on at a later meeting. This delay allows changes to be made to the proposals before voting. The other four discussed will be voted on at the March 20 meeting.

Most proposed amendments would make the language of the constitution more generic so that changes do not need to be made as frequently or so that the constitution can be in line with how the council actually operates.

For example, one section proposed to be amended says the Bloomington Provost will report on the state of the campus in the fall, while Provost Lauren Robel will give her state of the campus speech in the spring this year. The amendment would change the section to say the provost will report on the state of the campus at least once a year.

Proposed amendments need a majority vote from the BFC. Then, the proposed amendments will be announced to all faculty. All faculty on campus will have 15 days to meet as a whole if needed and discuss the proposals before all faculty vote. Again, a majority vote is needed to pass the proposed amendment.

Future Proposals

One proposed amendment will establish election units on the council for clinical appointees, lecturer appointees, professor of practice appointees and research scientist/scholar appointees. 

The current constitution gives professors of practice no representation on the BFC, and there was only one representative for the other three non-tenure track faculty ranks that will now have election units.

Other proposed amendments include cutting the amount of council members elected from the campus at large from 10 members to five and eliminating two of the four graduate student representatives from the voting membership of the council. This will help keep the council at a manageable size to account for the proposed increase in non-tenure-track faculty representation on the council.

Other Action

The council began the meeting by reading a memorial letter for Bruce Cole, a distinguished professor emeritus and former IU trustee who died Jan. 8.

"We at IU are extremely proud to serve as Bruce's academic home for so many years and benefit from his extraordinary accomplishments and service to the University,” said Eliza Pavalko, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. “He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues here and all around the nation."

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