CALS Faculty Executive Committee
Members can be contacted at cfec [at] cornell.edu:
- Joe McFadden (Chair) - Animal Science
- James Blankenship - Molecular Biology & Genetics
- Kerik Cox - School of Integrative Plant Science
- Robin Blakely-Armitage – Global Development
- Michael Mazourek - School of Integrative Plant Science
- Anurag Agrawal - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Diane Bailey - Communication
Four tenure-track faculty members elected at large from the Ithaca campus, one tenure-track faculty member elected from Geneva campus, two RTE faculty members and the Executive Dean or one Sr. Associate Dean. Elected members will serve for a three-year term. Chair, designated by the members of the committee.
Length of Term
Act as advisory council for the CALS Leadership and liaison for the CALS faculty with the CALS Leadership.
ByLaws (approved by faculty vote, 9/18/2019):
- CFEC, CALS Faculty Executive Committee
- ED, CALS Executive Dean or one of the CALS Senior Associate Deans
- NC, Nominations Committee
- ON-LINE VOTE, a vote among eligible CALS academic Faculty using internet technology with the capacity to protect the identification of individual voters
The CALS Faculty Executive Committee (CFEC) provides the structure for shared governance within CALS. It establishes a mechanism by which Faculty and administration can interact with transparency; increases participation of CALS Faculty in college policy decisions; and takes action rapidly on emerging issues.
The CALS Faculty voted in Spring ’18 to replace the CALS Faculty Senate with CFEC. See appendices for the formative document.
- Powers in general:
The powers and functions of the CALS Faculty are hereby delegated to CFEC. They are subject to the power of the CALS Faculty to postpone or nullify any action of CFEC. CALS Faculty include the following academic titles: Tenure-Track Faculty (all ranks), Research professors (all ranks), Professors-of-the-Practice (all ranks), Clinical Professors (all ranks), Research Associates (all ranks), Lecturers (all ranks), Extension Associates (all ranks), Senior Scientists, Principal Research Scientists, and Research Scientists are eligible.
- Exercise of Powers:
In exercising the powers of CFEC, it is anticipated that its members will take all reasonable measures to ascertain Faculty opinion by means of regular consultations with their constituencies and other appropriate means, and that CFEC will keep the CALS Faculty fully informed of the reasons for its decisions. Without limiting the paragraph above, or the other powers set forth in this document, CFEC shall have the following specific powers and responsibilities:
- To select its Chair from CFEC elected members.
- To oversee the CALS standing committees, including the formation and disbanding of standing committees. To approve or reject the slate of candidates for CALS Standing Committees presented by the NC, CFEC ad-hoc committees, and be informed of and provide input regarding college committees appointed by the Dean.
- To adopt, amend, or repeal by-laws or other procedures relating to the conduct and scope of CFEC, its business and the duties and functions of its members and CALS standing committees.
- To request and expect reports from its officers and committees, and from others in the university community or elsewhere.
- To express its views concerning any matter within its responsibilities or reasonably related thereto, either at a meeting of the Faculty or in such other manner as may be appropriate
- To participate fully in the shared governance of CALS in matters that are under the purview of the faculty.
"Shared governance....is a delicate balance between Faculty and staff participation in planning and decision-making processes, on the one hand, and administrative accountability on the other..... No one person is arbitrarily making important decisions absent the advice of key constituents; nor is decision making simply a function of a group vote. The various stakeholders participate in well-defined parts of the process. The second common, but overlapping, concept of shared governance is that certain constituencies are given primary responsibility over decision making in certain areas. True shared governance attempts to balance maximum participation in decision making with clear accountability.1"
1Exactly What is Shared Governance? Gary A. Olson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2009B.
- The role of CFEC in shared governance:
The CALS administration, and in particular, the Dean, Executive Dean, and/or Senior Associate Deans, will look to CFEC for advice and consultation on major policy issues that are of interest to the Faculty. To facilitate that advisory and consultative relationship, ED will meet on a regular basis with CFEC such that there is broad engagement between the Administration and Faculty. CFEC also establishes a mechanism by which Faculty and administration can interact with transparency.
- Principles of cooperation and consultation between ED and CFEC:
CFEC and CALS administration acknowledge that a positive working relationship is vital for maintaining and improving the quality of CALS. To enhance coordination, communication, and consultation, CFEC and the CALS administration will adhere to the principles that are enumerated below.
- CALS administration recognizes CFEC as the bona fide representative of CALS Faculty.
- CALS administration recognizes CFEC as the principal liason between CALS Faculty and the administration. CFEC will meet regularly, at least monthly during the academic year, with ED, who will advise CFEC of issues under consideration that come within the purview of CFEC.
- CFEC may send a representative to meetings of the Dean with Department and Section Chairs, as well as meetings of the Cornell AgriTech Executive Committee.
- ED will meet with CFEC at the end of each academic year to plan a shared agenda for the following academic year, identifying major issues of concern to CALS and CALS Faculty. The parties recognize that additional issues of concern may be identified during the course of the year, which may also be addressed by CFEC.
- CALS administration will look to CFEC for advice and consultation on major educational policy issues. To facilitate that advisory and consultative relationship, ED will meet regularly, at least twice a semester, with CFEC.
- For ad hoc CFEC committees, CFEC and ED will work together to create the committee charge and to appoint the Faculty members to such committees. CFEC will seek nominations for committee members from NC, and will meet with ED to discuss these nominations. For committees established by the university administration in which CALS Faculty has a stake and to which Faculty members will be appointed, ED and CFEC will meet to discuss committee membership after the Cornell administration has made the final decision on the charge for such committees. Whenever possible, however, CFEC and ED will work together to create the charge for committees established by the Cornell administration. For both joint Faculty-administration committees and committees established by the CALS administration, the CALS administration will make the final decision about Faculty membership.
- Meaningful Faculty governance requires adequate time for consideration of issues and development of recommendations. To that end, ED will not reach final conclusions or take action on major educational policy issues until the normal steps for securing Faculty input, including a reasonable period for relevant CFEC committees to act and for subsequent deliberations by CFEC to occur. Adequate time for deliberations by CFEC on such issues will include at least two consecutive regularly scheduled CFEC meetings, unless CFEC completes its deliberations in fewer meetings. ED and CFEC acknowledge that there may be occasions when it will not be possible to plan months in advance to bring an issue to CFEC. In such cases, ED will inform CFEC and seek advice about how to provide for input from CFEC.
- The CALS administration will inform CFEC of their decisions on major policy issues of interest to the Faculty and explain their reasons for them.
CFEC consists of seven elected members of the CALS voting Faculty and one non-voting member of the CALS administration (e.g. ED). The elected members shall be made up of: four tenure-track Faculty members elected at large from the Ithaca campus, one tenure-track Faculty member elected from the Geneva campus, and two members from the non-tenure track CALS Faculty.
CFEC Chair is elected by a majority vote of CFEC. The election shall take place at the first meeting of CFEC following each election cycle. The chair will designate an alternate chair to conduct official business of the committee in his/her absence. As an elected member, the chair shall have one vote on all questions. A member of the committee shall be recused, either by his/her own initiative or by a majority vote of the committee, from any participation on any matter with elements of conflicting interest. On those occasions when the chair might be deemed to have a conflict of interest, the alternate chair will conduct the official business of the committee.
CFEC voting members will be limited to two full three-year terms of service (service for two years, or less, shall not be counted against eligibility for two full terms).
Elected members will serve for a three-year term. Terms of membership shall be staggered, in the manner determined by NC, so that approximately one-third of the total membership shall be elected each year, assuring continuity. All decisions on apportionments shall be made, and all questions and disputes concerning the same shall be resolved, by NC.
NC shall call for Faculty nominees during the Spring semester each year for service starting July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year. Faculty interested in running for a CFEC seat may submit an up to 250-word statement, with a due date indicated in the call for nominees. NC will gather nominations and will work with ED to confirm eligibility to serve. The statements will be distributed at least two weeks prior to voting. Voting will be open to all eligible CALS Faculty and will be carried out via an on-line vote. The online vote must have at least a 30% response rate. If this response rate is not reached, the voting period will be extended for one additional week, at which time those who have not yet voted will receive a reminder email to do so. The candidate with the most votes at the end of the extension period will be elected into the position.
Any vacancy arising from death, resignation, incapacity, or other reason, shall be filled by a special election of the CALS Faculty, except that if the vacancy is for an unexpired term of ninety days or less, it shall be optional to leave the vacancy unfilled for the balance of such term. Nominations, in the case of a special election, shall come from the CALS Faculty, ED, and NC.
If any member fails to attend three or more consecutive meetings of CFEC, that member’s seat may be declared vacant by a majority vote of CFEC.
CFEC may, at its discretion, provide for recall procedures, which shall authorize CFEC to remove a member for reasons specified in such procedures and to declare the seat vacant. Any such removal must be initiated upon the petition of at least four of the voting members of CFEC and must, to take effect, have the approval of at least 50 percent of CFEC membership.
When a policy recommendation falls within the purview of the Faculty, CFEC will first solicit voting Faculty for feedback using an open-text on-line request for comment. If the feedback is deemed to be relatively uniform and consistent, we will vote within CFEC on a policy recommendation. In such a case, CFEC will view non-participation, or lack of feedback, at this stage as confirmative or agnostic of the policy. If CFEC cannot discern a clear consensus and/or it is contentious, CFEC will discuss the feedback in an attempt to make a recommendation. CFEC will then present said recommendation, or a list of options, to the Faculty for an on-line vote. Supporting materials will be provided to voting Faculty two weeks in advance of said vote. The on-line vote must have at least a 30% response rate. If this response rate is not reached, the voting period will be extended for one additional week, at which time those who have not yet voted will receive a reminder e-mail to do so. The final decision will be made by a simple majority of those voting. Supporting materials, provided as PDF files, and the results of the votes on final motions will be archived, searchable, and available for viewing by the Faculty.
A quorum at any meeting shall be 50% of CFEC members either in person or by remote access.
- CFEC will send out its agenda one week before its regularly scheduled meetings, which take place monthly. These meetings are listed on the CFEC website at: /about/leadership/executive-dean/cfec/ and are open for CALS community members that wish to visit in person or viaremote access.
- To initiate issues for the agenda, CALS Faculty must notify CFEC Chair eight days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting.
- The last 10 minutes of its monthly meetings constitute an executive session that will take place without the presence of ED.
- Regularly scheduled CFEC meetings are audio recorded. Summary descriptions of meeting minutes are distributed to CALS Faculty and Deans within one week of the meeting. The executive sessions of CFEC will not be audio recorded.
All CALS community members are welcome to speak for up to three minutes at CFEC meetings. This can be done in person or by remote access at the beginning of the monthly CFEC meeting by making yourself known when CFEC asks if anyone is requesting to speak in the open session. If the matter will require more than 3 minutes of meeting time, a pre-discussion with CFEC Chair is required.
Except as otherwise provided herein, or in special rules adopted by the Faculty, the rules set in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, to the extent applicable, shall govern the debates, votes, and other actions at all meetings of CFEC. These articles of procedure may be amended at any time by a majority vote of CFEC and are adopted on an annual basis by the committee.
- Standing Committee membership, descriptions, and duties:
CALS standing committee memberships, descriptions, and duties are outlined on the College Leadership website: /about/leadership/executive-dean/cfec/standing-committees/
- Changes in Standing Committees:
Each September, CFEC Chair, with the assistance of ED, will reach out to all CALS Standing Committee Chairs requesting a review of the standing committee description on the College Leadership website: /about/leadership/executive-dean/cfec/standing-committees/
If the Standing Committee Chair recommends substantial changes, s/he will be invited to attend a CFEC meeting for clarification and discussion. After this discussion, with a majority vote of CFEC, the committee charge will be modified and the Dean will be notified.
- Elections to Standing Committees:
In early January, ED will provide NC Chair with a list of the vacancies in the CALS Standing Committees, and other positions representing or involved with the college Faculty, that will exist at the start of the next academic year. Open places on committees should generally consist of approximately one third of the committee’s membership, and rotate on 3-year terms. NC will meet in January to begin preparing a slate of candidates to fill these vacancies. With the assistance of ED, NC will reach out to all CALS Faculty and CALS Department Chairs for nominations and self-nominations for service starting the first day of the Fall semester. Any member of the CALS Faculty, whether or not a voting member, shall be eligible to serve on most committees or subcommittees. Faculty members whose terms are expiring, or who have served on the standing committee previously, are eligible to run for another term. NC, in collaboration and ED, will gather nominations and confirm eligibility and availability to serve on the standing committee. To the extent possible, in preparing the final slate, NC shall attempt to create diversity within the CALS standing committees in terms of departments and units represented. By the end of March, NC will provide CFEC Chair with a slate of at least one, and preferably two, confirmed candidates for each open position. CFEC will review the slate of candidates recommended by NC and, once the slate of candidates has been approved by CFEC, ED will prepare a ballot that will be distributed on-line to all voting members of the CALS Faculty. Assignment to the standing committee will be based on a majority vote and terms will begin on the first day of the Fall semester. Any question or dispute concerning general elections, eligibility to vote, or other election procedures, shall be resolved by ED.
- Removal of a Standing Committee member:
The chair of a standing committee may, with the approval of a majority of the committee members, request the resignation and replacement of a committee member who fails to participate fully in the work of the committee. In the case of a majority vote, the chair of the standing committee shall contact CFEC Chair who will request a slate of nominees from NC for a special election. After approval of the slate by CFEC, ED will distribute an on-line special election to all voting members of the CALS Faculty. Assignment to the standing committee will be based on a majority vote. Any question or dispute concerning special elections, eligibility to vote, or other election procedures, shall be resolved by ED.
- Removal of Standing Committees:
Each September, CFEC Chair, with the assistance of ED, will reach out to all CALS Standing Committees Chairs, requesting an activity report from the previous academic year. CFEC Chair will review the reports and if a committee appears to be inactive, the Standing Committee Chair will be invited to meet with CFEC to discuss whether the committee still fulfills a purpose within the College. If a majority vote of CFEC determines that the committee is defunct, the committee will be disbanded and the CALS Dean will be notified.
- Establishment of New Standing Committees:
After a majority vote of its members, and in consultation with the ED, CFEC may establish new standing committees. Initial appointments to the committee shall be staggered so that approximately one-third of the total membership will be elected each year. If approval coincides with the annual spring election, the vacancies will be filled as described previously (Elections to standing Committees). If, however, this recommendation does not coincide with the annual spring elections, CFEC Chair will contact NC Chair to request a slate of candidates for a special election. ED will distribute an on-line special election to all voting members of the CALS Faculty. Assignments to the standing committee will be based on a majority vote. Any question or dispute concerning special elections, eligibility to vote, or other election procedures, shall be resolved by ED.
- Establishment of ad hoc committees:
CFEC may establish ad hoc committees and subcommittees.
A committee member shall accept no gifts from any party to a consultation or case before CFEC.
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