Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois
Article 1. Purpose and Authority
The Bylaws of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences provide for the administrative organization and procedure of the department. These bylaws derive their authority from the University Statutes, which state that each academic unit shall be governed in its internal administration by its faculty, and that the governance of each unit shall be based on bylaws established, and amended by the faculty of that unit. The bylaws are an extension of the Statutes and as such must accord with the Statutes and with the bylaws established by the College of ACES. In case of disagreement, the University Statutes and ACES Bylaws shall prevail.
Article 2. Vision and Mission Statement
Our goal is to be a leader in teaching, research and outreach in the area of natural resources and environmental sciences, conducted in a collegial and professional department. We integrate biological, physical and social sciences to enhance the understanding of natural and managed ecosystems. We draw on our innovative research to provide state-of-the-art educational experiences for both our undergraduate and graduate students and in serving the broader community.
Article 3. Membership
The faculty of the department consists of those persons specified as Faculty in Article II.3.a.(1) of the University Statutes, namely, those members of the NRES academic staff who hold the rank or title in the department of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure. If the definition of “Faculty” changes in the University Statutes, the definition of “Faculty” shall change in these Bylaws accordingly.
The Voting Faculty of the Department of NRES shall consist of those members of the Faculty of the Department of NRES whose appointment totals at least twenty five percent (25%).
3.2. Specialized Faculty and Academic Staff
The academic staff consists of members of the teaching, research and extension staffs not tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure. Staff is used in the broadest terms to include departmental employees not included as faculty and academic staff. The following members of the academic staff shall have voice at NRES faculty meetings but shall not have voting rights or the power to make or second motions:
Members of the NRES faculty as defined in Article 3.1 of these bylaws whose appointments total less than twenty-five percent (25%) within NRES.
Specialized faculty as defined by the Office of the Provost Communication #25, Employment Guidelines for Specialized Faculty Holding Non-Tenure System Positions and further elaborated in NRES Communication No. 1. However, if the definition of “Faculty” changes in the University Statutes to include individuals of these ranks, then the reading of these bylaws will be changed to be consistent with the changes in the University Statutes.
Visiting, Affiliate or Adjunct Faculty as specified in Article 5.2 of these bylaws with the rank or title assistant professor, associate professor or professor.
Retired members of the Department of NRES.
Article 4. General Organization
The department shall be organized with a head as chief executive, and coordinators for teaching and graduate programs. The head shall have those powers and duties given by the University Statutes and other such powers and duties as granted or required by the faculty in these bylaws. The head shall (a) facilitate the activities of the faculty and staff, (b) appoint associate and/or assistant heads and program coordinators as appropriate with the advice of the faculty advisory committee, (c) appoint all departmental committees except the faculty advisory committee, academic professional advisory committee, promotion and tenure committee, and grievance committees, (d) call regular meetings of the faculty during each academic year, (e) report at least annually on the status of the department and its programs, (f) communicate recommendations of the faculty to the dean, (g) maintain an up-to-date compilation of departmental policies and make it available to the faculty, (h) initiate a review by the department of its missions, goals and programs at least every five years, and (i) evaluate the performance of faculty and academic staff each year and communicate to them the results of the evaluation.
Article 5. Appointments
5.1. Tenure Track
A general set of priorities for filling of tenure track faculty positions shall be established by the faculty during the departmental review of missions, goals, and programs. When a vacancy occurs, the head shall consult with the faculty advisory committee and members of the faculty (at a faculty meeting) prior to the search for the new faculty member. The head shall appoint a search committee for all faculty positions. The head shall conduct an open meeting at the conclusion of the interview process to discuss the candidates. The faculty comments and search committee recommendation are advisory to the head, who makes the final recommendation to the Dean.
5.2. Visiting, Adjunct, and Zero-time
These academic appointments, which may have a professorial rank, convey no voting rights in the department, and no tenure commitments from the department. These academic members may be invited to serve on policy and other committees and to attend faculty meetings.
Visiting may be used in the title of an academic appointment when the individual to be appointed is to be a temporary appointee of one year or less. Such appointments may be renewed for a period no longer than three years. Visiting appointments may require the performance of services to the University and may therefore be salaried.
Zero-time appointments are limited to members of tenure-track faculty who are fully budgeted in one or more other University of Illinois academic units. Zero-time appointments shall be based on legitimate qualifications for and demonstrated significant active participation in teaching, research or outreach programs which contribute to the mission, goals and programs of the department. Zero-time faculty shall be appointed by the head only after formal review and approval by the faculty advisory committee. All letters from the head containing an invitation to accept an appointment must explicitly describe the implications (responsibilities) of that appointment and acceptance of that appointment implies full agreement thereto. Zero-time appointments shall be subject to renewal every three years. Renewal shall be based on favorable review by the head and faculty advisory committee.
Adjunct appointments follow the same guidelines as affiliate appointments except the individual is not a tenure-track faculty in another academic unit at the University of Illinois and thereby does not qualify for an affiliate appointment.
Article 6. Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
As the responsible body in the teaching, research and public service activities of the department, the faculty has inherent interests and rights in academic policy and governance. The faculty shall (a) have all powers not given by the University Statutes exclusively to the head nor given by the faculty to the head, (b) have all powers delegated to it by the head, (c) elect the faculty advisory committee, the promotion and tenure committee, and faculty members of the grievance committees, (d) evaluate departmental policies and procedures and provide advice to the head, and (e) review the missions, goals, and programs of the department at least once in each five year period. Members of the faculty share the responsibility to maintain high professional standards that foster academic excellence.
Article 7. Faculty Meetings
Meetings of the faculty shall be called by the head at least once a semester and as often as desirable. Faculty meetings will be generally open to all members of the academic faculty and staff, except during closed sessions. Only members of the faculty may vote. The head, or designee, shall preside over the meetings. If the head is absent and no person has been designated, the faculty may choose a chairperson for its meetings. Faculty meetings may also be held upon request to the head by the faculty advisory committee or by written request to the head by at least five faculty members. In the latter two cases, the head shall convene a meeting within 15 days of the request.
Those present at a properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum. Minutes of the meeting shall be distributed to the faculty and staff by the head. Ordinarily a written notice, including the agenda for the meeting shall be distributed to the faculty at least one week in advance. Faculty meetings will usually be conducted informally, but if formal motions are under consideration, the meeting shall proceed according to Robert’s Rules of Order Revised. A secret vote shall be taken whenever requested by any faculty member. Each member shall have one vote on each question. There shall be no proxy voting. Any member’s vote shall be recorded in the minutes upon request of that member.
Article 8. Committees
8.1. Faculty Advisory Committee
This committee represents the faculty to the department to provide input on issues to the head. The faculty advisory committee shall be composed of the head as an ex-officio non-voting chair, four faculty members elected by and from the voting faculty, and one member of the voting faculty appointed by the head. Because the faculty advisory committee is the primary way for faculty to provide systematic input to the head, departmental faculty desire that the committee represent the gender and disciplinary diversity within the department. The head shall appoint a member of the voting faculty to encompass and reflect this diversity. Elected members will serve staggered two-year terms. The appointed member will serve a one-year term.
The faculty advisory committee shall meet at least twice a semester at the call of the head or on request to the head by three voting members. Three voting members shall constitute a quorum. Minutes of the committee meetings will be distributed by the head to the faculty. Any faculty member or any specialized faculty member shall be entitled to a conference with the committee or with any member on any matter within the purview of the committee. Last Revised June 2019 5
8.2. Promotion and Tenure Committee
This committee will evaluate promotional material and make recommendations to the head on promotions and tenure for both faculty and specialized faculty. The committee shall be composed of five eligible NRES faculty, elected by the NRES voting faculty. A minimum of three full professors will be elected, along with the other associate or full professors, who received the highest number of votes. Votes by the promotion and tenure committee will be by secret ballot, recorded and announced immediately to the committee. The head will serve as a nonvoting chair of the committee. The NRES representative on the ACES Promotion and Tenure Committee will also serve as a member of the committee. Elected members will serve staggered two-year terms.
The five NRES faculty elected by the voting faculty will evaluate promotional material and make recommendations to the head for all promotions from assistant to associate professor including those promotions for which indefinite tenure may be granted. If three or more full professors are elected and serving on the promotion and tenure committee, then these full professors will evaluate promotional material and make recommendations to the head for promotions to full professor. In the event there are fewer than three elected full professors available to serve on the promotion and tenure committee, then the head, in consultation with the NRES faculty advisory committee will invite full professors from related departments to serve on the promotion and tenure committee for up to a year term until the minimum of three full professors on the committee has been met. These three full professors will evaluate promotional material and make recommendations to the head for promotions to full professor.
NRES Communication No 1 provides additional guidance regarding the promotion of specialized faculty.
8.3. Academic Professional Advisory Committee
This committee represents the academic professionals to the department to provide input on issues to the head. The head will serve as chair of the committee. One of the committee will be elected co-chair by the committee. The four members will be elected from the academic professional ranks. Members will serve staggered, two-year terms. The academic professional advisory committee shall meet at least twice a semester at the call of the head or on request to the head by two elected members. Two voting members shall constitute a quorum. Minutes of the committee meetings will be distributed by the head to the academic staff. Any academic professional shall be entitled to a conference with the committee or with any member on any matter within the purview of the committee.
8.4. Faculty Grievance Committee
The faculty grievance committee shall be composed of four faculty members elected by the voting faculty. Members will serve staggered two-year terms. The function of the grievance committee is to handle faculty and specialized faculty grievances. Allegations of harassment or discrimination shall be referred to the appropriate campus office and shall not be considered by the Committee. Procedures for the committee shall be approved by the faculty and will adhere to campus guidelines.
8.5. Academic Professional Grievance Committee
The academic professional grievance committee shall be composed of four elected members, two faculty members elected by the voting faculty and two academic professionals elected by the academic professionals of the department. Members will serve staggered two-year terms. The function of the academic professional grievance committee is to handle academic professional grievances. Allegations of harassment or discrimination shall be referred to the appropriate campus and shall not be considered by the Committee. Procedures for the committee shall be approved by the faculty and will adhere to campus guidelines.
8.6. Graduate Student Grievance Committee
The graduate student grievance committee shall be composed of four members, two faculty members elected by the voting faculty and two graduate students elected by the graduate students of the department. Members will serve staggered two-year terms. The function of the graduate student grievance committee is to handle graduate student grievances, including allegations of capricious grading. Allegations of harassment or discrimination shall be referred to the appropriate campus office and shall not be considered by the Committee. Procedures for the committee shall be approved by the faculty and will adhere to campus guidelines. If a student member of the committee is unable to serve, the graduate student receiving the next highest number of votes in the last election will fill the unexpired term.
8.7. Other Committees
The head annually shall appoint other committees, with the advice of the faculty advisory committee, as are necessary for the functioning and well-being of the department. Suitable rules for the organization and procedure of these committees shall be established as appropriate and appended to the bylaws. Appointed standing committees may include, departmental advisory, external advisory, development advisory, awards, campus charitable fund, election, facilities and services, graduate policy, outreach, retreat, scholarship, seminar planning, social, space, and undergraduate policy committees.
Article 9. Elections
Elections shall be by secret ballot and shall be a two-stage process with a preliminary nomination ballot consisting of all eligible staff and a final ballot consisting of two candidates plus ties for each open position. Faculty and staff who are eligible to be elected and serve on committees must be an active faculty or staff member in residence at the start of the two-year academic term. If for any reason before the start of or during the 2-year term, a faculty or staff member becomes inactive, not in residence or ineligible to serve she/he will at that time be replaced by the faculty or staff member with next highest vote total and who is active and eligible to serve. A faculty or staff member, who retires, is on extended leave or leaves the unit, is considered not in residence and/or inactive and ineligible to serve. A faculty or staff member who accepts an administrative appointment of 50% or greater is considered an administrator and becomes ineligible to serve. Elections will be held during the spring semester with the term of the newly-elected members beginning at the start of the fall semester.
Article 10. Amendments
Changes to these bylaws may be initiated by the head, the faculty advisory committee or upon petition of at least five members of the voting faculty who are tenured or are receiving probationary credit towards tenure. At least two weeks’ notice shall be given for a meeting of the faculty to consider the proposed amendment. The notice shall include the exact amendment proposed. The proposal may be amended from the floor at the meeting. Approval of an amendment to the proposal at the meeting shall require a simple majority of the voting faculty present at the meeting. Final ratification of a proposed amendment to the bylaws shall be by secret ballot conducted during a seven-to-ten day voting period. The voting period must be completed no later than 30 days following the meeting in which the proposed amendment was considered. An affirmative vote of at least sixty percent of the voting faculty shall be required for ratification.