The role of Faculties in the establishment of the College of Biological Sciences
[Advice to Peter Rodman, Chair of the Faculty of the College of Letters and Science 10/28/2003]
Professor Rodman's inquiry raised a number of issues understanding of which requires the specific context. CERJ's letter to him is, therefore, recorded in full.
28 October 2003
Professor Peter Rodman
Chair, Faculty of Letters and Science
Dear Professor Rodman:
Your e-mail of 10 October 2003, requests the formal advice of the Committee on Elections, Rules, and Jurisdiction (CERJ) with respect to the reconstitution of the Division of Biological Sciences (DBS) into the College of Biological Sciences (CBS). Your message does not state at exactly what stage the matter now stands; but from our telephone conversations and by implication from the language of your request, we understand that you do not regard the proposed reconstitution to have been presented formally to either the Faculties of the College of Letters and Science (L&S) or to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (A&ES), to which all the Senate members in DBS belong. However, the matter actually stands, we can certainly tell you what steps should be (or should have been) followed.
The Administration's procedures governing the process of dissolution and reconstitution are found in the Policies and Procedures Manual (UCD PPM 200-25) and in a joint Senate/Administration document "Universitywide Review Processes for Academic Programs, Academic Units, and Research Units" (dated Effective July 1, 1999 and known as the Compendium). CERJ would like to emphasize that while the PPM and the Compendium set out a useful procedures, the authority over the dissolution and creation of academic programs belongs to the Senate. It arises out of Regents' Standing Order 105.2.b, which reads in part:The Academic Senate shall authorize and supervise all courses and curricula offered under the sole or joint jurisdiction of the departments, colleges, schools, graduate divisions, or other University academic agencies approved by the Board . . . No change in the curriculum of a college or professional school shall be made by the Academic Senate until such change shall have been submitted to the formal consideration of the faculty concerned.This authority is reflected in Academic Senate Bylaw 51, which reads in part:No change in the curriculum of any college or school shall be made by any legislative agency of the Academic Senate until the proposed change has been submitted to the formal consideration of the Faculty concerned.That curricular authority extends to questions of dissolution and reconstitution is affirmed in the systemwide Legislative Ruling 4.84:The authority of the Academic Senate over courses and curricula, derived from Regental Standing Order 105.2, entails, inter alia, the authority to discontinue academic programs. No delegation of this authority other than to agencies of the Academic Senate is authorized by Regental Standing Orders.Our conclusion, therefore, is that not only must the plan for the dissolution and reconstitution be referred to the Faculties of L&S and A&ES, but that those plans require the approval of those Faculties and cannot move forward without it. Approval of the Faculties is a formal action requiring a vote of the Faculty Assembly or a mail ballot in accordance with the bylaws of each of the two faculties. Those bylaws permit special meetings of the Assemblies, so that this requirement does not in itself pose any barrier to expeditious action.
The originator of the proposal, in this case Dean Phyllis Wise of DBS, is supposed according to the PPM 200-25-IV to forward the proposal to the appropriate deans (in this case of L&S and A&ES). They, in turn, are supposed to consult with the Faculties of L&S and A&ES. Although we see no problem with the paperflow contemplated in the PPM, the use of term "consult" is far too weak to capture the authority of the Faculties in this matter under Regents' Standing Orders. It is, therefore, essential that the Senate, through Divisional Chair Bruce Madewell, yourself, and the Chair of A&ES, insist that the formal plan be presented to the Faculty and approved before any further action is taken.
On behalf of the Committee,
Kevin D. Hoover, Chair
Committee on Elections, Rules, and Jurisdiction
cc. Bruce Madewell, Chair, Davis Division
James Quinn, Chair, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Phyllis Wise, Dean, Division of Biological Sciences
Thomas Rost, Executive Associate Dean of Biological Sciences
[Note: Advice given on 11/24/2003 (see below) also concerns the conversion of the Division of Biological Sciences into the College of Biological Sciences.]