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UACT BYLAWS

I. History
The University Advisory Council on Teaching (“UACT” or “the Council”) was created in 1998 in response to a university-wide study of teaching at Emory University undertaken by the University Teaching Commission. The report that was created from this study, “Teaching at Emory” (1997), made several recommendations regarding the improvement of teaching throughout the university. These recommendations, combined with numerous meetings between members of university administration and faculty members from across the university, led to the creation of this university-wide council on teaching.

II. Mission and Functions of UACT
UACT’s primary mission is to promote excellence in teaching and learning at Emory. At the university level, UACT is charged with implementing the Teaching Commission’s recommendations for improving teaching at Emory. Specifically, the Council addresses those recommendations that call for

- the designation of an individual within each school to oversee the support of teaching in that school;
- the documentation, by faculty members, of their teaching development, for both formative and assessment purposes;
- the evaluation of teaching (including that teaching that reaches beyond the traditional classroom) as a prominent factor in the schools’ decisions about hiring, tenure, promotion, and remuneration; and
- the establishment, by the university and each school, of more teaching awards, including teaching professorships.

UACT serves as the major communications network among the schools and their faculties, and between the individual schools and the central administration, on all matters related to these teaching improvements. As such, the Chair of UACT also serves as a member of the University Teaching Fund (UTF), which provides grant support for teaching proposals. The Council is also expected to develop its own agenda for furthering teaching excellence at Emory. As such, UACT meets monthly to consider issues and aspects of teaching that reach across individual schools, promoting discussion and reflection on teaching generally across the university. At the same time, the Council assists individual schools in their promotion of teaching excellence. UACT also creates sub-committees, as determined by the Council members, to give ongoing attention to topics such as teaching and technology, the documentation of teaching excellence, and teaching students with disabilities. These sub-committees, like much of UACT’s work, often engage larger groups of faculty beyond the Council’s own ranks. Ultimately, UACT assists Emory faculty in becoming the best teachers they can be, and provides faculty and administrators with a comprehensive view of teaching at Emory – not only teaching in and of itself, but also teaching within the larger context of ideals and activities in the modern research university that Emory has become.

III. Membership

A. Types of membership.
UACT consists of twelve regular members as well as ex-officio members and support staff members.

i. Regular Members
The twelve regular members are faculty members from across the university, including one representative from the Schools of Law, Nursing, Theology, Business, Public Health, and Oxford College; two representatives from the two largest schools, the School of Medicine and Emory College/Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; the Director of the Center for Teaching and Curriculum (CTC), and the Chair of the UTF. Regular members are appointed by invitation from the Provost, usually acting on the recommendation of the Deans of the appointee’s school.

ii. Ex-Officio Members
A representative of the Provost’s Office maintains an ongoing ex-officio role on the Council. Other ex-officio members, such as the Director of Inclusive Learning, may be appointed by vote of the Council.

iii. Staff Members
Staff members may include Program Coordinators or Assistant Program Coordinators for UACT, as provided by the Provost’s Office.

B. Terms of membership.
Each type of membership carries a different membership term.

i. Regular Members
Regular members serve for a term of three academic years. The representatives of the CTC and the UTF will serve as regular members of UACT throughout their terms as heads of those organizations. Should a regular member be on academic leave during his or her term of membership, another faculty member from his or her School will be appointed to serve as a replacement during that time. Membership terms of regular members are staggered, so that no more than three regular members should be rotating off of the Council at any one time. After the completion of the three-year term, regular members may serve an additional year at the discretion of the Provost.

ii. Ex-Officio Members
A representative of the Provost’s Office shall serve as a continuing member of UACT. Other ex-officio members will serve one-year terms, renewable indefinitely by a vote of the Council.

iii. Staff Members
Staff members are continuing members of UACT.

C. Rights and responsibilities of membership.

i. Regular Members
Regular members are expected to attend monthly UACT meetings; serve on at least one sub-committee; attend UACT special events, and serve as liaisons for disseminating information and providing feedback between the Council and their respective Schools. Regular members may be asked to represent the Council at UACT-sponsored events. Each regular member gets one vote; regular members may also suggest agenda items and sub-committees.

ii. Ex-Officio Members
Ex-officio members are expected to attend monthly UACT meetings; attend UACT special events, and serve as liaisons for disseminating information and providing feedback between the Council and the Administration, or their respective divisions of the University. Ex-officio members may serve on sub-committees. They may be asked to represent the Council at UACT events. Ex-officio members may suggest agenda items and sub-committees. Ex-officio members do not vote.

iii. Staff Members
Staff members are expected to attend and assist in the preparation of monthly UACT meetings, as well as to disseminate the agenda for the meetings and notify members of meeting places and times. Staff members are also responsible for taking meeting minutes and subsequently disseminating them to all UACT members. Staff members should also attend and assist in the preparation of UACT special events. They may be asked to represent the Council at UACT events. Staff members serve as a source of communication between the Chair and the members, and among the members, notifying members of any Council news or upcoming events. Staff members may suggest agenda items and sub-committees, but they do not vote.

D. UACT Chair.
The Chair of UACT is one of the regular members of the Council, appointed as Chair by the Provost. The usual term of the Chair shall be for a period of three years. In addition to the standard rights and responsibilities of regular members, the Chair is also responsible for facilitating monthly meetings, approving meeting agendas, serving as a liaison between UACT and other campus organizations when necessary, serving as a voting member of UTF, and representing UACT at special events whenever possible.

IV. Meetings.

A. Monthly meetings.

i. Logistics.
UACT meetings are held monthly, on the first Thursday of the month during September, October, November, December, February, March, April, and May. Meetings begin at 4:00 p.m. and usually adjourn no later than 5:30 p.m. All members are expected to attend these meetings. If members must miss a meeting, they are expected to notify the Chair and/or staff member at least one week in advance. Agendas are distributed at meetings and available in advance of the meetings on the UACT website, http://www.emory.edu/TEACHING. Meeting minutes are recorded by a staff member and disseminated to members afterward via e-mail, and available after the meetings on the UACT website.

ii. Procedure.
Monthly meetings are facilitated by the UACT Chair, following a written agenda and conforming to Robert’s Rules of Order with regard to voting. A minimum of six voting members shall be present in order to establish a quorum for those matters coming before the Council for a vote.

B. Sub-committee meetings.
The frequency of sub-committee meetings may vary, but these meetings should be held as often as necessary to accomplish the work of the group. Location, time, frequency, and facilitation of the meetings shall be determined by the sub-committee group members.

V. Amendments to the Bylaws
Amendments to these Bylaws may be made by a majority vote of the Council members.



    

Last Updated: April 1, 2005                                                                                                                                                                  Copyright @ Emory University