Constitution

The Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Faculty Organization of Penn State College of Medicine appear here.

The authority vested in the Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Faculty Organization of the College of Medicine has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate.

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Constitution

Article I, Section 1: Functions Expand answer

The College of Medicine Faculty Organization has the following functions:

  • Legislative
    To serve as the sole legislative body of the College of Medicine Faculty. Its actions are authoritative on all matters that pertain to undergraduate medical education of the students of the College of Medicine and to the education of students in the physician assistant master’s program. Actions must be in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and are subject to revision and orders of the President of the University. Matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Faculty Organization are:

    • instructional programs;
    • courses and programs of study;
    • academic admissions standards;
    • graduation requirements; and
    • curriculum evaluation.
  • Advisory and Consultative
    To act as an advisory and consultative body, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts, to the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine and other administrators or administrative units on any matter that may affect attainment of the research, educational, or service objectives of the College of Medicine, such as:

    • the establishment, reorganization or discontinuation of organizational units and areas of instruction or research;
    • policies concerning the planning of physical facilities when these may affect the attainment of the educational or research objectives of the College of Medicine;
    • policies and administration of the Libraries of the College of Medicine;
    • policies affecting College of Medicine development and utilization of resources;
    • matters pertaining to the general welfare of the College of Medicine;
    • matters pertaining to graduate student education at the College of Medicine;
    • overall education policy and planning;
    • faculty affairs including academic personnel;
    • student affairs;
    • general admissions policy;
    • overall research infrastructure planning, organization, and implementation; and
    • other appropriate matters.

    The Faculty Organization has the authority to delegate advisory and consultative functions to Faculty Organization committees.

  • Forensic
    To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the College of Medicine Faculty.
  • Informational
    To receive and disseminate information to the faculty that is deemed important by the Faculty Organization Council or committees.
  • Recognition
    To recognize or honor those individuals deemed worthy of special recognition by the Faculty Organization. Such courtesy actions normally shall originate from the Faculty Organization Council or officers.

Article I, Section 2: Interpretation of Legislation Expand answer

The Faculty Organization interprets its legislation.

Article II, Section 1: Membership - Faculty and Students Expand answer
  • For the purpose of defining the electorate of the Faculty Organization, the term “College of Medicine Faculty” means all persons at the Pennsylvania State University who hold primary academic appointments within the College of Medicine and are remunerated by the College of Medicine or Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
  • Each medical school class and the graduate student body may elect a representative to attend Faculty Organization meetings as a nonvoting observer.
Article II, Section 2: Voting Members Expand answer

All members of the College of Medicine Faculty as defined above have full voting rights in the Faculty Organization and may serve as representatives to the University Faculty Senate.

Article II, Section 3: Other Members Expand answer
  • The following persons are considered members of the Faculty Organization: The Senior Vice President for Finance and Business and Controller of the College of Medicine and the Director of Student Affairs.
  • Other persons may be appointed by the Faculty Organization Council on an annual basis.
  • The total number of other members shall not exceed 5 percent of the Faculty Organization members.
  • Other members who are not College of Medicine faculty as defined above do not have voting privileges in the Faculty Organization.
Article III: Amendments Expand answer

Amendments to the Constitution must be proposed in writing and discussed at a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization. The proposal is then tabled for further discussion at a subsequent meeting.

Following this second meeting, amendments may be adopted by a mail (or electronic) vote requiring approval by two-thirds of returned ballots from the Faculty Organization membership.

Such amendments are not in effect until they have been approved by the University Faculty Senate and the President of the University.

Updates and Revisions Expand answer
  • New Constitution approved by the COM Faculty Organization Dec. 16, 2003
  • Approved by the PSU Senate Council April 13, 2004
  • Amended by the COM Faculty Organization Dec. 4, 2007
  • Reformatted with minor corrections Sept. 2, 2009
  • Major revisions approved by the COM Faculty Organization Jan. 6, 2010
  • Major revisions approved by the PSU Senate Council Jan. 12, 2010
  • Amended by the COM Faculty Organization Nov. 6, 2013
  • Approved by the PSU Senate Council Jan. 14, 2014
  • Amended by the COM Faculty Organization June 7, 2017

Bylaws

Article I, Section 1: Officers Expand answer
  • The officers of the Faculty Organization are a President, either an Immediate Past President or a President-Elect, a Secretary, and a Parliamentarian. No person may hold more than one office concurrently.
  • The Faculty Organization elects biennially from among its faculty members a President-Elect, a Secretary, and a Parliamentarian.
    • The President-Elect serves in this position for one year, then automatically succeeds to the Office of President for two years, then automatically succeeds to the Office of Immediate Past President for one year. This person thus serves a total of four years as an officer.
    • The Secretary and Parliamentarian serve for two years and are eligible for re-election.
  • When a vacancy occurs in the Office of the Immediate Past President, the elected members of the Faculty Organization Council elect a faculty member from among Past Presidents to complete the unexpired term.
  • If a vacancy occurs in the Office of President in his/her first year as President, the Immediate Past-President moves into the office of President on an interim basis. The Secretary will then accept nominations for a replacement and present those names at the next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time additional nominations may be made from the floor. Voting will take place before the subsequent meeting, following the general procedure described in the Standing Rules Article I Section 10: Elections.
  • If a vacancy occurs in the Office of President in his/her second year as President, the President-Elect moves immediately into the office, completes the unexpired term, and continues through a full term as President (i.e., two more years as President). Because this situation means there will be no Immediate Past President in the subsequent year, the prior point about a vacancy in the Office of Immediate Past President will then apply.
  • When a vacancy occurs in the Office of President-Elect (other than by this person’s succession to the Presidency), Secretary, or Parliamentarian, the Secretary (or Parliamentarian in the case of a vacancy for Secretary) will accept nominations for a replacement and present those names at the next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time additional nominations may be made from the floor. Voting will take place before the subsequent meeting, following the general procedure described in the Standing Rules Article I Section 10: Elections.
Article I, Section 2: The President Expand answer
  • The President of the Faculty Organization is its presiding officer.
  • The President has the authority, upon consultation with the other Faculty Organization officers and with the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine, to declare the existence of a situation of special Faculty Organization concern and convene a special meeting of the Faculty Organization within a week following the announcement unless a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization is scheduled within that period. At either the special or a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization, the President reports the actions taken under authority of Article II, Section 2, below, and the Faculty Organization then takes appropriate action.
  • The President has complete access to the Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Executive Council, and he/she may sit and participate in Executive Council meetings or designate an alternate from the Faculty Organization Council to attend meetings in his/her absence.
  • The President invites each chairperson of the Faculty Organization committees to Council meetings at least once each year for the purpose of exchanging information on committee activities.
Article I, Section 3: The President-Elect and Immediate Past President Expand answer

The President-Elect or the Immediate Past President assumes the duties of the President when the President is absent and, in the event of a vacancy in the position of President, will fill this position as in Section 1 above. The Immediate Past-President also serves as the chair of the nominating committee as in the Standing Rules Article I Section 10: Elections.

Article I, Section 4: The Secretary Expand answer

The Secretary is responsible for the official roll and minutes of the Faculty Organization meetings, the announcement board, and the organization’s webpages. The Secretary, with the administrative assistant appointed for this purpose, prepares and publishes notices, agenda and minutes, and performs other duties appropriate to his/her office.

Article I, Section 5: The Parliamentarian Expand answer

The Parliamentarian ensures that the meetings are conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) and the Faculty Organization Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules.

Article I, Section 6: Removal of an Officer Expand answer

Any officer of the Faculty Organization may be removed for neglect of duty or for misconduct in office in accordance with procedures for removal in the Standing Rules Article I Section 11.

Article II, Section 1: Members of the Faculty Organization Council Expand answer

The Faculty Organization Council includes:

  • the Faculty Organization officers, with the President presiding;
  • two additional faculty members elected biennially from the membership of the Faculty Organization (this election is held at the same time as the election for President-Elect, Secretary, and Parliamentarian). One Councilor will be from basic science and one from clinical science, and both will serve for two years.
  • If a vacancy occurs in the position of Councilor, the Secretary of the Faculty Organization will accept nominations for a replacement (to represent basic science or clinical science, as appropriate) and present those names at the next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time additional nominations may be made from the floor. Voting will take place before the subsequent meeting, following the general procedure described in the Standing Rules Article I Section 10: Elections.
  • The Faculty Organization Council may include as non-voting members, members of the Unified Campus Teams appointed by the President.
Article II, Section 2: Functions of the Faculty Organization Council Expand answer

The Faculty Organization Council:

  • reviews all pending legislation and all informational items proposed for discussion by the Faculty Organization to determine whether these items are adequately prepared and documented for full Faculty Organization discussion;
  • may initiate Faculty Organization legislation in the same manner as a Standing Committee;
  • advises (upon consultation with appropriate Standing Committees), the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine on the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of departments or interdepartmental programs of the College of Medicine that involve two or more teaching, research, and continuing education functions; and
  • serves as an advisory body to the Faculty Organization as a whole.
Article II, Section 3: Meetings of the Faculty Organization Council Expand answer

The Council is convened by the President of the Faculty Organization at least as often per annum as the Faculty Organization.

Article III, Section 1: Members of Committees Expand answer

The College of Medicine committees listed in the Standing Rules are considered the Standing Committees of the Faculty Organization. The College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee is structured according to Penn State University HR-23 requirements. The Faculty Organization determines its remaining committee structure and composition according to Article II of the Standing Rules, with only the following stipulations:

  • any College of Medicine personnel or any student of the College of Medicine may be appointed to a committee;
  • Chairpersons of Standing Committees must be members of the Faculty Organization; and
  • a majority of the membership of a Standing Committee must be Faculty Organization members.
Article III, Section 2: Members of Committees Who are Not Members of the Faculty Organization Expand answer

All members of Standing Committees who are not members of the Faculty Organization have nonvoting privileges of the floor when the subject of discussion at a Faculty Organization meeting pertains specifically to the work of their respective committees. The right to vote at committee meetings will be determined by each committee.

Article III, Section 3: Consultation by the Committees Expand answer

Direct consultation between Faculty Organization committees and members of the administration of the College of Medicine is encouraged. However, such consultation may not be construed as a Faculty Organization action.

Article IV, Section 1: Regular Meetings Expand answer
  • Regular meetings of the Faculty Organization are held at least monthly during the academic year at times and dates decided by Faculty Organization Council, except as provided in Section 4 of this Article.
  • Members may participate in meetings, including being counted in attendance and voting, from remote sites that provide two-way audiovisual connections, provided such sites have been approved by the Faculty Organization Council.
  • Meetings are open to Faculty Organization members and nonvoting guests, including student representatives as described in the Constitution Article II Section 1(b), those who hold the title of emeritus faculty, and invitees of the Faculty Organization President.

See Faculty Organization meeting dates.

Article IV, Section 2: Special Meetings Requested by the Dean Expand answer

Upon the request of the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine, the President convenes the Faculty Organization to receive information about the status of and future plans for the College of Medicine, requests for advice, and recommendations for Faculty Organization action.

Article IV, Section 3: Special Meetings Convened by the President of the Faculty Organization Expand answer

The President convenes a Special Meeting of the Faculty Organization in response to a written petition of at least 50 members of the Faculty Organization to consider proposals of the petitioners stated in writing, provided that the petition contains:

  • a statement of purpose of petition; and
  • the names of five faculty members designated to meet with the Faculty Organization Council.

The five designated faculty members must be authorized by the signatories of the petition to discuss, confirm, modify, or withdraw their request for a special meeting of the Faculty Organization.

Article IV, Section 4: Cancellation of Meetings Expand answer

Any regular meeting of the Faculty Organization may be cancelled or scheduled for a new date in either of the following ways:

  • by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting; or
  • by a two-thirds vote of the total voting membership of the Faculty Organization Council
Article IV, Section 5: Quorum Expand answer

A quorum for the meeting consists of 35 members.

Article V: Referenda Expand answer

The Faculty Organization may conduct referenda of the College of Medicine.

Article VI: Rules of Procedure Expand answer

The Faculty Organization establishes its rules of procedure.

Article VII: Amendments Expand answer

Amendments to the Bylaws must be proposed in writing and discussed at a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization. The proposal is then tabled for further discussion at a subsequent meeting. Following this second meeting, amendments may be adopted by a mail (or electronic) vote requiring approval by two-thirds of returned ballots from the Faculty Organization membership.

Standing Rules

Article I, Section 1: Rules of Procedure and Elections Expand answer
  • The rules of procedure in the meetings of the College of Medicine Faculty Organization, except as may be otherwise specified in the Faculty Organization Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules, are those of Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised). All motions, except as may be otherwise specified in these documents, are determined by a majority of the votes cast. Roll-call votes may be initiated only by the decision of the President or by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting. The role of the Parliamentarian is advisory only on Rules of Procedure.
  • Election of officers of the Faculty Organization is by secret preferential ballot. In the event of a tie, another election will be held until the tie is broken.
  • The Faculty Organization membership may be polled to decide an issue of particular significance if such a vote is deemed appropriate by the Faculty Organization Council or by a majority vote at a Faculty Organization meeting.
Article I, Section 2: Order of Business for Regular Meetings Expand answer

The order of business for each regular meeting of the Faculty Organization is as follows:

  • minutes of the preceding meeting;
  • communications to the Faculty Organization (Unified Campus Teams, other);
  • report of the Faculty Organization Council;
  • announcements by the President;
  • reports of Standing Committees;
  • reports of Special Committees;
  • unfinished legislative business;
  • new legislative business;
  • advisory and consultative items;
  • informational reports and/or highlight presentation;
  • forensic business;
  • comments by the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine; and
  • comments and recommendations for the good of the College of Medicine.

The order of business may be changed by the Faculty Organization Council prior to any meeting.

Any or all items in this Section may be suspended at any regular meeting of the Faculty Organization by a two-thirds vote of the members present.

Article I, Section 3: Convening Special Meetings Expand answer

The President of the Faculty Organization may convene special meetings of the Faculty Organization, in addition to those specified in Article IV of the Bylaws, at such times, and for such purposes, as he/she deems necessary for the effective discharge of the business of the Faculty Organization.

Article I, Section 4: Order of Business for Special Meetings Expand answer

The order of business for any special meeting of the Faculty Organization is determined by the President of the Faculty Organization.

Article I, Section 5: Distribution of Agenda and Appendices for Meetings Expand answer

The agenda and appendices are distributed six days before the meeting to which they pertain to all members of the Faculty Organization, to all non-members of Faculty Organization committees, and to elected representatives of the Student Assembly and Graduate Student Organization.

Article I, Section 6: Special Committees Expand answer

The President of the Faculty Organization appoints such Special Committees as he/she deems necessary to consider subjects not already assigned to Standing Committees of the Faculty Organization. These Special Committees are terminated no later than the end of the President’s term of office unless reappointed by the new President of the Faculty Organization. Special Committees file reports of actions taken with the President for inclusion in the general meeting minutes.

Article I, Section 7: Bringing Business to the Meeting Floor Expand answer
  • New business may be introduced in the following ways:
    • A member may address a communication to the President of the Faculty Organization through any member of an appropriate Standing Committee or member of Council.
    • He/she may also request, on the Faculty Organization floor, referral to committee by the President. If a member has new legislation that he/she considers to be of exceptional urgency, the member may introduce this by direct motion from the floor. When such a motion has been made and seconded, it is laid on the table until the next regular meeting of the Faculty Organization unless the President calls a special meeting to consider this item before the next regular meeting.
  • Forensic business provides an opportunity for any member to discuss any matter that he/she thinks is of concern to the College of Medicine. To introduce forensic business, a member must present a title and brief summary of the matter to the President of the Faculty Organization at least seven days before the meeting at which he/she wishes the matter to be considered. The member’s name will be placed on the agenda together with the title.
  • Any member of the faculty, residency program, student body or administration may request the privilege of the floor on any item of business already before the Faculty Organization. Such requests must be made to the President of the Faculty Organization at least 24 hours before the meeting at which the individual wishes to speak.
  • Any matter of forensic business becomes legislative business or advisory and consultative business when it is made the subject of a motion on which a vote of the Faculty Organization is required. When such a motion has been made and seconded, the matter in question is laid on the table until the next regular meeting of the Faculty Organization unless the President calls a special meeting of the Faculty Organization to consider this item before the next regular meeting.
  • Matters of forensic business shall not be the subject of any motion until the President declares the forensic discussion period to be at an end. Any member wishing to make any matter of forensic business a matter of legislative business may do so under the provision of Section 7.
  • Only members of the Faculty Organization may introduce new legislative, advisory and consultative, or forensic business.
  • At the discretion of the President of the Faculty Organization, nonmembers of the Faculty Organization may be granted the privilege of the floor to make comments and recommendations for the good of the College. Requests shall be made to the President in writing at least four calendar days prior to the meeting. This time period may be waived by the President.
  • The President has the authority to place a time limit on the remarks of any nonmember of the Faculty Organization.
  • The rules of this Section may be suspended only by a three-fourths vote of the members present.
Article I, Section 8: New Standing Rules and Amendments Expand answer

New Standing Rules of the Faculty Organization and amendments to these rules may be acted upon only after they have been presented in writing to all members six days before a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization and then approved by a majority of the votes cast at that meeting, except that this Section may be suspended by unanimous consent of the members present.

Article I, Section 9: Posting of a Record of Proceedings Expand answer

The Faculty Organization shall publish and post on its website, within 14 days after each meeting, an official record of its proceedings that contains:

  • the actual agenda of the meeting;
  • minutes of the meeting;
  • an enumeration of documents distributed prior to the meeting; and
  • such other items as the President shall direct.
Article I, Section 10: Elections Expand answer
  • The elective year of the Faculty Organization:
    • At the end of the June meeting in an election (i.e., even-numbered) year, the President-Elect, Secretary, Parliamentarian and two Councilors will begin their terms; the President will continue into his/her second year as President; and the Immediate Past-President will no longer hold office.
    • At the end of the June meeting in a non-election (i.e., odd-numbered) year, the President-Elect will become the President; the President will become the Immediate Past President; and the Secretary, Parliamentarian, and two Councilors will continue into their second years.
  • In an election (i.e., even-numbered) year:
    • At the March meeting of the Faculty Organization, a nominating committee consisting of five members (including the committee chairperson) is elected. This committee meets at the call of the Immediate Past President, who serves as its chairperson. The committee strives to present at least two nominees for each office.
    • A report of the above nominations is submitted to the President of the Faculty Organization at least 14 calendar days before the April meeting of the Faculty Organization, and the slate is published in the agenda for the April meeting. These nominations are announced to the Faculty Organization at the April meeting by the President of the Faculty Organization. At this time, additional nominations may be made from the floor of the Faculty Organization.
    • Secret preferential ballots are mailed (or made electronically available) to all members at least 21 days before the May meeting of the Faculty Organization.
    • No ballot returned to the Secretary of the Faculty Organization after noon on the seventh day preceding the May meeting of the Faculty Organization is counted.
    • Votes are counted by the Nominating Committee, which reports the results of the election to the President of the Faculty Organization. The President of the Faculty
      Organization immediately notifies those elected. In the event of a tie, a runoff election will be held listing the candidates involved in the tie, with votes having to be returned by noon on the seventh day preceding the June meeting of the Faculty Organization.
    • The results of the election are announced at the May meeting of the Faculty Organization (or the June meeting in the event of an initial tie).
Article I, Section 11: Removal From Office Expand answer

At any meeting of the Faculty Organization Council, a petition may be presented requesting that an officer or councilor be removed from office. The petition must be signed by at least two elected members of the Council. After appropriate investigation and discussion, the Council members may vote whether the full Faculty Organization membership shall be polled to consider the removal of the officer or councilor (a majority of the number of elected Council members shall be required). If the Council so votes, a ballot or electronic notification will be sent to the Faculty Organization membership, allowing at least 10 working days for voting. Two-thirds of votes cast shall be required for removal.

Article II, Section 1: Standing Committees Expand answer

The following College of Medicine Committees are the Standing Committees of the Faculty Organization:

  • Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education (CUMED)
  • Curriculum Evaluation Committee
  • Medical Student Selection Committee
  • Medical Student Academic Progress Committee – Years 1 and 2
  • Medical Student Academic Progress Committee – Years 3 and 4
  • Library Advisory Committee
  • College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee
  • Physician Assistant Master’s Program Education Committee (PAMPEC)

See information on standing committees.

Article II, Section 2: Committee Descriptions, Appointment of Members and Selection of Chairs Expand answer

Subject to approval by the Faculty Organization, details of the descriptions and duties of the Standing Committees and the rules for appointment of members, duration of service, and selection of chairs for these committees shall be determined and recorded by each committee (with the caveat that the Promotion and Tenure Committee must be structured according to Penn State University HR-23 requirements). Any substantive changes to these details may be acted upon only after they have been presented in writing to the Faculty Organization membership six days before a regular meeting of the Faculty Organization and then approved by a majority of the votes cast at that meeting.

Article II, Section 3: President as Ex Officio Member of Committees Expand answer

The President of the Faculty Organization is an ex officio member of all committees except the Promotion and Tenure Committee. He/she may authorize any elected member of the Faculty Organization Council to represent him/her at meetings of these committees.

Article II, Section 4: Testimony to Committees and Ad Hoc Subcommittees Expand answer
  • All Standing Committees are encouraged to invite individuals to render testimony or advice on particular questions as circumstances indicate.
  • They are also encouraged to appoint ad hoc subcommittees as needed. Unless reappointed by the new Standing Committee, these ad hoc subcommittees are terminated no later than the end of the Faculty Organization year. All Standing Committees file reports of their actions with the Faculty Organization Office for inclusion in the minutes.
Article II, Section 5: Consultation of Committees by the Dean Expand answer

All Faculty Organization committees are available for consultation with the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine.

Article II, Section 6: Committee Reports Expand answer

Annually, following a meeting with the Faculty Organization Council as in Bylaws Article 1 Section 2, the chairperson of each Standing Committee will present an update on his or her committee’s activities at a meeting of the Faculty Organization.

Article III: Other Functions of the Faculty Organization Expand answer

The Faculty Organization participates in or coordinates the selection of members to serve as University Faculty Senators, College of Medicine Ombudspersons (for four-year terms), and other positions as deemed appropriate by the Faculty Organization Council.

Article IV: Amendments Expand answer

Amendments to the Standing Rules may be adopted as in Standing Rules Article I Section 8.