Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Article 1. Authority
These Bylaws derive their authority from the Statutes of the University of Illinois, which state that the governance of each academic unit shall be based on Bylaws established and amended by the faculty of that unit. The Bylaws of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering are an extension of the University Statutes. As such, they must be in accordance with these Statutes, as well as the Bylaws of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. In cases of any perceived conflict, the Statutes and College Bylaws must prevail.
Article 2. Vision and Mission
Section 1. Vision
We will be a preeminent agricultural and biological engineering department addressing grand challenges related to food, agriculture, and the environment.
Section 2. Mission
To ensure abundant food supply, sustainable and innovative agriculture, and environmentally sustainable use of natural resources by advancing and integrating engineering, technology and life sciences, and developing human capacity. We are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, and rewarding atmosphere for work and learning.
Article 3. Faculty Role in Governance
Section 1. Faculty Governance
“As the responsible body in the teaching, research and scholarly activities of the University, the faculty has inherent interests and rights in academic policy and governance. Each college or other academic unit shall be governed in its internal administration by its faculty, as defined in Section 3a(1) above [in the University of Illinois Statutes] . Governance of each academic unit shall be based on unit Bylaws established and amended by the faculty of the unit. The bylaws shall provide for the administrative organization and procedure of the unit including the composition and tenure of executive or advisory committees. Except that they may not conflict with these Statutes, or other specific actions of the Board of Trustees, or with the bylaws of a unit which encompasses it, the details of the bylaws are left to the faculty of the unit.” (University of Illinois Statutes, Article II, Section 3b. As Amended: January 24, 2013).
Section 2. Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
All members of the Faculty share the responsibility of maintaining high professional standards which foster academic integrity. 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 Department Faculty Advisory Committee and the Grievance Committee, (d) evaluate departmental policies and procedures and provide advice to the Head, and (e) review the vision, mission, goals, and programs of the Department at least once in each five-year period.
Article 4. Membership
Section 1. Faculty
The voting faculty shall consist of tenure-system faculty with a rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or are receiving probationary credit towards tenure and hold at least a 25 percent salaried appointment within the Department.
Specialized faculty (other than those that are visiting or adjunct) are members of the Department and are granted voting privileges only if they hold at least a 25 percent appointment within the Department.
Specialized adjunct, visiting, emeritus, and other appointees of all faculty ranks not meeting the conditions stated above shall be non-voting members of the faculty in the Department.
Article 5. General Organization
Section 1. Chief Executive Officer
The Department shall be organized with a Head as chief executive officer. The Head shall have those powers and duties given by the University Statutes and such other powers and duties as granted by these Bylaws. The Head will be responsive to the collective judgment of the faculty, obtained through meetings of the faculty and the Department Faculty Advisory Committee. The Head may name associate heads, assistant heads, and/or directors as appropriate with the advice of the Department Faculty Advisory Committee. The Head shall undergo a formal review, by a committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, as determined by the College of ACES.
Section 2. Faculty Meetings
The Department faculty shall meet at least once during each semester of the academic year. Meetings shall be called by the Head. Meetings may also be called by the faculty upon receipt of a written request signed by at least five voting faculty members. Such meetings shall be held within two weeks of the date of receipt of the request by the Head. The Head or the Head’s designee will preside over meetings.
Faculty meeting agendas shall be distributed to all members of the Department at least five days prior to each meeting. At least 50 percent of the voting faculty members in the Department must be present at any properly called meeting to constitute a quorum. Approval of motions shall require a simple majority of the eligible voters present at the meeting that meets the quorum requirement. Voting by absentee ballot is allowed. Voting shall be by secret ballot when requested by one faculty member. Abbreviated minutes shall be distributed to the faculty after each meeting.
Section 3. Department Faculty Advisory Committee
The Department Faculty Advisory Committee shall be composed of four tenured members of the faculty elected at-large by the voting members of the faculty. Members serve a two-year term with two new members elected each year. The Department Faculty Advisory Committee shall act to advise the Head on matters pertaining to the Department. In particular, their duties include the following: to provide for the orderly voicing of suggestions for the good of the Department; to recommend procedures and committees that will encourage faculty participation in formulating policy; to consult on budgetary matters; to advise on teaching assignments, hiring and promotion matters; and to deal with matters requested by the Head.
Section 4. Promotion and Tenure Committee
The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be composed of the Department Faculty Advisory Committee plus two to six tenured faculty members appointed annually by the Head. When considering the cases for promotion of specialized faculty, up to two specialized faculty who are voting members within the Department or from other departments within the college may be appointed by the Head to be included in the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The specialized faculty serving on the Promotion and Tenure Committee must be of the same track (Research/Clinical/Teaching) as the candidate. At least 50 percent of the members must be present at any properly called meeting to constitute a quorum. The Head will chair the committee but will not vote on promotion and tenure cases. The Promotion and Tenure committee shall review the performance of faculty as requested and make recommendations to the Head regarding promotion and/or tenure of faculty. All votes on promotion and tenure documents will be by secret ballot. Members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee will vote only on cases to be promoted to their rank or below.
Section 5. Grievance Committee
The Department Grievance Committee shall be composed of four faculty members who are elected to the Department Faculty Advisory Committee. The committee shall consider any formal grievance submitted to the department head in writing by any faculty member, academic professional, staff, graduate student, or undergraduate student. Cases involving academic misconduct or sexual harassment or discrimination which are handled under defined campus policies shall not be considered by the Department Grievance Committee. The committee shall select a chair from among its faculty members. The chair is responsible for assuring that a record of the committee’s investigations, deliberations, and recommendations is forwarded to the Head. If Grievance Committee members are not able to serve or if there appears to be a conflict of interest,* the Head shall appoint replacement faculty members to the Grievance Committee. In any case of a grievance from a specialized faculty, one specialized faculty within the Department (or College) may be appointed by the Head to serve on the committee. In any case of grievance from graduate students, two graduate students will be selected by the graduate students to also serve on the committee. A graduate student grievant may request that there be no graduate students on his or her grievance committee. All members must be present at any properly called meeting. Procedures for the committee shall be approved by the faculty (“Policy and Procedures on Grievances by Graduate Students”) and shall comply with policies and procedures in the Academic Staff Handbook, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Graduate College Policy and Procedures on Grievances by Graduate Students, and the Student Code.
*A conflict of interest is a significant professional or personal involvement with the facts or the parties to a dispute. Any participant, who has a conflict of interest in a dispute under this procedure, or a concern about a conflict on the part of another, shall report it to the head who shall take appropriate action. If the head has such a conflict, the head will inform the dean of the college (or the dean of the Graduate College for graduate student grievant) who will decide how to address the situation.
Section 6. Department Standing Committees
In consultation with the Department Faculty Advisory Committee, the Head shall annually appoint standing committees and/or committee chairs as appropriate from members within the Department. In making committee assignments, the head will consider how the committee composition reflects the diversity of the unit or the target diversity of the unit. If committee membership cannot reach targets in diversity without overburdening underrepresented groups, for example, then the head should encourage discussions about diversity, or appoint a diversity advocate on the committee. All members will have full participation in the committees they are appointed to serve. Standing committees include Courses and Curricula, Graduate, Awards, Safety and Health, Farm, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. All committees will operate under a written charge formulated by the Head with the advice of the Department Faculty Advisory Committee. At least 50 percent of the members must be present at any properly called meeting to constitute a quorum. The committees will report to the Head unless directed otherwise. Other committees may be appointed by the Head on an ad hoc basis.
Article 6. Elections
Elections for Department and College committees requiring elections will be by secret ballot. Faculty are encouraged to consider diversity and inclusion in the voting process. Elections will be held during the spring semester with the term of the newly-elected members beginning at the start of the academic year (August 16). Special elections to fill unexpired terms can be held at any time and terms of the elected individuals will begin immediately upon election. In case of a tie, a run-off election shall be taken for those tied.
Article 7. External Advisory Committee
The Head shall appoint members each year to this committee for a term of three years to fill the vacant seats. The Head shall seek suggestions for nominations from the faculty. The Head shall also consider diversity, geographical, and professional balance of the External Advisory Committee in making recommendations for new appointments to the committee.
Article 8. Amendments
Changes in these bylaws may be initiated by the Head, the Department Faculty Advisory Committee, or upon petition of at least five members of the Faculty. At least two weeks notice shall be given for a meeting of the Faculty to consider any proposed amendment. The proposed amendment may be amended from the floor at the meeting called to consider it. Approval of proposed Bylaws amendments shall require a 60 percent majority of the eligible voters present at the meeting that meets the quorum requirement. Final ratification of the proposed amendment to the bylaws shall be by secret ballot of all voting faculty. An affirmative vote of at least 60 percent of the ballots returned by a minimum of 50 percent of the faculty within 15 days after distribution shall be required for ratification.
Ratified by Faculty: December 6, 2005
Amended by Faculty: June 27, 2014; April 24, 2016; February 21, 2020; July 10, 2020; March 21, 2022
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee will be co-chaired by the department representatives to the diversity committees of the Grainger College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. To ensure adequate representation of the various stakeholders, the DEI committee will consist of representatives from several standing committees, including the Department Faculty Advisory, Courses and Curricula, Graduate, and Awards Committees, and representatives from staff, undergraduate, and graduate students.