College of Arts and Sciences
Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(map)
(248) 370-2140
Fax: (248) 370-4280
cas@oakland.edu

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About the College of Arts and Sciences

Fast Facts

The College of Arts and Sciences offers over 75 majors and close to two-thirds of all courses taught at Oakland University.

  • There are 16 departments within the college, including the humanities, social sciences, visual and performing arts, and mathematical and laboratory sciences:
     
    • Art and Art History
    • Biological Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • English
    • History
    • Linguistics
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Modern Languages and Literatures
    • Music, Theatre and Dance
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communication and Journalism
    • Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice
    • Writing and Rhetoric
  • Oakland University students generally take a minimum of one-third of their classes within the College. 
  • The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance features nearly 100 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists.
  • The college is the academic home to the nationally acclaimed Eisenhower Dance Ensemble.
  • With the primary focus on regional contemporary art, the Oakland University Art Gallery features six exhibitions annually, drawing an attendance of 30,000 people.
  • Member scientists in the college's Center for Biomedical Research--from OU and Henry Ford Hospital--are performing important research on a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and epilepsy.
  • The Women and Gender Studies program educates the public on the importance of gender equality by hosting several events throughout the year including the Women and Gender Studies Speaker Forum, Issues Forum, and Film Festival.
  • There are 28 graduate programs offered by the college.  
  • All departments in the college participate in an annual celebration of undergraduate research and performing arts in a day-long event called “The Meeting of the Minds,” in conjunction with UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint.
  • Regina Carter, famed jazz violinist and MacArthur Award recipient, serves as artist-in-residence at Oakland University, working with students and performing on campus.
  • The college features an annual theme, providing opportunity for students and faculty to investigate topics from a wide interdisciplinary perspective. CAS departments offer theme-related courses, and special events such as lectures, panel discussions, and films are scheduled throughout the academic year. Past topics include "Religion and Society," "Cities," "Revolution,"  "Environmental Explorations," and "Frontiers and Borders." The theme for the 2015-16 school year is "Cracking Codes: Literacy Now."
  • The annual Richard J. Burke Lecture in Philosophy, Religion and Society brings to campus a noted philosopher to interact with students in the classroom and to present a public lecture. Past scholars have included Shadia Drury, Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer, Richard Falk and Holmes Rolston.
Constitution
Constitution of the College of Arts and Sciences
Ratified October 9, 1967, approved November 15, 1967, and as amended December 12, 1968, February 23, 1971, October 5, 1977, March 24, 1981, December 4, 1984 (effective February 11, 1987) and October 3, 1996.

PREAMBLE: The College of Arts and Sciences, in accordance with the provisions of the University Senate Constitution and subject to the approval of the University Board of Trustees, does hereby establish this Constitution in order to conduct the business of its faculty.

ARTICLE I. THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

  1. The College of Arts and Sciences comprises the faculty of Arts and Sciences and those students pursuing degrees under its authority.

  2. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences exercises the full powers accorded by the Constitution of the Oakland University Senate and is empowered to present to the University Senate candidates for such degrees as may be authorized.

  3. The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences is empowered, subject to review by the University Senate, to develop programs of instruction leading to such degrees as may be authorized, and to establish and enforce degree requirements and such regulations as may be necessary for the discharge of its academic responsibility. The ordinary business of the faculty shall be conducted by an Assembly of its members, whose organization, membership, powers and limitations are described in Articles II and III, and the committees described in Article IV, below. The faculty may be called to meet in its entirety by the Dean as often as he or she deems necessary, but it shall so meet at least once a year; and, at the request of fifteen percent or forty members of the faculty, whichever number is smaller, the Dean shall call a meeting of the faculty in its entirety. Any motions or resolutions adopted at a meeting of the faculty are subject to the provisions of Article III (xiii), 1 and 2, below.

  4. The Dean of the College is the presiding officer of the College of Arts and Sciences.

  5. The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is the principal academic and administrative officer of the faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences.

    1. The Dean shall be a tenured member of the faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    2. The Dean shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the President. Before recommending appointment, the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall consult all department chairpersons of the College and the elected members of the Executive Committee of the Assembly. The President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs may review the Dean's appointment with all department chairpersons and the elected members of the Executive Committee of the Assembly at any time they deem necessary but they must review the Dean's appointment at least every five years with the department chairpersons and the elected members of the Executive Committee of the Assembly.

  6. Departments and other instructional-administrative units may be proposed by the Dean to the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, with the advice of the Executive Committee and the Assembly.

    1. Departments of instruction are entrusted with instruction in one of the academic disciplines.

      1. The chairperson is the principal academic and administrative officer of the department.
      2. Chairpersons are appointed by the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean, for a three-year term, which may be renewable. An acting chairperson may be appointed for a one-year term, which term may be renewable.
      3. Before recommending appointment or reappointment of a chairperson or an acting chairperson, the Dean must consult with all tenured members in the department, and such other persons as he or she deems necessary. In departments with fewer than five tenured faculty, the five highest ranking members of the department must be consulted. In the case of a chairperson or an acting chairperson who is entering the final year of his or her current term, the consultation process shall begin no later than October 15 of the year prior to the expiration of the chairperson's or acting chairperson's current term. The dean shall make every effort to recommend for appointment or reappointment persons who have the support of a majority of the full-time nonvisiting faculty members who hold primary appointments in the department. The Dean may recommend someone who does not have majority support, after consultation with the other department chairpersons in the College and the Executive Committee of the Assembly.
      4. In unusual circumstances, the Dean may appoint an executive officer over a department, after consultation with the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and with all department chairpersons in the College and the Executive Committee of the Assembly.

    2. With the approval of the Assembly and the Dean, departments may develop formal constitutions for their own governance.

ARTICLE II. THE ASSEMBLY: POWERS

  1. The legislative authority of the College resides in the Assembly, which shall be responsible for all academic programs offered by the faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences.

  2. The Assembly shall have the following rights:

    1. To initiate proposals on all matters relevant to the general welfare of the College, to be consulted on all matters of importance to the College, and to take such action as may be necessary and proper to exercise its responsibilities under Article I (iii) and Article II (i).
    2. To adopt resolutions on matters of concern to it as a faculty body or to the University as a whole, and to request action from the University Senate.
    3. To advise the Dean in all matters he or she wishes to bring before it.

  3. These rights shall be exercised in plenary session of the Assembly by the procedures specified in Article III hereunder, except where powers pertinent to the exercise of these rights are expressly delegated to committees under Article IV.

ARTICLE III. THE ASSEMBLY: MEMBERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION

  1. The Assembly of the College of Arts and Sciences shall have a membership composed of the following representational groupings:

    1. Each department in the College shall choose, by its own procedures, one representative to the Assembly, who shall be a full-time, non-visiting faculty member holding a primary appointment in the department. Departmental representatives shall serve two-year terms, but the number and consecutiveness of their terms shall be determined by the department.
    2. There shall be fourteen members of the Assembly who shall be elected from the full-time, non-visiting faculty members holding primary appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The electorate shall consist of all faculty members holding primary appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences with one of the following academic titles: Special Instructor, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. These members shall be elected at large from the electoral groupings as determined in Article III (ii), below, provided that the number of elected representatives from each electoral grouping be proportional to its number of faculty members in the College as a whole, and provided further that:
      1. Elected members shall serve two-year terms, staggered as to term;
      2. The College Elections Committee shall implement this provision.

    3. The Dean and Associate Dean(s) shall be members of the Assembly ex officio and voting.
    4. There shall be three student members, selected in accordance with the provisions of Article III (iii), below. Student members must be in good academic standing and enrolled during any terms they serve.
    5. All members of the Assembly shall have full voting rights, and Assembly members who are College faculty members or students in the College shall be eligible to serve on all College committees, except as committee membership may be restricted by this Constitution or by the Assembly.

  2. For all electoral and appointive purposes specified herein, the Executive Committee, with the approval of the Assembly, shall determine representational groupings of departments which share, as nearly as possible, similar disciplinary and scholarly traditions. These groupings may be reviewed at any time by the Executive Committee to assess their continued representational adequacy, but they must be so reviewed during the fall semester of every second year.

  3. Student members of the Assembly shall be elected from an electorate composed of all undergraduate and graduate students officially enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences in any semester during which an election is held. The University Congress shall, by its own procedures, determine the length, number and consecutiveness of terms to be served by student members, and conduct the elections, which shall be held in fall or winter semester of any academic year. The Congress shall provide for the replacement of student members who resign their seats or otherwise become ineligible to serve their terms or any portion thereof.

  4. The Assembly shall meet at least two times during each of the fall and winter semesters, and as often in addition as is necessary. The Executive Committee shall call meetings of the Assembly. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.

  5. At all times other than the fall and winter semesters, the Assembly shall meet as often as is necessary. At such meetings, the agenda shall be limited to the nomination of candidates for degrees and honors, unless by action of the Assembly during the preceding winter semester specific additional items are authorized for the agenda.

  6. The presiding officer of the Assembly shall be the Dean or other designated representative. The Dean shall appoint a secretary and a parliamentarian. At the start of each regular meeting of the Assembly, immediately following approval of the minutes of the previous meeting, a period not to exceed one-half hour shall be devoted to informal reports from the presiding officer regarding any subject he or she deems appropriate; during this period any member of the Assembly may put questions to the presiding officer.

  7. Forty percent of the membership of the Assembly in residence shall constitute a quorum; a quorum call may be demanded by any member of the Assembly, but no more than one quorum call may be demanded at any one meeting. For those meetings stipulated under Article III (v) of this Constitution, the quorum rule shall be suspended.
  8. All substantive measures, together with relevant committee recommendations and reports, shall be circulated to all members of the Assembly before a motion receives its first reading in the Assembly.

  9. All motions are placed on the agenda by the Executive Committee. There shall be two kinds of substantive motions:

    1. Ordinary substantive motions are placed on the agenda with endorsement by the Executive Committee. Ordinary motions shall receive readings on two separate meeting days of the Assembly; amendments may be moved during both readings, but final votes may be taken only during the second reading, when a simple majority of those members present and voting shall suffice to adopt the measure. By vote of three-fourths of the members present and voting, the Assembly may proceed directly from the first to the second reading and take final action on the motion when a simple majority suffices to adopt the measure.
    2. Extraordinary substantive motions are placed on the agenda without endorsement by the Executive Committee. Extraordinary motions shall receive readings on two separate meeting days of the Assembly; amendments may be moved during both readings, but final votes may be taken only during the second reading. An extraordinary motion must receive a simple majority of those present and voting at the first reading in order to be given a second reading, when a simple majority of those present and voting suffices to adopt the measure.

  10. Private substantive motions may originate as follows:

    1. Any member of the Assembly or the faculty of the College may request the Executive Committee in writing to place a motion on the agenda.
    2. Private substantive motions may be introduced on the floor of the Assembly by individual members at any meeting of the Assembly. After the regular agenda has been completed, the presiding officer shall call for such motions and shall recognize at least one. Such a motion may, by two-thirds majority of those present and voting, be debated on the day it is offered before being referred to the Executive Committee, but final vote may not be taken until after the motion has been placed on the agenda by the Executive Committee. The motion may be referred to the Executive Committee for disposition to the proper committee without debate, by vote of a simple majority of those present and voting. Such a vote takes precedence over all others. When placed on the agenda with endorsement by the Executive Committee, the motion shall be treated as an ordinary motion. When placed on the agenda without endorsement by the Executive Committee, the motion shall be treated as an extraordinary motion. If the Executive Committee fails to report a private motion out of committee after two successive meetings of the Assembly, a simple majority of those present and voting shall suffice to direct the Executive Committee to place the motion on the agenda of the next Assembly meeting.

  11. Resolutions may be adopted by the Assembly on matters other than those directly related to the curriculum and to the instructional regulations of the College as the presiding officer shall rule. Any member of the Assembly may move the adoption of any resolution from the floor. To be approved and adopted on the first reading, a resolution must have support of a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Failing this, a simple majority shall suffice to hold the resolution over a second reading, when a simple majority of those present and voting shall suffice to adopt the resolution.

  12. Faculty members holding any appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences may attend its Assembly meetings and speak in contribution to discussion and debate upon recognition by the chairperson. At the invitation of the Assembly or its Executive Committee, faculty holding appointments outside of the college also may be invited to attend Assembly meetings and speak to relevant issues as they come before the Assembly. Only Assembly members may vote.

  13. Within five class days of the final vote of the Assembly on any matter, fifty percent of the Assembly members, or fifteen percent or forty College faculty members, whichever is the lesser number of faculty members, shall have the right to petition the Dean to call a meeting of the entire College faculty to discuss the action of the Assembly. Upon receipt of such a petition, the Dean shall call a meeting of the faculty in its entirety.

    1. A majority of the faculty members present at such a meeting shall have the right to instruct the Elections Committee to conduct a referendum by mail ballot of all the College faculty members.
    2. The referendum shall ask for a yes or no vote on the action taken by the Assembly. If a majority of those returned valid ballots indicates disapproval, the action of the Assembly shall be disallowed. This decision shall be final and no further appeal on the action shall be allowed either in Assembly deliberations or via the referendum procedure.

ARTICLE IV. THE COLLEGE AND THE ASSEMBLY: STANDING COMMITTEES

  1. All full-time faculty members holding primary, non-visiting appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences shall be eligible to serve on its standing committees, except that members of the Executive Committee of the Assembly shall be members of the Assembly and members of the Committee on Appointment and Promotion shall be bargaining unit faculty members. All standing committees of the College shall report to the Executive Committee of the Assembly. Unless otherwise specified by the Assembly, the faculty term of office of all standing committees shall be three years, with members serving staggered terms. Nomination and ratification of members to standing committees, except where elective, shall take place in the winter semester, with service to begin the subsequent academic year.

  2. The Assembly shall have an Executive Committee composed of the Dean of the College, who shall be chairperson ex officio and voting, and five College faculty members of the Assembly elected by it, and one student member of the Assembly chosen by the University Congress by its own procedures. There shall be one faculty member from each of the electoral groupings determined under Article III (ii) above, the remaining member(s) to be elected at large, provided further that at least four members be tenured. Faculty members of the Executive Committee shall serve two-year terms, staggered as to term; the length of student member terms shall be determined by the University Congress. The Executive Committee shall:

    1. Call all meetings of the Assembly.
    2. Prepare the agenda for the Assembly, including the call of all matters from committees.
    3. Present to the Assembly for its approval nominees for the chairpersonship and membership of all the standing committees of the College.
    4. Create such ad hoc committees as it judges necessary and designate the membership and fix the terms of such committees.
    5. Refer measures to the standing and ad hoc committees.
    6. Receive reports and recommendations from committees to be placed on the agenda of the Assembly, with authority to request reconsideration; after reconsideration, a second recommendation from a committee must be placed on a subsequent Assembly agenda, with or without the endorsement of the Executive Committee.
    7. Have authority to introduce independent motions to the Assembly.
    8. Have authority to approve on behalf of the Assembly the graduation list and the departmental honors list of candidates for the degrees offered by the College.
    9. Appoint replacements for such Arts and Sciences seats in the University Senate as may fall vacant in the course of a Senate term, as well as for vacated seats on all standing and ad hoc committees of the Assembly.
    10. Advise the Dean on all matters he or she wishes to bring before it; place before the Dean such matters as it deems necessary.
    11. Transmit to the University Senate such matters as concern it, and receive communications from the University Senate.

  3. The College shall have a Committee on Elections, composed of the Dean of the College ex officio and non voting, and three faculty members, one of whom shall be chairperson. The Committee on Elections shall:

    1. Determine the membership of the College electorate and the eligibility of faculty members for elections to the Assembly, its committees, and the Senate according to the definition in Article III (i), 2.
    2. Conduct all elections and apportionments authorized and required by this Constitution.

  4. The College shall have a Committee on Instruction composed of six faculty members, one of whom shall be chairperson, serving two-year terms staggered, at least one from each of the electoral groupings as determined under Article III (ii) and the remaining member(s) to be at large, and two student members selected by the University Congress. The Dean of the College (or designee) shall be a voting member ex officio. The Committee on Instruction shall:

    1. Consider and recommend on all academic, curricular, and instructional policies of the College of Arts and Sciences.
    2. Review and implement curricular and instructional policies of the College of Arts and Sciences.
    3. Rule on petitions, and approve courses and programs of instruction offered by the instructional units of the College.
    4. Advise the Dean on any matters of academic concern which he or she cares to bring to it; raise questions of academic concern with the dean.

  5. In addition to the standing committees provided for herein, the Assembly, in consultation with the Dean, shall establish such other standing committees as it deems necessary. Motions to establish standing committees must have two readings, on two separate meeting days, before the Assembly and require a two-thirds majority vote of all Assembly members for passage. Motions to abolish or to alter the composition or charge of any standing committee created by the Assembly under this provision must have two readings, on two separate meeting days, before the Assembly and require a two-thirds majority vote of all Assembly members for passage.

  6. The Assembly may modify the membership of standing committees by resolution. Except as otherwise specified herein, for purposes of electing or appointing to committees, the University Congress shall be notified and requested to select its members for committees by its own procedures, and student membership on committees shall be for one-year terms.

ARTICLE V. THE COMMITTEE ON APPOINTMENT AND PROMOTION

  1. The faculty of Arts and Sciences shall have a Committee on Appointment and Promotion.
  2. The Committee on Appointment and Promotion shall:

    1. Be informed of all appointments, and consider all reappointments and promotions in the faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    2. Advise the Dean on all recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure.
    3. Advise the Dean on the operation of appointment, promotion, and tenure procedures within the faculty of Arts and Sciences and recommend to the faculty changes in such procedures.
    4. Operate in accordance with and fulfill all duties specified in the current Faculty Agreement between Oakland University and the Oakland University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

  3. The membership of the Committee on Appointment and Promotion shall comprise the Dean as the non-voting member and six tenured bargaining unit faculty members holding full-time, non-visiting primary appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences, at least one from each of the electoral groupings determined under Article III (ii) except that no two members of the same department may serve concurrently. The membership shall be elected by those members of the electorate as specified in Article III (i), (2) who are also members of the bargaining unit. The terms of office of elected members shall be three years staggered as to terms. Elections shall be held in the winter semester for service in the subsequent academic year.

ARTICLE VI. ELECTIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

  1. The College of Arts and Sciences shall elect a delegation to the University Senate from its faculty members as defined for these purposes in Article III (i), 2.

    1. At least fifty percent of the total delegation from the faculty of Arts and Sciences must be tenured.
    2. The seats shall be apportioned among the electoral groupings as determined in Article III (ii), proportionately to the percentage of the total faculty of Arts and Sciences in each grouping. Within each grouping there shall be at least one tenured and one non-tenured delegate.

  2. The Committee on Elections shall implement this provision.

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENT

  1. Amendments to this Constitution shall originate as resolutions of the Assembly as provided in Article III (xi) of this Constitution and, after final affirmative vote of the Assembly, shall be distributed to all members of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences as defined in Article III (i), 2, and be ratified by a majority of the membership in a mail referendum.

  2. All amendments must be approved by the University Senate and the Board of Trustees.