The University of Missouri-St. Louis Collegeof Optometry was started in 1980 to provide professional and post-graduate training in optometry and vision science. It has attracted a faculty with a wide range of teaching, research, and clinical care experience. The well being of the College depends on the utilization of this faculty's expertise through a free exchange of ideas between faculty and administration in an atmosphere of open communication and mutual understanding including civility, consideration and mutual respect (See Addendum A). Effective operations of the College depend on direct and active participation of the faculty and administration. To this end, the faculty of the College of Optometry adopts the following governance document in order to fulfill the goals and objectives described in the Mission Statement.
The faculty of the College of Optometry shall consist of all persons within the School holding full-time (benefits eligible) and part-time academic appointments. Voting faculty shall include full time members except those having an administrative (deans’ level) appointment. Except for voting, eligibility to serve as officers and committee membership, administrators (deans’ level) and part-time faculty have all privileges of the floor during meetings.
The faculty of the College of Optometry shall meet to discuss and formulate faculty recommendations on the affairs of the College. The primary function of the committees described below will be to gather information for faculty discussion. These recommendations will be deliberated and voted on by the faculty prior to being communicated to the administration of the College and other constituencies as appropriate. The Dean may choose to delegate decisions to the faculty as appropriate. Faculty may delegate specific responsibilities to standing committees by simple majority vote.
At its last regularly scheduled meeting of the winter semester (usually May), the faculty shall elect from its number a Chair, Assistant Chair, and a Secretary. These officers shall serve a one-year term, renewable for a single year. No officer shall serve more than two consecutive terms in a given office. In cooperation with the Dean, the Chair shall call and preside over meetings of the faculty, seek to determine the will of the faculty, and act as its spokesperson. The Assistant Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair. Should both Chair and Assistant Chair be unable to attend a scheduled meeting, the faculty shall elect a chair pro tem to preside. The Secretary shall keep records of the proceedings, determine attendance and quorum. The Assistant chair shall distribute or post minutes of faculty meetings within 14 days of the faculty meeting. The Chair, Assistant Chair, and Secretary shall constitute the Leadership committee of the faculty.
In addition to regularly scheduled monthly faculty meetings, meetings of the faculty may be called by the Dean, by the Chair of the Leadership committee, or by at least 3 voting members of the faculty. The Chair of the Leadership committee and Dean shall work cooperatively to facilitate the convening of the faculty and to prepare and distribute the meeting agenda at least 3 working days prior to the meeting. A quorum shall be half the voting faculty. Although it is not expected that faculty meetings will be conducted under strict parliamentary rules, if a parliamentary authority for faculty meetings is needed, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order will be used. Voting will be by written mail ballot if approved by a two-thirds vote of the faculty in attendance.
The Optometry Faculty Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting faculty, solicited by a mail ballot. Bylaws changes shall become effective immediately upon receiving faculty approval. Proposed amendments to the bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Leadership Committee for reading at a duly-called faculty meeting.
Committees of the Faculty
A Nominating Committee, selected by the Leadership Committee (before the April faculty meeting) will work cooperatively with the Dean, in order to determine faculty interest in serving on Special, Naturally Forming and Regular committees. Recommended committee membership, presented by the Nominating Committee, shall be elected at the last regularly scheduled faculty meeting in the winter semester. Terms for Officers and committee assignments will commence immediately.
Each committee of the faculty is to gather information on issues within its charge and bring policy recommendations to be presented to the faculty for subsequent discussion and vote by the entire faculty. Unless predetermined, committees shall elect a chair and secretary at their first meeting in the fall semester. The secretary will announce meetings and record minutes. Approved minutes shall be distributed or posted within 14 days of the respective meeting. Business may be assigned to committees by the Chair of the Leadership Committee or the Dean. Each committee should meet at least one time each semester.
Voting faculty members are eligible to vote on committee recommendations. Their participation on each committee is essential for well-informed decisions to be generated by committees.
The standing committees include 2 Special committees, 6 Naturally Forming committees and 5 Regular committees. Additional non-voting ex officio members such as staff, part-time faculty and student members shall be included as appropriate. The committees and a brief description of their charges are listed below.
Leadership Committee: The Chair, Assistant Chair, and Secretary of the faculty shall constitute the Leadership Committee. They serve as the elected officers of the faculty and are obliged to determine and represent the will of the faculty.
Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee is selected by the Leadership Committee and works cooperatively with the Dean in order to determine faculty interest in serving on Special, Naturally Forming and Regular committees.
Naturally Forming Committees
Budget and Planning Committee: membership includes the Dean (will serve as chair), Assistant Dean, Director of Optometric Services, Director of Residencies, Director of the Graduate Program, Director of Student Affairs and Chair of the Leadership Committee. The Development Officer shall serve as a non-voting member. Additional ex officio members such as staff, students and a community member shall be included as appropriate. This committee shall examine general budgetary allocations and priorities; consider questions relating to the development of the School of Optometry and its programs, and make recommendations on development and fiscal matters.
Residency Committee: membership includes Director of Residencies (will serve as chair) and Program Supervisors. The Director of Optometric Services will serve as an ex-officio member. This committee will oversee admittance to the residency program and make recommendations for policies regarding residency programs.
Clinic Committee: membership includes Director of Optometric Services (will serve as chair), Center Directors, Chiefs and Director of Externships. The Center Manager shall serve as a non-voting member. The committee will make recommendations concerning, but not limited to, clinical policy matters including clinical teaching policies, student clinical performance, externships, utilization of clinic space, and equipment acquisition. Each committee member is responsible for gathering information with their respective faculty in order to bring recommendations and information back to the committee.
Research: membership includes the graduate faculty and the faculty representative to the campus Human Subjects Committee and the Campus Associate Vice-Chancellor for Research as an ex-officio member. Additional non-voting members such as staff and student members shall be included as appropriate. This committee will make recommendations for policies supporting, encouraging and maintaining research and scholarly activity in vision and related sciences.
Graduate Program: membership includes the Director of Graduate program (will serve as chair) and graduate faculty. The campus Dean of the Graduate School will serve as an ex-officio member. This committee will oversee admittance to the graduate program and make recommendations for policies regarding the graduate program.
Tenure and Promotion Committee: membership includes tenured associate and full professors. Duties and responsibilities are determined by the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations and the College of Optometry Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Standards.
Faculty Affairs: membership includes 5 members elected from the faculty (including at least 2 regular and 2 non-regular faculty). This committee shall make recommendations for faculty development and teaching programs, assist with the development of policies regarding workload and guidelines for faculty appointments, and promotion of non-regular faculty. It will also make recommendations regarding open faculty or administrative positions within the school.
Student Committee: membership includes Director of Student affairs (will serve as chair) and 4 members elected from the faculty. Non-voting staff members shall include the Coordinator of Student Affairs and students as appropriate. This committee shall make recommendations regarding student affairs, scholarships, financial aid and academic promotions.
Admissions committee: membership includes Director of Student affairs (will serve as chair), at least 4 members elected from the faculty, at least 2 members of the student body and members of the staff as appropriate. This committee reviews candidates applying for the professional program in the College of Optometry. This Committee will review applicant records, letters of recommendation, test scores and interviews, and recommend candidates for admission. It will also make recommendations to the faculty concerning matters of admission policy.
Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Policy Committee: membership includes 5 elected members from the faculty. This committee shall have general responsibility for recommending policies and procedures in the areas of curriculum and instruction for degree granting and certificate programs. It will review and make recommendations to the faculty about any curricular changes involving the professional school. It shall also recommend policies regarding graduation requirements, special programs, academic publications and continuing education.
Facilities, Libraries, Information Technology: membership includes Coordinator of Informatics (will serve as chair), faculty member of the campus Computing Committee and 4 elected members of the faculty. Additional members include the graphics support staff and campus staff as ex officio members, such as, the Director of the Health Sciences Library, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and a member of the campus computing staff. This committee will make recommendations to the faculty concerning library procedures and policies. This committee will make recommendations concerning space and facilities, such as purchase of equipment, computers, and support facilities (including electrical and machine shops, graphics etc.). The committee may appoint one optometry student and one graduate student to its membership, as the committee considers appropriate.
Ad hoc Committee: As the need arises, the faculty may establish ad hoc committees. The composition for each ad hoc committee shall be determined cooperatively between the faculty and dean.
Organization of the Staff and Student Body
Students and staff through their respective organization may request or petition the faculty in writing to place specific concerns on the agenda of a faculty meeting through the Chair of the Leadership Committee.
Adopted May 22, 2001
Guidelines for a Productive Process
- Team- "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable" (Katzenbach and Smith, 1994, p. 45)
- Advantages of teams- (from Taking charge of change: a primer for colleges and universities, American Council on Education, 1999)
- Purposely constructed combination of different skills, knowledge, and perspectives permits a more complex approach to analyzing issues and developing strategies.
Involving different people with complementary strengths provides more energy than any single individual can muster.
- The many sets of eyes and the wider range of experiences help a team more easily recognize and understand the multiple effects of change on a range of stakeholders.
- Teams provide opportunities for members to build on the ideas of others, adding increased problem-solving abilities.
- Teams are not easily distracted as a single individual because the continued focus of team members can compensate for an individuals preoccupation.
- Teams increase accountability because their members must publicly disclose problems and successes, and because they have more people to monitor the work of others.
- Teams have an increased ability to agree on clearly defined goals. (from Taking charge of change: a primer for colleges and universities, American Council on Education, 1999)
Sample Team Ground Rules
- Treat meetings as a safe zone
- Maintain confidentiality no attribution
- Ignore rank in the room
- Everyone participates; no one dominates
- Help the group stay on track
- Have only one speaker: do not interrupt
- Be an active/objective listener
- Give freely of your experience
- Keep an open mind
- Meet each other with a fresh perspective
- Maintain "view of the whole"
- Make decisions by consensus
- Ask invited guests to be governed by these rules