SDS Faculty Bylaws



School Bylaws


The School of Data Science (the “School”) at UNC Charlotte shall consist of the School Board of Directors including the Provost (the “Board”), the Faculty of the School (the “Faculty”), Staff directly supporting the School, and students, both graduate and undergraduate, who are enrolled in School programs. The School serves the instructional needs of undergraduate and graduate students, supports research and teaching of the Faculty, and seeks to promote an interdisciplinary intellectual community both within and beyond its membership. The School is committed to partnering with industry and ensuring its research and efforts positively impact our university, the Charlotte community, and the world. Community engagement is an important aspect in both educating our students and ensuring we understand the ethical implications of our work.

These Bylaws provide operating guidelines for the Faculty, administrative officers, and Standing Committees of the School, including provisions for such organizational arrangements and procedures as necessary for the orderly conduct of the School’s business. The School recognizes that many Faculty of the School will also be members of the faculty of other Colleges and units. Any potential conflicts between these Bylaws and the bylaws of other units are not intentional and should be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of the School who shall bring this to the Faculty and Board for consideration.

The provisions of these Bylaws are subject to the approval of the Board and the Executive Director, and they are themselves governed by the policies of the Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.


The Faculty of the School

Section 1. Faculty Qualification

1.1. Qualification Generally. The Faculty shall consist of all persons holding full-time Professorial or Special Faculty positions in the School as defined in University Policy 103.13. Faculty in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 are considered the Core Faculty of the School and are eligible to vote on all issues that come before the Faculty of the School. In addition, Faculty specified in Section 1.4 below shall be included in the Faculty and may serve on all committees except the School Curriculum Committee and the School Review Committee and have more limited voting rights in SDS. While Other Faculty (Section 1.5) are considered part of the faculty, they are not eligible to serve on committees or vote. Exceptions to these limitations may be provided through written approval of the Executive Director. Faculty outside of the School who are interested in becoming a Faculty of the School should submit their CV and a statement of interest to the School Nomination Committee defined in Article V, Section 3.

1.2 Full-time School Faculty Appointments: Faculty with 100% of their appointments within the School of Data Science. This includes both Special or Tenure-Track faculty positions. Full-time School Faculty are Core Faculty of SDS.

1.3. Joint Appointments. A full-time faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (the “University”) with a joint appointment in the School of at least 0.3 FTE. Joint Faculty are Core Faculty of SDS.

1.4. Affiliate Appointments. With the exception defined in Section 3, a full-time faculty member of the University with an affiliate appointment in the School may vote in their committee service; however, they shall not be eligible to vote in School-wide elections and referendums. Affiliate faculty are not considered Core Faculty of SDS.

1.5. Other Appointments: Other School faculty appointments (e.g., visiting or part-time appointments) are Faculty members of the School, but may not vote or serve on School committees.

Section 2. Faculty Responsibilities. The Faculty shall be responsible for planning and conducting the academic programs of instruction and research in the School, subject to UNC Charlotte’s policies and the UNC System’s provisions.

Section 3. Voting. As defined in Section 1 of this Article, faculty members who are eligible to vote in School-wide events are called Core Faculty. Each member of the Core Faculty shall have the privilege of one vote in meetings of the Faculty and Faculty elections, except in the case of those elections where Special Faculty are specifically excluded. During the Transition Phase defined in the Proposal to Create the School of Data Science approved by the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees (Dec 2019), Affiliate Faculty shall have full voting rights in all issues before the School.


Purpose and Governance of the School

Section 1. General Purpose. The Faculty shall strive to fulfill the Mission and Vision of the University and the School in an environment characterized by the Shared Values of the School.

Section 2. Board of Directors

2.1. Members. The members of the Board of Directors shall be the Provost and the deans of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS), the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI), the Belk College of Business (BCoB), and the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).

2.2. Changes. Changes to the Board membership may be proposed by a consensus of the Board and approved by the Provost and the Chancellor.

2.3. Executive Director. The Board shall appoint an Executive Director to manage the School and report to the Board. The Executive Director shall be a Core Faculty member of the School. Appointments are ordinarily for a three-year renewable term. The Executive Director, with guidance and oversight from the Board, will lead the faculty in establishing and maintaining policies to govern the School, oversee the budget, provide strategic direction, and manage the resources of the School. The Executive Director will serve as the representative to the UNC Charlotte community and external potential partners.

Section 3. Shared Faculty Governance

3.1. Faculty Authority. The Faculty accepts the major portion of accountability for the curriculum and for the quality of instruction and scholarship in the School. Therefore, it is fitting and proper that responsibility and authority, both primary and shared, for certain functions within the School be assigned and delegated to the Faculty and that the process for the discharge of these responsibilities and the exercise of this authority be defined.

3.2. Policy-Making, Not Implementation. As noted in the Constitution of the Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in identifying functions for which authority, primary or shared, should be delegated to the Faculty, the emphasis is on the formation of policy. It is recognized that the primary responsibility for the implementation of academic policy rests with the administration of the University and the School, subject to The Code Provisions of The University of North Carolina and other pertinent documents.

Subject to the delegation of authority from the Chancellor and the Executive Director of the School, and also subject to the regulations and/or policies of the Board of Trustees of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, and the President’s Office, the Faculty of the School assumes primary policy-making responsibility for:

  1. Setting degree requirements for the School, subject to the minimal degree requirements set by the University faculty;
  2. Setting admission standards for the School in addition to the minimal University admission standards set by the faculty of the University;
  3. Establishing academic plans and curricula and developing and reviewing proposed new programs, including auxiliary academic programs (e.g., continuing education);
  4. Establishing policies concerning promotion, appointment, reappointment, tenure, and post-tenure review of faculty with their tenure home in SDS (It is recognized that the tenure document is, and will continue to be, subject to University Policies and Procedures).
  5. Establishing policies governing academic counseling of students;
  6. Establishing policies and procedures for the faculty review of School administrators;
  7. Establishing policies and procedures governing assurance of learning.


Officers of the School

Section 1. President of the Faculty. The President of the Faculty shall be elected by the School Faculty and shall serve a one-year term. Any voting member of the Faculty is eligible to serve as the School President. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Faculty, or designate an alternate to do so. Additional duties of the Faculty President include:

  1. Preparing the agenda for all Faculty meetings;
  2. Calling a meeting for the election of a new President in April before the term of the current President ends;
  3. Promulgating regulations governing the manner of all required Faculty elections other than the election of the President of the Faculty;
  4. Serving on the Nomination Committee and ensuring an appropriate slate for elections;
  5. Holding elections for Faculty President-Elect and Nominations Committee.;
  6. Serving on University Committees which require a faculty President from the School;
  7. The President shall report to the Faculty on items of interest discussed in the meetings held by the Administrative Council;
  8. The President shall have the power, subject to the approval of the Faculty, to create any special committees necessary for conducting the business of the Faculty.

Section 2. President-Elect of the Faculty. The President-Elect of the Faculty shall be elected by the School Faculty and shall serve a one-year term. Any voting member of the Faculty is eligible to serve as School President. The President-Elect will be elected in April and shall serve to start on July 1st. A President-Elect shall become President at the end of their one-year term. Additional duties of the Faculty President-Elect include:

  1. Preparing the agenda for all Faculty meetings;
  2. Presiding at Faculty meetings in the absence of the President;
  3. Assist the President with the preparation of the agenda;
  4. Record and maintain minutes of the Faculty meetings;
  5. Serve as the SDS representative in the University Faculty Council.

Section 3. Rotation of President-Elect: The President-Elect shall rotate among the colleges making up the SDS Board on an equal basis.


Faculty Meetings

Section 1. Meetings of the Faculty.

1.1. Annual and Special Meetings. The Faculty shall meet once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester of each academic year, and at other times upon the call of the Board, the Executive Director, or by petition containing signatures of at least 15% of the voting Faculty.

1.2. Notice of Meetings. The Executive Director shall schedule a meeting of the Faculty within fourteen (14) working days of a legal call and announce the meeting time and agenda to all Faculty members by electronic mail.

1.3. Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall be the President of the School.

1.4. Meeting Agenda Items. Items may be placed on the agenda by the Chancellor, the Provost, the Board, the Executive Director, the President of the School, or by petition of 10% of the voting Faculty.

1.5. Quorum, Voting. 50% of the voting Faculty shall constitute a quorum for voting purposes. Subject to the requirement that a quorum of the Faculty cast a ballot, a simple majority of those voting is required to adopt a motion. Alternate voting methods may be utilized at the discretion of the Nominating Committee.

1.6. Rules of Order. Unless otherwise specified, all meetings of the Faculty shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.


Council and Committees of the School

Section 1. Administrative Council.

1.1. Composition of the Administrative Council. The Administrative Council is comprised of the Executive Director, the Director of the School, the Program Directors, the Director of Research, and the School President. The Executive Director may add additional representation as necessary.

1.2. Chair. The Executive Director serves as the Chair of the Administrative Council.

1.3. Advisement of the Executive Director. The Administrative Council advises the Executive Director on those matters of School policy and practice that the Executive Director shall see fit to bring before it.

1.4. Other Responsibilities. The Administrative Council also brings to the Executive Director such matters of policy and practice as its members shall deem appropriate.

1.5. Closed Nature of Meetings. Consistent with the Administrative Council’s role in discussing and advising the Executive Director regarding those policies and practices that belong exclusively to the administrative authority of the School, the Administrative Council’s meetings are not open to the public.

Section 2. School Review Committee.

2.1. Unit Representation. The School Review Committee is composed of one voting Faculty representative from each of the Colleges represented on the Board and one from the Full-time School Faculty. If no Faculty meets these criteria for a College or the School (a “unit”), any Faculty from that unit may serve on the committee. Once there is a need for a review of reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) candidates, the number of representatives shall change to two with at least one tenured member. For tenure-track RPT decisions, only tenured Faculty may participate in these discussions and reviews.

2.2. Election of members. A Faculty with additional affiliation in a unit, upon the notification of the Nominations Committee, may nominate a Faculty representative for their unit. The Nominations Committee shall collect nominations and present these to each respective unit Faculty for voting and election to the Review Committee. Committee members are to be elected within their respective colleges in April and start their services in the School on July 1st. Committee members’ term of office shall be two years. Each year, the Committee shall elect a Chair within 30 days of the annual election of members.

(a) Staggered Elections. Elections to School Review Committee membership shall be staggered yearly between two Groups:

(i) Group I, comprised of BCoB, CLAS, and the School shall conduct elections during even-numbered years.

(ii) Group II, comprised of CCI, CHHS shall conduct elections during odd-numbered years.

(b) Newly included units. In the event of additional units joining the School governance, the two Groups shall be reconfigured to maintain, as nearly as possible, the same number in each Group.

2.5. Vacancy. If a Faculty member is unable to complete a term of office, the new member shall be elected from the same unit.

2.6. Responsibilities. In general, the School Review Committee provides an annual review of the Executive Director to the Board and may, when required, propose RPT guidelines that the committee would then use to provide recommendations to the Executive Director on appointment with tenure, reappointment, promotion, and tenure.

2.7. Closed Nature of Meetings. Consistent with the School Review Committee’s role in discussing personnel issues, the Committee’s meetings are not open to the public.

Section 3. Nominations Committee.

3.1. Composition of the Nominations Committee.

(a) Membership. The Nominations Committee is comprised of the current Faculty President, two other Faculty members, and the Executive Director or the Executive Director designee, ex officio.

(b) Elections. In April of each year, the Faculty shall elect two Faculty members of the Nominations Committee by a vote of the members, and the elected members start serving on July 1st. The President and the elected members shall all have appointments in separate units.

3.2. Responsibilities of the Nominations Committee.

(a) Recruitment for School President and Committees. The Nominations Committee shall assist the Executive Director in actively recruiting and nominating members of the Faculty to serve as School President and on School committees as well as task forces, and in such other roles as the Executive Director may determine.

(b) Methods and Counting of votes during elections. The Nominations Committee shall designate the method to be utilized during an election (e.g. if rank voting is required due to a large slate of candidates). One member of the committee shall be responsible for counting votes during School Faculty Meetings.

(c) Commitment to Diverse Representation. The Nominations Committee shall actively recruit candidates for committees and task forces who reflect the diversity of the School, including the variety of disciplines and units, the range of instructional ranks, where appropriate, and the representation of gender and race.

(d) Affiliate and Joint Faculty Appointments. Every April, or more often as requested by the Executive Director, the Nominations Committee shall review any requests to become Affiliate or Joint Faculty of the School and provide a recommendation for or against approval to the Executive Director for each request. The Executive Director and the Chair of the home unit shall approve or deny requests for Affiliate status in the School. The Executive Director, the Chair of the home unit, and the deans of the Board shall approve or deny all joint appointments. Copies of fully executed agreements shall be made available to the Board.

(e) Ex Officio member of SDS Joint Faculty Home Unit Review Committees. Due to SDS having many joint appointments with other departments being a faculty member’s home, SDS is required to provide ex officio members when joint faculty are being reviewed by their home departments (RPT and TFPR). As necessary and requested by the Executive Director, a Nomination Committee member shall serve as ex officio member of a faculty’s home Unit Review Committee.

Section 4. Curriculum Committees

4.1. Curricular Committee Makeup. Due to the unique interdisciplinary nature of the School, the School will have program-level curriculum committees (undergraduate, DSBA, HIA, and Ph.D. if approved). Each curriculum committee shall be composed of Faculty members with close ties to the program as defined below. Exceptions shall be made in writing by the Executive Director. All curriculum committee members are nominated by the faculty of individual colleges and appointed by the Executive Director.

(a) Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall be comprised of 4-5 Faculty members with a minimum of one member from each college that is a member of the SDS Board. The Committee shall be led by the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD). The UPD shall be a Faculty Member with part of their appointment in CCI or CLAS.

(b) DSBA Curriculum Committee shall be comprised of 4-5 Faculty members with 2 members with portions of their appointment in BCoB and 2 with portions in CCI. The Committee shall be led by a Graduate Program Director (GPD). The GPD shall be a Faculty Member with part of their appointment in CCI or BCoB. Post Transition period, one non-BCoB/CCI Faculty member may be a member of the committee.

(c) HIA Curriculum Committee shall be comprised of 4-5 Faculty members with 2 members with portions of their appointment in CHHS and 2 with portions in CCI. The Committee shall be led by a Graduate Program Director (GPD). The GPD shall be a Faculty Member with part of their appointment in CCI or CHHS. Post Transition period, one non-BCoB/CCI Faculty member may be a member of the committee.

(d) When required, a Ph.D. Curriculum Committee shall be established with at least one Faculty member from each of the Colleges that are part of the Board.

(e) School Curriculum Committee shall be comprised of one Faculty member at large and at least one member from each of the program-level curriculum committees. Each member shall abstain from voting on proposals from the committee they represent. Affiliate Faculty members may not be members of the School Curriculum Committee. The Committee shall strive to represent the diverse units that comprise the School.

4.2. Curricular Governance. Due to the unique nature of the governance of the School, Program Curriculum Committees shall initiate, develop, and then propose curricular changes to the School Curriculum Committee for approval. Proposals approved by the School Curriculum committee will be announced to all Faculty of the School and presented for approval to the Executive Director. Proposals approved by the Executive Director shall be submitted for approval to the Board. The Board may delegate its authority.

Section 5. Ad-hoc committees. The Executive Director shall appoint additional such other committees as the conduct of business may require.


School Procedure and Policy Documents

Section 1. Responsibility for Maintenance and Promulgation. The Executive Director, the School President, the Administrative Council, and the Committees of the School shall maintain and promulgate such procedure and policy documents as required by University statute, or as otherwise deemed necessary, for the orderly conduct of their business.

Section 2. Covered Documents. Policy and procedure documents shall include but are not limited to, the Mission Statement, these School Bylaws, the Five-Year Plan (Revised), templates for Joint and Affiliate appointments in the School, and other policies and procedures deemed necessary.


Amendments to the School Bylaws

Section 1. Amendment Proposal. Amendments to the School Bylaws may ordinarily be proposed by the Executive Director, by a majority vote of the voting Faculty, or by a petition signed by at least ten percent of the Faculty.

Section 2. Approval of Substantive Amendments.

2.1 Approval at Faculty Meeting. The Bylaws may be amended by faculty at the School Faculty meeting with a quorum of voting faculty. A two-thirds vote of approval is required to amend the Bylaws. If a quorum is not present, an electronic vote may be taken. When voting is undertaken by electronic means, approval of two-thirds of all voting faculty is required to amend the Bylaws.

Section 3. Board’s Final Approval Required. Amendments approved by the Faculty shall be considered recommendations to the Executive Director and the Board, whose approvals will cause the amendments to become effective.

Updated September 27th, 2021