Governance Committee

Membership: Three members elected from the faculty at large for three-year overlapping terms.

General Purpose: To interpret the Faculty Constitution and Bylaws and faculty legislation as the occasion arises.  To facilitate the successful operation of the entire committee system, and to study matters pertaining to the system of faculty governance.

Specific Duties:

To study problems and recommend policy regarding faculty governance and changes in the Faculty Constitution and Bylaws.

  1. To study problems and recommend policy regarding faculty governance and changes in the Faculty Constitution and Bylaws.
  2. To oversee revisions to the Faculty Handbook.
  3. To monitor membership, organization, and functions of faculty standing committees.
  4. To prepare a slate of candidates for all committee positions and other positions filled by election at large from the faculty.
  5. To present these candidates to the faculty at the next to the last faculty meeting of the year and accept faculty nominations from the floor.
  6. To present nominees when called upon to do so during the school year by act of the faculty.
  7. To present nominees when vacancies occur in any committee or other elected office.
  8. To nominate two candidates for each position to be filled by election.  The list of nominees will be presented at a faculty meeting and nominations from the floor will be received before an election will be conducted.  Nominations should attempt to preserve an equitable distribution of service among eligible faculty consistent with committee membership criteria.
  9. To conduct all faculty elections by secret ballot.  The Chair of the Governance Committee serves jointly with the Faculty Secretary to certify the faculty elections.
  10. To report as elected anyone receiving a majority of votes cast for that position.  A majority vote is required for election; a run-off secret ballot shall be provided containing the names of the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes for each of the positions to be filled.
  11. To review all cases brought before it when a constitutional interpretation is necessary to resolve a bona fide dispute.
  12. To hold and exercise full power to decide what cases it will hear and make judgments on.
  13. To provide injunctive relief, if deemed necessary by the committee, to litigants pending decision of a case.
  14. To resolve by interpretation of the Faculty Constitution all issues approved for hearing by the committee.
  15. To communicate each decision in writing to the president of the university, the faculty secretary, and the party or parties responsible for referral of the case.
  16. The chair of the Governance Committee shall serve on the Conciliation Committee in accordance with Article VI, Section 1 of the Faculty Bylaws.
  17. To make a written report to the faculty at least once a year. The chair of the committee shall file a record of the committee’s activities in duplicate reports–one with the faculty secretary and one with the president of the university at the close of the school year.


  1. To bring a case before the committee the disputants must submit a written statement.  It must include the names of the parties involved in the dispute, the issue in the dispute, the reasons for the dispute and the relief sought, and why the relief should be granted.  Citation of documents relevant to the dispute (for example, the Faculty Constitution and Bylaws and faculty legislation) must be provided by each of the parties.
  2. If the Governance Committee determines by vote that a member or members have a conflict of interest, then the Governance Committee will select a temporary member or members to replace the member(s) with a conflict for that particular case.  The Governance Committee shall select the member (s) from former Governance Committee members who are qualified members of the faculty who do not have a conflict.  This appointment shall be for the specific case for which the regular member has a conflict.

Membership for 2024-25:

Name: Alex Lechler (
Earth Science
Committee Seat:
Expires 2025

Name: Kevin O’Brien (
Department: Religion
Committee Seat: Expires 2026
Contact: 253-535-7239

Name: Nicole Martin (
Department: Kinesiology
Committee Seat: Expires 2027
Contact: 253-535-7372