D. Governance and Review

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Trustees of Indiana University

The Trustees of Indiana University receive communications and recommendations submitted to them by the President and by their own committees. In addition, the Trustees frequently hear presentations by representatives of the student body, staff, and faculty. Trustees of Indiana University have ultimate authority for matters of governance at Indiana University.

Given the complexity of the University and its structure, the Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) has recognized a need to develop special channels of communication between the Faculty and the Trustees of Indiana University. In response to the Council's concern, the Faculty Relations Committee of the Trustees has increased its efforts to provide time regularly (in connection with the monthly Trustees meetings) for faculty members and faculty groups to interact with the Committee and to present their concerns. In 1995, the University Faculty Council (UFC) adopted a policy providing for faculty representation at open sessions of the Board of Trustees. In 2002, the Board of Trustees endorsed, in principle, the practice of permitting faculty representation at certain Executive Sessions. (See Policies D-1 and D-2).

University Organization and Review of System Administrators

Indiana University administrators with responsibilities relating to all campuses include: the President, the Executive Vice President and Provost, Bloomington, Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Indianapolis, the Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and General Counsel, Vice President for Planning and Policy, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Vice President for Engagement, Vice President for Information Technology, Vice President for International Affairs, Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, and Vice President for Research Administration. All administrators whose responsibilities bear directly on the teaching and research mission of the university are subject to review by an appointed committee every four years, as established by the University Faculty Council on March 28, 1978. (See Policy D-3). A separate policy regarding review procedures for Chancellors/Provost was adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2006. (See Policy D-4).

University Administrative and Policy Committees

Several administrative groups and committees are involved in the review, establishment, and implementation of policy for the entire Indiana University system. Two of the most important groups are the Academic Leadership Council and the President’s Cabinet.

The Academic Leadership Council, which considers policies and procedures pertaining to academic affairs that have university-wide implications, consists of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs from each campus. The President’s Cabinet, which advises the President on a range of policy and programmatic initiatives with university-wide impact, consists of the vice presidents and representatives from the campus chancellors/provost, academic deans, and other senior administrators with university-wide responsibilities. The University Faculty Council and the President also elect or appoint all-campus committees for University-wide awards and endowed lecture series, ceremonies, athletics, and the review and implementation of specific policies, such as the residency requirement. The composition of and charge to some of these committees, including the Honorary Degrees Committee, the Athletics Coordinating Council, and the W. George Pinnell Award selection committee, have been approved by the University Faculty Council. (See Policy D-5; Policy H-20, and Policy G-7).

Bloomington Provost and Administrative Group

The Executive Vice President and Provost, Bloomington, has an administrative group which includes the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Vice Provost for Research, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Information Technology. This group meets regularly with the Provost to discuss campus issues and establish policies.

Review of Bloomington Administrators

The Bloomington Faculty Council has established review procedures for major Bloomington Campus Administrators--members of the Provost's Administrative Group and all Deans reporting to the Bloomington Provost. Reviews occur early in the fifth year in office and at four-year intervals thereafter. A review committee appointed by the Provost from nominations made by the Faculty Council Nominations Committee (with submissions from a school policy committee where a school Dean is to be reviewed) will be composed primarily of faculty members. The Review Committee submits its report to the Provost, to the administrator reviewed, to his/her elected policy committee, and to the Agenda Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council. (See Policy D-6).

Bloomington Deans

The deans of the schools and other campus administrators on the Bloomington Campus meet regularly with the Provost and his/her administrative group. The Deans and Schools located in Bloomington which report administratively to the Bloomington Provost include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, the School of Law-Bloomington, the School of Library and Information Science, and the School of Music. One of the merged units, the School of Education, which operates programs in both Bloomington and Indianapolis, also reports to the Bloomington Provost, as do two system-wide units--the Graduate School and University Libraries. Other schools, physically located in Bloomington, which report administratively to the Indianapolis Chancellor are: Business (a merged unit), Medical Sciences, Optometry, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (a system-wide unit), and the School of Continuing Studies (a system-wide unit).

Policy Committees

The deans of the degree-granting units on the Bloomington campus meet regularly with the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs on questions of academic programs and policies. Each School or College Dean has been asked by the Bloomington Faculty Council to establish an elected Policy Council to formulate School policy and to advise the Dean in the exercise of the Dean's authority. (See Policy D-7).


Faculty input and counsel have long played a significant and essential role in the governance of Indiana University-Bloomington. This input and counsel have been provided by formal channels, such as the Faculty Council and its committees, and by informal channels. Generally speaking, an "open-door" policy operates on the Bloomington Campus and informal discussions are encouraged and sought.

Faculty Councils

Prior to the 1969-70 academic year, Indiana University had one Faculty Council. This council, comprised largely of Bloomington faculty members, often took actions which were appropriate only to the Bloomington Campus. During 1969-70 each of the campuses making up Indiana University created a separate Council, and the University Faculty Council, with representatives from each of the campuses, was established. The Constitution and By-Laws of the University Faculty Council are contained in the Academic Handbook which serves the entire system.

Bloomington Faculty Council

The Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) first passed its own constitution May 6, 1975, and it was approved by the faculty on November 14, 1975. The most recent version was approved by the faculty on April 20, 2009. (See Policy D-8). The provisions of this constitution conform to the provisions found in the University Faculty Constitution which appears as Policy D-10. The Bloomington constitution and bylaws provide that Council membership shall include representatives of the faculty in various academic units, professional librarians, research rank and clinical rank faculty, lecturers, various major administrators (Provost-Bloomington, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Vice Provost for Research, Dean of the University Graduate School, Chief Budgetary Officer-Bloomington), undergraduate student leaders, graduate students, and the Professional Council. The Council's Bylaws appear in Policy D-9. Faculty members from all units physically located on the Bloomington Campus are eligible for election to the council. The Provost and President preside over meetings of the Bloomington Faculty Council.

BFC Minutes

To keep members of the faculty apprised of the issues being discussed by the BFC, agendas, circulars, policies and minutes of the Council for the last five years are posted on the Bloomington Faculty Council website. Printed and electronic copies of older material are available upon request from the Faculty Council Office and the University Archives. (See Policy D-11).

BFC Committees

The Bloomington Faculty Council has the following standing committees to which matters are referred both by the Council, through the Agenda Committee, and by Bloomington administrators through the Agenda Committee (See Policy D-12):

Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee

Agenda Committee of the Council

Budgetary Affairs Committee

Constitution and Rules Committee

Distributed Education Committee

Educational Policies Committee

External Relations Committee

Faculty Affairs Committee

Foundation Relations Committee

Fringe Benefits Committee

Library Committee

Long Range Planning Committee

Merger/Reorganization/Elimination Committee

Nomination Committee of the Council

Research Affairs Committee

Student Affairs Committee

Technology Policy Committee

Other Campus Committees

Campus committees on which faculty serve are appointed by various administrators. These committees play an important role in establishing policy, usually as advisory bodies to administrators.

1974 Reorganization and Governance

Pursuant to the 1974 Reorganization (this reorganization altered reporting lines for system-wide schools and created the two merged schools which operate on the Bloomington and the Indianapolis campuses under single deans), a number of resolutions were passed by the Faculty Councils. (See Policy D-13). Several of these deal with governance issues and the relationships and interactions with the University Faculty Council, the University Administration and the Indianapolis Administration (to whom some Bloomington units report under the Reorganization).

The Bloomington Faculty Council first reaffirmed an overriding commitment to the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and research, and recognized this pursuit as a primary mission of the Bloomington campus. The resolutions request regular meetings each semester with the President on matters of academic excellence. Having noted that the Indiana University Faculty Constitution provides that the primary faculty governing body should be on each campus, the Council indicated that items should reach the University Faculty Council only at the request of a campus council or the President, and only where system-wide action is required. The Council bylaws were also amended to provide that Bloomington representatives on the University Faculty Council be members of the Bloomington Faculty Council.

Budgetary Planning

Since its creation in 1973, the BFC Budgetary Affairs Committee has played a central and major role in budgetary planning and in the budgeting process itself. Members of the committee are accorded full access to all budgetary information and participate in all phases of the budgeting process at the campus level. In the 1974 Reorganization resolutions, the Council sought to further protect academic excellence on the Bloomington Campus by charging the Dean of the Faculties (now the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs), the Vice President for Research (now Vice Provost for Research), and Dean of the University Graduate School to be fully and intimately involved in all aspects of the Bloomington budget. The Council further pointed out that when administrative decisions affecting faculty interests across the campus are pending, the BFC is the appropriate body for consultation. (See Policy D-14).

The Reorganization resolutions called for continued separate budgeting for University Administration and for Indianapolis units which are part of Schools located in Bloomington so that the Bloomington Campus budget reflects academic activities on the Bloomington Campus. (Merged schools may utilize inter-campus services accounts to enable temporary shifts of personnel and services between two campuses to reflect activities.)

Responsibility Centered Management

The Bloomington Faculty Council took the following action in November, 1990: “Each academic responsibility center (RCM unit) shall institute a faculty Budgetary Affairs Committee to be selected by the unit faculty either by election or by the elected Policy Committee of the unit. The committee shall be representative of its constituency and shall serve as advisory to the unit dean in all areas of budget. Each unit shall have student and staff participation in its committee's deliberations. The committees shall be in place as early as possible but not later than February 1, 1991.” (See Policy D-15).

Contingency Planning

On December 14, 1982, the Bloomington Faculty Council established a procedure for Contingency Planning. (See Policy D-16). A number of factors affect the structure and content of academic programs on the Bloomington Campus. Faculty and student interest may suggest a need to develop new programs. Data collected and analyzed through administrative planning processes may lead to significant reallocations of campus resources. Fiscal constraints may raise questions about the distribution of resources as they influence the growth or contraction of academic areas. In short, there are times when it may be necessary to examine the possibility of expanding, merging, reorganizing, or eliminating academic programs. The BFC policy establishes procedures for faculty participation in these decisions through the BFC Committee on Program Merger/Reorganization/Elimination.

Financial Crisis/Exigency

The policy on contingency planning describes decision-making procedures that may be initiated in times of financial crisis and financial exigency. They require the Bloomington Chancellor (now Provost) to seek a recommendation from the Bloomington Faculty Council and its Budgetary Affairs Committee. Faculty and institutional rights and obligations in time of financial exigency are also governed by AAUP policy. (See Policies D-16, D-17).

Program Merger/Reorganization/Elimination

If program reorganization or merger can be effected to the satisfaction of the unit(s) involved and without the dissolution of degree- or certificate-granting programs, Deans may simply report the change to the Council and its Committee on Merger/Reorganization/Elimination. In all other instances of program merger/reorganization/elimination a three-committee review procedure is invoked. A unit committee of faculty and students, the BFC Committee on Merger/ Reorganization/ Elimination, and an administrative committee shall each review the proposed change and cast a vote. Any two of the three committees in agreement sustains a decision to be carried to the Trustees of Indiana University. (See Policy D-16).

Faculty Positions in Contingency Planning

Faculty appointments, tenured status, salary level, and other benefits in a program merger, reorganization, or elimination situation are specifically protected. Retraining opportunities and retraining leaves with pay are provided for displaced faculty. Except under conditions of financial exigency described in AAUP Recommended Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure faculty dismissals may not occur. (See Policy D-17).

New Initiatives

Academic program initiatives, other than those authorized by the faculty of a school, must be approved by the Bloomington Faculty Council. (See Policy D-18). Economic development initiatives must be in accord with Bloomington's central academic mission of teaching and research. (See Policy D-19).

Program Reviews

Procedures and guidelines for campus-based regular reviews of academic units were proposed by the Academic committee and approved by the University Faculty Council during the 1992-93 academic year. (See Policy D-20). Reviews are to be conducted once every 5-7 years by the dean or Provost. A list of reviews conducted is submitted to the Academic Committee annually.

Long-Range Planning

The Bloomington Faculty Council expects each school on the Bloomington campus to designate a committee for the purpose of conducting long-range planning. At the request of the BFC, the University Faculty Council has also created a long-range planning committee. (See Policy D-21).


Faculty and other academic appointees are provided a number of mechanisms for appeal or review of administrative decisions. In addition to providing peer review of specific decisions, recommendations of the various bodies involved significantly influence the development and interpretation of policies. Before utilizing any of these mechanisms, it is expected that academic appointees will take appeals through the various informal channels that exist at the University. These channels are the departmental chairperson, division director, dean of the school, and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. If satisfaction is not achieved using these informal means, the formal grievance procedures are then available. The Bloomington Faculty Council policy states:

The review function of the faculty at Bloomington shall be exercised by a Bloomington Faculty Council Board of Review. This Board shall consider complaints concerning academic freedom, reappointment, tenure, promotion, salary adjustment, and the nature or conditions of work. Any member of the faculty or associate faculty at Bloomington with the exception of associate instructors, desiring a review of administrative action in these state areas may request in writing a hearing by this Board of Review. (See Policy D-22).

Faculty Grievance Committee/Board of Review

The Bloomington Faculty Council has established two bodies to carry out reviews: the Faculty Mediation Committee and the Faculty Board of Review. (See Policy D-22). Both are available to all academic appointees, save Associate Instructors, who should direct grievances to the Student Academic Appointee Mediation Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council and the Student Academic Appointee Board of Review. (See Policy D-23 and D-24). Faculty in multi-campus units may bring a grievance to the Board on any campus in which the unit operates. (See Policy D-13). The University Faculty Council has adopted Minimum Standards for Uniform Hearing Procedures which apply to all hearings conducted by Faculty Boards of Review established by campus governing bodies under Article V of the Constitution of the Indiana University Faculty. (See Policy D-25). Guiding Principles for Faculty Review were approved by the Trustees in 1999. (See Policy D-26]]).

In 1999 the Bloomington Faculty Council passed the Faculty Misconduct Policy (also known as "post-tenure review") which provides procedures to review complaints against faculty members of substantial or chronic incompetence or misconduct, limited to violations of formal rules of the University, such as violations of the Code of Academic Ethics, or failure to meet generally understood and accepted standards of professional conduct. (See Policy D-27) More detailed statements regarding specific grounds for allegations of misconduct, requirements for disclosure, and review procedures were developed by the University Faculty Council for financial conflicts of interest (see Policies I-7 and I-8), conflicts of commitment (see Policy I-6), and research misconduct (see Policy I-13).

Student Academic Appointee Grievance Procedures

The Bloomington Faculty Council recommends that all departments involved in supervising Student Academic Appointees (SAAs) develop internal procedures for reviewing graduate student grievances and complaints related to the terms and conditions of their academic appointments. (See Policy D-28) The procedures should provide for timely response, aim to protect confidentiality, and inform the SAA of avenues of appeal beyond the departmental or unit level. If a grievance cannot be resolved at the departmental or unit level, the SAA may bring the grievance to the SAA Grievance Committee and, ultimately, to the SAA Board of Review. (See Policy D-29).

Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedures

In 2008, the Bloomington Faculty Council revised and expanded its procedures for dealing with complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as age, color, disability, ethnicity, sex, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. (See Policy D-30) The policy encourages handling such complaints informally when possible and describes advising, alternative dispute resolution, and formal complaint procedures that may be used when informal efforts are not successful or when otherwise preferred.


The University Faculty Council has affirmed the need to preserve documents of historic nature generated by administrative offices and committees. (See Policy D-31) Chairs and unit heads are required to work with the campus archivist in determining preservation needs.


Policy D-1

Policy D-2

Policy D-3

Policy D-4

Policy D-5

Policy D-6

Policy D-7

Policy D-8

Policy D-9

Policy D-10

Policy D-11

Policy D-12

Policy D-13

Policy D-14

Policy D-15

Policy D-16

Policy D-17

Policy D-18

Policy D-19

Policy D-20

Policy D-21

Policy D-22

Policy D-23

Policy D-24

Policy D-25

Policy D-26

Policy D-27

Policy D-28

Policy D-29

Policy D-30

Policy D-31