8. Rachel Carson College Bylaws


These Bylaws serve two purposes. First, they enumerate the legal powers which the various members of the Rachel Carson College community may exercise. Second, they articulate the expectations which members of the College hold of one another and of other units within the University.

The primary function of these Bylaws is to record the legal limitations within which the College is governed. We do so in an effort to avoid internal confusion and misunderstanding. We hope that this delineation will also minimize the danger of jurisdictional controversy between Rachel Carson College and the various units in the University whose powers and responsibilities circumscribe our own. These Bylaws do not in any way represent an attempt to change the residual or delegated powers which Rachel Carson College may properly exercise.

The secondary purpose of these Bylaws is to enunciate our academic and political expectations; we do so on the assumption that the allocation of decision-making power is often less important than the perceptions and expectations of those offered by its exercise. Resolution of conflict is a secondary goal of these Bylaws; our first task is to avoid it.

Guiding Policies

Academic Policy

It is the policy of Rachel Carson College to foster intellectual and creative endeavor of the highest quality. This scholarly commitment is directed both toward established disciplines and to scholarship which combines or transcends areas of traditional academic delineation.

Administrative Policy

DISCLOSURE. In matters of administration, it is College policy to permit the fullest disclosure of facts which is possible without transgressing the normal limits of discretion in matters of confidence and personal privilege to the Governing Body, as herein defined, of facts relating to administrative decisions and to permit full discussion at College Meetings of matters which are deemed significant by the Governing Body of the College. Discussion at College Meetings on significant administrative issues should always precede the relevant administration decision.

RECRUITING. Within the reasonable bounds of confidentiality and regard for personal rights, it is the College policy to encourage the fullest possible participation of the College Governing Body in matters pertaining to the hiring of teaching and principal academic advisory staff by the College.

Chapter 1. Definitions

1.1 Academic Affairs. Consistent with UC Regents’ Standing Order (RSO) 105.2, Academic Affairs include but are not limited to:
Student counseling
College curriculum
Faculty hiring and advancement
Academic freedom
Faculty government
Educational policy
Academic standards and requirements
Course content
Teaching quality
Faculty conduct

1.2. Rachel Carson College. Rachel Carson College is both an academic and an administrative unit of UCSC. It consists of Senate and non-Senate faculty members who are Fellows of Rachel Carson College, Research Fellows, Other Fellows, Staff fellows, and Students.

1.3. College Affairs. For purposes of these Bylaws, College Affairs are all matters of business presented for discussion to a College Meeting except those which are within the purview of the Academic Senate under Regents’ Standing Order 105.2 (e.g., Academic Affairs and matters of finance).

1.4. College Meeting. A College Meeting is either a meeting of the faculty sitting as a subcommittee of the Academic Senate or a meeting of the College Governing Body as described in Chapter 2, Section 2.1 (b).

1.5. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of the Provost, two members elected by the Governing Body from its membership, and a Chair of the Faculty who shall be elected by the Governing Body from among the Senate Fellows of Rachel Carson College. Members of the Executive Committee may be nominated by any member of the Governing Body or by the Provost. In the event that the number of nominations equals the number of places to be filled, no election is held and the provost shall declare the nominees elected. Quorum shall consist of half the members of the Executive Committee; when the Executive Committee meets as a committee of the Academic Senate, quorum shall consist of half the Senate members of the committee.

1.6 The Chair of the Faculty shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee, and at College Meetings pursuant to section 2.2 of these Bylaws.

1.7 Faculty Secretary. A member of the Executive Committee shall supervise elections, serve notice of College Meetings, maintain the minutes, and do other business related to College Meetings.

1.8 Fellows. There are eight categories of Fellows within the College.

Senate Fellows of Rachel Carson College: All Academic Senate members invited by the Provost to affiliate with Rachel Carson College shall be Fellows of Rachel Carson College. Senate fellows lose their status only by leaving the employ of UCSC or by resignation from the college.

Non-Senate Fellows of Rachel Carson College: All non-Senate faculty teaching Rachel Carson College courses during an academic year shall be Fellows of Rachel Carson College during that year.

Research Fellows: The Governing Body of Rachel Carson College shall elect as its Research Fellows such individuals as they may deem appropriate by virtue of outstanding College service or intellectual distinction. Research Fellows may not vote on Rachel Carson College business.

Emeriti Fellows: Senate and non-Senate faculty who were Fellows of Rachel Carson College when they retired are Emeriti Fellows.

Staff Fellows: All staff members of Rachel Carson College shall be Staff Fellows.

Graduate Student Fellows: Graduate students teaching or working for Rachel Carson College, as well as those whose academic work converges with the mission of the College, may be appointed Graduate Student Fellows by the Provost.

Visiting fellows: Scholars, or professionals visiting the Santa Cruz area whose expertise will benefit the Rachel Carson College community. These fellows must be elected by the Executive Committee for a period ranging from one month to 36 months. Any member of the Academic Senate can nominate a fellow by writing to the Provost.

Distinguished fellows: Distinguished scholars or professionals chosen for their long history of professional contributions to their field. These fellows must be elected by the Executive Committee, and once elected, they remain fellows unless they are recalled by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Any member of the Academic Senate can nominate a fellow by writing to the Provost.

1.9 Governing Body. The Governing Body of Rachel Carson College consists of the Senate Fellows of Rachel Carson College.

1.10 Provost. The Provost is the chief academic officer of the College and a Fellow of Rachel Carson College.

1.11 College Administrative Officer. The College Administrative Officer is the chief administrative officer of the College and a Staff Fellow of Rachel Carson College.

1.12 Student. A Student is a person enrolled in UCSC, Rachel Carson College for academic credit.

Chapter 2. College Meetings

2.1 Ancillary subcommittees and other bodies formed pursuant to these Bylaws may meet as provided herein or as agreed to by their respective members. Rachel Carson College will, however, meet as a unit in one of two distinct capacities and in no other.

A. As an Academic Senate Committee. The Faculty of Rachel Carson College is a committee of the Santa Cruz Division of the Academic Senate of the University of California. When meeting in its capacity as an Academic Senate Committee, only matters which are within the purview of the Academic Senate may be decided upon. On these matters, only the Senate Faculty may vote. Non-Senate faculty fellows and staff fellows may participate fully in discussion.

B. As the Governing Body of Rachel Carson College. All matters which are not within the purview of the Academic Senate and which are otherwise within the jurisdiction of the Governing Body are College Affairs. All members of the Governing Body may vote on issues which are College Affairs.

When it meets in either of these capacities, twenty-five per cent of those eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for a College Meeting.

2.2 The Chair of the Faculty shall preside at all College Meetings provided, however, that the Chair of the Faculty may relinquish the chair to the Provost if the Chair of the Faculty so chooses. The Chair of the Faculty may, however, reassume the chair at any time at their own discretion.  The Governing Body may, by majority vote, request that the Chair of the Faculty reassume the chair at any time. (EC 31 Aug 16)

2.3 College Meetings shall be called as necessary by the Executive Committee at the suggestion of the Governing Body, the Provost, or any three Fellows. Reasonable notice of College Meetings shall be given by the Executive Committee of the time, place, business to be discussed and whether it is an Academic Senate Committee meeting, or a meeting of the Governing Body. Meetings of the fellows shall be held at least once yearly.

2.4 Any College Meeting may be declared pro tempore by the moderator to be an Academic Senate Committee meeting. Decisions relating to College Affairs which are made while sitting as such a Committee shall be without force or effect.

2.5 The Provost may establish other committees, in particular, a Provost’s Council, which may conduct specific projects for Rachel Carson College, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Chapter 3. College Government

3.1 The Provost.  As chief academic officer of Rachel Carson College, the Provost has such powers as may be vested in them by the Chancellor or through the authority of the University Regents. (EC 31 Aug 16)

3.2 Elections.   All contested elections shall be by either an open or secret ballot.  The Faculty Secretary shall supervise all elections and appoint such tellers as the Secretary may deem necessary.   Should any elective office become vacant less than two quarters before the end of an academic year, it shall be filled by a candidate chosen by the Executive Committee.  Other vacancies shall be filled by special election. Elections shall be held in the spring quarter.   Terms of office shall be one year commencing July 1, unless the Governing Body decides otherwise or unless an incumbent is recalled.  All elections in Rachel Carson College are by electronic mail. (EC 31 Aug 16)

3.3 Recall. Any officer of Rachel Carson College who holds office under, and holds authority through these Bylaws may be recalled as follows: Those persons seeking the recall shall circulate among the members of the Governing Body a petition stating the name and office of the person who is the subject of the recall proposal. Upon receipt of a recall petition signed by one-quarter of the Governing Body, the Faculty Secretary shall hold a recall election within the following ten days. If a majority of those voting so determine, the recall candidate shall be recalled. The Faculty Secretary shall notify the recalled officer and the members of the Governing Body of the election results within two days of the balloting.

3.4 Executive Committee. The Executive Committee has the following functions:

To advise the Provost with regard to all aspects of College administration, including interactions with donors, alumni and committees such as a Provost Council Expenditures of Endowment Funds or Funds Functioning as an Endowment require the concurrence of the Executive Committee. To administer Rachel Carson College degree requirements and to recommend revisions of such requirements.
To undertake such projects as may be assigned by the Governing Body.

3.5 The provost shall convene a committee to consider the appointment and reappointment of faculty and graduate student instructors for Rachel Carson College Courses. The committee may consist of Non-Senate faculty and should include the Core Course Coordinator and the College Writing Coordinator, as well as others at the Provost’s discretion.

3.6 Academic Standing Committee. A Committee on Academic Standing shall be formed from among the Fellows of Rachel Carson College to consider all matters relating to the academic status of particular students and any questions having to do with the academic rights and privileges of individual students. The Committee shall be appointed by the Provost or the Chair of the Executive Committee. It shall consist of not more than four members of the Senate and non-Senate Faculty. The Preceptors shall sit with the Committee.

3.7. As long as the Academic Standing Committee proceeds by consensus, both Senate and non-Senate members and staff may participate. Formal votes must be taken only from among Senate faculty.

3.8. Preceptor(s). The Preceptor(s) shall be responsible for advising students and faculty in academic matters, assisting faculty counseling, advising students and faculty counselors on matters related to graduate programs, employment opportunities and shall discharge such other duties within their job descriptions as may be suggested by the Academic Standing Committee and assigned by the Provost.


Ombudsman.  The Governing Body may elect from its membership one Fellow of Rachel Carson College to serve as Ombudsman. The Ombudsman shall serve the following functions:

The Ombudsman shall serve as mediator between members of the Rachel Carson College community (i.e., Students, Staff and Fellows) and any academic and/or administrative organ of Rachel Carson College or the University of California. (EC 31 Aug 16)

The Ombudsman shall investigate, at their discretion any grievance presented and if they think it appropriate make recommendations for academic or administrative action to the appropriate officer, body or person within the College or University. (EC 31 Aug 16)

The Ombudsman may, with the consent of the aggrieved party raise any issue at any College Meeting and may at such time and they deem appropriate, make their recommendations known to the Governing Body. (EC 31 Aug 16)

The Ombudsman should have access to any academic or administrative documents or facts which they deem relevant to the resolution of a dispute presented to him/her. (EC 31 Aug 16)

Communication with the Ombudsman is meant to be privileged and confidential.

A person elected to the position of Ombudsman may not hold any other office within Rachel Carson College and may not serve on the Executive Committee.

In general, no person should present the Ombudsman with a complaint without first seeking relief through normal academic or administrative remedies which may be available for the resolution of the matter in question.

Chapter 4. Jurisdiction

4.1 All items which are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Academic Senate or shared by the Senate and the administration jointly may be voted on only by voting members of the Academic Senate. When feasible, decisions should be made by consensus, such that staff and non-Senate fellows may participate.

Chapter 5. Adoption, Amendment, and Repeal of Bylaws

5.1 The foregoing Bylaws may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds majority of the Governing Body, provided that a written notice of the proposed amendment shall have been sent to each member of the Governing Body at least ten days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be moved. Voting will only be during the academic year and may be conducted by electronic mail.