Faculty Bylaws


Preamble. These Bylaws facilitate the governance of the Department (departmental rules), without compromising LSU administrative procedures. In case of inadvertent conflicts, the particular Bylaw shall be considered invalid and rewritten. The Bylaws shall apply to all faculty and staff in the Department of Geology and Geophysics (as governed by LSU Policy Memoranda and Policy Statements).

Departmental Chair:

The Chair of the Department of Geology and Geophysics is appointed by the Dean of the College of Science. If the Chair is chosen from the current departmental Faculty, then the Dean will consult with the Faculty of the Department to determine the Faculty’s preferred choice. If the Chair is hired from outside the Department, then the normal hiring procedure discussed below applies.

Associate Chair:

The Associate Chair will be nominated by the Departmental Chair and approved by a majority vote of the faculty.

Faculty Members:

Faculty members are defined in PS- 36T and NT as follows. ‘The regulations of the LSU Board of Supervisors, 1-2.2a, state that “full-time members of the academic staff having the rank of instructor or higher (or equivalent ranks) shall constitute the Faculty on the campus on which they are appointed.” Ranks and their faculty status are further defined in detail in PM-23.’

Adjunct Faculty:

Recommendations by Faculty members for individuals to serve as geology Adjunct Faculty (for both LSU and non-LSU personnel) are based on a vote of the departmental Faculty. In each case, the vote is preceded by nomination from a tenured or tenure-track Faculty member

in the Department, and is accompanied by the candidate’s CV and a research presentation to the Department. An explanation of the nominee's qualifications and potential service to the Department is presented by the nominating Faculty member during a Faculty meeting. These appointments are for a period of one year (this time is limited by PM-23). Adjunct Faculty may attend faculty meetings, but do not vote. A simple majority vote by the Faculty is required for the initial appointment. After evaluating each Adjunct’s performance, the Executive Committee will vote on reappointment for each succeeding year.

Faculty Meetings:

The Chair calls faculty meetings at her/his discretion. However, if 20% or more Faculty members submit a written request to hold a special meeting, the meeting shall be called. The announcement and the agenda of every meeting shall be distributed at least three working days prior to the meeting. At least two meetings are to be held every Fall and Spring semester. At the beginning of each academic year, the Chair shall present to the Faculty a list of major goals to be pursued during the year. Toward the end of the year, the Chair shall report on progress made at achieving each major goal outlined at the beginning of the year.

Voting Rights:

  1. In actions concerning tenure, all Faculty members holding tenure in the Department may vote.
  2. Faculty with joint appointments in other budgetary units may vote on specific personnel actions in the unit in which they hold tenure.
  3. All Faculty members, as governed by PS-36T and NT, may vote on the routine business of the Department.


A simple majority of the voting Faculty shall constitute a quorum.

Student Representation:

Two students, annually elected representatives by departmental graduate students, one an MS student, and one a PhD student, are invited to attend and participate in all Faculty meetings dealing with routine business. They shall not attend meetings dealing with matters of promotion, tenure, other personnel matters, or administrative performance.

Procedures at Meetings:

The procedures are governed by the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

Recording of Minutes:

The minutes of each Faculty meeting are recorded by the Faculty Secretary appointed by the Chair or a staff member appointed by the Chair. The secretary or a member of the Executive Committee is expected to distribute the minutes in a timely fashion after each Faculty meeting.

Departmental Budget:

The preparation of the budget is the responsibility of the Chair. At the beginning of each academic year, the budget shall be presented to the Faculty for their information.


The Chair of the Department appoints the members of the departmental committees or solicits Faculty votes on committee membership. The assignment and general duties of the standing committees are outlined below. (Each committee is tasked with defining the detailed activities and function of their respective committees in a simple Handbook that can be given to new committee members.) All personnel matters shall remain confidential.

Executive Committee:

This committee advises and assists the Chair on departmental affairs. Two tenured Faculty members will be elected by the Faculty for overlapping 2-year terms. The Executive Committee will include the Associate Chair.

Promotion and Tenure Committee:

This is a committee established to conduct the initial review and to collect the necessary documents for the promotion and tenure analysis of Faculty. A committee consisting exclusively of tenured faculty evaluates Assistant Professors. For evaluation of Associate and Full Professors, the committee is comprised only of Full Professors.

Graduate Admissions and Advising Committee:

The committee considers the admission and financial support of potential graduate students joining the Department of Geology and Geophysics. It also serves in an advisory capacity in cases of conflict between graduate students and their Faculty advisors.

Recruitment Committee:

This committee is charged with recruiting graduate and undergraduate students into the Geology and Geophysics program. All personnel matters shall remain strictly confidential.

Graduate Curriculum Committee:

This committee reviews and updates (as needed) the graduate curriculum and graduate courses offered by the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and prepares the annual MS and PhD assessment reports.

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee:

This committee reviews and updates (as needed) the undergraduate curriculum and undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and prepares the annual BS assessment report.

Awards, Scholarships, and Honors (ASH) Committee:

This committee evaluates undergraduate and graduate students for awards, scholarships, and honors administered by the Department, the College, the Baton Rouge Geological Society, the New Orleans Geological Society, and other entities from which funds are available. This committee also evaluates the faculty for awards and honors administered by the Department, College, University and professional societies.

Speakers' Committee:

This committee coordinates and organizes the departmental seminar series funded by the Wilbert, Grover-Murray, and Marathon endowments, and other funds as available.

Ad Hoc Committees:

May be established by the Chair to fulfill specific needs of the Department. These will include;

  1. Mentor Committee: A three-person committee chosen by the Chair will mentor each new faculty member.
  2. Faculty Hiring Committee: The faculty hiring committee will be composed of three tenured or tenure track Faculty members who are appointed by the Chair and Executive Committee. The committee is responsible for writing the job advertisement, which is reviewed by the Faculty and voted on at the first faculty meeting following the completion of the advertisement. Following distribution of the ad, the committee reviews applications from candidates and makes the applications available to all Faculty members. The committee reviews and evaluates the candidate pool, filters the pool to 10 or less finalists, and presents those finalists for the full Faculty to evaluation at the earliest possible faculty meeting. The full Faculty selects a pool of finalists by a simple majority vote, solicits letters of reference from each finalist’s references, evaluates letters, filters the candidates and identifies a short list to be brought to the full Faculty for a vote. Selection of candidates for visits to LSU will be based on a simple majority vote. The committee then coordinates the candidate’s visits. Following the visits, the committee is dissolved.
  3. Staff Hiring Committee: The staff hiring committee will be composed of two faculty members, and a staff person who is appointed by the Chair. The Chair will be responsible for writing the job description and the committee will evaluate the applicants, compile a short list of qualified individuals for the position, interview the applicants on the short list, choose a finalist, and recommend to the Chair the committee’s finalist.


The Chair has the responsibility to address all grievances. If this is not possible or successful, the grievance shall be communicated to the Dean.

Amending and Ratifying the Bylaws:

Amendment and ratification of these Bylaws requires a quorum and a vote of a simple majority of the faculty present at a faculty meeting called for that purpose.


Amended and Ratified (3-4-2021)