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48: Unit Bylaws

Last Revised: March 2009

The following procedures apply to the development and approval of all unit bylaws, and to their required submission to the Faculty Senate Office.

Development Process

Unit bylaws committees and administrators are to consult broadly with their respective faculty when bylaws are being drafted or amended, and to assure that such drafts or amendments are consistent with the University Bylaws and the NSHE Code. The bylaws must include a statement recognizing their subordinate relationship in the hierarchy of established bylaws and codified policies and procedures. For example:

These bylaws shall be consistent with and subordinate to the University Bylaws, the Board of Regents' policy, the NSHE Code, the laws of the State of Nevada, and the laws of the United States. Where a conflict between any laws, codified policies and procedures, or bylaws exist, those of the higher authority govern.

The format of the bylaws must abide by the format specified in the bylaws approval instructions, available on the Faculty Senate website (under Governing Documents, select "Bylaws of the Major Units and Departments").

Approval Procedures

Approval procedures rely on Sharepoint to create an automatic paperless process with an auditable trail. Once this electronic process has begun, no party has authority to modify the bylaws undergoing review. The unit may end the process at any time by notifying the Faculty Senate Office electronically. When the process results in approval of the bylaws, these are uploaded to the Faculty Senate bylaws repository and any previously approved version is archived in Sharepoint.

Approval Process for Colleges and Other Major Units

The bylaws or amendments of each major unit must be reviewed by the Faculty Senate, approved by the faculty in the major unit, approved by the dean or the designated administrator of the major unit, and approved by the president. Faculty approval of the initial adoption of bylaws requires a simple majority of those voting. Subsequent amendment of bylaws requires a two-thirds majority of those voting.

Major units submitting bylaws or amendments for approval must follow the step-by-step process outlined in the Faculty Senate website (under Governing Documents, select "Bylaws of the Major Units and Departments").

Approval Process for Departments and Other Basic Units

The bylaws or amendments must be approved by the department or basic unit faculty, reviewed by the appropriate college or major unit committee, and approved by the dean or equivalent administrator. Faculty approval of the initial adoption of bylaws requires a simple majority of those voting. Subsequent amendment of bylaws requires a two-thirds majority of those voting. If a department or other basic unit chooses to develop written policies and procedures in place of or as well as bylaws, the policies and procedures require the same approval process as bylaws.

Departments and other basic units submitting bylaws or amendments for approval must follow the step-by-step process outlined in the Faculty Senate website (under Governing Documents, select "Bylaws of the Major Units and Departments").

If the dean (or major unit administrator) does not approve the bylaws or amendments, the department or basic unit may choose to revise them and start the process over. Or it may choose to appeal the dean's decision to the president, if a majority of the department faculty votes to do so in a written secret ballot, with sufficient notice to allow all eligible faculty to participate.

Submitting Previously Approved Bylaws

Units whose current bylaws were approved before this electronic process was established must provide the Faculty Senate Office 1) an electronic version of the bylaws formatted in accordance with the new format standards (see "Development Process," above) and 2) the approval signature page or pages dated and signed by the appropriate authorities. For college and other major unit bylaws, those authorities must include the president. For department and other basic unit bylaws approved after October 4, 2008, those authorities must include the dean or equivalent administrator. For department and other basic unit bylaws approved on or prior to October 4, 2008, those authorities must include the president. Bylaws submitted without meeting these requirements will not be uploaded to the Faculty Senate bylaws repository, and should be reapproved using the simplified electronic process.

More Information

For more information on these or other aspects of the approval process, please refer to the University Bylaws or contact the Faculty Senate Office.

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