University of Alaska Fairbanks
College of Indigenous Studies (CIS) Academic Council

Academic Council Bylaws

Adopted March 8, 2012

Draft revisions January 2023


(1) Name and Location: The name of the committee shall be the Academic Council of the College of Indigenous Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The office of the council, for the transaction of business, shall be the College of Indigenous Studies (CIS). 

(2) Organizational Year: The organization year shall be July 1 to June 30. 

(3) Mission: The CIS Academic Council provides academic oversight through a process of shared leadership and governance across departments and programs to ensure that students have access to education that is responsive to community, the workplace, and individual student needs. 

(4) Purpose: The purpose of the CIS Academic Council shall be the following: 

  • Academic oversight for all CIS programs
    • New course approvals
  • Curriculum -  Review and Approval by Chair via the University CourseLeaf process
    • New course approvals
    • Course modification approvals
    • New Certificate and Degree approval
    • Curriculum process: 
      • All curricular items are then reviewed and approved by CIS Dean/Vice Chancellor
      • Forward course changes and new course approvals to the appropriate Faculty Senate Committee (Curricular Review or Student Academic Development and Achievement) 
  • Review and approve all UAF Occupational Endorsements
  • Development of the cross-regional schedule of courses
  • Represent faculty in all academic issues
  • Development of CIS academic policies

(5) Membership: 

SECTION I: The council shall consist of all Chairs (and/or Co-Chairs or Vice Chairs) of the Departments of CIS. Each has one vote. Members can designate a substitute in the event they cannot attend. 

SECTION II: The term of membership for each individual will be for two years and the person may be reappointed. 

SECTION III: Academic Council meetings shall comply with appropriate Federal guidelines regarding public or open meetings. Guests should notify the Chair prior to the meeting. Guest participation is allowed at the discretion of the Chair and will have no vote. 

(6) Officers: 

SECTION I: Officers of the Council shall be: Chair, Vice Chair, and Past Chair.

SECTION II: Terms of office shall be two years for each office.

SECTION III: The Vice Chair position shall be elected every two years. This person will act as Vice Chair for two years and serve as Chair for the following two years. The terms of the Chair and Vice Chair can be extended with the approval of the council. 

When the Vice Chair becomes the Council Chair they will no longer be a department chair. 

SECTION IV: Elections will be held in April of the organizational year.

SECTION V: The Chair shall preside at all meetings and is an ex-officer member of all sub-committees. The Chair will have no vote except in the case of a tie. 

SECTION VI: The Chair or his/his designee will represent the CIS faculty to the Vice-Chancellor, CIS Campus Directors' and other entities as directed by the Academic Council. 

SECTION VII: The Vice Chair will act as Chair in the absence of the Chair and when so acting, will have all the powers of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall succeed as Chair should the office of the Chair become vacant. 

SECTION VIII: Secretarial support to the Council will be provided by the CIS Academic Services Coordinator, who shall record and distribute the minutes of the committee meetings to the Academic Council Members and the CIS Vice-Chancellor, within two weeks of the committee meeting. Copies of all records shall be maintained in the CIS office. 

(7) Meetings:

SECTION I: Academic Council shall meet regularly throughout Fall and Spring semesters to accomplish the work of the council. 

SECTION II: The Chair shall distribute notice of the meeting and agenda prior to the meeting. The agenda will be set by the Chair in consultation with the Vice-Chair. 

SECTION III: Each voting member present shall be entitled to one vote. Voting matters shall be determined by majority vote. 

SECTION IV: A quorum shall consist of 51% of committee membership.

SECTION V: The Chair may call special meetings of the council as needed. Advance notice shall be given to all members with the purpose of the meeting delineated. 

SECTION VI: The Chair, with the advice and consent of the Academic Council, shall be authorized to appoint sub-committees as necessary to accomplish the purpose of the council.