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General Education Committee Bylaws

Approved by GERC: Revised and Approved April 26, 2022

Approved by UCC: Revisions approved via email April 27, 2022

Approved by Faculty Senate: Revisions accepted April 28, 2022

Article I -- Name

The name of the committee is the General Education Requirements Committee (GERC). The GERC is a subcommittee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Council (UCC). The GERC reports directly to UCC.

Article II -- Purpose

The GERC considers all policies related to the University's General Education program and issues recommendations regarding these policies to the UCC. The GERC is responsible for reviewing all proposed changes to the General Education curriculum, approving the appointment of ISU representatives to external bodies with jurisdiction over that curriculum, and establishing and overseeing the process by which the Objectives and courses that compose ISU's General Education program are assessed. The GERC may also issue recommendations regarding other General Education issues brought to its attention.

Article III -- Membership, Selection, and Recall

A. Committee Composition

The GERC consists of 17 members: 11 voting members and 6 non-voting members.

There are eleven (11) voting Members:

  • two (2) from the College of Arts and Letters
    • [one (1) from Fine Arts & Humanities departments, and
    • one (1) from Social Science departments];
  • two (2) from the College of Science and Engineering:
    • [one (1) from Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science, and
    • one (1) from Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Geosciences;
  • two (2) from the Division of Health Sciences;
  • one (1) from the College of Business;
  • one (1) from the College of Education;
  • one (1) from the College of Technology;
  • one (1) from the University Library and the Student Success Center, and
  • one (1) from ASISU

There are six (6) non-voting members:

  • one (1) from Instructional Technology Services
  • one (1) from the Office of The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • one (1) from the Academic Affairs Program Review and Assessment
  • one (1) from the Office of the Registrar
  • one (1) from the UCC
  • one (1) from Central Academic Advising
B. Election/Appointment Process

Voting faculty members are elected by the faculty of the appropriate division, college, or school. The student member is appointed by the Associated Students of Idaho State University (ASISU). The non-voting members from Registration and the Office of the Provost are appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The non-voting member from Information Technology Services is appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The Non-voting member from the UCC is elected by the UCC. Should an elected member resign or be unable to serve, his or her replacement will be elected by the faculty of the appropriate division or college. Should a non-voting member resign or be unable to serve, his or her replacement will be appointed by the corresponding administrator or the UCC. Should a student member resign or be unable to serve, a replacement will be appointed by the president and vice-president of ASISU.

C. Terms of Membership

All elected members serve three years. Elected members may serve for no more than two terms consecutively. Additional terms are permissible once the faculty member is off the committee for a minimum of one term. Exceptions can be made in the case of mid-term vacancy (See 3B). The student is appointed for a 1-year term with the option for a 1-year reappointment. In the first year, those on the Committee will determine the rotation of elected members, so that the terms of 1/3 of the members expire each year.

D. Attendance and Substitutes

Members are expected to attend all meetings and to inform the Chair of the Committee when they cannot attend. Voting members who cannot attend a meeting may send a substitute with voting proxy from the member’s constituency.

Article IV -- Officers and Meetings

A. Selection of Officers

The GERC elects from among its voting members a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary. The Chair would preferably have UCC experience and be tenured. Each officer normally serves for one year and may be re-elected for a second term. In the event of a mid-term vacancy in any of these offices, the GERC will elect a person to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

B. Meetings

During Fall and Spring, the GERC meets from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month and additionally as needed. The Chair must call a meeting upon the request of at least three (3) of the eleven voting members within two working Tuesdays of the request.

C. Duties of the Officers

The Chair calls meetings, proposes agendas, presides over meetings, delegates responsibilities among members, represents GERC to other committees as needed, and provides a report of the GERC’s activities to the UCC and other appropriate parties. The Vice Chair serves in the absence of the Chair, and attends UCC meetings (Thursday afternoons 3:00-5:00 p.m.) as needed, at least once a month, and reports highlights back to the GERC. The Secretary records and distributes minutes of the GERC meetings in collaboration with the committee's administrative assistant.

Article V -- Minutes, Quorum, and Voting

A. Minutes

Minutes are kept for each meeting and, subsequent to GERC's approval, are submitted in a timely manner to the Undergraduate Curriculum Council (UCC) for review and approval/acceptance. UCC will review actionable curricular items and notify the subcommittee of all feedback and decisions. The UCC forwards accepted minutes to the Faculty Senate.  After final administrative approvals, minutes will be made publicly available on GERC's website.

B. Quorum

A quorum is five (5) of the eleven voting members of the GERC or their proxy holders. A quorum may be established in person or via email in the event of an email vote.

C. Voting

Voting on motions that have been seconded at a regular meeting may be conducted by mail or email unless at least three (3) voting members request that it be done in person. A majority vote is required for passing a motion.  The Chair may vote on any motion. All business of the committee shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.*

Article VI -- Standing Subcommittees

A. State-wide GEM Discipline Group Representatives

ISU’s representatives on the State-wide GEM Discipline Groups operate as a standing subcommittee of the GERC.  The GERC facilitates the selection process, oversight of, and information reporting mechanism for the faculty representatives serving on this body.

B. Purpose of the State-wide GEM Discipline Groups

The State-wide GEM Discipline Groups are charged by the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) with creating and shaping policies and outcomes to be used and implemented by all public post-secondary institutions that govern general education matriculation (GEM) standards for ISU’s Objectives 1 thru 6.  Faculty members from each institution in Idaho serve on each Discipline Group to work with their faculty counterparts, representatives from the institutions’ Provost Offices and staff from the Office of the State Board of Education (OSBE).

C. Duties of Discipline Group Representatives
  • Represent ISU faculty on their respective GEM Objective Discipline Groups.
  • Work with their counterparts from other Idaho higher education institutions and staff from OSBE on policies and learning outcomes affecting the GEM Objectives.
  • Act as faculty liaisons between GERC and the state Discipline Groups, communicating concerns, suggestions, ideas, and proposed policy changes to and from GERC and the statewide groups and OSBE staff. Ensure the communication is two-way.
  • Attend the annual State-wide General Education Summit, usually held in October for two to three days.
D. Eligibility Requirements
  • Candidates must be members of the University Faculty as defined by the Faculty Constitution, regardless of tenure status, and have experience teaching relevant General Education courses in the Objective for which they are being nominated.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of college-level teaching experience
  • Enthusiasm for the general education program and for their individual objective courses is a plus.
  • Department chairs and programs directors are eligible to serve as faculty representatives. Administrators at the college level or above, including Deans, Associate Deans, or Assistant Deans, are not eligible.
E. Terms of Service
  • Representatives typically serve one to two three-year terms.
  • Terms are staggered, with approximately one-third of the ISU faculty representatives rotating off each year.
  • No more than one representative will rotate off each Discipline Group at a time, thereby ensuring continuity from year to year.
  • Term expirations are coordinated with the other Faculty Senate Councils’ terms of service to avoid the necessity of a college having to fill all its vacancies at once.
F. Discipline Group Representatives:

Each Discipline Group will have two (2) ISU faculty representatives from different departments, if possible, with the exception of Objective 2: Oral Communication which will have only one (1) representative since only one course and department are in that Objective.

Membership will be as follows:

There are eleven (11) faculty representatives:

  • two (2) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 1: Written Communication
    • One seat is reserved for the Director of Composition who will serve for the duration of their appointment by the English Department
  • one (1) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 2: Oral Communication
  • two (2) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 3: Mathematical Ways of Knowing, at least one of which must be from the Mathematics & Statistics Department
  • two (2) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 4: Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing
  • two (2) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 5: Scientific Ways of Knowing
  • two (2) faculty with expertise in and experience with Objective 6: Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing

The Office of the Provost will appoint one (1) administrator from Academic Affairs to serve on the Statewide General Education Committee as ISU's delegate and liaison with OSBE (Office of the State Board of Education) and the other Provosts' delegates from around the state.  Ideally, that same administrator would serve on GERC as the ex-officio representative from Academic Affairs, but that decision is up to the Provost.

G. Discipline Group' Faculty Representative Election Process 

Each spring, GERC’s administrative assistant informs the Faculty Senate’s administrative assistant of the vacating seats on the Discipline Groups as the representatives’ terms expire, along with a list of relevant departments for each vacating seat. This process happens simultaneously with notification of vacating seats from the other Councils and subcommittees under Faculty Senate’s purview. 

In the event that a vacancy occurs after the spring elections, this same process will be initiated as soon as possible in order to fill the vacancy prior to the Statewide General Education Summit in the fall, if possible. 

Faculty Senators solicit nominations and conduct faculty votes from the relevant departments for the vacating seat in each Objective. 

The names of the elected candidates are forwarded to GERC and to Academic Affairs so they can notify the State Gen Ed Committee and OSBE staff.

H. Discipline Group Minutes

No Minutes will be kept of the Discipline Groups’ meetings since they will answer to and be directed by their statewide counterparts and the staff at the Office of the State Board of Education. 

Article VII -- Bylaws Amendment Process

Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members, provided members have received advance notice (one working week) of the proposed changes. In the case of an email vote, the motion passes only if eight (8) of the eleven voting members vote for it. The UCC must approve all amendments to the bylaws. The GERC will review its bylaws within three years of the date of its last review.

Article VIII-- Business Items

The GERC receives business items from the UCC, and may take up additional business at its discretion.  Business not completed by the end of Spring semester will be continued in the following Fall.


*Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised is the authority in all matters not covered by these bylaws and/or approved operating procedures.