Faculty/Staff Advisers to Student Organizations
Date of Current Revision: December 2010
Responsible Officer: Director, University Unions
James Madison University offers students the opportunity of developing new interests, expanding cultural and social horizons, exercising leadership, serving their fellow human beings, and finding outlets for social entertainment. The university considers these opportunities intrinsic to its educational mission since they encourage the total development of the student by providing an environment for social, cultural, emotional, and personal growth.
While a large responsibility for a student's growth rests with the student, faculty/staff advisers are asked to assist students in developing and producing programs and experiences that will broaden their learning, apply and interrelate acquired knowledge, and create patterns of behavior that will lead to a richer, fuller life which is uniquely and individually their own.
University administration has given the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning the responsibility and oversight of policies and procedures related to faculty advising for student organizations. Specific authority for this policy resides with the Director of University Unions in conjunction with the Office of Student Activities and Involvement.
Recognized student organization:
A student group organized around a common cause, theme, interest or organization external to the university that meets all of the criteria set forth by the university required for official recognition. More information can be found on the JMU Student Organizations web page and student handbook.
Front-end Budgeted (FEB) Organization:
A student organization that receives an allocation of student fees (from the Student Government Association) during the spring semester for the following academic year.
Includes full or part-time instructional faculty member, full or part-time administrative & professional faculty member, full-time classified staff member, or wage employee.
This policy applies to advisers of recognized student organizations at JMU.
The university requires that each student group maintain an active relationship with at least one faculty/staff member who is interested in and committed to promoting the constitutional functions of the group. All student organizations must have an adviser who is a faculty or staff member at JMU as defined above. Additionally, the organization should be in contact with their adviser on a regular basis.
Information on the role of an adviser, liability concerns, and services to advisers is addressed more specifically in procedures provided by the Office of Student Activities & Involvement and the University Unions.
Faculty/Staff Adviser to Student Organizations
- To carry out the duties assigned to the adviser by the organization's approved constitution.
- To serve as a liaison between the University and the student group, to interpret communicate and advise the organization on university policies and procedures (including the Financial Procedures Manual and the JMU Manual of Policies and Procedures), and to be an official "guest" at the organization's functions when appropriate.
- To be aware of and assist the organization in the management of its financial operations. In addition, for front-end budgeted (FEB) organizations reporting to the Media Board, the advisor shall ensure compliance with all State and University financial procedures, including but not limited to Financial Procedures Manual Section 3045 (Local/Agency Funds) and the Office of Student Activities and Involvements' financial procedures for FEB organizations. (For other FEB organizations, University Unions staff is responsible for ensuring compliance with financial policies and procedures.)
- To assist the organization in planning and executing its programs and events, and to refer organizers to appropriate university resources which may aid in the planning process.
- To approve the organization's applications for use of university space, vehicles and fund raising (in conjunction with policies in the Student Handbook and University Policy #5101); to verify the organization's requests for financial support through student fees (Student Government Association Front-End Budgeting or Contingency Funds).
- To consult periodically with the Office of Student Activities and Involvement concerning the organization's direction, programs, and function; to notify the Office of Student Activities and Involvement in the event the organization has decided to disband or has ceased to function as a student organization.
- To serve as an adviser until a successor is appointed if for any reason it is impossible to continue as adviser to the organization.
- To submit, in writing, a formal resignation of duties as an adviser to Student Organization Services within 10 days.
- To assist the organization in the periodic examination of its progress toward the goals specified in the organization's constitution and to suggest alternatives that may aid in goal attainment.
- To serve on the hearing board for organizational disciplinary matters as needed. Training prior to hearings will be provided by the Office of Student Activities and Involvement.
Faculty/staff advisers of student organizations not adhering to the requirements set forth above, will relinquish their faculty adviser role and responsibilities.
Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.
The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning.
Previous version: December, 2008
Approved by the President: May 2002