CONSTITUTION OF THE FACULTY SENATE
The faculty of the
Definition of Faculty and Those Eligible to Vote and Stand for Election
The faculty shall be composed of all persons
having academic rank at the
Powers and Duties
1. The Senate shall exercise the legislative powers of the faculty.
2. The Senate shall:
(a) Provide for such standing and special committees that the Senate may deem necessary;
(b) Establish, review, evaluate and restructure the boards and committees established by the Senate;
(c) Act on reports and recommendations from the boards and committees;
(d) Approve the academic calendar for the University;
(e) Promote high educational standards at the University;
(f) Approve the general University degree requirements;
(g) Recommend the establishment or discontinuation of degrees and programs;
(h) Approve all curricular changes;
(i) Approve policies and regulations governing the conditions under which the instruction of students takes place;
(j) Advise members of the administration regarding standards of admission to the university including but not limited to academic standards;
(k) Advise members of the administration on matters pertaining to the level and use of tuition and fees;
(l) Establish reappointment, promotion and tenure policies and regulations;
(m) Review policies and regulations pertaining to appointments, faculty development, teaching and research;
(n) Advise the administration regarding faculty salaries, faculty workload, compensation and benefits;
(o) Review and recommend policies governing educational functions of the University;
(p) Participate in institutional development by providing input into the ongoing planning and budgetary process;
(q) Maintain and promote the welfare of all members of the University community;
(r) Advise and counsel the administration upon any matters that the administration or the Senate may wish to present and to act upon any matters presented by the administration when action is appropriate.
3. Senate actions are subject to faculty review as follows: The Senate shall promptly distribute a written
report of its actions and recommendations to all members of the faculty. The
faculty, in general meeting, may discuss, amend, endorse or veto any Senate
action, provided that at least one week in advance of the meeting the faculty
is given written notice of the issue to be raised and the action to be
proposed. A quorum of the faculty (50% +1) must be present at such a meeting
where amendment or veto shall be by two-thirds majority of those voting.
Because of this provision the Senate must report actions within two weeks via
faculty mail or electronic mail so that any faculty member may initiate
discussion of Senate actions.
The faculty may refer appropriate concerns to the Senate for investigation, clarification, discussion and debate. The Third Vice Chair of the Senate shall issue an agenda to all faculty members prior to each Senate meeting. Meetings of the Senate shall be open to all members of the faculty; visitors may participate in Senate debate by majority consent of the members present.
4. Actions and resolutions of the Senate shall be forwarded, as appropriate, to the Chancellor and Provost and/or Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs.
5. The Senate may, at its own discretion, seek the advice and counsel of any member of the faculty.
Composition of the Senate
The Senate shall be composed of eighteen elected faculty members. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Senate. The Senators shall hold three year terms of office from May 5 through May 5 of each succeeding year. Terms of office shall be phased so that six members are elected to new terms each year.
Senators will regularly attend Senate meetings and Senate committee meetings. When a Senator cannot attend a regular meeting of a Senate committee or the Senate, she/he should inform in advance the appropriate chair and specify her/his reasons. A Senator missing more than three meetings of either the Senate or a Senate committee will have her/his Senate membership reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Election of Senators
Each year the faculty shall vote for six
Senators. One Senator each shall be elected from each of the broad academic
areas: Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and the Humanities. The highest vote
recipient in each area shall be elected. Three Senators shall be elected at
large, being the next three highest vote recipients over all. All elected
representatives shall represent the faculty as a whole and not solely the
exclusive academic area in which they teach. (In the first election following
the approval of this Constitution, five Senators shall be elected at large.)
In each election, three alternates, being the next highest vote recipients from each of the three divisions after the above Senators are designated, shall be elected for one year terms. The alternates shall attend Senate meetings with voice, but without vote. Should a vacancy occur for any reason, the Senate shall elect one of the alternates to assume the full duties of that position. Should a vacancy occur after all alternates are in place, a special election shall be called to fill the vacancy, unless the vacancy occurs within 45 days prior to the next regularly scheduled election, in which case the position will remain vacant.
Officers of the Senate
The officers of the Senate shall be elected
annually by the Senate membership for a term of one year. They shall serve on
the Executive Committee of the Senate. The elections shall be held in the
spring of each year at the first meeting of the new Senate. The officers of the
outgoing Senate shall convene the new Senate and hold the election of the new
officers. The election of officers by the Senate shall be by secret ballot; a
majority of the senators voting shall be necessary for election. Nominations shall
be made from the floor of the Senate and can be made by any member of the
faculty eligible to vote or serve on the Senate.
The officers shall be:
The Chair, who shall normally preside at Senate meetings, shall chair the Executive Committee of the Senate and serve as the official spokesperson of the Senate.† The Chair normally attends the Board of Trustees meetings and may respond to Trustee questions and/or give reports at the discretion of the Chair of the Board of Trustees.†
The First Vice
Chair, who shall preside in the absence of the Chair of the Senate and chair
the Academic Policies Committee.
The Second Vice Chair, who shall preside in the absence of the Chair of the Senate and the First Vice Chair and chair the Institutional Development Committee.
The Third Vice Chair, who shall preside in the absence of the Chair of the Senate and the First and Second Vice Chair and chair the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.
A Senate Officer may be recalled by a secret vote of the Senate. Fifteen votes shall be needed for recall.
Standing Rules and Rules of Order
1. The Senate shall adopt Standing Rules and Rules of Order for the purpose of conducting its business. Such rules shall be in accordance with this Constitution.
2. The Senate Standing Rules and Rules of Order will be approved every year at the first Senate meeting and may be amended by a majority vote of Senators present and voting. Standing Rules and Rules of Order may only be amended at the first Senate meeting of each year. Proposed Amendments must be received in writing by all Senate members one week (five working days) prior to the first Senate meeting of the academic year. (In the first year after the approval of this Constitution, Standing Rules and Rules of Order shall be approved by October 15.)
3. Any member of the University community may review the Standing Rules and Rules of Order and propose amendments.
4. In all cases not covered by this Constitution or by the Senate Standing Rules and Rules of Order, the procedure in Robertís Rules of Order shall be followed.
Standing Senate Committees
The standing committees of the Senate shall
be: The Executive Committee, the Academic Policies Committee, the Institutional
Development Committee, and the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the officers of the Senate and shall be chaired by the Chair of the Senate. The Executive Committee shall be concerned with the Senate agenda, the assignment of tasks to the appropriate standing committees, and the yearly review of Senate Standing Rules and Rules of Order.
As the elected leadership of the Senate, the
Executive Committee will consult as appropriate with members of the faculty,
with Senate boards and committees, with ad hoc committees appointed by the
Chancellor, or the office of Provost, and with officers and officials of the
University, including the Chancellor, Provost and the various Vice Chancellors.
The Executive Committee, the Chancellor and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for
Academic Affairs and Student Affairs will consult with one another in the
appointment of members of ad hoc committees and task forces.
The Academic Policies Committee shall be composed of six voting members: the First Vice Chair of the Senate, who shall chair the Committee, and five members appointed by the Executive Committee.† The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs or designee and the Registrar or designee are included as non-voting ex officio members.† The Committee shall have the responsibility for developing institutional policy and procedure in academic matters as specified in Article II, Section 1.2, and shall be available for discussion and consultation with appropriate student groups, as well as with members of the faculty, about academic policy and curricular changes.
The Institutional Development Committee shall be composed of six members: the Second Vice Chair of the Senate, who shall chair the committee, and five Senate members appointed by the Executive Committee. The committee shall have concern for all policy, planning, resource use and allocation and initiatives in the area of institutional development as specified in Article II, Section 1.2. This committee shall advise and consult with the Chancellor, the Provost and the various Vice-Chancellors on university planning and use of university resources. The committee shall be responsible for reporting planning activities to the Faculty Senate, with the Senate responding through Senate action where appropriate.
The Faculty Welfare and Development Committee shall be composed of five members: the Third Vice Chair of the Senate, who shall chair the committee, and four Senate members appointed by the Executive Committee.† The Committee shall study, on an on-going basis, the campus policies affecting faculty welfare as specified in Article II, Section 1.2. It shall initiate changes and/or entertain suggestions and concerns regarding these matters from individuals and groups of faculty members. It shall also draft policy changes and resolutions on issues of faculty welfare for Senate consideration.
The Senate shall choose a regular time of meeting and shall meet monthly during the academic year. It may be called into special session by the Chair, by concurrence of three members of the Executive Committee, or by petition of twelve Senators to the Third Vice Chair of the Senate. A quorum shall consist of twelve elected members.
Amending and Revising the Constitution
Provisions outlined in this constitution may be amended by vote of the faculty eligible to serve on the Senate.† A two-thirds majority of the votes cast is required for approval, provided that at least a simple majority of the faculty members vote. At least one month's written notice must be given to the faculty and all changes to the Constitution must be provided at least one month before the vote. The vote shall be by secret ballot which may be conducted electronically. In the event that a future senate shall desire to revise this constitution as a whole, the revised version shall be enacted by the same procedure. A revision is interpreted to be a substantive alteration of the basic structure or charge of the Faculty Senate. The vote shall be by secret ballot which may be conducted electronically.