Senate Bylaws


The Faculty Senate is the representative body of the various faculty constituencies. The powers, duties and privileges of the Faculty Senate shall be exercised in accord with the Faculty Constitution approved April 1981, all subsequent amendments, and the governing policies and practices of the University and its Board of Trustees.



A.    Membership shall be consistent with the provisions in Article II. A. of the Faculty Constitution.

1.    There shall be election of one alternate from each college and the resource professionals. Each alternate shall be considered as the person who received the next highest number of votes, but was not elected. One at-large alternate shall also be elected and shall be considered as the person who received the next highest number of votes, but was not elected in the election of at-large members.

2.    In the event that there were no competitors, the Senate chair may appoint a previously serving Senator subject to the provisions of Article I.F. and Senate approval.

B.    Each constituency shall elect its own membership and alternates using established election policies and procedures.

C.    In the event that a Senator shall miss a single meeting, he or she shall notify the alternate from the constituency to serve in his/her place.

D.    In the event that a Senator is to be absent from the campus or out of residence for three or more meetings, he or she shall inform the Chair and shall be replaced by the alternate from the constituency for the period of absence.

E.    After three consecutive unexplained absences a Faculty Senate seat shall be declared vacant by the Chairperson and the vacancy shall be filled by the alternate.

F.    TERM LIMITS: No individual shall serve on the Senate in more than four academic years (two terms), in total or in part, within any six academic year period, regardless of how they came to serve as a Senator.


A.    The officers shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.

B.    The officers shall be elected for a term of one year at the first meeting of the Senate in September of each year by and from the membership of the Senate.

C.    Special elections shall be held to fill any vacancy.

D.    The functions of the officers shall be:

l.    Chairperson

a.    to call meetings of the Faculty Senate and the Steering Committee

b.    to preside over meetings to communicate the decisions of the Senate to the president of the University and to other individuals or bodies concerned

c.    to communicate the decisions of the Senate to the President of the University and to other individuals or bodies concerned.

d.    to serve as the chief liaison between the Administration and Senate, and upon notification by the Secretary that notice regarding policy recommendations have not been received by the Senate within the allotted two weeks, the Chair shall immediately bring the matter before the Senate for discussion and further action.

2.    Vice-Chairperson

a.     to function in the above capacities in the absence of the Chairperson

b.     to perform duties as the Chairperson requests.

3.    Secretary

In conjunction with the Faculty Senate’s Civil Service Administrative Assistant, the secretary of the Faculty Senate shall:

a.    send notice of meetings and agenda at least one week prior to the date of a regular meeting

b.    keep minutes of the Senate meetings and disseminate minutes to Senators within one week after a regular meeting

c.    prepare and submit to the Faculty Assembly the approved minutes of the proceedings of the Senate within two weeks of their approval

d.    assist the Chairperson in the receipt and dissemination of information to appropriate bodies or individuals

e.    keep a dated and consecutively numbered list of all policy motions referred out of the Senate for action, so that an historical record is maintained. The number scheme shall follow year, month, day, motion number (00/11/11/1 or 00-11-11-1)

f.    circulate the list (Article II.D.3.e.) at the first meeting of the Senate in September.


A.    The officers of the Senate plus two additional senators shall serve as the Steering Committee.

B.    The members of the Steering committee shall be elected for a term of one year at the first meeting of the Senate each September by and from the membership of the Faculty Senate.

C.    Functions of the Steering Committee shall be:

1.    to set agenda for regular meetings

2.     to receive and review minutes from all Faculty and University Councils, and to review policy recommendations made by all standing Faculty and University Councils (and their outcomes) to insure that administrative decisions are made in an environment consistent with University governing policies

3.  to make recommendations to the Faculty Senate on matters of concern

4.    to facilitate the conduct of Faculty Senate business and report related actions to the Senate

5.    to meet at least once each semester with the president of the University

6.    to make recommendations to the university president and/or to the faculty at-large on emergency occasions when a meetings of the regular Senate cannot be scheduled.

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A.    The functions of the Faculty Senate shall be consistent with those described in Article IL D. of the Faculty Constitution.

1.  The Faculty Senate shall annually review the bylaws of the Senate and each Faculty council and Special Standing Advisory committee and approve proposed revisions to such bylaws

2.     There shall be a five member Academic Freedom committee selected from among the members of the Senate

3.    There shall be a five member committee on committees selected from among the members of the Senate.

B.    The Faculty Senate shall develop policies and procedures for electing members of the Senate, each Faculty council, each standing Advisory committee and for election of faculty representatives on all university councils.

C.    The Faculty Senate shall develop policies and procedures as needed for faculty governance, consistent with the policies of the university and its Board of Trustees.


A.  The Chair shall establish a regular meeting date for each month, September through May inclusive. One hour of each regular meeting must coincide with Activity Hour.

B.   Regular meetings shall last no longer than two hours unless a majority of those present vote to extend the meeting for a specific purpose.

C.   Notice of the meeting and agenda shall be sent by the Secretary to each Senator not less than one week before a regular meeting.

D.      Emergency meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chair or by a petition signed by at least 25 percent of the Senate membership.

E.       The quorum shall be a minimum of forty percent of the membership.

F.       The Steering Committee establishes the regular meeting agenda and time allotments per item. Any senator, any member of a university-level committee, and the President of the university may submit agenda items for consideration.

G.     Proposed items for the agenda must be submitted to the Chair at least seven working days before the next meeting.

H.     The agenda of regular meetings as prepared by the Steering Committee is subject to acceptance or modification by the Senate as a second order of business during each meeting by consent or majority vote. After the agenda for a meeting has been accepted by the Senate, the order in which items are dealt with and specific allotments of time shall be changed only by majority vote.

I.     The Senate may declare any new item an emergency agenda item for immediate deliberation by a two thirds majority of those senators present and voting. Emergency agenda items placed on the agenda shall require the approval of three quarters of the senators present and voting in order to achieve passage.

J.     Individual senators may not speak for more than five consecutive minutes before yielding the floor. If a senator uses his/her full five minutes, then all other senators shall have opportunity to speak before the senator who used his/her maximum time is allowed to speak a second time. If a direct question is asked of the senator who used his/her maximum time, he/she may respond to such questions in a reasonable amount of time.

K.     All reports to the Senate must be submitted in writing to the Secretary with a copy to the Chair seven working days prior to the next Senate meeting.

L.     The University President and the Chair of the Faculty Senate shall have the opportunity to report at each regular meeting.

M.     Any committee of the Senate may hold meetings via email or other electronic media, and may conduct official business in this manner in the same fashion as if meeting in-person. Any item of business which is approved in this fashion may be reconsidered by majority vote at the next in-person meeting.

N.     Electronic posting of minutes, meeting announcements and agendas shall be considered official and equivalent to written postings; this does not, however, preclude distribution of these on paper.


These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of all members of the Faculty Senate. Proposed amendments must be presented to the Senate at a regularly scheduled meeting and voted upon at the following regular meeting.


In the absence of provisions in the Bylaws, Robert’s Rules of order (most recent edition) shall be the parliamentary authority for the Faculty Senate.

Approved April 13, 1982
Amended October 22, 1996
Amended April 4, 2001
Amended April 23, 2013

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