Revised May 3, 2006
Section l. Regular Meetings
The Senate shall hold regular meetings each month of the academic year from September through May, except January. The first regular meeting of each new Senate session shall be held in May. A written schedule of all regular meetings shall be sent by the Secretary to the members of the Senate at the beginning of each academic year.
Section 2. Special Meetings
The Senate may meet in special session at the direction of the Senate's president, on the order of the Senate or its Executive Committee, or on the written request of six senators. Written notice of such special meetings shall be sent to the members by the secretary as far in advance as is feasible.
Section 3. Quorum
A majority of the membership of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Senate.
Section 4. Agenda
The agenda of a regular meeting shall include items proposed by the Executive Committee and by any member of the Senate if the proposed item is submitted in writing to the secretary at least five days before the meeting. The person or persons calling a special meeting shall determine the agenda of that meeting. The secretary shall send the agenda to members at least three days before the meeting. By a two-thirds vote of members present at a duly convened meeting, items not timely placed on the agenda, or items which arise as new business after the meeting has been called to order, may be considered at either a regular or special meeting.
Section 5. Conduct of Business
(a) Robert's Rules of Order shall inform the conduct of Senate business.(b) The Senate may act by a majority vote of the members present at a duly-convened meeting unless the Constitution or these Bylaws provide otherwise.
(c) The president shall preside at meetings of the Senate. In the absence of the president , the president-elect shall preside. In the absence of both the president and president-elect, the members present at a duly-convened meeting shall elect from the members of the Executive Committee a chairperson to preside.
Section 6. Records and Reports
A set of minutes of each meeting shall be kept by the secretary and copies sent to the president of the University, the provost, and the deans of the Schools of the University. The secretary shall provide the members of the General Faculty at the opening of each regular semester a written report of all business transacted by the Senate since the last report.
Section 7. Guests
Members of the General Faculty, members of the Student Senate, and any person invited by the president of the Senate or by the Senate may attend all meetings of the Senate; such guests shall have the privilege of the floor by acknowledgment of the chair or by majority vote but shall not have the right to propose motions or to vote. The Senate may conduct an executive session limited to its membership.
Section l. Executive Committee
(a) There shall be an Executive Committee comprised of the president (who serves as its chair), the president-elect, and the immediate past-president. In addition, the secretary and four or more senators will be elected by the Senate to serve on the Executive Committee. An effort will be made to provide representation on the Executive Committee for all Schools and their electoral units. All members of the Senate are eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
(b) At the first meeting of each session the Senate shall elect the members of the Executive Committee who are to be selected from the Senate. The choices will come from among candidates nominated by the Committee on Committees; additional nominations may be made from the floor provided that those nominees have agreed to serve if elected.
(c) As soon as is feasible, the Senate shall elect a member to fill any vacancy on the Executive Committee from among candidates nominated by the remaining members of the Executive Committee. A member so elected shall serve for the unexpired term of the person replaced.
(e) The Executive Committee shall exercise all functions granted to it by Article III of the Constitution. In particular the Committee shall:
(i) Represent the Senate to the University Administration between Senate meetings;
(ii) Act for the Senate between academic semesters;
(iii) Review annually the necessity of continuing various standing committees and propose to the Senate the abolition of unnecessary standing committees;
(iv) Monitor the Faculty Handbook and the Policy Manual and from time to time appoint a special committee to revise the Faculty Handbook;
(v) Conduct all General Faculty elections.
(vi) Nominate members of the Committee on Committees in a timely manner so that they can be elected at the first meeting of each new session of the Senate.
(f) The secretary shall keep a full set of minutes of each Executive Committee meeting and in a timely manner shall provide senators with copies of such minutes as have been approved by the Committee. The Executive Committee shall report to the Senate at each regular Senate meeting on the subjects and general content of its discussions, on any action taken in the name of the Senate, and on any action the Committee proposes to be taken by the Senate. The Senate shall have an opportunity to question and to advise the committee about the Committee's discussions and to confirm, alter, or void any actions taken by the Committee acting for the Senate.
g) The terms of members of the Executive Committee shall be for one year and normally begin upon the election of senators to the Committee at the first meeting of a new session of the Senate, shall be for one year, and shall end at such time as their successors are elected. No person shall serve more than six consecutive one-year terms on the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Standing Committees and Subcommittees
(a) The standing committees of the Faculty Senate are the:
Academic Policies Committee and its standing subcommittees on Admissions and Financial Aid, Libraries, and the Academic Calendar of the University;
All-University Finance Committee and its standing Subcommittees on Faculty Benefits and the Economic Status of the Faculty;
Athletics Policies Committee;
Committee on Committees;
Faculty Ethics and Tenure Committee;
Honorary Degrees Committee;
Student Policies Committee;
Information Technology Committee.
(b) The charges to these committees and subcommittees shall be adopted and, as necessary, revised by the Senate.
(c) The Senate shall elect members of each committee. Any full-time faculty member is eligible for membership subject to the following restrictions:
(i) No more than three members shall be from the same School;
(ii) No faculty member may be elected to serve on more than one standing committee, except in the case of members of the Senate; in the latter case, an exception may be made only when every senator is already a member of a standing committee or of another University-wide committee, and then only when the position to be filled has to be filled by a senator.
(iii) Ordinarily, no faculty member may serve while on leave from the University;
(iv) Ordinarily, no faculty member may serve for more than six consecutive years on the same committee or subcommittee.
(v) The Senate shall elect new members and chairs of its committees and subcommittees from among those nominees provided by the relevant nominating body or persons nominated from the floor; the latter must have agreed, prior to the meeting of the Senate in which the elections take place, to serve if elected.
(d) The president of the Senate shall name at least one member to each of the standing committees from the members of the Executive Committee. These members shall be voting, ex officio members and are in addition to the numbers of committee members provided for in the following sections.
(e) The Senate shall elect a chairperson, to serve for a term of one year, from among the members of each standing committee and each standing subcommittee. Normally, the chair of each standing committee shall be a senator; subcommittee chairs need not be senators.
(f) The terms of new chair and new members shall start immediately upon election; the terms of the retiring chair and retiring members shall end when a successor to the chair and new members have been elected.
(g) The term of a committee or subcommittee member shall not end only because that member retires from full-time faculty status during the elective term.
(h) Retired faculty may be elected as additional, nonvoting members of standing committees or subcommittees, but may not chair those bodies.
Section 3. The Academic Policies Committee
(a) This Committee represents the General Faculty in all academic matters. In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Committee shall "monitor the general education curriculum, interdisciplinary academic programs, university libraries, university research subventions, university support for scholarly publications, and the activities of non-school academic institutes and programs" and shall "establish the academic calendar of the University." In addition, in accord with that same Article V, Section 2, the Committee shall "assist in formulating and enforcing general admissions requirements to the undergraduate programs."
(b) The Committee shall be responsible for certain subcommittees, including the standing subcommittees listed below as well as others that may be created as needed. The chairs of these subcommittees shall be members of the Committee but other subcommittee members need not be. The standing subcommittees are:
(i) Subcommittee on Libraries; nine or more members to serve staggered terms of three years. One member should come from each School other than Dedman College and one from each electoral unit within Dedman College.
(ii) Subcommittee on Admissions and Financial Aid, three or more members to serve staggered terms of three years; members of the Subcommittee shall also be the Senate's nominees to the University Admissions Council, and the chair of the Subcommittee shall normally serve as chair of that Council;
(iii) Subcommittee on the Academic Calendar of the University, three or more members to serve staggered terms of three years;
(c) The committee shall consist of nine members. In addition, the Council on General Education (or its successor) shall select annually one of its fellows to serve as an ex officio member of this committee.
(d) Members shall be elected for staggered terms of three years.
Section 4. All-University Finance Committee
(a) This Committee shall represent the faculty to the University Administration in all matters concerning the financial status of the University and, in addition, this Committee shall also serve as an oversight committee on all financial matters affecting the General Faculty.(b) This Committee shall be responsible for subcommittees concerned with financial affairs, including those listed here below as well as others that may be subsequently created. The chairs of these subcommittees shall be members of the Committee but other subcommittee members need not be. The standing subcommittees are:
(i) Subcommittee on Faculty Benefits; three or more members to serve staggered terms of three years; members of this Subcommittee shall also be the Senate's nominees to the University Benefits Council, and the chair of the Subcommittee shall normally serve as chair of that Council;
(ii) Subcommittee on the Economic Status of the Faculty; three or more members to serve staggered terms of three years.
(c) The Committee shall consist of nine members.
(d) Members shall be elected for staggered terms of three years.
Section 5. Athletics Policies Committee
(a) In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Athletics Policies Committee shall review and recommend to the Senate policies and standards pertaining to intercollegiate athletics; to preparing and implementing the Athletic Department budget; to selecting administrative personnel and head coaches in the Athletic Department; to controlling the eligibility of all participants in athletics; to controlling the scheduling of games; and to all other matters embraced within the rules of those intercollegiate athletic organizations of which the University is a member. The committee shall discharge these duties in cooperation with and, where appropriate, in coordination with the All-University Finance Committee and the Subcommittee on Admissions and Financial Aid.(b) The committee shall consist of six members, who shall also be the Senate's nominees to the University Athletic Council.
(c) Members shall serve for staggered terms of three years.
Section 6. Committee on Committees
(a) This Committee shall normally be responsible for acting on behalf of the General Faculty to provide nominees for president-elect, secretary, the Executive Committee, the Senate Webmaster, standing committees of the Senate (except the Committee on Committees), subcommittees, special committees, and other entities as well as for diverse-constituency committees.(b) The Committee shall recommend to the Executive Committee, for its approval, nominations for the following positions: (i) Chief Marshal; (ii) All-University Judiciary, and other appointments involving the University Administration.(c) Normally, the Committee shall consist of the president, the president-elect, one senator from each School other than Dedman College, and one Senator from each electoral unit within Dedman College. The secretary shall assist the Committee by providing rosters of current members of standing committees and subcommittees and their service terms and a roster of full-time faculty members.
(d) Members shall be elected for staggered terms of three years at the first meeting of each new session of the Senate.
Section 7. Faculty Ethics and Tenure Committee
(a) In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Faculty Ethics and Tenure Committee shall:
(i) Defend the exercise of academic freedom throughout the University, investigate any matter endangering such freedom, and recommend remedies as these are warranted;(ii) Recommend criteria and procedures for granting and protecting academic rank and tenure, investigate any matter endangering the established rank or tenure of a faculty member, and make appropriate recommendations to the president of the University and to the Board of Trustees;
(iii) Provide guidance concerning the professional behavior of members of the University faculties and making recommendations for action to the president of the University in instances where professional ethics are found to have been violated.
(b) The Committee shall consist of one member from each School other than Dedman College, and one member from each electoral unit within Dedman College.
(c) Members shall serve for staggered terms of three years.
Section 8. Honorary Degrees Committee
(a) In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Honorary Degrees Committee shall recommend to the Senate candidates for the Senate to nominate to the Board of Trustees for Honorary Degrees.(b) The Committee shall consist of nine members. There shall be at least one member from each School. The president of the Faculty Senate shall be an ex officio member.(c) Members, other than the president of the Faculty Senate, shall serve for staggered terms of three years. The names of the chair and members of this Committee will be held in confidence and will not be published in the minutes of Senate meetings, in the Committee's annual report, or on the Senate web site.
(d) The recommendations and reports of the Committee to the Executive Committee and to the Senate will be presented during confidential executive sessions.
Section 9. Student Policies Committee
(a) In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Student Policies Committee shall review and recommend policies to achieve and maintain a high quality of intellectual life for students at the University.(b) The Committee shall consist of six members. In addition, the Council on General Education (or its successor) shall select annually one of its members to serve as an ex officio member of this committee.
(c) Members shall serve for staggered terms of three years.
Section 10. Information Technology Committee
(a) In accord with Article V, Section 2 of the Senate Constitution, the Information Technology Committee shall review and recommend to the Senate policies concerning information technology, including issues regarding systems and networks.(b) Members of the Committee shall serve on all university-wide information technology committees.(c) The Committee shall represent the concerns of the Faculty with regard to information technology to the University Administration.(d) The Committee shall consist of four or more members, in addition to both the Director of Academic Computing, who shall serve as an ex officio voting member, and the Faculty Senate Webmaster.
(e) Members shall serve for staggered terms of three years.
Section 11. Special Committees
The Senate may by resolution create any special committees that it deems proper and assign to such special committees appropriate powers, duties, and terms of service. These special committees may be known as ad hoc committees, task forces, or by other appropriate names.
Section 12. Meetings and Quorum
Except as otherwise specifically provided, meetings of any standing or special committee shall be called by its chair or by the Executive Committee of the Senate. A committee may invite any member of the University community to attend its meetings as guests or consultants. Committee meetings shall, on majority vote of the committee, be open to all faculty members. A majority of any committee shall constitute a quorum.
Section 13. Replacements
Any faculty member elected by the Senate to serve on a Senate committee who either resigns or is on a leave of absence for more than one semester shall be replaced for the remainder of the committee or subcommittee term to which the member was elected. The Committee on Committees, or the Executive Committee in the case of vacancies on the Committee on Committees, shall nominate the replacement to the Senate.
Section 14. Relation to the Senate
(a) All Senate committees are responsible to the Senate. The chair of each standing committee and subcommittee shall maintain a written file of that body's records, reports, data, and other significant documents, and shall pass these on to the succeeding chair. All committees shall file reports of their meetings and attendance with the secretary of the Senate. Each chair of a committee or subcommittee shall report to the Executive Committee any matter brought to the committee or subcommittee by the Administration or any matter relevant to the welfare of the General Faculty.(b) Each standing committee and subcommittee shall make regular reports to the Senate. At the September meeting of the Senate, the Executive Committee shall provide a tentative agenda for these reports during the remainder of the Senate term. This agenda will be posted to the Senate web site and updated as needed.(c) Special committees shall make reports as instructed by the Senate.(d) The timing and subjects of all committee reports to the Senate shall be coordinated with the Executive Committee in time for their inclusion on the agenda published ahead of Senate meetings; this coordination shall ordinarily include a preliminary oral or written report to the Executive Committee.(e) Each report of a committee or subcommittee to the Senate shall be in writing, for distribution to members of the Senate, except that:
(i) initial reports containing confidential or time sensitive information, such as those from the All-University Finance Committee, may be given orally but shall be followed by written summaries; and
(ii) reports of the Honorary Degrees Committee shall be oral only; any accompanying written materials will be shared with senators for use in executive session only.
Section l. Responsibility
The Senate shall administer faculty elections each spring for president-elect and at-large senators and as necessary to fill vacancies or unexpired terms or for any other all-University body that might request the Senate to conduct its elections. This responsibility is delegated to the Executive Committee who shall see that the following procedures are adhered to, including the replacement for vacancies due to a faculty leave of absence, resignation, retirement from the University, or other reasons. The Executive Committee has the responsibility of determining when an election is required and notifying electoral units to elect a senator or to nominate a faculty member for election of senators at-large.
Section 2. Elections and Nominations by Electoral Units
(a) The faculty of each School shall decide whether to elect its electoral unit senators by vote of that faculty group at-large or, alternatively, to dedicate one or more of its electoral unit Senate seats to two or more subdivisions of the faculty of the School, except as provided in (c) (i) below. The creation of electoral subdivisions shall not affect an electoral unit's total entitlement to Senate representation.
(b) The faculty of each School may nominate one person each year to run for election to the Senate at-large, except that the faculty of Dedman College may nominate three persons; these nominations shall be made by vote of the whole faculty of the School, except that the faculty of Dedman College may nominate by electoral units.
(c) The faculty of each school, through an appropriate official, shall inform the secretary of the Senate as to:
(i) its choice to elect, or elect and nominate, by vote of the whole school faculty or by subdivisions, and any subsequent changes in that procedure, except that the faculty of Dedman College shall continue to elect its electoral unit senators and nominate its at-large senatorial candidates by electoral units and the faculties of all other schools shall continue to elect and nominate by vote of the whole school faculty, unless and until those faculties report adoption of different methods to the Senate;
(ii) the person or persons to whom the Executive Committee should give notice of vacancies and expiring terms; and
(iii) the results of its senatorial elections and nominations.
Section 3. University At-Large Elections
(a) President-elect: Nominations for president-elect are made by a majority of the Senate. Concurrently with the elections of senators at-large, the Executive Committee shall conduct the election of the president-elect by a secure and secret process. Election shall be by majority of votes cast. In the event no candidate receives a majority, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes.
(b) Senators at-large: Each electoral unit shall be notified by the Executive Committee of a forthcoming general election. Each electoral unit may submit one nomination for senator at-large, except that the faculty of Dedman College may submit three nominations. Nominations must be received within a period to be specified by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall then conduct an election by a secure and secret process, and positions shall be filled by persons receiving the highest numbers of votes in the election. A run-off election shall be held as needed in the Senate in the event of a tied vote for the last at-large position being filled. In at-large elections, faculty members shall vote for as many persons as there are at-large positions to fill; ballots showing votes for fewer or more at-large candidates than there are positions to fill shall be considered void.
Section 4. Replacement for a Vacancy in an Unexpired Term
Any faculty member serving as a senator or as a member of any other all-University governing body for whom the Senate conducts elections, who either resigns, or is on a leave of absence for more than one semester shall be replaced as follows:
(a) For a faculty member on a temporary leave of absence of more than one semester from the campus, the replacement shall be for the period of the absence. In this case, the replacement period may not exceed the unexpired term of the faculty member being replaced. If the original faculty member was elected at-large by the General Faculty, the replacement shall be the previous runner-up if available to serve; otherwise, the replacement shall be elected by the Faculty Senate. If the original faculty member was elected to represent an electoral unit, the replacement shall be elected by that unit. The original faculty member shall resume membership upon return to the campus and serve any remaining unexpired portion of the term.
(b) For a faculty member who resigns from the body or from the University and who was elected at large by the General Faculty, the replacement shall be for the unexpired term. The replacement shall be the runner-up in the at-large election that chose the original member, if available to serve; otherwise, the replacement shall be elected by the Senate.
(c) For a faculty member who resigns from the body or from the University and who was elected by an electoral unit, the replacement shall be for the unexpired term. If the original faculty member was elected to represent an electoral unit, the replacement shall be elected by the electoral unit that elected the original member.
Section 1. Written Communications
Except as specified elsewhere in these Bylaws, all official communications will be conveyed in written form, either on paper or through electronic media (including web pages, emails, and faxes).
Section 2. Senate Webmaster and Senate Web Site
The Senate Webmaster, a faculty member elected for a one-year term, will be responsible for maintaining, updating, and backing up the Faculty Senate web pages in a timely manner. The Webmaster will be nominated by the Committee on Committees; additional nominations may be made from the floor provided that those nominees have agreed to accept. The Webmaster may not serve more than six consecutive terms.
Amendments to the Bylaws of the Senate may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by written notice to the Executive Committee signed by at least three senators. The secretary of the Senate shall send the text of proposed amendments and notification of the date of the Senate meeting at which they will be presented to each member of the Senate not less than twenty days prior to the date of the meeting. Amendments may be adopted only by action taken at a meeting of the Senate by a vote of two-thirds of those voting.