By-Laws of the Henderson State University Faculty Senate

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SECTION A: Senate Offices and Responsibilities Pertaining to Each Office

I. President (elected office; note: the President is a nonvoting member of the Senate unless there is a tie vote, in which case, the President may vote in order to break the tie)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Lead/govern the Faculty Senate and conduct/moderate all Faculty Senate meetings.
    2. Call any necessary special meetings of the Faculty Senate.
    3. Meet monthly (with the exception of summers), or more frequently if circumstances dictate, with the University President, Provost/VPAA, and Vice President for Finance, and communicate the details of these meetings with the Faculty Senate at each Senate meeting via a formal, written report (each respective report must also be included in the minutes of each Faculty Senate meeting).
    4. Is the official liaison between the faculty and the administration, including the communication of any Senate resolutions or other pertinent Senate matters to the University President (it is the responsibility of the University President to forward/present all matters of concern presented by the Faculty Senate President to the University Board of Trustees).
    5. Responsible for organization of all room meeting arrangements and catering arrangements for Senate meetings (should be done at the end of the fall semester while still President-Elect).
    6. Provide a year-end report on the effectiveness of the Faculty Senate (see Executive Committee, section B).
    7. Function in an advisory capacity, including contacting chairs of each respective excellence awards committee in the spring semester to ensure initiation of the nomination process, with faculty excellence award process (spring semester), including the outstanding new faculty member award process (carries over from term as President-Elect).
    8. Introduce outstanding new faculty member award winner at Founder’s Day ceremony.
    9. Lead faculty processionals at commencement ceremonies and Founder’s Day.
    10. Provide introduction and greeting at the Fall Faculty Conference.
    11. Is a member of the Executive Committee.
    12. Is an ex officio member of the University Budget Committee.
    13. Is a member of the Reddie to Serve Committee.

II. President-Elect (elected office)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Chair of the Executive Committee and therefore responsible for scheduling meetings of the Executive Committee, preparation of Faculty Senate agendas, and dissemination of the agendas to senators and the faculty at-large.
    2. Will assume the role of President of the Faculty Senate the following year, as well as during any Senate meetings when the current President is unavailable.
    3. Direct and coordinate the activities of the Outstanding New Faculty Member Award process (carries over into term as President; first call for nominations is made during the fall semester; process continues into the following spring semester).
    4. Is an ex officio member of the University Budget Committee.
    5. Is elected from among new Senate members because he/she will serve as President during the following year.

III. Secretary (elected office)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Record accurate minutes of all Faculty Senate meetings, including any special meetings of the Senate, and present a formal written report of the minutes of each meeting to the faculty at-large (the newly elected secretary, immediately following his/her election until his/her term expires, is responsible for taking the minutes at all Senate meetings, including any special meetings of the Faculty Senate and the remainder of the minutes for the meeting in which the new secretary was elected).
    2. Maintain the records of the elections conducted by the Procedures Committee.
    3. Is a member of the Executive Committee.
    4. Handle all food services invoices and associated requisitions pertaining to refreshments provided at Senate meetings.
    5. Brief incoming (newly elected) Secretary on procedural issues related to that office.

IV. Representative to the Board of Trustees (elected office)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Attend Henderson State University Board of Trustees meetings (including telephone conferences and any special meetings of the Board of Trustees).
    2. Preparation of a detailed, formal written report of each Board of Trustees meeting to be distributed to the faculty at-large.
    3. Is a member of the Executive Committee.

V. Webmaster (elected office)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Maintenance of the Faculty Senate webpage, including uploading, formatting, and updating of all materials to be placed on the webpage (must contact the Office of Public Relations at the beginning of term in order to acquire editing privileges for the Faculty Senate web pages).
    2. Is a member of the Executive Committee.
    3. Is the chair of the Procedures Committee.

VI. Webmaster-Elect (elected office)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Learn webpage construction and editing techniques and procedures.
    2. Will assume the role of Webmaster the following year.
    3. Is a member of the Executive Committee.
    4. Is a member of the Procedures Committee.
    5. Is elected from among new Senate members because he/she will serve as Webmaster during the following year.

VII. Parliamentarian (optional office; appointed by the Faculty Senate President)

A. Responsibilities

    1. Insure correct adherence to and interpretation of rules of order in Faculty Senate meetings (standard is Roberts Rules of Order).
    2. Is a member of the Executive Committee.
    3. Is a member of the Procedures Committee.

VIII. Representative to the Graduate Council (elected office, but not a member of the Executive Committee)

A. Responsibility

    1. Attend Graduate Council meetings and report any pertinent information or issues to the Faculty Senate or Executive Committee.

IX. Representative to the Staff Senate (elected office, but not a member of the Executive Committee)

A. Responsibility

    1. Attend Staff Senate meetings and report any pertinent information or issues to the Faculty Senate or Executive Committee.

SECTION B: Senate Committees and Responsibilities Pertaining to Each Committee

 I. Executive Committee

A. Constitutional Provisions and Composition

    1. The Executive Committee is a permanent (standing) committee of the Faculty Senate.
    2. The President-Elect shall be chairman of the Executive Committee.
    3. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Representative to the Board of Trustees, the Webmaster, the Webmaster-Elect, and the Parliamentarian, if one has been appointed.
    4. The Executive Committee shall be charged with the formulation and review of the agenda and the distribution of the agenda to faculty at-large prior to each Senate meeting (responsibility of committee chair). Copies of the agenda shall be distributed to the President of the University, members of the faculty Senate, and to all other members of the faculty and administration prior to the meetings of the Faculty Senate.
    5. The preparation and presentation of a report concerning the effectiveness of the Faculty Senate – with its recommendation – during the final (December) meeting of the official year of the Faculty Senate.
    6. Determination of Senate committee (Academics, Buildings and Grounds, Finance, Operations, and Procedures) assignments and acting chairs of those committees. This will occur at the end of the first meeting of the scheduled Senate year (January or February).

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. New Faculty Member Excellence Award: “The areas of teaching, scholarly activity and service will all be considered in the selection of the awardees. Specific guidelines for the nomination packet will be provided by the faculty senate executive committee during the first month of the fall semester of each academic year. The packet will contain a current vita and any documentation that the nominator believes attests to the excellence of the nominee subject to the specific guidelines. The nomination and selection processes will take place during the spring semester. The selection committee will include those faculty who were on the faculty senate Executive Committee when the guidelines were distributed during the previous fall semester. Additionally, the currently serving executive committee will select one faculty member from each of the five academic areas (The School of Business, Teachers College, and the Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and Science and Mathematics divisions of the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences) not already represented. These additional members will be chosen after suggestions by the appropriate deans.”
      • The President of The Faculty Senate will contact the Dean of the specific academic area(s) without committee representation and request nominations for committee servitude from the Dean. The Faculty Senate President will subsequently contact and appoint a representative to the New Faculty Award Committee from the list of nominations. This must be accomplished no later than early in the spring semester in which the award is determined.
      • Must be in communication with the other excellence award committees because the Faculty Handbook prohibits anyone from winning more than one excellence award in any given year.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Construction of Faculty Senate Meeting Agendas
      • The Executive Committee meets sometime before each regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate in order to set the agenda.
      • The chair of the Executive Committee emails faculty in advance of the executive committee meeting to set the agenda in order to solicit items for the agenda.
      • The Executive Committee will email all faculty notice of the agenda of the upcoming Faculty Senate meeting in advance of the meeting. (Staff are also sent the agenda as a courtesy which Staff Senate extends to faculty as well.)
    2. The Executive Committee nominates Faculty Senate members to university committees which call for representatives of the Faculty Senate (soliciting the advice of the entire Faculty Senate where possible and appropriate). Some of these positions include
      • Two representatives to the Committee on Committees who will be nominated every spring (nominations are forwarded to the University Legal Counsel by the President).
      • A representative to the Graduate Council who will be nominated in spring of odd years to serve a two-year term (now elected by Senate: see section I).
      • A representative to the Staff Senate (now elected by Senate: see section I)
    3. The Executive Committee nominates faculty members to committees when Faculty Senate is asked to provide names of ad hoc committees (soliciting the advice of the entire Faculty Senate where possible and appropriate).
    4. The President of the Faculty Senate will from time to time refer issues from the Senate floor to the Executive Committee. These issues usually consist of important matters that do not appropriately fit within the parameters of another Senate committee’s responsibilities and urgent matters where the Faculty Senate grants the Executive Committee the authority and responsibility to make a decision on behalf of the Faculty Senate.

II. Academics Committee

A. Constitutional Provisions and Composition

    1. The Academics Committee is a permanent (standing) committee of the Faculty Senate.

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. None.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Committee structure
      • The members of the Academics Committee will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
      • A person on the Academics Committee will be designated by the Executive Committee as acting chair and required to call the first meeting.
      • At the first meeting, the Academics Committee will elect a chair of the committee.
    2. The chair of the Faculty Senate Academics Committee serves on the University Academic Council.
    3. The Academics Committee is primarily charged with dealing with issues related to academics.
    4. The Faculty Senate President will refer issues regarding academics to this committee, although tangentially related questions may from time to time be referred to this committee depending upon the workload of the other committees.

III. Buildings and Grounds Committee

A. Constitutional Provisions and Composition

    1. Although technically a “temporary committee,” a Buildings and Grounds Committee is appointed at the beginning of every year by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
      • Temporary committees shall be authorized by the Faculty Senate, and its members, including the chairman of the committee, shall be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate with the consent of the Senate.

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. None.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Committee structure
      • A person on the Buildings and Grounds Committee will be designated as acting chair by the Executive Committee and required to call the first meeting.
      • At the first meeting, the Buildings and Grounds Committee will elect a chair of the committee.
    2. The Buildings and Grounds committee is primarily charged with issues relating to the physical structure of the university’s buildings and its grounds, particularly as it relates to faculty, staff, and student comfort and safety.
    3. Concerns or issues regarding general functionality, improvement, or aesthetics of campus buildings and grounds are also addressed by this committee.
    4. The Buildings and Grounds Committee may make recommendations regarding purposed changes to campus buildings, grounds, and safety policies to the faculty Senate for approval and endorsement.

IV. Finance Committee

A. Constitutional Provisions and Composition

    1. The Finance Committee is a permanent (standing) committee of the Faculty Senate.

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. None.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Committee Structure
      • The Executive Committee will appoint the previous year’s Finance Committee chair-elect as chair of the Finance Committee and will appoint the other members of the Finance Committee.
      • At the first meeting of the year, the Finance Committee will elect a chair-elect of the committee from among the persons on the committee who have two years left on their terms of service to the Faculty Senate.
    2. The Finance Committee Chair serves on the University Budget Committee.
    3. The Finance Committee is responsible for all issues and concerns regarding finances.

V. Operations and Handbook Committee

A. Constitutional Provisions and Composition

  1. An Operations and Handbook Committee is a permanent (standing) committee appointed at the beginning of every year by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. None.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Committee structure
      • The members of the Operations and Handbook Committee will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
      • A person on the Operations and Handbook Committee will be designated as acting chair by the Executive Committee and required to call the first meeting.
      • At the first meeting, the Operations Committee will elect a chair of the committee.
    2. The primary responsibility of the Operations and Handbook Committee is to deal with issues related to the Faculty Handbook, including any proposed additions, deletions, or revisions.
    3. Additionally, the Operations and Handbook Committee handles issues relating to university matters that are unrelated to academics or finance and budget.
    4. Depending upon the amount of work delegated to this and other committees, the Operations and Handbook Committee sometimes serves as a “catch-all” for other issues.

VI. Procedures Committee

A. Selected Constitutional Provisions and Composition

    1. The Procedures Committee is a permanent (standing) committee of the Faculty Senate.
    2. The Webmaster is the chair of the Procedures Committee.
    3. The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate shall consist of at least four members, including the Parliamentarian, if one has been appointed, the Webmaster, the Webmaster-Elect, and two additional members-at-large.
    4. The Procedures Committee shall have charge of elections. The Chair of the Procedures Committee will forward results with the tabulations to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate who will maintain the records.
      • Concerning elections, the Faculty Senate shall interpret faculty to mean those who hold academic rank. Special cases shall be reviewed by the Procedures Committee.
      • The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate shall conduct the election of one eligible representative and an alternate from each of the departments whose representative is leaving office that year, whenever they wish, provided that the results be recorded not later than the first day of November.
      • The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate shall devise and distribute the annual ballot to members of the faculty according to ranks held as of November, with memoranda concerning eligibility and with instructions to vote for the appropriate number of representatives in each category.
      • The Procedures Committee shall collect ballots and tabulate results. The chair of the Procedures Committee shall ascertain the names of the appropriate number of individuals in each category who have received the highest number of votes and shall announce the names accordingly. This shall include an alternate for each elected position.
      • The chair of the procedures Committee will also forward results with the tabulations to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate who will maintain the records.
      • In the event of a vacancy among elected personnel, the alternate for that position shall fill the vacancy. The procedures committee will determine the new alternate based on the most recent election results.

B. Faculty Handbook Provisions

    1. The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate is responsible for conducting elections for 1. departmental Senate representatives, 2. at-large Senate representatives, 3. the Faculty Hearing Committee and 4. the Faculty Excellence Awards Committees (except the outstanding New Faculty member Award Committee—see Executive Committee and Faculty Senate president) and reporting the results of membership.
      • Faculty Hearing Committee: The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate is responsible for conducting the election and reporting the membership annually to the President of the Faculty Senate, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the Chair of the University Committee on Committees by April 15 (elections are to be held in the spring semester). On the ballot for the Faculty hearing Committee, faculty will be asked to vote for two members so that a sufficient number of alternates will be available.
      • Faculty Excellence Awards Committees: The election shall be conducted by the Faculty Senate Procedures Committee in the fall semester and the results reported and the committee members and chair elects contacted by November. Each of the five awards committees shall be composed of five members, with no more than one member from any single department or discipline. For the purposes of excellence awards, faculty serving in the library or student services shall be considered with the School of Business.
      • Timing of elections

i. Elections for Excellence Award committees should take place early in the fall semester with results to be announced no later than the end of September.
ii. Elections for department representatives should take place in October with results to be announced no later than the first day of November.
iii. Elections for at-large representatives should take place in November with results to be announced no later than the first day of December.
iv. Elections for Faculty Hearing Committee should take place in the spring semester with results to be announced no later than April 15.

C. Traditional Functions and Duties

    1. Committee structure
      • The additional members of the Procedures Committee not outlined in the constitution will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
      • A person on the committee will be designated by the Executive Committee to call the first meeting.
      • At the first meeting, the Procedures Committee will elect a chair of the committee.
    2. The Procedures Committee is also responsible for conducting votes of the faculty on amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution.
    3. The Procedures Committee makes the final decisions regarding those eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate, although in reviewing special cases of faculty and whether they hold academic rank, the office of Provost/VPAA might be profitably consulted.

SECTION C: General Membership, Functioning, and Procedures of the Faculty Senate

I. Membership

A. Faculty

    1. Faculty who hold the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, or Distinguished Professor are eligible for Senate membership, unless the faculty member also holds administrative rank above the position of department chair.

B. Other Constituents

    1. Staff and students are encouraged to have representation to the Faculty Senate: a representative from the Staff Senate and a representative from the Student Government Association are appointed by their respective organizations to attend the Faculty Senate meetings and represent those organizations at these meetings. The staff and student representatives do not have voting privileges during Faculty Senate meetings.
    2. The Faculty Senate reserves the right to invite any person, persons, or constituency to meetings of the Faculty Senate and extend to that person, persons, or constituency the right to engage in dialog during the meeting.

C. Servitude: Regulations and Guidelines

    1. The term length for Faculty Senate representation and servitude is two years; each elected senator serves a two-year term (replacement senators only serve out the remainder of the term of the individual that they replaced).
    2. One-half of the senators should rotate off of the Faculty Senate each year (the Faculty Senate will always have one-half of its members newly elected, beginning the first year of their two-year term, and one-half of its members in the second year of their two-year term).
    3. At-large senators may not be re-elected for a second, consecutive term as at-large representatives without first taking at least a one year leave from the Senate in an at-large capacity; however, at-large senators may be re-elected as departmental representatives for a consecutive term.
    4. Any senator who has just completed an official two year term is not eligible for the at-large elections until one year has passed.
    5. Departmental representatives may succeed themselves multiple times (there is no limitation on consecutive term servitude for departmental representatives).
    6. Designated Alternates are eligible for the Faculty Senate membership elections.
    7. New Senate officers are elected during the first regularly scheduled meeting of the official Faculty Senate year and continue in their respective offices until the completion of the official Senate year.
    8. Senators may not succeed themselves in any office in consecutive years (there must be at least one year between servitude by a single senator in a single office); however senators may hold different offices in consecutive years, for example, Secretary in their first year, followed by Representative to the Board of Trustees during their second year.
    9. The offices of President-Elect and Webmaster-Elect must come from the newly elected senators (representatives in their first year of service); all other offices may be held by either newly elected senators or senators in their second term of service.
    10. It is the responsibility of the individual senator to make arrangements with his/her alternate in order to attend any Senate meetings that the regular senator must miss.
    11. If a senator resigns from his/her position on the Faculty Senate, the alternate for that individual will replace the resigned individual as the senator, and a new alternate (the individual with the third highest number of votes) will be determined from the election ballots.
    12. Regarding departmental representation, if a replacement senator cannot be determined from the election ballots, the department may appoint a new departmental representative, but must communicate their choice to the President of the Faculty Senate.

II. General Procedures and Guidelines

A. Senate Meetings

    1. The official Senate year occurs from January until the beginning of the first meeting the following year, generally sometime in January (though in some instances, the first meeting may not be called until February).
    2. The Faculty Senate meets monthly (January through May and September through December) with the exception of the summer months (June through August).
    3. Meetings are generally held the first Wednesday of each month (it is important to note that special meetings may be called by the President of the Faculty Senate at any time of the year, including during the summer period and between semesters).
    4. A quorum for regularly scheduled meetings of the Faculty Senate consists of one-half of its members, and a quorum for special meetings of the Faculty Senate consists of three Senate members.
      • Whenever the Faculty Senate declares itself the committee of the whole, a quorum shall consist of those members present at that time.
    5. Roberts Rules of Order (a current copy of which should be present for reference at each meeting) should be followed as closely as is possible during Senate meetings in order to maintain a professional and functional environment.

B. Committeee Meetings

    1. While Senate committees should make every effort to meet in person or simultaneously via audio- or video-conferencing, those committees meeting via email should, at a minimum, follow the steps below:
      • The Committee Chair should notify all members of the issue being discussed.
      • For an e-mail message to be part of a meeting, it must be sent to all committee members via “Reply All.”  Other messages may be sent for caucusing or other off-line discussion, but these are not officially part of the meeting.
      • To conduct an e-mail vote, a ballot should be sent to the voting membership. It should state exactly what is to be voted on and contain a clearly designated place for the member to mark a vote. The subject line should contain the term "BALLOT".  The ballot should provide a reasonable deadline for voting.
      • Minutes should include actions taken by the committee and should be emailed to the full committee.

C. Miscellaneous

    1. All items/issues under investigation, discussion, and action by the Faculty Senate are rendered null and void after the last meeting of the official Senate year (note: the new Senate may choose to reconsider these items in the new Senate year, but are not obligated to do so).
    2. The Faculty Senate constitution is the definitive source of information and guidance regarding the purpose and function of the Senate, and is the authoritative set of guidelines for determination of procedures and governance policies of the Faculty Senate.
      • Amendments to the Faculty Senate constitution require a two-thirds vote from voting members of the Senate (see constitution for full details regarding initiation and adoption of constitutional amendments).

*These by-laws of the Henderson State University Faculty Senate were written and arranged by Angela Boswell and Brett Serviss. Additional support was provided by the Senate ad-hoc Bylaws Committee: Angela Boswell, Troy Bray, Shannon Clardy, David Evans, Megan Hickerson, Catherine Leach, Brett Serviss, Allison Vetter, and Fred Worth.

Last Updated: 29 January 2016