Constitution of the Henderson State University Faculty Senate

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Article I. Name

Henderson State University Faculty Senate

Article II. Purpose

  1. The Faculty Senate shall provide a basis for official faculty consideration of policies, procedures, issues, and problems affecting the well-being and operations of the University and the transmission of its recommendations to the President of the University and the communication of his responses to the faculty.
  2. The Faculty Senate shall consider legislative commitments proposed by the President of the University and may be empowered to implement decisions thus made.
  3. The Faculty Senate shall consider instructions tendered to it by the Board of Trustees and shall be responsible to the board or to its designees.
  4. The Faculty Senate shall provide a framework for faculty-initiated action.
  5. The Faculty Senate shall provide a basis of dialogue among elected representatives of the faculty, the administration, the staff, and the student body through their representatives to the Senate.
  6. The Faculty Senate may extend privilege of dialogue to non-members of the Faculty Senate at their request during sessions of or periods of its meetings as the committee of the whole.

Article III. Senatorial Immunity

Membership in the Faculty Senate shall be the common denominator of one and all of its members. Whenever a person is elected to the Faculty Senate, he shall agree upon his acceptance of this opportunity, to refrain from using status, rank, position, salary, tenure, or other differentiating factors which may suggest undue advantage; and he agrees to extend this immunity to all other members; and he is to conduct business of the Senate without apprehension whenever he supports a separate or antagonistic position or introduces or supports an unpopular cause.

Article IV. Official Year of the Faculty Senate

The official year of the Faculty Senate shall commence with the regularly scheduled January meeting of the Faculty Senate, and it shall be concluded with the call to order of the regularly scheduled January meeting of the following year.

Article V. Term of Office of Members and Officers of the Faculty Senate

  1. Members of the Faculty Senate who are elected shall serve for two official years. One half of the members shall be elected each year.
  2. Officers of the Faculty Senate who are elected therein shall serve in their respective capacities for one official year and shall not succeed themselves in their particular office.
  3. An elected member to the Faculty Senate shall have served his two official years upon the call to order of the regularly scheduled January meeting following his or her second official year.
  4. Members who have served for two official years are not eligible for the at-large elections until one year has passed. Elected members from the academic departments and library may succeed themselves as departmental representatives. At-large members whose terms are ending may be elected as departmental senators.

Article VI. Membership

  1. Eligibility of membership in the Faculty Senate is extended to every member of the faculty and the student body (Article II, Purposes of the Faculty Senate, paragraphs 1, 2, and 6) and with the exception of elected faculty members who are concluding one full term of two official years (except as provided for in Article V paragraph 4), faculty who hold a rank below instructor, and faculty who hold an administrative position above departmental chair. The Faculty Senate shall be the sole judge of interpreting the criteria of membership and eligibility of any given individual as set forth in the Constitution of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate shall interpret faculty to mean those who hold academic rank. Special cases shall be reviewed by the Procedures Committee.
  2. The Faculty Senate shall include one representative of the Student Government Association and one representative of the Staff Senate, each serving as a non-voting member.
  3. Decisions and elections shall be vested in the members of the Faculty Senate.
  4. The Faculty Senate shall consist of: one member from each academic department, one from Aviation, one from the rest of the School of Business, one from the library, and eight members who will be elected at-large with equal representation according to the ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor. One half of the departmental representatives and one of the at-large members from each of the ranks shall be elected anew each year.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. In case of tie votes, the Chair of the Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate shall notify the members concerned and election shall be by lot according to a method devised by that committee.
  8. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall retain the tabulations of elections conducted by the Procedures Committee and such shall be utilized by the Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate to fill any vacancies that arise.
  9. The Procedures Committee shall determine which departments shall conduct the first elections after the adoption of these revisions to the Constitution, and determine the number of representatives that shall be elected through the at-large elections.

Article VII. Officers and Their Election

  1. Officers of the Faculty Senate shall be designated by elected members to the Faculty Senate, each of whom is eligible to hold office therein.
  2. Officers of the Faculty Senate shall consist of President, President-Elect, Secretary, Webmaster, Webmaster-Elect and the Elected Representative to the Board of Trustees. The President-Elect shall be designated from among the newly elected members to the Faculty Senate and shall automatically become President of the Faculty Senate the following official year or upon the demise of the current President. The Webmaster-Elect shall be elected from the newly elected members and shall automatically become Webmaster the following official year or upon the demise of the current Webmaster.
  3. The President-Elect shall be chair of the Executive Committee and the Webmaster shall be chair of the Procedures Committee.
  4. Election of officers shall be conducted under the aegis of the new President as the first item of business during the first meeting of the official year of the Faculty Senate.

Article VIII. Committees - Standing and Temporary

  1. Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the Executive Committee, Procedures Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Academics Committee.
  2. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the President, and the President-Elect, the Secretary, the elected Representative to the Board of Trustees, the Webmaster, the Webmaster-Elect, and the Parliamentarian, if one has been appointed. The Executive Committee shall be charged with the formulation and review of agenda and the preparation and presentation of a report concerning the effectiveness of the Faculty Senate - with its recommendation - during the final meeting of the official year of the Faculty Senate.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.

Article IX. Meetings

  1. Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be conducted during the months of January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November, and December. A regular meeting of the Faculty Senate may be advanced, postponed, or canceled by the President of the Faculty Senate.
  2. Special meetings of the Faculty Senate may be called by the President of the Faculty Senate during the summer months and at all other times by the President of the Faculty Senate through individual notices to all members, and a special meeting may be convened by three or more of its members.
  3. The President of the Faculty Senate shall arrange a conference each month with the President of the University and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The President of the Faculty Senate may be accompanied by other members of the Senate of his choice and/or by other members of the Senate according to its designation.
  4. Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate may be called whenever necessary by the chair of their respective committee or requested by two of its members.
  5. The President of the University may request the President of the Faculty Senate to assemble the Senate as the committee of the whole, and if the request is accepted by all members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the committee of the whole shall be called during a regular or a special meeting of the Senate.

Article X. Quorums

  1. One half of the members of the Faculty Senate shall constitute a quorum of that body.
  2. In meetings of the standing committees and special or appointed committee, half the members shall constitute a quorum provided not fewer than two members are present.
  3. In meetings of the appointed committees, one half of the members shall constitute a quorum provided not fewer than two members are present.
  4. Whenever the Faculty Senate declares itself the committee of the whole, a quorum shall consist of those present.

Article XI. Special Procedures of the Henderson State University Faculty Senate and Parliamentary Procedure

  1. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the authority for conducting business of the Faculty Senate, provided that if any of its provisions are in conflict with this constitution, this constitution shall prevail.
  2. A Parliamentarian, who shall be an elected member of the Faculty Senate, may be appointed by the President of the Senate, and as such shall serve as a member of the Executive committee of the Faculty Senate and as a member of the Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate. His/her term of office shall be for the official year or part thereof, and his/her holding the office may be terminated by the President of the Faculty Senate.

Article XII. Resignations, Terminations and Replacements

  1. No eligible member of the faculty or the student body may be permanently barred from membership in the Faculty Senate.
  2. Membership in the Faculty Senate may be challenged at any time following the February meeting of the Senate by any two members of the Senate who shall notify the President of the Faculty Senate, or the President-Elect of the Faculty Senate if membership of the President is challenged.
  3. The member whose status is challenged shall be notified, and a special meeting of the Faculty Senate shall be convened for the purpose of adjudicating the challenge. A majority of the members of the Faculty Senate who vote - exclusive of the challenged member - shall be required to expel a member.
  4. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall not maintain particulars of the meeting, but shall enter a memorandum of the decision of the Faculty Senate, which will be attested to by the other elected officers. Copies of this memorandum shall not be made unless requested by the challenged member, who may also request distribution of the memorandum to the faculty.
  5. An elected member to the Faculty Senate whose membership is challenged may upon notification request that particulars be presented to the Faculty Senate.
  6. An elected member to the Faculty Senate may resign therefrom by personal letter of resignation to the President of the Faculty Senate, and in so doing shall terminate his membership in any Faculty Senate committee in which he holds membership.
  7. An elected member may relinquish membership in a committee of the Faculty Senate without affecting membership in the Faculty Senate.
  8. Membership in the Faculty Senate shall be terminated by death, resignation from the University, resignation from the Faculty Senate, change of academic administrative personnel elected to the Faculty Senate, or sequestration from the Faculty Senate.
  9. 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.
  10. An officer of the Faculty Senate may be removed therefrom upon petition of three members of the Faculty Senate without affecting his membership in the Faculty Senate. A special meeting for this purpose shall be called by an elected officer, during which particulars shall be presented without recording a majority of those voting - except the challenged officer - shall decide continuation or termination. A memorandum of the decision shall be entered in the permanent record of the Faculty Senate and shall be attested by the other officers of the Faculty Senate. This memorandum or letter of resignation shall be distributed to the faculty.

Article XIII. Minutes, Agenda, Location and Safekeeping of Documents

  1. Minutes of Faculty Senate meetings shall be the obligation of the elected Secretary, who may delegate this responsibility by permission of the Senate. Copies of the minutes shall be distributed by the Procedures Committee to the President of the University, members of the Faculty Senate, and to all other members of the faculty and administration. Permanent copies shall be maintained by the Secretary, the President, and the President-Elect of the Faculty Senate.
  2. Minutes of all committees shall be maintained as determined therein with the filing of permanent copies with the Secretary of the Faculty Senate.
  3. Agenda shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. 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. Copies shall be filed by the Secretary, the President, and the President-Elect.
  4. Agenda and minutes of all committees shall be prepared and distributed by the chairman of these committees with copies sent to the President, President-Elect, and Secretary. Filed copies shall be maintained by the Secretary.
  5. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall retain the tabulations of elections conducted by the Procedures Committee and such shall be utilized by the Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate to fill any vacancies that arise.
  6. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall maintain the official file of the Faculty Senate and shall be responsible for its safekeeping. All officers shall transfer their cumulative files to subsequent officers at the close of the first meeting of the official year.

Article XIV. Amendments

  1. A petition to the Faculty Senate to amend its Constitution may originate in two ways. Twelve or more persons who are eligible to membership in the Faculty Senate or the members of the Procedures Committee may petition that body to amend its Constitution by signing that petition and delivering it to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate with authenticated copies for all members who have been elected to the Faculty Senate.
  2. The Procedures Committee of the Faculty Senate may be called into session by the chair or two of its members for a review of the petition, and the report of that committee shall be forwarded to the President-Elect of the Faculty Senate.
  3. The proposed amendment shall be presented to the Faculty Senate by its President not later than the second regularly scheduled meeting after the filing of the petition with the Secretary, and it may be retained by the Faculty Senate for a period of five regularly scheduled meetings, and if the Faculty Senate does not act thereon, it is mandatory that the President of the Faculty Senate submit it to the faculty. The life of the petition shall not extend beyond the end of the official year unless the Faculty Senate commits its inclusion in the agenda of the following official year or the newly elected Faculty Senate authorizes its inclusion on the agenda during its first meeting.
  4. The Faculty Senate shall be apprised of reports appertaining to the petition by the Secretary and the President-Elect. Upon the favorable vote of two-thirds of the Senate who vote, the petition for amending this constitution shall be submitted to the faculty by the President of the Faculty Senate under the aegis of the Procedures Committee.
  5. Should the Faculty Senate act unfavorably upon a petition to amend the Constitution, two-thirds of the original signers may petition the faculty directly by preparing a document containing verbiage of the original petition without change which shall be signed by them and delivered to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate with duplicated copies for all members of the faculty. Within sixty days thereafter, exclusive of the summer months and Christmas Vacation, it is mandatory for the President of the Faculty Senate to conduct a faculty vote on the petition through the Procedures Committee. A petition originating in this manner shall be terminated only through faculty action thereon.
  6. A favorable vote of two-thirds of the faculty who vote as determined by the Procedures committee shall be necessary for the adoption of any amendment to this Constitution.

Article XV. Adoption of the Constitution

The adoption of this Constitution shall be by a favorable vote of two-thirds of the faculty and academic administrators who vote thereon. Provided there is no objection to this Constitution by the President of Henderson State University or the board of Trustees of Henderson State University, the official date of its adoption shall be recorded as the first day of the first month after the two-thirds favorable vote of the faculty and academic administrators.

Article XVI. Termination of this Constitution

This Constitution shall supersede any previous constitution and shall be in effect from the official date of its adoption until its official termination through supersedure of a subsequent document or by a formal petition for its termination signed by one-tenth or more of the faculty and academic administrators and approved by three-fourths of the faculty and academic administrators who vote thereon. The original petition shall be filed with the Secretary of the Faculty Senate, and copies shall be provided for all members of the faculty and academic administrators. It is mandatory that the President of the Faculty Senate arrange a vote upon the petition, under the aegis of the Procedures committee, within ninety days of its official filing, exclusive of the summer months and Christmas Vacation. A petition to terminate the Constitution shall remain in effect until action is consummated thereon by the faculty and academic administrators of Henderson State University.

Revisions

This Constitution is a revision of the original 1970 Henderson State College Faculty Senate Constitution, which was written by a Constitution Committee chaired by Dr. War E. Ankrum, accepted by the Faculty Senate with Dr. Hillquit Lynch as President, approved and adopted by the Faculty, and accepted by the Board of Trustees and the President of the then Henderson State College. This Constitution preserves the original purposes and maintains many of the provisions of the original Constitution. It incorporates the modifications adopted by the 1972-73 Faculty Senate with Mr. Louis Dawkins as President and approved by the Faculty. It also incorporates the amendment approved by the 1974-75 Faculty Senate with Dr. William Gentry as President and adopted by the Faculty.

The main new revisions are the changing of the term of office of the Faculty Senate members from one to two years (Articles V and VI) with one half of the members to be elected every year and the changing of the office of Vice President of the Faculty Senate to one of President-Elect of the Faculty Senate (Article VII). Other revisions include the making of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate into a standing committee (Article VIII) and the distributing of agenda of Faculty Senate meetings to the Faculty and others prior to the meetings (Article XIII).

On December 10, 1975, the Faculty Senate voted without opposition to accept this Constitution and to submit it to the Faculty for a vote of approval (Article XV). This Constitution incorporates the amendment to Article VI which was approved by the 1986-87 Faculty Senate and the general faculty. The amendment eliminated the three at large representatives from the academic administrative offices. Also incorporated into this Constitution is an amendment to Article VI which was approved by the 1993-94 Faculty Senate and the general faculty. This amendment defines the college and school membership in terms of the five traditional areas (School of Business, School of Education, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, and Science and Math).

The 1996-1997 Faculty Senate and general faculty of Henderson State University amended Articles II and VI in October of 1996. The amendment redefined faculty as those who hold academic rank, and changed the composition of the Faculty Senate to that of representation by departments and by rank, rather than by the traditional areas. Articles IV, V, VI, and IX were also amended at that time in order to change the Senate year to begin in January instead of April. The final amendment of that year was to Article XIV, which provided a way for the Procedures Committee to petition the Faculty Senate to amend its Constitution.

The 1999 Faculty Senate and general faculty of Henderson State University amended Article V to allow departmental representatives to succeed themselves, Article VI to take out mention of a specific number of departments, clarify the process for electing departmental representatives and alternates and allow alternates to attend meetings with full voting privileges in the absence of a senator, and Article XII to clarify replacement of senators who leave in mid-term.

The 2000 Faculty Senate and general faculty of Henderson State University amended Article V to allow at-large members whose terms are ending to be elected as departmental senators, Article V to clarify ends of terms of senators, Article V to eliminate a specific number of departments, Article VI to eliminate separate mention (apart from section 2) of student membership, Article XII to clarify membership protection for staff and student members, Article VI to remove reference to a non-existent paragraph, Article XII to be consistent with the January to December senate year, and Article VI to make clear that some members may be returned to the senate upon the expiration of their terms.

The 2007 Faculty Senate and general Faculty of Henderson State University amended the Constitution of the Faculty Senate to change the duties of the Faculty Senate Secretary, to add current standing committees to the Senate Constitution, to add the Senate President's Meeting with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, to change selection of alternatives from departmental elections when a vacancy occurs and to change the officers of the faculty senate.

The 2013 Faculty Senate and general Faculty of Henderson State University amended Article VI Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Faculty Senate to clarify that faculty holding rank below Instructor are not eligible to serve on Faculty Senate.

The 2014 Faculty Senate and general Faculty of the Henderson State University approved amendments to Article VI Section 4 to ensure representation from the School of Business, Article VII Section 3 to make the Webmaster the chair of the Procedures Committee, and Article VIII Section 2 to clarify the membership of the Executive Committee.