The role of the faculty, through its Faculty Senate and its
committees, is central to the governance, development, and improvement of
The purpose of Faculty Senate is to represent faculty as their primary governing body; to serve as liaison between the represented departments and teaching sites in disseminating information and soliciting responses; to provide responsive leadership; to participate on all appropriate administrative Councils; to initiate, formulate, discuss, and recommend policies and procedures related to the welfare of the College and the development of the academic unit; and to analyze, report, and advise the President of the College (and through him/her the Tennessee Board of Regents) on College policies and procedures in areas of primary concern.
The Faculty Senate assumes the duties and powers delegated to it by the faculty of the college and considers matters referred to it by the faculty, administration, or students. The duties and powers of the Faculty Senate include the right to participate fully and actively by reviewing and making recommendations concerning all policies pertaining to academic affairs and faculty welfare; to review, formulate, initiate, recommend and refute policy; to meet with the President of the College; to receive timely response to Faculty Senate initiatives; to participate in governance of the College; formulate and/or review all mission and values statements; to recommend and/or review goals and objectives; to review all related budgetary documents; to participate in all tenure and promotion procedures consistent with College policy and procedure; and to participate in institutional effectiveness initiatives as outlined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); and to be represented in all faculty grievance and disciplinary hearings consistent with College policy and procedure.
The College provides budgetary support for travel and
operational costs. The President of
Faculty Senate, hereinafter referred to as the President, serves as the budgetary official.
A. Eligibility. Any member of the full-time faculty will be eligible for election to membership in the Senate. The College faculty consists of all full-time faculty members holding academic appointments with the rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, whose primary duties are teaching, library service, or departmental administration.
B. Representation: Each academic department of the College is entitled to elect three representatives to the faculty Senate. Library Services is entitled to elect one representative to the Faculty Senate. At least two of the three representatives from each academic department during any given academic year must hold academic tenure.
C. Term of Office: The term of office for an elected member of the Senate will be two (2) years. Terms will begin in April and continue through July 1, two years hence.
1. Upon the establishment of a Faculty Senate: Initial elections of the academic departmental representatives will include one representative who will serve a one-year term and two representatives who will serve two-year terms. Terms will be determined by drawing lots. Library Services will elect one representative for a two-year term. Following the initial term limits, all Senate Representatives elected in the future will serve two-year terms, rotating off after the two-year term is completed. Thereafter, one or two department representatives will be elected each year at the annual election.
2. If a vacancy occurs, the department elects a representative to fill the unexpired term. This election is held at the earliest possible time and may be conducted through e-mail. The current department representatives conduct the election.
Section 2: Responsibilities of Elected Senate Representatives and Recall
1. It is the responsibility of each Senator to attend all meetings of the Senate. Attendance at Senate meetings is mandatory. A Senator may only be excused for reasons of illness, professional leave, and/or at the discretion of the Senate President. Unexcused absences totaling three or more during an academic year are reason for recall.
2. Senators serve as liaisons between their departments/areas and the Senate in disseminating information and soliciting responses. Departmental Senators who hold a Senate Office are released from this duty.
3. Senators elect all Senate Officers, with the exception of the Senate President, who must be elected by a vote of all full-time faculty.
4. Senators may request departmental/area meetings if necessary for the dissemination of information and the discussion of issues.
B. Recall. A Senator may be recalled by his/her department or area with twenty-five (25%) percent of the faculty members of that department/area signing a petition for a recall vote, which is then filed with the Secretary of the Senate. The Senator is officially recalled if two-thirds of the faculty in that department vote to do so. An election then proceeds according to election guidelines.
Section 3: Elections and Academic Obligations
A. Elections: Elections are held in March of each year. Departmental elections are conducted by the current departmental Senate representatives in a manner agreed upon by the department. Voting may be by e-mail, voice vote, or show of hands unless the majority of those present desire a secret ballot or a roll call. All full-time faculty members may vote for departmental Senate representatives. Elected Senators meet with the outgoing Senate at the April meeting to prepare for the following academic year.
B. Academic Obligations. The department head or Vice President of Academic Affairs ensures its departmental nominee(s) of reasonable scheduling to enable representatives or officers to attend Senate meetings.
Section 4: Site Campus Representatives:
B. Term of Office: Site campus representatives serve two-year terms. Terms begin with the April Senate meeting in year of election and continue through July 1, two years hence.
C. Elections: Site campus Senate elections are held in March. Elections are conducted in a manner agreed upon by full-time faculty housed on the site campus. Voting may be by e-mail, voice vote, or show or hands unless the majority of those present desire a secret ballot or roll call. Uncontested elections may be decided by acclamation.
Section 5: Adjunct Faculty Representation:
A. Adjunct faculty are entitled to two seats on the Faculty Senate. During the college’s fall adjunct in-service meeting, information is distributed to all adjunct faculty regarding Senate representation. Interested adjunct faculty are encouraged to contact the Senate and/or a designated Senate representative. In order to represent the adjunct faculty and exercise a vote in Faculty Senate business, the adjunct must be teaching in the current major semester (fall or spring). One adjunct representative is elected each year and serves two years or until a successor is elected. Vacancies will be filled by election at the earliest possible Senate meeting.
B. The Senate elects adjunct faculty representatives at the earliest possible Senate meeting during fall semester. The Senate contacts the nominee(s) before the election to determine willingness to serve.
A. The Faculty Senate meets at regular times at least once each month, or at least four times during each academic-year semester, and once during the summer. The Communications Officer notifies Senate Representatives at least one week before each meeting, except for called emergency meetings, noting time and location of the next meeting.
B. Faculty Senate meetings are open to the public, but attendees other than representatives of the Faculty Senate must request permission from the Senate President to speak.
A. The Senate President may call a special meeting of Faculty Senate.
B. Ten (10) or more full-time faculty members by petition may initiate a special meeting of Faculty Senate.
C. The President of the College or the Vice President of Academic Affairs may call a special meeting of Faculty Senate.
A. The Communications Officer notifies Senate Representatives of a special meeting at least six days before the meeting. For called emergency meetings, the President may waive the notification requirement.
For the transaction of business, a quorum consists of a simple majority of Faculty Senate representatives.
A. A simple majority vote is more than half the representatives present and voting (50 percent plus one) and represents the Senate Representatives as a whole.
B. A majority vote is required to transact all business and to elect all officers and representatives of the Faculty Senate. Amending the Constitution or voting to remove an officer from office requires a three-fourths majority vote.
A. Voting may be by voice vote or show of hands unless the majority of those present desire a secret ballot or a roll call. If there is no contest, vote may be by acclamation.
Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, most current edition, serves as the parliamentary authority of Faculty Senate on all questions not covered by the Constitution and for any standing rules the Senate may adopt.
A. Any member of the tenured full-time faculty is eligible for the office of President. However, the President and the President Elect may not represent the same department.
B. No officers may hold more than one office at a time.
C. Officers of Faculty Senate include the President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Recording Secretary, Communications Officer, Business Officer, Parliamentarian, and TBR Sub-Council Representative. They constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Section 2. Duties
A. The President serves as the representative and spokesperson for the faculty; communicates individual and collective faculty concerns to the administration; attends Learning Council and disseminates the official minutes of same; attends President's Council (or sends a designee); meets regularly with the President of the College and the Vice President of Academic Affairs; serves as chief executive officer of Faculty Senate and its Standing Committees and as ex-officio, non-voting member of all Faculty Senate committees except the Nominating Committee; commits the Faculty Senate to courses of action only through the approval of Faculty Senate; serves as budgetary official; serves a two-year term, or until a successor is elected, beginning July 1; receives a one-course teaching load reduction per semester to carry out Senate business; presides over Faculty Senate and Committee meetings in the absence of the Business Officer; and appoints the Business Officer with the approval of the Senate members.
B. The President Elect substitutes for the President when necessary; serves one year, or until a successor is elected, as President Elect before assuming the presidency; and advances to office of President if it becomes vacant.
C. The Immediate Past President serves on Faculty Senate; may assume duties of President if needed; and serves one year, or until a successor is elected, after the year of serving as President.
D. The Business Officer is appointed by the President with approval of Senate members and serves as the presiding officer of the Senate. He/she coordinates operations for Faculty; helps the President set the agenda and all items of business for Faculty Senate; remains neutral in all discussion and debate, but may (by following rules of parliamentary procedure) temporarily relinquish the chair for purposes of debate; retains the right to vote on all matters; and serves a two-year term (if office is vacated, a new Business Officer is appointed for a full term as described in the Constitution).
E. The Recording Secretary records and prepares minutes of all Faculty Senate meetings for distribution to members; maintains a permanent record of all Faculty Senate minutes and all other correspondence or e-mail sent or received by Faculty Senate; houses Faculty Senate official records in the Parkway campus library.
F. The Communications Officer establishes and maintains a communications network with all members; disseminates information pertaining to Faculty Senate and Committee activities, including announcements, minutes, polls, surveys and other relevant documents; and prepares and electronically maintains the official membership list; serves as administrator of the Faculty Senate website and works with Information Services to make appropriate information available on it.
G. The TBR Faculty Sub-Council Representative is appointed by the Senate and serves as the Faculty Senate’s official representative to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Faculty Sub-Council; records and prepares minutes of TBR Faculty Sub-Council meetings for distribution to Faculty Senate members and faculty at large; maintains a permanent record of all TBR Faculty Sub-Council minutes; and serves a three-year term or until a successor is appointed. If the Sub-Council representative is unable to attend Sub-council, the Senate President will attend in his/her stead, or appoint a designated attendee.
H. The Parliamentarian is appointed by the Senate President and advises the President so as to ensure that all business transacted by the Faculty Senate conforms to this constitution and to the parliamentary authority accepted by Faculty Senate; serves as advisor to the Business Officer on parliamentary matters; chairs the Rules Committee; and serves a two-year term (if office is vacated, a new Parliamentarian is appointed for a full term as described).
I. Officers of the Senate are
released from the Senator responsibility of disseminating information and
receiving feedback from their respective departments/areas during the term of
their offices. Those duties will be assumed fully by the other Senator(s) of
the respective department/area.
A. The President appoints a Nominating Committee at the first fall semester meeting to be chaired by the Recording Secretary.
B. The President or President Elect establishes the times and meeting places for the upcoming semester's Senate meetings before the nomination and election of officers and representatives to the committee.
C. At the first Faculty Senate meeting of spring semester, the Nominating Committee presents a slate of officers with at least one person nominated for each office. Each nominee must be notified of nomination and meeting times of the Senate and must accept the nomination before the slate is presented. Nominations will be accepted from the floor, but any person nominated must be present to accept the nomination.
D. The election of Senate President is determined by a vote of all full-time faculty. Voting is conducted by e-mail within one week of presenting nominations. Election may be by acclamation if uncontested.
E. Elections of other Senate Officers are conducted at the next Senate meeting after nominations are presented.
A. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of the Senate membership removes an officer from service.
A. The Faculty Senate has the power to establish committees to study and report on matters of concern to the faculty. Committees appointed by Faculty Senate become committees of the Faculty Senate, receive their authority from the Faculty Senate, and report their findings and make recommendations to the Faculty Senate. Actions taken are those of the committee as a whole representing a majority vote. Minority reports and recommendations may be submitted to the Faculty Senate if desired by dissenting committee members. A majority of committee members constitutes a quorum for transacting all business of the committee.
B. The President appoints committees if the need arises. Each committee should have three or more members. A balance of academic department representation should be considered in making appointments. The President may allow a committee to form on a volunteer or partial volunteer basis, but with balanced representation as a consideration.
Faculty Senate establishes or abolishes standing committees as necessary.
A. The Constitution includes a roster of current standing committees.
B. Establishing or deleting a standing committee does not require an amendment to the Constitution.
C. The President appoints members and chairpersons of standing committees at the first fall semester meeting of Faculty Senate.
D. Committees established:
Faculty Senate Student Scholarship Committee
Promotion and Tenure Committee
Adjunct Faculty Concerns Committee
A. The Faculty Senate may establish temporary committees for special purposes.
B. These ad hoc committees are formed following the same guidelines as those for standing committees.
Amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution are made under the following provisions carried out in sequence.
A. Initiation of Proposed Amendments
Initiation of proposed amendments requires a majority vote of the membership at a meeting of the Faculty Senate.
B. Procedure for Proposed Amendments
1. Amendments are submitted to the Faculty Senate at a regular meeting.
2. Action of proposed amendments is delayed until at least the next regular meeting of the Faculty Senate.
C. Adoption of Proposed Amendments
1. Three-fourths of the Faculty Senate present and voting must approve the amendment.
2. The amendment goes into effect immediately unless otherwise stipulated by the amendment itself.