FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION
Adopted : April 20, 2005
Revised: July 18, 2007
Revised: July 16, 2008
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 the Faculty, hereinafter referred to as the President, serves as the budgetary official.
Section 1: Faculty Senate Membership and Terms
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. 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 Faculty 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 approve officer recommendations made by the Faculty President
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 for departmental Senators 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. A candidate duly nominated according to the by-laws of the Faculty Senate and accepting of the nomination and facing no opposition is declared elected without opposition. 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. 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. A candidate duly nominated according to the by-laws of the Faculty Senate and accepting of the nomination and facing no opposition is declared elected without opposition.
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.
Section 1. Regular Meetings of the Faculty Senate
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 Faculty President to speak.
Section 2. Special Meetings of the Faculty Senate
A. The Faculty 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.
Section 3. Rules for Special Meetings
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.
ARTICLE VI – TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS
Section 1. Quorum
For the transaction of business, a quorum consists of a simple majority of Faculty Senate representatives.
Section 2. Definition of Majority
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 simple 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.
Section 3. Voting
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.
Section 4. Procedure
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 the President of the Faculty. 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 of the Faculty, 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 and serves one year as Immediate Past President after serving as President for two years.
D. The Recording Secretary is appointed by the President with approval of Senate members. He/she 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; serves as chair of the Nominating Committee.
E. The Communications Officer is appointed by the President with approval of Senate members. He/she 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.
F. 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).
G. The Parliamentarian is appointed by the Faculty President with approval of Senate members. He/she 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).
H. 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. This position does not have to be a departmentally elected Senator; Senators can select any full-time faculty member. If this person is not an elected Senator, this faculty member will be designated as a Senator and will have all of the responsibilities and obligations of an elected Senator. If the Sub-Council representative is unable to attend Sub-council, the Faculty President will attend in his/her stead, or appoint another Senator to be the designated attendee.
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
Section 3. Election of Officers
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 Nominees for President Elect of the faculty with at least one person nominated. 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 chair of the Nominating Committee will email a ballot to all full-time faculty. Voting is conducted by e-mail within one week of the presentation of the nominations. A candidate duly nominated according to the by-laws of Faculty Senate and accepting of the nomination and facing no opposition is declared elected without opposition. If there is more than one nominee, the election will be open for one week (seven days). The Nominating Committee will count the votes the next working day. The election of President Elect is determined by a simple majority vote, 50 percent plus one of those voting. If there are more than two nominees in the election and none receive a simple majority vote, there will be a run-off between the two nominees who received the most votes. This election will also be by email. An email with those two nominee’s names will be sent to all full-time faculty within two days of the first ballot count. That election will be open for five days. The Nominating Committee will count the votes the next working day. The nominee receiving a simple majority of the votes will be declared the winner. The chair of the Nominating Committee will send an email to the President of the Faculty and the nominees with the election results, followed by an email to all faculty with the results.
E. The Faculty President will present his/her nominees for Senate Officers, excluding the President Elect and Past President, at the last spring meeting of the Faculty Senate. Senators will vote on the nominees at the July meeting of the Faculty Senate.
Section 4. Removal of Officers
A. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of the Senate membership removes an officer from service.
ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES
Section 1. Establishment of Committees
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.
Section 2. Standing Committees
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
Section 3. Ad Hoc Committees
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.