Academic Senate Bylaws

This was presented at the May 1995 Senate Meeting and tabled until fall 1995. It was passed at the Academic Senate meeting held October 18, 1995 and amended on May 7, 1997, April 21, 1999, January 19, 2000, February 15, 2012, and it was passed at the Academic Senate Executive Board on October 3, 2018.

Bylaw 1: Parliamentary Procedure. When possible, Senate meetings will be conducted collegially and informally as an academic body. At the request of any member at any time, parliamentary procedure will be observed. The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th Edition), or such subsequent edition as is approved by the Academic Senate upon recommendation of the Committee of the Rules, Membership and Election Committee, shall govern the Academic Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution, Bylaws and Standard Rules of the Academic Senate.

Bylaw 2: Registration of members with the Academic Senate office. Each school or unit shall report to the Academic Senate office the names and academic titles of its members in the Faculty Assembly: the members, officers, and terms, of the school faculty council: and the names of its members of the Academic Senate. The President of the Faculty Council of each school or unit, shall provide the Academic Senate office with this information by July 1, and shall notify the Senate office of any changes.

Bylaw 3: Quorum. Except as otherwise provided for in the Constitution, 51% of the voting members of the Academic Senate constitutes a quorum. At all Academic Senate meetings, only members physically present at the time of the vote are eligible to vote on any question or motion. Once established, the presence of a quorum is presumed to continue until proven otherwise by a call to quorum which reveals the absence of a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, discussion may occur at the discretion of the chair, but no action shall be taken except adjournment to a specified future time.

Bylaw 4: Agenda. Matters for prospective inclusion in the main body of an agenda for a forthcoming Academic Senate meeting must be provided to the Academic Senate Executive Board in sufficient time to be placed on the Executive Boardagenda and to be discussed by the Board no later than one week prior to the Academic Senate meeting. Matters which are not so submitted may be considered under “New Business” on the Senate agenda.

Bylaw 5: Motions. Substantive motions from the floor (as distinct from procedural motions such as for approval, disapproval, reference of pending matters, or adjournment) shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Board (or alternatively, to the Academic Senate office) at or before the time they are orally proposed to the Academic Senate.

Bylaw 6: Attendance. Attendance shall be taken at all Academic Senate meetings. All present shall sign-in and identify themselves prior to attending.

Bylaw 7: Visitors. Meetings of the Academic Senate are presumed to be open. However, a meeting can be closed by the Executive Board to include only members of the University community (i.e., administrators, faculty, retired faculty, staff and students) or to include only members of the Faculty Assembly, or to include only members of the Academic Senate. If a meeting is closed, others may attend with the permission of the Executive Board.

Bylaw 8: Executive Board. The Executive Board meets as needed. Meetings of the Executive Board shall be governed by Standing Rules established by the Board. If an Academic Senator is elected to serve as an officer or voting member of the Executive Board, that individual shall not represent or be counted as a representative of a school or unit.

Bylaw 9: Executive Board meetings with the University President. At least once each month, the Executive Board shall meet with the President of the University, with his or her designate(s), or both.

Bylaw 10: Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee consists of the President of the Faculty, the Academic Vice President, and two other members of the current Executive Board, together with four other Academic Senate members who are not a member of the Executive Board. The method for choosing the Nominating Committee is prescribed in the Standing Rules.

Bylaw 11: Nominations. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of at least two candidates for each office for which there will be an election (i.e., the Academic Vice-President, the Administrative Vice-President, the Secretary General, and each position of Member at large of the Executive Board.) The Nominating Committee may not nominate any of its members. Additional nominations for an office are permissible with the signed endorsement of a minimum of five supporting Academic Senate members and prior agreement from the nominee that he/she will serve if elected. Nominations shall be submitted in the manner, with the information, and within the deadlines, prescribed in the standing rules.

Bylaw 12: Alternate Members. If an Academic Senate member is unable to attend an Academic Senate meeting, the faculty council of a school or unit may elect an alternate member. If an alternate member will be attending as a voting member in place of an Academic Senator, the Senate office must be notified by a telephone call or in writing in advance of the meeting.

Bylaw 13: Non-attendance by members. If an Academic Senate meeting member resigns, or misses two meetings and no alternate member has been elected, the faculty council of the school will be asked to elect an alternate member.

Bylaw 14: Elections. Elections will take place by mail ballot distributed to voting members of the Academic Senate. The ballot will include the names of all who have been properly nominated and who have agreed to run for office.

Each Academic Senate voting member will cast one vote for each open seat on the ballot. Election will be determined by simple plurality. Ties will be broken by a run-off ballot. Tie-breaking elections may be conducted and reported early in the fall term if necessary.

Bylaw 15: Vacancies on the Executive Board and in Executive Offices. If the President of the faculty resigns, or becomes unable to serve, the Academic Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President. If the Academic Vice-President becomes President, or resigns or becomes unable or ineligible to serve, the Executive Board shall solicit suggestions, make nominations, and hold an election for Academic Vice-President by mail ballot in accord with the Bylaws and standing rules.

In the event that an executive officer other than the President or Academic Vice-President, or an Executive Board Member at Large resigns or becomes unable or ineligible to serve and there is less than one year remaining to serve in the term, the Executive Board shall designate a replacement whose appointment must be submitted for approval by the Academic Senate at its next meeting. If there is more than one year to serve in the term, the Executive Board shall solicit suggestions, make two or more nominations, and hold an election by mail ballot in accord to the Bylaws and standing rules.

Bylaw 16: Standing and special committees. In addition to the Executive Board, there shall be standing committees of the Academic Senate as listed in the Standing Rules. Additionally, the Academic Senate or the Executive Board may create such special committees, task forces, and bodies as necessary.

Bylaw 17: Standing Rules. These Bylaws authorize the creation of Standing Rules to govern procedures of the Academic Senate and the Executive Board. The Standing Rules can be adopted by either majority vote of either the Executive Board or the Academic Senate. The Standing Rules may be suspended or changed by the majority vote of either the Executive Board or the Academic Senate. The Standing Rules are to be followed so long as they are consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.

1. The Executive Board elects two members to the Nominating Committee. The Academic Senate elects four of its members to the Nominating Committee. Candidates for the Academic Senate positions on the Nominating Committee are nominated by one or more Academic Senate members, either from the floor at the third Academic Senate meeting of the school year, or by a signed, written nomination delivered to the Academic Senate office two weeks prior to the third meeting. They are elected at the third meeting.

2. Additional Nominations

The Nominating Committee shall propose a slate of officers for the Executive Board for the next year. As prescribed by Bylaw 11, additional nominations are permissible with the signed endorsements of five Academic Senate members and prior agreement that the nominee will serve if elected. The calendar prepared by the Academic Senate office shall state the date by which such nominations must be received.

3. Election Materials

A. Submission of election materials. Every candidate is expected to submit a completed “Candidate Information Statement,” on a form provided by the Academic Senate office. The Academic Senate election calendar shall state the deadline for the receipt of candidate statements. Election materials will be duplicated and distributed in the form received from the candidate. If election materials are not received from an individual before the deadline, a blank Candidate Information Statement will be circulated for that person.

B. Distribution of the election materials. Election materials to be distributed by the Academic Senate office will include: the official ballot, completed “Candidate Information Statements,” the election schedule, and instructions for returning the ballots. Ballots not completed and returned in accord with the instructions will not be counted.

4. Calendar

Each year, the Academic Senate office will publish a calendar for Academic Senate officers and Members at Large that will include the dates of the senate meetings.

5. Committees

The Academic Senate officers and the Executive Board shall choose which standing committees shall be activated in a given year, from the committees listed in the Faculty Handbook. Task forces may be authorized by the Executive Board at any time.

Bylaw 18: Composition of the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. The chairman of the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities shall be a tenured full professor.. There shall also be a vice-chair who shall be a non-tenure track faculty member at the full professor rank. The committee may also have other members.