Shaw University
 
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THE SHAW UNIVERSITY FACULTY SENATE
BY-LAWS/CONSTITUTION

In order to provide for an effective participation of the faculty in the total dynamics of the University, the general faculty established as its executive body the Faculty Senate.[1] 

PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES 

The Faculty Senate is committed to promoting and ensuring the best interests of the faculty in the total dynamics of the Shaw University community. Its primary function is to interpret and recommend policy on all University affairs of direct concern to the faculty of the University. In this capacity, it will involve itself in the following matters:

 

  1. faculty recruitment and selection procedures;
  2. faculty organization;
  3. professional growth of the faculty;
  4. faculty financial security and tenure;
  5. faculty teaching loads;
  6. faculty promotions, salaries, and other forms of recognition;
  7. academic freedom;
  8. establishing criteria and procedures for faculty evaluation; and
  9. effecting good relationship with the faculty, administration, and public as appropriate.  

MEMBERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION  

In order to be eligible to serve as a representative on the Faculty Senate, a faculty member must serve the University primarily in a teaching capacity or its equivalent. Only those full time faculty members (below the rank of Department Chair) who have served for at least one year in employment at the University are eligible for election to the Senate.

The membership of the Faculty Senate shall consist of an odd number of faculty members elected by the general faculty. The number of representatives for each school or college (hereafter referred to as “college”) will depend on the number of faculty in that college in a one-to-five ratio, and shall be the whole number nearest to that computed and at least one.  The Office of Academic Affairs will provide the list and number of eligible faculty.

The President, Executive Vice President, and Vice President for Academic Affairs are non-voting ex-officio members.

Each college shall be responsible for electing its allotted number of faculty representatives under the guidance of the Faculty Senate.  College-wide as well as University-wide voting of college representatives and at-large members respectively shall be by secret ballot between April 1 and April 15. 

Each school or college shall elect into office some members for a one-year term and others for two-year terms to begin with.  Thereafter, each representative shall be elected for a two-year term. In the event that an elected representative does not serve the full term, the Senate shall arrange for the vacancy to be filled through a special election by the general faculty called for by the Faculty Senate President.

One membership will be allotted to a fulltime faculty whose primary assignment is off campus - to be appointed by the Faculty Senate.  This will be a non-elected membership on a one-year rotation basis. 

The April meeting shall be designated the Annual Meeting.

The general faculty shall elect the officers of the Faculty Senate - President, Vice President (who shall serve as President pro tem in the absence of the President), and Secretary.  These elected members shall constitute the Executive Committee.

The President of the Faculty Senate, as an elected representative of the general faculty, and by virtue of his or her office, shall be a member of the Board of Trustees of the University. 

MEETINGS 

The Faculty Senate shall meet a minimum of once a month during the academic year at a scheduled time and place. Notification of regularly scheduled meetings shall be made as a reminder, at least one day in advance. The Secretary of the Senate shall handle notification of unscheduled meetings promptly.  A representative who is absent without notification to a member of the Executive Committee for three consecutive meetings shall relinquish his or her seat on the Senate. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall give written notice to any member of the Senate who misses two consecutive meetings that his or her membership is in jeopardy.

AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

The Faculty Senate shall have the authority to recommend policy for all matters of direct concern to the general faculty.

The Senate shall provide direction in defining faculty policies and procedures that should be followed with regard to any issue of the general faculty assembly for the purpose of reaching a decision.

The Senate shall recommend, approve, or disapprove academic policy on behalf of the general faculty.  However, in the event that a particular issue requires further deliberation, the Senate may defer action, by majority vote, and call a general faculty assembly for the purpose of reaching a decision.

In pursuit of its philosophy and objectives, the Senate shall assume, but shall not be limited to, the following responsibilities 

  1. fostering a healthy relationship with the administration;
  2. reviewing the organization of the general faculty periodically;
  3. reviewing procedures for recruitment and selection of new faculty;
  4. reviewing salary scales in relation to the Association of American University Professors (AAUP) guidelines and making recommendations to the President of the University regarding modifications;
  5. reviewing and evaluating fringe benefit programs and making recommendations for improvement;
  6. reviewing all matters which may arise concerning academic freedom with reference to the AAUP guidelines;
  7. reviewing and evaluating promotion policies and salary recognitions, as well as other forms of recognition for outstanding teaching or other contributions to the University community;
  8. reviewing and making recommendations regarding teaching loads, release time for research, or special assignments;
  9. reviewing and revising criteria for faculty evaluation;
  10. recommending and interpreting academic policies and standards;
  11. reviewing and making recommendations on all matters contained in the Faculty Handbook;
  12. providing an opportunity for aggrieved faculty members to have a hearing before their peers in cases of disciplinary action, removal for cause, inter alia, as the next step in the appeals process;
  13. serving as a sounding board for specific academic or non-academic problems or grievances of individual faculty members;
  14. serving as a fair representative of the faculty to the rest of the University community and to the community at large;
  15. maintaining channels of communication with the faculty, administration, and students;
  16. making sure that an atmosphere of respect for the faculty body is maintained, while providing support for academic pursuits and excellence;
  17. promoting faculty loyalty and respect for the institution;
  18. promoting good environmental working conditions for the faculty – adequate office space and classrooms conducive to teaching and learning;
  19. recommending a policy on the faculty’s “Intellectual Property” rights, and tenure/multi-year appointment regulations. 

It shall be the responsibility of the Senate to make at least one report a year of its deliberations, evaluations, recommendations and policies.  Such a report shall be in writing and distributed to all members of the faculty. 

FACULTY PARTICIPATION

Any faculty member wishing to call the attention of the Senate to any matters to which it should address itself may prepare a statement in writing and submit it to the Senate or may appear before the Senate in person.  The Senate President based on his/her determination of the significance of the issue may place the item on the next agenda, or call a special meeting of the Senate.

The Senate may invite any member of the administration, administrative staff, or the faculty to provide information on relevant issues.

 

AMENDMENTS 

The general faculty must approve any addition, modification, or change in the philosophy, objectives and responsibilities of the Faculty Senate.  Such changes must be provided in writing to each individual faculty member before the convening of the general faculty meeting for the purpose of voting on them. 

1.         RULES OF ORDER 

1.1       All meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be conducted according to parliamentary procedure provided in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, with exceptions specified in this document. 

2.         AGENDA 

2.1       The agenda and place for each meeting shall be determined in advance by the Executive Committee and shall be made available to the Faculty Senate members and the general faculty body no fewer than three (3) days before a regularly scheduled meeting.

2.1.1    Any member of the Senate may request that an item be put on the agenda by submitting it in writing to the Secretary of the Senate five (5) days before the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting.

2.1.2    The agenda for specially scheduled meetings shall be made available to the Senate members and, at their request, other faculty, at least one working day before the meeting and shall include information on who requested the meeting, except in cases of emergency; the presiding officer may announce the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.

2.1.3        The agenda for all meetings shall be followed unless set aside by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the quorum.

2.1.4        A simple majority (51%) of the membership shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct a meeting.

2.1.5    Any new matter, except resolutions of respect, commendation, or regret, shall not be acted upon at the same session in which it was introduced, unless by the consent of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the quorum.

2.1.6    A copy of every committee report for Senate action shall be submitted to each Senate member at least three days before the date of its presentation; the report shall contain a summary of the matters considered, a list of recommendations in the form of motions for Senate action, and a reference to previous Senate actions wherever relevant. 

3.         MEETINGS 

3.1       The Faculty Senate shall meet regularly at 11:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month during the academic year.

3.2       All meetings of the Faculty Senate are open to non-members, who may be allowed the floor consistent with Sections 3.2.1 to 3.2.5 given below.  The number of observers may be regulated by the Faculty Senate to ensure order.

3.2.1. Faculty members that are not Senate members may be granted the privilege of the floor by the presiding officer.

3.2.2    The Senate may move into an executive or closed session upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of a quorum.

3.2.3        Meetings of all committees, standing and ad hoc, shall be open to non-members, except when in executive session; any committee may move into an executive or closed session by a majority vote of those present.         

3.2.4        The number of observers at each meeting may be regulated by a simple majority vote (51%) of the quorum so long as the determination is consistent with the needs of order and space.

3.2.5    The presiding officer of the Senate shall exercise the right to maintain order by ejecting disruptive observers upon a majority vote.

3.3       Any regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate may be cancelled by the unanimous approval of the Agenda Committee, i.e., the Executive Committee, provided that: (i) no business has been submitted for consideration, (ii) no matters were carried over from the previous meeting (whether regularly or specially scheduled), and (iii) appropriate notice is given to the Senate members and the faculty.

3.4       Special meetings may be called by the Senate, by the Executive Committee, or by one-fourth (1/4) of the Senate members, by submitting a written petition to the President of the Senate.

3.5       Voting shall be by voice vote; however, the presiding officer or any member can call for a vote by division, in which case an actual record of the vote shall be entered into the minutes. 

3.6       The presiding officer of the Senate shall have a vote only to break a tie but need not vote on the issue. 

4.         OFFICERS OF THE SENATE 

4.1       The officers of the Senate, who shall also constitute the Agenda Committee, will consist of a President, Vice President, and Secretary, each of whom shall serve a term of two years.

4.2       The President shall assume office immediately following his or her election in April.

4.2.1        The President shall preside at all meetings of the Faculty Senate.

4.2.2    The President shall serve as a non-voting ex officio member of all standing committees of the Senate.

4.2.3 The President shall serve as the faculty representative on the University's Board of Trustees and a liaison between the Senate and the Board of Trustees.

4.3  The Vice President shall assume office immediately following his or her election to a two-year term.

4.3.1 In the event that the President is unable to complete his or her term, he or she shall be replaced immediately by the Vice President, who shall serve in that capacity for up to one year.  The election of a new Vice President shall be held as soon as feasible.

4.3.2        In the event that the Vice President assumes the duties of the President as stated in Section 4.3.1, his or her two-year term served as a Senate member will automatically be extended by one year.

4.3.3 The Vice President shall preside at meetings of the Senate when the President is unable to discharge the duties of office.

4.3.4 The Vice President shall also serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the standing committees.

4.4 The Secretary shall be elected for a two-year term, and the two-year term as a Senate member can be extended by one year.

4.4.1 The Secretary shall

a.       coordinate the activities of the Senate;

b.       keep minutes of the Senate meetings, distribute, and disseminate all agenda and minutes to the Senate, and make them available to all faculty;

c.       maintain all documents of the Senate and its committees in a file accessible to all faculty members;

d.      distribute annually, lists of Senate members, committee members, and copies of the Senate’s rules, if amended;

e.        publish Senate attendance records at the end of each semester; and

f.       serve as an ex-officio voting member of all standing committees.

4.4.2 The Secretary shall remind Senate members of each regularly scheduled meeting and shall notify them of specially scheduled meetings.

4.5  Serving a fractional term as an officer of the Senate shall not disqualify any individual from being re­elected.

5. MINUTES  

5.1 The minutes of Faculty Senate meetings shall be complete to the extent that they contain the essence of all issues discussed and all viewpoints presented and shall report actions both rejected and approved with a record of the vote when a count is taken as well as abstentions asked to be placed on the record.                                                                                                   

5.2 A copy of the minutes shall be distributed by the Secretary as soon as is practical after each meeting but no later than three days before the next regularly-scheduled meeting to each Senate member, each Department Chair (for circulation among departmental faculty members), each Dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

5.3 The Secretary of the Senate shall maintain an official file of the minutes of all Senate, Executive Committee, Standing Committee, and Ad Hoc Committee meetings, send copies of the Senate meetings to the President of the University, and place a copy of the minutes in the University library.                                                                                                                 

5.4 All minutes of closed sessions will be stored in digital storage devices and kept under lock and key in the Senate office.

5.5 Upon the directive of the Executive Committee of the Senate, the Secretary shall deposit the Senate records in the University Archives. 

6.  COMMUNICATIONS       

6.1 All actions of the Senate shall be made known to the entire faculty as soon as possible, generally through the distribution of the minutes as outlined above.

6.2 The Senate shall consult with the University President on all formal resolutions adopted by that body which deal with external and/or politically sensitive issues before making such resolutions public. When general publicity is to be given to an action taken by the Senate, the responsibility shall be that of the President or of the Secretary, if so directed by the President or a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a Senate quorum.

6.3 All official correspondence of the Senate shall be the responsibility of the Secretary.

6.4 Each standing and ad hoc committee shall have its recorder. 

7.         COMMITTEES 

7.1 The duties of Standing Committees shall include the following:

7.1.1 Meeting at least once a semester, and more frequently if necessary;

7.1.2 Keeping and distributing minutes of all meetings. Two copies of all minutes and of all relevant documents shall be given to the Secretary, who shall make them available to any interested faculty member(s), and who shall place one in the permanent records for the year; and

7.1.3 Preparing and submitting an annual report by the last day of the spring semester.

7.2  The Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate shall be as follows:

7.2.1 An Agenda Committee, which is also the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for determining the agenda for each meeting of the Faculty Senate and for calling special meetings of the Senate;

7.2.2 An Academic Affairs Committee, which shall consist of three Senate members - one of whom shall chair the committee - appointed by the Executive Committee, and up to four non-­Senate faculty members, elected by the Faculty Senate.  This committee shall look into general academic matters, including

a.         academic standards,   

b.         academic procedures, and

c.         academic organizations and shall make its recommendations in the form of motions to the Senate for its deliberation.

7.2.3        A Rules Committee, which shall consist of three Senate members - one of whom shall chair the committee - appointed by the Executive Committee, and four

non-Senate faculty members, elected by the Faculty Senate.  This committee shall systematically consider any matters pertaining to the rules and by-laws of the Senate. On approval by the Senate of an amendment to these rules, the committee shall issue a new edition of these Senate Rules and shall exercise all care to indicate the approval date of the amendments and the notification that the new edition supersedes all previous editions;

7.2.4        An Environmental Policy Committee, which shall consist of two Senate members - one of whom shall chair the committee - appointed by the Executive Committee, and three non-­Senate faculty members, elected by the Faculty Senate. This committee shall consider such matters as those pertaining to the physical environment and supply services of the campus;

                        7.2.5    A Welfare and Benefits Committee, which shall consist of three Senate members - one of whom shall chair the committee - appointed by the Executive Committee, and four non-­Senate faculty members, elected by the Faculty Senate.  This committee shall consider such issues as

                                        a.         appointments,

                                        b.         promotions,

                                        c.         tenure,

                                        d.         retirement,

                                        e.         insurance, and 

                                        f.          all other matters pertaining to the welfare of the faculty;

7.3       Membership of standing committees shall be constituted as follows:

7.3.1    Members of all standing committees shall be appointed (Senate members) or elected (non-Senate members) at the beginning of each academic year with due respect to the preferences of Senate members, and in consultation, if needed, with the previous year's chairpersons. To ensure continuity, at least one member from the previous year's committee shall be re-appointed to that committee.

7.3.2    The committee members whose terms on the Senate continue into the successive year shall serve as members of an interim committee until the new committee is formed.

7.3.3        When a vacancy on any given committee occurs, the chairperson of the committee shall notify the President of the Senate of the vacancy within three working days.  The President of the Senate shall then confer with the chairperson of the committee and the proposed appointee before the vacancy is filled.

7.3.4        Non-Senate faculty members shall be elected by the Faculty Senate, for a term of one year, and the number shall be equal to the number of Senate members on the committee or exceed it by one.

7.3.5        Each Standing Committee shall be responsible for electing a secretary to take minutes during its meetings.

7.4       Ad hoc Committees 

7.4.1        Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate, by any presiding member of the Executive Committee, or by a motion from the floor.

7.4.2    An ad hoc committee shall be established by a motion from the floor, and the motion shall include

a.         The name of the committee and its charge,

b.         Its size and composition (e.g., three members of the Faculty Senate and one non­-Senate faculty member),

c.         Whether it shall be appointed or elected, and

d.         A date by which the committee shall be expected to present a report of its progress or its recommendations.

 

8.         RULES  

8.1 Proposals for modifications of the internal rules of the Faculty Senate may originate by

a) a motion in a Faculty Senate meeting for referral to the Rules Committee,

b) any member of the faculty in writing to the Faculty Senate, or

c) the Rules Committee on its own initiative.

8.2  The Rules Committee shall consider any proposal and bring its recommendations, in the form of a motion or motions, to the Faculty Senate for its consideration.

8.3  Prior written notice specifying the modification or addition of a rule shall be required for consideration at the annual meeting (in April).

9. RESIGNATIONS AND/OR OTHER VACANCIES 

9.1 In the event of the resignation or inability of a member of the Faculty Senate to serve the elected term, the President shall appoint a special committee, which shall be comprised of non-Senate members, to conduct an election in accordance with the regular election procedures. 



[1]   Discussed and Adopted by Faculty Senate on November 7, 2005.  Developed by the Faculty Senate Task Force Committee:  Drs. Mikael Broadway, McLouis Clayton, Mercy Fapojuwo, Maxine Highsmith, and Grace Ndip (Chair), December 2004; Edited by Drs. Harish Chander and Frederick Jones.