2.392 Faculty Senate
FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION
Date Adopted/Most Recent Revision: 11/07/03

We, the faculty and the Board of Regents of Midwestern State University, establish a deliberative body to provide better understanding and to improve academic welfare within the university.

Article I

The body herein described shall be called the Faculty Senate (or Senate) of Midwestern State University.

Article II

  1. Membership:

    1. The Senate shall consist of full-time faculty members on continuing contract elected from each college of the university.
    2. Each college shall be represented by one senator for each ten (10) line-item, full-time positions, or major fraction (5 or more) thereof, the number of such positions being determined by those positions in the budget as of March of the prior year.
    3. Eligible voters for the election of senators shall be all full-time faculty members on continuing contract in their respective colleges.
    4. To be eligible for selection as a senator, a faculty member must have been employed full time at the university for at least one year prior to taking office.
    5. The term of office shall be two years, with half the members from each college being elected each year to ensure overlapping terms.
    6. The term of office shall begin on the day the faculty is directed to report for the fall term.
    7. If the faculty member is elected or appointed to fill out a term vacated prior to the end of the two-year term, he will take office immediately upon election or appointment.
  2. Election

    1. Each academic year, in March, the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate will consult with the Provost to determine the number of line-item, full-time faculty positions in the current budget for each college. The Chairperson will then determine the number of positions that should be allocated to each college based upon those figures.

      If a college currently has the correct number of senate seats, the Chairperson will notify the dean of that college which senators' terms will end, and direct the dean to hold an election to replace those senators.

      If the numbers indicate that a college should gain one or more seats, the Chairperson will notify the dean of that college which senators' terms are ending and direct the dean to hold an election to replace those senators, and to fill the additional seat(s). The initial term for the additional seat(s) will be chosen as one year or two years in such a way as to maintain the goal of half of the terms expiring each year. If one-half or less of the seats expire in the current year, then the new seat should initially have a two-year term. If more than half of the seats expire in the current year, then the initial term for the new seat should be for one year. In the event that two or more new seats are added, the initial terms should be set so that the fifty-fifty balance is maintained, with an odd seat (if there is one) elected for a two-year term.

      If the numbers indicate that a college should lose one or more seats, the Chairperson will notify the dean of that college which senators' terms will expire in the current year and how many, if any, may be replaced. In no event will a college's representation be reduced by more than one senator in one year.

      In any event, the dean of each college shall call an election to fill the vacant seats, such election to be held no later than the last day of April. The dean will immediately send the names of those elected to the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate.

      If a current senator, whose remaining term includes more than one long semester, should leave the university or resign from the Senate, then the dean of the senator's college shall call an election at the earliest possible time, but not later than thirty days, to elect a replacement to fill out the term. If the remaining term has only one long semester or less, then the dean may choose to appoint an eligible faculty member to fill the remaining term.
    2. Election of senators in each college will take place at a time and place announced by the dean of that college at least one week in advance. The dean will preside or name a substitute to do so.
    3. A majority of the eligible voters of the college will constitute a quorum for the election of senators.
    4. Nominations will be made from the floor. Voting will be by secret ballot with a majority of the votes cast being required for election.
    Article III

    1. During the first week of May, individuals who will comprise the new Sentate will meet for organizational purposes only and select officers for the following academic year. The current Chairperson will preside over this organizational meeting. Ratification of the slate of officers shall occur at the first official meeting of the new Senate.
    2. The officers of the Senate shall be Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Treasurer. The term of office for the officers begins the day the faculty is scheduled to report for the fall semester, and extends to the reporting date for the next fall semester.
    3. The five officers of the Senate shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate.
    4. The Chairperson of the Senate shall be a voting member of the Administrative Council, and shall attend the meetings of the Board of Regents. In the event the Chairperson is unable to attend a meeting of one of these bodies, the Chairperson may designate an alternate senator- chosen from the Executive Committee, if possible- to stand in, with the right to vote on the Administrative Council.
    5. The Vice Chairperson of the Senate shall be a voting member of the Academic Council. In the event the Vice Chairperson is unable to attend a meeting of the Academic Council, the Vice Chairperson may designate an alternate senator - chosen from the Executive Committee, if possible - to stand in, with the right to vote on the Academic Council.
    6. The Senate shall meet not less than eight times per year. The first meeting of the academic year will normally be held during the week prior to the start of classes, but in no event shall it be held more than thirty calendar days after the reporting date for faculty in the fall. Each spring, the Senate shall approve a tentative meeting calendar for the following year which designates the date and time of the first meeting in the fall.
    7. The Executive Committee will normally meet at least one week prior to each scheduled Senate meeting. At that time, the Executive Committee will set the agenda for the upcoming meeting. The agenda and the minutes from the previous meeting, and any other pertinent documents will then be distributed to the membership in such a way as to reach them prior to the meeting. During the first week of May, individuals who will comprise the new Sentate will meet for organizational purposes only and select officers for the following academic year. The current Chairperson will preside over this organizational meeting. Ratification of the slate of officers shall occur at the first official meeting of the new Senate.
    Article IV

    1. A. The Faculty Senate is charged with the responsibility of promoting the general welfare of the university. The Faculty Senate shall be an advisory committee to the President of the university, and shall advise, when appropriate, administrative officers of the university on proposed changes in policy. The Senate shall periodically review existing policies in each of the following areas: faculty affairs, student affairs, and academic affairs.

      1. Faculty Affairs:   The Faculty Senate shall make recommendations to the appropriate administrative officers on policies regarding:

        1. Employment
        2. Salaries
        3. Promotion and tenure
        4. Fringe benefits
        5. Retirement and emeritus status
        The Faculty Senate shall assist University staff and administrators in the preparation of the budget and the development of master plans.

        Annually, the Faculty Senate shall provide the President with a list of nominees for appointed university committee assignments.
      2. Student Affairs:   The Faculty Senate shall make recommendations to the appropriate administrative officers on policies regarding:

        1. Undergraduate student work grants and scholarships
        2. Intercollegiate athletics program
        3. Student academic freedom
        4. Extracurricular activities
      3. Academic Affairs:   The Faculty Senate shall make recommendations to appropriate administrative officers on policies regarding:

        1. Faculty academic freedom
        2. General degree requirements
        3. University curriculum
        4. Standards for retention and admission of students
        5. Proposed academic programs or changes in academic programs
    2. The Senate may choose to consider any issue brought to it by a member of the faculty, the administrative staff or the student government. Such issues shall normally be transmitted to the Senate through one of its members, and placed on the agenda by the Executive Committee. When there is insufficient time to get the item on the agenda, it may be brought up under new business by any Senator.

      Upon written request, and approval by the Executive Committee, any member of the faculty or administrative staff may appear before the Senate.

      The Faculty Senate, through the Executive Committee, may request any member of the faculty or administrative staff to appear before the committee to discuss an item of business.
    3. The agenda and minutes of the Senate shall be distributed to all faculty, budgetary heads, the President and the Board of Regents.
    4. Meetings of the Faculty Senate are open to the faculty, staff, and students except when an issue requires the Senate, in the judgment of the Senate or the Chairperson, to go into executive session.
    Article V

    1. This Constitution shall take effect upon approval by a majority vote of the full-time faculty on continuing contract, approval by the President, and approval by the Board of Regents.
    2. Current members of the Senate shall constitute the initial membership of the Senate under this Constitution.
    Article VI

    1. Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be brought to the faculty for approval by one of the following methods:

      1. Upon a majority vote of the Faculty Senate; or
      2. By a petition containing signatures of 40% of the full-time faculty on continuing contract.
    2. Amendments to this Constitution shall become effective upon approval by 2/3 vote of the full-time faculty on continuing contract, approval by the President of the university, and approval by the Board of Regents.
    3. The Senate shall provide each faculty member with a copy of proposed amendments at least thirty days before the voting date.
    4. If the President approves a proposed amendment, which has been approved by vote of the faculty, he will submit the proposed amendment to the Board of Regents at their next regularly scheduled meeting. Presidential approval of a proposed amendment will be communicated to the Senate.
    Article VII

    1. A majority of the Senate shall constitute a quorum.
    2. The Faculty Senate is empowered to pass bylaws on procedural matters in all of its areas of responsibilities.
    3. Any cases of procedure not specifically covered in the Constitution or in the bylaws shall be resolved by Roberts Rules of Order.