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Faculty Senate Constitution






We, the Faculty, Administration, and Board of Trustees of Roger Williams University, cognizant of

the necessity for strong faculty participation in the ongoing process of enhancing the educational

environment of the University, do establish this Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Roger Williams

University. It is the function of the Faculty Senate to help in the planning functions of the University;

to make recommendations for the University’s academic development; to inquire into any matter of

an educational or administrative nature that has implications for the academic function of the

University; and to act as a channel of communication between the various Schools and Colleges of

the University as well as between the Faculty as a whole and the Administration and Board of




Section 1.

who are elected by those eligible to vote for members of the Senate. Those eligible to vote for

Faculty Senators are Full-time Faculty.

The Faculty Senate shall be a representative committee composed of Full-time Faculty,


Section 2

within a given school or division. Each school or division will be authorized one senator for every

seven fulltime faculty members with each school or division having a minimum of one senator.

. Representation will be determined based on the number of Full-time Faculty members


Section 3.


School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

Gabelli School of Business

School of Education

School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management

School of Justice Studies

University Colleges


FCAS, Arts and Humanities

FCAS, Mathematics and Natural Sciences

FCAS, Social Sciences

Academic Support

Recognized Schools and Divisions:


Section 4.

five senators-at-large.

Besides representatives elected by schools and divisions, the faculty as a whole will elect


Section 5

after his or her term as President has expired, even if he or she has not been reelected to the Senate. If

the President of the Senate is reelected President, the office of Immediate Past President shall be


. The Immediate Past President shall remain as a voting member of the Senate one year



Section 1.

place within each school or division prior to March 1 of each year. Senators shall serve a two-year

term with each term beginning on July 1 and ending June 30, two years hence. Senators elected to

represent a school or division must hold appointment to said school or division, and be elected by

faculty of said school or division. For purposes of this paragraph faculty holding joint appointment in

more than one school or division shall be considered to belong to the school or division in which they

do the majority of their teaching. If their teaching is equally divided, they shall be considered to

belong to the school or division in which they received their initial appointment.

Election of senators representing the schools and divisions of the University shall take


Section 2.

at the organizational meeting convened prior to the end of April. This committee will supervise all

elections for senator during their year of appointment, to include the election of senators-at-large

prior to April 1 at the end of their year of appointment. On March 1, when the elections of senators

representing schools and divisions of the University have been concluded, the election committee

will solicit nominations from the university faculty. One week will be provided during which

nominations are forwarded to the election committee. Any eligible voter can nominate themselves or

as many other persons as desired. No seconding of nominations is required. The election committee

shall determine the eligibility and the willingness to serve of those nominated and will provide a

ballot of candidates to all voters. Elections of senators-at-large shall be completed by April 1.

The President of the Senate will appoint an election committee made up of three Senators


Section 3.

The five candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall serve as senators-at-large. If

there is a tie vote for the final position the faculty at large shall elect the final representative in a runoff

election between those nominees who tied for the position.

Each member of the faculty at large shall be entitled to vote for up to five senators-atlarge.


Section 4.

purposes of continuity, the election of senators shall be staggered such that only one-half of the

senators are newly elected each year.

Each annual Senate session begins July 1 and ends June 30 the following year. For


Section 5.

President, 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President. The elections shall be conducted according to

the following procedure:

The President of the Senate shall convene the newly elected senate prior to the end of April. The new

senate officers will be elected by the new senate at this time. Voting shall be by written ballot with a

majority vote required for election. The new officers shall take office beginning the 1st of July. If any

candidate on the first ballot does not receive a majority vote, a run-off election shall be conducted

between all candidates tied for first or second place. The President of the Senate may succeed himself

or herself, but shall serve not more than three consecutive terms. Any current senator is eligible to be

elected as President of the Senate. Elections for Vice Presidents will be conducted in the same

manner. The officers of the Senate shall comprise the Executive Committee.

The Faculty Senate shall elect annually from among its membership three (3) Officers:


Section 6.

divisions shall be filled by an election of that respective school or division at the time such vacancies

occur. Vacancies arising during the term of office of a senator-at-large shall be filled in accordance

with procedures outlined in Article III, Sections 2 and 3. The election committee will conclude the

election within 20 days of the vacancy becoming known. The term of the newly elected senator-atlarge

shall begin upon election and continue until 30 June.

Vacancies arising during the term of office of a senator representing a schools and



Section 1.

the Senate are communicated to the faculty as a whole, and shall act as spokesperson for the Senate’s

views in communications with the University administration. The Senate President shall also serve as

a conduit between the Faculty Senate and the President of the University and the Provost. Normally

within ten (10) business days after a Faculty Senate meeting, the Executive Committee shall meet

with the President of the University and the Provost to review and discuss the Faculty Senate minutes

as well as any other pertinent Senate issues. The Executive Committee shall report on these meetings

at the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting. At the Invitation of the President of the University,

the President of the Senate shall serve as liaison to designated administrative bodies. Senate minutes

shall be published and available to all faculty members within 10 days of their approval.

The President of the Senate shall preside over Senate meetings, ensure that all actions of


Section 2.


In the absence of the President, the 1st Vice President shall preside over the Senate. If thest Vice President is unable to preside the 2nd Vice President shall preside over the Senate.


Section 3.

and the standing committees, facilitate communication among its various constituencies, and prepare

the Faculty Senate agendas, based, in part, on the work of the committees.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall coordinate the work of the Senate


Section 4.

Senate’s Executive Committee shall meet in Plenary Session at the beginning of each semester with

the University’s Deans’ Council and the University President’s Steering Committee or such other

principal advisory group the President of the University may establish. The Executive Committee

shall report on these meetings at the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting.

To review progress of the semester past and to set objectives for the semester to come, the


Section 5.

and agendas shall be determined by the President of the Senate and shall be distributed one week in

advance of meetings to all Full-time Faculty, the President of the University and the Provost. Special

meetings may be called by the President of the Senate or written petition signed by ten percent (10%)

of the fulltime faculty. Sixty percent (60%) of the senators shall constitute a quorum. No meeting can

be held without a quorum. Meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open to all members of the

University community, except when a two-thirds vote of those senators in attendance call the Senate

into Executive Session.

The Faculty Senate shall meet monthly during the academic year. Notice of dates, times


Section 6.

right to request consideration of additional items for the agenda, in writing, to the Executive

Committee two weeks before the next Senate meeting.

Any member of the faculty, the Provost or the President of the University, shall have the


Section 7.

under the guidelines established by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Only senators

present at a meeting may vote. Normally voting will be by voice; but when the decision is not clear,

the presiding officer shall call for a show of hands. Any member may call for a paper ballot at any


All Faculty Senate meetings, including those of the Standing Committees, shall operate


Section 8.

present for two consecutive Senate meetings, the Senate minutes shall reflect that these absences do

not meet the minimal attendance standard expected by the Senate of its members. If a senator misses

three regular Senate meetings in a semester, the office shall be declared vacant.

Absences of senators shall be recorded in the minutes of the Senate. If a senator is not


Section 10.

to continue until there is no objection to proceeding to a vote or until a two-thirds majority votes to

conclude the debate.

In order to allow every senator to contribute fully to a discussion, debate shall be allowed


Section 11.

the purpose of enhancing communication between the Senate and the faculty. The Senate may also

call special meetings of the entire faculty. The call to such meetings must be issued at least one week

in advance and the purpose stated. The President of the Senate shall preside at said meetings.

The Senate shall call meetings of the entire faculty before the end of each semester for



Section 1.

create seven (7) standing committees, each of which shall be comprised of up to ten (10) full-time

faculty members, no more than one from each school or division. The committees are encouraged to

invite members of the university community who may be helpful to the discussion of given issues.

In order to conduct business in a timely and efficient manner, the Faculty Senate shall


Section 2.

also serve as the representative from his/her school or division.

A chair, chosen from the Senate shall convene each standing committee. The chair will


Section 3.

unless the chair already represents that school or division. Committee members are elected to a twoyear

term. For continuity purposes, the election of committee members shall be staggered such that

only one half of the members of each committee are newly elected each year.

Each school or division may elect one representative to each of the standing committees


Section 4.

procedures. Standing committees shall conduct regular meetings as required. At the beginning of

each semester, standing committees shall prepare a calendar of meetings for the semester and

forward that schedule to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall then reconcile,

collate, and publish the official Senate meeting calendar.

All Faculty Senate standing committees shall develop and publish their policies and


Section 5.

who wish to have an issue considered by a Senate standing committee shall submit the request to the

Senate. Committees shall report their recommendations to the Senate for discussion and action.

Committees shall produce agenda, minutes, and written reports. Minutes shall be published and

available to all faculty following their approval.

Senate standing committees shall consider issues assigned to them by the Senate. Faculty


Section 6

anticipated that the Faculty Senate committees will invite linkages to other University committees.

. The following committees shall be considered as Senate Standing Committees. It is


1. Admissions and Enrollment Committee


This committee shall concern itself with admission of students to the University, transfer issues,

etc., with a holistic view of class composition including diversity, and an awareness of

admissions trends among other colleges and universities.


2. Curriculum Committee


This committee will be responsible for program coordination and facilitation of curricular

innovation, helping to coordinate program development in the several University academic

constituencies. Other duties will include library, technology issues, study abroad and core.


3. Academic Standards & Policies Committee.


This committee shall be responsible for policy review in matters that affect student persistence

and success. The committee shall act as the appeals body for Academic Standards petitions and

shall serve as a liaison with the University’s Center for Academic Development.


4. Faculty Development Committee


This committee will facilitate faculty participation in enhancing the intellectual life of the University



5. Steering Committee


This committee will serve as faculty linkage to the University’s strategic plan.


6. University Life Committee


This committee will be charged with enhancing the civic culture of the University, promoting a

humane and tolerant environment. The committee shall appraise the state of intellectual and

cultural life at Roger Williams University.


7. Diversity Committee


This committee will be charged with monitoring, reporting on, and encouraging diversity at

Roger Williams University.


Section 7. Ad Hoc Committees.

study groups, and task forces at the request of its members or other members of the University


The Faculty Senate may create and disband ad hoc committees,




Recommendations of the Senate Standing Committees will be forwarded to the Faculty Senate.



Section 1.

other matters brought before the Faculty Senate, prior to forwarding to the appropriate individuals.

The Faculty Senate will consider and vote on committee recommendations, as well as


Section 2.

submitted by the Senate to University Administrative Officers.

It is requested that a response be given within 30 days to all recommendations/motions


Section 3.

Provost and/or President of the University as appropriate within 30 days. The response may be made

in person or in writing.

The Faculty Senate requests a response on motions it has passed and forwarded to the




To amend this Constitution it shall be necessary to propose the amendment at one meeting and vote

on the proposed amendment at the next. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those Senators present at the

meeting shall be required for passage to a Full Faculty Caucus. In order for a Faculty Caucus to vote

on a constitutional amendment a simple majority of all full-time faculty is required. A two-thirds

(2/3) majority of those full-time faculty present at the Caucus shall be necessary to amend the

Faculty Senate Constitution.




This constitution shall be ratified by a simple majority vote of the university faculty.

Revisions approved August 31, 2010


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