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Faculty Senate Steering Committee Constitutional Changes May_2011

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION

revisions proposed May, 2011

 

ARTICLE I. PURPOSE

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

 

•Proposed revision:

We, the Faculty, Administration, and Board of Trustees of Roger Williams University, recognizing the need 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 mission 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 operation of the University; and to serve as a channel of communication among the various Schools and Colleges of the University, as well as among the Faculty, the Administration, and the Board of Trustees. 

 

ARTICLE II. COMPOSITION OF THE SENATE

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall be a representative committee composed of Full-time Faculty, who are elected by those eligible to vote for members of the Senate. Those eligible to vote for Faculty Senators are Full-time Faculty.

 

Section 2. Representation will be determined based on the number of Full-time Faculty members 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.

 

•Proposed revision (consistent spelling of ‘full-time’ and ‘Senator’):

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall be a representative committee composed of full-time Faculty, who are elected by those eligible to vote for members of the Senate. Those eligible to vote for Faculty Senators are full-time Faculty.

 

Section 2. Representation will be determined based on the number of full-time Faculty members within a given school or division. Each school or division will be authorized one Senator for every seven full-time faculty members with each School or Division having a minimum of one Senator.

Section 3. Recognized Schools and Divisions:

Schools

          Minimum of 1 School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

          Minimum of 1 Gabelli School of Business

          Minimum of 1 School of Education

          Minimum of 1 School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management

          Minimum of 1 School of Justice Studies

          Minimum of 1 University Colleges

 

•Proposed revision:

          Minimum of 1 School of Continuing Studies

 

Divisions

          Minimum of 1 FCAS, Arts and Humanities

          Minimum of 1 FCAS, Mathematics and Natural Sciences

          Minimum of 1 FCAS, Social Sciences

          Minimum of 1 Academic Support

 

 

Section 4. Besides representatives elected by schools and divisions, the faculty as a whole will elect five senators-at-large.

 

•Proposed revision:

In addition to the representatives elected by the Schools and Divisions, the Faculty as a whole will elect five Senators-at-large.

 

ARTICLE III. ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Election of senators representing the schools and divisions of the University shall take 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.

 

Section 2. The President of the Senate will appoint an election committee made up of three Senators 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.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 2. The President of the Senate will appoint an election committee of three Senators 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. Eligible voters may 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.

 

Section 3. Each member of the full time faculty at large shall be entitled to vote for up to five senators-at-large. 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 run-off election between those nominees who tied for the position.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 3. Each member of the full-time Faculty shall be entitled to vote for up to five Senators-at-large. 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 as a whole shall elect the final representative in a run-off election between those nominees who tied for the position.

 

Section 4. Each annual Senate session begins July 1 and ends June 30 the following year. For purposes of continuity, the election of senators shall be staggered such that only one-half of the Senators are newly elected each year.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 4. Each annual Senate session begins July 1 and ends June 30 the following year. For purposes of continuity, the election of senators shall be staggered such that not more than one half nor less than one third of the Senators are newly elected each year.

 

•Proposed revisions below:  the words Senate and Senator have been capitalized

 

Section 5. The Faculty Senate shall elect annually from among its membership three (3) Officers:

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.

 

Section 6. Vacancies arising during the term of office of a senator representing a schools and 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-at-large shall begin upon election and continue until 30 June.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 6. Vacancies arising during the term of office of a Senator representing a School or Division 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-at-large shall begin upon election and continue until 30 June[sb1] .

ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS

Section 1. The President of the Senate shall preside over Senate meetings, ensure that all actions of 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.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 1. The President of the Senate shall preside over Senate meetings, ensure that all actions of 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, including 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.

 

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

 

Section 3. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall coordinate the work of the Senate 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.

 

Section 4. To review progress of the semester past and to set objectives for the semester to come, the 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.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 4. To review progress of the preceding academic year and to set objectives for the year to come, the Senate’s Executive Committee shall meet at the beginning of each academic year with 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.

 

 

•Proposed revisions below:  Senate, Senator, Faculty, Minutes, Standing Committee, Chair, School, Division have been capitalized; capital removed from ‘full-time’.

Section 5. The Faculty Senate shall meet monthly during the academic year. Notice of dates, times 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 full-time 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.

 

Section 6. Any member of the Faculty, the Provost or the President of the University, shall have the right to request consideration of additional items for the agenda, in writing, to the Executive Committee two weeks before the next Senate meeting.

 

Section 7. All Faculty Senate meetings, including those of the Standing Committees, shall operate

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 time.

 

Section 8. Absences of Senators shall be recorded in the Minutes of the Senate. If a Senator is not

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.

 

Section 10. In order to allow every Senator to contribute fully to a discussion, debate shall be allowed to continue until there is no objection to proceeding to a vote or until a two-thirds majority votes to conclude the debate.

 

Section 11. The Senate shall call meetings of the entire Faculty before the end of each semester for 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.

 

Proposed revision:

Section 9; Section 10.

 

ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES

Section 1. In order to conduct business in a timely and efficient manner, the Faculty Senate shall 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.

 

Section 2. A Chair, chosen from the Senate shall convene each Standing Committee. The Chair will also serve as the representative from his/her School or Division.

 

Section 3. Each School or Division may elect one representative to each of the Standing Committees unless the Chair already represents that School or Division. Committee members are elected to a two-year 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.

 

Section 4. All Faculty Senate Standing Committees shall develop and publish their policies and

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.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 4. All Faculty Senate Standing Committees shall develop and publish their operating

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.

 

Section 5. Senate Standing Committees shall consider issues assigned to them by the Senate. Faculty 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 agendas, Minutes, and written reports. Minutes shall be published and available to all Faculty following their approval.

 

Section 6. The following committees shall be considered as Senate Standing Committees. It is

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

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 6. The following committees shall be considered as Senate Standing Committees. It is

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

 

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.

 

•Proposed revision:

2. Curriculum Committee

This committee will coordinate course and program development among the Schools and Divisions.  Other areas of oversight will include the library, study abroad and general education.

 

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 community.

 

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. The Faculty Senate may create and disband ad hoc committees, study groups, and task forces at the request of its members or other members of the University community.

 

ARTICLE VI. REPORTS FROM STANDING COMMITTEES

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

 

ARTICLE VII. FORWARDING PROCEDURES

Section 1. The Faculty Senate will consider and vote on committee recommendations, as well as other matters brought before the Faculty Senate, prior to forwarding to the appropriate individuals.

 

Section 2. It is requested that a response be given within 30 days to all recommendations/motions

submitted by the Senate to University Administrative Officers.

 

Section 3. The Faculty Senate requests a response on motions it has passed and forwarded to the Provost and/or President of the University as appropriate within 30 days. The response may be made in person or in writing.

 

•Proposed revision:

Section 2. Regarding motions that have been passed and forwarded to the Provost and/or President of the University, the Faculty Senate requests an oral or written response within one month. 

 

ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENT PROCEDURES

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.

 

ARTICLE IX. RATIFICATION

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

 


 [sb1]or the end of that Senator’s term?

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