Bylaws of the Faculty Senate

Please follow the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate  link to view this file in PDF format.

1. Senate Membership

1.1 Responsibilities of Senators

The primary responsibility of the members of the Faculty Senate is to serve the faculty of the university, acting as representatives who are concerned with issues and activities important to the welfare of the institution. While members of the Faculty Senate will represent the faculty in regard to institutional issues, they will not be tasked with addressing school-specific issues, unless requested to do so by a faculty governance body at the school level.

Senators are charged with (a) bringing issues from the faculty, departments and programs of their respective schools before the Faculty Senate, and (b) informing their respective faculties, departments, centers, programs and faculty governance bodies about issues being considered, as well as issues and actions taken within the Senate.

It is expected that all senators attend all meetings of the Faculty Senate, unless an appropriate explanation for the absence is forwarded to the president of the Faculty Senate prior to the meeting day. Any member of the Faculty Senate (other than an ex officio member) who is absent without excuse from two or more regularly scheduled meetings within a single academic year will forfeit their position. Attendance is strictly enforced, and any senator found to be in violation of the attendance policy will be notified by the president of the Faculty Senate of termination from their Faculty Senate appointment. A replacement will be chosen in accordance with the procedure set forth in Articles 1.6 and 1.7 of these Bylaws.

 

1.2 Composition of the Faculty Senate

The number of senators elected from each school will be as follows: 

Paul L. Foster School of Medicine: 4

Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing: 4

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: 4

 

The head of the faculty governance body of a school may also be one of its four senators, with the remaining positions being elected from among the voting faculty of the respective school (see 1.4 below).

The numbers of Faculty Senate positions for each school will be reviewed every two years by the Faculty Senate. If an amendment to the numbers and/or distribution of a school’s Faculty Senate representatives is recommended, Faculty Senate approval will be required and an official amendment to the Faculty Bylaws will be made as prescribed in Article 6 below. The minimum number of faculty representatives per school will always be four.

 

1.3 Eligibility Requirements for Faculty Senators

All TTUHSC El Paso voting faculty members (see 1.4 below) are eligible for election to the Faculty Senate. The governing bodies of each school may set additional criteria for Faculty Senate nominees. Faculty members with administrative titles (e.g., department chairs, deans, associate deans, assistant deans, vice presidents, etc.) are not eligible for membership in the Faculty Senate. However, the president and provost of TTUHSC El Paso may act as non-voting, ex officio members of the Faculty Senate.

 

1.4 Voting Faculty

Voting faculty are those who are designated at least 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE), including faculty associates and instructors. They are eligible to vote for their Faculty Senate representatives and serve on Faculty Senate committees. In the event that a faculty member has joint responsibilities in multiple TTUHSC El Paso schools, voting privileges will be granted for only one school.

 

1.5 Terms of Office for Faculty Senate Members

The term of office for a senator is three years. A maximum of two consecutive three-year terms is allowed for each member of the Faculty Senate. After serving two consecutive three-year terms, faculty members are not eligible to serve as senators for the next election cycle, but may be nominated in the subsequent election cycle. The terms of office for senators are to be staggered, when possible, such that approximately one-third of the membership from each school is elected each year. During the inaugural session of the Faculty Senate, each school will assign, by lottery, two senators to a two-year term and two senators to a three-year term.

 

1.6 Election Procedure for Faculty Senate Members

On an annual basis, the president of the Faculty Senate will notify each school’s faculty governance body that an election should be held to replace outgoing senators, specifying the number of senators to be elected. Each school’s faculty governance body shall complete its senator election by October 30.

 

1.7 Mid-term Faculty Senate Vacancies

If a senator is unable to complete her/his three-year term, the school’s faculty governance body will organize a special election to fill the vacancy. If fewer than six months remain to be served, the leader of the school’s faculty governance body may appoint an individual to fill the vacancy instead.

 

2. Faculty Senate Officers

2.1. Faculty Senate Officers

The officers of the Faculty Senate will be the president, president-elect and past-president. A president-elect is elected each year from among the members of the Faculty Senate. He/she automatically succeeds the president in the following year, and the past-president the year after that. Only elected members of the Faculty Senate are eligible to serve as officers.

 

2.2 Duties of Officers

2.2.1 President of the Faculty Senate

The president presides at all meetings of the Faculty Senate and meetings of the general faculty, chairs the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee, calls special meetings of the Faculty Senate when necessary, names the chairs of the Faculty Senate's standing and ad hoc committees, and represents the Faculty Senate for purposes of communicating its recommendations to the university administration and other institutional forums. The Faculty Senate president shall serve as a liaison between the Faculty Senate and the TTUHSC El Paso president. If the Faculty Senate president’s term of office as an elected senator expires, then the term will be extended as described in 2.3.1. The president has the same voting privileges as other members of the Faculty Senate. After the completion of his/her one-year term of office, the president serves as the past-president of the Faculty Senate.

 

2.2.2 President-elect

The president-elect presides at meetings and performs the duties of the Faculty Senate president in his/her absence. The president-elect is, in effect, a three-year term of office (president-elect = one year; president = one year; past-president = one year). The president-elect has the same voting privileges as other members of the Faculty Senate; is responsible for reviewing minutes and all other records of the Faculty Senate's business; serves on the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate; and may preside over special meetings in the absence of the Faculty Senate president. If the president-elect’s term of office as an elected senator expires prior to his/her presidency, the term will be extended as described in 2.3.1.

 

2.2.3 Past-President

The past-president of the Faculty Senate continues to serve as an officer of the Faculty Senate for a period of one year after the expiration of his/her term as president. If the past-president’s term of office as an elected senator expires, the term will be extended for the duration of his/her service as past-president. Thro0ughout the term as past-president, full voting privileges are retained, including the right to vote as part of the full Faculty Senate, as well as the right to vote as a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. In the inaugural year of the Faculty Senate, there will be no past-president.

2.3 Election of Officers

2.3.1 Annual Elections

The Nominating Committee will solicit nominations for the president-elect from the full Faculty Senate during the last quarter of the year. Nominees must not have served more than four consecutive years as senators. If elected, a term extension may be granted for one year beyond the second consecutive three-year term to complete the leadership commitment. Faculty Senate voting will be conducted by secret ballot in January or during the first meeting of the calendar year. The inaugural election of Faculty Senate officers will include both the president and the president-elect. Officers will be elected based on majority vote.

 

2.3.2 Mid-term Officer Vacancies

In the event that the president does not complete his/her term of office, the president-elect will complete the previous president’s term and then continue as president for his/her own term. In the event that the president-elect does not complete his/here term of office, the Faculty Senate must elect a new member to serve out the remainder of the president-elect’s term of office. The election should follow the process described in Section 2.3.1 of these Bylaws. In the event that the past-president does not complete his/her term of office, the office will remain vacant for the remainder of term.

 

3. The Executive Committee

3.1 Composition

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is made up of the Faculty Senate's three executive officers (the president, president-elect and past-president) and the chair of the Nominating Committee. The Senate president presides over the Executive Committee.

 

3.2 Responsibilities

The Executive Committee assists the Faculty Senate president in all aspects of managing the Faculty Senate’s affairs. The Executive Committee is also responsible for other actions specified in these Bylaws, including the setting of the agenda for all regular Faculty Senate meetings.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is responsible for advising and monitoring the activities of all standing and ad hoc committees, and may develop additional charges for these committees at any time during the academic year. All formal charges to the committees shall be recorded as they are made in the minutes of the Faculty Senate’s meetings.

The Executive Committee oversees the reviews of all institutional operating policies that are referred to the Faculty Senate and assigns reviews to the appropriate Faculty Senate committees. The Executive Committee will also appoint an ad hoc committee to review and update the Faculty Bylaws at least every two years. The same committee may also review proposed amendments to the Faculty Bylaws and Constitution.

The Executive Committee is responsible for drafting the annual budget for the Faculty Senate.

 

4. Working Committees

The day-to-day business of the Faculty Senate is primarily carried out through the activities of its committees (see below). In addition to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, there are three types of working committees: (1) the Nominating Committee, (2) the standing committees and (3) the ad hoc committees.

 

4.1 Committee Operations

4.1.1 Meetings and Reports

Each committee is to meet in February or within 30 days of the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the calendar year and then only as often as required to consider all the issues and specific charges within its general purview and any such matters that may be assigned to it by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. A committee has the right to go into executive session (i.e., only voting members), excluding non-voting, ex officio members and guests, for deliberations and discussions related to sensitive matters, like strategy or position. A member must make a motion to go into executive session and the motion must be seconded; the motion carries if a majority of members vote for it. In general, executive sessions are for discussion, rather than action.

Each committee will report periodically and upon request of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to the Faculty Senate body regarding its business, progress and recommendations. Committee recommendations may be accepted, endorsed or returned to the committee for further deliberations or modifications upon majority vote of the Faculty Senate. Committees are not to release any decisions, reports or recommendations outside the Faculty Senate, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Faculty Senate. Each committee is to issue an annual report of its activities and recommendations to the Faculty Senate.

Attendance and minutes are to be taken for every meeting. At the end of each year, the chair of the committee will recognize individually and in writing each member’s attendance and contributions to the committee’s work, to be included in the member’s academic portfolio. The chair of the Executive Committee (i.e., Faculty Senate president) will do the same for the chairs of the standing, ad hoc and Nominating Committees.

 

4.1.2 Initial Activation of Working Committees

The first committee to be formed will be the Nominating Committee (described below). Once established, the Nominating Committee, in consultation with the Faculty Senate, is empowered to prioritize the activation of the standing committees and the creation of any necessary ad hoc committees.

 

4.1.3 Recruitment of Committee Members

The Nominating Committee (described in 4.2) will announce vacancies on the standing and ad hoc committees to the voting faculty and provide them with the opportunity to express interest in serving. The Nominating Committee will then create a list of nominees for the standing committees. The chair of the Nominating Committee will then present the nominees for positions on the standing committees to the full Faculty Senate for a vote of approval by majority at the Faculty Senate’s January meeting, or its first meeting of the calendar year. The chair of the Nominating Committee may present nominees for ad hoc committees to be elected by majority vote at any Faculty Senate meeting during the year.

 

4.1.4 Committee Chairs

Every year, the president of the Faculty Senate, in consultation with the Nominating Committee, will name the chair of each standing and ad hoc committee from among the elected senators. Standing committee chairs shall be named in January, or during the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the calendar year; the term of office shall be one year. Ad hoc committee chairs may be named at any time during the calendar year.

 

4.1.5 Subcommittees

Standing committees may appoint subcommittees, with membership drawn from the voting faculty.   Subcommittees will have a specific charge and designated length of service. The chair of a standing committee will appoint the chair of its subcommittee.

 

4.1.6 Operational Guidelines

Standing committees may develop operational guidelines providing detailed descriptions of the committee’s composition and operations. These operational guidelines, including a description of the selection process for additional committee members, must be approved by the Faculty Senate.

 

4.2 Nominating Committee

4.2.1 Membership

The Nominating Committee is composed of three members of the Faculty Senate, each elected for a three-year term by the Faculty Senate, including at least one member from each school (the Faculty Senate president and president-elect are not eligible for membership in this committee). The terms should be staggered, so that only one member is replaced each year. Senators elected to the Nominating Committee should possess sufficient experience with matters of the Faculty Senate to ensure that the Senate committees are capable of effectively achieving their goals.

 

4.2.2 Selection of Committee Members

Election of Nominating Committee members will be conducted by a secret ballot of the Faculty Senate in January, or at the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the calendar year. In the event that a senator’s term of office expires while he/she is still a member of the Nominating Committee, their Faculty Senate term may be extended for one year beyond the second consecutive three-year term.  

 

4.2.3 Duties

It is the responsibility of the Nominating Committee to recommend chairs for standing and ad hoc committees to the Faculty Senate president, with the goal of having representation from each of TTUHSC El Paso’s schools.

The Nominating Committee recommends members of the voting faculty to serve on standing and ad hoc committees, subject to approval by the Faculty Senate. Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible to chair standing or ad hoc committees. The Nominating Committee also oversees the solicitation of nominees for the president-elect of the Faculty Senate, as described in 2.3.1.

 

4.2.4 Chair

The Nominating Committee will elect a chair from among its membership in February or each year, or within 30 days of the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the calendar year. The term of office is one-year. The chair serves as a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

 

4.3 Standing Committees

Standing committees of the Faculty Senate shall be organized into the following general categories: faculty affairs, university affairs and research affairs. Each standing committee will meet as described in Section 4.1. Members of standing committees shall serve two-year terms with one-half of the committee being appointed each year.

 

4.3.1 Faculty Affairs

4.3.1.1 Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Welfare, Resources and Rights

a) Membership

One member of the Faculty Senate, plus at least one voting faculty representative from each school.  

b) Duties

Review policies and make recommendations concerning faculty development, welfare, resources and rights.

Develop and review policies concerning the selection of faculty candidates for recognition/awards by the university.

Provide feedback to the TTUHSC El Paso president on aspects of faculty development, including recommendations for new and advanced professional development opportunities for faculty.

 

4.3.2 University Affairs

4.3.2.1 Faculty Senate Committee on Library Resources and Information Technology

a) Membership

One member of the Faculty Senate, plus at least one voting faculty representative from each school.

Ex officio, non-voting members include the managing director of the library (or his/her designee) and the associate vice president for information technology/chief information officer (or his/her designee).

b) Duties

Review policies and make recommendations concerning library services, procedures, rules and acquisitions and provide feedback to the managing director of the university libraries.

Review policies and make recommendations concerning IT security, resource allocation, educational technology and software/hardware needs.

 

4.3.2.2 Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

a) Membership

One member of the Faculty Senate, plus at least one voting faculty representative from each school.  

Ex officio, non-voting members include the senior director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Health (or his/her designee).

b) Duties

Review policies and make recommendations concerning diversity, inclusion and cultural competence.  

 

4.3.3 Research Affairs

4.3.3.1 Faculty Senate Committee on Research Resources

a) Membership

One member of the Faculty Senate, plus at least one voting faculty representative from each school.  

Ex officio, non-voting members include the vice president for research (or his/her designee).

b) Duties

Review research resources and infrastructure and make recommendations to enhance the university’s state, national and global standing.

Review research-related policies and make recommendations to promote the ethical, safe and efficacious conduct of research based on information provided by the:  

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  • Office of Research Integrity (ORI)
  • Institutional Bio-Safety Committee (IBC)
  • Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR)

 

4.4 Ad Hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees are to be established for a specific purpose and for a defined duration by the Faculty Senate. The rules governing the operations of standing committees also apply to all ad hoc committees. Ad hoc committees cannot appoint or use subcommittees. Standing committee chairs will be named by the president of the Faculty Senate, and their members will be nominated by the Faculty Senate’s Nominating Committee.

 

5. Meetings

5.1 Quorum

A quorum for a Faculty Senate meeting, faculty meeting or any working committee or subcommittee meeting is defined as 50 percent of the total membership of that body. A quorum must be in attendance at any meeting in order for voting to be conducted. An assessment of whether a quorum is present will be conducted at the beginning of every meeting.

 

5.2 Procedural Rules

Meetings of the Faculty Senate, faculty, working committees and subcommittees will follow the guidelines specified in the most recent edition of “Robert's Rules of Order.” Suspension of “Robert's Rules of Order” requires a two-thirds vote of those present. Debate may be closed by a two-thirds vote of the members present.

 

5.3 Invited Guests

Members of TTUHSC El Paso’s staff, faculty or administration, as well as any outside institution may be invited by the Faculty Senate president or senators to attend, speak or present at a Faculty Senate meeting when topics related to their areas of service or responsibility are under discussion. Invited guests are not eligible to vote.

 

5.4 Meetings of the Faculty Senate

5.4.1 Regular Meetings

The Faculty Senate will meet at least once per quarter beginning in January, or more often, if needed. Meeting dates are to be announced to the broader university faculty to give appropriate notice that a meeting of the Faculty Senate is scheduled to take place.

 

5.4.2 Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Faculty Senate may be requested: (a) by the TTUHSC El Paso president or the Faculty Senate president; (b) upon written request by three or more senators (excluding of the Executive Committee) to the Executive Committee; (c) by petition of at least 10 percent of the voting faculty representing at least two TTUHSC El Paso schools delivered to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; or (d) by petition of the faculty governance body of any of TTUHSC El Paso’s schools. The Executive Committee reserves the right to review requests for special meetings to determine if a meeting is necessary based on the urgency and breadth of impact. Ordinarily, there should be at least five working days between the time the notice is posted and the date of the special meeting, but emergency meetings are permitted. In emergency situations, this five-day notice may be waived.  

 

5.4.3 Executive Session

The Faculty Senate may go into executive session, which is open only to the voting members of the Faculty Senate and special invitees. These sessions may be called when a motion to go into executive session is made by any Faculty Senate member, seconded and approved by a majority vote of the Faculty Senate members present. These sessions are limited to deliberations or discussions of sensitive topics. Following discussions, the Faculty Senate shall reconvene into open session.

 

5.4.4 Open Faculty Senate Meetings

Regular and special meetings of the Faculty Senate are open to all faculty members. Faculty have the right to participate in discussions, but must request to be on the agenda 72 hours before the set meeting time, unless the discussion item has been designated as an open discussion item that will take comments from the floor.

 

5.4.5 Voting Procedures

A quorum must be in attendance at any meeting in order for voting to be conducted. At Faculty Senate meetings, a two-thirds majority approval of the senators in attendance is required for a measure to pass, except for the election of officers (2.3.1), election of committee members (4.1.1) or votes to go into executive session (4.1.3), when a simple majority is needed. Voting during Faculty Senate meetings may be done by roll call, paper ballot or show of hands. Proxy voting will be allowed if a senator is unable to attend a meeting. Absent senators may submit their votes in advance of the meeting to a member of the Executive Committee for decision items on the agenda or may assign their voting rights to another senator by means of written proxy. A secret ballot is required for the election of officers of the Faculty Senate and may be permitted for other business if requested by at least one-third of the senators.

Email voting outside of Faculty Senate meetings is also allowed if a quorum is not met for a Faculty Senate meeting or if a vote is needed for a time-sensitive matter. A minimum of 50 percent of the voting faculty must cast ballots and two-thirds majority approval is required for the measure to pass in an email vote.

5.5 Meetings of Faculty

5.5.1 General Meetings

The President of the Faculty Senate will call at least one meeting each year to address the faculty of all TTUHSC El Paso schools. The president (or president-elect, if the president is unavailable) will serve as the presiding officer. The TTUHSC El Paso president will be invited to make comments at his/her discretion, or use the opportunity to address specific issues of common interest to the schools. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall prepare the agenda and post/distribute it at least one week prior to the meeting date.

 

5.5.2 Special Meetings

Special meetings of the faculty may be called by the president of the Faculty Senate upon the request of (a) the university president or (b) by majority vote of the Faculty Senate.

 

5.5.3 Voting Procedures

For general faculty meetings, a two-thirds vote of faculty in attendance is required for a measure to pass. Email voting outside of general faculty meetings is also allowed, if a quorum is not met or if a vote is needed for a time-sensitive matter.

 

6. Communications

6.1 Communications to Faculty and Administrators

All records of Faculty Senate business, such as notices of meetings, agendas and minutes, are to be placed on the Faculty Senate website.

 

6.2 Minutes of Senate Meetings

The minutes of each Faculty Senate meeting are reviewed by the senators, who may request edits and/or amendments. The amended minutes are then presented to the senators at the next Faculty Senate meeting for final approval. Once approved, the minutes of Faculty Senate meetings will be posted on the Faculty Senate website.

 

6.3 Annual Report

The Executive Committee will prepare an annual report describing the major Faculty Senate activities for that year and the issues that will be considered in the next year. The annual report is to be distributed electronically to the all TTUHSC El Paso faculty and administrators, as well as the president of TTUHSC El Paso.

 

7. Amendment Procedures

Amendments to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate may be proposed to the Executive Committee by at least 10 percent, but no fewer than two, senators at a regular meeting, or by majority vote by one or more of the schools’ faculty governance bodies. Proposed amendments are to be placed on the agenda of the following regular meeting of the Faculty Senate for discussion and voting. If the Faculty Senate approves the proposed amendment, it must then be reviewed by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Executive Committee to ensure that the proposed amendment is in compliance with TTUHSC El Paso’s operating policies and the Regents’ Rules. After review, the final version of the proposed amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Faculty Senate, and is then submitted to the voting faculty for review and approval. Amendments approved by a two-thirds majority of ballots returned by at least 51 percent of the voting faculty shall become effective upon approval of the amendment by the TTUHSC El Paso president.

 

8. Initial Ratification

The Bylaws of the Faculty Senate shall be ratified and become effective upon approval by the governing body of each TTUHSC El Paso school and approval by the TTUHSC El Paso president.

 

9. Inaugural Year of the Faculty Senate

Following the election of senators for all schools, the inaugural meeting of the Faculty Senate will be convened at a time and date set by the TTUHSC El Paso president. At this meeting, the senators shall nominate and then elect a president and president-elect from among their members. They shall also elect the three members of the Nominating Committee and randomly assign them to a two- or three-year term.

The Nominating Committee will meet within 30 days of the first Faculty Senate meeting. At this meeting, members shall elect their chair and, in consultation with the Faculty Senate, prioritize the formation of the standing committees. The Nominating Committee will then recruit committee members by announcing the open seats on the standing committees to the voting faculty. The Nominating Committee shall also recommend senators to chair the standing committees.

The second Faculty Senate meeting shall be held within 60 days of the first meeting. At this meeting, the Faculty Senate president will name the chairs of the initial standing committees. The chair of the Nominating Committee will present the nominees of the initial standing committees for Faculty Senate approval. The initial standing committees should have their first meeting within 30 days of the Faculty Senate meeting.

The Nominating Committee shall continue to organize the remaining standing and ad hoc committees by recruiting committee members and recommending a senator to chair each committee. The committee chairs will then be named and the committee members approved at subsequent Faculty Senate meetings, until all committees are formed. Newly formed standing or ad hoc committees should meet within 30 days of the Faculty Senate meeting at which they were approved.