Bylaws of the Faculty Senate

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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 the faculty governance body of the school they represent.

Senators are charged with (a) bringing issues of institutional scope by the faculty, departments and programs of their respective schools t0 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 Faculty 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 fiscal year will forfeit their position.  Any senator found to be in violation of the attendance policy will be notified by the president of the Faculty Senate of termination of their Faculty Senate appointment, and 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 minimum number of senators elected from each school will be:

Paul L. Foster School of Medicine: 3

Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing: 3

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: 3

Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine: 3

 

The faculty governance body of each school will elect eligible faculty members as senators. 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 Section 6 below.

 

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   the Vice President for Faculty Success of TTUHSC El Paso shall 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 to 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 terms is allowed for each member of the Faculty Senate. After serving two consecutive terms, faculty members are not eligible to serve as senators for the next election cycle, and will be eligible to be nominated again after one year. 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.

 

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 prior to entering the new fiscal year.

 

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 shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

 

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 Office of the President. If the Faculty Senate president’s term of office as an elected senator expires, then the term will be extended as described in Section 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. Throughout 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.

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 fiscal 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 during the first meeting of the fiscal year. 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/her 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 fiscal 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 within 30 days of the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the fiscal 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. 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 review the 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 first meeting of the fiscal year. The chair of the Nominating Committee may present nominees for ad hoc committees, except for the ad hoc committee for bylaws review, to be elected by majority vote at any Faculty Senate meeting during the year.  The ad hoc committee for bylaws review shall be appointed as specified in Section 7.

 

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 during the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the fiscal year; the term of office shall be one year. Ad hoc committee chairs may be named at any time during the fiscal 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 members of the Faculty Senate, each elected for a three-year term by the Faculty Senate, including 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 at the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the fiscal 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 within 30 days of the Faculty Senate’s first meeting of the fiscal 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 Resources

a) Membership

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

The Vice President for Faculty Success (or his/her designee) shall serve as an ex- officio, non-voting member.

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 University Affairs

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 representation from the senior leadership of the library (or his/her designee), and the Office of Information Technology (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.

Provide faculty feedback to university leaders on matters affecting the faculty in university affairs within areas of institutional scope.

 

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 representation from the senior leadership 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 Research (OR)

 

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. 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, and their members will be nominated by the Faculty Senate’s Nominating Committee.  However, the ad hoc committee for bylaws review shall be appointed as specified in Section 7.

 

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 the fiscal year, 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 members 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, Section 2.3.1, election of committee members, Section 4.1.1 or votes to go into executive session Section 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. In case of a tie during the voting process, the Faculty Senate President will call for a second vote. If the second voting process also results in a tie, the Faculty Senate President will cast the tie-breaking vote.

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 senators 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

Notices of Faculty Senate 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. 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 votes 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.