Chapter 2 – University Faculty Senate
2.01. Faculty Senate
2.02. Members of the Senate
2.03. Electoral Districts
2.04. Selection and Terms of Senators
2.05. Organization of the Senate
2.06. Meetings of the Senate
2.07. Notice to the Faculty of Senate Meetings
2.08. Agenda for Senate Meetings
2.09. Speaking and Voting Privileges
2.10. Proceedings of the Senate
2.11. Order of Business
2.12. Question Period
2.20. Amendments to Chapter 2
2.01. Faculty Senate.
The authority of the university faculty as described in Chapter 1 is delegated to the senate as provided in this chapter.
2.02. Members of the Senate.
- The members of the senate, hereinafter called senators, shall be:
- Senators elected under 2.04.
- The members of the University Committee, ex officio.
- The chancellor and all vice chancellors who have been selected according to the provisions of section 6.04.D., ex officio.
- The deans of the schools and colleges, ex officio.
- Only senators referred to in subsections A.1. and 2. may vote, except that the presiding officer under 2.05. shall vote in case of a tie.
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2.03. Electoral Districts.
- The faculty shall be divided into electoral districts, hereinafter called districts, which shall elect senators as provided in 2.04. Emerit faculty with governance rights under 7.31. shall not be counted in determining the number of senators to be elected from that district.
- Districts shall be organized as follows:
- A department having ten or more voting faculty members under 1.02. and 1.03. constitutes a district.
- Departments having fewer than ten voting members shall be combined into districts, except that where no appropriate combination of at least ten voting members is possible, a department having more than five but fewer than ten voting faculty members may be designated as district entitled to elect one senator. No department with more than five faculty members will be considered appropriately combined without its own consent.
- Voting faculty members without departmental affiliation shall be grouped in districts consisting of ten or more voting members, except that where no appropriate combination of at least ten voting faculty members is possible, a group of more than five but fewer then ten voting faculty members may be designated as a district entitled to elect one senator.
- Each faculty member shall be a member of only one district. A faculty member holding appointments in more than one department shall select one of these departments as the only department of which they shall be deemed to be a member for the purposes of this chapter. A faculty member entitled to select a district under this subsection shall inform the secretary of the faculty of their initial selection within four weeks after such a selection becomes possible. The faculty member shall notify the secretary of the faculty of subsequent selections prior to December 1. A selection made under this subsection shall continue in effect until revoked by the faculty member. Any selection under this subsection shall be binding for a period of two years.
- Every three years, the secretary of the faculty shall provide the University Committee with data on the basis of which the committee shall review the apportionment of the faculty into districts, including the appropriateness of combinations of departments into districts, and recommend to the senate any reapportionment which it deems necessary or desirable. Such recommendations shall be presented to the senate at the first meeting of the spring semester. The senate may adopt a reapportionment provided that any action thereon: (1) must be approved prior to April 1, and (2) shall be effective for elections held during April and May of the year in which the reapportionment is approved and for elections to be held the following year. In any reapportionment, the University Committee may recommend a change in the year in which a district elects senators for the purpose of maintaining approximate equality in the number of senators elected each year under 2.04.
- In the determination of electoral districts, a part-time faculty member shall be counted only if their total appointment is at one-half time or more. In such a case, each person shall count as half for an appointment of three-quarters time or less, and as one for an appointment at greater than three-quarters time. In order to preserve the secrecy of the ballot, the part-time faculty member shall have a full vote in the district and in the university faculty.
- The secretary of the faculty shall maintain a list of the eligible voters in each district, and any who are to be counted as one-half for purposes of apportionment shall be so identified.
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2.04. Selection and Terms of Senators.
- A district shall be entitled to elect from among its members one senator for each ten voters. Where the number of voters in a district is not exactly divisible by ten, the district shall be entitled to elect one additional senator if the number of its voters exceeds a multiple of ten by six or more.
- Elections of senators shall be held in the various districts, usually in April or May. All university faculty members shall be eligible for election, except that the persons designated as ex officio members (2.02.A.2. and 3.) shall be ineligible. No senator shall be eligible for re-election or for appointment as an alternate before the lapse of two years after six consecutive years of service.
- Each district shall establish its own procedures for conducting its elections. In establishing these procedures, each unit must adhere to the following principles and must provide notice of these principles to all individuals eligible to vote:
- everyone in the district eligible to serve in the Faculty Senate must be provided the opportunity to nominate individuals in the unit to be candidates for the Faculty Senate (including nominating themselves);
- everyone in the district eligible to serve in the Faculty Senate must be provided the opportunity to vote in the elections; and
- write-in candidates must be permitted, and notice of that option must appear on any ballot. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
- The term of office of each elected senator shall start immediately for special elections, or at the beginning of the academic year following a general election. The term of office of senators elected under subsection A. shall be three years, except when the year in which the district elects senators is changed, as provided in 2.03.D.
- Each senator elected under subsection A. shall name an alternate from their district. The name of the alternate shall be reported in writing to the district chair and to the secretary of the faculty within fifteen days after the election of the senator. Subsequent changes in alternates may occur at any time except in the week preceding a senate meeting, and shall be reported immediately to the district chair and to the secretary of the faculty. The alternate shall exercise the functions of the senator whenever the senator shall for any reason be unable to do so. In the event an alternate is unable to exercise this function, another named alternate from the same district may do so.
- The office of senator shall become vacant on incapacity or resignation, or the absence of a senator from four consecutive regular meetings of the senate. The district chair shall call a special election to fill an existing vacancy.
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2.05. Organization of the Senate.
- The chancellor shall preside over the senate.
- The vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost shall discharge any function vested by this chapter in the chancellor if the chancellor is unable to discharge this function.
- The chair of the University Committee shall discharge any function vested by this chapter in the chancellor if the chancellor and the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost are unable to discharge the function.
- The University Committee shall serve as the Executive Committee of the senate, hereinafter termed Executive Committee, unless the senate adopts legislation to establish a separate Executive Committee.
- The secretary of the faculty shall serve as the secretary of the senate.
- The senate may determine its own organization in all respects; and may adopt procedural rules for the conduct of its business, subject to the provisions of this chapter.
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2.06. Meetings of the Senate.
- The senate shall hold regular meetings on the first Monday of October, November, December, February, March, April, and May. If the first Monday of the month falls on a holiday, the meeting shall be scheduled at a date as close to the original date as possible. The announced time and place of the meeting may be changed at the discretion of the chancellor with consent of the Executive Committee. Regular meetings may be cancelled by the chancellor with the consent of the Executive Committee if there is no significant business to be transacted.
- The Chancellor, Executive Committee chair or Executive Committee by majority vote may determine that a meeting of faculty senate shall be held entirely or partially by electronic or other communications means so long as the electronic or other communications facilities provide for simultaneous aural communication among all members equivalent to those held in one room or area. These electronic meetings of the faculty senate shall be subject to all rules adopted by the Executive Committee to govern them, which may include any reasonable limitations on, and requirements for, faculty senate members’ participation, subject to appeal to the assembled Senate. A person participating in a meeting by such means is deemed to be present at the meeting and votes taken at such a meeting fulfill any requirement that a vote be cast.
- Special meetings of the senate shall be held at the call of the chancellor; or at the request of the Executive Committee; or on the written petition to the secretary of any fifteen senators. Notice of a special meeting shall be sent to each senator so as to be received at their office at least twenty-four hours prior to the meeting, unless the Executive Committee finds that an emergency exists that requires reduction of the period of notice to the minimum notice specified by law.
2.07. Notice to the Faculty of Senate Meetings.
- The secretary shall send to every member of the faculty, at least five days before the meeting notice of every regular or special meeting of the senate and all documents pertaining to the agenda of the meeting, including the text of any proposed legislation.
- If the Executive Committee finds that it is impracticable to give written notice of special meetings in the manner described above, notice shall be provided according to state statute.
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2.08. Agenda for Senate Meetings.
- The agenda for meetings of the senate shall be prepared by the chancellor in conjunction with the Executive Committee and shall be distributed by the secretary to all members of the faculty. On written request of any senator, or of ten members of the faculty, the secretary shall include additional items on the agenda. The deadline for submitting such items shall be ten working days before the senate meeting.
- Agenda items the University Committee identifies as requiring extended discussion shall first be presented to the senate for discussion at a meeting at which no action will be taken. The discussion shall take place in a committee of the whole chaired by the chair of the University Committee. This provision may be waived by the University Committee or by the Faculty Senate if action cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.
2.09. Speaking and Voting Privileges.
- All members of the university faculty and full-time members of the academic staff may speak at meetings of the senate, excluding executive sessions, subject to such rules as the senate may adopt for its own members, but only senators in attendance may offer motions, second motions, or vote. All members of the university faculty, all emerit faculty meeting the criteria of 7.31.B., and all persons holding faculty status under 1.03.B. may attend and speak at executive sessions subject to such rules as the senate may adopt for its own members, but only senators in attendance may offer motions, second motions, or vote. Chairs of faculty committees under Chapter 6 may offer motions on behalf of their committees.
- The senate may permit persons other than faculty members to speak on agenda items by a majority vote of the senators present.
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2.10. Proceedings of the Senate.
- A quorum consists of a majority of the senators.
- An attendance record of senators shall be kept by the secretary.
- Normally, votes are taken viva voce or by a show of hands. A written ballot shall be required on any vote if requested by ten senators. The ballot shall state the name of each senator and their vote or abstention on the matter voted upon.
- Debate may be closed by a two-thirds vote of the senators present and voting.
- The chancellor, with the consent of the Executive Committee, may put at the head of business for any meeting of the senate any administrative actions or informational reports of any faculty committee, or of any school, college, or division, which may appear to be suitable for passage by automatic consent.
- The secretary shall prepare the minutes of each meeting of the senate, and send copies to each member of the faculty.
- Documents that are too long to be included in the agenda of a meeting are given identifying serial numbers and are attached to the agenda.
- At any meeting of the senate, time may be set aside for a committee-of-the-whole discussion of matters of general interest. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for preparing the agenda for such meetings of the committee-of-the-whole, over which the chair of the Executive Committee shall preside.
- When motions, including motions to amend, arise spontaneously or without adequate notice, and when a member of the senate believes that the motion conflicts with federal or state law, or other UW System or university policies and procedures already in place, the senate member may move to refer the issue to the University Committee to explore the possible conflicts and report to the senate. Such motion to refer requires a second and the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast.
- Business of a confidential nature shall be so identified on the agenda and in the published minutes by title or otherwise and shall be presented to and discussed by the senate in executive session; i.e., with only university faculty present.
- Unless otherwise provided for in Faculty Policies and Procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order most recent edition, shall be the parliamentary manual of the senate, and the chancellor shall appoint a parliamentarian to advise them.
2.11. Order of Business.
The order of business shall be as follows:
- Call to Order
- Memorial Resolutions
- Awards and Recognitions
- Announcements and Informational Reports (Chancellor, Provost, Chair of the Executive Committee, etc.)
- Question Period
- Automatic Consent Business
- Other Agenda Items
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2.12. Question Period.
- Up to twenty minutes of every meeting of the senate shall be scheduled as a question period, during which members of the senate, or other members of the faculty present, may address questions to the chancellor.
- Members of the senate, or other members of the faculty, may file questions with the secretary of the faculty at least three days prior to the senate meeting. A document containing these questions, listed in order of their delivery to the secretary, shall be given to each member of the senate at the beginning of the meeting.
- Questions may be addressed to the presiding officer without prior notice but priority shall be given to questions filed in advance, and questions without notice shall be presented only after questions on notice have been put.
- Any member of the senate, or any other member of the faculty present, may ask supplementary questions growing out of the reply of the presiding officer to the principal question, but it shall be the duty of the presiding officer to prevent the presentation of supplementary questions from becoming a debate.
- At the discretion of the presiding officer, the question period may be extended beyond the allotted twenty minutes.
2.20. Amendments to Chapter 2.
- Amendments to this chapter shall be adopted upon a two-thirds vote of the senators present and voting, provided that the text of the amendment has been included in the notice of the meeting as distributed pursuant to 2.07.A.
- A reapportionment under 2.03.D. is not an amendment within the meaning of this rule.
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