Faculty Senate

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Constitution Constitution

(Last Revised Spring 1998)

Preamble

This Constitution evolves from twin premises: that the primary function of the University is the preservation, extension and dissemination of knowledge; and that participation in the direction of the University is both the right and the responsibility of all who perform this function. Thus the Faculty Senate, in providing recommendations to the President in the administration of university affairs, shall represent all faculty and speak as the authoritative faculty voice on such matters as are not precluded under Board of Trustees Internal Governing Policies, including without limitation the Regulations for Collective Bargaining by Academic Employees. Further, in representing its constituency, the Faculty Senate must be responsive to the common and several needs not only of faculty but of all students and of all members of the Eastern Illinois University academic community involved in sustaining the climate of learning.

Article I: Membership

The faculty is defined as all tenured/tenure track staff holding the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, or holding appointment as Department Chair (i.e., unit A and department chairs).

Article II: Functions

Section 1. The Faculty Senate is the representative voice of the faculty,except in matters within the scope of collective bargaining as determined by Regulations for Collective Bargaining by Academic Employees.

Section 2. All matters affecting the welfare of the University are the necessary concern of the Faculty Senate. Except where otherwise specified in the latest edition of the Illinois Statutes, or in the Board of Trustees Internal Governing Policies including without limitation the Regulations for Collective Bargaining by Academic Employees, the Faculty Senate may initiate any recommendations and consider any and all matters affecting that welfare.

Article III: Communication Responsibility-- Major Academic or Administrative Planning

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall serve as an ombudsman in consideration of major academic or administrative planning proposals to promote open communication and assure that all parties which are properly concerned are consulted. In addition, the Faculty Senate may serve as a "sounding board" to the President or Vice President for Academic Affairs when they seek faculty advice in assessing faculty response to planning proposals.

Section 2. After appropriate administrative consultation, the President or Vice President for Academic Affairs shall relay major academic or administrative planning proposals to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate through its Chairperson and to all faculty and staff directly affected by the proposed plan. Of particular concern to the Faculty Senate are planning proposals resulting from internal or external recommendations which: a. Would have a major effect upon curriculum structure and offerings or upon faculty staffing, or would require the addition of administrators at the rank of Assistant Dean (or the equivalent) or above; and b. Would result in a significant revision in the function(s) of a major administrative unit, or would require the addition of administrators at the rank of Assistant Dean (or the equivalent) or above.

Section 3. Except in emergency situations, at least a 90-day consultation period shall be allowed from the time a major academic or administrative planning proposal is provided to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and concerned parties. This ninety-day period is intended to allow adequate time for consideration including response to and suggested changes of the proposal before implementation.

Article IV: Relationship of the Faculty Senate to the Administration, the Student Body, And the Faculty Generally

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall establish and maintain open and regular channels for communication with the Student Senate and with other appropriate members of student committees and shall assure communication between faculty organizations and the university community generally in matters affecting the welfare of the University, in matters looking to the future of the University, and in matters affecting proper balance between the various functions and segments of the University.

Section 2. The Faculty Senate and the President shall maintain open and regular channels of communication, and the Senate shall do likewise with other appropriately responsible members of the administration.

Section 3. Minutes of Senate meetings shall be distributed to faculty members, to the Student Senate, to the Staff Senate, to administrative officers of the University, and to members of the Board of Trustees.

Section 4. Through a procedure which is outlined in Article VII, Section 3, the Faculty Senate may act as an appeal or review body for faculty councils and committees within the scope of this Constitution. Entry to such concerns may result from acts of commission or omission or in clarification of contemplated action. As established in Article VII, both members of the faculty at large by petition and Senate members on their own initiative may request the Senate to deliberate upon such matters.

Section 5. With respect to academic matters which are not within the scope of collective bargaining as determined by the Regulations for Collective Bargaining by Academic Employees, the Faculty Senate shall have authority to represent the views of the faculty and make recommendations to the President concerning such views.

Section 6. In addition to others who may be invited to report, the following may be invited to give oral reports in open Senate session: a. President--to give an annual "Status of the University" report. b. Various university vice presidents-- to give an annual report on programs of the University. c. Representatives of the major elective committees. d. EIU Representatives and the Board of Higher Education Advisory Committee -- periodic reports. e. Members of the Board of Trustees.

Section 7. The President of the University has authority to approve or reject any recommendation made by the Faculty Senate. Such approval or rejection should be in the form of a written communication to the Chairperson of the Senate. If a recommendation is rejected, the President's communication shall contain reasons for the rejection. In extreme situations where the administration and faculty leadership are unable to communicate, or it is deemed by the faculty leadership that severe problems have evolved with respect to proper functioning of the University between the faculty and administration which cannot be resolved internally, then the Senate shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Trustees

Article V: Membership and Elections

Section 1. Members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected from and by the faculty, as defined in

Section 2. Members of the faculty, as defined by Article I, shall become eligible for election to the Faculty Senate in their fourth semester of appointment in the University.

Section 3. The number of Senators shall be fifteen at all times: a. Five members shall be elected each spring for terms of three academic years. b. Other necessary election procedures shall be established by the Faculty Senate Bylaws.

Section 4. By a petition of twenty percent of the faculty for her/his recall, a member of the Faculty Senate must stand for a special election within two weeks of the presentation of such petition to the Senate. If the member receives a majority of the votes cast at the special election, she/he shall serve out the remainder of her/his term. If the special election is lost, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in the Bylaws.

Section 5. The Chair of the Faculty Senate shall request the Chair of the Student Senate to appoint three students to sit regularly as non-voting members of the Faculty Senate.

Article VI: Officers and Executive Committees

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall elect from its membership a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and a recorder, who together shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate. The chairperson shall be the presiding officer for meetings of the Senate and of its Executive Committee.

Section 2. In the absence of the chairperson of the Senate, the vice-chairperson shall preside. In the event that the chairperson shall resign or be unable to continue in office, the vice-chairperson shall serve out the chairperson's term and a new vice-chairperson shall be elected from members of the Faculty Senate.

Article VII: Standing Committees of the Faculty

Section 1. The Council on Academic Affairs, the Council on Graduate Studies, the Council on Teacher Education, and the Council on Faculty Research shall be standing committees of the faculty and shall have their recommending authority described below.

a. The Council on Academic Affairs shall have the following authority:

(1) The Council on Academic Affairs is responsible for developing recommendations to the President through the Vice President for Academic Affairs concerning: (a) proposals to add, change, or delete courses numbered below 4750. It has exclusive council-level, final-recommending authority for such courses. (b) proposals to add, change, or delete courses numbered 4750-4999. The Council on Academic Affairs and the Council on Graduate Studies have joint council-level, final recommendation authority for such courses.

(2) The Council on Academic Affairs has exclusive council-level responsibility for developing recommendations to the President through the Vice President for Academic Affairs concerning: (a) general education course requirements and all university-course requirements that are applicable to all undergraduate degree programs. (b) course requirements for undergraduate non-degree programs. (c) course requirements, in addition to general education university requirements, for all undergraduate degree programs, except those leading to certification by the State Teachers Certification Board and/or those accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (d) academic regulations and requirements that apply to undergraduate students generally. (e) academic regulations and requirements, in addition to those recommended by the Council on Academic Affairs in Item (d) above, that apply to undergraduate students not in teacher education programs.

b. The Council on Graduate Studies shall have the following authority:

(1) The Council on Graduate Studies is responsible for developing recommendations to the President through the Vice President for Academic Affairs concerning: (a) proposals to add, change, or delete courses numbered 5000 and higher. It has exclusive council-level, final-recommending authority for such courses. (b) proposals to add, change, or delete courses numbered 4750-4999 following the development of recommendations by the Council on Academic Affairs. The Council on Academic Affairs and the Council on Graduate Studies have joint council-level, final recommending authority for such courses.

(2) The Council on Graduate Studies has exclusive council-level responsibility for developing recommendations to the President through the Vice President for Academic Affairs concerning: (a) academic regulations and requirements that apply to graduate students and programs generally. (b) academic regulations and requirements, in addition to those recommended by the Council on Graduate Studies in (a) above that apply to graduate programs other than those leading to the M.S. in Education degree or the Specialist in Education degree [for academic regulations and requirements, in addition to those recommended by the Council on Graduate Studies in (a) above that apply to Programs leading to the M.S. in Education or the Specialist in Education degree, see c.(3) (b)]. (c) academic regulations that govern the enrollment of senior-level undergraduate students in 4750-4999 level courses for graduate credit and/or in 5000-5499 level courses for undergraduate or graduate credit.

c. The Council on Teacher Education shall have the following authority:

(1) The Council on Teacher Education is responsible for encouraging appropriate departments (units) to develop courses to meet the needs of students in teacher education or professional education programs.

(2) The Council on Teacher Education has exclusive council-level recommending responsibility for course requirements, in addition to those recommended by the Council on Academic Affairs in Item a.(2)(a) that are applicable to undergraduate degree programs leading to certification by the State Teachers Certification Board and/or those accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

(3) The Council on Teacher Education has exclusive council-level responsibility for recommending academic regulations and requirements that apply to (a) undergraduate students in programs leading to certification by the State Teachers Certification Board and/or those accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and that are more stringent than, or are in addition to, those recommended by the Council on Academic Affairs in Item a. (2)(a). (b) graduate students in programs leading to the M.S. in Education degree or the Specialist in Education degree and that are more stringent than, or are in addition to, those recommended by the Council on Graduate Studies in Item b.(2)(a).

d. The Council on Faculty Research shall have the following authority:

(1) The Council on Faculty Research shall review university policies with respect to faculty research and recommend changes to the President through the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

(2) The Council on Faculty Research shall consider all proposed research projects submitted by faculty members and make recommendations to the appropriate academic administrator for final approval or disapproval of such research projects.

Section 2. Elections for such major elective councils shall operate as follows: a. The elections shall be supervised by the Faculty Senate. b. The electorate for such major elective councils shall be the faculty as defined herein. c. Any member of the electorate for these major elective councils who satisfies the conditions of Article V, Section 2, shall be eligible for nomination and election to a major elective council of the faculty.   d.  Any elective council may, in its bylaws, limit particular seats and the electorate for those seats to faculty from particular academic units or areas to ensure balanced representation.  Bylaws which so limit seats are subject to approval by Faculty Senate.  e.  The Council on Graduate Studies may, in its bylaws, limit membership and electorate to graduate faculty.

Section 3. Upon its own initiative, or upon petition by ten percent of the faculty, the Senate may review any recommendation made by any faculty committee or council within the scope of this Constitution when that recommendation falls within its jurisdictional responsibility. Any review must be completed not more than fifteen days after notice of that recommendation is made. After such review, the Senate may, by a two-thirds vote of its total membership, forward a recommendation to the President.

Article VIII: Faculty Senate Committees

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall establish an Executive Committee composed of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson, and the recorder of the Senate. This committee shall carry out such duties as are assigned by the full Senate and shall meet regularly with the President of the University.

Section 2. The Faculty Senate shall establish standing committees with such responsibilities as the Senate has power to confer. The Faculty Senate may create such special committees as it deems necessary for the execution of its responsibilities; such special committees shall be discharged upon the completion of their assigned duties

Article IX: Faculty Senate Meetings

Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall meet at least twice monthly at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday when the University is in session during the fall and spring semesters. The Faculty Senate shall meet at least once during the eight-week summer session, with the date(s) and time(s) of the summer meeting(s) determined by the Faculty Senate as a whole.

Section 2. Special meetings of the Faculty Senate may be held at any time at the call of the chairperson or at the written request of any three members of the Senate.

Section 3. A quorum of the Faculty Senate shall be ten members.

Section 4. The right to address the Faculty Senate shall be open to members of the university community upon written request to the chairperson. Other individuals of the university community requesting to address the Senate will be recognized according to parliamentary procedure delineated in Robert's Rules of Order.

Section 5. Meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open to the university community, except when the Senate is in executive session. Executive sessions shall be held only in circumstances specifically permitted by Illinois law; present at such sessions shall be only voting members of the Faculty Senate and such other persons as the Senate may invite.

Section 6. Known items for consideration shall appear as tentative agenda with the minutes of the preceding meeting. The order of the agenda may be altered while the Senate is in session provided there is no objection by any senator present. Additional items not so listed will not receive final action at the meeting of the Senate at which they are first considered, nor prior to distribution of the Faculty Senate minutes listing the items.

Section 7. Robert's Rules of Order (latest edition) shall be the parliamentary authority for all meetings of the Faculty Senate, of the committees of the Senate, and of the constituency of the Faculty Senate as defined herein

Article X: General Meetings

Section 1. A general meeting of the faculty open to the entire university community shall be held at least once per year. This meeting will be conducted by the chairperson, or, in her/his absence, the vice-chairperson of the Faculty Senate.

Section 2. Special meetings of the faculty shall be called by the chairperson of the Faculty Senate upon petition by fifty or more faculty members or upon request of the President. Such meetings will be conducted by the chairperson or, in her/his absence, the vice-chairperson of the Senate.

Article XI: Amendments

Section 1. By a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate membership, a proposal to amend this Constitution may be submitted to the faculty for vote. a. A copy of the proposed amendment shall be distributed through the campus mail to each faculty member at least two weeks before a vote is taken. In the interim, a general faculty meeting shall be called for the purpose of discussing the proposal only. b. Vote on the proposal shall be by secret ballot at a time subsequent to the meeting. c. To succeed, an amendment must receive a majority of the votes cast.

Section 2. Upon petition by ten percent of the faculty, a proposed amendment shall be presented directly to the general faculty and the proposal must then pass through stages a., b., and c. of Section 1 of this Article.

Section 3. All amendments to the Constitution must be approved by the President and submitted to the Board of Trustees for review before they will be considered adopted.

Article XII: By-Laws Section

Section 1. Upon receiving a majority vote of the total membership of the Faculty Senate, a by-law shall have been adopted unless a petition signed by ten percent of the faculty for a referendum concerning the By-Laws is received by the chairperson of the Senate by not later than thirty days after the Senate's vote to adopt said by-law. However, if a valid petition is received, then the following procedures must be followed: a. Within three weeks after a petition requesting a referendum on the by-law has been received by the chairperson of the Senate, the Senate shall conduct a vote by secret ballot by the faculty. b. To defeat the proposed by-law adopted by the Senate, a majority of the votes cast must be against the adoption of the by-law.

Section 2. By a vote of two-thirds of the total membership of the Faculty Senate, a by-law may be revoked, unless the faculty petitions for a referendum on its retention. The rules and procedures governing this petition shall be as in Section I of this Article.

Article XIII: Referendum

Twenty percent or more of the faculty eligible to vote in Faculty Senate elections can petition the Faculty Senate to hold a referendum on a question that does not relate to collective bargaining as determined by the Regulations for Collective Bargaining by Academic Employees. The Senate shall hold a referendum within four weeks following receipt of said petition. Author(s) of said petition must present the petition to the Faculty Senate and explain the intended purpose of the referendum.