The University of West Alabama

Faculty Senate

CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

The University of West Alabama Faculty Senate is established with the belief that all individuals of the University have a devotion to the education of students and the advancement of truth and knowledge. The Faculty Senate will encourage a unity of purpose, improve the understanding and cooperation of the administration, the faculty, and the staff in their endeavors to promote the objectives of the institution. The Senate believes that it should preserve and enhance the positions of the individual members of the University community while encouraging them to feel a sense of personal responsibility and common involvement.

ARTICLE I Name
ARTICLE II Purpose
ARTICLE III Organization
ARTICLE IV Officers
ARTICLE V Committees
ARTICLE VI Procedures

ARTICLE I

NAME

The name of this organization shall be The University of West Alabama Faculty Senate.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSE

The University of West Alabama Faculty Senate is advisory to the President and shall be concerned with keeping the University faculty informed and involved in the University community, particularly in the following areas:

  1. Academic standards

  2. Academic curricula

  3. Academic publications: the Catalogue, calendar, and faculty handbook

  4. The professional growth of the faculty

  5. The membership of University committees

  6. The dissemination of information about University financial affairs and physical facilities

  7. The University Learning Resources Center

  8. Student-faculty-staff relations

  9. Comparative status of the university with other similar universities

ARTICLE III

ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Scope. The University of West Alabama Faculty Senate is an organization representing the academic faculty of the University established by the consent of the President and the Board of Trustees of The University of West Alabama.

Section 2. Composition. The Faculty Senate shall consist of an elected representative from each of the following academic units: the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Languages and Literature, the Department of History and Social Sciences, the Department of Accounting and Business Administration, the Department of Computer Information Systems, the Division of Technology, the Department of Educational Foundations, Counseling, and Library Media,  the Department of Educational Leadership, Childhood Education, and Special Education, the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training, the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Physical Sciences, the Division of Nursing, and the professional library staff. The Senate shall also include one elected representative from Student Affairs who will exercise all duties of Senate membership except voting.

Section 3. Representatives. Elections for representatives shall be held in each academic unit between April 22 and May 1. Elections shall be coordinated by the Rules Committee and results reported by the Secretary of the Senate. The representatives’ term of office shall be for two years, from August 16 through August 15. One half of the representatives, those from the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Languages and Literature, the Department of Accounting and Business Administration, the Department of Computer Information Systems, the Division of Technology, the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training, the Department of Educational Foundations, Counseling, and Library Media, and the Division of Nursing, will be elected in even-numbered years. The other half, those from the Department of History and Social Sciences, the Department of Instructional Support, the Department of Educational Leadership, Childhood Education, and Special Education, the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Physical Sciences, the Department of Mathematics, and the professional library staff, will be elected in odd-numbered years.

To be eligible for selection as a representative, a member of the faculty must hold academic rank and have been on faculty appointment for at least two semesters prior to his/her election. No representative shall serve more than two consecutive terms unless no one else from his/her academic unit can fill the position. If a representative is absent from three consecutive Senate meetings, his/her name shall be removed from the Senate roles and his/her academic unit notified by the Secretary that its representative’s position is vacant. An elected representative may be granted a leave of absence by the Rules Committee in which his/her name remains on the Senate rolls and that representative shall resume his/her duties at the end of the period of absence.

Section 4. Substitutes. Each unit having an elected representative shall make arrangements for one of its members to substitute for its elected representative at any Senate meeting the elected representative is unable to attend. During the meeting the designated substitute shall have all rights and privileges of the representative he/she is replacing.

Section 5. Partial terms. If any academic unit’s representative seat becomes vacant, that unit shall elect a new representative to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the uncompleted term and report that change to the Secretary of the Senate. A person elected to such a partial term shall still be eligible to serve two successive full terms as representative, provided that his/her total consecutive time in office does not exceed five years.

Section 6. Meetings. The Faculty Senate shall meet the third week of every month. The time of the meeting will be voted on by the Senate during the first meeting on the third Tuesday of the first month of the academic year.

ARTICLE IV

OFFICERS

Section 1. Officers. The officers of the Faculty Senate shall be the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary. The immediate past President of the Senate shall serve a non-voting ex officio member of the Senate and a voting member of the Rules Committee. These officers will be elected from the full-time academic faculty-at-large. No person may serve as an elected representative of an academic unit or designated substitute while serving as an officer or member of the Rules Committee. If a Senate representative is elected to a Senate office, that representative’s academic unit shall be notified that its representative’s seat will be vacant as soon as that person assumes his/her Senate office. No officer shall have a vote in the Senate, except that the presiding officer at each meeting may vote in cases of ties.

Section 2. Election and Term of Office. Officers shall be elected in the spring of each odd numbered year and shall serve two-year terms from August 16 after election until August 15. No person may serve two consecutive full terms in the same office. Election of officers will be conducted in the following manner:

  1. The Senate shall meet the third Tuesday of March in each odd-numbered year to nominate persons for office. Any elected representative shall be eligible to nominate a person for office, provided that the person so nominated is contacted and agrees to serve.

  2. From the list of persons so nominated, the Senate shall choose two names to be placed on the ballot for each office.

  3. Ballots containing the two nominees for each office shall be prepared by the Secretary and distributed by April 1 to all full-time academic faculty, who shall cast their vote for one of the two names proposed for each office. Senate representatives shall be responsible for collecting the ballots from their particular academic units and returning said ballots to the Rules Committee by April 7.

  4. The Rules Committee shall count the ballots and report the results at a meeting of the Faculty Senate held the third Tuesday of April. The ballots shall be retained until this meeting and in case of any challenges shall be recounted in the presence of the full Senate at this meeting. Should the ballots be equally divided between the two names nominated, the Senate shall choose by secret ballot between the two persons nominated.

Section 3. Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Senate and shall be responsible for the agenda of the meeting. He/she shall serve as Chairperson of the Rules Committee and as an ex officio member of all Senate committees. He/she shall represent the faculty at all meetings of the Board of Trustees of The University of West Alabama.

  2. The Vice-President shall act for the President in his/her absence and serve as the Chairperson of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

  3. The Secretary shall keep minutes of each Senate meeting, maintain the official roll of the Senate, and distribute Senate notices and materials as directed by the President. He/she shall maintain permanent files of all records of the Senate and turn over those files to his/her successor.

Section 4. Vacancies. Should any office become vacant, the Senate shall elect a person to fill that vacancy at its first meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy. The person so elected shall hold that office until the next scheduled election of officers. A person elected to serve such a partial term of office shall be eligible for re-election to that office, provided that his/her total consecutive service in that office shall not exceed three years.

ARTICLE V

COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Committees. The standing committees established by the Faculty Senate shall be the Rules Committee, the University Scholars Committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Financial Affairs Committee, the Faculty/Staff Liaison Committee, and the Faculty Information Committee.

Section 2. Other Committees. The Senate may form other committees as necessary, either standing or ad hoc. Membership of any special committee created by the Senate shall be chosen by the Senate.

Section 3. Committee Procedures. All Faculty Senate committees will meet at least once a semester (excluding summer.)  All Senate committees shall keep minutes and make semester reports to the Senate.  It is the responsibility of the Chairperson of each committee to pass all records maintained by that committee on to his/her successor.

Section 4. Rules Committee. The Rules Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Senate and the immediate past President of the Senate. Their responsibility is to help set the agenda for each Faculty Senate meeting. This Committee shall serve as the Committee on Committees. All questions concerning Senate procedures shall be referred to this committee and it shall recommend to the Senate the disposition to be made of any disputes concerning the operation of the Senate. The Rules Committee shall ensure that unit representatives are duly elected and that no unit of the University is denied representation to which it is entitled under these Articles. It shall conduct the election of committee members, and vacancies on any Senate Committee will be filled by the Rules Committee. It is the responsibility of the Rules Committee to see that all Senate records are properly maintained and turned over to the next Rules Committee following a change in Senate officers.

Section 5. University Scholars Committee. This committee shall consist of one faculty member elected from each college and the Division of Nursing, one member of the Senate appointed by the Rules Committee to serve as Chairperson, and the Provost of the University. The deans, the Chairperson of the Division of Nursing, the Registrar, and the Vice President for Student Affairs shall serve as ex officio members. This committee is responsible for selecting those academically superior students to be recognized as "University Scholars" each year.

Section 6. Faculty Affairs Committee. This committee shall consist of one faculty member elected from each college and the Division of Nursing and the Vice-President of the Senate who shall serve as Chairperson of this committee. The committee shall make recommendations concerning policies (except those specifically reserved to other committees) such as qualifications for promotion, rank and salary schedules, tenure, academic freedom, research, teaching loads, extracurricular assignments, summer employment, non-University employment, leaves of absence, sabbatical leaves, travel, and all related policies which affect faculty welfare and morale.

Section 7. Financial Affairs Committee. This committee shall consist of one faculty member elected from each college and the Division of Nursing, two members appointed by the President from the faculty/staff-at-large, two staff members appointed by the Staff Senate, and one member of the Faculty Senate appointed by the Rules Committee to serve as Chairperson. This committee shall review the financial and physical resources of the University as they relate to the development of a quality educational program. It shall request through the President information of a financial nature from any academic or administrative officer of the University or meetings with those officers as it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities.

Section 8. Faculty/Staff Liaison Committee. This committee shall be University-wide in nature with its membership composed of four members of the Faculty Senate and four members of the Staff Senate. The committee shall be chaired by the Chairpersons of each senate serving in alternate years. The committee shall be a means of communication and coordination between the two Senate bodies. It shall regularly review the minutes of both bodies and coordinate visits, upon invitation, of representatives from one body to the other to deal with issues pertaining to the University as a whole. This committee will be in charge of activities and policy recommendations that will help to raise morale and promote unity between the two bodies.

Section 9. Faculty Information Committee. This committee shall consist of one faculty member elected from each college and the Division of Nursing. The chair shall be elected from among its members. The committee shall gather data on a yearly basis regarding faculty loads, faculty compensation, university programs, and other data requested by the Faculty Senate from similar universities in the region. They shall present this information to the Faculty Senate on a yearly basis. The due dates of these reports to be decided by the Faculty Senate President.

ARTICLE VI

PROCEDURES

Section 1. Quorum. A quorum for the conduct of Senate shall consist of a majority of the elected representatives. Designated substitutes shall be counted toward filling a quorum.

Section 2. Voting. Voting on all questions before the Senate shall be by academic unit, each academic unit receiving the number of votes equivalent to the full-time faculty members in that academic unit. The Secretary shall be responsible for conducting a roll call and recording the number of votes.

Section 3. Voice Voting. The President may suspend Section 2 and call for a voice vote unless one member objects.

Section 4. Polling of Departments. A poll of Departments may be called for by a motion supported by one-third of the members present. Should a poll be called, the Senate will assemble one week from the date of the call in a special session to cast ballots. Only the motion or motions in questions can be considered in such special meetings.

Section 5. Changes in Titles or Positions. When a title of a University unit or position referred to in these articles is changed, the corresponding changes in these articles shall be performed unless an objection is made by the Rules Committee or by the President of the University.

Section 6. Amendments. These articles may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of all full-time academic faculty casting ballots at the instruction of the Senate and approval of the President of the University, except that any change to Article V, Section 8 (Faculty/Staff Liaison Committee) must also be approved by the Staff Senate.

Section 7. By Laws. The Senate shall establish a set of by-laws for the conduct of Senate business and may amend those by-laws by majority vote of the representatives present, provided that such by-laws must conform to the rules and principles of these articles.

Section 8. Referendum. The academic faculty of The University of West Alabama may review actions taken by the Senate through referendum. Two types of referendum shall be recognized:

  1. Referendum by Senate Call: Any representative or designated substitute attending a Senate meeting may call for a referendum on any action of the Senate. If one-half of the voting members present concur, the issue will be presented to the faculty-at-large in the following manner: Within three days of the call for referendum, the Senate President and/or Secretary shall distribute to each elected representative ballots equal to the number of full-time faculty members represent in that academic area. The representatives shall distribute said ballots to the members of their academic area, who will mark and return them in a manner to prescribed by the Senate. The Senate Rules Committee will count the returned ballots in the presence of witnesses and report the results to the Senate at its next meeting following the counting. The results of the total vote of all full-time faculty-at-large shall be binding on the Senate and shall be appended to the minutes for the Senate meeting at which the referendum was called.

  2. Referendum by Petition: By presenting a petition signed by twenty percent of the full-time faculty of The University of West Alabama to the President and notice to the President of the Senate, any vote of the Senate shall be submitted to the academic faculty at a meeting called for that purpose within twenty days after the time of the Senate vote. The results of the referendum shall be binding on the Senate and shall be appended to the minutes for the Senate meeting at which the referred vote was taken.

Section 9. Ratification. This constitution shall become effective after the passage of these articles by a majority of the full-time faculty voting and the approval of the President and Board of Trustees of The University of West Alabama.

(Approved by Board of Trustees, September 12, 1994)

For Faculty Senate information contact: rcs@uwa.edu

Last revision: Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hit Counter

The University of West Alabama
Home Email