Skip to main content

Faculty Senate | Governance

American University Faculty Governance Proposal

April 15, 2002

Respectfully submitted by the Governance Project Team:
Neil Kerwin, University Provost and Professor of Public Administration, SPA
John Douglass, Associate Professor, SOC; Member, University Senate and Past Chair
Robert Jernigan, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, CAS and Chair, Committee on Faculty Relations
Patrick Kehoe, Professor and Director of Law Library, WCL; Parliamentarian, University Senate
Jill Olmsted, Associate Professor, SOC and Chair, University Senate
Randolph Persaud, Assistant Professor, SIS and Member, University Senate
Leigh Riddick, Associate Professor of Finance, KSB and University Senate Representative, Investments Committee to Board of Trustees
Anthony Riley, Professor of Psychology, CAS and Past Member, University Senate
David Rosenbloom, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, SPA
Roberta Rubenstein, Professor of Literature, CAS
Abdul Said, Professor and Farsi Chair for Islamic Peace, SIS; Past Member, University Senate and Past Chair

Contents

PART 1 Executive Summary

PART 2 Proposal Overview

PART 3 Proposal and Rationale

  1. Name, Purpose, and Membership of Body
  2. Committee Structure and Jurisdiction
  3. Elections
  4. Terms and Term Limits

PART 1: Executive Summary

n the fall of 2001, President Ladner set forth a strategic agenda for the university, which was approved by the Board of Trustees. The president called for a smaller faculty governance body with an enhanced capacity to focus on the academic priorities of the university as a whole and a greater ability to offer strategic faculty input on future decisions. The provost convened the Governance Project Team to design such a body. Our recommendations and accompanying rationales are described in the following pages.

The project team relied on the history of meaningful governance at American University (AU) as the basis for its work: AU was founded on, and has been governed by, principles, norms, and values that give the faculty an important voice in governance. The AU Bylaws (Article X, Section 2) detail specific faculty responsibilities: faculty set instructional and academic standards, determine curricula and courses, and make recommendations for faculty appointments and related personnel issues, the instructional budget, and policies affecting student affairs. We also reviewed governance structures at other institutions that we believe are our equal or that we wish to emulate. In addition, we recognized the general rights and responsibility that the faculty of any university has in determining the university’s academic mission and strategy. We concluded that any new governance body should have a central role, in collaboration with the provost and the president, in setting academic priorities and in developing appropriate strategies to implement them. We also relied on four basic principles in our specific deliberations: (1) the importance of a democratic and inclusive faculty governance system that strengthens the ability of the faculty to meet its responsibilities to the institution and our students; (2) faculty time is valuable and the demands of our primary responsibilities for teaching and research are substantial; (3) whenever possible, decisions should be made at the school, college, and library (“academic unit”) or department level by those most affected by them; and (4) duplication of functions should be avoided.

President Ladner called for a “smaller and more efficient” group. We worked from first principles to let the workload determine the number of people we would need in a Faculty Senate. We were able to reduce the workload of the Faculty Senate significantly by acknowledging ways in which the administrative structure of the university has changed in recent years, by empowering the academic units with greater decision-making authority, and by avoiding duplication. To summarize: the proposed Faculty Senate will consist of 23 members (current senate has 44), have six standing committees (current senate has 14), and four advisory or special committees (current senate has three). We fully expect the committees to create ad hoc task forces and/or sub-committees, as needed, to keep their workload manageable, and to solicit input from colleagues outside the Faculty Senate itself. This internal flexibility is a key component of the proposed design. In addition, where appropriate, committees include members from emeriti faculty and the student body. Members of committees will be elected directly from each academic unit; the chairs, co-chairs, and vice chairs will be determined by each committee, with the chair (and in some cases the co- or vice chair) sitting on the Faculty Senate (total of eight voting committee members on new body). We adhered to the principle of empowering local decision-making by giving the committees as much flexibility as possible to design their own structure, as they are most likely to understand the problems at hand and the related workload. An additional 10 members will be elected to the Faculty Senate directly by the university’s academic units, and four members will be selected at-large by a campus-wide vote. The immediate past chair will also remain on the new body for one year following his or her term.

We emphasize that we do not believe that a reduction in the total number of elected members weakens the power of the Faculty Senate. To the contrary, we believe that a smaller, more focused group of 23 Faculty Senators offers greater opportunities for concentration and communication on strategic issues. This smaller body will act as its own executive committee in setting the agenda of the Faculty Senate in collaboration with the provost, organizing nominations for vacancies, and helping committees prioritize work load. This change avoids redundancy while empowering more faculty to be involved in key decisions.

Election of the members of the Faculty Senate by their colleagues in the academic units will link them firmly to the processes and standards from which curriculum and faculty actions develop. It institutionalizes the importance of university governance by requiring election of representatives to each of the standing committees from each academic unit. In addition, selecting representatives at the local level, where colleagues know each other well, will ensure legitimacy and accountability of the Faculty Senate and its committees. Members will report on senate business to their faculty colleagues and will also inform the senate of significant developments in their academic unit on a regular basis. The project team trusts faculty members to play dual roles as citizens both of the university and of the academic unit they represent.

The new body's name, Faculty Senate, emphasizes its role as the main faculty governance institution on campus. Once it is convened, the chair and vice chair will be selected by the Faculty Senate. They must come from different academic units. The vice chair is chair-elect for the following year. A smooth transition from year to year is envisioned by having the immediate past chair, current chair, and vice chair serve as a steering committee. Term limits are an important part of the proposal because faculty time is valuable and service in faculty governance should be shared. Among other benefits, they will promote more broadly-based faculty participation in the Faculty Senate, encourage new ideas, and help develop new faculty leaders. Also in keeping with the principle that faculty time is valuable, appropriate course release will be provided for key faculty senators with greater workloads, while other faculty time commitments will be respected as meaningful service to the community. Closed ballot elections will be held within each academic unit in a manner to be determined by the faculty in that unit, as is consistent with the principle of placing decision-making in the individual unit where possible.

The project team has made every effort to consider the concerns of the AU community and to incorporate a number of its suggestions in our proposal. We believe that the proposed changes in faculty governance will provide a more focused, efficient, participatory, and representative governance structure that will strengthen the role of the faculty on our campus. We urge our colleagues to bring the same thoughtful attention and consideration to this proposal as they do to their other professional endeavors and to consider carefully its potential value to the community. Finally, we wish to emphasize that this, or any other, proposed governance system will continue to develop and work well only in an environment of trust and openness that fosters communication.

PART 2: Proposal Overview

  1. Name, Purpose, and Membership of Body

    Name and Purpose: The Faculty Senate serves as the authoritative voice of the entire faculty on matters pertaining to the academic mission and strategy of the university as established in the University Bylaws (Article X, Section 2). Meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of each month of the academic year (September-May), unless otherwise determined.

    Membership: Twenty-three faculty members elected by three means: ten apportioned by the school, college, and library (four from the College of Arts and Sciences and one each from the other academic units); four elected at-large by entire university faculty; eight committee chairs (from all six standing committees listed below, including co-chairs from the Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs; and vice chair of the Committee on Faculty Relations); one immediate past chair of the senate.

  2. Committee Structure and Jurisdiction

    Standing Committees:

    1. Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs (oversight of graduate and undergraduate offerings; authorized to form subcommittees; elected co-chairs)
    2. Committee on Faculty Relations (current jurisdiction unchanged)
    3. Committee on Instructional Budget and Benefits (merges and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdictions of the current Finance and Faculty Benefits Committees)
    4. Committee on Faculty Development (maintains and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdictions of the current Faculty Development and Research Committee)
    5. Committee on Information Services (merges and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdictions of the current Library Committee and Computer Resources Committee)
    6. Committee on Student Life (consolidates jurisdictions of current Student Relations and Athletics Committees with jurisdiction adjusted to recognize the authorities of the vice president of Student Services)

    Advisory and Special Committees:

    1. Committee on Faculty Equity and Grievance (consolidates equity and grievance jurisdictions)
    2. Hearing Panel (current jurisdiction unchanged)
    3. Committee on General Education (reoriented as advisory committee with program changes reviewed by the Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs)
    4. Honors Advisory Committee (current jurisdiction unchanged)
  3. Elections
    • Faculties of the academic units elect representatives to the Faculty Senate based on principles of proportionality.
    • Each academic unit elects representative(s) to all standing committees, except the Committee on Faculty Relations, which is selected by an at-large vote; committees elect their own chairs, co-chairs, and vice chairs; standing committee chairs (and where designated, co-chairs and vice chairs) serve on the Faculty Senate.
    • Four representatives elected at-large to the Faculty Senate by the entire university faculty
    • Faculty Senate leadership elected for one-year terms, serving three years in all (one year as vice chair, chair, then immediate past chair).
  4. Terms and Term Limits
    • Terms are for two years for the Faculty Senate and committees, with staggered terms
    • A member can serve two successive terms (four years), after which there must be a one-term (two-year) hiatus before re-eligibility
    • The vice chair, chair, and immediate past chair are exempt from the term limit during their period of service; the immediate past chair will not be eligible for election to the Faculty Senate until two years have elapsed.

PART 3: Proposal and Rationale

  1. NAME, PURPOSE, AND MEMBERSHIP OF BODY

    PROPOSAL

    Name:
    The name of the governance body will change from “University Senate” to “Faculty Senate.”

    Purpose:
    The Faculty Senate serves as the authoritative voice of the entire faculty on matters pertaining to the academic mission and strategy of the university as established in the University Bylaws (Article X, Section 2). Elected by faculty colleagues, members of the senate shall, in accordance with the bylaws, have primary responsibility for:

    1. instruction and academic standards;
    2. determination of curricula and approval of courses;
    3. recommendations of faculty appointments, promotions, and other faculty personnel concerns;
    4. recommendations for the instructional budget;
    5. recommendations of policies affecting student affairs.

    The system of governance at American University also provides for faculty decision-making through structures and processes in the academic units. The Faculty Senate will afford due consideration to decisions and recommendations made by faculty at these levels.

    Membership and Proportionality of Body:

    Apportioned by the school, college, library:

    4 = College of Arts and Sciences
    1 = School of Public Affairs
    1 = Washington College of Law
    1 = School of International Service
    1 = Kogod School of Business
    1 = School of Communication
    1 = University Library
    4 = Elected-at-large by entire university faculty
    8 = Committee Chairs (from all six standing committees, including co-chairs from the Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs, and vice chair of the Committee on Faculty Relations)
    1 = Immediate past chair


    23 = Elected Members

    RATIONALE

    Name:
    This change communicates that the Faculty Senate is an all faculty governance body with jurisdiction and roles fully consistent with the bylaws of the university. For curricular and academic programs, the Faculty Senate will consider matters affecting more than one school or college. Students will continue to serve on four of the six standing committees and three of the four Advisory or Special Committees.

    Purpose:
    In its 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, the American Association of University Professors called for meaningful faculty participation in institutional governance. It called for the faculty to have “primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process.” This proposal retains these important principles. The Faculty Senate and its newly configured committees will have a central role in the determination of academic priorities and in collaborating with the provost and the president to develop strategies to achieve those priorities. In addition, the proposed structure adds flexibility and creativity through a revised committee organization.

    Membership and Proportionality:
    The project team agreed that broad-based and proportional representation is vital for the proper, effective, and efficient functioning of faculty governance. Membership in the reorganized Faculty Senate and its committees would be decided through election by secret ballot within each academic unit.

    To be broad-based, any new governance body must hear the ideas, interests, and perspectives of all academic units through an active voice and vote. Each of the academic units of the university— the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the School of International Service (SIS), Kogod School of Business (KSB), the School of Communication SOC), the Washington College of Law (WCL) and the University Library (Univ. Lib.)—will have representation in the new body. Washington Semester faculty will continue to be represented by their home units. WCL Library faculty will be part of the overall WCL faculty group. These members will be elected from their own academic units and serve to represent the interests of both their own academic units and the greater interests of the entire university.

    The obvious size difference between CAS and the other academic units requires that a fair representation on the new body be proportional to the number of faculty represented. Currently CAS has roughly four times the number of full-time faculty of any other academic unit. This size difference, along with the diversity of departments and programs within CAS and the fundamental role that many programs in CAS play in the academic careers of all AU undergraduates, make it fair and appropriate that CAS have a number of representatives roughly proportional to its size.

    Elections within academic units where colleagues best know each other will ensure legitimacy and greater individual involvement. It will also institutionalize the importance of faculty governance within the academic unit, while taking into account other demands for faculty members' time related to their scholarship, teaching, and other forms of service. Such representation should also improve accountability for reporting the activities of the Faculty Senate to the faculties of each academic unit.

    Smaller Size:
    A concern has been voiced that a smaller number of representatives reduces the power or influence of the faculty in decision-making for campus policy. We were influenced by the finding, widely recognized, that smaller groups operate and communicate more effectively. We were also persuaded by the argument that a smaller body could contribute to better communication between the faculty and AU’s administration.

    We began with two core beliefs. First, faculty time is valuable and the demands of our primary responsibilities for teaching and research are substantial. As a corollary, administrative duties, while important to our teaching and research, should use as little faculty time as possible to achieve necessary objectives. Administrative duties should be shared over time so that no one faculty member is taken away from his or her core responsibilities for too long. Second, whenever possible, decision-making power should be at the individual academic unit level, so that the people most knowledgeable and affected have direct influence on decisions.

    Given these basic premises, we determined that the size of the Faculty Senate should be driven by its workload. To determine that workload we delineated the responsibilities of the senate, based on the AU Bylaws and regulations. We then considered the structure of current committees that serve the University Senate and their relationship to AU’s overall administrative structure. We also relied heavily on the input of the members of the project team who have served on either the senate or its committees to help us determine the workloads that can be anticipated in the near future.

  2. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND JURISDICTION

    PROPOSAL

    Committee Structure:

    Standing Committees

    1. Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs
    2. Committee on Faculty Relations
    3. Committee on Instructional Budget and Benefits
    4. Committee on Faculty Development
    5. Committee on Information Services
    6. Committee on Student Life

    Advisory and Special Committees

    1. Committee on Faculty Equity and Grievance
    2. Hearing Panel
    3. Committee on General Education
    4. Honors Advisory Committee
      • Committees are empowered to create ad hoc task forces and/or sub-committees, as needed, to keep their workload manageable and solicit input from other colleagues.
      • Each academic unit will elect representative(s) to each of the six standing committees by secret ballot.
      • Committees will then elect their own chairs and vice chairs or co-chair (where designated).
      • Committee chairs, co-chairs, and vice chairs (where designated) will serve on the Faculty Senate.

    RATIONALE

    Faculty Senate Acts as its own Executive Committee:
    Over the years, senate members have stated they are not “in the loop” on governance issues, and, yet, at the same time, there is redundancy that saps productivity. Members have also expressed concerns that the Executive Committee is sometimes kept more informed than the rest of the senators and that this is not appropriate. They perceive that this sometimes results in a shadow “real” senate where the Executive Committee is the true policy-making body.

    The project team believes that a smaller body functioning as its own executive committee will set agendas more effectively, will be more engaged in governance issues, and will make better use of faculty and administrators’ time. All members of the Faculty Senate will be present at all discussions with the provost, when agendas are set, and when other matters of importance are considered.

    Fewer Standing Committees:
    With the current 14 standing committees, it has been difficult to find enough faculty willing to serve (and serve as chairs); faculty do not clearly understand the functions of so many committees; the number becomes unwieldy for proper oversight; and faculty have felt their work in committees has been undercut by the larger body. With these factors in mind, the project team seeks to achieve the following.

    - Strengthen value of work done in committee:
    Fewer committees with a more direct access to the full Faculty Senate can strengthen the effectiveness and participation of faculty in decision-making, build greater appreciation for the work of committees, provide more timely and higher quality service for the university, and create higher levels of satisfaction among faculty for their time and contributions. We believe that, with the delegation of greater responsibility to committees, faculty members will be more inclined to serve in a committed fashion on university committees. Fewer committees with more specific agendas and timetables can increase productivity, the quality of the service experience for faculty, and the regard in which it is held by administrators. Increased stature for university service would better reflect the institution's priorities of scholarship, teaching, and service.

    - Improve quality, clarity, accountability and oversight of faculty service:
    Currently, with 14 standing committees it is difficult (without academic regulations in hand) for faculty to comprehend the jurisdiction of so many committees and for elected senate leadership to properly monitor their work. This can be frustrating to both leadership and the committees, blurring objectives and slowing down progress on initiatives. In the past, some committees have met infrequently and chairs have reported difficulty in identifying their clear mission.

    - Provide greater flexibility to committees and assistance where needed:
    The Faculty Senate is empowered to create its own temporary task forces and special committees to address matters that may arise. The new body and its committees will invite resource persons, as appropriate. The new body will also decide appropriate ex officio (non-voting) members.

    - Student representation:
    The project team proposal outlined below provides for appropriate representation of students on key committees.

    - Continue the appointment of faculty members to the Conduct Council.

    PROPOSAL

    Standing Committee Jurisdictions:

    1. Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs
      • Oversight of graduate and undergraduate offerings including General Education and Honors, but jurisdiction is limited to consideration of new programs, major changes, and terminations that affect more than one teaching unit; other oversight maintained by teaching unit.
      • Proposals for new programs, major changes, and terminations will be circulated to the deans, provost, and Curriculum and Academic Programs’ co-chairs for comment to determine if there would be an effect beyond more than one teaching unit; if so, the committee would consider the proposals.
      • Ten members elected proportionally from and by the academic units (CAS=4, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, Univ. Lib=1, WCL=1)
      • One graduate student member designated by the Graduate Student Association from a college or school with a graduate program and one undergraduate student member designated by the Student Confederation
      • Co-chairs (both serve as representatives on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee; each co-chair receives one course release
      • Subcommittees chaired by members of the Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs will be formed periodically and as needed to address specific issues under the purview of this committee.
      • (This committee reflects the consolidation of the jurisdictions of the Graduate Studies and the Undergraduate Studies Committees. Each of these committees currently has nine faculty and two student members with voting privileges. In addition, each committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)
    2. Committee on Faculty Relations
      • Current jurisdiction and election unchanged
      • Seven members, who must be tenured faculty, elected at-large by tenured and tenure-track faculty
      • Chair and vice chair (both serve as representatives on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee; chair receives one course release
    3. Committee on Instructional Budget and Benefits
      • Merges and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdictions of the current Finance and Faculty Benefits Committees
      • Ten members elected proportionally from and by the academic units (CAS=4, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, Univ. Lib=1, WCL=1)
      • One graduate student member designated by the Graduate Student Association and one undergraduate student member designated by the Student Confederation
      • One emeritus member
      • Chair (serves as represetative on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee

      (This committee reflects the consolidation of the jurisdiction of the Finance and the Faculty Benefits Committees. The Finance Committee currently has five faculty, one staff council and two student members with voting privileges. The Faculty Benefits Committee currently has six faculty and one emeritus member with voting privileges. In addition, each committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)

    4. Committee on Faculty Development
      • Maintains and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdiction of the current Faculty Development and Research Committee; committee considers and recommends policies to recruit and retain faculty of the highest quality and diversity, and promotes excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service; the responsibility for administration of the annual teaching conference is delegated to the Center for Teaching Excellence and of the Senate Research Grant Competition to the academic units.
      • Ten members elected proportionally from and by the academic units (CAS=4, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, Univ. Lib=1, WCL=1)
      • Chair (serves as representative on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee

      (The Faculty Development and Research Committee currently has 10 faculty and two student members with voting privileges. In addition, the committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)

    5. Committee on Information Services
      • Merges and develops, as appropriate, the jurisdictions of the current Library Committee and Computer Resources Committee, with formal advisory committee status to the university librarian and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence
      • Ten members elected proportionally from and by the academic units (CAS=4, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, Univ. Lib=1, WCL=1)
      • One graduate student member designated by the Graduate Student Association and one undergraduate student member designated by the Student Confederation
      • Chair (serves as representative on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee

      (This committee reflects the consolidation of the jurisdictions of the Computer Resources and the Library Committees. The Computer Resources Committee currently has eight faculty and two student members with voting privileges. The Library Committee currently has six faculty and two student members with voting privileges. In addition, each committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)

    6. Committee on Student Life
      • Consolidates the jurisdictions of current Student Relations and Athletics Committees, with jurisdiction adjusted to recognize the authorities of the vice president of Student Services
      • Seven members elected from and by the academic units (CAS=1, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, Univ. Lib=1, WCL=1)
      • Two graduate student members designated by the Graduate Student Association and two undergraduate student members designated by the Student Confederation; president of the Resident Housing Association
      • Director of Athletics
      • Chair (serves as representative on Faculty Senate) elected by the membership of the committee

      (This committee reflects the consolidation of the jurisdictions of the Student Relations and the Athletics Committees. The Student Relations Committee currently has four faculty and six student members with voting privileges. The Athletics Committee currently has four faculty and two student members as well as the director of Athletics, all with voting privileges. In addition, each committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)

      Advisory and Special Committee Jurisdictions:

    1. Committee on Faculty Equity and Grievances
      • Hears and makes determinations concerning all grievances filed by members of the faculty; oversight of university policies and programs to make certain all faculty are accorded equitable treatment and allocated resources equitably within the university
      • Seven members, who must be tenured faculty, elected at-large by tenured and tenure-track faculty
      • The chair of this committee is elected by the membership of the committee but is not a member of the Faculty Senate.

      (This committee reflects the consolidation of the jurisdictions of the Equity and the Faculty Grievances Committees. The Equity Committee currently has five faculty and three student members with voting privileges. The Faculty Grievances Committee currently has seven faculty members with voting privileges. In addition, the Equity Committee has a number of ex officio members who do not vote.)

    2. Hearing Panel
      • Jurisdiction and election unchanged
      • Fifteen members of the teaching faculty, with tenure status, elected by the faculty at-large
      • The chair of this committee is elected by the membership of the committee but is not a member of the Faculty Senate.
    3. Committee on General Education
      • Reoriented as advisory committee to the director of the General Education program with changes in academic program reviewed by the Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs
      • Five senior faculty elected by the Faculty Senate
      • Director of General Education
      • Faculty Coordinator
      • Five area representatives appointed by the director of General Education
      • Two undergraduate student members—one appointed by the director of General Education and the second designated by the Student Confederation
      • The chair of this committee is elected by the membership of the committee but is not a member of the Faculty Senate.

      (The General Education Committee currently has five faculty and two student members, as well as the director of General Education, one faculty coordinator and five area representatives appointed by the director, all with voting privileges.)

    4. Honors Advisory Committee
      • Current jurisdiction unchanged; group to advise the director of the Honors Program
      • Seven faculty elected by the Faculty Senate (CAS=3, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1)
      • Director of Honors Program
      • One member appointed by director of the Honors Program
      • One representative each from the Student Confederation, Joint Committee on Curriculum and Academic Programs and Committee on General Education
      • The chair of this committee is elected by the membership of the committee but is not a member of the Faculty Senate.

      (The Honors Program Advisory Board currently has seven elected faculty members, as well as a director appointed by the provost, one member appointed by the director, one representative each from Student Services, from the Undergraduate Studies Committee and from the General Education Committee, all with voting privileges.)

  3. ELECTIONS

    PROPOSAL

    • Faculties of the academic units elect representatives by secret ballot to the Faculty Senate based on principles of proportionality (CAS=4, KSB=1, SIS=1, SOC=1, SPA=1, WCL=1, LIB=1).
    • Each academic unit elects representative(s) to all standing committees, except the Committee on Faculty Relations, which is selected by an at-large vote; committees elect their own chairs, co-chairs, and vice chairs; standing committee chairs (and where designated, co-chairs and vice chairs) serve on the Faculty Senate.
    • Four representatives elected at-large to the Faculty Senate by the entire university faculty
    • Faculty Senate leadership elected for one-year terms, serving three years in all (one year as vice chair, chair, immediate past chair)
    • Chair: Elected by the Faculty Senate to serve as vice chair, chair, and immediate past chair successively for a total term of three years; chair receives two course releases
    • Vice chair: Elected by the Faculty Senate; will serve one year before moving up to the position of chair

    RATIONALE

    Election by Local Units:
    Elections for representatives from the academic units should be made by the faculty of those units. This arrangement strengthens representation by creating a direct linkage between representatives and their academic units. We believe that this process will increase accountability and faculty interest in participating in governance.

    Continuity of Leadership:
    The chair and vice chair of the Faculty Senate are elected by the senate’s members for a three-year term (except for the initial year of the new senate): the vice chair shall succeed to the chair, who serves for one year; the immediate past chair will remain a member of the Faculty Senate for one year. The past chair will be ineligible for membership in the senate until two years have elapsed. The chair and vice chair will be selected from different academic units.

    In the event that a chair resigns or otherwise does not continue in office, the vice chair/ chair-elect will immediately assume the role of chair and serve for the remainder of the term. If necessary or thought appropriate, the Faculty Senate may elect a replacement vice chair who will serve until the end of the original term of the individual being replaced.

    The project team believes that the length of the terms is reasonable and practical in view of the Faculty Senate’s workload and the competing demands on faculty members’ time. The overlapping terms assure continuity, as does the succession of vice chair to chair to immediate past chair over three years of service. Chairs and vice chairs drawn from different units will enhance the leadership’s breadth of vision.

  4. TERMS AND TERM LIMITS

    PROPOSAL

    • Terms are for two years for the Faculty Senate and committees, with staggered terms
    • A member can serve two successive terms (four years), after which there must be a one-term (two-year) hiatus before re-eligibility.
    • The vice chair, chair, and immediate past chair are exempt from the term limit during their period of service; the immediate past chair will not be eligible for election to the Faculty Senate until two years have elapsed.

    RATIONALE

    Members of the Faculty Senate will serve terms of two years, staggered so that, for the first year of the new body, an approximately equal number of members will be in their first and second years. Upon completion of two consecutive terms, a member will be ineligible for another term until two years have elapsed. There is no limit on the total number of terms a faculty member may serve.

    Rotation in the Faculty Senate will improve the quality of service, interest in participation, performance, and respect for service by both faculty and the administration. It will:

    • promote broad-based faculty participation;
    • develop faculty leaders and strengthen the university's sense of community through that participation;
    • enhance representativeness;
    • stimulate and maintain a constant flow of fresh ideas and perspectives;
    • enable members who have served two terms to devote more time to research, course development and enhancement, and other forms of service to the university community.