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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Constitution

Preamble

In accordance with Nebraska State College System Board Policy 2030, we the faculty of Wayne State College, recognizing that faculty have common professional and individual interests, being aware of the need for a unified, cooperative approach in the achievement of these interests, and embracing the principle of participatory democracy as the means for our governance, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Wayne State College Faculty Senate. 

Article I. Name 

The name of this organization shall be the Wayne State College Faculty Senate, hereinafter called the Senate. 

Article II. Purpose, Function, and Objectives 

The Faculty Senate embraces the faculty responsibilities delineated within the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB).

Section A. Purpose 

  1. The Senate is established to speak for the faculty and advance the professional interests of the faculty. 
  2. The Senate is established to serve as an advisory body within the organizational structure of the College. 
  3. The Senate is established to provide an open forum for discussion and deliberation on matters affecting the faculty and the College. 
  4. The Senate is established to promote and maintain high academic and professional standards at the College. 

Section B. Function and Objectives 

  1. The Senate, through its committees, officers, and collective membership, shall make recommendations to the administration on matters concerning instruction, curriculum, academic programs, professional standards, and faculty status. 
  2. The Senate shall support shared governance at the College through faculty participation, via the committee process, in policy formulation and decision making on matters concerning: programs and curriculum; student affairs related to the educational process; faculty hiring, promotion, tenure, retention; and working conditions. 
  3. The Senate shall promote academic excellence in teaching, professional development and research. 
  4. The Senate shall protect the full exercise of academic freedom by the faculty. 
  5. The Senate shall safeguard the rights of faculty guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and the State of Nebraska, including but not limited to the right of faculty not to suffer discrimination based on age, national origin, ancestry, race, religion, political or personal belief, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. 

Article III. Membership

Section A. Composition

  1. The Senate shall include one member from each of the academic departments of the College.
  2. Changes to the academic structure of the college shall be made in consultation with the Faculty Senate.

Section B. Eligibility

  1. Members of the Senate must be full-time, regular members of one the academic departments, excluding adjunct faculty.

Section C. Elections

  1. Senators shall be elected in April of each year.
  2. Elections shall be held at a duly conducted meeting of each academic department.  Academic departments shall have adequate prior notice of the election.
  3. If an academic department fails to elect its representative by the end of the second semester, the Senate shall conduct elections for that academic department during the first term of the following academic year.
  4. Elections to fill vacancies as a result of leaves and resignations will be conducted by the academic department.

Section D. Terms of Office

  1. The term of office shall be for two years, with one half of the body being elected each year.
  2. New members of the Senate shall assume the office on the first working day of the first term.

Article IV. Officers of the Senate 

Section A. President of Faculty Senate (hereafter called the President)

  1. The President shall serve a one year term.
  2. The President shall be elected at the first meeting of the new Senate by a majority vote of the members present, called by the outgoing President.
  3. The President shall serve as a member of the College President’s Cabinet.
  4. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Senate, and with the advice and assistance of its membership, shall provide leadership for the Senate.
  5. Except for special sessions, the President shall officially notify the membership of an upcoming Senate meeting at least ten days prior to such meeting.  Notification shall include time and place.
  6. The President may attend, as an ex-officio member, all Faculty Senate Standing Committees.  The President may designate a Senate member to serve in this capacity when the President is unavailable for meetings of these committees.
  7. In the spirit of shared governance and open campus dialogue, when the Faculty Senate forms an ad hoc committee, the President shall communicate to the College President and other appropriate administrators the committee’s formation and purposes.
  8. The President, with the consent of a majority of members voting at a Senate meeting, may perform other special functions not provided for herein. 

Section B. Vice- President of Faculty Senate (hereafter called the Vice-President)

  1. The Vice- President shall be elected at the first meeting of the new Senate by a majority vote of the members present, called by the new President. The Vice- President shall serve a one-year term. 
  2. The Vice- President shall assist the President in the performance of Senate business and during the absence of the President shall assume the duties of the President until that officer’s return.
  3. The Vice- President shall, in consultation with the Senate, prepare and submit to the administration by the appropriate deadline of each year the Senate’s budget request for the next fiscal year.
  4. The Vice- President shall be responsible for the content of Faculty Handbook, in consultation with the Senate. This includes revisions, additions, reformatting, and the appropriate documentation for any changes.

Section C. Secretary of Faculty Senate (hereafter called the Secretary)

  1. The Secretary shall be elected at the first meeting of the new Senate by a majority vote of the members present, called by the new President.  The Secretary shall serve a one-year term.
  2. The Secretary shall record the minutes at all meetings of the Senate and shall be responsible for the printing and distribution of the minutes (see Article V, Section C, Correspondence).
  3. The Secretary shall keep a permanent record of all Senate proceedings and shall make said records available to Senate members.

Section D. Removal of Elected Officers

A letter asking for the removal of an elected officer of the Faculty Senate may be submitted by any member of the Senate with copies distributed to all Senators.  After a period of at least two weeks, but no more than four weeks following the request, the removal issue will be voted on at a regular or special meeting held under Article V.  A three-forth majority vote of the entire Senate is required to remove an officer.  If the officer(s) is removed, the Senate shall immediately elect a replacement.

Article V. Procedures and Rules of the Senate 

Section A. Senate Meetings

  1. Regular Meetings  
    a. During the academic year, there shall be a regular meeting of the Senate every two weeks at the discretion of the Senate. The agenda will be distributed to the Senate, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), and the school deans at least four days in advance of the meetings. The Senate by majority vote may re-order the agenda.
    b. All regular meetings of the Senate shall be open to any Wayne State College faculty member.
    c. The President may invite guests and guests may be permitted to participate in discussion, but have no vote and cannot make motions for consideration.
  2. Special Meetings 
    a. Special meetings may be called during the summer session or at other times at the discretion of the President and a majority of the Senate. Special meetings should be called only under extreme circumstances.
    b. All special meetings of the Senate shall be open to any Wayne State College faculty member.
  3. Executive Meetings
    a. The Senate may by majority vote or by call of the President, convene an executive session not open to faculty represented by the Senate.
    b. No motions or business may be conducted in executive session.

Section B. Quorum and Voting

  1. A quorum shall consist of a majority (50%) of the voting membership.
  2. Except as otherwise specified in this Constitution or by the rules of the Senate, all actions of the Senate shall be by majority vote of members present and voting.
  3. Any Senator may ask for a vote on any issue or motion.
  4. Unless otherwise specified in this document, voting shall be by one of the following procedures:
    a. By voice vote (viva voce) on the call of the President for the “ayes” and “nays.”
    b. By secret ballot on a motion for a secret ballot seconded and voted by a majority of members present.
  5. Senators may be represented by a voting proxy member of their departmental full-time faculty. Such proxy has full voting powers of a Senator.

Section C. Transaction of Business

  1. For the regular meetings, the agenda, unless altered by a simple majority, shall be:
    a. Call to order by the President
    b. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting
    c. Announcements and Correspondence
    d. Old Business
    e. New Business
    f. Adjournment
  2. Roberts’ Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary guide and shall govern in all cases not covered by this Constitution.
  3. Correspondence
    a. Senate resolutions and other business should be transmitted to the appropriate office or committee, separate from inclusion of the item in the Senate minutes.
    b. The Senate files and correspondence are open to inspection to anyone by request or via the Senate website.
    c. Approved Senate minutes shall be specifically distributed to:
       i. Each Senator
       ii. College President
       iii. Vice President of Academic Affairs
       iv. President of WSCEA
       v. President of Student Senate
       vi. President of Support Staff Senate
       vii. President of Professional Staff Senate
       viii. President of the Faculty Senate at Chadron State College
       ix. President of the Faculty Senate at Peru State College
    d. The President shall receive copies of the agendas and approved minutes of all standing committees, and may request the agendas and minutes of any councils, committees, and task forces involving faculty representation.
  4. The Senate will regularly review the by-laws of all standing committees and make recommendations for change as needed.
  5. All issues not resolved may be taken to the general faculty.
  6. Grievance procedure is to be in compliance with the current bargaining agreement.

Article VI.  Amendments

Section A. Proposed Amendments

Amendments may be proposed by any ten faculty members from at least two departments or by a Senator. A proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the President of Faculty Senate, who shall in turn announce the amendment in writing to the faculty-at-large.

Section B. Consideration

The proposed amendment will be placed on the agenda for discussion at the Senate meeting following its announcements to the faculty-at-large. After the meeting the Senate’s recommendation either in support or opposition shall along with amendment be presented to the faculty represented by the Senate for a vote.

Section C. Ratification

A two-thirds majority of the voting faculty is necessary for approval.


*Changes approved by faculty 10/13/15, endorsed by College President Rames, 10/16/2015; Changes approved: by faculty 4/19/05; This Constitution amends the document approved: by faculty 5/1/1984; by College President Ed Elliot 5/1/1984; forwarded to Board of Trustees 6/26/1984.  

**Policy ratified by Board of Trustees 6/5/1993.