Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Utah Valley University

1.0 Purpose

1.1 Utah Valley University (UVU) does hereby establish this Constitution as a means of facilitating faculty participation in the shared governance process and pledges the cooperation of the faculty in the continued progress of Utah Valley University as an institution of higher education

3.0 Definitions

3.1 Department: A group of salaried, benefits-eligible faculty members from the same or related disciplines that are authorized by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs to act as an academic unit in evaluating faculty peers for retention, tenure and promotion.

3.2 Faculty: For the purposes of this policy, faculty or faculty members, refers to salaried, benefits-eligible faculty who have their primary appointment in an academic department.

3.3 Quorum: For the purposes of this policy, this group is defined as fifty percent or more of eligible voting senators.

4.0 Policy

4.1 Purpose of the Faculty Senate

4.1.1 The Faculty Senate shall serve as a means by which the opinions and official position of the faculty may be determined and communicated to the administration of the University, and it shall serve as an entity through which faculty participate in the university policy development process. To accomplish these goals, the Faculty Senate shall

  1. Develop and recommend policies for the improvement of instruction;
  2. Develop and recommend policies for the assessment of student learning;
  3. Develop and recommend policies for continuous curricular and program development and improvement;
  4. Participate in the development of policies pertaining to admission, retention, and graduation standards for undergraduate and graduate students;
  5. Develop and recommend policies to be employed in the effective recruitment and selection of academic personnel;
  6. Participate in tenure, promotion, and post-tenure evaluation as an advisory body for the development and review of department and university criteria;
  7. Serve as an advisory body in the resolution process of contested tenure, promotion, and retention actions through the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion, and Appeals standing committee in accordance with university policy.
  8. Recommend and/or ratify faculty members for university committee service;
  9. Promote the general welfare of the faculty, adjuncts, and library personnel; and
  10. Adopt and amend rules governing its own organization and procedures in accordance with this Constitution and university policy.

4.2 Bylaws

4.2.1 Faculty Senate bylaws are an internal senate document, which shall be ratified each academic year by the Faculty Senate.

4.2.2 The bylaws specify the duties of and election procedures for the following:

  1. President of the Faculty Senate
  2. Vice President of the Faculty Senate
  3. Chairs of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
  4. Parliamentarian
  5. Faculty Senators

4.3 Voting Rights

4.3.1 The holding of a senate office shall not abrogate the voting rights of that individual within the Senate.

5.0 Procedures

5.1 Composition of the Faculty Senate

5.1.1 All tenured and tenure-track faculty members are eligible for senate membership.

5.1.2 Senators shall serve a term of three years and may serve consecutive terms as elected by a majority of their departmental peers.

5.1.3 Ex officio members (members who do not have voting rights and may not hold senate office) of both the Executive Committee and Faculty Senate are:

  1. The President of the University and/or designee;
  2. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) and/or designee;
  3. The Parliamentarian;
  4. The Faculty Senate Secretary (a salaried employee of UVU who assists the Senate with administrative needs and is compensated for his or her work);
  5. A representative from the Professional Association of Campus Employees (PACE), as selected by PACE;
  6. A representative from the Utah Valley University Student Association (UVUSA), as selected by UVUSA; and
  7. A library employee, as selected by the library.

5.2 Representation and Elections

5.2.1 Each academic department of the University shall be represented by one senator for every 25 faculty members of that department. Each department shall determine how they select their senator. Disputes over the selection process shall be reviewed and resolved by the Executive Committee.

5.2.2 The list of departments eligible to elect a senator is maintained by the Office of the SVPAA. This list shall include the number faculty assigned to each department and shall constitute the official department list and headcount for apportionment purposes. This list shall be made available to the Senate no later than January 15 of each year.

5.2.3 Senate standing committee chairs are elected by the Senate and serve for one-year terms; these chairs may be reelected to an unlimited number of consecutive terms. These chairs are elected by the senators that will serve during the year the chairs fulfill their duties. The exception is the Chair of Curriculum; this chair serves for a single three-year term as long as he or she remains an elected senator.

5.2.4 All Executive Committee members are elected by a majority vote of those senators present and forming a quorum of the Senate.

5.3 Responsibilities of Senate Members

5.3.1 Faculty senators serve as the voice of those they represent and for the good of the University. They are responsible for relaying information to and from those they represent.

5.3.2 Faculty senators are responsible to be involved in policy development and the advancement of the University’s mission.

5.3.3 Faculty senators are responsible for attending meetings of the Faculty Senate and those of appropriate Faculty Senate standing committees and/or ad-hoc committees. Attendance and other responsibilities are specified in the bylaws of the Senate.

5.4 Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Appointment to University Committees

5.4.1 The following committees shall constitute the standing committees of the Faculty Senate:

  1. Service and Elections
  2. Retention, Tenure and Promotion, and Appeals
  3. Curriculum
  4. Special Assignments

5.4.2 The responsibilities, duties, and membership of the standing committees of the Faculty Senate are specified in the bylaws of the Senate and relevant university policy.

5.4.3 Faculty may be nominated for service on University Committees by the organizing officer of the University Committee pursuant to the charge of the University Committee and/or said officer may petition the Faculty Senate for faculty willing to serve on the University Committee. The list and charge of these University Committees shall be maintained by the SVPAA’s office.

5.4.4 The Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall act as the ratifying body for faculty service on University Committees. The Faculty Senate Service and Elections standing committee shall maintain a record of faculty appointed to these University Committees and their term of service. Generally, a faculty member should not serve on more than two University Committees at any one time. Faculty service should generally be for a term of three years unless otherwise specified in the University Committee charge and may be renewed per the procedures of this section. No provision of this section shall be construed to preclude administrative officers from creating administrative committees/councils, from assigning them such duties and powers as deemed necessary, and from inviting members of the faculty to serve on them.

5.4.5 Faculty selected to serve on University Committees shall receive an appointment letter that shall state the charge of the University Committee and the faculty member’s appointment to serve. Appointment letters shall also stipulate how often the University Committee meets and the expected level of service. Appointment letters shall be sent annually by the chair of each University Committee. Faculty who fulfill their term of three-year service on these committees shall receive a recognition of service letter from the chair of the committee on which they served.

5.5 Nomination and Election of Senate Faculty President and Vice President

5.5.1 To be nominated for the positions of Faculty Senate President and Vice President, potential candidates must have had previous experience serving as a faculty senator. Sitting members of the current Faculty Senate shall make nominations to these offices.

5.5.2 Elections shall be held in the spring before the academic year in which the new Faculty Senate President and Vice President serve. They shall be elected by a vote of the full faculty. Elections must be completed in the spring prior to the last Faculty Senate meeting so that the new Senate President may preside for the next executive committee elections.

5.6 Resources Allocated to the Faculty Senate

5.6.1 The Faculty Senate, as a participant in institutional policy making and as the primary voice of the faculty, requires institutional resources in fulfilling this mandate. The resources allocated to the Faculty Senate shall include the following:

  1. A working budget sufficient to cover meeting costs, release time or stipend payments, reimbursements to the home department, travel required by Senate officers, and equipment purchases sufficient to meet Senate needs. This budget shall be negotiated with the SVPAA on an annual basis and per university budgeting processes.
  2. Compensation for Executive Committee member service shall be stipulated in a memo of understanding between the SVPAA and the Faculty Senate. This memo shall be reviewed and revised annually by the Executive Committee and the SVPAA or his or her designee.

5.7 Meetings of the Faculty Senate

5.7.1 Unless otherwise determined by the Senate, meetings shall be held regularly. A meeting of the Executive Committee usually precedes a full senate meeting, but the Executive Committee may meet via electronic means, if needed, to set the agenda of the Senate (see 5.7.4).

5.7.2 A meeting of a majority of the elected members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting business.

5.7.3 All actions taken by the Senate, except amendments to the Constitution, shall be by majority vote of the Faculty Senate members present at a meeting. This requires that a quorum be present.

5.7.4 The agenda of the Faculty Senate is set and approved by the Executive Committee. Any faculty member may propose an agenda item for inclusion on the Faculty Senate agenda; the proposed agenda item must then be approved for inclusion by the Executive Committee.

5.8 Impeachment of Senate Officers

5.8.1 The Senate possesses sole power of impeachment. Any Faculty Senate Executive Committee officer may be impeached. Grounds for impeachment may include malfeasance, neglect of official duties, or the failure to lead.

5.8.2 A motion to impeach must be made by a senator and supported by a simple majority vote of the Senate as long as a quorum is present.

5.8.3 Impeachment may also be sought by a petition from at least 10 percent of faculty alleging grounds for impeachment. However, a sitting senator must make a motion to impeach.

5.8.4 The Senate possesses sole power to try impeachments. After a vote to impeach has taken place, impeachment trials will be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate. The Senate Parliamentarian shall preside and ensure that the rights of the accused to call witnesses and present evidence in his or her behalf be upheld.

5.8.5 A Faculty Senate Executive Committee officer shall stand convicted if two-thirds of the senators gathered support conviction, and only if a quorum is present. If a two-thirds majority votes for conviction, the officer in question shall stand convicted and shall be removed from office. The office shall be declared vacant and a replacement shall be made according to 5.2 (for standing committee chairs) and section 5.5 (for faculty senate president or vice president) of this Constitution and Senate bylaws. The newly elected officer shall fulfill the remaining term of the removed officer.