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T&R Faculty Handbook Approved by the RU Board of Visitors, November 10, 2011.

Constitution of the Faculty Senate

(Revised January 23, 2003)

Preamble

The purpose of the Faculty Senate is to enable the faculty to fulfill its function with respect to academic and educational policies and other affairs of Radford University. The Faculty Senate is intended to assure forceful and articulate representation of faculty interests and of the faculty view of the common good of the university community, in accordance with recognized principles of university governance.1

The Faculty Senate shall serve as the official voice of the faculty on all matters which fall within its jurisdiction. It may express an opinion or take a stand on any issue affecting the faculty, academic life, or the academic environment at Radford University. To be effective in their role, members must be willing to stand up, speak out, and take responsibility. In the absence of this sort of integrity, no governance system can be representative.

The Faculty Senate, through its Executive Council, shall serve as the official voice of the faculty in communication with the President and the Board of Visitors. Accordingly, the Faculty Senate shall be a legislative and advisory body representing the faculty and shall consist of elected and ex officio members.

The functions, duties, and privileges of the Faculty Senate are stipulated in this document.

I. Election and Membership of the Faculty Senate

The following are eligible to vote for representatives or to serve in the Faculty Senate: full-time tenure-track; tenured; special-purpose faculty; administrative faculty, provided the faculty member is currently teaching at least one course per semester; and library faculty. In this document, the term "General Faculty" shall be deemed to apply to those eligible to vote for representatives or to serve in the Faculty Senate, as defined in this paragraph.

For purposes of this paragraph, the term "Department" shall be interpreted to include the term "School" for those colleges which use that designation in lieu of the term "Department". The membership of the Faculty Senate shall consist of elected representatives and of ex officio members. The number of elected Faculty Senators must be an odd number and shall not exceed 49 nor be less than 43. Prior to the election of General Faculty Senators in the spring of each academic year, the ratio of faculty members to elected Faculty Senators will be determined by the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate, which will apportion seats to each College based on this ratio, subject to the following conditions: (1) The number of seats apportioned to each College must equal or exceed the numbers of departments in that College; (2) there shall be one seat reserved for an elected representative of the library faculty; and (3) there shall be two seats reserved for elected representatives of those Adjunct and Full-time Temporary Faculty who are not eligible to serve in the Faculty Senate under the provisions of the first sentence of this Section. The two elected representatives of Adjunct and Full-time Temporary Faculty shall be elected by Adjunct and Full-time Temporary Faculty in a manner approved by the Faculty Senate. Senators shall be elected within each College in a manner determined annually at a regularly scheduled meeting of the College faculty called by the College Dean. Election of Faculty Senators, and voting in Colleges on how Senators from each College are to be apportioned, shall be by secret ballot.

Elections for General Faculty Senators shall be held during the first week in April of each year and newly elected Senators shall take office immediately following adjournment of the last regular meeting. Elections for Adjunct and Full-time Temporary Senators shall be held during the first two weeks of the fall semester of each year with members-elect to take office at the first Senate meeting following their election.

The Dean of each College shall report the results of the election to the President of the Faculty Senate.

The term of a Senator shall be two years with the privilege of re-election. The seat of an elected Senator who, without good reason, fails to attend more than three consecutively held meetings of the Faculty Senate may be declared vacated by the President of the Faculty Senate.

Each electoral unit concerned shall hold special elections, as soon as feasible after a vacancy occurs, to fill a vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term of a Senator who resigns, whose seat is declared vacant, or who otherwise ceases to hold the position of Senator.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs the Vice President for Business Affairs, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice President for University Advancement, the President of the Student Government Association, the President of the Graduate Student Association, or a representative designated by each, shall have a voice but no vote.

II. Officers/Executive Council of the Faculty Senate

The offices of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the following: President, Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and two at-large members to the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate. Other offices may be established by majority vote of the Senate as they may be advisable or necessary. The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and two at-large members.

The offices of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the following: President, Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and two at-large members to the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate. Other offices may be established by majority vote of the Senate as they may be advisable or necessary. The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and two at-large members.

The term of officers of the Faculty Senate shall be one year with the privilege of re-election.

If the office of the President of the Faculty Senate should become vacant, the position shall be assumed by the Vice President of the Faculty Senate. If other offices should become vacant, they shall be filled by a special election conducted by the Faculty Senate.

Voting for all officers shall be by written, secret ballot.

The Executive Council shall meet at regular times established by its members at the beginning of each semester or at other times as called by the President of the Faculty Senate. During the Summer, the Executive Council shall act for the Faculty Senate, subject to review by the full Senate during the first two regularly scheduled meetings of the Fall semester.

III. Duties of the Officers of the Faculty SenatE

The President of the Faculty Senate shall preside at all meetings. He or she is empowered to call special meetings as hereinafter provided. The President is an ex officio member of all Faculty Senate committees. The President of the Faculty Senate and the At-Large Members of the Executive Council shall serve as Radford's representatives to the State Faculty Senate. In this particular capacity, these representatives will serve through the annual spring meeting of the State Faculty Senate of the year following their election.

The Vice President of the Faculty Senate shall perform all of the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of the President. The Vice President of the Faculty Senate shall succeed to the office of President of the Faculty Senate in the event that office should be come vacant during the term of the incumbent. The President may delegate to the Vice President his or her seat on any of the Faculty Senate committees.

The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall keep accurate minutes of all regular and special meetings, distribute copies of the minutes to all members of the Faculty and administration, conduct necessary correspondence, keep an accurate list of membership of the Faculty Senate, keep an accurate record of attendance, inform the President of the Faculty Senate when a seat becomes vacant, and perform such other appropriate duties as directed by the Faculty Senate.

The Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate shall advise on all parliamentary matters according to the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order and the constitution and by-laws of the Faculty Senate.

The At-Large members of the Executive Council, in their service as Radford's representatives to the State Faculty Senate, shall have charge of the funds collected for this purpose as described in Section V.

IV. Meetings of the Faculty Senate

The organizational meeting of the incoming Faculty Senate will be held immediately following the last regular meeting of the outgoing Faculty Senate of the spring semester.

The President of the Faculty Senate shall call a special meeting within four working days upon written petition of fifteen members of the Faculty Senate or upon majority vote of the Executive Council. A notice stating the purpose of the special session shall be distributed to the members of the Faculty Senate and to the faculty twenty-four hours prior to the meeting.

Meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open to all members of the faculty.

Faculty and administration shall be informed of the time, place, and agenda of all regular and special meetings.

Minutes of regular and special meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be distributed to all members of the faculty and administration no later than 7 working days after each meeting.

The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate shall be responsible for inviting appropriate persons to appear before the Faculty Senate to make presentations and/or answer questions. Anyone wishing to address the Faculty Senate may apply to the President of the Faculty Senate in advance of the meeting, and may be invited to appear before the Faculty Senate at the President's discretion.

Upon his request to the President of the Faculty Senate, the president of the university or his/her designated representative shall be invited to address the Faculty Senate.

V. Functions of the Faculty SenatE

The Faculty Senate may assess voluntary faculty dues for the purpose of paying the expenses of representatives to the Faculty Senate of Virginia and to cover other financial needs as determined by the Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate shall establish such committees as are necessary for the performance of its duties.

The Faculty Senate may consider any matter of academic policy or faculty welfare which has been recommended by any standing or special committee of Radford University, or may initiate consideration of any such matters as it deems desirable. The Faculty Senate may, at its own discretion, seek the advice and counsel of any member of the General Faculty.

All proposed alterations in general education requirements shall be subject to review by the Faculty Senate and approval by the President.

The Faculty Senate shall make recommendations on behalf of the faculty on matters including (but not restricted to) the following specific areas:

  • Admission, recruitment, and retention policies
  • Academic policies
    • class attendance
    • examinations
    • class withdrawal
    • grading
    • registration, scheduling, academic advising
  • New undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs
  • General education requirements
  • College calendar
  • University budget and fiscal exigency plan
  • Procedures for evaluation of faculty and academic administrators
  • Policies concerning faculty recruitment and appointments
  • Policies concerning faculty raises and promotions
  • Tenure standards and procedures
  • Academic freedom and due process procedures for faculty
  • Policies relating to serious allegations against faculty, such as charges of discrimination or sexual harrassment.
  • Procedures for release of nontenured faculty and dismissal of tenured faculty
  • Grievance procedures for faculty
  • Policies for selection and compensation of summer faculty
  • Policies governing selection and roles of Department Chairpersons and academic Deans
  • Faculty role, if any, in selection of the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Process for faculty evaluation of Department Chairpersons
  • Process for faculty evaluation, if any, of academic Deans
  • Professional responsibilities and duties of faculty
  • Fringe benefits and faculty welfare
  • Summer school policies
  • Traffic and parking policies

In each of these areas, the Faculty Senate shall initiate recommendations for changes in policy, as well as monitor and comment on the implementation and execution of existing policies.

The Faculty Senate may monitor and comment on the implementation and execution of existing policies of internal governance and it may initiate and recommend changes in internal-governance policies.

The Faculty Senate may comment on any matter which affects the university as a whole.

The Faculty Senate, through its Executive Council, shall serve as the main (formal) voice of the faculty in direct communication with the Board of Visitors.

VI. Agenda of the Faculty SenatE

The Executive Council shall establish the agenda for Senate meetings. Agenda items may be taken out of order and/or new matters considered in any order upon a two-thirds vote of Faculty Senators present and voting at any meeting of the Faculty Senate.

The minutes of each meeting of the Faculty Senate shall specify the disposition of all matters brought before the Faculty Senate, including tabled items.

VII. Conduct of Business of the Faculty Senate

All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the constitution and by-laws (if any) of the Faculty Senate and with the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

Each elected member of the Faculty Senate shall have one vote. All matters shall be decided by a majority vote of those Senators present and voting except as stated in this constitution.

A quorum shall consist of three-fifths of the elected faculty members of the Faculty Senate.

VIII. Limitations Upon Functions of the Faculty SenatE

Actions of the Faculty Senate are subject to amendment or disapproval by the General Faculty for a period of four weeks that the university is in session following distribution of the minutes of the meeting at which such action is approved by the Faculty Senate. Such amendment or disapproval is to be by vote to that effect by two-thirds of the membership of the General Faculty, as defined in Article I, at a meeting of the General Faculty called for that purpose by petition of at least ten percent of the members of the General Faculty. The meeting shall be called by the President of the Faculty Senate; if the President of the Faculty Senate is unable or unwilling to do so, by any other member of the Faculty Senate; or, that failing, by the senior member of the faculty.

IX. Amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate

Proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate shall be presented first at a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate for discussion and voted upon at the next regular meeting. An amendment approved by the Faculty Senate becomes effective upon approval of a majority of the members of the General Faculty voting either in a meeting for that purpose or by ballot, as determined by the Faculty Senate. A proposed amendment not approved by the Faculty Senate shall require a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members of the General Faculty for approval in a meeting called for that purpose by petition of at least ten percent of the members of the General Faculty. The meeting shall be called by the President of the Faculty Senate; if the President is unable or unwilling to do so, by any other member of the Faculty Senate; or that failing, by the senior member of the faculty. Voting by the General Faculty on proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate, whether by ballot or at a meeting called for that purpose, shall be administered and supervised by the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate which shall promptly report the results of such voting to the General Faculty and maintain a written record of the proposed amendments and results of voting by the General Faculty.

X. Adoption and Changing of Bylaws

The Faculty Senate shall establish whatever by-laws are necessary. The initial adoption of by-laws, as well as amendments to existing by-laws, the deletion of existing by-laws, and the adoption of other by-laws, shall require a vote of two-thirds of those elected senators present and voting at a regular or properly called meeting at which a quorum is present. Notice must be given at the preceding meeting of the Faculty Senate of the intended change of the Faculty Senate by-laws.