*Adopted April 19, 1978.
The name of this organization shall be the Faculty Senate of Texas Tech University.
Section 1.The Faculty Senate shall be composed of senators representing the voting faculty of Texas Tech University. The voting faculty shall consist of all persons under full-time contract who have completed a residence of one year at this University and who are tenured or, in the case of librarians and archivists, are on continuing appointment or who hold appointments that make them eligible for tenure or continuing appointment.
Section 2.The voting faculty of each college and school, and the librarians and archivists of the University Library and the Southwest Collection excluding the Graduate School, shall elect one senator for each twenty voting faculty members or fraction thereof but not fewer than two senators. The voting faculty of the University shall elect nine additional senators at-large.
Section 3.The Faculty Senate shall elect a President, Vice President, and Secretary from its membership to serve for a term of one year.
Article III.Nominations and Elections
Section 1.Each Spring the voting faculty members shall nominate and elect members to the Faculty Senate to take office on the first day following the end of the Spring term during which the election is held. The Faculty Senate shall conduct the election through an appropriate committee.
Section 2.Prior to each regular election, the Faculty Senate shall redetermine its composition so that the election will, to the extent possible, bring the composition of the Faculty Senate into conformity with Article II, Section 2. A previously elected senator shall not, however, be removed from office before the expiration of his or her term because of a declining constituency.
Section 3.Nominations for representatives from each college and school and the University Library and Southwest Collection, as well as at-large senators, shall be requested from voting faculty members. Voting faculty may nominate senators representing their respective unit and all voting faculty may nominate at-large senators. If a person is nominated for more than one senatorial position he or she shall indicate the position for which he or she will appear as a candidate. The two persons receiving the highest number of nominations for each senatorial position shall be designated as the candidates to stand for election to the Faculty Senate.
Section 4.Members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected from among the candidates determined in the nominating process. Voting faculty shall vote for senators from their respective unit and all voting faculty shall vote for at-large senators. Tie votes shall be resolved by a special election.
If a senatorial vacancy occurs, the Faculty Senate shall conduct a special election to fill the vacancy from the appropriate constituency. The specially elected senator shall complete the unexpired term of the senator originally elected.
Section 5.Qualification for election to the Faculty Senate shall be membership in the voting faculty, except that administrators serving one-half time or more in administrative positions shall not be eligible. Department chairpersons may be elected to the Faculty Senate if they are otherwise qualified.
Section 6.The term of office for each member of the Faculty Senate (subject to Article VII hereof) shall be three years. A member may not be re-elected without a one-year interim unless her or she was elected by special election to fill an unexpired term of one year or less.
Section 7.To the extent possible, one-third of the senators from each constituency will be elected each year.
Section 1.The Faculty Senate shall act on behalf of the faculty and shall serve as an advisory body to the President of the University and may consider all matters of University concern.
Section 2.Any member of the University community may bring a matter of University concern to the attention of the Senate.
Section 3.The Senate may make recommendations to the President of the University concerning the academic functions of the University, academic freedom, and other matters pertaining to the welfare of the University, particularly those of special interest to the faculty.
Section 4.Should the President of the University choose not to follow a recommendation of the Faculty Senate, the President shall inform the Senate in writing of the reasons therefor and, upon request of the Senate, the President shall meet with the Senate for discussion of the matter.
Section 1.The Faculty Senate shall establish its own rules of procedure and bylaws, including its quorum requirements.
Section 2.The Faculty Senate shall meet at least monthly during the regular academic year, as provided by the bylaws. All meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open meetings unless otherwise required by law or unless, when allowed by law, the Senate shall by two-thirds vote declare that a meeting shall be conducted in a closed session.
Section 3.The Faculty Senate may establish such Senate committees as it deems appropriate. The members and temporary chairperson of the Senate committees shall be named by the Faculty Senate and at their first meeting of each year the members of each committee shall select their own chairperson and such other officers as may be appropriate for the effective functioning of the committee.
Section 4.The President of the University may establish and define composition of ad hoc or standing committees or councils of Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and the Museum of Texas Tech University, or joint committees or councils of the above, and may determine if members are to be elected or appointed. Texas Tech University faculty members appointed to these standing (but not ad hoc) committees or councils shall be selected from a list of nominees for each committee or council provided by the Faculty Senate. The President of the University may specify the number of nominations to be supplied by the Faculty Senate for each such committee or council position.
The position of chairperson of the Athletic Council of the University shall not be open to nomination by the Faculty Senate. (As amended April 18, 1979)
Section 5.The Faculty Senate shall regularly report its activities to the faculty of the University and distribute the minutes of each meeting.
Section 6.The Faculty Senate shall call a meeting of the voting faculty when requested to do so by the President of the University, or when petitioned by any fifty members of the voting faculty, or when it deems such a meeting necessary. The President of the Faculty Senate shall serve as Presiding Officer at a meeting of the voting faculty. In the absence of the President, the Vice President or the Secretary shall preside, in that order. No decision, recommendation, or advice shall come from the voting faculty except when one of the above is presiding.
Article VI.Amendment Procedure
Section 1.An amendment to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate may be proposed by a petition to the President of the Faculty Senate signed by at least fifty members of the voting faculty, by a two-thirds vote of the senators then present and voting, or by the President of the University.
Section 2.A proposed amendment to this Constitution shall be distributed to the voting faculty at least four weeks prior to its consideration at a called meeting of the voting faculty. No action on amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate may be taken unless at least one-fifth of the voting faculty is present. Passage of any such amendment shall be by a two-thirds vote of the voting faculty then present and voting. Upon passage, an amendment shall become effective after ratification by the President of the University and approval by the Board of Regents.
Article VII.Initial Composition
The initial composition of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the elected members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council. At its first meeting the new Faculty Senate shall arrange for the special election of additional members to bring the membership into conformity, to the extent possible, with its constitutional size and composition. At its next meeting the Faculty Senate shall determine terms of the additional members by lot in accordance with Article III, Section 7.
Article VIII.Adoption and Ratification
The Constitution of the Faculty Senate shall become effective when adopted by a majority of the membership of the Faculty Council then present and voting at a called meeting of the Faculty Council and adopted by mail vote of eligible voting faculty, and after ratification by the President of the University and approval by the Board of Regents. Upon the Constitution's becoming effective, the Faculty Senate and its Constitution shall substitute nunc pro tunc for the Faculty Council and its Charter.
Faculty Senate Bylaws
Section 1.Officers. The Faculty Senate shall elect a President, Vice President, and Secretary from its membership to serve for a term of one year beginning on the first day following the end of the spring semester. The new officers-elect shall then attend the immediately succeeding April and May meetings of the Agenda Committee in a nonvoting capacity. Nominees must have at least one full year remaining of their Senate terms at the time of their nomination. A majority vote shall elect such officers. A Senator who is not able to participate in the election of officers for University-approved reasons may cast an absentee ballot in the Office of the President of the Senate between Wednesday of the week preceding the election and 3:30 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. If on any ballot no person receives a majority vote then there shall be a runoff between those receiving the two highest vote totals. The President shall appoint a person who is not a Senator to act as Parliamentarian at meetings of the Senate. The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair on all matters of procedure at the meeting according to the latest revision of Robert's Rules of Order.
Section 2.President. The President shall be a tenured member of the faculty at the time of nomination for the office. The President shall preside at meetings of the Senate. The President shall serve as chairperson of the Agenda Committee. The President shall appoint the members of a Committee on Committees each of whom shall be a senator from a different school or college. The President shall act as a representative of the Senate in University forums other than meetings of the Senate or voting faculty, and shall communicate the Senate's advice and recommendations to appropriate University officers. No later than March 1 of each year, the President shall advise the Elections Committee of the need to conduct an election of senators to succeed those whose terms are about to expire. At other times the President shall promptly advise the election committee of any senatorial vacancy and shall request that the committee conduct a special election to fill such vacancy. No member of the election committee may continue as a member of the committee if he or she accepts a nomination for the office of Senator.
Section 3.Vice President. The Vice President shall serve as President in the event of the President's death, resignation, or removal from office. In that event, the Senate shall elect a new Vice President to fill the unexpired term of office. The Vice President shall be a tenured member of the faculty at the time of nomination for the office. The Vice President shall serve on the Agenda Committee. The President may delegate to the Vice President such other duties as the President may prescribe. The Vice President shall preside at the meetings of the Senate in the absence of the President.
Section 4.Secretary. The Secretary shall keep minutes and records of all the proceedings of the Senate. The Secretary shall regularly report the Senate's activities to the faculty of the University and shall promptly distribute the minutes of each meeting of the Senate and each meeting of the voting faculty to the faculty. The Senate meeting minutes shall include a roll of those senators who were present and those who were absent.
Section 5.Removal from Office. Any officer may be removed upon a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate. A vote shall not be taken unless a petition signed by 15 percent of the senators has been filed and attached to the agenda for the meeting at which the vote shall be taken.
Section 6.Committees. The Senate may establish and disestablish such standing and ad hoc committees as it deems appropriate and may reconstitute an ad hoc committee as a standing committee. The Committee on Committees shall nominate and the Senate shall appoint the members of each standing or ad hoc committee prior to adjournment of the final meeting of the spring term. At the first meeting following the end of the spring term, the members of the standing or ad hoc committee shall elect a committee chairperson and such other officers as may be appropriate for the effective functioning of the committee. Senators whose Senate terms have not expired should continue their committee duties for the succeeding year, or until reassigned. The President, Vice President, and Secretary shall themselves constitute an Agenda Committee, which shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for each meeting and for distributing it to each senator on or before the Friday preceding the meeting, and which shall name Senate liaisons to University committees as they deem appropriate, subject to Senate vote. The Senate liaison to the Graduate Council shall be a member of the Graduate Faculty.
Section 7.Meetings. The Senate shall meet at least monthly during the semesters of the academic year. Monthly meetings shall be held in the Senate Room of the University Center building, unless decided otherwise by the Agenda Committee, on the second Wednesday of the month at 3:15 p.m. When scheduled meeting dates are not feasible, the Agenda Committee shall present alternate dates to the Senate for approval. The President of the Faculty Senate can call a special meeting of the Faculty Senate when this officer deems it necessary. A special meeting of the Faculty Senate must be called upon the receipt of a petition to the President of the Faculty Senate signed by at least ten members of the Faculty Senate. No business shall be transacted unless a quorum is present and continues to be present at the meeting. A majority of the duly elected and qualified senators constitutes a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the President may only make announcements of an informative nature, rule on the existence of a quorum, and recess once for a short period to attempt to secure a quorum.
Section 8.Vacancy of Senatorial Position. A Senate seat shall be declared vacant following three absences from regularly scheduled meetings without reasonable cause during a Senator's term of office. The responsibility of reporting cause lies with the Senator.
Reasonable cause may be defined as absence due to other University duties or business, illness, absence from the campus during the summer or pressing personal matters.
The President of the Senate shall have the authority to rule on the validity of the cause of absence. The Senator affected may appeal the ruling to the Senate, which may overrule the President by a simple majority.
If a Senator is absent for more than five consecutive months with reasonable cause, the seat shall nevertheless be declared vacant.
An anticipated absence of more than five consecutive regular meetings shall be cause to declare a seat vacant when such an anticipation is supported by knowledge of the conditions which may be reasonably expected to cause the absence.
Section 9.Agenda and Procedure. The Agenda Committee shall prepare an agenda for each meeting and shall distribute it to each Senator on or before the Friday preceding the meeting. The Agenda Committee may allot a time period for agenda items and, if so, the duration of discussion of such items at the meeting shall be so restricted unless altered by a majority vote of the Senate.
Any student, faculty member, or staff member of the University may bring a matter of University concern to the attention of the Senate by communicating with the President of the Senate. The Agenda Committee shall make an appropriate announcement of the matter either in writing attached to the agenda or by placing the matter on the agenda. However, only a Senator can introduce a proposition to be voted upon by the Senate.
A procedural proposition may be introduced by a Senator at a meeting. A substantive proposition may be introduced by filing the proposition with the President in time for it to be attached to the agenda for the next meeting. If the proposition does not involve a matter of significant academic import or a policy recommendation, then it may be voted upon at the next meeting. However, if it does involve a matter of significant academic import or a policy recommendation, and unless waived by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate, the proposition will be attached to the agenda of the meeting at which it is being introduced, the proposition will be offered for a short explanation, inquiry and debate at such meeting, and shall be committed by the Chair at the close of debate to an appropriate committee for study, report, and recommendation. The proposition and the committee's report and recommendation shall be attached to the agenda for the next meeting and no vote shall be taken by the Senate before such meeting.
Any Senator may move to call to the floor any item or subject that is not on the agenda, but such non-agenda item or subject shall not be discussed or considered unless the Senate by majority vote shall amend the agenda. The agenda for the meeting shall be publicly posted or published in advance of the meeting. The Chair may permit any person the privilege of the floor unless the Senate by majority vote should withdraw the privilege.
All meetings shall be open meetings unless otherwise required by law or unless the Senate by two-thirds affirmative vote shall declare that a meeting or part of a meeting shall be conducted in closed session. No vote shall be taken while a meeting is conducted in closed session.
Section 10.Adoption and Amendment. These Bylaws have been adopted by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Senate, and can be amended only
by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Senate. A Proposal to amend these bylaws shall be introduced by filing the proposition with the President in time for it
to be attached to the agenda for the next meeting.
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LAST UPDATE: 8-1-98