Bylaws of the University Faculty Senate
University of Northern Iowa
1. POWERS. The University Faculty Senate shall be the principal representative agency of the university faculty. The Senate shall have power to act for the faculty on all matters in its jurisdiction as defined by the Faculty Constitution (see Faculty Constitution, Article V, Sections 3 and 4).
1.1 Exceptions. The Senate shall not have power to amend the Faculty Constitution and the Senate shall not have power, except in emergencies, to set aside a decision of the faculty taken during the current academic year; exercise of such emergency powers shall require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.
2. MEMBERSHIP. The University Faculty Senate shall be composed of members elected by and from the voting faculty from each undergraduate college (including academic units which function as a college although otherwise designated), elected by and from the Library Faculty, and elected by and from the non-voting faculty. Two non-voting senators, elected from the non-voting faculty shall have full rights of debate and motion but no Senate vote.
2.1 Representation. The number of senators to be elected by the members of each undergraduate college and the Library will be determined by the following formula: one senator per thirty voting faculty members rounded to the nearest multiple of thirty, with a minimum of at least one senator from each college. When the number of voting faculty from a college falls exactly between two multiples of thirty, Senate representation will be based on the larger multiple.
2.2 Review of Faculty Roster. The number of voting faculty members from a college used to calculate representation to the Senate will be based on the fall semester edition of the Faculty Roster. The Committee on Committees will review this edition of the Roster of Faculty soon after its release and notify college Senators when changes in the number of voting faculty would cause a change in the number of representatives to Senate from that college. Should errors be discovered upon issuance of the new Faculty Roster, the Chair of the Faculty shall amend the Faculty Roster.
2.3 Terms. Terms shall normally be for three years, with terms of one-third of each group defined in 2 (above) to expire each year. Terms begin on May 15.
2.4 Limitation on terms. A senator shall serve no more than two consecutive full terms.
2.5 Alternates. Senators shall appoint alternates from their elective constituencies and shall notify the secretary of the Senate of the names of such alternates. Alternates normally serve during the term of the senator and exercise the full duties and responsibilities of a senator during those meetings that they substitute for a senator.
2.6 Vacancies. In case the absence or the incapacity of a senator should extend beyond a complete semester, or if, in the Senate's judgment, it is likely that it will so extend, the Senate shall declare the office vacant and shall request of the appropriate college or university faculty agency that the position be filled as provided in the Faculty Constitution (Article V, Section 3.3).
2.7 Member ex officio. The chairperson of the faculty shall be an ex officio member of the Senate, without vote, but with the privileges of motion, second, and debate. If a senator is elected chairperson of the faculty, he/she must resign as senator.
3. ORGANIZATION. At the last regular meeting of the spring semester, the Senate shall elect, from its newly elected and continuing members, a vice chairperson to take office beginning May 15. The chairperson shall be the person whose term as vice chairperson is just ending. No one may hold two offices simultaneously or serve consecutive terms in the same office. If the rising chairperson’s service in the Senate would otherwise end at the conclusion of his or her term as vice-chair, the term shall be automatically extended for one year. Such extension would not replace the normal election cycle for a new Senator from the vice-chair’s constituency. Normally, nominations for the office will be made by a nominating committee composed of outgoing Senate members. However, the Senate may decide in a particular spring semester (by two-thirds majority of members present and voting at a Senate meeting for which this matter has been announced, at least a week previously, as an item of business) to suspend this nominating procedure for the election in question and to substitute, for that election, another nominating procedure that seems more appropriate and/or workable. In any case, the procedure used shall permit nominations to be made from the Senate floor prior to the election. The chairperson of the Senate shall appoint the secretary of the Senate from among Senators.
3.1 Duties of the chairperson. The chairperson shall perform the following duties:
3.1.1 Preside at meetings of the Senate.
3.1.2 Prepare, with the assistance of the secretary of the Senate and the vice-chairperson of the Senate, and subject to the approval of the Senate, the official calendar and docket of Senate meetings.
3.1.3 Call regular and special meetings of the Senate.
3.1.4 Prepare and arrange for the distribution of notices of regular and special meetings of the Senate so that the notices are received a minimum of three class days in advance of the meetings (as possible and practicable). Such notices shall normally contain the calendar items and docket items for the meeting.
3.1.5 Sign requisitions against the budget of the Senate.
3.1.6 Make decisions on parliamentary and procedural questions in fulfillment of the provisions of these bylaws, subject to approval of a majority of the Senate.
3.1.7 Maintain liaison, as required, with the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and the officers of administration.
3.1.8 Transmit to the faculty or to other components of the university or, consistent with Board rules and regulations, the Board of Regents or its committees, actions of the Senate directed thereto.
3.1.9 Represent to the press and to the public the established policies and positions of the Senate as appropriate.
3.1.10 Serve, as provided by the Faculty Constitution (Article II, Section 2), as vice- chairperson of the Faculty.
3.2 Duties of the vice-chairperson. The vice-chairperson shall perform the following duties:
3.2.1 Preside, in the absence of the chairperson, at meetings of the Senate.
3.2.2 Assist in preparing the official calendar and docket of the Senate, in cooperation with the chairperson and secretary of the Senate as required.
3.2.3 Serve as a non-voting member of the Committee on Committees. The Vice-chair shall have the power to convene the committee and shall appoint an administrative assistant to assist in the coordination and communication of the committee’s activities.
3.2.4 Other duties as the chairperson may request or as may be appropriate in the temporary absence of the chairperson.
3.3 Duties of the secretary. The secretary shall perform the following duties:
3.3.1 Publish and distribute to the university faculty and to the President of the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) within one calendar week after Senate approval (as possible and Practicable) the minutes of the Senate meetings.
3.3.2 Assist the chairperson of the Senate, as required, in the preparation and distribution of notices of meetings of the Senate and in the preparation and distribution of the calendar and docket of the Senate as provided in Sections 7.6 and 7.7 of these bylaws.
3.3.3 Keep the minutes and other official documents of the Senate in a safe and accessible place.
3.3.4 Furnish to faculty non-members and to officers of the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG), on request, pertinent document of the Senate.
4. MEETINGS. At least one regular meeting of the Senate shall be held each semester.
4.1 Call for regular meetings. The UNI Faculty Senate reserves for meetings the second and fourth Mondays of every month of the Fall and Spring terms from 3:30 – 5:00 PM at a place to be determined by the chairperson of the Senate, or, in her/his temporary absence, by the vice-chairperson of the Senate.
4.2 Call for special meetings. Special meetings of the Senate may normally be called by the chairperson of the Senate, or, in his/her temporary absence, by the vice- chairperson of the Senate.
4.2.1 By petition. Upon petition of five current members of the Senate or upon petition of thirty current members of the faculty, normally directed to the chairperson of the Senate, the chairperson of the Senate shall call a meeting of the Senate. The petition, in either case, shall contain a statement of the subject to be considered and the action deemed desirable by the petitioners. Petitioned meetings shall be called by the chairperson. A petition which in the judgment of the chairperson does not meet the above stipulations concerning: (1) number of proper signatures; (2) statement of the subject to be considered; or (3) the action requested, may be returned to the petitioner by the chairperson with a specification of the correct procedure for resubmission.
4.2.2 On request of an administrative officer. Upon request by the President of the University or of the Vice-President and Provost to the chairperson of the senate, the chairperson of the Senate may call a special meeting of the Senate. Such request shall contain a statement of the subject to be considered and an indication of the action deemed desirable by the officer of administration.
5. FUNCTIONS. The University Faculty Senate functions within the broad grant of authority delegated to it by the Faculty Constitution as provided above (Section 1). Within that grant of authority, Senate functions may take the following forms: policy formation, integration and coordination, consultation, and adjudication.
5.1 The policy formation function. The Senate acts for the faculty in the reception of policy proposals initiated by its members, by faculty non-members, by committees of the Senate or the faculty, by officers of administration, by the student government, or by the non-academic staff. The Senate deliberates and decides upon these matters by majority vote.
5.2 The integrative function. The Senate acts for the faculty in developing greater coordination or cooperation between the several components of the university and their constituencies, including the relationships of faculty and administration, faculty and students, faculty and alumni, faculty and public, and consistent with Board procedures, between the faculty and the State Board of Regents and its committees.
5.3 The consultative function. The Senate acts for the faculty in making provision for informal consultation with the officers of administration, including the academic deans, but particularly with the President of the university and the Vice-President and Provost. While the Senate encourages these offices of administration to present resolutions to be placed on the calendar and docketed for consideration in the normal order of business, the Senate recognizes that some problems are too diffuse, tentative, or delicate to lend themselves to such treatment and therefore makes provision in its procedures for timely consultation and advice.
5.4 The adjudicatory function. The Senate shall act as an appeal body in case of a disputed interpretation of the Faculty Constitution as provided in the Faculty Constitution, Article VI, Section 5. The Senate shall act as an appeal body in case of an alleged violation of a provision of the Faculty Constitution as provided in the Faculty Constitution. Article VI, Section 6. 6.
6.0 COMMITTEES OF THE SENATE AND THE FACULTY. Except when otherwise directed by the faculty, all standing committees of the Faculty and all ad hoc faculty committees shall report to and be accountable to the Senate (see Faculty Constitution, Article V, Sections 3.9 and 4).
6.1 Committees of the Faculty. Committees of the faculty which normally report to the Senate shall be accountable to the Senate as the faculty's delegate. The Senate may schedule regular or special reports from its faculty committees; it may approve reports in part or as a whole; it may amend them; it may return them to the committee for revision or for additional information and recommendations.
6.2 Committees of the Senate. The Senate shall have the power to create, change, and discharge standing and ad hoc committees; the Senate may schedule regular or special reports from its committees; it may approve such reports in part or as a whole; it may amend them; it may return them to the committee for revision or for additional information and recommendations.
6.2.1 Delegation of Senate authority to Senate committees. The Senate may, by majority vote, delegate to any of its committees the power to decide and act upon a problem subject to subsequent Senate review (See Faculty Constitution, Article V, Section 3.10).
6.3 Committee reports: Form. The Senate requests committees reporting to it to present their reports according to a schedule furnished by the chairperson of the Senate. Recommendations for specific action by a committee should be transmitted immediately to the chairperson for calendaring. Since the Senate is not principally a fact-finding body, the Senate requests committees to present with their reports and/or recommendations whatever information and documentation may be necessary to allow the Senate economically to deliberate upon the committee's recommendation.
6.4 Committee reports: Procedures. Committee reports, as they are received by the chairperson, will be placed on the calendar of the Senate, normally in the order of their reception. Those reports that the Senate wishes to discuss or which appear to require Senate action will be moved to the docket following the procedures set forth below.
6.5 Selection of committee members. The Committee on Committees shall coordinate college elections for committees and shall hold elections for all at-large positions on committees. The Committee on Committees shall have the power to fill committee vacancies via appointment until such time as it is able to conduct an election to fill the position for the remainder of the term.
6.5.1 The Committee on Committees shall report the results of all elections to the Chair of the Senate no later than April 1.
6.5.2 The Committee on Committees shall issue an annual report to the Senate that describes the charge of each committee and updates the membership of the Senate and all committees. This report shall be presented to the Senate at its final regularly scheduled meeting of the spring semester. The Committee on Committees shall at this time recommend to the Senate the discharge of any standing or ad hoc committees (except for standing committees established by the Faculty Constitution) which in its judgment have become superfluous. The Secretary of the Senate shall append this report to these Bylaws.
7. PROCEDURES OF THE SENATE. Except as provided by these bylaws or by the Faculty Constitution, Robert's Rules of Order (latest revision) shall be the parliamentary guide for the conduct of Senate business.
7.1 Quorum. The presence of one-half of the elected members of the Senate or their alternates shall constitute a quorum.
7.2 Faculty review of Senate action. Action taken by the Senate shall become effective fifteen days after publication of the action in the minutes of the Senate. Within this period, any action of the Senate, upon petition of thirty faculty members, shall be referred to the faculty for review and the decision of the faculty shall be final.
7.3 How matters may come to the Senate. A matter may come to the Senate for consideration by being brought up by a member of the Senate or the faculty according to the procedural provisions set forth below; it may be referred to the Senate by an officer of administration; it may be communicated to the chairperson of the Senate by any senator, faculty member or group, student, or non-academic staff member. Any person or persons in the university community may address a petition to the senate on any matter within the Senate's jurisdiction by presenting the petition in writing to the chairperson of the Senate and the chairperson shall cause the petition to be entered on the calendar of the Senate. The Senate requests that such petitions be accompanied by information or documentation that may assist the Senate in making a determination on the matter petitioned and that the petition clearly state what action the petitioner(s) desire(s) the Senate to take.
7.4 Order of business. The order of business in each meeting of the Senate shall be as follows:
7.4.1 Call to order.
7.4.2 If required, consideration of challenges to the minutes.
7.4.3 Consideration of calendar items for docketing (motions under discussion at the time of adjournment of a meeting shall be automatically entered as the head of the docket at the next regular meeting).
7.4.4 New business
126.96.36.199 Urgent business may be docketed for immediate consideration by a two-thirds vote of the senators present.
188.8.131.52 Other new business, once moved and seconded, may be docketed in regular order by majority vote of the senators present.
184.108.40.206 Senators may at any time, submit a written motion to the chairperson of the Senate (with a copy to the secretary of the Senate) and it shall be entered on the calendar.
220.127.116.11 The annual report of the University Curriculum Committee will normally be handled as a special item following consideration of the calendar and preceding the items of the regular docket.
7.4.5 Consideration of docketed items in numerical order.
7.5 Form of Senate resolutions. Except for business introduced under the provisions of 7.44 (above), the individual or group desiring Senate consideration of an issue shall submit a petition using the forms found on the Faculty Senate website or by filing a print or electronic petition with the chairperson and the secretary of the Senate. The issue should be put in the form of a resolution and, if in print, signed by the petitioner. The chairperson will then assign the resolution a Calendar number. The resolution should present such facts as are needed to establish the importance of the problem and to indicate its present status and should close with the standard phrase, "Therefore, be it resolved..." or some other form of specific proposal in which the petitioner shall clearly indicate the kind of action he/she deems advisable.
7.6 Preparation of calendar and docket. The secretary, as outlined in 3.1.2, shall place resolutions by number, together with all supporting documents and references, on the website of the Senate. The items on the Senate docket shall be listed by title and number. The chairperson of the Senate shall be principally responsible for insuring that the complete calendar and docket of the Senate is up-to-date and is available to senators and the faculty through the Faculty Senate website.
7.7 Calendar to docket. At the opening of each meeting, before new business is called for, the Senate shall dispose of the items on the calendar. By majority vote the Senate shall decide: (1) to place the resolution at the head of the docket. (2) to docket the resolution in regular order. (3) to docket the resolution because of special circumstances for (date) and to notify the sender(s). (4) to refer the resolution to a standing committee. (5) to refer the resolution to appropriate officer of administration. (6) to refer the resolution to ad hoc committee. (7) to return the resolution to the petitioner with a request that it be resubmitted in the form of a specific proposal for Senate action. (8) to return the resolution to the petitioner with a request that additional/supporting evidence or documentation be attached. (9) to return to the sender because of a Senate decision not to enter the item on the docket at this time. (10) to make some other procedural disposition of the item. The secretary of the Senate (or his/her designee) shall tag each resolution together with any supporting documents with a calendar sheet containing the title of the document to be presented and the following form: (see link on left) Members of the Senate may move one of the standard motions on the form in order to transfer the item from the calendar to the docket, although they may move some other procedural disposition if they choose. While items on the docket will normally be considered by the Senate in the order docketed, upon request of a senator, with approval of the majority of the Senate, a change may be made in the order of consideration.
7.8 Rights of faculty non-members. Members of the faculty are welcome to attend Senate meetings, except for executive sessions.
7.9 Students. Students, including representatives of the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and student press, are welcome to attend meetings of the Senate, except for executive sessions.
7.10 The public. Meetings of the Senate, except for executive sessions, shall be open to the public, including the press. Space considerations may limit the application of this provision.
7.11 Voting. Action by the Senate shall be determined by voice vote, division, written ballot, or roll call.
7.11.1 Forms. In case of doubt by the presiding officer or upon call by a senator, the Senate shall divide. A written ballot may be ordered by majority vote of the Senate. Upon request of four members of the Senate, the secretary of the Senate shall call the roll of the membership in alphabetical order and record the Aye and No vote on each member.
7.11.2 Representation of the voting faculty. When the Senate acts representatively on these matters which comprise the distinctive functions of the voting faculty (see Faculty Constitution, Article IV, Section 4) privilege of motion, second, and debate shall be afforded all members of the Senate, but votes shall be cast only by those elected senators or alternates who are current members of the voting faculty.
7.12 Executive sessions. An executive session of the Senate is a meeting or a portion of a meeting the proceedings of which are secret. Only Senators, their duly selected alternates, or others whom the Senate may be majority vote invite shall be permitted to remain in the meeting room.
7.12.1 Executive sessions: authorization. The chairperson shall declare the Senate to be in executive session when the Senate, by a two-thirds vote, authorizes such a session.
7.12.2 Executive sessions: subjects. The business of the Senate is normally conducted in open and public session. An executive session will be authorized only when compelling reasons lead the Senate to believe that the matters to be discussed, if publicly disclosed, would do serious and perhaps irreparable harm to individuals or to the university.
7.12.3 Executive session: motions. During an executive session the only motion in order is a motion to rise from executive session. When made and voted upon, if the motion carries, the Senate finds itself sitting in ordinary session.
7.13 Consultative sessions. When an officer of administration wishes to report to the Senate or ask the advice of the Senate on a matter of the sort described above (Section 5.3), the Senate, by majority vote, may authorize a consultative session. Alternately, the Senate may wish to hear a report from an officer of administration on a matter of joint concern; in this case a senator may move to invite the appropriate officer(s) of administration to counsel with the Senate.
7.13.1 Initiation. Either the administrative officer desiring a consultative session informs the chairperson of the Senate or alternately the chairperson of the Senate, majority approval of the Senate having been recorded, shall transmit an invitation to the appropriate administrators(s). In either case, the matter shall be placed on the docket, as for example, "Consultative to the President on ..."
7.13.2 Procedure. During the consultative session, the administrative officer normally presents opening remarks and then leads the ensuing discussion. The consultative session may be terminated by the officer of administration or by the chairperson of the Senate when either feels that the session has accomplished its purpose. During a consultative session, the only motion in order is the motion to rise from consultative session. When made and voted upon, if the motion carries, the Senate finds itself sitting in ordinary session.
8. AMENDMENT. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Senate provided that a notice containing the text of the proposed amendment is sent to the Senate membership at least five class days in advance of the meeting at which the amendment is considered; no amendment not in conformity with the requirement of the faculty constitution shall be in order.
9. ADOPTION. These bylaws shall become effective immediately upon their adoption by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, and these bylaws shall, in case of actual or apparent conflict, take precedence over the provisions of the current Policies and Procedures Manual as they apply to the Senate.
Amended December 12, 2011
Amended April 2, 2012