Policy 1302 - Constitution for the University Senate of Louisiana Tech University
Revision Date: 5/11/2015
Responsible Office: University Senate
ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1. Name:
The elected representative body of the faculty and staff of Louisiana Tech University shall be known as the University Senate.
Section 2. Purpose:
The purposes of the University Senate shall be: to promote the general welfare of the University; to discuss and express views on matters of general concern to the faculty and staff; to effect communication between the faculty and staff and the administration; to initiate policy proposals; to make recommendations on policy proposals submitted to it by the administrative officials of the University; and to request, through appropriate channels, from the administrative officials of the University, information which might influence policies and recommendations of this body.
ARTICLE II. ELECTION OF SENATE MEMBERS
Section 1. Eligibility:
Members of the faculty holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor, who are employed full-time; supervising teachers in A.E. Phillips School; and non-classified personnel who are employed full-time by the University as specified in Article II, Section 2(a) shall all be eligible for membership in the University Senate. Supervisory personnel shall be ineligible for membership. Each constituent unit shall advise the Secretary of the University Senate which positions are ineligible for membership in the Senate by virtue of being supervisory personnel.
Section 2. Composition:
The composition of the University Senate shall be as follows:
- Representation and Number:
All of the faculty and staff membership, as defined in Article II, Section 1, shall have full voting privileges for election of members of the University Senate.
A form will be sent to each certifying unit by August 1 with a return date no later than August 15 requesting certification of the number of eligible faculty and other unclassified personnel of the unit. Prior to the beginning of the fall quarter, the University Senate President will notify each certifying unit head of the number of Senators eligible to represent the unit.
Each of the seven constituent units designated herein shall be entitled to representation on the University Senate by one member plus one member for each 15 full-time members of the eligible faculty and staff or major fraction thereof, as of the opening of the fall quarter:
- Applied & Natural Sciences
- Engineering & Science
- Liberal Arts
- Specialized Academic Services, consisting of the following units:
- Academic Affairs
- Financial Aid
- Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning
- Administration and Facilities
- Research and Innovation
- Graduate School
- Student Affairs/University Advancement
- Computing Center
- Method and Time of Election:
Elections to fill all Senate positions for the following academic year shall be at the beginning of the fall quarter in each of the constituent units, as defined in Article II, Section 2. The election will be by secret ballot from nominations made in an open meeting of the personnel of the constituent unit. The Dean of each academic College, the Executive Director of the Library, and the Provost (as certifying officer for Specialized Academic Services) shall each call the election meeting of the constituent unit and shall certify the results to the Secretary of the University Senate. Constituents shall be notified of the election at least one week in advance. Newly elected Senate members will take office in September of the year of the election.
- Terms of Office:
Each University Senate member will be elected for a term of three years or to complete an unexpired term. A University Senate representative may not be elected to succeed himself/herself unless completing a term of two years or less.
A University Senate member serving as President or Vice President may continue to serve beyond his/her original term of office; both of these offices are non-voting positions.
When a Senator assumes the office of Vice President or President, his/her constituent unit will declare a vacancy and must select a new voting Senator if any unexpired portion of a term exists.
- Filling of Vacancies:
The certifying election official in each constituent unit will call a special election to fill all vacancies occurring in the representation from that constituent unit.
The University Senate reserves the right to reapportion membership of the Senate by amendment. The University Senate President shall apportion the University Senate members according to Article II, Section 2 with confirmation of this apportionment confirmed by the University Senate Executive Committee at the Executive Committee’s first meeting of the academic year but no later than October 1.
- Temporary Vacancies:
A University Senate member who must be absent from two or more regular meetings because of leave or a conflict with class sessions may select someone from the constituent unit to serve as proxy and will notify the University Senate by a written notice to the President of the University Senate.
- Excused Absences:
Senators who must miss University Senate meetings due to conflicts with class scheduling, exams, other university meetings, or illness, should notify the Senate President and Secretary in writing or by e-mail prior to the regularly scheduled University Senate meeting, or within seven days afterwards. Such absences will be considered excused absences. In cases where a Senator misses a meeting but sends a proxy in accordance with Senate guidelines (as outlined in the Article II, Section 2, F), the absence will count as an excused absence.
- Attendance Policies:
After three unexcused absences by a Senator during the course of one school year, he or she will be notified in writing that he or she has missed three meetings. Said notification will include a statement regarding University Senate policies regarding replacement of Senators with excessive absences, as outlined by the Louisiana Tech University Senate Constitution.
- Removal and Replacement of Senators Due to Nonattendance:
In cases where a Senator has five unexcused absences during a year, the Senator and the certifying election official in his or her constituent unit will be notified that the Senator is to be replaced. The certifying election official for that unit shall have 30 days to replace said Senator, and notify the Senate President and Senate Secretary. The newly elected Senator will complete the remainder of the original Senator's term.
- Appealing a Removal Due to Nonattendance:
If a Senator wishes to appeal his or her removal from the University Senate, he or she must notify the President of the Senate and the Secretary of the Senate within 10 days of the notification of removal sent by the University Senate. The Senate President will then arrange to have the Senator appear before the Executive Committee at that body's next regularly scheduled meeting. The Executive Committee will hear the Senator's case, and then vote by secret ballot. The Senator may retain his or her seat with a two-thirds vote of approval by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS OF THE SENATE
Section 1. Officers and Election:
The officers of the University Senate shall be Past-President (non-voting), President (non-voting), Vice President (non-voting), Parliamentarian, and Treasurer. All offices are subject to a one-year-term. Election shall be held at the last University Senate meeting of each spring for all officers except Past-President with such terms of office to be effective July 1st. Any current member of the Executive Committee, or any past member of the Executive Committee who is currently serving as a Senator, may be a candidate to the Office of President. Any Senate member may be a candidate to the Offices of Vice President, Parliamentarian or Treasurer. The President and Vice President may be re-elected to subsequent one-year-terms of office, up to twice, for a total maximum of three consecutive terms per office. Any person vacating the office of President may not be a candidate for the office of President or Vice President for the next three elections. Any person vacating the office of Vice President may not be a candidate for the office of Vice President for the next three elections but may be a candidate for President. The Parliamentarian and Treasurer may be re-elected to subsequent one-year-terms of office to the extent their elected University Senate terms allow. Upon the election of a new President, the Office of Past-President shall be filled by the out-going President and shall service as Past-President for one term only.
Section 2. Duties:
The duties of the officers noted in Section 1 above will be those that normally pertain to the office held; the University Senate will arrange for competent secretarial assistance to fulfill the duties of Secretary. The University Senate Past-President will provide advice and assistance in the continuity of the jobs of President and Vice President; the University Senate President may appoint committees as he/she deems necessary to conduct the business of the University Senate; the Vice President shall perform those duties assigned by the President.
Section 3. Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers and one Senator from each of the seven constituent units specified in Article II, Section 2. The University Senators from each of the seven constituent units shall select their representative to the Executive Committee prior to the first Executive Committee meeting of the fall quarter. The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to set the agenda for regular University Senate meetings and to serve as tellers for voting on amendments to this Constitution. The Executive Committee may also be called into emergency session to set the agenda for called meetings of the University Senate.
ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS:
Section 1. Frequency:
The University Senate shall meet monthly, September through May. The time and place of such meetings shall be determined by the University Senate. The Executive Committee shall meet at least one week prior to each regular University Senate meeting.
Section 2. Executive Sessions:
The regular meetings of the University Senate shall be open to all members of the faculty and staff. However, the University Senate reserves the right to hold executive (closed) meetings if so desired by a majority vote of the University Senate members present and voting. Executive sessions shall be for deliberation and discussion only.
Section 3. Quorum:
A majority of the elected representatives to the University Senate shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be necessary to hold a meeting of the University Senate.
Section 4. Minutes:
Minutes of the proceedings of the University Senate will be distributed to each represented faculty and staff member through the regular process used in distributing written information to such faculty and staff. This procedure will be recognized as formal notification of the represented faculty and staff.
Section 5. Conduct of Business:
All meetings of the University Senate shall be conducted according to parliamentary law as set forth in Robert's Rules of Order (latest edition will prevail) except where a contrary rule is provided by this Constitution, or by any standing rule of the University Senate. The University Senate may agree upon certain rules to act as guides in the ordinary process of the conduct of business. These rules will be recorded and will be called Standing Rules of the University Senate. Each of these rules will be added, deleted or modified by a two-thirds vote of the members present.
ARTICLE V. REPRESENTATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. Representation:
The University Senate shall represent the faculty and staff in all matters as states in Article I, Section 2.
Section 2. Responsibilities:
The University Senate shall have the responsibility of representing the faculty and staff in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the University. The University Senate shall discuss and express views on matters of general and specific concern to the faculty and staff. The University Senate may initiate policy proposals and forward them to the administrative officials of the University for their consideration.
The University Senate may make recommendations on policy proposals submitted to it by the administrative officials of the University. The University Senate may express the opinion of the faculty on any and all matters proposed and expressed by the administrative officials of the University.
Section 3. Agenda:
All matters brought before the University Senate shall be introduced by a member of the University Senate. Communications to the University Senate from administrative officials shall be introduced through the President or Vice President of the University Senate.
Section 4. Consultants:
The University Senate may invite to its meetings consultants needed for the conduct of its business.
ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Origin:
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed either by a two-thirds vote of the University Senate or by a petition signed by at least seventy-five members of the represented faculty and staff and filed with the Secretary of the University Senate. In either method of proposal, an amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the faculty and staff members voting thereon and by the President of the University.
Section 2. Publication:
Copies of any proposed amendment shall be circulated in the form of a written ballot by the Secretary of the University Senate to all members of the represented faculty and staff so that it may be approved or disapproved; these ballots must be returned to the Secretary within ten days of their having been sent in order for the returned ballot to be counted as legitimate.
ARTICLE VII. ADOPTION OF THIS CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall be adopted upon approval by an affirmative majority of the represented faculty and staff voting thereon and the approval of the President of the University. The Executive Committee will serve as tollers for the voting on the adoption of this Constitution.