Agenda Item No. V. B. 2. a.
Washburn University Board of Regents
SUBJECT: Creation of a Washburn University Faculty Senate
Attached is a copy of the proposed constitution for a Washburn University Faculty Senate. Attached also is a brief comparison of the Faculty Senate with the current University Council. This latter document was distributed to the Board in January at its Committee of the Whole meeting.
A committee of faculty and the VPAA worked for about 18 months to prepare a draft constitution. This constitution was reviewed and revised by faculty and administration at the University Council in December, 2004, and January, 2005, and then approved by the General Faculty later in January.
The Faculty Senate would be a large body of faculty proportionally representing faculty across the campus. (The actual number of members depends on the number of full-time faculty in each unit. At this time there would be 35 voting members.) It is similar in structure and nature to faculty senates in the six state universities in Kansas, and to many institutions nationwide.
The recommendation calls for the concurrent elimination of the University Council. The proposed changes to Article V of the University Bylaws to eliminate the University Council are in a separate agenda item, to be taken up by the Board if this Faculty Senate constitution is approved.
President Farley recommends adoption of the proposed Faculty Senate Constitution.
(date) Jerry B. Farley, President
FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION
on Second Reading
January 11, 2005
I. PURPOSE AND DUTIES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
A. The Faculty Senate, as the agent of the General Faculty
of Washburn University, speaks on behalf of that body.
B. The Faculty Senate shall consider policies on matters dealing
with the total University, including academic issues and
matters which affect more than one of the Major Academic
C. As the agent of the General Faculty, the duties of the
Faculty Senate thus include, but are not limited to:
1. providing a forum for the expression of faculty opinion.
2. exercising primary responsibility in curricular matters,
academic programs and standards, changes in graduation
requirements, new degrees, new majors or academic
programs, elimination of existing degrees or major
programs, creation of new academic departments, and
recommending changes to the faculty handbook, subject to
the oversight of the President and the Board of Regents.
3. advising the President on matters of university policy,
including budgetary policies, faculty retention,
matters which affect more than one of the Major Academic
Units, and standards for student admission and retention.
4. advising academic deans regarding standards and procedures
for faculty evaluation.
5. working to promote and maintain academic freedom.
6. overseeing the membership and function of all committees
of the Faculty Senate and receiving, reviewing, remanding,
approving or disapproving recommendations from the
standing committees of the Faculty Senate.
D. To these ends, the Faculty Senate, as agent of the General
Faculty, is empowered to act on behalf of the General Faculty
of Washburn University. The actions of the Faculty Senate may
be reviewed, revised, recalled, or endorsed by the General
Faculty. Any action by the Faculty Senate concerning changes
in graduation requirements, new degrees, academic majors, or
programs; elimination of existing degrees or major programs;
or creation of new academic departments will be brought
before the General Faculty for a vote. In addition, the
Faculty Senate can choose by majority vote to bring any
action of the body before the General Faculty for a vote.
Any action of the Faculty Senate may be challenged by the
petition of not less than twenty members of the General
Faculty or 10% of the students currently enrolled. Such
challenge must be presented as a signed written petition and
presented to the Secretary of the General Faculty who will
place it on the General Faculty agenda for action.
II. ELIGIBILITY AND MEMBERSHIP
A. Only faculty on an annual contract are eligible to vote for
and to serve on the Faculty Senate, excluding those serving
more than half time in administrative capacities; provided,
however, faculty on authorized leave of absence or sabbatical
shall not be eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate during
such period of leave or sabbatical. Any eligible faculty
member may put his or her name forward for election.
B. The School of Law, School of Business, School of Applied
Studies, School of Nursing, and each division within the
College of Arts and Sciences shall elect representatives to
the Faculty Senate in proportion to the number of eligible
faculty in each unit, with one senator selected to represent
each ten faculty members (that number to be rounded up or
down to the nearest figure in each voting unit). Representa-
tion will be based on the number of faculty in each unit at
the start of the spring semester.
C. In addition, five at-large members of the Faculty Senate will
be elected by all eligible faculty. No more than two of
these may come from any one School or the College.
D. The Librarians of Mabee Library/CRC shall elect one
member of the Faculty Senate for every ten of their number.
The Librarians of the Law Library shall also elect one member
of the Faculty Senate for every ten of their number.
E. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or his or her
designee shall serve as a non-voting member of the Faculty
A. The Senate will establish a standing Electoral Committee to
supervise elections, including any necessary modifications
of designated voting units to reflect changing faculty
B. Elections to the Faculty Senate will be held annually in
April, with half of the membership selected in each election.
Members shall serve for a term of two years,
C. The Electoral Committee will oversee elections of at-large
members to the Faculty Senate. Nominations for the at-large
members of the Faculty Senate will be submitted to the
Electoral Committee at least three weeks in advance of the
election and will be publicized two weeks before the
D. Each electoral unit will decide on its own mechanism of
voting for the Faculty Senate, subject to the oversight of
the Electoral Committee.
E. Members of the Faculty Senate are eligible to serve a
maximum of two consecutive terms, but may be re-elected after
an absence of at least one year from the Faculty Senate.
F. Should any member of the Faculty Senate prove unable to
serve out a full term for any reason, a special election will
be held in that member's electoral unit to select a
replacement for the remainder of the term.
A. The Faculty Senate will meet each year within two weeks of
elections, and at that meeting will elect from among its
members the officers of the Senate: President, Vice-
President, Secretary, and Parliamentarian.
B. The President of the Faculty Senate shall ordinarily receive
one-quarter reassigned time and clerical support from the
office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
C. The President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate shall
serve as the faculty representatives to the Board of Regents,
and shall be prepared to report to the Board on issues before
the Faculty Senate.
D. The Vice President of the Faculty Senate will serve as
President in the case of absence OR incapacity of the
President of the Faculty Senate.
E. An Executive Committee shall be established, consisting of
the President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Faculty
Senate, and enough additional members elected by that body
from among its members to ensure that every Major Academic
Unit is represented. That Executive Committee will be
charged with arranging meeting times and establishing agendas
for each meeting. The Executive Committee shall also serve
as a Committee on Committees for the Faculty Senate.
F. Agenda items can originate with the Executive Committee or
any other member of the Faculty Senate or can be proposed to
the Executive Committee by any member of the faculty or
A. Meetings of the Faculty Senate will be held at least once
a month throughout the course of the academic year. Special
meetings can be called by the Executive Committee should the
need arise. Agendas for each meeting will be distributed to
all members of the Faculty Senate a week in advance of any
scheduled meeting time and made available to the University
B. During the course of the summer, the Executive Committee
shall be empowered to act provisionally on an emergency basis
on behalf of the full body, subject to the approval of the
full Faculty Senate when it reconvenes.
C. Meetings of the Faculty Senate are open meetings. Speaking
privileges before the Faculty Senate shall be granted to
anyone recognized by the President of the body, or whose
right to speak is supported by a majority vote of the body.
The University President and the President of the Washburn
Student Government Association (W.S.G.A.) shall have the
right to speak before the Faculty Senate.
D. Actions of the Faculty Senate will be taken by majority vote
of members present, with the exception of amendments to the
Senate Constitution. All actions of the Faculty Senate,
however, require the presence of a quorum, defined as at
least half the elected representatives.
E. Each matter considered as new business shall be presented to
the Faculty Senate as an agenda item in the form of two
readings and may not occur on the same date. The first
presentation of the matter shall be considered its first
reading. Items coming to the Faculty Senate from the
Graduate, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs, Electoral, or
All-University Committees will be taken up as second reading.
F. Minutes of all meetings of the Faculty Senate will be
distributed to all members, to the University President, to
the Secretary of the Board of Regents, the Secretary of the
General Faculty, and to the President of W.S.G.A. by the
Faculty Senate Secretary. Minutes will also be posted on the
University web site by the Faculty Senate Secretary.
G. The President of the University shall have the right to
non-concur with any action of the Faculty Senate, but in
exercising this right, shall state the reasons for
nonconcurrence in a letter to the Secretary of the Faculty
Senate. The Board of Regents shall then be notified of the
action of the Faculty Senate and the nonconcurrence of the
President, along with the stated reasons for nonconcurrence.
A final determination of the matter shall be in the hands of
the Board of Regents, and until such time the status quo
A. In addition to the Executive Committee, the Faculty Senate
will establish from its own membership the following
committees: an Electoral Committee, to oversee elections of
the Faculty Senate; an Academic Affairs Committee, to review
and make recommendations on matters of curricula and
programs; and a Faculty Affairs Committee, to review and
make recommendations on faculty issues.
B. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, in its
capacity as Committee on Committees, will be empowered to
create, as deemed necessary, ad-hoc committees, and to over-
see faculty representation on faculty committees.
C. Faculty representatives on faculty committees, other than the
Electoral, Faculty Affairs, and Academic Affairs Committees,
need not be members of the Faculty Senate. At least one
faculty representative on each faculty committee must be a
member of the Faculty Senate, by special appointment of the
Executive Committee, if necessary.
D. The Faculty Affairs Committee is charged with promoting the
general welfare of faculty members. While the scope of the
committee is general in nature, the more prominent interests
1. Teaching loads and extracurricular duties
2. Retirement, tenure, and sabbatical leaves
3. Faculty grievances
4. Dismissal criteria
5. Salary and faculty benefits
6. The academic sabbatical program
Membership of the committee consists of one Faculty Senate
member from each Division within the College of Arts and
Sciences, one from the School of Business, one from the
School of Law, one from the School of Nursing, one from the
School of Applied Studies, and one member from the
University libraries, each elected for a one-year term by
the Faculty Senate from its ranks. The committee selects
its own chairperson.
E. The Academic Affairs Committee is charged with evaluating
carefully and making recommendations to the Faculty Senate
regarding: (1) all new undergraduate programs (majors,
degrees, certificates and the like) proposed by any Major
Academic unit of the University; (2) major revisions in such
programs; (3) and new undergraduate academic programs or
revisions to such programs that originate from units other
than Major Academic Units. The primary concern of the
committee shall be consistency of the proposed program with
applicable University-wide guidelines and regulations,
potential impact of the program on other established
programs in the University, and financial implications of
such new or revised programs. The Executive Committee may
also delegate other matters to this committee.
The Academic Affairs Committee shall be chaired by the
Vice President of the Senate. Other members shall include
one Senate member from each Major Academic Unit (CAS, SOB,
SON, SAS), and the Senate representative of Mabee
Library/CRC. The Deans from the Major Academic Units, or
their designates, and the VPAA or his/her designate, will
serve as ex officio, non-voting members.
F. Faculty, Presidential, and Advisory Committees will be
organized as follows:
1. Faculty committees - -including, but not limited to, the
Research Committee, Interdisciplinary Studies Committee,
Promotion and Tenure Standards Committee, Honors Advisory
Board, Graduate Committee, and General Education Committee
- -will be structured as standing committees of the
Faculty Senate, with membership consisting of faculty
elected by the academic units . Students or staff might
also be added to these committees at the discretion of the
Faculty Senate. Faculty committees will report their
actions to the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate has the
right to receive, review, remand, approve, or disapprove
recommendations from these committees. Changes to the
charge or membership structure of these committees will be
made by action of the Faculty Senate.
2. Other University Committees are Presidential Committees
and Advisory Committees
a. Presidential Committees - -including, but not limited
to, the Athletic Committee, Honorary Degree Committee,
Institutional Review Board, and University
Facilities Planning Committee- -will be selected by the
President of the University, though the President may
choose to consult with the Faculty Senate when
selecting faculty members to serve on Presidential
Committees. These committees report their actions to
the President. Changes to the charge or membership
structure of these committees are made at the
discretion of the President.
b. Advisory Committees - -including, but not limited to,
with administrative offices advised by each committees
parenthetically noted, the Electronic Technology
Committee (VPAA/VPAT), Assessment Committee
(VPAA/VPSL), Board of Student Publications (VPAA/VPSL),
Student Financial Aid Committee (Dean of Enrollment
Management), International Education Committee
(Director of International Programs), Committee
on Undergraduate Retention (VPAA/VPSL/Dean of
Enrollment Management), Committee on Undergraduate
Probation and Reinstatement (VPAA/VPSL/Dean of
Enrollment Management), and the Library Committee (Dean
of Mabee Library) will typically include at least one
member of the Faculty Senate. Advisory Committees will
report their actions BY minutes both to the Secretary
of the Faculty Senate and to the appropriate
administrative official. Changes to the charge or
membership structure of these committees would be made
by the President of the University in consultation with
the Faculty Senate.
G. Each Faculty Committee shall elect a chair from among its own
A. Amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate can be
proposed by any eligible faculty member as defined by
Article II, A.
B. Amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate require
a two-thirds vote of Faculty Senate members present and
voting and ratification by a majority vote of the General
Faculty present and voting for passage.
1. Upon formation and initial meeting of the Faculty Senate, the
University Council will cease to exist.
2. The University Council shall establish a committee to oversee
all necessary preparation for the creation of a Faculty
Senate, including tabulating faculty members to establish
levels of representation and overseeing the election of the
first Faculty Senate.
3. In the first Faculty Senate, the full membership will be
elected and half the membership will be designated by lot at
the first meeting of the Senate for one-year terms.
4. The first Faculty Senate will establish roles and
responsibilities of the standing committees designated in
Section VI A and their relationships to existing committees.
5. Changes and make-up of committees will be as outlined in the
faculty handbook, subject to revision by the Faculty Senate
once it convenes.
-voting members include faculty and administration
-an agent of the General Faculty
-formulates and recommends to the Board of Regents, through the President, policies for the University
-deals with curricular matters and makes recommendations to the General Faculty
-actions of all University standing committees can be reviewed by University Council
-voting membership includes 11 faculty from across the University, the President of the WSGA, the President of the University, and the three Vice Presidents of the University
-elected members serve 2 year terms
-in existence since the early 80's, modified in the mid-90's to increase faculty representation, faculty member elected president of the UC, instead of the President of the University serving as president of UC
-voting members are faculty (VPAA is an ex-officio non-voting member)
-an the agent of the General Faculty
-advises the President on matters of university policy, especially those matters of particular interest to the faculty
-deals with curricular matters and makes recommendations to the General Faculty
-actions of faculty committees can be reviewed Faculty Senate; advisory committees report actions to Faculty Senate; Presidential committees report actions to the President
-voting membership includes about 35 faculty from across the University
-elected members serve 2 year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms
-all six state four-year institutions have faculty senates; each is uniquely constructed, but there are many similarities to the one proposed for Washburn University
-provides a unique voice for each major university constituency: WSGA for students, Administrative Council for staff, Faculty Senate for faculty
-over 20 more faculty will be involved in the Faculty Senate than in the University Council