COLLEGE SENATE

SENATE BY-LAWS

Article III. College Senate

A. The College Senate shall be the official agency through which the Faculty and students engage in the governance of the College.  It shall concern itself particularly with the following:

  1. curriculum;
  2. instruction and research;
  3. standards for students (admission, retention, and graduation of students);
  4. faculty/staff welfare (appointment, termination, promotion of faculty and to define "consultation" in selecting department chairpersons and deans);
  5. by-laws and elections;
  6. budget and staff allocations;
  7. student welfare;
  8. academic plan.

B.   The actions of the Senate are advisory to the President.

C.   Faculty members shall be the majority membership of the College Senate. The College Senate shall only include the following groups: Faculty (consisting of the four schools and the library), professional staff members, support staff members, students, and administrators (non-voting), with specific members as follows:

  1. The President of the College, ex-officio, non-voting; and
  2. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ex-officio, non-voting, the Vice President for Student Affairs ex-officio, non-voting, and the Vice President Finance and Management ex-officio, non voting; and
  3. Seven* members of the College Faculty (Article II, Section A and B) elected at large by a majority vote of the College Faculty; and
  4. Six members elected at large by a majority vote of the professional staffs of the Instructional Resources, Student Affairs, and other professional groups not otherwise represented; and
  5. Six members elected from each of the approved Faculties (School of Arts and Humanities; School of Education; School of Natural and Social Sciences; School of the Professions) and other Faculties recommended by the Senate and approved by the President; and one member from the Butler Library Faculty. Each of these Faculties shall determine how its senators shall be elected; and    
  6. Two University Faculty Senators elected by the College who must be full-time faculty members and an alternate University Senator appointed by the Chair for a one year term to serve in case of need by the elected Senators, who must be a full-time faculty member.
  7. Twelve students elected by the student body whose terms of office and method of election shall be determined in accordance with the United Students' Government constitution; and
  8. One member of the college support staff elected as determined by the support staff.
  9. Two members ex-officio, non-voting appointed by the President.

D.   The term of office for an elected senator shall be three years for all senators who are not students. Student senators are elected by the United Students' Government in accord with its By-Laws. However, the elections and the by-laws committee of each unit, as well as the College Senate By-Laws and Elections committee shall arrange terms so that approximately one-third of the elected members shall be elected each year.

  1. No elected member of the Senate shall be eligible to succeed himself after serving two consecutive terms.
  2. The total term of office for any student member of the Senate shall be no more than three years.

E.   All Senators elected to the Senate are subject to recall by the voting members of the unit which elected them. A petition signed by 25% of the voting members and presented to the presiding officer of the Senate shall make mandatory, within two weeks, an election to determine whether the Senator shall be recalled. A majority of the unit's eligible voters shall determine the status of the Senator(s).

F.   There shall be a standing committee for each of the eight areas specified in Article III., Section A. above.

  1. The Senate shall elect one of its members to be chairperson of each standing committee for a one-year term.
  2. The chairperson of each standing committee shall appoint the members of the committee, subject to the consent of the Senate.
  3. Committee or committees may be created by the Senate to represent it in consultation with community representatives and with the College Council.
  4. The Senate may create ad hoc committees as it deems necessary.
  5. Each committee, as specified in Article III, Section A, shall have the following representation, with two exceptions noted at the end of this section. Each committee will follow the stated guidelines in the College Senate Handbook, Section III, Organization and Structure; make every effort to see that all Faculties and Professional Staff (including librarians as either/both) are represented in approximately equal proportions, include at least one student representative (student senators shall be considered), and an appointed non-voting administrative liaison, appointed in consultation with the appropriate administrative office. At least one member of the committee, other than the committee chair, should be a Senator. 

    These guidelines will pertain with: (a) the exception of Faculty/Staff Welfare, which will have no student members (Note that even if a faculty or staff member is taking one or more courses, he or she is still eligible to serve on Faculty/Staff Welfare.) and (b) the exception of Student Welfare, which will have a majority of student members, and an Associate Chair, to be appointed by the chair of Student Welfare.  The Associate Chair shall be a non-student senator.

G.   Each committee of the Senate shall be charged with a mission. The charge shall serve to define the purpose of the committee and will provide a frame of reference within which it shall operate. The charge shall be prepared by the committee and upon approval by two-thirds of the Senate shall become the basis for the committee's action. Each charge and any changes shall be published and distributed to the electorate upon approval. Annual reports are made by each of the committees and presented to the Senate at the end of the spring semester each year. These reports are to be posted on the College Senate web site, and maintained in the Senate Office for archival purposes.

H.   A Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the College Senate shall be nominated and elected from the elected faculty membership of the College Senate by the College Senate each year.

I.   A student senator shall be nominated and elected from the membership of the Senate each year, to serve on the Agenda Committee.  If the election of the student senator cannot occur concurrent with the election of the other officers of the Senate, then it shall occur prior to the first meeting of the Senate Agenda Committee, when possible, or as soon thereafter as feasible.

J.   The Chairperson of the College Senate shall preside at all meetings of the Senate and all general faculty meetings not called by the President of the College. He/she shall prepare and circulate to all faculty and the student Senators the agenda for all meetings over which he/she presides. The Chairperson of the College Senate may convene the  College Faculty as needed with the consent of two-third of the Senate he/she may remove a chairperson of a committee of the Senate. He/she shall also represent the Faculty at appropriate College and community functions, as authorized by the Senate.

K.   The Chairperson shall receive agenda items from faculty members, students, or staff at least ten days prior to any meeting. She/He shall be assisted in preparing the agenda by the Vice Chairperson, and the members of the Agenda Committee to be made up of no fewer than three members of the Senate named by the Chairperson for a one-year term.  One of the members of the Agenda Committee shall be a student senator elected by the Senate to be a member of the Agenda Committee. The agenda shall be circulated to all members of the Senate and published at least one week prior to meetings. The agenda shall provide for the presentation of new business at any stated meeting.

L.   The Vice Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson.

M.   Numbers of Meetings, Quorum, and Procedure: The College Senate shall meet at regularly scheduled times at least once a month during the academic year and at special meetings when called by the Chairperson, or upon a petition of l0% of the faculty, or upon the request of a two-thirds majority of a standing committee of the Senate, or by action of the Senate.  A majority of its membership shall constitute a quorum. Business shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.

N.   A College Senate seat shall be deemed vacant if a member of the Senate resigns, or shall be granted a leave of absence, as defined by the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (such as sick leave, maternity leave, vacation leave, reassignment which precludes attendance, such as participation in the Siena program, etc.) and cannot attend Senate meetings because of the leave. The Senator should notify the Chair of the Senate of such circumstances.  It shall be the responsibility of the presiding officer of the College Senate promptly to notify the Senate and the faculty unit of such vacancies.  

In addition, if a senator will be on sabbatical leave, and decides not to attend the Senate during the period of the sabbatical, the senator shall give notice to the body which elected him/her that a vacancy will occur. 

If the vacancy occurs in the representation of one of the designated Faculty units as defined in Article III, Section C, paragraph 6, that unit shall proceed to fill the vacancy within one month of notification by the presiding officer of the Senate, using procedures specified in its own governance documents.  If the vacancy occurs in an at-large faculty seat, the presiding officer shall direct the Senate By-Laws and Elections Committee to fill the vacancy from the next highest vote-getter from the at-large list of nominees in the previous election.  This person shall be an interim appointee.  In the case of a vacancy due to any of the reasons described above (other than resignation), the remainder of the unexpired term, if any, shall be filled by the interim appointee until the absent Senator returns from leave, at which time the senator shall resume the senate seat until the elected term expires.

In the event of a vacancy due to resignation, the relevant unit may determine whether to fill the term for the remainder of the senator’s term, or to elect an individual to begin a new term.  If the resignation occurs within two months of a scheduled election, then the new senator(s) may be elected rather than appointed.

*The reduction from nine At-Large Senators to seven will be phased in, such that during 2007-08 there will be eight At-Large Senators, and only three At-Large Senators will be elected for 2008-09, bringing the total number to seven.