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RSCC Policy GA-32-01; Faculty Senate Constitution

RSCC Policy GA-32-01; Faculty Senate Constitution

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: GA-32-01
Subject: Faculty Senate Constitution
  1. Identification
    The name of this organization shall be the Faculty Senate.
  2. Philosophy
    In the interest of academic freedom and professional responsibilities, the Faculty Senate is dedicated to promoting faculty participation in decision-making, and to providing an orderly process for improving communication and mutual understanding between the administrative officers, the faculty, and the students of the college.
  3. Duties and Powers
    1. To express the collective opinion of the faculty to the administration of the college on any matter of concern to the faculty, and to provide for the administration a significant avenue for the dissemination, discussion, and evaluation of all matters of concern to the faculty.
    2. To initiate faculty input for the planning and implementation of college programs, policies, and facilities, and to serve as a vehicle for recommendations faculty make to address current college issues, problems, and institutional goals.
    3. To define and recommend general educational objectives, subject to approval by the president, and to participate fully and actively in the determination of programs and policies that pertain to academic matters and faculty welfare.
    4. To aid in securing and maintaining adequate salaries, tenure, sound retirement systems, and such other benefits and improvements in conditions as will enable faculty to function effectively, and to provide a forum for the open discussion of faculty grievances and student concerns involving the faculty as a whole.
    5. To promote principles of human dignity and concern for the interest of both Roane State Community College (RSCC) and the surrounding communities.
  4. Membership
    1. Election of Senators
      1. Senators shall be members of the faculty who are employed for no less than one academic year on a full-time basis have a primary teaching role at the college, and have a teaching load of at least 8 hours per semester. Librarians holding faculty ranking are also eligible to be Senators. Division heads may not be elected as senators; however, they are represented in their capacities as teachers by the division senators.
      2. Faculty members are eligible after one year's employment (which may be waived for the formation of a new division).
      3. Representation of academic divisions shall be equal, with five Senators and two alternates elected from each. The library shall be considered a division with one senator and one alternate elected. In addition, the senate membership will include the president, vice-president, secretary, past-president, RSCC TBR Faculty Sub-Council representative, and the parliamentarian (if appointed from outside the elected Senate).
      4. Any faculty member may decline serving on the Faculty Senate.
      5. Senators shall be elected for one-year terms.
      6. Elections shall be held each year by the end of the spring term within each division. If an elected senator cannot serve, the alternate will become the senator and another alternate will be chosen by the division.
      7. Alternates shall be elected by each division to serve at meetings in the absence of the full-time member. It shall be the responsibility of the full-time member to notify the alternate of his/her absence. The elected alternate, serving in the absence of an elected senator, has full voting privileges. If the elected alternate is not able to attend in the absence of an elected senator, or if more than one elected senator must be absent from the respective division, a senator may designate an eligible alternate from his/her division to attend and vote on his/her behalf.
      8. If a senate member is absent from three meetings without asking the alternate to attend, the Senate, acting through the senate secretary, will notify the division chair who will call a meeting of the division. The division may specify that the alternate assume this position and elect a new alternate.
      9. It shall be the responsibility of the division to replace any vacancies at the earliest date.
    2. Duties of Senators
      1. To serve as liaisons between their division and the Faculty Senate in disseminating information and soliciting responses.
      2. To present division proposals and discussion on issues.
      3. To elect the senate officials.
      4. To request division meetings as needed for the dissemination of information and the discussion of issues.
      5. To notify the elected alternate of his/her anticipated absence at future meetings and arrange for appropriate alternate representation from his/her division.
  5. Officers
    1. Names
      The officers of the Faculty Senate shall be president, vice president, secretary, past-president, RSCC TBR Faculty Sub-Council representative, and the parliamentarian. The officers shall make up the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
    2. Responsibilities

      1. Presides over meetings of the Faculty Senate.
      2. Establishes the agenda and provides a copy for each member of the faculty in advance of all regularly scheduled meetings.
      3. Calls special meetings.
      4. Appoints committees as needed.
      5. Speaks for the Faculty Senate at general faculty meetings.
      6. Represents the Faculty Senate (or designates someone to serve) on the following committees as a voting member but cannot commit the Faculty Senate to a special course of action without Faculty Senate approval:
        1. Administrative Council
        2. College-Wide Strategic Planning Committee
        3. Academic and Curriculum Council
        4. Faculty Evaluation Committee
        5. College Support Council
        6. Exemplary Awards Committee
      7. Calls general faculty meetings as needed.
      8. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      9. Assists in the nomination of the Promotion and Tenure Committee in compliance with the Promotion/Tenure policy.
      10. Attends or appoints a member of the senate to attend the TBR Faculty Sub-Council meetings in case of the absence of the elected representative.
      11. Handles and dispenses funds as needed.
      12. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.
      13. Meets regularly with RSCC president.
      14. Prepares action request forms for administration as needed.
      15. Assists in the nomination of the Hearing Committee in compliance with the Promotion/Tenure policy.
      16. Appoints senators from each of the academic divisions (Health Sciences, Humanities, Mathematics and Sciences, and Social Science, Business and Education) to serve as representatives to the Academic and Curriculum Council. The senate president is a representative from his or her respective division. Thus, a total of four representatives serve from the Senate except when the Faculty Senate president is from the library. In this event there are representatives from each of the academic divisions as well as the Faculty Senate president, then five representatives would serve.
      17. Attends the Institutional Budget Hearing Committee. In case he/she is not able to attend the Institutional Budget Hearing Committee, he/she appoints a Faculty Senate representative to the Institutional Budget Hearing Committee.

      Vice President
      1. Acts for the president in his/her absence or at his/her request.
      2. Assists the president in the performance of his/her duties.
      3. Serves as the guardian of the senate constitution, ensuring that the document reflects the current status of the organization.
      4. Follows up on action taken by the Faculty Senate to ensure that institutional policies and procedures reflect this action.
      5. Coordinates the selection process for the Sarah Ellen Benroth award for teaching excellence.
      6. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      7. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.

      1. Records, prepares, and distributes the minutes of meetings, after their approval, with amendments or corrections, to each member of the senate, faculty, and professional staff and maintains a permanent record of such.
      2. Keeps a record of attendance for each senate meeting.
      3. Prepares and maintains an official membership list of the Faculty Senate from which roll call votes will be made.
      4. Keeps a record of those eligible to serve on the senate.
      5. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      6. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.
      7. Manages updates of the Faculty Senate web page.

      1. Informs senators concerning points of order, rules, and regulations set forth by the senate.
      2. Follows, in other situations, Roberts' Rules of Order (most recent edition).
      3. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      4. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.

      1. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.
      2. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      3. Ensures that the current policy and/or the constitution accurately reflects actions taken during the previous year.

      TBR Faculty Sub-Council Representative
      1. Is a voting member of the Faculty Senate.
      2. Is a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
      3. Attends TBR Faculty Sub-Council meetings and reports back to the Faculty Senate.
      4. Notifies president of any anticipated absences, so that a temporary replacement representative can be appointed to attend.
    3. Election
      1. Officers shall be elected by senate simple majority with nominations from the floor, except in the case of the parliamentarian, who shall be appointed by the president.
      2. The vote shall be by secret ballot, with the candidates outside the room during discussion. Candidates will be allowed to vote.
      3. The election of officers shall take place at the last senate meeting of each school year for the coming year.
    4. Term of Office
      The president, vice-president, secretary, and TBR Faculty Sub-Council representative shall begin their terms of office on the last day of spring term. All officers' terms shall be for one year.
    5. Succession and Vacancies
      1. The offices of president, vice-president, and secretary may be held by the same person for up to two consecutive terms. The office of TBR Faculty Sub-Council representative may be held by the same person for up to four consecutive terms. The parliamentarian is appointed annually by the president and has no term limitation.
      2. If an office becomes vacant because of resignation or removal, then at the next regularly scheduled meeting an election will be held to fill the vacancy.
    6. Removal
      The only valid reason for removal from office shall be negligence in the performance of duties as stated in the Faculty Senate Constitution. Any officer may be removed by a 3/4 vote of the membership of the Faculty Senate.
  6. Procedures
    1. Meetings
      1. Regular - The Faculty Senate shall meet at least once each month during the fall and spring terms at a regular time to be designated by the president of the Faculty Senate.
      2. Called - Meetings can be called by the president of the Faculty Senate under the following circumstances:
        1. Emergency situations as deemed by the president of the Faculty Senate.
        2. Upon request by three (3) senators of the Faculty Senate.
      3. Attendance – Any faculty member may attend Senate meetings; however, only Senators are eligible to vote at meetings. For Senate meetings, faculty should be defined as having a primary teaching role at the college and a teaching load of at least 8 hours per semester.
    2. Voting
      1. No vote shall be taken unless a simple majority of the senate members are present.
      2. A motion will carry with a simple majority vote, except where otherwise noted.
      3. Every vote shall be conducted by voice vote.
      4. At the discretion of the president a show of hands vote may be called.
      5. Any senate member may request a roll call vote.
      6. Every member, including alternates serving in the absence of regular members, shall be a voting member, including the president.
      7. Any constitutional amendment or bylaw shall require a 2/3 majority of the senate to pass.
    3. General
      Any faculty member, administrative official, or student has the right to address the Faculty Senate at the beginning of the meeting, after a quorum has been established. If possible, the following procedure shall be followed:
      1. Any concerned parties should petition the Faculty Senate president to be placed on the agenda and should appear before the Faculty Senate on the designated date.
      2. Other persons concerned with the problem (for example, division chairs, in cases of promotion, tenure, etc.) will be advised and invited to the meeting and may comment on the matter if they so desire.
      3. The recommendation of the senate shall be delivered within a specified time period.
      4. If the petitioning individual or the senate is dissatisfied with final action, then the individual or the senate may appear before the general faculty for further suggestions.

(Originally RSCC policy AA-14-01)

Revision History: 09/1976, 05/1980, 05/1981, 11/1985, 10/1988, 04/1990, 08/12/1991, 07/01/1995, 11/1997, 11/05/1999, 06/01/2000, 07/11/2016, 05/06/2019
Revision Date Effective: 05/06/2019
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 01/11/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Learning
Reviewed: 05/03/2019

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