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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. Senators
      1. Eligibility
        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. If an elected senator cannot serve, the alternate will become the senator and another alternate will be chosen by the division.
        6. Alternates shall 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.
        7. 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.
        8. 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 request division meetings as needed for the dissemination of information and the discussion of issues.
        4. To notify the elected alternate of his/her anticipated absence at future meetings and arrange for appropriate alternate representation from his/her division.
    2. 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. All officers shall make up the Faculty Senate Executive Board, are members of the Faculty Senate Election Committee, and are voting members of the Faculty Senate.
      2. Responsibilities
        1. President
          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. Assists in the nomination of the Promotion and Tenure Committee in compliance with the Promotion/Tenure policy.
          9. 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.
          10. Handles and dispenses funds as needed.
          11. Meets regularly with RSCC president.
          12. Prepares action request forms for administration as needed.
          13. Assists in the nomination of the Hearing Committee in compliance with the Promotion/Tenure policy.
          14. 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.
          15. 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.
        2. 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.
        3. Secretary
          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. Manages updates of the Faculty Senate web page.
        4. Parliamentarian
          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).
        5. Past-President
          1. Ensures that the current policy and/or the constitution accurately reflects actions taken during the previous year.
        6. TBR Faculty Sub-Council Representative
          1. Attends TBR Faculty Sub-Council meetings and reports back to the Faculty Senate.
          2. Notifies president of any anticipated absences, so that a temporary replacement representative can be appointed to attend.
      3. 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.
      4. 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.
  5. Election Procedures
    1. Election Committee
      1. The Election Committee shall consist of current FS Executive Board plus one member from each division not already represented by the Executive Board. If such division member(s) need to be selected, they will be chosen by the current Senators of those division(s).
      2. The Election Committee will choose a chair and co-chair prior to first FS meeting of spring semester.
      3. Each Election Committee member will recuse himself/herself from the oversight or tallying of any ballot on which he/she is listed.
    2. Nominations
      1. Before divisional meetings during spring in-service, a designated Election Committee member from each division will obtain a list of division faculty who are eligible to be nominated as senator.
      2. At divisional meetings during spring in-service, the designated Election Committee member will accept nominations for division senators. The list of nominees willing to accept the position will be returned to the Election Committee Chair and these nominees will be included on the ballot for division senators.
      3. Each division should submit at least seven nominees to ensure a sufficient number of senators in the case that the president and/or vice president are elected from the division.
      4. During the first full work week of February, nominations for president and vice president will be accepted via email to entire election Committee.
        1. An email announcing nomination procedures will be sent to all faculty members on the Friday before the nomination period begins. A reminder will be sent on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the nomination period.
        2. Nominations will only be accepted from current Faculty Senate members but any faculty member may present a nominee to his/her division senator(s) for submission.
        3. Candidates for president and vice president shall be nominated as a team and listed jointly on the ballot.
        4. Nominees for president and vice president must be tenured faculty members who have served on Faculty Senate for at least one academic year and are also nominated as senators for their divisions.
        5. The nomination period will remain open for one full week.
        6. To be listed on the ballot for president/vice president, nominees must accept the nomination via email to Election Committee within one week of the end of the nomination period.
    3. Voting
      1. The election shall be held on the mandatory day of the Academic Festival. In the event the Academic Festival is cancelled, the Election Committee shall develop and execute an alternative voting procedure as similar as possible to the one described below.
      2. Paper ballots and roster of eligible voters shall be prepared by Election Committee. Five different colors of paper will be used – one for president/vice president and one for each of the four divisions.
      3. Eligible voters will be determined by TBR Policy 5:02:01:00 which defines faculty as follows: “Regular, full-time personnel at institutions . . .whose regular assignments include instruction, research, and/or public service- as a principal activity, and who hold academic rank as professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor at the institutions.”
      4. Electronic absentee ballots will be available for faculty members who are excused by VPSL from Academic Festival. VPSL will provide a list of excused faculty members on the Friday before the Academic Festival. A link to an electronic absentee ballot will be emailed to excused faculty members on Monday of the week of Academic Festival. All faculty who are sent an absentee ballot will have their name marked off the list of eligible voters to prevent repeat votes. Electronic absentee ballots must be submitted by 12:00 pm Eastern on the day of Academic Festival. The votes will remain secure until retrieved by the Election Commission for tallying. Any ballot not returned by noon on the day of the election will not be counted.
      5. Upon request, each eligible voter in attendance will receive two ballots (FS President/vice president and Senators for his/her division) and voter will be denoted on roster as having received ballots.
      6. Ballots may be completed and placed in ballot box immediately or returned to ballot box any time before the announced time of poll closing.
      7. Ballot box will be attended by at least three Election Committee members at all times, in shifts, as excused from other duties by the VPSL.
    4. Tallying of Ballots
      1. Tallying of ballots shall be conducted by the Election Committee immediately after conclusion of Academic Festival.
      2. All positions shall be elected by a simple plurality. Other than the president and vice president, the candidates receiving the five highest number of votes in each division shall become the division's senators. Other than the president, vice president, and elected senators, the next two candidates with the greatest number of votes in each division shall become the division's alternates.
      3. In case of a tie for president/vice president, the Election Committee will open secure electronic voting to all eligible faculty members for one week. Only candidates tied for the most votes will be included on the ballot.
      4. In case of a tie for division senator, the Election Committee will open secure electronic voting to all members of division for one week. Only candidates tied for the most votes will be included on the ballot.
    5. Announcement and Assumption of Office
      1. With the exception of positions for which a tie must be broken, announcement of all division senators, FS President-elect, and vice president-elect by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the Academic Festival.
      2. All current and newly elected members of Faculty Senate will attend the last Faculty Senate meeting of the spring semester.
      3. The following year's Secretary and Parliamentarian will be nominated by the President-elect at last FS meeting of spring semester and must be approved by majority vote of current and newly elected Faculty Senate members in attendance.
      4. The following year's TBR Sub-Council Representative will be nominated at the last meeting of spring semester and elected by vote of current and newly elected Faculty Senate members in attendance.
      5. All Faculty Senate Officers and Senators will assume their elected positions after the last Commencement ceremony of the spring semester for a term of one year.
  6. Meeting 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.
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
TBR Policy Reference: 1.03.10.00
Revision Date Effective: 01/27/2020
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: 01/13/2020

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