FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION
Morehead State University
The faculty of Morehead State University supports a system of shared governance in decision making which promotes mutual understanding and coordination of efforts among faculty, staff, administrators, and students as they strive to meet the university's mission.
The Faculty Senate, an elected representative body of the University faculty, serves to express the faculty voice and functions as the primary mechanism for faculty participation in university governance. The Faculty Senate is established with the belief that members of the University faculty who are involved in the day-to-day life of the University should participate in the formulation of policies affecting the faculty and the academic life of the institution. The Senate provides a vehicle through which such collective intelligence can be directed toward promoting the well-being of the University. The decisions of the Faculty Senate will be made in good faith and after careful deliberation.
ARTICLE ONE: NAME
The name of the organization herein described shall be the Faculty Senate of Morehead State University, hereinafter called the Faculty Senate.
ARTICLE TWO: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The membership of the Faculty Senate shall consist of two senators from each academic department elected by the faculty of that department, two senators representing the Professional Librarians elected by professional librarians, and one senator from the Military Science Department. The existence of academic departments for determination of senators shall be decided as of March 1 for the following academic year.
Section 2. Election of Senators from the academic departments shall be completed by April 15. Senators shall take office at the first fall meeting of the Senate.
Section 3. Faculty who are eligible to vote in the election of representatives to the Faculty Senate shall be defined as “full-time standing” or “full-time fixed” faculty (PG-3). Faculty who may be elected as senators shall have “full-time standing” appointments (PG-3), shall have teaching/scholarship as a primary responsibility, shall have been employed by the University as “full-time standing” faculty for at least two full academic years. One of the two senators from each department must be tenured, unless the department has no eligible tenured faculty when electing a senator. Department chairs/associate deans may not vote and may not be elected to the Senate. Curriculum Coordinators may vote and serve on the Senate provided that their departmental duties do not include the administrative evaluation of faculty. Librarians who have academic status, excluding the Dean of Library Services, shall be eligible to vote in the election of representatives to the Faculty Senate and may be elected as Senators. Faculty in the Military Science Department, who are not Morehead State University employees, shall be exempt from the appointment requirements.
Section 4. Terms of Office shall be three years and begin August 15. These terms shall be staggered for each department and for the senate as a whole.
Section 5. Senators missing three consecutive or a total of five regular Faculty Senate meetings during the academic year are subject to removal from the Faculty Senate, pending action of the Executive Council. A Senator has ten days after receiving a termination letter to appeal, in writing, to the Executive Council of the Senate if he/she feels there are extenuating circumstances for the absences. The Executive Council at their next meeting will determine whether any absences should be waived and whether membership in the Senate shall be terminated. The decision of the Executive Council shall be final. Absence from summer meetings or special called meetings will not be considered in the total year's absences. Any unexpired term shall be filled by special election from the same constituency.
Section 6. A senator, who by reason of regularly assigned University responsibilities or other approved leave will be unable to attend the Faculty Senate meetings for up to one semester, shall give written notice to the Faculty Senate chair, who shall appoint another person with the consent of the Faculty Senate, from the same constituency to serve as a replacement during the period of absence.
Section 7. The President, Provost, the Faculty Regent, the Chair of the Staff Congress, and the President of the Student Government Association shall serve as nonvoting ex-officio members of the Faculty Senate.
ARTICLE THREE: RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS
Section 1. The Faculty Senate, the official representative body of the University faculty, will report and make written recommendations to the President and the faculty.
Section 2. The Faculty Senate will recommend formulation or modification of policies and regulations concerning academic excellence, academic freedom, professional ethics and faculty welfare. The Faculty Senate may review all initiatives and actions included in, but not limited to, the following areas:
(a) Academic policies and procedures
(b) University governance
(c) Faculty responsibilities and rights
(d) Faculty compensation and benefits
(e) Financial affairs
(f) University committee responsibilities and membership
Section 3. The Faculty Senate shall serve as the appointing body for faculty membership of all University Standing and Advisory Committees that deal with the areas outlined in ARTICLE THREE, Section 2, except where membership on a committee is required by law or University policy to be appointed by the President.
(a) The Faculty Senate, in consultation with other University groups and personnel, shall determine the responsibilities and composition of those University Standing Committees and Advisory Committees which have faculty representation and shall produce a written description of these committees.
(b) University Standing and Advisory Committees shall report to the Faculty Senate, a University Administrative officer or both, as stated in the description of the Committee.
(c) Faculty members of University Standing Committees shall be elected by the Faculty Senate, unless exempted by the description of the committee.
Section 4. The Faculty Senate, acting alone or in consultation with other individuals or groups, may establish an ad hoc committee, commission, task force, or other similar group.
Section 5. The Faculty Senate shall collect, receive, analyze and store appropriate information necessary to discharge its responsibilities; specifically, but not limited to:
(a) Minutes and reports from all University committees dealing with issues within the purview of the Faculty Senate.
(b) Appropriate information from all University academic and administrative agencies.
Section 6. The faculty shall be provided the opportunity to participate in the evaluation of academic administrators consistent with the Board of Regents’ Bylaws.
ARTICLE FOUR: OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the Faculty Senate shall be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Communications Officer, and members of the Executive Council.
Section 2. The Chair-elect of the previous Faculty Senate shall become the Chair of the next Faculty Senate at its first regular meeting of the fall semester. The Faculty Senate Chair shall be the presiding officer of the Faculty Senate and shall serve a one year term. The Chair of the Faculty Senate shall serve as an at-large Senator for one year, who does not represent a specific department during his term of service as Chair. The academic department shall elect a one year replacement to represent the department during the Chair's term of service if the department does not already have two senators. The Chair of the Senate shall vote only in the case of ties.
Section 3. Duties of the Chair:
(a) Provide leadership to the Faculty Senate
(b) Preside over the Faculty Senate
(c) Preside over the Executive Council
(d) Serve as liaison with the University administration
(e) Review Board of Regents agenda, attend Board of Regents meetings, and provide feedback as appropriate
(f) Serve on the President’s Council
(g) Serve on the Provost’s Council
(h) Meet with the Provost monthly and additionally as needed
(i) Meet with the President twice per semester and additionally as needed
(j) Serve on committees as required or otherwise necessary
(k) Attend Coalition of Senate and Faculty Leadership for Higher Education (COSFL) meetings
Section 4. Duties of the Chair-elect:
(a) Assume the duties of the chair when the chair is unable to do so
(b) Serve as a voting member of the General Education Council
(c) Serve on committees as required or otherwise necessary
(d) Attend COSFL meetings
Section 5. The Executive Council shall consist of the Faculty Senate Chair who shall serve as the Chair of the Executive Council, Communications Officer, and members elected by the Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate standing committee chairs shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate Chair from members of the Executive Council. The Faculty Senate Chair shall appoint a Communications Officer from the membership of the Faculty Senate. The Communications Officer is not a voting member of the Executive Council. Executive Council members shall serve a one-year term.
Section 6. The Executive Council shall:
(a) Meet periodically with the Provost and the President
(b) Serve as the liaison between the Faculty Senate and other University personnel or groups
(c) Establish the agenda for Faculty Senate meetings
(d) Serve in a fiduciary capacity
(e) Plan Faculty Senate activities
Section 7. Election of the Executive Council shall take place at the first regular meeting of the fall semester according to the following guidelines. All voting shall be by secret ballot and shall be monitored by the previous year's Governance Committee.
(a) Senators from each college shall meet in caucus and nominate two senators from that college for the first Executive Council slate.
(b) All senators present and voting shall vote for one candidate from each college. The senator from each college receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be elected to the Executive Council.
(c) The remaining nominees shall make up the second slate for the additional position on the Executive Council.
(d) All senators present and voting shall cast a vote for a senator from the second slate for the unfilled position on the Executive Council. The Senator receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be elected to the Executive Council. If no senator receives a majority of votes on the first ballot, additional ballots shall be cast for the two senators receiving the most votes (including ties) until one senator receives the majority.
(e) The Chair-Elect shall be elected by the Faculty Senate from the senators elected to the Executive Council. Election Procedure: The Chair-Elect shall be elected by a majority of the senators present and voting. If no senator receives a majority of votes on the first ballot for Chair-Elect, additional ballots shall be cast for the two senators receiving the most votes (including ties) until one senator receives the majority. No person who has served as Chair of the Faculty Senate shall be eligible to serve as Chair-elect within 4 years of his/her service as Chair.
Section 8. A Communications Officer will be appointed by the Faculty Senate Chair. The Communications Officer will be a non-voting member of the Executive Council. The duties are as follows:
(a) Update the Faculty Senate Website
(b) Solicit faculty response on matters of concern to the Faculty Senate
(c) Provide information through the protocol established by the University for the release of official communications to external groups such as boards, commissions, or legislators at the direction of the Faculty Senate
(d) Serve in a public relations role to the faculty and university community
Section 9. Should any vacancy occur in the Executive Council during the academic year, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election according to the following guidelines; each college must have at least one representative on the Executive Council. All voting shall be by secret ballot and the election shall be monitored and conducted by the Governance Committee. Nominations for the Executive Council member shall come from the floor. The new Executive Council member shall be elected by a simple majority of the senators present and voting. If no senator receives a majority of the votes on the first ballot for this position, additional ballots shall be cast for the two senators receiving the most votes (including ties) until one senator receives the majority.
If the vacancy in the Executive Council is that of the Faculty Senate Chair, then the Chair-elect shall serve as chair for the remainder of the term. That individual may then serve as Chair in the term to which that individual was duly elected. If the vacancy existing is that of the Chair-elect, then an election shall be held to fill the vacancy on the Executive council and subsequently a Chair-elect shall be elected using the procedures of Section 7(e). If the Chair-elect vacancy is created by the elevation of the Chair-elect to the Chairmanship, the vacancy on the Executive Council shall be filled and then one of the members shall be elected Chair-elect Pro Tempore using the procedures in Section 7(e) above. That position shall expire at the first Faculty Senate meeting of the next academic year and regular officer selection processes shall resume.
ARTICLE FIVE: COMMITTEES
Section 1. The function of Faculty Senate Committees is to prepare materials for presentation to the Faculty Senate. Each of these committees shall gather data and make studies, advise, and make recommendations to the Faculty Senate in the form of written or oral reports. Each Faculty Senate Committee shall maintain communications with the University Committees that report to it and the Faculty Senate.
Section 2. Senators shall indicate their preference for membership on Faculty Senate committees at the first fall meeting. The Executive Council shall appoint senators to the Faculty Senate committees. At least one senator from each college should be on each Faculty Senate standing committee.
Section 3. Standing Committees (Sections 4-8 below) of the Faculty Senate:
(a) Should schedule at least one regular meeting a month during the regular academic year. Meetings shall be held at times when all members are available to attend. A quorum shall be a majority of the membership of the committee.
(b) Each standing committee shall elect a vice-chair of the committee who shall be responsible for keeping minutes and recording absences in the minutes. In the absence of the chair, the vice-chair shall also assume the responsibilities of the chair.
(c) Senators missing three consecutive or a total of five regular standing committee meetings during the academic year are subject to removal from the Faculty Senate, pending action of the Executive Council. A Senator has ten days after receiving a termination letter to appeal, in writing, to the Executive Council of the Senate if he/she feels there are extenuating circumstances for the absences. The Executive Council at their next meeting will determine whether any absences should be waived and whether membership in the Senate shall be terminated. Absence from summer meetings or special called meetings will not be considered in the total year's absences.
Section 4. The Governance Committee is concerned with University committees, University governance, and faculty representation. It has specific concerns with, but is not limited to, the following areas:
(a) Structure, membership, and responsibilities of University Standing and Advisory Committees
(b) Structure of the Division of Academic Affairs
(c) Oversight of the election of Faculty Senators (See ARTICLE TWO, Sections 1, 2, and 3)
(d) Oversight of any special elections required by the Senate
(e) Nomination of faculty members for all University Standing and Advisory committees that have faculty representation
(f) Oversight of the Faculty Regent election according to procedure established by the Senate and state law
(g) Oversight of the election of senators to the Executive Council (To be conducted by the remaining members of the previous year's Governance Committee. See ARTICLE FOUR, Section 7.) If less than three members from the previous Governance Committee are available then additional senators will be appointed by the Senate Chair as needed to conduct the election of the Executive Council.
Section 5. The Academic Issues Committee is concerned with policies, regulations, and other issues that affect faculty and instructional effectiveness. Specific areas of concern include:
(c) Academic integrity
(d) Classroom conditions
(e) Evaluation of instructional effectiveness
(f) Graduation requirements
(g) General education
(h) Special academic programs, e. g., Honors Program, provisional studies, Regional Campus Programs, etc.
(i) Academic calendar issues
(j) Student regulations
Section 6. The Faculty Welfare and Concerns Committee is concerned with policies, regulations and practices that affect faculty status, working conditions, promotion, evaluation, benefits and compensation. Specific areas of concern include:
(a) Faculty recruitment and qualifications
(b) Tenure and promotion
(c) Workload, overload and compensation
(d) Procedures to insure academic freedom and resolve faculty grievances
(e) Faculty development
(g) Sabbatical and Educational leaves of absence
(h) University finances affecting faculty and institutional effectiveness
(i) Selection, retention, and reaffirmation of academic administrators
(j) The Committee Chair is a member of the University Benefits Committee.
Section 7. The Committee on Evaluation is concerned with the evaluation of faculty and administrative personnel. Its specific concerns include:
(a) Periodic reviews of department, College, and University plans for faculty evaluation and performance based salary adjustments
(b) Review the promotion and tenure plans for consistency with the appropriate policies and provide feedback to the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Committees
(c) Participate in formulating tools and processes for the assessment of academic administrators in conjunction with Human Resources
(d) Formulation and review of policies concerning the use of assessment results
(e) Conducting assessment of Faculty Senate effectiveness
Section 8. The Senate Committee on Issues is concerned with issues of Senate and institutional priority that are related to faculty interest and concerns.
(a) Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate is the chair of this committee.
(b) The members of this committee are selected by the Executive Council.
(c) This committee may operate as the whole or divide into multiple committees as needed. These committees may solicit additional members from inside or outside the Senate as needed.
(d) Issues may be identified from a Faculty Senate retreat, the Faculty Senate Executive Council and in cooperation with the University administration.
Section 9. Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committees
(a) The Executive Council, with the consent of the Faculty Senate, may recommend the formation of Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committees to study, report and recommend action on short-term and specific issues. These committees shall not exist beyond the term of the Faculty Senate that authorizes their formation.
(b) Faculty Senators, other faculty, students, staff, and administrative personnel may serve on Ad Hoc Committees at the discretion of the Faculty Senate.
(c) Members are appointed to a Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee by the Chair, with the consent of the Faculty Senate.
(d) Ad Hoc Committees shall report to the Faculty Senate as required by the Executive Council.
ARTICLE SIX: MEETINGS
Section 1. All meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be open.
Section 2. All meetings shall be conducted according to the Modern Edition of Robert's Rules of Order unless specifically preempted by the Faculty Senate Constitution, or any Special Rules of Order which the Faculty Senate may adopt.
Section 3. Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be called twice a month, except for abbreviated months, during the regular academic year and once during each summer session. The Faculty Senate Chair, with the consent of the Executive Council and advance written notice to all senators, may call a special meeting or reschedule a meeting, if necessary. A majority of the Executive Council or one-third of the senators may call a special meeting by written petition to the Faculty Senate Chair.
Section 4. A quorum for all Faculty Senate meetings is a majority of the membership, except during the summer, when quorum is one-third (1/3) of the Faculty Senate membership. Attendance at regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meetings shall be taken and absences recorded in the minutes.
Section 5. The Order of Business shall follow the agenda as set by the Executive Council. Items to be included on the published agenda must be submitted in writing to the Executive Council at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.
Section 6. Faculty Senate approval for recommendations shall require a simple majority of members voting. A senator may designate another senator as a proxy for the purpose of casting votes on specific issues, but such designation must be in writing and must be submitted to the Chair before voting occurs. Unofficial substitution is not permitted.
Section 7. Records, excluding those covered by relevant privacy acts but including meeting agendas, minutes, correspondence and committee reports, shall be deposited in the Camden-Carroll Library and Faculty Senate office by the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Proposed agendas and minutes of the Faculty Senate meetings shall be distributed to Faculty Senators and honorary members of the Senate. The Chair may disseminate Faculty Senate records as deemed appropriate, relevant, or necessary.
ARTICLE SEVEN: UNIVERSITY SUPPORT
Section 1. The Chair shall receive six credit hours of reassigned time in regular teaching load during each semester of service. Additionally, the Chair shall receive three credit hours of compensation, based on the applicable formula, for Senate responsibilities during the summer. Reassigned time and compensation for the chair-elect during the spring semester and summer may be negotiated based on the expectations for Faculty Senate initiatives.
Section 2. The University shall provide adequate secretarial assistance for the Faculty Senate.
Section 3. An adequate annual operating budget shall be provided for the Faculty Senate.
Section 4. Office space and appropriate equipment for the Faculty Senate Chair, secretary and Faculty Senate files shall be provided. This should include a conference room suitable for committee meetings.
ARTICLE EIGHT: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Section 1. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by a Senator, Faculty Senate Committee, or by a petition signed by at least twenty-five members of the University faculty. The proposed amendment shall be filed with the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Amendments require approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senators voting.
Section 2. Copies of amendments approved by the Senate and ballots for voting shall be distributed by secure and confidential methods to all members of the University faculty who are eligible to vote as defined in ARTICLE 2, Section 3. Ballots shall be counted after the published deadline, which shall be at least two weeks after the amendments have been distributed. A majority of the eligible University faculty voting shall be necessary for approval.
Section 3. Upon approval by the University Faculty, proposed amendments shall be submitted by the University President to the Board of Regents for final approval.
ARTICLE NINE: SPECIAL RULES OF ORDER
Section 1. Special Rules of Order are intended and designed to enhance the operational effectiveness of the Faculty Senate. Special Rules of Order supersede Robert’s Rules in the conduct of Faculty Senate Business. Special Rules of Order are attached to this Constitution and will be maintained with the constitution but are not a part of the constitution itself and may be changed following the procedures below. These Special Rules will be available to the Chair at every Faculty Senate meeting.
Section 2. A senator may submit a proposed Special Rule of Order in writing to the Chair. It is placed on the agenda and handled according to the normal rules for motions.
Section 3. Approval, amendment, removal or suspension of a Special Rule of Order requires a two-thirds majority of Senators voting.
ARTICLE TEN: EFFECTIVE DATE
This Constitution becomes effective immediately upon ratification by the University faculty and the Morehead State University Board of Regents. Transition into amended sections of this constitution shall follow the procedures outlined in Article Eleven: Transition.
ARTICLE ELEVEN: TRANSITION
Section 1. All duly elected senators shall continue in office until the normal expiration of their term.
Section 2. Election of departmental representation to the Faculty Senate shall proceed in the manner directed by the constitution in effect as of March 1.
Section 3. Implementation of amended sections of this constitution shall begin with the start of the next academic year following the approval of this document.
ARTICLE TWELVE: SEVERABILITY
The invalidation of any portion of this Constitution shall not affect the validity of any other portion of the Constitution.
FACULTY SENATE SPECIAL RULES OF ORDER
1. Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be called to order by the Chair at 4:10 PM on the first and third Thursday of each month during the regular academic year. Any Thursday within a given month that the University is not officially in session will not be considered in calculating meeting dates.
2. Two regular summer meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be called to order at 4:10 PM on the third Thursday of June and July.
3. A motion to recommend changes to University policy or to change Senate rules shall not be voted on at the meeting at which it is moved. When such a motion is made and seconded, there shall be a “first reading” at which the mover will explain the motion and answer questions by Senators about the motion. During a first reading, no debate on or amendment of the motion shall be in order. The Executive Council shall place the motion on the agenda of a subsequent meeting for “second reading”, at which debate of and amendments to the motion are in order.
4. Friendly amendments that are accepted by the moving party are allowed.
5. The Chair of the Faculty Senate, with the consent of the Executive Council, may include an open chair segment on meeting agendas.
6. Each meeting of the Faculty Senate shall adjourn no later than 110 minutes after the meeting is called to order.
7. The Chair of the Faculty Senate may nominate a Senator to serve as parliamentarian in order to clarify procedural questions as they arise. The nominee for parliamentarian must be approved by a majority of Senators voting.
8. In order to seek recognition, a Senator shall not stand, but instead shall raise his or her hand.
9. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate, with the consent of the Faculty Senate Chair, may amend University Standing and Advisory Committee descriptions to ensure that positions and bodies mentioned in those descriptions are referred to by their current, correct names. Minor editorial corrections may also be made.