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Senate Chair and Vice Chair Internal Procedures

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The chair must appoint someone to serve as Parliamentarian.  In concert with the Executive Committee, the chair will interview prospective candidates.  The Parliamentarian is a voluntary position. 

The Chair and the Executive Committee are responsible for the Administrative Review of the President.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to find out if the current academic year is the year in which the President will be evaluated.



Before each Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

The liaisons to the Senate Standing Committees, the Faculty Regent, and the COSFL representatives should notify the Chair of any impending reports. Prepare background materials and invite interested and knowledgeable faculty to share information related to topics being considered for upcoming Senate meetings. Review Bylaws to identify Standing Committee Chairs that need to report each semester. Remind liaisons to review Bylaws and report effectively.

After each Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

Working with the Senate Secretary, the Chair prepares the Agenda for the next Senate meeting. The Secretary will distribute an email which contains a link to the Agenda and all pertinent attachments (including the Minutes of the previous meeting, any information from the Provost’s office, etc.) to each senator prior to the next Senate meeting.

Any material intended for distribution to all faculty must be posted on the Senate website.

Before each Senate Meeting  (top)

The Secretary provides a draft of the minutes from the Executive Committee meeting for the Chair. The Chair prepares a report of the Executive Committee to be delivered at the next Senate meeting with a digital copy to be given to the Secretary.

Post Open Meeting notices (or designee—Vice Chair).

Work with the IT Committee to make sure that the procedures are in place to conduct voting via the current voting method.

Prepare visual agenda and support materials.

Adjust gallery seating to provide an inclusive atmosphere.

After Each Senate Meeting  (top)

Following the Senate meeting, the Chair will send any approved policy or action via memo to the President and Provost. Also, if 10% of faculty petition for a meeting to address any Faculty-at-Large motions, send a memo to the President in June regarding any Senate-approved action(s) which require Faculty-at-Large voting after the August convocation. If documents were included with the Agenda or the Agenda materials, they will not normally be attached to the Minutes. If the Chair specifically wants something included with the Minutes, notify the Secretary.

Run voting tally reports (or IT Committee designee) and send to the Secretary for inclusion in the Minutes. Do not leave the meeting without this task completed.

Report to the Board of Regents  (top)

The Faculty Senate Chair will prepare a short report of activities to be presented at the quarterly Board of Regents Regular Meetings. Reports should be written and forwarded to the Secretary of the Board.

During the August Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

The Chair appoints an Executive Committee member to act as a liaison to each of the Standing Senate Committees and Senate Ad Hoc Committees. The Vice Chair automatically serves as liaison to the Academic Quality Committee. The Chair (or designee) serves as the liaison to the Senate Budget Committee. Set the Standing Committee charges with the Executive Committee.

Before the September Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

The Senate Secretary should check the list of senators who have been replaced since May and see if any of the outgoing senators were on Senate Committees. If a newly elected senator is replacing an elected committee member, schedule a new election (either temporary or permanent) for the September meeting and include it on the Agenda (see above). If committee members are appointed, have their names ready to announce at the September meeting.

Develop and maintain a membership list for each of the Senate committees. The Secretary should post the lists on the Senate website and circulate them with the Agenda. If any committee chairs have been elected, indicate who they are on the membership lists.

The Chair should ensure that the Committee on Elections and University Nominations and the Secretary agree on the current membership roster. The Chair and Secretary should work together to ensure the roster is kept current and accurate and that the roster is posted on the Senate website.

The Chair should contact returning members of the IT Committee and request that they train the new IT Committee members on how to conduct Senate voting.  If all members of the IT Committee are new, arrange for the previous IT Committee Chair (or designee) to train new IT Committee members on how to conduct Senate voting.

Conduct a New Senator Orientation prior to the first Senate meeting to review policy and process used in the Senate.

After the September Senate Meeting  (top)

Ask the Secretary for a list of the names of senators who were absent and had not previously notified either the Chair or the Secretary of their intended absence. The Senate Chair or the Chair of the Committee on Elections and University Nominations must check to see if any need to be replaced, either permanently or for the semester. This should be done immediately in case the department needs to complete an election prior to the October meeting. Make sure the Secretary is kept apprised of the names of any new or retiring members.

Before the November Senate Meeting  (top)

Ask the Chair of the Committee on Elections and University Nominations to request that senators who are unable to serve during the spring semester notify the Committee on Elections and University Nominations as soon as possible. The committee must ensure that replacements are elected before the January meeting. If any of the senators are on Senate committees, schedule an election or appointment during the first spring meeting to find either a temporary or permanent replacement. If a senator is unable to serve for one semester due to sabbatical or other reasons and that senator is serving on a committee, the person replacing the senator shall fill the senator's position on the committee. The Senate Chair should forward the names of replacement senators to the Secretary as soon as they have been received.

In December  (top)

Contact the Secretary to discuss and confirm your respective responsibilities. (This may not be necessary if the present Secretary is continuing in the position.)

In January  (top)

The Chair sends an email to the Committee on Elections and University Nominations to remind them to begin circulating questionnaires requesting faculty to self-nominate for University and appropriate Senate committees for the next academic year.

Before the February Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

If any senators have not returned for the spring semester, determine whether they are on any Senate committees. If so, there must be a (temporary or permanent) replacement, either by appointment or by an election at the February Senate meeting. In the latter case, include the upcoming election on the February Agenda. See "Before November Senate Meeting" regarding one-semester replacements.

At the February Senate Meeting  (top)

Remind the senators that the Senate Chair is elected from all members who have previously served on the Senate. This includes former senators who are not currently serving. If an election is to be held for a new senator, it should be done before the March meeting of the Executive Committee, so he/she can be included in a list (with the April Agenda) of possible persons to be nominated.

Remind the senators that any elections for new senators should be done before the March Executive Committee meeting so that the names of those eligible for Chair can be circulated. This includes senators whose terms have expired and any who know they will need a permanent replacement for the next year.

At the March Senate Meeting  (top)

Remind the Senators that nominations will be taken for Senate Chair at the April meeting.

Ask any continuing senators currently serving on a committee to notify the Chair if they will not be able to serve in the fall semester without delay.

In Early April  (top)

Obtain a copy of the official University Calendar for the next year from the Provost's Office, and if possible, set the Senate meeting for the first Monday in each month (September through May) in which the University is in session. Schedule the Executive Committee meetings as near as possible to two weeks before the Senate meetings. Send an email listing these dates to the President, all returning members of the Executive Committee, and the Provost. The Provost’s office will add the Senate meeting dates to the University Calendar. Attach a copy to the May Agenda of the new Senate. Send a copy to the new Senate Chair immediately after the May election.

Before Sending the Agenda Materials for the April Meeting  (top)

The Senate Secretary and Chair should compile a list of all new senators who have previously served on the Senate and include it in the Agenda materials. These people, as well as any returning senators, are eligible to be elected as Senate Chair.

Check with the Committee on Elections & University Nominations and determine which Senate committees will have openings in the fall. Add any additional positions from senators who are no longer able to serve. Check to see if any senators informed the Secretary they may not be able to serve. Send out a list of committee vacancies and list the names of continuing members on each committee.

Before the May Executive Committee Meeting  (top)

The Senate Secretary should compile a list of returning members on all Senate committees, and the Chair should prepare to appoint one of them as a convener for the next year. If a committee has no returning members, the Chair chooses a convener as soon as the election has been held.

The Secretary should circulate with the May Agenda a list of all positions to be filled by election at the May meeting of the New Senate, including the nominees for new Senate Chair.

Include a list of the new Senate membership with the May Agenda of the new Senate.

Before the May Senate Meeting  (top)

Compile a list of all senators whose terms are expiring or who will not return the next year for any other reason. Request that the Secretary print Senate Appreciation Certificates for them. These need to be signed by the Chair and the President before the May Senate meeting.

During the May Senate Meeting  (top)

Give out the Senate Appreciation Certificates.

Elect the new Chair of the Faculty Senate at the beginning of the organizational meeting which will convene immediately after the regularly scheduled meeting.

The outgoing Chair will then turn the gavel over to the newly appointed Chair along with a list of vacancies that still need to be filled.

After the May Senate Meeting  (top)

The Senate Chair should work with the incoming Vice Chair to decide how to share duties. Arrange to work together in a way that is comfortable and reflects the ratio of course releases given to both people. The Chair has two releases, the Vice Chair one, so the arrangement should give about one-third of the burden to the Vice Chair.

updated 03-06-23

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