Much of the work of the Faculty Senate happens in committees. If you have an issue or concern in a particular area, seek out the chair or a member of the relevant committee. You will find committee descriptions in the drop-down sections below. Click here (forthcoming) for a PDF version of the faculty serving on each committee.
The jurisdiction of the Appeals Committee includes complaints regarding violations of due process and fairness in tenure or promotion decisions, annual and cumulative performance reviews, and violations of provisions contained in the Faculty Handbook, the Manual for Faculty Evaluation, and collegiate and departmental bylaws. The Appeals Committee also engages in other activities relating to faculty grievances, disputes, performance, and employment as set forth in the Faculty Handbook.
This committee handles academic aspects of intercollegiate athletics as well as the intramural athletics program. It may also concern itself with any other athletics matters that the committee deems appropriate and that lie within the purview of the Faculty Senate.
The Benefits and Professional Development Committee has a number of tasks:
(1) suggesting administrative actions that would permit and encourage professional development and monitoring and evaluating the resulting actions and programs;
(2) initiating activities to facilitate the development of faculty members as professionals and monitoring and evaluating these activities and resulting programs;
(3) developing a policy of professional leave (sabbatical leave) and monitoring
the resulting program;
(4) enhancing and expanding international teaching and research opportunities for faculty and strengthening opportunities for participation of scholars and artists from outside the U.S.;
(5) examining, clarifying, and making recommendations to the Faculty Senate on issues and concern on retirement, leave, faculty welfare, insurance, and fringe benefits;
(6) cooperating with task forces, councils, and committees addressing similar concerns on other higher education campuses in Tennessee;
(7) receiving representation from and providing representation to any other Faculty Senate, campus, or university task force, council, or committee addressing issues directly related to faculty and staff development or benefits.
When appropriate, the Benefits and Professional Development Committee cooperates with other Faculty Senate committees on base salary and other issues that are related to faculty benefits.
The duties of the Budget and Planning Committee are:
(1) to provide for campuswide faculty input into the campus budgeting processes;
(2) to work with the University/System Relations Committee to monitor The University of Tennessee system budget;
(3) to encourage the use of faculty expertise in budget matters; and
(4) to inform the faculty, through the Faculty Senate, concerning budget matters.
Both long-range and short-term aspects of its role will receive the committee’s attention, including budget priorities, THEC formulas, and planning for projects of The University of Tennessee or other entities that may eventually result in changes to campus facilities. The primary concerns of the Budget and Planning Committee are policy and communication. The Budget and Planning Committee is not expected to become involved with, nor engaged in, comprehensive investigations necessary as a basis for budget decisions.
The charge of the committee is to actively support diversity and inclusion at UTK.
The Executive Council shall represent the Faculty Senate as needed in meetings with the administration and other groups, shall handle necessary business on an emergency and interim basis between Faculty Senate meetings (including matters that may arise after the last scheduled Faculty Senate meeting in the spring and
before the first scheduled Faculty Senate meeting in the fall, during which time a quorum will be seven members of the Executive Council including the Faculty Senate President), shall recommend and review assignments to other councils and committees, and shall establish ad hoc councils and committees on behalf of itself or as directed by the Faculty Senate.
The Executive Council shall concern itself with the formulation and review of the long-range and short-range educational policies of the campuses as represented by the monetary allocations made in the budget.
The Faculty Affairs Committee concerns itself with the adoption and amendment of faculty governance policies and rules, including the development and refinement of criteria and procedures for faculty appointment, promotion, retention, evaluation, the granting of tenure, retirement, and discharge for cause.
The Faculty Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing proposed revisions and recommending changes to the Faculty Handbook in accordance with the amendments procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook, and for reviewing proposed revisions and recommending changes to the Manual for Faculty Evaluation in accordance with the amendments procedures set forth in the Manual for Faculty Evaluation. The activities of the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be conducted at all times in a manner consistent with the Trustees’ Policies Governing Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure, as the same may be amended from time to time, and shall be guided by faculty governance best practices in higher education, including especially those identified and promoted by the American Association of University Professors.
The Graduate Council establishes standards for graduate admission, retention, and graduation; assesses curricular revisions and new proposals for graduate programs; evaluates interdisciplinary, intercollegiate and international programs; approves individuals to direct doctoral dissertations; and considers new initiatives and other matters of policy pertaining to graduate programs. Its structure and activities are governed by its Bylaws, which are adopted and amended by the membership of the Graduate Council and include rules consistent with these Bylaws.
Duties of the Library and Information Technology Committee include:
(1) identifying, reviewing, and recommending information technology policies;
(2) representing the Faculty Senate on key university committees that address information technology;
(3) reporting to the Faculty Senate on key information technology issues and developments that affect the campus; and
(4) ensuring that library services and collections meet the teaching, research, and public service needs of the campus communities with particular focus on library policies and procedures that facilitate use of resources.
It shall be the duty of the Committee on Nominations and Appointments to recommend faculty members and chairpersons of all standing and special councils and committees of the Faculty Senate, except that the chairpersons of the Executive Council, this Committee on Nominations and Appointments, the Undergraduate Council, and the Graduate Council shall be nominated as set forth in the bylaws.
The Faculty Senate President shall retain responsibility for all nominations of faculty to administrative committees and other bodies. This Committee on Nominations and Appointments shall also recruit two nominees for Faculty Senate President-Elect every year and two nominees for the campus representative to the University Faculty Council in the spring semester of every third year. [/half]
The Non-Tenure-Track Issues Committee shall concern itself with policies and issues regarding non-tenure-track faculty, including, but not limited to, the development and refinement of criteria and procedures for non-tenure-track faculty appointment, compensation, benefits, promotion, retention, evaluation, shared governance, retirement, and termination.
The Non-Tenure-Track Issues Committee is responsible for reviewing proposed revisions and recommending changes to the Faculty Handbook that affect non-tenure-track faculty in accordance with the amendments and procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook, as well as for reviewing proposed revisions and recommending changes that affect nontenure-track faculty to the Manual for Faculty Evaluation in accordance with the amendments procedures set forth in the Manual for Faculty Evaluation. In order to ensure representation of non-tenure-track faculty interests, the Non-Tenure-Track Issues Committee will work with other committees such as, but not limited to, the Faculty Affairs Committee and the Benefits and Professional Development Committee.
The Research Council acts as an advisory body to the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Research Council shall promote excellence in research, scholarship,and other creative activity through the study and recommendation of policies. The Research Council shall initiate and support efforts to communicate an understanding of and appreciation for research, scholarship, and other creative activity to the campus community and the community at large. The Research Council coadministers some programs of the Office of Research, as requested by the Vice Chancellor for Research or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Areas of concern include research incentives and support, intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary research activities, compliance with State, federal and university regulations governing the conduct of research, rights to and commercialization of intellectual property, the broad range of research infrastructure including all forms of telecommunications and computational support, and other research-related resources. Further, the Research Council shall concern itself with the institutional policy on research grants and funding, with copyright and patent policy, with protection of investigators, with the protection of human subjects of research, with the protection of experimental animals, and with policies affecting compliance of research activities with environmental and occupational health and safety requirements. Further, the Research Council shall encourage publications and the development of specialized research facilities for intercollegiate and/or interdisciplinary uses in accordance with any other policies pertaining to research programs. The Research Council shall also encourage media releases of research successes of UTK, UTIA, and UTSI researchers. When appropriate, the Research Council shall report its actions for approval to the Faculty Senate.[/half]
The Teaching and Learning Council is a committee of the Faculty Senate that works to advance excellence in teaching and academic advising at UTK. Areas of concern for the Teaching and Learning Council include incentives for recognizing quality instruction and advising, methods for improving instruction at a campus and departmental level, and guidelines for routine and disciplinary evaluation of teaching, academic advising, and curriculum. For example, the Teaching and Learning Council examines policy issues related to teaching on the campuses and works with the chief academic officer to recognize excellence in teaching and advising. The Teaching and Learning Council works with Teaching and Learning Innovation to run a yearly campus-wide program that involves faculty and staff in addressing issues central to improving instruction and advising. The Teaching and Learning Council works with both the Graduate School and Teaching and Learning Innovation to develop practical means of improving and rewarding instruction and advising on campus.
The Undergraduate Council shall concern itself with standards for admission, retention, and graduation; with curricular matters in the undergraduate programs;
with the development of interdisciplinary programs; with the approval of new programs and any other matters of educational policy pertaining to undergraduate
programs. Its structure and activities are governed by its Operating Guidelines, which are adopted and amended by the membership of the Undergraduate Council
and include rules consistent with the Senate Bylaws.
The University/System Relations Committee will provide for faculty input (1) into activities of The University of Tennessee system, including Research, ORNL, Information Technology, and the Cherokee Campus and (2) with the Board of Trustees and the Tennessee legislature. The University/System Relations Committee shall work with the Budget and Planning Committee to monitor The University of Tennessee system budget.