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Faculty Senate Bylaws

Bylaws

 

Faculty Senate of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

 

Revised May 2, 2022

 

ARTICLE I. Powers and Duties of the Faculty Senate.

 

Section 1. The Faculty Senate of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (the “Faculty Senate”) shall have those powers and duties which have been, and which may be, delegated to it by the Trustees of The University of Tennessee and by the faculties of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (“UTK”), The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (“UTIA”), and The University of Tennessee Space Institute (“UTSI”).

 

The powers and duties established by a resolution of the Board of Trustees on June 15, 1972, were as follows:

 

  • Is authorized, subject to the approval of the chief academic officer, the President, and the Board of Trustees, to formulate policies and regulations regarding the general educational objectives of the university, including those policies and regulations related to the overall general requirements for admission, graduation, and honors for the degree programs and certificate programs of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

 

  • Is authorized to review the actions of the Special Faculties of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, concerning the specific admission and graduation requirements for the programs of the various academic units.

 

  • In consultation with academic officials may also consider, advise, and recommend to the chief academic officer, or, if appropriate, through the chief academic officer to the President, policies and procedures in other matters which concern the general welfare of the faculty of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, such as, but not exclusively limited to, criteria for faculty appointment, dismissal, promotions, tenure, and retirement; criteria for the selection of the chief academic officer and other campus administrative officers; criteria, in conjunction with other Faculty Senates or corresponding bodies of other campuses of The University of Tennessee, for the selection of the President of the University System, and other System executive officers; priorities for the university budget; priorities for the university development plan; and changes in physical facilities. The Faculty Senate may consider, advise, and recommend on proposed policies regarding student life, rights, and responsibilities.

 

  • Has no management or administrative functions, either in itself or through the instrumentality of its committees, administrative matters being expressly reserved to the President of the University, and delegated by the Board of Trustees and through the President to the chief academic officer of The University of Tennessee.

 

Section 2. Reports. All actions by the Faculty Senate shall be reported to the faculty by the posting of minutes and necessary supporting documents on the Faculty Senate website. Any action shall be subject to revision or alteration by the Faculty Senate provided that no rights or acts of third parties shall be affected by such revision or alteration.

 

Section 3. Terminology. In 1972, the Faculty Senate represented three distinct campuses: UTK, UTIA, and UTSI, however, since that time these campuses have been merged and therefore there is a single UTK Faculty Senate.

 

ARTICLE II. Faculty Senate Organization.

 

Section 1. Members: Number, Classification, Terms of Office, Duties, and Apportionment. The voting membership of the Faculty Senate is divided into three classes: administrative members, elected faculty members (Faculty Senators), and alternates temporarily serving in place of elected members. All officers of the Faculty Senate (which consists of the President-Elect, President, Immediate Past President, Recording Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Communication Officer) are considered non-voting members at large if they are not serving as elected faculty members during the term of office and shall not be counted against the apportionment assigned to their respective college, unit, or division during the term of office. The “Faculty Senate Leadership Team” (herein, FSLT) is comprised of the President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past-President.

 

  1. Administrative Members. The administrative members, who shall be voting members of the Faculty Senate, shall be the chief officers for academic affairs, finance and administration, and student life. Five additional members will be appointed by the chief academic officer of the Knoxville campus from among the Deans and Directors of the academic units. These appointments are subject to approval by the Council of Deans. The term of office for each of the five is three years and begins August 1 of the year in which the member is elected. The five elected members shall be divided into three classes, and their terms shall be staggered such that no more than two are appointed in any year. An administrative member shall be ineligible for reappointment for one year after serving a full three-year term, or any partial term of more than one year.

 

Elected Faculty Members: Criteria, Election, Term of Office, and Duties. The Faculty Senate is organized into caucuses by College, Unit, or Division. The colleges, units, and divisions represented on the Faculty Senate include: Agriculture (Herbert College, AgResearch, and UT Extension); Architecture and Design; Arts and Sciences (divided into three divisional caucuses representing the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities); Haslam College of Business; Communication and Information; Education, Health and Human Sciences; Tickle College of Engineering; Law; Libraries; Nursing; ROTC; Social Work; UTSI; and Veterinary Medicine.

Each caucus is comprised of the elected representatives and alternates from that unit and has a caucus chair who runs the elections each year for that caucus. The caucuses represent the constituents (faculty members) of their College, Unit, or Division. Elected faculty members (Faculty Senators) from each caucus shall be chosen from those members of the faculty meeting the following criteria at the time of the election: (1) the holding of full or continuing part-time appointment at any faculty rank, and (2) the performance of academic duties totaling at least half-time teaching, research, service, or departmental administration. The term of office for each elected faculty member is three years (except as set forth below in paragraph E of this Section 1) and begins August 1 of the year in which the member is elected. The members elected by each college, unit, or division (as provided for in Section 2 of this Article II) shall be divided into three classes (organized by the end of their appointment term), each class consisting of approximately one-third of the elected representatives of each college, unit, or division. After completion of a full three-year term or any partial term of more than one year, an elected faculty member shall be eligible for a second three-year term. A senator who has served two consecutive terms is eligible for nomination only after being off the Faculty Senate for a full three years.

 

  1. Alternates. Alternates are selected or appointed by their caucuses and/or caucus chairs on a yearly basis to serve as a representative of the college, unit, or division when a Faculty Senator cannot attend a meeting. Their term is for one year. They may serve on Faculty Senate committees (as any faculty member may serve on Faculty Senate committees without being a Faculty Senator). An alternate may chair a committee if appointed by the Faculty Senate President. An alternate must be eligible to serve as an Elected Senator at the time elected or appointed to serve, and must be available to attend Faculty Senate meetings.

 

  1. Student Body President. The Student Government Association (SGA) shall be represented on the Faculty Senate by the Student Body President. The Student Body President shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of the Faculty Senate. In the event that the Student Body President cannot attend a regular senate meeting, an SGA student designee shall be appointed. The Student Body President shall be permitted to provide a report to the Faculty Senate at the request of the Faculty Senate President.

 

  1. Duties of a Faculty Senator. Each voting member of the Faculty Senate shall:

 

  1. Represent the constituency and the broader interests of the faculty;
  2. Attend and participate in Faculty Senate meetings on a regular basis;
  3. Participate actively in the appropriate caucus;
  4. Communicate and interact regularly with constituents;
  5. Maintain active membership on at least one Faculty Senate standing committee;
  6. Serve on other committees and task forces as needed; and
  7. Participate in Faculty Senate retreats, training, and information sessions.

 

  1. The number of elected Faculty Senators for each caucus is determined through a process of apportioning. The number of seats in each caucus shall be apportioned in early spring each year using the list of faculty from August of the previous year. Seats will be apportioned among the respective colleges, units, and divisions by the administrative assistant of the Faculty Senate under the supervision of the FSLT on the following basis: All continuing part-time faculty of at least 20% FTE shall be combined into full-time equivalents to be added to the full-time eligible faculty in determining the basis for representation of each caucus of the Faculty Senate. Appendix I of this document shows how faculty FTEs are used for determining the number of elected faculty representatives.

 

 

 

In case of an increase in the number of elected faculty member representatives authorized for any caucus, the new elective seats shall be apportioned over the three classes of members in a manner that distributes the members as equally as possible across the classes. Elected faculty members may be elected to one-year, two-year, or three-year terms in order to achieve this approximate distributive equality.

 

In case of a decrease in the number of elected faculty member representatives authorized for any caucus, the decrease in representation shall be made at the next expiration of the term of an elected member.

 

Section 2. Election of Senators. The UTK caucuses shall elect its representatives to the Faculty Senate by May 1 each year (or an alternative time established by the FSLT) as set forth in this Section 2.

 

  1. Nominations. The President-Elect of the Faculty Senate administers all elections with assistance from the administrative assistant of the Faculty Senate and relevant administrative offices at UTK. Each January, the administrative assistant of the Faculty Senate shall notify the Faculty Senate President-Elect of the number of positions to be filled in the forthcoming election based on the apportionment process above. The caucus chairs shall serve as a nominations subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Committee on Nominations and Appointments for the respective college, unit, or division represented by the caucus. The caucus chairs, working with the President-Elect, shall call for and receive nominations from faculty constituents in their respective colleges, units, or divisions. The President-Elect and administrative assistant of Faculty Senate will indicate the number of nominees needed for each caucus. There shall be at least two candidates listed on the ballot for each seat to be filled through the annual election, absent extraordinary circumstances. Nominations will be submitted before April 1 (or an alternative date established by the FSLT). The Committee on Nominations and Appointments shall collect the names of all nominees to be included on the ballot, together with a brief biography or statement for each, and shall set the time and procedures for voting. All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot. The votes shall be taken and counted electronically or, in the absence of electronic voting, shall be taken among constituents of the caucus and reported to the President-Elect by the caucus chair.

 

  1. Vacancies and Proxies. The chief academic officer shall select a successor to fill the unexpired term of any administrative member leaving a vacancy as a result of ineligibility or unavailability to serve. In case of any vacancy in the Faculty Senate through death, resignation, retirement, or promotion (including promotion of a member to a position which would make the person eligible to be an administrative member) of an elected faculty member, or where an elected faculty member ceases to be a member of the faculty or is absent on leave for more than one semester or is ineligible to serve for other reasons, the faculty of the college, unit, or division losing its elected representative shall select a successor to fill the unexpired term.

 

A proxy (an Alternate for the caucus or other faculty member from the caucus) may be appointed by an elected faculty member, with the consent of the Faculty Senate President, during the faculty member’s one-semester leave or when a conflict prevents the faculty member from attending Faculty Senate meetings for an entire semester or for one or more individual meetings during a term. The proxy shall have all the privileges and powers of the absentee elected faculty member.

 

Section 3. Meetings. The Faculty Senate shall ordinarily meet on the third Monday in September, October, and November during the fall semester and on the first Monday in February, March, April, and May during the spring semester. The President-Elect shall review the calendar one year in advance and adjust meeting dates to avoid religious holidays and otherwise as necessary. The proposed schedule for the following academic year shall be presented during the fall semester of the Faculty Senate each year and be published as appropriate. The President shall have the authority to schedule the meetings on other dates, if timely notice is given to members of the Faculty Senate. In addition, the Faculty Senate shall meet at the call of the Faculty Senate President, or in the President’s absence, the Faculty Senate President-Elect, as requested in a petition signed on paper or electronically by one-quarter of the members of the Faculty Senate. The President may also adjust the modality of the meetings, in consultation with, and appropriate notification to the Faculty Senate. During the spring semester, the third Monday in January shall be reserved for a meeting, to be used if deemed necessary by the Faculty Senate President or Executive Council. Meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws. Administrative, faculty, staff, and student observers may speak, if recognized by the presiding officer. A voting member of the Faculty Senate wishing to place an item on the agenda of the Faculty Senate shall submit it to the President and administrative assistant of the Faculty Senate, in the form of a written motion to be debated, at least five business days before the meeting of the Faculty Senate Executive Council immediately preceding a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate. Such an action does not preclude any voting member of the Faculty Senate from offering a motion from the floor.

 

Section 4. Quorum. A majority of the voting members of the Faculty Senate shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The affirmative vote of the majority of those voting members present shall be necessary for the passage of any resolution or motion, unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws. Once a quorum is achieved at a meeting of the Faculty Senate, it cannot be lost before the meeting is adjourned.

 

Section 5. Voting. Voting in the Faculty Senate will be by voice, show of hands, or electronic poll unless, in particular instances, the majority of voting members present desires a secret ballot. All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.

 

Section 6. Advance Distribution of Committee Reports. Committee chairpersons shall submit minutes, reports, or other materials containing items requiring Faculty Senate deliberation or action (other than receiving of reports) to the Faculty Senate President and administrative assistant at least seven calendar days in advance of the Faculty Senate meeting at which the item is to be considered. The Faculty Senate President or administrative assistant must make minutes, reports, or other materials available to members of the Faculty Senate at least three days in advance of the meeting at which they will be considered. If the minutes, reports, or materials are not delivered in accordance with this schedule, consideration of any issue arising from them at the meeting will require approval by two-thirds of the voting members present.

 

Section 7. Order of Business. At the meetings of the Faculty Senate the order of business shall be as follows:

 

  • Call to order.
  • Approval of minutes.
  • Reports by the Faculty Senate President, Chancellor, and Provost.
  • Unfinished business.
  • Report of Special Committees.
  • Report of Standing Committees.
  • New business.

 

Section 8. College, Unit, or Division Caucuses. Each college, unit, or division electing faculty members to serve on the Faculty Senate will have a caucus comprising all elected faculty members and alternates from the college, unit, or division. The FSLT is notified who will be serving as caucus chair by each caucus by August 1 each year. The caucus is responsible for timely communications with the faculty in the college, unit, or division. The caucus may call meetings of the faculty of the college, unit, or division as needed. The caucus will be assisted by the dean’s office, for caucuses representing colleges and divisions of a college, who will function as a de facto administrative assistant for the caucus, with responsibilities including calling meetings, taking and distributing minutes, etc. As noted in Section 2.A. of this Article II, each caucus chair collects nominations for the Faculty Senate elections after an appropriate call for nominations.

 

Section 9. Election of Councils and Committees. The FSLT, in conjunction with the Committee on Nominations and Appointments as needed, shall recommend council and committee members and chairpersons, as specified below under Article III, Section 1.

 

Section 10. Election of Officers. In the spring semester of each year, the Faculty Senate shall elect a President-Elect. Each nominee shall be given the opportunity to make a brief statement relevant to  candidacy and respond to questions at the regular meeting of the Faculty Senate in March or April of each year and shall provide voting members of the Faculty Senate with a written statement regarding  relevant experiences and proposed contributions as Faculty Senate President in advance of that meeting. Election shall be by a majority vote of all members of the Faculty Senate taken by an electronic ballot. One nomination for Faculty Senate Recording Secretary and Faculty Senate Communication Officer shall be made by the Executive Council subject to the approval of the Faculty Senate membership.

 

The President-Elect shall be chosen for a one-year term from among those members of the faculty meeting the following criteria at the time of election: (1) the holding of full-time faculty appointment with tenure; (2) the performance of academic duties totaling at least half-time teaching, research, service, or departmental administration; and (3) prior service on the Faculty Senate (as an administrative member, an elected faculty member, a committee or council member, or otherwise) within the last ten years. In the event of death or resignation of the President-Elect or early assumption of the President’s office, the Committee on Nominations and Appointments shall present to the next meeting of the Faculty Senate a new slate of at least two nominees for another election for President-Elect. Voting members of the Faculty Senate may write in additional nominees. Election shall be by a majority vote of all members of the Faculty Senate taken by an electronic ballot before the next meeting of the Senate. The current President shall remain in office until a successor is elected.

 

The term of office for President-Elect, President, Immediate Past President, Recording Secretary, and Communication Officer shall be for one year to begin on July 1. The President-Elect becomes the President the following year, and the President becomes the Immediate Past President the following year.

 

ARTICLE III. Councils and Committees.

 

Section 1. General Aspects of Councils and Committees. Except as otherwise set forth in these Bylaws, the FSLT, in conjunction with the Nominations and Appointments Committee as needed, shall constitute the Faculty Senate councils and committees based on the expressed interest and expertise of Faculty Senate members and the requirements set forth in these Bylaws. The FSLT also shall select and secure council and committee chairpersons, except as otherwise set forth in these Bylaws. Whenever possible, chairpersons of councils and committees shall be elected faculty members. Except as otherwise set forth in these Bylaws, council and committee members and chairpersons shall be appointed to serve a term of one year, with the expectation that chairpersons will continue to serve for at least one additional year, if requested to do so by the Faculty Senate President. A chair of a council or committee who cannot complete their term should consult with the FSLT, who will designate a replacement.

 

Council and committee members and chairpersons shall be recommended by the Committee on Nominations and Appointments and FSLT and also identified in consultation with current committee chairpersons. To further communication and collaboration throughout the campuses, the chairperson of each council or committee has the discretion to recommend members who may or may not be elected faculty members. The President of the Faculty Senate is an ex-officio member of all standing councils and committees. Unless otherwise specified below, ex-officio members of councils or committees shall be non-voting members.

 

Prior to or at the beginning of each academic year, the chairperson of each council or committee (other than the Executive Council, the Committee on Nominations and Appointments, the Graduate Council, and the Undergraduate Council) shall provide the FSLT the council or committee goals for the upcoming year, review the bylaws concerning the responsibilities of that council or committee, and discuss other information relevant to that council or committee.

 

Section 2. Standing Councils and Committees. The standing councils and committees of the Faculty Senate are listed and described below.

 

  1. Executive Council. Membership shall consist of the chairpersons of the standing councils and committees of the Faculty Senate (if a council or committee has co-chairs, one of these is designated as the voting member in the Executive Council); the officers of the Faculty Senate; the elected faculty representative to the University Faculty Council; and up to two at-large faculty members appointed by the FSLT. Ex-officio members shall include the chief academic officer and the chief officer in charge of finance and administration. The Faculty Senate President is the chairperson of the Executive Council.

 

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 campus as represented by the monetary allocations made in the budget.

 

The Executive Council shall not concern itself with individual salaries or college or departmental allocations, except as they may relate to the educational policies of the campuses.

 

When campus or system administrative appointments are to be filled and where it is appropriate for faculty to be of assistance in the recruitment and screening of candidates, the Executive Council shall assist the Faculty Senate President in the selection of the faculty members to serve on screening committees and lend its counsel to the development of procedures for recruitment and screening of such candidates.

 

The Executive Council shall annually review these Bylaws and make appropriate recommendations to the Faculty Senate for amendments. It shall also review any revisions suggested by members or other councils or committees of the Faculty Senate. (This latter duty shall in no way prevent members or other councils or committees from bringing amendments directly to the Faculty Senate for consideration.) It is the responsibility of the President-Elect to make sure that revisions to the Bylaws are accurately updated on the Faculty Senate website.

 

  1. Appeals Committee. Membership shall consist of at least 18 tenured faculty members appointed to staggered three-year terms. At least one member of the committee must have legal expertise. This committee shall have no ex-officio members, and no member shall be an administrator at or above the level of department head.

 

The function of the Appeals Committee is to gather evidence and make recommendations to the chief academic officer (or to other members of the campus administration, as described in the Faculty Handbook) for the disposition of cases within its jurisdiction. The Appeals Committee fulfills this function through the processes specified in the Faculty Handbook. 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 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.

 

  1. Athletics Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 12 faculty members. Ex-officio members shall include the chief campus administrative officer charged with academic affairs (or designee), the Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics (or  designee), Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator, the faculty chairperson of the UT Athletics Board, the Director of Student Recreation, two student athletes appointed by the Athletics Department, and two students elected by the Student Senate. The Committee will also include the following non-voting ex-officio members: the Director of the Thornton Advising Center, and the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.

 

This committee shall concern itself with 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.

 

  1. Benefits and Professional Development Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 10 faculty members, and the chairperson of the Benefits and Professional Development Committee shall invite appropriate campus administrators to attend meetings as needed.

 

The responsibilities of the Benefits and Professional Development Committee shall include: (1) suggesting administrative actions that would facilitate the development of faculty members as professionals and monitoring and evaluating these activities and resulting programs; (2) examining, clarifying, and making recommendations to the Faculty Senate on issues and concerns on retirement, leave, faculty welfare, insurance, and fringe benefits; (3) cooperating with task forces, councils, and committees addressing similar concerns on other higher education campuses in Tennessee; and (4) 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 will cooperate with other Faculty Senate committees on base salary and other issues that are related to faculty benefits.

 

  1. Budget and Planning Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 10 faculty members. Ex-officio members shall include the chief financial officer for the campus.The duties of the Budget and Planning Committee are: (1) to provide for campus-wide faculty input and expertise into the campus budgeting processes; (2) to inform the faculty, through the Faculty Senate, concerning budget matters; (3) to analyze and present budget and other related data as needed to bring to faculty attention (e.g., living wage analysis and faculty salary analyses); and (4) to work with other Faculty Senate committees on budget-related matters (e.g., the University/System Relations Committee to monitor The University of Tennessee system budget)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 committee shall invite appropriate campus administrators to attend meetings and provide overviews of their units’ budgets as needed.

    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.

 

  1. Committee on Nominations and Appointments. Membership shall consist of the chairs of each college, unit, or division caucus and the Faculty Senate President-Elect. The Faculty Senate President-Elect shall be the chairperson of the Committee on Nominations and Appointments.

 

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 paragraph A, this paragraph F, paragraph H, and paragraph L of this Section 2, respectively. The Faculty Senate President shall retain responsibility for all nominations of faculty to administrative committees and other bodies. The Committee on Nominations and Appointments shall render a report to the Faculty Senate at its regular May meeting of each year and at other times as may be required.

 

This Committee on Nominations and Appointments shall also recruit two nominees for Faculty Senate President-Elect every year, two nominees for the campus representative to the University Faculty Council, two nominees to represent the Tennessee University Faculty Senates, and two nominees for the UTK Advisory Board, as needed in the spring semester of every year.

 

  1. Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 10 faculty members. Three members will be committee liaisons appointed by the chairs of the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Teaching and Learning Council, and the UT System Relations Committee. The other remaining members will be appointed by the Faculty Senate President and will reflect diverse campus constituencies.The charge of the committee is to support a diverse, engaged, and inclusive environment through collaboration with other committees, commissions, and task forces across the university focused on diversity, engagement, and inclusion efforts.

 

  1. Faculty Affairs Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 10 faculty members. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall concern 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 and its appendices in accordance with the amendments procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook. 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, especially those identified and promoted by the American Association of University Professors.

 

  1. Graduate Council. Membership shall consist of faculty representatives chosen for three-year terms from the schools and colleges of the university engaged in graduate work and two graduate students appointed by the Graduate Student Senate. Members shall be chosen in the spring term for terms to commence at the start of the next fall term.

 

Representatives shall be apportioned among the schools and colleges according to the number of graduate students enrolled in the college or school in the previous fall term, using the following table.

 

Graduate Students      Total Graduate Council

1 – 300                                    1

301 – 500                                2

501 – 700                                3

701 – 900                                4

901 – 1100                              5

1101 – 1300                            6

1301 – 1500                            7

1501 – 1700                            8

 

Representatives must regularly teach graduate courses or supervise graduate study and must (1) hold full-time or continuing part-time appointment with the rank of assistant professor or higher and (2) perform academic duties consisting of at least half-time teaching, research, service or departmental administration. Ex-officio members shall be the Dean of Libraries, the Vice Provost and Director of the Center for Global Engagement, and the chairperson of the Research Council, or their respective designees. In addition, the administrative officer having primary responsibility for graduate curriculum in each college or school shall serve as ex-officio member of the Graduate Council if that person is not a college or school representative. The chairperson of the Graduate Council (known as the Chair) is a faculty member from the Graduate Council who serves for a one-year term, following a one-year term as Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect.

 

The Graduate Council is charged by the Faculty Senate to set standards for graduate admission, retention, and graduation; assess curricular revisions and new proposals for graduate programs; evaluate interdisciplinary, intercollegiate and international programs; and consider 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.

 

The Chair of the Graduate Council or faculty designee shall report actions of the Graduate Council to the Executive Council. The report shall include the agenda and a summary of substantive actions taken. The report and the minutes of the Graduate Council meetings will be distributed or made available electronically to all senators at least five business days prior to the next Faculty Senate meeting. Implementation of actions taken by the Graduate Council occurs after approval of the report first by the Executive Council and then by the Faculty Senate. The report may be approved in whole or in part by either the Executive Council or the full Faculty Senate, allowing for any particular curricular or academic policy change to be sent back to the Graduate Council for revision and resubmission as part of the report/minutes of a future meeting. In such cases, the Faculty Senate President will communicate specific concerns to the Chair of the Undergraduate Council.

 

  1. Library and Information Technology Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 8 faculty members representing the interests of faculty in library policies, educational and/or information technology, and research. The Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Senate may select one undergraduate student member and one graduate student member, respectively.Ex-officio members shall include the Dean of Libraries, the Chief Information Officer for UTK, the Executive Director for OIT Support, and the UTK Director of Online Programs. Duties of the Library and Information Technology Committee include: (1) identifying, reviewing, and recommending information technology and library policies; (2) representing the Faculty Senate on key university committees that address information technology library services; (3) reporting to the Faculty Senate on key information technology and library issues and developments that affect the campus; (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; and (5) serve as a gateway for faculty input to OIT and Teaching and Learning Innovation for common technology services related to teaching and research.

 

  1. Non-Tenure-Track Issues Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 12 faculty members, eight of whom shall be non-tenure track and four of whom shall be tenure-track. The chairperson shall be a non-tenure-track faculty. Ideally, many different caucuses would be represented in order to reflect the varied voices and working conditions of this group across the campus. In years when there are not enough Non-Tenure Track Faculty Senators to represent the range of non-tenure track interests, the chairperson may ask non-senate members to be on the committee. 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. In order to ensure representation of non-tenure-track faculty interests, the Non-Tenure-Track Issues Committee will work with all other committees such as, but not limited to, the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Budget and Planning Committee, Research Council, the Athletics Committee, and the Benefits and Professional Development Committee.**

 

  1. Research Council. Membership shall consist of at least 12 appointed faculty or faculty/administrator representatives. In addition, there shall be three graduate students selected by the Graduate Student Senate. Ex-officio members shall include the Vice Chancellor for Research, an Associate /Assistant Vice Chancellor from the Office of Research and Engagement, the Dean of Libraries (or designee), Associate Deans for Research or equivalents (or designees), the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer (or designee) of the Office of Information Technology, and up to two additional designees. The composition of the Research Council shall reflect balance among externally funded and institutionally supported research, between research and other creative activity, and among disciplines. Members must be actively engaged in research or other creative activity and be eligible to serve as a faculty senator. Each year near the end of the spring academic term, the Research Council shall elect a Chair for the coming year. Following a vote by members of the Research Council, the Research Council Chair will report to the President-elect the person recommended to Chair the Research Council for the coming year. This recommendation will also be reflected in the minutes of the Research Council. To serve as Chair of the Research Council, an individual must have served at least one year on the Research Council prior to assuming the position. The immediate past Chair of the Research Council will serve as an ex-officio member of the Council during the next academic year.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 co-administers some programs of the Office of Research and Engagement, as requested by the Vice Chancellor or the Associate or Assistant Vice Chancellors for Research. Areas of interest 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 institutional facilities, computational support, and other research-related resources. The Research Council conducts the initial phase of the periodic review of research centers and units supported by and/or reporting to the Office of Research. 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. The Research Council shall also 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 furthermore encourage media releases of research successes by UTK, UTIA, and UTSI researchers. When appropriate, the Research Council shall report its actions for approval to the Faculty Senate. The Office of Research and Engagement has agreed to provide a member of the administrative staff to facilitate meeting functions and support the activities of the Research Council.

 

  1. Teaching and Learning Council. Membership shall consist of 15 appointed faculty members, as well as three graduate students selected by the Graduate Student Senate in consultation with the chairperson of the Teaching and Learning Council and three undergraduate students selected by the Student Government Association, and/or the Director of the Honors Program, in consultation with the chairperson of the Teaching and Learning Council. The faculty members should have currently active teaching/advising responsibilities. All schools and colleges offering instruction at the graduate or undergraduate level will have at least one representative. Attempts will be made to distribute the other representatives among the colleges of the campuses. Ex-officio members shall include the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, the Director of Teaching & Learning Innovation, the Coordinator of SAIS, and the Director of the Student Success Center.

 

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 the Teaching & 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 the Teaching & Learning Innovation to develop practical means of improving and rewarding instruction and advising on campus.

 

  1. Undergraduate Council. Voting membership shall consist of representatives chosen for three-year terms from the schools and colleges of the university granting baccalaureate degrees, one member of the ROTC faculty, and four students designated by the Undergraduate Council. Members shall be chosen in the spring term for terms to commence at the start of the next fall term. Representatives shall be apportioned among the baccalaureate degree-granting units according to the number of degrees granted during the prior academic year, using the following table:

 

Baccalaureate Degrees Granted   Total Undergraduate Council

1 – 300                                                            1

301 – 500                                                        2

501 – 700                                                        3

701 – 900                                                        4

901 – 1100                                                      5

1101 – 1300                                                    6

1301 – 1500                                                    7

1501 – 1700                                                    8

1701 – 1900                                                    9

 

In the College of Arts and Sciences, representatives shall be apportioned among the divisions of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences. Members must hold full-time or continuing part-time appointment with the rank, or equivalent rank, of lecturer, clinical instructor, assistant professor or higher and (2) perform academic duties consisting of at least half-time teaching, research, service or departmental administration. Ex-officio members shall be the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Vice Provost for Student Success, the Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation, the Dean of Libraries, and the Director of Honors and Scholars Programs, or their respective designees. In addition, the administrative officer having primary responsibility for undergraduate curriculum in each school or college shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Undergraduate Council if that person is not a school or college representative. The chairperson of the Undergraduate Council (known as the Chair) shall be a faculty member from the Undergraduate Council elected for a one-year term, following a one-year term as Vice Chair, by voting members of the Undergraduate Council. The election of the Chair will take place at the last meeting of the spring semester.

 

The Undergraduate Council is charged by the Faculty Senate to set standards for admission, retention, and graduation; review curricular matters in the undergraduate programs; develop interdisciplinary programs; approve 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 these Bylaws.

 

The Chair of the Undergraduate Council or faculty designee shall report actions of the Undergraduate Council to the Executive Council. The report shall include the agenda and a summary of substantive actions taken. The report and the minutes of the Undergraduate Council meetings will be distributed or made available electronically to all senators at least five business days prior to the next Faculty Senate meeting. Implementation of actions taken by the Undergraduate Council occurs after approval of the report first by the Executive Council and then by the Faculty Senate. The report may be approved in whole or in part by either the Executive Council or the full Faculty Senate, allowing for any particular curricular or academic policy change to be sent back to the Undergraduate Council for revision and resubmission as part of the report/minutes of a future meeting. In such cases, the Faculty Senate President will communicate specific concerns to the Chair of the Undergraduate Council.

 

  1. University/System Relations Committee. Membership shall consist of up to 8 faculty members, including the elected campus representative to the University Faculty Council. During years when the campus has a faculty representative on The University of Tennessee Board of Trustee’s Committee on Education, Research and Service, that person will also serve on the University/System Relations Committee. The chairperson shall be a faculty member.

 

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.

 

Section 3. Other Councils, Committees, and Task Forces. The Faculty Senate or FSLT shall create other councils, committees, and task forces as needed. The members of all councils, committees, and task forces shall hold office for one year from the time of their appointment, unless otherwise specified. Members of these councils, committees, and task forces may include any faculty (unless membership is restricted to elected faculty members), as well as administration, students, and staff.

 

Section 4. Council or Committee Vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the faculty membership of any council or committee, the vacancy shall be filled by action of the FSLT.

 

Section 5. Council or Committee Reports. Each committee of the Faculty Senate shall submit a written report to the Faculty Senate at least once during the academic year. Additionally, a written report must be submitted at the end of the academic year to the Faculty Senate President that summarizes the accomplishments of the council or committee and notes issues that are still under consideration.

 

ARTICLE IV. Officers: Duties, Qualifications, and Resources.

 

Section 1. The President. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Faculty Senate and the Executive Council, and run the meetings according to the Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. The President shall prepare an agenda for each meeting of the Faculty Senate and the Executive Council in conjunction with the Administrative Assistant and FSLT. The President shall include as new business at the next regular meeting of the Faculty Senate any items proposed by a voting member of the Faculty Senate in accordance with Section 3 of Article II of these Bylaws. The President shall represent the faculty and on all occasions be considered the chief spokesperson of the Faculty Senate and the campus faculty. The President shall be the President-Elect elected during the previous year. The President shall be granted release time from an appropriate amount of faculty duties as determined by discussions with the Provost’s Office and their College and Department, and receive other support, such as an assigned graduate assistant, for the duration of their term in office.

 

Section 2. The President-Elect. The President-Elect of the Faculty Senate shall act as President of the Faculty Senate in the event of the death, resignation, or other absence of the President. In the event of the death or resignation of the President after January of the year as President, the President-Elect assumes the office of President for the remainder of the former President’s term of office and the full term of President the following year. If the President shall die or resign prior to January of their term of office as President, the President-Elect assumes the office of President for the remainder of the former President’s term of office and a special election of a new President-Elect shall be held with the new President having the option to be nominated for that position and elected to serve a full term as President in the following year. The President-Elect shall oversee the timely operation of college, unit, or division caucuses and be responsible for managing amendments to these Bylaws. The President-Elect is the chair of the Committee on Nominations and Appointments.

 

Section 3. Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President advises the President and President-Elect the year after their service as President. In the event that the President cannot serve the next year as Past President (due to retirement, etc.), the President-Elect will accept nominations of former Presidents of the Faculty Senate to be appointed by a vote of the Executive Council.

 

Section 4. Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall keep minutes of all action taken by the Faculty Senate (there will be no verbatim reporting of remarks and discussion, nor will professional titles be recorded); shall send or make available (or arrange to send or make available) the meeting minutes or a summary of actions of the Senate to the FSLT for distribution to the Faculty Senate and posting on the website. The Recording Secretary of the Faculty Senate serves as secretary to the Executive Council and the Committee on Nominations and Appointments. The Recording Secretary shall be nominated by the Executive Council subject to approval of the Faculty Senate membership to serve a one-year term. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Council shall name a replacement to serve the remainder of the Recording Secretary’s current term.

 

Section 5. Parliamentarian. There shall be a Parliamentarian appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate each year to assist in the conduct of the business of the Faculty Senate. In the event of a vacancy, the President shall name a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.

 

Section 6. Communication Officer. There shall be a Communication Officer nominated by the Executive Council subject to approval of the Faculty Senate membership to serve a one-year term. The Communication Officer shall manage disseminating information and work with the Administrative Assistant of the Faculty Senate to maintain necessary documents on the Faculty Senate website. They will coordinate communication across the Faculty Senate committees. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Council shall name a replacement to serve the remainder of the Communication Officer’s current term.

 

Section 7. University Faculty Council Representative. There shall be a representative of the campus faculties elected by the Faculty Senate to serve a three-year term on the University Faculty Council. The representative’s term of office begins on July 1 following election. The representative will attend and report on the meetings of the University Faculty Council to the Faculty Senate Executive Council and the Faculty Senate.

 

If for any reason a representative is not able to complete their term, the Faculty Senate Executive Council shall appoint an individual to complete the remainder of the current three-year term.

 

Section 8. Tennessee University Faculty Senates Representative. The Faculty Senate President is the voting representative to the Tennessee University Faculty Senates (TUFS). There shall also be a representative of the campus faculties elected by the Faculty Senate Executive Council to serve a two-year term on the Tennessee University Faculty Senates who shall also attend the TUFS meetings. The representative’s term of office begins on July 1 following  election. The representative will attend TUFS meetings and serve as a voting member for the campus if the Faculty Senate President is not able to attend a meeting. The TUFS representative will attend and report on activities of TUFS to the Faculty Senate Executive Council and the Faculty Senate as requested.

 

Section 9. COIA Representative. The Faculty Senate has two voting representatives to the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA), the Faculty Senate President and a second representative elected by the Faculty Senate Executive Council to serve a two-year term. The representative’s term of office begins on July 1 following  election. The representative will attend COIA meetings and serve as a voting member for the campus if the Faculty Senate President is not able to attend the annual meeting.

The COIA representative will attend and report on activities of COIA to the Faculty Senate Executive Council and the Faculty Senate as requested.

 

Section 10. Faculty Representative to the UTK Advisory Board. A representative of the UTK campus faculty will be elected by the Faculty Senate to serve a two-year term on the UTK Campus Advisory Board. Nominees will be solicited by the Committee on Nominations and Appointments during the fall semester prior to the term of appointment. Up to two nominees will be presented for election by the full Faculty Senate for election at the February meeting (in alternate years) to help avoid potential conflicts that could result from having a faculty representative who has supervisory responsibilities over a student representative. The faculty representative’s term of office begins on July 1 following election. The representative will attend and report to the Faculty Senate Executive Council and the Faculty Senate as needed. If for any reason a representative is not able to complete the term, the Faculty Senate Executive Council shall appoint an individual to complete the remainder of the term.

 

ARTICLE V. Amendments.

 

The Faculty Senate shall have the power to make, amend, and repeal these Bylaws by a vote of two-thirds of the voting members present at regular or special meetings of the Faculty Senate at which a quorum is present, provided that any proposed changes shall have been submitted to the members of the Faculty Senate at least 28 days before the meeting at which the vote on them shall be taken. All changes to these Bylaws shall be documented and placed on the Faculty Senate website at a location proximate to these Bylaws in a document titled, “Chronology of Amendments and Revisions to Faculty Senate Bylaws, 1971-Present.”

 

Appendix I

FACULTY FTE TO DETERMINE NUMBER OF SENATORS ALLOTTED

PER COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT/UNIT

As stated in the Faculty Senate Bylaws

Article II Faculty Senate Organization

Section 1:

Item F Apportionment:

The number of elected Faculty Senators for each caucus is determined through a process of apportioning.

The number of seats in each caucus shall be apportioned in early spring each year

using the list of faculty from August of the previous year.

 

Faculty FTE Senators
   
  1 – 10 1
11 – 25 2
26 – 45 3
46 – 65 4
66 – 85 5
86 – 105 6
106 – 125 7
126 – 145 8
146 – 165 9
166 – 185 10
186 – 205 11
206 – 225 12
226 – 245 13
246 – 265 14
266 – 285 15
286 – 305 16
306 – 325 17
326 – 345 18
346 – 365 19
366 – 385 20
386 – 405 21
406 – 425 22
426 – 445 23
446 – 465 24
466 – 485 25
486 – 505 26
506 – 525 27
526 – 545 28
546 – 565 29
566 – 585 30
586 – 605 31
606 – 625 32