Article I: Preamble
A University is an academy of scholars dedicated to the quest for and dissemination of knowledge. The Faculty of the University is a prime facilitator of these activities and thus the backbone of the institution. This document outlines guidelines for faculty participation in the governance of Cumberland University. This governance is a right and a responsibility of the faculty. The Faculty Senate is the primary representative of Cumberland Universitys faculty, as it partners with administration, staff and students in promoting the cause of education and helping Cumberland University to evolve and to achieve increasing distinction in the academic world.
Article II: Purpose of the Faculty Senate
2.1 The Faculty Senate shall exercise such powers as are provided for herein and shall perform such duties as the Board of Trustees or the President of the University may from time to time prescribe.
2.2 The Faculty Senate is empowered with the following specific authorities:
2.2a. to recommend and participate in the legislation of academic policies and to review, revise, or coordinate such policies when formulated by committees of the University for undergraduate and graduate studies prior to their official dissemination.
2.2b. to review policies on admissions and to recommend or propose revisions in such policies as may be formulated by the committees of the University on admission issues.
2.2c. to propose and participate in the legislation of policies as they pertain to School and/or departmental organization and procedures.
2.2d. to recommend and participate in the legislation of guidelines concerning matters of faculty welfare (e.g., fringe benefits, sickness and death benefits, maternity leave, etc.)
2.2e. to propose and participate in the legislation of policies for the operation of the University Library.
2.2f. to establish a board of appeals to hear Faculty grievances.
2.2g. to be represented in the University Committee for Courses, Curriculum, and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) by the Faculty Senate President as a non-voting member of UCCCAP to facilitate communication between these two committees. He/she will report to the Faculty Senate on active UCCCAP items under review.
2.2h. to work in conjunction with the University Committee for Courses, Curriculum, and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) on issues of academic policy and to make proposals to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the University President on the development of committees and subcommittees that will facilitate the academic processes, assessments, and improvements of the University. The Faculty Senate will work in concert with UCCCAP on issues of academic policy
(i.e. faculty evaluation, promotion). The Senate may appeal an academic proposal vetoed by UCCCAP to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the Deans Council with a two-thirds vote by the Faculty Senate.
2.2i. to be represented in the Deans Council and attend regularly scheduled meetings with the President and his executive body. The Faculty Senate President will act as the representative of the Senate on these committees to facilitate communication between the Faculty and administration.
2.3 The duties of the Faculty Senate:
2.3a. it shall be the duty of the Faculty Senate to inform the President of its activities and the President will report these activities to the Board of Trustees of the University.
2.3b. it shall be the duty of the Faculty Senate to make its agenda, minutes, and decisions available to the faculty at large.
Article III: Composition of the Faculty Senate
3.1 The Faculty Senate consists of one Senator elected by the full-time faculty members of each School of the University and the University Library and threat Senators-at-Large elected by all full-time faculty members of the University. A full-time faculty member is defined as: a) a member of the University instructional Schools who holds the un-prefixed title of instructor or un-prefixed professorial title, who works under a faculty letter of appointment; b) a librarian who holds academic rank and either instructs or provides direct support to faculty members. Senators must be full-time faculty members, excluding administrators (being the University President, any Vice President, any Dean or any Department Chair). In the case of a Senate President being elected during his second year as a Senator, his term will be extended one year to fulfill the duty of the office of Senate President. This will result in variation from nine to ten Senators in these years.
3.2 A senator missing three (3) consecutive meetings during a term of office, whether regularly scheduled or special called, without providing a substitute from her or his school, shall be dropped from Faculty Senate membership lacking reasonable cause. Reasonable cause may be defined as absence due to official university duties, illness, or serious personal issues. The senator may appeal the ruling in writing to the entire senate within ten days, which may reinstate the senator with a simple majority of those present and voting at a Faculty Senate meeting at which a quorum exists. If said senator does not appeal or is not reinstated, a special election will be conducted according to the rules of the Faculty Senate Constitution (Article 4.5).
3.3 The Senate shall review the composition of the Senate periodically to determine if membership change is advisable. Changes may also be proposed by any member of the University community. Proposed changes shall be made known to the voting membership at least one month prior to the call for a vote on the proposed change, and shall become effective when adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Senates voting members.
Article IV: Organization
4.1 The Senate shall meet monthly from August through May. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the University President, the President of the Faculty Senate, one-third of the Senators or one-fourth of all full-time faculty members of the University. A two-thirds majority of the voting membership of the Senate (6 Senators) shall constitute a quorum and permit the conduct of business.
4.2 Elections shall take place in March of each year and the term of office shall be two years. Schools elect School representatives and the entire faculty elect Senators-at-Large. School representatives will be elected in March of odd years and Senators-at-Large will be elected in March of even years. Senators are limited to two consecutive terms.
4.3 In March of even years Senators-elect and continuing incumbent Senators shall elect a President. The President shall serve a term of two years and shall become a Senator-at-Large during his/her second year as President. No consecutive terms as President are allowed.
4.4 In March of each year Senators-elect and continuing incumbent Senators shall elect a Secretary. The Secretary shall serve a term of one year with no term limits.
4.5 Special elections shall be held in the event that a Senator is removed from office (Article 3.2) or cannot serve his/her entire term. Special elections shall follow the rules of regular elections, such that Schools elect a School representative and the entire Faculty will elect a Senator-at-Large. The newly elected Senator will complete the duration of the vacated term.
4.6 Unless otherwise herein provided, the Senate may adopt its own regulations and rules of order. In the event it does not do so, the transaction of business shall proceed according to Roberts Rules of Order.
Article V: Jurisdiction, Duties, and Powers
5.1 The Faculty Senate is the appropriate forum for discussion and recommendation by the Faculty about any educational policy or practice. Senate recommendations shall be forwarded to the University Committee on Courses, Curriculum and Academic Policy and/or the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the University President for approval, implementation, or rejection. The Administration will be requested to return the recommendation to the Senate with its comments within one month.
5.2 The Senate may discuss and express its views about any matter affecting the University and forward these recommendations to the appropriate committee and/or Vice-President for approval, implementation, or rejection.
5.3 The Senate may advise and consult with the University Committee on Courses, Curriculum and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) and/or the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the University President, and inform them of the Facultys opinions when their actions affect educational practice or process.
5.4 The Senate shall act to facilitate communication within the University, between the Schools, Faculty, staff, students, and administration.
5.5 The Senate shall review and make recommendations when the establishment of new divisions, departments, or schools is proposed.
5.6 The Senate may establish such committees and sub-committees as it chooses to participate in the performance of its duties and may invite persons not members of the Senate to serve on these committees and sub-committees.
5.7 The Senate President:
5.7a. is charged with setting and distributing meeting agendas and leading Faculty Senate meetings.
5.7b. will attend University Committee on Courses, Curriculum and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) meetings as a non-voting member to facilitate communication and organization between the two bodies.
5.7c. is charged with consulting and advising the University Committee on Courses, Curriculum and Academic Policy (UCCCAP), Vice-President for Academic Affairs, University President, and designated officers of the University on matters of general university concern. The Senate President shall meet with the University President upon the Presidents request or upon a request by the majority of the members of the Senate. When the Senate President is performing in the consultative role, s/he shall take no action which might commit the Senate against its will.
5.7d. is charged with informing the President of its activities.
5.7e. is charged with representing the Senate in the Deans Council and attending regularly scheduled meetings with the President and his executive body. The Faculty Senate President will act as the representative of the Senate on these committees to facilitate communication between the Faculty and administration.
5.7f will be given a one course teaching load reduction to facilitate his/her Senatorial duties.
5.8 The Secretary is responsible for distributing or publishing minutes of each open meeting of the Senate to all its members and upon approval to the entire faculty.
Article VI: Amendments
Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by the voting members of the Faculty Senate. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, amendments shall become effective when approved by two-thirds of those present and voting at a Faculty Senate meeting at which a quorum exists. At least one month before such a meeting, the members of the Senate shall be notified in writing of the proposed amendment.