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Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Duquesne


(Approved by the Faculty Vote December 14, 2009;
Amended Version Approved by Duquesne University Board of Directors May 14, 2010
Required Revisions Regarding Ballots made by Senate Constitution Committee Jan. 29, 2011

I. Name

This organization shall be the Faculty Senate of Duquesne University (hereafter referred to as the Faculty Senate or the Senate).

II. Membership

The Faculty Senate shall consist of all full-time faculty holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor in the Schools and Institutes of the University, all Academic Deans and Directors of Institutes and Divisions by virtue of their faculty status, and the professional members of the University Library Staff. Full-time faculty of any new unit, recognized as such by the University Board of Directors, and holding any rank listed above, shall automatically be members of the Faculty Senate. Collectively, it shall be referred to as the Faculty Senate of Duquesne University.

III. Mission, Responsibilities and Concerns
A. MISSION

The Faculty Senate subscribes to the statement of missions and goals of the University and elaborations thereof as promulgated by the Board of Directors.

The mission of the Faculty Senate shall be to provide a forum for mutual understanding and effective communication between the faculty and other interdependent components within the University. The Faculty Senate shall be the voice of a collective faculty view in matters of concern to them and establish an effective means by which the faculty can contribute to the governance of the University.

B. RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONCERNS

The Faculty Senate shall be the vehicle for enunciating the faculty position on all matters of faculty concern and particularly with respect to those matters for which the faculty has the primary responsibility of influencing decisions, among which are admissions, curriculum, academic standards, instruction, research, academic freedom, tenure, promotion, dismissal, calendars, and all other aspects of process. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Faculty Senate shall not infringe upon the rights of individual faculties affected to also make their views apparent. The Faculty Senate shall also provide an avenue of appeal for any decisions made by Schools and Departments whenever such decisions ignore the voice of the faculty.

The faculty shall join with other components of the University in the framing and execution of long range plans for development. This participation shall be exercised through the direct action of its governing bodies, through representation of the Faculty Senate on those councils and committees of the University as articulated in the Statutes of the University and through the participation of individual faculty members as representatives on University Committees.

Participation on behalf of the Senate on such University Committees shall be by appointment of the President of the Senate with the advice of and ratification by the Executive Committee of the Senate. All Committee appointments will be announced to the Assembly and the faculty through the Assembly minutes. Persons appointed to such Committees shall report on their activities both to the Executive Committee and to the Assembly.

The joint endeavor of the Faculty Senate with other components of the University shall include, but not be limited to, questions of change in the size and composition of the student body, the relative emphasis to be given to various educational and research programs, and the allocation of resources within the University.

The Faculty Senate shall participate, along with other appropriate parties, in the search for principal administrative officers of the University as specified in the University Statutes. The Faculty Senate shall also be concerned that procedures be instituted to insure the appropriate faculty a voice in the selection and retention of Deans and Department Chairpersons, and in the promotion, tenure and dismissal of faculty.

IV. Officers of the Senate

A. The Officers of the Senate shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. No member shall be eligible for these offices until that member has been a full-time faculty member in the University for a period of not less than three consecutive years in the case of the President and Vice President and two consecutive years in the case of the Secretary and Treasurer.

B. The term of each officer shall be for two years. The term of officers shall commence on July 1st of the year in which they are elected. Senate officers will not be eligible for a third consecutive term in the same office.

Notwithstanding anything contained above, on a petition of not less than ten members of the Assembly duly confirmed by a referendum conducted by electronic secret ballot of all Assembly members, and with not less than 2/3 of those voting, the Assembly shall declare any office vacant.

C. The President is the chief executive officer of the Faculty Senate.

The President shall preside over all meetings of the Assembly and Executive Committee. The President shall report to and confer with the Assembly and Executive Committee. The President shall prepare with the Executive Committee an agenda for each Assembly meeting. When the President deems it appropriate, the President may appoint a member to serve as Parliamentarian.

The President or the President's designated representative is, ex officio, the Senate representative on all University Committees as provided by the Statutes. The President shall appoint a Faculty Senate representative to all University committees with the advice of and ratification by the Executive Committee except where representatives are to be elected.

The President shall appoint members to the Faculty Senate committees with the advice of and ratification by the Executive Committee of the Senate. All committee appointments will be announced to the Assembly and the faculty through the Assembly minutes. The President may sit as ex officio member of any Senate Committee.

The President shall prepare the annual calendar of the Senate. The President shall make periodic reports to the Assembly as to the progress in promoting the general interests of the Senate. The President shall be a voting member of the Academic Council. The President shall be an official observer on the Board of Directors.

D. The Vice President shall carry out the duties of the President in the President's absence. The Vice President shall sit on Academic Council as an observer.

E. The Secretary shall supervise the recording of the minutes of meetings of the Assembly and Executive Committee. The Secretary shall supervise the delivery of the minutes of all official meetings of the Assembly to the members of the Senate. To the degree feasible, the Secretary shall notify all Senate members of the agenda for Executive Committee meetings and shall, without exception, provide Senate members with a summary of such meetings. The Secretary shall notify the membership, within the times required by this Constitution, of Assembly meetings, proposed Constitutional amendments, and other documents and communications required by the Senate.

F. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for submission to the administration through the Senate Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall examine and approve requisitions drawn against an approved budget and prepare and submit to the Executive Committee and Assembly an annual report of the Senate's finances.

The Treasurer shall conserve, manage, and expend, with the consent of the Executive Committee, any other assets which may come to the Senate.

G. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee will request through the Office of the President the necessary budgetary allocations for office space, equipment, and staff required for Faculty Senate operations.

H. The officers of the Senate shall faithfully perform their stated responsibilities and any other duties which may be assigned to them by the Executive Committee or the Assembly.

V. The Assembly

A. The Assembly shall be a representative body and is the governing body of the Faculty Senate.

The members of the Assembly shall be elected from each of the following: School of Business, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, School of Law, School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, School of Liberal Arts, School of Music, School of Natural & Environmental Sciences, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and University Library (the units).

Membership in the Assembly shall be apportioned among the several units according to their respective numbers. The number of representatives from each unit shall be one for each fifteen (15) electors and fraction thereof (e.g., a unit of sixteen (16) shall be entitled to two (2) representatives).

One representative from each unit with fifteen or more faculty members shall be elected in a unit-wide election and shall also be that unit's representative to the Executive Committee. The elected Assembly representative from each unit with ten to fourteen full-time faculty members shall also be that unit's non-voting representative to the Executive Committee. The remaining representative(s) from that unit shall be elected thereafter in a separate election according to procedures to be established in each unit. It is recommended that procedures be adopted that attempt to maximize communication between these representatives and the electors. One possibility is to elect on a departmental or combination of departments basis.

The terms of office shall be two years or until a successor is elected. When a member of the Assembly is unable to complete his or her term, the members of the Faculty Senate from the affected area will elect one of their number to the unexpired term.

B. The officers of the Faculty Senate also shall be members of the Assembly.

C. The Assembly shall hear and debate, approve, reject, or revise all statements of the Executive Committee and Committees which are presented as the opinion of the Faculty Senate on any matters when the Officers, Executive Committee, or Committees have not already been empowered to speak for the Faculty Senate.

D. Any member of the Faculty Senate may attend and therein raise any issue of faculty concern for consideration at any regular meeting of the Assembly or Executive Committee.

VI. The Executive Committee

A. The Executive Committee shall consist of the following:

1. the officers of the Senate;

2. one representative from each of the following schools having 15 or more full-time faculty members: School of Business, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, School of Law, School of Leadership and Advancement, School of Liberal Arts, School of Music, School of Natural & Environmental Sciences, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy. One non-voting representative from schools listed above with ten to fourteen full-time faculty members;

3. one representative from the University Library;

4. the immediate past President of the Senate.

Each representative shall be elected as set forth in Article V.

B. The term of office shall be for two years or until their successors are duly elected. Their term shall commence on July 1 in the year elected.

Should the representative be unable to attend an Executive Committee meeting, he or she shall designate an alternate for his or her unit.

When a representative is unable to complete his or her term, the members of the Faculty Senate from the affected area will elect one of their number to the unexpired term.

C. The Officers of the Faculty Senate shall serve as Officers of the Executive Committee.

D. The Executive Committee shall study the issues and inform the Assembly on matters of primary concern to the faculty, decisions in such matters being reserved to the Assembly. The Executive Committee shall carry on the business of the Faculty Senate when the Assembly is not in session. Representatives shall endeavor to communicate with their constituencies to insure faculty representation on all matters before the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall advise the President of the Senate and ratify all appointments to the University Committees, Standing Committees of the Senate, and Special Committees which may be created by the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall, subject to the confirmation of the Assembly, make appointments to fill the unexpired terms of all Faculty Senate Officers who are unable to complete their terms of office, except that if the President of the Senate is unable to fulfill his or her term of office he or she will be replaced by the Vice President unless the Executive Committee or Assembly decides that a special election should be held to fill that vacancy.

The Executive Committee shall advise the President and ratify all appointments to fill the unexpired terms of Committee members who are unable to complete the term of office.

The Executive Committee shall, at the request of the Assembly or any member of the Senate, give an advisory opinion as to the meaning of any part of this Constitution.

VII. Meetings

A. Regular meetings of the Senate Assembly shall be held at least three times during the regular academic year, with at least one each semester. The Executive Committee of the Senate will determine the dates for these meetings.

Notice of each meeting and its agenda shall be provided to each member of the Senate at least one week before the date of the meeting. Notice may be via electronic, campus or US mail.

Special meetings of the Assembly may be called by the Officers of the Senate. They must be called when requested in a written petition signed by at least ten members of the Senate. Such a petition must state the reasons for the request. Written notice of a special meeting and its agenda must be sent to each member of the Senate one week before the date of the meeting. Only matters named in the notice can be considered at such a special meeting.

Fifty percent or more of the members of the Assembly shall constitute a quorum.

B. The Executive Committee shall meet at least monthly during the regular academic year. The President of the Senate may call additional meetings. Meetings may be held during the summer.

Meetings of the Executive Committee may also be called on a written request signed by four members of the Executive Committee. The request will contain the matters to be considered at this meeting.

Eight members shall constitute a quorum for the Executive Committee.

C. Official minutes shall be kept by the Secretary for the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee. Such minutes shall be open to the inspection of each member of the Senate.

D. All meetings under the authority of the Senate shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, except in those circumstances where the Senate Bylaws prescribe the rules of order.

VIII. Elections

A. The election of the Officers of the Senate shall take place no later than the end of the seventh week of the Spring Semester in the year in which elections are to be held.

1. A nominating committee of five members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected by the Assembly at a regular meeting of the Fall semester; nominations for the committee shall be made from the floor; any nominations of a member not present must be accompanied by a signed consent form from the nominee; the five nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.

2. The Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of qualified candidates accompanied by a signed consent form from each candidate.

The Nominating Committee shall report its slate to the Secretary of the Senate no later than the end of the third week of the Spring Semester in which elections are to be held. Within one week of the receipt of this slate, the Secretary of the Senate shall notify the members of the Senate of these names.

3. During a one-week period following the notification of the slate, additional nominations may be made by a petition signed by at least ten members of the Senate accompanied by a consent form signed by the nominee. Such petition must be presented to the Secretary of the Senate no later than two weeks prior to the date of the election. At this time, the Secretary of the Senate shall notify the members of any additional nominations.

4. Voting will be via electronic ballot. Voting shall take place over the course of one week. Election will be by secret ballot. The ballots shall be counted by the Nominating Committee excluding those Committee members on the ballot.

5. Should the Executive Committee determine that the nomination procedure has failed to function, it shall assume the duties of the Nominating Committee and proceed with the election in as timely a fashion as it deems appropriate. This procedure will not prejudice any nominations by petition.

6. The candidate for each office with a majority of the votes cast shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, a run-off election between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes on the initial vote shall be held via electronic ballot. In cases of a tie between two candidates the Executive Committee will elect the officer.

B. The Election of members of the Assembly and Executive Committee shall take place in the following manner:

1. Elections for members of the Assembly and Executive Committee should take place within thirty days after the election of officers of the Senate or as close to this as reasonably practical.

2. Election of members of the Assembly and Executive Committee is to be by secret ballot.

3. The Secretary of the Senate shall notify in writing each Dean and the University Librarian of the need to elect the Assembly Representatives and Executive Committee.

Should the Executive Committee determine that the election process has failed to function in any of the units, the Executive Committee shall proceed to conduct the Election in as timely a fashion as it deems appropriate.

IX. Committees

A. The Senate shall have standing committees as deemed appropriate. Creation of new standing committees must be approved by a majority vote of the Assembly. Standing committees shall exist for 5 years and then require renewal by a majority vote of the Assembly.

B. Chairpersons and members of all standing committees and all Faculty Senate representatives to University committees shall be appointed by the President of the Senate with the advice of and ratification by the Executive Committee of the Senate. All committee appointments will be announced to the Assembly

C. Members of the committees shall serve for two years or for a lesser term as specified by the Executive Committee.

D. Each standing committee shall have one or more members of the Senate Executive Committee sitting as full members.

E. Special committees may be created by the President of the Senate with the advice of and ratification by the Executive Committee of the Senate. The character of special committees will be determined by the Executive Committee. The President of the Senate will notify the Assembly of such appointments at the next Assembly meeting.

F. Chairpersons of committees will deliver an oral written report to the Executive Committee and to the Assembly whenever the Executive Committee deems it appropriate.

G. University Budget Committee: Election of the Faculty representatives shall proceed according to Article VIII. The next two highest eligible vote recipients shall be the designated alternates who shall serve, should one or both of the original members be unable to continue.

X. Amendments

A. Proposals to amend this Constitution may be considered at any meeting of the Executive Committee provided that the members are given written notice of the proposed amendment at least one week before such a meeting. The proposed amendment then will be submitted with the recommendations of the Executive Committee at the next regular meeting of the Assembly or at a special meeting of the Assembly called within a semester's time.

B. In the presence of a quorum of the Assembly, if two-thirds (2/3) of the Assembly present at the meeting approve the amendment it then will be presented to the membership at large for a final vote, by secret electronic ballot, conducted under the auspices of the Executive Committee.

C. Amendments receiving the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members then will be submitted to the Board of Directors of the University for comment and approval. Such submission shall be through the Office of the President of the University. In the absence of any disapproval communicated to the Executive Committee by the Board of Directors within three months of their receipt of their amendment it shall become effective.

XI. Review

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate may at any time appoint a committee to review the Constitution. Recommendations from this Committee will be reported to the Executive Committee and will be considered by the steps outlined in Article X of this Constitution.

XII. University Statutes

The University Statutes shall have precedence over the provisions contained in this constitution.