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Faculty Senate

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Bylaws

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Article I: Purpose and Functions 1

The Faculty Senate shall seek to create, maintain, and protect a university environment conducive to the growth of scholarship, learning, teaching, research, service, and respect for human dignity and rights.

Article I: Purpose and Functions 2

The Senate shall elect or nominate individuals to represent the interests of the entire instructional faculty to University committees or other such bodies as shall require representation.

Article II: Membership 1

At the beginning of each spring semester, the office of the Provost shall send to the Nominations and Elections Committee a list of academic units.

Article II: Membership 2

Each academic unit shall hold elections no later than six weeks prior to the termination of the spring semester every other year to elect a member and alternate as its representatives to the Faculty Senate for the following term of office. The newly elected member shall notify the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee of the results of the election at least one week before the regularly scheduled April meeting of the Faculty Senate.

In cases where a new academic unit is created and identified by the office of the Provost after the spring election, the new academic unit shall hold an election at the first faculty meeting of the academic unit, and the newly elected member will notify the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee within a week after the election.

Article II: Membership 3

Each academic unit which has more than one instructional faculty member shall elect one member to serve as its representative on the Faculty Senate. Each academic unit will also elect one alternate to represent the academic unit in the absence of the member. The elected alternate shall be able to represent the academic unit with full voting rights when the member is unable to attend meetings, but alternates shall not represent members on senate committees.

Article II: Membership 4

Members and alternates shall be elected from and by instructional faculty members, including academic unit heads, assistant and associate deans, and all other instructional faculty members whose home unit is the academic unit. A majority vote of those voting is required to elect members and alternates.

Administrative and Professional faculty members, and emeritus faculty members are not eligible to vote or serve as members or alternates of the Faculty Senate.

Article II: Membership 4

It shall be the responsibility of elected members to serve as a liaison between the Faculty Senate and the instructional faculty members of their academic unit. In this capacity, members:

a. shall exercise their best judgment in the governance and decision-making processes of the senate;

b. shall maintain an awareness of the interests and concerns of their constituents and submit relevant issues to the appropriate senate committee or office; and

c. shall be fully responsible for keeping faculty members of their academic unit informed of senate actions and decisions and of relevant information provided at senate meetings.

Article II: Membership 6

The term of office for the academic unit's member and alternate shall be two years, from the start of the organizational meeting of the Faculty Senate until the end of the regularly scheduled April meeting of the Faculty Senate held in the second year thereafter. No member shall serve more than six years in succession or three terms in succession.

Article II: Membership 7

A member or alternate may resign at any time by notifying the Faculty Senate and the academic unit head of the resignation. A member or alternate is only eligible to continue in the position while employed by James Madison University in an instructional position. A member or alternate is not eligible to continue while on administrative leave.

Academic units may remove a duly elected member or alternate for nonperformance of duties, misconduct, ineligible status, or other just cause. Removal shall require a two-thirds vote of the full-time instructional faculty in the academic unit. If an academic unit removes a member or alternate, the academic unit head will notify the Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate may, by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the Faculty Senate, dismiss a member for nonperformance of duties, misconduct, ineligible status, or other just cause. If the Faculty Senate dismisses a member, the marshal shall notify the academic unit.

Article II: Membership 8

In case of a vacancy in the position of the member or alternate, the academic unit shall elect another member or alternate within 30 days to fill the remainder of the unexpired term under the election provisions set out herein. The Chair of the Senate Nominations and Elections Committee shall be notified of the results of the election.

Article II: Membership 9

The academic units from which the speaker and the speaker pro tempore are elected shall each elect an additional member for the duration of the officer's terms in office to serve as the member representing that academic unit.

Article II: Membership 10

The ex-officio members of the Faculty Senate shall be the president, the provost, and the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Any ex-officio member may designate someone to serve as his or her representative on the Faculty Senate.

Article II: Membership 11

Members are empowered to designate proxies other than their duly elected alternates.

Article III: Officers 1

A. Officers of the Faculty Senate shall be the speaker, speaker pro tempore, secretary, treasurer and marshal. Officers shall be elected from the current Faculty Senate voting members.

B. Between the academic unit elections and the organizational meeting in April, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for each Faculty Senate office and shall present these nominations at the organizational meeting of the newly elected Faculty Senate. The vote for officers shall be by majority vote of those voting, and the results for each office shall be announced before the next officer is voted upon. Nominations may be made from the floor. Ex-officio members are not eligible to serve as officers.

C. The Faculty Senate officers shall serve from the date of their election for a 12-month period. Officers may not serve for more than two successive terms in office.

D. The Faculty Senate may remove, by two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the Faculty Senate, any officer for nonperformance of duties, misconduct, ineligibility, or other just cause.

E. In case of a vacancy occurring during the year, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for the vacancy. The Nominations and Election Committee shall supervise and the marshal shall preside over the election. Nominations may be made from the floor. In the event of a vacancy in the office of marshal, the speaker shall preside over the election of the new marshal.

Article III: Officers 2
A. Speaker
  1. The speaker shall preside over meetings of the Faculty Senate, with the exception of the organizational meeting.
  2. The speaker shall call all meetings of the Faculty Senate as prescribed in Sections 2 and 3 of Article V.
  3. The speaker shall serve as faculty liaison with the administration of the university.
  4. The speaker shall countersign all official communications of the Faculty Senate.
  5. The speaker, with the aid of the Steering Committee, shall make the agenda for all regular Faculty Senate meetings, but a majority of those voting members present and voting may add items to the agenda at a regularly scheduled meeting.
  6. The term of office for the Speaker shall be two years. No Speaker shall serve more than four years in succession or two terms in succession.

B. Speaker Pro Tempore

  1. The speaker pro tempore shall assume the duties of the speaker when the speaker is absent or is unable to perform them.
  2. The speaker pro tempore shall serve as chair of the Faculty Concerns Committee.

C. Secretary

  1. The secretary shall keep a record of attendance, the minutes, and other records of the Faculty Senate.
  2. The secretary shall keep the university community regularly informed on the business of the Faculty Senate in accordance with Section 5 of Article V, and shall oversee the Faculty Senate website.

D. Treasurer

  1. The treasurer shall serve as financial agent of the Faculty Senate and shall prepare necessary budgetary requests.
  2. The treasurer shall receive all faculty dues and shall make reports to the Faculty Senate on the funds held by the Faculty Senate.
  3. The treasurer shall manage the Faculty Senate Flower Fund and make appropriate purchases from the fund for memorial gifts to the families of faculty members who have died or lost immediate family members.
  4. The treasurer shall conduct the annual computer lottery and report the results to the Faculty Senate.

E. Marshal

  1. The marshal shall serve as supervisor of Faculty Senate elections and votes and shall receive certification of election results from each academic unit's elected member.
  2. The marshal shall act as marshal for university convocations.
  3. The marshal shall act as parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate.
  4. The marshal shall serve as sergeant-at-arms of the Faculty Senate.
  5. The marshal shall serve as chairman of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
  6. The outgoing marshal shall preside over the organizational meeting of the newly elected Faculty Senate each April.
Article IV: Committees 1 The Faculty Senate shall have standing committees to which the speaker of the Faculty Senate will normally refer matters for study and for a report before these matters come to the floor of the Faculty Senate for action. Upon a vote of a majority of those voting members present and voting, the Faculty Senate may take up matters without referral to a committee, or may set aside a report of a committee. Committees may take no action on behalf of the Faculty Senate, except for the Steering Committee as provided in Section 5.e. below.
Article IV: Committees 2

Standing committees shall be composed of voting members of the Faculty Senate who are appointed by the Steering Committee, except for the membership of the Steering Committee, which is provided in Section 5.1 below.

A member of a committee may be removed from service on the committee for nonperformance of duties, misconduct, ineligibility, or other just cause. Upon recommendation of the chair of the standing committee, the Steering Committee will vote on removal of the member's committee appointment. The speaker of the Faculty Senate shall report the removal to the senate, and the secretary shall notify the academic unit of the member who has been removed from the committee. The chair of the committee may appoint a replacement for the removed member of the committee, preferably from the same academic college.

Article IV: Committees 3

Committee meetings shall be called by the chair of the committee as needed. The quorum for each committee is a majority of its members.

Article IV: Committees 4

Each standing committee of the Faculty Senate shall have the authority to adopt an operating procedure for the internal governance of that committee, providing that:

a. No part of the operating procedure conflicts with this constitution or any of its bylaws.

b. The Steering Committee is kept informed of current operating procedures.

If, in the opinion of the Steering Committee, operating procedures for the various committees will conflict in the transaction of senate business, the speaker shall advise the chairs of the respective committees regarding the conflicting procedures. If the committees are unable to resolve the conflict, the senate shall make the final decision as to acceptable operating procedures.

Article IV: Committees 5

A. The Steering Committee shall be composed of the speaker, the speaker pro tempore, the secretary, the treasurer, the marshal, and the chairs of all standing committees. The speaker of Faculty Senate shall serve as chair of the Steering Committee.

B. The Steering Committee shall aid the speaker in setting the agenda for meetings of the Faculty Senate.

C. The Steering Committee shall regularly review the actions of all Faculty Senate committees and shall provide appropriate leadership and direction for their proper functioning.

D. Immediately after the organizational meeting of the new Faculty Senate each April, the new officers shall meet and recommend the appointment of the Faculty Senate members among the appointed standing committees of the Faculty Senate. Each member shall be assigned to at least one committee based on preferences supplied by the members and the needs of the Faculty Senate. Whenever possible, all academic colleges shall be represented on each committee.

E. Between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the fall semester, the Steering Committee, including newly elected officers, shall serve as an interim governance body. Personnel or policy issues normally requiring larger Faculty Senate deliberation can be considered by this group, as necessary, with recommendations being formulated for Faculty Senate action during the fall. Issues considered, decisions made, and recommendations formulated shall be presented for review and concurrence at the first fall meeting of the full Faculty Senate.

Article IV: Committees 6

A. Membership of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of at least one member from each academic college, when possible. The marshal of the Faculty Senate shall serve as chair of this committee, but the marshal's college should, if possible, have a representative in addition to the marshal.

B. The committee shall oversee, through the agency of the Faculty Senate marshal, the elections of members and alternates. In the event of a contested election, the committee shall conduct a full investigation and make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate shall make the final decision as to the seating of members and alternates by majority vote of the Senate.

C. Before the organizational meeting, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for each senate office and shall present these nominations at the organizational meeting of the newly-elected Faculty Senate. The committee shall supervise the elections of Faculty Senate officers held in the organizational meeting of the newly elected Faculty Senate.

D. The committee shall oversee the removal of officers and members from the Senate and from committee appointments for nonperformance of duties, misconduct, ineligibility, or other just cause.

E. Each year, the committee shall solicit the faculty to find members who are interested and qualified to serve on general university committees or commissions.

Article IV: Committees 7

A. The Faculty Concerns Committee shall consist of at least one member from each academic college, when possible. The speaker pro tempore chairs this committee, but the speaker pro tempore's college should have a representative in addition to the speaker pro tempore, if possible.

B. The Faculty Concerns Committee studies, formulates and recommends action on university-wide concerns pertaining to:

  1. Methods of selection and appointment of faculty, including academic unit heads and administrative officers;
  2. Tenure, promotions, salaries, academic leaves, consulting practices, research and publication of instructional faculty members;
  3. Fringe benefits and working conditions of instructional faculty members;
  4. Issues concerning academic freedom and responsibilities; and
  5. Development and utilization of university resources and services as they affect faculty morale and professional development of instructional faculty members.
Article IV: Committees 8

A. The Student Relations Committee shall consist of at least one member from each academic college, when possible. This committee shall elect a chair from the membership of the committee at its first meeting following the Organizational meeting in April.

B. The chair of the committee shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee.

C. This committee shall identify and make recommendations concerning matters of mutual responsibility and concern among faculty and students.

Article IV: Committees 9

A. The Committee on Academic Policies shall consist of at least one member from each academic college, when possible. This committee shall elect a chair from the membership of the committee at its first meeting following the Organizational meeting in April. The chair of the committee shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee.

B. This committee shall consider and make recommendations concerning new or existing academic policies of the university, including but not limited to degree requirements, credit/no-credit courses, special studies, etc.

Article IV: Committees 10

A. The Faculty Appeals Committee shall consist of one member from each academic college. Members on this committee must be either tenured or have served at least six years of full-time teaching at JMU. If the college requirement cannot be met from among members of the Faculty Senate, the Steering Committee may appoint as a member of the committee a tenured faculty member, or a faculty member who has served at least six years of full-time teaching at James Madison University, who is not a member of the Faculty Senate. Academic Unit heads, and assistant and associate deans are ineligible for membership on this committee. The committee shall elect its own chair at its first meeting following the Organizational meeting in April. The chair of the committee shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee.

B. This committee shall receive appeals from instructional faculty members, determine whether a hearing will be held, and if so, select a Hearing Committee, under the terms of the Faculty Handbook.

Article IV: Committees 11

A. The Budget Committee shall consist of at least one member from each academic college, when possible. As necessary, appropriate, and with the consent of the Steering Committee, the Budget Committee chair may appoint additional faculty members who are not Faculty Senate members to its membership. The committee shall elect a chair from membership of the committee at its first meeting following the Organizational meeting in April. The chair of the committee shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee.

B. The Budget Committee will advise the Faculty Senate regarding the fiscal operation of the University as it is relevant to the University's academic mission so that the faculty may provide its recommendations to the University's administration.

Article V: Meetings 1

The organizational meeting of the newly-constituted Faculty Senate shall be held each year in April, after the conclusion of the regular Faculty Senate meeting, for the purpose of electing new officers.

Article V: Meetings 2

The Faculty Senate shall hold meetings as follows:

  • First Thursday in September
  • First Thursday in October
  • First Thursday in November
  • First Thursday in December
  • Last Thursday in January
  • Last Thursday in February
  • Last Thursday in March
  • Last Thursday in April

These regular meetings shall be open meetings under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and all members of the James Madison University community are welcome. The time and location of the meetings will be posted on the Faculty Senate website. Members must be given at least three days' notice of all regular meetings by the speaker. In the event the university is closed on the regular meeting day, the meeting will be rescheduled to the following Thursday at the same time and place, if the university has re-opened, and the website will reflect the change.

Article V: Meetings 3

The speaker may also call special meetings of the Faculty Senate as deemed necessary. Upon receipt of a petition from at least 20 percent of the membership of the Faculty Senate, the speaker shall immediately call a meeting of the Faculty Senate to be held no later than five working days after the petition is received, if the university is in session, or at least thirty days after the petition is received, if the university is not in session. Notice will be provided to all members, and the time and location will be posted on the website.

Article V: Meetings 4

A quorum of the Faculty Senate's members is necessary to conduct business. A majority of the voting members of the Faculty Senate shall constitute a quorum.

Official acts of the Faculty Senate shall be voted upon by the voting members in attendance. Unless otherwise specified herein, a majority vote of those present and voting is required to pass a motion.

For purposes of determining a quorum or majority, alternates or duly authorized proxies shall be considered voting members.

Article V: Meetings 5

Minutes shall be kept of every meeting, and the secretary will distribute a draft of the minutes to the Steering Committee for review. After its approval, copies shall be distributed electronically to the members by the secretary no later than three weeks following a meeting.

Article V: Meetings 6

Minutes will be officially approved at the next meeting of the Faculty Senate but will not be re-distributed to the members unless the Senate votes for re-distribution.

Article V: Meetings 7

Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, subject to such rules as may be adopted by the Faculty Senate.

Article V: Meetings 8

A. A member may bring a matter to the senate for discussion by submitting a written request to the speaker who, with the advice of the Steering Committee, will either (1) place it on the agenda for a future senate meeting, or (2) refer it to the appropriate senate committee for study prior to bringing it to the full senate.

B. The senate may extend privileges of the floor of the senate to any member of the university community, including alumni. Such privilege for a meeting shall be extended to a visiting university community member through either of two procedures: (1) by arrangement prior to the meeting with the speaker, or (2) through introduction of the visitor by any member during the course of a meeting.

C. A full agenda for a forthcoming meeting shall be presented in writing or in an electronically readable form to all members at least three (3) days in advance of each regular meeting. In addition, the text of motions requiring senate action shall likewise be presented in writing or electronically readable form at least three (3) days in advance of meetings, to the extent possible.

Article VI: Dues

Each full-time instructional faculty member is expected to pay dues to the Faculty Senate. Dues are collected for the purpose of providing memorial tributes for the death of a James Madison University faculty member or family member (the "Flower Fund"). Dues are set at $2.00 per year, and are to be paid to the faculty member's Faculty Senate member representative by October 15 each year.

The Faculty Senate member will collect the dues and transmit them to the Treasurer at the regular October meeting of the Faculty Senate. The member will keep an accurate record of the dues collected and paid to the Treasurer.

The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of the dues collected from members. Dues will be deposited by the Treasurer in the official Faculty Senate account, and will be administered according to university cash handling procedures.

Article VII: Amendments

These bylaws shall become effective when approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of voting members of the Faculty Senate.

These bylaws can be amended at any time by the Faculty Senate when approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of voting members of the Faculty Senate.