Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Tyler Junior College
Revised May 2011
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1: The name of this organization will be the Tyler Junior College Faculty Senate, which will hereafter be referred to in this document as the Senate.
Section 2: The Senate provides a systematic means for the effective participation of the faculty in the affairs of the college, and adequate channels for the administration of Tyler Junior College to seek the judgment and counsel of the faculty about matters of mutual concern.
Article II: Membership
Section 1: The Senate will consist of full time and adjunct faculty members. Full time faculty are those persons who hold a current faculty contract: teach at least 15 credit hours of courses (5 or more 3 credit hour courses or any other combination of hours), or the equivalent of 15 credit hours per full semester, and/or whose primary contractual obligations to Tyler Junior College are as professor of record. Adjunct faculty are those whose primary contractual obligation to Tyler Junior College is as professor of record, and whose course load is less than 15 credit hours per semester. The distribution of senators will be determined by the By Laws. Each full time senator will serve a term of two years. Each adjunct senator will serve a term of one year. Terms will begin at the start of the fall session. Voting in Senate meetings is limited to senators or their duly elected alternates.
Section 2: Each school will elect the appropriate number of senators and alternates by secret ballot. This election will occur the semester preceding the commencement of the senator’s term, and each school will transmit to the secretary of the Senate the returns of its election.
Section 3: The following procedures will be used when the number of Senate representatives for a school needs to be adjusted other than during Senate elections in the spring.
- When an increase in the number of senators representing an academic school is needed, they will be selected from the school’s current list of alternates by a simple majority vote of that academic school’s current senators.
- When a decrease in the number of senators representing an academic school is needed, no change in the number of an academic school’s senators will occur until elections in the spring.
- When a new academic school is created within the college, its full-time faculty will select an appropriate number of senator(s) from among themselves as soon as feasible using procedures established in Article II of the Faculty Senate Constitution. The newly elected senator(s) will assume office at the next scheduled meeting of the Senate.
- Academic schools are provided representation at a ratio of eight (8) full-time faculty to one full-time faculty senator, rounded down. In the event an academic school employs less than eight (8) full-time faculty but at least one full-time faculty, that academic school will be authorized one full-time faculty senator. An academic school that has no full-time faculty but only adjunct faculty may provide one adjunct faculty member to represent the faculty of that school.
Section 4: Terms of senators will be divided into first and second categories. Terms of the first category will commence in odd numbered years, and terms of the second category will commence in even numbered years. Approximately one-half of the senators in each school will have terms in each category.
Section 5: It will be the duty of the secretary of the Senate to inform each school in sufficient time so that it may elect senators for the appropriate term.
Section 6: If a senator misses three consecutive Senate meetings, the president may declare that senator’s position vacant. That senator’s school may name an alternate from their list of elected alternate senators to complete the unexpired portion of the term.
Section 7: Once elected to the Senate, a Senator will be allowed to complete his or her elected term regardless of school affiliation.
Article III: Officers
Section 1: The officers of the Senate will be the president, the president-elect, and the secretary. All officers of the Senate are ineligible to succeed themselves in office.
Section 2: The President-Elect and the Secretary will be elected by secret ballot with a majority vote from the Senate membership for a term of one year at a special meeting of the current and newly elected Senate, the last Tuesday in March in which classes meet. The president-elect must have served on the Faculty Senate in the academic year in which elected, and must have a minimum of one year remaining in his term. The election will be by secret ballot with a majority of votes of the Senate necessary of election. The current president will preside over the election of the new officers.
Article IV: Powers and Duties of the Senate
Within the limitations imposed by the fact that ultimate authority rests with the Board of Trustees of Tyler Junior College and is delegated by that body to the various administrative levels, the Senate will have the following powers.
Section 1: The Senate will represent and act for the faculty in all matters of general policy affecting the welfare of Tyler Junior College, and will act in an advisory, planning and consultative capacity to the administration of the college.
Section 2: The Senate will establish its own agenda.
Section 3: The Senate will have the power to amend the constitution by two-thirds votes of those present and voting and to adopt and amend such by laws as are consistent with this constitution.
Section 4: The Senate will establish the time of its meetings, which will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order. The Senate will have the power to meet in an executive session when a majority of those present deems it necessary and so votes.
Section 5: While not excluding other possible channels of communication with higher authority, recommendations made by the Senate will be transmitted by the president of the Senate to the President of the College for further action.
Section 6: The Senate will establish that a quorum is present before conducting business at any meeting. This quorum will consist of 51% of all elected members.
By-Laws of the Faculty Senate Of Tyler Junior College
Revised May 2011
Chapter One: Nomination and Election of Officers
Section 1: The outgoing president will call for nominations for the offices of the president-elect and the secretary of the Senate at the February Senate meeting. Nominations will be submitted in writing to the secretary by the March Senate meeting. Election of the president-elect and secretary will be conducted at a special meeting of the newly elected and current Senate to be held on the last Tuesday in March on which classes meet. Write-in nominations will be accepted.
Section 2: No senator will be eligible to nominate or elect any officer of the Senate unless his credentials to serve during the current or upcoming year will have been accepted by the Senate. Nominations of candidates will be made by a senator and will require seconding by two other senators. No senator will nominate or second more than one candidate for the same office.
Section 3: Nominations for the office of president-elect will be made first. When all candidates for the office of president-elect have been nominated, the election will be held by secret ballot and will continue until the president declares a majority winner. Nominations for the office of secretary will be made next. When all candidates for the office of secretary have been nominated, the election will be held by secret ballot and will continue until the president declares a majority winner.
Section 4: While the president of the Senate does not hold a senatorial position, the president has the option of voting or not voting in situations not involving a tie vote. The president is required to vote in case of a tie vote.
Section 5: Officer Nominees will come only from the full time faculty.
Chapter Two: Committees
Section 1: The following will be the standing committees of the Senate:
- Faculty Development Committee
- Instructional Support Services Committee
- Academic Affairs Committee
- Student Relations Committee
- Rules Committee
- Faculty Senate Cabinet
Section 2: Standing committees may be created or deleted by amending sections 1 and 10.
Section 3: When circumstances or issues require it, the president may appoint the chair and membership of special committees.
Section 4: The Academic Affairs Committee will consist of the president-elect serving as chair and other members. The Rules Committee will consist of the secretary serving as chair and other members. The Faculty Senate Cabinet will consist of the President of the Faculty Senate, the President-Elect of the Faculty Senate, The Secretary of the Faculty Senate, and the chairperson of the Instructional Support committee, the Students Relations committee, and the Faculty Development committee. Each of the standing committees (except the Faculty Senate Cabinet) will consist of a committee chair that is chosen from the full time faculty senators by the president. The President-Elect chairs the Academic Affairs committee and the Secretary chairs the Rules committee. Each school with at least four senators will be represented on each standing committee. Schools with fewer than four senators will be represented on as many standing committees as possible. Adjunct senators will be assigned to different standing committees as needed. Committee membership will be decided by the cabinet prior to the September Senate meeting. (revised May 2011)
Section 5: No chair of any standing or special committee will vote during meetings of the committee, except to break a tie.
Section 6: The chair and half of the members of the committee will be necessary to make a quorum. No business will be transacted unless a quorum is present.
Section 7: With the exception of the Faculty Senate Cabinet, no senator will serve on more than one standing committee at a time.
Section 8: The terms of membership for the standing committees will be one year. However, the chair may remove a member from a standing committee for two consecutive absences from committee meetings.
Section 9: No senator will chair more than one special committee. Senators may serve on as many special committees as appointed by the president.
Section 10: Duties of the standing committees include, but are not limited to the following duties:
- The Faculty Development Committee will consider matters that concern the professional growth and development of the faculty severally and individually as may come before the Senate. This committee will accept applications and recommend persons for Faculty Development Grants. The committee will oversee the nomination and selection process for the Mattie Alice Scroggin Baker Award. The committee will be responsible for overseeing, promoting, and coordinating activities of the faculty development center—currently the Center for Innovative Academia. The committee will continually study faculty salary and benefit plans and will make recommendations to the Senate pertaining to these issues.
- The Instructional Support Services Committee will consider matters that concern buildings, grounds, present equipment, maintenance, heating, lighting, air-conditioning, printing, supplies, parking, and all other matters concerning the physical plant and grounds of the college as may come before the Senate. The committee may also make recommendations concerning new equipment, project long range planning for the use of new equipment such as computers, and make recommendations pertaining to the library the Learning Resources Center, and the College Bookstore.
- The Academic Affairs Committee will consider matters that concern the welfare of the college, the academic excellence of the teaching of the college and such other matters as may concern the college and faculty that are not otherwise assigned to other committees.
- The Student Relations Committee will consider all matters relating to student conduct and the holding of student activities, including intercollegiate athletics. The chair of the committee will inform the chair of the Student Senate of all meetings of the committee that concern issues of student interest. When issues of student interest are addressed, the committee will request the president of the Student Senate to designate at least one Student Senate member to attend that meeting of the committee.
- The Rules Committee will consider the allocation of the faculty senators, changes in the Senate constitution, and changes in the Senate By Laws. The committee will also review proposed changes in the Tyler Junior College Board Policy Manual to assure that no inconsistencies exist between college and Senate policies, and any other matters that concern the conduct of the Senate as a body.
Chapter Three: Time and Place of Meetings
Section 1: The Senate will meet at least one time each month of the academic year unless the Senate determines by a majority vote not to meet during a given month.
Section 2: The Senate will meet at a place designated by the President of the Senate. The place of meetings will not be changed unless each senator is notified by the President of the change prior to the day of the meeting.
Section 3: The Senate will meet at 3:00 p.m. the 1st Tuesday of every month except during designated school holidays, in which case the Senate will meet the next Tuesday that classes are in session.
Chapter Four: Changing the By Laws
Section 1: Proposals to amend the By Laws of the Senate will be referred by the President to the Rules Committee.
Section 2: The Rules Committee will study the proposed changes and will draft a written recommendation to be presented to the Senate at its next meeting.
Section 3: In its report, the Rules Committee will include a statement as to the background and effect of the proposed change(s).
Section 4: The Rules Committee will also specify the chapter and section of the existing By Laws modified by the change or addition. The Rules Committee will assign a chapter and section number to the change or addition, retaining the sequence of numbering in the existing By Laws. A change section would retain the numbering of the section it modified. An addition to a chapter would receive the highest section number. A new topic would be numbered as a new chapter.
Section 5: Changes to the By Laws may be made at any regular Senate meeting at which a quorum is present and voting. Approval will require a simple majority vote.
Section 6: When the Senate adopts a change in the By Laws, it will be the duty of the secretary to incorporate this change into the copy of which that office has custody. The secretary will include within the minutes of that meeting any change that has been made.
Chapter Five: Election of Senators
Section 1: Each academic school will elect the appropriate number of senators and alternates during the 1st month of the spring semester preceding the commencement of the senator’s term and will transmit the election results to the Senate secretary. All faculty members are considered to be members of one of the academic schools.
Section 2: One senator for every eight full-time permanent faculty members will be elected. The number of senators is reached by dividing the number of full-time permanent faculty members by eight. The result is rounded to the lower whole number. If a school has at least one but less than eight full-time faculty members, that school shall be authorized to elect one Senator to represent the faculty member(s).
Section 3: Each school will elect no more than one alternate for every two senators.
Section 4: One senator from among the adjunct faculty of each school will be selected by the dean of that school no sooner than the 1st meeting of the fall semester.
Section 5: Voting in Senate meetings is limited to senators or their duly elected alternates.