Tyler Junior College

Faculty Senate

Constitution/By-Laws

Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Tyler Junior College

Revised October 7, 2014

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 senators. 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 (including load reductions), per full semester, and/or whose primary contractual obligations to Tyler Junior College are as instructor of record. Adjunct faculty are those whose primary contractual obligation to TJC is as an instructor of record, and whose course load is less than 15 credit-hours per semester. The distribution of senators will be determined by the bylaws. 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 elected alternates. (Revised April 2014)

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.  

I. 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. 

II. 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.

III. 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. 

IV.      Academic schools are provided representation at a ratio of eight full-time faculty to one full-time faculty senator, rounded down.  In the event an academic school employs less than eight 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 and Faculty Senate Cabinet

(Revised April 2014)

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 current senators membership for a term of one year at a special meeting of the current senators and newly elected Senate, the last Tuesday in March on 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/her 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. (Revised April 2014)

Section 3: The Faculty Senate Cabinet will consist of the president and each of the chairs of the following Faculty Senate standing committees: the Faculty Development Committee, the Instructional Support Services Committee, the Academic Committee, the Student Relations Committee, and the Rules Committee. The president-elect chairs the Academic Committee and the secretary chairs the Rules Committee. The chair of each of the other standing committees will be chosen by the president. Each school 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 Faculty Senate Cabinet prior to May 31 following the March election of officers. (Revised April 2014)

Section 4: Duties of the standing committees include but are not limited to the following duties: (Transferred from By Laws and revised April 2014)

  • The Faculty Development Committee will consider matters that concern the professional growth and development of the faculty as may come before the Senate. The Committee will provide "Faculty Senate on the Move" monthly meetings and faculty development sessions each semester as time allows. This committee will accept applications and recommend persons for Faculty Development Grants. The committee will submit to the President of the College, the recipients of the Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence as nominees for the Piper Professor nomination. 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 faculty development. 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 the new equipment such as computers and make recommendations pertaining to the library, the Learning Resources Center and the College Bookstore.
  • The Academic 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 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.
  • It is the duty of the chair of each standing committee to submit a summary report to the current Faculty Senate President and President-Elect by the last day of May. This report should summarize the accomplishments and efforts of the respective committee during the academic year, specifically noting items which were completed and those that are still a work in process. (Added April 2014)

Section 5: The fall convocation day following the March election of officers will be the first day of the term for the newly elected officers and committee chairs. The elected Secretary and President-Elect will officially take their new positions on this convocation day. The President-Elect from the prior year becomes the acting President of the Faculty Senate on this same day. The committee chairs selected by the current President Elect in May begin serving upon fall convocation when this President-Elect becomes the President of the Faculty Senate. (Added April 2014)

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: (Revised April 2014)

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: After prior notice of at least two weeks, the Senate will have the power to amend the constitution by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting and to adopt and amend such by laws as are consistent with this constitution. (Revised April 2014)

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.

Section 7: Proposals to amend the Constitution of the Senate will be referred by the President to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will study the proposed changes and draft a written recommendation to be presented to the Senate at its next meeting. (Added April 2014)

Section 8: In its report, the Rules Committee will include a statement as to the background and effect of the proposed change(s), and will specify the chapter and section number to the change or addition, retaining the sequence or numbering in the existing Constitution. An altered section would retain the numbering of the section prior to modification. An addition to a chapter would receive the next highest section number. A new topic would be numbered as a new chapter. (Added April 2014)

Section 9: When the Senate adopts a change in the Constitution, 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. (Added April 2014)

Bylaws of the Faculty Senate of Tyler Junior College

Revised April 2014

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. New senators inducted at this meeting (who are not currently serving a term on the Faculty Senate) cannot vote or submit nominations in this election. (Revised April 2010)

Section 2: 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. (Revised April 2014)

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: Replacement of Elected Officers (added December 2009)

Section 1: If the president of the Senate takes leave or resigns from office on or before the October faculty senate meeting, the immediate past-president of the

Senate shall serve the remainder of that term. If the Past-President is unable to serve, then the president-elect shall serve the remainder of the term and then serve the term for which he or she was elected.

Section 2: If the president takes leave or resigns after the October faculty senate meeting, the president-elect shall serve the remainder of the term and then serve the term for which he or she was elected.

Section 3: If the president-elect assumes the office of President, then he/she shall appoint a full-time faculty senator to fill the vacant cabinet position of Chair of the Academic Committee for the remainder of the term.

Section 4: If the president-elect takes leave or resigns from the office of president-elect, a special election shall be called to fill the position of president-elect.

Section 5: If the secretary takes leave or resigns from office of secretary, a special election shall be called to fill the position of secretary.

Chapter Three: Committees

Section 1: The following will be the standing committees of the Senate: (Revised April 2014)

  • Faculty Development Committee
  • Instructional Support Services Committee
  • Academic Committee (Revised March 2010)
  • Student Relations Committee
  • Rules Committee

Section 2: When circumstances or issues require it, the president may appoint the chair and membership of special committees. (Revised April 2014)

Section 3: The Academic 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 Senate, the president-elect of the Senate, The secretary of the 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 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 4: 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 5: With the exception of the Faculty Senate Cabinet, no senator will serve on more than one standing committee at a time.

Section 6: The terms of membership for the standing committees will be one year. (Revised April 2014)

Section 7: No senator will chair more than one special committee. Senators may serve on as many special committees as appointed by the president.

Section 8: The Tyler Junior College Faculty Senate Past Presidents’ Council serves as a special committee. This committee was founded in 1987 and is comprised of all former Tyler Junior College Faculty Senate Presidents.  First and foremost, the Past Presidents’ Council serves as an advisory and historic resource to be used at the discretion of the current Faculty Senate President.    The Past Presidents and the current Senate President will request a meeting with the President of Tyler Junior College during convocation week in both August and January. This meeting is at the discretion of the TJC President, who usually hosts a luncheon meeting. Any item or issue can be bought forward and discussed at this meeting. 

Chapter Four: Time and Place of Meetings

Section 1: The Senate will meet at least one time each month of the academic year (September through December and February through May) unless the Senate determines by a majority vote not to meet during a given month. (Revised April 2014)

Section 2: The Senate will meet at a place designated by the president. The place of meeting 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 Cabinet will meet at 2:00 p.m.in the Faculty Senate Office in Vaughn Library prior to the various group meetings that begin at 3pm. The monthly meeting schedule is as follows: (Revised April 2014)

  • The first Tuesday of every month except January, June, July, August and designated school holidays (in which case the Senate will meet the next Tuesday that classes are in session), the Faculty Senate at large will meet at 3pm. Issues and concerns brought forward at this meeting will be assigned to the appropriate committees and brought forward at later monthly meetings with the deans and vice presidents of the college.
  • On the second Tuesday of the month, the Senate Cabinet will meet at a different building/location, on the main campus or the west campus, with any members of the general faculty who wish to attend. This meeting is known as the "Faculty Senate on the Move." Issues and concerns brought forward at this meeting will be assigned to the appropriate committees and brought forward at later monthly meetings with the Deans and Vice Presidents.
  • On the third Tuesday of the month the Senate Cabinet will meet with the Deans and invited Directors/Coordinators to bring forward faculty issues and concerns.
  • On the fourth Tuesday of the month the Senate Cabinet will meet with the Vice Presidents and Provost to bring forward faculty issues and concerns.
  • The Faculty Senate President will schedule monthly appointments to meet one-on-one with the President of the College.

Issues and outcomes discussed at all of the preceding meetings will be reported back to the Senate at large during its monthly meeting.

Section 4: Attendance at Faculty Senate meetings is limited to Tyler Junior College professors whose principle contractual relationship with Tyler Junior College is that of teaching faculty, whose primary duties are teaching college classes at Tyler Junior College, and who would otherwise be eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate. Chairs of academic departments who may or may not teach are considered eligible to serve on the Senate.  All other persons may be allowed to attend Senate meetings only by invitation from the Senate President, after approval by the Senate cabinet. (Added April 2010)

Chapter Five: Changing the Bylaws

Section 1: Proposals to amend the bylaws 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 bylaws 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 bylaws. 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 bylaws 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 Six: Election of Senators

Section 1: Each academic school will elect the appropriate number of senators and alternates during the first month of the spring semester preceding the commencement of the senator’s term and will transmit the election results to the Faculty 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 members.

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 Faculty Senate President from recommendations of department chairs no sooner than the first meeting of the fall semester. Adjunct faculty eligible for appointment from the President of the Faculty Senate are those whose primary contractual responsibility to TJC is teaching (Revised April 2014).

Section 5: Voting in Senate meetings is limited to senators or their elected alternates.