Constitution of the Faculty Senate of Tyler Junior College
Revised May 2021
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 1. hold a current faculty contract and 2. teach at least 15 credit-hours of courses or the equivalent of the 15 credit-hours (including load-reductions), per full semester. (Revised May 2021) Adjunct faculty are those whose primary contractual obligations to Tyler Junior College are as 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, in the absence of the senator, the senator’s designated alternate from their respective school. (Revised December 2019)
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. The Faculty Senate President will designate members of the Faculty Senate Cabinet to distribute and collect the ballots from each school. After the votes are tallied, the results (ranked in order of most votes received by each nominee) will be reported to the secretary of the Senate. (Revised November 2017)
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
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 current president will preside over the election of the new officers. The president-elect and the secretary will be elected for a term of one year by secret ballot with a majority (greater than 50%) vote from the current senators present and voting at a special meeting on 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 in his/her term or have been recently re-elected by their school to serve another term. The election will be by secret ballot with a majority of votes of the Senate necessary for election. Should no candidate receive a majority vote on the first ballot, then an immediate runoff shall occur between the two highest vote recipients. (Revised May 2017)
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 incoming Faculty Senate President by the end of May before taking office. Faculty Senate Cabinet needs to be available every Tuesday from 2:00-5:00, senators who are not available during this time are not able to serve. Committee membership will be decided by the Faculty Senate Cabinet. Adjunct senators will be assigned to different standing committees as needed. (Revised December 2019)
Section 4: Duties of the standing committees include but are not limited to the following duties: (Revised and transferred from By Laws. 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 host a forum of faculty development sessions each semester as time allows. This committee will accept applications and recommend persons for Faculty Development Grants as funding permits. 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. (Revised November 2017)
- 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 the academic affairs of the college. The committee is responsible for working with administration and faculty in school curriculum and new curricular initiatives, the college’s strategic plan, the academic calendar, faculty hiring and promotion, faculty research, academic compliance and legislation concerning policies and procedures, the administration of all academic departments and programs within the division of Academic Affairs, and such other matters as may concern the college and faculty that are not otherwise assigned to committee. (Revised Feb. 2021)
- 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 maintain accurate and updated documentation of the procedures by which the respective committee fulfills its assigned duties. Committee procedures documents are to be stored electronically in the Faculty Senate folder of the TJC Google drive and in hard copy in the Faculty Senate Room. It is the duty of the Secretary to ensure updated procedures documents are stored appropriately. (Added March 2022)
- It is the duty of the Chair of each standing committee to submit a summary report to the current 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 transition of the incoming President and Faculty Senate Cabinet shall take place at the fall convocation each year (Revised December 2019)
Section 6: The Faculty Senate President will provide a list of current Senators to the President of the College for consideration of appointment to College standing committees. A member of the Faculty Senate Cabinet, or appointed representative, shall serve as a voting member on the Civility Task Force and on the following College standing committees deemed to be of critical importance to the Faculty of Tyler Junior College Safety, and the General Education Committee. (Added Nov. 2016)
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. The Senate will have the power to adopt and amend such By Laws as are consistent with this constitution at any General Faculty Senate meeting with a plurality vote. (Revised Nov. 2016)
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)
By Laws of the Faculty Senate of Tyler Junior College
Revised April 2018
Chapter One: Nomination, Election, and Selection of Officers (Revised December 2019)
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.
Section 6: The newly elected officers at the March meeting will begin their year of service at the Convocation at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
Section 7: After the March elections, the incoming Faculty Senate President shall select the other members of the Faculty Senate Cabinet by the end of May before taking office. The president must select full-time faculty senators (not alternates) who have at least one more year to serve on their senatorial term or have been re-elected for the upcoming term (added December 2019).
Chapter Two: Replacement of Elected Officers (Revised February 2022)
Section 1: If the president of the Faculty Senate cannot complete his/her term in office, the president-elect shall have the choice of moving up to the president position early and filling that vacancy for the duration of that academic year (until the installation of new officers at Fall Convocation). In that case, the new president’s term would end when new officers take over at Fall Convocation and he/she would be ineligible to serve a consecutive term as president. If the president-elect chooses not to move up to fill the vacancy (chooses to remain as president-elect), then a special election will be called for an interim president within one calendar month of the date the president’s office was vacated. The elected interim president will serve with the full power as president until that academic year ends at Fall Convocation. In either instance, the cabinet will remain the same as with the original president who could not complete the term.
Section 2: If the president-elect assumes the office of the president or cannot complete his/her term as president-elect, a special election to fill that position shall be held within one calendar month of the date the president-elect’s office was vacated. The winner of that election will serve with the full power and duties of president-elect, including serving as chair of the Academic Committee, and will assume the duties of president the following academic year, beginning at Fall Convocation.
Section 3: If the secretary cannot complete his/her term in office, a special election to fill that position shall be held within one calendar month of the date the office was vacated. The winner of that election will serve with the full power and duties of secretary for the remainder of that academic year.
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 Faculty Senate Cabinet. (Revised March 2018)
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.
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. If a December or May meeting conflicts with Final Exam week, then the Senate will not meet unless the President of the Senate calls an emergency meeting. (Revised March 2018)
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.
- 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. 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. (Revised May 2017)
- 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 those considered eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate (reference Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution). (Revised May 2021) 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). Anyone in attendance and not meeting Faculty Status requirements should be called on to present prior to committee report and then may be asked to leave by the Senate President. (Added Nov. 2016).
Chapter Five: 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 Six: Election of Senators
Section 1: All faculty members are considered to be members of one of the academic schools. 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 Senate secretary. If a senator cannot complete his or her term, that seat will be filled by the alternate who received the most votes (of all alternates) for that school. If this alternate is unable to fill the position, the remaining alternates (in order of most votes received) will be asked, until the position is filled. If none of the alternates are able to fill the position, a special vote will be held within the school to establish the replacement before the next Faculty Senate meeting. (Revised March 2018)
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 from 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, in the absence of the senator, the senator’s designated alternate from their respective school. (Revised December 2019)