Standing Rules of the Faculty Senate
Approved: February 7, 1995. Amended November 21, 1995; May 5, 1998; October 6, 1998; May 4, 1999; May 4, 2004; April 7, 2009.
The rules and duties are in addition to those specified in the Bylaws of the Faculty.
I. DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF FACULTY SENATE
- At the first Senate meeting of each academic year, the President shall direct the immediate Past President to report on the status of all unfinished business from the previous academic year (especially Senate Resolutions of the previous year the goals of which have not yet been achieved).
- The President shall ensure that an adequate budget is obtained from the Administration for the coming year. In particular, if the incoming Executive Committee deems it useful, he/she shall ensure that there are adequate funds for hiring work-study students to perform a wide range of Senate clerical duties (especially assisting the Senate Recording Secretary-Treasurer and the Corresponding Secretary).
- In order to promote continuity and cooperation, at the beginning of each academic year the President shall invite the following people to accept appointments as Honorary Senators: up to six of the most recent Past Presidents of Faculty Senate who served prior to the Immediate Past President and who express interest in continuing to serve on the Senate; one to five members of the Faculty Caucus of University Council; all faculty representatives to an executive-level budget advisory committee; the President of the VCU AAUP chapter; a representative of the adjunct faculty; a representative of the retired faculty; and up to ten other members of the faculty whose participation on the Senate would be especially useful.
- In order to ensure that the Faculty Senate Leadership Guidelines are followed and continually updated, the President shall propose any changes he/she wishes to suggest at the first meeting of the second semester. If the President has no changes to propose, he/she shall say so.
- The President of Faculty Senate, with the advice of the Executive Committee, shall establish committees as needed to transact the regular and ordinary business of the Faculty Senate. The President shall, prior to the September meeting of the Faculty Senate, appoint the chairs of all Senate standing committees except the Nominating Committee, and list in writing any special issues for each committee for the coming year, including any unfinished business from the previous year.
- Each August the Senate President shall request the annual report from the previous year’s chair of the University Grievance Panel. This report should be distributed to members of the Senate and discussed at a Senate meeting. If appropriate, the Academic and Professional Status Committee should be charged with studying the report before it is discussed at a Senate meeting.
II. DUTIES OF THE SENATE VICE-PRESIDENT
The Vice-President shall, prior to October 1, work with the President to staff all committees, except the Nominating Committee, and shall assist the President and Past President to ensure that any unfinished Senate business (committee work, resolutions, etc.) from the previous year is either finished, or is explained and assigned to one of the Senate committees.
The Vice-President shall officially represent the President as needed or as directed by the President.
III. DUTIES OF THE SENATE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY
- The Corresponding Secretary shall ensure that proper notice is given of all Senate meetings and that the previous month’s minutes and any documents pertinent to the senate meeting are distributed via the Faculty Senate website, electronic mail, or campus mail.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall ensure that copies of the Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Leadership Guidelines is are distributed to all Senators (Elected Senators as well as Senators at Large, Honorary Senators, and Alternate Senators) at the beginning of each fall semester. These documents can be distributed electronically as attachments to an electronic mail message or via a link to the Faculty Senate web site within an electronic mail message.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall communicate with the Office of the Dean of each school by August 25th to obtain the name, department, University address, telephone, and electronic mail address of each Elected Senator and Alternate Senator. Once this information is obtained from every school, the Corresponding Secretary shall prepare an electronic mail distribution list and a campus mail list for the purposes of Senate communication.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall create the Faculty Senate roster for the academic year and distribute it to all Senators by the scheduled October Senate meeting. The Corresponding Secretary shall also ensure that the roster is posted to the Faculty Senate web site and that the roster on the web site is updated when any changes to the roster occur during the course of the year.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain an attendance record for Senate meetings that shows very clearly who attended which Senate meetings during the current academic year. This record shall be on display at each Senate meeting so that Senators may review it, and a copy shall be provided to the Credentials and Rules Committee following each Senate meeting.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall ensure that all Honorary Senate Members, Alternate Senators, President of the VCU Chapter of the AAUP and others as specified by the President are on the Senate electronic mail and campus mail distribution lists, and receive all the communications that Senators receive.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain a list of all past Senate Presidents with their term of office indicated.
- The Corresponding Secretary in accordance with Article IV Section 4.b. of the Bylaws of the Faculty shall correspond in writing with the Office of the Dean of each school by March 15th to notify the Deans of the need to direct the faculty governance organization of the schools to schedule Senate elections.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall send notices of the need for replacement Senators to the Office of the Dean of any school affected by a midyear vacancy.
IV. DUTIES OF THE SENATE RECORDING SECRETARY-TREASURER
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for taking the minutes at all meetings, and shall ensure that all documents or papers pertaining to the actions of the Senate are prepared and distributed. In addition, the Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall obtain and maintain all Senate documents for the current year, and shall ensure that all Senate documents from the current year are stored in a central depository such as the library or the Faculty Senate website.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for sending a copy of the minutes to the Corresponding Secretary for distribution and to the individual responsible for monthly updating of the Faculty Senate web site.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare and distribute ballots as needed.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall make arrangements for meeting locations for all Senate meetings, Executive Committee meetings and the annual meeting of the General Faculty.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for arranging for any catering or special arrangements for all Senate meetings, Executive Committee meetings and the annual meeting of the General Faculty.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall work with the President in acquiring a budget from the Office of the Provost.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for coordinating records of Senate expenses and monitoring the budget monthly in conjunction with the Office of the Provost.
- The Recording Secretary-Treasurer shall ensure that a copy of the minutes of each Senate meeting is posted to the Faculty Senate web site.
V. DUTIES OF THE CAMPUS REPRESENTATIVES
- The Campus Representatives will convene all new and returning Senators by school during the first meeting of the academic year.
- Campus representatives will maintain a list of Senators and contact information from their campus.
- Information to be disseminated to the full faculty of a specific campus from the Faculty Senate will be initiated by communication between the Campus Representatives and the Senators elected by the schools from the campus they represent.
- Standing Committees: Each standing committee shall have a minimum of three members, chosen from among Senators or from among non-Senators. The chair of the committee must always be a Senator (either Voting or Honorary). The standing committees of the Senate, and their continuing charges, shall be as follows:
- Academic and Professional Status: (i) to explore faculty needs in the areas of promotion, tenure, professional development, and other areas relating to the professional status of faculty at VCU; (ii) to report on, and recommend, policies and procedures that will enhance academic and professional status; (iii) to report on, and recommend, governance structures of the University and its Schools, particularly with regard to the relationship of such governance to the faculty.
- Academic Programs and Research: (i) to study and make recommendations concerning how the faculty might effectively respond to matters of administrative policy/practice concerning the establishment, maintenance, and curtailment of academic programs and their effect on faculty status; (ii) to recommend ways in which the administration of research policy would maximally benefit faculty efforts in expanding research.
- Academic Support Services: (i) to establish and maintain liaisons with academic support agencies at VCU, including libraries, audiovisual services, computer services, campus police, bookstores, physical plant, and other agencies providing support for teaching at VCU; (ii) to report on, and recommend, policies and procedures of these agencies.
- Affirmative Action: (i) to meet regularly with the Director of the EEO/AA Services Office, and to coordinate efforts to improve recruitment, retention, and promotion, of women and minorities at VCU; (ii) to monitor systematic problems of harassment, and to recommend policies for dealing with these problems; (iii) to receive and explore any questions concerning recruitment, retention, promotion, or status of women and minority faculty.
- Alumni and Community Relations: (i) to develop and maintain a liaison with alumni and with the Alumni Office; (ii) to develop and maintain a positive image and relationship with the Richmond metropolitan community.
- Economic Status, Budget, and Planning (one member of this committee shall represent the Faculty Senate on an executive-level budget committee): (i) to study the budget and planning policies/practices of the university, and recommend appropriate faculty involvement; (ii) to report to the Faculty Senate the decisions of any executive-level budget advisory committee of which they have a member; (iii) to study and recommend on economic and fringe benefit matters, including salary, retirement, and insurance; (iv) to request, whenever there is a change in salaries, that an up-to-date faculty salary list (by department/school and showing rank/title and tenure/collateral status) be placed in both libraries (v) to report to the Faculty Senate on the economic status of faculty at VCU.
- Communication, Publicity, and Publications: (i) work with the Executive Committee to set up and maintain a list of all Senators and other interested faculty; (ii) to contribute to the Faculty Senate website containing Senate minutes, meeting dates and locations, Senate membership and committee information and information about faculty matters; and (iii) to generally ensure that faculty at VCU are informed of Senate deliberations, actions, and proceedings using the electronic mail, the Faculty Senate web site or other media.
- Credentials and Rules: (i) to oversee and enforce attendance regulations set forth below; (ii) to grant exemptions to attendance requirements for individual Senators when necessary; (iii) to reapportion Faculty Senate seats annually as specified in the Bylaws and Standing Rules; (iv) to reapportion Grievance Board seats annually as specified in the Faculty Grievance Policy; (v) to review and propose revisions to the Bylaws and Standing Rules.
- State Legislative and Statewide Relations: (i) to develop and maintain a positive image and relationship with the members of the State legislature and the citizens of Virginia; (ii) to coordinate the selection and activities of faculty who serve as contacts with State legislators; (iii) to maintain an alliance with the Faculty Senate of Virginia. At least one representative from the VCU Faculty Senate to the Faculty Senate of Virginia shall be a member of this committee.
- Student Affairs: (i) to develop and maintain a liaison with student government, student organizations, and Student Affairs staff; (ii) to represent faculty and faculty interests to students, and to invite students to present their views and needs to the faculty.
- Nominating Committee for Officers and Campus Representatives: (See Bylaws of the Faculty: IV.9.A.) To provide experience and continuity in Faculty Senate leadership, the Nominating Committee shall give consideration to the nomination of current Senate Executive Committee members for the office of President of the Senate for the upcoming year.
- Special Committees: Other committees may be appointed by the President at the President’s discretion or at the request of members of the Senate. Each special committee shall have a minimum of three members, chosen from among Senators or from among non-Senators. The chair of the committee must be an Elected or Honorary Senator.
V. ATTENDANCE REGULATIONS
[See also: Bylaws Article IV.6 and Standing Rules III.2 and IV.1.h]
- At the beginning of the fall semester all Senators and Alternates shall be sent a notification of the Senate attendance regulations, including Bylaws Article IV Section 6. The notification shall include the name of and contact information for the Credentials and Rules Committee chairperson, who is responsible for overseeing attendance regulations.
- Should any Elected Senator or Alternate Senator when they are serving as substitutes when they are unable to attend a Senate meeting fail to be represented by a substitute twice in any academic year, the Senator shall lose his/her Senate seat. The Credentials and Rules Committee may grant exemptions to these regulations under unusual circumstances.
- Senators who foresee that they will be unable to attend Senate meetings for an entire semester may request special permission from the Credentials and Rules Committee to have an Alternate Senator serve as Acting Senator for them during that semester. Once a Senator has lost his/her seat, the Credentials and Rules Committee Chair shall ask the Corresponding Secretary to notify the appropriate Dean’s Office of the existence of a vacancy, which shall be filled as specified in the Bylaws.
- Honorary Senators with committee leadership responsibilities are expected to attend Senate meetings.
- Senate meetings shall normally be held the first Tuesday of the month, and shall alternate between campuses.
- Prior to the February Senate meeting each year, the Credentials and Rules Committee shall reapportion the Faculty Senate seats among the schools for the following year, as directed in and in accordance with the Bylaws and Standing Rules. Apportionment is based on the headcount of faculty per school in the current academic year. (This total may be obtained from the Center for Institutional Effectiveness.) As defined in Article III of the Bylaws, the headcount of faculty includes all full-time continuing instructional/research faculty with appointments as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. For VCU Libraries only, full-time continuing appointments as administrative/professional faculty are counted. The Committee is responsible for calculating the reapportionment among schools. The Senate positions are apportioned so that, insofar as is possible, each Senator represents an equal number of faculty, subject to the constraints that each school have at least two Senators and no school have more than one-third of the total number of elected Senators. The remaining schools are represented by a proportionate number of Senators, based on the total number of faculty in these schools.
- In February of each year the Credentials and Rules Committee shall reapportion the University Grievance Panel seats among the Schools as specified in the University Faculty Grievance Procedure. The Credentials and Rules Committee chairperson shall send the updated reapportionment to the Grievance Panel chairperson and the Provost’s office.