Constitution & Bylaws

Bylaws of Northern Illinois University


ARTICLE 14:
UNIVERSITY FACULTY SENATE

 

14.1 Purpose

It is essential to the character and mission of a mature university that the faculty have the primary authority and responsibility to develop, sustain, and enhance the intellectual quality and reputation of the institution and to maintain its academic integrity. In accordance with this principle, the university constitution provides for university governance as a shared process with faculty predominance in all policy decisions relating to the university curriculum, to student admissions and academic standards, and to the faculty personnel process, with active faculty participation in many other areas of university policy and operations. In addition, to ensure effective faculty involvement in university governance, the constitution establishes a Faculty Senate as the representative body of the faculty:

(A) To promote a climate of academic freedom for the university community;
(B) To maintain an optimal learning environment throughout the university;
(C) To encourage research and artistry and the appreciation of the intellectual value of the arts, the humanities, the sciences, and the professions;
(D) To serve as the legitimate representative of faculty concerns vis-à-vis the university administration;
(E) To define and establish standards and procedures of accountability concerning professional faculty ethics and responsibilities; and
(F) To encourage an informed, continuing, and academically responsible participation in those faculty governance roles defined in the Constitution and Bylaws.

14.2 Voting Members

14.2.1 Definition of Voting Members The Faculty Senate shall consist of faculty members, as defined in Sections 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the university constitution and Sections 14.2.2 and 14.3 of these bylaws. 

14.2.2 Election of Voting Members Voting members of the Faculty Senate representing the faculty shall be elected in the following manner: 

14.2.2.1 All elected faculty members of the University Council, as defined in Section 1.3 of these bylaws, shall be voting members of the Faculty Senate.  Members of the University Council may not serve as the elected Faculty Senate representative of an academic department.

14.2.2.2 One member of the Faculty Senate shall be elected from and by the faculty, as defined in Article 14.2.1 of these bylaws, of each academic department or school in the degree-granting colleges of the university, with two elected from each academic department or school of over 50 faculty members, again as defined in Article 14.2.1 of these bylaws and with one member each from the College of Law, and the university libraries. Such elections shall be under the supervision of the Faculty Senate elections committee and shall occur within one month following the annual election of members of the University Council. The terms of these members shall be for three years and shall be staggered as provided for in the bylaws of the Faculty Senate. 

14.2.2.3 When the Faculty Senate does not contain at least one elected faculty representative who is a member of a minority racial group, beyond the provision of Article 2, Section 2.2.5 of the university constitution, the elected faculty representatives on the Senate shall meet and elect such a representative. The person thus elected shall be chosen from among the faculty members of the university who are eligible for election as a faculty representative of the Senate. Prior to conducting such an election the elected faculty representatives on the Senate shall seek nominations from the college faculties, and shall elect one of the persons thus nominated. The position thus filled shall be in addition to the number of seats otherwise apportioned. The faculty representative so elected shall serve a term of three years. 

14.2.3 The terms of office for all voting members of the Faculty Senate shall begin July 1 of each year. 

 14.3 Faculty Nonvoting Members

14.3.1 Any faculty member of the University Advisory Committee (UAC) to the Board of Trustees who is not a voting member of the Faculty Senate shall be an ex officio nonvoting member. 

14.3.2 If they are not otherwise voting members of the Faculty Senate, the faculty serving as assistant chairs of the Academic Planning Council, the Graduate Council, and the Undergraduate Coordinating Council shall sit as ex officio nonvoting members of the Senate during their terms of office. 

14.3.3 The supportive professional staff member of the University Council shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member. 

14.4 Each member of the Faculty Senate shall represent the Northern Illinois University faculty interests as a whole.

14.5 Officers

14.5.1 The elected University Council faculty members of the Faculty Senate shall nominate the Executive Secretary of the University Council in accordance with Section 3.2 of the University Constitution and Section 1.3 of these Bylaws. The Executive Secretary of the Council shall also serve as President of the Faculty Senate. The Senate shall elect such other officers it may consider essential for the performance of its duties. 

14.5.1.1 The initial selection of candidates for the office of Executive Secretary of the University Council shall take place at the March meeting of the Faculty Senate. Any faculty senator may suggest or second the suggestion of a candidate. To be qualified to serve, the candidate must be an elected faculty member of the University Council for the current and for the ensuing year. 

14.5.1.2 Suggested candidates for the office of Executive Secretary shall submit a letter of intent to be included with the agenda for the last regularly scheduled meeting of the normal academic year of the Faculty Senate. 

14.5.1.3 An election of the final candidate for nomination shall be conducted by secret ballot at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the normal academic year of the Faculty Senate. All Faculty Senators present may cast a ballot for the candidate. If there are more than two suggested candidates, the final nominee must receive a majority of the votes cast. If no candidate receives a majority, subsequent ballots will be taken removing the candidate receiving the fewest votes until a candidate is selected. 

14.5.1.4 Faculty Senators who are elected members of the University Council will vote by secret ballot to accept or reject the nominee. 

14.5.2 The election of officers shall take place at a meeting called by the incumbent president of the Senate as soon as possible after the composition of the Senate for the ensuing year has been determined and no later than the last Senate meeting of the academic year. 

14.5.3 The term of office for all officers shall begin August 16 and shall be for one year. An officer may serve successive terms. 

 14.6 Duties and Responsibilities

14.6.1 The Faculty Senate shall serve as the official voice of the university faculty of Northern Illinois University and as the authoritative representative liaison body between the faculty and (1) the University Council, (2) the president of the university, (3) the executive vice president and provost, (4) other vice presidents with respect to their responsibilities affecting the faculty, and, (5) the Board of Trustees. 

14.6.2 In accordance with the Preamble and Article 7.3 of the university constitution and the stated commitment to university governance as a shared process, the Faculty Senate shall serve the following purposes: 

14.6.2.1 To ensure the representation of the faculty in the governance of the university;

14.6.2.2 To promote and encourage active faculty participation in the development of university policies and procedures; 

14.6.2.3 To discuss and recommend as a Faculty Senate policies affecting the university as a whole; 

14.6.2.4 To promote the welfare of the faculty and the university. 

14.6.3 To achieve the purposes stated in Sections 14.1 and 14.6.2, the specific functions of the Faculty Senate shall include, but are not limited to, the following: 

14.6.3.1 To review and recommend academic policies, procedures, and practices at the university level to the appropriate administrative officers and governance bodies of the university; 

14.6.3.2 To advance collective and individual faculty prerogatives in university policies and procedures; 

14.6.3.3 To make recommendations on matters affecting faculty welfare; 

14.6.3.4 To monitor and annually assess and report to the faculty and the administration the effectiveness of the faculty grievance processes; 

14.6.3.5 To articulate and promulgate faculty positions on issues of general concern within and to the university; 

143.6.3.6 To define and recommend mechanisms for faculty participation in university governance and in system-wide and state-wide issues; 

14.6.3.7 To be consulted by and to advise the president of the university, the executive vice president and provost, and other appropriate university-wide administrative officers through mutually acceptable means on matters concerning university priorities, university budgets, university facilities, and university long-range planning, and on proposed changes in the administrative organizations of the university directly or primarily related to its academic mission. Such consultation or advice may take the form of an advisory vote. Nothing set forth in this bylaw, however, shall be interpreted as giving the Faculty Senate final authority to review or revise the decisions appropriately made by the academic councils and committees established by these bylaws; 

14.6.3.8 To maintain an interactive liaison with those university shared governance bodies established by the university Constitution and Bylaws, particularly the University Council, the Academic Planning Council, the Undergraduate Coordinating Council, and the Graduate Council; 

14.6.3.9 To render advice and, if appropriate, act upon matters laid before it by the president of the university, other governance bodies of the university, or members of the faculty; 

14.6.3.10 To evaluate annually the services of the faculty and SPS personnel advisor and the president of the Faculty Senate/executive secretary of the University Council. Three faculty members from the Faculty Senate shall constitute the evaluation committee for the faculty and SPS personnel advisor. Two faculty members of the Faculty Senate who are not elected faculty members of the University Council, two faculty members from the University Council and one student member from the University Council shall constitute the evaluation committee for the president of the Faculty Senate/executive secretary of the University Council. All members shall be voting members of either the University Council or the Faculty Senate. The members shall be selected by lot at the September or January meetings of the Faculty Senate and University Council depending on the evaluation period. If any member so selected cannot serve, another member who meets the same criterion shall be selected by lot. These evaluations shall constitute one-half of the personnel rating of the faculty personnel advisor and the total personnel rating of the president of the Faculty Senate/executive secretary of the University Council for those portions of each year during which they held those offices. These evaluations shall be forwarded to the executive vice president and provost who shall determine the annual salary increment for each individual. In so doing, the executive vice president and provost shall consult with each affected faculty member's department regarding the evaluation to be given to that faculty member's other professional activity; 

14.6.3.11 All positions taken by the Faculty Senate shall be executed through public and recorded majority vote of the voting members of the Senate and so recorded and reported by the president of the Faculty Senate; 

14.6.3.12 During summer vacation and other periods when regular classes are not in session, the Executive Committee is charged with the responsibility to speak on behalf of the Faculty Senate. The Executive Committee appointed during the previous academic year shall serve in this capacity until a new Executive committee is approved. Actions taken by the Executive Committee under the powers of this paragraph are not binding on the Senate as a whole until and unless ratified as provided in Bylaws 14.6.3.10;

14.6.3.13 The Executive Committee shall have the power to call emergency meetings of the Faculty Senate. 

14.7 The university shall provide the facilities and resources necessary to support the Faculty Senate. The president of the Faculty Senate shall prepare an annual operating budget for Senate operations as part of the normal university budget process and shall be responsible for administering that budget once it is authorized.

14.8 The Faculty Senate may establish whatever standing and special committees it considers necessary to carry out its responsibilities, such as, but not limited to, committees on faculty rights and responsibilities, faculty compensation and benefits, and university budgets and facilities. The Senate shall develop and adopt its own bylaws.

14.9 The Faculty Senate shall have the right to call meetings of the total university faculty holding academic rank.

14.10 The Faculty Senate shall report its proceedings to the faculty on a timely basis, shall distribute in advance its schedule of meetings, and shall inform the faculty of significant issues coming before it. At the request of one-third of the Faculty Senate membership present, any matter must be submitted to the faculty for consideration, either by mail ballot or at a faculty meeting.

Update approved by University Council on 04/30/08
Update to 14.2.2.1 approved by University Council on 5/2/12