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Faculty Senate Bylaws

Faculty Senate By-Laws PDF Version


The Constitution from which these Bylaws ensue is the document embodying the principles of organization and rule governing the Boise State University Faculty. The delegation of authority to the Faculty Senate (hereafter “Senate”) is based upon the Constitution of the Faculty. Because that is the fundamental document, a two-thirds majority vote of the Faculty voting in favor of amendment is required to alter it. Stability is guaranteed by this protection. Flexibility, however, is required in the day-by-day performance of routine and emergency tasks. Hence, the Bylaws of the Faculty serve as the instrument of the Senate in its execution of its assigned mission. Any Bylaw material found by experience to be of a constitutional nature may be incorporated into the Constitution proper by following Article VI, Section 2. Any Constitutional matter found by experience to be unworkable may be eliminated or transferred to the Bylaws by the same procedure. Stability and flexibility are both preserved thereby.


BL I: Meetings of the Senate:

  1. Regular Meetings: Scheduled meetings of the Senate shall be held during the academic year on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at a time and place to be announced. Occasional conflicts (such as holidays or special University functions) may require rescheduling of Senate meetings by Senate resolution.
  2. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Senate may be called at any time during the calendar year by the President of the Senate, by a majority vote of the Senate, or by any five members of the Senate through petition to the President of the Senate.

BL II: Committees of the Senate: The Senate shall, as it deems appropriate, create committees for the investigation of issues germane to the interests of the Faculty.

  1. Committees shall be established by a simple majority of the Senate.
  2. Initial tasking for new committees shall be the responsibility of the Steering Committee with approval by a simple majority of the full Senate.
  3. Committees shall be subject to regular review by the full Senate (see below):
  4. Committees shall be of either of two types –
    1. Ad Hoc (see below)
    2. Standing (see below)
  5. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for maintaining an up to date list of active committees and their membership.

BL II.1 Format for the Standing Committees of the Senate: Except as otherwise provided, Standing Committees of the Senate shall be committees with one representative from each College/School/Unit/Division/Library. The President of the Senate shall serve as an ex officio member of all Senate Standing Committees.

  1. The committees shall be organized as follows:
    1. One member from the Senate (Liaison Officer)
    2. One Faculty member from each College/School/Unit/Division/Library, except the Graduate College, Honors College and the College of Innovation and Design..
    3. One fully participating student representative.
    4. Nonvoting ex-officio members as listed in individual committee descriptions.
    5. This structure shall be referred to as ‘standard’ (see Senate Committee List).
  2. Appointment:
    1. The members of the Steering/Nominating Committee shall appoint the faculty members of each committee (other than the Steering/Nominating Committee).
      1. Appointment of faculty will be the result of (as far as possible) a process of open nomination and election (if required).
      2. The nominating committee shall determine committee vacancies with the help of committee liaisons and announce openings to the Faculty via the Provost’s office.
      3. Deans will be requested by the Nominating Committee to put forward names for appointment only if volunteers are not forthcoming.
    2. The President of the Senate shall appoint the Senate Liaison Faculty member of each committee.
    3. The student member of the committee shall be appointed by the President of the ASBSU.
  3. Term of Office:
    1. Appointment of Faculty members shall normally be for 2 years or until the work of the committee is complete – as judged by the Senate.
    2. Terms to be so arranged that approximately half the members’ expiration dates should occur on alternate years.
    3. New appointments shall normally become effective by the first Senate Meeting of the academic year.
    4. Senators that must leave before their term is completed should to the best of their ability, work with the Nomination Committee and the Dean of their College to find a suitable replacement.
  4. Committee Organization: The Senator appointed to each committee shall be responsible for calling an organizational meeting of the committee by September 15. He or she may serve as committee chairperson pro term, but normally should not accept permanent chair. The Faculty Senate representative’s main role is to serve as the liaison between the committee and the Senate.
  5. Registration: The names of all committee and subcommittee members and their length of term shall be registered with the Nominating Committee. The records will also be posted electronically to the official Senate website by the Provost’s office who is the administrator of the website.
  6. Meetings: The time, place, and agenda of meetings of all standing committees shall be published electronically prior to these meetings on the official Senate website. All committee meetings shall be open to the Boise State University Faculty except when such open meetings would be an infringement of individual rights.
  7. Reporting: A written summary of the activities of each committee (prepared by the Committee chair) shall be submitted to the Senate once a year.
    1. This summary shall be called the “annual report”
    2. The annual report shall be submitted to the President of the Senate two weeks in advance of the Senate meeting at which it is to be reviewed.
    3. Reviews dates for committees shall be determined in consultation between the Steering Committee of the Senate and the Chair of the relevant committee.
    4. Reports shout include accomplishments and unfinished business. After consideration by the Senate (and given Senate approval – simple majority ) the report may be made available for electronic posting to the official Senate website.
      1. Written or verbal reports by the committee Senate liaison) may also be presented as required by the business of the committee or as requested by the President of the Senate.
      2. Recommendations for Senate action may also be submitted to the Senate by the committee. Such recommendations shall (typically) be printed and distributed to the members of the Senate prior to the Senate meetings at which they will be presented. Each committee discussion including arguments pro and con, results of votes and polls, and appendices.
  8. Review: At the meeting in which a committee’s annual report is presented the Senate shall:
    1. Discuss each committee’s annual review with the relevant committee Liaison.
    2. Determine if there remains work for the committee to undertake.
      1. If (as determined by a 2/3 majority vote of the Senators present) the committee has served its purpose, then it shall be disbanded.
    3. If the committee is not disbanded the Senate shall provide initial tasking for the subsequent academic year.
  9. Tasking: Committees shall receive tasking from the Senate :
    1. Upon formation
    2. As part of the committee’s annual review (see 8c above)
    3. As required by the senate or the committee’s needs.

BL II.2 Format for the Ad Hoc Committees of the Senate: Ad Hoc committees of the Senate shall be structured and operate just as Standing committees do (See BL II.1) with the following exceptions:

  1. Initial Tasking for Ad Hoc committees shall include a date by which the committee should have completed its work.
  2. Review: At the meeting in which a committee’s annual report is presented the Senate shall:
    1. Discuss each committee’s annual review with the relevant liaison officer.
    2. Determine if there remains work for the committee to undertake.
      1. If (as determined by a 2/3 majority vote of the Senators present) the Ad Hoc committee has further work to do, then it shall as determined by the Senate (simple majority) either
        1. Have its term extended.
        2. Be converted into a Standing Committee.
  3. If the Ad Hoc committee is not disbanded the Senate shall provide initial tasking for the subsequent academic year.

BL III Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate: See Separate List

BL IV Supplemental Voting Regulations: Ballots submitted to the Faculty by campus mail or through electronic mail must specify the time period allowed in which votes may validly be cast. As a general rule, ballots should be returned and in the hands of the Secretary to the Faculty by 5 p.m. the fourth normal day from mailing/sending date.

BL V Vacancies:

  1. College/School/Unit/Division/Library Vacancies: Supplying interim replacement for any Senate seat vacated during the school year shall be the responsibility of the remaining elected Senate representative from the College/School/Unit/Division/Library. The replacement shall be by appointment or, if the period involved is more than one semester, by special election.
  2. Committee: The Senate Liaison to each committee shall inform the President of the Senate whenever a vacancy occurs on the Standing Committee involved. The President of the Senate will forward that information to the members of the Nominating Committee. Replacement appointment shall be made according to procedure delineated in BL II.1 (2) and BL 11.2 (2).

BL VI Timeline:

  1. Senate Year:
    1. Shall run for a year and one day.
    2. The Senate year shall commence the last Saturday before the Fall semester. It commences with participation in the Senate Retreat.
    3. The senate year will end the last Sunday before the Fall semester of the subsequent year.
  2. Elections will be held during the second week following Spring Break each.
    1. The Junior Senator(s) from each College/School/Unit/Division/Library shall conduct an election to fill the seat(s) to be vacated by the Senior Senator(s) at the end of the current Senate year.
      1. In the event that a constituency has a single Senator, that Senator shall be deemed both the senior and junior senator for that constituency and (as a result) shall conduct the election for their own replacement.
    2. The election for these seats will be conducted by the Junior Senator(s) in the following manner:
      1. In the third week of March, the Junior Senator(s) will send a written or electronic communication to each member of the College/School/Unit/Division/Library for the purpose of soliciting nominations or self-nominations.
      2. In the first week of April, the Junior Senator(s) will conduct an election among all relevant faculty (see Article II, Section 1 of the Faculty Constitution) in the College/School/Unit/Division/Library containing the names of candidates willing to serve.
      3. The election may use either paper or electronic electronic ballots, provided proper security precautions are observed.
    3. In the second week of April, the Junior Senator(s) will inform the Nominating Committee in writing or electronically concerning the results of the election. The person(s) receiving the most votes shall be the new Junior Senator(s) for the College/School/Unit/Division/Library.
      1. Deviations from the above procedures will be allowed only by a vote of the Senate.
      2. Senators-elect shall be introduced to the senate during the final meeting each April.
    4. Teaching and Research Faculty Senators will be elected by thee constituency of Teaching and Research Faculty, through the procedures established in BL VI.2 (a-c) and BL VI.3
    5. Clinical Faculty Senators will be elected by the constituency of Clinical Faculty, through the procedures established in BL VI.2 (a-c) and BL VI.3
  3. To improve continuity in Senate succession:
    1. At the first March meeting, committees will be reviewed (reports shall be made, evaluations and tasking undertaken).
    2. At the last April meeting
      1. Provision shall be made for conducting the business of the Senate over the summer.
      2. Committee membership for upcoming academic year will be confirmed.
      3. President-elect and Vice-president-elect will be identified.
      4. As the last items on the agenda, Senators -elect shall be welcomed and introduced.
    3. At the Senate Retreat – committee liaison officers will be updated and outgoing liaisons will hand over to the incoming liaisons.

BL VII Conflict of Interest: Faculty serving in more than one College/School /Unit/Division/Library shall be considered a member of that College/School/Unit/Division/Library to which he or she owes prime responsibility when representation and election to the Senate is being questioned.

BL VIII Divisions: Two divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences will be retained for the purposes of Senate. 1. Arts and Letters. 2. Natural Sciences.

[Revised Spring 2016]