FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the University Senate

  1. What is the University Senate?
    The University Senate is the academic governing body, made up of faculty, students, administrators, and staff.
  2. What are the powers of the University Senate?
    The Senate is empowered to approve new curricula (courses as well as programs of study), to recommend faculty for promotion and for emeritus status, and to recommend the awarding of degrees. The Senate functions mainly in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor.
  3. What kinds of things come within the Senate’s purview aside from curriculum?
    The Senate may propose new (or changes in) policy on grading, drop/add deadlines, classroom scheduling, benefits, women’s concerns, GLBT concerns, diversity concerns, tenure, academic freedom, computing services, athletics, the library, academic research, matters of student life. All such proposals are advisory, and must be concurred in by the Chancellor.
  4. Where can I find information on the committees?
    Each committee has a web site within the University Senate web site. You could also contact the committee chair to find out what items the committee might be working on.
  5. What is the Agenda Committee’s role?
    The Agenda Committee sets the Senate agenda, provides guidance to standing committees, and works to ensure the orderly process of the work of the Senate. This committee puts together all Senate committees, refers matters to appropriate committees for review and report, and uses its influence to promote implementation of resolutions and recommendations of the Senate. The Agenda committee is empowered to convene search committees or ad hoc committees when needed, and appoints a committee to do an evaluation of the Chancellor as well as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs every five years.
  6. What is the procedure at Senate meetings?
    The Chancellor presides at Senate meetings, and conducts meetings according to guidelines set down in the Senate bylaws, referring to Robert’s Rules of Order when necessary. At the beginning of the meeting the previous meeting’s minutes are approved by acclamation. The chair of the Agenda Committee gives a report, and reports from other committees follow, according to an agenda which has been distributed beforehand. There is usually a report from the curriculum committee which may include new courses, changes in the curriculum, and new programs.
  7. Who may speak at Senate meetings?
    All senators and committee chairs may address the Senate. Non-senators may speak by consent of a majority of the body.
  8. Who may vote at Senate meetings?
    Only Senate members may vote at Senate meetings.
  9. Who may be a member of the University Senate?
    See bylaws.
  10. How can I get involved in the University Senate?
    Faculty are elected by their colleges; students elected by GSO or SA; staff election every two years; admin. appointed by the Chancellor. Any member of the University community may be a member of a committee if there is a need for their participation.
  11. Where do I find meeting calendar?
    Go to the Calendar of Meetings link on the left.
  12. Where would I find a list of Senate committee chairs.?
    Committee chairs are listed under “Committees” on the menu bar.