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page 80


(Originally Approved on 19 April 1995)

 

PREAMBLE:

 

The purpose of this constitution is to implement the principle that the Texas A&M International University is a collegium (i.e. association of professionals) in which the responsibility for the educational objectives lies with the faculty.  This constitution provides the rules and principles of governance for the Faculty upon its acceptance by the membership of the faculty, except where limitations are imposed upon it by the laws of the United States of American, the state of Texas and the Administrative Policy and Reporting Manual of the Texas A&M System (p. 3-19, May 20, 1991, or the latest edition).

 

ARTICLE I.  Organization of the Faculty

 

Section 1.  Membership

 

As used herein the term “Faculty” or “The Faculty” or any indication of “membership” in the Faculty is inclusive Faculty.

 

            a.  The Faculty consists of the President, the Provost, Deans, all full professors,

                        associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and librarians and

                        administrators holding faculty status.

 

            b.  Voting Members of the Faculty shall be those members of the faculty with tenure

                        or with full-time tenure track appointments, full-time fixed term (12.07) faculty,

                        and faculty with full-time appointments at the rank of instructor.

 

            c.  Associate Members of the Faculty shall be those members of the faculty with part-

                        time and/or non-tenure track appointments.  An associate member shall have all

                        membership privileges except those of voting and the right to serve in the

                        Faculty Senate; however, an associate faculty member with a full-time

                        appointment may vote as of the beginning of the second consecutive year of

                        full-time service.  This faculty member, however, may not vote on issues

                        pertaining to Promotion and Tenure, University-wide issues, or serve on the

                        Faculty Senate.  Associate faculty members with full-time appointments should

                        also consult the Faculty Handbook for other limitations on their voting rights.

 

            d.  Emeritus Members of the Faculty shall be those members of the faculty with

                        emeritus status; they shall have the same privileges as associate members.

 

ARTICLE II.  Authority of the Faculty

 

Section 1.  Authority of the Faculty (subject to Article II Section 3, below).

 

The faculty shall have authority over matters pertaining to educational policy.  By authority is meant the responsibility for developing rules, establishing and acting upon procedures, and recommending policies relating to all matters of educational concern for the welfare of the University.  The following are indicative:

 

            a.  Standards for admission, selection and retention of students.

 

            b.  Requirements for granting degrees and compliance with the certification

                        requirements in teacher education programs.

 

            c.  Curricular requirements and the structure of the University with reference to

                        academic matters.

 

            d.  Instructional standards and standards for the evaluation of faculty.

 

            e.  Promotion and facilitation of academic and instructional research.

 

            f.  Procedure for faculty participation in the selection and retention of chairpersons

                        of Departments/Schools and the Deans.

 

            g.  Standards for public information programs dealing with educational matters.

 

            h.  Standards for academic freedom and the protection of faculty interests.

 

            i.  Standards for students’ affairs, conduct and discipline.

 

            j.  Appointment, promotion, tenure and dismissal of faculty members.

 

            k.  Standards for faculty affairs, conduct, and discipline.

 

Section 2.  Faculty Resolving Authority

 

The faculty may express, by formal resolution and/or written petition, their opinion on any other matter pertaining to the policies and administration of the University.  The following matters are indicative:

 

            a.  Selection, retention, or removal of the President and principal academic officers,

                        as well as the creation or abolition of such offices.

 

            b.  Expenditures of funds allocated to instructional and academic or instructionally-

                        related research.

 

            c.  Major issues affecting current or projected budget decisions.

           

            d.  Programs impacting welfare of the Faculty such as salaries, insurance, leaves of

                        absence, University reorganization and accreditation.

 

Section 3.  Responsibility of the Faculty Senate

 

            a.  The Faculty Senate is empowered to act on behalf of the Faculty, subject to:

 

                        i.  The limitations of this constitution (see Article IV, Section 1), and

 

                        ii.  Administrative Policy and Reporting Manual of the Texas A&M System (p. 3

                                    -19, May 20, 1991, or latest edition.)

 

            b.  In the event of a conflict between the Faculty and the Faculty Senate, the will of

                        the Faculty shall prevail.

 

ARTICLE III.  Conducting Faculty Business

 

Section 1.  Meetings of Faculty

 

The President of Texas A&M International University may call a meeting of the Faculty at any time to report on any item that the President deems appropriate.  Likewise the Faculty has the right to assemble at any time for the purpose of conducting Faculty business.  The meeting may be in the nature of a forum, which the Faculty is encouraged to attend and participate.  The meeting also may be in the nature of a hearing which the Faculty is encouraged to attend and, if appropriate, to testify.

 

Section 2.  Special Meetings

 

            Special meetings of the Faculty shall be called as follows:

 

            (a)  Upon request of the Faculty Senate, a special meeting of the Faculty shall be

                        called by the Secretary of the Faculty Senate.

 

            (b)  A special meeting of the Faculty shall be called upon receipt by the Faculty

                        Senate of a petition signed by ten (10) or more voting members of the Faculty.

 

Section 3.  Notice of Meetings

 

The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall notify the Faculty in writing at least two weeks prior to the meeting date.  The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall prepare minutes of all actions taken by the Faculty, and file a copy with the President of Texas A&M International University.  Another copy of those minutes shall be filed with the President of the Faculty Senate.  The Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall distribute the minutes within two weeks after the end of the Faculty meeting.

Section 4.  Approval Process for the Minutes of a Faculty Meeting

 

To obtain approval, or not, of the minutes of a Faculty meeting, a blank approval form shall be attached to, and distributed with the minutes to all voting Faculty within two weeks after the faculty meeting.  The following options shall be on the approval instrument:

 

            (a)  Minutes approved as they are.

            (b)  Minutes approved with the following changes:

            (c)  Minutes not approved until the following changes are incorporated:

            (d)  Minutes are not approved.

 

The faculty shall return the completed approval instrument to the Secretary of the Faculty Senate within one week after receipt of the minutes by the Faculty.

 

The vote of a quorum of the Faculty, returning the completed approval instrument, shall determine whether the minutes are approved or not.  In case of a tie vote, the President of the Faculty Senate shall cast the deciding vote.

 

Section 5.  Faculty Voting Mechanism

 

The mechanics of Faculty voting shall be as follows

 

            (a)  A simple majority of voting members of the Faculty shall constitute a quorum.

 

            (b)  A Faculty voting committee, consisting of Faculty Senators, and chaired by the

                        Secretary of the Faculty Senate, shall prepare and mail secret ballots to the

                        voting Faculty.  These ballots are to be returned to the Faculty Senate Voting

                        Committee within one week after receipt of the ballot.

 

            (c)  Results of the Faculty vote shall be determined by the Faculty Senate Voting

                        Committee, and reported by the Faculty Senate Secretary to the President of the

                        Faculty Senate, who in turn will report the results to the Faculty.

 

Section 6.  Assistance of the Faculty Senate Secretary

 

In all Faculty business matters in which the Faculty Senate Secretary acts as liaison between the Faculty Senate and the Faculty, the Secretary may request the assistance of any and/or all members of the Faculty Senate as the Secretary deems appropriate.

 

 

 

ARTICLE IV.  Faculty Senate

 

Section 1.  Function of the Faculty Senate

 

            a.  Legislative Functions.

 

            The Faculty Senate may consider all matters appropriate for faculty action under

            Article III, Section 1.  The Faculty Senate may act or refer such matters with

            recommendations to the Faculty.

 

            b.  Administrative Functions.

 

            The Faculty Senate shall:

 

                        1.  adopt Faculty Senate bylaws to the Faculty constitution.

                        2.  prepare its own agenda.

                        3.  initiate proposals for its own and Faculty consideration.

                        4.  elect committees whenever necessary for the discharge of its functions.

                        5.  fill vacancies for unexpired terms which occur in any elected faculty office          

                                    or in any elected committee.

                        6.  continuously study the effects of past and current legislative actions.

 

            c.  Consultative Functions.

 

The Faculty Senate shall be available to act in an advisory or consultative capacity with members of the administration on all matters of university policy.

 

Section 2.  Eligibility for Senate Membership

 

            a.  All members other than student members must be voting members of the Faculty.

 

            b.  Members-at-large.  Four full-time voting faculty members to be elected by the vote

                        of the Faculty.  In addition, one full-time instructor or fixed term (12.07) faculty

                        member to be elected by the vote of the fixed-term faculty and full-time

                       instructors.

 

            c.  Departments/Schools, within Colleges, Members.  One full-time voting faculty

                       member from each department/division within a College to be elected by the

                       voting membership of that department or division.  The Library will be

                       considered as a department/school and will be represented by one full-time

                       faculty member.

 

            d.  Student Members.  One undergraduate student and one graduate student to be

                        elected by their respective constituents.  The student members shall be non-

                        voting members.

 

            e.  Recall of Senators.  If a majority of full-time faculty in a department or division

                        petition in writing to the Faculty Senate President to hold a special election on

                        whether or not to recall its representative in the Faculty Senate, then the

                        President will call for a special election within one week of receipt of the

                        petition.  The Secretary of the Senate will announce the special election and

                        conduct it following the procedures used in other Senate elections.  Only those

                        department or division faculty eligible to vote in Faculty Senate elections (see

                        Article 1) may vote to retain or recall their Faculty Senator.  A majority of those

                        voting will determine the results of the election.

 

                        f.  Dismissal of Senators:  Faculty Senators who miss more than two regularly

                        scheduled monthly meetings of the Senate during the year will be dismissed from

                        the Senate.  Senators who have legitimate reasons for missing more than two such

                        meetings may petition the Senate to exempt them from this rule.  The President of

                        the Senate will notify the department or division of the dismissal and call for a

                        special election of a new Senator if the dismissal occurs more than two months

                        before the regular spring elections.

 

Section 3.  Senate Officers

 

            a.  Designation and Responsibilities.

 

                        1.  President.  The President calls meetings and presides at meetings.  The officer

                                    represents the Senate to the public and the administration.  The President’s

                                    right of discussion is limited.  The chair must be temporarily relinquished

                                    for the period of the discussion of that point in order for the President to

                                    participate in the discussion.  The President has the right to vote on all

                                    issues.  In the event of a tie, the issue fails for lack of a majority.

 

                        2.  Vice-President.  This officer fulfills the President’s responsibilities in the

                                    President’s absence, and serves as chair of the Academic Affairs

                                    Oversight Committee of the Senate.

 

                        3.  Secretary.  The Secretary prepares the minutes of Senate proceedings and

                                    debates; distributes minutes among the faculty; and corresponds with

                                    others as required by Senate decisions.

 

                        4.  Parliamentarian and Elections Officer.  The Parliamentarian will advise the

                                    President on parliamentary procedures and will supervise all elections,

                                    polls, and evaluations sponsored by the Faculty Senate.

 

            b.  Term of Office.  Senate officers serve for one year and may be re-elected.

 

            c.  Method of Election.  Senate officers are elected by majority vote of the Senate.  A

                        special session of the new Senate will be convened in late April or May for the

                        purpose of electing officers.

 

Section 4.  Election Procedures for Senate Representatives

 

            a.  During the first full month of the Spring Semester, the Secretary of the Senate will

                        notify all voting members of the Faculty that nominations for Senate

                        memberships are open for the appropriate categories (see Section 2).

 

            b. Voting members of the Faculty who wish to run for office will inform the Senate

                        Secretary within two weeks of the announcement that nominations are open.

                        Each member desiring to run will also let the Secretary know the membership

                        category, which he/she is seeking to fill.

 

            c. A ballot or ballots will be prepared by the Senate and distributed to the voting

                        faculty as appropriate. That is, each faculty member should receive a ballot for

                        only those offices for which he/she is eligible to vote.

 

            d. A Senate committee will be assigned the task of receiving and tabulating the

                        votes. The election results will then be affirmed by the Senate and announced.

 

            e. In order to insure the secrecy of the ballot, all faculty voting will be held in the

                        Deans' offices. Each Dean's secretary will be provided with the list of faculty

                        who are eligible to participate in voting. A faculty member will be able to sign

                        his/her name and cast his/her ballot.

 

Section 5.  Ex-Officio Member

 

The President or the President's appointed representative shall be the non-voting ex-­officio member.

 

Section 6.  Special Elections

A special election May be called by the Senate President to fill vacancies in Senate membership when the Senate is notified that a vacancy exists.

 

Section 7.  Term of Office of Elected Representatives

            a.  The term of office for all elected representatives other than student members is three

                       years.

            b.  Student members shall serve for one year terms.

            c.  Senate representatives may be re-elected; the only constraints on terms will be

                       imposed by the will of the representative's constituents.

            d.  In the year of the first election, five of the members shall serve for one year; five of

                        the members shall serve for two years, and five of the members shall serve for

                        three years. This determination shall be made by lot as the first item of business at

                        the first meeting and shall be presided over by the University President or his

                        appointed representative.

 

Section 8.  Meetings

 

            a.  Regular meetings will be held once per month.

           

            b.  Special meetings may be called by the President of the Senate at the discretion of

                        the President of the Senate or when requested by any three voting members of

                        the Senate.

 

Section 9.  Quorum

 

A simple majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.

 

Section 10.  Voting Rules

 

A majority of those voting members present passes a motion. The voting method will be voice vote and/or show of hands unless a secret ballot is requested by a member and approved by majority vote.

 

Section 11.  Outsider Attendance

 

             a.  Senate meetings are open to all members of the University community.

 

            b.  By majority vote, the Senate may go into closed session to be only by its voting

                         members.

 

Section 12.  Distribution of Minutes

 

The Secretary shall distribute the minutes to the Faculty within two weeks of a regular meeting. Minutes of special meetings may be distributed along with those of the next regular meeting.

 

Section 13.  Agenda Provisions

 

            a.  Items may be placed on the agenda by any Senate member, or as requested by

                        other faculty if adopted by majority vote.

 

            b.  Items approved by a majority vote of the Assembly must be placed on the Senate agenda, by at

                       least the next meeting of the Senate.

 

 

ARTICLE V.  Procedures

 

Section 1.  Amendments

 

            Amendments to the Faculty Constitution must be approved using the same

            procedure as that used to approve changes to the Faculty Handbook. The

            Faculty Senate must approve the changes, distribute the proposed changes to

            all faculty members, present the changes for discussion at a general meeting

            of the faculty, and hold a general faculty election to approve or reject the

            changes.

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