Profile of the University Senate

Last Updated 22 February 2021

WHO is on the University Senate?

The Members page provides the current membership roster of the University Senate while the Online Senator Database provides membership rosters of the university senate and its committees.

The University Senate is a faculty governance body consisting of fifty (50) members including the University President who serves as an ex-officio non-voting member, the Chief Academic Officer who serves as an ex officio non-voting member, thirty seven (37) elected faculty senators, four (4) staff members selected by Staff Council, two (2) student members selected by the Student Government Association, and four (5) members that are appointed by the University President. The University Senate elects one of its current elected faculty senator members to serve for a one year term as Presiding Officer.

WHAT does the University Senate do?

The Motions Database archives all motions acted on by the University Senate.

The University Senate is endowed with all the legislative powers and authority of the University Faculty by the institutional statutes, and exists to promote and implement effective shared governance at the university. It is expressly charged with recommending academic and institutional policy subject to the approval of the University President.

In addition to its policy recommending responsibility, the University Senate serves in an advisory role to the administration, particularly in the implementation of policy or improvement of processes that have broad institutional impact or implications, including but not limited to planning and budgetary processes. The University Senate strives to be mindful and respectful of matters that are more appropriately handled by the academic units (college, school, department, etc.) and divisions, yet may make recommendations concerning matters within these areas that have broader institutional impact or implications.

WHEN did the University Senate begin?

A transition from a faculty senate to a university senate occurred between 2000 and 2002. While the faculty senate was populated exclusively by faculty, the university senate was designed with the intent of promoting a shared sense of purpose and collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and administrators. The ideals of shared information, transparent decision-making, and collegiality guide its continued development. The university senate also has an official Governance History found in the University Senate Handbook.

WHAT is the committee structure of the University Senate?

HOW can a member of the faculty serve on the University Senate or a University Senate committee?

The eligibility requirements to be nominated to serve as an Elected Faculty Senator are

  • membership in the Corps of Instruction, meaning full-time status at the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, Senior Lecturer, or Lecturer, and
  • the completion of at least two years of service at the university at the beginning of the fall semester following their election as an elected faculty senator.

In addition, there are Non-Senator positions on the standing committees available for Corps of Instruction faculty not presently serving on the University Senate.