Bylaws of the UAB Faculty Senate
Last Amended April 2013
ARTICLE I. PROCEDURES
I.1. Meetings of the Faculty
The Chair of the Faculty must call at least one meeting of the faculty, normally at the beginning of the academic year, at which time the President of the University will be invited to present a state of the university address.
I.2. Terms of Faculty Officers and Senators
Terms for faculty officers and senators begin on June 1.
I.3. Meetings of the Senate
I.3.a. The senate will meet each month according to a schedule the dates and times of which must be set at the June meeting. Additional meetings may also be held at the request of the Chair.
I.3.b. The June meeting is the annual organizational meeting for the year. The new Chair convenes this meeting and presides. The new Chair-Elect, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and senators are introduced. The senate then elects two senators to the Senate Executive Committee. Membership in the standing committees of the senate is then considered. The duties of officers are defined in Appendix A.
I.3.c. Under normal circumstances the time and place for senate meetings will be published in the UAB Reporter by the Secretary of the Senate one week before the meeting is to occur.
I.3.d. A majority (50% plus one member) of the senators constitute a quorum.
I.3.e. Senators unable to attend a meeting must select an alternate senator from their constituent unit to take their place. Alternate senators should notify the senate office that they will be attending and must sign in on the meeting attendance roster for the senator who is not able to attend a meeting. See the standing rules of the senate in Appendix B and the duties of senators, alternate senators, senators-at-large, and senate representatives to university-wide committees in Appendix C.
I.4. Meetings of the Standing Committees
I.4.a. The Senate Executive Committee ordinarily should hold regular meetings 10 to 14 days prior to regular senate meetings. Special meetings of the Senate Executive Committee can be called by the Chair of the Senate and must be called upon the written request of three of the committee’s members.
I.4.b. Each standing committee chair is responsible for giving advance notice to the Secretary of the Senate specifying the time and place of committee meetings.
I.4.c. Standing committees should meet monthly and must send minutes of their meeting to the Chair of the Senate on a timely basis.
I.5.a. The Senate Executive Committee participates in developing the agenda for meetings of the senate.
I.5.b. The Secretary of the Senate must distribute the agenda for the next senate meeting one week in advance of the meeting to all senators, alternate senators, and ex-officio members of the senate.
I.5.c. To provide sufficient time for discussion, requests for senate action on new academic programs must be delivered in writing to the Chair in a timely fashion prior to the meeting of the senate at which time such proposals will be deliberated.
I.5.d. Normally, a request for an item to be placed on the agenda requires at least three weeks prior notification. Requests for such action must be addressed to the Chair.
I.6. Access to Meetings of the Senate and Its Standing Committees
I.6.a. Any person may attend a meeting of the senate or one of its committees to observe the proceedings.
I.6.b. Anyone other than a senator may address the senate only by invitation of the senate or its Chair. Visitors may address the senate if they are recognized by the Chair.
I.6.c. The senate or one of its committees may hold executive sessions from which all persons except senators, senators ex-officio, alternate senators, and any such other persons as the senate or one of its committees shall admit are excluded. A motion to go into executive session shall have the parliamentary precedence of a question of privilege, is debatable, may be amended, and requires a two-thirds majority vote of those present for its adoption.
I.7. Minutes and Reports of Senate Meetings
I.7.a. Minutes of all senate meetings and senate executive committee meetings should be furnished to all senators as early as possible.
I.7.b. Four or more senators may file a written dissent from any main motion adopted by the senate. Notice to file such a dissent must be given during the meeting that the action occurs. The written dissent must be attached to the minutes of that meeting.
I.7.c. Minutes of senate meetings must be available for public inspection. The minutes of senate meetings should be published in the UAB Reporter. The senate minutes and other records shall be placed in the University Archives as defined in the Secretary’s duties. (See Appendix A)
I.7.d. Senators are expected to adopt measures for effective and expeditious reporting of senate actions to their constituencies.
I.8. Committee Records
I.8.a. All senate committees should keep records of their meetings and proceedings, describing in summary form all matters considered and noting all committee decisions and actions.
I.8.b. Committee records, including reports to the senate, should be transmitted to the Secretary of the Senate no later than the end of each senate year and must be available for inspection.
I.8.c. At the end of each senate year, the chair of each senate standing committee must submit a report of all unfinished business to the Chair-Elect of the Senate. The duties of the chair for each senate standing committee are defined in Appendix D.
I.9. President Pro Tempore
At any meeting where the Chair and Chair-Elect are absent, the Past-Chair of the Senate serves as the President Pro Tempore. In the event that person is absent, the Secretary of the Senate will serve as President Pro Tempore.
I.10.a. The Secretary of the Senate records and tallies individual absences.
I.10.b. When a senator has been absent from three regularly scheduled meetings during one senate year and has not sent an alternate senator, the Secretary will notify the Chair of the Governance and Operations Committee who will take appropriate action. (See Article IV.1)
ARTICLE II. ORGANIZATION
II.1. Senate Executive Committee
II.1.a. The Senate Executive Committee can make representation in its own name about any matter within the scope of the senate’s responsibilities and functions when, in the committee’s judgment, circumstances require action before it is possible to convene a meeting of the senate. In such instances, the committee will be guided by its best judgment regarding the intention of the senate.
II.1.b. The Senate Executive Committee serves in an advisory role to senate standing committees. Senate standing committees should make reports to the Chair of the Senate at least five days prior to the next meeting of the Senate Executive Committee.
II.1.c. The Senate Executive Committee may select one or more members of the faculty for each of the university-wide committees in which senate representation is appropriate.
II.1.d. Senate representation is appropriate for university-wide committees such as the Athletic Advisory Committee, Campus Planning Committee, Fringe Benefits Committee, and Academic Programs Council. (See II.1.g)
II.1.e. The choices made by the Senate Executive Committee to these various university-wide committees must be approved by the senate and the President.
II.1.f. The senate’s representatives to university-wide committees are responsible for informing the senate of the committee’s deliberations and recommendations. (See Appendix C)
II.1.g. At the beginning of each senate year, in conjunction with the President and the Provost, the Senate Executive Committee will provide senate standing committees with an updated list of all university-wide committees. (See II.1.d)
II.2. Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee (FPPC)
II.2.a. The Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee reviews existing university policies and procedures and considers changes to the UAB Faculty Handbook. Its recommendations concerning revisions to the UAB Faculty Handbook or to existing policies and procedures are forwarded to the senate. The senate must make final recommendations to the President and designee regarding changes to the UAB Faculty Handbook or to existing policies and procedures. The FPPC also provides feedback on policies developed or revised by Enterprise and University compliance committees. FPPC feedback is forwarded to the initiating committee and copied to the Chair of the Senate.
II.2.b. The Secretary of the Senate, with the assistance of the Senate Governance and Operations Committee, oversees the election of members to the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. Membership of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee will consist of the Chair-Elect of the Senate, one person elected from each of the constituent units (schools, Joint Health Sciences departments, libraries) and three faculty persons from the College of Arts and Sciences excluding the School of Education, one faculty member selected by the President, and one faculty member in the Provost office responsible for faculty affairs and development selected by the Provost. Elected terms are three years, with approximately one-third of the membership being replaced each year. Appointed terms are one year. Committee members may be re-elected to serve, at most, two consecutive terms. In the event of a vacancy before the expiration of a term, the Senate Executive Committee shall appoint the person who received the next highest number of votes in the election for the position. If there is no such person, the unit’s Faculty Affairs Committee, or comparable faculty body for that unit, shall identify one faculty member from that unit to fill the vacant position to be submitted by the Senate Liaison to the Secretary for approval by the Executive Committee. The committee must meet annually or more frequently as agreed upon by committee members. Its deliberations and recommendations must be reported to the senate. The Chair of the Committee is a faculty member (without academic administrator position above that of Department Chair) elected by the FPPC members and shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee during his or her term in office. The current Chair of the Senate Faculty Affairs Committee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the FPPC during his or her term of office. The FPPC maintains the operating rules for the FPPC and the Chair of the FPPC is responsible for updating the rules section of the senate bylaws document. (See Appendix E)
II.2.c. Election of nominees to the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee shall take place at the same time as the election of the faculty officers and senators.
II.3. Other Standing Committees
II.3.a. Senators ordinarily will have one standing committee assignment. The minimum number of members for standing committees (exclusive of ex-officio members) must be eight. Senators, alternate senators, and non-senators may be members of committees. With the exceptions of the Senate Executive Committee and the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee, the Chair of the Senate appoints standing committee Chairpersons from among the senate members. Standing committees may elect Vice Chairpersons. Vice Chairpersons are eligible to serve in the absence of Chairpersons and can represent the committee to the Senate Executive Committee and the senate.
II.3.b. The Senate Executive Committee acts as a committee to appoint senate standing committee members, except for the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. Before appointments are made to senate standing committees, senators will be afforded an opportunity to rank their preferences in regard to committee assignments, and preferences will be considered in making appointments.
II.3.c. Standing committees must inform themselves on matters of current interest within their respective areas of concern. For the purpose of receiving information regarding pending policy decisions, Chairpersons of standing committees are expected to consult with the Chair of the Senate. Under certain circumstances, the Chair of the Senate may request standing committee Chairpersons to communicate directly with administrative officials in charge of the areas in which their respective committees have interests. Committee Chairs must also communicate with the appropriate university-wide committees and councils. (See Appendix D)
II.3.d. Standing committees should make reports and recommendations to the senate as they deem appropriate or as the senate requires.
II.3.e. A quorum for a standing committee is four.
II.4. Governance and Operations Committee
II.4.a. The Governance and Operations Committee is responsible for continuous review of the senate’s organization and procedures and for recommending changes it deems desirable in either the constitution or the bylaws.
II.4.b. The Governance and Operations Committee must consider the reasonableness of excess absences by a senator from senate meetings and must make a recommendation to the senate whether the position should or should not be declared vacant. The Governance and Operations Committee also is responsible for determining if a senate seat is vacant for reasons other than absences and will make appropriate recommendations to the senate.
II.4.c. The Governance and Operations Committee is responsible for interpreting the constitution and bylaws and may receive requests for interpretations from the senate or the Chair of the Senate or may initiate action by itself.
II.4.d. The Governance and Operations Committee is charged with responsibility for determining the constitutionality of the bylaws and proposed amendments to the bylaws. Such determinations must be reported to the senate and are subject to senate concurrence.
II.4.e. The Governance and Operations Committee is to oversee the nomination and election of senators and faculty officers and all elections and votes called for in the UAB Faculty Handbook. (See Appendix F)
II.4.f. The Parliamentarian shall be an ex-officio member of the Governance and Operations Committee.
II.5. Curriculum Committee
II.5.a. The Curriculum Committee is responsible for reviewing matters and
recommending policy pertaining to the curriculum and to the
environment for learning and the dissemination of knowledge.
Specific matters for review and advice include academic standards
and requirements for admission and graduation; the university
calendar, academic, research, and service programs, both existing
and proposed; and existing policies and procedures, which may
affect the environment for learning and the dissemination of
II.5.b. The Curriculum Committee should receive reports from the Provost
and President regarding impending decisions pertaining to the
curriculum and to the environment for learning and the
dissemination of knowledge.
II.5.c. The Curriculum Committee should review the activities of university
committees such as the Advisory Committee of the Graduate
Council, Athletic Advisory Committee, Campus Planning Committee,
Graduate Council, and Undergraduate Programs Council.
II.5.d. The Curriculum Committee should routinely receive copies of the
minutes of meetings of all university committees within its area of
II.6. Finance Committee
II.6.a. The Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing budgetary
matters relevant to faculty well-being and the environment for
research, learning, and information dissemination at the university.
II.6.b. The Finance Committee should receive reports from the Vice
President for Financial Affairs and Administration, the Provost, and
the President regarding impending decisions about budgetary
II.6.c. The Finance Committee should review the activities of university
committees such as the Campus Planning Committee and Fringe
II.6.d. The Finance Committee should routinely receive copies of the minutes
of meetings of all university committees within its area of interest.
II.7. Faculty Affairs Committee
II.7.a. The Faculty Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing matters and suggesting policy relating to the welfare and responsibilities of faculty at the university. These matters include but are not limited to terms and conditions of faculty employment; grievance procedures and due process of faculty personnel matters; performance expectations of faculty and administrators; and administrative structure.
II.7.b. The Faculty Affairs Committee should receive reports from the Provost and the President regarding impending decisions pertaining to terms and conditions of faculty employment; grievance procedures and due process of faculty personnel matters; performance expectations of faculty and administrators; and administrative structure.
II.7.c. The Faculty Affairs Committee should review the Provost’s quarterly report to the senate summarizing the activities of university committees such as the Termination for Cause Review Panel, University-wide Grievance Panel, and impaneled Grievance Hearing Committees.
II.7.d. The Faculty Affairs Committee should routinely receive copies of the minutes of meetings of all university committees within its area of interest.
II.7.e. The Faculty Affairs Committee is responsible for supervising periodic evaluations of academic administrators (chairs, deans, and library directors), vice presidents, the Provost, and the President by their constituents.
II.8 Research Committee
II.8.a. The Research Committee is responsible for reviewing matters and
recommending policy pertaining to research and to the environment
for research and the dissemination of research knowledge. Specific
matters for review and advice include: research and service
programs, both existing and proposed, and existing policies and
procedures which may affect the environment for research and the
dissemination of research knowledge.
II.8.b. The Research Committee should receive reports from the Provost and
President regarding impending decisions pertaining to research and to
the environment for research and the dissemination of research
II.8.c. Meet at least twice a year with the Vice President of Research at UAB
to provide input and feedback on how to facilitate the functions of
Administrative Departments, Offices, and associated Committees
II.9. Special Committees
Special committees may be created by the Chair of the Senate or the senate as needed. Unless the senate directs otherwise, special committee members and Chairpersons should be designated by the same methods as for standing committees.
ARTICLE III. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND SENATORS
III.1. The President’s Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance serves as the Elections Committee prior to the installation of the first senate.
III.2. The Elections Committee should present at least two nominees for each of the offices of Chair-Elect and Secretary each year, except that in the first election they must present at least two nominees for the faculty offices of Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary. In the first year, the senate will elect its Past-Chair. The Elections Committee should present at least two nominees for the elected position of representative from each constituent unit to the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee when an election is required.
III.3. Nominees for the office of Chair-Elect should rotate annually between those components of the university known historically as Academic Affairs and Health Affairs, except that the name of any faculty member eligible to hold office and nominated by a petition signed by at least 25 eligible voters must appear on the ballot, provided that the faculty member has given signed consent to the nomination.
III.4. The Elections Committee must designate the faculty body in each constituent unit which solicits and receives nominations for senators and alternate senators. At least fifty percent more persons should be nominated than are to be elected senator and alternate senator in each constituent unit. The name of any person nominated in a petition signed by five or more members of the faculty eligible to vote in the constituent unit must appear on the ballot, except that no person may be nominated without that person’s signed consent. The designated faculty body must send the names of the nominees in its unit to the Elections Committee by the date set by the Elections Committee.
III. 4.a. If, following an election, any elected Senator and Alternate
Senator positions for a unit remain vacant, the unit’s Faculty
Affairs Committee, or comparable faculty body for that unit, shall
identify one faculty member from that unit to fill each of the vacant
positions. The Senate Liaison shall present the name(s) to the
Secretary for approval by the Executive Committee.
III.5. Election of officers of the senate, senators, alternate senators, and representatives to the FPPC must be by approval voting (see Appendix F) on a secret ballot or ballots prepared by the Elections Committee. Ballots must be sent by the Elections Committee to all eligible faculty [see Constitution Section I.1] in each constituent unit by the date set by the Elections Committee. Each eligible voter may cast a vote for each nominee of whom the voter approves up to as many as the voter chooses, but in no case more than one vote for any single nominee. Ballots must be returned to the Elections Committee by the date set by the Elections Committee for tallying and certifying the results.
III.6. The nominee for each faculty office who receives the largest number of votes cast is elected to that office.
III.7. In each election of senators for a constituent unit, the unit is to elect a specified number of senators. That number of nominees who receive the largest number of votes cast in that unit are elected senators, and the same number of nominees who receive the next largest number of votes are elected alternate senators.
III.8. In its organizational meeting after the first election, the senate must determine which senators’ and alternate senators’ initial terms will be limited to one year so that as near as may be, half of the senate, and half of the senate positions in each constituent unit, come up for election each year. In the case of the two constituent units with one senator, the senate must determine by lot at that meeting which unit’s senator and alternate senator will be limited to a one year term initially.
III.9. A tie in the vote for any position must be broken by casting lots under the supervision of the Elections Committee.
III.10. The Secretary of the Senate must prepare a list of senate nominees ranked in descending order of the number of votes received in the election for each constituent unit. This list must be retained for at least two years subsequent to an election.
ARTICLE IV. REPLACEMENT OF SENATORS
IV.1. A senator who is absent three or more times from regularly scheduled meetings during one senate year may be required to vacate the office by a majority vote of the senate. The Governance and Operations Committee is the judge of the reasonableness of the senator’s absence. It should make any necessary recommendation for expulsion to the senate.
IV.2. Action to recall a senator may be initiated by a petition of not less than one-third of the faculty eligible to vote in the senator’s constituent unit. Upon receiving this petition, the Secretary must promptly notify the senator and send out ballots to the appropriate constituency. If two-thirds of the returned ballots support the petition to recall the senator, the seat will be declared vacant.
IV.3. If a senator takes extended leave during his or her tenure, an alternate senator must be designated to serve temporarily, during the period of leave, in place of that senator.
IV.4. In cases where a senator’s seat becomes vacant before the expiration of the term, the alternate senator with the most votes, chosen in the same election as was the senator, should serve the remainder of the unexpired term. In cases where an alternate senator’s seat becomes vacant (including vacation by election to senator), the next eligible nominee from the ranked list kept by the Secretary of the Senate from the election in which the alternate was chosen should serve the remainder of the term as alternate senator. In cases where no eligible nominee remains on this list to fill a vacated seat, the Faculty Affairs Committee or comparable faculty body for the unit will forward a name to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for approval to fill the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE V. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised must govern the faculty and the senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the constitution and these bylaws or any special rules of order the faculty or senate may adopt.
ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENT
These bylaws may be amended by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the senate at a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which the amendment was proposed. Final approval of amendments is given by the President.
THESE BYLAWS WERE ADOPTED
By the faculty of the university and approved by the President in May 1995.
They were amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President in April 1996.
They were amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President in May 1997.
They were amended by the senate in April 2000 and the amendments approved by the President in June 2000.
They were amended by the senate in January 2001 and the amendments approved by the President in April 2002.
They were amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President in August 2004.
They were amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President and Provost in June 2006. They were amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President and Provost in March 2009.
The Constitution was amended to address formation of College of Arts and Sciences structure by the Senate in August and approved by the President and Provost in December 2010.
The Bylaws were last amended by the Senate in March and approved by the President and Provost in April 2011.
The Bylaws were last amended by the Senate in December and approved by the President and Provost in December 2011.
The Bylaws were last amended by the Senate in April and [not yet] approved by the President and Provost in April 2013.