Last Amended November 2020

 

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 September 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 beginning of the Senate term. Usually there is no Senate meeting in July. Additional meetings may also be held at the request of the Senate Chair.

I.3.b. The September meeting is the annual organizational meeting for the year. The new Chair convenes this meeting and presides. The new Chair-Elect, Associate Chair, Parliamentarian, senators and alternates are introduced. The Senate then elects two senators-at-large to the Senate Executive Committee. Membership in the standing committees of the Senate is appointed by the Chair. 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 eReporter by the Associate Chair of the Senate and the Office Associate 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. A senator unable to attend a meeting must contact the alternate senators from their constituent unit to determine their substitute and the Senate office to give notice that they will not be attending. Their substitute must sign in on the meeting attendance roster for the senator who is not able to attend the 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.3.f Virtual or hybrid meetings may be held at the discretion of the Chair. Attendance in-person is strongly encouraged whenever possible.

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 Senate Chair, the Associate Chair of the Senate, and the Senate Office Associate specifying the time and place of committee meetings.

I.4.c. Standing committees must meet periodically and must send finalized minutes of their meeting to the Chair of the Senate, the Associate Chair of the Senate and the Senate Office Associate in a timely manner.

I.4.d. Virtual or hybrid meetings may be held at the discretion of the committee chair. Attendance in-person is strongly encouraged whenever possible. When a committee member is unable to attend, the committee member should communicate with the committee chair so that accommodations for virtual attendance may be made.

I.5. Agenda

I.5.a. The Senate Executive Committee participates in developing the agenda for meetings of the Senate.

I.5.b. The Associate Chair 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. A request for an item to be placed on the agenda requires at least one week prior to the meeting. Requests for such action must be communicated to the Senate Chair and the Associate Chair of the Senate.

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, with the exclusion of the Senate Executive Committee meetings, which are restricted to the members of the Senate Executive Committee and any person that this committee chooses to invite.

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, which shall include all Senate members and any person whom the Senate or one if its committees choses to admit. 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 are published on the Faculty Senate website. The Senate minutes and other records shall be placed in the University Archives as defined in the Associate Chair’s duties. (See Appendix A)

I.7.d. Senate liaisons 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 Associate Chair of the Senate and the Senate Office Associate 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 also absent, the Associate Chair of the Senate will serve as President Pro Tempore.

I.10. Absences

I.10.a. The Governance and Operations Committee of the Senate records and tallies individual absences.

I.10.b. When a senator has been absent from three regularly scheduled Senate meetings during one Senate year and has not sent an alternate senator, the Governance and Operations Committee will take appropriate action. (See Article IV.1)

ARTICLE II. ORGANIZATION

II.1. Senate Executive Committee

II.1.a. The Chair, Chair-Elect, the immediate Past-Chair, Associate Chair of the Faculty, two Senators-at-Large elected by the Senate, the Chairs of the Curriculum, Research, Faculty Development, Faculty Policy and Procedures, Finance, and Governance and Operations Committees of the Senate, and ex-officio and without a vote, the Parliamentarian, the Chairs of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Curriculum Committee are the Senate Executive Committee.

II.1.b. 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.c. The Chair of Faculty may select one or more members of the faculty for each of the university-wide committees in which Senate representation is appropriate and these representatives should periodically submit reports of the meetings to the designated Faculty Senate Executive Committee member.

II.1.d. The appointments made by the Chair of Faculty to these various university-wide committees must receive the concurrence of the FSEC.

II.1.e. At the beginning of each Senate year, in conjunction with the President and the Provost, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will provide the Senate with an updated list of all Senate/Faculty representatives to university-wide committees.

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. The Senate Executive 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.1.h. The Senate Executive 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.2. Standing Committees of the UAB Faculty Senate

II.2.a. The standing committees of the Senate are the Executive, Curriculum, Research, Faculty Development, Faculty Policy and Procedures, Finance, and Governance and Operations Committees.

II.2.b. Senators and alternate senators will have at least 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 exception of the Senate Executive Committee, the Chair of the Senate appoints standing committee Chairpersons from among the Senate members, or past Senate members (up to 2) with the approval of the outgoing Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The Senate Chair will appoint a Vice Chair to each of the Senate standing committees. The Committee Vice Chairpersons shall serve in the absence of Committee Chairpersons and represent the committee to the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate.

II.2.c. The Senate Executive Committee acts as a committee to appoint Senate standing committee members. 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.2.d. Standing committees must inform themselves on matters of current interest within their respective areas of concern and scope. 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 and other members of the Faculty Executive Committee must also communicate with the appropriate university-wide committees and councils. (See Appendix D)

II.2.e. Standing committees shall make reports and recommendations to the Senate as they deem appropriate or as the Senate Executive Committee or full Senate requires.

II.2.f. A quorum for a standing committee is four, except as noted for the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee.

II.3. Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee (FPPC)

II.3.a. The responsibility and duties of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee are defined in UAB Faculty Handbook Section 2.4.

II.3.b. The appointment and membership of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee are defined in Faculty Handbook Section 2.4.

II.3.c. The Committee must meet periodically as agreed upon by the committee members. As with all Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate, the committee’s deliberations and recommendations must be reported to the Faculty Senate.

II.3.d. A quorum for the FPPC is 50% of its voting members.

II.3.e. The Committee should review the activities of the university-wide committees within its area of interest, as designated by the Chair of the Senate, and should routinely receive reports from the Senate/Faculty representatives assigned to these committees.

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 and the Bylaws. It is also responsible for coordinating the annual review of the Appendices.

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 and the Associate Chair.

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. The Committe is also charged with organizing the annual review of the Appendices, by asking each member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to review/revise their pertinent sections and presenting suggested changes at the July FSEC meeting.

II.4.e. The Elections Committee, with the Associate Chair of the Senate as its chair, in partnership with the Governance and Operations Committee, shall 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 shall have two subcommittees, the Graduate Curriculum Committee and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, whose Chairs shall be appointed by the Chair of the Faculty and whose members shall be chosen by the constituents units in a faculty-driven process.

II.5.b. 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 knowledge.

II.5.c. 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.d. The Committee should review the activities of the university-wide committees within its area of interest, as designated by the Chair of the Senate, and should routinely receive reports from the Senate/Faculty representatives assigned to these committees.

II.5.e. The Curriculum Committee should routinely receive copies of the minutes of meetings of all university committees within its area of interest.

II.5.f. The Curriculum Committee receives and reviews new course conflict reports if Units/Schools were unable to resolve the conflict or Units/Schools were unable to meet during November to resolve the conflict. The leadership of both Units/Schools will present at the next UAB Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee meeting (either December of January) for a vote.

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 Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration, the Provost, and the President regarding impending decisions about budgetary matters.

II.6.c. The Committee should review the activities of the university-wide committees within its area of interest, as designated by the Chair of the Senate, and should routinely receive reports from the Senate/Faculty representatives assigned to these committees.

II.7. Faculty Development Committee

II.7.a. The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) is responsible for reviewing matters and recommending policy pertaining to faculty career advancement and enrichment, such as teaching, service, scholarship, and mentoring/leadership. Specific matters for review and advice may include:

  • university-wide faculty development programs and events
  • dissemination of best practices in faculty development across the institution
  • promotion of faculty interaction across the institution
  • faculty mentoring programs for junior faculty
  • promotion of career development opportunities (e.g., workshops on tenure and promotion, leadership development, grant writing, etc.)
  • faculty awards and recognitions
  • existing policies and procedures affecting promotion and tenure of faculty
  • procedures relating to sabbatical leave
  • performance expectations of faculty and administrators

II.7.b. The FDC works with the Office of the Provost to manage the Faculty Development Grant Program.

II.7.c. The FDC should receive timely reports from the Provost and President regarding impending decisions pertaining to faculty career advancement and enrichment, performance expectations of faculty and administrators, and the dissemination of this information to all faculty members.

II.7.d. The FDC will meet at least twice a year with the Provost’s Office to provide input and feedback on all matters pertaining to the purview of the FDC.

II.7.e. The Committee should review the activities of the university-wide committees within its area of interest, as designated by the Chair of the Senate, and should routinely receive reports from the Senate/Faculty representatives assigned to these committees.

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: intramural research 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 works with the Office of the Provost and Faculty Development Committee to manage the Faculty Development Grant Program (FDGP).

II.8.c. The Committee should review the activities of the university-wide committees within its area of interest, as designated by the Chair of the Senate, and should routinely receive reports from the Senate/Faculty representatives assigned to these committees.

II.8.d. 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 knowledge.

II.8.e. 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 effectively.

II.9. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

II.9.a. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) is responsible for informing and making recommendations to the Senate in matters pertaining to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Specific matters for review and advice include: awareness and education (best practices to build a campus culture that promotes DEI); faculty affairs (e.g., recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, representation, and compensation of faculty); advocacy (internal and external communications and events promoting inclusiveness in all aspects of campus life); and research and scholarship (e.g., systematic review of data, policies, and programs to assess the status of women and underrepresented minorities in all aspects of faculty affairs). The DEIC and FDC committees will work together to avoid duplication of efforts. The DEIC will also collaborate with the FDC in order to support improved diversity, equity, and inclusion within existing faculty development initiatives.

The Chair of the Faculty will appoint faculty senators, alternate senators and other faculty to the DEIC for a renewable one-year term. The Chair of the faculty will also appoint a DEIC Chair for a one-year term. The chair of the DEIC committee will invite a representative from UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity, andInclusion (ODEI), as well as a representative from the USGA and GSA to serve on the committee.

II.9.b. The DEIC works with UAB’s ODEI, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Institutional Analysis, and the VPR office [HR is there as well as accounting [relative to inequities in purchasing]) and collaborates with other Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate when appropriate.

II.9.c. The DEIC should receive timely reports from the Provost and President regarding impending decisions pertaining to faculty equity and the dissemination of this information to all faculty members.

II.9.d. The DEIC will meet at least twice a year with the Vice President for DEI to provide input and feedback on all matters pertaining to the purview of the DEIC.

II.9.e. The Chair of the Faculty will appoint a committee member to serve as a Faculty Senate representative on University-Wide Committees/Workgroups that are directly related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

II.10. Special Committees and Appointments

For further description of special committees and appointments, see the appendices. 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 actions and timings associated with the Senate elections are described in Appendix F.

III.2. The Elections Committee should strive to present at least two nominees for each of the offices of Chair-Elect and Associate Chair each year.

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, irrespective of their primary unit, 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 shall solicit and receive nominations for senators and alternate senators.

III.4.a. Senators are apportioned based on faculty head count number per constituent unit. Units with fewer than 25 faculty elect one senator and one alternate senator and units with 25 to 74 faculty elect two senators and two alternate senators. Constituent units having 75 to 149 faculty shall elect three senators and three alternate senators and those units with 150 to 224 faculty shall elect four senators and four alternate senators. Units with 225 to 299 faculty shall elect five senators and five alternate senators, and those units with 300 or more faculty shall elect six senators and six alternate senators.

Based on the above formula, the Elections Committee will (re)determine the faculty counts, and consequent Senator counts, for each unit every three years just prior to soliciting nominations for the open Senate positions using the most recent counts available from Human Resources, or sooner if a significant change occurs in constituent units.

III.4.b. Notice of opening of nomination period must be sent by the Elections Committee to all eligible faculty. At least fifty percent more persons should be nominated than are to be elected senator and alternate senator in each constituent unit. Self-nominations are accepted. No person may be placed on the ballot without that person’s written consent, which is requested by e-mail by the Senate office at the closing of the nomination period.

III.4.c. 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 Associate Chair for approval by the Executive Committee.

III.5. Election of officers of the Senate, senators, and alternate senators must be by approval voting (see Appendix F) on a secret electronic ballot prepared by the Elections Committee. Notice of opening of voting period 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. At the end of the voting period, the Elections Committee will access the electronic ballots and tally and certify 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. Each elected person will be contacted by the Senate Office to communicate their election to the Senate and in which position.

III.8. Under the supervision of the Elections Committee, all ties in the vote for any position shall be broken by a coin flip.

III.9. The Associate Chair 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 Senate meetings during one senate year and has not sent an alternate senator 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 Associate Chair 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 Associate Chair 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 body in the constituent unit so designated by the Elections Committee will choose a faculty member from those eligible for election to the senate 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 amended by the Senate in March and approved by the President and Provost in April 2011.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in December and approved by the President and Provost in December 2011.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in March and approved by the President and Provost in March 2014.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in February 2016 and approved by the President and Provost in February 2016.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in October 2016, April and May 2017; and approved by the President and Provost in September 2017.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in July 2019; and approved by the President and Provost in September 2019.

The Bylaws were amended by the Senate in November 2020; and approved by the President and Provost in December 2020.

NOTE: The appendices are not part of the C&B and do not require amendment process through Senate; FSEC revises and approves the content of Appendix A – H on an annual basis and as needed.