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Last Amended September 2017


Mindful of our centrality to the teaching, research, and service missions of this university and with the support of the President, the members of the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham have come together as a community of scholars in order to consider their responsibilities and needs, represent them to the administration and trustees of the university, and provide advice to the President.  The faculty members are committed to the principles of shared governance (inclusive and transparent decision-making, open communication among all members of the UAB community, accountability and mutual respect and trust) and recognize the interdependencies of all governance entities of the university as essential to achieving the defined mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives of the university.  For these purposes, we adopt this constitution of the faculty and its representative senate.


I.1. A faculty member, hereinafter referred to as faculty, is one who holds a primary academic appointment (as defined in the UAB Faculty Handbook 2.5.1) in one of the constituent units of the university. Only faculty may vote and hold offices as defined in this constitution.

I.2. The constituent units of the university are those defined in the UAB Faculty Handbook Section 1.2.2.


II.1. To represent its interests, the faculty establishes and elects its officers and a senate.

II.2. The faculty may meet from time to time to consider the welfare of the university.

II.3. There must be at least one such meeting in each academic year at a time appointed by the Chair of the Faculty.  The President of the University will be invited to present a state of the university address    at this meeting.

II.4. The Chair of the Faculty may call additional meetings of the faculty at his or her discretion and must do so when asked by any one of the following: a petition from 100 or more members of the faculty, a resolution of the senate, a majority vote of the Senate Executive Committee, the Provost, or the President of the University.


III.1. The officers of the faculty are a Chair, a Chair-Elect, an Associate Chair, and an immediate Past-Chair.

III.2. Anyone who has served or is currently serving as a Senator on the Faculty Senate is eligible for these offices as long as they have a primary assignment to carry out the academic mission of the university, namely, teaching, research and/or academic service. Anyone who is administratively responsible for annual evaluations of faculty or administratively responsible for promotion and tenure recommendations for faculty is generally excluded. An elections committee will review all candidates to determine eligibility.

III.3. Officers serve one-year terms as provided in the bylaws. The Chair of the Faculty succeeds the previous Past-Chair at the end of his or her term, and the Chair-Elect succeeds the Chair.  The Associate Chair of the Faculty may serve a maximum of three successive one-year terms.

III.4.a. The Chair of the Faculty presides over all meetings of the faculty and the senate. The Chair prepares the agenda for meetings of the faculty, appoints the Parliamentarian for the year, chairs the Senate Executive Committee, and serves as the faculty representative to university-wide executive-level committees.

III.4.b. The Chair-Elect presides over meetings of the faculty and the senate during the absence of the Chair. When the position of Chair becomes vacant before the expiration of a term, the Chair-Elect assumes the duties of Chair. In the event that the Chair-Elect fails or is unable to perform his or her duties, the senate must elect an individual to serve as Chair-Elect.

III.4.c. The Associate Chair must keep minutes of the meetings of the faculty and senate which must be placed in the University Archives. The Associate Chair circulates announcements of meetings of the faculty and senate, conducts all referenda regarding proposed amendments to the constitution, keeps the official copy of the constitution and bylaws, takes the roll of senators at each meeting, oversees the election of senators in the constituent units, and chairs the Election Committee. In the event that the Associate Chair fails or is unable to perform his or her duties, the Chair must appoint an Acting Associate Chair to finish the term.

III.4.d. The immediate Past-Chair will continue to support the Faculty Senate as the Chair requests.  These actions could include serving on university committees, coordinating speakers for monthly meetings, acting in the Chair’s role if he or she cannot, and assisting with tracking logs.  In the event that the immediate Past-Chair fails or is unable to perform his or her duties, the senate must elect an individual to serve as Past-Chair.


IV.1. There will be a senate of the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

 IV.2. The senate is the representative body for the faculty in the constituent units. Senators are apportioned based on the faculty head count number per constituent unit subject to the conditions that each constituent unit have at least one Senator and Alternate Senator, and that no unit with fewer faculty than another unit have more Senators or Alternate Senators. The number of Senators and Alternate Senators for each constituent unit is determined in the Bylaws.

IV.3. The faculty of each constituent unit elects as many alternate senators as it elects senators.

IV.4. The term of office of Senators and Alternate Senators is two years. Currently serving senators and alternate senators may not run for Faculty Senate seats unless their current term will be completed before the beginning of the next elected term.

IV.5. Senators and alternate senators must be primary faculty members of the constituent units which they represent. Currently elected officers of the Faculty Senate and persons with administrative appointments at or above the level of dean are ineligible for election as senators.

IV.6. Senators and alternate senators have voice in meetings of the senate and must serve on at least one standing committee of the Senate. Senators have vote in meetings of senate; an alternate senator only votes in meetings of the senate in the absence of a senator from the same unit.  Both Senators and Alternate Senators have voice and vote in committee meetings.

IV.7. The Chair, the Chair-Elect, the immediate Past-Chair, and the Associate Chair of the Faculty are members of the senate with voice and vote during their terms in office. The Chair will vote only in the case of a tie.

IV.8. The President of the University, the Provost, and the Parliamentarian are ex-officio members of the senate without vote.


V.1. The senate’s authority derives from the faculty. Its purpose is to represent faculty viewpoints on matters of general interest and concern to the faculty and the university to the President and to advise the President, other administrative officers of the university, and members of the Board of Trustees on such matters.

These matters include but are not limited to the following:

  • Creating, maintaining, and protecting an environment conducive to the promotion and growth of teaching, learning, research, and service
  • Informing faculty with respect to institutional and general issues in higher education
  • Sharing responsibility with administration and students for improving the stature and effectiveness of the university
  • Sharing responsibility with the President and the administration for strategic planning
  • Improving collective working conditions
  • Assisting in the definition of university policies and procedures
  • Providing a forum for the effective presentation of faculty viewpoints
  • Providing advice about new or revised degree programs, academic requirements for degrees, or admission policies
  • Reviewing the actions and performance of committees charged with matters concerning academic or faculty affairs
  • Considering such matters as the administration, school faculties, or any member of the faculty may propose
  • Ensuring adequate and appropriate faculty participation in the selection of university, school, and departmental administrative officers

V.2. The senate must seek information from administrative officers of the university and from appropriate faculty bodies regarding pending policy decisions and must determine through independent study whether these policy decisions appear to be appropriate.

V.3. Whenever possible, the President, the Provost, and the appropriate administrative officials must notify the senate of pending policy decisions and other matters of interest and concern defined in Section 1 of this article.  Additionally, the senate must, whenever possible, seek the opinion of the faculty and selected administrators on pending recommendations to the President and other administrative officials.

V.4. The senate must communicate the results of its deliberations as advice to the faculty, the President of the University, and any other administrative officers it deems appropriate.

V.5. The President or the Provost or the appropriate administrative office should inform the senate of the disposition of any recommendations it makes.


VI.1. The senate must meet annually to organize itself for the next year.

VI.2. The Chair of the Faculty serves as Chair of the Senate and the Associate Chair of the Faculty serves as Associate Chair of the Senate.

VI.3. The proceedings and actions of the senate are governed by its bylaws. The senate may amend these bylaws.  Every such amendment must be proposed in writing at a meeting of the senate and its adoption considered at a subsequent meeting. Adoption requires the affirmative votes of two-thirds of the voting members present.

 VI.4. The Senate shall have standing committees, including the Senate Executive Committee. The standing committees, their membership and functions, are determined in the bylaws. The senate or its Chair may also establish special committees at any time. The Chair may appoint members to standing or special committees, called regular members, who will have voice and vote on the committees even if not senators or alternate senators. The Chair may appoint ex officio members to standing or special committees who will have voice but no vote on the committees.


VII.1. The Associate Chair and the Governance and Operations Committee of the senate, with the Associate Chair as Chair, shall serve as the Elections Committee to supervise and certify the nomination and election of officers of the faculty and members of the senate, and for other purposes, as provided in the bylaws.

VII.2. After nominations are solicited, the election must be conducted by secret ballot as provided in the bylaws.

VII.3. Persons holding a joint appointment involving more than one constituent unit are eligible for election and to vote in the unit of their primary appointment.


VIII.1. Adoption of this constitution requires a favorable vote by the majority of the faculty casting ballots in a referendum called for this purpose as well as the final approval of the President.

VIII.2. The date of the referendum is to be set by the President, and the referendum is to be conducted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance which reports the results to the President and the faculty.


IX.1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by either a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members of the senate or by a petition to the Associate Chair of the Faculty signed by five percent of the faculty. The Associate Chair must submit proposed amendments to the faculty for their vote.

IX.2. To be adopted, amendments must receive an affirmative vote of the majority of the faculty voting on them.  Final approval of amendments  is given by the President.

IX.3. Under certain circumstances, when the constitution should be revised because of the reorganization of constituent units or a reorganization of administrative offices, minor changes in the wording of the constitution referring to specific administrative offices or constituent units may be accomplished by a three-fourths vote of approval by the members of the senate along with the approval of the President.


by the faculty of the university and approved by the President in May 1995. It was amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President in April 1996. It was amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President in May 1997. It was edited with minor corrections of punctuation and capitalization by the Secretary of the Faculty in June 2002. It was amended by the senate and the amendments approved by the President and Provost in March 2009. It was amended in March 2014 following approval of the Senate, the full faculty vote and the President. It was amended in February 2016 following approval of the Senate, the full faculty vote and the President.

The constitution was last amended in September 2017 following approval of the Senate, the full faculty vote and the President.