ARTICLE I. MISSION STATEMENT
The College of New Jersey Faculty Senate is the representative body of the faculty established to support the mission of the College, promote faculty involvement in College affairs, and provide a faculty voice on issues facing the institution. Working in conjunction with College governance, the Senate ensures a faculty perspective on college-wide issues; promotes diversity through its appointments to college-wide committees and councils; encourages and supports excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service; and fosters community and collegiality.
ARTICLE II. FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES
1. The Faculty Senate is responsible for appointing faculty representatives to Standing Committees, Planning Councils, and Program Councils. The Senate will inform the faculty annually of all open governance positions and request self-nominations. Appointments are made by vote of the Faculty Senate following recommendation of the committee on appointments. It is the responsibility of the Senate to promote diversity of faculty membership on all college-wide committees and councils.
2. Any faculty member may bring an issue to the Faculty Senate for its consideration. A faculty member may contact any member of the Senate, who in turn should contact the Senate President in order to have the item placed on the agenda of the Senate Executive Board. Faculty members may also contact the Senate President directly. Issues brought before the Executive Board will be passed on to the full Senate at the discretion of the Board. It is the responsibility of the Senate President to contact faculty members who bring an issue for consideration and let them know the disposition of the issue.
3. Issues will also be brought before the Faculty Senate by the college-wide Standing Committees, as outlined in the the College’s “Governance Structure and Processes” document. The Faculty Senate may provide testimony to Standing Committees both before and after a committee’s preparation of a preliminary recommendation.
4. Senate testimony, resolutions, and reports will be communicated to the campus community. When appropriate, the Senate may submit an issue to the Steering Committee for action through the governance process.
5. The Faculty Senate will annually establish such internal committees as are necessary to fulfill its mission. Depending upon need, these committees may correspond to the areas covered by college-wide Standing Committees (academic programs, faculty affairs, planning and priorities, and student and campus community) as well as areas such an intellectual climate, communications, and appointments.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP AND ELECTIONS
1. All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and librarians are eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate.
2. The Senate shall consist of forty elected members, plus the president of the faculty bargaining unit or his/her designee and the two Faculty Representatives to the Board of Trustees. Elected representation shall be on a proportional basis of full-time faculty in the Schools and the Library. Apportionment shall be reviewed on a regular basis, at least once every five years. Depending on whether the faculty union and Board of Trustees representatives have been previously elected to the Senate and on the phasing in of reapportionment, total membership may be greater than forty. In the event that there are not enough candidates to fill all the seats from a School, the seat(s) shall remain vacant for the year.
3. The term of office shall be three years, with approximately one-third of the Senators elected yearly.
4. If a Senator resigns mid-year, the vacancy shall be filled by the runner-up candidate from the same School in the most recent election. If there is no runner-up candidate or if the runner-up is unwilling to serve, the seat will remain vacant for the remainder of the academic year.
5. If a Senator resigns before the end of his or her term but near the time of the annual election, a new Senator will be elected to fill the remainder of the original term.
6. Senators going on sabbatical or other leave of one semester or longer shall notify the President in advance of the annual election so that the position may be filled temporarily by a replacement from the same School.
7. All Senate members are expected to attend every Senate meeting. An absence may be excused by notifying the Senate’s staff secretary in advance. Any Senator with more than three unexcused absences in an academic year shall be dropped from the rolls, and at the annual election a new Senator will be elected to fill the remainder of the term.
8. Senators are expected to report on Senate business to their Schools, as appropriate, and to receive comments from faculty.
9. The Senate Executive Board shall conduct the annual election. All full-time faculty and all full-time librarians with faculty rank are eligible to vote for Senators from their School or the library. The ballot shall indicate the number of positions available to the School; faculty members may vote for as many candidates as there are positions. In the event of a tie when there is more than one position and/or more than two candidates, a run-off election will be held in the affected School. In the event of a tie when there are only two candidates for a single position, lots will be drawn by the Senate Executive Board.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
1. Officers of the Faculty Senate are President, Vice-President, and Parliamentarian.
2. The President presides at meetings of the Senate and the Executive Board and is an ex officio member of all Senate committees. The President shall:
a. be responsible for the administrative operation of the Senate;
b. keep minutes of Executive Board meetings;
c. carry on correspondence pertinent to the Senate and its activities;
d. meet regularly with Senate members, academic leaders, the Provost, the President, and other administrative officers as appropriate;
e. prepare the annual budget and provide an annual accounting of all funds;
f. publish advance notification of all Senate meetings to Senators and to the faculty as a whole;
g. maintain archives of important documents;
h. serve as supervisor of the staff secretary.
3. The Vice-President shall fulfill the duties of the President in the President’s absence and join the President at designated meetings.
4. The Parliamentarian shall advise the President on matters of procedure, as established by Robert’s Rules of Order , during Senate meetings.
5. The Senate Executive Board shall consist of ten members: the President, Vice-President, Parliamentarian, the two Faculty Representatives to the Board of Trustees, and five at-large members. The Executive Board is responsible for setting the agenda of Senate meetings. It is expected that all internal Senate committees will be chaired by a member of the Executive Board. Care should be taken that all Standing Committees have at least one member on the Executive Board.
6. The Executive Board should meet periodically with the leadership of the Student Government Association and the Staff Senate.
7. The President, Vice-President, Parliamentarian, and five at-large members of the Executive Board shall serve a one-year term. They shall be elected by members of the Faculty Senate at the annual reorganization meeting at the end of the spring semester. A call for self-nominations for officers and at-large members shall be issued at least one week in advance of the meeting.
8. If an Executive Board member resigns from the Board or the Senate mid-year, a call for self-nominations shall go out and an election shall be held at the next Senate meeting.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS
1. Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be held monthly during the academic year. An announcement of the time and place and an agenda shall be distributed to all faculty in advance. Meetings of the Senate and its committees are normally open to all members of the campus community unless the Senate or the committee members vote to close a portion of or an entire meeting so that members may discuss and vote on sensitive personnel or policy issues of major importance to the faculty. A vote to close a meeting can be called for by any member and requires a majority membership vote. The President or presiding officer shall enforce the closed meeting rule.
2. A representative of each college-wide Standing Committee should report on committee business at every regular Senate meeting.
3. A special meeting may be called by the President in consultation with the Executive Board.
4. A quorum consisting of fifty percent of the current membership is necessary for a formal vote. Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order as interpreted by the Parliamentarian.
5. Minutes of all regular and special meetings of the full Senate shall be made available to the campus community.
ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS
1. Proposals to amend the Constitution should be made to the President, who shall place any proposed amendment on the agenda for full Senate discussion and action. Amendments must be passed by a majority of the Senate membership-i.e., not simply by a majority of those attending the meeting at which the vote is taken. This Constitution may be rescinded and a new Constitution approved by the same mechanism.
Adopted March 23, 2005
Amended May 5, 2010
Amended October 16, 2013