ARTICLES OF FACULTY ORGANIZATION

(Adopted 3-16-66, with later revisions)
(Reformatted Aug 2011)

Previous Version

I. All Ranked Faculty, Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians shall constitute the faculty.  Hereafter in these Articles of Faculty Organization, Faculty Senate Bylaws, and Faculty Senate Policies reference to “faculty” or “faculty member” is understood to include Ranked Faculty, Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians unless otherwise stated.

A.    Ranked Faculty

All persons with the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor shall constitute the Ranked Faculty.

B.    Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians

1. All Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Librarians shall be represented by the Faculty Senate for university governance purposes.

2. Academic staff whose assignment prior to March 10, 2005 included classification as both Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Staff shall make a one-time choice between the Faculty Senate or the Academic Staff Council to represent them for governance purposes.

3. Academic staff with a new contract that includes classification as both Instructional Academic Staff and Academic Staff shall, at the time of their appointment, make a one-time choice between the Faculty Senate or the Academic Staff Council to represent them for governance purposes

II. The chancellor of the university shall be ex officio the presiding officer of the faculty. The provost/vice chancellor shall preside in his/her absence.

The secretary of the Faculty Senate shall keep minutes of all general faculty meetings and shall make copies of the proceedings available to the faculty.

III. Within the institution, the faculty directly, or indirectly through the senate, shall have full and final responsibility for determination of curriculum, other requirements for graduation, and the system of grading. It shall also have direct concern with the formulation and implementation of university policy relating to physical facilities, support of research, educational budget, institutional organization, all aspects of student life, and personnel matters relating to academic freedom, teaching loads, salaries, appointments, reappointments, tenure, promotions, leaves and dismissals.

IV. The representative body of the faculty shall be the Faculty Senate. It shall be free to investigate, to study, to debate, and to deliberate on all matters of general faculty concern and may exercise review authority in these matters if it deems such exercise is in the best interests of the university. The following provisions govern the senate:

A.    Specific Powers and Duties  

Specifically, the senate directly, or through committees, is empowered to:

1. Determine all curricula of the institution, graduate and undergraduate.

2. Determine academic standards and requirements for graduation.

3. Advise the chancellor on the appointment of administrative officials.

4. Participate in determining policies with respect to the annual budget.

5. Participate in planning the physical facilities of the campus.

6. Participate in formulating regulations pertaining to student activities.

7. Participate in the award of promotions and salary adjustments.

8. Participate in investigating cases and determining policies with respect to academic freedom, tenure, appointments, reappointments, leaves, dismissals and teaching loads.

9. Prepare the agenda for meetings of the general faculty and distribute copies of the agenda to faculty members one week prior to such faculty meetings.

10. Establish and terminate all faculty committees and determine their membership and functions.

11. Receive and disseminate minutes and reports of all committees.

12. Conduct nominations and elections of members of the senate.

13. Hear any faculty member on matters of concern to the member or the general faculty.

14. Hear the authorized agent of the organ of student government on matters of concern to the student body.

15. Inform the general faculty, the administration, and the student body of all senate actions affecting the areas of their respective concerns.

16. Provide for the election and instruction of representatives to extramural councils or committees which seek to communicate or consult directly with university faculty governance.

B. Membership

1. The Faculty Senate shall consist of 24 members: five elected from the College of Liberal Studies (the college has the option of further designating specific representation within the college), four elected from the College of Science & Health, one elected from the College of Business Administration, and 14 elected At-Large.

2. The chancellor of the university and/or consultants designated by the chancellor shall be seated with the senators and shall have similar privileges of discussion but shall have no vote.

3. All members of the faculty shall be eligible to nominate, vote for, and serve as members of the senate except for those with a full-time administrative assignment at the level of associate dean or higher.

4. At no time shall the senate include more than three senators from a single department; a maximum of two of these may be elected at large, and a maximum of one may be elected from the college.

5. The nomination shall be held early in the spring semester. The senators shall serve for a term of three years, June 1 to June 1. The terms shall be arranged so that one third of the positions are filled by election each year.

6.

a. A vacancy which occurs because a senator cannot complete his/her term shall be filled by the eligible faculty member who among the unsuccessful candidates of that category received the greatest number of votes at the most recent election. A senator so chosen shall complete the unexpired term.

b. A temporary vacancy shall be deemed to occur when a senator is on leave extending over a semester or more but intends to return before the expiration of his/her senate term. This temporary vacancy shall be filled by the eligible faculty member who among the unsuccessful candidates of that category received the greatest number of votes at the most recent election. The temporary replacement shall relinquish the seat on the senate when the permanent member returns to campus. A replacement whose term is for one year or less shall be immediately eligible for election to the senate.

c. In the event that a candidate to fill a vacancy cannot be determined because of a tie vote, the senate shall act to break the tie.

d. In the event that a candidate for a vacancy cannot be determined by the above procedures, the senate shall nominate and elect a representative from the appropriate category to complete the unexpired term.

7. Senators elected for terms longer than one year may not succeed themselves; one year must elapse before subsequent election.

C. Nomination and Election

1. Nominations and elections shall be conducted by the Senate Election Committee appointed by and under the direction of the senate.

2. Nomination procedures:

a. Nominations shall be by petition.

b. The Senate Election Committee shall publish in the university newsletter the standard form for nomination petitions, including the names of the departments from which faculty members are ineligible to serve on the senate, the date nomination petitions are due, and other informational statements.

c. The nomination petition shall include the following statement:

If elected to the Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse I will faithfully serve in that capacity. I affirm that if I miss three meetings in one year (barring medical reasons or professional obligations) I will have vacated the position.

Signature of Candidate

d. In order for this petition to be valid, it must be signed by at least 20 faculty members.

e. Petitions shall be available at the beginning of the third full week of instruction of the second semester, and, in order to be valid, must be returned to a member of the Senate Election Committee by the end of the fourth week and must contain the required number of signatures.

f. A faculty member shall be a nominee for only one position in only one category.
 

3. Election Procedures:

a. The basic list of faculty members shall be the one maintained by the provost/vice chancellor.

b. The Senate Election Committee shall prepare ballots and distribute the ballots by campus mail to the eligible faculty voters by the beginning of the eighth week of the second semester. The faculty members shall vote for no more than the specified number of nominees and return the ballots to the chairperson of the Senate Election Committee by the beginning of the tenth week.

c. The Senate Election Committee shall count the ballots and declare those nominees with the largest number of votes elected. In case of a tie new ballots listing the tied nominees shall be sent to the eligible voters to break the tie.

d. Election results shall be announced in the university newsletter as soon as they are available.

4.  Department Affiliation:

a. A member of the faculty shall be considered a member of the department to which he/she is appointed.  A member of the faculty who holds appointments in more than one department shall choose the department with which he/she will be affiliated for the purposes of election.  Department affiliation choice shall be recorded with the Senate Election Committee.  Department affiliation may be changed at any time except the period between the dates that nomination petitions are due and the results of the election are published.  A member of the faculty who is not appointed to a department shall be considered a member of the College of Liberal Studies.

b. A member of the Library Department shall be considered a member of the College of Liberal Studies.

D. Officers and Senate Organization

1. The officers of the senate shall consist of a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a secretary, all to be chosen from the elected members of the senate.

2. The three elected officers of the senate along with the immediate past chairperson, if his or her term in the senate has not expired, and one member selected annually by the senate from its membership shall constitute the Senate Executive Committee.

Thus, there shall be four or five members depending on the status of the most recent past chairperson of the senate. The chairperson of the senate shall be the chairperson of the Senate Executive Committee.

3. The officers of the senate shall be elected at an organizational meeting of the new senate before June 1, and shall hold office for one calendar year beginning June 1. The organizational meeting shall be called by the chairperson of the retiring senate. A majority of all votes cast shall be necessary for election.

4. A parliamentarian shall be appointed by the chairperson of the senate to serve as the chair's consultant on all questions of procedure. The parliamentarian need not be a member of the senate.

5. A vacancy in the office of senate chairperson shall be filled by the vice chairperson.

Vacancies in other offices of the senate shall be filled by special election. All senators shall be eligible for the vacancy, whether holding an office or not. An officer elected to the vacancy and accepting it will leave another vacancy to be filled by the same procedure.

6. The duties of the officers shall be (a) those usual to the offices or (b) those designated especially by the senate.

7. The senate shall form its own bylaws and policies.

E. Meetings of the Senate

1. The senate shall have regularly scheduled meetings during the academic year and shall be subject to call at other times.

2. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson on his/her own initiative, or at the request of the Senate Executive Committee or of the chancellor of the university, or at the written request of at least six members of the senate.

3. Two thirds of the membership of the senate shall constitute a quorum. (This is an intended deviation from Robert's Rules of Order.)

4. The agenda shall be prepared by the Senate Executive Committee and submitted to the faculty three days prior to each senate meeting. Any issues or recommendations shall be placed on the agenda when proposed by:

a. Senate Executive Committee action.

b. The chancellor of the university.

c. Faculty committees.

d. One third vote of the senators present and voting at a meeting. (Motion to place on agenda is not debatable.)

e. A petition signed by no fewer than 10 faculty members.

5. The senate while in session may change the order of the agenda by a majority vote.

6. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall determine procedure, unless those rules conflict with this constitution or with bylaws adopted by the senate.

7. Minutes of the senate meeting shall be distributed to all faculty members.

8. Part of the order of business of each senate meeting shall be a report from the chairperson on the disposition of all previous recent senate decisions.

9. All senate sessions shall be open to all faculty members except for good and sufficient reason which shall be made known to the faculty. Any member of the faculty may address the senate after securing recognition from the chair.

F. Senate Committees

1. The committees of the senate shall include a Senate Executive Committee, a Senate Election Committee, a Committee on Faculty Committees, an Articles and Bylaws Committee, and such other committees as are necessary.

2. The Senate Executive Committee shall follow up senate recommendations and act as a liaison with the administration of the university.

3. The Senate Executive Committee shall have the power to act in behalf of the senate when the situation requires immediate action. Such actions and recommendations of the Senate Executive Committee shall in all cases be subject to review by the senate, which shall be notified of all such actions and recommendations through the minutes of the meetings of the Senate Executive Committee.

4. A Senate Election Committee shall be appointed by the Senate Executive Committee and approved by the senate from among the senators to conduct or supervise all elections required by this constitution.

5. A Committee on Faculty Committees shall be appointed by the Senate Executive Committee and approved by the senate from among the senators to determine the members of all faculty standing committees. Where committee chairpersons are to be elected, it shall appoint conveners.

6. An Articles and Bylaws Committee shall be appointed by the Senate Executive Committee and approved by the senate to conduct an annual review of the Faculty Senate Bylaws and Policies, periodic review of the Articles of Organization, and to provide appropriate phrasing for article, bylaw and policy changes proposed to the Faculty Senate from other sources. Membership of the committee shall consist of five members of the faculty, one of whom shall be the at-large member of the Senate Executive Committee.

7. Other committees of the senate may be authorized by senate action. Their titles, their duties, and the mode of determining their membership shall be prescribed by the senate.

8. All senate committees shall be responsible to the senate and shall report all of their actions and recommendations directly to the senate.

G. Faculty Referenda

1. Actions of the senate shall be final unless they are overruled or amended by a majority vote of the faculty eligible to vote in a senate election. Such action by the faculty may be taken by an official referendum conducted according to the following conditions:

a. A referendum to rescind or amend senate action shall be held if it is 1) requested by the chancellor of the university, 2) petitioned by one third of the members of the senate, or 3) petitioned by 20% of the faculty.

b. A request or petition for a referendum shall be submitted to senate chair within 25 days the publication of the minutes recording the action to be contested. The referendum shall be conducted by the Senate Election Committee who shall poll the faculty within 15 days of the receipt of the petition.

c. The petition to amend or rescind senate action must clearly state the action to be reviewed as it is recorded in the senate minutes, and if it seeks to amend a senate action, it must provide the wording of the proposed amendment.

d. Referendum ballots used to rescind an action of the senate shall not include language prejudicial to voting but shall include 1) the date of the senate action, 2) the record of the senate vote on the action, 3) the exact wording from the senate minutes describing the action to be reviewed, and 4) the following statements of choice:  

"I vote to sustain this action of the senate
I vote to rescind this action of the senate"

e. Referendum ballots used to amend an action of the senate shall not include language prejudicial to voting but shall include 1) the date of the senate action, 2) the record of the senate vote on the action, 3) a restatement of the action as recorded in the minutes along with the amending language, and 4) the following statements of choice:  

"I vote for this amendment
I vote against this amendment"

f. Voting on a referendum to amend or rescind a senate action shall be on ballots that are certifiable as official but do not require the signatures of the voters. The results of the referendum shall be published promptly and be binding upon the senate.

2. An advisory referendum on an issue of concern to the faculty shall be conducted by the Senate Election Committee if it is 1) requested by the chancellor, 2) petitioned by one third of the members of the senate, or, 3) petitioned by 20% of the faculty, and conducted under the following conditions:  

a. The petition and the ballot for the referendum must clearly designate the referendum as advisory and indicate the person, body or authority to be advised. The request or petition must state the referendum issue in the form that it will appear on the referendum ballot. The senate shall certify the ballots and publish the results.

H. Faculty Standing Committees  

1. All faculty standing committees shall be responsible to the chancellor of the university through the Faculty Senate and their recommendations shall be subject to review by the senate.

2. Among the bylaws of the Faculty Senate shall be those governing the composition, organization and responsibility of faculty standing committees.

3. When an ad hoc university committee is formed outside the senate, for whatever reason, faculty representation on such a committee shall be named or approved by the Senate Executive Committee, or the senate as a whole.

V.  Amendments to these articles may be adopted at any meeting of the general university faculty by a majority vote of those present provided that any proposed amendment has been approved at a Faculty Senate meeting, has been distributed to the faculty at least one week prior to the general faculty meeting and has been subsequently approved by the chancellor of the university.

VI.  Amendments to the bylaws and policies may be adopted at any regular senate meeting by a two-thirds vote provided than any proposed amendment has been read at the preceding regular meeting.

VII. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern all meetings of the general university faculty.

VIII. Meetings of the general university faculty may be called by the chancellor and/or the senate.