Faculty Senate Constitution
National Park College
Adopted October 26, 2012
Article I. Name, Membership, and Purpose
- Section 1 – Name. The name of this organization will be the National Park College Faculty Senate.
- Section 2 – Membership. Faculty membership, for purpose of representation in faculty governance, includes all full-time and part-time instructors of secondary and post-secondary courses with a faculty contract as designated by National Park College and, additionally, all professional librarians and adult education instructors.
- Section 3 – Purpose. As the faculty members recognize that providing for another individuals education is a great responsibility, the purposes of this Faculty Senate are to facilitate communication across the campus by providing a forum for reasoned discussion on all matters relating to academics and to encourage a significant contribution by the faculty in the shared governance of the campus. As the voice of the faculty, the Faculty Senate will provide informed advice on academic and instructional matters and will represent the needs of faculty to the campus community.
Article II. Organization
- Section 1 – Meetings. The Faculty Senate will meet on the second Friday of every month during the academic year at 12:00 p.m. at a location to be secured by the Chair of the Senate unless otherwise agreed upon by unanimous consent of the Senate. The Chair of the Senate can call a special meeting of the Faculty Senate as needed with appropriate notice.
- Section 2 – Quorum. A quorum will consist of two-thirds of the Senators.
- Section 3 – Representation. Each academic division will be represented by one Senator chosen
from among that division's faculty membership. Senators have the responsibility to
represent their division's interests and to share information with their division's
faculty as defined in Article I, Section 2.
- In addition, a professional librarian will serve on the Senate in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity. As members of the faculty, the professional librarians can vote for officers and serve as officers.
- The Executive Vice President of the campus may participate in Senate meetings in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity.
- Adult Basic Education faculty will share representation with the Secondary Education faculty.
- Section 4 – Officers. The officers of the Faculty Senate will be the Chair of the Senate, the Chair-Elect, and the Past Chair. These officers form the Senate's Executive Committee.
- Section 5 – Terms of Office.
- Senators. Senators will serve two-year terms. The term of a new Senator begins with the fall semester of the academic year.
- Officers. Officers will serve a three-year term beginning as the Chair-Elect of the Senate and ending as the Past Chair of the Senate. The full-time faculty member elected to the Chair-Elect position will hold that position for the first year of service. In his or her second year of service, the faculty member will become the Chair of the Senate. In the third year of service, the faculty member will serve as the Past Chair of the Senate.
- Exclusions. Division Chairs are both faculty and administrators. Because of their unique role and duties, they are excluded from service as a Senator or as an officer of the Senate. They may, however, vote for these positions and work with the Faculty Senate to pursue faculty goals.
- An out-going Past Chair must wait one year before seeking the position of Chair-Elect.
- Section 6 – Election Guidelines
- Election of Senators. Each academic division will select its Senator from among the faculty within that division as per whatever means the division deems appropriate so long as voting is done by impartial, secret ballot. Candidates receiving a plurality of votes cast will be declared the winner of said election. Senators should be selected by the last week in March at the end of the sitting Senator's term.
- Election of Officers. During the last week of March in each academic year, the faculty will elect the Chair-Elect of the Senate via a secret ballot. Any member of the faculty may nominate a full-time faculty member to serve as Chair-Elect so long as the nominee has expressed a willingness to serve in this role. The Past Chair of the Senate will oversee the management of an impartial, secret voting process. The candidate receiving a plurality of votes cast will be declared the winner of said election.
- Elections Timeline. The results of all elections will be shared with the Past Chair of the Senate no later than the first week of April. The Past Chair will report election results for all Senators and the Chair-Elect at the Senate's next monthly meeting and then distribute the results to the campus community via appropriate means.
- Necessity for Additional Rules. Election rules and procedures not covered in this constitution will be made by a majority vote of the Faculty Senate as necessary.
- Section 7 – Removal and Recall
- Removal of a Senator. The Faculty Senate has the authority to expel a Senator for consistent nonattendance, disorderly behavior, misconduct, and/or failure to fulfill the duties of the position. Such action can be taken only after giving notice to the academic division that removal is under consideration. A two-thirds majority of Senators is required to remove a member of the Faculty Senate. After removal, the academic division will elect a new Senator to complete the remainder of removed Senator's term.
- Recall of a Senator. Senators are subject to recall by their respective academic division following a petition signed by twenty-five percent of the division's faculty presented to the Chair of the Senate. Upon receipt of the petition, the Chair of the Senate will inform the academic division to organize for purposes of a recall election at which time the sitting Senator will either retain the seat or be replaced by a new Senator through a plurality vote. If a new Senator is chosen, the newly elected Senator will immediately serve out the remainder of the removed Senator's term.
- Removal of an Officer. An officer of the Senate can be removed by the Senate for consistent nonattendance, disorderly behavior, misconduct, and/or failure to fulfill the duties of the position. To remove an officer, two-thirds of the Senators must vote "no confidence." If two-thirds of the Senate votes "no confidence," the officer is immediately removed and the vacancy will be filled following the procedures set forth in Article II, Section 8B.
- Section 8 – Vacancies
- Senators. If a vacancy occurs for any reason during an academic year, the Faculty Senate will refer the matter to the affected academic division to fill the vacancy immediately.
- Officers. If a vacancy occurs for any reason during the academic year for the position of the Chair-Elect or Past Chair, the Senate will solicit nominations for a replacement from the faculty via their academic divisions. A replacement for the vacant position will then be chosen by a majority vote of the Senate from among the nominees. If the first ballot does not yield a majority winner, balloting will continue until one nominee receives the majority vote. The winner is immediately installed to complete the term of the vacant officer.
- If the vacancy occurs in the Chair of the Senate, the Chair-Elect will assume the role of Chair, and the above procedures will be followed to select a new Chair-Elect.
Article III. Procedures of the Senate
- Section 1 – Agenda and Conduct of Meetings
- Agenda Items. The Senate's Executive Committee receives all proposed agenda items
for the Senate's consideration. The committee prioritizes the issues that should go
before the Senate or redirects issues unrelated to the Senate's charter to the appropriate
campus official or body for consideration.
- New items can be entertained by the Senate even if they are not on the published agenda. Only Senators can bring new items to the floor of the Senate. Senators can ask for additional testimony and public comment from non-Senate members after recognition by the Chair of the Senate.
- Rules. Faculty Senate meetings will be conducted using Robert's Rules of Order.
- Adopted Motions. In accordance with the duties of the Chair-Elect of the Senate, an adopted motion will be given a title, numbered with reference to the year of adoption, and written clearly to reflect the intent of the Senate's motion. To affirm that the written motion reflects the will of the Senate, the final version of the motion will be signed by the Chair-Elect and the Chair of the Senate.
- The Chair of the Senate will share the signed motion with the Executive Vice President of the college as the official advice of the faculty.
- All adopted motions will be stored publicly for future reference.
- Agenda Items. The Senate's Executive Committee receives all proposed agenda items for the Senate's consideration. The committee prioritizes the issues that should go before the Senate or redirects issues unrelated to the Senate's charter to the appropriate campus official or body for consideration.
- Section 2 – Amendments. This constitution may be amended in the following manner:
- Senate approval. Two-thirds of the Senators must adopt a motion to amend the constitution.
- Faculty approval. The proposed amendment will be announced and shared with the faculty for review ten (10) work days in advance of a special election to amend the constitution. A secret, impartial ballot will be prepared and overseen by the Past Chair. Five (5) work days will be allowed for voting. A simple majority of those members of the faculty that participate in the election is required for the amendment to pass.
- Adopted amendment. Following a successful amending of the faculty constitution, the Chair-Elect of the Senate will draft a new version of the constitution with the amended language for distribution to the faculty and campus community.
- Minor amendments. Minor changes in the constitution for grammatical improvement or changes that reflect a restructuring of the campus organization can be recommended by the Senate Executive Committee and approved by unanimous consent of the Senators. If, at any time, objection rises over whether a proposed change is minor or not, the Senate will adhere to the previously stated amendment process to ensure broad faculty support for the change.
- Section 3 – Standing Committees
- Faculty appointments. The Faculty Senate will appoint full-time faculty members to the standing committees of the campus. The Executive Vice President will appoint faculty members to any ad hoc committees deemed necessary for the operation of the college.
- Procedures for appointments. Senators will be responsible for nominating full-time faculty from their divisions for any openings on the standing committees. Nominees must be approved by a majority of the Senators voting. The Senate will strive to guarantee an even distribution of faculty from each academic division on the standing committees.
- Mission Statements. Each standing committee will prepare a mission statement and share it with the Faculty Senate for publication so that faculty members may determine on which committees they prefer to serve.
- Information Sharing. As all campus committees should share their minutes with the campus, the standing committee minutes will be collected, published, and archived by the Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate.
- Necessity for Additional Rules. Rules and procedures regarding committee service that are not covered in this constitution will be made by a majority vote of the Faculty Senate as necessary.
Article IV. Duties
- Section 1 – Chair of the Senate. The Chair of the Senate will:
- Preside over all meetings of the Faculty Senate.
- Vote only in case of a tie during Senate meetings.
- Call for agenda items at least ten (10) working days prior to all Senate meetings and publish the agenda at least five (5) working days prior to the meeting.
- Encourage communication between faculty members, administrators, staff, and students.
- Inform the Executive Vice President of motions adopted by the Senate within five (5) working days of adoption.
- Serve as the lead contact person for all communication to and from the Senate.
- Meet monthly with the Executive Vice President to discuss faculty related matters. A report of these meetings should be included in the Senate minutes.
- Attend, or appoint a designate to attend, all Board of Trustees meetings.
- Coordinate the Senate Executive Committee meetings and agenda.
- Receive one course release per semester to dedicate time to the functions of this position.
- Section 2 – Chair-Elect of the Senate. The Chair-Elect will:
- Assume the duties of the Chair of the Senate in his/her absence.
- Record, publish, maintain, and archive a file of the minutes and adopted motions for each meeting of the Faculty Senate, the Senate Executive Committee, and any special meeting of the assembled faculty.
- Produce the final form of all approved motions to be sent to the administration. These final documents will be signed by the Chair-Elect and the Chair of the Senate.
- Collect, publish, and archive all minutes from the campus committees as per Article III, Section 3.
- Provide a written summary report of Senate activities during the last meeting of the academic year. The report will include summaries of important issues addressed by the campus committees. This report will be used to develop agenda items for the Faculty Senate in the next academic year.
- Perform duties as assigned by the Chair of the Senate.
- Remain a non-voting member of the Senate unless she or he has assumed the duties of the Chair and must cast a tie-breaking vote.
- Serve on the Executive Committee of the Senate.
- Section 3– Past Chair of the Senate. The Past Chair will:
- Assume the duties of the Chair of the Senate in the absence of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect.
- Act as Parliamentarian of the Senate meetings.
- Manage any financial matters that may arise.
- Perform duties as assigned by the Chair of the Senate.
- Remain a non-voting member of the Senate unless he or she has assumed the duties of the Chair in the absence of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect.
- Serve as elections coordinator for all Senate-related elections, receive nominees for Chair-Elect, coordinate secret ballot elections using appropriate technologies, and inform the Senate of all election results.
- Serve on the Executive Committee of the Senate.
- Section 4– Senators. Each Senator will:
- Attend scheduled Senate meetings. If an absence is unavoidable, the Senator may assign a proxy with voting rights.
- Serve as the contact person for all correspondence between the Senate and their respective academic division. Each Senator has an obligation to keep the academic division informed of activities of the Senate.
Article V. Ratification Process
- Section 1 – Approval. This constitution will become effective at the beginning of the academic year following an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting faculty, review and signature by the President and Executive Vice President of the College, and review by the Board of Trustees.
- Section 2– Prior Governance. At the time of approval, the prior faculty governance system at National Park College will become null and void.
- Section 3– Policy Manual. Upon approval, a copy of the faculty constitution will be added to the current policy manual as an appendix.
President of the College Date
Executive Vice President Date