1.15. Bylaws of the Faculty Association

1.15 Bylaws of the Faculty Association

1.15.1 Article I—Membership Section 1—Eligibility

The following individuals shall be eligible for membership in the Association:

  • Full–time faculty, including academic Department Heads, holding academic rank of instructor or above and subject to the provisions of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System tenure policy, excluding those whose functions are primarily administrative.

A two–thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Senate shall be required to grant eligibility in cases of uncertainty. Section 2—Ineligibility

Persons holding the following positions are excluded from membership:

  • The Director of the Library, Assistant Director of the Library, Associate Director of the Library, Assistant Deans, Associate Deans, Acting Deans, and Deans;
  • Any individual reporting to a Vice President or the President;
  • Exclusions to membership listed in Article I, Section 2a and 2b supersede any entitlement to membership listed in Article I, Section 1 above. Section 3—Committee Appointments

Faculty members appointed to committees must be association members.  For purposes of appointment to committees, faculty who also serve as assistant or associated deans in smaller academic units, units of less than 10 faculty, may be allowed to serve on Academic or University Standing Committees as determined by the Senate in advanced of the committee appointment on a case by case basis.

1.15.2 Article II—Meetings of the Association Section 1—Regular Meetings

The President of the Senate shall preside at a minimum of one meeting of the Association to be held each spring for purposes of reporting on Senate action, to solicit comments from Association members, and to conduct Association business. Business may be conducted by the Association provided there is a quorum of twenty–five (25) percent of the membership of the Association. The meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition. Section 2—Special Meetings

The President of the Senate presides at special meetings of the Association. Special meetings of the Association may be called by the Senate or by petition of ten (10) percent of the Association membership. These meetings require a written notice to the membership, including agenda, at least five (5) working days before any meeting. Business may be conducted by the Association provided there is a quorum of fifty (50) percent of the membership of the Association. The meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition. Section 3—Notice of Meetings

Notice for Association meetings shall be given a minimum of five (5) class days in advanced of a meeting.  If a meeting is called with required notice, but business cannot be conducted due to lack of quorum, the by-law requirement of a minimum of one association meeting per year shall have been satisfied.

1.15.3 Article III—Senate Membership Section 1—Eligibility

Senate membership shall be limited to Association members. Section 2—Representation

The College of  Sciences and Technology, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Nursing, the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, and the Library shall hereinafter be referred to as electing units. The number of Senators from each electing unit shall be based on the number of Association members, including those on leave or sabbatical, in the electing unit according to the following formula:

  • One (1) through six (6) Association members shall have one (1) Senator;
  • Seven (7) through fifteen (15) Association members shall have two (2) Senators;
  • Sixteen (16) through thirty (30) Association members shall have three (3) Senators;
  • Thirty–one (31) through forty–five (45) Association members shall have four (4) Senators;
  • Forty–six (46) through sixty (60) Association members shall have five (5) Senators;
  • Sixty–one (61) through seventy–five (75) Association members shall have six (6) Senators;
  • Seventy–six (76) through ninety (90) Association members shall have seven (7) Senators;
  • Ninety–one (91) through one hundred and five (105) Association members shall have eight (8) Senators;
  • One hundred and six (106) through one hundred and twenty (120) Association members shall have nine (9) Senators
  • One hundred and twenty–one (121) through one hundred and thirty–five (135) Association members shall have ten (10) Senators

This apportionment formula shall continue to provide for an additional Senate representative for every 1-14 members above the previously stated highest number of Association members in the electing unit.  Implementation of the above apportionment formula for Senate membership shall be based on Association membership on March 1 of each year.

Senate membership shall be staggered so that approximately one–half (1/2) of the Senators’ terms shall expire each year. Electing units shall ensure that approximately one–half (1/2) of their Senators’ terms will expire in a given year. Section 3—Term of Service

Senators shall be elected for terms of two (2) years. Section 4—Resignations

Senators unwilling or unable to complete terms of service must submit letters of resignation to the Senate Executive Committee. Section 5—Recall

Senators not considered to be performing duties satisfactorily may be recalled by two–thirds (2/3) vote of their electing unit. Recall shall be initiated upon a petition signed by twenty–five (25) percent, but not fewer than five members, of the electing unit, or by a petition signed by two–thirds (2/3) members of the Faculty Senate and submitted to the Association members of the electing unit for a recall vote. Senators who miss fifty percent (50%) of Senate meetings within one academic year may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Senate Executive Committee. Section 6—Vacancies

In the event a Senate seat becomes vacant the electing unit shall hold a special election whereby the elected alternate shall serve the remainder of the term.

1.15.4 Article IV—Election of Senators Section 1—Eligibility

Any member of the Association is eligible for election to the Senate. Section 2—Voting Privileges

All members of the Association are eligible to vote for Senators. Faculty who have duties within two electing units shall be eligible to vote only in the unit of their primary curriculum designation. Section 3—Election

  • Each electing unit shall be responsible for conducting an election of its Senators in accordance with uniform guidelines established by the Committee on Committees.
  • A form for nominations shall be forwarded to every Association member of an electing unit in which a vacancy occurs during the month of February each year.
  • Both nominator and nominee shall confirm the nomination to the Committee on Committees.
  • The election of Senators shall be by ballot or voting machine under the supervision of the Committee on Committees.
  • In the event of only one (l) candidate for a given Senate seat, no ballot is required.
  • No more than two (2) Senators from one department of any electing unit shall be elected to the Senate.
  • Regular elections of Senators shall take place in March of each year. Newly elected Senators will attend the April meeting as observers and will be installed at the May meeting of the Senate.
  • Upon ratification of these Bylaws, electing units that increase their number of representatives shall hold an election before October 15, to fill these additional seats. Currently elected senators shall continue to serve the duration of their established term of office. Each electing unit will establish appropriate terms of office for its additional representatives, not to exceed two (2) years so that the term of office of approximately half of each electing unit’s total senators will expire each year. Section 4—Special Elections

A special election shall be called within twenty (20) semester class days of a vacancy to fill an unexpired term.

1.15.5 Article V—Duties of Senators

Senators, as elected representatives to the Senate and its committees, are responsible for initiating, reviewing, and recommending policies affecting all segments of the University. Senators are responsible for being diligent and informed concerning all issues they may act upon and shall be available not only to their constituents, but also to all members of the University community. Information may be disseminated through a Senate newsletter. Additionally, Senators are empowered by majority vote of the Senate to affirm, amend, remand, or reverse any recommendations made by committees reporting to or through the Senate.

1.15.6 Article VI—Officers and Their Duties Section 1—Officers

The elected officers of the Senate shall be the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Parliamentarian. These officers and the chairs of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate. Section 2—Term of Service

Officers of the Senate shall serve for one (l) year terms. Section 3—President of the Senate

The PRESIDENT shall be the chief executive officer presiding at Senate, Association, and Senate Executive Committee meetings. The President shall prepare an agenda for Senate meetings, maintain close liaison with the University Administration, and act as the official voice of the Senate. Section 4—Vice President of the Senate

The VICE PRESIDENT shall assume the duties of the President in the latter’s absence and shall oversee the activities of Senate Committees, Academic Standing Committees, and the University Standing Committees to ensure that they are functioning properly. Section 5—Recording Secretary

The RECORDING SECRETARY shall take roll at each meeting; record minutes of all meetings; disseminate minutes of previous meetings to Senate members, head of each electing unit for access to Association members, University and Academic Standing and Faculty Senate Standing Committees Chairs, University Vice Presidents, the President, and University Archives at least one week before the next meeting; keep a registry of the members of the Senate and the respective electing units which they represent; maintain an up–to–date roster of all committees; and publish an agenda at least five (5) working days before each meeting. Section 6—Corresponding Secretary

The CORRESPONDING SECRETARY shall be responsible for all Association and Senate correspondence, shall maintain a permanent file of incoming and outgoing communication, and shall keep a record of all monies received and spent. Section 7—Parliamentarian

The PARLIAMENTARIAN shall advise the Senate President to ensure that all Senate and Association meetings conform to Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition) and these Bylaws. In the event of a discrepancy between Robert’s Rules of Order and these Bylaws, the Bylaws will prevail.

1.15.7 Article VII—Elections of Senate Officers Section 1—Eligibility

Any elected member of the Senate who has served as Senator at least one year during the previous ten (10) years may be elected to the office of President. Any elected member of the Senate may hold the office of Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Parliamentarian. Section 2—Nominations

Nominations shall be made from the floor with consent of the nominee at the last meeting of the academic year after the newly elected Senators have been installed. Section 3—Voting

Voting shall be by secret ballot. Election for President will be conducted by the outgoing President. In case of a tie or the failure of one candidate to receive a majority, additional secret ballots shall be cast until a single candidate receives a majority of votes. In the event more than two persons are running for office and no candidate receives a majority vote, a run–off election will be held between the two candidates receiving the most votes in the first election. In the case of an uncontested candidate, the election shall be by voice vote. Section 4—Assumption of Duties

Officers shall assume the duties of their offices at the meeting following their election and shall continue in office unless they resign or until replaced at the next election of officers. Section 5—Unexpired Terms

An unexpired term of a Senate officer shall be filled by election from the Senate membership at the next regular meeting of the Senate in compliance with this Article.

1.15.8 Article VIII—Faculty Senate Meetings Section 1—Regular Meetings

The day and time of Senate meetings will be established at the first regular meeting of each Fall and Spring semester.  It shall meet at least seven (7) times during each academic year, with no two meetings held within the same month, unless this schedule is precluded by extraordinary conditions such as prolonged University closures. In such instances the Senate will, as quickly as feasible, vote on an amended schedule Section 2—Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Senate may be called by the President of the Senate or upon the request of a simple majority of the Senate. Such meetings shall require delivery of written notification a minimum twenty–four (24) hours in advance. Notification will also be provided to Association members through their electing units. The call for special meetings must include the campus location, date, time, and an agenda. The Senate shall have the authority to perform any action it would ordinarily perform in a regular meeting. Section 3—Summer Meetings

Summer meetings may be called according to the provisions of Article VIII, Section 2. Section 4—Quorum

A simple majority of the members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum authorized to transact any business duly presented at any meeting of the Senate except as otherwise stipulated in the document. A senator who is on leave for one semester shall not be counted for determining quorum and a senator who is on leave for a year or longer will be replaced. Section 5—Agenda

  • The regular order of business of the Senate shall be the agenda prepared by the Executive Committee of the Senate. Any member of the Senate may move to suspend the rules so that the Senate may consider any item on the agenda out of its scheduled order. Items not on the published agenda will be considered only if approved by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting.
  • Items submitted in writing by a Senator to the Executive Committee before the formulation of the agenda for the next meeting shall be included on the agenda. Requests for reconsideration of any business may be submitted at the discretion of the Executive Committee or by a two–thirds (2/3) vote of the senators present and voting. Chairs of the Academic Standing Committees which report to the Senate will submit written reports indicating to the Executive Committee information and action items. These reports will be attached to the agenda.
  • Association members should submit agenda items to a Senator for consideration as stated in Article VIII, Section 5b. The President may invite Association members submitting agenda items to address the Senate. Section 6—Senate Meeting Participation

Association members may address the Senate at the discretion of the President. Permission to speak will be at the discretion of the President. An Association member who is denied permission to speak may appeal to the Senate for a majority vote to override the President’s decision. Appeals must be heard at the time the request is denied, and the appeal shall be non–debatable. Only one appeal may be made by an Association member for the same agenda item. Non–members of the Association may submit in writing to the President a request to participate in discussion on any item announced in the published agenda of any meeting of the Senate. The President may also invite non–members of the Association to address the Senate as necessary. Section 7—Committee Business

Motions relating to recommendations of a Faculty Senate Standing Committee shall be disposed of during a portion of the meeting reserved for committee reports. Section 8—Voting Procedures

    1. All Senators, including the President, serve as representatives of their colleagues with one vote. In areas of direct conflict of interest, Senators shall recuse themselves.
    2. Voting on the floor of the Senate shall be by voice vote except for election of officers. Any member of the Senate may call for a division of the house.
    3. In counting votes, affirmatives are counted first, negatives second, and abstentions third.
    4. Any motion of the Senate may be referred by the Senate to the membership of the Association for action upon a majority vote of the Senate.
  • At no time will proxy voting be allowed. Section 9—Veto Power

The Association may have veto power over any action taken by the Senate using the following procedures:

  1. Veto proceedings may be initiated by any association member by presenting to the Senate veto petition signatures from 20 percent of the total Association membership.
  2. Pursuant to the veto proceeding, a veto shall require the same percentage vote of the membership of the Association (either 2/3 of the Association or a simple majority) as was required for the Senate action in question.

1.15.9 Article IX—Committees Section 1—Faculty Senate Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

  • The authorized Faculty Senate Standing Committees reporting to the Senate are the Executive Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the Faculty Welfare Committee. The purpose, membership, duties/responsibilities of these committees are found in Section 1.13.4 of this Manual and are incorporated by reference into these Bylaws.
  • The Senate shall have the authority to form additional Faculty Senate Standing or ad hoc committees as deemed necessary.
  • The Senate may assign such duties and responsibilities to these committees which it deems necessary and which are consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.
  • No Senate member may serve on more than two (2) Faculty Senate Standing Committees at any one time. Section 2—Committee Procedures

All standing committees shall follow the general operating procedures of the Nicholls State University Governance Structure document, which are detailed in Section 1.13.1 of this Manual. Section 3—Additional Duties and Procedures of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall

  • Consider matters within the jurisdiction of the Senate and provide for its leadership. The Committee shall provide the Recording Secretary with an agenda which will be distributed to persons designated to receive minutes in Article VI, Section 5 of these Bylaws;
  • Assign matters to appropriate committees for their consideration, receive reports from these committees, and interpret the Constitution and Bylaws;
  • Recommend to the Senate changes in committee structure or changes to the Constitution or Bylaws;
  • Meet as needed with the call of the President of the Senate, or two (2) members of the Executive Committee. Section 4—Academic Standing Committees Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs through the Faculty Senate

Authorized committees reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs through the Senate are:

    • Academic Policies and Standards Committee
    • Courses and Curricula Committee
    • Research Council
    • Library Committee

The purpose, membership, duties, and procedures of these Academic Standing Committees are found in Section titled Academic Standing Committees of this Manual Section and are incorporated by reference in these Bylaws.

Any modifications to the purpose, membership, duties, and procedures of the Academic Standing Committees reporting to or through the Senate shall be mutually agreed upon by a simple majority vote of the Senate and the President of the University.

1.15.10 Article X—Amendments Section 1—Bylaw Revisions

Amendments of these Bylaws may be made provided they are consistent with the Constitution.

Amendments may be initiated by either a simple majority vote of the Senate or by a petition signed by twenty (20) percent of the Association membership.

Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing at the regular meeting preceding that at which the vote will be taken. Section 2—Ratification of Proposed Amendments

The Executive Committee of the Senate shall review amendments to the Bylaws to assure consistency with the Constitution. If not consistent, amendments will be returned to the Senate with the inconsistency noted for reconsideration.

Ratification of proposed amendments shall require a 2/3 majority vote of the full Senate who are present provided there is a quorum.


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