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1580 - Bylaws of Faculty Senate


  • Position: Faculty Secretary
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Last updated: July 01, 2019

PREAMBLE: This section contains the bylaws of Faculty Senate which serve to expand on Article V of the Faculty Constitution (1520). This section first appeared in the 1979 edition of the Handbook and has remained substantially the same, minor title changes aside, ever since. In January 2010 the Faculty Council changed its name to Faculty Senate. In 2011 the requirements for publishing senate meeting minutes were revised to reflect changes in publishing processes across the university. In July 2012 the election process for the graduate student representative on Senate was clarified. In July 2013 the Faculty Senate's membership was increased again by one member to represent the Student Bar Association. In July 2015 Faculty Senate member's term was expanded allowing an additional term. In July 2019 changes were made to reflect the restructure of the Faculty Secretary position. For further information, contact the Office of the Faculty Secretary (208-885-6151). (ed. 7-11, rev. 7-10, 7-11, 7-12, 7-13, 7-15, 7-19)


Article I. Function and Membership
Article II. Duties of Officers
Article III. Terms of Office
Article IV. Election of Officers
Article V. Meetings
Article VI. Student Members
Article VII. Executive Committee
Article VIII. Other Committees

ARTICLE I--FUNCTION AND MEMBERSHIP. The function and membership of the Faculty Senate are as provided in the constitution of the university faculty. (See 1520 I-3 and V.) (ed. 7-10)


Section 1. Chair. The chair shall: preside at meetings of the senate; appoint the secretary, subject to confirmation by the senate; appoint special or ad hoc committees in consultation with the senate; maintain lines of communication between the senate and the president, between the senate and the university faculty, and between the senate and the Staff Affairs Committee; serve as a member ex officio without vote of all committees and similar bodies under the jurisdiction of the university faculty; and perform all other duties pertaining to the office of chair. Given the nature of leadership responsibilities and time requirements of this position, it is UI administrative policy that the chair is given the opportunity for release time of up to one course per semester, or equivalent. (ed. 7-10)

Section 2. Vice Chair. The vice chair shall: assume the duties and responsibilities of the chair in the temporary absence or disability of the chair; serve as chair of the Committee on Committees; and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the chair or by the senate. (ed. 7-10)

Section 3. Secretary. The faculty secretary shall be the secretary to the faculty senate and shall maintain minutes and assume other responsibilities aset forth in FSH 1570. (ed. 7-97, 7-10, rev. 7-11, 7-19)


Section 1. Members. The terms of office for members of the senate are as provided in the constitution of the university faculty (1520 V-4) and in accordance with these bylaws. (ed. 7-10)

Section 2. Officers. The term of office for officers of the senate is one year, beginning on September 1 or on the official opening date of the academic year, whichever is earlier. No member may serve as chair more than two consecutive one-year terms. (ed. 7-10)

Section 3. Members Completing Unexpired Terms. A member who has been elected or appointed to complete the unexpired term of another member and has served more than half of that term will be considered to have served one full term (see FSH 1520 V-4 - Terms of Office). (ed. 7-10, rev. 7-15)


Section 1. Nomination. Each spring, as soon as practicable following the appointment and election of new members of the senate, the president of the university or the president's designated representative calls and presides at a meeting of those who will be members during the ensuing year for the purpose of nominating candidates for the offices of chair and vice chair. Nominations are by secret ballot, and no other official business is transacted at this meeting. (ed. 7-10)

Section 2. Election. Not less than three days following the nominating meeting referred to in section 1, above, the president or the president's designated representative calls and presides at a second meeting of the same group for the purpose of electing the chair and the vice chair for the ensuing term. No other official business is transacted at this meeting. The requirement that there be no less than three days between the two meetings may be suspended only by the unanimous consent of the members in attendance. The procedures for the election are as follows:

Clause A. Additional Nominations. Before balloting begins for each office, additional nominations may be made for that office.

Clause B. Procedure for Balloting. Elections for officers of the senate are by secret ballot, and a majority of all votes cast is necessary for election, a quorum being present (see V-3). In the event that more than two candidates are nominated for either office and none receives a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot, balloting continues with the name of the candidate receiving the fewest votes being dropped from the ballot after each vote. In the event that there is no candidate with the fewest votes, balloting continues with all names included until such time as a candidate receives a majority of votes (in which case he or she is declared elected) or until a candidate receives the fewest votes (in which case his or her name is dropped from the ballot and the balloting continues). (ed. 7-97, 7-10)


Section 1. Regular Meetings. The senate determines the time and place for its regular meetings. (ed. 7-10)

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the senate may be called at any time by the chair. Such meetings must be called upon the request of the president of the university or the president's designated repre­sentative. Meetings may be convened by 35 percent of the voting membership with a three-day written notice to all members. (ed. 7-10)

Section 3. Quorum. A quorum is half of the voting members of the senate, including half of the elected membership. (ed. 7-10)

Section 4. Agenda. The chair is responsible for the agenda and causes it to be issued at least one day before each regular meeting. Notice of special meetings may be given orally, provided each member so notified is informed of the purpose of the special meeting.

Section 5. Order of Business. The usual order of business for regular meetings is: (a) approval of the minutes of the previous meeting; (b) communications; (c) committee reports; (d) special orders; (e) unfinished business and general orders; and (f) new business.

Section 6. Communications. Communications that require action by the senate should be furnished in sufficient quantity to provide one copy for each member of the senate and five copies for the secretary. (ed. 7-10)

Section 7. Alternates. Alternates participate in meetings of the senate only as permitted by the constitution of the university faculty (see 1520 V-7). This rule does not preclude a member from having another person attend the meeting in his or her stead as an auditor. (ed. 7-10)

Section 8. Policy Actions. Before each regular meeting of the senate, the agenda for that meeting is to be published on the Faculty Senate website. The website shall include the number, if any, and the title of each agenda item involving the formulation or substantive change of policy and also include a link to the proposed redline document. Final action may not be taken on any such item unless it has been included in an agenda previously published on the website and distributed electronically to all senators (preferably the Friday before the meeting, but no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting, see Section 4 above); this requirement for prior notice may be suspended only in emergencies and with approval by a two-thirds vote of the senate members in attendance at a meeting, a quorum being present. (ed. 7-97, 7-10, rev. 7-11)

Section 9. Motions. Motions involving the formulation or change of policy should be in writing and handed to the secretary. The minutes are to show the names of the person making a motion and of the seconder.

Section 10. Record of Attendance. The minutes are to show the names of members attending and of those absent from meetings.

Section 11. Voting. Voting on motions is by raising a hand. Proxy votes are not allowed. (According to a standing rule of the senate, the chair does not ask how many members abstained from voting on a particular motion, and abstentions are not recorded in the minutes unless a member requests that his or her abstention be recorded.) (ed. 7-10)

Section 12. Open Meetings. The university faculty's general regulations governing committee meetings, including meetings of the Faculty Senate, are contained in FSH 1620. (ed. 7-10)

Section 13. Publication of Minutes. The complete text or a summary of the approved minutes of meetings of the senate is published on the Faculty Senate website and sent electronically to senate members at least one day before the meeting at which they will be ratified. (ed. 7-97, 7-10, rev. 7-11)


Section 1. Qualifications. The two undergraduate-student representatives must have completed at least 26 credits at UI before taking office and must be full-time students as defined in the catalog (regulation O-1). The graduate-student representative must be regularly enrolled in a program leading to an advanced degree.

Section 2. Terms of Office. Student members are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for reelection for a second term.

Section 3. Election. The election of the two undergraduate-student representatives to serve on the senate is entrusted to the ASUI Senate. The election of one graduate-student representative is entrusted to the Graduate and Professional Student Association. The election of one law-student representative is entrusted to the Student Bar Association. (ed. 7-10, rev. 7-12, 7-13)

Section 4. Vacancies. Vacancies occurring in student positions are filled by the ASUI and GPSA as appropriate. (rev. 7-12)


Section 1. Function. The function of the Executive Committee is to act for the senate on emergency matters when the senate will not be in regular session for a period of more than two weeks and a quorum cannot easily be convened. The Executive Committee reports to and is subject to the orders of the senate, and the senate retains the authority to review actions of the Executive Committee. (ed. 7-10)

Section 2. Structure and Quorum. The Executive Committee is made up of such members of the senate as are present at a meeting called upon 36 hours' written or oral notice. Seven voting members of the senate constitute a quorum for meetings of the Executive Committee. (ed. 7-1)

Section 3. Officers. The officers of the senate also serve as the officers of the Executive Committee.  In the absence or incapacity of both the chair and the vice chair, the members of the Executive Committee attending the meeting designate a chair pro tempore. (ed. 7-10)

Section 4. Call of Meetings. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called on 36 hours' notice by the chair or vice chair or by the president of the university or the president's designee.


Section 1. Authority of the Faculty Senate. Under the authority of the constitution of the university faculty, the senate has the responsibility to establish and maintain all university-wide and interdivisional standing and special committees, except those specifically reserved to the president. (See 1420 A-1-c and 1520 IV-11.) (ed. 7-00, 7-10)

Section 2. General Regulations. The general regulations governing committees, as adopted by the senate and the university faculty, are contained in 1620. (ed. 7-10)


ARTICLE X--AMENDMENTS. These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the university faculty, as defined in the constitution of the university faculty (see 1520 II-1), in attendance at a regular meeting, a quorum being present. Amendments that conflict with any provision of the constitution of the university faculty or with regents' policies are without effect. Proposed amendments must have been published in full in the agenda at least one week before the meeting of the university faculty or presented in writing at a meeting previous to the one at which the vote is to be taken.

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