University Senate Bylaws

1. Organization

Article 1.0  For the purposes of these bylaws, "faculty" means full-time teaching, research, and library staff holding the rank of instructor, language teacher, or above, with regular appointments as defined by the AUC Faculty Handbook.

Article 1.1  Senators shall be elected before May for two-year terms that begin September 1 and end August 31.  In the event that a senator resigns, the constituency concerned shall be asked to return another senator to fill the remainder of the term.  Department chairs and/or unit heads are responsible for ensuring that elections are held.  Elections to senate offices are carried out before the end of the academic year by continuing and newly-elected senators.  There shall be no substitutes or proxies in place of absent senators.  Senators who go on leave shall be considered to have resigned, and the constituency that elected them shall return a replacement for the remainder of their term.  All duly elected senators shall be voting members of the University Senate. 

Article 1.2  Full-time faculty members of each academic department, non-teaching academic unit, and SCE shall return two senators.  Departments with nine or fewer full-time faculty members and the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies shall return one senator.  Faculty members must have served a minimum of two consecutive years at AUC before election. At least one of the faculty members returned by departments that are eligible to return two senators and have faculty with tenure or who are senior instructors must be tenured or at one of the two senior instructor ranks.  Otherwise, such departments shall return only one senator. Senate membership includes one Senator elected at-large from each of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Business, the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Continuing Education and the Academy of Liberal Arts. At-large Senators are elected at the last general faculty meeting of the academic year, with nominees restricted to their respective schools, but with all full-time faculty members eligible to vote.

Article 1.3  Only seven students will serve on the University Senate to include a student from the Graduate Student Association, and an international student.  The remaining students will represent different schools and elected bodies, in accordance with the guidelines of the Office of Student Development.  The nominations will be communicated to the University Senate through the Office of Student Development.

Article 1.4 The University Staff through the HR office shall provide two senators according to established election procedures.

Article 1.5  The University President, University Counselor, Executive Vice President for administration and Finance, Vice-President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and Associate Provosts of the University shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the University Senate. The University provost, dean of Libraries and Learning Technologies, dean of graduate studies, dean of undergraduate studies, dean of students and deans of the schools in the academic area shall be ex officio, voting members of the University Senate.

Article 1.6 The University Senate shall elect by majority vote the following officers from its elected membership: a chair, a vice-chair, and a secretary. The chair of the University Senate represents the faculty as a whole in circumstances where that is appropriate.

Article 1.7 An executive committee shall set the time and place of meetings of the University Senate and organize and set the agenda. It shall act for the University Senate as a whole in emergencies between University Senate meetings. The Executive Committee shall also act as a committee on organization and originate all matters pertaining to University Senate organization, bylaws, and operational procedures. Members of the Executive Committee shall be the officers of the University Senate, the chairs of the standing committees, and two additional members elected at large from the membership of the University Senate.

Article 1.8 The University Senate has the following standing committees:

a) The Curriculum Committee, which reviews, approves, and monitors curricula and programs. It is responsible for the contents of the AUC Catalog.

b) The Academic Affairs Committee, which reviews, approves, and monitors standards of research and instruction, policies concerning grading, and other matters pertaining to the academic mission of the University.

c) The Faculty Affairs Committee, which develops, reviews, approves, and monitors policies and other matters relating to all faculty personnel matters. It is responsible for the contents of the faculty handbook.

d) The Student Affairs Committee, which reviews, approves, and monitors policies concerning the admission and academic performance of students. It is responsible for standards for admissions, scholarships, student academic performance, graduation requirements, and honors.

e) The Administrative Affairs Committee, which reviews and monitors matters related to the administration of the University, safety, planning, and practices.

f) The Grievance Committee, which considers grievances as per the Faculty Handbook.

g) The Budget Review Committee, which ensures faculty involvement and consultation in the annual budget preparation process, including communicating to the President and senior administrators the views of the University Senate on major financial, budgetary, and policy issues.

Article 1.9  Consistent with the University Senate’s role as stated in the mission statement of the senate's constitution, the members of the standing committees shall be teaching and research faculty, students and staff where appropriate, and other senators or non-senator student representatives when requested by any standing committee.

Article 1.10  The Executive Committee may, as it deems necessary, establish additional standing committees and standing sub-committees. It may also establish ad hoc committees to address specific issues of concern to the University Senate; these shall have a specified charge and lifetime. The University Senate or any of its committees or sub-committees, at their discretion, may request others to attend their meetings.


2. Operations

Article 2.0  The University Senate shall meet at least monthly during the academic year and shall be in recess during the summer and winter breaks.

Article 2.1  The chair of the University Senate may call emergency meetings, and special meetings may be requested by ten or more senators, by the constituent bodies, or by any of the standing committees.

Article 2.2  The chair of the University Senate may call meetings of the general faculty.  There shall be at least one such meeting in each semester, and others as needed.  Such general meetings of the faculty are a forum for information and discussion rather than for making decisions.

Article 2.3  Each of the University Senate committees and subcommittees shall elect a chair by majority vote.  Chairs of standing committees shall be faculty members who are tenured or have served at least one year on the University Senate. All committees shall schedule their own meetings, and establish their own internal procedures.

Article 2.4  All official deliberations of the University Senate shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, except when covered by a specific bylaw of the University Senate.

Article 2.5  All University Senate meetings are open to the AUC community; proper identification is required. Only senate members can engage in the discussions unless others are invited to participate in the discussion.

Article 2.6  A simple majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum for all meetings of the Senate.  A quorum is necessary to conduct official business.

Article 2.7  Matters submitted to the University Senate are sent to the chair and evaluated by the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee determines whether the matters should be considered by the full University Senate, debated in a standing or ad hoc committee, or disposed of otherwise and informs the University Senate of the action taken.

Article 2.8  All resolutions must be relevant to the functions of the University Senate as defined in the mission statement.  The chair of the University Senate shall make this determination, subject to appeal to the Executive Committee.

Article 2.9  All committee resolutions shall be submitted to the University Senate via the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee shall place those resolutions which it believes require the endorsement of the full University Senate on the senate’s agenda for approval.  The University Senate shall be informed of all Executive Committee resolutions not placed on the agenda and may overrule Executive Committee decisions with a two-thirds majority of members present.

Article 2.10  The Executive Committee, in its role as an organization committee, nominates representatives of the University Senate to serve on non-senate committees or in individual posts when required and shall inform the University Senate of all such nominations.

Article 2.11  The outgoing University Senate Executive Committee shall meet after the spring elections and make committee assignments for the following year.  It shall take into consideration such factors as past experience, the preference of the senator, and the need for balanced and well-structured committees.

Article 2.12  University Senate resolutions take effect at the beginning of the academic year following adoption by the University Senate and approval by the president unless specified otherwise.

Article 2.13  Senators may only be nominated for University Senate offices or places on committees if present at the meeting at which the relevant elections take place unless they have previously communicated a willingness to be nominated.

Article 2.14  Except for emergency meetings, members shall be notified in writing within one week before any scheduled or non-scheduled meeting.  The notification shall normally include an agenda and relevant documents.

Article 2.15  The University Senate affirms that each department of the university shall establish procedures for self-governance based on the participation of the faculty.


3. Amendments

Article 3.0  Proposals for amendments to the bylaws of the University Senate may be initiated by the chair of the Senate or by a written petition of at least four senators.  The chair of the University Senate shall distribute proposed amendments at the next regular meeting of the senate.  Proposed amendments must be ratified by an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of all voting members of the University Senate present.