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Constitution of the University Faculty Senate: Bylaws


1. Senators may succeed themselves in office for a second term but are not eligible for reelection to a third term until a year from the conclusion of their second term of office. There are two exceptions to this two-term limit: 1) when a Senator is elected initially to a term of less than three years to fill a vacated Senate seat, that Senator may serve two full three-year terms following the abbreviated initial term; 2) when a Senator has completed two full-terms, that Senator may be elected to an abbreviated interim third term to temporarily replace another Senator who is on sabbatical, on leave, has left the university, or is generally unable to serve.  An interim term cannot exceed two consecutive academic semesters.

2. a. Members of the Faculty shall have at least one year in residence as a full-time Faculty member in the college which they are to represent to be eligible for the Faculty Senate. At least  one half of the Senators from a college shall either be tenured or have passed a tenure-like review. The Senate urges the Faculty of each college to elect as Senators only those full-time faculty who have no major academic administrative appointments (e.g. Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, or those with similar titles and roles). This recommendation specifically does not exclude those faculty whose primary role is teaching (e.g., department chair, program director, director of graduate programs in a college).

2.b. The Senate must nominate to University-wide or Senate-related committees only those full-time faculty who have no major academic administrative appointments (e.g. Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, or those with similar titles and roles). This recommendation specifically does not exclude those faculty whose primary role is teaching (e.g., department chair, program director, director of graduate programs in a college).

2.c. Non-senator faculty members who serve on a senate committee are expected to:

  • Attend meetings and participate in the work of the committee

Senators, in addition to fulfilling the expectations listed above, are also expected to:

  • Attend full senate meetings
  • Report on senate activities to their own college faculty and collect feedback, such as an advisory vote, on proposals brought before the senate, to report back to the full senate
  • Coordinate with senators from own college to ensure college representation at full senate meetings, and provide proxy votes to another college senator if unable to attend a meeting

Senate committee chairs, in addition to fulfilling the expectations listed above, are also expected to:

  • Set the agenda, record the minutes, and lead the committee meetings
  • Serve on the Senate Executive committee, including monthly meetings, a half-day retreat, and responding to queries from the officers between meetings
  • Report on committee activities at full senate meetings
  • Additional tasks unique to the committee

2.d. Expectations of Senate Officers as a group. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary act as representatives of the Faculty senate. All three officers are expected to:

  • Serve on the Board of Regents, including attending the four sessions per year, plus serving on Regent committees
  • Set yearly senate goals and priorities
  • Meet monthly with the President and the Provost
  • Hold regular meetings of the officers
  • Meet monthly with the deans on the Faculty Senate/ Deans Joint committee
  • Keep the Faculty Senate apprised of goings-on within the University, and bring faculty concerns to the University administration (formerly the responsibility of the Administrative Liaison committee)
  • Serve as chair of a senate committee if necessary

2.e. Expectations of Senate Chair. In addition to fulfilling the expectations listed above, is also expected to:

  • Represent the senate at University functions, beginning with Convocation and continuing regularly throughout the academic year.
  • Setting the agenda for Senate Executive committee meetings and full senate meetings
  • Leading the Senate Executive committee and full senate meetings
  • Respond to requests, concerns, etc. directed to the senate office
  • Running the Senate Executive, full senate, and Senate Deans/Joint committee
  • Supervise senate staff member
  • Manage the Senate budget

2 f, Expectations of Senate Vice-Chair. In addition to fulfilling the expectations listed above, is also expected to:

  • Serve as senate representative at University functions when Chair unable to attend
  • Assist Chair and Secretary as needed

2.g. Expectations of Senate Secretary. In addition to fulfilling the expectations listed above, is also expected to:

  • Responsible for meeting minutes for the Full Senate meetings
  • Assist Chair and Vice Chair as needed

3. Any member of the University community may submit a proposal or request to the Faculty Senate by communicating in writing to the Chair, Vice- Chair, or Secretary of the Faculty Senate. A full-time faculty member doing so should provide an information copy to his/her senator(s).The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall consider all such proposals and requests. Matters falling within the purview of any of the standing or ad hoc committees of the Faculty Senate will immediately be referred to the appropriate committee for study and reporting to the Faculty Senate of a resolution. On all other matters the Executive Committee itself will prepare resolutions to be placed on the agenda under "New Business. "The standing and ad hoc committees of the Faculty Senate shall consider proposals and requests referred to them by the Executive Committee and by the Faculty Senate itself, as well as originating proposals of their own in their several fields, and shall report their findings, together with specific resolutions, to the Faculty Senate for its consideration. Persons who have submitted proposals or requests to the Faculty Senate may be invited to speak before the committee considering the matter.

4. The agenda for each meeting of the Faculty Senate, all committee reports - including resolutions to be presented at that meeting, all resolutions to be presented under new business, and the minutes of the previous meeting - shall, whenever possible, be distributed to the members of the Faculty Senate so that they are available to them by the Friday before the Faculty Senate meeting. The agenda will also be distributed to such members of the University community as may be affected by items thereon. Resolutions and main motions not distributed in accordance with these requirements may be considered by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided the motions do not specifically affect any college with no senators present, except as follows: No vote of the Faculty Senate, having to do with changes of any kind to the Faculty Policy Manual, the Manual of Academic Policies and Procedures, or the Constitution and Bylaws of the University Faculty Senate, may take place at a Faculty Senate meeting unless such changes have been brought to the floor at a prior regular meeting of the Faculty Senate.4.a. Faculty Senate meetings are open to all full-time and part-time (adjunct) faculty. Administrators, staff, and others having proper business with the Faculty Senate may attend meetings as observers, upon invitation of (or approval of petition to) the Chair or the Executive Committee. Observers may not, during the meeting, petition the Faculty Senate Chair for the right to address the Faculty Senate, although the Faculty Senate Chair may invite observers to address the Faculty Senate from the floor on specific points of business. Only elected Senators have voice and voting privileges.4.b. Prior to a Faculty Senate meeting, individuals who wish to address specific points of Faculty Senate business must petition the Chair. The Faculty Senate may also invite guests to address specific points of business.4.c. Any meeting or portion thereof may be closed to all but the Faculty Senate membership by direction of the Chair. A list of significant communications received by the Faculty Senate, including any committee referrals made by the Executive Committee, but excluding items of general distribution or circulation, and excluding committee reports, shall be provided to each senator no later than the beginning of the meeting. The minutes of the meetings of the Faculty Senate shall include the essential business of the Faculty Senate. The sense of the debate shall be recorded unless a senator indicates that he/she wishes to have his/her remarks omitted from the record.

5. The Faculties of any of the component colleges may request (in writing) the Faculty Senate to reconsider action taken by it. Such requests shall be submitted to the Chair, Vice-Chair, or Secretary of the Faculty Senate two weeks in advance of the Faculty Senate meeting at which it is to be reconsidered. The officers shall include the items in the agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting.

6. A special meeting of the Faculty Senate may be called by the President, the Faculty Senate Chair, or at the request of at least three members of the Faculty Senate.

7. The Chair of the Faculty Senate, at the direction of the Faculty Senate, may request the dean of any college to call a general meeting of his/her Faculty to discuss a matter pertinent to that body. The Faculty Senate may request the Chair to call a meeting of full-time University Faculty. Full-time members of the Faculty shall have the right to petition the Faculty Senate to summon a meeting of all full-time faculty of the University of Hartford. The Faculty Senate shall direct the Chair to summon a meeting of the full-time faculty pursuant to the following procedures: -The petition shall be signed by at least twenty-five percent of the full-time Faculty members of the University of Hartford. At least three of the colleges of the University shall be represented among the signatories. Such petition shall clearly state the purpose of the meeting requested. The petition shall be delivered to the Chair, Vice-Chair, or Secretary of the Faculty Senate, or in their absence from the University, to any senator.-Upon receipt of such petition, the Faculty Senate shall meet forthwith, and shall within seven (7) days of the receipt of such petition, summon a Faculty meeting.-Notice of such Faculty meeting, including the text of the petition, notice of date, place, and time of assembly, shall be duly circulated to all eligible Faculty members of the University as soon as possible, and at least forty-eight hours in advance of the time of assembly.-A quorum of the full-time Faculty of the University will consist of fifty percent plus one. The agenda of the meeting shall be defined by the terms of the petition requesting such meeting, except that other resolutions may be presented for consideration, provided such resolution has been duly circulated to all Faculty members at least twenty-four hours prior to the time of the assembly.-Debate on any main motion and its subsidiary amendments shall not exceed one hour.-All questions of substance shall be carried by majority vote. All procedural questions shall be settled, where applicable, by reference to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (10th Edition), except that any procedural rule may be suspended for the duration of the meeting by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty present.-The Chair of the Faculty Senate or, in her/his absence, the Vice-Chair or the Secretary of the Faculty Senate, respectively, shall chair such Faculty meeting.-Any action taken under these requirements shall be recognized as the voice of the entire Faculty and is binding on the Faculty Senate.

8. If a Senator cannot attend a meeting, he/she may give a proxy vote in writing (to be filed with the Secretary) to another Senator from his/her college.

9. A quorum of the Faculty Senate shall consist of the physical presence of a majority of its membership.

10. The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Senators provided that the proposed Bylaws have been introduced at a prior regular meeting of the Faculty Senate.

11. The Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate will be as follows:

  • Awards and Nominations
  • Environmental & Sustainability
  • Executive
  • Faculty Affairs
  • Faculty Diversity
  • Faculty Senate Curriculum
  • Faculty Senate/Deans Joint
  • Student Affairs

With the exception of the Faculty Senate/Deans Joint, each committee should have a representative (preference for senators) from each college. All committee chairs and all members of the executive committee must be senators.

11. a. The Awards and Nominations committee is responsible for the following:

Choosing the recipients of the three awards: the Humphrey Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity, the Roy E. Larsen Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Sustained Service to the University of Hartford. It shall receive nominations and recommend candidates for each award to the University President. Normally the three award recipients from the prior academic year will be invited to serve on this committee.

The committee is also responsible for evaluating all projects and proposals submitted by faculty members seeking Vincent B. Coffin grants. For these grants it shall recommend award in part or in whole the proceeds of the grant to that project (or projects) deemed the most worthy according to the guidelines set forth in the call for applications. Final awards shall be subject to administrative approval. Ideally this committee shall have a representative from each college.

The committee will also serve as the Nominations Committee for Faculty Senate. It will be responsible for the presentation of at least one set of candidates for all elective offices of the Faculty Senate. The committee will be responsible for identifying faculty to serve on university committees when requested. It is the responsibility of the committee to ensure that each candidate it presents is fully aware of the duties and obligations of that position.

11. b. The Environmental & Sustainability Committee serves as a forum for faculty, staff and students to learn and share about issues relating to the campus physical
environment, including long-range planning, research, and policies designed to meet campus sustainability. The chair of this committee will serve as the interface with other University committees focusing upon environmental issues.

  • The Student Government Association (SGA) will be asked to appoint a non-voting member.
  • A member of the University Facilities Department will be asked to join as a non-voting member.

11. c. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary, and chairs of task forces and committees designated by the officers of the Faculty Senate. The past Chair of Faculty Senate may be invited to be a member. Each senator may request to meet with the Executive Committee on specific issues. The purposes of this committee will be to plan and formulate, as needed, the agenda of the regular Faculty Senate meetings, to transact business of an emergency nature when it is not feasible to call a full Faculty Senate meeting, and to interact with the administration of the University on sensitive issues involving confidential information. The Executive Committee shall report in writing to the Faculty Senate on all its activities that do not become Faculty Senate agenda items.

11. d. The Faculty Affairs Committee will promote the general professional development of both the full-time faculty and part-time and adjunct faculty (those hired under F3, G3 and F4 contracts). The committee will:

  • promote excellence in classroom teaching and professional creativity.
  • address the concerns of part-time and adjunct faculty.
  • consider changes in the Faculty Policy Manual (FPM).
  • consider changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.
  • serve as a liaison to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

The chair of this committee will serve on the Part-time teaching award committee.

11. e. The Faculty Diversity Committee shall advise the University on and make recommendations regarding issues of diversity (along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation, and gender) in the academic life of the University. Typical activities of the Committee may include, but shall not be limited to, the following: 1) promote and advocate that the principles of diversity are incorporated into all faculty hiring and promotion decisions; 2) collect and monitor data to identify and promote best practices for faculty development, mentoring, and creation of a nurturing work environment in order to facilitate faculty success at all career levels; 3) promote dialogue within and across colleges regarding the inclusion of diverse perspectives in the curriculum; and 4) encourage the development of programs and events that address issues of diversity.

11. f. The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee is responsible to the Faculty Senate in matters of screening, evaluating, and originating policies pertaining to undergraduate and graduate study within the University. This committee will also monitor Special Topics offerings at all levels.

The Committee shall implement Article II of the Constitution with regard to curriculum and alert the Faculty Senate to any proliferation or duplication of courses. The Committee shall meet regularly to review current curricula and to discuss any proposed changes. Requests for course changes, new courses, program revisions, and new programs shall be reviewed by the Committee before coming to the Faculty Senate.

11. g. The Faculty Senate/Deans' Joint Committee shall serve as the communication link between the Faculty Senate and the academic deans. The committee will consist of the Chair of the Faculty Senate or his/her representative, the Vice-Chair, and the Secretary.

11.h. The Student Affairs Committee is concerned with policies affecting students, both academically and otherwise, at the University of Hartford and with the procedures and regulations for implementing these policies. Matters having to do with the Manual of Academic Policies and Procedures are within the province of this committee. The committee shall serve as the communication link between the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association, the Administration, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.

The committee will administer the University Scholar Program. This includes:

  • announcing and circulating information about the program
  • judging each individual application for the program, considering the feasibility and promise of the proposed project as well as the qualifications of the candidate
  • being present at the final presentation judged by the "master professor" and two additional examiners from the relevant department or departments.

The Student Government Association (SGA) will be asked to appoint a non-voting member.

12. In times of inactivity of a Committee, the Faculty Senate Chair may appoint only a Committee Chair with the agreement of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The Committee Chair, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Chair, shall form the remainder of the Committee during the year as the need arises.

13. The Senate officers shall have the power to act on behalf of the Senate during the period from the day following the last Senate meeting of the academic year in May until the day before the first Senate meeting of the academic year in September.

  • Revised April 25, 1988 (see footnote, pg. 1)
  • Reviewed and Approved March 9, 2004
  • Revised March 8, 2005 (sole change was the removal of "Hartford College for Women" from Article III)
  • Revised May 13, 2008 (Re-structure of Faculty Senate Committees)
  • Revised November 2013 (Addition of 2.b.)
  • Revised May 8, 2014 (Addition of 2.c-2.g, Re-structure of Faculty Senate Committees)
  • Revised November 19, 2015 (Renamed the Bent award to the Humphrey Tonkin award)
  • Revised October 20, 2016 (11.a. Award only Coffin Grants, stop awarding Summer Stipends)
  • Revised and Approved January 26, 2017 (Summer Session Addition of #13)
  • Revised and Approved November 26, 2017 (article #1 Senate terms expanded)
  • Revised and Approved May 15, 2018 (2.a. college representation 50/50 tenure)