Faculty Senate Bylaws
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Seminole State College Faculty Senate.
Article II: Authorization
Section 1. The Faculty Senate is authorized by the Board of Trustees, the President, and the Faculty of Seminole State College.
Section 2. The Board of Trustees, President and/or faculty may review any action taken by the Faculty Senate.
Section 3. Any provision of these Bylaws enacted hereunder, which shall be in conflict with the regulations and statutes controlling activities of the College Administration and Board of Trustees, shall be null and void.
Article III: Purposes
The purposes of the Faculty Senate shall be the following:
- To represent the faculty in matters concerning College academic policies and programs.
- To serve as a channel of communication for the faculty in its relations with the Board of Trustees, the Administration, and the student body.
- To exercise initiative and leadership in fostering professional growth of the faculty and to encourage cooperative efforts toward that end.
- To promote excellence of the educational programs of the College.
Article IV: Membership
Section 1. The voting members of the Faculty Senate shall consist of faculty members, duly elected under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this Article, who meet any one of the following classifications:
- Full-time teaching faculty;
- Librarians classified as faculty;
- Counselors classified as faculty,
- Adjunct teaching faculty not otherwise employed at the College.
Section 2. One Faculty Senate representative shall be elected by faculty members within each of the following areas and academic departments:
- Counseling and Educational Planning
- ELS (ESOL/EAP)
- Adult High School
- Business, Legal, Hospitality, & Entrepreneurship
- Public Safety
- Health Professions & Early Childhood
- Arts & Communication
- Biological Science
- Humanities, History, & Foreign Languages
- Physical Sciences
- Social Science
- Engineering & Computing Technology
- Design & Construction
- Workforce Education
Any time departments are reorganized, each of the new departments will elect a representative to serve until the next regular election for department representatives. The faculty member who had been department representative before the department was reorganized shall continue to serve until the elections take place. Prior to the next election of area representatives, the Senate will approve the revised list of area representatives to be elected. The Senate President will then forward the revisions to the VP for Academic Affairs for approval by executive team. Revision to Senate composition need not adhere to the bylaws amendment process (Article XII).
Section 3. Members-at-large shall be elected in two categories. Seven members-at-large shall be elected by the full-time faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences who are eligible for Senate membership by ballot in Term II. Eight members-at-large shall be elected by the entire full-time faculty who are eligible for Senate membership by ballot in Term II. These eight members-at-large shall be elected from the categories specified in Article IV, Section 1. The total number of members-at-large shall not exceed fifteen.
Section 4. Adjunct teaching faculty representatives will be elected by the adjunct professors. Up to four representatives will be elected, one from each academic area. Adjunct senators will have full voting rights and will be elected for a 1-year term before the end of Term II of every year. Adjunct elections will be conducted in a manner agreed to by adjunct professors and facilitated by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
Section 5. The term of office for area representatives and members-at-large on the Faculty Senate shall be for two years and until successors take office. Area representatives of the Senate membership shall be elected in the odd years and members-at-large in the even years. The term of office shall begin with the first contracted duty day of Term I. The term of office for adjunct representatives shall be for one year and until successors take office.
Section 6. Election of members-at-large and Senate officers shall be conducted according to the Senate elections process (see Article VIII). Election of the members-at-large shall be held before the end of Term II in even years. Department or area representatives of the Senate shall be elected before the end of Term II in odd years.
Section 7. Vacancies among department or area representatives shall be filled by the department or area involved as soon as possible. Vacancies among members-at-large shall be filled as soon as possible by vote of the faculty as defined in Article IV, Section 1 in accordance with procedures developed by the Faculty Senate. Vacancies among adjunct faculty representatives shall be filled by the adjunct faculty as soon as possible. Vacancies among members-at-large occurring during Term III shall be filled by election at the general faculty meeting at the start of Term I. The vacancy created by a member assuming the Office as President shall be treated in the same manner as other vacancies. If a department or area representative assumes the office of President, that department or area shall elect a replacement representative. No vacancy will count against the quorum.
Article V: Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Faculty Senate shall be a President, First Vice-President, and a Second Vice-President. The President shall receive release time as arranged by the VP of Academic Affairs. [i]
Section 2. The President, First Vice-President, and Second Vice-President shall be elected by the faculty from among the total Senate membership for one-year terms. Membership consists of newly elected Senators and Senators with a year remaining in their term. Elections shall be held in accordance with the time established by Article IV and using the procedures of the Faculty Senate (see Article VIII). Officers elected in Term II will take office at the first general faculty meeting of Term I. When the President begins their term, they vacate their at-large or area representative seat.
Section 3. In the event that the President of the Senate relinquishes his or her duties, the First Vice-President shall assume that office for the remainder of the term. The Senate shall fill vacancies of other officers by election of a member from the Senate at its next regular meeting.
Section 4. The President of the Senate shall:
- preside at and set the agenda for Faculty Senate meetings;
- appoint special committees to do the work of the Faculty Senate
- prepare a list of meeting dates to be approved by the Faculty Senate
- attend meetings of Executive Council when Associate Vice Presidents are invited, be a member of the Academic Leadership Team and other College committees as requested by the administration
- give a Faculty Senate report as needed at meetings of the District Board of Trustees
- represent the Senate on appropriate occasions and
- perform other duties of President prescribed in the Senate's parliamentary authority as described in Article XI.
In the event that the President is temporarily unable to fulfill any of the above-mentioned duties, he or she may designate a faculty representative to fulfill them.
Section 5. The First Vice-President shall:
- act in the President's absence
- assist the President in his or her duties
- serve as Senate Parliamentarian or designate a Parliamentarian; and
- perform other duties prescribed in the Senate's parliamentary authority.
Section 6. The Second Vice-President shall:
- serve as the recording secretary at Senate meetings;
- provide the faculty (as defined in Article IV, Section 1) with access to the minutes and agenda of all regular and special meetings;
- publicize the Senate meeting dates and times; and
- perform other duties prescribed in the Senate's parliamentary authority.
Article VI: Member Duties
Section 1. All members will attend meetings regularly, keep their constituent groups informed (in the case of area representatives), and solicit input from constituents when appropriate.
Section 2. Any member absent, except for conflicts with scheduled classes or other College-related duties, from three consecutive regular meetings shall be notified in writing by the President of the Senate that he or she is subject to suspension from the Senate. If the Senate member does not respond in writing within thirty days that he or she wants to retain Senate membership, the member will be suspended. The suspension is subject to appeal to Senate officers within one month. If the suspension is upheld, a new member will be elected to fill the remainder of the term.
Section 3. If a voting member is unable to attend a Senate meeting, it is their responsibility to notify a proxy (from the same area in the case of area representatives) that his or her attendance is required and to notify the Second Vice-President as to the proxy.
Article VII: Committees
Section 1. A faculty member shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Vice President of Academic affairs to membership on the Seminole State College Foundation Board. The appointee shall report on committee activities to the Senate.
Section 2. An Elections Committee shall be composed of Senate members selected by the Senate according to the Elections Process adopted by the Senate. The committee shall supervise and conduct the elections of members-at-large and officers as prescribed in the Elections Process. The President of the Senate may not serve as a member of the committee.
Membership of Election Committee
An Election Committee consisting of no more than three Senate members shall be elected by the Faculty Senate at its first Term I meeting each year. Nominations of Senate members to serve on the Committee shall be from the floor. In accepting membership on the committee, each member of the committee agrees that he or she shall not be eligible for election as one of the officers of the Faculty Senate for the following term. Members of the Election Committee need not be members of the Senate the academic year following the elections; they do need to be members of the Senate during the nominating and electing process.
Duties of Election Committee
- In planning the timetable for the election of Faculty Senate officers, the Committee shall stay within the requirements specified in the Senate bylaws of conducting officer elections within the last three weeks of Term II (Spring).
- The committee shall work cooperatively with the Senate President in running the election of members-at-large, in accordance with the description above. The committee shall handle both the nominating and electing process for officers of the Senate. All of these processes may be conducted electronically, if appropriate.
- The Committee shall prepare or obtain the following:
- a memo to faculty containing a list of persons elected as members of the Senate who are eligible for nomination and election as a Senate officer and instructions for completing the nomination process
- instructions for electing officers, containing the name(s) of persons nominated for President, First Vice-President, and Second Vice-President, in alphabetical order, and a line for write-ins for each office
- a list of persons eligible to vote for members-at-large and the officers, according to the Senate bylaws, acquired from the appropriate college office
- After the election of area representatives or members-at-large (in March), the Committee shall provide each faculty member eligible to vote with
- a list of area representatives and members-at-large who are eligible to be officers,
- a nominating process and
- instructions for completing and submitting the nomination
- After the deadline for submission of nominations, the Election Committee shall contact all persons nominated for each office to seek their permission to have their names placed on the election ballot. Should an individual be nominated for more than one office, that person must choose which office he or she wishes to be nominated for.
- The Committee shall prepare the election ballot containing the names of all persons nominated for each office, listed in alphabetical order. For each office, there will be a line for write-ins.
- The Committee shall provide each employee eligible to vote in Senate elections with an announcement of the time frame and instructions for voting. The announcement shall include a ballot, containing the names of the nominees for each office.
- At least one week should be allowed for persons to cast their ballots. Each ballot shall be accompanied by a signature or individual password from an eligible voter.
- After the voting period, the Election Committee shall count the ballots, or obtain results of electronically counted ballots, and prepare an announcement of the results. Persons nominated may be present or have a representative present during the counting of the ballots.
- In the event that an individual whose name has been placed in nomination for more than one office receives a majority of the votes cast in more than one office, that person shall select the office in which he/she wishes to serve. If only two persons had been nominated for the office that the nominee turns down, the other nominee shall be declared the winner. In the event that more than two persons had been nominated for the office that the nominee turns down, the two persons receiving the next highest number of votes shall participate in a run-off election.
- Should no nominee receive a majority of votes cast for an office, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two nominees with the most votes. The run-off election shall be conducted by the Election Committee in the same manner as the first election.
- All nomination and election results shall be retained until the following December.
Section 3. Special committees, as they are deemed necessary or useful to carry out the work of the Senate, shall be appointed by the President of the Senate or the Executive Committee.
Article VIII: Elections Process
Section 1. Election of Area Representatives: odd years
The Senate Second Vice-President will remind departments and areas of the need for the election by a memorandum sent in mid-February. Election of area representatives from those areas specified in the Senate bylaws shall be conducted during the month of February within each area. The incumbent representative from each area shall report the results of that area's election to the Senate President as soon as the results are known, but no later than the end of the first week of March.
Section 2. Election of Members-At-Large: even years
Nominations for persons to serve as members-at-large are made from all regular full-time faculty during March in even years. An election, if required, shall be conducted after the nominations.
The persons receiving the most votes become members of the Faculty Senate. The Senate members serving on the Elections Committee shall supervise the voting and the count of the ballots.
Section 3. Election of Adjunct Faculty Representatives: every year
Up to four adjunct teaching faculty members, one from each academic area, shall be elected by the adjunct faculty from that area by the end of term II. Adjunct senators will have full voting rights and will be elected for a 1-year term. Adjunct elections will be conducted in a manner to be determined by the adjunct professors of each area and in coordination with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
Section 4. Election of Officers: every year
A list of eligible Senators, a nominating ballot, and instructions for completing a nominating ballot shall be sent to each current Senate Member and all Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty. Nominations of oneself or someone else must be submitted to the Elections Committee by the date specified by the committee. Each person nominated, regardless of the number of nominating votes received, shall be contacted by the Elections Committee for permission for that person's name to be placed on the election ballot. If a person has been nominated for more than one office, they must choose which nomination they would like to accept. Nominees who accept must provide a candidacy statement. Names of persons and their candidacy statement shall be listed, in alphabetical order, for each position, with a line for write-ins. Elections shall be held within the last three weeks of Term II by the means established by the Elections Committee. All current Senate Members and Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty will be eligible to vote. A nominee must receive a plurality (the candidate that receives the most votes of the votes cast) of votes cast in order to be elected to an office. In the event of a tie, a run-off election shall be held between the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes. The Elections Committee shall establish the time frame and means for the run-off election.
Article IX: Meetings
Section 1. The regular meeting of the Senate shall be held each month at a time and place fixed by the Senate. Additional meetings may be called at the request of any one member of the Senate. The faculty shall be notified at least three days in advance of the time and place of Senate meetings.
Section 2. Anyone may attend regular meetings of the Senate, and anyone may speak at Senate meetings.
Section 3. Any one member may call for a ballot vote.
Section 4. A quorum shall be a majority of the voting members of the Senate. Proxies are permissible (see Article VI, Section 3).
Section 5. In the event that a quorum is not available, members present may discuss issues and make non-binding recommendations to be presented to the next Senate meeting at which there is a quorum.
Section 6. The President shall not vote on action items unless the vote is a tie. In the event of a tie vote, the President shall cast the tie-breaking vote.
Article X: Censure and Investigative Functions of the Senate
Section 1. The Faculty Senate, when requested by a person eligible for membership in the Faculty Senate (as defined in Article IV, Section 1) shall hear from that person a concern or question pertinent to the academic welfare of the College. After hearing the individual's question or concern, the Senate, by majority vote, shall decide whether it will investigate and/or act upon the information presented.
Section 2. Areas of concern should focus on the academic function of the College, leaving terms, wages, and working conditions to be addressed via management of the CBA between the College and UFF-Seminole.
Section 3. Any findings, conclusions, or recommendations by the Faculty Senate shall be purely advisory to the College Administration and Board of Trustees and no provisions herein shall take precedence over presently existing regulations or regulations hereinafter promulgated which are or may be binding upon the College Administration or Board of Trustees.
Section 4. Should the Senate decide to investigate, the Senate President shall appoint, and the Senate shall approve a committee to investigate the individual's concern and report to the Senate its findings and any recommendations.
Article XI: Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Faculty Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order of the Senate.
Article XII: Amendment of Bylaws
The Bylaws of the Faculty Senate may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote. Eligible voters include regular full-time faculty, temporary full-time faculty, and adjunct faculty not otherwise employed by the College. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Faculty Senate prior to their distribution to the faculty. Notice that amendments are to be considered, along with a copy of the proposed amendments and the Senate's recommendations, must be distributed to the faculty prior to the vote. Amendments to the Bylaws shall be approved by the President and Board of Trustees of the College.
[i] For the 2020-21 academic year, the President received six hours of release from base teaching load (tier 4 of the supplemental duties chart) in the fall and spring semesters. For the summer term (if applicable), the President shall receive a release from 50% of base teaching load.