Faculty Senate Bylaws
(As amended March 25, 1999)
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this organization shall be the Wentworth Faculty Senate (hereinafter called the Senate).
ARTICLE II - Purpose
The Senate shall represent all full time teaching faculty in efforts to improve the quality of Wentworth Institute of Technology's learning environment.
ARTICLE III- Membership
Section 1. Members must be full time non-administrative faculty. The Senate may include ex-officio members, with voting privileges, who can be appointed for a term of one year, which can be renewable. The maximum number of such ex-officio members shall be two.
Section 2. The Senate shall be composed of two (2) Senators from each academic department. Departments are entitled to additional Senators based on the number of full time teaching faculty; one (1) additional Senator for 15 or more faculty members, two (2) additional Senators for 25 or more faculty members, and three (3) additional Senators for 35 or more faculty members. In an effort to insure broad based representation, the Senate reserves the right to require any academic department to elect its Senators from different subject areas taught within the department,
ARTICLE IV - Duties
Section 1. The Senate shall elect Officers from among its membership, hold meetings as needed, maintain adequate and appropriate minutes of all meetings, and keep the Wentworth Community informed of its actions and recommendations.
Section 2. The Senate shall take up and discuss matters of academic import or significance. These include, but are not limited to, curricula development, academic facilities, pedagogy, and academic support services, but specifically exclude issues of working conditions, which are the responsibility of the Faculty Federation.
Section 3. The Senate shall take up and discuss matters of Institute and/or Academic Governance directly or indirectly affecting students and faculty.
Section 4. The Senate may form ad-hoc and/or standing committees of the Senate to provide input or advise to the Senate and/or to the Institute regarding any matter on which an Institute Officer, Director or Administrator may request such input or advice and which the Senate agrees to jointly address.
Section 5. The Senate may take up and discuss academic issues affecting the Wentworth academic community.
Section 6. The Senate shall Co-Chair academic task forces and committees on which it participates as a joint member.
Section 7. The Senate shall review the need, function, operations, and organization of the Senate at least once every five calendar years and may, subject to the approval of the President, modify or revise its By-laws and/or the operating procedures of the Senate as may be appropriate to reconcile the Senate to the changing realities of time .
Section 8. The Senate shall submit proposed agenda items for the meetings of the Wentworth Academic Assembly to the Provost and shall report to the faculty on its activities during such meetings.
Section 9. Issues of budget expenditure shall be made by faculty vote.
ARTICLE V - Organization
Section 1. The Senate shall be constituted as an elected body representing the full-time teaching faculty to enhance the learning environment at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Section 2. The Senate shall be a separate elected body, reporting to and advising the Provost.
Section 3. The Senate shall specifically not be construed to be constituted for the mere purpose of carrying out directives of the Provost or other Institute Officials, but shall report to the Provost for administrative purposes.
Section 4. The Officers of the Senate and the Senate Committee Chairpersons shall derive their power, and authority from the President of the Institute, with their specific duties and responsibilities deriving directly from the Senate members, subject to the approval of the president.
Section 5. The following Officers of the Senate shall be elected by the members of the Senate from amongst themselves; Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer. The duties of these Officers shall be as specified in Article VI of these By-laws.
Section 6. The Senate shall be managed by an Executive Committee comprised of the three elected Senate Officers, the Senate Chair, ex-officio, plus two additional members to be elected by the Senators from amongst themselves, with not more than two additional members to be appointed from time to time by the Chair, on a temporary basis, as the need for special expertise or specific input to particular issues may arise.
Section 7. Officers and Executive Committee members shall be elected for a two-year term. The election shall be by written ballot and shall occur prior to April first in even numbered years. They shall assume their duties on the first day of June following election, and they shall serve through the last day of May in the next even-numbered year following the election.
Section 8. Officers and Executive Committee members shall be limited to two consecutive terms (4 years) in any specific office.
Section 9. In the event an elected Officer or Executive Committee member is unable or unwilling to serve, the retiring Officer or Executive Committee member shall continue to serve until a replacement is duly elected to finish the incomplete term. In the event of a vacancy occurring after the first day of June, the Senate Chair, or in the case of a vacancy in that position, the Vice-Chair, shall appoint a replacement , with the concurrence of the Executive Committee. Replacement officials so appointed shall serve up to thirty (30 ) days or a properly and duly elected successor has been installed.
ARTICLE VI - Officers
Section 1. The Chair of the Senate shall have the following responsibilities:
- Call all meetings of the Senate and, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, establish the agenda for all meetings.
- Chair Senate meetings and general Faculty meetings called by the Senate.
- Chair the Senate Executive Committee .
- Serve as a member of the Academic Council .
- Represent the Senate, as appropriate, on and off campus.
- Appoint officers pro-tem, as needed, to carry out the functions of the Senate in the absence, or inability to serve, of any other Senate officer.
- Appoint the chair of any committee or subcommittee formed by the Senate, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Vice-Chair of the Senate shall have the following responsibilities:
- Serve as Chair of the Senate, including all the responsibilities and duties thereof, in the absence, or inability of the Chair to serve.
- Serve as Vice-Chair of the Senate Executive Committee.
- Serve as an affiliated member of the Academic Council, with one vote.
- Attend Academic Council Meetings.
- Review minutes of meetings of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee prior to distribution.
- Organize and oversee the activities of all committees, subcommittees, and task forces formed by the Senate.
Section 3. The Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate shall have the following responsibilities:
- Serve as Chair of the Senate, including all the responsibilities and duties thereof, in the absence, or inability, of both the Chair and Vice-Chair to serve.
- Serve as Secretary of the Senate Executive Committee.
- Record the proceedings of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee meetings.
- Prepare the minutes of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee meetings.
- Maintain the official records of the Senate, including an historical record copy of all minutes of all meetings of the Senate and any of its committees and subcommittees.
- Submit an annual budget in accordance with Institute policy, and maintain appropriate financial records.
- Prepare a financial report for each regular Senate meeting, whenever funds are available to the Senate from any source.
- Serve as the contact person regarding all budget matters.
Section 4. The Senate Executive Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
- Prepare the agenda for the Senate meetings.
- Contribute to the agenda for the Wentworth Academic Assembly.
- Act as liaison between the Senate and the Provost.
- Establish committees and subcommittees of the Senate for the purposes of carrying out the functions and duties of the Senate. Said committees and subcommittees may be established as standing committees of the Senate or as temporary task forces of the Senate, as the Executive Committee, with the subsequent approval of the Senate as a whole, may determine.
- Recommend to the Chair of the Senate the appointment of a specific person to chair every committee, subcommittee, or task force created by the Executive Committee.
- Prepare an annual report on the activities of the Senate, to be presented to the Faculty by the Chair of the Senate at the Spring meeting of the Wentworth Academic Assembly, outlining the significant issues addressed by the Senate during the prior academic year, the successes and failures of those efforts, and the issues to be addressed by the Senate in the next academic year.
Section 5. The appointed Chair of each Senate committee, subcommittee, or task force shall have the following responsibilities:
- Chair the meetings of the committee to which appointed.
- Appoint a secretary to record and prepare minutes of all meetings of the committee.
- Establish the operational procedures for the committee.
- Report on the work of the committee to the Senate.
ARTICLE VII - Meetings
Section 1-Regular Meetings
- Regular meetings of the Senate shall be held once each month at a time and place to be determined by the Chair to be most convenient to the majority of the members. Meetings may be held at different times and different places each month during the academic year at the discretion of the Chair. Summer meetings shall be added as needed.
- Notice of each meeting, along with the draft minutes of the prior meeting, shall be distributed to all members by the Senate Vice-Chair, not later than one week prior to the designated time of each meeting.
Section 2. Special Meetings
- Special meetings of the Senate may be called by the Senate Chair, at his/her discretion, when, in the opinion of the Chair, a matter of particular urgency arises that requires input from the Senate.
- Special meetings of the Senate shall be held at a time and place to be determined by the Chair, taking into account the reasonable convenience of the majority of the members.
- The minutes of all special meetings of the Senate shall be recorded and prepared by the Secretary/Treasurer for distribution not later than 48 hours after the meeting.
- The opinion of members not able to attend a special meeting of the Senate shall be specifically solicited by the Chair, or the designee of the Chair, when known in advance, prior to said meeting and shall be reported by the Chair, or designee of the Chair, at the start of discussions for which the meeting was called.
Section 3. Executive Session
- The Senate shall meet in executive session only if it has been determined by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting that the matters to be discussed are of such sensitivity or confidence that discussion in a general meeting could or would seriously compromise the integrity of the discussions or the well-being of the members.
- Minutes of executive sessions shall be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer, but shall not be distributed to members except at the next regular meeting of the Senate. All such minutes shall be considered confidential documents; they shall be prepared with a cover sheet indicating the confidential nature of their contents; and members shall be required to take all reasonable precautions to safeguard the confidentiality of the minutes.
Section 4. Quorum
- A quorum of the Senate shall be declared when the appointed hour for a meeting has arrived and at least one-third (1/3) of the duly elected members of the Senate are present and ready to convene.
- In the event a quorum has not convened by fifteen minutes past the appointed hour for the meeting to start, the Chair shall declare the absence of a quorum and shall reschedule the meeting for a new time and place to be determined by the Chair, but said time not to be less than 48 hours after the appointed time. The Secretary/Treasurer shall immediately post a notice to that effect on the door of the place in which the postponed meeting was originally scheduled to be held, and then the Secretary/Treasurer shall duly notify all members of the postponement and of the new time and place for the rescheduled meeting.
- A special meeting shall be postponed only if a quorum cannot be assembled within thirty minutes of the appointed time for the meeting.
Section 5. Meeting Minutes
- The minutes of all meetings of the Senate and all Senate Committees and Subcommittees shall be maintained as outlined above.
- One (l) copy of all minutes of all meetings shall be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate as a formal record of the proceedings of the Senate.
- One (l) copy of the minutes of all Committees and Subcommittees shall be maintained by the Chair of that Committee or Subcommittee as a permanent record of the work of that Committee or Subcommittee.
- In the event a Committee or Subcommittee disbands, the official records of that Committee or Subcommittee shall pass to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate who shall continue to maintain those records in perpetuity.
- Upon transfer of the duties of the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate, the outgoing Secretary/Treasurer shall be responsible for turning over to the incoming Secretary/Treasurer, a complete and unabridged file of all the historical records of the Senate in a safe and orderly fashion, for safekeeping and maintenance.
- One (l) copy of the minutes of all Senate meetings, except executive sessions, shall be forwarded to the Provost upon their approval by the Senate.
ARTICLE VIII - Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the Modern Edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Senate in all cases where they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.
ARTICLE IX - Amendment
These bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Senate by a two-thirds vote, provided that previous written notice of the amendment was given to all members at least eight days in advance. Amendments to the bylaws shall be forwarded to the Provost for approval.