Appendix G. Senate Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of the Senate of Michigan Technological University

Ratified by the Senate constituency on October 22, 2014
Approved by the Board of Trustees on December 19, 2014

Article I -- Name

The name of this organization shall be The University Senate of Michigan Technological University.

Article II -- Constituents

  1. The University Senate’s constituency is the University’s academic and research faculty and professional staff, including staff employed at independent research units. These groups meet and operate as a unit under a single Constitution and Bylaws, with a single set of University Senate officers and committees. Voting on certain issues will be confined to one of these groups, as defined in Article III below.
  2. Individuals:
  1. University Senate constituents are University professional staff and faculty who are employed full time for a minimum of 9 months per year, unless otherwise excluded because of major administrative functions (see paragraph 4 below). Full time is defined as a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  2. Faculty Constituents:
  1. Academic faculty shall be constituents of the University Senate, unless otherwise excluded. The academic faculty are individuals holding a rank of instructor, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor or professor for a minimum of nine months full-time.
  2. Research faculty shall be constituents of the University Senate, unless otherwise excluded, and will be represented by the Faculty Senator elected from the department in which they are appointed. The research faculty are individuals holding a rank of research assistant professor, research associate professor or research professor for a minimum of nine months full-time.
  3. Department chairs, associate deans, and assistant deans, despite their additional status as academic faculty members, shall not serve as senators or alternates. They are considered constituents of the Senate.
  1. Professional Staff Constituents
  1. Professional staff including members of independent research units, shall be constituents of the University Senate, unless otherwise excluded because of major administrative functions as defined in the Bylaws (independent research units are not administered by one or more academic departments).
  2. The Bylaws shall contain procedures for identifying the University professional staff that form the constituency of the professional staff membership and for resolving problems of constituency of individuals not clearly specified in this Article.
  1. The University President, Provost, Vice Provosts, Vice Presidents, Chief Financial Officer, and all deans and equivalent directors, shall not be constituents of the Senate.
  1. Representation Units
  1. Each constituent of the Senate shall be a member of one representation unit. A senator elected by members of each unit shall represent each unit. The units and their included constituents are:
  1. Academic Departments. Academic and research faculty holding appointments in an academic department or school shall be the only faculty constituent members of that department or school.
  2. Research Units and Professional Staff:
  1. The Senate's Professional Staff Policy Committee will define the composition of the professional staff and independent research representation units.
  2. There shall be no more than 12 professional staff representation units, including independent research units. One of the units shall be the Library. The other eleven shall be composed as defined by the Bylaws. The groupings of the professional staff units are only for Senate representation. The reporting structures of constituents within any one unit may differ.
  3. All Senate constituents employed in an independent research unit shall be constituent members of that unit. A research unit may be included as part of another constituent unit.
  4. Senate constituents as defined above who are not constituent members of an academic department or research unit shall be members of a professional staff representation unit.
  1. In cases where a constituent is eligible to belong to more than one unit, that person will permanently select one unit and inform the Senate Secretary of that selection.
  1. The representation units shall be listed in the Bylaws. The Bylaws shall contain procedures for reviewing and updating the list as recommended by the Professional Staff Policy Committee.

Article III -- Functions

  1. The Senate is the representative body for its constituents and speaks on their behalf on matters under the Senate’s jurisdiction. The Senate shall establish, review, and recommend policy and procedures on matters under its jurisdiction. The Senate also is the principal forum for discussion of any matters of interest to the university community.
  2. The Senate shall have the responsibility and the authority to review and establish policy in some matters, and to review and make recommendations in other matters. The University President, the Board of Trustees, or their designated representatives may stipulate additional areas in which the Senate shall have responsibility and authority.
  3. By its approval of this constitution, the Board of Trustees relinquishes none of its constitutional or statutory authority.
  4. Section F of this article lists matters in which the Senate has the responsibility and the authority to review and establish policy. Normally, the Board of Trustees will approve policy in these areas only after it receives policy proposals approved by the Senate.
  5. For matters in which the Senate has the responsibility and the authority to review and establish policy, proposals shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees following these procedures.
  1. Policy proposals that originate with the University President (or designated representatives) shall be presented to the Senate for review and approval before being submitted to the Board of Trustees.
  2. Likewise, proposals approved by the Senate shall be transmitted to the University President for approval.
  3. Proposals approved by the Senate and the University President shall be submitted by the University President to the Board of Trustees. It is the responsibility of the Senate officers to ensure such submission.
  4. Proposals approved by the Senate may be vetoed by the University President within three months (not including the time from the end of the Spring semester of one academic year to the start of the Fall semester of the next academic year) of their transmittal to the University President.
  5. If the University President vetoes a proposal passed by the Senate, that veto shall be presented in writing to the Senate President. The Senate President shall report the veto to the Senate at its next meeting. The Senate may appeal the veto to the Board of Trustees upon a two thirds majority vote of eligible senators. Written notice of the appeal shall be transmitted immediately to the University President who shall submit a written copy of the veto to the Board of Trustees. The Senate President shall also submit a written copy of the Senate’s appeal to the Board of Trustees.
  6. If, within three months (not including the time from the end of the Spring term of one academic year to the start of the Fall term of the next academic year) of transmittal to the University President, a proposal passed by the Senate is neither vetoed nor approved by the University President, the proposal will be deemed approved by the University President, and will be submitted by the Senate President to the Board of Trustees for its approval. Procedures for temporarily extending the three-month period for particular proposals shall be contained in the Bylaws.
  1. List of Matters of Responsibility and Authority
  1. Matters of Academic Policy and Procedures
  1. The Senate has the responsibility and authority to review and establish policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. All curricular matters, including establishment, dissolution, and changes in degree programs.
  2. Requirements for certificates and academic degrees.
  3. Regulations regarding attendance, examinations, grading, scholastic standing, probation, and honors.
  4. Teaching quality and the evaluation of teaching.
  5. All matters pertaining to the academic calendar.
  6. The appointment, promotion, tenure, dismissal, and leaves of the academic faculty.
  7. Criteria for positions that are to be accorded academic rank.
  8. Academic freedom: rights and responsibilities.
  9. Regulations concerning the awarding of honorary degrees.
  10. Procedures for the selection of Deans and Department Chairs.
  11. Requirements and criteria for unit charters for each academic department.
  12. Other areas under authority as may be granted by the Board of Trustees, the University President, or their designated representative.
  1. The Senate has the responsibility to review, make recommendations, initiate, and participate in the formulation of policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. Academic organization, including the establishment or elimination of schools, colleges, or departments, and the reorganization of the academic structure.
  1. Matters of Research Policy and Procedures
  1. The Senate has the responsibility and authority to review and establish policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. All issues and performance other than the allocation and distribution of resources.
  1. The Senate has the responsibility to review, make recommendations, initiate, and participate in the formulation of policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. Allocation and distribution of unrestricted funds made available to the university for discretionary allocation in support of research or scholarly work
  1. Matters of Policy and Procedures Concerning Professional Staff
  1. The Senate has the responsibility to review, make recommendations, initiate, and participate in the formulation of policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. All issues of concern only to professional staff.
  1. Other Matters of Policy and Procedure
  1. The Senate has the responsibility and authority to review and establish policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. Internal function of the Senate, including Bylaws, committee structure, etc.
  2. Other areas under authority as shall be granted by the Board of Trustees, the University President, or their designated representative.
  1. The Senate has the responsibility to review, make recommendations, initiate, and participate in the formulation of policy and procedures in these areas:
  1. Fringe benefits.
  2. Institutional priorities.
  3. Allocation and utilization of the university's human, fiscal, and physical resources.
  4. The J. R. Van Pelt Library, computing facilities, audiovisual support, E. R. Lauren Bookstore, Seaman Museum, etc. as they affect scholarly, instructional, and research activities.
  5. Admission standards and procedures.
  6. Student financial aid.
  7. Selection of the University President, the Provost, and other major university-wide administrators.
  8. Administrative procedures and organizational structure.
  9. The evaluation of administrators.
  10. All areas of student affairs not mentioned specifically above, including their effect on the educational process and on academic achievement.
  1. Voting on the various matters shall be limited to subsets of senators and their constituents. (Reference is made to Section F of this article).
  1. Only Faculty Senators or their Alternates, including at-large Faculty Senators, may vote on academic matters.
  1. Only Faculty Senators or their Alternates, including at-large Faculty Senators, and Professional Staff Senators representing independent research units or their Alternates may vote on research matters.
  1. Only Professional Staff Senators or their Alternates, including at-large Professional Staff Senators, may vote on matters affecting the professional staff.
  1. All Senators or their Alternates may vote in Senate matters affecting the entire University.
  1. All Senators or their Alternates may vote in Senate committee deliberations.
  1. The Bylaws shall include procedures for classifying the academic, research, staff, and other matters brought before the Senate.
  1. As part of its functioning, the Senate should coordinate its activities and cooperate with appropriate representative groups of faculty, staff, and students on campus.

Article IV -- Membership

  1. Number and Composition - Membership in the Senate shall be determined as follows:
  1. One senator and one alternate elected by and from the academic and research faculty of each academic department.
  2. One senator and one alternate elected by and from each of the professional staff and research unit representation units.
  3. Alternate members shall serve with vote in the absence of the regular representative.
  4. Four at-large academic and research faculty senators shall be elected by the entire faculty constituency.
  5. Two at-large professional staff senators shall be elected by the professional staff and research unit constituencies.
  6. Academic department representation units and academic and research faculty senators at-large shall comprise at least 60 percent of the Senate's total membership.
  7. Official non-voting liaison members from units designated by the Senate and listed in the Bylaws.
  1. For election to the Senate a two-year residence shall be required except for ROTC personnel and representation units having fewer than three members meeting this requirement.
  2. Election and Terms of Office
  1. The term of office of elected senators and alternates shall be three years except as set forth in Paragraph 3 below. After serving for six consecutive years as a senator and/or alternate, an individual shall not be eligible for re-election for a period of one year. Representation units may ask the Senate Executive Committee to waive these term limits.
  2. The election years shall be distributed as equally as possible among the various representation units and at-large positions.
  3. Election of senators shall be held in the spring of each year. The term of office shall commence immediately following the end of the last meeting of the spring term. Vacancies in at-large membership created by resignation or otherwise may be filled by appointment by the President of the Senate until the next election, at which time vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms by elections.

Article V -- Officers

The officers of the Senate shall be a President, Vice-President, and Secretary. Their duties shall be defined in the Bylaws. These officers shall be chosen by the continuing senators-and the senators-elect following the annual spring elections in a manner described in the Bylaws. The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties immediately after the last Senate meeting of the spring semester.

Article VI — Committees

  1. The number, responsibilities and membership of committees of the Senate shall be determined by the Senate using procedures contained in the Bylaws.
  2. Committee chairs shall be senators or alternates.

Article VII -- Procedure

  1. The business of the Senate shall be conducted according to the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) when these are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Senate.
  2. The full Senate, by two-thirds majority vote, shall rule on interpretation of ambiguous language in this Constitution and the Bylaws. Such interpretations shall be considered as amendments to the Bylaws.

Article VIII -- Petitions & Ballot Initiatives

  1. Petitions may be submitted to the Senate by constituents to require:
  1. An immediate vote on policy proposals specified in the petition; or
  2. That a Ballot Initiative (or referendum) of eligible constituents be conducted immediately as a challenge to some vote of the Senate.
  1. Such petitions must be signed by at least 20 percent of constituents eligible to vote on the matter. (Reference is made to Article III, Section G).
  2. A majority of eligible Senators may vote to require a Ballot Initiative of eligible constituents.
  3. The President of the University or the Board of Trustees or their designated representatives can request a Ballot Initiative on a designated issue other than the appeal of a presidential veto.
  4. The Bylaws shall contain procedures for the conduct of Ballot Initiatives.

Article IX -- Meetings

The Senate shall meet at least once during each term of the regular academic year, in meetings scheduled before the end of Spring term of the preceding academic year. Additional meetings shall be called by the Senate President as needed, or upon written request of 20% of senators. All meetings shall be open.

Article X -- Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed at any meeting. If passed both at this meeting and at any subsequent meeting within six calendar months by a two-thirds majority, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Senate Constituency. Ratification shall require a two-thirds majority. The amendment shall then become effective upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

Article XI -- Bylaws

  1. Approval of and amendments to the Bylaws shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the full Senate.
  2. A proposed change to the Bylaws must be distributed to senators at least 10 calendar days before the meeting at which it is to be considered for approval.

Bylaws of the University Senate

Most recent revision: December 10, 2014

I. Operational Bylaws

  1. Quorum
  1. One-half of all elected Senators or elected Alternates shall constitute a quorum to transact Senate business requiring action of all Senators. One-half of all elected faculty Senators or Alternates shall constitute a quorum to transact Senate business requiring action of faculty Senators only. One-half of all elected professional staff Senators or Alternates shall constitute a quorum to transact Senate business requiring action of professional staff Senators only.
  2. Elected Senators and Alternates are those persons who have been elected by their constituent academic or professional staff units.
  1. Executive Committee
  1. The Executive Committee of the Senate shall consist of the officers of the Senate and the chairs of the standing committees.
  2. The Executive Committee shall function as a steering committee of the Senate. Normally, the Senate officers conduct the daily business of the Senate.
  3. The Executive Committee shall maintain the lists of constituents and representation units. It shall use the Constitution and Bylaws as guidelines in its deliberations. Its recommendations for changes in the lists shall be submitted to the Senate for approval.
  4. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to extend to a maximum of one calendar year the three-month period for presidential approval or veto of proposals. This approval requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee.
  5. The Executive Committee shall represent the Senate at meetings with the Board of Trustees.
  6. The Executive Committee shall coordinate interaction between the Senate and the Board of Trustees.
  1. Senate Standing Committees - Organization
  1. Normally, each senator or alternate is expected to serve on one standing committee of the Senate. At the discretion of the Executive Committee, the Senate officers may serve on but may not chair standing committees.
  2. Only senators or alternates may vote in Senate standing committees.
  3. Each committee shall elect its own chair, who shall be a senator or alternate.
  4. Given the issues likely to be addressed by the committee in any given year, in electing a chair, committees are encouraged to consider whether tenure would be an asset.
  5. Any member of the university community may serve without vote on any Senate standing committee, subject to the approval of the committee.
  6. Administrative liaisons will be invited to attend, as needed, at the discretion of the committee.
  7. The full Senate must approve yearly the membership of each standing committee before it begins to function.
  8. The Senate officers will draft a preliminary list of committee assignments before the second from the last meeting in the spring semester.
  1. Senate Standing Committees - Responsibilities

Authority for responsibilities assigned to the standing committees are derived generally from the Constitution and Bylaws, as noted in the following list (III-F-1-a-vi for example, refers to Article III, section F, paragraph 1, part a, item vi of the Senate Constitution).

  1. Academic and Instructional Policy Committee
  1. Appointment, promotion, tenure, dismissal, and leaves of the academic faculty (III-F-1-a-vi).
  2. Criteria for positions that are to be accorded academic rank (III-F-1-a-vii).
  3. Academic freedom: rights and responsibilities (III-F-1-a-viii).
  4. Regulations concerning the awarding of honorary degrees (III-F-1-a-ix).
  5. Regulations regarding attendance, examinations, grading, scholastic standing, probation, and honors (III-F-1-a-iii).
  6. Teaching quality and the evaluation of teaching (III-F-1-a-iv).
  7. All matters pertaining to the academic calendar (III-F-1-a-v).
  1. Administrative Policy Committee
  1. Selection of the University President, the Provost, and other major university-wide administrators (III-F-4-b-vii).
  2. Administrative procedures and organizational structure (III-F-4-b-viii).
  3. Evaluation of administrators (III-F-4-b-ix).
  1. Curricular Policy Committee
  1. All curricular matters, including establishment, dissolution, and changes in degree programs (III-F-1-a-i).
  2. Requirements for certificates and academic degrees (III-F-1-a-ii).
  1. Elections Committee
  1. Conducting ballot initiatives (VIII-D and Bylaws)
  2. Conducting Senate elections (Bylaws)
  3. Conducting University-wide elections (Bylaws)
  4. Assisting Senate Officers in identifying nominees for Senate representatives to various University standing and ad hoc committees.
  5. Providing a slate of nominees for Senate offices
  1. Finance Committee
  1. Allocation and utilization of the university's fiscal resources (III-F-4-b-iii).
  2. Student financial aid (III-F-4-b-vi).
  3. Institutional priorities (III-F-4-b-ii).
  4. Allocation and utilization of the university's human and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii).
  5. Admission procedures (III-F-4-b-v).
  6. General admission standards (III-F-4-b-v).
  1. Fringe Benefits Committee
  1. Fringe benefits (III-F-4-b-1).
  1. General Education and Assessment Committee.

In all curricular matters related to General Education and Assessment:

  1. Regulations regarding attendance, examinations, grading, scholastic standing, probation, and honors (III-F-1-a-iii).
  2. Teaching quality and the evaluation of teaching (III-F-1-a-iv).
  3. Academic freedom: rights and responsibilities (III-F-1-a-viii).
  1. Information Technology Committee

As related to Information Technology:

  1. Allocation and distribution of unrestricted funds made available to the university for discretionary allocation in support of research or scholarly work (III-F-2-b-i).
  2. Allocation and utilization of the university's human and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii).
  3. Formulation of policy and procedures regarding allocation and utilization of the university's human, fiscal, and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii).
  1. Professional Staff Policy Committee
  1. Policy on all issues of concern only to professional staff (III-F-3-a-i).
  1. Research Policy Committee
  1. Policy on all research issues and performance other than the allocation and distribution of resources (III-F-2-a-i).
  2. Policy and procedures on the allocation and distribution of resources (III-F-2-b-i).
  1. Senate Temporary and Ad Hoc Committees
  1. Within the areas of Senate authority but outside the responsibilities of the standing committees, matters may arise requiring committee action. The Senate shall establish temporary or ad hoc committees in such cases.
  2. Membership of temporary or ad hoc committees
  1. In those matters for which the Senate has specific constitutional authority to establish and review policy, membership of temporary or ad hoc committees shall conform to the stipulations for membership in standing committees.
  2. In other matters, the membership of temporary or ad hoc committees shall be approved by the Senate.
  1. After the Senate approves the formation of a temporary or ad hoc committee, the President shall read into the Senate minutes the charge to that committee.
  1. Election of Officers
  1. Following the annual spring election of senators by the representation units, Senate officers shall be elected for the next academic year. The election shall be held at a special meeting of the continuing senators and senators-elect, chaired by the current President.
  2. Before the special meeting the Elections Committee, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall solicit nominees for Senate officers among the continuing senators and senators-elect.
  3. At the special meeting, the nominations shall be presented, with a call for nominations from the floor. After any additional nominations from the floor, the officers for the next academic year will be elected at the meeting.
  4. A majority vote is needed for the election of an officer. If there are more than two candidates and a majority vote is not obtained, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be stricken from the list of candidates and another vote shall be taken until a majority is obtained.
  5. The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties immediately after the last meeting of the spring semester.
  1. Qualifications of Officers
  1. The President and Secretary shall have tenure.
  2. The Vice President shall be from a unit other than an academic department.
  1. Duties of Officers
  1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Senate and of the Executive Committee.
  2. The Vice President shall preside at meetings of the Senate in the absence of the President of the Senate.
  3. The Secretary shall record and maintain the minutes of meetings of the Senate and the Executive Committee.
  4. The officers shall perform other duties as described in the Constitution and these Bylaws.
  1. Replacement of Officers
  1. In the case of resignation or incapacitation of any officer, an election of a replacement shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate.
  1. Proposals
  1. Definitions
  1. The word "proposal" used in this section shall be construed to comprise only those formally moved Senate actions involving major considerations such as:
  1. establishment of University policy and procedures,
  2. recommendations to the University administration,
  3. measures affecting organization or primary procedures of the Senate,
  4. formal definitions of Senate policy, and
  5. establishment of Senate standing committees.
  1. The word "proposal" as used in this section shall be construed to exclude all operative motions and actions pursuant to the normal routines of a deliberative body, such as:
  1. moving appointment of, appointing, approving, or discharging ad hoc committees, or
  2. requesting, hearing, or accepting business and committee reports.
  1. In the event of question the presiding officer of the Senate shall be empowered to rule, subject to usual parliamentary controls, whether or not a motion constitutes a "proposal" within the meaning of these definitions.
  2. In these Bylaws, "full Senate" refers to the entire body of senators, regardless of constituency. The term "whole Senate" refers to the Senate acting as a body, as contrasted with Senate committees.
  1. Proposals shall be submitted in writing to the Senate officers, who shall assign a number to the proposal. Based on an initial determination (subject to amendment by majority vote of the Executive Committee), they shall send the proposal expeditiously to the appropriate body.
  2. A proposal may be submitted by any senator individually or on behalf of any group. Such proposals may be sent to an appropriate Senate committee, or to the whole Senate.
  3. A proposal submitted by a Senate Committee shall go directly to the whole Senate.
  4. The Executive Committee by two-thirds majority vote may send to the whole Senate any proposal that has been previously sent to a Senate Committee.
  5. At least 10 calendar days before the Senate meeting in which any vote is taken on a proposal, the Senate officers shall have provided copies of the proposal to all senators, and shall have placed a copy of it in the J.R. Van Pelt Library. (But see "Emergency Proposals" below).
  1. This requirement is intended to allow senators to consult deliberately with their constituents on any proposal.
  1. The Executive Committee may attach recommendations with reasons therefore to any proposal before its distribution to the senators and the Library.
  2. Classification of Proposals
  1. Before any proposal is sent to all senators, the Senate officers will determine its classification, following Article III-F of the Constitution.
  2. This determination will be based on a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution, and may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  3. This classification will be attached to the copies of proposals sent to Senators and to the Library.
  4. All senators may enter the debate on any proposal, without regard to its classification. Regardless of the classification of a proposal being debated, passage of a motion to end debate requires a 2/3 majority vote of the full Senate.
  5. During debate on any proposal, any senator may object, on constitutional grounds, to the classification of any proposal.
  6. The classification of a proposal may be altered by a two-thirds majority vote of the full Senate.
  1. Emergency Submission of a Proposal
  1. A proposal which does not meet the distribution requirements set forth above may be submitted from the floor of the Senate at any meeting of the Senate.
  2. A majority vote of the full Senate is required to approve taking up any such proposal..
  3. When the Senate approves taking up such a proposal, the classification of the proposal shall be made by the Senate President.
  1. Amendment of Proposals
  1. A proposal which is not amended by the Senate can be approved by the Senate provided it has met the above 10-day requirement for distribution or is an emergency proposal.
  2. A proposal which is amended by the Senate shall be required to meet the 10-day requirement for distribution.
  3. A proposal that has been changed only editorially may be approved at the meeting during which the change is made.
  4. An "editorial change" shall be construed to be any minor change in wording that clarifies the meaning or improves the grammatical structure of the proposal but that has no effect on the substance, scope or application of the proposal. In the event of question, the presiding officer of the Senate shall be empowered to rule, subject to the usual parliamentary controls.
  1. Administrative Changes of Proposals
  1. When the University President or designated representative suggests changes without veto in a proposal transmitted from the Senate, the proposal and the suggested changes shall be considered by the Senate in the same manner as a newly-submitted proposal, using the number of the old proposal.
  1. A proposal that has not been approved by the Senate within one year of being assigned a number shall expire. An expired proposal may be resubmitted in the same or modified form and will be assigned a new number. An expired proposal submitted in the same form may be assigned its original number with a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  2. When a proposal is being presented by the chair of the relevant committee, if there are no objections, the presiding officer may delegate some responsibility for fielding questions to that person.
  1. Voting Procedures
  1. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the terms "majority" or "two-thirds" vote refer to the number of individuals voting.
  2. A request for a secret ballot on the Senate floor shall take precedence over calls for a roll call vote or a voice vote and shall be automatically granted upon request.
  1. Ballot Initiatives
  1. A Ballot Initiative (or referendum) can be placed before the eligible Senate constituency (Article VIII). A Ballot Initiative is equivalent to action by the Senate and can be used to repeal an action of the Senate.
  2. A Ballot Initiative may be required on some matters such as changes in the promotion and tenure policies that must be approved by the Academic Faculty.
  3. Procedures
  1. If a Ballot Initiative is presented to the Senate by petition of its constituents, then the originators of the initiative shall select a spokesperson who has the authority to represent them on all matters concerning the initiative.
  2. In matters that do not involve an attempt either to repeal a Senate action or to require a vote on an agenda item, appropriate committees of the Senate shall have the opportunity to review and discuss the petition with the originators and/or their spokesperson. The wording of a Ballot Initiative shall be reviewed by the Senate and the originators of the initiative to insure its fairness and consistency.
  3. The vote on the initiative shall be by secret ballot.
  4. The vote on the initiative will not have to take place until after the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting. During an academic year, a Ballot Initiative to repeal an action of the Senate can be submitted during that same academic year up to two regularly scheduled meetings after the action is taken. A petition to require a Ballot Initiative on an Agenda item for a particular Senate meeting can also be submitted at that same meeting. In either of these cases, the initiative shall be held as soon as possible after the meeting where it is submitted or proposed.
  1. Special Constituency Issues
  1. Definition
  1. Throughout the Constitution and these Bylaws the term "Department" shall apply to and should be read as "School" for the Schools of Business and Economics, Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and Technology. For Senate purposes these three units are considered equivalent to departments.
  1. The following shall not be constituents of the Senate:
  1. Any Dean or equivalent Director (as determined by the Executive Committee) who reports directly to any of the following: President; Provost; any Vice Provost; any Vice President; Board of Trustees.
  1. Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans, despite their additional status as Academic Faculty members, shall not serve as senators or alternates. They are considered constituents of the Senate.
  2. The following individuals may be constituents of the Senate, but may not serve as senators or alternates:
  1. Any Staff having significant influence (as determined by the Executive Committee) with any of the following: President; Provost, any Vice Provost; any Vice President; Board of Trustees.
  1. The Senate's professional staff constituency consists of those persons so defined by the Senate Executive Committee in consultation with the Senate Professional Staff Committee and the University’s Office of Human Resources. The Senate Professional Staff Committee will recommend the composition of individual professional staff constituencies for approval by the Senate Executive Committee.
  2. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
  1. Free and open discussion on Senate committees is essential to the healthy functioning of the committees, to the vitality of the University, and to meaningful shared governance. Hence, when making committee assignments, the President of the Senate must consider potential conflicts of interest; and individuals must do the same when requesting and accepting or rejecting committee assignments. Potential conflicts of interest should especially be considered when selecting committee chairs..
  2. Conflicts of interest might arise, for example, with respect to what information committee members do and do not share with other members of the committee and with respect to whether and how committee members share the substance of committee deliberations with their supervisors and/or with others in their academic or administrative units.
  3. Having accepted an assignment, committee members must recognize that their role on Senate committees is to represent-to the best of their ability-Senate constituents. Hence, committee members must be vigilant in recognizing and acknowledging potential conflicts of interest and in deciding-along with the other members of the committee-if and when to recuse themselves from meetings or discussions that might create such conflicts.
  1. Allowing Nonmembers to Speak

Article VII.A of the Constitution of the University Senate reads as follows: "The business of the Senate shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order when these are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Senate."

According to the 11th edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), "Any nonmembers allowed into the hall during a meeting, as guests of the organization, have no rights with reference to the proceedings" (p. 648). However, RONR also specifies that "the rules my be suspended to allow a nonmember to speak in debate." Ordinarily, the rules cannot be suspended by the presiding officer; instead, a two-thirds majority vote of the members is required. This section of the Bylaws is intended to provide more flexibility in allowing nonmembers to speak.

  1. Normally, not more than 30 minutes of any given Senate meeting will be devoted to presentations by invited guests: special, Senate-sponsored forums may be scheduled for longer presentations and discussions.
  2. During reports, presentations, and discussions of new business, the presiding officer may grant a nonmember speaking privileges simply by recognizing that nonmember.
  3. When a proposal is first introduced, before a motion to approve is made, if there are no objections, there might be brief but broad discussion of the proposal during which time, nonmembers may participate.
  4. Once a motion is on the floor and is being debated by the members, the presiding officer may grant a nonmember speaking privileges only to provide a point of information or clarification.
  5. In either of the above cases, any member of the Senate has the right to challenge the presiding officer's decision, in which case, a two-thirds majority vote will be required to allow the nonmember to speak.
  6. To further accommodate comments from nonmembers, at each regular University Senate meeting, a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes shall be reserved for comments from the public. Each individual will be restricted to a maximum of three (3) minutes for his/her presentation.

II. REPRESENTATION UNITS (For a complete listing contact the Senate office)

  1. Academic Departments
  1. Army/Air Force ROTC
  2. Biological Sciences
  3. Biomedical Engineering
  4. Chemical Engineering
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil and Environmental Engineering
  7. Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  8. Computer Science
  9. Electrical and Computer Engineering
  10. Engineering Fundamentals
  11. Geological & Mining Engineering Sciences
  12. Humanities
  13. Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology
  14. Library
  15. Materials Science and Engineering
  16. Mathematical Sciences
  17. Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics
  18. Physics
  19. School of Business and Economics
  20. School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
  21. School of Technology
  22. Social Sciences
  23. Visual and Performing Arts
  1. Non Academic Units
  1. Academic Services A
  2. Academic Services B
  3. Academic Services C
  4. Administration
  5. Auxiliaries
  6. Finance
  7. Library
  8. Research
  9. Student Affairs and Advancement A
  10. Student Affairs and Advancement B
  11. Student Affairs and Advancement C
  12. Technology
  1. Other Units having Official Non-Voting Liaison Senate Membership

The Executive Committee may appoint reciprocal liaisons to any or all of these units.

  1. Staff Council
  2. Graduate Faculty Council
  3. Graduate Student Government
  4. Undergraduate Student Government

Revised:
12/08/2016 - Annual Review: No changes made to content.
06/04/2015 - To reflect current University titles, "Board of Control" is now "Board of Trustees".
02/12/2015 - Annual Review: Under section II.C. of the Bylaws, removed item "5. Emeritus/Emerita Association".
02/09/2015 - Annual Review: To reflect current practice, the email address for questions is now policy@mtu.edu. To be consistent within document, "By-Laws" or "By-laws" now reads "Bylaws". "Appendix G. Senate Constitution and Bylaws of the Senate" now reads "Appendix G. Senate Constitution and Bylaws". "Ratified by the Senate constituency on October 22, 2014 and Approved by the Board of Control on December 19, 2014" now reads "Ratified by the Senate constituency on October 22, 2014 and Approved by the Board of Control on December 19, 2014". Under Article II.B.2.c of the Senate's Constitution read: "Department chairs and associate deans shall be constituents of the University Senate but may not serve as Senators or Alternates or as members of University Senate committees" now reads "Department chairs, associate deans, and assistant deans, despite their additional status as academic faculty members, shall not serve as senators or alternates. They are considered constituents of the Senate." Under Article IV.C.3 of the Senate's Constitution, the second sentence read "The term of office shall commence at the beginning of the following fall term. Now reads "The term of office shall commence immediately following the end of the last meeting of the spring term." Under Article V of the Senate's Constitution, the last sentence read "The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties on the Monday before the first week of instruction in the fall term." Now reads "The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties immediately after the last Senate meeting of the spring semester." Under Article VII.A of the Senate's Constitution read "The business of the Senate shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order when these are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Senate." Now reads "The business of the Senate shall be conducted according to the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) when these are not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Senate." In the Bylaws of the Senate it read "(Revised: 11 December 2013)" now reads "Most recent revision: December 10, 2014". Under section I.B.4 of the Bylaws, added the following: "5. The Executive Committee shall represent the Senate at meetings with the Board of Control. 6. The Executive Committee shall coordinate interaction between the Senate and the Board of Control." Under section I.C.1. of the Bylaws, added as the second sentence: "At the discretion of the Executive Committee, the Senate officers may serve on but may not chair standing committees." Under section I.C.8. it read "Normally, the Senate officers and officers-elect will draft a preliminary list of committee assignments before the first meeting of the Senate in the fall term." Now reads "The Senate officers will draft a preliminary list of committee assignments before the second from the last meeting in the spring semester." Section I.D.1 of the Bylaws read "1. Academic Policy Committee" now reads "1. Academic and Instructional Policy Committee". Added items e,f, and g: "e. Regulations regarding attendance, examinations, grading, scholastic standing, probation, and honors (III-F-a-iii). f. Teaching quality and the evaluation of teaching (III-F-1-a-iv). g. All matters pertaining to the academic calendar (III-F-1-a-v)." Deleted section I.D.3. of the Bylaws, 3. Board of Control Relations Committee. a. Represent the Senate at meetings with the Board of Control. 2. Coordinate interaction between the Senate and the Board of Control." Renumbered sections "I.D.4. Curricular Policy Committee" now reads "I.D.3. Curricular Policy Committee"; I.D.5. Elections Committee" now reads "I.D.4. Elections Committee"; and "I.D.6. "Finance Committee" now reads "I.D.5. Finance and Institutional Planning Committee". Under Section 8. Institutional Planning Committee moved items c. Institutional priorities (III-F-4-b-ii), d. Allocation and utilization of the university's human and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii), e. Admission procedures (III-F-4-b-v), and f., General admission standards (III-F-4-b-v)" to section I.D.5 Finance and Institutional Planning Committee. Deleted item I.D.8. Institutional Planning Committee." Renumbered items I.D.7. Fringe Benefits Committee" now reads "I.D.6. Fringe Benefits Committee", I.D.9. Instructional Policy Committee" now reads "I.D.7. General Education and Assessment Committee". Under section I.D.7. General Education and Assessment Committee of the Bylaws, added the first sentence "In all curricular matters related to General Education and Assessment:" and item I.D.&.c. read "c. All matters pertaining to the academic calendar (III-F-1-a-5)" now reads "c. Academic freedom: rights and responsibilities (III-F-1-a-viii)." Added Bylaws section I.D.8. "Information Technology Committee. As related to Information Technology: a. Allocation and distribution of unrestricted funds made available to the university for discretionary allocation in support of research or scholarly work (III-F-2-b-i). b. Allocation and utilization of the university's human and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii). c. Formulation of policy and procedures regarding allocation and utilization of the university's human, fiscal, and physical resources (III-F-4-b-iii)." Renumbered Bylaws sections "I.D.10. Professional Staff Policy Committee" to read "I.D.9. Professional Staff Policy Committee" and "I.D.11. Research Policy Committee" to read "I.D.10. Research Policy Committee." Section I.F.5. of the bylaws read "5. The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties on the Monday before the first week of instruction in the fall term." Now reads "5. The officers-elect of the Senate shall assume their duties immediately after the last meeting of the spring semester." Amended the Bylaws by adding section "J.13. When a proposal is being presented by the chair of the relevant committee, if there are no objections, the presiding officer may delegate some responsibility for fielding questions to that person." Amended the Bylaws by adding Section I.N. Allowing Nonmembers to Speak." Under section II.B. Professional Staff Units, deleted items 5. Advancement, 7. Enrollment, and 11. Student Affairs"; renumbered "6. Auxiliaries" now reads "5. Auxiliaries", "8. Finance, 9. Library, 10. Research," now reads "6. Finance, 7. Library, and 8. Research"; and added "9. Student Affairs and Advancement A, 10. Student Affairs and Advancement B, and 11. Student Affairs and Advancement C." Under Section II.C added "The Executive Committee may appoint reciprocal liaisons to any or all of these units."
05/07/2014 - Per proposal 24-14, updated section I.M. Special Constituency Issues by adding item 6. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest, a., b., and c.
03/13/2014 - Annual Review: Updated Michigan Tech and Handbook banners. Under Operational Bylaws, section I.C., added item "4. Given the issues likely to be addressed by the committee in any given year, in electing a chair, committees are encouraged to consider whether tenure would be an asset"; item "C.4. Any member of the .... of the committee." now reads: "C.5. Any member of the .... of the committee." Added item "6. Administrative liaisons will be invited to attend, as needed, at the discretion of the committee"; Items "C.5. The full Senate .... function." and "C.6. Normally, the Senate officers .... in the fall term." now read: "C.7. The full Senate .... function." and "C.8. Normally, the Senate officers .... in the fall term." Corrected numbering of items E through M.
04/05/2013 - Annual Review: Corrected numbering of paragraphs.
10/03/2012 - Changed "Appendix G. Senate Constitution" to "Appendix G. Senate Constitution and Bylaws of the Senate", replaced the Constitution which was approved by the Board of Control on 4/27/2012 and replace the Bylaws with Bylaws approved by the Board of Control on 4/18/2012.
07/28/2011 - Annual Review: Replaced Operational Bylaws with Bylaws dated December 3, 2003; to reflect current University titles and practice, MTU is now Michigan Tech, and the email address for questions is now hbwebmaster.
10/19/2010 - Format changes.