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By-Laws

Preamble

Amended April 1, 2019

Under the authority of the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts, the faculty has primary responsibility for the quality of academic life. Therefore, in a manner congruent with the responsibilities and powers of the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and with due regard for the provisions of statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the faculty shall participate in the governance of the university. The faculty shall, through the mechanisms of the Faculty Senate, examine and recommend on broad issues of university policy and such other matters as from time to time may be deemed appropriate.

The name of this organization shall be the University of Massachusetts Lowell Faculty Senate.
The purpose of the Faculty Senate is to ensure the active representation of the faculty and librarians in the governance of the University.
  • The faculty exercise primary responsibility in such academic matters as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, admissions, libraries and other aspects of the university life which are directly related to the educational process.  
    • Whenever an academic department or program is proposed to be added, deleted, or amended substantially, it is the responsibility of the Faculty Senate to approve or disapprove such proposals and to pass its recommendations on to the Chancellor.  
    • Other members of the university community shall have the opportunity to present their views on academic matters to the Faculty Senate.  
    • The Faculty Senate shall have the right to study and make recommendations on those academic policies and programs which will have a significant impact on available resources. 
    • The Faculty Senate shall have the right to appoint a faculty member for search committees at the administrative level of College Dean and above. 
  • The Faculty Senate may make recommendations in the following general areas, provided that the Senate shall not act in areas that are reserved exclusively for collective bargaining. 
    • The Faculty Senate may examine and make recommendations on non-academic issues which have an impact on academic programs.
    • The Faculty Senate may study and make recommendations on matters of scholarly significance. 
    • The Faculty Senate may study and make recommendations on non-academic matters of faculty campus life, such as faculty development, cultural activities, and scholarly exchanges. 
    • The Faculty Senate may study and make recommendations on non-academic aspects of student life within the University community. 
    • The Faculty Senate may study and make recommendations on such other matters within the university community as it deems appropriate. 
  • Operational Powers 
    • The Faculty Senate shall have the general authority to draw up rules and regulations for its own operations.
    • The Faculty Senate shall have control of its own budget.
  • In view of the far-reaching impact that non-academic matters can have on academic life, the Faculty Senate may request and receive reports and/or informal briefings on all aspects of university life, whether or not listed above, from the administration, the MSP, and other university bodies
The Faculty Senate shall be nominated from and elected by the full-time academic faculty and librarians by department or academic unit with a personnel committee, at a ratio of 1:5. Senators shall be elected for two years by the full-time faculty and librarians in their departments or academic units. In departments or academic units with two or more senators the term of office shall be staggered. The normal term of office for faculty senators shall be from 1 May of one calendar year through 30 April of the second following calendar year.
Departments or academic units with a personnel committee shall be represented by one or more Senators at a ratio of 1:5 based on the number of full-time members as of the first day of the Spring semester. Full Time Teaching Faculty, excluding Visiting Non-Tenure Track Faculty, are eligible to serve as Senators and counted when determining the number of Senators to which a department is entitled under the existing “one Senator for every five full-time faculty rule.” 
Full-time dept memberNumber of Senators
1 to 51
6 to 102
11 to 153
16 to 204
21 to 255
26 to 306
31 to 357
36 to 408
41 to 459
46 to 5010
For departments that are allotted one or more Senators, the number of Teaching Faculty cannot exceed 50% of the total. If an increase in size entitles a department or academic unit to an additional Senator, an additional Senator shall be elected to a two-year term in the next regular election. If a department or academic unit decreases in size, all elected Senators shall serve their full terms, but one fewer shall be elected at the next opportunity. If such a change would violate the principle of evenly distributed staggered terms, at the next election of multiple senators, one of these shall be elected to serve a one-year term. 
A newly created department may elect a number of prospective Senators according to the standard formula (one Senator per five faculty) and petition the Academic Governance Committee of the Faculty Senate to gain Senate membership pro tem for those prospective Senators until the next election cycle. 
Nomination of candidates for the Faculty Senate shall occur in writing to the chairperson of the departmental or academic unit personnel committee. Election of Senators shall be by secret ballot counted by the departmental or academic unit personnel committee one week after the close of Faculty Senate election nominations and must be completed by the end of March. The election results shall be submitted in writing to the Administrative Coordinator for the Faculty Senate who will inform the Academic Governance Committee chairperson to facilitate record keeping. The list of Senators who will be in office at the beginning of the next term will be distributed to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Senate as a whole, including Senators-elect.  The term of Senators-elect will begin at the last meeting of the academic year in which elected.
A Faculty Senate seat shall be declared vacant upon an affirming vote by the Executive Committee when the following condition occurs: the Senator is absent without just cause from two consecutive Faculty Senate or Executive Committee meetings. 
In the event of a vacancy by resignation or otherwise, the President of the Faculty Senate will inform the Academic Governance Committee Chairperson in order to facilitate the committee's monitoring of the election process. 
In the instance of an approved leave of absence of one year or less, the affected department or academic unit shall elect an alternate for the term of the leave. If a seat is declared vacant in mid-term, the affected department or academic unit shall elect a replacement to serve the remainder of the term. 
Ex-officio non-voting members of the Faculty Senate shall be the Chancellor of the University, the Provost, and a designated representative of the Undergraduate Student Council, a designated representative of the Graduate Student Council, and the President of the MSP-MTA at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
The President and Vice-President of the Faculty Senate shall be promoted (Associate / Full) Faculty Senators nominated by the Faculty Senate and elected for one year terms by secret ballot. The first election shall take place at the first meeting after adoption of these By-Laws. An office, except for that of Executive Secretary, shall be declared vacant if the officer is no longer a member of the Senate. The term of elected officers of the Faculty Senate shall be from the first Monday in May of one calendar year through 30 April of the next calendar year.
Nominations for officers will open April 1 and will close the 3rd Monday in April. Only Senators who will be members of the Faculty Senate for the term beginning the last meeting of the academic year are eligible to make nominations and be nominated. The Senate Executive committee will verify the eligibility of all nominators and nominees and distribute the list of eligible nominees to all eligible Senators two weeks prior to the last Senate meeting of the academic year. Elections will take place during the last meeting of the academic year; only those Senators who are members of the Faculty Senate for the term beginning at this meeting shall be eligible to vote. Prior to the vote, nominations can be re-opened by a motion, with a second, and a simple majority vote. Once re-opened, nominations must be closed by a motion, with second, and a simple majority vote before proceeding to the vote for officers.
The President of the Faculty Senate shall preside at meetings of the Faculty Senate and of the Executive Committee. The President shall confirm nominations of members to all committees on the advice of the Executive committee; and may serve on all Senate committees as an ex-officio member. The President of the Faculty Senate may represent the Faculty Senate to the Administration. 
In the absence of the President, the Vice-President of the Faculty Senate shall preside at Senate meetings and shall represent the Senate at meetings with representatives of the administration.
The Administrative Coordinator for the Faculty Senate shall be a full-time professional staff member.  The Administrative Coordinator for the Faculty Senate shall be chosen by the President of the Faculty Senate and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and shall be approved by the Faculty Senate. The Administrative Coordinator shall be responsible for day-to-day Faculty Senate business. This shall include timely communication with the faculty and Faculty Senate members and overseeing the efficient operation of the Faculty Senate office and office personnel.  The Administrative Coordinator for the Faculty Senate shall prepare and distribute the agenda, conduct the roll-call and be responsible for the minutes of the Faculty Senate meetings as well as their distribution to the Faculty Senate membership. Approved minutes shall be distributed in a timely manner. 
The Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees and one Alternate Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees shall be tenured Faculty Senators nominated by the Faculty Senate and elected annually by the Faculty Senate using a secret ballot. Nominations for these positions must be submitted to the Faculty Senate President by the first Monday in April for election at the May meeting of the new Faculty Senate. In the interim, the names of those nominated will be forwarded to the members of the Faculty Senate.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice-President shall act as President of the Faculty Senate for the remainder of the term.  The office of Vice President shall remain open until the next election.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of Vice-President, the seat will remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled May election. In the event that the Faculty Representative resigns during a given year the Alternate Faculty Representative assumes the office of Faculty Representative.  
A Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate shall be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Executive Committee. 
The President of the Faculty Senate shall convene a Faculty Senate meeting at least twice each semester on the first Monday of the month.  In a timely manner preceding the meeting, an agenda shall be sent to all Senators, and made available to faculty and librarians, and to the administration.  A special meeting of the Faculty Senate may be called for a stated purpose by the President of the Faculty Senate, or by a petition to the Faculty Senate signed by at least twenty (20) faculty and librarians to address a single item of business
A quorum shall consist of fifty percent of the elected Faculty Senate members for full senate meetings and fifty percent of voting members for all committee meetings.
At full Senate meetings, Senators may be allowed to speak twice for five minutes on debatable matters. The Chancellor and/or Provost may request to address the Faculty Senate for a length of time agreed upon with the Executive Committee. This request must be submitted to the Executive Committee at a minimum one week prior to the meeting. Deans shall have the right to speak for no more than ten minutes when a resolution directly affecting their college is being debated. Recognition of a non-Senator to speak for up to five minutes shall be at the discretion of the President of the Senate or the officer chairing the meeting.
In Senate committees, all voting members of that committee have the right to speak regarding a resolution under consideration and debate by that committee. Deans shall have the right to speak for no more than ten minutes when a resolution directly affecting their college is being debated. With the exception of those making official presentations to the committee, recognition of a non-voting member or guest to speak for up to five minutes shall be at the discretion of the chair of the meeting. 
The chair of each committee shall establish the agenda, meeting times, and general guidelines for conducting each meeting.
The Faculty Senate and its committees shall be open to the public and invited guests, unless a special executive session is convened. However, non-members shall be seated in an area separate from the Faculty Senate and/or committee members. Meeting agendas and approved minutes of Senate meetings and its committees shall be distributed to all full-time faculty and librarians, and to members of the administration. 
The authority of the Executive Committee derives from and is revocable by the Faculty Senate. 
The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, Alternative Representative to the Board of Trustees and the elected chairpersons of the standing Faculty Senate committees.  
Standing committees of the Faculty Senate for each academic year shall meet to elect a chairperson by secret ballot in a timely manner after the May meeting of the prior academic year at which new Faculty Senators replace retiring Faculty Senators.  Normally, the meeting to conduct the chairperson election will occur in September of the new academic year, although the existing chair of a standing sub-committee may convene a meeting in May for purposes of electing a chair.  Election results shall be submitted in writing to the Administrative Coordinator for the Faculty Senate. 
The Executive Committee will propose on the advice of standing committee chairs the membership of standing committees of the Faculty Senate, will coordinate the business of Faculty Senate committees, will declare Faculty Senate Seats to be vacant, will call for elections, will set the agenda for Faculty Senate meetings and will perform other duties assigned by a voice of the Faculty Senate.  
If notice is given regarding an emergency meeting of the Faculty Senate but fails to result in a quorum due to lack of attendance/responses, then the Executive Committee can make such decisions as it deems critical to the efficient functioning of university governance. All such decisions must be considered at the next full Faculty Senate meeting and either ratified, rejected, or amended.  Prior to long breaks the full Faculty Senate will be explicitly asked to vote on a resolution to give the Executive Committee power to act on the Faculty Senate’s behalf.   
A. GENERAL CHARGE
The Faculty Senate shall have committees as described below with power to deliberate and recommend to the full senate on those topics related to their specific charge. In addition, the senate may create such additional committees with a specific, limited charge and a specific, limited reporting date, as may be necessary to conduct the business of the Senate. The authority of each committee derives from and is revocable by the Faculty Senate. The membership, charge, and authority of these special committees shall be defined at the time they are formed.
B. STANDING COMMITTEES 
Each standing committee shall consist of faculty Senators, appointed members of the administration, and student representatives as defined for each committee below. 
The committees convene at the beginning of each academic year for the term of one academic year. Each committee shall elect a chair, and the chair’s term shall go through the academic year until election of the new chair at the beginning of the next academic term. The chair of each standing committee will serve on the Executive Committee for the academic term through to the next academic term. The chair will only vote in the case of a tie.  
Nominations for Senator members of each committee shall be made to the Senate President and Executive Committee by the Senators of each College. When the new members of the Senate take office in May, the Senators from each college will nominate their representative(s) to each standing committee. This selection will be facilitated during the May Senate meeting. The Senate President will inform all elected senators via email communication prior to the May meeting that they will be formally selecting representatives to each senate committee during a working meeting of the May faculty senate. This prior notice will be given so that faculty senators from each college can meet ahead of time and discuss each of the subcommittee positions that need to be filled. Faculty who cannot serve for the entire academic year are ineligible to serve on the committee. If a Senator unexpectedly cannot serve on the committee during the academic year and must step down, the Senators from that college shall nominate a replacement. In the instance whereby a College does not have a sufficient number of Senators to serve on the various committees, then the Senators from that college may nominate non-Senator faculty as committee members provided that the majority of the committee members from that college are Senators.
Each committee shall obtain input from affected offices of the University; to facilitate this, the Executive Committee of the Senate may authorize the appointment of additional ex-officio, non-voting committee members for a specified period. On all significant issues, at least a portion of the committee meetings must be open to the University community. 
Membership: 
The standing committees members will be comprised minimally of the following voting members: 
  • 1 Manning School of Business
  • 1 College of Education
  • 2 Francis College of Engineering 
  • 2 College of Fine Arts Humanities & Social Sciences
  • 1 Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
  • 2 Kennedy College of Sciences 
All members, voting and ex-officio, of committees are expected to attend the majority of scheduled meetings.  At the discretion of the Committee Chair and appropriate advance notice, a member may request to send a designee in their place on occasion.
Academic Governance Committee: This committee shall deal with such areas as monitoring faculty elections, overseeing Faculty Senate rules, administrative search committees, and regular review of Senate rules and By- Laws. In the absence of this committee, the Executive Committee shall fulfill these roles. 
Undergraduate Policy Committee: This committee shall deal with such areas as presiding over undergraduate academic policy, admissions, approving new majors and minors, and ensuring the availability of courses with wide university impact. All undergraduate programs offered by Online and Continuing Education shall be within the purview of this committee. 
In addition to those members defined above, this committee will also consist of: 
  • 1 Student appointed by undergraduate student government  
  • The Core Curriculum Coordinator (non-voting)
  • 1 representative from the Registrar’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting) 
  • 1 appointee from the upper Administration, i.e., the Chancellor’s or Provost’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting)
Graduate Policy & Affairs Committee: This committee shall have responsibility for all graduate programs and policies, including procedures for the review and monitoring of graduate programs. In addition, this committee is responsible for the adjudication of individual student appeals. All graduate programs offered by Online and Continuing Education shall be within the purview of this committee. 
In addition to those members defined above, this committee will also consist of: 
  • 1 Student appointed by student government  
  • 1 representative from the administration representing graduate studies (ex-officio, non-voting)
  • 1 representative from the Registrar’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting) 
  • 1 appointee from the upper Administration, i.e., the Chancellor’s or Provost’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting)
Research and Development Committee: This committee shall deal with such areas as the encouragement of research and scholarly activity, procedures for the review and monitoring of university research activities, and related areas of faculty development such as cultural activities and scholarly exchanges. 
In addition to those members defined above, this committee will also consist of: 
  • 1 appointee from the upper Administration, i.e., the Chancellor’s or Provost’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting)
Library Resource Committee: This committee shall deal with such areas as multimedia and library services.
In addition to those members defined above, this committee will also consist of: 
  • 1 representative from the Library 
  • 1 undergraduate student representative 
  • 1 graduate student representative 
  • 1 appointee from the upper Administration, i.e., the Chancellor’s or Provost’s Office (ex-officio, non-voting)
C. SPECIAL COMMITTEES 
Core Curriculum Committee: The Core Curriculum committee (formerly, the General Education Committee) is a sub-committee of the Undergraduate Policy Committee (UPC). The committee will be composed of 17 members as described below. All faculty members shall be Senators.  The committee will elect a Chair who will serve as the over-all Coordinator of the Core Curriculum and only will vote in case of a tie.
  • 2 Manning School of Business
  • 1 College of Education
  • 2 Francis College of Engineering 
  • 4 College of Fine Arts Humanities & Social Sciences (2 AH; 2 SS)
  • 2 Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
  • 2 Kennedy College of Sciences 
  • 1 Library
  • 1 Undergraduate Student Government
  • Director of Curriculum Assessment & Accreditation (ex officio, non-voting)
  • Chair of UPC (ex officio, non-voting)
Responsibilities of Core Curriculum Committee 
  • Review new interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary courses for inclusion as fulfilling Breadth-of-Knowledge requirements. 
  • Review courses for requested ELO designation. 
  • Periodic review of approved syllabi to ensure that outcomes continue to be addressed. 
  • To facilitate the review process, the Core Curriculum Committee may appoint sub-committees to review courses in each of the ELO and Breadth of Knowledge disciplinary areas and give recommendations to the whole committee.
    • Advise the Director of Curriculum Assessment & Accreditation on establishing methods of formative and summative assessment of the Core Curriculum ELOs.
    • Participate in the assessment process and develop recommendations to improve student learning based on assessment data.
Responsibilities of Core Curriculum Committee Coordinator (Chair) 
  • Schedule committee meetings, set agenda for those meetings, and keep minutes of the meetings.
  • Oversee the Core Curriculum web-site and on-line course submission forms.
  • Communicate decisions of the committee to all relevant parties and to periodically report on committee activities to the UPC, Senate Executive Committee, and Faculty Senate as a whole.
  • Administer the approval of Breadth of Knowledge and ELO requirements for transferred courses that do not directly align with a UMass, Lowell Core Curriculum courses and granting Academic Exceptions to Core Curriculum requirements.
  • Ensure that the policies, integrity, and rigor of the Core Curriculum program are maintained. As such, all Exceptions regarding Core Curriculum requirements need the approval of the Core Curriculum Coordinator. However:
    • Students are not referred to the Coordinator directly.  The Exception form should be completed with the consent and guidance of the student’s Advisor and/or Department Chair and then forwarded to the Coordinator by said Advisor and/or Department chair.
    • Exception forms not signed by the student’s Advisor and/or Department Chair will be returned for signature.
  • Serve as liaison between the committee and the university’s Director of Curriculum Assessment & Accreditation to enact and manage regular systems of assessment of the Core Curriculum’s Essential Learning Outcomes.
Workload Reduction Committee: The senate shall elect annually from among its members a workload reduction committee, consisting of 5 senators. This committee shall recommend, pursuant to the union contract, workload reductions for senate business. The committee's recommendations shall be subject to the following conditions. 
  • The committee's recommendations are to be based solely on the increased duties for senate business.
  • The committee may recommend workload reductions only if replacements are funded by the administration.
  • No senator, except the executive secretary, shall be awarded a reduction of more than 3 credits per semester, or equivalent workload reduction for librarians. 
  • No member of this committee shall be eligible for workload reduction for senate business while serving on this committee. 
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 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 the Faculty Senate may adopt
These bylaws can be amended at any regular meeting of the Faculty Senate by a two thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.
The University shall provide the Faculty Senate with office space, office equipment, telephone, ready access to mail and duplication facilities, and secretarial support and funds for office and travel expenses.
In the event that any portion of the Faculty Senate By-Laws is invalidated for any reason, that shall not invalidate any other portion of the By-Laws.  To amend the By-Laws the amendments must be presented at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate.  Open discussion of amendments shall occur at the following Faculty Senate meeting.  At this time changes to these amendments may be proposed.  At the following meeting final discussion and vote will take place.  No changes to the amendments at this time are allowed.  A two-thirds majority of voting members present is required for passage.