Full-Time Faculty Senate, 2013-2014
Faculty Senate By-Laws

(With amendments ratified through April 2013)

Article I: Senate Name

The name of the organization shall be the Austin Community College Full-Time Faculty Senate, hereafter referred to as the Senate.

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of this Senate shall be to facilitate effective communication among the faculty of Austin Community College and between those faculty members and the administration of the College in order to achieve more efficiently the primary objective of the College: effective instruction. In order to achieve these purposes, the Senate shall:

A. Present the views and recommendations of the college faculty to the administration and to the Board of Trustees of the Austin Community College District as they relate to policies of academic and professional matters

B. Be an integral part of the instructional programs, policy making, and growth plans of this institution. Foster programs and activities that shall develop the pride and responsibility, leadership, character, and community involvement of the faculty of the institution, develop cooperation and fellowship among the faculty and between the instructional programs of this institution.

Article III: Roles and Responsibilities

Section 1: Full-Time Faculty Members

Every full-time faculty member shall have the right and responsibility to:

  • Participate in the nominating process for President, President-Elect, Senators, and Committee members.
  • Participate in elections by voting for President, President-Elect, Senators, and on any changes in the bylaws.
  • Vote in referenda on proposed major changes in policies and procedures affecting full-time faculty if such referendum is called for by the Senate after the topic has appeared on the agenda of at least one Senate meeting providing faculty an opportunity for discussion and debate.
  • Receive minutes of Senate meetings within two weeks after the meeting, and receive agendas of Senate meetings within the week before the meeting.
  • Communicate their ideas and opinions to their Senators and to the officers on issues of concern to the faculty and to the Senate.
  • Propose items for the Senate agenda.
  • Speak to the Senate on issues as described in Article VII, Meetings.
    Serve on standing and ad hoc committees of the Senate.

Section 2: Senators

In addition to his or her responsibilities as a full-time faculty member, every Senator shall have the right and responsibility to:

  • Attend all meetings of the Senate, or to send an alternate;
  • Participate in discussions and debate in the Senate;
  • Make decisions in light of what is best for the faculty and College as a whole;
  • Serve as a liaison between full-time faculty and the Senate;
  • Make recommendations to the President for committee appointments;
  • Be available to serve on committees as assigned by the President.

Article IV: Senate Membership (Amended January 2004 and April 2013)

Section 1: Composition

The membership of the Senate shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, an Immediate Past President, and thirty-one full-time faculty members. Membership in the Senate shall be proportionate to the number of student contact hours taught at each Campus as determined by the most recent fall semester. Each Campus shall have at least two Senators. The Senate, upon the advice of the Auditing and Elections Committee, shall, no later than its February meeting each year, determine the exact number of Senators to be elected from each Campus. For purposes of this determination, full-time faculty members at a teaching site not designated as a Campus shall be considered as part of the faculty of the Campus to which that site is administratively related, if applicable. If not, the Senate shall determine to which Campus faculty members will be assigned for purposes of Senate representation. The full-time faculty at each Campus shall elect Senators to the number determined by the Senate. At those Campuses with at leas three Senators, at least one of these shall be a member of the arts and science faculty; at least one of these shall be a member of the vocational/technical faculty; at least one shall be a counselor/LRS faculty member, presuming there are sufficient persons in each category willing to be candidates. At Campuses with two Senators, no more than one may be from any one of the three faculty categories specified above, presuming that there are sufficient persons in at least two of the categories specified above who are willing to be candidates. A Senator shall be elected for a one-year term with a maximum of three consecutive terms. Terms are from the beginning of the fall semester through the end of the next summer. Terms served as President, Immediate Past President, and President-Elect, shall not be considered as part of the limit to three consecutive terms nor as a break in service.

Section 2: Removal

A Senator shall be removed from office if he or she is neither in attendance nor represented by a faculty member serving as his or her alternate at three meetings during an academic year. Faculty at a Campus may remove a Senator from office in a recall election. A recall election is initiated by a petition from twenty percent of the full-time faculty members at that Campus. Upon receiving a petition, the President shall call a meeting of all full-time faculty at that Campus to discuss the removal. Following this meeting, if the removal petition has not been withdrawn, a recall election is conducted by the Auditing and Elections Committee. A two-thirds majority is required to remove the Senator.

Section 3: Replacement

If one of the Senator positions becomes vacant, the position shall be filled temporarily from the full-time faculty at that Campus by a two-thirds vote of the remaining Senators at that Campus. A permanent replacement shall be selected at the next special election or regular election.

Section 4: Alternate

A Senator who must miss a meeting may send a full-time faculty member to the meeting as his or her alternate. The alternate must submit written authorization from the Senator to the Senate Parliamentarian. The alternate is counted in establishing a quorum.

Article V: Officers (Amended April 2001, January 2004, and February 2012)

Section 1. Composition

The officers in order of rank shall be the following: President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, and Communications Officer. No person may hold more than one office simultaneously. The President-Elect shall be elected by a vote of the entire full-time faculty for a one-year term to be followed by a one-year term as President. The Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, and Communications Officer shall be elected for a one-year term by the Senate from members of the Senate at the first Senate meeting of the academic year. The Secretary and Parliamentarian shall not be from the same campus.

Section 2: Duties

One or more officer(s) may speak for the group in meetings with administrators and/or Board Members with the general authorization of the Senate. Officers are to report to the Senate members the proceedings of any consultations, meetings, or conferences, either scheduled or impromptu, that they attend as representatives of the Senate, before or at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Officers shall make all Senate documents available to the Auditing and Elections Committee within seventy-two hours of receipt of a written request from the chairperson to the Auditing and Elections Committee.
The officers shall perform the following duties:

A. President

The president conducts regular and special Senate meetings, signs documents necessary to conduct Senate business, makes appointments to Senate and selected college-wide committees, serves as spokesperson for the Senate and full-time faculty, and disseminates Senate related documents and information. The President and Senate officers are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis.

Responsibilities:

  1. consults with Senate officers concerning Senate business and meeting agenda.
  2. schedules and conducts regular and special Senate meetings.
  3. be familiar with the standard code of parliamentary procedure and to work cooperatively with the parliamentarian to ensure meetings are conducted in a fair and orderly manner.
  4. stimulates and encourages discussion, ensures that all sides of a controversial question are presented, and refrains from advancing own point of view as part of discussion.
  5. authenticates, by signature if necessary, all acts, orders and proceedings of the Senate.
  6. serves as mentor to the President-Elect.
  7. petitions Senate for nominations to standing or ad hoc Senate committees as needed throughout the fiscal year. Appoints, with the approval of a majority of other Senate officers, members to Senate standing committees.
  8. determines the need for ad hoc Senate committees. Appoints members with the approval of a majority of other Senate officers.
  9. petitions full-time faculty senate for nominations to College-wide task forces, committees, councils, etc., upon requests by College administrators. Appoints members with the approval of a majority of other Senate officers.
  10. serves as ex officio member of all Senate committees.
  11. serves as Senate liaison to College administration and Board of Trustees. President and Senate officers are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis and with the Board as needed.
  12. reports on meetings with administrators and on board activities.
  13. represents full-time faculty and acts as spokesperson to media.
  14. notifies Senate and full-time faculty about new postings on Senate Web site, including agendas, minutes, relevant reports, etc.
  15. communicates in a timely manner via e-mail any new information pertinent to full-time faculty.
  16. assures that all Senate documents are provided to the Auditing and Elections Committee in a timely manner.

Rights:

The President holds all the rights and liabilities outlined in a standard code of parliamentary procedure.

  • To vote in the event of a tie.
  • To fill officer vacancies in consensus with other officers.

B. President-elect

The President-elect serves in the absence of the elected President and automatically becomes President at the end of his/her term as President-elect. Senate officers and the President are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis.

Responsibilities:

  1. schedules and conducts regular and special Senate meetings in the absence of the President.
  2. assumes authority of President in emergency.
  3. automatically becomes President if the elected President vacates the office.
  4. petitions full-time faculty for interest in serving on standing Senate committees for the upcoming fiscal year. At the beginning of term as President, appoints, with the approval of a majority of other Senate officers, members to Senate standing committees.
  5. chairs the ad hoc Committee on Standing Senate Committees.
  6. automatically becomes President upon the completion of term as President-Elect.

Rights:

  • Has the same voting privileges as other Senators.

C. Immediate Past President

The Immediate Past President shares experience to provide continuity and support the newly-elected Senate representatives and officers, including the new President. Senate officers and the President are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis.

Responsibilities:

  1. assists the President with assigned duties.
  2. ensures continuity to the Senate as a body.
  3. presides in absence of President and President-Elect.

Rights:

  • Has the same voting privileges as other Senators.

D. Secretary

The Secretary serves as the chief recording office for the Senate. The Secretary also preserves and maintains Senate documents except those specifically assigned to other officers; and ensures print copies are permanently retained for Auditing and Elections Committee review. These documents and records include, but are not limited to: agendas, minutes, and record of attendance of all Senate meetings, membership rolls of the Senate and full-time faculty, previous years' audit reports, and information pertinent to the college budget (especially regarding salaries). Senate officers and the President are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis.

Responsibilities:

  1. maintains records of all proceedings of the Senate, for example regular or special meetings.
  2. ensures that minutes and reports for regular or special meetings accurately represent Senate proceedings and are prepared and corrected according to standard parliamentary procedure.
  3. ensures that minutes and reports for regular or special meetings include meeting date and time, members and assigned substitutes present, and other information as outlined by standard parliamentary procedure.
  4. ensures Senate meeting minutes are recorded in the notebook and posted to the Senate Web site in a timely manner.
  5. maintains complete roll of membership of the Senate and the full-time faculty.
  6. documents members' attendance or absence from regular and special meetings and records in minutes.
  7. works cooperatively with the Parliamentarian in maintaining record of member attendance.
  8. provides all documents maintained by the Secretary to the Auditing and Elections Committee in a timely manner.

E. Parliamentarian

The Parliamentarian is a source of information on parliamentary procedure, but has no authority to make rulings or enforce them. At the beginning of the term, the Parliamentarian will ensure that a standard set of rules of parliamentary procedures are available for all new officers, and that a copy is available at each regular or special meeting. The Senate shall conduct its meetings in accordance with Sturgis' Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, a modernization of Robert's Rules of Order. Senate officers and the President are required to meet with College administrators on a regularly scheduled basis.

Responsibilities:

  1. advises the President and members on all questions of parliamentary procedure which arise during meetings.
  2. assists the President in maintaining order.
  3. informs the President when time has expired for discussion of agenda items.
  4. determines if a quorum is present.
  5. consults with the Secretary on attendance and reports to the President when any Senator has missed three meetings without being represented by an alternate.

F. Treasurer

Responsibilities:

  1. Maintains all the Faculty Senate financial records.
  2. Assists in coordination of raising scholarship funds.
  3. Assists in coordination of Faulty Emergency Funds.
  4. Presides in the absence of the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President and Secretary.
  5. Receives and disburses all funds, with the President's approval.
  6. Makes financial reports as necessary, but no less than once each semester.
  7. Provides all documents and financial records maintained by the Treasurer to the Senate in a timely manner.

G. Communications Officer

Responsibilities:

1. Coordinates the dissemination of information for the Faculty Senate, including:

a. outreach/retention
b. website maintenance
c. marketing
d. surveys and polls

2. Presides in the absence of the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Section 3: Removal

A. If the President, Immediate Past President, or President-Elect should abuse the privileges of his or her office or fail to carry out the responsibilities of his or her office, he or she may be removed from office according to the following procedures:

A petition containing the signatures of five Senators (representing at least three Campuses) asking for the item to be placed on the agenda of the next Senate meeting shall be given to the Secretary of the Senate at least two weeks before the Senate meeting. The Secretary shall add this item to the written agenda of the next Senate meeting. The Secretary shall preside over the portion of the Senate meeting for discussion of this item. The Senate shall vote on whether to recommend removal of the President, Immediate Past President, or President-Elect from office. If removal is recommended, the Audit and Elections committee shall conduct an election by the entire full-time faculty. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required to remove the officer.

B. If the Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer or Communications Officer should abuse the privileges of his or her office or fail to carry out the responsibilities of his or her office, he or she may be removed from office according to the following procedures:

A petition containing the signatures of five Senators (representing at least three Campuses) asking for the item to be placed on the agenda of the next Senate meeting must be given to the President at least two weeks before the Senate meeting.

The President shall place the item on the written agenda of the Senate meeting.

A two-thirds majority of the Senators present and voting shall be required to remove the officer.

Section 4: Replacement

A. Temporary Replacement

If the President takes leave from the College for one semester or less, the President-Elect becomes Acting President until the President returns. If the Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, or Communications Officer take leave from the College for one semester or less, the President shall select a temporary replacement from the Senate membership.

B. Permanent Replacement

If the President takes leave from the College for more than one semester, resigns, or is removed from office, the President-Elect becomes President. If there are six months or fewer of the term of the President remaining, the President-Elect shall serve the remainder of that term and continue to serve the next entire term as President.

C. If the President-Elect takes leave from the College for more than one semester, resigns, assumes the office of President upon that office becoming vacant, or is removed from office, a special election shall be held to fill the position. If the person elected is a Senator, that Senate seat becomes vacant.

D. If the Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer or Communications Officer takes leave from the College for more than one semester, resigns or is removed from office or from the Senate, the Senate shall elect a permanent replacement from the Senate membership.

Article VI: Elections (Amended January 2004 and February 2012)

Section 1: Regular Elections

In February the Nominating Committee shall solicit nominees for the Senate from each Campus for the position of President-Elect. The Nominating Committee shall ensure that the ballot for each campus shall have nominations in conformity with Article IV (Senate Membership), Section 1 (Composition) of these Bylaws.

The slate of nominees shall be announced to the full-time faculty no later than March 10. If any faculty member, for any reason, wishes to make nominations in addition to those on the slate presented by the Nominating Committee, such must be submitted to the Nominating Committee by March 25. All additional nominations shall be added to the ballot.

All names placed on the ballot must be accompanied by a written consent to serve.

Separate ballots shall be prepared for each Campus, listing the Campus' nominees and College-wide nominees for the position of President-Elect. Faculty members shall cast votes for no more than **one half of the number of Senators allotted for that campus, casting one vote for each nominee, and shall vote for one nominee for President-Elect. **see explanation about voting. The Auditing and Elections Committee may elect to conduct electronic voting.

The Auditing and Elections Committee shall conduct the election and present the results to the President by April 23. The President shall announce the results to the full-time faculty and the Senate. The President-Elect shall be elected by a simple majority of members voting. If no nominee receives a majority, a runoff election shall be held. Voting shall be by written ballot (distributed by CAPS) following procedures established by the Auditing and Elections Committee.

The Auditing and Elections Committee shall tally the vote for Senate nominees by Campus and shall determine those Senators elected in conformity with Section 1 (Composition) of Article IV (Senate Membership) of these Bylaws.

Section 2: Special Elections

The Senate may set a special election at any time it is needed. However, elections during the summer should be avoided, if possible, and there should be no more than one special election per year, if possible. In normal circumstances, the one special election per year should be scheduled in early December, to fill any positions that have become vacant by that time.

Section 3: Recall Elections

The Ballot for any recall election shall simply state the name of the Senator, President, or President-Elect; the statement, "Resolved: That this person be removed from the position of _________"; and two choices: For Removal and Against Removal. For recall of a President or President-Elect the ballot is presented to the entire full-time faculty. For recall of a Senator the ballot is presented only to the full-time faculty at that Campus. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required for removal.

Section 4: Election of Other Senate Officers

The Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, and Communications Officer shall be elected by a simple majority of Senators voting at the first Senate meeting of the academic year.

Article VII: Meetings (Amended January 2004 and February 2012)

Section 1: Regular and Special Meetings

The Senate will meet at least seven times during fall and spring semesters, at least two times during the summer, and at special times according to the following:

  • Called for by a majority of the Senate Officers.
  • By written request of one-third of the Senators.
  • By written request of ten percent of full-time faculty.

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by Alice Sturgis (latest edition) shall be the parliamentary authority of the Senate.

Meetings shall be open to all full-time faculty who wish to attend. If a faculty member (who is not a Senator) wants to speak during a meeting, he or she shall sign up at the beginning of the meeting to speak on any agenda item(s). The time shall be limited to three minutes per individual on an agenda item. The time may be extended for an individual by the majority vote of the Senators present.

Section 2: Quorum

To conduct the business of the Senate, a simple majority of Senators must be present to establish a quorum. The President, Immediate Past President and the President-Elect shall be considered as part of a quorum. Alternates with written authorization are counted in establishing a quorum. The Parliamentarian shall determine if a quorum is present.

Section 3: Order of Business

A majority of the officers, to include the President (who will chair the meeting), will prepare the agenda for Senate meetings. The agenda for Senate meetings must be prepared in a timely manner to allow all full-time faculty to receive it at least 72 hours before a Senate meeting.

Insofar as possible, the President shall attach to the agenda copies of draft policies, resolutions, or other documents to be discussed and possibly acted upon at the meeting.

At the Senate meeting, the adoption of the agenda, after opportunity for amendment, shall be the first order of business.

The agenda shall include time limits for discussion on each item. At the end of the time limit Senators shall vote on any motion or amendments under consideration. A member may request an extension of time for further discussion. This action must be approved by a majority of the Senators in attendance. The total time allowed for the agenda shall not exceed one and one-half hours, unless additional time is approved by majority vote.

At the beginning of a Senate meeting, the time shall be automatically extended for each agenda item as needed to accommodate faculty wishing to speak on the item.

An item may be placed on or added to the agenda in one of four ways:

  1. Senator or any Committee Chairperson may submit an item to the President no later than ten working days before the meeting. The officers shall prepare the agenda. If the officers decide not to place an item submitted by a Senator or Committee Chairperson on the agenda, Article VII, Section 3. c or d. would be the only means of adding the item to the agenda.
  2. A full-time faculty member who is not a Senator may submit agenda items to any Senator for addition to the agenda. The procedure above would then be followed.
  3. A group of three Senators may submit an item in writing (with their signatures) to the President at any time during the period of ten days before a Senate meeting and no later than the call to order of a Senate meeting. The item's inclusion on the agenda shall be subject to the approval of a majority of the Senators present at the meeting. Such approval carries with it an automatic ten minute extension of the agenda time.
  4. A group of ten full-time faculty members may present a petition with a description of the proposed agenda item and their signatures at any time before the call to order of the meeting. The item will be added to the agenda with an initial ten minute limit on the issue.

Section 4: Attendance

Every Senator is expected to attend all Senate meetings or give written authorization to a full-time faculty member alternate from the Senator's umbrella who may attend. While serving as an alternate, one has full voting privileges.

Meetings shall be open for all full-time faculty members who wish to attend. Other persons may attend by invitation or permission of the President or presiding officer.

Article VIII: Committees (Amended February 2012)

During the month of April, The President-Elect of the Senate shall solicit from full-time faculty the names of those faculty members wishing to serve on any of the standing committees of the Senate. This information shall be compiled and during the summer an ad hoc committee shall establish a recommended list of committee members. This ad hoc committee shall be composed of the incoming President and President-Elect and three incoming Senators (chosen from three different campuses) selected by the incoming President. The list of committee members shall be submitted to the Senate for approval at the first meeting of the fall semester. The final list of committee members shall then be submitted to the entire full-time faculty as soon as possible.
Each committee should include at least one Senator, and the chairperson should not be a Senator. If a committee member resigns, the officers may appoint a replacement.

Section 1: Standing Committees

A. Committee Titles, Membership, and Responsibilities

Membership Size: All Senate committees, including the Auditing and Elections, Bylaws, Policy and Procedure, Academic Affairs, and Facilities Committees, will have at least three representatives. The Nominating Committee and Salary and Benefits Committees would have the added stipulation that each would have representation from at least three different campuses.

a. Nominating Committee- Presents a ballot for the regular election and any special elections, within the time lines stated under the article on elections. The ballots shall include at least one nominee for each of the Senate positions and officers. One of the members of the Nominating Committee shall be a current Senator. If a member of the Nominating Committee wishes to run for President-Elect, he or she must resign from the Committee: however, it will not be necessary to resign from the Committee to run for Senator. Upon election as Senator, he or she must resign from the Committee. The Committee shall include representation from at least three campuses.

b. Auditing and Elections Committee - Audits all Senate documents and financial records before October 15 and at least one additional time to be determined by the Committee each year. Additional special audits may be conducted at any time that a majority of the Auditing and Elections Committee members deem necessary. Conducts all regular, special, and recall elections. Conducts any referenda and elections concerning amendments to bylaws called for by the Senate. Assures that all faculty members get ballots seventy-two hours prior to election deadline. The Committee shall include faculty members representing at least three Campuses. If a member of this committee becomes a nominee for President-Elect (i.e. listed on the ballot), he or she must resign from the Committee.

c. Salary and Benefits Committee - Studies matters relating to faculty salaries and non-salary employee benefits, brings recommendations to the February Senate meeting about such matters, and (if so directed by the Senate) communicates with appropriate administrators about the same. The Committee shall include representation from at least three campuses.

d. Bylaws Committee - Considers Bylaws revisions as needed or requested and bring recommendations to the Senate about the same.

e. Policy and Procedure Committee - Considers policy and procedures affecting full-time faculty and bring recommendations to the Senate about such matters, and (if so directed by the Senate) communicates with appropriate administrators about the same

f. Academic Affairs Committee - Considers curriculum and instructional matters and brings recommendations to the Senate about such matters, and (if so directed by the Senate) communicates with appropriate administrators.

g. Facilities Committee - Considers matters relating to faculty concerns about the condition of the physical facilities of the College and also the long-range planning for future facilities.

B. Term of membership - Term of membership on all standing committees shall be for one year beginning with the fall semester.

C. Nomination and Approval of Members of Standing Committees

Committee membership for the next academic year shall be solicited in the spring. A list of committee membership shall be presented at the first Senate meeting in the fall semester. Vacancies shall be filled by officers of the Senate. The Committee chairperson shall be appointed by the Senate officers.

Section 2: Ad Hoc Committees

The Senate President, subject to concurrence by a majority of the officers, may appoint ad hoc committees to perform specific tasks within specific time limits.

Section 3: Quorum for Committee Meetings

A simple majority of the membership of a standing or ad hoc committee will constitute a quorum carrying on the committee's business.

Article IX: Amendments

Proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be presented in writing at a regular meeting of the Senate. Voting by Senators on such proposals cannot be conducted before the next regularly scheduled meeting. If a two-thirds majority of the Senate present and voting approve the change, the proposal will be submitted to full-time faculty before the next Senate meeting. A two-thirds vote of the faculty shall be required to adopt an amendment to the bylaws. The Audit and Elections Committee shall report voting results from that election back to the Senate at the next regularly scheduled meeting.