Procedures

I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Faculty Senate of Tennessee Technological University.

II. Purpose

The Faculty Senate shall serve as a representative voice of the teaching and research faculty of Tennessee Technological University. It shall provide a forum for the free discussion of any issue of interest or of concern to members of the faculty; it shall convey the results of such discussions to the administrative officers of the university and, when appropriate, request that the President of the University convey the results of such discussions to the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. It shall also serve to convey information to the faculty. In fulfilling these purposes, the Senate shall serve in an advisory capacity--expressing the interests and the concerns of the teaching and research faculty.

III. Composition

The Senate shall consist of the elected faculty representatives on the University Assembly, each of whom shall be elected by secret ballot. Representatives on the University Assembly shall be full members of the Senate with one vote each.

IV. Officers

A. The Senate shall elect from among its members a president, who will serve for a term of one year.

B. The Senate shall elect a secretary to keep such records of the Senate as shall be found desirable and who shall serve for a term of one year.

C. The senate shall select a faculty member to a two-year term on the Faculty Subcouncil of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

D. The president, the secretary, and the representative to the Faculty Subcouncil shall take office on July 1 of the year in which they are elected.

V. Meetings

The Senate shall meet once each month during the regular academic year. Meetings shall be open to all interested parties and all members of the faculty are encouraged to participate, but only members of the Senate shall have a vote.

No quorum shall be necessary for discussions or hearings on matters of interest to the faculty; however, should the Senate wish to adopt a resolution purporting to represent the views of the general faculty, a favorable vote of a majority of the total membership of the Senate shall be required.

The members of the Senate shall also meet monthly during the regular academic year with the President of the University and such other individuals as may be invited by him, to convey to him the sentiments of the faculty and to receive from him information of concern to the faculty. At these meetings, no quorum shall be required and no vote shall be taken.

At the last Faculty Senate business meeting of the spring semester or after the General Faculty meetings in the spring at which a part of the Faculty Senate membership is elected, the president shall call a meeting of the Senate before the completion of the academic year for the sole purpose of electing officers for the next academic year. At this meeting a quorum shall be required to transact business.

The president of the Senate may call such additional meetings of the Senate as may from time to time be appropriate.

VI. Other Functions of the Senate

A. The Senate shall have the authority to nominate to the President of the University, in accordance with the appropriate committee procedures, faculty representatives to all standing university committees other than the curriculum committee and those committees whereon faculty representatives are elected by the faculty.

B. The Senate shall select two of its members to participate in long-range planning and budget processes. These representatives shall be effectively involved in the long- range planning and annual budget processes. These representatives shall preside over hearings held by the Senate in order to obtain faculty participation in the long-range planning and budget processes. These representatives shall serve for a two-year term..

C. The Senate shall have the authority to nominate to the President of the University one or more of its members to serve on standing committees of the Tennessee Board of Regents. The Senate shall elect a faculty member to a two-year term on the Faculty Subcouncil of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

D. Committees of the Senate and representatives of the faculty may be appointed by the president of the Senate as needed. The president, the secretary, and the representative to the Faculty Subcouncil shall take office on July 1 of the year in which they are elected.

E. The Senate shall have as a standing committee a Faculty Affairs Committee. This committee shall function as a faculty grievance committee, as provided in the procedures of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

VII. Rules of Order

The rules continued in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall apply to all meetings, except where such rules are inconsistent with this document.

VIII. Amendments

This document may be amended at any regular meeting of the Senate by a two-thirds vote of the total membership, provided that the proposed amendment has been previously submitted in writing to each member. Amendments to this document are subject to final approval by the University Assembly.

  • [Approved by the University Assembly Spring, 1982]
  • [Amended by the University Assembly Fall, 1991]
  • [Amended by the University Assembly Spring, 1994]
  • [Amended by the University Assembly April 16, 2008]

Procedures of the Faculty Affairs Committee

I. Membership

A. The Faculty Affairs Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Senate. The Committee is composed of two representatives of the College of Arts & Sciences (one from the Humanities and Social Sciences and one from the Natural and Mathematical Sciences), one representative from each of the University's other colleges, and two at-large members. All members of the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be tenured members of the faculty. no officer of the Administration shall serve on the Faculty Affairs Committee. The members of the Committee will serve three year terms.

B. Representatives from the various colleges and schools shall be elected by secret ballot (unless a candidate is unopposed) in the same manner as members and alternates are elected to the Academic and Administrative councils. Representatives elected to the Faculty Affairs Committee may be, but are not required to be, also members of the Faculty Senate. These members shall take office at the beginning of the Fall semester following their election.

At-large members of the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate from among the members of the Faculty Senate, with the advice and consent of the Senate, at the first Senate meeting of the Fall semester.

C. The Committee will elect its own chairperson in the spring semester to serve the following academic year. A chairperson may be re-elected.

D. The Committee, through its chairperson, reports directly to the President of the Senate or, at his request, directly to the Senate.

II. Procedure

A. Purpose

The primary role of the Faculty Affairs Committee is to resolve grievances in a mutually satisfactory manner. To do so the Committee must have the confidence and respect of both the faculty and administration. Hence, the Committee must make every effort to fully inform itself about the issue in question and must attempt to reach a just and impartial solution.

B. Hearing

1. Any faculty member who alleges cause for grievance may petition in writing the Faculty Affairs Committee for redress.

2. The petition will set forth in detail the nature of the grievance and will state against whom the grievance is directed.

A grievance is defined as a complaint that an action or decision has unjustly adversely affected an individual in his/her professional or academic capacity.

3. Submission of a petition will not automatically entail investigation or detailed consideration thereof. Having decided not to hear further on the grievance, the Committee will notify the petitioner in writing as to the reasons. (See section II.D.)

4. When the Committee has consented to hear a grievance, it will seek information from all parties to the grievance by informing the person or officer against whom the grievance is lodged of the substance of the grievance and inviting that person or office, along with the grievant, to submit any pertinent information. Refusal to do so establishes a prima facie presupposition in favor of the grievant.

5. Having reviewed the evidence submitted, and any other relevant information gathered by the Committee (such as policy and procedure statements, statements from knowledgeable persons not party to the grievance, etc.) The Committee shall come to a decision on an appropriate course of action. Having reviewed the evidence the Committee may decide:

a. No valid grievance exists.

b. A valid grievance exists, but not to the extent or against the person or office stated in the petition.

c. A valid grievance exists.

C. Resolution

1. In the event of situation 5a above the Committee will notify the petitioner in writing of its decision and the reasons.

In the event of situations 5b or 5c above, the Committee shall attempt to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution of the grievance in keeping with University policies and generally accepted professional principles. This may be done either by correspondence or in meetings of all parties with the Committee.

2. Should a mutually acceptable resolution be unobtainable, the Committee shall notify the President of the Faculty Senate with a recommendation for further action, after notifying both parties in writing that the case could not be mutually resolved.

a. Should the Committee find in favor of the grievant but fail to reach resolution with the person or office against whom the grievance was filed, the President of the Senate shall notify in writing the Committee's findings to the appropriate administrative office of committee of the University to whom that person or office reports.

b. If no action is taken within a specified period of time, a second written notification shall be sent to the above mentioned office or committee and to the office or committee to whom that office or committee reports.

c. Should there still be no appropriate remediation within a specified time, the President of the Senate shall refer the matter to the full Senate for consideration.

D. Appeals

Any decision of the Faculty Affairs Committee can be appealed to the full Faculty Senate for reconsideration.

E. Decisions

1. All decisions of the Faculty Affairs Committee shall be reached by a majority vote of the Committee. The minority may file a dissenting opinion for the record.

2. The chairperson of the Committee shall be empowered to vote on all matters before the Committee.

3. In the event that a member of the Committee be party to a grievance, or feel that he/she cannot render an impartial decision of whatever reason, that member shall excuse himself/herself from the Committee deliberations.

F. Records

1. A written record shall be kept of all information received by the committee, of all efforts of the committee to react and come to mutually acceptable resolution of the grievance, and of all actions of the committee, the President of the Faculty Senate, and in cases where a resolution is not achieved, of the full Faculty Senate.

2. During the Committee's deliberations, the written records of the committee's activities will be kept by the chairperson of the Faculty Affairs Committee. The record will be open only to members of the committee, the parties involved in the grievance, or the office of committee to whom an appeal is being made.

3. After resolution of a grievance, the written record shall be placed in a confidential file in guardianship of the President of the Faculty Senate.

  • [Adopted by the Faculty Senate May 11, 1987]
  • [Amended April 3, 1989]
  • [Amended by the University Assembly November 19, 2003]
  • [Amended by the University Assembly April 16, 2008]
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