UTMB FACULTY SENATE
(Revised December 8, 2014)
ARTICLE 1: Name of Body
The body shall be known as the Faculty Senate (hereinafter known as the Senate) of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB).
ARTICLE 2: Purpose
It shall be the purpose of the Senate to serve as the representative voice of the Faculty of UTMB to the Administration of UTMB and to receive and communicate ideas, reviews and recommendations of policies affecting UTMB as it relates to the welfare, academic opportunities and responsibilities of the Faculty. The UTMB Faculty refers to all persons in UTMB holding a Faculty appointment or a librarian appointment. The Senate shall provide two designated members (Chair, Chair-Elect) of the Senate to represent the UTMB Faculty on the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council.
ARTICLE 3: Membership
Section 1: Responsibilities of Membership
The prime responsibility of the Senate shall be to represent the entire Faculty of UTMB concerning issues that pertain to the entire institution. In that respect, the Senate shall be comprised of Faculty who shall endeavor to advance the welfare of the entire institution.
The Senators shall also be charged with bringing issues from the schools from which they are elected to the Senate and informing their schools about issues being considered by the Senate.
Section 2: Composition of Membership
Each school (School of Allied Health Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing) at UTMB shall be represented in the Senate.
The number of representatives from each school shall be as follows:
School of Allied Health Sciences, five (5);
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, six (6);
School of Medicine, ten (10);
School of Nursing, five (5).
Section 3: Eligibility for Membership
All Faculty members ranging from Instructor to Professor, as defined by the Regent's Rules, shall be eligible for membership in the Senate. Each School shall decide which other academic ranks shall qualify individually for eligibility for membership in the Senate. In the event the Faculty member has joint responsibilities in two or more operating units of UTMB, he or she should indicate which school he or she shall represent in the Senate. Furthermore, each School shall decide, on an individual basis, about the eligibility of department chairs or other administrators to serve in elected positions representing the Faculty.
Section 4: Election Procedure for Senate Members
In June of each academic year, the appropriate number of Senate representatives shall be elected by the Faculty of each school at UTMB. The outgoing Chair of the Senate shall notify the Dean of each School that such an election shall be held and indicate the appropriate number of representatives to be chosen. The nomination and election process shall be monitored by the incumbent Senate members, and shall follow the following procedures: 1.) Candidates shall be nominated by the Faculty of each School; 2.) Those candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected; and, 3.) The Deans of the schools shall inform the outgoing Chair of the Senate of the election results prior to the August Senate meeting. The Faculty Senate Chair will announce the election results to the Senators.
Section 5: Term of Office for Senate Members
Term of office for Senate members shall be two years commencing in September of the year elected. A maximum of two full consecutive two-year terms shall be allowed for each member of the Senate. Exceptions are allowed if a Senator is elected as Chair-Elect or Chair, necessitating a third term on the Senate. After serving two full consecutive two-year terms, a Faculty member may be re-elected in any but the immediate election cycle. Senators elected to fill an unexpired term can be elected to a maximum of 2, 2 year terms following the completion of the partial term.
Section 6: Vacancies of Senate Members
Vacancies on the Senate that occur before regularly scheduled elections shall be filled by a special election called by the Faculty of the School with the vacancy. If a senator is unable to attend more than three consecutive meetings per year, he or she shall either rescind the position or request a temporary replacement. As early as possible, the Senator shall send a formal letter to the Chair of the Senate explaining the situation. The Chair of the Senate and the majority of the Executive Committee of the Senate (Past Chair, Chair-Elect and Committee Chairs) shall determine what action is necessary to insure the Senator's School has the representation required.
When the decision for action has been made, the Chair of the Senate shall inform both the appealing Senator and the Dean of the affected School of the need for either an interim replacement or another Faculty to fulfill the remaining obligations of the Senate term. Once an interim Senator has been elected by the Faculty of the affected School, the Chair of the Senate shall be informed. A Faculty member of the United States military shall not lose his or her position on the Senate during deployment. An interim replacement, preferably a previous Senator, shall temporarily fulfill the obligations of the deployed Faculty. Upon return of the deployed Faculty, the interim Senator shall update the returning Faculty on the activities that occurred during that deployment.
Section 7: Loss of Senate Appointment
Any member of the Senate, other than an ex officio, who has been absent from three consecutive scheduled meetings or four total meetings during the calendar year shall forfeit the position. A replacement shall be chosen by the procedure for filling vacancies described in Article 3, Section 4 of the Bylaws. The newly-elected Senator shall assume responsibilities at the first regularly scheduled Senate meeting following his/her election. The Chair of the Senate shall monitor attendance and implement procedures leading to loss of appointment and replacement.
Section 8: Ex Officio Membership
In addition to the immediate past chair of the Senate, the following individuals shall serve as ex officio members of the Senate without vote:
a. The President of UTMB or designee.
b. The Vice Presidents of UTMB or their designees.
c. The Deans of the School of Allied Health Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing or their designees.
d. Other ex officio members may be invited to serve by the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Ex officio members of the Senate shall not be eligible to hold office.
ARTICLE 4: Officers of the Senate
Section 1: Qualifications
All members of the Senate, except ex officio members, shall be eligible to be elected as officers of the Senate.
Section 2: Chair-Elect
The duties of the Chair-Elect of the Senate shall be to preside at meetings and otherwise carry out the duties of the Chair in his/her absence. The Chair-Elect shall be a three year term of office (Chair-Elect, one year; Chair, one year; Past-Chair, one year). The Chair-Elect shall not be from the same School as the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall have the same voting privilege as other members of the Senate. The Chair-Elect shall serve on the UT System Faculty Advisory Council as one of UTMB's representatives. The Chair-Elect will serve as co-chair of the Faculty Senate IHOP Committee.
Section 3: Chair
The duties of the Chair shall include presiding at meetings of the Senate, chairing the Executive Committee of the Senate, calling special meetings of the Senate, appointing Senate members to standing committees and ad hoc committees, serving as ex officio member of all Senate Committees without vote, approving minutes prior to distribution, preparing a year-end report, otherwise facilitating the activities of the Senate, and representing the Senate to the Administration of UTMB and at other appropriate institutional activities. The term of office shall be one full year. The Chair shall only be permitted to vote in the case of a tie. The Chair shall serve on the UT System Faculty Advisory Council as one of UTMB's representatives. After the completion of the one year term of office, the Chair shall serve as the Immediate Past Chair on the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Section 4: Immediate Past Chair
The Immediate Past Chair of the Senate shall continue to serve on the Senate as an ex officio member and advisor for one year after expiration of his or her term as Chair and shall also serve on the Executive Committee. The Immediate Past Chair shall have privileges of the floor, but shall not have the right to vote. The Immediate Past Chair shall serve as an alternate to the UT System Faculty Advisory Council as one of UTMB's representative if either the Chair or Chair-Elect is unable to attend.
Section 5: Election of Officers
The Chair-Elect shall be elected by the Senate at its July meeting for a term of three years (one year each as the Chair-Elect, Chair, Immediate Past-Chair).
In the event the Chair does not complete his/her term of office, the Chair-Elect shall succeed to that office. In the event the Chair-Elect does not complete his/her term of office, the Senate shall elect a member of the Senate to serve out the remainder of the term of office, by nomination and vote. The new Chair-Elect shall not be from the same School as the Chair.
ARTICLE 5: Meetings of the Senate
Section 1: Regular Meetings of the Senate
Regular meetings of the Senate shall be held monthly.
Section 2: Special Meetings of the Senate
Special meetings of the Senate may be called by: 1.) the Senate Chair; 2.) written request of three or more members of the Senate; and/or 3.) petition by 25 or more Faculty members of UTMB. Notice of special meetings shall be sent by the appointed Executive Secretary of the Senate to all members of the Senate with the notice containing the purpose, time, and place of the special meeting. Ordinarily, at least five working days must elapse between the time the notice has been mailed and the date of a special meeting.
Section 3: Meetings of the Entire Faculty of UTMB
The Chair of the Senate shall call and preside over the Annual Meeting of the entire University Faculty each year. An agenda shall be distributed by the Executive Secretary of the Senate at least five working days before the meeting. The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be: to report upon the activities of the Senate, to discuss issues pertaining to the entire UTMB Faculty and to receive requests or motions from any of the School Assemblies.
Special meetings of the entire UTMB Faculty may be called by a petition of at least 50 of the Faculty of UTMB. Notice of special meetings shall be sent by the Executive Secretary of the Senate to all members of the Faculty with the notice containing the purpose, time, and place of the special meeting. Ordinarily, at least five working days shall elapse between the time the notice is mailed and the date of a special Faculty meeting.
Section 4: Quorum
Each School shall have at least one elected representative present at each Senate meeting for business to be conducted. A quorum of the Senate shall be fifty percent of the membership (13 Senators). Attendance shall be kept by the Executive Secretary of the Senate.
Section 5: Open Meetings of the Senate
Meetings of the Senate shall be open to members of the Faculty or Administration, who are not ex officio without right of participation. With a concurrence of a majority of the Senate members present, those individuals shall then have the right to participate in the discussion but may not vote.
Section 6: Invited Guests
Members of the Faculty or the Administration may be invited by the Senate Chair to attend meetings when subjects related to their fields are under discussion. With a concurrence of a majority of the Senate members present, those individuals shall then have the right to participate in the discussion but may not vote.
Section 7: Voting Procedures
Votes during meetings shall be by a show of hands. A secret ballot shall be required on any vote, if requested by at least five senators. Voting for Chair-Elect is by secret ballot of the Senators present.
Section 8: Agenda of the Senate
The agenda for each regular meeting of the Senate shall be distributed to the members of the Senate, and the meeting time and place shall be announced at least five working days in advance of the meeting date.
Section 9: Communications of the Senate
The Executive Secretary of the Senate (provided by the UTMB Administration) shall prepare the minutes of each meeting of the Senate and send copies to each member of the Senate (five working days prior to the meeting). Other communications shall be facilitated by the Executive Secretary.
The Chair of the Senate and each Committee Chair shall prepare an annual report that describes the major activities undertaken that year (September-August) of the Senate and the initiatives that shall be considered for the next year. The annual report shall be submitted to the entire Faculty and the President of UTMB.
Section 10: Administrative Support for the Senate
The President of UTMB shall provide the Senate with financial support, an Executive Secretary and office space/equipment for that individual to perform the duties required by the Senate.
Section 11: Procedural Rules of the Senate
Meetings of the Senate shall be governed by the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order. A parliamentarian, appointed by the Chair, shall be final arbitrator of the Rules. Suspension of the Rules of Order shall require a majority vote of those present. The Parliamentarian shall serve for one year. The most recent edition of Robert's rules shall be available to the Parliamentarian upon assumption of office by the Executive Secretary.
Section 12: Closure of Debate in the Senate
Debate shall be closed by a two-thirds vote of the Senators present or a move to Call the Question from a Senator.
ARTICLE 6: Committees
Standing committees shall be established that are functionally related to the purpose and responsibilities of the Senate as delineated in Article 2. Except for the Executive Committee, the members of the standing committees shall be appointed by the Chair or Chair-Elect of the Senate, with at least one Senator from each School. The members shall be drawn from the Senate. Each Standing committee shall have a Chair, and a minimum of five voting members. All voting committee members must be Senators. Each committee shall select its own chair and co-chair. It is expected that the co-chair will assume the committee chair's duties the following year, to enable committee continuity. The Chair shall attend the Executive Committee meetings. In the Chair's absence, the Co-Chair shall attend the Executive Committee meeting. The Committee Chair's term of office shall be one year. Individual committees may select ad hoc, non-voting members to serve as needed. The deliberation process and criteria used by the committees shall be consistent with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System and the UTMB Handbook of Operating Procedures.
Section 1: Executive Committee of the Senate
The Executive Committee of the Senate shall be comprised of the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, the Parliamentarian, and the Chairs of the Clinical Mission, Education Mission, Research Mission, and University Affairs Committees or, in the absence of the Chair, the Committee Co-Chair. If a School is not represented among those Committees or officers, additional members shall be recruited from whichever School lacks representation. At the institutional level, the Executive Committee of the UTMB Senate shall serve as the primary committee to foster participation in Faculty governance. The Executive Committee shall be the primary representative of interests that pertain to the entire UTMB Faculty. Those interests shall be communicated directly to the President, Vice Presidents or other key Administrators of UTMB. The Executive Committee shall formulate a position or positions on matters referred by the President; on matters generated within any of the constituent Schools or their Faculties; or on matters generated within the Senate. Recommendations from the Senate shall be forwarded to the President, Vice Presidents, and other key Administrators of UTMB in writing. The Executive Committee shall establish other committees as needed, either permanent or ad hoc.
Section 2: Clinical Mission Committee
The Clinical Mission Committee of the Senate shall be composed of representatives from each School, appointed as described in the introduction to Article 6. The committee shall discuss issues and make recommendations related to opportunities, expectations, performance evaluations, and compensation of faculty contributing to the clinical mission of UTMB.
Section 3: Education Mission Committee
The Education Mission Committee of the Senate shall be composed of representatives from each School, appointed as described in the introduction to Article 6. The committee shall discuss issues and make recommendations related to opportunities, expectations, performance evaluations, and compensation of faculty contributing to the education mission of UTMB.
Section 4: Research Mission Committee
The Research Mission Committee of the Senate shall be composed of representatives from each school, appointed as described in the introduction to Article 6. The committee shall discuss issues and make recommendations related to opportunities, expectations, performance evaluations, and compensation of faculty contributing to the research mission of UTMB.
Section 5: University Affairs Committee
The University Affairs Committee of the Senate shall be composed of the Chair-elect of the Senate and representatives from each School, appointed as described in the introduction to Article 6. The committee shall discuss broad university issues affecting all faculty and make recommendations to the Senate regarding faculty interests. General categories include, but are not limited to 1) governance; 2) faculty status, rights and responsibilities; 3) administrative policies and priorities including strategic planning; and 4) revisions to the institutional handbook of operating procedures (IHOP). The Chair-elect of the Senate will be responsible for obtaining information on pending and completed IHOP updates affecting faculty interests from the Office of Institutional Compliance.
ARTICLE 7: Amendments
Proposed amendments to the Bylaws may be received from one or more of the Faculty Assemblies at UTMB or any member of the Senate at a regular meeting. Upon a majority vote of the members present, the proposed amendment(s) shall be submitted by the Chair of the Senate and Executive Secretary to all members of the UTMB Faculty by email. Amendments approved by a two-thirds majority of responses returned within 10 working days of the mailing shall become effective immediately. Faculty shall vote on the Amendment and return it to the Executive Secretary within 10 working days. The Executive Secretary shall inform the Chair of the Senate of the total number of responses and the number in favor.
ACCEPTED APRIL 10, 2000
(Revised June 7, 2006)
Rule 1. Robert's Rules of Order
The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts 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 the bylaws of the organization and these standing rules.
Rule 2. Purpose
The Senate shall serve as the voice of the UTMB Faculty with respect to (but not limited to):
1. Input on University policies of general Faculty concern such as promotion, tenure, workload, budget, etc.
2. Receive input from Faculty and University administration on matters of general Faculty concern such as uniform application of University policies and procedures.
3. Representation at the University of Texas System level via membership of the Chair and Chair-Elect on the System Faculty Advisory Council
Rule 3. Membership and Responsibilities
Members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected from all Faculty members ranging from Instructor to Professor as defined by the Regents Rules. If other academic ranks are utilized by individual Schools, they may be eligible for Senate membership. All Senators will be expected to:
1. Act collectively as the representative voice of the UTMB Faculty on matters of general Faculty concern.
2. Strive to adopt a broad perspective that transcends the interests of an individual School.
3. Engage in open communication with the UTMB administration and Faculty on policy and/or procedural matters affecting the Faculty.
4. Be responsible for obtaining opinions on issues and transmitting the concerns of their individual School Faculty constituencies to the Senate.
5. Be knowledgeable about communications from the UTMB administration via participation in University-wide meetings and information communicated via e-mail and hard copy.
6. Engage in public University discussions that model proactive and responsible behaviors.
7. Serve as one of 26 members representative of UTMB Faculty from the following Schools:
8. Be elected by the Faculty of the School in which the primary appointment is held, prior to assuming Senate membership in September for a term of two years. A senator may be re-elected to a second term. An individual Senator is not eligible to serve more than 2 consecutive terms. Exceptions to this are allowed if a Senator is elected as Chair-Elect or Chair. Following the second consecutive term, the Faculty member may not be considered as a candidate for the Senate until one election cycle has been completed.
Rule 4 - Voting
1. The ex officio members may have voice but shall not vote.
2. The Chair of the Senate shall not vote except in the case of a tie.
3. The Chair of the Senate shall be an ex officio member of all Senate committees without vote.
4. The Chair-Elect shall preside in the absence of the Chair of the Faculty Senate.
5. The Chair-Elect shall be able to vote unless assuming the duties of the Chair.
6. Voting on any motion considered by the Senate shall be by show of hands. A motion is carried by simple majority vote of those Senators present with the exceptions of limiting discussion by a Senator, limiting or extending discussion by the Senate and suspension of any Senate rule. These exceptions require two-thirds vote of all Senators present.
7. Voting by secret ballot shall be allowed if requested by a minimum of five Senators; voting for Chair-Elect shall be done by secret ballot.
8. Proxy voting shall not be permissible.
9. Written ballots shall be counted by a minimum of two Senators.
Ballots shall be destroyed at the end of the meeting at which the vote was taken.
Rule 5 - Regular Senate Meetings
1. Any Faculty member of UTMB may speak to a topic or participate in the Senate discussion without vote at the Faculty Senate meeting, following the same rules for discussion as Senators.
2. The Senate shall allow invited speakers a sufficient amount of time, as stipulated on the agenda, for an adequate presentation and a question and answer period as needed.
3. In order to conduct Senate business, a quorum of 13 Senators (50% of members) shall be present with a minimum of at least one Senator from each of the four Schools (School of Allied Health Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Nursing) in attendance.
4. Motions made during meetings shall be clearly articulated by the maker of the motion, the chair, or the parliamentarian prior to discussion or debate.
5. If during the course of any discussion it is believed that additional time spent on the topic would be unproductive, Senators shall make a motion to terminate discussion.
6. Senators seeking parliamentary inquiry or raising a point of order shall be appropriately recognized by the Chair. The Parliamentarian’s interpretation of the Senate Bylaws and Robert’s Rules Newly Revised shall prevail to settle the question.
7. Items for the Senate’s monthly meeting shall be submitted to the Chair of the Senate until 4 p.m. on the last working day prior to the Senate’s monthly meeting. Those submitting agenda items shall also include an estimate of the amount of time that will be required to cover each item. The Chair shall advise the Executive Secretary of the Senate (provided by the UTMB Administration) who shall place the topic and estimated time on the agenda. The parliamentarian shall call time based on the written agenda.
8. Any substantive topic not of emergency nature, nor one previously forwarded to the Chair for inclusion in the Senate agenda, may be introduced by an individual delegate at the beginning of the meeting and shall receive a two-thirds vote of the Senators present for consideration. This vote is non-debatable. Should the Senators support consideration of the proposal, it shall be entertained under new business and requires a two-thirds vote by the Senators for adoption.
9. A non-Senator may add an unscheduled topic to the agenda at the start of the Senate meeting if the agenda permits. In such a circumstance there shall be a time limit of five minutes for presentation/discussion of the topic. Generally, a non-Senator shall inform the Chair, in advance of a meeting, of his/her wish to speak and the Chair shall inform the non-Senator of the time and maximum length of the presentation and provide any other information that may be helpful. The Chair shall also communicate with the non-Senator at a later date, to discuss actions taken or new information gained about the matter on which the non-Senator addressed the Senate.
10. Emergency proposals may be brought before the Senate at the beginning of its regular meeting but must receive a two-thirds vote of the Senators present in order to reach the floor for consideration. Emergency considerations brought at times other than regularly scheduled Senate meetings shall be submitted to the Chair of the Senate who may call a special meeting of the Senate. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent by the Executive Secretary of the Senate. Ordinarily, five working days must elapse between the time the notice has been mailed and the date of a special meeting.
11. The Chair shall limit the amount of time allotted for discussion of topics placed on the agenda based on the number of items scheduled at a given meeting.
12. Regularly scheduled meetings of the Faculty Senate shall adhere to the ninety (90) minutes allotted for that purpose. Meetings can be extended only by a two-thirds vote of those present.
13. No voting can take place during extended meetings hours unless a quorum of Senators is present and unless each School has at least one representative present.
14. The Faculty Senate shall hold one Annual Faculty Meeting of the entire UTMB Faculty per year. The meeting shall be held in September.
15. Any Faculty member of UTMB may speak at the Annual Faculty Meeting conducted by the Senate.
Rule 6 - Committees
1. Chairs of Standing Senate Committees: Executive, Clinical Mission, Education Mission, Research Mission and University Affairs shall be responsible for calling regular meetings to: 1) handle committee business in a timely fashion, 2) to record committee proposals/actions, and 3) communicate those proposals/actions to the Faculty Senate for direction/action. Time for updates on Committee activities shall be added to each Senate meeting.
2. Chairs of all Senate Standing Committees shall prepare an Annual Report documenting the committee’s activities during the calendar year. Each report shall be submitted to the Chair of the Faculty Senate who shall prepare the Annual Report of the Faculty Senate with the assistance of the Executive committee. The Annual Report shall be submitted to the entire Faculty and the President of UTMB each year. The Senate Chair and the Committee Chairs shall provide an oral report to the Faculty at the Annual Faculty Meeting.
3. Standing committees of the Senate shall elect a co-chair. The co-chair shall chair the committee in the absence of the Chair and shall attend the Executive Committee only in the absence of the Chair.
4. Elected committee members shall participate in achieving the mission of the committee via attendance at committee meetings. If committee business is handled via e-mail, it shall be the responsibility of members to respond in timely fashion.
Rule 7 – Amendments
1. Bylaws of The University of Texas Medical Branch Faculty Senate may be amended as indicated in Article 7 of the Bylaws.
Draft 1 Governance Committee Jan. 31, 2000
Draft 2 Governance Committee March 7, 2000
Draft 3 Governance Committee March 31, 2000
Draft 4 Governance Committee April 7, 2000
Accepted by Faculty Senate April 10, 2000
Draft 5 Governance Committee June 7, 2006
AcceptedbyFacultySenate July 10, 2006
Draft 6 Ad Hoc Task Force February 28, 2008/April 24,2008
Accepted by Faculty Senate May 18, 2008
Accepted by Faculty Senate December 8, 2014