Rule 1. Robert's Rules of Order
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 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:
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 6 Senators
School of Health Professions, 5 Senators
School of Medicine, 10 Senators
School of Nursing, 5 Senators
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.
9. Notify the Chair of the Senate and the Executive Committee of the Senate in writing of his/her inability to complete the elected term of office. In such case, the Chair of the Senate shall notify the Dean of the individual School and a special election of a new Senator shall ensue. The new Senator shall complete the person's term of office. The Chair of the Senate shall be notified of the results of the election by the Dean and the new Senator shall assume responsibilities at the first regularly scheduled Senate meeting following his/her election.
10. Forfeit appointment if absent from three consecutive scheduled meetings OR four total meetings during the calendar year. This rule does not apply to ex officio members. In the event of removal of a Senator for failure to attend meetings, a special election as outlined in Rule Number 12 shall be held. There will be no excused absences.
11. The Chair of the Senate shall monitor attendance and implement procedures leading to loss of Senate appointment and replacement. The procedure is: a. Formal written notification by the Chair of the Senate to the Senator and to the Dean of the School represented by the individual. b. The School that the Senator represents shall hold a special Faculty election to choose an individual to complete the person's term of office. The Chair of the Senate shall be notified of the results of the election by the Dean of that School. The newly elected senator is eligible for re-election for 2 full terms. c. The newly elected Senator shall assume responsibilities at the first regularly scheduled Senate meeting following his/her election.
12. Ex officio members of the Senate are comprised of: The President of UTMB or designee, the Vice-Presidents of UTMB or their designees, the Deans of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions, School of Medicine and School of Nursing or their designees and the immediate past Chair of the Senate.
13. Ex officio members of the Senate shall not be eligible to hold office. 14. Other Ex officio members may be appointed by the Executive Committee of the Senate as needed.
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 (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions, 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 on the 2nd Monday in September. 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, accepted by Faculty Senate April 10, 2000
Draft 5 Governance Committee, June 7, accepted by Faculty Senate, July 10, 2006
Draft 6 Ad Hoc Task Force, February 28/April 24, 2008, Accepted by Faculty Senate, May 18, 2008
Revisions accepted by Faculty Senate, December 8, 2014
Revisions accepted by Faculty Senate, May 9, 2016
Revisions accepted by Faculty Senate, October 10, 2016