Skip navigation

The Constitution of the Faculty Senate

PREAMBLE: The Faculty Senate is the primary means by which the Faculty participates in the College Council and in the shared governance of the College. It is concerned with all significant issues that affect the academic life of the College and/or the welfare of the Faculty. The powers of the Faculty Senate are derived from and subject to the powers of the Board of Trustees.

Part I
GENERAL STATEMENT

1. This body is known as the Iona College Faculty Senate (Faculty Senate).

2. The presiding officer of the Faculty Senate is the Chair of the Faculty Senate. The Chair may appoint another member of the Executive Committee (see Part II, 4.1) as chair of any plenary meetings.

3. A majority of the members of the Faculty Senate constitutes a quorum.

4. For purposes of this constitution, full-time members of the faculty include tenured, tenure-track, visiting and clinical faculty members, except those on administrative leave. 

5. Any amendments to this Constitution must be approved by the following method: Notification of all such amendments must be placed on the agenda, which will be distributed in writing at least one week in advance of a Faculty Senate meeting. For ratification, amendments must be approved by a two-third vote of the Faculty Senate.  Amendments approved by the Faculty Senate must then be submitted to the full-time faculty of the college, within two years and be approved by two-thirds of those voting.  Amendments approved by the faculty are then sent to the President of the College for final approval.

6. By-laws of the Faculty Senate may be amended or repealed by a majority affirmative vote of the Faculty Senate membership.

7. Changes in the composition or duties of the Faculty Senate committees, or the introduction or elimination of committees, requires a majority affirmative vote of the Faculty Senate membership. Notification of all such matters must be placed on the agenda in advance.

8. All questions before the Faculty Senate, other than amendments to this Constitution, are decided by majority vote of the quorum.

Part II
THE FACULTY SENATE

1. Composition

1.1. The membership of the Faculty Senate (with the exception of item 2 below) consists of full-time members of the teaching faculty elected by the members of the School in which they hold appointment, for a term of three years, one-third to be elected every year. Representation by school will be proportionate to the number of full-time faculty members in that school in the ratio of one senator for every eight full-time faculty members, with the proviso that the School of Business has at least five Senators.

1.2. One member of the adjunct (part-time) faculty is elected to the Faculty Senate, to a two-year term, by the adjunct faculty at-large. To be eligible for membership, an adjunct faculty member must have taught during at least two sessions of the previous and current academic years.  This election takes place during the spring term. Members of the administration or staff who teach as adjuncts may not serve on the Faculty Senate and may not vote for the adjunct faculty representative.

1.3. Every fourth year, the Faculty Senate will conduct a reassessment of faculty membership to determine the number of Senators to represent each School, according to the formula specified in Part II, A, 1. The Faculty Senate will then adjust membership among the Schools to ensure adequate representation.

2. Duties

2.1. To act as principal representative of the Faculty to the President and other senior administrators of the College.

2.2. To carry out its work through eight plenary sessions (four in each semester), special plenary sessions called by the Executive Committee, and meetings of standing and ad hoc committees throughout the year.

2.3. To consider and make recommendations on all significant issues that affect the academic life of the College and/or the welfare of the Faculty. Such issues include, but are not limited to, initiation or termination of academic programs; creation, elimination, or consolidation of academic departments, schools, and other academic units; and tenure and promotion policies. The Faculty Senate communicates its concerns and recommendations to the College Council and may communicate its concerns and recommendations to all other appropriate offices and bodies.

2.4. To consider matters believed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate to be of special importance for academic policy or the welfare of the faculty.

2.5. To provide faculty representation to all committees of the College Council and to recommend faculty representatives to all committees of the College administration (excluding those constituted by the Board of Trustees directly), standing or ad hoc, that include a faculty presence, in the expectation that an explanation will be offered if a recommendation is not accepted. The Faculty Senate provides this representation subject to the provisions of this Constitution. The faculty Chairs of - or faculty representatives on - committees provide a summary report of the deliberations of these committees, inclusive of decision and communication items to the Faculty Senate (with the exception of those matters requiring confidentiality) at plenary sessions and as required by the Executive Committee.

2.6. Faculty representatives on the Committee on Rank, Tenure, and Awards; the Committee on Academic Affairs; the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Human Resources and Compensation are chosen by direct election by school, for a term of two years, one-half to be elected each year.

2.7. Whenever a vacancy arises on the Committee on Rank, Tenure, and Awards; the Committee on Academic Affairs; or the Committee on the Budget, the unexpired term will be filled by the candidate from the appropriate school who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent direct election.

2.8. Faculty representation to the following standing committees are chosen by nomination and ratification by the full Faculty Senate: Committee on Libraries and Information Technology, Committee on Institutional Advancement, Committee on Diversity, Committee on Enrollment, Committee on Environmental Sustainability, Committee on Student Life, and the Committee on Athletics. Faculty representatives on these committees serve for a term of two years, one-half to be appointed each year.

2.9. The Faculty Senate will select faculty representatives to parallel Committees of the Board of Trustees according to the following procedures.  All appointments are for one academic year and may be renewed.  The Committee on Institutional Advancement will select the representative to the Advancement Committee of the Board; the Committee on Budget will select the representative to the Finance Committee of the Board; the Committee on Student Life will select the representative to the Student Life and Mission Committee of the Board; the Committee on Academic Affairs will select the representative to the Academic Committee of the Board. The Faculty Senate will select the representative to the Facilities Management Committee of the Board.

2.10. Faculty representation on ad hoc committees of the Faculty Senate are determined by the Faculty Senate.

2.11. A faculty member may not serve more than six consecutive years on a standing committee.

2.12. The Faculty Senate recommends all faculty members who are appointed to search committees to fill vacancies in academic and academic-related administrative positions.

2.12.1. When a vacancy arises in the position of Provost or Academic Dean, the Faculty Senate recommends the faculty members to fill the appropriate positions on search committees as applicable.

2.12.2. When a vacancy arises in any of the positions, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice Provost for Student Life, Vice Provost for Information Technology, Director of Libraries, Registrar, and Director of Academic Support Services, the Faculty Senate recommends at least one faculty member to fill the appropriate positions on search committees as applicable.

2.12.3. If a vacancy arises in the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Provost will consult the Faculty Senate in selecting a candidate to fill the position.  If the Provost elects to constitute a search committee to recruit candidates for this position, the Faculty Senate will recommend faculty members to that committee.

2.12.4. If a vacancy arises in the position of Associate Academic Dean of any School, the Dean of that School consults the Faculty Senate in selecting a candidate to fill the position.  If the Dean elects to constitute a search committee to recruit candidates for this position, the Faculty Senate will recommend faculty members to that committee.

3. Executive Officers

3.1. The chief executive officer of the Faculty Senate is the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

3.2. The duties of the Chair of the Faculty Senate include the following:

a. To chair all meetings of the Faculty Senate or appoint a member of the Executive Committee as a substitute.

b. To chair the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.

c. To serve as or to designate the official spokesperson for the Faculty Senate.

d. To meet regularly with the Chairs of the Committee on Academic Affairs, Committee on Rank, Tenure and Awards and Committee on the Budget.

3.3. The Chair of the Faculty Senate is elected by the Faculty Senate from its own membership during the first plenary meeting following the Senate election and begins serving immediately after the last College Council Meeting of the Spring Term.

a. The term of office of the Chair is two years; however the term of office may end sooner if the Chair's membership on the Senate ends.

b. In the event a vacancy should occur during the academic year, the Executive Committee will meet and select from its membership, by majority vote, an interim Chair to complete the unexpired term.

3.4. The Secretary of the Senate is elected by the Faculty Senate from its own membership during the first plenary meeting following the Senate election.

a. The term of office of the Secretary is two years; however the term of office may end sooner if the Secretary's membership on the Senate ends.

b. In the event a vacancy should occur during the academic year, the Executive Committee will meet and select from its membership, by majority vote, an interim Secretary to complete the unexpired term.

3.5. The duties of the Secretary of the Faculty Senate include the following:

a. To determine at all meetings if a quorum is present and to serve as Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate.

b. To notify the Senate of the dates of regularly scheduled plenary sessions at least three (3) weeks in advance.

c. To prepare and distribute the agenda and all pertinent information to the Senate membership at least one (1) week in advance of the regularly scheduled plenary sessions.

d. To prepare the minutes of all Senate meetings and published within two (2) weeks of the Senate meeting.

e. To gather and publish rosters of the membership of the Faculty Senate and its various committees.

4. Committees

4.1. Executive Committee

a. Composition

(i) The Executive Committee includes the Chair of the Faculty Senate (as chair), Secretary of the Faculty Senate (as Secretary) and six Senators.  At least one and preferably two of these Senators are from the School of Business.  These Senators are elected to the Committee for a term of two years at the plenary meeting following the Faculty Senate election. 

(ii) The six Senators on the Executive Committee, along with the Chair and the Secretary of the Faculty Senate, serve as the representatives of the Faculty Senate to the College Council.

b. Duties

(i) To assist the Chair of the Faculty Senate in the discharge of the duties of that office.

(ii) To meet and act when matters of urgency that require resolution prior to the regular plenary sessions of the Senate are submitted by the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Alternatively, any four members of the Executive Committee, exclusive of the Chair, may call for the Committee to be convened, for a stated purpose.

(iii) To appoint ad hoc committees of the Faculty Senate as directed by the Senate. Ad hoc committees may be constituted for no more than three years.

(iv) To implement all Faculty elections, including balloting for proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate.

(v)  To call special plenary sessions as needed.

c. Vacancies

In the event that a vacancy occurs on the Executive Committee, other than in the office of Chair or Secretary, the Faculty Senate elects a Senator to complete the unexpired portion of the term of the vacant position.

Part III
ELECTION TO THE FACULTY SENATE

1. Membership of Faculty Senate

1.1. All full-time members of the Faculty of Iona College are eligible to vote for and to serve as Senators.

1.2. A Senator relinquishes his or her seat upon:

a. becoming a part-time or full-time administrator or staff member of the College (not to include Program Directors or Department Chairs);

b. separating from the College;

c. resigning from the Faculty Senate.

1.3. When a Senate seat becomes vacant, the candidate from the applicable School with the next highest number of votes in the last Senate election assumes office until the next Senate election. If, at the time of this election, two years remain in the term, a candidate will be elected to complete that term.

1.4. Whenever an election is held in which three- and two-year positions are to be filled, those candidates who have received the largest number of votes within their respective schools will serve the three-year terms.

1.5. A Faculty Senator on faculty fellowship, dissertation fellowship, or leave of absence need not relinquish his or her seat, providing absence from the Faculty Senate does not extend beyond one year.

2. Election Procedures

2.1. The voting for members of the Faculty Senate will be by school, except as specified in III, 1.5.

2.2. Distribution of Senate seats will be determined according to the provisions above of Part II, 1.1

2.3. For purposes of this Constitution, librarians who have faculty status are members of the School of Arts and Science.

2.4. Eligibility for voting and for election is based on the department to which the faculty member is formally assigned. Any Faculty member who holds an appointment in more than one School is eligible to vote for Senators representing only one of these Schools and is eligible to serve as a Senator representing the School in which he or she votes.

2.5. The election is held during the spring for the term of office to begin with the last plenary meeting.

2.6. The Executive Committee is charged with conducting the election. For each election, the Committee will determine which terms are due to expire and which unexpired terms are vacant and then hold elections in the Schools to fill them, indicating the seats which are for three-year terms and the seats which are for unexpired terms.

Part IV
BY-LAWS

1. General

Senators are expected to attend every Faculty Senate meeting and every meeting of the committees of which they are members.

2. Faculty Senate Constitution

The Faculty Senate Constitution is reviewed and updated at least every five years and as needed per College governance.

3. Faculty Senate Meetings

A. Faculty Senate meetings are guided by Robert's Rules of Order.

B. A Senator may make a proposal from the floor.

C. Faculty Senate meetings are open only to faculty members and to guests invited by the Senate. *However, the Senate invites the president to make a presentation and respond to questions at a meeting in the fall semester and the provost to a senate meeting in the spring semester.

*Under review with the Faculty Senate

Amended: March 2010
Amended: November 14, 2017