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Faculty Senate Bylaws

Approved by Faculty Senate: February 25, 2019

Revised by Faculty Senate: February 2019

Third Year Review by Faculty Senate: March 2018

Amended by Faculty Senate to specify Pharmacy rep: April 27, 2015

Amendment approved by Provost: June 2, 2015

Approved by Faculty Senate: April 27, 2014

Approved by Provost: April 30, 2014


The Idaho State University Faculty Senate carries out the shared governance responsibilities delegated to it by the University Faculty in accordance with the Idaho State University Faculty Constitution. The bylaws set forth herein describe the manner in which the Faculty Senate exercises in a collaborative, responsible, and accountable manner the shared governance responsibilities of the faculty within the university community. The ISU Faculty Senate values diversity in its members to ensure the presence and respect of varied perspectives and lived experiences of a diverse community. As a governmental body, the Faculty Senate strives to reflect the diversity of the ISU community, particularly as this diversity relates to gender and race/ethnicity, in its members and officers. Faculty Senate represents all faculty employed by ISU.

The name of this body is the Idaho State University Faculty Senate, hereafter referred to as Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate is the representative body of the University Faculty. It has the authority and responsibility to act on behalf of the University Faculty and to exercise the powers and authority of the University Faculty in accordance with Article III, Section 1, and Article V, Section 2 of the Idaho State University Faculty Constitution.

Section I: Composition of and Qualification for Faculty Senate

  1. Membership of the Faculty Senate is as follows:

The composition of the Faculty Senate will be determined in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Idaho State University Constitution. The allocation of constitution-based senate representation is further delineated here.

  • For purposes of apportioning 1 senate seat per 25 University Faculty in accordance with Article V, Section 1.a.(1)(b) of the Constitution, all faculty, including those located at regional sites, will be counted within their academic unit (college or division) and not by location. The minimum number of seats designated for regional sites according to Article V, Section 1.a.(1)(a) of the Constitution still applies. Thus, each regional site with at least 15 faculty in residence shall have at least one at-large senator.
  • The Faculty Senate will include the following non-voting members in addition to those enumerated in Article V, Section I.a.(2) of the Constitution:


    The immediate past Chair of the Faculty Senate

    Vice President for Student Affairs or that person’s designee

    Recording Secretary

  • The faculty of each college, division, or the University Library with more than one seat determines the internal allocation of those seats among its subunits, subject to review by the Faculty Senate for equity.

2.  To qualify for voting membership on the Faculty Senate, a person must be a member of the University Faculty, as defined by the Constitution, for at least three years.


Section II: Regular Elections

1. Senators are normally elected for three-year terms of office, unless elected as Vice Chair or Chair, in which case their Senate terms are extended until the completion of their terms as officers. Provisions shall be made for rotating terms of office so that one-third of the Senate seats will be vacated each year. Elections are held each spring to fill vacancies. When a unit warrants multiple representatives, such terms of office are staggered.

2. The nomination of new representatives to fill normal vacancies, vacancies due to reapportionment or temporary vacancies is accomplished as follows: the faculty in each college or school (or appropriate division therein) determines the procedure to be used for nominating candidates to the Faculty Senate. Procedures for nomination are subject to oversight and approval of the Faculty Senate. Vote is by secret ballot on a separate occasion.

3. Elections will be conducted within the relevant academic unit of the university following established written procedures.  Procedures and elections in each unit are subject to the oversight and approval of the Faculty Senate.

4. All and only members of the University Faculty, as defined by the Constitution, are eligible to vote in regular and special Faculty Senate elections or elections to fill temporary vacancies.


Section IV: Special Elections

Special elections for Faculty Senate members may be held under two circumstances:

  1. When a member resigns, the Faculty Senate initiates a special election.
  2. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members of a Senator’s constituency may recall that senator by means of a signed petition, and thereby initiate a special election.

Section V: Attendance

The Faculty Senate may, by a two-thirds majority vote, remove a member who persistently declines to participate in Faculty Senate meetings.


Section VI: Temporary Vacancies

If a member must miss a semester but no longer than one year due to a sabbatical, temporary reassignment or other cause, an election for a temporary replacement will be held as soon as possible following the guidelines for regular elections in these bylaws.

Section I: Qualification and Election

The officers of the Faculty Senate consist of a Chair and Vice Chair. The Vice Chair  is elected in the spring semester of every year from among the membership of the Senate. To ensure leadership continuity, the Vice Chair will ordinarily become Chair the following year, and the Chair becomes the immediate Past Chair. A nominating committee, appointed by the Chair, offers at least one name for each office. The outgoing Chair allows additional nominations from the floor and conducts the election by secret ballot. In order to be elected, a nominee must receive a majority of votes cast. Any person serving as a current member of the Senate for at least eight months prior to assuming office is eligible for election, as is a person who served a prior 3-year term as a Senator. The officers’ terms of office coincide with the University’s fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).


Section II: Powers and Duties

Part 1. Chair

  1. Serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate.
  2. Serves as liaison between the Faculty Senate and the University President and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. 
  3. Represents the faculty at meetings of the State Board of Education.
  4. Conducts all meetings of the Faculty Senate and the Executive Committee.
  5. Serves as communication link with counterparts at other Idaho colleges and universities.
  6. Performs other duties as assigned by the Faculty Senate.
  7. An individual, after having served as Faculty Senate Chair, shall serve one additional year as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee.  He or she may participate, as a matter of course, in any executive session of the Faculty Senate.

Part 2. Vice Chair

Assumes the Chair’s responsibilities in the absence of the Chair and performs other duties as assigned by the Chair or the Faculty Senate.

Section III: Executive Committee

Part 1. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee consists of the:


Chair, Vice Chair, and three at-large members elected from the membership of the Faculty Senate. The immediate Past Chair serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the Executive Committee. The at-large members of the Executive Committee are elected at the first senate meeting of the Academic year..


Of the three at-large Senators, one must have served at least one year on Senate, and the other two must have served at least two years. In case of a mid-year vacancy, the Senate elects a replacement member from the remaining Senators.


Part 2. Powers and Duties of the Executive Committee include:

  1. Assiting the Chair in establishing the agenda for Faculty Senate meetings.
  2. Monitoting and assisting in coordinating the work of the Faculty Senate’s Councils and University’s councils and committees as needed.
  3. Assisting in coordinating the work of the Faculty Senate subcommittees.
  4. Making appointments to internal subcommittees.

Section IV: Removal of Officers or members of the Executive Committee


The Chair, Vice Chair, or member(s) of the Executive Committee may be removed from leadership by a ⅔ majority of the Faculty Senate.




Section I: Meeting Schedules

The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate begin no later than two weeks following the first day of classes in the Fall and are held every other Monday through the academic year, unless otherwise ordered by the Faculty Senate or the Executive Committee.

Section II: Special Meetings

Special meetings are called by the Chair or by written request from five members of the Faculty Senate. The purpose of the meeting(s) is stated in the call. Except in cases of emergency, at least three days’ notice is given.

Section III: Quorums


A simple majority of voting members of the Senate will constitute a quorum. Senators may attend meetings from a distance using appropriate communication technology.


Section IV: Voting

  1. A Senator who cannot attend a meeting may select a proxy from his or her constituency, notifying the Chair in advance of the meeting.  Such a proxy will be accorded full voting rights.
  2. In the event of a vote by anonymous  ballot, the Senate shall adopt appropriate procedures to accommodate the needs of Senators attending from a distance.
  3. Voting on motions that have been seconded at a regular meeting may be conducted by mail  or electronic means unless at least one voting member requests that it be done at a regular meeting.

Section V: Agenda


At least three business days prior to any Senate meeting, the Chair of the Faculty Senate will have a proposed agenda distributed to Senators and published. Any item submitted by at least ten percent (10%) of the University Faculty through petition must be placed on the agenda for the next regular Senate meeting. Items not on the agenda of a given meeting may not be brought to formal vote at that meeting without unanimous consent of those voting members present.


Section I: Policy Recommendations

The Faculty Senate, as the representative body of the University Faculty, carries out the shared governance responsibilities of the University Faculty, including the initiation, consideration, recommendation, and implementation of policy within the powers and authority of the University Faculty outlined in Article III of the Constitution. The Faculty Senate considers matters referred to it by the President, the President’s representative, or by the University Faculty. It recommends to the President changes in academic and other policies that affect the Faculty, and through the President recommends policy changes to the State Board of Education.

Section II: Committee and Council Oversight

The Faculty Senate establishes and maintains any committees and councils necessary to carry out the shared governance responsibilities of the University Faculty as outlined in Article III of the Constitution. Such committees and councils will report exclusively to the Senate unless the Faculty Senate approves an alternative reporting method. Faculty membership on such committees and councils is confirmed by the Faculty Senate after elections are held in the academic units and names forwarded to the Senate.

Section III: Communication with Faculty


The Faculty Senate distributes to the Faculty, in the form of minutes and other communications, information on the issues under deliberation, the time and place of meetings, and results of deliberations. Faculty Senate members seek responses from their constituencies by calling meetings or by conducting informal polls.

Section IV: Executive Session


For purposes of discussion and deliberations, the Faculty Senate may enter executive session, which is closed to persons other than elected members of the Senate and all members of the Executive Committee, including the immediate Past Chair. Other persons may be present by special invitation of the Senate. While informal polling is allowed, no final action is taken while in executive session.


Section V: Delegation to Councils

Matters of policy recommendation or review are delegated by the Faculty Senate to Faculty Senate’s  Councils. See Bylaws Article VII, Sections I and II.


Section VI: Guests

The Chair may invite people from outside the Senate to present information on issues relevant to the Senate’s agenda.  

Section VII: General Faculty Vote


The Faculty Senate may initiate a general faculty vote concerning matters within the purpose and powers of the University Faculty. The General Faculty Vote policy is set forth in Appendix A to the Bylaws.



Section I: Standing Councils

Standing Councils (with eligible University Faculty, administration, and student representation, as appropriate) are responsible for developing policy recommendations and for monitoring the implementation of approved policies.  

1. The following standing Councils report to the Faculty Senate:

  • Faculty Senate Advisory
  • Academic Integrity
  • Academic Standards         
  • Budget Advisory
  • Faculty Professional Policies
  • Research
  • Undergraduate Curriculum


Section II: Council Minutes

The Faculty Senate receives and reviews the minutes of all meetings held by all Councils and approves the minutes of the Councils that report to it.


Section III: Procedures for Approving Recommendations


The Faculty Senate considers all policy recommendations submitted by its Councils. These recommendations may be approved by or remanded to the Councils. Councils may override a Faculty Senate remand by passing a recommendation by a two-thirds (2/3) vote. In case of a remand override, the Faculty Senate must call for the consideration of the matter by the University Faculty, and will report the University Faculty’s recommendation to the President of the University. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved by a vote of the University Faculty, the vote of the Faculty Senate is final.

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised governs the Faculty Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Faculty Senate may adopt.


These bylaws are subject to amendment at any regular meeting of the Faculty Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, provided that the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.


Amendments may be proposed by either:

a. A two-thirds vote of the Senate present and voting, or

b. Twenty percent (20%) of the University Faculty through initiative petition presented to the Chair of the Senate.

The proposed amendment to the Constitution will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Senate for open discussion. A written copy of the proposed amendment, including explanation and justification, will be distributed to each member of the University Faculty, after which it will be submitted to a special meeting of the University Faculty for discussion. An amendment thus submitted will become part of the Constitution when approved by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the University Faculty, in accordance with the Faculty Senate bylaws regarding university-wide referendums (see Appendix A).


The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide financial support to the Faculty Senate and University Councils sufficient for carrying out the shared governance responsibilities of the University Faculty.


General Faculty Vote

  1. The University Faculty may initiate a vote of the University Faculty, following procedures specified in Article IV, Section 2 or Section 3 of the Constitution. Such a vote may also be initiated by an act of the Faculty Senate.  All and only members of the University Faculty are eligible to participate in such a vote.
  2. When a vote of the University Faculty is initiated in accordance with procedures specified in Article IV, Section 2 or Section 3 of the Constitution, Faculty Ombuds will conduct the vote within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the request, but is authorized to extend the date by up to ten (10) working days under special circumstances. The vote is to be conducted by secret, written ballot or by an equivalent electronic means. Arrangements must be made to include eligible off-campus faculty in the vote. A committee composed of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Faculty Ombuds shall meet to verify signatures on petitions, and prepare and sign an affidavit with the results to be submitted to University Counsel. Within two (2) working days after the voting takes place, the Executive Committee, Faculty Ombuds, and University Counsel shall count the ballots. Faculty Ombuds shall notify the President and the faculty of the outcome of the vote within two (2) working days. The notification shall include the number voting yes, no, abstentions, and the number of eligible voters.