Faculty Senate Bylaws

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 name of this body is the Idaho State University Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate reports to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Chair(s) of the Faculty Senate is a (are) member(s) of the President's Cabinet as well as the Council of Deans

Policy Recommendation

The Faculty Senate represents the University Faculty in the initiation, consideration, recommendation, and implementation of policy within the purpose and powers of the University Faculty. The Faculty Senate considers matters referred to it by the University Faculty, Senators, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the University President, or the President's representative. It recommends to the Provost changes in academic and other policies that affect the Faculty, and through the President recommends policy changes to the State Board of Education. The Faculty Senate's purview extends to the following areas:

  • Policies pertaining to academic standards for admissions, progression, and granting of degrees and certificates; policies relevant to student advising;
  • Policies relevant to student affairs that affect the academic business of the University; policies relevant to establishment, review and maintenance of academic standards and regulations as they affect students;
  • Policies of academic freedom, tenure, and due process;
  • Policies pertaining to faculty appointment, reappointment, non-reappointment, termination, promotion, and emeritus status;
  • Policies relevant to University and faculty research;
  • Policies pertaining to disposition of instructional financial resources as such policies affect the academic mission of the institution;
  • Other policies relevant to the academic welfare of the institution;
  • Providing names of faculty representatives to the Academic Dishonesty and Scholastic Appeals Panels, the Standing Appeals Pool for Faculty Grievances, and other requests of Academic Affairs;
  • Participating in the selection of faculty to serve in the Ombuds office, receiving annual summary reports from the Office of the Ombuds regarding the types of complaints received and advising the Faculty Senate on policies, procedures, and processes with an eye toward positive future change.

The Faculty Senate distributes to the University 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.

Faculty Senate is charged with communicating with faculty constituents. Senators are encouraged to liaise with their College or Division, and Executive Committees or Councils, as well as with other University Level Councils.

A. Composition of the Faculty Senate

Senate seats are apportioned among the Colleges/Divisions and the University Library according to the number of tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty positions employed at least 0.5 FTE in each unit. Each unit will be allocated at least one seat. The following academic appointments will not be counted in apportionment: temporary (visiting) faculty, affiliate faculty, research associates, or any post-doctoral appointments.

The apportionment of seats among the Colleges/Divisions and the University Library is assessed by the Faculty Senate for equity every three years.

Voting Members: (subject to reapportionment based upon faculty count every 3 years)

  • 5 faculty from the College of Arts and Letters
  • 1 or 2 faculty from the College of Business, at the College's discretion
  • 1 or 2 faculty from the College of Education, at the College's discretion
  • 1 or 2 faculty from the Library, at the Library's discretion
  • 5 faculty from the College of Science and Engineering
  • 4 faculty from the College of Technology
  • 1 faculty from the College of Pharmacy
  • 6 faculty from the Division of Health Sciences (including 1 faculty representing Pocatello and 1 faculty representing Meridian campuses)
  • 1 faculty from the Idaho Falls campus at large

Ex-officio, Non-voting Members:

  • The Past (Co-) Chair of the Faculty Senate
  • The President of the University or his or her designee
  • The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or his or her designee
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee.
  • The President of ASISU or his or her designee.

A Recording Secretary will be provided by the Faculty Senate Office as administrative staff support.

B. Selection and Recall of Senators

University Faculty representatives (Senators) will be elected by the University Faculty in their respective Division, Colleges, remote sites, and the University Library to serve a 3-year term. Terms will be staggered so that no more than one-third of the Senators go off the Senate in any year. The staggering of terms is set by the Faculty Senate.

Colleges/Divisions and remote campus sites with 15 or more resident faculty, and the University Library (the major academic units) will be entitled to at least one University Faculty representative to the Faculty Senate.

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.

Additional Senate representation for the Division/Colleges will be determined using the ratio of one Senator for every 25 University Faculty members in the major academic unit. Representation of faculty located at remote sites will be determined by the relevant academic units.


To qualify for membership on the Faculty Senate a person must be a member of the faculty (tenure or non-tenure track, clinical or research faculty) with at least a 0.5 FTE appointment, holding the rank (or equivalent rank) of instructor or above, and have had at least three years' academic service at Idaho State University or equivalent service elsewhere. Faculty may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms on the Faculty Senate, without a one-term break.


Elections are held in the respective Colleges/Divisions, with new Faculty Senate members' names sent to the Faculty Senate Office by May 1.


Those eligible to vote in regular and special Faculty Senate elections, or elections to fill temporary vacancies, include all tenure and non-tenure track faculty whose University appointments equal or exceed one half time (.50 FTE) as defined by their University contract.


When a Senator resigns, the Faculty Senate initiates a special election in the respective College/Division. 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.

A. Selection of Officers

The Officers of the Faculty Senate consist of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, or Co-Chairs, as desired by the elected Officers and serving Senators at the time of election of Officers. Officers are elected in the spring semester of every year from among the membership of the Senate.

The outgoing Chairperson(s) allows nominations from the floor, or those which are provided in writing from interested parties. The outgoing Chair(s) facilitate the election, which is conducted by secret ballot. In order to be elected, a nominee must receive a majority of votes cast. Any person serving as a member of the Faculty Senate for at least eight months prior to assuming office is eligible for election. The Officers' terms of office coincide with the University's fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

To ensure leadership continuity, the Vice Chair will automatically become Chair the following year (or in the case of a Co-Chair model, at least one Co-Chair will remain as an ex-officio member, Past Chair). The Chair becomes Past Chair for the following year. An individual after having served as Faculty Senate Chair during the final year of his/her term in the Senate shall serve one additional year as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Senate.

B. Responsibilities and Duties of Officers
  1. Serves as Chairperson** of the University Faculty Senate.
  2. Serves as liaison between the Faculty Senate and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  3. Attends meetings of the Council of the Deans as well as the President's Cabinet.
  4. Attends meetings of the State Board of Education.
  5. Conducts all meetings of the Faculty Senate and meets regularly with the Co- or Vice Chair and communicates agenda and materials to the Senate through the Recording Secretary.
  6. Serves as a communication link with counterparts at other Idaho colleges and universities.
  7. Performs such other duties as assigned by the Faculty Senate*.

*In the Chair/Vice Chairperson Model, the Vice Chair assumes the Chairperson's responsibilities in the absence of the Chairperson, and performs such other duties as assigned by the Chairperson or the Faculty Senate.

**In the Co-Chair Model, above duties 1-6, can be divided amongst the leadership in a way that is equitable, and offers the greatest flexibility to the leadership. In the case of a Co-Chair Model, either Co-Chair may sign documents, call or lead meetings, etc.

C. Meetings

The Faculty Senate has a right to organization and procedure of its own choosing. A Recording Secretary is present at meetings to take minutes and perform administrative support functions.

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. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairperson(s) or by written request from five members of the Faculty Senate, with at least three days' advance notice.

Open Forum

An Open Forum will be offered at the beginning of each Faculty Senate meeting. Senators, Guests, Faculty, or ex-officio members may address the Faculty Senate at that time.


A quorum consists of one more than half the voting membership of the Faculty Senate. Voting members are only those duly elected to the Faculty Senate on either a permanent or temporary basis. The Senate accepts no votes by proxy, although absent Senators are free to send someone to speak for them at a meeting. Secure electronic votes are acceptable for conducting routine business on an as-needed basis. A quorum is required for any official vote, but is not required for discussion and meetings to be held.

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. On such occasions, other persons may be present by special invitation of the Faculty Senate. No final action is taken while in Executive Session.


The Faculty Senate may utilize ad-hoc committees as needed to carry out the duties of the Senate.


The Chairperson(s) may invite people from outside the Faculty Senate to present information on issues relevant to the Senate's agenda. Faculty members are always invited to attend.

The bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the current voting membership. No amendment may be introduced and voted upon in one meeting. Bylaws changes are subject to approval of the University President or his/her designee. The Faculty Senate will review its bylaws within three years of the date of its last review.


The Faculty Senate receives its business items through the following sources:

  • Faculty members
  • Faculty Senators
  • Business referred through the Office of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Colleges, Divisions, or other academic units

Business items are due by the close of business (5:00 PM) on the Thursday prior to a scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate.

Business items not received in time for the agenda will be added to the following agenda.

Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised is the authority in all matters not covered by these bylaws and/or approved operating procedures.

The Chairs of the Faculty Senate and University-level faculty councils may bring forward issues and recommendations to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or University President for inclusion on the agenda of meetings called by the President or Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Chairs of the Faculty Senate and University-level faculty councils may call special meetings of the University Faculty to discuss issues specific to their charge and scope of responsibility, and will preside at such special meetings.

The Chair(s) of the Faculty Senate must call a meeting of the University Faculty at the written petition of twenty percent (20%) of the eligible voting faculty, or if a majority of eligible voting Faculty Senators request such a meeting.



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