Constitution and Bylaws



Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Baylor University Faculty Senate.

Section 2. The object of this organization is to serve and function as the representative, deliberative, and legislative body of the Baylor University Faculties.


Section 1. The Faculty Senate is composed of faculty members of the various schools and libraries, the colleges, and the seminary (hereafter referred to as "academic units"). The membership shall consist of thirty-four members (thirty-five, if the Past Chair is serving as a Senator-at-Large; see Bylaws, Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 3) elected to staggered three-year terms by the respective faculties, apportioned among the various faculties as follows. No more than two faculty members may serve from a single department unless one is serving as Senator-at-Large. The apportionment should be reviewed every ten years, and reapportioned if necessary to reflect the current distribution of faculty among the various academic units, with the next such review scheduled for the 2013-2014 academic year.

College of Arts and Sciences 17 members
School of Business 5 members
School of Education 3 members
School of Music 2 members
School of Engineering/Computer Science 1 member
Honors College 1 member
School of Law 1 member
Libraries 1 member
School of Nursing 1 member
Truett Seminary 1 member
School of Social Work 1 member

Section 2. Each Faculty shall elect its own representative(s), and each representative so elected shall serve for a term of three years unless specifically chosen to complete the remainder of an unexpired term or to serve a shorter initial term to ensure that senatorial terms are evenly staggered. A Senator shall be eligible for reelection to a second three-year term unless the Senator's initial term was less than three years, in which case the Senator would be eligible for up to two three-year terms upon completing the initial one. After serving two full consecutive terms, a Senator shall not be eligible for reelection until one year has passed. Terms shall commence at the conclusion of the Fall Faculty Meeting and end at the conclusion of the succeeding Fall Faculty Meeting. Membership on the Senate does not insure continued faculty employment for "tenure-track" faculty or lecturers.

Elections shall be completed by the Friday preceding Spring Break in the Academic Calendar. In January the Secretary of the Senate shall contact Senators eligible for reelection to determine if they wish their names to be placed on the ballot. Any Senator who wishes to stand for reelection may do so by notifying the Secretary. Also in January, the full Senate shall elect two Senators (the Secretary of the Senate serves ex officio) and appoint two other full-time faculty members to form a Senate Election Commission to assist the Secretary of the Senate in arranging and running the election, including the public opening and tallying of ballots. No more than two commission members may be from the same academic unit.

Five weeks before Spring Break, the Secretary shall announce in writing and by e-mail to the full-time faculty of each academic unit the number of positions on the Senate to be elected by that faculty for the following academic year and the names of the Senators eligible for reelection who have indicated a desire to run for the office again. The Secretary shall call for other nominations to be returned to him or her within two weeks. Nominations may be either in writing or by e-mail. Each full-time faculty member may nominate herself (himself) or one other colleague.

The Secretary shall prepare color-coded ballots for each academic unit, listing the names of those who have been nominated and of those eligible for reelection. On the Tuesday and Wednesday preceding Spring Break, faculty members shall cast their ballots in the location(s) specified for their respective academic unit upon showing their Baylor identification card and signing the roster of eligible voters. All ballots will be kept under lock and seal until 2 PM on the Thursday preceding Spring Break. At that time the Senate Election Commission shall convene publicly to officially open and tally the votes and to announce the results of the election. Voting in the School of Nursing shall be held one week prior to the dates specified herein to ensure that all ballots cast will have arrived on the Waco campus in time for the official opening and tallying of votes. The Secretary shall make provisions for the casting of absentee ballots for eligible faculty members who cannot be physically present in Waco on the election days.

For the purpose of Faculty Senate elections, all full-time tenured and non-tenured faculty (including lecturers and senior lecturers) below the position of academic dean are considered eligible to vote. Full-time faculty members with appointments in more than one academic unit vote in that unit in which they are tenured or on tenure-track. Lecturers and senior lecturers with split appointments vote in the unit they consider their primary home. No faculty member may vote more than once.

If a Senatorial vacancy occurs, the Secretary shall contact the runner-up in the previous election for that academic unit to determine the willingness of that faculty member to serve. If willing, that faculty member shall be invited to complete the unexpired term. If that person does not wish to serve, the Secretary shall contact the next runner-up in like fashion. Special elections for vacancies will be called only when no one on the ballot of the previous election is willing to serve or when there is a tie for a runner-up position and all candidates are eligible.

Section 3. Administrators at or above the rank of academic dean shall neither be members of the Faculty Senate nor eligible to vote in Faculty Senate elections.

Section 4. A Senator who will be absent from a regularly scheduled meeting is expected to send a substitute from the same academic unit in his or her stead. In case a Senator anticipates

an extended absence due to a University-related leave, (e.g., sabbatical), he/she may

nominate a substitute from the same academic unit to serve during the Senator's absence.

This substitute must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate, will have full voting

rights, and may not serve more than two semesters. A Senatorial vacancy shall exist

when a Senator has missed four regularly scheduled Senate meetings in a given academic

year for reasons other than University-related leaves.


Section 1. The Senate shall meet monthly during the year, except for the months: June, July, and August. Special meetings may be called by the Chair of the Senate, or upon written request of any eight members of the Senate. A majority of voting members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum. Unless objected to by a majority of Senators, the Chair may from time to time invite nonmembers to attend meetings.

Section 2. As soon as possible after first convening, and thereafter annually, the Senate shall elect from among its members a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Secretary, a Publicity Officer, and such other officers as shall be provided for in the Bylaws. The Senate shall have the power to determine election procedures for these offices, to fill vacancies, and to resolve questions of eligibility. In the event of a permanent vacancy in any of the offices, an election shall be held at the next Senate meeting to fill the vacancy.

Section 3. The Faculty Senate may establish such Senate Committees as it deems appropriate, and may determine procedures for appointing chairpersons and committee members.


Section 1.The Faculty Senate shall provide a forum for the full and free discussion of all matters affecting Baylor University, and it shall have the power to consult with any individual faculty member about such matters whether or not they are members of the Senate. The Senate shall seek to express collective faculty judgment, as appropriate, on such matters as it deems significant. In all deliberation and action, the Senate shall seek effective faculty participation in the formation of University policy, especially as that policy bears on academic governance of the University.

Section 2. The Senate shall have the power to review and evaluate educational policies and practices of the University and may make recommendations concerning them to any individual, faculty, or group within the University. It may provide for appropriate faculty discussion of any educational policy or practice. It may advise and consult with the chief administrative officers and inform them of faculty opinions about such matters. It shall facilitate and encourage communication within the University, among the academic units and reciprocally among faculty, students, and administration.

Section 3. The Senate shall review and act on matters referred to it by the University President, the Provost, or the individual academic units. Further, any faculty member may bring before the Faculty Senate in an appropriate manner any matter of concern, including individual grievances. The Senate shall have the power to establish guidelines and procedures for dealing with such submissions and grievances.

Section 4. The Senate shall select the University Committee on Committees from faculty members both within and without the Faculty Senate, and make recommendations to and advise with the University President regarding appointments to the various University committees.

Section 5. The Senate shall develop and maintain a working relationship with the various committees of the University.

Section 6. The Faculty Senate will meet from time to time with the University President, the Provost, and other appropriate officers to develop guidelines for the exercise of its stated functions or to develop procedures for identifying and establishing additional functions.


Section 1.This constitution will come into effect when adopted by a majority of the membership of the Faculty Senate then present and voting at a regular or called meeting of the Senate.

Section 2. Modifications to the Constitution shall come as recommendations from a committee composed of one Senator from each academic unit, such committee being appointed by the Chair, at the discretion of the Chair or by the direction of a passing motion of the Faculty Senate. Modifications to the Constitution shall be presented at any regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate and acted upon at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Modifications shall require a two-thirds majority of the Senators present at said meeting.



Section 1. The elected officers of the Faculty Senate shall be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Publicity Officer, each elected annually from the Senate membership. The Chair shall appoint a Parliamentarian and such other officers as shall be deemed desirable.

Section 2. The officers shall be elected as follows:

On or before the regularly-scheduled April meeting of the Senate, the Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee comprised of seven Senators. The Nominating Committee shall accept nominations and recommendations from members of the Senate, shall determine whether nominees will consent to serve if elected, and shall prepare a slate of candidates with at least one nominee for each position. Members of the Senate shall be advised of such slate of candidates with at least one nominee for each position. Members of the Senate shall be advised of such slate of candidates at least one week prior to the regularly-scheduled May meeting.

The annual election shall be held at the regular May Senate meeting with the order of election being Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Publicity Officer. Nominations from the floor shall be accepted with respect to each office. Each Senator may vote for only one candidate for each office. Candidates receiving a majority vote from those Senators present and voting shall be elected to the office. If no candidate receives a majority vote, the top two candidates shall be placed in a runoff. When a tie exists for the runoff positions, the tie shall be promptly resolved by lot. Voting in all cases shall be by secret ballot.

A person selected as Chair-Elect of the Senate will at the completion of his/her current term as Senator become "Senator-at-Large" for the time needed to complete his/her duties as Chair-Elect, Chair, and immediate past Chair. At the conclusion of the "Senator-at-Large" term, the individual shall not be eligible for reelection to the Senate until one year has passed.

Newly-elected officers shall take office at the conclusion of the Fall Faculty Meeting and serve until the conclusion of the succeeding Fall Faculty Meeting.

Section 3. The duties of officers shall be as follows:

The Chair shall preside at meetings of the Senate and shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for each meeting and distributing it to each Senator on or before the Friday preceding the meeting. Except as otherwise provided, the Chair shall appoint the members, and chairs of committees as are from time to time provided for. The Chair shall communicate the Senate's advice and recommendations to appropriate University officials. The Chair shall serve as Chair of the Senate Executive Committee.

The Chair-Elect shall assume the position of Chair at the conclusion of the Fall Faculty Meeting following election and one year of service as Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect shall preside at the meeting of the Senate in the absence of the Chair and shall serve as Chair in the event of the Chair's death, resignation, or removal from office; provided, however, that if such a vacancy shall occur prior to January 1, the Senate shall instead elect a Chair to serve out such term, provided further, that the Chair-Elect shall be eligible for election to such position. In the event that the Chair-Elect thus prematurely assumes the Chairmanship, the position of Chair-Elect shall not be filled during this term; but the Chair shall designate a member of the Executive Committee to preside at meetings of the Senate in the absence of the Chair.

The Secretary shall keep minutes and records of all proceedings of the Senate and shall receive and keep all reports and correspondence from committees of the Senate, University committees, University officials, and others. The Secretary shall regularly prepare minutes of each meeting of the Senate and shall convey such minutes to the Chair for distribution to members of the Senate. The meeting minutes shall include a roll of those Senators who are present and those who are absent.

The Publicity Officer shall be responsible for the publication of a Senate newsletter for distribution to the faculty and to other members of the University community as appropriate. The newsletter shall appear as frequently as the Publicity Officer or the Senate deem desirable.

The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair on all matters of procedure at the meetings of the Senate, according to the latest revision of Robert's Rules of Order.

The Executive Committee of the Senate consists of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Publicity Officer, and three additional members of the Faculty Senate appointed by the Chair for one-year terms. Members of the Executive Committee shall serve from the conclusion of the Fall Faculty Meeting until the conclusion of the succeeding Fall Faculty Meeting. The Executive Committee shall assist and advise the Faculty Senate Chair and shall exercise those powers delegated to it by the Faculty Senate. It shall have the power to act for the Senate in case of an emergency. All such actions shall be reported to the Senate at its next meeting.


Section 1. The Senate may establish such Standing and Ad Hoc Committees as it deems appropriate. Except as may be otherwise provided, the Chair shall appoint the members and chair of any such committees; and such members and chair shall serve during the Senate Chair's term of office unless the committee is earlier dissolved or the Chair acts to replace a member or a committee chair.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall be a representative body comprised of seven Senate members, selected by the Chair with the assistance and advice of the Executive Committee.

The Senate Chair shall also be an ex-officio member of the Committee. The Nominating Committee shall have the duties and exercise the functions as provided in the Constitution and Bylaws. It shall also nominate the members to be elected annually to the Committee on Committees and the Chair and Vice-Chair of said committee with the same procedure followed as in the case of the officers.

Section 3. The Committee on Committees shall be comprised of eleven full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members. The Nominating Committee shall present nominations for members of the Committee on Committees at the regular May Senate meeting. The composition of the Committee on Committees is to be: one each from Law, Nursing, Business, Music, Education, Libraries, Seminary, Engineering and Computer Science, and three from the College of Arts and Sciences. The Faculty Senate Chair and Chair-Elect are named ex-officio member of the Committee. Committee members shall serve terms on a three-year rotation basis, commencing with the Fall Faculty Meeting following their selection. The function of the Committee on Committees is to advise the University President regarding appointments to the various University Committees, particularly those of concern primarily to the faculty, such as Tenure and University Research.


Section 1. The Senate shall meet at least monthly during the months of September through May of each year. The Chair may call a special meeting of the Senate when the Chair deems it necessary, and a special meeting of the Senate may also be called upon receipt of a petition by the Chair signed by at least eight members of the Faculty Senate. No business shall be transacted unless a quorum is present and continues to be present at the meeting. A majority of the duly-elected and qualified Senators constitutes a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the Chair may only make announcements of an informative nature, rule on the existence of a quorum, and recess once for a short period to attempt to secure a quorum.

The Chair shall prepare an agenda for each meeting and shall distribute it to each Senator on or before the Friday preceding the meeting. The Chair may allot a time period for agenda items and, if so, the duration of discussion of such items at the meeting shall be restricted unless altered by a majority vote of the Senate. Any student, faculty member, or staff member of the University may bring a matter of University concern to the attention of the Senate by communicating with the Chair of the Senate, either directly or through a member of the Senate. The Chair shall make an appropriate announcement of the matter either in writing attached to the agenda or by placing the matter on the agenda. However, only a Senator can introduce a proposition to be voted upon by the Senate.

A procedural proposition may be introduced by a Senator at a meeting. A substantive proposition may be introduced by filing the proposition with the Chair in time for it to be attached to the agenda for the next meeting. A matter of significant academic import or a policy recommendation can be introduced without previous inclusion on the agenda only by a two-thirds majority vote of the full Senate.