Standing Rules of the Senate

Article One. Senate Structure

From the Bylaws and Ordinances of Stonehill College, Inc.

I. The Faculty Senate shall consist of a number of full-time faculty to be determined by the President of the College. Said number shall not be less than ten percent (10%) of the full-time faculty. The senators shall be elected from and by the full-time faculty. The Senators shall serve a three (3) year term.

II. The election, procedure, and terms of office of Senators will be set by the President of the Senate in accordance with the Rules established by the Senate. In order to create the Senate, the initial election, procedure and terms of office of Senators will be set by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

III. The Senators shall elect a President of the Senate; the Senate President shall attend regular meetings called by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and represent the faculty before the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Senate President shall conduct elections of faculty to committees and serve (either in person or by representative) as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

IV. A Vice President of the Senate shall be elected by the Senators and shall serve in the absence of the Senate President. In the event the Senate President is unable to continue his or her service, then the Vice President shall assume the Presidency.

V. Upon the initial formation of the Senate, the then existing subcommittees of the former Academic Council shall be reconstituted under the Senate. The Senate shall have the power to establish or suppress sub-committees of the Senate. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President of the College shall also have the ability to recommend the formation of committees.

VI. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall set the compensation of the Faculty Senate President, subject to the approval of the President of the College.

VII. Subject to these Bylaws and Ordinances, the Senate shall have legislative powers concerning academic policies and procedures including curriculum, faculty governance, and promotion and tenure criteria. After the Senate approves or rejects policies and/or procedures, said action(s) shall be presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President of the College for ratification. If the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the President of the College do not ratify the proposed action(s), they must give written notice of the basis of their decision within sixty (60) days of the submission for ratification.

VIII. The Senate shall have advisory powers concerning College-wide issues.

IX. The Senate shall meet regularly and be open to the College community.

X. The Senate may meet in both open and executive sessions.

XI. The President of the College or the Vice President for Academic Affairs may ask to participate in a meeting of the Senate.

XII. The Senate shall promulgate or adopt rules and procedures to effectively operate as a legislative body. Said rules shall be published by the Senate and shall be subject to and consistent with these Bylaws and Ordinances.

Article Two. Rules of the Senate

I. Rules of Order

The Senate hereby adopts Robert's Rules of Order as the procedural rules governing the meetings and conduct of the Senate. The version of said Rules adopted by the Senate shall be the same version adopted by the Stonehill College Board of Trustees from time to time and kept on file with the Clerk of the Corporation. If a rule or procedure promulgated by this Senate conflicts with a Rule of Order, then the rule or procedure of the Senate shall supersede the Rule of Order.

II. Meetings

A. The date, time and location of meetings shall be posted on the web site at least seven days prior to the meeting date.

B. Agenda items to be addressed at a meeting shall be submitted to the Vice President at least seven (7) days before the meeting date.

C. Each item/matter brought before the Senate shall include a rationale and such supplementary material as the proponent(s) and Vice President determine are necessary for the Senate to make an informed judgment about such item/matter.

D. The agenda shall be posted on the web site and also distributed in writing to the Senators at least five (5) days before a meeting.

E. The President and Vice President shall determine who shall be invited to appear before the Senate with respect to the various items/matters to be addressed.

F. A majority of Senators then holding office present in person shall constitute a quorum.

  1. If a quorum is present, a majority of the Senators present in person or by proxy may take action on any matter on the agenda not requiring a two-thirds vote by the Senate.
  2. If a quorum is present, a two-thirds majority of the Senators present in person or by proxy may take action on any matter on the agenda involving promotion and/or tenure criteria.

G. Proxy votes shall be in the format of the attachment below.

H. All votes taken by the Senate shall be by majority vote except as otherwise provided by the rules, and shall be recorded. If the vote is not unanimous, the minutes shall indicate the number of Senators voting for/against the motion/matter.

I. Minutes shall be taken at all meetings and, after approval, posted on the web site not later than seven (7) days after approval.

J. Written copies of the approved minutes shall be distributed to each member of the Senate and sent to the President of the College, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Dean of Faculty.

K. No item on the Senate's agenda shall be subject to amendment under regular order.

L. No motion to suspend, modify, or amend any rule, or any part thereof, shall be in order, except on one day's notice in writing, specifying precisely the rule or part proposed to be suspended, modified, or amended, and the purpose thereof. Any rule may be suspended without notice by the unanimous consent of the Senate, except as otherwise provided by the rules.

Article Three. Senate Committees

(Updated January 8, 2008)

I. The following 4 Committees report to the Senate:

A. CURRICULUM COMMITTEE--will review proposals for minor curricular changes, will review proposals for new programs, majors or minors (or elimination of majors or minors), and review academic policies and other curricular issues. (Approved by the Faculty Senate, March 20, 2006 Resolution 2005/06.13)

  • Committee membership: One Senator who serves as an ex officio member and not the chair of the committee. Five positions: 1 Liberal Arts, 1 Science, 1 Business, 2 At-Large.
  • Additional members (ex-officio): Dean of Faculty, Dean of General Education, Registrar, Director of the Library.

B. STANDARDS AND EVALUATION COMMITTEE-- proposes and reviews policies for pre-and post-tenure review, bonuses, sabbaticals, summer and small grants. The members of the Committee divide into two or more sub-groups to rank applicants for sabbatical leaves, bonuses, summer grants, and small grants.

  1. Committee membership: One Senator who serves as an ex officio member and not the chair of the committee. Six full-time faculty.
  2. Proposals concerning criteria for tenure and promotion and procedural changes regarding tenure and promotion applications are formulated by the Rank and Tenure Committee, then submitted to the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate must approve changing criteria for tenure and/or promotion after consultation with the full-time faculty.

C. COMPENSATION COMMITTEE-- studies and maintains information on faculty salaries and other compensation. The committee will report at least annually to the Faculty Senate and to the faculty at large its estimation of the fairness, effectiveness, and appropriateness of the current, and any proposed, salary and compensation schemes.

  • Committee membership: five positions, two professors, two associate professors and one untenured professor.

D. NOMINATING COMMITTEE-- (amended by unanimous vote of the Faculty Senate, 3/20/06, 2005/06.15) shall oversee all aspects of faculty elections including the solicitation of nominations and preparing, distributing, and counting ballots.

The president of the Faculty Senate will chair the Nominating Committee and its membership will include the Vice President of the Faculty Senate, the Dean of Faculty ex officio, and two additional faculty members. Membership for the latter two positions is for two years and the terms will be staggered. The Committee will convene well in advance of faculty elections in order to give appropriate time for disseminating updates to the whole faculty on nominations. The Nominating committee will receive all nominations for faculty seats and may also encourage faculty to consider participating in committee work. The Committee will attempt to ensure that both committee nominations and committee membership are representative of the gender and ethnic diversity of Faculty as well as diversity of discipline and rank. When new faculty committees are established or new institutional committees with formal faculty representation created, or when a faculty representative of a committee resigns their committee post before the conclusion of their term, the Nominating Committee either appoints replacement faculty representatives or call for nominations and elections by the whole faculty.

II. Meetings of the Curriculum Committee and the Standards and Evaluation Committee shall be announced one week in advance, such announcement to include an agenda. Any member of the Stonehill community may attend these meetings. The Chair of each Committee shall determine who will be invited to appear with respect to items on the agenda. (The meetings of the sub-groups of the Standards and Evaluation Committee reviewing faculty for bonuses, sabbaticals, summer grants, and small grants are not open to the community.)

A. Faculty Senators do not serve as voting members of these three Committees.

B. The recommendations of these Committees are forwarded to the Faculty Senate through the Faculty Senator serving as the ex officio member of the Committee.

C. The length of office for members of these Committees is two years. (The ex officio Faculty Senator calls the first meeting of each Committee. At that meeting the Chairperson will be elected.)

III. FACULTY ASSEMBLY--Functions as a means of surfacing issues and providing discussion time for issues of concern to the faculty. The Faculty Senate or the appropriate Senate Committee then takes up such issues.

Membership in the Faculty Assembly is given to all faculty members teaching at least six hours, during the semester in which they are teaching the six hours; to all faculty members on Sabbatical Leave or Leave of Absence; to all members with a one-year contract whose work consists of at least six hours of teaching or research; librarians and Department Chairpersons with Faculty status, even though they may not be teaching; and to Laboratory Assistants with Faculty status.

IV. Committee Motions and Reports

Any measure or matter reported by any standing committee shall not normally be considered in the Senate unless the report of that committee upon that measure or matter has been available to Members for at least seven calendar days prior to the consideration of that measure or matter. If hearings have been held on any such measure or matter so reported, the committee reporting the measure or matter shall make every reasonable effort to have such hearings printed and available for distribution to the Members of the Senate prior to the consideration of such measure or matter in the Senate.

A. To allow for consultation between the Committee Chair and Senate President or Vice-President, the Senate authorizes the President to put a two-week delay on any Committee resolution to be taken up by the Senate.

B. Committee resolutions shall be handled by the Senate in the following manner:

  1. The Senate shall debate the resolution in accordance with Article II, Section II of the Senate Rules and Procedures.
  2. Resolutions defeated by a majority vote shall be returned to the Committee with a message from the Senate. The Committee may submit the resolution to the Senate only after an intervening Senate meeting. If the Senate defeats the resolution a second time, the resolution is ineligible for further debate during the remainder of the Senate's calendar.

a. Upon a suspension of the rules, the Senate may change and/or amend committee resolutions.

b. Changed and/or amended resolutions shall be considered new matters and subject to debate in accordance with Section II of the Senate Rules and Procedures. If a majority of Senators present vote to approve the new resolution, the Senate shall direct the Senate ex-officio member of the Committee to report to the Committee within five days of the reason for such actions.

Article Four. Amendment to the Rules

Amendments to these Rules and Procedures (Articles II and III) shall be made by a two-thirds majority vote of a quorum of the Senate, subject to limitations of Articles I and II. Amendments can be found in the attachment below.

Amendments to the Rules (.doc)