Article III: Organization of the Faculty Senate

I

Section 1. Membership

Each academic college will be represented by three members, the elected representatives or their alternates. Faculty members not affiliated with an academic college will be represented by one member, the elected representative, or their alternate. Two members and their alternates will be elected from the faculty at large. In the absence of any representatives, the elected alternate will be a voting member. Ex-officio, non-voting members will include the president, provost, and any other persons so designated.

All voting members of the faculty are eligible to serve as elected representatives on Faculty Senate excluding those holding the following positions:

  • President or any position that reports directly to the President
  • Vice-President or Associate/Assistant Vice-President
  • Provost, Associate/Assistant Provost or any position that reports directly to the Provost’s Office
  • Director of Rice Library or Associate/Assistant Director of Rice Library
  • Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean

Section 2. Terms of Membership

Not less than one-third of the elected members of the Faculty Senate will be chosen by the faculty each year for two-year terms.

No member who has served two consecutive terms of two-year duration, or served for five consecutive years, will be eligible for re-election until one academic year has elapsed.

Terms of elected members will begin the first day of the fall semester.

Section 3. Formula for Representation

The elected members of the Faculty Senate will be chosen as follows:

A. College Representatives. Before spring break, the deans of the colleges with forthcoming vacancies on the Faculty Senate will conduct an election to fill the vacancies of representatives and their alternates and will report the result of the election to the faculty. Each year, two of the colleges will have two Senators complete their terms and the other two Colleges will have one Senator complete his or her term. In this way, six of the twelve college representatives will be replaced every year.
If a seat filled by a college representative becomes vacant during the regular academic year, the college alternate will fill the seat. The alternate shall serve out the unexpired term of the person being replaced. The alternate shall then be eligible for election to a regular two-year term.

B. At-Large Representatives. Before spring break, the chair of the Faculty Senate will call for nominations to fill the forthcoming vacancies for the faculty-at-large representatives and alternates to the Faculty Senate. The two At-Large representatives will serve alternating two year terms so that one seat is vacated each year.
The chair of the Faculty Senate will prepare ballots of those nominated and distribute them to the voting members of the faculty.
Each voting member will be entitled to one vote for each vacancy to be filled.
The ballots will be returned to the chair of Faculty Senate within one week of the date on which they were distributed to the voting members of the faculty. The nominee who receives the highest number of votes will be elected representative. The runner-up will be elected alternate. If two or more candidates are tied, the tie will be broken by the tied candidates drawing lots.
A memorandum will be distributed by the chair of the Faculty Senate to each of the faculty members stating the names of those elected.
If a seat filled by an at-large representative becomes vacant, the seat will be filled by the alternate until the spring election. The alternate will serve the unexpired term if one exists. The alternate will then be eligible for election to a regular two-year term.

C. Representation of Units not Affiliated with an Academic College

Before spring break, the chair of Faculty Senate will conduct an election to fill the forthcoming vacancies for the representative and alternate for faculty members of academic units not affiliated with an academic college.
The representative and alternate shall be chosen from and selected by those faculty members of the academic units not affiliated with an academic college.
Each voting member will be entitled to one vote for each vacancy to be filled.
The ballots will be returned to the chair of Faculty Senate within one week of the date on which they were distributed to the voting members of the faculty. The nominee who receives the highest number of votes will be elected representative. The runner-up will be elected alternate. If two or more candidates are tied, the tie will be broken by the tied candidates drawing lots.
A memorandum will be distributed by the chair of the Faculty Senate to each of these voting members stating the names of those elected.
If a seat filled by a representative becomes vacant, the alternate will serve to the end of the unexpired term. The alternate will serve the unexpired term if one exists. The alternate will then be eligible for election to a regular two-year term.

Section 4. Officers

The chair of the Senate will be elected as chair-elect the year before taking office by the existing Faculty Senate. The chair will take office on July 1. The secretary and chair-elect of the Faculty Senate will be elected at the first meeting of the Senate in the fall semester and will take office immediately. While the chair is serving as such, the chair-elect will assume the duties of a vice- chair for one year. In the following year the chair-elect will assume the duties of chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of chair, the current chair-elect will assume the office. In the event that a chair-elect is unable to serve the subsequent academic year, a special election among the faculty senate will be held to fill the vacancy. In the event of an extended vacancy, the office of chair-elect will remain vacant, but the Senate may elect a vice-chair to serve the remainder of the term.

To fulfill the role of Faculty Senate chair, the elected officer should be provided the following resources:

  1. For members of the instructional staff: Three hours of release time per Fall and Spring semester while holding the office and the equivalent of 3 hours during the summer term.
    For members of the professional librarians and others not affiliated with an academic college: an equivalent of work release time as determined by the appropriate administrator and the Provost.
  2. Administrative support from the Academic Affairs office, including sufficient student worker assistance.
  3. Funding for one professional development opportunity for each year served.
  4. Support for attendance at required meetings.