Policy Library

20.6.1  Faculty Senate

Prologue:

In its role as a key partner in the governance of the Institute, the Faculty-at-large is responsible for being engaged in the most crucial matters affecting Stevens. The partnership among Faculty, the Administration, and the Board of Trustees, facilitates the Institute’s success in meeting its goals. The Faculty Senate represents the Faculty-at-large in upholding its responsibilities in this partnership. The Senate keeps the Faculty-at-large informed of key issues in governance and seeks to engage faculty in these issues through committee service and individual effort. The Faculty Senate collaborates closely with the Provost, the President and other constituencies towards achieving excellence in all endeavors of the Institute. This section of the Faculty Handbook sets forth the charges, membership, and process for election of faculty to the Faculty Senate and its associated Executive Committee.

Charge:

The Faculty Senate is charged as follows:

  • The Faculty Senate represents the interests of the Faculty-at-large in all matters that may affect them.
  • The Faculty Senate is the guardian of the principles of academic freedom and advocates mechanisms which foster and sustain academic freedom.
  • The Faculty Senate is recognized as an advisory and consultative body to the Provost, President, and the Board of Trustees on matters pertaining to the Institute’s educational and research objectives.
  • The Faculty Senate facilitates coordination and the flow of information among the Faculty, Faculty Committees, the President, the Provost and other officers, and the Board of Trustees.
  • The Faculty Senate may inquire into matters having implications for the academic function and welfare of the University and make recommendations concerning such matters to the appropriate persons or bodies within the Institute
  • The Faculty Senate shall strive to enhance accountability for academic integrity, excellence, and the overall quality of the Institute.
  • The Faculty Senate may recommend policies and procedures that enhance the quality of Stevens’ faculty, academic programs and curricula.
  • The Faculty Senate represents, informs, and engages all tenure stream, non-tenure stream, and adjunct faculty of Stevens and facilitates their participation in academic life on campus.
  • The Faculty Senate prepares the groundwork for faculty deliberations and conducts regular and special faculty meetings.  Regular faculty meetings are held five times per year and the Provost and Faculty Senate Chair preside on an alternate basis.
  • The Faculty Senate actively participates in strategic planning activities of the Institute.
  • The Faculty Senate supervises revisions to the Faculty Handbook on behalf of the Faculty.
  • The Faculty Senate uses appropriate means to maintain strong communication with its constituents and others.
  • The Faculty Senate performs other functions as may be requested or delegated to the Faculty Senate by the faculty or by other constituencies within the Institute.

Membership:

The Stevens Faculty Senate consists of Senators elected directly by faculty in the schools and college/s of Stevens, ex officio Senators, and, if necessary to ensure representation, Senators who are elected from identified peer groups as described below. The Senators directly elected from the schools and college/s constitute the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. 

Ex officio Senators serve by virtue of their positions and for the period they hold such positions. Ex officio senators are comprised of the two faculty members elected to the Board of Trustees; and the elected chairs of the Academic Planning and Resources Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the Faculty Promotions and Tenure Committee.

The seven directly-elected Senators are elected by vote of the tenure stream faculty in each school or college and constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate.  The Executive Committee is comprised as follows: four Senators are elected from the Schaefer School of

Engineering and Science, one from the Howe School of Technology Management, one from the School of Systems and Enterprises, and one from the College of Arts and Letters. This distribution reflects the faculty census undertaken in the 2011 academic year. The total number and the distribution of directly-elected Senators shall be reviewed periodically by the Faculty Senate and appropriate adjustments made as necessary.

In addition, there are three peer groups which will, at all times, be represented on the Faculty Senate. These groups are (1) teaching faculty who are non-tenure stream (“teaching faculty”), (2) research faculty who are non-tenure stream and have titles of assistant, associate or full research professor (“research faculty”), and (3) assistant professors (“assistant professors”). At all times, the nomination and election process will be carried out in such a manner as to ensure that at least one Senator from among the ex officio and directly-elected Senators represents each of these peer groups. In the event that the ex officio and directly-elected Senators do not fulfill the peer representation requirements above, then a direct election of all Faculty (tenure stream and non-tenure stream) shall be conducted to elect representatives of such peer group(s).

The Faculty Senate may meet as mutually-agreed with the President, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, undergraduate students, graduate students and others as appropriate.

Faculty Senate Meetings:

The Faculty Senate will meet regularly during the academic year on a schedule to be determined by the Faculty Senate and distributed to the Faculty, the President and the Provost. The Senate will adopt best practices in the administration of its functions. The Chair of the Executive Committee will be the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate:

The Executive Committee is the working arm of the Faculty Senate. It consists of the seven Senators who are elected directly by faculty in the schools and colleges of Stevens. Each Senator shall serve staggered two-year terms. The duties of the Executive Committee include calling meetings and distributing agendas of the Faculty Senate; overseeing and expediting the work of all Faculty committees; maintaining records of actions, reports of committees, and other records as necessary; and the review and certification of the voting faculty lists. The Executive Committee shall obtain the approval of the entire Faculty Senate for in order for its decisions to be effective to bind the Faculty except that, where the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate has an explicit role in administration of a policy (for example, the grievance policy), the action of the Executive Committee shall be binding without further action. The Executive Committee shall have access to secretarial and web administration assistance.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will select its Chair and Vice-Chair from among the tenured full professors who were elected from their respective schools or colleges. If there are no tenured full professors among the directly-elected Senators, the Executive Committee will select its Chair and/or Vice-Chair from among its members. The Executive Committee may elect any other officers from among its membership whom it deems appropriate.

Eligibility of Directly Elected and Ex Officio Senators and the Nomination Process:

Tenured faculty members are eligible to become Faculty Senators elected directly by faculty in the schools and colleges of Stevens. Candidates must have been a member of the Stevens faculty for at least four full years. Department directors and persons holding decanal or provostial titles (“Academic Administrators”) are not eligible to serve as directly-elected Senators or Senators elected from the peer groups.

Nominations for the Executive Committee must be made in writing and may be either self-nominations or nominations endorsed by two members of the Faculty.  Such nominations must be delivered to the Committee on Committees at least one week prior to the date of the election.

Faculty members who are ex officio Senators may be tenure stream or non-tenure stream faculty, and shall not run for election as a directly-elected school or college representative during the same period in which such person serves as an ex officio Senator. 

Candidates from the three peer groups of non-tenure stream teaching faculty, non-tenure stream research faculty and tenure stream assistant professors must have been members of the Stevens faculty for at least four full years.

Only teaching and research faculty who spend the majority of their time at the Hoboken campus of Stevens are eligible to be elected as Senators.

The Committee on Committees will have the final decision on all questions of eligibility and provide the Faculty Senate with a written report on their decisions involving any dispute.

Terms of Office:

Ex officio Senators serve as per their terms of office.

Directly-elected Senators representing the schools and colleges of the Institute are elected for a two-year term of office. Directly-elected Senators may run for re-election for another two-year term immediately following the one for which the candidate is elected. After four years, the Senator may not run again for two years.

Faculty who are elected from peer groups shall serve for one year at a time but not more than four years in a row. After four years, such Faculty may not serve again on the Senate for two years.

In all cases, a faculty member may not serve for more than four years in a six-year timeframe.

Unexpired terms shall be filled by special election or during the next regularly-held election. The elected representatives shall hold office until the first meeting of the Senate after their successors are announced.