Constitution of the Faculty Senate

The following constitution of the Faculty Senate was approved by the faculty of Stevens at a Faculty Meeting on September 27, 2011. This text is incorporated in the Stevens Faculty Handbook.

Prologue: The Stevens faculty represents the core of Stevens as an academic institution. The faculty as a body will play a strong leadership role and advise the President, the Provost and the Board of Trustees on academic matters including, without limitation, on matters regarding how the Stevens faculty organizes and governs itself, and in matters affecting shared governance with the rest of Stevens Institute of Technology. The Stevens Faculty Senate and its Executive Committee are charged by the faculty with the responsibility of representing the Stevens faculty. The Stevens Faculty Senate and its Executive Committee collaborate closely with the Provost, the President and other constituencies of Stevens towards achieving agility, transparency and excellence in pursuing the academic and research enterprise of the Institute. This section of the Faculty Handbook outlines the charges, membership, and election of faculty to the Faculty Senate and its associated Executive Committee.

1. Charge

The Faculty Senate is charged as follows:

The Faculty Senate is the guardian of the principles of academic freedom and recommends 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 (BoT) on matters pertaining to the University's educational and research objectives. The Faculty Senate facilitates coordination and the flow of information between and among the Faculty, Faculty Committees, the President, the Provost and other officers and the Board of Trustees of the Institute. The Faculty Senate may enquire into matters having implications for the academic function and welfare of the University. The Faculty Senate may make recommendations concerning such matters to the appropriate persons or bodies within Stevens Institute of Technology. The Faculty Senate shall strive to enhance accountability for academic integrity, excellence, and the overall quality of Stevens Institute of Technology. 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 track, non-tenure track, 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 certain faculty meetings. The Faculty Senate actively participates in strategic planning activities of the Institute.The Faculty Senate supervises revisions to the faculty handbook. The Faculty Senate maintains a website for the faculty. 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.

2. Membership

The Stevens Faculty Senate consists of ex officio Senators, Senators elected directly by faculty in the schools and college/s of Stevens 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 colleges will constitute the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. Ex officio Senators serve by virtue of and for the period of office held by such person. Senators who serve ex officio shall be the two faculty members elected to the Stevens 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 shall be elected by vote of the tenured and tenure track faculty members in each school or college to constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate according to the following allocation: four senators shall be 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 will be reviewed periodically by the Faculty Senate and appropriate adjustments made. In the event that the ex-officio senators do not fulfill the peer representation requirements below, then a direct election of all faculty (tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure track) shall be conducted to elect representatives of such peer group(s). There shall be three peer groups which shall, at all times, be represented on the Faculty Senate. These groups are (1) full-time teaching faculty who are non-tenure track (“teaching faculty”), (2) full- time research faculty who are non-tenure track and have titles of assistant, associate or full research professor (“research faculty”), and (3) full-time assistant professors (“assistant professors”). At all times, the nomination and election process shall be configured and 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. Section 5 contains additional requirements regarding the eligibility of directly-elected Faculty Senators. The Faculty Senate may meet as mutually-agreed with the President, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Admissions, undergraduates, graduate students and/or others as appropriate.

3. Faculty Senate Meetings:

The Faculty Senate will meet regularly during the school year on a schedule to be determined by the Faculty Senate and distributed to faculty, the President and the Provost. The Senate will adopt best practices in the administration of its functions. 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 college/s. The Executive Committee may elect any other officers from among its membership whom they deem appropriate. The Chair of the Executive Committee will be the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

4. 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 college/s of Stevens, and who serve staggered two year terms. The duties of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will include calling meetings of the Faculty Senate and distributing an agenda; overseeing and expediting the work of all Faculty committees; maintaining records of actions; reports of committees; and other records as necessary, for the maintenance of the Faculty website and the review and certification of the voting faculty lists. The Executive Committee shall obtain the approval of the entire Faculty Senate for its decisions except pursuant to faculty policies which contemplate action by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.

5. Eligibility of Senators and the Nomination Process

Tenured faculty members are eligible to become faculty Senators elected directly by faculty in the schools and college/s of Stevens, subject to the peer group representation required by Section 2. Candidates must have been a member of the Stevens faculty for at least four full years. Academic department heads (or equivalent) and more senior administrators are not eligible to serve as the directly-elected senators of the Faculty Senate. Program directors and research center directors shall be eligible to serve as directly-elected senators. Any candidate nominated to satisfy the peer-group requirements of Section 2 shall have been a member of the Stevens faculty for at least four full years. Faculty members who are ex officio Senators may be tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure track faculty and shall have been members of the Stevens faculty for at least four full years. Ex officio senators cannot run for election as directly-elected senators during the same period in which such person serves as an ex officio Senator. Only full-time faculty members who spend the majority of their time at the Hoboken campus of Stevens are eligible to be elected as Senators. Nominations for directly-elected senators shall come from a school or college’s faculty in writing and shall be self-nominated or supported by the signatures of 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. The Committee on Committees shall have the final decision on all questions of eligibility and provide the Faculty Senate with a written report on their decisions involving any dispute. The Committee on Committees shall propose to the Faculty a slate of nominees satisfying all requirements of this Section.

6. Election Procedure

The Faculty Senate will approve the lists of faculty who are eligible to vote and send them to the Committee on Committees prior to each election. The Committee on Committees will conduct the election for directly-elected senators, the nominations for faculty trustees and, if necessary, the election of senators from among the peer groups described in Section 2. The persons getting the highest number of votes will be elected to the Senate. In case of a tie, the decision will be made by lot. The results of the election will be announced by the Committee on Committees before the spring commencement.

7. Terms of Office

Ex officio Senators serve as per their term of office.

Directly-elected senators representing the Schools and CAL are elected for a two-year term of office. Any directly-elected senator may run for reelection for a successive two-year term. After four years, a person may not run again until waiting two years.

Chairs of the Faculty Committees who serve as ex officio senators and faculty who are elected to satisfy the peer group requirements of Section 2 shall serve for one year at a time but not more than four years in a row. After serving for four years they may not run again until waiting two years. In all cases, a faculty member may not serve as a directly-elected or ex officio senator for more than four years in a six year time frame.

To implement these rules, the four persons who are members of the Faculty Council as of September 1, 2011 shall serve for one year on the Senate and may thereafter run for an additional two-year term in the elections to be held in the Spring of 2012. In addition, elections to be held in the fall of 2011, shall elect three additional directly-elected senators who shall serve for a two-year term. The result shall be a staggered group of directly-elected senators with four or three senators being elected each year, as the case may be.

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