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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

University Handbook, Appendix E: 
Faculty Senate Constitution 

(Revised 02-07-84; 04-22-91; 12-05-02; 06-11-13; 2-10-15; 10-1-20; 9-1-21)

Section A: Powers of the Faculty

  1. Faculty have control of all matters dealing with the courses and curriculums offered by the institution, and the granting of degrees. These powers are subject to final approval by the Board of Regents.
  2. Faculty and unclassified professionals have the power to participate in the establishment of policies for the supervision and control of student affairs, faculty affairs, and unclassified professional affairs. Participation is essential to the establishment of policy relating to many all-university issues.

Section B: The Faculty Senate 

Article I. General Purpose, Jurisdiction, and Duties of the Faculty Senate

To facilitate the exercise of the powers outlined above, those powers are hereby delegated by the faculty and unclassified professionals of Kansas State University to a representative body called the Faculty Senate. This delegation of authority is subject to revision by those faculty and unclassified professionals.

Section A. General Purpose

Shared governance is important at Kansas State University. Therefore, the primary aim of the Faculty Senate is to facilitate meaningful participation of faculty and unclassified professionals in the establishment of university policies and in the formulation of procedures for their interpretation. Such policies shape the purposes and character of the institution, and define its future direction. To remain useful, established policies benefit from continued review and scrutiny.

To provide organizational structure for senate duties, permanent committees have been created and are accountable to the main senate.

Section B. Jurisdiction and Duties of the Faculty Senate

  1. Academic Affairs
    1. Establish policies governing such academic matters as requirements for admission, assignment and schedules, courses and curriculums, requirements for degrees, academic standards for students and for the institution, and evaluation of the educational program.
    2. Be the final authority for approving all curriculum and course changes, and all candidates for honorary and academic degrees. The Faculty Senate may delegate some authority to colleges to approve minor course and curriculum changes.
  2. Faculty Affairs
    1. Set professional standards by the formulation of policies concerning employment, qualifications, improvement in teaching methods, tenure, promotions, workloads, and retirement, and concern itself with matters affecting the welfare of the faculty and unclassified professionals.
    2. Take such measures as seem desirable for the improvement of faculty-student relationships.
  3. Professional Staff Affairs
    1. Participate in the formulation of policies concerning employment, qualifications, performance evaluation and improvement, promotion, and retirement, and concern itself with matters affecting the welfare of unclassified professionals.
  4. Technology
    1. Participate in the shared governance of determining the acquisition, application, and distribution of scientific, electronic, and information technology.
    2. Assure the shared governance of creating and reviewing policy related to the application of technology that does not infringe on academic freedom while protecting the collective interests of the university community.
  5. University Planning
    1. Participate in the shared governance of determining mission related academic priorities at the institutional level.
    2. Participate in the shared governance by which distribution of university appropriated resources in support of the academic, research, and service missions of the university is determined.
  6. Student Affairs

    Through its representatives on various presidential councils and committees, participate in the formulation of policy and shared governance of student affairs items such as admissions and enrollment, orientation and guidance, and financial aid and scholarships.

  7. All-university Affairs

    Through its representatives on various presidential councils and committees, participate in the formulation of policy governing such all-university affairs as resource allocations, public relations, intercollegiate athletics, assemblies, commencements and public gatherings, publications, campus development and planning, standards for use of physical facilities, and traffic and parking.

Article II. Faculty Senate Membership

Section A. Composition, Representation, Voting, and Membership

  1. Composition
    1. The senate is composed of distinct caucuses representing various units on campus. There shall be four senators elected from the following units: (1) extension, (2) the library, and (3) each of the colleges. In addition to these four senators, an additional senator shall be elected from each unit for each twenty-five full-time equivalent (FTE) unclassified personnel above seventy-five FTE or fraction thereof. Where used in this constitution, the phrase "unclassified personnel" refers to faculty and unclassified professionals. Determination of the FTE for each unit is based on the total FTE of all unclassified personnel on regular (non-term) appointments who are funded through the budget of the unit, excluding Extension Agents and Farm Management Economists. The senators elected from each unit comprise that unit's caucus. In addition, there shall be a General University caucus comprised of members elected at-large representing all other unclassified personnel on regular (non-term) appointments. The number of senators elected for this caucus will be determined at a rate of 15% (rounded up to the nearest whole number) of the total number of senators in all other caucuses (excluding the General University caucus and Term Appointment).
    2. There shall also be a Term Appointment caucus representing unclassified personnel on term appointments, excluding Extension Agents and Farm Management Economists. The number of senators elected for that caucus is determined at a rate of 10% (rounded up to the nearest whole number) of the total number of senators in all other caucuses (excluding the General University caucus and Term Appointment caucus). The composition of the Term Appointment caucus may include members from all colleges, extension, the libraries, and the General University unit. However, there will not be more than two term employees from any college, extension, the libraries, or the General University unit. Internal procedures, as reviewed by the election committee and on record with the Faculty Senate office, shall ensure the Term Appointment caucus composition is maintained.
    3. The Student Body President and the Speaker of the Student Senate will be voting members.
    4. The University Support Staff Senate President (or their designee) will be a voting member.
    5. The Graduate Student Council President (or their designee) will be a voting member.
  2. Representation

    All unclassified personnel at Kansas State University on a regular (non-term) appointment, except Extension Agents and Farm Management Economists, are represented in the Faculty Senate based on the location of their appointment in the University. When appointment tenths of time are distributed unequally among two or more units, the person is represented in the unit providing the greatest tenths of time. When appointment tenths of time are distributed equally among different units, the person is free to choose any one of those units for membership. Unclassified personnel with appointments not tied to an academic college, extension, or the libraries are represented by the General University caucus. Regardless of the tenths of time allocated towards administrative functions, deans, associate deans, and assistant deans are represented by the General University caucus (although they are counted in the determination of the number of senators in their home unit). The Director for extension functions primarily as an administrator and shall also be represented by the General University caucus. Assistant and associate directors in extension function as department heads and therefore are to be represented by the extension caucus, not the General University caucus.

    All unclassified personnel at Kansas State University serving on a term appointment, regardless of their location of appointment, shall be represented in the Faculty Senate by members elected at-large, to comprise the Term Appointment caucus.
  3. Eligibility for voting in Faculty Senate elections

    Those unclassified personnel identified in Article II, Section A.2 are eligible to vote in the senate elections in the caucus in which they are represented.
  4. Eligibility for membership in the Faculty Senate

    Those unclassified personnel identified in Article II, Section A.2 with a total university appointment of 0.5 FTE or more, at the time information is queried for the yearly elections, are eligible to be elected to the Faculty Senate. A person who does not wish to be included on their unit's ballot that year must so notify the caucus chair in advance.
  5. The proportional representation shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, by the Faculty Senate executive committee every three years beginning in October 2020. October 1 shall be the date for counting the number of faculty and unclassified professionals with a total university appointment of 0.5 FTE or more in each unit for the purpose of reapportionment of the Faculty Senate.

Section B. Parliamentarian

The Faculty Senate shall include a parliamentarian without voting power.

Section C. Term of Office of Senators

  1. The term of office shall be three years. Senators are eligible for re-election. However, the maximum that a senator can serve without a year intervening is two consecutive three-year terms. Election as an officer in the senate shall be the exception to this limit. The term of office with full voting privileges shall begin with the first meeting of the new senate.
  2. In the event senators are on leave, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to function for a time greater than one semester, the office shall be declared vacant and shall be filled by the procedure of Article II, Section D.5. The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve for the remainder of the term. Senators unable to function for one semester or less may designate a proxy as outlined in the by-laws.

Section D. Nomination and Election of Candidates

  1. An election committee along with caucus chairs shall conduct an election each year and certify the results with the aid of such offices as are necessary. This election committee shall be composed of the chair or co-chairs of the faculty affairs committee, the president, and the secretary of the senate. Approximately 11 weeks before the first meeting of the new senate, the caucus chair from each unit shall confirm with the Office of Faculty Senate a list of those in the unit eligible to vote and eligible to serve in senate elections. The election committee shall adjudicate any questions of voter eligibility, the unit in which a person should vote, and the eligibility for election to the senate, according to Article II, Section A.1.
  2. All eligible voters shall have the opportunity to vote by secret ballot for representatives from their respective unit.
  3. Nominees for membership in the senate shall be chosen approximately nine weeks before the first meeting of the new senate by a preliminary ballot of those entitled to vote. The caucus chair in charge of unit elections or a member of the election committee shall ascertain the willingness to serve of those nominated from each unit, in order of number of votes each received, and shall certify twice the number to be elected as the official nominees of the unit. In the event of ties, those receiving the same number of votes shall be included on the ballot for election; eligible voters shall be directed to vote for, at most, the necessary number of senators.
  4. Senators shall be chosen by secret ballot in a final election supervised by the caucus chair and election committee. In the event of a tie in the final election, a coin will be tossed to determine the winner. Elections shall be conducted seven weeks before the first meeting of the new senate.
  5. A complete summary of the election shall be kept on record for at least three years in the Office of Faculty Senate. Election results shall be forwarded to the president of the senate.

    As a vacancy occurs in the senate, the caucus where the vacancy occurred will appoint to the senate for the unexpired term the individual who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent election within the unit. In the case of a vacancy in the Term Appointment caucus, this same procedure will be used, except that the required composition of the caucus will be maintained when filling the vacant seat (see Article II, Section A.1.b.) Notification of the replacement will be provided at the next regularly scheduled executive committee and Faculty Senate meetings.

    Each caucus shall go back no further than the final ballot to find replacements for vacancies. When the names on the final ballot are exhausted, a special election will be called at the time of the vacancy to fill the vacancy. In the event the names on the final ballot are exhausted and yearly elections are in process, the vacancy may be filled utilizing the current elections. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the caucus chair and election committee.
  6. In the event of reorganization of the colleges, extension, the library, or the general administration, representation on the senate of these groups will remain unaltered until after the next regularly scheduled election.

Article III. Faculty Senate Organization

Section A. Officers

  1. The officers shall be president, president-elect, and secretary. At the first meeting of the new senate, the president-elect shall assume the presidency, and a new president-elect and secretary shall be elected by the senate from its membership or the membership of the immediately preceding senate. If one person does not receive a majority of the votes, there will be a runoff election between the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes. With the assistance of the Faculty Senate Leadership Council, the president and past president are charged with identifying and encouraging individuals to become candidates for officer positions. During their terms, the president-elect, president, and past president shall serve as senators-at-large with voting rights and not as representatives of his/her unit.
  2. The president shall be the presiding officer of the Faculty Senate, the executive committee, and the leadership council. The presiding officer shall only vote in case of a tie.
  3. The president-elect shall represent the senate on the President’s Commission on Multicultural Affairs (PCMA) and perform the duties of the president in the president's absence and shall automatically succeed to the presidency at the annual organization meeting or earlier, should that office be vacated. 
  4. The secretary of the senate shall:
    1. Prepare the minutes of the meetings of the Faculty Senate and the executive committee.
    2. Make the approved minutes of the meetings of the Faculty Senate and the executive committee available to senators and the university community using available means.
  5. The immediate past president is an ex officio at-large member of the Faculty Senate Committee on University Planning, the Executive Committee, and the Faculty Senate.

Section B. Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, president-elect, and past president, as senators-at-large, secretary, chairs of Faculty Senate permanent committees, one senator from each representative unit who has been elected by the senators of that unit, and the speaker of the Student Senate or their designee. In the case of co-chairs, each permanent committee will have only one vote. The president shall preside at meetings of the executive committee.
  2. The Executive Committee shall:
    1. Appoint faculty and/or unclassified professionals to Faculty Senate subcommittees and recommend faculty and/or unclassified professionals for appointment to other all-university committees.
    2. Serve as the advisory group of the Faculty Senate when called upon by university administration. It shall refer to the appropriate committee any question of policy on which advice is sought and shall report in its minutes any recommendation on policy.
    3. Receive the reports from the Faculty Senate permanent committees and transmit them to the senate for action.
    4. Cause matters approved by the senate to be brought to the attention of the appropriate administrative officer for action, and shall report to the senate the action taken.
    5. Take such emergency action as it finds necessary, such action to be presented at the next regular meeting of the senate.
    6. Prepare the agenda for meetings of the senate as stated in Article IV, Section B.
    7. Ensure that nominations and elections are carried out as specified in the senate constitution.

Section C. Caucuses, Committees, and Councils

  1. Caucuses.
    1. A college or unit caucus is made up of their elected senators and appointed representatives on the Faculty Senate permanent committees. The caucus chair serves as their representative on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The role of the caucus is to represent their college or unit and serve as a conduit of information to and from their college or unit into the senate.
  2. Permanent committees shall be the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Faculty Affairs, the Committee on Professional Staff Affairs, the Committee on Technology, and the Committee on University Planning.
    1. The Committee on Academic Affairs shall be composed of one senator from each caucus and the student body vice president or their designee. Each senator shall be selected by their representative caucus. The student representative shall serve ex officio with voting rights. Liaisons from the Provost’s Office and Registrar will serve as ex officio without voting rights. The chair, or co-chairs, shall be elected by committee members and serve one-year renewable terms.
    2. The Committee on Faculty Affairs shall be composed of one senator from each caucus and the student body president or their designee. Each senator shall be selected by senators from their representative caucus. The student representative shall serve ex officio with voting rights. Liaisons from the Provost’s Office and Human Capital Services will serve as ex officio without voting rights. The chair, or co-chairs, of the committee shall be elected by committee members and serve one-year renewable terms.
    3. The Committee on Professional Staff Affairs shall be composed of one representative from each caucus and a student representative designated by the student body president. Liaisons from the Provost’s Office, Human Capital Services, and University Support Staff Senate will serve as ex officio without voting rights. The senators in each Faculty Senate caucus shall select one member of the committee as their representative. Those selected members of the committee need not be senators but must be unclassified personnel eligible for Faculty Senate membership as outlined in Article II, Section A.2. A term lasts three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms. Only in exceptional circumstances, approved by the executive committee, can a member serve a third consecutive term. The chair, or co-chairs, of the committee shall be elected by committee members and serve one-year renewable terms. If not a current senator, the chair, or co-chairs, will be an ex officio member of Faculty Senate with voting rights.
    4. The Committee on Technology shall be composed of one representative from each caucus and a student representative designated by the student body president. The student representative shall serve ex officio with voting rights. Liaisons from the Chief Information Officer and University Support Staff Senate will serve ex officio without voting rights. The senators in each Faculty Senate caucus shall select one member of the committee as their representative. Members should possess some interest in technology but technology proficiency is not required. A balance of IT professionals, technology proficient faculty or staff, and faculty or staff who are less technically skilled is desired. Those selected members of the committee need not be senators but must be unclassified personnel eligible for Faculty Senate membership as outlined in Article II, Section A.2. A term lasts three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms. Only in exceptional circumstances, approved by the executive committee, can a member serve a third consecutive term. The chair, or co-chairs, of the committee shall be elected by the committee members and serve one-year renewable terms. It is recommended that the chair or a co-chair be a faculty member. If not a current senator, the chair, or co-chairs, will be an ex officio member of Faculty Senate with voting rights.
    5. The Committee on University Planning shall be composed of one representative from each caucus and the student body president or their designee. The student representative shall serve as ex officio with voting rights. Liaisons from the Provost’s Office and University Support Staff Senate will serve as ex officio without voting rights. The senators in each Faculty Senate caucus shall select one member of the committee as their representative. Those selected members of the committee need not be senators but must be unclassified personnel eligible for Faculty Senate membership as outlined in Article II, Section A.2. A term lasts three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms. Only in exceptional circumstances, approved by the executive committee, can a member serve a third consecutive term. The chair, or co-chairs, of the committee shall be elected by committee members and will serve one-year renewable terms. If not a current senator, the chair, or co-chairs, will be an ex officio member of Faculty Senate with voting rights.
    6. The president, president-elect, immediate past-president, and secretary of the Faculty Senate as well as the chairs, or co-chairs, of the five permanent committees compose the leadership council. The leadership council acts as a liaison between unclassified personnel and the university's administration. The council may take such emergency action as it finds necessary, such action to be presented at the next regular meeting of the executive committee. It shall refer to the appropriate committee such matters as are approved by the senate for study. The executive committee is to be informed about the subject of discussions between leadership council and the administration and those occurring within the leadership council.
  3. These permanent committees and leadership council may create subcommittees as they deem appropriate to assist with specific assignments.
  4. Each voting member of a permanent committee shall serve in that capacity until the appointment of a successor. Additionally, any committee member for whom the expiration of their senate term would otherwise make them ineligible to continue in that appointment, may, at the pleasure of their caucus, continue as the caucus representative with full voting rights for any committee meetings in May and June. In such cases the successor's term will begin with the start of the new academic year.

Article IV. Faculty Senate Meetings

Section A. Time of Meetings

The first meeting of a new Faculty Senate shall be called by the retiring executive committee. Regular meetings shall be called as specified in the by-laws. Additional meetings may be called by the executive committee as it sees fit.

Section B. Agenda for Meetings

The agenda for each meeting shall be prepared by the executive committee and shall include:

  1. A Land Acknowledgment recognizing Kansas is the current home to four federally recognized Native nations: The Prairie Band Potawatomie, the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, and that Kansas State University’s status as a land-grant institution is a story that exists within ongoing settler-colonialism, and rests on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and nations from their lands.
  2. All matters which the executive committee deems necessary.
  3. Reports that have been submitted to the executive committee by the permanent committees of the Faculty Senate.
  4. Any matter suggested by a faculty member or unclassified professional of the university when the suggestion is presented in the manner outlined in Article V.
  5. A period of discussion by the members of the Faculty Senate of any additional items presented by a senator from the floor.

Article V. Placing Matters upon the Faculty Senate Meeting Agenda

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall place on the agenda for meetings of the senate any matter suggested by a faculty member or unclassified professional of the university if the request is made in writing and bears the signatures of at least ten faculty and/or unclassified professionals as defined in Article II, Section A. A request must be received by the Faculty Senate office no later than three work days before a regularly scheduled executive committee meeting.

Article VI. Amendments

This constitution may be amended at any meeting of the faculty and unclassified professionals on regular and term appointment by a two-thirds vote of those participating in the vote, or via electronic means with a two-thirds vote, with the condition that they have been provided a copy of the proposed amendment at least two weeks in advance of the meeting at which the vote is taken or of the beginning of the electronic voting period. If a vote is conducted via electronic means, notification of approval or denial of the amendment will be included with the minutes of the next senate meeting.

The procedures for placing a proposed amendment before the regular and term appointment faculty and unclassified professionals are: (1) The submission of a proposal to the executive committee of the senate, which may delegate one of the committees to study the proposal, followed by its appearance on the agenda of the senate, and if approved by the senate, then submission to the regular and term appointment faculty and unclassified professionals for action, or (2) a petition to the presidents of the university and of faculty senate signed by 25 faculty members and/or unclassified professionals. Upon receipt of the petition, the faculty senate president shall call a meeting of the regular and term appointment faculty and unclassified professionals, to occur after the next scheduled faculty senate meeting.

Article VII. By-Laws

Kansas State Faculty Senate By-laws may be adopted or amended by a two-thirds vote of the senators present and voting at an official senate meeting, provided that the by-law or amendment to a by-law was proposed at a previous meeting of the senate and was included on the agenda of the meeting at which a vote is proposed.

By-Laws

  1. The Faculty Senate office specialist shall:
    1. Distribute to the senators no later than five days in advance of any meeting of the Faculty Senate the agenda for that meeting and the minutes of the executive committee meetings held since the last Faculty Senate meeting.
    2. Make the agenda of each Faculty Senate meeting available to the university community using available means.
  2. The senate shall meet during the second week of each month, except in July, August, and January, but the senate executive committee is empowered to change any meeting date from the second week of the month in order to avoid conflicts with the university calendar or dispense with a regular meeting of the senate if this is deemed appropriate. However, in no case shall two consecutive meetings be canceled.
    1. The first meeting of the new senate shall convene immediately following the adjournment of the May meeting of the outgoing senate.
  3. A quorum shall consist of one-half plus one (including proxies) of the members of the Faculty Senate, and no meeting shall be official unless a quorum is present.
  4. A proxy is recognized only if a senator notifies the Office of the Faculty Senate of the name of the proxy at least one hour prior to the meeting time. The president may not serve as a proxy. Additionally, the individual serving as a proxy must be a current senator.
  5.  
    1. A position on the Faculty Senate (a) held by a senator who is appointed to a position in a different college or unit from the college or unit which elected that member to the Faculty Senate, or (b) held by a senator who is appointed to any position which makes that senator ineligible for election to the senate, shall be declared vacant at the end of that senator's current term.
    2. If a vacancy occurs in the last five months of a senator’s term, it may be left vacant at the discretion of the caucus chair. Should this occur, another senator in that caucus shall carry the proxy for that seat until it is filled.
    3. In the event the office of president-elect or secretary is vacated, a new election shall be held.
  6. All senate minutes are posted on the official Faculty Senate website upon approval.
  7. At any senate meeting a request by a senator for a secret ballot shall be granted.