Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Constitution of the University Senate

*as amended through May 2018

Article I: Name

The name of the body constituted in this document shall be The University Senate.

Article II: Membership
Section I: Members

The University Senate shall consist of the following persons, who shall all be voting Senators:
(a) Ex Officio Senators

  • The President of the University
  • The Executive Vice President for University Relations and Development
  • The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • The Senior Vice-President and Dean of the School of Medicine
  • The Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Financial Officer
  • The Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College
  • The Dean of the School of Architecture
  • The Dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business
  • The Dean of the School of Professional Advancement
  • The Dean of the School of Law
  • The Dean of the School of Liberal Arts
  • The Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • The Dean of the School of Science and Engineering
  • The Dean of the School of Social Work
  • The Dean of Libraries and Academic Information Resources
  • The Chair of the Staff Advisory Council

(b) Elected Faculty Senators
Not less than one or more than seven Senators shall be elected from each of the University academic constituencies specified in (a) according to the number of full-time faculty members in each constituency as follows:

  • 6 to 49 - two Senators
  • 50 to 99 - three Senators
  • 100 to 149 - four Senators
  • 150 to 199 - five Senators
  • 200 to 299 - six Senators
  • 300 or more – seven Senators

University academic constituencies with fewer than six full-time faculty members shall have one faculty Senator. The number of full-time faculty members in an academic constituency shall be taken as counted by the Provost’s office for the Fall semester preceding the Secretary’s call to the Dean of that constituency for election of Senators.

(c) Elected Student Senators

  • Two students, elected from the student body of the undergraduate academic constituencies;
  • Two students, elected from the student body of the other academic constituencies.

(d) Members-at-large

  • Eight members elected annually by the Senate, at its first meeting of each year, from a slate of full-time faculty members submitted by the Committee on Committees.

(e) Staff Senators

  • Three staff senators, consisting in the Chair of the Staff Advisory Council and two others elected by the Staff Advisory Council.
Section 2: Alternates

Any ex-officio or elected Senator who is unable to attend a meeting of the Senate may appoint a substitute to attend that meeting, provided the Senator communicates in writing the name of the substitute to the Secretary before the beginning of that meeting.

Section 3: Term of Elected Faculty Senators

Faculty Senators shall serve a term of three years, and may be re-elected for one consecutive term. The terms of faculty Senators shall be staggered if an academic constituency has more than one faculty Senator.

Section 4: Term of Elected Student Senators

Student Senators shall serve a term of one year and may be re-elected for one consecutive term.

Section 5: Term of Members-at-Large

Members-at-Large shall serve a term of one year and may be re-elected for consecutive terms.

Section 6: Procedure for Electing Faculty Senators

Each of the academic constituencies shall conduct its election of Senators; nominations and elections must be carried out by the faculty body.

Section 7: Vacancies

(a) Any unexpired term of a faculty or student Senator shall be filled by an election appropriate to that category of Senator.

(b) Any vacancy of whatever nature in the membership shall be filled, if possible, by election prior to the next meeting of the Senate following the date of vacancy.

(c) Senators filling an unexpired term shall be eligible for election for two regular terms.

Section 8: Quorum

Three-fifths of the voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 9: Persons Invited to Attend Meetings of the Senate

(a) The following persons shall have a standing invitation to attend all meetings of the Senate with the privilege of the floor but not of voting: Dean of Admissions, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the University Librarian, and such other administrative officers of the University as named each year by the President.

(b) The Chair or the Senate may invite other persons to a particular meeting of the Senate if the Chair or the Senate considers their presence essential for the proper discussion of an item on the agenda of that meeting. These persons shall have the privilege of the floor but not of voting.

(c) A student reporter of the Tulane Hullabaloo shall be invited to attend all meetings of the Senate, except if a majority of the members present and voting at a particular meeting or part thereof decide otherwise. The reporter shall not have the privilege of the floor or of voting.

Article III: Officers

(a) The President of the University shall be Chair, ex officio.

(b) The Senate shall elect from its faculty membership a Vice Chair to serve a term of two years. The Vice-Chair’s membership in the Senate, but not his or her representation of the academic constituency, shall be extended to the close of the two-year term as Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall not serve consecutive terms. Election of the Vice Chair shall take place at the March meeting in even-numbered years.

(c) The Senate shall elect a Secretary from the tenured university faculty to serve a two- year term, with re-election possible. Ex officio senators other than a second-year Vice- Chair or the Parliamentarian are not eligible. If the Secretary elect is a current Senator, he or she shall lose his or her vote but not the privilege of the floor, and his or her seat shall be declared vacant. Election of the Secretary shall take place in odd-numbered (calendar) years, no later than the last spring meeting. The Secretary shall prepare minutes of the Senate proceedings and debates, to be distributed throughout the University community and shall be responsible for correspondence on behalf of the Senate. When necessary, the Secretary shall consult with the Committee on Committees on matters relating to the following: (1) preparation of the Senate agenda, in consultation with the Chair; (2) proposals for approval by the Senate of changes in the plan for apportionment, staggering, and elections for the elective Senate seats; (3) proposals for approval by the Senate of appropriate methods for determining who qualifies as a full-time faculty member solely for the purpose of elections; and (4) proposals for approval by the Senate of appropriate methods for the nomination and election of student Senators.

(d) The Senate shall elect a Parliamentarian from the tenured university faculty to serve a two-year term, with re-election possible. Ex officio senators other than a second- year Vice-Chair are not eligible. Election of the Parliamentarian shall take place at the last April meeting in even-numbered years.

The Parliamentarian shall be a non-voting member of the Senate but shall have the privilege of the floor, and should he or she be in any year but the last of a term as a voting senator elected to represent an academic constituency, his or her seat shall be declared vacant, to be filled for the following academic year.

The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chair on questions of parliamentary procedure to ensure that Senate meetings are conducted in accordance with Bylaw II of the Senate Constitution.

Article IV: Powers and Jurisdiction
Section 1: Jurisdiction

(a) The Senate may make recommendations on all matters of general University concern.

(b) While the Senate recognizes the autonomy of the academic constituencies of the University in matters of their special concern, it reserves the right to review any actions of those academic constituencies which affect the University as a whole.

(c) New academic policies of general University concern, or changes in current academic policies of general University concern, shall be submitted to the Senate for its consideration.

(d) The Senate may request necessary budget information in order to implement its jurisdictional responsibilities under this section.

Section 2: Right of Exception

Any Senator shall have the right to express exception to the Board of Administrators to any Senate recommendation. Any such appeal shall be made known to the Senate in writing at the time of presentation to the Board of Administrators.

Section 3: Non-Acceptance of Senate Recommendations

If any recommendation of the Senate is not acceptable to the Board of Administrators, the Senate shall be informed in writing of the reasons for the decision.

Article V: Senate Committees
Section 1: Delegation of Powers

(a) The consideration of any matters within the jurisdiction of the Senate may be delegated to committees which shall be responsible to the Senate.

(b) Committees shall be of two kinds, standing and special.

(c) It shall be the duty of each committee to advise the Senate on matters within its purview. Each Committee shall have executive powers only as defined in the Bylaws or by special action of the Senate.
 

Section 2: Appointment and Term of Office

(a) The members of the committees of the Senate shall be appointed by the Committee on Committees except where otherwise provided. The Chairs of all committees shall be similarly appointed with the concurrence of the President.

(b) The notices of appointment shall include definitions of the duties and powers of the respective committees.

(c) The tenure of a special committee closes with the completion of its assignment.

(d) The tenure of appointed standing committees extends for one calendar year, beginning at the start of the fall semester of the academic year. Members may be reappointed, but, except for ex officio members, no appointed member shall serve more than three consecutive one-year terms unless the member is asked to continue his or her service to the committee by being appointed its chair or unless the extension of a member’s term is approved by a majority vote of the Senate.

(e) Except where the Bylaws provide for committee chairs serving ex officio, ordinarily no appointed member shall chair a standing committee for more than three consecutive years. The Committee on Committees, with the concurrence of the President, shall have the option of reappointing committee chairs who have served three consecutive years for one additional year, providing that a deputy chair is also appointed.

(f) No appointed committee member who is not an ex officio member shall serve on the same committee for more than a total of seven consecutive years.

(g) The Committee on Committees, with the concurrence of the President, may appoint a deputy chair for any standing committee. The deputy chair will ordinarily be appointed chair of the committee in the year following his or her tenure as deputy chair.
 

Section 3: Personnel

(a) Persons other than members of the University Senate may be appointed to Senate committees except as otherwise specified in the Bylaws.

(b) The membership of all committees of the Senate shall be made up of at least three- fourths full-time teaching and/or research members of the academic faculty, exclusive of voting student members, except as otherwise provided in the Bylaws.

(c) The members of the Senate Committee on Athletics shall be appointed by the President of the University to the Tulane Athletic Advisory Committee.
 

Section 4: Reports

(a) A special committee shall make a written report to the Senate upon completion of its assignment.

(b) Standing committees shall present interim reports as requested by the Senate and may present such reports at their own instance.

(c) Each Standing committee shall submit an annual written report and shall furnish the Secretary, well in advance of the meeting at which it is to be presented, with a sufficient number of copies for distribution to the Senate membership.

Article VI: Meetings
Section 1: Regular Meetings

The University Senate shall meet on the first Monday of each month throughout the academic session unless in the judgment of the Chair and the Secretary there is not enough or important enough business to be considered at the scheduled meeting. The Chair shall have authority to change this date when this date falls on a holiday or during a vacation period.

Section 2: Special Meetings

Special meetings of the University Senate shall be called by the Secretary (a) at the direction of the Chair, (b) at the direction of the Senate, or (c) upon request of six members addressed to the Secretary. Section 3: Notice of Meetings (a) Written notice of a regular meeting shall be sent by the Secretary to each member of the University Senate one week in advance of the date of such regular meeting, but delay of such notice shall not invalidate any action taken at the meeting. (b) Written notice of a special meeting shall be sent to each member of the Senate a reasonable time prior to the date of such special meeting. (c) All notices shall contain as complete an agenda as possible.

Article VII: Repealing Clause

To the extent that any of the provisions of this Constitution are inconsistent with the terms of any other University statute or regulation, the provisions of this Constitution shall control.

Article VIII: Amendment of the Constitution

Any provision of this Constitution of the Senate may be amended, or repealed in the following manner:
(a) Any proposal to amend or repeal must be made at the regular meeting preceding that at which the vote is taken on such proposal.

(b) A two-thirds majority vote of the voting membership of the University Senate shall be necessary to convey to the Board of Administrators the recommendation of the University Senate that the provisions of the Constitution be amended or repealed.

Article IX: Effective Date

The provisions of this document shall be effective January 1, l973.

View as PDF