adopted by the Board of Trustees of Tufts College on November 5, 2016
Article 1 Establishment
There is hereby established the University Faculty Senate (the “Senate”) of the Trustees of Tufts College (the “University”).
Article 2 Purposes
The purpose of the Senate is to provide faculty representation from all Schools of the University designated by Article 3 of these By-laws in order to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of the governance of the University and further develop a shared sense of community among its members, particularly, but not exclusively, with respect to the following:
Contributing to the formulation of University-wide plans and policies;
Reviewing existing and proposed University-wide policies and recommending appropriate changes;
Expressing and communicating the views, needs, and concerns of the University Faculty with respect to University governance, academic matters, and administrative practices, while respecting the autonomy of the individual Schools;
Exchanging information and helping to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among and between the Schools of the University, particularly but not exclusively, with respect to administrative, pedagogical, research, and other relevant matters of common concern;
Bringing to the attention of the University governing authorities all matters that the Senate judges appropriate;
Providing advice to University governing authorities, either in response to a request from them or on the Senate’s own initiative, for carrying out their responsibilities; and
Performing such other functions as the University Trustees, the President, or the Provost may request in matters affecting the governance of the University.
Article 3 Senate Powers and Responsibilities
While respecting the autonomy of the individual Schools of the University, the Senate shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
To decide upon its own internal rules and procedures for deliberation and decision making, subject to the provisions set forth in these By-laws and the policies and guidelines of the University;
To review and evaluate matters of University educational and research policy and advise the administration on such matters;
To review and evaluate University-wide faculty issues and advise the administration on such issues;
To recommend faculty for appointment to search committees for the hiring of the University President, Provost, Executive Vice President and School Deans;
To be consulted early in the decisions to create new schools, campuses, inter-School degree programs, joint degree programs with other institutions, and major reorganizations of the University;
To commit with the President, the Provost and the Executive Vice President concerning the structure of both academic and non-academic university administration;
To make recommendations to the appropriate University authority on the quality and effectiveness of University administrative services;
To receive timely information on annual budget priorities and to provide advice thereon, while respecting the school-based budget model;
To nominate faculty representatives to those University-wide committees, task forces, and Trustee committees that have faculty representation, and, in accordance with prevailing University By-laws, Trustee committees;
To designate individual University faculty members to serve on or assist committees, task forces, and working groups created by the Senate to carry out its responsibilities and to request individual University faculty members to assist the Senate on an ad hoc basis in fulfilling its responsibilities; and
To study and make recommendations to the President or Provost on any matter of faculty concern.
Article 4 Senate Membership
The Senate shall consist of faculty representatives from each of the following Schools of the University: the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Engineering, and the School of Medicine. By amending these By-laws in accordance with Article 8, the faculties of other schools and units of the University may be granted representation in the Senate as circumstances warrant. In addition and as circumstances warrant, the Senate, by majority vote, may authorize special academic entities within the University to select one faculty member of each such special entity to serve as a non-voting observer in the Senate with the right to participate in Senate deliberations.
Each School shall be represented in the Senate by a minimum of two persons and such additional representatives as these By-laws shall determine or as the Senate shall later decide by a two-third majority vote of the Senate representatives then in office and is justified by the number of faculty members teaching at such
Upon its creation, the Senate shall be composed of thirty (30) elected faculty representatives. The number of Senate representatives to be elected from each School shall be as follows:
The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: 3
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy: 3
The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: 3
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences: 2
The School of Arts & Sciences: 8
The School of Dental Medicine: 3
The School of Engineering: 3
The School of Medicine: 5
President and Provost of the University, or their designees (as appointed from time to time and for one or more meetings), shall be ex-officio non voting members of the
Each School shall elect its representatives to the Senate by a vote of its Faculty members eligible to stand for election to the Senate and to vote in the election of Senate representatives shall be determined in accordance with each School’s rules on faculty status and voting procedures.
Each School shall hold the first election of its representatives to the Senate no later than thirty days after the beginning of the academic year promptly following the effective date of these By-laws. The terms of office of the Senate representatives so elected shall run from the date of their election until August 31 of the year that the term of such representative is to end, with the possibility of re-election for not more than one consecutive three-year term.
A representative may not serve more than two consecutive terms, even if he or she has a cross-school joint appointment and is therefore eligible to stand for election in more than one
At the first election for Senate representatives, the various Schools shall adopt the following procedure:
Each School that is entitled to elect three representatives shall elect one representative for a term of one (1) year, one representative for a term of two (2) years, and one representative for a term of three (3) years;
The School of Arts & Sciences shall elect two representatives for terms of one (1) year each, two representatives for terms of two (2) years each, and three representatives for terms of three (3) years each;
The School of Medicine shall elect one representative for a term of one (1) year, two representatives for terms of two (2) years each, and two representatives for terms of three (3) years each; and
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences shall elect one representative for a term of one (1) year and one representative for a term of two (2) years.
Elections in subsequent years shall take place no later than June 1. Senate representatives elected in such elections shall have a term of three (3) years. Each such term of office shall commence on September 1 of the year of election and shall continue until August 31 of the third (3rd) year of their term of office. If the Senate first convenes in January rather than September, elected members shall serve for an extra one-half year.
In the event that a School’s elected representative to the Senate resigns, is no longer a faculty member at such School, is removed or is determined to be otherwise unable to continue or qualified to serve as a representative, that School shall hold an election within thirty (30) days of such resignation or determination, according to its rules and procedures, in order to select a faculty member to complete the term of office of the Senate representative who has resigned or is otherwise unable to serve.
The functioning of the Senate shall be supported by one or more administrative employees of the University, as determined by the Provost’s office. These administrative employees shall be overseen by the Faculty Secretary, shall assist in the organization of Senate and committee meetings, prepare the minutes of Senate and committee meetings, maintain appropriate records of Senate activities and decisions, assist in the preparation of Senate reports and communications, and assure the proper and efficient operation of the Senate.
A School’s representative to the Senate shall have the responsibility to keep the faculty and dean of that School informed on a continuing basis of the activities and deliberations of the Senate.
Each Senate representative shall be entitled to one vote on any matter to he voted upon by the Senate.
Article 5 Senate Officers
The officers of the Senate shall consist of the Senate President, the Senate Vice President and the Senate. They shall be elected annually for terms of one (1) year each by the voting Senate representatives at its first meeting of the academic year. Subject to subsection 2 of Article 5, the Senate representative receiving the highest number of votes for a particular office shall serve in that office.
No two (2) Senate officers may be faculty members of the same School, even if one or both holds an appointment in another School. The terms of office of the Senate officers shall begin with their election and shall continue until the election of Senate officers in the following academic year.
The Senate President shall preside at meetings of the Senate and, after consultation with the Senate representatives, shall represent the Senate in its relations with the Board of Trustees, President, Provost, and administration of the University. The Senate President shall also serve as a member of the University Academic Council or its equivalent and shall consult with the Provost on a regular basis, which, in normal circumstances, shall not be less than monthly.
The Senate Vice President shall preside at meetings of the Senate in the absence of the Senate President and shall act as the representative or designee of the Senate President in the execution of presidential functions when so requested by the Senate President or if the Senate President is not available to attend the
The Senate Secretary shall oversee the proper recording of the business of the Senate and at the completion of every academic year shall, in consultation with the Senate President and Senate Vice President, prepare and submit a written report of the Senate’s activities to the University faculty and
The Senate officers shall serve as members of the Senate Executive Committee in addition to two other Senate representatives elected by the Senate membership. The two Senate representatives receiving the highest plurality of vote cast shall serve on the Senate Executive Committe.
The Executive Committee shall appoint the members of Senate committees.
A Senate officer shall be automatically removed as an officer whenever he or she is no longer qualified to be a Senate representative or is otherwise ceases being a Senate representative. A Senate officer may be removed as an officer upon an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Senate representatives then in office.
Article 6 Senate Meetings and Decision Making
Meetings. The Senate shall meet in plenary session once each month during the academic year and may meet more frequently by a decision of a majority of Senate representatives. The Senate President shall call a special meeting of the Senate at the request of three members of the Executive Committee or at the request of the University President, the Provost or the Board of Trustees.
Quorum. A simple majority of the Senate representatives then in office
shall constitute a quorum. All Senate members have an obligation to attend all Senate meetings and may be excused from such obligation only in exceptional circumstances. The minutes of the Faculty Senate meetings shall record the attendance at each meeting of Faculty representatives and the Senate Secretary shall report persistent unexcused absences of a Senate representative to the Executive Committee, which after due consideration, shall address the matter with the appropriate faculty body of the School that such person represents.
Modes of Participation. In accordance with rules adopted by the Senate, representatives may participate in Senate meetings and vote on Senate decisions by video teleconferencing facilities or other approved methods of telecommunication.
Agenda. The agenda for each meeting of the Senate shall be determined by the Senate President, after consultation with the Vice President and the Secretary, and shall be distributed to the members of the Senate not less than seven (7) days before the Senate meeting at which such agenda items are to be considered. Any elected or ex-officio member of the Senate may propose agenda items for meetings to the Senate President not later than ten (10) days before the scheduled date of the meeting at whic.h they are to he considered. The Senate President shall also consult with the Provost concerning the agenda for Senate meetings.
Decisions. Except for amendments of these By-laws or as set forth herein, decision f, of the Senate shall be taken by a majority of those in attendance at the meeting, as long as the quorum requirement has been met.
Rules of Procedure. The Senate is authorized to make such rules of procedure as it judges appropriate, subject to these By-laws and the policies and guidelines of the University. The deliberations and decision making processes of the Senate shall be guided by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. The Secretary of the Senate shall serve as parliamentarian at Senate meetings.
Visitors. Visitors may attend Senate meetings in accordance with Senate rules of procedure. As a general rule, meetings of the Senate shall be open to all members of the University; however, by decision of the Senate President or by vote of a majority of the Senators present at a meeting, the Senate may convene in a closed executive session a meeting of voting Senate representatives only.
Record of Meetings. The official record of Senate meetings shall be kept by the Senate Secretary, who may employ whatever means he or she finds appropriate to prepare an accurate record of the proceedings, provided that no tape or video recording of a meeting shall be made unless all those attending consent to such recording. Other electronic or photographic equipment at Senate meetings may be used only in accordance with Senate rules of procedure and in accordance with the foregoing sentence. The minutes and summaries of meetings shall be made available to the faculty of the University, and each Senate representative shall also have the obligation to inform the faculty of the School that he or she represents of the decisions and matters considered in Senate meetings.
Article 7 Senate Committees
The standing committees of the Senate shall consist of the Senate Executive Committee and such other committees as the Executive Committee shall appoint.
The Senate Executive Committee shall consist of the Senate President, the Senate Vice President, the -Senate Secretary, and two other Senate representatives elected by the Senate at the first Senate meeting of the academic The two Senate representatives receiving the highest plurality of votes cast shall serve on the Senate Executive Committee.
No two members of the Executive Committee may be faculty members of the same School. A representative with a cross-school joint appointment shall not serve as a member of the Executive Committee at the same time as a representative from either school in which he or she has an appointment.
The Executive Committee shall support the work of the Senate, make recommendations to the Senate on its policies and plans, and carry out such responsibilities and activities as the Senate may delegate to it.
The Senate officers shall serve as members of the Senate Executive Committee in addition to two other Senate representatives elected by the Senate membership.
A representative on the Senate Executive Committee or any other Senate committee shall be automatically removed as a committee member whenever he or she is no longer qualified to be a Senate representative or is otherwise ceases being a Senate A representative on the Senate Executive Committee or any other Senate committee may be removed as a committee member upon an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Senate representatives then in office.
Article 8 Amendments
Amendments to these Senate By-laws, not inconsistent with the By laws or regulations of the Trustees of Tufts College, may be made by an affirmative vote of two-thirds majority of the Senate representatives then in office after they have received written notice of such proposed amendment no less than fifteen ( 15) business days before the Senate meeting at which such amendment is to be considered.
All amendments to Articles 1, 2, and 3 of these By-laws must be approved by the Board of Trustees of the University.
Bylaws revised by a vote of the Faculty Senate on September 13, 2017
Bylaws revised by a vote of the Faculty Senate and approval by the Board of Trustees on May 17, 2019