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Senate's Standing Rules

Standing Rules of the Faculty Senate

Article I: Purpose: The standing rules contain provisions for the regulation and management of the affairs of the senate consistent with the Constitution.

Article II: Meetings: The senate will meet at least weekly during scheduled semesters and at least monthly during each scheduled summer session.

Immediately following senate elections each spring, newly elected senators will be encouraged to begin attending senate meetings to become familiar with senate procedures and senators in preparation for senate officer elections. Senators-elect will take their seats at the last meeting of the Spring Semester.

Article III: Officers: The senate will annually elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.  Other officers may be elected by the senate as it sees fit. Except for specifically designated closed sessions, a Council of Chairs appointed representative and a Staff Council representative will be invited to attend and observe Faculty Senate meetings.

At the last meeting of the spring semester, each senator will be provided with a written ballot listing the names of Senators who are willing to stand for election. At least two days prior to this meeting, senators will notify the senate’s administrative assistant if they would like their names removed from the ballot.

By secret ballot, each Senator will mark the name of one Senator for election to the office of Chair. If no Senator receives a majority of the votes, new ballots will be distributed listing the names of the two Senators who received the most votes. In the event of a tie, both names in the tie will be listed. Balloting will continue until one candidate receives a majority. After a Chair is elected, the senate will elect the Vice-Chair, Secretary, and other officers as needed, according to the same procedure.

Duties: The Chair will create agendas for all Faculty Senate meetings that include items suggested by Senators, Liaisons, faculty, and/or administrators.  The Chair will preside at all meetings of the senate and will see that all resolutions of the senate are implemented. Effort should be made to address items that are returned to the agenda at the next senate meeting.  The Chair will send notice of the date, hour, location and subject matter of all meetings to each Senator, Liaison and the faculty at large at least two days before the date of the meeting. The Vice-Chair will, in the absence or disability of the Chair, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the Chair. The Secretary will ensure that all the minutes of all proceedings are properly recorded, and these records will be open for inspection upon request.  These standing rules will be maintained by the Secretary.  The Chair and a senate representative will attend every meeting of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates and the Texas State University System Council of Faculty Senates.

Article IV: Committees: The senate, by resolution adopted by a majority of the full Senate, may designate from among its members, or from among other Senate constituencies, such committees as it deems necessary. Appointments to non-Senate committees may likewise be designated by resolution adopted by a majority of the full Senate. Faculty Senate Committee assignments are recommended by the Committee on Committees to the Faculty Senate, which makes the appointments under the auspices of the Provost. The Committee on Committees conducts a committee preference survey in early spring to solicit volunteers for these committee assignments. An effort should be made to establish balance in committees, in some cases based on college representation and in some cases based on expertise. Committee assignments are for three years unless otherwise indicated. Membership on committees is open to all faculty members who have completed one year at Texas State University.  Individual committees may establish additional membership criteria specific to the committee’s charge.

Each committee may bring in other faculty members, administrators, and students for consultation and advice when they see a need. Ex officio members are non-voting members unless otherwise noted. Ex officio members and staff members are recommended to the senate by the appropriate office. Non-voting ex officio members will serve as consultants for the committee.

The Chair of each committee will either be recommended by the Committee on Committees, and confirmed by the senate, or directly appointed by the senate. Each committee may select its own Vice-Chair, or one may be directly appointed by the senate.

Student members are recommended by the Student Government, appointed by the Faculty Senate and approved by the Provost. Students must meet the following qualifications:

1.    Have an overall 2.5 grade-point average prior to being appointed; have 2.25 grade point average during service;

2.    Be free of any disciplinary sanction authorized by the Student Conduct Code; and

3.    Be a full-time student at the time of appointment and during service, or obtain special approval from the Senate.

Dean members are recommended by the Council of Academic Deans, appointed by the Faculty Senate, and approved by the Provost. Chair members are recommended by the Council of Chairs, appointed by the Faculty Senate, and approved by the Provost.

All committee meetings are open to the public as required by UPPS 01.04.04.

Committee members who miss three consecutive meetings, or half the meetings during a year, may be replaced. The committee Chair is responsible for reporting excessive absences to the senate so that a replacement can be named.

Article V: Full Faculty Senate:  The full senate comprises the Faculty Senators and Senate Liaisons.  

A Faculty Senate Liaison will be elected annually by the faculty voters in each department/school without a sitting Senator, by the Professional Librarians/Curators, and by the Honors College.

Liaisons must have the same qualifications as Senators, except that the Professional Librarians/Curators will be eligible to vote after one year's service and to serve as the Liaison after three years. Each September, the Liaison from the preceding year (or Senator from the unit who has completed their Senate service) will initiate an election for a Liaison to represent the unit in the current academic year. If that person is unable to initiate the election, the Senate Chair will contact a faculty member in the unit, charging them to conduct the election.

Liaisons will communicate individual faculty and department/school concerns to the Faculty Senate. In addition, Liaisons may be asked to meet with the senate from time to time, to gather information, to take informal polls, to distribute and collect faculty ballots, and to perform such other tasks as may be required to ensure effective communication between department/school/college faculties and the senate.

Each fall and spring semester, a Full Senate meeting will be held. At the fall meeting, communication channels will be explained and the duties of the Faculty Senate Liaisons will be reviewed.

Article VI: Piper Award Nominee Selection Process: The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation annually honors professors in Texas colleges and universities for outstanding achievement in the teaching profession.  Each award includes a certificate designating the recipient as a "Piper Professor" and a $5,000 honorarium. Texas State University is permitted to submit one nomination each year and the Faculty Senate coordinates the nomination process. 

In early September, the senate will initiate the Piper Award nominee selection process. All faculty members with current appointments who have had a full-time appointment at Texas State University for seven years or more are eligible and are invited to apply and/or to nominate a colleague for the Piper award.  All departments/schools are encouraged to nominate at least one applicant and there is no restriction on the number of nominations coming from each department/school or college.  Applications are due to the senate office by 5 p.m. on October 1, or the following Monday if October 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

The Piper Award Committee is charged with thoroughly reviewing all applications and selecting the three worthiest applicants to be recipients of the Everette Swinney Teaching Excellence Award. From these three, the committee will select the best single applicant to be the Texas State University nominee for the Piper Professor Award.  Appointed by the senate, the committee will consist of a representative from each College, and a prior Texas State University Piper Professor.

The Piper Professor serving on the committee may not be from the same department/school as a college representative.  Committee members will serve staggered three-year terms.  Members may not apply for the award, or nominate a colleague, while serving on the committee.  Committee members may resign their assignment in order to apply for the award by submitting a letter of resignation to the senate by September 1. The committee is enjoined to work closely with the Office of the Provost, which will provide procedural information as requested by the committee.  Candidates’ application portfolios are due to the VPAA by November 1 and will be sent to the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in late November.  The Chair of the Piper Award Committee will assure that this process is completed and the necessary paperwork is collected prior to the Piper Foundation deadline. The Chair will make an annual report to the senate that includes any recommendations from the committee for revisions to the peer review and selection process.

Article VII: Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Awards: Three faculty members selected by the Piper Award Selection Process described above will become the recipients of the Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award. The following fall, at the general faculty meeting in late August, the President, upon the recommendation of the senate, will recognize each recipient of this award with a cash honorarium and an appropriate plaque.

Article VIII: Research Enhancement Awards: The Research Enhancement Program (REP) was established by the 70th Texas Legislature to "encourage and provide support for research conducted by faculty members." The legislation further provided that "REP funding should be awarded to faculty within any discipline according to campus-wide competitive peer review procedures developed at each University."

At Texas State, the Faculty Senate is responsible for developing and implementing these peer review procedures. To that end, a University Research Committee (URC) composed of one tenured or tenure-track faculty member from each college has been established. Committee members are appointed by the senate on the basis of their research experience and good judgment to staggered three-year terms. In the spirit of the original enabling legislation, the senate has charged the Committee to use a definition of "research" that is broad enough to include all definitions of scholarly and creative activity as defined by individual departments/schools. The URC, with the approval of the senate, develops guidelines and application forms, and establishes application deadlines. During their terms, URC members are not eligible to apply for Research Enhancement Grants.

College Research Enhancement Committees (CREC), consisting of one elected representative of each department/school in an academic college will review all proposals and rank them after thorough discussion of each proposal at a meeting chaired by the college’s representative to the University Research Committee. CREC members are chosen for one-year terms in a department/school election conducted in early September. URC and CREC Committee members may not submit proposals during their terms.

The University Research Committee (URC) is enjoined to work closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), which is responsible for receiving REP proposals and evaluations, notifying applicants whether their proposals were successful, and assisting faculty in setting up REP grant accounts. OSP is also responsible for maintaining the REP website, which contains all REP documents and guidelines, and for coordinating the election of CREC representatives.

The Assistant Vice President for Research and Federal Relations will serve as a non-voting ex officio member of the URC to provide procedural guidelines and information as requested by the Committee. Final determination and apportionment of funds will be made by the senate, upon the recommendation of the Committee, and notification of the results will come from the Office of Sponsored Programs.  

Article IX: Faculty Development Leave: The senate will remind faculty of the development leave application due date at least thirty days prior to the October 15 deadline. (If the 15th falls on a Saturday, the deadline will be the 14th and if it falls on a Sunday, the deadline will be the 16th.)  Once applications are electronically routed from the deans to the senate, senators may begin the review process. Applications that are received late will not be accepted, unless it is clear, in the judgment of the Senate Chair that the delay was occasioned by an administrative office.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with their respective senator(s) prior to submission and/or during the review period (typically between October 20 and November 1) to discuss their applications.

Each application will be reviewed by a subgroup of at least 3 senators, including all senators from the applicants’ college.  Senators will preliminarily evaluate applications assigned to them using the Rubric for Faculty Development Leave Assessment.  In a closed meeting, the senate may then briefly discuss applications about which questions are raised and all applications that receive broadly divergent ratings from reviewers. The average of the assigned senators' ratings on each applicant will determine whether the application merits the senate’s recommendation for approval. All applications will be forwarded to the Provost in ranked order and those with composite scores of 10 points or more will be recommended for approval.

The Senate Chair will promptly inform each candidate of the senate’s decision regarding his/her application. In the event that a proposal is not recommended for approval, the letter will include the rubric scores from senators to assist the applicant in understanding the reasons for the decision. Except as provided above, the senate's discussion and rankings are confidential and will not be released to other parties.

Detailed Faculty Development Leave application guidelines and application assessment information are available on the Senate website and in AA/PPS No. 04.02.02 (8.02).

Article X: Important Business: A substantively important item of business, as defined by the Chair, may not be disposed of at the senate meeting at which it is introduced; final action must be deferred at least one week to allow senators time to study the issue and consult with constituents. In cases of emergency, this rule may be suspended by a two-thirds majority of the senate.

Article XI: Amendments: Upon one week's notice, the senate may alter, amend, or repeal these standing rules or adopt new standing rules by majority vote.

Article XII: Senate Eligibility: No dean, department chair/school director, assistant/associate dean (or persons holding these titles as interim appointments) will be eligible to be elected to the Faculty Senate regardless of the budgetary source of their salaries. When preparing ballots each spring, senators and senate representatives will confirm candidates’ eligibility.

Article XIII: Distribution of Agendas and Minutes: Faculty Senate agendas will be electronically distributed to all faculty and any other party who requests receipt of the agendas, and minutes will be posted on the senate web page.

Preparation and distribution of agendas is the responsibility of the Senate Chair; preparation and distribution of minutes is the responsibility of the Senate Secretary. All distribution will be by email. 

Adopted by the Faculty Senate August 24, 2011
Revised February 19, 2014
Revised March 22, 2017
Revised May 9, 2018
Revised January 20, 2021
Revised August 23, 2023