Constitution of the Senate of the Faculty

This organization shall be entitled "The Senate of the Faculty of the University of Mississippi" (the Senate).

The Senate shall represent all actively employed faculty members of the University of Mississippi (excluding The University of Mississippi Medical Center), as defined by the University’s Faculty Titles and Ranks Policy (2015) (the Faculty). The Senate shall be empowered to make recommendations to the Chancellor, Provost and Council of Academic Administrators on policies affecting the University and to advise on such matters as the Chancellor or Provost shall lay before it. It shall also keep the Faculty fully informed of its recommendations and report these recommendations at each meeting of the Faculty. The Chair of the Senate, or a representative, shall represent the Faculty as a voting member of the Council of Academic Administrators. The Chair and/or other members of the Senate as directed by the Senate shall be among the representatives of the Faculty at meetings of any administrative council or other such body established, or to be established, by the Chancellor or Provost to act as advisor in administering the affairs of the University. The Senate shall recommend Senate representation to Standing University Committees to the Chancellor.

Section 1.
The Senate membership shall be limited to Faculty who qualify as Eligible Faculty defined as full-time, budget-listed, or Full-time equivalent (defined as those teaching 4-or-more courses per semester) Regular, Support, or Research Faculty of The University of Mississippi (excluding The University of Mississippi Medical Center) as defined in the Faculty Titles and Ranks Policy (2015).

The definition of Eligible Faculty does not include the following:

  1. Emeritus Faculty;
  2. Visiting Faculty;
  3. Artists/Writers in residence
  4. Military Personnel Faculty
  5. Assistant or associate deans, deans, assistant and associate Provosts, the Provost, assistant and associate vice chancellors, vice chancellors, the Chancellor, or those holding other administrative positions outside of the academic departments or the libraries.

Senators must have been members of the Faculty for the full academic year in which they are elected.

Section 2.
The membership quota of the Senate shall consist of a minimum of one Senator elected by each of the departments in the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Accountancy, the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education, the School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Journalism and New Media, and the University Libraries. Additional Senate seats will be allocated based on deviations from the mean number of Faculty according to full-time equivalencies (FTE) of all departments. For the purpose of the Senate each full-time, budget listed Faculty member that does not hold an administrative position listed in Article III, Section 1(5) shall be counted as 1 FTE. Additional faculty members will be counted as follows: those teaching 4 or more courses per semester will be counted as 1 FTE, and those teaching fewer than 4 courses per semester will be counted as 1/3 FTE. Departments that are larger than or equal to one standard deviation above the mean will receive one extra Senate seat for each standard deviation above this mean. Departments shall have no more than 4 representatives.
Section 3.
The term of office for Senate seats shall be three years. At any given election, a senator who has served in the two previous consecutive terms or portions thereof shall be ineligible. Elections of new senators will happen on a rotating basis which will be based upon the cycle detailed in the Bylaws.

If a unit should gain or lose Senate seats based upon the formula outlined in Section 2, the Executive Committee will determine where in the Election Cycle this change will be reflected. If a unit should lose a seat during a cycle when no Senator from that unit is scheduled to step down, the choice of which Senator steps down will be left to the discretion of the unit.
The immediate Past Chair will serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Senate, independent of the number of previous consecutive terms served. Any senator with four unexcused absences during a Legislative Year (September through August) shall be removed from the Senate.

Section 4.
If a Senate seat becomes vacant for any reason, the term of that Senate seat shall be filled by a candidate elected from the same department. The alternate will be assigned to the same Senate committees as the Senator that is being replaced.

Section 5.
The officers of the Senate shall be the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary, and the immediate Past Chair. The Executive Committee of the Senate shall consist of these officers along with the elected Chairs of the following Standing Committees: Academic Instructional Affairs, Academic Conduct, Finance & Benefits, Development & Planning, Governance, Research & Creative Achievement, and University Services.

The Chair's term shall be one year.

Past Chair.
The outgoing Chair shall be the Past Chair. In the event of a vacancy in the Past Chair position, the most recent Past Chair willing to serve shall assume that office. The immediate Past Chair may be eligible for an elected office during the year following incumbency.

The Vice-Chair's term shall be one year.

The Secretary's term shall be one year.

In the May meeting the Senate will elect the Chair, Vice-Chair and the Secretary for the coming year. To be elected as the Chair, Vice-Chair or Secretary, the individual must have served as a member of the Faculty Senate for the full current Legislative Year preceding the vote and must have at least one year of remaining service in their Senate term. No officer who has served in that office for the five previous consecutive Legislative Years or portions thereof shall be eligible for reelection to that office. These individuals will serve as the Chair Elect, Vice-Chair Elect, and Secretary Elect until the first organizational meeting in September.
The organizational meeting of the new Senate shall be called by the Chair of the previous year during the first week of September.  At this meeting, the Senate Standing Committees shall constitute themselves and each elect its own chair. Senate committee membership shall be determined by the Chair of the Senate, but continuing Senate members shall retain their previous committee membership if they so desire.

Section 6.
The Senate shall be considered a continuing body, and the Senate shall have the authority to create Standing Committees to make continuing studies of significant issues.

Section 7.
The regular meetings of the Senate shall be held as provided in the bylaws. An extraordinary meeting of the Senate shall be called by the Chair under either of the following conditions:

  1. Upon majority vote of the Executive Committee of the Senate.
  2. Upon written petition to the Chair by five members of the Senate.

When an extraordinary meeting is indicated by either of the methods above, the Chair must issue, within twenty-four hours, a notice of the meeting including the time and place; the meeting must be held between twenty-four and seventy-two hours (Saturdays and Sundays excepted) from the time at which the notice is issued; extraordinary meetings shall not be called during scheduled University vacation periods; the purpose of the meeting must be stated in the notice issued by the Chair. The Chair is not precluded from giving earlier notice of an anticipated extraordinary meeting.

Section 8.
The Senate shall abide by Robert's Rules of Order in conducting its business.

Section 9.
A quorum shall be defined by the bylaws of the Senate.

Section 10.
Agenda procedures shall be defined by the bylaws of the Senate.

This Constitution may be amended by a majority of those voting at a meeting of the Eligible Faculty. Amendments may be submitted by vote of the Senate or by petition of any ten Faculty members of professorial rank, and they must be circulated to the Faculty at least one week prior to the meeting at which they are to be considered.

Amended: May 1989, August 1990, August 1995, May 2000, April 2001, November 2002, October 2004, November 2007, November 2009, May 2016, August 2018.