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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » History of the Faculty Senate


History of the Faculty Senate

The current one hundred thirty-two member Oregon State University Faculty Senate represents approximately 4,000 Faculty, with Senator apportionment being split between faculty FTE (75%) and student credit hours (25%). This Senate operates according to the provisions of its Bylaws, which were first adopted in 1956, but have undergone considerable revision since then. Senators are elected by the several Colleges and support units on campus, and off-campus Extension personnel.

The elected officers are a President and President-Elect. A campus-wide election is held yearly with balloting among the faculty who are eligible to be represented in the Senate. After serving as President-Elect for one year, that person automatically becomes President. The Parliamentarian is an appointed officer who is nominated by the Executive Committee and confirmed by the Senate. Prior to 1978, the Senate was administered through the Office of the Dean of Faculty. In 1978, the Faculty Senate Office was established with its present administrative arrangement.

A six-member Executive Committee is elected by the Senate. Three members are elected each year, upon recommendation of the Senate's Bylaws and Nominations Committee, to serve two-year terms. Also serving on the Executive Committee is the senior Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Senator. The Executive Committee, with the Senate Officers, produces the monthly agendas for the Senate.

The Bylaws and Nominations Committee is one of 27 University-level standing Committees and Councils authorized by the Bylaws and appointed by the Executive Committee. Chairs of these Committees and Councils are also appointed by the Executive Committee. Committees and Councils are created by the Senate, which approves their Standing Rules. Normally, their membership is appointed so that approximately one-third are replaced each year. The Committees and Councils are governed by Standing Rules that are drafted by the Executive Committee and the Committee on Committees, and approved by the Senate. Several Committees, such as the Committee on Academic Standing, are empowered to perform certain functions which are reported annually to the Senate. Others, such as the Curriculum Council, meet regularly and periodically make recommendations to the Senate. A third group, such as the Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee, works primarily in response to charges given to them by the Senate or the Executive Committee. They report to the Senate through the Executive Committee. Ad Hoc Committees, appointed by the Senate or the Executive Committee, address special questions or concerns and are terminated upon presentation of their reports.

Business of the Faculty Senate is administered by the Office of the Faculty Senate, which is managed by the Special Assistant to the Faculty Senate President in concert with the President of the Senate. The Office operates continuously in receiving the various data generated by committees and councils, university administration, and off-campus groups such as the Oregon University System, the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate, and the State Legislature. The Senate Office performs the administrative work required to produce the Executive Committee meeting agendas, Faculty Senate monthly meeting agendas, Senate meeting minutes, campus-wide Senate elections, Faculty Sabbatical Housing List and the various and sundry tasks of record keeping, bookkeeping, maintaining liaison with Committees and Councils, and producing correspondence.

The Faculty Senate Office operates on funds made available by the Provost's Office. The Special Assistant to the Faculty Senate President is a full-time employee and the President is .50 FTE; all cited FTE is for 12 months. The total FTE, classified and unclassified, is 1.50.