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Faculty Senate By-Laws

(as amended 06/22/2012)


Section I: Inactive Membership:
The Faculty Senate depends on the full participation of all of its members. Accordingly, if a member is absent for three consecutive meetings without notification of the Chair and/or provision of a substitute, the Chair will attempt to contact the member or designate another member who is able to, to contact the member who has missed the three meetings and encourage active participation. If the member misses the fourth consecutive meeting, then the Chair may ask for a motion to declare a vacancy, and if the motion carries, the department which the member represents shall be notified through other members from that department and an election shall be held to fill the remainder of the term. In the case of nonvoting members, that members representative group shall be notified and requested to provide another member as soon as possible.

Section II: Substitute Members:
When a voting member cannot attend some Faculty Senate meetings, he or she will notify the Chair and provide a substitute. The substitute will act in an informational manner and will constitute a voting member. The substitute's tenure will not affect the length of the absent senator's term.

Section III: Member Resignations:
To resign from the Faculty Senate, a member should submit a written resignation statement to the Chair of the Faculty Senate (or to the Vice Chair if the member is the Chair). It is also the responsibility of the member to inform colleagues in his/her School, and if possible to serve until a new member is elected to fill the remainder of the term.


Section I: Officer Designations:
The Faculty Senate shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer  each of whom shall come from within its voting membership.

Section II: Officer Election and Tenure:
The four officers shall be nominated and elected at the April meeting by voting Senate members. Election of each office shall be by a majority of votes. If more than two nominations are accepted for an office and if none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes, then a runoff shall be held between the first and second place candidates. All Balloting shall be by closed ballot. If there is a tie for second place in the first round, or a tie in a runoff election, the candidates shall break the tie between themselves. Officers shall serve for one year, August-July. Members may serve consecutive terms if reelected to the office by the membership. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chair, then the Vice Chair shall assume the office of the Chair, and a new Vice Chair shall be elected from the membership to serve the remainder of the term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice Chair or of the Secretary, then this office shall be filled by election of a new officer by the membership to serve the remainder of the term. Special elections shall be conducted in the same manner as regular elections.

Section III: Officer Duties:
The Chair of the Faculty Senate shall be the presiding officer, and shall call and preside over all regular and special meetings of the Faculty Senate. The Chair shall have the authority to solicit members and designate them for service on institutional committees. The Chair shall attend all meetings of the CNM board, and shall designate two representatives to serve on Management Council as the representative of the Faculty Senate and a representative to serve on Deans Council as the Faculty Senate representative. If the representative is unable to attend such a meeting, and then the Chair may request that another member of the Faculty Senate attend and report back to the Senate. The Chair may vote in Faculty Senate proceedings. Additionally, the Chair has the responsibility to disseminate the agenda to all members one week in advance of the meetings; as well as to disseminate any information necessary for keeping the Senate informed. The Chair shall have other duties as prescribed in this document. The Chair's compensation for performing these duties shall be two course releases in the fall and spring terms and one course release in the summer term as resolved 2006-03.

If the chair is present, the Vice Chair shall serve as parliamentarian, and should become familiar with Roberts Rules of Order, as described in the Constitution. The Vice Chair shall assume all of the duties of the Chair at any meeting where the Chair is not present, in which case the Vice Chair shall appoint a temporary parliamentarian until the Chair can resume the duties of his/her office.

The Secretary shall cause the minutes of the Faculty Senate meetings to be recorded. The Secretary shall prepare and distribute meeting minutes to each of the members. If the Secretary is absent from a meeting, the Chair or acting Chair shall appoint a temporary Secretary until the Secretary can resume the duties of the office. If both the Chair and the Vice Chair are absent from the meeting, the Secretary shall assume the duties of the Chair for the duration of the meeting and shall appoint a temporary Secretary to record the meeting, along with a temporary parliamentarian.

The Treasurer will provide a yearly audit in June and when there is an officer change to the Senate in order to account for expenditures from the CNM Faculty Senate account held at the CNM Foundation. All expenditures will be voted on by the Senate. The Treasurer shall be responsible for making requests for expenditures from the CNM Faculty Senate account held at the CNM Foundation. The Treasurer will understand and follow all fiscal, legal, and accounting requirements relative to this account. In order to make requests for expenditures from this account, two authorizing signatures, the Treasurer's and the Chair's are required.

If the Chair, the Vice Chair, and Secretary are absent from a Senate meeting, the Treasurer assume the duties of the Chair for the duration of the meeting and shall appoint a temporary Secretary to record the meeting, along with a temporary parliamentarian.
If all of the officers are absent but a quorum is present, then those members present may designate an acting Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary to conduct the duties of these offices during the meeting.

Section IV: Judiciary:
Three members of the Senate shall serve as the Judiciary of the Faculty Senate. These members may not simultaneously serve as an elected officer. Their duties shall be to make rulings on and clarifications of the Faculty Senate Constitution. These rulings must be made at the request of the Chair or acting Chair, or by two thirds of those present at any meeting. They should be presented in writing at the meeting following that at which the verbal request was made, although the Judiciary can as a group request an additional month if they have not reached a consensus. A split ruling is possible, in which case the opinion expressed by two members of the Judiciary is considered binding, although the dissenting member has the right to present his/her interpretation at the meeting in which the ruling is announced. Members of the judiciary must be nominated to a vacancy on the Judiciary by the Chair, and this nomination must be approved by a majority of the members present. The member so nominated and approved continues to serve on the Judiciary until leaving, either through resignation, or by expiration of that members elected term. If a member of the Judiciary is elected to a Faculty Senate office, then that member must resign from the Judiciary before assuming the duties of the office to which he/she is elected. The Judiciary shall designate one member to keep a record of all opinions concerning the Constitution, along with any dissenting opinions. When this member ceases to serve on the Judiciary, this record should be passed on to the next member of the Judiciary to accept this responsibility. The Judiciary may also make interpretations of the by-laws, but these do not need to be written.

Section V: Removal of Officers:
If a majority of the members agree that an officer should be removed from office due to lack of attention to the duties of the office or due to other actions which are causing harm to the Senate, then a motion to remove the officer may be placed on the agenda if a petition signed by at least half of the members is presented to all officers at least ten days prior to the meeting. This item should be placed at the top of the agenda, and may only be preceded by roll call and approval of minutes of any previous meetings, although the officer named in the petition or another member in the event of that officers absence may request a delay of not more than a month if the officer will be unable to attend the meeting. The officer named in the petition must temporarily step down from the designated duties of the office until the motion has been voted on. If the officer is the Chair, then the Vice Chair shall assume the acting duties as described in section III above, and otherwise the Chair shall appoint an acting Vice Chair or Secretary as described. A spokesperson selected from among those who have signed the petition shall enunciate the concerns of that group, and the officer so named may respond immediately to these concerns. If the officer is not present then any member may respond if so inclined. Debate shall then continue in the usual manner as per section IV of Article III. However, unlike other motions made in the senate, a motion to remove an officer shall require the support of those members who are present in order to carry. If it does carry, then an immediate vacancy shall be declared in the office and shall be filled as per section II of Article II, or Article IV of section II if the vacancy is in the Judiciary.


Section I: Frequency of Regular Meetings:
Faculty Senate meetings shall be held monthly at such time and place as shall be specified by the Chair, usually with the advice and consent of the Faculty Senate. Meeting times and places shall be established for a period of at least one year in advance. Such times and places are subject to change as conditions necessitate.

Section II: Special Meetings:
Special meetings may be held as appropriate. These meetings may be held at any time at the discretion of the Chair. Additionally, they may be held if a motion to hold a special meeting is made, seconded and passed by a vote at any regularly scheduled or special meeting. The Chair shall announce the time and place of the meeting and disseminate this information to the membership at least five working days in advance of the meeting.

Section III: Agenda:
Any member, voting or non-voting, may request the Chair to place an item on the agenda under New Business for the next meeting. This request shall be made at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. The Chair shall do so, unless in his/her opinion, the item does not require immediate action, and the agenda is likely to be lengthy. If both of these conditions are met, then the Chair may put it on the agenda for the following meeting. If an item is discussed but is either tabled or not completely resolved in a meeting, then a vote can be taken by the Senate as to whether to include it under Old Business at the ensuing meeting. If the member who requested that the item be placed on the agenda wishes to withdraw the item, he/she may make a motion to do so. If the motion is seconded, a vote may be taken on the motion to withdraw. If the member who requested that the item be included on the agenda is absent, a motion may be made and voted on to postpone the item until the next meeting. If this vote fails, then the item shall be debated at the current meeting.

Section IV: Discussion:
The Chair shall first give the member who proposed an item a chance to explain it. After this, there shall be a discussion in which it is the responsibility of the Chair to see that all who wish to comment can do so. The Chair may act as a member and speak on the issue if the Chair so desires. At any time during the debate, a motion is seconded, those who have previously indicated an interest in speaking may do so, after which a formal vote may be taken. If the Chair believes that debate has continued for long enough, he/she may request that such a motion be made. If the motion fails, debate will continue.

Section V: Voting:
When a motion is made and seconded, the Chair may ask for a vote by yeas and nays. He/she shall announce his/her impression of the outcome. If there is any doubt, then the Chair shall request a show of hands. Immediately following the announcement of the decision of the Chair, any member may request a show of hands, which shall be considered binding. Alternatively, the member or Chair may request a recorded vote, in which case the Secretary or acting Secretary shall read the roll call and record the vote (yea, nay, or abstain) of each Senator and record them in the minutes, along with the total. If the Chair or a member requests a show of hands, any member may request immediately that the vote be a recorded vote instead, in which case a recorded vote is taken. In the event of a tie vote, there shall be a brief discussion period (ten minutes) after which a second vote shall be taken. If there is still a tie, the issue shall be tabled for the next meeting, or if it is an issue requiring action before that time, no action shall be taken. If a member is not present for a vote, a vote may not be cast by proxy or by written or verbal instruction to another member.


Section I: Elections:

Each School may elect members to the Senate according to the allocation given that School in the Constitution. This election shall be administered by the current members of the Senate from that School, including the outgoing members. Elections for a School’s Senators shall be held during the spring semester before the April meeting of the Senate. Newly elected senators will begin serving their term in the fall semester, but are able to attend any meetings before then as a non-voting member. If a vacancy in a Senate position occurs, then an election should be held as soon as possible to fill the position. Any member elected to fill a vacancy shall serve the remainder of the previous senator’s term. If the remainder of the vacant term is greater than 50% of the term, the new senator may serve at most one consecutive term thereafter. Otherwise, the new senator may serve up to two consecutive terms thereafter.

If possible, elections of the two full-time faculty senators for a school should be staggered so that both senators are not replaced in a single year (i.e. one full-time senator’s term will expire in even-numbered years and the other in odd-numbered years). If approved by a majority of votes in the senate, a representative of a school may have their term extended by up to one year in order to achieve staggered elections or to standardize to terms starting in the fall. 


Section I: Institutional Committees:
If the Faculty Senate is asked by the Institute to provide representation on a committee, then the Chair shall solicit volunteers for the committee. These volunteers need not be members of the Faculty Senate, and it is allowed for Senators to nominate other faculty members for service on the committee. If more members or nominees want to serve than there are positions, then they should try to decide among themselves, and failing this the Chair may decide with a goal towards seeing that the faculty concerns will be addressed, as well as assuring balance and diversity on the institutional committee. If there is an insufficient number of volunteers or nominees, then the Chair may directly solicit individual members until the positions are filled.

Section II: Ad-Hoc Committees:
The Senate may form ad-hoc committees at any time to work within the Senate. Members may volunteer for a committee when it is formed or at any time prior to the next meeting. If members wish to join the committee at a later time, they must inform the Chair, who will ask members of the committee whether they feel that this is advisable, and then make a decision, If an ad-hoc committee is too small due to workload, term expirations or resignations, then members of that committee may solicit additional volunteers at a later meeting. The Chair may appoint members to ad-hoc committees if necessary. When an ad-hoc committee has completed its assigned duties, that committee shall be dissolved. Any ad-hoc committee which has been in existence for more than a year shall be placed on the agenda for review, at which time the Senate shall debate whether to dissolve the committee, continue on as an ad-hoc committee, or dissolve the ad-hoc committee in order to form a standing committee.

Section III: Standing Committees:
The Senate may form standing committees if a motion is made to do so which explicitly defines the responsibilities of the committee, seconded and then passed. Membership shall be selected in the same manner as for an ad-hoc committee. A motion must be made, seconded, and passed at a future meeting in order to dissolve a standing committee or to redefine its duties.


Section I: Amendments:
These by-laws may be amended by a vote of the majority of the Senators present if a motion is made and seconded in the presence of a quorum. It is the responsibility of the Secretary to record the full text of the amendment, and upon request to provide an updated copy of the by-laws to any member requesting it.