The UA Little Rock Constitution, Article III, outlines the role of the Faculty Senate:
[The] Faculty Senate shall be, under the Board of Trustees, the legislative and advisory body on educational policies and programs on this campus. The Faculty Senate shall have the right to make recommendations on all matters that concern the educational mission and effectiveness of the University.
The areas of the Faculty Senate’s legislative authority shall include but are not limited to the following:
- Admission requirements
- Curriculum and courses
- Degrees and requirements for degrees
- Calendar and schedules
- Awards, honors and honorary degrees
- Interpretation of its own legislation
In addition. . . the Faculty Senate shall make comments and recommendations on matters of multicampus concern [and . . .] on matters of UALR concern.
For more specific outlining of the functions of the Senate, see Functions of the Faculty Senate under Article III of the Constitution of the University Assembly.
Meetings of the Senate
The Faculty Senate meets once per month, with the schedule, agenda, and meeting location or access for the upcoming meeting available on the Faculty Senate home webpage.
The Senate website contains current agendas, minutes, and actions as well as an archive. All meetings are open to the public. Meeting agendas are distributed no later than seven calendar days before a meeting, via a link on the Faculty Senate home page and through campus listserves. During Fall 2022, all meetings will be virtually by Zoom.
For more specifics on the meetings of the Senate, see Meetings of the Faculty Senate under Article III of the Constitution of the University Assembly.
The Senate uses the latest edition (currently 12th) of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), for its deliberative process. It establishes specific local rules as needed. The goal of RONR is to assure decisions are made in an environment of respect and that all parties are heard.
The Senate has categorized three kinds of motions: legislation, recommendation, and resolution.
- Legislative motions cover matters that the Faculty Senate has direct say and control over, such as curriculum or admissions requirements.
E.g., legislation to change core curriculum, such as with FS_2014_23. Interim College Core legislation.
The Chancellor will either approve or disapprove legislative motions. A letter of explanation will accompany any disapproval.
- Recommendation motions respond to or make recommendations about issues outside the Faculty legislative authority, such as administrative or IT policies.
E.g., recommendation to create an Assembly listserv, such as with FS_2014_20. University Assembly Email List.
The Chancellor will respond to recommendations to the Faculty Senate.
- Resolution motions have no restriction, but are often statements of the Senate’s public stance or opinion, such as support for a movement or commendations.
E.g., resolution to commend the women’s volleyball team, such as with FS_2015_5. Women’s Volleyball Team Commendation.
The Chancellor may or may not respond to resolutions in a letter to the Faculty Senate.
Bringing Motions to Senate
Motions have four primary elements, two required and two optional.
1. Header (required)
The header has six (6) parts:
- Faculty Senate (FS) number, specifying year and motion numeration (e.g. FS_2022_21 representing the 21st motion of year 2022). [the Executive Committee will determine the number of the motion]
- Senator(s), committee, or a group of five or more non-senator faculty bringing the motion (e.g. Senator John Doe, or specific [X] Committee).
- Category (i.e. legislation, recommendation, or resolution).
- Statement about number of votes and level of review (e.g., majority vote in one meeting).
- Statement on whether a second is required (a second is required for motions brought by individual senators or a group of non-senators, while none is required for those brought by a committee).
- Action statement describing motion.
These six elements are arranged in the following format:
FS# Party bringing the motion (Category. Vote; second). Action statement.
Some examples of headers are as follows:
FS_2022_20 Faculty Governance Committee (Legislation. Majority vote at one meeting; no second required). Modify the Generic Departmental Governance Document to include approved language regarding Annual Review and Post-tenure Review.
FS_2022_21 Executive Committee (Recommendation. Majority vote at one meeting; no second required). Recommendation on salaries.
2. Preamble (optional)
Motions may have a series of preamble statements, which are optional, but may help set the premises for a motion. Each paragraph that is part of the preamble should begin with “Whereas” and be separated by semi-colons.
3. Actual motion (required)
Motions must have a body of text describing what the motion aims to do. This may be an amendment to existing policy. The first paragraph that is part of the motion’s body should begin with “Be it resolved” if there are no preamble paragraphs or “Therefore be it resolved” if there are. Any additional body paragraphs that follow should begin with “Be it further resolved.”
4. Commentary (optional)
Motions may have a final commentary section, beginning with “Commentary: …”, that further discusses the subject of the motion.
- Two weeks before the Senate meeting
- Send motions to the President of the Faculty Senate at least two weeks before the next Senate meeting by sending an email to the President of the Faculty Senate.
- The motion will then be reviewed by the Executive Committee and placed on the agenda for a scheduled Faculty Senate meeting.
- One week before the Senate meeting (7 calendar days):
- Agenda will go out to listserves and will be posted on the Senate website.
- The Senate will then notify the campus through appropriate listservs.
- 10 calendar days after notification: Deadline for campus review of any Senate actions
- 25 calendar days after notification: Deadline for Chancellor review of any Senate actions