This is the discussion draft of December 15, 2014, with comments that closed on March 1, 2015. The revised draft is available at http://bit.ly/ConstRevised, as well as Summary and background info and a comment report.


I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Academic Senate of Pratt Institute (hereafter, “Senate”).

II. Purpose

The Senate shall be a faculty/administration governance body that relates directly to the President and Provost without review by any other Institute group. The purposes and responsibilities of the Senate shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

a. approving academic policies and procedures;

b. reviewing structures of programs, curricula, and schools;

c. providing for appropriate review of course additions and changes;

d. reviewing academic services;

e. establishing committees on appropriate subjects;

f. interviewing prospective deans, vice-presidents; provosts, and presidents;

g. appointing faculty members to Board committees;

h. nominating the Faculty Trustees; and

i. formulating structure and procedures of search committees, and appointing faculty and chair membership.

III. Structure

A. Constituents

The Senate shall represent three groups at Pratt Institute:

1. chairs and assistant chairs;

2. faculty, as defined by rank in the Faculty Handbook, excluding those who simultaneously hold administrative titles at Pratt; and

3. administrative staff who simultaneously hold faculty rank at Pratt or teach at Pratt.

B. Membership

i. Voting Members

The voting members of the Senate shall consist of:

a. one senator from each academic department, the Library, and each academic unit that offers credit-bearing courses and is not designated as a department (hereafter, all referred to as “department”);

b. senators at-large:

i. three senators from the full-time faculty,

ii. three senators from the part-time faculty,

iii. four senators from chairs and assistant chairs, and

iv. one senator from staff

c. the President of the Senate.

ii. Non-Voting Members

The non-voting members of the Senate shall include:

a. up to one alternate for each of the senators specified above, with the exception of President;

b. any Senate committee chair who is not a voting member of the Senate;

c. one representative selected by the President of the Institute;

d. one representative selected by and from the members of Provost’s Council;

e. one representative selected by the student government; and

f. other participants from relevant areas of the Institute invited by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate, whose memberships shall lapse on June 30 of each year.

C. Officers

i. President

The duties of the President shall include but not be limited to:

a. acting as primary liaison to constituents, administrative staff, the faculty union, student government, and the Board of Trustees;

b. acting as official spokesperson of the Senate;

c. supervising student assistants, unless delegated to another officer; and

d. serving as a non-voting ex-officio member of every Senate committee unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

ii. Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Outreach

The duties of the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Outreach shall include but not be limited to:

a. fostering dialogue among constituents on academic issues, such as curriculum, education, and governance;

b. facilitating outreach to constituents, senators, and committee members;

c. maintaining Senate rosters, supervising nominations and elections, and coordinating recruitment of new members; and

d. serving as a non-voting ex-officio member of every Senate committee unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

iii. Vice-President of Budget and Operations

The duties of the Vice-President of Budget and Operations shall include but not be limited to:

a. collecting and depositing all monies into the Treasury;

b. processing all stipends and valid reimbursement requests within ten business days;

c. preparing and maintaining all financial records of the Senate and furnishing them upon valid request;

d. preparing a preliminary proposal for the annual budget of the Senate;

e. coordinating regular Senate and Steering Committee meeting locations and materials; and

f. serving as a non-voting ex-officio member of every Senate committee unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

iv. Vice-President of Communication and Information

The duties of the Vice-President of Communication and Information shall include but not be limited to:

a. maintaining Senate archives and furnishing records of the Senate upon valid request;

b. recording attendance and minutes at meetings in the absence of a designated minute-taker;

c. supervising Senate media;

d. acting as Parliamentarian, unless another person is selected by a majority vote of the Senate; and

e. serving as a non-voting ex-officio member of every Senate committee unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

D. Committee Chairs

The duties of committee chairs shall include but not be limited to:

a. convening and chairing meetings of their respective committees as enumerated in Senate Bylaws;

b. soliciting membership for their respective committees in accordance with Senate Bylaws; and

c. providing reports to the Senate through the Vice-President for Communication and Information on the activities of their respective committees.

IV. Elections

A. Members

Regular elections for voting members of the Senate shall be conducted every three years.

i. Eligibility

a. Departmental Senators

Faculty and staff constituents in each department shall elect their own representatives. These constituents shall be eligible to nominate faculty and staff constituents in their respective department(s), to self-nominate, and to vote for senator(s) for their departments(s). Constituents belonging to more than one department shall be allowed to participate in the election of each department in which they hold teaching appointments.

b. At-Large Senators

Constituents in each category of at-large senators shall elect their own representatives. Full-time faculty shall be eligible to nominate members of the full-time faculty, to self-nominate, and to vote for full-time at-large senators, up to the maximum number allowed. Part-time faculty shall be eligible to nominate members of the part-time faculty, to self-nominate, and to vote for part-time at-large senators, up to the maximum number allowed. Chairs and assistant chairs shall be eligible to nominate chairs and assistant chairs, to self-nominate, and to vote for chair/assistant chair senators, up to the maximum number allowed. Staff constituents shall be eligible to nominate staff constituents, to self-nominate, and to vote for staff senator.

ii. Nominations

In regular elections, nominations shall be conducted two semesters before senators’ terms expire, remain open for at least 20 business days with notification at least three business days in advance, and follow procedures specified in Senate Bylaws. If an individual is nominated for more than one seat and accepts more than one nomination, that individual’s name shall appear on multiple ballots, except in the case of departmental seats where an individual’s name may appear on only one departmental ballot of their choice. No seat shall exist until a nomination has been accepted during the nomination process, with the first acceptance creating the first seat and each additional acceptance creating the additional seat(s), up to the maximum number allowed.

iii. Elections

In regular elections, voting shall be by secret ballot and follow procedures specified in Senate Bylaws that include independent third-party observers. The runners up in each election shall be the alternates for those seats. The number of alternates shall not exceed the number of seats in each category.

B. Officers

The senators-elect shall elect their officers within four weeks of their own election. The officers shall be nominated and elected in the following order:

  1. President,
  2. Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Outreach,
  3. Vice-President of Budget and Operations, and
  4. Vice-President of Communication and Information.

i. Nominations

a. President

Any voting member of the Senate many nominate any constituent for the office of President.

b. Vice-Presidents

Any voting member of the Senate may nominate any voting member(s) of the Senate or may self-nominate for the offices of vice-president. Nominations for these offices shall open simultaneously and close simultaneously.

ii. Elections

The election of officers shall be conducted by secret ballot and follow procedures specified in Senate Bylaws, with no more than two officers coming from the same department. If the President is chosen from among the senators, that person shall accede to the at-large seat for President and vacate the seat to which they were elected as senator.

C. Committee Chairs

Any voting member of the Senate may nominate any constituent or may self-nominate for offices of committee chairs. The election of committee chairs shall be conducted by secret ballot and follow procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

V. Committees

A. Executive Committee

i. Membership

The voting members of the Executive Committee shall consist of the President and Vice-Presidents.

ii. Duties

The duties of the Executive Committee shall include, but not be limited to:

a. making interim decisions for the Senate when timely action is required, such emergency actions being consistent with previous Senate actions and being subject to review and, if so desired, approval at subsequent Senate meetings;

b. representing the Senate and its constituents to administrators and other bodies, such representation being consistent with previous Senate actions;

c. reporting to the Senate relevant activities of the Board of Trustees, Senior Staff, lnstitute committees, and all other entities that affect its constituents;

d. drafting and reviewing actions, minutes, resolutions, reports, and other documents in coordination with other relevant parties;

e. chairing Senate and Steering Committee meetings on a rotating basis, with no one person acting as chair for more than two consecutive meetings, unless agreeable to a majority of those present;

f. taking minutes at Senate and Steering Committee meetings on a rotating basis;

g. consulting and seeking the advice of the Senate on the Steering Committee members’ duties; and

h. establishing whatever special committees are deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities.

B. Steering Committee

i. Membership

The voting members of the Steering Committee shall number no fewer than nine and include the members of the Executive Committee, the chairs of all standing committees, and delegates elected by the Senate. Chairs of special committees shall be non-voting members of the Steering Committee.

ii. Duties

The duties of the Steering Committee shall include, but not be limited to:

a. making interim decisions for the Senate, such actions being consistent with previous Senate actions and being subject to review and, if so desired, approval at subsequent Senate meetings;

b. hearing the reports of all Senate committees and taking actions in accordance with the purposes of the Senate, making public such actions through the Vice-President of Communication and Information;

c. reviewing the structure and operation of the Senate and making recommendations to the Senate regarding these issues;

d. convening and preparing agenda for Senate meetings;

e. recommending an annual budget to the Senate in consultation with the appropriate committees and based on the budget proposal submitted by the Vice-President of Budget and Operations;

f. conducting nominations, elections, and referenda with constituents; and

g. establishing whatever special committees are deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities.

C. Standing Committees

The Senate shall have other standing committees as established in its Bylaws, which shall specify the purposes, membership, and duties of each committee, as well as the person to convene the first meeting. Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall elect the committee chair, who shall submit an annual report on the activities of the committee no later than the final Senate meeting of each year. This report shall be deposited with the Vice-President of Communications and Information no later than June 30.

D. Special Committees

The purposes and membership of special committees shall be specified at the time of their formation, as well as the person to convene the first meeting. All special committees shall expire on June 30 of each year unless renewed. Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall elect the special committee chair, who shall submit an annual report on the activities of the committee no later than the final Senate meeting of each year. This report shall be deposited with the Vice-President of Communications and Information no later than June 30.

E. Sub-Committees

Each standing and special committee shall have the power to create sub-committees pertaining to any issue within the committee’s purview. Membership of sub-committees shall be limited to the members of the committee that establishes them. The committee shall elect a sub-committee chair from among the members of the sub-committee. The chair of the committee shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of all its sub-committees unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified. All sub-committees shall expire on June 30 unless renewed. Sub-committees and their members shall be subject to all provisions of the committees that create them. Sub-committee chairs shall submit annual reports to their respective committee chair at least ten business days before the final Senate meeting, and that report shall be included in the committee’s annual report.

VI. Terms, Vacancy, and Recall

A. Terms

i. Members

The terms of senators and alternates shall be three years, commencing July 1 following regular elections and ending June 30 following the next regular election. Senators or alternates elected in special elections shall serve the remainder of the current term. There shall be no limit on the number of terms a senator or alternate may serve.

ii. Officers

The terms of officers shall be three years, commencing July 1 following regular elections and ending June 30 following the next regular election. Officers elected in special elections shall serve the remainder of the current term. A person who serves two consecutive terms, or major part thereof, in one office shall be ineligible for that office for a period of one term. A President who has served two consecutive terms shall be ineligible for any office for a period of one term.

iii. Committee Chairs

The terms of committee chairs shall be no more than one year, commencing July 1 or the date of their election, whichever is later, and ending June 30.

iv. Committee Members

The terms of committee members shall be no more than one year, commencing July 1 or the date of their appointment, whichever is later, and ending June 30.

B. Vacancy

i. Members

After nominations have closed during regular elections, constituents in a department or at-large category without representation may petition to establish one or more seats at any time, up to the maximum number allowed, by sending a request to the Steering Committee with the name of their pro tempore senator(s), signed by the lesser of 15 or one-quarter of the constituents in that district.

In the event that a Senate position is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Outreach shall attempt to fill that seat within 30 business days according to the following procedures. The person receiving the next highest number of votes in the preceding election for that position shall be asked to serve out the remainder of the term. This method shall be carried out until a candidate accepts the position or until the list is exhausted. In the case of exhaustion, a special election shall be held according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

ii. Officers

Whenever an office is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Executive Committee may appoint an interim replacement, whose appointment shall lapse at the next scheduled Senate meeting when a special election by secret ballot shall be held.

iii. Committee Members

Whenever a committee membership is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Steering Committee may appoint a replacement by a simple majority vote. This appointment shall be announced at the next Senate meeting.

C. Recall

i. Members

Senate members are subject to recall by their respective constituencies. Upon the presentation to any member of the Executive Committee of a petition signed by one-quarter of the member’s constituency requesting a special recall election, the Steering Committee shall initiate said election according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws. Senators may be automatically recalled for non-attendance according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

ii. Officers

Any Senate officer may be recalled from office by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate. A recall motion for a particular officer shall not be voted upon until seconded by at least four senators. A senator cannot move to recall an officer unless that senator notifies the officer in writing, copied to a member of the Executive Committee, at least five business days before the Senate meeting at which the motion may be entertained.

iii. Committee Members

Any non-ex-officio committee members, with the exception of the Executive Committee, may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate, provided they have been notified in writing of their potential removal five business days before the meeting at which the vote shall take place.

VII. Meetings

A. Regular Meetings

The Senate and its Steering Committee shall hold monthly meetings during the Fall and Spring semesters. The Executive Committee, standing committees, and any special committees shall meet at least once each semester during the Fall and Spring semesters.

B. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Senate or any of its committees may be called by a written petition presented to a member of the Executive Committee stating the issue to be discussed and bearing the signatures of either the entire Executive Committee, one-fifth of the senators, or 5% of constituents. A member of the Executive Committee shall convene the special meeting within ten business days of receipt of the petition. Within seven calendar days, that member shall both send an agenda to each member of the respective body for which the meeting has been called and make public notice of the meeting through the Vice-President of Communication and Information.

C. Plenary Meetings

The Senate shall convene at least once, after the eighth week of the Fall and Spring semesters, a joint meeting with constituents and the President and Provost of Institute to report on Senate activities and discuss curriculum, educational quality, faculty governance, and other topics.

D. Quorum

At any meeting of the Senate or its committees, quorum shall require more than 50% of the voting members.

E. Parliamentary Procedure

The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern Senate meetings in all cases where they are not inconsistent with this constitution, Senate Bylaws, or any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.

VIII. Referenda

Constituents have the right to call a referendum vote on any issue or Senate action that they deem appropriate, with the exception of recall. A referendum shall be initiated within 20 business days of receipt by the Executive Committee of a petition bearing the valid signatures of 15% of constituents or two-thirds of senators. Approval of a referendum will require a majority affirmative vote within 20 business days of distribution of the ballots.

IX. Ratification and Amendment

A. Ratification

This constitution shall be distributed to constituents and ratified unless rejected by a simple majority vote, with at least 20% of constituents responding within 20 business days of distribution. If ratified, this Constitution is effective academic year 2016/17 upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

B. Amendments to Senate Constitution

A proposed amendment to this constitution may be considered by the Senate upon written presentation to it by any member thereof or via the terms of referenda specified above. Written notice of the proposed amendment shall be sent to every member of the Senate at least ten business days before the Senate meeting at which it is to be considered. An amendment may be passed by a two-thirds majority vote held by secret ballot. Any amendment adopted by the Senate shall be distributed to constituents for ratification, and a provisional notice of intent shall be sent to the President of the Institute and Chair of the Board of Trustees. The amendment shall be ratified unless rejected by a simple majority vote, with at least 20% of constituents responding within a minimum of 20 business days of distribution. Ratified amendments become effective upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

C. Amendments to Senate Bylaws

A proposed amendment to the Senate Bylaws may be considered by the Senate upon written presentation to it by any member thereof or via the terms of referenda specified above. The proposed amendment shall first be read at a Senate meeting. At the following Senate meeting, the proposed amendment shall be considered and may be approved by a two-thirds majority vote.

57 Comments

Leslie Roberts 3 years ago

Maybe we should consider whether only faculty should be eligible to be Senate President.Reference

Anonymous 3 years ago

Should be faculty senate no chairs or assistant chairs only teaching staffReference

Anonymous 3 years ago

Should be faculty senate no chairs or assistant chairs only teaching staff

this structure represents by definition departments not faculty Does not establish qualifications through system that relates to broader Institute structure ( eg schools, status,) prefer current method perhaps with limitations on departmental representation since that seems to be an issue —Reference

Anonymous 3 years ago

Should be faculty senate no chairs or assistant chairs only teaching staff

this structure represents by definition departments not faculty Does not establish qualifications through system that relates to broader Institute structure ( eg schools, status,) prefer current method perhaps with limitations on departmental representation since that seems to be an issue —

President should only be from faculty with at least 6 years at PRATTReference

Anonymous 3 years ago

Should be faculty senate no chairs or assistant chairs only teaching staff

this structure represents by definition departments not faculty Does not establish qualifications through system that relates to broader Institute structure ( eg schools, status,) prefer current method perhaps with limitations on departmental representation since that seems to be an issue —

Should be done a by a special election if more than a year left on term otherwise left vacant

President should only be from faculty with at least 6 years at PRATTReference

Anonymous 3 years ago

2/3 majority should be of sitting senators not those presentReference

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Article III B i of the draft Constitution provides for “voting members of the Senate.” Jump to the Article here: http://bit.ly/III-B-i

John Shapiro 3 years ago

First sentence, part 1: I suggest adding the Board of Trustees and/or Executive Committee to the list of whom the Senate directly relates. If you look at the Senate’s purposes, they are not exclusively academic. This option is especially important when it comes to resource allocation.

First sentence, part 2: I think we can drop “without review by any other Institute group.” This phrase begs the question as to the relationship of the Senate to other groups – which is not otherwise defined. The first half of the sentence says it all.Reference

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Pratt Institute Bylaws, Article V: Administration, provides that “The President (of Pratt Institute) shall be the official medium of communication between the Board and the faculty, students and employees of Pratt.” Accordingly, the Senate’s relationship to the Board is through the Institute President, with whom the Senate relates directly (see current Senate bylaws: http://bit.ly/SenByLaws).

We will therefore consult the President on this suggestion:

First sentence, part 1: I suggest adding the Board of Trustees and/or Executive Committee to the list of whom the Senate directly relates. If you look at the Senate’s purposes, they are not exclusively academic. This option is especially important when it comes to resource allocation.

Greg Singer 3 years ago

removing “without review by any other group” would also free the senate to work more cooperatively with other institute entities.

Jenny Lee 2 years ago

“without review by any other group” means the Senate, in its advisory role, is the highest level of review at the Institute. This does not preclude cooperation or consultation with other Institute entities.

John Shapiro 3 years ago

f. Typo: semicolon in the middle of the list.Reference

John Shapiro 3 years ago

III.A.1. I suggest that the Senate be said to represent “chairs, assistant chairs, and academic coordinators” in the list pertaining to academic administrators. Academic coordinators run a number of the smaller programs. Their ability to run for Senate office would increase academic administrator participation. Most important, it allows faculty to have a greater say in whom among the program administrators they wish to have represent them in the Senate.Reference

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Is there an Institute definition for “academic coordinators,” and/or do departments and schools have their own definitions?

John Shapiro 3 years ago

VI.A.ii. I suggest that the very reasonable term limits proposed for officers also apply to all Senators. There is a break, and then the potential to run again.Reference

John Shapiro 3 years ago

VI.B.i., first paragraph. Might not the discussion of how new positions can be created be better placed under membership, not vacancy.Reference

John Shapiro 3 years ago

More on VI.B.i., first paragraph:

— There is no indication of how the Steering Committee is supposed to act – e.g., “yeah” or “nay” by a certain time period, by majority or super majority vote, etc.

— The creation of new (presumably permanent) Senate positions is too important to leave to the Steering Committee alone, but should be a topic of general Senate discussion, with an opportunity for a representative of the “district” to make the constituents’ case.

— “District” should be defined.Reference

John Shapiro 3 years ago

VI.B.i., second paragraph. There is a significant problem with, in the event of a vacancy in an existing Senate position, the person getting the second largest vote (and so on till a position is filled) becoming the Senator. The resultant de facto Senator may have been repudiated in the election. Instead, there should be a special election unless the position will be vacant for less than six months. (As it takes time to organize an election.)Reference

Senate Member 3 years ago

I would propose that we include a provision that departments with more than 50 members be offered at least one additional seat to fill. Currently ComD and Undergraduate Architecture are quite large and diverse, and we should have the ability to represent different faculty viewpoints within these departments. Large departments should not be required to compete with each other for at-large seats.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

By my count that would mean at least 44 voting members.

An argument against:
proportional representation based on the number of faculty affords greater representation to departments with more part-time faculty. If, hypothetically, there were two departments offering equal credit hours. If department A has 50% full-time faculty and department B has 10 % full-time faculty, then Department B could have greater representation on the Senate.

Theoretically, this could further discourage departments from hiring full-time faculty.

Greg Singer 3 years ago

I wouldn’t object to that.Reference

Douglas Wirls 3 years ago

I think that needs to be considered.

Greg Singer 3 years ago

John–unfortunately, given the difficulty in recruiting senators from, and the small size of, some departments we were concerned that this might limit the size of the senateReference

Dagmar Richter 3 years ago

If this even should resemble a democratic organization there should absolutely be a term limit . Two terms are the maximum for any organization that could be taken seriously as a participatory and actively engaged organization. Principles of Democracy might be difficult but this does not constitute an argument to dismantle the principles.Also there should be no repetition after a break possible. You want participation right?Reference

Dagmar Richter 3 years ago

By the way-as Undergraduate Architecture is enormous and highly diverse- they have no chance to be represented decently in in this Senate structure that gives them 50% and less value of their votes compared to all other faculty. A more healthy balance of membership and amount of people they represent should be achievable if one is interested in a more democratic structure.

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Thanks, Dagmar. Can you suggest alternate membership/representation structures?

This particular issue was frequently raised and discussed during Faculty Week. All comments and suggestions will be presented to the Governance Committee, who will develop recommendations for Senate vote.

Greg Singer 3 years ago

A problem I see with this idea is that additional seats wouldn’t necessarily mean more diverse representation. Even if Architecture had 5 seats, they could all be taken by white males who specialize in neo-classicism (is that still a thing?)

Gerson 3 years ago

I don’t believe there should be any senators at large except for the president of the senate. It opens a loop hole which could allow an active department to get an unfair representation on the Senate.

Gerson 3 years ago

There should only be the elected members. It could be too inhibiting to have people watching.Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

I don’t believe there is any need for an academic body to have a liason with the faculty Union. Especially if the senate has chairs sitting on it as voting members,
Also more of this should be allocated to members of the senate, not to the president. It makes one person more important than the unit ( the senate)Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

This effect (“It makes one person more important than the unit”) should be mitigated by the distribution of responsibility over three vice-presidents

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

The draft Constitution provides that the full Senate makes decisions. For parliamentary procedures, “Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern Senate meetings in all cases where they are not inconsistent with this constitution, Senate Bylaws, or any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.”

The draft Constitution further defines the authority and responsibilities of the Senate President and the Executive and Steering committees. The committees are charged with making recommendations to the Senate and “making interim decisions for the Senate, such actions being consistent with previous Senate actions and being subject to review and, if so desired, approval at subsequent Senate meetings.”

Jump to Articles on Parliamentary Procedure, Executive Committee and Steering Committee.

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Draft Constitution Article II, Purpose, specifies that the Senate is a “governance body” (not an “academic body”). As such, it functions at the policy and decision-making level of the Institute.

Jump to Article on Purpose of the Academic Senate.

Gerson 3 years ago

ONe vice president should sufficeReference

Gerson 3 years ago

Why isn’t the senate itself given these responsibilities.Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

I am always nervous when all that is done is to change the name of a position. This used to be the job of the secretary of the Union. If one wishes to hide there are better ways.Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

I meant there used to be a secretary of the Senate

Gerson 3 years ago

I do not believe a senator should be removed for lack of attendance. Not attending is a way to express dissatisfaction with the Senate. That form of expression should not be stifled.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

That seems like a childish method.

Gerson 3 years ago

Special meetings should only be allowed to be held on the Pratt campus.
Quorum shall consist of more than 50% of the total number of the full senate body. ( not just those attending the meeting.)Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

The board has already cut the senate out of being sole suggester.Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

Whe a senator feels that the senate is not fairly treating hie/her department they should be allowed to express this by indicating that the senate no longer is fair and what better way than not attending.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

Well, you could come to the meetings and just stick your tongue out…or feign excessive flatulence.

But seriously, why not stand up in the meeting and say “I believe my department is being mistreated and here’s why…”? You certainly can’t improve your department’s situation by not attending.

Gerson 3 years ago

The chairs already have a body to give them a voice in academic issues /they don;t have any faculty on it.Reference

Gerson 3 years ago

I would prefer that the entire senate be reached and a vote tabulated by email. With a possible discussion by email in such circumstances.Reference

Chris Alen Sula 3 years ago

Thanks, John. The intent here was that the petition triggers the seats; SC has no role, other than implementation. So it should read “establish by petition,” not “petition to establish.”

Also, “constituents in that district” should be replaced with “constituents in that department or at-large category” (to mirror earlier in the paragraph).Reference

Chris Alen Sula 3 years ago

The Senate currently has excused absences (with notice) and unexcused absences (without notice). This would be specified in detail in Bylaws and distinguishes between principled non-attendance and truancy. Senators who do not attend in protest can simply provide notice and would not be removed for non-attendance.Reference

Chris Alen Sula 3 years ago

This states that quorum is > 50% of the members, not those attending.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

Jenny, The Bylaw line you cited doesnt include the Provost, so I think, if we are going to add the Provost to the Senate description, we might as well add the Board as well.

But I really think that whole statement needs to be reworded, which we can look at in committee.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

Gerson, The idea is to have three members of the Executive Committee below the president without having one that is higher than the other three so that they can more evenly distribute the workload.Reference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

because with the new structure, the full senate is too largeReference

Greg Singer 3 years ago

Sure, but some of the departments have very few faculty. What would you do if (hypothetically) they’ve all already served?

Also, there are no term limits for members of the US congress, nor German parliament, nor (I think) UK parliament. Surely one of those must be considered democratic, no?Reference

Anonymous 3 years ago

There seems to be some confusion as to the role of an academic senate. The faculty representation should not be about departmental constituencies but broader populations whose definition should be in relation to their most fundamental roles ( e. g. status, school). The Senate deals with broad academic policies and procedures of the institute and how they are adopted and adhered to. It functions at the level of the President and the Provost. In most schools the President and Provost are not involved with curricular discussions – they respect the faculty enough to allow them to develop curriculum. At Pratt unfortunately from the Trustees on down a lack of respect for faculty means the administration does not minister it interferes .

Arguments of forced diversity of identity and term limits for senators (as distinct from officers) are red herrings. They fall into the trap laid by the administration to set faculty and departments against one another by implying the only possible interest is self interest. Term limits are already in place – if a senator does not represent their constituents they are not reelected and diversity is available if everyone participates. Arbitrary budgets for academics, limited lines of full time faculty and suspect ranking systems are all used to threaten faculty rather than support us. The Academic Senate must be aggressive and vigilant in opposing these forces not parsing whether a particular constituency is fully represented – in that we will never succeed.

Anonymous 3 years ago

The Senate should be a FACULTY senate, with no voting representation from the administration. In fact, no member of the administrator should be a member of the Senate, as their presence creates a conflict of interest. Chairs and assistant chairs owe their jobs to the administration, and as such their allegiance to the wishes of the administration. Chairs and assistant chairs are part of the administration. Faculty owe their job security and promotion to their chairs, and as such may feel uncomfortable expressing their views when their superiors are present. It therefore is essential that the faculty has its own representative body, exclusive of administration interference.

However, the opinions of chairs, assistant chairs and other administrators clearly are important. As such, representatives from these groups should be invited to appropriate Faculty Senate meetings. Also, another body, composed of representatives from the Faculty Senate and administration, can be formed where ideas from both sides of academic spectrum can be expressed and discussed.

At the very least, chairs, assistant chairs, and other administrators should not be voting members of the Senate.Reference

Alice Zinnes 3 years ago

Note the simple typo: Any voting member of the Senate MANY nominate any constituent for the office of President. Change “many” to “may.”Reference

Jenny Lee 3 years ago

Thanks, Alice.

Adjunct 3 years ago

The Senate should be a FACULTY senate, with no voting representation from the administration. In fact, no member of the administrator should be a member of the Senate, as their presence creates a conflict of interest. Chairs and assistant chairs owe their jobs to the administration, and as such their allegiance to the wishes of the administration. Chairs and assistant chairs are part of the administration. Faculty owe their job security and promotion to their chairs, and as such may feel uncomfortable expressing their views when their superiors are present. It therefore is essential that the faculty has its own representative body, exclusive of administration interference.

However, the opinions of chairs, assistant chairs and other administrators clearly are important. As such, representatives from these groups should be invited to appropriate Faculty Senate meetings. Also, another body, composed of representatives from the Faculty Senate and administration, can be formed where ideas from both sides of academic spectrum can be expressed and discussed.Reference