Faculty Link: Expanding representation at Faculty Senate

Faculty Link: Notes from the Faculty Senate Chair

By now you have seen the announcement for the General Faculty meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17. This is a critical meeting for all faculty to attend. It is the first General Faculty meeting since 2000 where business will be conducted, and a quorum is required.

We are proposing to increase the number of elected representative members by one (1) Senator in order to accommodate those faculty who do not have primary affiliation in a collegiate unit. These faculty are primarily those who have appointments in INTO Mason and the Honors College, as well as others. They comprise a substantial number of faculty who lack a voice in the Senate and thus a direct voice in making recommendations to the administration on university governance.

To make this change, we must approve amendments to the Charter of the Faculty Senate. The charter, which supersedes the bylaws, specifies the membership of the Faculty Senate and how the members are allocated from each collegiate unit.

Should the amendments pass, members of the General Faculty who are not affiliated with one of the colleges or schools would be pooled together as an independent academic unit. This pooled unit and all collegiate units will have at least one elected Senator to represent them.

Other proposed changes to the charter are clarifications to existing policies and/or the removal of archaic language.

But the key amendment is the inclusion of a voting member to the Senate to represent those members of the General Faculty who are currently unrepresented.

The only way in which these members of the General Faculty can be given a voting member is for a quorum of the General Faculty to vote in the affirmative for the change. Since the quorum to conduct a vote is 10% of the General Faculty, it is imperative that we have sufficient faculty present and voting.

I urge you to attend the General Faculty meeting and to vote to extend a senator to the currently unrepresented members of our General Faculty. And then I urge you to stay at the General Faculty meeting for updates from, and an opportunity for dialogue with, the president, provost, and senior vice president on key initiatives. To attend the General Faculty meeting, click the Zoom link at 3 p.m. Wednesday March 17. I look forward to seeing you there.