Faculty Handbook

Western Connecticut State University
University Senate Constitution

Effective July 1, 1980

The Western Connecticut State University Senate exists by the will of the Faculty. Its existence is based upon the principle that to institute new or change existing policies concerning matters over which local university autonomy exists, it is necessary to have the approval of the University Administration, i.e., the President and his designated representative(s); the University Senate, if it wishes to act; and, the Student Government Association Senate, if it wishes to act.

The University Senate also exists to act as a forum to discuss and, by resolution, to express its views on any topic of concern to the faculty.

I. Authority

Concerning policies over which local and University autonomy exists, the approval of the University Senate, if it wishes to act, is required. In the exercise of its authority over curriculum policy and curricular structure, requirements for degrees and granting of degrees, policies for recruitment, admission and retention of students, academic policies relating to students and other matters of campus community, and consistent with the principle of shared governance, the University Senate shall:

    A.  Vote on behalf of the General Faculty (The General Faculty of Western Connecticut State University consists of all unclassified personnel other than the President of the University.)

    B.  Institute new policies.

    C.  Change existing policies.

    D.  Review policy implementation.

    E.  Establish committees and determine committee structure.

    F.  Review committee structure.

    G.  Receive reports from all standing and ad hoc committees.

    H.  Conduct elections and referenda.

II. Responsibility

The University Senate has the responsibility to:

A.  Meet regularly, and when necessary, in special session.


B.  Represent the General Faculty.


C.  Inform the General Faculty of its deliberations and actions.


D.  Act upon reports from all standing and ad hoc committees.


E.  Serve as a General Faculty forum to discuss and, by resolution, to express its views on any topic of concern to the General Faculty.


A.  Senators representing all academic departments shall be elected according to the respective departmental bylaws by the following formula:

One Senator from each of the academic departments, one librarian, and one counselor. Any department that has fewer than four full-time members may join with another department to elect a Senate representative.


B.  Two Senators shall be elected by and from Administrators I through VII.

C.  Two Senators, one voting and one nonvoting, shall be elected by and from the group consisting of all Deans and Vice Presidents.

D.  One Senator and one alternate shall be elected by the SGA.

E.  Faculty Senators will be elected for a two-year term.

  1. One half the Senators will be elected each year.
  2. Terms will begin July 1 of each year.

F.  Should a Faculty Senator be unable to complete his/her term, the next eligible person with the greatest number of votes without having been elected shall complete the term.

IV. Constitutional Amendments

A.  Constitutional amendments may be proposed in either of two ways:

  1. By a report to the Senate President of a Senate Review Committee he/she has appointed;
  2. Twelve faculty members.

B.  A proposed amendment shall be announced to the Senate meeting immediately following its proposal to the Senate President and then submitted in writing to the faculty.

C.  A faculty meeting shall be called by the Senate President for the purpose of discussing any proposed amendment within one academic month of its announcement at a Senate meeting.

D.  Within two weeks of the faculty meeting, a vote by paper ballot shall be conducted on any proposed amendment. A majority of those voting shall determine the outcome.

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