Faculty Senate Bylaws (view as PDF File)

The bylaws of UTC's Faculty Senate. Current version approved by the Faculty Senate on January 18, 2018.

Article 1 - Powers and Duties of the Faculty Senate

Section 1. Powers and Duties

The Faculty Senate (hereafter the Senate) of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (hereafter UTC) shall have those powers and duties which have been, and which may be, delegated to it by the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee and by the faculty of UTC.

The Senate is authorized, subject to the approval of the chief academic officer, the UT president and the UT Board of Trustees, to:

  • Populate the various committees of the full faculty, to charge those committees with specific responsibilities and to receive and ratify recommendations from those committees.
  • Formulate policies and regulations regarding the general educational objectives of the university, including those policies and regulations related to the overall general requirements for admission, graduation and honors for the degree programs and certificates.
  • Oversee the specific admission and graduation requirements for the programs of the various academic units.
  • Advise and recommend to the chief academic officer or, if appropriate, through appropriat eoffices to the System President, policies and procedures in other matters which concern the general welfare of UTC, such as but not exclusively limited to, criteria for faculty appointment, dismissal, promotions, tenure and retirement; criteria for the selection of the chief academic officer and other campus administrative officers; criteria for the selection of the President of the University System, and other System executive officers; priorities for the university budget; priorities for the university development plan; and changes in physical facilities. The Senate may also consider, advise, and recommend proposed policies regarding student life, rights, and responsibilities.

The Senate has no management or administrative functions, either in itself or through the instrumentality of its committees, administrative matters being expressly reserved to the President of the UT system, and delegated by the Board of Trustees and through the System President to the chancellor and provost.

Section 2. Reports and Recommendations

All deliberations by the Senate shall be reported to the faculty through distribution of the minutes and the necessary supporting documents on the Faculty Senate website.  The minutes of the Senate (including much of the debate and a record of all votes) will be made available to each voting member of the faculty within fourteen (14) days after the Senate meeting. The published date of approved recommendations will be the date the vote was closed, pending approval of the minutes. Once minutes are approved, the dated recommendation is forwarded to the appropriate office. Upon the written request of fifteen (15) voting faculty members to the Secretary of the faculty, an item will be placed on the agenda of the next general faculty meeting.


Article 2 - Faculty Senate Organization

Section 1. Members: Number, Classification, and Terms of Office

The membership is organized into two categories: administrative ex officio members and elected faculty members.

Administrative Ex officio Members

Ex officio members are the Chancellor, Provost, Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Dean of the Library and Vice-Chancellor for Student Development. Ex officio members are non-voting members of the Senate.


Elected Members

Types, Criteria, Election, Term of Office and Duties

There are two types of senators representing full-time tenure-track faculty: at-large and divisional. The election of each is described below. There is also an adjunct faculty representative and two representatives of the full-time non-tenure-track faculty. All of these members have full voting privileges and serve a two-year term (except the adjunct representative, who serves a one-year term).

Divisional members shall be elected from those members of the faculty who meet the following criteria at the time of election: hold a full-time tenured or tenure-track appointment and either engage at least half time in teaching and/or academic research or serve as head of an academic department or hold rank as a professional member of the library staff, with the exception of the Dean of the Library, who serves as ex officio. Any faculty member who is related to more than one of the voting divisions described below will be considered as a member of the voting division in which rank is held unless duties in another voting division exceed a half-time appointment.


Membership and Elections of At-Large and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

Each year four at-large members shall be elected, one each from the following faculty ranks: Non-Tenure Track, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. Accordingly, in any given year, eight full-time faculty members, two from each rank, serve as at-large senators.

On or before March 1 of each year, the Secretary of the Senate shall issue to each member of the faculty a description of membership criteria and a list of faculty members eligible for nomination. Each full-time faculty member holding the rank of lecturer, clinical, visiting, assistant, associate or full professor may nominate candidates from each of the following categories: (a) assistant professors; (b) associate professors; (c) full professors; (d) non-tenure-track (lecturers, clinical and visiting faculty). Nominations must be returned to the Senate Secretary for the nominations to be valid. The nominations will be counted by the Executive Committee of the Senate. The four persons in each category receiving the highest number of nominations will be the nominees, with the following exceptions: If three or fewer persons are nominated, each with two or more nominations, the names received shall be those on the ballot, and as many names as necessary shall be included on the ballot in order not to omit the name of a person who has received as many nominations as another whose name is included. No person receiving fewer than two nominations shall be included on the ballot. The final ballot will be determined by the end of spring break. Before the list of nominees is forwarded by the Senate Secretary to the Executive Committee, confirmation of the individuals’ willingness to serve shall have been secured by the nominator and the Senate Secretary.

The Senate Secretary shall initiate the voting process by distributing or post the list of confirmed nominees to the full faculty on the first Monday following spring break. Faculty must submit their vote within one calendar week. The votes will be tallied by the Senate Secretary and the President. The candidate receiving the majority of all votes cast wins the election. Absent a majority, the two candidates in each category receiving the most votes will be reconsidered in a runoff election (to be held within the next calendar week). The Secretary must announce the results of the election within one week of the election.


Elections of Divisional Members

Each of the four voting divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences and the remaining four voting divisions, as described below, shall conduct its own election. In December, the President-elect will send an email to all the current divisional senators to remind them about divisional elections. Each group of divisional senators should meet by the end of January to determine the election process—who will call for nominations, who will be responsible for holding the elections, who will alert the Secretary of the results—and report to the President-elect on the process for their division. There shall be two constraints placed upon these otherwise autonomous elections: within each voting division, the members elected must be from at least two different faculty-rank categories, and wherever three members represent a given voting division, it is desirable that they come from three different categories, and these elections must be held after the completion of the University-at-large election.


Apportionment of Divisional Members

Divisional members shall be elected by the following voting divisions: (a) fine arts (art, music, theatre and speech); (b) humanities (communication, English, modern and classical languages, history, humanities, philosophy and religion); (c) behavioral science, (criminal justice, military science, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography); (d) mathematics and sciences, (biology and environmental sciences, chemistry, mathematics, physics, geology and astronomy); (e) College of Engineering and Computer Science; (f) College of Business; (g) College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies; and (h) the Library.

The number of Senate members from each of the above divisions will be based on the number of assistant, associate and full professors in each division. If the size of the division is 1-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60, etc., the number of representatives will be 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., respectively. Only those members of a division eligible to be elected as described above will be counted for the purpose of determining the apportionment.

At the time of the spring election, each division will elect representatives based on the apportionment for the academic year ending. At the beginning of the following academic year, the Executive Committee of the Senate will determine any changes in apportionment of the Senate based on the above criteria. Divisions entitled to more representatives will be notified and they will conduct the necessary elections at the earliest feasible time. Divisions entitled to fewer representatives will be notified not to elect a representative the next time a vacancy occurs or a term expires.


Elections of the Adjunct Member

By Aug. 1, the President-elect should contact the dean of each college and request nominees for adjunct Senate member. At least five business days will be allowed for nominations. The President-elect will then announce the results of the nomination process and proceed to administer an electronic election in accord with the procedures set forth above. The winner of the election will be announced to both the adjunct and full faculty and installed on the Senate no later than Sept. 15. Unlike the terms of other senators, the term is one year.


Term of Office and Vacancies

The term of office for elected members, except the adjunct faculty member, shall be two years and will begin on July 1 following the election, except as noted in Vacancies below. A member can be elected to serve only two consecutive full terms from any category. A member may run for election again after sitting out a two-year term. Senate members have a responsibility to attend all scheduled meetings of the Senate. Advance notification should be given to the Secretary of the Senate if a member cannot attend. Absences will be noted in the Senate minutes. After two absences to regularly scheduled Senate meetings in one semester, the President of the Senate, upon consultation with the Executive Committee, may declare the seat vacant and notify the elected members from that voting division, or the Faculty Senate Secretary, in the case of an at-large member, to elect a replacement. In case of unavoidable class conflicts with the regularly scheduled Senate meetings, the President shall ask the ranking elected member of the Senate from that voting division, or the Faculty Senate Secretary, in the case of an at-large member, for the election of a temporary replacement.

Vacancies may occur on the Senate through death, resignation, election to the presidency of the Senate or change in appointment resulting in ineligibility as described in the introduction to this section. Representatives may cease to be a member of the voting division electing them or may be absent on leave for at least one semester or may be disqualified for other causes.

In case of vacancies, the faculty of that voting division which is losing its representative shall elect a successor to fill the unexpired term. The person elected shall assume office immediately. In the event that an at-large member of the Senate is unable to serve, that vacancy would be filled as follows:

  • One-year or less: The faculty will elect at the earliest feasible time an interim representative from the same rank as the vacating member when elected to serve until July 1 of that year.
  • More than one year: The faculty will elect at the earliest feasible time a representative from the same rank as the vacating member when elected to serve out the remainder of the two-year term.


A Faculty Senator shall

  • Represent and communicate with their constituency
  • Represent the broader interests of the faculty.
  • Attend and participate in Senate meetings on a regular basis (see attendance information above).
  • Be willing to serve on at least one University committee (Senate or other campus committees).
  • Serve on other committees and task forces as needed.


Section 2. Meetings


Regular meetings of the Senate shall normally be held at 3:10 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month during the academic year. In exceptional circumstances, the President may reschedule or cancel a regular meeting or call a special meeting. A special meeting also may be called by the request of five members of the Senate. The request should be sent to the President by email.

The organizational meeting of the Senate shall be convened the first week of classes. All newly elected members will attend and vote with the continuing Senate membership. The Vice President of the Senate shall be confirmed and serve as chair of the Handbook Committee. The incoming President-elect will serve as chair of the Committee on Committees. Per the Committee on Committees, other Senate committee memberships shall be confirmed at that time, along with their official charges.



Meetings of the Senate shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (latest edition) unless otherwise provided for in these bylaws.

The agenda shall be prepared by the Executive Committee for each meeting of the Senate and should be arranged according to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (latest edition). The Secretary shall send copies of the agenda, including all proposals to be discussed, to all Senate members and appropriate administrative officials so these materials are received at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at which they are to be discussed. In addition, the Secretary shall make available copies of the agenda to every voting faculty member prior to the Senate meeting.

Members of the University community, individually or in groups, may submit proposals and recommendations to the President or the Secretary of the Senate (in time for inclusion on the agenda) for placement on the agenda and should be present or represented at meetings when such proposals or recommendations are considered.

The Senate shall act on all action items on the agenda, either by approval, rejection, postponement, referral or remission, to committee.

The minutes (including summaries of the debates and a record of all votes of the Senate) shall be distributed by the Secretary no later than 72 hours before the next Senate meeting.

A presentation for action by any committee of the Senate or any standing committee of the faculty shall be the equivalent of a motion, and does not require a second from the floor for consideration. A committee chair may bring formal motions to the Senate on the behalf of his or her committee, even if the chair is not an elected member of the Senate.


Section 3. Quorum

A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The affirmative vote of the majority of those members voting shall be necessary for the passage of any resolution or motion unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws.


Section 4. Voting

Voting may be by voice or show of hands, though suitable handheld electronic voting devices (iClickers and the like) or voting via a digital voting system (utilizing the LMS or other digital means) may be employed at the discretion of the President. An individual count is required for all curriculum proposals (digital voting results will be reported by specific number of votes to support, deny, or abstain). All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot. Any motion will be by secret ballot if so requested by more than one senator.


Section 5. Committee Reports

Committee chairpersons shall submit reports containing items requiring Senate deliberation (other than receiving of reports) to the Senate Secretary at least five (5) business days in advance of the Senate meeting during which the report is to be considered. The Secretary must have reports to the Senate at least 72 hours in advance of meetings. If the report is not delivered within this schedule, consideration of the issue will require approval by a show of hands of two-thirds of the members present and voting.


Section 6. Order of Business

At the meetings of the Senate, the order of business shall be as follows:

  1. The meeting shall be called to order by the President.
  2. Previously distributed minutes of the last meeting shall be approved or amended.
  3. Administrative reports.
  4. New business.
  5. Committee reports.
  6. Unfinished business.
  7. Faculty concerns.
  8. Announcements
  9. Adjournment


Article 3 - Committees

Section 1. Committee Appointments

With the exception of the Faculty Administrative Relations Committee and the Graduate Council, all committees of the faculty—also known as standing committees—are populated by the Senate’s Committee on Committees and confirmed by Senate at its organizational meeting in August. In cases where confirmed members cannot serve, the Committee on Committees shall reserve the right to make substitutions to committees of the faculty throughout the academic year with the confirmation of the Executive Committee of the Senate. Upon consultation with the administration, course releases or their equivalent may be granted for chairs of demanding standing committees and significant ad hoc committees.


Guidelines for Committee Appointments

  • To the greatest extent possible, committees will be representative of the faculty at large.
  • No faculty member should be appointed to more than two faculty Senate committees.
  • Probationary tenure-track faculty members should be appointed to no more than one faculty Senate  committee.
  • Faculty members should not be appointed to faculty committees during the first year of service at UTC.
  • There should be rotation of memberships on committees in order to give faculty more varied experiences.
  • Committee members should rotate off the same committee at the end of three years of service.
  • Committee chairpersons will be limited to a two-year term. The Committee on Committees will consult with the chairperson at the time of the replacement.
  • Where possible, every faculty member who requests committee service should be given an assignment unless such faculty member only requests an assignment to a committee on which he/she is ineligible to serve. A list of those faculty members not selected will be turned over to the new Committee on Committees for the upcoming year's ad hoc and replacement committee assignments.
  • Each committee will have at least one administrative official designated as an ex officio member.
  • Committee members may be removed during the year if they do not attend committee meetings. Attendance will be considered as a factor in making the next year's appointments to committees.
  • In cases where committee members are elected, confirmation of the nominated individuals’ willingness to serve must be secured prior to their consideration for election.


Prior to, or at the beginning of each academic year, the Senate PResident, on behalf of the Executive Committee, will communicate with the chairperson of each committee to share committee charges for the upcoming year, review the bylaws concerning duties for that committee and discuss other information relevant to that committee.


Section 2. Responsibilities of Chairs and Committee Members

Responsibilities of the Chair

Responsibilities of the chairs of faculty standing committees are as follows:

  • Set the time and place for meetings.
  • Conduct meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (latest edition).
  • Where appropriate, distribute the agenda and other materials at least 24 hours in advance.
  • See that minutes of all committee meetings are kept which would reflect the members present, the action taken (if any) and a record of votes taken (if any) and see that copies of the minutes are sent to the President and Secretary of the Senate within a reasonable time following the meeting.
  • Bring all committee resolutions and recommendations to the attention of the Executive Committee and, if so requested by the President, to the floor of the Senate.

Submit an annual written report of the committee's activities electronically to the President and Secretary of the Senate by May 1. Where possible, reports may be submitted earlier. Such reports shall be posted to the Senate website by May 15.


Responsibilities of Committee Members

Committee members have a responsibility to prepare for and attend all scheduled meetings of their committees. The chair should be notified in advance if a member cannot attend. Excessive absences, upon review by the committee chair and the Committee on Committees, may result in replacement of the member.


 Student Committee Members

  • Students who serve on Senate Committees must meet the following criteria: full-time status, 30 UTC hours, 2.5 GPA. These will not affect the SGA President’s right to serve as an ex officio member of Faculty Committees.
  • SGA students' recommendations for Senate committees for the following year must be submitted by Sept. 1.
  • Committee minutes should indicate student attendance and should be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Student Development. Committee chairs should inform the Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Dean of Students if a student replacement is needed.


Ex officio Members

Ex officio members of committees serve as non-voting consultants.


Committee Quorum and Voting

A simple majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum unless otherwise specified. The chair is counted in the quorum. Members of the Executive Committee of the Senate may serve as alternate members in order to establish a quorum for any of the faculty standing or ad hoc committees in emergency situations. The Executive Committee may also appoint temporary members during summer months to enable committees to function properly. The summer quorum for all committees will consist of 50 percent of the faculty membership. All faculty and student members are eligible to vote, including a faculty chairperson of a committee.



Committees are responsible for executing their purpose and duties as described in the bylaws. Committees are accountable to the Senate. The Senate may at any time request reports of activity from any committees which its Committee on Committees has appointed and which it has confirmed.



Any standing committee may be dissolved or repurposed by amending these bylaws.


Section 3. Standing and Special Committees (listed in alphabetical order)




Responsibilities. The Athletics Committee acts as a liaison group between the director of athletics, the athletic staff and the faculty. The committee is charged with making recommendations to the Chancellor in the general field of intercollegiate athletics, placing specific emphasis on eligibility, athletic teams' schedules and disciplinary rules, as well as other areas as indicated in the manual of the National Collegiate Athletics Association.

Composition. No fewer than 10 faculty members; two students; ex officio: Chancellor's representative, University Registrar designee, Provost designee, Director of Athletics, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Administration/Senior Woman Administrator, Associate Athletic Director for Student Support Services, Director of Admissions, Southern Conference Faculty Representative.


Budget and Economic Status

Responsibilities. The Budget and Economic Status committee has four primary responsibilities: (a) to study and report to the Senate on financial aspects of public higher education in Tennessee and on prospects for faculty salary levels and raises; (b) to examine fringe benefit situations and recommend changes and additions as appropriate; (c) to participate in recommending faculty salary policies; (d) to participate in broader budgetary matters that impinge on the educational function of the institution.

Composition. No fewer than nine faculty members, with at least one representing each voting division of the faculty; ex officio: Provost designee.


Committee on Committees 

Responsibilities. The Committee on Committees shall consist of Faculty Senators only. This committee shall be responsible for recommending to the Senate the chair, faculty and student members of standing and ad hoc committees as provided for by the Faculty Handbook and guidelines adopted by the Senate after prior notice—standing committees for the following year shall be recommended no later than the last Senate meeting of the year; recommending to the administration faculty members for appointment to administrative committees as appropriate; engaging in periodic reviews of the structure and function of faculty committees and reporting findings to the Senate; and proposing revisions to the Faculty Handbook committee and making appropriate recommendations to the Senate. The chair shall maintain an up-to-date list of currently constituted standing and ad hoc committee members.

Composition. The Committee on Committees shall be composed of the President-elect (chair) and six members of the Senate as recommended by the President-elect: two from the College of Arts and Sciences and one member each from the Library, the College of Business, the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.


Course Learning Evaluations

Responsibilities. The committee is responsible for recommending policies and procedures for evaluation of faculty instruction and for using evaluation results to improve instruction. The composition of the committee should reflect the various instructional styles of the disciplines and should include at least one faculty member familiar with measurement techniques.

Composition. No fewer than 10 faculty members, at least one member representing each academic college and the Library, at least one member with expertise in survey development; two students; ex officio: Executive Director of the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research or designee and the Executive Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning or designee.


Faculty Administrative Relations Committee 

Responsibilities. See responsibilities, membership, voting and process in the Faculty Handbook, Chapter 5, Section V.


Faculty Grants

Responsibilities. The Faculty Grants committee considers proposals for grants funded by the University of Chattanooga Foundation endowment. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of overall merit using a rubric. The potential contribution of the research or creative activity to the University or to the researcher’s discipline is a basic criterion. The committee encourages the applicant to seek funds from other sources when needs so indicate; it sometimes recommends small seed-money grants with this end in view. The committee recommends awards for grant proposals to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The chair reports the grants awarded to the Senate.

Composition. No fewer than 12 faculty members with at least one member representing each academic college and the Library; ex officio: Provost designee, Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, Executive Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning or designee.


Faculty Handbook Committee 

Responsibilities. The Faculty Handbook committee shall consist of Faculty Senators.  This committee shall be responsible for consulting with administration on Faculty Handbook content affected by university/system policies; recommending to the Senate any revisions in the Faculty Handbook deemed appropriate and necessary; consulting with the Committee on Committees concerning proposed revisions to this document, examining proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook for consistency and reporting back revisions as appropriate; bringing handbook revisions recommended by Senate to the full faculty when appropriate and necessary; reviewing and proofreading Faculty Handbook copy prior to publishing. Adoption of the committee’s resolutions by the Senate constitutes a recommendation of the Senate to the Chancellor for revision of the Faculty Handbook.

The Board of Trustees’ Policy on Faculty Handbook revisions, adopted in 1992, and any subsequent amendments govern the revision of the Faculty Handbook. In the event of any inconsistency between the Board’s policy and the Faculty Handbook, the Board’s policy will control. The Senate and the Chancellor accept the provisions of the Faculty Handbook. All have responsibility for revision.

Composition. The Faculty Handbook Committee shall be composed of the Vice President of the Senate (chair) and six members of the Senate: two from the College of Arts and Sciences and one representative from the Library, College of Business, College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, and College of Engineering and Computer Science; ex officio: Provost designee.


Faculty Rating of Administration

Responsibilities. The committee is responsible for recommending policies, procedures and instrumentation to the Senate for the rating of administration by faculty and for using rating results to improve administration.

Composition. No fewer than 10 faculty members with at least one member with expertise in survey development; two students; ex officio: Executive Director of the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research or designee


Faculty Senate Executive Committee 

Responsibilities. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall consist of Faculty Senators. Convening during weeks when the Senate is not in session, the Executive Committee is responsible for establishing the Senate’s agenda. It decides what issues need to be brought before the Senate for consideration. It also meets monthly with the Chancellor and Provost to convey the concerns of the faculty, to suggest solutions to problems and to serve as a liaison between the administration and the Senate.

Composition. The President of the Senate, the President-elect, the immediate Past President, Vice President and the Senate Secretary; ex Officio: Chancellor, Provost, Chancellor Chief of Staff, and Parliamentarian.


General Education

Responsibilities. The evaluation of the effectiveness of general education demands a responsive and evolving philosophy. The General Education Committee will serve a continuous role as facilitator for discussion regarding this philosophy and as a clearing house for ideas that may keep the philosophy responsive to the needs of the students and the institutional program. The committee will also act in the following areas: 

  • Certify new courses for general education.
  • Monitor existing general education courses.
  • Make recommendations concerning the content and structure of general education.
  • Review practices regarding the transferability of general education credit for all post-baccalaureate students, additional degree-seeking students and transfer students.
  • Receive appeals from students concerning transferability of general education credit after review by the appropriate department.

Composition. No fewer than 10 faculty members, one student; ex officio: Provost designee, Executive Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning or designee. Departments with special topics courses approved by the General Education Committee are required to have a department member on the General Education Committee.


Grade Appeals

Responsibilities. The responsibility of the grade appeals committee is to hear undergraduate student appeals whenever a student feels that the student’s rights have been seriously jeopardized by way of unfair, arbitrary or malicious exercise of faculty grading prerogatives and desires to appeal the grade. The committee review the grade after a student who is appealing has followed the current published procedures for grade appeals in the Faculty Handbook.

Committee Composition: At least an eight-member pool to select from for the appeal composition and a designated organizing chair who is responsible for working with the dean’s office of the grade appeal to ensure that three members are selected from the pool and available for the appeal without conflict of interest. Additionally, the chair is responsible for submitting the annual report to the senate.

Appeal Composition. Three faculty members selected from the pool, two non-voting faculty members selected at the time of an appeal by the head of the department (or dean of the school if appropriate) in which the appealed course is offered. The chair shall be the dean of the academic unit involved. Should the dean be the course professor involved in the appeal, the provost will serve as chair. The chair shall not vote on an appeal except in case of a tie vote, and will be responsible for reporting the findings of the committee to the Office of the Provost. A quorum for this committee will consist of three voting members and the chair.


Graduate Council 

Responsibilities. The Graduate Council members are appointed by special elections.  The Graduate Council is responsible for providing and periodically revising basic educational philosophy for graduate programs, for ensuring the maintenance of high standards in the graduate programs offered and for proposing and recommending to the Faculty Senate new graduate programs. The Graduate Council reviews new courses to be offered for graduate credit as well as other changes in the content of individual graduate programs. The Graduate Council is responsible for ensuring that general admission policies as established by the Board of Trustees and specific policies approved for individual graduate programs are maintained. The Graduate Council hears graduate students’ petitions and grade appeals. The Graduate Council reports its curriculum and standards actions to the Faculty Senate executive committee with recommendations for implementation or appropriate disposition.

Composition. Each graduate degree program shall have one representative who is a voting member of Graduate Council.

Members of Graduate Council serve two-year terms. One-half of the Council is appointed by the respective program at the conclusion of the spring semester in odd-numbered years for a term of office beginning the following fall semester. The other half of the Council is appointed in even-numbered years.  Members may be reappointed with no term limit. Ex officio: The dean of the Graduate School, the associate dean of the Graduate School, the dean of the Library, the dean of Lifelong Learning and the Graduate Student Association president.

Administrative support for Graduate Council is provided by the Graduate School.


Honor Court

Responsibilities. This committee administers the honor code as set forth in the Student Handbook. 

Composition. Chair, three other faculty members and at least three alternate faculty members appointed by the Senate; eight students; ex officio: vice-chancellor for Student Development and dean of students.


Learning Environment

Responsibilities: The establishment of this advisory committee ensures that faculty input is given at the early stages of discussions on academic matters affecting faculty, students and the learning environment at UTC, in relation to the best design requirements needed for students to achieve learning outcomes. 

  1. The Committee shall make recommendations to the Faculty Senate on matters including, but not limted to: the teaching and learning environment, course design, room design, and course/classroom technology.
  2. The Committee shall provide multiple channels of communication amoung the Faculty Senate, faculty-at-large, Administration, relevant staff units, and Student Government Association on matters affecting the learning environment at UTC.
  3. The Committee shall serve as an advisory resource to the Chancellor, Provost, and Faculty Senate on matters related to the learning environment at UTC.

Composition. No fewer than 12 faculty members with at least one representative from each academic college and the Library, two students, one of whom shall be a graduate student; ex officio: University Registrar or designee, Dean of the Library or designee, Executive Director of the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning, Director of the Disability Resource Center or designee, IT designee, Provost’s designee.


Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

Responsibilities. The Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Committee addresses the needs of non-tenure-track faculty and brings their concerns to the attention of Senate and administration. It provides a communication channel between this part of the community and the university.

Composition. Four non-tenure-track full-time faculty with one member representing each academic college and four adjunct faculty, one from each academic college; ex officio: Provost designee. Adjunct faculty members will be appointed no later than the second Senate meeting of the fall semester. The President-elect will ask the dean of each academic college to nominate an adjunct representative.


Student Media Board

Responsibilities. The Student Media board is charged with supervision and policy making for student publications and media and is directly responsible to the Chancellor. A detailed description of the board and its work is set forth in the Manual for Student Publications, as revised.

Composition. Four faculty members; four students; Vice Chancellor for Student Development, Dean of Students; Associate Vice Chancellor for Development or designee; Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing or designee; two alumni; ex officio: editors and advisers.


Undergraduate Academic Standards

Responsibilities. The function of the Academic Standards committee is to review and make recommendations to maintain appropriate undergraduate academic standards for the University. It will review matters such as continuation standards, grade requirements for graduation and standards for academic honors for all undergraduate programs. In addition, it will make recommendations for policies involving academic standards in such areas as academic regulations, academic residency and non-traditional credit. The academic standards committee may act on requests for studies, advisory opinions or policy recommendations initiated by the Senate, the administration, standing committees, academic units and individual faculty members, as well as initiating its own studies and recommendations. Its recommendations will be presented to the Senate where appropriate. In other cases, the committee will send its conclusions directly to the initiating agent with an information copy to the Senate. The chair of the Academic Standards Committee is responsible for circulating the agenda for each meeting to the deans and department heads.

Composition. No fewer than twelve (12) faculty members with no more than three members drawn from any voting division of the faculty; two (2) students; ex officio: Provost designee; University Registrar, designee from the Honors College.


Undergraduate Admissions

Responsibilities. The Admissions Committee is responsible for supervising the execution of general admissions policy established by the Board of Trustees and for maintaining the specific academic criteria for approved admission. It ensures that admissions policies are clearly expressed and openly published. It interprets both general and specific policies, and it studies and makes recommendations concerning proposals for new or revised policies. This committee considers entering freshmen who do not meet regular or conditional admissions standards and transfer students in special cases. The committee thus meets frequently during both the academic year and the summer. Members of the committee must be available for at least a portion of the summer.

 Composition. No fewer than 10 faculty members with at least one member representing each academic college and the library; one student; Ex officio: Provost designee, Director of Admissions, University Registrar.


Undergraduate Curriculum

Responsibilities. The Curriculum Committee supervises the development of the undergraduate curriculum. Specifically, it is responsible for recommendations for the content of individual courses and the content of the organized total of courses, programs and sequences that form the undergraduate instructional program. It reviews new undergraduate degree programs and changes in the content of departmental major and minor requirements and concentrations. The committee reports its actions to the Senate with recommendations for implementation or appropriate disposition. The chair of the Curriculum Committee is responsible for circulating the agenda for each meeting to the provost, deans and department heads.

Composition. No fewer than 15 faculty members, with at least one member representing each academic college and the Library, no more than three members may be drawn from any voting division of the faculty; two students; ex officio: Provost designee, University Registrar or designee and Head of Collections for the Library or designee.


Undergraduate Petitions

Responsibilities. The Petitions Committee considers undergraduate student petitions for exceptions to academic regulations. The Petitions Committee takes extenuating circumstances into account and may make exceptions to academic regulations in individual cases.

Composition. No fewer than eight faculty members with at least one member representing each academic college and the Library; one student; ex officio: vice chancellor for student development and dean of students, University Registrar or designee.


University Committees

The chair of Committee on Committees will aid the University in recommendations for faculty representatives, including three members for the Environmental Task Force and others as requested.


Ad hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees may be created by the Senate or by the full faculty. Unless the description of an ad hoc committee directs otherwise, faculty members of the committee shall be recommended by the Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Senate. Prospective committee members should be contacted by the nominating party prior to their recommendation.

Ad hoc committees are established for short periods, normally no more than one academic year, to deal with special issues as they arise.


Article 4 - Officers: Duties, Qualifications, and Resources

Section 1. The President and The President-elect


The President

As an elected spokesperson of the faculty, the President shall:

  • Preside at all meetings of the Senate and the full faculty and shall be bound by the Faculty Handbook, these bylaws and Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (latest edition)*.
  • Prepare the agenda in cooperation with the Senate Executive Committee and others as appropriate.
  • Meet with the appropriate adminstrators/officers at the earliest opportunity following Senate meetings to report on deliberations by the Senate.
  • Receive the annual written reports from chairs of Senate standing committees.
  • Serve as counselor to the President of the University of Tennessee.
  • Serve as a non-voting representative of the faculty to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Serve on the University Faculty Council and the Tennessee Universities Faculty Senate.
  • Carry the University mace at all official functions.
  • Be alotted three hours re-assignment time from teaching in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Confirm, in case of the death of a current or previous faculty member, an individual to contact the family and arrange for a campus memorial service should the family desire it.
  • Work with the Provost’s office to reserve meeting locations.
  • Select a Vice President from the Senate membership, subject to confirmation at the fall organizational meeting.
  • Nominate a Senate Secretary from the full-time faculty, subject to confirmation at the fall organizational meeting.

 *except as otherwise noted in the Faculty Handbook/By-Laws 

The President-elect

The term of office for President-elect shall be for one year to begin July 1 and is a voting member of the Faculty Senate. The President-elect becomes the President the following year for a one-year term, and the President becomes the Immediate Past President for the following year for a one-year term.

 The President-elect shall

  • Serve as a voting member of the Executive COmmittee of the Senate
  • Preside at a Senate meeting, if the President is unable to attend (if President-elect is not avaialble, then the first available officer, selected tin the following order, shall preside: Vice-president, Past President)
  • Attend University and System meetings in the absence of the President;
  • Serve as chair of Committee on Committees and coordinate the placement of faculty on committees including University, Ad Hoc and Task Forces;
  • Oversee the nomination and selection of the Carolyn Thompson and Roger Brown Service Award, as reviewed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee;
  • Oversee divisional and adjunct elections.


Replacement of the President or President-elect

Should the President resign, go on leave or become unable to serve for other reasons, the Senate Executive Committee shall effect a replacement. Should the vacancy occur after the election of the President-elect, the President-elect shall serve out the remainder of the incomplete term and the term to which he or she was elected. Should the vacancy occur prior to the election of the President-elect, a new President shall be elected at the next faculty meeting in which a 15-day nomination period is available. Prior to this election, the Vice-President shall perform the duties and responsibilities of the President. The completion of a vacated term is not considered a full term for determination of eligibility to be elected to two successive terms.

Should the President-elect resign, go on leave or become unable to serve for other reasons, a replacement shall be elected at the first faculty meeting for which a 15-day nomination period is available. If an election cannot be held prior to July 1, the outgoing President shall continue to serve until the election.


The Faculty Senate President-elect shall be chosen for a one-year term from among those members of the faculty that meet the following criteria: (1) the holding of full-time appointment with the rank, or equivalent rank, of associate professor or higher; (2) the performance of academic duties totaling at least half-time teaching, research, service, or departmental administration; and (3) prior service on the Faculty Senate (as an administrative member, an elected faculty member, a committee member, or otherwise) within the last five years.

Nominations for Faculty Senate President-elect shall be solicited from the entire faculty by February 15. Nominations shall be sent to the Senate Secretary who shall formulate a slate via the same procedure as is used for nomination of the at-large candidates. Each nominee shall be given the opportunity to provide a brief statement relevant to his or her candidacy and respond to questions via electronic means, prior to the election. Elections shall be conducted via majority electronic vote of the full faculty. Election and shall be determined by simple majority of the ballots as determined by Faculty Senate Executive Committee and announced by the Senate Secretary to the faculty.


Section 2. Vice President


The President of the Senate will choose a Vice President from among members of the Senate. S/he will be subject to confirmation by the full Senate at the organizational meeting of the Senate. If a Vice President is not confirmed, the Senate President will entertain nominations for the position from the floor, and the Senate will vote on any candidates nominated. 


The Vice President shall serve as chair of the Handbook Committee.  The Vice President shall serve as a voting member of the Executive Committee of the Senate.

The Vice President, as chair of the Faculty Handbook Committee, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee of the Senate and the Chancellor may make recommendations on editorial, technical, and other housekeeping changes, including but not limited to changes to the University’s mission, titles of administrative offices, academic units, other descriptive material or other positions and units named in the Faculty Handbook, followed by appropriate action on these changes by the University and its officers, the chief academic officer for the system, the UT System President, or the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. The Chancellor shall submit these recommendations to the appropriate officer for the system, who will forward them, with his or her recommendation, to appropriate Vice Presidents, the General Counse,l and the UT System President. Final approval lies with the UT System President.


Section 3. Secretary


The President of the Senate will nominate the Senate Secretary from among members of the full faculty for confirmation at the organizational meeting of the Senate. If the candidate is not confirmed, then nominations for the position will be accepted from the floor of the Senate. 

If the Secretary is an elected member of the Senate, then he or she will be a voting member of the Executive Committee of the Senate. If the Secretary is not an elected member of the Senate, then he or she shall serve as an ex-officio member on the Executive Committee of the Senate.


The Secretary shall:

  • Distribute the agenda of Senate meetings;
  • Keep the minutes of Senate and Executive Committee meetings; including summaries of the debates and a record of all votes;
  • Distribute Senate minutes no later than 72 hours before the next meeting;
  • Maintain an ongoing record of Senate representatives and division apportionments;
  • Coordinate the nomination process for the at-large and non-tenure track faculty members of the Senate;
  • Electronically submit all Senate committee reports to the Head of Library Special Collections;
  • Maintain the Senate’s webpage, which includes posting agendas, minutes, related documents, list of senators and committee assignments;
  • Be allotted three (3) hours of re-assignment time or equivalent per semester for these duties.
  • Serve as secretary for the Full Faculty


Section 4. Parliamentarian

There shall be a Parliamentarian appointed by the President of the Senate each year to assist in the conduct of the business of the Senate and serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.  


Article 5 - Amendments

The Senate shall have the power to make, amend and repeal these bylaws by a vote of two-thirds majority of those members present at regular or special meetings of the Senate, provided that any proposed changes shall have been submitted to the members of the Senate at least 72 hours before the meeting at which the vote on them shall be taken.


Article 6 - Policies and Processes

Faculty are expected to be aware of and abide by university policies and procedures.  University policies can be found at https://www.utc.edu/academic-affairs/policies-procedures/index.php.