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Scenes from Faculty Senate

University Manual

Chapter 4 - The Faculty

4.10.10  On Faculty Governance. Faculty participation in the government of the University of Rhode Island is essential to its sound development and to the successful performance of its role in the life of the state. The basic functions of the University-- teaching and research--are performed by a community of scholars who must exercise sound judgment in the planning and execution of their assigned responsibilities. Since decisions on all academic levels may affect profoundly the performance of each faculty member, provision must be made to ensure that his/her point of view will be represented in the formulation of policies that control his/her professional activities. The collective judgment of the scholars who comprise the faculty is a resource of great value which properly utilized, will help to guarantee that University policy will be wisely established and effectively carried out.

4.11.10  Membership in the University Faculty, also referred to as the General Faculty, shall be based on appointment by the President and on direct participation in or supervision of any of the following activities: teaching, librarianship, and research, within the University. The General Faculty shall consist of continuing professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors (see 7.10.10); the President, the Provost, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Vice Provost(s) and the academic dean of each college or school.

4.11.11  Any person who has General Faculty status and has assumed responsibility as assistant or associate dean at the University shall retain all voting privileges as a member of a department, college and of the University Faculty. In accordance with Article III of the Faculty Senate Constitution, such persons shall be counted for Senate apportionment proportionate to their percentage of full-time equivalent faculty responsibilities, but may not be elected to the Faculty Senate or participate in Senate elections (see also section 2.1 of the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate).

4.11.12  Any person who has General Faculty status and is head of an academic program or research unit (e.g. Honors Program, Faculty Institute on Writing, Center for Vector-Borne Diseases, etc.) has all of the voting rights of a full-time continuing member of the University Faculty, including eligibility for election to the Faculty Senate and participation in Senate elections.

4.11.13  Any person who has had General Faculty status and who is transferred in the University to a position or office which in itself does not carry such status shall retain faculty status so long as that person is employed by the University. However, that person shall not have rank, voting privileges in department or college meetings on matters requiring Faculty Senate approval, tenure (unless earned before the transfer), or the right of salary increment as defined for academic rank.

4.11.14  Persons who have lost or who have never held General Faculty status and who are appointed assistant or associate dean are not members of the University Faculty and shall not have department, college or university faculty voting privileges, nor shall they be counted for apportionment of the Faculty Senate.

4.12.10  Special Status Appointments. The rights and privileges of faculty status, excepting the rights of tenure and of election to the Faculty Senate, and with other stated exceptions, shall be extended to the following categories (4.12.11-12): [Administrative January 2013]

4.12.11  Administrative. The Vice Presidents and the directors of major University divisions, with the further exception of the right of salary increment as defined for faculty ranks. [Administrative January 2013]

4.12.12 Coaching positions shall be based on appointment by the Director of Athletics and shall be related to the coaching of intercollegiate athletics. If coaching appointees are assigned a part-time responsibility for teaching or research within the University, they shall be separately contracted for such services. [Administrative January 2013]

4.13.10  Clinical appointments shall be classified according to equivalent faculty title and shall be persons on limited appointments at the University supported by state, private or federal agencies. Clinical appointees may have faculty status and rank, but shall not have tenure. [Administrative January 2013]


4.14.10  Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, and Research Professor. For these limited, non-tenure track ranks, research shall be the primary focus for individuals appointed to these faculty positions. [Administrative January 2013]


4.14.11 An Assistant Research Professor shall have completed formal advanced study appropriate to his/her field and have obtained a terminal degree (e.g. PhD, M.D); shall have demonstrated success in carrying out externally funded research and attracting external financing; and shall have demonstrated accomplishments with regard to a sustained record of publications in refereed journals. [Administrative January 2013]


4.14.12  An Associate Research Professor shall have completed formal advanced study (see 4.14.11); have several years of successful research experience; and have shown a high-level of evidence in his/her ability to conceive and perform independent research and obtain external funding for his/her research. [Administrative January 2013]


4.14.13  A Research Professor shall have a background of successful research, marked by maturity and experience that has earned him/her a national/international reputation in the field with a superior record of refereed publications grant funding, or similar accomplishments. [Administrative January 2013]

4.20.10  Organization of the General Faculty. The President of the University shall be the presiding officer of the University faculty.

4.20.11  The other officers of the faculty shall be a secretary, a parliamentarian, a marshal and assistant marshals, appointed by the President.

4.20.12  The Secretary of the Faculty shall keep the minutes of faculty meetings and shall perform such other administrative duties as may be assigned by the President. The original copy of the minutes of faculty meetings shall be held for safe storage in the University vault under the supervision of the Director of Enrollment Services.

4.20.13  The Faculty Marshal and assistant marshals shall, at the request of the President, direct faculty processions for formal University events.

4.21.10  Voting Membership. All members of the University faculty shall have voting privileges.

4.30.10  The Faculty Senate. The General Faculty, through legislative act on May 12, 1960, authorized the establishment of a Faculty Senate as its agent to conduct in a responsible and efficient manner the business assigned to faculty jurisdiction by law, the President, or by the Board of Trustees (now the Board of Governors). It was the intent that the faculty delegate to the Senate all powers of the faculty, with the exception of those, stipulated in this chapter, that are specifically delegated elsewhere, so long as the Senate shall represent the will of the faculty. Approval of the Senate Constitution and By-Laws was granted by the former Board of Trustees on November 1, 1961.

4.32.10  Jurisdiction of College Faculties. The General Faculty delegates to each college faculty jurisdiction over matters primarily of interest only to that college, such as: distribution of units for entrance requirements among secondary school subjects; the curricula of the college within limits of the general policies prescribed by the Faculty Senate; action concerning petitions for changes in prescribed courses of study, presented by individual students enrolled in the college; recommendations to the University faculty concerning the granting of degrees to students enrolled in the college; and decisions concerning the scholastic standing of students enrolled in the college, through the college's Scholastic Standing Committee, to which this matter is delegated.

4.32.11  Questions of jurisdiction as to the powers of the General Faculty (or its representative body, the Faculty Senate) and the faculties of several colleges shall be referred to the President. Appeals from the President's ruling shall be decided by the General Faculty.

4.40.10  The University Faculty shall meet at the beginning of the academic year for an address by the President, at other times determined by the President or when a meeting is requested in writing by 25 percent of the faculty. The faculty shall regulate its own procedure.  

4.40.11  The University Faculty shall act upon the recommendations made by the several college faculties and by the Graduate Faculty for the granting of degrees in course to those who have fulfilled the requirements for the appropriate degrees. These degrees and requirements are listed in detail in the current University Catalog.

4.40.12  Attendance at meetings of the University Faculty is expected. One-fourth of the membership shall constitute a quorum.

4.40.13  At least five days prior to each meeting, the agenda of the business to be conducted shall be sent to all members of the faculty.

4.40.14  Meetings of the faculty shall be conducted in accordance with Sturgis, Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.

4.40.15  The University Faculty shall vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Senate as provided in Article VII of the Constitution.

4.40.16  The University Faculty shall retain the power to review at any time decisions made by the Faculty Senate. Upon petition signed by 10 percent of the members of the General Faculty, a referendum shall be conducted as provided in Article II, Paragraph 6, of the Constitution.

4.45.10  Parliamentary Authority. Official meetings of all units at the University shall be in accordance with rules stated in the latest edition of Sturgis Standard Code unless the unit adopts another appropriate alternative parliamentary procedure. #05-06--10

4.50.10  College Faculties. Faculty members assigned to a college of the University shall constitute the faculty of that college. A faculty member affiliated with more than one college shall be considered a member of the faculty of each. The dean of the college shall be the presiding officer. The college faculty shall elect a secretary and committees, including a curriculum committee. #05-06--10  #12-13--36

4.50.11  Each college faculty shall meet at least once a semester at the call of its dean and determine its own procedures, consistent with policies prescribed by the University Faculty through its Senate. The dean shall call a special meeting of a college faculty on the written request of 25 percent of its members.

4.50.12  Attendance at meetings of the College Faculty is expected. Twenty percent (20%) of the membership (10% of colleges with more than 200 members) shall constitute a quorum. An Agenda containing all items proposed for action shall be distributed to faculty five (5) workdays prior to the meeting.

4.50.13  Voting on matters which require approval of the Faculty Senate shall be limited to continuing faculty holding any of the ranks listed in 7.10.10.

4.60.10  Department Faculties. Efficient operation necessitates regularly scheduled department meetings. Monthly meeting are suggested as a minimum. A democratic procedure in the conduct of department meetings is essential. The chairperson shall be responsible for keeping all members fully informed on matters of concern to the department.

4.60.11  Among the matters discussed in department meetings should be the advisability of introduction of new courses, especially those that give members opportunities for developing specific interests, provided, however, that more essential courses are not dropped or neglected.

4.60.12  Voting on matters which require approval of the Faculty Senate shall be limited to continuing faculty holding any of the ranks listed in 7.10.10.

4.60.13  The use of department funds, with the exception of the personal services account, and of library allotments shall be open to discussion in department meetings.

4.60.14  The chairperson shall be responsible for informing department members of the opportunities for teaching in the Summer Session, Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education or special courses elsewhere. However, no new faculty member shall be engaged with definite or implied guarantees of such teaching, nor shall current faculty members be promised such teaching on a continuing basis.

4.60.15  The recommendation to the Vice Provost for Urban Programs for teachers of Summer Session courses within the department shall be discussed in a department meeting attended by members with the rank of instructor or above. It is often desirable to assign summer courses to persons who teach those courses during the regular school year. It should be the aim of department chairpersons to distribute these appointments as fairly as possible among department members who are interested in and qualified for the positions available. However, it is a policy of the University that a number of visiting faculty members shall be engaged for the Summer Session and department chairpersons shall staff their summer programs with this policy in mind.

4.60.20  Joint Appointments. A faculty member may be appointed to a professorial position in more than one department (usually not more than two departments) upon the recommendation of the departments and dean (deans, if more than one college is involved) subject to the approval of the Provost. Such appointments may be either unlimited or limited.

4.60.21  Persons holding unlimited joint appointments may participate fully in all activities of the departments including teaching, research, service, and student supervision. They shall have full voting privileges in the departments. The conditions of tenured status as well as the person or persons responsible for conducting annual reviews will be specified in writing and agreed to by the departments, deans, and the individual at the time of the initial appointment.

4.60.22  Persons holding limited joint appointments may participate in the teaching, research, or service programs of the second department. The faculty member with a limited joint appointment shall have voting rights only on issues related to the program or curriculum in which they are involved. They are not involved in peer-review. Any other privileges and obligations associated with the limited appointment in the second department shall be determined by mutual agreement and must be specified in writing at the time the appointment is approved.

4.60.23  All joint appointments, both limited and unlimited, are normally for three-year terms subject to renewal at the end of each three-year term by mutual agreement of all appointing authorities.

4.61.10  Appointment of New Faculty Members. When a position is to be filled within a department, the qualifications of the candidates shall be made known to department members with the rank of instructor and above. When possible, a special department meeting shall be held to discuss the qualifications before candidates are invited for interviews.

4.61.11  When candidates visit the campus for interviews, members shall be informed and arrangements shall be made for interviews with various members. The opinions of members on their choice of candidates shall be sought by the chairpersons before final recommendations for appointment are submitted. This policy shall also apply to the selection of graduate assistants.

4.61.12  Candidates shall be informed in detail about policies of particular importance to new staff members and about their specific duties. In addition, the chairperson shall describe precisely the possibilities of further benefits available to a member of the University community.

4.62.10  Work Loads. The determination and assignment of faculty work loads shall be made by the department chairperson, subject to the approval of his/her dean. In making such assignments, the chairperson shall consider (4.62.11-17):

4.62.11  The nature of the course, as to whether it is undergraduate or graduate and whether it is being offered for the first time or with extensive revision.

4.62.12  Contact hours, as to whether they are lectures, recitations or laboratories and whether the recitations and laboratories require a great deal of preparation.

4.62.13  Number of students, as to whether the time required by the course is directly related to the number of students (e.g., if term papers are required, the number of students is directly related) and whether graduate student assistance is available.

4.62.14  Special courses and projects. Joint courses taught by two or more faculty members or special problems courses for individual students must be related to overall teaching load.

4.62.15  Other duties, especially department chairing, Faculty Senate chairing, honors colloquium direction, committee work, special administrative duties or in-service work with groups in the state.

4.62.16  Research. Since it is the policy of the University to expect its teaching faculty to perform research such research should be considered part of the normal work load, and when teaching assignments are made, time should be allotted for research.

4.62.17  Advisees, as to their number, the number of theses being directed and the number of graduate committee assignments.

4.63.10  Communication involving department business by department members to the administration of the University should be through the chairperson. It is recognized that a faculty member has a right to appeal decisions of a chairperson to the dean of the college if such decisions relate specifically to that individual. It is also recognized that the chairperson has a correlative right to be informed of such discussions and to discuss them with the appropriate academic dean.

4.63.11  Outside activities of any department member which are, or might be readily interpreted to be, representative of the department, shall be brought by the member to the attention of the chairperson. The chairperson shall clear with his/her appropriate superior if s/he deems it advisable or if such action is required by regulations.

4.64.10  Processions. Every faculty member shall participate in faculty processions unless excused by the President or by his/her dean or director. Other members of the staff engaged in administration, teaching, research and extension may participate but shall notify the marshall in advance so that each may be assigned a place in the procession.

4.65.10  Secretarial Assistance. Secretarial assistance provided for the department shall be available to all members. The use of secretarial help and office supplies shall be limited to legitimate department or University business. During periods of peak loads, work for individual members may be channeled through the chairperson so that priorities may be assigned. If members are writing long professional publications which involve excessive labor and time of the department secretary, additional secretarial assistance shall be sought.

4.70.10  The Graduate Faculty. The membership of the Graduate Faculty shall comprise the following President, Provost, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Dean of the Graduate School, Vice Provosts, deans of graduate professional schools, deans of colleges in which departments offer programs leading to advanced degrees, chairpersons of departments authorized to offer graduate degree programs, the Dean of University Libraries and members of the instructional, research and library faculty who either teach one or more courses on the 500, 600 or 900 level on a continuing basis, serve as major professors sponsoring graduate students, or serve as members of the committees supervising the work of graduate students. When a person ceases to perform the function or functions qualifying him or her for membership on the Graduate Faculty, he or she ceases to be a member. Reviews of their Graduate Faculty shall be made by Departments or Programs at least once every four years. Recommendations for removal of a Graduate Faculty member who has ceased to perform the functions required for membership shall come from the Departments or Programs to the Graduate Council through the Dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate Council may either confirm or deny the recommendation.

4.70.11  Regular meetings of the Graduate Faculty shall be held upon the call of the Dean of the Graduate School at least once each semester. Special meetings may be called by the Dean and shall be called by him/her upon majority vote of the Graduate Council, or in accordance with the provisions of 5.65.42, or upon receipt of a petition signed by 25 members of the Graduate Faculty as provided in 4.71.10 and 5.65.40.

4.70.12  Notice of the business to be conducted at each meeting of the Graduate Faculty shall be given in the call of the meeting. Written notice thereof shall be mailed to all members of the Graduate Faculty at least one week in advance of the meeting.

4.70.15  Twenty-five members shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the Graduate Faculty. General Faculty Meeting 12/14/00

4.71.10  Powers. The Graduate Faculty, acting in accordance with the general objectives established by the Board of Governors and University policy as legislated by the Faculty Senate with the concurrence of the President, is responsible for the establishment of the policies, rules and regulations governing graduate studies. The major portion of its work is done by the Graduate Council, acting in accordance with the provisions of 5.65.10-43. However, the Graduate Faculty specifically retains the power to recommend candidates to the General Faculty for advanced degrees, to review decisions of the Graduate Council as provided in 5.65.40, to adjudicate disputes between the Dean of the Graduate School and a majority of the Graduate Council as set forth in 5.65.42 and to consider and act upon any matters within its jurisdiction brought before it by the Dean of the Graduate School or by petition to the Dean signed by 25 members of the Graduate Faculty.

4.71.11  Actions of the Graduate Faculty, other than those which must be approved by the Faculty Senate, the President, and/or the Board of Governors shall become effective with the distribution of the minutes.

4.80.10  The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Faculty. The membership shall consist of continuing faculty members of those departments whose courses support one or more of the BIS concentrations.

4.80.11  The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Faculty share with the Vice Provost for Urban Programs academic responsibilities through a BIS Curriculum Committee, a BIS Special Faculty Committee, and a BIS Scholastic Standing Committee. See sections 5.80.10 through 5.81.11 for the charges and membership of these committees.