Faculty votes in favor of new representative governance model

A late-April meeting of the SUNY New Paltz faculty saw the passage of a resolution to establish a new representative Faculty Senate, which will replace the current “committee of the whole” governance model (a system of direct individual representation).

The Faculty Senate will meet for the first time in spring 2018, pending approval of new bylaws by the end of fall 2017. It will have the following provisions:

  • The total number of senators will be 102. Of these, 64 will be voting members, and 38 will be non-voting ex officio members.
  • Each academic department will have one representative, totaling 37 faculty senators. For some divisions, at-large representatives will be elected to balance the proportion across divisions. For divisions that have both departmental and divisional representation, a faculty member can only be nominated for one of those positions.
  • Professional faculty will have at-large representation at half the number of representatives per faculty as the academic faculty.  A total of 13 voting senate seats will be filled by professional faculty.
  • One representative of the part-time faculty will be elected to a voting seat on the senate.
  • Nine faculty senators and chairs of central committees will be ex-officio voting members. An ex-officio voting member may also serve as a department or division representative, but will only have one vote.
  • There will be four undergraduate student representatives, one of whom will be a representative of the Student Association.
  • Ex officio non-voting senators will be drawn from the academic faculty, the professional faculty and the non-faculty staff.
  • All senate members will vote on all matters except that the professional faculty will not vote on academic personnel policies such as the Structures and Procedures document.
  • All lecturers are now included in the College Faculty.

Faculty Senators’ votes on resolutions and referenda will replace the current “committee of the whole” system, wherein all faculty attendees at a given faculty meeting may vote on any motion that hits the floor. Senate votes will be recorded in the public record, and Senate meetings are to be live-streamed and archived online.

There will still be three regular meetings of the full college faculty each academic year – a September meeting where new faculty and staff are introduced and Chancellor’s Awards are presented, an end-of-fall semester meeting and a final spring meeting.

Elections for the Faculty Senate will be held each fall. Terms will be three years in length, with a two-consecutive-term limit.

The current Academic Senate will be disbanded at the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Several additional resolutions to realign the College faculty’s committee structures were approved at a subsequent faculty meeting on May 11. Terms of service for committees may be different by committee and will be proposed during the drafting of bylaws this summer, and voted on this fall.

More information about Faculty Governance at SUNY New Paltz is available online.