The Faculty of Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a community of scholars whose purpose is to find, discover, and create knowledge, to share that knowledge with students, colleagues, and the wider community, and to apply that knowledge, especially to the constituencies of PNW.
This Constitution delineates the powers, rights, privileges and responsibilities of the Faculty of Purdue University Northwest and the basic form of governance of that Faculty. The Faculty is responsible for governing itself as it deems most effective in fulfilling the educational mission of Purdue University Northwest. This Constitution establishes the powers and responsibilities of the Purdue University Northwest Faculty and the basic form of government of that Faculty.
I. Composition of the Purdue University Northwest Faculty
For the purposes of this document, the Faculty consists of all those who teach or hold academic rank. Note that this is not consistent with system-wide policy as given in Policies VI.F.4. Here, faculty is defined as:
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Clinical Professional faculty
- Research faculty
- Administrators holding faculty rank
- Limited term and continuing lecturers and other adjunct faculty
- Visiting instructors of any rank
- Emeritus faculty
B. Voting Faculty.
Voting Faculty may vote in university-wide elections, as those elections are defined by the Senate By-laws. Voting Faculty shall consist of
- All tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Clinical Professional faculty
- Administrators with academic rank
II. Establishment of the Governing Body
The Purdue University Northwest Senate, hereafter referred to as the Senate, shall be the governing body of the Faculty. The Senate shall exercise the legislative, policy-making, and advisory powers of the Faculty, subject to review and check by the Faculty through established procedures. The Senate shall have the power and responsibility to propose and to adopt policies, regulations, and procedures intended to achieve the educational objectives of Purdue University Northwest and the general welfare of those involved in Purdue University Northwest’s educational processes.
III. Powers and Responsibilities of the Faculty
A. General Powers
The Faculty shall have the general power and responsibility to adopt policies, regulations, and procedures needed to achieve the educational objectives of Purdue University Northwest and promote the general welfare of those involved in Purdue University Northwest’s educational processes.
B. Specific Powers
The Faculty shall have the power, except when the interests of other campuses within the Purdue University system are affected:
- To review and approve the undergraduate academic degree titles conferred by Purdue University Northwest;
- To review and approve the general requirements for the curricula of Purdue University Northwest leading toward undergraduate academic degrees;
- To review, approve, and recommend to the Trustees the establishment of new degrees and degree programs to be introduced at Purdue University Northwest, and the discontinuance of existing degrees and degree programs when they no longer contribute to the fulfillment of the mission of the university;
- To develop curricula and course content;
- To develop instructional and examination procedures;
- To nominate all candidates for academic degrees;
- To establish the academic calendar;
- To establish general policies for scheduling classes;
- To establish policies for participation in inter-collegiate athletics;
- To establish policies governing student-group extra-curricular activities, including student participation in athletics;
- To nominate individuals, through the Senate, to serve on search committees for the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of Purdue University Northwest;
- To nominate individuals, through the Senate, to serve on any of the performance evaluation committees convened to review the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of Purdue University Northwest;
- To consider and act upon any action of the Purdue University Northwest student legislative assembly whenever a request to do so is received from that body.
C. Advisory Role
Through the Chancellor, the Faculty may advise the President of the University and The Board of Trustees concerning:
- All new degrees to be introduced at Purdue University Northwest;
- Policies and criteria for admission to programs;
- Policies governing the conduct and dismissal of students at Purdue University Northwest;
- Policies and administration of the library, audio-visual services, academic computing, and telecommunication resources and services of Purdue University Northwest;
- All proposed changes and procedures concerning the academic organization of Purdue University Northwest;
- The planning of the physical facilities and staff when these may affect the welfare of the Faculty and the students;
- Resource allocation and budget priorities of Purdue University Northwest;
- Policies affecting the general welfare, privileges, tenure and responsibilities of The Purdue University Northwest faculty, standards for appointment, and procedures for academic promotion of members of the faculty.
D. Appeal to Trustees
The Faculty shall in all instances have the right to present its views to The Board of Trustees through the President of the University on any faculty or administrative action pertaining to the conduct and welfare of Purdue University Northwest.
E. Purdue University System-wide Faculty Government
The Faculty shall be appropriately represented on all bodies dealing with matters of Purdue University system-wide concern.
IV. Composition of the Senate
A. The membership of the senate shall consist of the following:
- Two senators (one from each campus) representing each academic unit in PNW (academic units=the 19 Departments/Schools/Nursing College approved by The Purdue University Board of Trustees on 10/09/2015: excluding the Honors College) plus one Senator from the Calumet campus Library and one elected at-large Senator from the North Central campus, thus equaling 20 total Senators from each campus. If corresponding academic units do not exist on both campuses then an at-large Senator shall be elected at the campus with no corresponding faculty. These requirements will expire two academic years after the acceptance of this constitution by both Faculty Senates and the voting Faculty on both campuses. At that time, Article IV.A.1 will expire and the new Article IV.A.1 becomes: Total number of all senators should not be less than 14 percent of the total number of voting faculty at PNW. The By-laws shall determine the proportional representation for each of the 19 academic units established by the Purdue University Board of Trustees on 10/09/2015; excluding the Honors College. The Library faculty shall have one seat as the 20th academic unit. At-large senators may then be elected to meet the 14 percent requirement of the total number of voting faculty at PNW that must be represented.
- The President of the University, ex officio, without vote.
- The Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest, ex officio, without vote.
- The Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Information Services, Finance/Administrative Services, and Institutional Advancement all ex officio without vote.
B. Officers of the Senate
- Chair. The Chair of the Purdue University Northwest Senate shall serve as the Presiding Officer with vote. After serving one one-year term, the Chair may not serve as either Chair or Vice-Chair for a period of three years. Duties shall be as specified in the By-laws.
- Vice-Chair. Vice-Chair of the Purdue University Northwest Senate shall preside in the absence of the Chair and is the Chair-elect. Duties shall be as specified in the By-laws.
- Secretary. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Chair of the Senate and approved by the Agenda Committee. The Secretary shall serve without vote unless he or she is an elected member of the Senate. Duties shall be as specified in the By-laws.
- Sergeant at Arms. The Chair of the Senate shall select annually a Sergeant at Arms from the Senate membership. The Sergeant at Arms shall separate visitors from members of the Senate at meetings and carry out instructions of the Senate or the Chair during each meeting. The Sergeant of Arms shall serve with vote.
- Parliamentarian. The Chair of the Senate shall select annually the Parliamentarian of the Senate, who shall not be a voting member of the Senate. The Parliamentarian shall guide the Senate and the Chair on parliamentary procedure, and serve without vote.
- For the purposes of this document, the President of Purdue University is the President of the Purdue University Northwest Senate.
- The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate must represent different campuses and alternate the roles in the initial two academic year grace period. This requirement will expire two years after the acceptance of this constitution by both Faculty Senates and the voting Faculty on both campuses. At that time, IV.B.7 must be reopened and reviewed. It can be retained, or it can be changed/deleted following the amendment procedures outlined in Article X of the Constitution.
C. Election of Senators
- The normal term of an elected Senator shall be three years, beginning one week before the first Senate meeting of the fall academic term following his or her election. Senators may be re-elected to successive terms. The academic units shall complete the election of their senators (who are to assume office for the subsequent academic year) in the spring academic term and report the results to the Secretary of the Senate and to the Senate Nominating Committee Chair prior to the Senate’s last meeting of the academic year. The faculties of academic units shall determine their own methods for election of senators. The Senate shall establish procedures for electing its at-large members. Guidelines for elections by the academic units and the Senate’s at-large senators will be described in the By-laws. Senate leadership will conduct a regular review to ensure that the Senate is representative of all faculty.
- Senate terms will be staggered so that each academic unit elects senators for one year, two year, and three year terms, depending upon the number of senators. At-large senators will also be staggered terms expiring after one year, two year and three years of service, depending upon the number of at-large senators. If there is only one senator (academic unit or at-large) the term is three years. If two senators the terms are two years and three years. If three senators the terms are one year, two years and three years.
D. Removal of a Senator
The Senate shall have the power to remove a senator for just cause. Removal must be by secret ballot of two-thirds of voting senators. (“Voting senators” is defined as all members of the senate who are eligible to vote.) The Senate shall have the procedures for replacing a senator in the By-laws.
V. Operation of the Senate
- The Senate shall convene at least eight times during the regular academic year and may be convened for special sessions by the Senate Chair, by the petition of one third of the voting members of the Senate, or by the Chancellor.
- Two-thirds of the voting members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum.
- In the absence of the Senate Chair at a Senate meeting, the Vice-Chair shall call the meeting to order and shall preside over that meeting.
- The minutes of each meeting shall be distributed to the Faculty as specified in the By-laws.
- The Senate shall establish rules of procedure. However,
- No rules shall infringe upon the right of any member of the Faculty to present, in an appropriate manner, any proposal before a meeting of the Senate;
- Senators must be present to vote. No substitute shall be permitted to serve for the temporary absence of a Senator. In case of the inability of a Senator to complete a term the Senator shall be replaced;
- By a two-thirds vote of voting members present, the Senate may seek advice and counsel by a ballot from the Faculty on any issue.
- The Senate shall create the standing committees needed to exercise its general powers, responsibilities, and duties.
- The Senate may also create ad hoc committees and other groups and delegate to them specific powers should such bodies be beneficial in carrying out the Faculty’s responsibilities. However, the Senate shall retain, under all circumstances, the right to review the actions of any of these created agencies.
- The Senate shall be informed of the activities, studies, and recommendations of any Purdue University Northwest Committee upon which the Faculty are asked to serve, except under circumstances where Purdue University policy requires privacy and confidentiality.
VI. Powers and Responsibilities of the College Faculties
The faculties of the various colleges of Purdue University Northwest may exercise those authorities delegated to them by the Senate. The policies of the Senate take precedence over policies of colleges and administrative committees and councils.
VII. Legislative Powers of the Purdue University Northwest Faculty
As established in Article III, the powers and responsibilities of the Faculty shall be exercised by the Senate. However, the actions of the Senate shall be subject to review and check by the Faculty through the following procedures:
- At any convocation of the Faculty, past actions of the Senate may be brought to the floor for discussion. If a majority of those present rejects a previous action of the Senate, the Senate must reconsider this action at its next regular meeting.
- Any action taken by the Senate can be forced back to the Senate for reconsideration by faculty petition. Such a petition must be received by the Chair of the Senate within four weeks after the circulation of the Senate minutes covering the action. The petition must be signed by at least fifteen percent of the Faculty and state the specific action of the Senate and the petitioners’ reasons for objecting to this action. In either of the above procedures, if the Senate affirms its original action, the issue must be submitted by ballot to the Faculty. The decision of a simple majority of those voting in such a ballot shall be final.
VIII. Convocations of the Purdue University Northwest
- The Faculty shall be convened by the Senate Chair at least once a year to meet with the Chancellor. The Agenda Committee shall establish the agenda of convocations. Any item may be brought up for discussion and the Senate petitioned for action by the convened faculty.
- The Chair of the Senate shall preside over Faculty convocations.
- A special convocation of the Faculty can be convened by a majority of voting Senators or petition through the Senate by fifteen percent of the voting Faculty.
IX. Board of Trustees’ Responsibilities
Nothing in the above shall be construed as restraining The Board of Trustees from taking such action as they determine to be necessary in the discharge of their legal responsibilities.
Changes and amendments shall become effective when approved by the Senate, with a simple majority of those voting, and accepted by the voting Faculty, with a 60 percent majority of those voting.