WEST LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
FACULTY SENATE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Adopted October 4, 1972; Revised April 28, 1992, 2004, April 21, 2009, March 16, 2010,
March 19, 2013 and February 16, 2016.
A. Constitution of the Faculty Senate of West Liberty University.
With full recognition that ultimate decisions at West Liberty University are vested in the
President of the University by the West Liberty University Board of Governors under the
guidance of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, members of the Faculty are
devoted to the concept of faculty participation in academic governance. Convinced that no
institution can rely entirely on the judgment of one person or a small group of persons for the
optimum development of the University’s goals, the Faculty believes that an authoritative faculty
voice should provide advice and guidance to the Administration so that the President, Provost,
and Deans need not rely on isolated and random opinions purporting to represent faculty
The Senate therefore proposes to take in its province any subject of interest to the Faculty, to
hold hearings on any matter it elects to review, to appoint committees for additional study of
problems brought before it, and then to formulate and submit to the President
recommendations on University policy and the resolution of problems. Through these means
the Senate is pledged to be responsive to the needs not only of faculty members but also of
students and all members of the academic community. This Senate is created to continue
through elected representatives the faculty function of serving as a legislative body for matters
within its jurisdiction, chiefly matters of academic policy.
Article I: Authority
Section 1. The origin for the organization and establishment of the Faculty Senate derives from
a resolution passed by the Faculty of West Liberty University.
Section 2. The Faculty Senate is the representative body of the entire Faculty of West Liberty
Section 3. The Faculty Senate will become operative pursuant to this Constitution and its
Bylaws immediately following approval at a faculty meeting.
Article II: Composition and Membership of the Faculty Senate
Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall be composed of the Faculty. Other constituents of the
University are welcome guests.
Section 2. Only faculty, as defined in Article 1 of the Bylaws, may be voting members of the
Section 3. The President and Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs of WLU are ex-officio
members of the Faculty Senate.
Section 4. The elected member of the Advisory Council of Faculty shall serve as an ex-officio
and voting member of the Faculty Senate.
Article III: Election of Senators
Section 1. All elections of the Faculty Senators shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules
of Election stated in the Senate Bylaws.
Section 2. Elections of Faculty Senators shall be held during April of even numbered years.
Section 3. Faculty Senators shall be elected for a two-year term.
Section 4. Term of office shall begin on July 1 of even numbered years.
Section 5. All vacancies in the Senate shall be filled in accordance with the procedures outlined
in the Bylaws, Article 3.
Article IV: Officers and Their Election
Section 1. The presiding Chairperson Vice-Chairperson and Secretary, of the Faculty Senate
shall be elected by the new Senate at a special April meeting for a two-year term.
Section 2. Senate officers will assume their offices on July 1 and preside over the Senate until
June 30 of the next even numbered year.
Section 3. The Senate officers, together with the heads of the standing committees as outlined
in the Bylaws, shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 4. The duties of all officers shall be those which are ordinarily assigned to such offices
and such additional duties as are described in this Constitution and its Bylaws.
Section 5. Vacancies in any office of the Faculty Senate shall be filled in accordance with the
procedure established in Article 3 of the Bylaws.
Article V: Meetings of the Faculty Senate
Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall hold meetings on a regular basis at least quarterly.
Section 2. The Chairperson, or in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside over all
meetings of the Faculty Senate.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson upon his/her initiative, or at the
request of the President of the University, or upon petition in writing to the Chairperson signed
by one-third of the Senate membership. The Chairperson shall be required to give 48 hours
notice to all Senators as to the time and place of all special meetings.
Section 4. Notice of all meetings shall be in writing and shall be delivered via campus mail or
Section 5. A quorum of any regular or special meeting of the Faculty Senate shall be a simple
majority of the membership.
Section 6. Except as specified in the Bylaws, any member of the faculty, any administrative
officer and any student may attend the meetings of the Senate and may express his views upon
recognition by the presiding officer. Only Faculty Senators, however, may propose a motion or
cast a vote.
Section 7. The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of all regular and
special meetings. Copies of the minutes shall be distributed to each faculty. Copies of minutes
shall be published on the Faculty Senate web page.
Article VI: Agenda: Motions and Resolutions
Section 1. Items are placed on the agenda by either the Chair of the Senate or the members of
the executive committee. Any faculty member, Senator, or the current SGA President may
request an item be placed on the agenda through their Senator or directly to any member of the
Section 2. A motion to overrule an action of the Faculty Senate must be announced prior to the
meeting as a specific agenda item
Section 3. Except for motions of a procedural nature, motions or resolutions proposing Senate
action may be introduced from the floor without previous inclusion on the agenda only by
consent of two-thirds of the members present.
Section 4. All motions or resolutions, in order to be included on the agenda, must be submitted
to any member of the Senate Executive Committee at least 7 calendar days before the meeting
at which they are to be introduced.
Section 5. The agenda shall be sent to each member of the Senate at least 5 calendar days
before a regularly scheduled meeting. In the case of special meetings, the Chairperson shall
inform each Senator at least 48 hours before the meeting.
Section 6. Resolutions germane to any subject set forth in the agenda may be passed by a
majority vote of members present and voting. Other matters may be brought up for discussion
by a Senator at any meeting if a two-thirds majority of those present and voting concur.
Article VII: Functions of the Faculty Senate
Section 1. As the representative body of the Faculty, the Faculty Senate has any and all powers
delegated to it by the Faculty, the President; and the Board of Governors. The faculty hereby
delegates to the Senate its responsibilities to formulate policies and make recommendations as
well as the selection of faculty representatives to committees with the exception noted in
Section 2 of this Article and Section 1 of Article IX and exceptions required by West Virginia
State Law (eg: member of Advisory Board, faculty representative to Board of Governors, etc.).
In regard to policy formulation the Faculty Senate as a legislative body shall have the primary
responsibility for decisions in academic matters. Such matters shall include but not necessarily
be limited to the following: standards for admission, selection, and retention of students;
requirements of the granting of degrees; curricular requirements for general education, majors
and minors, and professional education; development of programs of research,
experimentation, and instruction. The Board of Governors and the President of the University
are expected to concur with faculty judgment in these areas except in rare instances and for
compelling reasons which shall be stated in detail.
Section 2. Any action of the Senate may be brought before a meeting of the Faculty for review.
Actions of the Senate or Senate Committees may be reviewed, modified, or nullified by the
faculty in one of two ways: first, through submission to the general faculty for its consideration
by a majority vote of the Senate, or secondly, through a petition for a meeting of the general
faculty signed by at least 20% of the members of the general faculty. This petition shall explicitly
state the matter or matters to be the subject of the petitioned meeting. Petitions are to be
submitted to the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Chairperson of Faculty
Meetings. The petitioned meeting or meetings must be held within two weeks of the distribution
of the minutes of the relevant Senate action to the faculty for any Senate action to be modified
or nullified. Such modifications or nullification shall be effective only by a vote of two-thirds of
the faculty at the petitioned meeting or meetings, with at least 50% of the faculty present
Section 3. The Faculty Senate shall elect its own officers pursuant to the procedures outlined in
Section 4. The Faculty Senate shall elect or select the committees and subcommittees and
establish whatever rules and procedures necessary for their functioning, consistent with this
Constitution and its Bylaws.
Section 5. The Faculty Senate may adopt, amend, or repeal any Bylaws, rules or procedures
relating to the conduct of its business and the duties and functions of its officers and
committees by a two-thirds majority of the voting members of the Senate.
Section 6. The Faculty Senate shall transmit its recommendations to the President and the
Provost via the Chairperson. In appropriate cases the Senate shall transmit its
recommendations to the Board of Governors.
Section 7. The Senate shall transmit its official minutes to each faculty member by campus mail
or campus e-mail and post a copy on its web page.
Section 8. The Faculty Senate shall assume responsibility for the periodic revision and editing of
the Faculty Handbook, which shall contain this Constitution and state the established policies of
the University in all matters relating to the faculty. Such revisions will be submitted to the
President for approval.
Section 9. The Chairperson of the Senate shall be responsible for officially informing the
President and the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs of the transactions of the Senate
and for informally discussing these and related matters with them.
Section 10. The officers of the Faculty Senate shall be responsible for keeping the Faculty
properly informed and the individual Senators shall communicate regularly with their
Article VIII: Referendum and Recall
Section 1. The procedure for initiating referendum or recall is stated in the Bylaws.
Section 2. In order to remove a Senator from office, 60 percent of his constituents must vote in
favor of recall, and notify the Senate Chairperson by letter of their decision.
Section 3. In order to recall a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (e.g. the
Chair of the Senate, the Vice Chair of the Senate, a Chair of a Committee, Secretary, or any
other office of the Executive Committee) an officer voted into office by the Senate may be
recalled by a vote of the Senate. A motion to recall an individual officer of the Senate to be
placed on the agenda must be in writing and bear the signature of the movant senator and two
supporting or verifying signatures. The original motion is to be included (scanned) in the minutes
of the Faculty Senate session by the Recording Secretary of the Senate. The motion of a
proposed recall shall be introduced at a meeting of the Senate in general assembly, and the
actual vote of recall shall then be at the next meeting of the Senate in general assembly. After
discussion the vote shall be a secret ballot. A majority of 60% or greater of the quorum shall
recall the individual officer from the Executive Committee.
Article IX: Amendment
Section 1. This Constitution may be changed or amended at a faculty meeting by a two-thirds
majority of the faculty, with at least 50% of the faculty present.
B. Bylaws of the Constitution of the Faculty Senate of West Liberty University.
Article I: Definition of Faculty
Section 1. Only full-time faculty members (including those with released time assignments who
teach) may serve as voting members of the Faculty Senate. A faculty member is the holder of
the academic rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, or
Lecturer. These persons are distinguished from administrative officers and staff members by the
fact that their (the faculty) primary employment is teaching.
Selection 2. In those cases where the Board of Governors recognizes a person as full-time
teacher even though he/she is a part-time administrator, such recognition renders the person a
full-time faculty member for purposes of this Constitution.
Section 3. Whenever doubt arises as to the status of any individual, the ruling of the
Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs will be sought.
Article II: Election of Senators
Section 1. Faculty Senators are to be chosen by the Academic Colleges. Apportionment of
Faculty Senate seats shall be according to the formula stated in Appendix A of these Bylaws.
Every effort should be made in elections to include representation from constituencies within
Section 1.5. The Senate will reapportion itself in March of each even numbered year based on
the current faculty membership and prior to the April election of Faculty Senators.
Section 2. Election of Faculty Senators shall take place in April of each even numbered year.
Terms are for two years commencing on July 1 and expiring at midnight on June 30 of the next
even numbered year.
Section 3. Senatorial constituencies will select Faculty Senators and alternates according to
procedures agreed upon by those constituencies. Every effort should be made to include
representation from all constituencies in each College.
Article III: Vacancies in the Faculty Senate
Section 1. When a vacancy occurs, the Chairperson of the Senate shall fill it by notifying the
vacant constituency’s alternate who then becomes Senator. The constituency is then to select
a new alternate. The alternate may attend Senate meetings with voting privileges in the absence
of a Senator. If there is no alternate available, the Chairperson will notify the department head of
Section 2. A seat may be declared vacant by the Executive Board of the Senate in the event of
3 successive unexcused absences by the elected Senator.
Section 3. The Senate Chairperson will notify, by letter, (a) nonparticipating member(s) of their
status as such and will urge the member’s return to the Senate.
Section 4. In special cases where a vacancy occurs in a college, and there is no ability to fill the
vacancy from the college’s constituency, the vacancy may be filled by another faculty member
willing to serve on their behalf. In cases such as this, the Senate Chair and the Chair of the
department will work together to identify and elect suitable faculty.
Article IV: Meetings
Section 1. Regular meetings are open to any member of the faculty or administrative officer of
the University, or any student, as are all committee and subcommittee meetings.
Section 2. The agenda of the Faculty Senate and the minutes of the Faculty Senate shall be
distributed to all members of the Faculty and Administration.
Article V: Faculty Initiated Petitions, Proposals and Referendums
Section 1. At least 20% of the members of the faculty who are eligible to vote in Faculty Senate
elections may petition for a meeting of the general faculty to review, modify, or nullify any
Senate action in accordance with Section 2 of Article VII of the Faculty Senate Constitution.
Section 2. A referendum by the general faculty may be initiated by majority vote of the Senate in
accordance with Section 2 of Article VII of the Faculty Senate Constitution.
Section 3. In order to recall their Senator, sixty percent of the constituency need to vote in favor
of recall, and to notify the Senate Chairperson in writing of their decision.
Article VI: Committees and Subcommittees
Section 1. All committees and subcommittees will be established by the Faculty Senate at its
first regular meeting. The first vacancy will be filled by the nominee receiving the greatest
number of votes, etc, until all vacancies are filled. The chairperson of a standing committee
must be a Senator. If a Committee Chair is unable to perform the Committee chair duties, the
Senate Chair can propose a motion to replace the Chair by a majority vote of the Faculty
Senate. The membership of ad hoc committees created to study specific problems will be
determined by the chairperson. The Senate will also establish whatever rules and procedures it
deems necessary for the functions of such committees and subcommittees, consistent with the
Constitution and these Bylaws.
Section 2. The faculty senate will determine which, if any, standing committees it will constitute.
There are two positions which must be filled at the first meeting: The Faculty Senate Finance
Chair and the Representative to the Provost committee to revise handbook.
Section 3. The chairpersons of these standing committees shall constitute the executive board.
The Senate Chair can invite chairs of ad hoc committees, parliamentarian, ACF representative,
and other faculty, to join the executive board.
Article VII: Amendments and Bylaws
Section 1. These Bylaws or any portion thereof may be repealed or amended by two-thirds
majority vote of the voting members of the Faculty Senate.
Section 2. In cases not covered by the Constitution or Bylaws, the parliamentary procedure to
be followed in conducting Faculty Senate meetings will be the current edition of Parliamentary
Procedure at a Glance by 0. Garfield Jones.
Section 3. The Chairperson will appoint a Parliamentarian to serve at the pleasure of the Faculty
Faculty Senate Representative Apportionment Formula: Representation is by College
and is to total approximately 15% of the faculty
Number of Faculty in College Number of Representatives:
17- 23 3
24 -29 4
For Programs with a program director, consult the Provost and College Dean to
determine which department the Program resides.
Although representation is elected by department, reasonable efforts must be made
to include representation from stand-alone programs with program directors.
Appendix B: Procedures for election of senators
Each Dean will convene a meeting for election in early April.
Each unit will have prepared a list of possible candidates for this meeting to ensure
adequate representation of each unit in the College. A list of elected representatives
and alternates should be forwarded to the current Faculty Senate Chair and the
Provost as soon as possible after the meeting.
A unit is defined as any department, program, et. al., within a college.