Aerial shot of Montclair State University's campus.

Senate Constitution

PREAMBLE

The Montclair State University community, committed to the concept of shared governance, to the encouragement of mutual respect and to a general concern for academic and administrative excellence, affirms the principles of open discussion, frequent and timely communication and direct involvement in the affairs and decision-making processes of the University as set forth in this Constitution of the University Senate of Montclair State University.

ARTICLE I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the University Senate of Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey.

ARTICLE II. Purpose, Authority, and Functions

SECTION A. Purpose

The purpose of this organization, in its role in the governance of the University, is to provide a forum for faculty, administrators, librarians, administrative professionals, professional staff, clinical and instructional specialists, and students to discuss and recommend policy on academic, administrative and student affairs issues to the Administration. At all times the University Senate shall recognize the prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Faculty/Professional Staff Exclusive Bargaining Representatives and the Student Government organizations.

SECTION B. Authority

  1. The University Senate’s recommendations are advisory in nature. The Board of Trustees, acting upon the advice of the administration, has the legal authority to make all personnel and curricular decisions. The existence of a University Senate does not confer managerial status on faculty members or professional staff.
  2. Nonetheless, when a policy recommendation is passed by a majority of the University Senate voting membership, and is communicated to the President of the University by the University Senate Executive Board, the agreed upon principle of shared governance mandates the Administration’ full consideration of the recommendation as the voice of the University community.
  3. It is incumbent on the President of the University to communicate to the University Senate the rationale(s) for rejecting or modifying University Senate recommendations.

SECTION C. Functions

In fulfilling its purpose, the University Senate shall:

  1. Initiate and review appropriate matters proposed for consideration.
  2. Establish, maintain and dissolve all University-wide standing, advisory and ad hoc committees that come under the purview of the University Senate, in consultation with the University President as needed.
  3. Serve as the agency to which the all University-wide committees that come under the purview of the University Senate will report
  4. Gather information and opinions for study.
  5. Communicate deliberations and policy positions to the full University community.
  6. Review and evaluate periodically the effectiveness of the University Senate’s role in the governance of the University.
  7. Provide procedures for change of structures and/or procedures of the University Senate.
  8. Establish bylaws for the conduct of University Senate business.
  9. Provide a forum for all represented and non-represented groups and individuals to voice their issues and concerns to the community.

ARTICLE III. Membership

SECTION A. Definitions

  1. Administrator: Anyone holding the following titles:
    • President of the University
    • Vice President of the University
    • Registrar, Associate Registrar and Bursar
    • Administrative Associate
    • Dean and Associate Dean
  2. Administrative Professional: Anyone holding the title of Director, Associate Director, Administrative Assistant, Assistant Vice president or Executive Assistant.
  3. Faculty: Anyone holding full-time, faculty status with the rank of Distinguished Professor, Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor or Instructor.
  4. Librarian: Anyone on the library staff who is eligible to be a member of the bargaining unit.
  5. Specialist: Anyone holding full-time Instructional or Clinical Specialist status.
  6. Adjunct Faculty: Anyone holding Adjunct Faculty status with instructional duties.
  7. Professional Staff: Anyone who is a member of the bargaining unit of Montclair State University as determined by PERC but who does not come under the definitions above or is not on the teaching staff of any of the schools of the University.
  8. Student: Anyone matriculated in a degree program.
  9. Support Staff: Anyone employed by the University on full-time basis to provide maintenance, secretarial, food or other such services.
  10. Ex Officio: Where membership on the University Senate or any of its councils is described as “ex officio” the presence of the ex officio members shall not be considered necessary for purposes of a quorum. Ex officio members shall serve without vote except where the University Senate bylaws allow for such voting on University committees.

SECTION B. Composition of the University Senate

University Senate members shall be elected or appointed representatives in accordance with the following constituencies and apportionments and as defined in Article III.A.

Membership = 60

Voting membership = 38

  •  26 representatives from schools/colleges:
    • 4 (3 faculty + 1 staff) from the School of Business
    • 4 (3 faculty + 1 staff) from the College of the Arts
    • 4 (3 faculty + 1 staff) from the College of Science and Mathematics
    • 5 (4 faculty + 1 staff) from the College of Education And Human Services
    • 7 (6 faculty + 1 staff) from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • 2 (1 faculty + 1 staff) from the School of Nursing
  • 12 representatives from
    • 3 At-large seats: Faculty/librarians/specialists eligible
    • 3 At-large seats: Professional staff members from the administrative units represented on campus not assigned to an academic unit (school or college).
    • 1 Librarian
    • 3 Specialists
    • 1 Adjunct
    • 1 Student: One undergraduate student who shall be appointed by the Executive Board/President of the SGA.

 Non-voting members:

  • Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, ex officio
  • President of AFT Local 1904, ex officio or designee
  • President of AFT Local 6025 Liaison, ex officio or designee
  • All Officers of the University bearing the title Vice President, each serving ex officio, or respective designee
  • Deans:
    • College of the Arts, ex officio or designee
    • College of Education and Human Services, ex officio or designee
    • College of Humanities and Social Sciences, ex officio or designee
    • College of Science and Mathematics, ex officio or designee
    • Feliciano School of Business, ex officio or designee
    • School of Nursing, ex officio or designee
    • University College, ex officio or designee
    • Graduate School, ex officio or designee
    • Library, ex officio or designee
    • Students, ex officio or designee
  • Chairperson of the Department Chairperson’s Council, ex officio
  • Administrative Professional Representative, appointed annually by the Provost

Exclusions: Anyone who holds a position designated as support staff. Any undergraduate student carrying fewer than three semester hours of academic work in a semester during which the University Senate is in session. Any graduate student carrying fewer than three semester hours of academic work in a semester during which the University Senate is in session.

SECTION C. Term of Office

  1. Each senator elected shall serve for three years.
  2. All schools shall elect one senator each year. Schools with four or five senators shall elect additional senators each year as required to replace senators whose terms have expired.
  3. When senators complete their terms of office, new elections shall be held to fill the vacancies. Senators shall be eligible for re-election.
  4. The student senator is appointed for a one-year term.
  5. Each newly elected senator shall receive an electronic copy of, or link to, the current Constitution of the University Senate.

SECTION D. Responsibilities of Membership

  1. It shall be the duty of each senator to attend the regularly scheduled meetings of the University Senate and any special meetings that may be called during the academic year.
  2. It shall be the duty of each senator to serve actively on a Council and to attend its meetings regularly. When three absences from Council meetings are incurred, it shall be the mutual responsibility of the senator and the Chair of that Council to seek re-assignment of the senator to another Council or to redress the attendance problem positively.
  3. It shall be the duty of each senator to carry out faithfully all Committee and special assignments that he or she has accepted.
  4. If for any reason a senator shall be unable to carry out the responsibilities of office, this senator shall report such condition to the President of the University Senate.

SECTION E. Resignations and Vacancies

  1. Resignations shall be submitted to the President of the University Senate and to the Recording Secretary and shall be reported in the minutes of the next meeting of the University Senate.
  2. Termination of employment of Montclair State University or termination of eligibility for University Senate membership shall constitute resignation from the University Senate.
  3. Unexcused absences from any three regularly scheduled meetings of the University Senate in any one academic year shall constitute resignation from the University Senate.
  4. When vacancies arise for seats with a remaining tenure of one to two years, an election shall take place in the constituency of the vacated seat in accordance with the election rules as set down in ARTICLE X. The election to fill the vacated seat shall be held no later than thirty days after publication of the resignation in the minutes of the University Senate. An exception to this rule shall be made when the thirty-day period overlaps a period when the University is not in session. In this case, an election shall be held within thirty days of the resumption of classes.
  5. When vacancies arise for University Senate seats with less than one year’s tenure remaining or for replacements for Senators on leave, the Executive Board shall appoint a person from the appropriate constituency to complete the term of office or term of leave.

ARTICLE IV. Officers and Their Duties

SECTION A. Officers

  1. Officers of the University Senate shall be elected by and from the voting membership of the University Senate at its annual organizational meeting. The four officers of the University Senate shall be:
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Recording Secretary
    • Corresponding Secretary
  2. All officers must be University Senate members throughout their terms. 

SECTION B. Terms of Office

  1. Terms of office shall be two years from June 1 through May 31.
  2. Vacancies prior to the expiration of the term of office shall be filled by a vote of the University Senate from its membership on a pro tem basis.
  3. The Senate President and Vice President are limited to two consecutive terms in any one office.  Those senators who have served two consecutive terms in these offices are eligible to run for a different elected position, or after a full term break, are eligible to run for a previously held position again.  In the case of a partial term – e.g., filing a board seat that becomes open during a term – service of one year plus one day will be considered a full term. Service less than this will not count as a term for the purposes of this amendment. This amendment is to be put in effect immediately to include the current President and Vice President.

SECTION C. Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall:
    • Preside at meetings of the University Senate and of the Executive Board.
    • Recommend to the Executive Board such changes as may be deemed necessary to improve the functioning of the University Senate.
    • Serve or appoint a designee to serve as an ex officio member, without vote, on all councils of the University Senate.
  2. The Vice President shall:
    • Fulfill the duties of the President in his/her absence.
    • Serve as the University Senate parliamentarian.
    • Serve as an assistant to the President.
    • Serve as Chair of the Constitution Committee.
    • Draft, in consultation with the Executive Board and the Constitution Committee, the motions for constitutional amendment to be presented to the University Senate.
    • Present motions for constitutional amendment to the University Senate.
  3. The Recording Secretary shall:
    • Keep minutes of all meetings of the University Senate and distribute them promptly to all University Senate members and the University community. Sufficient copies of the minutes shall be made available to the Administration for distribution to the Board of Trustees.
    • Keep minutes of all meetings of the Executive Board and distribute summaries when necessary to senators.
    • Monitor attendance at University Senate meetings and communicate names of absentees when appropriate.
    • Maintain archives of important papers of the University Senate.
  4. The Corresponding Secretary shall:
    • Publish advance notification and the agenda for all meetings of the University Senate and any other meetings which arise from University Senate action or petition.
    • Carry on correspondence pertinent to the University Senate and its activities.
    • Serve as Chair of the Elections Committee.

ARTICLE V. Executive Board

SECTION A. Membership

The Executive Board shall consist of the four elected officers of the University Senate, the chairpersons of the Councils and the Negotiations Agent Liaison.  The immediate past President of the Senate is invited to participate in the Executive Board functions at his/her pleasure, as long as s/he is an active member of the University community. 

SECTION B. Functions of the Executive Board

The Executive Board shall:

  1. Coordinate the work of the University Senate.
  2. Plan agendas for full University Senate meetings.
  3. Organize the University Senate Councils in accordance with the provisions set forth in ARTICLE VI.
  4. Refer matters to the appropriate units of the University Senate for consideration.
  5. Establish direct lines of communication and reporting with all relevant University committees.
  6. Assure prompt distribution of its own and all other University Senate actions to all senators and the University community. Sufficient copies of any such actions shall be made available to the administration for distribution to the Board of Trustees.
  7. Cooperatively develop and review the nature of the relationship between the University Senate and the administration and between the University Senate and the faculty/professional staff exclusive bargaining representatives.
  8. Cooperatively establish with the administration standard procedures for consulting appropriate administrative officers whenever administrative policies, actions, or decisions are studied by the University Senate or its councils and committees or whenever administrators request study and discussion of contemplated administrative decisions.
  9. Cooperatively establish with the Faculty/Professional Staff Exclusive Bargaining Representatives standard procedures for consultation whenever the Exclusive Bargaining Representatives request study and discussion of contemplated Exclusive Bargaining Representative decisions.
  10. Facilitate the review and communication of minority positions to the University Senate and other appropriate bodies.
  11. Monitor attendance, through the Recording Secretary, and communicate with absentees.
  12. When special circumstances warrant, be empowered to issue statements or make recommendations on matters normally the province of other units of the University Senate.
  13. Maintain communication with the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees regarding University Senate issues.

 ARTICLE VI. Councils

SECTION A. Names

  1. Academic Affairs
  2. Administrative Affairs
  3. Student Affairs 

SECTION B. Membership

  1. All voting members of the University Senate shall be nominated to council seats except the Officers.
  2. Non-voting University Senate members may participate in council discussions without vote.
  3. No council shall have fewer than nine members including the Chair.
  4. Council assignments shall be for one (1) year, save for the Chair, who shall be elected by the Senate for a term of two (2) years.
  5. In determining the distribution of senators among the Councils, the Executive Board shall give primary consideration to the expressed preferences of each senator.

SECTION C. General Purposes

  1. Each council, in cooperation with the Standing and Advisory Committees in its areas of responsibility, shall participate in the formulation of recommendations and policy positions bearing upon the council’s area of concern.
  2. Each council shall seek out and identify problems and concerns within its area of responsibility.
  3. Each council shall be responsible to the University Senate for the review and continuous evaluation of the affairs of the University community within the area of the council’s charge and concern.

SECTION D. Responsibilities

  1. Councils shall receive statements and/or recommendations from any group or individual in the University community for review, comment, or action.
  2. Councils shall receive Standing and Advisory Committee reports.
  3. Councils shall review committee reports and bring policy recommendations or resolutions to the University Senate for discussion and approval. Recommendations about procedural matters shall be forwarded directly by the committee to the appropriate administrator, with a copy to the council.
  4. A council’s recommendation or resolution may not veto a committee’s report or revise a committee’s proposal. A council may forward a dissent for deliberation by the full University Senate.
  5. Councils shall inform committees of all actions taken. 

SECTION E. Academic Affairs Council

  1. The purpose of the Academic Affairs Council shall be to participate in the formulation of policy positions bearing upon the academic life of the University, such as:
    • Threats to academic freedom not covered contractually through the agreement with the Faculty/Professional Staff Exclusive Bargaining Representatives. “Academic freedom,” however, is defined contractually.
    • Undergraduate and graduate curricula and degrees.
    • Undergraduate, graduate and extension programs and courses.
    • Grading and evaluation of students.
    • Academic direction and standards for research programs and facilities.
  2. Functions of the Academic Affairs Council shall be carried out through committees as described in the bylaws. 

SECTION F. Administrative Affairs Council

  1. The purpose of the Administrative Affairs Council shall be to participate in the formulation of policy positions bearing upon the ongoing conduct and the general development and expansion of the University, such as:
    • Facilities
    • Scheduling and reservations procedures
    • Internal and external communications
    • Investigation of new programs, needs, and opportunities
    • Priorities in the fiscal support of University programs
    • Budget preparation
  2. Functions of the Administrative Affairs Council shall be carried out through committees as described in the bylaws. 

SECTION G. Student Affairs Council

  1. The purpose of the Student Affairs Council shall be to participate in the formulation of policy positions bearing upon student life of the University, such as:
    • Faculty-student relations
    • Student rights and responsibilities
    • Investigation of student needs
    • University Senate liaison with the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Organization
  2. Functions of the Student Affairs Council shall be carried out through committees as described in the bylaws.

ARTICLE VII. Negotiations Agent Liaison

SECTION A.

  1. The liaison shall be a voting member of the University Senate. The officers of Local 1904 will nominate a person for the position which will be confirmed by the University Senate though a vote of its membership for a seat on the Executive Board. If the nominee does not receive a majority vote of Senators, Local 1904 will submit another name as per these procedures.
  2. Term of office shall be two years, from June 1 through May 31.
  3. Vacancies prior to the expiration of the term of office shall be filled using the aforementioned procedures and serve the remainder of the term.

SECTION B.

The liaison must be a voting member of the University Senate and an active member in good standing of the faculty/professional staff Bargaining Agent and will be elected by the University Senate to the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VIII. Constitution Committee

SECTION A. Composition and Term

The committee shall be composed of the Vice President of the University Senate who shall serve as Chair, and at least three voting senators appointed each year by the President of the Senate, and presented to the Senate for approval. 

SECTION B. Responsibilities

The committee shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Maintaining, revising and amending the University Senate Constitution as approved by the University Senate.
  2. Proposing amendments as needed, and responding to petitions for amendment as specified in the Constitution and bylaws of the University Senate.
  3. Drafting and proposing motions for amendment in consultation with the Senate Executive Board.

ARTICLE IX. University Senate Committees

SECTION A. Structure

The committee structure of the University Senate shall be as outlined in the bylaws of the University Senate Constitution. 

SECTION B. Eligibility

Any member of the University community as defined in ARTICLE III. A. and ARTICLE III. B., is eligible for committee membership. 

SECTION C. Reporting

  1. All University-wide committees that come under the purview of the University Senate are considered committees of the University Senate except those established and described contractually between the Faculty/Professional Staff Exclusive Bargaining Representatives and the University.
  2. All committees of the University Senate shall report procedural and policy recommendations directly to the appropriate councils and, with the approval of the Senate, to the appropriate university bodies and administrators.
  3. All committees of the University Senate shall report policy recommendations to the appropriate Council. 

SECTION D. Standing Committees

  1. Standing Committee appointments shall be made in the following ways:
    • Administrators shall appoint their representatives.
    • Faculty, clinical and instructional specialists, administrative professionals, professional staff and librarians either shall be nominated by the University Senate’s Executive Board and approved by the University Senate or in certain cases shall be elected.
    • Student representatives either shall be appointed by the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Organization or shall be elected.
    • Membership on contractual committees shall continue to be as specified by the contract.
  2. Any member of the campus community may bring an issue before a standing committee or before the University Senate. The Executive Board of the University Senate may decide to refer the issue to an appropriate committee or may choose to place it on the University Senate’s agenda.
  3. Committee appointments shall be three-year rotating terms for faculty, professional staff, librarians and administrators. Students shall be appointed for one-year terms, renewable for up to three years. 

SECTION E. Other Committees

  1. Advisory Committees are constituted by the administrator in charge of that committee. They assist in evaluating the effectiveness of existing policy for recommending policy for a particular program or division. They shall report regularly to the administrator in charge and report to the University Senate on a regular basis.
  2. Contractual Committees are created through collective bargaining agreements.
  3. Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces, when needed, shall be created through consultation between the University Senate and the University President. It is understood that, even in emergencies, the President shall communicate with the University Senate Executive Board before creating a Task Force.

ARTICLE X. Elections

SECTION A. Elections Committee

  1. Appointments to the Elections Committee shall be recommended by the Executive Board for approval by the University Senate at the first meeting of the University Senate in the Fall semester.
  2. The Elections Committee shall serve for two years.
  3. In every case, the Elections Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of all elections that come under the purview of the University Senate, the collection and tabulation of paper and/or electronic ballots and the publication of the results.
  4. The Elections Committee shall be the final arbiter in all disputes arising from election procedures, subject to the review of the University Senate.
  5. Elections shall be conducted in such a manner as to provide for the secrecy and integrity of the ballots and the accuracy of the tabulation.
  6. The Elections Committee shall retain ballots, if any, and records of all elections of members to the University Senate for three years.
  7. The President of the University Senate shall provide the Elections Committee with a list of all members of University Senate constituencies before December 1 of each year.
  8. The Elections Committee shall ensure that the University committees that come under the purview of the University Senate are staffed, by
    • circulating lists of openings on committees and soliciting nominations for membership.
    • requesting the Elections Committee to organize elections for membership on committees which have been designated in the University Senate bylaws as elective.
    • in the case of committees, if any, which have been designated as appointive in the bylaws, furnishing the University Senate with a list of proposed names for ratification, in collaboration and consultation with the President of the Senate.
    • making recommendations to fill unexpired terms on University standing committees.

SECTION B. Nominations and Publication of the Ballot

  1. Any eligible member defined as eligible in ARTICLE III. A and ARTICLE III. B may be nominated to the University Senate.
  2. Nominations shall be by written petition bearing the signature of the nominee, submitted to the Elections Committee.
  3. The Elections Committee shall acknowledge receipt of a nominating petition.
  4. The Elections Committee shall publish the results of the final ballot for each election.
  5. When the number of nominees for a single vacant position exceeds eight, a preliminary election shall be held. The three candidates with the largest number of votes shall be the nominees in a run-off election. In elections where more than one vacancy exists (such as the election for four at-large seats), a preliminary election shall be held if the total number of candidates exceeds sixteen, to reduce the field to a number three times the number of seats. A run-off election shall be held.
  6. All nomination announcements and ballots shall clearly designate the terms of office for each vacant position.
  7. The Elections Committee shall provide an electronic copy of, or web link/URL to, the current constitution and by-laws of the University Senate to all the candidates competing for positions in University Senate elections, as well as to all the senators by the first Senate meeting of each academic year.

SECTION C. Election Sequence

  1. Elections for at-large senators shall be held in February, beginning with an announcement of vacant positions to the campus community the first week of February.
  2. Unsuccessful at-large candidates may run for other unfilled constituent positions.
  3. Nomination announcements for other constituent positions shall be sent to each member of constituent groups immediately upon the completion of the at-large elections.
  4. All constituent and at-large elections shall be concluded by April 30 to assure that the membership is in order.

SECTION D. Method of Voting

  1. Eligible persons shall cast one vote for each vacant position in University Senate elections.
  2. Additional ballot procedures, if any, shall be as set forth in the bylaws of the University Senate. 

SECTION E. Special Elections

In the event that a senator resigns during the first two years of a term, a special election shall be conducted during the regular election process to complete the term. The person elected shall be seated immediately. 

SECTION F. Election of the Executive Board

  1. The Elections Committee shall organize the election of the members of the Executive Board.
  2. Executive Board elections are held at the annual organizational meeting of the University Senate.
  3. Any senator or senator-elect may run for, or be nominated to, Executive Board positions. The Negotiations Agent Liaison will be nominated and confirmed to the Executive Board using the procedures set forth in Article VII, Section B.
  4. The Elections Committee shall publish announcements for the Executive Board elections no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the annual organizational meeting of the University Senate. All announcements and ballots shall clearly designate the terms of office for each of the Executive Board positions.
  5. Candidacies and nominations shall be by written petition, bearing the name and signature of each candidate or nominee submitted to the Elections Committee no later than May 1. All subsequent nominations shall be brought forth from the floor during the annual organizational meeting of the University Senate.
  6. The Elections Committee shall acknowledge receipt of all candidacies and/or nominating petitions.
  7. The Elections Committee shall disseminate the list or lists of candidates, nominees and related rationales to all the senators and senators-elect no later than ten (10) days prior to the annual organizational meeting of the University Senate.
  8. Candidates to the Executive Board will be elected individually.
  9. When there is more than one candidate for any of the Executive Board positions, voting for the contested positions is by secret ballot.
  10. When only one candidate per position is running, the election is considered uncontested and the candidate is elected by a majority of the voting members present at the meeting.
  11. The Elections Committee shall publish the anonymized numerical results of the final ballot for each of the contested Executive Board positions.
  12. At the Senate organizational meeting in May, and prior to the election of the Executive Board, each candidate shall be given the opportunity to introduce himself/herself up to five minutes and make a short statement. 

ARTICLE XI. Meetings

SECTION A. Regular Meetings

  1. Meetings of the full University Senate shall be held at regularly scheduled times. The Senate shall hold regular meetings from opening day in September to Commencement at the end of the academic year. Only emergency business, including special meetings, shall be conducted during the months of June, July and August.
  2. Announcement of the time and place of the meeting and an agenda shall be published at least one week in advance of regular meetings.
  3. Regular meetings shall be open to all members of the University community for the purpose of enabling them to hear discussion of agenda items. A period of each meeting shall be set aside for open discussion of agenda items.
  4. The President of the University Senate, the Executive Board, or the University Senate by resolution, shall have the power to invite any person to address the University Senate.

 SECTION B. Special Meetings

  1. A special meeting of the University Senate may be called at a designated time and place by the President of the University Senate.
  2. Special meetings may also be called by:
    • the Executive Board at the request of the President of the University.
    • the Executive Board of the University Senate, a Council of the University Senate, ten senators or 10% of the University faculty.
  3. A special meeting of any council or committee of the University Senate may be called at a designated time and place by the President of the University Senate, or the Chair of the council or committee, or the Executive Board of the University Senate, or the request of any three members of the council or committee. 

SECTION C. Organizational Meeting

An annual organizational meeting of the University Senate shall be held at the last University Senate meeting in May.

SECTION D. Seating of New Senators

  1. The new senators, as well as the new Senate, are seated at the annual organizational meeting of the University Senate.
  2. Although the terms of office of the new senators shall technically be three years from the last organizational meeting through the next organizational meeting of each academic year, the new Senate may conduct emergency business as soon as seated in May.

ARTICLE XII. Transaction of Business

SECTION A. Initiation of Action

  1. The University Senate and its councils and committees shall seek out and identify problems and concerns within their areas of responsi­bility.
  2. The University Senate or any of its councils or committees shall be open to written suggestions by any member of the University community.
    • Suggestions intended to be placed on the agenda of the University Senate or council or committee shall be directed through members of the University Senate to the Executive Board of the University Senate which shall make the appropriate decision on action to be taken.
    • A petition of five senators or 5% of the faculty shall be sufficient to place a matter on the agenda of the University Senate or specified committee.
  3. The agenda of each council shall be drafted by the Chair after taking cognizance of items received.
  4. The agenda of the University Senate shall be drafted by the President of the University Senate after consultation with the Executive Board in accordance with the principles set forth above. 

SECTION B. Nature of Sessions

  1. A quorum of the University Senate shall consist of one-half plus one of the voting membership. The total used to compute a quorum shall not include vacant seats.
  2. Minutes of the University Senate and its councils shall include all motions, decisions and recommendations.
  3. Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised, shall be the governing rules of University Senate sessions, except where inconsistent with the University Senate’s Constitution and/or by-laws.
  4. Before each meeting, the Corresponding Secretary shall send to each member of the University Senate and the administrative officers of the University, the agenda, any proposed resolutions and any reports scheduled for discussion.
  5. All communications to the University Senate shall be addressed to the President of the University Senate.

ARTICLE XIII. Amendments to the University Senate Constitution

SECTION A. Procedures for Submission of Amendments

Proposed amendments to the Constitution of the University Senate may generally and procedurally be discussed as agenda items as a result of action initiated in accordance with the provisions of ARTICLE XI, SECTION A.

Specifically, however, proposals to amend the Constitution of the University Senate may be brought to the University Senate:

  1. By the Executive Board, or
  2. In writing, by any University constituency, supported by the signatures of at least seven (7) of the voting members of the University Senate (the total used to compute the quorum shall not include vacant seats), or
  3. By petition to the University Senate, supported by the signatures of one hundred (100) full-time faculty, specialists, librarians and professional staff, or
  4. By the University Senate councils and committees.

Proposed amendments to this Constitution that meet any of the above four criteria may be submitted to the University Senate at any regular meeting.

All proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be remanded to the Constitution Committee. The Constitution Committee shall report on all pending proposals at each Senate meeting and bring them up for a first reading after no later than two meetings.

SECTION B. Voting on Proposed Amendments

  1. The Constitution Committee shall prepare the motions as well as the language of the motions for amendment to be presented to the University Senate for a first reading. The Constitution Committee will meet and consult with the Executive Board prior to bringing motions forward to the floor of the University Senate for a first reading.
  2. The Constitution Committee shall circulate a written and/or an electronic copy of the proposed amendments to all the members of the University Senate prior to the first reading.
  3. All proposed amendment shall be circulated at least fifteen (15) days prior to each reading. Proposals received fewer than 15 days prior to the next meeting shall be carried over to the following scheduled meeting.
  4. There will be three readings of proposed amendments; the third reading is the final reading; amendments must be voted upon at the third and final reading; in the event the proposed amendment is deemed insufficiently discussed or not ready for a vote, a motion to postpone must be introduced; motions to postpone a vote must be supported by two-thirds of the eligible voting members who are present at the meeting; the total used to compute the quorum shall not include vacant seats; there shall be no more than two postponements.
  5. Ratification of a proposed amendment by the University Senate shall require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the eligible voting members who are present at the meeting; the total used to compute the quorum shall not include vacant seats.
  6. An amendment to the Constitution will take effect immediately upon the final vote approving the motion to make the amendment, unless otherwise specified in the text of that motion.  The Corresponding Secretary will ensure that the text of the Constitution, as amended, is available to the University community and will provide timely notice to the University community of all amendments enacted.

April 1991

Amended and Approved by the Faculty Senate May 1991

Prepared by the Constitution Committee: Jack Sacher, Kay Wilkins, Alyce Miller, Saundra-Collins (Acting Chair)

Corrected August 1995

Amended and Approved by the University Senate of Montclair State University, April 2016
Amendments prepared by the University Senate Constitution Committee: Daniel Mengara (Chair, 2010-2016), Todd Kelshaw (Fall 2012-Spring 2014), Patrali Chatterjee (Fall 2013-Spring 2015), Gabriel Rubin (Fall 2012-Spring 2016), Nyieta Charlot (Fall 2013-Spring 2016), Douglas Murray (March 2015-Spring 2016)

June 27, 2016 (DM); December 21, 2016 (DM); November 2017 (DM); May 2018 (DM); October 2018 (DM); November 2019 (DM);