What is it?

What is the Faculty Senate? The Basics

Selected passages from the MSUMFA Constitution & ByLaws, 2011

MSUMFA is the Minnesota State University Moorhead Faculty Association (the local chapter of the IFO)

Faculty Senate: The Faculty Senate has the authority to establish MSUMFA policies, to initiate actions and to review the actions and recommendations of the Executive Council and committees.


Composition: The Faculty Senate consists of the seven MSUMFA officers and twenty-two (22) elected representatives, called Senators.


The Senate’s Relationship to the Executive Council

The Executive Council is authorized to conduct Faculty Association business between Faculty Senate meetings, to carry out policies and directives approved by the Senate, to schedule meetings of the Senate, and to prepare agendas and recommendations for Senate meetings. The Executive Council may take action in response to urgent situations when convening a Senate meeting is impractical; such actions shall be promptly communicated to Senators and subject to their review.


Meetings: The Faculty Senate shall meet at least once each month during Fall and Spring semesters and such other times as needed. A schedule of monthly meetings shall be established near the beginning of each semester by the Executive Council, which is also authorized to call additional meetings. A quorum for passing motions shall exist when at least half of the senators are present. All meetings shall be open, except in such cases that the MSUMFA President or presiding officer calls the Senate into executive session to discuss confidential matters. Times, places, and agendas of meetings shall be publicized in advance to MSUMFA members.


Attendance: After three absences in a semester, a senate seat shall be considered vacant.


Duties: The Faculty Senate is authorized to discuss and make recommendations concerning any matter relating to academic policy, working conditions, aspects of student life relating to the educational process, or external university relations.


Committees: Such committees shall be established as are necessary to conduct the business of MSUMFA and to comply with the IFO Constitution and Operating Procedures. The Faculty Senate is also authorized to appoint faculty representatives to university committees, task forces, and other bodies to work toward the accomplishment of the purposes of this association.


The Senate is authorized to establish or propose committees and approve faculty participation in committees proposed by the MSUM President. The Senate is authorized to appoint faculty to all committees in which faculty are to be represented, though it may delegate that authority to the Executive Council. The Senate shall receive reports from the faculty whom they appoint and is authorized to review and make recommendations concerning any committee action that a senator requests to put on the agenda. No committee recommendation, with the exception of the Grievance Committee, is the official position of the MSUMFA until there has been an opportunity for its review at a scheduled Senate meeting. Any motion made in the Senate which receives a majority of the votes cast shall be the official position of the MSUMFA.


Restriction on committee appointments: Only MSUMFA members may vote in MSUMFA elections or serve as MSUMFA officers, senators, faculty representatives on committees, or in any other capacity representing the faculty of Minnesota State University Moorhead.