The Faculty Senate: Purposes, Powers, and Functions

Below are the sections of Article II of the Faculty Senate Constitution that describe the purposes, powers, and functions of the Faculty Senate.


Section 1. The Faculty Senate shall take within its province any subject of interest to the faculty, the administration, and the student body. With respect to the general welfare of the university, the Faculty Senate shall serve as the major legislative, advisory, and review body of the faculty. It shall investigate, debate, and communicate to the faculty those matters deemed to be in the best interests of the university. Academic policy decisions, or matters construed to impinge on the academic decisions, shall be the primary responsibility of the Faculty Senate. The faculty may call a referendum upon any of the actions of the Faculty Senate. Actions of the Faculty Senate shall become the policy of the institution unless for serious and compelling reasons the University President rejects in writing such actions within fifteen working days following submission by the Faculty Senate. All measures receiving presidential approval, or which, are not specifically rejected by the University President, shall be considered binding subject to the final approval, if necessary, of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Marshall University Institutional Board of Governors.

Section 2. Legislative Function. As the faculty legislative body, the Faculty Senate shall exercise authority over all matters that pertain to academic policies of the university, including instruction, research, and continuing education. Affairs of the university which directly and primarily affect the faculty include, but are not limited to, determination of curricula, standards of admission and selection, retention and transfer of students, scholarships and honors, requirements for the granting of degrees, candidates for honorary degrees, instructional standards throughout the university, and matters of the faculty welfare. The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for developing policy with regard to major issues which affect the institution, such as, change in the mission of the university, addition or deletion of programs, contracts with government agencies, and public questions which affect the role of the institution or endanger the principle of academic freedom. The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for maintaining communications between the faculty and the administration, the student body, and the staff. It shall establish rules and procedures for standing committees and shall be responsible for overseeing the election of Faculty Senate members. All standing committee actions, with the specific exceptions detailed in this constitution shall be subject to review, amendment, approval or rejection by the Faculty Senate.

Section 3. Advisory Function. The Faculty Senate shall serve in an advisory capacity to the university community and administration. Matters which directly or indirectly affect the general welfare of the institution include, but are not limited to, student life, such as standards of conduct, living conditions, organizations, intercollegiate athletics, and participation in extracurricular activities; the academic calendar; and university convocations, lectures, press releases, and radio and television broadcasts.

The Faculty Senate shall be available to advise the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Marshall University Institutional Board of Governors on the appointment of the University President and to advise the University President on the appointment of universitywide administrative officials. It shall advise the administration on policies with respect to the preparation of the annual budget and its allocation to operational units; equipment and physical facilities; official university and student publications; the academic structure and governance system; and the mission, goals, and objectives of the university.

Section 4. Review Function. The Faculty Senate shall be empowered to review all policies and to formulate recommendations with respect to the general welfare of the university. Matters directly affecting the faculty include, but are not limited to, academic freedom, tenure, and promotions; appointments, reappointments and dismissals; teaching loads; salary schedules or other compensation or benefits; policies governing stability of employment, retirement, sabbatical or other leaves; and the reorganization of academic units.

The Faculty Senate shall also be empowered to review programs of research, experimentation, and instruction; grading systems and trends; instructional evaluation; and policies and administration of the university libraries. It shall also review the academic conduct of students, including means for handling infractions. The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for the investigation and conducting of hearings on grievances from members of the faculty and student body, except for those covered by the various West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Marshall University Institutional Board of Governors policy bulletins or those under the jurisdiction of other committees; it shall report the findings and make recommendations to the appropriate parties. The Advisory Council of Faculty (ACF) representative reports to the Faculty Senate on meetings of the ACF and/or the Marshall University Institutional Board of Governors.

Section 5. Provisions of the Senate. The Faculty Senate shall be provided with an appropriate budget, office space, adequate secretarial support, and release time for the Faculty Senate Chair.


Other Resources


Old Main 310
Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755


Shawn Schulenberg - Chair
Eryn Roles - Assistant Chair
Sujoy Bose - Recording Secretary


Zelideth Rivas - Parliamentarian


Hailey Bibbee - Office Administrator