Faculty Senate Bylaws

Article I - Membership

Sec. 1: Membership areas will include:

  1. Member(s) elected from full-time faculty of each division according to C.
  2. Member(s) elected from full-time faculty not represented by an academic division according to C.
  3. Senate representation will be determined by the number of full-time board appointed faculty: 1-18 = 1 ; 19-30 = 2 ; 31-42 = 3 ; 43-54 = 4 ; 55-66 = 5 members.
  4. Larger memberships will have staggered terms.

Sec. 2: To preserve continuity and staggered terms, membership areas with only one Senator will elect a new Senator every third year. Membership areas with two Senators will elect one new Senator each year with no election being held the third year. Membership areas with three Senators will elect one new Senator every year. Membership areas with four Senators will elect two new Senators the first year and one senator each of the following years.

Sec. 3: If a new membership area is created or there is a reorganization within the college, staggered terms will be determined by lot.

Sec. 4: If faculty senate election results in a tie, the Election Committee shall conduct a runoff election at the earliest convenient time, no later than the last Friday in April.

Article II - Nominations and Election of Officers

Sec. 1: The candidates for Vice President / President-elect, Secretary, and Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate of Amarillo College shall be nominated and elected at the last meeting of the spring semester, when all Senators (including outgoing and incoming) meet for transitional purposes. Outgoing Senators may not vote in these elections. Newly elected Senators are eligible for office and may vote in these elections; however, they may not vote on procedural matters until their terms officially begin at the conclusion of the May transitional meeting. To be nominated for Vice President / President-elect, the candidate must have two years remaining as Senator.

Sec. 2: The order of nominations and elections shall be as follows:

  1. Nominations for the office of Vice President / President-elect shall be made first. When all candidates for the office of Vice President / President-elect have been nominated, the Secretary on the Faculty Senate shall distribute to each Senator a sheet of paper upon which the Senator shall write his choice for the office of Vice President / President-elect. The Secretary of the Faculty Senate and two Senators appointed by the outgoing President shall count the ballots. If it is determined that a candidate has received a majority of votes cast, the Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall inform the outgoing President, who shall then announce the outcome of the election. If it is determined that no candidate has received a majority of the votes, the Secretary of the Faculty Senate shall inform the outgoing President; and the President shall then order a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the greater number of votes. A run-off election shall be continued in the same manner as mentioned previously. In the case of a tie-vote, run-off elections shall continue to be held until such time as a Vice President / President-elect has been elected.
  2. When a Vice President / President-elect has been elected, the President shall call for nominations for the office of Secretary. The nominations shall be made and the election carried as prescribed above.
  3. When a Secretary has been elected, the President shall call for nominations for the office of Parliamentarian, with election carried as prescribed above.

Article III - Committees

Sec. 1: The Senate President may appoint chairmen of Senate committees.

Sec. 2: Each member of the Senate shall serve on at least one Senate committee.

Sec. 3: The Executive Committee shall consist of the Senate President, Vice President / President-elect, and Secretary.

  1. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to conduct Senate business when the entire Senate cannot be convened or when it is necessary to expedite a decision or ruling.
  2. The Senate shall be informed of any action taken by the Executive Committee at the next Senate meeting and may, by majority vote, veto any such action.

Sec. 4: As the Professional Standards and Relations Committee, the Faculty Senate shall review faculty grievances and make recommendations according to the following procedures:

Faculty grievances shall be accepted by the Senate according to the guidelines set forth in the Faculty Handbook and only after the grievance has gone before the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

  1. The Senate President shall convene the Senate within five (5) working days following the receipt of the grievance.
  2. The portion of the Senate meeting dealing with the grievance shall be a closed meeting. All interested people shall be notified of the date and time of the Senate meeting. The Senate may request that these people be available on campus should the Senate deem necessary to communicate with them for clarification of any issue.
  3. Following the presentation of the grievance and discussion by the Senate, recommendations regarding the grievance shall be presented as motions. Senate approval of these motions shall be by majority vote.
  4. If the Senate is unable to formulate a recommendation, the Senate shall request an extension of no more than five (5) additional working days from the petitioner. If the request for an extension is denied, the Senate may forward the grievance without a recommendation to the College President.
  5. The minutes of the Senate meeting dealing with the grievance shall state that a grievance regarding a specific issue was presented and discussed and that the grievance was forwarded to the College President with or without a recommendation.

Sec. 5: Questions from the Faculty may be submitted through the Questions Committee or individual senators. The Faculty Senate will accept questions submitted to the appropriate official for a response according to the following procedures:

  1. The Senate prefers signed questions, but questions may also be submitted anonymously to a Senator. The identity of the questioner need only be known by the Senator, who shall, at request, preserve the questioner’s anonymity.
  2. Question(s) brought to any Faculty Senator must be submitted to the Questions Committee Chair unaltered. The Questions Committee may only edit submitted questions to conceal the identity of the person asking the question, or if the question involves a perceived personal attack.
  3. The Questions Committee will send an answer to the questioner as soon as it is available. At the next Faculty Senate meeting, the Questions Committee will report the question, answer, and action taken.
  4. Procedure for addressing and responding to questions brought to Faculty Senate:
    1. Questions will be accepted by any current Faculty Senator.
    2. Senator will send question(s) to Questions Committee Chair, who will then share it with the members of the Questions Committee. The contributing Senator will notify the person posing the question that it is being addressed.
    3. Questions Committee Chair will confer with the Committee via e-mail, text, phone or face-to-face within 1-2 business days. The question(s) will be CC’d to all Senators to allow them to respond to the Question Committee Chair with helpful and relevant information.
    4. Questions Committee will attempt to provide an answer within 3-4 business days, with CC notification to all Senators.
    5. If an answer cannot be obtained within 3-4 business days, the Questions Committee Chair will invite the individual(s) with relevant knowledge to the next Faculty Senate meeting.
    6. All questions and answers will be recorded in the following Faculty Senate Minutes.

Sec. 6: Special committees of faculty who are not members of the Senate may be appointed by the Senate President with the consent of the Senate.

Article IV - Referendum

Sec. 1: A referendum may be held upon order of the Amarillo College Faculty Senate for any purpose the Faculty Senate may deem necessary. Such referendum may be called by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Faculty Senate.

Article V - Filling of Vacancies

Sec. 1: If a vacancy occurs on the Faculty Senate, a special election shall be called in the area unrepresented.

Article VI - Absence of Senators and Expulsion

Sec. 1: Senators may select a substitute to attend a meeting. The Substitute shall be accorded the same privileges as the elected Senator.
Sec. 2: The office of a Senator may be declared vacant if neither the Senator nor a substitute attends two successive meetings.

Article VII - Called Faculty Senate Meetings

Sec. 1: The President of the Faculty Senate may call a special meeting of the Faculty Senate whenever deemed necessary.
Sec. 2: A special meeting of the Faculty Senate may be called if as many as three members of the Faculty Senate desire such a meeting and the request is made in writing to the President.

Article VIII - Suspension of the Bylaws

Sec. 1: Any bylaw may be suspended in particular case upon unanimous agreement by entire Senate membership.

Article IX – Parliamentary Procedure

Sec. 1: The President shall, with the assistance of the Parliamentarian, conduct meetings according to the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Sec. 2: The Parliamentarian may overrule any Senator, including Senate officers, in matters of prescribed order.


Approved: August 20, 1991
Revised: Fall 2018