Faculty and Staff Handbook

24th Edition, 2015 Version

Chapter 3: Organization of the Faculty and Academic Staff

3.1 Introduction

3.1.1 Faculty Governance

Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin Statutes defines the responsibilities of faculty in determining their own organizational structure and participating in the formulation of policies and programs for the University of Wisconsin System.

The faculty of each institution, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the Board, the president and Chancellor of such institution, shall be vested with the responsibility for the immediate governance of such institution and shall actively participate in institutional policy development. As such, the faculty shall have the primary responsibility for academic and educational activities and faculty personnel matters. The faculty of each institution shall have the right to determine their own faculty organizational structure and to select representatives to participate in institutional governance. [Wis. Stats. 36.09 [4]]

The Constitution of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Faculty is based on Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

3.1.2 Definitions

UWS 1.01, Wisconsin Administrative Code: Academic Staff:

"Academic staff" means professional and administrative personnel, other than faculty and classified staff, with duties and types of appointments that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration.

UWS 1.04, Wisconsin Administrative Code: Faculty:

"Faculty" means persons who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor in an academic department or its functional equivalent in an institution. The appointment of a member of the academic staff may be converted to a faculty appointment in accordance with s. UWS 3.01 (1) (c).

UWS 1.05, Faculty Status:

By action of the appropriate faculty body and Chancellor of an institution, members of the academic staff may be designated as having "faculty status." "Faculty status" means a right to participate in faculty governance of an institution in accordance with the rules of the institution. Faculty status does not confer rank or tenure, or convert an academic staff appointment into a faculty appointment.

Academic staff were granted "faculty status" by action of the Faculty Senate and the Chancellor in 1975, as stated in Article II of the Constitution of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Consequently, in the Constitution and By-laws, the word faculty means faculty and academic staff, unless a distinction is expressed.

3.1.3 Faculty Senate

The University faculty has delegated its powers and responsibilities on matters affecting educational policy-making to the Faculty Senate [Constitution, Article VI A]. Senators are elected from faculty in the five organizational divisions of the University: the four academic colleges; the "Fourth Division" of Student Personnel, University Services and the Library. (The number of senators is determined by a formula based, in part, on the total number of faculty in each division.) In addition, four senators-at-large are elected from the "senior ranks" of professors and associate professors, and three senators-at-large are elected from the "junior ranks" of assistant professors, lecturers, and academic staff personnel [Constitution, Article VI B.].

The Faculty Senate meets biweekly to consider agenda items prepared by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and submitted to the University faculty at least three days prior to the meeting [Constitution, Article VI D (12).].

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee acts as the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees to make recommendations for faculty membership on Faculty Senate standing committees and Faculty/Administrative Committees and to designate chairs of the Faculty Senate standing committees [Constitution, Article VI D; Faculty By-laws Article II E.].

3.1.4 University Faculty

Meetings of the University faculty are scheduled when necessary. The University faculty serve as members of Faculty Senate standing committees and Faculty/Administrative Committees to consider policies, problems, and programs and to recommend action by the Faculty Senate, the University faculty, or the Chancellor [Constitution, Article IV].

3.1.6 Student Representation in Faculty Governance

The Faculty Senate will receive and consider suggestions, proposals and recommendations submitted by the student body or its representatives [Constitution, Article VI A (1)]. There will be student membership on Faculty Senate standing committees where the business of the committee involves matters of interest and importance to students [Faculty By-laws Article II E.].