What are the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee?

The Faculty Senate is the duly elected body of representatives of the faculty of Augusta University, representing the faculty on all campuses. Members of the Senate are elected by the faculty of the colleges. There are ten Standing Committees of the Senate (Athletics, Budget Advisory & University Resources, Curriculum & Academic Policies, Faculty Development, Faculty Rights & Responsibilities, Governance & Communication, Grievance, IT Resource, Promotion & Tenure, and Student Affairs). The committees are authorized to act for and in the name of the Senate as specified in the Bylaws.  Such actions are reported to the Executive Committee and to the Senate.

The senate Executive Committee directs the activities of the senate, including setting the senate meeting agendas and arranging faculty assemblies. The membership of the Executive Committee consists of the AU President, AUFS Chair, Vice Chair, immediate past chair, AUFS secretary, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice Provost for Instruction, and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.

How are faculty senators chosen and how long are their terms in office?

Senators are elected by the members of their college. The elections take place in the Spring of every year, and all colleges are directed to report their elections to the senate no later than May of each year. When elected, a senator serves a three-year term. After a six-year period of service, an individual is ineligible for one year before again being able to serve in the AUFS.

Who is eligible to serve on the AUFS?

University faculty members eligible for membership as senators in the AUFS as defined in the bylaws are: Administrative Officers and the Corps of Instruction who are full time and on an annual contract. As defined by the BOR Policy Manual, the Corps of Instruction includes full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, senior lecturers, lecturers, and teaching personnel with such other titles as may be approved by the Board. Research and extension personnel and duly certified librarians will be included in the Corps of Instruction on the basis of comparable training.

If not included in the above group, the faculty eligible for membership as senators would also include all those who hold academic rank and serve as academic department chairs, division chairs or directors, academic deans, academic vice-presidents, residents, and regional branch administrators – including all persons with direct line authority over faculty.

Persons holding adjunct appointments or other honorary titles shall not be considered to be members of the faculty eligible to become senators.

How do I become a senator?

Notify your Department Chair that you are interested in running to be the elected Senate representative for your unit. Elections are held every Spring, usually in February or March. When your college will elect senators depends on the bylaws for your college. Your college executive committee chair would be able to let you know when elections will occur for your college. Generally, one senator is elected by each department or comparable budgetary unit of your college. More than one member of each department may be elected to the senate at the discretion of the executive committee chair for your college.

How can you be a member of an AUFS committee?

Each spring the Vice President for Academic Affairs office distributes a survey to the faculty to indicate their preference on a committee to serve on for the following academic year. Faculty should be on the lookout for this survey if they are interested in serving on an AUFS committee, and should indicate that they have a high interest in serving on that committee. Also, any current members of AUFS committees should indicate their interest in continuing on their committee should they wish to.

Membership on the AUFS committees is determined by the Council of Chairs, which consists of the AUFS Chair, the chairs of the ten senate committees, and the AUFS Secretary. The Committee on Committees will finalize their choice of committee members in April of each year.

As a faculty member, how can you bring a matter to the attention of the AUFS?

Contact a senator from your unit directly, or contact the executive committee chair for your college. If you are uncertain how to contact either, you can usually get that information from the Dean’s office for your college, or you can click on the icon for on the main AUFS webpage directing you to the senator or senators from your college.

What are the duties of the Senators?

As per the bylaws, Senators will represent faculty at all AUFS meetings and Assembly meetings. Senators represent the faculty by attending meetings and assemblies scheduled by the Executive Committee, and voting on voting items at each meeting based on the input from their college members.

Also, senators assigned to standing committees are full committee members and afforded all rights and privileges. These appointments are to ensure communication and alignment between the AUFS and its committees. The service commitment of senators to the administration of the AUFS and AU shared governance shall be reflected in annual workload assignments.

Where does the Faculty Senate meet?

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the senate alternated its meetings between the Health Sciences Campus in the Health Sciences building, and the Summerville Campus in the JSAC Ballroom. During the pandemic, the senate met exclusively on Microsoft Teams. As the pandemic finally winds down, there has been some discussion at the meetings of returning to a hybrid meeting format where some members attend in person and some attend online via Microsoft Teams.

Where can I find the Faculty Senate meeting agendas or minutes?

The meeting agendas and minutes are kept in a Box folder by the Faculty Secretary. These can be viewed by any faculty member.