Academic Senate

Are You Interested in Serving on the Academic Senate?

If you are a faculty person with current or former department chair experience, feel free to notify faculty council of your interest in serving on Academic Senate. While faculty council cannot always honor faculty requests for specific committee service due to committee requirements by division, rank, tenure, and available openings, it is still worthwhile to express your interest. The ballots for Academic Senate and Personnel Committee will typically be distributed in March, so you should notify faculty council of your interest in February.

The Provost or his/her representative is not an elected position, but there are nine faculty senate seats (see membership requirements below).

  • Nine elected faculty, three from each division (only faculty who currently serve or have previously served as department chair are eligible for election to Academic Senate; faculty are typically elected to 3-year terms, such that only one new senator is elected each year within each division)
  • Provost and Dean of Curriculum and Educational Effectiveness (ex officio without vote)
  • Registrar
  • WCSA President or representative (voice without vote)

Why is Membership Limited to Current and Former Department Chairpersons?

This may be partly historical, but there are good reasons for this requirement. For many years, all department chairs served on Academic Senate (whether they wanted to or not). Beginning Fall 2010 only nine elected faculty members serve as senators, which is quite a reduction from what had gone before. It seemed logical to keep the requirement of having served as a chair partly because this was such a dramatic departure. It seemed even more important, however, to elect faculty members who had already had experience in curricular governance, policy, and scheduling at a level at least above their own concerns and classroom interests. Department chairs must coordinate schedules and requirements, sign petitions, review new course proposals, sit in on larger institutional conversations, and generally cultivate a larger vision than a faculty person who, while caring about the big picture, has never had to manage the big picture. Note that there are no requirements regarding tenure or rank for faculty senators. The emphasis here is not on age or even length of experience, but on having been exposed to larger issues of managing an academic program.

I am interested in attending Academic Senate Meetings. Academic Senate meetings are open to faculty. All such participants have voice without vote.