STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BROOK
UNIVERSITY SENATE BY-LAWS
Revised May 5, 2014
These by-laws shall govern the operations of the University Senate as constituted and mandated by the Policies of the Board of Trustees and by the Constitution and all its amendments.
These by-laws shall be in effect as soon as approved by the University Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer, in accordance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees, Article X, Section 5(b).
As used in these by-laws, unless otherwise specified, the following terms shall mean:
- Constituency: The following groups in the University community are constituencies represented in the University Senate and on University Senate committees: faculty (sub-divided into major governance units and libraries); professional employees; undergraduate students; and graduate students.
2. Constitution: The University Senate Constitution and all its amendments.
3. Electoral divisions of Arts and Sciences: Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Natural Sciences.
- Faculty: All full-time members of the staff in positions that carry designation of academic rank including library staff.
5. Graduate students: All full-time students enrolled in masters programs, doctoral programs, and post-baccalaureate professional programs.
- Policies of the Board of Trustees: The current edition of the rules governing the State University of New York and the institutions therein as mandated by law.
- Professional employees: All members of the professional staff of the University in positions that carry no designation of academic rank. The following categories are excluded from the professional employee constituency: ex-officio members of the Senate, interns, residents, post-doctoral fellows, and students.
- Quorum: The presence of one quarter (25%) of the filled Senator positions shall constitute a quorum at Senate meetings.
- SUNY Faculty Senate: The governance body of the State University of New York representing its Faculty and Professional Employees, as authorized by the Policies of the Board of Trustees.
- Undergraduate students: All full-time matriculated students enrolled in baccalaureate programs of any of the academic units.
III. Apportionment of Senate Representation
The procedure for apportioning Senate representation shall be as follows. Before each spring semester the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate shall request the Provost and the Vice President for Health Sciences to provide lists of departments and programs that meet the requirements of Section II.1.a.i of the Constitution. After review is completed by the Senate Executive Committee, the Secretary/Treasurer shall notify the officials of each constituency of its number of senators as specified in Sections II.1.a,b,c of the Constitution. In the event that fractional numbers for senators arise from these formulae the numbers shall be rounded to the nearest integer.
- IV. Selection Procedures for Senators, Senate Committee Members, and Representatives of the Senate
1. Procedures for selection of departmental senators, senators-at-large, and senate committee members representing each constituency shall be determined by the duly constituted organization for that constituency. These procedures, as defined in the organization's governance documents (Constitution I.4), shall be publicized to its constituents, and should conform to the following principles:
- Candidates shall be members of the constituency
- Nominations shall be public and open
- Elections, if held, shall be open to all members of the constituency and decided by majority vote.
2. Election Administration
The solicitation of nominations for and the elections of senators-at-large and senate committee representatives of the faculty and the professional employees shall be the responsibility of the organizations representing those constituencies. In the event that the office of the University Senate administers the nomination or election procedures for a constituency, the University Senate vice president representing that organization shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with by-law IV.1. Nominations shall be complete by February 1 and elections by March 15, with results announced by March 30th.
3. Senator Unable to Complete Term
When a senator is unable to serve or complete his or her term, the constituency represented by that senator shall be so informed by the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate and shall by methods of its own choosing select an alternate or replacement. A senator who is unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities may request a leave of absence from the University Senate for a specified period of time from the governing body of his or her constituency. The appropriate constituency will then fill the vacancy for the period of the leave.
4. Stony Brook Representatives in the SUNY Faculty Senate
The Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate shall solicit nominations from all faculty and professional employees, as defined in the governance documents of the SUNY Faculty Senate, and the office of the University Senate shall administer the election. The results of this election shall be communicated to the President of the SUNY Faculty Senate by April 1st.
5. Senate Representatives on Administrative Committees
When the University administration and the University Senate form joint committees, the Executive Committee, in consultation with the responsible administrator, shall appoint the Senate representatives to those committees.
V. Standing Committees
1. The purpose of the Senate’s committees is to serve as the eyes and ears of the Senate and to make recommendations to the Senate and/or to administrators on the most effective and efficient operation of the University and the achievement of its goals .
2. The following University-wide Standing Committees, shall be established:
- Administrative Review
This Committee shall be the chief body of the Senate for reviewing and evaluating administrative performance and proposed reorganizations. It shall be consulted about and represented on all search committees at the level of Dean or above.
- Campus Environment
This Committee shall examine all aspects of the campus environment, including but not limited to safety, security, facilities planning, state of facilities, and general appearance of the campus. It will consult with and advise the Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Services.
- Academic Planning and Resource Allocation (CAPRA)
This Committee shall review budgetary procedures and priorities for planning and resource
allocation in the Presidential, Provostial, and Vice-Presidential areas. It shall
be consulted by the University Administration on these matters and on proposals for
new colleges, schools, and inter-collegiate programs or the elimination, diminution,
or combination of colleges, schools, or other academic units.
* Educational Services Committee
Education Services. This Committee will review and evaluate the educational support services with the goal of enhancing the University’s educational mission. Among the areas of responsibility are:
(1) implementation of new educational pedagogies,
(2) development of new learning environments,
(3) application of new education technologies,
The committee will work with Assistant Provost and Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology in order to accomplish its mission. Administrative Contact: Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology
* Information Technologies Committee
To ensure appropriate representation from all users of campus technology, members of this committee will be selected by the Standing Committees most relevant to these goals, including but not limited to Educational Services, Library Services, Research, and Student Life. The administrative contact is the Chief Information Officer of the University.
- Graduate Council
This Council shall advise the Dean of the Graduate School and monitor all aspects of the University's graduate program. It will evaluate all proposed new graduate programs and degrees and will participate in program reviews of existing graduate programs.
- Library Resources and Services
The committee shall advise on all aspects of the university library and
recommend improvements in the resources, services, and operation of the
library so as to foster an excellent innovative culture of education and
This Committee shall consult with and advise the Vice President for Research, the Provost, and other administrators, as appropriate on all aspects of the research enterprise and scholarly activities on campus.
- School of Professional Development (SPD) Council
This Council shall consult with and advise the Dean of the School of Professional Development on all aspects of the SPD program.
- Student Life
This Committee shall consult with and advise the Vice President for Student Affairs and shall monitor all co-curricular aspects of resident and commuter student life, both undergraduate and graduate, and shall work with Undergraduate Student Government, the Faculty/Student Association, the Residence Hall Association, the Commuter Student Association, and the Graduate Student Organization.
- Undergraduate Council
- This Council shall review and recommend policy to the Provost and other administrators, as appropriate, concerning all aspects of the University’s Undergraduate academic program including: (1) recommending the minimal instructional responsibilities of instructors; (2) monitoring the undergraduate programs through participation in University accreditation and periodic reviews of academic programs; (3) reviewing and coordinating all curricular and other academic matters that are not limited to a single major governance unit; and (4) monitoring policy concerning undergraduate admissions and scholarships .
This Committee will examine all aspects of the University's public image and fundraising, including publicity, athletics, and alumni relations.
Composition of the University Senate Standing Committees shall be as specified in the By-laws.
3. Committee Review
The Executive Committee shall review the need for each Senate committee, and its mandate, every four years. Recommendations for the establishment or elimination of committees shall be presented to the Senate for vote in accordance with Section IX of the Constitution and Section VII of the By-laws.
VI. Committee Membership
Faculty and professional employee members of Senate committees shall serve terms of three years. Committee. Members may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Terms shall be staggered so that no more than one half of the seats on a committee shall be open in any election. Terms shall begin on the first day of the following fall semester. Committees shall have voting membership as follows.
1. The following committees shall include a base membership of:
- two faculty members from each of the electoral divisions of Arts and Sciences
- two faculty members from Engineering and Applied Sciences
- two faculty members from Health Sciences
- one library faculty member
- one professional employee
Additional members and further specifications are listed below:
- Administrative Review Committee. one professional employee; one undergraduate student; one graduate student
- Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation (CAPRA). one professional employee; one undergraduate student; and one graduate student
- Educational Services Committee. one undergraduate student; one graduate student; and one faculty representative from Health Sciences.
- Graduate Council. two graduate students. Note one of the two Health Sciences representatives must be from Basic Health Sciences
- Library Resources and Services Committee. one representative from the library; one undergraduate student; and one graduate student
- Research Committee. one faculty representative from Health Sciences; one undergraduate student; and one graduate student.
- School of Professional Development (SPD) Council. two SPD Students.
- Undergraduate Council. one professional employee; two undergraduate students; and one graduate student.
- University Affairs: one undergraduate student; one graduate student.
2. Membership of the following committees shall be as described below:
j. The Campus Environment Committee shall consist of:
- two faculty member from each of the electoral divisions of Arts and Sciences;
- two faculty member from Engineering and Applied Sciences;
- two faculty members from Health Sciences ;
- one library faculty member;
- one professional employee each from west campus and east campus;
- two undergraduate students;
- one graduate student;
- the Director of Environmental Health & Safety ( ex officio, non-voting).
k. The Information Technologies Committee:
The membership of the Information Technologies Committee shall include 2 members each from and selected by the Educational Services, Library Services, Research, and Student Life committees, and any other members the Executive Committee shall see fit to appoint.
l. The Student Life Committee shall consist of:
- five undergraduate students, to include at least two resident students and two commuter students, and at least one undergraduate Health Sciences Student;
- three graduate students;
- one faculty member from each of the electoral divisions of Arts and Sciences
- one faculty member from Engineering and Applied Sciences;
- one faculty member from Health Sciences;
- one library faculty member;
- one professional employee;
- the Executive Director of the Faculty-Student Association ( ex officio, non-voting).
All of the tenured committee members must have rank equivalent to associate professor or higher.
m. The Council on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities: The Provost or Vice President of Health Sciences, as appropriate, shall appoint the members from a list of nominees proposed by the respective faculty constituencies. Each constituency will determine its method of selection. The council shall consist of a chair, who will be a respected senior scholar, and seven tenured faculty, at least four of whom shall be full professors. Membership shall be apportioned as follows:
- one faculty member from each of the electoral divisions of Arts and Sciences;
- two faculty members from Health Sciences;
- two faculty members from Engineering and Applied Science
VII. Senate Officers
1. Selection and Terms of Office
Only Senate members are eligible to serve as officers of the Senate. The Vice Presidents shall be selected by the organizations representing their constituencies (Constitution VII.1). The Senate shall elect the President, as follows. The Executive Committee shall present a slate of nominees for President to the Senate no later than the November Senate meeting. There shall be a ten-day waiting period during which additional nominations of officers may be submitted to the Executive Committee for inclusion on the ballot. Each nomination must include the signatures of ten Senate members in support of that nominee. The slate of nominees will be discussed during the December meeting of the University Senate. If the current president is standing for re-election, the meeting will be run by the immediate Past President. Election will be by secret paper ballot following the close of discussion, and will be announced at the close of the meeting. The President-elect shall serve on the Executive Committee.
The Senate shall elect the Secretary/Treasurer, as follows. The Executive Committee shall present a slate of nominees for Secretary/Treasurer to the Senate no later than the March Senate meeting. There shall be a ten-day waiting period during which additional nominations of officers may be submitted to the Executive Committee for inclusion on the ballot. Each nomination must include the signatures of five Senate members in support of that nominee. The slate of nominees will be discussed during the April meeting of the University Senate. Election will be by secret paper ballot following the close of discussion, and will be announced at the close of the meeting. All officers shall take office at the first meeting of the Senate in the Fall semester and shall serve two years beginning at that meeting. The immediate past President shall serve on the Executive Committee until a new President takes office. If the immediate past President cannot serve the Executive Committee will identify another past-President to serve for this period. The past President shall serve as Parliamentarian for the Senate.
The President of the Senate is responsible for setting the agenda, and chairing all meetings of the University Senate. The President of the Senate or his/her designee chairs the Executive Committee, and represents the University Senate in the Stony Brook Council, the University Council, the Provost’s Advisory Group, and other campus-wide administrative
committees that involve Senate representation. The President of the Senate is an ex-officio member of all University Senate Standing Committees.
The Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate is responsible for serving all notifications specifically noted elsewhere in this document. The Secretary/Treasurer shall maintain a record of decisions made by the Executive Committee. The Secretary/Treasurer is responsible for drafting an annual budget for approval by the Senate Executive Committee. Said budget shall be presented to the full Senate for ratification at the earliest possible opportunity during the Fall semester. The Secretary/Treasurer is responsible for reporting the status of the budget to the Executive Committee at least once per semester, and to the full Senate on an annual basis.
Expenditures of Senate funds must be authorized by both the President of the Senate and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate.
Should the President or Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate be unable to serve or be removed from office, a replacement to serve until the end of the academic year shall be elected at the next regular Senate meeting by a majority of the Senators present and voting, provided that a notice to this effect is put on the agenda and distributed at least one week in advance of the meetings.
VIII. Duties of Senators and Committee Members
A Senator is expected to attend all meetings of the Senate. Should a Senator be absent from four meetings in one academic year, the Senate shall consider that Senator to have resigned. The Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate shall notify the relevant constituency, or its duly constituted representative governance organization or official, to appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the year, or until new elections are held, whichever is sooner. In the event that any position in the Senate is not filled in this manner within one month after notification, the position will not count toward a quorum until such time as it is filled.
The following rule shall determine the total number of members of the Senate for the purpose of deciding whether a proposed constitutional amendment has received a sufficient majority of that membership for passage. The seat of any Senator who has been recorded absent without an excuse for two or more regular Senate meetings in a semester in which constitutional amendments are proposed and voted on shall not be counted as part of the total membership.
Senate Committee members who do not attend at least half of the meetings of a committee in a semester may be replaced. The Committee Chair or the Secretary/Treasurer of the Senate may request the constituency or appropriate authority to recommend a new committee member, who shall complete the term of the member replaced.
IX. Amendments of the By-laws
These By-laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the Senators present and voting at a regular Senate meeting, provided that the proposed amendment is published in full in the agenda and distributed to Senators at least one week in advance of the meeting.
Revised December 20
Approved by University Senate January 26, 2004
Campus Environment Committee Membership Revision
Approved by University Senate on December 4, 2005
Quorum added and approved by the University Senate on March 6, 2006
Amendment approved by the University Senate at its regular meeting on November 2, 2009:
Old wording of bylaws clause IV.2: “Nominations shall be complete by April 1st and elections by April 30th.
Proposed wording of the Bylaws Clause IV.2: “Nominations shall be complete by February 1 and elections by March 15, with results announced by March 30th.”
Proposed amendments to by-laws: New standing committee “Educational Services Committee” (restructured Computing and Communications Committee); a new umbrella committee, “Information Technologies Committee”; and changes in election of President were approved unanimously at the October 3, 2011 Senate meeting.
The following was approved by the University Senate at its May 5, 2014 meeting:
In order to conform with the redefinition of the role of the Secretary of the Senate as Secretary/Treasurer, in every instance where the word “Secretary” appears in the Constitution of the University Senate it shall be replaced with the term “Secretary/Treasurer”.