NORTH IDAHO COLLEGE
CONSTITUTION OF THE COLLEGE SENATE

PREAMBLE:

The students and employees of North Idaho College recognize and declare this constitution to be the standards and rules under which to discharge their responsibilities as herein designated.

Neither approval of the constitution by the board of trustees nor anything contained herein shall be construed in any way to limit or restrict the powers of the board of trustees provided by law and/or to limit or restrict any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

ARTICLE I – TRUSTEES

The trustees are vested with all powers necessary and effectual to govern the college in all its aspects. The trustees are the authority for actions of the administration, faculty, staff, and students. Policy recommendations taken by the college Senate are subject to review by the president and approval by the trustees.

ARTICLE II – COLLEGE SENATE

The college Senate shall act for and be responsible to its constituent groups in all matters pertaining to the governance of the college. The Senate reports directly to its constituent organizations and, through the president, to the board of trustees.

Section 1. Constituent Representation

Constituent organizations shall select senators in accordance with the provisions of each organization’s bylaws.

Section 2. Duties of the Senate

Subject to the authority of the president and the general supervision and ultimate authority of the trustees, the college Senate is charged to act for and to represent its constituent groups in matters of college policy and procedures.

The college Senate may advise and assist the administration of the college in the establishment, modification, and/or discontinuance of organizations in the areas of instruction, administration, and support services.

The Senate acts in response to proposals submitted by its committees, constituent groups, or the administration, and may also initiate policy.

The Senate may return a recommendation to the initiating party with suggestions for modification or may approve the recommendation, as submitted, and forward it to the president with or without comment.

ARTICLE III- AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be submitted in writing to the senators five working days in advance of the initial presentation.

Section 2. Requirements for amendment passage include the following:

i. Proposed amendment must be read twice at regularly scheduled Senate meetings. This gives the opportunity for discussion by constituent groups.

ii. The amendment must be considered for approval by the Senate at the meeting of the second reading.

iii. Approval by two-thirds (13 senators) of the voting membership of the college Senate shall be required.

BY-LAWS OF THE COLLEGE SENATE

PREAMBLE

These by-laws are adopted for the internal governance of the college Senate and to facilitate employee and student participation in college affairs as may by appropriate pursuant to rules and regulations of the board of trustees.

Neither approval of the by-laws by the board of trustees nor anything contained herein shall be construed as a limitation or restriction on the statutory powers of the board of trustees or its rules and regulations from time to time adopted pursuant thereto.

ARTICLE 1-PURPOSE

The purpose of the college Senate is to facilitate shared governance in the affairs of the college. The college Senate shall meet regularly to conduct business on matters of concern to its various constituent organizations. The college Senate is the official voice of the college governance system. The Senate is the vehicle through which the constituent organizations of the college are able to participate in the decision-making process by making recommendations through the president to the board of trustees.

ARTICLE II-MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. The college Senate shall consist of representatives from the following constituent organizations: eight Staff Assembly members (SA), eight Faculty Assembly members (FA) and three officers from the Associated Students of North Idaho College (ASNIC).

Section 2. Senators shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of each organization’s by-laws. Each organization may seat alternates according to its by-laws. Both senators and alternates may participate in Senate discussions. However, alternates shall make motions and vote only when serving in an official capacity as senator.

ARTICLE III-TERM OF OFFICE

The term of office for Faculty Assembly and Staff Assembly senators shall be for two years, beginning fall semester after their election. ASNIC senators shall serve for a term of one year.

Section 1. A college Senate member shall serve no more than two consecutive full terms.

Section 2. Half of the members of the Senate shall be elected in odd years; half, in even years.

Section 3. Alternate senators are elected for a term of one year.

Section 4. In the event of a vacancy in the college Senate, the alternate from that constituent group will serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

Section 5. In the event that an alternate cannot serve, a new alternate shall be selected by and from the original constituent group.

ARTICLE IV-RECALL OF SENATE

Recall of Faculty Assembly, Staff Assembly, and ASNIC senators shall be determined by the electing organization’s by-laws.

ARTICLE V-OFFICERS

Section 1. The officers of the Senate shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Parliamentarian, and the Corresponding Secretary. They shall be elected annually from the Senate’s membership by a majority of those present. Election shall be the first order of business at the last Senate meeting of the year, and new officers shall immediately assume office upon election.

Section 2. The Executive Committee of the college Senate shall be composed of the Senate officers and the immediate past chairperson.

i. The Executive Committee shall provide continuity for the Senate from year to year.

ii. The Executive Committee shall provide a member to represent the Senate at meetings or other functions when the chair is unable to do so.

iii. The Executive Committee shall assist the chair in preparing the agenda for each Senate meeting.

iv. The Executive Committee shall appoint a recording secretary for the Senate meetings.

Section 3. The duties of each of the officers shall be defined in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised unless otherwise specified in the constitution by-laws.

Section 4. The chair of the Senate shall be the official spokesperson for the college Senate in President’s Cabinet, board meetings, and other arenas in which the college Senate shall be represented.

Section 5. The vice-chair shall serve as liaison to Senate standing committees. The vice chair of the Senate shall act as committee whip, communicating with Senate committee chairs to keep the Senate apprised of standing committee activities.

Section 6. The corresponding secretary shall track all communication with the president and the President’s Cabinet.

Section 7. The recording secretary shall serve in an ex-officio, non-voting capacity unless the recording secretary is also a duly elected member of the Senate. The secretary shall keep minutes of the Senate proceedings. Such minutes shall be distributed to the members of the college Senate, the officers of the constituent groups, the division chairs, the vice presidents, the president, the board of trustees, and to prominent access locations on campus. Any member of the campus community may be placed on the college Senate minutes’ distribution list upon request.

ARTICLE VI-MEETINGS

Section 1. The first regular meeting of the Senate shall be held the first week of the academic year.

Section 2. Regular meetings of the Senate shall be scheduled by the Senate. A minimum of four regular meetings shall be held each semester.

Section 3. The agenda shall be distributed to the college Senate members, division chairs, the vice presidents, the president, the board of trustees, and electronically for the campus at least five working days in advance of all regularly scheduled meetings.

All items to be placed on the agenda shall be submitted to the chairperson ten working days in advance of regularly scheduled meetings. The Senate may accept non-agenda items by majority vote. Meetings of the college Senate shall be open to all members of the college community but only members of the Senate may vote.

Section 4. Special meetings of the college Senate may be called by the chair of the college Senate, by petition of five voting members of the Senate, or by the president of the college.

Notice of all special meetings must be given to the college Senate, division chairs, the vice presidents, the president, the board of trustees, and posted in prominent access locations on campus at least three working days prior to the meeting. The notice shall specify in writing the time and place and the agenda of the meeting. Only agenda items may be considered at the special meetings.

Section 5. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the eligible voting membership.

Section 6. Visitors may speak only by the consent of the presiding officer of the college Senate or a majority of the college Senate members.

Section 7. In matters concerning college personnel, visitors and/or student senators may be excluded by a majority vote of senators present. Student senators may not vote on determining their own exclusion.

Section 8. During Senate meetings, policies under consideration shall be brought up for discussion as agenda items. Copies of the policies will be distributed with the Senate agenda to all senators for study before discussion. All policies shall have a first reading, second reading and then be brought to a vote.

Section 9. While debate on all matters before the Senate is open to all senators except as restricted by Article VI, Section 7, the following restrictions affect voting eligibility:

i. If the scope of a proposed policy concerns curricular matters, then voting on all motions pertaining to the proposed policy (except a motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s ruling on voting eligibility) shall be restricted to faculty senators and student senators. Curricular matters include but are not limited to any policies/procedures affecting courses, instruction, academic freedom, curricula, graduation requirements, and degree requirements.

ii. If the scope of a proposed policy is limited to the terms of employment for the employees of just one of the employee constituent groups, then voting on all motions related to the policy (except a motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s ruling on voting eligibility) is restricted to the senators from that constituent group. Terms of employment, as used here, is limited to hiring, termination, tenure, promotion, evaluation, compensation, benefits, reassignment, reclassification, vacations, and leaves.

iii. If the scope of a proposed policy is limited to establishing, altering, or modifying the terms of employment for the employees of both employee constituent groups, then all motions concerning the policy (except a motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s ruling on voting eligibility) shall require both a majority of the staff senators and a majority of the faculty senators to pass.

iv. If the scope of a proposed policy is so broad as to impact the terms of employment for at least one of the employee constituent groups and also explicitly includes provisions not related to terms of employment, then all motions concerning the policy (except a motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s ruling on voting eligibility) shall require all of the following to pass:

a. A majority of the votes of the senators from each of the employee constituent groups whose terms of employment are impacted by the policy,

b. A majority of the combined faculty and student senators if the policy has curricular components, and

c. A majority of all senators.

v. To facilitate the determination of policy/procedure voting eligibility, the Senate Chair, assisted by the Senate Executive Committee, in consultation with the Chairs of the Staff Assembly and the Faculty Assembly, shall classify the voting restrictions on each extant policy/procedure for which a consensus exists. Once a year, the Senate Chair, assisted by the Senate Executive Committee and in consultation with the Chairs of the Staff Assembly and Faculty Assembly, shall update the classifications by adding policies/procedures for which a consensus of opinion exists and deleting from the classification list those policies/procedures which no longer achieve consensus. For those policies/procedures on the consensus list, voting eligibility shall be the classification from the list. For policies/procedures which do not appear on the consensus list, the Senate Executive Committee shall make the determination on voting eligibility. For all policies/procedures on a Senate Agenda, any voting restrictions will be noted in the agenda.

vi. In the event of Senators’ disagreement with the Senate Executive Committee’s ruling on voting eligibility for policies/procedures that are not on the consensus list, the Senate Chair will entertain a motion to amend the agenda during the meeting to include a discussion of the matter. (This disagreement could be either with the exclusion of a group of senators from voting or with the inclusion of a group of senators for voting.) A motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s decision to exclude a group of senators from voting on motions pertaining to the policy can be made only by a senator from the group excluded from voting. Similarly, a motion to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s decision to permit a group of senators to vote on motions pertaining to the policy can be made only by a senator from an employee group that is not the group whose inclusion is being disputed. If a motion is made by a staff senator or faculty senator to overrule the Senate Executive Committee’s decision regarding voting eligibility, a two-thirds majority of senators from the mover’s constituent group voting in favor of the motion will result in all motions concerning the policy or topic requiring a majority of staff senators, a majority of faculty senators, and a majority of the entire senate to pass.

Section 10. The initial discussion and first reading may occur during the same meeting, with second reading and final vote at a subsequent meeting. Except as indicated in Section 8, Article VI, passage of a policy is by a simple majority vote of the Senate, provided a quorum is present. Following passage, with or without amendment, the policy is forwarded to the president of the college. If the policy is further amended or rejected by the president, it shall be returned to the Senate for action as stated in Article VII.

ARTICLE VII-APPROVAL AND APPEAL

Section 1. The president or acting chief executive of the college shall accept or reject the recommendations made by the Senate, and in the event he/she does not accept a recommendation, he/she shall return it with a written explanation to the college Senate within sixty days.

Section 2. If two-thirds of the total number of Senate members vote to override the president’s veto, the president shall place the vetoed recommendation on the board of trustees’ agenda and invite a senator selected by a majority at the next board meeting to present the Senate’s point of view.

ARTICLE VIII-DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The duties and responsibilities of the college Senate are defined as follows:

Section 1. College Policy and Procedure

The college Senate reviews and makes recommendations regarding new policies or revisions to existing policies. For informational purposes, such policies shall be accompanied by their procedures, if any, when said policies are presented to the Senate for action. Because of the wide span of its representation, the college Senate shall coordinate constituent groups’ views on policies and procedures in the following areas and will, as a result, advise the administration and, through the president, make recommendations to the board of trustees.

Clause A. Standards for Admission

The college Senate shall recommend minimum standards for admission to the college as initiated by the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee.

Clause B. Academic Standards

The college Senate shall recommend minimum academic standards to be maintained by all students in the college as initiated by the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee or Curriculum Council.

Clause C. Courses, Curricula, Graduation Requirements and Degrees

When policies and procedures are proposed that are linked to curricula, the college Senate may consult the Curriculum Council, which is the standing committee directly responsible for recommending courses of instruction and their scheduling, curricula, degrees to be offered, and requirements for graduation from college.

Clause D. Scholarships, Honors, Awards and Financial Aid

The college Senate shall recommending general principles in accordance with which privileges such as scholarships, honors, awards, and financial aid are accepted and allocated as initiated by appropriate committees.

Clause E. Conduct of Students

The college Senate recommends student disciplinary regulations and the rights guaranteed to students during disciplinary hearings and proceedings as initiated by the vice president of student services and the NIC Judicial Board.

Clause F. General College Welfare

The college Senate shall recommend general policies and procedures concerning the welfare of college members, including but not limited to, appointment, reappointment, non-reappointment, academic freedom, tenure, working conditions, promotions, leaves, compensation, periodic evaluation, competence reviews, reassignment, layoff, and dismissal or termination submitted to the Senate by appropriate college committees or administrators.

Section 2. Student Participation

The college Senate is charged to provide an opportunity for students of the college, through their chosen representatives, to have their concerns addressed. To this end the students are entrusted with their own student government organization and are represented on the Senate and on the college committees that deal with matters affecting them.

Section 3. Employment of Administrators

The Senate shall participate in the process of selecting administrative officers of the college under existing guidelines.

Section 4. The Budget

The constituencies of the college Senate are affected by budgetary decisions; therefore it is the Senate’s expectation that the president will inform the Senate on budgetary matters that could significantly affect the college’s constituencies.

Section 5. Communication

Communication by, with and from the Senate shall be carried out in the following circumstances:

Clause A: Communication with the Administration

The college Senate may advise and assist the administration of the college in the establishment, modification, and/or discontinuance of organizations in the areas of academics, administration, and support services.

Clause B: Communication from Standing Committees

All Senate standing and ad hoc committees shall report directly to the College Senate at the request of the Senate Chair. All committees under the purview of the Senate shall make an annual report to the Senate Chair in timely fashion for inclusion with the Senate Chair’s Year-end Report. Additionally, the Senate Chair or Vice-Chair may request a report from any committee chair or his/her representative at a Senate meeting dealing with matters relevant to that committee.

Clause C: Communication with Constituent Organizations or Individuals

The Senate may request that an individual and/or group of representatives attend a Senate meeting when it is determined by the executive committee that such attendance is necessary for the senate to carry out its charge.

ARTICLE IX- STANDING COMMITTEES AND AD HOC COMMITTEES

The Senate may appoint standing and ad hoc committees to carry out Senate functions.

ARTICLE X- AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS

Section 1. Proposed amendments to the by-laws must be submitted in writing to the Senators five working days in advance of the initial presentation.

Section 2. Requirements for amendment passage include the following:

i. Proposed amendments must be read twice at regularly scheduled Senate meetings. This gives the opportunity for discussion to constituent groups.

ii. The amendment must be considered for approval by the Senate at the meeting of the second reading.

iii. Approval by two-thirds (13 senators) of the voting membership of the college Senate shall be required.