Senate Council


  1. It shall ensure that the Senate addresses issues of major concern to the faculty voting units and the faculty as a whole.
  2. It may initiate Senate legislation in the same manner as a standing committee. In addition, it may charge a standing committee of the Senate to investigate matters deemed appropriate by the Council.
  3. It shall provide a mechanism for Council members’ review of all legislative, forensic, advisory/consultative, and informational reports submitted for the Senate Agenda. If Council determines the report is adequately prepared, it will be submitted to the Senate Agenda with the following options:
    1. Place an informational report, mandated or otherwise, on the Senate Agenda for presentation and discussion.
    2. Place an informational report, mandated or otherwise, on the Senate Agenda only for the purposes of dissemination to the Senate and University community.
      Decision on whether an item is to be placed on the Agenda for full Senate discussion is to be based on whether a report is adequately prepared and documented.
  4. It shall advise, upon consultation with appropriate Senate committees, the President and Executive Vice President and Provost of the University on the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units and areas of the University that involve two or more teaching, research, and continuing education functions (whether or not delegation of authority exists). Such advice should be given before official action is taken.
  5. It shall maintain a standing Constitution Subcommittee with authority and responsibility to carry out specific legislative, advisory and consultative functions relative to properly organized faculty organizations. These functions include review of Unit Constitutions, Bylaws and Standing Rules. The subcommittee will consist of two Council members appointed by the Senate Chair and the Senate Parliamentarian, and will be chaired by the Senate Secretary.
  6. In coordination with the University administration, it shall represent the Senate in seeking information from officials and agencies external to the University especially those who establish policies and control resources affecting University academic programs. It shall advise the University administration on external government legislation and other external issues that may have impact on the University. It shall advise the Senate on the preparation of statements on such matters. It shall be the Senate advisory body to the University on public and alumni relations, public information, general publications and private fundraising. The Chair shall be the spokesperson for the Council in these matters. The External Matters Subcommittee is a standing subcommittee of Senate Council that will be charged to deal with issues external to the University. The subcommittee will consist of at least five Council members together with appropriate additional elected faculty senators and resource personnel and will be chaired by the Immediate Past Chair of the Senate. A majority of the subcommittee will be councilors with at least two members from locations other than University Park. The members of the External Matters Subcommittee will serve terms of two years, and may complete the second year of the term even in cases where they are no longer a member of Senate Council.
  7. It shall serve as an advisory body to the Senate officers and the Senate as a whole.
  8. In the event that the Chair of the Senate declares existence of a situation of special Senate concern, the Senate Council shall be empowered to act for the Senate in all matters until this authority is terminated by actions of the Senate.
  9. Individual Senate Council members play a critical role in communicating Faculty Senate issues and legislative decisions back to their units of origin.  To facilitate these important communications, best practices for Senate Councilors include organizing caucuses with their unit membership, creating regular electronic communications of Senate activities and sending these communications to their Academic Unit Faculty Leaders, Senators and Administrators, and speaking about Faculty Senate activities at unit governance meetings.  It is expected that Senate Councilors will embrace their leadership role and actively serve as a communication conduit back to the academic unit they represent.