1.2 Bylaws and Regulations of the University Faculty Senate

  1. Quorum - defined in Constitution.
  2. Order of Business - defined in Constitution.
  3. Standing Committees (passed by Senate on December 14, 1970).

    There shall be the following standing committees of the Senate:   

       Committee reports are received (filed by being placed on the agenda). Following reception, the report may be adopted (endorsed) or recommendations for implementation may be made. Adoption of recommendations for implementation would adhere to prescribed rules of order. (This would include a motion to adopt or implement, cf. the latest addition of Robert's Rules of Order.) (Rev. 5/2021)

  4. Changes in Bylaws, Rules and Regulations

    The Bylaws of the Senate may be adopted, amended, or repealed at any duly called meeting of the Senate by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of those voting yes or no, provided that due notice has been given of such proposed changes in the Bylaws. The rules and regulations of the Senate may be adopted, amended, or repealed at any duly called meeting of the Senate by an affirmative vote of a majority of those voting yes or no, provided that due notice has been given of such proposed changes in the rules and regulations.
    (Rev. fall 2012) (Rev. 2/2015)

  5. Regular Meetings

    The Senate ordinarily shall hold its regular meetings in September, October, November, December, February, March, April and May on the first Monday during which classes for the regular fall or spring semester are in session. The Faculty Senate Committee on Rules shall prepare in the spring semester a list of the dates for the following academic year and introduce them on the May Senate agenda for formal approval.  There may be times when changing these meeting dates is required or preferable after they are set the preceding May, due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.  In these cases, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall, by majority vote, determine the alternative date and promptly inform the Senators and the Committee on Rules. Regular meetings of the Senate shall convene at 4 pm unless otherwise designated. Votes in the Senate for regular business are decided by a simple majority of those voting yes or no. For a motion to change the Bylaws, changes requiring two-thirds are decided by a two-thirds majority of those voting yes or no. (Rev. 2/2015; 5/2016)

  6. Special Meetings

    A special meeting of the Senate may be called by the President of the Senate, the President of the University, or as stipulated in the Constitution.

  7. Summer Meetings

    Section IV, Article 6, regarding special meetings covers the summer period.

  8. Procedural Regulations
    1. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall be followed by the Senate in the conduct of its business in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and any special rules of order the Senate may adopt. 
    2. The President of the Senate shall appoint a Parliamentarian, subject to the approval of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, whose function will be to advise and assist the President of the Senate with procedural matters and to assist the Vice President with matters arising from the preparation of the agenda.
      (Rev. 2/03) 
    3. A roll call vote may be requested for any issue. Whether a roll call vote is taken is determined by a majority vote of the present and voting senators. 
    4. Specific operating procedures regarding debate limitations, order of speakers to be heard, permission of guests to address the Senate, etc., are established by precedent. Should the conditions of precedent not be sufficient for efficiency and fairness in the Senate, the Committee on Rules shall be directed to make specific recommendations as additions to these rules. 
  9. Rights and Responsibilities of Senators
    1. Elected and non-elected senators shall have full privileges of the Senate, including the right to introduce and to second motions and to vote. They are obliged to attend all Senate meetings and to take part in committee work assigned by the chairperson. 
    2. Because of the responsibility attendant upon membership in the Senate, department chairpersons shall arrange teaching, research, and extension schedules to permit attendance of senators at regular meetings of the Senate. 
    3. That the Senate may function as an effective representative agent of the University Faculty, elected senators shall promptly notify the Secretary of the Senate of any temporary inability to attend regular Senate meetings, or otherwise discharge their responsibilities. Any elected senator's absence from two consecutive regular meetings of the Senate without such notification shall constitute a nonfeasance of the office, and the seat of that senator shall be vacant. The Secretary of the Senate shall immediately notify the senator's unit of the vacancy, which shall be promptly filled by special election in a manner to be provided by the unit. The Secretary of the Senate shall also be responsible to notify units of the need to replace senators unable to serve because of protracted illness, leave of absence, or sabbatical leave.
      (Rev. 7/1/76) 
  10. Election by Senators (in Constitution)
    1. By February 1 of each year, the Secretary of the Senate shall inform the Units of the Senate of (1) the names of senators whose terms will expire during the current academic year, and (2) any changes in apportionment every other year, as stated in the Constitution. Appeals concerning the apportionment of Senate seats or the assignment of faculty to voting units for representation shall be directed to the Committee on Committees and Nominations. 
    2. The dean or director of each Unit shall provide the Secretary of the Senate with a complete description of the method of election procedures established by the Unit. Any changes shall be reported to the Secretary of the Senate prior to their implementation. 
    3. Results of elections shall be announced to the members of the Units. 
    4. Vacancies created in the Senate for any reason whatsoever shall be filled by an election of the faculty involved. The Rules Committee is authorized to adjust the ending point of such a term in order to assure that adequate overlap of terms required in Section IV, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution is maintained for each unit. That term shall not count against him or her in subsequent elections to a regular term.
    5. The undergraduate student body shall be represented by five student senators of which the same two will be voting members. The duly constituted undergraduate student government will arrange the election of the five senators from the full-time undergraduate student body with such procedures contingent upon approval of the Senate.
  11. Eligibility and Election of Officers and Committee Chairs of the Senate (Rev 4/5/19)

    Eligibility for nomination, appointment, or service as Senate Officers or committee Chairs shall be restricted to full-time voting Faculty who are not appointed to serve in an official capacity for the Offices of the President, the Provost, any Vice President, or the Dean of any College, including but not limited to administrative officers of the University (including deputy, associate, assistant and vice provosts), academic deans (including deputy, associate and assistant deans), and department chairs or academic program directors (as defined in the Policy Guide for Department Chairs and Academic Program Directors).  Faculty who serve in a temporary capacity for an administrative office as a member of a search committee, standing committee, or ad hoc committee shall not be deemed ineligible because of this service. (Rev 4/5/19)

    In accord with Section IV, Article 7, of the Constitution, the Committee on Committees and Nominations, whose composition and charge are prescribed under the Standing Committee document, shall provide for the Senate a slate of nominees at the April meeting for review by the Faculty Senators before the election at the May meeting. The slate should have at least two eligible candidates for each office or position, and the name of any eligible candidate who wants to stand for election shall appear on the slate. Nominations to the slate from the floor are permitted. In the event that there are three or more nominees to an office, and if in the balloting no individual receives a majority, the subsequent ballot will be between the two nominees receiving the highest plurality. The Chair of the Committee on Committees and Nominations and the Faculty Senate secretary shall oversee the voting including counting the votes and certifying their authenticity. The winner will be announced at the May meeting without specific vote totals; however, such totals shall be provided to nominees upon request to the chair of the Committee on Comittees and Nominations or the Faculty Senate Secretary.

  12. (Rev. Fall 1988; 12/5/16)
  13. Responsibilities and Powers of Officers
    (in addition to those structured in Article IV of the Constitution)

    The President of the Senate shall preside at meetings of the Senate. He or she shall also serve as chairperson and preside at meetings of the Executive Committee (the officers of the Senate). The term of the President and the members of the Executive Committee shall commence on July 1 of the year in which he/she will preside and end June 30. Outgoing and incoming Executive Committees are encouraged to meet during July and August to assure transfer of knowledge. (Rev. 10/20/16)

    The President of the Senate may call special meetings of the Senate or of its Executive Committee.

    The President of the Senate shall serve as the executive officer of the Senate and shall sign the official copies of all Senate actions. On all matters concerning publication or public explanation of Senate actions, the President of the Senate shall be the spokesperson and representative of the Senate.

    The President Elect of the Senate shall serve as chairperson of the Coordinating Committee on Education and shall assume the office of President in the following year. The President Elect will also assume the office of President in the event of the resignation of the President or the inability of the President to continue to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her office.
    (Rev. fall 1988; para. deleted Fac. Sen. 9/15/97)

    When the President of the Senate is absent, the President Elect shall act in his or her place. The Vice President of the Senate shall publish the agenda and relevant committee reports at least one week in advance of regular meetings and as early as practicable before special meetings. (Distribution shall be: agenda, including all committee reports, recommendations, and proposals to all senators and one per each ten faculty members of each department.)

    The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Senate, including the call to meetings, committee reports as adopted and the record of all business transacted and shall distribute to the faculty a record of all these transactions at regular and special meetings, using the previously published agenda as the basis for this record, and duly noting any revisions, amendments, adoptions, or rejections voted by the Senate. The minutes will contain a record of relevant items in the discussion which preceded Senate actions. The Secretary shall provide for the maintenance of an electronically recorded transcript of the meetings.
    (Rev. 10/5/87; 2/10/97)

    The agenda of every regular Senate meeting shall include an item giving the opportunity for remarks by the President of the University and/or the University Provost. (Rev. 5/2021)

    Reports or recommendations from standing or ad hoc committees of the Senate shall, when included on the agenda for a Senate meeting, identify the chairperson of the committee, who shall be responsible to be present at the meeting, or to provide for the presence of an alternate. In the absence of the sponsoring committee chairperson or alternate, the presiding officer of the Senate shall declare the report or recommendation stricken from the agenda.
    (Rev. 7/1/76)

  14. Responsibilities and Powers of Committees
    (in addition to those structured in Part C of the Bylaws)

    Powers and duties of the standing committees are stipulated by the Senate. In addition to considering matters referred to them by the Senate, standing committees may initiate action on matters clearly within their province and request that they be placed on the agenda of the Senate meeting.

    Special committees shall consider matters referred to them by the Senate.

    Committee reports to be placed on the Senate agenda must be submitted to the officers of the Senate in advance of the Senate meeting at which consideration of the report is planned, and they shall be distributed with the agenda to members of the Senate.

    While committees are encouraged to consult with administrative officials upon request, they do not thereby speak for the faculty or its Senate, unless their charge in the Standing Committee document so specifies. Committees shall ordinarily keep minutes of such consultations, and shall be responsible for timely reporting of their consulting activities to the Senate. Committee reports and papers are confined to routing through the Senate.

    The Senate may choose to allow for a committee to submit a closed report to an administrative official when the need for its confidentiality is acceptable to the Senate.

  15. Powers Delegated to the Several Colleges and Divisions

The Bylaws of the Trustees of the University include the following charges to the faculty:

The faculty shall:


  1. Formulate rules and regulations for the government and the discipline of the student body. 
  2. Provide for the establishment of the curricula and courses in the several colleges and divisions. 
  3. Provide for the establishment of a program of extra-course education for students. 
  4. Determine educational and academic policies of admissions. 
  5. Determine the requirements for degrees and recommend candidates for diplomas, degrees, and certificates that shall be conferred by the President of the University under the authority of the Board of Trustees. 
  6. Recommend policies concerning awards, prizes, and scholarships. 
  7. Recommend educational and academic policies relating to the administration of the University Library. 
  8. Make recommendations for the conduct of formal exercises and public functions held under the auspices of the University.
  9. Adopt regulations governing its own procedures with authority to enact, amend, and repeal its bylaws by a two-thirds vote of those present. 
  10. Determine the duties that it will delegate to faculty committees and to the faculties of the several colleges and divisions of the University.

Section II, Article I of the Constitution of the Faculty of the University of Delaware empowers the University Senate "to determine the duties which it will delegate to faculty committees and to the faculties of the several colleges and divisions of the University."

The University Faculty recognizes the college faculties as the regular authorized representative agency of each college, having certain delegated functions as follows:

  1. To seek the continual improvement of academic programs, standards, and achievements in the college. 
  2. To take an active role in the guidance, planning and administration of the instructional, research, and service activities of the college. 
  3. To serve as the official channel for the expression of college faculty opinion. 
  4. To consider and make recommendations concerning (policies governing) appointments, leaves, sabbaticals, promotions, tenure, and dismissal of faculty members.Privileges Delegated to the Several Colleges and Divisions


The adoption of the Constitution by the Faculty indicates that the Faculty has assented to grant the collective powers of the Faculty granted by the Trustee Bylaws to the University Faculty Senate except during the conduct of a special meeting of the full Faculty as provided in Section VIII, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Faculty of the University of Delaware. Therefore, the University Faculty Senate retains for the Faculty ultimate responsibility in the general areas of curriculum, admission, degree requirements, awards, etc. The committee structure of the Senate reflects the retention of the responsibility of the Senate in these areas. (Rev. fall 1988)

Final or ultimate responsibility is not, however, initial responsibility. The burden for curriculum design, admission policies, degree requirements, prizes, awards and ceremonies must remain at the college level. Each college accepts initial responsibility in these areas. Decisions made at the college level would be presented through committee to the University Faculty Senate. Substantive changes in such decisions would be referred back to the colleges in question.

Decisions regarding the selection of official designees or representatives of a college or division of the University at special ceremonies and celebrations shall be made at the college level.

XV. Privileges Delegated to the Several Colleges and Divisions

The Bylaws of the Trustees provide that the Faculty shall have the privilege:

  1. To make recommendations to the Board of Trustees concerning the establishment of any degree to be awarded or the disestablishment of any degree. 
  2. To consider matters of general interest to the University and make recommendations thereupon to the President for transmission to the Board of Trustees. 
  3. To consider and make recommendations for proposed changes in the University organization. 
  4. To make recommendations to the President, for transmission to the Board of Trustees, concerning the formation of policies governing appointments, promotions, tenure, dismissals, and salaries. 
  5. To propose to the President, for transmission to the Board of Trustees, upon the concurrence of two-thirds of those present, amendments to these regulations, provided such amendment or amendments have been proposed in writing at the preceding regular meeting of the University Faculty Senate. (Rev. fall 1988) 

These collective privileges, like the collective powers described above, remain with the University Senate as delegated by the Faculty Constitution. However, each college and division is expected to initiate recommendations of general interest and to propose recommendations concerning policies governing appointments, promotions, tenure, dismissals, and salaries within their college. Ultimately such proposals would be presented, through committee, to the University Senate.

16. Emergency Academic Regulations

On rare occasions, a significant disruption to the University of Delaware could occur, causing a temporary suspension of classes or extended closure of the University preventing academic work from progressing normally. This could occur for reasons such as a state of emergency declaration from the Governor’s Office, a natural disaster, civil unrest, pandemic illness, or other unforeseeable events.

 In the event of a significant disruption of academic activities during a University of Delaware’s academic session, the University Provost, acting in consultation with the University Faculty Senate Executive Committee, shall convene an Emergency Academic Regulations Task Force to consider whether or not temporary emergency academic policies are needed. The Task Force will be co-chaired by the Provost (or designee) and the President of the Faculty Senate (or designee). The Task force must include the chairs of the Committees on the Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies, the President (or designee) of the University of Delaware Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Additional members may include student, faculty, and Dean representatives, as well as representatives from the Registrar's office, Student Life, and Student Financial Services, and other relevant representatives.

 Examples of temporary measures may include changes to the academic calendar, registration, assignments and examinations, teaching format, grades, teaching evaluations, procedures for accepting theses, awarding of degrees, and modifications to the schedule for promotion and tenure (See Faculty Handbook 1.2).

 All Task Force temporary recommendations that will affect the Faculty Handbook and Course Catalog must be considered and voted on by the Faculty Senate. The Task Force shall submit formal resolutions for immediate Faculty Senate discussion and vote. If the Senate Executive Committee determines it is not practicable for the Senate to consider the resolutions (in a timely fashion or a quorum is not reached), the Senate Executive Committee shall act on the Senate’s behalf. 

 Any temporary measures approved by the Senate or the Senate Executive Committee shall be in force for the current academic term only.