Board approves Faculty Senate

By Joe Bush

The Board of Regents last Thursday approved an amendment to the NIU Constitution that allows the creation of the NIU Faculty Senate, an expanded version of the assembly.

The new body will not be formed until the annual senate elections in the spring. At that time, 30 additional senators will be elected—one from each academic department—after the senate’s University Council representatives are elected, said J. Carroll Moody, UC executive secretary.

Unlike the “old” system senators, these “new” additional senators will not serve on the University Council in addition to the senate, Moody said.

Moody said the senate will provide a “broader faculty voice on internal governance.” Many of NIU’s academic departments went unrepresented because elected senators were representatives of a college, not a specific department, Moody said. As many as 80 senators might serve on the senate, he said.

This amendment was first presented to the Regents at their July meeting after a campus-wide referendum passed by a 286-39 margin last spring. The Regents asked that wording in some of the amendment’s bylaws be changed before they approved it.

In the next two weeks, the council’s Rules and Governance Committee will study possible related bylaw and procedural changes and creations for the senate. The election commission will consider procedures for the new elections as well.

The Regents govern NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.