The University Senate is the academic governing body of the University and is made up of faculty, students, staff, and administration members. Most of its work is done in the seventeen standing committees, which report to the full Senate at least once a year. The committees are:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Professional Ethics
  • Administrative Operations
  • Appointment and Promotions
  • Athletic Policy
  • Budget and Fiscal Affairs
  • Computing Services
  • Curricula
  • Diversity
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Concerns
  • Honorary Degrees
  • Instruction
  • Library
  • Research
  • Services to the Faculty and Staff
  • Student Life
  • Women’s Concerns


The Senate mainly functions in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor. However, it is empowered to approve new curricula and to recommend faculty for promotion and for emeritus status. There are also times that the various Senate committees may be called on to act as grievance bodies.


The full Senate meets monthly. At these meetings, the Senate hears reports from committees, considers any motions or resolutions proposed by committees or individual senators, approves new curricula as reported by the Committee on Curricula, and deals with any new business that may come up.

Committee reports that are to be presented at a meeting of the full Senate are distributed to senators prior to the meeting, along with an agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting.

October Summary

Each year at the October meeting, a summary of the work of the previous year’s Senate is distributed to senators for review and affirmation. Also at that meeting, the Senate acts on any recommendations for faculty promotion or emeritus status not received in time for the April meeting.

April Recommendations

At the April meeting, the Senate recommends to the Board of Trustees that those students who qualify be granted degrees at the various graduation ceremonies, and that faculty members so recommended be promoted. The list of retiring faculty being recommended for emeritus status is also endorsed at this meeting.