Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of the University of Maryland
Eastern Shore Senate


The purpose of this plan of organization is to provide a means for the UMES campus community to discharge its functions with respect to educational policy and other areas of concern to this campus. The successful operation of the UMES Campus demands the full cooperation of the faculty, administrative staff, students, professional staff, classified employees, and others who render full-time service on this campus, or who receive payment for full-time service on this campus, or who, in any other full-time manner, are specifically responsible to the Office of the President of the UMES campus.

The governing organization of the UMES campus shall be the Senate whose powers and limitation of powers are described below and which shall have representation from all segments of the campus community. The powers of the Senate shall be limited to the extent that they cannot contravene the powers of the Board of Regents as provided in the statutes of the University and the powers delegated by the Board of Regents to the Chancellor of the University and by him to the President of the UMES campus. Participation in the Senate or its branches shall be an honor and a responsibility for which all due recognition shall be provided.

The membership in the UMES Senate shall be representative of the five constituencies of the campus: (1) Administration, (2) Faculty, (3) Exempt Staff, (4) Students, and (5) Non-Exempt Staff, with qualified composition. All candidates must be in good standing with the University.

Each constituency wide group shall have the right organization in addition to representation in the UMES Campus Senate. Such organizations shall serve as voices of their respective constituencies and all as adjunct organizations of the UMES campus Senate subject to the authority of the Board of Regents, the offices of the Chancellor and President, and the powers of the UMES campus Senate. Existent organizations shall submit their charters or by-laws to be addenda to the by-laws of the UMES campus Senate.

The democratic process demands that there exist a mutual feeling of respect between those who govern and those who are governed. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of all constituencies of the UMES campus to be equally concerned about all matters which affect the well-being of the UMES campus. In this spirit, through its appropriate representatives, the UMES Senate shall advise, consult with, and seek the leadership of its executive officers who, in turn, shall respond appropriately to such consultation and keep the UMES campus community current and well-informed upon matters pertaining to the conditions and status of the institution and the welfare of its constituencies.


Article I.         Purpose, Jurisdiction, and Functions

Section 1. Authority: Ultimate legal control of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is vested by law in the Board of Regents.

Section 2. Establishment: There shall be established by the UMES community a body known as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Senate, hereinafter referred to as the Senate.

Section 3. Purpose: The purpose of the Senate is to provide the President and administrative officials with the benefit of systematic consultation with members of the UMES community and to enable the community to participate in the formulation of policies of concern to the UMES campus. Policies of the Senate will be determined according to the procedure stipulated in Article 6 of this constitution.

Section 4. Jurisdiction: The Senate shall have plenary jurisdiction to investigate, discuss and make recommendations to the President concerning any matters submitted to it by the President or by any member of the UMES community. The Senate, as with any element of the University, may communicate the results of its deliberations to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents within the procedures established and approved by the Board of Regents.

Section 5. Functions of the Senate: In accordance with the plenary powers delegated to it by the offices of the Chancellor and the President and the authority of the Board of Regents, the UMES Senate shall consider any matter of campus wide concern. It shall be committed to, but not limited to, survey of these expressed areas of concern.

a) The Senate shall supervise campus wide referenda as required by the Senate; voting shall be by the five campus constituencies separately, as required by the Senate.

b) The Senate shall actively search for means whereby academic freedom may be advanced and faculty and research interests may be protected.

c) The Senate shall actively search for means whereby the welfare of all staff personnel may be promoted where not in conflict with other statutory control.  In these matters, the Vice President of Administrative Affairs shall be consulted to determine matters of conflict.

d) The Senate shall confer and give counsel on general policies to govern UMES campus relations with outside agencies for research, instruction, and related purposes.

e) The Senate shall formulate and suggest policies relating to the awarding of campus prizes and honors.

f) The Senate shall present such proposals to the President or departments, students and staff groups as in its judgment may serve to improve the quality of campus life.

g) The Senate shall confer and give counsel on long-range plans for the physical development of the campus, recommend ways in which they can be improved and keep such plans under continuing review.

h) The Senate shall, as needed, construct for deliberation a code of conduct for administration, faculty, students, and staff; provide for its enforcement and continuing review.

i) The Senate shall confer with and be conferred with by the President on all general policy matters pertaining to the employment and programs of the instructional, research and supportive staffs of the campus.

j) The Senate shall elect one senator from the Senate to the various search committees, to work with the Board of Regents and the Chancellor in the selection of a President and to work with the President in the selection of Vice Presidents and Deans.

k) The Senate shall apprise the Board of Regents through the President and the Chancellor of matters relative to the UMES campus.

1) The Senate shall actively search for means whereby the welfare of students may be advanced and student life enriched.

m) The Senate shall oversee all senatorial elections according to procedures established by members of the various constituencies as outlined in Article II, Section 2.

n) The Senate shall receive and deliberate upon recommendations from the President.

o) The Senate shall strive for a superior academic environment and harmonious relations with the surrounding community.

p) The Senate shall recommend guidelines for equitable distribution of funds and suggest budget priorities for departments.

q) The Senate shall submit proposals for educational policies of the UMES campus as a whole, and may review any standards and/or proposals originating in the various departments.

r) The Senate shall, when necessary or desirable, initiate proposed changes of those statutes according to procedures set forth in Article VII below.

Article II.    Membership.

Section 1. Membership: Only duly qualified members of the Senate shall exercise the power, prerogatives and responsibilities of membership in the Senate. For operational purposes of the UMES Senate, the following definitions are used to identify the various constituencies:

A. Administrators – Fulltime employees with major responsibilities and authorities in academic administration, and members of the Executive Administrative Cabinet.

B. Faculty – A faculty member is defined as one who holds academic or librarian title and whose principal occupation on this campus is teaching, advising, performance or research.

C. Exempt Staff – Full-time employees with major responsibilities and authorities in general supportive services, except those employees excluded by specific statutory provisions.

D. Non-Exempt Staff – All staff personnel employed at UMES, whether permanent or temporary, other than those positions which have been excluded by specific statutory provisions.

E. Students – A student shall be defined as anyone currently enrolled at UMES as a full-time or part-time student in approved courses offered by the University, including graduate students.

The membership of the Senate shall represent the following five constituencies:

A. Administrative Members (Ex-officio voting) (3)

·  Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs.

B. Administrative Members (Ex-officio non-voting) (6)

·  President, Human Relations Officer, Deans.

C. Elected Members (28)

·  Faculty (16) elected by Faculty Assembly,

·  Students (7) elected by Student Government Association (Graduate Students to elect 1),

·  Exempt Staff (2),

·  Non-Exempt Staff (3).

D. Faculty Assembly

·  Chair of the Faculty Assembly (Ex-officio voting).

E. Student Government Association

·  President of the Student Government Association (Ex-officio voting).

Section 2. Elections: Elections of Senators by each constituency shall take place according to the constitution or procedure of each constituency.

A. Faculty Members – Shall be elected according to procedures established by the members of the Faculty Assembly.

B. Students – Shall be elected according to procedures established by the members of the Student Government Association.

C. Exempt Staff – Shall be elected according to procedures established by the exempt staff.

D. Non-Exempt Staff – Shall be elected according to procedures established by the non-exempt staff.

E. Vacancies – Each constituency will provide the Chair of the Senate with names of one alternate for every two senators, in the event of a vacancy of the Senate for that constituency.

F. Recall – Every elected senator shall be subject to recall. Initiation of recall procedures shall require a petition signed by one fourth of the members of the constituency from which the member was elected.

1. Petitions and written charges shall be delivered to the executive council of the Senate. Upon receipt of the petition and written charges, the senator shall be allowed to respond to such charges as he/she chooses.

2. Following the senator’s response, a recall election shall be held. A senator will be recalled by a majority of the votes cast and the seat shall there upon become vacant. Forty percent (40%) of the constituency must vote in order for the recall election to be valid.

Section 3. Terms:  Faculty members, exempt staff, and non-exempt staff shall be elected for two-year staggered terms. Students shall be elected for one-year terms. 

Article III.      Officers

Section 1. Officers: Ex-officio members may not hold office. Officers (Chair, vice chair, secretary, parliamentarian) will be nominated at the next to last Senate meeting of the academic year.

At the last senate meeting of the academic year, the officers of the senate will be elected by secret ballot. The person(s) nominated for the office need not be senators. The act of election confers membership.

A. Chair: The Chair shall preside over all meetings of the Senate.

B. Vice-Chair: In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall preside. If the Chair is vacated, the Vice Chair will serve as Chair until the next regular election. In the event that the Vice Chair is vacated, the Senate shall elect a new Vice Chair from among the elected members of the executive council.

C. Secretary: To be elected from among those remaining members.

Section 2. Succession of officers: The Chair and Vice Chair may not succeed to the same office, but the Secretary, parliamentarian may succeed him/herself.

Section 3. Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian will provide clarification of all Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 4. Senate Executive Council: An Executive Council shall be created and composed of the elected officers and one member of each constituency, if such constituency is not already represented among the elected officers: that each constituency- should be responsible for filling this vacancy.  The Council shall establish the agenda; assist in carrying into effect the actions of the Senate and serve as a channel through which any member of the campus community introduces matters for consideration by the Senate.

Article IV.      Meetings

Section 1. Regular Meetings: The Senate shall hold scheduled monthly meetings during the academic year on the second Tuesday of each calendar month.

Section 2. Special Meetings: At the request of any ten members of the Senate, the Chair will be required to call a meeting provided all members have been notified at least 24 hours in advance of the date and time of the special meeting.

Section 3. Agenda: Any members of the UMES community may submit proposals for Senate consideration to a member of the executive council who must respond in writing/electronic communication to the person submitting, stating he/she has submitted the proposal to the Executive Council, who will prioritize all requests in preparing the agenda.

A. Distribution of agenda: At least three days prior to each regular meeting the secretary shall distribute the agenda to all members of the Senate.

B. Referral or Automatic postponement of Non- Agenda Proposals Except in an emergency, as determined by a two thirds vote of the members present: Any proposal introduced under new business which does not appear on the agenda shall either be referred to an appropriate committee or automatically postponed until the following meeting.

C. The Chair of the Senate has the authority to suspend a chair of a committee if designated responsibilities are not fulfilled. An interim chair can be appointed until a full Senate can review and make a decision regarding the continuation of the elected committee chair.

Section 4. Parliamentary Authority: Robert’s Rule of Order, as most recently revised, shall govern meetings of the Senate, except in cases where such rules are inconsistent with this Constitution.

Section 5Absence from Meeting: A member who must be absent from any meeting of the Senate shall be required to notify any alternate elected by that constituency. That alternate shall exercise all of his privileges and powers to a senator.

Section 6. Quorum: A quorum of the Senate shall consist of one more than half of the ELECTED membership.

Section 7. Attendance of Non-Members: Any member of the UMES community may attend meetings of the Senate. Such a visitor may speak, but he may not vote. Any member of the Senate may invite anyone to participate in the discussion of the Senate; however, such invited participants cannot vote.

Section 8. Distribution of Minutes: The secretary shall keep the minutes of the Senate and shall distribute them to all of the members of the Senate at least three days prior to the next regular meeting. Copies will also be filed in the library for general use and maintained of the Senate’s website.

Article V.        Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees: The Senate may elect as needed a chair of standing committees. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to populate the committee as the need arises. These committees will submit an annual report to the Senate at the final meeting of the academic year.

It should be the duty and responsibility of the chair of a Senate committee to conduct monthly meetings (more if the committee feels additional meetings are warranted), to see that complete minutes are kept and distributed to all members of the committee and to prepare a final written report to be distributed to the entire Senate at the final meeting of the committee, along with a statement by the chair on the objectives and accomplishments of the committee during the academic year.

Section 2. The Standing Committees are:

·   Academic Affairs Committee

·   Admissions Committee

·   Campus Security Committee

·   Physical Plant Committee

·   Faculty Grievance Committee

·   Athletics Committee

·   Library Committee

·   Student Concerns Committee

·   Information Technology Committee

Section 3. Special Committees: The Senate may create special committees. Such committees shall report to the Senate as required by the Senate.

Section 4. Membership of the Committees: Membership of the committees of the Senate shall not require Senate membership.

Article VI.      Recommendation of the Senate

Section 1. Transmittal of Recommendations: Recommendations passed by the Senate shall be transmitted in writing to the President for appropriate action. The President shall report his actions at the next regular Senate meeting.

Section 2. Appeal to the President: In the event that a recommendation of the Senate is not approved by the President after two regular Senate meetings, or in the event of a serious and prolonged disagreement between the President and the Senate on a question of grave concern to the University, the Senate by a majority vote, taken by secret ballot, may authorize the Chair of the Senate to communicate, in writing, directly with the Chancellor in order to present its viewpoint. A copy of such a communication shall be provided to the President.

Section 3. Appeal to the Board of Regents: If a serious and prolonged disagreement exists between the Senate and the Chancellor, the Senate, by a majority vote, taken by secret ballot, may authorize the chair of the Senate to communicate through the Chancellor in writing, with the Board of Regents to present its viewpoint. A copy of the Chancellor’s letter shall be forwarded to the Senate.

Article VII.     Amendment

Section 1. Proposal of the Amendment: Any member of the Senate may propose an amendment to the constitution. The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the secretary and distributed to members of the Senate at least thirty days prior to any action on the proposal.

Section 2. Adoption of the Amendment: If the proposed amendment received a two thirds majority of the votes cast in the Senate, it shall be submitted to the constituencies for ratification. Voting shall be by the five campus constituencies, separately, and the presiding officer of each constituency shall forward the result to the secretary of the Senate. Each constituency shall have one collective vote. It should be submitted within thirty days after the original acceptance of the amendment. If after an additional thirty days no communication is received from the constituency it will be assumed that the constituency has no objections to the proposed amendment.

Article VIII.   Ratification

Upon completion of the voting of the five constituencies, the constitution will be ratified based on the majority of the constituency votes.

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