The senates are the highest policy forums for the constituencies they represent.
The Faculty Senate is a creation of the faculty, and is the means by which the faculty shall exercise, consistent with the legal authority of the Board of Regents and Chancellor, its broad Aresponsibility for the immediate governance of the university and assume Aprimary responsibility for academic and educational activities and faculty personnel matters [Merger Law 36.09(4)].
The Academic Staff Senate is the creation of the academic staff members, and is the means by which academic staff members may Aactively participate in the broadest areas of university policy formation and exercise Aprimary responsibility for the formulation and review . . . of all policies and procedures concerning academic staff members, including academic staff personnel matters [Merger Law, 36.09(4m)].
The Student Senate is the creation of the student body, and is the means by which students may Aactively participate in the broadest areas of university policy formation, and exercise Aprimary responsibility for the formulation and review of policies concerning student life, services and interest [Merger Law, 36.09(5)].
Typically, Aprimary responsibility has involved both initiation and review of policies relating to the specified subject areas for which the constituency is assigned primary responsibility, and a recognition that weight be given to recommendations in those areas from that constituency.
However, primary responsibility does not mean exclusive responsibility for a subject area. Nor does primary responsibility for a subject mean that one governance group can unilaterally prescribe the procedure that another group must use in considering that subject. The statutes give faculty, academic staff, and students the right to organize themselves as each sees fit to participate in institutional governance.
Thus, faculty have the authority, and indeed the obligation, to initiate and review policies concerning academic and educational activities and faculty personnel matters before they are amended or adopted by the entity or entities at the university with the authority to make decisions in those areas. Further, greater weight should be given to those faculty recommendations that deal with the specific subject areas of faculty primary responsibility.Membership
The membership of some of the councils and commissions described in these Faculty Bylaws include students and academic staff members. Participation by these governance bodies is strictly voluntary and all such representatives shall be chosen in a manner determined by the appropriate senate. The decision to participate or not participate by these groups in no way prevents them from creating independent organizations with similar duties and powers.
No faculty member may serve on more than two of the following in the same year: the Faculty Senate, the Academic Planning Council, the Academic Information Technology Commission, the University Undergraduate Curriculum Commission, the University Academic Budget Commission, and the University Rank Salary and Tenure Commission PolicyOpen Meeting
The meetings of all senates, councils, commissions, committees, and boards are open, except when they are restricted or closed according to the provisions of Wisconsin's Open Meeting Law. All meeting times, places, and agenda, whether open or closed, shall be published in advance, except in the case of emergency meetings where such publication is as a practical matter not possible. In all instances, meetings must conform with the Wisconsin Open Meeting Law.