Frequently Asked Questions
What does UFS stand for? - UFS stands for University Faculty Senate.
What is a "CGL"? - A CGL is short for Campus Governance Leader. CGL's are the leaders of the senate body on each individual campus.
What is a Senator? - A senator is a representative from one of the the 4 university centers, 5 health science centers, 13 colleges of arts and science, and the 5 colleges of technology that serve on the senate.
How many Senators serve on the senate? -56 senators serve on the University Faculty Senate.
How many senators are there per each campus? - The number of Senators from each campus is determined by a weighted formula.
What is a Plenary? - Three Plenary Sessions of the University Faculty Senate, each lasting two days, are held each academic year, in the fall, winter, and spring. Rotation among the campuses as sites for these meetings with each campus hosting a meeting approximately every tenth year, provides an opportunity to visit other campuses. Senators receive electronic and/or paper materials prior to each Plenary session. The host institution also provides information about the campus and surrounding area. The Senate Office provides information on accommodations, directions, parking, etc. The host campus also makes provision for taping the entire Plenary.
Senate meetings include a session with the Chancellor with a question and answer period.
The Plenary Session agenda usually includes:
- Chancellor's Report
- President's Report
- Executive Committee Report and Action Items
- Reports of the other Standing Committees and Action Items
- Presentations on important higher education issues
- Sharing of Concerns
What is a Fall planning meeting? - Each September, the University Faculty Senate holds a planning meeting attended by members of the Executive Committee, members of standing committees, and others by invitation. The Planning Meeting provides new committee members with an opportunity to be introduced to members of the Executive Committee, and initiated into the policies, procedures, and operations of the Senate and its Committees.
The agenda for the meeting also includes meetings between the Executive Committee and each of the Standing Committees. The purpose is to review the activities of the Senate planned for the year. The Committees plan their activities for the year according to a set of priorities determined in consultation with the Executive Committee.
Prior to adjournment, all committees meet together for a summary session with the Executive Committee. The chair of each committee reports on its major activities and priorities for the year.
Who was the first President of the UFS? - J. Murdock Dawley was the first president of the University Faculty Senate.
When was the UFS founded? - The University Faculty Senate was founded in 1953.
What is the Executive Committee? -The Executive Committee prepares the Senate's agenda, acts for the Senate (whenever possible) if the Senate is not in session, reacts to items submitted by the Chancellor, individual campuses, and undertakes such other responsibilities that are in the best interests of the Senate, It meets approximately seven times a year.
Within the Executive Committee, discussions, including review of all resolutions that come before the University Faculty Senate, take place. All formal votes by the Executive Committee are taken only by the members identified above and in the Bylaws.
Who makes up the Executive Committee? - The Senate's Executive Committee is chaired by the President of the Senate. Other members include the Vice-President/Secretary and five elected Senators, chosen in accord with Article VIII, Section B of the Senate's By-Laws, and one Senator from System Administration chosen by the Chancellor.
How many committees are there are what are they? - There are 8 committies, in order of the Organization, Governance Committee, Graduate Programs and Research Committee, Student Life Committee, Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies Committee, University Operations Committee, University Programs and Awards Committee, Committee on Diversity and Cultural Competence, and Committee on Ethics and Institutional Integrity.
What does the Graduate Committee do? The Committee shall concern itself with University-wide governance and shall provide guidance on matters of campus governance. The Committee shall interact with local governance leaders of the University. The Committee shall undertake a comprehensive review of the Governance Handbook every 4 years (with the next revision scheduled for 2016-17).
What does the Graduate Programs and Research Committee do? The Committee serves as a source of professional advice and guidance to the Senate on matters relating to the quality, operation, and encouragement of graduate programs and research. To these ends, the Committee may be concerned with the procedures, criteria, and support of existing and new graduate programs within the University. The Committee may review and recommend policies and procedures relating to moral and ethical concerns of research and graduate studies and other matters involving the furtherance of research and graduate studies within the University.
What doe the Student Life Committee do? The Committee will he concerned with significant educational, developmental, social, cultural, and recreational policies, programs, issues and services that affect the quality of student life and the campus environment of the State University of New York.
What does the Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies Committee do? The Committee provides advice and guidance to the Senate on matters relating to undergraduate programs and policies throughout the University. To these ends, the Committee may review such areas as existing and proposed curricula, standards for academic degrees, teaching techniques and evaluation, special undergraduate programs, articulation among units of the State University of New York, and the various aspects of international education and development.
What does the University Operations Committee do? The Committee shall be concerned with the effective participation of the professional staff in University personnel policies including equal employment practices and affirmative action, The Committee shall also be concerned with the development and administration of the budgetary and planning activities of the University, and to provide advice and guidance on matters related to libraries, computing, and telecommunications.
What does the University Programs and Awards Committee do? The Committee will concern itself with the enhancement of intercampus educational and scholarly interests of the faculty through the development and strengthening of University-wide programs, grants and awards.
What does the Committee on Diversity and Cultural Competence (EID) do? The Committee on Diversity and Cultural Competence will concern itself with issues pertaining to equity, inclusiveness and access, as they are reflected in the curriculum, student body, and personnel of the State University. Among the activities of this committee will be collecting and disseminating information, organizing periodic meetings and workshops, and providing guidance and recommendations to the Senate so that it may act with the best intentions of all people in mind.
What does the Committee on Ethics and Institutional Integrity do? The committee will study and make recommendations to the SUNY University Faculty Senate President regarding issues of professional behavior, ethical conduct and institutional integrity as they relate to faculty, students, administrators and other personnel in SUNY and higher education. The committee will gather information and serve as a resource for the Senate and the University. The Committee will not serve as a disciplinary body nor will it take part in judicial proceedings.
Who finances the Senate? - The Senate budget is derived from assessments made against the campuses. Each campus assessment is based upon the number of senators from that campus. The Senate budget supports the Senate Office, the committee structure, Senate Plenary Meetings, the Fall and Summer Planning Meetings, and other Senate activities and workshops. The President receives full released time from campus responsibilities. The salary for the UFS. President is shared by the Senate budget and the home campus of the President. Expenses of Senators to attend plenary sessions are the responsibility of their respective home campuses.
What does the President of the Senate do? - The President has final responsibility for Senate Plenaries, the Fall Planning Meeting, Summer Planning Meeting, the operations of the Senate Office, and the day-to-day running of the Senate, The President represents the faculty and professional staff at all meetings at which the faculty and professional staff are officially represented. These include, but are not limited to, meetings of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, The President has ongoing responsibility to monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of policies and practices which originated with the Senate and its Standing Committees.
What does the Vice President do? - The Vice President/Secretary serves as President in the absence of the President at the Fall Planning Meeting, Senate Plenaries, or Executive Committee meetings.
In the absence of the President, the Vice President/Secretary serves as a representative of the President at meetings as the President of the Senate requests. The Vice President/Secretary represents the Senate on Committees (e.g. Senate Committees) as requested by the President of the Senate, The Vice President/Secretary assists with preparation of the agenda for Executive Committee Meetings and Plenaries if requested by the President, The Vice President/Secretary assists the President with policy/procedure issues as requested, At the end of her/his term, if not reelected, the Vice President/Secretary serves as immediate past Vice President/Secretary of the Senate until a new past Vice President/Secretary is identified, by virtue of the completion of the Vice President/Secretary’s term of office.
What do Committee Chairs do? -
- Chairs attend all Plenary Sessions.
- Committee Chairs send copies of meeting minutes to the Senate President, the Vice President/Secretary of the Senate, and to other Standing Committee Chairs. Action items need to be received by the Senate Office at least seven working days in advance of the Plenary Session.
- Chairs are appointed annually by the Executive Committee. A chair need not be a Senator. It is customary to appoint a member in good standing of a committee as that committee’s chair.
- Chairs normally serve no more than three consecutive years; after their last year as chair of a committee they may be invited to serve one year on the same committee as the immediate past chair.
- Co-chairs are appointed when special circumstances warrant.
- Chairs may request special appointments to their committees where particular expertise is needed.
- Prior to the annual meeting where committees are constituted, the Chair prepares and sends to the Senate President a summary report and a confidential evaluation of each member's performance and willingness to be re-appointed.
- Meetings with the Chancellor or correspondence to the Chancellor or to the Trustees are made through the Senate President.
- Committee chairs enjoy parliamentary privileges at Plenary sessions but no voting privileges.
How do I get reimbursed for travel? - Travel expenses of Senators to the three Plenary Sessions are provided through local campus budgets; therefore Senators must adhere to campus budget procedures to secure reimbursement for travel and lodging. Senators who simultaneously serve as Committee Chairs have their travel to the Plenary Sessions funded through their local campus.
Travel to Plenary Sessions by Executive Committee members and Committee Chairs who are not Senators, as well as Campus Governance Leaders, is supported by the Senate. Those requiring air travel for Plenary Sessions need to contact the Senate Office. Necessary approvals will be obtained and arrangements made by the Senate Office.
Expenses for travel in connection with meetings of Senate Committees or the Fall Planning Meeting are paid by the Senate. Travel must be in a cost-effective manner consistent with State policies, rules, and regulations. Travelers need to keep all receipts, including those for lodging, meals, transportation, and tolls. Reimbursement rates and travel restrictions change frequently; The Faculty Senate website and Campus business offices have information on current rates.
Use of rental cars is encouraged for travel supported by the Senate. The State of New York has a contract with Enterprise Rent A Car. Contact the Senate Office or refer to the Faculty Senate website for more information
At the completion of the trip, a New York Stare Travel Voucher and a Statement of Automobile Travel (if applicable), are filed with the Senate Office. These forms are available on the Faculty Senate website and usually at meetings. Please see instructions on the Faculty Senate website and complete the forms accordingly. Contact the Senate Office with questions and concerns about travel.
Other travel expenses for those committee members who are appointed by the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Senate are funded through the Senate's budget and will be reimbursed by the Senate Office. Likewise, expenses of persons invited as consultants to committees shall be paid by the Senate. The Senate will also assume responsibility for funding the travel expenses of its representatives who are observers at meetings or committees of other agencies or constituencies if approved by the President of the Senate.
Travel expenses of observers at meetings of the University Faculty Senate or its committees shall be funded by the agencies or constituencies that the observers represent.
You can read more about UFS and its procedures here: