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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

Committee on Academic Title-Holder Representation

Shared Governance
Process for Changing Senate Rules
Action Items
Background Reading.


It is through the Faculty Senate that members  of the University Faculty are represented. The University Faculty is basically comprised of the tenured and tenure track professors. Every department/academic unit as one or two Senators. There are also nine senator-at-large seats rendering a body that has about 100 members.

We are looking at ways to broaden the range of  academic titleholders who are represented through the Senate. The Committee has this charge and these members. This  Senate presentation gives a quick overview of what we are trying to do.


It is essential  to understand all the different academic titles  and title modifiers that we have at Cornell and how the thousands of academic title-holders are  distributed across the colleges. Titles come equipped with rules about

appointment length and renewal
research-student  advising, 
external funding

Shared Governance

Shared governance at Cornell  is organized through the Senate and various  assemblies.  Except for the University Faculty, all academic title-holders are represented through the Employee Assembly.   A recent polling of  non-tenure track academic titleholders reveals considerable unhappiness with this arrangement.

The Process for Changing Senate Rules

Changing Senate membership rules requires the modification of a document known as the Operating Principles of the University Faculty (OPUF) . Here is a summary of the process:

(a)  The Committee will frame its recommendations through a collection of resolutions.

(b) These resolutions will come before the Senate where they will be discussed, possibly modified, and voted upon.

(c)  The collection of Senate-approved recommendations is then presented  to the entire University Faculty for a vote.

(d) The OPUF is modified according to what is approved by the University Faculty and the changes  become “the law.”

Action Items

These are the topics/issues that have to be resolved.

1. University Senate vs Faculty Senate

The formal name of the Senate needs to change.

2, Senate Membership: Eligibility and Voting Rights

A subset of non-tenure track title-holders (temporarily named the “NTT Subset”) has to be  identified that would have voting rights in the Senate.

3. Senators with Department Constituencies

For Senator, a department can chose from its members of the University Faculty or from the NTT subset.

4.Designated Senate Seats

Eighteen Senate seats for the NTT subset  are apportioned across the colleges.

5. UFC and N&E

Should these committees of the University Faculty be allowed to have NTT Subset members ex officio or otherwise?

6. Existing Standing Committees of the Senate

Should these committees be allowed to  have NTT Subset members ex-officio or otherwise?

7. Creation of a New Standing Committee that Deals with NTT Titleholder issues

What would be the make-up and charge of such a committee?

8. Voting in the Senate

How might an expanded Senate deal with issues that are specific to the University Faculty, e.g., tenure process issues?

9. Voting  for DoF, Associate DoF, UFC, N&E, and Faculty Trustee

How might the pool of eligible voters be expanded?

10. Awarding Emeritus/a status for certain NTT titleholders

How might the pool of those  eligible for emeritus/a status be expanded?

11. Procedure for Changing Representation from the EA to the Senate

Is this necessary and if so what is the process?

12. Communication

How can communication to NTT academic title-holders be improved?


Last Updated: August 14, 2018 at 6:34 am