Review this section for important information and Initiatives pertaining to all Northwestern faculty. 

See the Ombudsman Program page for information on this ongoing initiative.

Governance Documents

Other Documents


2014-2015 Initiatives

Major initiatives recently discussed by the Faculty Senate can be reviewed below. Information on resolutions from previous years can be found in the Archive.


Budget Committee Resolution: Motion Adopted March 4, 2015

Whereas Northwestern University is a non-profit institution held in the public trust;

Whereas higher education has traditionally been a central route for upward mobility in the United States;

Whereas increasing socio-economic diversity is both in the interest of the university and of a democratic civil society;

Whereas inequality has increased over the last three decades in this country, leading to substantial divergence in the preparation and resources of students;

Whereas Northwestern has made progress in recent years in increasing access to Northwestern for low-income students;

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate supports the efforts of President Schapiro and the Northwestern University Administration to increase access for low-income students;

Be it further resolved that the university should ensure that financial aid packages for Pell Grant-eligible students are consistently competitive with those offered by peer institutions;

Be it further resolved that the university should subsidize academic, extracurricular, and professional development opportunities to enable full participation by all students in the life of the university regardless of income;

Be it further resolved that the university should raise additional funds specifically earmarked to support low-income student access to Northwestern without compromising financial aid for middle income students;

Be it further resolved that the administration should implement policies to ensure that by 2020, or sooner, no fewer than 20% of Northwestern undergraduates are Pell Grant-eligible.


Budget Committee Resolution to Conduct Survey: Motion Adopted December 3, 2014
The Budget Committee will survey tenure-line faculty opinion on the distribution of the pool of money for salary increases between retention and merit cases. The survey would consist of not more than two or three short questions, together with a space to submit further anonymous comments. Since salaries in Feinberg, Kellogg and Law are not part of the central budget, and the School of Professional Studies is also a special case, this survey would initially only cover faculty with appointments in the six schools which enroll undergraduates: Bienen, Communication, McCormick, Medill, SESP and Weinberg.

Motions for bylaw changes: Adopted December 3, 2014

Change to Leadership Titles:
The governance committee recommends that the titles of Chair, Vice Chair, and Past Chair be changed to President, Vice President, and Past President.

Changes in Article II: Membership
Section 1: Each department in the College and in the several Schools of the University shall elect one of its members to the Faculty Senate from among those department members who are members of the Faculty Assembly. In addition, the non-tenure track faculty of each school shall elect one non-tenure track member who is a member of the Faculty Assembly as its representative, and the Northwestern Emeriti Organization shall elect one of its members as its representative. Tenured and tenure track faculty are eligible for election  immediately upon  their University appointment. Non-tenure track faculty who are members of the Faculty Assembly are eligible for election after one year.

Section 2: Faculty Senate members will serve for three years, with the exception of the Senator selected to serve as President Elect, the President and the immediate past President who will serve as a member for such additional years as required to serve a full year as President Elect, a second full year as President, and a third full year as Immediate Past President. During any part of this term that extends beyond the term for which the Senator was originally elected, the appropriate academic unit may elect another representative. During any extension of a Senator’s term under this section, the Senator will be treated as if an elected member of the Senate for all other purposes.

Changes in Article III: The Executive Committee
Section 1: The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate shall be composed of the President, Immediate Past President, the President Elect (who also serves as Vice President), and the Chairs of the Standing Committees. The terms of these officers shall begin on August 1.

Section 2: The President Elect must be selected from Faculty Senate members.

Section 7: In the event of vacancy in the position  of President, the President Elect will serve as President for the remainder of that academic year and for the academic year in which they would have normally served. In the event of a vacancy in the position of President Elect, the Senate shall select a new President Elect at its next regularly scheduled meeting, or if no such meeting is scheduled before six weeks will pass, at a special meeting of the Senate announced no less than three weeks prior to such meeting. In the event that there is no president to transition to past president, the standing past president will continue in that role until such time as there is a new past president. In the event of a vacancy in a Chair of a Standing Committee, the Executive Committee will act in accordance with Section 4 above, at the time of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate.

Changes in Article VII: Standing Rules
Section 2: The bylaws may be adopted or amended by a two thirds vote of the full membership of the Faculty Senate provided that the proposed bylaws or amendments were submitted in writing to the Faculty Senate at a prior meeting. If a proposed bylaw is approved under the ordinary voting rules outlined under section 4 of Article IV, the remaining required votes may be submitted by electronic means within two weeks of the meeting at which the initial vote is taken.