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Bylaws and Procedures


The Faculty Senate is governed by the Northwestern University Statutes and the Faculty Senate Bylaws, and follows Robert's Rules of Order at each meeting.

The Governance Committee establishes and proposes changes to the Faculty Senate Bylaws as necessary. 

Faculty Senate Procedures

Events with Central Administration  - Frequency and Participants
Event Frequency Participants
Summit Meeting Quarterly Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Senior Administrators, including U President and Provost
Faculty Senate Leaders meetings with Provost Office Twice per month, year-round Provost, Associate Provost for Faculty, Faculty Senate Leaders
President-President meeting Quarterly University President, Faculty Senate President
Board of Trustees (BOT) engagement event Annually Senators, Trustees, Administrators
Faculty Senate President serves ex-officio on, and attends meetings of, BOT Academic Affairs Committee Twice per year Trustees, Administrators, Faculty Senate President
Ad Hoc University committees including University-wide search committees Ad Hoc Faculty Senate-recommended faculty committee member
Faculty Assembly Fall and Spring U President and Faculty
Research Affairs meeting with Vice President of Research Quarterly Faculty Senate Research Affairs Committee/Chair and University’s VP Research
Budget and Planning meeting with Resource Planning Workgroup Fall and Spring Faculty Senate Budget and Planning Committee/Chair and University’s Resource Planning Workgroup
University Policy Review Committee meetings Quarterly Chaired by: Associate Provost for Strategy; Faculty Senate representative
NTE meeting with Associate Provost for Faculty Quarterly NTE Committee/Chair and Associate Provost for Faculty
Meeting Frequency and Central Administration Involvement
Meeting Type Frequency Central Administration Present?
Faculty Senate committee meetings As needed, typically at least once per quarter May be invited as needed
Faculty Senate Executive Committee meetings Monthly (Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June) May be invited as needed
Full Faculty Senate meetings Monthly (Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June)
  • Invited as guest speakers at most meetings
  • January meeting: state of the budget presentation by Provost and SVP for Business and Finance
  • April meeting: Conversation with BOT Chair
Senator Obligations  - Meetings and Responsiblities
Role Obligation
All senators

Two-way communication with constituents:

  • Share newsletter and meeting minutes with constituents
  • Solicit concerns from constituents


  • Attend monthly FS meetings
  • Serve on, and attend meetings of, standing committees
Executive Committee members


  • Attend monthly meetings to set strategic direction for the Senate
  • Call quarterly meetings (and other meetings as needed) of their committees to conduct Senate business
Faculty Senate Leadership
  • Preside over the Executive Committee and the Senate
  • Liaise with central administration