Faculty Senate

The University of Arizona practices shared governance with its faculty, appointed personnel, staff, students, and our ultimate governing body, the Arizona Board of Regents. Faculty members not only share in the traditional role of recommending academic curricula and academic personnel policies, but also in the strategic and financial planning process, and in developing policies and procedures relative to the general operations of the University.

Participation in the faculty governance process, on committees, in the Faculty Senate, on SPBAC, etc. helps to improve this University and to protect faculty rights.

Skip to a section:

Membership Requirements

The voting members of the Faculty Senate shall be comprised of the following:


The President of the University, the Provost, the Chair of the Faculty, the Vice Chair of the Faculty, the Secretary of the Faculty, the chair of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, the chair of the Undergraduate Council and the chair of the Graduate Council shall be voting members of the Faculty Senate. In addition, one member shall represent the Vice Presidents, and one member shall represent the Deans.

Elected members of the Faculty Senate will hold office for two years, beginning on June 1 of the year in which they are elected, in accordance  with the following:

  • i. Twenty members shall be elected, prior to June 1 of the odd-numbered years, by the General Faculty. These shall be designated Senators-at-Large.

  • ii. A minimum of one member shall be elected prior to June 1 of the even- numbered years by each College Faculty. General Faculty members not affiliated with any college shall conduct an election as if they constitute a common college. Elected members of the Faculty Senate in addition to the twenty elected by the General Faculty and the ones elected by each College Faculty, including those acting as a common college, shall be apportioned among the several, but not necessarily all colleges, essentially in proportion to the number in each College Faculty. Such apportionment is to be established in accord with the census of the General Faculty by the Committee on Faculty Membership.

Four students selected annually by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA) and three students, selected annually by the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) in whatever manner those bodies decide.

One member of the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council (APAC) of the University of Arizona shall be appointed annually by the Chair of APAC. The member will hold voting membership and be afforded the full privileges thereof.

i. If a Senate seat is vacated due to a Senator's resignation or inability to serve, two circumstances apply: either (a) there were unelected candidates for the position in the election in which the unable-to-serve Senator was elected; or (b) there were no unelected candidates available in that Senator's constituency.

For all vacancies occurring under situation (a), the Committee on Elections will ask the unelected candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to become the successor. If this individual is unavailable, then the next highest vote recipient will be asked to serve, repeating until no unelected candidates are available. All such successors will serve until the return of the regularly elected Senator or until the end of the vacated term, whichever occurs first, but no less than one full semester in any case.

For vacancies occurring under situation (b), two types occur as follows:

  1. The vacated term to be filled is longer than one semester, in which case the Committee on Elections will be asked to conduct a special election in the constituency of the vacated seat, complete with nominating petitions and written or electronic ballot voting. An individual elected in this way will serve to the end of the unexpired term of the vacated seat.

  2. The vacated term is for one semester, in which case the Committee on Committees will be asked to provide the name of an individual from the vacated Senator's constituency who is willing to serve. An individual selected in this way will serve only until the end of the then current semester.

ii. If vacancies occur because there were not enough candidates from a given constituency in an election, the Chair of the Faculty and the Vice Chair shall seek appropriate faculty members from that constituency who are willing to serve, and present these candidates to the Senate Executive Committee for approval, to fill those vacancies.

Senate Resources



Upcoming Meetings

All Faculty Senate meetings are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the Old Main Silver and Sage Room (unless otherwise noted).

Previous Meeting Agendas

Agendas are also available by clicking on the appropriate date on the Faculty Center Calendar.

Meeting Minutes

A complete, searchable archive of all of the Faculty Senate agendas, minutes and attachments dating back to 1947 is available now!

NOTE: Current Faculty Senate minutes are posted as soon as they are approved, usually the month following the meeting, except for the May minutes that would be posted in September.

View Faculty Senate Minutes and Archives

Meeting Recordings

Audio and video (when requested) recordings of Faculty Senate meetings are available via Box. Please note meeting recordings are deleted after 1 year. 

View Faculty Senate Recordings


Functions of the Faculty Senate

Recommendations for new, changed, or deleted courses and programs generally come to the Faculty Senate from the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Councils through the Senate Executive Committee. The typical sequence of approvals required for academic courses, programs, or units is set out in Appendix II.

All academic policies stated in the catalogs require Faculty Senate approval. Most policy proposals come to the Senate Executive Committee upon recommendation of the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Councils.

Standing committees of the Faculty Senate include the Senate Executive Committee, the Academic Personnel Policy Committee, the Research Policy Committee, and the Student Affairs Policy Committee. Faculty Senate or its Executive Committee may establish ad hoc committees, as necessary. See Bylaws VIII. Section 4.

Reports from the President and Provost have a regular place on the agenda for each meeting of the Senate. Vice Presidents, Deans, and students, in addition to faculty, are represented in the Senate membership.

Concerns of the Associated Students of The University of Arizona (ASUA) and the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) are presented by Faculty Senate student members.

In addition to being the legislative body of the General Faculty, the Faculty Senate also acts as an advisory body to the President and the University administration. Given the importance of personnel policies to the General Faculty, responsibility for review is shared by the University administration and the Faculty Senate. (See also Bylaws VIII. Section 4.b.)

The University's Honorary Degree Policy calls for nominations to be submitted to the Senate for deliberation in executive session at a spring meeting. After Faculty Senate approval, the proposals are transmitted through the President to the Board of Regents.

Recommendations may be made on any matter that concerns the General Faculty or affects students or staff. This provision does not mean that the Faculty Senate has the sole right to make decisions that bind the University. Rather, it affirms that Senators have a responsibility to address themselves to the University's general policies and procedures in this public forum. 

Committees, including the Faculty Senate's Academic Personnel Policy Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, are responsible for considering and proposing changes to the Constitution and Bylaws. Proposed changes are processed as outlined in the General Faculty Constitution. As a body, the Faculty Senate is responsible for electing the General Faculty representative to the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, two Senate representatives to the Shared Governance Review Committee, the Senate representative to the Grievance Clearinghouse Committee, members of the Committee on Conciliation, the Committee on Ethics and Commitment, nominees for membership on the University Hearing Board, and the elected members of the Senate Executive Committee. Elections ordinarily occur at the May meeting.

As the legislative body charged to represent the General Faculty, the Senate is required to take actions on behalf of the faculty with respect to functions identified within the Constitution. Such items usually come to the Senate from its standing committees, the Undergraduate or Graduate Councils, student government, Senate members, or from individuals within the University community. All Senate actions are subject to challenge by the General Faculty (Constitution Articles I, and VII. Section 1). If left unchallenged, Senate actions are considered to express the will of the General Faculty.

In addition to the above ten listed items, the Senate has responsibility for dealing with other items that affect the welfare of the University and which are consistent with the general responsibilities identified for the General Faculty in the Constitution. Such items are often precipitated by changing circumstances and may be brought to the Senate's attention by any part of the University community.

Detailed information regarding Senate composition, officers, standing committees, and meetings can be found in the Constitution and Bylaws of The General Faculty of The University of Arizona.

June 2010

Frequently Asked Questions


The Senate's business is focused on a broad spectrum of policy issues, including academic personnel policies; instruction and curriculum policy; research policy; and student affairs policies. In addition, the Senate serves as a forum for communication and dialogue between the faculty and the University administration.

The Faculty Senate typically meets from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on the first Monday of each month during Fall and Spring semesters. Senate meetings for academic year 2017-18 will be held in the Old Main Silver and Sage Room.

Exceptions for 2017-2018: the first meeting of the Fall semester will be August 28, 2017 and there will be no September meeting; the March meeting will be March 12, 2018 because of Spring Break.

Yes. Senate meetings are open to the public, and there is space for visitors. When the Senate votes on honorary degrees, it meets in Executive Session, and visitors will be asked to leave. Such votes are held at the end of meetings, and usually occur only once or twice a year. Changes in meeting dates or locations occur occasionally, and are announced in advance. Call the Faculty Center (621-1342) to confirm the date, time, and location of the next Senate meeting.

Yes. Once the minutes of a given meeting have been approved at the next meeting, they are posted on the Web. See http://arizona.openrepository.com/arizona/handle/10150/107812 for minutes of past Senate meetings.

Yes. A few minutes in the middle of each month's meeting are reserved for brief comments from guests. There is time for a maximum of four such speakers per meeting, and guests must limit their comments to two minutes each. If you'd like to speak to the Senate in one of these open sessions, contact the Faculty Center (621-1342).

Elections are held every spring. The call for candidates goes out in January, along with instructions on how to place your name on the ballot, should you wish to run for the Senate. Twenty-eight Senate seats are set aside for specific colleges, with the number for each college proportionate to the number of faculty in the college. Faculty outside colleges are represented by one or two "non-college" senators depending on apportionment. There are also 20 at-large Senate seats, elected from across campus. Additionally, there are eleven ex officio members of the Senate, one Appointed Professionals Advisory Council and and seven student members (from both ASUA and GPSC). The composition of this year's Senate can be found below.