Your Responsibility as a Senator

Your responsibility as a faculty senator is to represent the best interests of your constituency. Your college/unit elected you to express their opinions in the senate and you should seek out the input of your colleagues on issues. Senior senators will routinely inform your college/unit of senate actions but you should also engage colleagues on issues. Shared governance is not just a handy catch phrase.

Senators are expected to attend every senate meeting. Should you be unable to attend, you must appoint a proxy, complete a Proxy form and submit to the senate secretary.

Order of Senate Meetings

Senate meetings usually follow a set order. Occasionally, guest speakers or essential business will take precedent over the usual order. The order of UNLV Faculty Senate meetings (subject to change) is:

Call To Order

By the chair.

Approval of the Minutes

Usually from the most recent meeting, distributed to senators ahead of time for perusal.

Chair's Report

A summary presented by the chair of items considered to be of importance to faculty.

Other Reports

They could be from committees, chairs or representatives to ad hoc or non-senate committees.

Informational Items

They can include guest speakers or individuals or groups who have requested or been invited to inform the senate on a topic or event.

Action Items

A consideration of items that require an action by the body.

Future Action Items

A preview of items that will be acted upon at a future date (usually the next meeting).

New Business

The opportunity for senators to bring issues or items to the attention of the senate for consideration or exploration.

Public Comment

It allows anyone present to express an opinion for the record.


By the chair.

Contribute to the Agenda

Do your homework! Read the prep materials for meetings. Solicit input from colleagues in your college/unit if necessary before the meeting. Studying ahead helps to avoid the embarrassment of asking a question that is answered in supporting materials. Make suggestions to the executive committee about topics for discussion.


A motion is a formal step to introduce a matter for consideration by the senate. Many motions in the senate are proposals to change or amend UNLV Bylaws, Faculty Senate Bylaws, or some aspect of academic policy or curriculum. Motions frequently come out of committee deliberations and frequently a motion that has not been vetted through the appropriate committee will be referred to that committee for deliberation before reappearing.

Formal Motion Process

Motions are presented to the Senate upon recognition by the chair, usually of a senator or a committee chair. Every motion requires a “second” by a senator. Then the chair will restate the motion and open discussion of the motion. Motions to change or adapt a motion being considered often happen spontaneously. They will follow the same formal process. If you are interested in submitting a motion for consideration at a meeting, please use the Faculty Senate Agenda Item form and submit it a week prior to the next senate meeting so that it may be included in the senate’s agenda.

Sense of the Senate

A Sense of the Senate is a simple resolution proposed to the senate. It may send a stern message, state an opinion, offer a recommendation, or just make a point. It does not require the usual process of being introduced as a future action item before becoming an action item at a subsequent meeting. Consequently, Sense of the Senate is frequently used to respond quickly to issues. If you are interested in submitting a Sense of the Senate for consideration at a meeting, please submit the Faculty Senate Agenda Item form a week prior to the next senate meeting so that it may be included in the senate’s agenda.

NOTE: Senate committees should follow this same process, although it may be a looser, less formal procedure.