Name: University of North Texas. Faculty Senate.



Historical Note:

In 1945, UNT began a reorganization that would create the College of Arts and Sciences and eventually lead to a new name (dropping the word “teachers” from the official title to become North Texas State College). The committee overseeing these changes also called for the creation of an Administrative Council to be made up of ex officio administrators including deans and division chairs.  In the following year’s catalog the name of the committee had been changed to Faculty Council. The Council was presided over by the vice president. By the late 1950s the membership included thirteen ex officio administrators and seven members who were elected from the schools and divisions.

In 1959 a Joint Committee on Faculty Participation in College Administration recommended restructuring the faculty’s participation in the Council.  On February 8, 1960 a vote was held by the American Association of University Professors and the Texas Association of College Teachers. They recommended “the establishment of a true faculty senate, that this senate operate within a clearly defined charter, that all faculty committees operate under the mandate of such a senate, and that this senate be composed of faculty member elected from the various schools and divisions of the college.”  By April the Joint Committee on Faculty Organization made three recommendations: gradually enlarge the Faculty Council to make it more representative of the faculty; they outlined new areas of responsibility; and proposed new Council greater authorities.

The Matthews administration was not behind the proposed changes and it took a change in president (President Kamerick) before the faculty had the opportunity to create an elected organization with greater representation.

The Faculty Senate was organized in 1969. It was designed to promote participation in the formation and recommendation of university policies to the president and Board of Regents. It was composed of 40 elected senators from the schools and colleges of the university.  Eight were elected from the college at large and two students were elected by the student government (United Students of North Texas in 1969).  The Senates’ charter was approved by the Board of Regents in March 1969. President Kamerick was elected the first chair of the Senate.

The Senate’s initial meeting was on May 28, 1969.  One of their first resolutions was to ask President Kamerick to give an annual address on the state of the university.

The Faculty Senates’ web site of 2015 gave this mission statement: The Faculty Senate is to:

“…lead faculty in fulfilling their responsibilities in the shared governance of the University and to represent faculty interests to University and community stakeholders.  The Faculty Senate is responsible for exercising its vested authority in ensuring that academic freedom is encouraged and protected, and for acting as a guiding body to oversee curriculum that promotes student learning through a rigorous course of study.  The Faculty Senate serves as a liaison between faculty and administration. This includes:

Developing and implementing the strategic plan of the University; informing faculty about University policies, procedures, and substantive changes made by the administration; making recommendations to the Provost and President regarding faculty personnel issues; and making recommendations to faculty and administration on policies to improve the work environment.”

Information for this comes from the Faculty Senate Web page (https://facultysenate.unt.edu/); the Denton Record Chronicle (June 13, 1969); and The Story of North Texas by James Roges.



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