As amended through May 18, 2023
Downloadable version of the Constitution
- Basic Structure
- Faculty Representation
- Academic Professional Representation
- Student Representation
- Administrative Participation
- General Provisions
This section as amended through May 18, 2023
Article I — Basic Structure
Section 1. For the purpose of exercising legislative functions in matters of educational policy and other powers and duties specified in the Statutes, there is hereby established a unicameral body to be known as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate.
Section 2. The Senate shall consist of persons who are members of the faculty, academic professional, and student electorates, elected in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Elected members shall have full floor and voting privileges on all matters before the Senate except as provided in Article VI, Section 11. Ex officio members shall have full floor privileges on all matters before the Senate, but shall not vote except as provided in Article VI, Section 7.
Section 3. For the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Constitution and of providing for the internal organization of the Senate, the Senate shall enact such bylaws as it deems necessary and proper, not inconsistent with this Constitution. Bylaws of the Senate shall be adopted, amended, or repealed only upon two-thirds vote of the senators present and voting at a Senate meeting, provided due notice (as defined in Article VI, Section 10) of such proposed action has been given. Unless otherwise provided, bylaws or amendments thereto shall be effective immediately upon adoption.
- Any member of the Senate may introduce at a regular or special meeting of the Senate a proposed amendment to the Constitution. Due notice (Article VI, Section 10) shall be given that the amendment will be introduced at such meeting.
- The Senate shall act on the amendment at a subsequent regular or special meeting which occurs at least ten days after the meeting at which the amendment was introduced. Due notice (Article VI, Section 10) shall be given that the amendment will be acted upon at such meeting. Adoption of the amendment shall require a vote of no less than two-thirds of the senators present and voting at the meeting. After adoption of a constitutional amendment by the Senate, the Senate shall transmit the amendment to the Board of Trustees for action, in accordance with the Statutes.
Section 5. A quorum necessary for a Senate meeting shall consist of 100 senators elected and serving.
This section as amended through May 21, 2020
Article II — Faculty Representation
Section 1. The faculty electorate shall consist of those members of the academic staff who are directly engaged in and responsible for the educational function of the University; ordinarily this will involve teaching and research. The faculty electorate shall consist of all persons of the campus non-visiting academic staff, excluding persons holding administrative appointments in excess of one-half time (the exception to this exclusion are executive officers of departments or similar units, and assistant or associate executive officers of such units, who are otherwise eligible), who:
- Hold the modified or unmodified academic rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor, have at least a one-half time appointment, and are paid by the University; or
- Hold the academic rank or title of instructor or lecturer at any rank, have at least a one-half time appointment, are paid by the University, and are not pursuing a degree from this University; or
Are retired members of the campus academic staff with
the title of emeritus, and would otherwise be eligible
for inclusion in the faculty electorate. However,
retired members shall not be counted for purposes of
the provisions of Sections 3, 4, and 5 of this Article.
Section 2. All persons included in the faculty electorate shall be eligible for election to the Senate, without distinction on the basis of rank or other criteria. Each member of the electorate shall be entitled to cast one vote for each open senatorial position apportioned to the member's voting unit; there shall be no cumulative voting.
Section 3. Elections shall be held on the basis of faculty voting units. A faculty voting unit is the smallest academic unit, such as the department or similar unit, in each college or analogous academic division.
Section 4. A voting unit is entitled to elect at least one senator from its membership. Prior to each election, the Senate shall approve an apportionment formula to ensure that the total number of senators from the faculty electorate shall be as close to 200 as possible. The apportionment formula shall specify the number of members of the faculty electorate for allotment of the first senator and a number for the allotment of each additional senator.
Section 5. Voting for election of senators shall be by secret ballot.
Section 6. Senators shall be elected for two-year terms commencing at the beginning of the next academic year. Provision shall be made for staggered terms so that approximately half the Senate will be elected each year.
Section 7. Vacancies shall be filled by election of a member of the voting unit for the remainder of the vacant term in accordance with the election procedures prescribed in this Article.
Section 8. No senator shall be elected for more than three consecutive full terms.
Section 9. A faculty senator can be recalled by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the senator's voting unit.
Section 10. The faculty electorate of the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign shall be entitled to elect voting members of the Senate. The provisions of this Article shall apply to these members.
This section as amended through May 21, 2020
Article III — Academic Professional Representation
Section 1. The academic professional electorate shall consist of those members of the academic professional staff who are engaged in and responsible for the educational function of the University; ordinarily this will involve teaching and research. Specifically, the academic professional electorate shall consist of all persons of the campus non-visiting academic staff who have a full-time appointment, are paid by the University, are not pursuing a degree from this University, and who are members of the academic staff as defined in the Statutes, Article II, Section 5, and satisfy the teaching or research criteria established by the Senate Committee on Elections and Credentials and approved by the Senate.
Section 2. All persons included in the academic professional electorate shall be eligible for election to the Senate, without distinction on the basis of rank or other criteria. Each member of the electorate shall be entitled to cast one vote for each open senatorial position in the member’s electoral unit.
Section 3. Elections shall be held on the basis of ten voting units each with one seat. These election units shall be as nearly equal in size as is practicable and shall be the same as the voting units for the relevant Council of Academic Professionals election districts excluding the district that is comprised of the university system administration.
Section 4. Those eligible to vote in each academic professional voting unit shall be notified that an election is to be held. Any member of the academic professional electorate who desires to run for election from their election unit shall submit a statement to that effect and a short biography to the appropriate academic professional voting unit elections and credentials committee. The nominee receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected.
Section 5. Voting on the election of senators shall be by secret ballot.
Section 6. Senators shall be elected for two-year terms commencing at the beginning of the next academic year. Provision shall be made for staggered terms so that approximately half the academic professional senators will be elected each year.
Section 7. Vacancies shall be filled by election of a member of the voting unit for the remainder of the vacant term in accordance with the nomination and election procedures prescribed in this Article.
Section 8. No senator shall be elected for more than three consecutive full terms.
Section 9. An academic professional senator can be recalled by a vote of two-thirds of those voting in the recall election.
Section 10. Membership in the academic professional electorate continues during the term of any member elected to the Senate.
This section as amended through May 21, 2020
Article IV — Student Representation
Section 1. The student electorate shall consist of all persons actively pursuing a degree on this campus who meet the eligibility requirements for voting and who are not members of the faculty or academic professional electorate. Eligibility for voting shall require that the student be:
- In residence,and
- pursuing a degree.
In addition, members of the student electorate eligible for nomination and election to the Senate shall be:
- Undergraduate students, taking a minimum of 12 hours for credit; or
- Professional students, taking a minimum of 8 hours for credit; or
- Graduate students, taking a minimum of 8 hours for credit, or registered for thesis credit, or taking fewer than 8 hours but more than 0 hours for credit and having at least a one-half time appointment to the campus academic staff.
Section 2. Any member of the student electorate shall be eligible for nomination and election to the Senate if at the time of nomination and election the student is making satisfactory progress towards a degree as certified by the student's academic dean. The nomination and election requirements and procedures shall be as provided by the Senate, consistent with the provisions of this Article.
Section 3. The total number of senators elected from the student electorate shall be as close to fifty as possible. They shall be elected from student election units as provided in this Article. The Senate shall determine prior to each election the number of senators to be elected from each student election unit. This determination shall be based insofar as feasible on each unit's proportional share of those eligible for nomination and election to the Senate, provided, however, that each college or its equivalent shall be entitled to elect at least one senator.
Section 4. Student election units shall be comprised of the major academic divisions, normally the colleges or their equivalent or subdivisions thereof. Insofar as feasible the larger academic divisions shall be subdivided into smaller student election units based on related subject matter areas. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional students shall be grouped separately, and shall vote only for the senators from their respective groups.
Section 5. The terms of senators elected from the student electorate shall be one year, with a maximum of six consecutive terms. Unless the Senate provides otherwise, special elections shall not be held to fill vacancies.
Section 6. The elected head of the student body, or the elected head of the undergraduate student body and the elected head of the graduate student body, shall have ex officio membership in the Senate during concurrent tenure of the elected office and membership in the student electorate. If such a person is or becomes an elected member of the Senate, that person shall not be deprived of voting rights as a senator.
Section 7. A student senator can be recalled by a vote of two-thirds of those voting in the recall election.
Section 8. The student electorate of the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign shall be entitled to elect voting members of the Senate. The provisions of this Article, Sections 1 through 5 and 7, shall apply to these members.
This section as amended through April 30, 2007
Article V — Administrative Participation
Section 1. The following shall be ex officio members of the Senate:
- President and Vice President for Academic Affairs,
- Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Dean of Students, and
the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management,
- The academic dean of a college or executive officer of a similar academic division of the Urbana-Champaign campus and of the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.
Section 2. Heads and chairs of departments and executive officers of similar academic, administrative, or service units of the Urbana-Champaign campus and of the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign who are not members of the Senate shall have the privilege of the floor on matters of direct concern to their units when such matters are before the Senate for debate.
This section as amended through March 30, 2023
Article VI — General Provisions
Section 1. At the request of the Chancellor, upon request contained in a petition signed by members of the faculty electorate as provided hereafter, or on its own initiative, the Senate shall obtain by a written mail poll the requested expression of opinion from the faculty electorate. The minimum number of valid signatures required in such a petition from the faculty electorate shall be established by the Senate in its bylaws. The formulation of the questions presented, and the procedures for obtaining such an expression of opinion shall be determined in each instance by the Senate. In all cases in which such poll is required, the Senate shall arrange for the poll to be conducted promptly upon receipt of the request. The results of any such poll of the faculty electorate shall be made public promptly.
Section 2. The Senate shall provide for the distribution of minutes, agenda, and reports of the Senate so as to maximize the opportunity for all interested persons to be informed as to the Senate's business.
Section 3. The Senate shall meet at such times as the Senate shall determine. Due notice (Article VI, Section 10) shall be given of all meetings except that in an emergency a meeting may be called on such notice as the bylaws may provide.
Section 4. Senate meetings shall be open to the public, subject to such reasonable rules and procedures as may be adopted by the Senate.
Section 5. The Senate is empowered to appoint to Senate committees such non-senators as the Senate may determine. Such committee members shall have Senate floor privileges, including the privilege of making motions, on matters relating to the committee on which they serve, but they shall have no vote in the Senate.
Section 6. A senator must be present at a Senate meeting to vote; no senator may vote by proxy or absentee ballot. The Bylaws may provide for electronic participation in meetings of the Senate and its committees.
Section 7. The Presiding Officer of the Senate shall be a member of the Senate electorate, but not a current senator, and shall be elected as prescribed in the Senate Bylaws. The Presiding Officer of the Senate shall chair all Senate meetings. In the absence of the Presiding Officer of the Senate from the chair, the Presiding Officer’s designee shall preside. The Presiding Officer’s designee must meet the same eligibility criteria as the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer of the Senate may not make or second motions, participate in debate, or vote on any matter, except in the event of a tie. In this event, the Presiding Officer of the Senate may cast the deciding vote, even if the Presiding Officer of the Senate is not a voting member of the Senate.
Section 8. The Bylaws shall provide for procedures for the operation of the Senate in the event of an emergency or disaster declaration related to public health concerns by the Governor of the State of Illinois or the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. These procedures may include provisions for electronic meetings of the Senate and its committees, and special authority for the Senate Executive Committee.
Section 9. The Senate may employ such staff and other assistants as are necessary to carry out its business effectively. The Chancellor shall undertake within available resources to provide funding for such purposes.
Section 10. At least once every seven years, the Senate shall provide for a comprehensive review of its size, organization, structure, and operation by a commission composed of members from each electorate, and the administration. Such commission shall report its findings and make recommendations to the Senate Executive Committee, as prescribed in the Bylaws. The report of the commission shall be made public and distributed as a report for information to the Senate.
Section 11. "Due notice" as used in this Constitution shall consist of written notice, announcing the meeting or proposed action, sent to the individual members of the Senate at least four days prior to the date of such meeting or proposed action.
Section 12. When the Senate selects members of a search committee, faculty senators shall nominate and elect faculty members of the committee, academic professional senators shall nominate and elect academic professional members of the committee, and student senators shall nominate and elect student members of the committee in separate votes.
Section 13. As permitted by the Statutes, the Senate delegates to the faculties of the several colleges and other independent academic units the recommendation of candidates for earned degrees, diplomas, and certificates to be conferred by the President under the authority of the Board of Trustees. A college may further delegate this authority to the faculties of its internal units.