The Faculty Senate is a representative body that provides the faculty a mechanism to participate in the governance of the university. The senate itself is governed by the Constitution of Faculty Organizations. The senate formulates issues of concern to the faculty and conveys these to the university administration. The senate is advisory to the president of the university and may pass resolutions and recommendations on issues concerning, but not limited to, education, research, and faculty welfare. The senate gathers monthly in a meeting that is open to all faculty, and reports, at least three times each year, to the Faculty Assembly.
The University Faculty Assembly consists of all individuals with current university faculty appointments at the level of Instructor or above in any School or Institute of the University, excluding adjunct appointments. The Faculty Assembly elects the officers and members of the Faculty Senate. A Faculty Assembly meeting is the forum through which information is disseminated and exchanged between the members of the senate and all faculty. It is where university and school policies may be discussed and deliberated and priorities set for senate action.
The Packard Lecture, Education Day, and Research Day are events sponsored by the senate to enrich the climate of scholarship and education at the university. The senate also honors faculty achievements through the Carol J. Johns, Henry C. Wu, James J. Leonard, and Innovation in Education awards.
Senators may be military or civilian and are drawn from faculty in basic and clinical departments of the School of Medicine, from the Graduate School of Nursing, from the Postgraduate Dental College, and from SOM faculty not billeted to USU.
Senators are expected to represent the voice of the faculty. Each senator is designated to represent at least one department at USU, and is responsible for seeking the opinions of those faculty members on matters concerning them, as well as communicating information on senate activities.
The senate functions through seven standing committees: Education, Research Policy, Comparability & Faculty Welfare, Constitution & Bylaws, Nomination & Election, Communications, and 1100 (Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Policy). The chair of each committee must be a senator, but committee membership is open to all USU faculty, and vigorous faculty participation is key to committee effectiveness. Each senator must serve on at least one senate committee; most serve on two.
Ad hoc committees and specific task forces may be appointed by standing committees, by the senate, or at the request of the administration. Serving in the senate or on any of its committees offers the faculty the opportunity to shape the future of USU.