Faculty Senate History

HISTORY OF THE FACULTY SENATE
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-STOUT
Written By Norman C. Ziemann, First Acting Chair for the Faculty
January 10, 1974


The Faculty Association was established in 1963.  For many years previous to the formation of the Faculty Association, the affairs and concerns of the Faculty were conducted by the following committees and organizations:

  1. The Faculty of the College, consisting of all faculty members of the College, with the President of the College serving as the presiding officer and meeting on call of the President for purposes of information and discussion.
  2. The Faculty Welfare Committee, consisting of an appointed committee by the President for the purpose of providing certain social and welfare functions, such as faculty dinners, recognition of retiring faculty members, and memorials for deceased faculty members and relatives.
  3. A chapter of the American Association of University Professors, a volunteer membership group consisting of interested faculty members, for the purpose of providing a forum for matters of professional concern.

When Stout became a member of the Wisconsin State College System in 1952, a chapter of the Association of Wisconsin State College Faculties, with open membership for interested faculty members, was formed. This group became the main organization for matters of faculty concern at both the local and state level.

The factors played a role in the formation of the Faculty Association at Stout. First, during the late 1950's and early 1960's, a concern for more faculty participation in policy determination of college affairs became evident throughout the Wisconsin State College System. Few of the colleges had a formal organization to provide such participation. The local chapter of the Association of Wisconsin State College Faculties, along with other chapters in the system were discussing the issue and initiating action to form such organizations. Secondly, President Micheels provided a way in which to implement more faculty participation. At a faculty meeting on February 28, 1963, he recommended that the Faculty give serious consideration to forming a Faculty Senate to provide more faculty representation in school affairs.

The Constitution Committee which was formed, proposed that if there was to be a senate to represent the Faculty, that the Faculty should be organized in an association distinct from the Faculty of the College. A constitution was devised which formed The Faculty Association, with the Faculty Senate to represent the members of the Association. The preamble of the proposed constitution which stated the intent of the Association was as follows:

Preamble

The President and the Faculty of Stout State College, having agreed that each should participate in the formulation of policies for the successful operation of the College, hereby declare that an organization to be known as The Faculty Association shall be established.

It is here recognized that the responsibility for the administration of the College is, by statute, vested in the President as the executive officer duly appointed by the Board of Regents for the State Colleges of Wisconsin. In such capacity, the President is solely responsible and must retain such prerogative as are necessary in his accountability to the Board of Regents.

However, in the spirit of democratic administration, it is recommended and acknowledged that The Faculty Association shall study and act upon such policies as have or may be invoked by the President, either upon his request or by the determination of the Association.

The Association does not in any sense displace the Faculty of the College which is administered by the President. It is understood that the president can call the Faculty of the College for meetings and assign duties as he desires.

The Constitution and its Bylaws, under which The Association shall function, shall set forth the purposes, organization and operation of the body and define its powers in a manner accepted and approved by the President and adopted by the members of the faculty in a referendum election.

The purposes in the proposed constitution were as follows:

  1. Promote the professional welfare of the College and the Faculty.
  2. Participate in policy determination of the College.
  3. Carry on the social affairs of the Faculty.

The Constitution was presented to the Faculty for consideration and adopted on May 8, 1963 and subsequently approved by the President.

As conditions changed, certain major revisions in the Constitution occurred. For example, the first constitution absorbed the function of the former Faculty Welfare Committee and provided the social functions for the College, operating without dues and a treasurer. As the Faculty increased in size, this manner of sponsoring social affairs became impractical, the need for monies and a treasurer became evident, and the need for a committee to be concerned with the financial welfare of the Faculty emerged. Therefore, in April 1965, the Constitution was amended by deleting the purpose of sponsoring the social affairs of the Faculty and adding the provision for the yearly assessment of monies as needed, the office of Treasurer, and the Financial Benefit Committee.

For a number of years, the yearly assessment to raise funds was necessary, with the monies being used primarily for gifts and recognition events for retiring faculty members and memorials for deceased faculty members and close relatives. These functions became difficult to administer because of the increasing size of the Faculty; therefore, at the end of the academic year 1968-69, the responsibility of recognizing retiring faculty members and sending memorials for the deceased was transferred to individual schools and divisions. The assessment of monies and the office of Treasurer were retained in the Constitution should there be a need in the future. Another major constitutional revision was the addition during the academic year 1969-70 of the Committee on Termination of Employment (Dismissal) of Faculty.

Other amendments have been made throughout the years dealing with membership qualifications, representation of units and divisions on the Senate, and election procedures; but basically the Faculty Association functions in accordance with its original intent and purposes as stated in the Constitution, which were to promote the professional welfare of the College and the Faculty and to participate in the determination and review of policy.