[Adopted 9/6/2016; Revised 3/27/2018; Revised 4/20/2021]
The Faculty Trustee is one of the ten members of the University of Memphis Board of Trustees and serves a two-year term. A Faculty Trustee who has served three full terms in succession as a member of the Board shall, for a period of two (2) years, be ineligible for election or appointment to the Board. As required by statue, the University of Memphis Faculty Senate has the sole responsibility for the selection of the Faculty Trustee. The Board is responsible for the management and governance of the University, as allowed by and subject to limitations imposed by applicable federal and state law and certain powers and duties maintained by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. As the primary conduit between the Board and faculty, the Faculty Trustee will communicate and consult with the Faculty Senate on Board-related matters. The Faculty Trustee must balance perceived obligations to represent the faculty interests expressed by the Faculty Senate with the broader fiduciary interests of the institution.
The following is a list of desirable qualities for a Faculty Trustee to help guide applications. It is recognized that faculty members will have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Candidates should comment on any relevant experiences they have and any other qualifications they deem important:
- A record of scholarly achievement
- A commitment to shared governance and the faculty's role
- Other appropriate board experiences
- Evidence of leadership activities
- Understanding of wider university issues, such a budgeting, finance, personnel decisions, curricular issues, etc.
- Understanding of multiracial, ethnic, gender, diversity, and equity issues
- The ability to work as part of group
- The ability to effectively communicate university issues and culture to others, especially those not from a university environment
The Faculty Trustee is invited to make a presentation to the Faculty Senate at least once per semester on activities of the Board of Trustees. The Faculty is further invited to attend all senate meetings to help keep abreast of faculty issues.
Procedure for Faculty Trustee Selection
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will serve in the role of search committee for the selection of the Faculty Trustee. The process will be initiated by the president of the Faculty Senate sending out a call for applications or nominations to all faculty with a deadline for these applications to be submitted. Each application should include a CV but, more importantly, a written statement addressing the candidate's experiences and qualification that would make them suited for this position.
After the deadline for applications, the Executive Committee will make available the materials from all applicants to members of the Faculty Senate. The Executive Committee will then proceed to screen the applicants and develop a list of 2–5 finalists. The Executive Committee will present their proposed list of finalists to the Faculty Senate at a regular meeting for approval. The Faculty Senate members will have the opportunity to discuss the merits of these candidates and propose amendments to this list. Amendments must be approved by a vote of the senators and the list of finalists must also be approved by the full Faculty Senate.
Upon approval, the finalists and their application materials will be made available to all faculty. An open, public forum will be scheduled where each candidate may make a brief statement followed by a question-and-answer period. This session will be recorded and made available for those not able to attend the live forum. Feedback from all faculty will be solicited after the open forum, and this feedback will be made available to the Faculty Senate members.
In addition, meetings will be set up with the university president and others of the university president's choosing, feedback to the Executive Committee solicited. A forum for the members of the Faculty Senate will also be held.
Each member of the faculty Senate is required to hold a discussion with their home academic unit about the candidates for trustee. The senators must poll their unit to guide their subsequent voting.
At a regular Faculty Senate meeting, the president of the Faculty Senate will lead a discussion of the candidates followed by a vote of all senators. The final vote will be by roll call and each response recorded. In the event of no one candidate receiving more than 50% of the votes, the normal senate procedures will be used to eliminate the candidate with the lowest number of votes and another vote will be held, doing so until one candidate exceeds the 50% total.
Procedures for Replacement in Case of Vacancy During Term
Upon the Faculty Trustee position becoming vacant, the interim Faculty Trustee position will be offered to the first runner-up from the last Faculty Trustee election. If the person cannot or will not serve, the offer will pass to the next candidate by vote total. If no prior candidate is available, the next choice will be the immediate past president of the Faculty Senate.
The interim Faculty Trustee will serve until there is an election and a new Faculty Trustee is seated. The election will be held using the regular Faculty Trustee selection procedure during the first following spring semester and the new Faculty will be elected for a full two-year term.
For a normal selection, all dates below are the months just prior to end of the term of the current Faculty Trustee.
- First business day of the second week of spring semester: Call for applications or nominations
- Two weeks after the call for applications: Deadline for application materials to be complete
- February meeting of Faculty Senate: Selection of final short list of candidates
- Between February and March meetings of Faculty Senate: Open candidate forum and meetings requested by university president
- March meeting of Faculty Senate: Candidate question-and-answer session at senate meeting
- Between March and April meetings of Faculty Senate: Senators convene unit discussions and poll faculty
- April meeting of Faculty Senate: Final vote for Faculty Trustee
The information presented on this page should be considered a guide and does not supersede or replace policies and procedures outlined in the University of Memphis Faculty Handbook and the bylaws of the Board of Trustees.