Senate Committees - Information and Tips

Information and Tips about Faculty Governance Committees

Committee What the committee does What the committee is like Proxies/Open Positions How to apply
Senate Final approval of business from Standing Committees, passes resolutions, hears reports, approves policy changes, approves curriculum changes, makes statements. The Senate uses Robert's Rules. It is the most formal committee in faculty governance. You would hear reports from the President, Provost, CFO and VP of SA, Associated Students and staff. You must read ahead and be prepared for discussion and votes. Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
Executive Committee (Ex Com) The Executive Committee prepares the Senate agenda. The Ex Com can act for the Senate when it is not in session. There are only two at-large seats on the Ex Com and those are filled by Senators and elected from the Senate.  The Ex Com is less formal than the Senate. Many discussions are frank in this committee. All the Standing Committee Chairs attend as well as all the Admins.  No proxies are allowed on the Ex Com Only members of the Senate can be elected to the Ex Com
Senate Diversity Subcommittee (SDS) The Senate Diversity Subcommittee is the a committee that considers, manages, and works with diversity, equity, and anti-racist work on behalf of faculty governance. The Subcommittee also coordinates with other campus-wide diversity efforts and offices. It is a subcommittee of the actual Senate.  Faculty are encouraged to have roles on "task forces" who complete direct action related to antiracist and liberatory work on campus, including issues such as inclusive syllabus design, advocating for faculty of color in the RTP process, and considering and making recommendations for making campus more accessible. Newer faculty are encouraged to serve on SDS.  Proxies are allowed from Schools and for the at-large positions.  
Structure & Functions (S&F) Structure and Functions is our committee on committees. S&F oversees our Constitution and By-Laws, appoints faculty to university service positions, oversees elections and engages in policy work or guidance documents. It is a subcommittee of the Executive Committee.  This is a small committee, but an excellent committee to understand the structure of faculty governance and the university. Highly recommended for newer faculty. The committee maintains a friendly tone. The Chair of the Faculty and the Vice Chair serve on this committee.     
Academic Planning, Assessment and Resources (APARC) One of our four Standing Committees. APARC uses assessment to inform academic planning while taking into consideration budget issues on campus. It is our meta level committee on academic program planning.  APARC works at the intersection of budget, assessment, and planning. If these areas are of interest to you, then this might be a good committee to serve on though it is recommended that newer faculty wait a few years before serving on this committee. APARC may prove to be a very important committee in the future given the drop in enrollment and budget uncertainty. It receives reports from the University Program Review Subcommittee (UPRS) and ATISS (Academic Technology and Instructional Spaces Subcommittee) to inform its work on the meta-level of academic programs. It is responsible for providing a budget priorities document to the Senate each year.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.   
Educational Policies Committee (EPC) The Educational Policies committee is the university level curriculum committee for our campus. Most curricular changes go to EPC. EPC does, at times, work on policy.  The workload on EPC is high. You need to be very detail oriented to review curricular changes. This committee is not recommended for newer faculty.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.   
Faculty Standards and Affairs Committee (FSAC) Faculty Standards and Affairs oversees quite a few policies, works on any compliance issues between the CFA contract and SSU policies, and oversees other aspects of faculty work and professionalism.  Expect to work on policy in this committee. It is a small committee, so your attendance and participation will be crucial. This committee is best to serve on after a few years at SSU.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.   
Student Affairs Committee (SAC) The Student Affairs Committee does policy work related to student affairs at the University, including recruitment, academic advising, student rights and responsibilities, scholarships, relations with alumni, and the quality of student life, and also works with the Student Affairs division to help with students' needs and issues on campus.  The Student Affairs Committee is typically a very collegial committee which welcomes new faculty.  If you are interested in the student experience and students' well-being on campus, this is the committee for you.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
Academic Technology & Instructional Spaces Subcommittee (ATISS) ATISS is a subcommittee of APARC. ATISS works closely with CTET on academic technology needs of faculty and is called upon to assist with instructional spaces and what they contain and require.  ATISS is another committee that does not have "regular work," so the vision of the Chair will lead the work. If you have an interest in academic technology, this might be a good fit for newer faculty. Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
University Program Review Subcommittee (UPRS) UPRS is a subcommittee of APARC. They oversee the program reviews for academic departments, offer suggestions and commendations and provide a summary of what they learned or issues they saw over the year to APARC.  UPRS is a busy committee. Program reviews are lengthy documents that need careful reading. You would learn a lot about other programs on this committee. It might make more sense to serve on this if you've gone through a program review or your department is scheduled for one.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
General Education Subcommittee (GE) GE is a subcommittee of EPC. They review all GE course changes and were very involved in our GE revision last year. They oversee GE policy.  GE is a very busy committee, especially right now. With the GE change of 2019, all GE courses must be re-verified. Reading ahead and being detail oriented are a must. GE can get a bit political, so newer faculty might wait a bit for this one.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
Graduate Studies Subcommittee (GSS) The Graduate Studies is a Subcommittee of EPC. They review all grad program changes before they go to EPC. They oversee grad policy and take up issues related to grad students.  Grad Studies is made up of all the Graduate Coordinators of our Grad Programs.     
Overlay Subcommittee (OL) The Overlay Subcommittee was created after the GE revision of 2019. It oversees the overlay aspect of the GE program, drafts overlay criteria, solicits comments on overlay criteria and reviews overlay criteria of departments. All its recommendations go to EPC.   This relatively new committee is busy currently with fulfilling its charge for the new GE program. If you are interested in this aspect of curriculum, newer faculty might find it of interest.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.  
University Standards Subcommittee University Standards is a subcommittee of EPC. They over see policies related to disqualification, suspension, re-admission and rules on petitions for waiver of university regulations. This committee is confidential.  The work of this committee is driven by the number of petitions filed and if any compliance or other policy issues arise. Newer faculty would learn a lot about academic policies on this committee.  Proxies are allowed from the Schools.  
Academic Freedom Subcommittee (AFS) Academic Freedom is a subcommittee of FSAC. They oversee and adjudicate academic freedom complaints and provide positions on academic freedom when requested.  Some aspects of this committee are confidential. The Chair's vision for the committee will guide its other work when there are no cases. A good committee for newer faculty who have an interest in this topic.  Proxies are allowed from the Schools.  
Professional Development Subcommittee (PDS) Professional Development is a subcommittee of FSAC. This committee is reviewing their charge and may become the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee.  As this committee evolves, the work will change. This could be an exciting time to help steer the committee in a new direction.  Proxies are allowed from Schools.   
University Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Subcommittee (URTP) University Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion is a subcommittee of FSAC. URTP is the final review of RTP before the President.  Only full professors can serve on URTP. This is a busy committee currently, but over the years the workload ebbs and flows depending on how many new faculty have been hired in previous years. We hope full faculty understand their responsibility to serve.  Proxies are not allowed and replacements must follow a specific procedure.  
Faculty Subcommittee on Scholarly Activities (FSSA) Faculty Subcommittee on Scholarly Activities is a subcommittee of FSAC. They review grant applications and other processes and procedures for grants and contracts while addressing ways to support faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (RSCA).  Some aspects of this committee are confidential. Newer faculty who want to understand the grants and contracts process on our campus or consider how to support faculty RSCA would enjoy this committee. Proxies are allowed from the Schools.  
Academic Advising Subcommittee (AAS) Academic Advising is a subcommittee of SAC, collaborates with faculty, staff, administration, and other key constituents. They review the advising policies, systems, delivery of academic advising, as well as advising-related barriers to student success, retention, persistence, and on-time graduation. This is an excellent committee not only for newer faculty, but also for passionate advocates to address advising-related barriers that disproportionately affect students from historically underserved and under-resourced communities, students of color, and first-generation college students. Proxies are allowed from Schools.   
Scholarship Subcommittee The Scholarship subcommittee is a joint faculty governance/administration committee. This subcommittee reviews hundreds of applications from students for the University Scholarship Program. The Committee also discusses and makes recommendations for improving the scholarship awarding policy and procedures to create a more inclusive environment.

Majority of the work is during the spring semester with each committee member reading and scoring 80-100 student short essay responses. The committee is given an ample amount of time (typically 4-5 weeks in February and March) to complete them. They need a full committee to help balance the workload. Newer faculty are strongly encouraged to serve on this committee, especially if you are looking for service that won’t take up too much of your time.  

Proxies are allowed from Schools.  


Dispute Resolution Board (DRB) The Dispute Resolution Board is a subcommittee of SAC. It adjudicates grade appeals, student grievances and cheating and plagiarism cases. It is a confidential subcommittee. It has a very different quorum requirement than other committees and thus all types of members must have one person at each deliberation meeting.   The DRB meets once a month if there is a case. There is a handbook to orient members to the Board and it uses restorative justice principles. A logical and open mind is needed. New faculty are welcome to serve on the Board. The Board may review policy.  Proxies from Schools are allowed, but not encouraged.   



  • Faculty who need a proxy for one meeting should notify their School or find one on their own. Most faculty who need proxies are School reps so they need a proxy from their School. If they are an at-large rep, they need to notify the Senate office. The Senate office will send out a call via email for any eligible faculty member to proxy. Being a proxy is a quick way to visit a committee and see what it is like. You might let your colleague know you are available to proxy.
  • Another way to learn about a committee is to be a semester replacement or hold an At-Large position. A semester replacement is similar to a proxy, but longer term. We do not have standing proxies in our faculty governance. Holding an at-large position is typically for one year. These at-large positions are sent out by the Senate office via email and appointed by S&F. Some committees receive more applications than others. You can ask the chair of Structure and Functions or Senate Analyst about open elections/positions.
  • If you are a new or newer faculty member, you will likely be asked to serve on a university level committee for RTP. Check out the committee list above and see where you have interest or expertise. Or maybe there is a committee where you want to learn about its topic. In any case, let your department and School colleagues know that you are interested to serve. Ask for their advice. Ask your RTP committee for advice. Run for positions or apply for positions and talk it up with your colleagues. One great thing about serving in faculty governance is that you can meet faculty from other Schools! 
  • The Senate runs a general election in the Spring for terms that begin in the Fall and Schools also run elections for School level committees in the Spring. Always review the positions and run for them if you are interested. Go ahead and campaign if you like! There are many opportunities to serve. Watch for the senate-announce emails!