UTSI Faculty Assembly By-Laws


Revised and adopted July 22, 1992

Revised December 4, 1996

Revised March 23, 2015

Revised March, 2018 (Approved)

Official Robert’s Rules of Order Web Site: http://www.rulesonline.com/

The role of the faculty in governance of The University of Tennessee is defined by delegation from the Board of Trustees, where all governance authority originally resides. The governance responsibilities of the faculty of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) are defined in the resolution of the Board of Trustees creating the UTK Faculty Senate, in the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate, and in the UTK Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Senate carries out those responsibilities through various standing and special committees, including the Graduate Council and the Research Council, in which members of the Institute faculty actively participate. The Faculty Assembly of the Institute provides a mechanism for carrying out the governance responsibilities of the Senate in the particular context of the Institute.

The Faculty Assembly shall consist of all full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty of UTSI who hold the rank of Assistant Professor or higher and approved research and adjunct faculty. In order to be considered a member of the Faculty Assembly, adjunct faculty must be full-time employees of UTSI and actively involved in the academic programs of UTSI. The Executive Director of UTSI shall be an ex-officio member of the Faculty Assembly.

A representative of the Student Government Association (SGA) may attend Faculty Assembly meetings at the discretion of the President. Student members are not empowered to vote on Faculty Assembly matters.


The responsibilities of the Faculty Assembly are as follows:

  1. To determine the representatives of UTSI for the UTK Faculty Senate and Graduate Council
  2. To facilitate communication between UTSI faculty members
  3. To facilitate communication between the following groups:
    1. UTSI faculty and UTSI administration
    2. UTSI faculty and the UTSI SGA
    3. UTSI faculty and the UTSI representatives to the UTK Faculty Senate
    4. UTSI faculty and the UTSI representative to the UTK Graduate Council




The Faculty Assembly shall meet four times during the academic year; twice each semester. The President shall set the schedule for these meetings at the start of the academic year.

Special meetings may be called by the President of the Faculty Assembly or by a petition of at least one quarter of the members of the Faculty Assembly. Such meetings may exclude the Executive Director of UTSI.

All meetings shall be conducted in accord with Robert’s Rules of Order and these Bylaws. A quorum of at least one-half of the Faculty Assembly membership shall be in attendance before any business shall be enacted. The Secretary shall circulate to the Faculty Assembly, one week in advance, an agenda of the upcoming meeting. A member who will be absent from the announced meeting may communicate, to the Secretary in writing, any vote or pronouncement on any agenda item.


The officers of the Faculty Assembly shall include the following:

  1. President

The President shall preside at all meetings. In the absence of the President, the President-elect, or if also absent, another officer designated by the President, shall preside. The President is the chief spokesperson for the Faculty Assembly. After one year in office, the President assumes the title of Past President and serves for one year in that role. The President shall serve as a representative to the UTK Faculty Senate

  1. President-Elect

The duties of the President-elect include, but are not limited to, acting as President in the absence of that elected official and assuming the Presidency in the event that the office of president is vacated. The President-elect, must be a tenured faculty member. The President-elect becomes President at the end of the one-year term of office. The President shall serve as a representative to the UTK Faculty Senate and the representative to the Graduate Council.

  1. Secretary

The Secretary shall preserve the records of the Faculty Assembly.  Records consist of Faculty Assembly meeting minutes, standing committee meeting minutes, and voting results.  The Secretary shall execute other functions specified by the President or voted by the Faculty Assembly. The Secretary shall be elected for a one-year term but is eligible for re-election.

  1. Past President

The Past President shall serve as an alternate representative to the UTK Faculty Senate and the Graduate Council.




The President and President-Elect shall prepare a list of nominees for the incoming President-Elect and Secretary. The Secretary shall verify the willingness of the nominees to participate in the election and prepare a ballot for each office. The ballots shall be distributed to all Faculty Assembly members at least one week before the election. The ballots shall have provisions for write-in candidates.  The election of officers shall occur during the second regular meeting of the spring semester. Elected officers will begin their terms at the start of the fall semester. If an elected officer, other than the President, is unable to complete their term of office, the President shall appoint an interim replacement to fill the remainder of the term. The Faculty Assembly shall approve this appointment. The responsibilities of each office is specified below.

The President, President-Elect, and Secretary shall administer elections. The voting method will be secret ballot.  The candidate for each office receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote for an elected office, the two leading candidates for that office will stand in a run-off election. Tie votes shall be decided by lot.


The President shall, as the need arises, appoint special committees to study specific areas of concern to UTSI. Such committees shall normally serve for a limited time. On completion of its task, the committee shall prepare a summary report for the Faculty Record as kept by the Secretary. The structure and composition of such Committees shall be determined by the President to meet specific needs.

All committee meetings will be announced to Faculty Assembly members and are open for UTSI Faculty Assembly members to attend and to make statements but only appointed committee members may vote.


Upon receipt of a petition endorsed by at least one quarter of the Faculty Assembly members, the President will appoint a special Bylaws Committee to address any proposed amendment of the Bylaws. The Committee will prepare, in printed form, the present Bylaws with the proposed changes indicated.  The Bylaws Committee will consider the amendment to the Bylaws and report their recommendations to the Faculty Assembly. The Faculty Assembly will present the amendment as a motion, in writing, to the Faculty Assembly, at least one week before the meeting at which the amendment is to be discussed. At least two thirds of the Faculty Assembly must approve such amendments before they shall be introduced into these Bylaws.

Prior to presenting any permanent amendment other than working revisions of the Bylaws to the Faculty Assembly, the Bylaws Committee shall submit the proposed amendment to the University’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel to be reviewed for consistency with the UTK Faculty Senate Resolution, the Senate Bylaws, and the UTK Faculty Handbook.


UTSI Faculty Senators represent UTSI Faculty at the UTK Faculty Senate. UTSI has currently two regular Senators (FA President and FA President-Elect) and one alternate Senator (FA Past-President). The UTSI Faculty Assembly President will also serve as the caucus chair. See also the OFFICERS OF THE ASSEMBLY section.