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Learn About University Senate


University Senate (Senate)

The University Senate determines broad academic policies of the University. It meets on the second Monday of the month during the academic year at the W. T. Young Library and meetings are open to the public. The president of the University of Kentucky is the chair of the Senate, but the responsibility of chairing Senate meetings and other duties is typically delegated to the chair of the Senate Council (see below).

University Senate Membership

University Senate Membership: Senate's Rules and Elections Committee uses a formula involving the number of students and faculty in a college to determine how many elected faculty senators each college should have. Individual colleges are responsible for conducting an election by secret ballot. In addition to the 90+ elected faculty, Senate includes 17 voting student representatives, identified by the Student Government Association. Ex officio members of Senate include the President and Provost, all college deans, all vice presidents, the Academic Ombud, the chair of the Staff Senate, and a representative of the emeritus faculty. Some ex officio members have voting privileges but others do not.


Senate Committees

Senate Committees: The Senate has approximately 20 Senate committees. Some of the committees are chaired by and composed entirely of senators, while other committees are under the Senate’s auspices but can have a chair and membership comprised of non-senators.

  • Academic Advising Committee
  • Academic Facilities Committee
  • Academic Organization and Structure Committee
  • Academic Planning and Priorities Committee
  • Academic Programs Committee
  • Admissions Advisory Committee
  • Admissions and Academic Standards Committee
  • Advisory Committee for Graduation Composition & Communication Requirement
  • Advisory Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure
  • Advisory Committee on Disability Accommodation and Compliance
  • Advisory Committee on the Faculty Code
  • Senate Advisory Committee Privilege and Tenure (SACPT)
  • Distance Learning and e-Learning Committee
  • Institutional Finances and Resource Allocation Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Research and Graduate Education Committee
  • Retroactive Withdrawal Appeals Committee
  • Rules and Elections Committee
  • UK Core Education Committee
  • Senate Hearing Panel (Privilege and Tenure)


Senate's Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure (SACPT)

Senate's Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure (SACPT): The SACPT is responsible for hearing cases involving violations of privilege and academic freedom and procedure. Does not hear cases involving the substantive merit of administrative decisions on salary, faculty performance review, distribution of effort, allocation of resources, etc.


Senate Council (SC)

Senate Council (SC): The University Senate has an executive body, the Senate Council, which is charged with providing leadership to enable the Senate to perform effectively its primary role of formulating and implementing educational policies of the University.

The SC is composed of nine members elected from and by the elected faculty members of the Senate. SC also includes three elected students and the two faculty trustees. The members of SC elect its chair and vice chair annually. The SC chair typically presides over meetings of both the SC and the Senate. The SC meets weekly during the academic year and meetings are open to the public.

University Senate Rules (SR)

University Senate Rules: The Senate promulgates the University Senate Rules, which govern all undergraduate academic aspects of the University. These Rules also address some graduate and professional aspects, too. Faculty often choose to include in their course syllabi the explicit language in the SRs regarding plagiarism and academic offenses.


Campuswide Committees

Participation in Campuswide Committees: University Senate and SC regularly consulted on nominees for ad hoc and for regular campuswide committees. The committees used in promotion and tenure decisions (academic area advisory committees) are comprised solely of SC nominees from the faculty at large. The President picks one nominee from a pair of SC-suggested nominees and then appoints a committee chair from one of the members.