University of South Carolina
Regional Campuses Faculty Senate
INFORMATION FOR NEW SENATORS
Revised September 2009
Welcome to the Regional Campuses Faculty Senate!
As a member of the Senate delegation from your campus, you will act as a liaison between your faculty colleagues and the Senate. You will have the opportunity to meet and work with senators from the other Regional Campuses of the University. As a participant in the faculty governance process, you will deal with academic matters of importance to you, your colleagues, each campus, and the University as a whole.
Senators are expected to participate actively in communicating the deliberations and actions of the Regional Campuses Faculty Senate (RCFS) to their respective (home) campuses. These communications should augment and clarify the minutes of the RCFS meetings and should provide faculty on the Regional Campuses with information about topics and issues under discussion in the Senate in a timely manner.
Senators should also represent concerns and actions of their faculty organizations to the RCFS. Assessment of a senator's performance is the responsibility of the senator's (home) faculty organization.
HISTORY OF THE SENATE
The first Senate meeting of the faculties of the non-Columbia campuses was held January 30, 1968, in Columbia. Faculty members from Aiken, Beaufort, Coastal Carolina, Florence, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Spartanburg, and Union attended the session. At that time the campuses were called Regional Campuses. The Florence Campus withdrew from the USC System in 1970 to become Francis Marion College. The campus at Sumter, which was originally founded by Clemson University, was welcomed into the USC Regional Campuses System in 1973. In 1978 the name Regional Campuses was changed to Two-Year Campuses. By that time the campuses at Aiken, Coastal Carolina, and Spartanburg had moved to four-year status and had left the Two-Year Campuses System. The name University Campuses was adopted in 1983. This name was chosen in order to better convey the role the campuses play as learning centers that offer educational opportunities for the residents of their communities at various instructional levels. In 1991 it was decided to return to the name Regional Campuses. In 2002, USC Beaufort became the fifth USC Regional Campus to attain four-year status.
At present the Senate consists of faculty members from four Regional Campuses (USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter, and USC Union) and from Extended University (previously Continuing Education Credit Programs).
The Senate was created by the USC Board of Trustees to act for the Regional Campuses faculties, subject to review by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees. The Senate is authorized to establish minimum educational standards and, together with the Regional Campuses Faculties, to formulate policies concerning conduct of faculty. These policies are to be generally consistent with the educational policies and standards of the entire University.
MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICERS
Members of the Senate include Senators, who serve three-year terms; members of the Executive Committee (the Senate Chair, Vice Chair, Immediate Past Chair, Secretary and one Member-at-Large), and the ex officio members (the President, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost, and the Regional Campus Deans).
Traditionally, the Senate meets quarterly during the academic year, usually on the third Friday in September, November, February and April. In recent years the first and sometimes the third meeting of the year have been held in Columbia. The other meetings are held on a rotational basis at other Regional Campuses.
Campus delegations assign their senators to one of the Senate's three Standing Committees:
Rights and Responsibilities, Welfare, or System Affairs. These committees meet at each Senate session and carry on their work throughout the year via research, subcommittee meetings, and report writing as their various charges may demand. The Chair of each committee presents a formal report to the Senate at each quarterly meeting and prepares an annual report to sum up the committee's work during the year. The Executive Committee and the Chairs of the Standing Committees meet in retreat each summer to set goals for the coming year and to formulate charges for each Standing Committee.
The Rights and Responsibilities Committee is concerned with issues regarding faculty relations with administration and students. This committee has traditionally been responsible for overseeing revisions to the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual and has considered issues of tenure and promotion and faculty grievances.
The Welfare Committee considers financial concerns of the faculty, including salaries, fringe benefits, support for teaching and research, and, more recently, faculty recruitment, development, and retention.
The System Affairs Committee deals with matters involving the relationships among the campuses and matters concerning courses and curricula.
The Executive Committee works with all of the other committees to assist them in attaining their charges and also carries on activities in the areas of promoting and publicizing the work of the Senate as a whole.
Several Special Committees are named each year, including the Regional Campuses Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Grievance Committee and the Nominating Committee. Each of these committees has particular rules for membership and procedures, as described in the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual.
Representatives to the USC-Columbia Faculty Senate Committees:
The Regional Campuses Faculty Senate sends representatives to several committees which deal with University-wide matters but which are constituted under the aegis of the USC-Columbia Faculty Senate. The Regional Campuses Faculty Senate elects its representatives to these committees and receives reports from them at each Senate meeting. These committees include:
- Committee on Libraries
- Committee on Curricula and Courses
- Committee on Faculty Welfare
- Faculty-Board of Trustees Liaison Committee
- Conflict of Interest Committee
- Committee on Instructional Development
THE REGIONAL CAMPUSES FACULTY MANUAL
The Regional Campuses Faculty Manual contains information about University regulations and policies of importance to campus faculty members. The Faculty Senate updates the manual periodically and each new edition must be approved by the Vice Provost's office, the Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees.
Complete policies and procedures for the Faculty Senate and its By-laws are found in the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual.