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Faculty Senate, University of Vermont

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-011

Scope and Contents

The Faculty Senate records consist of documents created and used by and for the UVM Faculty Senate and faculty committees. The bulk of the material is comprised of meeting minutes, agendas, correspondence, and reports. Also present are clippings, flyers, and handbooks/booklets. There several containers of media which include recordings of meetings. Most of the media is audio cassette tapes; also present are floppy disks, microfilm, and magnetic tape. There are also two oversize folders of maps and building plans. Some of the records in this group pre-date the official organization of the Faculty Senate.

The collection is divided into series based on the origin or function of the material. The articles/clippings series contains a small amount of material. The committees series comprises the bulk of the material and includes subseries for various standing and ad hoc committees. There is some overlap in committees and committee functions as they have been formed and discarded over time. Some information about specific committees that may be useful is as follows: the Physical Planning Committee includes information about the faculty club. The Policy Committee was responsible for selecting honorary degree recipients. The Grievance Committee records include material from the university ombudsman. The Financial Policy Committee includes the Fringe Benefits Subcommittee. The Academic Affairs Committee and the Curriculum/Curricular Affairs Committee contain overlapping or similar materials. The Mentoring Advisory Committee oversaw a faculty mentoring program in which tenured faculty members were paired with tenure track junior faculty members. The correspondence series includes correspondence among faculty members and between those in the Faculty Senate and others at the university and beyond. The meeting records series consists of minutes and agenda. The related organizations series contains subseries for organizations both within and outside the university which related to or conducted business with the Faculty Senate. These include, among others, the Emeriti/Retired Faculty and Administrative Officers (which publishes the newsletter Hermes), the Board of Trustees, and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The reports series includes reports prepared for and by the Faculty Senate. The representation and elections series includes lists of members of the Faculty Senate, ballots for elections of members and officers, and votes on various matters. Finally, the structure/constitution and bylaws series includes amendments to the constitution and bylaws of the Faculty Senate as well as copies of and amendments to the Faculty Handbook.


  • 1827-2013

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from archives must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Meetings of university officials date back as early as 1827 from when James Marsh was president of the university. Faculty committees were established in the late nineteenth century during Matthew Buckham’s presidency. In 1911, President Guy Benton formally established the University Senate, which was not specifically for faculty but consisted of various university officials. By 1940 there were twenty extant faculty committees. The Policy Committee was formed in 1942, marking faculty becoming more involved in institutional policy decisions. President John Fey created a faculty committee to prepare a constitution and bylaws in 1963, which went into effect in February 1966, formalizing the Faculty Senate. The Senate then adopted a town hall style where all faculty members could attend and had a vote. The bylaws were amended in 1970 to remove the university president as the senate chair.

According to the constitution and bylaws, last amended in 2015, functions of the Faculty Senate include reviewing and establishing or recommending policy in regard to curricular matters, the academic calendar, research and scholarship, admissions standards and student financial aid, teaching quality and professional standards for appointment and tenure, institutional priorities, academic organization, honorary degrees, and more. Policy decisions are submitted to the UVM president, who has the power to veto. Although they do not have final authority to implement policy, the Faculty Senate has considerable influence on university matters.

The Senate is comprised of elected faculty members, one from each department or two from departments consisting of greater than twenty-five faculty members, who have voting privileges. The President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate are also elected positions but do not have a vote. Meetings are open to the public and the Senate meets at least four times per semester. The Senate is made up of standing committees which deal with reviewing and regulating policies that fall under that committee’s area of concern. Each standing committee includes at least one faculty member from each college or major academic unit. Some committees include subcommittees to focus on specific areas. Ad hoc committees may also be formed to deal with specific issues; thus, committees are often in flux. Major committees include the Faculty Affairs Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee. The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate presides over the agenda with recommendations from committees.

Information on the history of the Faculty Senate can be found at:

The constitution and bylaws can be found at:


81.04 Linear Feet (64 cartons, 3 boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Meetings of the UVM faculty members were recorded as early as 1827. The University Senate was officially created in 1911, and the Faculty Senate was formalized with a constitution and bylaws during the 1960s. This collection contains records of the UVM Faculty Senate and faculty committees from the early nineteenth century to the present day. The bulk of the collection is made up of meeting minutes, agenda, correspondence, reports, and committee records. Also present are clippings, flyers, handbooks, audio cassette tapes, and building plans.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Guide to the University of Vermont Faculty Senate Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Archives Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
802-656-4038 (Fax)