UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on procedural rule on substantive main motions



Procedural rule on substantive main motions 


1.  Motion presenter:  Jim Connell, Agenda Committee

2.  Dates of Faculty Senate discussion:  11/18/2013, 11/4/2013

3.  Motion: The Faculty Senate shall vote on main motions of a substantive nature, unless otherwise decided as below, at the regular  meeting following the meeting when the motion was introduced.  On introduction, the main motion may be debated and all subsidiary and incidental motions are in order.  If a motion entailing further delay (tabling, postponement to a certain time, commitment, etc.) is adopted, that delay, provided it is no sooner than the next regular meeting, shall apply.  If the previous question is adopted during the initial consideration, only consideration at that meeting shall end, with no vote being taken; consideration, including debate, as below, shall resume at the appropriate future meeting. 

When consideration of a substantive main motion is resumed at a subsequent meeting, it is fully open to debate and amendment and may be voted upon at that meeting provided no amendment is adopted at that meeting that substantively alters the fundamental intent of the motion.  In that case, it shall be delayed as if it were a new main motion. 

Upon adoption, this rule supersedes any previous rules on the subject. 

4.  Rationale: The above has been the custom in the Faculty Senate with the often cited advantage of Senators being able to consult with their departments before voting. 

Many assumed it was a procedural rule, but recent research by our new administrative assistant has failed to disclose any such a rule having been adopted.  This has left the Chair and the Agenda Committee in an ambiguous situation they wish to resolve. 

It may be noted that “substantive” is not defined.  The chair, when a motion is introduced, makes the determination.  The chair should, as in all such matters, rule conservatively.  As with any decision by the chair, a member can appeal the chair’s decision and, the appeal being seconded, a vote will be taken. 

Should the chair proceed to a vote on a main motion and a member feel the vote is in violation of this rule (or any other), they should raise a point of order and the chair will rule. 

Even should a main motion be substantive, the Senate may still suspend the rules in order to vote at the meeting when the main motion was introduced should it desire or need to do so. 

5.  Senate action:  Motion passed unanimously

6.  Senate chair’s signature: Todd A DeMitchell

Forwarded to: President Mark Huddleston, on November 25, 2013

                        Provost Lisa MacFarlane, on November 25, 2013

                        P.T. Vasudevan, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, on November 25, 2013                  __________________________________________________________________________________________

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