Duties & Responsibilities

Senate Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate of Washington State University—referred to as the Executive Committee—includes the senate chair, chair-elect, immediate past chair, and executive secretary. A permanent half-time principal assistant supports this committee in its duties.

Chair, Chair-Elect, and Immediate Past Chair

A new chair-elect is elected each spring semester. Positions start on August 16th and end the following year on August 15th. Normally the chair-elect makes a three-year commitment to shared governance on the Executive Committee by progressing from chair-elect, to chair, and finally to immediate past chair during their tenure.

Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary is elected for a three-year term.

Shared Executive Committee Duties:

  1. Know Robert’s Rules of Order, Faculty Senate Bylaws and Constitution, and the Faculty Manual,
  2. Know Faculty Senate processes for approving courses, degrees, etc.,
  3. Be familiar with the duties and organizational structure of Senate committees (AAC, GSC, PHSC, FAC, R&A, Budget, Libraries, and Admissions) and the Faculty Status Committee,
  4. Be familiar with the issues that impact all WSU campuses,
  5. Coordinate with executive secretary and principal assistant to facilitate day-to-day decision making on Senate issues,
  6. Attend Council of Faculty retreat (usually late spring),
  7. Participate in choosing a candidate for the Ormsby award,
  8. Attend Executive Committee meetings and meetings with senior administration,
  9. Support liaison between the Faculty Senate Executive and the senior administration,
  10. Review the Senate agenda, and
  11. Serve on committees requesting Faculty Senate Executive representation.

Additional duties of the Chair-Elect:

  1. Chair Faculty Senate and/or Steering meetings if the chair is absent and
  2. Chair the Committee on Committees. The duties of this position include:
    • Coordination of staffing on all Senate committees and makes recommendations of faculty for presidential committees and
    • Verification that the committee database on the web is accurate.
  3. Coordinate staffing of the Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee and the University Grade Appeals Committee.

Additional duties of the Chair:

  1. Chair Senate and Steering meetings,
  2. Serve as ex officio member of the Honorary Degrees Committee,
  3. Coordinate with Senate parliamentarian,
  4. Review of Senate and Steering agendas, being aware of any issues,
  5. Proofread the minutes and agendas for Senate and Steering meetings,
  6. Present opening comments for Senate and Steering meetings,
  7. Prepare agenda in advance of meetings with president and provost,
  8. Communicate with Executive Committee about all issues to discuss in pre-meetings, etc.
  9. Send “thank you” correspondence to all committee chairs,
  10. Carry the mace and lead the processional in Pullman Convocation (early fall), Pullman Commencement (December and May), and Spokane Commencement (May),
  11. Visit WSU campuses/locations to meet with faculty and administrators to discuss faculty and student issues,
  12. Communicate with the principal assistant to conduct day-to-day Senate business, and
  13. Write and present reports to the Board of Regents at each of their regular meetings.

Additional duties of the Immediate Past Chair:

  1. The immediate past-chair serves in an advisory capacity to the executive committee and may be responsible for continuing initiatives started during his or her term as chair-elect and chair. The past chair will attend all regular and special meetings. This is a non-voting role.

Additional duties of the Executive Secretary:

  1. Conduct Faculty Senate elections, and assist colleges and campuses in this effort,
  2. Ask Faculty Senate for delegation of authority to Executive Committee in summer,
  3. Present comments at Steering meetings,
  4. Proofread, review, and edit minutes and agendas for Steering and Senate (as generated by the principal assistant and executive secretary),
  5. Act as the WSU representative and liaison to the PAC-12 ALC,
  6. Invite and schedule, with assistance from the principal assistant, speakers to visit the Faculty Senate, and
  7. Contact senators and deans to commend exceptionally good service; remind senators with excessive absences of the importance of attendance and reaching a quorum.


If an individual finds that his or her goals and opportunities change during this three-year period and chooses to end his or her term early, the affected executive position will be refilled as specified in Article 3, Section 1, Parts C and D of the Faculty Senate Constitution.

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