Faculty Senate


Senate Members

Chair: Rob Thomas
Vice Chair: Karl Ulrich
Recording Secretary: Erin Zavitz
Members: Ashley Carlson, Megan Chilson, Kevin Engellant, Megan Kelly, Eva Mastandrea, Tyler Seacrest, Laura Straus
Non-voting student: Cole Snider
Ex-officio, non-voting members:
Provost Deborah Hedeen, Chancellor Beth Weatherby

The Faculty Senate was enabled by the collective bargaining agreement between The University of Montana - Western Faculty Association and the Montana University System Board of Regents signed on July 1, 1999. 


The MFT, as the elected bargaining agent, retains exclusive right to negotiate and reach agreement on all matters pertaining to salaries, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment. Without waiving this right, the MFT and the Board recognize the desirability of a democratic governance system for Faculty in areas of academic concern. Such a governance system shall be implemented through a democratic process open only to tenure-track members of an academic unit who regularly teach seven (7) or more credit hours per semester herein called the Faculty Senate. The Chancellor, VCASA and academic deans are ex officio non-voting members of the Faculty Senate. As such they may attend all regular Faculty Senate sessions but may attend executive sessions by invitation only. Matters of academic concern may be initiated by the Faculty, Faculty Senate, VCASA or by the Chancellor. The matters which shall be reviewed and recommended by the Faculty Senate, in accordance with regulations of the Board, shall include:

  1. specific curricular changes submitted by the faculties of the various academic units through the appropriate University committee;
  2. general requirements for various degrees and nomination of candidates for graduation;
  3. general requirements for admission and retention of students and guidelines for student recruitment;
  4. development, curtailment, discontinuance, or reorganization of academic programs;
  5. issues that pertain to the academic affairs of the University and matters of critical concern about the welfare and administration of the University;
  6. establishment of committees and other bodies deemed necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this provision.
In accordance with Board policy, faculty representatives shall have the right to address the Board at their meeting in support of the Faculty Senate positions. Nothing in this article shall be interpreted or held to contradict the Management Rights spelled out in Section 11.100 of this agreement; or block the administration from timely action on any matter presented to the Faculty Senate without a recommendation from the Faculty Senate. It is understood that the role of the Faculty Senate is to make recommendations to the administration on academic issues. While giving consideration to these recommendations, the administration is not required to adhere to any Faculty Senate recommendation.