Becoming a Rutgers University Senator
Why might you want to be a RU Senator?
You’d want to be a Senator if you recognize the importance of bringing the Rutgers community’s voice to the president and administration. After reading this, if you think you can devote the time and attention Senate membership requires, and you feel you could ably represent the views of your constituency (faculty, staff, students, alumni) in advising Rutgers’ administration on a wide variety of issues, you should consider running for a position on the University Senate. You should probably not join the Senate if: you can’t contribute to committee work (attending full-Senate meetings is only one-third of the job); or if the travel costs to New Brunswick meetings (sorry, there’s no budget for reimbursement), or your work schedule, prohibit it. It’s also important to remember that, in many instances, the Senate advises on policy; it doesn’t dictate it.
Participation in the Senate and Senate Committees
Being aware and informed on the issues under consideration by the Senate (mostly in it’s committees), so you can respond and vote on the reports and recommendations on those issues when they come to the Senate floor, is imperative. To the extent possible, you should also communicate with your constituents so they know what issues are current, and so you have a sense of their views. All Senators serve as representatives of their constituents. As such, they are the voice of the Rutgers University community in the shared-governance process.
Participating in the Senate committees requires a willingness to understand and discuss the specific issues charged to your standing committee. Working together, committee members bring their perspectives and ideas to a discussion that eventually becomes a report that the full Senate (in most cases) is asked to adopt. Whatever the Senate adopts is sent to Rutgers’ administration as the voice of the greater Rutgers community on that issue, and perhaps draft sections of or comments on reports. Outside of committee meetings, members are often asked to read and comment by e-mail. The Senate rarely acts on an issue without first considering that issue in committee.
How do you get elected?
Most schools conduct their elections on an AY-basis. Find your constituency below for specific instructions.
- Full-time faculty: Contact your dean
- Students: Contact your student governing association
- Staff: You will be contacted directly through RU Human Resources electronically
- Part-time Lecturers: You will be contacted directly through email from the executive secretary of the Senate
- Alumni: Contact the Rutgers University Alumni Association at www.alumni.rutgers.edu
For more detailed information about the University Senate and the integral role a Senator plays in shared governance at Rutgers, click here for the University Senate Handbook.