About the University Senate


San Diego State University (SDSU) operates under a shared governance philosophy — where each member of the community (whether faculty, student, staff, or administrator) has an opportunity to weigh in on matters of policy and procedure. SDSU's governing bodies include the Office of the President, the University Senate, and Associated Students. The University Senate considers a wide range of issues; its duties are broadly outlined in Section 2 of the Senate Constitution:

  • The Senate shall consider policies with respect to the general welfare of the University. It shall review established policies, consider new policies, and study matters of concern to students or faculty members.
  • It shall formulate educational policy, including admissions, curricula, and criteria for the granting of degrees. It shall analyze established and proposed policies of instruction and consider variations in policy in exceptional cases.
  • It shall advise the President in the selection of administrative personnel.
  • It shall maintain adequate communication within the University community. Any member of the University community may request a member of the Senate to transmit to the Senate (for discussion and possible action) topics coming under the jurisdiction of the Senate.
  • It shall appoint University Senate Committees. It shall establish rules and procedures for Senate Committees and shall establish procedures for the Senate.
  • The ultimate authority to recommend approval of candidates for graduation shall reside with the tenured and tenure-track faculty. Following formal advice of the tenured and tenure-track faculty, only the members of the Senate who are elected as professors shall vote in the matter of approving the list of candidates for graduation.

The term University Senate signifies a diverse membership base.

Elected voting members represent our main and satellite campuses, and include:

  • Professors
  • Library Faculty
  • University Services faculty (SSP-AR classifications)
  • Lecturers
  • Coaches
  • Staff / non-Management Personnel Plan (MPP)
  • Non–represented staff (e.g., SDSU Research Foundation, Aztec Shops)
  • Managers / Management Personnel Plan (MPP)

Ex-officio members (appointed, rather than elected) are either voting members (cannot vote in Senate Officer elections or in faculty elections to the Senate Executive Committee), or non-voting members (may be recognized and participate fully University Senate deliberations), and include:

  • President of the University or designee (voting)
  • Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (voting)
  • Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs (voting)
  • Vice President for Research and Innovation (voting)
  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity (voting)
  • Vice President for Development and University Advancement (voting)
  • Associate Vice President for Faculty Advancement and Student Success (voting)
  • Dean of SDSU Global Campus (voting)
  • Undergraduate and graduate Students chosen by Associated Students (voting)
  • A professor emeritus (voting)
  • The president or designee of the University's chapter of CFA (non-voting)
  • Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (non-voting)
  • Associate Vice President for Curriculum, Assessment and Accreditation (non-voting)
  • SDSU Alumni (non-voting)
  • The immediate past chair of the University Senate (non-voting)

Senate Officers, all of whom are elected annually except for the parlimentarian, include:

  • Chair, an elected Senator who shall be the Chair of the Faculty
  • Vice Chair, who shall be faculty and an elected Senator
  • Secretary, who shall be an elected Senator
  • Treasurer, who shall be an elected Senator
  • Parliamentarian (appointed annually, need not be a member of the Senate)