The Faculty Senate represents the general faculty of Iowa State University and participates in shared governance of the University with the administration. It is made up of 82 representatives elected by the general faculty, and divided into caucuses representing each of the seven colleges. The Faculty Senate has legislative responsibility for general academic and educational policy, serving to facilitate communication among faculty, students, and administration. It also cooperates with the administration in conflict resolution, and advises the administration on budgetary and other policy matters.
The Faculty Senate conducts its business through a system of five councils (Academic Affairs, Faculty Development and Administrative Relations, Faculty Governance, Judiciary and Appeals, and Resource Policies and Allocations) and their committees. The Executive Board of the Faculty Senate consists of the chairs of the five councils, the chairs of the seven college caucuses, and the officers. The Faculty Senate was established in 1988. Prior to that time, the General Faculty was the only mechanism for faculty participation in university governance, and meetings were poorly attended. A Faculty Council existed, but it was advisory and had no authority or responsibility.