The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is composed of six different Schools located on multiple campuses. The School of Medicine (SOM) was the first school established, admitting its first class in 1972, and it began with a small faculty located in one building on one campus. After a directive from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the accrediting body for medical schools, that faculty wrote a set of Bylaws for a Faculty Council to be run by an elected Executive Committee. Over the years, a constructive relationship was built between the Administration and the Faculty Council Executive Committee. The Dean and the HSC Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs regularly attend the monthly meetings of the Executive Committee, leading to a positive exchange of ideas and increased communication with the faculty.
In the years that followed, the School of Nursing admitted its first class of students in 1981, the School of Health Professions in 1983 and the School of Pharmacy in 1996. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was subsequently formed to encompass the graduate programs already existing in the Basic Science departments of the School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. As the faculties of each of these schools increased in size, faculty governance structures gradually evolved in each but with different formats. In recent years, a number of issues arose that affected all HSC faculty members across the various Schools.
Further, the need arose to develop new umbrella policies for the Health Sciences Center under which the previous policies of each school had to fit. Because of the differences in the missions, faculty composition and individual policies in effect among the schools, this often created new problems. Further, because of the large differences in faculty governance among the schools, it proved impossible assemble in a reasonable time a representative group from all the schools to consider these issues. At that time, the People First Task Force and the President's Committee for Women in Health Sciences made recommendations for forming a single TTUHSC faculty governance body. Soon afterward, individuals involved in preparing reports on faculty, staff and student governance for the Southern Association (SACS) accreditation recognized the need for establishing an HSC faculty governance program. These individuals, with the approval of the TTUHSC President established an ad hoc committee with representatives from each of the TTUHSC schools. This ad hoc committee formulated a draft Bylaws and Constitution for the purpose of forming an inclusive faculty governance body with equal representation from each of the TTUHSC Schools. This committee is now referred to as the Faculty Senate, comprised of interim senators, with a primary responsibility of establishing the Faculty Senate. Selection of the first senators was completed by August 31, 2007.