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Kutztown University

 Constitution for the University Senate  CONSTITUTION 


 
Adopted March 1, 1990
(Revised 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2008)

ARTICLE I.  THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

Section A.  Purpose

The purpose of the University Senate is to function as a representative body of the faculty and professional staff to the end of initiating and/or reviewing all academic policies and procedures and any other matters which impact upon the University.

ARTICLE II.  MEMBERSHIP

Section A.   Composition

  1. Members Elected by Units -- Senators shall be elected by the following non-student constituencies of the university.

    a.  Faculty: One (1) Senator elected by each academic department. If two or more academic departments so choose, they may elect from among themselves one Senator to represent them.

       (ii) If two or more academic departments so choose, they may elect from among themselves one Senator to represent them.

    b.  Professional Staff:  Four (4) Senators.

     

  2. Members Selected by Units --  Senators shall be selected by the following bodies or components of the university:

    a.  Students:  Three (3) Senators.

    b.  APSCUF: One (1) Senator.

    c.  Management:  One (1) Senator, the Provost.

  3. Members Elected At-Large

    a.  Six (6) Senators shall be elected at large from all non-student constituencies as listed in Article II., Section A., Part 1. above.

    b.  The election for Senators at Large shall take place after the election and selection of Senators listed under Article II., Section A., Parts 1. and 2. Procedures for nomination and election of Members at Large shall be bound by the regulations listed in Article II., Section D.

    c.  Senators elected at large shall be subject to the same rules governing terms in office and shall enjoy the same rights and privileges as Senators elected or selected as unit representatives under Article II., Section A., Parts 1. and 2.

  4. President of the University Senate

    a.  The President of the University Senate shall be elected by the above listed Members of the University Senate from among the Members of the University Senate under the provisions of Article II., Section E., Parts 2, 3, and 4.

  5. Constituencies of the University Senate

    a.  The Senate has three constituencies: faculty, professional staff, and students.

Section B.  Eligibility

  1. To be eligible to serve as a Senator under the designation Members Elected by Units or Members Elected at Large in Article II., Section A., Parts 1. and 3., a person must have rendered a minimum of three (3) years full-time service to Kutztown University by the time the term of office as Senator would begin.

  2. To be eligible to serve as a Senator under the designation Members Selected by Units in Article II., Section A., Part 2., a person must satisfy the requirements established by the bodies or components listed there.

Section C. Substitutions

  1. When a representative to the University Senate is unable to attend a meeting for reasons acceptable to the University Senate, that person may designate another member of the constituency to act with the full rights and responsibilities of the originally elected representative.  It is the responsibility of the designee to make known the substitution to the Senate President before acting as a substitute.

    a.  If the Senator was elected from an academic department, then the designee must be chosen from the same academic department.

  2. When a representative to the University Senate, elected under the designation Faculty Members Elected by Units in Article II., Section A., Part 1., Item a.  or selected under the designation Members Selected by Units in Article II., Section A., Part 2., Items a., b., c. is not able to fulfill the duties of Senator for a period of time of one semester or more, then a replacement for the time period in question shall be elected or selected by the bodies or components concerned.

  3. When an elected representative to the University Senate, elected under the designation Professional Staff Members Selected by Units in Article II., Section A., Part 1., Item b. or under the designation Members Elected at Large in Article II., Section A., Part 3. is not able to fulfill the duties of Senator for a period of time of one semester or more, then the Executive committee shall appoint the person for the time period in question having the next highest number of votes in the election of the Senator to be replaced.  If no such person exists, then a special election shall be held.

Section D.  Implementation of Election of University Senators

  1. By the end of the second full week in March, units shall elect or select Senators listed under Article II., Section A., Part 1., Item a. and Part 2., Items a., b., and c. to replace representatives whose terms expire with the beginning of the Fall semester.

  2. By the end of the second full week in March, the Senate shall complete the election of Professional Staff Senators listed under Article II., Section A., Part 1., Item b. to replace representatives whose terms expire with the beginning of the Fall Semester.

    a.  Professional staff eligible to vote for Professional Staff Senators shall be all permanent full-time professional staff employees of the University.

    b.  By the end of the first full week in February, willingness-to-serve and/or nomination forms for Professional Staff Senators shall be submitted to the Senate Secretary.

    c.  By the end of the third full week in February, the Senate Secretary shall submit a primary ballot listing all nominees for Professional Staff Senator to the professional staff eligible to vote.  Each voter may select a number equal to the number of Professional Staff Senators to be elected that year.

    d.  If the number of nominees on the primary ballot is not more than twice the number of Professional Staff Senators to be elected that year, then the election process is finished and the Professional Staff Senators shall be those candidates receiving the highest number of votes.

    e.  If the number of nominees on the primary ballot is more than twice the number of Professional Staff Senators to be elected that year, then the final ballot shall contain the names of the highest ranking primary nominees, twice as many names as the number of Professional Staff Senators to be elected that year.

    f.  By the end of February, the final ballot shall be sent to the professional staff eligible to vote.  Each voter may select a number equal to the number of Professional Staff Senators to be elected that year.

    g.  The professional Staff Senators shall be those candidates receiving the highest number of votes on the final ballot.

    h.  Vacancies during the term for which the election was held, either temporary or
    permanent, shall be filled by selecting in order of descending rank from the remaining nominees on the ballot.  If no such person exists, then a special election shall be held.

  3. By the end of the second full week in May, the Senate shall complete the election for Senators at Large listed under Article II., Section A., Part 3.

    1. The faculty and professional staff eligible to vote for Senator at Large shall be all regular tenure track faculty and/or permanent full-time professional staff employees of the University.
    2. By the end of the first full week in April, willingness-to-serve and/or nomination forms for Senator at Large shall be submitted to the Senate office.
    3. By the end of the third full week in April, the Senate office shall submit a primary ballot listing all nominees for Senator At-Large to be elected to the faculty and professional staff eligible to vote.  Each voter may select a number equal to the number of Senators At-Large to be elected that year.
    4. If the number of nominees on the primary ballot is not more than twice the number of Senators At-Large to be elected that year, then the election process is finished and the Senators At-Large shall be those candidates receiving the highest number of votes.
    5. If the number of nominees on the primary ballot is more than twice the number of Senators At-Large to be elected that year, then the final ballot shall contain the names of the highest ranking primary nominees, twice as many names as the number of Senators At-Large to be elected that year.
    6. By the end of April, the final ballot shall be sent to the faculty and professional staff eligible to vote.  Each voter may select a number equal to the number of Senators At- Large to be elected that year.
    7. The Senators At-Large shall be those candidates receiving the highest number of votes on the final ballot.
    8. Vacancies during the term for which the election was held, either temporary or permanent, shall be filled by selecting in order of descending rank from the remaining nominees on the ballot.  If no such person exists or is willing to serve, then a special election shall be held.
       
  4. In the event of a tie in a Senate-run election among those receiving the highest number of votes on the final ballot, a run-off election will be held among those tied.
     
  5. Instructions on all the ballots used to elect Senators shall indicate that one should "vote for no more than" the number of vacancies to be filled.  Ballots shall be deemed invalid if the voter has selected more than the indicated number of vacancies.  Ballots shall not be deemed invalid if the voter has selected fewer than the indicated number of vacancies.

Section E.  Officers

  1. The officers of the Senate shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, President-Elect, Vice-President-Elect, and Secretary-Elect.   The positions of President-Elect, Vice-President-Elect and Secretary-Elect may be held concurrently by the first three (3) officers listed.

  2. The term of office of the President and Vice-President shall be two years, starting from the beginning of the academic year through to the beginning of the third academic year after election.  The election of President and Vice-President shall be conducted at the December meeting of the Senate in alternative years.

  3. Upon assumption of the office of the Senate President by the President-Elect, the Senate President will no longer be a Senator representing a unit or constituency.  The position formerly held by the Senate President as a Senator elected or selected by a unit or by a constituency will be vacated.  The unit or constituency will elect or select a new Senator to complete the remainder of the vacated term of the individual assuming the office of Senate President.

  4. The term of office of the Secretary shall be one year, starting from the beginning of the academic year through to the beginning of the next academic year.  A Secretary shall be elected annually by a majority vote from the membership of the Senate.  The election of the Secretary shall be conducted at the December meeting of the Senate.

  5. The Senate President shall be the principal executive officer and shall have such powers as are appropriate to the office:  preside at meetings, call special meetings, appoint necessary nominating committees or ad hoc committees to investigate matters under Senate jurisdiction and make any other special appointments as needed.  The Senate President shall also be ex officio a member of all Senate committees and shall chair the Executive Committee of the Senate.  The Senate President shall choose a person from the Senate membership to act as Parliamentarian at Senate meetings.

  6. The Senate President shall have the discretionary right to call emergency meetings of the University Senate.

  7. The Vice-President in the absence of or at the request of the Senate President shall substitute for the Senate President, and shall be ex officio a member and Vice-President of the Executive Committee.  The Vice-President also acts as the Chairperson of the Committee on Committees.

  8. The Secretary shall perform the usual functions of such office and shall be ex officio a member and Secretary of the Executive Committee.

  9. The President-Elect, Vice-President-Elect and Secretary-Elect of the Senate shall have the responsibility of keeping informed on all Senate matters in preparation for taking over their respective positions the following year and shall be ex officio members of the Executive Committee.

  10. Senate officers may serve only two consecutive terms in the same position.

Section F. Implementation of Election of Senate Officers

  1. The three-person nominating committee shall be appointed by the Senate President by October 1 from the membership of the Senate.

  2. The nominating committee shall distribute nomination forms in time for the November meeting.

  3. At the November meeting the nominating committee shall: (1) announce which incumbents plan to run for reelection, and (2) solicit nominations.

  4. If the Senate President or Vice President decides to run for another position halfway through his or her term of office, then the election for the vacated position shall be for a one-year term.

  5. The deadline for nominations and position statements is November 15.  Anyone may obtain the list of candidates for each position by contacting the Senate Office.

  6. The list of candidates for each office and their position statements shall be distributed by the Senate Office with materials for the December meeting.

  7. The election of officers shall take place at the first meeting in December.

  8. The nominating committee shall conduct the election.

  9. The election shall proceed in the following order: President, Vice-President, and Secretary.

  10. Nominations from the floor shall be taken as each position comes up for election.

  11. The nominating committee shall prepare, distribute, count the ballots and announce the results.

  12. Winners shall be determined by plurality vote.

  13. If no candidate receives a plurality, the slate shall be reduced to those tied with the highest number of votes.

  14. If at any stage of the election process, all the surviving candidates have the same number of votes, then the tie shall be broken by a coin toss or tosses as determined by the nominating committee.

  15. In the event of a Senate officer vacancy at a time other than the regular election period, the a special election shall be held at the next Senate meeting to fill the unexpired term.

Section G.  Terms of Membership

  1. Senators designated as Members Elected by Units or Members Elected at Large in Article II., Section A., Parts 1. and 3.  shall be elected for terms of three years.  Elections shall be conducted at times specified in Article II., Section D.  Terms shall commence on the first day of the fall semester of the academic year following election and shall continue until the first day of the fall semester of the fourth academic year following the election.

  2. Representatives of the University Senate designated as Members Selected by Units in Article II., Section A., Part 2.  shall serve terms determined by the bodies or components which selected them.

  3. To provide continuity of membership, one-third of the members of the University Senate designated as Members Elected by Units or Members Elected at Large in Article II., Section A., Parts 1. and 3.  shall be elected each year.

  4. An elected member may not serve more than eight years of continuous service on the Senate, except in such instances as there may not be another qualified member or a member willing to serve.  having reached the limit for continuous service as a Senator, a person is not permitted to be a Senate member for a period of at least one year.  A person cannot run for Senator or Senate Officer if serving the full term of the position being sought would mean that the person's continuous service on the Senate would exceed the eight-year limit.

  5. Vacancies in elected membership shall be filled by the procedure stated in Article II., Section D.

ARTICLE III.  MEETINGS

Section A. Regular Meetings

Regular meetings shall be held on a schedule to be prepared annually by the University Senate at the first meeting of each academic year, such meeting to be held within three weeks after the beginning of the academic year but not before one week's notification of the meeting shall be published.  Such notice shall set forth the time and place of the meeting and items of business to be considered.

Section B. Special Meetings

Special meetings shall be held at the call of the Senate President.  Notice of every special meeting shall be given to members of the faculty and professional staff at least one week in advance of such meeting.  Such notice shall set forth the time and place of the meeting and items of business to be considered.

Section C. Faculty and Professional Staff Meetings

A majority of the members of the University Senate may call meetings of the entire faculty and professional staff whenever deemed necessary.

Section D. Quorum

A quorum for any meeting of the University Senate shall consist of a majority of the full membership.

ARTICLE IV. OPERATION

Section A. Rights and Duties

  1. The University Senate has the authority to gather information about and deliberate upon any academic matter that may arise within the University.

  2. The University Senate shall review any present or proposed academic policy, procedure or issue as it deems fit.

  3. The University Senate shall make policy recommendations to the University President on any matter relation to the academic life of the University.

  4. It shall be the duty of the University Senate to determine the function and responsibilities of all committees within its jurisdiction.

  5. The University Senate shall encourage participation on the part of the faculty, professional staff and students in all facets of University governance.

  6. Any academic matter that a member of the University Community wishes to bring to the attention of the governance structure of the University shall be submitted to the University Senate or one of its Reporting Committees.

  7. It shall be the right of the University Senate to refuse to consider any matter which, in the opinion of the group, is either outside the province of its authority or unworthy of its consideration.

  8. It shall be the duty of the University Senate to report in writing any decisions made or final action taken to groups or individuals that originate problems for consideration.

  9. Proceedings and decisions of the University Senate shall be recorded in a minute book and copies of the minutes distributed to each member of the faculty and professional staff.

Section B. The Executive Committee

  1. There shall be an Executive Committee of the University Senate composed of the elected officers of the Senate.

  2. The Executive Committee shall exercise whatever interim powers are delegated to it by the university senate.  The Executive Committee shall also exercise the full power of the Senate in emergency situations as identified by the University President.  Every action taken by the Executive Committee shall be reported by the Senate President to the University Senate at its next meeting.

ARTICLE V. RULES OF ORDER

Section A. Routine

  1. Resolutions, except as otherwise specified, may be passed by a majority vote of members present.

  2. Voting in the University Senate may be by secret ballot when requested by a member.

  3. The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Senate in all cases where they are applicable.

Section B. Agenda

  1. The Executive Committee, in consultation with the University President and the Provost, shall prepare the agenda for regular meetings.   The agenda shall include any matter requested in writing by three or more members of the Senate two weeks prior to a meeting.  Committee reports to be considered by the Senate, resolutions to be debated, and the agenda shall be sent to each Senate member at least one week prior to any meeting.

  2. Items of business not on the published agenda may be considered only if accepted for discussion and action by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the University Senate present.

  3. When submitting a proposal or item for inclusion on the Senate agenda, please include as much of the following information as possible:

    1. Date
    2. Recommending body and names of members.
    3. Proposed change or recommendation.
    4. Rationale for change; Any approval or routing process: Pertinent background information or history; Other persons or bodies having input.
    5. Current policy or procedure, or past practice.
    6. List of attachments.
    7. Signatures of three Senators requesting placement of proposal on the agenda.

 

Section C. Amendments

  1. The Constitution of the Senate may be amended in either of the following two (2) ways:

    a. An amendment may originate within the University Senate and become part of the Senate rules, providing the proposed amendment shall have a two-thirds majority of the full Senate membership at the regular meeting following initial presentation.

    b. An amendment may originate within any Senate constituency by a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of that entire constituency.  Approval of the proposed amendment shall be voted on by faculty and professional staff and shall require a two-thirds majority of the responding vote.  The Senate shall call a full meeting of the faculty and professional staff for such a vote in accordance with Article III, Section C.

ARTICLE VI. REPORTING COMMITTEES

Section A. Reporting Committees which report to the University Senate

  1. To help deal with matters that come before the University Senate and to facilitate the University Senate's role in University governance, there shall be a Committee on reporting committees shall have responsibility for providing information and recommendations in matters related to University governance.  The number of committees and areas of their responsibility shall reflect the spirit of the Final Recommendations on University Governance from the Joint Senate-APSCUF Governance Committee.

  2. The Vice-President of the University Senate shall chair the Committee on Committees, as designated in Article II, Section E. 5.

  3. The Committee on Committees shall have the responsibility for making recommendations to the University Senate as to the establishment or dissolution of reporting committees as well as responsibilities related to reporting committees set forth in Section B.

  4. The University Senate shall have the authority to create and/or dissolve committees that report to the Senate.  The creation or dissolution of a reporting committee will require a two-thirds vote of the membership of the University Senate.

Section B. Rules Governing Reporting Committees

  1. The structure of these Reporting Committees and any subcommittees shall be recommended by the Committee on Committees with approval of the University Senate.

  2. The members of these Reporting Committees, not specified as being selected otherwise, shall be appointed by the Committee on Committees with approval of the University Senate.

  3. Members appointed by the Committee on Committees who are granted a leave of    absence, sabbatical, or medical leave from the University exceeding 8 weeks, shall be replaced for the duration of their leave by the Committee on Committees and shall rejoin those committees on their return to the University for the  remainder of their term. Where practical, the members granted a leave would suggest a replacement(s) for the committee(s) on which they serve from the appropriate constituency (i.e. department, college, administrative unit), but actual appointment to committees would remain the responsibility of the Committee on Committees.

  4. Following the fall call for volunteers to Governance Committees and following a call for volunteers among non-college affiliated faculty, full-time temporary faculty may volunteer to fill vacancies on Governance Committees for the remainder of the academic year. These faculty members must be approved by the Committee on Committees with final approval from the University Senate.

  5. Except as specified in Article VI, A., 2., each committee shall elect its own Chairperson.

  6. Meetings of the Reporting Committees shall be open to all Senators by virtue of their office and to other persons by invitation of the committee chairperson.

Section C. Responsibilities of Reporting Committees

  1. As a significant component of the governance structure of Kutztown University, each reporting committee has primary responsibility to gather information, deliberate, and recommend in matters appropriate to its charge.   The reporting committees are the creations of and responsible to the University Senate.

  2. Proposals may be referred to the reporting committee by action of the University Senate or its Executive Committee.

  3. The work of the Reporting Committees, including any reports and recommendations, shall be transmitted in writing to the University Senate for its consideration.

 


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