Penn State Abington Constitution

Abington College Faculty Senate Constitution

(ratified by Abington College Faculty, March 30, 2006)
(amended by Abington College Faculty, April 21, 2011)
(amended by Abington College Faculty, November 19, 2014)
(ratified by University Faculty Senate, February 24, 2015)

Preamble: The Abington College Faculty Senate shall act as a mechanism for shared governance. It shall have legislative, advisory, consultative, and forensic functions as specified below. The authority vested in this constitution has been delegated to the Abington College Faculty Senate by the University Faculty Senate (see University Senate Council Guidelines for Faculty Organizations 11/12/97).

Article I Name

The name of the organization shall be the Abington College Faculty Senate, hereinafter called the Faculty Senate.

Article II Purpose and Functions
Section 1. Legislative Functions

The Faculty Senate shall serve as the sole legislative body representing the Abington College Faculty as a whole. The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for matters that pertain to the educational interests and welfare of the College, subject, after consultation, to revision and orders of the Chancellor of Abington College. The following are among the matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate:

  1. instructional programs
  2. courses and programs of study
  3. academic standards such as entrance requirements to Abington College majors
  4. honors and awards
  5. student retention
  6. Abington College graduation requirements.

When required, the Faculty Senate shall submit its actions for approval through the appropriate academic and administrative units to the University Faculty Senate.

Section 2. Advisory and Consultative Functions

The Faculty Senate shall serve as an advisory and consultative body, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts, to the administrators of the Abington College on matters such as:

  1. establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units and degree programs, and areas of instruction or research (see Standing Rules Article I Section 8)
  2. planning of physical facilities when these may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the Abington College
  3. policies and administration of the libraries, computing, and instructional support of the Abington College
  4. policies affecting the acquisition and utilization of resources
  5. matters pertaining to the general welfare of the Abington College
  6. overall educational policy and planning
  7. Abington College calendar
  8. faculty affairs including academic personnel
  9. student affairs
  10. general admissions policy
  11. other appropriate matters

Section 3. Forensic Function

The Faculty Senate shall serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the Abington College Faculty. The Standing Rules of the Faculty Senate shall guide the conduct of forensic business.

Section 4. Interpretation

The Faculty Senate shall interpret its Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules.

Article III. Electorate and Membership
Section 1. Electorate

The electorate shall consist of all full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track, instructors and lecturers), excluding the Associate Dean and Division Heads. (See Standing Rules: Article I Section 11).

Section 2. Elections

The Faculty Senate shall prescribe procedures for all its elections.

Section 3. Membership

  1. The Faculty Senate shall consist of elected and ex-officio members as established in this article.
  2. One senator for every six full time electors within each division shall be elected by each division’s full time electors (rounding up for above 0.5).
  3. Two Abington College University Senators will serve as Abington College Senators, hereinafter called University Senate Representatives, and will represent the entire electorate at The University Faculty Senate Council member from Abington will serve as one representative, and, prior to the first Abington College Faculty Senate meeting of the fall semester, the Abington College University Senators shall select the other University Senate Representative.
  4. One Fixed Term II senator shall be appointed by Senate Council.
  5. The Officers of the Faculty Senate shall be the Chair, the Chair-elect, and the Past Chair.
  6. The following members of Abington College shall be designated ex-officio, non-voting members:
  1. Chancellor
  2. A representative from Academic Affairs
  3. President of the Abington College Student Government Association
  4. University Senators, except when also serving as Abington College senators
  5. Staff Advisory Council Convener*
  6. Executive Secretary/Treasurer to the ACFS*
  7. Parliamentarian*
  8. Senior Director of Student Affairs*
  9. Director of Continuing Education*

*Not required to submit reports

Section 4. Duties and Privileges of Senators

  1. To represent the interests of constituents
  2. To communicate to constituents about Faculty Senate matters
  3. To arrange for a proxy, in the case of absence, from among his or her constituents (see Standing Rules: Article I Section 2)
  4. To vote
  5. To raise issues
  6. To present motions
  7. To amend motions on the floor
  8. To make comments and recommendations for the good of the order
  9. To serve on at least one standing committee

Section 5. Duties and Privileges of Officers

a. Chair

  1. To be the presiding officer of the Faculty Senate and to preside over meetings as referred to in Article V
  2. To have all the duties and privileges of elected senators
  3. To personally transmit resolutions and other actions to the appropriate administrative officers and to the Student Government Association President, and to notify the faculty of such transmission at the next regular Faculty Senate meeting
  4. To review all written reports from ex-officio members prior to the Faculty Senate meeting, and to highlight selected items during the meeting
  5. To act as a liaison between the faculty, the administration, and the student body
  6. To serve as an ex- officio, non-voting member of all appointed committees
  7. To charge standing committees of the Faculty Senate to investigate matters deemed appropriate
  8. To review the procedures of the elected standing committees with each chair at the beginning of the fall semester
  9. To review the Award Committee certification forms and to notify the committee the award procedures have been validated
  10. To serve as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Chancellor
  11. To serve as the Faculty Senate representative on administrative committees as agreed upon by the Chancellor and the Senate Officers
  12. To select an officer or senator as his or her official representative as needed.
  13. To write an ACFS End-of-Year report to the faculty
  14. To regularly update Senate apportionment, with distinct representation for each academic Division as well as independent representation of the Library

b. Chair-elect 

  1. To function as the Chair in the absence of the Chair or at the request of the Chair.
  2. To have all the duties and privileges of elected senators
  3. To conduct all Abington College Faculty Senate, University Faculty Senate and the Ombudsman elections in accordance with election procedures and timetable (See Standing Rules: Article I Section 5, Article I Section 6, and Article IV)
  4. To preside, at the request of the Chair, over Faculty Senate Council meetings and attend committee meetings in an ex-officio capacity, without the right to vote
  5. To select appointed committee chairs from the body of elected Senators during the spring prior to his or her term as Chair, such appointments effective to no more than half of the appointed committees; and to suggest potential committee members to the incoming committee chairs, the latter having final say in committee membership.
  6. To appoint a Secretary and a Parliamentarian/Treasurer from the electorate to serve during his or her term as Chair
  7. To serve as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Chancellor.

c. Past Chair

  1. To function as the Chair in the absence of the Chair and Chair-elect or at the request of the Chair or Chair-elect
  2. To have all the duties and privileges of elected members
  3. To attend, at the request of the Chair, committee meetings in an ex-officio capacity, without the right to vote
  4. To advise the current Chair and members of the Faculty Senate Council regarding issues of policy and procedure
  5. To serve as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Chancellor.

Section 6. Duties and Privileges of Appointees

a. Executive Secretary and Treasurer

  1.  To distribute to all members of the College faculty and administrative staff, and to the Student Government Association President the following documents:
    1. Minutes of each Faculty Senate meeting as well as all written reports within one (1) calendar week of the meeting.
    2. Agenda, as approved by the Senate Council, four (4) calendar days prior to a regular meeting.
  2. To receive reports from Committee Chairs, the College’s University Faculty Senators the Chancellor, Associate Dean and members of the College community who address the Senate
  3. To act as Secretary at any meeting as referred to in Article V
  4. To vote and raise issues in Senate Council.
  5. To maintain financial records for the Faculty Senate
  6. To present an account of financial transactions to the Faculty Senate when appropriate
  7. To present a complete account of the financial records at the last regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meeting of the academic year
  8. To sit on the Faculty Advisory Committee at the request of the Chair

b. Parliamentarian

  1. To become and remain familiar with the Rules of the Senate, with Robert’s Rules of Order, and with the Senate Constitution, Bylaws and Standing Rules
  2. To give opinions on the manner of conduct of Faculty Senate meetings
  3. To vote and raise issues in Senate Council.

Section 7. Duties and Privileges of Ex-officio Members

  1. To communicate appropriate matters to the Faculty Senate
  2. To submit written reports to the Chair and secretary prior to each Faculty Senate meeting (see Standing Rules: Article I Section 3)
  3. To raise issues
  4. To make comments and recommendations for the good of the order.

Section 8. Term of Office of Elected Members

  1. The term of office of an elected Senator shall be two (2) academic The term of office of half the body of elected members shall expire at the end of odd-numbered years and half at the end of even-numbered years, as determined at the initial meeting of the Faculty Senate.
  2. The election of members shall take place during the spring semester, with offices assumed July 1.
  3. If an elected member should be absent for a period longer than one (1) academic semester, the member’s division shall elect a replacement to complete the term of office.
  4. If an incumbent Senator is elected Chair-elect, he/she will be replaced by a newly elected Senator from his/her division.
  5. No Chair or Past Chair shall be eligible to run for Chair-elect for the succeeding With this exception, any full-time faculty member shall be eligible for election as Chair-elect.
  6. The term of office of Chair-elect is three years: one year as Chair-elect, one year as Chair, and one year as Past Chair.
  7. The Chair and Chair-elect will function as co-chairs during April, May and June with both leaders representing the Faculty Senate at administrative, Advisory Board, and other meetings.

Section 9. Term of Office of Appointed Members

The terms of offices of the Executive Secretary/Treasurer, the Parliamentarian and the Fixed Term II Senator shall be for one Senate year. They may be selected from outside the Senate membership and may be reappointed. If selected from outside the Senate membership, the Executive Secretary/Treasurer and the Parliamentarian shall be ex-officio members of the Senate.

Section 10. Terms of Office of University Senate Representatives

The terms of office of the University Senators serving as Abington College senators representing the electorate shall be one year.

Section 11. Vacancies

When a vacancy occurs in the office of Immediate Past-Chair, the Senate Council shall elect a faculty member from among Past-Chairs to complete the unexpired term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair-Elect will move immediately into the office, complete the unexpired term, and continue through a full term as Chair. When a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair-Elect, the Senate Council shall immediately designate an independent, temporary election administrator who shall conduct a special election consistent with the Standing Rules’ election procedures (See Standing Rules, Article I Section 5). The new Chair-Elect shall complete the unexpired term and succeed to the office of Chair. If the Nominating Committee of Faculty Senate Council is unable to fill an office, then Senate Council is empowered to hold an emergency conclave consisting of the full membership of Senate Council.  This conclave will then elect a person or persons to fill a vacant office or offices.

Article IV. Faculty Senate Council

Section 1. Membership

The Faculty Senate Council, hereinafter called Council, shall consist of the Faculty Senate Chair, the Chair-elect, the Past-Chair, the Executive Secretary/Treasurer, the Parliamentarian, a Member-at-Large elected by the Faculty Senate from its membership during its first meeting of the new academic year, and the Chairs of all appointed Standing and ad hoc committees.

Section 2. Duties

  1. To ensure that the Faculty Senate addresses issues of major concern to the College community
  2. To consider issues referred to Council by any member of the College community
  3. To establish the agenda for the Faculty Senate meetings
  4. To provide a mechanism for Council review of all reports and motions submitted for the Faculty Senate Decision on inclusion on the Agenda is to be based on whether a report or motion is adequately prepared and documented as described in the Standing Rules (see Standing Rules: Article I Section 4)
  5. To initiate Faculty Senate legislation in the same manner as a standing committee
  6. To appoint a Fixed Term II Senator
  7. To charge a standing committee of the Faculty Senate to investigate matters deemed appropriate by the Council
  8. To be responsible for proposing, codifying, and publishing changes in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the Faculty Senate.
  9. In the event that the Chair of the Faculty Senate declares the existence of a situation of special Faculty Senate concern, the Faculty Senate Council shall be empowered to act for the Faculty Senate in all matters until this authority is terminated by actions of the Faculty Senate.
  10. To conduct vacancy-related duties expressed in Article III, Section 11 of the Constitution.
  11. Form and maintain a select Nominating Committee within Faculty Senate Council, one of no less than three and no more than five, and empowered to seek out qualified nominees for positions within the ACFS and forward these names to the Chair-elect for inclusion in the ACFS elections cycle.

Article V. Meetings

Section 1. Regular Meetings

  1. Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate shall be held at least three (3) times each semester, except as otherwise provided in this The Chair may at his/her discretion cancel a meeting if there is not a full agenda or a quorum.
  2. A majority of elected members shall constitute a quorum.
  3. The Faculty Senate Chair may invite any member of the administrative staff, student body, or others to attend and speak in connection with specific agenda items.
  4. The privilege of attending regular meetings and speaking when recognized is extended to all members of the Abington College community.

Section 2. Forensic Meetings

Forensic sessions of the Faculty Senate may be called at any time by the Chair. The Faculty Senate Chair may invite any member of the administrative staff, student body, or others to attend.

Section 3. Special Senate Meetings

A special meeting of the Faculty Senate may be called at any time by the Chair. A special meeting of the Faculty Senate must be called upon the written request of four (4) Faculty Senators. All rules for regular meetings shall apply.

Section 4. Special Faculty Meetings

Special meetings of the Abington College faculty may be called at any time by the Chair or upon the written request of ten (10) faculty members. A quorum at such meetings shall consist of at least 20% of full-time faculty. Votes taken at such meetings shall be forwarded to the Faculty Senate for action.

Article VI. Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution shall be submitted at a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate and voted on at a subsequent meeting. If passed by a two-thirds majority, the amendment shall be submitted to the faculty. Approval by a majority of those faculty voting electronically, by mail ballot or in a special faculty meeting shall constitute adoption. Amendments shall be forwarded to the University Faculty Senate Council.

Abington College Faculty Senate Bylaws

(ratified by Abington College Faculty, March 30, 2006)
(amended by Abington College Faculty, November 19, 2014)
 

Article I. Rules and Procedures Section 1. Rules of Procedure

Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, the rules of procedure in Faculty Senate meetings shall be Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 2. Voting

Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, all motions shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast by a quorum.

Section 3. Agenda

Agenda items may be suggested by any member of the College community; such items must be submitted in writing to the Chair at least ten (10) days prior to the next meeting.

Article II. Committees Section 1. Membership

All persons eligible for membership on the Faculty Senate are eligible to serve on all appointed Faculty Senate Committees. Each Standing Committee Chair or co-Chair shall be a full-time faculty member who is also a sitting ACFS Senator, with the exception of Abington College Promotion and Tenure Committee and Curricular Affairs Committee, which Chair shall be chosen by and from the membership of that committee.  Each appointed Committee shall have at least one faculty member from each division. Additional members of the college community may be asked to serve or consult as non-voting members on Faculty Senate committees particularly if they have expertise in matters being discussed. Administrators named to committees may designate a representative to serve in their place. Student representatives will be appointed by the Student Government Association.

Section 2. Chair as ex-officio Member

The Chair of the Faculty Senate is an ex-officio, non-voting member of all appointed committees. He/she may authorize any member of the Faculty Senate Council to represent him/her at meetings of any committee.

Section 3. Non-voting Members

Administrators, staff and students serve as non-voting members.

Section 4. Term of Appointment

Chairs or co-Chairs of Appointed Standing Committees shall be selected by the Chair-elect of the ACFS in the spring prior to his or her term as Chair, for a term of one year. Chairs may be reappointed for an additional one-year term at the discretion of the Chair-elect. Members of Appointed Standing Committees shall be selected for one-year terms by the respective committee chairs, with the advice of the Chair-elect of the ACFS, and may be reappointed no more than three additional times.

Section 5. Procedures for Appointed Committees

Each appointed standing committee shall meet at least ten (10) days before each regularly scheduled Faculty Senate meeting.  Exceptions to this schedule may be made by the Committee Chair in consultation with the Faculty Senate Chair. During the first six weeks of each academic year, the Chairs of standing committees shall present, electronically, all members of faculty with their respective committees’ goals for the upcoming year. By no later than the last day of the academic year, the Chairs of standing committees shall present, electronically, all members of faculty with their respective committees’ activities during the previous academic year. These annual reports shall clearly highlight the committees’ tasks and accomplishments for the year. Each annual report shall be passed down to the incoming committee chairs.

Section 6. Procedures for Elected Committees

Elected standing committees shall establish their own written procedures which shall be presented to Council and the full Senate for approval. These procedures shall be appended to the Standing Rules. Yearly committee reports are to be provided to Faculty Senate Council.

a.  Curricular Affairs

Chair: ACFS or UFS Senator, or by appointment

Membership: Honors Coordinator as well as two additional faculty, along with a representative from Academic Affairs, Director of Continuing Education, Head Librarian, a representative from the Advising Center, and two student representatives.

Duties: Shall make recommendations concerning curriculum changes, new degrees and minors, certificate programs involving courses for academic credit, academic assessment, the Honors Program, and other curricular matters as appropriate.

b.      Finance + Planning

Chair: Chair-elect of the ACFS

Membership: Four faculty members, as well as the current Chair of the ACFS, the Financial Officer of Abington College, the Grants Officer, the Chief Operations Officer, and representatives from Development and the Staff Advisory Committee.

Duties: Shall review and make recommendations regarding matters pertaining to the allocation and management of the college’s resources. These include:  reviewing the fiscal year department budget requests and evaluating the financial aspects of Strategic Plan, the Campus Master Plan, grants and external funding, development, sustainability, and safety and security.

c.  Faculty Affairs

Chair: ACFS Senator

Membership:  The FT II senator, as well as six additional faculty members, to include two Full Professors, two Associate Professors, one Assistant Professor, and one Fixed Term Lecturer. Additional advisory members for Instructional Review (IR) issues only: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the three Division Heads.

Duties: Shall review and make recommendations for changes in policies concerning faculty well-being including:  faculty rights, duties, work load, salaries and benefits, professional development, research and creative work, promotion and tenure (HR-23) issues, mentoring, and social concerns and diversity.  Additional IR duties include: IR mentoring, advising, and panelists.

d.  Matriculation

Chair: ACFS Senator or At-Large Member

Membership: Two faculty, in addition to FYE Coordinator, as well as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Registrar, Director of Enrollment Management & Retention, representatives from Intercultural/International programs and Continuing Education, and two student representatives.
Note: the Committee Chair will serve as the Faculty Senate representative on the Enrollment Management Council.

Duties: Shall make recommendations on recruitment and admissions, orientation and FYE, enrollment and retention, scheduling and registration, and advising and counseling.

e.  Student Affairs

Chair: ACFS Senator

Membership:  Five faculty, as well as a representative from Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Athletics, Student Affairs, Student Life, Career Development, Intercultural/Intercultural programs, Residential Life, the President of SGA, and two student representatives.

Duties: Shall review and make recommendations regarding issues affecting students in three broad areas:  Student Success, to include leadership training, career development, student conduct, diversity, financial aid, disabilities, and veterans; Student Life to include student health, extracurricular activities, student organizations, and residential life; and Athletics.

f.  Academic Environment

Chair: ACFS Senator

Membership: Eight faculty members, as well as a representative from Student Affairs, the Library, the Center for Teaching and Learning, CNS/IMS, ACURA/Maker Faire, University Relations, and two students to be appointed by the Student Government Association. For Awards only: to include a representative from Academic Affairs and the three Division Heads.

Duties: Shall review and make recommendations in three broad areas: Community, to include speakers, colloquia, and continuous highlighting of faculty and student research and creative works; Pedagogy, to include teaching and learning, academic support, media, innovation and technology; and Awards, to fulfill an advisory role.

Section 8. Elected Standing Committees

Abington College Promotion and Tenure

Chair: elected from and by the membership of the committee

Membership: Five (5) faculty members of which three (3) are to be elected at large by the faculty having continuing appointments and two (2) are to be appointed by the Abington College Chancellor. The committee shall include at least three (3) Professors and two (2) alternate members, one at the Professor and one at the Associate Professor rank. All members and alternates must be tenured and hold a rank of either Professor or Associate Professor.

Selection: Nominations may be made by any continuing faculty member. Voting shall be by preferential ballot. Committee members shall be eligible for re-election for successive terms. The terms of the committee members shall be two (2) years and coincide with the academic year, with terms being staggered so that about one-half of the committee will be elected each year. The terms start with the fall semester, with elections held during the preceding spring semester. The Committee shall select a chair at the first meeting of the year and notify the Senate Chair.

Duties: Shall review the dossiers of candidates and make recommendations for promotion and tenure. The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall establish its own review procedures which must include appropriate safeguards of due process and confidentiality. The composition of the committee and its procedure are subject to review by the Provost and must conform to the current guidelines for the implementation of HR-23.

Section 9. ad hoc Committees

Committees for consideration of special issues may be established by the Faculty Senate or Faculty Senate Council. Such committees shall remain in effect until they accomplish their charge but in no case may such ad hoc committees remain in existence more than one (1) calendar year unless explicitly extended by the Faculty Senate or its Council.

Article III. Amendments

Amendments to the Bylaws may be adopted at any meeting of the Faculty Senate by a two-thirds vote of those present, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been presented to the faculty at least three (3) weeks prior to that meeting and further providing that the proposed amendment has not been objected to in writing to the Faculty Senate Chair by five (5) or more faculty members since such presentation. If objection by five (5) or more faculty members has been made, the proposed amendment must be submitted to vote by the faculty. Approval by a majority of those voting by mail ballot or in a faculty meeting called by the Chair shall constitute adoption. Amendments shall be forwarded to the University Faculty Senate Council.