Penn State Brandywine Constitution

Brandywine Faculty Senate CONSTITUTION

Article II Name:

The organization shall be known as The Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate.

Article II Functions:

Section 1

The authority vested in this Constitution has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate. The Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate shall have the following functions:

(a) Legislative Function

To serve as the sole legislative body representing the Campus Faculty as a whole. Its actions shall be authoritative on all matters that pertain to the educational interests of the campus (undergraduate resident instruction, research, and continuing education). It shall submit its actions for approval through the appropriate University Faculty Senate Committee of the University Faculty Senate. Among the matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate are the following:

(1) instructional programs
(2) courses and programs of study
(3) academic admissions standards
(4) graduation requirements
(5) scholarships and honors

(b) Advisory and Consultative Function

To act as an advisory and consultative body, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts, to the Chancellor on any matter that may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the campus, such as:

(1) the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units and areas of instruction or research
(2) policies concerning the planning of physical facilities when these may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the campus
(3) policies and administration of the library of the campus
(4) policies affecting campus development and utilization of resources
(5) matters pertaining to the general welfare of the campus and University
(6) overall educational policy and planning
(7) campus calendar
(8) faculty affairs including academic personnel
(9) student affairs
(10) general admissions policy
(11) other appropriate matters

(c) Forensic Function

To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the University Faculty. Members of the University Faculty who are not members of the Senate shall have the right to attend Senate meetings as observers and may be granted the privilege of the floor in accordance with rules established by the Senate.

Section 2

The Senate shall interpret its legislation.

Section 3

In case of a question of legislative jurisdiction, the matter shall be referred to the University Faculty Senate with the final power of decision that of the President of the University.

Article III Membership:

Section 1

The Senate shall consist of all full-time faculty. A full-time faculty member is defined as one who is on a regular appointment and engages in teaching at least 50% of the time. This includes instructors and all professorial ranks and equivalent ranks as defined in HR 21.  Full-time faculty on special appointment may be approved for voting membership by the Executive Committee of the Senate.

Section 2

(a) The following persons shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Senate: Chancellor, the Director of Academic Affairs, the Advisor-Consultant in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, the President of the Student Government Association.

(b) The Chancellor may appoint other campus administrative or staff personnel to membership in the Senate on an annual basis. The total number of appointed and ex-officio campus personnel members shall not exceed a number equal to 10% of the Faculty Senators.

(c) The Student Government Association may choose other campus students for membership in the Senate on an annual basis. The total number of appointed and ex-officio student members shall not exceed a number equal to 10% of the Faculty Senators.

Article IV Amendments:

Amendments to this Constitution, consistent with University policy and directives of the University Faculty Senate, may be adopted at any meeting of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, provided that the amendments shall have been presented in writing at a preceding meeting and the proposals circulated to the Senators.

Article V Acceptance:

This proposed Constitution of the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate shall be accepted and made operable by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the full-time faculty and approval by the Council of the University Faculty Senate. Successful amendments shall be communicated to the Executive Director of the University Faculty Senate. Following approval, the amended Constitution and its Bylaws will be submitted by the Chair to the University Faculty Senate for ratification. An amendment shall take effect upon approval by the University Faculty Senate.

BY – LAWS

Article I Officers:

Section 1

The Senate shall elect annually, or when a vacancy exists, a Chair-Elect and a Secretary from among its faculty members. The Chair-Elect, at the end of one year of service in that office, shall automatically succeed to the office of the Chair.

Section 2

(a) The Chair shall be the presiding officer of the Senate. The Chair shall appoint a Parliamentarian from the campus Faculty to serve a one-year term of office. The Parliamentarian shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee of the Senate.

(b) The Chair shall speak for the Faculty as a group in discussion with the Chancellor, other members of the administration, and representatives from other groups seeking Faculty response.

(c) The Chair shall appoint committees of the Senate unless the membership of the committee is specified by the Standing Rules or by action of the Faculty.

(d) The Chair shall serve as a voting member of the Budget and Strategic Planning Committee. The Chair shall serve as a liaison between the Executive Committee and the Budget and Strategic Planning Committee. Budgetary considerations should be reported to the Executive Committee in a timely fashion.

(e) The Chair may call special meetings of the Senate on the Chair’s own authority.

Section 3

The Chair-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chair when the Chair is absent and shall perform the other duties as appropriate.

Section 4

The Secretary shall keep the official roll, shall prepare and publish notices, agendas, and minutes of Senate meetings, and shall perform other duties appropriate to the office.

Article II Committees:

Section 1

The Senate shall determine its committee structure and composition with only the following stipulations:

(a) Any University personnel or any student of the University may be appointed to a committee except the Committee on Promotion and Tenure.

(b) Each Standing Committee must be chaired by a Faculty member of the Senate.

(c) At least one-half (1/2) of the membership of a Standing Committee must be Faculty Senators.

Section 2

All members of Standing Committees who are not members of the Senate shall have non-voting privileges of the floor when the subject of discussion pertains specifically to the work of their respective committees.

Section 3

Direct consultation between Standing Committees and other instrumentalities of the Senate on the one hand and members of the administration and Faculty of the University on the other hand is encouraged. However, such consultation shall not be construed as Senate action.

Section 4

All committees under the Senate and Director of Academic Affairs shall complete an annual report which documents the committee’s activities and submits it to the Executive Committee by April 15.

Article III Meetings:

Section 1

(a) There shall be a minimum of one regularly scheduled Senate Meeting per semester (except during the Summer). Meetings will have a distinctive beginning and ending time, and will allow for deliberative, simultaneous communication.

(b) The time for regularly scheduled Senate meetings is determined by a simple majority vote of the Senate at the preceding meeting or, in the absence of action by the Senate, by the Chair.

Section 2

Special meetings may be called by the Chair upon the request of the Chancellor, by the Chair on the Chair’s own authority, or by petition of twenty (20) percent of the full-time Faculty.

Article IV Quorum:

Section 1

The Quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of one-third of the full-time faculty (rounded down to the nearest whole number) as fixed by the full-time faculty census at the beginning of the fall semester.

Article V Referenda:

Section 1

The Senate may conduct mail referenda on matters concerning the Faculty. All proposed amendments and motions must have been presented at a preceding Senate meeting. In order for the results of a mail referendum to take effect, at least 50% of the full-time Faculty must have returned their ballots. If the two qualifications above have been met, then a two-thirds (2/3) majority will pass an amendment to the Constitution, Bylaws, or Standing Rules, and a simple majority will pass any other motion. A mail referendum may be authorized only by the Executive Committee of the Senate.

Article VI Rules of Procedure:

Section 1

The Senate shall establish its rules of procedure.

Article VII Amendments:

Section 1

Amendments to their Bylaws may be adopted at any meeting of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present, provided that the amendments shall have been presented in writing at a preceding regular meeting.

STANDING RULES

Article I Rules of Procedure:

Section 1

(a) The rules of procedure in the meetings of the Brandywine Campus Senate, except as may be otherwise specified in the Senate Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules, shall be those of Robert’s Rules of Order, (latest edition). All motions, except as may be otherwise specified in these documents, shall be determined by a majority of the votes cast. Roll-call votes may be initiated only by the decision of the Chair or by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Senators present and voting. The role of the Parliamentarian is advisory only.

(b) To be eligible for election to a Senate office, the person must be a full-time member of the Faculty during the term of office as defined in Article III, Section 1.

(c) Electoral procedures

(1) All officers shall be elected by a simple majority of the Senate members.

(2) Nominations shall be made at the last regular Senate meeting of the Spring Term by the Executive Committee of the Senate acting as a nominating Committee. Such nominations must appear on the agenda for that meeting, along with the proposed new committee structure.

(3) The Executive Committee shall appoint a Board of Elections composed of three Senators whose names are not on the ballot.

(4) The Board of Elections shall conduct the election of senate officers and committee members by secret ballot. The ballot may be a written, or an electronic ballot. The Board of Elections shall certify the election results to the Senate and to the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Academic Affairs.

Section 2

The order of business at each regular meeting of the Senate shall be as follows:

(a) minutes of the preceding meeting

(b) communications to the Senate

(c) announcements by the Chair

(d) comments by the Chancellor

(e) comments by the Director for Academic Affairs

(f) reports, resolutions and motions of of Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate Committees,  Commonwealth Caucus, and University Faculty Senate

(g) reports, resolutions and motions of Special Committees

(h) unfinished legislative business

(i) new legislative business

(j) forensic business

(k) comments and recommendations for the good of the University

Any or all items in this section may be suspended at any regular meeting of the Senate by a twothirds (2/3) vote of the members present, and at any special meeting by decision of the Chair.

Section 3

The order of business for any special meeting of the Senate shall be determined by the Chair of the Senate.

Section 4

An agenda of any Senate meeting shall be circulated at least three class days in advance of the meeting. Topics may be included on the agenda by the written request of two senators, submitted to the Chair at least four (4) class days in advance of the meeting. Topics not included on this agenda may not be considered except by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting.

Section 5

(a) To introduce new legislative business a Senator may address a communication to the Chair of the Senate through the Secretary indicating the item of business proposed for consideration, or to any member of an appropriate Committee. A Senator may also request on the Senate floor referral to committee by the Chair. The above procedures represent the normal means for introducing new legislation in that they provide for detailed study by the appropriate Committee or Committees, but, a Senator may introduce, by a direct motion from the floor, new legislation considered to be of exceptional urgency. When such a motion has been made and seconded, it shall be laid on the table until the next regular meeting of the Senate unless the Chairman calls a special meeting to consider this item before the next regular meeting.

(b) Forensic business provides an opportunity for any Senator to discuss any matter of concern to the University. To introduce forensic business, a Senator must present in writing a title and brief summary of the matter proposed for discussion at least four (4) class days before the meeting at which the matter is to be considered. The Senator’s name will be placed on the agenda together with the title and summary.

(c) Any member of the University Faculty, Student Body, or Administration not a member of the Senate may request the privilege of the floor on any item of legislative or forensic business already before the Senate. Such a request must be made to the Chair, through the Secretary of the Senate, at least four (4) class days before the meeting at which the faculty member or administrator wishes to speak.

(d) Any matter of forensic business under debate as specified in Section 2 (j) shall become legislative business when it is made the subject of a motion on which a vote of the Senate is required. When such a motion has been made and seconded, the matter in question shall be laid on the table until the next regular meeting of the Senate unless the Chair calls a special meeting of the Senate to consider this item before the next regular meeting.

(e) Matters of forensic business shall not be the subject of any motion until the Chair declares the forensic discussion period to be at an end. Any Senator wishing to make any matter of forensic business a matter of legislative business may do so under the provision of Section 5 (a).

(f) Only members of the Senate may introduce new legislative or forensic business.

(g) The Chair shall have the authority to place a time limit on the remarks of any non-member of the Senate.

(h) The rules of this Section may be suspended only by unanimous consent of the Senators present.

Section 6

Minutes of all meetings shall be taken by the Secretary and distributed to faculty and staff across the campus after approval of the minutes from the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate.

Section 7

The term of appointed Senators shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30th.

Section 8

Amendments to the Standing Rules and new Standing Rules may be adopted at any meeting of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present, provided that such Standing Rules and amendments appear in writing on the agenda of the meeting, such agenda having been circulated at least three class days in advance of the meeting.

Article II Standing Committee Structure:

Section 1

The Chair of the Senate is an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees except the Committee on Promotion and Tenure. The Chair may authorize the Chair-Elect, the Secretary, the immediate Past-chair, or any elected member of the Senate to represent the Chair at meetings of any committee.

Section 2

All ad hoc Committees may add to their membership, with the approval of the Executive Committee of the Senate, students or appropriate University personnel on the basis of their position, interest, expertise, or membership in a particular sector of the University community. All Committees are encouraged to invite individuals to render testimony or advice on particular questions as circumstances might indicate.

Section 3

(a) All chairs of Standing Committees must be Faculty Senators.

(b) No faculty member may serve as Chair of more than one Standing Committee at a time.

Section 4

Committee Structure

(a) Membership

(1) The term of office for faculty members on Standing Committees is defined under the duties of each Standing Committee.

(2) Unless otherwise stated, Chairs of Committees are elected by their respective committees, and the committees determine their own procedures for the conduct of their meetings.

(3) The Executive Committee of the Senate shall appoint faculty to fulfill unexpired terms of Senate members on committees, including the Executive Committee. If the unexpired term is less than one year, the newly appointed member may succeed to a subsequent full, two year term on that committee. If the unexpired term is a year or more, the appointee may not succeed to a second consecutive term. Unexpired terms on the Promotion and Tenure Committee will be filled in accordance with section 4.b.2 of these standing rules.

(4) The term of each committee shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30.

(5) The Executive Committee of the Senate may appoint ad hoc committees as needed, which may be made up of persons not on the full committee. The Chair of such ad hoc committees must be a member of the Executive Committee.

(6) The Senate may, by majority vote, add to the duties of the Executive Committee. Duties may be removed from the purview of the Executive Committee only by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate.

(b) Standing Committees

(1) The Executive Committee of the Senate

Membership:

Six (6) faculty elected to two – year terms (3 each year) (voting):
Chair of the Faculty Senate, who serves as Chair of the Executive Committee (voting);
Immediate Past-Chair of the Faculty Senate (voting);
Chair-Elect and Secretary of the Senate (voting);
Parliamentarian of the Senate (non-voting);
One (1) elected campus Senator to the University Faculty Senate (chosen by the campus University Faculty Senators) (voting).

Nominations are made by the Executive Committee at the last regularly scheduled Senate meeting of the Spring Semester, where further nominations may be made from the floor, provided that the Executive Committee shall nominate, when feasible, at least two more nominees than vacancies to be filled.

Duties: The Executive Committee shall concern itself with the general welfare of the faculty and students of the campus. The Committee shall hold plenary power to make decisions on behalf of the faculty on most matters of day to day business. When the faculty is divided, and the issue of high controversy or salience, the matter shall be referred to the full Senate. Its activities shall include a regular review (meeting a minimum of four times per academic year) of matters pertaining to academic, faculty and student affairs, the promotion of faculty research, the development and utilization of the library, instructional services, the bookstore and the physical plant.

The Chair will appoint two members of the Executive Committee to consult with campus administrators in the selection of faculty to serve DAA-appointed, Chancellor-appointed, ad hoc committees, and other working groups. The Executive Committee shall annually conduct a Survey of faculty Interest in Campus Service Opportunities. That Survey will solicit interest among the faculty in standing for elective office and volunteering for service on the Senate and administrative committees and other work groups.

(2) Promotion and Tenure

Membership: 5 Faculty, elected to two-year terms.

Selection: Faculty members elected by vote of the full-time tenured and tenure track faculty of the campus by secret preferential ballot. Faculty will be identified in one of two categories:
Category 1: Professors and Librarians with Tenure (There must be three)
Category 2: Associate Professors and Associate Librarians with Tenure (There must be two)

Voters must record preferences next to all names on the ballot in order for a ballot to count. The top preference in each category will be given the highest number by each voter, the second preference the next lowest number, the least preferred candidate will be designated 1. For example, if there are three eligible candidates in a category, the top choice is assigned “3”, the next preferred candidate is assigned “2” and the least preferred candidate is assigned “1”. The candidate receiving the highest vote total in each category is declared the winner, until all vacancies in each category are filled. In the event of a tie, lots shall determine the results of the election.

Nominations are made by the Executive Committee at the last regularly scheduled Senate meeting of the Spring Semester, where further nominations may be made from the floor, provided that the Executive Committee shall nominate, when feasible, at least two more nominees than vacancies to be filled in each category described.

Persons undergoing review for promotion are not eligible to serve. Once a member’s term expires, that person shall not serve again for two academic years except when no replacement is available to meet the minimum number in the category involved.

Unexpired terms shall be filled by election as described above.

Duties and Procedures: The Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall make recommendations for promotion and tenure in accordance with the provisions of the Policy Manual of the Pennsylvania State University, “Personnel, Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations” (HR-23), “Definitions of Academic Ranks” (HR-21), and administrative guidelines. The following duties and procedures are adopted for the purpose of insuring equity and due process in the promotion and tenure review of candidates. These duties and procedures apply to the extent that they are consistent with University policy and administrative guidelines and changes made in these policies and guidelines.

The Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall elect by majority vote a Chair who shall preside over meetings of the Committee. The Committee shall adopt rules for its internal conduct (such as rules relating to voting procedures, discussion of candidates, writing of evaluations and tentative time-table) consistent with the duties and procedures of the Standing Rules.

A person on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, who, since election to the committee, has been promoted to a higher rank, shall exercise voting functions appropriate to the new rank.

Only members with the rank of Professor or Librarian shall deliberate and vote on the recommendation for promotion to Professor or Librarian; those in Associate ranks will not be present for the discussion or vote.

Disciplinary Members of the Committee:
If necessary, The Promotion and Tenure Committee will select two members from the candidate’s discipline, or from a closely allied discipline, to participate in the review of the candidate along with the core members of the Committee. The candidate’s discipline is defined as the primary field of study in which a Faculty member engages in teaching, research, and service, and is most often identified by the individual’s position title.

The core Campus Promotion and Tenure Committee, in consultation with the Director of Academic Affairs, will select two appropriate and available Faculty from the discipline of the candidate, which may include Faculty from any other Penn State Campuses.

The two added members will participate only in the review of the candidate(s) in their discipline. Their perspective will be reflected in the letter of evaluation of the candidate, but they will not be asked to write the letter by the Committee.

(3) Budget and Strategic Planning Committee

Membership:
The Committee shall consist of five (5) faculty members: Three (3) of the faculty elected for three-year staggered terms such that one member is elected each year, the current Chair of the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate, and the Chair-Elect of the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate. The senior elected faculty member serving on the Committee (the elected faculty member serving the third year of a term) serves as Chair of the Committee.

Nominations are made by the Executive Committee at the last regularly scheduled Senate meeting of the Spring Semester, where further nominations may be made from the floor, provided that the Executive Committee shall nominate, when feasible, at least two more nominees than vacancies to be filled.

Duties: The Committee shall advise the campus administration on matters of university planning that affect the academic, physical and aesthetic resources, issues, and policies of the campus. The Committee shall be the primary Senate body advisory to the Chancellor on strategic planning and campus budgeting, including personnel decisions resulting from fiscal retrenchment. Specific areas of responsibilities include, but are not limited to: the allocation of resources among units, divisions and functions within the campus; participation in the development of priorities for proposed physical projects and for space allocation decisions as they affect the educational policy of the campus. It shall review, evaluate, and make recommendations to the Campus Faculty Senate on the establishment, reorganization, continuation, or discontinuation of degree programs delivered at the campus.

(4) Curricular Affairs Committee

Membership:

  • Three (3) core faculty members elected to three-year terms, with elections held on a staggered basis so that one member is elected each year.
  • Director of Academic Affairs (ex-officio)
  • A minimum of one (1) faculty and up to three (3) faculty members to serve one-year terms, including as discipline consultants when needed. Faculty serving one-year terms are to be appointed by the DAA and FEC.

The Curricular Affairs Committee is to be composed of a minimum of five members including three (3) core faculty members who serve staggered three-year terms, the Director of Academic Affairs who is an ex-officio member of the committee, and a minimum of one (1) and up to three (3) faculty members who serve one-year terms. The faculty members who serve on the committee for one year are selected by the DAA and FEC to serve, inter alia, in a consultative role based on program-specific concerns (eg. new P3s, course proposals and/or program reviews).

One faculty member from the Curricular Affairs Committee should serve as an ex-officio member of the Brandywine Assessment Committee.

The faculty member serving his or her third year on the committee will also serve as an ex-officio member of the Budget and Strategic Planning Committee to facilitate communication and coordination.

Duties:
(1) The committee aids and consults in the preparation and review of:

  1. proposals for new baccalaureate and associate degree programs;
  2. proposals for new courses
  3. proposals related to courses intended to meet University requirements for
    undergraduate education; and
  4. proposals for new minors and certificate programs.

(2) The Curricular Affairs Committee submits recommendations on proposals that it has
reviewed to the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate for review, evaluation and approval
by a simple majority vote.
(3) The Curricular Affairs Committee reviews:

  1. program viability under consideration by Strategic Planning, for continuation,
    cessation or modification. The Curricular Affairs Committee will indicate their
    decision to the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate for review, evaluation and
    approval by a simple majority vote.
  2. course viability within a program for continuation, cessation or modification. A
    major factor in the decision will be the effect of course removal on other programs.
    The Curricular Affairs Committee will indicate their decision to the Brandywine
    Campus Faculty Senate for review, evaluation and approval by a simple majority
    vote.

(4) It develops criteria for evaluating curricula at Penn State Brandywine.
(5) It develops a coordinated timeline for program assessment in concert with
accrediting bodies associated with respective programs.
(6) It maintains a liaison with the Budget and Strategic Planning Committee.
(7) It advises the Brandywine Campus Faculty Senate concerning policies proposed
and/or adopted by the University Faculty Senate affecting the academic standards of
the entire University.

(c) Special Committees

(1) The Senate may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, create special committees or special ad hoc committees.
(2) The Senate may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, in conjunction with the campus administration, create special joint committees or special joint ad hoc committees.
(3) The Senate shall have the power by majority vote to continue or dissolve the committees mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) above. Failing action by the Senate, such committees shall be automatically dissolved at the end of the academic year; however, the Chair of the Senate may stay such dissolution for whatever length of time deemed expedient and permit the committee to continue its operation until this time shall have expired.

(d) Ombudsman

(1) In accordance with University policy, there shall be an Ombudsman and an Alternate for the Brandywine Campus.
(2) Selections for the office of Ombudsman and Alternate shall be filled by election, with all full-time faculty members eligible to vote. A slate of nominees shall be prepared by the Faculty Affairs Committee and presented to the Senate. Nomination may be made from the floor of the Senate. A secret, written ballot election shall be conducted by the Senate. The person receiving the highest number of votes shall be the ombudsman the first runner-up shall serve as alternate. The term of both the Ombudsman and Alternate shall be for a period of three (3) years, starting with the beginning of the academic year (Fall Term).

(3) Functions for the Ombudsman are:

(a) Clarification of misunderstandings;
(b) Advising faculty and administrators as to appropriate courses of action;
(c) Assisting in the informal resolution of differences;
(d) Assuring that appropriate department, college and/or campus procedures are exhausted before referring the case to higher levels;
(e) Informing the University Provost’s office and appropriate college or campus officials if a matter cannot be resolved at the lower level and the case is to be referred to the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.

(4) The Ombudsman shall not:

(a) Hold hearings;
(b) Exceed the role of conciliator and advisor;
(c) Substitute his or her judgment for that of appropriate administrative and/or faculty bodies;
(d) Serve as counsel for either party to a complaint before the hearing board.

Ratified by Penn State University Faculty Senate, October 4, 2016