The Constitution of
The Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University
The organization shall be known as The Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate of The Pennsylvania State University.
The authority vested in this Constitution has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate.
To serve as the sole legislative body representing the Penn State Mont Alto faculty as a whole. Its actions are authoritative on all matters that pertain to the educational interests of Penn State Mont Alto (graduate and undergraduate resident instruction, research, and continuing education). It submits its actions for approval through the appropriate committee of the University Faculty Senate. The legislative jurisdiction of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate includes, but is not limited to, such matters as:
1. instructional programs;
2. courses and programs of study;
3. academic admissions standards;
4. retention and graduation requirements;
5. campus-wide unspecified scholarships, honors programs, and honors designation;
6. academic standards for intercollegiate athletic participation; and
7. access to library and information systems for academic purposes.
- Advisory and Consultative
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:
- The establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of academic programs, 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;
6. Overall educational policy and planning, as they affect instruction, research, and service;
7. Campus calendar;
8. Faculty affairs including academic personnel;
9. Policies, rules and regulations affecting students;
10.general admissions policy; and
11.other appropriate matters.
Consultation with Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate committees or officers does not constitute formal action or approval by the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate.
To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate.
To receive and disseminate any information to the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate and the campus that the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate or its committees deems important.
To recognize or honor those individuals, organizations, or institutions the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate deems worthy of special recognition.
Section 1. Name
The officers of the organization consist of an Executive Board of six members. Three members of the Executive Board serve as Chair, Chair-elect, and Secretary.
Section 2. Qualifications
All officers are elected from the faculty membership as defined in
Article V, Section 1A.
Section 3. Methods of Election
An election by secret ballot to replace officers whose terms are expiring is held during the last week of the spring semester. Three weeks prior to the last week of the spring semester, the Executive Board seeks nominations from the general membership. A secret ballot listing all nominees is distributed to the general membership during the last week of the spring semester. New officers are elected by a plurality of the votes cast.
- The Chair-elect is elected by secret ballot by a plurality of the votes cast by the members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate from a list of nominees consisting of Executive Board members with at least two (2) years remaining to their term of office. The election for Chair-elect is conducted during the first four weeks of the fall semester.
- The Secretary is elected by secret ballot by a majority of the Executive Board at its first meeting of the fall semester.
- The Chair-elect assumes the office of Chair at the end of the spring semester in the year following his/her election to the office of Chair-elect.
- The Past-Chair continues on the Board for one (1) year after his/her term as Chair, even though his/her term of three (3) years may have elapsed, in which case the Executive Board consists of seven (7) members for that year.
Section 4. Terms of Office
Members of the Executive Board are elected for a term of three (3) years and are eligible for re-election only after an interim period of one (1) year. Newly elected members take office at the end of the spring semester.
Section 5. Duties of Officers
- Executive Board
It is the duty of the Executive Board to have general direction and supervision of all the interests and activities of this organization. These duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- to manage and direct the business affairs of the organization;
2. to hold and direct meetings as specified;
3. to appoint, oversee, and charge special and standing committees and their chairs;
4. to keep minutes of all Board meetings;
5. to hold at least one regularly scheduled Board meeting per month during the academic year. Four (4) members constitute a quorum at all meetings for the transaction of normal routine business;
6. to take timely action to keep faculty members informed of all matters relating to their welfare;
7. to serve as the formal contact between the administration and the faculty, including all requests to charge MAFS standing committees. This does not preclude individual informal contact between the faculty and administration; and
8. to serve as a clearing house for faculty grievances.
- Chair and Chair-elect
The Chair presides in all business meetings and Executive Board meetings in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. He/she is also authorized to sign all contracts and agreements approved by the membership or the Board. The Chair-elect assumes these duties, should the Chair be temporarily unable to do so.
1. records and distributes to the membership minutes of all regular meetings of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate; and
- prepares correspondence for the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate as directed by the Executive Board.
Section 6. Failure to Elect or Appoint
In the event of failure to elect or appoint an officer at the specified time, the incumbent officer serves until a successor is elected or appointed.
Section 7. Removal from Office
Any officer may be relieved of his/her position after due notice and hearing at a regular or special meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members.
Section 8. Vacancy in Elected Office
If a vacancy occurs in an elected office, the Executive Board appoints a temporary replacement. An election to fill the vacated office is held at the first regular or special meeting of the membership to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. The membership is notified of the
vacancy and election in a written call for the meeting.
Section 1. Membership Defined
- Faculty Membership
The Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate consists of all persons at Penn State Mont Alto who: hold a fulltime appointment; hold one of the professorial, librarian, or instructor ranks as defined in University policy HR21: Definition of Academic Ranks; and, do not also hold a full-time administrative position.
- Administrative Membership
The Chancellor and the Director of Academic Affairs of Penn State Mont Alto are ex-officio members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate. Other Penn State Mont Alto full-time administrative or staff personnel may be appointed by the Chancellor to membership in the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate on an annual basis. The total number of appointed and ex-officio campus personnel members may not exceed 10% of the faculty membership.
- Student Membership
Student members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate are selected in a manner determined by Penn State Mont Alto Student Government Association. The number of student members shall not exceed 10% of the faculty membership.
- Part-time Faculty Membership
Part-time (FT-II) faculty members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate are to be selected by the Executive Board, in whatever manner it deems appropriate, after soliciting nominations and volunteers from the part-time faculty. The number of part-time members shall not exceed 10% of the faculty membership.
Section 2. Duties of Members
It is the duty of all members to:
- attend all regularly scheduled and special meetings;
- advise the Executive Board of matters that need to be brought to the attention of the membership; and
- report to the Executive Board concerns that will aid it in its work with the administration in promoting administrative effectiveness and responsiveness.
Faculty members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate are encouraged to serve on at least one Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate standing committee or the Executive Board at least once every two years.
Section 1. Regular Meetings
The Executive Board publishes a schedule of the regular meetings during the first week of each semester. There must be at least one regular meeting each semester.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called at any time at the request of the Executive Board or by written request of five (5) faculty members. No business may be transacted other than that specified in the written notice of the meeting except by unanimous consent of the members present.
Section 3. Notice of Meetings
Notice of all meetings is in writing and distributed five days prior to the date set for the meeting. The written notice for a special meeting includes the purpose for which the meeting is called.
Section 4. Quorum
A quorum consists of not less than one-third of the faculty membership.
Section 5. Attendance at Meetings.
Regular meetings of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate are open to the public.
Section 6. Eligibility to Vote
Only members. as defined in Article V, Section 1, are eligible to vote.
Section 1. Executive Board
The Executive Board is a recognized committee of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate, as established in Article IV, Section 1.
Section 2. Faculty Caucus
All faculty members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate, as defined in Article V, Section 1A, are members of the Faculty Caucus. The Faculty Caucus provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among the faculty members of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate. The Executive Board determines when a meeting of the Faculty Caucus is deemed necessary.
Section 3. Standing Committees
- Standing Committees Defined
The Executive Board establishes six standing committees: Academic Affairs Committee, Campus Planning Committee, Curricular Affairs Committee, Faculty Affairs Committee, Information Technology Committee, and Diversity Committee.
- Members of the standing committees are selected by the Executive Board from a list of faculty volunteers. The selection process takes place during the first week of the fall semester.
- Committee chairs are appointed by the Executive Board from the membership of the committee.
- Term Limitations
Faculty are limited to three (3) years of continuous service on any single committee and are again eligible to serve on the same committee after an interim period of one (1) year.
- Academic Affairs Committee
The Academic Affairs Committee addresses issues associated with the academic climate of our campus. This includes, but is not limited to, work in the following areas: academic standards, instructional support (i.e. library services, AV services, etc.), admissions, awards and scholarships, academic integrity, and campus themes.
- Campus Planning Committee
The Campus Planning Committee addresses issues associated with both long and short term goals of the campus. This includes, but is not limited to, work in the following areas: community relations, admissions, and advertising. Members of the Campus Planning Committee represent faculty in strategic planning and related activities. A selection of four members from the Campus Planning Committee shall serve as MAFS representatives to the campus Policy and Planning Committee.
- Curricular Affairs Committee
The Curricular Affairs Committee conducts the final campus review and evaluation of degree programs and academic course proposals. This includes, but is not limited to: review of needs surveys and marketing studies, need and timing for addition of new faculty positions, library, technological and facilities requirements, and curriculum requirements.
- Faculty Affairs Committee
The Faculty Affairs Committee is charged with addressing the concerns and needs of the faculty. This includes, but is not limited to, work in the following areas: campus research and instructional development seminars, research and instructional support, faculty services, and faculty social affairs. The Faculty Affairs Committee also advises the administration on matters regarding professional development funds.
- Information Technology Committee
The Information Technology Committee addresses the information technology needs of the campus and recommends actions andstrategies in this area. This includes, but is not limited to, work in the following areas: problems of security, access to, and usage of information technology resources.
- Diversity Committee
The Diversity Committee addresses issues related to diversity on campus. This includes, but is not limited to, issues related to gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
- Athletics Committee
The Athletics Committee advises and monitors athletic standards related to the academic and educational functions of Penn State Mont Alto and the University. It considers athletic practice and competition schedules, monitors eligibility standards and academic progression of student athletes, and helps promote a sound academic climate for the intercollegiate athletic program. The Athletic Director serves as an ex officio member of this committee. Members of the intercollegiate coaching staff, other than the Athletic Director, are ineligible to serve on this Committee.
- Committee Chairs
- The chairs of the standing committees report on the activities of their committee at each regular meeting of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate.
- The chairs of the standing committees work with the campus administration in a consultative capacity on campus budgetary issues, as well as on issues specified in the committee’s charge.
Each committee is free to establish appropriate subcommittees with membership and duties determined by the overseeing committee.
Section 4. Special Committees
The Executive Board of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate may establish, appoint members to, and appoint a chair of other committees as the need arises. Notice of this action shall be given during the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate.
Other Functions of the Senate
- In accordance with University policy HR 76: Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, Penn State Mont Alto shall have an Ombudsperson and an Alternate.
- Selections for the office of Ombudsperson and alternate are filled by election from among the fulltime faculty members, with all full-time faculty members eligible to vote. Three (3) weeks prior to the last week of the spring semester, the Executive Board seeks nominations from the full-time faculty. A secret ballot listing all nominees is distributed to the full-time faculty during the last week of the spring semester. The person receiving the highest number of votes is the Ombudsperson and the first runner-up serves as Alternate. The newly elected Ombudsperson and Alternate assumes office at the end of the spring semester and shall serve a term of three (3) years.
- Functions for the Ombudsperson 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; and
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.
- The Ombudsperson shall not:
a. hold hearings;
b. exceed the role of conciliator and advisor;
c. substitute his or her judgment for that of appropriaten administrative and/or faculty bodies; and
d. serve as counsel for either party to a complaint before the hearing board.
- Penn State Mont Alto Promotion and Tenure Committee
- The Penn State Mont Alto Promotion and Tenure Committee serves the faculty of Penn State Mont Alto in matters relating to tenure and promotion. It provides the initial level of evaluation and recommendation under the provisions of HR 23: Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations for each campus candidate undergoing review for tenure and/or promotion.
- It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to establish annually the Penn State Mont Alto Promotion and Tenure Committee, as described in the Penn State Mont Alto Promotion and Tenure Committee Guidelines.
- A copy of the Penn State Mont Alto Promotion and Tenure Committee Guidelines is included as an attachment to The Constitution of The Penn State Mont Alto Faculty Senate.
This constitution may be amended and articles and amendments may be repealed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present at a special meeting called for that purpose, provided the Secretary has sent a copy of the proposed amendment, or in the case of a repeal, a description of the proposed action to each member at least two (2) weeks
prior to the meeting.
Ratified by Senate Council November 18, 2014