Committees and Rules Committee Priority Form

Senate Committee Priority Form (Charges)
2019-2020

COMMITTEE NAME: Committees and Rules
CHAIR: Victor Brunsden
VICE CHAIR: Ann Taylor

DUTIES: The Committee on Committees and Rules shall review and make recommendations on the Senate’s committee structure. It shall appoint the members of all Standing Committees. It shall be responsible for proposing changes in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate for action by the Senate. This committee shall serve as a Nominating Committee to the administrative officers of the University in the selection of University faculty to serve on University-wide committees. In addition, this committee has the investigative function in determining the constitutionality of acts of the Senate, failures to implement Senate legislation, problems resulting from conflicting legislation, and errors in the implementation of legislation. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall have the authority to interpret the Senate Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules subject to review by the Senate. Each spring, the Committee on Committees and Rules shall select a pool of faculty members who will be available to serve as a member of all Division I Intercollegiate Head Coach athletics searches. The Committee on Committees and Rules will ask for nominations from faculty members who are currently participating in or have participated within the last four calendar years on the Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, the Athletics Integrity Council, and/or the Faculty Partners Program. The assignment of faculty members to serve on a head coach search committee will be the prerogative of the Senate Chair but under most circumstances, it is expected that the faculty member will be drawn from the pool of candidates identified each year by the Committee on Committees and Rules. Each year the Committee on Committees and Rules shall ask returning and new senators to rank their preferences for committee assignments. The Committee on Committees and Rules will then select the senatorial members of each Standing Committee, taking into consideration the preferences of senators. Where a representative of an administrative office is to be an ex officio member of a committee, this member will be selected by the Committee on Committees and Rules in consultation with the appropriate administrative officer. Appointments to all committees should reflect the variety of disciplines, functions, and geographic locations of University units. Annually, the Committee on Committees and Rules shall elect its own Chair and Vice Chair. In consultation with the Senate Chair, the Committee shall designate the leadership of all other Standing Committees of the Senate. While the Senate officers are the primary faculty representatives to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the Committee on Committees and Rules shall be informed and consulted on faculty governance issues that arise in the CIC. Such items will be periodically reported to the Senate.

A. HIGH PRIORITY

A1) “Change to Senate Standing Rules Associated with Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics”
Report type: Legislative, prepared by Intercollegiate Athletics
Anticipated delivery: September 23, 2019 for October 29, 2019 then December 3, 2019 meeting

Context: Change Senate Standing Rules, Article 2i, Intercollegiate Athletics making Vice Chair of Intercollegiate Athletics the automatic representative on Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and mandate an annual informational report on Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics.

A2) “Mandating Promotion Flow Report”
Report type: Legislative, prepared by Intra-University Relations
Anticipated delivery: September 23, 2019 for October 29, 2019 then December 3, 2019 meeting

Context: Change Senate Standing Rules, Article 2j, Intra-University Relations mandating a promotion flow report to track non-tenure-line/fixed-term faculty promotions.

A3) “Mandating Tenure Flow Report”
Report type: Legislative, prepared by Faculty Affairs
Anticipated delivery: September 23, 2019 for October 29, 2019 then December 3, 2019 meeting

Context: Change Senate Standing Rules, Article 2f, Faculty Affairs mandating the 20+ year tradition of sponsoring the tenure flow report. 

A4) “University Faculty Senate Term Limits”
Report type: Informational, consider Julie Gallagher to present and Roger Egolf, Senate Historian to be available as a resource
Anticipated delivery: February 10, 2020 for March 17, 2020

Context: Graduate Council has two terms and then a brief period off the governing body. What are the benefits and liabilities of this approach for the Senate as a whole, the Senate’s ability to foster and attract new leadership, and are there any issues for smaller units or campus locations (sometimes, those being two in the same)?

A5) “Timeline Adjustment for Publishing The Senate Record”
Report type: Legislative
Anticipated delivery: September 23, 2019 for October 29, 2019

Context: Change Faculty Senate Standing Rules, Rules of Procedure, Section 10, mandating:

“Under the direction of the Executive Director of the Senate, the Senate shall publish an official record (The Senate Record) of its proceedings within fourteen days after each meeting,…” Consider changing to: “Under the direction of the Executive Director of the Senate, the Senate shall publish an official record (The Senate Record) of its proceedings within fourteen days after receipt of transcriptioneach meeting,…” Example of timeline: Senate meeting on a Tuesday; Receive audio from MediaSite Tech late Tuesday or Wednesday morning; Admin assistant sends audio to 3PlayMedia upon receipt for transcription which is scheduled by them for delivery by the next Tuesday after the meeting; Admin assistant reviews and listens to audio comparing text and voice – sometimes twice; Cleans it up, inputs the hyperlinks, makes it in accessible format; additional step may include back-and-forth for review by the Executive Director. Bottom-line: even with this new service, transcripts must be double-checked; as our meetings get longer, so do our transcripts; any delay in receipt of transcripts truncate the portion of work that is under the control of Senate Office Support Staff.  

A6) “World Campus Student Government Association Representation on the Senate”
Report type: Legislative, prepared by Education, Outreach, or Student Life
Anticipated delivery: September 23, 2019 for October 29, 2019

Context: In 2019, the World Campus Student Government Association was formed (see here). Identify proper committee assignment and adjust committee membership accordingly. 

A7) “At-Large Status for Current Senate Officers”
Report type: Legislative
Anticipated delivery: TBD

Draft for discussion of at-large status for officers (Shapiro draft 4/23/19):

Article I – Officers Section 1

(a) The officers of the Senate shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, an Immediate Past Chair, and a Secretary.

(b) Elected Senators shall elect annually a Chair-Elect and a Secretary from among faculty members who are serving as elected faculty senators in the current Senate year. The Secretary shall be eligible for reelection, but shall serve no more than three consecutive one-year terms. The Chair-Elect, at the end of one year of service in that office, shall automatically succeed to the office of Chair. The Chair, at the end of one year of service in that office, shall automatically succeed to the office of Immediate Past Chair.

(new c or new d?) The officers of the Senate shall be considered “at-large” representatives and during their terms office alternates from their respective units’ shall take their places at plenary and assigned standing committee meetings.

(c) If a senator’s term as representative of an academic voting unit expires while serving as Chair or Chair-Elect, and the senator is not reelected, that senator shall be permitted to succeed to the offices of Chair and/or Immediate Past Chair. While completing terms as Chair and Immediate Past Chair, the officer will have all the rights and privileges of a regular member of the Senate. 

A8) “Revision to Voting Procedures”
Report type: Legislative
Anticipated delivery: TBD

Context: Review voting procedures for committees such as Faculty, Rights, and Responsibilities, noting reference to members being elected by secret written plurality and election “by mail.”

A9) “Review of VP of Research and Dean of Graduate School being used in Senate Documents” Editorial 

B. OTHER

B1) Consider if Senate Officers should all be voting members of the Committee on Committees and Rules.

B2) Determine how to dissolve a group the Senate has delegated authority.

B3) Consult with Faculty Affairs on “Review of Retaliation Policy”
Report type: TBD
Anticipated delivery: TBD

Context: Our Retaliation Policy, AD-67 “Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection From Retaliation,” commits Penn State to the “highest standards of ethics and conduct” and with it “the University wishes to encourage and protect from Retaliation those who desire to report potential violations of these standards.” Determine, over whatever time period is deemed sufficient or reasonable within constraints, how many claims of retaliation, deemed in violation of AD-67, have been reviewed by Faculty Rights & Responsibilities as compared to the total number of cases that verify that retaliation has actually taken place. Based on this analysis of incoming claims versus verified instances of retaliation, make recommendations for change, for example, to change either AD-67 or to create a “good faith ruling” on retaliation claims (i.e., the appearance of retaliation) within Faculty Rights & Responsibilities. Possibly also consider creating a mechanism in instances wherein, if there are a sufficient number of cases that do not individually meet the threshold of retaliation, then the combined cases could be considered together, as a pattern or retaliation or the appearance of a pattern of retaliation. Consider consultation with University Ombudspersons and current or past members of Faculty Rights & Responsibilities.

B4) Consider what utility there might be in having the Senate Historian attend Senate Council meetings as a resource member that cannot vote.

B5) Review of Academic Trustee position, for example, re-examine: a. voting mechanism and process; b. length of term; and c. number of consecutive terms.

B6) Consider informational report updating the Senate on developments in Graduate Council Anticipated Delivery: October 29, 2019 for December 3, 2019 meeting.

B7) Encourage and subsequently establish, if possible, a faculty governing unit for Science.

B8) Consider the overall number of students on the Senate in an elected capacity by unit or ex-officio capacity on committees – is this optimal? Also, consider the possibility of a student World Campus representative on the Senate – how many representatives makes sense and with what status (e.g., ex-officio?)?

B9) “Quorum in Committee”

Context: What is a quorum for conducting Committee Business? In the Senate Constitution, the only definition of “quorum” is in reference to the Plenary Meeting. Under Article V, Section I of our Bylaws, a “quorum” is defined only for the Plenary meeting. It states: “A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of 50 senators,” and this is 25% of 200 elected Senators not including administrative members of Senate, adding to the total number of voting members. There is no specific reference in our Constitution and Bylaws for a “quorum” for Committee meetings. Roberts Rules allows the organization to establish its own definition of a “quorum.”

C. MANDATED AND TRADITIONAL REPORTS

C1) “Nomination Report”
Report Type: Informational
Anticipated Delivery: TBD 

D. LIAISON WITH OTHER SENATE, ADMINISTRATIVE, SPECIAL OR JOINT COMMITTEES

Graduate Council.

E. SUBCOMMITTEES
None