Standing Rules

Approved by the Senate and Provost on April 12, 2016. Amended by the Senate and Provost on October 26, 2016, December 5, 2016.

The Standing Rules (hereafter, “Rules”) of the Academic Senate contain provisions for the regulation and management of the affairs of the Senate consistent with its Bylaws. The Rules of the Senate, as well as of the Academic Policy Committee and the Institute Curriculum Committee, and amendments thereto, require joint approval by the Senate and the Provost.

1. Nominations and Elections

1.1 Regular Elections

In addition to provisions specified in Bylaws, regular elections shall follow these rules.

1.1.1 Departmental and At-Large Senator Nominees

Any at-large nominee from a department that does not have nominees for its departmental senator(s) shall be a presumptive nominee for the departmental seat(s), which nomination can be accepted or declined.

1.1.2 Uncontested Elections

In any election in which the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of available seats, the candidate(s) shall be deemed the winner(s) of an uncontested election and no ballots need be distributed.

1.1.3 Counting Ballots

Ballots for departmental seats shall be counted first, and departments shall have as their senators the candidate(s) who received the most votes for departmental senator in that department, up to the maximum number allowed. Each candidate who has won an election for departmental senator shall not be eligible to be an at-large senator and shall be removed from the list of candidates for at-large senators. The at-large senators shall be those candidates who received the most votes for at-large senator in their respective categories, up to the maximum number allowed. If an individual is nominated both as a departmental senator and as an at-large senator, the votes received for either of those positions shall not count towards the other position under any circumstances. Tied votes in elections shall be decided by the Steering Committee, which shall first ask the tied candidates to decide among themselves who shall serve and, lacking consensus among or response from all candidates, shall draw names in a chance lottery from those candidates who have responded but not declined.

1.1.4 Alternates

Each senator shall have as an alternate the candidate who received the next highest number of votes for that seat in the most recent election and is not already a senator or alternate, up to the maximum number of seats allowed. In attempting to fill vacant seats, the Outreach Officer shall first ask alternates if they wish to serve out the remainder of the term in those seats.

1.2 Special Elections

Special elections fill vacancies that occur before the natural end of a term, and winners are elected to serve the remainder of that term. The Steering Committee shall issue a call for nominations to all constituents in the affected constituent group, with the call remaining open for at least ten business days when classes are in session. All nominations shall be confirmed in writing. If the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of vacant seats, the candidate(s) shall be deemed the winner(s) of an uncontested election and no ballots need be distributed. Should the number of nominees exceed the number of vacant seats, the Steering Committee shall conduct a special election, which shall remain open for at least ten business days when classes are in session. The person(s) receiving the most votes shall be the duly elected senator(s), up to the maximum number allowed.

1.3 Officers

The Senate shall have as its officers the person receiving the most votes in the election for each office, subject to provisions below.

a. The election results for President shall be announced immediately after voting is closed, and the election results for Financial Officer, Information Officer, and Outreach Officer shall not be announced until after voting is closed for all three.

b. In the event of a tie in the election for any office, a run-off election shall be held between the candidates who received the highest number of votes for that office. If the run-off also results in a tie, the election shall be resolved by drawing names in a chance lottery from those candidates who have not withdrawn.

c. In the event that one person receives the highest number of votes for two or more offices, that person shall be deemed the winner of the election in which that person received highest number of votes, and the other office(s) shall pass to the candidate(s) who received the next highest number of votes in the election(s) for the respective office(s), or, in the case of exhaustion of candidates, a new election shall be held.

d. In the event that candidates from the same department receive the highest number of votes in the elections of three or more offices, a run-off election shall be held between those candidates to determine which two shall be officers, with the other office(s) passing to the candidate(s) who received the next highest number of votes in the election(s) for the respective office(s), or, in the case of exhaustion of candidates, a new election shall be held.

1.4 Committee Chairs

Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall elect its committee chairs from a pool of candidates solicited from constituents during a nomination period that remains open for at least ten business days when classes are in session and that is announced at least three business days in advance. Unless otherwise specified, regular elections for committee chairs shall be held by secret ballot no later than the September meeting of the Senate.

1.5 Committee Members

1.5.1 Nominations

The Senate shall solicit nominations for committee members from constituents during a nomination period that remains open for at least ten business days when classes are in session and that is announced at least three business days in advance. All nominations shall be confirmed in writing.

1.5.2 Election of Members of the Academic Policy Committee and Institute Curriculum Committee

Regular elections for members of the Academic Policy Committee and Institute Curriculum Committee shall be held among constituents, with elections concluding no later than April 15 of each year. The candidate from each department who received the highest number of votes shall be retained on the list of candidates, and all others from that department shall be placed on a list of potential alternates, to be decided by procedures specified in 1.5.4 below. Candidates belonging to more than one department shall be considered separately under each of their departments and retained on the list of candidates if they received the highest number of votes in any of their departments. If any candidates are senators, those who received the highest number of votes shall be retained on the list of candidates, up to the maximum number of senators allowed on that committee, and other senators shall be placed on the list of potential alternates. From the remaining candidates, the committee shall be composed as follows:

a. The candidate from a graduate program who received the highest number of votes shall be added to the committee. If there are no candidates from a graduate program, that seat shall be considered vacant and filled according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

b. The candidate from an undergraduate program who received the highest number of votes shall be added to the committee. If there are no candidates from an undergraduate program, that seat shall be considered vacant and filled according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

c. If two constituents from the chairs category are not already members of the committee, the candidate(s) from the chairs category who received the highest number of votes shall be added to the committee, up to two chairs category members total. If there are fewer than two candidates from the chairs category, that seat shall be considered vacant and filled according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

d. For any school, as well as the Library and departments not associated with a school, that does not already have a member on the committee, the candidate from each of those schools, the Library, or, jointly, those departments not associated with a school, who received the highest number of votes shall be added to the committee in descending order of number of votes and while achieving a majority of faculty on the committee. If adding another chair category or staff constituent would make this majority impossible, given the maximum size of the committee, only the faculty candidates shall be added. If there are insufficient faculty candidates, the seat(s) shall be considered vacant and filled according to procedures specified in Senate Bylaws.

e. The Senate or, in the final year of a term, the Senate-Elect may vote to add additional members to the committee in descending order of the number votes received, up to the maximum number allowed for the committee and while preserving faculty majority.

Any remaining candidates shall be placed on the list of potential alternates, to be decided by procedures specified in 1.5.4 below.

1.5.3 Election of Other Standing Committee Members

Regular elections for members of other standing committees shall be held by secret ballot at a Senate meeting no later than October 31 of each year.

1.6 Institute Committees

Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall elect faculty and chair members of Institute committees from a pool of candidates solicited from constituents during a nomination period that remains open for at least ten business days when classes are in session and that is announced at least three business days in advance. All nominations shall be confirmed in writing, and candidates may be asked to submit a statement and resume for consideration. If urgency does not allow this length of nominations period, the Senate or its Steering or Executive Committees may reduce the length of the nomination period by a two-thirds majority vote.

1.7 Search Committees

Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall elect faculty and chair members of search committees specified in Senate Bylaws from a pool of candidates solicited from constituents during a nomination period that remains open for at least ten business days when classes are in session and that is announced at least three business days in advance. All nominations shall be confirmed in writing, and candidates may be asked to submit a statement and resume for consideration. If urgency does not allow this length of nominations period, the Senate or its Steering or Executive Committees may reduce the length of the nomination period by a two-thirds majority vote.

1.8 Positions on the Board of Trustees

Unless otherwise specified, the Senate shall nominate faculty and chair trustee candidates and members of Board non-standing committees from a pool of candidates solicited from constituents during a nomination period that remains open for at least ten business days when classes are in session and that is announced at least three business days in advance. All nominations shall be confirmed in writing, and candidates shall be asked to submit a statement and resume for consideration.

1.9 Senate-Elect

The current Executive Committee shall convene the meeting of the Senate-Elect at a time mutually agreeable to the greatest number of senators-elect and sufficient for quorum. The meeting shall be chaired by a current or former Senate officer, who shall not accept nomination for any position during the meeting, or, if no such person is available, the senators-elect shall choose their own chair, who shall not accept nomination for any position during the meeting. The same procedure shall be used to select a minute-taker, who may accept nomination for any position during the meeting. Following their election, the President-Elect may chair the meeting.

1.10 Other Rules

1.10.1 Secret Ballot

The Senate shall ensure that the security and privacy of constituent data are safeguarded and that ballot responses are cast only once by eligible constituents and cannot be associated with specific respondents.

1.10.2 Tied Elections

Unless otherwise specified, tied votes in elections shall be decided by the Steering Committee, which shall first ask the tied candidates to decide among themselves who shall serve and, lacking consensus among or response from all candidates, shall draw names in a chance lottery from those candidates who have not declined.

2. Members and Vacancies

2.1 Constituent Database

Each semester, the Senate shall provide the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research with specifications of Senate constituents as defined in Senate Bylaws and request an official database of constituents compiled from data verified by Human Resources and the Office of the Provost one day after the add/drop date for that semester. This database shall be electronically transmitted to the Senate and used to determine eligibility and the number of available seats in elections. Upon inspecting the database, the Senate may provide possible corrections to the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research, along with a request for an updated database. Once a nomination or related election period has opened, no changes may be made to the database for that period, and changes shall take effect for the following nomination and related election periods.

2.2 Changes in Constituent Category

Any person defined as a constituent in Senate Bylaws during the most recent fall, spring, or summer semesters shall be eligible to participate in current nominations and elections, according to eligibility rules described in Senate Bylaws. A constituent acting temporarily in another constituent category that is scheduled to end before the beginning of a term may be reclassified to their original category and participate in that category in nominations and elections for that term by sending a request in writing to the Steering Committee before the start of nominations with evidence of the date of the status change. Any constituent who is elected to represent a particular category and whose category changes for a period of more than one fall or spring semester shall vacate that seat, unless the change is known to be temporary, in which case the seat shall be considered vacant only during the period of the change and the constituent shall resume their original seat upon reverting in category and vacate any seats to which they were elected to represent constituents in their temporary category.

2.3 Leaves of Absence

Faculty members on sabbatical or constituents on leaves of absence, as defined in the Faculty Handbook, shall be eligible to participate in nominations and elections. Seats held by these individuals shall be considered vacant only during the period of absence, and the constituent shall resume their seat(s) upon returning.

3. Other Standing Committees

In addition to standing committees specified in its Bylaws, the Senate shall have the following standing committees.

3.1. Distinguished Teacher Award Committee

3.1.1 Purpose

The Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes exceptional dedication to the Institute’s mission and applauds the accomplishments made over the course of a career. The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee reviews nominations made by the student body and recommends candidate(s) to the Senate, which confers the award jointly with the administration and Board of Trustees.

3.1.2 Membership

The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee shall consist of seven to eleven voting members:

  • a. the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee Chair;
  • b. at least four Senate constituents each drawn from different schools, as well as the Library and, jointly, those departments not associated with a school;
  • c. one undergraduate student selected by student government; and
  • d. one graduate student selected by student government.

The committee shall have non-voting, ex-officio members as specified in Senate Bylaws.

3.1.3 Duties

The duties of the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee shall include but not be limited to:

  • a. coordinating nominations by the student body and competition for the annual medal design,
  • b. determining eligibility and criteria of excellence in teaching to guide review of candidates,
  • c. recommending the Distinguished Teacher Award candidate(s) to the Senate, and
  • d. periodically reviewing the effectiveness of its outreach and procedures.

3.1.4 Committee Chair

The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee shall be chaired by a faculty member elected by the Senate and have duties specified in Senate Bylaws and committee guidelines.

3.1.5 Recusal

Any member of the committee who is a finalist for the award shall have the option of either declining nomination for the award and remaining on the committee, or resigning from the committee and remaining as a candidate for the award.

3.1.6 Meetings

The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee shall convene by the end of fall semester to determine criteria, eligibility, and nomination procedures for the Distinguished Teacher Award, pending approval by the Senate. The Committee shall recommend the candidate(s) no later than the March meeting of the Senate.

3.1.7 Compensation

In accordance with provisions in the Senate Compensation Policy, the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee Chair shall receive 6% ($3,600) of the minimum starting salary in effect for full-time faculty of professor rank as defined in the CBA, and part-time faculty serving as committee members shall receive 1% ($600).

3.2 Faculty Development Fund Committee

3.2.1 Purpose

The Faculty Development Fund provides financial support for the development and advancement of Senate constituents. The Faculty Development Fund Committee reviews grant applications and makes recommendations to the Provost, who determines final awards.

3.2.2 Membership

The Faculty Development Fund Committee shall consist of six to nine voting members, a majority of them faculty:

  • a. the Faculty Development Fund Committee Chair; and
  • b. at least five Senate constituents each drawn from different schools, as well as the Library and, jointly, those departments not associated with a school, who shall not apply for a grant during their term of service.

The committee shall have non-voting, ex-officio members as specified in Senate Bylaws.

3.2.3 Duties

The duties of the Faculty Development Fund Committee shall include but not be limited to:

  • a. reviewing all complete applications submitted to the Office of the Provost;
  • b. recommending for or against the funding of proposals, including recommending partial funding or revisions to budgets, to the Provost and reporting those recommendations to the Senate;
  • c. recommending changes to criteria and procedures governing the Faculty Development Fund, in consultation with the Provost.

3.2.4 Committee Chair

The Faculty Development Fund Committee shall be chaired by a faculty member elected by the Senate and have duties specified in Senate Bylaws and committee guidelines.

3.2.5 Meetings

The Faculty Development Fund Committee shall convene by the end of fall semester to determine criteria, eligibility, and procedures for the Faculty Development Fund in consultation with the Provost and for review by the Senate. The Committee shall recommend the awards to the Provost and report them to the Senate no later than the February meeting of the Senate.

3.2.6 Compensation

In accordance with provisions in the Senate Compensation Policy, the Faculty Development Fund Committee Chair shall receive 6% ($3,600) of the minimum starting salary in effect for full-time faculty of professor rank as defined in the CBA, and part-time faculty serving as committee members shall receive 2% ($1,200).