Faculty Senate Constitution
To promote the growth and continued improvement of higher education at West Chester University and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to facilitate communication and cooperation among all segments of the college community, we, the faculty, do hereby subscribe to this Constitution of the Faculty Senate.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Faculty Senate of West Chester University.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSES AND DUTIES
SECTION 1. Purposes
The purposes of this organization shall be:
To provide the means for all faculty (union and non-union) to initiate action on matters which it is concerned, to provide input and feedback to APSCUF, to participate as an advisory board in the formulation, implementation, and review of institutional policy, and to participate in making policy for the University in all matters of faculty concern as recognized by the Council of Trustees of West Chester University.
SECTION 2. Duties
Within the framework of rules, policies, and regulations set forth by the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education under Act 188 of 1982 (as amended), and the local Council of Trustees, the duties of this organization shall be:
- To study institutional and educational policies of the college and to make recommendations to the administration and the bargaining agent concerning, but not limited to the following: academic policies concerning admissions, curricula, and granting of degrees; policies concerning faculty selection, promotion, tenure, leaves, and termination of employment;
- To advise the President in the composition of search and screening committees for all upper management university-wide administrative personnel when vacancies exist;
- To participate in the search and screening committees for a President when a vacancy exists;
- To interview final candidates for all upper level university-wide administrative positions;
- To serve as a channel of communication between the faculty and the administration, the faculty and the bargaining agent, and the faculty and the Council of Trustees;
- To seek means for raising the level of all aspects of academic and professional performance;
- To examine all matters under consideration from point of view of the welfare and best interests of the University and in the light of its total educational objectives;
- To promote the general welfare of faculty and students;
- To foster academic freedom and faculty involvement in shared governance of West Chester University;
- To acknowledge each recommendation or request following completion of its consideration.
The Faculty Senate will submit recommendations and proposals to the administration, or other appropriate body. In the event the administration does not accept a recommendation adopted by the Faculty Senate, a conference will be held with the Faculty Senate executive committee for the purpose of clarifying any points in question. In case the administration still finds the proposed recommendation unacceptable, the matter may be reviewed by the administration with the entire Senate. In the event the Senate does not wish to accept the final judgment of the administration the Senate will present its recommendations and reasons to the President of the University, and may request that the bargaining agent take appropriate action.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1: Composition of Senate and Eligibility of Senators
Senate membership shall be open to full-time "Academic" and "Administrative" faculty as defined by the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four members elected at-large, two constituency members elected by each school, and two constituency members elected by Counseling, Educational Services, and the Library, with no more than one member from any one of these three divisions.
SECTION 2: Term of Office
The term of office shall be three years, with approximately one-third of the membership elected each year.
If an at-large Senate seat becomes vacant before the expiration of a term, it shall be filled by the person receiving the next highest number of votes in the preceding general election. If a school or division seat becomes vacant, it shall be filled by a special school or division election.
ARTICLE IV. ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1: Officers
The officers shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary elected from and by the membership of the Senate at the final meeting for the academic year, following the seating of new members.
B. Terms of Office
The term of office is one year. Officers may run for and, if elected, serve for more than one term.
SECTION 2. Duties of Officers
Presidential duties will include, but will not be restricted to:
- Serving as chief executive office of the Senate, its representative before Other bodies, and the community.
- Chairing the Executive Committee.
- Transmitting to appropriate individuals and bodies a written statement of the actions and recommendations of the Senate.
- Appointing chairpersons to ad-hoc committees with the consent of the Executive Committee.
- Representing the Senate at meetings of the University's Council of Trustees.
- Preparing the agenda for meetings of the Assembly (with input from the Executive Committee or others as deemed appropriate).
- Charging, after consultation with the Executive Committee, the Senate committees with duties and responsibilities at the beginning of each academic year or as the need arises.
- Serving on the Executive Committee of the University Forum.
Vice-Presidential duties will include, but not restricted to:
- Acting as chief executive officer of the Senate in the President's absence or inability to complete the term.
- Assisting and consulting with the President on issues relevant to the Assembly.
- Chairing the Membership/Elections Committee.
C. Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary's duties will include, but not be restricted to:
- Keeping the minutes (including record of attendance) of all regular meetings of the Senate.
- Keeping the minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee if the minutes are deemed necessary by that committee.
- Distributing copies of the minutes to the members of the Executive Committee as soon as feasible after the meeting.
D. Corresponding Secretary/Treasurer
The duties of the Corresponding Secretary/Treasurer shall include, but not be restricted to:
- Distributing copies of the minutes of all regular meetings, along with the current agenda to all members of the Senate at least one week prior to the next meeting.
- Publicizing all meetings.
- Transferring important papers of the Senate (including minutes of regular meetings) to the college archives.
- Ensuring the completeness of Senate records in the college archives.
- Serving as financial officer of the Senate, with responsibility for all financial matters (collecting fees, making disbursements and maintaining accounts).
Duties of Past-President will include, but not be restricted to:
- Serving as a source of continuity between outgoing and new Senate administrations.
- Acting as advisor to the President and Executive Committee with respect to Senate history, contacts and procedures.
SECTION 3. Committees
A. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the four elected officers, the immediate Past-President (if still a senator), and two members of the Senate elected by the membership. The Executive Committee may invite the Past-President, if no longer a senator, to participate in an advisory capacity without a vote.
Duties and responsibilities of the Executive Committee shall be, inter alia, to advise the President in matters of importance related to the Senate, to assist the President in the preparation of the agenda, to meet with the Council of Trustees regarding periodic evaluations of the University President, and to recommend to the University President the composition of search committees for administrative positions.
B. Standing Committees
The following standing committees will consist of members of the Senate responsible for performing the duties described in the charge submitted to them each year by the President. Each committee shall submit a report to the President before the final meeting of the Assembly each academic year detailing the activities of the committee and goals for the coming year.
- Membership and Elections Committee
The duties and responsibilities of the committee include (but are not limited to): to conduct elections at intervals mandated in this Constitution, to announce election results, to maintain accurate and current membership lists, to keep pertinent membership data in order (addresses, phone numbers, profs identification, proxies, etc.), to provide assistance and to develop procedures which promote participation in the Senate.
- Faculty Welfare Committee
The duties and responsibilities of the Faculty Welfare Committee include (but are not limited to): to investigate and research all matters relevant to the welfare of the faculty of the University, to promote discussion and resolution of matters of such concern, to bring to the Senate information, research, possible resolutions, and work products relating to faculty welfare, and to delegate to specific Senators the responsibility to interview final candidates for administrative positions.
- Student Welfare
The duties and responsibilities of the Student Welfare Committee include (but are not limited to): to investigate, research and provide recommendations regarding issues of importance to students.
- Curriculum and Research
The duties and responsibilities of the Curriculum and Research Committee shall include (but are not limited to): to investigate matters relevant to curriculum and research activities of the University, to bring information resulting from investigations before the Senate for discussion, to formulate recommendations to the Senate for the resolution of matters of concern, and to bring these matters to the attention of CAPC when appropriate.
The duties and responsibilities of the Ethics Committee include (but are not limited to): to investigate allegations of ethical misconduct of the faculty upon request of faculty, student, staff or administrator of the University, to render an advisory opinion on completion of such investigation, to promulgate rules and procedures for the above and to maintain and update a code of ethical conduct for West Chester faculty to use as reference.
The duties and responsibilities of the Communications Committee include (but are not limited to): to oversee the publication of materials designed to familiarize the University community with the Senate's purposes and functions and to foster communication between the Senate and the University Community.
C. Ad-Hoc Committees
Ad-hoc committees may be appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee or may be nominated by the Senate for the purpose of expediting temporary business.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
SECTION 1. Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Senate shall be scheduled three times in each of the fall and spring semesters in the months of September, October, November, February, March and April. Their times and dates, subject to change by the Executive Committee shall be published in September.
A standing invitation to participate in the discussions of the Senate is extended to the President and Vice-Presidents of the University, President of Student Government, and a representative of the bargaining agent. Non-members may be invited for the same purpose whenever the agenda items are relevant to them.
Regular Senate meetings are open to all West Chester faculty.
SECTION 2. Special Meetings
A special meeting of the Senate may be called at a designated time by the Executive Committee, or by a petition signed by one-third of the total membership of the Senate, or by a petition of ten percent of the total membership of the faculty.
ARTICLE VI. TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS
SECTION 1. Initiation of Action
- The Executive Committee shall prepare the agenda based upon suggestions for agenda items from faculty, administration, or the Council of Trustees.
- Proposed written agenda items, sponsored by at least five members of the Senate, must be placed on the agenda provided they were received by the President at least two weeks before the regular meeting.
SECTION 2: Nature of Sessions
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of one-half of the members of the Senate.
In the case of short term or extended absence, the senator should name a proxy from the eligible faculty in the constituency represented and notify the President of the Senate.
Decisions shall be by majority vote of the members in attendance after full discussion and free debate except where Robert's Rules of Order require otherwise.
A roll call vote on any question must be taken if a motion calling for such a vote is approved by one-fifth of the membership present.
ARTICLE VII. ELECTIONS
SECTION 1: Membership and Elections Committee
It shall be the responsibility of the Membership and Elections Committee to prepare and distribute all pertinent election information at least one week before elections, supervise elections, and announce the results.
SECTION 2: Elections Procedures
Elections shall be held every spring.
The election ballot shall list the names of all eligible faculty who express interest in being candidates according to the procedures and deadline set by the Membership and Elections Committee. The names of Senators shall be taken from those who received the greatest number of votes in the election.
SECTION 3: Eligibility for Voting
All those and only those eligible to serve in the Faculty Senate are eligible to vote in the election of Senators.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
SECTION 1: Proposed Amendments
Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the faculty for ratification upon approval of the Faculty Senate or twenty-five percent of faculty signing a petition for said purpose.
SECTION 2: Notification of Amendments
Notices of the time, manner, and place for voting on proposed amendments to the Constitution must be announced, and the text of the proposed amendments must be circulated at least one week prior to the referendum.
SECTION 3: Ratification of Amendments
Ratification of amendments shall require two-thirds of the votes cast by faculty eligible for membership in the Senate.
SECTION 4: Approval of Amendments
All ratified amendments shall be submitted to the administration and the Council of Trustees for their information.
ARTICLE IX: RULES OF PROCEDURE
Robert's Rules of Order, as revised, shall be the governing rules of this Senate, excepting where those rules are altered by this Constitution and by-laws.