Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I:  NAME

The name of this body is the Faculty Senate of the Wilkes-Barre Campus of the Pennsylvania State University (hereinafter referred to as the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate).

ARTICLE II:  PURPOSE

The purpose of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate is to encourage, develop, and sustain the academic well-being of the faculty and student body at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, as well as to govern itself in academic matters in an open and democratic forum.

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate shall have the following functions:

  1. Legislative. 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) and on all educational matters that concern the faculties of the campus. Among the matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Senate are:
    1. instructional program
    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
    7. access to library and information systems for academic purposes.
  2. Advisory and Consultative. To act as an advisory and consultative body, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts, to the President on any matter that may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the University, 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 Nesbitt Library
    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. regulations affecting students
    10. general Campus admissions policy
    11. other appropriate matters.
  3. Forensic. To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.
  4. Informational. To receive and disseminate information to the Senate and the Campus that is deemed important by the Senate or its committees.
  5. Recognition. To recognize or honor those individuals, organizations, or institutions the Senate deems worthy of special recognition by the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate. Such courtesy actions normally shall originate from the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate body or the Senate officers.

ARTICLE III:  MEMBERSHIP

Section 1

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate consists of all full-time faculty including instructors and all professional ranks and equivalent ranks as defined in HR-21.

Section 2

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate additionally includes adjunct faculty, defined as an individual who has been contracted to teach a minimum (1) for-credit course within the current academic year.

Section 3

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate includes student members, not to exceed 10% of the full-time faculty members as of the first day of classes in the fall.

Section 4

Ex-officio members of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate are the Chancellor and other members of the administration appointed by the Chancellor; the total number not to exceed 10% of the full-time faculty members as of the first day of classes in the fall. These ex-officio members have voting privileges. If the faculty membership, through the Executive Committee or during a Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meeting, chooses to deliberate in closed session, the ex-officio members will not attend and/or will withdraw.

ARTICLE IV:  OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE FACULTY SENATE

Section 1

The officers of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate are the chairperson, the chairperson-elect, the secretary and the parliamentarian.

Section 2

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate elects a chairperson-elect, from among its full time faculty members, who serves as the vice-chairperson upon election to office for one year prior to taking office as chairperson of the Faculty Senate.

Section 3

The chairperson appoints a secretary and a parliamentarian.

Section 4

The Executive Committee consists of the chairperson, immediate past chairperson, vice-chairperson, two members at large elected by the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate from its membership, and the senior University College Faculty Council Representative and the senior University Faculty Senator from Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The Chancellor is an ex-officio member. This committee acts as an advisory and consultative group to the Chancellor. It also advises the chairperson and vice-chairperson on the composition of standing committees of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.

ARTICLE V:  AUTHORITY OF THE FACULTY SENATE

Section 1

The authority vested in this constitution has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate.

Section 2

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate acts as an advisory and consultative body to the Chancellor, both through its corporate whole and any of its constituent parts on any matter that may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Section 3

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas among its own members and among the members of other groups of the academic community. To this end, all members of the administration, and invited guests may attend Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meetings and may be granted privileges of the floor.

Section 4

The Faculty Senate of Penn State Wilkes-Barre interprets its policies.

ARTICLE VI:  OPERATIONS OF THE FACULTY SENATE

Section 1

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate will meet at least three times during each semester. The date, day, distinctive beginning and ending time as well as location shall by published and distributed in advance.

Section 2

In order to conduct business, a quorum of the voting membership of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate must be present. A quorum is defined as 10 voting members.

Section 3

Voting members may participate in a meeting of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate by means of electronic conferencing technology, which at a minimum shall allow persons participating in the meeting to hear each other, as per “electronic meetings” in Robert’s Rules of Order. Participation in a meeting pursuant to this section shall constitute presence at the meeting, with the exception that a voting member must have a physical presence at the meeting in order for their presence to be counted toward the establishment of a quorum for the said meeting.

The Executive Committee will from time to time establish and publish policy and/or procedures to guide the implementation of said “electronic meetings.”

ARTICLE VII:  AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this constitution, consistent with University policy and directives of the University Faculty Senate, may be adopted at any meeting of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided that the amendments were presented in writing at a preceding meeting and that the proposed amendments were circulated to all members. 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.


BYLAWS

ARTICLE I:  ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES

Section 1

Within the first twelve class days of each spring semester, the chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee, appoints an Election Committee consisting of no fewer than three Senate members, including its chair. Committee members’ tenure is one year.

Section 2

The Election Committee, from members of the full time faculty, conducts the election of the chairperson-elect, two at-large members of the Executive Committee, one Ombudsperson and an alternate, Senators to the University and University College Faculty Council Representative, and two members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Election Committee also conducts elections in special circumstances that may occur throughout the year.

Section 3

The Election Committee uses the following procedure for all elections:

  1. The Committee requests written nominations for all open positions. Each nominee must accept nomination in writing.
  2. All elections are by secret ballot. The Committee assures the eligibility of nominees and the confidentiality of all ballots.
  3. Only tenured or tenure-eligible faculty are eligible to vote for elected members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.
  4. Elections for all positions, except University College Faculty Council Representative, and University Faculty Senators, are conducted in the spring semester and are completed at least one week before the last class day of the spring semester. Election of University College Faculty Council Representative and University Faculty Senators for the next academic year occurs by the end of the fall semester.
  5. Election results are reported individually to all Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate members by the last day of classes in the spring semester and at the next regularly scheduled Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meeting.

ARTICLE II:  OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1

The terms of Executive Committee members and elected and appointed officers begin with the last class day of the spring semester and continue for one year to the day proceeding the last class day of the next spring semester. Each person is eligible for re-election.

Section 2

The chairperson presides at all meetings of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate and assumes those duties normally pertaining to the office, including liaison with the Campus Advisory Board.

Section 3

The vice-chairperson assumes the duties of the chairperson when the chairperson is absent. He/she also meets, from time to time, with the chairpersons of the standing committees for the purpose of exchanging information about committee activities.

Section 4

The secretary keeps the official roll, publishes notices, agendas, and minutes of Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meetings, and performs other duties appropriate to this office.

Section 5

The parliamentarian advises the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate concerning procedure.

Section 6

The Executive Committee schedules regular meetings with the administration to discuss faculty business. It conducts routine executive functions such as drawing up agendas, referring correspondence, scheduling meetings, selecting faculty representation to serve on search and screen committees for campus administrative positions, etc. This committee has no legislative powers.

ARTICLE III:  COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND FORMATION

Section 1

The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate may, by a two-thirds vote, create or terminate standing committees.

Section 2

The membership of standing committees is determined by the chairperson and vice-chairperson, with advice from the Executive Committee, from the names submitted to them by those faculty who wish to serve on a standing committee and who have stated their committee preferences.

Section 3

The term of office for faculty members on standing and ad hoc committees is one year. A faculty member may succeed himself/herself on a committee.

Section 4

The chairpersons of committees are elected by their respective committees. Ex-officio and student members may not be chairpersons, but have voting privileges. The committee determines its own procedure for the conduct of its meetings.

Section 5

Every committee reports its activities and deliberations to the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate at each meeting. Specific recommendations from standing committees to the administration require approval by the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.

ARTICLE IV:  STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1:  The Academic Affairs Committee

  • Membership: Chief Academic Officer (ex-officio); at least three full-time faculty; and one student designated by the Student Government Association.
  • Duties: This committee advises the Office of Academic Affairs on scheduling, proposed new courses and evaluation of present courses, academic standards, academic advising, admission, and other matters related to academic affairs, including policy. This committee also acts as the Curricular Affairs Committee mandated by the Constitution of the University College Faculty Senate.

Section 2:  Student Affairs Committee

  • Membership: Director of Student Services and Engagement (ex-officio); at least three full-time faculty; and two students—one designated by the Student Government Association and one by the Director of Student Services and Engagement.
  • Duties: This committee advises the Office of Student Affairs on extracurricular activities and student Senates, scholarships and awards, and other matters related to student affairs.

Section 3:  Library Committee

  • Membership: The Campus Librarian (ex-officio); at least five full-time representative faculty; and one student, appointed by the Librarian.
  • Duties: This committee is consultative and advisory to the campus librarian and the campus administration. It serves as a liaison between the campus library and the faculty at large through the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.

Section 4:  Scholarly Activities Committee

  • Membership: Chief Academic Officer (ex-officio); at least three full-time faculty members. 
  • Duties: This committee advises the Office of Academic Affairs on means to encourage scholarly activities and disseminate information about research and other scholarly activities to and among the faculty.

Section 5:  Faculty Affairs Committee

  • Membership: At least three full-time faculty members, including the chairperson of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate. The chairperson of the committee must be a tenured faculty member.
  • Duties: This committee shall concern itself with faculty awards, the composition of search and screen committees for new faculty members, the rights and responsibilities of faculty members, and the educational environment in which the faculty works. It is empowered to study any situation or grievance brought to it by any member of the campus faculty or administration.

ARTICLE V: SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Section 1: Promotion and Tenure Committee

  • Function: To review dossiers of candidates and provide the campus administration with a recommendation.
  • Structure:
    1. Second, fourth, sixth year reviews and promotion to associate professor: Five members holding a minimum rank of Associate Professor
    2. Promotion to Professor: Three faculty of Professor rank
  • Membership: Faculty of high rank and tenure, as directed by HR-23, comprising of:
    1. Second-, fourth-, and sixth-year reviews and promotion to associate professor: Two members, hereinafter referred to as the core, elected by the eligible faculty from the campus, plus three ad hoc members selected by the core. Of these five, a minimum of three members will be within the candidate’s disciplinary area. The ad hoc members will be chosen by the core from a list of eligible faculty developed by the core in consultation with the Chief Academic Officer.
    2. Promotion: Professor review committee: Three professors, two of whom should be within the disciplinary area of the candidate. These three will be selected by the core in consultation with the Chief Academic Officer.
    3. For both 1) and 2): In the event that the committee cannot be constituted entirely from the campus’ faculty, the core will select faculty in appropriate disciplines from other campuses within the University. These faculty will be selected by the core from a list developed in consultation with the Chief Academic Officer.
  • Terms of service: The term of membership for core members shall be two years in length with terms starting on consecutive years. All other members have terms of one year.

Section 2:

The chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may create ad hoc committees. The faculty may, by a majority vote, create additional ad hoc committees.

ARTICLE VI:  MEETINGS

Section 1

The Executive Committee determines the specific times and places of the meetings of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate and asks the secretary to publish this schedule of the academic year within the first 12 class days of the fall semester.

Section 2

Upon the request of the Chancellor, the chairperson will convene the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.

Section 3

The chairperson will convene the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate in response to a written petition of at least 20 percent of the members to consider proposals of the petitioners stated in writing, provided the petition contains a statement of purpose of the meeting.

Section 4

A majority of the members present at any meeting may change the date for any subsequent meeting.

Section 5

Any member of the faculty may submit to the secretary a written, dated business item to come before the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate. This item must be placed in order on the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate agenda. Any member of the faculty submitting such a business item is entitled to primary recognition on the floor in order to discuss the business item.

Section 6

The presiding officer may recognize persons attending Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meetings, other than regular members or ex-officio members, when he/she deems it appropriate.

ARTICLE VII:  RULES OF PROCEDURE

The rules of procedure in the meetings of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate are those determined by the chairperson who shall be guided by Robert’s Rules of Order, except as may be otherwise specified in the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws. All motions, except as may be otherwise specified in these documents, are determined by a majority of the votes cast. Roll-call votes are initiated only by the decision of the chairperson or by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting. The role of the parliamentarian is advisory only.

ARTICLE VIII:  AMENDMENTS

Amendments to the Bylaws may be adopted at any meeting of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate by a two-thirds vote of those present, provided that the amendments were presented in writing at a preceding regular meeting. 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.

Revisions ratified by University Faculty Senate, 15 November, 2016.