Approved by Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate as of May 2020 . This revised Constitution and Bylaws have not yet been ratified by the University Faculty Senate.
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 AND AUTHORITY
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 authority vested in this constitution has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate.
The Wilkes Barre Faculty Senate shall have the following functions:
- 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 and/or other appropriate administrators on any matter that may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the University, such as:
- the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of organizational units and areas of instruction or research
- policies concerning the planning of physical facilities when these may affect the attainment of the educational objectives of the campus
- policies and administration of the Nesbitt Library
- policies affecting campus development and utilization of resources
- matters pertaining to the general welfare of the campus
- overall educational policy and planning, as they affect instruction, research, and service
- campus calendar
- faculty affairs including academic personnel
- regulations affecting students
- general Campus admissions policy
- other appropriate matters.
- Forensic. To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among the members of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate and among members of other groups of the academic community. To this extent, all members of the administration and invited guests may attend Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meetings and may be granted privileges of the floor, following the process described in Section VI of the Bylaws.
- Informational. To receive and disseminate information to the Senate and the Campus that is deemed important by the Senate or its committees.
- 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.
The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate interprets its Constitution and Bylaws.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate consists of all full-time faculty and all professional ranks and equivalent ranks as deﬁned in AC-21.
The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate additionally includes any adjunct faculty, deﬁned as an individual who has been contracted to teach a minimum of (1) credit course within the current academic year.
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. If this number includes a fraction, then the result shall be rounded down. These student members have voting privileges.
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 semester. If this number includes a fraction, then the result shall be rounded down. The Chancellor shall communicate the names of the appointed ex-officio members to the chairperson no later than the end of the first week of classes in the fall semester. Failure to adhere to this requirement shall result in the loss of these ex-officio members for the current academic year. 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 WILKES-BARRE FACULTY SENATE
The officers of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate are the Chairperson, the Chairperson-elect, the Secretary and the Parliamentarian.
The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate elects a Chairperson-elect, from among its full-time faculty members, who shall serve in this office for one academic year prior to assuming the office of Chairperson of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.
The chairperson appoints a Secretary and a Parliamentarian from faculty members to serve for the current academic year.
The Executive Committee consists especially of the Chairperson, immediate past Chairperson, Chairperson-elect, Secretary, Parliamentarian, two members at large elected by the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate from its faculty members, the senior University College Faculty Council Representative, the senior University Faculty Senator from Penn State Wilkes-Barre, and the Chancellor. This committee acts as an advisory and consultative group to the Chancellor. It also advises the Chairperson and Chairperson-elect on the composition of standing committees of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.
ARTICLE V: OPERATIONS OF THE WILKES-BARRE FACULTY SENATE
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.
In order to conduct business, a quorum of 10 voting members of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate must be present.
Only 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. The Executive Committee will from time to time establish policy and/or procedures to guide the implementation of said “electronic meetings.”
With a two-thirds vote of the membership, the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate has the authority to deliberate in closed session in which ex-officio members do not participate or attend.
ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS
Any change to this Constitution or its Bylaws constitutes an amendment. 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 or their designee. Following approval, the amended Constitution and/or its Bylaws will be submitted by the chairperson to the University Faculty Senate for ratification. An amendment shall take effect upon approval by the University Faculty Senate. An amendment to the Constitution or Bylaws shall be published and include the date of ratification.
ARTICLE I: ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES
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 Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate members, including its Chair. Committee members’ tenure is one calendar year.
The Election Committee 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, members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee and members of the Promotion Committee for Teaching-Line faculty. The Election Committee also conducts elections in special circumstances that may occur through the year.
The Election Committee uses the following procedure for all elections:
- The Committee requests written nominations for all open positions. Each nominee must accept nomination in writing.
- All elections are by secret ballot. The Committee assures the eligibility of nominees and the confidentiality of all ballots.
- Only tenured or tenure-eligible faculty are eligible to vote for elected members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.
- Only teaching-line faculty are eligible to vote for elected members of the promotion committee for teaching-line faculty.
- 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. Elections of University College Faculty Council Representatives and University Faculty Senators shall be conducted and results reported by the end of the fall semester.
- Special elections may be held as needed under procedures established by the Election Committee.
- Election results are reported individually to all Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate members by the last day of classes in the semester in which they occur and at the next regularly scheduled Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meeting.
ARTICLE II: OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
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 or appointment.
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.
The Chairperson-elect 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.
The secretary keeps the official roll, and sees that notices, agendas, and minutes of Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate meetings are published in a timely manner and performs other duties appropriate to this office.
The Parliamentarian advises the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate concerning procedure.
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, suggesting faculty representation to serve on search and screen committees for campus administrative positions, and any other business which comes before the Executive Committee. This committee has no legislative powers.
ARTICLE III: COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND FORMATION
The Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate may, by a two-thirds vote, create or terminate standing committees.
The membership of standing committees is determined by the chairperson and and chair-elect, 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.
The term of office for faculty members on standing and ad hoc committees is one academic year. A faculty member may succeed himself/herself on a committee.
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.
Every committee reports its activities and deliberations to the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate at each meeting. Recommendations from standing committees to the administration require approval by the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate prior to being transmitted to the administration.
ARTICLE IV: STANDING COMMITTEES
Section 1: The Academic Affairs Committee
Membership: One of the ex-officio members described in Article III Section 4 of the Constitution, at least three faculty members; and one student from the list of students members described in Article III Section 3 of the Constitution.
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.
Section 2: Student Affairs Committee
Membership: One of the ex-officio members described in Article III Section 4 of the Constitution, at least three faculty members; and two student from the list of students members described in Article III Section 3 of the Constitution.
Duties: This committee advises the Office of Student Affairs on extracurricular activities scholarships and awards, and other matters related to student affairs.
Section 3: Library Committee
Membership: The Head Librarian, at least three faculty members, and one student from the list of student members described in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution.
Duties: This committee is consultative and advisory to the Head 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. Additionally, this committee is charged with developing, promoting and executing the annual Celebration of Scholarship event in collaboration with the Scholarly Academic Committee.
Section 4: Scholarly Activities Committee
Membership: One of the ex-officio members described in Article III Section 4 of the Constitution and at least three 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. The committee also distributes research funds specifically earmarked for this committee. Additionally, this committee is charged developing, promoting and executing the annual Celebration of Scholarship event in collaboration with the Library Committee.
Section 5: Faculty Affairs Committee
Membership: Three or more faculty members, including the Chairperson of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate. The Chairperson of the committee must be a tenured faculty member.
Duties: This committee recommends the composition of search and screen committees for new faculty members, staff and administrators. This committee will discuss, review and recommend on matters concerning the rights and responsibilities of faculty members. It is empowered to study any situation or grievance brought to it by any member of the campus faculty or administration and make appropriate recommendations.
Section 6: Promotion and Tenure Committee
Membership: Faculty of high rank and tenure, as directed by AC-23, comprising of:
i) Second-, fourth-, and sixth-year reviews and promotion to associate professor: Two members, hereinafter referred to as the core, elected by the tenure-line faculty from the campus, plus three ad hoc members selected by the administration. Of these five, a minimum of three members will be within the candidate’s disciplinary area.
ii) Promotion: Professor review committee: Three professors, two of whom will be within the disciplinary area of the candidate.
For both i) and ii): In the event that the committee cannot be constituted entirely from the campus’ faculty, the ad hoc members will be chosen by the appropriate administration from the lists of elected members from each discipline within the University College.
Duties: To review dossiers of candidates and provide the campus administration with a letter of recommendation as described in AC-23. 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 7: Promotion Committee for Teaching-Line faculty
i) For promotions to second level: Two members, hereinafter referred to as the core, elected by the eligible faculty from the campus plus three ad hoc members selected by the administration. Of these five, at least three members will be within the candidate’s disciplinary area.
ii) For promotions to the third level: Three members elected by the eligible faculty from the campus. Of these three members at least two will be within the candidate’s disciplinary area.
For i) and ii), in the event that the committee cannot be constituted entirely from the campus’ faculty, the ad hoc members will be chosen by the appropriate administration from the lists resulting from the elections carried out by the different disciplines in the University College.
Duties: To review the dossiers of teaching-line candidates for promotion to second and third level and provide the campus administration with a letter of recommendation. 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 8: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Membership: Five or more faculty members and one or more students from the list of student members described in Article III Section 3 of the Constitution.
Duties: This committee promotes a safe, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming campus climate. This committee promotes and conducts activities for students, faculty, and staff that foster respect for others, acceptance of differences among people, civil discourse, and cultural competency. This committee prepares campus responses to issues, problems, and incidents related to cultural, social, and political differences and conflicts.
ARTICLE V: SPECIAL COMMITTEES
The chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may create ad hoc committees. The faculty may, by a majority vote, create additional other ad hoc committees.
ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS
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.
Upon the request of the Chancellor, the chairperson will convene the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.
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.
A majority of the members present at any meeting may change the date for any subsequent meeting.
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.
The Chairperson reserves the right to recognize and offer privileges of the floor to any individual in attendance at any meeting of the Wilkes-Barre Faculty Senate.
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.