The Pennsylvania State University
York Campus Senate Constitution
Adopted September 1971
Revised November 2004
Approved January 18, 2005
Revised March 24, 2014
Approved April 8, 2014
Revised September 17,2020
Approved February 16, 2021
Article I: Name and Authority
The name of the legislative and advisory group herein described is the York Campus Senate, and the authority vested to it in this constitution has been delegated by the University Faculty Senate.
Article II: Objectives
The York Campus Senate works to:
- contribute to fulfilling the mission of the campus by formulating specific goals, identifying the most effective methods of achieving these goals, and implementing these methods through the most appropriate means and constituencies, and
- promote a cooperative spirit and collegiality among the various constituencies of the campus community and encourage the professional development of all these groups.
Matters specifically within the province of the University Faculty Senate shall be excluded from the preceding.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: Full-Time Faculty Members
All full-time faculty shall be members of the York Campus Senate.
Section 2: Part-Time Faculty Members
Part-time faculty members teaching credit courses shall elect representatives from their ranks as Senate members. The total number of these representatives shall not exceed 10% of the full-time faculty Senators. The election shall be held each fall semester under the supervision of the Senate Chair and in consultation with the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs (ADAA). Should a vacancy occur among the part-time faculty Senators, it will be filled by the candidate with the next highest vote total.
Section 3: Administrative and Staff Members
The Chancellor and the Director of Academic Affairs (DAA) shall be ex-officio members of the Senate.
The Chancellor appoints other campus administrative and staff personnel to serve as members of the Senate on an annual basis. The total number of administrative and staff members shall not exceed 10 percent of the full-time faculty Senators.
Section 4: Student Members
Student members shall be chosen each fall semester in a manner determined by the Penn State York student government association (SGA). Student members must be enrolled and in good academic standing.The total number of student members shall not exceed 10 percent of the full-time faculty Senators.
Article IV: Officers
Section 1: Roster and Terms of Office
The officers are a Chair, a Chair-elect, and a Secretary. The Chair-elect serves in this position for one year, and then succeeds as Chair for a one-year term. The Secretary serves a one year term.
The term of office is the academic year, upon announcement of the results of the election.
Section 2: Election
Officers shall be elected from among the full-time faculty having at least two semesters of service at the York Campus prior to the semester in which nominated.
The Chair forms a nominating committee in the spring semester to solicit candidates for Chair-elect and Secretary. If there are not at least two voluntary candidates for an office, the names of all eligible faculty shall be placed in nomination. Faculty who intend to take sabbatical leave during the term of office, those in probationary status, and those who have served during the present or preceding year as Campus Senate officers, University Senators, or members of the Strategic Planning Committee may withdraw their names from nomination.
Election of officers shall be completed by the end of the Spring Semester. Voting shall be by secret ballot, and a simple majority is sufficient for election. Should no candidate receive a majority, a run-off election will be conducted with the two persons who receive the most votes as candidates.
Section 3: Duties of Officers
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Senate, designate the time and place of all meetings, prepare an agenda for each meeting and appoint standing committees and coordinate their work. The Chair shall also supervise the work of the nominating committee and the election(s) of promotion and tenure committees, the ombudsperson, and faculty representatives to other) bodies (for example, the University Faculty Senate, the Penn State York Strategic Planning Committee, and the Penn State York Enrollment Management Team). The Chair may represent the Senate on other Campus bodies, according to their rules.
To coordinate the work of standing committees, the Chair will convene meetings with the Chair-elect and the committee chairs at least once each semester. Each committee chair normally will be chosen by the committee members who served on the previous year’s committee (except as specified in the Bylaws).
The Chair appoints all committees except as specified in the Bylaws. In appointing committees, the Chair will consider each faculty member’s request for committee assignment and normally will appoint a faculty member to no more than one committee (not including standing sub-committees).
Authority for determining which committee should address particular issues rests with the Chair, subject to the specification of committee functions in the Bylaws. Persons who wish the Senate or a committee to address a particular issue should make their request to the Senate Chair.
The Chair shall vote only when a single vote would be decisive.
The Chair-elect shall assist the Chair and assume the Chair’s duties in the latter’s absence. The Chair-elect shall represent the faculty at meetings of the campus administrative staff.
The Secretary shall be responsible for the publication and distribution of meeting notices, agenda, proposals, and other communications as directed by the Chair. Proposals for new business by committees must be distributed to all members at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at which they are to be discussed. Except as otherwise provided, all meeting notices and agenda shall be distributed at least 48 hours in advance.
The Secretary shall likewise be responsible for the recording, publication, and distribution of minutes of each meeting. The Secretary shall ensure that all minutes and legislation are added to the Senate’s electronic record and are provided to the Head Librarian, who maintains the Senate Archive, and to the coordinator of publications and promotion who maintains the Senate web-page.
The Secretary shall preside over scheduled meetings in the absence of the other officers.
Section 4: Vacancies
In the event the Chair is vacated, the Chair-elect will take the place of the Chair.
In the event the Chair-elect is vacated, there will be a new election in the next Senate meeting to fill the vacated position.
In the event the Secretary's position is vacated, there will be a new election in the next Senate meeting to fill the vacated position.
Elections to fill vacated offices will be conducted as closely as is feasible in accordance with the procedures specified in Section 2, above.
Article V: Meetings
Section 1: Frequency
Meetings shall be held at least twice each semester and will be called by the Chair as required.
It shall be the duty of the Chair to call a meeting upon the request of a majority of Senate members.
Section 2: Quorum
A quorum shall consist of at least 40% of the members of the Senate. No business may be legally transacted without a quorum.
Section 3: Conduct of Meetings
Meetings are open to any member of the campus community. The Chair may invite persons who are not Senate members to speak at meetings on appropriate issues.
The normal order of business shall be as follows:
- Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting.
- Communications from administration, faculty, staff, students, and committees (when necessary for the conduct of business).
- Unfinished Business.
- New Business.
- Forensic Business.
Section 4: Voting
Eligibility to vote: All members as defined in Article III, Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Unless otherwise stated, motions shall be carried by a simple majority of the members present in a legally constituted quorum. Voting concerning individuals will be by secret ballot, either paper or electronic, and returned to the Secretary. Two persons designated by the Chair may assist the Secretary in tallying the vote if requested by the Chair. The Secretary will inform the Chair of the results. All other voting will be by voice, including in-person and remote electronic meetings, or show of hands, unless a majority approves voting by ballot or by roll call.
Absentee voting on a specific motion or motions shall be permitted, but such a vote shall not be allowed as part of the quorum count. Absentee votes must be delivered to the Chair, in writing, prior to the meeting.
Section 5: Parliamentary Authority
The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised is the parliamentary authority in those matters to which it is applicable unless it is inconsistent with other rules specified in this document.
Article VI. Amendment
This Constitution and its Bylaws may be supplemented or amended by a 2/3 vote of the members at a meeting duly convened after notice to the members of the purpose of the meeting. No addition to or change of the Constitution or Bylaws may be made, however, unless the proposed addition or change is transmitted in writing to the members at least ten days prior to the meeting in which it is to be considered.
Before formal adoption, any campus approved amendments to the Constitution must be reviewed and approved by the University Faculty Senate.