Penn Professional Staff Assembly: Revised By-Laws

(February, 2000)

These by-laws contain recommended changes and are pending approval by a two-third vote of PPSA members at the organization's meeting scheduled for March 16. Note: information in italics reflects changes to current by-laws.

Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be Penn Professional Staff Assembly.

Article II: Membership

Members of this organization shall all be employed by the University of Pennsylvania as monthly paid, exempt staff, excepting those individuals having primary academic appointments.

Members of this organization shall be professional, administrative, and research individuals who are employed by the University of Pennsylvania as monthly paid, exempt individuals (A-1 employees), excepting those individuals having primary academic appointments.

Article III: Purpose

The purposes of this organization shall be to:

  • provide a forum whereby opinions of members can be collected and expressed on problems facing the University and higher education and to act as liaison to express the views and concerns of the members to the senior administration;
  • provide a mechanism for supplying voting representatives to sit on all major University committees affecting members and their respective functions.
  • provide regularly scheduled meetings of the organization whereby communications across departmental lines can be fostered.
  • further the status of members and their functions within the University and the field of higher education.
  • inform members of the resources available within the University and the field of higher education to further their career and professional development.

The purpose of this organization shall be:

  • To provide seminars and programs which would enable new and experienced A-2 employees to broaden and expand their individual background and knowledge.
  • To provide a forum whereby opinions of A-1 employees can be collected and expressed on problem facing the University and higher education.
    • To provide a mechanism for supplying voting representatives to sit on all major University committees affecting A-2 employees and their respective functions.
    • To provide a regularly scheduled meeting of the organization whereby communications across departmental lines can be fostered.
  • To provide a supporting network of services to A-1 employees so that the goals and objectives of the University of Pennsylvania may be better achieved
  • To further the professional status of A-1 employees and their functions within the University and the field of higher education.

Article IV: Officers and Executive Committee

The officers shall consist of a Chairperson, a Chairperson-elect, a Vice Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson-elect. The officers shall be members other than those holding administrative positions in the University at the level of vice president or above.

There shall be an Executive Committee, consisting of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Chairperson-elect, Vice Chairperson-elect, the immediate past Chairperson, and the six (6) members elected by the general membership after they have been nominated in the same manner as the officers.

Chair: The Chair shall be the principal executive officer. The Chair shall call meetings, prepare the agenda, and preside over the meetings. The Chair,, together with the Chair-elect, shall prepare a written statement for publication in Almanac summarizing the Assembly's activities of the past year and plans for the upcoming year. The Chair shall appoint members to committees. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, excepting the Nominating Committee. The Chair shall sit on University Council and the University Council Steering Committees. This position has the authority to designate maintenance of the website to an Executive Committee member or create a special non-voting position specifically for this function.

The Chairperson shall be the principal executive officer and shall have such powers as are appropriate to the office. The chairperson shall call meetings, prepare the agenda, and preside over the meetings. The Chairperson, together with the Chairperson-elect, shall prepare a written statement for publication in Almanac summarizing the Assembly's activities of the past year and plans for the upcoming year. The Chairperson shall appoint members of committees, as provided herein. The Chairperson shall be ex-officio a member of all committees, including the Executive Committee, but excepting the Nominating Committee.

Chair-elect: In the absence of the Chair or at his/her request, the Chair-elect shall substitute for the Chair. This person will serve as the PPSA representative on University Council's Committee on Committees, coordinate the appointment of PPSA representatives to all University Council committees and serve as liaison between committee members and the Board. The Chair-elect will regularly attend University Council meeting. Together with the Chair, the Chair-elect shall prepare a written statement for publication in Almanac summarizing the Assembly's activities of the past year and plans for the upcoming year.

The Chairperson-elect, in the absence of the Chairperson or at his/her request, shall substitute for the Chairperson. The Chairperson-elect shall be ex-officio a member of the Executive Committee.

Past Chairperson-elect: This position will act as historian of the group and advisor to the chairperson.

Vice Chair: The Vice Chair will chair the Nomination Committee. Prior to the first meeting in each academic year the Vice-Chair shall prepare and thereafter maintain an official list of PPSA members.

The Vice-Chairperson shall record the proceedings of the Executive Committee meetings and also functions as the Treasurer. The Vice-Chairperson shall be ex-officio a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to the first meeting in each academic year the Vice-Chairperson shall prepare and thereafter maintain an official list of members.

Vice Chair-elect: The Vice Chair-elect shall record the minutes at general membership meetings and executive board meetings. In the absence of the Vice-Chair or at his/her request, shall substitute for the Vice Chair. This position will act as Treasurer if a budget is granted.

The Vice Chairperson-elect, in the absence of the Vice-Chairperson or at his/her request, shall substitute for the Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson -elect shall be ex-officio a member of the Executive Committee.

Each officer shall hold office for one (1) year beginning during the month of May following election or succession to office, and shall remain in office until his/her successor takes office. Incoming and outgoing officers shall arrange for the transition to be effected conveniently.

Six (6) Elected Members (Members at Large): The members-at-large shall advise the Chair, Chair-elect, Vice Chair, and Vice Chair-elect on issues relevant to professional staff concerns, opinions and issues. The six (6) elected members shall serve for two (2) years, three (3) being elected each year; they may not succeed themselves without a lapse of at least one (1) year, but may be eligible for an officer position. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall appoint a successor, who shall serve until the final spring meeting, at which time a successor shall be elected for the balance of the unexpired term.

The six (6) elected members shall serve for two (2) years, three (3) being elected each year; they may not succeed themselves without a lapse of at least one (1) year. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall appoint a successor who shall serve until the final spring meeting, at which time a successor shall be elected for the balance of the unexpired term.

Article V: Elections

Voting--When the nominations have been presented at the final spring meeting a vote of the membership shall be taken. In the case of officers, a majority of those present and voting is required for election. If no candidate receives the necessary majority, a run-off election shall be held between the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes on the first ballot. There shall be no voting by proxy. A special election will be held if the position of chair-elect or vice-chair elect becomes vacant before December 31 and the chairperson or vice-chairperson is unable to remain in their position for another year. If the position becomes vacant after December 31, and the chairperson or vice chairperson is unable to remain in the position, the position will remain vacant until the regular spring election.

Nominations--At least forty-five (45) days in advance of the final spring meeting, the Vice Chair shall circulate to the members a notice of the positions to be filled by election and an invitation to suggest candidates for those positions, with supporting letters if desired. The Vice-Chair shall transmit all replies to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall select and secure acceptance of nomination of two or more candidates for each position to be filled by election. If only one nomination is received for a position, the Committee shall solicit at least one more nomination. If one cannot be found, the one nomination will be put forward to the membership. The list of candidates compiled by the Nominating Committee shall be circulated to the members, together with a brief biographical statement on each candidate, as an enclosure to the agenda at the final spring meeting at which the election is to be held. At the spring meeting, the Nominating Committee shall formally nominate its candidates for the respective positions.

At least forty-five (45) days in advance of the final spring meeting, the Vice-Chairperson shall circulate to the members a notice of the positions to be filled by election and an invitation to suggest candidates for those positions, with supporting letters if desired. The Vice-Chairperson shall transmit all replies to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating committee shall select and secure acceptance of nomination of two or more candidates for each position to be filled by election. The list of candidates compiled by the Nominating Committee shall be circulated to the members, together with a brief biographical statement on each candidate, as an enclosure to the agenda of the final spring meeting at which the election is to be held. At the spring meeting, the Nominating Committee shall formally nominate its candidates for the respective positions.

Article VI: Vacancies and Succession

If the Chair-elect is unable to move into the Chair position, the current Chair may elect to remain in the position for another year. If the Chair is unable to remain in the position and the Chair-elect leaves the position before December 31, a special election may be held. If the position becomes vacant after December 31 it will remain unfilled until the regular spring elections.

Vacancies--Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chairperson, the Chairperson-elect shall serve as Chairperson for the unexpired term. The Chairperson-elect shall thereafter remain in the office of the Chairperson for the following term.

If the Vice Chair-elect is unable to remain in the position, the Vice Chair can elect to stay in the position, with the approval of the Executive Committee, for another year. If the Vice-Chair is unable to remain in the position, the position will remain vacant until the regular spring election.

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson-elect shall serve as Vice Chairperson for the unexpired term. The Vice Chairperson-elect shall thereafter remain in office of Vice Chairperson for the following term.

Executive Committee--Whenever a vacancy occurs among the members of the Executive committee who do not serve ex-officio, the Executive Committee shall appoint a successor, who shall serve until the final spring meeting, at which time a successor shall be elected for the balance of the unexpired term.

Article VII: Committees

Executive Committee--There shall be an Executive Committee, consisting of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Chairperson-elect, Vice Chairperson-elect, the immediate past Chairperson, and the six (6) members elected by the general membership after they have been nominated in the same manner as the officers.

The officers and the Executive committee should be broadly representative of the departments throughout the University. In addition to the functions described elsewhere in these by-laws the Executive committee shall be consulted by the officers for guidance in all matters on which action is indicated, or on which consultation with the officers of the University is contemplated. The Executive committee shall also nominate persons to serve on consultative committees. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall be six (6).

Nominating Committee--There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of at least three (3) members representing a cross-section of the professional population. At least 60 days in advance of the final spring meeting, the Vice Chair shall publish an announcement inviting interested members to serve on the Nominating Committee. In the event that there is an insufficient response to fully staff the Nominating Committee, the Chair shall, within forty-five (45) days of the final spring meeting, appoint the balance of the committee with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.

Nominating Committee--There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of five (5) members representing a cross-section of the A-1 population. At least 60 days in advance of the final spring meeting, the Vice Chairperson shall publish an announcement inviting interested members to serve on the Nominating Committee. In the event that there is not sufficient response to fully staff the Nominating Committee, the Chairperson shall, within forty-five (45) days of the final spring appoint the balance of the committee with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.

Standing Committees--The Chairperson shall appoint a representative from the membership to serve on each of the University Standing Committees including, but not limited to, the Almanac Advisory Board, the Benefits Committee,and the Parking Violations Board. These representatives may not serve on more than one (1) standing committee nor may they be elected members of the Executive Committee.

Standing Committees--The Chairperson shall appoint a representative from the membership to serve on each of the University Standing Committees including, but not limited to, the Almanac Advisory Board, the Benefits Committee, the Parking Violations Board and University Council. These representatives may not serve on more than one (1) standing committee nor may they be elected members of the Executive Committee.

Ad Hoc Committees--There shall be appointed such ad hoc committees as the membership may direct, or as may be determined by the Chairperson after consultation with the Executive Committee.

Article VIII: Meetings

There shall be an annual spring meeting for the purpose of holding elections as provided by these by-laws and for such other business as may come before the membership. The time and place of the annual spring meeting shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

A meeting will be held at the beginning of the academic year to start the new membership year. At least one professional development meeting will be held during the year.

A quorum of the assembly shall consist of thirty (30) members.

Article IX: Amendments

Amendments to these by-laws must be initiated by a letter signed by at least ten (10) members and submitted to the Executive Committee for transmittal to the members at large at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be acted on. A majority vote of those members present and voting at the meeting is necessary for approval.

Article X: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in Roberts' Rules of Order Revised shall govern meetings of this assembly in all cases in which they are applicable and in which are not inconsistent with these by-laws.

Article XI: Adoption

These by-laws shall be adopted when approved by a two-third vote of the members present and voting at the organization meeting.


Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 23, February 29, 2000

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