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SENATE From the Senate Chair
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February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20

Under Section 15 of the Rules of the Faculty Senate, notification or distribution to members of the Faculty Senate may be accomplished by publication in Almanac. The following is published pursuant to that rule.

To:          Members of the Faculty Senate

From:     Sherri Adams, Chair

Subject: Notice of Special Meeting of Faculty Senate to Consider Changes to Rules of the Faculty Senate

Background information. This revision of the Senate rules is a recommendation from the Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs to abolish the Senate Committee on Conduct.

The Senate Committee on Conduct was created in 1988 as a forum for the consideration of complaints by “a student or staff member who believes that she or he has been subjected to racial, ethnic, or sexual harassment by a faculty member….”  The Senate Committee on Conduct is one of a number of University mechanisms for dealing with such complaints.

The Senate Committee on Conduct has had very few cases brought to it since its creation and the committee has not met since 1993; except in 1996 to explore if this committee was necessary.  The committee recommended, in their 1996 report, that the Committee on Conduct be continued through Academic Year 1999 and if no further cases come forward, the committee’s continuation should be reconsidered in 1999. 

Other University mechanisms to address harassment obviate the need for the Senate Committee on Conduct and the Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs recommend the elimination of this committee.

1) Notice of Meeting. A special meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 2:30 p.m., College Hall Room 205. Adjournment will be no later than 3 p.m.

2) Agenda. The agenda for the special meeting follows:

a) Call to order.

b) Proposal pursuant to Section 17 of the Rules of the Faculty Senate to amend those Rules as follows:

i) To amend rule Section 4. The Chair shall be the principal executive officer and shall have such powers as are appropriate to the office. The Chair shall call meetings of the Senate and of the Executive Committee, prepare the agenda for each meeting, and preside at the meetings. The Chair shall appoint members of committees, as provided herein. The Chair shall publish in Almanac by the third week in April a comprehensive report of the work of the Senate for the current academic year and probable significant issues for the succeeding academic year. The Chair shall be ex officio a member of all Senate committees, including the Executive Committee but excepting the Nominating Committee, the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and the Committee on Conduct.

ii) To amend rule Section 6.  The Chair-elect, in the absence of the Chair or at his or her request, shall substitute for the Chair. The Chair-elect shall be ex officio a member of all Senate committees, including the Executive Committee and the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, but excluding the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Conduct.

iii) To amend rule Section 9.(c) (i).  There shall be a Nominating Committee of nine members whose function is to nominate candidates for elections to the offices of the Senate, the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and the Senate Committee on Conduct.

iv) To amend rule Section 9.(g) The Committee on Conduct (i) There shall be a Senate Committee on Conduct consisting of six tenured members of the Senate, three to be elected each year. (ii) The Committee on Conduct shall elect its own chair who will serve at the pleasure of the Committee on Conduct. (iii) The Committee on Conduct shall hear complaints of harassment by students or staff members using procedures developed by the Senate Committee on Conduct. The Senate Committee on Conduct will operate in accord with the resolution proposing its creation and adopted by the Senate on 12 July 1988.

v) To amend rule Section 12. (j).  In the case of the Committee on Conduct each member may vote for up to three candidates. The three persons receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. Tie votes shall be resolved by lot.

vi) To amend rule Section 13. (f). The Committee on Conduct. Members of the Committee on Conduct shall serve for a term of two years beginning the first of May following their election.

vii) To amend rule Section 14. (i). The Committee on Conduct.  Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the Senate Committee on Conduct, the Executive Committee shall select a successor following the procedures outlined in Section 9(f) who shall serve until the Senate elections of the following spring at which time a successor shall be elected.

c) The amended Rules as they would read as amended may be found at: www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v55/n20/sec.html

d) Adjournment (3 p.m.).

Related: Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda;
Seeking Sustainability: Online

 

Almanac - February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20