Faculty Senate of the University of Pennsylvania

Faculty Senate Rules

The University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate was established by the Trustees of the University, at faculty request, in 1952. The Senate is recognized in the Statutes of the University as the body in which full-time teaching faculty members may discuss and express their views upon any matter they deem to be of general interest to the faculty. The Senate is expressly empowered to request reports from the University administration, and to make recommendations directly to the President, the Provost, and the Trustees. Both of these powers are frequently exercised.

The Senate is also authorized by the Statutes to adopt its own rules and procedures. These rules were comprehensively revised by the Senate in 1981. Subsequent revisions were undertaken in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2006, and 2007. The present document contains all changes in the Senate rules adopted before March 21, 2007.

The University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate is a University-wide deliberative body; as such it normally considers issues which engage the attention of the faculty as a whole.* The membership of the Senate expresses its views and exerts its influence on the life of the University in many ways, all of which are aimed at the goal of the faculty being the principal determinant of the intellectual direction of the University.

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP

The Faculty Senate shall consist of all members of the standing faculty and of the standing faculty-clinician educators holding the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor. On issues directly related to tenure, or on issues involving the compensation of tenured faculty, voting shall be exclusive of standing faculty-clinician educators. The Senate Chair, with the advice of the Senate Executive Committee, shall identify issues subject to this rule. Emeritus members of the faculties shall be non-voting members of the Senate.

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Section 2. FUNCTION

The function of the Senate shall be to provide opportunity for its members to discuss and express their view upon any matter which they deem of interest to the faculty and to make recommendations and pass resolutions with respect thereto. In addition, it shall have the power to request and obtain reports from the University administration and to make recommendations directly to the president, the provost, and the trustees.

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Section 3. OFFICERS

The officers of the Senate shall consist of a Chair, a Past Chair, a Chair-elect, a Secretary, and a Secretary-elect. The officers shall be chosen from members of the Senate other than those holding administrative positions in the University at the level of dean or above. The Chair-elect shall be a full professor.

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Section 4. DUTIES OF THE CHAIR

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, and the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

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Section 5. DUTIES OF THE PAST CHAIR

The Past Chair shall be ex officio a member of the Executive Committee, the Senate Consultation Subcomittee and the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty.

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Section 6. DUTIES OF THE CHAIR-ELECT

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.

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Section 7. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

The Secretary, assisted by the Senate staff, shall perform the usual functions of such office and, as an officer of the Senate, such other functions as may be delegated by the Chair. The Secretary shall be ex officio a member and secretary of the Executive Committee.

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Section 8. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY-ELECT

The Secretary-elect, in the absence of the Secretary or at the Secretary's request, shall substitute for the Secretary. The Secretary- elect shall be ex officio a member of the Executive Committee.

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Section 9. STANDING COMMITTEES

(a) The Executive Committee

(i) There shall be an Executive Committee, consisting of the officers of the Senate for the current year, the Chair and Secretary of the preceding year, the Chair-elect and the Secretary-elect, fifty-one members of the Senate elected as hereafter prescribed and one non-voting representative from the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF). The Chair of the Senate shall preside over meetings of the Executive Committee.

(ii) The Executive Committee shall be broadly representative of the several schools and teaching areas of the University. In addition to the functions described elsewhere in these rules, in the Bylaws of the University Council and in other University policies, the Executive Committee shall be consulted by the officers of the Senate in matters on which Senate action is indicated, and on major issues on which consultation with the administrative officers of the University is contemplated.

(iii)The Executive Committee shall routinely act for the Senate on substantive policy issues, subject only to the limitation that it may not amend the rules of the Senate, and subject to the conditions that:

  • it must report all actions on substantive issues promptly to the members of the Senate through publication in Almanac or by other appropriate means and must announce them at the next Senate meeting;
  • if twenty members of the Senate protest any such action of the Executive Committee by written petition within two weeks of its publication, the action will not take effect unless and until it is ratified either at a special meeting of the Senate, or, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, by referendum. The Executive Committee may at its discretion choose to discharge its responsibility on certain issues by a binding mail ballot of the Senate membership, accompanied by explanatory material adequate to permit an informed vote.

(iv) The Chair of the Senate, with the advice of the Executive Committee:

  • shall publish as complete and as concisely descriptive as possible an agenda of Executive Committee meetings in advance in Almanac;
  • shall publish all actions taken by the Executive Committee that are not subject to restrictions of confidentiality in Almanac; and
  • shall ensure that accurate attendance records of Executive Committee meetings are maintained and that summaries of such records by members are published in Almanac at the end of each academic year.

(v) The Executive Committee shall also nominate faculty members to serve on consultative committees. In addition, the Chair, the Chair-Elect, Past-Chair, Secretary, Secretary-Elect, the three Assistant Professor members, and the thirty-six Constituency Representative members, and the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF) member shall serve as members of the University Council. It shall be the responsibility of members of the Executive Committee to report to their constituencies on the work of the University Council and the Executive Committee.

(vi) The Chair of the Senate may call meetings of the Executive Committee by email notification and make other distributions under these rules by email transmission. During the University's winter break and summer break the Chair may call a special meeting of the Executive Committee by notice published online in Almanac Between Issues together with email notification or by email notification alone if the Chair believes that online publication would cause an unreasonable delay. The Chair may call a special meeting during the winter or summer break only if the Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair believe that a delay would pose material risks to the interests of the Faculty Senate or the Executive Committee.

(vii) Motions for actions or resolutions by the Executive Committee may be made and seconded by members by email transmission in lieu of a formal motion made at a meeting. If the moving member proposes that the motion be subject to an email ballot, however, the motion must explain why consideration of the motion should occur before the next regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting of the Executive Committee. Votes on actions or resolutions of the Executive Committee may be taken by email transmission, on at least 10 days email notice by the Chair and only if the notice states that the Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair of the Senate believe that a delay would pose material risks to the interests of the Faculty Senate or the Executive Committee. An email ballot will not be conducted if, within five days after the Chair notifies Executive Committee members of a proposed email ballot, five or more members request that the subject of the proposed email ballot be voted on in a meeting. A motion will carry in an email ballot only if at least two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committee cast votes and the motion receives a simple majority of the votes cast.

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(b) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

(i)There shall be a Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility consisting of ten members, including the Chair-elect, and nine members of the Senate, three to be elected each year. No one shall serve on the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility who is a member of any other faculty committee on academic freedom and responsibility, a member of the Grievance Commission or Hearings List, the chair of a department, or a member of the administration of a school or of the University. In the event the Chair-elect is disqualified for any of these reasons, the Chair-elect shall remain a non-voting member.

(ii) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall elect its own chair.

(iii) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall maintain a current list of the standing committees on academic freedom and responsibility of each of the faculties of the University and, where necessary, take appropriate steps to cause such committees to be appointed in each of the faculties of the University. The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall advise and consult with such committees and administrative officers on the establishment of appropriate procedures to be followed in the event of a claim of violation of academic freedom or responsibility. The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall have power to make investigations, reports, and recommendations on any matter relating to academic freedom and responsibility within the University.

(iv) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall perform any duties falling to it under the regulations governing the faculty grievance procedure, as adopted by the Senate.

(v) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall insure that each faculty has a mechanism for implementing the provision of Article 9 of the Statutes of the University that “Each Faculty shall...determine the qualifications for membership in the Faculty.”

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(c) The Nominating Committee

(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, and the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

(ii) Each constituency representative on the Executive Committee shall submit, early during the spring semester one name from his or her constituency as a nominee for the Nominating Committee. All Senate members of the faculty member's constituency are eligible except members of the Executive Committee. In addition, the other members of the Executive Committee shall each submit a nominee for the Nominating Committee. From the faculty members so nominated the Executive Committee shall select eight candidates for the Nominating Committee. The Executive Committee shall select an additional candidate from its membership. The slate of candidates shall be circulated promptly to the Senate membership. The notice advising the Senate membership of the selections of the Executive Committee shall also contain an invitation for additional nominations, to be accomplished via petitions signed by at least twenty-five Senate members and accompanied by the signed approval of the candidate. All such petitions must be received no later than fourteen days subsequent to the circulation of the nominees of the Executive Committee. Nominations will be automatically closed fourteen days after the circulation of the slate selected by the Executive Committee. If no additional nominations are received, the slate nominated by the Executive Committee shall be declared elected. Should additional nominations be received, those nominated have the right to learn the names of all other candidates and withdraw within five days after closing of nominations. A mail ballot shall then be distributed indicating which nominees were nominated by petition and which by the Executive Committee. The ballot shall be circulated no later than fourteen days after the close of nominations. Voting shall be noncumulative, each member being entitled to vote for up to nine candidates. The polls shall be closed fourteen days after circulation of the ballots. The tally of the vote shall be the responsibility of the Chair and the Secretary. The Nominating Committee shall be composed of the nine nominees receiving the highest number of votes. In the case of ties, decisions shall be by lot.

(iii) The term of each member of the Nominating Committee shall be twelve months. The chair shall be designated by the Senate Executive Committee.

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(d) The Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty

(i) There shall be a Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, consisting of six members, in addition to the Chair, the Chair-elect, and the Past Chair of the Senate. Two members will be elected each year for terms of three years. If the Past Chair of the Senate is unable to serve, a replacement will be selected by the Executive Committee. The chair of the committee will be designated by the Senate Executive Committee.

(ii) The Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty shall gather and organize data on salaries and benefits and shall represent the faculty in the determination of University policy on salary issues. The committee shall issue an annual report on the economic status of the faculty. The Chair of the Senate, after consultation with the Senate Executive Committee, shall include each year as an item on the agenda of a Senate meeting any report that the committee may bring and any resolutions appropriate to it.

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(e) The Senate Consultation Subcommittee

(i) There shall be a Senate Consultation Subcommittee consisting of the Chair, the Chair-elect, and the Past Chair of the Senate. In the event that the Past Chair is unable to discharge this responsibility a replacement will be selected by the Senate Executive Committee from among the Secretary, the Past Secretary, and the members at large of the Executive Committee who have served for at least one year.

(ii) The Senate Consultation Subcommittee will meet regularly with the president and provost to discuss matters that concern the faculty and shall also constitute the faculty component of the University Committee on Consultation.

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(f) The Committee on Committees

(i) There shall be a Senate Committee on Committees consisting of the Chair, the Chair-elect and seven of the continuing members of the Executive Committee. This committee shall be charged with the responsibility of nominating candidates for all committees to which the Executive Committee makes appointments except the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Committees. Selection of this committee by the Executive Committee shall occur early during the spring semester, from among those members of the Executive Committee who shall be continuing members for the following year. The chair of the committee shall be appointed from the selected members by the Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Chair of the Senate. The Chair and Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate shall serve ex officio without voting rights.

(ii) The Committee on Committees shall be charged with submitting a slate including at least one and one-half times as many names as positions to be filled. This slate shall be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office for distribution to the members of the Executive Committee at least one week prior to the Executive Committee meeting at which the slate is to be presented. Additional nominations may be made at the Executive Committee meeting at which the slate is to be discussed and voted upon. However, if five or more members of the Executive Committee present at the meeting so request, a final vote on the slate shall take place at the following Executive Committee meeting.

(iii) If, by May 15, the Committee on Committees has been unable to identify and nominate for approval by the Executive Committee a sufficient number of members who are willing to serve on a Committee during the following academic year, the Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair of the Faculty Senate may identify and nominate additional members for approval by SEC.

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(g) Other Standing Committees Appointed by the Executive Committee

(i) There shall be the following committees:

(a) The Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission: The Committee oversees and advises the Executive Committee on matters relating to the University's policies and procedures concerning the academic mission, including the structure of the academic staff, the tenure system, faculty appointments and promotions, faculty research, and faculty governance. In general, the Committee deals with the matters covered by the following sections of the University's Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators:I.E.-F., I.H.2., II.A.-D.

(b) The Committee on Students and Educational Policy: The Committee oversees and advises the Executive Committee on matters relating to the University's policies and procedures on the admission and instruction of students, including academic integrity, admissions policies and administration, evaluation of teaching, examinations and grading, academic experiences, educational opportunities (such as study abroad), student records, disciplinary systems, and the campus environment. In general the Committee deals with the matters covered by the following section of the University's Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators: IV.;

(c) The Committee on Faculty and the Administration: The Committee oversees and advises the Executive Committee on matters relating to the faculty's interface with the University's administration, including policies and procedures relating to the University's structure, the conditions of faculty employment (such as personnel benefits), and information. In general the Committee deals with the matters covered by the following sections of the University's Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators: I.A.-D., I.G.-H.1., I.K., II.E., III., V., VI.

(d) The Committee on Publication Policy for Almanac: The Committee maintains oversight over Almanac's guidelines and publication policies and the relationships between Almanac and other University news and information sources. It advises the Editor of Almanac on publication issues when necessary or requested. In particular the Editor will consult it, or, when appropriate, theAlmanac Advisory Board, of which it forms the faculty representation, when considering refusal of a contribution on any grounds other than legal liabilitiy.

(e) The Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity: The Committee (i) identifies and promotes best practices for faculty developments, mentoring, and work environment to facilitate faculty success at all career levels; (ii) evaluates and advocates processes for faculty recruitment, promotion, and retention that promote diversity, equity, and work/life balance for the faculty; (iii) monitors the status of faculty development, mentoring, diversity, and equity; and (iv) issues periodic reports on the activities and findings of the committee and make recommendations for implementation.

The committees shall each consist of at least six members, including the Chair and Chair-elect of the Senate. The members and chair of each committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee following the procedure outlined in Section 9(f). The terms of office of the members and chair of each committee shall be one year, commencing at the inception of the academic year, with no limit on the number of reappointments.

(ii) The committees shall deal with their respective general charges such other matters as may be referred to them from time to time by the Senate, the Executive Committee, or the Chair of the Senate. The titles and general charges of the committees shall be indicative, but not restrictive, of the matters that may be referred to the committees.

(iii) In addition, the Senate Committee on Publication Policy for Almanac shall perform the functions assigned to it in the “Guide for Readers and Contributors” of Almanac.

(h) Electronic Communication

The Chair of a standing committee or ad hoc committee (Section 10) of the Senate may call a meeting of the committee by email notification and make other distributions by email transmission. Motions for actions or resolutions by a Senate committee may be made and seconded by members by email transmission in lieu of a formal motion made at a meeting. If the moving member proposes that the motion be subject to an email ballot, however, the motion must explain why consideration of the motion should occur before the next regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting of the committee. Votes by a Senate committee may be taken by email transmission unless 3 members of the committee request a meeting. A motion will carry only if at least two-thirds of the members of the committee cast votes and the motion receives a simple majority of the votes cast.

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Section 10. OTHER COMMITTEES

There shall be such ad hoc committees as the Senate may direct, or as may be determined by the Chair after consultation with the Executive Committee. Ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Executive Committee.

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Section 11. MEETINGS

(a) Special Meetings.

Special meetings may be called by the Chair, and whenever requested in writing by twenty members of the Senate the Chair shall call a special meeting. The Chair shall cause notice of the time and place of each special meeting to be given at least seven days prior to the meeting. Unless the Senate directs otherwise, the time and place of each meeting shall be determined by the Chair.

During the University's winter break and summer break the Chair may call a special meeting of the Senate by notice published online in Almanac Between Issues together with email notification or by email notification alone if the Chair believes the online publication would cause an unreasonable delay. The Chair may call a special meeting during the winter or summer break only if the Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past Chair believe that a delay would pose material risks to the interests of the Senate.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the Chair may call a meeting of the Senate on such notice as he or she deems appropriate solely for the purposes of information exchange and discussion; no resolution may be adopted, however, if the notice does not conform to the time requirements stated above.

(b) Quorum.

A quorum for the Senate meeting shall be 100 members. However, if an agenda duly distributed prior to the meeting specifies a definite time of adjournment, and if a quorum is present to start the meeting, the loss of a quorum shall not prevent action, prior to the set adjournment time, on resolutions distributed in advance of the meeting. In the absence of a quorum an item on the agenda shall be referred to a mail ballot of the Senate membership provided that at least 50 members vote and a majority of them support a resolution referring the issue to a mail ballot. The minutes of each meeting shall contain a record of the number in attendance from each faculty.

(c) Agenda.

The Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall prepare the agenda for special Senate meetings. The agenda shall describe the subjects to be debated at the meeting. The agenda shall include any subject requested in writing by five or more members of the Senate prior to circulation of the agenda, or at least seven days prior to the meeting, whichever shall occur later, unless the Chair, after consultation with the Executive Committee shall deem it advisable to limit the agenda to the item or items giving rise to the special meeting. The agenda shall be distributed at least seven days prior to any regular or special meeting. Committee reports and texts of available proposed resolutions relevant to the subjects to be considered by the Senate not previously distributed shall be distributed with the agenda.

(d) Resolutions.

Resolutions germane to any subject set forth in the agenda may be passed by a majority vote of members present and voting if the conditions of 11(b) are met. Other matters may be brought up for discussion by any member at any meeting if the conditions of 11(b) are met, provided also that Senate action upon such matters shall require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, and provided, further, that proposed amendments to these rules may be offered only in accordance with the provisions of Section 17. A resolution may refer an issue to a binding mail ballot of the Senate membership, accompanied by explanatory material adequate to permit an informed vote.

(e) Reconsideration by Mail Ballot.

Votes on an issue at a Senate meeting may be reconsidered by mail ballot when the total of the votes for and against the resolution in question at the meeting is less than 100 and when the prevailing vote at the meeting lacks a three-fourths majority of those present and voting at the meeting. When these conditions are met, reconsideration through a mail ballot shall take place if a petition requesting such reconsideration, signed by at least 100 members of the Faculty Senate, is presented to the Chair of the Senate within two weeks of the meeting at which the original vote occurred. Insofar as possible, the propositions to be included in the mail ballot should be identical to those originally considered at the Senate meeting. The Chair of the Senate shall be responsible for the formulation of the proposition or propositions to be voted on through mail ballot. When mail ballots are used to reconsider a vote at a Senate meeting, those ballots shall be distributed within three weeks of the meeting at which the original vote occurred, and, to be valid, must be received by the Faculty Senate Office within three weeks of their date of distribution. The Chair of the Senate shall endeavor to see that position papers on the issue in question are published in Almanac at the time the mail ballots are distributed. The result of a mail ballot will dominate an earlier vote on the floor of the Senate only if the sum of the prevailing count by mail exceeds that count on the floor.

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Section 12. ELECTIONS

(a) Succession of Officers.

The Chair-elect shall automatically succeed to the office of Chair and the Secretary-elect shall automatically suceed to the office of Secretary.

(b) Nominations and Voting

(i) Election by the Faculty At Large

(a) At least seventy days in advance of the third Wednesday in April, the Chair shall distribute to the members of the Senate a notice of the positions to be filled by election and an invitation to suggest candidates for those positions with supporting letters if desired.

(b) The Chair shall transmit all replies to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall select and secure acceptance of nomination from one candidate for each position to be filled by election.

(c) The list of candidates compiled by the Nominating Committee shall be distributed to the members of the Senate at least forty-two days prior to the third Wednesday in April.

(d) The notice advising the Senate membership of the selections made by the Nominating Committee shall also contain an invitation for additional nominations which shall be accomplished via petitions signed by at least twenty-five Senate members and accompanied by the signed approval of the candidate. All such petitions must be received no later than fourteen days subsequent to the circulation of the nominees of the Nominating Committee. Nominations will automatically be closed fourteen days after the circulation of the slate of the Nominating Committee. If no additional nominations are received,the slate nominated by the Nominating Committee shall be declared elected. Should additional nominations be received, those nominated have the right to learn the names of all other candidates and withdraw within five days after closing of nominations by petition. A mail ballot shall then be distributed indicating which nominees were nominated by petition and which by the Nominating Committee. All candidates have the right to prepare a one-page statement within seven days after the closing of nominations by petition and have it distributed with the ballot. The ballot shall be distributed no later than fourteen days after the close of nominations. Voting shall be non-cumulative. The polls shall be closed fourteen days after distribution of the ballots.

(e) In the case of both Chair-elect and Secretary-elect, each member shall have one vote. The persons receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. Tie votes shall be resolved by lot.

(f) Twelve members of the Executive Committee shall be selected from the faculty at large. Each year members of the Senate may vote for up to four candidates. The four persons receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. Tie votes shall be resolved by lot.

(g) Three assistant professor members of the Executive Committee shall be selected by the faculty at large from among assistant professors who have held faculty appointment at the University for less than six years. Two shall be elected one year and one shall be elected the following year. The person(s) receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. Tie votes shall be resolved by lot.

(h) In the case of the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility 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.

(i) In the case of the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty each member may vote for up to two candidates. The two persons receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. Tie votes shall be resolved by lot.

(ii) Election of Other Members of the Executive Committee

(a) Thirty-six members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by members of non-overlapping constituencies. The various constituencies are specified in an appendix to these rules. Approximately one-half of the representatives of the constituencies shall be elected each year not later than the first week of April, according to the following procedures: The Executive Committee shall request the Office of the Faculty Senate to maintain and keep current an official list of the members of each constituency. The Executive Committee, or a subcommittee thereof, shall determine,in case of question, to which constituency the faculty member belongs. During the first week of February, the Office of the Faculty Senate shall send to each constituency which is to elect a representative:

  • a statement of the duties and responsibilities of Executive Committee members,
  • a list of the members of the constituency, indicating thereon the current representative and those individuals who will be continuing members of the Executive Committee,
  • a request for the nomination of a member of the constituency for election and an explanation of the election process and schedule,
  • a form on which the nomination is to be made with instructions to nominate one candidate. To be eligible to be placed on the ballot for election a nominee must sign at least one of the forms nominating them indicating willingness to serve if elected.

The Office of the Faculty Senate shall record the nominations and send to each member of a voting constituency the names of two, or in the case of ties, the three or four individuals who receive the largest number of votes for nomination. Members shall be asked to vote for one individual. Even-numbered constituencies shall hold elections in even-numbered years, and odd-numbered ones in odd- numbered years.

When only one nominee agrees to stand for election, a ballot shall be submitted to the constituency with the name of the nominee. The ballot shall include instructions noting that votes for additional write-in candidates will be valid providing at least one of the returned ballots contains a signed statement from the write-in nominee indicating willingness to serve if elected.

When two or more candidates are nominated and a slate submitted to the constituency, a plurality of the ballots cast within the stated period of election shall constitute election of a candidate.

(b) Individuals holding administrative posts above the rank of department chair shall not be eligible for election to the Executive Committee. A member of the Executive Committee who assumes such rank shall be considered to have resigned and shall be replaced in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of these rules.

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Section 13. TERMS OF OFFICE

a) The Officers.

Each officer shall hold office beginning during the month of May following election or succession to office, and shall remain in office until his or her successor takes office the following year. Incoming and outgoing officers shall arrange for the transition to be effected conveniently; if no such arrangements are made, the newly elected officers shall take office on June 1.

(b) The Executive Committee.

Members of the Executive Committee who are elected by the faculty at large and who do not serve ex officiis shall hold office for a term of thirty-seven months, beginning the first of May following their election. No person shall hold such Executive Committee membership for consecutive terms, but may be elected after a lapse of one year. This shall not prevent an officer from serving ex officio. Elected members of constituencies shall serve for terms of two years. No person may serve as a constituency representative for more than two consecutive terms. No person shall serve simultaneously as a constituency representative and a member from the faculty at large. The terms of assistant professors described in Section 12(g) shall be two years. No such member shall serve for more than one term.

(c) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

Members of the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility shall hold office for a term of three years, beginning the first of May following their election.

(d) The Nominating Committee.

Members of the Nominating Committee shall serve for a term of one year.

(e) The Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty.

Members of the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty shall serve for a term of three years beginning the first of May following their election.

(f) Other Standing Committees Appointed by the Executive Committee.

Members of other Standing Committees appointed by the Executive Committee shall serve for a term of one year.

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Section 14. VACANCIES

(a) The Chair.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of the Chair, the Chair-elect shall serve as Chair for the unexpired term. He or she shall thereafter remain in the office of Chair for the following term. In the event that the Chair-elect is unable to assume the office as Chair, the Past Chair shall serve as Chair until such time, to be determined by mutual agreement, that the Chair-elect is able to assume the office. In the event that the Past Chair is unavailable, the Executive Committee will select a Chair from among Past Chairs.

(b) The Past Chair.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of Past Chair, the Executive Committee shall select a replacement from among all Past Chairs of the Senate and all full professors who have served as members at large of the Senate Executive Committee during two of the preceding six years.

(c) The Secretary.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of the Secretary, the Secretary-elect shall serve as Secretary for the unexpired term. He or she shall thereafter remain in the office of Secretary for the following term.

(d) The Chair-elect and Secretary-elect.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of Chair-elect or Secretary-elect, the Nominating Committee shall select, and secure acceptance of nomination of, one or more candidates. Its report shall be circulated to members of the Senate and an election shall take place, according to the procedures of Section 12((b), (i) (d) and (e). The person elected shall automatically succeed to the office of Chair or Secretary at the end of the incumbent's term.

(e) The Executive Committee.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the Executive Committee who do not serve ex officiis or who do not represent constituencies, the Executive Committee shall select a successor, who shall serve until the Senate elections of the following spring, at which time a successor shall be elected for the balance of the unexpired term. Whenever a vacancy occurs among the constituency representatives the members of that constituency shall be asked to elect a new representative, who shall serve the balance of the unexpired term. If the balance of the unexpired term is less than six months, the new representative shall serve a full two-year term in addition to the balance of the unexpired term.

(f) The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the elected members of the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, 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.

(g) The Nominating Committee.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the Senate Nominating Committee, the Executive Committee shall select a successor, who shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term.

(h) The Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, 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.

(i) The Committee on Committees.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the Senate Committee on Committees, the Executive Committee shall select a successor, who shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term.

(j) Other Committees Appointed by the Executive Committee.

Whenever a vacancy shall occur among the members of the other Senate Committees appointed by the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall select a successor following the procedures outlined in Section 9(f) who shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term.

Section 15. NOTICE

Whenever these rules provide for notice or distribution to members of the Senate, the Chair of the Senate may accomplish such notice or distribution by publication in Almanac. When notice or distribution is accomplished by publication in Almanac, the date of notice or distribution shall be deemed to be the date of publication of Almanac. When notice or distribution is accomplished by other means, the date of notice or distribution shall be deemed to be the date on whith the material leaves the Senate office for distribution.

Section 16. MAIL BALLOTS

In addition to the provisions for mail ballots contained in Sections 9(a), 11(b), (d), (e) and 17, an issue may be directly submitted to the Senate membership for decision by mail ballot provided that such a ballot is requested by a petition signed by 100 members of the Senate. The mail ballot shall be circulated 3 weeks after explanatory material sufficient to permit an informed vote has been published in Almanac.

Section 17. AMENDMENTS

These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Faculty Senate present and voting at any meeting if the proposed changes have been distributed to the members of the Senate at least one month in advance of that meeting. If however a proposal to change these rules is properly introduced at a meeting that does not have a quorum that proposal shall be referred to a mail ballot of the Senate membership.

*The faculties of the individual schools may also have their own deliberative procedures for the consideration of matters of an intra-school nature. Other University-wide deliberative bodies are: the University Council, which in addition to members of the faculty contains representatives of students and staff members; the Undergraduate Assembly, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Penn Professional Staff Assembly and the A-3 Assembly.

Contact The Faculty Senate

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Office of the Faculty Senate

Box 9 College Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303

(215) 898-6943

Faculty Senate Tri-Chairs


Faculty Senate Chair


Faculty Senate Chair-Elect


Faculty Senate Past Chair