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Academic Senate Constitution


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The Constitution of the General Faculty and the Academic Senate

California State University, Dominguez Hills
Constitution, By-Laws & Amendments Adopted October 1, 1997

Table of Contents

  1. Name and Purpose
  2. Membership and Officers of the General Faculty
  3. Meetings of the General Faculty
  4. Membership and Officers of the Academic Senate
  5. Meetings of the Academic Senate
  6. Amendment

By-Laws of the General Faculty and the Academic Senate

Table of Contents

The Constitution of the General Faculty and the Academic Senate

  1. Name and Purpose
    1. The name of the faculty organization shall be the General Faculty of the California State University, Dominguez Hills, hereinafter referred to as the General Faculty.  The name of the representative body within the General Faculty shall be the Academic Senate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, hereinafter referred to as the Academic Senate or Senate.  The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act  (HEERA)  mandates the full exercise of the function of the faculty in shared governance mechanisms or practices, including the Academic Senates of the California State University with respect to policies on academic and professional matters.
    2. The purpose of the General Faculty shall be: (1) to perform functions assigned to it by law, by the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and by the President of the university; (2) to formulate, evaluate and recommend to the President of the university, policies and procedures pertaining to the development, maintenance, and improvement of the university; and (3) to serve as a medium for expressing the opinions of the faculty members on matters affecting the operations of the university.
    3. The authority of the General Faculty shall be delegated to its representative body, the Academic Senate, in all matters except those in which such delegation is contrary to law, to the policies of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, or the collective bargaining agreement.
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  2. Membership and Officers of the General Faculty
    1. The membership of the General Faculty shall consist of all persons on full-time appointment in the university who: (1) hold rank as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor or lecturer, or (2) occupy the following positions whether they hold academic rank or not: President of the university, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Deans, Associate Deans, Librarians, student service professionals-academic related, and coaching track faculty. This includes persons on leave or in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP).
    2. The President of the university shall serve as the President of the General Faculty. In the absence of the President, the Vice President of Academic Affairs shall serve. In the absence of both the President and Vice President of Academic Affairs, someone else appointed in advance by the President shall serve. The Secretary of the Academic Senate shall serve as the Secretary of the General Faculty. The Parliamentarian of the Academic Senate shall serve as the Parliamentarian of the General Faculty.
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  3. Meetings of the General Faculty
    The General Faculty shall convene in an annual meeting and may hold additional special meetings pursuant to procedures in the By-laws. The agenda for the annual meeting shall include, but not be limited to, a report by the CSUDH President on the State of the University. Also the Chairperson of the Academic Senate will make a report.
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  4. Membership and Officers of the Academic Senate
    1. The membership of the Academic Senate shall consist of elected members from the general and emeriti faculty and ex-officio members. The ex-officio members of the Academic Senate shall be the President of the university or his/her designee, all Vice Presidents, all Academic Associate Vice Presidents, Academic Deans, the Chairperson of the Academic Senate, the immediate past Chairperson if still a member of the General Faculty, the representatives of the university to the Academic Senate of the CSU, the President of the CSUDH chapter of the CFA, two at-large representatives of the non-full-time faculty, a student chosen by the Associated Students, Incorporated, a staff representative elected by the Staff, and Chairpersons of the Senate committees if so designated by the Senate] All ex-officio members shall be voting members with the exception of the Vice Presidents, Academic Associate Vice Presidents, Academic Deans, and the President of CSUDH chapter of the CFA. An ex-officio member may also serve as an elected member.
    2. If a senator cannot attend a meeting, that senator may authorize in writing another member of the general faculty to serve in his/her stead. The authorization must be given to the Parliamentarian. The substitute member shall represent the absent senator in the determination of a quorum, in all senate discussions and in voting; however, no senator or proxy senator may cast simultaneous multiple votes.
    3. The General Faculty election unit for purposes of representation on the Academic Senate shall be the same as the unit where the RTP process originates. (See Voting Rights of Full-time Faculty in a Department-PM 78-19, 7/5/78). In most cases, this unit shall be the department. It may also be a school without departmental divisions, or a teaching unit that is not part of one of the schools. Members of the General Faculty who are not otherwise represented shall be considered a single unit for purposes of representation on the Academic Senate. Disputes about the proper election unit will be resolved by a majority vote of the Academic Senate after the Executive Committee of the Senate has investigated the dispute and made a recommendation to the Senate. For purposes of Academic Senate representation, all faculty members who hold the rank of instructor or lecturer, and librarians, student service professions-academic related, and coaching-track faculty, who are not on full-time appointment, shall be eligible to vote and to be elected as representative.  the Academic Senate Parliamentarian is charged with soliciting nominations and conducting elections among the non-full-time faculty in the spring.  At-large representatives of the non-full-time faculty will serve for a term of one year.  For purposes of electing a member of the Academic Senate, the staff is defined as all full-time university staff members paid by state funds excluding members of the General Faculty and MPP program employees. This includes all bargaining units and confidential employees (except MPP program employees). Each staff member of the Academic Senate will serve for a one-year term.
    4. Each elected member of the Academic Senate shall attend Senate and committee meetings, study the issues, read documents, inform his/her constituency of Senate issues, bring concerns and present the viewpoints of that constituency to the Senate. Senate members shall vote according to their own best judgment unless specifically directed otherwise by the Senators department or other unit.
    5. If at any time a member of the Academic Senate fails to carry out his/her responsibilities, the department or other appropriate unit has the right to elect a replacement for the duration of the term. The Senate Chairperson will be so notified in writing by the department or unit chairperson.
    6. The officers of the Academic Senate shall be the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Parliamentarian. The Chairperson shall be a tenured faculty member elected by and from the General Faculty for a one year term. With the exception of the Chairperson, the officers shall be elected by the Academic Senate for one-year terms. The Senate may remove an officer other than the Chairperson by a 2/3 vote. The Chairperson shall serve for not more than two consecutive terms. The Chairperson shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee for one year following his/her final term. If a member of the Senate is selected as Chairperson, he/she will resign his/her membership and a replacement will be selected from the appropriate unit for the duration of the term.
    7. The term of the representatives to the Statewide Academic Senate will be prescribed by the Constitution of the Academic Senate of the CSU.
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  5. Meetings of the Academic Senate
    1. Regular meetings of the Academic Senate shall be held as specified in the By-Laws.
    2. A special meeting of the Academic Senate may be called by the President of the university or by the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate as provided by the By-Laws.
    3. The Academic Senate shall systematically keep the entire membership of the General Faculty informed of the major topics under active consideration and of Senate actions.
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  6. Amendment
    This Constitution may be amended by written vote of the members of the General Faculty. An amendment may be proposed either by a resolution of the Academic Senate, or by a petition signed by at least 10% of the General Faculty and sent to the President of the university for submission to the General Faculty. Prior to the vote, the proposed amendment shall be discussed at a special or annual meeting of the General Faculty. Notice of the proposed amendment must be included in the written notice of the meeting. The proposed amendment may be amended at such a meeting. (See Section I of the By-Laws for the procedure for initiating a special meeting of the General Faculty.) A simple majority of the votes cast shall be required to pass a proposed amendment.
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By-Laws of the General Faculty and the Academic Senate

Table of Contents

  1. Meetings of the General Faculty
  2. Annual Election
  3. Organization of the Academic Senate
  4. Elections Within the Senate
  5. Committees of the General Faculty and of the Academic Senate
  6. Amendment 
  1. Meetings of the General Faculty
    1. The annual meeting of the General Faculty shall be held at a time designated by the President. The President of the university and the Chairperson of the Academic Senate shall present their reports at this meeting.
    2. The President may, at his/her own discretion, call special meetings of the General Faculty.  He/she shall call special meetings at the formal request of the Academic Senate or at the written request of ten percent of the members of the General Faculty.
    3. Written notice of the annual meeting and of each special meeting shall be submitted to all members of the General Faculty at least one week in advance of the meeting date.  This notice shall include a listing of the agenda items.
    4. The agenda for the annual meeting and for each special meeting shall include items requested by the President, items requested by the Academic Senate, and items requested by written petition of ten percent of the members of the General Faculty. Additional items may be brought up from the floor at the annual meeting, but not at special meetings.
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  2. Annual Election
    1. The annual election for the purpose of electing the Chairperson of the Academic Senate and if necessary representatives from California State University, Dominguez Hills to the Academic Senate of the California State University shall be held between April 1 and May 1.
    2. An Election Committee consisting of the Parliamentarian, the Parliamentarian of the previous year, and a faculty member elected by the Senate, shall be responsible for the preparation for, the conduct of, and the certification of the results of the election subject to the guidelines established by the Academic Senate. Any member of the committee who decides to run for office in the election shall be ineligible to serve on the committee. If the membership falls below three for any reason the Academic Senate shall elect another faculty member to the committee. The Parliamentarian shall chair the committee unless ineligible, in which case the committee shall elect its own chair.
    3. Nominations normally shall be by written petition bearing the signatures of at least five percent of the members of the General Faculty. The Election Committee may make other nominations at its own discretion, and shall endeavor to ensure that at least two nominations are made for each position to be filled.
    4. The election Committee shall send electronic notice of the election for senate chair and the complete slate of eligible candidates to all members of the General Faculty at least two weeks before the election. The voting procedure shall allow for a secret ballot.
    5. A plurality vote shall be sufficient for election.
    6. The Chairperson of the Senate or his/her designee shall serve as an alternate representative to the Statewide Academic Senate. However, one person will not simultaneously serve as Chairperson of the Academic Senate and Statewide Academic Senator.
    7. If a vacancy occurs in the position of the Senate Chair between the annual election and the first Senate meeting of the Fall semester, a special election shall be held to fill the vacancy. If such a vacancy occurs later in the year, the Vice Chair shall serve as Chair until the next election. The requirement that the Chair be tenured (see Section IV F of the Constitution) shall not apply in this case, and such service as Chair shall only count against the “two consecutive terms” limitation of Section IV. F. if that service begins before the start of the Spring semester.
    8. If for any reason a vacancy occurs in the Statewide Academic Senate position and there is less than one year remaining, the vacancy will be filled by an election within the Academic Senate. If the vacancy had more than one year remaining to be served, there will be a General Faculty election.
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  3. Organization of the Academic Senate
    Each unit of up to fifteen members of the General Faculty shall have one representative to the Academic Senate. Upon reaching sixteen members, the unit shall elect one additional senator, and thereafter one additional senator shall be elected for every ten faculty members. The following shall apply:
    01-15 faculty - 1 senator
    16-25 faculty - 2 senators
    26-35 faculty - 3 senators
    36-45 faculty - 4 senators
    46-55 faculty - 5 senators, etc.
    If they so choose, units may combine with other units for representational purposes by agreement of the units involved. The number of General Faculty in the election unit shall be as of the first day of the semester in which the annual election is held, as certified by the appropriate administrator. The term of the office of each elected member of the Academic Senate shall be three years.
    1. The terms of office of the Chairperson, other officers, and the members of the Academic Senate shall begin with New Business of the last regular meeting of the spring semester.
    2. The Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Chairs of the standing committees of the Academic Senate shall be elected upon recommendation of the incoming Chairperson at the last regular meeting of the spring semester. The retiring officers will serve until the election of their successors.
    3. The Academic Senate shall meet at least once each month during the academic year and may meet more frequently in regular or special sessions. Any member of the General Faculty may attend these meetings as an observer. The presiding officer of the Academic Senate at his/her own discretion may, or may not, grant an observer the privilege of participating in discussion.
    4. Policy recommendations will normally be discussed at the Academic Senate at one meeting and voted on at a subsequent meeting. This rule may be waived by a two-thirds vote.
    5. During the winter and summer breaks between semesters, when the Academic Senate is not meeting, the Executive Committee will act on behalf of the Senate and its other committees on all matters which cannot be held over until the following semester. All Senators are entitled to attend and speak at any Executive Committee meeting held between semesters. Any member of the General Faculty may attend meetings as an observer. Notice of any such meeting will normally be sent to all Senators at least one week prior to the meeting.
    6. The Academic Senate shall systematically submit in writing to all members of the General Faculty such items of information as the following: rosters of officers and of committees, meeting schedules, and brief summaries of significant discussions and actions. A full copy of the official minutes will be available to all members of the General Faculty.
    7. The meetings of the Academic Senate shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted rules of parliamentary procedure.
    8. A quorum of the Academic Senate will consist of a majority of the active voting members. An active voting member is defined for this purpose as a member who has attended at least one of the three most recent meetings, including the current meeting.
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  4. Elections Within the Senate
    1. Unless otherwise provided, faculty representatives on standing committees of the university, upon recommendation of the Chairperson, will be elected by the Academic Senate.
    2. The Parliamentarian will issue a call for nominations at least two weeks prior to the election.
    3. Nominations should be given, in writing, to the parliamentarian. The parliamentarian will also accept nominations from the floor. No one may be nominated without prior approval of the nominee.
    4. The election will be held during a scheduled Academic Senate meeting. The candidate receiving the most votes shall be declared the winner. Voting shall be by written ballot if there are more nominees than positions to be filled.
    5. The results of the election shall be announced during the meeting. The secretary shall include the election results in the minutes.
    6. If a vacancy occurs in some elective faculty office other than the Senate Chairperson or Statewide Academic Senator and the unexpired term is less than one year, a replacement may be selected by the Academic Senate by any means it deems appropriate. If the term has over one year to run, the replacement shall be made by the usual means of selection for that office for the remaining unexpired term.
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  5. Committees of the General Faculty and of the Academic Senate
    1. There shall be three types of committees: faculty organizational committees, Senate standing committees, and ad hoc committees.
    2. There shall be at least one faculty organizational committee, the Academic Senate Executive Committee. The general purpose of this committee is to facilitate the efficient functioning of the General Faculty and the Academic Senate. The Senate may create other organizational committees as it deems necessary or advisable.
    3. The Academic Senate Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Parliamentarian, the Chairperson of the previous year, the Chairs of the standing committees, and the campus representatives to the Statewide Academic Senate of the California State University.
    4. The standing committees shall include the Educational Policies Committee and the Faculty Policies Committee. The Senate may create other standing committees as it deems necessary or advisable. These committees will formulate policy recommendations of the senate and carry out other tasks of a continuing nature. The Senate shall also determine eligibility rules and selection procedures for the Chairperson and members of each committee. The chairs of these committees shall be ex-officio members of the Senate.
    5. The Academic Senate may establish ad hoc committees for specific assignments which, in the judgment of the Academic Senate, cannot be handled adequately by the Academic Senate at-large, by one of the existing committees, or by an administrative officer. Members of the General Faculty and the staff and members of the Associated Students, Inc. may be included on ad hoc committees as the Academic Senate deems desirable. Each ad hoc committee shall be terminated upon completion of its specific assignment.
    6. Each Academic Senate Committee shall investigate any matter referred to it by the Senate or by the Executive Committee, and shall report its findings to the Senate. Within the general area of responsibility assigned to it by the Senate, it may also act on its own initiative or at the request of any member of the university community.
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  6. Amendment
    These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds of the Academic Senate following a first reading at a prior meeting. This rule may not be waived.
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Constitution, By-Laws & Amendments Adopted October 1, 1997