The Constitution of the Faculty of Sonoma State University
Table of Contents
- Article I - Name and Purpose
- Article 2- Organization and Powers of the Faculty
- Article 3 - Organization and Powers of the Academic Senate
- Article 4 - Meetings
- Article 5 - Committees
- Article 6 - Amendments to the Constitution
- Article 7 - Enactment of Constitution
(this web version of the constitution is considered an official document of the Academic Senate)
The name of this organization shall be the Faculty of Sonoma State University (hereinafter referred to as the Faculty).
The purposes of this organization shall be (1) to exercise the rights and authority specifically delegated to the Faculty by the Board of Trustees as well as the Chancellor of the California State University, including the legislating of policy governing the awarding of grades and granting of degrees; (2) to serve as the primary consultative body in the University in formulating, evaluating and recommending to the president policies concerning (a) curriculum and instruction, (b) appointments, promotion, evaluation and granting of tenure to members of the faculty, and (c) academic administrative matters of the institution; and (3) to serve as the primary body through which members of the faculty may express opinions on matters affecting the welfare of the University.
The Faculty of Sonoma State University is defined as follows:
1.1 - The individuals who hold written appointment to an instructional position, whether tenured, probationary, or lecturer, full- or part-time.
1.2 - Those individuals who hold written appointments as Assistant Librarian, Senior Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, or Librarian.
1.3 - Those individuals who hold written appointments at the rank of Student Services Professional II or above.
1.4 - Those individuals who hold written appointments as Athletics Coaches whether full- or part-time.
1.5 - This definition of Faculty includes anyone who is otherwise qualified for membership as defined in Sections 1.1 - 1.3 and who is: anyone on regular or difference-in-pay sabbatical leave, anyone in the first year of a leave of absence without pay, anyone in the Faculty Early Retirement Program during their period of active Employment, or anyone on part-time Reduced Time Base.
The ultimate authority of this organization shall be vested in meetings of the Faculty. Specific powers or general powers delegated to the Academic Senate by the Faculty and deriving from the purpose of the Faculty as stipulated in Article 1, Section 2, shall be provisional in that any decision may be referred to the Faculty for approval as hereinafter provided. The Faculty may not take any action which would restrict academic freedom. The Faculty may by resolution delegate its duties to appropriate committees, groups, or individuals, except that it shall not delegate the powers to elect its own officers and faculty committees responsible for faculty personnel decisions.
Any action by the Academic Senate which is not referred by that body to the Faculty for approval shall be considered final; except that: (a) upon petition by 10 percent of the Faculty, any action of the Senate may be appealed to a meeting of the Faculty. Said petition must be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Faculty within 15 academic work days of such Senate action. The appeal shall be considered at the next regular meeting of the Faculty, or any additional meeting called under any of the provisions of Article IV, Section 1, (d) upon petition by 10 percent of the Faculty, filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Faculty within 15 academic work days of the Senate action, a special meeting of the Faculty shall be called by the Executive Committee of the Senate to take place within 10 academic work days of the filing of the petition. Such a special meeting of Faculty should be conducted in accordance with Article IV.
4.1 - The officers of the Faculty shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair, Secretary and Immediate Past-Chair (when occupied). The term of each office shall be one year, re-electable to a second year. On completing service as Chair, the Chair shall succeed directly to the position of Immediate Past Chair for a term of one year. In the event of a Chair serving a second consecutive term, the Immediate Past Chair seat shall not be occupied.
4.2 - NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS OF THE FACULTY
Election shall be held annually by secret written ballot, under procedures specified in the By Laws. Candidates shall be declared elected receive a plurality of all votes cast in the election.
4.3 - RECALL OF OFFICERS OF THE FACULTY
Recall procedures against any of the officers of the Faculty may be instituted by submission of a petition to the Executive Committee of the Senate signed by 10 percent of the Faculty. Upon receipt of such a petition the Executive Committee shall direct that a recall election be conducted. If a majority of the Faculty voting votes to recall a faculty officer, he/she shall be recalled. The vacancy thus created shall be filled by secret written ballot under election procedures specified in the By Laws.
The Academic Senate of Sonoma State University shall be composed of the following:
1.1 - OFFICERS OF THE SENATE
The Chair of the Faculty shall serve as Chair of the Senate; the Vice Chair of the Faculty shall serve as Vice Chair of the Senate; the Secretary of the Faculty shall serve as Secretary of the Senate
1.2 - SCHOOL MEMBERS
Each School and the Library shall have two seats on the Academic Senate. Senate members from Schools and the Library shall be elected by each School and in the Library. If a School or the Library are unable to send two members to the Senate, the total size of the Senate shall adjust accordingly. The Schools and the Library shall communicate to the Senate office each election cycle the results of their elections.
1.3 - AT-LARGE MEMBERS
(a) Two Senators chosen At-Large by the Faculty and two Lecturer Senators chosen At-Large by the faculty from among those who are half-time or more Lecturers. If both seats are unable to be filled, the total size of the Senate shall adjust accordingly.
(b) The Statewide Senators allocated to the University by the Statewide (CSU) Academic Senate.
(c) Student Service Professionals Senators chosen At-Large by eligible Student Service Professionals shall occupy two seats on the Senate. If both seats are unable to be filled, the total size of the Senate shall adjust accordingly.
(d) The Immediate Past-Chair of the Faculty.
1.4 - EX OFFICIO SENATOR,
The Chair of each Standing Committee shall serve as an ex officio voting member of the Senate.
1.5 - UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS
The President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and the Vice President for Administration and Finance of the University shall each serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Senate.
1.6 - STUDENT SENATORS
Two student Senators, non-voting, to be selected by the Board of Directors, Sonoma State University Associated Students, and the President of the Associated Students, non-voting.
1.7 - STAFF SENATOR
A member of the University's staff shall serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Senate. The manner in which this staff representative is selected shall be established in the By Laws.
1.8 - CFA
The Chapter President from the California Faculty Association, or designee, as a non-voting member.
1.9 - EMERITUS FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE
The manner in which this Emeritus representative is selected shall be established in the by-laws.
2.0 - NO MULTIPLE VOTES
Under no circumstances shall any one person be eligible to cast more than one vote in the Senate.
2.1 - The Executive Committee of the Senate shall consist of the Chair of the Senate, the Vice Chair of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, the Immediate Past-Chair of the Faculty, two Senators elected by and from the Senate, one Statewide Senator, the Chairs of the Standing Committees, and -- ex officio and non-voting -- the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Chapter President from the California Faculty Association, or designee.
2.2 - DUTIES
The Executive Committee shall serve as an agenda committee for both the Academic Senate and the Faculty. It shall represent the Senate and the Faculty as needed, act for the Senate when that body is not in session, reporting its actions at the next Academic Senate meeting.
3.1 - The Vice Chair and Secretary of the Faculty, the Statewide and At-Large Academic Senators, and others who are elected to office by campus-wide ballot shall be elected first, at the beginning of each Spring semester. Election of the representative members shall follow as specified in 1.2 of this Article.
3.2 - VOTING AND SERVICE RESTRICTIONS
3.2.1 -Tenured or probationary Faculty members whose appointment or teaching assignment is interdepartmental shall vote in the school of their department or equivalent unit regardless of the distribution of their teaching assignment. Lecturers shall vote in those schools in which the major fraction of their teaching assignment is located.
3.2.2 - Members of the Faculty, as defined in Article II, Section 1, serving in any administrative or management capacity, other than as a department chair or as a part-time consultant to the administration, are not eligible to vote on any Faculty or Academic Senate business and are not eligible for election to any Faculty or Academic Senate office or committee.
3.2.3 - Only Members of the Faculty as defined in Article II, Section 1, whose appointment is at least fifty percent of the normal full-time load are eligible to vote on any Faculty or Academic Senate business, or are eligible for election to any Faculty or Academic Senate office or committee.
3.2.4 - Only Members of the Faculty as defined in Article II, Section 1.1 and 1.2 of the Constitution and Student Services Professionals – Academic Related who are tenured may serve on hiring and retention, tenure, and promotion committees. Only Members of the Faculty as defined in Article II, Section 1.1 and 1.2 of the Constitution and Student Services Professionals – Academic Related who are tenured or probationary may vote in electons for hiring and retention, tenure, and promotion committees.
3.2.5 - Participants in the Faculty Early Retirement Program are not eligible to serve on peer review committees.
3.3 - TERMS
The representatives and At-Large members of the Senate shall be elected for three-year terms with no restriction on re-election. The terms shall be staggered, either by agreement or by lot, under the supervision of the Vice Chair of the Faculty. One of the three At-Large Senatorial terms shall expire each year. Statewide Academic Senators shall be elected to three-year terms. The Secretary-Treasurer and the Student Senators shall serve one year terms. The two At-Large members of the Executive Committee elected by and from the Senate shall serve one year terms. One Statewide Senator, chosen by lot, shall serve a one year term on the Executive Committee with automatic alternating one year terms thereafter.
3.4 - RECALL OF SENATORS
Recall of At-Large representatives shall be set forth in the Senate By Laws. Recall of representative members of the Senate shall be conducted according to written procedures established within their respective electorates. Recall of student Senators shall be conducted according to written procedures established by the Associated Students.
3.5 - REFERENDA
After being approved by the Academic Senate, the Senate election process shall be made available for faculty referenda on critical issues. Referenda shall include pro and con statements and resource implications statements. Only referenda that emerge from the Senatorial process shall be recognized by the Senate as reflecting faculty opinion.
The Senate shall act in lieu of the Faculty in all matters not reserved for direct action by the Faculty in this Constitution. Actions of the Senate shall be deemed to have been approved by the Faculty.
4.1 - IMPLEMENTATION OF POWERS
The Academic Senate shall (a) exercise the authority granted to the Faculty alone by the Board of Trustees or the Chancellor; (b) be the primary consultative body to the President regarding educational and professional matters delegated to the President by the Board of Trustees or Chancellor; (c) exercise the right to express its judgment on any matter affecting the welfare of the University, its students, The California State University or the academic profession as specified in Sections 4.2 and 4.3. The authority retained by the Faculty does not include those items specifically identified under HEERA as belonging to the exclusive representatives of Units 3 and 4, respectively.
4.2 - POLICY ACTIONS OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
The Academic Senate shall adopt policies regarding the awarding of grades, the conferring of degrees and any other matters over which it is granted authority by California Statute, the Board of Trustees, or the Chancellor. Such policy shall be forwarded to the President for implementation as soon as possible.
4.3 - POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
The Academic Senate shall exercise its right to formulate, evaluate, and recommend policies regarding the academic programs and other educational and professional matters by forwarding official "Academic Senate Policy Recommendations" to the President. Those approved by the President shall immediately become official University policy. The President shall return to the Academic Senate, in a timely manner, those which he or she does not approve or judges to require further consideration or emendation. The President shall inform the Academic Senate, orally or in writing, of the reasons why recommendations were returned.
The Senate shall adopt a set of By Laws not in conflict with this Constitution.
Faculty meetings shall be held once each semester. Additional meetings may be called under any of the following conditions:
a) At the request of the Chair of the Faculty;
b) At the request of the Vice Chair of the Faculty;
c) At the request of the Executive Committee of the Senate;
d) At the request of 10 percent of the Faculty, by written petition stating the topic(s) for discussion and submitted to the Executive Committee of the Senate; and
e) At the request of the President of the University.
1.1 - QUORUM
A simple majority of the Faculty shall constitute a quorum.
1.2 - CONDUCT OF THE MEETING
The Chair of the Faculty shall preside at all meetings of the Faculty. In his or her absence, the Vice Chiar of the Faculty shall preside. The meeting shall be conducted according to the provisions of Robert's Rules of Order.
Meetings shall be held at least once a month each semester. Additional meetings may be called under the same conditions outlined in Article IV, Section 1.
Meetings shall be held upon call of the Chair of the Faculty, President of the University or any three voting members of the Executive Committee.
The Senate By Laws shall establish rules of order which shall govern procedures in all meetings of Faculty bodies.
The Academic Senate, by procedures outlined above, and in conformity with its By Laws, shall establish Standing Committees, Ad hoc Committees and other such committees as shall be deemed necessary to fulfill the purpose of the Faculty.
The general functions of committees shall be to make recommendations to the Senate, through the Executive Committee, or if necessary to a meeting of the Faculty as a whole, regarding matters referred to a given committee by:
a) the Faculty or the Senate;
b) the Executive committee of the Senate;
c) other Committees or Subcommittees of the Senate;
d) the administration of the University;
e) any Department;
f) any School;
g) individual members of the faculty, staff and student body; and all other matters within its charge.
All meetings of Senate bodies shall be open to the public, with exceptions as defined in the By Laws.
The Constitution may be amended on petition of 25 percent of the faculty or through a motion passed by two-thirds majority of the Senate, which petition or motion must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the faculty voting at a meeting of the Faculty, or by a two-thirds majority of faculty voting in a referendum, provided that more than one-half of the faculty votes in such referendum, and provided that in either case the proposed amendment has been distributed to the Faculty at least 15 academic work days in advance of the action of the Faculty. Amendments become effective upon the concurrence of the President of the University.
This Constitution shall become effective on joint approval by a majority of the Faculty voting and the President of the University.
Adopted by SSU Faculty and Approved by the President: Spring 1984
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty: Spring 1989
Amendments Approved by the President: Fall 1989
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty: Fall 1990 & Spring 1991
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty: Fall 1991
Amendments Approved by the President: Fall, 1991
Amendments Approved by the President Fall, 1995
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Fall 2001
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Fall 2003
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Fall 2008
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Fall 2010
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Spring 2012
Amendments Approved by the SSU Faculty and President, Fall 2015