Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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Senate Election Rules for the Faculty Electorate

Downloadable version of the Election Rules for the Faculty Electorate

1. Short Title; Purpose

1.1 Title. These Rules will be referred to as the Senate Election Rules for the Faculty Electorate.

1.2 Purpose. The purpose of these Election Rules shall be to establish orderly procedures and rules for the election of senators from the faculty electorate to the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign campus.

2. College Committees

2.1 Creation. College elections and credentials committees are created pursuant to paragraph 2, Part C, of the Senate Bylaws. Under the Bylaws these committees may perform whatever duties are delegated to them by the Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP).

2.2 Delegation of Power. The USSP will delegate various duties to the college committees by way of Rules and Guidelines it adopts and publishes. These Rules and Guidelines may be added to, amended, or repealed at any time by the USSP.

2.3 Specific Powers. The USSP hereby delegates to the college committees the following duties, subject to any limitations set forth in the Rules and Guidelines of the USSP.

2.4 Restriction of Power. All activities of the Senate Committee and of the college committees shall conform to the relevant provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws adopted by the Senate

3.Election Units; Apportionment

3.1 Apportionment Formula. Faculty voting units are the departments, or their equivalent, within the various colleges. Each voting unit receives a faculty representative for its first seven members of the faculty electorate, and one additional representative for each additional 12 members of the faculty electorate unless some other ratio is adopted by the Senate. Any department having fewer than seven members must be combined with another voting unit.

3.3 Voting Units. Faculty voting units shall be determined in the following manner:

(a.) List of Departments. Each college committee will prepare a list of the departments and their equivalents, within the college which have seven or more members of the faculty electorate.

(b.) Combining Small Departments. Any department, or its equivalent, which has fewer than seven members must be combined with another department, or their equivalents, in the college to form a voting unit of requisite size. Whenever possible, such combinations shall be made between departments or equivalents that share common interests. If two departments, or equivalents, are combined, the representative will be chosen in such a way to ensure that one department will not monopolize the representation from that voting unit.

4. Time and Duration of Elections

4.1 General. For each election, the voting unit will conduct a nominating process and a final election.

4.2 Duration. The nominating and final election shall each be held on seven calendar days, at a time starting as specified by USSP in the Timetable issued to all voting units.

5. Electorate Qualifications

5.1 General Qualifications. The Constitution, Article II, Secttion 1, provides; The faculty electorate is composed of those members of the academic staff who are directly engaged in and responsible for the educational function of the University; ordinarily this will involve teaching and research. Specifically, the faculty electorate shall consist of all persons of the campus non-visiting academic staff, other than persons holding administrative appointments in excess of one-half time (the exception to this exclusion are executive officers of departments or similar units, and assistant or associate executive officers of such units, who are otherwise eligible), who:

(a.) Are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure or in the preceding year received probationary credit toward tenure or hold the unmodified academic rank or title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor without tenure, have at least a one-half time appointment, and are paid for their services by the University; or

(b.) hold the academic title of instructor or lecturer, have a full-time appointment, and are paid by the University, are not candidates for a degree from this University, and are designated by their voting units for inclusion in the faculty electorate; or

(c.) are retired members of the campus academic staff with the title of emeritus, and would otherwise be eligible for inclusion in the faculty electorate. However, retired members shall not be counted for purposes of determining apportionment.

6. Candidate Qualifications

6.1 General Qualifications. All persons included in the faculty electorate shall be eligible for election to the Senate, without distinction on the basis of rank or other criteria, including emeritus status.

6.2 Current Membership in Unit. No person may be a candidadte for a seat in a unit if not a member at the time of the election.

6.3 Single Seat Limitation. No person can be a candidate for more than one Senate seat.

6.4 Limited Terms. The terms of senators elected from the faculty electorate shall be two years, with a maximum of three consecutive terms. The election of a faculty senator in a regular election constitutes a full term unless the senator resigns prior to the Organizational Meeting of the Senate. A replacement senator who is elected prior to January 1 of the term of a vacant seat shall be considered to have served a full term.

6.5 Maintenance of Staggered Terms. In order to conform with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Senate Constitution which specifies that approximately half of the faculty senators shall be elected each year, the Committee shall review the representation of each voting unit each year. If due to changes in voting unit size or for any other reason, the terms of the senators representing that voting unit cease to be staggered, the Committee shall restore the imbalance by specifying that an appropriate number of senators be elected for one-year terms. The elected senators shall be distributed between the one- and two-year terms according to the number of votes received in the election with those receiving the higher numbers being assigned the two-year terms.

7. Notice of Election; Publicity

7.1 Requirement of Notice. Each college elections and credentials committee shall distribute information concerning elections to members of the electorate within its college. Election information includes the departmental composition of the election units within the college, the location of polling places for each election unit, the hours during which the polls will be open, and the names of the candidates in each election unit.

7.2 Method of Notice. The recommended method of informing persons about the elections is a mailing via hard copy or electronic means to each individual constituent member of the respective voting units within the college.

7.3 Use of University Funds. No University funds shall be spent for production or distribution of any campaign statements.

7.4 Methods of Voting. The Notice of Election (Section 7), Publicity (Section 7), Nomination Procedures (Section 8), and Election Procedures (Section 9) are detailed in separate sections. These activities can be carried out either via hardcopy (requiring mail or hand delivery to the polling place as described below) or via electronic means. Whichever method is used there must be: a) a reasonable time for the vote to occur, b) a confidentiality about voting and authentication, c) a stated process by which ties will be resolved, and d) a reasonable retention period for the relevant records.

8. Nomination Process

8.1 By Election. Nominations of faculty senators shall be by election in accordance with Article II, Section 6 of the Senate Constitution: Each faculty voting unit shall provide to its faculty electorate a nominating ballot containing the names of all those eligible to vote in the unit. Each member of the unit's faculty electorate shall be entitled to cast one nominating vote for each open senatorial position apportioned to the unit; there shall be no cumulative voting. The voting unit shall then prepare an election ballot containing the names of those who received the highest number of nominating votes and who are willing to serve. The number of names on the election ballot shall equal twice the number of those to be elected or all of those nominated, if the number of those nominated is less than twice the number to be elected. The nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes shall be deemed elected.

8.2 Casting Ballots. Ballots shall be cast in person or returned by mail at the administrative office of the voting unit or via electronic means approved by USSP.

8.3 Time of Balloting. Completed nominating ballots must be received in the voter's department/unit office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day (inclusive) following the day upon which the ballots are first made available to faculty members.

8.4 Nominating Ballots.

(a.) Interest/Willingness to Serve. A unit may choose to prepare a nominating ballot that either:

(1.) contains the names of all members of the faculty except those who are unwilling to serve or

(2.) contains the names of the members of the faculty who have expressed a willingness to serve.

(b.) Preparation of Ballots. Nominating ballots shall be prepared and distributed by the administrative office in each voting unit, and shall conform as nearly as possible to the model ballot issued by the USSP. Where a voting unit embraces two or more departments or equivalent units, the administrative office of the largest shall prepare and distribute the ballots, unless otherwise provided by the appropriate college committee. Where a large department is divided into two or more voting units, the offices of the department shall prepare and distribute the ballots for all voting units within the department, unless otherwise provided by the appropriate college committee.

(c.) Contents. Ballots shall contain the following items:

(1.) name of the department or departments which constitute the voting unit;

(2.) names of all eligible members of the faculty electorate within the voting unit;

(3.) relevant remarks concerning some or all of the faculty members so listed; and

(4.) directions concerning how many nominations may be made on each ballot, how each ballot is to be marked, and where and when the ballot must be returned.

(d.) Order of Names. Names of eligible faculty members may be placed on the ballot in alphabetical order or any other reasonable order.

8.5 Notice. The department is responsible for notifying the winning nominees and shall forward a list of those nominees, their email addresses, and their campus addresses to the college elections and credentials committee chair who, in turn, shall forward them to the Clerk of the Senate.

9. Election Procedures

9.1 Ballot Contents. The names on the final election ballot for each voting unit shall be twice the number of senators to be elected or all those nominated and willing to serve if their number is less than twice the number to be elected.

9.2 Order of Names. Names of candidates shall be placed on the election ballot in random order.

9.3 Withdrawal. Before the election ballot is prepared, any faculty member who has received nominating votes may withdraw by delivering a signed notice of withdrawal to the administrative office of the voting unit.

9.4 Ties. If a tie exists among those eligible for the last position, all their names shall appear on the election ballot (see Section 9.1).

9.5 Conducting the Polling.

(a.) Location of Polling Places. Ballots shall be available at the administrative office of the voting unit for seven calendar days.

(b.) Signature of Voter. Before voting, each faculty member shall sign opposite their name on the official faculty list of that voting unit or if using an electronic voting system, have a way to ensure only those eligible to vote can participate and that those eligible to vote can vote only once. Confidentiality of all votes must be ensured at all times. If the voting procedure links any identification with votes cast, this information must not be referenced during the tallying or reporting of the votes nor saved with the election results.

(c.) Official Electorate List. An official listing of the faculty electorate in each voting unit shall be kept in the administrative office of each unit, and shall be marked to show each member who has voted. This listing shall be kept on file and made available upon request.

9.6 Election Supervision. An election officer shall be named in each voting unit, who shall be responsible for ensuring that the faculty election is carried on in accordance with these Rules. The officer shall be named by the appropriate college elections committee, but this responsibility may be delegated by any college committee to the chief administrator in any voting unit.

9.7 Requirements for Election.

(a.) Automatic Election. If the number of faculty members nominated and willing to serve is exactly equal to the number of senators to be elected, an election need not be held; those nominated and willing to serve may be declared automatically elected.

(b.) Plurality Required. The nominees receiving the highest number of votes in the final election shall be deemed elected.

(c.) Ties in the Final Election. Ties in the final election will be resolved by:

(1.) election of the candidate who received the highest number of votes in the nominations and, if this is impossible,

(2.) a coin flip or a drawing of lots by the College Elections Committee.

9.8 Returns; Counting; Certification.

(a.) Removal of Ballots from Boxes. If hardcopy methods are used, ballots may be removed from the ballot box only at the end of the voting period or when the box is filled to capacity. Ballots shall be removed from the ballot box only by an election official. Ballots shall be transferred immediately to some sealed container, such as a paper bag or envelope. The sealed container shall be signed by the election officer who transferred the ballots. The sealed container also shall be marked with information showing the date and time of the ballot transfer, the number of ballots transferred (to be determined by reference to the signature sheet), and the election unit in which the ballots are cast. The sealed container shall be stored in a safe place. If electronic means are used, the report of the election shall be obtained at the end of the voting period and the file stored in a safe place.

(b.) Counting. The administrative office of the voting unit shall provide for the counting of the ballots immediately following the deadline for casting ballots. No interested party shall participate in the counting process. Any member of the faculty electorate may be present during the counting process within reasonable limits of space. The results of the count shall be entered on a tally sheet signed by those who counted the ballots. If electronic means are used, there shall be a process by which the results can be certified if challenged.

(c.) Write-in Ballots. No write-in ballots are to be counted.

(d.) Doubtful Ballots. Intention of the voter shall be the only standard for interpreting doubtful ballots. If the intention can be determined, the ballot shall be counted in accordance with the intent. If the intention cannot be determined (e.g., three candidates marked for only two seats), then the ballot shall not be counted.

(e.) Certification by College Committee. If using hardcopy methods, the tally sheet and all ballots shall be delivered or made available immediately to the appropriate college committee. If using electronic methods, the results sheet shall be delivered to the appropriate college committee by an appropriate method, including electronic means. The college committee, after satisfying itself that the vote shown on the tally sheet is correct, shall so certify by signing certification cards provided by the Senate Office, and shall deliver the cards immediately to the Senate Office. The college committee shall arrange for the preservation of all ballots, tally sheets, or electronic files for a period of six months.

10. Election Certification by Senate Committee

The USSP shall certify election results to the Senate at the organizational meeting of the newly elected Senate. These results shall be entered in the minutes of that meeting. The USSP may delay certification of candidates whose elections are in doubt or may certify the election of such candidates upon appropriate conditions.

11. Formal Reports

All reports from college elections and credentials committees to the USSP shall be addressed to the Senate Clerk.

12. Absentee Ballots - Applicable only if hardcopy methods are used.

12.1 Identification Statement. If using hardcopy methods, each absentee voter shall be required to sign and return an identification form (prepared by the department), in lieu of signing the voter list as required of voters on campus.

12.2 By Request Only. An absentee ballot can be obtained only by requesting it from the administrative office of the voting unit.

12.3 Time Limit. To be valid an absentee ballot must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. of the last day of the election in the administrative office of the voting unit.

12.4 Mailing. Absentee ballots must be mailed early enough to allow ample time for their return before the deadline.

13. Grievances and Appeals

13.1 College Committee Jurisdiction. Unless otherwise provided by the USSP, the college election committees shall have original jurisdiction over the following:

(a.) addition of names of qualified voters to the electorate lists;

(b.) determination of college membership for electoral purposes;

(c.) certification of successful election of candidates; and

(d.) any other matters arising within their colleges.

13.2 Appeal to University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP). Any aggrieved person may appeal a decision of a college committee to the USSP, and actions and decisions of the USSP may be appealed to the Senate by any senator.

13.3 Procedure for Unlisted Persons Claiming Electorate Status. If any faculty member whose name does not appear on the official listing desires to vote and claims entitlement to do so, the validity of that claim shall be decided by the chair of the appropriate college committee or designee before termination of the voting period. If the claim cannot be so decided, the member shall be provided a ballot after signing a statement that he/she is a qualified member of the electorate in the particular voting unit involved. The voter's signed statement and vote shall be kept separate and shall not be counted with the other votes; they shall be delivered or made available to the appropriate college committee at the same time as the other ballots and the tally sheets are delivered. The college committee will decide whether the member is or is not entitled to vote. If the person is so entitled, the chair of the committee will add that vote to the tally sheet of the voting unit.

14. Resignations and Vacancies

14.1 No Nominations. If no person is nominated for a Senate seat during the general election, then the college shall have the option of electing an eligible member of the faculty electorate to that seat in the fall. Election procedures shall be developed by each college elections and credentials committee and shall be subject to approval by the USSP.

14.2 Disqualification from Electorate. If a senator fails to satisfy the requirements for membership in the electorate during their term of office, the Senate shall determine whether the senator may remain seated.

14.3 Review of Status. The Clerk of the Senate will review official records each semester, and will report to the USSP the names of all those senators no longer in the employ of the University. A tenured faculty member who is on leave for a period of no more than one year, whether or not on the University payroll, may retain membership in the electorate at the request of his or her department.

14.4 Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled by election of a member of the voting unit for the remainder of the vacant term in accordance with the nomination and election procedures prescribed in Article II of the Senate Constitution.

14.5 Change of Unit. If a senator changes voting units after the election, the senator will continue to represent the original unit unless the Senate determines otherwise.