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UNCLASSIFIED PROFESSIONAL SENATE

Wichita State University
UNCLASSIFIED PROFESSIONAL SENATE

CONSTITUTION

Approved by the Unclassified Professional Personnel November 17, 1992
Approved by President Warren B. Armstrong March 16, 1993
Revised, May 2, 1996
Revised, June 22, 2010

Revised, May 1, 2014

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ARTICLE I


NAME:

The name of the organization shall be the Unclassified Professional Senate of Wichita State University.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the organization is to foster communication and collegiality among Unclassified Professional personnel of the University, and to:

A. provide representation for Unclassified Professional personnel and liaison to the University administration and others regarding issues of concern;

B. formulate recommendations to the University President regarding policies and procedures that relate to the concerns of the Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University;

C. review and recommend refinement of policies and procedures relating to Unclassified Professional employees.


ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP:

Section 1. Eligibility for Membership.

The membership shall consist of all State of Kansas Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University defined as all half-time (0.5 FTE) or greater, exempt and non-exempt personnel who have an appointment status of emergency, temporary, seasonal, contingent, provisional, hourly, or regular.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team are ineligible for the Unclassified Professional Senate electorate.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team include, but are not limited to, those persons holding the title, or interim title, of President, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Assistant Vice President, and Dean.

Section 2. Composition.

The membership of the Senate shall consist of:

A. Fifteen members elected by the Unclassified Professional electorate; and

B. Two at-large members appointed by the Senate.

C. Ex-officio members: In order to be inclusive of the University community, each of the following affiliated/or related organizations shall be invited to appoint a representative. Such organizations presently include; WSU Foundation, WSU Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Inc., WSU Union Corporation and the WSU Alumni Association.

Section 3. Representation.

A. Fifteen Senators shall be elected from the divisions of the University.

1.      The apportionment of elected Senators to the divisions of the University shall be determined by the Election Committee on the basis of the number of Unclassified Professional personnel appointed to each division as of the 20th day of class each spring semester.

 

2.      Each division shall have a minimum of one elected Senator.

B. At the first meeting following the Senatorial election, the standing Senate shall appoint two at-large Senators from a slate recommended by the Election Committee to enhance the Senate's diversity and expertise.


Section 4. Terms of Membership.

A. Terms of membership shall be two years beginning July 1 following each annual election.

B. After serving two consecutive terms, a Senator shall not be eligible for re-election for one senate year.

C. A Senator who leaves the division from which elected shall continue to serve in the Senate until the next regularly scheduled election, at which time his/her position will be refilled by a representative from the original division.

D. All officers are exempt from term limits for the term of their appointment.

E. A vacancy on the Senate shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining Senate. The term of the appointment will be until the next regularly scheduled election. Being appointed to the Senate to fill an unexpired term has no impact on that person's eligibility for serving two consecutive elected terms.

F. To insure continuity, approximately one-half of the Senate shall be elected each year.

G. If the immediate past President is completing the second year of his/her second term, he/she will be invited to serve one additional year as an ex-officio member, in order to lend continuity to the governing body.

Section 5. Voting Privileges.

A.    Each elected Senator and the two at-large members shall have one vote.  The ex-officio members shall not have voting privileges.

B.  Senator must be present to cast their vote.  A Senator cannot send a proxy to vote in their absence.

C.     In the event that an issue arises where input from the Unclassified Professional Senate is needed prior to a normally scheduled meeting, and with the agreement of the Senators, the President of the Senate shall conduct an emergency vote via electronic means as follows:

a.       The issue shall be presented to the Senators and approval sought for an electronic vote.

b.      If the Senators approve of handling the issue via electronic means then standard protocol shall be followed in regards to the issue as if it were being handled during a regular Senate meeting including:  Discussion of the topic, a motion, a second, and then a vote.

 

ARTICLE IV

ELECTIONS:

Section 1. Electorate.

The electorate shall consist of all State of Kansas Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University defined as all half-time (0.5 FTE) or greater, exempt and non-exempt personnel who have an appointment status of emergency, temporary, seasonal, contingent, provisional, hourly, or regular.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team are ineligible for the Unclassified Professional Senate electorate.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team include, but are not limited to, those persons holding the title, or interim title, of President, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Assistant Vice President, and Dean.

Section 2. Election Committee.

A. The Election Committee shall consist of two members:

1.      The Election Chair shall have served as Co-Chair prior to becoming Chair.

 

2.      The Co-Chair shall have two years left in their term so they will be able to serve as Chair for at least one year prior to the end of their term.

 

3.      In the event that the Chair’s term is ending and the Co-Chair is unable to fulfill the duties of the Chair an Election Chair and new Co-Chair shall be nominated from current senators.

B. Appointments to the election committee shall be made annually and shall be balanced between one and two-year memberships.

Section 3. Senatorial Election Procedures.

A.  On the 20th day of class of the spring semester, the Election Committee shall obtain a list of the electorate.

B. The Election Committee shall solicit nominations for Senators from the electorate within each division. The nominations may be by peer or self.

C. All nominations received shall be placed on the appropriate ballot unless a nominee declines to run.

D. A ballot shall be constructed for each division and sent to the divisional electorate.

E. The candidate(s) receiving the most votes in each divisional election shall be considered elected. Ties shall be decided, in order of sequence, by: (1) either candidate conceding to the other candidate, (2) the Senate using the tie vote to fill an at large position, or (3) a second ballot.  (4) In the event of a repeated tie the two candidates’ names shall be brought before the Senate and the Senators shall vote to determine who will fill the seat.

Section 4. Election Timelines.

A. The ballots shall be distributed to the electorate no later than April 1.

B. The results shall be announced no later than May 1 after the election.

Section 5. Recall Elections.

A. Justification for Recall.

Reasons for initiating recall action against a Senator include dereliction of duty, malfeasance, or unethical conduct in the performance of Senatorial responsibilities.

B. Elected Senators.

An elected Senator shall be subject to recall upon presentation to the Election Committee of a petition signed by 25% or 25 members of the electorate from that Senator's division, whichever is the smaller number.

1. Verification of the signatories as valid members of the electorate shall be made by the Election Committee using official university appointment records.

2. Verification of the number of Unclassified Professional personnel necessary to constitute 25% of the electorate from the division in question shall be made by the Election Committee using the number of Unclassified Professional personnel as determined on the previous 20th day of class of the spring semester.

3. After verification of the validity of the petition, the Election Committee shall hold a divisional ballot to determine whether the Senator shall be recalled.

a. The question of recall shall be determined by majority vote of the divisional electorate participating in the ballot.

C. Appointed Senators.

Appointed Senators shall be subject to recall upon presentation to the Election Committee of a petition signed by 25 members of the general electorate.

1. Verification of the signatories as valid members of the general electorate shall be made by the Election Committee using official university appointment records.
2. After verification of the validity of the petition, the Election Committee shall hold a general ballot to determine whether the Senator shall be recalled.

a. The question of recall shall be determined by a majority vote of the general electorate participating in the ballot.

Section 6. Special Elections.

The Election Committee shall conduct special elections as the nature of the vacancy warrants.

 

ARTICLE V

ORGANIZATION OF THE SENATE:

Section 1. Officers.

Officers of the Senate shall be the President, President Elect, and the Secretary.

Section 2. Election of Officers.

A. The President Elect shall be elected, by the Senate members, and assume office as the President elect at the first Senate meeting of the Senate year

B. The President-elect, as the incoming President, shall assume office following the last meeting of the Senate year.

C. The Secretary shall be elected, by the Senate members, at the first Senate meeting of the Senate Year, and shall serve for twelve (12) months.

Section 3. Meetings.

A. The Senate year shall be defined as July 1 through June 30.

B. Meetings shall be scheduled according to need and held no less than twice a semester.

C. The time and place of Senate meetings shall be set by the Senate.

D. Regular Senate meetings shall be open to members of the university community.

E. Upon concurrence of a majority of Senators attending a meeting, the Senate may enter into Executive Session for discussion of privileged items. Only Senators shall attend Executive Sessions.

F. Only the fifteen elected and two at-large Senators may vote at Senate meetings.

Section 4. Quorum.

Nine voting members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum.

Section 5. Special Meetings.

A. Special meetings of the Senate can be called by the President of the Senate.

B. Special meetings of the Senate shall be called upon written request of five Senators to the President or President Elect of the Senate.

C. Special meetings shall be scheduled within ten working days of receipt of the written request.

Section 6. Rules of Order.

The Senate shall determine its own rules of procedure, including time and place of meetings and the form of reports.

Section 7. Senate Agenda.

A. Agendas for Senate meetings shall be set by the Senate officers.

B. Additional items may be added to the agenda upon request of one or more Senators.

Section 8. Attendance.

A. Senators unable to attend Senate meetings are to notify the President in advance.

B. Excessive absences, as determined by the Senate, may result in the replacement of a Senator. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required for removal of a Senator.

C. Elected Senators are expected to personally attend meetings and cannot send representatives or proxies.

 

ARTICLE VI

OFFICERS:

Section 1. Duties of Officers.

Officers of the Senate and their duties are:

A. President.

1. The President shall be the official spokesperson for, and preside at all meetings of the Senate.
2. The President shall preside at general meetings of the Unclassified Professional personnel.
3. The President shall serve as ex-officio member of all Senate committees except the Election Committee.
4. The President, in cooperation with the other officers, shall establish the agenda for Senate meetings.
5. The President shall represent the UP in meetings with the President of the university.
6. The President shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms.

B. President Elect.

1. The President Elect shall serve in the absence of the President, and in case of resignation of the President, shall assume the duties of the President.
2. The President Elect shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms.

C. Secretary.

1. The Secretary shall maintain the records of the Senate and record and distribute the minutes of Senate meetings and general meetings.
2. The Secretary shall coordinate Senate correspondence.
3. The Secretary shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President and the President Elect.
4. The Secretary shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms.

Section 2. Removal of Officers.

1. Officers may be removed during the term of office for reasons of dereliction of duty, malfeasance, or unethical conduct in the performance of the responsibilities of office.
2. Removal of an officer from office during the course of the annual term shall require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

 

ARTICLE VII

GENERAL MEETINGS:

Section 1. Regular Meetings.

A. The Unclassified Professional personnel shall meet at least once each fall and spring semester at a time and place specified by the Senate.

B. The time and place of such meetings shall be announced to the Unclassified Professional personnel at least fourteen working days prior to the meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings.

A. Special meetings may be held at any time upon:

1. the call of the President of the Senate;
2. the call of the Senate;
3. the request of at least 25 members of the electorate, presented to the President or President Elect in writing, stating the object of the desired meeting; or
4. the request of the University President.

Section 3. Quorum.

A quorum shall be those present and voting.

Section 4. Agenda.

A. Agendas for general meetings shall be set by the Senate.

B. Additional items may be added to the agenda upon request in writing by ten members of the electorate. Requests for addition of agenda items shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Senate at least ten working days prior to the meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII

COMMITTEES:

Section 1. Standing Committees.

A. Standing committees shall report to the Senate, which has authority and responsibility for those committees and their membership.

B. Standing committees of the Senate shall include, but not be limited to, the Election Committee, and the Unclassified Professional Grievance Committee. Additional standing committees may be constituted by the Senate as it deems necessary.

C. Membership on the standing committees consist of voting Senators and members of the general electorate.

D. The membership and conduct of standing committees shall be subject to Senate review. If necessary, the Senate shall initiate special action to ensure the appropriate functioning of standing committees; such special action shall require a two-thirds vote of the Senate for approval.

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces.

A. Ad hoc committees and task forces shall report to the Senate, which has authority and responsibility for those bodies and their membership.

B. Ad hoc committees and task forces shall be constituted at the discretion of the Senate or upon written request of 25 members of the electorate to address special issues concerning the constituency.

C. Members of ad hoc committees and task forces shall be appointed by the Senate from the standing Senate or the Unclassified Professional constituency.

D. The term of appointment of ad hoc committees or task forces shall be determined by the Senate.

E. The membership and conduct of ad hoc committees and task forces shall be subject to Senate review. If necessary, the Senate shall initiate special action to ensure the appropriate functioning of ad hoc committees and task forces; such special action shall require a two-thirds vote of the Senate for approval.

Section 3. University Committees.

The Senate shall recommend to the University President candidates for appointment as Unclassified Professional representatives to University committees. Candidates may be recommended from the Senate or the general constituency.

 

ARTICLE IX

AMENDMENTS:

Section 1. Proposed Amendments.

A. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by any member of the Senate or by any member of the Unclassified Professional electorate.

B. All proposed amendments shall be placed on the agenda of the next Senate meeting.

Section 2. Consideration of Proposed Amendments.

A. If the Senate approves the proposed amendment, it shall be placed on the agenda of the next general meeting.

B. If the amendment was proposed by a member of the Senate or by fewer than 25 members of the electorate, a negative vote by the Senate shall be final.

C. If the amendment was proposed by 25 or more members of the electorate, the proposed amendment together with the Senate recommendation shall be placed on the agenda of the next general meeting, even if the Senate vote is negative.

Section 3. Adoption of Amendments.

A two-thirds majority of the electorate participating in the vote shall be required for adoption of the proposed amendment.

 

ARTICLE X

AUTHORITY OF THE SENATE:

Section 1. General Meetings.

The President of the Senate shall consult with the President of the University regarding the need for general meetings of the Unclassified Professional personnel and shall schedule such meetings appropriately.

Section 2. Senate Deliberations.

The Senate may deliberate and recommend on all issues committed to it regarding Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University and on any matter of concern to its constituency.

Section 3. Committees.

The Senate has authority and responsibility for its standing committees, ad hoc committees, and task forces and has responsibility for ensuring the appropriate conduct of those bodies and their membership.

Section 4. Senate Action.

Action of the Unclassified Professional Senate is final, unless 25 or more members of the electorate request that the issue be placed on the agenda of the next general meeting. Requests for addition of the issue as an agenda item must be presented to the Secretary of the Senate in writing at least ten working days prior to the scheduled meeting.

Section 5. Constitution.

A copy of the Constitution shall be made available to each Senator and shall be reviewed at the first Senate meeting of each new Senate year.

 

ARTICLE XI

CONFLICT OF INTEREST:

Members of the Senate, or members of the constituency serving on standing, ad hoc, or university committees or task forces, shall appropriately absent themselves from participation in any activity or discussion which may be perceived as conflict of interest.


 

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces refer to ad hoc committees and task forces established by the Unclassified Professional Senate.

Amendment refers to any statement that is added to, revises, or improves the constitution.

Constituency refers to all persons appointed as Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University.

Electorate refers to all State of Kansas Unclassified Professional personnel at Wichita State University defined as all half-time (0.5 FTE) or greater, exempt and non-exempt personnel who have an appointment status of emergency, temporary, seasonal, contingent, provisional, hourly, or regular.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team are ineligible for the Unclassified Professional Senate electorate.  Executive administrators and members of the President’s Executive Team include, but are not limited to, those persons holding the title, or interim title, of President, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Assistant Vice President, and Dean.

Senate refers to the Unclassified Professional Senate created by this Constitution.

Senate Year refers to the period of time from July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year.

Standing Committees refer to standing committees established by the Unclassified Professional Senate.

University refers to Wichita State University.