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Standard Operating Procedures



A. The Professional Staff Senate (PSS) is comprised of twenty-seven (27) elected representatives from the constituency as outlined in the Constitution. Elected representatives serve a two-year term.

B. The Constituency is divided into general areas, each representing one of the Vice Presidential areas of Binghamton University. These general areas are further divided into sub-constituency areas, each representing a specialization within the general area. The number of representatives in each area is determined by the total number of eligible professional staff in those areas. The Rules Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the updated constituency lists prior to the next year's elections to determine if the number of seats in the sub-constituency areas need to be adjusted. The Committee will also review any changes or redistribution within and among constituency areas.

C. The composition of the 2016-17 Professional Staff Senate shall be:

1) Academic Affairs (10 members)

Academic Support - 2

Arts & Sciences - 2

General - 1

Library - 1

Professional Schools - 2

At-large - 2

2) Student Affairs (4 members)

General - 1

Student Services - 1

Student Life - 1

At-Large - 1

3) Operations (5 members)

Operations Support - 1

Information Technologies Services - 1

Physical Facilities - 1

At-large - 2

4) Advancement (1 member)

Advancement - 1

5) Research (4 members)

Research - 4

6) Athletics (2 members)

Athletics - 2

7) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (1 member)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - 1

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A. The Rules Committee shall be responsible for conducting the elections to the Professional Staff Senate.

B. All terms of office for the Senate members shall be two (2) years in length. The terms of office shall be staggered so that in any one year, half the seats are up for elections.

C. Elections for the upcoming academic year shall be conducted between April and June. The Senate will send out notice at least one month prior to the election to the entire constituency notifying them which sub-constituency areas are coming up for election. A copy of the entire constituency listing, divided by sub-constituency area, will be made available.  A deadline for nominations will be set by the Rules Committee. Any constituent may submit name(s) in nomination for any election area. Individuals may also nominate themselves for a Senate seat.

D. Once the deadline for nominations has passed, the Rules Committee shall meet and review each nomination, verify the nominee's eligibility for the nominated area and confirm the nominee's willingness to run for election.

E. The Rules Committee will distribute a ballot containing the names of verified eligible candidates to the appropriate constituency areas. The ballot shall list the name and organizational unit of each candidate. The ballot shall also contain the deadline for submission of the ballot and the office to which the ballot should be returned.

F. The candidates shall be elected by a plurality of the votes cast. The Rules
Committee as a whole shall tally the results of each election. The Rules Committee shall send an individual letter to all candidates announcing the results of the election. The Committee shall then make the results known to the Senate and the Senate shall announce the results in the PSS minutes. A letter shall also be sent to the elected candidate's supervisor. Installation of the new Senate members will occur at the first meeting in August each year.

G. In the case where there are no nominated candidates in a constituency area, the Committee shall poll the entire constituency area and ask for interested candidates. Should no candidate be found from that area, the Committee reserves the right to nominate candidates from outside the constituency area to ensure a full Senate. Members of the constituency area in question would vote on the candidates in accordance with the above outlined procedure.

H. In the case of a tie, a run-off election will be held. Results of all balloting and elections will be kept by the Rules Committee for a two year period. Should a vacancy occur during the term of office, that seat shall be filled in accordance with the procedures set out in Article I, section 6, part d. of the By-Laws.

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A. At the first meeting in August, the Rules Committee, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall prepare a slate of candidates for office from the continuing and newly elected membership of the Senate.  Nominations may also be made from the floor at the time of balloting.

C. Elections will be held at the first meeting in August, following the induction of the new Senate. The gavel passes to the newly elected Chair at the end of the first meeting in August.

D. Successful candidates for each office are determined by a majority vote of members present. A run-off ballot may be utilized if necessary to assure a majority.

E. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Vice Chair shall automatically serve as Chair for the remainder of the term. If a vacancy occurs in any office other than Chair, the position shall be filled using the same process described in Article III, parts A-D, at the earliest possible meeting of the Senate.

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A. The Senate shall establish a calendar of regular business meetings at the first meeting of each semester.

B. Senate meetings shall be held at a minimum of once per month in a place and at a time accessible to the general constituency. The Chair of the Executive Committee reserves the right to call a closed executive session.

C. The use of Robert's Rules of Order is recommended at Senate meetings and shall be enforced when increased order or protocol is deemed necessary by the Chair or designated Parliamentarian.

D. Minutes of all Senate meetings shall be submitted by the Secretary in time for distribution to the constituency at least one week prior to the next Senate meeting. A permanent record shall be maintained by the university secretary assigned to the Professional Staff Senate.

E. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or Executive Committee. Rules for the Senate meetings, as specified in the Constitution, By-Laws, and Standard Operating Procedures also apply to special meetings.

F. At least two (2) constituency meetings shall be scheduled each year, one in each semester.

G. Standing committees shall establish a regular schedule in meetings at the start of each semester and shall meet as often as needed to meet their charges. Committee reports shall be made, as appropriate, to the full Senate at PSS meetings.

H. Senate meetings shall consider a quorum to be a total of 10 board members.

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A. All officers and members are expected to attend all Professional Staff Senate meetings, constituency meetings and appropriate committee meetings.

B. Requests to be excused from general meetings or constituency meetings should be directed to the Chair. If any member cannot attend a Senate meeting because of unusual circumstances, a substitute (with voting privileges) is chosen from the same Vice Presidential constituency area by the Senate member to attend that meeting to represent the respective area. Failure to appoint a substitute is defined as an unexcused absence. Requests to be excused from a committee meeting should be directed to the chair of that committee.

C. The Secretary and committee chairs shall advise the Rules Committee of excessive absences by members. Excessive absences shall be defined as 3 consecutive absences or 4 absences out of 8 scheduled meetings.

D. Members identified as having met the "excessive absence" criteria will be advised of their lack of attendance by the Rules Committee.

E. Members with 5 consecutive absences or 6 absences out of 8 scheduled meetings will be removed from their Senate seat and the seat will be considered vacant and may be filled in accordance with Article VI, Section B.

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A. Members who resign their seats should do so in writing, addressing the resignation to the Senate Chair with copies to the chairs of any working committees on which the member serves.

B. Vacancies which have twelve or more months left in the term shall be filled according to Article II of these Standard Operating Procedures. If there are less than twelve months left in the term, the Senate will appoint, by a majority vote of the Senate, a replacement for the remainder of the term.

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A. Standing Committees shall be as follows:

1. Executive Committee
Executive Committee membership shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Chairs of the Standing Committees (chosen from the elected Senate membership), the past Chair of the Senate who will serve as ex-officio, and other members to act in an advisory capacity as requested by the Chair.
This committee will function as the Committee on Committees and will be responsible for forwarding names to the appropriate offices to serve on University Committees. This committee shall also serve as an advisory committee to standing and ad-hoc committees.

2.  Rules Committee
The Rules Committee shall be responsible for establishing the Standard Operating Procedures, for reviewing them on an annual basis, and for reviewing all changes and making recommendations on the Senate's and Committees' procedures. The Rules Committee is responsible for running elections. Related duties include verification of constituency lists, establishing slates of candidates for general elections, tallying the votes, notifying the elected candidates and their supervisors of the election results. The Rules Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing, revising, and refining the By-Laws, as needed.

3. Communications Committee
The Communications Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of establishing a positive and visible professional image on campus. Through a variety of activities and working with such offices as Alumni Affairs, Admissions, and Publications, this committee will seek to educate faculty, administration, parents, students, and staff about the contributions professional staff make on this campus. This committee shall be responsible for producing an end-of-year report on the activities of professional staff at Binghamton, working with a staff member from Inside and developing, with the appropriate offices, an effective communications network on campus.

4. Professional Development Committee
The initial charge of the Professional Development Committee will be to gather information on professional development opportunities for professional staff at Binghamton, as well as to gather information on what activities are currently taking place on other SUNY campuses. The committee will also gather information from constituents on their professional development needs.

5. Distinguished Service Award Committee
The initial charge of this committee shall be to create criteria for this award in accordance with the wishes of the Senate. The Distinguished Service Award Committee shall also solicit nominations from the Binghamton University community and select at least one professional who has made invaluable contributions to the campus community and to their profession through exemplary service. The committee shall be composed of one member from each Division represented in Senate. These awards shall be determined by the end of the Spring Semester each year and suitable gifts shall be provided. The awardee(s) will be appropriately recognized in PSS and university publications.

B. The most recent past Chair of the Senate, whether elected or not, is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and retains voting privileges. All other ex-officio members are non-voting. Ex-officio members of the Executive Committee are expected to attend Senate meetings. The Chair may invite others to attend Executive Committee meetings as guests.

C. Standing Committee membership and charges shall be prepared by the full Senate after the first constituency meeting, distributed to the membership, and submitted to the PSS secretary for permanent record. Each of the standing committees will be made up of members of the Senate and other interested members from the constituency and a chair chosen from the elected Senate membership. The Senate or the individual standing committee, with the Senate's approval, may modify committee membership and/or charges at any time.

D. Committees shall operate within the scope of their charges by establishing goals, methodologies and priorities. They have the authority to investigate, and to carry out activities necessary to perform their charges, and to prepare reports, recommendations and parliamentary motions.

E. Committees shall convene regularly following a schedule established at the beginning of each semester.

F. Each committee chair shall provide the Senate, if requested, attendance, agenda and minutes of committee meetings. At the final June meeting of Senate, each chair shall provide to the Senate appropriate information to facilitate continuity, e.g. charges, goals, unfinished business, investigatory materials, passed and pending parliamentary motions, etc.

G. At the end of each year, each committee chair shall provide a summary report to the Senate for distribution as appropriate and for the permanent record.

H. The Senate, when necessary, will convene a Professional Standards Committee. The charge to this committee will be to review cases which are not matters of grievance or discipline under provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This committee will consider all sides of the issue involving professional conduct, and will seek resolution or recommend appropriate action to assure high standards of professional conduct. Parties to the issue cannot serve on the Professional Standards Committee.

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A. Modifications of and/or additions to these Standard Operating Procedures may be made in the following ways:

1. By the Rules Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee and the subsequent majority of the Senate membership.

2. By any professional staff member at any time. He/she may propose a modification/addition to the Rules Committee, which shall make recommendations and take them to the Executive Committee for consultation. Proposals and recommendations of the Rules Committee or Executive Committee must be made public and may be overruled by a floor motion and an affirmative vote by the majority of the elected Senate membership.

B. The Standard Operating Procedures as passed by the Professional Staff Senate shall be submitted to the Senate secretary for permanent record.

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Last Updated: 4/1/16