Senate Bylaws

Table of Contents

Click on a link below to learn more about the bylaws that govern the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University 



A. Officers

B. Meetings of the Academic Senate

C. Academic Senate Procedural Rules

1. Rules

2. Open meetings

3. Quorum

4. Adoption of the agenda

5. Voting on substantive motions

6. Majority defined

7. Minimum number of speakers on a motion

8. Adoption of motions by general consent

9. Absences

10. Code of Conduct

D. Executive Committee

E. Internal Committees

1. Elections Committee


A. Procedures and Rules for Standing Committees

B. Academic Policies Committee

C. Curriculum Review and Approval Committee

D. Educational Policies Council

E. Faculty Affairs Committee

F. Strategic Issues Committee

G. Student Affairs Committee



A. All-University Elections

B. University Tenure and Promotions Committee Elections

C. College and Equivalent Unit Elections

D. Senate Internal Elections

E. Referenda

F. Faculty Constitution

G. Terms





The Bylaws of the Academic Senate are subordinate to the provisions of the Constitution adopted in June 1963, and to any subsequent amendments of the Constitution.



A. Officers and At-Large Executive Committee Members

1. The officers of the Academic Senate shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.

2. The Chair of the Academic Senate shall:

a) Call and preside at meetings of the Faculty, the Academic Senate, and the Executive Committee;

b) Have general supervision of the business of the Academic Senate;

c) Prepare the agenda for meetings of the Faculty and Academic Senate with the advice and approval of the Executive Committee;

d) Give timely notice of meetings of the Academic Senate to members;

e) Be spokesperson for the Academic Senate in representing Senate decisions;

f) Exercise general supervision over the office of the Academic Senate and its staff.

3. The Vice-Chair of the Academic Senate shall:

a. Act for the Chair in the Chair's absence or at his/her request;

b. Become Chair in the event the office of the Chair becomes vacant.

c. Identify policies that are outdated and need revision and communicate them to the Executive Committee. 

4. The Secretary of the Academic Senate shall:

a. Exercise general supervision over the taking and keeping of minutes of the Academic Senate;

b. Exercise general supervision over the taking and keeping of minutes of meetings of the Faculty and be responsible for records of decisions made by the Faculty.

5. At-large Executive Committee members shall support the Executive Committee in its business.


B. Meetings of the Academic Senate

1. There shall be at least one regular plenary meeting of the Academic Senate during each month of each semester. This provision does not apply to months in which a semester begins after the middle of the month or ends before the middle of the month. The Chair shall call the September meeting as soon as possible following the start of classes in the fall. Regular meetings shall be scheduled on Tuesday afternoons.

2. On weeks in which the full Senate does not meet, the standing committees of the Senate shall hold their meetings Tuesday afternoons with the same starting time as the plenary session.

3. Special meetings of the Academic Senate shall be held if requested by any of the following:

a. Chair of the Senate;

b. Executive Committee;

c. Any seven members of the Academic Senate.

The agenda for such meetings shall be stipulated in the request and shall be distributed, in either paper or electronic form, in advance of the meeting to all Academic Senate members. Items may be added to the end of the agenda by a majority vote, but cannot be taken out of order except by a two-thirds vote of those present.

4. The regular meeting place of the Academic Senate shall be decided by the Executive Committee. The time and place of special meetings of the Academic Senate shall be decided by the Executive Committee. Special meetings shall be held within one week after valid request for such a meeting has been made.


C. Academic Senate Procedural Rules

1. Rules

The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Academic Senate except where otherwise specified in the Senate's By-laws.

2. Open meetings

All meetings of the Academic Senate shall be open except when the Senate, by majority vote, shall declare itself to be in executive session, in which event only members of the Academic Senate will be permitted to attend.

3. Quorum

A majority of the authorized membership must be present to constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present at all times in order for the Academic Senate to conduct business.

4. Adoption of the agenda

The agenda for regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate shall be placed before the Senate, in either paper or electronic form, for its approval at or prior to the inception of each meeting. Items may be added to or re-ordered on the agenda by majority vote of the Senate. After seconding of a motion to re-order or to add an item to the agenda, the maker and supporters of the motion shall be given an aggregate of three minutes to argue on behalf of the proposed change. Opponents of the motion shall then be given an aggregate of three minutes to reply, after which the Chair shall call for the vote. It is understood that the customary manner for an individual senator to add items to the agenda when the time permits is to approach the Executive Committee in person or in writing.

The agenda for the Senate shall be published on the Senate website and in the SF State faculty/staff newsletter (e.g. Campus Memoin the edition before the relevant plenary session. All supporting materials will be available to the public on the Friday before the meeting through the Senate website.  

5. Voting on substantive motions

Voting on substantive motions (i.e., those involving university policy, those in which the senate takes a position on an issue, and the like) takes place in two stages: first reading and second reading.

  1. First Reading: In first reading, the motion is introduced and seconded. Discussion is in order in first reading, but not amendments, as the motion in first reading is still considered to be the property of the mover and can be amended by the mover until the motion is moved to second reading. The mover may accept suggestions immediately or take them under advisement and present a modified motion for the second reading. A speaker may take the floor and speak to the motion no more than three times unless approved by a majority of the Senators present. No speaker may take the floor more than once until the speaker’s list is exhausted. Speakers are limited to an aggregate of five minutes of time for a single motion unless approved by a majority of the Senators present. The first reading of a motion is concluded if: 1) there is no one remaining on the speakers' list who wishes to speak, or 2) a motion to close debate is passed (requires a two-thirds vote), or 3) a motion is approved to move the motion to second reading (requires a three-fourths majority).
  2. Second Reading: Voting on substantive motions shall take place only after a second reading of the motion. This will typically take place at a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which it was first introduced but can be moved to second reading in the same meeting.  A motion may be moved to second reading: 1) as provided in section 5A; or 2) if it is brought to the floor as a consent item as provided in section 8; or 3) if it is brought to the floor in second reading in a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which it was first introduced. The Executive Committee is charged with determining whether a motion should be brought to the floor at a subsequent meeting in first or second reading. Discussion is limited to speaking in support or opposition to the motion, and to proposing an amendment to the motion. Once a motion is in second reading, it is no longer the property of the mover and it can only be altered by amendment during deliberations. During second reading, amendments may be presented for action by the senate, and all amendments must be resolved by a vote of the body. Voting on substantive motions shall take place only after a second reading of the motion at a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which it was first introduced or after the motion has been moved to second reading as provided in 5A.


6. Majority defined

A majority of those voting, but no fewer than fifteen members, is necessary to constitute an official action of the Academic Senate. An abstention shall not be counted as a vote cast. If the vote at a second reading should constitute a majority of those voting but fewer than the required fifteen, the motion under consideration shall be placed on the agenda for the next Academic Senate meeting for one and only one further consideration.

7. Minimum number of speakers on a motion

Debate on any motion on the floor may not be closed until three speakers have been heard in favor and three opposed, not counting the maker of the motion and the seconder and the makers of subsidiary motions, unless fewer members chose to speak.

8. Adoption of motions by general consent

A motion may be adopted by "General Consent" if the motion has been placed on the agenda as a "consent item" by unanimous agreement of the initiating committee and the Executive Committee. If the initiating committee and the Executive Committee are in unanimous agreement that debate is unnecessary and unlikely to occur a motion can be forwarded as a “consent item” and goes to the body immediately in second reading. The Chair shall indicate that such a motion is brought as a "consent item" and ask if there is any request for debate. If there is no request for debate, the Chair may declare debate closed and may declare the motion adopted by "General Consent." An objection to either declaration by any member shall return the motion to the Executive Committee or, at the Chair’s discretion, it may be moved into first reading so that discussion can take place. 

9. Absences

In the event a member of the Academic Senate is absent for two successive meetings without written notification to the Executive Committee, that member shall be deemed to have resigned and the seat shall be filled as specified in the University Faculty Elections and Referenda Procedures. Should illness or emergency prevent a member from providing written notification, the Executive Committee is empowered to waive the requirement for written notification, as long as such a waiver does not deprive the faculty or any of its units of adequate representation on the Academic Senate.

10. Code of Conduct

All Senators, visitors, and Senate staff, are to be treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions. All Senators should:

  • be respectful and collaborative.
  • communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, and staff.
  • Respect and abide by the by-laws of the Academic Senate of SF State.

Any Senator found to be in violation of the Academic Senate Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and possible removal from the Senate.


D. Executive Committee

1. Membership and Elections

a. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, two members at large, the chairs of the standing committees, the immediate past chair, and the members of the Academic Senate CSU.

b. The officers and two additional members of the Academic Senate shall be elected annually by the incoming Academic Senate at either a regular or a special meeting in May. The officers and two members at large shall serve for a period of one year or until their successors have been elected. In the event that the Chair succeeds themselves, no person shall fill the seat of the immediate past chair.

c. The chairs of each standing policy committee shall be elected by the members of each committee, who shall serve for a period of one year or until the next Senate election of officer.

d. The term of office for members of the Executive Committee shall begin on June 1, or immediately if an election takes place after June 1.

2. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for preparing the agenda, for advising the Chair regarding the conduct of Senate business, and for such additional duties as the Academic Senate may assign.

3. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to act for the Academic Senate, except that in addressing the Chancellor, the Trustees, or other appropriate bodies on matters of policy it shall distinguish whether it is expressing the position of the Academic Senate or the position of the Executive Committee alone. This authority should be exercised only when a situation arises requiring resolution before the next regular meeting of the Academic Senate is feasible. In any case, the Committee shall report such action to the Academic Senate at the first meeting of the Senate following the action.

4. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to approve the minutes of the final May meeting of the Academic Senate, of the spring organizational meeting of a “new” Academic Senate, and of any special meetings held during the summer. All approved minutes shall be made available to the public in the same manner as minutes of academic-year meetings.

5. The Executive Committee shall be available on an emergency basis during the months of June, July, and August for consultation, calling of special Academic Senate meetings, and handling of such duties as may be delegated to it by the Senate.

6. Open meetings: All meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open except when the committee, by majority vote, shall declare itself to be in executive session, in which event only members of the Executive Committee will be permitted to attend.

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E. Internal Committees (Subcommittees)

1. Elections Committee (ad hoc) 

a. Charge: It shall be the responsibility of this Committee to review every five years election procedures of the University, Senate, and Colleges to recommend any appropriate revisions. In any instances of disputed all-University or Senate elections, the Elections Committee shall serve as final arbitrator.

b. Membership: three members chosen by the Executive Committee including one staff. 

2. The Academic Senate may form, supervise, and disband any other committees within its membership. The Academic Senate may delegate its duties, but not its responsibilities, to its own subcommittees or to other bodies it may authorize. The Academic Senate and its subcommittees may offer reports as needed.

3. If a committee is not carrying out its business (e.g. not meeting, not able to complete its work, not able to fulfill its charge), the Officers of the Senate shall work with the committee to resolve the situation. If the situation is not able to be resolved, the Executive Committee shall forward a resolution to the body of the Senate calling for the membership to be disbanded and reconstituted. Upon approval of the resolution by the body of the Senate, the membership of the committee will be disbanded, and the Executive Committee will reconstitute the membership using the procedures established in its By-laws and Constitution.

4. All meetings of Academic Senate standing and subcommittees shall be open except when the committee, by majority vote, shall declare itself to be in executive session, in which event only members of the committee will be permitted to attend.




A. Procedures and Rules for Standing Committees

1. Their status as standing committees under the Academic Senate By-Laws entrusts to them the task of evaluating and developing all-university programs, policies, and procedures, and submitting recommendations, which will aid the Senate in discharging its responsibilities. Members of committees represent the entire University rather than reflect the special interests of subdivisions of the University. The widest appropriate distribution of information to colleges, schools/departments, or to the general faculty by committees considering measures of concern to those colleges, schools/departments, or general faculty is herein recommended.

2. Standing committees continue to have the privilege, if not the obligation, of inviting guests and of notifying interested parties when matters of mutual concern are under consideration.

3. The following recommendations may apply to all committees although they do not appear in the individual descriptions or charges.

a. Unless otherwise indicated, committees are free to establish their own rules and    procedures and are invited to recommend to the Senate changes in structure or function. Meetings should normally be open rather than closed (see special circumstances). Committee chairs and members may invite resource personnel to meetings.

b. Committees may utilize the services of faculty for resource purposes, may create their own sub-committees or request the assistance of the Executive Committee for such purposes. All decisions and voting privileges, however, will be exercised only by duly appointed committee members.

c. On (or shortly before) June 1 of each year, each standing committee and subcommittee will forward to the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate Office, a brief written report of work accomplished, or in progress, since the filing of the previous year's report. The Chair of the committee shall indicate the results of the vote to adopt the report. A minority report will be accepted if submitted, but the members supporting the report must be identified.

4. Shortly after the seating of the new Senate, the Executive Committee will appoint senators to standing policies committees. At a time specified by the Chair of the Academic Senate, all new committees will convene for orientation and organization. At the first meeting of the Senate in the fall, the Executive Committee will recommend its standing committee appointments to the Academic Senate for approval.

5. A majority of a committee shall constitute a quorum except as otherwise stated.

6. Materials dealing with personnel cases or with matters deemed by a designated committee to be of a privileged nature shall be accessible only to current members of the designated committee.

7. Committees shall meet regularly (not less than once a month during the academic year) and upon the call of the chair of the committee or at the request of the Chair of the Academic Senate. If a committee member is absent from two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of a committee without prior notification of the chair, the chair may request that the Executive committee of the Senate declare the seat vacant. A replacement will then be made in accordance with the established procedures governing that committee.

8. Each committee may choose to add up to two faculty members as regular voting members if it concludes this will add special competencies to its membership, assist in the solicitation of the widest possible range of views, or otherwise increase its productivity. These members are in addition to those members selected by the Executive Committee.

9. If disagreements, not otherwise reconcilable, occur between University-level administration and other administrative levels or between the several schools concerning the implementation of policies or application of guidelines, or concerning whether proposed actions exceed allocation or violate established policies and guidelines, such disagreements and problems shall be considered by the Executive Committee and may be referred to a standing committee.

10. . When the Standing Committee unanimously approves an item, the item may be forwarded to the Academic Senate as a "consent" item if also unanimously approved by the Executive Committee.


B. Academic Policies Committee

1. Charge

The Academic Policies Committee (APC) shall study and evaluate existing educational policies and plans and may initiate recommendations for changes in them. No modifications in such plans or policies shall be implemented without the approval of this Committee. Among the specific functions of the Academic Policies Committee are the following:

a) The review of and suggested modifications in the academic master plan based on the continuing analysis of the educational objectives of the University and the needs of its students;

b) The determination of the general scope and relative size or priority of programs;

c) The establishment of criteria for adoption or modification of degree programs;

d) The review of grading practices and standards;

e) The review of admissions policies;

f) The review of each year's academic calendar; and

g) The development of criteria governing experiential learning, both prior (e.g., CEEL, credit by examination, advanced placement) and sponsored (e.g., internships, supervised field experiences), and of procedures for implementing such criteria.


2. Membership:

a. A minimum of seven members of the Academic Senate

b. Two students, one graduate and one undergraduate, appointed in consultation with the Associated Students

c. Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning or designee (ex officio).


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C. Curriculum Review and Approval Committee

1. Charge

The primary responsibility of the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC) is to ensure that University programs follow those criteria and procedures developed by the Academic Policies Committee. In particular, it shall:

  • Review proposals for new or revised majors, minors, concentrations, and certificates
  • Review all course and program recommendations made by the Graduate Council
  • Review program prospectuses and provide recommendations to the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning.
  • Review college curriculum plans and offer suggestions for consultations and collaborations. 
  • Ensure appropriate consultation with academic deans and the Library.
  • CRAC may, as their schedule permits, review and develop curriculum related policies.
  • CRAC may undertake the consideration of such issues as may be assigned to them in the development of various policies and procedures throughout the campus.

No changes falling within its area of responsibility shall be implemented without the approval of this Committee.

2. Membership


  • A minimum of seven members of the Academic Senate
  • One undergraduate student and one graduate student appointed in consultation with Associated Students, Inc.


  • Associate Dean of Academic Planning or designee
  • Dean of Graduate Studies or designee


Return to What does C.R.A.C. do?


D. Educational Policies Council

1. Charge and Membership

a) The Academic Policies Committee (APC) and Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC) shall meet jointly as the Educational Policies Council (EPC) on an as-needed basis to discuss: 1) policies and procedures being established by APC; 2) implementation and review procedures being followed by CRAC; and 3) actions of the Academic Senate, the President or the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost. The chairs of APC and CRAC shall consult regularly about issues facing both committees. The chair of APC shall convene and serve as chair of EPC.

b) Examples of issues that might come before EPC include but are not limited to requests by programs for exceptions to GE policy and proposals for program discontinuance. The process for review of proposed discontinuance of undergraduate and graduate degrees, concentrations, minors, and certificates is fully outlined in AS Policy #S20-177 Academic Program Discontinuance.

c) Many committees have business that may eventually come before APC, CRAC or EPC (for example, Baccalaureate Requirements Committee, Graduate Council, Interdisciplinary Council, Liberal Studies Council, Library Advisory Committee). Given the nature of the issues dealt with by the Baccalaureate Requirements Committee and the Graduate Council, it remains important that EPC send formal liaisons to these two committees. Other Committee chairs considering issues that are likely to be brought to EPC, APC, or CRAC shall forward copies of meeting agendas and minutes to the appropriate chair(s) on a regular basis and/or shall consult with the chair(s) whenever relevant issues arise. Chairs may request a liaison to attend the meetings, when needed, or ask to meet with the entire committee.



Return to What does E.P.C. do?


E. Faculty Affairs Committee

1. Charge:

a. The Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) shall study and evaluate existing policies and may initiate recommendations for change in, or for more successful implementation of, such policies. FAC may also initiate policy. Specific concerns include but are not limited to: hiring, retention, tenure and promotion; faculty evaluation; faculty professional development; professional ethics; consultative practices and policies concerning administrative appointments and selection of school/department chairs; affirmative action; equity; and academic freedom.

b. Modifications in such policies shall be implemented after consultation with FAC, except for those mandated by a collective bargaining contract.

c. In the area of faculty affairs, FAC shall serve as the principal recommending body to the Academic Senate.

2. Membership:

a. A minimum of seven members of the Academic Senate, including at least one lecturer

b. Associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs or designee (ex officio)



Return to What does F.A.C. do?


F. Strategic Issues Committee

1. Charge: 

The Strategic Issues Committee (SIC) shall study and evaluate existing and proposed plans and policies concerning relations within San Francisco State University and between other entities external to the University. The specific domains of concern for the SIC will include:

a) Relations with domestic and overseas universities, community colleges and public schools including, but not limited to, partnerships, admission requirements, course equivalencies and transfer credits;

b) Campus response to Chancellor’s Office actions including Executive Orders, policies and planning activities;

c) University development, advancement, community and government relations;

   d) SF State and CSU long-range planning, budgeting, and goal-setting;

   e) Accreditation and other interactions with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges;

   f) Identifying potential issues that might affect the University community; and

  g) Other items as may be assigned by the Executive Committee.


2. Membership:

a) A minimum of seven members of the Academic Senate, including one representative from each college and at least one staff representative;

b) One undergraduate and one graduate student appointed in consultation with Associated Students;

c) A member of the Administration designated by the President.  It is recommended that this person be a college dean;

d) The Vice President of Administration & Finance/Chief Financial Officer (Ex Officio);

e) The Associate Vice President of Academic Resources (Ex Officio).



Return to What does S.I.C. do?


G. Student Affairs Committee

1. Charge:

The responsibility of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) is to define and recommend to the appropriate body institutional policy as it affects students, including but not limited to the following areas: student life services; advising and counseling; testing and student learning; financial aid; international students and other special groups; health services; housing; student government; student conduct and student justice. SAC shall also concern itself with instructionally related University activities such as intercollegiate athletics, publications and creative arts productions.

a. SAC has a primary responsibility to bring before the Academic Senate, the Associated Students, or the Administration, wherever appropriate, policy matters in the area of student life. It will be responsible for defining, recommending and periodically reviewing policy in the realm of student life in order to provide additional direction to those charged with administering institutional policy

b. SAC will receive recommendations and opinions from other established bodies and committees on possible institutional policy regarding student affairs.

    In carrying out the above policies, the Committee will be guided by the following principles as reaffirmed by the Academic Senate (May 9, 1967):

    • At San Francisco State University, students are respected as adults and citizens of the community and as such have all the rights and responsibilities of adults and citizens to participate in University and community affairs. These rights and responsibilities are to be guarded and fulfilled.
    • If students as citizens act under the rights which are theirs, they must also accept the legal and ethical responsibilities which accompany these rights.
    • The University, by its very nature, is a publicly supported institution designed to assist the student in developing as an adult and as a citizen, but which by law and good judgment cannot involve itself in partisan or other activities which might hinder its effectiveness as an institution of higher education serving people of all faiths, creeds, and political beliefs.
    • The University cannot assume legal or financial responsibility for any person, whether faculty, student, or staff, who is not acting as its agent. In no student activity are students acting as agents of the University unless expressly stipulated by the University authority.
    • All policies set out and activities carried on in the area of student affairs will be accomplished in a spirit of contributing to the larger intellectual aims of the University community.
    • All institutional policies governing student affairs now in existence will be honored by the Committee unless specific Committee action is taken to the contrary.


    1. A minimum of seven members of the Academic Senate
    2. A minimum of one student member.
      1. Academic Senate shall work in consultation with Associated Students to identify student members.
      2. Academic Senate shall work with the Office of the Dean of Students to affirm that student members are in good standing with the University and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
      3. Appointed student members are expected to regularly update the Associated Students President and Board on Student Affairs Committee matters.
    3. Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management or designee (ex officio)



    Return to What does S.A.C. do?


    A. Two hundred members of the Faculty must be present to constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present in order for the Faculty to conduct business. Faculty members may not be represented or vote by proxy.

    B. A quorum of the Faculty may consider any subject at a general faculty meeting but may not take binding action except insofar as a proposal by a majority vote of those present and voting is referred to the Faculty for a written referendum vote.

    C. The presiding officer shall make the final determination as to the results of a vote. Motions for reconsideration may be make. Vote by secret ballot on any motion may be required by any faculty member, seconded by nine additional faculty members.

    D. The Academic Senate, after consultation with the President of the University or his/her duly appointed representative, shall prepare and publicize the agenda for each faculty meeting.




    A. All-University Elections

    All-University elections include, among other possibilities, those that select faculty and, where appropriate, staff representatives for at-large membership on the Academic Senate, the Statewide Academic Senate, administrative consultation committees, and the Academic Freedom Committee. The University Tenure and Promotions Committee elections, which include some special requirements, will be discussed in a separate section. The Chair of the Academic Senate, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will oversee the conduct of all-university elections, with support from Senate and technical staff.

    1. Announcement of Elections: Announcements of elections shall be made in three ways: Directly to the electorate, through appropriate faculty and staff publications and by communication with appropriate administrators, offices of the campus and the CSU system.

    2. Electorate

    a) In most instances of all-University elections, the faculty electorate is determined by the provisions of the Faculty Constitution.

    b) In any instance for which the Faculty Constitution would not determine the electorate, the Academic Senate shall have this responsibility.

    c) The electorate in Academic Senate staff elections shall consist of all employees within the following groups: Unit 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. 

    3. Nominations

    a) Nominations may be made by any member of the electorate so long as the person being nominated agrees to stand as a candidate.

    b) In some instances, the Academic Senate or the Executive Committee of the Senate might wish to serve as an initial nominating committee, especially for such ad hoc all-University committees, which might be deemed necessary. There shall be a minimum of ten working days' notice between the announcement of an all-University election and the deadline for the receipt of nominations. This deadline shall not be extended as long as there have been nominated twice as many candidates as there are offices but must be extended for only five working days (and publicized) should the number of nominations fall short of this requirement.

    4. Availability of Ballots: Ballots shall be made available to an up-to-date listing of the electorate.

    5. Voting

    a) All ballots must be verified as submitted by qualified electors, with provision made to ensure a maximum of one vote per elector. No votes shall be counted that are received after the deadline listed on the ballot. The deadline shall not be less than five working days nor more than ten working days from when the ballot is made available.

    b) During the voting period for faculty elections, only the Chair of the Academic Senate, the Executive Committee and the technical staff shall have access to any open ballot.

    c) During the voting period for staff elections, only the Chair of the Academic Senate, the Staff Elections Committee and the technical staff shall have access to any open ballot.

    6. Listing of Names on Ballots: Names will be listed on ballots in a random order. The identifying description of the candidate will coincide with the listing of the individual in the University Bulletin or other official records.

    7. Approval Voting System

    a) In an all-University election, the system known as approval voting will be used. Regardless of how many candidates there are or how many places are to be filled, under approval voting the voter may vote for any number of candidates, but may not cast more than one vote for a candidate.

    b) Winning candidates are those with the highest number of votes.

    c) In the event of ties that preclude determination of winner or winners, a run-off election will be held among those so tied.

    8. Void Ballots: Ballots will be considered void if they violate any specific requirements in the election. There shall be no requirement that a voter must vote for the required number of candidates.

    9. Replacements

    a) Should a vacancy develop at the onset or during the academic year in any position selected by an all-University election, the individual receiving the highest number of votes among those not elected in the most recent election for that office will serve as a short-term replacement for the remainder of that academic year

    b) Should an at-large vacancy persist for more than a year or should a representative resign from a seat when there is more than one year remaining in his/her term, the balance of the term shall be filled at the next regularly scheduled annual election. Should a vacancy arise in a unit-specific position, a replacement shall be identified by the unit through normal unit procedures.

    c) At any election for which both full and partial terms are at stake, individuals will be assigned to the full and partial terms as determined by their rank order in the election.

    d) Any problem not met by these replacement procedures will be settled by the Executive Committee.

    10. Statements by Candidates

    a) Candidates for all-University elections should be encouraged to file statements reflecting their views that are pertinent to the particular election.

    b) These statements shall be made available to the electorate an appropriate amount of time prior to the election and included with the ballots.

    11. Counting of Ballots:

    a) It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to make decisions on the legitimacy of individual votes and to certify the results of faculty elections.

    b) It is the responsibility of the Staff Elections Committee to make decisions on the legitimacy of individual votes and to certify the results of staff elections.

    12. Notification and recordkeeping: After election results are certified, results will be announced in two stages: First, all candidates will be notified of their own election results. Then, election results will be announced directly to the electorate through an appropriate campus-wide distribution method, and by communication with appropriate administrators. Election records, including vote totals for all offices, will be available upon request and will be maintained for three years following each election.


    B. University Tenure and Promotions Committee Elections

    Members of the University Tenure and Promotions Committee shall be elected according to the procedures for all-university elections with the exception of any requirements outlined in the current version of the Retention, Tenure and Promotion policy.


    C. College and Equivalent Unit Elections

    1. The elections referred to in this section include only those in which unit (College/Library) representatives are selected for the Academic Senate, all-University standing committees, and other ad hoc committees at the University level requiring unit representation.

    2. It is not the intent of the Academic Senate to prescribe election procedures for the units. The principle of a large degree of decentralization and autonomy seems appropriate. However, to ensure a minimum amount of uniformity and regularity, the following procedures shall apply:

    a) All units shall identify an Election Coordinator or an Elections Committee who will have the responsibility for conducting elections and such other duties as might be delegated to them.

    b)  All units shall develop and a statement of election procedures.

    c) Beyond these two requirements, units are free to operate as they desire. In elections where eligibility for candidacy and voting are specified in the Faculty Constitution, these limitations will naturally apply. Many of the procedures listed in this document as requirements for all-University elections should serve as guidelines, with some modification, for unit elections. This would include the procedure requiring majority vote or approval voting, the replacement provision, and the nominations process.


    D. Senate Internal Elections

    Elections in which only the Academic Senate membership votes include the Senate's election of its own Executive Committee, working committees for Senate business, and some ad hoc all-University committees. It shall be the responsibility of the Academic Senate to determine which ad hoc all-University committees are to be chosen by the Senate and which are to be determined by the total faculty.

    1. Executive Committee Elections

    a) The spring organizational meeting of the Senate shall be held as soon after completion of election of new members as practicable, but in no case later than the end of instruction in the spring semester. At that meeting, the identified members of the Senate for the next academic year shall elect their officers. A Senate member on leave for the fall semester shall be deemed eligible to vote for Senate officers. In the instance of a Senate member on leave for the entire academic year, the replacement shall be deemed eligible to vote. The new Senate will assume its official duties on June 1.

    b) Offices shall be filled one at a time in order of chair, vice chair, secretary, first at-large member, second at-large member.

    c) Nominations shall be made by individual members of the Senate by secret ballot.

    d) Senate members shall have the opportunity of withdrawing their names from nominations after the nominations have been announced.

    e) Voting shall be by written ballots unless there is only one nominee.

    f) To be elected, a Senate member must receive a majority of the votes cast. (A written abstention shall not be considered vote cast.) In a run-off election, the candidates shall be those listed in rank order of votes received whose combined total of votes first exceeds a majority (i.e., if the top two have such a majority, they will be the candidates; if it takes the top three for such a majority, they are the candidates, etc.)

    g) For the purpose of this election, the chair shall appoint two retiring Senate members as an Elections Committee to handle the voting procedures.

    2. Elections: Senate Working Committees and All-University ad hoc Committees chosen by the Senate: In view of the diversity of such elections, procedures that would encompass all such elections would be complex and burdensome. Thus, the procedures suggested below are intended only as guidelines for most elections. The Executive Committee shall either decide on the procedures for specific elections or delegate this final decision to the Senate.

    a) The Executive Committee shall serve as a nominating committee for such committees. Senate members may make floor nominations and shall be notified of the elections in sufficient time to secure nominees who have agreed to run. Where appropriate, the Senate shall attempt to expand the number of faculty involved in academic governance.

    b) In instances where there are numerous nominees for a particular position, the majority vote requirement is advisable.

    c) The term of service on committees shall be two years unless specified otherwise for an individual committee.



    E. Referenda

    1. When referenda have been decreed by the Faculty or the Senate, the Executive Committee shall decide whether or not position statements on each referendum will be included with the ballot. Should such statements be required, the Executive Committee will oversee this process.

    2. Procedures for all-university elections (Part A) shall be followed, where applicable.

    3. The names and addresses of the chairs of the sponsoring groups should be included on all campaign literature.

    F. Faculty Constitution

    1. Constitutional amendments must be adopted by the Academic Senate or initiated by members of the Faculty as described Article 5, section 2 of the Faculty Constitution.

    2. Amendments will be voted on by the Faculty and shall adopted by a favorable majority vote by those members of the Faculty who vote and shall not be amended if fewer favorable ballots are cast than the number comprising a quorum of the Faculty. 

    3. A quorum of Faculty shall be met if a minimum of two hundred votes are cast in the period in which voting on Constitutional changes is open. 

    G. Terms

    The term of service for any person elected or appointed to a committee by the faculty, the Senate, or the executive Committee shall be a specified duration for that committee.



    A. The Executive Committee is authorized to appoint one member of the Faculty as parliamentarian of the Senate. The Parliamentarian shall attend Senate meetings to advise the Chair on procedural matters.

    B. The Senate Executive Committee or its designees shall serve as alternates to the Statewide Senate delegation. In case an elected Statewide Senator is forced to miss a meeting of the Statewide Senate, that person, at the earliest possible time, shall notify the senior or next senior member of the San Francisco delegation who shall proceed down the list of designated alternates until an alternate able to attend the meeting is found.

    C. Elected members of the Senate may succeed themselves for one full term. No member of the Academic Senate shall serve more than six successive years in that capacity. The time spent by a Senator in replacing another Senator on leave or absent for any reason shall not be included in the above stated limitations of service. Leave of absence from the Academic Senate shall be limited to two consecutive semesters.

    D. The Executive Committee shall determine the electorate of the student affairs professional academically-related area after consultation with representatives of the group.



    These By-laws of the Academic Senate may be added to or amended by a two-thirds vote of the Academic Senate.


    Academic Senate.

    ***Revised By-Laws approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on March 17, 2020***