Rules of the Senate of the Academic Council
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Rules of the Senate of the Academic Council
In accordance with the Charter, the Steering Committee shall schedule regular Senate meetings at least monthly during the Academic Calendar Year (See Charter, Article III, A, 1 and 2). Special meetings on particular matters shall be scheduled in a timely manner by the Steering Committee upon request of at least eighteen members; the Steering Committee may schedule other special Senate meetings on particular matters as it deems appropriate.
In Accordance with the Charter a majority of the elected members shall constitute a quorum at every meeting of the Senate (See Charter, Article III,A,3). The sole exception to this Rule may be exercised in the following circumstances: If, in the opinion of the Chair, there exists a possibility that a quorum of elected members may not be mustered in order to permit the opening of business, the Chair shall be empowered to include Deans of Schools for the express and sole purpose of calling into session the Senate Committee for the Conferring of Degrees. The Senate Committee for the Conferring of Degrees shall be authorized on behalf of the Senate of the Academic Council to confer degrees on recommendation of the appropriate Council Committees and shall be limited to act on behalf of the Senate in that function only. Deans of Schools shall have the right to vote as members of this Senate Committee for the Conferring of Degrees.
As adopted by the Senate of the Academic Council 11/13/69, and amended 11/12 and 12/17/70; 3/18, 4/15, 4/29,
6/10, and 12/2/71; 5/11/72, 3/8 and 5/31, 1973; 12/4/75; 1/8 and 10/14/76; 12/1/77, 11/10/83, 10/27/88, and
2/4/94. Rule VIII was ratified by the Board of Trustees on 9/14/71.
I. Membership, Meetings And Quorum
All members, both elected and ex officio, shall have all perquisites of membership, subject to the provisions of the Charter of the Senate (hereinafter referred to as the Charter).
II. Order of Business
- The regular order of business shall be as follows:
- Call to Order
- Submission of Minutes
- Action Calendar (See paragraph II.4 below)
- Unfinished Business
- New Business (Matters may be raised for action or discussion under this agenda item)
- The Senate may, by adopting a motion to take up a special order of business, depart from the regular order of business. Such a motion must specify the topic which is to be considered under the special order of business, and may specify the time period during which the special order of business is to be discussed; the motion is not debatable, and requires a two-thirds majority vote.
- The Senate may, by resolving as if in committee of the whole, discuss any pending matter arising under Reports, Unfinished Business, or New Business. The motion to resolve as if in committee of the whole is debatable and requires a simple majority vote. Unless the Senate by simple majority vote decides otherwise as to a particular matter, ex officio members shall not be entitled to vote when the Senate is resolved as if in committee of the whole.
- The Action Calendar is controlled by the following rules;
- A matter on the Action Calendar must be voted on or removed from the Action Calendar, without amendment or substitution, within the number of minutes specified by the Steering Committee.
- A matter may be placed on the Action Calendar:
- by decision of the Steering Committee; or
- as to any matter on which the Committee on Committees or any Academic Council Committee is reporting, by decision of such Committee; or
- by request of any Senate member made in writing, signed by at least eight other Senate members, and presented to the Academic Secretary at least seven days before the Senate meeting at which it is proposed that the matter be presented.
- By majority vote of the Senate, a pending matter may be placed on the Action Calendar of the next regular meeting.
- A matter may be removed from the Action Calendar only by a motion to place the matter on the agenda at the end of Unfinished Business. Such a motion may be made only while the matter is being considered on the Action Calendar, is not debatable, and requires a simple majority.
- Reports shall be received and actions taken on reports in the order determined by the Steering Committee, except when the Senate adopts a motion to take up a special order of business.
- Unfinished Business and scheduled New Business shall be considered in the order determined by the Steering Committee, except when the Senate adopts a motion to take up a special order of business. As to a matter placed on the agenda by the Steering Committee, a motion may be made at any time to postpone consideration of the matter to a definite time or indefinitely, or to refer it to a committee, but no motion may be made to table the matter.
- Members may introduce New Business after the matters scheduled by the Steering Committee have been acted on, postponed, or referred to committee.
- A matter shall be placed on the regular agenda by the Steering Committee if a request to do so is received by the Academic Secretary, supported by:
- a petition signed by fourteen Senate members;
- a referral from the Academic Council, in accordance with the Charter; (See Charter, Article V.C.2.);
- a petition signed by fifty members of the Academic Council;
- a resolution of the Senate of the Associated Students of Stanford University;
- a student referendum; or
- a petition signed by 500 or more Stanford students.
- At any time a member may move that a pending matter is not proper for official action by the Senate. The motion is debatable, requires a simple majority and takes precedence over all other motions concerning the pending matter.
- A two-stage process for a decision by the Senate may be invoked subject to the following rules:
- The two-stage process for the motion may be invoked either (i) at the time of the introduction of the motion, on specification by the mover and seconder, or (ii) during debate on the question, on motion from the floor.
- A motion to invoke the two-stage process is debatable with respect to the merits of invoking the process, requires a simple majority and takes precedence over all other motions concerning the pending matter except a motion that a matter is not proper for official action by the Senate.
- Under the two-stage process, a preliminary vote may be taken on the question at the meeting at which the matter is introduced (i.e., during the first stage), but such a vote shall in no respect be binding. A request for a roll call vote shall be out of order in a preliminary vote. A final vote shall be out of order during the first stage.
- During the first stage, secondary motions which are normally in order, except as provided in the foregoing subparagraph, shall be in order.
- After first stage consideration, the matter involved shall be slated for final action in the second stage no later than the next regular meeting, in a position on the agenda that will assure its being considered at that meeting.
- The Chair of the Senate, elected by written ballot as provided in the Charter, shall preside at all meetings except as provided in Paragraph III, 2. In the absence of the Chair, a Vice-Chair, selected by the Steering Committee from its own members, shall preside.
- When the presiding officer wishes to speak in debate, the Academic Secretary or another member shall be appointed to preside until the completion of voting on the immediately-pending question.
- The Chair retains the right to vote.
- The Chair may exercise the discretion of the Chair in maintaining parliamentary order. Decisions of the Chair may be appealed by any member. A motion of appeal is not debatable; a simple majority vote is required to overrule the Chair.
- In accordance with the Charter, the Academic Secretary shall keep the records and carry on the correspondence of the Senate, and prepare and transmit reports of Senate meetings. The Academic Secretary shall also advise the Chair on points of order and rules of procedure, preside pro tempore when requested by the Chair to do so, and act as Secretary to the Steering Committee and the Committee on Committees and the Planning and Policy Board.1
- In accordance with the Charter, the Steering Committee shall be responsible for determining the agenda for meetings, communicating with individuals and bodies external to the Senate, and appointing the Committee on Committees. (See Charter, Article III, D.) The Steering Committee shall also be responsible for consulting with the ASSU Senate, referring matters to standing committees for report to the Senate, and scheduling special meetings.
- In accordance with the Charter (See Article, III, D and E) the election of Steering Committee members other than the Chair shall be by preferential ballot and counted by the Hare System of Proportional Representation.
- A vacancy that occurs on the Steering Committee shall be filled based upon the original balloting for the Steering Committee; one of the prevailing highest alternates shall be asked to serve.2
- The Committee on Committees shall perform the duties specified in the Charter of the Senate. (See Charter, Article III, F.)
IV. Attendance, Debate and Voting
- The Academic Secretary shall record the attendance of members at each Senate meeting and shall ask any elected member absent from half the meetings during an academic quarter whether that member desires to be replaced by an Alternate for the duration of the term of office.
- In accordance with the Charter (See Charter, Article, III, A, 4), meetings of the Senate are open to all members of the Academic Council. Meetings of the Senate are also open to students and staff of the University. Subject to Paragraphs 3 and 4 below and insofar as space is available, members of the Academic Council and students and staff of the University shall, on advance request to the Academic Secretary, be seated in the Senate meeting room. If space is not available in the Senate meeting room, the Steering Committee shall make appropriate arrangements for voice transmission of the Senate proceedings to another place.
- Reserved seats for non-members are allocated to the following persons: Chairs and members of any committees scheduled to report to the Senate, with the right to speak; the President of the ASSU, or a standing designee, with the right to speak; the Chair of the Senate of the ASSU, or a standing designee, with the right to speak; one other student designated by the Nominations Commission of the ASSU, with the right to speak; the Editor of the Stanford Daily, or a standing designee; the News Director of KZSU, or a standing designee; a reporter for Stanford Report; and guests invited by the Steering Committee for particular meetings.
- For each meeting the Academic Secretary shall give effect to the seating priorities determined from time to time by the Steering Committee.
- Except as specified in Paragraph 3 above, a non-member of the Senate may speak in a meeting only by unanimous consent or by motion approved by a two-thirds majority.
- Speakers shall seek recognition from the Chair before presenting a motion, a point of order, or a request for information. There shall be no motion to amend an amendment of an amendment.
- Subject to the provisions of the Charter, voting shall be by voice vote, show of hands, roll call, or secret written ballot.
- On a voice vote that leaves the Chair uncertain whether the ayes or the nays are more numerous, the Chair may call for a show of hands for guidance in declaring the result, which shall be recorded simply as "passed by a divided voice vote" or "failed by a divided voice vote."
- Upon the request of any member, a show of hands shall be recorded in the official minutes stating the number of affirmative and negative votes and the number of abstentions.
- A roll call vote shall be taken when the Chair or a member inquires whether it is desirable and a majority of the members present respond affirmatively; such an inquiry is not a motion and the members present shall be asked to respond without debate. For a roll call vote, the minutes shall show the name of each elected member and whether the member voted aye, voted nay, abstained, or was absent.
V. Limitation of Succession of
- In the application of the Charter, Article II, Section D, Paragraph 5:
- The specified minimum of two years of ineligibility shall date from the end of the second consecutive term of service until the beginning of a subsequent term.
- Terms of service that are separated by fewer than twelve months shall be regarded as consecutive terms; terms that are separated by twelve months or more shall not be regarded as consecutive.
- If a Representative-elect is seated in the Senate during the Summer under the provisions of the By-Law on the Senate in Summer, service in the Summer shall be disregarded.
- A term of service that is less than one full quarter in duration and that is followed without interruption by another term of service shall be disregarded.
VI. Committees of the Academic Council
- Committees of the Academic Council, which are appointed under the authority of the Senate of the Academic Council, shall operate as bodies formulating policy and reviewing operations. No policy formulated by a Committee shall be binding until recommended to and approved by the Senate. Implementation of policies shall be left to appropriate administrative officers.
- All Committees shall promptly report all policy formulations to the Senate. No matter within the concern of a Committee shall be the subject of action by the Senate without having been first considered by the Committee. The Senate, however, may place questions on the agenda of any Committee, and may specify reasonable deadlines for action or report on these questions. Committees shall report their activities to the Senate from time to time as requested by the Steering Committee.
- Any matter of deliberation which is deemed by a Committee to be confidential or any information received by a Committee in confidence shall be held as such by its members.
- Records of Committees' actions and deliberations shall be open to inspection by properly qualified members of the University, within appropriate standards of confidentiality.
- Each Committee shall file minutes regularly with the Academic Secretary, noting any portion of the minutes that, in the judgment of the Committee, is confidential, and to what degree. Where further judgment as to identification and confidentiality must be exercised, the decision shall be that of the Academic Secretary, after consulting with the appropriate Committee or the Chair of the Senate.
- The Chair of each Committee shall file with the Academic Secretary, no later than August 1, a report for the preceding year. This report shall be distributed to the Senate.
- The Academic Secretary shall transmit to the ASSU one copy of all such material not marked as confidential.
- Members of Committees shall be appointed by the Committee on Committees of the Senate. All appointed members provided for in individual charges to Committees shall be voting members. Wherever possible, the appointment of student members shall be made in accordance with the nominating procedures prevailing in the constitutional organization of the student government, provided such nominations are forthcoming, are promptly made, and the nominees are eligible. No such nomination shall be rejected unless the Committee on Committees sees an overriding reason for doing so and reports the declination to the Senate. Any Committee may add, as non-voting co-opted members, additional persons from the faculty, University staff, and the student body as appropriate to the Committee's charge, not to exceed in number one-third of authorized membership.
- All members of Committees shall function as uninstructed members, free to use their judgment on issues, and not as delegates or representatives of constituents.
- Consecutive membership on a Committee shall usually be limited to three years, with eligibility for reappointment coming after absence from the Committee of one full year.
- The Chair of each Committee shall be appointed by the Committee on Committees. Normally no person shall serve as Chair of a Committee for more than three consecutive years.
- An administrative officer whose operations are importantly affected by the policies of, and whose operations are reviewed by, a given Committee shall not be Chair of the Committee, but shall normally be an ex officio, non-voting member of the Committee.
- Agenda and minutes of Committees shall be circulated to appropriate administrative officers, who shall be invited to attend discussions by Committees of matters substantially touching their operations, whether they are members or not.
- Committees shall appoint subcommittees as directed by their individual charges and shall name their Chairs. In addition to these standing subcommittees, each Committee may appoint temporary subgroups for matters of specified reference and for specified duration. Matters of reference shall be received by subcommittees only from the parent Committee or its Chair. Subcommittees shall formulate policy only in areas assigned to them by the Senate in the charge to the parent Committee. Such policy formulation shall not be effective until the formulation has been recommended to the Senate by the parent Committee and approved by the Senate. A subcommittee may be charged by its parent Committee to review the work of a particular administrative officer, with reference to policies formulated by the parent Committee and approved by the Senate.
- Minutes of each standing subcommittee's meetings shall be kept according to standards set by the Academic Secretary, and filed promptly with the Chair of the parent Committee and with the Academic Secretary. The Chair of each subcommittee shall file with the Academic Secretary and with the parent Committee, no later than July 1, a report of the subcommittee's work for the preceding academic year.
- A majority of the voting members of each subcommittee shall be members of the Academic Council. Membership of a subcommittee shall not exceed the size of the parent Committee. The membership of each subcommittee shall include at least one member of the parent Committee. Appointment to a standing subcommittee shall not be effective until reported to the Academic Secretary. Terms of appointment to subcommittees shall not exceed one year; and members shall be eligible for no more than two consecutive reappointments. A subcommittee may add, as non-voting co-opted members, additional members from the faculty, University staff and student body, as appropriate to the subcommittee's
- charge, not to exceed in number one-half of the authorized membership. Terms of appointment of such non-voting, co-opted members shall not exceed one year but shall be without limit as to reappointment.
VII. Accessibility of Official Records
- Records of actions and deliberations of the Academic Council, the Senate of the Academic Council, and Committees of the Academic Council shall be open to inspection by properly identified members of the University within appropriate standards of confidentiality.
- For all such meetings held after 12/1/71, officially approved Minutes shall be open to inspection by members of the University under guidelines established by the Steering Committee, except insofar as the body in question may specify a limitation on the accessibility of its Minutes either at the time a given action is taken or during the submission of the Minutes for approval.
- Nothing in this Rule shall be understood as an abridgment of the right of any of the foregoing bodies to determine that its deliberations on a given matter are confidential, to require that its members hold the matter in confidence, and to place limits on the availability of Minutes, or portions thereof, accordingly.
VIII. Apportionment of the Academic Council, Senate Electoral Units and Advisory Board Electoral Groups3
- The Representatives of the Academic Council shall be allotted to major constituencies as follows:
|Graduate School of Business
|School of Earth Sciences
|School of Education
(incl. Phys. Education)
|School of Engineering
|School of Humanities and Sciences
|School of Law
|School of Medicine
|Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
- Pursuant to the Charter, Article II, Section C, 3, Senate Representatives and Electoral Units shall be allotted to major constituencies as follows:3
||Graduate School of Business
||School of Earth Sciences
||School of Education
(incl. Phys. Education)
||School of Engineering
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section A5
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section B6
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section C7
||School of Law
||School of Medicine,
||School of Medicine,
- Pursuant to the Articles of Organization of the Academic Council, Chapter 5, membership on the Advisory Board shall be allotted as follows:
||Graduate School of Business,
School of Education,
School of Law
||School of Engineering
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section A
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section B
||School of Humanities
and Sciences, Section C
||School of Medicine, Section B
||School of Earth Sciences,
School of Medicine, Section A
IX. Other Provisions
- Except as provided in these Rules, Senate meetings shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order (Latest Revision).
- These Rules shall be adopted upon a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate.
- These Rules may be amended or changed by two-thirds majority vote of the elected members present at any regular meeting, provided members have received notice of the proposed changes at least one week prior to the meeting.
1 Senate Action on 4/2/92
2 Previous language out of date and rewritten to bring into
conformity with present practice (StC, 5/92).
3 Senate Action, 1/7/93: Most recent apportionment on the
recommendation the Senate Committee on Reapportionment.
(Note: Use of Electoral Unit #5 has been discontinued.)
4 Academic administrators who are members of the Academic
Council and therefore members of the Special Group: The
President, the Provost, the Academic Secretary, the Registrar
the University Librarian and Director of Academic Information
Resources, the Vice Provost and Dean for
Institutional Planning, the Vice Provost and Dean of Research
and Graduate Policy, the Vice Provost for Student
Affairs, the Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Financial
Aid, the Director of University Budgets, the Director
of the Stanford University Press, the Dean of the Chapel,
the Dean of Summer Session and Continuing Studies, the
Senior Associate Provosts (list as of 11/1/98). Senior fellows
in specified policy centers and institutes who do not
hold appointments in an academic department are also included
in the Special Group.
5 Humanities and Sciences, Section A: Applied Physics,
Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics,
6 Humanities and Sciences, Section B: Anthropological
Sciences, Communication, Cultural and Social Anthropology,
Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology,
7 Humanities and Sciences, Section C: Art, Asian Languages,
Classics, Comparative Literature, Drama, English,
French and Italian, German Studies, Linguistics,
Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Slavic Languages
and Literature, and Spanish and Portuguese.
8 Medicine, Section A: Biochemistry, Cellular Biology,
Comparative Medicine, Developmental Biology, Genetics,
Microbiology/Immunology, Molecular and Cellular
Physiology, Neurobiology, Pathology, and Molecular
9 Medicine, Section B: Anesthesia, Cardiovascular Surgery,
Dermatology, Functional Restoration, Health Research
and Policy, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medicine, Neurology
and Neurological Sciences, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics,
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Radiation
Oncology, Radiology, and Surgery.