University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate

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Senate Election Rules for the Faculty Electorate

As amended through November 11, 2019
Downloadable version of the Election Rules for the Faculty Electorate

  1. Delgation of Power
  2. Voting Units
  3. Eligibility
  4. Verification of the Faculty Electorate
  5. Apportionment
  6. General Election Provisions
  7. Conducting Elections
  8. Certification of Election Results
  9. Election Certification by Senate Committee
  10. Grievances and Appeals
  11. Resignations and Vacancies

1. Delegation of Power

1.1 The Senate Committee on Elections and Credentials (EC) may delegate to the college, voting unit, or Senate Clerk various duties by way of the Election Rules.

1.2 College Contact. Each college or analogous unit shall name a college contact who will be responsible for overseeing the verification and certification processes for each voting unit within the college or analogous unit. If the college or analogous unit does not have multiple voting units, the college contact shall also perform the duties of the voting unit contact. The name of the college contact shall be reported to the Senate Clerk by the college or analogous unit.

1.3 Voting Unit Contact. If there are multiple voting units within a college, there shall be a voting unit contact named for each voting unit. The voting unit contact will be responsible for verifying the voting unit’s faculty electorate and conducting the voting unit’s election. The name of the voting unit contact shall be reported to the Senate Clerk by the college or analogous unit.

2. Voting Units

2.1 The EC shall establish faculty voting units from which faculty representatives will be elected. A faculty voting unit is generally the smallest academic unit, such as the department or similar unit, in each college or analogous academic division.

2.2 The EC may place specialized (non-tenure-track) faculty who are appointed at the college or analogous level in an established voting unit. If there are many such faculty members in a college or analogous unit, the EC may create voting units for them.

2.3 The college contact shall notify the Senate Clerk of any new department or equivalent in order to request the creation of a new voting unit by the EC.

3. Eligibility

3.1 The Constitution, Article II, Section 1 lists the eligibility criteria for the faculty electorate.

3.2 Split Appointments. Members of the faculty electorate who hold appointments in more than one unit may choose the unit in which they vote. However, a member must hold an appointment of greater than zero percent in a unit in order to qualify for the faculty electorate of that unit, except in those cases where the majority of the member’s appointments are in non-voting units.

3.3 Department Heads. If an institute, school, or other academic unit is freestanding and separate from any college, then its director or chief administrative officer is not a member of the faculty electorate. This position is like that of a dean. If the academic unit is a subordinate part of a larger college, then the director or chief administrative officer is like a head of a subordinate department, in which case the person is a member of the faculty electorate.

3.4 Time of Determining Status. Eligibility to vote, and membership in a particular department or college, will be determined by the person's status at the time the ballot is cast.

4. Verification of the Faculty Electorate

4.1 The Senate Office shall provide a list of faculty to each voting unit for verification of the eligibility of those listed.

4.2 The voting unit contact shall make any needed adjustments to the list and return the list to the Senate Office via the method determined by the Senate Clerk.

4.3 Eligible emeritus professors are allowed to vote and serve, but will not be counted in determining the apportionment of seats to a voting unit in accordance with the Constitution Article II, Section 1.C.

5. Apportionment

5.1 The number of seats apportioned to a unit is based on the number of eligible faculty members reported by each voting unit.

5.2 The Senate Clerk will report to the EC the number of faculty in the overall faculty electorate and the number of seats apportioned based on the previous year’s apportionment formula. If the EC determines that the apportionment formula should be adjusted, a new apportionment formula shall be submitted by the EC to the full Senate for approval.

5.3 The Senate Clerk will notify each voting unit of the number of seats apportioned to that voting unit. The list shall contain all seats with elected members with continuing terms and all seats that are vacant. An election shall be held for each vacant seat. 

6. General Election Provisions

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

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

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

6.4 Limited Terms. The terms of senators elected from the faculty electorate shall be two years, with a maximum of three consecutive terms. The election of a faculty senator in a regular election constitutes a full term unless the senator resigns prior to the Organizational Meeting of the Senate. A replacement senator who is elected prior to January 1 of the first year of the term of a vacant seat shall be considered to have served a full term. After serving three consecutive full terms, a senator is eligible for reelection after at least one year out of office.

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

6.6 Use of University Funds. No University resources shall be used for production or distribution of any campaign materials.

7. Conducting Elections

7.1 The Senate Clerk will publish the dates for the nominating period and the election. If the voting unit is unable to hold the nominating period and election on the dates specified by the Senate Clerk, the voting unit shall hold the nominating period and election as soon as possible in order to elect senators prior to the organizational meeting.

7.2 The voting unit contact is responsible for conducting the election of faculty to the Senate.

7.3 Nominating Period. The nominating period shall be 7 consecutive calendar days in length. All nominations and expressions of willingness to serve must be submitted to the voting unit contact during the allotted period. Self-nominations are allowed. If all members of the electorate have submitted either their willingness or unwillingness to serve, the voting unit contact may prematurely close the nominating period and move on to the election period.

7.4 Once the nomination period has closed, the voting unit contact shall prepare a ballot with the names of all those nominated and willing to serve. Names shall appear in random order on the ballot.

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

b. The number of names on the final election ballot shall equal twice the number of those to be elected or all of those nominated if the number of those nominated is fewer than twice the number to be elected.

c. If the number of those nominated and willing to serve exceeds twice the number of those to be elected, a preliminary ballot shall be used to reduce the number of nominees to twice the number of those to be elected. If a tie exists among those eligible for the last position, all the tied names shall appear on the election ballot.

7.5 The election shall be held on 7 consecutive calendar days.

7.6 The nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes shall be deemed elected.

7.7 Ties shall be resolved by a coin flip or drawing of lots by the voting unit contact.

7.8 The voting unit contact is responsible for notifying the winning nominees as soon as possible after the certification of the election results.

8. Certification of Election Results

8.1 The department head/chair shall certify the election results. If the department head/chair chooses to run for election, the Dean of the voting unit’s college (or designee) shall certify the election.

8.2 The voting unit contact shall report the winning nominees and their email addresses to the Office of the Senate via the method determined by the Senate Clerk.

9. Election Certification by Senate Committee

The EC shall certify election results to the Senate at the organizational meeting of the newly elected Senate. These results shall be entered in the minutes of that meeting. The EC may delay certification of candidates whose elections are in doubt until a resolution is determined.

10. Grievances and Appeals

Any aggrieved person may appeal a decision of a college or unit contact to the EC, and actions and decisions of the EC may be appealed to the Senate through the Senate Clerk.

11. Resignations and Vacancies

11.1 No Nominations. If no person is nominated for a Senate seat, the voting unit shall elect an eligible member of the faculty electorate to that seat as soon as reasonably possible.

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

11.3 Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled by election of a member of the voting unit for the remainder of the vacant term in accordance with the nomination and election procedures prescribed in Article II of the Senate Constitution and these Election Rules. Vacancies shall not be filled based on the results of the previous election unless the elected faculty member resigns prior to the beginning of the term of office as defined in Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution.

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