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California State University, Long Beach
Constitution of the
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

Section I

THE FACULTY

  1. The Constitution and its provisions are subsidiary to University and College Constitutions and policy
  2. The name of this body shall be the Faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, hereinafter referred to as the Faculty. The Faculty shall be the fundamental body politic, delegating responsibility and authority as provided in this Constitution.
  3. Business shall be conducted in Department, Council, and committee meetings according to Roberts Newly Revised Rules of Order, except where otherwise specified in this Constitution.
  4. The Department Chair, the Council, or any five Department members may call a Department meeting upon one week's written notice. The Department Chair shall call a Department meeting at least once each semester
  5. All tenured/probationary (T/TT) Faculty with part-time appointments of 0.5 or greater in the Department have full voting rights. All T/TT Faculty eligible to vote in a given semester shall hereinafter be referred to as Eligible Voters.
  6. All Department powers not specifically delegated to the Chair or to the Council are reserved to the Faculty of the Department.
  7. The Faculty may reverse a decision by the Council or by the Chair by a vote of 2/3 or more of valid votes cast by Eligible Voters, except that action already taken on the basis of such a decision, and involving persons or organizations external to the Department, shall not be reversed; however, similar action subsequent to the Departmental vote shall be forbidden
  8. Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, a majority of valid votes cast by Eligible Voters present at meetings of the Department, Council, and Committees are required to pass measures.

Section II

THE CHAIR: RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS

  1. Procedures and policies for selecting, reviewing, and recalling the Chair of the Department shall follow University Policies and procedures.
  2. The Chair of the Department shall be the Department's chief executive officer, acting with the advice and consent of the Department Council described herein. A policy having been decided upon by the Faculty or by the Council shall be implemented by the Chair.
  3. No person shall serve as Chair more than two successive three-year terms or fractions thereof.
  4. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all Departmental committees.
  5. The Chair of the Department as its chief executive officer shall be responsible for Departmental organization, and the guidance, coordination and implementation of Departmental activities and policies.
  6. Responsibility for the supervision and coordination of individual Departmental programs may be delegated to committees reporting to the Department Chair; committee chairmen shall be appointed by the Department Chair with the consent of the Council, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair.
  7. No action of a committee reporting to the Department Chair is final until approved by the Council, unless the Council has previously stipulated otherwise.
  8. Communications from the Department and from its Chair to administrators and to other departments of the College, and vice versa, shall be on file for at least two years for perusal by Department members. RTP and personnel matters are excepted from this requirement.

Section III

THE COUNCIL

  1. The Council shall be the working legislative body acting in behalf of the Department.
  2. The Physics Department Council shall consist of six persons each filling one office as listed below. These offices, and persons qualifying for these offices shall be, respectively,
    • the Chair of the Department
    • The Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council
    • a Full Professor
    • an Associate Professor
    • an Assistant Professor
    • a non-tenured faculty member
    The requirements of eligibility for the office of Chair are set forth elsewhere. Only full-time members of the Faculty shall be eligible for the offices listed above as b. through f. Should no member of the Faculty be qualified for an office listed above, any full-time, tenured faculty member of the Department may be elected by the Faculty.
  3. The Chair of the Department shall serve as Chair of the Council. The Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council shall serve as Associate Chair and Secretary for Faculty meetings.
  4. The Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council shall be a tenured member of the Physics Department faculty, shall be selected by the Chair, and approved by a majority vote of Eligible Voters.
  5. Four members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. Measures before the Council shall be decided by a simple majority vote of members present.
  6. Each Council member, including the Chair, shall have one vote.
  7. The Council term shall be from June 1 to May 31 next.
  8. Agenda and minutes shall be appropriately distributed to the Department.
  9. Council meetings are open to all Department members.

Section IV

POWERS DELEGATED TO INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENT MEMBERS

  1. No Department member shall have executive power other than that explicitly delegated by the Chair with the advice and consent of the Department, or the Council, as the case may be. No action within the purview of this Constitution otherwise made by a Department member shall be binding on the Department.

Section V

ELECTIONS

  1. The election committee shall consist of three members of the Department chosen by lot at the beginning of the fall semester; they shall serve until the following fall.
  2. Should a member of the Election Committee be a candidate for elective Departmental office, his/her place shall be taken on the Election Committee, for the duration of that election, by another Department member chosen by lot by the permanent Election Committee from those Department members not candidates for any office in that election. In the case of RTP Committee elections or other elections in which more than 2/3 of the Department members are automatically candidates by virtue of their positions, the Election Committee shall stand as originally constituted.
  3. At least two members of the election committee shall be present and participate in the counting of ballots; procedures shall guarantee secrecy of the ballot. If a member of the election committee must be absent for the counting, a third person, not excluded on the basis of the immediately preceding paragraph, shall be recruited by the committee from the Eligible Voters.
  4. A majority of the Eligible Voters by secret ballot is required to elect candidates to Council office. Secret ballots shall be returned in signed envelopes.
  5. The vote on the position of Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council shall be held in the Spring semester that precedes the term of office and prior to the other Council elections, with the goal that the election procedures for the Council can be completed by the end of the Spring semester. A candidate for the office of Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council shall be nominated by the person who will be Department Chair in the following fall semester.
  6. Nominations of persons to fill the Council offices of Full, Associate, and Assistant Professor shall be made from the floor at a Department meeting. These proceedings shall be instituted sufficiently early so that the election procedure can be completed by the end of the Spring semester.
  7. Nominations for the Council office of non-tenured faculty shall be made subsequent to the filling of offices enumerated in paragraph 6 above, and at such a time that the election procedures can be completed by the end of the Spring semester.
  8. In the event of mid-year Council vacancies, the Department shall institute proceedings to fill the vacancy; nomination for the Associate Chair and Secretary of the Council will be made by the Chair.

Section VI

RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENTS

  1. This Constitution shall take force upon ratification by secret ballot by three-fourths of the full-time faculty within three months of its submission to the faculty, unless vetoed by the Dean of the College within one month of faculty ratification.
    • Amendments may be initiated by any Faculty member. The Faculty by majority affirmative vote of Eligible Voters present in a Faculty meeting shall take the amendment under consideration.
    • An amendment which has been under consideration within the meaning of Paragraph 2A for not less than 30 days, shall be presented for a second reading to the Faculty. A second majority vote of Eligible Voters present shall be necessary to submit the amendment to the Faculty for ratification by mail ballot.
    • Not more than two working days after submission, the Election Committee shall distribute the amendment ballot to the Faculty. An amendment shall be part of the Constitution if it receives approval by two-thirds of the Eligible Voters within seven working days of its distribution, unless vetoed by the Dean of the College within one month of faculty ratification.

Adopted 12/12/2006 by the Department of Physics and Astronomy