Restrictions or extension of voting rights guaranteed by ASB 55

[Advice to Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel Linda Bisson 4/15/2002]

Regental Standing Orders specify that no non-emeritae/i members of the Academic Senate can be prevented from voting on substantial issues within his/her department, with the exception of personnel actions.  Articles 1-5, Paragraph (B) of ASB 55, specify those exceptions: they are qualifications imposed on voters in personnel actions involving appointment, termination, or advancements between ranks of members who hold, or will hold, voting rights in the Academic Senate .  The voter qualifications that are authorized in those actions are solely those of rank .  Except for new departmental appointments (ASB 55 B.1), and some optional methods for handling merit actions that are considered below, ASB 55 simply states the familiar "at-or-above" rule in precise language .

Article 7 of Paragraph (B) covers two issues:  First, it discusses the method by which votes are taken in departments .  It specifically disallows delegation to committee as a method of voting in any of the actions covered in Articles 1-5 (new appointments, advancements between ranks) but allows the members of each department latitude to determine the method of voting; e.g., by ballot, roll call, show of hands (with the limitation, of course, of the Regental guarantee of a member's right to call for a secret ballot).  Second, Article 7 provides, in the case of personnel actions described in Article 6 (advances within rank, or "merits"), that a different method of voting than the method used in new appointments and advancement between ranks may be selected, if 2/3 of the department's eligible voters so vote .  Thus, in handling merit actions, departments have the option either to: (1) use the same procedures as those employed in actions covered by Articles 1-5, or (2) delegate voting to committee, or (3) adopt a method other than that specified in Articles 1-5 (e.g., rather than following the at-or-above rule, all tenured faculty might vote on all merits) .  If departmental voters select the second or third options, the Divisional Committee on Academic Personnel must approve the method chosen .  CAP does not have a similar supervisory role with respect to the procedures governing involving new appointments or advancements between ranks (actions covered in Articles 1-5) .  Departments may adopt procedures different from those described Articles 1-5 by a 2/3 vote without CAP's approval .

Article 8 of Paragraph (B) allows the tenured members of a departmental faculty great discretion in handling personnel matters not included in Articles 1-6, provided the Divisional Committee on Academic Personnel approves the voting method selected .  Finally, Paragraph (C) authorizes departments to extend voting privileges to non-emeritae/i classes of faculty beyond the minima ("at-or-above") specified in Paragraph (B), Articles 1-5.

To summarize the provisions of ASB 55 that seem most relevant to your enquiry:

(1) There is no authorization for departments to impose voter qualifications other than those of tenure and rank, as specified in ASB 55 (B), Articles 1-6 .  Thus, restrictions of any other kind that departments may impose on voters -- however reasonable they may seem -- do not comply with the Code of the Academic Senate.

(2) Departments must have Committee on Academic Personnel approval for any method of voting that their members select to manage actions within rank, if that method is different from the method used to manage appointments, promotions between ranks, and terminations.

(3) ASB 55 does not require CAP's approval of voting methods selected by departments for use in actions involving new appointments, advances between ranks, or terminations .  CAP's approval of methods for  merit actions is required only if merit actions do not follow the same procedures used for deciding recommendations in actions involving appointments, advancements between ranks, and terminations.

(4) Departments have broad discretionary authority in the management of personnel actions not covered by ASB 55 (B) 1-6, but CAP must approve the method selected.