Regulations Governing the Election of Faculty, Librarians and Staff to Senate

  1. Administration of Election
  2. Term of Office
  3. Representation
  4. Eligibility
  5. Retention of Seat
  6. Vacancies and Replacements
  7. Nomination and Election Periods
  8. Nominations 
  9. Elections
  10. Election Results
  11. Irregularities
  12. Related University Policies
  13. Document Authority and Information

1. Administration of Election

a. The University Secretary shall be the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) responsible for the overall co-ordination, implementation and administration of the election of faculty to Senate, on behalf of the Senate Committee on Bylaws and Membership.

b. At the discretion of the University Secretary, the responsibilities of CEO may be delegated to the Associate or Assistant University Secretary.

2.  Term of Office

a. The Term of Office for faculty, librarians and staff appointed to Senate shall be three years in length.  The Term of Office shall begin September 1 and end August 31.

b. A faculty member, librarian or staff member who is a Senator shall be eligible to stand for re-election, in accordance with the eligibility requirements as outlined in section 4.

3. Representation

3.1 Faculty

a. There shall be a minimum of three elected faculty members from each College.  Members shall be elected on the principle of representation by population1 based on the number of eligible faculty members in each College of the University and calculated using the following formula:

  1. 1 to 12 faculty members = 1 seat
  2. 13 to 24 faculty members = 2 seats
  3. 25 to 36 faculty members = 3 seats
  4. And so on, whereby for every 12 faculty members or fraction thereof, within a college, one seat is allocated

b. Where use of the formula for representation in section 3(a) would result in fewer elected faculty than ex-officio seats on Senate, representation of elected faculty shall be calculated as follows:

  1. 1 to 11 faculty members = 1 seat
  2. 12 to 23 faculty members = 2 seats
  3. 24 to 35 faculty members = 3 seats
  4. And so on, whereby for every 11 faculty members or fraction thereof, within a college, one seat is allocated

c. Members of faculty not identified as ex-officio members of Senate shall be eligible to be considered for the purpose of calculating College representation, provided they hold a probationary or tenured appointment as Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph. Faculty on leave of absence shall be considered in the calculation of College representation.

3.2 Librarian

a. There will be a librarian member of Senate elected by and from the academic librarians.

3.3 Staff

a. There will be two staff members of Senate elected by and from the full-time staff.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Faculty

a. In order to be eligible to nominate, a faculty member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a probationary or tenured appointment as Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph; and,
  3. hold an appointment in the same college as the candidate whom they nominate for election.
  4. a faculty member on leave of absence, if otherwise eligible, shall be able to nominate.

b. In order to be eligible to stand for election, a faculty member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. have held a probationary or tenured appointment as Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph for at least twelve months prior to the beginning of the semester in which the election is held.
  3. a faculty member on leave of absence shall be considered ineligible to stand for election unless they shall be returning to the University for the first Senate Session2 for which they are standing for election.

c. In order to be eligible to vote, a faculty member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a probationary or tenured appointment as Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph.

4.2 Librarian

a. In order to be eligible to nominate, a librarian member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a probationary or continuing appointment as Librarian, Associate Librarian or Assistant Librarian at the University of Guelph
  3. a librarian on leave of absence, if otherwise eligible, shall be able to nominate.

b. In order to be eligible to stand for election, a librarian must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. have held a probationary or continuing appointment as Librarian, Associate Librarian or Assistant Librarian at the University of Guelph for at least twelve months prior to the beginning of the semester in which the election is held.
  3. a librarian on leave of absence shall be considered ineligible to stand for election unless they shall be returning to the University for the first Senate Session for which they are standing for election.

c. In order to be eligible to vote, a librarian must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a probationary or tenured appointment as Librarian, Associate Librarian or Assistant Librarian at the University of Guelph.

4.3 Staff

a. In order to be eligible to nominate, a staff member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a regular full-time, non-academic appointment3 at the University of Guelph.
  3. a staff member on leave of absence, if otherwise eligible, shall be able to nominate.

b. In order to be eligible to stand for election, a staff member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. have held a regular full-time, non-academic appointment at the University of Guelph for at least twelve months prior to the beginning of the semester in which the election is held.
  3. a staff member on leave of absence shall be considered ineligible to stand for election unless they shall be returning to the University for the first Senate Session for which they are standing for election.

c. In order to be eligible to vote, a staff member must:

  1. not be identified as an ex-officio member of Senate; and,
  2. hold a regular full-time, non-academic appointment at the University of Guelph.

5. Retention of Seat

a. A faculty member, librarian or staff member who takes a leave of absence for more than a semester during a Session of Senate shall be ineligible to continue as a member of Senate.

b. A faculty member, librarian or staff member who retires prior to completion of their term shall resign their Senate seat.

c. If an elected faculty member, librarian or staff member becomes or will become ineligible to continue as a member of Senate, they shall notify the CEO within two weeks of learning of the change affecting eligibility

6. Vacancies and Replacements

a. If a vacancy occurs after the election, a replacement shall be made by automatic appointment of the candidate who holds the next highest weighted sum of votes from the results of the same election and satisfies all other applicable rules for membership on Senate.

b. If there are no eligible replacements, the Committee on Bylaws and Membership shall make a determination as to whether a by-election shall be held4.

c. An individual appointed or elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the remainder of the current Session of Senate and for the next two consecutive Sessions of Senate.

7. Nomination and Election Periods

a. Precise dates for the annual Nomination and Election Periods shall be established by the CEO no less than six months in advance.

b. The annual Election Period shall be held in the Winter semester.

c. The Nomination Period shall be no less than 7 calendar days in length.

d. The Election Period shall be no less than 72 hours in length, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

8. Nominations

a. Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form issued by the CEO, and:

  1. show the name, title, department or faculty and signature of two nominators;
  2. show the name, title, department or faculty and signature of concurrence of the nominee;
  3. be submitted before the end of the Nomination Period.

b. Should an insufficient number of nominations be received during the Nomination Period to fill the available seats on Senate, a by-election shall be held at the beginning of the next Session of Senate.  Failure to fill a seat in the by-election will result in the seat remaining vacant for the duration of the Session of Senate.

9. Elections

a. When the number of nominations exceeds the number of seats available in a constituency, an election shall be held.

b. The means by which votes are cast shall be determined by the CEO.  Normally, voting shall proceed through use of an internet-accessible electronic voting method and ballots shall be issued to all eligible faculty members by way of the University’s official electronic mail system.  

c. A voting list of all eligible faculty members, staff members and librarians shall be provided by the Associate Vice-President Human Resources to the CEO.

d. A preferential voting system approved by Senate shall be used5.

e. When the number of nominations is equal to or less than the number of seats available for a particular constituency of Senate, the nominees for that constituency shall be acclaimed6.

f. Each candidate shall enjoy the right to campaign and inform7 those employees eligible to vote of their candidacy in a manner consistent with relevant University policies8 and regulations.

10. Election Results

a. In the case of an equality of votes where the election of the candidates receiving an equal number of votes would result in the election of a greater number of candidates than there are available seats for a particular constituency, the CEO shall determine the candidate(s) to be declared elected, by lot, in the presence of all candidates receiving an equal number of votes.

  1. For the purposes of this section, “lot” means the method of determining the successful candidate(s) by writing the names of the candidates on pieces of paper equal in size, folded identically and placed in a receptacle.  The CEO shall withdraw the appropriate number9 of names from the receptacle and those names shall be considered to have received one more vote and are thereby elected.

b. Normally, preliminary election results shall be released and posted publicly on the next business day following the close of the Election Period.

c. Election results shall remain preliminary for a period of seven calendar days following the close of the Election Period.
 

d. Election results shall be presented to the Senate Committee on Bylaws and Membership and subsequently to Senate, for information.

11. Irregularities

a. If during the course of the election, it appears to any candidate or member of the faculty, staff or librarians that an irregularity has occurred, it must be reported to the CEO in writing within seven calendar days following the close of the Election Period. 

  1. For the purposes of this section, “irregularity” means a contravention of these regulations that could reasonably hold the potential to affect the outcome of the election.

b. The CEO will consider and attempt to resolve any complaints that arise regarding the electoral process.  All complaints received will be dealt with in a timely manner.

  1. For the purposes of this section, “complaints” means assertions of irregularities.

c. If the complaint cannot be resolved, the CEO shall determine whether they will:

  1. Make a final decision regarding outcome; or
  2. Convene an ad-hoc committee (the “Committee”) to further investigate the complaint where the CEO finds that:
    1. The irregularity has the potential to affect the outcome of the election; and,
    2. The irregularity is sufficiently complex to require further investigation

d. The Committee will investigate any complaint referred to it by the CEO, and make a recommendation regarding outcome to the Committee on Bylaws and Membership. The decision of the Committee on Bylaws and Membership regarding outcome shall be final.

e.The CEO shall provide a report to the Committee on Bylaws and Membership summarizing all complaints received and their disposition.

12. Related University Policies

Following is a non-exhaustive list of related University policies and procedures:

  • Human Rights Policy
  • Mass E-Mail Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy

13. Document Authority and Information

Approved Date:

April 7, 2014

Last Revised Date:

March 5, 2014

Next Review Date:

No later than 5 years from date of last approval

Authority/Ownership:

Senate, on recommendation of the Senate Committee on Bylaws and Membership


1. Approved as part of the Review of Composition and Membership of Senate, December 5, 2011.

2. As defined in Senate Bylaws

3. Includes veterinarians and members of the Colleges Academic and Research Group (CARG)

4. In the case where a by-election is not held, the seat shall remain vacant for the remainder of the Session of Senate.

5. Refer to Preferential Voting Method for Senate-related Elections, approved April 2012.

6. Subject to confirmation of eligibility

7. Candidate information is published by the University Secretariat for the purpose of provision with ballots

8. See section 12 for related University policies

9. In accordance with the number of available seats and candidates with an equality of votes