Practicalities for the USI community

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is one of the central USI bodies, together with the University Council and the Rectorate. It was set up in the interests of greater academic consistency.  

Comprising representatives of Faculty, the Assistants, the student body, and the administrative, library and technical staff, its role is to give advice and make proposals. Its composition and function are specified in the USI Statute (Art. 15 (5) and Art. 17b).  

The members of the Senate are elected by their respective constituencies. Voting rights, eligibility and election procedures are defined in the Academic Senate Regulations, which are set out below.

The www.senato.usi.ch platform, which can be accessed by using your NetID:

  • gives details of the voting rights of each member of the academic community (whether entitled to vote and for which body);
  • enables you to present your own candidature;
  • enables you to view the whole range of candidates;
  • enables you to vote;
  • gives details of those elected.

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  • Regulation of the Academic Senate

    Members (Statute art. 15 par. 5)

    The Senate is formed by representatives elected among:
    a) faculty (10)
    b) assistants (5)
    c) students (5)
    d) administration, library and logistics staff (5)

    The Rector, Pro-Rectors and Faculty Deans are permanent members of the Senate.
    Other members of the Rectorate may take part in the Senate meetings, without voting rights.

     

    Elections (Statute art. 17b)

    Senate members are elected by their respective peers, among those who announce their candidacy, as follows:
    a) faculty elects 10 professors, of which at least one for each scientific area (architecture, human medicine and life sciences, economics and law, social sciences, informatics, mathematics, humanities);
    b) assistants elect 3 doctoral students, 1 post-doctoral assistant or researcher, and 1 atelier assistant architect;
    c) students elect one student for each Faculty; each one with a deputy;
    d) administration, library and logistics personnel elect 5 staff members, at least one of which from the Academy of Architecture.

    Elected representatives express themselves in their personal capacity, free from any bias, mandate or instructions.

    Senate members are elected for a period of two years, renewable.

    The Rectorate defines the electoral procedures.

     

    Functions (Statute art. 17b)

    The Senate acts as an advisory board, in particular:

    a) it takes position and makes recommendations on topics of overall interest to USI, either by own initiative, or upon request of the University Council or of the Rectorate;
    b) it favours initiatives encouraging cooperation between Faculties, institutes and scientific disciplines, in order to strengthen the unity across the academic community;
    c) it discusses the University strategic planning;
    d) it submits to the University Council proposals for amendments of the Statute;
    e) it discusses and proposes rules on the general conditions of employment;
    f) it expresses its opinion on issues submitted to it by the University Council or the Rectorate.

     

    Board (Statute art. 17b)

    The Senate is chaired by the Rector, assisted by a Presidential Office including one representative from each academic body and one non-academic staff member (administration, library, logistics).

    The Senate sets its own operational rules.

     

    Electoral Committee

    An Electoral Committee is instituted to ensure the legitimate conduct of the Senate elections. The Committee is formed by:

    • the Rector or a Pro-Rector;
    • the Administrative Director or the adjunct Administrative Director;
    • the Head of the Quality Assurance service;
    • a systems and IT network administrator;
    • a secretarial assistant of the Rectorate.

    The Electoral Committee:

    • defines the terms and conditions of the election;
    • validates voting rights and eligibility, and publishes the electoral lists for validation by voters;
    • solicits and encourages candidacies
    • validates electoral results and proclaims the elected and elected successors.

     

    Voting rights and eligibility

    The right to vote is granted to

    a) faculty: Full and Associate professors, Assistant professors, and Adjunct professors who are in office during the electoral semester, including faculty on sabbatical, but not on leave;
    b) assistants: doctoral assistants (including external doctoral students without a USI contract), post-doctoral assistants, teaching and research assistants, and atelier assistant architects with a contract (minimum: 6 months duration part-time employment or equivalent) during the electoral semester:
    lecturer-researchers;
    lecturers with annual contract and main activity at USI (minimum 50% part-time employment);
    c) students: all students enrolled in USI Bachelor and Master programmes;
    d) administration, library and logistics personnel: staff members of USI administration, libraries and logistics services with a permanent contract or a fixed-term contract in place for a least two (2) consecutive years.

    The following categories are not granted the right to vote:

    • lectures with annual contract whose main activity is at another institution;
    • administration, library and logistics personnel with temporary contract;
    • trainees and interns.

    All individuals with voting rights in categories b) and d) are eligible, provided the relative employment contract is no less than 50% part-time.

     

    Candidates

    The Electoral Committee publishes the lists of candidates for validation and solicits candidacies by the given deadline.

    Candidacies of faculty, assistants and administrative services are individual, student candidacies are in pairs (main candidate and successor, by Faculty).

    The list of candidates and related profiles (including additional motivations and declarations of intent) are published on the Senate website.

     

    Elections

    Each voter can vote for two (2) candidates, students only one (1).

    The election is held in electronic form.

    Should the number of candidates in any is equal to or less than the number of available places, the election is tacit.

    In case of a tie vote between two candidates, the Electoral Committee shall draw lots.

    Ballots without preferences are valid and will be counted separately.

    The Rectorate warrants the procedure.

    Elected are

    a) faculty: the seven (7) candidates with the most votes for each list, the three (3) candidates with the second best result for each list; the two (2) remaining candidates are the successors;
    b) assistants: the three (3) doctoral assistants, the post-doctoral assistant or researcher or lecturer-researcher, the atelier assistant architect who has the most votes for each list, the four (4) candidates with the second best result for each list; the two (2) remaining candidates are the successors;
    c) students: the pair of students with the most votes for each Faculty list;
    d) administration, library and logistics personnel: the five (5) candidates with the most votes, of which at least one, but not more than two, are Academy staff; the next most voted candidates are successors to elected candidates relinquishing their seat during the two-year period (provided the principle of Academy elected candidate/s is met).

     

    Sessions

    The Senate convenes annually in two ordinary sessions, one each semester.

    Extraordinary sessions can be called by the Rectorate or by at least one third of the Senate members.

    The dates for the ordinary sessions of the following academic year are defined by the end of the previous summer semester

    The agenda is defined by the Presidential Office and published no later than 3 weeks prior to the given date.

     

    Resolutions

    Resolutions are voted by the majority of Senate members present at the sessions, by open vote.

    The resolutions are valid when at least half of the Senate members are present at the sessions and have cast their vote.

    The President decide in the event of a draw.

     

    This Regulation will be completed and amended by the Senate, as appropriate.

     

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Updated on: 01/03/2018