Chair of the Senate
Office of the Senate
Academic year 2022/23
1st meeting: 5 October 2022
2nd meeting: 23 November 2022
3rd meeting: 25 January 2023
4th meeting: 22. März 2023
5th meeting: 9 and 10 May 2023 (retreat)
6th meeting: 21 June 2023
Academic year 2023/24
7th meeting: 11 October 2023
8th meeting: 22 November 2023
9th meeting: 24 January 2024
10th meeting: 20 March 2024
11th meeting: 7 and 8 May 2024 (retreat)
12th meeting: 12 June 2024
extraordinary session including the Consilium: 27 and 28 September 2024
Academic year 2024/25
13th meeting: 9 October 2024
14th meeting: 27 November 2024
15th meeting: 29 January 2025
16th meeting: 26 March 2025
17th meeting: 6 and 7 May 2025 (retreat)
18th meeting: 18 June 2025
* Subject to change without notice
The duties of the Senate are specified in Section 25 of the Universities Act 2002.
The work of the Senate of the University of Klagenfurt is guided by the provisions of the Austrian Universities Act and the Statute of the University of Klagenfurt, which follows the guiding principle of “universitas magistrorum et scholarium”.
The sessions of the Senate shall be held with the members present. If this is not possible, sessions may also be held in digital or, in justified cases, in hybrid form. In the event of digital or hybrid sessions, § 22 applies.
Documents requiring the written form in accordance with these Rules of Procedure may also be transmitted by e-mail, albeit, for reasons of data protection, only from and to @aau.at or @edu.aau.at addresses.
§ 1. Scope
(1) These Rules of Procedure shall apply to the Senate of the University of Klagenfurt and, mutatis mutandis, to all collegial bodies appointed by the Senate pursuant to § 25 (1/14) in conjunction with §§ 7 and 8 of the Universities Act 2002.
(2) The Rules of Procedure shall be circulated to all members in advance of the constitutive session.
§ 2. Constitution
(1) The constitutive session shall be convened by the incumbent chairperson, who shall chair the session until the election of the new chairperson has taken place. In the event that the incumbent is unable to attend, the session shall be chaired by the vice-chairperson. The election of the chairperson shall be conducted by secret ballot and the right to vote shall be exercised in person and directly. If several persons are nominated, all nominees shall be voted on at the same time. The person who receives more than half of the valid votes shall stand elected. If necessary, up to three run-off elections shall be held between the highest placed persons of the previous round until one person secures more than half of the valid votes. In the event that this does not lead to a result, the decision shall be made by casting lots.
Immediately after the election, the elected person shall declare whether she/he accepts the election.
(2) The constitutive session of a collegial body established by the Senate shall be convened by the chairperson of the Senate. The chairperson of the Senate may delegate the convening of the constitutive session to a member of the collegial body to be constituted.
The duty to chair the constitutive session of collegial bodies rests with the chairperson of the Senate, who may delegate this to a vice-chairperson of the Senate or to a member of the collegial body. The provisions set out in §§ 1-2 concerning the election of the chairperson and any vice-chairpersons must be observed.
(3) The agenda of the constitutive session must include the following items:
- Determination of the quorum and announcement of proxy votes
- Approval of the agenda
- Decision on a person responsible for taking the minutes
- Election of the chairperson
- Election of the vice-chairperson(s)
- Any other business
(4) The minutes shall be kept by a designated minute keeper. University employees who are not members of the Senate may, by resolution, be entrusted with the task of keeping the minutes.
(5) The Senate shall elect at least one vice-chairperson from among its members. A maximum of two vice-chairpersons may be elected. The election shall take place no later than during the second session following the constitutive session. If two vice-chairpersons are elected, the order in which they are to deputise for the chairperson in the event of her/his being prevented from attending shall be determined at the time of the election.
§ 3. Rights and duties of the members
(1) Members have the right and the duty to participate in the decision-making process of the Senate and in its sessions. This obligation has priority over any other professional obligations that may exist at the university. Members are not bound by any instructions or orders in the performance of this office; this also applies in the case of a proxy vote.
(2) Notices of absence must be given to the chairperson in writing and before the start of the session. Members may, if unable to attend, transfer their vote for the duration of a session or part of a session to a fellow member of their staff category present at the session. The transfer of votes must be made in writing. No member may carry more than two votes.
(3) In deviation from (2) above, the member of the university’s general staff may, if prevented from attending a session or part of a session of the Senate, be represented by the substitute member designated for that staff group. This must be communicated to the chairperson in writing and before the start of the session.
(4) Members may be represented by the next substitute member of the respective group category if they are prevented from attending for a period of more than three months.
(5) Members are obliged to maintain strict confidentiality in accordance with § 21.
§ 4. Respondents
(1) The Senate may consult respondents on specific items under discussion. Respondents do not have the right to propose motions or to vote and are obliged to maintain strict confidentiality in accordance with § 21.
(2) A decision on the inclusion of a respondent shall be taken by a simple majority of votes.
(3) The Senate may appoint functionaries as permanent respondents and may invite them to attend parts of the session, or even the entire session. The appointment of the functionaries as permanent respondents is linked to the function, expires with the cessation of the function and is automatically transferred to the succeeding functionary, unless a resolution to the contrary is passed.
(4) The chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Working Group (AKG) must be appointed as a permanent respondent in any case on the basis of the provisions of the “Advancement of women plan” of the University of Klagenfurt. In the event that the chairperson is prevented from attending, the AKG may send a vice-chairperson.
§ 5. Sessions
(1) Deliberations and resolutions – with the exception of voting by circular resolution – shall take place in ordinary or extraordinary sessions.
(2) Ordinary sessions shall primarily serve the purpose of dealing with regular business.
(3) Extraordinary sessions are held on special occasions or to deal with urgent matters.
§ 6. Convening of sessions
(1) The Senate shall be convened in writing by the chairperson as required, but no less than twice per semester.
(2) A session of the Senate shall be convened by the chairperson within two weeks, if at least one quarter of the members or all representatives of a group of persons represented in the Senate so request, enclosing a written proposal for the agenda. If the chairperson fails to convene such a session properly, the petitioners shall be entitled to convene a session of the Senate themselves, after the deadline for convening the session has expired. The invitation must be issued in accordance with the provisions set out in § 3.
(3) The date of the next session shall, if possible, be fixed no later than at the preceding session. In any case, the members shall be notified of the date of the session in writing one week before the session, accompanied by an agenda.
(4) As a rule, no sessions will be held during non-teaching periods; if such sessions are scheduled, the majority consent of the students must be obtained.
(5) The sessions of the Senate are not open to the public. Those parts of the record of resolutions which are not subject to confidentiality pursuant to § 21 shall be made available to the university public.
§ 7. Agenda
(1) The agenda is prepared by the chairperson. The agenda shall be circulated to the members and permanent respondents at least one week before the session; it must always contain the following items:
- Determination of the quorum and announcement of proxy votes
- Approval of the agenda
- Decision on a person responsible for keeping the minutes
- Approval of the minutes of the previous session (insofar as there are objections according to § 17 (4))
- Report by the chairperson
- Any other business
(2) Under the agenda item “Approval of the agenda”, it is possible to
- change the order of the items on the agenda and/or authorise the chairperson to re-order items on the agenda during the session,
- remove agenda items from the agenda and
- add further items to the agenda.
(3) Agenda items introduced by at least one quarter of the members or by all members of a group of persons represented in the Senate must be considered in any case. The requested agenda items must be submitted to the chairperson in writing at least eight days before the session.
(4) Agenda items or subsets thereof, which are subject to the obligation to maintain confidentiality, shall be suitably highlighted in accordance with § 21 (6).
§ 8. Chairing of sessions
(1) The session shall be chaired by the chairperson or, if the chairperson is unable to do so, by the vice-chairperson. If the aforementioned persons are unable to attend, the longest-serving1 member present shall take the chair.
(2) The chairperson shall, whenever the occasion arises, but in any case at the beginning of a term of office, draw attention to the duty of all members and respondents to maintain strict confidentiality in accordance with § 21.
(3) The chairperson shall open, chair and close the session. She/he shall ensure that the Rules of Procedure are observed and that the persons participating in the session conduct themselves in an orderly manner. She/he shall determine the attendance and the quorum, put motions to the vote and declare the result of the votes.
(4) The chairperson may adjourn the session for a reasonable period of time. An adjournment of the session may also be requested by any member.
§ 9. Mandatory reporting
At the beginning of each session, the chairperson must always report on the following, unless the matter in question is the subject of a separate item on the agenda:
- The management of regular business,
- the execution of the resolutions passed by the Senate,
- announcements from the competent ministry,
- the handling of urgent matters,
- the result of voting by circular resolution.
§ 10. Commissions / collegial bodies
(1) Pursuant to § 25 (8) of the Universities Act, the Senate is obliged to establish collegial bodies with decision-making powers in respect of the following matters:
- Procedures for awarding the habilitation (§ 103 of the Universities Act)
- Appointment procedures for university professors (§ 98 of the Universities Act)
- Academic affairs (acc. to § 25 (1/10) of the Universities Act)
In accordance with § 25 (8) of the Universities Act, the establishment of habilitation and appointment committees requires a majority resolution by the attending members from the group of university professors and other members endowed with the venia docendi.
(2) The Senate may appoint committees pursuant to Section 25 (7) of the Universities Act or working groups for the purpose of deliberating or deciding on individual tasks.
(3) The Senate shall determine the size of the committees and working groups in accordance with the respective provision of the Statute.
§ 11. Discussion
(1) For each item on the agenda, the chairperson shall open the floor for discussion. Members will usually be given the floor in the order in which they register their intention to speak.
(2) Points of order indicating a breach of the Rules of Procedure shall take precedence over all other interventions.
(3) The Senate may adopt a restriction on the time allowed for speaking. This may relate to all or single items on the agenda.
§ 12. Resolution requirements
(1) The Senate forms a quorum if at least half of its members are present in person. Pursuant to § 20 (3a) of the Universities Act, this also applies to attendance via a synchronous, bidirectional communication medium.
(2) Unless otherwise stipulated in the Universities Act, the Statute, or these Rules of Procedure, a motion shall be deemed to have been carried if a majority of the members present at the time of the vote and entitled to vote and of those members designated by proxy have voted in favour of the motion. When calculating the balance of votes, the number of votes in favour shall be determined first, followed by the number of remaining votes. These must be broken down into votes against and abstentions, if so requested by at least one member.
(3) A motion requiring a two-thirds majority shall be deemed to have been carried if at least two-thirds of the members present at the session and entitled to vote and of those members designated by proxy have voted in favour of the motion.
§ 13. Motions and voting procedure
(1) Motions shall be submitted in such a way that they can be voted on with a “yes” or “no”.
(2) Motions shall be voted on separately in the order in which they are presented; the motion to adjourn an item shall always be put to the vote first; motions to amend must be dealt with before the associated main motions.
(3) Ad hoc motions may be admitted by the chairperson under any agenda item.
(4) Unless other provisions apply or it is decided otherwise, voting shall be by open ballot on a show of hands or by a digital voting mechanism determined by the chairperson.
(5) A secret ballot is required at any rate
- in the case of elections and resolutions of an electoral nature (e.g. as defined in the Electoral Rules for members of the Rectorate),
- in matters that affect a member personally or
- if a member requests a secret ballot.
In the event of sessions being held digitally or in hybrid form, § 22 applies.
(6) The chairperson may require the repetition of a vote if there is any ambiguity in the determination of the balance of the vote.
(7) Procedural motions may be raised at any time by calling “point of order”. The respective motion shall be put to the vote immediately upon completion of the current intervention.
(8) Procedural motions or points of order may not relate to the subject matter of the agenda item, but only to the procedure itself. Procedural motions are:
- Motion to restrict and lift the restriction on speaking time
- Motion to close the list of speakers; in the event of a positive resolution, the list of open speakers shall be read out and completed. Upon request, the chairperson, the speaker, and the proposer of the item on the agenda shall have the right to reply or to make a concluding statement.
- Motion to close the discussion: The motion requires a two-thirds majority; in the event of a positive resolution, a vote shall be taken immediately on the proposed substantive motions. Upon request, the chairperson, the speaker, and the proposer of the item on the agenda shall have the right to reply or to make a concluding statement.
- Motion to adjourn items on the agenda
- Motion for a secret ballot
(9) Resolutions adopted may only be amended during the same session if a new discussion is proposed and approved by a two-thirds majority (reassumption).
§ 14. Voting by circular resolution
(1) The chairperson may arrange for a vote to be taken by circular resolution on matters and items where, due to their urgency, a resolution is deemed necessary before the forthcoming session.
(2) In addition, the Senate may resolve to vote on individual agenda items by circular resolution.
(3) The circular resolution must include at least a brief statement of the reasons for the motion. The motion must be worded in such a way that it can be voted on with “YES” or “NO”. At the same time, a reasonable period of at least one week shall be set within which the circular resolution containing the vote must be returned to the chairperson.
(4) Voting by circular resolution shall not take place if at least ten per cent (rounded up to the nearest whole number) of the members entitled to vote on that resolution request a deliberation on the matter.
(5) A motion shall be adopted if more than half of the members entitled to vote on it have voted in favour of it.
(6) The chairperson shall announce the result of the vote by circular resolution without delay.
§ 15. Bias
(1) A member is considered to be biased if there is a reason for bias within the meaning of § 7 (1) AVG.2
(2) Unless the Senate decides otherwise, the biased member shall leave the meeting for the duration of the discussion of the matter and may not participate in the vote.
(3) In the case of doubt, the Senate shall decide, at the request of a member, whether there is a reason for bias.
(4) In the event of the exercise of two voting rights due to proxy voting, the biased member may not participate in the vote with either of the two votes.
§ 16. Special vote (votum separatum)
(1) Each member shall have the right to record a special vote immediately following a vote. When registering such a special vote, the relevant grounds shall be stated. The special vote shall be made in writing within three days of the session and shall be submitted to the chairperson. This written record shall constitute part of the minutes. If the written record is not submitted in due time, the special vote shall be deemed withdrawn.
(2) Special votes shall, if the confidentiality requirements permit this, be attached to resolutions to be released for publication.
§ 17. Minutes of the session
(1) Minutes documenting the resolutions passed at each session shall be drawn up. They must always indicate the venue, the beginning and the end of the session, the names of the members present as well as absent members both excused and not excused, the motions and resolutions put forward including any special votes cast as well as the result of the votes with the balance of votes, the content of the reports as well as the discussion only to the extent that this appears necessary to allow an understanding of the resolutions passed.
Any contributions to the discussion which a member wishes to have recorded in the minutes shall be recorded. This does not apply to statements where the person making the statement has expressly declared in advance that she or he does not wish the statement to be recorded.
(2) Audio and/or video recordings of sessions must be requested at the beginning of a session and are made in order to ease the workload and solely for the purpose of preparing the minutes, provided that no person present raises an objection. The recordings may not be made available to third parties and must be deleted once a resolution has been passed on the respective minutes.
(3) The minutes shall be signed by the chairperson and the person keeping the minutes and shall be sent to the members and the permanent respondents within two weeks.
(4) Objections to the minutes shall be submitted in writing to the chairperson within two weeks of the date of transmission specifying a proposal for the formulation of the correction. Members and permanent respondents who were present at the session shall be entitled to raise objections. If no objection is raised within two weeks, the minutes shall be deemed approved. If no objection is raised within the deadline or if the minutes are approved at the next session (cf. § 5), a version of the minutes conforming to the confidentiality requirements pursuant to § 21 may be published on the Intranet site of the Senate.
(5) An objection to the minutes submitted in due time shall be dealt with at the next session.
(6) The original minutes shall be kept by the chairperson together with any supporting documents and handed over to the successor in office. The chairperson shall be responsible for the archiving of the minutes.
§ 18. Resignation or removal of the chairperson and the vice-chairperson(s)
(1) The (vice-) chairperson may resign from the function. The chairperson shall tender her/his resignation to the vice-chairpersons (the vice-chairpersons shall tender their resignation to the chairperson), and a new election shall be held without delay in the next session to fill the vacancy, provided no resolution is passed to dispense with the filling of the vacant function. Until the election of a new chairperson, the first vice-chairperson shall take over the duties of the outgoing chairperson.
(2) The Senate is responsible for the removal of the chairperson or a vice-chairperson before the end of the term of office. In this context, proxy voting is inadmissible. The resolution on the removal from office is passed by a two-thirds majority. With regard to the reappointment, paragraph (1) shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(3) The motion for removal may be made provided that the motion to this effect was already included in the agenda when the meeting was convened.
§ 19. Amendments to the Statute
Proposals concerning the Statute must be brought to the attention of all members in writing at least two weeks before the resolution is adopted.
§ 20. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure
(1) Resolutions on amendments to the Rules of Procedure may only be adopted under a separate agenda item “Amendments to the Rules of Procedure”.
(2) A motion to amend the Rules of Procedure must be brought to the attention of all members in writing at least two weeks before the resolution is adopted.
§ 21. Obligation to maintain confidentiality
(1) All members, substitute members and respondents of the Senate and of the committees and collegial bodies established by the Senate pursuant to § 10 shall be subject to the obligation to maintain confidentiality.
(2) The obligation to maintain confidentiality applies only to those matters for which there is a necessity to maintain secrecy (cf. para. (3)). It includes not only the duty not to discuss matters subject to secrecy with unauthorised third parties, but also to keep documents which are to be kept secret, e.g., consultation documents, in a safe place and not to make them accessible to third parties or indeed to hand them over. The obligation to maintain confidentiality exists vis-à-vis any person who is not a member of the committee in question or who is entrusted with the matter as an employee of the university or who is required to deal with the matter under university law, i.e. also, for example, vis-à-vis members of other bodies or administrative employees who are not entrusted with the processing of the matter. The obligation to maintain confidentiality extends in particular to non-university members, e.g., family members and representatives of the media.
(3) In any case, there is a duty to maintain confidentiality with regard to the following matters:
- election results regarding unsuccessful candidates
- information on persons external to the university, in particular applicants (e.g. in the context of professorial appointment procedures)
- information on reviewing activities by experts, in particular the names of experts and the content of expert reports
- procedures according to the Statute Part C, § 4 (academic honours) and § 5 (honorary professorship), if the award has not/has not yet been carried out
- documents made accessible to the committee for which the person submitting the documents has expressly requested confidentiality.
(4) In the case of following matters
- Establishment and appointment of committees and collegial bodies pursuant to § 10
- Habilitation applications and completed habilitation procedures
- Changes in the employment status of university staff (e.g. transfer to the associate professor scheme)
- Draft regulations (statutes, rules of procedure, guidelines)
- Nominations for the University Council (in compliance with para. 5)
the Senate recognises a legitimate interest of the university in university-wide publication, as this is necessary for the smooth running of the core operational business of the university as well as for maintaining the necessary internal transparency, and therefore considers such publication on the Intranet pages of the Senate to be both necessary and proportionate. The Senate considers these interests of the university to be of overriding importance compared to the non-publication rights of the persons concerned.
As these matters are not subject to confidentiality, they may be published on the Intranet pages of the Senate.
(5) External persons (e.g., committee members who are not members of the Senate) who are involved in Senate matters must be invited to provide a declaration of consent to the in-house publication of their role.
(6) Agenda items, which are expected to be subject to the obligation to maintain confidentiality, shall be highlighted separately in the agendas of Senate sessions and of the committees and collegial bodies established by the Senate in accordance with § 10 and shall be anonymised accordingly prior to any publication of the agenda.
§22. Conducting sessions by means of electronic communication
(1) The use of means of electronic communication for Senate sessions shall be permissible pursuant to § 20 (3a) of the Universities Act. In particular, the secure identification of members shall be ensured. Persons participating in a meeting by means of electronic communication shall be deemed to be present in person. The chairperson shall decide on the use of electronic means of communication after consultation with the members.
(2) The following conditions must be satisfied in order to conduct a virtual or hybrid session:
- the decision-making of the participating members must not be influenced;
- the members must be able to hear each other at all times;
- it must be possible to include third parties (e.g. respondents);
- it must be ensured that the participating members have the same level of knowledge;
- the manner in which the session is conducted must be recorded in the minutes.
(3) In the event of a disruption of the connection of the technical means of communication used in the course of the virtual session, the chairperson shall decide, after consultation with the members, whether the session shall be suspended or adjourned.
(4) Secret ballots and secret elections may only be held if anonymity and personal voting are ensured to the extent technically feasible.
§ 23. Entry into force and expiry
(1) The Rules of Procedure shall enter into force on the day following their publication in the University Bulletin of the University of Klagenfurt. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure shall also enter into force on the day following their publication in the University Bulletin.
(2) The Rules of Procedure of the Senate, published in the University Bulletin dated 02.06.2021, Issue 18, No. 106.2, shall expire on the date on which these Rules of Procedure enter into force.
* Resolution of the Senate dated 27.01.2010, University Bulletin dated 17.02.2010, Issue 9, No. 72.1, last amended by resolution dated 23.11.2022, University Bulletin dated 07.12.2022, Issue 5, No.33.3.
1 Duration of service or seniority in this context refers to the uninterrupted duration of the most recent employment relationship between a member and the University of Klagenfurt (notwithstanding any changes in the type of employment relationship such as § 99 ➝ § 98 during that period).
2 Excerpt from the General Administrative Procedure Act 1991 – AVG, Federal Law Gazette. No. 51/1991 (WV) as amended:
§ 7. (1) Administrative bodies shall refrain from exercising their office and arrange for their substitution:
- in matters involving themselves, one of their relatives (§ 36a), or a person they represent who is entitled to protection;
- in matters in which they have been or are still appointed as agents of a party;
- if there are other important reasons which are likely to cast doubt on their absolute impartiality;
- in appeals, if they were involved in the issuing of the contested decision or the decision on appeal (§ 64a).
3 In the case of elections and delegations, members who are biased are not required to leave the session for the duration of the discussion of the matter. Every member shall be entitled to exercise the right to vote and to stand for election. Delegation can also be exercised in the event that the individual is affected personally.