Electoral Regulations (2009 Amendment to the Universities Act)

Contents of the regulations

§ 1. These electoral regulations apply to the election of the members of the Senate, the members of the University Board by the Senate and the appointment of the members of the decision-making collegial bodies of the Senate.

Part 1: Election of the Members of the Senate

Scope of application

§ 2. (1) This part governs the election of representatives

1. of university professors, including heads of organisational units with research and teaching duties who are not university professors (section 25, para. 4, sub-para. 1 of the Universities Act),

2. of associate professors and other academic research and teaching staff (section 25, para. 4, sub-para. 2 of the Universities Act) and

3. of general university staff (section 25, para. 4, sub-para. 3 of the Universities Act)

to the Senate of the University of Vienna. Each of these three groups of persons forms its own electoral body.

(2) The student representatives are delegated (section 23, para. 1 of the 1998 Union of Students Act (Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaftsgesetz or HSG 1998), section 25, para. 4, sub-para. 4 of the Universities Act). The representative body of the Austrian National Union of Students at the University of Vienna announces the delegated members to the chairperson of the Senate. Membership continues until a new delegation is announced.

Electoral principles

§ 3. Unless specified otherwise in the following, the members of the Senate are elected based on the principles of equal, direct, personal and secret voting and proportional representation.

Active and passive electoral rights

§ 4. (1) All persons who are members of the respective group of persons on the reference date are eligible to vote and be elected for an electoral body.

(2) All persons who are on a leave of absence on the reference date are not eligible to vote; they are eligible to be elected unless they are on a leave of absence at the beginning of the term of office for which the election is held.

(3) The reference date is the day on which the elections are announced in the University Gazette (section 8).

Membership in several electoral bodies

§ 5. (1) Electoral rights are limited to one electoral body, with the rights to vote and be elected being limited to one and the same electoral body.

(2) If a person who is eligible to vote and be elected is a member of several groups of persons according to section 2, para. 1, the following applies:

a) Those who are also members of the group of persons according to section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 1 are eligible to vote and be elected in this group of persons.

b) Those who are eligible to vote and be elected in the group of persons according to section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 2 and section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 3 have to, by the end of the display period of the list of persons who are eligible to vote and be elected, inform the chairperson of the Senate about the electoral body in which they want to exercise their electoral rights. If they fail to do so, they are eligible to vote and be elected in the group of persons according to section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 2.

(3) The right to delegate students (section 2, para. 2) is not affected by any electoral right related to one of the other groups of persons.

Organisation of elections

§ 6. The chairperson of the Senate is in charge of heading, preparing and conducting the elections. He/she has to be provided with the resources required for this purpose.

Time and location of elections

§ 7. The chairperson of the Senate specifies the location and time of elections. Elections may also be held on several consecutive days and/or at several locations. If elections are held on several days or at different locations, it has to be ensured that each and every person who is eligible to vote can exercise his/her voting right only once.

Election announcement

§ 8. The chairperson of the Senate has to advertise elections in the University Gazette of the University of Vienna six weeks prior to the elections at the latest. The announcement of elections includes:

1. the number of members of each group of persons who are to be elected;

2. the time and location of the elections;

3. the provision that every election proposal needs to include at least 40 % women (section 25, para. 4a of the Universities Act) and not more candidates than four times the number of members to be elected;

4. the request to submit election proposals in writing to the chairperson of the Senate four weeks prior to the first election day at the latest, otherwise they cannot be considered;

5. information about where and when the accepted election proposals will be published;

6. the provision that valid votes can only be cast for accepted election proposals;

7. more detailed provisions regarding the inspection of the list of persons who are eligible to vote and be elected;

8. a repeat date or substitute election date.

List of persons with electoral rights

§ 9. One week after the election announcement (section 8) at the latest, a list of persons is compiled who are eligible to vote on the reference day. The list of persons with electoral rights is on display for one week so it can be inspected by those who are eligible to vote. Any objections to the list may be raised in writing during the display period. The chairperson of the Senate decides on this matter within three working days following the end of the display period. Any decision by the chairperson of the Senate is final.

Election proposals

§ 10. (1) Each and every person who is eligible to vote may submit election proposals to the chairperson of the Senate in the Senate’s Office no later than four weeks before the election. An election proposal may not include more election candidates than four times the number of representatives to be elected. Should the election proposal contain more candidates, those exceeding four times the number of mandates to be awarded are not deemed as listed. Election proposals for the group of persons according to section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 2 have to include at least one person with an authorisation to teach (venia docendi).

(2) The chairperson of the Senate examines the submitted election proposals and informs the representative of the election proposal immediately about any existing doubts. Representatives of the election proposal are the first-mentioned candidates.

(3) Each and every person who is eligible to be elected may only stand as a candidate on one election proposal. The election candidates need to confirm their candidature with their handwritten signature. If the signature is missing at the time the election proposal is announced (section 8, sub-para. 5), the election candidate is removed from the election proposal.

(4) Election candidates who are not eligible for election are removed from the election proposal. Any proposals which are submitted too late and any proposals which do not contain a single eligible election candidate are not accepted.

(5) The election committee, which comprises the chairperson of the Senate and the election committee members, decides on their acceptance. In the case of a tie, the chairperson has the casting vote.

(6) The accepted election proposals are submitted to the Equal Opportunities Working Party (section 25, para. 4a of the Universities Act). This decides within one week whether the election proposal includes a sufficient proportion of women. If an objection is raised with the Arbitration Committee within this period (section 42, para. 8c of the Universities Act), it decides on the legitimacy of the election proposal within 14 days (section 43, para. 1, sub-para. 4 of the Universities Act). If it decides that the objection was justifiable, the election committee returns the election proposal to the candidate group for improvement and sets a deadline for this. The election committee then makes a final decision on acceptance.

(7) The accepted election proposals are announced no earlier than two weeks and no later than one week before the first election day.

(8) The chairperson of the Senate issues, without undue delay after the accepted election proposals have been confirmed, a ballot paper for each electoral body which contains all accepted election proposals in the order in which they were received. If an election proposal contains no designation, it is named as a list and with the name of the first-mentioned candidate.

Conduct of the election

§ 11. (1) The chairperson of the Senate presides over the election. After obtaining a proposal of the respective group of persons in the Senate, he/she nominates an election committee member as well as the required number of deputies for each electoral body.

(2) The election committee members ensure that peace and order are maintained during the election and record the conduct of the election. For this purpose, recorders are nominated.

(3) The elections are by secret ballot. Voting is by personally casting the ballot paper at the location of the elections. Only those who are on the list of eligible voters are entitled to vote. Voters have to prove their identity to the election committee member.

(4) Voters may only cast valid votes for one of the accepted election proposals. The ballot paper is deemed to be validly completed if it clearly indicates which election proposal the voter wanted to choose.

(5) Upon expiry of the time specified in the election announcement, the election committee member declares the casting of votes as completed.

Determination of the election result

§ 12. (1) Immediately after the casting of votes has been completed, the election committee member in the presence of the recorder opens the ballot box, checks the validity of the ballot papers and, after counting the votes, determines the total number of votes cast, the number of invalid votes and the number of valid votes cast for each accepted election proposal. Thereafter, the election files are handed over to the chairperson of the Senate.

(2) If the election was held on different days or at different locations, the total number of votes cast on all days or at all locations are decisive for determining the election result.

(3) The election result is determined based on the D’Hondt method: the chairperson of the Senate determines the number of members attributable to the accepted election proposals by using the ‘electoral number’. The ‘electoral number’ is calculated as follows: the sums of the votes cast for each election proposal are written side by side in order of size; under each of these sums, its half is written; and under its half, its third, its quarter and, if necessary, also its fifth, sixth, etc. The ‘electoral number’ is calculated in decimal numbers. If a member is to be elected, the ‘electoral number’ is deemed to be the largest of the written numbers; if two members are to be elected, it is deemed to be the second largest; if three members are to be elected, it is deemed to be the third largest; if four members are to be elected, it is deemed to be the fourth largest, etc. Each election proposal is allocated as many member positions as the ‘electoral number’ is contained in the total number of votes cast for it. If, according to this calculation method, several election proposals have the same entitlement to a member position, a decision is made by drawing lots.

(4) The election candidates specified in the election proposal are assigned the member positions attributable to the election proposal in the order of their nomination. The election candidates following the elected representatives on an election proposal are substitute members in accordance with the distribution of mandates in the order of their nomination.

(5) If only one election proposal is submitted, the election candidates ranked on the election proposal are deemed to be elected if the election proposal receives a simple majority of the votes cast. The member positions to be allocated are allocated to the election candidates in accordance with their ranking on the election proposal. The election candidates following the elected representatives on the election proposal are substitute members in the order of their nomination. If the election proposal does not receive a simple majority of the votes cast, a re-election has to be held without delay. If it is not possible to fill these member positions, the election is deemed not to have taken place. In that case, the Senate is deemed to be legally constituted without representatives of such group of persons (section 20, para. 3 of the Universities Act).

(6) If there is no person having an authorisation to teach (venia docendi) among the elected members of the group of persons according to section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 2, a mandate is in any case allocated to the person having an authorisation to teach who is on the election proposal with the highest number of votes (section 25, para. 4, sub-para. 2 of the Universities Act). Should more than one person be eligible, the ranking on the proposal is decisive. The person so designated is deemed to be an elected member and takes the place of the member of the same election proposal who ranks last among the elected.

(7) The chairperson of the Senate determines the election result and announces it in the University Gazette of the University of Vienna.

(6) The elected members may declare within one week following the announcement of the election result that they do not accept the election. In that case, the next candidate of the respective election proposal moves up.

Part 2: Joint Regulations for all Members of the Senate

Term of office; constitution of the new Senate

§ 13. (1) The term of office of the Senate is three years and, according to section 143, para. 17 of the Universities Act, commences on 1 October 2010 for the first time.

(2) The chairperson of the resigning Senate is obliged to issue invitations for the constitution of the newly elected Senate in good time and chair this meeting until the chairperson is elected. This constitution may already take place before the beginning of the new term of office.

(3) If a group of persons fails to comply in good time with the obligation to elect or delegate a member, the University Board has to grant this group of persons a one-off extension period to make up for the election or delegation. If this extension period passes without result, the Senate is deemed to be legally constituted without representatives of such group of persons. In such cases, the Senate may convene to constitute itself after the election or delegation has taken place or after the extension period has ended.

Resignation

§ 14. The members of the Senate may declare their resignation during their term of office. The letter of resignation has to be submitted to the chairperson of the Senate.

Representation; replacement by substitute members

§ 15. (1) If a member is unable to attend for a longer period of time, he/she has to be represented, for the duration of his/her absence, by a substitute member who belongs to the same election proposal. The representation and its end have to be announced to the chairperson of the Senate by the absent member.

(2) In the event that the membership of an elected member expires, substitute members take his/her place. The order in which the substitute members move up is determined by the order on the election proposal. If a substitute member refrains from – or if several substitute members at the same time refrain from – moving up in favour of a substitute member ranked lower on the list, they remain in the original order as substitute members.

(3) If, due to complete exhaustion of an election proposal, further allocation of member positions is impossible, the vacant mandates are allocated to the remaining election proposals; the provisions applicable to the allocation of mandates apply mutatis mutandis.

By-elections

§ 16. (1) If, due to complete exhaustion of the election proposals/the election proposal, the number of elected representatives of a group of persons falls below the number of representatives to be delegated by this group of persons, the Senate is nevertheless deemed to be legally constituted.

(2) In that case, a re-election of all representatives of this group of persons has to be held immediately for the remainder of the current term of office. The newly elected members join the Senate in lieu of the previous representatives of this group of persons when the election results have been determined.

(3) The same applies mutatis mutandis if all representatives of a group of persons in the Senate resign.

Part 3: Appointment and Dismissal of Members of Collegial Bodies of the Senate with Decision-Making Powers

§ 17. The members of the collegial bodies of the Senate with decision-making powers are appointed by Senate resolution on the recommendation of the representatives of the respective group of university members in the Senate and, if important reasons so require, also dismissed. The recommendation has to be submitted to the chairperson of the Senate by the spokesperson of the respective group of persons.

Part 4: Election of Members of the University Board by the Senate

§ 18. (1) The term of office of the University Board is five years; it commences on 1 March 2013. The election of the members by the Senate is held in good time before the term of office expires.

(2) The election to the University Board is secret, personal and direct.

(3) Each and every member of the Senate may submit proposals for the appointment of members of the University Board.

(4) Each individual member of the University Board to be elected by the Senate is voted on in separate ballots. The candidate who receives more than half of the valid votes cast is deemed to be elected. If no majority is received in the first ballot, a second ballot has to be held to decide between those persons who received the two highest numbers of votes in the first ballot. If several persons are equally entitled to participate in the run-off election, all such persons participate in the run-off election. The candidate who receives the higher number of the valid votes cast is deemed to be elected. If the run-off election does not lead to a result either, the decision is made by drawing lots to decide between those persons who received the highest number of votes in the run-off election.

(5) Should only one proposal be submitted for the appointment of all members of the University Board to be elected by the Senate, this proposal is, notwithstanding para. 2, put to the vote in its entirety. The candidates included in the proposal are deemed to be elected if the proposal has received a majority of the valid votes cast.

Part 5: Entry into Force and Transitional Provisions

§ 19. (1) This regulation enters into force on 1 January 2010. At the same time the election regulations of the University of Vienna published in the University Gazette of 13 November 2003, 2nd edition, no. 5 as amended by the University Gazette of 22 December 2004, 10th edition, no. 46 as well as the election regulations for the Senate of the University of Vienna published in the University Gazette of 4 April 2003, 13th edition, no. 31 cease to be effective.

(2) For any by-elections (section 16) to the Senate in office on 1 January 2010, section 2, para. 1, sub-para. 1 of the election regulations of the University of Vienna published in the University Gazette of 13 November 2003, 2nd edition, no. 5 as amended by the University Gazette of 22 December 2004, 10th edition, no. 46 is still applied.

(3) The Austrian National Union of Students at the University of Vienna makes the announcement pursuant to section 2, para. 2 for the term of office commencing on 1 October 2010 by 1 June 2010 at the latest.

 

As of: 24 March 2011

The only legally binding version is the German version published in the University Gazette.