Staff Senate Bylaws
Article I - Duties of Officers, Senators, and Support staff
A. The President shall:
- Preside at all regular and special meetings,
- Enforce all regulations and policies,
- Preside over the Senate Executive Board,
- Prepare the organizational chart of the Senate,
- Submit the budget to the Senate at the July regular meeting for approval each year
- Call special meetings,
- Prepare an agenda for the Staff Senate secretary to distribute to the Staff Senate members and non-voting members of the Staff Senate seven days prior to the next regular meeting
- Authorize disbursement of funds,
- Designate chairs of the standing committees as appropriate,
- Establish ad hoc committees as approved by the Staff Senate, appoint members and designate chairs of these committees as appropriate, and
- Perform other such duties as associated with this office.
- Serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
B. The Vice President shall:
- Preside in the absence of the President,
- Serve as the principal assistant to the President,
- Fulfill any term vacated by the President, and
- Secure/Reserve meeting places,
- Perform other such duties associated with this office.
- Serve as ex-officio member of all committees
C. The Secretary shall:
- Prepare minutes of all Staff Senate meetings and maintain them as permanent records,
- Distribute copies of the minutes to each member within ten days after meetings. The use of electronic mail is encouraged whenever possible.
- Distribute copies of agenda and information packages to each Senator within seven days prior to the next regular meeting. The use of electronic mail is encouraged whenever possible.
- Maintain all records of the Staff Senate including a. Fiscal records b. Mailing lists (electronic and campus). c. List of members serving on the standing committees, and university wide committees, with term of office, and
- Make authorized disbursements of funds. Submit quarterly financial reports of expenditures to the Staff Senate Board. Both the Staff Senate President, or Vice President in absence of the President, and the Secretary shall have fiscal authority, and
- Perform other such duties as required by this office.
D. The Parliamentarian shall:
- Advise the Staff Senate President on parliamentary procedures in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised
- Conduct a roll call, record attendance and advise the President if a quorum (simple majority) is present at the beginning of each meeting,
- Maintain the list of members serving on the Senate including term of office.
E. Staff Senators shall:
- Make informed decisions,
- Vote on matters brought before the Staff Senate,
- Serve on at least one standing committee, and
- Serve on university wide committees when appointed.
- Regularly attend scheduled meetings
- Notify appropriate alternate when absent to perform #1 and #2 above.
F. Staff Senators shall also:
- Report to their respective areas on issues brought before the Staff Senate.
- Seek opinions of their respective areas on pertinent matters concerning the Staff Senate, and
- Be accountable to their respective areas.
G. Alternates shall:
- Regularly attend Staff Senate meetings, and
- Shall vote only when their respective Staff Senate member is absent.
- Serve on at least one standing committee.
H. Support Staff
Support Staff are welcomed and encouraged to participate in all Staff Senate activities. Any support staff may be asked for assistance in planning and completing various events or activities.
Article II – Elections
A. Senator Elections - The election for Staff Senate representatives shall be conducted before March 31st each year. The Elections and Nominations Committee shall conduct the election process in accordance with the following guidelines:
1. Each division of the University will be represented in the Senate. These staff and representative levels will be based upon the roster of support staff obtained from Human Resources.
a. The number of representatives in a division shall be based on the following scale:
- Less than 60 Employees – 1 representative;
- 61-120 Employees – 2 representatives;
- Greater than 120 Employees – 3 representative
b. The most recent list after the first reporting period of the new calendar year will be used.
2.The number of representatives for each college or administrative division will be as follows based on the number of employees/departments to represented:
- Executive – 1 representative
- Academic Affairs – 3 representatives
- Finance and Administration – 3 representatives
- University Relations – 1 representative
- Information Technology – 1 representative
- University Advancement – 1 representative
- Student Affairs – 1 representatives
3. All support staff (salaried classified employees, 1,500-hour wage employees and alternates) are eligible for election to the Staff Senate.
4. All eligible employees will be listed and the roll will be mailed out to each respective division for staff to consider their nominees of choice.
5. Nominations will be accepted during the January Senate meeting. Nominations will be accepted orally, by mail, or by email to the Nominations and Elections Committee Chairperson. Nominations will be closed one week following the Senate meeting in January. The nominees will be contacted by the Nominations and Elections Committee to indicate their acceptance or rejection of the nominations.
6. Ballots of the candidates will be printed and distributed to the staff within their designated divisions no later than the February meeting (six weeks prior to March 31st).
7. The Elections and Nominations Committee shall conduct the vote count and award senate seats based upon the results. Alternate positions will be awarded to the runner-up vote recipient. In the event of tie votes, the selections shall be decided by a random drawing.
8. Campaigning by candidates is allowed, but must not interfere with work assignments. Posters and related campaign tactics will not be permitted.
9. The newly elected senators shall assume their positions July 1.
B. Senate Officer Elections
The election of the Officers of the Staff Senate shall be conducted annually at the May Staff Senate meeting. The Elections and Nominations Committee shall conduct the election in accordance with the following guidelines:
- All current senators that have at least one year of term remaining, plus the newly elected senators shall be eligible for nomination to an officer position.
- The nomination process shall begin at the close of the April meeting and continue until one week prior to the May meeting. Nominations shall be communicated by verbal, written, or e-mail process to any member of the committee. Any support staff may nominate a senator for an officer position.
- The elections and Nominations Committee shall receive nominations, contact potential candidates to determine their desire to serve, and develop a slate of candidates for presentation at the May meeting.
- The election of officers shall be held by secret ballot at the May regular meeting. Only current senators shall vote and must be present to vote. In the absence of a senator, the alternate shall assume voting responsibility. Regardless of the number of absences in a category, the alternate can vote only once. The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the position. In the event of a tie vote, the committee shall conduct a random drawing to determine the position.
- The newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities July 1.
Article III – Committees
A. Staff Senate Executive Board
- Screens proposals from classified and wage support staff for Staff Senate consideration,
- Acts on behalf of the Staff Senate between regular meetings. All such actions shall be reported at the next Staff Senate meeting,
- Approves, by majority vote, initial composition, changes and additions to the membership of standing committees
- Implements the rules and regulations of the Staff Senate
- Assists in interpreting the intent of the Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws
- Determines if a representative’s absence from a regular meeting is excused,
- Assists the President in preparing the budget,
- Meets at least once a month prior to the regular Staff Senate meeting, and
- Addresses occasional changes to the regular meeting schedule of the Staff Senate.
B. Standing Committees
1. General Guidelines
a. Members of standing committees shall be appointed by the Staff Senate President and approved by a majority vote of the Staff Senate Board. The Staff Senate President will also designate a chair for each standing committee.
b. Unless requested by a Staff Senate representative, membership on a standing committee shall not change for the representative’s term of office.
c. Each Senator shall serve on at least one standing committee. This is to ensure that all Staff Senate members have the opportunity to be a member of a standing committee during their Staff Senate term.
d. Minutes shall be kept for each standing committee. Each standing committee will also submit an annual report of its activities and any pending matters to the Staff Senate Board at the June Staff Senate Board meeting.
e. The Staff Senate in accordance with the bylaws shall establish the scope of the charges of the standing committees
f. Standing committees shall establish goals, objectives, and priorities. They have authority to investigate, carry out activities necessary to perform their charges, prepare annual reports, offer recommendations, and make parliamentary motions.
g. Standing committees may establish subcommittees to address specific issues as needed. Standing committees may dissolve subcommittees upon completion of subcommittee’s assignment.
h. Standing committee chairs shall convene their committees as needed or requested by the Staff Senate Board.
i. At the end of each term, each committee chair shall provide to the respective incoming chair appropriate information to facilitate continuity (e.g., charges, goals, unfinished business, investigatory materials, past and pending parliamentary motions).
2. Policies and Issues Committee - Primary Responsibilities
a. Serves as a link between the Staff Senate and the Personnel Office and/or university administration in general on personnel and related matters.
b. Brings to the Staff Senate’s attention changes in policies and procedures that may affect the staff and advises the Staff Senate on these issues. This includes monitoring the activities of the Administrative and Professional Staff Senate, commissions, advisory Staff Senates, and committees that may affect the staff.
c. Provides assistance to the staff in obtaining educational leave, tuition waivers, and other educational opportunities.
3. Communications Committee - Primary Responsibilities
a. Informs the staff, university community, and Administrative and Professional Staff Senate as to the purpose of the Staff Senate.
b. Communicates staff concerns to appropriate university offices on such topics as employee training and development, incentives and rewards, benefits, retirement planning, and other related matters.
c. Interfaces with university’s Public Information and Relations office to provide information on Staff Senate activities when appropriate. Interaction with non-university media sources must be authorized through Public Information and Relations office.
d. Fulfills communication needs of Staff Senate as requested by the President or Staff Senate Board.
e. Serves a historian and archivist.
4. Elections and Nominations Committee - Primary Responsibilities
a. Coordinates the Staff Senate election process. This committee is responsible for ensuring that the Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws are followed when electing Staff Senate representatives and
b. Composes a list of nominations for Staff Senate officers.
c. Makes recommendations to the Staff Senate President for appointment of members and chairs to Staff Senate and university wide committees.
d. Monitors elections of representatives and oversees votes on proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Staff Senate.
e. Receives requests from individual Staff Senate members of a member’s desire to serve on selected committees. Staff Senate members with expertise in specific fields are encouraged to volunteer for membership on appropriate committees.
5. Staff and Community Relations:
Staff and community relations shall encompass all ad hoc committees required to accomplish the short-term goals of the Staff Senate. Examples of ad hoc committees: Scholarship, Spirit, On Task Day Care, Need-based Fund Drives.
Article IV – Meetings
- Regular meetings of the Staff Senate shall be held on the third Thursday of each month. The time of the meetings shall take into consideration member work schedules to provide all Staff Senate members an equal opportunity to attend. The Staff Senate Board shall address occasional conflicts to this schedule, such as university holidays or inclement weather.
- The Staff Senate shall communicate the Staff Senate meeting schedule with the university President and invite him to attend Staff Senate meetings at his convenience. Staff Senate will request the university President to address the full Staff Senate semi-annually.
- A quorum at all Staff Senate meetings shall be a majority of the total eligible voting Staff Senate membership.
- All meetings shall be open to the public unless the Staff Senate approves a motion to enter into executive session. However, a person who is not a Staff Senate member may not participate in discussion unless recognized by the President of the Staff Senate.
Article V – Procedures
Staff employees may submit items to any Staff Senate representative for inclusion in the agenda of the next regular Staff Senate meeting. A representative wishing to have an item (or items) included on the agenda of a regular meeting may submit the item(s) to the President of the Staff Senate. The Staff Senate President shall then decide whether items should be included on the next regular meeting agenda or passed to the appropriate Staff Senate committee.
Issues referred to the Staff Senate not in the Staff Senate’s charge shall be returned to the known originator with written explanation as to the Staff Senate’s inability to act upon the respective issue.
Article VI - Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the business proceedings of the Staff Senate except when otherwise specified in the Constitution and Bylaws.
Article VII - Amendments
Bylaws may be amended in the same manner as the Constitution.
Revised and approved: April 18, 2008
Radford University Staff Senate