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Staff Senate Bylaws
I. Composition of the Senate
A. The Senate is comprised of elected members representing each Division in the 1000-7000 broad bands as follows:
- Academic Affairs
- Finance & Operations
- Research & Economic Development
- Student Affairs
- School of Medicine & Health Sciences
- University & Public Affairs
B. Membership is based on approximately 3% of each Division rounding to a minimum of one representative from each, to be reviewed annually prior to the general election.
C. An eligible member is a full-time or part-time benefited employee who is off probation at the time of the nomination and is a UND employee.
D. The Officers shall be elected from the membership of the Senate.
E. The Director of Human Resources or the Director’s designated representative shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Staff Senate and Executive Committee.
II. Terms of Office and Election of Senate Members
A. Senate membership shall be for a three (3) year term with approximately one-third (1/3) of the members elected by April 15 every year.
- A member shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive full terms.
- Exception to A.: If a member is elected to Vice President/President Elect, they shall be granted additional years beyond two consecutive to complete the terms of President and Immediate Past President.
B. Terms of regularly elected senators begin with the first meeting in May. For Senators elected or appointed after the regular elections, their term begins at the next available meeting.
- During and after the Staff Senate elections, if there are not enough members to fill the various senator positions in a Division, the Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee shall follow Section VIII: Interim Vacancies to fill the vacant positions.
C. University employees identified in Section I shall be eligible to vote.
D. An eligible candidate can be self-nominated or be nominated by another University employee. Divisions will also provide nominations of at least the number of openings in their respective Division.
E. Senators are expected to attend all Staff Senate meetings. Senators shall contact the Membership Officer directly, to record their absence prior to an anticipated absence or as soon as possible after an unexpected absence of any Staff Senate meeting.
F. A Senator who has had three (3) unexcused absences in any twelve (12) month period or fraction thereof is not in good standing and will be contacted by the Staff Senate President and that Senator’s position may be vacated by a vote of the Executive Committee. Attendance will be taken at each Staff Senate meeting.
G. Senate members who transfer from one Division to another within the University will continue to represent their original Division for the purposes of Senate membership for the balance of their term or until the next scheduled general election, whichever occurs first.
III. Election of Officers/Members-at-Large
A. The Staff Senate will nominate and vote annually for the following Officers:
- Vice President/President Elect
- Membership Officer
- Members-at-Large three (3)
B. The Officers’ terms are one (1) year.
C. The Vice President/President-Elect will automatically assume the office of the President.
D. The President will automatically assume the Office of the Immediate Past President.
E. The Vice President/President Elect nominations shall be conducted at the regular March meeting of the full Senate.
- Nominations will be accepted at the March meeting with a written document sent to the Senate one week prior to the April meeting.
- All candidates must be present to give an oral presentation at the April meeting. The election will be held following all presentations.
F. At the regular April meeting, nominations for Staff Senate executive officers numbered two through five above shall be made through motions from the Staff Senate. Any Senate Member who is nominated for an office must either be present at the meeting to accept the nomination or must have sent to the President for prior acceptance of the nomination in writing before the meeting.
G. Members-at-Large will be elected at the May meeting when newly elected senators are in attendance.
F. The Staff Senate will vote; a simple majority vote determines the winner. Regarding the election of the Vice President/President elect, if a senator is not able to be present at the meeting, an absentee ballot can be requested from the Staff Senate President and must be submitted to the President at least two hours prior to the meeting. The Staff Senate President has the authority to make the decision to accept or deny the absentee ballot based on criteria such as: the ballot has been timely requested and submitted; whether the member is in good standing; work related meetings; and staff senate related meetings, etc. The Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee shall tally the votes.
IV. Removal of Officers
A senator may, in good faith, request a vote of competency for an Officer when an Officer is unable or does not properly perform the duties of the office, e.g. does not attend meetings or fulfill duties described for that office, by the following:
- Submit in writing to the Staff Senate President the reasons why a vote should be taken.
- The President will consult with the Officer in question and allow the opportunity for a written response.
- The President will present the request and response to the Executive Committee for review.
- If the Executive Committee determines the request is valid, a vote by the Executive Committee will be conducted. If an Officer does not receive a majority vote of competency, the Executive Committee shall declare the seat vacant.
- Following the vote, the President will inform the Officer and also the Senator(s) who asked for the vote of competency of the outcome of the Executive Committee's decision.
- If a request for a vote of competency involves the President, the Past President will fulfill the President’s duties listed in this section.
V. Duties of the Officers
A. The President:
- Presides over all meetings of the Staff Senate and Executive Committee.
- Ensures that all Staff Senate activities are conducted in an orderly and professional manner.
- Has the authority to appoint such committees as are deemed necessary for the business of the Staff Senate.
- Ensures that all actions conform to the Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws.
- Serves ex-officio on all committees of the Staff Senate.
- Is the spokesperson for the Staff Senate at meetings and events.
- Serves as the direct communication liaison between the President of the University and Staff Senate.
- Authorizes monies from Staff Senate funds in the absence of the Treasurer, with concurrence by the Vice President.
- Contacts Senators when they have three unexcused absences.
- Responsible for retrieval of mail from the Staff Senate Post Office Box.
- Serves on the University Senate.
- Serves on the University Senate Executive Committee.
- Serves on the President’s Cabinet.
- Serves on the North Dakota State Staff Senate.
B. The Past President:
- Serves as an active member of the Executive Committee and provides continuity in the administration of the Staff Senate.
- Serves as an advisor to current and proposed activities, using previous Executive Committee experience to give a historical perspective.
- Serves as chairperson of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee.
- Maintains current election results and contacts prospective senators following a vacancy in Staff Senate membership.
C. The Vice President/President Elect:
- Presides in the absence of the President.
- Assumes the duties of the President for the unexpired term in the event the President is unable to complete the term of office.
- Serves as a member of the University Senate.
- Serves as a member of the North Dakota State Staff Senate.
- Coordinates the July and December Potlucks.
- Carries out additional duties as assigned by the President.
- Assumes office of the President at the end of the sitting President’s term.
- Presides at the May meeting after the passing of the gavel.
D. The Secretary:
- Takes and maintains the minutes of each meeting of the Staff Senate and the Executive Committee.
- Publishes and distributes the minutes from the previous Staff Senate Meeting and the agenda for the upcoming Staff Senate Meeting to all Staff Senators one week prior to the next meeting via the Staff Senate List-Serve and sends copies of the Staff Senate Minutes, agendas, and special reports to the UND President, Vice Presidents, Staff Senators without e-mail addresses, and other designated people. The Secretary also coordinates with the Historian.
- Solicits agenda items for the Executive Committee meeting and prepares and distributes the agenda.
- Maintains the historical and past information of the Staff Senate: minutes, memos, letters, resolutions, correspondence, etc.
- Passes on all files to the succeeding secretary and serves as a resource person.
- Gives notice to University & Public Affairs – Public Relations Group of the scheduled meetings of Staff Senate including date, place, time, and subjects to be discussed. If changes in the schedule occur, new notice must be given to University & Public Affairs – Public Relations Group.
E. The Treasurer:
- Primarily responsible for the Staff Senate’s fiscal affairs.
- Prepares a monthly financial statement and reports to the Staff Senate at each of the regular meetings.
- Assists the President in preparing the budget and submitting it to the Staff Senate and the President of the University, for approval, if needed.
- Disburses monies from Staff Senate funds. The President of the Staff Senate must approve all disbursements of money; however, only the Treasurer’s signature is needed to actually disburse money.
- Monitors fund-raising efforts and keeps accurate records of each fund.
F. The Membership Officer:
- Schedules meeting locations for the Staff Senate and Executive Committee for the following year; notifies the Staff Senate President and the Secretary.
- Maintains a roll of current members, e-mail addresses, and their attendance at meetings and reports monthly to the Executive Committee on attendance status of Senators.
- Maintains all permanent records of Senators and terms served.
- Maintains and distributes Staff Senate Manuals.
- Maintains the Staff Senate list serve.
- Orders nametags for new Senators.
G. The Historian
- Acts as the Webmaster and maintains the website.
- Maintains the historical and past information of the Staff Senate: minutes, memos, letters, resolutions, correspondence, etc.
- Prepares and collects documents for Special Collections at the University library.
- Moves previous years history documents to Special Collections by the end of the fiscal year.
- Provide additional voices for the betterment of all Staff Senate.
- Act as conduits between the Executive Committee and all other Staff Senators.
- Members-at-large may be required to coordinate an ad hoc committee or serve as a Staff Senate representative on a University or State Committee.
VI. Committees and Task Forces
A. Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee of the Staff Senate shall consist of its Officers and the Chairs of the Legislative; Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections; Public Relations; Staff and Professional Development; Staff Recognition; Fundraising and Community Relations Committees; who collectively shall:
- Serve as the governing board or steering committee of the Staff Senate.
- Set the yearly calendar of Staff Senate meetings and activities.
- Set the agenda for each meeting of the Staff Senate.
- Ensure that the Constitution and Bylaws are followed.
- Receive proposals from Senators, staff, or the President of the University for consideration at Staff Senate Meetings.
- Provide information regarding Staff Senate activities to the President of the University, University Senate Chair, Director of Human Resources, Staff Senators, and all UND Staff.
B. Staff Senate Committees
The Staff Senate shall establish committees as necessary to perform duties determined by the Staff Senate and/or Executive Committee. Each year each committee without a named chair shall elect a chairperson who is a Staff Senator and who shall develop goals for the upcoming year. Yearly goals of each committee shall be submitted to the Executive Committee in September.
Every Staff Senate member is expected to belong to at least one committee. A Staff Senator may only serve as chairperson of one committee each year. Each committee chair shall submit a written report prior to each monthly Staff Senate meeting. At the April meeting, each committee chair will submit in writing a detailed year-end report to the secretary.
All Committees shall work with the Public Relations Committee to assist with production of all documents, correspondence, flyers, etc., before publication.
1. Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee – reviews, drafts, and recommends amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws and presents them to the Executive Committee and then to Staff Senate for approval. The Committee rules on questions relating to qualifications of electors and members; nominates and receives nominations; presents a slate of nominees; and conducts the elections.
2. Legislative Committee – provides Staff Senate with information regarding legislative activity, placing particular emphasis on issues affecting higher education and UND staff. The Committee depends on feedback from the Staff Senate to propose and initiate a coordinated effort as a result of the given information. Committee also acts as parliamentarian or source of parliamentary procedure according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. The Chair of the Legislative Committee serves on the University Senate Legislative Affairs Committee.
3. Staff and Professional Development Committee – identifies, recommends, and coordinates various programs and activities that will provide professional and personal growth for all UND employees. Committee may suggest programs for Staff Senate meetings. Develops scholarship programs, disseminates information, and monitors selection of recipients on an annual basis as funds are available.
4. Public Relations Committee – works in conjunction with other Staff Senate Committees: publicizes events sponsored by the Staff Senate; opens channels of communication with the campus community; raises awareness about the vital role performed by staff in the operation of the university; develops documents and correspondence prior to submission to the Executive Committee; and maintains the Staff Senate display case. Coordinates Staff Senate involvement in local parades.
5. Fundraising Committee – develops funding sources for scholarships and other programs as they apply to Staff Senate.
6. Staff Recognition Committee– develops and administers events and programs to recognize and reward Staff Employees for their service to UND. Coordinates events such as Spring Fling, and in conjunction with Council of State Employees (COSE), plans activities for State Employee Recognition Week. This Committee also administers the UND Staff Senate Senator of the Year award. Coordinates monthly and annual U-Shine award, as well as fall and spring Exceptional-U awards.
7. Community Relations Committee – advertises and accepts applications from local non-profit organizations that will receive funds generated from UND Denim Days. The Committee will review applications and determine recipients of funding. The Committee will approve and publicize regular and special Denim Days as submitted throughout the year. All collected donations from UND employees will be turned in to the President’s Office for deposit. Coordinates annual Tubs of Love drive by selecting local non-profit organization(s) to receive donation(s) in December.
A. University Senate
Staff Senate will have three representatives on the University Senate who will each serve a one-year term:
- Staff Senate President
- Staff Senate Vice President
- Staff Senator to be selected each year by the Executive Committee.
B. Other University Committees and Task Forces
The Staff Senate Executive Committee will appoint Senators to serve on University committees and task forces as requested.
C. State Committees, Boards and/or Task Forces
- ND SSS – The President, Vice President and Past President will serve as members of the North Dakota State Staff Senate with the Past President rotating off each year.
VIII. Interim Vacancies
Interim vacancies will be filled using the following procedures:
A. Staff Senator Vacancies Post Election
- Priority to fill the vacancy will go to a Staff Senator that fits the vacant Division; however, all vacant seats after the election will become a temporary term until the next regular election and will not count toward term limits.
- All vacancies shall be communicated to all UND staff via available media and documented in the Senate minutes. The Senate Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee shall accept nominations of interested and eligible staff employees to fill the vacancies and shall bring nominations to the floor in order of interest.
- If the vacancy is within the three months preceding the regular election cycle, the Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee has the option not to fill the vacancy.
- The President will write to the new Staff Senator and indicate the length of the term and when it expires.
B. Immediate Past President Vacancy
- If the office of the Immediate Past President becomes vacant, the Executive Committee shall appoint one of the current members of the Executive Committee to complete the term.
C. President Vacancy
- If the Office of the President is vacated on or before October 31st, the Vice President/President Elect will assume the office of President and this will serve as their Present term.
- If the Office of the President is vacated after October 31st, the Vice President/President elect will assume the office of the President for the remainder of the term and resume in the position of President through the term they were originally slated for.
D. Vice President/President Elect Vacancy
- If the Office of the Vice President/President Elect is vacated on or before October 31st, there shall be a nomination/presentation/election process. The Past President will remain in office for an additional term.
- If the Office of Vice President/President Elect is vacated after October 31st, the Executive Committee will appoint an interim Vice President/President Elect to fill the remaining months of office. At the next primary election, the Office of Vice President will proceed as the bylaws state. The Past President will remain in office for an additional term.
E. All Other Executive Committee Vacancies
- If any Executive Committee Position outside of those listed in (B) – (D) become vacant, the position shall be filled through a special election at the first regular Staff Senate meeting following the vacancy.
IX. Meetings and Actions
A. The Senate shall normally meet in regular session monthly or on call of the Senate President.
B. A simple majority (50% +1) of the Senate members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for a meeting.
C. Members must be present to vote, except as noted in Article III.
D. In the conduct of the meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall prevail, unless superseded by the Bylaws of the University of North Dakota Staff Senate.
E. Meetings of the Senate shall be open.
F. A record of proceedings at meetings shall be kept and shall be made available by the secretary of the Senate upon request.
G. The agenda will be circulated one week prior to the meeting and any additions will be accepted up to and including the day before the meeting.
H. The Senate shall invite the President and Vice Presidents of the University of North Dakota to all Staff Senate meetings. The Senate shall consider any recommendations made at any time by the President of UND.
X. Amendments to the Bylaws
Amendments to the Bylaws can be proposed in writing from any Staff Senator to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee. The Constitution, Bylaws, and Elections Committee will present proposed amendments to the Senate for a first reading with a vote to follow at the next meeting. Amendments shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the Senate. The President of the University shall receive a copy of all changes indicating what changes have been made/approved.
Upon dissolution of the organization, all assets remaining after payment of all costs and expenses of such dissolution shall be turned over to the President of the University.
UND Staff Senate Bylaws - revised 9/29/2017