Staff Advisory Council Bylaws
Authority and Purpose
The Council may make recommendations on general grievance policies, but does not act on individual grievance issues. The Council may advise on specific institutional issues and otherwise act at the request of the President or Vice President of Human Resources. The Council has no authority to act outside the directives of these procedures. The Council shall endeavor to keep staff members informed and in turn keep administrators advised of needs, interests, issues, and activities affecting staff.
Eligibility - The Council shall consist of non-voting and voting representatives as outlined below.
Non-Voting representatives of the Council shall consist of the President, the Vice President of Human Resources, members appointed by the President or the Vice President of Human Resources, and the immediate Past Chair of the Council and alternate representatives.
Voting representatives of the Council shall consist of eligible staff elected to serve as representatives from voting districts as defined below. Eligible staff includes all classified employees, librarians, and those exempt and nonexempt administrative and professional employees reporting directly to an individual employed in a position below the level of Dean or Director. Exempt staff that are Associates of the Faculty are not eligible. "Classified Staff" is as defined in Definitions of Terms (Procedure 3-2). During an elected term, a representative loses Council membership upon leaving the employ of the University, upon a change from the district from which the representative was elected, or promotion to a non-eligible position.
Qualifications for Membership
Members must be regular employees appointed one-half time or more. Representatives must have one year of continuous service at the University as of August 31 in the year elected.
Duties of Members
Members shall attend all meetings of the Council, shall attend and serve on committees of the Council, and may be elected as an officer of those committees. Members shall be available to their constituents, indicating how they can be contacted. They shall be willing to hear concerns, to receive information and suggestions, and to communicate these effectively to the Council. In turn members must keep their constituents informed of the work of the Council and matters that the administration communicates to the Council. Representatives and Alternates shall be allowed up to four (4) hours per month in addition to Council meetings to devote to Council work. Additional time for Council work or assignments may be negotiated with the member's supervisor.
Regular attendance is expected. If a member accumulates three (3) unexcused absences within a 12 month period, the Chair will inquire as to the member's intentions, and his/her name will be listed on the Executive Committee's next agenda for discussion of removal. The Executive Committee shall notify the incumbent of the Executive Committee's recommendation to the Council. An unexcused absence is defined as absent without notice to a member of the Executive Committee prior to the meeting.
If a fourth unexcused absence occurs, it will be assumed that the incumbent has vacated the seat. Within three (3) weeks of the fourth absence, a written appeal for reinstatement outlining the extenuating circumstances can be made to the Executive Committee. Prior to the next Council meeting, the Executive Committee will inform the member of its decision regarding reinstatement.
At-Large Representatives shall have all the responsibilities, rights and privileges granted a voting representative. Any district representative or alternate may submit a request to the Executive Committee to be appointed as an At-Large Representative. The Council shall not hear any motion for the designation of At-Large without two-thirds approval of the Executive Committee. The Council, with the recommendation of the Executive Committee, shall have the power to grant an At-Large Representative status with a two-thirds majority vote. The term of office for an At-Large Representative shall expire at the end of the term of whatever class they initially served as a district representative or alternate. At-Large representative service counts the same as district representative service when calculating term limits.
Terms of Office
The terms of office for members shall be for two years and shall begin September 1 following their election. A voting representative can be elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The districts shall be divided as equally as possible into two cycles Effective after the first election of the revised Bylaws, the Seats of the Representatives of Cycle I shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year. The Seats of the Representatives of Cycle II shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, so that one half of the Council may be chosen every year.
If an alternate is named to serve out an unexpired term vacated by another representative, that alternate will serve the unexpired term and be eligible for reelection, for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
A vacancy that occurs through termination of employment, change of voting district, promotion to a non-eligible position, resignation from the Council, or removal from the Council, shall be filled by an alternate within thirty (30) days of the date of the vacancy if an alternate is available. The Executive Committee will refer to the list of eligible alternates and will fill the vacancy If there is more than one alternate, all alternates will be eligible and Executive Committee will vote to fill the vacancy. If no alternate from the selected district is available to fill a vacant position, the Nominations and Elections Committee will notify all employees in the district of the vacancy. The district's employees will have two weeks to nominate candidates and an election will be held in the third week.
Removal from Office
Any elected representative can be removed from office for nonperformance of Council duties or misconduct. The Executive Committee may initiate action to remove a representative, or a request for removal showing cause may be brought in writing to the Executive Committee by any member. The Executive Committee will investigate the matter on a case-by-case basis and will recommend action to the Council if warranted. The Executive Committee will provide a response to any member who requests removal informing said member of the Executive Committee's decision in the matter.
The final decision for removal will be made by the Council. Removal will be effective upon the vote of simple majority of those present and voting at a meeting of the Council at which a quorum is present. Possible courses of removal shall include, but not be limited to: non-attendance; non-participation in at least one committee; failure to consistently report on activities of the Council to the district; and unavailability of the representative to constituents.
Voting districts entitled to elect representatives shall be divided into two cycles. Elections will be held annually; Cycle I elected in odd numbered years and Cycle II elected in even numbered years.
District: Reporting to: Cycle: 1 President I 2 VP of Human Resources I 3 VP of Administration and Campus Operations I 4 VP of Business Affairs I 5 VP of Communications I 6 VP of Development I 7 VP of Information Technology I 8 Provost / VP of Academic Affairs II 9 VP of Research and Federal Relations II 10 VP of Student Affairs II 11 Dean of the School of Architecture II 12 Dean of the College of Education & Health Professions II 13 Dean of the College of Business II 14 Dean of the College of Engineering II 15 Dean of the College of Science II 16 Dean of the College of Liberal Arts II 17 University College & Dean of the Honors College II 18 Dean of the College of Nursing II 19 Dean of the School of Social Work II 20 Dean of the School of Urban and Public Affairs II 21 Dean of Graduate Studies II 22 Dean of the Library II
Number of Representatives
Representatives shall be elected from each voting district by eligible staff members of the district. There shall be one representative elected for each twenty-five (25) eligible staff members in a voting district. A district with less than twenty-five (25) members shall be entitled to elect one representative. A district shall be entitled to elect one additional representative when the number of members of the district exceeds a multiple of twenty-five (25) by at least thirteen (13).
Nominations and Elections
The nominations and elections process shall be handled by the Nominations and Elections Committee. Nominations shall be completed by April 30th and elections shall be completed by May 31st.
The Nominations and Elections Committee will request from the Office of Human Resources the appropriate list to determine all eligible staff members, including classified staff in each voting district, and cross reference it to the list generated by the OIT supported Nominations and Elections web site.
All eligible staff members employed by the date of elections shall be eligible to vote.
Nominations shall be received electronically through the OIT supported Nominations and Elections web site.
Each eligible staff member within a district may nominate one eligible staff member from their district for each representative seat that district is entitled to.
After the closing of nominations, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall verify the nominees' eligibility to serve on the Council.
Nominees shall be determined according to the highest number of nominations received.
The number of nominees to appear on the election ballot in each district shall not exceed three times (plus one in case of a tie at the cut-off) the number of vacancies in that district.
Nominees to appear on the ballot shall be selected in descending order of nominations received until the required number is reached or the nominations list is exhausted.
The remaining nominees will be listed by district; nominations received and are designated as alternate nominees in descending order.
In the case of a tie between alternate nominees, the Executive Committee will vote to break the tie by drawing lots. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall verify the nominee's willingness to serve on the Council and notify the nominees that his/her name will be placed on the election ballot unless he/she withdraws by a specified date. If a nominee withdraws, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall select the next available alternate nominee to complete the ballot.
Voting shall be held on campus for no less than two days and no more than ten days in order to accommodate varying work schedules.
Elections shall be by secret ballot via electronic voting using the eligible staff's NetID.
Ballots will be electronically prepared by the Nominations and Elections web site staff.
In the event that electronic voting is not available, printed ballots will be distributed at polling places to each staff member eligible to vote. Eligibility shall be determined by a check of MavExpress cards against a current printout of personnel provided by the Office of Human Resources.
Absentee voting for extenuating circumstances will be allowed by contacting the Nominations and Elections Committee within one week prior to the election of the Council.
At the close of the election, the Nominations and Elections Committee will certify the results.
Those elected shall be declared on the basis of the highest number of votes received. If a tie occurs, the matter will be referred to the Executive Committee for appropriate resolution.
The Nominations and Elections Committee shall notify the VP of HR of the names of the newly elected representatives in writing within three working days of close of the election. The VP of HR will notify the newly elected representatives in writing within one week of notice. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall make the results of the election known to all staff members within two weeks after such notification.
All records pertaining to the Nominations and Elections process shall be stored by the Council Secretary in the Council Office in compliance with the UT Arlington Records Retention Policy.
Titles and Duties of Officers
The officers of the Council shall be: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Historian, Webmaster and Past Chair.
Chair - As the chief executive officer of the Council, the Chair shall:
report directly to the President and the VP of HR, to include:
acting as the Council's main liaison to the President and VP of HR
referring resolutions to the President and VP of HR at the Council's behest
soliciting the President and VP of HR's advice and support for the Council
preside over the Council general sessions and abide by the stated rules of order when conducting meetings
cast a tie-breaking vote in Council meetings, if necessary
maintain and update a calendar of events relevant to the Council for the coming year
serve as the Chair of the Executive Committee
sit on all Council committees as a non-voting ex-officio member
serve as an ex-officio member of the Faculty Senate
serve at the request of Administration on University Committees, with approval from the President or the VP of HR. The Chair has the ability to delegate committee representation to a member of the Executive Committee in the event the Chair cannot serve as requested.
prepare an annual report of the past year's activities and progress: the report should be available to members of the Council prior to the September meeting and forwarded to the President and to the VP of HR prior to the end of the fiscal year
Vice Chair - As primary deputy to the Chair, the Vice Chair shall work closely to the Chair to assist in leading the Council, including:
attend meetings with the President and VP of HR at the request of the Chair.
preside over Council general meetings:
in the absence of the Chair
at the request of the Chair
preside over the Executive Committee meetings at the request of the Chair.
help Council committees organize and make progress through:
accepting names of members who volunteer for each committee
in the absence of volunteers, assigning members to committees in consultation with the Executive Committee
calling a meeting of any committee that is not fulfilling its responsibilities
making widely available, immediately following appointments, a list of Council committees and their members to all Council members
serve as the Council's secondary accounts signer
in the absence of the Chair, assumes all duties of the Chair
Secretary - As primary scribe for the Council and the Executive Committee, the Secretary shall:
Compile accurate and impartial minutes of:
Council general meetings
Executive Committee meetings
Make available a summary of the previous meetings minutes to Council members no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day preceding the next Council meeting.
Be responsible for notifying members of meeting dates, times and locations.
Collect, receive and maintain at a central location:
minutes of Council meetings
minutes of Committee meetings
Maintain a system of representatives' terms.
Maintain a system of attendance to ensure representatives attend the required number of meetings to include:
all Council general meetings
all Committee meetings
Verify election results and the number of representatives authorized for each voting district.
Treasurer - The treasurer shall assist with all financial aspects of the Council including:
Maintain accurate records of all Council financial activities acquired through:
Complete necessary transactions.
Perform monthly account reconciliation and present to the Chair for approval.
Report on the financial standing and financial activities of the Council at each Council general meeting.
Parliamentarian - The Parliamentarian shall:
be responsible for insuring that proper parliamentary rules are followed as outlined in Robert's Rules of Order and these procedures
maintain these rules in the most accurate form possible
serve as the Chair of the Bylaws Committee at any such time the committee is in place
Historian - The Historian shall be responsible for documenting Council events, maintaining copies of any articles, flyers, audio, photographs, video, or other forms of digital media, which relate to the Council so that these items will be available to current and future members and others upon request.
Webmaster - The webmaster shall be nominated by the Executive Committee and approved by the Council. The Webmaster shall be responsible for the Council's e-presence including website, MavSpace, email access, Council listserv, and should be included in discussions pertaining to the Nominations and Elections website. The Webmaster is an ex-officio member of the Communications Committee and the Nominations and Elections Committee.
Past Chair - The immediate Past Chair shall act in an advisory role to the current Chair and is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
Election of Officers
The Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall conduct the nomination and election of officers at the September meeting of the Council. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian and Historian shall be nominated from the floor, elected, and begin terms at the conclusion of the September meeting. A simple majority of those present and voting at a meeting of the Council at which a quorum is present is required for election.
Terms of Office
The terms of office for Council officers shall be one year. Only voting representatives may serve as officers. A representative shall not hold more than one office at a time, and no representative shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office. However, a representative who assumes an unexpired term for less than six months may be elected for two full consecutive terms.
In the event that the Chair is unable to complete the elected term of office, the Vice Chair shall assume the vacant office for the length of the unexpired term.
In the event that the office of Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian or Historian becomes vacant, a special election shall be held by the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee in order to fill the vacant office for the remainder of the term by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Council at which a quorum is present. Such elections may be held at any regular meeting of the Council.
Transfer of Records
All papers pertaining to current Council business shall be transferred from outgoing officers to incoming officers.
The Executive Committee shall insure that all past records of the Council are maintained according to the UT Arlington Records Retention Policy.
The Executive Committee
The membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officials of the Council and the chairs of standing and ad hoc committees.
The Executive Committee shall meet monthly; additional meetings may be called by the Chair, the President, the VP of HR or upon request of two members of the Executive Committee.
The Secretary will be responsible for notifying the Committee members of meeting dates, times and locations.
A quorum must be present to conduct a meeting of the committee.
The members of the Executive Committee shall:
consider all matters presented to it by the Chair, the President or designate, the Council, the standing committee chairs, or others, and make recommendations
assist the Chair in setting the agenda for Council meetings
periodically review the purpose and membership of each standing committee
appoint, considering volunteers first, the Nominations and Elections Committee, standing committees, and the ad hoc committees as needed
nominate a Webmaster to maintain the Council's e-presence
recommend to the Council such special committees ad hoc committees as it deems necessary
resolve questions related to the Council elections process
make recommendations to the Council regarding the removal of representatives from the Council
be allowed up to eight (8) hours per month in addition to Council meetings to devote to Council work
exercise considerable latitude in performing these duties
The term of a member of the Executive Committee shall be for the representative's term as an officer of the Council or member's term as a standing or ad hoc committee chair.
The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the Council Chair, who shall make a report of the actions of the Executive Committee to the Council at each regular meeting.
The standing committees of the council shall be the Executive Committee, Benefits Committee, Communications Committee, Nominations and Elections Committee, Outreach Committee, Social Committee, and Staff Development Committee.
Participation in these committees will be open to all Council representatives, alternates and staff.
Each standing committee shall consist of a minimum of five members, and members shall serve for one year.
Each committee shall:
elect a chair and a secretary: the chair and the secretary shall each serve for one year or until replaced in the next election
elect a chair who is a Council member
meet monthly or as requested by the chair
If a representative serves an unexpired term of six months or less as a committee officer, the individual is eligible to serve for another year provided Council membership is continued for another year.
The Benefits Committee shall review staff members' concerns regarding benefits and to make recommendations to the Council. The Committee shall work to increase campus awareness of benefits. The Director of the Office of Human Resources or designate will serve as an ex-officio member of the Benefits Committee.
The Communications Committee shall serve as the public relations committee of the Council and shall work with University Communications to publicize the Council and its activities; update and maintain Council brochure; work with the Webmaster on the Council website; and generally promote the Council as opportunities arise.
The Nominations and Elections Committee shall handle all nominations and elections procedures as set forth above.
The Outreach Committee shall identify and coordinate community outreach projects.
The Social Committee shall plan and coordinate activities at which University employees can network with other staff members, meet their representatives, learn about the Council, and be encouraged to participate in University activities.
The Staff Development Committee shall review ways in which the eligible staff can benefit from training programs and address such issues as career and professional development, orientation/mentoring, diversity training, and basic skills development. The Director of the Office of Human Resources or designee will serve as an ex-officio member of the Staff development committee.
A standing committee shall accept business items assigned to the committee by the Executive Committee and address the item(s) in a responsible and timely manner.
The Chair shall make a report to the full Council at each monthly meeting only if there is a new activity to report.
The Committee Secretary shall:
maintain and provide the Vice Chair and Council Secretary a record of attendance and an accurate and unbiased summary of meeting minutes
prepare and submit an annual report including all items placed on the committee agenda and the disposition of each, to the Vice Chair and the Council secretary by the last meeting each year
Ad Hoc Committees - Ad hoc committees of the Council will be appointed by the Executive Committee as needs arise.
The life of the committee will be determined by the matter under consideration and the committee will be disbanded when the purpose has been served. The number of members will be determined by the Executive Committee.
The Ad Hoc committees shall:
accept the issues assigned by the Executive Committee
address the issues in a responsible and timely manner
make progress reports on its activities to the Council, as well as submit a final report
The Bylaws Committee is an ad hoc committee. Duties of the Bylaws Committee shall be to propose and accept proposed changes to the provisions of the University's Handbook of Operation Procedures to the Council, study the proposals, and prepare a recommendation to the Council.
Types of meetings:
Regular meetings shall be held monthly.
If the Chair and the Executive Committee have no new agenda items or proposals, they reserve the right not to hold a meeting but they must notify the Council by 3:00 p.m. on the day preceding the scheduled meeting.
Special meetings of the full Council will be called by the Chair on or by petition of twenty (20) percent of the membership of the Council. Ten (10) working days notice should be given of any special meeting except in the case of an emergency situation.
Only business specified in the call of a special meeting may be conducted at such meeting.
Neither the Council nor a committee shall conduct business without a quorum. A quorum is the presence of at least seven voting representatives for Council meetings for the conduct of Council business.
A quorum is the presence of at least three voting representatives for the business of a committee.
Motions may be passed by a simple majority of the quorum present and voting.
Proposals, measures and resolutions shall be introduced on the Council floor only by members of the Council.
Persons who are not members of the Council may be granted the right to speak, but not to vote, on matters before the Council.
When a request is made for this privilege, the Chair shall ask the Council for objections, and hearing none, shall grant permission to speak.
If objections are raised, the privilege shall be extended only by vote of the Council.
Only Representatives and At-Large Representatives present may vote.
Action by the Council shall be by voice unless a vote is deemed by the chair as being too close to determine; In this circumstance, the vote shall be by show of hands.
Some issues may require written ballots, such as elections of officers: written ballots may be requested by the floor.
Meetings of the Council shall have an agenda that includes the time and place of the meeting, the order of business, and copies of any substantive proposals.
The Executive Committee shall set the agenda; however, items may be added to the agenda at the meeting if approved by a majority of the members present and voting.
The agenda should be published in a form widely available to all staff.
The Executive Committee shall:
receive proposals for Council action or other presentations to the Council from any Council committee, from any member of the Council, from individual staff members, from the President or designee, or from the VP of HR or designee
refer all substantive proposals for Council action to appropriate committees for review prior to placing them on the agenda unless the Executive Committee is prepared to address an issue and present it to the Council
include on the agenda of a regular meeting as soon as practical all items presented from various sources
set the agenda by 3:00 p.m. of the day preceding the Council meeting so that the business can be disposed of in a meeting of reasonable duration
advise the Council of the apparent need for a special meeting
Order of Business
The order of business for meetings shall be set forth in the agenda. The order of business shall include, but not be limited to:
call to order
approval of previous meetings minutes
officer and committee reports
miscellaneous comments, announcements, tributes, etc. for the good of the Council
The minutes of the meetings shall be open for inspection.
A summary of the minutes shall be made available to all staff in a form widely available.
A summary of the previous meeting's minutes shall be made available to Council members no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day preceding the next Council meeting.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Council and its committees in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Handbook of Operating Procedures provisions and any special rules of order the Council may adopt.
Staff Advisory Council: The Staff Advisory Council is an advisory body through which eligible staff members may make recommendation to the President relative to interests, concerns and issues that affect the staff of the University.
The Council: The Council is the short title for the Staff Advisory Council.
The President: The President refers to the President of The University of Texas at Arlington.
VP of HR: VP of HR refers to the Vice President for Human Resources.
Relevant Federal and State Statutes
Relevant UT System Policies, Procedures and Forms
Who Should Know
The University of Texas at Arlington staff and administrators.
UT Arlington Office(s) Responsible for Policy
VP of Human Resources
Dates Approved or Amended
March 29th, 2012
All questions concerning this policy should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.