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Staff Senate

Bylaws

Revised and Approved November 9, 2010

Download pdf version of Bylaws

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Article I - Name

Article II - Responsibilities & Functions

Article III - Membership
Section 1. Representation
Section 2. Elections
Section 3. Terms
Section 4. Absences
Section 5. Vacancies
Section 6. Ex officio Nonvoting Members 

Article IV - Officers
Section 1. Duties
Section 2. Election Procedures
Section 3. Vacancies

Article V - Executive Committee
Section 1. Membership
Section 2. Committee Responsibilities

Article VI - Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees
Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees
Section 3. University Committees/Councils
Section 4. Committee Responsibilities
Section 5. Staff Ombudsman Evaluation Committee

Article VII - Parliamentary Authority

Article VIII - Amendment of Bylaws
Standing Rules
Section 1. Meetings
Section 2. Administrative Assistant
Section 3. Operational Guidelines for Introduction of New or Revised Policy

Article I - Name

The full name of this organization is the Clemson University Staff Senate, hereinafter referred to as the "Senate."

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Article II - Responsibilities and Functions

Wherever used in these Bylaws, the term “employee” or “staff employee” shall mean a Clemson University permanent staff employee.

Study staff concerns and create a forum for two-way communication of ideas and concerns,which specifically relate to staff employees and the university mission.

Consider specifically the development of job and supervisory skills, compensation, benefits and welfare of staff employees, not to exclude other areas of concern, which are brought to the Senate’s attention.

Formulate and recommend to the President's Cabinet university-wide policies and procedures related to staff employees.

Develop a systematic means for communicating to all staff employees existing university policies, specific actions, and feedback concerning all matters considered by the Senate.

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Article III - Membership

Section 1. Representation

The Senate is composed of voting members chosen and appointed using the following criteria.

A. Representation on the Senate will follow Budget Centers. Representation will be based on a 1:50 ratio of employees within a Budget Center. The representative numbers will be computed every year or as appropriate using February 2007 as the base year.

B. The incumbent may run for re-election if eligible under Section 3 A.

C. In the case of budget centers for which representation cannot be found (e.g., the majority of personnel are located off campus and unable or unwilling to travel to campus for meetings, or whose job duties do not permit them to serve as a Senator) the Executive Committee, at the recommendation of the Membership Committee, may appoint a Senator-at-large to represent that budget center.

1. The appointed Senator-at-large must demonstrate a willingness to actively serve as Senator for that budget center. Ideally, this person should have a connection to the budget center, either in physical location, a former employee of that budget center, a former Senator, etc.
2. The appointment will be for a three (3) year term, or in the case of a resignation, for the remainder of the existing term.
3. This option should be exercised only after an exhaustive search has failed to identify a staff employee from that budget center who could serve as Senator.

D. All nominees must be employees in good standing with Clemson University.

Section 2. Elections

A. Elections shall be held in March of each year for the Senator positions whose terms have expired and for any vacant Senator positions. The terms of office shall begin with the May meeting of the Senate. Each year the Membership Committee will notify those voting, call for nominations, prepare ballots, and handle the election. The details of the elections shall be contained in a separate document, Election Procedures, to be reviewed and updated as appropriate by the Membership Committee with final approval by the Executive Committee.

B. If the number of vacancies equals or is more than the number of candidates in a designated budget center, then those candidates are elected by appointment of the Executive Committee.

C. The Executive Committee will forward to the President of the University the name(s) of the individual(s) chosen by the above process to fill the vacant positions on the Senate. The President of the University will then officially recognize those individuals elected to the Senate.

D. A letter from the Senate will be sent to new Senators informing them of their election to the Senate and inviting them to attend the first meeting of their term. At the annual new Senator orientation, copies of the Roster and the Bylaws will be made available.

Section 3. Terms

A. Senators shall serve a three (3) year term beginning at the May meeting of the Senate. A maximum of two consecutive terms (6 years) may be served. A one (1) year interval is necessary before being eligible to serve again.

Section 4. Absences

A. If in a term year (May-April), a Senator accumulates a combined total of seven (7) absences from regularly scheduled monthly meetings and/or regularly scheduled committee meetings, the Senator may be dismissed from the Senate. If a Senator realizes that their schedule or any other reason (with the exception of an approved FMLA) will not allow them to adhere to this policy, it is strongly recommended that their resignation letter be submitted to the Senate office and/or Senate President before a dismissal action is deemed necessary by the Senate Executive Committee.

B. If it is determined by the Executive Committee that a dismissal action should be initiated, then a notification letter from the President of the Senate will be sent to the Senator informing her/him of the committee’s recommendation.

C. Any current Senator who receives a dismissal notification letter has ten (10) University business days upon receipt of notice to respond to the letter explaining why he/she has exceeded the allotted absences.

D. If an appeal is received, a special Executive Committee Session will be called to determine the Senator’s standing. No more than ten (10) University business days from the appeal receipt will pass before a response will be given to the appealing member.

E. If the appeal is denied by the Executive Committee, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator and her/his supervisor informing them of the Senator’s status and the committee’s action.

F. If after the ten (10) University business days of allowable time to appeal has passed and no appeal is received, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator and her/his supervisor informing them of the Senator’s status and the committee’s action.

Section 5. Vacancies

Vacancies occur due to resignation from the Senate, transfer from budget center represented, dismissal by the Executive Committee, or termination of employment. If Senator is transferred outside the budget center he/she was elected to represent, but remains a staff employee, he/she may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of the term, subject to Executive Committee approval. Otherwise, vacancies may be filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the previous regular election or by appointment of the Executive Committee. When a vacancy is filled, the expiration of the term remains the same. For purposes of re-election, a new member who serves more than eighteen months shall be considered to have served one term. If the position is one that rotates through several colleges/divisions and it was due to rotate out, it will continue that rotation.

Section 6. Ex Officio Nonvoting Members

The Senate will include as an ex officio nonvoting member, the director from Human Resources.

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Article IV - Officers

Officers are elected by the Senate members and serve for a period of one (1) year. The retiring officers shall serve through the end of the April meeting and the new officers shall take office immediately following the April meeting.

Section 1. Duties

A. President -shall be responsible for scheduling and conducting all Senate meetings and shall serve as a member of other University wide committees as directed by the President of the University or until the committee is terminated. The President has the right to appoint current members as her/his representative to sit on any committee as approved by the Executive Committee. The President will select a current Senator to chair the Scholarship Committee, Membership Committee, Communications Committee, Policy and Welfare Committee, Activities Committee, and any ad hoc committees. The President’s selections shall be presented to the elected officers for confirmation. If the committee chair is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities, the President may select a replacement.

B. Vice President - shall be the President Elect for the next year, and shall assist the President and perform the duties of the President in his/her absence.

C. Secretary – shall work with the Administrative Assistant to provide necessary secretarial services including reviewing minutes, maintaining records, and distributing information. Shall ensure that mailings are sent to the membership before each regularly scheduled meeting.

D. Parliamentarian - shall ensure that meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised and shall ensure adherence to the Bylaws. Shall review any changes or additions pertaining to the Bylaws.

E. Treasurer - Shall be responsible for disbursing funds, preparing annual financial report and budget, and all other financial affairs of the organization.

F. Immediate Past President – shall serve as liaison to the Board of Trustees for one (1) year following their term as President.

Section 2. Election Procedures

A. Membership Committee will conduct officer elections and maintain officer approval forms.

B. At the January meeting, an announcement will be made by the President that nominations will be accepted at the February and March meetings.

C. Candidates are eligible to be nominated for one office only.

D. At the February and March meetings, nominations will be accepted from the members for each office. Only current Senators will be eligible for nomination to any office; ex officio members are not eligible. Nominations are not valid until the Senator has received approval from his/her supervisor.

E. The deadline to submit nominations is the March meeting. Candidates will have the option to give a brief speech to the Senate at the March meeting in support of their candidacy.

F. Elections will take place either by online voting prior to or by paper ballot at the April meeting by vote of the currently serving Senators.

G. If the term of the Vice President expires, he/she may remain on the Senate for a fourth year to serve as President.

Section 3. Vacancies

A. An officer who transfers outside the budget center he/she was elected to represent, but who remains a staff employee, may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of his/her term of office, with full voting privileges, subject to Executive Committee approval.

B. An officer can be removed from service by a simple majority vote by the Senate. If the President is removed, Section 3 D applies. All officers have the right to appeal in writing to the Executive Committee within ten (10) University business days of the Senate vote.

C. If an office other than the President is vacated, nominations of current members to replace the officer will be accepted at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Senate will then hold an election by majority vote to select a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term of office. 

D. If the Presidency is vacated for any reason, the vacancy will be filled by the President Ex Officio if the vacancy occurs before October 1st at 12:00 p.m. If the vacancy occurs after 12:00 p.m. on October 1st, then the Vice President of the Senate will assume the role of President for the remainder of the term, in addition to their elected term. If the President Ex Officio is unwilling or unable to assume the role of President, then the Vice President will assume the role of the Presidency.

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Article V - Executive Committee

Section 1. Membership

The Executive Committee will consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, the immediate Past President of the Senate and chairpersons from the standing committees. Guests may only attend if invited by the President and only for the meeting(s) their presence is requested.

Section 2. Responsibilities

The Committee's purpose shall be to propose the annual agenda and to consider and possibly refer items, including items submitted by staff, to the appropriate committees for their review and subsequent recommendation to the Senate. The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Senate between meetings, make recommendations to the Senate, and perform other duties as specified in these bylaws. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Senate, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Senate.

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Article VI - Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees

All Senators will serve on a Standing Committee. Senators may rank their top three (3) committee preferences; however the Executive Committee will make final committee assignments. Once Committee chairs are selected, (no later than the Executive Committee meeting in April), committee meeting dates/times will be established and provided to the Senators.

A. Membership Committee
The purpose of the Membership Committee is to conduct all Senate representative elections, officer elections, evaluate representation in each of the constituent budget centers, and implement new member orientation.

B. Communications Committee
The purpose of the Communications Committee is to develop a systematic means for communicating to all staff employees existing University policy, specific actions, and feedback concerning all matters considered by this Senate.

C. Policy and Welfare Committee
The purpose of the Policy and Welfare Committee is to consider the development of job and supervisory skills, compensation, benefits, and welfare of staff employees not to exclude other areas of concern that are brought to the Senate’s attention. The Committee will formulate and recommend university-wide policies and procedures related to employees.

D. Scholarship Committee
The purpose of the Scholarship Committee is to serve as the fund raising arm of the Senate. The money raised is used to support the scholarships awarded each year to the dependents of staff and to increase the scholarship endowment. The Committee will set yearly goals for its fund raising campaigns and seek new and creative methods to enhance these efforts.

E. Activities Committee
The purpose of the Activities Committee is to coordinate activities of the Senate. The Activities Committee may be asked to organize other events as appropriate.

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc committees shall be created and disbanded as deemed necessary by the Senate President. The committee can consist of both current and former Senate members but must be chaired by a current member of the Senate or a Past President of the Senate.

Section 3. University Committees/Councils

The Senate President shall appoint a member of the Senate or an employee from the staff to represent the Senate on University committees/councils when necessary, taking into account the expertise of the member and his/her area of representation. Outgoing members will be asked if they wish to remain part of a communications and resource network. Those wishing to participate will be considered as a potential resource for service on committees. If the appointee is unable to attend meetings and provide activity reports to the Senate, the President may choose a replacement.

Section 4. Committee Responsibilities

A. A written copy of all formal resolutions and committee reports should be submitted to the Executive Committee prior to presentation at the full Senate meeting. Each committee should prepare a report to be presented at the full Senate meeting.

B. Maintain committee records containing: summary reports, current assignments and letters, completed assignments and letters, members’ attendance at meetings, and a committee members' list.

C. Work on letters and agenda items as assigned.

D. Make recommendations to the Senate. Any material to be included in the agenda will be sent to the Administrative Assistant seven (7) calendar days before the scheduled meeting.

E. Hold a transition meeting with incoming and outgoing committee members before the June meeting.

Section 5. Ombudsman Evaluation Committee

The Staff Ombudsman is evaluated by a five (5) member Ombudsman Evaluation Committee, comprised of four (4) members of the Senate and one (1) staff member appointed by the Ombudsman. These members are as follows:

*  The Immediate Past President (serves as chairperson for the committee)
*  The President
*  The Vice President
*  An elected Senator – 1 (one) Senator elected annually by the Staff Senate.
*  An appointed member – 1 (one) staff member appointed annually by the Staff Ombudsman.

All members of the committee should be identified no later than April 30 annually. If the Staff Ombudsman fails to appoint a staff member on his behalf by April 30, then one may be appointed for him by the Chairperson.

The Staff Ombudsman will not be expected to reveal any conversations as a part of the evaluation process.

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Article VII - Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.

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Article VIII - Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Senate by a simple majority vote of the Senate members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting and approved by the Executive Committee.

Standing Rules

Section 1. Meetings

A. Senate Meetings

Meeting Schedule: TThe Senate shall meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Visitors are welcome at all meetings except when items are considered in executive session.

Agenda: The Presiding Officer shall include on the agenda any item of business submitted in writing to the President at least seven working days before the regularly scheduled meeting. Items sent should indicate expected amount of time needed to present and discuss.

1.  Approval of Minutes
2.  Special Order of the Day(if any)
3.  Open Commentary (limited to ten (10) minutes) 
4.  President’s Report
5.  Treasurer’s Report
6.  Committee Reports

  1. Standing Committees
  2. Ad Hoc Committees
  3. University Committees/Councils

7.  Unfinished Business
8.  New Business
9.  Announcements
10. Adjournments

Executive Session: The President may call a Senate executive session when items to be discussed are considered to be a confidential nature. 

B. Executive Committee Meetings

Meeting Schedule: Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on the last Tuesday of each month. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President or upon the written request of three members of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Administrative Assistant

Purpose: Under general supervision of the President of the Senate, plans, organizes, coordinates, and directs the administrative activities of the Clemson University Senate. Carries out the directives of the Senate as it represents the Staff in its relations with the University Administration.

B. Position Description: The Administrative Assistant is a paid support staff position, appointed via the usual classified recruitment process. A copy of the administrative assistant position description is on file in the Clemson University Human Resource office. The President of the Senate has the responsibility of annually evaluating this position.

Section 3. Operational Guidelines for Introduction of New or Revised Policy

A. Introduction of Policy: Any Senator may propose a new or revised policy by way of a motion to the floor during the discussion of New Business agenda items. Once a motion is made and approved by the Senate, the President will then assign the issue to the proper standing committee or establish an ad hoc committee if appropriate.

B. Communications: The committee chair will examine the issue with full disclosure to the Senator who introduced the issue and to the Executive Committee.

1. Policy Revision: The committee chair will provide copies of the present policy along with copies of the proposed revised policy to each member of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.
2. New Policy: The committee chair will provide copies of the proposed policy to all members of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.

C. Forwarding the Policy: If the Senate approves the new or revised policy, the proposed policy and a supporting resolution shall be forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer for introduction to the Administrative Council. A copy of the resolution will also be forwarded to the President of the University. The Chief Human Resources Officer will provide written notification of the resolve of the Administrative Council to the President of the Senate in an expeditious manner.

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