Bylaws of the Missouri State University Staff Senate
The full name of this organization is the Missouri State University Staff Senate, hereinafter referred to as "Staff Senate" or "Senate."
The purpose of the Missouri State University Staff Senate shall be to communicate the interests and concerns of a diverse university staff; to function in an advisory capacity in the development, review and implementation of University policies, which affect staff; to provide a means of communication with the administration, faculty, and students, and support them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the staff; and to foster a spirit of unity among all employees at the University. The Staff Senate shall follow the non-discrimination policy of Missouri State University as approved by the university Board of Governors.
Membership of the Staff Senate
Section 1. Representation
- Staff Senate shall be composed of voting members employed full-time and in good standing as indicated by supervisor on candidacy application.
- Voting members shall be composed of occupational members.
Occupational members shall represent the major occupational categories as defined by the Missouri State University Employee Handbook.
- Each major occupational category, currently defined as Job Families, shall have at least ten Senate seats.
- An additional Senate seat will be allocated for every one hundred full-time staff members within an occupational category.
- In February each year, the Senate Secretary shall request from the Office of Human Resources the population count for each major occupational category. If an occupational category loses or gains due to population shifts in the University, the Executive Board will decide representation appropriately, and changes will be presented to the Senate body at the next convened meeting.
- Non-voting and ex-officio members may participate in discussions and be a part of standing and ad hoc committees as established. In the capacity of representation, non-voting and ex-officio members include:
- One representative from Faculty Senate
- One representative from Student Government Association (SGA)
- The Past Chair of Staff Senate, when serving in this capacity, and not a current senator.
- The Chair is a non-voting member of the Senate with the exception of ties, as stated in Article IV, Section 1 of these bylaws.
- Staff Senate Parliamentarian, when serving in this capacity, and not a current senator.
Section 2. Elections
- Membership will be based on a majority vote within job families as determined by the office of human resources. An online ballot will be available on the Staff Senate website beginning the first business day of May and ending on the last business day of May.
- Electoral Process
- Elections shall be held each year for senator positions whose terms have expired, and for those seats that currently are vacant.
- A call for nominations will be published campus-wide on March 15 as a day of business or the following business day each year.
- Nominations can be self-nominations or made by another staff member in the nominee's constituency.
- An online nomination form will be available on the Staff Senate website.
- Nomination forms are due by April 15 as a day of business or the first following day of university business each year.
- Each nominee shall submit a statement of intent by April 15 as a day of business or the following business day to be placed on the ballot.
- Nominations will not be valid until the Senate nominee has received approval from the nominee's supervisor as indicated on the candidacy application.
- Senator will be chosen based on the highest number of votes cast.
- Should there be a tie, the Executive Board will select the individual to represent the area based on years of experience, standing with the University, performance of work and perceived contributions to Staff Senate.
- If an insufficient number of candidates runs to fill available seats in a Job Family, the election will be uncontested and those candidate will win terms by default.
- An email from Staff Senate will be sent to new senators informing them of their election to Staff Senate by June 15 as a day of business or the following business day.
- A copy of this letter will also be sent to the employee’s supervisor.
- If the total number of vacancies in a Job Family is more than the total number of candidates, then candidates appointed by the Executive Board shall fill those vacancies. However, candidates may only be appointed to vacancies within their corresponding Job Family. Such appointments shall be brought before the Senate body at the next convened meeting, and can be overruled by a two-thirds majority of the full body of the Senate at that meeting.
Section 3. Terms
- Each person elected as a Senator to the Staff Senate shall be elected to a three-year term.
- Senators shall be eligible to serve multiple terms as long as they are elected or appointed to fill vacancies.
- Staff Senate terms shall be July 1 through June 30.
- Should an individual be elected for an officer position during their third year as Senator, their term may be extended so they may serve as an officer. These extension years may continue if the Senator is elected in subsequent years to continuing responsibilities as an officer of the Senate.
Section 4. Senator Responsibilities
- Senators shall be elected to serve a term of three (3) years.
- Senators are responsible for attending monthly meetings and representing the views of the constituency, Job Family, by which they were elected.
- Senators may bring forward motions, discussion items or resolutions for the consideration of the senate with or apart from committees upon which they serve.
- Senators shall serve as members of no less than one Senate committee per term year.
- Senators are responsible for having a working knowledge of the Senate bylaws and be familiar with the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order.
- If a senator must miss a general meeting, the Secretary must receive written notification prior to that meeting.
- Senators may designate a proxy to attend in their absence, compile notes or address the Senate on their behalf. These alternates shall not have voting privileges.
- Senators may not have more than three (3) unexcused absences per term year.
- All absences will be considered unexcused, except in the cases of university leave time taken. In the case of university leave, the Senator shall notify the Senate Secretary upon the first day of returning to work.
- Senators who do have more than three (3) unexcused absences per term year may be subject to removal from Senate membership.
- After three (3) unexcused absences in one year (July-June), a senator's status as a member of Staff Senate will be reviewed by the Executive Board for possible removal from Staff Senate.
- If it is determined by the Executive Board that a senator should be removed, the Chair of Staff Senate will contact the senator to discuss the unexcused absences. Following discussion an email will be sent to the senator and their supervisor informing them of the board's action.
- Any Senator who receives a removal email has ten (10) business days to submit an appeal of the board's action to the Secretary of Staff Senate for consideration by the body as outlined in subsection II of this policy.
- If no appeal is submitted, the action is final and the Executive Board shall appoint a replacement.
- In the event an appeal is received, a vote will be put to the full Senate at the next regular meeting and two-thirds majority may overturn the Board's removal action. The Senator will be notified immediately of the decision, either via email or in person, if present. The Senate will be notified at the next convened meeting of the outcome of such proceedings.
Section 5. Vacancies
- Vacancies may be due to resignation from Staff Senate, transfer from the Job Family represented or termination of employment. If a senator transfers outside the area they were elected to represent, but remains a staff member of the University, they must inform the Chairperson of the departmental/occupational transfer. They may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of their term, subject to Executive Board approval. Otherwise, vacancies shall be filled by appointment and at the discretion of the Chair, with consultation provided by current Senators serving in the same Job Family. When a vacancy is filled by appointment, the expiration of the term remains the same as the Senator they replaced, and this appointment must be announced before the Senate at its next convened meeting.
Officers of the Staff Senate
- Staff Senate officers shall consist of the Chair, Chair Elect, Past Chair, Secretary and Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees.
- Chair – shall preside over meetings of the Senate; act as spokesperson for the Senate and:
- Provides monthly reports at meetings of the Board of Governors.
- Responsible for scheduling and conducting all Staff Senate meetings.
- Shall serve on university committees as directed by administration.
- Has the right to appoint current senators as representatives to any university committee or Staff Senate workgroup. These appointments must be announced to the body of the Senate at the next convened meeting of the Senate.
- Serves as a non-voting member of the Senate with the exception of ties.
- Appoints non-voting "Advisor to the Chair" positions to the Executive Board from the university community for a term not to exceed that of the appointing chair, whose responsibility will be to provide research, information and understanding about university divisions, policies, initiatives and resources of importance to the Staff Senate. Those serving in the capacity of "Advisor to the Chair" may be reappointed by subsequent Staff Senate Chairs after the unanimous confirmation of the reappointment by the Executive Board of Staff Senate. A continuation of service beyond the appointing Chair must be announced by the new Chair of the Senate to the Senate body at the next convened meeting of the Senate.
- Chair Elect – shall assist the Chair as requested and assume the duties of the Chair in the case of absence or in the event of a vacancy of Chair.
- Maintains the Staff Senate budget and presents to the Senate the status of the budget.
- Past Chair – shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Executive Board as needed at university meetings to ensure continuity and updating.
- Serves as the Staff Senate Historian, who will be responsible, as the custodian of records, for the maintenance of Staff Senate historical documents and records.
- Secretary – shall create and store all records of all Senate business created during their term.
- Accurately records the minutes of Staff Senate and Executive Council meetings.
- Maintains Senate attendance.
- Disseminates Senate information to the university community at the guidance of the Executive Board.
- Oversees the nominations and elections process of new senators and officers as defined by the Bylaws of the Senate.
- Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees – oversees establishing and disbanding Staff Senate committees and workgroups.
- Facilitates Staff Senate standing committees.
- Establishes and disbands standing committees. The establishment or disbanding of a committee must be announced before the Senate body at a regular convened meeting and can be overruled by the body with a majority vote of Senators present.
- Promotes and facilitates Staff Senate initiatives, events and activities.
- Assists in the election of a chairperson for each established standing committee.
- Maintains a coordinator's notebook containing current assignments and resolutions, completed assignments and resolutions, a record of standing committees and date established/disbanded and a standing committee member list.
- Holds a transition meeting with the incoming coordinator prior to the July meeting.
- Chair – shall preside over meetings of the Senate; act as spokesperson for the Senate and:
- Staff Senate officers shall be voting members of the Senate with the exception of the Chair who shall vote only in case of tied votes, and the Past Chair, who, while serving in the capacity of Past Chair and not a sitting Senator, will only serve in an advisory capacity.
Section 2. Officer of Staff Senate Elections
- Officer of Staff Senate electoral process:
- The Secretary will establish a workgroup to conduct officer elections.
- Annually, at the February meeting, an announcement will be made by the Secretary that nominations for each office will be accepted at the March and April meetings.
- Only current Senate members will be eligible for nomination to an officer position.
- Nominations are not valid until the Senate member has received approval from their supervisor.
- Elections will take place at the May meeting by vote of current present Senators.
- The Chair Elect, Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees and Secretary shall be elected by secret ballot during the regularly scheduled meeting in May. The Chair and Past Chair offices will automatically follow the Chair Elect position. The election process will be performed as a progressive ballot with the Chair-elect election count resolved by highest ballot count and announced before the body of the Senate, followed by announcements of candidacy for the position of Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees, again this election will be resolved by highest ballot count and reported to the body of the Senate, followed by announcements of candidacy for the position of Secretary, again this election will be resolved by highest ballot count and reported to the body of the Senate.
- Terms will begin on July 1 and shall end on June 30, except in the case when an officer runs for and is reelected to serve another term in their current position.
Section 3. Vacancies of Staff Senate Officer Positions
- If the Chair position is vacated for any reason, the Chair Elect will assume the responsibilities for the remainder of the term.
- Nominations of current members to replace the Chair Elect will occur at the next regular meeting.
- After nominations for a new Chair-Elect are solicited, a vote will be conducted at this same meeting in accordance with Article IV Section 2, Subsection A, lines 5 and 6 as stated above.
- Both policies 1 and 2 of this subsection will be suspended if the Chair position is vacated in the March or later period of that year’s Senate Session, with the Chair-Elect assuming the responsibilities of the sitting Chair for the duration of the current year’s session and then serving the next year in totality. The normal process to elect a new Chair-Elect at the May meeting will occur.
- An officer may be removed from service by a four-fifths majority vote of the Executive Board or a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate. Such removal shall be announced to the Senate body at the next convened meeting.
- If the Chair is removed, Section 3a applies.
- If the Chair Elect is removed, then nominations for replacement will occur at the next regular meeting.
- All officers have the right to appeal their removal at the next regular meeting.
- In the event an appeal is received, a vote will be put to the full Senate at the next regular meeting and the Board’s vote or the Senate’s previous vote for removal may be overturned by two-thirds majority.
- The officer will be notified immediately of the decision, either via email or in person, if present. Only one appeal is permitted, and the second vote is final.
Section 1. Membership
The Executive Board shall consist of the Chair, Chair Elect, Past Chair, Secretary and Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees and temporary Advisors to the Chair as appointed by the Chair to facilitate the work of the Executive Board.
Section 2. Responsibilities
The Executive Board’s purpose shall be to propose the regular meeting agenda and to consider and possibly refer items, including those submitted by staff members’ at-large, to the appropriate workgroup for their review and subsequent recommendation to the Senate. The Executive Board shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Senate between meetings, make recommendations to the Senate, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in the Bylaws.
Section 1. Standing Committees
- Standing committees may consist of both current and former Senate members, as well as staff members at-large. Staff members at-large must first receive the consent of the committee chair before joining meetings and activities of the committee. All senators shall be required to serve on at least one standing committee per term year.
Section 2. Standing Committee Chair Responsibilities
- Work on agenda items and resolutions as assigned.
- Put forth resolutions to the Senate.
- Provide a formal, typed copy of monthly committee reports and resolutions to the Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees at least one week prior to the next regular Senate meeting.
- Maintain committee documentation containing current assignments and resolutions, completed assignments and resolutions, minutes of committee meetings, and a committee member list.
Section 3. University Committees
- The Staff Senate Chair shall appoint a member of the Senate to represent Staff Senate on University committees at the request of Administration, taking into account the expertise of the member and their area of representation.
General Meetings of the Staff Senate
Section 1. Regular Meetings
- Staff Senate shall hold regular monthly meetings, preferentially, on the first Thursday of each month.
- The regular monthly Staff Senate meeting shall be open to all staff, faculty, administration, and students. Any University staff member who is not an elected or appointed Senate member shall be allowed to participate in discussion but shall not be allowed to make or second motions nor vote on Senate business.
- All agenda items should be submitted to the Staff Senate Chair to be placed on the agenda for the Senate meeting in which they are intended. Any University staff member who is not an elected or appointed Senate member may submit a written request to be placed on the agenda to bring a matter before Staff Senate. All submissions and requests should be received by the Staff Senate Chair at least one week prior to the meeting.
- Minutes as recorded by the Secretary shall be provided to all senators within one week following each regularly scheduled meeting. The minutes shall be posted on the Staff Senate website following Senate approval at the next regular meeting.
- The Chair, Chair-Elect, Coordinator of Staff Senate Committees, Secretary or Parliamentarian, if available, will conduct General Meetings, in order of their availability.
- No motions of Senate business will be approved at a Senate General Meeting without three of the current Executive Board members present.
Section 2. Special Meetings
The Staff Senate Chair may call special meetings of the Senate as deemed necessary or at the written request of three (3) Senators.
- Quorum is required to have an official meeting and conduct business. Quorum shall be set at one-half of those deemed voting members of the Senate.
- Fulfillment of quorum is determined by the Senate Secretary immediately following Senator roll call and provided to the Chair before official business takes place.
- Representatives of Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, the Past Chair, when serving solely in that capacity, and the Parliamentarian, if not a Senator, are non-voting and do not count as part of quorum.
- At the onset of each Senate meeting, the Chair shall inquire verbally with the Senate Secretary as to the presence of quorum. The Secretary shall verbally confirm when asked that quorum has or has not been achieved.
- If during the course of a senate meeting quorum is lost, the Secretary shall inform the Chair that no further official business may be conducted. In that event, the Senate shall refer to the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order for appropriate options.
- Method of voting shall be conducted verbally unless a method for the vote is defined in the bylaws, or a Senator makes a motion for an alternate method (e.g. secret ballot, roll call vote, etc.).
- If the Chair and Parliamentarian are in doubt of the vote’s outcome a subsequent hand vote may be called.
- The following motions require a two-thirds majority of all Senators for its adoption:
- Amendment of any part of the Bylaws, or rules of order previously adopted. This motion requires previous notice.
- Amendment or rescinding of a standing rule, a program or order of business, or a resolution previously adopted, without notice being given at a previous meeting or in the call of the meeting.
- Taking up a question out of its proper order.
- Suspending the rules.
- Refusal to proceed to the orders of the day.
- Sustaining an objection to the consideration of a question.
- Expulsion from membership. (Motion requires previous notice, discussion between the parties and follows the procedures set forth by the bylaws.)
- Disposal from office. (Motion requires previous notice.)
- The rules contained in the current edition of the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern Staff Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with these bylaws.
- The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Chair.
- The Parliamentarian shall be a full-time employee of the university.
- The Parliamentarian shall have a thorough knowledge of Senate Bylaws and the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- The Parliamentarian shall provide advisement to the Chair and the Senate body of proper parliamentary procedures.
- The Parliamentarian may be appointed from within Senate, and retain rights as a senator or appointed from outside the Senate and serve as an ex-officio member.
- The term of the Parliamentarian will not exceed that of the appointing Chair without reappointment from the succeeding Chair.
Amendment of the Bylaws
- Any Staff Senator member may propose an amendment to the Staff Senate Bylaws.
- The proposed amendment shall be provided in writing to the Executive Board, at which time a bylaws workgroup will be established to review the proposed amendment.
- After review, the bylaws workgroup will submit its recommendation to the Executive Board to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
- The amendment will then be brought before the full Senate for vote. Two-thirds (2/3) vote will be required.
Amendments to the Bylaws shall be considered official and adopted upon a passing vote by the Senate and approval by the president of the university and administrative council.