Staff Senate Bylaws

PREAMBLE:  The mission of the University of North Alabama Staff Senate is to act as a forum and advocate for university staff employees by providing leadership and guidance on issues which affect compensation, benefits, quality of work life, fulfillment of overall university goals and objectives, and providing a safe and fulfilling professional and educational environment which promotes the growth and improvement of higher education at the University of North Alabama. 


The name of this organization shall be the University of North Alabama Staff Senate, hereafter called "the Staff Senate."  The Staff Senate was created by and shall be advisory in nature to the President of the University, and, within the limits of these bylaws, representative of the employees within the University.  As used in these bylaws, the term "staff" shall be defined as all regular, full or part-time, exempt and non-exempt employees of the University other than faculty and with at least six months of service with the University -- with the exception of the president, provost, vice presidents, and deans. 


The Staff Senate’s purposes shall be: 

1)   To serve in an auxiliary advisory function to the administration in the area of staff personnel matters and to do so in a positive and constructive manner.  The Staff Senate provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, a resource for evaluating proposals, and a mechanism for expressing suggestions and concerns that affect the University and staff. 

2)   To work with Shared Governance in order to promote better understanding, cooperation, and communication between university staff, faculty, students, and administration on all levels; 

3)   To be an advocate for changes or improvements that affect the staff. 


Section 1. Eligibility:  All staff, as defined in Article I, shall be eligible for election to the Staff Senate. 

Section 2. Membership:  The Staff Senate shall consist of a maximum of 15 members to be elected by staff members from the divisions designated in Article VIII.  In addition, the past president will serve as Ex Officio for one year.  

Section 3.  Terms:  A serving term shall consist of three years unless voluntarily relinquished by the appointed member before the term ends or as defined in Section 3 Article III.  A staff Senator may also be re-elected by their constituency. Senators shall serve a three-year term beginning in July after election of new officers. A maximum of two consecutive terms (6 years) may be served. A one-term (3 years) interval is necessary before being eligible to serve again.

Section 4.  Representation:  Representation shall be such that the ratio of exempt and non-exempt members shall equal within 10-15% of the exempt and non exempt University ratio of staff at the time of appointment, and such that the divisions outlined in Section 1, Article VIII, as taken from the University Organizational Chart are represented by no less than two and no more than five representatives with at least one representative as specified.  There shall be no more than four cost center heads serving at one time. The Staff Senate shall review its composition every three years or as needed to insure proper representation, taking into account the size of the constituency.  Changes in the composition of the Staff Senate shall become effective when adopted by a majority of voting members, voting with a quorum present, and upon presidential approval. 

Section 5. Election:  Representatives on the Staff Senate shall be those persons receiving the highest number of votes from their respective constituency. 

The President of the University appointed the Staff Senate for academic year 1999-2000.  One-half of the Staff Senate membership was determined by the President and recommended by the Staff Senate and rotated off at the end of that period, and the other one-half served an additional one-year term.  The rotation was such that a Staff Senate member was replaced with an exempt or a non-exempt staff member in accordance with Section 2, Article III.  

As positions on the Staff Senate become available, a notice will be sent to the cost center head within that division for nominations to fill the position.  Specific qualifications will be included in the notice as well as a deadline for nominations. 

Section 6. Duties:  The duties of a Staff Senate member are to attend all meetings, to communicate to their constituents information on Staff Senate activities and to communicate to the Staff Senate the concerns and ideas of group members, to work on Staff Senate activities and/or committees and to represent the Staff Senate elsewhere in the University if appointed, and to vote on motions made in Staff Senate meetings. 

If a member is absent three scheduled meetings of the Staff Senate within one year, without notifying the president of the Staff Senate and giving good cause for the absence (including but not necessarily limited to vacation, sickness or injury, leave, or university business), the Staff Senate shall declare the position vacant and shall follow the election instructions as stated in Section 3, Article III to elect a replacement to complete the un-expired term.  The person having been removed will not be eligible for such election. 

When unable to attend a meeting of the Senate because of illness, assigned duties, or other good cause, a Senator may appoint from among the members of his/her area a proxy to attend the meeting in his/her absence. The Senator must send to the President or Secretary a written statement, stating the reason for his/her absence and giving the name of the proxy. The written statement may be brought to the meeting by the proxy. In no case shall a proxy be seated until such a statement has been received by the President or Secretary. Upon being seated the proxy shall have, during that meeting, all the privileges of membership (making motions, debating, voting, etc.), restricted only by the Senate’s rules of procedure and by any specific instructions given him/her by the Senator for whom he/she is a proxy.


Section 1.  Frequency and length of meetings:  The Staff Senate shall determine the frequency of meetings, but the Staff Senate shall not hold less than two regular meetings per semester. 

Staff Senate Meetings

Meeting Schedule: The Staff Senate shall meet on the second Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m.  When convened during normal university work hours, Staff Senate meetings shall be no more than two hours in duration.  All Staff Senate meetings will be open to members of the University Community and/or visitors unless by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present for the purpose of entering into Executive Session.  Executive Sessions are entered into only for the purpose of discussing individuals’ good name or character.

Agenda:  The following is the recommended agenda for Staff Senate:

A. Approval of Minutes
B. Approval of Agenda
C. Staff Senate President's Report
D. Committee Reports 
E. Unfinished Business
F. New Business
G. Announcements
H. Adjournments

Section 2. Quorum:  A majority of voting members present shall constitute a quorum. Voting by the membership shall be by voice or by show of hands except when deemed necessary by the president of the Staff Senate to vote by ballot. 

Section 3.  Rules for procedure and agenda:  The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Staff 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 Staff Senate may adopt as per RONR § 56, pp. 561-562.  The agenda for Staff Senate meetings will include the call to order, recording of attendance, reading and approval of minutes of the prior meeting, unfinished business, new business, committee reports, discussion and recommendations, and adjournment. 

Section 4. Archives:  The current president of the Staff Senate shall store all Staff Senate records.  The president shall have access to and shall maintain these files.  All Staff Senate members shall have access to these files, when accompanied by the president of the Staff Senate. 

Section 5. E-Business: Items that are brought to the Staff Senate between regularly scheduled meetings which require immediate attention, or which do not require an assembly may be conducted through e-business.  Any action requires a response from the majority of the Senate, and will allow forty-eight (48) hours for a response before the item is considered to be closed.


Section 1.  Titles, election, terms of officers.  The officers of the Staff Senate shall include a president, a vice-president, and a secretary.  New officers shall be elected in the spring of their elected term as a Staff Senate member.  Voting will be by secret ballot and will be tallied by the vice- president of the Staff Senate.  The term of office shall begin July 1.  All Staff Senate officers shall be elected to a term of one year or less, with the exception of the vice-president who will serve as president for one term immediately following the vice-president term.  The secretary may serve two consecutive one-year terms. 

A. At the April meeting, nominations will be accepted from the members for each office. Only current Senate members will be eligible for nomination to Vice-President. If the term of the Vice President expires, he/she may remain on the Senate for a fourth year to serve as President. All other positions will be filled by current senators. Nominations are not valid until the Senate member has received approval from his/her supervisor.

B. Elections will take place at the May meeting by vote of the currently serving Senators.

C. An officer who transfers outside the area 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. If an office is vacated, an election by majority vote to select a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term of office will be held at the next regularly-scheduled meeting.

D. The Staff Senate President will be compensated with a stipend which will begin in November and run for six months.

Section 2.  Duties.  

A.  President of the Staff Senate:

1)   Preside over all regular meetings of the Staff Senate.

2)   Organize the agenda for each regular Staff Senate meeting.

3)   Serve as official spokesperson for the Staff Senate.

4)   Appoint committees as deemed necessary.  

B.  Vice-President of the Staff Senate:

1)   Execute the duties of the president in the president’s absence.

2)   Serve as the chair of the Wellness Committee

3)   Conduct elections and supervise counting of ballots and notification of elected representatives.

4)   Notify representatives in writing of their three consecutive unexcused absences and that resignation from the Staff Senate is required.

5)   Arrange for replacement of representatives when necessary.

6)   Assume office of president upon vacancy of that position. 

C.  Secretary of the Staff Senate:

1)   Prepare the minutes of each meeting, organize, and supervise their            distribution to Staff Senate members after submitting them to the president for review.

2)   Maintain a record of attendance at Staff Senate meetings.

3)   Maintain records of unexcused absences and report them to the vice- president.

4)   Assist in preparing and distributing correspondence and other Staff Senate business to representatives, staff members, etc. 

D.  Ex Officio (Non-voting)

1)   To serve in advisory capacity. 


Section 1.  Effective Date and Governance.  These bylaws shall become effective when adopted by the Staff Senate as determined by Article IV and approved by the President of the University.  The bylaws and the Staff Senate established thereby are subject to the official governance and control of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Alabama as provided in Ala. Code 16-51-1 et seq. (1975) as amended. 


Section. 1.  Amendment of bylaws.  Proposals for amendments to the bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Staff Senate and distributed in writing to Staff Senate representatives one week before an official meeting to vote to amend the bylaws.  Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present at any regular meeting.  The amendment shall become effective as per Article VI. 


Section 1.  Constituency.  All elections shall be held in accordance with Article III and other applicable sections of these bylaws.  Each constituency will nominate and elect representatives to the Staff Senate.  As of June 2008, Representation on the Staff Senate shall be apportioned as outlined below: 

A.     President’s Area:  (1)  

1.      President’s Office

2.      Athletics

B.  Academic Affairs:  (6)

1.      Vice President’s Office

2.      Academic Colleges

a.       Arts & Sciences

b.      Business

c.       Education

d.      Nursing and Allied Health

3.      Academic Advising Center

4.      Enrollment Management

a.       Student Financial Services

b.      Admissions

c.       Registrar

5.      Information Technology

a.       Continuing Education

b.      Library Services

c.       Computing and Telecommunication Services

d.      Educational Technology Services

6.      Center for International Programs

7.      Kilby School/Child Development Center

8.      Research, Planning, & Institutional Effectiveness  

C.     Business and Financial Affairs:   (5 with a recommended minimum of 3 from Physical Plant)

1.      Fiscal Affairs Office  

2.      Business Affairs  

3.      Human Resources & Affirmative Action

4.      Purchasing

5.      Physical Plant   

a.       Physical Plant Administration

b.      Maintenance

c.       Grounds

d.      Custodial

 D.  Student Affairs:  (2)    

 1.      Student Affairs Office

2.      Career Services

3.      Health Services

4.      Housing

5.      Public Safety  

6.      Recreational Sports and Fitness

7.      Residence Life  

8.      Student Life 

a.       Academic Resource Center

b.      Activities and Organization

c.       Greek Life

d.       Student Publications

9.      University Events  

  E.  University Advancement:  (1)

1.      Alumni Relations/Annual Giving 

2.      Foundation 

3.      Governmental Relations 

4.      Publications 

5.      University Advancement            

6.      University Relations 

*Number designates minimum staff senators who can serve in that Division.