V202 CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE STAFF SENATE OF VALLEY CITY STATE UNIVERSITY


Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be the "Staff Senate of Valley City State University."

Article II - Mission

The Staff Senate is established to be a representative body of the broadbanded staff. The Senate shall strive to promote communication among administrators, faculty and staff employees. The Senate shall also inform and serve the broadbanded staff of Valley City State University.

Article III - Membership

The Senate shall consist of approximately seven percent (7%) of the staff employees elected in accordance with the Bylaws of the Senate. For purposes of voting and serving on the Staff Senate, a staff member is defined as a benefit eligible employee within the 1000, or 3000-7000 broadband groups.

Article IV - Officers

Officers shall be elected from the membership of the Staff Senate. Officers of the Senate shall be a President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Past President.

Article V - Bylaws

The Senate may adopt or amend such Bylaws as may be required for the accomplishment of its purposes.

Articles VI - Amendments to the Constitution

A. Proposals for amending the Constitution may be initiated by:
  • the President of the University,
  • a voting member of the Staff Senate; or,
  • a petition signed by seven percent (7%) or more of all staff employees as defined in Article III of this Constitution.
B. Amendments must be approved by a simple majority of fifty-one percent (51%) of the Staff Senate and the President of the University.

Bylaws of the Staff Senate of VCSU

I. Objectives and Purposes
The Staff Senate of Valley City State University shall be the representative body of the University's staff employees to serve the following objectives and purposes:
  • to gain a spirit of unity, pride and cooperation by being recognized equally with the Faculty Senate and Student Senate as participants in advising University administrators;
  • to be an active communication link for meaningful information exchange between staff and administration relative to issues of mutual concern;
  • to provide an opportunity and forum for expressing, proposing, representing, investigating, debating and recommending action on issues, as an official and responsible voice in University affairs;
  • to advise the administration concerning work and employment conditions and practices, including recognition, compensation and other pertinent issues;
  • to involve democratically chosen staff representatives in the operation of the University and to increase awareness of problems and opportunities of significance to staff members;
  • to support placing three staff delegates on the North Dakota University System Staff Senate.
II. Advisory Status of the Senate
In fulfilling its stated objectives and purposes, the Senate shall be an advisory to the President of the University.
III. Composition
A. Staff will be represented through two (2) seats/members per category in addition to the Senate President who will serve as an at-large member. Categories will be defined as follows:
  • Category 1: Professional
    • 0000 Band (Unless serving in cabinet)
    • 1000 Band
    • 3000 Band
  • Category 2: Technical/Paraprofessional/Office Support
    • 4000 Band
    • 5000 Band
  • Category 3: Facilities
    • 6000 Band
    • 7000 Band
B. The President of the University or his/her designated representative shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Staff Senate.
C. The Student Senate shall designate a representative to serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Staff Senate.
IV. Terms of Office and Election of Senate Members
A. Senate membership shall be for a two (2) year term with approximately one half (½) of the members elected each year. A member shall not serve more than three (3) consecutive full terms, unless elected to the office of Vice President/ President Elect. After being elected to Vice President/President Elect, this Senator may be granted an additional two (2) year term on the Staff Senate, if required, to complete the terms of President and Past President.

B. Each of the staff categories will elect their 2 senators by the end of May. Senators will begin duties July 1st .

C. Newly elected Senators will attend the June meeting with the out going senators.
V. Election of Officers
A. The Staff Senate will nominate and vote annually for the following officers:
  • Vice President/President Elect
  • Secretary
B. The Senator elected as Vice President/President Elect will serve for three consecutive years in the following capacities:
  • Year 1 as Vice President/President Elect
  • Year 2 as President
  • Year 3 as Past President
C. At the regular July meeting nominations of Staff Senate executive officers shall be accepted through motions from the Staff Senate. The President shall determine the outcome of the motions.

D. Voting will take place at the regular June meeting.

E. Winners will be decided by a majority vote. The President shall cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.

F. The Staff Senate declares an office vacant when an officer is unable or improperly performs the duties of the office. All offices of the Staff Senate vacated shall be filled by a special election at the first regular Staff Senate meeting following the vacancy.

G. Regular elections to fill vacant positions shall be held annually during the spring semester. The terms of newly elected Senate members begin on July1 . The fiscal year for the Staff Senate is July 1 through June 30.
VI. Duties of the Officers.
A. The President:
  • presides over all meetings of the Staff Senate;
  • insures that all Staff Senate activities are conducted in a professional manner;
  • has the authority to appoint such committees as are deemed necessary for the business of the Staff Senate;
  • insures that all actions conform to the Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws;
  • is the spokesperson for the Staff Senate at meetings and functions;
  • serves as the direct communication liaison between the President of the University and the Staff Senate;
  • sets the yearly calendar of Staff Senate meetings and activities;
  • prepares the agenda for each meeting of the Staff Senate;
  • receives proposals from Senators, broadbanded members, or the President of the University for consideration at Staff Senate meetings;
  • provides information regarding Staff Senate activities to the President of the University, Director of Human Resources, and broadbanded staff.
B. The Past President:
  • serves as an active member providing continuity in the administration of the Staff Senate;
  • serves as an advisor to current and proposed activities, using previous Staff Senate experience to give a historical perspective;
  • insures that the Constitution and Bylaws are followed.
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;
  • carries out additional duties as assigned by the President;
  • serves as Chair of Staff Development.
D. The Secretary:
  • takes and maintains the minutes of each meeting of the Staff Senate;
  • publishes the minutes of each Staff Senate meeting prior to the next meeting;
  • prepares and distributes the agenda to all Staff Senate members at each Staff Senate meeting;
  • maintains an accurate record of all resolutions duly adopted by the Staff Senate and the vote on such resolutions;
  • receives and keeps all communications and reports to and from the Staff Senate; and
  • files copies of the Staff Senate minutes and special reports with the President's Office of the University and shall pass on all files to the succeeding secretary.
VII. Committees
The Staff Senate shall establish such committees as are necessary to conduct Senate business. Such committees shall be responsible to the Staff Senate and shall perform duties determined by the Staff Senate. All senators are eligible to serve on any Staff Senate committee.

The following committees may be established as standing committees:

A. Staff Development Committee -- investigates workshops, staff orientations, activities and programs that will provide personal and professional growth opportunities for non-faculty staff. The Vice-President/President-Elect of the Staff Senate serves as the chair of this Committee.

B. Legislative Committee provides Staff Senate with information regarding legislative activity placing particular emphasis on issues affecting higher education and VCSU staff. The committee depends on feedback from the Staff Senate to propose and initiate a coordinating effort as a result of the given information.
VIII. Transfer of Staff Category
A Senate member who transfers from one staff category to another within the University will continue to represent his/her original category for the balance of the fiscal year in which the transfer occurs. A remaining year of an unexpired term shall be filled by election at the next regular election.
IX. Attendance/Absenteeism
Senators are expected to attend all Senate meetings and shall contact the President or Secretary if unable to attend. A senator who has three (3) absences in any twelve (12) month period or fraction thereof and has not given prior notice of absence will be contacted by the President. A senator's position may be declared vacant by a vote of the Staff Senate. Attendance will be taken at each Senate meeting.

For extended approved absences (e.g. military leave), the position will be temporarily filled following the procedures under "Interim Vacancies."
X. Interim Vacancies
Interim vacancies will be filled using the following procedure:

Vacancies in Senate positions will be filled by a person appointed from the same staff category.

The vacancy will be filled until the completion of the unexpired term or the return of the person on extended leave.
XI. Meetings and Actions
The Senate shall normally meet in regular session monthly or on call of the Senate President. A majority of the Senate members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for a meeting. In the conduct of the meetings, Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail.
A. Meetings of the Senate shall be open.

B. A record of proceedings at meetings shall be kept which, upon request and under reasonable conditions, shall be made available by the secretary of the Senate.

C. The Senate shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures whereby any individual may propose items to be included on the agenda for the next Senate meeting.
XIII. Amendments to the Bylaws
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by a majority vote of the Senate, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing to Senate members no less than one month prior to voting. If approved by the Senate, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the President of the University for final approval.

Constitution and Bylaws History

Developed and implemented Staff Personnel Advisory Committee (SPAC): January 1986
Revisions by Staff Personnel Advisory Committee (SPAC)" Spring 2004
Final Revision by Staff Personnel Advisory Committee (SPAC): July 2004
Approved by the University President: July 2004
Revised by the Staff Senate and approved by the University President: Fall 2007
Revised: May 2013