STAFF COUNCIL (1.7.6)
The purpose of this policy is to provide a general framework by which a University Staff Council may operate. Specific guidelines are established in the Staff Council's Constitution and By-laws.
It is the policy of the University of North Texas to authorize and support the development and operations of a University of Staff Council. The purpose of the Staff Council is as follows:
· to refer issues and inform the university administration on items that are of interest and /or relevant to staff members;
· to continue to improve the delivery of services to the University's constituencies;
· to foster communication within the campus community; and
· to advance the University's mission.
The Staff Council may act at the request of the President, Provost, and Senior Vice President for Administration. In addition, the Council may consider other issues and provide recommendations to the administration on matters of interest to the staff in accordance with section 2 of this policy. However, the council shall not duplicate the role of other established committees on campus. The President, the Provost and/or the Senior Vice President for Administration may direct the Staff Council to refer an issue or provide input to other appropriate University committees, bodies or individuals. The Council will not act in any specific employee/employer dispute within the University, nor will it act on individual or group grievance issues or assume the role of arbitrator in any such matter, nor shall it serve as a bargaining entity.
4. Eligibility and Service:
4.1 To be eligible to serve on or vote for the Staff Council, an employee must
be a regular, non-probationary, retirement eligible staff member.
4.2 Individuals in the following positions are excluded from either voting for
or serving as members of the Staff Council:
(b) Vice Chancellor and General Counsel/Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs/Senior Vice President for Administration/Vice President/Associate Vice President/Assistant Vice President.
(c) Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans who also hold
(d) Teaching Fellow, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant
(e) Individuals in positions classified as student positions
(f) Individuals who hold faculty rank and whose primary job
classification are faculty, professional librarian, or adjunct
(special appointment) faculty (unless otherwise considered
regular staff members.)
4.3 During an elected term, a representative relinquishes council membership
upon leaving the employ of the University, moving to an ineligible position,
or being removed from the Council (see 5.5).
4.4 All eligible staff members (as defined in 4.1) employed by the date of the
election will be eligible to vote.
4.5 Service on the Staff Council is considered to be a part of the employee's
University responsibilities and will not require that such time be charged to
accrued leave time. Notwithstanding the above, service on the council may
not adversely affect university operations as determined by the
4.6 Representatives must have permission from their supervisor to serve on the
5.1 Regular Retirement Eligible Staff Members: The Staff Council will be
composed of no more than one (1) elected representative for every
fifty (50) regular eligible staff members who are retirement eligible and
employed half time or more. These representatives will be elected by
EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) job category with a predetermined
number of representatives for each group. The number of eligible employees
will be determined by an official count to be provided by the Human
Resources Department. Following three (3) annual elections, the number of
staff members on the council will be recalculated and adjustments made, if
5.2 Ex-officio Member: The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and/or designated representative will serve in an advisory position as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Council.
5.3 Terms of Office: The term of office for Council representatives will be two
(2) years beginning September 1 and ending August 31. Individuals
may run for re-election but must take a full two-year break in service
from the Council following the completion of two terms. Individuals
appointed to fill a partial term are eligible to be elected for a full term.
Vacancies of unexpired terms will be filled according to the Staff
Council's Constitution and By-laws.
5.4 Duties of Representatives: Representatives are expected to attend all
meetings of the Council. Representatives may serve on committees of
the Council and may be elected as an officer of those committees.
Representatives will be available to their constituents and be willing
to hear concerns, receive information and suggestions, and communicate
these concerns effectively to the Council. In turn, representatives must
keep their constituents informed of the work of the Council and matters
that the Administration communicates to the Council.
Attendance at Council and committee meetings is expected. The first
year may require additional time while the Council is being established.
Special projects may also require additional time but may not be
excessive, as determined by the supervisor.
5.5 Removal from Office: Any representative may be removed from office
due to failure to meet eligibility requirements, denied permission to
serve by his/her supervisor, or for failure to adequately perform Council
duties. Procedures, guidelines, and criteria for removal will be outlined
in the Staff Council's Constitution and By-laws.
5.6 Meetings: General Staff Council meetings will be held, at a minimum, once a quarter.
6. Nominations and Elections:
The Nominations and Election Committee will conduct the nominations and elections process in the spring of each year for selected EEO categories. Annual elections shall be staggered with only one-half of the council positions being up for election per year. The Nominations and Elections committee will work closely with Human Resources to obtain appropriate mailing labels and to determine which individuals are eligible and the EEO category in which they belong. The staff of the Human Resources Department and the Internal Auditor will coordinate the nominations and election process.
6.1 Nomination Procedures: A call for nominations will be sent to all eligible
staff members. Eligible staff members may nominate any other eligible
staff member. Those individuals with a minimum of three (3) nominations (unless otherwise specified in the Constitution & By-laws) will be placed on the ballot after confirming their ability and desire to serve if elected. (Individuals may self nominate.)
6.2 Election Procedures: When the list of nominees is determined, ballots will be
designed for each EEO category. Eligible staff members may only vote for
nominees within their own group.
Using the predetermined number of representatives for each EEO category,
the nominees receiving the most votes in each group will be the elected
representatives for that group. In the case of a tie for a specific seat, (unless
otherwise specified in the Constitution and By-laws) a coin toss, conducted by the Internal Auditing Office, will be used to determine the winner.
Election procedures shall insure confidentiality.
Following every three (3) annual elections, the number of staff in each EEO category will be recalculated and adjustments made, if necessary, to the distribution of Council seats.
6.3 Records: All records pertaining to the nominations and elections process
will be stored in Human Resources.
7. Officers and Committees:
The officers and committees of the Staff Council will be specified in the Constitution and By-laws. At a minimum, a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and recording secretary will serve as an Executive Committee. Additional officers and individuals, as determined by the Constitution and By-laws (possibly the chairs of standing committees) will also serve on the Executive Committee.
At a minimum, the chairperson will preside over all general meetings of the Council and chair the Executive Committee. The vice-chairperson will preside in the absence of the chair and will assist the chair in performing leadership responsibilities. The secretary will be responsible for the recording and distribution of minutes and making arrangements for meetings and notifying the Council of such. The Executive Committee will be responsible for the appointment or election of the Nominations and Elections Committee and other standing or ad hoc committees. The Executive Committee will meet with the Senior Vice President for Administration, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President periodically to keep the administration advised of relevant staff issues and activities. The nomination and election of officers will be conducted at the September meeting each year. Officers will be nominated from the floor and elected by a simple majority of those present.
The Constitution and By-laws will specify the duties, terms, and procedures
for each committee and the officers thereof.
The Constitution and By-laws will also specify, but not be limited to, the
(a) what constitutes a quorum and when it is required;
(b) how Council agendas will be set and the procedures by
which proposals, and items for discussion will be intro-
duced to the Council and voted upon;
(c) expected attendance and other requirements of representatives;
(d) proper parliamentary procedures; and,
(e) a procedure for amending the Constitution and By-laws.
8. Policy Revisions:
Suggested revisions to this policy may be recommended by the Executive Committee of the Staff Council to the Senior Vice President for Administration to be forwarded to the President for review and approval.