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ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this Senate shall be the Staff Senate of North Carolina State University. (Hereafter in this document, the term “Senate” shall refer to the Staff Senate, the term “NC State” shall refer to North Carolina State University, and the term “Chair” shall refer to the Chair of the Staff Senate unless otherwise noted.)
The Senate is an advisory body to the University Chancellor. In fulfilling this role, the Senate shall:
- provide feedback and consultation regarding interest/concerns that affect staff members;
- receive proposed policies or policy changes from the Chancellor or other executive officers of the University for review and make recommendations on policies and regulations that affect staff members;
- initiate the consideration of new or review of existing policies and regulations affecting staff members, and offer informal suggestions or formal resolutions for changes or improvements;
- assist in the communication of issues and institutional activities affecting staff members;
- serve as the primary liaison between staff members and the Chancellor, the University Council, the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor’s Liaison Committee, the Faculty Senate, the Student Senate, and the UNC System Staff Assembly;
- represent all SHRA and EHRA professional and support staff, except as noted in Article IV, Sec. 1, below; and
- encourage a sense of community and engagement among all University employees by the promotion and facilitation of staff participation in the University community.
ARTICLE Ill PROCEDURE MANUAL
The Procedure Manual shall give details of responsibilities, tasks and procedures of the committees of the Senate and is to be maintained by said committees.
All employees of NC State, including county operations support services staff paid through NC State, are represented by the Senate unless they are:
- Designated SAAO Tier 1 (e.g., chancellor, provost, vice chancellors, and deans);
- Designated SAAO Tier 2 (e.g., associate/assistant vice chancellors, associate/assistant deans, directors and managers of major institutionally-recognized centers, departments, divisions, programs or entities etc.);
- Tenured, tenure track and professional track faculty defined under NC State REG 05.20.34;
- Designated with a faculty vote assignment;
- Postdoctoral employees (post-docs) defined under NC State REG 10.10.08;
- Student workers;
- Temporary employees.
- The Senate constituency shall be divided into districts based on and named in accordance with the University’s Organizational-Unit Code (OUC).
- There shall be one district for off-campus North Carolina Cooperative Extension and North Carolina Agricultural Research Service and they shall be split according to geographic regions.
- A district known as the Chancellor’s District shall encompass other units reporting directly to the Chancellor.
- The districts shall be verified by the Governance Committee and voted on annually by the Executive Committee by January 31.
- Any district that would have 25 or fewer constituents may be, by majority vote of the Executive Committee, combined with another district.
B. Number of Senators
There shall be one senator for each 100 staff members rounded to the nearest one hundred. Districts with fewer than 100 staff members shall have one senator. To maintain continuity, the goal is to have no more than 60% of the representation of the Senate roll off in a given year.
C. Number of Alternates
Each district shall elect no more than the following number of alternate senators:
- Districts with 1-2 elected senators shall have one (1)
- Districts with 3-5 elected senators shall have two (2) alternates.
- Districts with 6 or more elected senators shall have three
D. Appointed Senators
- Nominations must be provided by or elicited from the under-represented district to the Chair or Executive Committee by the Governance Committee.
- Nominees must meet the requirements of Article IV, Section 2. Membership and shall not be currently serving as an elected senator or alternate.
- Nominees shall be approved for appointment by a majority vote of the Senate
E. Ex-officio Members
- The Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources (AVC-HR) or a designee shall serve as ex officio, non voting member of the Senate; they shall function as a liaison between the Chancellor and the Senate.
Individuals are eligible to serve on Senate if they:
- are at least .75 FTE, and
- are in a regular (non-temporary) position, and
- have completed 12 months of continuous service in a regular (non-temporary) position with the University, and
- are represented by the Senate as noted in Article IV, Section 1,
- are in good standing with the University, and
- have their supervisor’s approval.
A. Voting Membership
Voting members shall consist of senators.
- Voting members also include Chair Elect, Vice Chair, and Parliamentarian.
- Alternates vote only in the case of the absence of the senator in their district. If there are two or more “Alternate Senators” in a district, the “Alternate Senator “with the longest tenure serving on the Senate fills in first. If there are two or more “Alternate Senators” in a district who have the same length of service, the alternate with the highest number of votes fills in first, the next fills in second, and so on. Therefore, “Alternate Senators” will be listed in order of highest to lowest number of votes on the roster by length of service, so voting order can be determined during the meeting.
- The Chair is a non-voting member except in the case of a tie, then the Chair will cast the deciding vote.
B. Non-Voting Membership
Non-voting members shall be alternates, ex officio members, advisors, the immediate Past Chair and the Secretary.
C. Terms of Office
- Senators (” Senator(s) “) – The terms of office for senators shall begin with the July meeting of the Senate. Terms shall be for two years. Senators can serve up to three (3) consecutive terms. After completion of a third term, the senator cannot run for at least one year.
- Alternate Senators (“Alternate(s)”) – The terms of office for alternate senators shall begin with the July meeting of the Senate. Terms shall be for two (2) years. When an alternate fills a vacant Senate seat, they will serve for the remaining term of that seat.
- An alternate must run for an open Senate seat in their district.
- Prior to nominations, the Elections Chair shall notify alternates when there are a-A open Senate seats in their districts.
- Appointed Senators (“Senator(s)”) –
- If appointed at the point of election, the Appointee will serve a one-year term.
- If an Appointee is filling a vacancy at any point after an election has concluded, they will serve the remainder of the one-year term.
After completion of two (2) consecutive one-year terms, the appointed senator cannot be reappointed for at least one (1) year.
- Should a change move a senator or alternate from one district to another, they will be allowed to fulfill their term.
- Senators – Senators shall attend all regularly scheduled meetings, the annual retreat, and special meetings of the Senate. Each senator shall serve on one committee of the Senate, attend all regularly scheduled respective committee meetings, and may be elected as an officer of that committee. Senators shall maintain an open line of communication with their district constituents.
- Alternate Senators – Alternates shall attend all regular monthly meetings, the annual retreat, and special meetings of the Senate. Each alternate may serve on one committee of the Senate but may not be elected as an officer of that committee. Alternates shall assist their district senator(s) to maintain an open line of communication with their district constituents. Senators and alternates are expected to perform their duties with integrity and professionalism in accordance with the bylaws.
- Senate vacancies shall be filled by the Alternate from the same district who has the longest active tenure serving on the Senate. If there are two or more Alternates in a district who have the same length of service, the Alternate with the highest number of votes from the previous election would be asked to fill in first, the next would be asked to fill in second, and so on. The Alternate will serve for the remaining term of that seat; any Alternate not willing to fulfill a vacant senator position may be removed from office.
- If an alternate is not available, the Senate vacancy shall be filled by an appointed senator for the remainder of the term of that seat.
- If the vacancy cannot be filled by an alternate or appointed senator, it shall remain vacant until the next election cycle.
Senators, including alternates, who are unable to fulfill their duties shall submit a written notification of resignation to the Chair and the Secretary of the Senate. On acceptance of the resignation, the Secretary will send a confirmation to the senator/alternate and their supervisor.
G. Removal from Senate
During an elected term, senators and alternates may be removed from the Senate if they:
- no longer meet the requirements outlined in Article IV; or
- do not fulfill their duties as a senator or alternate, which include, but are not limited to, three (3) consecutive unexcused absences of Senate general meetings and/or committee meetings or unexcused absences of more than 50% the Senate general meetings; or
- are recommended for removal by any constituent.
As per Bylaws, Senators who have three (3) consecutive, unexcused absences from Senate general meetings and/or committee meetings or unexcused absences of more than 50% of the Senate general meetings may be removed from the Senate. If a Senator’s absence is caused by a full or partial furlough from the University, the following procedures will be in place:
- If a Senator is furloughed for more than three (3) months, the Senator would need to submit a written notice of resignation as outlined in Article IV, Section 11. F for the remainder of the current Senate session.
- If a Senator is furloughed in the first year of their two year term and returns back to work after three (3) or more months, the Senator may regain their Senate seat for the next senate session and finish the second year of their term. The Senator would have to submit a new supervisor approval form.
- If an Alternate or Appointee fills the Senator seat in a Senator’s absence, upon the Senator’s return, the Alternate or Appointee would return to their prior position.
- If a Senator is furloughed in the second year of their two-year term, the Senator would need to submit a written notice of resignation as outlined in Section 11. F. The Senator would have to run for reelection should they wish to continue participation in the Senate.
If for any reason, a senator or alternate is at risk of losing membership, they must be notified in writing by the Chair at least ten (10) business days prior to any action being taken. The at-risk-senator will be allowed to present a defense. No action shall be taken without the knowledge of the at-risk senator. Each recommendation shall be evaluated on an individual basis by the Executive Committee. Removal requires ⅔ vote of the members present during a Senate general meeting. If removed, the senator/alternate and their supervisor will be notified.
Section 3. Nominations and Elections
- The Governance Committee (Article VII, Section 1. C. 2.) shall facilitate nominations and elections, which will be completed by the end of the session. (Senate “session” runs from July to June of the following year).
- The total number of eligible staff and number of staff in each district will be collected from Human Resources and documented by the Governance Committee.
- The Governance Committee shall evaluate each district prior to nominations to determine if redistricting, based on the number of staff, is needed. If a change is needed, the Governance Committee Chair will bring the suggested change to the Executive Committee for approval.
- Nominations -Any member of the constituency, as described in Article IV, can nominate a staff member to serve as senator.
- Elections – The constituents of each district shall elect their staff senator(s) and alternate(s) by majority vote.
- If the number of candidates running within a district is equal to or less than the number of seats being filled for that district, the candidates may be elected by acclamation by the Executive Committee in lieu of a ballot election.
- Senate seats will be filled based on the highest number of votes. In case of a tie, a runoff election will be held.
ARTICLE V OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS
The elected officers of the Senate shall be Chair, Chair Elect, Vice Chair and Parliamentarian. (The Secretary and the Past Chair are not elected officers, but their roles and duties are noted below.)
The duties of the Chair include to:
- plan and preside at all meetings of the Senate;
- chair the Executive Committee;
- mentor the Chair Elect;
- serve as the Senate’s official representative to various University entities and events;
- prepare and present a quarterly report to the Board of Trustees, in consult with the AVC-HR;
- refer matters submitted for the Senate’s attention to the appropriate committee(s) or to the Chancellor or Chancellor’s representative;
- refer constituents’ concerns to the Vice Chair;
- serve as a delegate on the UNC System Staff Assembly for a three-year term, during their term as Chair Elect, Chair, and Past Chair of the Senate; and
- prepare a written annual report and make it available to all members of the Senate by the end of the session.
B. Chair Elect
The duties of the Chair Elect include to:
- shadow the Chair;
- preside at all meetings of the Senate in the absence of the Chair;
- serve as a representative of the Senate in the absence of the Chair, at the Chair’s request; and
- serve as a delegate to the UNC System Staff Assembly
C. Vice Chair
The duties of the Vice Chair include to:
- assist the Chair in performing leadership responsibilities at the Chair’s request;
- research and address constituents’ concerns;
- serve as an alternate delegate on the UNC System Staff Assembly;
- preside at all meetings of the Senate in the absence of the Chair and Chair-Elect or as requested by the Chair.
The duties of the Parliamentarian include to:
- be knowledgeable in Robert’s Rules of Order and the proper procedures for conducting meetings;
- ensure that the Chair or presiding officer, as well as all participants in Senate meetings, abide by the stated rules of order during meetings; and
- serve as advisor and member of the Governance Committee.
- ensure that the Chair or presiding officer, as well as all participants in Senate meetings, abide by the stated rules of order during meetings; and
The duties of the Secretary include to:
- perform all administrative duties of the Senate;
- take minutes and record attendance at each Senate general meeting;
- gather and compile monthly committee reports for inclusion in the minutes;
- distribute minutes to senators and alternates at least five (5) working days before the next scheduled meeting of the Senate;
- serve as secretary of the Executive Committee, take minutes of the meetings and notify its members of meeting dates and locations; and
- other duties as assigned by the Chair
F. Past Chair
The duties of the Past Chair include to:
- assist as requested by the Chair;
- serve as a resource for the Senate;
- serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee; and
- serve as a delegate to the UNC System Staff Assembly.
Current senators are eligible to be nominated as officers and Committee Chairs.
Nominations for Chair Elect, Vice Chair, Parliamentarian, and Committee Chairs for the upcoming session shall open at the April general meeting and close at the conclusion of the May general meeting. Nominees must obtain approval from their supervisors at least five (5) business days prior to the election and provide written approval to the Secretary.
The Chair of the Governance Committee shall conduct the election at the last meeting of the session by secret ballot. The Governance Committee Chair shall tabulate the ballots, overseen by two members of the Governance Committee and the Human Resources ex officio member of the Senate. In case of a conflict of interest, the Secretary shall oversee the election process. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote.
D. Special Election
Special Elections shall follow format noted in paragraphs A, B, and C above but can be held at any time as needed.
The terms of office for Senate officers shall be one year and shall begin at the first meeting of the new session of the Senate. A senator shall not hold more than one office at a time.
In the event that the Chair is unable to complete the elected term of office, the Chair Elect shall assume the office.
- In the event the positions of Chair and Chair Elect are vacant, the Vice Chair shall fulfill the responsibilities until a special election is held at any general meeting of the Senate.
- In the event that the offices of Vice Chair or Parliamentarian or Chair Elect become vacant, a special election shall be held at any general meeting of the Senate by the Chair in order to fill the vacant office for the remainder of the term.
- In the event that the Secretary position becomes vacant, the secretarial duties shall be assigned by the Chair until a replacement to the position is made.
- Special Elections shall be held as per Article V Section 3, ,i D
The Secretary shall be the custodian of Senate records.
The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the Chair. The Chair shall have voting rights only in the event of a voting tie.
The membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Senate and the chairs of the standing committees. In the absence of a committee chair, a committee representative shall be designated and given voting rights in their absence.
The Executive Committee shall meet monthly, unless cancelled by the Chair. Additional meetings may be called by the Chair, by the Chancellor, or upon request of three (3) members of the Executive Committee.
- The Chair shall set the time, date, and location of the meetings and notify members no later than we-cl five (5) business days prior to the meeting time.
- A majority of the Executive Committee membership shall constitute a quorum.
- The minutes of the meetings shall be open to inspection, except as stipulated in Article VIII, Section 7.
Section 4. Duties
The duties of the Executive Committee include to:
- consider all matters presented by the Chair, the Chancellor or designee, the Senate, standing committee chairs, or others, and act on or refer those matters;
- monitor the Senate’s budget and all expenditures;
- contribute and review agenda items for upcoming general meetings;
- recommend to the Senate the establishment and termination of standing and ad hoc committees based on reviewing each to assure it is needed and functioning as intended;
- appoint senators to ad hoc committees; and
- make recommendations to the Senate regarding the removal of senators from their membership as per Article IV, Section 2 (G).
Membership on the standing committees shall be by appointment by the Chair based on senators’ or alternates’ preferences.
- Returning senators/alternates shall be able to remain with the standing committee to which they were previously assigned.
- If a standing committee requires additional members, the Chair and Executive Committee shall request volunteers to switch committees until the need has been met.
The duties of each standing committees- include to:
- elect a committee chair. Officers and alternates are not eligible to serve as committee chairs. The elected committee chair must serve as a member of the Executive Committee and attend the monthly Executive Committee meetings. The committee chair must designate a committee representative if they will be unexcused. The designee shall have voting rights.
- establish session goals and work toward accomplishing them during the Senate session;
- accept and act on business items assigned to them by the Executive Committee;
- present an oral committee report at the monthly Executive Committee meetings and provide a written monthly committee report to the Secretary;
- present a report to the full Senate at each monthly general meeting; and
- write an annual report and submit it to the Chair by the May Executive Board meeting.
C. The standing committees shall be:
- Community Service and Engagement Committee
- Governance Committee
- External Affairs Committee
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee
- Communication Committee
- Resources and Environment Committee
- Employee Experience and Relations Committee
Ad hoc committees are formed for a limited period of time to address a specific need. An ad hoc committee shall be disbanded when its purpose has been served, or as determined by the Chair and the Executive Committee.
- The Chair, with approval of the Executive Committee, may create ad hoc committees of the Senate as needs arise. Membership shall be by appointment. The number of members shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
- Duties of all ad hoc committees shall be to accept the business assigned to them by the Executive Committee and to address it in a responsible and timely manner.
- Chair sits on Committee on Committees.
- Senators are eligible to serve on University Standing Committees as appointed by the Chancellor, Provost, Committee on Committees or at the request and nomination of the Chair and/or Executive Committee.
- Staff Senate members who volunteer for University Standing Committees shall be assigned by the Senate chair, the Executive Committee or an Ad Hoc Committee selected by the Chair. If a senator who was nominated by the Senate resigns from an assigned University Standing Committee, a replacement shall be selected as indicated above.
ARTICLE VIII MEETINGS
- Regular meetings of the Senate shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month, from July through June, unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Committee. A proposed Order of Business shall be sent to all members at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date by the Senate Secretary. If the Executive Committee has no agenda items or proposals, they reserve the right to cancel a meeting and must notify the Senate membership.
- Special meetings of the Senate may be called by the Executive Committee for matters that cannot wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate. Notification of a scheduled special meeting shall be given at least three (3) business days in advance of the meeting to all members by the Senate Secretary.
- An Annual Retreat shall be held during the first meeting of the new session in July.
- Committee meeting as called by Committee Chair
Senate quorum shall be defined as fifty percent (50%) of the voting membership. If there is not a quorum, the meeting shall continue; however, there shall be no votes recorded and the minutes shall be approved at the following meeting. If there is a quorum, votes can be recorded and the minutes can be approved.
Only voting members of the Senate shall introduce proposals, measures, and resolutions on the Senate floor. Those present who are not members of the Senate may be granted the right to speak, but not to vote, on matters before the Senate.
Section 4. Vote
Only senators present shall have the right to vote on Senate business. The Chair shall vote only in the event of a tie.
In the absence of a senator, voting privileges will be designated to an alternate of the same district, subject to verification by the Chair. The alternate will be notified of voting privileges at the time quorum is confirmed.
The Executive Committee shall set the Order of Business for meetings of the Senate. Changes to the Order of Business may be made and approved by a majority vote of those present at the Senate meeting.
Section 6. Attendance
- All senators shall attend all regularly scheduled monthly meetings, special meetings, committee meetings, and the annual retreat. The annual retreat is considered a required meeting.
- Attendance at monthly Senate meetings, special meetings, committee meetings, and the annual retreat shall be recorded as “Present,” “Excused,” or “Unexcused”.
- “Present” shall mean a senator or alternate is at the meeting or attending the meeting remotely by technology.
- “Excused” shall mean a senator or alternate contacted the Chair, secretary, and/or committee chair (in writing or by email) prior to the respective meeting and indicated a reasonable excuse for their absence from the meeting. At the Chair’s discretion, an excused absence may include, but is not limited to, the following circumstances: official University travel, pressing business/projects, previously scheduled annual time off, court attendance, military service, illness, injury or family illness, injury or death.
- “Unexcused” shall mean a senator or alternate did not contact the Chair, secretary, and/or committee chair prior to the respective meeting or did not provide a reasonable excuse, and is not in attendance in person or remotely by technology.
Section 7. Minutes
The approved minutes of the meetings shall be made available on the Senate website (staffsenate.ncsu.edu) for inspection and will be provided to all Senate members for information purposes. Exceptions shall be made in cases where confidential information about particular individuals would be otherwise revealed. The responsibility for the determination of confidentiality shall rest with the Executive Committee, who shall secure the consent of the individual affected before making such information available in the minutes. A summary of the minutes shall be made available to all staff members.
ARTICLE IX PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Senate and its committees 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.
ARTICLE X AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS TO THE BYLAWS
- Bylaws shall be reviewed every two (2) years by the Governance Committee and Parliamentarian to determine if amendments or revisions are needed. Any senator can propose an amendment to the bylaws.
- Proposed amendments and revisions shall be made available to the Senate at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which they will be presented.
- The Parliamentarian or their designee shall present proposed bylaws amendments or revisions to the Senate.
- The Senate shall have the power to consider and recommend to the Chancellor, amendments to or revisions of the Senate bylaws by two-thirds (2/3) vote.
- The proposed amendments to or revisions of the bylaws shall be provided to the Chancellor of NC State for approval and shall become effective upon receipt of the Chancellor’s written approval.
- The written approval, with the Chancellor’s signature, shall be attached as an appendix to the NC State Staff Senate Bylaws.
AMENDMENTS TO THE NC STATE STAFF SENATE BYLAWS
- Originally approved by the Staff Senate September 6, 1995
- Amended by the Staff Senate June 5, 1996, October 2, 1996, December 11, 1996, March 5, 1997, November 6, 1997, February 4, 1998, May 6, 1998, June 3, 1998, July 1, 1998, October 7, 1998, November 4, 1998, May 5, 1999, June 2, 1999, March 1, 2000, May 2, 2001, April 3, 2002, March 1, 2006, September 6, 2006, December 6, 2006, November 7, 2007
- Recommended for revision by the Staff Senate July 8, 2009
- Recommended for revision by the Staff Senate April 7, 2010
- Recommended for revision by the Staff Senate October 3, 2012
- Revised May 7, 2014
- Revised June 5, 2019
- Revised June 1, 2022