Committee Protocols

Budgets

If a standing committee plans to sponsor any activities (such as Learn & Lunch, tours, etc.) that require funds to be used from the Staff Senate budget, the requested funds should be submitted in an itemized budget in accordance with the budget process timeline outlined below, using the provided budget template. All submitted budgets will be reviewed and allocation of funds decided upon by the Staff Senate executive committee (consisting of the elected officers of the Staff Senate and the chairs of the standing committees).  Reviewing all fund requests at one time allows the consideration of the best uses of limited resources.  Any subsequent requests made later in the year cannot be guaranteed consideration if all funds have already been allocated and spent. 

The budgeting process will adhere to the following timeline, however the budgeting process timeline could be subject to change at the discretion of the Staff Senate chair:

  • July – Staff Senate chair sends a budget charge memo to standing committee chairs
  • August – Standing committees discuss their anticipated projects and expenditures at the committee meetings; each standing committee chair (or their designee) submits the committee’s requested budget in advance of the executive committee meeting; the executive committee reviews, discusses and approves budget items, and communicates to standing committee chairs the approved line items and funding allocations.


Budget updates, indicating expenses and remaining funds, will be provided by the Staff Senate chair at each monthly executive committee meeting for tracking and planning of potential future activities.

Committee Leadership 

Each standing committee shall elect a chair during the Staff Senate officer elections (held during the June general body meeting).  As outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/), the standing committee chair cannot be a Staff Senate officer or alternate. Additionally, the candidate must be an active staff senator during the term in which they intend to serve as a standing committee chair.

The Governance Committee will explain the process to all senators and provide a template of the supervisor approval letter no later than the May meeting.  Standing committee chairs should discuss with their committees opportunities to run for chair or vice chair prior to the May meeting.

An individual considering running for a standing committee chair position shall obtain their supervisor’s signature of approval, acknowledging the time commitment, prior to the June general body meeting.

Each standing committee chair is responsible for submitting a committee activity/update report–of the information presented at the Staff Senate general body and executive committee meetings–to the Staff Senate secretary within five (5) business days after the respective meeting.

Each standing committee shall elect a vice chair at the first committee meeting. The standing committee chair shall not cast a vote unless there is a tie, in which case they will cast the deciding vote. First-term senators may serve as vice chairs and shall lead standing committee meetings and projects/activities in the absence of the standing committee chair, or as designated by the standing committee chair. The vice chair will also represent the standing committee at Staff Senate executive committee meetings if the standing committee chair is unable to attend. Ideally, the vice chair will serve as the standing committee chair the following year.

Should a standing committee chair need to step down, the vice chair shall assume the responsibilities for the remainder of the senate year.

Communications

Staff Senate external communications going to constituencies and individuals outside of Staff Senate, including but not limited to promotional pieces and newsletters, must adhere to NC State branding (https://brand.ncsu.edu/) and style guidelines (https://brand.ncsu.edu/assets/Highlights_of_NC_State_Editorial_Style.pdf) and should be accessible to all readers. All Staff Senate external communication and promotional pieces must be vetted and reviewed by the chair of the Communications standing committee who will forward to the Staff Senate chair for approval prior to the communication being distributed.

Event Planning and Coordination

Standing committee members should discuss potential event/activity/speaker ideas during committee meetings. The standing committee chair will present the proposed event/activity/speaker to the executive committee for discussion and approval. Upon approval by the executive committee, the requesting standing committee may proceed with planning. Invitations to university administration/leadership should be presented by the Staff Senate chair to the AVC for human resources prior to inviting. 

Letters/Memorandums and Resolutions

There are three primary methods by which Staff Senate may voice a viewpoint on an issue:

  1. Letters/memorandums – Letters/memorandums include a call to action (i.e., requesting a meeting). If the intent of the Staff Senate is to garner a response or action rather than make a statement, it would be better served to deliver its message through a letter or memorandum.
  2. Resolutions – Resolutions are expressions of opinion and/or sentiment.
  3. Program proposals – Staff Senate can create a proposal or suggest an initiative to address an NC State staff issue by submitting a proposed initiative or program proposal, when appropriate, to university leadership for consideration.

Process for Compiling a Letter/Memorandum or Resolution:

The introduction and consideration of issuing a letter/memorandum or resolution is to be in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and proceed as follows:

  • A constituent submits an idea/issue to the Staff Senate for review through one of the following communication channels:
    • Constituents can submit ideas/issues to Staff Senate by email to the Staff Senate email address, ncsustaffsenate@ncsu.edu, or directly to a staff senator. 
    • If it is a department-specific human resources-related issue, the issue is to be addressed by the constituent’s departmental human resources.
    • If it is of general concern to university staff or of concern to all university staff, then the idea/issue is processed by the staff senator who received the information and/or the Staff Senate vice chair.
  • Ideas/issues submitted will be directed as follows:
    • If it is university HR-related, the Staff Senate vice chair will send the email to the associate vice chancellor for human resources.
    • If it is an idea/issue for which the Staff Senate vice chair knows the answer, the Staff Senate vice chair will respond to the constituent and “cc” the Staff Senate officers, the constituent’s district senator and the AVC for human resources.
    • For all other ideas/issues, the Staff Senate vice chair will direct the idea/issue to the appropriate Staff Senate standing committee to review and gather details from the constituent if necessary.
    • There may be times where the “call to action” letter needs to go to another person/department on campus (i.e., the Faculty Senate, Student Senate, the provost or a dean, department head, etc.) or even the UNC Staff Assembly. In these cases, it is best to consult with the AVC for human resources and discuss the most appropriate and professional way to craft the message.
    • For highly sensitive or urgent matters, the idea/issue will be routed by the Staff Senate vice chair directly to the Staff Senate chair, who will present it to the executive committee for discussion and review. The executive committee will conduct one of the following action steps:
      • Draft a letter/memorandum or resolution as appropriate; 
      • Following discussion at the executive committee meeting, the executive committee will vote if they would like to move the document forward to the full Staff Senate body. If the majority of the executive committee is in favor of proceeding, the standing committee chair will present the document at the Staff Senate general body meeting.
      • Staff Senate members will be allowed to propose and vote upon edits or amendments. The Staff Senate body will vote on approval of the resolution or letter. If approved, the Staff Senate chair will distribute to the appropriate parties and follow up as necessary regarding any “call to action.”
  • Standing Committee Review Process: 
    • The appropriate standing committee chair will present the idea/issue to their committee for discussion. The standing committee may decide to invite the constituent to the committee meeting to discuss the idea/issue or gather information via phone or email. The standing committee will decide if the idea/issue should be brought before the Staff Senate executive committee for further review.
    • The standing committee will also be responsible for conducting any additional preliminary background research for the purposes of better understanding the issue and deciding next steps.  If this research involves communicating outside of Staff Senate with university or external parties (besides the constituent who brought the issue), then members of the standing committee should make it clear that they are gathering information for research purposes only, and that no call to action, resolution or project proposal has yet been approved by the Staff Senate to carry out.  The standing committee chair will notify the Staff Senate chair that the issue is to be explored by email with the following content:
      • Project highlights
      • Intended partners and/or research entities
    • When the research phase is complete, the standing committee chair will notify the Staff Senate chair if the standing committee decides to move the idea/issue forward for executive committee review at the next executive committee meeting. The standing committee chair will present whatever background information surrounding the idea/issue the standing committee possesses to the Staff Senate chair for distribution to the executive committee at least ten (10) days before the next scheduled executive committee meeting.
  • Executive Committee Review Process:
    • Following discussion, the executive committee will vote to present the idea/issue before the full Staff Senate body. 
      • If the majority is in agreement to proceed, the standing committee chair–who presented the idea/issue–will draft the agreed-upon document (a letter/memorandum with a call to action or a resolution making a statement or celebration of a person/event); this may be done with or without the assistance of other standing committee members.
      • The Staff Senate chair will notify the standing committee of the following:
        • Approval of the idea/issue to be presented to the Staff Senate body;
        • Request for more information to be submitted for the executive committee’s further review and consideration; or
        • The executive committee has made the decision to not proceed with the idea/issue that was presented.
  • Process for Approved Ideas/Issues:
    • The standing committee chair will send the drafted document to the Staff Senate chair and secretary for presentation to and discussion by the Staff Senate general body. 
    • The Staff Senate secretary will send the document to staff senators for their review in preparation for discussion of the document at the Staff Senate general body meeting. The staff senators should receive the document at least five (5) business days before the general body meeting at which the document will be discussed.
    • Discussion should occur during the Staff Senate general body meeting and a vote taken on how to proceed with the idea/issue, with majority vote ruling.
    • The standing committee chair will incorporate any agreed-upon changes and submit the final draft to the Staff Senate chair. 
    • The Staff Senate chair will be responsible for presenting the final draft document to the AVC for human resources on behalf of the Staff Senate for review and feedback.
  • Distribution of Letters/Memorandums or Resolutions:
    • Letters/Memorandums:
      • Once the letter/memorandum has been finalized it should include the names, Staff Senate leadership positions, and colleges/units of executive committee members in the signature.
    • Resolutions:
      • Resolutions will be signed by the Staff Senate chair.
    • The approved letter/memorandum or resolution will be sent by the Staff Senate chair to the intended recipient and distributed to the Staff Senate body.

The NC State Staff Senate should always be seen as the professional voice of the staff and represent staff and NC State in a positive way.  

Senator Removals

For non-compliance with attendance policies as outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/):

The Staff Senate secretary shall use the Staff Senate attendance report to notify the executive committee during its monthly meeting of any senator who is in violation of the attendance policy as outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/).  The executive committee will discuss each situation and resultant actions.

For non-attendance of committee meetings (aside from those situations outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/):

As outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/), each senator is required to serve on one Staff Senate committee and attend all regularly scheduled committee meetings.  If a senator fails to attend committee meetings–whether excused or unexcused–and is not contributing to the committee’s efforts, the committee chair will bring forth the senator’s name at the executive committee meeting to discuss the situation and possible resultant actions. 

In any situation where the executive committee deems the senator is at risk of losing membership, the Staff Senate chair will notify the senator in writing and proceed as outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/).

Senator Resignations

As outlined in the Staff Senate bylaws (https://staffsenate.ncsu.edu/bylaws/), any senator who needs to resign their position must notify the Staff Senate chair and Staff Senate secretary via email. The following process will be followed for processing a Senator resignation:

  • The Staff Senate secretary will send a confirmation email to the resigned senator and their supervisor. 
  • The Staff Senate chair will notify the chair of the committee on which the resigned senator served, as well as the Governance committee chair who will proceed to fill the vacancy. 
  • The Staff Senator roster and committee listing will be updated by the Staff Senate secretary, removing the name of the resigned senator and subsequently adding the name of the new senator; the updated versions of these files will be uploaded to the Staff Senate web pages by the Staff Senate secretary. 
  • If the vacant seat is filled by the district’s alternate senator, then that senator shall remain on the committee on which they were already serving.  If the vacant seat is filled by an individual appointed by the Staff Senate chair, then efforts will be made to assign that individual to a committee that is in need of committee members (as determined by “status updates” provided by committee chairs during the committee reports at monthly executive committee meetings).  
  • If multiple committees are in need of members, the new senator will be given the option of which of those committees (that are in need of members) they would like to serve. 

Surveys

Any survey conducted on behalf of Staff Senate, should be reviewed and approved by the executive committee and must follow the university’s Regulation on Surveys:
https://oirp.ncsu.edu/surveys/administering-a-survey-at-ncsu/ncsu-regulation-on-surveys/ 

Including registering the survey:
https://oirp.ncsu.edu/surveys/administering-a-survey-at-ncsu/register-your-survey/

Training

All incoming committee chairs must participate in an orientation training, to be held at the outset of the term. 

In that Staff Senators represent NC State University, Staff Senators should be familiar with NC State branding guidelines. At the outset of the term (preferably as a portion of the Staff Senate retreat), Staff Senators should receive an overview of the NC State branding guidelines from University Marketing and Communications (training sessions are currently coordinated by Erin McCrary).

All members of the Communications committee shall receive branding and style training by an employee from University Marketing and Communications.  It is also suggested that this committee receive ADA training as well.

These protocols may be subject to change in the future at the discretion of the Staff Senate Executive Committee in consultation with the Staff Senate.

Approved by NC State Staff Senate on Nov. 4, 2020