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B03.0 Staff Council By-Laws

VISION STATEMENT

As a vital partner in RIT’s system of shared governance, Staff Council will be a catalyst for positive change within the RIT community.

MISSION STATEMENT

It is the mission of RIT Staff Council to:

  • give voice to a staff perspective within RIT’s shared governance process
  • serve as an advisory body to the President or his/her representative(s).
  • serve as a communication conduit between staff and the RIT administration

BY-LAWS

Article 1    Purpose

The Staff Council at RIT exists to serve as a means by which Staff participates in shared governance at RIT.  The Staff Council:

1.1    Addresses Staff concerns as identified by Staff and/or Staff Council.

1.2    Provides Staff perspective at Institute Council.

1.3    Provides Staff perspective on Institute Committees.

1.4    Provides advice and information to the President.

1.5    Communicates Institute Council, Institute Committee, and other Institute information to Staff.

Article 2    Membership, Elections, Appointments, and Replacements

All permanent and grant-funded, exempt and non-exempt, employees of RIT who are not Faculty are represented by Staff Council.

2.1    Membership: The Staff Council is composed of: (1) voting representatives elected under 2.2 below, (2) the Chair of Academic Senate or his/her designee (ex-officio, voting) and (3) the President of Student Government or his/her designee (ex-officio, voting).

2.11 Apprentice members:  Apprentice members are newly elected Staff Council members whose term of office has not yet begun.  Apprentice members serve from the day the election results are announced to the first Staff Council meeting in June.  Apprentice members may not vote, but may serve on committees before their term begins.

2.12 Parliamentarian:  The Executive Committee appoints a non-voting parliamentarian who serves both the Executive Committee and the Staff Council.   The Parliamentarian serves a one-year term that is renewable by vote of the Executive Committee.  In the event a parliamentarian is not found, a Staff Council member could assume the parliamentarian position and retain Staff Council voting privileges.

2.2    Elections:  A maximum of forty representatives, each representing approximately 40-70 staff, are elected from even and odd numbered blocks in alternating years.  The Elections and Representation committee monitors the number of RIT Staff annually and maintains a ratio of exempt and non-exempt representatives approximating the ratio within the RIT staff. The term of service is two years; the maximum length of service is three consecutive terms.  Nominations are solicited each March for open seats on the Council.  Elections are held in April; elected representatives begin their terms in June.

2.21 Terms of Office:  June 1 to May 31, two years hence.

2.22  Eligibility for Nomination and Elections:  All permanent and grant-funded, exempt and non-exempt, employees of RIT who are not Faculty are eligible to be nominated and elected to RIT Staff Council. 

2.23  Eligibility to Vote:  Any person eligible to be elected according to section 2.22 is eligible to vote in the Staff Council general elections.

2.3    Appointments:  The Staff Council appoints qualified staff members to Institute Committees and Task Forces as requested by the President, Vice-Presidents, Institute Council, or other Institute groups or Officers.  Appointees represent Staff Council and staff concerns in the committees on which they serve.

2.31 Reports:  Appointees are expected to report periodically on their assignments (respecting, of course, the confidentiality that accompanies some assignments) to the Staff Council.  Reports are passed along through the minutes. 

2.32 Continuance of Appointments:  Representatives whose terms expire before their appointments are completed continue in their appointment until the work is completed.  Reports to Staff Council are made as in 2.31.

2.33 Institute Council:  Staff Council's eleven seats on Institute Council are held by the eight members of Staff Council Executive Committee and three "at-large representatives" who are Staff Council members elected by the Staff Council.  Terms of Institute Council members run from September through the following June.

2.331 Election of At-Large and Alternate Representatives:  At Staff Council's first meeting in June, after the Executive Committee is elected, three at-large representatives are elected.  The three at-large representatives may be any current Staff Council member who is not already elected to the Executive Committee.  Each Staff Council member present fills out a secret ballot with the names of up to three nominees.  The three members receiving the most votes are designated the at-large representatives. In case of a tie for the final position, a run-off of the tied candidates is held until one person receives a plurality.  Votes are counted by members of the previous year's Executive Committee and members of the previous year's Elections committee excluding members who are standing for election.

2.332  Alternate Representatives:  Following the election of the At-Large representatives, three to five "alternate representatives" are elected using the same process as described in 2.331.  Alternates sit on Institute Council if any designated Staff Council representative cannot serve on a temporary basis.  If an elected at-large representative can no longer serve on Institute Council, an alternate takes that member's seat until new at-large representatives are elected (see 2.331).

2.333  Replacement of Representatives from Executive Committee:  Staff Council Executive Committee members who resign from Executive Committee or Staff Council are replaced on Institute Council by the member who is elected to fill the vacant Executive Committee seat.  In the event that a replacement Executive Committee member is not elected, an alternate fills the vacant Institute Council seat.

2.4    Recommendations:  Staff Council recommends qualified and interested staff for various Institute committees and advisory groups as requested.  Recommendees are not necessarily Staff Council members, and as such are not expected to represent Staff Council in their roles.   Recommendees may be chosen for their special expertise or interest in a particular area, or may be recommended based on a need for staff representation.

2.41 Reports:  Recommendees may report on their activities or may choose to have a report given by their Staff Council representative.

2.5    Replacements:  The Elections and Representation committee maintains a record of all candidates and votes received in each election.  Unsuccessful candidates are considered alternates.  If a Staff Council member becomes unable to serve as a voting member, the alternates in the corresponding block’s most recent election will be invited to fill the vacant seat in descending order of votes received.  The replacement completes the remainder of the term, and the seat is open for election in the next regular cycle.

2.51 Lack of Alternates:  When no alternate is available, replacement is made based on the length of time left in the term.  If more than six months remain at the time the seat opens a special election is held.  If fewer than six months remain at the time the seat opens, no special election is held and the seat is open for election in the next election cycle.

2.52 Change of Status or Voting Block:  If an elected member changes employment status or voting block that member completes the remainder of her/his term.  In the next election the seat is filled by a qualifying staff member.  If, due to change in status or voting block, a member is unable to complete her/his term, replacement follows the steps outlined in 2.5.

2.53 External Committee Assignments:  A replacement for a Staff Council member assumes responsibility for her/his predecessor's committee appointments.  Changes in committee assignments that result from the replacement of a Staff Council member may be made with the approval of the Staff Council.

2.54 Replacement of an Elected Committee Member,:  If a member of any elected committee i.e., Executive Committee, Institute Council or appropriate task forces, must resign or be replaced, the Chair must call for appropriate nominations from the Staff Council membership and hold a special election to replace the elected committee member at the next regular Staff Council meeting.  Voting is by secret ballot; votes are counted by the Chair and Elections Committee Chair (or Vice Chair if the Elections Chair is being replaced).  The election is by simple majority of all Staff Council members present.  An exception is made for an uncontested election which can be formalized by having the secretary cast a ballot of affirmation. 

2.6    Recall:  A Staff Council representative may be recalled if s/he fails to fulfill her/his obligations as a Staff Council member.

2.61 Recall Procedure:  A recall motion must appear on the agenda of the meeting prior to the meeting when the recall will be voted upon.  Every reasonable attempt must be made to notify the member who is being recalled, reasonable attempts to include electronic mail, phone messages, and written notification delivered through campus mail.

2.611  Recall Vote:  A recall vote requires a two-thirds majority of Council members present.  Voting must be done by secret ballot.

2.612  Recalled Member’s Rights:  The member being recalled has the right to address the Council prior to the recall vote, but may not vote on her/his own recall.  The Chair may limit the recalled member to 15 minutes to speak to the recall action about to take place.

2.62 Grounds for Recall:  A member may be recalled for poor attendance at Staff Council meetings, failure to fulfill the obligations of her/his office, or based on a petition from at least 50 verified members of the representative's voting block.

2.621  Poor Attendance:  A Council member who misses three consecutive regularly scheduled Staff Council meetings without prior notification or more  than 25% of all regularly scheduled Staff Council meetings in a year will be contacted by the Staff Council Chair and Vice Chair to discuss possible recall.  After review of the circumstances, the Executive Committee determines whether or not formal recall procedures will be initiated.

2.622  Failure to Meet Obligations:  Members who fail to actively serve on standing committees or fail to meet the obligations of accepted appointments may be subject to recall.

2.623  Petitioned Recall:  If a petition is presented to Staff Council with 50 valid signatures from staff members in the respective voting block asking for the recall of their representative, that member will be subject to recall.

Article 3    Executive Committee/Officers

3.1    Executive Committee:  The Executive Committee consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, Events Officer, Communications Officer, and four At-Large members. Each member is elected from among the Staff Council membership according to the rules listed below. Fifty percent of the Executive Committee members are exempt staff and fifty percent are non-exempt staff.  The term is one year.  A maximum of three consecutive terms in the same position on the Executive Committee may be served. The Parliamentarian also attends Executive Committee meetings as needed. (see 2.12).

3.2    Duties of Executive Committee: 

  • Attend Executive Committee meetings
  • Attend Institute Council meetings
  • Serve as Liaison to standing committees
  • Set agenda for Staff Council meetings

    3.21 Duties of Chair

    • Serve as Chair for Staff Council Meetings
    • Serve as Chair for Executive Committee Meetings
    • Represent Staff Council to the Institute
    • Serve on Institute Council Executive Committee
    • Additional projects as assigned by the president
    • Supervise Staff Council office / Staff Council Staff Assistant
    • Oversee Staff Council Budget

    3.22 Duties of Vice-Chair

    • Serve in place of the Chair if s/he is unavailable to perform the duties listed above
    • Serve as chair of the Staff Recognition Awards Selection Committee & Ceremony
    • Assume the duties of the Chair if s/he resigns or is removed

    3.23 Duties of Events Officer

    • Serve as Chair of the Events Committee
    • Monitor events budgets

    3.24 Duties of Communication Officer

    • Serve as Liaison to the Communications Committee
    • Ensure that information about Staff Council is shared with constituents

3.3    Election of Executive Committee:  The election of the Executive Committee is held at the first meeting in June and terms of office begin at that meeting.  The election of the Executive Committee is conducted by a secret ballot vote of all Staff Council members present.  An exception is made for an uncontested election which can be formalized by having the secretary cast a ballot of affirmation.  In order to keep the balance of fifty percent exempt/fifty percent non-exempt, the four officer positions are elected first, and the four at-large positions are filled in a second vote.  Votes are counted by members of the previous year's Executive Committee and members of the previous year's Elections committee excluding members who are standing for election.

3.31  Election of Officers:  Officers are chosen in four separate elections, starting with the chair.  Unsuccessful candidates for one officer position may run for others.  For each election, the candidate receiving the most votes isdeclared the winner.  In the case of a tie, a run-off of the tied top vote-getters is held until one person receives a plurality.

3.32 Election of At-Large Executive Committee Members:  After the election of officers, it will be determined how many of the at-large positions need to be filled by exempt and non-exempt members.  Separate elections are held for exempt and non-exempt positions.  Candidates receiving the most votes are declared the winners.  In the case of a tie, a run-off of the tied top vote-getters is held until one person receives a plurality.

3.4    Replacement of Executive Committee:  If a member of the executive committee must resign or be replaced, the Chair must call for appropriate nominations from the Staff Council membership (exempt to replace exempt, non-exempt to replace non-exempt as specified in by-laws) and hold a special election to replace the executive committee member at the next regular Staff Council meeting.  Voting is by secret ballot and counted by the Chair and Elections Committee Chair.  The election is by simple majority of all Staff Council members present.  An exception is made for an uncontested election which can be formalized by having the secretary cast a ballot of affirmation.

3.41  Replacement of Officers:  Any officer may be replaced as described in 3.4 with the exception of the Chair.  If the Chair resigns or is removed, the Vice-Chair assumes the position for the remainder of the term.  An election as described in 3.4 is then held to replace the Vice-Chair.  A sitting Executive Committee member may stand for an open Executive Committee position, and if successful in her/his bid for the office the election is for the open seat.

Article 4   Committees:  Standing Committees, Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces

4.1    Standing Committees:  The Staff Council may establish or dissolve standing committees through a two-thirds majority vote of Council members present.

4.11 Staff Council has four standing committees in addition to the Executive Committee.  They are:

  • Elections and Representation
  • Institute Relations/Communication
  • Institute Issues & Policies
  • Events

4.111  Each Staff Council member must serve on a standing committee.   A member of the Executive Committee must serve on each standing committee as liaison to the Executive Committee.

4.12 Duties of Standing Committees:  Each Standing Committee is charged by the Staff Council to address issues including, but not limited to the duties outlined in these By-Laws.  Standing Committees seeking to pursue issues outside the committee duties may do so only with the consent of the Staff Council.

4.121  The Elections and Representation Committee conducts all Staff Council elections in accordance with Section 2.2 of these by-laws, including review of voting block ratios and the nomination process.

4.122  The Institute Relations/Communications Committee keeps constituents updated and informed about Staff Council accomplishments and activities by proactively gathering and disseminating information in a timely and effective manner through newsletters, meeting minutes, “News & Events” articles, and other media.  The Committee keeps a list of these activities and accomplishments for reference by any interested party.

4.123  The Institute Issues & Policies Committee proactively reviews issues of concern to a significant number of RIT Staff, and any applicable RIT policies, and recommends an appropriate course of action to Staff Council for consideration.  They also critique policies that are currently under review by the Institute and bring concerns to the attention of Staff Council. The request for review of these issues or policies may be initiated by staff, Staff Council, any Staff Council committee or Institute Council.

4.124 The Events Committee plans and executes the Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony & Reception, the Staff Appreciation Day & Community Picnic and other events as assigned by Staff Council.  The committee is chaired by the RSC Events Officer. 

4.13 Standing Committee Reports:  All standing committees are expected to report on their activities at each Staff Council meeting.  Reports are included in the Staff Council meeting minutes.

4.14  RIT staff who are not members of Staff Council may be invited to serve  on standing committees based on special expertise, interest, or representation.

4.2    Ad Hoc Committees:  Ad Hoc Committees formed by the Staff Council must be approved by a two-thirds majority.  Ad Hoc Committees may have staff members who are not Staff Council members serve on them, based on special expertise, interest, or representation.

4.21 Ad Hoc Committee Reports:  All Ad Hoc Committees are expected to provide reports at Staff Council meetings.  Written copies of committee reports should be submitted for the official minutes.

4.3    Task Forces:  Task Forces may be created by a two-thirds majority vote.  Task Forces are given a charge to be completed within a specified time frame.  Task Forces must have staff representation from outside the Staff Council.

Article 5    Meetings and Procedures

5.1    Staff Council Meetings:  Staff Council meets regularly on a schedule set by the Staff Council.  Meetings are open to all members of the RIT Community. (remove defined time for setting meeting schedule)

5.11 Participation in Meetings:  Any member of the RIT staff may submit agenda items and/or may address the Council by placing themselves on the agenda through their representative or through a member of the Executive Committee prior to the desired meeting.

5.12 Agendas:  Agendas are set by the Executive Committee with input from all interested staff or Staff Council members.

5.121  Agenda Submissions:  Items must be submitted to the Executive Committee for consideration and placing on an upcoming Staff Council agenda prior to the desired meeting.

5.122 Notification:  Staff members seeking to place an item on the agenda will be notified of the Executive Committee's decision to include the item, to not include the item, or to request additional information.

5.13 Executive Session:  The Council may, by a two-thirds majority vote of Council members present, go into Executive Session and close the meeting to anyone not an elected member of Staff Council.

5.2    Executive Committee Meetings:  Executive Committee meets regularly on a schedule set by the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee agenda is set by the Chair. 

5.3    Meeting Procedures:  The business of the Executive Committee and the Staff Council is conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.  The Parliamentarian presides over questions of procedure (see article 2.12).

5.31 Quorums:  A Staff Council quorum consists of 50% of the Staff Council membership; an Executive Committee quorum consists of 66% of the Executive Committee membership.

5.4    Records:  All Staff Council groups are required to maintain records.

5.41 Standing Committee Records:  Each Standing Committee is responsible for keeping a file of minutes, notes, and other pertinent material that will help to guide subsequent committees.

5.42 Ad Hoc Committee Records:  Each Ad Hoc Committee must submit a file of their records, minutes, and other pertinent material to the Staff Council Chair upon completion of their work.

5.43 Task Force Records:  Task Forces will provide a final report or product at the conclusion of their work.

5.44 Minutes:  Minutes of all Staff Council meetings and Executive Committee meetings will be kept on file.

5.45 Correspondence:  Letters and memoranda to Institute Officers, the Board of Trustees, Academic Senate, Student Government, and Institute Council will be maintained in accordance with the RIT Records Management Policy.

5.5    Communications:  Staff Council minutes are made available to all staff.  Executive Committee minutes are circulated to all Staff Council members.

Article 6    Funding and Budgeting

6.1    Fiscal year:  Staff Council will operate on the RIT fiscal year of July 1 to June 30.
6.2    Funding:  RIT funds the operating budget of the Staff Council.
6.3    Budget approval:  Staff Council will approve the annual operating budget and present a request to the RIT Budget Office at least four months prior to the subsequent fiscal year.
6.4    Budget control:  Accounts will be maintained by the Staff Council Coordinator.  Disbursements of funds from the Staff Council budget will follow established RIT procedures. 
6.5    Annual Financial Report:  An annual financial report will be prepared by the Coordinator and shared in August of the new fiscal year.

Article 7    Amendments

7.1    Amendments:  The By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of Council members present.

7.11 Submission of Amendments:  Amendments must be submitted to the Executive committee for discussion one month prior to scheduling a vote.

7.12 Voting Procedure:  A vote to amend the By-Laws must take place at a regular Staff Council meeting, and must occur no less than two weeks after the proposed amendment has been shared with Staff Council.

Responsible Party:
Staff Council

Effective Date:
Approved April 8, 1993

Policy History:
Revised March 17, 2005 
Revised May 8, 2008
Edited August 2010
Revised April 28, 2011

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