B03.0 Staff Council By-Laws
RIT STAFF COUNCIL
As a vital partner in RIT's system of shared governance, Staff Council (SC) will be a catalyst for positive change within the RIT community.
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).
- server as a communication conduit between staff and the RIT administration
Article I. Purpose
The SC at RIT exists to serve as a means by which staff participates in shared governance at RIT. The SC:
- Addresses staff concerns as identified by staff and/or SC.
- Provides staff perspective at University Council (UC).
- Provides staff perspective on university committees.
- Provides advice and information to the president.
- Communicates UC, university committees, and other university information to staff.
Article II. Membership, Elections, Appointments, and Replacements
All regular exempt and nonexempt employees of RIT, as defined by E1.0 Employee Classification and Status, who are not faculty are represented by SC.
A. Membership: The SC is composed of: 1) voting representatives elected under II.B. 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).
1. Apprentice members: Apprentice members are newly elected SC members whose term of office has not yet begun. Apprentice members serve from the day the election results are announced to the first SC meeting in June. Apprentice members may not vote, but may serve on committees before their term begins.
2. Parliamentarian: The Executive Committee (EC) appoints a non-voting parliamentarian who serves both the EC and the SC. The parliamentarian serves a one-year term that is renewable by vote of the EC. In the event a parliamentarian is not found, a SC member could assume the parliamentarian position and retain SC voting privileges.
B. Elections: A maximum of forty representatives, each representing a minimum of 50 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 SC. Elections are held in April; elected representatives begin their terms in June.
1. Terms of Office: June 1 to May 31, two years hence.
2. Eligibility for nomination and elections: All regular exempt and nonexempt employees of RIT, as defined by E1.0 Employee Classification and Status, who are not faculty are eligible to be nominated and elected to RIT SC.
3. Eligibility to Vote: Any person eligible to be elected according to section II.B.2. is eligible to vote in the SC general elections.
C. Appointments: The SC appoints qualified staff members to university committees and task forces as requested by the president, vice-presidents, UC, or other university groups or officers. Appointees represent SC and staff concerns in the committees on which they serve.
1. Reports: Appointees are expected to report periodically on their assignments (respecting, of course, the confidentiality that accompanies some assignments) to the SC. Reports are passed along through the minutes.
2. Continuance of Appointments: Representatives whose terms expire before their appointments are completed continue in their appointment until the work is completed. Reports to SC are made as in II.C.1.
3. UC: SC's eleven seats on UC are held by the eight members of SCEC and three "at-large representatives" who are SC members elected by the SC. Terms of UC members run from September through the following June.
a) Election of At-Large and Alternate Representatives: At SC's first meeting in June, after the EC is elected, three at-large representatives are elected. The three at-large representatives may be any current SC member who is not already elected to the EC. Each SC 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 EC and members of the previous year's Elections and Representation Committee excluding members who are standing for election.
b) Alternate Representatives: Following the election of the at-large representatives, three to five "alternate representatives" are elected using the same process as described in II.C.3a. Alternates sit on UC if any designated SC representative cannot serve on a temporary basis. If an elected at-large representative can no longer serve on UC, an alternate takes that member's seat until new at-large representatives are elected (see II.C.3a).
c) Replacement of Representatives from EC: SCEC members who resign from EC or SC are replaced on UC by the member who is elected to fill the vacant EC seat. In the event that a replacement EC member is not elected, an alternate fills the vacant UC seat.
D. Recommendations: SC recommends qualified and interested staff for various university committees and advisory groups as requested. These individuals are not necessarily SC members, and as such are not expected to represent SC in their roles. These individuals may be chosen for their special expertise or interest in a particular area, or may be recommended based on a need for staff representation.
E. Reports: Those recommended in II.D paragraph may report on their activities or may choose to have a report given by their SC representative.
F. 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 SC 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.
1. 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. 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 II.F.
3. External Committee Assignments: A replacement for a SC member assumes responsibility for her/his predecessor's committee appointments. Changes in committee assignments that result from the replacement of a SC member may be made with the approval of the SC.
4. Replacement of an Elected Committee Member: If a member of any elected committee i.e., EC, UC, or appropriate task forces, must resign or be replaced, the chair of SC must call for appropriate nominations from the SC membership and hold a special election to replace the elected committee member at the next regular SC meeting. Voting is by secret ballot; votes are counted by the SC chair and Elections and Representation Committee chair (or vice chair if the Elections and Representation chair is being replaced). The election is by simple majority of all SC members present. An exception is made for an uncontested election, which can be formalized by having the secretary cast a ballot of affirmation.
G. Recall: A SC representative may be recalled if s/he fails to fulfill her/his obligations as a SC member.
1. 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.
a) Recall Vote: A recall vote requires a two-thirds majority of SC members present. Voting must be done by secret ballot.
b) Recalled Member’s Rights: The member being recalled has the right to address the SC 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. Grounds for Recall: A member may be recalled for poor attendance at SC 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.
a) Poor Attendance: A SC member who misses three consecutive regularly scheduled SC meetings without prior notification or more than 25% of all regularly scheduled SC meetings in a year will be contacted by the SC chair and vice chair to discuss possible recall. After review of the circumstances, the EC determines whether or not formal recall procedures will be initiated.
b) 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.
c) Petitioned Recall: If a petition is presented to SC 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 III. Executive Committee Officers
A. Executive Committee: The EC consists of the chair, vice chair, events officer, communications officer, and four at-large members. Each member is elected from among the SC membership according to the rules listed below. Fifty percent of the EC 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 EC may be served. The parliamentarian also attends EC meetings as needed. (see II.A2).
B. Duties of EC:
- Attend EC meetings
- Attend UC meetings
- Serve as liaison to standing committees
- Set agenda for SC meetings
1. Duties of Chair
- Serve as chair for SC meetings
- Serve as chair for EC Meetings
- Represent SC to the university
- Serve on University Council Executive Committee (UCEC)
- Additional projects as assigned by the president
- Supervise SC office and SC staff assistant
- Oversee SC budget
2. 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. Duties of Events Officer
- Serve as liaison to the Events Committee
- Monitor events budgets
4. Duties of Communication Officer
- Serve as liaison to the Communications Committee
- Ensure that information about SC is shared with constituents
C. Election of EC: The election of the EC is held at the first meeting in June and terms of office begin at that meeting. The election of the EC is conducted by a secret ballot vote of all SC 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 EC and members of the previous year's Elections and Representation Committee excluding members who are standing for election.
1. 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 is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, a run-off of the tied top candidates is held until one person receives a plurality.
2. Election of At-Large EC 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 candidates is held until one person receives a plurality.
D. Replacement of EC: If a member of the EC must resign or be replaced, the chair must call for appropriate nominations from the SC membership (exempt to replace exempt, non-exempt to replace non-exempt as specified in by-laws) and hold a special election to replace the EC member at the next regular SC meeting. Voting is by secret ballot and counted by the SC chair and Elections and Representation Committee chair. The election is by simple majority of all SC members present. An exception is made for an uncontested election which can be formalized by having the secretary cast a ballot of affirmation.
E. Replacement of Officers: Any officer may be replaced as described in III.D 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 III.D is then held to replace the vice chair. A sitting EC member may stand for an open EC position, and if successful in her/his bid for the office the election is for the open seat.
Article IV. Committees: Standing Committees, Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces
A. Standing Committees: The SC may establish or dissolve standing committees through a two-thirds majority vote of Council members present.
1. SC has four standing committees in addition to the EC. Each SC member must serve on a standing committee. A member of the EC must serve on each standing committee as liaison to the EC. The four standing committees are:
- Elections and Representation
- University Issues & Policies
2. Duties of Standing Committees: Each standing committee is charged by the SC 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 SC:
a) The Elections and Representation Committee conducts all SC elections in accordance with section II.B of these by-laws, including review of voting block ratios and the nomination process
b) The Communications Committee keeps constituents updated and informed about SC 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.
c) The University 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 SC for consideration. They also critique policies that are currently under review by the university and bring concerns to the attention of SC. The request for review of these issues or policies may be initiated by staff, SC, any SC committee, or UC.
d) The Events Committee plans and executes the Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony & Reception, the Staff Appreciation Day & Community Picnic and other events as assigned by SC.
3. Standing Committee Reports: All standing committees are expected to report on their activities at each SC meeting. Reports are included in the SC meeting minutes
4. RIT staff who are not members of SC may be invited to serve on standing committees based on special expertise, interest, or representation.
B. Ad Hoc Committees: Ad hoc committees formed by the SC must be approved by a two-thirds majority. Ad hoc committees may have staff members who are not SC members serve on them, based on special expertise, interest, or representation.
C. Ad Hoc Committee Reports: All ad hoc committees are expected to provide reports at SC meetings. Written copies of committee reports should be submitted for the official minutes.
D. 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 SC.
Article V. Meetings and Procedures
A. SC Meetings: SC meets regularly on a schedule set by the SC. Meetings are open to all members of the RIT Community:
1. Participation in Meetings: Any member of the RIT staff may submit agenda items and/or may address the SC by placing themselves on the agenda through their representative or through a member of the EC prior to the desired meeting.
2. Agendas: Agendas are set by the EC with input from all interested staff or SC members.
a) Agenda Submissions: Items must be submitted to the EC for consideration and placing on an upcoming SC agenda prior to the desired meeting.
b) Notification: Staff members seeking to place an item on the agenda will be notified of the EC's decision to include the item, to not include the item, or to request additional information.
3. Executive Session: The SC may, by a two-thirds majority vote of SC members present, go into executive session and close the meeting to anyone not an elected member of SC.
B. EC Meetings: EC meets regularly on a schedule set by the EC. The EC agenda is set by the chair.
C. Meeting Procedures: The business of the EC and the SC is conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The parliamentarian presides over questions of procedure (see article 2.2).
D. Quorums: A SC quorum consists of 50% of the SC membership; an EC quorum consists of 66% of the EC membership.
E. Records: All SC groups are required to maintain records.
1. 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.
2. Ad Hoc Committee Records: Each ad hoc committee must submit a file of their records, minutes, and other pertinent material to the SC chair upon completion of their work.
3. Task Force Records: Task forces will provide a final report or product at the conclusion of their work.
4. Minutes: Minutes of all SC meetings and EC meetings will be kept on file.
5. Correspondence: Letters and memoranda to university officers, the Board of Trustees, Academic Senate, Student Government, and UC will be maintained in accordance with the RIT Records Management Policy.
F. Communications: SC minutes are made available to all staff. EC minutes are circulated to all SC members.
Article VI. Funding and Budgeting
A. Fiscal year: SC will operate on the RIT fiscal year of July 1 to June 30.
B. Funding: RIT funds the operating budget of the SC.
C. Budget approval: SC 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.
D. Budget control: Accounts will be maintained by the SC coordinator. Disbursements of funds from the SC budget will follow established RIT procedures.
E. Annual Financial Report: An annual financial report will be prepared by the coordinator and shared in August of the new fiscal year.
Article VII. Amendments
A. Amendments: The by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of SC members present.
1. Submission of Amendments: Amendments must be submitted to the EC for discussion one month prior to scheduling a vote.
2. Voting Procedure: A vote to amend the by-laws must take place at a regular SC meeting, and must occur no less than two weeks after the proposed amendment has been shared with SC.
Approved April 8, 1993
Revised March 17, 2005
Revised May 8, 2008
Edited August 2010
Revised April 28, 2011
Revised February 26, 2015
Edited February 8, 2018
Edited November 2018