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 their representative(s)
- serve as a communication conduit between staff and RIT administration
Article I. Purpose
Staff Council exists to serve as a means by which staff participate in shared governance at RIT by:
- Addressing staff concerns as identified by staff and/or SC
- Providing staff perspective at University Council (UC)
- Providing staff perspective on University committees
- Providing advice and information to the President
- Communicating 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: Staff Council is composed of: 1) voting representatives elected under II.B. below, 2) the chair of Faculty Senate or his/her designee (ex-officio, non-voting) and 3) the president of Student Government or his/her designee (ex-officio, non-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. Staff Council Coordinator: The SC Coordinator provides continuity between leadership, attendees meetings, keeps minutes, and is a non-voting member. The coordinator communicates SC business to RIT staff and administration and coordinates all aspects of SC/EC meetings. If the SC Coordinator position is vacant, the Chair will work with all SC reps to cover all duties of the office.
B. Elections: A maximum of forty representatives, each representing a minimum of 50 staff, are elected from even and odd numbered voting blocks in alternating years. The Elections Committee monitors the number of RIT staff annually and maintains a ratio of exempt and nonexempt 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, and 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 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: SC appoints qualified staff members to university committees and task forces as requested by the President, Vice Presidents, UC, or other university groups/offices. Appointees represent SC and staff concerns on the committees in which they serve.
1. Reports: Appointees are expected to report periodically on their assignments (while respecting the confidentiality that accompanies some assignments) to SC. Reports are included in the minutes.
2. Continuance of Appointments: Representatives whose SC terms expire before their committee appointments are complete continue in their appointment until the work is completed. Reports to SC are made as in II.C.1.
3. University Council: SC's eleven seats on UC are held by the eight members of SC EC and three at-large representatives. The term of UC members typically runs from September through the following June; additional meetings may be scheduled by University leadership.
a) Election of At-Large and Alternate Representatives: At SC's first meeting in June, after 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 EC. Each SC member present votes for 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 cast online via online meeting platform, and are conducted by the previous year’s Elections Committee Chair. All SC members are eligible to vote. The election committee chair will be named a co host to verify online election results.
b) Alternate Representatives: Following the election of the at-large representatives, all remaining interested SC members are automatically elected as alternates. Alternates attend UC if any designated SC representative cannot serve on a temporary basis. If an elected at-large representative can no longer serve on UC, a vote is held for existing UC alternates to fill that member's seat for the remainder of the term.
c) Replacement of Executive Committee Representatives: SC EC members who resign from EC or SC are replaced 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. Specifics on representative selection can be found in the Staff Council University Committee Selection process document.
E. Reports: Those recommended in II.D may report on their activities or may choose to have a report given by their SC representative, the SC Coordinator, or EC.
F. Replacements: The Elections Committee and/or SC Coordinator maintain 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 a replacement is made based on the length of time left in the term. If more than six months remain in the term, a special election is held. If fewer than six months remain, 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 their term. In the next election the seat is filled by a qualifying staff member. If a member is unable to complete their term due to change in status or voting block, replacement follows the steps outlined in II.F.
3. External Committee Assignments: The replacement for a SC member assumes responsibility for their predecessor's committee appointments. Changes in committee assignments that result from the replacement of a SC member may be made with the approval of SC.
4. Replacement of an Elected Committee Member: If a member of any elected committee (e.g. EC, UC, outside committees or task forces) must resign or be replaced, the chair of SC must call for 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 Committee chair (or Vice Chair if the Elections 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 SC Coordinator cast a ballot of affirmation.
G. Recall: A SC representative may be recalled if they fail to fulfill their 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 should 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 their 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 their 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 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, 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. A full listing of obligations can be found in the Staff Council Representative Manual.
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 (EC): EC consists of the chair, vice chair and six at-large members. Each at-large member will be appointed to one committee as chair or co-chair. Each EC member is elected from among the SC membership according to the rules listed below. Fifty percent of EC members are exempt staff and fifty percent are nonexempt staff. If there are less than 4 non-exempt nominees, all non-exempt nominees will be elected by a vote of affirmation. All remaining at-large positions will be filled by elected exempt representatives.The term is one year. A maximum of three consecutive terms in the same position on EC may be served. The SC Coordinator also attends EC meetings as needed (see II.A2).
B. The complete listing of Duties for EC Representatives (Chair, Vice Chair and Member at Large) can be found in the Staff Council Representative Manual.
C. Election of EC: The election of EC is held at the first SC meeting in June and terms of office begin at that meeting. The election of 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 SC Coordinator cast a ballot of affirmation. In order to keep the balance of fifty percent exempt/fifty percent nonexempt, the two officer positions are elected first, and the six at-large positions are filled next. EC elections will be conducted by the previous year’s chair or co-chair of the Elections
Committee. If the chair or co-chair are running in the current election, they shall not be involved in the vote counting for that position.
1. Election of Officers: Officers are chosen in two separate elections, starting with the
chair. Unsuccessful candidates may run for other positions. 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 nonexempt members. Separate elections are held for exempt and nonexempt 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 member: If a member of EC must resign or be replaced, the chair must call for appropriate nominations from the SC membership (exempt to replace exempt, nonexempt to replace nonexempt 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 conducted via online meeting platform survey and announced by the Staff Council Coordinator and verified by the Elections 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 Coordinator cast a ballot of affirmation.
E. Replacement of 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 current EC member may run for the vice chair position, and if successful in their bid for the vice chair position, another election is held for the at-large position.
Article IV. Committees: Standing Committees, Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces
A. Standing Committees: SC may establish or dissolve standing committees through a two-thirds majority vote of Council members present.
1. SC has standing committees in addition to EC. Each SC member must serve on a standing committee. All at-large members of EC must serve on a standing committee as liaison to the EC. The standing committees and their charges can be found in the SC Standing Committee process document.
2. Standing Committee Reports: All standing committees are expected to report on their activities during scheduled time at SC meetings. There will be approximately 8 reports given yearly, and committees are encouraged to make additional reports as needed. Reports are included in the SC meeting minutes.
3. RIT staff who are not members of SC may be invited to serve on standing committees based on special expertise, interest, or representation. A call for interested RIT Staff will be made in September of each year.
B. Ad Hoc Committees: Ad hoc committees formed by 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 a report at SC meetings per the SC meeting schedule.
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. RIT staff who are not members of SC may be invited to serve on task forces based on special expertise, interest, or representation.
Article V. Meetings and Procedures
A. SC Meetings: SC meets regularly on a schedule set by EC. 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 request to present at a SC meeting through their representative, SC Coordinator, or a member of EC prior to the desired meeting.
2. Agendas: Agendas are set by EC with consideration of relevant topics pertaining to SC members and their constituents.
a) Agenda Submissions: Items must be submitted to the Staff Council Coordinator or EC for consideration and placement 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 EC's decision to include the item, to not include the item, or to request additional information.
3. Executive Session: 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 EC. The EC agenda is set by the chair.
C. Meeting Procedures: The business of EC and SC is conducted according to Robert's Rules of
Order, Newly Revised. (see article 2.2).
D. Quorums: A SC quorum consists of 50% of SC membership; an EC quorum consists of 66% of EC membership.
E. Records: All of the following 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, Faculty Senate, Student Government, and UC will be maintained in accordance with the RIT Records Management Policy.
F. Communications: SC agendas and minutes are made available to all staff. Agendas will be sent via RITmail communications. Meeting highlights are to be sent by SC representatives to their constituents following a SC meeting. Highlights are drafted and sent to all representatives following the latest SC meeting. EC agendas are made available to all SC members. EC minutes are circulated to all EC 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 SC.
C. Budget approval: The SC Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the budget and will work with the Budget Office for any additional funding needed for events.
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 can be prepared by the SC Coordinator and shared in August of the new fiscal year if requested by EC.
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 EC for discussion 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 at a following meeting after the proposed amendment has been presented to SC.
Article VIII. Representative Code of Conduct
A. All Staff Council representatives will adhere to the RIT Code of Ethical Conduct (Policy C00.0) during their term. Violation of this policy will result in recall.
B. Staff Council representatives will continue to maintain constituent confidentiality once their term has concluded.
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
Revised May 20, 2021