University of Baltimore Staff Senate Bylaws
Article 1 - Name
The name of this body shall be the University of Baltimore Staff Senate.
Article II – Purpose
- To implement the Policy on Shared Governance, in the University System of Maryland (USM), which was approved by the Board of Regents on October 4, 1996 and was effective May 15, 1997, at the University of Baltimore.
- To provide a role in shared governance for Regular Exempt, Regular Non-Exempt not represented by the union, and Contractual II (Exempt and Non-Exempt) staff at the University of Baltimore.
- To provide advice to the University of Baltimore President and the Executive Committee on staff matters.
- To formulate, recommend and review University policies as they affect staff and to provide equal representation of staff on policy-making boards and committees at the University of Baltimore, University System of Maryland and other agencies as appropriate.
- To keep staff informed and to provide a forum for discussion and recommendations on matters of interest to staff and involving staff welfare at the University of Baltimore.
Article III – Membership
The Staff Senate shall comprise Regular Exempt, Regular Non-Exempt not represented by the union, and Contractual II (Exempt and Non-Exempt) staff at the University of Baltimore.
Article IV - Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of The Modern Rules of Order by Donald A. Tortorice shall govern the organization and shall be upheld by the Vice Chair. The Staff Senate may adopt special rules if needed, provided they do not limit the expression of the minority’s opinion.
Article V – Organization
- There shall be 11 voting Senators selected via general election to compose the Senate. Senators shall be elected for two-year terms.
- The 11 elected Senators shall elect from among themselves an Executive Board comprising a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Communication Coordinator, a Secretary, two Council of University System Staff representatives and a Chair-Elect. All Executive Board members shall serve a term of one year, except for the Council of University System Staff representatives, who shall serve a term of two years. The past Chair will also serve on the Executive Board. The past Chair and Chair-Elect will serve as advisors on the Executive Board.
- The past Chair shall be the Staff Senate Chair who served during the immediate past fiscal year.
- The Chair-Elect shall be the succeeding year’s Chair. The Chair-Elect may be any member of the Staff Senate, including any member of the Executive Board.
- Those Senators who do not serve as members of the Executive Board shall represent all Staff Senate members with distribution of representation to be determined on an annual basis.
- Of those Senators, a Council of University System Staff alternate representative will be elected at the same meeting during which the Executive Board members are elected. The alternate shall serve a term of one year. If there are multiple nominees to the positions of Council of University System Staff representatives, the nominee who receives the third largest number of votes shall serve as alternate.
- The past Chair, University President, Executive Vice President & Provost, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, Vice President for Student Affairs, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, Chief Information Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer shall be advisors*.
- For any Executive Board member (excluding the Chair) who cannot complete the term, the remaining elected Senators shall elect from among themselves a replacement. If the Chair cannot complete the term, the Vice Chair will assume the position of Chair for the balance of the Chair's term and the Chair-Elect will assume the position of Vice Chair.
- For any Senator who cannot complete the term due to leaving the University, moving to an ineligible position or who is removed from office (as stated in Article XII), the Chair shall nominate and appoint, with the Executive Board’s approval, another Senator from the membership at large to serve for the remainder of the term.
- No Executive Board member may serve in the same capacity for more than two one-year terms (excluding partial terms). There are no term limits for Senators.
*An advisor is defined as an individual granted a “voice” or the right to speak but not the right to vote in a governance activity.
Article VI – Nominations and Elections
- Annually, the Chair will appoint a Nominating Committee, chaired by the Chair-Elect, which shall be responsible for soliciting nominations and preparing, distributing electronically and tabulating the election ballots.
- Nominations for Senators shall be solicited by the Nominating Committee in March. The General Election shall be held in April; ballots shall be distributed to all members of the Staff Senate. Before ballots are counted, a quorum of ballots, comprising 25 percent of the Staff Senate membership, must be received. If no quorum is achieved at the time of the first counting, the election shall be extended until the quorum is met.
- During the first Staff Senate meeting following the general election, Senators shall elect from among themselves the Executive Board (see Article V – Organization). If any member of the Executive Board is in the final year of their term, but in a role that serves multiple years, they must be re-elected in order to serve. If they are not re-elected then a new member shall be elected to fill this role according to Article V – Organization.
- Special circumstances may require a different schedule of elections.
Article VII – Meetings
- The Staff Senate shall hold a meeting, open to the entire community, once a month from July through May, schedule to be determined by the incoming chair before the July meeting. Other meetings may be called as necessary.
- A quorum to hold a Staff Senate meeting shall consist of 50 percent of the total number of voting Senators plus one Senator.
- An organizing retreat will be held in June for all outgoing and incoming Senators.
- Meeting procedures will be governed by a separate Meeting Procedures document, drafted and/or amended by the Executive Board, to be voted on and approved by voting Senators.
Article VIII – Voting
- A quorum for voting during meetings shall consist of 50 percent of the total number of voting Senators plus one Senator. An item is approved by a simple majority of voting Senators.
- If a quorum has not been reached or has been lost during a meeting, and the need for a decision on a matter is urgent (with the exception of the bylaws), the chair may, at his or her discretion, send a summary of the issue/question and any discussion of it by email to all Senators, requesting that each Senator vote by email by a specified deadline. Such a vote by email shall be a valid vote of the Senate. An item is approved by a simple majority of voting Senators.
Article IX – Duties
- The duties of the Chair shall be to preside over general meetings, to uphold the rules of order, to serve on the Governing Steering Council, to appoint committee chairs, to set the agenda, to call special meetings, and to fulfill other duties as appropriate.
- The duties of the Vice Chair shall be to substitute for the Chair when that officer is absent, to serve on the Governing Steering Council and to otherwise assist the Chair as needed. The Vice Chair will also uphold the rules of order (see Article VI – Parliamentary Authority), and serve as the timekeeper during meetings.
- The duties of the Secretary shall be to take minutes at the general and special meetings, to make them available to members at least one week prior to each monthly meeting. The Secretary shall make sure that all relevant information is distributed to the general membership in a timely manner.
- The duties of the Communication Coordinator shall be to lead the Communications Committee. The Communication Committee will be responsible for, but not limited to the following duties: create, edit, maintain all content on the Staff Senate website, Facebook, and other social media accounts; work with Senators to develop a quarterly newsletter to promote the Staff Senate; maintain and store the Staff Senate permanent records and archives.
- The duties of the Council of University System Staff representatives shall be to provide a voice for the University of Baltimore Staff Senate membership’s concerns in reference to basic decisions that affect the welfare of the University System of Maryland, its constituent institutions and its employees. They shall also keep the Staff Senate and its members informed of Council of University System Staff activities and System-related actions.
- The duties of the Council of University System Staff alternate are to hold all Council meetings on his or her calendar in case one of the elected Council of University System Staff representatives cannot attend a meeting; in that case, the alternate can vote in the representative’s place. The alternate is not obligated to attend any Council meetings other than when one of the representatives cannot attend, but the alternate is invited to attend all Council meetings. The alternate maintains his or her responsibilities to represent Senate members in the assigned area.
- The term of the Chair-Elect shall serve as a development period for the responsibilities to be assumed. The Chair-Elect shall also assist the Chair as needed.
- The past Chair shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Staff Senate and ensure continuity of multi-year projects by advising the Executive Board and Senate.
- The duties of the Executive Board are to represent fairly the Staff Senate membership in the best interest of the University of Baltimore on all appropriate boards and committees.
- The duties of Senators not serving as members of the Executive Board shall be to represent and serve the area of membership to which they are assigned (see Article V – Organization, No. 3).
- All members of the Staff Senate (see Article III – Membership) bear responsibility for:
- Being informed on issues confronting higher education, the University System of Maryland and the University of Baltimore
- Acting within time constraints often imposed by external agencies and influences
- Appropriately sharing information and providing timely feedback
- Recognizing the specific goals and needs of the University of Baltimore, and being accountable to the Staff Senate membership
- Distinguishing the roles played by various units and individuals in decision-making and administration
- Recognizing that there may be occasions when University of Baltimore leaders must act in the best interest of the University of Baltimore without benefit of the shared governance process and shall inform Staff Senate in a timely fashion
- Informing Staff Senate members in a timely manner when University of Baltimore leaders choose to reject, in whole or in part, Staff Senate advice and recommendations. The Staff Senate may, if it chooses, present a written statement of its position and/or any objections to the administration's position. This written statement will become part of the University's record on this issue
- Recognizing that while participation by staff, faculty and students in governance is necessary and important, the final responsibility for decision-making rests with the University of Baltimore President, the University System of Maryland Chancellor, or the Board of Regents, who are ultimately held accountable by the public and its elected leaders.
Article X – Committee Membership
- The Staff Senate shall provide appropriate representation as requested and/or required to University Committees, including standing and ad hoc committees, per the Plan of Organization for Shared Governance of the University of Baltimore.
- The Chair will be responsible for soliciting nominations for Committee representatives from the entire Staff Senate body. All employees should obtain supervisor approval for serving on committees.
- Each candidate will submit to the chair a statement of interest that will be included in the election ballot.
- The Chair will prepare, distribute electronically and tabulate the election ballots. Only elected Senators will vote to elect committee members.
- The requested number of UB Staff Senate representatives to University Committees will be elected by a simple majority of voting Senators. In the case of a tie, a runoff election for that position will be held.
- Representatives to University Committees shall serve a term no longer than two years, which can be renewed without limitation through the process described in this article.
- If a representative to a University Committee cannot complete his or her term, the Chair shall nominate and appoint, with the Executive Board’s approval, another representative from the entire Staff Senate membership to serve for the remainder of the term.
- The UB Staff Senate shall have the authority to create ad hoc or standing committees, work groups and task forces by a vote of the Senate, as described in Article VIII. Candidates for membership in these committees, work groups or task forces will be selected using the same procedures as are used in electing representatives to University Committees. These committees should have at least one senator representing the Staff Senate. All committees must report quarterly to the staff senate.
- Any ad hoc or standing committee, workgroup or task force should elect a chair to facilitate the meetings and secretary to take minutes. The minutes should be displayed on the staff senate committee website.
Article XI – Bylaw Amendments
Amendments must be submitted in writing to all members at least two weeks before the voting deadline. A vote in favor of the amendment by two-thirds of the members who have returned ballots shall be required for passage.
Article XII – Bylaws Implementation
- The Bylaws as ratified will take effect on the first of July after in which they are ratified.
- The Chair will only need to be elected once in the most recent elections after these bylaws are adopted. Hereafter the Chair-Elect will assume the position of Chair after serving for one year as Chair-Elect.
Article XIII – Removal of a Senator from Office
- During an elected term any Senator can be removed from office for nonperformance of Senate duties, poor attendance at meetings and other senate events, failure to support the mission of the UB Staff Senate, or acting, whether by intent or negligence, to undermine the authority of the Staff Senate, or otherwise causing conflict within the Senate.
- The Executive Board may initiate action to remove a Senator or any Senator may bring a request for removal showing cause in writing to the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board will have up to thirty (30) days to investigate the matter on a case-by-case basis and will recommend action to the Senate if warranted. The Executive Board will provide a response in writing to any Senator who requests removal informing said Senator of the Board’s recommendation in the matter.
The Senate will make the final decision. Removal will be effective upon the vote of 2/3 of those Senators. The Chair will manage the voting unless the Chair is under review, and then the Vice Chair will manage the voting.
Ratified by the University of Baltimore Staff Senate February 17, 2017
Previous Staff Senate Bylaws