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UNIVERSITY STAFF COUNCIL BYLAWS

Bylaws Updated December, 2016 (printable pdf)

University Staff Council Bylaws
(Revised December 13, 2016)

ARTICLE I: MISSION STATEMENT
The UW-La Crosse University Staff Council endeavors to promote ongoing education, professional development activities and communication between all university employees and the broader University community. The Council shall promote a positive professional environment for all university staff employees based on equality, respect, and a spirit of collegiality between members of the University community, including faculty, staff, and students. Council members shall serve as advisors to the Chancellor and other University administrators.

ARTICLE II: NAME
The name of the organization is the University Staff Council, also known as USC.

ARTICLE III: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
USC maintains the following roles and responsibilities:

  1. To participate with other recognized governance groups and administration in the development of future University planning;
  2. o promote and sustain a positive professional environment for all university staff employees;
  3. To promote programs and services that support professional development activities for university staff employees;
  4. To encourage informed communication among university staff and with the broader University community, including other recognized campus governance groups;
  5. To serve as advisors to the Chancellor and other University Administration;
  6. To solicit nominees and make recommendations for University Search and Screen Committees and other committees requested by the Chancellor; and
  7. To perform duties and functions that promote and encourage excellence in teaching, workmanship, leadership, and service to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the surrounding community.

ARTICLE IV: COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP AND ELECTIONS
Eligibility and Terms - All permanent members of the university staff are eligible, and encouraged, to seek election to the USC. The USC shall consist of 13 members, each serving a three-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms. USC members are elected by vote of all participating and interested members of the university staff at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. If an individual has been appointed to fill a vacant Council seat for more than one year, that period will be considered a full term of service for election purposes.

Representation - Representation of Council members shall be based on the percentage of university staff members in each of 3 employment categories: Administrative Support, Facilities & Maintenance, and Professional Services. Membership allocations shall be reviewed and adjusted as needed annually by the Bylaws Committee.

Nominations - Any permanent member of the university staff may be nominated by their colleagues or may self-nominate to serve on USC. If nominated by another, the current Elections Committee Chair shall verify their willingness to participate. If there are no nominees for a specific category, members from that category will go unrepresented during that term. All nominees shall be listed on the election ballot.

Elections - All university staff shall receive notification via campus e-mail announcing upcoming elections. All voting will occur online. All university staff are eligible to vote, with elections taking place in April each year. Terms for membership will be based on the fiscal year, starting July 1 through June 30.

ARTICLE V: EX OFFICIO NON-VOTING MEMBER
The Past Chair serves as an ex officio member of the Council, and does not have to be a member of the Council. The Past Chair provides continuity to the work of the USC through consultation with the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI: TERMS OF SERVICE
Terms of service on USC will be for three years and are staggered so that three to four seats are open each year with a maximum of two consecutive terms. Individuals can nominate themselves or other members of the university staff for election to serve on USC. Nominations to fill vacant seat(s), and the subsequent voting for all members are done in April with those chosen to serve beginning their term of service in July.

ARTICLE VII: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
USC shall have the following three officers who serve single-year terms: Chair, Vice-Chair (who serves as Chair-Elect and must have 2 years left on their term), and  Secretary/Treasurer. USC officers constitute the Executive Committee, and they shall be joined by the Past-Chair who shall serve as an ex-officio and non-voting member of USC and the Executive Committee.

Role of Executive Committee: The USC Executive Committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the Council when the situation requires immediate action. Such actions and recommendations of the Executive Committee shall in all cases be subject to review by the Council, who shall be notified of all such actions and recommendations through minutes of the USC Executive Committee meetings.

Chair responsibilities:

  • call meetings of USC and preside over the meetings
  • coordinate activities
  • attend monthly meetings with the Chancellor

Vice-Chair responsibilities:

  • serve as Acting Chair (and performs all of requisite duties) when the Chair is absent or unable to perform the duties of the position.
  • attend monthly meetings with the Chancellor
  • become Chair after completing one-year service as Vice-Chair
  • Serve as representative to UW-System as required to represent UWL USC for issues related to shared governance.

Secretary/Treasurer responsibilities:

  • prepare and distribute agenda for all USC meetings.
  • take minutes of USC meetings and posts approved minutes to the USC webpage.
  • retain a copy of Council minutes within the USC files on the shared directory.
  • attend meetings of the Executive Committee and accompany the Chair and Vice-Chair to monthly meetings with the Chancellor.
  • maintain financial records related to USC transactions
  • get Council authorization and approval for all expenditures

ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS
Scheduling: Regular meetings of USC shall be held on the second Tuesday of each month, with the understanding that the July meeting will not be held unless there is some pressing business that requires a change in the meeting schedule. USC meetings are open to all University employees and are held during normal business hours; typically between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Members of USC will be allowed to attend meetings in paid status. Any employee serving as an elected member of USC who is assigned to work the second or third shift will be allowed to use flex work hours to attend these meetings. Arrangement to flex work schedule should be discussed with the appropriate supervisor, and the Human Resources Manager shall actively help to resolve any issues or problems that may arise relating to these scheduling and workload conditions. If a special unscheduled meeting is needed, an email notification will be sent out 24 hours prior to the meeting to all university staff.

Quorum: A quorum for any meeting of USC shall be a two-thirds (2/3) majority of occupied Council seats.

Attendance: USC members must attend at least eight (8) of the regularly-scheduled meetings in a given fiscal year to retain their seat (subject to Council discussion and approval).

Leaves of Absence: If a USC member knows he or she will not be able to attend meetings for a period of time, he or she may request a leave of absence from these assigned responsibilities. A leave of absence may be requested for up to one year.

Vacancies: In the event of a temporary vacancy requested through a leave of absence, the runner-up for the vacant seat from the prior election shall be appointed to serve on the Council during the leave of absence. Should the runner-up decline to serve, or if the seat was uncontested in the prior election, the Chair (with Executive Committee approval) shall appoint an eligible university staff member from the appropriate employment category to serve on the Council during the leave of absence. Replacement members shall have full voting rights and privileges during this period.

In the event of a permanent resignation or vacancy, the runner-up for the vacant seat from the prior election shall be appointed to serve on the Council for the reminder of the term. Should the runner-up decline to serve, or if the seat was uncontested in the prior election, the Chair (with Executive Committee approval) shall appoint an eligible university staff member from the appropriate employment category to the vacant seat

ARTICLE X: STANDING COMMITTEES
All university staff members are eligible to serve on a committee and may self-nominate. USC committees may be established by a majority vote of USC. All committees select their own chair from among their members. Terms of service on a standing committee will be on a 3-year rotating schedule.

Committee meetings may be held during paid work hours. Any employee serving as an appointed member of a committee and working second or third shift will be allowed to work flex hours to attend Committee meetings. Arrangement to flex work schedule should be discussed with the appropriate supervisor and Human Resources shall provide support and assistance toward this end, if needed. Standing committees are reviewed annually, and those that are no longer necessary will be eliminated by majority vote of USC. A representative from each standing committee will attend the monthly USC meetings for updates on the activities of the committee. Terms for committee chairs are limited to two consecutive years with another term of service allowed after a one-year break. There are no term limits for membership on standing committees; however, committee members must be in permanent employment status.

Awards Committee: This committee is charged with annually soliciting nominations for the University Staff Excellence Award and selecting an award recipient based upon the selection criteria outlined in the Guidelines.

There shall be a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of seven (7) representatives from University Staff, including at least one USC member or adjunct council member to report and attend council meetings. It is recommended that there be a representative from each of the three employment categories: Administrative Support, Facilities & Maintenance, and Professional Services.

Bylaws Committee: Annually reviews USC bylaws, including membership allocation, and proposes changes to USC as necessary.

Committee on Committees: The Committee on Committees will solicit nominees for openings on USC and joint university committees. All nominees will be approved by the Committee on Committees members. The appointments will then be reviewed by the USC for approval by the Council.

Elections Committee: This committee is charged with overseeing the election process by the Council Chair each February, and is composed of three university staff members. Members of the Elections Committee may not be seeking re-election and are not eligible to be nominated to the USC. The USC Chair will name a Chair for Elections Committee. This person shall be the convener of the Election Committee. They will report directly to the USC Chair. The Chair of this committee will submit election results at the May USC meeting. The Council will certify the election results at the May meeting. After the May meeting, the Elections Committee Chair shall send an e-mail to the Council indicating who is eligible for the upcoming open officer seats. The Council shall then ask those candidates to confirm their interest by return e-mail with an accompanying statement of interest/abilities. The Elections Committee Chair will forward this information to the Council prior to the June elections meeting. New members will be invited to attend the June meeting before their term begins in July.

Programs, Grants, & Fundraising Committee: The mission of this committee is to provide professional development opportunities to University Staff members by offering non-credit conferences, seminars, and workshops on campus, as well as professional development grants, and raising the funds to maintain these programs as needed. This committee will also be responsible for public relations in coordination with the Chair.

ARTICLE XI: AMENDING THE BYLAWS
USC bylaws may be changed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of USC membership. This vote will be done at a USC meeting. Before such a vote will take place, members of the Council must be given notice regarding the intent to vote on proposed changes to the bylaws. All proposals must be discussed during at least one Council meeting prior to a vote on the proposed changes. At a minimum, the bylaws shall be revisited annually by the Bylaws Committee of the USC.