Bylaws of the University of Cincinnati Staff Senate
Passed October 24, 2018
Article I - Authority
Authority. The university of Cincinnati (“university”) is a state school created under Ohio law. Pursuant to chapter 3361 of the Revised Code and rule 3361:30-5-02 of the Administrative Code, the staff of the university (“staff”) may adopt bylaws (“bylaws”) that are approved by the board of trustees (“board”), to govern the conduct of its affairs.
Relationship to collective bargaining agreement. The bylaws are intended to address matters of staff governance that are not addressed under a collective bargaining agreement. In the event that any provision of the bylaws conflicts with a collective bargaining agreement, the collective bargaining agreement shall govern.
Amendment. Any bylaw may be amended or repealed by the staff at any regular or special meeting by a vote of the majority of the members present. The proposed change must be submitted to the chairperson of the staff (“chairperson”), and the chairperson must give written notice of the proposal to the staff at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which adoption is proposed. Any amendment or repeal shall become effective immediately upon approval by the university’s board and the inclusion into rule 3361:30-5-02 of the Administrative Code.
ARTICLE II - The university staff bylaws.
Section 1 - Name
The name of this organization is the university of Cincinnati staff senate (“staff senate”).
Section 2 - Purpose
- The purpose of the staff senate is to provide a regular, open forum to facilitate communication among staff and university administration, faculty and students.
- Staff senate will primarily consider matters brought to its attention by staff members, university administration, and other members of the university community which supports the strategic direction and vision of the university.
- As appropriate, staff senate may participate in the selection of university senior administrative officers and administrators by serving on search committees, interviewing candidates, and submitting evaluations and recommendations.
- Staff senate will act in compliance with and support the commitment of the university with regard to non-discrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action in accordance with federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Section 3 - Membership and Representation:
- University employees eligible to become members of the staff senate include all benefits-eligible employees, who are not charged principally with teaching, including both exempt and nonexempt employees, both part-time and full-time employees; excluding temporary employees, student workers or other university employees who are eligible members of the university of Cincinnati faculty senate (hereinafter “staff”).
- Staff senate endeavors to have a duly representative and diverse membership reflecting its many constituent groups and campuses with equitable representation among the various colleges, divisions and departments.
- Staff senate will, annually, accept nominations for up to twelve (12) staff who will serve as “at-large members” for two (2) year terms, or in the case of resignation, for the remainder of the existing term.
- Representatives will be elected to staff senate per the stated qualifications through a regular or special election process (hereinafter “senators”).
- Senators will be responsible to regularly attend general staff senate meetings, as well as special or called meetings.
- To become a senator, employees must have prior approval from their direct manager/supervisor.
Section 4 - Nomination and term of office of senators
- Senators will serve staggered two (2) year terms beginning at the July staff senate meeting. A maximum of two consecutive terms (4 years) may be served. A one (1) year interval is necessary before being eligible to serve again.
- Elections will be held annually to elect one-half of the representatives and any vacant positions. Each year the membership & elections committee will notify those voting, call for nominations, prepare ballots, and handle the election.
- Members appointed to fill vacant seats will serve until the next election.
- When a new member is elected to fill the vacant seat, the new member will complete the original term of the seat.
- Members changing from one area to another may continue to serve until the end of the fiscal year. If they wish to continue to serve as members, they must run for re-election within their new area.
Section 5 - Staff senate officers
- The officers of the staff senate includes a chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary and past-chair, and make up the senate cabinet.
- The chair will:
- Be responsible for setting the strategic direction of the staff senate consistent with the strategic direction of the university in partnership with the senate cabinet in accordance with these bylaws, the university code of conduct, and committee policy.
- Serve as an official staff senate representative to university administration, the board of trustees, and other university entities, and refer matters submitted for the staff senate's attention to the appropriate governance committee(s).
- Preside at staff senate and cabinet meetings.
- Hold office for a term of two (2) years. The term will commence on the first day of the first month of the new academic year. The Chair may not be re-elected for a consecutive term.
- The vice chair will:
- Assist the chair and perform the duties of the chair in their absence.
- Chair the memberships & elections committee and oversee all voting procedures in the staff senate.
- Hold office for a term of two (2) years. The term will commence on the first day of the first month of the new academic year. The vice chair may not be re-elected for a consecutive term.
- The treasurer will:
- Prepare the annual budget and submit it to the senate cabinet for approval.
- Chair the budget & human resources committee, prepare reimbursements for vendors and staff senate members, and prepare documents as necessary for university budget processes.
- Hold office for two (2) years. The term will commence on the first day of the first month of the new academic year. The treasurer may not be re-elected for a consecutive term.
- The secretary will:
- Record and publish the official minutes and oversee the minutes of general staff senate meetings for approval and maintain records of such minutes and other staff senate documents and records.
- Distribute all minutes not more than two (2) weeks after cabinet and staff senate meetings.
- Hold office for two (2) years. The term will commence on the first day of the first month of the new academic year. The Secretary may not be re-elected for a consecutive term.
- Immediately upon termination of service, the chair will serve as past-chair for one (1) year. The past-chair’s principal role is to be advisory to the chair and cabinet. The past-chair will not be counted as part of the assembled quorum but accorded full privilege of deliberation. The pastchair will be entitled to vote only in the event of a tie vote.
- The staff senate may also have other officers, and/or assistant officers as may be deemed necessary and/or appropriate by the staff senate from time to time.
- All officers will serve as members of the senate cabinet.
Section 6 - Election of officers
- Except for the staff senate’s first year of existence, a senator must serve on the staff senate for one (1) full year to be eligible to hold an officer position.
- The election of officers will take place at the general staff senate meeting scheduled annually. The term for office for all newly elected officers will begin at the start of the fiscal year.
- Immediately following their term, officers may be nominated and elected as a representative for their area.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring in the chair’s term of service, the vice chair will assume the duties of the chair and will hold office for the unexpired term of the chair.
- An elected and/or appointed officer may be removed by a majority vote of those members present and voting.
Section 7 - Staff senate committees
- There are five standing committees in order to conduct staff senate business more efficiently during the interim between staff senate meetings.
- Committee meetings are open to all staff; however, only official committee members may vote on committee matters.
- A quorum, being a requirement to conduct committee business, is defined as a majority of members of the committee.
- Following the confirmation of senators to standing committees, a committee chair and co-chair will be elected by a majority vote of the committee members present and voting.
- Each of the standing committees below has been established by the staff senate and constitutes a standing committee.
- Membership & elections committee will execute the staff senate election process as outlined by the governance committee, provide the staff senate with nominees for open positions on standing committees and develop the new member orientation and training program.
- Budget & human resource committee will support the strategic direction of the university with an emphasis on the staff experience, and in doing so may consider all financial, planning, human resource, and economic welfare matters affecting the university to ensure a supportive environment that will provide personal and professional growth opportunities for university staff in collaboration with the offices for finance and human resources.
- Information technology committee will consider and represent staff views on all significant information technology initiatives, issues, and policies that impact the university; create and maintain the staff senate website and electronic voting systems; offer technology consultation and training for staff; and consider all information technology matters brought to its attention by the staff senate or the university administration in collaboration with the university of Cincinnati office of information technology.
- Communication & recognition committee will organize and coordinate outreach and community engagement activities, staff recognition functions, public and special events; performs responsibilities related to communications of the staff senate, including the distribution of publicity and information relating to the staff senate; and considers all outreach and communication matters brought to its attention by the staff senate or the university administration.
- Governance committee will annually review the bylaws and propose amendments; determine membership, nomination, and election procedures for senators with final approval by the senate cabinet; annually review the number of staff senate representatives and reapportion the area representation as needed based on information received from university of Cincinnati human resources; monitor governance policies and practices to ensure effective staff involvement in university decision making; and consider all governance matters brought to its attention by the staff senate or the university administration.
- Ad hoc committees may be appointed for purposes in such manner as the staff, senate, or university rules may direct.
Section 8 - Meetings
- The staff senate will hold a minimum of five (5) meetings during the academic year. Staff senate meetings are open to the public except when items are considered in executive sessions.
- Staff senate may request to go into executive session in accordance with the Ohio open meetings code (ORC 121.22), only after a majority of a quorum of the members present, by a roll call vote, to hold an executive session and only at a regular or special meeting. These meetings are not open to the public and not reflected in meeting minutes.
- Special meetings may be called by the chair and/or committee chairs with the appropriate body, as necessary.
- Voting occurs as follows:
- A quorum, being a requirement to conduct staff senate business, is defined as a majority of members of the staff senate.
- For the purposes of voting, a majority is defined as more than half of all voting members in attendance at a staff senate meeting.
- Voting during each meeting of the staff senate will be by method prescribed by the chair or committee chair as the time of the vote.
Section 9 - Budget
- Control of the staff senate budget and operating expenses will be vested in the budget & human resource committee and approved by senate cabinet.
- The treasurer will present an annual operations budget report at the first senate cabinet meeting of the academic year that outlines:
- expected budget
- expected expenditures
- special projects
- other items of financial concern
- The staff senate will submit a proposal for a budget annually to university leadership.
Section 10 - Amendments or revisions to the bylaws
- Bylaws will be reviewed annually by the governance committee to determine if amendments or revisions are needed.
- Technical changes are to be understood to include renumbering articles and sections, updating administrative titles, and making other non-substantive revisions that improve accuracy and clarity. It is the prerogative of the senate cabinet to make technical changes by majority vote.
- Any bylaw may be amended or repealed by the staff senate at any regular or special meeting by a vote of the majority of the members present. The proposed change must be submitted to the chairperson, and the chairperson must give written notice of the proposal to the staff senate at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which adoption is proposed. Any amendment or repeal shall become effective immediately upon approval by the university’s board of trustees (“board”) and the inclusion into rule 3361:30-5-02 of the Administrative Code.
Effective: October 16, 2018
Certification: Nicole S. Blount, Executive Director of Board Relations
Date: October 16, 2018
Promulgated under: 111.15
Statutory authority: 3361
Rule amplifies: 3361