Staff Senate Constitution

Article I. Establishment

The senate body for SHRA/EHRA non-teaching staff (hereafter referred to as “employees”) at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be known as the Staff Senate.

Article II. Purpose

The Staff Senate serves at the request of and in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor. It represents employees. The purposes of the Senate are to:

Section 1. Provide a regular, open forum to facilitate communication among employees and University administration regarding identifying and discussing general employment interests and concerns, exchanging information to clarify and coordinate policies, identifying current problems within university operations, and presenting plans or proposals for improvement of working conditions, as directed by the president of the University of North Carolina system.

Section 2. Advise the Chancellor on issues about which the Chancellor may request input.

Section 3. Initiate the review of University policies and/or procedures and make recommendations regarding interests/concerns that affect staff members.

Section 4. Serve as liaison between staff members and the Chancellor and other governing bodies, and as ombudsman when requested during the grievance process.

Article III. Participation

Supervisors and managers shall support participation, to include permitting reasonable release time for Senate activities, such as committee meetings. Staff Senate delegates and first alternates engaged in regularly scheduled Senate activities during regular work schedule will report such activity as work time. All employees are encouraged to participate in Senate activities with the following provision:

Attendance and participation by employees other than delegates and alternates in the Senate’s monthly meetings is on a volunteer basis, and shall not be reported as work time, or conflict with work assignments.

Article IV. Committee Service

Delegates are required to serve actively on at least one Senate committee. Each voting area should have at least one representative on each committee. Only Senate delegates may serve as Chair or Co-Chair of these committees, except for the Employee Recognition Committee. Standing Committees established by the Senate will be reviewed by the Executive Committee when warranted, but at least bi-annually, to determine their continuing relevance. The Executive Committee can serve as Chair for only one committee with no limit to Co-Chair positions.

The Executive Committee may recommend discontinuation of a standing committee to the Senate.

Article V. Membership

Section 1. Delegates and alternates shall be permanent full-time employees of UNC Pembroke who have completed (at least) one year of  employment. Previous years can be considered

Section 2. Delegates

  1. A. Elected—The Senate will be comprised of twelve elected delegates. The Chancellor may appoint a maximum of two delegates. The Executive board of the Senate may add delegates as needed to ensure ethnic representation. These should be selected from individuals who received the largest amount of votes in the general election, if possible.

1. Representation—Representation shall be based on proportional distribution across the four University administrative divisions: Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs and the combined Office of the Chancellor and Advancement. The election committee will periodically adjust proportional representation to reflect employee make-up by division. The current employee census by division indicates that five delegates represent Academic Affairs, four delegates represent Finance and Administration (at least one of whom must come from Facilities Operations), two delegates represent Student Affairs and one delegate represents either the Chancellor’s Office or Advancement.

2. Term in Office— Each elected delegate shall be elected to serve a twenty-four month term, from the January meeting of the year of his or her election to the January meeting two years hence inclusive. At the end of a delegate’s twenty-four month term, an option will be given to serve for an additional 12 months without the requirement of re-elections. If the delegate transfers to another electoral division, he/she is allowed to complete his/her elected term. To ensure continuity, terms will be staggered so that approximately one-half of the delegates are elected each year. Delegates take office and assume voting rights at the January meeting following the year in which they are elected.

3. Re-election—Elected delegates who complete twelve months or more of their terms are not eligible for re-election until the second annual delegate election after the completion of their term. Elected delegates completing unexpired terms and who have completed less than twelve months of service will be eligible for re-election at the next regularly scheduled election. Alternates may only serve two consecutive terms.

B. Appointed— The Chancellor, at his/her discretion, may appoint up to two additional voting delegates who may be drawn from EHRA non-teaching staff to make up for a lack of proportional campus representation. If the Chancellor chooses to appoint Senate members, the appointments shall be made by December 31 each year. Each appointed delegate will serve a one-year term. Appointed delegates are not eligible for reappointment for one year after the completion of their terms. However, appointed delegates may be nominated and elected at any regularly scheduled election.

C. Alternates— Each division shall have a first and second alternate. Four alternates, one from each division, will be selected from the highest vote getters (after the elected delegates) and will move up when a member from a corresponding division resigns or is replaced for cause. The next highest vote getter in the same division will then move to alternate position.

First Alternate — Shall be the alternate with the highest number of votes after the elected delegates.

Second Alternate — Shall be the alternate with the second highest number of votes after the elected delegates.

Additional Alternates — When an alternate moves up, an additional alternate must be picked to replace him/her. This is done by selecting the person who received the next largest number of votes in the general election. At all times, the Senate should seek to maintain a representative from the division of the previous member.

1. Term in Office—Each alternate will serve a one-year term. If during the year an alternate changes electoral division, he/she no longer serves as an alternate. Upon changing electoral division, alternates are required to notify the Senate chair and submit their resignation from the Senate.

2. Duties— Alternates will be non-voting members of the Senate, who may serve on committees and serve the Senate in other capacities and become full delegates if a delegate, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfill his elected term in office.

D. Ex-Officio

The immediate past chair of the Senate shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting, member of the Senate for one year after the end of his/her term as a delegate.

E. Honorary Delegates

The Senate may choose to bestow honorary delegate status upon individuals as it sees fit, limiting itself to one individual honored per calendar year. Petition for such recognition shall be made by general resolution, with a two-thirds majority required for passage. Such an individual shall serve a one-year term on the senate. Honorary delegates are to be non-voting members of the Senate.

Article VI. Quorum and Voting

Fifty percent of the Senate delegates shall constitute a quorum, excluding ex-officio and honorary members. A simple majority (more than 50 percent) of delegates present is required to rule on measures except amendments to the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote. Other measures requiring a two-thirds vote include the installation of honorary delegates, motions to suspend the rules, and other parliamentary motions. Robert’s Rules of Order are to be applied. The Chair shall abstain from voting except when necessary to break a tie.

Article VII. Election Procedure

Section 1. Election Committee—Each year the delegates shall select an Election committee from their own membership. The Election Committee is charged with developing a representative slate of candidates from each district by actively soliciting open nominations.   The candidates will be given the opportunity to present information to staff about their candidacy. Only employees who have agreed to serve shall be nominated.

A. Election Committee — The Election Committee shall present a list of nominees to the University community by October 15 of each year. Elections shall be completed by November 15, according to procedures approved by the Senate and the Chancellor. The names of new delegates and alternates shall be reported to the Senate Chair, the Chancellor and to the staff by November 20. There shall be no limit to the number of nominees for a given position.

B. Ballots — Ballots cast in an annual general election must be kept in a secure location and counted as soon as possible. The Senate appoints poll registrars, judges and other workers. The Chancellor may, at his/her discretion, appoint election observers, whose responsibility will be to monitor election procedures. Each staff member will be allowed to vote for each open position. The Election Committee will be responsible for counting the votes. The Chair of the Election Committee will keep the original ballots in a secure location. The Chair of the Election Committee will keep the original tally sheets. The Chair of the Staff Senate and the Secretary, Treasurer will keep copies of tally sheets.

Section 2. Special Elections—In the event that any electoral division cannot fill each of its apportioned delegate positions due to the resignation and/or termination of that division’s elected delegates and alternates, a special election shall be held to fill the vacant delegate and alternate positions. The Election Committee, in consultation with the Senate, and remaining representatives of said division, is charged with initiating and conducting this special election in accordance with instructions for general elections.

Section 3. Election of Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian)

A. When and By Whom—Election of officers shall be held at the January monthly meeting and conducted by the outgoing Chair. The election of the Chair shall be conducted by the Chair-Elect, and then the elected Chair shall conduct the balance of the elections. In the event the Chair is nominated for re-election, the responsibility shall pass to the Vice Chair, then the Secretary. In the event that both of these officers also are nominated for re-election or are no longer delegates, a delegate of the Senate appointed by the Executive Committee shall conduct elections.

  1. B. Eligibility—Officers must be elected delegates at the time of their election and during their term in office.

C. Term of Office—Each officer will serve a one-year term and assume his/her duties immediately after election. An officer may be re-elected during his/her two-year delegate term.

Article VIII. Operating Procedure

Section 1. Operating Year—The Staff Senate’s operating year shall be a calendar year.

Section 2. Monthly Meetings—The Senate shall meet monthly at a date, time, and place set by the current senate. An agenda will be provided to all Senate delegates prior to each meeting.

Section 3. Open Meetings—Public meetings shall be held by the Staff Senate quarterly to allow for feedback and input from employees at large. Attendance at the public meetings by employees is voluntary and shall be considered work time when it falls within their regularly scheduled work hours if an employee submits a request to be on the agenda for a public meeting.

Section 4. Senate Responsibility—The activity of the Senate is intended to ensure equitable application of University policies. The Senate will, if applicable, present suggestions, comments, problems, and recommendations to the Chancellor so that he/she may refer them to the appropriate department for review and timely action.

Section 5. Delegate Responsibility

  1. A. General — It is the responsibility of each Senate delegate to be aware of the needs and concerns of those whom he or she represents and to present to the Senate those items that are pertinent to his or her unit of representation or to the University at large. Senate delegates should endeavor to develop a thorough understanding of personnel policy matters such as employment opportunities, affirmative action, quality supervision, fringe benefits, grievances, and appeals procedures by asking for informational presentations to the Senate. Names of delegates should be posted in easily accessible places to ensure that staff members are aware of who they are.

B. Attendance — Each Delegate is expected to attend monthly Senate meetings, University- wide meetings, and Senate committee meetings on which they serve. When a Senate member misses three consecutive Staff Senate meetings, he/she will meet with the Executive Committee who will decide if such absences are excused or unexcused. If excused, member remains on Senate; if unexcused, he/she is removed from Senate and the first alternate from that electoral division will be appointed to complete the term of the delegate removed. The first alternate from the same electoral division (if possible) will be invited to complete the unexpired term of the replaced delegate.

C. Resignation — In the event any delegate feels that he/she cannot fulfill his/her responsibilities, it is his/her obligation to notify the Senate’s Chair immediately.

D. Change in Delegate Information—Any change in delegate information (office phone, home phone, job title, etc.) should be reported immediately to the Senate’s Chair.

E. Alternates Responsibility

  1. 1. General—Since alternates may be called upon to complete the unexpired terms of elected delegates, it is essential that they are well informed about Senate activities. Alternates will be included on the mailing list for Senate meeting agendas, minutes, and other correspondence routinely sent to Senate delegates.
  2. 2. Attendance—The alternates’ attendance at monthly meetings is considered work time when it falls during his/her regular work schedule. If a meeting falls outside normal working hours, the alternate’s supervisor should adjust the work schedule as needed (to count time as work time.) All alternates are encouraged to attend all meetings.

3. Resignation—In the event any alternate feels that he/she cannot fulfill his/her responsibilities, it is his/her obligation to notify the Senate’s Chair immediately of this decision.

4. Change in Alternate Information—Any change in alternate information (office phone, home phone, job title, etc.) should be reported immediately to the Senate’s Secretary/Treasurer.

F. Annual Reports—A report of the business of the Staff Senate and reports from standing and special committees shall be prepared and made public annually at the December meeting.

Article IX. Officers

Section 1. Chair—The Chair is responsible for presiding at Senate meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee. The Chair will appoint committee chairs and serve as an ex-officio member when requested by other University committees and other University officials.

Section 2. 1st Vice Chair—The Vice Chair shall chair the Senate in the Chair’s absence.

Section 3. Secretary — The Secretary of the Senate is responsible for the accuracy of the minutes for all Senate meetings. The Secretary shall maintain a roster of Senate delegates and alternates, with the alternate list maintained for each district in order of vote count. The Secretary shall serve as chair of the Election Committee and shall be responsible for overseeing elections and for overseeing attendance.

Section 3.1. Treasurer – The Treasurer of the Senate is responsible for the maintenance of the Staff Senate budget. The Treasurer will work with the Executive Committee to create annual budgets and estimate funds required for events.

Section 4. Parliamentarian - The Parliamentarian is responsible for advising Senate members on Robert’s Rules of Order and acting to ensure that meetings are carried out in an orderly manner. This individual will be responsible for ensuring that committees are formed as directed and that other actions follow proper procedures.

Section 5: 2nd Vice – Chair —The 2nd Vice – Chair is responsible for calling the January meeting to order and proceeding with Senate Elections in the year the Chair position is up for election. The 2nd Vice – Chair also serves as the Chair of the Senate Committees and as the Executive Committee liaison for the Staff Senate Committee Chairs. The 2nd Vice-Chair will be tasked with resolving any conflicts brought forward by the committee chairs. The 2nd Vice – Chair is to be part of the Executive Committee.

Section 6. Succession — In the event that the Chair cannot continue with the duties of office, the Vice Chair shall succeed to serve in that office. The succeeding Chair then shall have the authority to designate a new Vice Chair to serve in his or her place subject to ratification by the entire Senate. Should the Vice Chair be unable to assume this new post, the Senate shall hold a special election for the position of Chair at the monthly meeting following resignation in accordance with the established procedures for electing Senate officers.

In the event that the Vice Chair cannot continue with the duties of office, the 2nd Vice-Chair shall succeed to serve in that office. The Chair then shall have the authority to designate a new 2nd Vice-Chair to serve in his/her place, subject to ratification of the entire Senate. Should the 2nd Vice-Chair be unable to assume this new post, the Senate shall hold a special election for the position of Vice Chair at the next monthly meeting following resignation, in accordance with the established procedures for electing Senate officers. Until a successor is identified, the Executive Committee shall work to fulfill this position’s duties.

In the event that the Secretary cannot continue with the duties of office, the Chair shall have the authority to designate a new Secretary, subject to ratification of the entire Senate. Until a successor is identified, the Executive Committee shall work in coordination with the Senate to fulfill this position’s duties.

In the event that any member of the Executive Committee fails to perform their required duties in a satisfactory manner, the Senate may choose to remove that person by a vote of 50% + 1.

Article X. Administrative Committees

Section 1. Responsibilities of Committees — Committees shall meet as needed, but at least once a month. Each committee shall keep minutes of its proceedings and distribute copies to its members and to the Senate. Each Committee shall report to the Staff Senate after each meeting. Committees may report directly to the Chancellor at his/her request.

Section 2. Election Committee—The Senate will select an Election Committee, with at least one member from each division, at the first meeting in January. The Chancellor, at his or her discretion, may appoint an additional voting member to the Election Committee. The committee is responsible for conducting Senate elections, including the periodic review of representation and electoral divisions to determine equitable allocation of delegates. The committee will also present a slate of officers.

Section 3. Executive Committee—An Executive Committee will be comprised of the Senate Chair and one delegate from each of the remaining electoral divisions and shall be established each year to set the agenda for monthly Senate meetings and to handle business between meetings of the Senate. Officers of the Staff Senate will serve as the Executive Committee of the Senate Senate.  Decisions made for the Senate by the Executive Committee are subject to approval of the full Senate at the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting. The Vice Chair and Secretary shall serve as representatives for their electoral divisions. The other electoral divisions shall elect their Executive Committee representative at the January meeting. In the event that such a representative leaves the Senate before the end of their term, the remaining delegates from that division shall select from their number a new representative to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is also responsible for meeting with the Chancellor quarterly, and other times as needed, to discuss issues before the committee

Section 4. Employee Recognition Committee —The Employee Recognition Committee is responsible for programs designed to boost employee morale. They will be responsible for conducting the balloting for the Employee of the Year. In addition to the members chosen by the Senate for the committee, all Senate members are expected to serve when called upon. Volunteers from campus will be solicited to augment the committee. This committee shall determine, with Senate approval, how the Senate will recognize employees for achievement. The committee should strive to maintain a minimum of ten active members.

Section 5. Constitution Committee — This committee writes and submits to the Senate any revisions to the Constitution or other by-laws, which have been suggested by the Senate. The committee reviews the Constitution for possible amendment and submits changes to the Senate for its consideration. In its first year of operation, the Constitution Committee shall be responsible for holding a public meeting of employees to obtain employee ratification of the finalized Constitution. Prior to ratification, the Senate shall operate under this provisional Constitution.

Section 6. Publications and Information Committee - This committee is responsible for a periodic newsletter and, with Senate approval, is liaison for employee related information and communication of suggestions and concerns to the appropriate person or appropriate office, including UNC General Administration, the Governor’s office or ombudsman, the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), or any other agency as deemed necessary.

Section 7. Human Resources Committee — This committee is responsible for gathering information about personnel concerns, presenting those concerns to the Senate for a vote as to what issues should be brought to the Chancellor’s attention, and taking those concerns to the Chancellor. A Human Resources staff member must be invited to participate in this committee.

Section 8. Scholarship Committee - This committee will recommend scholarship recipients for approval by the Senate and review and revise policy relating to the Staff Senate Scholarship

Section 9. Budget Committee - This committee will recommend to the Senate a proposed plan for expenditures from the Staff Senate budget.

Section 10. Health and Wellness Committee –The Health and Wellness Committee will recommend activities and events to be implemented and conducted campus-wide to improve the overall health of staff. A Faculty Senate designee will serve on this committee.

Section 11. Events Committee – The Events Committee will be responsible for the overall coordination and execution of events sponsored by Staff Senate.

Approved: August 12, 1999 (Rev. May 17, 2016)

(Rev. May 2, 2023)