- Staff Senate members will consist of full-time or part-time staff employed by UVA for a minimum of one year as of August 1.
- The responsibilities of a staff senator include communicating the actions of the Staff Senate to the employees in his/her organizational unit and representing concerns and interests of employees to the Staff Senate.
- Supervisors/Department Heads will be provided written notification of those who are newly elected to the Staff Senate.
- Terms are structured in such a way that no more than one-third of the total Staff Senate membership will renew each year.
- Each term of membership will be for three years, beginning in August and ending in August. Senators may serve for two consecutive terms (a total of six consecutive years) and may be re-elected after a one year absence.
- The number of senators from each organizational unit will be proportionate to the number of total staff as determined by the University’s organizational unit chart. For units with 199 staff or less, one senator and one alternate shall serve. For units with more than 199 staff, one senator and one alternate will be added for every additional 200 represented.
- By the end of January each year, the Staff Senate will request from University Human Resources the number of full time staff within each organizational unit. Any proposed changes to the number of senators for each organizational unit will be reviewed by the Staff Senate co-chairs prior to the April Staff Senate meeting.
- Each organizational unit selects senator(s) and alternate(s) via nomination and direct election by the staff in that organizational unit no later than June 30, so the elected senator(s) and alternate(s) will be ready to serve on the Staff Senate in August. Elections should run according to the Staff Senate Election Guidelines.
- The Staff Senate does not meet in August so that newly elected senators and alternates can attend the Staff Senate orientation meeting, and the incoming Executive Committee can attend the Executive Committee retreat.
- Each senator will have one alternate who can attend meetings when the senator is unable to attend; however, an alternate should not be called upon to fill in for a senator at more than three meetings each year as it is the senator's responsibility to regularly attend Staff Senate meetings. In addition, the alternate is expected to take on the role of senator should the senator need to vacate his/her seat. The alternate has full voting rights only when the senator is absent. Alternates are invited to attend all Staff Senate meetings, but they are only required to attend when the senator is absent. Alternates may participate in Staff Senate committees of their choosing.
- If a senator resigns or is unable to finish his/her term, then the alternate will be called upon to complete the term. If the alternate is unwilling or unable to complete the term, a replacement senator and/or alternate should be elected by the organizational unit. Refer to the Staff Senate Election Guidelines for mid-term elections.
- The Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) will be invited to attend all meetings as a resource and to provide information in an ex-officio capacity.
- Co-chairs, past co-chairs, and chairs of the standing committees will form the Executive Committee.
- The Staff Senate co-chairs will call meetings of the Executive Committee monthly or as needed.
- The Executive Committee may speak or act on behalf of the Staff Senate when there is a need for prompt action. Any action taken by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Staff Senate shall be subject to ratification by the full Staff Senate at the next scheduled meeting, via email, or via conference call.
- The Executive Committee will make every effort to ensure that diverse representation of Staff Senate leadership is maintained across the three EVP areas.
Senate co-chairs elected to an office will serve a one-year term in that office and may run again for any office. Co-chairs will:
- Preside at Staff Senate meetings
- Call special meetings when deemed necessary
- Represent the Staff Senate to external groups
- Serve as a Staff Senate spokespeople
- Oversee the Staff Senate’s activities and communications, including meeting dates and times
- Schedule speakers for Staff Senate meetings
Standing Committee Chairs
Chairs of standing committees will serve a one-year renewable term. Standing Committee chairs will:
- Oversee the work of the committee
- Provide committee reports at Staff Senate meetings
Past Senate Co-Chairs
Past co-chairs will serve a one-year term on the executive committee in an advisory capacity.
Senate Co-Chair Elections – Nominations and Election Procedures
- The Executive Committee will be responsible for generating a list of potential co-chair candidates. Self-nominations, nominations from the committee itself, and nominations from senators are all acceptable avenues for identifying potential co-chair nominees.
- Co-chair nominees must be in good standing. Refer to the Staff Senate Membership Best Practice Guidelines.
- An Election Coordinator will be appointed to conduct the co-chair elections. See Staff Senate Election Guidelines for selecting Election Coordinators.
- Senators will elect co-chairs by secret ballot. The candidates with the most votes will win the election. The elected co-chairs will begin their duties immediately after the Staff Senate orientation meeting in August.
- An alternate may vote in the co-chair elections if his/her representative is absent. In the event a senator or alternate cannot attend the meeting during which the co-chair elections are held, the senator may submit an absentee ballot. Refer to the Staff Senate Election Guidelines for absentee voting procedures.
- Vacating co-chairs should meet with the incoming co-chairs to orient them to the upcoming term. Vacating co-chairs should remain on the Executive Committee in an advisory role for a minimum of one year (even if their terms as senators have ended).
Senate Co-Chair Mid-Term Vacancy Procedures
- Should a co-chair become unable to complete his/her term, then a mid-year co-chair election is held to fill the vacancy. Refer to the Staff Senate Election Guidelines for mid-year co-chair elections.
- Upon completing a partial term, an interim co-chair may be reappointed with a majority vote from the Staff Senate. If an interim co-chair is not reappointed by the Staff Senate, or is unable or unwilling to complete another term, a new co-chair is elected.
Standing Committee Chair Appointments
Each standing committee will nominate a chair and present the name of the nominee to the Senate co-chairs for review. The Senate co-chairs will either appoint the nominee as chair of the committee or request additional nominations from the committee. Standing committee chair appointments must be confirmed by the Senate co-chairs. Refer to Staff Senate Standing Committees Best Practice Guidelines.
Meetings, Minutes, and Communication
- Regular meetings will be held monthly, at the Staff Senate’s discretion by a simple majority (more than half of Staff Senators in attendance), or at other times as warranted by urgency of issues as designated by the co-chairs.
- Notice of Staff Senate meetings shall be sent to all members preferably a week in advance and a minimum of two business days prior to the date of the meeting.
- A simple majority (more than half of Staff Senators in attendance) will constitute a quorum for handling business. A quorum may be achieved in person, by email, or via conference call.
- A simple majority vote of senators present will carry a motion EXCEPT on a motion to amend bylaws. (Refer to following section on Amendments to Bylaws of the Staff Senate for details about amending bylaws).
- Alternates may vote only in the absence of their senators.
- Votes may be cast by show of hands, unless a senator requests a secret ballot vote.
- The Staff Senate will act upon business brought to it by its senators or the University administration and will make recommendations as appropriate.
- The Staff Senate will invite members of the University administration to attend meetings.
- Committees may be appointed by the Senate co-chairs as necessary to carry out the work of the Staff Senate.
- All Staff Senators, with the exception of the Senate co-chairs, must participate on at least one standing committee. Alternates are encouraged but are not required to participate. Refer to the Staff Senate Standing Committees Best Practice Guidelines.
- The Staff Senate may establish or discontinue standing committees.
- The Staff Senate may allow persons who are not senators to serve on a standing committee, but the chair of the committee must be a senator, and a majority of its members must be senators or alternates. Exceptions to this rule may be made with approval of the Executive Committee.
Rules of Order for Senate Members and Guests
- Senators will be released from normal work duties to attend the monthly Staff Senate meetings and be granted a reasonable amount of time to perform official Staff Senate business. Each senator, alternate, and co-chair is asked to set aside dedicated time each month for Staff Senate membership responsibilities: up to 4-6 hours a month for senators; 2-4 hours a month for alternates; and 8-12 hours a month for officers.
- Senators are expected to attend each meeting. In the event of an absence, a senator is expected to have his/her alternate attend Staff Senate meetings. Continuous unreported absences by a senator and his/her alternate will be reviewed. Refer to the Staff Senate Membership Best Practice Guidelines for clarification on attendance procedures.
- Senators will be recognized by a co-chair before talking and, once recognized, will follow the accepted norms and standards of meeting dialogue. The co-chairs reserve the right to invoke Robert’s Rules of Order.
- Guests are invited to attend Staff Senate meetings as observers. If the Staff Senate must hold a closed session, then guests will be asked to leave. Guests may submit questions prior to the meeting for review by the Executive Committee and speaker. They may also ask specific questions of the speaker after the meeting or with the speaker at a later date.
Amendments to the Bylaws of the Staff Senate
Changes to the bylaws of the Staff Senate may be proposed at a regular meeting by any member of the Staff Senate. To be considered, proposed changes must be sent to all Staff Senate members at least fourteen days prior to a vote. Staff Senate members are responsible for ascertaining the wishes of their constituencies. An overall majority (more than two-thirds of the entire Staff Senate membership) must be present, and three-fourths of those present must vote in favor of any amendment. If the vote is conducted via email, a minimum of one-half of the Staff Senate must vote in favor of any amendment.
- Approved by Staff Senate September 18, 2014
- Amended by Staff Senate June 9, 2015
- Amended by Staff Senate November 19, 2015
- Amended by Staff Senate June 23, 2016