The name of the organization shall be the University of Houston-Downtown Staff Council (hereinafter referred to as "Staff Council" or "Council").
2. MISSION STATEMENT
Recognizing that staff is integral to the functioning of the University of Houston-Downtown (hereinafter referred to as "University"), the Staff Council will be an advisory body to the President of the University. Its purpose is to promote a positive and meaningful exchange among staff, faculty, and students and to formulate and recommend policies which affect staff. It also promotes recognition of staff contributions to the mission of the University and recommends individuals to serve on committees where policies and procedures affecting staff will be discussed. These bylaws provide an instrument for cooperative action in attaining such professional goals as the members may select.
UHD staff members are automatically members of the UHD Staff Council. Upon employment, all new staff will automatically be welcomed to the Staff Council body at the New Employee Orientation. Assistant and associate deans, deans, executive directors, assistant and associate vice presidents, vice presidents, the President, student workers and temporary employees are excluded from membership in the Staff Council. The Executive Assistant to the President, which reports to the President of the University, serves as the liaison to the University Staff Council.
4. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Staff Council shall represent the staff interests of the University and shall be responsible for the following:
- Nominating staff members to serve on University-wide committees
- Appointing staff to standing and ad hoc committees
- Preparing and submitting an annual executive report, including a financial summary, to the University leadership and posting it to the Staff Council website
- Coordinating annual Staff Council Executive Committee elections
- Preparing and submitting to the President of the University proposals and position papers on staff concerns
- Making recommendations to appropriate University leadership about staff development programs on topics relative to staff
- Having one representative on the University Academic Affairs Council.
- Providing collaboration on governance issues.
- Conducting one general Staff Council meeting, at a minimum, each quarter.
5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
The Executive Committee shall consist of the following Staff Council Officers: President-Elect, President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Officer, and five (5) Division Ambassadors: two (2) from Academic and Student Affairs, one (1) from Administration and Finance, one (1) from Employment Services and Operations, and one (1) from the President's Office and Advancement/External Relations, plus one (1) Alternate for each Ambassador.
Officers and Ambassadors shall be elected for a single, one-year term. Elections will be held from the membership of the Staff Council. Staff will be eligible for re-election to the same office or another Executive Committee position.
All benefits-eligible Staff Council members in good standing and with a minimum of one-year tenure at UHD are eligible to be nominated for service on the Executive Committee. Administrative staff are ineligible for service on the Executive Committee.
The nomination process will open on the first Monday and close on the third Monday in May. Self-nominations are accepted. Staff may be eligible to run for Officer and Ambassador positions concurrently but can only hold one office. All candidates shall complete the Staff Council Executive Committee Candidate Form. All nominations will be reviewed by Employment Services and Operations (hereinafter referred to as "ESO") to ensure eligibility. Qualified candidates will be included on the ballot.
Elections for the Executive Committee shall open the second Monday in June and close on the fourth Monday in June. Terms of office shall begin on September 1. Ambassador Alternates will be the person(s) receiving the second highest number of votes within the division.
5.6 Vacancies by Resignation
To fill vacancies created by resignation and complete unexpired terms, the Staff Council President shall appoint the nominee with the next highest votes from those candidates nominated, but not elected, in the last election. The appointed member will serve until the next official election.
The Executive Committee shall consider all matters brought before Staff Council and make referrals to the proper committees when necessary. A summary of the duties of the Executive Committee Officers is outlined below. Complete position descriptions may be found on the Staff Council website under Executive Committee by clicking here.
Serves as chair of the Staff Council Executive Committee and represents the Staff Council on University leadership committees, such as The Executive Council, the Planning and Budget Committee, and the Academic Affairs Council. Enforces all regulations and policies as specified in the Staff Council Bylaws and presides at all Staff Council meetings.
Assists the President in performing his/her leadership responsibilities and represents the President when required. Oversees all Staff Council standing committees. The person elected President-Elect serves a two-year term: year one as President-Elect, and year two as President.
Handles the recording and distribution of all minutes of all Executive Committee and Staff Council meetings and all correspondence of Staff Council (including overseeing the Elections Committee). Oversees the conduct of Staff Council business to ensure adherence to the Bylaws. Responsible for the administration of the Staff Council elections.
Maintains the Staff Council's budgets by processing and reconciling expenditures and revenue transactions on a monthly basis. Provides a financial report of the organization's financial activities to Staff Council at each meeting.
5.7.5 Communications Officer
Designs, develops, and maintains a Staff Council website and social media for the posting and distribution of information about Staff Council events and activities. Provides information to the University Public Affairs Office regarding Staff Council elections, meetings, and accomplishments. Maintains and provides a central and accessible location for storing historical files of Staff Council events and activities. Manages social media.
5.8 Ambassadors and Alternates
Ambassadors will represent the interests of their division(s) and share Staff Council news, events, etc., with their respective staff by conducting quarterly informational meetings. Five (5) Ambassadors and five (5) Alternates will be elected as follows: four (4) from Academic and Student Affairs, two (2) from Administration and Finance, two (2) from Employment Services and Operations, and two (2) from the President's Office and Advancement/External Relations. Alternates will serve if the elected Staff Council Ambassador is not able to represent his/her unit and when needed for special events/functions as deemed by the Staff Council President. It is the responsibility of the Staff Council Ambassador to send his/her Alternate Representative in his/her absence.
An orientation session for newly elected Executive Committee members shall be held before the first scheduled Staff Council meeting of the fiscal year, and the Staff Council President shall conduct the orientation session.
5.10.1 Inability to Serve
If for any reason a member of Staff Council Executive Committee cannot continue to serve out his/her term of office, that person may voluntarily resign.
A resignation should be submitted in writing to the Staff Council President.
5.10.3 Return of Staff Council Property
Upon notice of resignation, the person resigning has one (1) week to remove any personal items from Staff Council space and return any items that are the property of Staff Council to the Staff Council President.
5.11 Forfeiture of Membership
Any Executive Committee member who misses three (3) consecutive Staff Council meetings without first notifying the President, President-Elect, or Secretary or without giving good cause for the absence (including, but not necessarily limited to, vacation, sickness or injury, leave, or workload), will be asked in writing to resign from the Executive Committee and will be replaced by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent general election.
Grounds for impeachment are any of the following and must be voted on by 4/5 of the Staff Council Executive Committee.
- Failure to fulfill duties of office.
- Failure to actively participate in Staff Council.
- Misrepresentation of the office or organization.
6.1 Staff Council
Staff Council meetings shall be held at a minimum of once per quarter (to be determined by the Staff Council President).
Staff Council standing committees shall meet on an as-needed basis but not less than once per quarter.
6.3 Executive Session
During Staff Council meetings, the Staff Council Executive Committee may request to go into Executive Session in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act.
6.4 Executive Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a month throughout the year. The date and time of such meetings shall be determined by the Staff Council President.
Staff Council may conduct an annual forum for all staff to highlight activities/issue, and to foster an open dialogue with University administrators. The time and place of this forum will be determined by the Staff Affairs Committee.
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Officers of the Executive Committee (50% + 1). No official business or voting shall occur at a meeting with less than a quorum.
Voting at meetings shall be by a show of hands, unless written ballots are requested by any member. Written ballots shall be used for voting whenever such form is requested by a member prior to or during a meeting. Electronic forums and ballots may be used to expedite urgent business matters between regularly scheduled meetings. Executive Committee Members are the only voting members for the Staff Council.
7. STANDING COMMITTEES
The Staff Council standing committees are: Membership and Elections Committee, Appointments Committee, Events Committee, Communications Committee, and Staff Affairs Committee. Special ad hoc committees shall be called as needed.
7.1 Committee Membership
No elected Officer of the Staff Council Executive Committee shall chair a Staff Council standing committee.
7 .1.2 Term.
The term of committee membership and of the chair shall be from September 1 to August 30.
7.2.1 Membership and Elections.
The Membership and Elections Committee is responsible for recommending to the Staff Council President nominees for filling vacancies and for overseeing and conducting the annual campus-wide Staff Council elections.
7.2.2 Appointments Committee
The Appointments Committee is responsible for recommending staff representatives to standing and other University committees for Staff Council approval. These recommendations must be presented for approval at the next Staff Council meeting. Upon approval, these representatives are forwarded to the appropriate committee officer or administrator. Representatives to standing or other committees are responsible for obtaining and presenting to Staff Council a summary or copy of approved committee meeting minutes of each committee's activities at least twice a year in January and July.
7.2.3 Events Committee
The Events Committee is responsible for planning all special, campus staff events, such as the Staff Awards (Length of service awards are based on data obtained from Employment Services & Operations for the current fiscal year.), Holiday Adopt-A-Family, and other activities selected and approved by the Staff Council.
7.2.4 Communications Committee
The Communications Committee is responsible for Staff Council orientation, maintenance of the Staff Council bulletin board located at the 2nd floor garage entrance (updated a minimum of once per quarter), and all external communication, including releases to University media.
7.2.5 Staff Affairs Committee
The Staff Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing all issues affecting staff on campus (i.e., benefits, parking, safety, staff development and training, annual forum with University President, and Edge Award).
7.2.6 Special Committees
Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the Staff Council President as needed.
8. AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS
8.1 Bylaws Amendment Proposals
Any Staff Council member may propose an amendment to the Bylaws by submitting to the Secretary his/her written proposal.
8.2 Presentation to Executive Committee
The proposed amendment shall be discussed at the first Executive Committee meeting after the Secretary receives the written proposal.
8.3 Discussion of Proposal
The proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Staff Council following the Executive Committee meeting. The Secretary shall distribute a copy of the proposed amendment to all Staff Council members at or before the meeting.
8.4 Vote on Proposal
The Bylaws shall be amended upon a majority vote of the Staff Council members present (providing there is a quorum) at a designated meeting.
9. ADOPTION OF NEW BY-LAWS
The proposed Bylaws will be placed on the agenda for discussion at a regularly scheduled meeting to be followed with a draft being circulated to the staff-at-large for comments. At the end of a 10-day comment period, the President will call a special meeting to vote on the adoption of the new Bylaws. Upon adoption, new Bylaws shall be effective immediately.
By-Laws adopted May 19, 2015.