Bylaws

KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY STAFF SENATE BYLAWS

Article 1 – NAME, MISSION, GOALS

NAME

The name of this governing body shall be The Kennesaw State University Staff Senate (Staff Senate).

MISSION

The mission of the Staff Senate shall be to represent all Kennesaw State University (KSU) staff by assessing and communicating staff needs and concerns to administration, thereby contributing to the ethical principles, diversity, unity, and strength of the entire campus community.

GOALS

  • Develop and maintain a university-wide communication network.
  • Strive to improve the general welfare of all staff.
  • Educate the KSU community on the importance of professional staff development and career enhancement opportunities.
  • Emphasize that the morale of the staff is an indicator of the health of the institution.
  • Provide opportunities to increase campus-wide staff involvement.

Article 2 - MEMBERSHIP OF THE SENATE

MEMBERS

The membership of the Staff Senate will be elected by and from the full-time classified employees of KSU, as defined in the Policies of the Board of Regents (Section 801.02), and other regular non-faculty status employees. Members are staff employees that are non-probationary classified, administrative and professional workers below the level of assistant director who are appointed twenty (20) hours or more.

Composition and Demographics

Staff Senate membership shall be capped at 50 total members.  Representatives will be nominated and elected from local work units.  KSU has been divided into five (5) divisions.  Each of these divisions will elect members to the Staff Senate in numbers to reflect the respective division's percentage of total staff population.

The Staff Senate will review the membership of the Senate and committees annually, and will recommend any adjustments in size and composition it finds advisable. The composition can be altered by the elected representatives of the Staff Senate in consultation with the KSU President or an administrator designated by the KSU President.

The number of representatives will be computed as deemed necessary by the Staff Senate, using the employment statistics effective January 1 of said calendar year. The reapportionment will take place during the next election of Senators such that the additional Senators will be seated during the June meeting. (Employment statistics will be presented annually by the President-Elect.)

Election to the Staff Senate will be for a term not to exceed three years in length. After a one year absence, individuals may be elected by their constituents for a new term.

Elections Process of Members

The annual election of Staff Senate members for a division in which the current representatives' term expires shall occur in May. All KSU staff within a division shall have the right to nominate a staff member to run for election as a Staff Senator. Staff members may nominate themselves.  The election will take place via email and campus-wide announcement no later than June 1st. The election process will be conducted by the Nominations and Election committee. (See Article 3 – Officers of the Senate).

Election Process of Officers

Officers of the Senate, including President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, will be elected yearly during the May meeting. Nominations for officers will be accepted at the April meeting.  The election will take place at the May meeting.  New officers will begin their terms at the close of the May meeting. Each nominee must consent to having her/his name placed on the election ballot.  The election will take place through written ballot.

A candidate must receive a simple majority of votes to be elected. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held. If a simple majority is not reached, nominations and elections will be held again.

Duties of Elected Members

All elected Senators are required to attend all regularly scheduled and/or called general meetings and committee meetings.  This is important for the business of the organization to move forward. Furthermore, Senators should make every effort to participate in all Staff Senate projects.  Each Senator will volunteer to become a member of at least one Staff Senate committee, but may also be appointed to a committee by the President.

Alternates will be named by the president from eligible staff per division at a ratio of a minimum 1 alternate per 6 Senators: minimum ACAD-3, COO-4, SSES-2, PRES/UAD-1.  Senators are responsible for contacting an alternate from his/her division to serve in their absence at any meeting.  This alternate will have voting privileges during the said meeting. Alternates must have written permission from their supervisor to participate in Staff Senate. 

It is the duty of the Senator to communicate with his/her alternate and the Secretary of Staff Senate when he/she will be absent from a meeting.  If a Senator fails to notify the Secretary about an absence and the Senator is not represented by his/her alternate, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

Three (3) absences in one (1) year without representation will constitute the removal of that Senator.  Vacancies of any Senate seat for any reason, including transfers to another unit division, will be filled through the regular election process (see Article 2 – Membership of the Senate) to fill the unexpired term.

A Senator may be removed from his/her office if it is determined that he/she is acting in a manner that is detrimental to the mission and goals of the Staff Senate.  The removal process will be reviewed by the Executive Committee. Any Senator may, in writing, request this review by the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee has a majority vote in favor of the Senator’s resignation, the issue will then be brought forth to the full Senate for majority vote.

Article 3 - OFFICERS OF THE SENATE

OFFICERS AND DUTIES

President

The President will be responsible for scheduling and conducting all Senate meetings and will serve as head of the Senate’s Executive Committee. The President will also serve as an adjunct (non-voting) member on all Senate sub-committees.

The President will serve as a voting member on the University Senate. As such, the President and President-Elect will work to ensure that the concerns and issues of all staff members are considered. The President will serve a term not to exceed one year. It is the responsibility of the President to prepare the President-Elect to take on their duties for the following year. The President will be responsible for appointing a Staff Senate liaison for each of the representative bodies of the KSU Governance. Furthermore, Staff Senate will receive liaisons from the other bodies as non-voting members.  The President shall attend the statewide University System of Georgia Staff Council meetings. In the event that the President is unable to attend, an alternate may be appointed by the President.

President-Elect

The President-Elect will assist the President and perform the duties of the President in his/her absence in preparation for his/her coming term as President. The President-Elect will serve as a member of the Senate’s Executive Committee, as an adjunct (non-voting) member of all Senate sub-committees, and as a voting member of the University Council. The President-Elect will also attend the Statewide University System of Georgia Staff Council meetings. It is the duty of the President-Elect to request the annual employment statistical report from HRMS each January to present to the membership for review. The President-Elect will be elected by and from the Senate to a one-year term of office, to be immediately followed by a one-year term as President. Candidates for the office of President-Elect must have served on the Senate for at least one year. 

Secretary

The Secretary will be responsible for taking minutes and attendance, maintaining records, and distributing information within the Senate. The Secretary will assist the President and perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President and President-Elect.

The Secretary will also maintain the Resolution Book for the Executive Committee. The Secretary will serve as a member of the Senate’s Executive Committee and an adjunct (non-voting) member of all Senate sub-committees. The Secretary will be elected by and from the Senate to a one-year term of office after having served on the Senate at least one year.

Treasurer

The Treasurer will be responsible for maintaining records and distributing information within the Senate as it pertains to Senate finances. The Treasurer will serve as a member of the Senate’s Executive Committee. The Treasurer will be elected by and from the Senate to a one-year term of office after having served on the Senate at least one year.  The Treasurer will be the Chair of the Finance and Budget Committee that will include the Fundraising Committee.  The Treasurer will be responsible for calling a budget meeting in June of each year to review the previous year’s budget and to establish a new budget to present to the Staff Senate for discussion and approval at the July meeting.   The Treasurer will be responsible for having the financial books of the Senate audited by June 1 to turn over to the new treasurer.  This audit will be conducted in the presence of the outgoing Treasurer by three (3) current Senators elected by the President.

Past-President

In the interest of continuity, following the President’s term of office, the President shall become Past-President for one year to act in an advisory capacity to the Senate and the Executive Committee with no voting privileges.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Membership

The Executive Committee will consist of the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and all standing committee Chairs. The President of the Senate will serve as Chair of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee of the Senate will prepare the agenda for each meeting. This agenda, together with pertinent information on items to be discussed by the Senate, will normally be distributed to Senate members in advance of regularly scheduled meetings via email. The Executive Committee may add items not on the announced agenda prior to the meeting or they may be added at the meeting by a majority vote of members present and voting, a quorum having been established. The Senate agenda will also be published in a forum widely available to the University, such as the Senate website.

Duties

The Executive Committee will meet monthly throughout the year to discuss new business and compile agenda items for upcoming Senate meetings. The Chair may call additional meetings as necessary. The place and time of all regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings will be posted on the Senate website.

The Executive Committee will be empowered to act as the executive body of the entire Senate in cases requiring urgent action. The Executive Committee will inform the full Senate of all such actions taken.

The Executive Committee will consider and refer to the appropriate committee any issue that affects the general welfare of the University or that concerns the classified employees and regular non-faculty and non-administrative status employees.

The Executive Committee will receive and prepare agenda items for the Senate in any of the following ways: 

  • Items received from the KSU President will be placed on the agenda.
  • Items received from any of the standing or special committees of the Senate will be placed on the agenda unless the Executive Committee decides, by a majority vote, to refer the item back to committee.
  • Items received from any staff representative to the Senate will be placed on the agenda or referred to the appropriate committee.

The Executive Committee will also receive agenda items from any person or group not provided for above. If it is decided, by majority vote, that such items merit consideration, the Executive Committee will refer those items to the appropriate committee, unless unusual or urgent circumstances merit prompt presentation to the Senate.

The President must approve any proposal, recommendation, or other official Senate correspondence (i.e., campus-wide emails, fliers, letters, etc.) that is representative of the Senate. The Executive Committee will receive correspondence for action prior to its regularly scheduled or called meeting(s).

The Executive Committee will serve as the official liaison between the Staff Senate and the Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate, Student Government, and between the Senate and the President of the University.

The Executive Committee will meet with the President of the University or the President’s representative at least once per year.

The Executive Committee will recommend approval of special committees as it deems necessary.

The Executive Committee will be responsible for an annual review of the organization’s bylaws.

The Executive committee will develop and conduct an annual open forum meeting for all University staff members to attend.

STANDING COMMITTEES

Standing committees of the Senate will consist of members who volunteer their services on a committee for one term. Committees for the upcoming year will be recruited via sign-up sheets at the June meeting. Senate members must serve on at least one committee. Senators who do not sign up for a committee will be assigned to a committee by the President. The members of each committee will choose a Chair to serve on the Executive Committee during the committee’s first meeting. The President, President-Elect, and Secretary shall not serve as committee chairs.

Any full-time classified employees of the University, as defined in the Policies of the Board of Regents (Section 801.02), and other regular non-faculty status employees may serve on a standing committee.

Nominations and Elections Committee

The Nominations and Elections Committeewill be appointed by the President. Committee members will include one elected member from a majority of the five divisions (Academic Affairs, Chief Officer of Operations, President’s Area, University Advancement & Development, and Student Success and Enrollment). Duties are as follows:

  1. Convey notification of a Senate vacancy to all constituents in the division.
  2. Solicit eligible staff members to be nominated for division.
    • If multiple staff members volunteer, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall conduct a special election in the division.
    • If only one staff member volunteers, despite notification to all constituents in the division, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall recommend to the Executive Board and then the general body that that staff member be the elected representative.
  3. Communicate its efforts to fill mid-term vacancies to the Executive Committee.
  4. Notify campus community via email with election results.

Staff Awards and Recognition Committee

The Staff Awards and Recognition Committee must be comprised of voting Senate members. Committee members may neither nominate staff nor accept nomination for Employee of the Month during their tenure on the committee.   Duties include soliciting nominations, screening nominees, and voting on the “Staff Employee of the Month Award” and the “Annual Staff Distinguished Service Awards”. The committee must have a majority vote to award a Staff Employee of the Month. Staff Employees who have received Employee of the Month recognition may be considered again for Employee of the Month after a three year interval.

Those same duties extend to the “Annual Staff Distinguished Service Awards.”  If a committee member is nominated for a service award, they are recluse from the voting.  There is a one-time life-time limit for the Employee of the Year Award.

Staff Public Relations Committee

The Public Relations Committee disseminates information about the Staff Senate and distributes that information via website and email to the campus community. This committee is a service to all committees.

Spirit and Social Committee

The Spirit and Social Committee will be responsible for addressing and improving issues regarding staff moral. The Spirit and Social Committee will coordinate and plan all Senate events that promote community spirit.

Community Service Committee

The Feed the Future committee coordinates the donation of food items for the KSU Health Clinic to assist KSU students. The needs of the students will be determined by the Health Clinic.  Other community service initiatives may be added with the approval of the Executive Committee and general body.

Resolution Committee

The Resolution Committee will be overseen by the Executive Committee and have the following responsibilities:

  • developing and recommending criteria for the evaluation of issues submitted for consideration by the Staff Senate;
  • providing oversight and monitoring progress of issues given to the Senate;
  • creating and maintaining a master data file of all issues;
  • serving as a resource to Senate members for drafting and submitting issues;
  • serving as a resource for Staff Senate Committees;
  • validating issues-related proposals submitted for consideration by the general membership of the Staff Senate based on their adherence to the adopted guidelines and submission process;
  • organizing duly submitted issues into categories.

Budget and Finance Committee

The Treasurer will serve as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.  This committee will be responsible for developing a yearly budget for the Staff Senate, which will be presented in July for approval.  They will also develop and implement fundraising opportunities with the assistance of the full Senate.

Development and Scholarship Committee

The Development and Scholarship Committee will research and inform staff of the opportunities that are available on and off campus to improve their job skills and knowledge, including scholarships, continuing education courses, and other opportunities as appropriate.  The chair of the Development & Scholarship Committee sits on the Staff Senate Scholarship Selection committee and will coordinate the presentation of the scholarship with the recipient.

GENERAL PROCEDURES

Meetings

The Staff Senate will meet at least once per month except for the month of June due to transition of new senators. The calendar of meetings will be established each July by the newly elected Executive Committee. Special meetings may be called in any of the following ways: 

  • By the KSU President;
  • By the President, President-Elect in the absence of the President, or the Secretary in the absence or the President and President-Elect;
  • By majority vote of the Executive Committee;
  • By written petition, signed by at least one-third of the membership of the Senate, addressed to the President.

Voting

Passage of all main motions of the Staff Senate, unless otherwise indicated in Robert’s Rules of Order (e.g., “Suspend the rules” required 2/3), will be by simple majority of the Senators present—a quorum being established.  Only Senators or their designated alternate may vote. The most recently published procedures in this section automatically supersede any prior governance procedures.  Unless otherwise indicated above, the Staff Senate will operate using Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Article 4 – AMENDING THE BYLAWS

The bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members, a quorum present, and prior notice having been communicated.

AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

The Senate will have the power to amend its bylaws via the following procedure:

  1. An amendment may be proposed by any Senator.
  2. The proposed amendment must be presented in writing to a member of the Executive Committee.
  3. The Executive Committee refers the proposal to an appointed Bylaws Committee for evaluation.
  4. The appointed Bylaws Committee returns the proposal to the Executive Committee with its recommendation.
  5. The amendment will then be voted on by the full Senate.

Revisions approved by Staff Senate

April 17, 2012
January 15, 2013