The Penn State Schuylkill Staff Advisory Council Bylaws
Article I – Organization name
The organization shall be called the Penn State Schuylkill Staff Advisory Council.
Article II – Purpose
The Penn State Schuylkill Staff Advisory Council shall exist to provide a forum for exchanging ideas in order to enhance the work environment for all campus staff. The council will act in an advisory capacity to the chancellor.
Article III – Membership
Section 1 – Definitions
Consultant: Non-voting temporary position with the council. Consultants shall typically be persons with expertise who provide information to Issues Committees.
Ex-officio member: Non-voting position with the council. Ex-officio members shall not be eligible to hold elected positions. Types of ex-officio appointments include:
- Regional Human Resources representative
- Barnes & Noble Bookstore employee
The Executive Committee of the council may appoint additional ex-officio members as appropriate.
Member: Voting position with the council. Full members shall be elected as outlined in Section 2 below and shall be eligible to hold elected positions.
Volunteer: Non-voting position with the council. Volunteers shall typically be recruited from the pool of persons eligible for membership in the council as members of ad hoc committees, and shall not be eligible to hold elected positions.
Section 2 – Election of Members
The Staff Advisory Council shall be composed of nine members of the Penn State Schuylkill staff that have exempt or nonexempt designated status. Of the nine open seats on the council, both exempt and non-exempt staff members must be included.
Members shall be elected by the eligible staff to serve a three-year term commencing at the end of the Spring term. To be eligible to vote, staff must be employees (full or part-time) at Penn State Schuylkill, not including student wage-payroll employees, executive staff, or technical services employees. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms, but after any period of two years of non-membership shall again become eligible.
A member who is elected chair may serve up to a six-year term including three years as a voting member, one year as chair-elect, one year as chair, and one year as past-chair.
New members of the Staff Advisory Council shall be elected annually. All eligible staff shall be nominated. Staff who do not want to be nominated may have their names removed from the ballot provided they notify the Staff Advisory Council at least two weeks prior to the election.
Section 3 – Transition of Members
An orientation meeting for new members shall be held at the end of the Spring term of each year. The Executive Committee and all members of the council shall attend this meeting for the purpose of transitioning members for the upcoming academic year.
Section 4 – Leave of Absence for Members
Requests for a temporary leave of absence from the council shall be submitted to the chair. Such requests shall be granted whenever possible. Since such leaves are temporary, the resulting vacancy shall not be filled by a new member.
Section 5 – Member Resignation
Resignations from the council shall be submitted to the chair, who shall then invite the staff member who received the next highest number of votes in the election for the current year to join the council for the remainder of the designated term. If a resignation occurs during the first slate of members the alternate will fill the space of the member resigning.
Members absent from two or more of the regular meetings during any academic year may be declared inactive and may be asked to resign, subject to review by the Executive Committee.
Section 6 – Job Status Changes for Members
If a member’s job status changes during his/her term, the Council shall meet to make sure there is still representation from both exempt and nonexempt members.
Section 7- Issue Submission- Procedures for Handling Issues
In order for the Staff Advisory Council (SAC) to respond to staff concerns, the staff person must submit an issue in written format to a SAC member, or use the “Submit an Issue” link on the Schuylkill campus Staff Advisory Council home page. The staff person’s name will be held in confidence by the council member receiving the issue. Written issues can be anonymous.
The review process of issues brought before SAC will include the following procedures:
- Staff will submit issues, in writing, to a SAC member or through a designated on campus mailbox, the contents of which is reviewed by the Executive Committee. Concerns may be expressed on a formal issue form or in any written format.
- The Executive Committee will then transcribe the issue to a formal SAC issues form, omitting the submitter’s identity, if provided.
- The chair will present the issue to the SAC at the next scheduled meeting. The chair will verbally present a general overview of the issue and may provide written copies of the issue, without submitter’s identity, to fellow SAC members.
- SAC will review the issue and make one of three possible decisions:
- Seek additional information via the member who brought the issue to committee.
- Form a committee to study the issue and make recommendations to the regional director of Human Resources and/or the chancellor.
- Determine that the issue should not be handled by SAC and forward it to the appropriate department, or take no action at all.
- The SAC, through the Executive Committee, will notify the submitter of the committee’s proceedings, if not anonymous.
After each meeting the SAC will upload minutes to PSU Box. These notes can be viewed by the members of the Staff Advisory Council only. Not all issues will be appropriate for full-campus disclosure. Therefore, there will also be an update in Box for the campus community, SAC meeting summary.
Section 8 – Nominations
Nominations shall be convened early in spring semester of each year. The Staff Advisory Council shall solicit nominations of new members to fill seats of those ending their terms.
In addition, the Staff Advisory Council shall coordinate the election of the chair-elect and secretary as outlined in the Election of Executive Committee section.
Section 9 – Public Relations
The public relations for the Staff Advisory Council will be handled by members of the Council. They will be responsible for communicating with the campus community to promote awareness of the activities and issues of the Staff Advisory Council.
Article IV – Committees/Representatives
Section 1 – Awards and Recognition
The representative for Awards & Recognition will be selected annually by the SAC members. This representative will be assigned to the task of communicating information to the staff community in regards to staff awards and recognition. The Staff Advisory Council may develop policy and procedures related to awarding the Outstanding Staff Award, administer the awards nominations and selection process, as well as additional ways to acknowledge staff contributions.
Section 2 – Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the chair, chair-elect, past chair, and the secretary. The Executive Committee shall coordinate the activities of the Staff Advisory Council. No individual member, ex-officio member, volunteer, or consultant shall take any action on behalf of the Staff Advisory Council, unless specifically delegated to do so by the Executive Committee acting on behalf of the full membership.
Chair – The chair shall be the presiding officer of the Staff Advisory Council. The chair shall be elected for a three-year term commencing on July 1, serving the first year as chair-elect, the second year as chair, and the third year as past chair. (Note: As specified in Section 2, a person who is elected to the position of chair-elect may serve the full three-year rotation, no matter how many years he or she has left in the term of membership.) The duties of the chair are to preside over all meetings; to have general and active management of the business of the council; to see that all orders and resolutions of the membership are carried into effect; to respond to and initiate communications with the Office of the Chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill and with any external constituencies on behalf of the council; and to perform all duties and exercise all authority usually associated with the position of chair or prescribed by the membership.
In the event that the chair resigns the position at a time when there is no designated chair-elect, the Executive Committee shall appoint another member as chair to serve until the next regular election.
Chair-elect – The chair-elect shall automatically succeed to the position of chair during his or her second year in office. During the first year, the individual shall serve as chair-elect, attending all functions with the chair and assuming the role and duties appropriate to that office in the absence of the chair. The chair-elect shall also serve as parliamentarian of the Staff Advisory Council.
In the event that the chair resigns or is unable to serve, the chair-elect shall move into that position immediately. The Executive Committee shall schedule an election to fill the position of chair-elect as soon as is practical.
Past chair – The chair shall automatically succeed to the position of past chair during his or her third year in office. This individual shall participate in Executive Committee activities.
In the event that the past chair resigns from the position during the academic year, the Executive Committee shall appoint a third-year representative from its membership to serve until the end of the Spring term.
Secretary – The secretary can be elected for up to three consecutive terms. The secretary shall record and distribute the minutes of all meetings, shall keep the roll of all meetings, and shall keep the ballots of all elections and official records of memberships and terms.
In the event that the secretary resigns or is unable to serve, the Executive Committee shall ask for a volunteer, or appoint another member, to serve as secretary until the next regular election.
Election of Executive Committee
Election of the chair-elect and secretary shall normally be held by secret ballot and shall be conducted as follows: early in the spring semester of each year, the Staff Advisory Council shall distribute to all members of the council a list of members and solicit nominations from that list. The Executive Committee shall then check with each nominee to ascertain if the individual is willing to serve. During the March election meeting, the Executive Committee shall present a slate of a minimum of one nominee for the office of chair-elect and one nominee for the office of secretary. Nominations of additional members from the floor shall be accepted at that time. No person shall be nominated for more than one office. Upon finalization of the slate, a ballot shall be sent to all voting members. All ballots are to be returned within ten days to the chair via the Office of Chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill. Results of the balloting are to be communicated to the membership by the chair.
Article V – Meetings
Regular meetings of the Staff Advisory Council shall be held no fewer than six times with dates and times for the upcoming year to be determined by the incoming chair and council members at the new orientation meeting in June. Special meetings of membership, for any purpose or purposes, may be called at any time by the chair. A quorum consisting of two-thirds of the voting membership must be present at all meetings in order for any official actions to be taken in the name of the council.
Persons who would like to address the Staff Advisory Council shall contact the chair in advance to be provided time on the agenda.
Council meeting time usually is during normal Penn State Schuylkill hours and is considered Penn State Schuylkill business.
As a group that acts in an advisory capacity to the chancellor, not all issues will be appropriate for full campus disclosure until approved by the chancellor and/or the regional director of Human Resources.
All meetings of the Staff Advisory Council shall be governed by the then-current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article VI – Amendments
These bylaws may be altered or amended at any time in accordance with the following procedure. Amendments must be presented to all members of the council in writing at least fifteen days prior to a scheduled meeting. Individuals who will not be present for the meeting shall be invited to mail or email discussion to the chair prior to the meeting. An amendment to these bylaws shall be adopted by a ballot vote of two-thirds of the total council membership to be returned to the chair within fifteen days of the meeting at which the amendment was discussed. Implementation of changes to the bylaws will require the approval of the chancellor.
When the first slate of Staff Advisory Council members is selected, the nine randomly selected persons shall serve two-year or three-year terms, based on a random drawing to be held at the first meeting of the Staff Advisory Council. A tenth person was also randomly selected as an alternate and will serve until the beginning of the next full membership year.
During the first three years of the Staff Advisory Council, the chair must serve a minimum of two years in order to fulfill their role as chair and past-chair. The chair-elect must serve the full three years in order to fulfill the elected position’s term as chair-elect, chair, and past-chair.
Business normally conducted at the July meeting shall be conducted at the September meeting during the first year.