ARTICLE I – MISSION STATEMENT
The Andrews University Staff Senate will fulfill the mission of the University by promoting a working environment for University staff marked by integrity, professionalism and innovation, that facilitates communication and cooperation between staff, faculty, and administration, while promoting a healthy work-life balance.
It is the mission of the Andrews University Staff Senate to:
The Staff Senate is responsible for providing feedback and recommendations to the University Administration and its Councils, Committees and Departments or Offices on matters that affect general staff by:
Specific Staff Senate actions include but are not limited to:
The Staff Senate is not a decision-making body with regard to wages and conditions of employment, although it may provide a forum where certain aspects of these items may be discussed for the purpose of making appropriate recommendations.
Staff Senate officers have the same privileges with regards to vote and voice as senators, from among whom they are chosen. Their service as Staff Senate officers carries these additional responsibilities. Officers will serve a term of two years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.
The Chair is responsible for the overall administration and leadership of the Staff Senate, including developing the agenda and scheduling meetings. They will chair meetings of the Staff Senate, maintain contact with both the General Staff, Faculty Senate and administration through both formal and informal channels.
The Vice-Chair is responsible to the Chair. They will chair or co-chair the Staff Senate meetings at the discretion of the Chair. The Vice-Chair will become acting chair, with full power and authority thereof, if the Chair is unable to serve for an extended time. If the Chair is unable to continue service, the Vice-Chair will become the permanent Chair by a 2/3 vote of the Staff Senate. See Section 3 for additional information on officer replacement.
The Secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of the Staff Senate meetings, classifying all reports to be considered by the Staff Senate, and supervising the permanent files of relevant committees. The Secretary is responsible for keeping records of the Staff Senate.
The Communications Officer is responsible for managing communications necessary to the functioning of the Staff Senate. The Communications Officer will work in consult with the Chair and Vice-Chair to maintain the Staff Senate website and manage meeting notifications.
The Parliamentarian is responsible for ensuring that the business of the Staff Senate is conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order. The Parliamentarian shall serve as the authority to whom questions regarding parliamentary procedure shall be referred by the Chair during meetings of the Staff Senate.
The officers of the Staff Senate form an Executive Committee of the Senate. The Executive Committee serves as a liaison between the Staff Senate and Senate subcommittees as well as the Faculty Senate and the University Administration. The Executive Committee will report to the Office of the Provost.
These positions must be filled by members of the Staff Senate with a minimum of three years (36 months) of continuous full-time service at Andrews University. They must have experience and interest in the governance system of the University.
These positions must be filled by members of the Staff Senate with a minimum of two years (24 months) of full-time service at Andrews University.
Secret ballots will be cast (either paper or electronic) by the full Staff Senate as the means of election of officers. The officers-elect are then confirmed by the general staff of the University.
Staff Senate Officers may resign by tendering a letter of resignation to the full Staff Senate or be removed for cause from office by a 2/3 vote of the full Staff Senate during their term. A replacement officer will be selected from current Staff Senate members by a 2/3 vote and will carry out the remainder of the resigned officer’s term.
Section 1. Distribution of Senators
The membership of the Staff Senate shall consist of 17 elected members, not including ex officio members. The Faculty Senate will appoint one non-voting, ex-officio member. If there is a change of categorization of a Staff Senator, the Staff Senate will determine the appropriate actions to take regarding representation.
The membership will be as follows:
Elections will take place in March of each year. Elections will be conducted by the Executive Committee and utilize electronic balloting of all regular staff members.
Any staff member who has been employed for one or more years in a full-time position is eligible to be elected as a Staff Senator.
Staff Senators shall serve a 2 year term except when filling a mid-term vacancy of another Staff Senator. A Staff Senator may not be reelected for more than 4 consecutive terms.
A Senator can be removed from office and replaced due to non-performance or lack of attendance. Recommendations for the removal of any Staff Senator from office shall be accepted from any constituent, Executive Committee member, or Senator for non-performance of Senate duties. Each recommendation shall be evaluated on an individual basis by the Executive Committee. The removal shall be voted by the Staff Senate based on a recommendation from the Executive Committee. The Staff Senate will identify and appoint a Senator to fill a vacating Senator’s seat. The appointed Senator will fill the vacancy until the next regularly scheduled election.
Regular meetings of the Staff Senate will normally be held once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters. Regularly scheduled meetings of the Staff Senate may be cancelled by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
The Staff Senate quorum shall be one-half plus one of the voting membership of the Staff Senate.
All meetings of the Staff Senate shall be open to any staff member unless otherwise noted. Minutes of the Staff Senate will be available on the Staff Senate website. See Section 4 below for closed meetings.
At the discretion of a majority vote of the Executive Committee, closed Staff Senate meetings may be called. Closed meeting will not be open to general Staff participation. Minutes of confidential agenda items will not be made public.
The Staff Senate will delegate duties and tasks to standing or ad-hoc committees that will be made of representation appropriate to the bodies’ task. All policy proposals and recommendations from these committees will be sent to the Staff Senate for approval.
The Staff Senate will have representation on University committees. The representatives will be non-voting members with voice and should not be chosen from current voting members of the committee.
The Staff Senate will have representation on the following University committees or councils:
The Staff Senate will provide representation to other committees and councils as requested.
The Staff Senate will have voice during the hiring process of some Cabinet and Deans level positions. At least one representative of the Staff Senate will have voice during the search for the following positions.
The Staff Senate will only receive voice in the search for assistant and associate level positions of Provost, Vice President and Dean at the request of the President or Provost.
Amendments to the constitution can be initiated by the Executive Committee of the Staff Senate. Any changes to the constitution must be approved by 2/3 the membership of the Staff Senate and a majority of the General staff.
Approved by General Staff Vote - 29 January 2020