Staff Senate Constitution

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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:

  • Advocate for staff needs, concerns and interests by providing a means of communication for staff and administration
  • Appreciate and recognize the service and contributions made by staff to the wellbeing of the University
  • Promote educational opportunities for staff
  • Engage and integrate staff into existing University committees and initiatives
  • Support efforts for building staff morale



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:

  • Receiving or requesting studies
  • Reviewing proposed policies
  • Recommending areas needing policy
  • Reaching out to constituents for input
  • Addressing other items as needed

Specific Staff Senate actions include but are not limited to:

  • Participating with the Offices of the Provost and Human Resources by assisting in professional development opportunities for staff, General Staff meetings and other events
  • Reviewing and recommending processes for selecting staff members to receive Staff Excellence in Service and other awards given to staff members
  • Appointing staff members to represent the staff on various standing and ad-hoc committees
  • Acting as a conduit for bringing staff input and concerns to the attention of committees and the University administration

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.


Section 1. Roles and Responsibilities

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.

A. Staff Senate Chair

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.

B. Staff Senate Vice-Chair

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.

C. Staff Senate Secretary

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.

D. Communications Officer

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.

E. Staff Senate Parliamentarian

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.

F. Staff Senate Executive Committee

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.


Section 2. Eligibility for Service as a Senate Officer

A. Chair and Vice-Chair

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.

B. Secretary, Communications Officer, Parliamentarian

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.


Section 3. Officer Appointments and Changes

A. Selection of Officers

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.

B. Replacement of Officers

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:

Elected Members:
Executive Staff
Supervisors & Managers
Salaried/Exempt Staff
Hourly/Non-Exempt Staff
At-Large (1 may represent part-time staff)

Ex-Officio Members

Faculty Senate Representative





Section 2. Senator Elections and Changes

A. Elections

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.

B. Eligibility of Elected Staff Senators

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.

C. Term of Staff Senators

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.

D.Replacement of Senators

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.


Section 1. Meetings

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.

Section 2. Quorum

The Staff Senate quorum shall be one-half plus one of the voting membership of the Staff Senate.

Section 3. Open Session

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.

Section 4. 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.

Section 1. Standing Committees and Councils

The Staff Senate will have representation on the following University committees or councils:

  • President’s Cabinet
  • University Strategy & Policy Committee
  • Institutional Operations Council
  • Institutional Diversity & Inclusion Action Council
  • Faculty Senate
  • Social Committee
  • Wellness Council

The Staff Senate will provide representation to other committees and councils as requested.

Section 2. Search Committees

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.

  • President
  • Provost
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Registrar
  • Vice Presidents
  • Academic Deans

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