I. Charge

  1. Auburn University's Staff Council represents all staff employees at Auburn University. The University Staff Council will promote better understanding, cooperation, and communication among all constituent groups and will endorse the mission and goals of Auburn University.
  2. The Council will provide a system of communications relating to interpretations and applications of the general subject areas covered by the Policies and Procedures Manual for staff employees.
  3. Members of the Council will be considered and appointed by the Chair, with the approval of the Steering Committee, to serve on standing University committees where their membership would be beneficial to the staff and to the University.
  4. The Council will not establish policy but should periodically review the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual and recommend appropriate revisions to the Human Resources Department.

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II. General Organization

(Majority of a Standing Committee membership shall constitute a quorum. Majority consists of one-half of the voting membership plus one. This will apply to all Staff Council Committees and actions.)

  1. Council representatives will be elected by majority vote of staff employees from their respective administrative units on campus. Council representatives are elected to serve for a period of 3 years. Council representatives are allowed to serve consecutive terms only by re-election by staff employees from their respective administrative units on campus. This group of individuals so elected constitutes the Council. Council representatives are allowed one excused absence annually from regularly scheduled quarterly Council meetings. Representatives may appeal to the Steering Committee if more than one absence is required. Otherwise, the Membership and Elections Committee will hold an election to replace such representatives.
  2. Representation for each unit will be one elected member for approximately every 50 staff to be represented. Administrative units may apply for representation (or additional representation) if it appears they are not sufficiently represented. After the case is reviewed by the Rules Committee, a majority vote of the Steering Committee will decide the representation on any case in question.
  3. Council meetings will be scheduled a minimum of once each quarter, including Summer quarter. The Chair, in coordination with the Steering Committee, will be responsible for scheduling and planning Council meetings and may call additional meetings when necessary.
  4. All meetings will be open to all University employees except meetings held exclusively for the election or removal of officers or the amendment of bylaws. Floor discussions are always open at Council meetings, however, disruptive attendees may be removed. Any member of the Council may bring before the Chair and Steering Committee a request to meet in open or closed session apart from regularly scheduled quarterly meetings if Council business dictates.
  5. Former Chairs, currently employed by Auburn University, will be invited to remain as non-voting Council members of the Staff Council serving in an advisory role. They will have other rights and privileges of membership, i.e., service on ad hoc and standing committees and attendance to closed meetings.

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III. Leadership

  1. Within the Council, leadership will be provided by a Steering Committee of 10 members consisting of the Council Chair, immediate past-Chair serving as a non-voting ex-officio, and 8 elected members. One of the 8 elected members will serve in the capacity of Historian. The Council Chair may also request the services of any past Chairs to serve in an advisory capacity as a non-voting member of the Steering Committee.
  2. Members of the Council will be elected to the Steering Committee through the process of an ad hoc Nominating Committee. The Steering Committee will appoint a Nominating Committee from the members of the Council. The Nominating Committee will make a slate of candidates from the Council to be elected by a majority vote of the Council members.
  3. Criteria for membership to the Steering Committee is as follows:
    1. Member who has been an active representative of the Auburn University Staff Council;
    2. Member who has served on ad hoc or standing committees of the Council or University Committees; or has otherwise shown an interest in the Council as well as what is best for Auburn University;
    3. Member who expects continued employment with Auburn University;
    4. Member who will be available to assume the position of Chair should he/she be considered for the position;
    5. Member who will make a professional commitment and obligation in both time and personal effort when he/she accepts appointment to the committee.
    6. Recognizing that most topics presented in Steering Committee meetings are in the initial planning phase, members will maintain confidentiality until such a time as deemed appropriate by the Chair.
  4. Elected members on the Steering Committee will actively serve for three calendar years. Steering Committee members will continue to serve as representatives for their respective units throughout their terms on the Steering Committee. A member rotating off cannot be considered for membership on the Steering Committee again for a period of three years and must be a voting representative. Steering Committee members may have two approved unavoidable absences per quarter (unavoidable in the absolute sense whether it be medical, personal/family or work-related). In the event of a third absence, a letter from the Rules Committee Chair to that member will request a re-evaluation of their commitment to the Steering Committee. If necessary a replacement will be elected at the next Council Meeting by secret ballot majority vote.
  5. The following procedures will select the Chair and Chair-elect of the Staff Council:
    1. The Chair of the Council will be the immediate past Chair-elect and will also serve as Chair of the Steering Committee.
    2. The Chair-elect of the Council will be selected as follows: An ad hoc Nominating Committee, appointed by the Steering Committee in late January or early February or whenever vacancy occurs, shall include two members of the Steering Committee and three members of the University Staff Council. The Nominating Committee will review the qualifications of each eligible Steering Committee member from data provided by the representatives questionnaires and/or other sources and will select two candidates to be presented to the University Staff Council for a majority vote. Voting is by secret ballot during the winter quarter Council meeting. Substitutes previously identified to the Chair of the Membership and Elections Committee will be allowed to vote. This procedure may also begin within 10 working days when a vacancy occurs.
  6. The Chair and Chair-elect will assume their respective positions July 1. In the event the Chair is unable to fulfill his/her duties, the Chair-elect and the immediate past Chair will serve as co-Chairs either temporarily or for the remainder of said term, as circumstances dictate. In the event that the Chair-elect is unable to fulfill his\her duties, a specially called meeting will be held to elect a replacement. There is a financial incentive for serving in leadership roles.
  7. The Chair may choose to appoint an Administrator/Faculty Liaison of his/her choice to serve a one-year term that may be renewable.
  8. When an occasion arises which may require a memorandum, letter, or similar document from the Steering Committee with signatures of members of the Steering Committee, the document may not be reproduced and\or distributed in any manner outside of or different from the original intent without the consent of each individual signee if the document.
  9. During the term of the Chair-elect, Chair and immediate Past-Chair, their respected areas of representation will be appointed to another individual within their unit. This individual will be approved by the Steering Committee and announced at the next Council meeting.

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IV. Committees

Note: All representatives serving on University Committees will be responsible for an update at each of the Staff Council General sessions.

  1. Council committee members will be selected from the council at large by the Chair of the respective committee. Members may be reappointed in subsequent years. The Council Chair appoints the Chair of each committee. Ad Hoc committees may be appointed by the Steering Committee as necessary. The Chair will designate one or more members of the Steering Committee to assist each committee as its advisor. Each committee will be provided with its specific charges, responsibilities, and limitations. Committee chairs should contact the Council Chair for assistance with difficulties encountered while conducting committee business.
  2. Responsibilities of the Membership and Elections Committee are to hold meetings when necessary to discuss membership of the Council; maintain a current list of council members and their terms, conduct elections to replace outgoing Council members; develop and maintain a list of units for which members serve; periodically review representatives' interest and participation to determine continuation of membership; update member questionnaires annually; periodically, at the request of the Council or the Steering Committee, review the overall Council representation and make recommendations to the Steering Committee for changes and/or adjustments as necessary. The Chair-elect will serve on this committee. It will be the responsibility of the Membership and Elections Committee to send notifications to all Past Chairs (active) in establishing a current Rules Committee listing. The Chair of this Committee will be the Chair-elect.
  3. Responsibilities of the Publicity Committee are to arrange for announcements of open Council meetings to appear in the AU Report and/or appropriate publications prior to the meetings; notify all members of meetings; prepare an overview of minutes of the meetings for publication in the AU Report and/or appropriate publications following the meetings; and maintain the Council website.
  4. The Rules Committee will be made of past Council Chairs currently employed at Auburn University. The immediate past Chair of the Council will serve as the Chair of the Rules Committee. This Committee will interpret bylaws as required by the Steering Committee or Council members at large, and make recommendations to the Steering Committee regarding changes in bylaws.
  5. The Staff Council Steering Committee will appoint a standing Grievance Committee according to the procedure outlined in the AU Personnel Policies and Procedures manual. Members to this committee need not be Council representatives but must be staff employees. The Steering Committee will appoint one Grievance Committee member to serve as Chair of that committee for a two-year term.
  6. In the event a staff member who is not a member of the University Staff Council should be appointed to serve on a standing University committee, that person will work with the Steering Committee of the University Staff Council for the period of time he/she is serving the University Committee. Further, that person may meet with the Steering Committee to communicate to the Council deliberations and recommendations made by the committee on which they are serving. He/she may also be called upon to make a report at a regularly scheduled Council meeting.

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V. Responsibilities of Council Representatives

  1. Council members are to communicate information on Council activities to members of their respective units; attend meetings regularly, providing a substitute when unable to attend; present concerns of respective units to the Council; and if invited, Council members should be available to participate if special problems or situations occur which need special study, as stated in the Charge. Substitutes shall be identified at sign-in of regular Council meetings.
  2. Unit Council representatives should work with the Steering Committee to bring identified employee concerns to the attention of their unit administrators and/or the appropriate human resources development office.

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VI. Removal of Representatives

  1. Any Staff Council representative may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Council. Members with complaints about other representatives should present a case to the Steering Committee which will evaluate the validity of removal. If the claim is deemed reasonable, it will be presented to the whole Council in closed session.
  2. A representative may also be removed by a majority vote of his/her unit. Any eligible employee in that unit may initiate that process. If this member is a Steering Committee member, his/her position on the Steering Committee will remain intact unless there is a majority vote for removal by the Staff Council membership.
  3. Any voting member of the Steering Committee may be removed by a majority vote of the Staff Council. This process may be initiated by any Staff Council representative. He/she will remain on the Staff Council as a unit representative unless removed by a majority vote of his/her unit.

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VII. Amendments

These organization and operation procedures may be placed before the University President for amendment by a majority vote of the University Staff Council.

Approved by Staff Council January 23, 2008.

Approved by Board of Trustees January 31, 2008.

NOTE: Prior to January 31, 2008 amendments were required to be submitted to the President of Auburn University and the Board of Trustees for approval. Below are previous amendments dates.

Approved by Staff Council September 11, 2001.

Approved by Board of Trustees November 16, 2001.

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