Staff Council Procedures


Article I. Mission and Values

Staff Council represents and advocates on behalf of the staff community, empowering and engaging staff to cultivate an inclusive environment.

  • Openness: Lack of secrecy, restriction or concealment.
  • Community: Fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
  • Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and emphatic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. (Adapted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities)
  • Diversity: Individual differences, life experiences, group/social differences (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nationality, and disability), historically underrepresented groups, and groups with cultural, political, religious/spiritual, or other affiliations. (Adapted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities)

Article II. Governance

  • All meetings shall be governed by the rules and procedures of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised unless otherwise specified within this document.
  • To amend or suspend the bylaws of Westminster College's Staff Council requires a 2/3 vote of active Staff Council members.

Article III. Membership

Membership numbers: The Staff Council will consist of 9-12 members. If membership falls below 9, a mid-year election will be held to meet minimum membership numbers.

Any part-time or full-time staff member of Westminster College, who does not hold faculty status, who is not an officer of the institution (i.e. a member of the President's Extended Leadership Council), who is also in good standing with the college, is eligible to become a member of Staff Council.

  • An electronic balloted election will be held annually in May. Elected individuals will serve 2 years with an optional third year for a maximum of 2 consecutive terms total (6 years). After the first term, a member who wishes to be on Staff Council for a second term, must submit a nomination for the election and be voted on to Staff Council for a second term.
  • Current Staff Council members must indicate by the Mar. meeting of their desire to continue for a third year.
  • The number of vacancies on Staff Council will be determined by the Apr. Meeting and communicated to all staff.
  • Staff eligible for membership may vote in the annual election of staff council members and all new members will be inaugurated in the June meeting.
  • The individuals with the highest votes will be elected to serve on Staff Council with no more than 1 individual from a department being elected to Staff Council in a given election.
  • Any eligible member of Staff Council may nominate themselves or be nominated by their peers.
  • Due to confidentiality, numbers of votes received for each candidate will not be released.
  • Staff members who are nominated will be given the opportunity to remove themselves from the ballot for any reason.
  • Elections are only required if there are more nominees than open seats.
  • Staff Council can open nominations and elections to fill open seats at any time.

  • It is expected that all members attend each scheduled meeting; however, given role commitments, it is understood that conflicts may arise.
  • Any member who accumulates more than 3 unexcused absences in a 6-month period shall appear at the next meeting following the third absence in order to request to retain their seat on Staff Council. If they do not, this member automatically relinquishes their seat.
  • If a member is no longer eligible to be a member of Staff Council, they will be removed. (See Article III, Section II)
  • A Staff Council member may resign with written communication, and or verbally during a scheduled staff council meeting.
  • A member of Staff Council may be removed with a unanimous vote of staff council members, excluding the member in question.

  • During the election, there will be an alternate 1 and alternate 2 members chosen to fill vacancies in case a member relinquishes their seat during the year.
  • The new member will be added to the committee(s) of the resigning member.
  • If officers resign, an election will be held within the group to fill the vacancy.
  • If the chair resigns, the vice-chair/chair-elect will fill the position.

Article IV. Standing Protocols and Procedures for Meetings

  • A simple majority of the active Staff Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
  • A simple majority vote is sufficient to pass a motion.
  • An email vote may be conducted for time-sensitive issues that arise between regular meetings.
  • An issue may be passed via email only if council members vote with unanimous approval.

  • Staff Council shall meet monthly unless otherwise indicated by the chair and the Staff Council Leadership Team.
  • Meetings are open to all staff.
  • In June, each new council selects the day of the month regularly scheduled meetings will take place.
  • Since meetings are held during regular business hours, those employees interested in serving on Staff Council should obtain the approval of their supervisor.
  • Westminster College encourages department supervisors to release staff for this important work.

Special/emergency meetings of the Staff Council may be called at any time by the chair, Staff Council Leadership Team (chair, vice-chair, communication coordinator, treasurer), or 2/3 of the members of the Staff Council. Special/emergency meetings may act only on such business as clearly indicated in the notice of the meeting.

Communication and Confidentiality

  • Staff Council will communicate to all staff about Council meetings, updates, elections, and events by e-mail and through the all-college "What's Happening" e-mail.
  • The communication coordinator will send an announcement of the upcoming Staff Council meeting at least 3 days in advance to all staff. The e-mail will include the meeting agenda and minutes from the previous meeting.
  • All staff may submit an agenda item for an upcoming meeting by e-mailing the chair, the Staff Council e-mail list, or through the meetings web form. Staff are asked to submit agenda items 1 week before the upcoming meeting.
  • Staff members can submit or present feedback or comments to Staff Council through the following forms:
    • Online Feedback Form
      • Staff who wish to submit a general comment/feedback/concern to Staff Council can do so through an online form on the Staff Council webpage. General comments/feedback will be added to the Staff Council meeting agenda to be discussed at large; issues received after the agenda has been published will be discussed at the following meeting.
    • Speak with a Staff Council Member
      • Staff can bring concerns/feedback/comments to any Staff Council Member. The Staff Council member can address the concern at the next meeting or may refer it to the appropriate department or individual.
    • In-person
      • Staff can bring concerns/feedback/comments to a Staff Council meeting or standing committee meeting on their own behalf or on the behalf of another staff member or office/department.
  • All staff members can submit concerns or comments without being identified publicly. Contributors that include their name can expect direct feedback from the Council; they will not be named in meeting notes or online responses unless they indicate they wish to associate their name with their comments.
  • Staff Council works to give all staff community members a voice, and ensure that all concerns, both positive and negative, can be heard. However, Staff Council will not republish verbatim statements that are disrespectful or defamatory and will work to address the concern in a manner that is respectful to all parties.
  • Administration/senior team/general council/faculty
    • Email
      • All administrators, senior team members, general council and faculty can send an email to Staff Council requesting time on the next meeting agenda to discuss their topic. Requests should be sent 1 week prior to the upcoming Staff Council meeting to be included on the agenda. Staff Council asks the requester to be in attendance to provide additional information and to ask necessary questions.
  • Staff Council can also send out campus emails to staff requesting open feedback on various processes and policy changes, and/or campus-wide impacts of the staff experience.

Article V. Leadership

  • The vice-chair/chair-elect from the previous year will become chair of the Council in the June meeting.
  • The new chair (chair-elect from the previous year) will conduct the election for the new Staff Council Leadership Team and standing committee chairs.
  • The following officers shall be elected by a plurality vote of the elected members of Staff Council at the June meeting, to serve a 1-year term from June 1 to May 31: vice-chair/chair-elect, communication coordinator, treasurer. These officers with the chair shall comprise the Staff Council Leadership Team.

Chair

  • Acquire a working knowledge of parliamentary law and procedure and a thorough understanding of the bylaws and standing rules of the Staff Council.
  • Preside and maintain order at all meetings.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the Council in campus leadership meetings (i.e. Board of Trustees and Leadership Council).
  • Maintain open communication with the president and the director of human resources.
  • Assist the Staff Council's standing committees.
  • Call meetings of Staff Council leadership as needed.
  • Update and maintain Staff Council bylaws.
  • Organize an annual Staff Council Retreat
  • Conduct the election for new Staff Council members.
  • Conduct the nomination process for staff representatives on all-college committees (i.e. Planning & Priorities).
  • Assist in the transition of new Staff Council members and Staff Council leadership.

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

  • In the absence of the chair, presides and performs the duties of the chairperson.
  • Assist the chair in updating and maintaining Staff Council bylaws.
  • Assist the chair with the election of new Staff Council members.
  • Assist the chair with the nomination process for staff representatives on all-college committees.
  • Assist chair in organizing annual Staff Council retreat.
  • Assist the Staff Council's standing committees.
  • Conduct the election of new Staff Council leadership.
  • Transition new Staff Council members and Staff Council leadership.
  • If the chair resigns, the vice-chair assumes the position.

Communication Coordinator

  • Schedule staff council meetings and reserve meeting rooms.
  • Solicit agenda items one week prior to meeting from Council and coordinate with the Chair to create an agenda for staff council meetings.
  • Distribute the agenda to the Council members and all staff at least three days prior to each meeting.
  • Take roll call and mark absences at meetings.
  • Keep the minutes of the meetings.
  • Distribute minutes to Staff Council for approval within a week of the meeting.
  • Post meeting minutes on the Staff Council webpage.
  • Maintain Staff Council Website.
  • Maintain and organize all documents belonging to the Staff Council in the Staff Council Microsoft OneDrive folder.
  • Call a meeting to order in the absence of the chair and vice-chair and preside until the election of a chair pro tem.
  • Notify Staff Council Leadership Team of members with 2 unexcused absences.

Treasurer

  • Establish the annual Staff Council budget in coordination with chair and director of human resources.
  • Review fund requests from Staff Council members and standing committees in coordination with the chair.
  • Track annual spending by the Staff Council and its standing committees and maintain a budget spreadsheet.
  • Assist recipients of professional development funds in receiving payment of funds.

Article VI. Standing Committees

  • The Staff Council or Staff Council Leadership Team shall establish, as needed, any standing and/or ad hoc committees. The committee(s) shall have a charge, membership, chair, and provisions upon each establishment. Each committee shall maintain files that contain meeting minutes and other relevant information. These files will be kept by the chair of the specific committee and will be made available to Staff Council upon request.
  • During the June meeting, the members of Staff Council will elect a chair for each committee below for the next academic year. There will be three standing committees as follows:
    • Professional Development and Training Committee
    • Community Engagement and Social Events Committee
    • Recognition Committee
  • The chair of each ad hoc committee will be elected by a plurality vote of Staff Council members at the meeting in which the committee was requested to serve until the completion of the ad hoc committee. The chair of the ad hoc committee will appoint a co-chair if deemed necessary.
  • It is expected that all committees meet regularly as needed. Furthermore, all elected members of Staff Council must be actively engaged in a committee, which includes attendance of meetings as scheduled.
  • Roles and responsibilities for each committee are as follows:
    • Professional Development and Training Committee
      • The Professional Development & Training Committee aims to promote engaged learning opportunities for staff to improve work performance and personal development. The committee manages the process for selection and disbursement of professional development funds and plans and organizes the annual Staff Retreat. The committee will also propose and organize additional professional development opportunities for staff on-campus.
    • Community Engagement and Social Events Committee
      • The Community Engagement and Social Events Committee aims to improve morale by connecting staff to the entire college community. The committee organizes events for all staff that encourage staff to attend athletic events, theatre and music performances, and other opportunities for staff to socialize through campus events.
    • Recognition Committee
      • The Recognition Committee aims to provide informal and formal recognition of staff and to encourage supervisors to implement department recognition. The committee manages the process and selection of Staff of the Month. The committee organizes and creates a selection process for the annual Community Staff Awards as part of the Staff Retreat. The committee supports the staff emeritus program at the college including reviewing nominations for staff emeriti, planning the annual staff emeritus reception and other social events for emeriti.