Staff Senate: Bylaws August 27, 2010 Revision




The name of the body hereby constituted shall be the Staff Senate, University of North Carolina Wilmington. (Hereafter in this document, the term "Senate" shall refer to the Staff Senate unless otherwise noted.)


The Senate was established to foster a spirit of unity, pride and cooperation among staff members by recognizing the leadership role staff plays in the daily work of the University. The Senate advises the Chancellor and senior officers on issues and concerns that are important to staff and supports the administration in the achievement of the University’s mission. Specific goals of the Senate include:

  • Represent and advocate for SPA and EPA non-faculty employees.
  • Provide a two-way medium for communication with the Chancellor regarding issues affecting staff.
  • Ensure that staff members work in a positive, respectful atmosphere with opportunities for professional and personal growth.
  • Develop constructive suggestions for consideration by senior officers.
  • Facilitate a consensus voice for all staff through open meetings to seek ideas, and express, investigate and debate issues with the participation of a significant cross section of University staff members.
  • Foster recognition of staff contributions to the University’s mission.
  • Participate in and represent UNCW staff with the NC system-wide Staff Assembly.
  • Encourage a sense of community among all University employees.
  • Ensure ongoing communication regarding decisions made on staff-related issues as well as programs and benefits of interest to staff.


A. Representation

There shall be one Senate member per block of fifty or less permanent SPA or EPA non-faculty employees; data is provided annually from Human Resources for this information. Representation shall be based on distribution across nine (9) areas. The areas represented include:

  • Academic Affairs/Provost
  • Advancement
  • Athletics
  • Business Affairs
  • Center for Marine Science
  • Chancellor
  • Information Technology Systems Division
  • Public Service & Continuing Studies
  • Student Affairs

B. Election

Nominations shall be held on or before April 30th each year with elections by May 31st each year to replace members whose terms are expiring. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall coordinate an open campus wide nomination process, validate Nominees, and coordinate elections. Areas would be encouraged to nominate SPA and EPA non-faculty employees.

C. Terms of Members

All members will be elected to serve two (2) year staggered terms. Terms will begin on July 1. The purposes of staggered terms are to assure continuity and to avoid full turnover in any year. The groups will be divided so as to constitute members from a diverse cross-section of the membership representation.Any vacant member position shall be appointed by the Executive Committee on an interim basis. When a vacancy occurs in any elected Senate position, the area wherein the vacancy occurred shall elect a representative to complete the unexpired term. After the completion of a two-year term, members must take a one-year break before they can serve as a member of Staff Senate.

D. Removal of Members

Any member can be removed for nonperformance of Senate duties by a vote of two thirds (2/3) of the voting members of the Senate. Nonperformance of Senate duties may include, but is not limited to: non-attendance; defined as two (2) or more unexcused absences, unavailability of the member to the staff he/she represents, or conduct injurious to the Senate, the University, or the purposes of the Senate.

E. Duties

The members shall be responsible for attending regular scheduled meetings, considering all matters presented to it, making recommendations for agenda items, serving on committees, and performing such other business as presented to the Senate and to advise the Chancellor and Senior Officers on matters of mutual concern to both administration and staff.

F. Ex Officio Members

The Senate shall include a member from Human Resources and at least one other member from the Chancellor’s Division as Ex Officio, non-voting, non-office holding members. Ex officio members cannot be counted to meet the quorum.


A. Officers and Duties

  • Chair. The Chair shall preside at Senate meetings, serve as Chair of the Executive Committee, call special meetings as necessary, perform other duties usual to the office, and confer with and report regularly to the Chancellor on matters pertaining to the staff, Senate, and the university. The Chair is responsible for upholding the Bylaws of the Senate and conducting all meetings. The Chair shall serve as a member of the Top Ten Issues Committee. The Chair shall serve for a period of one year. The Chair is the UNCW delegate to the system wide UNC Staff Assembly and shall serve for a period of 3 years. The Chair shall serve on the Staff Assembly Chairs Committee during his/her tenure as Chair. In the event the Chair is unable to represent UNCW at such Functions, the Chair-Elect may be appointed to serve in this capacity. The Chair prepares the Senate Annual Report for submission to the office of the President of the University System.
  • Chair-Elect. The duties of the Chair-Elect shall be to preside at all meetings of the Senate in the absence of the Chair or in the event the Chair requests the Chair-Elect to serve during the course of a meeting; to assist the Chair in performing leadership responsibilities; to serve by appointment on committees; to accept names of persons interested in serving on standing committees and to make appointments on the basis of the person's preference where possible or, in the absence of volunteers, make the necessary appointments to committees in consultation with the chair; to make appointments to fill vacancies on committees; and to call a meeting of any committee that is not fulfilling its responsibilities and establishing organization by dictum. The Chair-Elect shall become exempt from the terms of members in Article III Section C.
  • Past Chair (Year 1). The Past Chair shall serve in this office for a period of one year with alternating months of attendance to the monthly Senate meetings. The duties of the Past-Chair shall be to assist as requested by the Chair, may serve as a resource for the Staff Senate, to serve as Ex-officio member of the Executive committee and Senate. The Past Chair shall serve on the Nominations and Elections Committee. The Past Chair shall serve as a delegate to the UNC Staff Assembly for a period of 2 years and should serve on at least one committee on the UNC Staff Assembly each year of service.
  • Past Chair (Year 2). The Past Chair Year 2 shall serve in this office for a period of one year with alternating months of attendance to the monthly Senate meetings. The Past Chair Year 2 shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Executive Committee and Senate. The duties of this officer shall be to assist as requested by the Chair and may serve as a historical resource for the Senate. The Past Chair Year 2 shall serve as a delegate to the UNC Staff Assembly for a period of one year and should serve on at least one Staff Assembly committee during that year of service.
  • Secretary. The Secretary will serve for one year (through the completion of the July Senate Meeting). The duties of the Secretary shall be to take minutes and attendance records of each meeting, including the distribution of minutes to the Senate at least five working days before the next scheduled meeting of the Senate; to serve as Secretary of the Executive Committee, keep minutes of the committee's meetings and notify its members of meeting dates and locations; and to serve by appointment on committees.
  • Treasurer. The Treasurer will serve for one year (through the completion of the July Senate Meeting). The Treasurer shall serve on the Executive Committee and be responsible for recording and disbursing funds allocated for the conduct of Senate business and for any required financial reports concerning Senate expenditures.
  • Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian will serve for one year (through the completion of the July Senate Meeting). The duties of the Parliamentarian shall be to ensure that the Chair or presiding officer abide by the stated rules of order during meetings; to serve as a resource to Senate officers and membership regarding the rules and usage of the stated rules of order; to preside at all meetings in the absence of both the Chair and Chair-Elect; to serve as a member of the Bylaws Committee; and to serve by appointment on committees. In the event that the Chair, Chair-Elect and Parliamentarian are unable to preside at a meeting, the Parliamentarian should notify the Secretary to cancel the meeting.
  • Alternate to the Staff Assembly. The Alternate to the Staff Assembly shall serve as a member of the Staff Assembly. They shall serve on at least one committee on the Staff Assembly. The duties of this officer shall be as requested by the Chair to attend any face to face meetings of the Staff Assembly as needed and to attend any on-site video conference at UNCW. The Alternate to the Staff Assembly shall serve as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee of Staff Senate.

B. Elected officers shall form the Executive Committee.

C. Election Procedures for Officers.

The Officers of Senate shall be elected at a regularly scheduled meeting each July, with the exception of the Chair-Elect which will occur at a regularly scheduled meeting each May, using the following procedures:

  1. Nominations may be made to the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee. Only current members with one year of service on the Senate shall be eligible for nomination as Chair-Elect. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian positions may be filled by current members without regard to years of service on the Senate. A firm time will be set to close all nominations and absolutely no nominations can be accepted after that time.
  2. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall contact the nominees. Each person named on the ballot must accept the nomination and consent to their name being placed on the ballot.
  3. Once the nominations have been confirmed, the ballot shall be prepared for the election.
  4. The Chair and Chair-Elect shall begin service on July 1 of each year. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian shall begin service at the conclusion of the Senate meeting in July.


A. Standing Committee Chairs

The Chair shall accept volunteers to chair the standing committees each July. If more than one person volunteers to chair a committee, the committee chair would be determined by a vote of the Senate at large. If no one volunteers to chair a committee, the Chair shall appoint a Senate member to chair a committee.

B. Standing Committees

Standing Committees of the Senate are ongoing regular committees that review, recommend and respond to issues related to the activities and guidelines for the Senate. Standing Committee Chairs are appointed from the general Senate and serve as Chair for one year. Standing Committees of the Senate are as follows:

  • Executive Committee- Comprised of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair (Year 1), Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. The Executive Committee makes decisions for the Senate in emergency situations, develops meeting agendas for the entire Senate, annually reviews Senate guidelines and recommends motions to the Senate.
  • Bylaws Committee- This committee reviews and recommends changes to the Bylaws and procedures of the Senate. Any updates to the bylaws are due by May of each year.
  • Nominations and Elections Committee- This committee shall handle all nominations and elections procedures as set forth in the bylaws. It shall also be the responsibility of the Committee to contact the nominated candidates prior to the meetings where elections are scheduled to be sure they are willing to serve and to fully explain the duties and length of term of each office to the potential candidates.
  • Communications Committee – This committee develops and implements a variety of communications with the Senate’s constituencies, paying particular attention to communications with SPA and EPA non-faculty employees at UNCW concerning Senate activities and opportunities. One member of the Communications committee will serve as the Staff Senate Webmaster and is thus responsible for updating and maintaining the Senate website and one member will serve as Staff Senate Newsletter Reporter and Editor thus responsible for the development of the Newsletter monthly.
  • Orientation Committee- This committee educates newly elected members and alternates to enable them to become fully contributing members of the Senate at their first official meeting, conducts any retreats of the Senate, and provides continuing development for members. The chair of this committee represents Staff Senate during HR’s New Employee Orientation sessions.
  • Scholarship Committee - This committee monitors the activity of the Scholarship fund as well as the application and award process for the fall and spring semesters. This includes promoting the application period and establishing guidelines for the1) written application, 2) rating system and 3) selection process for use by the Senate. The Scholarship Committee will review all scholarship applications and present a single applicant to the full Staff Senate for approval as the scholarship recipient. Upon approval of a recipient by the Senate, the committee works with the Staff Senate Chair and Financial Aid Department to distribute a congratulatory letter to the student and ensure the funds are transferred to the student’s account.
  • Public Relations - The Public Relations Committee promotes the objectives and accomplishments of the UNCW Staff Senate and aids in the promotion and organization of Staff Senate events. The Committee works with Marketing and Communications to provide announcements and updates to the UNCW community. In order to properly disseminate and promote these events, a member of the Public Relations Committee serves as a liaison to the Communications Committee and Faculty Senate. The Public Relations Committee duties may include but are not limited to: organizing the Staff Senate booth for the UNCW Perks Fair, Teal Spotlight, and sending thank you notes on behalf of the Staff Senate.
  • Fund Raising - This committee does fundraisers to increase the base in the Staff Scholarship fund. The committee works with Staff Senate to establish fund raising events and solicits volunteers to help with those special projects. The ex-officio representative from the Chancellor’s Office works with the Senate’s treasurer to insure proper accounting of funds.
  • Top 10 Issues - This committee works to articulate the Top 10 issues identified by SPA and EPA non-faculty to be brought forth to the Chancellor on an ongoing basis. The committee’s findings are presented to the Staff Senate for review prior to submission to the Chancellor.
  • Legislative Education Committee – This committee informs current SPA and EPA non-faculty about issues regarding legislation in the North Carolina House and Senate and the US Congress that directly impacts the employment of SPA and EPA non-faculty at the university. The committee collects information about pending legislation regarding salaries, health care, university funding issues, and other issues pertaining in like scope, communicates pending legislation without prejudice, and creates means for SPA and EPA non-faculty to communicate individual opinions or desires to legislatures under university and State guidelines.

C. Ad Hoc Committees

The chair of the Senate may appoint various ad hoc committees to deal with specific issues or to assist the full Senate. These committees may include any combination of members of the general staff, administration and faculty. The Senate may also establish ad hoc committees and specify the method of selecting their members.

D. Basic Charge to Sub-Committees

  • Each committee is empowered to investigate issues in its area of responsibility for report to the Senate.
  • Each committee shall present a written report of its activities to the Executive Committee at the June meeting for inclusion in the Annual Report of the Senate. The report shall include a list of all items placed on the committee agenda and not the disposition of each.
  • Reports providing information and results of investigations shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for inclusion on the agenda. Each committee shall report on its activities at each Senate Meeting.


A. Meeting Schedule and Attendance

The Senate shall meet monthly beginning in July of the Fiscal Year at a time agreed upon by the Senate. These meetings are open meetings. All Senate meetings shall be announced in a media widely available to the University. Attendance at meetings and activities is considered work time provided arrangements have been made with the appropriate supervisor for attendance. It is expected that members shall attend all Senate meetings and other activities and shall be given permission to adequately represent their constituencies in this manner. Attendance by non Senate members at monthly meetings, committee meetings and other activities is strictly voluntary.

B. Agenda for Regular Meetings

  • Items to be reported or discussed should be sent to the Chair of Staff Senate at least two (2) days prior to the meeting.
  • The Chair shall prepare an agenda for each meeting. The order of business shall be:
    • Call to order
    • Confirmation of quorum by Chair Elect
    • Approval of the minutes
    • Reports from the Chair
    • Committee Reports
    • Old Business
    • New Business
    • Adjournment
  • The agenda will also provide for updates by the University Chancellor or designee, as well as guest speakers, as needed.

C. Minutes and Custodian of Records

Minutes shall be taken at each meeting. The minutes are to be made available for inspection by all staff at a place or location to be determined by the Senate. The Secretary of the Senate shall serve as custodian of the Records according to the university’s retention policy.

D. Special Meeting

The Chair may call a special meeting of the Executive Committee or full Staff Senate. A special meeting may be requested by a member of the Executive Committee, the Chancellor of the University, an active Senate member or by an individual presenting the request directly to the Chair. The request for the meeting must include an agenda. At least two (2) working days must lapse between the announcement of a meeting and the scheduled date of the meeting.

E. Closed Session

When matters of a confidential nature shall be discussed, a member of the Executive Committee may call a Closed Session. Provided it conforms to the rules and conditions of the N.C. Open Meetings Law. Closed sessions are for Staff Senate members only.

F. Quorum

A 2/3 majority of the members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the Senate.


The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern this Senate in all parliamentary procedures in which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with the University’s Policies & Procedures.


A. Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Senate at a regular meeting to be referred to the bylaws committee for study and recommendation for a vote at the next regular meeting.

B. Amendments to the bylaws shall be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership of the Senate.

C. These bylaws shall be reviewed by the Bylaws Committee at least once a year and updated as necessary.

LAST REVISED: Aug 27, 2010

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