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Staff Senate Bylaws

Staff Senate Bylaws

Article I: Name

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.)

Article II: Mission Statement & Goals

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 SHRA and EHRA 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.

Article III: Membership


There shall be one Senator member per block of fifty, with at least one representative per division, with the total being rounded up to the next tenth permanent SHRA or EHRA non-faculty employees; data is provided annually from Human Resources for this information. Representation shall be based on distribution across five (5) areas. The areas represented include:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Business Affairs
  • Chancellor
  • Student Affairs
  • University Advancement
  • Election

Nominations shall be held on or before April 30th each year with elections by May 15th 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 SHRA and EHRA non-faculty employees.

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 Executive Committee shall appoint a representative to complete the unexpired term. Current delegates may run for re-election.

When more than 50% of senators from an area are rolling off, one open seat will be a 1-year term. Applicants should self-identify if they are open to serving a 1-year term. Of the self identified pool of 1-year candidates, the individual with the highest number of votes shall be awarded the 1-year term.

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.


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.

Ex Officio Members

The Senate shall include a member from Human Resources as Ex Officio, non-voting, non-office holding members. Ex officio members cannot be counted to meet the quorum.


The office of Staff Senate Chair being not only a single-year leadership position, but a multi-year commitment in serving in the advisory role of Past Chair, in order to preserve institutional knowledge and avoid involuntary or burdensome extensions of Past Chair terms, issues of succession shall be handled under the following bylaws:

In case of vacancy in the office of Staff Senate Chair, if:

  • The vacancy occurs before the 1st of February, the Chair-Elect shall assume the position of Chair for the remainder of the term to end on June 30th. This shall be considered the service of the term for which they were elected, and they will then move into the roll of Past Chair (Year 1)
  • Else, if the vacancy occurs on or after the 1st of February, the Chair-Elect shall serve the remainder of the term as Acting Chair, with all duties, powers, and responsibilities of the Chair until the end of that term on June 30th. The Acting Chair will then serve their duly elected term as Chair, from July 1st through June 30th of the following year.

In case of a vacancy in the office the Chair-Elect, the Chair shall call a special election to select a new Chair-Elect, pursuant to the election procedures in Article IV, Section C of the Staff Senate Bylaws. The candidate who receives a plurality of votes shall be appointed Chair-Elect.

Article IV: Officers of Senate

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 Staff Priority 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.

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 at least one committee as determined by the Chair. 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.

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.

Communications Officer: The Communications Officer will serve as the Chair of the Communications Committee and will act as the main liaison to the Office of University Relations and the Staff Senators.

Alternate(s) to the Staff Assembly: The Alternate to the Staff Assembly shall serve as a member of 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 Alternates to the Staff Assembly shall serve as non-voting members of the Executive Committee of Staff Senate. Alternates to the Staff Assembly are exempt from Article III section C.

Elected Officers Shall Form the Executive Committee:

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 April, using the following procedures:

  • Nominations may be made to the Chair of the nominations and Elections Committee. The Chair-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer positions may be filled by current members without regards 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.
  • 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.
  • Once the nominations have been confirmed, the ballot shall be prepared for the election.
  • When voting for Chair Elect, the current chair shall separately rank the candidate in order of preference with 1 being their top choice; this ranking shall be placed in a sealed envelope and given to the Parliamentarian. Following the senate vote, the votes shall be tallied privately. If there is not a tie, then the sealed envelope will be disposed of. If there is a tie for Chair-Elect, the sealed envelope will be opened, and the ranking will be used to break the tie.
  • 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.

Staff Senate Officers

Staff Senate Officers who are elected as Executive Officers of the UNC Staff Assembly will remain ex-officio officers attending Executive Committee meetings in the UNCW Staff Senate until their term as Executive Officer in Staff Assembly expires. In the event of an officer tie, then a runoff election will be held.

Article V: Committees

Standing Committee Chairs

The Senate 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 Senate Chair shall appoint a Senate member to chair a committee. The Chair-elect will ensure that each standing committee will have at least one member who has served on that committee from the previous year to ensure continuity of policy and procedure within that committee.

Executive Committee

Comprised of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair (Year 1), Past Chair (Year 2), Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Communications Officer. 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.

Engagement Committee

This committee is responsible for identifying and/or organizing relevant activities on campus and in the surrounding community. A strong emphasis is placed on staff involvement at UNCW and facilitating and collaborating opportunities with the community.

Nominations 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 SHRA and EHRA non-faculty employees at UNCW concerning Senate activities and opportunities. The Communications Committee Chair will serve as the Communications Officer of the Staff Senate Executive Board.

One member of the Communications committee will serve as the Staff Senate Webmaster and is thus responsible for updating and maintaining the Senate website. One member will serve as Staff Senate liaison to the Office of University Relations on getting communication out to staff about Staff Senate happenings. One member will be designated to maintain the Staff Senate SharePoint website.

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 the online application process which is facilitated by the Financial Aid Department. This committee will update the Scholarship Handbook as needed.

The Scholarship Committee works with the Financial Aid Department in reviewing the scholarship applications and submits the recommended applicants to the full staff senate for approval as scholarship recipient(s). Upon approval of a recipient(s) by the senate the Staff Senate Chair will distribute a congratulatory letter to the student(s) and ensure the funds are transferred to the students' account.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

This committee will present recommendations to the Staff Senate and the administration as it relates to the barriers surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion on topics including but not limited to hiring; support; mentoring; retention; and advancement of faculty, staff, and students on UNCW campus.

The committee will identify and encourage training and learning opportunities across campus to increase awareness of the experiences of underrepresented and marginalized groups. It will serve as a liaison to any University-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion committees.

The Committee will consist of a variety of allies, including but not limited to:

  • Senators from each division including an executive committee member
  • A representative from the Faculty [Senate] DEI committee
  • A representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
  • A representative from the Human Resources who works with Diversity/Equity/Inclusion
  • Additional representatives from diverse affinity groups

Staff Priority Committee

This committee works to articulate the staff priority issues identified by SHRA and EHRA 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.

Faculty Senate

Attends UNCW Faculty Senate meetings and reports back to Staff Senate with monthly updates.

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.

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 Senate Minutes. 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.

Article VI: Meetings

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.

Senators are not to exceed three unexcused absences. Upon two unexcused absences, the Parliamentarian is to contact the Senator and confirm their continued interest in Staff Senate. Senators who are in excess of three unexcused absences are subject to review and dismissal by the executive committee.

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
  • Roll call (by Secretary)
  • 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

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.

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.

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.


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

Article VII: Parliamentary of Procedure

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.

Article VIII: Amendments to the Bylaws

Proposal Process

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

Approval Process

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

Reviews Process

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

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