The Constitution [pdf] of Staff Council of Carnegie Mellon University
Last amended Jan. 16, 2014
Article I: Name
Section 1. The name of this organization is Staff Council of Carnegie Mellon University.
Article II: Purpose and Responsibility
Section 1. The chief purpose of Staff Council is to examine matters related to all staff, and to formulate recommendations to the University Administration. Staff Council may also consider any other topic relevant to the interests or welfare of the University, and will respond appropriately. Staff Council will also consider those affairs that are delegated to it by the President of the University.
Section 2. The responsibility of Staff Council is to represent all persons holding full or part time staff appointments at Carnegie Mellon who are not represented by the faculty organization or a bargaining unit.
Article III: Eligibility
Section 1. All persons holding full or part time staff appointments at Carnegie Mellon and who are not represented by the faculty organization or a bargaining unit are eligible to be members of Staff Council.
Article IV: Officers of Staff Council
Section 1. The officers of Staff Council are elected from the current membership. The elected officers: the Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The selection of the Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer will be decided by a majority vote. Elections for officers are to be held by secret ballot after the general election with the process to be determined by the current Vice Chair.
A) The Chair of Staff Council presides over the meetings of Staff Council and the Executive Committee, and submits an annual report to the President of the University. In the absence of the Chair, or at the Chair's direction, the Vice Chair acts as Chair.
B) The Vice Chair serves in various capacities at the direction of the Chair, and supervises all elections and votes of Staff Council.
C) The Secretary of Staff Council records the minutes of the monthly meetings, maintains the current list of members, coordinates the monthly meetings, and sends correspondence at the direction of the Chair.
D) The Treasurer of Staff Council oversees the finances under the control of Staff Council, reports on the finances monthly, and submits a yearly operating budget to the President of the University.
E) A person may not simultaneously hold more than one of the offices named in Article IV, Section 1.
F) Should a vacancy occur in the office of Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer, before the completion of a term of office, the Nominating Committee nominates a candidate or candidates for the vacant office and an election is held at the first possible Staff Council meeting. At that meeting, nominations from the floor are accepted. Such an election is decided by a majority of the secret ballots received from Staff Council members attending the meeting. Officers elected by this method serve to the original expiration date of the term that they have been elected to complete.
G) Should a vacancy occur in the office of Chair of Staff Council, the Vice Chair shall complete that term and a new Vice Chair shall be selected in accordance with Section 2 Item F.
H) Should a temporary extended vacancy occur for the Vice Chair, Secretary or Treasurer, the Chair may appoint a replacement, who is a representative in good standing, which is approved by a majority vote of the representatives at the next Staff Council meeting. This appointment will be for the duration of the extended vacancy or until the end of the term (whichever is first). If the vacancy is permanent or becomes permanent during a temporary vacancy, a replacement will be elected as outlined in Section 2 Item F.
Section 3. The terms for the Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are one year each and will commence or expire at the beginning of the August Staff Council meeting.
Section 4. At the expiration of each year's term, the retiring Vice Chair becomes the Chair for the following term, with the following exception:
A) A person who has succeeded or been elected to the office of Chair by reason of a vacancy occurring after the 3rd Thursday in February of the expiring term remains Chair for the following term.
Section 5. At the beginning of each year's term that member of Staff Council who has most recently held the office of Chair becomes Past Chair and will serve in an advisory capacity.
Section 6. In the event that the Vice Chair, Chair or Past Chair fails to receive the requisite number of votes to be a Staff Council representative, they shall continue to serve in their officer's capacity but shall not hold voting privileges; except the chair shall vote only in the case of a tie.
Article V: Membership of Staff Council
Section 1. The membership of Staff Council shall consist of 2 elected members from each campus unit, as defined in the annually published organizational chart at the Staff Council website, as maintained by the Chair of the Elections Committee, as well as members elected at large whose number is equal to the total number of allotted campus unit seats, except as outlined in Article V, Section 5A and 5B. The term of office shall be for two years, to commence at the beginning of the August Staff Council meeting.
A) In the event that there are less than 2 candidates from a campus unit, the Elections Committee will ask the director of that unit to nominate a candidate to run in the election.
B) A Staff Council representative, who is an At-large representative, may run as a Divisional representative. If elected, they must resign from being an At-large representative effective at the end of their current term. No represenative can be both an At-large representative and a Divisional representative at the same time. Current Divisional representatives cannot run for an At-large position.
Section 2. Representatives are to be nominated and elected from the eligible members of the staff, with eligibility to be verified by the Elections Committee. The process of obtaining nominations is coordinated, during the 2nd quarter of the current calendar year by the Elections Committee under the supervision of the Vice Chair.
A) In the case of a Satellite Campus, the Chair will appoint a member of the staff from that campus to serve as a representative on Staff Council for a 2 year term. Said representative will have the same rights and privileges as an elected member, but will be exempt from Article V, Section 10, regarding attendance at meetings.
Section 3. The election of representatives is by secret ballot and is conducted by the Elections Committee under the supervision of the Vice Chair. Write-in votes for qualified individuals are permitted.
Section 4. Alternates are those members who have been nominated to a seat on Staff Council but have failed to receive the requisite number of votes to be a representative. As such, they do not hold voting privileges but may attend the monthly meetings.
Section 5. Should a vacancy occur before the completion of a Representative's term, the remainder of the unexpired term is filled by an Alternate Member of Staff Council. The new member is selected by the Chair and Vice Chair based on the number of votes received as well as their attendance at Staff Council meetings.
A) In the event that a representative from a campus unit transfers to a different unit, said representative will step down as a unit representative, but will continue to serve on Staff Council as an at large member until the next general election.
B) In the event of a vacancy within a Campus unit in which there is no alternate, the Vice Chair will contact the director of the unit about scheduling a special election to be held at the discretion of the unit.
Section 6. Each elected member of Staff Council is entitled to propose resolutions to Staff Council.
Section 7. Each elected member of Staff Council is entitled to vote on the business of the Council, including officer elections, with the exception of the Chair, who will vote only in the event of a tie.
Section 8. The Secretary of Staff Council will maintain a current list of the membership.
Section 9. All members of Staff Council are required to join at least one committee.
A). Each member of Staff Council is expected to attend the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, with the exception of those representatives from an Off Site Campus. Absence from four such meetings in any given term year, with the exception of a university approved medical leave of absence, will result in dismissal from Staff Council by written notification from the Chair, to be sent within two weeks of the fourth absence.
B). Any dismissed member shall have the right to appeal. All requests for appeals shall be directed to the Chair and must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the receipt of the dismissal notification, requesting a hearing before either the Executive Committee or the General membership, with the provision that the personal appearance of the appellant is optional.
C). Upon receipt of the appeal, a hearing will be conducted at the next regularly scheduled meeting of either the Executive Committee or the General membership, as determined by the appellant, with the outcome to be determined by a majority vote, with all decisions being final.
D). Any member who is dismissed under the provisions of this article for two consecutive years shall be ineligible to serve on Staff Council for a single two year term.
Section 11. Any member of Staff Council may be dismissed from Council for: neglect of duty, or any action deemed detrimental to Staff Council, to include any false, malicious, or frivolous charges brought forward under this section. Said dismissal will be in accord with the following procedures.
A) Any member of Staff Council may initiate dismissal proceedings at a General Staff Council meeting by showing due cause for such an action and with a majority vote of those present being necessary to proceed further, at which time the member in question will be notified that dismissal proceedings have been initiated and that they will be temporarily suspended pending a review.
B) A hearing will be held at the next available Staff Council meeting with the charges being presented and the opportunity for the accused to provide a defense, after which a vote will be taken with a 2/3’s vote of those present being necessary for dismissal from Staff Council.
Article VI: Meetings of Staff Council
Section 1. Staff Council will hold a minimum of 10 monthly meetings during the calendar year. Meetings are normally open to all, although only elected members of Staff Council may propose resolutions and only elected members of Staff Council may vote. Twenty elected members of Staff Council shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2. Additional meetings of Staff Council may be called by the Chair if requested by the President of the University or in writing by a minimum of twenty members of Staff Council.
Section 3. Should both the Chair and Vice Chair be unable to preside at a meeting of Staff Council, the Past Chair will serve in their place. If the Past Chair is unavailable, the meeting will be presided over by the Treasurer, and if they are unavailable, it will fall to the Secretary. In the event that none of the officers are available, a member of the Executive Committee may be selected by the Chair to preside over the meeting.
Section 4. Any matter may be placed before a meeting of Staff Council and acted upon without appearing on that meetings agenda, unless the presiding officer along with one-third of the members present agree that a delay is necessary.
Section 5. Unless otherwise specified by the Constitution, all meetings of Staff Council will be conducted in accordance with that version or edition of Robert's Rules of Order as selected by the Executive Committee.
Section 6. The newly elected Chair will appoint a Parliamentarian from among the members of Staff Council to deal with any questions of procedure that may arise during a meeting. Such issues will be decided by the presiding officer after consultation with the Parliamentarian. However, a ruling of the presiding officer may be overruled by a majority vote of those members present. In the event that the Parliamentarian is absent, the Chair may appoint an acting Parliamentarian for the duration of the meeting.
Article VII: Committees of Staff Council
Section 1. The Committees of Staff Council include: the Executive Committee, Elections Committee, and other Standing Committees. Ad Hoc Committees may be established by resolution of Staff Council or by action of the Chair. Each committee is directly responsible and responsive to Staff Council, and reports its actions and recommendations to Staff Council.
Section 2. The Executive Committee manages and executes the business of Staff Council. This includes, but is not limited to, approving the agenda for meetings, advising the Chair in making appointments to University committees, and monitoring the activities of Staff Council Committees. The Executive Committee includes, the officers of the Staff Council, the Chairs or Co-chairs of Standing Committees, the Parliamentarian, the Archivist and the Webmaster.
A) The Executive Committee shall meet prior to the monthly Staff Council meeting.
B) Should both the Chair and Vice Chair be unavailable to conduct a meeting of the Executive Committee, the Chair may appoint a member of the Executive Committee to do so. If no such appointment is made, the members of the Executive Committee may appoint one of their members to conduct the meeting.
C) A majority of the Executive Committee members is required for the Committee to conduct business.
D) Only the officers of Staff Council and one member of each standing committee shall have voting rights on matters concerning Executive Committee business. Representatives must be elected staff council members and present at the Executive Committee meeting in order to vote.
Section 3. The Elections Committee is headed by the Vice Chair and is responsible for conducting all elections in accordance with the Constitution of Staff Council.
Section 4. Standing Committees are those established by the Executive Committee for a specified purpose and indefinite span of time, with size and composition to be determined under the guidance of the Executive Committee. The Chairs, or Co-chairs if the committee deems them necessary, of said committees shall be chosen by the members and reported to the Executive Committee. If the members are unable or unwilling to select a Committee Chair, the Chair of Staff Council may appoint one. Standing Committee's should meet at the discretion of the Committee Chair.
A) The Chair of Staff Council shall maintain a list of all Standing Committees, their status as active or inactive, membership, and duties.
Section 5. Ad Hoc Committees are those committees established by the Executive Committee or the Chair of Staff Council, and are conceived as having temporary, finite, or exploratory functions. These are charged by the Chair of Staff Council. Charges include the purpose, composition, size, and terms of appointments to the Committee as well as an indication of the date or completed task that determines the dissolution of the Committee.
Section 6. All Standing and Ad Hoc Committee members must be current members of Staff Council. Volunteers may participate on committees at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
Article VIII: Staff Council Appointments to University Councils and Committees
Section 1. The Chair of Staff Council in agreement with the University Administration shall be responsible for the appointment of representatives to University Councils, Committees, and Task Forces. They are responsible for maintaining communications between that body and Staff Council.
Section 2. Only current members of Staff Council are eligible to appointment to University Councils, Committees, or Task Forces.
Article IX: Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to this Constitution may be initiated by two-thirds vote of the members of Staff Council present during a regularly scheduled meeting. Once an amendment has been approved by a two-thirds vote, the amendment under consideration cannot be amended again, and must be voted on as is. The proposed amendments will be distributed to the membership with the notice that they will become effective if and when ratified by a two-thirds vote at the next meeting of Staff Council.
Article X: Archivist
Section 1. The incoming Chair will appoint a member of Staff Council to serve as Archivist for a term of one year.
Section 2. The Archivist will be responsible for gathering materials from all Staff Council Committees and general meetings for transfer to the Staff Council Archives, as well as the cataloging and maintenance of said records and the proper disposal of duplicate and dated materials (election ballots, written survey instruments, etc.) The Archivist will also provide the Officers with a log listing the pertinent documents contained within the archives and will make the documents available when requested.
Article XI: Webmaster
Section 1. The incoming Chair will appoint a member of Staff Council to serve as Webmaster for a term of one year. This appointment is to be made no later than the start of the second general meeting of the new term.
Section 2. The Webmaster will be responsible for maintaining the Staff Council website and other electronic means of communication as directed by the Chair.
This Constitution shall become effective on January 1, 2002.
Final Draft: October 2001
Amended July 17, 2003
Amended June 17, 2004
Amended March 17, 2005
Amended June 15, 2006
Amended October 18, 2006
Amended February 15, 2007
Amended March 20, 2008
Amended November 20, 2008
Amended May 2, 2009
Amended July 16, 2009
Amended April 15, 2010
Amended July 15, 2010
Amended February 21, 2011
Amended March 18, 2011
Amended January 16, 2014
Presented By the Constitution/By-Laws Committee
Established: Sept 1999