By-Laws of Staff Council

Last Updated November 2016 - Approved by Staff Council Vote on November 16, 2016

ARTICLE I - Purpose

The purpose of the Champlain College Staff Council is to help make Champlain College the best place to work; to advocate for the best interests of staff members; to foster an environment of respect and fairness; and to help build a meaningful culture of collaboration by facilitating effective communication among staff, administrators, faculty. students, and alumni. This organization will provide representation in the larger College community, organize networking opportunities among staff members, foster diversity and inclusion, and support the strategic mission and vision of the college.

ARTICLE II - Membership

Membership and voting in Staff Council includes all regular full-time or part-time staff and administrators employed by Champlain College. Those that are employed on a temporary contract are welcome guests but are not members and are thus unable to vote.

ARTICLE III - Meetings, Voting, Executive Committee Membership Eligibility

Staff Council shall hold regular on-campus meetings at least eight (8) times per year. An annual election meeting will be held every May, henceforth called the Annual Meeting. A member of the Executive Committee shall send members an e-mail with the time, place, and agenda for each meeting at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled date. Those members present at Staff Council shall constitute a quorum for any meeting.

The President may call special meetings at his/her discretion. An e-mail notice announcing the meeting should be sent at least one (1) week before it is held. Additionally, at the written request of two (2) members of the Executive Committee or five (5) members of Staff Council, the President may call a special meeting. Only requested issues shall be addressed at special meetings.

Although always welcome to attend meetings, the following job titles are ineligible to vote, hold Executive Committee positions and participate in executive session of Staff Council: the President of the College, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics, and any member of the President's Cabinet (namely Vice President and Senior Vice President positions).

Absentee votes for actions on By-Laws and election of Officers are permitted when the Secretary distributes ballots to all members at least one (1) week prior to the meeting. Paper ballots must be returned to the Secretary by meeting time in a sealed envelope with the voter's name on the outside or the ballot may be returned by e-mail. Staff members at Champlain abroad campuses are permitted to vote by e-mail by the deadline provided to the Secretary of Staff Council. Electronic forms of voting, such as Google Forms, are permitted, as long as the settings allow for only one vote per log-in.

The Order of Business shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee. At the written request of a member of the Staff Council, the Executive Committee shall place an item on the agenda. An e-mail requesting agenda items will be sent out two (2) weeks prior to each meeting. Proposed agenda items must be sent to the Executive Committee at least one (1) week before each meeting.

There may be times during which Staff Council enters executive session. Executive session is defined as "any meeting of a deliberative assembly or a portion of a meeting, at which the proceedings are secret" (Roberts Rules 1990, 9th ed., Page 95). The Staff Council may enter executive session through one of the following means:

A. A motion is raised from the floor.

B. A request is made to the Executive Committee to put an executive session on the agenda for the next meeting. This request must then be framed as a motion by the President of Staff Council.

Conduct of meetings shall be guided roughly by Roberts Rules of Order when voting. Discussion is encouraged.

ARTICLE IV - Officers

The Officers of the Staff Council shall be as follows: Past President, President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  The Immediate Past President serves a one-year term in a non-voting advisory role.

The Officers of the Staff Council shall be elected for a term of two (2) years at the Annual Meeting.  Officers may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms.

The President or his/her appointee shall preside at all meetings and shall present a report to the membership at the Annual Meeting.  The President shall chair the Executive Committee and is an ex-officio member of all standing committees.

The Vice President shall receive assigned duties from the President. In the event of the absence or inability of the President to exercise his/her office, the Vice President shall become the acting President with all the rights, privileges, and powers belonging to that office.  

The Secretary shall keep the minutes and official records of the organization, shall send out communications as required, shall serve all notices required by law or these By-Laws, and shall monitor and tally votes of Staff Council.

The Treasurer shall keep the records of the finances of the Staff Council and shall make a report at the Annual Meeting. The books of the Staff Council shall be available for review by any member upon request within a reasonable period of time.

ARTICLE V - Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected Officers and three (3) additional Board Members at-large. Board Members at-large are elected by Staff Council membership at the Annual Meeting for a one-year term. Officers and Executive Committee members shall be elected for a two-year term. No one may serve more than two (2) consecutive terms as an officer or member of the Executive Committee. Board Members at-large may serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms. Immediate Past President serves a one-year term in a non-voting advisory role.

Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the discretion of the President and Executive Committee members who may reserve the right to invite special guests, including the chairs and co-chairs of the sub-committees.

Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President or by two (2) members of the Executive Committee when a request is delivered to the President or Secretary.

A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the Executive Committee at any meeting.

The function of the Executive Committee is to formulate issues and propose directions for Staff Council. The Executive Committee is not a policy-making body separate from Staff Council, but may speak on behalf of Staff Council to any third party. However, the authority to take action on a specific issue for Staff Council shall result from a majority vote in support of that issue at a properly warned Staff Council meeting. If a decision must be made within 24 hours, the action shall be considered conditional until ratified by Staff Council.

The duties of the Executive Committee are as follows:

A. The Executive Committee shall appoint the chairpersons of the standing committees for one-year terms. Officers and members of the Executive Committee may not serve as chairpersons of these standing committees, but members shall serve in a non-voting capacity as Executive Committee representatives.

B. The President of the College, the Board of Trustees, or College administrators may ask the Staff Council President to nominate a representative to serve on an institutional committee, including College Council.  Executive Committee members will discuss and make recommendations to fill any of these types of positions.

C. The Executive Committee shall work to ensure that Staff Council is represented on all College committees and that updates of the activities of all College committees are regularly reported on at Staff Council meetings.

ARTICLE VI - Nominations & Elections

The Officers and three (3) members of the Board of Directors shall be elected in the following manner:

A. The Communication and Engagement Committee shall appoint a nominating committee of three (3) members in the month of March.  At the March meeting the President shall also announce the positions for which the Nominating Committee will be seeking candidates.  The President may solicit self-nominations at that March meeting.  Members of the Nominating Committee may not run for vacant positions.

B. The Nominating Committee shall e-mail a notice to each member of Staff Council in early April.  This notice must include a list of all offices to be filled and the procedure interested persons may use to nominate themselves or others.

C. A Staff Council member may nominate her/himself or may nominate another Staff Council member.  The Committee shall contact the person nominated to determine whether or not they wish to stand for that office or any other position.  The Nominating Committee may also solicit candidates by phone or by e-mail.

D. All Staff Council members may run for any one (1) office or position of their choice.  The Nominating Committee shall try to nominate at least two (2) candidates for each office.

E. The Nominating Committee shall distribute a slate of candidates one (1) month prior to the election.  The slate shall list each candidate's name and department.

F. The elections shall be held at the Annual Meeting.

G. Secret ballots shall be used unless there is only one (1) candidate per office, in which case, the vote may be taken by voice vote.

H. The people to fill the officer and board member positions will be determined by the majority of votes received.

I. The Officers and members shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. The previous and newly elected Executive Committee shall hold a transitional meeting prior to the next Staff Council meeting.

When an Officer or Executive Committee Member has been absent for three (3) consecutive meetings, the Secretary shall notify him/her by e-mail that he/she may be removed from office and that office declared vacant. If this person fails to reply, he/she may be removed.

Any Officer or Executive Committee Member may be removed with cause by an affirmative vote of three/fourths (3/4) of the entire Executive Committee whenever in its judgment the best interest of the Staff Council will be served thereby.

In the event of the resignation or removal of an Officer or member of the Executive Committee, the President shall appoint a replacement if the remaining term of office is less than one (1) year. If the term of office exceeds one (1) year, the Communication and Engagement Committee shall appoint a nominating committee and a special election for the new member or officer shall be held at the next regular meeting of the membership.

Resignation may be made by contacting the President of Staff Council (in person, by phone, by letter, or by e-mail). It shall be effective upon receipt unless otherwise specified.

ARTICLE VII - Committees

At its first meeting following the elections at the Annual Meeting, the Executive Committee will appoint the chairpersons of the Standing Committees for one-year terms. The chairpersons shall report the committee's activities to the Executive Committee on a regular basis and at Staff Council meetings. Each chairperson may select his or her committee members within the following guidelines:

A. There will be no fewer than three (3) committee members.

B. Including the chairperson, the committee shall not be comprised of more than two (2) members from the same department.

The Standing Committees for the Staff Council are as follows:

Communications and Engagement Committee

This committee will welcome new staff to Champlain, educate them about Staff Council, and inform them of opportunities to get more involved. This committee will collaborate with the other committees of Staff Council and The People Center as well as foster an environment that enhances engagement and collaboration throughout campus. Specific duties will include (but are not limited to): Overseeing the New Staff Ambassador Program; conducting the Staff Council segment at new employee orientations (as needed); assisting in keeping resource guides and web pages for staff up to date and relevant {examples: Guide for Employees web page (The People Center), The Faculty & Staff Resource Guide (Strategic Communications & External Affairs Office), etc.}; assisting Staff Council in keeping their web pages up to date and the Staff Council blog active and assisting with other communications as needed assisting in the call for nominations and selection of the Staff Council Award ; creating the annual Staff Council Nominating Committee to conduct the nominating process (per the Staff Council Bylaws) for open Staff Council positions.

Networking and Recreation Committee

This committee is responsible for bringing staff together as a community through various networking opportunities. These opportunities include both events organized and hosted by the committee, and social events ("pop-up events"). Events funded through the Staff Council budget are open to all staff members and self-funded, pop-up events are open to both staff and faculty.

Staff Welfare and Advocacy Committee

This Committee shall work collaboratively with the People Center to review College policies, benefits, salary, insurance, retirement matters, performance evaluation, professional development, and staff recognition programs which affect staff personnel. The overall job classification structure and advancement opportunities for staff members will be reviewed as deemed necessary and appropriate. This Committee is charged with preparing proposals for review by the membership at large, and subsequently presenting the approved proposal to the President of the College by a representative of the Committee and the President of Staff Council. The Committee will not pursue individual personnel issues or grievances. All communications by any newly formed committee with Staff Council members, such as an ad hoc committee or task force, must be approved by and established under the guidance of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII - Revisions to By-Laws

These By-Laws may be altered, amended, or repealed by an affirmative vote of not less than a majority of the members present at a regular meeting or a meeting called for this purpose.

The Executive Committee will review the By-Laws annually during the summer.

The membership must be notified in writing of the proposed revisions. Copies of the proposed By-Laws must be sent to members at least two (2) weeks in advance. These revised By-laws shall become effective immediately upon adoption.