By-Laws of Staff Council

Last Updated October 2019 - Approved by Staff Council Vote on October 17, 2019

ARTICLE I - Purpose

The purpose of the Champlain College Staff Council is to advocate for the best interests of staff members; cultivate a thriving College community; foster diversity, equity, and inclusion; all the while supporting the strategic mission and vision of the College.

ARTICLE II - Membership

Membership in Staff Council includes all staff, regardless of a person's staff classification. All Champlain College community members are welcome at meetings and in discussions.

ARTICLE III - Meetings, Voting, Executive Committee Membership Eligibility

Staff Council shall hold regular on-campus meetings at least eight (8) times per year. The Annual Election Meeting will be held every May. The President of the Staff Council  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. All staff and Champlain College community members are welcome to attend meetings.

The President may call special meetings at their 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.

Voting members of Staff Council include all full-time and part-time staff. The President of the College, the Provost, and any member of the President's Leadership Team are ineligible to vote, hold Executive Committee positions, and participate in executive session of Staff Council. 

Conduct of meetings shall be guided roughly by Robert's Rules of Order when voting. All voting will be by Google Form Ballot or in person. All voting members are allowed only one vote. The Communication and Engagement Committee distributes ballots to all members at least one (1) week prior to the meeting. 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 consider placing an item on the agenda. 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" (Robert's Rules 1990, 9th ed., Page 95). The Staff Council may enter executive session through one of the following means:

  1. A motion is raised from the floor.

  2. 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 the Staff Council.

ARTICLE IV - Staff Council Leadership Roles & Responsibilities 

The leadership roles of the Staff Council shall be as follows: Past President, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Representatives.

The Leadership of the Staff Council shall be elected for a term of two (2) years at the Annual Election Meeting. Leadership may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms. However, the Past President serves only a one-year term, following the completion of their elected term(s), in a non-voting advisory role.

The President or their appointee shall preside at all meetings and shall present a report to the membership at the Annual Election 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 their 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 Staff Council.

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

The Representatives will serve as co-chairs of the standing committees and other duties as assigned.

ARTICLE V - Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and six representatives. The Past President will also serve as a member of the Executive Committee during their one-year advisory term. 

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

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 be representative body of Staff Council.. The Executive Committee may speak on behalf of Staff Council to any third party.

The duties of the Executive Committee are as follows:

  1. The Executive Committee shall take staff issues under advisement and propose objectives for Staff Council. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The President of the College, the Board of Trustees, or College administrators may ask the President of the Staff Council 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.

ARTICLE VI - Nominations, Elections, Removal/Resignation, & Special Elections

The officers and six (6) representatives shall be elected in the following manner:

  1. 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.. Members of the Nominating Committee may not run for vacant positions.
    1. Please note: There will be 5 vacant positions each year at the year will be President, Treasurer and 3 representative positions; the next year will be Vice President, Secretary and the other 3 representative positions.
  2. 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.
  3. A Staff Council member may nominate themselves 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The elections shall be held at the Annual Election Meeting.
  7. 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.
  8. The people to fill the officer and representative positions will be determined by a majority of votes received.
  9. The Officers and representatives shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Election Meeting. The previous and newly elected Executive Committee shall hold a transitional meeting prior to the next Staff Council meeting.

When an officer or representative has been absent for three (3) consecutive meetings, the President shall notify them by e-mail that they may be removed from office and that office declared vacant. If this person fails to reply, they may be removed.

Any officer or representative 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 interests of the Staff Council will be served thereby.

In the event of the resignation or removal of an officer or representative 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 the Staff Council (in person, by phone, by letter, or by e-mail). It shall be effective upon receipt unless otherwise specified.

ARTICLE VII - Standing Committees

The Executive Committee, at their first meeting after the Annual Election Meeting, will determine which Standing Committee  the newly elected representatives will serve on for a two-year term as chairpersons. 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 their committee members within the following guidelines:

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

  2. Committee Chairs will seek to have a good representation of various departments/divisions on the committee. 

The Standing Committees for the Staff Council are as follows:

Staff 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 {example: The Guide for All Employees ; 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; other staff recognition initiatives ; creating the annual Staff Council Nominating Committee to conduct the nominating process (per the Staff Council Bylaws) for open Staff Council positions.

Staff Networking 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, and professional development 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 the Staff Council. The Committee will not pursue individual personnel issues or grievances.

Ad Hoc Committees/Task Forces

Staff Council Executive Committee has the ability to create or approve ad hoc committees or task forces as needed.

ARTICLE VIII - Revisions to By-Laws

These By-Laws may be altered, amended, or repealed by an affirmative vote of no 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, as needed.The membership must be notified by email 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.