Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.

Staff Senate


  1. Objectives and Purposes. Minot State University's Staff Senate shall be the representative body of the University's staff employees to serve the following objectives and purposes:
    1. To gain a spirit of unity, pride, and cooperation by being recognized equally with Faculty Senate and Student Government Association as participants in advising University administration.
    2. To be an active communication link for meaningful information exchange between staff and faculty and administration relative to issues of mutual concern.
    3. To provide open meetings to express, propose, represent, investigate, debate, and recommend action on issues, which upon majority approval bear the authority of a responsible voice in University affairs.
    4. To provide an opportunity to be advisory in the administration of working and employment conditions and practices, including recognition, compensation, and other pertinent issues.
    5. To involve democratically chosen staff representatives in the operation of the University and to increase awareness of interrelating problems and opportunities.
  2. Advisory Status of Staff Senate, in fulfilling its stated objectives and purposes, the Senate shall be advisory to the President of the University.
  3. Composition of the Senate.
    1. The Senate will be comprised of elected members representing five functional areas of the University as follows: Office of the President, Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Student Affairs and Advancement.
      1. Areas under the Office of the President include the president's office, athletics and enrollment management.
      2. Areas under Academic Affairs include academic deans and their reporting entities, Registrar's Office, library staff, institutional research, Center for Extended Learning, Graduate School, multicultural/international services, Honors Program, Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning and North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities.
      3. Administration and Finance include Business Office, grants and contracts accounting, Information Technology Central, financial aid, facilities management, post office, and human resources.
      4. Student Affairs includes student publications, student services, student housing, Student Center, Native American Center, POWER Center and any remaining MSU food service employees.
      5. Advancement includes alumni, development foundation, institutional marketing, public information and publication and design services
    2. Membership is based on approximately 10 percent of each functional area, to be reviewed annually prior to general elections. To ensure representation, this may be accomplished by combining or creating functional sub areas.
    3. The Senate will include at-large elected members in sufficient numbers so that the Senate will represent approximately ten percent of the total number of broadbanded employees. The election committee will determine the number of at-large representatives from year to year.
    4. Executive officers shall be elected from the membership of the Staff Senate.
    5. The University's president, director of human resources and representative from public information shall serve as ex-officio members of the Staff Senate.
  4. Terms of Office and Election of Senate Members.
    1. Senate membership shall be for a two-year term with approximately one-half of the members elected each May.
    2. Regular elections to fill vacant positions shall be held annually and conclude during the month of May.
    3. Ex-officio members appointed to the Staff Senate are not eligible to vote.
  5. Election of Officers.
    1. The Senate will nominate and vote for the following officers, and they will be known as the Executive Committee of the Staff Senate:
      1. President
      2. Vice President
      3. Secretary - Treasurer
    2. Each elected office of the Executive Committee is to be filled by an elected member of the Senate. The terms of the officers will be one year.
    3. Nominations will be called for from the Staff Senate.
    4. Voting will take place at the regular May meeting. The Election Committee shall tally the votes. Winners will be decided by a majority vote. The Staff Senate President shall cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
    5. The Executive Committee declares an office vacant when an officer is unable or improperly performs the duties of the office. All vacated offices of the Senate Executive Committee shall be filled by a special election at the first regular Senate meeting following the vacancy.
  6. Duties of Officers.
    1. The President:
      1. presides over all meetings of the Staff Senate and Executive Committee,
      2. insures that all Staff Senate activities are conducted in a professional manner,
      3. has the authority to appoint such committees as are deemed necessary for the business of the Staff Senate,
      4. insures that all actions conform to the Senate Constitution and Bylaws,
      5. serves as ex-officio on all committees of the Staff Senate,
      6. is the spokesperson for the Staff Senate at meetings and functions, and
      7. serves as the direct communication liaison between the President of the University and the Staff Senate.
    2. The Vice President:
      1. presides in the absence of the President,
      2. assumes the duties of the President for the unexpired term in the event the President is unable to complete the term of office,
      3. carries out additional duties as assigned by the President.
    3. The Secretary-Treasurer:
      1. takes and maintains minutes of each Staff Senate and Executive Committee,
      2. publishes and distributes the minutes of each Staff Senate meeting to all Senate members prior to the next meeting,
      3. distributes the agenda to all Senate members prior to each Staff Senate meeting,
      4. maintains an accurate record of all resolutions duly adopted by the Staff Senate and the vote on such resolutions,
      5. receives and keeps all communications and reports to and from the Staff Senate,
      6. files copies of the Staff Senate minutes and special reports with the Office of the President and shall pass on a duplicate file to the succeeding Staff Senate Secretary,
      7. maintains permanent records of Senators and terms served,
      8. maintains a roll of current members and their attendance at meetings, and
      9. is primarily responsible for the Staff Senate's fiscal affairs.
  7. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Staff Senate shall consist of its officers,
    1. serve as the governing board or steering committee of the Staff Senate,
    2. set the yearly calendar of Senate meetings and activities,
    3. prepare the agenda for each meeting of the Senate,
    4. insure that the Constitution and Bylaws are followed,
    5. receive proposals from Senators, broad band staff members, or the President of the University for consideration at Senate meetings,
    6. maintain records of Senate activities and decisions, and
    7. provide information regarding Senate activities to the Minot State University President of the University, Director of Human Resources, and broad band staff.
  8. Committees and Task Forces. The Senate shall establish such committees as are necessary to conduct Senate business. Such committees shall be responsible to the Senate and shall perform duties determined by the Senate and/or the Executive Committee. All Senators are eligible to serve on any Staff Senate Committee(s). The following is a list of committees and a brief description of duties:
    1. Staff Senate Committees
      1. Bylaws Committee; review, suggests and makes amendments to the bylaws.
      2. Election Committee; rules on questions relating to qualifications of electors and members, nominates and receives nominations, presents a slate of nominees, and conducts the elections.
      3. Legislative Committee; provides Staff Senate with information regarding legislative activity placing emphasis on issues affecting higher education and MSU staff. The committee depends on feedback from the Staff Senate to propose and initiate a coordinated effort as a result of the given information.
      4. Professional Development and Programming Committee; investigates topics and speakers for Senate meetings and forwards their recommendations to the Executive Committee for consideration. Identifies programs and activities that will provide personal and professional growth opportunities for University staff. In identifying programs, the committee will assess the needs and wants of staff through questionnaires and surveys.
      5. Scholarships Committee; designs, updates, and disseminates application forms for the Classified Staff Scholarship, and selects recipients on an annual basis.
      6. Orientation and Handbook Committee; assists new staff and faculty members in becoming familiar with Minot State University. This can include collaborating with the Office of Human Resources to conduct campus tours and updating the Quick Reference Guide in the Campus Directory, as well as the benefits and information listed on the Staff Senate webpage.
  9. Transfer between functional areas. Senate members who transfer from one functional area to another within the University will continue to represent their original area for the balance of the year in which the transfer occurs. The remaining year of the unexpired term, if any, shall be filled by election at the next regular election.
  10. Attendance/Absenteeism. Senators are expected to attend all Senate meetings and shall contact a member of the Executive Committee if unable to attend. A Senator who has three absences in any twelve-month period or fraction thereof and has not notified a member of the Executive Committee will be contacted by a member of the Executive Committee. A Senator's position may be vacated by a vote of the Staff Senate. Attendance will be taken at each Senate meeting. For extended approved absences (e.g. military leave), the position will be temporarily filled following the procedures under Interim Vacancies.
  11. Interim Vacancies. Interim vacancies will be filled using the following procedures:
    1. Vacancies of Staff Senate positions will be filled by the person receiving the next highest number of votes from the previous full election.
    2. In the case where more than one candidate has the next highest number of votes, the candidates shall be invited to attend a Staff Senate meeting to present themselves to Senate members. Immediately following this, the election will take place. Ratification will be by a majority of those members present and voting at the regular Senate meeting.
    3. If there are no candidates from the previous full election, the vacancy will be advertised in the campus newsletter and in the Senate minutes prior to the meeting when election will take place. The Senate shall accept nominations of interested and eligible staff employees to fill the vacancies. Ratification will be by a majority of those members present and voting at the regular Senate meeting. The vacancy will be filled until the completion of the unexpired term or the return of the person on extended leave.
  12. Meeting and Actions. The Senate shall normally meet in regular sessions monthly or on call of the Staff Senate President. A majority of the Senate members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for a meeting. In the conduct of the meetings, Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail, unless superseded by the Bylaws of the Minot State University Staff Senate.
    1. Meetings of the Senate shall be open. The Senate, at its option, may move into a closed executive session by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
    2. A record of proceedings at meetings shall be kept which, upon request and under reasonable conditions, shall be made available by the Staff Senate secretary.
    3. The Senate shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures whereby any individual may propose items to be included on the agenda for the next Senate meeting.
    4. The Senate shall invite the President of Minot State University to attend a Senate meeting at least once a year. The Senate shall consider any recommendations made at any time by the President of MSU.
  13. Amendments to the Bylaws. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by motion at any regular meeting of the Senate. If approved by a majority vote of the Senate, a proposed amendment shall be submitted to the President of the University for final approval.
  14. Dissolution. Upon dissolution of the organization, all assets remaining, after payment of all costs and expenses of such dissolution, shall be turned over to the President of the University.