Bylaws

  1. Objectives and Purpose
    Minot State University's Staff Senate shall be the representative body of the University's staff employees to serve the following objectives and purpose:
    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 University President.
  1. Composition of the Senate
    The Senate will be comprised of elected members representing five functional areas of the University.
    1. Areas included are: Office of the President, Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Student Affairs and Advancement. 
      1. Office of the President include the President's Office, Athletics, including Minot State Dome custodians, and Title IX.
      2. Academic Affairs include Registrar's Office, Library, Institutional Research, Center for Extended Learning, Graduate School, Student Success Center, Honors Program, POWER Center, 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, Security, and Human Resources.
      4. Student Affairs includes Student Activities, Student Life & Housing, Student Health, Native American Center, Office of International Programs, Enrollment Services, Veteran Affairs, Wellness Center, and Student Development.
      5. Advancement includes Alumni, Development Foundation, Marketing, University Communications, and Publication & 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 10 percent of the total number of employees. The election committee will determine the number of at-large representatives from year to year to ensure the total membership count should not fall below 23 members or exceed 28.
    4. Executive officers shall be elected from the membership of the Staff Senate.
    5. The University's president and director of human resources shall serve as ex-officio members of the Staff Senate. 
  1. Terms of Office and Election of Senate Members
    Senate membership shall be for a two-year term with approximately one-half of the members elected each May.
    1. An exception will be made if the VP is elected to the office in their second year and transitions to the office of President in their third year.
    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. 
  1. Election of Officers
    The Senate will nominate and vote for the following officers:
    1. The three officers 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. An exception is the Vice President transitions to the position of President.
    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. 
  1. Duties of Officers
    The following duties shall be performed by elected officers of the Executive Committee:
    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. is the spokesperson for the Staff Senate at meetings and functions, and
      6. serves as the direct communication liaison between the University President 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,
      4. will transition to the office of President after one year as Vice 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 University 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. 
  1. Executive Committee
    The Executive Committee of the Staff Senate shall consist of its officers, who will:
    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, staff members, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, or the University President for consideration at Senate meetings,
    6. maintain records of Senate activities and decisions, and
    7. provide information regarding Senate activities to the University President, Director of Human Resources, and staff. 
  1. 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. Fall Kick Off Committee: Coordinates Staff Senate’s signature event including location, entertainment, food, workers, set up, and takedown. This committee is to be chaired by the Staff Senate President.
    2. Special Events Committee: Plans and administers monthly social events, including, but not limited to food drives, bake sales, and morale builders, including the annual Staff Senate Silent Auction Fundraiser in April.
    3. Orientation, Handbook, Bylaws, and Legislative Committee: Review, suggest, and make amendments to the bylaws. Provides Staff Senate with information regarding legislative activity placing emphasis on issues affecting higher education and Minot State staff. Assists new staff and faculty members in becoming familiar with Minot State, including maintaining the benefits and information listed on the Staff Senate webpage.
    4. 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.
    5. Professional Development Committee: Investigates topics and speakers and identifies programs and activities that will provide personal and professional growth opportunities for University staff. The committee will assess the needs and wants of staff through questionnaires and surveys.
    6. Employee Recognition and Scholarship Committee: Initiates ideas to recognize the work of staff members including the monthly Staff Senate High-Five Award. Designs, updates, and disseminates application forms for the Staff Senate Scholarship, and selects recipients on an annual basis.
    7. Public Relations and Fundraising Committee: Works with marketing and university communications to ensure all activities, events, accomplishments of staff are disseminated to the campus and community. Facilitates all websites, social media accounts, and publications for Staff Senate and administers fundraising events.
    8. Staff Satisfaction Committee: Works with Minot State Institutional Research to conduct the annual Staff Satisfaction Survey during the spring semester and implement new strategies and ideas to improve overall staff satisfaction. The incoming Staff Senate President will share the summarized report with the University’s President and the campus.
    9. Budget and Salary Committee: Consists of two professional staff members, two non-professional staff members and one member from NDCPD to work on strategies to ensure all staff members are fairly compensated. This committee reports to the University’s Budget and Salary Task Force and will work with the Faculty Budget and Salary Committee. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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 12-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. 
  1. 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 a 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. 
  1. 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 University President to attend all Staff Senate meetings. The Senate shall consider any recommendations made at any time by the University President. 
  1. Amendments to the Bylaws
    Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by motion at any regular meeting of the Senate and approved by a majority vote of the Senate. If approved by a majority vote of the Senate, a proposed amendment shall be submitted to the University President for final approval. 
  1. 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 University President.

    Updated July 1, 2019