Texas Tech University

Staff Senate Bylaws

The Staff Senate shall hereafter be referred to as “Senate”, Staff Senator as “Senator”, Staff Senate Constitution as “Constitution”, Staff Senate Bylaws as “Bylaws”, Staff Senate President as “President”, Staff Senate President-Elect as “President-Elect”, Staff Senate Secretary as “Secretary”, Staff Senate Treasurer as “Treasurer”, and Staff Senate Executive Board as “Board.”

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

A. ELIGIBILITY

A Texas Tech University or Texas Tech University System Administration employee interested in serving as a Senator shall be employed in a benefits-eligible full-time or part-time position for at least one year of continuous service at the time of nominations.

B. RIGHTS

  • Participation: Senators have the right to participate in the Senate meetings and to bring forth any concerns or suggestions.
  • Voting: Senators have the right to vote on all motions raised in Senate meetings.
  • Eligibility procedures for complimentary items:
    • If the timing of the event allows distribution of the item(s) at the regularly scheduled Senate meeting, Senators present may participate in a drawing for the item(s).
    • If the timing of the event does not allow distribution of the item(s) at the regularly scheduled Senate meeting, a lottery of all current Senators shall occur. If a Senator declines the item(s), the lottery shall be used to choose another recipient.
    • If the items are tickets, each senator selected by the lottery shall receive two tickets per event. If there are enough tickets to allow Senators to receive additional tickets, the lottery shall occur again.

C. DUTIES

Senators shall attend and participate in all regularly scheduled and called meetings.

D. ATTENDANCE

A Senator has a commitment to attend all meetings. However, when absence cannot be avoided, Senators shall contact in writing the President, President-Elect, or Secretary before an expected absence or within five working days after the meeting, explaining the absence. After a Senator has three absences in a Senate term year, the Secretary shall notify the Board concerning the excessive absences. The Board shall notify the Senator in writing of his/her absences and advise the Senator to note the policy regarding absences. After a Senator has five absences in a Senate term year, the Secretary shall give a report regarding the Senator to the Board. The Board shall review the report and make a recommendation for or against expulsion to be presented to the Senate for vote at the next scheduled Senate meeting. Each successive absence by the Senator in question, in the same term year, shall be reviewed by the Board and another recommendation may be presented to the Senate.

E. EXPULSION

Possible expulsion of a Senator or Alternate for matters other than absences will be reviewed by the Grievance Committee. After review of the Grievance Committee’s findings by the Board, the Board may present a call for vote from the Senate to request expulsion of the Senator or Alternate.

F. RESIGNATION

When a Senator resigns or is removed as a result of absences or an expulsion ruling, an Alternate shall move up to the vacant position. The Alternate shall move up within the designated EEO classification in order of previous election results in accordance with Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution.

G. ALTERNATES

Alternates shall serve one-year terms. If an Alternate moves up to fill an unexpired term that has more than half its time remaining, the Alternate shall wait one year before running for re-election. If the unexpired term to be filled has less than half its time remaining, no time off is required before running for re-election. Alternate Senators are encouraged, but not required, to attend all meetings. An Alternate shall be allowed to function in meetings in the same way as an elected Senator other than having voting rights and proposing legislation or resolutions.

H. SENATOR/ALTERNATE RATIO

A pool of Alternates shall be maintained for each EEO classification with half the number of elected Senators. In order to maintain this number, replacements shall be chosen from the Alternate list (in accordance with Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution) in descending order by popular vote. In the event of a tie vote, the Alternate will be placed by length of service at Texas Tech University. In the event that the Alternate pool for an EEO classification is depleted:

  • The Election Committee shall arrange one special election with the approval of the Board if the term to be filled is at least eighteen (18) months or longer.
  • The Board may solicit and fill vacated positions after the general election each year, once all Alternates have been moved into permanent positions, if the term to be filled is less than 18 months.
  • If an EEO classification does not have a representative, the Board shall ask an existing Senator within that EEO classification to stay no more than one year or until the special election is held and the position is filled.

I. CLASSIFICATION CHANGES

If a Senator changes classification, he/she must inform the Board of the change in writing within a thirty (30) day period. At that time, the Senator may choose to remain as a Senator in the original classification or to resign. If the Senator resigns within the period, he/she shall be eligible to run in the new classification at the next general election. If the period has expired, the Senator may resign, but must then wait one year before running in the new classification.

ARTICLE II. BUDGET AND FINANCE

A. ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

The Treasurer shall be established as the account manager with alternate signature authority assigned to the President and the President-Elect.

B. BUDGET PREPARATION

An annual budget shall be prepared by the Treasurer and presented to the Board for approval at the August Board meeting. Once approved, the budget shall be presented to the Senate for ratification at the September meeting. A year-to-date budget summary shall be presented to the Senate at the January and June meetings.

C. NON-LINE ITEM EXPENDITURES

Requests for funding shall come through the committee chairs, in writing, to the Board for approval.

D. BUDGET CYCLE

The fiscal year for the Senate shall be September 1 through August 31.

E. BUDGET AUDIT

By July 15, an Ad Hoc Audit Committee composed of the incoming and outgoing President, the incoming and outgoing Treasurer, and the incoming President-Elect shall conduct an annual audit before the account is transferred to the next manager.

ARTICLE III. OFFICER DUTIES AND VACANCIES

A. OFFICER DUTIES

  • The President shall preside at all Senate and Board meetings.
  • The President-Elect shall understudy the President in conducting meetings and official business. He/she shall assume the duties of President when the President is absent. The next consecutive year, he/she shall serve as President. The following consecutive year, he/she shall serve as Immediate Past-President in an ex officio, non-voting capacity. The President-Elect shall be responsible for securing the meeting room.
  • The Secretary shall keep minutes of the meetings, publish the minutes of past meetings, keep a current record of membership, and archive Senate records in accordance with University policy. Previous meeting minutes shall be presented to the Senate for approval. After approval, minutes shall be modified and maintained for permanent record. Approved minutes shall be made available to the Senate.
  • The Treasurer shall serve as account manager for the Senate account. He/she shall maintain financial records, receive/disburse funds, and prepare a monthly report on the financial status of the account. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for all budget and finance duties in accordance with Article II of the Bylaws.
  • The Immediate Past-President serves to consult, advise, and provide information to the incoming officers as well as to enhance continuity within the Senate operations and structure. The Immediate Past-President shall serve ex officio in an advisory capacity only.

B. OFFICER VACANCIES

If the President resigns during his/her term of office, the President-Elect shall assume the duties of the President for the remainder of that term. If the remaining term be less than half of the term, the President-Elect shall continue to serve a full term as President for the following year. If the remaining term be half or more of the term, the President-Elect shall assume the duties for the remainder of that term only. For vacancy in any other office, the position shall be filled by an election at the next regular meeting and the individual shall serve for the remainder of the term.

C. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

For any reason other than absence at Board meetings, any officer may be removed upon two-thirds majority vote of the Senate. A petition signed by 15 percent of the Senators shall be filed and attached to the agenda for the next meeting at which the vote shall be taken.

ARTICLE IV. EXECUTIVE BOARD

A. DUTIES

  • The Board shall consist of the four officers and one elected Senator from each EEO classification in the Texas Tech University's Affirmative Action Plan. Five members of the Board may hold special meetings at any time on the call of the President or on demand, in writing, to the Secretary. Board meetings shall be open to any member of the Senate.
  • The Board shall have general supervision and control of all activities of the Senate and votes on confirmation of Senate presidential appointments. It shall oversee general operation of the Senate and receive reports for review and action. Six members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for a meeting and four of the six EEO classifications shall be represented. The officers’ classifications may be counted to make up the quorum. In the case of a tie, the President shall have the deciding vote. Proxy vote may not be assigned.
  • Resignation of any officer may be accepted by a majority vote of the remaining Board members. A vacancy in the Board due to resignation may be filled by a majority vote of remaining Board members if six months or fewer remain in the term. If the unexpired term is longer, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election. However, if more than one such vacancy exists, a special meeting of the Senate shall be called, or a special election held, to fill the vacancies until the date of the next annual election. Any officer may be replaced after three unexcused absences from Board meetings during a fiscal year.
  • The Board shall meet at least one week prior to the regular Senate meeting to hear proposed agenda items. The Board shall set the meeting agenda at that time.

B. ELECTIONS

  • The Officers and Board positions of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and an executive committee of one representative from each designated classification shall be elected at the Senate meeting in June.
  • Each EEO classification in Texas Tech University's Affirmative Action Plan shall elect a representative to serve on the Board. That representative shall be a voting member on the Board.

C. ATTENDANCE

  • All voting members of the Board (President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and EEO Representatives) shall attend each meeting. In the case of a necessary absence, a member shall notify the President or Secretary in advance of the meeting or no more than 3 working days after. Only 4 absences per year shall be excused for any reason. After the 4th absence the Secretary shall notify the Senator in writing that they have reached the limit. After the 5th absence, the President shall notify the Senator that he/she is being removed from the Board.
  • If an officer is removed from the Board, the position shall be filled in accordance with Article III, Section B of the Bylaws. If the member being replaced is an EEO Representative, a special election of that EEO classification shall be held at the next Senate meeting to choose a new representative. The new member of the Board shall serve the remainder of the year, with a prorated number of absences.

ARTICLE V. RULES OF ORDER

A. ORDER OF BUSINESS

The following items shall be covered in each Senate meeting. The order of the items may be determined by the presiding President.

  • Pledge of Allegiance
    • If there is a flag present and the President feels the situation is suited for saying it, then the Pledge should be said.
    • If there is not a flag present, or the President feels the situation is not suited for saying the Pledge, then the Pledge will not be said at the beginning of the meeting
  • Roll call
  • Minutes from previous meeting
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Standing committees report
  • President’s report
  • Reports of special committees
  • Unfinished business
  • New business
  • Adjournment

B. SCHEDULED MEETINGS

  • Senate meetings shall be held the first Wednesday of every month from 3–5 p.m. at a location chosen by the President and approved by the Board. Meeting times and dates shall be publicized through an official University announcement system.
  • Exceptions: Any changes to the meeting schedule shall be chosen by the President and approved by the Board. All changes shall be publicized though an official University announcement system.

C. SPECIAL MEETINGS

  • The President of the Senate (or the President-Elect in the absence of the President) may call a special meeting.
  • A majority (6 members) of the Board may call a special meeting.
  • A written petition, addressed to the presiding officer and signed by ten or more Senators, may call a special meeting.

D. OPEN/CLOSED MEETINGS

All meetings shall be open meetings unless otherwise required by law, or unless the Senate by a two-thirds majority shall declare that a meeting or a part of a meeting shall be conducted in closed session. No vote shall be taken while a meeting is in closed session.

E. QUORUM

A quorum (required to have an official meeting and conduct business) shall be set at two-thirds of those positions filled in the Senate.

F. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Robert's Rules of Order shall serve as the parliamentary procedure.

G. LEGISLATION, AMENDMENTS, AND RESOLUTIONS

Only voting Senators may propose legislation or resolutions. Senators may submit proposals, in writing, to the Board one week before the Board meeting. All proposals shall be brought before the Senate. The Board shall be responsible for the final copy of any resolution.  The President is responsible for forwarding the resolution to the proper authority.

H. VOTING REQUIREMENTS

  • Method of voting shall be conducted by a show of hands, unless a Senator requests a different method (subject to approval by a majority vote).
  • Majority vote shall be used for legitimate motions (not including those mentioned in 3: a-h) which require only a majority for their adoption. A majority vote consists of more than half of the votes cast, ignoring abstentions, at a legal meeting where a quorum is present.
  • The following motions require a two-thirds majority of all Senators for its adoption:
    • Amend (annul, repeal, or rescind) any part of the Constitution, Bylaws, or rules of order previously adopted. This motion requires previous notice.
    • Amend or rescind a standing rule, a program or order of business, or a resolution, previously adopted, without notice being given at a previous meeting or in the call of the meeting.
    • Take up a question out of its proper order.
    • Suspend the rules.
    • Refuse to proceed to the orders of the day.
    • Sustain an objection to the consideration of a question.
    • Expel from membership. (This motion requires previous notice and discussion between the parties.)
    • Depose from office. (This motion requires previous notice.)

I. RATIFICATION AND ADOPTION OF THE INITIAL CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

  • The Constitution and Bylaws shall be considered official and adopted after being presented to the Senate in general assembly for two consecutive, scheduled meetings and then passed by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.
  • Suspension of the Bylaws may be proposed by any Senator. The suspension shall be considered adopted upon approval by two-thirds vote of the Senate. Suspensions shall be approved for each occurrence.

J. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

  • Amendments to the Constitution shall be presented to the Senate in general assembly for two consecutive, scheduled meetings and then passed by a two-thirds vote. Upon passage, an amendment shall become effective after ratification by the President of the University in accordance with Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution.
  • Amendments to the Bylaws shall be considered official and adopted after being presented to the Senate in general assembly for two consecutive, scheduled meetings and then passed by a two-thirds vote.

ARTICLE VI. STANDING COMMITTEES

A. MEMBERSHIP/PURPOSE

  • The Nominations Committee shall be composed of one Senator from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those Senators present of each EEO classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted. If no Senators of the EEO classification present are able to serve on the Nominations Committee, the President may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification. The duties of the Committee shall be to seek and recommend nominations for appointments to internal, external, and University committees, as deemed necessary in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution.
  • The Elections Committee shall be composed of one Senator from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those Senators present of each EEO classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted. If no members of the EEO classification present are able to serve on the Elections Committee, the Nominations Committee may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification. The duties of the Committee shall be to handle all nomination and election procedures in accordance with Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution.
  • The Grievance Committee shall be composed of one Senator from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those Senators present of each EEO classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted. If no Senators of the EEO classification present are able to serve on the Grievance Committee, the Nominations Committee may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification. The duties of the Committee shall be to handle Senate grievances or concerns that may be expressed by any Senator and/or the University community in accordance with Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution.
  • The Bylaws and Constitution Committee shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators. The duties of the Committee shall be to accept proposed changes to the Bylaws and Constitution, study the proposals, and prepare recommendations to the Senate in accordance with Article VI of the Constitution. The chair of the committee shall advise the President on actions not in accordance with the Constitution or Bylaws.
  • The Communications and Public Relations Committee shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators. The duties of the Committee shall be to plan and coordinate activities at which University staff employees may meet their Senators and learn about Senate projects. The Committee shall serve as the public relations agent of the Senate, and work with the news media and human resources areas to publicize the Senate and its endeavors. The Committee shall serve as the editor and publisher of the Staff Insider (Senate Newsletter). The chair of the Committee shall serve as the public information officer of the Senate. As such, the chair shall approve public notices concerning the Senate or its activities, seeking advice from the Board or other Senators as appropriate to ensure consistency and accuracy of information. The Committee shall handle all acknowledgments sent from the Senators to members and others as specified.
  • The Issues Committee shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators. The duties of the Committee shall be to study issues that have been submitted to the Issues Committee by a Texas Tech University staff member, make recommendations back to the Board regarding handling and disposition of each issue, and notify the author of any action resulting from the committee’s study. The chair shall be responsible for tracking issues submitted and the resolution of each issue. Approval from the Board shall be obtained for each resolution before notification to the author. Upon approval, the issue and resolution shall be reported to the Senate in the committee meeting report.
  • The Scholarship Committee shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators. The duties of the Committee shall be to update the information sheet and application yearly (before each fall semester), accept, review, and award applications for the Staff Senator Texas Tech University Employee Scholarship. The Committee chair shall coordinate with the Scholarship Office to verify each applicant before review by the Committee.
  • The Technology Committee shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators. The duties of the Committee shall be to maintain and update the Senate website, maintain the lottery system, and work in conjunction with the Communications/Public Relations Committee to obtain information needed to post TechAnnounce messages.
  • Any ad hoc committee may be called by the President and approved by the Board as deemed necessary. Members shall be appointed through the standard nominations process and be disbanded when the committee’s purpose has been served. Any committee appointments and duties shall be determined by the Board.

B. ORGANIZATION, POWERS AND DUTIES OF STANDING COMMITTEES

  • Standing committees and their general jurisdiction may be proposed by Senators and/or created by the Board to fulfill specific goals, as the Board deems necessary. All proposed legislation shall be referred by the President either to the Board or to the appropriate standing committee, subject to approval by a majority vote of the Senate.
  • The Board shall annually appoint the full membership of the standing committees, as specified, subject to the Nomination Committee's recommendations.
  • The members of each committee shall appoint their committee chair with the exception of the Nominations Committee. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall be appointed by the President.
  • If a vacancy or resignation occurs on a standing committee, the Board shall appoint a new member according to the Nomination Committee's recommendations. These new members shall complete the designated term of their predecessor.
  • If any EEO classification as required by the committee description is not represented on the committee, the committee duties shall be performed as prescribed.
  • Robert's Rules of Order shall govern standing committee meetings as specified in accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution.
  • The chair of each standing committee shall have the responsibility for the effective administration of the committee. The chair shall be responsible for the upkeep of the Committee Binder. The Committee Binder shall be used to record committee membership, meeting notes, attendance at each meeting, and any other information appropriate for the committee. The Committee Binder shall be passed on to the President-Elect at the Senate meeting in June.
  • If the chair or a member of the committee has a problem with a committee member's attendance, they may submit a formal grievance in writing to the Grievance Committee detailing the frequency of absences and the impact on the committee. The Grievance Committee shall then gather information and make a formal recommendation to the Board.
  • The chair of each standing committee shall appoint all subcommittees and determine the number of Senators to serve on each subcommittee, as deemed necessary.
  • Committee and/or subcommittee meetings shall be determined by the committee chair.
  • The chair shall be responsible for matters referred to the committee.
  • The chair shall preside over all meetings, deliberations and activities.
  • The chair shall have a committee meeting report to be presented at all Board and Senate meetings. The chair shall prepare a written yearly summation of the committee’s activities to be presented at the May Board and June Senate meetings. These reports shall be made available to all Senators and filed in the Committee Binder.
  • Committee functions may be changed when needed with Board approval.

ARTICLE VII. SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS

A. Parliamentarian

This is a special assignment by the President for a one-year term. The Parliamentarian:

  • Shall know Bylaws and parliamentary procedures;
  • Shall forward all questions that may arise according to Bylaws and parliamentary procedure to appropriate committee;
  • Shall advise the President on actions not in accordance with parliamentary procedures or the Bylaws;
  • Shall rule on “point of order” questions raised during a Senate session;
  • Shall be an ex officio member of the Bylaws committee.

B. Historian

This is a special assignment appointed by the President for a one-year term. The Historian:

  • Shall collect copies of all Senate records (e.g., minutes, correspondence, reports, photographs, etc.);
  • Shall organize and maintain the Senate Archives;
  • Shall produce Senate historical reports as necessary;
  • Shall be an ex officio member of the Public Relations committee.

Amended

August 4, 1999 November 5, 2003 April 6, 2005
April 5, 2000 December 5, 2003 May 4, 2005
June 6, 2000 December 1, 2004 June 1, 2005
October 3, 2000 January 5, 2005 September 7, 2005
March 5, 2003 February 2, 2005 April 5, 2006
October 1, 2003 March 2, 2005 October 4, 2006
February 7, 2007 April 4, 2007 June 7, 2007
February 1, 2008 June 4, 2009 April 7, 2010
May 5, 2010  

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TTU Staff Senate