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Constitution of the Staff Senate of Texas Tech University

ARTICLE I. Name and Mission Statement

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Texas Tech University Staff Senate.

Section 2. The Texas Tech University Staff Senate shall exist to contribute to the welfare of its staff employees; to serve as a liaison among staff, administration, faculty, and students; and to advise the administration in matters affecting the staff. Through these purposes the Staff Senate strives foremost to contribute to the overall success of Texas Tech University.

ARTICLE II. Organization

Section 1. The Staff Senate electorate shall be composed of Senators representing all Texas Tech University employees, excluding the chancellor, vice chancellors, president, and vice presidents, not represented by the Faculty Senate or Student Senate. Any member of the Electorate shall have the right to vote for the candidate(s) for Senator to represent his/her appropriately designated service classification and to vote in any and all other elections held with Senate activities as provided by the Constitution. All members of the electorate will follow the policies and procedures of Texas Tech University and the laws of the State of Texas.

Section 2. Membership to the Senate is on the basis of one representative for every fifty (50) employees or major fraction thereof in each EEO Classification category.

Section 3. The Staff Senate shall elect a president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer from its membership. The past-president shall serve in an advisory position only.

Section 4. The number of Senators are elected in direct proportion to the number of regular full and part-time employees in their designated classification. Every five years, beginning in the fall of 2001, the Executive Board will re-compute the numbers of employees per each designated classification to ensure proper representation in the next election cycle.

Section 5. The breakdown of Senators is based on data from classifications under the University's Affirmative Action Plan. The EEO Classifications are as follows: executive/administrative/management, professional, technical/paraprofessional, clerical, crafts/trade, and service.

ARTICLE III. Nominations & Elections

Section 1. The Election Committee shall solicit nominations each spring for the Staff Senate by an open nomination process from current staff employees and/or the committee. No member's name shall be listed on the official ballot without that person's consent. The Election Committee must receive nominations no later than April 15. The Election Committee shall insure that there are at least two individuals nominated for each position. The Election Committee and the Personnel Department will verify eligibility of all nominations.

Section 2. Eligibility for election to the Senate shall be extended to all members of the Electorate as defined in Article II, Section 1, who have completed one full year of work at Texas Tech University. Should a Senator promote or transfer to a different classification during his/her term, he/she shall have the option to resign or continue the elected term and represent the classification to which he/she was elected. Should he/she choose to resign, he/she may be eligible to run in the new classification in the next Senate election as defined in the Bylaws. Vacancies shall then be filled from alternates as defined in Article III, Section 5.

Section 3. The term of office shall be three (3) years with one-third of the Senate elected each year in order to insure overlapping terms. The regular term of office commences with the first regularly scheduled meeting after July 1st and terminates on June 30th of the third year term. Senate members shall serve no more than one consecutive three year term. Senators can seek re-election after a one year leave from their term of office.

Section 4. In May of each year, the Election Committee shall conduct an election by preparing/distributing to the staff an official ballot containing names and information of all approved candidates. Ballots will be counted under the supervision of the Election Committee and the results of the election will be announced by the president or by the Election Committee. Ballots will be retained for 60 days following public notification of election results. After that time they will be disposed of properly. Results can be contested only during the 60 day period.

Section 5. Vacant terms shall be filled by appointment by Executive Board from a list of alternates from the appropriate designated classification.

Section 6. The Senate shall have an Executive Board consisting of a president, president elect, secretary, treasurer, past-president (ex officio) and an executive committee of one representative from each designated classification. These positions, except president and past-president, are elected at the first meeting in June from among the Senators by a majority vote. The president moves to the past-president ex officio and the president-elect moves up to president unless he/she declines, which would then be put to a vote by the Senate.

Section 7. The Executive Board shall meet the last week of each month at a time chosen by the Executive Board. The Senate shall meet the first week of each month at a time chosen by the Senators. Special meetings may be called by the Staff Senate President with consent of a majority of the Executive Board or by petition of a majority of Senators. All meetings are open to all Texas Tech staff, faculty, administration, students and general public. The quorum shall be two-thirds majority of those positions filled.

ARTICLE IV. Jurisdiction

Section 1. The Staff Senate shall act according to input from the staff and shall serve as an advisory body to the President of Texas Tech University and may consider all matters of university concern.

Section 2. Any member of the University community may bring a matter of university concern to the Staff Senate.

Section 3. The Staff Senate may make recommendations to the President of the University concerning matters of particular interest to the staff of Texas Tech.

ARTICLE V. Responsibilities

Section 1. The Staff Senate shall establish bylaws and create committees to address matters of concern to the staff.

Section 2. The parliamentarian shall govern the conduct and procedures of Senate meetings using Robert's Rules of Order. The parliamentarian is chosen by the president. The parliamentarian may be chosen from the Senate or may be filled from outside the Senate with no voting rights.

Section 3. Staff Senator attendance and absence procedures are addressed in the Bylaws.

Section 4. The Staff Senate shall regularly report its activities to the staff of the University and distribute minutes of each meeting.

Section 5. The Staff Senate shall call a meeting of the voting staff when requested to do so by the President of the University, or when petitioned by 100 members of the electorate, or when it deems such a meeting necessary. The Staff Senate President or President-Elect shall preside over the meeting.

ARTICLE VI. Amendment Procedure

Section 1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by a petition to the President of the Staff Senate signed by at least 100 members of the staff electorate, by two-thirds vote of the Senators, or by the President of the University.

Section 2. Passage of any such amendment shall be by a two-thirds vote of the Staff Senate. Upon passage, an amendment shall become effective after ratification by the President of the University.

ARTICLE VII. Adoption and Ratification

The Constitution of the Staff Senate shall become effective when adopted by two-thirds of the Staff Senate and ratified by the President of the University.

09-25-97 – Adopted
08-04-99 – Amended
01-03-01 – Amended
11-07-01 – Amended  
03-05-03 – Amended