Staff Senate Bylaws
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ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of the organization shall be the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Staff Senate (herein referred to as the TTUHSC Staff Senate or Staff Senate).
ARTICLE II. AUTHORITY
The TTUHSC Staff Senate shall function as approved by the President of the Texas Tech
University Health Sciences Center and shall continue to do so until such time as the
TTUHSC Staff Senate dissolves itself or the Bylaws are revoked by the President or
Board of Regents.
ARTICLE III. PURPOSE
The Staff Senate shall exist to serve as the official representative body of the staff
of the TTUHSC and to function as an advisory body in making recommendations on issues
affecting institutional governance. Through these purposes the Staff Senate strives
foremost to contribute to the overall success of the Texas Tech University Health
Sciences Center and to foster a spirit of unity and cooperation among staff employees.
ARTICLE IV. JURISDICTION
The TTUHSC Staff Senate shall provide representation for all staff from the TTUHSC
and provide a forum for examining common concerns related to Staff quality of life
and employment. The Staff Senate shall represent the Staff in communicating with the
TTUHSC Administration regarding policies and procedures and in making recommendations
that are consistent with the TTUHSC overall mission.
ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATION
Any staff employee of TTUHSC shall have the right to vote for candidates for Senator.
The Staff Senate shall be elected to serve as the representative body of all staff
employees of TTUHSC regardless of geographic location, school or service classification.
ARTICLE VI. RESPONSIBILITIES
The Staff Senate shall operate to facilitate open communication between the Staff
and the TTUHSC Administration, seeking to provide constructive recommendations.
The Staff Senate shall meet monthly unless circumstances arise prohibiting this, including
a lack of a quorum. All meetings of the Staff Senate shall be open meetings unless
otherwise required by law or allowed by law.
The Staff Senate shall make available on its website the Agendas and approved Minutes
for all meetings of the Staff Senate.
The Staff Senate shall organize activities that support the staff and local communities
and annually report the activities of the Staff Senate to all Staff.
ARTICLE VII. MEMBERSHIP
The Staff Senate shall consist of 30 Senators: Correctional Managed Health Care and
each campus (Lubbock, Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, Midland, and Odessa) will each have
Four (4) representatives (2 non-exempt and 2 exempt). Two (2) additional representatives
(1 non-exempt and 1 exempt) will be elected to represent TTUHSC staff employed in
all other locations.
The Senators are elected to represent the entire staff and are not elected to represent
a school or service department. Senators are elected by campus or site so that when
needs arise because of geographic location they can be fully understood.
The Staff Senate shall elect from its membership a President, Vice President, Secretary,
and Treasurer in accordance with these Bylaws.
A Webmaster for the Staff Senate shall be appointed by the Staff Senate officers as
a non-voice, non-voting position on the Senate with a non-expiring term. A sitting
Staff Senator may serve as Webmaster.
The Staff Senate shall invite the Faculty Senate to be a part of the regular meetings.
The Faculty Senate representative shall be a non-voting member, along with the previous
Staff Senate President (ex-officio).
A. Eligibility as a Senator
1) Full-time or part-time permanent staff member of TTUHSC
2) Senators and alternate senators must have 12 months continuous service in
a permanent position within TTUHSC prior to being nominated
3) Senators and alternate senators may not have a formal reprimand that has been
received within the current fiscal year.
4) During an elected term, Senators or alternate Senators lose their Senate membership
upon leaving TTUHSC.
5) During an elected term, if the Senator moves from one campus/site to another,
the Senator will notify the Staff Senate President and resign his or her position.
6) During an elected term, if the Senator changes from non-exempt to exempt (or
vice versa), the Senator is not required to resign and may serve until the end of
the term. The Senator may be re-elected to the Senate at the next election in his
or her current status (exempt or non-exempt).
B. Duties of Senators
1) Senators shall attend an orientation session and sign required documents prior
to starting their term. The orientation session shall be prior to the first official
meeting of the Staff Senate.
2) Senators shall attend all regular meetings as well as special or called meetings.
3) Senators shall serve on committees of the Senate and may be elected as an
officer of those committees.
4) The Staff Senate may elect to form ad hoc committees or task forces for additional
work. The ad hoc committees or task forces may include TTUHSC staff who are not Senators.
Each ad hoc committee and/or task force needs to have at least one Staff Senator serving
on the ad hoc committee or task force.
5) Senators shall make themselves known to their constituents, indicating how
they can be contacted, hear their concerns, receive information and suggestions and
communicate these to the Senate. In turn, Senators must keep their constituents well
informed of the work of the Senate.
6) The Senators are elected to represent the entire staff and are not elected
to represent a school or service department.
7) A Senator may serve as a Senate representative on a TTUHSC/TTU committee if
so appointed or may volunteer with authorization from Staff Senate.
C. Terms of Office
Senators serve a two-year term and may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Alternates
serve a one-year term, and may continue to serve with no term limit.
Terms begin the first day of September and end on the last day of August.
D. Nomination Procedure
1) The Membership Committee will develop and post a nomination form (via TTUHSC
announcement page, Outlook e-mail distribution list, Staff Senate web page, posters,
etc.). The nomination form will describe the eligibility and duties of a Staff Senator
and provide instructions for nomination process. Supervisors will be encouraged to
nominate their employees.
2) Candidate nominations may be self-nominations or made by members of the staff.
Nominations are required on the designated Staff Senate nomination form.
3) The nomination process shall occur in the entire month of May.
4) A signed agreement to serve will be obtained from each nominee. The agreement
shall include an explanation of the eligibility requirements and duties of a Staff
Senator, as well as an acknowledgement from the nominee’s supervisor that he/she is
aware of the expectations of a Staff Senator.
5) The Membership Committee will be responsible for the collection of nominations
and agreements to serve.
6) The Membership Committee will ensure all Senate vacant positions have nominations
prior to election.
7) The Membership Committee will present the nomination forms to Human Resources
to verify the nominee meets eligibility requirements and have the local HR representative
or designee complete a Human Resources Review form on each nominee.
E. Campaign Rules
Nominees will be allowed to campaign during the last two weeks in June. In order to
give everyone a chance to campaign at no cost to nominees or departments, every nominee
will have the opportunity to submit a biographical sketch (no more than 200 words)
and picture to the Webmaster. The Staff Senate webpage will list all nominees’ information.
F. Election Procedure
1) The election of Senators shall be done through electronic ballots and shall
occur during the entire month of July.
2) The Membership Committee will prepare the election ballots indicating the
names of the nominee (be sure to separate into exempt and non-exempt status) in alphabetical
order, and by campus/distance site. Additionally, the election ballot will include
the number/representation of Senators to be elected and instructions for voting.
3) At the close of the elections, the Membership Committee will count the ballots.
4) Senators will be selected based on the highest number of votes received. In
case of a tie, it will be decided upon a basis of a drawing.
5) In the event the number of nominees for each classification/campus is equal
to or less than the number vacant seats, the nominee(s) shall be considered elected
to the Senate by default.
6) One alternate per campus/distance sites is determined by the next highest
7) The Membership Committee shall notify the newly elected Senator and their
supervisor in writing.
8) The Membership Committee shall make the results of the election known to the
9) All elected Senators shall assume responsibilities at the first meeting of
the Staff Senate, September of each year.
A Senator is required to attend at least 75% of the regularly scheduled meetings for
any fiscal year. If an absence cannot be avoided, the Senator shall try to confirm
a recognized alternate for planned absences. The Senator will then notify the President
in writing prior to the scheduled meeting (s) of the absence(s) and provide the name
of the acceptable alternate.
The Staff Senator (other than the President) should first request an elected/appointed
alternate Staff Senator (exempt/non-exempt) to attend in their absence. If the alternate
Staff Senator is unable to attend, a proxy may be asked to attend.
The Senator who will be absent must verify their proxy meets all the eligibility requirements
of a staff senator, and represents their constituency (same campus, exempt or non-exempt
status), and has signed a confidentiality agreement before attending the meeting.
The proxy shall have full member privileges, including voting and quorum counts.
The Membership Committee will monitor attendance and report excessive absences of
any Senator to the President with a recommendation regarding expulsion (for/against).
The President will discuss this with the Executive Committee and place the recommendation(s)
on the next scheduled Staff Senate meeting agenda for a vote.
When a Staff Senator resigns, or is removed as a result of excessive absences, an
alternate shall fill the vacated position.
The removal process consists of the following:
The membership of the Senate, may remove any elected Senator or alternate Senator
from office for non-performance of Senatorial duties. A petition requesting such removal
can be brought to the Executive Committee by a simple majority of the members.
The Executive Committee will investigate the matter on a case by case basis and recommend
action to the Senate.
A vote by the membership of the Senate will determine the final outcome. The Staff
Senator under consideration may not be present during the vote. A simple majority
of those present and voting at a regular Senate meeting will carry the vote.
Possible causes of expulsion shall include, but not limited to:
- Failure to consistently report on activities of the Senate to their constituents.
- Unavailability of the Senator to constituents.
- Use of powers of the Senate, real or implied, to further personal causes deemed a
conflict of interest.
- Excessive absences from meetings.
Two alternates (one representing non-exempt and one representing exempt) are designated
for each entity with elected senators. The alternate is determined by the next highest
number of votes for that entity and status (exempt and non-exempt).
If the alternate is required to serve as a Senator, the alternate shall serve the
completion of the term and in that event, shall function as an elected Senator.
If a vacancy in a Senate seat should occur for any reason (e.g., through termination
of employment, resignation from the Senate, or expulsion from the Senate), the position
shall be filled upon written notification and written acceptance by the person currently
serving as the alternate for that campus and status (exempt or non-exempt). In the
event no alternate is available to fill a vacancy, the President is given authority
to appoint an individual to serve the completion of the term. Senators on each respective
campus will identify an individual who is willing to serve and meets all eligibility
requirements. The appointment shall subsequently be affirmed by the Senate.
If a vacancy in an alternate seat should occur for any reason (e.g., through advancement
to a Senate seat, termination of employment, resignation or expulsion from the Senate),
the Senators from each respective campus will identify an individual who is willing
to serve and meets all eligibility requirements. The President is given authority
to appoint an individual to serve the remainder of the alternate term. The appointment
shall subsequently be affirmed by the Senate.
K. Webmaster – Appointed Position
Non-voice, non-voting position appointed to serve as Webmaster for the Staff Senate.
This is a non-expiring term appointed by Staff Senate officers. A sitting Staff Senator
may serve as Webmaster. The Webmaster should exhibit the following skills: access
to, and knowledge of, TTUHSC designated web page management system.
ARTICLE VIII. SELECTION OF OFFICERS
Officers of the Staff Senate shall be elected from the membership of the Staff Senate
annually. Nominations shall be received at the September meeting from the floor. The
outgoing President shall conduct the election of officers at the September meeting
of the Senate. The new officers shall be elected by secret ballot. A simple majority
of those present and voting is required for election. Officers shall begin their terms
during the September meeting.
The President must have served a one-year term as a Senator or as an Alternate before
becoming President. Prior service as an Alternate is considered allowed if the service
as an Alternate met the attendance requirements in Article VII, Section G, during
his/her term as an Alternate. The Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer may be
new members of the Senate and may be re-elected for a second consecutive one-year
If any officer (other than the President) resigns during his/her term of office, a
new officer shall be elected from the membership of the Staff Senate and assume the
duties for the remainder of that term.
ARTICLE IX. OFFICERS
The four officers of the Staff Senate shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary,
They shall assume these responsibilities at the time they are elected but may, for
continuity of the business meeting, allow the previous officers to continue chairing
Responsibilities of the President include:
- Presiding at meetings of the Staff Senate and special meetings called for the entire
- Preparing and distributing meeting agendas in conjunction with the Executive Committee.
- Communicating with the Ex-Officio member of the staff senate.
- Serving as ex-officio (non-voting) member of the Staff Senate for one year immediately
following term as President.
- Ensuring an annual report of activities of the Staff Senate is completed and communicated
to TTUHSC Staff.
- Facilitating orientation to new Staff Senators.
Responsibilities of the Vice President include:
- Serving as assistant to the President and carry out all duties the President may deem
- Presiding at meetings in the absence of the President.
- Scheduling all meeting rooms and secure necessary communication devices/technology
for meetings (TechLink, etc.).
- Serving as Parliamentarian and determining quorum at each meeting.
- Managing amendments to the Bylaws, including overseeing the electronic balloting process
in accordance with Article XIII.
- Serving on the Membership Committee.
- Assuming the position of Interim President for the remainder of the term, in the event
the President vacates the office for any reason.
Responsibilities of the Secretary include:
- Recording minutes and records of all the proceedings of the Staff Senate.
- Submitting minutes and records on the Staff Senate to the Webmaster upon approval.
- Maintaining official record of Staff Senate Resolutions.
- Maintaining official files of Bylaws, minutes, correspondence, and committee meeting
minutes for the history of the Staff Senate.
- Maintaining all official forms and documents.
- Maintaining and updating the Staff Senate roster.
- Distributing updated roster to Senators and Webmaster.
- Presiding at meetings in the absence of the President and Vice President.
Responsibilities of the Treasurer include:
- Serving as account manager.
- Maintaining financial records.
- Receiving/disbursing funds.
- Preparing/reporting the financial status of the account during Staff Senate meetings.
- Presiding at meetings in the absence of the President and Vice President.
ARTICLE X. COMMITTEES
A. Standing Committees
1. Executive committee:
Membership of the executive committee consists of the Staff Senate President, Vice
President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Executive Committee meets once a month outside
of the regular Staff Senate meetings. This group will be responsible for developing
the agenda for the upcoming Senate meeting. A staff senator may submit agenda items
to the executive committee for placement on the agenda.
2. Membership committee:
This committee is comprised of the Vice President and at least two Senators from the
Staff Senate. The Chair of the Membership Committee shall be selected by its members.
The Membership Committee shall oversee the nomination and election process each year.
This Committee may also assist with membership issues including addressing members
not attending meetings and assigning alternates to assume vacated Senate seats.
3. Policy committee:
This committee is comprised of at least four Senators from the Staff Senate. The Chair
of the Policy Committee shall be selected by its members. The Policy Committee shall
answer policy questions and oversee all revisions related to the Staff Senate Bylaws.
Additionally, this Committee may serve to provide input to those designated individuals
that review and modify TTUHSC Operating Policies if it is felt by the Staff Senate
that modifications could be made to address concerns of the TTUHSC staff.
B. Ad Hoc Committee or Task Forces:
The Staff Senate may choose to form ad hoc committees or task forces as deemed necessary
to accomplish the purposes of the Staff Senate.
Staff Senate members may volunteer to serve on ad hoc committees and/or task forces.
Any full- time or part-time, permanent staff member may serve on an ad hoc committee
or task force. An ad hoc committee or task force will be disbanded when its purpose
has been served.
The size of each ad hoc committee/task force shall be appropriate to the duties assigned
and shall make periodic reports to the Staff Senate accordingly. The ad hoc committee/task
force shall forward reports to the Webmaster to be posted on the Staff Senate website
in a timely fashion.
Each ad hoc committee or task force shall elect a chairperson. The chairperson is
responsible for the agenda, minutes, and reporting to the Staff Senate.
A quorum of an ad hoc committee or task force shall consist of a majority of its members.
C. Staff Senate Representation on TTUHSC Committees
The Staff Senate will seek representation on appropriate TTUHSC committees.
ARTICLE XI. MEETINGS
Regular meetings of the Staff Senate shall be held on a monthly basis. If the Executive
Committee has no agenda items or proposals they reserve the right not to hold a meeting
but must notify the Senate. There shall be no fewer than six regular meetings per
year. Special meetings of the Senate may be called by the Executive Committee. Ten
working days’ notice should be given of any special meeting. Only business specified
in the call of the special meeting can be conducted at such a meeting.
Meetings of the Staff Senate shall be open in accordance with statutes of the State
of Texas. The President (or VP in their absence) may cause anyone who disrupts the
meeting to be ejected. At the first regular meeting in September, the Staff Senate
shall establish regular meeting times. All meetings, whether regular or special, should
be held during normal working hours Monday through Friday.
A simple majority (50% + 1) of the membership of the Staff Senate shall constitute
a quorum for the conduct of Senate's business in meetings of the Senate or its committees.
There must be at least one executive committee member present to make a quorum.
The Senate may convene and have announcements, but no motions may be presented or
adopted without a quorum.
Motions may be passed by a number greater than one-half of the quorum.
The voting method shall be conducted by a show of hands or by a voice vote if there
are no objections.
A quorum shall exist before voting can occur.
A majority vote shall be used for motions (excluding amendments to Bylaws). Two-thirds
vote of the ballots cast by the TTUHSC staff is required for motions to be adopted
when motions presented are amendments to Staff Senate Bylaws.
ARTICLE XII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Staff
Senate and meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are
not inconsistent with these Bylaws.
ARTICLE XIII. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT
The Bylaws of the Staff Senate shall become effective when adopted by a two thirds
vote of the ballots cast by TTUHSC staff.
A proposal to change or amend the Bylaws shall be introduced by a by two-thirds vote
of the Senators, or a petition to the President of the Staff Senate signed by at least
100 members of the TTUHSC Staff.
Any amendment proposed by the Staff Senate shall be submitted to a vote of the TTUHSC
Staff. TTUHSC staff shall be notified by the Staff Senate via e-mail and web page
announcements at least fourteen days in advance of such a vote and at that time furnished
with the proposed amendment.
An amendment to these Bylaws shall become effective upon approval by two-thirds vote
of the ballots cast by the TTUHSC Staff.
Revised and Adopted September 2015