Bylaws

Staff Advisory Council
Furman University 

Article I. 

Name 

This organization shall be known as the Staff Advisory Council (Staff AC). 

The Staff AC was formed in 1998 and is a permanent council comprised of staff representing all major areas of the university. The main focus is to foster open communication between the staff and administration. This council meets monthly to discuss matters of importance to staff and develop strategies for improvement.  

Article II. 

Vision 

Furman is a community where staff are respected and rewarded. 

Mission 

The Staff AC is a group of staff leaders and advocates who promote the University’s Mission by fostering a sense of campus community, creating strategies to enhance staff morale, and advising campus leadership on matters relating to and affecting the staff of Furman. The Staff AC uses Furman’s Character and Values Statement as guiding principles. 

Article III. 

Purpose  

The purpose of the Staff AC shall be to advise the senior administration in matters of interest to the staff and to develop workplace relationships within this group. The Staff AC shall provide the Furman staff a voice in campus issues. Whenever possible, the decisions of the Staff AC shall be reached by consensus, supported by parliamentary vote.  

Article IV. 

Membership 

Section 1.   The Staff AC shall be comprised of 20 members of the staff who do not serve as University President or members of the Senior Administration. All such staff shall be eligible to serve on the Staff AC.  

Section 2.   The membership of the Staff AC shall consist of 12 elected members and 8 appointed members.  The appointed members shall represent Finance & Administration, University Communications, Development, Athletics, Student Life, Enrollment Management, Information & Technology Services, and Academic Affairs.  

Section 3.  Members shall serve three-year terms. 

Section 4. Members may serve two consecutive full terms. One year after the expiration of the second full term they shall be eligible for reelection. 

Section 5. Members shall be required to serve on a committee or project team each year. 

Section 6.  Elections shall be by paper ballot or online by all the eligible staff.  Elections shall be held in a manner that maximizes staff participation.  Candidates may nominate themselves (via the online form) or be nominated by other staff. 

Section 7.  Elections will take place annually in April. 

Section 8.  Management of elections shall be the responsibility of an Ad Hoc Membership Committee formed each year and chaired by the Parliamentarian.  

Section 9. Members shall assume their positions at the first regular meeting in July following their election; however, they are encouraged to attend meetings in advance of their assuming office.  Members are expected to attend all meetings, including the committee meetings and/or project teams on which they serve, and notify the Secretary of anticipated absences. Irregular attendance may be reviewed by the Executive Committee and members who cannot meet the attendance expectation may be asked to withdraw.  If a member is absent (unexcused) from three regularly scheduled Staff AC or committee meetingwithin a fiscal yearthey may be replaced.  Excused absences are for work-related conflicts, illness, injury, or vacation and must be reported to the Secretary prior to the scheduled meeting. 

Section 10. In the event anmember feels that they cannot fulfill their Staff AC responsibilities, it is their obligation to notify the Chair immediately. 

Section 11. Midterm vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the Chair for the remainder of the election year. The decision will be confirmed by the members. In the next election the position will be filled by election for the remainder of the term. 

Section 12.  Ex-officio members: Ex-officio members, except for the most recent former chair, shall serve for a term of two years, not to serve consecutive terms.  member of the Human Resources (HR) department, appointed by the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, shall serve as ex-officio member.  The Chair, whose term has expired, shall serve as an exofficio member for one year following serving in the aforementioned position.  Ex-officio members may provide input, insight, and clarification; may respond to questions; and may otherwise participate in deliberations, but shall have no voting rights. 

Article V. 

Officers 

Section 1. The officers shall be a Chair, a Chair-ElectSecretary, Treasurer, and a Parliamentarian. These officers make up the Executive Committee.  The Past Chair shall serve on the Executive Committee in an advisory capacity.  

Section 2. The officers shall be elected by the members. These elections shall take place at the June meeting.  Eligible members for the Executive Committee shall include any member who is currently active on the council during the fiscal year in which elections are held and whose term is not expiring at the end of the current fiscal year.  Incoming elected members for the next fiscal year shall not be eligible for the ballot. 

Section 3. The officers will take office at the July meeting, and serve a one-year term.  Any executive committee officer, with the exception of the Chair and Chair-Elect, may be re-elected during their remaining term. The Chair-Elect must have at least 2 years remaining on their term. 

Section 4. Duties of the officers 

  1. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Staff AC and the Executive Committee (see Article VI.), serve as the Staff AC’s liaison to the President’s Office, and shall, in general, perform all the duties of the office of Chair.  The Chair shall vote only in instances to break a tie vote.  
  2. The Chair-Elect shall, in the absence of the Chair, possess all the powers of and perform all the duties of the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall serve a term of one year, following which the Chair-Elect shall assume the office of Chair. The Chair-Elect shall serve as the Human Resource Committee Co-chair.
  3. The Secretary shall keep the minutes and is responsible for the accuracy of the minutes for all meetings, attendance, maintenance of the website, and records of the Staff AC and Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary shall keep an accurate registry of members. The Secretary shall serve as the Employee Recognition Committee Co-chair. 
  4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial matters, including deposits and disbursements of funds in accordance with university practices, development and oversight of budget, and the Staff AC scholarship fund.  The treasurer shall serve as the Outreach and Engagement Committee Co-chair. 
  5. The Parliamentarian shall provide parliamentary and procedural guidance for all meetings, the Bylaws, and Elections.  Furthermore, the Parliamentarian shall serve as the Inclusivity Officer for the council and advise on best practices for promoting diversity and inclusivity in all events and actions of the council.  The Parliamentarian shall chair an annual review of the Bylaws with the Executive Committee and form an annual Ad Hoc Membership Committee. The Parliamentarian shall serve as the Ad Hoc Membership Committee Co-chair 
  6. The Executive Committee may, in an emergency, vote to take action on Staff AC business. Decisions of the Executive Committee must be brought before the Staff AC for ratification at the next regularly scheduled meeting at which there is a quorum of members in attendanceOfficers shall have other powers and duties as prescribed by the members.  

Section 5. Midterm vacancies of the office of Chair shall be filled by the current Chair-Elect. Midterm vacancies for Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian shall be filled by the election of new officers who shall serve the remainder of the term. 

Section 6. The Executive Committee shall perform the following functions: 

  1. Define the working agenda and operational procedure for the Staff AC. 
  2. Represent the Staff AC in communications with the Chair. 
  3. Create special ad hoc committees as needed. Such committees shall be authorized by the Staff AC as to membership, purpose, and duration. 
  4. Receive resolutions, reports, and proposed actionmade by the Standing Committees or by individuals, and refer them, by majority vote of the Executive Committee, to the Staff AC.

Article VI. 

Meetings: 

Section 1. Regular monthly meetings shall be called by the Chair.  Meetings should not last longer than 90 minutes. 

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the Chair as needed or upon the petition of a majority of the members. 

Section 3. A voting meeting requires a quorum, represented by at least half plus one member. 

Section 4. Meetings are normally open for observation to all members of the staff. The membermay convene in an executive session by entering a motion and passing it by a majority vote per Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Section 5. The agenda for any regular meeting shall include the call to order, roll call, approval of minutes, unfinished business, committee reports, new business, announcements, and adjournment.  Only items appearing on the agendmay be considered at a meeting of the Staff AC. 

Section 6.  The council will hold a forum or all-staff event each year.  All University staff members, Senior Administrators, and guests will be invited to this event.  This event will last for no more than 2 hours. 

Section 7.  Meeting locations and starting time are up to the discretion of the Chair. 

Section 8. The members shall approve or disapprove actions and resolutions brought to the floor by the Executive Committee or in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.  

Section 9. The Staff AC shall report to the entire staff regularly in ways that maximize engagement with all staff across divisions. 

Article VII.  

Participation 

Section 1. Supervisors and managers are asked to support participation by permitting reasonable release time for Staff AC activities, including generameetings, committee activities, and special events. Staff AC members and alternates engaged in scheduled Staff AC activities during regular work schedule will report such activity as work time. 

Section 2. All Staff AC members and University staff are encouraged to participate in activities, although these activities should be coordinated with their immediate supervisors and/or department heads so that the critical operations of the University are not disrupted. 

Article VIII. 

Committees  

Section 1.  The Staff AC shall have three (3) standing administrative committeesEmployee Recognition, Human Resources, and Outreach and Engagement.  Motions for administrative committee chairs not designated in the bylaws will be held at the July meeting. Other ahoc committees may be established as needed at regular Staff AC meetings throughout the year. 

Section 2. Committee membership may include at least two members of the Staff AC, one of whom shall serve as Chair, and may include up to three (3) other members of the university community.  A member may serve on more than one committee A committee that is chaired by a member of the Executive Committee shall also have a co-chair, appointed by the Council Chair, from among the council members who are not already on the Executive Committee. 

  • Employee Recognition Committee. The Employee Recognition Committee is responsible for programs designed to boost the morale of Staff, including the Purple Envelope Program, Employee of the Year, the Staff Scholarship, and other events. This committee will be co-chaired by the Staff AC Secretary. 
  • Human Resources Committee. This committee is responsible for becoming acquainted with human resources policies and procedures as well as other staff issues of importance. The committee shall act as liaison with the Human Resources Office (HR) and also serve as an advisory group working closely with the Human Resources Office in enhancing and developing staff programs and training opportunities.  This committee shall be co-chaired by the Chair-Elect.
  • Outreach and Engagement Committee.  This committee shall work to provide communication and programs that will foster a sense of community among all staff members and community partners.  This committee shall be co-chaired by the Treasurer.

Article IX. 

Parliamentary Authority 

The Parliamentary Authority for the Staff AC shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, unless superseded by these bylaws.  

Article X. 

Amendments to the Bylaws 

Section 1. Any portion of these Bylaws may be amended by a written proposal adopted when the following steps have been completed: 

  1. Staff may submit a written amendment proposal to the Parliamentarian. 
  2. The Executive Committee reviews the amendment revision proposal for submission to the members. 
  3. Two-thirds of the Staff AC members must be present to vote on an amendment to the Bylaws.  A simple majority vote is required to approve any amendment to the bylaws. 
  4. A record of bylaw amendments and dates of amendments shall be kept as part of the minutes.