Bylaws

I. MEMBERSHIP OF THE MERCER STAFF COUNCIL

A. REPRESENTATION

1. Service on the Council is strictly voluntary. There shall be no stipend, added employment benefits or employment privileges issued to any member serving on the Council.

2. Membership of the Council shall be composed of a minimum of 13 elected representatives. At least 50% of the Council representatives must be of nonexempt status. The ratio of representation to staff is approximately 1:50.

3. Apportionment Categories

 Campus   Category   No. Elected Representatives 
Atlanta Academic 1
Atlanta  Administrative  2
Macon Academic 4
Macon Administrative 5
MERC   1

 

a. Representatives shall be elected by their peers from within their own apportionment category.

b. Ratio/apportionment shall be reviewed on an annual basis by the Human Resources Office to ensure equitable representation. This review should be completed before the beginning of the election process for the coming term.

4. The President and/or his designee(s) shall be ex officio member(s) of the Council.

5. An employee may serve as a Council member provided that s/he meets the following criteria:

a. A full-time Mercer University Employee (as defined by the Mercer Employment Handbook) for not less than two years as of June 30th of the year they are elected

b. Does not hold the rank of Faculty;

c. Does not hold the rank of Assistant Vice President or higher;

d. Does not hold the rank of Assistant Dean or higher;

e. Whose employment is not based on a specified employee/employer contract;

f. Has not served previously on the Council within the past 12 months.

II. ELECTIONS

A. GENERAL ELECTIONS

1. The election will be handled by the Human Resources Office and the Elections Committee of the Council. General Elections will be held in May of each year. This will allow for a joint meeting of the old and new members in June. New members will begin service in July, the beginning of the fiscal year.

2. Council members will be selected by their peers within their own apportionment category.

3. For the Staff Council, the Human Resources Office will prepare an email from the Chair which includes a link to the Purpose of the Staff Council and a link to the pre-election form. This email will be sent to all eligible employees the first week of May asking them to complete the form if they wish their name to be on the ballot for election. The forms must have their supervisor's signature of approval and be returned to the Elections Committee within one week.

4. After the Elections Committee receives the pre-election forms, they will notify Human Resources of the names to be included on the ballots.

5. Electronic ballots will be prepared by the Human Resources Office, listing the candidates for each apportionment category. Human Resources will prepare an email with a link to the ballots. This email will be sent to constituents from each respective apportionment category for voting. Ballots must be cast within 10 working days from the date of the email. The results will be tabulated and given to the Council. Persons receiving the largest number of votes from each category will serve on the Council. The Human Resources Office will ensure that no less than 50% of elected Council members are of non-exempt status.

6. Those receiving the highest votes will be named as the Council Representative(s) from their category. The alternate is the nominee with the next highest vote total and may substitute for an absent Council member. An alternate may be nominated for full Council membership with the following stipulations:

a. An alternate may be nominated in the next election if he/she has filled six months or less of the unexpired term of a Council Representative.

b. If an alternate fills more than six months of the unexpired term of an absent Council Representative, then s/he must wait one year to be nominated for full Council membership.

B. ELECTION OF THE OFFICERS

1. Nominations for the officers are made by the newly elected Council members at the joint June meeting.

2. Once the nominations have been made, a vote is taken for the offices of Chair, Chair Elect and Secretary for the upcoming fiscal year.

3. No Council member may hold more than one office at one time.

4. First year members are not eligible to hold any office.

5. All elected officer positions are for one year only

C. LENGTH OF TERM

1. Individuals will serve a three year term beginning at the fiscal year.

2. Staff members may be re-elected to term following a one year absence from the Council.

3. Allow the extension of the Chair-elect's term of service by one year to him/her to serve as the Chair.

D. VACANCIES

1. Individuals elected to the Council must be in attendance at all scheduled Council meetings. If sub-committees are established by the Council, the chairperson must be in attendance at scheduled sub-committee meetings.

2. After three absences during the year, a member's status on the Council will be reviewed by the Executive Committee for possible removal. If the member is removed, the alternate will be named to the Council.

3. Vacancies due to resignation, transfer or death will be filled by the alternate.

a. Upon Officer termination mid-term, a replacement election will be held. Nominations will be drawn from members serving in their second year of term. In the event that the Officer termination is that of the Chair-elect, nominations will be drawn from members serving in their first year of term.

4. If there is no alternate, the Chairperson may appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next election. This alternate shall be appointed from the previous election's ballot of candidates. The alternate must come from the appropriate apportionment category.

III. OFFICERS

A. ELECTED AND APPOINTED POSITIONS

1. The elected officers of the Council are the Chair, Chair Elect and Secretary.

2. The Coordinator of Ad Hoc Committees is appointed by the Chair.

B. TERM OF OFFICE

1. The Chair will be elected to serve a one year term.

2. All other positions are for one year terms after which new elections will be held and/or new appointments made.

C. DUTIES

1. The Chair shall:

a. Provide general leadership over all business of the Council and enforce its policies,

b. Serve as the presiding officer at all meetings of the Council (including, but not limited to, preparing the agenda, which shall be submitted to the Secretary);

c. Appoint necessary ad hoc or special committees and designate chairs;

d. Serve as ex officio (non-voting) member of all committees of the Council;

e. Serve as the Council representative to the President's Cabinet;

f. Appoint a Coordinator of ad hoc committees;

g. Serve as a non-voting member of the Staff Council except in the case of a tie, at which time s/he may vote;

h. Be responsible for scheduling all Council meetings;

i. Serve as signature authority for the Council budget.

2. The Chair Elect shall:

a. Serve as Chair in the second year of his/her term

b. Serve as presiding officer in the absence of the Chair;

c. Assist the Chair in the execution of his/her duties;

d. Serve as financial officer (i.e. input of requisitions and preparation of paper documents) for the Council and maintain all financial records;

e. Furnish information to be included in University publications.

3. The Secretary shall:

a. Record the minutes of the Council meetings, noting if quorum is present;

b. Read the minutes of previous meetings, as requested, and record any changes as approved by the Council;

c. Distribute the meeting agenda, proposals and the minutes of each meeting to all Council members and other individuals as directed by the Chair;

d. Take roll call of members and proxies, and record members present and absent at all meetings of the Council;

e. Preserve and maintain an archive for the Council;

f. Prepare Council correspondence as directed by the Chair;

g. Notify Council members of meetings

4. Duties of all elected staff council members

a. Attend all meetings

b. Serve on sub-committees

c. Be point of contact for the areas they represent

d. Maintain confidentiality of communications and proceedings held during staff council meetings.

e. Sign affidavit of willingness to serve

5. The Chair must ensure that the Council has a quorum present (after roll call) to maintain equity in Staff Council decisions.

6. The Coordinator of ad hoc committees shall:

a. Maintain a list of all ad hoc groups established by the Council;

b. Track progress of each group and keep communication lines with the Executive Committee open to ad hoc groups.

IV. COMMITTEES

A. EXECUTIVE

1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Council.

2. The Committee's purpose shall be to:

a. Review Council agenda items as submitted by Council members; refer items to the appropriate committees for their review and subsequent recommendation to the Council.

b. Determine and implement appropriate response/actions on other situations as needed or directed by the Council.

c. Prepare the Council's annual budget request to cover expenses of the Council.

d. Set the calendar of activities for the year.

B. ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

1. The members of the Elections Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.

2. The committee's purpose shall be to conduct all elections according to the bylaws of the Council.

C. AD HOC COMMITTEES

1. Ad hoc committees are created by the Chair to address special needs and/or interests. Their focus shall be to gather information, present alternatives and solutions, and shall disband when appropriate action has been taken.

D. OTHER COMMITTEES

1. Nominating

2. Benefits

V. MEETINGS

A. COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

1. The Council shall meet once per month. a. Special meetings will be called as needed; however, attendance will not affect membership status.

2. The Executive Committee may have meetings as necessary.

3. Items to be reported on or discussed should be forwarded to the Chair prior to the regularly scheduled meeting time. The nature of the item and the expected amount of time needed to present and/or discuss each item should be indicated.

B. ORDER OF THE MEETING

1. Call to order

2. Special order of the day (if any)

3. Reading, changes (if any) and approval of the Minutes

4. Committee reports

5. Reports from the Chair

6. Old business

7. New business

8. Adjournment

C. ROLL CALL VOTES

1. A roll call vote may be called for by a simple majority vote.

D. VISITORS

1. The Executive Committee has the option of inviting guests to Council meetings. If a staff council member wishes to invite a guest he/she should go through the Chair.

E. EXECUTIVE SESSION

1. An executive session may be called by a simple majority vote of the members present when items to be discussed are considered to be of a confidential nature. The Executive Committee may include others as deemed appropriate to the situation.

IV. AMENDMENTS

A. AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS

1. Proposed amendments shall become effective when passed by a majority of the Council members.