Frequently Asked Questions about Staff Senate

What is the Staff Senate?

The Staff Senate is an advisory body to the President of the University.  The President may refer matters to the Senate and expect a response from that body. The Staff Senate is established as the official means by which staff may be actively involved in and contribute to the governance of the institution. It shall investigate, consider, and act upon any matter its members think appropriate or relevant to concerns and interests of support staff. It shall report fully to the staff, and to other elements of the University when appropriate, on all deliberations and actions of the Staff Senate.

What does the Senate do?

It serves in an auxiliary advisory function to the administration in the area of staff personnel matters and to do so in a positive and constructive manner. The Staff Senate provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, a resource for evaluating proposals, and a mechanism for expressing suggestions and concerns that affect the University and Staff. The Staff Senate also works with Shared Governance in order to promote better understanding, cooperation, and communication between university staff, faculty, students, and administration on all levels. The Staff Senate is to be an advocate for changes or improvements that affects the staff.

Who is eligible to serve on the Staff Senate?

Any member of the staff (regular, full or part-time, exempt and non-exempt employees of the University other than faculty) with at least six months of service with the University - with the exception of the president, provost, vice presidents, associate/assistant vice presidents and deans.  Representatives on the Senate shall be those persons receiving the highest number of votes by their respective constituents.

How are Senate members chosen?

Senate elections are held in the spring of each year. The respective constituents elect a designated number of members from each department/division.

How long would I serve on the Senate?

The Senate shall consist of a maximum of 24 members to be elected by staff members. A serving term shall consist of three (3) years unless voluntarily relinquished by the appointed member before the term ends or if the member is absent three consecutive scheduled meetings of the Senate within one year.

How are Senate officers chosen?

New officers shall be elected in the spring by voting of secret ballot. All Senate officers shall be elected to a term of one year with the exception of the vice-president who will serve as president for one (1) term immediately following the vice-president term.

How often does the Senate meet?

Staff Senate meetings are scheduled for the second Mondays of the month at 10 a.m., unless approved to be moved to an alternative date.  These meetings are open to all staff who would like to attend.

Why do I want to be part of the Staff Senate?

As a member of the university’s staff, you are a member of the university team. Your voice is equally important as that of a faculty member or student in the Shared Governance process. The university needs you to share your ideas for improvement.