National Park College Staff Senate Constitution
Article I. Name, Purpose, and Membership
Section 1 - Name
The name of this organization will be the National Park College Staff Senate.
Section 2 - Purpose
Acknowledging that shared governance is an important aspect of successful college operations, the purposes of the Staff Senate are to ensure a forum for meaningful dialogue on staff-related and campus-wide issues, to encourage a positive work environment and campus culture, to support the educational and vocational growth of the staff, and to promote staff involvement in furthering the college's mission to the students and to the community.
Section 3 - Membership
For the purposes of representation in staff governance, the term staff refers to all full-time, non-faculty employees of National Park College below the cabinet level of Vice President.
Article II. Organization
Section 1 - Meetings
The Staff Senate will meet on the second Thursday of every month at 3:00 p.m. at a location to be secured either in person or remotely by the Chair of the Senate unless otherwise agreed upon by unanimous consent of the Senate. The annual retreat will be held in the beginning of the fiscal year for all members of the Staff Senate. The retreat will be used to plan the calendar and budget for the current fiscal year. The Chair of the Senate can call a special meeting of the Staff Senate as needed with appropriate notice.
Section 2 - Quorum
A quorum will consist of two-thirds of the Senators.
Section 3 - Representation
Staff will be represented according to the IPEDS Occupational Categories (OCC) with smaller groups combined for equity. These groups will be referred to as Staff Divisions. One Senator will be elected by each of the following staff divisions:
- Business and Financial Operations/Sales and Related Occupations
- Community Service, Legal, Arts, and Medical Occupations
- Computer, Engineering, and Science Occupations/Library Technician
- Management Occupations
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations
- Service Occupations
Representation should periodically be reevaluated to ensure continued equity among the divisions.
Any Vice President of the campus may participate in Staff Senate meetings in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity.
Section 4- Officers
The officers of the Staff Senate will be the Chair of the Senate, the Chair-Elect, and the Past Chair. These officers form the Senate's Executive Committee.
Section 5 -Terms of Office
A senator will serve for a two-year term and can serve no more than two consecutive terms. Upon being term-limited, a former senator can run for a Senate seat again after a two-year interval. The term of a new Senator begins on July 1. A former senator who is term limited cannot fill an open vacancy position until a two (2) year interval has occurred.
Officers will serve a three-year term beginning as the Chair-Elect of the Senate and ending as the Past Chair of the Senate. The staff member elected to the Chair-Elect position will hold that position for the first year of service. In his or her second year of service, the staff member will become the Chair of the Senate. In the third year of service, the staff member will serve as the Past Chair of the Senate. The term of a new officer begins on July 1.
- Only one of the three officers in any given year can be from the Management Occupations staff division.
- An out-going Past Chair must wait one year before seeking any NPC Staff Senate position.
- A member of the Staff Senate, who may teach on campus and be considered an adjunct faculty member, cannot also serve on the Faculty Senate.
- A Senator filling a vacancy will not have time counted toward term limit.
Section 6 - Election Guidelines
Election of Senators
Each staff division will select its Senator as per whatever means the division deems appropriate so long as voting is done by impartial, anonymous ballot. Candidates receiving a plurality of votes cast will be declared the winner of said election. Senators should be selected by the last week in April at the end of the sitting Senator's term. The staff division will coordinate its election efforts with the Past Chair of the Senate as needed.
Election of Officers
During the third week of April, the staff will elect the Chair-Elect of the Staff Senate via an anonymous ballot. Any member of the staff may nominate a staff member to serve as Chair-Elect so long as the nominee has expressed a willingness to serve in this role. The Past Chair of the Senate will oversee the management of an impartial, anonymous voting process. The candidate receiving a plurality of votes cast will be declared the winner of said election.
The results of all elections will be shared with the Past Chair of the Staff Senate no later than the first week of May. The election results for all Senators and the Chair-Elect will be announced at the end-of-year recognition luncheon. The Past Chair will distribute the results to the campus community via appropriate means.
- Nominations – First week of April
- Survey Construction – Second week of April Voting – Third week of April
- Announcement – Second week of May
Necessity for Additional Rules
Election rules and procedures not covered in this constitution will be made by a majority vote of the Staff Senate as necessary.
Section 7 - Removal and Recall
Removal of a Senator
The Staff Senate has the authority to expel a Senator for consistent nonattendance, disorderly behavior, misconduct, and/or failure to fulfill the duties of the position. A two-thirds majority of Senators is required to remove a member of the Staff Senate. After removal, the staff division will elect a new Senator to complete the remainder of removed Senator's term.
Recall of a Senator
Senators are subject to recall by their respective staff division following a petition signed by twenty-five percent of the division's staff presented to the Chair of the Senate. Upon receipt of the petition, the Chair of the Senate will inform the staff division to organize for purposes of a recall election at which time the sitting Senator will either retain the seat or be replaced by a new Senator through a plurality vote. If a new Senator is chosen, the newly elected Senator will immediately serve out the remainder of the removed Senator's term.
Removal of an Officer
An officer of the Senate can be removed by the Senate for consistent nonattendance, disorderly behavior, misconduct, and/or failure to fulfill the duties of the position. To remove an officer, two-thirds of the Senators must vote "no confidence." If two-thirds of the Senate votes "no confidence," the officer is immediately removed and the vacancy will be filled following the procedures set forth in Article 11, Section 8B.
Section 8 - Vacancies
If a vacancy occurs for any reason during the year, the Staff Senate will immediately call for nominations from the staff division affected. The call for nominations and voting are to be completed within one week. The newly selected Senator will complete the term of the vacated Senate seat.
If a vacancy occurs for any reason during the year for the position of the Chair-Elect or Past Chair, the Senate will solicit nominations for a replacement from the staff via their staff divisions. A replacement for the vacant position will then be chosen by a majority vote of the Senate from among the nominees. If the first ballot does not yield a majority winner, balloting will continue until one nominee receives the majority vote. The winner is immediately installed to complete the term of the vacant officer.
If the vacancy occurs in the Chair of the Senate, the Chair-Elect will assume the role of Chair, and the above procedures will be followed to select a new Chair-Elect.
Article Ill. Procedures of the Senate
Section 1 - Agenda and Conduct of Meetings
The Senate's Executive Committee receives all proposed agenda items for the Senate's consideration. The committee prioritizes the issues that should go before the Senate or redirects issues unrelated to the Senate's charter to the appropriate campus committee, official, or organization for consideration.
New items can be entertained by the Senate even if they are not on the published agenda. Only Senators can bring new items to the floor of the Senate. Senators can ask for additional testimony and public comment from non-Senate members after recognition by the Chair of the Senate.
Staff Senate meetings will be conducted using Robert's Rules of Order.
Section 2 - Amendments
This constitution may be amended in the following manner:
Two-thirds of the Senators must adopt a motion to amend the constitution.
The proposed amendment will be announced and shared with the staff for review ten (10) work days in advance of a special election to amend the constitution. An anonymous, impartial ballot will be prepared and overseen by the Past Chair. Five (5) work days will be allowed for voting. A simple majority of those members of the staff that participate in the election is required for the amendment to pass.
Following a successful amending of the staff constitution, the Chair-Elect of the Senate will draft a new version of the constitution with the amended language for distribution to the campus community.
Minor changes in the constitution for grammatical improvement or changes that reflect a restructuring of the campus organization can be recommended by the Senate Executive Committee and approved by unanimous consent of the Senators. If, at any time, objection rises over whether a proposed change is minor or not. the Senate will adhere to the previously stated amendment process to ensure broad staff support for the change.
Section 3 - Committees
The Staff Senate, through a majority vote, can establish any subcommittees or ad hoc committees needed to carry out its duties.
Article IV. Duties
Section 1 - Chair of the Senate
The Chair of the Staff Senate will:
- Preside over all meetings of the Staff Senate.
- Vote only in case of a tie during Senate meetings.
- Call for agenda items at least ten (10) working days prior to all Senate meetings and publish the agenda at least five (5) working days prior to the meeting.
- Encourage communication between staff members, administrators, faculty, and students.
- Inform the appropriate Vice President of motions adopted by the Senate within five
- (5) working days of adoption.
- Serve as the lead contact person for all communication to and from the Senate.
- Meet as necessary with the Associate Vice President of Human Resources to discuss staff related matters. A report of these meetings should be included in the Senate minutes.
- Attend, or appoint a designate to attend, all Board of Trustees meetings.
- Coordinate the Senate Executive Committee meetings and agenda.
Section 2 - Chair-Elect of the Senate
The Chair-Elect will:
- Assume the duties of the Chair of the Senate in his/her absence.
- Record, publish, maintain, and archive a file of the minutes for each meeting of the Staff Senate, the Senate Executive Committee, and any special meeting of the assembled staff.
- Perform duties as assigned by the Chair of the Senate.
- Remain a non-voting member of the Senate unless she or he has assumed the duties of the Chair and must cast a tie-breaking vote.
- Serve on the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Section 3 - Past Chair of the Senate
The Past Chair will:
- Assume the duties of the Chair of the Senate in the absence of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect.
- Act as Parliamentarian of the Senate meetings.
- Manage any financial matters that may arise.
- Serve as elections coordinator for all Senate-related elections, receive nominees for Chair-Elect, coordinate anonymous ballot elections using appropriate technologies, and inform the Senate of all election results.
- Perform duties as assigned by the Chair of the Senate.
- Remain a non-voting member of the Senate unless he or she has assumed the duties of the Chair in the absence of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect, and must cast a tie breaking vote.
- Serve on the Executive Committee of the Senate.
Section 4 - Senators
Each Senator will:
- Vote on issues under consideration by the Senate in a way that represents the will of the staff division the Senator represents.
- Attend scheduled Senate meetings. If an absence is unavoidable, the Senator must assign a proxy with voting rights.
- Serve as the contact person for all correspondence between the Senate and their respective staff divisions. Each Senator has an obligation to keep the staff divisions informed of activities of the Senate.
Article V. Ratification Process
Section 1 -Approval
This constitution will become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year following an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting staff, review and signature by the President of the College and by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, and review by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2 - Policy Manual
Upon approval, a copy of the staff governance constitution will be added to the current NPC policy manual as an appendix. The Senate should periodically review these bylaws to ensure their accurate representation in the policy manual.
Section 3 - Revision Amendments
Amendments to this constitution will follow procedures listed in Article Ill section 2.