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UTEP Staff Council - Bylaws

Section II. Membership 

Section 2.01 Eligibility forMembership 

The Council consists of votingand non-voting members as outlined below. 

Section 2.02 VotingMembers 

Voting members are defined aseligible staff elected by their peers to represent their respective votingdistricts (Section 2.10). Eligible staff is all classified employees and thoseadministrative and professional employees below the level of Assistant Dean orAssistant Director. “Classified” and “Administrative and Professional”employees are defined in the UTEP Pay Plan. Council membership is terminated ifan elected member terminates his/her employment with the University, transfersto another voting district -(with exceptions such as the representative movesto another district that already has a representative or if there is anotheravailable district), or is promoted to a non-eligible position. 

Section 2.03 Qualifications forMembers 

Council representatives must be full-timeemployees and must have six months of continuous service at the University atthe time of election. 

Section 2.04 Duties andResponsibilities of Council Members 

Serve on committees of theCouncil and hold office on that committee if elected. 

Be accessible to constituents;make campus address and phone number available to constituents; be willing tohear concerns, receive information and suggestions, and communicate theseeffectively to the Council; and keep constituents informed of the Council’sactivities. 

Section 2.05 Attendance 

Regular attendance is expected.If a member misses three (3) consecutive meetings (including committeemeetings), the chair will suggest that the member withdraw.

If a member misses four (4) meetings(including committee meetings) within twelve (12) months, his/her name will belisted on the Executive Committee agenda for discussion of removal. A member ofthe Executive Committee shall notify the incumbent by email and inquire as tothe Representative’s intentions. 

If a sixth (6) consecutive absence(including committee meetings) occurs in twelve (12) months, it will be assumedthat the incumbent has vacated the seat. A member of the Executive Committeeshall notify the incumbent by email and inquire as to the Representative’sintentions.  Within 5 business days of thenotification by an Executive Committee member, a written appeal forreinstatement outlining the extenuating circumstances that lead to the seatbeing vacated, can be made to the Executive Committee for consideration ofreinstatement of replacement by the next meeting. Executive Committee willreview the merits of the written appeal on a case by case basis, in addition totaking into consideration participation by the Council member.  Ifreinstatement is approved by the Executive Committee, a determination will bemade if the council member will be reinstated to any council and/or committeeseats they held prior to vacating the seat or executive removal.

Section 2.06 Participation byCouncil members

Active participation in Council isexpected. Participation will be monitored through attendance, interaction withconstituents, involvement in sub committees/special projects, and Councilevents (minimum two (2)). If a Council member is not an active participant thensteps for removal from office will be initiated (see Section 2.10).

Section 2.07 Use of WorkTime 

Council members will be affordedat least four (4) hours per month to devote to Council work, in addition totime spent at Council meetings. Additional time for Council work or assignmentsmay be negotiated with the Council member’s supervisor. All will be considered regularwork hours. 

Section 2.08 Terms ofOffice 

Terms of office for Council memberswill commence September 1 following their election. Terms shall be for twoyears and a member can be re-elected for an additional term. Following two (2)consecutive terms, should there be a nomination from that representative’sdistrict, the said representative may not participate in the election process. Shouldthere not be a new nomination from said representative’s district, theincumbent can remain in their seat on the Council for one term. After the termof a newly elected representative expires, the former representative may againrun for a Council seat. If a member is appointed to the Council to serve out anunexpired term vacated by another member, the individual may serve up to oneyear in that capacity but must formally be elected at the end of the term (foradditional information see Section 2.15 (b))

Section 2.09 Vacancies

A vacancy that occurs amongvoting members of the Council shall be filled from the results of the previous generalelection. The employee within the affected District receiving the highestnumber of votes from among those not seated shall fill the vacant position. Inthe event that no names remain from the original election, the Chairperson ofthe Council, in consultation with the incumbent and/or members of the district,shall present a candidate who will fill the vacant seat upon ratification by amajority of a quorum present at any regular meeting of the Council. 

Section 2.10 Removal fromOffice 

Any elected Council member canbe removed from office for nonperformance of Council duties. A petition (verbaland/or written) requesting such removal can be brought to the ExecutiveCommittee by a simple majority of the members of the district or such removalmay be initiated by action of the Council. The Executive Committee willinvestigate the matter on a case-by-case basis and will recommend action to theCouncil. The final decision will be made by the Council. Removal will beeffective upon the vote of a simple Majority of those present and voting at ameeting of the Council at which a quorum is present. Possible causes of removalinclude, but are not limited to: non-attendance; failure to consistently reporton activities of the Council to the district; unavailability of therepresentative to constituents.  

Section 2.11 Districts 

Voting districts will bedetermined from a hierarchical structure (Division, Department, JobCommonality).  The number of districts directly coincides with the numberof qualified staff employees contained in the employee list received from HumanResources.

1 - VPAA
2 - EVP
3 - Intercollegiate Athletics
4 - IRP
5 - President/Provost
6 - SEVP
7 - VPR
8 - VPBA
9 - VPSA

Section 2.12 Number ofRepresentatives 

Representatives shall be electedfrom each voting district by eligible staff members of the district. One representativewill be elected for every seventy-five (75) eligible staff members in a votingdistrict. A district shall be entitled to elect one additional representativewhen the number of members of the district exceeds seventy-five (75) by atleast twenty-six.  Districts will be designated in number format.Should a districts employee count constitute more than 1 representative,the districts will be designated with a number-letter format (2A, 2B, etc.)

Section 2.13 Changes inDistricts

A request for a change indistrict composition may be made by any Council member or by petition of thestaff members from the affected district(s). The request will be considered bythe Executive Committee, the Committee’s recommendation will be presented tothe full Council. Adjustments to district composition require ratification by amajority of a quorum present at any regular meeting of the Council, and willbecome effective at the next general election of Council representatives.

Section 2.14 Non-Voting Membersof the Council

Non-voting members of theCouncil include the immediate Past Chairperson of the Council, unless he/shecontinues to serve as an elected representative, and others as may be appointedby the President.

Section 2.15 Nominations andElections 

(a) Elections Committee 

The nominations and electionsprocess shall be handled by the Elections Committee as voted on Fall 2014 tobecome a permanent committee. Nominations shall take place throughout the monthof June and be completed by the last business day of June.  Campaigning shall take place on the 1stbusiness day in July and be completed on the last business day of July.  Elections will be administered the firstMonday in August and end on the Friday of the same work week. 

Elections shall be completed withinfive business days from the date elections are open to eligible staff. Theinitial election will be administered electronically. New members will begintheir term on September 1. 

(b) Nomination Procedures 

The Elections Committee willrequest from the appropriate department a complete and current listing ofeligible staff members and the appropriate data fields needed to contact thestaff.  All eligible staff employeesemployed by the first business date of elections are eligible to vote. 

A nomination email notificationwill be distributed to each eligible staff employee.  The form will identify the district, themember(s) seeking to be elected and an entry place for any corrections todepartment/division of the employee in receipt of the notification. 

Each eligible staff employee maynominate themselves and/or other eligible staff employees from the districteach employee resides. Nominations will be submitted electronically and sent tothe Elections committee the nomination period will be from June 1 to June30.  If the 30th fall on aweekend, the last date for nominations will be the Friday before this day. 

After the closing date fornominations, the Elections Committee will review and track thenominations. The review period consists of contacting each nominee and confirmingtheir truest intent to becoming a Council member.  The bylaws and expectations of members willbe communicated at this time to encourage any questions.  Once confirmed their names will be placed onthe election ballots unless they withdraw by July 31st.  If insufficient nominations for a particulardistrict occur, or a nominee withdraws, the Elections committee will solicitadditional nominations.  If nonominations are received from within the district by the start of elections,the Elections Committee will appoint a representative based on the electionoutcome in the other districts. (see section C. Elections Procedures.)

 (c) ElectionProcedures 

Voting will be held for no lessthan five working days in order to accommodate varying work schedules. 

Ballots will be prepared by theElections committee indicating the name of the district, the names of thenominees in alphabetical order and instructions for voting. 

Ballots will be distributed viae-mail to each staff employee eligible to vote.

Each staff employee may cast onevote for a nominee who is in their respective districts ballot.  

To ensure continuity on thecouncil, districts will be staggered within divisions as follows:

Orange district elections willbe held on even numbered years.

Orange districts: 1A2, 1B, 1D2,1F, 2B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7, 8B, 8D, 8F, 9B.

Blue district election will beheld on odd numbered years.

Blue districts: 1A1, 1C, 1D1,1E, 1G, 2A, 3, 4A, 5A, 6A,8A, 8C, 8E, 9A.

As districts are added orremoved, the Elections committee will be responsible for managing the abovelist for accuracy and consistency.

At the close of the election,the Elections Committee will count all the votes. 

Those elected will be declaredon the basis of the highest number of votes received. If a tie occurs, thematter will be determined by lot. Final results will be verified by the HRadvisor to the Council.  Final resultswill be cross referenced with the electronic system administering the ballots. 

Should there be a district thathas no nominees before the last week in June, an email notification to thatdistrict will be sent encouraging anyone interested to sign up.  If by the 1st business day in Julythere are no responses, the district will not participate in the electoralprocess and will have an open seat available.  Once the remainingdistricts have completed the voting process and all district winners have beendetermined, a standing list will be kept of the remaining nominees with thenumber of votes in descending order.  The Elections Committee will thenoffer the open seat(s) to those nominees in the list, beginning with thenominee with the most votes.  Should there be a tie atop the list ofnominees, lot will determine the matter.  This process will continue untilall district seats are filled.

The Elections Committee willnotify the President of the names of the newly elected representatives inwriting within five working days of close of the election. The Council Chair willnotify the newly elected representatives, in writing within three days. Aftersuch notification, the Committee will make the results of the election known tothe general staff as soon as possible. 

Inaccordance with the UTEP Records Retention Policy, all records pertaining tothe nominations and elections process will be stored with the official recordsof the Council in the Special Collections section of the UTEP Library. 

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