2015 Revision - Update: 7/31/2015

Section 1: Name and Nature

The name of this body shall be the Case Western Reserve University (hereafter referred to as the University) Staff Advisory Council (hereafter referred to as the Council). The Council shall be unincorporated, advisory in nature, and shall act within the limits of this Constitution.

Section 1a: Limitation of Scope

The Council is not a vehicle for negotiating wages and benefits, and is not the forum for resolving employee grievances.

Section 2: Mission

The mission of the Council shall be:

A. To serve as an advisory group to suggest, comment, and provide feedback on policies and raise awareness of issues that affect the University and the people it serves;

B. To establish and maintain a forum for communication between University staff and administration on all levels;

C. To establish and maintain a forum for communication among staff at the University.

The Council officers shall include a Chair, a Vice Chair (Chair Elect), and a Secretary. Only current elected Staff Advisory Council representatives are eligible to run for officer positions. Terms of officers will begin on the third Monday of September each year. If an elected officer is unable to fulfill the responsibilities of office, the officer will be expected to tender a resignation. The Chair, Vice Chair, or Secretary can be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of Council. A resolution for removal of an officer can be submitted by any elected SAC representative or SAC committee Chair in response to an egregious failure to perform the duties of office. The resolution for removal must be approved by a majority vote in the Steering Committee before being placed on the Council agenda.

Section 1: Chair

The Chair shall serve a one-year term immediately following his/her one-year term as Vice Chair. (Exception: a Chair was elected by the Council at its first meeting in its first year of existence. The Chair served a one-year term.) The duties of the Chair shall be: call and preside at all Council meetings; take responsibility for the development of the agenda for all Council meetings; in consultation with the Executive Committee, appoint staff representatives of University committees, when requested; serve as ex-officio member of committees; act as official spokesperson for the Council; act as liaison between the Council and the Council's support staff.

Section 2: Vice Chair

The Vice Chair shall be elected by the Council to serve a one-year term as Vice Chair followed by a one-year term as Chair. The duties of the Vice Chair shall be: execute the duties of the Chair in his/her absence; assume duties of the Chair if the Chair vacates his/her position (through resignation, retirement, etc.); act as parliamentarian; assume any duties as assigned by the Chair; serve as ex-officio member of committees; assume the position of Chair after one year.

Section 3: Secretary

The Secretary shall be elected by the Council to serve a one-year term. The duties of the Secretary shall be: prepare and distribute the minutes of each meeting; prepare the agenda for each meeting, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair; prepare name tents for use at General Council meetings; assume other duties as assigned by the Chair; keep a chart of attendance at Council meetings.

Section 4: Privileges of Officers

The Chair, the immediate past Chair, the Vice Chair, and the Secretary shall be voting members of the Council by virtue of office (if they are not already elected SAC members).

Section 5: Rules for Election of Officers

At the first Staff Advisory Council meeting of the calendar year, the Elections Committee shall call for nominations for officers. Nominees must be current elected members of the Council.

Following the close of the nomination period, the Elections Committee shall provide each voting member of the Staff Advisory Council with an electronic ballot listing the names of the nominees; all ballots must be submitted by the stipulated deadline.  The elections committee is responsible for establishing written procedures to ensure the integrity of the vote.

The Elections Committee shall make the results of the balloting available to the SAC Chair prior to the next scheduled General Council meeting.  In the event that there is only one nominee running for any of the officer positions at the time nominations are closed, that person shall be declared elected by acclamation at the next scheduled General Council meeting.

The nominee(s) receiving the largest number of votes cast shall be declared elected. If no one nominee receives the largest number of the votes cast, a second ballot bearing the names of the two nominees who have received the largest numbers of votes shall be distributed for a run-off election. In the event of a tie vote of such character as to foreclose the second ballot procedure, or of a tie vote on the second ballot, such a tie shall be resolved by the Chair of the Council.

Section 6: Vacancy of Officers

In the event that the Chair vacates his/her position, the Vice Chair will assume the duties of the Chair until the next election.

In the event that the Vice Chair or Secretary vacates his/her position, the Chair shall appoint an elected Council member to fill the vacancy. Upon acceptance of the appointment by the individual, the Chair will then seek approval of the appointment from the Council by general vote at the next regularly scheduled Staff Advisory Council meeting.

Section 1: Eligibility and Definition of Staff

All regular, full- or part-time, exempt and non-exempt, non-faculty employees of the University with at least six months of service with the University are eligible for Council membership. The Chair will be an ex-officio member of the Council for one year immediately following his/her term (if he/she is not an elected member at that time).

The Senior Vice President for Administration and the Vice President for Human Resources shall be ex-officio members of the Council. The Privilege of Attendance at Council Meetings shall be extended to the Chair of Faculty Senate, Chair of Graduate Student Senate, and President of Undergraduate Student Government. 

Section 2: Membership by Area

Council members shall be appointed from the following areas:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences
  2. School of Engineering
  3. School of Dental Medicine
  4. School of Law
  5. Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
  6. School of Medicine
  7. Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  8. Weatherhead School of Management
  9. Academic Administration
    1. Office of the Provost and University Vice President
    2. Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer
    3. Undergraduate Admission
    4. Undergraduate Studies
    5. Graduate Studies
    6. Financial Aid
    7. Registrar
  10. University Administration
    1. Office of the President
    2. Office of Budgets and Financial Planning
    3. Office of the Campus Planning and Operations
    4. Office of University Relations
    5. Office of Finance and Administration
    6. Office for Information Technology Services
    7. Office for Student Affairs

Section 3: Categories

There are two categories within each of the numbered areas: non-exempt (semi-monthly payroll); exempt (monthly payroll).

Section 4: Apportionment

At election time (see Section 5), the number of staff per area will be calculated from an analysis of the payroll data no less than 13 or more than 18 weeks before the last day on which ballots will be accepted.

Each area shall elect a minimum of two members to the Council, one from each category. Additional representatives shall be allocated to each category with more than 50, or any portion thereof, employees using the updated apportionment calculation.

Section 5: Election

Elections shall end no later than August 1st of each year, the exact date to be determined by the Elections Committee on the basis of the University calendar. Interested staff members may submit their names for nomination as members for election to the Council from their respective areas and categories. In the event of a tie within an area, a runoff election will be held within ten days of the auditing of the original ballots

Section 6: Terms of Membership

Terms of membership begin on the third Monday of September of every year and continue for two years. Representatives from areas 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10 shall be elected for a two-year term in odd-numbered years. Representatives from areas 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be elected for a two-year term in even-numbered years.

Section 7: Consecutive Terms

There are no limits to the number of terms a delegate may serve.

Section 8: Vacancies

In the event that the category of a duly elected member of the Council changes during his or her term (e.g., from non-exempt to exempt), but that member remains in the same area from which he or she was elected, that member shall continue to serve until the expiration of his or her term.

In the event that a duly elected staff member terminates his or her position within his or her membership area (through resignation, retirement, transfer to a different membership area, etc.), his or her seat will be considered vacant. The Staff Advisory Council Chair has the appointing power to fill the vacancy with the person receiving the next highest number of votes from that membership area's most recent election. In the event that no such person is available, the Council Chair has the power to fill the vacancy. The Chair will consult with the Executive Committee and with the staff members of the membership area to fill the vacancy. If a member resigns before the end of his/her term, he/she is not eligible for re-election for two years. SAC members who are appointed to fill vacancies are eligible to stand for election following their appointment.

In the event that no one was elected from a membership area, the Council Chair has the appointing power to fill the vacancy. The Council Chair will consult with the Executive Committee and with the staff members of the membership area to fill the vacancy.

Section 9: Responsibility of Members

Representatives shall fulfill the mission of the Council as described in Article I, Section 2. Representatives on the Council will represent all members of their constituent bodies by attending every meeting of the Council. If attendance is not possible, the Council Chair should be notified. Representatives have the responsibility to actively participate in at least one committee.

Representatives, excluding ex-officio members, who fail to participate in the above responsibilities of the Council will be given an opportunity to defend themselves before the Executive Committee. After such a defense, the Executive Committee can recommend removal or take no action. The recommendation would be presented to Council and would require a 2/3 vote of Council to eject an elected member of Council.

Section 10: Recognition of Service

Members and Officers who fulfill their duties will have a certificate of service placed in their permanent records.

Section 1: Frequency and Length of Meetings

The Council shall hold six meetings per year, no more than 10 weeks apart. Effort will be made to limit full Council meetings to one and one-half hours.

Section 2: Rules for Procedure and Agenda

The agenda for any meeting shall include the call to order, approval of minutes, a report from the Department of Human Resources, announcements, committee reports, unfinished business, new business, discussion and recommendations, and adjournment. During the proceedings of the meetings, Democratic Rules of Order will be followed.

The agenda for the first meeting of each academic year will also include the transfer of chairmanship and approval of the year’s meeting schedule.

Any member may request that an item be placed on the agenda under new business by contacting the Chair prior to the meeting. The Chair will determine the appropriateness of the item for the scope of the Council and provide a response to the representative submitting the item.

SAC Recommendations: Recommendations dealing with potential changes to University policies/procedures will be discussed at Council meetings.  If the recommendation receives a majority approval vote, it will be submitted to the VP for Human Resources and the Senior VP for Administration for routing to appropriate decision makers.  The SAC Chair should receive feedback on any recommendation within one month of submission.

Section 1: Operating Committees

A. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and the previous year's Chair. The Council Chair shall be the Chair of the Executive and Steering Committees, and shall not chair any other committee.

The Executive Committee shall: (a) provide leadership in the conduct of the business of the Council and do all things necessary to accomplish the stated mission of the Council in accordance with the Constitution; (b) rule on the interpretation of this constitution, subject to review by the Steering Committee.

B. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall consist of the following voting members: Chair; Vice Chair; Secretary; an elected SAC member from each Standing Committee. Other members shall include the previous year's Chair and all ex-officio members of the Council.

Section 2: Standing Committees

The Standing Committees of the Staff Advisory Council are: Communications; Community Service; Elections; Fringe Benefits; Staff Policy; Staff Recognition; Development and Training. Each standing committee shall have a Chair elected by the Committee members and, if needed, an elected SAC member to serve as a liaison to the Steering Committee. Representatives of the Department of Human Resources and other appropriate administrative units can serve as ex-officio members of standing committees.  As a member of a standing committee,   SAC representatives are to exercise due diligence to avoid apparent or perceived conflicts of interest.  SAC committee chairs are to make guidelines for the operation of the committees available on an annual basis.

A. Communications Committee

The Communications Committee shall serve as a vehicle for communication between the University staff community and the Council by providing a means for staff members to express concerns, ideas, and interests to the appropriate University body. It shall strive to keep the Council constituency informed of Council and University activities and issues.

B. Community Service Committee

The Community Service Committee shall serve as a vehicle to make Case Western Reserve University staff aware of community events of a charitable and non-charitable nature. This awareness is intended to foster greater involvement and improve the relationship of the staff members with the community.

C. Elections Committee

The Chair and Vice Chair may be ex-officio members of the Elections Committee. The committee shall be responsible for organizing and monitoring the election process for the Council, as well as planning an orientation program for newly-elected Council members.

D. Fringe Benefits Committee

The Fringe Benefits Committee shall suggest, comment, and provide feedback on issues concerning fringe benefits for staff employees.

E. Staff Policy Committee

The Staff Policy Committee shall suggest, comment, and provide feedback on issues related to policies that may affect staff.

F. Staff Recognition Committee

The Staff Recognition Committee shall help organize programs and events that recognize and reward staff members for their contributions to the University. The Chair(s) of the committee shall notify the Executive Committee when recipients of the annual President’s Award have been chosen.

G. Development and Training Committee

The Development and Training Committee shall suggest, comment, and provide feedback on issues concerning training and development of Case Western Reserve University employees in order to improve performance, aid in career advancement, and increase job satisfaction

Section 3: Ad Hoc Committees

In consultation with the Executive Committee, the Chair may create an ad hoc committee at any time to serve any purpose not served by a standing committee. Each ad hoc committee shall have an elected SAC member appointed as chair by the Council Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee. The membership and the purpose of an ad hoc committee shall be announced by the Chair at the next regular meeting of the Council. The chair of an ad hoc committee shall report the committee’s activities to the Council at its regular meetings. Should an ad hoc committee no longer be needed, the Council Chair will make a motion to dissolve it. The Council will then vote on the motion.  If the motion to dissolve the Committee is passed, a final report on the committee’s activities will be presented at the next Council meeting.

Section 4: Membership

Membership on standing committees will be determined by each elected member’s preference.  A form for committee membership will be distributed to each newly-elected representative at the Orientation Breakfast.  These forms will be collected by the Elections Committee.  The Elections Committee shall forward a list of volunteer members to the Chair(s) of each standing committee by the end of October each year.  All members of the Council shall be on at least one committee. Participation on committees shall be open to all University staff.

Section 5: Reporting

The chair of each standing committee and any ad hoc committees with unfinished business shall report at each Council meeting; a written report will also be provided to the Secretary for inclusion in the meeting minutes. No committee shall take any action outside the scope of the Council's implied or expressed authority, and no committee shall act without approval of the Council.

Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws may be proposed at any meeting of the Council, duly noted in the minutes, and discussed and modified at the next regularly scheduled meeting. After that meeting, a ballot will be distributed to all members of the Council. If two-thirds of those voting approve the amendment, the amendment will become effective upon written approval of the General Counsel.