Bylaws of the Staff Senate
Montana State University Billings
This organization shall be named the Staff Senate of Montana State University Billings.
Staff Senate shall: assist in the development of staff training programs and policies; facilitate communication and cooperation between the administration and the staff of Montana State University Billings; promote improvement of higher education in the State of Montana; promote and provide for improved working conditions and professional welfare of the staff; and carry out such other goals and activities as the Senate shall determine from time to time to be consistent with the overall purpose of the Staff Senate. The Staff Senate is a recommending body, with final authority resting with the Chancellor.
The Staff Senate of MSU Billings exist to enhance communication between all staff, faculty, and the administration within the University; encourage professional and person development within the staff; provide a forum for discussion of matters pertinent to staff of the University; and to advise and make recommendations about existing and proposed University policies and procedures.
Any member of the nonacademic staff which includes all classified staff, LOA positions in a non-supervisory Montana State University System position (that is, excluding any person holding a Montana University System contract in a supervisory role), shall be eligible for nomination and entitled to vote for Staff Senate representatives if he/she holds a regular appointment or contract with a .5 or greater FTE. All nonacademic staff employed by organizations affiliated with Montana State University Billings may be represented by one liaison member picked by the staff of such organization. Affiliated organizations are defined as those organizations which are eligible for the University Insurance Plan.
MEETINGS OF GENERAL STAFF
Sec. 1. Regular Meetings. There shall be at least one meeting of the general staff membership each academic semester and such additional meetings as the Staff Senate shall call. New senators will be announced through university-wide means.
Sec. 2. Special Meetings. Upon written request signed by ten (10) percent of the nonacademic staff and submitted to the Chair of Staff Senate, a special meeting shall be called for the purpose of reviewing any actions of the Staff Senate.
The Staff Senate shall meet at least once each month during the calendar year. A majority of current Senators will constitute a quorum. Senators shall be released from normal work duties for the purpose of attending Staff Senate meetings or other activities related to Staff Senate, and this release time shall not be charged against their annual leave.
STAFF SENATE POWERS AND DUTIES
Sec. 1. The Staff Senate, as the representative body of the staff, shall have the power to act and speak for the staff on all matters concerning the nonacademic staff.
Sec. 2. The Staff Senate may examine all matters related to the general welfare of
the University and nonacademic staff, and it is charged with protecting the general
welfare of the nonacademic staff.
Sec. 3. The Staff Senate shall be available to meet with the faculty, administration and others for advice and consultation, and shall disseminate information to the nonacademic staff.
Sec. 4. The Staff Senate shall have the power to adopt such standing rules as are deemed necessary.
Sec. 5. The Staff Senate may send one or more members to attend Board of Regents and Montana University Systems Staff Association meetings, as determined by the Staff Senate. If for some reason an appointed member cannot attend, the Chair may appoint another member.
STAFF SENATE REPRESENTATION
The Staff Senate shall consist of elected representatives from each of the following areas:
- One member from Academic Affairs
- Two members from Administrative Services
- One member from Central Administration
- One representative from the College of Allied Health Professions
- One representative from the College of Arts and Sciences
- One representative from the College of Business
- One representative from the College of Education
- One representative from City College
- Two members from Facilities Services, one from Crafts and administration, one from Custodial
- One representative from MSUB Extended Campus
- Three representatives from Student Affairs
- The Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services serving as an ex-officio member
If no representative is nominated and elected from an area, that area will not be represented that term, at which time the Staff Senate Chair will try to recruit a person from that area to be a senator. If a representative is found, the senators will vote.
The following is a list of the offices that fall into each of the represented areas.
- Academic Affairs
- Academic Support Center
- American Indian Outreach
- Graduate Studies
- Grants and Sponsored Programs
- Information Technology
- International Studies
- Provost and Vice Chancellor’s for Academic Affairs Office
- University Honors Program
- Budget Office
- Business Office
- Financial Services
- Human Resources
- University Police & Public Safety
- Alumni Relations
- University Relations
College of Allied Health Professions
- Health & Human Performance
- Rehabilitation & Human Services
College of Arts & Science
College of Business
College of Education
- Ed Theory & Practices
- Montana Center
Facilities Services – Crafts and Administration
Facilities Services - Custodial
MSUB Extended Campus
- Admission and Records
- Advising Center
- Bookstore Jackets & Co.
- Career Services
- Disability Support Services
- Financial Aid & Scholarships
- Housing & Residential Life
- New Student and Retention Services
- Office of Community Involvement
- Student Health Services
- Student Opportunities Services
- Student Union and ASMSUB
- Upward Bound
- Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Office
QUALIFICATIONS FOR SENATE MEMBERSHIP
As defined in Article III, a nonacademic staff member who has completed at least one year of continuous employment or an academic year appointment at Montana State University Billings on or before July 1st in which his/her term shall be eligible for election to Staff Senate if he/she holds a regular appointment or contract with a .5 or greater FTE. In the event an area is unrepresented, an employee who has been employed by Montana State University Billings for at least 6 months and within the department/area of representation that is in need of a representative, is eligible to fill the seat available.
NOMINATIONS TO SENATE
At least thirty (30) days prior to the election, candidate nominations (nominations may be made by members of the staff or self-nominations) may be filed with the Staff Senate or Elections Committee. A signed agreement to serve if elected will be obtained from each nominee.
ELECTIONS TO SENATE
Section 1: Voting Procedures
Regular elections should be held no later than the last Friday in April of each year. Ballots will be distributed electronically from the Staff Senate. Successful candidates will begin their term in their year of election beginning July 1st; however during the June meeting all newly elected senators are invited to attend.
Section 2: Campaign Rules
Nominees will be allowed to campaign for two (2) weeks prior to Election Day.
Although no nominee is required to campaign, it is acceptable to use the following methods of campaigning, noting that any cost associated with campaigning is the responsibility of the nominee:
- MSU Billings Staff Senate web page
- posters and banners
Posters and political advertising must be placed as to not endanger occupants or disrupt traffic as determined by the building manager. Campaign materials posted in campus buildings must be approved prior to posting.
TERM OF SENATORS
Sec. 1. Term. Staff Senators shall be elected for a term of two (2) years.
In the event Staff Senate has dissolved and is being reinstated, the first two years the terms will be staggered, half of which will be two year terms, half of which will be one-year terms. After the initial two-year cycle, all terms will be two years.
First cycle terms may be as follows:
- Academic Affairs: Two-year term
- Administrative Services: One (1) Two-year term, One (1) one-year term
- Central Administration: One-year term
- City College: One-year term
- College of Allied Health: One-year term
- College of Arts and Sciences: Two-year term
- College of Business: Two-year term
- College of Education: Two-year term
- Extended Campus: One-year term
- Facilities Services: One (1) Two-year term, One (1) one-year term
- Student Affairs: Two (2) Two-year terms, One (1) one-year term
Sec 1. Declaration of Vacancy. A Senator's seat shall be declared vacant following three (3) unexcused absences at regular monthly Staff Senate meetings. Excused absences include: sick leave, annual leave, and professional obligations.
Sec. 2. Filling Vacancies. With the consent of the Staff Senate at a regular meeting, the Senate Chair shall fill vacancies. The appointee shall serve until the expiration of the vacated term.
Sec. 3. Appointment Qualifications. The appointee shall be from the same representation area as the Staff Senator whose seat has been vacated.
Sec. 1. Officers. The Staff Senate shall elect from its membership an Executive Committee, consisting of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and a Treasurer at its first meeting after the election.
Sec. 1.A. Duties of Officers
- Preside at all meetings of the Staff Senate or general staff meetings called by the Staff Senate, unless otherwise specified;
- Act as the spokesperson of the Staff Senate, as the Staff Senate may advise;
- Attend to all the duties that pertain to this committee as set forth in these Bylaws and the official business of the Staff Senate.
- Serve as assistant to the Chair and carry out all duties the Chair may deem necessary;
- Act as liaison for specific subcommittees that may be established by the Staff Senate;
- Preside at meetings in the absence of the Chair.
- Keep the minutes of the proceedings of the Staff Senate;
- Post minutes on the Staff Senate website and SharePoint site;
- Prepare the agenda of the Staff Senate meetings under the direction of the Chair;
- Post all pertinent information to the Staff Senate SharePoint site;
- Carry forward the correspondence of the Staff Senate under the direction of the Chair;
- Make provision for balloting at any and all Staff Senate meetings and general staff meetings called by Staff Senate;
- Be responsible for gathering summary of expenses and receipts from committee and subcommittees and keeping them on file by scanning them into the Share Drive or keeping an original paper file on hand;
- Input the summary of expenses on a running balance ledger kept on the Staff Senate Share Drive;
- Keep the balance ledger up to date and brief the Staff Senators at the monthly meetings with recent expenses and current balance.
Sec. 2. Nominations. Nominations for Staff Senate officers shall be called for at the first meeting after the election.
Sec. 3. Election of Officers. Elections shall be by paper ballot or electronic ballot
with all Senators voting.
Sec. 4. Term. The officers shall serve for one (1) year, and assume official duties immediately after elected.
Sec. 5. Vacancies. Any officer vacancy will be filled by nomination and election by Staff Senate.
Sec. 6. Office Limitation. No person shall serve simultaneously as Chair of the Staff Senate and as a representative of a labor union.
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Senate and staff meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
Sec. 1. Proposals. Amendments may be proposed by a majority of the Staff Senate or upon a petition signed by at least ten (10) percent of the nonacademic staff and presented to the Staff Senate Chair at the meeting after the amendment has been proposed.
Sec. 2. Adoption. Adoption is effective upon approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast by the Staff Senators and approved by the Chancellor.