By-Laws

I. Introduction

The staff of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is committed to achieving UMB's vision of excellence in academics, research, and service by functioning in a support role to faculty and students. The President of UMB and the President's Cabinet have found it appropriate that the UMB Staff exercise an informed advisory role in areas of policy and procedure which affect the quality of their work life and their level of contribution to the strategic goals of the campus. The opportunity to be heard on these matters through a recognized Staff Senate is indicative of UMB's goal to develop a more responsive environment distinguished by consistently high levels of commitment and productivity from its Staff. In carrying out its purpose and function, the Senate will observe all established University administrative policies and procedures, including but not limited to USM BOR Policy I-6.00 (Shared Governance). 

II. Purpose and Functions of the Senate

1. There shall be a Staff Senate representing all regular exempt, non-exempt excluded, police sergeants and above and contingent II employees of UMB (hereinafter referred to as "eligible employees" designated in USM BOR Policy VII-P1.00. Excluding the following groups of employees: faculty, all “Z” code Employee ID’s, contingent I and USM employees represented by a certified exclusive representative [union representation].

2. The functions of the Senate shall include the following:

a. To advise and make recommendations to the President of UMB and his/her Cabinet with regard to the following matters:

i. Policies, procedures and/or rules affecting eligible employees as defined in these bylaws.

ii. Work environment and staff morale.

iii. Issues impacting wages, benefits, and working conditions.

b. To serve as a channel of communication between:

i. Eligible employees and the President of UMB with his/her Cabinet; and

ii. Eligible employees and the Council of University System Staff (CUSS).

c. To act as a body of the eligible employees to enhance “informed participation and collaboration” in the affairs of the University (UMB).

d. To establish its own committees.

e. To elect representatives to CUSS from its membership as per CUSS Bylaws.

III. Membership and Election

1. There shall be a minimum of twenty (20) members of the Staff Senate composed of eligible employees. Its membership includes representatives from each employment category as set forth in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FFLSA) and as follows:

a. The proportion of senators from each employment category should reflect the proportion on campus at the time as determined by a report of employment categories by the Office of Human Resource Services. This report should be provided to the designated Staff Senate Elections Committee for each year prior to the election.

b. Each of the academic schools and central administration shall be represented by at least one (1) voting member. This will be accomplished by electing the person(s) with the highest vote count from each school and central administration, unless all categories are not represented, then a 1-year appointment will be made, based upon the election results. This appointment will maintain full voting privileges during the 1-year term.

c. Four (4) alternates, selected by next highest vote count, shall be elected to fill temporary vacancies. Alternates will serve in the temporary absence of voting members and shall serve as such.

2. All eligible employees may vote for any candidates. Each elected candidate represents the entire electorate.

3. At its first meeting for the inaugural term [October 2003- June 2004], the Senate established staggered terms for the Staff Senate membership. All terms of election after the initial term shall be for two (2) years. The election for members shall be held during May of each year, if practical. The elected members shall begin their Senate service at the July meeting immediately following the verification of the election process just held.

4. Regular elections shall be organized by the General Election Committee and held during the month of May for the upcoming term year (July 1 through June 30). Candidates will be self-nominated. The results of the election will be reported to the President and the Chief Human Resource Officer no later than the first week of June of that year. The elected members shall begin their service at the July 1 meeting immediately following the verification of the election results by the General Elections Committee for a term consisting of two years.

5. The Senate, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire body, may vote to remove any of its members for just cause.

6. Seats vacated by resignation, removal or for any other reason shall be filled by Staff Senate appointment until the next regular election for that seat. Permanent vacancies will be filled by the candidate with the next highest vote count within the employment category. If no candidates are available in the employment category, the vacancy will be filled by the next highest vote count from the other employment category. If all possible alternates and candidates have been exhausted then the Executive Committee will fill vacancies by appointment.

7. Senators who have served 6 consecutive years will not be eligible to stand for election. After a one (1) year stand-down, a senator may self-nominate in future elections. Note: This will be effective beginning the first election after the acceptance of these by-laws.

IV. Meetings

1. There shall be a minimum eight (8) business meetings of the Senate each term. All business meetings are open. The Senate will establish its calendar of business meetings for the year and forward it to the UMB President who will notify each member's dean or department of that schedule.

2. If any member is absent from more than twenty five percent (25%) of the yearly scheduled working meeting sessions (July through June), the Executive Committee will notify the member in writing of its recommendation for removal from the Senate.

3. Special meetings may be called by the President of the Senate, by the Executive Committee, by resolution of the Staff Senate or by petition signed by at least one-third (1/3) of the membership.

4. All eligible employees may attend Open Forum meetings of the Senate, without voice or vote, subject to requirements of space and good order. Special meetings may be open, with or without voice, or closed to all eligible employees at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

5. A quorum shall consist of fifty percent (50%) plus one (1) member of the current membership. An affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting shall be necessary to adopt any motion or resolution.

6. Notices to members are properly given when placed in the campus mail addressed to the members, listed campus address or acknowledged via confirmed receipt of e-mail.

7. Any two (2) Senate members may require that an item be placed on the agenda of an Open Forum, working meetings or special meeting.

8. Senate members shall be released from their normal work responsibilities, when necessary, each term year in order to attend:

a. Monthly scheduled full senate meetings.

b. Additional time may be required for members to fulfill their Senate responsibilities, e.g. attendance at committee or special meetings and other activities, per BOR Policy I-6.00 (III) (L).

c. Monthly Scheduled Executive meetings, but not less than four (4) meetings (officers only).

9. All procedures not otherwise set forth in these Bylaws or by rules adopted by the Staff Senate shall be in accordance with the latest revised edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

V. Officers

1. There shall be five (5) officers of the Staff Senate elected from its membership who will form the Executive Committee. The officers shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Past President and Member at Large. The duties of the officers will be as follows:

a. President - preside at all meetings of the Senate, finalize the agenda of each Senate meeting, serve as chief liaison with the UMB President and perform other duties as assigned by the Senate.

b. Vice-President - serve in the absence of the President, serve as Senate parliamentarian, and perform other duties as assigned by the Senate.

c. Secretary/Treasurer - responsible for recording and distributing minutes, maintain all records of the Senate, monitor the Senate’s budget and report on its fiscal status to the Executive Committee/Senate, and perform other duties as assigned by the Senate.

d. Past President - serve as an adviser to the Executive Committee in order to provide continuity and perform other duties as assigned by the Senate. This position is normally filled by the immediate past Senate President but can be appointed by the sitting President.

e. Member at Large - serves on the Executive Committee and performs duties as assigned by the Senate.

Nominations for Executive Committee officers for the upcoming term will be accepted in May and up to the start of the voting process at the June meeting. The officers will be elected by the Senate membership for a term of one (1) year by written ballot or verbal vote during the June Senate meeting and will take official office at the July meeting. Except Member-at-Large, which will take place after the new senators are seated (normally at the July meeting).

2. The Executive Committee shall fulfill the following functions:

a. Set the agenda for Senate meetings.

b. Prepare and submit reports on the work of the Senate to the UMB President, CUSS and the UMB campus community.

c. Be a point of contact with the UMB President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

d. Recommend to the Senate the establishment, composition and responsibilities of standing and/or special committees; fill irregular vacancies on committees, and recommend participation in campus committees.

e. Manage the Senate's annual operating budget as provided for the costs of duplicating, printing, mailing, supplies, etc. f. Perform such functions as given by the Senate.

3. Committees

a. The Senate will establish standing committees, with membership by self-selection, to include but not be limited to a CUSS Committee, General Election Committee and a Communications Committee. The Senate may also establish special committees, as recommended.

b. The Senate also will establish committees as assigned by the President of UMB. The Senate will send representation to inter-campus committees, as requested.

c. Every Senator is required to be a member of at least one committee per term.

4. Permanent Vacancies on the Executive Committee

a. A vacancy on the Executive Committee shall exist upon the death, resignation, forfeiture of eligibility, or removal of any officer.

b. Any officer may resign from the Executive Committee and not the Senate at any time by giving written notice to the entire Executive Committee. Except as otherwise provided in the bylaws, any such resignation shall take effect upon the receipt of such notice or at any later time specified therein. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

c. Officer vacancies are filled according to the position. Each officer so appointed shall hold office for the balance of the unexpired term of his/her predecessor.

i. President - The Vice President will assume the duties upon acknowledgment or acceptance of the vacancy.

ii. Vice President - The Past President will assume the duties of the Vice-President upon acknowledgment or acceptance of the vacancy and until a new Vice-President is elected by the membership. Nominations will be accepted by the President at the first working meeting after the vacancy and up to the start of the voting process at the next meeting after the initial nomination period.

iii. Past President - This position is appointed by the current sitting Senate President. If the position is not held by a current voting member as defined above, the position is considered ex officio and shall not have voting rights. If there are no past Senate President members who wish to accept the appointment to this position, the position will remain vacant.

iv. Secretary/Treasurer and Member at Large - Elected by the membership. Nominations will be accepted by the President at the first working meeting after the vacancy and up to the start of the voting process at the next meeting after the initial nomination period.

VI. Administrative Resources

UMB resource staff (i.e.: Human Resource Services, Center for Information Technology Services, Facilities Management) is available to assist the Staff Senate in its functions. Resource staff may be included as non-voting participants in Senate, Executive or committee meetings in order to provide information and other support activities. The Chief Human Resource Officer and his/her designee(s) shall function as the primary resource for the Staff Senate.

VII. Amendment(s)

The Staff Senate shall, on a regular (3-year) basis, self-evaluate the Bylaws and operations to determine if the purposes and functions of the Senate are being fulfilled. Within at least three years following the initial election, the Staff Senate shall conduct the first self-evaluation. This will include, but not be limited to, a review of the composition of the membership to ensure all eligible categories are fairly represented. Self-evaluations may result in proposed amendment(s) to the existing By-Laws.

1. Amendment(s) to existing Bylaws may be proposed by any two (2) current members of the Staff Senate and shall be submitted in writing to the Senate President, who will bring it to the Executive committee.

2. Proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to the Staff Senate membership at least two (2) weeks prior to any meeting at which time the amendment(s) will be reviewed discussed. Presentation of the proposed amendment(s) will take place at the earliest scheduled working meeting of the Staff Senate, provided they were distributed at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting date. A vote on the proposed amendment(s) may not occur until the next scheduled Staff Senate working meeting following the meeting at which the proposed amendment(s) were discussed.

3. Approval of the proposed amendment(s) shall require a simple majority affirmative vote, providing a quorum (50% of the current Staff Senate membership, plus one (1) member is in attendance. Approved amendment(s) take effect immediately following an approval as defined in these Bylaws.

Revised and approved November 3, 2016