Constitution: Article V

Composition and Functions of the Staff Senate

Officers of the Staff Senate
Executive Committee of the Staff Senate
Meetings of the Staff Senate
Committees of the Staff Senate
     Nomination Committee
     Non-classified Grievance Committee
     Orientation Committee
     Staff Achievement Awards Committee
     Staff Awards Ceremony Committee
     Professional Development Committee
     Governance Committee
     University Development Committee
     Communications Committee
     Ad Hoc Committee

By-Laws

Appointments
Chairpersons
Meetings
Records and Reports
Vacancies
Amendments
Parliamentary Procedures

Composition of the Staff Senate

The UA Little Rock Staff Senate shall be composed of one employee (benefits eligible full-time or part-time classified, or non-classified, non-faculty) for each twenty (20) full-time or part-time benefits eligible filled positions. “Non-classified, non-faculty” means all full-time employees who are not classified under the Uniform Classification and Compensation Act (Act 199 of 1969, as amended) and who do not hold a faculty rank of instructor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, associate professor, professor, distinguished professor, or university professor. All questions as to eligibility of non-classified, non-faculty employees shall be answered by the Executive Committee of the Staff Senate, subject to appeal to the Staff Senate.

Members shall be elected from the aforementioned groups in order to provide broad representation and shall serve staggered two-year terms. No senator shall serve more than four consecutive years. Staff senators shall be elected by ballot with all full-time and part-time benefits eligible classified, non-classified, and non-faculty personnel eligible to vote. Election of Staff Senate members shall be in April of each year. The number of senators from each office, unit or department will be limited to no more than two from an office with fewer than 20 employees, no more than three from an office with 30-50 employees, and no more than four for offices with 50 or more employees. The Staff Senate Nomination Committee shall prepare the ballots, which shall be tabulated by the president or designee, and the Staff Senate secretary.

Functions of the Staff Senate

The UA Little Rock Staff Senate, as part of the University Assembly, shall have the authority and right to make recommendations to the chancellor on matters of general campus-wide concern and the effectiveness of the University. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, such nonacademic areas as:

  • Salaries, work schedules, and work conditions
  • Job evaluations, grievances, and appeals
  • Fringe benefits and health services

(5-14 Constitution)

  • Safety, traffic, and security
  • Quality of campus life, continuing education, and professional development
  • Service to UA Little Rock and community

Recommendations may be sent directly to the chancellor or may be sent to the Faculty Senate for confirmation before being sent to the chancellor, depending on the nature of the recommendation. When confirmation is recommended by the Staff Senate, a delegation shall be selected by the Staff Senate to address the Faculty Senate regarding recommendations.

Officers of the Staff Senate

Officers of the Staff Senate shall be the president, the vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, the parliamentarian, and the communications officer. The president of the Staff Senate shall be elected for a two-year term. In the event the president is elected in the second year of Staff Senate membership, his/her membership shall be extended to accommodate the office of Staff Senate president. The vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, the parliamentarian, and the communications officer shall be elected by members of the Staff Senate for one-year terms. Officers of the UA Little Rock Staff Senate shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Staff Senate. Elections are conducted by the Nomination Committee. The duties of each office are as follows:

  • The president shall preside at Staff Senate and Executive Committee meetings and shall discharge the responsibilities specified elsewhere in this Constitution.
  • The vice president shall be the presiding officer at Staff Senate meetings in the absence of the president and shall discharge the responsibilities specified elsewhere in this Constitution.
  • The secretary shall be responsible for promptly preparing the minutes of each Staff Senate meeting and for distributing them to the entire staff following each meeting. The secretary also shall serve as secretary of the Executive Committee. The secretary shall compile papers and documents concerned with Staff Senate matters and transmit them to the UA Little Rock Archives, or to specified storage, at the end of each fiscal year.
  • The treasurer shall be responsible for collecting and accounting for dues, funds, contributions, and other monies or assets necessary for the operation of the Staff Senate business. The treasurer shall provide financial reports at the first and last regularly scheduled Staff Senate meetings of each year and be prepared to give additional reports at the request of the president.
  • The parliamentarian shall advise the Executive Committee and members of the Staff Senate on questions of procedure in order that the business of the Staff Senate be transacted correctly, efficiently, and impartially. The parliamentarian also shall serve as parliamentarian of the Executive Committee.
  • The communications officer shall oversee all external Staff Senate communication, including the Staff Senate website and a Staff Senate newsletter for the UA Little Rock campus community, and shall serve as chair of the communications committee.

Executive Committee of the Staff Senate

The officers of the Staff Senate shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Senate. The Executive Committee shall prepare the agenda as provided under Meetings of the Staff Senate. Subject to challenge on the floor of the Senate, the Executive Committee shall label Staff Senate agenda items in such manner as to indicate whether they are advisory, or authoritative unless vetoed by the Chancellor. Subject to challenge on the floor of the Staff Senate, the Executive Committee may refer proposals for agenda items to an appropriate standing committee of the Senate. In the event of such a referral, the body receiving the item shall report to the Staff Senate what action it has taken in regard to the referred item. Also, subject to challenge on the floor of the Senate, the Executive Committee shall interpret Staff Senate provisions on credentials and elections and discharge the responsibilities specified elsewhere in this Constitution.
The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each academic year with the elected officers of the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association on matters of joint concern, and the secretary of the Staff Senate shall provide the Senate with the minutes of such meetings.

Meetings of the Staff Senate

The Staff Senate shall schedule at least six regular meetings during the fiscal year. All meetings are open. Additional meetings may be called by the president at his/her discretion. At all meetings the president shall preside; in the president’s absence the vice president shall preside. In the absence of both the president and the vice president, the president’s designee shall preside. A majority of the Staff Senate members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum is half the membership plus one. Any Staff Senate member who is absent for two consecutive Staff Senate meetings shall be replaced with the alternate from that administrative area who received the next highest vote.

The Executive Committee of the Staff Senate shall compile the agenda for each meeting. Subject matters may be brought to the attention of the Staff Senate by any person or group of persons who are (Constitution 5-15) employed by the University half-time or more by placing a written signed statement on file with the Staff Senate. The agenda must be distributed to all staff, officers of the Faculty Senate, and the executive officers of the Student Government Association within five working days before the meeting. Items of business not listed on the Staff Senate agenda cannot be conducted without a quorum being present and two-thirds majority consent. When an issue has not been included as an agenda item, the president will have the authority to call for a vote for this item to be placed in the agenda. The president, or the presiding officer in the absence of the president, may extend speaking privileges to persons who are not members.

Committees of the Staff Senate

The committees of the Staff Senate may be established, reorganized, or abolished by two-thirds vote at any meeting, provided a quorum is present and the proposal has been submitted to the Executive Committee of the Staff Senate and included on the Staff Senate meeting agenda. Unless otherwise specified, the president of the Staff Senate appoints all standing committees subject to final approval by the Staff Senate. The president shall have authority to appoint ad hoc committees necessary or useful in conducting Staff Senate business.

Fall Open House Committee: This committee shall plan and organize a fall open house and extend invitations to the campus community to attend this function. This committee shall be composed of at least seven members appointed annually by the president during the month of September. During the open house activities, the Helping Hand Committee will announce its kickoff campaign.

Helping Hand Committee: This committee shall prepare wrapped boxes and distribute them in buildings throughout the campus, solicit food, and distribute the food to selected families during the Christmas season. A seven member committee, made up of four senators and three staff members, shall serve to coordinate this function. They shall work with the Fall Open House Committee. The kickoff of this campaign will be announced during the open house. This committee should be selected and begin planning in the month of September.

Nomination Committee: The Nomination Committee shall receive nominations and prepare ballots for the election of officers and Staff Senate senators. An annual count shall be taken by the Nomination Committee, as of March 1, to determine numerical representation of the Staff Senate for the upcoming fiscal year which begins July 1 and ends June 30. Staff senators will be elected each year in April, and the election of officers will be at the first meeting of each fiscal year. The Nomination Committee shall be responsible for conducting the election. This committee shall be composed of four members. One shall be a carry-over from the previous year, and three shall be elected during the second regularly scheduled meeting of the Staff Senate. Members shall serve a one-year term.

Non-classified Grievance Committee: This committee shall review non-classified, non-faculty employee grievance applications regarding issues to include, but not limited to, dismissal, promotion, salary, fringe benefits, working conditions, and discrimination based upon race, gender, or physical handicap. The membership of this committee shall be elected from each department represented in the Staff Senate. Elections shall be conducted during the month of July, and members shall serve two-year, staggered terms. A representative of the Office of Human Relations shall serve as ex-officio member. In the event that the composition of the non-classified, non-faculty grievance committee, in the opinion of the chancellor, includes inadequate representation of women and/or minorities, the chancellor may appoint up to five additional fulltime non-classified, non-faculty employees to provide such representation.

The internal structures and processes of the Non-classified Grievance Committee shall be conducted by an elected chairperson. The chairperson shall be selected from the Non-classified Grievance Committee by a majority vote. The president of the Staff Senate shall call the first meeting and conduct the process of electing the chairperson. The chairperson shall divide the membership into hearing panels of at least five persons each. Members not assigned to one of the panels shall serve as alternates. When appointing members to hearing panels, the chairperson shall distribute members as evenly as possible in relation to department representation, race, and gender. Composition of the hearing panels can be changed by vote of an absolute majority of the committee members at a meeting convened for that purpose. Any panel member may disqualify herself or himself for good cause. Panel members may be challenged for cause, with the merits of each challenge decided by majority vote. In addition, the applicant shall be permitted one peremptory challenge. Eligible alternates shall be selected by the chairperson from the group of unassigned members or from other hearing panels. (5-16 Constitution)

Each non-classified, non-faculty employee who is considering filing or who has filed a complaint before the Non-classified Grievance Committee may be represented by an advisor of his/ her choice. If he/she so requests, the chairperson shall appoint a member of the committee to serve as an advisor. The advisor shall not sit on the committee panel. (Note: Pending legal opinion.)

Orientation Committee: This committee shall assist the staff of Human Resource Services to schedule staff senators who will present an overview of the functions of the Staff Senate to new employees at UA Little Rock. This committee shall help compile and update this information to be presented. The committee shall be composed of the vice president and one member of the Staff Senate chosen by the president.

Staff Achievement Awards Committee: This committee shall select the recipients for the Staff Achievement Awards from nominations received using the guidelines determined by the committee. Through this awards program, staff will be recognized and honored for outstanding achievements in the following categories: Personal Growth, Service to UA Little Rock, and Community Service. Membership of this committee shall consist of seven members to be selected by the Staff Senate vice president or that person’s designee, who will chair the committee without vote, except in the case of a tie. Previous award recipients are encouraged to serve on the committee. These awards are presented at the annual Staff Senate Awards Ceremony. A nominee (nominated by another employee or personal application) will not be eligible to serve on this committee.

Staff Awards Ceremony Committee: This committee shall organize the annual service awards ceremony. The selection process is stated in the document as adopted in June 1990, or as amended. The committee shall be composed of at least seven members to include full-time classified, non-classified, and non-faculty employees. Membership is not limited to Staff Senate members. Committee members shall serve one-year terms.

Professional Development Committee: This committee shall promote the mission of the University in a professional manner by demonstrating the mission set forth in the “Pledge of Professionalism.” The committee shall be made up of five full-time classified, non-classified, and non-faculty employees to include, but not be limited to Staff Senate members. They shall work with the Human Resource Services personnel. The committee shall serve staggered, two-year terms.

Governance Committee: This committee shall incorporate adopted amendments into the UA Little Rock Constitution, Article V, “Staff Senate.” This committee shall be made up of five members to include full-time classified, non-classified, and non-faculty employees (but not limited to Staff Senate members) and a faculty advisor who is well-versed in parliamentary procedures. Committee members shall be selected from a slate of nominations submitted by Staff Senate members at the second regularly scheduled meeting of the fiscal year. Other members shall serve staggered two-year terms.

University Development Committee: This committee works with University Development to recruit staff for the UA Little Rock annual fund drive. Committee members shall organize teams to work with phone-a-thons and fund drives. This committee shall be made up of four staff members to include full-time classified, non-classified, and non-faculty employees, but not be limited to Staff Senate members. Members shall serve staggered, two-year terms.

Communications Committee: The Communications committee shall develop and maintain all external Staff Senate communication, including the Staff Senate website and a Staff Senate newsletter for the UA Little Rock campus community. The communications officer shall be the chair of this committee.

Ad Hoc Committees: Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the Staff Senate president to study special problems. For each ad hoc committee, the president shall prepare a written notice of the committee’s charge, as well as a membership list, and distribute that information to Staff Senate members, the Faculty Senate, and officers of the Student Government Association.

By-Laws

The by-laws of the Staff Senate shall be subject to amendment by two-thirds vote of those present and voting at one Staff Senate meeting, provided that a quorum is present.

Appointments

When constructing the ballot for Senate nominations, the Nomination Committee, along with the Staff Senate president and secretary, shall include representation from all administrative areas whenever possible. Vacancies during the year shall be filled from these records.

Chairpersons

Unless otherwise specified, the chairperson of each selected or appointed committee of the Staff Senate shall be elected annually by the members serving on the committee.

Meetings

Staff Senate meetings shall be held as specified under Meetings of the Staff Senate. Unless specified otherwise, standing committees shall be expected to hold an organizational meeting in the first month of the fiscal year. Special meetings shall be held upon call of the chairperson or a majority of the committee or at the request of the president of the Staff Senate or the chancellor.

Records and Reports

Each committee of the Staff Senate is required to send one copy of the minutes of each meeting to the president and secretary of the Staff Senate and to the UA Little Rock Assembly president and shall provide regular or special reports to the Staff Senate at its own initiative or at the request of the president of the Staff Senate. Records shall be maintained by the Staff Senate secretary and placed in the UA Little Rock Archives, or an equivalent place, at the end of the fiscal year.

Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy in any seat other than president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or parliamentarian, or communications officer, the individual receiving the next highest number of votes from that administrative area will serve. Persons elected shall only serve for the remaining term of the predecessor. Should a vacancy occur in the office of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or parliamentarian, or communications officer, a new officer shall be elected after the Staff Senate vacancy has been filled. Such a vacancy shall be filled with the person receiving the next highest vote at the time the original slate of officers was elected.

Amendments to Article V

Changes to Article V, Composition and Functions of the Staff Senate, shall be made by presenting the amendment as an agenda item at one regularly scheduled meeting for discussion. Voting on the amendment shall occur at the following regularly scheduled meeting and the amendment must carry a two-thirds vote of the Staff Senate senators, provided a quorum is present.

Parliamentary Procedures

Questions not addressed in this document shall be governed by parliamentary procedures as stated in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, subject to the guidelines of this document.

(The Constitution of the University Assembly was adopted in 1972, and replaced in 1988. Amendments were passed on August 19, 1993, January 19, 1996, October 4, 1996, August 9, 1999, Sept. 5, 2000, May 15, 2001 and Sepember 7, 2011.)