Bylaws of the University Staff Advisory Council

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  • Article I: Name and Location

    Section 1.

    The name of this organization shall be University Staff Advisory Council (USAC).

    Section 2.

    Location of USAC shall be:

    University of Richmond
    410 Westhampton Way
    University of Richmond, Virginia 23173

  • Article II: Purpose Statement

    Section 1.

    USAC shall be organized to:

    a.   Provide a forum for issues, concerns, interests, enhancements, and information that may apply to all staff members of the University of Richmond.

    b.   Serve as liaison between university staff and administration by soliciting and conveying staff opinions, as well as providing input and recommendations to the senior leadership team.

    c.   Advance the spirit of cooperation and unity that are hallmarks of the University’s Strategic Plan by working with councils, groups or bodies of the University to enhance and foster a spirit of unity and cooperation between staff, faculty, students and the administration.

    d.   Accept and promote shared responsibility between staff, administration, faculty and students to achieve the goals of the University.

    e.   Promote transparent communication across campus among staff, administration, faculty, and students.

    f.   Act as an advocate for staff by bringing concerns to the attention of the appropriate body and following through to resolution.

    Section 2.

    USAC shall not serve as a substitute for the University’s formal employee grievance procedures.

  • Article III: Definitions

    Section 1.

    USAC shall be defined as described in Article II Section 1.

    Section 2.

    Staff shall be defined as all University of Richmond employees, aligned within the current salary structure, as identified by the University’s Human Resources Department.

    Section 3.

    Administration shall be defined as the University of Richmond’s president, his/her direct reports, as well as associate vice presidents.

  • Article IV: Membership

    Section 1.

    The voting membership of the University Staff Advisory Council shall consist of 22 members. Members shall be nominated and elected from the major divisions and units of the University. 

    Section 2.

    Elected representatives shall serve three-year terms, commencing July 1st of the year when elected.

    Section 3.

    Full-time staff members below the title of assistant or associate vice president will be eligible to be nominated and elected.

    Section 4.

    USAC members shall attend monthly two-hour meetings. An elected representative may be asked to resign membership if three regularly scheduled meetings are missed in one consecutive 12-month period.

    Section 5.

    Vacancies may be filled by executive board appointment from staff of same division who appeared on the last election ballot. If there are no remaining staff candidates from the division with a vacancy, the Chair shall notify the appropriate division to select a new representative. With the division’s consent, the Chair may appoint a representative to fill vacancies. 

    Vacancies may occur as a result of any of the following:

    a.   Member changes from full-time employment status to part-time employment status.

    b.   Member ceases to be employed by the University of Richmond.

    c.   Member resigns from USAC.

    d.   Member moves to a department or division without a vacancy outside of their elected seat.

    Section 6.

    Consecutive Terms

    a.   No elected member shall serve consecutive terms.

    b.   Members appointed to serve in a vacated position may be nominated and elected for a full term in the following election cycle.

    Section 7.

    Ex officio (non-voting) membership shall include:

    a.   The Associate Vice President of Human Resources

    b.   The Manager of Events and Property Services

    c.   The Immediate Past Chair of the USAC Board, or the immediate past chair’s successor

    Section 8.

    Member Nominations

    a.   Nominations shall be solicited in March.

    b.   The Election Committee shall be responsible for implementing the nomination process, as part of the election process.

    c.   The Election Committee will follow the election procedures established, including the use of online voting methods. Any changes to the procedures need to be reviewed and approved by a simple majority, no later than the January USAC meeting.

    d.   The election procedures must be posted to the USAC website before any nominations can be collected.

    e.   Nominations shall be closed two full weeks after the process begins.

    Section 9.


    a.   Elections will be held yearly in April and/or May.

    b.   The Election Committee shall be responsible for implementing the election.

    c.   The Election Committee will follow the election procedures established. Any changes to the procedures need to be reviewed and approved by simple majority, and changes impacting the current year’s election must be approved no later than the January USAC meeting.

    d.   The elections procedures must be posted to the USAC website before any nominations can be collected.

    e.   Elections shall open after the nomination process has closed and shall be open and available to all campus staff members for a period no shorter than one week, and not to extend beyond May 31st of each year.

  • Article V: Officers

    Section 1.

    The officers of USAC shall be a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Communications Chair, and Volunteer and Engagement Coordinator. These officers serve as the Executive Board and shall perform the duties prescribed by these Bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by USAC.

    Section 2.

    Nominations and Election of Officers

    a.   The Parliamentarian shall be the primary elections administrator for Executive Board officers unless eligible to run for an office and intending to do so. In the event of said conflict of interest, the Chair shall appoint an elections administrator who is not eligible for executive office. 

    b.   The elections administrator will follow the election procedures established. Any changes to the procedures need to be reviewed and approved by simple majority.

    c.   The current Executive Board will receive nominations for the upcoming Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer beginning in January. Nominations will close at the end of February. 

    d.   The Parliamentarian will confirm eligibility of nominees as stated in Article III, Section 2, Article IV, Section 6 and the nominee still has at least one year remaining in their term to serve. 

    e.   In March of each year, members shall vote and select the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer from the confirmed nominations provided by the Parliamentarian. 

    f.   Electors in this process shall be any current members of the University Staff Advisory Council at the time of Executive Board elections.

    g.   After being elected, the Chair-elect, Vice-Chair-elect, and Secretar/Treasurer-elect will begin working with the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer in transition planning. The official terms of office shall commenct on July 1.

    Section 3.

    The term of office shall be one (1) year. All officers are subject to a term limit of two (2) consecutive terms of one-year each.

    Section 4.

    No member shall hold more than one office at a time.

    Section 5.

    A Parliamentarian, Communications Chair, and Volunteer and Engagement Coordinator shall be appointed from USAC membership by the elected members of the Executive Committee.  They may be either first or second year USAC members. Their terms would commence on July 1.

    Section 6.

    The Executive Board will have general supervision of council affairs, conduct the business of the Council between monthly meetings, fix the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the council and perform such other duties as are specified in these Bylaws. The Executive Board will be subject to the orders of USAC, and none of its actions will conflict with action taken by USAC.

    Section 7.

    The Chair shall:

    a.   Conduct business of the Council in accordance with its bylaws

    b.   Preside over all Council meetings

    c.   Call special meetings as necessary

    d.   Determine meeting agenda with Council input

    e.   Serve as primary Council liaison to the University administration

    f.   Perform other duties as prescribed

    Section 8.

    The Vice-Chair shall:

    a.   Preside over Council meetings in the event that the Chair is absent

    b.   Assist the Chair with Council governing duties as needed

    c.   Assume the position of Chair in the event that the Chair resigns or otherwise leaves his/her position

    d.   Perform other duties as prescribed

    Section 9.

    The Secretary/Treasurer shall:

    a.   Record minutes at all Council meetings

    b.   Edit and format minutes and send to the Chair for approval

    c.   Serve as a reference if clarification from past meeting business is needed

    d.   Distribute minutes to Council with the Chair’s approval

    e.   Present the USAC budget to the Council

    f.   Monitor the USAC budget and provide a monthly written status report at all Council meetings

    Section 10.

    The Parliamentarian shall:

    a.   Ensure that meeting business is conducted in line with parliamentary procedure

    b.   Maintain a working knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order

    c.   Manage meeting discussion time based on limits noted in meeting agenda

    d.   Perform other duties as prescribed

    Section 11.

    The Communication Chair, with support from the Communications committee, shall:

    a.   Coordinate USAC’s website

    b.   Manage USAC’s social media presence

    c.   Identify talking points after each meeting and assist members to find appropriate venues for sharing them with their constituents

    d.   Coordinate outreach and public relations for major USAC events

    Section 13

    The Volunteer and Engagement Coordinator shall:

    a.   Coordinate the Council’s volunteer roles

    b.   Field invitations for USAC to participate in campus outreach events, present opportunities to the Council, and respond to the request once a decision has been made.

    c.   Collaborate with the USAC Communications committee to ensure that USAC’s presence at University programs and events is an effective and valuable use of staff time.

    d.   Submit an end of year report on programs and events supported by USAC

    Section 14.

    Officer Succession

    a.   In the event the Chair resigns or otherwise leaves their position at the University, the Vice-Chair will assume the position of Chair.

    b.   In the event the Vice-Chair or the Recording Secretary resigns or otherwise leaves their position at the University, a special election of USAC membership will be held to fill a vacancy.

    c.   A special election of USAC membership, implemented by the Chair, shall be held within thirty (30) days of the vacancy.

  • Article VI: Meetings

    Section 1.

    USAC shall meet for two hours each month unless otherwise ordered by USAC or the Executive Board.

    Section 2.

    A quorum of over fifty percent (50%) of the membership must be present at all regular or special meetings before business may be transacted.

    Section 3.

    At all regular or special meetings, each active member present will be entitled to one vote. Matters other than amendments to the USAC bylaws will be adopted by a simple majority.

    Section 4.

    USAC will hold an open University-wide meeting with staff at least once annually so staff may address council directly.

    Section 5.

    Special meetings may be called, upon the agreement of the executive board or by majority of the full membership. Special meetings require at least two University business days’ notice to all members.

    Section 6.

    Any meeting shall become a closed meeting based on majority vote. Closed meetings are limited to voting members of council.

  • Article VII: Committees

    Section 1.

    Standing committees of USAC will be:

    a.   The Communications Committee, consisting of a chair and at least two additional council members with at least one (1) from each election cycle, will coordinate the Council’s digital and print communications.

    b.   The Nominations and Elections Committee, consisting of at least six (6) council members with at least one (1) member from each election year cycle, and including one executive board member, will manage the nomination and election of Council members and maintain membership term and seat records. The committee will also manage annual staff elections to the University’s Planning & Priorities Committee.

    Section 2.

    USAC may establish Ad Hoc Committees as deemed appropriate.

    Section 3.

    The Executive Board may nominate qualified staff members to serve on University committees after having solicited Council for feedback.

  • Article VIII: Parliamentary Authority

    Section 1.

    USAC will follow the parliamentary procedures as outlined in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and/or special rules of order that USAC may adopt.

  • Article IX: Amendment of Bylaws

    Section 1.

    Any proposed amendment to USAC Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the membership of USAC at least two weeks prior to the meeting during which membership shall discuss and/or move to vote to accept or reject any amendments.

    Section 2.

    A two-thirds vote of the USAC membership is required to accept a proposed amendment.

  • Article X: Finances

    Section 1.

    The officers of USAC shall control all finances. There must be a budget each year as proposed by Article IV, section E.3. All funds must be spent on Council-approved events only. The transfer of power of controlling all funds shall be done on July 1, after the new officers have been appointed.

    In the event of dissolution of the above-named organization, all unspent USAC funds shall remain property of the University of Richmond.