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Report of the Representative Study Group

During the past two years, the University Staff Advisory Council has engaged in a conversation on how we can ensure our election model results in a broad range of voices from university staff. We saw how an at-large election often meant we were missing valuable voices from colleagues around campus, particularly from Dining and Facilities.

In August 2015, the Council charged an ad hoc committee to research and propose a new model that would transition the Council from at-large elections across two employment categories (exempt and non-exempt) to a representative model structured around the University’s existing divisions, with members directly elected to serve by their divisional colleagues. To further ensure a broad range of voices, this model provides for designated seats allotted for significant units of campus divisions.

We hope this shift will further the cause of equity in staff representation to the administration, and we hope to live more fully into our charge as a result. With this report, you’ll find the recommendation of the committee to the Council and the approved bylaws changes that were required to begin implementation.

The Council considered this matter at its regular monthly meeting on January 12, 2016. Please email either co-chair directly with questions or concerns.


Paul Brockwell Jr., chair, University Staff Advisory Council
Co-Chair, Representative Study Group

Tim Meacham, former parliamentarian, University Staff Advisory Council
Co-Chair, Representative Study Group

Committee Members:

  • Patrick Benner, Richmond College Dean’s Office
  • Andy Gurka, Living-Learning and Roadmap Programs
  • Lisa Miles, Office of Common Ground
  • Nancy Propst, School of Arts & Sciences (USAC Secretary)
  • Susie Reid, Facilities
  • Cindy Stearns, Dining Services

Ex officio members:

  • Sonia Phung, School of Arts & Sciences, USAC parliamentarian
  • Leigh McCullar, Human Resources, Designee of the VP Business and Finance


This model ensures broad representation from major units within the University staff. While it reduces the size of the Council from 26 to 21 members, the quality and breadth of the staff who will be present outweighs any loss from fewer total staff seats. Where possible, this model roughly follows a 1:50 ratio of representatives to staff.

The committee recommends that each unit directly elect representatives on a divisional ballot, rather than voting at-large on all staff representatives, thus creating seven elections as outlined below. The University Staff Advisory Council’s elections committee will be vested with the administrative burden of efficiently conducting nomination and election processes.

Academic Affairs (will include president’s office staff)

  • 3 from school staffs, with one seat for graduate or professional staff
  • 1 from at-large divisional offices
  • 1 from Boatwright Memorial Library staff

Advancement & Communications

  • 2 from divisional staff (Advancement Systems, Alumni and Career Services, Development, Donor Relations, Foundation, Corporate, & Government Relations, and Communications)


  • 2 from divisional staff

Business Affairs

  • 2 from at-large divisional staff
  • 2 from Dining
  • 2 from Facilities
  • 1 from Public Safety

Enrollment Management

  • 1 from divisional staff

Information Services

  • 2 from divisional staff

Student Development & Chaplaincy

  • 2 from divisional staff