Policy Library

155 Indiana State University Staff Council Bylaws

Authority: Approved by the Board of Trustees
Last updated on: February 21, 2020

155.1 Name

The name of the organization shall be the Indiana State University Staff Council (hereafter referred to as Council unless otherwise noted).

155.2 Mission, Value Statements, and Role of the Council

155.2.1 Mission. The Indiana State University Council is an advisory body representing the Staff. We consistently strive to enhance the working environment for Staff within Indiana State University and surrounding communities.

155.2.2 Value Statements.

  • We facilitate and maintain communication between Staff and the University community.
  • We serve as an advocate for Staff.
  • We disseminate information to Staff.
  • We promote and encourage community engagement for Staff.
  • We promote a healthy, safe, and equitable working environment for Staff.

155.2.3 Role. The Council will work to:

a. increase the sense of identity, recognition, and value of Staff in their relationship to the University.

b. identify concerns relating to Staff and work to seek solutions.

c. provide a line of communication among Staff, Faculty, and Students.

d. integrate Staff more fully into University affairs.

e. support the University’s mission as a supportive learning environment by promoting community engagement for Staff.

f. foster a culture among Staff, Faculty, and Students of mutual support, respect, and professionalism.

155.3 Definition of Staff

For the purpose of the Staff Council the term “Staff” shall include all non-exempt, non-exempt professional, and exempt Staff with the exception of:

  • exempt Staff who are members of the President’s Cabinet;
  • exempt Staff who report directly to a member of the President’s Cabinet.
  • exempt Staff who are represented by Faculty Senate; and
  • exempt Staff who are classified as Executives.

155.4 Staff Council Year

The Council year is counted from June first (1) through May thirty-first (31) of each year.

155.5 Communications

All Council communications must be reviewed by the Executive Committee prior to publication. This includes written and verbal communications within the realm of the University’s standards as they concern external communities such as news media and the general public. The Communications Officer will be the liaison between the Council and any appropriate media.

155.6 Representatives

Council consists of thirty (30) voting members (hereafter referred to as Representatives).

155.6.1 Eligibility. Any Staff who has successfully completed their initial introductory period (90 days) is eligible for election to membership on the Council as a Representative.

155.6.2  Duties and Responsibilities.  Representatives will perform the following duties and responsibilities:  Participation.  Participate in all phases of Council business.  Serve on Standing Committee.  Serve on at least one (1) Standing Committee as appointed.  Refusal of Appointment.  Any Representative who refuses to accept appointment to a Standing Committee shall be subject to removal from Council.  Attendance.  Committee members are expected to attend all committee meetings. Representatives who do not regularly attend their committee’s meetings will receive a letter from the Council Chair reminding them of their responsibility and inquiring as to their interest in continuing to serve on the Council. Failure to Attend. Representatives who do not regularly attend their committee's meetings will receive a letter from the Council Chair reminidng them of their responsibility and inquiring as to their interest in continuing to serve on the Council.  Executive Committee Members Excused.  Members of the Executive Committee may be excused from serving on a Standing Committee.  Attend All Scheduled Meetings. Representatives are elected to serve their constituents and there is an expectation that they will attend all scheduled Council meetings so that constituents have equal representation to the Council.  Record Absences. In an effort to inform constituents that they are being satisfactorily represented, the Council Secretary will include excused and unexcused absences in the minutes of each Council meeting.  Excused absences.  Excused absences include:

a. illness, 

b. family emergency,

c. work related,

d. vacation,

e. Jury Duty, and 

f. Class.  Unexcused Absences.  Unexcused absences include:

a. no notification to the Council Secretary in advance of a meeting, or.

b. no reason given to the Council Secretary for an absence.  Two Unexcused Absences.  If a Representative has two (2) unexcused absences from Council meetings, they will receive a letter from the Council Chair reminding them of their responsibility and inquiring as to their interest in continuing to serve on Council. Removal Upon Third Unexcused Absence.  Upon their third unexcused absence the Representative shall be removed from Council.  Executive Committee Role.  The Executive Committee may address excessive excused absences.  Initiate Communication.  Initiate communication among their constituents to encourage discussion of matters affecting Staff.  Give Notice to Supervisor of Meetings.  Give ample notification to their supervisor or department head of scheduled Council and Committee meetings. Representatives will be in regular pay status for all required Council and Committee meetings.

155.6.3 Terms of Membership. Council members are elected for a term of three (3) years unless completing a Representative's vacated term. Term. The Representative term begins on the first day of June following their election to the Council.

155.6.4 Vacancies. Council vacancies may occur as a result of Council members

  • leaving the university,
  • resigning from Council, or
  • being removed from Council  Steps If Vacancy Occurs.  Council shall follow operating procedure 1 if a vacancy occurs. If a vacancy occurs the following steps will be taken to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

1. The Council Chair shall notify the Elections Coordinator of the vacancy.

2. The Elections Coordinator shall check to see if a nominee that had the next highest number of votes in last Election is still interested in serving on Council. If so, that nominee will fill the vacancy and complete the term. If there is a tie between those with the next highest number of votes, an election will be held to select one.

3. The Elections Coordinator shall, if no nominee is next in line, accept nominations. An election will be held  to fill the vacancy and complete the term.  An election will not be necessary if there is only one (1) nominee.

155.6.5  Request for Leave of Absence.  By outlining reasons in writing to the Council Chair, a Representative may request a leave of absence from Council membership for a partial period of the Representative’s Term.  Council Chair to Present Request for Leave.  Council Chair will present any request for a leave of absence to the Council at the first meeting following receipt of the request.  Majority Vote.  Upon a majority vote, the leave of absence will be granted.  Leaves in Excess of Three Months.  If the leave will exceed three (3) months, the Elections Coordinator will be notified of the vacancy so that it can be filled during the approved leave of absence.

155.6.6  Nominations and Election Process for Council Representatives.  The Nomination and Election process for Representatives will be conducted by the Elections Coordinator. The Coordinator shall:

1.solicit nominations for new Representatives by online ballot;

2.contact the nominee(s), if the nominee accepts the nomination, add the name to online ballot;

3.proceed with the election process in March by online voting;

4.tabulate results;  

5.retain the election results until the next general election; and 

6.provide election results to the Council Chair and certify that the nomination and election process was conducted in accordance with prescribed procedure.

The Council Chair will announce the election results. Audit of Election.  Steps to be taken if an audit of the election is requested by nominee are as follows:  Written Request.  A request in writing must be made to the Council Chair within five (5) days of the election results. The Council Chair shall notify the Elections Coordinator to proceed with the audit.  Recount.  A recount will be made by the Elections Coordinator and the Council Vice Chair or their designee.  Release of Audit Results.  Audit results will be provided to the requestor.  Reversal of Election Outcome.  If the recount results in a different outcome, the Council Chair shall notify the affected nominees and Staff Council representatives.

155.6.7  Guidelines for Proxy Vote.  If a Representative cannot attend a scheduled Council meeting but wishes to participate in the voting process on Agenda items, the Representative must send a written vote (including a signature) or send an email vote (from the Representative’s University email account) to the Council Chair by 8:00 a.m. the day of the scheduled Council meeting. If the proxy vote is in relation to Officer elections, the proxy vote is to be submitted to the Elections Coordinator rather than the Council Chair.  Maximum.  A maximum of two proxy votes per Representative per year will be allowed.

155.6.8  Petition for Recall.  A Representative shall be removed by a Petition for Recall. The petition must outline the reason for removal and must be submitted to the Council Chair.  The petition must also contain the signatures of at least 51% of the constituents in the Representative’s Division.  Verification of Signatures.  Upon receipt of the Petition for Recall, the Council Chair will inform the Representative of the petition for removal and ask the Elections Coordinator to verify the validity of the signatures. Upon verification of the signatures, the Representative shall cease to be a member of Council effective immediately. The Vacancy shall be referred to Elections Coordinator (See Section 155.7.5).

155.7 Officers

The Elected Officers of Council are the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Appointed Officers of Council are the Parliamentarian, Communications Officer, Grievance Liaison, and Elections Coordinator.  

155.7.1.  Elected or Appointed.  Elected Officers will be elected by incoming and returning representatives each year at the Regular Council meeting in May and assume duties as of June first (1). Appointed Officers will be appointed by the Chair and assume duties as of June first (1). 

      Elected Officers. The Elected Officers are 

                               a.  Chair,

                               b.  Vice Chair,

                               c.  Secretary, and 

                               d.  Treasurer. 

      Appointed Officers. The Appointed Officers are

                               a. Parliamentarian,

                               b. Communications Officer,

                               c. Grievance Liaison, and 

                               d. Elections Coordinator. 

155.7.2  Qualifications.  Eligibility.  Officers must be Representatives. Representatives are not eligible for an Elected Officer position during their first year of service. All Representatives are eligible for Appointed Officer positions, including during their first year of service.  Term Limits.  A Representative will hold the same Officer position for no more than three (3) consecutive years.  One Year Absence.  A Representative who holds the same office for three consecutive years may run for the same office again after a one-year absence from the position. The representative may also run for other Officer positions upon completion of the third year of service.

155.7.3 Duties of Officers. Officers shall: serve on an Excecutive Committee, serve a one-year term, and acquaint their successor with the duties and responsibilities of their position. 

155.7.4  Duties of the Chair.  The Chair shall:  preside at all Council meetings;  prepare and distribute Agendas for Council meetings;  chair Executive Committee meetings;  enforce all regulations and policies of Council;  bring before Council all matters appropriate for consideration;  be available for consultation with the Indiana State University President, Vice President and Board of Trustees;  appoint members to the Council’s Standing Committees;  nominate Representatives to University Committees;  call Special Meetings of Council when deemed necessary;  upon receiving recommendations from Council, appoint a Representative to each of the Appointed Officer positions;  encourage Representatives to attend appropriate University events;  assume the duties of the Council Vice Chair in his/her absence;  vote on Motions/Proposals only in the event of a tie (except for officer elections);  The Chair's rulings or actions are subject to discussion by Council and will be changed upon a two-thirds majority vote of the current membership of Council;

155.7.5  Duties of Vice Chair.  The Vice Chair shall:  assume the duties of the Council Chair in their absence;  convene the first meeting of the year for Council's Standing Committees;  oversee Council's Standing Committees, ensuring that they are progressing toward the fullfillment of their charges; and  serve as ex-officio of all Standing Committees.

155.7.6  Duties of Secretary.  The Secretary shall:  record all resolutions and proceedings of Council meetings;  record attendance of Representatives at Council meetings;  provide Council meeting minutes to Communications Officer;  maintain Council meeting minutes, By-law changes, and any other relevant documents as requested by the Executive Committee, forwarding those documents to the University Archives as necessary;  maintain current year Committee records; and  maintain an accurate and current database of all Staff.

155.7.7  Duties of Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall:  report balances of all Council accounts at Regular Council meetings;  pay, or cause to be paid, all Council bills as directed by the Executive Committee;  reconcile all statements of Council accounts; and  prepare an annual financial report of all Council accounts.

155.7.8  Duties of The Parliamentarian.  Parliamentarian shall:  be a Representative or Officer of Council with the knowledge of Roberts Rule of Order;  serve as advisor on parliamentary procedure to Council and Standing Committees at their request;  maintain an accurate and current copy of Council By-laws;  maintain an accurate and current copy of Robert’s Rules of Order; and  serve as backup to the Elections Coordinator.

155.7.9  Duties of The Communications Officer.  The Communications Officer shall:  be a Representative or Officer of Council with the knowledge of media communications;  edit and distribute pertinent information in appropriate media for the membership, as needed;  maintain and make all updates to the Council website, including posting minutes, meeting announcements, upcoming events, and links to other websites;  recommend,develop, and maintain new communications media;  maintain all information relevant to Council communications;  serve as an ex-officio member of the Public Relations Committee.

155.7.10  Duties of The Grievance Liaison.  The Grievance Liaison shall:  be a Representative or Officer of Council with a knowledge of the Staff Grievance policy and procedures;  serve as advisor for any Staff Grievances;  serve as an ex-officio member of the Staff Relations Committee; and  serve as an ex-officio member of the Grievance Appeals Committee.

155.7.11  Duties of Elections Coordinator. The Election Coordinator shall: assume responsibility for carrying out Representative Elections as specified in Section 155.7.7; assume responsibility for carrying out Officer Elections as specified in Section 155.8.12; assume responsibility for carrying out filling of Vacancies of Representatives as specified in Section 155.7.7; and carry out representative elections electronically.

155.7.12  Nominations and Election Process for Council Officers.  The Nomination and Election process for Officers will be conducted by the Elections Coordinator. The process is as follows:  Solicit Nominations. The Election Coordinator shall send an email to incoming and returning Representatives soliciting nominations for an Officer position.  Prepare Ballot.  After the nominations are accepted, the Elections Coordinator shall prepare a ballot for each Council Officer position.  First Order of Business at May Meeting.  At the May regular meeting, the first order of business will be the Officer Elections.  Procedure.  Election.  The Council Chair shall turn the meeting over to the Elections Coordinator to begin the Election. The Executive Committee shall select a designee to conduct the election if the Elections Coordinator is a nominee.  Secret Ballot.  Voting shall be done by secret ballot.  Order.  The order of elections is:

  1. Chair
  2. Vice Chair
  3. Secretary, then
  4. Treasurer  Tabulation of Votes.  The Elections Coordinator along with a Representative of Human Resources shall collect and tabulate the votes using the prepared ballots and proxy votes (see Section 155.7.8).  Announce Results.  The Elections Coordinator shall after certification of all ballots; announce the Election results of each Officer position.  Election Results in a Tie.  Steps to be taken if voting results in a tie:  Call for Second Vote.  The Elections Coordinator shall call for a second vote on only the two (2) nominees that are tied with all of Council representatives present voting by secret ballot.  Elections Coordinator Abstains in Event of Tie.  If the vote of the Elections Coordinator will cause the outcome to again be a tie, the Elections Coordinator will abstain from voting.  Announce Results. The Elections Coordinator or their designee shall announce the election results.  Audit Requested by Nominee.  The following steps will be taken if the nominee requests an aduit of the election.  Request in Writing.  A request in writing must be made to the Council Chair within five (5) days of the election results. The Council Chair shall notify the Elections Coordinator to proceed with the audit.  Recount.  The Elections Coordinator and the Vice Chair or their designee shall perform a recount. Any nominee for the Officer position being audited will not participate in the audit. The Council Chair shall assign a Vice Chair designee to particpate in the audit if the Vice Chair is a nominee for the Officer position being audited.  Release of Audit Results.  Audit results will be provided to the requestor.  Audit Results in Different Outcome.  If the audit changes the outcome of an election, the Council Chair shall notify the affected nominees and Representatives.

155.7.13  Resignation of Officer.  If an Officer resigns and vacates their term, the Elections Coordinator will be informed and oversees the following process:  Chair Resigns.  If the Chair resigns, the Vice Chair will assume all responsibilities of Chair and a new Vice Chair will be elected.  If Officer Other than Chair Resigns.  If the Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer resigns, the Council Chair shall assign one (1) of the remaining Officers to assume the duties until an election is held.  Election for Open Position.  The Elections Coordinator shall solicit nominations from Council members for the open officer position and, after the nominations are accepted, prepare the ballot and conduct an election at the next regular Council meeting in accordance with the procedures described in Section 155.8.11.

155.7.14  Petition for Removal.  An Officer will be removed by a petition which outlines the reason for removal and is submitted to the Elections Coordinator.  The petition must contain the signatures of at least a two-thirds majority of the Council.  Validity of Petition.  Upon receipt of the petition, the Elections Coordinator will verify the validity of the signatures and inform the Officer of the petition for removal.  Presentment of Petition.  The Petition for Removal will be presented at the next Regular Council meeting.  Removal is Effective Immediately.  The Representative shall cease to be an Officer effective immediately.  Follow Protocol to Fill Vacancy.  The vacancy will be filled according to the protocol for resignation of Officer (see  155.7.12).

155.8 Meetings

Every effort will be made to use reasonable and responsible judgment in the scheduling of meetings.

155.8.1  Regular Council Meetings.  Regular Council meetings are open to the public and will be held on a designated day of each month of the Council year. Meetings will be conducted under the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Any conflict between those rules and these Bylaws will be resolved in favor of these By- laws.  Agenda.  Any staff member may present an item to be considered for the agenda of Regular Council meetings. The staff memeber shall submit the item to the Chair by the Monday before the meeting.  Quorum.  At least two-thirds of the seated members of Council must be present for the transaction of business at any Council meeting.  Voting.  Voice Vote.  Voting on all matters, other than Election of Representatives/Officers, will be conducted by voice vote unless a secret ballot is requested.  Majority.  A majority vote is needed for an affirmative vote.  Reports.  Reports will be heard from:

a.  SGA (Student Government Association),

b.  Faculty Senate,

c.  Human Resources,

d.  Standing Committees, and 

e.  Executive Committee  Motions.  Motions may be proposed at any time and require a majority vote to pass. Each Council Representative has the right to request that a motion be considered as a proposal.  Proposals.  The appropriate Committee shall bring the proposal to Council. Proposals must be approved by majority of two consecutive Regular Council meetings. The Communications officer shall inform staff of the proposal. The Executive Committee shall present the proposal to the President.  Closed Session.  The Council Chair shall call for a closed session at each Regular Council meeting. The closed session will be for Representatives and Officers only and no Council minutes will be taken.

155.8.2  Special Meetings.  The Council Chair shall call special meetings of the Council when deemed necessary.

155.8.3  Annual Meeting.  The Executive Committee shall hold an end-of-the-year meeting, Annual Meeting for all Staff for informational purposes and end-of-the-year reports.

155.8.4  Retreat.  The Executive Committee shall hold an annual retreat in the month of July for all new and returning Representatives of Council.

155.9 Committees

155.9.1 Executive Committee. The Executive Committee:  Composition.  The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the Elected and Appointed Officers of Council;  Chair Discretion.  The Executive Committee shall meet at the discretion of the Chair; and  Actions. The Executive Committee shall act on behalf of the Council between regular Council meetings as necessary, reporting to Council any action taken and ensuring that no action contradicts prior actions of Council; and  Staff Council Scholarship.  The Executive Committee shall coordinate the Staff Council Scholarship application process and manage the Staff Council Scholarship fund. 

155.9.2  Standing Committees.  Requirements for All Standing Committees.  Appointment.  Council Chair shall appoint each Standing Committee member based on recommendations from the Executive Committee. In addition to Representatives, the Executive Committee shall appoint Staff to serve on Standing Committee. The term of service shall be one (1) year in conjunction with Council term.  Meeting Schedule.  Each Standing Committee shall meet monthly. The Vice Chair shall convene the first meeting of the year in the month of June.  Chair.  Each Standing Committee shall elect a Chair at the first meeting of each year. The Chair of each Committee shall be responsible for scheduling Committee meetings, setting Agendas consistent with basic goals and objectives assigned by the Executive Committee and addressing other relevant matters that shall come before the Committee.  Secretary.  Each Standing Committee shall elect a Secretary at the first meeting of each year. The Secretary is responsible for taking all Committee minutes.  Proposals.  Each Standing Committee shall submit final drafts of Committee proposals to Council Chair for Council approval.  Minutes.  Each Standing Committee shall submit minutes from each meeting to the Council Secretary and report at Regular Council meetings.  Resource.  Each Standing Committee shall, upon request, act as a resource to the other Standing Committees or Council.  Annual Report.  Each Standing Committee will submit an annual report of activities for inclusion in the Council Annual Report no later than one (1) week before the Council’s Annual Meeting.  Failure to Abide by Provisions.  Failure to abide by these provisions shall result in the Committee Chair or Committee members being removed and the selection of a new Committee Chair or members by the Executive Committee.  Meeting with Successors.  Each Committee Chair is responsible for meeting with their successors to make sure that the successor has information needed to perform committee tasks.  Staff Relations Committee.  Composition.  Is comprised of at least eight (8) Staff.  Advisory on Improvements.  Serves as an advisory body to Council in reference to improvements in the working environment for Staff.  Professional Development.  Explores professional development opportunities for Staff.  Public Relations Committee.  Composition.  Is comprised of at least eight (8) Staff. Advisory on Events.  Serves as an advisory body to Council in reference to all University events.  Promotion of Events.  Promotes and coordinates social and fundraising events for Council.  Staff Benefits Committee.  Composition.  Is comprised of at least eight (8) Staff.  Advisory on Staff Benefits.  Serves as an advisory body to Council in reference to Staff benefits.  Recommendation on Benefits Programs.  Review and prepares recommendations regarding adjustments to employee benefit programs for Staff and report its findings to the Executive Committee.  Chair.  The Committee chair may serve on the University Benefits Committee.

155.9.3  Other Committees.  Special Committees. The Executive Committee will appoint Representative and Staff to Special Committees as needed.  University Committees.  Staff serve on University Committees by Presidential appointment.  The Executive Committee will recommend Staff for these Committees to the President or their designee. Staff Representatives on University Committees shall present Committee reports to Council as requested.  Presidential Committees and Task Forces.  Presidential Committees and Task Forces are University Committees assembled by Indiana State University Presidential order. The length of service varies for each Committee or Task Force. Staff who serve on Presidential Committees or Task Forces shall present reports to Council as requested.

155.10 Amendments to Bylaws

155.10.1  Presentment in Writing.  Any member of Council may present in writing an Amendment to the By-laws at any Regular Council meeting.

155.10.2  Majority Vote.  After introduction of the proposed amendment, Council shall vote on the amendment at two successive Regular Council meetings. The Secretary shall publish the amendment in the minutes of those meetings. The amendment must be approved by a majority vote at each meeting.

155.10.3  Presentation to the Board of Trustees.  After approval by Council, amendments will be presented to the Indiana State University President for review and will be presented to the Indiana State University Board of Trustees for final approval.

Related Information

Policy Administrator:
Office of Finance and Administration
Policy Contact:
ISU Staff Council
Stalker Hall 001C
ISU Staff Council
Related Policies and Information:
Office of Human Resources
Policy History:
Policy 255 was included in the 2001 University Handbook revision and was amended by the ISU Board of Trustees on January 13, 2005 and December 18, 2009; Policies 255.4,,, 255.9.4,,,,,,,,, were amended on December 12, 2014. Policy 255.6 and 255.6.2 were amended by the ISU Board of Trustees on December 11, 2015. Policy 255 was amended in its entirety by the ISU Board of Trustees on February 19, 2016 to incorporate the Handbook numbering system and to eliminate the former Sections 255.11 Article IX. Awards, 255.13 Article XIII Procedures for Developing and Submitting Proposals, 255.14 Article XIV Staff grievance Policy and Procedures, 255.15 Article XV Grievance Procedure, and 255.16 Article XVI Grievance Appeal Hearing. Policy 255 was amended by the Board of Trustees on May 12, 2017. On December 14, 2018, the ISU Board of Trustees approved the renumbering of the policy to Policy 155. On February 21, 2020, the ISU Board of Trustees approved renumbering of sections due to eliminating sections 155.6 Divisions and Section 155.7.4 Relocation within the University and minor grammatical changes in each section.