UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: Bylaws of the Staff Council of The University of Texas at Dallas :: UTDPP1073 (v3)

Bylaws of the Staff Council of The University of Texas at Dallas - UTDPP1073

Policy Statement

Authority and Purpose

The Staff Council of The University of Texas at Dallas, hereinafter referred to as Staff Council, in keeping with the mission of UT Dallas, is an advisory body through which eligible staff members, hereinafter referred to as Staff, convey information and make recommendations to the University President regarding interests and concerns of Staff. The Staff Council is constituted by the University President, and by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, with the goal of continually improving university operations and the well-being of UT Dallas' staff. The Staff Council is charged to address matters of general concern to the University community, and in particular to members of UT Dallas' staff

The Staff Council shall serve as a consultative and deliberative body for Staff in:

  1. Addressing issues of concern that relate to Staff,
  2. Fostering expanded opportunities for Staff involvement in campus governance,
  3. Building a sense of community by encouraging the exchange of ideas and concerns,
  4. Providing advice on university policy and procedures impacting Staff,
  5. Advising the University on Staff nominations to University Wide Committees as equal members,
  6. Promoting the growth and welfare of Staff, contributing to the success of UT Dallas,
  7. Increasing the sense of identity, recognition and worth of each staff member in their relationship to the University,
  8. Identifying concerns relating to Staff and to seek their solutions,
  9. Promoting the development and adoption of policies which will aid in retaining qualified personnel,
  10. Integrating the Staff into existing University affairs,
  11. Establishing and promoting University-wide activities, publications, workshops and seminars, and
  12. Creating a stronger bond within Staff, and
  13. Integrating the staff into University affairs, not listed above.


Eligible Staff, to be represented by Staff Council, shall consist of:

  1. All of UT Dallas' benefits-eligible classified staff.
  2. Administrative and professional employees below the level of Vice President/Vice Provost.
  3. Employees not represented by the Academic Senate.

In addition, eligible staff must have a minimum of six months of continuous employment at UT Dallas at the start of their term of office.

Representatives are elected from the eligible Staff. Upon termination or retirement, membership in Staff Council will cease.

Staff Council Membership


  1. Staff Council representation shall be proportional based on the number of staff employees from designated voting districts as determined by the Staff Council.
  2. Representation will be reviewed every odd-numbered year, after the Staff Council is established to consider reallocation of the member seats.
  3. Changes in the designated areas, the total membership, or the distribution of representatives can be accomplished without an amendment of the Bylaws, with the approval by the Staff Council.

Non-Voting Members: The Past President of the Staff Council is a non-voting member unless elected as a representative. The Secretary is a UT Dallas employee who serves as a non-voting member unless elected as a representative.

Voting Members: Voting members of the Staff Council shall consist of eligible Staff elected or appointed to serve as representatives, from voting districts, as defined below.

  1. Duties of representatives.
    1. Representatives shall attend all meetings of the Staff Council and shall serve on a Staff Council standing committee.
    2. Representatives shall be available to their constituents. They shall be willing to hear concerns, to receive information and suggestions, and to communicate those effectively to the Staff Council.
    3. Representatives must keep their district's constituents informed of the work of the Staff Council and matters that the University administration communicates to the Staff Council.
    4. Representatives performing job duties in the Dallas locations can attend meetings via alternative means with the approval of the Executive board.
  2. Term of Office.
    1. The term of a member of Staff Council shall be two years.
    2. The term will be linked to even and odd years so that half of Staff Council will be elected each year.
    3. There is no limit to the number of terms a member of Staff Council may serve.
    4. If a member of Staff Council changes jobs to another district, that member may continue to serve on Staff Council for the completion of the term as an at-large member or tender their resignation.
      1. Members-at-Large: Any representative serving in a district in which they do not office.
  3. Vacancies:A vacancy that occurs through termination of employment, promotion to an ineligible position, resignation from Staff Council, or expulsion from Staff Council, shall be filled by an alternate. The Executive Board shall refer to the list of eligible alternates in order to fill the vacancy.
    1. The alternates list shall consist of, in descending order:
      1. The number of votes received by those persons who were nominated, but not elected, in the previous election.
      2. After exhausting the list of alternates from the district with the vacancy, Staff Council can appoint a person from another district to serve in an at large position.
      3. If there is no person remaining on the alternate list, or no alternate is willing to serve, then the Staff Council shall appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy.
    2. This appointment must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board and a two-thirds majority of all Staff Council representatives. Nominations for appointments may come from any Staff Council member via email. Once appointed, the new members are responsible for all duties and are entitled to all rights and privileges of elected representatives.
  4. Removal from Office: Any elected representative can be removed from office for non-performance of Staff Council duties. A petition requesting such removal can be brought to the Executive Board by a simple majority of the members of the district, or such removal may be initiated by action of Staff Council. The Executive Board shall appoint an Investigating Committee. No one under investigation shall appoint or be a member of the Investigating Committee. The Investigating Committee shall examine the matter on a case- by-case basis and shall recommend action to the Executive Board. The final decision shall be made by Staff Council. Removal will be effective upon a quorum vote of a simple majority.
    Possible causes of removal shall include, but not be limited to:
    1. Deficient attendance, missing more than two consecutive Staff Council meetings, or a total of more than four Staff Council meetings per year.
    2. Missing more than two consecutive Standing Committee meetings or a total of more than four Standing Committee meetings per year.
    3. Failure to consistently report on activities of the Staff Council to the district, and unavailability of the representative to constituents.
  5. Compensation: Representatives shall be excused from their regular working hours up to six (6) hours per month to devote to Staff Council work, exclusive of time spent at Staff Council meetings and Standing Committees. Additional time for a Staff Council member's work or assignments may be negotiated with the representative's supervisor. No other form of compensation shall be received by any member for their service on Staff Council.
  6. Constituent Relations: Staff Council members shall be expected to communicate regularly with their constituents.


Officers of Staff Council shall be elected by Staff Council. Officers will make up the Executive Board of Staff Council. Nominations for President, Vice President and Committee Chairs may be submitted to the Secretary in August. Nominations from the floor will be allowed at the September meeting.

The Secretary will assist the officers and the chairs of the Standing Committees in the operations of the Staff Council. The Secretary is not an officer of the Staff Council.

  1. Titles of Officers: President, Vice President, and Chairs of the Standing Committees.
  2. Duties
    1. Staff Council President - The Staff Council President shall:
      1. Preside at all meetings of Staff Council and chair the Executive Board;
      2. Abide by Robert's Rules of Order when conducting meetings,
      3. Communicate all matters submitted for the Executive Board's attention to the appropriate committee(s), appropriate university administrative official or organization, and/or to the UT Dallas President,
      4. Make a report of the actions of the Executive Board to Staff Council at each regular meeting,
      5. Prepare a written annual report of the past year's activities and progress and make it available to all members of the Staff Council,
      6. Serve as ex-officio member of all Staff Council committees,
      7. Serve as liaison to the Academic Senate, and
      8. Serve as liaison to the UT Dallas President, both keeping the UT Dallas President informed regarding concerns of the Staff Council and seeking the UT Dallas President's support and advice on behalf of the Staff Council.
    2. Staff Council Vice President - The Staff Council Vice President shall:
      1. Preside over Staff Council in the absence of the President or in the event the President requests the Vice President to serve during the course of a meeting,
      2. Assist the President in performing leadership responsibilities,
      3. Maintain attendance records for Staff Council and standing committee participation,
      4. Accept names of persons interested in serving on standing committees and make appointments on the basis of the person's preference where possible or, in the absence of volunteers, make the necessary appointments to committees in consultation with the Executive Board,
      5. Call a meeting of any committee that is not fulfilling its responsibilities, and
      6. Make and distribute yearly, immediately following appointments, a list of Staff Council committees and their members to all Staff Council members;
      7. Be responsible for the duties of the Secretary in the event the Secretary is unable to perform them.
    3. Staff Council Secretary - The Staff Council Secretary shall:
      1. Serve as Recording Secretary for Staff Council meetings, including the distribution of minutes to representatives at least ten working days before the next scheduled meeting of Staff Council,
      2. Serve as Recording Secretary for the Executive Board,
      3. Ensure that the President or presiding officer abides by Robert's Rules of Order during meetings,
      4. Serve as a resource to Staff Council officers and members regarding the Staff Council Bylaws and Standing Rules,
      5. Serve as the historian and repository for all minutes and official correspondence, and other official and historical documents of Staff Council and the Executive Board,
      6. Notify members of meeting dates and send out agendas for the meetings of Executive Board and Staff Council meetings,
      7. Initiate and maintain the system of overlapping terms and the system for verifying the number of representatives authorized, for each voting district, including the membership list and committee lists,
      8. Assist the President in composing correspondence as directed by Staff Council,
      9. Maintain the suggestion and proposal logs,
      10. Serve as the treasurer and be responsible for the financial aspects of Staff Council functions,
      11. Operate under the accounting procedures followed by UT Dallas, and
      12. Be responsible for monthly budget reports to the Staff Council and for an annual financial statement.
    4. Past President: In the interest of continuity in Staff Council's work, following the President's term of office, the President shall become the Past President for one year to act in an advisory capacity to Staff Council and the Executive Board. Unless reelected as a representative or committee chair, the Past President shall be an ex-officio member of Staff Council.
  3. Terms of Office
    1. The term of office for all officer positions will be one fiscal year.
    2. No member may hold more than one office at a time and no member shall be eligible to serve more than four consecutive terms in the same office.
    3. All vacant officer positions shall be filled within 45 days.
  4. Unexpired Term: In the event that the President is unable to complete the elected term of office, the Vice President shall assume the vacant office for the length of the unexpired term. In the event that the office of Vice President becomes vacant, a special election shall be held during any regular meeting of Staff Council with a quorum.
  5. Transfer of Records: All records pertaining to current Staff Council business shall be transferred from outgoing officers to those incoming. The Executive Board and the Secretary shall ensure that past records of Staff Council are maintained according to the UT Dallas Policy on Records Management and Retention.
  6. Recall: An officer may be recalled by a majority vote at a special meeting called for that purpose. The officer will continue to serve as a Staff Council member. However, the officer will be ineligible for any future election to an officer position without a unanimous decision by Staff Council.

The Executive Board

  1. Membership: The membership of the Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers of Staff Council, the chairs of standing committees, and the Staff Council Past President of the prior year, an ex-officio member.
    1. The ex-officio officer is the Staff Council President of the prior year.
  2. Meetings: The Executive Board shall meet monthly. Additional meetings may be called by the President, by the UT Dallas President, or upon request of a minimum of two members of the Executive Board. A two-thirds majority of the Executive Board membership shall constitute a quorum.
  3. Duties: The Executive Board shall:
    1. Consider all matters presented to it by the UT Dallas community and make recommendations,
    2. Assist the President in setting the agenda for Staff Council meetings,
    3. Advise Staff Council of the apparent need for special meetings,
    4. Review periodically the purpose and membership of each standing committee to ensure each is functioning as intended,
    5. Appoint members to ad hoc committees as needed,
    6. Recommend to Staff Council such special committees as it deems necessary,
    7. Resolve questions related to Staff Council elections process,
    8. Fill any vacancy on Staff Council with an eligible alternate (see "Vacancies under Voting Members"),
    9. Make recommendations to Staff Council regarding the removal of Staff Council members from their positions, and
    10. Ensure that past records of Staff Council are maintained according to the UT Dallas Policy on Records Management and Retention.

Standing Committees

  1. Standing Committees: The Standing Committees of Staff Council shall be the Communications Committee, Benefits Committee, Staff Development Committee, and Fund Raising Committee.
    1. Membership on these committees shall be open to all Staff Council representatives. The Chair of a committee can appoint one or more subcommittee(s) and subcommittee Chair(s) for specific terms to deal with assigned issues; the subcommittee Chair(s) shall report to the appointing committee.
    2. Each standing committee shall consist of a minimum of five members who shall serve for one fiscal year. Committees shall meet monthly or as convened by the Chair.
    3. Staff Council will vote on Committee Chairs in a general meeting, each of whom shall serve for the fiscal year. Each standing committee shall elect a secretary who shall serve one fiscal year. Members may not serve as Chair on more than one standing committee.
  2. Duties: Each Standing Committee shall accept business items assigned to it by the Staff Council and deal with the item(s) in a responsible and timely manner;
    1. Have the Chair make a report to the full Staff Council at each monthly meeting.
    2. Have the Committee Secretary maintain and provide the Staff Council President, Vice President, and Secretary with a written report of each committee meeting, and copies of any official correspondence.
    3. Prepare and submit an annual report, including all items placed on the committee agenda and the disposition of each, to the President, Vice President, and Secretary by the last meeting of each year.
  3. Charges per Committee:
    1. Communications Committee: This committee shall plan and coordinate activities at which constituents can meet their representatives and learn about Staff Council activities, serve as the public relations committee of the Staff Council while working with the UT Dallas Office of Communications to publicize the Staff Council and its activities, and generally promote the Staff Council as opportunities arise. The committee chair is responsible for coordination and delegation of dispensed communications.
    2. Benefits Committee: This committee shall review staff members' concerns regarding benefits and make recommendations to the Staff Council. The evaluation of the Staff Council Scholarships are the responsibility of the Benefits Committee. The Chief Human Resources Officer, or designee, may serve as an ex officio member of the Benefits Committee.
    3. Staff Development Committee: This committee shall review ways in which constituents can benefit from professional development activities. The committee will coordinate and/or sponsor development training event(s) with various university partners/offices. In addition, this committee coordinates staff appreciation efforts and/or event(s) with the Staff Council Secretary. The Staff Council Secretary is an ex-officio member of the Staff Development Committee. The Committee will coordinate financial activities with the Staff Council Secretary. The Chief Human Resources Officer, or designee, will serve as an ex-officio member of the Staff Development Committee.
    4. Fund Raising Committee: This committee shall design, propose, and facilitate all activities to raise funds for Staff Council Scholarships. The committee chairperson will be responsible for reporting the plans and results of fundraising activities to the Staff Council and coordinating the efforts of the committee members. The Staff Council Secretary is an ex-officio member of the Fund Raising Committee. The Committee will coordinate financial activities with the Staff Council Secretary.

Other Committees

Ad-hoc Committees: Ad-hoc Committees may be proposed by any member of the Staff Council to fulfill specific goals. A majority vote of the Staff Council will establish the committee. Special committee functions may be changed by a majority vote when needed.

University Wide Committees: Staff Council will send nominations for representation as needed to the Provost Office.

Employee Advisory Council: Staff Council will send nominations for representatives to the UT Dallas President for UT System Employee Advisory Council (EAC).

  1. >This nomination will come from the Executive Board and will follow the requirements of the EAC bylaws. Representatives can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. Each term is three years.
    1. One Alternate is also nominated.
  2. Nomination schedule is set by UT System to be completed by June 15 of each fiscal year.
  3. The alternate EAC representative will take the place of an absent or resigning EAC Representative. Any new alternate must be selected within 30 days of the resignation creating the vacancy. The UT Dallas President, or their designee, will notify the Chancellor of the changes.

Meetings of the Staff Council

Scheduled Meetings Regular meetings of Staff Council shall be held monthly. An agenda shall be sent to all representatives at least three working days prior to the meeting. The President and Executive Board reserve the right to cancel a regular meeting but must notify the Staff Council at least three working days prior to the meeting.

Special Meetings Special meetings of Staff Council may be called by the Staff Council President or upon petition of one-third of the membership of the Staff Council. Seven (7) working days' notice should be given of any special meeting except in an emergency situation. Only business specified on the agenda of the special meeting may be conducted at such a meeting.

Staff Council Forum A forum shall be held annually to which all constituents of the Staff Council shall be invited and encouraged to attend. The UT Dallas President, or designee,shall be invited to serve as guest speaker. Purposes of the forum shall be to make an annual report of Staff Council activities, share common concerns, pose questions, and provide the UT Dallas President or designee an opportunity to share information with Staff.

Quorum Neither the Staff Council nor a committee shall conduct business without a quorum. A simple majority of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of the Staff Council's business or the business of any of its committees. Simple majority constitutes one-half of the voting membership plus one.


  1. A quorum is required for a Staff Council vote to be taken.
  2. Only elected representatives have the right to vote.
  3. Except as otherwise specified by these Bylaws, all votes shall be decided by a majority.

Meeting Length Meetings are not to exceed two hours. If an important item has yet to come up on the agenda, the meeting time may be extended by a majority vote. The remaining agenda items will be tabled to the next month's meeting.

Minutes The approved minutes of the Staff Council meetings shall be made available to all constituents.

Floor Privileges Proposals, measures, and resolutions may be introduced on the Staff Council floor only by members of the Staff Council. Persons who are not members of the Staff Council may be granted the right to speak, but not to vote, on matters before the Staff Council. When a request is made for this privilege, the President of the Staff Council may grant permission to speak.

Agenda Meetings of Staff Council shall:

  1. Have an agenda that includes the time and place of the meeting, the order of business, and copies of any substantive proposals.
  2. The Executive Board shall set the agenda; however, items may be added to the agenda at the meeting, if approved by a majority of the members present and voting.
  3. The agenda shall be posted on the Staff Council website at least three days prior to the general meeting.
  4. The Executive Board shall:
    1. Receive proposals for Staff Council action or other presentations to Staff Council from:
      1. Any member of Staff Council.
      2. From individual staff members.
      3. From the UT Dallas President or designee.
      4. Any committee of Staff Council
    2. Include on the agenda of a regular meeting, as soon as practical, all items presented from various sources.
    3. Set the agenda so that the business can be disposed of in a meeting of reasonable duration.
  5. Order of Business: The order of business for meetings shall be as set forth as follows, except that the order of business may be altered by an action approved in the meeting. The order of business shall be:
    1. Call to order.
    2. Approval of previous meeting's minutes.
    3. Committee reports.
    4. Unfinished business.
    5. New business.
    6. Miscellaneous (comments, announcements, tributes, etc.).
    7. Adjournment.

Attendance: All University Staff are welcome to attend regular meetings as guests. The UT Dallas President or their designee(s) are welcome to attend regular meetings as guests. Prior to the beginning of their term, newly elected representatives are encouraged to attend the August meeting as guests.


The nominations and elections process shall be handled by the Elections Committee. The Elections Committee shall be appointed in February of each year by the Executive Board and chaired by the Secretary. Nominations shall be completed by June 30 and elections shall be completed by July 31.

Nomination Procedures:

  1. All members of the constituency as defined above (see Constituency) shall be eligible to nominate and to vote.
  2. A nomination form shall be made available to each constituent.
  3. Each constituent within a district may nominate eligible staff members. Nominations shall be in writing.
  4. After the closing date for nominations, the Election Committee shall count the nominations.
  5. The Elections Committee shall notify the nominees that their names will be placed on the election ballots, unless withdrawn, by a specified date. If there are insufficient nominations in any district, the matter shall be referred to the Executive Board for recommendation on further nominations.

Election Procedures:

  1. Voting shall be held for no less than two days in order to accommodate varying work schedules.
  2. Elections shall be by secret ballot.
  3. Ballots, indicating the name of the district, the names of the nominees ordered alphabetically, the number to be elected, and instructions for voting, shall be prepared, distributed, and collected by the Elections Committee in a manner determined by the Executive Board.
  4. The Elections Committee will, at the close of the election, count the votes.
  5. Those elected shall be declared on the basis of the highest number of votes received. If a tie occurs, the matter shall be referred to the Executive Board for resolution.
  6. The Elections Committee shall inform the Executive Board in writing of the names of the newly elected representatives within three working days of the close of the election. The Executive Board shall publish the results of the election after such notification.
  7. All records pertaining to the nominations and elections process shall be stored in the office of the Secretary in compliance with the UT Dallas Policy on Records Management and Retention.
  8. Newly elected representatives will be notified by August 1st or following working day.

Amendments and Standing Rules

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by representatives of Staff Council. Amendments must be submitted in writing to the Executive Board to be brought to Staff Council. Amendments are subject to a favorable vote by a two-thirds majority of all Staff Council representatives. Votes on amendments will be by roll call and will be published.

Any amendments to the Bylaws must be submitted through the Handbook of Operating Procedures Committee for review and approval.

These amended Bylaws shall take effect when approval has been received from the UT Dallas President.

Staff Council shall make any Standing Rules it deems necessary to facilitate the transactions of its business as long as such Standing Rules are consistent with the provisions of these Bylaws and are approved by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting.

Rules of Order

Except where it may conflict with procedures stated within these Bylaws, Roberts' Rules of Order Newly Revised, shall govern the procedures of Staff Council. It is understood that these rules shall be used for the practical and orderly governance of Staff Council but may be waived by a vote if shown to be a hindrance.

Policy History

  • Issued: 1996-08-30
  • Revised: 1996-12-02
  • Revised: 1998-04-28
  • Revised: 1999-04-16
  • Revised: 2000-12-15
  • Revised: 2003-01-22
  • Revised: 2003-09-24
  • Revised: 2005-01-25
  • Revised: 2006-04-27
  • Revised: 2007-04-11
  • Revised: 2008-01-25
  • Revised: 2009-02-16
  • Editorial Amendments: 2010-05-26
  • Revised: 2013-07-08
  • Revised: 2021-05-05
  • Revised: 2023-10-25