Staff Senate


       I.  The Basics

      II.   Structure and Membership

      III.  Staff Council

      IV.  Campus Forum

       V.  Elections and Vacancies

      VI.   Operating Procedures

     VII.   Amendment Procedure

I. The Basics

Purpose Statement

The Staff Senate, the elected representative body of the non-Professorial Staff of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, will provide a formal avenue of open communication between the Staff, Faculty and Administration. The Staff Senate will make recommendations to the Administration on issues affecting UM-D.


The official name of this representative body will be the Staff Senate.

Staff Definitions

Full-Time: Employee: A regular or temporary staff member normally scheduled to work forty (40) hours per week (SPG 201.10 7/1/88).

Part-Time: Employee: A regular or temporary staff member normally scheduled to work less than forty (40) hours per week (SPG 201.10 7/1/88).

Regular Employee: A staff member whose employment is either full or part-time and is reasonably expected to continue indefinitely (SPG 201.10 7/1/88).

Temporary Employee: Any non-student employee whose employment is either full or part-time in a specific position which is irregular, sporadic, or casual or is fixed at the time of employment to not exceed 12 consecutive months and is established for:

A specific project; or Relief for regular employee absence; or Augmenting regular staff occasioned by resignations, dismissals, increased work loads, or other conditions that may create a short term need (SPG 201.10 7/1/88, modified).

Student Employee: Any individual enrolled in the University of Michigan-Dearborn and employed by the University whose primary purpose for being at the University is to obtain an education. Student employee status for this purpose is not affected if the student is not enrolled during the period between consecutive terms or during the Spring-Summer term (SPG 201.10 7/1/88).

Staff Classifications: Includes Academic Units, Administrative Units and Bargained-for staff. (modified 8-28-05)

Eligible Staff: Does not include persons defined in Articles I.2 and III.3 of the University of Michigan-Dearborn By-Laws.

  • Voting in General Elections: Be a Regular Employee in a Staff Classification with an appointment of 50% or more.
  • Signing a Petition Amending These Bylaws: Be a Regular Employee in a Staff Classification with an appointment of 50% or more.
  • Nomination for Staff Senate Seat: Be a Regular Employee in a Staff Classification with an appointment of 50% or more, and have at least six (6) months of continuous service at UM-D.

Article I.2

Faculty: The term faculty shall include members of the teaching and research staff together with the principal administrative officers; the directors of the various teaching, research, and library units; research associates; curators; and persons with similar duties.

Article III.3

The Faculty Congress shall consist of all members of the faculty as defined in Article 1.2 above, professional librarians and curators, the Senior Officers of the Campus, and the Deans of the schools and colleges.


Academic Unit: Colleges and Schools

Administrative Unit: Central Administration (CA) (Consisting of the Office of the Chancellor, Institutional Advancement, Government Relations and Academic Affairs Support Offices); 2. Enrollment Management & Student Life (EMSL) ; 3. Business Affairs (BA).

Bargained-for: those staff represented by a union.

Colleges and Schools: College of Arts Sciences & Letters (CASL), College of Engineering & Computer Science (CECS); College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS), and College of Business (COB).

Major Units: 1. Central Administration (CA) (Consisting of the Office of the chancellor, Institutional Advancement, Government Relations and Academic Affairs Support Offices); 2. Enrollment Management & Student Life (EMSL) ; 3. Business Affairs (BA); and 4 Academic Colleges and Schools. (modified 8-18-05)

II. Structure and Membership

Governance Structure

Staff Senate Organization Chart

Staff Senate Structure (modified 8-18-05)

The membership of the Staff Senate shall be as follows:

Central Administration (CA) 2
Business Affairs (BA) 2
Enrollment Management & Student Life (EMSL) 2
College of Arts Sciences & Letters (CASL) 3
College of Engineering & Computer Science (CECS) 1
College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS) 1
College of Business (COB) 1
Bargained-for Staff 1
At-Large 6
Total 19

An individual may be elected to and hold no more than one seat at one time.


Alternates shall not be permitted.

Senate Members

The responsibilities of each member of the Staff Senate shall include:

  • attendance at all regular and special meetings of the senate. Absences shall be address as specified in the Attendance Policy (Bylaws, Section VI).
  • membership on one or more Senate Committees.
  • voluntary participation in Senate activities such as Campus Forum, Brown Bag presentations, ad hoc Senate initiatives, and/or campus service opportunities.


The Senate at its annual meeting (the first meeting in January), shall elect from its membership the following officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Recording Secretary. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson must represent a different Campus major unit. (modified 8-18-05)

The Chairperson shall preside over regular and special meetings of the Senate, set the agenda, authorize use of Senate funds, and be the Senate's spokesperson (or appointed designate) at various Campus activities and events.

The Vice-Chairperson shall act in the absence of the Chairperson, process attendance actions, and act as treasurer. In addition, the Vice-Chairperson is responsible for maintenance of the Senate Bylaws, and advises the Senate on Bylaw procedures and Robert's Rules of Order.

Recording Secretary shall maintain minutes of all meetings, maintain the attendance of the Senate, and shall be the liaison between the Communications Committee and the Staff Council.

Chancellor and Human Resources Director

The Chancellor and Human Resources Director of the University of Michigan - Dearborn shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Senate with full rights of participation in the discussions of the Senate. The Senate, however, may meet in Executive Session without the presence of ex-officio members and guests.

In accordance with the by-law that states that alternates are not permitted in the event of a memberís absence, if the Chancellor and/or the Human Resources Director are unable to attend a meeting any individual that represents them will have the status of guest at that Senate meeting. (added to by-laws 12-07 with approval vote by the University Staff)

III. Staff Council


Will be composed of at least six, but not more than seven, members of the Senate, three of which will be Officers of the Senate, and the remainder comprising no more than one representative of the four major units. The Staff Senate shall elect the remaining members of the Council by paper ballot at the annual meeting in January. The Council will be chaired by the Senate Chairperson. (modified 8-15-05)


Represent the Staff Senate at (1) the Campus Forum and (2) meetings with the Campus Liaison. At anytime, the Senate may grant the Council additional duties, not to exceed one year (unless renewed). The Council Chairperson shall regularly report to the Senate all meetings and activities of the Council.

IV. Campus Forum

Article VI of the University of Michigan-Dearborn By-Laws:

Authority: The Faculty Senate shall establish and convene a Campus Forum composed of faculty, administrators, and staff to discuss matters of mutual interest and to advise the [Faculty] Senate.

Purpose: The Campus Forum shall be a body to exchange views among employees of UM-D in a formal recognized setting. It shall provide communication to all units and offices on the campus, provide a systematic venue for the exchange of points of view between all members of the campus community, and offer critical input to the [Faculty] Senate on any and all campus matters.

Membership: The membership, apportionment, and method of election will be determined by the [Faculty] Senate in consultation with the representative from the professional and administrative, office, and technical staff members.

Senate Participation: The Staff Senate shall be represented by the Staff Council, which will consist of at least as many members of the Faculty contingent to the Campus Forum. The Chairperson of the Staff Council shall be Co-Chair of the Campus Forum.

Motions before the Campus Forum: The Staff Council shall obtain advice and consent when possible from the Senate prior to voting on any motions before the Campus Forum.

V. Elections and Vacancies

Term Duration

Duration: Terms shall be four years in length. Expirations shall be effective every December 31.

Seat Expiration: Approximately one-fourth of the Staff Senate seats shall be subject to election each calendar year. To facilitate this action, the following four-year rotation shall be implemented:

Initial term commence (Group I) shall begin December 31, 2005: (modified 8-18-05)

Group I: At-Large seats #1 to #3, College of Engineering & Computer Science (CEDS), and Bargained-for Staff.

Group II: Business Affairs (BA) and Enrollment Management & Student Life (EMSL)

Group III: At-Large seats #4 to #6, College of Business (COB), and College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS)

Group IV: Central Administration (CA) & College of Arts Sciences & Letters (CASL)


The Staff Senate shall conduct elections for available seats during November of each year. The Chair shall appoint an Election Commission and a Commission Chair. The Election Commission will be composed of three (3) or more members of the Senate who are not eligible for re-election during that year.

Method of Election: Elections shall be conducted in a four part process as follows: (1) A call for nominations will take place during the third week in October; (2) After nominations are made, the Election Commission will validate nominations, print the appropriate ballots, and distribute the ballots; Campus-wide voting will take place in November. The ballots will be counted and validated in a public place. Electees will be notified thereafter. (modified 8-18-05)

Nominations: Nominations shall be limited to (1) eligible staff as defined in Part I of these Bylaws and (2) current Senate members whose term will expire within the next three months.


All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot. Ballots will be mailed directly to eligible UM-D Staff. Write-In Candidates will not be permitted. Elections will be based on a plurality.

Run-Off Elections: In case of ties, a run-off election shall be conducted during the month of December.

Runner-ups: In case of vacancies only, the number of runner-ups in an election shall match the number and type of seats filled in the election. (modified 8-18-05)

Uncontested Seats: In cases of a single nominee for a specific seat or three (or fewer) nominees for at-large seats, ballots will not be distributed. The nominees are automatically elected.

Election Validation: Upon completion of an election, the Election Commission Chair will report the results and therein dissolve the Commission. (modified 8-18-05)

Change in Employment Status of Senate Member:

  1. All Senate Members: Should the member's employment be terminated at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Campus, a vacancy will result.
  2. All Senate Members: Should the member's employment status change such that he/she no longer qualifies for the Senate seat he/she occupies, a vacancy will result. (modified 8-18-05)


  • A vacancy will result if a senator's employment is terminated at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Campus;
  • A senator's status changes such that s/he no longer qualifies for the Senate seat s/he occupies; (modified 8-18-05)
  • A senator resigns their seat prior to the end of their term.

Mid-term vacancies

Once a Senate seat becomes vacant, the Senate shall take one of the following actions:

The Senate may entertain a motion to allow the seat to remain vacant until the next November election; or

The Senate may fill the vacant seat for the duration of the term, from the seat's previous election, beginning with the individual receiving the highest number of votes; or

An election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the seat's term may result.

Seat declination: If a newly elected Senate member chooses to decline his/her seat prior to the end of January, the Senate may consider the next runner-up from that election as a candidate for the seat. The Senate must confirm this individual's appointment to the Senate with a two-third's (2/3) affirmative vote of the current Senate membership.

VI. Operating Procedures


The Staff Senate shall meet at least once a month. Two-thirds (2/3) of the Senate members shall constitute a quorum.

Frequency: Shall be determined by consensus of the Senate.

Agenda: An agenda will be made available prior to the next regular meeting.

Special Meetings: The sole purpose of a special meeting will be to address an extraordinary issue or circumstance only. A special meeting may be called at any time by (a) the Chancellor of UM-D, (b) the Senate Chair, or (c) by written request by at least three (3) Senate members.

Annual Meeting: The first regular meeting held in the month of January shall constitute the Staff Senate's annual meeting, which will include the introduction of any new members and the election of officers.

Campus Community Access: Any member of the University of Michigan-Dearborn community (faculty, students, alumni, staff, and administration) who is not a member of the Staff Senate has the privilege of observer status, without vote, at meetings of the Staff Senate. Observers shall have the privilege of the floor when recognized by the Chair. The Staff Senate, by majority vote of those present at any meeting, may determine that any item on the agenda shall immediately be considered in executive session. Only members of the Senate shall be present in executive session, and no final action or any resolution may be taken therein.

Attendance Policy

To ensure the Senate's ability to conduct business, members who plan to be absent should notify an officer prior to a scheduled meeting.

Attendance records will be maintained by the Recording Secretary of the Senate. (modified 8-18-05)

If an Attendance Action is necessary, it shall be the first action item on the agenda. An Attendance Action includes the following:

Removal Actions: Either three consecutive non-excused absences or a total of five non-excused absences during the current calendar year will be grounds for removal from the Staff Senate. The procedure for removal is as follows: (1) written notification of a removal action will be forwarded by the Vice-Chair to the person being considered for removal at least one-week prior to the next scheduled general meeting, (2) a copy of the removal notification will be included with the agenda, and (3) formal removal will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the current Senate membership (the person being considered for removal may be present, and state his/her case, but may not vote in this action).

Excused Absence: (1) A member may petition the Senate for an exception to the attendance policy, if he/she will be on an approved University leave of absence. The exception may last no longer than the University leave. Approval requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of by the current Senate membership. (2) An absence for any of the following University authorized reasons: illness, injury, family care, funeral, jury duty, military duty, or campus closure; will be regarded as an excused absence, and not be counted as a consecutive absence or as one of the five calendar year absences.

Pro Forma Resignation: If a member is absent for six consecutive meetings, the Senate will consider that seat abandoned. The member in question will be mailed one notification of this action. Within two-weeks of the notification date, the member in question may formally petition the Senate to retain his/her seat, and must achieve a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the current Senate membership (the person being considered for removal may be present, and state his/her case, but may not vote in this action).


Unless otherwise noted by a specific Bylaw, matters before the Senate shall be carried by a majority vote of the members (1) present and (2) those not abstaining.

The Chairperson of the Senate may vote as a regular member concerning questions before the Senate.

Proxies: A member may submit a proxy only on a deferred and defined action pending before the Staff Senate. The proxy must clearly state the pending action and the vote being cast.


The Senate may, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the current Senate membership, submit for popular vote of the eligible staff any action. Such actions must be designated as either binding or non-binding.

Voting, tabulation, and announcement of these votes must take place within one-month of the Senate's approval. Balloting procedures as described under the section Elections shall be employed.

Approval of these Bylaws shall be by referendum.


Standing Committees: The Communication Committee.

Ad Hoc Committees: By majority vote, the Senate may convene any number of temporary committees. Any motion before the Senate to convene such a committee must include the following: (1) the committee's mission, (2) a membership list, (3) the name of the committee's chair, and (4) expiration date. The Senate shall grant to the committee no more than the right of advice to the senate, where as the Senate retains the right to act on the issue(s) examined by the committee. Membership may include, but is not limited to, members of the Senate and staff from the Campus at-large. Only the Senate may add or subtract members from these committees. The chairperson may be any member of the committee. The life of these committees may be no longer than one year (however, a new committee may be reconstituted). By majority vote, the Senate may dissolve a committee.

Robert's Rules of Order

Robert's Rules of Order shall govern Staff Senate meetings except when Bylaws supercede them.

VII. Amendment Procedure

Amendments to these Bylaws may be considered by the Staff Senate upon written request of three (3) members of the Senate or by written petition of one-third of the Eligible Staff.

Approval of amendments shall be by a plurality of the Eligible Staff through a binding referendum.

Amendments to these Bylaws shall be motioned by binding referendum with the Senate, and approved by a majority vote of the eligible staff.

Amendments to these Bylaws shall be distributed to all Eligible Staff.

Effective 01/01/94
Changed 01/01/01
Changed 01/01/95
Changed 04/01/96
Changed 12/13/00
Changed 1/1/02
Changes 8/18/05
Changes 12/15/07