Staff Advisory Council Bylaws

Article I – Name of the organization

The organization shall be called the Penn State Altoona Staff Advisory Council.

Article II – Purpose

The Penn State Altoona Staff Advisory Council shall exist for the purpose of providing effective communications with exempt and nonexempt staff regarding suggestions, review, and advice on issues that impact on or are impacted by staff. Issues such as policy and practice, continuous quality improvement, diversity, customer service, or other institutional concerns shall be addressed. The Council acts in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor.

Article III – Membership

Section 1 – Definitions

Ex-officio member: Non-voting position with the Council. Ex-officio members shall not be eligible to hold elected positions. Types of ex-officio appointments include

  • Penn State Altoona Commission for Women Liaison Committee representative
  • Penn State Altoona Faculty Senate representative
  • Student Government Association representative

The Executive Committee of the Council may appoint additional ex-officio members as appropriate.

Member: Voting position with the Council. Full members shall be elected as outlined in Section 2 below and shall be eligible to hold elected positions.

Volunteer: Non-voting position with the Council. Volunteers shall typically be recruited from the pool of persons eligible for membership in the Council as members of Issues Committees and shall not be eligible to hold elected positions.

Consultant: Non-voting temporary position with the Council. Consultants shall typically be persons with expertise who provide information to Issues Committees.

Section 2 – Election of Members

The Staff Advisory Council shall be composed of 13 members of the exempt and nonexempt staff. The Staff Advisory Council shall consist of 6 exempt staff, 6 nonexempt staff, and 1 part-time staff.

Members shall be elected by the eligible staff to serve a three-year term commencing on July 1. To be eligible to vote, staff must be employees (full or part time) at Penn State Altoona, not including student wage-payroll employees, Executive Staff, or Technical Services employees. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms, but after any period of two years of non-membership shall again be eligible.

A member who is elected Chair may serve up to a six-year term including three years as a voting member, one year as Chair-elect, one year as Chair, and one year as past-Chair.

New members of the Staff Advisory Council shall be elected annually. All eligible staff shall be nominated. Staff who do not want to be nominated may have their names removed from the ballot provided they notify the Nominating Committee at least two weeks before the election.

Section 3 – Transition of Members

An orientation meeting for new members shall be held in June of each year. The Executive Committee and the Coordinators of each Issues Committee shall attend this meeting for the purpose of transitioning members for the upcoming academic year. In addition, all members, retiring and ongoing, of the Staff Advisory Council shall be invited to attend this meeting.

Section 4 – Leave of Absence for Members

Requests for a temporary leave of absence from the Council may be submitted to the Chair. Such requests shall be granted whenever possible. Since such leaves are temporary, the resulting vacancy shall not be filled by a new member.

Section 5 – Member Resignation

Resignations from the Council shall be submitted to the Chair, who shall then invite the staff member who received the next highest number of votes in the election for the current year to join the Council for the remainder of the designated term.

Members absent from three or more of the regular meetings during any academic year may be declared inactive and may be asked to resign, subject to review by the Executive Committee.

Section 6 – Job Status Changes for Members

If a member’s job status changes during his/her term, ratio should be restored in the next election to maintain the ratio of exempt, nonexempt, and part-time staff required on the council.

Section 7 – Faculty Senate Staff Senators

Faculty Senate Staff Senators shall be elected by eligible staff  to serve a one-year term. To be eligible to vote, staff must be employees (full or part-time) at Penn State Altoona, not including wage-payroll employees, Executive staff, or technical services employees. Each elected staff senator shall serve a one-year year term commencing on July. Each elected Staff Senator may serve up to three consecutive terms and a minimum of one year off the ballot after three consecutive terms.

Article IV – Committees

Section 1 – Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, the Chair-elect, the Past Chair, and the Secretary. The Executive Committee shall coordinate the activities of the Staff Advisory Council. No individual member, ex-officio member, volunteer, or consultant shall take any action on behalf of the Staff Advisory Council, unless specifically delegated to do so by the Executive Committee acting on behalf of the full membership.

Chair – The Chair shall be the presiding officer of the Staff Advisory Council. The Chair shall be elected for a three-year term commencing on July 1, serving the first year as Chair-Elect, the second year as Chair, and the third year as Past Chair. (Note: As specified in Section 2, a person who is elected to the position of Chair-Elect may serve the full three-year rotation, no matter how many years she or he has left in the term of membership.) The duties of the Chair are to preside over all meetings; to have general and active management of the business of the Council; to see that all orders and resolutions of the membership are carried into effect; to respond to and initiate communications with the Office of the Chancellor of Penn State Altoona and with any external constituencies on behalf of the Council; and to perform all duties and exercise all authority usually associated with the office of the Chair or prescribed by the membership.

In the event that the Chair resigns the position at a time when there is no designated Chair-Elect, the Executive Committee shall appoint another member as Chair to serve until the next regular election.

Chair-Elect – The Chair-Elect shall automatically succeed to the position of Chair during his or her second year in office. During the first year, the individual shall serve as Chair-Elect, attending all functions with the Chair and assuming the role and duties appropriate to that office in the absence of the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall also serve as parliamentarian of the Staff Advisory Council.

In the event that the Chair resigns or is unable to serve, the Chair-Elect shall move into that position immediately. The Executive Committee shall schedule an election to fill the position of Chair-Elect as soon as is practical.

Past Chair – The Chair shall automatically succeed to the position of Past Chair during his or her third year in office. This individual shall chair the Nominating Committee and participate in Executive Committee activities.

In the event that the Past Chair resigns from the position during the academic year, the Executive Committee shall appoint a third-year representative from its membership to serve until July 1.

Secretary – The Secretary shall be elected for a one-year term commencing on July 1; however, the Secretary may not be elected for two consecutive terms. The Secretary shall record and distribute the minutes of all meetings, shall keep the roll of all meetings, and shall keep the ballots of all elections and official records of memberships and terms.

In the event that the Secretary resigns or is unable to serve, the Executive Committee shall ask for a volunteer, or appoint another member, to serve as Secretary until the next regular election.

Election of Executive Committee
Election of the Chair-Elect and Secretary shall normally be held by secret ballot and shall be conducted as follows: early in the spring semester of each year, the Nominating Committee shall distribute to all members of the Council a list of members and solicit nominations from that list. The Nominating Committee shall then check with each nominee to ascertain if the individual is willing to serve. At every regularly scheduled March meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present a slate of a minimum of one nominee for the office of Chair-Elect and one nominee for the office of Secretary. Nominations of additional members from the floor shall be accepted at that time. No person shall be nominated for more than one office. Upon finalization of the slate, a ballot shall be sent to all voting members. All ballots are to be returned within ten days to the Chair via the Office of Chancellor of Penn State Altoona. Results of the balloting are to be communicated to the membership by the Chair.

Section 2 – Issues Committees

Each meeting, the full Council shall decide on the issues to be examined. Members may then select at least one of the Issues Committees to serve on and participate with. The Coordinator of each Issues Committee shall be selected by the members of that Issues Committee; the Coordinator shall be a member of the Council.

Any exempt or nonexempt Staff member of Penn State Altoona may be invited to join one of the Issues Committees as a volunteer on the basis of his/her interest, expertise, or membership in a particular sector of the Penn State Altoona community. All Issues Committees are encouraged to seek advice or consultation on particular questions as circumstances might indicate.

Each Issues Committee shall learn about the issue at hand, investigate possible improvements, and develop recommended action plans and initiatives to be presented to the full Council. Each Issues Committee shall consult with the Dean and CEO of Penn State Altoona and with appropriate executive staff as it considers its issue. Periodic updates shall be presented at meetings of the full Council. The final recommendation from each Issues Committee shall be presented to the full Council in writing prior to a regularly scheduled meeting. A written status report shall be presented to the full Council at the May meeting if the issue has not been brought to closure. Upon approval of the full Council, the final report and recommendation shall be forwarded to the Dean and CEO of Penn State Altoona.

Section 3 – Nominating Committee

A Nominating Committee shall be convened early in spring semester of each year. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the Past-Chair, and three additional members appointed by the Chair at the January meeting. It is recommended that these members have at least two years experience on the Staff Advisory Council.

The Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations of new members to fill seats of those ending their terms.

In addition, the Nominating Committee shall coordinate the election of the Chair-Elect and Secretary as outlined in Election of Executive Committee.

Article V – Meetings

Regular meetings of the Staff Advisory Council shall be held in the months of January, March, May, September, and November with dates and times for the upcoming year to be determined by the incoming Chair and council members at the New Orientation Meeting in June. Special meetings of membership, for any purpose or purposes, may be called at any time by the Chair. A quorum consisting of two-thirds of the voting membership must be present at all meetings in order for any official actions to be taken in the name of the Council.

All Staff Advisory Council meetings shall be open to any interested member of the Penn State Altoona community, providing those who wish to attend have permission from their supervisor. Persons who would like to address the Staff Advisory Council shall contact the Chair in advance to be provided time on the agenda.

Council meeting time usually is during normal Penn State Altoona hours and is considered Penn State Altoona business.

Each Issues Committee shall decide on meeting frequency and dates.

All meetings of the Staff Advisory Council and all Issues Committee meetings shall be governed by the then-current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article VI – Amendments

These Bylaws may be altered or amended at any time in accordance with the following procedure. Amendments must be presented to all members of the Council in writing at least fifteen days prior to a scheduled meeting. Individuals who will not be present for the meeting shall be invited to mail or email discussion to the Chair prior to the meeting. An amendment to these Bylaws shall be adopted by a ballot vote of two-thirds of the total Council membership to be returned to the Chair within fifteen days of the meeting at which the amendment was discussed. Implementation of changes to the bylaws will require the approval of the Chancellor.

Bylaws initially adopted: October 22, 2003


When the first slate of Staff Advisory Council members is elected, the 14 persons who are elected shall serve three-year, two-year, or one-year terms based on a random drawing to be held at the first meeting of the Staff Advisory Council. In the case of a tie for membership, the Chancellor shall hold a drawing for the name of the person to be elected.

During the first three years of the Staff Advisory Council, the officers shall serve partial terms.

Business normally conducted at the July meeting shall be conducted at the September meeting during the first year.

Addendum A (Adopted 01/21/2004)

Issue Submission Procedure – Procedures for Handling Issues
In order for the Staff Advisory Council (SAC) to respond to staff concerns, the staff person must submit an issue in written format to a SAC member, or use the “Submit an Issue” link on the Altoona Staff Advisory Council home page. The staff person’s name will be held in confidence by the council member receiving the issue.

The review process of issues brought before SAC will include the following procedures:

  • Staff will submit issues, in writing, to a SAC member or through the mailbox in E101 Smith, the contents of which is reviewed by the chair-elect. Concerns may be expressed on a formal issue form or in any written format.
  • The SAC member receiving the issue(s) will then transcribe the issue to a formal SAC issues form, omitting the submitter’s identity.
  • The receiving member will present the issue to the SAC at the next scheduled meeting. The member will verbally present a general overview of the issue and may provide written copies of the issue, without submitter’s identity, to fellow SAC members.
  • SAC will review the issue and make one of three possible decisions:
    1. Seek additional information via the member who brought the issue to committee.
    2. Form a committee to study the issue and make recommendations to the Chancellor.
    3. Determine that the issue should not be handled by SAC and forward it to the appropriate department, or take no action at all.
  • The SAC, through the member initially presented with the issue(s) will notify the submitter of the committee’s proceedings.

After each meeting the SAC will send an email summary of meeting to the campus community.

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