Bylaws

EXEMPT STAFF COUNCIL BYLAWS

Approved by the President’s Cabinet on May 5, 2014.
Original Bylaws were approved by President’s Staff on April 28, 2008, and revised 2/1/2013.

ARTICLE I: NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF ORGANIZATION

A. Name
The name of the organization is the Exempt Staff Council (ESC).

B. Constituency
The constituency served by the ESC includes all regular full-time and part-time employees of the University of St. Thomas classified as exempt according to the regulatory provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable policies of the university, with the exception of: employees who are members of the President’s Cabinet; employees who are tenured faculty members (even if such employees currently serve in an administrative staff position); employees who are non-tenured but hold a faculty contract; and employees whose primary affiliation with the university is as adjunct faculty. Those employees whose primary position is as an exempt staff member and who may teach an occasional course as an adjunct are considered part of the ESC constituency.

ARTICLE II: AUTHORITY AND OBJECTIVES

A. Authority
The ESC is an advisory body, authorized by the President and sponsored by the Human Resources Department, which provides support and oversight of the ESC and its budget.

B. Roles and Responsibilities
The ESC:

  1. Considers and makes recommendations regarding matters of common concern to its constituency that originate with its constituency or that are referred to it by the University of St. Thomas senior administration.
  2. Serves as a forum to foster communication and collaboration at all levels of the institution.
  3. Seeks to promote and maintain strong employee morale and a high quality work environment that enables its constituency to advance the mission of the University of St. Thomas.
  4. Is the recognized body for recommending exempt staff as appropriate to serve on standing committees of the university, task forces, ad hoc committees and other bodies established from time to time by the university that will include exempt staff participation.
  5. Works to promote opportunities for exempt staff development.
  6. Works to promote effective communication and issue resolution by inviting the appropriate administrators to participate in informational meetings and discussions to facilitate solutions.
  7. Is not responsible for and will not replace channels and processes that would more appropriately be handled by Human Resources or individual departments. For the avoidance of doubt, the ESC does not represent or intend to represent itself as a labor organization, and its role does not include representing individual employees in employment-related matters.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP AND REPRESENTATION

A. Membership
The ESC consists of ten (10) voting members, each of whom must be in the constituency at the time of election and remain in the constituency for the duration of the term.

B. Term and Term Limits
Members are elected from among the constituency for two-year terms, in accordance with the election procedures detailed in Article IV. An elected member may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms (4 years in all). A former ESC member may run for
another single term of office (2 years) after being off the ESC for at least one term (2 years). No employee may serve on the ESC for more than three terms in all. ESC terms will be arranged so that fifty percent of the members are up for election each year.

C. Mid-Term Vacancies 

  1. Vacancies on the ESC that occur between elections, as a result of a member's termination, resignation or otherwise, will be filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the vacating member's election. Such vacancies will be filled for the balance of the original term.
  2. If for any reason a vacancy cannot be filled by the above means, the Coordinating Committee will determine who will fill the position for the completion of the term.
  3. If an ESC member transfers to a job with a different classification or to an exempt position that is not part of the ESC constituency (e.g., faculty or non-exempt status, or a member of the President's Cabinet), the member automatically will terminate his or her membership concurrent with the change in classification or position. Similarly, members whose employment with the university terminates during their term automatically will terminate their membership concurrent with their termination of employment (unless their membership is terminated earlier). In both situations, the ESC position will be declared vacant.

D. Removal
The ESC can remove members by a 2/3 majority vote of its members.

ARTICLE IV: ELECTIONS

A. Election of Members
Elections for vacant ESC positions will be held annually in April, conducted through secret balloting under the supervision of the Elections Sub-committee, which reports to the Coordinating Committee.

  1. Information concerning vacancies and election procedures will be published on the ESC website and distributed by email to the ESC constituency by March 1.
  2. No later than March 15, constituents will nominate candidates for the available ESC positions. Self-nominations are acceptable. In either case, nominations should include a profile of the nominee including his or her position at the university and a brief explanation of the reasons for the nomination. When candidates are nominated by another party, the ESC will contact the candidate to confirm his or her willingness to serve as a nominee prior to submitting the nomination to the constituency.
  3. The identification of all nominees who have consented to run and a profile of each candidate prepared by the nominator, and reviewed by the nominee and the ESC, will be distributed promptly to the constituency.
  4. During the first week of April, the ESC will administer an election, and each employee in the constituency may vote for the candidate(s) of her/his choice to fill the open positions. Each voting constituent will be able to vote for the number of candidates that matches the number of open positions (five each year).
  5. Election to the ESC will be determined by filling the open positions with the candidates receiving the most votes. For example, if there are five open positions, the five candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to fill those positions. In the event of a tie for a vacancy, a second ballot will be cast to determine between the tied candidates. The individual receiving the most votes on the second ballot will fill the position.
  6. Results of the election will be announced promptly to the constituency.
  7. Elected members will begin service at the May meeting of the ESC.

B. Election of Officers
The officers of the ESC (as set forth in Article V) will be nominated and elected at the May meeting. Self-nominations are acceptable. Voting will be by a secret ballot under the supervision of the Elections Sub-committee. Election to office will be determined by simple majority vote.

  1. In the event of a tie, a second ballot shall be cast to determine between the two candidates, and the candidate who receives the most votes on the second ballot will fill the officer position.
  2. ESC officers may succeed themselves.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS AND THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE

A. Officers
The ESC officers will be a chair, a vice chair, a communications coordinator, and a budget and elections coordinator. Officers will be elected from within the ESC at the May meeting each year or as a vacancy occurs. Officers serve a one-year term, and may be re-elected. Officers who are elected to fill a vacancy that occurs between elections will be elected for the remainder of the vacated term.

B. Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee will be comprised of the four ESC officers.

ARTICLE VI: RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE OFFICERS AND THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE

A. Responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee is responsible for scheduling regular ESC meetings, communicating and collaborating with the Non-Exempt Staff Council, Faculty Governance bodies and the university administration, scheduling a full exempt staff meeting each semester, reviewing and editing meeting minutes, structuring meeting agendas, and formulating the annual budget. This committee will meet monthly.

B. Responsibilities of the Officers

  1. Chair
    1. Preside at all ESC and Coordinating Committee meetings, and enforce the bylaws of the ESC.
    2. Prepare and distribute an agenda prior to each ESC meeting in cooperation with the Coordinating Committee.
    3. Schedule an annual meeting with the member of the Human Resources Department as designated by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
    4. Schedule an annual meeting with other senior administrators as appropriate.
    5. Appoint committees and committee chairpersons with the approval of the ESC.
    6. Coordinate with Non-Exempt Staff Council, faculty leadership (e.g., the Faculty Senate) and the President’s Senior Staff and Cabinet, as appropriate.
  2. Vice Chair
    1. Preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair.
    2. Coordinate planning of meetings of the constituency and act as chair of the Events standing committee.
    3. Perform other duties as assigned.
  3. Communications Coordinator
    1. Ensure that minutes of the ESC meetings are recorded, and edit and submit the minutes to the Coordinating Committee for review or editing. Ensure distribution of minutes and reports to ESC members prior to the following meeting.
    2. Ensure timely distribution of approved minutes and reports to the constituency and administration (by posting on the website or distributing by email).
    3. Coordinate communications to the constituency through email, news releases and the website, and act as chair of the standing Communications committee.
  4. Budget and Elections Coordinator
    1. Prepare an annual budget in conjunction with the Coordinating Committee and with the approval of the ESC.
    2. Maintain records of all financial transactions and expenditures.
    3. Handle all disbursements of the ESC funds.
    4. Coordinate annual elections and act as chair of the Elections standing committee.

ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES

The ESC will accomplish its purpose through the function of two types of committees: Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees. Each member will serve on at least one committee per term.

A. Standing Committees
Standing Committees will be established to consider ongoing matters of appropriate concern. These committees will be composed of ESC members.

  1. Elections
  2. Communications
  3. Events

B. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc committees will be established as needed to consider specific items of interest. An ESC member will chair these committees. Membership in the ad hoc committees is open to any constituency member.

C. University Committees
Membership on university standing committees as a representative of the ESC will be re-evaluated each year in June or July. ESC members will serve only one year on a committee, unless no other ESC member wishes to assume the assignment and the current committee member consents to continue the assignment.

ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES

A. Meetings
The ESC will meet approximately once each month. An annual meeting will be held with the member of the Human Resources Department as designated by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources. A meeting of the full constituency will be held each (fall and spring) semester.

B. Absences
ESC members who cannot attend a scheduled meeting will inform an ESC officer prior to the meeting. Members who regularly miss meetings may be removed from office in accordance with these bylaws.

ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS

Any member of the constituency may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments must be made to the ESC chair in writing at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to a regularly scheduled ESC meeting. The chair will distribute copies in advance to each ESC member. Adoption will be by a two-thirds majority of elected ESC members with proxy voting disallowed. Final approval is subject to the action of the President of the University.

Download the Bylaws

The bylaws can be downloaded in PDF format‌.

ESC Email and Web Publishing Guidelines

The Exempt Staff Council provides a website and periodic email communications to members of the exempt staff as a way to inform the group of upcoming events and council related initiatives. These communications are not meant to replace The Newsroom but rather to highlight information from the council as well as human resources and the president’s office.

Campus events, faculty/staff news, staff community news, and updates from the president’s office are pulled into the Exempt Staff Council website from The Newsroom via RSS feed. Events and information related to HR, the president’s office and ESC may also be posted directly to the ESC website and called out in emails to exempt staff. All other information should be promoted through The Newsroom.