Charter for University Staff Council

ARTICLE I: Name

The name of the organization is “University Staff Council” (USC).

ARTICLE II: Council Activity and Context

Section A:
The USC will be an open forum where, within a spirit of respect and frankness, staff representatives and other colleagues will discuss and address cross-University topics and concerns with respect to community building, job fulfillment, work process improvement, and other issues with the ultimate goal of contributing to the University’s Mission and values.

Section B:
The USC will maintain close communication with the President and key Villanova departments and offices as it makes recommendations and in certain instances upon approval from the President or appropriate Vice President, Associate Vice President or Executive Director plans and implements projects and procedures.

ARTICLE III: Reporting

The USC will report directly to the University President. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the USC will meet with the President on a regular basis. The USC will closely coordinate community events with the Assistant to the President for Events.

ARTICLE IV: Staff Council Membership

Section A:
Membership will consist of one representative from each major area of the University. In addition, smaller units, in order not to be left out, will be grouped in clusters and a single representative elected for each cluster of units. The Council Members link defines the areas from which representatives will be selected.

Section B:
Representatives can be any non-union* staff member up to and including the position of Director, who is not a full-time faculty member.

Section C:
USC representatives will serve as information hubs, conveying information and ideas from their constituencies to the USC and, conversely, communicating USC activities and issues to staff members of their constituencies. With the permission of the department head, the USC representative has the flexibility to decide whether permanent or ad hoc teams should be formed within the department to enhance performance and build community.

*Union staff members are represented exclusively by their Union with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment.

ARTICLE V: Elections and Term of Office

Section A:
Representatives will be elected by staff within the particular areas. An Elections Committee will handle this process. Elections will occur every two years. For the first year, the ET Leader group will design and implement the election process. Subsequently an Elections Committee of the USC will do such. The Elections Committee will make recommendations as needed regarding the election and replacement of members.

Section B:
A USC representative’s term of office is two (2) years. Representatives are eligible to run for re-election. Representatives cannot serve more than 2 consecutive terms. A representative elected or appointed to fill the remainder of a vacated seat may serve that partial term and 2 additional full, consecutive terms if that representative took over the vacated seat more than halfway through the term of the one vacating it. If it is less than half the term, the representative can serve only one additional full term.

Section C:
The President will appoint one of his staff to sit on the USC as a full fledged member.

Section D:
All Chairs of USC committees will be ex-officio, voting USC members. The committees may draw on others, e.g., faculty, staff, and students, depending upon the required expertise.

ARTICLE VI: Officers and Executive Committee

Section A:
The USC will select four officers from among its membership: 1 Chair, 1 Vice-Chair, 1 Treasurer and 1 Secretary.Their term of office is 2 years with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms.  These four officers, as well as the presidential appointee, will constitute the Executive Committee which may meet privately at times (e.g., to prepare for USC meetings, meetings with the President and other key business).

Section B:
If it is absolutely necessary to make decisions in between full USC meetings and if it is impossible to poll University Staff Council Members, the Executive Committee may make such decisions.

ARTICLE VII: Attendance at Staff Council meetings

Section A:
Representatives are expected to attend all meetings. If however a representative has two unexcused absences over an academic year, the leaders of the Staff Council will send a letter to the representative asking if he/she still wishes to serve. The Executive Committee of the Staff Council will look into the situation and, if necessary, call for an election of the replacement the representative.

Section B:
If a representative misses a meeting for a valid reason, he/she may send a substitute and this substitute has full voting power.

ARTICLE VIII: Link to Department Heads, University Senate, Faculty Congress and Student Government Association

Section A:
Each member of the USC will meet regularly with the leader of the area they represent to ensure effective communication.

Section B:
The USC Chair and Vice-Chair will be ex-officio, voting members of the University Senate.

Section C:
The Chair and Vice Chair of the USC will meet as necessary with the leaders of the Faculty Congress and the leaders of the Student Government Association to ensure close communication.

ARTICLE IX: Meeting Leadership/Location/Notification

Meetings will be led by the USC Chair. If for any reason the Chair is unable to attend the meeting, the Vice-Chair will lead the meeting. The USC will meet once per month at a University location. USC meetings will be publicly announced and will be open to all interested Villanovans, staff, faculty, students, alums, etc.

ARTICLE X: Staff Recognition

The USC will continue to actively support, participate in and plan university-wide forms of staff recognition. Such programs include: Distinguished Service Award (Individual and Team Awards), Above and Beyond Awards, Work Process Improvement Award.

ARTICLE XI: Community Gatherings

The USC will actively support, participate in and plan university-wide events (such as the Bread and Soup Lunch, Faculty/Staff Picnic, Christmas Social, Midnight Shift Recognition events).

ARTICLE XII: Suggestion System

The Suggestion System for work process improvement, whereby “any Villanovan at any time can make a suggestion for improvement” will be maintained by the USC and will be operated by a committee of the USC. All suggestions will be shared with the applicable decision maker in the area(s) that would be impacted by the suggestion.

ARTICLE XIII: Budget

The USC will have an annual operating budget that will be allocated by the President’s Office.

ARTICLE XIV: Reviewing and Amending the USC Charter

This Charter will be reviewed annually at a USC meeting. The Charter may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present. Proposed amendments must first be approved by the President before coming to the USC for a vote.

Approved by Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A.
President, Villanova University
April 2008