Montana State University

Staff Senate


100  History and Purpose

Staff Senate embraces and endorses the principles of shared governance at MSU-Bozeman and, as such, recognizes an increased emphasis on engaging the classified staff in ownership of the University’s management.  As a result, Staff Senate’s obligation to its constituents is more critical than ever in the collection and dissemination of information and resulting feedback. 


Staff Senate sees committee work as a key stratagem of shared governance, often involving faculty, staff, professionals, and students.  Staff Senate is responsible for nominating the classified representatives to 20-30 committees, panels and task forces (herein referred to as “committees”).   Communication between Staff Senate and appointed representatives is critical so that every opportunity for widespread constituent input is utilized.


Staff Senate's philosophy is to extend Shared Governance opportunities to the maximum number of staff, and to nominate candidates well suited to the committee vacancy in hand.  

200      Nomination of Committee Representatives


Staff Senate will ascertain, from committee chairs, the realistic time commitment, and other expectations of involvement in each committee.  Staff Senate will communicate, to the chair, its collaboration requirements with its representatives. A chair may voluntarily request Staff Senate's re-nomination of an out-going representative. Staff Senate will consider existing representatives' applications for re-nomination when accompanied by adequate explanation of the reasons for same (bearing in mind Staff Senate's objective of extending Shared Governance opportunities to the widest possible audience). No guarantee of re-nomination or re-appointment is given.



Staff Senate will ascertain whether potential nominees would be willing to:



Commit the necessary time and other effort, based upon Staff Senate’s discussion with each chair  (reps’ active participation in the work of their committee is key to providing Staff Senate information critical to its contribution in shared governance)


Obtain supervisor approval for committee participation (time away from work, etc)


Research the functions of the committee, and the tools required to enable to potential rep to best serve the purpose and goals of the committee, as well as the interests of the classified constituency


Engage in regular communications with Staff Senate (see below) with the realization that appointment to a committee does not result in membership of Staff Senate.


Describe their aptitude for representing the classified staff on the committee in which they have expressed interest, as an aid to Staff Senate in the selection process. 



Staff Senate officers determine whether nominations are made among the officers themselves, by a sub-committee appointed by the officers, or by the Staff Senate voting membership as a whole. When nominees have been chosen from the list of volunteers, Staff Senate forwards nominations to the President who ensures a balance of representation across campus, between committees, from all constituencies and in both genders.  Respecting these selection criteria, a nominee may be chosen on their first application to participate in committee work, or not for several applications depending on the existing make up of the organization, and campus committees generally.  

201      Following Appointment of a Representative  


Staff Senate will assist each representative by engaging in communication and contact:



Offering services in the collection or dissemination of reps’ committee information (e.g. a survey of constituents, announcements on the classified listserv with corresponding flyer for non-email users)


Adding reps to the Staff Senate listserv, with the intent of enhancing each rep’s familiarity with constituent issues of every kind


Maintaining periodic personal contact with each rep, describing Staff Senate’s reporting needs



Staff Senate-nominated committee representatives’ submissions:



Reps agree to regularly submit a report of issues discussed by each committee to the Staff Senate Administrative Associate (usually following each committee meeting.  Frequency of submissions may vary, however, depending on the nature of the committee’s work and its relevance to the classified community)


Submissions may be in the form of reps’ impressions of meetings - not necessarily the committee’s formal minutes


Submissions may be made by email, phone, or hard copy.  (Coordination between reps may be advantageous in the cases of multiple classified nominees on the same committee)


Staff Senate will immediately publish submissions on-line, as is.  (Confidentiality issues, approval of content by persons other than the rep, etc must be addressed prior to submission)



Staff Senate-nominated committee representatives’ collaboration with Staff Senate:



Reps agree to bring issues of particular importance to Staff Senate’s specific attention as necessary.  Electronic communication or via monthly meeting agenda item will be used according to urgency


Reps' participation in Staff Senate's general business is advantageous to all. As such, reps agree to attend Staff Senate meetings whenever possible, in addition to making regular report submissions, and a set time is included on every Staff Senate regular meeting agenda for reports from committee reps, delivered in person


202      Termination of a Staff Senate-nominated Committee Representative’s Responsibility



A Staff Senate-nominated committee representative’s appointment will designate the duration of his/her term.  The rep will automatically be removed from the committee at the end of the term, although re-nomination may be possible.  Reps may relinquish his/her responsibility prior to the end of the term by written resignation (email or hardcopy) to the committee chair and/or Staff Senate.



Staff Senate may recommend to the President removal of a Staff Senate-nominated committee representative from with reference to the appropriate committee chair.  Action to recommend removal commences following an agenda item discussion, at a regular Staff Senate monthly meeting, and a vote in support of such action by a majority of the meeting’s quorum.