Mission & Bylaws
The Staff Senate serves as a liaison to administration as an advocate for staff welfare and productivity, in conjunction with the University’s mission, to support, improve, innovate and promote academic excellence.
The Staff Senate contributes to the successes of Missouri State University-West Plains by supporting its mission of being a teaching and learning institution providing quality post-secondary educational opportunities to the communities we serve.
The purpose of the Staff Senate is to represent the staff employees as a fact-finding, deliberative and consultative body that makes studies, reports, and recommendations. Representatives serve to foster the teamwork and welfare of the staff.
The Staff Senate is a recognized part of the Missouri State University-West Plains’ team and has representation on the Chancellor’s Administrative Council, Budget and Planning Committee and various standing and as hoc campus committees.
The following objectives serve to support the primary purpose of the Staff Senate:
- Represent staff on standing committees appointed by the Chancellor.
- Communicate staff perspective in decision-making processes of the University.
- Conduct periodic surveys concerning staff issues.
- Sponsor open meetings that serve as a forum for discussion to enhance communication between faculty, staff, students and the administration.
- Foster a spirit of unity, camaraderie and cooperation within the University community.
- Provide welcome packets to new employees.
- Review budget and priorities and make recommendations to appropriate decision-making bodies.
- Maintain a website which provides information about the Staff Senate and issues of concern for staff members.wp.missouristate.edu/staffsenate/
- Serve as the campus’ official sponsor of Lee Denim Days.
All full-time staff employees are members of the Staff Senate immediately upon beginning employment. All part-time employees are non-voting members upon hire. A part time Staff Representative will be elected and will bring forward part-time staff concerns to Staff Senate as a voting member.
- Elected Members and Duties
Officers of the Staff Senate consist of a president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer. Officers and Part-Time Staff Representatives are elected by the membership at the April meeting of each year. Term of office for each position shall be one academic year May 1 through April 30. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the president with the concurrence of the membership at the next regular meeting.
The four elected officers shall serve as the Executive Committee and be empowered to take action on any necessary urgent matters between regular meetings of the Staff Senate.
To serve as an officer, a person must have been employed full time for at least one (1) year in a staff position. To serve as the Part-Time Staff Representative, a person must have been employed at the University for at least one year.
- Presides over meetings of the Staff Senate;
- Acts as a spokesperson for the Staff Senate;
- Represents the Staff Senate at the Chancellor’s weekly Administrative Council meetings.
- Represents the Staff Senate at meetings of the Budget and Planning Committee through the end of the approval cycle process.
- Represents, or appoints a delegate to represent, the Staff Senate at annual West Plains Board of Governors meeting;
- Appoints committees and committee chairpersons and delegates tasks to committees or individual members;
- Distributes lists of committee chairs or members at the May meeting.
- Accounts to the Missouri State University-West Plains administration for funds raised, spent or requested by the Staff Senate.
- Assists the president as needed.
- Fulfills the unexpired portion of the president’s term in event of a vacancy in that position;
- Assumes the president’s duties in the absence of, or at the request of, the president;
- Becomes president at the expiration of the current president’s term;
- Acts as reorder for meetings, maintaining a record of Senate business;
- Maintains current and past versions of the Staff Senate Bylaws with a dated record of all changes;
- Publishes approved revisions of the Bylaws and distributes copies as needed.
- Posts announcements in Campus Connection and Take Note using University Communications procedures.
- Handles other communication as specified by the Senate.
- Maintains a record of Staff Senate funds.
- Reports to the members of the Staff Senate at monthly meetings on the status of the budget, being accountable for funds raised, spent and requested.
Part-Time Staff Representative:
- Is responsible for gathering information/needs of part-time employees.
- Reports to the members of the Staff Senate at monthly meetings on the needs of part time employees.
- The term for the Part-Time Staff representative shall be one year.
Primary committees of the Staff Senate shall be:
- Budget and Priorities
- Special Events/Fundraising
- Community Service/Public Relations
- Website Administration
Primary and ad hoc committees are appointed as necessary. Members may decline to serve on a particular committee.
Committee chairs shall report verbally to the president and, upon completion of the task assigned, furnish the president with a written summary in addition to an email message of the group’s activities for inclusion in the Senate’s historical record, to be forwarded to the Senate secretary for documenting purposes.
The April Staff Senate meeting is an organizational meeting to include the election of new officers (president-elect, secretary, treasurer).
The Senate meets at least once per month. Meetings will be publicized campus-wide through University Communications Campus Connection and Take Note. Special meetings may be called as needed, either by the president or by a majority vote of the Staff Senate.
Five members, including either the president or president-elect, constitute a quorum. No business may be conducted without a quorum.
Voting generally is conducted by a show of hands; a paper ballot vote may be requested. The president votes only to break a tie.
Administration of the budget established for reasonable expenses incurred by the Staff Senate is the responsibility of the Staff Senate treasurer and president.
Procedures for Amending the Bylaws
A proposed amendment to the Staff Senate Bylaws can be presented, in writing, to the Bylaws Committee. The Bylaws Committee will study the proposed amendment, and report on its impact on other portions of the Bylaws, and the implications for other amendments currently being studied at the next regular Staff Senate meeting, at which time discussion will ensue and action (adopted, rejected, or tabled for further discussion) will be taken.
Amendments require a two-thirds majority vote of the members present to pass.
Upon approval of the Staff Senate, amendments are forwarded to the Missouri State University-West Plains’ chancellor for approval. If approved, the amendment(s) become part of the Bylaws.
Approved by Chancellor Lawler in January 2019.