PLU Staff Council Bylaws

Revised April 2019

The name of this organization shall be the Pacific Lutheran University Staff Council. Herein referred to as “the Council” or “Council”. The Council was established February 7, 1992 to provide a forum to share ideas, address concerns, and be an advocate body for Pacific Lutheran University exempt and nonexempt staff employees.

The Council supports the University mission. In pursuing that mission, the Council seeks to advance such endeavors through visibly active staff participation/involvement both campus-wide and community-wide in a spirit of unity and open communication with other shared governance organizations on campus.

The goals of the Council are to:

  1. Advocate on behalf of represented staff.
  2. Advise the University Administration on policies.
  3. Inform the University community of the activities of the Council.
  4. Provide staff with a forum for sharing ideas and addressing concerns.
  5. Collaborate with shared governance organizations and committees on campus.
  6. Promote staff learning through professional development and awards.
  7. Promote communication among staff, faculty, and university leadership.

SECTION 1. The Council represents exempt and nonexempt staff employees of the University. Membership on the Council is designed to provide adequate representation for each Division with certain Divisions having additional membership due to the size of their staff. Each Division is allocated one representative per approximately 40 employees. The Council is currently comprised of 13 members representing the following Divisions: Enrollment Services (1); Advancement (1); Administrative Services (4: 1 At-Large, 2 Facilities, 1 I&TS); Marketing & Communications (1); Provost (2); and Student Life (3: 1 Athletics, 1 Student Life, 1 Hospitality).

SECTION 2. Council representation will be re-evaluated every three election cycles beginning in the 2018-19 Council year or as needed in the event of a Divisional reorganization. At this time council representation may be re-evaluated and changed based off the makeup of current constituents to best represent the PLU Staff Community. (i.e. eliminating council positions, adding new ones, or adjusting positions from one area to another.)

Council information will be available on the Council web site.

The operational year of the Council shall be from June 1 to the following May 31.

SECTION 1. Those eligible for nomination shall be exempt or nonexempt employees of the University, either full time or part time, who have been employed by the University for two years or more at the time of nomination. An employee who reports directly to a Vice President or the President, and/or an employee who has faculty status with voting rights, shall not be eligible to serve as a member of the Council.

SECTION 2. Council nominees will be asked to share their desire to be on Council with supervisor(s) to assure that time away from work will be allowed. A minimum of 3 hours per month should be expected to attend meetings and conduct regular council business. Additional time is required for certain committee assignments. Refer to Article IX for councilor duties.

SECTION 1. A standing committee shall be appointed according to Article XV, which will oversee nominations to the Council. This committee shall be known as the Elections Committee.

SECTION 2. The call for nominations shall be as follows:

  1. Two months before the next operational year begins (April), the Council shall advertise nominations for councilors based on upcoming Division vacancies. Nominations should be collected via electronic form and reviewed by the Elections Committee of the Council no later than 1 month (May) before the operational year begins.

SECTION 1. The Council elections shall be as follows:

  1. The names of all eligible nominees shall be placed on the ballot. Ballots shall be prepared and approved by the Elections Committee. Ballots will be electronically distributed to all employees in the Division/Department in which a vacancy is being filled. The deadline for election of councilors will be two weeks after the distribution date.
  2. Councilors must be elected, not appointed, to represent their Division/Department unless there is only 1 nominee. In the event there is only 1 nominee for the position the current chair has the authority to appoint the person to the council and email their constituents announcing the appointment.

SECTION 2. Election results will be verified and reported as follows:

  1. Following the election, results will be approved and certified by the Elections Committee. In case of a tie, the winner shall be chosen by random draw administered by the Elections Committee. Results of the election shall be formalized by notification to the Council prior to the final Council meeting of the operational year. The Elections Committee will then confirm acceptance of the newly elected representatives.

SECTION 3. Any candidate listed on the official ballots for annual election may ask for an audit of the election. Said audit request must be presented in writing to the Council Elections Committee.

SECTION 4. All newly elected councilors will begin at the start of the operational year.

SECTION 5. In the event that a councilor changes positions within the University to another represented Division/Department, the councilor may continue to serve on the Council until the end of the operational year. In the event of a vacancy, refer to Article XV.

SECTION 6. In the event that a member of the Council terminates employment or chooses to resign their Council membership, the councilor’s term ends immediately. In the event of a vacancy, refer to Article XV.

SECTION 1: Term of membership:

  1. Councilor terms shall be two years unless:
    1. The councilor has been elected by the Council to the position of Chair, in which case the term is extended. For details of Chair terms, see Article XI.
    2. The councilor has been selected to serve on the Budget Advisory Committee, the Long Range Planning Committee, or the Benefits Committee, in which case an additional year is served.
  2. Councilors shall serve no more than two consecutive elected two-year terms or until the completion of an extended term. Should a council member take on a committee assignment that automatically extends their service, that does not impair their ability to run for reelection for another 2 year term if desired.
  3. Reelection can be sought after a two-year leave.

SECTION 2. Duties of membership:

  1. Regularly attend meetings and participate in discussions.
  2. Solicit information/opinions from constituents and share with Council.
  3. Disseminate Council information to constituents.
  4. Accept at least one Council committee assignment.

SECTION 1. The officers of the Council shall be a Chair & Treasurer, Chair Elect, Past Chair, Secretary and Web Master.

SECTION 2. Nominations for the officers of Council shall be made at the meeting two months prior to the beginning of the next operational year (April). The officers shall be elected via electronic ballot by the Council prior to following meeting and then confirmed at that meeting (May). If there is only one nominee for the position the current chair can appoint the nominee then inform the council via email or in-person meeting.

SECTION 3. All officers of the Council shall assume their duties at the beginning of the operational year.

The duties of the officers are those implied by their respective titles and as specified in these Bylaws.
SECTION 1. The Chair & Treasurer shall:

  1. Preside at all meetings of the Council.
  2. Guide appointments of Council members to all ad hoc, external, or standing committees. These appointments are subject to the acceptance of the members so appointed.
  3. Submit recommendations for representation on University committees.
  4. Prepare an agenda for each monthly meeting over which the Chair presides.
  5. Appoint a Chair pro tem in the event of the absence of the Chair and Chair Elect.
  6. Submit Council recommendations to appropriate University officials.
  7. Monitor and report on the status of the Budget at each Council meeting.
  8. Serve as Past Chair the following year.
  9. Perform such duties as may arise pertaining to the office of Chair.
  10. Lead all PLUSC events or appointment council members to lead in case of absence.
  11. Meet with the current PLU President monthly for university updates and to provide updates from PLUSC to the President.
  12. Meet with the current Faculty Chair twice per year (once in the fall and once in the spring) to gain updates from faculty and to provide updates on staff at the university.
  13. Term: 1 year.

SECTION 2. The Chair Elect shall:

  1. Attend all meetings of the Council.
  2. Perform the duties of the Chair in the absence of the officer.
  3. Perform such duties as the Chair shall designate.
  4. Assume the office of Chair the following year.
  5. Term: 1 year.

SECTION 3. The Secretary shall:

  1. Be responsible for takings minutes of the Council meetings and distributing those minutes to the Council.
  2. Be responsible for the Council meeting attendance roster.
  3. Conduct correspondence, as necessary.
  4. Term: 2 years.

SECTION 4. The Past Chair shall:

  1. Coordinate with the Chair and Chair Elect to ensure a smooth transition of duties.
  2. Lead the bylaws committee.
  3. Assist with special projects as needed to provide support to the Chair and Chair and Elect.
  4. Meet with the current PLU President monthly for university updates and to provide updates from PLUSC to the President.
  5. Term: 1 Year.

SECTION 1. Meetings shall be held monthly. Regularly scheduled Council meetings may be cancelled or rescheduled only as needed at the discretion of the Council Chair.

SECTION 2. General attendance is limited to members of the Council. Meeting agendas and minutes will be saved on the shared Team Drive and will be available upon request.

SECTION 3. Special meetings may be called by the Chair as needed with majority approval of the Council.

SECTION 4. The Chair should be notified in advance by a councilor in the event of an absence from a meeting.

SECTION 5. Council members missing more than three of the regularly scheduled meetings during the year may be sent a letter reminding them of their obligations to represent their constituents on the Council. Council members missing five or more of the regularly scheduled meetings during the year shall be subject to replacement upon the recommendation of the Council Officers. The Secretary shall notify the President of a Council member missing three meetings and again when missing five meetings.

SECTION 1. In order to transact business that requires a vote, a quorum of simple majority of the Council members must be present.

SECTION 2. To carry a motion, affirmative votes must be cast by one more than one half of those voting except as stipulated in Article XVII.

SECTION 3. All voting in meetings of the body of the whole will be done by voice, by hand, by paper ballot or by electronic ballot. If the vote is an election, it must be performed by secret ballot.

SECTION 1. In the event of a vacancy during the year, the Elections Committee will use the current term’s election results from which to select the next member by order of votes received. If nominees are not available from the immediately preceding ballot, the Elections Committee will solicit nominations from the Division/Department and proceed with the election process. If a vacancy occurs within four months of the beginning of the next operational year, the Elections Committee will fill the vacancy using the upcoming election results and begin with the new operational year term.

SECTION 2. If the office of Chair becomes vacant, a Chair Elect shall immediately take over as current chair. Once the Chair Elect has begun their role of Chair, a new election will be held to fill the Chair Elect position. Should there be only 1 nominee for Chair Elect, the current Chair may appoint them to the position and notify the council via email or in-person.

SECTION 3. If the Office of Secretary becomes vacant, the Chair shall appoint a Secretary from Council membership for the remainder of the term with approval of the Council.

SECTION 4. If the office of the Past Chair becomes vacant, the Chair may appoint a Past Chair from current or previous councilors to serve for the remainder of the term if needed. The appointed Past Chair shall have completed at least one full term as Chair prior to the appointment.

Purpose: To solicit candidates for vacant seats on the Council, Council office of Chair, Chair Elect, and Secretary. To carry out elections in accordance with the Council bylaws.


  1. Organized by current Secretary.
  2. Members: 3-5 Council members.
  3. Open to: Current Council members not seeking reelection.
  4. Term: 1 year.
Bylaws Committee

Purpose: To review Bylaws with the entire committee at the beginning of each year as well as to review Bylaws on an as-needed basis. This allows for new policies and procedures to be brought to the council for review on a more regular basis, or for old policies and procedures to be removed with approval of the committee.


  1. Organized by Past Chair.
  2. Members: 1-3 Council members.
  3. Open to: Current Council members.
  4. Term: 1 year.

These bylaws may be amended at the regular monthly meeting of the Council by a two-thirds vote of those present, provided that the amendment has been introduced to the Council at the previous regular meeting.

Current PLUSC roster will be maintained by the Secretary and updated on a monthly basis based off hire and termination reports provided by HR. A separate document will be kept to provide the breakout of representation as well as constituent lists.


Pending – 2019: Full Revision