Staff Advisory Council (SAC)


Article I: Name

The name shall be the President’s Staff Advisory Council (SAC).

Article II: Mission Statement

The mission of the Presidentʹs Staff Advisory Council is to facilitate active and direct communication between University staff and senior administration and to provide a forum for input and discussion of issues important to the staff and the University.  

In support of this mission, SAC’s guiding principles are to:

  • Act as advisers to the president and senior administrators with the aim of creating a positive working environment for all University employees;
  • Provide staff input into Brown University’s decision‐making processes that directly affect staff;
  • Select staff members to serve on important institutional committees;
  • Provide input on policies and procedures which pertain to or impact staff and the University community;
  • Establish committees and ad hoc groups to develop activities that strive to continually improve communication and morale through special educational, recreational, informational, and community service events;
  • Create networking opportunities for staff across the University;
  • Encourage social responsibility and service to the University and the surrounding community;
  • Provide a supportive network to collaborate with the University in communicating and achieving its goals.

Article III: Membership

The membership of the Council shall be limited to no less than twenty members and no more than twenty-four members appointed by the president (excluding members who have filled vacancies and past co-chairs). The president may appoint and remove ex‐officio members including a SAC Adviser at their discretion.

Section 1. Types of Members

  1. The membership of the Council shall be selected in accordance with Article IV. The Council shall make every effort to maintain a diverse membership

  2. The appointed ex‐officio members of the Council shall be determined by the president.

Section 2. Terms of Services

  1. A full term is two years. The only exception to this would be the co-Chairs, whose status change will be in accordance with Article V, Section 5 of these bylaws.

  2. Any member, during their second year of their first term, is eligible to apply for a second two-year term. Said member must submit an application to be reviewed by the Membership Selection Committee, along with the full applicant pool.

  3. After the completion of two consecutive terms, the member must be off the Council for at least twelve months before reapplying.

Section 3. Former Member Participation

At the discretion of the co-chairs and/or committee chairs, a former member may participate in new or ongoing business. A former member shall not have voting privileges nor serve as an officer or in a co-chair/chair capacity.

Section 4. Eligibility

Any University staff member who meets the following criteria is eligible to serve on SAC:

  • The staff member has a minimum of nine months (does not need to be in succession) of regular University service prior to the start of their term as a SAC member; and
  • The staff member serves in a regular position that is designated as 66% time or greater.

Section 5. Member Resignations

A member wishing to resign from the Council shall submit their resignation in writing to the president of the University, the ex-officio advisors, and the Council co-chairs.

Section 6. Removals

A member of the Council may be removed from membership for any of the following:

  1. Two absences at full Council meetings without notification;

  2. Non‐attendance at committee meetings;

  3. Other causes as determined by the full Council whenever, in its judgment, the best interests of the University would be served by the removal.

When informed of the non-compliance of any Council member(s), the co‐chairs will investigate the situation. If the findings indicate that further action should be taken, the co-chairs will notify the full Council at the first meeting of the following month where:

  1. The floor will be opened for discussion of the situation;

  2. The member will be afforded the opportunity to respond;

  3. A secret ballot will be cast to determine removal from the Council by a simple majority vote of the members present at the meeting.

Section 7. Filling of Vacancies

The co-chairs will activate one of the following procedures to fill any vacant positions. These recommendations must be approved by the full Council by a majority vote of the members present at the meeting:

  1. Recommend a staff member from the membership alternate pool, making selection based on order created by the selection committee;

  2. Delegate to the Membership Selection Committee the responsibility of making a nominee recommendation to the full Council;

  3. Recommend a former member who has served a full term and has not served the past two terms consecutively unless they have been off the Council for at least twelve (12) months.

Those filling vacant positions will have the following term option:

  • Complete the term of the member whose position they have taken over.

Article IV: Membership Selection

  1. The membership of the Council shall be selected by a Membership Selection Committee consisting of the current SAC advisers, the current SAC co-chairs, the current SAC co-chairs-elect, the current SAC past co-chairs (if applicable), and three current members.

  2. A written application must be submitted to the Membership Selection Committee no later than December 1.

  3. The Membership Selection Committee shall review all applications and submit to the full Council one nominee for each Council opening and a list of five (5) alternates in priority order, which shall stay in place until the next selection process occurs.

  4. All nominees and alternates must be approved by the full Council by a majority vote of the members present at the meeting.

  5. The Membership Selection Committee will submit the full Council’s recommendations to the president for approval.

  6. The new members’ terms will commence in January.

Article V: Officers and Recording Secretary

The Officers of the Council shall be two co-chairs, co‐chairs elect, past co-chair(s), and ex‐officio adviser(s) as designated by the president.

Section 1. Co-Chairs' Term

The position of co-chairs is a two- year commitment: approximately six months as co-chairs-elect (“co-chairs in training”), one year as co-chairs, and six months as past co-chairs. The positions should be filled by two people. If two members do not volunteer to serve, the Council should vote on whether to proceed with a single chair. All efforts should be made to recruit two members for this role.

Section 2. Elections

The chair election shall take place by secret ballot at the first meeting in July consistent with the following procedure:

  1. Prior to June 1, SAC members shall submit their nominations for the next co-chairs to the current co-chairs.

  2. Nominations shall be limited to those SAC members in their first year of service. On or about June 1, the co-chairs shall notify those individuals who have been nominated to serve as co-chair. Nominated individuals must accept or decline their nominations within one week of receiving notice from the current co-chairs in order to be eligible for election as the next co-chair.

  3. If more than two individuals or pairs accept their nominations, the co-chairs will establish a nomination committee. The committee must consist of at least the following: the co-chairs, the past co-chairs, the ex‐officio advisers, and two second‐term members of the Council. The two Council members will be selected jointly by the co-chairs, the past co-chairs, and the ex‐officio advisors.

    • The nominating committee shall research, discuss, and rank the candidates.

    • The nominating committee shall submit the names of the final two candidates to the full Council.

  4. The final two candidates shall make presentations to the full Council at the first meeting in July. The presentations shall consist of a short opening statement followed by a question and answer period. Immediately following their presentations, the full Council shall elect the new chair by secret ballot.

  5. If only two individuals accept nominations, the co-chairs shall submit their names to the full Council without convening a nomination committee. Thereafter, the candidates shall make presentations to the full Council and (a) new co-chairs shall be elected in the same manner as described above.

  6. If only one individual accepts their nomination, the co-chairs shall submit the member’s name to the full Council without convening a nomination committee. The candidate shall make a presentation to the full Council in the same manner as described above. Thereafter, the full Council shall vote by secret ballot to determine whether the individual shall be named as the new chair. If only a single chair is named, the Council will vote on whether election procedures should repeat using the procedure outlined above for a second nominee, or whether a single chair will take full responsibility of the co-chairs’ roles.

  7. If no nominee accepts their nomination or if the full Council, pursuant to section (e) above, votes that further action is necessary, the procedures outlined above in sections (a) through (e) inclusive, shall be repeated.

Section 3. Resignation

  1. Upon the resignation of a co-chair, the second co‐chair will assume both co-chairs’ duties for the balance of the term.

  2. Upon the resignation and/or vacancy of both co‐chairs, the co-chairs will temporarily delegate this office to a second-year Council member who will take nominations from the floor in preparation for an election to be held during the next regular meeting. The normal election procedure outlined in Section 2 above will be followed, with elections to be completed within one month of the resignations.

  3. Upon the resignation of the past co-chairs, the position will remain vacant until the next set of elections, when the co-chairs will move into the role of past co-chairs.

Section 4. Duties of the Chair

  1. The co-chairs shall preside at all meetings of the Staff Advisory Council, in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless otherwise indicated or voted upon.

  2. The co-chairs shall be voting members of the Council.

  3. The co-chairs will be the spokesperson(s) for the Council in any official matters.

  4. The co-chairs will be the official link with any other University committees or will make an appointment to represent the Staff Advisory Council on that committee or at the meeting.

  5. The co-chairs will provide leadership to the full Council.

  6. The co-chairs of the full Council shall be an ex‐officio member of all committees.

  7. The co-chairs shall be responsible for the organization of periodic Presidential reports.

Section 5. Duties of the Past Co-Chairs

  1. The past co-chairs shall be responsible to provide guidance and advice to the co-chairs when requested.

  2. The past co-chairs shall be voting members of the Council.

  3. The past co-chairs shall be active members of the Council and will continue to provide advice as needed throughout the new co-chairs’ year of service (December 31st). This includes serving on the Member Selection Committee.

 Section 6. Recording Secretary's Duties

  1. The Recording Secretary will be a position as part of the Outreach & Communications committee. The member(s) of that committee will be responsible for this role.  

  2. The Recording Secretary will be responsible for recording the minutes of all regular and special full Council meetings, circulating them to all members by email, and submitting them for approval at the next full Council meeting.

  3. The Recording Secretary will be responsible for any other tasks or duties assigned by the co-chairs.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1. Frequency

The full Council will meet twice monthly generally on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month; each meeting will be one hour in length. One or two additional meetings will be added to the schedule for the Council to meet with the President. Meetings will consist of SAC business and committee reports, and then a guest(s) will present or a topic will be discussed. committees will meet as necessary, as part of or apart from the general Council meetings.

Section 2. Special Meetings

The co-chairs shall be authorized to call special meetings. The purpose of the meeting will be stated in the call. Except in the case of an emergency, five business days’ notice shall be given to all members.

Section 3. Attendance

In the event that a member is unable to attend any regular meeting, the member shall notify the co‐chairs in advance of the meeting. Members may be removed from the Council in the event of two unexcused absences from full Council meetings. (See Article III, Section 6.)

Article VII: Committees

Section 1. Formation

Committees shall be formed by a majority vote of the Council. A motion may be brought forward at any meeting to form a committee. The Events & Participation and Outreach & Communications Committees shall be standing committees.

Section 2. Disbandment

Committees may be disbanded by a majority vote of the Council. A member shall bring forth a motion for a committee to disband.

Section 3. Membership

Committees shall be composed of at least three (3) members of the Council. All members of the Council will be assigned to a committee.

Section 4. Officers

The basic officer of the committee shall be the committee chair or co-chairs. The committee chair or co-chairs may appoint other officers at their discretion.

Section 5. Attendance

In the event a member is unable to attend any regular or special committee meeting, the member shall notify the chair or co-chairs of that committee.

Section 6. Role of Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

  1. Oversee their committee.

  2. Submit reports to the full Council.

  3. Monitor attendance/participation of members and report to co-chairs, if necessary.

  4. Plan and conduct committee meetings, if needed.

  5. Provide a debriefing to incoming co-chairs in order to assure continuity for the committee for the following year.

Article VIII: Amendment of the Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Council by a majority vote (more than 50% of all votes cast by the members present). Suggested amendments must be distributed to the full Council, no later than three working days prior to the first meeting of the next month.  All amendments must be reviewed and approved by the President.

Revised: July 2022