Article I – Statement of purpose
The purpose of the Staff Advisory Council herein referred to as “the Council” is to allow staff to participate in the governance of the Lebanese American University, further its mission and contribute to its success. The Council is composed of staff members from all the entities, divisions and departments of the University. The Council has an advisory role towards the Administration in matters of concerns to staff.
Article II - Membership
Eligibility: Membership is limited to regular full-time staff that have been employed at the University for at least one year and are in good standing.
Staff Advisory Council Composition: The Council shall be composed of members representing the various divisions in the University as per the enclosed Appendix. The election process is described in Article III. Moreover, the President’s Cabinet will appoint two (2) non-voting ex-officio members representing the HR offices.
Term of Office: Council members shall serve for a term of three years renewable once. The terms shall be staggered so that six or seven of the members of the Council are elected annually.
The number of new members will alternate between six and seven every year. Any member may run for reelection.
Newly elected members will take office in September following the election process.
Exceptional case: At the time of election where six or seven members have not yet served for a term of three years (such as a council following the resignation of all the members of a previous council):
- members willing to end their term will have their membership terminated, and
- in order to reach the needed number, members with the least years of service at LAU will have their membership terminated.
Vacancies: Any vacancy occurring during the term of an elected member will be filled by a candidate from the same Entity/Department following the same election process only to complete the term of the vacant member. This election process shall take place within one month of the vacancy occurrence. If the indicated term expires in less than six months, the vacancy shall not be filled and will remain vacant until the next election process.
Membership may be vacated by written resignation addressed to the council chair and a copy to the vice chair(s).
Attendance: Meetings of the Council may be called during regular working hours.
Forfeiture of Membership: Each SAC member is expected to attend every SAC meeting. Any Council member who misses three (3) consecutive meetings or five (5) in total during an academic year will be considered to have resigned.
The secretary shall notify the chair of any member who has missed the indicated number of meetings. The chair shall notify the indicated member of his/her membership forfeiture. In the SAC meeting following this notification, the chair will inform the SAC of his action and commence an election procedure for the vacant position from the same Entity/Department following the same election process only to complete the term of the vacant member.
Duties and Responsibilities: The council has an advisory role with a mandate to:
- Promote and further the mission of the University.
- Review and suggest amendments to personnel policies and procedures.
- Encourage staff to express their opinions on University issues.
- Foster a spirit of respect, dignity, unity and cooperation among staff.
- Provide advice on staff development needs.
- Recommend to Administration to have Council members serving on University standing Councils and Committees affecting staff status and their welfare, similar but not limited to Cafeteria Committee and Health Insurance Committee.
- Select Council members to serve on University standing Councils and Committees when requested by Administration.
Article III - Election of Council Members
An election process will be carried out in each division (as per enclosed Appendix) for membership on the Staff Advisory Council. This election process will be conducted and supervised by the SAC officers. All employees who have one year or more of service and are in good standing are eligible to run in their designated department as per the attached appendix. The staff member(s) receiving the highest number of votes will be considered the Council member(s) representing his/her department. In case of a draw in the number of votes attained by two members, the person with more years of service at LAU is selected.
Any complaints regarding the election process should be submitted in writing to the VP-HRUS.
The current SAC chair will call for an election process in August and conduct it in coordination with the relevant university offices and the supervision of the SAC officers. The new Council members will assume their responsibilities in September.
Article IV - Council Officers
The officers of the Council shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair and a Secretary. The election of a chair, vice chair(s) and secretary shall take place by secret ballot during the first meeting following the election process, which will be held in one location, conducted and supervised by the oldest and youngest members.
The Chair and Vice Chair will be chosen from different campuses. Staff members that are considered central may represent wither campus. Otherwise, two (2) Vice Chairs will be elected, one (1) from each campus).
In case of vacancy in the positions of chair, vice chair or secretary, an election process shall take place on the first meeting following the vacancy.
- Duties and Responsibilities of Council Officers
The Chair shall:
- Convene and chair all meetings of the Council.
- Represent the Council at University activities and events as appropriate.
- Coordinate Council activities.
- Communicate in writing the Council’s recommendations to the VP-HRUS and liaise between the Council and the Administration.
The Vice Chair(s) shall:
- Assume the duties of the Chair, in his/her absence, or at any other time upon the request of the Chair.
- Assume the duties of the Chair for the unexpired term in the event that the Chair is unable to complete the term of office.
The Secretary shall:
- Record, maintain and distribute the minutes of all Council meetings to all members for revision prior to the next meeting.
- Coordinate communication, agenda and other materials to all Council members.
- Maintain attendance files of the members.
- Maintain current and past versions of the Bylaws; publish the revised ones and distribute copies as needed.
- Circulate the Agenda for council members (5 working days prior to the meeting date).
Article V - Meetings
- Regular Council Meetings
Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at least five times per year throughout the academic year. Place of meetings, times and dates shall be relayed to Council members by the Secretary. Any Council member may propose items for the Council’s agenda. Meetings of the Council are open to invited staff that may tackle matters on the agenda, or introduce new business, when approved by the Chair. Meetings of the Council shall be governed by “Robert’s Rules of Order”.
- A simple majority of Council members shall constitute a quorum.
- No official business or voting shall occur at a meeting that has no quorum.
- Drafted minutes of the previous meeting shall be circulated to all Council members for revision.
- Actions shall be taken by a simple majority of the Council members present at a meeting.
- Special Council Meetings
Special meetings shall be called for at the request of at least one third of the members of the council.
Article VI- Record Keeping
The Council’s reports, minutes, proposals and related matters will be archived in the office of the VP-HRUS.
Article VII - Amendments
SAC bylaws may be amended by an affirmative vote of two thirds majority of the members provided the proposed amendments are communicated to the members at least two weeks before the meeting at which the amendments are to be considered. Any such amendment shall be initiated by at least one third of the SAC members.
All amendments together with their justification and rationale must be approved by the President’s Cabinet before they become effective.