Staff Council Bylaws

Article 1: Purpose and Goals

Section 1. Purpose:

The Staff Council represents all employees at Gardner-Webb University below the rank of Vice President who do not have faculty contract.  The Staff Council’s mission is to serve the interests and needs of the Gardner-Webb University staff pertaining to their daily activities and work conditions as they strive to support the University’s goal of providing quality higher education. Toward this effort, the Staff Council promotes understanding and cooperation by facilitating communication among campus constituencies, and by serving as an advocate to the administration for staff issues which affect them. In our efforts to enhance the quality of the Gardner-Webb University work environment, the Staff Council provides leadership and support to work together with all members of the University to enrich community spirit. The Staff Council shall not establish policies or procedures, nor shall it serve as a grievance committee.

Section 2. Goals:  

  • To uphold the mission and goals of Gardner-Webb University.
  • To promote better understanding, cooperation and communication among all constituent groups of Gardner-Webb University.
  • To serve in an advisory capacity to the administration regarding proposed plans, actions, programs, policies and procedures that will affect the staff.

Article 2: Council Jurisdiction

Section 1. Responsibilities:

Responsibilities are granted to the Staff Council by the President. These responsibilities most directly pertain to the sharing of important information related to the workplace and the creation of an appropriate forum for staff employees to offer feedback and suggestions to the President. Examples of the Council’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Providing suggestions on how to improve the various ways in which the University fulfills its overall mission to its students and the community;
  • Recommendations regarding the quality of support services offered to students;
  • Recommendations regarding opportunities for professional development of staff (e.g., seminars, workshops and continuing education opportunities);
  • Recommendations regarding ways the University can provide a positive environment for employees, and
  • Recommendations on ways that staff can better support the service mission of the University.

Section 2. Limitations:  

The Council serves at the pleasure of the President. Staff Council decisions are limited by the Gardner-Webb Charter and Bylaws, the Statement of Purpose, the Faculty Constitution, as well as veto action by the President. Meetings of the Council are subject to the ongoing authorization of the President.

Article 3: Representation

Section 1.  

The Staff Council shall be comprised of 16 representatives. The Staff Council includes unit representatives, elected to provide balanced representation of staff from all campus units. A unit is defined by the reporting channels on campus in relationship to the University’s vice presidents. Units consisting of less than 20 staff shall have one representative and one vote. Units consisting of more than 20 staff shall have a representative and an assistant representative; and one vote.  Units consisting of more than 90 staff shall have a representative and two assistant representatives; and one vote. The unit representative holds the voting privilege; unless the representative designates it to an assistant representative in their absence.

Representative allocations, based on the number of staff in each unit:

  • Provost & Vice Preside of Academic Affairs – (4) Two representatives and two Assistant Representatives (Includes representation of the office and Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and the President’s staff)
  • Vice President for Athletics- (2) Representative and an Assistant Representative
  • Vice President for Administration and Finance- (3) Representative and two Assistant Representatives

For this unit two of the representatives must be in the following staff position:
(1) Maintenance and Project Technician or a Ground Technician
(1) Event Service Technician or a Housekeeping Technician

  • Vice President for Enrollment Management- (2) Representative and an Assistant Representative
  • Vice President for Marketing- (1) Representative
  • Vice President for Student Development- (2) Representative and an Assistant Representative
  • Vice President for Advancement- (1) Representative
  • Vice President for Christian Life and Service- (1) Representative

The specific Staff Council representation requirements noted above reflect the University’s goal to provide a voice to all staff divisions, including units with large numbers of team members.

The President, Provost, Past Chair and a representative of Human Resources will serve in an ex-officio role.  All of these positions, other than the Past Chair Ex-Officio position, are non-voting members.

Section 2.  

Representative qualification is limited to full-time and permanent part-time (30 hours) staff of Gardner-Webb University (as defined by Human Resources), to include both exempt (monthly) and non-exempt (biweekly) staff, who have successfully completed their probation period. This pertains to new staff to the University. If there is a Gardner-Webb change of job status, during one’s Staff Council term, the representative must discuss their ability to stay on the Staff Council and review their internal/external committee participation with the executive team. If jointly agreed, the representative may stay on the Staff Council during the probation period of their new position. If a representative asked to be removed from the Staff Council, the new representative shall be filled by the Executive Team for the remainder of that term.

Section 3.  

Gardner-Webb University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in employment or any of its programs and activities. This includes representation on the Staff council.

Article 4: Election of Representatives

Section 1.

The election process for unit representatives shall be conducted by the current unit representatives before the end of May, at least one month prior to the beginning of the Fiscal Year (July) and Staff Council term.  The current unit representative shall seek nominations from all staff within his/her unit. After the established cut-off date, voting shall take place by secret ballot. During this election process, the runner-up shall be the assistant representative for units consisting of more than 20 staff. The names of the new representatives shall be forwarded to the Chair for announcement at the next meeting. A formal orientation meeting for the new representatives shall be held prior to their first meeting.

Section 2.

Unit representatives shall serve a two-year term, with the option of a second, which shall run from the beginning of July to the end of the second June.  Replacements for unexpired terms of unit representatives shall be filled by the Executive Team for the remainder of that term.

Section 3.

No Staff Council representative may serve more than two consecutive (2-year) terms on the Staff Council.  After one year off the Staff Council, a past member may run for an open seat.

Section 4.

A representative of the Staff Council may be expelled from the body by a two-thirds affirmative vote of representatives present due to just cause, provided a quorum and that the meeting was announced to all representatives. No representative may abstain from a vote to expel.

Section 5.

If an elected representative leaves the University or decides to step down from the position, the position shall be filled by the runner-up. If there is no runner-up to fill the position, the chair of the Staff Council will ask the affected area to solicit nominations and hold a new election at the earliest possible date.

Article 5: Executive Team

Section 1.

Within the Staff Council, leadership shall be provided by the Executive Team, which shall consist of the Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, two Representatives-at-Large, and the immediate Past Co-Chairs (for the first year following their completion as Co-Chairs).

The election of the Executive Team shall be held at the August meeting from among its members.  The Staff council members will nominate the candidates; however, a willingness to serve will need to be confirmed from the nominated. After a willingness to serve is confirmed, a vote by a show of hands will elect the positions.

Section 2.

The duties of the Executive Team are to:

  • Serve as liaison between the Staff Council and Gardner-Webb administration.
  • Provide leadership at Staff Council meetings.
  • Respond to interim business between Staff Council meetings.
  • Assist in plans, projects, programs and reporting
  • Establish project- based teams as needed.
  • Provide a formal orientation for new Staff Council representatives.

Section 3.


  • Provide leadership for the Staff Council.
  • Preside at Staff Council meetings.
  • Represent Staff Council on appropriate committees.
  • Represent Staff Council at University functions.
  • Compose and distribute to Gardner-Webb employees (faculty and staff) the Chair’s Letter within two weeks of a Staff Council meeting. The Chair’s letter is a summary of the main points from the Staff Council meeting and any other points of interests.
  • Oversee the project- based teams.
  • Oversee representatives’ terms and the election process.


  • Records and maintains minutes of the Staff Council meetings and distributes to representatives in a timely manner.
  • Saves all meeting minutes and Chair’s letters in the Staff Council’s folder on the GWU server.
  • Respond to the Staff Council’s correspondence as needed.
  • Oversees and updates the Staff Council’s webpage.


  • Maintains the Staff Council budget.
  • Advises executive team on budget allocation for staff council activities.
  • Responsible for keeping fiscal records as needed.
  • Coordinates the collection and disbursement of money as needed.


  • Assist the Executive Team as needed.
  • Serve on project-based teams as needed.
  • Provide communication and information from Staff Council meetings to individual departments.
  • Respond to interim business between Staff Council meetings.

Past Co-Chairs (both immediate Co-Chairs)

  • Assists the current Co-Chair as needed in ex officio roles for the first year following their completion as Co-Chairs.

Article 6: Project- Based Teams

Project- based teams are created as needed to achieve or complete a specific project.  Under this structure, team gets to decide if there is additional work to focus on or if the team should be dissolved once a project is completed.  This allows representatives to align their work with their strengths and passions.

Article 7: Meetings and Agenda

Section 1.

The Staff Council will hold a monthly meeting designated by the executive team.  At the beginning of each year, (August meeting) the Staff Council will meet with the President of the University to establish a set of priorities for the Staff Council for the year.

Eight (8) members of the Staff Council shall constitute a quorum.

Section 2.

All meeting of the Staff Council shall be conducted in the following order:

  • Call to order
  • Roll call
  • Introduction of visitors
  • Approval of minutes of the previous meeting
  • Report from President and Provost
  • Old business
  • Reports
  • New business
  • Suggestion for the good of the order
  • Adjournment

Section 3.

Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a petition signed by at least one-half of the Staff Council representatives. When such a special meeting is called by a petition of the Staff Council, three days noticed must be given to all representatives of the Staff Council.

The Staff Council will work with the Office of the President to hold at least one open Staff Town Hall Meeting each year.  These meetings will be open to all staff and take place on or about the Mondays of the University Fall Break and/or Spring Break as designated on the academic calendar.  The Staff Council meeting the month following the Staff Town Hall Meeting will be open to all staff

Article 8: Amendments

Section 1.

Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of the full-time and permanent part-time (30 hours) University staff at any time but must be brought before the executive team for discussion and submitted to the Staff Council for consideration. Approval requires a two-thirds vote by the complete Staff Council. The President may elect to endorse or veto amendments to the bylaws. The decision of the President is final.