In 2004, a new Staff Council (SC) Charter was created through collaboration of the former Staff Council and the Office of the President in light of the new shared governance system put in place at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). The SC Charter is a broad statement of intent about SC’s mission and purpose and is meant to serve as a starting point for any discussion of elections.
SC elections were held in April, 2004, with the term of incoming SC members beginning in June 2004. The exiting SC members joined the first meeting in June to explain the Charter, their former roles, and debrief the incoming SC members. At this same meeting, the 20 new members elected officers and committee chairs; they also determined basic procedural rules (e.g., term length, meeting schedule, etc).
The new SC members agreed that two priorities must be balanced when considering term length and future elections, namely:
- Terms should be limited to foster new membership and participation by a variety of staff;
- Expiring terms should be staggered to ensure each year includes seasoned members for stability.
With these two goals in mind, the new members agreed to stagger elections (so only half of SC is new each year) and to forego elections in 2005 in order to establish stability. Annual elections would begin in April 2006, with the intention that each year going forward the two-year term of ten members would expire, resulting in ten newly elected members every year. During this incubation period the ten members who received the most votes would serve a three-year term (beginning in 2004, expiring in 2007), and the remaining ten members would serve a two-year term from 2004 to 2006. In the event of a vacancy, a replacement would be selected from the pool of alternates for the remainder of the original two-year term. The initial three-year term for half the members, and the decision not to have elections in 2005, was in recognition of the fact that SC was embarking on a new charter with entirely new members and that it would take some extra time to get things off the ground. The aforementioned recommendations were submitted to the President’s Office via SC’s liaison, the VP of HR, and approved by Fr. Garanzini.
In anticipation and planning of elections in April 2006, SC re-examined the length of terms to ensure a stable and viable council. SC agreed that, moving forward, a full term is two years for all SC members, regardless of officer/committee chair status. Terms will not be extended, though members can run for re-election after a one-year waiting period (exception: if an alternate serves less than one year before the term expires, he/she may run in the next election). SC will hold annual elections, with the anticipation of replacing approximately 10 vacancies per year. To offset 2006 vacancies due to initial development period, workload, personal issues, etc., SC will retain up to 10 current members interested in serving one (1) additional year of service which will expire in 2007, upon vote of SC at March 14th meeting. If a past chair is no longer a member, he/she may be asked to serve as a resource (not voting member) to SC for one year to assist with transition.