UT Staff Council Bylaws and SOP

Bylaws (as of 3/21/2024)

  1. Name
    1. The name of this organization shall be The University of Texas at Austin Staff Council, hereafter referred to as UTSC.
  2.  UTSC Constituents
    1. Constituents. UTSC constituents are state benefits-eligible employees in staff positions within Classified and Administrative & Professional job families not listed below. Students and tenured/tenure-track faculty are represented by their own Councils and therefore excluded from UTSC representation.  Ineligible positions include 1) student positions, 2) faculty positions, 3) certain high-level positions, and 4) non-standard positions (e.g., temporary and seasonal).
      1. Composition and Demographics. UT Austin is divided into Districts. Each District has one UTSC Representative per approximately 100 constituents. At-Large Representatives may be appointed to UTSC to supplement representation needs.
      2. District Review. District composition will be formally reviewed in terms beginning in odd numbered years, or as needed. The UTSC Parliamentarian shall chair the committee charged with the review.
  3. Organization
    1. Representatives
      1. District Representative
        1. Term of Office. A full term for a District Representative shall be two years. A partial term for a District Representative occurs when the seat for which the Representative is elected expires in less than two years.
        2. District Seat Cycle. Every District Seat is designated with an expiration year based on the seat number. The day and time of expiration will always be understood as taking place at the end of the May General Meeting. 
          1. Exception: Vacant seats will always be eligible for election in the upcoming annual election.
        3. Service Limit. 
          1. Representatives cannot run for a District Seat after serving five consecutive years. A Representative who has reached their service limit must wait a minimum of 12 months before running again for a District Seat.
          2. No Representative can serve more than 6 years without waiting a minimum of 12 months before running for a District Seat.
          3. Exemption from Service Limit. If a District Seat vacancy exists after a call for nominations, a Representative who has reached their service limit may be nominated to run for an additional 12 months. Once this additional term has been served, the Representative must wait a minimum of 12 months before running for a District Seat. This cannot exceed the 6-year limit.
        4. Change in Employment 
          1. If an elected Representative accepts a UT Austin position outside of their District to which they were elected or the Representative no longer meets the constituent criteria for UT Staff Council, they will be permitted to serve until the coming May. A Representative who accepts a UT Austin position with a job title that is not represented by UTSC is able to complete their service ending in the coming May.
          2. Upon the end of their employment at UT Austin, a Representative can no longer serve in UTSC and will inform the UTSC Parliamentarian.
          3. A Representative who is taking an extended absence will inform the UTSC Secretary.
        5. Vacancy. If a District Seat is vacant, an At-Large Representative will represent that district’s constituents.
        6. Removal. When warranted, UTSC can remove a Representative from their position. Removal requires two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee’s approval.
      2. At-Large Representative. At its discretion, the Executive Committee shall appoint At-Large Representatives to serve under-represented Districts.
        1. Term of Office. A term for an At-Large Representative shall be one year.
        2. Service Limit. An At-Large Representative is eligible for reappointment, subject to the same limit as a District Representative.
        3. An At-Large Representative’s term will start immediately upon confirmation by the Executive Committee and concludes at the end of the May General Meeting.
        4. Exception: UTSC Officer-elect without a District Seat. If a UTSC Officer-elect is not elected to a District Seat, they automatically assume an At-Large Representative Seat.
    2. UTSC Officers
      1. Titles
        1. UTSC Chair
        2. UTSC Vice-Chair
        3. UTSC Secretary
        4. UTSC Parliamentarian
      2. Term
        1. UTSC Officer-elect. UTSC Officer-elect begins their shadowing period after the votes from the election have been certified.
        2. The end of the May General Meeting marks the end of the term for the incumbent UTSC Officer.
      3. Recall. When warranted, UTSC can remove a UTSC Officer from their position.
    3. UTSC Program Coordinator. Provides institutional knowledge and organizational support to UTSC Officers, Committee Chairs, and committee members so that they are able to work efficiently and strategically to meet goals and priorities.
  4. UTSC General Meetings
    1. Meetings. Shall occur monthly.
    2. Quorum. Met when more than one-half of the current Representatives are in attendance
    3. Voting. Only current Representatives shall have the right to vote.
  5. UTSC Committees
    1.  Standing Committees
      1. Creation and dissolution. An amendment of the Bylaws is required.
      2. Standing Committees 
        1. Benefits
        2. Communication
        3. Engagement and Belonging
        4. Health and Wellness
        5. Issues and Research
        6. Professional Development
        7. Sustainability
    2. Ad Hoc Committees
      1. Creation and Dissolution. An Ad Hoc Committee will be appointed by the Executive Committee if a matter does not fit within the purview of a current  Standing or Ad Hoc Committee. The duration will be determined by the matter under consideration and will be dissolved when its purpose has been served.
    3. UTSC Executive Committee
      1. Purpose. The Executive Committee is UTSC’s primary governing body.
      2. Composition. Shall consist of:
        1. Voting members. UTSC Officers and Committee Chairs
        2. Non-voting members. UTSC Officers-Elect, the UTSC Program Coordinator, and the UT Austin delegates serving on the UT System Employee Advisory Council.
      3. Meetings. Shall occur monthly. Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed.
  6. UTSC Annual Elections
    1. UTSC Officers
      1. Eligibility
        1. A current UTSC Representative is eligible to run if they are anticipated to have served for a full year or have already served a full year by the upcoming term start date.
        2. A current UTSC Representative is eligible to run if they have not reached their service limit as a UTSC Representative by the expected UTSC Officer upcoming term start date.
        3. Incumbents shall have the right to stand for re-election.
        4. Nominees may only run for one UTSC Officer position per election.
      2. Term. The year long term begins at the end of the May General Meeting through the end of the following year’s May General Meeting. UTSC Officers-elect shadow the incumbent UTSC Officers up until the beginning of their terms.
      3. Vacancy. Replacement of a UTSC Officer shall occur by special election.
    2. District Representatives
      1. Eligibility. Current UTSC Constituents may run to be a District Representative for their district in the annual election. They may run if they have not reached their service limit as a Representative.
      2. Nomination. A formal nomination period shall occur for any seat that is or will become vacant in May.
        1. Within the same district, any constituent shall have the right to self-nominate and or/nominate another constituent.
      3. Voting. Shall occur in the spring semester and end no later than the last day of April.
        1. All UTSC constituents shall have the right to vote for the candidate/s running in their district.
        2. The number of election winners in each district shall not exceed the number of vacancies in the district. Candidates are elected based on total vote counts for each candidate, and seats are awarded to candidates who received the most votes in their election. In the event of a tie, a runoff election will be conducted.
      4. Certification. The results of the election must be certified by the UTSC Officers no later than seven business days from the close of voting.
  7. Parliamentary Authority. Parliamentary procedure as delineated in Rosenberg’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings except where the UTSC Bylaws specify otherwise.
  8. Standard Operating Procedures. The SOP shall work in concert with these Bylaws.
  9. Dissolution. Dissolution of UTSC would take place if in receipt of a petition of 1/3 of the constituents followed by a vote with 2/3 of the constituents in agreement.


UTSC Bylaws were first adopted based on an affirmative vote by a majority of UTSC Representatives at a special meeting on January 31, 2002, and became effective at the close of the meeting on January 31, 2002.

The Bylaws were amended by an affirmative vote by a majority of UTSC Representatives on: April 21, 2011, April 17, 2014, March 22, 2018, July 11, 2019, February 17, 2022, March 24, 2022, and March 21, 2024. The Bylaws were amended on December 15, 2023 after following the procedure outlined in SOP Section 10.B.


Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) (as of 3/21/2024)

  1. Representatives
    1. Use of Work Time. Representatives will be afforded at least four (4) hours per month of their normal work schedule to work on UTSC-related activities. This time will be considered normal work time.
    2. Responsibilities
      1. Attend UTSC General meetings, either in person or virtually.
      2. Be available to their constituents. They shall be willing to hear concerns, to receive information and suggestions, and to communicate these effectively to the UTSC.
      3. Keep their constituents informed of relevant UTSC work and matters the university leadership communicates to the UTSC that may be relevant to their constituents.
      4. Serve on one UTSC Committee. UTSC Officers and UTSC Committee Chairs may serve on more than one committee.
      5. Adhere to the UTSC Bylaws.
        1. When representing UTSC, it is the duty of all Representatives to adhere to the UTSC Bylaws and to uphold the reputation of UTSC. Any claim that a Representative has abused or misused their position in any way shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee and, after consultation with the individual or individuals involved, the Executive Committee may take a two-thirds majority vote to rescind membership.
      6. Follow guidance and procedures for Campus Security Authorities as defined in the Clery Act.
    3. Resignation. Should a Representative wish to resign, they submit their resignation to the UTSC Secretary.
  2. UTSC Officers
    1. UTSC Chair
      1. Act as principal steering official of UTSC.
      2. Act as the primary liaison between UTSC and university leadership.
      3. Hold primary media authority to issue public statements on behalf of UTSC.
        1. At the UTSC Chair’s discretion, the UTSC Vice-Chair shall have the right to speak on behalf of UTSC.
        2. Representatives shall reserve the right to voice individual opinions but shall not speak on behalf of UTSC.
      4. Preside over UTSC General Meetings and Executive Committee meetings.
      5. Appoint Representatives or constituents as members of committees internal to the university.
      6. Cast a tie-breaking vote in General Meeting if necessary.
      7. Enjoy considerable latitude in carrying out their duties.
    2. UTSC Vice-Chair
      1. Work closely with the UTSC Chair to assist in leading UTSC.
      2. Preside over UTSC General Meetings in the absence of the UTSC Chair.
      3. Hold secondary media authority to issue public statements on behalf of UTSC.
      4. Provides oversight and guidance to committees as needed.
      5. Track the issues and reports discussed with the university president. Any results or actions taken based upon these reports shall be presented to the UTSC at the next regularly-scheduled General Meeting.
    3. UTSC Secretary
      1. Compile accurate and impartial minutes of UTSC General Meetings.
      2. When warranted or requested, verify minutes of meetings for accuracy via comparison with the officially maintained UTSC recording.
      3. Distribute minutes of the preceding UTSC General Meeting to all Representatives in a timely manner.
      4. Record and maintain attendance records for General Meetings.
      5. Inform UTSC Parliamentarian about Representative leave of absence and resignation.
      6. Serve as UTSC Chair Pro-Tempore in case of UTSC Chair and UTSC Vice-Chair vacancies until a special election is held.
    4. UTSC Parliamentarian
      1. It shall be the express responsibility of the UTSC Parliamentarian to ensure fair and impartial elections.
        1. UTSC Representative Annual Election
          1. Announce information regarding nomination, service eligibility, and voting procedures and timeframes to constituents and Representatives about Representative Annual Election.
      2. UTSC Officer Annual Election
        1. Communicate to Representatives about UTSC Officer Annual Election.
        2. Select a panel of at least three current university staff members to certify votes for the UTSC Officer election who are:
          1. Not Representatives.
          2. Endorsed by at least a two-thirds vote of the UTSC when a quorum is present.
        3. In the event the UTSC Parliamentarian is nominated to run for an officer role
          1. The UTSC Parliamentarian may not run the election.
          2. The Executive Committee is charged with selecting a member of the Executive Committee to run the election if the UTSC Parliamentarian cannot run the election.
      3. Ensure that these rules are followed in this order:
        1. The UTSC Bylaws and SOP;
        2. Rosenberg’s Rules of Order;
        3. UTSC precedent if deemed appropriate
      4. Respond to questions pertaining to the rules of order during meetings, providing explanations or advice but not rulings, which are always made by the presiding officer.
      5. Maintain an accurate and current copy of the UTSC Bylaws and SOP.
      6. In the event the UTSC Bylaws and/or SOP require revision, the UTSC Parliamentarian shall act as UTSC Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee formed by the Executive Committee.
      7. Inform District Representatives of Representative resignations and leaves of absence in their District. If the District is unrepresented, an At-Large Representative is assigned to the district.
  3. UTSC Program Coordinator
    1. Fulfills all job duties outlined in the position’s official job description.
    2. Sits on all UTSC committees as a non-voting ex officio member.
  4. Officer Life Cycle
    1. Eligibility. A UTSC Representative may run for an officer role if upon election they would not be exceeding six consecutive years of service.
    2. Nomination
      1. A UTSC Representative can nominate themselves or another UTSC Representative.
      2. The nomination period begins the day of the January General Meeting and ends at 5pm (CST) the Monday of the week of the February General Meeting.
    3. Voting.
      1. Opens the day of the February General Meeting and closes no more than 5 days later.
      2. Officers shall be elected by a quorum of UTSC Representatives. Voting shall occur with a ranked-choice voting system.
    4. Certification. The results of the election must be certified by the vote counters no later than the last day of February.
    5. Recall. The Council shall retain the option to request the resignation of a UTSC Officer who does not reliably discharge the responsibilities of their office. A simple difference of opinion shall not be construed as either inability or failure of the requirements of their office.
      1. The recommendation to request a UTSC Officer’s resignation may be posed from the Council floor in general session.
      2. A two-thirds majority in a UTSC general session when a quorum is present shall be required to request a UTSC Officer’s resignation. If two-thirds of those present vote to request an Officer’s resignation:
        1. That office shall immediately be considered vacant. If there is a UTSC Officer-elect, the UTSC Officer-elect shall assume the role immediately. If there is not, the next order of business shall be the election of an interim UTSC Officer.
        2. The UTSC Officer requested to resign shall be ineligible to stand for interim re-election.
  5. UTSC Executive Committee
    1. Quorum. Met when more than one-half of its voting members are in attendance.
    2. Responsibilities.
      1. Recommend agenda items and guest speakers for UTSC General Meetings.
      2. Determine if a special meeting is necessary.
        1. Call and schedule a special meeting.
        2. Establish an agenda.
        3. Reasonable effort to announce the subject(s), time, and place shall precede a special meeting.
      3. Monitor and augment the progress of issues submitted to UTSC and/or delegated to internal committees by UTSC, in cooperation with the Issues and Research Committee.
      4. Recommend action to the UTSC.
      5. Develop plans of varying scope (both limited-range and long-term) to further all UTSC objectives.
      6. Help to foster bi-directional communication between constituents and university leadership.
      7. Invited Guests. As warranted, the Executive Committee may invite selected Representatives, non-affiliated experts, and/or advisors to attend its meetings.
        1. Such guests serve strictly as consultants to provide special information and insight at the Executive Committee’s behest.
        2. These guests hold no voting rights on the Executive Committee and may be requested to excuse themselves at any point.
      8. Minutes. Minutes of the Executive Committee’s meetings shall be created by the Program Coordinator.
  6. UTSC Standing Committees
    1. Purpose. All UTSC Standing Committees exist and operate subject to the oversight and will of UTSC as a whole. Standing Committee work shall be prioritized based on UTSC’s core values.
    2. Members. Representatives state preferences for Standing Committee service.
    3. UTSC’s Standing Committee Chairs. 
      1. Responsibilities
        1. Solicit agenda items from committee.
        2. Communicate the agenda in advance of the committee’s monthly meeting..
        3. Lead meetings democratically.
        4. Serve on the Executive Committee.
        5. Reports. Reports on the committee’s work will be made monthly during the Executive Committee meeting, periodically during the UTSC General Meeting, and annually to university leadership prior to the end of the term in May.
        6. At the Committee Chair's request, the UTSC Vice-Chair may temporarily assume their responsibilities in their absence during the committee's meeting or Executive Committee meeting.
      2. Election. The committee will elect its Committee Chair for the coming term prior to the end of the current term in May.
        1. No Representative may chair more than one Standing Committee.
        2. If a committee chair position is unoccupied, the UTSC Vice-Chair will appoint a temporary committee chair who will serve until an election can be held by the associated committee's members.
    4. Meetings. Shall meet regularly, preferably at least monthly.
  7. UTSC Ad Hoc Committees
    1. Purpose. Each Ad Hoc Committee shall accept the charge assigned to it by the Executive Committee.
    2. Members. Members shall be appointed by the UTSC Officers and the Ad Hoc Committee’s Chair.
    3. Chair. The Ad Hoc Committee Chair will be appointed by the UTSC Officers.
      1. Responsibilities.
        1. Make regular progress reports on its activities to the Executive Committee;
        2.  Submit a final written report at the time of the established deadline.
    4. Meetings. Shall meet as needed.
    5. Dissolution. Shall be dissolved by the Executive Committee once its charge has been fulfilled.
  8. UTSC General Meetings
    1. Publicity. The next General Meeting time and place shall be announced at each General Meeting; reminders shall follow. Timely communication about a postponed, rescheduled, or cancelled General Meeting shall occur.
    2. Scheduling Exceptions. The Chair shall have the right to initiate postponement or cancellation of a General Meeting.
      1. The Executive Committee shall determine whether to cancel or reschedule a postponed General Meeting. The vote may be taken asynchronously.
      2. The Chair shall have the right to call a special meeting to consider emergent topic(s).
    3. Duration. Except for a special meeting, General Meetings shall be slated for ninety minutes from the start time.
    4. Agenda.
      1. The UTSC Officers shall establish the agenda for each General Meeting.
      2. Invited guests will be approved by the UTSC Officers.
      3. The agenda shall be communicated in advance to all Representatives.
      4. Items of Business. The order of these items is at the discretion of the UTSC Chair.
        1. Call to order
        2. UTSC Chair’s report
          1. General announcements.
          2. Welcome and/or introduction of guests.
        3. UTSC Vice-Chair’s report
        4. UTSC Secretary’s report
          1. Approval of minutes from previous General Meeting.
        5. Presentation by any invited guest(s).
        6. Committee reports, when appropriate, to include:
          1. General announcements.
          2. Progress made toward committee goals.
          3. Issues blocking progress toward committee goals.
        7. Unfinished business
        8. New business
        9. Adjournment
    5. Floor Privileges. 
      1. Only Representatives shall have the right to:
        1. Make and second motions.
        2. Introduce resolutions, proposals, or measures.
        3. Vote.
      2. A General Meeting attendee who is not a Representative may be recognized and granted permission to speak.
    6. Minutes. Records of UTSC General Meetings shall be available for perusal. A monthly summary of approved minutes shall be provided to all constituents.
  9. Budget
    1. UTSC expenditures are approved by the UTSC Chair, and, when appropriate, in consultation with UTSC officers and/or the UTSC Executive Committee.
  10. Amendments to Bylaws and SOP
    1. Proposed changes to the Bylaws and SOP that are definitional in nature and alter the intention of the text are considered amendments. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws and SOP can be brought to the attention of the Executive Committee or can be introduced at any UTSC General Meeting at which a quorum is present. These steps must be followed in this order: 1) Proposed amendments must be distributed in writing by the Parliamentarian to Representatives no later than five working days prior to the next scheduled General Meeting; 2) The proposed amendment is placed on the agenda at the next scheduled General Meeting.
    2. Proposed changes to grammar or spelling that do not alter the intention of the text or any changes that must be made due to state or federal regulation must be brought to the attention of the Executive Committee. These steps must be followed in this order: 1) Parliamentarian communicates proposed change to Representatives and invites comment during a specified period; 2) If no comments are received, the proposed changes are implemented and then communicated in writing to Representatives; 3) Any comments provided by Representatives will be addressed by the Executive Committee.
    3. Review. The Bylaws and SOP should be formally reviewed in terms beginning in even numbered years, or as needed. The Parliamentarian shall chair the committee charged with the review.
    4. After each amendment to the UTSC Bylaws a full copy shall be archived for historical reference.
  11. Dissolution. When in receipt of a petition calling for UTSC’s dissolution, the Executive Committee coordinates the vote with a neutral third party.


UTSC Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) was first adopted based on an affirmative vote by a majority of UTSC Representatives during the February 17, 2022 General Meeting.

The SOP was amended by an affirmative vote by a majority of UTSC Representatives on March 24, 2022, November 16, 2023, and March 21, 2024.