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Texas A&M University College of Engineering and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Staff Advisory Council Bylaws

Approved: June 6, 2014, by Dr. M. Katherine Banks
Revised: June 11, 2020
Revised: May 31, 2022
Revised: October 17, 2022
Revised: June 8, 2023

Article I. Purpose

The purpose of the Engineering Staff Advisory Council (ESAC) is to facilitate communication between the Staff of the College of Engineering, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, and the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering. Information received through the council channels will be shared with the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering.

  • The goal is to empower staff employees within the College of Engineering (CoE) and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), enhance their work environment and build a sense of community.
  • Centralized staff (i.e. facilities, information technology) who support the functional areas of Texas A&M Engineering will be served and represented by ESAC.

In order to achieve these goals, the council will:

  • Serve as a liaison and advisor to the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering on staff issues.
  • Listen, collect and respond to the ideas, concerns and suggestions regarding issues which pertain to all staff employees.
  • Convey these ideas, concerns and suggestions to the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering.
  • Improve and promote professional development, mentoring programs, and recognition opportunities for all staff.
  • Provide a conduit for information, such as procedural changes, concerning adjustments in policies and procedures within CoE and TEES.
  • The council does not replace the established channels for employee disputes handled by Human Resources & Payroll.

Article II. Membership

  • The council will consist of 19 benefit eligible members who:
    • Are a budgeted employee of CoE or TEES.
    • Are employed at 50% effort or more for at least 4.5 months out of the year.
    • Come from a multiplicity of units representative of the staff of CoE and TEES.
      • These include: CoE and/or TEES, support teams, remote campuses and/or other entities such as the college’s academic departments, engineering service offices, Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, Engineering Development Office, Engineering International Programs/Qatar Support Office, Engineering Academic and Student Affairs, Engineering Business Services, Engineering IT, and Engineering Communications, and others.
    • To be eligible for nomination and election to the council, the staff member must be able to make the time commitment and be in good standing with his or her unit.
    • The elected council members are expected to serve for a two-year term after the member has been voted into the council.
    • Members must take a one (1) year sabbatical before being eligible for re-election to the council. Former members may participate in council meetings as non-voting members.
    • Voting by TEES and CoE staff to fill vacancies created by members rotating off the council will take place annually in July.
      • Terms will begin August 1st of each year.
      • Terms will end September 30th of each year.
      • This allows a two-month period for onboarding and transmission of institutional knowledge between leaving members and new members to promote continuity across time.
      • Members who are rolling off will become ex-officio, non-voting members on August 1st of each year.
    • The Executive Director of Engineering Human Resources & Payroll, or their designee, will serve as an advisor to ESAC. This individual will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member and will be ESAC’s point of contact for communication to and from the Vice Chancellor & Dean, Director of TEES.
    • The Engineering Staff Ombudsperson(s) will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of ESAC.
    • When a vacancy occurs mid-term, a nominee may be selected by the executive committee to complete the remaining term. This partial term will not preclude the member from serving a two (2) year term.

Article III. Committees

A. Executive committee

  • The Council will have five (5) leadership positions to comprise the Executive Committee within the council:
    • Chair
    • Vice Chair
    • Secretary
    • Communications Coordinator
    • Treasurer
  • Whenever possible, the Secretary and Vice Chair positions shall be elected from amongst the upcoming second year members.
  • If elected to the Vice Chair position, the elected member commits to serving as Chair of the council during the subsequent year. Therefore, the Vice Chair position is by default a three-year commitment:
    • Year 1: Member
    • Year 2: Vice Chair
    • Year 3: Chair
  • At the end of every yearly cycle (June) the council shall present to the Vice Chancellor and Dean an account of all activities, functions, and spending held throughout the year. This report shall be prepared by the council Chair and the Executive committee.
  • If either of the positions of Vice Chair and / or Secretary have not been filled by a second-year member prior to the July meeting; a special internal election shall be held during the July monthly meeting in order to fill the vacant executive position.

B. Other committees

  • The council will be divided into committees addressing various topics and issues of importance to the staff such as: service, advocacy, development, engagement, and appreciation.
  • These committees will be reaffirmed at the July monthly meeting by simple majority vote of the council and be active through one entire year at minimum.
  • All members of the council are expected to actively participate in at least one committee and attend regularly scheduled committee meetings.
    • All members are expected to participate in the planning, preparation, and execution of the Annual Staff Workshop. Participation requirements will be determined by the current Staff Workshop Committee.
  • Among the committees established, there shall always be a Staff Workshop committee.
  • Whenever possible, the Committee Chair of an established committee will be a second year member of the council. When not possible, the executive committee reserves the right to approach those within the council who they feel are best suited to fulfill this role.

Article V. Quorums and Meetings

  • The meetings of the Engineering Staff Advisory Council will follow a simplified version of “Robert’s Rules of Order.”
    • Everyone has the right to participate in discussion if they wish, before anyone may speak a second time.
    • Everyone has the right to be well informed of all council discussions at all times. Only urgent matters may interrupt a speaker.
    • Only one motion can be discussed at any given time.
    • After a motion has been diligently discussed, a council vote should be called in order to approve it.
  • Meetings will be held monthly beginning in July.
    • All CoE & TEES staff are invited to attend the monthly meetings.
  • The last 15 minutes of every monthly meeting shall be reserved for a private meeting between committee chairs and the executive committee in order to address any urgent action items as deemed by the council.
    • These 15 minutes shall also be used for committee chairs to bring to the executive committee’s attention any and all upcoming events and functions during the planning process.
  • No event or ESAC sponsored function shall undergo a general council vote without having first been discussed with the Executive Committee.
    • Once an event or ESAC sponsored function has been discussed with the Executive Committee, it may be brought up to the council and passed by a simple majority vote.
  • The Chair has the right to call for special meetings outside of the regular meeting, whenever necessary.
  • Each council member will be allotted two (2) meeting absences per twelve-month period. If more than two (2) absences occur, the council will review the situation surrounding the absences and reserve the right to dismiss the member if the council so deems.
    • When absent, the council member shall notify the executive committee prior to the scheduled meeting.
  • The Vice Chair or designee will attend the University Staff Council meetings to keep the council apprised of university-wide issues.
  • The Chair or designee will attend the Department Head Council meetings to keep the council informed of issues that arise in various departments and units.
  • A Quorum will exist if there are two thirds of the members present at a called meeting.

Article VI: Provisions for Changes to the By-Laws

  • The by-laws may be changed by a simple majority vote of the council after due deliberation and discussion.
  • The motion for a proposed change or addition to the by-laws needs to be in writing and precisely worded, showing the difference between the current by-law and the wording of the new by-law.
  • Proposed changes should be sent in writing to executive committee prior to general discussion and vote of the council.