Bylaws of the University Staff Advisory Committee of The Ohio State University

Revised June 2013


  1. NAME
  2. The name of the committee shall be the University Staff Advisory Committee, referred to herein as “USAC.” Its subcommittees include:  the executive committee (“executive”), the governance subcommittee (“governance”), the outreach and engagement subcommittee (“O&E”), and the staff compensation and benefits subcommittee (“SCBS”).
  4. USAC was formed in 1986 with a mission to serve as an advisory body to the university president by maintaining an active and participatory line of communication with the community; to provide a forum through which university staff can raise, discuss, and make recommendations; and to support the university’s mission. USAC comprises no more than 30 classified and unclassified staff members.
    1. The membership of USAC shall be limited to 30 members appointed by the president, but recommended by the USAC new member task force. The president will appoint ex-officio members at their discretion.
    2. Demographics
      1. The membership of USAC shall be selected from university classified and unclassified staff in non-bargaining units. USAC shall make a good faith effort to achieve a diverse membership maintaining a balance from each classification.
      2. The appointed ex-officio members of USAC shall be from offices determined by the president.
    3. Term of Service
  1. A full term is three years. In no event shall any member serve longer than three consecutive years, including the balance of any unexpired term initially assumed. This is with the one exception of the chair-elect (V. B. vi. b.). There shall be a minimum twelve-month waiting period before any member who has served a full term can be eligible for reappointment to USAC.
    1. Former Member Participation
  2. Former members are defined as members who have completed at least one full year of service on USAC. At the discretion of the chair former members may participate in new or ongoing business internal to USAC and may be appointed as representatives to university committees and task forces. Former members shall not have voting privileges, nor serve as an officer or in a chair capacity within USAC.
    1. Eligibility
  3. Any university staff member with two years of continuous regular staff service, with an FTE of 75% or higher at the time of active membership (July 1), who is not covered by a bargaining agreement, nor is a member of a union represented at the university, is eligible for membership.
  4. USAC may appoint one staff member from a regional campus who is paid through a cost shared appointment. If appointed, the cost shared staff member must be a 75% FTE during their time as an active USAC member.
    1. Attendance
  5. Members are expected to attend all USAC and subcommittee meetings. In the event a member cannot attend a USAC meeting they must contact the vice chair/treasurer-recorder at least 24 hours in advance, when possible. In the event a member cannot attend a subcommittee meeting, they must contact the chair of the subcommittee at least 24 hours in advance, when possible. Should any member exceed two unexcused absence (business meetings and subcommittee meetings), the chair may request the assistance of the Office of Human Resources. The vice president of Human Resources will then contact both the employee and his/her supervisor in an attempt to facilitate a resolution. If a resolution cannot be attained, a removal may be pursued (see III. H.).
  6. Notification of non-attendance for the following reasons shall constitute an excused absence:
    1. Illness or injury (self or family member)
    2. Long-term medical leave
    3. Family death
    4. Work requirements that are unforeseeable and require immediate attention (workload or meeting conflicts are not considered valid excuses in and of themselves)
    5. Other university recognized absences
  • When long-term medical leave is necessary, the member may either:
  1. Provide written documentation that he or she will be able to return and have the intention to return to full membership responsibilities upon returning to work; or
  2. Provide written documentation of leave and re-assess their ability to return to full membership at the completion of their leave.
  3. If the member intends not to return or if membership is no longer feasible, the member may at any time resign from USAC (III. G.).
    1. Resignations
  4. Any member wishing to resign from USAC shall submit his/her resignation, in writing, to the president of the university and the chair.
    1. Removals
  5. Members are expected to attend all meetings. A member of USAC may be removed from membership for any of the following:
  6. Two unexcused absences at USAC meetings within a fiscal year; or
  7. Excessive use or abuse of the attendance policy (III. F.) as deemed by the executive committee; or
  8. Non-attendance at subcommittee meetings (for the purposes of these bylaws, non-attendance will be defined as two unexcused absences); or
  9. Non-attendance at special events; or
  10. Non-participation on USAC or subcommittee assignments; or
  11. Other causes as determined by USAC whenever, in its judgment, the best interests of the university would be served.
  12. The subcommittee chair will address non-attendance and/or non-participation on subcommittees. If the problem persists, the subcommittee chair will refer the situation to the executive committee. When informed of non-compliance of any member, the executive committee will investigate and, if warranted, discuss the situation with the member. The executive committee will then decide whether the member should be removed from USAC. If a member is to be removed, the chair will notify the member in writing of the decision. Upon notification, the member has five business days to appeal. If the member appeals the decision, the matter goes to USAC, at the next business meeting, where:
  13. The floor will be opened for discussion of the situation;
  14. The member will be afforded the opportunity to respond; and
  15. A secret ballot will be cast to determine reinstatement to USAC by simple majority vote.
  16. If a member is reinstated to USAC by majority vote, the reason for removal for that member shall remain intact. If the member incurs another reason for removal or continues to be non-compliant with USAC bylaws during the fiscal year, the matter shall be referred to the executive committee for final decision regarding removal. The member will not be given an opportunity to respond to the full committee and the full committee will not vote on removal.
  17. If the absence of an appeal or if the appeal is denied, the member will be removed effective immediately.
    1. Filling of Vacancies
  18. The executive committee may activate one of the following procedures to fill any vacant positions. USAC must approve these recommendations by majority vote:
  19. Recommend a staff member from the membership alternate pool; in the event an alternate is unavailable to fulfill the commitment;
  20. Defer to the executive committee the responsibility of recommending to USAC a former member who has served a full term and has been off USAC for twelve months. The executive committee may recommend a current member serving less than a full term for the appointment to an unexpired term as follows:
    1. The total length of time served shall not exceed three consecutive years, with one exception (V. B. vi. b.).
    2. The member must be approved by USAC by majority vote.
    3. The executive committee may recommend a current member to temporarily or permanently fill executive committee positions in the case of the current member needing a temporary but long-term recess from the position for medical, personal, or other reasons.
    4. The total length of the time served in the temporary capacity shall not exceed the term of the vacancy being filled or the term of the replacement member;
    5. This person must be approved by the USAC by majority vote.
  21. Loss of Employment
  1. In the event a member becomes displaced as a result of a reduction in force or layoff the following will apply:
  2. The displaced member will no longer be able to serve in an official capacity as a member.
  3. For a period of 60 days USAC will function with one less member. Therefore, providing time for the member who was displaced to search for new employment within the university and in turn regain their membership. After 60 days an alternate may be selected to fulfill the original member’s general membership term. When filling a vacant position the executive committee will activate one of the following procedures, each of which must be approved by USAC by majority vote:
    1. Recommend a staff member from the membership alternate pool; in the event an alternate is unavailable to fulfill the commitment;
    2. Recommend a former member who has served a full term and has been off USAC for twelve months;
    3. Recommend not fill the vacant position;
  4. In the event the original member finds new employment with the university within 60 days of his/her effective displacement date, the original member shall be re-instated upon the first day of employment.
  5. If the member served as a subcommittee chair, the vacancy will be filled by the vice-chair of that subcommittee who will serve as interim chair of the subcommittee, immediately upon absence of the displaced member. In the event the displaced member regains employment with the university within 60 days of his/her loss of employment, the member will be permitted to regain his/her role as the subcommittee chair. Otherwise, the interim chair will serve the remainder of the vacant chair term. In the event that the vice-chair cannot serve in the interim role, or if the vice-chair position subsequently needs filled, initial consideration to will go to the current members of the subcommittee. In the event more than one member of the subcommittee expresses an interest the appointment must be approved by the executive committee.
  6. Any appointment held by the displaced member on an external committee will remain vacant for a period of 60 days. After that time has passed, a call for nominations may be sent to current and former members. If there is no other USAC member currently seated, either the chair or vice-chair of governance will step in until the vacancy is filled or the member regains employment.
  7. If the displaced member holds voting privileges on an external committee, a senior and current non-voting member representing USAC on the external committee will obtain voting privileges, per external committee approval.
    1. The New Member Task Force (referred to within section IV as “the task force”), to be chaired by the chair-elect, shall review all applications filed and make recommendations to USAC. For each USAC opening, the task force shall present one nominee.
    2. A USAC application must be filed with the task force, which will screen and review all applications.
    3. The task force will submit to USAC one nominee for each USAC opening and a list of alternates in priority order, which shall stay in place until the next selection process occurs.
    4. All nominees and alternates must be approved by USAC by a simple majority vote.
    5. The task force will submit USAC’s recommendations to the president for approval.
    6. Upon receipt of the president’s approval, the task force will be disbanded.
    7. In the event that a third year member is elected as chair elect, that member’s term will be extended to four years (V. B. vi. b.). The number of new members selected during these times may be adjusted to allow for a membership level of no more than thirty.
    1. USAC officers shall be a chair, chair-elect, vice chair/treasurer-recorder, and vice chair/communications
    2. Elections
      1. Election Task Force
        1. The Officer Election Task Force (referred to in section V as “the task force”) of no more than three third year members will be appointed by the chair no later than the first meeting of January. The task force will solicit names of members wishing to hold executive committee positions.
        2. The task force will distribute election packets to USAC members at least one week prior to the date selected for elections. The packets will contain the following information as submitted by the nominees:
          1. A résumé or vitae providing information about their experience on campus, past committee and task force service at Ohio State including USAC committees, and an indication of their skills, etc.
          2. A statement (about 200 but not longer than 300 words) about their platform for running (e.g., why they want to be an officer and/or anything else they would like to share with USAC.)
          3. Acknowledgement that they have carefully considered the time commitments their proposed office would require, and that their present supervisor agrees that accommodations can be made to permit the nominee to perform the duties of that office.
        3. Following the elections, the task force will be disbanded.
      2. Election Procedures
        1. The election of officers shall take place by secret ballot at a USAC meeting no later than May 1. During this meeting, candidates will briefly address USAC. Officers shall be elected by:
          1. A preliminary secret ballot (if there are two or more candidates for an office) that will determine the candidates receiving a plurality of votes. If one candidate receives a majority of votes cast by the quorum, that candidate is elected and no further balloting for that office will be necessary.
          2. In the event of a tie, USAC will hold a subsequent vote.
          3. In the event no one receives at least 50% of the vote, USAC will hold a subsequent vote between the two candidates who received the most votes. Both candidates will be given the opportunity to address a specified topic to the entire membership for a second time.
          4. A final secret ballot will determine the successful candidate by majority vote.
          5. Absentee ballots should be forwarded to the chair of the Officer Election Task Force prior to the meeting when elections take place. These ballots will be submitted as votes in the preliminary ballot.
  • Officer Terms
    1. Officers shall serve for a term of one year. Terms of service begin July 1 of each year.
  1. Re-Election
    1. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder and the vice chair/communications positions may be re-elected to the same office.
    2. The position of chair-elect will be held by a second or third year member, with the understanding that the chair-elect will assume the role of chair for the consecutive term upon successful completion of the chair-elect term. If a third year member fills the chair-elect position, that member’s term will be extended to four years.
    3. If the current chair-elect is unable to assume the role of chair in the consecutive term, or otherwise fulfill the duties required of the position, the executive committee will act to fill the vacant position by means of the following procedure:
      1. The executive committee will seek nominations for the vacant chair position from USAC. If only one member applies for chair consideration, the executive committee may vote to approve the member.
      2. If more than one candidate seeks nomination to the chair position, the executive committee will bring the nominees forward to USAC for final vote. If the chair position goes to vote, the following steps will be implemented:
        1. The nominees will submit a statement summarizing their platform for running and acknowledgement that they are aware of the time commitment involved with their service as USAC chair within one week of the declaration of intent.
        2. The nominees will submit approval from their supervisors acknowledging the time commitment involved with the position of USAC chair, and verify that their supervisor agrees to the accommodations that will be necessary for the nominee to perform the duties of that office prior to full committee vote.
        3. The nominees will be given the opportunity to address USAC during the next available business meeting about their platform and intent to perform the duties of chair.
        4. After the nominees have addressed the group, a final secret ballot will be held to determine the successful candidate by majority vote.
      3. Resignation
        1. Upon the resignation of the chair, the chair-elect will assume the chair’s duties for the balance of the term.
        2. Upon the resignation and/or vacancy of the chair-elect, vice chair/treasurer-recorder, or vice chair/communications office, the chair will temporarily delegate this office to a member, and take nominations from the floor in preparation for an election to be held during the next regular meeting. The normal election procedures (V. B. ii.) will be followed with elections to be completed within one month of the resignation.
        3. Upon the concurrent resignations of the chair and chair-elect, the executive committee will meet in special session to appoint an acting chair.
      4. Officers’ Duties
        1. Chair
          1. The chair shall preside at all USAC meetings and executive committee, with guidance from, but not necessarily in accordance with, the principles of Roberts Rules of Order, New Revised.
          2. The chair will be the spokesperson for USAC in any official matters.
          3. The chair will provide leadership to the executive committee and USAC.
          4. The chair shall be an ex-officio member of all subcommittees and task forces except the Officer Election Task Force.
          5. The chair, in conjunction with the chair-elect, vice chair/treasurer-recorder, vice chair/communications and subcommittee chairs, is responsible for the creation of the USAC budget and approval of expenditures.
          6. In addition to the duties listed above, the chair is to attend the following meetings and events: University Senate, Senate Steering, Board of Trustees meetings, university commencements, welcome/special event receptions, Breakfasts with the President, staff conversations, bowl games, and others as requested by university leadership.
        2. Chair-elect
          1. The chair-elect will act in place of the chair when the chair is absent.
          2. The chair-elect will act as liaison between the subcommittees.
          3. The chair-elect will oversee USAC calendar.
          4. The chair-elect will act as the liaison regarding the Staff Arts and Crafts Exhibit.
          5. The chair-elect will chair the New Member Task Force.
          6. The chair-elect will be responsible for new member orientation.
          7. The chair-elect will be responsible for new member mid-year review.
          8. The chair-elect will be responsible for other duties as assigned by the chair.
        3. Vice chair/treasurer-recorder
          1. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for preparing and distributing the agenda by noon on the day prior to all regular meetings, special meetings and executive committee meetings.
          2. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for recording the minutes of all regular and special meetings and submitting them for approval at the next regular meeting.
          3. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will act in place of the chair when both chair and chair-elect are absent.
          4. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for monitoring the attendance policy. Issues regarding attendance will be handled by the chair.
          5. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for preparing the annual budget with the assistance of the chair. The predicted expenditures from each subcommittee chair should provide the basis for the preparation of the annual budget for review and approval.
          6. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for submitting the annual budget to the executive committee for review and USAC for approval.
          7. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for monitoring the status of the budget.
          8. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will provide a quarterly budget report at executive committee and regular USAC meetings. The budget report shall be reviewed and approved by the executive committee.
          9. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for submitting requests for expenditures to the executive committee for approval.
          10. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for any other fiduciary tasks or duties as assigned by the chair.
          11. The vice chair/treasurer-recorder will be responsible for any other duties as assigned by the chair.
        4. Vice chair/communications
      5. The vice chair/communications will be responsible for the dissemination of USAC’s messages to its designated audiences.
      6. The vice chair/communications will be responsible for maintaining archives.
      7. The vice chair/communications will distribute to each new member a packet of materials including USAC’s charge from the president, a brief summary outlining how USAC and its subcommittees function, and copies of all major reports from the previous year.
      8. The vice chair/communications will be responsible for keeping up-to-date accurate records on the USAC website.
      9. The vice chair/communications shall coordinate all technology needs – including assistance from OIT and/or the Digital Union – and other resources for USAC-sponsored Conversations with the President and/or other necessary events.
      10. The vice chair/communications will be assisted by the communications associate that is appointed from within the outreach and engagement subcommittee.
      11. The vice chair/communications will be responsible for any other duties as assigned by the chair.
      12. MEETINGS
        1. Business Meetings
          1. USAC shall convene twice per month in regularly scheduled mandatory meetings. The chair will have the option of cancelling any meeting at his/her discretion.
          2. A quorum shall consist of the chair or chair-elect and a majority of the membership. A motion brought before USAC shall need a majority of the quorum to pass.
  • The purpose of the meeting is to conduct regular committee business, including:
    1. Executive committee updates
    2. Subcommittee reporting and updates
    3. Invited guest speakers to present updates on pertinent university business
    4. Proposed policy review and discussion
    5. Other business at the discretion of the chair
  1. An agenda of each business meeting will be distributed by noon on the day prior to each business meeting by the vice chair/treasurer-recorder.
  2. Minutes documenting voting and discussion of each meeting will be recorded by the vice chair/treasurer-recorder and submitted for approval at the next meeting.
  1. Executive Meetings
  1. See VII. I. i.
    1. Special Meetings
  2. The chair shall be authorized to call special meetings. The purpose of the meeting will be stated in the call. Except in the case of an emergency, five business days’ notice shall be given to all members.
    1. Virtual Meetings
  3. The chair, or chair-elect in his/her absence, shall be authorized to call virtual meetings using computer-mediated communications (CMC) with at least two business days’ notice.
  4. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the CMC.
  • At the specified time of the meeting, the chair will call for discussion of the topic.
  1. At the chair’s discretion, a motion shall be made after the chair determines that the topic has been sufficiently discussed. A second is necessary to put the motion to a vote.
  2. Once the motion is seconded, the chair then specifies time parameters for voting.
  3. A majority is needed to have the motion pass.
  • Documentation of voting and discussions will be placed in the minutes for the next business meeting.
    1. Special Events
  1. Members are expected to participate in USAC events including:
    1. Hidden Benefits Fair
    2. Rally for Wellness
    3. Pep Rally, if scheduled
    4. All USAC sponsored Conversations with the President
    5. SCBS End of the Year Report
    6. Retreats
    7. Recognition Breakfast
    8. Staff Arts and Crafts Exhibit
    9. Other USAC events as requested
    1. Formation
      1. Subcommittees shall be formed by a majority vote of the full committee. A motion may be brought forward at any meeting to form a subcommittee.
    2. Disbandment
  1. Subcommittees may be disbanded by a majority vote of the full committee. A committee member shall bring forth the motion for a subcommittee to disband.
    1. Membership
  2. Subcommittees shall be composed of at least four members of USAC.
    1. Officers
  3. The basic officers of the subcommittees shall be a chair and vice-chair.
    1. Officer Selection
  4. Subcommittee chairs and vice-chairs shall be appointed by the incoming USAC chair by June 1. Executive committee officers shall not serve as subcommittee chairs.
    1. Subcommittee Assignments
  5. All members shall submit their subcommittee membership requests to the chair prior to the executive committee meeting before the first full meeting in July. The incoming chair shall announce subcommittee assignments no later than the first meeting in July. Whereas a subcommittee preference may be indicated, subcommittees will be filled based upon need, and final membership selection will be delegated to the executive committee.
    1. Attendance
  6. In the event a member is unable to attend a subcommittee meeting, they shall notify the chair of that subcommittee. If a subcommittee member misses two meetings, the chair and vice-chair will address a committee member’s non-attendance/non-participation on a case-by-case basis. If attendance and/or participation continue to be a problem, the matter will be referred to the executive committee for further action. Further action may include removal of the member from USAC (III. H.).
    1. Duties of Subcommittee Chair/Vice-Chair
  7. Either the chair or vice-chair must be present at each scheduled executive committee meeting.
  8. Report monthly to the executive committee and USAC.
  • Monitor attendance and participation of members; report to executive committee if necessary.
  1. Plan and conduct regular subcommittee meetings and record meeting minutes when applicable.
  2. Provide debriefing to the incoming chair to assure continuity for USAC for the following fiscal year.
  3. Provide budget information to the USAC chair and the vice chair/treasurer-recorder.
  • Duties listed for subcommittees herein should not be considered all-inclusive, but may include other duties assigned by the chair.
    1. Standing Subcommittees
  1. Executive Committee
    1. The officers of USAC and the subcommittee chairs shall constitute the executive committee.
    2. The executive committee shall be responsible for general supervision of USAC affairs between meetings, fix the hours and place of meetings, set the agenda, and shall perform other duties as specified by the chair.
    3. Unless otherwise ordered by the executive committee, a regularly scheduled meeting shall be held each month. The purpose of this meeting is to help set the current agenda and future initiatives for USAC.
  2. Outreach and Engagement Subcommittee
    1. Shall submit routinely scheduled written correspondence, special features, and electronic articles prior to publication deadlines for all Ohio State-affiliated news and communication organizations.
    2. In cooperation with the vice chair/communications shall be responsible for marketing USAC to the university in general.
    3. Shall publish a USAC calendar and keep marketing and promotional pieces for USAC updated and relevant.
    4. Shall coordinate the effort for USAC involvement in the Rally for Wellness, Pep Rally, Staff Arts and Crafts Exhibit, the Recognition Breakfast, the Hidden Benefits Fair, professional development activities sponsored by USAC, the coordination of special items (receptions, conventions, gifts) and other USAC special events as necessary.
    5. Shall, in collaboration with the executive committee and subcommittees establish mechanisms to communicate and engage with university leadership, local senior HRPs, staff advisory councils, and regional campuses.
    6. Shall promote and educate staff about USAC with the goal of increasing awareness and recruiting future members through outreach and engagement activities.
    7. Shall, in collaboration with the executive committee and subcommittees, identify and participate in outreach events to promote USAC’s involvement and service to the university and the local community.
    8. Will appoint a communications associate from within its membership to serve the primary responsibility of assisting the Vice Chair/Communications.
    9. Shall support the activities of local staff advisory councils in all academic and administrative units.
    10. Shall be responsible for helping to promote and foster growth of the USAC Campus Campaign fund, and oversee details related to the fund activity, in conjunction with vice-chair/communications.
  • Staff Compensation and Benefits Subcommittee (SCBS)
    1. May conduct and analyze data from staff surveys and focus groups regarding compensation and benefits issues.
    2. Shall develop, prepare and present the SCBS End of the Year Report to leadership.
    3. Shall serve as liaison between USAC and the Office of Human Resources to discuss relevant topics/issues and make recommendations based on concerns conveyed by staff regarding enhancements and/or additions to staff benefit packages.
    4. Shall work in conjunction with the outreach and engagement subcommittee to coordinate USAC Conversations with the President.
  1. Governance Subcommittee
    1. Shall monitor the on-going progress of the University Senate recommendations that various senate subcommittees add seats for staff members to be appointed by USAC.
    2. Shall monitor the reporting from staff members on various university-wide committees.
    3. Shall oversee and periodically review the USAC bylaws and propose new articles or amendments of existing articles for voting approval by the membership to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of USAC.
    4. Shall have the responsibility of collecting and distributing external committee reports.
    5. Shall have the responsibility of appointing and maintaining the addendum of Ohio State external subcommittee assignments and term limits document.
    6. Shall serve with designated human resource representatives on the staff professional development grants committee, and will assist in the process of awarding grants.
    7. Shall be responsible for representation on the distinguished staff award selection committee.

New task forces can only be formed at the discretion of the chair, for a period not to exceed the balance of the chair’s term. The chair of the task force shall be a USAC member. At the discretion of the chair, activities of the task force may be presented to the executive committee for review. All task forces shall report to USAC.


The principles contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, New Revised may guide USAC in cases to which they are applicable.


These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of USAC by a majority vote. Suggested amendments must be distributed to USAC no later than three working days prior to the next business meeting. Once the changes are approved by USAC, the changes shall be sent to the university president or designee for approval. Amended bylaws are not effective until USAC receives approval.


Revised April 2011

Revised June 2013