The P&S Council constitution describes the purpose of the council, as well as, the membership and representation, council elections, council officers, meetings, quorum and voting, amendment and the rules and by-laws.

The P&S Council constitution is currently being revised. Below is the text of the revision, and there are links for the current version (constitution2015.pdf) and the proposed revision (ps_constitution_draft_mjg_9-19-16.pdf) located at the bottom of the webpage.

Professional and Scientific (P&S) Council Constitution & By-Laws (DRAFT)

University of Northern Iowa



A Professional and Scientific P&S Council was established in 1978 for the purpose of studying, formulating, and recommending to the administrative officers of UNI policies of interest to Professional and Scientific employees. The Council, consisting of members elected by division employees, meets monthly during University office hours. Meetings are open to the public unless voted into executive session. Minutes from each P&S Council meeting are made available to all P&S staff employees. The minutes include a list of current council officers and members. Meeting notices and current membership lists are posted on the P&S Council Web site. The Constitution and By-Laws of the Professional and Scientific Council are listed below.

2016 Constitutional Committee Members:

Matt Gordon – P&S President

Christina Geweke – P&S Vice President

James Volgarino – Academic Affairs

Paula Van Zee – Non-voting member


Professional and Scientific Council Constitution


Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be the University of Northern Iowa Professional and Scientific Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council.


Article II: Mission and Goals

Section 1: The University of Northern Iowa Professional and Scientific Council serves as an advocate for its constituents. The Council serves as an advisory group that promotes open communication, information sharing, and shared governance among faculty, staff, students and administration.

Section 2: The goals of the Council are:

  • Advocate on behalf of the Professional and Scientific employees.
  • Facilitate communication among Professional and Scientific employees to ensure a medium for discussion on issues and/or concerns and ensure appropriate action is taken.
  • Review, formulate, and recommend policies and procedures that benefit the Professional and Scientific employees to the administration.
  • Promote opportunities for staff learning through professional development.
  • Inform the University community of activities of the Council as well as campus-wide initiatives that may impact Professional and Scientific employees.
  • Collaborate with shared governance in support of the University’s mission.


Article III: Membership

Section 1: An individual shall not serve more than two consecutive terms as a member of the Council. Re-election can be sought after a one-year leave.

Section 2: The President of the University shall appoint to the Council a non-voting administrative person from the University President’s Executive Management Team (EMT).

Section 3: The Director of Human Resources (or a designee from Human Resources) shall serve as an ex officio member of the Council. Also the Director of Human Resources shall designate an additional Human Resources staff member to serve as a Secretary of the Council and shall be responsible for assisting with the coordinate of Council activities. Neither representative will have a vote.

Section 4: In the event of a reorganization of divisions at the University, the President and Vice-President, along with Human Resources will examine the new reorganization and make amendments to the Constitution, if necessary. Otherwise the Council will re-evaluate representation every 3 election cycles, beginning in the 2020-2021 Council Year.

Section 5: Council membership shall normally be for a three-year term, with member terms staggered so approximately one-third of the members are elected annually. Council year shall run from July 1 through June 30.

Section 6: Each member shall be responsible for the following duties of membership:

  • Regularly attend Council meetings and actively participate in the discussions.
  • Work to solicit information and/or opinions from constituents and share with the Council or respective committee.
  • Work to promote the Council and its activities among constituents.
  • Accept at least one committee assignment and/or serve on at least one standing committee.


Article IV: Representation

Section 1: The Council shall always be composed of at least 13 seats. Each seat shall be occupied by an elected member of the Council. These members shall be elected from the University Professional and Scientific employees (excluding persons with appointments to temporary positions and those exempt from the P&S Policies and Procedures). The number of members representing the administrative divisions will be proportional to the current number of P&S employees in each division.

Section 2: The elected members will be representing the following 5 divisions of the University. Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, President’s Division, Finance and Operations, and Advancement. Each division will always have a minimum representation of 2 seats. At-large will also have a minimum of 1 seat, but no more than 3.

Section 3: Elected Council members shall be announced at the April meeting, introduced at the May meeting and shall take office effective July 1.

Section 4: The proportional guidelines for the representation of the division are to be approximately 1 member for every 50 P&S employees. In calculating the number of seats for each division, Human resources, along with the Council President and Vice-President, will determine the total number of employees for each division and then divide by 50. In the case of an uneven result, a simple round up or down will determine the number of seats.

Section 5: The number of at-large seats can be modified after each census to ensure an odd number of members, as to prevent a tie vote.


Article V: Elections

Section 1: The election of Council Representatives will take place by secret ballot once a year in March, during the first full week of classes following spring break.

Section 2: All University Professional and Scientific employees (excluding persons with temporary position appointments and those exempt from P&S Policies and Procedures) will have the right to nominate and vote for candidates from their division in addition to the at-large representatives in accordance with established elections procedures.

Section 3: Elections and nominating procedures will be accomplished in accordance with the by-laws.


Article VI: Officers

Section 1: Officers of the Council will be the President and Vice-President.

Section 2: Officers will be elected in May of each year and take office the following July 1st.

Section 3: The President is responsible for the convening the Executive Committee, appointing committee chairs, preparing an agenda for each meeting, preparing an annual report for presentation to the full Council at the first meeting of a new year, and submitting Council recommendations to appropriate University officials.

Section 4: The Vice-President is responsible for performing the duties of the President is absence of that officer, performing duties as designated by the President, and assuming the role of President in a following year.

Section 5: Duties of the officers will include, but not be limited to, presiding over meetings, serving the Council as a liaison to all other representative groups, and bringing issues to the full Council for consideration.

Section 6: The President and Vice-President will, in conjunction with the Council, review and prepare budget requests and proposals.


Article VII: Executive Committee

Section 1: The Executive Committee is charged to formulate goals, strategies and plans for Council activities. It will also advise or assist members of the Council in carrying out the responsibilities of their office.

Section 2: The members of the Executive Committee are the President, Vice-President, and the chairs of each of the standing committees.

Section 3: The Executive Committee is to meet at least once per academic semester, or at the request of the President.


Article VIII: Amendments

Section 1: A proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be presented in writing to the Council President who shall bring the proposal to the next regular Council meeting for initial discussion and simple majority vote to determine if the proposal shall proceed in the process. If the proposed amendment passes this vote, following that the meeting the Council President shall make available to all University Professional and Scientific employees (excluding those with appointments to temporary positions and those exempt from P&S Policies and Procedures) at least ten working days prior to the next regular meeting of the Council where it shall be read and acted upon.

Section 2: Amendments to the Constitution of the Council shall be made only by a two-thirds concurrence of the Council membership.

Section 3: Amendments to the Constitution which are approved by the Council shall be submitted to the President’s EMT prior to formal adoption.


Article IX: Quorum and Voting

Section 1: A simple majority (50% +1) of the Council eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for a meeting. Such quorum may, by majority vote of the members present, transact any business which may properly be brought before the meeting. A meeting may be adjourned or recessed by majority vote of the members present whether or not a quorum is present. At all meetings of the members, the President, or if absent, the Vice-President, shall preside as Chairperson shall be elected by a majority of the members present.

Section 2: Voting by the Council membership shall be by voice or a show of hands except when a written ballot is deemed appropriate by the Council President.

Section 3: A simple majority vote by the members present shall carry a motion, except a motion to amend the Constitution. Amendments are handled in accordance with Article VIII of the Constitution.

Section 4: If a Council member cannot attend a Council meeting, a designated proxy shall be sent in his or her place. Each Council member shall choose and designate by name a proxy for the year and submit the name to the Council President by the August meeting. The proxy shall be knowledgeable about Council proceedings and shall have the same privileges as regular Council members, but only while acting in official (proxy) capacity.

Section 5: If a member is absent from three meetings without a proxy during any consecutive twelve months of her/her term, the seat will be declared vacant.


University of Northern Iowa P&S Council Rules and By-Laws



    1. Procedures Process

      1. Nominating Committee consists of 3-5 members, who are either volunteers or are appointed by the President. Nominating committee members are restricted from running from office. The membership is announced at the January meeting.

      2. Human Resources will prepare a list of eligible votes, by division, and will be used to determine possible candidates.

      3. The Nominating Committee shall contact candidates to determine interest and availability.

      4. Nomination committee will determine the number of vacancies and the selection of candidates for each set.

      5. Nominating committee will send out a call for nominations in February.

    2. Election Procedures

      1. The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for compiling, distributing, collecting and counting ballots. Election timeline should be as follows:

        1. The ballot deadline date shall be in March.

        2. The election ballot shall be compiled and distributed to staff eligible to vote during the first full week following spring break. Provision should be made for write-in candidates in accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution.

        3. Voting members shall be instructed to vote for the exact number requested on the electronic ballot. Directions on the ballot are to be clearly stated.

      2. The Nominating Committee shall report winners and total number voting.

        1. For each position, winners shall be determine by the highest vote count.

        2. In case of a tie, a runoff election shall be held within the affected division (or whole body if the tie is in the at-large category). If the run-off results in a tie, a flip of the coin shall determine the winner.

        3. Winners are contacted by the nominating committee of their election.

        4. The winners will be announced by the President at the April Council meeting.

      3. The Nominating Committee shall keep the ballots from the election for at least 3 years from the date of the election.

    3. Election of Council Officers

      1. At the April Council meeting, a call for nominations for the office of the President and Vice-President is announced. Nominations should be submitted to the Nominating Committee by May 1.

      2. During the May Council meeting, the Nominating Committee will announce the candidates for President and Vice-President. A simple majority vote will be held to determine the winners.

      3. Voting will be completed by current members.

    4. Vacancies

      1. Committee member vacancy

        1. The Elections Committee will use the current year’s election results to select the next member by order of votes received for a particular division.

        2. If there are no candidates available from the preceding ballot, the Elections Committee will solicit nominations from current membership at the first available Council meeting.

          1. Two will be presented to the Executive Committee

          2. Executive Committee will be responsible for selecting the new member to serve the remainder of the vacant term.

        3. If a vacancy occurs between May and June, the Elections Committee will fill the vacancy using the upcoming election results and the new member will begin their appointment with the start of the new term.

        4. A member’s first term is defined as to when they are actually elected to office. If a member fills in for a vacancy, that time of service will not be counted as a term.

      2. Office of the President vacancy

        1. The Vice President will be offered the opportunity to serve out the remainder of the term.

        2. If the Vice President declines, the Council shall hold a special election at the first meeting following the vacancy announcement.

        3. If a special election is held, that person may follow the succession and serve as president the following term.

      3. Office of Vice President vacancy

        1. The Council will elect an existing member to serve the remainder of the term.

        2. The newly elected Vice President will be eligible to assume the office of the President the following year.

      4. Committee Chair Vacancy

        1. The President shall appoint a new chair from Council membership to serve the remainder of the term.

  2. Standing Committees

    1. Selection Procedures for Standing Committees

      1. Each standing committee shall be represented by members from at least two divisions. The P&S Council President shall select committee members from the current Council membership. The Council will approve committee membership at each August meeting. Eligible non- voting P&S employees are eligible to be on any standing committee. Term on each committee will be for one year with the option for re-appointment.

      2. The committee chair will be appointed by the P&S Council President and approved by the Council. The committee shall select its own recording secretary from among the committee membership.

    2. Standing Committees

      1. Policies and Procedures Committee

        1. This committee shall regularly assess the value and effectiveness of the P&S policies and procedures. The committee will also work with appropriate personnel to develop and recommend any revisions or strategies that best serve the interests of the employees and the University. These recommendations will be presented to the Council for approval with subsequent submission for University approval following Policy 0.0.

        2. An annual written report of the committee activities will be prepared by the Chair of the committee and presented to the P&S President by the end of the year.

      2. Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee

        1. This committee shall regularly assess the implementation of the Professional and Scientific policies and procedures as related to salaries, fringe benefits, and promotions. The committee will work with appropriate personnel to develop strategies to best serve P&S employees and the University.

        2. The committee will periodically send out a campus-wide staff survey to all P&S staff to gauge staff feelings towards their pay and benefits packages. The survey is done every 2-3 years and can be done electronically.

        3. An annual written report of the committee activities will be prepared by the Chair of the committee and presented to the P&S President by the end of the year.

      3. Employee Issues Committee

        1. This committee shall advocate and monitor proper adherence to the P&S Policies and Procedures for P&S employees.

        2. Provide a confidential forum for P&S employees relative to employee rights and responsibilities.

        3. Provide information to P&S employees relative to employee rights and responsibilities issues, with referral to pertinent university offices.

        4. Work with Human Resources, as needed, to effect resolution to employee rights and responsibilities issues.

        5. An annual written report of the committee activities will be prepared by the Chair of the committee and presented to the P&S President by the end of the year.

      4. Employee Relations Committee

        1. This committee shall explore, plan, promote and coordinate activities that enhance interaction and communication within the P&S staff membership.

        2. The committee shall also identify appropriate public relations efforts and coordinate event information from the Council to the constituents.

        3. Potential activities and programs will be presented to the Council for approval.

        4. An annual written report of the committee activities will be prepared by the Chair of the committee and presented to the P&S President by the end of the year.

      5. Web Committee

        1. This committee shall be responsible for the maintenance of the P&S Council Website. The committee will update, revise, add or remove information as necessary.

        2. The committee shall also coordinate other communications, as necessary, for the Council.

        3. An annual written report of the committee activities will be prepared by the Chair of the committee and presented to the P&S President by the end of the year.