The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is accepting nominations for its first staff senate, a governance body that will represent and advocate for all staff employees.
Formation of the staff senate fulfills an N2025 strategic plan goal to create and allow access to a university-sponsored council for staff. The senate is tasked with providing input and guidance on relevant issues to university leaders.
The work has been led since spring 2021 by a Staff Senate Exploratory Committee. Through discussions with campus leaders and a series of open forums, the committee has developed proposed by-laws, an organizational structure and selected Joann Ross to serve as coordinator for the Staff Senate.
The committee is accepting nominations through Oct. 14. Elections are scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 22. Senatorial terms start in January 2023.
“The formation of the Staff Senate is an incredibly positive step for our university,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “I encourage all interested staff employees to run for this new advisory body. And, supervisors should be open to allowing staff to participate.
“Being elected by one’s peers to serve on the Staff Senate represents official and important service to our university. Any duties related to that service will be considered time worked.”
The staff senate will include 51 members — 46 who can vote, representing specific areas of the campus community, and five ex-officio, non-voting members (three from the NU system and two post-doctoral workers).
The senators will represent one of seven “districts” defined by the university’s overall organization. Those “districts” are: Academic Colleges; Business and Finance; Chancellor; Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Other Executive Vice Chancellor; Research; and Student Affairs.
The number of senators was determined by the size of each district — starting with two representatives for the first 100 employees, then adding one for each subsequent 100 employees.
Senators will serve three-year terms. However, for the first governing body, one-third will serve one year, another third will serve two years, and the final third will serve three years. This initial staggered structure will allow for continuity as future elections are held.
Meetings will be scheduled for one hour each month. Additional time will be needed if a senator opts to participate on a senate committee. The Staff Senate president and other officers should expect a larger time commitment.
Staff who meet senate requirements are expected to work with their supervisors to seek permission to participate. Staff participating will not be compensated monetarily.
Complete details about the Staff Senate, including nomination forms, are available online.