Constitution & Bylaws

The initial constitution and bylaws were approved by William & Mary's Board of Visitors on April 16, 2010. An amended constitution and bylaws were approved by the Board of Visitors on April 20, 2017.

Available for download in PDF format.


Article I. Name
Article II. Purpose
Article III. Authority
Article IV. Membership
Article V. Amendments to the Constitution
Article VI. Dissolution of the Assembly

Article I. Name

The name of this organization is the Staff Assembly of the College of William & Mary. 

In this document the term “The College of William & Mary” or “the College” includes departments, divisions, and schools of the College of William & Mary, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The term “Staff” includes all operational and classified employees and non-student hourly wage employees of the College of William & Mary.

Article II. Purpose

The Staff Assembly will serve as a forum to facilitate communication among all Staff. The Staff Assembly will support a diverse, multi-campus university in accordance with College policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

The Staff Assembly will function in an advisory capacity to the administration, promoting Staff interests in College governance by encouraging actions that address the current and future needs of the entire College community.

The Staff Assembly will promote honest and open communication between the administration and Staff and refer Staff concerns to the appropriate College officials.

The Staff Assembly will not serve as a substitute for the formal grievance procedures of the College. 

The Staff Assembly will work with the administration, faculty, and students in all efforts to attain the goals of the College, while fostering a spirit of respect, dignity, unity and cooperation among the Staff. The Staff Assembly will recommend Staff representatives to College committees, as appropriate and permitted.

Article III. Authority

This Constitution has been approved by the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary on April 16, 2010. The Staff Assembly has only such authority as conveyed by this Constitution and permitted by the College administration and State law.

Existence of the Staff Assembly does not preclude the right of a Staff member to belong to any other organization.

The Executive Board of the Staff Assembly derives its authority from the Staff Assembly.

Article IV. Membership
  1. The Staff Assembly consists of 24 members elected by the Staff (an approximate ratio of one voting member per 50 members of the staff). All 24 Assembly members represent the College of William & Mary as a whole; Members do not represent departments, units, or other staff constituencies. Elections will be conducted in accordance with the Bylaws and any procedures established by the Elections and Nominations Committee.
  2. Each Assembly member’s term will begin May 1 and last for two years. Initially, twelve members will be elected at random as having a one-year (rather than two-year) term, such that terms will be staggered to permit election of approximately one-half of the Staff Assembly each year.
  3. The Executive Board by a majority vote may remove a member following three unexcused absences from regular Staff Assembly meetings during any consecutive twelve-month period.
  4. Members may be re-elected but may not serve more than two consecutive elected terms, which is defined as two successive two-year terms with no break in service. The duration from the end of a term through a mandatory mid-term election will satisfy a break in service. An appointed term does not count as an elected term.
  5. In the event of mid-term vacancies, the Staff Assembly must hold elections when the number of participating members falls to 20; otherwise, vacancies will be filled during the normal election period.
Article V. Amendments

The approval process for amendments to the Constitution is as follows:

  1. A proposal for an amendment must be submitted to the Constitution & Bylaws Committee Chair for review and clarification. The Constitution and Bylaws Committee Chair will submit the proposal to the Executive Board for consideration.
  2. A written notice that an amendment is proposed must be given by the Executive Board to all members of the Staff Assembly in such time that it may be included on the agenda for the meeting at which the amendment will be proposed and at least five days before said meeting. The notice shall contain the proposed amendment in context or general nature of the matter. The proposed amendment may be discussed at the regular meeting at which the amendment is proposed.
  3. Proposed amendments shall not be voted on until at least one regular meeting after the introduction.
  4. Amendments to the Constitution will be deemed approved by the Staff Assembly upon approval by a simple majority vote of the Staff Assembly members present.
  5. No amendment to Article II or III of the Constitution shall be effective unless approved by the Board of Visitors. All other amendments shall become effective upon Staff Assembly approval as provided under (D) above.
Article VI. Dissolution of the Assembly

The Staff Assembly may be dissolved by approval of two-thirds of Staff Assembly members casting or returning ballots, with at least forty percent of Staff voting.


Article I. Assembly Executive Board, Including Officers
Article II. Committees
Article III. Conducting Business
Article IV. Election Procedures
Article V. Amendments to the Bylaws
Article VI. Authorization and Parliamentary Authority

Article I. Assembly Executive Board, Including Officers
  1. Staff Assembly Executive Board
    The Staff Assembly Executive Board, hereafter referred to as the Executive Board, shall act on behalf of the Staff Assembly between regular meetings. All such actions shall be reported at the next Staff Assembly meeting. The Executive Board shall consist of the Officers of the Assembly and Chairs of the Standing Committees. The retiring President of the Staff Assembly shall serve as an advisor to the Executive Board for one year. If his/her elected term as a representative expires during that one-year advisory period, he/she shall serve as a non-voting member of the Executive Board for the remainder of the period.
    1. The Executive Board shall meet at least once per month at a time to be determined by the Executive Board at its first meeting following annual elections. Other meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the Staff Assembly.
    2. The Executive Board approves by majority vote the initial composition of each Standing Committee, except for the Committee Chairs. The Executive Board approves changes and additions to the membership of each Standing Committee as recommended by the appropriate Chair. All Executive Board meetings shall be open to the public.
    3. The Executive Board screens proposals from Staff for consideration and implements the rules and regulations of the Staff Assembly.
    4. The Executive Board assists in interpreting the intent of the Staff Assembly Constitution and Bylaws.
    5. The Executive Board determines if a member’s absence from a regular meeting is excused
    6. The Executive Board assists the Staff Assembly President in preparing the budget. 
  2. The Officers
    The Staff Assembly Officers are elected from and by the 24 members. Officers are elected for a term of no more than one year. Officers shall be eligible for re-election but may not serve more than two consecutive terms of the same office.
    1. President. The President shall preside over the Executive Board and meetings of the Staff Assembly; prepare the agenda; with assistance of the Executive Board, prepare the budget and submit to Staff Assembly at the regular meeting for approval; authorize disbursement of funds consistent with the approved budget; perform such other duties associated with this office.
    2. Vice-President. The Vice-President shall preside in absence of the President; serve as assistant to the President; complete term vacated by President; review minutes of committees prior to meetings of the Staff Assembly; perform such other duties associated with this office.
    3. Secretary. The Secretary shall prepare and distribute the minutes; distribute the agenda for regular meetings at least five days prior to next meeting; conduct a roll call of members and record attendance; advise the President whether a quorum is present at the beginning of each meeting; maintain records of the Staff Assembly including a membership roster including term of office, mailing lists and prepare a report in an appropriate publication to the Staff of the business conducted at each meeting.
    4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall maintain fiscal records; make authorized disbursements of funds in accordance with Bylaws Article III, Section H; submit monthly financial reports of expenses to the Executive Board; create a consolidated annual report due no later than April 30 of each year; and perform such other duties associated with the office.
Article II. Committees
  1. General guidelines for standing committees
    1. The Chair of each Standing Committee shall be appointed annually by the Staff Assembly President.
    2. The Chair of each Standing Committee must be a member of the Staff Assembly. Each Committee Chair shall appoint a Vice-Chair.
    3. Members of a Standing Committee shall be appointed by the Chair and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board. These members may be any Staff member.
    4. A member of the Staff Assembly may not chair more than one Standing Committee.
    5. Unless requested, membership on a Standing Committee shall not change during a member’s term of office. Members do not have to serve on the same committee for both years of his/her term or on the same committee for multiple terms of office.
    6. Each member shall serve on at least one Standing Committee.
    7. Minutes shall be kept for each Standing Committee meeting. Each Standing Committee will also submit an annual report of its activities and any pending matters to the Executive Board at the June Executive Board meeting.
    8. Standing Committees shall establish goals, objectives, and priorities. They have authority to carry out activities necessary to perform their charges, prepare reports, offer recommendations, and make parliamentary motions to the Staff Assembly.
    9. Standing Committees or the Executive Board may establish subcommittees to address specific issues as needed. Chairs of subcommittees shall be appointed by Standing Committee Chairs or the President. The Standing Committees or the Executive Board may dissolve subcommittees upon completion of subcommittee’s assignment.
    10. The Standing Committee Chairs shall convene their first committee meeting within 30 days after appointment and as needed thereafter or as requested by the Executive Board.
    11. Each Committee shall consist of at least four members.
    12. At the end of each term, each Committee Chair shall provide to the respective incoming Chair appropriate information to facilitate continuity (e.g., responsibilities, goals, unfinished business, and past and pending parliamentary motions).
  2. Committees
    1. Policies and Issues Committee - Primary Responsibilities
      1. Serves as a liaison between the Staff Assembly and the President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of Human Resources, other College administrators, and the Faculty/Professionals and Professional Faculty/Student
        Assemblies on staff-related matters.
      2. Serves as a resource to Staff in obtaining information on matters of Staff concern.
      3. Serves as a link in obtaining information from the Virginia Governmental Employees Association.
      4. Brings to the Staff Assembly’s attention changes in policies and procedures that may affect the Staff and advises the Staff Assembly on these issues. This includes monitoring the actions of the Board of Visitors and any College Committees that may deal with issues of Staff concern.
    2. Constitution and Bylaws Committee - Primary Responsibilities
      1. Evaluate proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Staff Assembly.
      2. Interpret the Constitution and Bylaws and make recommendations as needed to the Staff Assembly.
      3. Revise and update the Constitution and Bylaws upon requisite approval.
    3. Communications Committee - Primary Responsibilities
      1. As authorized by the Executive Board, disseminates information about the Staff Assembly to the College community in print and/or electronic form to include the Staff Assembly website and Staff listserv.
      2. Fulfills communication needs of the Staff Assembly as requested by any Committee Chair, the Assembly President, or Executive Board.
      3. Interfaces with the College and non-university media sources to provide information on Staff Assembly activities when appropriate.
      4. Plans and coordinates all information session activities.
      5. Communicates with other Standing Committees to ensure that information distributed at information and orientation sessions is correct.
      6. Serves as historian and archivist.
    4. Elections and Nominations Committee - Primary Responsibilities
      1. Coordinates the Staff Assembly election process. This Committee is responsible establishing election procedures and ensuring that these procedures and the Staff Assembly Constitution and Bylaws are followed when electing Staff Assembly members and officers.
      2. Compiles ballots for all Staff Assembly elections. 
      3. Makes recommendations to the Staff Assembly President for appointment of members and chairs to Staff Assembly and College committees, as needed.
      4. Monitors elections and oversees voting on proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Staff Assembly.
      5. Receives requests from individual Staff Assembly members of a member’s desire to serve on a committee. Staff Assembly members with expertise in specific fields are encouraged to volunteer for membership on appropriate committees.
    5. Activities and Events Committee - Primary Responsibilities
      1. Coordinates guest speakers/lectures, fundraisers for Staff activities, social activities and general meetings.
      2. Plans and coordinates outreach activities (Employee Assistance Fund), need-based fund drives (Holiday Food Drives), and awards (Employee of the Month).
Article III. Conducting Business
  1. The Staff Assembly shall hold a General Meeting once per semester designed for attendance by all available Staff.
  2. Staff Assembly will meet no less than 10 times a year. These meetings will be open.
  3. Meeting dates shall be published in advance in all appropriate College publications.
  4. Items may be placed on the agenda for Assembly meetings by any of the following:
    1. The President, the Executive Board, or any committee of the Assembly.
    2. Any two Staff Assembly members
    3. Any ten Staff members, provided that submission must be in writing.
    4. The College President or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
  5. Items to be placed on the agenda must be submitted to the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the next meeting.
  6. The agendas for the Executive Board and Staff Assembly meetings shall be distributed to the Staff, the College President and the Vice President for Finance and Administration at least five days prior to the relevant meeting. Electronic distribution via email, list serves or web page is acceptable. All agendas shall be posted on the Staff Assembly website.
  7. A quorum for Staff Assembly is fifty percent of all filled positions. All Assembly measures and actions, except for amendments to the Constitution, shall pass by a simple majority of the Assembly members present and voting. Voting on motions shall normally be viva voce, by show of hands or by email. Five members may require a roll call vote upon any motion.
  8. Requests for expenditures must be submitted in writing to the Executive Board prior to the purchase being made. The Executive Board will approve requests by simple majority vote. The Executive Board has the right to decline reimbursement of any transaction that has not been approved prior to the purchase being made or which does not comply with university guidelines. Expenses must comply with all university policies and procedures.
Article IV. Elections
  1. Election of Assembly Members
    1. Elections shall take place no later than March 31. Information concerning the election process will be distributed to all Staff by February 15.
    2. Elections shall be held by secret ballot.
  2. Election of Officers
    1. Officers are elected by the 24 member Assembly, except where provided otherwise herein.
    2. Elections of Officers will occur at the first meeting of the Staff Assembly after general elections are held.
    3. An office may be filled by special election if an officer is unable to complete their term.
    4. Elections shall be held by secret ballot.
Article V. Amendments to the Bylaws

Notice of any proposal to amend the Bylaws shall be listed in the agenda in accordance with the requirements set out in Article III, above. An affirmative vote of the majority of the Assembly members is required for adoption. The amended Bylaws shall be presented, when approved, to the College Board of Visitors.

Article VI. Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Assembly to the extent they apply. 

Addendum I. Process for Officer Voting
  1. A Tribe Response form will be created listing all of the available Officer positions. The form will allow individuals to nominate themselves or other Senators.
  2. The retiring President will contact Senators by email listing the Officer positions that are open, provide a brief description of each position (as stated in the Bylaws), and direct Senators to use the Tribe Response form for nominations. There will also be an opportunity for Senators to write-in nominees at the Staff Assembly meeting where voting will take place (Voting Meeting) if they are unable to access a computer before the meeting.
  3. Prior to the Voting Meeting, a paper ballot will be created based on nominations submitted through the Tribe Response form. There will also be space to write-in nominees for all Officer positions.
  4. At the Voting Meeting, ballots will be distributed to all Senators.
  5. The retiring President will move through each Officer position.
  6. Prior to voting on each Officer position:
    1. The Assembly will be asked for any additional nominations. Nominated individuals will be written-in on all ballots.
    2. The Assembly will ask if anyone would like to be removed from consideration.
    3. The Assembly will allow time for remarks from nominees.
    4. Nominees will be asked to leave the room and the meeting will be opened up to discussion on the nominees.
    5. Voting will occur by secret ballot, per Bylaws.
    6. Two Senators will tally the votes and announce the new Officer based on majority vote. A run-off of the top two candidates will be required if a nominee does not receive the majority of votes.
  7. The Assembly will repeat this process for each of the positions.