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A.5. Middlebury Staff Council (MSC) Constitution

Article I. Name

The name of this organization is the Middlebury Staff Council (hereinafter referred to as MSC).

Article II. Purpose

The purpose of the MSC is to help make Middlebury a great place to work. The MSC is elected by the staff employees, and acknowledged by the Board of Trustees, to establish priorities for the staff. The MSC's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

A. Listen and respond to the ideas, opinions, problems, concerns, and consider other matters;

B. Organize data, staff views, and other information into reports, and formulate recommendations for actions, changes, and solutions, as required;

C. Convey reports and recommendations to Middlebury’s administration;

D. Meet with the Middlebury administration on a regular basis to communicate reports and recommendations;

Article III. Members, Officers, and Elections

A. Membership

Voting membership of the MSC consists of one Middlebury staff employee for each District and At-Large position. A staff member from Human Resources serves as a non-voting member. Voting members of the MSC serve two-year terms, which begin on the first Monday after their election. Expiring terms are refilled by election. Each voting member serves on at least one MSC committee and/or the MSC Executive Committee.

The Staff Council will be charged with dividing the staff into up to 12 group districts. Thirty days prior to redistricting, staff will be notified of any changes. 

The current assignment of positions to an employee work group or campus district is attached as Appendix A. These assignments can be changed from time to time by the MSC Election Committee subject to the approval of the MSC. Composition of campus districts is monitored by the MSC to assure balanced representation.

Benefits-eligible employees working in the United States (full-time and part-time) whose primary designation is not faculty, are eligible to participate in MSC meetings, to vote in MSC elections and to serve as elected MSC representatives.

B. Officers

A president, vice president, and co-secretaries are elected from among the voting members of the MSC by its voting members. Each officer serves for one year and may be reelected. The four officers of the MSC make up the MSC Executive Committee.

a. The MSC president presides at meetings of the MSC, prepares the agenda for MSC meetings, and casts a vote in case of a tie vote. In addition, the MSC president is the official representative of the staff and the MSC to the Middlebury president and the Middlebury community at large. The MSC president also serves as the budget administrator for the MSC budget, which is a regular Middlebury budget account. The president may choose to appoint any MSC member to serve as budget administrator. The MSC president serves as an ex officio member of all MSC committees.

b. The MSC vice president presides at MSC meetings in the absence of the MSC president, provides general assistance to the MSC president, and serves as the MSC representative to the Community Council.

c. The MSC secretaries share responsibility for the secretarial duties of the MSC. Those duties include but are not limited to: taking minutes of each MSC meeting and distributing these minutes to all MSC members and to appropriate locations on campus; informing MSC members and staff employees of the date, time, location, and agenda of MSC meetings; maintaining the records of the MSC. Allocation of secretarial duties is determined by the secretaries and the MSC.

The MSC meets annually with the senior representative from Human Resources and the senior financial officer or their designee to review general guidelines and practices for staff salaries and benefits for the purpose of recommending improvements in these areas. The MSC meets periodically with representatives of the Board of Trustees and with the Middlebury president to communicate staff issues.

When necessary, the MSC Executive Committee may reassign duties among the executive officers. In the event that a member of the MSC Executive Committee is unable to attend a meeting, another member of the MSC may be appointed by the MSC president to serve at that meeting. If a member of the Executive Committee resigns or is unable to continue in office, MSC representatives will elect a new officer to complete the unexpired term.

C. Elections

MSC elections are held annually in May.

The MSC Election Committee, under the direction of the MSC, develops election procedures, establishes election deadlines, recruits candidates, and conducts nominations and elections for MSC representatives, validates the results, and resolves any problems that arise from the election process.

All voting is by secret ballot.

Nomination Procedure

a. Four weeks before the final election date, election procedures, including deadlines and nomination forms, are sent to all staff employees whose representatives are up for election.

b. The nomination forms for representatives of specific employee work groups or campus districts list the names of all eligible employees in that group or district and are distributed to members of that group or district only.

c. Staff employees may nominate one person from their specific employee work group or campus district.

d. In the case of the member-at-large, the nomination form provides space for one write-in candidate. A list of all staff employees eligible for nomination will be distributed. Nominations must be made from that list.

e. Nomination by official ballot takes place at least three weeks before the date of the final election.

f. A nominee may decline to run for office.

Election Procedure

a. At least two weeks in advance of the final election date, the Election Committee sends out ballots to voting staff employees.

b. The staff employees who received the most nominations and agreed to run are listed on the ballot for each vacant representative's seat. In any given election, the Election Committee, with the approval of the MSC, may choose to limit the number of nominees who will be listed on the election ballot (although the same limitation will apply to all positions in a given year). The ballots also contain space for write-in candidates.

c. Staff employees may vote once within their employee work group or campus district and once for the member-at-large representative.

d. The candidate who receives the most votes for each vacant representative's seat in which they are eligible to serve is elected to the MSC. In case of a tie, a run-off election will be held within a month between the highest vote-getters to determine a winner.

If an MSC representative resigns or is unable to continue in office, another staff employee from the representative's employee group or campus district will be appointed by the MSC to serve. The remainder of that unexpired term. In the case of an at-large member, the appointment will be made from among all eligible staff members.

An MSC representative may serve three consecutive terms, with a hiatus of two years before running again.

Recall Procedure

An MSC representative may be recalled from office by the following procedure:

a. A recall may be initiated by the staff employees in the employee work group or district that the MSC member represents, provided that a recall petition is signed by one-third of the staff employees in that group or district. In the case of the member-at-large, a petition must be signed by 100 eligible staff employees.

b. Upon receipt of the petition, the MSC will conduct a recall vote within 30 days.

c. The recall vote will be taken among the staff employees represented by the MSC member for whom the recall has been petitioned.

d. A simple majority of those voting in favor of a recall is required for the recall to take effect. If the required number of votes is not achieved, the MSC member will remain in office.

e. No MSC member will undergo a recall vote more than once a year during his/her term of office.

f. If the required number of votes for a recall is achieved, the MSC will appoint a replacement in the same manner as provided for above.

Article IV. Committees

A. Standing Committees

Each standing committee operates under the authority of the MSC and makes recommendations for action to the MSC. In turn, the MSC acts on committee recommendations, and reports to each committee the results of MSC actions.. When possible and appropriate, the standing and ad-hoc committees align with the Board of Trustees governance structure. Listed below are the standing committees and their specific areas of responsibility

1. Compensation & Resources Committee: studies and reviews salary issues, benefits, leaves and vacations, job categories, and related subjects;

2. Election Committee: conducts nominations and elections for MSC positions including written notification of election procedures and deadlines; validates election results; determines and reviews representation of employee groups with the approval of the MSC;

3. Events Committee: surveys staff employee opinions; MSC plans and coordinates MSC activities and events (e.g. MSC open meetings, picnics, parties);


a. All staff employees eligible to participate in MSC may volunteer for MSC committees.

b. The MSC makes every effort to ensure that each MSC committee includes representation from the various employee groups. The MSC may recommend committee assignments when new committee members are needed. The MSC reserves the right to limit the size of MSC committees and select among eligible members when there are more interested positions than assignments available.

c. Each MSC committee includes a chair, and the chair can appoint a secretary as needed.


a. Committee chairs are approved and may be removed by the MSC. They serve for one year. While the chair may be, but is not required to be, a member of the MSC, at least one elected member of the MSC serves on each committee.

b. The chair conducts the meetings of the committee. The MSC representative conveys the results of each committee meeting to the MSC and the results of each MSC meeting to the committee.

B. Ad hoc Committees

As the need arises, the MSC may create ad hoc committees to deal with particular issues, and may make assignments for those committees from interested volunteers to serve on such committees. Once an MSC ad hoc committee has addressed the issue in question as directed by the MSC, or, if the MSC determines that the ad hoc committee is no longer needed, it is dissolved by the MSC.  If however, MSC feels that an ad hoc committee should continue as a standing committee, an amendment petition and vote will be held to make it a standing committee.

The chair of each ad hoc committee is appointed by the MSC. The chair may be, but is not required to be, a member of the MSC. During the period that the ad hoc committee is active, its chair reports to the MSC as directed.

Examples of ad-hoc committees include:

Safety and Work Environment Committee: conducts research and examines issues related to the campus as a workplace and worker safety.

HR-6: Comprised of three MSC members and three HR employees whose purpose is to keep the lines of communication open between HR and Staff Council.  The mission is to identify and develop recommendations for HR-related issue

Each ad hoc committee has one or more members who are elected members of the MSC.

C. Middlebury Committees and Positions

The MSC makes appointments or recommendations for appointments to College committees.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  Community Council, Community Judicial Board, and Environmental Council. The MSC also makes recommendations to the Middlebury president for the positions of ombudspersons.

Article V. Meetings and Records

A. Meetings

Annual Meeting

a. Within 30 days of the annual MSC elections, an annual meeting of the MSC is held.

b. At the annual meeting the MSC elects its officers and appoints the chairs of standing committees. The MSC also makes recommendations for committee assignments.

Regular, scheduled meetings of the MSC

a. The time and number of meetings per year is determined by the MSC.

b. A written agenda of each meeting is distributed by the MSC secretary, or his/her designate, to MSC members and  staff during the week prior to the meeting.

c. Regular meetings are open to all Middlebury staff members.

d. An executive session may be entered into at any time by a majority vote of the MSC. Executive sessions are conducted in the following manner:

i. The motion to go into executive session indicates the nature of the business to be considered during the executive session.

ii. The executive session is limited to the consideration of the business for which the executive session was called.

iii. Attendance is limited to voting members of the MSC and persons invited by the MSC.

e. MSC members are expected to attend all MSC meetings and are to be compensated at their normal rate of pay. In addition, MSC meeting time is counted toward the weekly total of hours in order to determine overtime pay for nonexempt employees.  Overtime pay will be charged to the employee's department.  Absences are to be made known in advance to the MSC officers.

Public meetings

a. As needed, the MSC conducts public meetings for all staff employees to communicate the activities of the MSC and to solicit input and reaction from the staff.

b. Public meetings are held at such times and places as to enable staff employees to attend. Notice of public meetings is made at least one week in advance.

c. Release time without penalty is provided to all Middlebury staff employees for attendance at public meetings.

Special meetings

a. Special meetings of the MSC may be called by the MSC president at the request of any MSC member or at the request of the Middlebury president.

b. The section on regular, scheduled meetings of the MSC above applies to special meetings.

Conduct of meetings

a. The MSC president conducts all meetings of the MSC.

b. Two-thirds of the voting membership of the MSC constitutes a quorum.

c. A majority of the MSC members present is required to pass a seconded motion. In the case of a tie vote, the MSC president casts the deciding vote.

d. Voting on all matters other than the election of officers is made by voice vote. A roll-call vote will be taken on any matter should a simple majority of MSC members request such a vote.

e. Any member of the Middlebury community may address the MSC with prior permission from the MSC president.

f. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised may be consulted as needed to maintain orderly procedure.

Content of meetings

a. Business for the MSC's attention may originate from any member of the MSC or the Middlebury College community in the following manner:

i. Through contact with an elected MSC member.

ii. Through contact with an MSC committee.

iii. At the request of the Middlebury president.

b. Regular meetings of the MSC usually include the following:

i. Approval or amendment of the minutes of the previous meeting

ii. Reports from the MSC committee chairs

iii. Old business and new business

iv. Opportunity for public comment

c. The MSC may invite groups or individuals not affiliated with Middlebury to address the MSC.

d. Business at special meetings is limited to discussion of the matters about which the special meetings are called.

Committee meetings

a. Committee meetings are held as needed.

b. Committee meetings are open to all members of the Middlebury staff.

 c. A committee may enter into executive session at any time by a majority vote of the committee members. Committee executive sessions are conducted as provided for in the section on regular, scheduled meetings of the MSC, d. i. and ii. above. Attendance is limited to voting members of the committee and to those who are invited by the committee.

d. Committee members are expected to attend all committee meetings and are to be compensated at their normal rate of pay.  In addition, MSC meeting time is counted toward the weekly total of hours in order to determine overtime pay for nonexempt employees.  Overtime pay will be charged to the employee's department.  Absences are to be made known in advance to the committee chair.

B. Records

The permanent records of the MSC are maintained by the MSC secretary in a secure online location. These records include:

1. The MSC Constitution and its amendments.

2. Minutes of all MSC meetings.

3. All correspondence and other documentation of the MSC.

Article VI. Amendments

A. A motion to amend this constitution from a Staff Council representative may be presented at any public meeting. Eligible members of the staff  who want to bring a motion to amend this constitution must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 50 Middlebury staff employees who are eligible to vote in MSC elections

B. The motion to amend must be stated on the agenda for the MSC meeting at which the amendment is to be considered and discussed. The agendas/amendment will be sent out at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

C. A motion to amend must be passed by seven  of the ten voting members of the MSC.

D. If the proposed amendment is passed by the MSC it is put to a referendum vote for all eligible Middlebury staff employees within 30 days.

E. A simple majority of those casting ballots is required for the amendment to be adopted.

F. Non-material changes, such as conforming title changes, may be approved by a majority vote of the MSC with written approval of the MSC president, and do not require resort to this amendment process.

Article VII. Dissolution

A dissolution vote will be held within 30 days of receipt of a petition signed by one-third of all staff employees eligible to vote in MSC elections. All eligible employees will be notified of the dissolution vote at least 10 days prior to the vote. If a simple majority of those casting ballots vote for dissolution, the MSC will be dissolved.

Appendix A:

Four members of the MSC are elected to represent employee work groups. One member is elected from each of the following work groups:

Custodial Services

Dining Services

Facilities Services Employees (minus Custodial)


Five members of the MSC are elected to represent campus work areas. These campus work areas are combined into five districts based on the chart of accounts and number of employees. One member is elected from each of the following campus districts:

District A, roughly those working in Admissions, Dean of Faculty; Academic Affairs, CAOS Coordinators, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Dean of Faculty Office, Environmental Affairs, New England Review, Science Technical Support Services.

District B, roughly those working in College Advancement, Communications, and Printing and Mailing Services.

District C, roughly those working in Public Safety, Registrar, Center for Careers & Internships, Chaplain’s Office, Events Management, Parton Health and Counseling Center, Planning and Assessment, and Student Activities, CTLR.

District D, roughly those working in the President’s Office, Commons’ Offices, Athletics, Davis UWC Scholars Program, Dean of the College, International Student and Scholar Services; ADA Office, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Center for International Affairs (RAF), Dean of Students (minus Student Activities), International Programs and Off-Campus Studies, Language Schools, President’s House, Sports Medicine, MiddCORE, and Programs on Creativity and Innovation (PCI).

District E, roughly those working in the Assistant Treasurer’s Office, Budget Office, College Bookstore, Controller’s Office, Executive Vice President and Treasurer’s Office, Golf Course, Human Resources, Rikert Ski Touring Center, Snow Bowl, Student Employment Office, Student Mail Center, Student Financial Services, 51 Main Street.