SAC BY-LAWS

I. Mission Statement

The Dean’s Staff Advisory Council (hereafter known as SAC) is formed to represent the staff members at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (hereafter known as TUSDM), in engaging with the Dean’s initiative for staff development. The mission of the SAC is to advise the Dean directly of any concerns, suggestions, or issues that impact the TUSDM staff development, as well as to provide a forum for input and discussion of issues important to the staff and the University. SAC seeks to serve as a protected voice of the staff members at TUSDM and will, from time to time, poll the members of the staff for their concerns and opinions.

SAC acknowledges that it is only an advisory body and will only make recommendations to the Dean or their representative.

II. SAC Charge

  1. Provide input on policies and procedures which pertain to or impact TUSDM staff;
  2. Develop initiatives that strive to continually improve communication and morale through special educational, recreational, informational, and community service events towards staff development;
  3. Create networking opportunities for staff across TUSDM and the University;
  4. Encourage social responsibility and service to the University and the surrounding community;
  5. Provide a supportive network to collaborate with the overall TUSDM Community in communicating and achieving its goals.

III. Membership and Election Requirements

  1. SAC shall be composed of 15 staff representatives drawn from full-time and part-time benefits-eligible TUSDM staff.
  2. Nine (9) members of the SAC shall be elected and six (6) members of SAC shall be appointed by the Dean to insure a balanced representation (please see section 5). In the event that there are not enough nominees for the election, the Dean will appoint additional members in order to have equal representation amongst functions and major areas of the school.
  3. SAC members shall be elected or appointed for a three-year term, with a possibility of a one-time term renewal after a one-year sabbatical via the previously mentioned nomination process. Dean appointed members can serve up to two consecutive teams. Term years are effective July 1st through June 30th.
  4. Eligibility is based on the following criteria:
    1. TUSDM full-time or part-time benefits-eligible TUSDM staff member for at least one year.
    1. Employee has to be in good standing (no past or pending HR or OEO misconducts and/or investigations against them)
    1. Staff member has to be able to meet the required commitment for participation.
    1. Staff member cannot be in an Executive Administrative leadership position (e.g. Deans, Chairs, etc.)
    1. Staff member cannot be a direct or indirect report of another SAC member
  5. SAC membership should have a representation of all major areas of the School (UG and PG Clinics, Administrative, Research, Billing, Call Center, etc.)
  6. SAC members can either self-nominate or be nominated by others; nomination acceptance is required along with a brief statement describing why the nominee would like to serve on SAC
  7. SAC members will be nominated and selected based on the highest number of votes received in an electronic closed ballot sent to the TUSDM staff each June with new membership terms beginning July 1 of the consecutive year
  8. The Dean has the right to appoint non-voting ex-officio members who will serve in an advisory capacity to the SAC
  9. All members of the SAC shall be eligible to vote
  10. SAC membership shall be subject to all the policies and guidelines of Tufts University and TUSDM, as well as the Tufts University Employee Handbook
  11. No person serving as a member of the SAC shall be retaliated against based on the University’s No Retaliation Policy.
  12. A faculty member (if/when invited to a meeting) shall not have a vote when present at a meeting of the SAC.
  13. Resignations – A member wishing to resign from the SAC shall submit his/her resignation in writing to the chair of the SAC, the ex-officio advisors, and the SAC co-chairs with a copy to the Dean.
  14. Vacancies.
    • To replace members elected at-large, who resign from their position at the SAC, whose employment is terminated for any reason, or miss more than three consecutive meetings for unjustifiable reasons, such member shall be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from the SAC and such member’s position shall be filled by the person that received the next highest number of votes on the roster of unsuccessful candidates in the previous regular election. In the event that there are no other members available based on the previous election cycle, the Dean will appoint additional members who will serve until the next election cycle, and those appointed members shall be eligible for re-election to a full term.
    • For all Dean-appointed members who decide to resign from their position at the SAC, whose employment is terminated for any reason, or will miss more than three consecutive meetings for unjustifiable reasons, the Dean will appoint replacement members to fill the position until the next election/appointment cycle.
  15. Each officer or member (elected or appointed) shall automatically cease being a member of the SAC (i) if such person is no longer a full-time or part-time benefits-eligible staff member at TUSDM, (ii) if such person becomes an executive administrator, as defined in section, due to conflict of interest. 
  16. Each officer or member (elected or appointed) may be removed only for “cause,” by a closed ballot vote of the full SAC, and the approval for such removal by an affirmative vote of not less than 2/3rds of the members of the SAC then in office. Any member of the SAC can motion for such a procedure. The Dean reserves the right to remove any appointed staff member for “cause.”
  17. For purposes of these By-Laws, “cause” shall mean any of the following:
    • Failure to adhere to these By-Laws and their provisions;
    • Failure to adhere to the policies and guidelines of TUSDM or the University;
    • HR or OEO misconducts;
    • Failure to declare a conflict of interest;
    • Soliciting, receiving, or accepting any remuneration, exchange for a vote and/or favorable or unfavorable disposition on any item under consideration by the SAC or any of its committees;
    • A consistent pattern of behavior unbecoming of a SAC member (e.g., violent behavior; or identifying SAC members or guests with statements made in confidence to the SAC as examples);
    • Failure in keeping with confidentiality of the information of the SAC;
    • Any other situation where the SAC, in good faith, deems that a member not serving in the best interest of the Staff or Staff Advisory Council.
  18. When informed of non-compliance of any SAC member(s), the co-chairs will investigate the situation. If the findings indicate that further action should be taken, the co-chairs will notify the full SAC at the first meeting of the following month where:
    • The floor will be opened for discussion of the situation;
    • The member will be afforded the opportunity to respond;
    • A confidential ballot will be cast to determine removal from the SAC by a simple majority vote of the members present at the meeting or by the Dean.

IV. SAC Election Process

Annual election of members to SAC will be conducted electronically in the month of June using a ballot prepared by one of the SAC non-voting ex-officio members as assigned by the committee.

All nominees must confirm willingness to serve if elected. If a candidate fails to confirm his/her nomination by a deadline provided by the SAC non-voting ex-officio members, his/her name will be removed from the ballot. All nominations and elections will occur via confidential electronic closed ballot that will be send out to the TUSDM Staff Community.

Election results will be formally announced following the close of the election process, and SAC member terms shall commence on July 1 following the June election and end June 30 on the final year of the member’s term. Special provision for 2020: Committee members elected in the first election cycle (2020) will be assigned staggered terms based on the number of votes received in the election ballot.

V. Responsibilities of the SAC Chair and Vice-Chair

The Dean shall appoint presiding officer(s) (chair) from among SAC members. These officer(s) shall serve for the period of one year and be eligible for re-appointment for the duration of their tenure on the SAC. Responsibilities shall include but not limited to:

  1. Provide leadership to the SAC
  2. Facilitate meetings, record-keeping, and meeting minutes.
  3. Create and oversee sub-committees or ad-hoc committee if necessary
  4. Meet quarterly, or as appropriate, with the TUSDM Dean
  5. Coordinate communications between SAC and TUSDM staff community
  6. Review emails sent to the SAC email inbox
  7. Chair should be available during transitional periods to advise new leadership
  8. Keep track of the voting members of the SAC
  9. Spokesperson(s) for the SAC in any official matters
  10. Official link with any other University committees or will make an appointment to represent SAC on that committee or at the meeting
  11. Monitor attendance/participation of members – report to co-chairs, if necessary
  12. Provide a debriefing to incoming co-chairs in order to ensure continuity for the committee for the following year
  13. Keep the SAC website up to date

The Vice-Chair will be appointed by the members of the SAC, by majority rule.  Vice-chairperson shall  assist chair in the administrative roles.  Vice-Chair shall serve as acting Chair when Chair is absent from meetings.    

The Chair, or in their absence, the Vice-Chair, shall be appointed by the Dean to the Executive Faculty Committee, with voting rights, during each academic year.

VI.  SAC Formed Sub-Committees/Ad-hoc Committees

The chair of SAC may form sub-committees or ad hoc committees, each charged with a specific task and shall seek to balance committee membership across the members of SAC. Each committee will be given a time limit to accomplish their tasks and report back to the SAC Chair/Co-Chair and then SAC. After the sub-committee/ad hoc committee charge is complete, such committee shall be disbanded.

VII.  SAC Procedures and Conduct

  1. SAC shall govern itself in fair and orderly meetings.
  1. All discussions and proceedings of the SAC shall be CONFIDENTIAL unless it is stated that they are not. This is critically important to allow the SAC to be a “haven” for the staff to express issues and ideas.
  2. The SAC shall meet once a month during the academic year, on a date set forth by the chair and the SAC members. Meetings shall be conducted in-person or electronically.
  3. Additionally, meetings with the Dean will be scheduled as needed to advise him of, and discuss, matters of concerns. Emergency meetings can be called as needed either with or without the Dean.  If necessary, due to an urgent matter, an ad hoc committee of the chair and/or assistant chair and one member appointed by the chair will be formed to meet with the Dean.
  4. Minutes of the SAC meetings shall be made available to the SAC members by the assistant chair in advance of the next meeting when possible.  The SAC agenda, together with supporting documents, should be made available to the SAC by the chair in advance of the meeting dates whenever possible.
  5. Open forum part of meetings of the SAC shall be open to all staff members, provided that only the SAC members shall have voting rights. No visitors will be included in executive session.  Any visiting staff shall write a condifentiality notice. 
  6. SAC may invite Human Resources Business Partner on an adhoc/quartley basis as an advisory role for HR specific topics
  7. SAC may invite Assistant Dean of Diversity & Inclusion on an adhoc/quarterly as an advisory role for Diversity & Inclusion topics
  8. Except as otherwise set forth in these by-laws, all decisions of the SAC shall be made by an affirmative vote of no less than 2/3rds of the members of the SAC then in office.

VIII.  Admendments to By-laws

These by-laws may be amended by (a) the Dean, the Provost, or the President; or (b) (i) an affirmative vote of no less than 2/3rds of the members of the SAC then in office or (ii) an affirmative vote of a majority of members on the Executive Faculty, but such amendment shall become effective only upon written approval by the Dean, the Provost, or the President.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that these by-laws conflict with any policies of the University or any resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees, such conflicted provisions may be amended by the Dean, the Provost, or the President.

IX.  Dissolution of the Staff Advisory Council

The SAC may be dissolved by (i) an affirmative vote of no less than 2/3rds of the members of the SAC then in office, (ii) by the Dean, the Provost, or the President, (iii) by a majority of the staff at TUSDM entitled to vote for SAC members, or (iv) by the Board of Trustees.