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Article I - Name of the Council

The organization shall be known as the Staff Advisory Council (SAC).

Article II - Purpose of the Council

The purpose and mission of the Staff Advisory Council is to advise the President of the College on behalf of the staff.

Article III – Membership

The Council membership shall consist of a diverse mix of employees of the College. There shall be no less than seven and no more than 13 members.

Members of the Council serve a three-year term.  Terms will follow the fiscal calendar, beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.

Seating of the Council:

Staff employees under each Vice President or Cabinet Officer will elect representatives to serve on the Council. In the instance that a division has fewer than 50 staff members, that division will elect one representative to the Council. In the instance that a division has greater than 50 members, that division will elect two representatives to the Council. Due to their current size, the Office of the President and the Vice President for the Division of Inclusive Excellence will elect one individual from the combination of those two divisions.

Once the elected divisional representation is determined, the Council will then appoint additional members (up to four) to serve in an at-large capacity as needed. To determine appointees, the elected representatives will base the needs of the Council on the following criteria (including, but not limited to):

  • Areas of expertise
  • Employment status (full or part time, exempt/non-exempt)
  • Broad representation of diversity amongst Council members (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, ability, years of service, etc.)

Repopulation of the Council:

The current members of the Council will oversee the process of filling vacant positions either by election or appointment. A nominee must have completed their orientation period to be eligible to serve on the Council.


Elected positions will be filled through an election process. A call for interested staff members from the Vice President or Cabinet Member’s group will go out in the fall. Eligible candidates will be presented via ballot in the spring (Feb-April). Elected staff will begin serving their term on July 1.  Staff are eligible to run for a second consecutive term, but then must sit out one election cycle before seeking reelection, or submitting their name for appointment.    


An appointed position will be filled by Council appointment. A call for interested staff members will go out to all employees of the College in the fall. Eligible candidates will be selected by the Council in the spring and begin serving their term on July 1. Appointed Council members may serve two consecutive terms but then must sit out one term before submitting their name for re-appointment or election.

Filling Vacated Positions Prior to End of Term:

When a Council member vacates a position before their term is completed, and the vacancy reduces membership below minimum levels, the Council will appoint someone to fill the open position.

If the vacated position is an elected position, the position will be filled via the election process during the next fiscal year. Any appointed member would serve until the election process was complete. The appointed member would be eligible to run for the open position. 

If the position is an appointed position, the member appointed to replace the resigning Council member has the option to serve a full term.

Council Member Moves Departments:

If a member moves departments during their term, they will finish their current term. After their three year term is complete, the Council member may either run for election or submit their name for appointment to represent their new Vice President or Cabinet Officer group.

Article IV - Officers

The Council officers are Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Scheduling and Communications Coordinator. Officers are nominated and elected from the Council membership for a one-year term. Elections will be held for officers with members of the Council casting votes. Votes will be collected and tallied anonymously. A member must have served one full year to be considered for the position of Chair or Vice Chair. All other positions are open to all members of the Council.  

A term can be renewed by a vote of the Council for an additional consecutive term.

Note: It is suggested that those seeking to serve as Chair or Vice Chair serve initially in another officer position or as a chair of one of the sub-committees.

The Chair leads all meetings and sends out agendas for meetings in a timely manner.  Between meetings, the Chair is the contact for all Council business. The Chair is responsible for sharing suggestions from all communication avenues with the Council including the online suggestion box as well as managing access to the WSAC Google Drive, adding and removing members from the wsac@whitman.edu and sac@whitman.edu email lists.  The Chair position may be held by an individual or shared between two Co-Chairs.

The Vice Chair, in the absence of the Chair, performs all duties of the Chair as needed. The Vice Chair’s responsibilities also include oversight of the membership of the Council such as terms, additions, etc.  The Vice Chair is responsible for maintaining the members contact list, members term tracking document, and the Vice President/Cabinet Member Election Allocation document.

The Secretary records the minutes of the meetings, sends them out to the membership for review in a timely manner. The Secretary maintains all other records of the Council.

The Scheduling and Communications Coordinator is responsible for updates to the Council webpage, coordinating with other departments on campus as needed, and communicating with other media as necessary. The Scheduling and Communications Coordinator also secures meeting locations and any technical equipment.

The Treasurer will track the expenditures of the Council and keep the Council informed of the budget. The Treasurer will also be responsible for preparing a budget to bring to the Council for approval. The finalized budget request will then be forwarded to the President of the College.

Article V – Meetings

The Council year runs July 1 - June 30 and will meet at least monthly from September to May. Summer meetings are at the discretion of the Chair and determined by the Council’s need for meetings. Meeting times and places are coordinated by the Scheduling and Communications Coordinator, in consultation with the Council.

A minimum of fifty percent of the membership present at meetings constitutes a quorum for deciding business. For example: 

  • 13 members - quorum = 7
  • 12 members - quorum = 7
  • 11 members - quorum = 6
  • 10 members - quorum = 6
  • 9 members - quorum = 5

In cases where less than fifty-percent of the membership is present, decisions will have to be tabled until a quorum is available.

Missing more than four meetings in a Council year may result in removal of a member from the Council by a vote of the other Council members.

Article VI – Sub-Committees


This sub-committee will be chaired by the Vice Chair of the Council and will be responsible for nominations and elections when required to fill open positions on the Council. This sub-committee will work with the Council in identifying staff members for nomination.

Article VII - Amendments

Amendments may be made to these by-laws at any time by a vote of the Council.

Other Information:

Public Email: sac@whitman.edu

Council Email: wsac@whitman.edu

Mailbox at Post Office

Whitman Webpage: https://www.whitman.edu/human-resources/faculty-and-staff/sac

Human Resources
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