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University of Pittsburgh

November 21, 2012

SAC tackles bylaws

sac2Term limits and the minimum number of meetings required were among the provisions discussed as Staff Association Council members prepare to vote next month on bylaws revisions.

The bylaws are scheduled for a Dec. 12 vote after a two-year section-by-section review of the document, which had its last major revision in 2008.

At SAC’s Nov. 14 meeting, which was devoted to discussion of the draft bylaws document, vice president J.P. Matychak told members that proposals for amendments that would alter the document’s content must be submitted by Nov. 26. Those proposals would be distributed to members in advance of the Dec. 12 meeting, at which the new bylaws are to be put to a vote.

At the Nov. 14 meeting, members debated the proposed reduction of the required minimum number of meetings from 10 per year to eight.

Some favored the lower number to avoid violating the bylaws in the case of emergency circumstances, such as the bomb threats or weather akin to 2010’s “snowmageddon” that could interfere with meetings.

Others feared that requiring only eight meetings per year might open the door for SAC simply to schedule fewer meetings rather than maintaining the current 10 meetings per year.

Term limits — a hot issue in SAC’s 2008 bylaws review— again drew comments for and against. In 2008, members voted down a proposal to extend officers’ term limits beyond three consecutive two-year terms. (See Nov. 20, 2008, University Times.)

The proposed bylaws would limit officers to two consecutive two-year terms with a maximum of four terms.

Past president Rich Colwell, who served three consecutive terms, argued against limits. “I feel that if you have a good person who would like to lead the organization — who is leading the organization — you also have the option to vote that person out. To limit that person is to limit the availability of good people who are good for the organization staying in.”

Matychak noted that the proposed bylaws don’t limit the number of terms a member could serve on SAC’s executive committee. He pointed out that, in theory, a member could serve for eight years in each of the five proposed executive officer positions (president, executive vice president, vice president for public relations, vice president of finance and parliamentarian) for a total of 40 years in SAC leadership.

In other business:

• Matychak reported that SAC Book Fund pledge cards had been developed in conjunction with Institutional Advancement (IA) and that the fund would be highlighted on the IA site and in phone solicitations.

• SAC’s next brown bag lunch session is set for noon Dec. 4 in the William Pitt Union dining hall B. The topic will be financial planning. Nearly 40 people attended the October brown bag presentation on stress management.

• SAC’s next meeting is set for noon-1:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in Ballroom B of the University Club.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature, Volume 45 Issue 7

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