Governing documents

University Leadership Alliance Constitution

1. Name

  • 1.1. The name of this organization will be the University of Nevada, Reno, Leadership Alliance. Hereinafter it will be referred to as ULA.
  • 1.2. The divisions of ULA will be referred to as the Board of University Leaders and the Elected Chair, Vice Chair and the Secretary will be referred as ULA Executive Board.

2. Purpose

2.1. Role
  • 2.1.1. ULA is designed to be the unified voice of graduate students, undergraduate students, classified staff and employees, and faculty on all campus affairs. The ULA endeavors to collaborate all the governing bodies on campus and create a proactive environment for the UNR community. It ventures to accurately represent the concerns and needs of students, staff and faculty to the University administration and ensures transparency of information between the University administration and UNR community. 
  • 2.2. Definition of Students, Employees, and Faculty
  • 2.2.1. Anyone who is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate student program and any individual who is a classified employee, or an academic or administrative faculty member at University of Nevada, Reno under the Nevada System of Higher Education classified as a student, employee, and faculty respectively.
2.3. Structure
  • 2.3.1. The structure is designed to assure that the ULA is representative of graduate and undergraduate students, classified employees, and academic and administrative faculty of UNR. The ULA's Board is comprised of representatives from the GSA Executive Board, ASUN Executive Board, Faculty Senate Executive Board and Staff Employees' Council Executive Board.
  • The board members shall be responsible for coordinating and communicating the updates of ULA and vice versa from the organization they represent.
  • The board members can make use of the information shared at the ULA Board Meetings and take the necessary actions as per the needs of their respective organizations.
  • The secretary of ULA shall inform all other governing/representative bodies not currently represented within the ULA board, ex-officio members, or ad hoc members of the opening of nominations.
  • The students, staff and faculty of each department, or school shall determine their own selection procedures and run as per the constitution and bylaws of their respective organizations. Each organization should include the membership of ULA; this should be mandated in the job descriptions of the executive team members of each organization's bylaws.
  • If a board member's seat remains vacant, the advisor or the president/chair of the governing body shall nominate a senator/representative of their governing body to be temporarily elected by the other ULA board members until the board member seat is filled with the executive team member of the governing body.
  • Retiring board members shall vacate their ULA positions immediately after concluding their term as an executive member within their respective organizations.

3. Board

3.1. Responsibilities
  • 3.1.1. Serve as a communication body to the President of the University in the best interest of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Board will communicate to the President of the University within the areas that need utmost attention and serves as a forum for students, staff and faculty from various background such as minority student body leaders, student clubs and organizations that serves the best interest of students and faculty, departments and colleges of the University by expressing their student's concerns at the ULA meetings as described below:
  • Meetings will occur once per spring and fall semester with the full chamber with the representative teams of the GSA, ASUN, Staff Employees' Council, and Faculty Senate.
  • Electing and/or confirming the ULA Chair, Vice Chair, and the Secretary shall occur once per academic year in the fall semester.
  • Communicate all student, staff, and faculty concerns.
  • Requesting reports constituting priorities and the goals for the University from the President and/or other higher administrators at the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Announcements regarding upcoming projects that affect the students, staff, and faculty of University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Reports from GSA, ASUN, Staff Employees' Council, and Faculty Senate regarding their priorities and goals for the semester and areas where the governing bodies plan to collaborate during the upcoming semester.
  • Amending the ULA Governing Document in the ULA board special meetings and approve it in a following board meeting with the two thirds vote.
  • Designating committees to work on particular projects.
  • 3.1.2. Failure to Perform Duties
  • Board members who repeatedly fail to perform their duties, or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by two-thirds vote of the board and replaced with the special nomination by their organization advisor; a two-thirds vote by the board must be achieved to elect a new member from the same organization. According to the procedures of the constituency, a board member must be given notice of an intended motion of removal at least four days before the meeting where the vote will be held. Board members may also be removed by the constituencies that elected them to become ULA representatives.
3.2. Membership
  • 3.2.1. The ULA consists of both voting members and ex officio members.
  • Voting Members: Voting members will consist of three executive team members from each campus governance organization (GSA, ASUN, Staff Employees' Council, and the Faculty Senate). In the event that a board member is not present at a ULA meeting, a pre-designated proxy attending the meeting is empowered to vote in place of that Board Member. The Board Member from each organization will be determined according to the following:
  • Executive Board, GSA
  • Executive Board, ASUN
  • Executive Board, SEC
  • Executive Board, Faculty Senate
  • Ex Officio Members. Ex officio members are not entitled to vote at board meetings, except the Chair of ULA, who may vote only to break a tie. Ex- officio members should be serving in their respective functions as leaders in any position at the University and must attend meeting as per the request by the board to present to the board on any arising topic, or a generic priorities and goals from their leadership position on campus. Ex officio members may not vote as a proxy for an absent voting member. Ex officio members include the following:
  • President of the University
  • Executive Vice President and Provost of the University
  • Vice Provost for Graduate Education and the Dean of Graduate School Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Chief of Staff
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Chair of ULA
  • Student Body Advisors
  • Director of Student Engagement
  • ULA Advisor
  • Representative of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)
  • Representative of the Center, Every Student Every Story
  • Social Service Coordinator
  • 3.2.3 Ad Hoc Members
  • Ad hoc members are permanent representatives from recognized organizations oriented toward graduate students, undergraduate students, classified staff, and faculty. Organizations must petition the board and be approved by a majority vote of the board in order to be granted ad hoc membership. Ad hoc members are non-voting members of the ULA Board.
3.3. Elections
  • 3.3.1. Timeline
  • New Board members will automatically fill the seats once they are elected as the executive team of GSA, ASUN, Staff Employees' Council, and Faculty Senate. The Chair, Vice Chair and the Secretary of ULA will be elected for a one year term with no term limits at the first ULA meeting of the fall semester. The ULA executive team should be elected with minimum two thirds vote of the board. As soon as the new ULA Chair, Vice Chair and the Secretary are elected, their names should be sent by the ULA Secretary to the advisors of all the shared governance organizations, the President of the University, Provost of the University, Vice President of Student Services, Dean of the Graduate School and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Furthermore, the executive and board member names should be announced to all University students and faculty through listserve. For elections procedures, see 4.2.
3.4. Board Meetings
  • 3.4.1. Quorum
  • Quorum is two thirds of the total number of ULA voting board members. When the quorum is met, the board shall discuss all the information items in the proposed agenda.
  • 3.4.2. Voting A simple majority vote of the members present at the board meeting is required to pass a resolution, or bylaw amendment.
  • A two-thirds vote of the members present at the board meeting is required to pass a governing document amendment.
  • Notice of a proposed resolution/bylaw amendment/constitutional amendment with all other supporting documents must be given to all the board members at least two weeks prior to the voting date.
  • In urgent and/or time sensitive cases, board members may vote for an expedited voting timeline of one week from the proposal of the item. Expedited votes can take place online up to one month following the board meeting in which proposed changes were presented.
  • 3.4.3. Meeting structure
  • The board meeting will be held once per semester, preferably in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
  • The Chair of the ULA shall run the meeting according to Robert's Rules of Order.
  • All meetings will be open to the public. Any student, faculty and concerned community member may speak during public comment.

4. ULA Executive Board (Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary)

4.1. Responsibilities
  • 4.1.1. The Executive Board members execute the day-to-day operations of ULA through the following responsibilities:
  • Coordinate the activities of the Board, create recommendations as per the meeting outcomes.
  • Help making administrative decisions on how all the governing bodies should collaborate and address any particular issue.
  • Prepare the agenda for the upcoming ULA meeting.
  • Post ULA minutes on the ULA website and send it to the constituents through listserve.
  • Participate in all board and executive meetings.
  • Responsibly manage and reconcile all expenses for any and all applicable funds.
  • Organize the ULA meetings and invite all the board members, ex-officio and ad hoc members, and other people of concern to the meetings.
  • Ensure all the voting board members of ULA, or the presidents/chairs of the governing bodies meet once per month.
  • Assign any committee from any of the governing bodies to undertake particular job of ULA with the consent of Executive team of the governing body.
  • 4.1.2. Duties of the Chair of ULA
  • Coordinate and regulate the ULA meeting.
  • Utilize Robert's Rules of Order during meetings.
  • Create meeting agendas.
  • Serve as ex-officio member at ULA board meeting and only retain voting rights to break the tie.
  • Invite other ex-officio members to attend ULA meetings.
  • Regulate the changes in the ULA Governing Document.
  • 4.1.3. Duties of the Vice Chair
  • Form the Resolution and Recommendation in collaboration with other Executive Board Members of ULA.
  • Serve as a Vice Chair and hold the voting rights on the ULA board.
  • Ensure that the charged Committees of any of the governing bodies are performing their task(s).
  • Ensure that the charges of the ULA board members are stated as part of their position job description in the Bylaws of their respective organizations.
  • 4.1.4. Duties of the Secretary
  • Write, edit, and distribute meeting minutes for board members' approval.
  • Advocate for the best practices of the meeting norms and ensure the parliamentary procedure is followed.
  • Announce ULA Election results to all the concerned parties on campus via all students, staff and faculty listserve.
  • Securing venues, setup, and organization of ULA meetings, special board meetings, and receptions.
  • Assume the responsibility of being the ULA treasurer responsibilities to handle finances, if any.
4.2. Time of Elections
  • 4.2.1. Executive Board elections shall be held in the fall semester ULA meeting. The Executive board of ULA shall only be elected from among the voting board members. The announcement of position openings should be done in the ULA spring meeting and shall be announced online by the ULA Secretary at the end of the academic year. The ULA Advisor/Director will conduct the elections. If the Advisor/Director is unavailable, the election will be conducted by an individual elected at the fall board meeting. The Board may also appoint neutral observers to provide oversight at the elections.
4.3. Structure of Elections
  • 4.3.1. Elections will be opened by the Advisor/Director, or elected board member. The board members can nominate themselves in the board meeting, or nominate fellow board members for the position. Each nominee may give a brief speech. The exact amount of time for the speech will be determined in advance based on the number of candidates running which will be decided by the Advisor/Director or elected member for elections (i.e. shorter if more candidates are running, longer if fewer candidates are running), not to exceed 7 minutes each in any case. Candidates will be informed of the speech length once the nominations are completed. Voting shall be by the raise of hands, or ballots. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes, there will be a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes.
4.4. Mid-Year Vacancy
  • 4.4.1. In the event of a vacancy of a chair position in mid-year, the vice chair of the ULA will take over the position of the chair to perform the duties. If the vice chair is unable to take the duties of the chair, the secretary will take over the position of the chair until, or if the board may opt to appoint someone to temporarily fill the position by majority vote. If the board chooses to not appoint a new executive member, the vice chair, or a secretary will complete the term as an interim chair of ULA. This interim position of the chair should be filled by one of the voting board members. The name of the new interim executive board members shall be advertised as per the same procedure when the chair is elected in a regular election. If the vice chair, or the secretary position is vacant in the mid-year, the vice chair will fill the position of secretary and vice versa until the Board opts to appoint someone to temporarily fill the position by majority vote. If the board chooses to not appoint a new vice chair or the secretary, the vice chair will fill the position of secretary, or the secretary will assume the position of vice chair until the completion of their term. If both the vice chair and secretary position is vacant in the mid-year, the board must elect from among the voting members of ULA, at least one position to who will be in the position of both the vice chair and secretary of the ULA. The board can elect both the positions and candidates should be voting members of ULA.
4.5. Failure to Perform Duties
  • 4.5.1. Executive board members who repeatedly fail to perform their duties, or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the board. An executive board member must be given notice of the intended removal by the ULA advisor at least four days prior the vote. If the votes are in favor to remove the executive board member/s from the position, they still will hold the position of a voting member of ULA unless the board votes to remove them from the ULA entirely. In this case the section
  • 4.4 Mid-Year Vacancy election process will be considered.
4.6. Revised Accountability Protocol for ULA Leadership Positions
  • 4.6.1. Familiarize self with his/her position.
  • 4.6.2. Each board member is expected to go through his/her personal position's responsibilities section of the ULA Governing Document prior to the transition retreat.
  • 4.6.3. Meet with previous board member in his/her position to discuss past successes, events, etc.
  • 4.6.4. Create an Action Plan.
  • Each board member will create a Fall and Spring Action Plan with concrete goals and objectives to be met by the end of each term.
  • This document will serve as an agreement between all the board members to ensure the collaborative efforts towards the progress of constituents.
  • Goals and objectives should have approximate deadlines.
  • His/her goals and objectives should be in line with the overall goals, mission, vision and objectives of University and benefit the UNR community as a whole. Programs and advocacy issues that only serve a board member's personal interests, or only reach a very limited audience are not appropriated. This does not apply to efforts designed to support/benefit underrepresented students; resolutions on the allocation of funds and resources should always take into account the greater good.
  • Fall/Spring Action Plans Submission and Approval Timeline
  • Individual Action Plans such as GSA action plans, ASUN action plans, SEC action plans and Faculty Senate actions plans shall be publicly presented at every ULA meeting.
  • Managing problems
  • Any executive board member, committee chair, committee member, or student who has a problem with a ULA member should confidentially direct their complaints in writing to all the board members and their shared government organization advisors/directors.
  • Examples of an Offense
  • It is impossible to provide a completely exhaustive list of all potential offenses but as a general rule of thumb, an offense should be understood as one or more of the following:
  • Failure to perform the general duties required of all executive board members and/or the specific duties required of one's particular position as outlined in the ULA Constitution;
  • Unethical, or unprofessional behavior including actions that either compromises the image, or integrity of ULA, or UNR, and/or use of ULA's name and resources for personal gain;
  • Excessive absences, or lack of timely responsiveness;
  • Regarding absences, this can be taken on a case-by-case basis, but in general, unexcused absences are never tolerated and subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, when excused absences become frequent enough to interfere with an executive board member's ability to perform their duties and/or puts undue burden on other board members, disciplinary action may be taken by the board;
  • Regarding timely responsiveness, all executive board members are expected to check their official email accounts on a regular basis and respond to all inquiries within 3 business days, excluding national holidays, religious holidays, and weekends.
  • Tier 1 - a first offense will warrant an action in this category.
  • In a timely fashion and with utmost confidentiality, the Vice Chair, Chair, or a Director will set an in-person counseling meeting with the board member to discuss the situation. 
  • Tier 2 - a second offense will warrant an action in this category.
  • A Verbal Warning will be given to the leadership member by the Vice Chair or the Chair.
  • A Letter of Reprimand will be issued to the leadership member.
  • Tier 3 - A third offense will warrant an action in this category.
  • The Vice Chair, or Chair may ask the leadership member to resign from his/her position.
  • Exhibit A - Counseling Meeting Steps. Use these steps in effective and supportive counseling:
  • Show confidence in the board member's ability and willingness to solve the problem. Ask them for help in solving the problem.
  • Describe the performance problem. Focus on the problem, or behavior that needs improvement, not the person. Ask for the board member's view of the situation.
  • Determine whether issues exist that limit the board member's ability to perform the task or accomplish the objective. Four common barriers are time, training, tools, and temperament. Determine how to remove these barriers.
  • Discuss potential solutions to the problem or improvement actions to take. Ask the board member for ideas on how to correct the problem, or prevent it from happening again.
  • Agree on a written action plan that lists what the board member and the supervisor (possibly a higher-up advisor) will do to correct the problem, or improve the situation.
  • Set a date and time for follow-up. Determine if a critical feedback path is needed, so the supervisor knows how the board member is progressing. Offer positive encouragement. Express confidence in the leadership member's ability to improve.
4.7. Special Board Meetings
  • 4.7.1. Structure: The executive board shall meet at the time set by the previous meeting, at the call of the President/Chair, or at the call of two or more executive board members.
  • 4.7.2. Quorum for special board meetings is one-half of the existing executive board.
  • 4.7.3. Voting
  • A simple majority is required to pass a motion at executive board meetings. In the event of a tie, the Chair will vote to break the tie.

5. Standing Committees

5.1. Assignment of Charges
  • 5.1.1. The ULA board may ask one of the shared governance organizations to charge their relevant committee to fulfill the course of action with the consent of the Speaker of the Senate/Vice President of Internal Affairs/Vice Chair of that particular organization.
  • 5.2. Responsibilities
  • 5.2.1. Standing Committees will address UNR community's concerns at the University. Their duties include:
  • Representing the constituents in their charged area.
  • Informing and updating the executive team of their shared governance organization on their activities on a regular basis.
  • Researching and reporting on issues when requested to do so by the Executive Board with the consent of the Speaker of the Senate/Vice President of Internal Affairs/Vice Chair of that particular shared governance organization.
  • 5.2.2. Establishment of Committee charges
  • Standing committees can be suggested by the executive board members of the shared governance organization, or the ULA Executive Board and with the consent of the Speaker of the Senate/Vice President of Internal Affairs/Vice Chair of that shared governance organization, ULA board should approve by the simple majority vote to levy those charges. The committee chair, or the board member of ULA shall report on the progress to all the board members at the following meeting, or via email.

6. Resolutions and Recommendations

6.1. If the board decides to pass a resolution or recommendation to the University Leadership, all the resolutions and recommendations should be approved by the board with a simple majority vote at a ULA board or special meeting.
  • 6.1.1. All the resolutions formed by the vice chair (in collaboration with the executive board) should be saved with the naming convention of RE|RC|001|YY (Resolution/Recommendation,Resolution Number, Year 2018).
  • 6.1.2. All the approved resolutions should be achieved by all the shared governance organizations that are part of ULA.
  • 6.1.3. Once the resolutions or recommendations are approved by the board, the ULA Chair should send the electronic copy to all the voting, ex-officio, ad-hoc board members, as well as classified staff, students, and faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • 6.1.4. A hard copy of the resolution or recommendation should be signed by the secretary, vice chair and the chair (in this order) and should be presented to all the ex-officio board members. The ex-officio members are encouraged to update the board on the recommendations that were considered in the following ULA meeting during their reports.