Staff Council FAQs

Location: Boynton Hall
Phone: 508-831-5470

Staff Council FAQs

How big is the WPI Staff Council?

The Staff Council will be comprised of 18 members; 14 elected by the community and 4 appointed members, with the goal of equitable representation across departments, employee classes, and demographics. Each member represents all eligible staff. Appointed members will be approved by majority vote of Staff Council.

How long do Staff Council members serve?

Staff Council members will serve a two-year appointment from August 1 through the last day in July, with an approximately equal number of terms expiring each year. Elections shall be finalized on or before the June meeting.

How will the WPI Staff Council represent the staff?

The 14 elected Staff Council members will broadly represent the functional differences of the work areas across the community. The four appointed members will help ensure even greater diversity within the council.

How will the WPI Staff Council be organized?

The Staff Council will be led by a chair, vice-chair, treasurer, communication and public relations officer and a secretary. Members may serve on internal committees. These committees may include, but are not limited to:  

·     Talent & Inclusion: Policies and Equity 

·     Community Engagement: Town Halls, Tabling, and Small Milestone Celebrations 

·     Professional Development and Training 

·     University Issues and Policies

What will Staff Council members do?

The Staff Council will work with senior leadership in Talent & Inclusion and will also collaborate with several groups or committees on campus led by T&I (e.g., the Fringe Benefits Committee). In the Administrative Policy Group, the Staff Council will be represented by two of its members. One member will serve in the Joint Coordinating Council and at Board of Trustees meetings, as deemed appropriate. As topics relevant to their areas of oversight/responsibility arise, the Staff Council may also maintain a regular cadence of meetings with the president and other campus senior leaders.

What if I am nominated and prefer not to join the Staff Council?

Working with the Staff Council is entirely voluntary. If you are nominated, you are free to decline consideration.

Why should I consider serving on the Staff Council?

Serving on the Staff Council has professional and personal benefits. Members will develop leadership, organization, and communication skills while collaborating with colleagues from various divisions, departments, and offices. Members will learn about important issues affecting the university and its employees and help make recommendations for specific improvements. As they become advocates for WPI staff, they'll help drive change in areas important to the employee experience at WPI.

How can I stay informed and engaged with Staff Council initiatives even if I don’t serve?

The Staff Council will have a webpage and regular correspondence to reach staff constituents. Through the website and other communication avenues, the Staff Council will effectively collect and disseminate valuable information, documents and publish meeting minutes, and increase awareness of initiatives.

Who is not able to serve on the Staff Council?

There are a few set parameters to ensure the success of the Staff Council and to be sure the university meets its priority to have well-represented and inclusive participation in the selection and appointment process. To help promote equal representation and encourage broader perspectives and input, union members (as they have voting rights or representation by means of another university group), faculty, and members of the President’s Cabinet are not eligible to vote or to serve on the Staff Council.

Does the Staff Council create policies for staff?

The Staff Council’s responsibilities include assisting with evaluating or making recommendations on policies and procedures affecting staff but does not directly create policies for staff.

Why are there two appointments on the staff council for each election?

The appointed Staff Council members are intended to allow flexibility for diverse input and support the goal of equitable representation across departments, employee classes, and demographics.

I understand that the Staff Council approves of appointees by majority vote but who recommends the appointees?

University leadership and Talent & Inclusion may provide input as to possible appointees. The Staff Council may approach nominees who were not elected or may identify others outside the election process entirely. The Staff Council's approach may vary, depending upon the current composition of the council.  Appointed members will be approved by majority vote of Staff Council.

Can any campus members participate in standing/ad-hoc committees or only eligible campus members as defined by the Staff Council Bylaws and Constitution?

Community members may be invited guests to both full Staff Council and/or committee meetings.

What will be the mechanisms or formal methods for employees to bring issues or concerns to the Staff Council to discuss?

The Staff Council is currently working to create a mechanism for staff to submit concerns. Until a process is in place, please email the Staff Council at

Will the Staff Council meet and/or conduct activities during non-academic months?

The Staff Council will operate year-round.

Are staff who are in their new employee introductory period allowed to run for staff council?

Employees in their new employee introductory period are eligible to serve on the council.  Please contact Talent & Inclusion regarding employee policies and guidelines for further consultation.

How many all-staff meetings will be held by the Staff Council each year?

Staff Council may convene all-staff meetings at least twice per year to provide a forum for all staff to come together to discuss matters of importance to the constituency.

Will Staff Council members participate or attend other committee groups that discuss important issues impacting staff?

Yes. The Staff Council actively engages and participates in regular, special, and committee meetings.

What is the time commitment for the Staff Council members?

Staff Council terms are for two years and will involve monthly council meetings. Subcommittees will meet on an as-needed basis and will report at each monthly council meeting.

Staff council meets for 90 minutes every other week. In addition, Staff Council members participate in one or more sub-committees or task forces which requires additional time. Please consult with your direct supervisor regarding your interest in serving as a member of the Staff Council to ensure a successful experience.

The Staff Council co-chairs will meet monthly with T&I leadership and may meet with the president up to once a term, as well as with guests from the Management Council, as deemed appropriate.

Service on the Staff Council is considered a part of the staff member’s workload; therefore, it is not additive to the responsibilities of the staff member’s work.