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Join Staff Senate

Staff Senate hosts annual elections for membership. Senator terms are three years, beginning on July 1 of the year elected. Membership is open to staff members across the enterprise, including UK HealthCare and those working in hybrid or remote locations.

Base Requirements:

  • Regular staff employee with a .50 or greater FTE
  • Continuous employment of three months at the University of Kentucky
  • Attendance at the monthly Staff Senate meeting
  • Attendance at the monthly committee meeting
  • Supervisor approval (obtained in nomination form)

Full details on Staff Senate eligibility and membership can be found in the Staff Senate Bylaws on the About Us page and the FAQ below.

Learn about candidates

Review candidate statements for the 2024 slate at the link below.

Review candidates

Voting is open!

  • Voting will remain open through 8:00 pm on May 31

Please share any difficulty voting with Elections Chair Krystle Moore (

Vote here!

Learn More

Expand the sections below for details on our upcoming meet and greets and to read through frequently asked questions for each topic.

If you have a question that's not answered below, please contact our Elections Committee.

Meet and Greets

Staff Senate will schedule a few elections-focused opportunities to meet with current Senators.  

  • March 20, 4:00-5:00pm ET, Woodward Hall, Gatton College of Business & Economics (Please RSVP)

Can't make one of our meet and greets? Reach out to Elections Chair Krystle Moore ( to get connected!

Staff Senate Membership FAQs

Who is eligible to become a staff senator?

All regular staff employees with a .50 or greater FTE are eligible.  Nominees must have no less than three (3) months of continuous employment at the university and have the approval of their supervisor.


What does Staff Senate do?

Staff Senate provides a forum for staff to work together to promote their common interests, needs, and concerns.  We work closely with all staff, faculty, administrators, and students to find solutions that are beneficial to all groups and the university.  Senators will communicate regularly with their sector, attend all regular Staff Senate meetings, serve on a committee, and uphold the By-Laws of Staff Senate.


How long is a Senate term?

Senators are elected for terms of three (3) years.


What amount of time does a Senator need to commit to Staff Senate?

Each Senator will serve on a committee.  Committee meetings are typically one (1) hour per month. Committee meetings are scheduled according to member availability.

All Senators are expected to attend the monthly main body session.  The main body Staff Senate Meeting is held on the second Thursday of each month and is scheduled for three (3) hours per month. 

There are also other events and activities that will have volunteer opportunities that are optional but encouraged.

Elections Process FAQs

How do Staff Senate general membership elections work?

Based on the timeline listed above, nomination forms will be reviewed for eligibility by the Staff Senate Elections Committee and Program Coordinator. All eligible nominees will be posted on a ballot sent to all staff at the university. Each staff member will see the eligible candidates based on sector (determined as the direct report to the president). Each staff member will be allowed to cast five (5) votes for individual candidates. Membership will be determined by the number of votes received. Messages will be sent to the campus and nominees to announce voting results.

What are the general election guidelines?

Be honest in your nomination form. Do not pay or otherwise incentivize votes in your favor. Follow the timeline listed above. 

Supervisor FAQs

How much time will a senator be away from work?

Senators are obligated to attend the main body session and committee meeting each month. The main body session is approximately three hours and meets on the second Thursday of each month. Committee meetings are held once a month for an hour - they are scheduled depending on the committee's availability. These hours are considered a normal part of the employee's working time - they should not take vacation leave, TDL, or other forms of leave to attend these required meetings.


How does having a Staff Senate representative benefit your department?

Senators are representatives of the university employee population that they serve.  Having a senator from your department gives your team a voice and access to information about issues that are in the works. While they represent the university staff at large, the information they learn can help inform your departmental decision-making.


Is Staff Senate beneficial to your employee’s professional development and goals?

Staff Senate is an opportunity to create inter-departmental contacts, participate in large-scale projects, and pursue leadership opportunities in the body. There are many opportunities to pursue professional development and gain leadership experience in the body, its committees, and its university workgroups.


Does the department need to pay anything for an employee who is on Staff Senate?

Regularly scheduled main body sessions and committee meetings are paid like normal working hours. There is no cost for membership in Staff Senate. 


Will my employee need to leave work to participate in Staff Senate?

Senators can attend meetings either in-person or online via zoom. It is expected that participants joining on zoom set aside the time specifically for Staff Senate and try to avoid stepping away from the meeting if possible, even if they remain in their normal work location.


Is there somewhere I can get more information about supervising a Staff Senator?

Yes, you may join any of our meet and greets, submit a contact us form question, or reach out to our current senators and leadership to chat one on one.


Other Ways to Share Your Voice

The UK Women's Forum is also accepting nominations for new members from March 1st through March 31st.  Visit their site to learn more about membership and submit a nomination.  

Staff Representative to the Board of Trustees

The next election for the Staff Representative to the Board of Trustees will be held in spring 2025. The information listed below for this position is current as of March 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

The Staff Representative to the Board of Trustees is a voting Board member, representing the interests of staff at the University of Kentucky. The Staff Representative serves a three-year term, beginning on July 1 of their elected year.

Base Requirements: 

  • Regular staff employee with a 1.0 FTE.
  • No relatives working at the University of Kentucky.
  • Continuous employment of at least one year at the University of Kentucky.
  • Attendance at the Staff Representative to the Board Debate
  • Attendance at Trustee meetings, Senate meetings, and meetings of the Staff Senate Trustee Advisory Committee.
  • Supervisor approval (obtained in nomination form)

Full details on eligibility and role requirements are included in the nomination form below.

For more information on the Board of Trustees and their operations, visit their website.

Who is the current Staff Rep to the Board?

The Staff Representative to the Board of Trustees is currently Dave Melanson ( 

Board of Trustees Representative FAQs

Does the Board of Trustee Representative have to be a Staff Senator?

No, the Board of Trustees Representative is an ex-oficio member of Staff Senate upon election to the position.


What is the Board of Trustees and what is their purpose?

The governance of the University of Kentucky is vested by law in its Board of Trustees. Within the limits set by the state constitution and federal and state laws (the Council on Postsecondary Education in Kentucky has powers and duties that relate to the governance of the University of Kentucky), the Board of Trustees is the final authority in all matters affecting the institution and exercises jurisdiction over the institution's financial, educational, and other policies and its relation with state and federal governments. More information can be found on the Board’s website:


Can I hold other titles as a Board of Trustee Representative?

Yes! If any candidate has specific questions about their representation on other university committees, they can contact the university Legal Counsel or other Board members.


What is the percentage of my work that goes towards the Board seat?

While the time commitment may change from time to time, the representative is expected to put 25% of their time towards this position. That 25% of the employee's salary/pay is covered by the university.