Election Information

What is Professional & Scientific Council?

The Professional & Scientific Council is a representative body elected by, and responsible to, P&S employees at Iowa State University. The Council is composed of one representative for every 75 P&S employees as defined by the P&S Council Constitution.

Council representatives are elected from each university division:

  • Academic Affairs (33 members)
  • President’s Office (7 members)
  • Operations & Finance (5 members)
  • Student Affairs (4 members)

Council leadership consists of 7 elected officers and the appointed chairs of the 6 committees. All are members of the Executive Committee.

The Professional & Scientific Council identifies the needs of its constituents, provides information and advocacy in response to those needs, recommends policies and procedures to University administration that benefit P&S employees and assists in fulfilling the mission of Iowa State University.

Election Timeline:BeginEnd
Council representative nominations (submit nomination form)  early Feb early Mar
Council representative elections (all P&S employees eligible to vote)late Marlate Mar
Council officer nominations (email pands-g@iastate.edu to be added to ballot)  early Feb early Mar
Council officer elections (full council vote) early Mar

How to become a member of Professional & Scientific Council

Running for election as a council representative is a two-step process: 1) submitting a nomination form and 2) earning votes from the P&S staff in your division. Often there are multiple vacancies in a division. P&S employees in each division will vote for the number of candidates needed to fill those vacancies. The candidates with the most votes will fill the vacancies and be elected to Council.

Nominations can be submitted by any employee of the university, however the nominee must be a P&S employee. Nominations typically open in February or March and elections occur in March or April. Councilors take office in June.


What are the expectations if elected to Professional & Scientific Council?

When elected, a Councilor has the following obligations:

  • Attend the monthly general meeting, typically held in-person on the first Thursday of the month from 2:10-4 p.m. If you are unable to attend the monthly meeting, you must arrange for a substitute to serve in your place. Substitute policies can be found here.
  • Serve on one of the Professional & Scientific Council committees. These committees maintain various monthly meeting schedules. Some meet in person prior to the monthly general council meetings, some meet in person at other times, and some meet online. Each committee has ongoing tasks assigned by the committee chair and goals for the year. The average monthly time commitment for a Councilor is 4-8 hours per month, which varies depending on the committee and the time of year.
  • Communicate with your constituents. This can be the most challenging and rewarding part of being an advocate and respresentative for your collegues. Each councilor is assigned to a representation area. Councilors send monthly meeting highlights, surveys, and announcements throughout the year and invite P&S employees to share their ideas and concerns. 


How long does an elected councilor serve on Professional & Scientific Council?

Professional & Scientific Council holds elections every year during the spring. Approximately one-third of the Council is chosen at each election. Based upon votes, councilors will serve one, two, or three year terms. The Governance Committee reviews the vote totals along with the balance between divisions to determine terms assigned to those elected or re-elected. Candidates have the opportunity to be elected to two consecutive terms.  

Representatives shall serve one-, two-, or three-year terms as determined in this section. In accordance with pertinent articles of the Constitution, the Representation Committee shall provide for and report to the Council any adjustments that are necessary to provide for the election of approximately one-third of the representatives of the Council each year. The committee shall place candidates receiving the most votes in vacancies with the longest available terms until all vacancies are filled. 
-Article II, Section 5 of the Rules and Bylaws of the Professional & Scientific Council


What happens if a person runs for Council and is not elected?

Those not elected will be placed on the vacancy list. When a councilor vacates their seat before the end of their term, a person from the vacancy list will be asked to accept an appointment to serve on council through the end of the academic year. 

Nominees will first be chosen from the list of candidates from the most recent Council election, with priority given to those receiving the most votes. 
-Article II, Section 9 of the Rules and Bylaws of the Professional & Scientific Council

We also encourage you to volunteer to serve as a substitute. This is a great way to learn more about Council.


How does Council elect officers?

Currently seated councilors are eligible to run for officer positions. There are 5 officer roles open for election each year:

  • President-Elect
  • VP for Communications & Community Relations
  • VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • VP for Compensation & Benefits
  • Secretary/Treasurer

The election of officers takes place at the March council meeting. Only the seated councilors are eligible to vote in officer elections.The term for President is 3 years. The remaining officer terms are 1 year. There are no term limits for officer positions.


The Governance Committee welcomes any questions you have regarding the election process. Email your questions to pands-g@iastate.edu.