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Bylaws template

Bylaws Template for Academic Staff


Article I. NAME

What is the name of your group? Examples: University Advisers Assembly, Office of Student Financial Aid Forum … [Decide on a name for your group.]


Why does your group exist? What is its purpose?

In this article the following should appear: These bylaws exist both under the authority and within the organizational structure of the [your unit/division] and under the authority and within other organizational structures recognized by the Board of Governors (BOG), the statutes of Wayne State University, and the WSU/AAUP-AFT collective bargaining agreement. If there is an inconsistency, the authority and organizational structures of the BOG, and/or the WSU statutes, and/or the WSU/AAUP-AFT contract shall prevail.


Who are the members and what are their qualifications? Example: Membership in the University Libraries Forum includes all employees holding faculty and academic appointments in the collegial unit of the Wayne State University Libraries.


Who are the officers? [Usually, there is a Chair and Chair-Elect, and Secretary. Some groups have Co-chairs and a Secretary. Some add a Parliamentarian.]
Terms of office and number of terms permitted? [The term of office is usually 2 years.]
How are the officers to be elected?
Qualifications for holding office. [ESS? Tenure? Etc.)
What are the duties of the officers?
Method of nominating officers.
How vacancies are to be filled.
Name each separate officer in a section and state the duties of each.

Section 1: Chair—statement of duties.
Section 2: Chair-elect or co-chair— statement of duties.
Section 3: Secretary— statement of duties.
Section 4, etc.: Other officer(s)— statement(s) of duties.


Section 1: Regular meetings: When are meeting held and how often. How and by whom meetings are scheduled. Units can decide to meet once a year or once each academic semester. An agenda must be published with at least 2 weeks notice.
Section 2: Special meetings: Who can call, and process needed to ask for the call of meetings.
Section 3: Quorum: Usually 2/3 of the membership constitutes a quorum.
Section 4: Voting: How many must be in favor for a motion to pass? Will you allow proxy, mail or email votes? General practice is to allow only those present to vote and a quorum must be present.
Section 5: Parliamentary Authority: What set of rules will be used. Usually it is Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 6: Provision for changing or canceling meetings in an emergency.

(Optional—For Large Units)

Composition of the Board. Example: The XXX Forum Executive Board, comprised of five members, will be elected from among the bargaining unit members, with the majority holding Employment Security Status or tenure status. The members of the Board shall select the Chair of the Executive Board.

Powers Delegated to the Board. Example: The Executive Board calls the meetings of the XXX Forum and acts for the Forum. The Executive Board acts on matters referred to it by the Forum, individual members of the Forum, University agencies, and other interested individuals. The Executive Board shall report to the Forum all said actions.

The Executive Board in consultation with the XXX Forum shall appoint from among the XXX Forum membership the (name your classification, such as Academic Services Offices) who will represent the interests of the XXX Forum on all non-contractual committees.

Special rules by which the board is to conduct its business, such as, when and how often it is to meet, quorum, etc.


What committees do you want?
Can there be a recall? If so, how is the recall conducted?

There are 2 types: contractual and non-contractual. Examples of contractual would be Promotion/ESS and Tenure and Salary. Non-contractual committees can be Standing, Elections, Executive, Professional Development, Special or Ad-hoc committees. You decide which non-contractual committees you want to create.

Use the same format as in Article IV.
Section 1: Election Committee—who can serve and statement of duties
Section 2: Executive Committee—who can serve and statement of duties
Section 3: Contractually Required Committees—list the committees, who can serve, and state the duties of each committee.


Who has the authority to change the bylaws?
When and where can they be amended?
Who can propose amendments?
What vote is required?
Who can propose a revision?
Will amendments and revisions be handled at the same meeting?

Method of approval by the Dean/Director and Vice President (reference the WSU/AAUP-AFT contract.)


When do you review the bylaws? Usually within 3 months after the ratification of each new AAUP/AFT contract, or the move of the unit to another University division, or to another reporting line within a division.