News From the Exec: Proposed By-laws Revision

Third in the series from the Executive Committee 

Summary of Major Changes

In the spring of 2010, the Executive Committee undertook a major revision of the MALCS bylaws, the first revision since 1991. Since that time, the Executive Committee has visited and revisited drafts, taking care to deliberate thoughtfully on the document that sets out the organizational structures and practices of MALCS. It is important to note that during our deliberations, we made every effort to be mindful of our organizational history. At the same time, we worked hard to understand changes in the broader cultural environment that might impact how an organization like ours operates.

What follows is a summary of major changes that the MALCS Executive Committee is recommending for the organization’s bylaws. The section headings below correspond with the draft that is being circulated for consideration. Under each heading, we provide a description of changes that differ significantly from the previous version of the bylaws. A draft of the proposed bylaws follows this summary.

Preamble

  • We are recommending that we provide an English translation of the preamble.

Article I: Name

  • We are proposing to add a section that lists the location of the national office.

Article II: Goals and Objectives

  • We are proposing to add a subsection and language that makes the bridging of academics and activism an explicit goal of the organization.

Article III: Membership

  • In the previous version of the bylaws, section III was about regions. We are proposing that we delete the section as regions have not been a functional part of the organization for some time. As a result of this deletion, subsequent article numbers will change.
  • We are proposing that we update the language we use to describe the population that MALCS serves.
    • from “Whereas Chicanas/Latinas have been historically discriminated against and underrepresented in institutions of higher education, membership shall target and be open to Chicanas/Latinas who support the goals and objectives of the organization as stated in Article I and who pay the appropriate membership dues. Institutions and other interested groups or parties may subscribe to the newletter and/or place ads only for academic or professional positions and fellowship opportunities in the newsletter for a fee determined by the editor.”
    • to “Whereas Chicanas, Latinas, Native American and Indigenous women have been historically discriminated against and underrepresented in institutions of higher education, membership shall target and be open to self-identified Chicanas, Latinas, Native American, and Indigenous women who support the goals and objectives of the organization as stated in article one and who pay the appropriate membership dues.”
  • We are proposing that the Executive Committee set membership dues. (Previous version of bylaws gave that power to the Coordinating Committee.
  • We are proposing that the Executive Committee be able to terminate a member’s affiliation with MALCS if that member “has, in a material and serious degree, obstructed the goals and purposes of this organization.” (Previous version of bylaws gave that power to the Coordinating Committee. See Article VII for additional explanation.)

Article IV. Meeting of Members and Voting

  • We are proposing, primarily for financial reasons, that the Summer Institute occur every other year. We would work to develop smaller, more intensive professional development opportunities (writing workshops and leadership training, for example) to be offered in the intervening years.

Note: A formal proposal will be presented during the business meeting at the Summer Institute.

  • We are proposing that we add a provision that allows for electronic voting on organizational matters. We may find this necessary should we move to a biennial Summer Institute.

Note: A formal proposal will be presented during the business meeting at the Summer Institute.

Article V. Chapters

  • We are proposing adding an article clarifying the relationship between MALCS chapters and the national office.

Article VI. MALCS Journal

  • We are proposing adding an article that names the journal and subscription eligibility.

Article VII. Executive Committee

  • In the 1991 bylaws, all officers were described under the heading “Coordinating Committee.” In the intervening years, two structures have more fully emerged: the Executive Committee, functioning as the direction-setting, decision-making body; and the Coordinating Committee, functioning as an advisory group. We are proposing that we describe these two structures in two different articles of the bylaws. Article VII will describe the executive officers—their titles, their roles, their responsibilities. Article VIII will describe the titles, roles, and responsibilities of the remaining officers on the coordinating committee.
  • We are proposing that the terms of office for the recording secretary, treasurer, and membership coordinator go from one year to two years.
  • We are proposing to move information about qualifications, nominations, and elections to Article IX.

Article VIII. Coordinating Committee

  • We are proposing that this article contain officer/election information for the caucus and at-large representatives.

Article IX. Qualifications, Nominations, Elections, and Appointments of Officers

  • We are proposing this as a new section—centralizing all information about qualifications, nominations, elections, and appointments.
  • We are also proposing that we implement a nominations process for the recruiting of candidates for officer positions.

Note: A formal proposal will be presented during the business meeting at the Summer Institute.

  • In Article IV, we recommended adding a provision that allows for electronic voting. This would allow us to move officer elections to an electronic ballot. This would keep officer elections on an annual cycle as well as allow more MALCS members to participate in the election process.

Article X. Termination of Elected and Appointed Positions

We are proposing this as a new section—centralizing all information about termination of elected and appointment positions.

Article XI. Ad Hoc Committees

We are proposing an article that authorizes ad hoc committees.

Article XII. Archives

We are proposing no major changes to this article.

XIII. Amendments to the By-Laws

We are proposing no major changes to the this article.

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Click here to download a pdf copy of the Proposed Bylaws 

This complete statement is also posted on the main website

 

2 thoughts on “News From the Exec: Proposed By-laws Revision”

  1. From President Rusty Barcelo:
    Congratulations for taking on this difficult task. I found the changes to be constructive on the first read. Intend to give it a more through read. However, it is an impressive piece of work.

    Rusty
    Sent from my iPad

    Reply
  2. Thank you for you hard work.

    My first question is about the nomination process: how can MALCS best avoid the appearance of self-replication or the old girl network if the Executive Committee and three at-large members — that is, people already in positions of power — take on the task of nominating new leaders? I cannot think of any other academic organization that uses this method of nominations. Also how can MALCS best identify new leaders, outside of the orbit of the current leadership? Do we wish to articulate these strategies and make transparent how folks rise into leadership?

    All the best, Karen Mary Davalos

    Reply

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