MD AHEAD Bylaws

BY-LAWS OF THE MARYLAND ASSOCIATION ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND DISABILITY (MD-AHEAD)

MISSION

The Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability (MD-AHEAD), formerly the Maryland Disability Higher Education Network (MDDHEN), is an organization of professionals committed to full participation of students with disabilities in postsecondary education.  The organization is dedicated to serving as a resource in promoting excellence in postsecondary education for students with disabilities through networking among professionals, dissemination of information, and promoting professional development opportunities.

ARTICLE I:  NAME AND AFFILIATION

1.  The name of this organization shall be the Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability (MD-AHEAD).

2.  The Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability will be an affiliate of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), which is an international organization of professionals committed to the full participation in higher education for person with disabilities. 

ARTICLE II:  DEFINITION

For the purposes of these by-laws, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is a person who (a) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (b) has a record of such an impairment; or (c) is regarding as having such an impairment.

ARTICLE III:  STRUCTURE

The Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability (hereafter referred to MD-AHEAD) is established as a volunteer professional organization directed by a volunteer Executive Board.  The Executive Board will be composed of elected officers whose responsibility is to carry out the mission and goals of MD-AHEAD through policy formulation, oversight of fiscal management, communication with the membership at large, maintenance of historical documents, and contributing to the growth and development of the organization.

ARTICLE IV:  PURPOSES

The purposes of MD-AHEAD are:

1.  To be a voice for addressing disability issues in higher education in the state of Maryland in order to enhance postsecondary service delivery to individuals with disabilities.

2.  To monitor current legislation in Maryland regarding the needs of students with disabilities in higher education. 

3.  To develop a network of communication, cooperation and coordination among institutions of higher education on issues relating to individuals with disabilities.

4.  To work with other professional, public and private agencies to promote institutional and statewide initiatives to meet the educational needs of individuals with disabilities.

5.  To foster collaboration between (1) secondary schools and post-secondary education (2) two-year post-secondary institutions and four-year postsecondary institutions, and (3) postsecondary education and employers to facilitate transition to and from post-secondary education and public and private businesses for students with disabilities.

6.  To provide professional development and support for MD-AHEAD members through networking, education, training and mentoring. 

ARTICLE V:  MEMBERSHIP

MD-AHEAD shall have the following classifications of members designated as “Institutional”, “Higher Education Professional”, “Partner” and “Individual”.

Institutional Member:

An Institutional Member shall be a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education in the Maryland area (including Washington, D.C. and Virginia) and include up to three higher educational professionals of the institution, each of whom is entitled to one vote and is eligible to hold office.

Higher Education Professional Member:
A Higher Education Professional Member shall be any individual working in higher education to promote equal rights and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities.  A Higher Education Member is entitled to one vote and is eligible to hold office.

Partner Member:
A Partner Member shall be any individual working for an agency or organization (for profit and not-for-profit) who, by nature of his or her product, service or mission, is involved in matters  related to students with disabilities in higher education.  Partner Members are not eligible to vote or hold office but are eligible for all member benefits. 

Individual Member:
An Individual Member shall be any individual who is not primarily employed by an institution of higher education, but who has an interest or is professionally active in working to promote  equal rights and educational opportunities of students with disabilities in higher education. Individual Members are not eligible to vote or hold office but are eligible for all member benefits.

ARTICLE VI:  DUES

Membership dues will be $100 (Institutional – up to 3 professionals per institution); $25 for any additional professional from same institution; $25 for Partner members; and $50 for Individual membership.  Amount of membership dues may be changed by majority vote of the Executive Board without by-laws amendment.  Membership applications and renewals will be sent out annually, with dues to the organization payable before the end of the membership year which runs from September 1st to August 31st.  Membership dues will be accepted on an on-going basis throughout the membership year and may be prorated depending upon individual circumstances. 

ARTICLE VII:  OFFICERS

1.  Officers and Terms of Office

The Executive Board of MD-AHEAD shall consist of the President, President- Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The office of President should rotate annually between a professional employed by a 4-year postsecondary institution and a professional employed by a 2-year postsecondary institution so both types of institutions are equally represented. 

The term of office for any elected officer shall be for a period of one year.  The term of office shall begin July 1 following the election.  Any officer can serve consecutive terms, if elected. 

All officers must be members in good standing of the organization at the time of their nomination and election and remain so throughout the duration of their term of office.

In the event of a vacancy on the Executive Board, the remaining members of the Board shall designate a replacement subject to an affirmative vote by the majority of the voting members attending the next scheduled MD-AHEAD meeting or via email or online voting.

2.  Duties of Officers

A.  The President shall preside at all meetings of MD-AHEAD and perform such other duties as pertain to that office.  The President shall be the Chairperson of the Executive Board and an ex-officio member of any committees.  The President shall serve as the official liaison between MD-AHEAD and all other organizations and groups.  The President will provide final approval over all monies disbursed by MD-AHEAD.  He or she shall appoint a member of the Executive Board to serve as President Elect, Treasurer and Secretary, and assign duties to them as needed to carry out the work of MD-AHEAD.  The President may also appoint MD-AHEAD members to carry out activities consistent with the purpose of MD-AHEAD.  The President shall make all appointments of officers and MD-AHEAD members subject to the approval of Executive Board.  The President will serve ex-officio in the year following the end of his or her term of office.

B.  The President-Elect, in the absence of the President, shall perform all of the duties of the President, without prejudice to his or her subsequent term of office as President.   The President-Elect shall assist the President in the work of that office and perform other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

C.  The Secretary shall be the recording officer of MD-AHEAD, keeping the minutes of all meetings of the members and the Board of Directors, and distributing them as directed by the Executive Board.  The Secretary shall keep a record of meeting attendance.  The Secretary will work with the Treasurer to develop an annual MD-AHEAD Directory for the membership.  The Secretary will maintain MD AHEAD’s affiliate website (i.e. updating schedule of events, by-laws, and executive board staffing list).   

D.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for receiving all monies of MD-AHEAD under policies approved by the Executive Board.  He or she shall keep appropriate records of receipts and disbursements.  The Treasurer will perform the duties customary to the office and such additional duties as may be directed by MD-AHEAD.  He or she shall submit financial reports to the Executive Board as requested and to the general membership once a year during the annual meeting where the state of MD-AHEAD is reported. The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining and updating all membership records.

ARTICLE VIII:  NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

Elections shall take place annually at a time and manner as determined by the Executive Board in order for the newly elected officers to assume office by July 1. 

The nomination and election process shall be conducted by email or online ballot.  The Board will send out a call for nomination to members; nominees shall be contacted by the Board to verify their acceptance of the nomination.   Members will be emailed the slate of candidates and ballots in order to vote. 

The candidates receiving the largest number of votes will be named the new members of the Executive Board.  The Executive Board will appoint all newly elected members no later than May 15.    

ARTICLE IX:  COMMITTEES

The President shall name such standing and ad hoc committees as may be needed to conduct the business of the MD-AHEAD.  Such committees shall operate within the purposes and philosophy of the MD-AHEAD and shall be specifically charged.  Ad hoc committees shall be automatically dismissed upon completion of their tasks.

ARTICLE X:  MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP AND EXECUTIVE BOARD

1. Meetings of the Membership

There shall be a minimum of three meetings of the membership per year (fall, winter and spring) with additional meetings as determined by the Executive Board.  The dates and locations of the meetings will be determined by the Executive Board.

The Secretary of the organization shall notify members of the date and location of any meeting 30 days in advance, except in the rare case of an emergency meeting called by the President.

Attendance at all meetings is open to all members in good standing.  At least one meeting per year will be open to invited guests.

One meeting a year shall be considered the annual meeting at which the formal business of the organization will be conducted and passed by a simple majority of those present.  During this meeting a report will be given by the President on the state of the organization and a finance report will be given by the Treasurer.

A quorum sufficient to conduct official business at a meeting of the organization shall be defined as the presence of six members in good standing of the organization’s total membership. 

A majority of votes by the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is met shall be necessary for the adoption of the matter to be voted upon.

Where an email or online vote is sought, adoption shall be by a majority of those responding, provided at least one-third of the members entitled to vote shall cast vote.

2.  Meetings of the Executive Board

In addition to meetings of the membership, the Executive Board should conduct a minimum of two board meetings a year.

A quorum for the Executive Board to conduct official business shall be two-thirds of the Board officers. 

ARTICLE XI:  FINANCE

The fiscal year of the MD-AHEAD shall be from July 1 through June 30.

Income shall be derived from the dues, contributions and such other sources as the Executive Board may approve, consistent with the purpose of the organization and exemption under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

No part of the net earnings of the MD-AHEAD shall inure to the benefit of any member, sponsor or private individual.  This shall not prevent payment of responsible compensation for services rendered to or for the MD-AHEAD in effecting its purpose.

The books of the MD-AHEAD shall be audited at the conclusion of each MD-AHEAD fiscal year in a manner prescribed by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE XII:  RULES OF ORDER

Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be the parliamentary reference for proceedings of the MD-AHEAD unless otherwise specified in the by-laws.

The President may appoint a parliamentarian for all voting meetings of the MD-AHEAD.

ARTICLE XIII:  AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended at any regular MD-AHEAD meeting provided a 30-day notice of the proposed amendment has been given in writing to all members.