Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders
Name and Location, Description, and Purpose
Section 1: Name and Location
The name of the organization is the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (the Alliance). Its principal place of business shall be in Boulder, CO.
Section 2: Description
The Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders is an organization operating beneath the umbrella of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), a public interstate agency that operates under the Western Regional Education Compact as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Alliance members are technical institutions, community colleges, and associated two-year systems, and state coordinating and governing boards located in the 16 WICHE states and U.S. territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.
Section 3: Alliance Mission
The Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders is committed to reimagining the work community colleges do through the sharing of information, ideas, and resources; working collaboratively towards common goals; and providing a forum empowered to represent the whole on regional and federal issues. In these ways the Alliance seeks to improve the education provided by the West’s technical and community colleges and to produce a better educated and trained workforce.
Section 4: Purpose
Through the Alliance members are building a stronger future for the West’s citizens and its higher education institutions by:
- Exchanging ideas and information about emerging academic issues, trends, and problems affecting higher education.
- Sharing resources and expertise on current academic research, policy development, and leadership direction.
- Collaborating on regional initiatives and grant-funded activities to expand access to higher education, improve its quality, and address workforce needs.
- Working toward consensus on issues that are important to members and the region and taking appropriate action, authorized by the membership, in support of such issues.
Membership in the Alliance is at the organizational level.
- Eligibility. Members are public and private technical and community colleges regionally accredited at the associate’s level, along with associated higher education systems and state coordinating and governing boards located in the WICHE states. Membership is granted to eligible candidates after receipt of a completed application and payment of annual dues.
- Official Representative. Each member shall appoint its chief academic officer or another individual with a similar title to serve as its official representative. This individual will cast the member’s sole vote in the organization’s elections and business matters that are brought for a vote of the membership. The official representative shall be the channel for all official communications between the member and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders. By written notification to the Alliance director, an official representative may designate another individual within that member organization to serve as a proxy and to vote on behalf of that member.
- Resignation and Termination. Any member may resign by written notice to the Alliance director. Resignation shall not relieve a member of unpaid dues or other charges previously accrued. A member may be terminated for failing to pay dues.
- Dues and Fees. Members shall be assessed such annual dues as fixed by the Executive Committee. A financial report shall be presented at the annual meeting.
Relationship to WICHE, Governance, and Staff
Section 1: Relationship to WICHE
The Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders is an organization operating beneath the umbrella of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. As such, it is subject ultimately to the authority of the WICHE Commission which serves as the fiscal agent.
Section 2: Governance by the Executive Committee
The Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders is governed by an Executive Committee composed of 16 individuals, all member representatives, with one selected from each WICHE state and U.S. territory. This group has oversight responsibility for the overall policy and direction of the organization. It delegates responsibility for day-to-day operations to the staff and committees. The members receive no compensation.
- Terms. All members shall serve a minimum of a two-year term. The official representatives from the respective state shall select the individual to represent the state’s members on the Executive Committee via a means of their choice.
- Meetings and Notice. The Executive Committee shall meet semi-annually—once in conjunction with the annual meeting and another time at an agreed-upon location. Convening an official Executive Committee meeting requires that each member receive a written notification at least two weeks in advance.
- Quorum. A quorum of at least 40 percent of committee members must be present (physically or virtually) for business transactions to take place and motions to pass.
- Officers and Duties. There shall be two required officers of the Executive Committee—a chair and a vice chair. The chair and vice chair may serve up to three consecutive terms. The Executive Committee may choose to elect an Annual Meeting Host and/or an Annual Meeting Program Chair – serving a one-year term. Their duties are as follows:
- The Chair. The chair shall convene and preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee, the annual membership meeting, and the annual business meeting.
- The Vice Chair. The vice chair shall preside over meetings in the absence of or at the request of the chair. Upon confirmation by the Executive Committee and at the end of the chair’s term, the vice chair will assume the role of chair.
- Annual Meeting Host. The Annual Meeting Host will serve as the primary representative of the institution hosting the Annual Meeting and will work with the Executive Committee, Alliance Director, and other WICHE Staff on all matters related to arrangements and logistics for the Annual Meeting.
- Annual Meeting Program Chair. The Annual Meeting Program Chair will work with the Executive Committee, Annual Meeting Host, Alliance Director, and other WICHE Staff to design and develop the program for the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting Program Chair typically serves as the Annual Meeting Host for the succeeding year’s annual meeting.
- Past Chair. The Chair from the previous year shall serve as confidant and advisor to the Chair.
- Nomination and Election of Officers. At the meeting of the Executive Committee in conjunction with the annual membership meeting, the chair will confirm that the current vice chair agrees to assume the role of chair at the conclusion of the annual meeting. If the vice chair agrees, the chair will confirm his or her candidacy with a simple majority vote of the committee and then open the floor to nominations for a new vice chair. If not, the chair will open the floor to nominations for both a new chair and a vice chair. By a simple majority vote, the new officers will be elected.
- Vacancies. When a vacancy arises on the Executive Committee midterm, the departing representative on the Executive Committee may name a replacement to be confirmed by the director and consented to by the other official representatives of the state. .
- Resignation, Termination, and Absences. Resignation from the Executive Committee must be in writing and received by the Alliance director. A member of the Executive Committee may be terminated by the committee due to excess absences—more than two unexcused absences in a year. A committee member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the remaining committee members.
- Special meetings. Special meetings of the Executive Committee shall be called upon the request of the chair or one-third of the members of the Executive Committee. Notices of special meetings shall be sent out by the Alliance director to each committee member at least two weeks in advance.
- Budget. The Executive Committee will review the annual budget and recommend its approval by the WICHE Commission.
Section 3: Director and Staff
The Alliance director shall be responsible for administering the work and budget of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, pursuant to the decisions of the Executive Committee and within the procedures of WICHE. The director will be responsible for the records and accounts of the Alliance and oversee the work of the other staff members. The Alliance director will be appointed pursuant to WICHE personnel procedures. WICHE will retain Alliance revenues in a designated account, and the Alliance director will review the revenue and expense reports monthly.
- Annual Meeting. An annual meeting of the members shall take place on a specific date, and at a time, and location designated by the chair. At the annual meeting, the members shall witness the installation of the new Executive Committee officers, receive reports on the activities and budget of the organization, and raise topics regarding the organization’s direction during the coming year for consideration by the Executive Committee.
- Special Meetings. Special meetings of the membership may be called by the chair or a simple majority of the Executive Committee. A petition signed by 25 percent of the official representatives may also call a special meeting of the membership on a specified topic.
- Notice of Meetings. A notice will be sent by the Alliance director to each official representative not less than two weeks prior to the meeting.
- Quorum. Those present at any properly announced meeting of the membership shall constitute a quorum.
- Rules of Procedure. In the event a question of order or procedure shall arise which is not covered in these bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.
- Voting. All issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple majority of those present at the meetings in which the vote takes place.
Committees and Task Forces
In addition to the Executive Committee, other committees and task forces that meet physically or virtually may carry out activities of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders.
Section 1: Formation of Committees and Task Forces
The Executive Committee may create and dissolve committees and task forces as needed. The chair of the Executive Committee appoints all committee and task force chairs.
Section 2. Membership on Committees and Task Forces
The members of these committees and task forces may be limited to official representatives or others, as approved by the Executive Committee, including appointees with relevant expertise from the official representatives’ staffs.
Alliance Actions and Communications
The chair and the director are the official spokespersons for the Alliance and the only individuals authorized to represent the position of the Alliance in statements concerning local, state, and national policy and other such matters related to the Alliance’s mission. Prior to making statements on matters for which the Alliance has not taken an official position, the chair will make reasonable efforts to consult with the members of the Executive Committee. The chair and the director will share any statements made on behalf of the Alliance with the Executive Committee in a timely manner.
Amendments and Dissolution
Section 1: Amendments.
These bylaws may be amended when necessary by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Alliance director to be sent out with regular Executive Committee announcements.
Section 2: Dissolution.
After discontinuance of business and payment of debts, any surplus funds shall be transferred as a gift to the WICHE general fund.