I.     Mission

The Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (hereafter known as “WHET”) mission is to identify, develop, and provide leadership opportunities for all women in higher education in Tennessee.  We support the advancement of women in achieving their personal and professional potential.  WHET participates in a number of annual activities, including, but not limited to, the following activities:

(1)              Annual Conference;

(2)              Professional Development;

(3)              Support women as they aspire for leadership roles in Higher Education.

II. Purpose

WHET was formed to allow women to network, share information, and provide an opportunity for involvement in activities that would enhance professional growth.

III.  Membership and Finances

Section 1.  Membership shall consist of administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate students in higher education in Tennessee, together with those supportive of women in higher education in Tennessee.  Membership in WHET is on a voluntary basis.

Section 2.  The annual membership period shall be from October to September.

Section 3.  The Executive Board shall set annual dues, student discounts, and conference fees.

Section 4.  Annual budget must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board.  Any additions must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board.

Section 5.  Should WHET dissolve, all assets will be divided equally between the following charities:  Tennessee Chapter of AAUW and Athena Scholarship of the Nashville Chapter.

IV. Officers

Section 1.  Officers—Officers shall include a President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Coordinator, Graduate Student Representative, and three Regional Representatives.

Section 2.  Composition of the Executive Board—The Executive Board shall be composed of the Officers, the Past President, and ex-officio members as appropriate.

Section 3.  Representation on the Executive Board—The Executive Board shall be diverse with the intent to include women administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate students from public and private accredited institutions, including state universities, community colleges, and technical institutes:  The University of Tennessee institutions; the University of Tennessee system office; the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; and the private colleges that belong to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.  To the extent possible, each of the geographic divisions of the state shall be represented.

Section 4.  Duties of the Officers—the President is expected to convene the Executive Board regularly, chair the annual meeting, set the annual calendar, facilitate the activities of the organization, coordinate strategic planning, and notify the National Director of ACE/OWHE of Tennessee’s ACE State Chair recommendation.  The President will develop and maintain relationships with college and university presidents.

The 1st Vice President will serve in the absence of the president, chair the Annual Conference Committee, and the 1st Vice President will have prior experience on the Executive Board.

The Secretary will maintain and disseminate minutes of the business conducted by the Executive Board and the annual meeting.  Through feedback from the treasurer, disseminate letters of welcome to new members and Institutional Representatives. An annual report of all official records (rolls pertinent to the organization including Executive Board members, Institutional Representatives, past conference attendees and active membership) will be provided to the Historian. Work toward greater recognition of the organization

The Treasurer will maintain all financial records, provide written quarterly financial reports to the Executive Board, present a written report to the membership at the annual meeting, handle all receipts and disbursement, facilitate financial planning, provide the Recording Secretary with an updated record of conference attendees, provide the Membership Coordinator with a record of new and renewed memberships, be responsible for an annual external audit, and will prepare an annual budget for approval by the Executive Board.

The Membership Coordinator will chair the Membership Committee, facilitate recruitment activities, produce and disseminate invitations for membership, contribute to the newsletter, and provide a membership report and official role of active membership at the annual meeting.  The Membership Coordinator will also provide a current and up-to-date membership list.

The 2nd Vice President will develop the plan and calendar for professional growth opportunities (live sessions, teleconferences, electronic communiqués) for all segments of WHET membership.  Work with each Regional Representative to encourage active participation of the Institutional Representatives.

The Graduate Student Representative will serve on the annual conference planning committee to coordinate graduate student participation at the annual conference.  The Graduate Student Representative will work with the 2nd Vice President to develop professional growth opportunities for graduate students.

The Regional Representatives will act as the contact person/resource person for Institutional Representatives (IRs) within their respective geographical region (East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee).   The Regional Representative will ensure IRs are actively involved in WHET activities, maintain a list of IRs from Institutional Members, and maintain a list of key positions in the state (ex. Presidents, VPs, Assoc. VPs).

Section 5.  Appointments to the Executive Board—Appointments to the Executive Board shall include, but are not limited to:  ACE State Chair, Historian, and Communications Coordinator.  Presidential appointments are for a one-year term.

The Past President will provide a smooth transition and mentoring to the Board.  Upon the conclusion of the annual meeting, the outgoing President (Past President) shall transfer all necessary information to the incoming President.  The immediate Past President is an Ex-officio member of the Board.

The ACE State Chair will communicate with the national ACE/Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE), coordinate at the state level the program of the national office, represent Tennessee at the annual meeting held in conjunction with the national American Council on Education (ACE) meeting, contribute to the newsletter, and disseminate the ACE/OWHE newsletters, conference announcements, and/or invitations appropriate to the national office, the national board, and other state ACE State Chairs.

The Historian will collect historical documents, reports, and items related to the activities of the organization, maintain the collection including materials from the annual meeting and conference, chair the June Anderson Award committee, and maintain a record of the June Anderson Award recipient.  The Historian coordinates the Women of Achievement Awards and/or may appoint someone to chair the Women of Achievement Awards.

The Communications Coordinator—The Communications Coordinator will assist in maintaining the website, web links, web publication of the newsletter, conference announcements, and call for papers.  They will initiate and maintain a record of formal communication (upon direction of the President) on behalf of the organization recognizing appointments, promotions, and/or accomplishments of women within the state, initiate press releases as appropriate, and work toward greater recognition of the organization.

Section 6.  Nominating Committee—The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of three Executive Board members.  It shall be the duty of this committee to nominate candidates for offices to be filled at the annual conference.  Nominations will ensure continuity on the Board, so that there is a balance between new and continuing officers.  It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to report the proposed slate of officers to the Executive Board in sufficient time to communicate with the membership as described in Section 8.

Section 7.  Terms of Office—All elected officers shall serve for a term of two years, with the term of office beginning at the close of the annual meeting.  No Executive Board member shall hold more than one office at a time.  Membership on the Executive Board should be limited to three consecutive terms.  If an office is vacated before a term expires, the President, with the approval of the Executive Board, may make an appointment to fill the office until the next general election for the duration of the unexpired term.

*Exceptions are the President, 1st Vice President, and 2nd Vice President, where they will serve one-year terms.

Section 8.  Election of Officers—Officers shall be elected by a simple majority of the membership attending the annual meeting.  If there are two or more nominees for any office, the election will be conducted by paper ballot facilitated by the Nominating Committee.

Section 9.  Institutional Representatives—Institutional Representatives (IRs) are appointed by the president/Chancellor/Chief Executive Officer of their institution.  The IR serves as a liaison between the women at their institution and the WHET Executive Board.

Section 10.  Removal—An Executive Board member may be removed for unprofessional and/or unethical conduct by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board, but there must be a quorum present.  The President will notify the Board member in writing (by Certified Mail) no later than thirty (30) days prior to the Board meeting at which the Board member will be voted on to be removed.

V.  Meetings

Section 1.  Regular—The Executive Board shall meet monthly or as needed.  The meeting calendar for the year shall be set at the first meeting following the annual conference.  All Executive Board members are highly encouraged to communicate with other members and to attend monthly meetings.  Any Executive Board member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings, without prior notification to the President, may be asked to resign their position.

Section 2.  Annual—The annual meeting of the membership will coincide with the annual conference.

Section 3.  Special—The President may convene a special called meeting of the Executive Board by issuing a notice and agenda at least five working days in advance.

Section 4.  Majority Vote—All motions have to be passed by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board Members present at the time the vote is taken.  A quorum is defined as two-thirds of the Executive Board.  In the case of a tie, the chair of the meeting will serve as the tiebreaker.

VI.  Committees

The Executive Board will form and maintain standing committees and other committees as needed to facilitate local and national initiatives.  Committees will be composed of at least one Board Member, and may include Institutional Representatives and general members.  Standing Committees shall include the Annual Conference Committee, Awards Committee, Membership Committee, and Nominating Committee.

VII.  Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised shall govern in all cases.

VIII.  Amendment of By-Laws

These By-Laws may be amended at the annual meeting by a two-thirds vote of the membership present, provided that the amendment has been submitted to the membership at least 15 days prior to the annual meeting.  Review of the By-Laws by the Executive Board will occur annually in preparation for the annual meeting.

Updated December 2016