Constitution and By-Laws

Adopted September, 1984

*A Strategic Planning Committee has been formed to review and update the Constitution.

   Section 1. Purpose
   Section 2. Basis of Operation

   Section 1. Membership
   Section 2. Categories of Membership
   Section 3. Dues
   Section 4. Voting Rights and Discipline

   Section 1. Elected Officers
   Section 2. Duties of Officers
   Section 3. Removal from Office
   Section 4. Absense, Vacancy, Succession in Offices

   Section 1. Composition
   Section 2. Powers and Functions
   Section 3. Executive Committee Meetings

   Section 1. Standing Committees
   Section 2. Special Committees
   Section 3. Ad-hoc Committees
   Section 4. Committee Appointments
   Section 5. Committee Procedures&Reports

   Section 1. General Meetings
   Section 2. Special Meetings7
   Section 3. Quorum
   Section 4. Conduct of Business


   Section 1. Time of the Elections
   Section 2. Eligibility
   Section 3.   Nominations
   Section 4. Election Procedures
   Section 5. Absentee and Proxy Voting

   Section 1. Rules of Order

   Section 1. Initiation of Amendments
   Section 2. Procedures


The name of this organization shall be the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff, hereafter referred to in this document as the "Caucus".

ARTICLE II: Purpose and Objectives

Section 1. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff shall be:
(a)    To identify and act upon those issues which affect Black people at Purdue University and the greater Lafayette community, especially as they relate to the function of the University;
(b)    To institute and maintain an effective and positive relationship between the University and its Black constituency both on and off campus;
(c)    To reinforce self-awareness among black people by implementing programs and activities designed to achieve these aims;
(d)    To gather and disseminate information about available talent, opportunities, and activities that will provide the University with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the Black experience;
(e)    To carry out other activities of a charitable and educational nature to promote the welfare of Black faculty, staff, and students.

ARTICLE III :  Membership


Membership in the Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff may be extended to any person or organization which subscribes to the purposes and philosophy of the organization.


There shall be three categories of membership in the Caucus:
(a)    Full Membership is open to all persons employed and/or associated with Purdue University, except undergraduate students. Those eligible for full membership include faculty, staff, graduate students, and retirees of the University. Upon payment of prescribed dues, full members shall be entitled to vote, to hold elective office, and to participate fully in all Caucus functions and activities.
(b)    Affiliate Membership is open to organizations which share common interest in the purposes and objectives of the Caucus, and who may, at the invitation of the Caucus, wish to establish a liaison representative. Affiliate members shall not be assessed dues, shall be entitled to voice but not vote in business meetings, may not hold elective office, and may participate by invitation of the Caucus in its functions and activities.
(c)    Honorary Membership may be granted to select individuals for significant contributions, outstanding leadership, or other meritorious service to the Caucus or other segment community. Nominations for honorary membership documentation, and signed by at least three full submitted to the Executive Committee, who shall review the nomination and make recommendations to the full body.  Honorary members shall be recognized by appropriate resolution and certificates, shall not be assessed dues, may have voice but not vote in Caucus business meetings, may not hold elective office, and participate fully in all Caucus functions and activities.

Section 3. DUES

(a)    Annual dues for each category of membership shall be established by the Executive Committee and confirmed by a majority vote of the full members in-good-standing. An individual shall be considered "in-good-standing" upon payment of the current annual dues.
(b)    The membership year shall commence on September 1.  Dues for the full year shall be payable at the first meeting in September, with no proration for dues paid later in the year.
(c)    The Executive Committee may recommend to the action special assessments when necessary and appropriate.


(a)    Each member of the Caucus shall have voting rights as specified for the membership category to which he/she belongs, provided, however, that any member whose dues or assessments are unpaid on the date of any meeting shall not be entitled to vote at such meeting.
(b)    The Caucus may, by not less than two-thirds full members voting, impose disciplinary measures guilty of violating the rules or policies of the By-Laws.

ARTICLE IV: Officers


(a)    The officers of the Caucus shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary/Historian, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Fiscal Planner.
(b)    All officers shall be elected at large from among the full members in-good-standing of the Caucus.
(c)    The term for any elected office of the Caucus shall begin at the annual meeting and extend for a period of one year, or until a successor is duly elected and qualified.
(d)    No officer shall receive any compensation for service, except reimbursement for authorized expenditures necessary for Caucus business.


(a)    The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Caucus and of the Executive Committee. He/she shall serve as the official representative and public spokesperson for the Caucus, and shall represent the Caucus at meetings of other associations or groups. However, the Executive Committee, when it deems necessary, may designate other member(s) to represent the Caucus in conjunction with the Chairperson.  The Chairperson shall, subject to concurrence of the Executive Committee, appoint all members of standing, special, and ad-hoc committees (except where otherwise provided for in this document) and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The outgoing Chairperson shall prepare and present an Annual Report to the Caucus at the first regular meeting following elections.
(b)    The Vice-Chairperson shall preside in the absence or incapacity of the Chairperson, and shall aid the Chairperson as requested. He/she shall chair the Program Committee and shall perform such other activities and duties as the Executive Committee may determine.
(c)    The Secretary/Historian shall be the custodian of the organization's records, and shall be responsible for recording, maintaining and distributing the official minutes of all meetings to the Caucus members. He/She shall maintain the membership rolls, tally all official votes, receive and maintain all correspondence to the Caucus, and notify members of the time and place of meetings. As Historian, he/she shall gather all pertinent documents, reports, public-relations materials and other memorabilia to preserve the archives of the organization.
(d)    The Treasurer shall have general charge and supervision of the books and accounts of the Caucus. He/she shall maintain an updated account of the dues paid by each member and an account of all other authorized receipts and expenditures. He/she shall receive and deposit all Caucus funds, make authorized disbursements, render periodic financial reports, and shall provide a complete financial statement at the end of the year as part of the Annual Report. The Treasurer shall obtain written concurrence of the Chairperson for all expenditures.
(e)    The Parliamentarian shall be responsible for seeing that orderly parliamentary procedures are maintained at all meetings of the Caucus in accordance with Articles VII and IX of this Constitution. He/she must be thoroughly familiar with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Caucus and of the rules of parliamentary procedures. The Parliamentarian shall chair the Constitution and By-Laws Committee.
(f)    The Fiscal Planner shall be responsible for directing the financial affairs of the Caucus. He/she will chair the Fund-Raising Committee, advise the Caucus concerning all fund raising efforts, and recommend appropriate activities. The Fiscal planner shall coordinate the preparation of budget estimates for officers and committees, and will work with the Treasurer to establish proper controls for monitoring Caucus funds to ensure that revenues are adequate to meet commitments.


(a)    Any elected officer shall be subject to removal for cause in a secret ballot by two-thirds vote of the full members in-good-standing present at a special meeting called for that purpose.
(b)    Action to remove an elected officer must be initiated by petition signed by at least seven full members in-good-standing. The petition shall be submitted to the Executive Committee, who shall then call a special meeting of the membership at the earliest feasible time.


(a)    In the absence or incapacity of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall temporarily assume the duties of the chair. In the event of the death, resignation, or removal from office of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the duties and title of the senior office for the remainder of the unexpired term, and a new Vice-Chairperson shall be appointed as prescribed below.
(b)    In the temporary absence or incapacity of any elected officer other than the Chairperson, the Executive Committee may appoint a person to fill the position on an interim basis. If an incumbent is absent for longer than three months, the position shall be considered vacant.
(c)    In the event of the death, resignation, or removal from office of any elected incumbent other than the Caucus Chairperson, the Executive Committee shall, by majority vote, designate an individual to fill the vacancy. Such appointment shall extend for the remainder of the unexpired term, and shall be subject to concurring majority vote of the full members present and voting at the next regular meeting of the Caucus.

ARTICLE V: Executive Committee


The Executive Committee shall consist of the following members: The Caucus Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary/ historian, the Treasurer, the Fiscal Planner, the Parliamentarian, The Webmaster, and three Members-at-Large.


The Executive Committee shall be the governing body of the Caucus, and shall be responsible for the overall conduct of the affairs of the organization, management of its assets, articulation of policy, establishment of priorities, and guidance of programs and activities. Specific functions include:

(a)    Setting the agenda for meetings of the membership, and establishing the calendar of meetings, events, and activities for the year;
(b)    Formulating the Caucus policy and position on issues not previously entertained by the general membership in situations where there is insufficient time for the full body to act;
(c)    Advising the Chairperson on current Caucus affairs and recommending policies, programs, and activities;
(d)    Entertaining grievances and other relevant issues brought to its attention by students, faculty, staff, or other concerned individuals and organizations;
(e)    Receiving and acting upon reports, information, and recommendations from the standing, special, and ad-hoc committees;
(f)    Acting on and/or approving all matters pertaining to the financial or business commitments of the Caucus.

The general membership reserves ultimate authority in all Caucus matters, and each action taken by the Executive Committee shall be subject to concurrence by, the general membership.


(a)    The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each month, and is chaired by the Caucus Chairperson. In the absence of the Caucus Chairperson, or pursuant to consultation with the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson may convene and chair an Executive Committee meeting. The committee may also be convened upon call by any three or more of its members.
(b)    The Executive Committee quorum shall tie a ma majority of its membership.  All matters before the Executive Committee shall be decided by majority of the total Committee membership (not merely those present).
(c)    The Executive Committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and all actions taken, which shall be reported to the full member-ship on a regular basis.
(d)    Executive Committee meetings shall normally be open to any Caucus member. The Committee may, upon affirmative vote by two-thirds of its members declare a session closed for purposes of discussing sensitive or confidential matters. However, no action which binds the Caucus may he taken in closed session.

ARTICLE VI: Committees

There shall be three types of committees: standing, special, and ad-hoc.


Standing Committees are permanent, and deal with matters of continuing concern and of on-going nature. The standing committees shall be: a Program Committee, a Membership Committee, a Fund Raising Committee, a Campus and Community Issues Committee, and a Constitution and By-Laws Committee.

(a)    The Program Committee shall plan and implement social, cultural, educational and other programs for the benefit of the faculty, staff and students, including activities to enhance relationships with the University and greater Lafayette communities.
(b)    The Membership Committee shall be responsible for conducting on-going and effective efforts to increase Caucus membership, including development, of materials and processes for publicizing the benefits of Caucus membership.
(c)    The Fund Raising Committee shall be responsible for organizing and carrying out continuing and effective activities to secure financial resources for the Caucus. These include the annual "Awards Dance", solicitations from businesses and individuals, and other appropriate fund-raising events.
(d)    The Campus and Community Issues Committee shall address itself to problems and concerns affecting the general welfare of minorities, including discriminatory policies and practices which restrict access to education and employment, and incidents involving treatment of black students or staff. The committee will seek maximum cooperation from local residents and organizations when acting on community-wide issues.
(e)    The Constitution and By-Laws Committee shall periodically review the Constitution and by-laws of the Caucus, receive and screen proposals initiated by other members of the Caucus, and recommend appropriate changes and amendments to the body.


Special Committees function for limited periods of time with responsibility for activities which are periodic or recurring in nature. Special Committees will be appointed at appropriate times during the year, but do not have permanent existence. Other special committees, in addition to those listed below, may be authorized by the Executive Committee:
(a)    The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for preparing a slate of candidates and conducting the annual elections, as provided in Article VIII, Section 3.
(b)    The Awards Committee shall be responsible for identifying and selecting superior students and for conducting the annual awards program.
(c)    The Dance Committee shall be responsible for organizing and carrying out the annual dance and/or other fund-raising social functions.
(d)    Other


Task oriented Ad-Hoc Committees may be established from time to time, as the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee deem necessary to address specific problems of a non-recurring nature.  Such committees will operate within the purposes and objectives of the Caucus, shall be specifically charged, are typically for short duration, and will be automatically dismissed upon completion of their tasks.


Chairpersons and members of all committees shall be appointed by the Caucus Chairperson, with concurrence of the Executive Committee. Only full members in-good-standing may serve on standing committees. Committee chairs may call upon non-members for assistance and/or to act as technical resource persons.


(a)    Each committee shall be responsible for establishing operational procedures appropriate to its function. Except in an emergency, all actions taken by any standing, special, or ad-hoc committee shall be subject to approval of the Caucus general membership before implementation.
(b)    Each committee shall submit regular reports to the Executive Committee and/or to the full Caucus upon request by the Caucus Chairperson. The Annual Report shall include a summary of the activities and accomplishments of each standing, special, and ad hoc committee for the preceding year, prepared by the committee chair.



(a)    There shall be one meeting of the general membership each month during the school year from September through April. The time and place of these meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
(b)    The regular meeting in April shall be known as the Annual Meeting, during which elections and installation of officers shall take place.
(c)    During the summer months, the Executive Committee shall continue to meet regularly, and full Caucus meetings may be called when deemed necessary by the Chairperson and Executive Committee.
(d)    Notice of each meeting should be given at least one week in advance by the Secretary to all members and other interested parties.


(a)    Special meetings of the general membership may be called by the Executive Committee to consider specific agenda items, such as removal of an officer or other emergency situations which profoundly affect the Caucus, black faculty, staff, or students.
(b)    Notice of special least five (5) days in for which the meeting stated may be considered meetings must be given to all members at advance. Notice must state the purposes is held, and no items other than those or acted upon.
(c)    Special meetings may be restricted to full members in-good-standing under special circumstances.

Section 3. QUORUM

(a)    One-fourth of the Caucus full members in-good-standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or special meeting, unless a greater number is required by law, or by this constitution, for a specific purpose.
(b)    Affiliate members, honorary members, and guests may have voice, but not vote at regular meetings, and do not count towards determination of a quorum.
(c)    All matters before the general membership shall be decided by majority vote of full members in-good-standing present and voting, except as may be provided elsewhere in this constitution.


(a)    All regular meetings are open to the public.
(b)    Minutes of all regular and special meetings, including a roster of all persons present and a complete record of all actions taken, become part of the permanent archives of the Caucus. Following final approval, they shall be promptly distributed to the membership.



All officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be elected and installed at the annual meeting in April.


(a)    Only full members in-good-standing are eligible to hold elective office. No person can hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. An officer who has served more than half a term is considered to have served a full term in that office.
(b)    All full members in-good-standing as of the date of the election shall be eligible to vote


(a)    A nominating committee consisting of three full members in-good-standing shall be chosen not later than February1 or two months prior to the date of the, election One member shall he appointed by the Caucus Chairperson, and two shall be elected by the membership at a regular meeting.  The committee will select its own chair.
(b)    It shall be the duty of the nominating committee to secure recommendations from the membership, screen all nominees for eligibility, and present two or more names for each of the offices and five or more names for the at-large positions on the Executive Committee.
(c)    Ballots shall be prepared by the nominating committee and distributed by the Secretary/Historian to all full members in-good-standing ten (10) days prior to the date of the election. Members should be instructed to mail their marked ballots to the Secretary (absentee voting) or bring them to the election meeting.
(d)    The Secretary shall hold any mail ballots unopened until the election meeting.
(e)    All nominees must have indicated' a willingness to run. No person may be nominated on the printed ballot for more than one office.
(f)    In addition to names on the prepared ballot, nominations may be made from the floor on the day of the election, as provided in Section 4.
(g)    Members of the nominating committee are not prohibited from becoming candidates for office.


(a)    The Chair of the nominating committee shall conduct the election process. Votes shall be tallied by the Secretary/ Historian.
(b)    The ballot prepared and distributed by the nominating committee shall be the official form. At the time of the elections, additional nominations for any position may be made from the floor, and these names shall be added to the ballot.
(c)    After nominations are closed, candidates for each office will be given an opportunity to address the group on their qualifications, if they choose. Following this, the Chair of the nominations committee shall call for votes to be cast, after which the marked ballots will be collected and tallied.
(d)    All voting shall be by written, secret ballot, and a simple majority of the eligible full members voting shall constitute election.
(e)    In the event of a tie vote, or when no candidate receives a majority (not just a plurality) of votes cast, a runoff shall be immediately held between the two candidates for the office who received the greatest number of votes. The runoff shall again be by secret ballot, and a simple majority shall constitute election


(a)    Absentee voting is permitted on the first ballot only. Procedures for absentee voting shall be determined by the nominating committee, and appropriate instructions shall be included with the ballots distributed to the membership before election day.
(b)    In no case will proxy voting (e.g., letting another person vote in your place) be permitted.

ARTICLE IX: Parliamentary Authority


(a)    Roberts Rules of order (revised latest edition) shall govern the proceedings of this organization in all cases not otherwise specified in the Constitution and By-Laws or amendments thereto.
(b)    The Caucus may adopt such standing or special rules, consistent with this Constitution, as necessary to maintain orderly business proceedings.

ARTICLE X: Amendments


(a)    Proposals to amend or repeal this Constitution and By-Laws may be initiated by any three full members in-good-standing. Upon receipt of a proposal, the Caucus Chairperson shall refer it to the Constitution, and By-Laws Committee for review and consideration.
(b)    The Committee shall, in consultation with the initiator(s), review each proposal for legality and appropriateness, modify the wording as necessary, and prepare a draft for submission to the general membership.


(a)    For adoption, an amendment must receive a two-thirds affirmative vote at each of two separate meetings of the general membership, as specified below.
(b)    After review by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, written copies of the proposed amendment(s) shall be distributed to all full members by the Secretary/Historian at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which the membership shall first act. A two-thirds vote of the members present is required for passage at this first reading.
(c)    The proposed amendment, with any minor changes or revisions, must then be presented for final consideration at a subsequent regular (or special) meeting. The amendment will be adopted upon affirmative vote of two-thirds of the full members present at this second reading.
(d)    Minor changes which do not substantially alter the intent of the proposed amendment may be made at either the first or second reading without affecting the process. However, major revisions shall require the proposal be redistributed to the membership, per subpart (b) above, and resubmitted for passage at two readings.
(e)    If a proposed amendment fails to secure the required two-thirds vote for passage on second reading, the issue may only be reintroduced by following procedures as for a new amendment

Adopted: September, 1984

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