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Bylaws of the Alumni Council


Article  1

Mission of the Alumni Council

The mission of the Hamilton College Alumni Council (the “Council”) is to support the key needs of the College and its alumni by mobilizing the talent, expertise, time, and financial resources of all alumni. To do this, the Council will: 1) lead all alumni volunteer groups in meeting the needs of the College and its alumni; 2) provide the link between all alumni and all constituencies of the College; 3) identify, recruit, and inspire alumni and prospective alumni to work in support of the College and each other, and provide recognition for those who do; and 4) foster a spirit of loyalty and fellowship among alumni.

Article  2

Officers of the Council

Section 2.1 Chair.
The Council Chair (the “Chair”) shall be elected pursuant to Article 6 of these Bylaws and Article 8 of the Constitution. The Chair, in accordance with the Constitution of the Alumni Association of Hamilton College (the “Constitution”) and these Bylaws, shall exercise powers and perform the duties assigned to the Chair by the Council and/or the Executive Committee of the Council (the “Executive Committee”), and shall provide leadership for the Council and overall management of its affairs. The Chair shall present an annual report of the Council's work at the annual meeting of the Alumni Association.

Section 2.2 Vice-Chair.
The Council Vice-Chair (the “Vice-Chair”) shall be elected by the Council upon nomination of a candidate by the Nominations Committee. The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in the discharge of the Chair’s duties and perform such other duties assigned by the Council and/or the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chair, in the event of the temporary incapacity of the Chair to fulfill their duties, shall be the interim Chair for the duration of such temporary incapacity. In the event of the vacancy of the office of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall serve as Chair for the duration of the then-current term of the Chair.

Section 2.3 Officers.
All members of the Executive Committee shall serve as officers of the Alumni Council.

Section 2.4 Presiding Officer.
The Chair, or in the Chair’s absence, the Vice-Chair, or in the Vice-Chair’s absence, a member of the Executive Committee, or, in the absence of all of them, any member selected by the members present, shall preside at meetings of the Council.

Article  3

Secretary

The Secretary will be a member of the College staff, appointed by the Vice President of the Office of Advancement, and will provide staff assistance to the Council in preparing for all Council activities as requested by the Executive Committee.

The Secretary shall:

a) assist the Chair and the Executive Committee in the direction and leadership of the Council by keeping them informed of College needs so the Council can set goals and carry out work in support of those needs;

b) provide general direction and leadership to the Executive Committee by suggesting ideas for improving the operation of the Council and by recommending for consideration alumni and class activities and programs based on the Secretary’s awareness of the Hamilton traditions, the needs of the College, the changing attitudes of its alumni, and alumni and class activities and programs being carried on at other small colleges;

c) assist the chairs of all committees by assuming a significant share of the burden of preparing for committee meetings and by offering suggestions and advice regarding committee plans and objectives;

d) implement committee decisions, provide direction and assistance in the conduct of the Annual Fund, and provide direction and assistance and to the local alumni associations and class organizations;

e) prepare and maintain a list of alumni qualified to serve on the Council for consideration by the Nominations Committee;

f) serve as secretary of the Council, and keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Council, and of all other matters for which a record shall be ordered by the Council;

g) notify the officers and all members of the committees of their election or appointment, send notices of all Council meetings, and, in the event of special meetings, add a brief note of the object of the meeting; and

h) perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned by the Executive Committee

Article  4

Membership of the Council

Section 4.1 Membership.
The Membership of the Council shall be comprised of the following individuals:

a) the Council Chair and Vice-Chair;

b) the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the members of the Hamilton Career Network Committee (the  “HCNC”);

c) the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the members of the Committee on Equity and Inclusion (the “CEI);

d) the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the members of the Regional Affairs Committee (the “RAC”);

e) the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the members of the Class Leadership Committee (the “CLC”);

f) the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the members of the Nominations Committee; and

g) up to ten (10) Members-at-Large, appointed by the Executive Committee for a specific term, who have demonstrated leadership ability or potential in performing volunteer work for the College. Members-at-Large will be selected for special expertise they can contribute to a Standing Committee.

Section 4.2 Demographics.
Consideration shall be given, in the membership selection process, to select individuals that reflect the diversity of the College and its alumni population, and its wide range of affinity groups.

Section 4.3 Terms.
The terms of the Council Officers and Members, which commence on the first of July following such officers’ and members’ election or appointment, shall be as follows:

a) the Chair shall be elected bi-annually to serve a two (2) year term, such term commencing on an even-numbered calendar year;

b) the Vice-Chair shall be elected to serve a two (2) year term, with such term commencing concurrently with the election of the Chair;

c) the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of each of the HCNC, the CEI, the RAC, the CLC, and the Nominations Committee shall serve two (2) year terms, with each such term commencing on an even-numbered calendar year. In the event of the unavailability or incapacitation of the Chair of any of these Committees, the Vice-Chair for the respective Committee shall assume the duties of Chair for the duration of such unavailability or incapacitation. Upon completion of the terms of the Chairs of each of these Committees, the Vice-Chair shall assume the office of Chair of each respective Committee for the succeeding two (2) year term;

d) members of the HCNC, the CEI, and the RAC shall serve two (2) year terms. Nominations Committee members shall serve four (4) year terms;

e) members of the CLC shall serve terms that run concurrently with their election and service as Class Presidents pursuant to Article 7 of the Constitution of the Alumni Association (the “Constitution”) or their appointment as a Kirkland class representative pursuant to Article 5 of these Bylaws; and

f) Members-at-Large appointed by the Executive Committee shall serve two (2) year terms.

Section 4.4 Students and Faculty.
Up to five (5) students and two (2) faculty members, selected under procedures developed by the Executive Committee, shall be appointed to one academic-year terms on the Alumni Council. Consideration will be given to Hamilton community demographics in making such selections.

Article 5

Council Organization

The Council shall maintain six standing committees: the Executive Committee, the Hamilton Career Network Committee, the Committee on Equity and Inclusion, the Regional Affairs Committee, the Class Leadership Committee, and the Nominations Committee. Ad Hoc committees may be formed by the Executive Committee to meet specific needs of the Council or the College.

Section 5.1 Executive Committee.
The Executive committee shall consist of the Council Chair, the Council Vice-Chair, and the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of each of the HCNC, the CEI, the RAC, the CLC, and the Nominations Committee. The immediate past Council Chair, Council Secretary, and the Vice President of the Office of Advancement shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.

The Council Chair shall serve as chair of the Executive Committee. The chair shall not vote on matters before the committee except in case of a tie vote. More than one half of members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

The Executive Committee shall:

a) provide overall leadership to the Council and its committees and in the conduct of all Council business. It may make policies and regulations it deems advisable, consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws;

b) keep informed of the needs of the College and guide the volunteer work of the Alumni Council to meet those needs, set goals based on those needs, and form ad hoc committees to respond to those needs; and as needs are filled, disband ad hoc committees;

c) recognize individuals who have supported the College, and plan events to celebrate good work of the Council in general;

d) develop an agenda for each Council meeting, including times for general sessions and special meetings of the Council, committee meetings, meetings with students and faculty, and social events. The Executive Committee shall determine Council business matters to be included in each meeting;

e) appoint Standing Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, and appoint Committee members where required under these Bylaws;

f) establish ad hoc committee(s) for a defined purpose and period, and appoint Chair(s), Vice-Chair(s) and members to such ad hoc committees;

g) assure there are numerous volunteer opportunities for alumni who may not be on the Council; and

h) perform other duties it deems necessary consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 5.2 Nominations Committee.
The Nominations Committee shall consist of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and twelve (12) members selected by the Executive Committee.

The Nominations Committee shall:

a) recommend, every two years, a nominee for President of the Alumni Association/Chair of the Alumni Council for approval by the Council;

b) recommend, every two years, a nominee for Council Vice-Chair for election by the Council;

c) recommend annually nominee(s) for Alumni Trustee for approval by the Council, and, should a vacancy occur in any alumni trusteeship other than expiration of term of office, an interim replacement to serve until a replacement has been elected as provided in Article 10 of the Constitution. At least thirty days prior to the Nominations Committee’s fall meeting, the Nominations Committee or its designee(s) shall solicit suggestions for Alumni Trustee candidates from members of the Alumni Council. In those years in which there is an incoming Chair of the Annual Fund (i.e., when a new term of office for Chair of the Annual Fund will begin the following July 1), the Nominations Committee shall include the rising Chair of the Annual Fund in its slate of three nominees to stand for nomination by the Alumni Council as provided in Article 8 of the Constitution;

d) nominate annually person(s) to receive the Bell Ringer Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Jeff Little ’71 Volunteer of the Year Award, and any such other awards as the Alumni Council shall from time to time establish;

e) when appropriate, select recipients of College Key Awards;

f) propose, from time to time as necessary or proper, additional awards to be established upon vote by the Council;

g) submit relevant biographical information on all nominees to the Council prior to a vote for approval; and

h) perform such other duties as the Council or Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time.

Section 5.3 Regional Affairs Committee (RAC).
The Regional Affairs Committee shall consist of: the Chair; the Vice-Chair; the Regional Chairs for up to ten (10) major geographic regions (the “Major Regions”), as selected from time to time by the Executive Committee; and a Local Ambassador Chair to represent local alumni associations not encompassed by the Major Regions. The Local Ambassador Chair shall be appointed by the Executive Committee following a recommendation from the Local Ambassador Committee, comprised of the Regional Chairs not encompassed by the Major Regions. The Local Ambassador Committee shall perform such other duties as the Council or the Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time. All Regional Chairs shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.

The Regional Affairs Committee shall:

a) provide leadership to all alumni activities in the regions;

b) assure that all volunteer groups set goals in support of the Council’s mission to meet the needs of the College and its alumni;

c) establish metrics by which volunteer support can be measured and by which volunteers can track their progress toward meeting their goals;

d) develop future volunteer leaders;

e) provide appropriate communications to and among all volunteer groups and all alumni in the regions;

f) provide recognition for work done in and for the regions by members of volunteer groups and other alumni;

g) work in concert with the Local Ambassador Committee to achieve the above in areas not encompassed by the Major Regions; and

h) perform such other duties as the Council or the Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time.
 

Section 5.4 Class Leadership Committee (CLC).
The Class Leadership Committee shall consist of each of the alumni Class Presidents elected pursuant to Article 7 of the Constitution, and up to eight (8) Kirkland class representatives selected for five-year terms by Kirkland alumnae in accordance with processes to be adopted by the Executive Committee or its designees. Where a class is represented by more than one Class President, only one such Class President shall be a member of the Council.

The Class Leadership Committee shall:

a) provide leadership to the activities of Hamilton and Kirkland classes;

b) assure that all class-specific volunteer groups set goals in support of the Council’s mission to meet the needs of the College and its alumni, and provide support in meeting those goals;

c) establish metrics by which volunteer support can be measured and by which volunteers can track their progress toward meeting their goals;

d) develop future volunteer leaders;

e) provide appropriate communications to and among class-specific volunteer groups and all alumni;

f) provide recognition for work done in and for the classes by members of volunteer groups and other alumni; and

g) perform such other duties as the Council or the Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time.

Section 5.5 Committee on Equity and Inclusion (CEI).
The Committee on Equity and Inclusion shall consist of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and eight (8) members from its affinity committees (for a total of ten (10) members). In selecting members to the CEI, the Executive Committee shall consider: the recommendations of the then-current CEI members; leadership in terms of participation in regional and on-campus events; acting as ambassadors for the College within the alumni base; and the prospective members’ ability to contribute in scope and value as well as enrich the goals of the CEI.
 

The Committee on Equity and Inclusion shall:

a) serve as a resource for those who identify as multicultural alumni and assist in the development of programming that promotes cultural, racial, ethnic, and gender expression equity, inclusion, and understanding;

b) assure that CEI sets goals in support of strategic plans as they relate to equity and inclusion;

c) consult with the College on annual collegiate surveys;

d) establish metrics by which volunteer support can be measured and by which volunteers can track their progress;

e) develop a pool of resources and future volunteer leaders and improve engagement with the alumni base;

f) create and disseminate regular and consistent communications to all groups;

g) provide recognition for work done by members of the groups; and

h) perform such other duties as the Council or the Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time.

Section 5.6 Hamilton Career Network Committee (HCNC).
The Hamilton Career Network Committee shall consist of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and Industry Sector Leaders of Alumni Career Affinity Groups as selected from time to time by the Executive Committee. The Industry Sector Leaders shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. In making appointments to the HCNC, the Executive Committee shall ensure that each Industry Sector Leader provides sufficient connection to and representation for the Affinity Group the Industry Sector Leader is appointed to represent.

The Hamilton Career Network Committee shall:

a) provide representation for key industry sectors and programming for all alumni to promote career connections among alumni and students;

b) assure that HCNC sets goals in support of the goals of both the Council and the College;

c) establish metrics by which volunteer support can be measured and by which volunteers can track their progress toward meeting their goals;

d) develop future volunteer leaders;

e) provide appropriate communication to all relevant groups;

f) provide recognition for work done on behalf of the HCNC; and

g) perform such other duties as the Council or the Executive Committee may deem appropriate from time to time.

Section 5.7 Hamilton Career Network Committee, Committee on Equity and Inclusion, Regional Affairs Committee, Class Leadership Committee, and Ad Hoc Committee Guidelines.

Each of the above Committees shall:

a) develop goals annually in support of the needs of the College and the Council's overall goals, submit them to the Executive committee for approval, and present them to the Council;

b) carry out its goals, involving Committee members, other members of the Council, alumni at large, College administration, faculty and/or students, as needed;

c) carry out other responsibilities as requested by the Executive Committee;

d) operate, as nearly as possible, without making demands on the resources of the College;

e) make recommendations to the Executive committee on improving the effectiveness of the Council; and

f) provide regular updates on progress toward accomplishing goals to the Council.

Article 6

Elections and Voting

Section 6.1 Nominations by the Council.
Nominations by the Nominations Committee for Alumni Trustee, and for President of the Association/Chair of the Alumni Council, as described in Section 5.2 of these Bylaws, shall be submitted to the Council for approval at the Fall meeting of the Alumni Council, and a vote on those nominations by the Alumni Council shall be held at that time. If any nominee is not approved by the Alumni Council or does not accept the nomination, the Nominations Committee shall thereafter propose an alternative candidate who shall be voted upon by the Alumni Council at or after the Fall meeting in a manner to be determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 6.2 Nominations by Petition.
A petition to nominate a candidate for President of the Association/Chair of the Alumni Council, or for Alumni Trustee, may be submitted to the Executive Committee by any member of the Alumni Association as provided in Article 8 of the Constitution. Petitions may be submitted in electronic format. The Executive Committee, when required, shall establish a reasonable method for the electronic submission of support of a petition candidate. To be valid, a petition must be supported by electronic submissions from at least one percent (1%) of the Alumni Association. Each electronic submission in support of a petition candidate must:

a) contain the name of the candidate, and the office for which the candidate is being nominated;

b) indicate the class, address, and telephone number of the alumnus supporting the petition candidate;

c) be submitted in its entirety;

d) be received in the Office of Advancement at least 90 days before the Spring General Meeting of the Alumni Council; and

e) nominate only one candidate.

Additionally, the petition candidate must provide a statement containing a description of the candidate’s past alumni service, standing in the community in which the candidate lives and/or works, qualifications to serve as a member of the Hamilton College Board of Trustees, and consenting to the nomination.

The Executive Committee shall determine the validity of all petitions submitted, shall inform the Nominations Committee as soon as possible of all valid petitions, and shall establish election procedures and oversee the elections for any positions for which valid petition candidates are presented. The Executive Committee shall review and revise such nomination and election procedures from time to time as it deems appropriate, provided that such procedures shall be consistent with these Bylaws and the Constitution.

Candidates nominated by valid petition shall be presented to the Alumni Association, in addition to other nominees selected by the Nominations Committee, in a balloting process adopted by the Executive Committee as provided in Article 8 of the Constitution.

Section 6.3 Other Elections.
In the event that a vacancy requires an election, the election procedure specified in this Article will be followed at the next scheduled Alumni Council meeting.

Section 6.4 Voting.
Elections will be decided as follows:

Nomination recommendations will be decided by a majority of Nominations Committee voting.

Motions brought before the Alumni Council will be decided by the majority vote of Council members present.

 

Article 7

Meetings of the Council

Meetings will be held as follows:

Section 7.1 General Meetings.
The Council shall hold two general meetings each year on campus, one in the spring and one in the fall.

The purpose of the general meetings will be to:

a) review College needs;

b) set overall Council goals;

c) set individual committee goals in support of Council goals;

d) review progress on meeting goals;

e) renew commitment and make necessary plans for meeting goals on schedule;

f) vote on nominations, motions and other issues before the Council;

g) interact with students and faculty;

h) review and celebrate prior year's work and accomplishments;

i) recognize volunteers;

j) participate in leadership training; and

k) conduct such other business as the Council deems necessary and proper.

Section 7.2 Special Meetings.
The Executive Committee may, from time to time, call Special Meetings of the Council as the Executive Committee deems necessary or appropriate. Such Special Meetings may be held by teleconference or other method deemed reasonable by the Executive Committee. Reasonable notice of such Special Meetings shall be provided by the Executive Committee, or a designee thereof, in a manner fixed by the Executive Committee.

Section 7.3 Notice.
Notice of each General Meeting shall be given at least thirty days prior to the meeting. An agenda, minutes of the last meeting and other materials pertinent to the meeting will be sent with the notice.

Section 7.4 Conduct of the Meetings.
Except in cases otherwise provided for by the Constitution or Bylaws, all meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.

Section 7.5 Other Attendees.
Alumni, students and faculty not on the Council may be invited to Council meetings.

Section 7.6 Committee Business.
Any Council business which, in the judgment of the Chair, can be best handled by a committee of the Council, shall be referred to that committee. The Council Chair and Committee Chair will agree on timing for resolution of the matter and reporting to the Council.

Section 7.7 Committee Meetings.
Individual committee meetings, including executive committee meetings, may be held during Alumni Council meetings and/or at other times as needed to conduct committee business, in appropriate places (not necessarily on the Hill), or by conference call or email.

Article 8

Amendment of Bylaws

Section 8.1. These Bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Council.

The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting at such meeting shall be required for the adoption of any amendment. No proposed amendment shall be submitted to a vote unless notice of the proposed amendment shall have been included in the notice or call of the meeting, together with the text of the proposed amendment. Unless the Executive Committee otherwise directs, no notice of a proposed amendment shall be so included in the notice or call of a meeting unless notice in writing of the proposed amendment shall have been given to the Executive Committee ten days prior thereto.

Section 8.2. Upon the consideration of any proposed amendment, amendments germane thereto may be offered and voted upon at the meeting.

Article 9

Effective Date

These Bylaws became effective January 1, 1996. Duly amended October 7, 2000, April 24, 2004, October 4, 2008, April 4, 2009, April 2, 2011, March 31, 2012, and June 9, 2018.

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