The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools –
Constitution and Bylaws

Article I. Name


Article II. Mission
The primary mission of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools is to increase the enrollment of African-American students in graduate programs through strategic planning and constantly articulating the courses of graduate study available in African-American institutions. The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools will promote the research mission of member institutions by encouraging maximum involvement in scholarly initiatives and by facilitating the dissemination of knowledge concerning African-Americans. The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools supports the concept of multiculturalism; in this regard, it recognizes and defends the right of African-American graduate programs to compete equitably for funds to support programs and services in order to preserve graduate study in African-American institutions. The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools will seek to ensure the viable representation of historically black colleges and universities at all forums pertaining to American graduate education.

ARTICLE III. Functions

Section 1. Graduate Study. The Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (hereinafter, “the Council”) shall have as a primary purpose the consideration of mutual problems and opportunities for strengthening graduate education and research among the member institutions. The Council shall function in liaison with other national, international, and regional educational and accrediting bodies and may serve as a representative on graduate affairs for the institutional members.

Section 2. Academic Standards. The Council will take continuous interest in the activities of other bodies which concern themselves with the standards of graduate work. The Council shall not assume the role of an accreditation agency.

Section 3. Special Studies. Special studies in graduate education may be undertaken by the Council upon authorization of the membership at an annual meeting.

Section 4. Gifts and Bequests. The Council, through action of the members at the annual meeting or by its Executive Committee, may accept grants and bequests for making of special studies in graduate education and for other purposes consistent with the objectives and functions of the Council.

Section 5. Binding Actions. Although the Council may be regarded as a representative and spokesman of its constituent members, no action taken by the Council or any of its representatives is to be regarded as binding upon any institutional member, except for such dues and assessments fully approved as provided hereafter.

ARTICLE IV. Membership and Dues

Section 1. Membership. Membership in the Council shall be by institution and shall be comprised of Full and Associate member institutions. Full and Associate members of the Council must be committed to the advancement of graduate and/or professional education of African-Americans and other racial or ethnic minorities. Membership shall include a review of the applicant institution by the CouncilÕs Nominating Committee, a vote by the Council, and the payment of annual dues.

Full Membership
a. Any graduate school or graduate program located at a historically black college or university (a ÒHBCUÓ) is eligible for Full membership. Full membership shall entitle an institutional representative to hold any office of the Council and to vote on all matters before the Council. At the time of its selection as a Full membership, an institution must be fully accredited by its appropriate regional or professional accrediting body.

Associate Membership
b. Associate membership, shall include: (1) graduate schools and programs that are not located at a HBCU but that support the mission of the Council; (2) organizations and/or associations concerned with graduate and/or professional education; and, (3) any institution contemplating the offering of graduate work or any institution offering graduate work, but not fully accredited as defined above. Associate membership entitles an institutional representative to exercise all privileges except that of voting and holding the office of President and Vice-President of the Council. The Institutional Representative of an Associate Member shall have voice in all matters before the Council and may serve on all other committees of the Council as identified in Article IX of these Bylaws.

Section 2. Representation. Each institutional member shall designate one official representative, who shall express the member’s voice and/or cast the member’s vote on all matters before the Council. Nothing in this section, however, precludes a member institution from sending as many delegates or participants to Council meetings as it deems appropriate.

Section 3. Dues. Dues shall be collected annually from institutional members.

a. The amount of annual dues shall be recommended by the Executive Committee, and established only by majority vote of the member institutions, and incorporated in the Bylaws. The last voted amount of dues shall continue in effect until changed by formal vote.

b. Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer by November 15, of each year.

c. The current annual institutional dues for the Council are $200.
Section 4. Assessments. Assessments upon the member institutions may be made only in advance of expenditures, necessitating such assessment, and must be approved by two-thirds of the official membership of the Council. No assessment may be larger than the amount of the annual institutional dues in effect at the time of the approval of assessment.

ARTICLE V. Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting. There shall be an annual meeting of the Council, to be held at the place and time designated by the Executive Committee, unless otherwise determined by vote or poll of the representatives on such time and place.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Council may be authorized by the Executive Committee but actions taken at such meetings will not be binding until ratified by the Council.

Section 3. Electronic Meetings. Where practicable, institutional members may participate in the annual meeting or in any special meeting of the Council through telephonic or acceptable electronic medium. The polling of members and/or the casting of votes on matters before the Council either by mail or by an approved electronic medium may be authorized by the Executive Committee.


A simple majority of all Full member institutions must be present to constitute a quorum. In the event of a lack of a quorum, the Executive Committee may utilize mail and/or electronic medium to secure a vote by the majority of the Council’s Full membership on any matter, motion or business introduced at the meeting.

ARTICLE VII. Organization

Section 1. The Council shall be operated as a nonprofit organization.

Section 2. Powers. Policy actions affecting the Council as a whole shall be valid only when approved by majority of the institutional representatives comprising the Full membership of the Council. Such approval may include voting at the regular annual business meeting, or voting by an approved electronic medium. Other powers may be delegated to official representatives of the Council as approved by the Executive Committee or by the Council, except for duties specifically designated hereafter.


Section 1. Officers. Newly elected officers shall be installed at the close of the annual business meeting.

a. The President shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of two years. The President shall be responsible for coordinating all functions of the Council, and shall preside at the annual meeting. The President shall serve as Chairperson of the Executive Committee and perform the other usual duties of a presiding officer. The President may stand for re-election for no more than two consecutive terms. If the President is not re-elected, the Vice-President shall succeed the outgoing President as President of the Council.

b. The Vice-President shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of two years. The Vice-President shall assist the President and shall be responsible for the program of the annual Council meeting. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the PresidentÕs inability to serve. Where the Vice-President assumes the duties of President because the President is not able to serve a full term, the Vice-President shall be entitled to a full term of two years upon completion of the PresidentÕs duties.

c. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a term of two years at the annual business meeting when the previous term expires or is vacated. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for notices of dues, announcement of all meetings, and for conducting mail ballots. The Secretary-Treasurer shall collect and disburse all monies of the Council; keep full and accurate records of such transactions and shall maintain the official record of institutional membership and the designated representative of each.

d. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be bonded, and the cost thereof and of auditing his accounts shall be defrayed by the Council by action of the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be reimbursed for the ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out his prescribed duties.

e. The President shall appoint the Director of Special Projects. S/he shall be responsible for developing grants, promoting cooperative inter-institutional relations, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Council.

f. The Executive Committee shall make an ad interim appointment to fill a vacated office until the next regular business meeting.

ARTICLE IX. Committees

Section 1. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of seven members including, the President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Director of Special Projects, the Immediate Past-President, and two members elected at large. Provisions shall be made to insure that nominations for the Executive Committee include a broad representation from the constituent membership.

The term of office for the elected members shall be two years, with the terms staggered, providing for one new member each year. An elected member may not serve consecutive terms.

The Executive Committee shall act for the Council between meetings. It shall act as a committee-on-committees, may authorize expenditures incidental to the general functions of the Council, and take other actions necessary for the operation of the Council. It shall assume the function of liaison with other professional and educational organizations.

Section 2. Nominating Committee. The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee composed of five individuals representative of the constitutional member institutions. The Nominating Committee shall: (a) be responsible for recruiting new institutional memberships including certifying the applications for Full and Associate memberships; and, (b) prepare a slate to be presented at the annual business meeting for the election of officers and Executive Committee members herein designated. Members of the Executive Committee (except for the Immediate-Past-President) shall not be eligible for appointment to this committee. The committee shall be appointed early in the year and prepare its report in advance of the annual meeting. It shall be automatically dissolved upon the acceptance of its report.

The annual slate for elections shall list candidates for the following offices: Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer for a term of two years in any year when the previous term expires or the office is vacated for other reasons. The slate shall include nominees for vacancies on the Executive Committee. The Chair shall call for nominations from the floor, following the report of the Nominating Committee.

Section 3. Standing Committees. Standing Committees designated below shall assist in the program of the Council. The Executive Committee shall appoint members of all standing committees for two-year terms, with terms expiring on a rotating basis. The Executive Committee shall designate the Chairperson of each Standing Committee. Whenever feasible, each of the Standing Committees authorized in this section shall contain a minimum of three members.

The Standing Committees of the Council are:

a. Auditing Committee. The Auditing Committee is specifically charged with auditing the Treasurer’s records and reporting the result of the audit at the annual meeting.

b. Committee on Publications. The Committee on Publications, working in cooperation with the Secretary-Treasurer, shall (i) assist in publishing the proceedings of each annual conference and business meeting as may be appropriate, (ii) prepare and publish such reports, letters, or studies as provided in the ByLaws, and (iii) recommend to the Executive Committee the publication of any other papers or studies.

Section 4. Special Committees. The President may appoint, with the approval of the Executive Committee, such special adhoc committees as deemed appropriate.

ARTICLE X. Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws
Section 1. Adoption. These Bylaws shall become effective upon approval by a majority vote of the official representatives of all Full member institutions.

Section 2. Amendments. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer, and be made available for consideration by all member institutions at least thirty days in advance of a formal vote. A majority vote by Full member institutions is required in order to amend these Bylaws. A vote of a Full member may be cast in person, by mail, or by an approved electronic medium.