Bylaws of the SMU Sustainability Committee

Bylaws of the SMU Sustainability Committee

Article I: Name and Mission.

Section 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be known as the SMU Sustainability Committee.

Section 2: Mission and Purpose

Our purpose is to enhance communication among students, faculty and staff regarding environmental efforts on campus, to evaluate the needs of the university and provide suggestions for improvements in sustainability and resource conservation, to educate students, faculty and staff about sustainability best practices and green options at SMU, to promote awareness of the connections between environmental and social issues, to facilitate life-long environmentally conscious behavior, and to build mutually beneficial relationships with the Dallas community.

Section 3: Responsibilities and Reporting

The Committee is responsible for advising the President on matters pertaining to the environment and sustainability as it directly relates to Southern Methodist University (SMU).

The Committee shall choose projects and subcommittees related to its mission and purpose.

The SMU Sustainability Committee shall report regularly to the President or his/her designated appointee. Copies of such reports, as well as copies of minutes, shall be submitted to all members of the committee. The committee shall publish and present an annual report each April on university sustainability activities and progress on goals. The annual report shall also detail committee goals and action items to be pursued the following year.

Article II. Membership.

Section 1: Term of Service

All members and alternate members of the Committee shall be appointed for one term of service. The appointment shall continue into the next term of service unless otherwise stipulated by the nominating department. A term of service (Term) shall be defined as the time interval from the first Committee meeting of the Fall semester, which shall take place no later than September, until the first meeting of the next Fall semester. This Term end date applies to all members, with the exception of Committee chairs as explained in Section 2. There is no limit to the number of Terms a member of the Committee may serve.

Section 2: Committee Composition

The Committee shall consist of representatives from the following departments and in the following number:

  • The Provost’s Office will appoint 2 faculty members, at least 1 of whom will be from any academic Environmental Program.
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee.
  • The Vice-President for Business and Finance or a designee.
  • Associate Vice President of the Office of Planning, Design and Construction or a designee.
  • The Faculty Senate will appoint 2 faculty members.
  • The SMU Staff Association will appoint 2 members.
  • At least one (and no more than three) student representatives appointed by Students for a Better Society, the Environmental Society, and Student Senate.
  • The Executive Director of Residence Life and Student Housing or a designee.
  • The Director of the Hughes-Trigg Center or a designee.
  • The Director of Energy Management or a designee.
  • The Executive Director of Facilities Management and Sustainability or a designee who is not from Energy Management.
  • The Director of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety or a designee.
  • The Director of Auxiliary Services or a designee.
  • The Director of Purchasing and Procurement Services or a designee.
  • The Director of Public Affairs or a designee.
  • A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 at large members from SMU faculty, staff or students.

Committee Partners may include Community Members and SMU Alumni. However, only Committee Members have voting privileges.

Students, faculty and staff who desire a seat shall petition the appropriate authority as defined above. There are two conditions for appointment to the Committee:
  1. Nomination for this Committee will be by the appropriate authority as defined above.
  2. Approval by existing members of the full committee.

Each member may appoint an alternate member. The alternate member may cast an official vote in the absence or with approval of the member. Only one vote per member-alternate pair may be cast.

Each member may designate a proxy in the event he/she or his/her alternate is unable to attend a Committee meeting or subcommittee meeting.

Section 4: Removal Procedure

A member will be dropped for excess absences from the committee if he or she has two (2) unexcused absences from meetings in an academic year. Attendance of the alternate or a designated proxy will not be recorded as an unexcused absence.

A member may also be removed under the following two conditions:

  1. Consensus among current Committee members.
  2. Approval of the person or group that made the original nomination.

Any member of the Committee who wishes to resign may do so at any time. Upon resignation, the member must inform both the Chairperson(s) of the Committee and the original nominator. The Chairperson(s) shall solicit an appropriate replacement.

Article III. Organization

Section 1: Governance

The Committee shall determine its own policies and internal structure, and shall govern by consensus whenever possible. In the absence of consensus, a two-thirds majority of the Committee members or their alternates or proxies shall be required to alter these Bylaws or take other official actions, including elections, endorsements, structural reorganization, and all other decisions. Subcommittees of the Committee shall be governed in likewise fashion.

Two-thirds of the duly appointed members of the committee (or their alternate or proxy) at any given time being present shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the committee may conduct a meeting, engage in discussion, and keep minutes; however, no action requiring a committee vote may be taken without a quorum present.

Section 2: Officers

The members of the Committee will select the Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, and the members of the Executive Committee.

The Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, and members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the committee at the May meeting for the following academic year. Nominations can be made by any member at the April meeting, and willing nominees shall be posted on the agenda for the May meeting.

The Chairperson’s responsibilities shall include setting the agenda and distributing it to members before each meeting, facilitating meetings, and serving as a liaison for the Committee. The Chairperson shall be a member of the Committee.

The Chairperson-Elect shall assume the duties of Chairperson in his/her absence or incapacity and will perform such duties as the Chairperson will delegate. He/she will automatically assume the position of Chairperson at the end of the-academic year. The Chairperson-Elect is responsible to orient new members to the committee and shall encourage attendance by existing members. The Chairperson-Elect will also maintain records and meeting minutes and distribute to Committee members.

The Chairperson and Chairperson-Elect shall serve for a one-year term.

The Executive Committee shall be a standing subcommittee of the Committee. The purpose of the Executive Committee is to:

  1. Distribute administrative responsibility, decision-making, and planning among Committee Members.
  2. Provide a formal and regular setting in which to make such decisions and plans.

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the following members:

  • The Chairperson.
  • The Chairperson-Elect.
  • Two faculty members (including one from the Environmental Studies program).
  • Two staff members.
  • One student.
  • A member may be elected to serve on the Executive Committee for a maximum of two consecutive terms, other than the Chairperson and the Chairperson-Elect.

Section 3: Subcommittees

Subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chair as needed to carry out the mission of the committee. Subcommittees are expected to report on their work at monthly meetings of the full committee. All subcommittees should be chaired by a member of the Committee. The chairperson(s) of the subcommittee shall oversee all work done by the subcommittee. The chairperson(s) also shall maintain organization of the subcommittee, report to the Committee at meetings, and act as liaison to the broader community.

The Committee shall review its subcommittees annually to assess their progress. At this time the Committee may dissolve any subcommittees it determines to be no longer necessary, with the exception of the Executive Committee. The subcommittees must submit a quarterly report to the Chairperson.

Article IV. Meetings

Section 1: Committee Meetings

Meetings will be held once a month from September through May or at the call of the Chair. 

Agenda items for consideration should be submitted to the Chair at least 10 days before the meeting. 

The meeting notice and an agenda will be sent at least one week in advance of the meeting. The time and place of meetings shall be determined by the committee at the beginning of each semester. Meeting information shall be publicized on the Committee’s website and through other University media. 

All full committee meetings shall be open to the public and will include a period for public comment. Minutes will be kept, sent to members, and amended and/or approved at the following meeting. Agendas for each meeting will be sent to members and posted on website in advance of the meeting. 

To maintain fair and orderly meetings Roberts Rules of Order will be utilized as appropriate to operate the meetings of the committee.

Section 2: Subcommittee Meetings

The subcommittees shall, pending the nature of the workload, meet at the discretion of the Chairperson(s) of each subcommittee.

Section 3: Special Meetings

The Chairperson has the ability to call special meetings outside of the standard meeting time, as deemed necessary.

Article V. Amendments

Subject to specific provisions of these bylaws, these bylaws may be amended, repealed or altered in whole or in part by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members who are present at any meeting called for that purpose, provided, however, that at least one-half of the Executive Committee shall vote in favor of any such amendment.

Notice of the substance of the proposed change shall be mailed to the last recorded address or e-mail address of the Executive Committee by any Committee Member at least ten (10) days before the meeting which is to consider the change.