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BY-LAWS - ENACTED June 7, 2003


The mission of COCAL-California is to coordinate activities among organizations representing contingent and non-tenure track faculty in all segments of higher education in California.


Section 1.  Membership in COCAL-California is open to any faculty organization representing the interests of faculty in higher education institutions in California, so long as the constituency of said organization includes non-tenure track and/or part-time faculty.  Member organizations shall establish themselves as members by appointing a representative to the Executive Council and making a good-faith commitment to contribute reasonable financial support for the joint ventures and ongoing affairs of COCAL-California. 

Section 2.  Organization   for purposes of membership eligibility includes local, regional, and/or statewide entities whether or not said entity is the authorized agent for collective bargaining for its constituency.

Section 3.  Faculty  includes any employees who teach or otherwise perform instructional duties for students in institutions of higher education, regardless of how designated by said institution.


Section 1. Terms of Office Members of the Executive Council (hereinafter referred to as the "Council") shall be appointed by the member organizations they represent.  The term of the appointment shall be at the discretion of the member organization.

 Section 2. Vacancy

A. In the event that any Council Member resigns, the member organization shall appoint a replacement.  Until the member organization does so, the position shall remain vacant.

B. In the event a Council member fails to participate in the business of the Council for forty-five (45) days without leave (leave may be granted by a majority vote of the Council but may not exceed more than six (6) months duration) such action shall be construed as resignation from the Council by said Council Member. The vacancy may be filled by the member organization.

C. Barring extraordinary circumstances, vacancies will be filled within one month.


Section 1.  Structure and Terms of Office.

A.  The Steering Committee shall consist, at minimum, of six persons --  specifically, one northern and one southern representative for each of the three public institutions of California higher education: that is, the University of California system, the California State University System, and the California Community College system.  The Council may authorize additional persons to sit on the Steering Committee from private institutions of higher education if and when requests are made by member organizations representing faculty at such institutions.

B.  Members of the Steering Committee shall be elected by the relevant member organization or organizations of the Council for terms of one year. 

C.  The Chair, the Secretary, and the Treasurer of COCAL-California shall be elected by the Council from among the members of the Executive Committee and shall for terms of one year.

D.  The Steering Committee serves at the pleasure and subject to the ultimate authority of the Council.  Relevant member organizations may recall and replace their Steering Committee members at their discretion.

Section 2. Vacancy

A. In the event that any Steering Committee member resigns, the relevant member organization(s) of the Council shall appoint a replacement.  Until said member organization(s) do so, the position shall remain vacant.

B. In the event a Committee member fails to participate in the business of the Committee for forty-five (45) days without leave (leave may be granted by a majority vote of the Committee but may not exceed more than six (6) months duration) such action shall be construed as resignation from the Steering Committee by said Steering Committee member. The vacancy may be filled by the relevant member organization(s) of the Council.

C. Barring extraordinary circumstances, vacancies will be filled within one month.  If the relevant member organizations of the Council fail to agree on a replacement, a replacement may be elected by the Council at large.

 Section 3.  The Chair.

 The Chair shall be responsible for:

       a) presiding over all Steering Committee and Council meetings, including setting dates, times, and agendas, maintaining order, and conducting votes (exception: when voting on the email EC list, Director of Administration tracks votes);

      b) serving as COCAL-California's chief correspondent, the initial contact person for public correspondence or inquiries about the COCAL-California;      

Section 4. The Secretary.

The Secretary shall be responsible for:

       a) researching possible dates and locations for meetings, and once decision is made, making the reservations, delegating such authority to a subsidiary committee as appropriate, and informing the Council of arrangements;

      b) setting up Council conference call meetings as needed.      c) recording and reporting the minutes at all Council meetings;

      d) keeping track of the current membership of the Council and the identity of the duly appointed representatives of the members organizations.

      c) keeping track of votes.

      Section 5. The Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for:

       a) creating and maintaining an annual budget;

       b) producing quarterly reports on the budget;

       c) distributing reimbursements for operating expenses to Council members as needed;

      d) planning fundraising activities as needed;

       e) researching and writing grants as needed

      f) file any legally required tax returns and other documents with the state of California and the Internal Revenue Service.

      g) carrying out the duties and procedures prescribed in Article VII,  Finances.

Section 6. Nonvoting positions.

The Council may appoint a Webmaster, a Director of Publications, a Director of Public Relations, and/or other positions involving specific functions at its discretion and for terms to be prescribed by the Council.  Said Director(s) shall be a party to all communications of the Steering Committee and the Council. Said Director(s) shall serve in a nonvoting capacity, but may vote as member(s) of the Steering Committee and/or Council if duly appointed member(s) of the Steering Committee and/or Council.      



Section 1. Meetings of the Council may be called by the Steering Committee Chair or by any three Council Members with at least two weeks' notice of

       (a) the time the meeting will begin and adjourn;

      (b) the location, and

      (c) the specific agenda of business to be conducted.

Section 2. Notice of meetings will be to all Council Members by any reasonable means.

Section 3. An Emergency Meeting of the Council may be called by fifty percent (50%) of the Council at any time.

Section 4. A Quorum at Meetings of the Council shall not be less than fifty percent (50%) of the Council Membership.

Section 5.  Meetings will end at or before the time announced on the agenda unless there is a majority vote to continue.

Section 6. Meeting Processes. Unless otherwise agreed by the Council at a specific meeting, all meetings will be conducted according to The Modern Edition of Robert's Rules of Order. Meetings will be open to all members in good standing of member organizations.

Section 7. Business by E-mail.  Council and committee business will often be conducted via E-mail postings to all relevant members. Where consensus can be reached on a matter within forty-eight (48) hours after posting, said matter will be deemed by the Chair to have passed. However, if a vote is called for or an objection raised, then, unless a majority of votes cast within forty-eight (48) hours of the call for the question are supportive and the total votes so cast represent at least fifty percent (50%) of the members, the matter will be deemed as failed. Otherwise, the matter will be deemed as passed.

Section 8. Minutes.

Minutes of all business shall be kept and made available on-line as soon as reasonably possible or from the Secretary within thirty (30) days of a request. Business here means:

       (a) Motions/decisions passed or failed,

       (b) Amendments to the Constitution or By-laws (passed or failed),

       (c) Steering Committee members elected.

Section 9.  Proxy voting.

Council members may designate a proxy to vote for them at Council meetings.



The Council may appoint committees and their chairs to assist in carrying out various duties. Such committees shall submit reports to the Council or to officers designated by the Council. All committee actions are subject to approval by the Council.


Section 1. Financial Reports.  Each September, December, March, and June, the Treasurer shall send each member of the Council a financial report giving the current status of all association funds, debts, and outstanding obligations, and describing the financial activity of the Association during the previous three months.

Section 2. Duties.  The Treasurer shall take responsibility for the financial operation of COCAL-California by (1) maintaining bank accounts and records; (2) overseeing all deposits and withdrawals; (3) submitting quarterly, yearly, and long-range budget proposals to the Council; (4) overseeing all matters relating to assets and liabilities of COCAL-California; (5) carrying out the Standing Rules of Finance regarding dues and reimbursement policies; and (6) providing quarterly financial statements to the Council.

Section 3. Standing Rules of Finance

A. Bank Accounts: All funds shall be kept in a state-wide bank. Except for necessary minimum amounts for checking, funds will be deposited in an interest bearing account.

B. The Treasurer will appoint up to four (4) signatories including him/herself and the Council Chair. Necessary bank signature cards will be signed annually. The Treasurer shall keep copies of all required bank resolutions.

 Section 4. Deposits

Designated members of the Steering Committee and/or their designated agents may deposit revenues as received. Photocopies of checks and deposit slips shall be forwarded weekly to the Treasurer.

Section 5. Disbursements

A. Expenditures up to $200.00 require one signature from those eligible to sign checks. Expenditures over $200.00 require two signatures from those eligible and Council approval for the expenditures.

B. The budget expenses will include costs of duplication, mailing, telephone, travel (including fares, lodging, gas, and food), promotional activities, publications, banking expenses, and other categories approved by the Council.

C. The Council may approve stipends to members of the Steering Committee and/or other designated persons as compensation for the reasonable value of their time expended on behalf of COCAL-California.  Recipients of such stipends shall not be considered employees of COCAL-California unless their responsibilities constitute more than 25% of the equivalent of full-time work; that is, on average in excess of 10 hours per week.  Compensation for recipients of stipends for work at or under 25% FTE will take into account the independent contractor nature of such work with compensation being enhanced accordingly.

D.  Upon dissolution, remaining funds will be transferred to a successor organization to be determined at the time of dissolution.


These By-laws may be amended by simple majority vote of the Council at any duly convened meeting.

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Last modified: 02/11/2009