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Higher Education in Maryland

BYLAWS

 OF THE MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION

 Approved October 6, 1989

Amended February 15, 1989

Amended February 15, 2006

PREAMBLE

             Pursuant to the powers vested in the Maryland Higher Education Commission as provided by law, the following are hereby adopted and declared as the Bylaws of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

ARTICLE I

NAME, PURPOSE, AND POWERS

Section 1.  Name and Purpose

A.                 The Maryland Higher Education Commission (hereafter “the Commission”) is the body established by law to provide advice and coordination with respect to state-wide higher education policy and to perform other functions specified by statute.

B.                 The Commission is an agency of the State of Maryland.

Section 2.  Powers

A.            The Commission shall perform the duties and exercise the powers specified in the Maryland Charter for Higher Education, Titles 11, 16, 17, and 18 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, and other pertinent provisions of law.

B.         The Commission may make rules and regulations and prescribe policies and procedures necessary to carry out its powers and duties.

C.                 The Commission may, by written resolution, delegate any part of its authority to the Secretary of Higher Education, provided the nature, term, and conditions of the delegation are clearly set forth in the resolution. The Commission may modify or rescind any such delegation at any time in whole or in part.

ARTICLE II 

OFFICERS OF THE COMMISSION AND THEIR SELECTION

Section 1.        Officers and Their Terms

A.                 The officers of the Commission shall be the Chair and the Vice Chair.

B.                 Officers shall assume their official duties upon selection and shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are selected. The Chair may serve four consecutive terms without limitation. The Vice Chair shall not serve for more than five consecutive full terms.

Section 2.        Selection of Officers

A.                 The Chair shall be designated by the Governor each year and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. A vacancy in the office of Chair shall be filled by the Governor. Until such vacancy is filled, the Vice Chair shall act as Chair with the title “Acting Chair”.

B.                 The Vice Chair shall be elected annually by voice vote at a regularly scheduled Commission meeting. A vacancy in the office of Vice Chair shall be filled by election at any regularly scheduled Commission meeting. An officer so elected shall serve for the remainder of the predecessor’s term or until a successor is selected.

ARTICLE III

DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1.        The Chair

            The Chair shall represent the Commission before all public bodies or designate some other person to perform that function; shall preside at all meetings of the Commission; shall be authorized to sign, on behalf of the Commission, all papers to be executed in the name of the Commission or by the Commission as required by law; shall sign the records of the proceedings of all meetings of the Commission; shall direct the work of the Commission and the Commission’s standing and ad hoc committees in order to assure that the Commission’s statutory responsibilities are discharged; and shall perform such other duties as are prescribed in these Bylaws or assigned by the Commission.

Section 2.        The Vice Chair

          The Vice Chair shall, at the request of or in the absence of the Chair, perform all the duties of the Chair and, while so doing, have and exercise all the authority and powers of the Chair; and shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned by the Commission.

ARTICLE IV

THE SECRETARY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Section 1.        Selection

A.                 The Secretary of Higher Education shall be selected in accordance with the procedure specified by statute.

B.                 The Secretary of Higher Education shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission.  A vacancy in the position of Secretary of Higher Education shall be filled in accordance with the procedure specified by statute.  Until such vacancy is filled, the Commission shall designate a person to serve as Acting Secretary of Higher Education, and such person shall have and exercise all the authority and powers of the Secretary of Higher Education until such time as the vacancy in the position of Secretary of Higher Education is filled in accordance with the procedure specified by statute.

Section 2.        Authority and Powers

A.           The Secretary of Higher Education shall have and exercise all authority and powers conferred by Title 11 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B.           In addition to the authority and powers conferred by law, the Secretary of Higher Education is the chief operating officer of the Commission.  Subject to the authority and applicable regulations and policies of the Commission, the Secretary of Higher Education shall have the authority to appoint, promote, fix salaries, and assign duties, and terminate personnel who work for the Commission.

C.        The Secretary of Higher Education shall be responsible for the preparation and preservation of written minutes of all meetings of the Commission and its committees.

ARTICLE V

COMMISSION MEETINGS

Section 1.        Regular Meetings 

A.                   The Commission shall hold no less than six regular meetings during each calendar year.

B.                   The Chair shall annually present a schedule of the time and place for regular meetings for the ensuing year for approval by the Commission.

Section 2.        Special Meetings

            A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chair or upon request of any six voting members of the Commission. The convening of a special meeting shall be contingent upon satisfaction of the notice requirements in Article V, Section 3.B of these Bylaws, unless those requirements are waived by a majority of the members of the Commission then serving on the Commission. The waiver may be approved by telephone or other electronic modes of communication.

Section 3.        Location of Meetings; Notice of Meetings

A.                 The Chair, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, shall determine the location of each regular or special Commission meeting.

B.                 Notice of time and place for each Commission meeting shall be given in writing to each Commission member no less than five days in advance of such meeting.

C.                 The notice shall include a meeting agenda. The agenda shall be prepared by the Secretary of Higher Education in consultation with the Chair. Discussions and actions by the Commission shall not be limited to the items in the agenda but may include any business consistent with these Bylaws and the statutory duties and powers of the Commission.

D.                 To the extent permitted by law, under unusual circumstances, a regular or special meeting may be conducted in whole or in part by telephone or by other interactive modes of communication.1

E.                  In the event that a majority of the members of the Commission then serving on the Commission waive the notice requirements as permitted in Section 2 of this Article, notice of the waiver and the special meeting shall be immediately provided to each member of the Commission by telephone or other electronic modes of communication and confirmed by facsimile or telegram.

Section 4.        Conduct of Meetings

A.                 A majority of the members then serving on the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at any Commission meeting. No formal action may be taken by the Commission without the approval of a majority of the members of the Commission then serving on the Commission.      

B.                 All Commission meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the Maryland Open Meetings Act (Title 10, Subtitle 5 of the State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland). As provided in that law, the Commission may meet in executive session in certain enumerated circumstances, but only if a motion to meet in closed session is supported by majority of the members present and voting.

C.                 Voting on all matters before the Commission shall be by voice vote unless otherwise directed by the Chair. In all cases where a vote is taken, the yeas, nays and abstentions shall be separately recorded, with the exception of a unanimous vote, which may be recorded as such.

D.                 Individuals desiring to address the Commission at a regular or special meeting may request that opportunity by submitting a written request to either the Chair or Secretary of Higher Education no later than seventy-two hours prior to the meeting. The request shall be acted upon by the Chair, who may at his or her discretion deny it, grant it, or grant it subject to limitations on the scope of time of presentation. No individual or group shall be entitled to address the Commission unless the subject of the presentation is deemed appropriate by the Chair and the duration of the presentation does not exceed limits imposed by the Chair. The restrictions in this paragraph do not prevent the Chair, at his or her discretion, from recognizing persons for comment during a Commission meeting.

E.                  Unless otherwise inconsistent with these Bylaws, the conduct of all Commission meetings, including meetings of standing and ad hoc committees, advisory councils, and advisory committees, shall be governed by the rules contained in the latest revised version of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 5.        Records of the Proceedings of the Commission

            Minutes of each Commission meeting shall be signed by the Chair of the Commission and distributed to each Commission member before or at the next regular Commission meeting. Minutes may be amended by vote of the Commission at the next regular Commission meeting. Minutes shall be maintained in a form accessible to the public in the principal offices of the Commission or at such other location as the Commission may from time to time determine. Minutes of an executive session may be reviewed and amended in executive session and are available for public inspection only as provided in the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

ARTICLE VI

COMMISSION COMMITTEES

Section 1.        Committees

           In addition to the committees set out in these Bylaws, the Commission may establish both standing and ad hoc committees. The Chair shall be an ex officio member of all committees. Only voting members of the Commission shall be entitled to serve as voting members of standing or ad hoc committees.

Section 2.        Standing Committees

A.                 Upon appointment by the Governor or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Chair shall appoint members to each of the standing committees and shall designate the chair and vice chair of each. In making such appointments, the Chair of the Commission shall determine the number of members on each standing committee, with no committee consisting of fewer than five members. A member or officer of a committee shall serve until a successor is selected. In case of a vacancy on a standing committee, the Chair of the Commission shall appoint a new member for the unexpired term. Each committee officer and member shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair of the Commission. Members of the Commission may serve as officers or members of standing committees for consecutive terms without limitation.

B.                 The standing committees of the Commission shall be the Committee on Education Policy and the Committee on Finance Policy.

Section 3.        The Education Policy Committee

             The Education policy Committee shall consider and report to the Commission on all matters relating to:

(1)        The development and implementation of the State Plan for postsecondary education, including the review and approval of institutional mission and performance accountability plans;

(2)           The development of and monitoring activities under plans for desegregation and equal educational opportunity;

(3)        The review of educational programs, including the approval of new programs, the modification of existing programs, and the issuance and renewal of institutional certificates of approval;

(4)        The administration and supervision of the Commission’s educational programs and initiatives;

(5)               The conduct of research, data publication, and publication of reports concerning postsecondary education in the State; and

(6)            Any other matter relating to educational policies that may be referred to or brought before the committee by the Chair of the Commission.

Section 4.        The Finance Policy Committee

            The Finance Policy Committee shall consider and report to the Commission on all matters relating to:

(1)       The operating and capital budgets of public institutions of postsecondary education in the State;

(2)        The administration of State funds for nonpublic institutions of higher education;

(3)         The administration and supervision of the State’s scholarship, grant-in-aid, and tuition assistance program; and

(4)        The Commission’s own operating budget and financial management.

Section 5.        Ad Hoc Committees

            Ad hoc committees may be created by resolution of the Commission. The members of an ad hoc committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Commission, who shall also designate the chair of the ad hoc committee. Ad hoc committees shall normally have a life not to exceed one year, unless renewed for a specific additional period by the Commission or the Chair of the Commission.

Section 6.        Location of Committee Meetings; Notice of Committee Meetings

A.                 A meeting shall be called by the committee chair, who shall, to the maximum extent possible under the circumstances, consult with the Chair of the Commission and the Secretary of Higher Education regarding the date, time, and location of the meeting.

B.                 Notice of the time and place for each committee meeting shall be given in writing to each committee member no less than five days in advance of such meeting, unless that requirement is waived by unanimous vote of the members of the committee. The Secretary of Higher Education shall give such other notice as may be appropriate.

C.                 The notice shall include a meeting agenda. The agenda shall be prepared by  the Secretary of Higher Education in consultation with the chair of the committee. Discussion and actions by the committee shall not be limited to the items in the agenda but may include any business consistent with these Bylaws and the statutory duties and powers of the Commission.

Section 7.        Conduct of Committee Meetings

A.                 A majority of the voting members of a committee shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of committee business. The chair of a committee may invite other commission members to the meetings of a committee and, in the absence of a quorum of a committee such commission members may be empowered by the chair of a committee to vote on a particular matter before a committee and otherwise constitute a quorum for the conduct of committee business.2

B.                 All committee meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the Maryland Open Meetings Act (Title 10, Subtitle 5 of the State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland). As provided in that law, a committee may meet in executive session in certain enumerated circumstances, provided that the chair of the committee consults (to the maximum extent practicable under the circumstances) with the Chair of the Commission prior to the convening of the executive session.

C.                 Voting on all matters before the committee shall be by voice vote unless otherwise directed by the chair of the committee. In all cases where a vote is taken, the yeas, nays, and abstentions shall be separately recorded, with the exception of a unanimous vote which may be recorded as such.

D.                 The transactions of every public committee meeting shall be memorialized, in summary form, and the minutes thereof shall be included in the record of the next regular meeting of the Commission.

Section 8.        Records of the Proceedings of Committees

            Minutes of each committee meeting shall be approved and signed by the chair of the committee and distributed to each committee member before or at the committee’s next meeting. Minutes may be amended by vote of the committee at its next meeting. Minutes shall be maintained in a form accessible to the public in the principal offices of the Commission or at such other location as the Commission may from time to time determine. Minutes of an executive session may be reviewed and amended in executive session and are available for public inspection only as provided in the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

ARTICLE VII

AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

            These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of the voting members of the Commission at any regular meeting of the Commission; provided, however, that no proposed amendment shall be acted upon unless the written text of the amendment is sent to each member of the Commission and the Secretary of Higher Education at least fourteen days prior to the vote.

ARTICLE VIII

REPEAL OF PRIOR PROVISIONS

            These Bylaws supersede and replace any bylaws adopted prior to August 1, 1989, by the Commission or its predecessors and any regulations or policies of the Commission or its predecessors to the extent inconsistent with any provision contained these Bylaws.

BYLAWS OF THE

MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION

Approved:  October 6, 1989

Amended:  February 15, 1996

Amended: February 15, 2006


 

1 Adopted by the Maryland Higher Education Commission on February 15, 1996.

2 Adopted by the Maryland Higher Education Commission on February 15, 2006.

 

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