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Please Vote on Proposed Bylaw Changes

Tuesday, June 23, 2020   (0 Comments)
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The Board of Directors has arduously revised MPA's Constitution and Bylaws to more accurately reflect MPA's current operational structure and strategic goals. The Bylaw review process was conducted by the Board of Directors over a period of six months with the input of the Governance Task Force formed by the Board in 2016. A copy of the Constitution and Bylaws with the proposed revisions is attached for your review  (CLICK HERE), along with a ballot which we ask you to complete to indicate your disposition of the proposed revisions. To assist you in understanding the substantive revisions proposed, the following summary is provided.
1.   Article II, Membership    
There are two primary areas in this section where revisions are proposed. First, the addition of a new MPA membership category is proposed, called "Teacher Affiliates."  Individuals who teach psychology at community colleges or secondary schools, who are not otherwise eligible for MPA membership, would qualify for membership in this new category. Teacher Affiliate members would have limited access to membership benefits and would not be able to vote or hold office. It is felt that having teachers of psychology would be a valued addition to MPA's membership.
The second substantive proposed revision in this section concerns the adjudication process of members who are under ethics investigation, have been convicted of a felony, or whose license to practice in Massachusetts has been suspended or revoked. The proposed revision removes the Ethics Committee from participating in this adjudication process since the Committee no longer provides this function. The revised adjudication process is outlined which we feel is fair to the individual in question as well as upholds the good standing of the organization. It is proposed that applications for membership and membership renewal be accompanied by a signed ethics declaration and allows those who applied or reapplied for membership but were previously denied on ethical grounds to re-apply after five years.
2.   Article III, Board of Directors       
Substantive proposed revisions in this section are as follows:
  1. It is proposed that when the Nominating Committee cannot find a candidate to fill an open position for the election, or if a nominee on the ballot for an open position withdraws, that the Board be allowed to appoint a member to fill that position until the next election. This will allow for every Board position to be filled and not remain vacant until the following election.

  2. Rather than stipulate in the Bylaws that "a Board member who fails to attend three consecutive Board meetings shall be considered to be resigned and that this provision may be waived for good cause by the President or the Board," the Board determined it was more appropriate that this decision be moved to MPA Policy instead.

  3. Lastly, to reinforce the importance of the Board's fiscal responsibility to the organization, this stipulation was specifically added to the Bylaws in this section.
3.   Article IV, Officers       
The most substantive proposed revision in this section relates to the term of the President. Currently the President serves a total of four years: one year as President-Elect, two years as President and one year as Immediate Past President. It is proposed that the two years as President be reduced to one year. Other proposed revisions in this section align with the reduction of the President's term and/or clarify the roles or duties of the President-Elect and Immediate Past President. In addition, it is proposed that the Secretary be removed as the Chair of the Membership Committee since we feel this responsibility, along with serving as Secretary for the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, is burdensome to the position.
4.   Article V, Committees, Boards and Divisions

Substantive proposed revisions in this section are as follows:
  1. It is proposed that developing activities and programs which assist in the recruitment and retention of members be added as a responsibility of the Membership Committee to formalize and reflect the importance of this activity for MPA. In addition, to best represent the membership and address its needs, it is proposed that the Membership Committee be comprised of a representative from each region, an early career psychologist, a student, and a diversity delegate.

  2. Since the Ethics Committee no longer provides membership adjudication, the revised Bylaws removes this responsibility from the Ethics Committee in this section. To more accurately reflect the current scope of the Committee, a revised description of the Committee's responsibilities is added. Lastly, specifics regarding the composition and terms of the Committee was removed in order to be consistent with the other committees described in the Bylaws.
We appreciate your review of these proposed revisions and your taking the time to cast your vote to indicate your support or concerns. Please note: you must be an MPA member to vote; student members are not eligible to vote.



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