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Bylaws of The UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers

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I.    Background


In order to recognize and organize the most elite educators in the University of Texas System’s nine universities, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Pedro Reyes, and the Chancellor, Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, created The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers (the “Academy”) in 2013. This academy is similar to the University of Texas Kenneth I Shine Academy of Health Science Education established in 2004. It is intended that the membership of the Academy be comprised of the very best educators among the nine academic institutions. The Academy is intended to be an active organization, promoting better teaching and learning across the System. All activities of the Academy are to be governed by these Bylaws and all operations are to follow the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Academy.


II.    Name


The name of the society is The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


III.    Goals of the Academy


The Academy is a formal organization of distinguished scholars of the first order recognized for their teaching excellence, and is committed to the advancement of teaching and learning across the UT System.
The goals of the Academy are to:


•    Recognize and reward outstanding educators for their exceptional contributions
•    Foster and promote improved teaching and learning across the UT System
•    Foster and promote education innovation across the UT System
•    Foster and promote educational discourse and initiatives across the state.


IV.    Organization


A.    Members. Membership to the Academy is to be honorific, based on achievement coupled with a commitment to service to the mission of the Academy. Standards for admission to Academy will be of the highest order, and only the very best teachers from across the System will be accepted as members. Twelve founding members were inducted in 2013, and up to 4 new members may be inducted each year thereafter.


B.    Officers. The officers of the Academy include the President, the Past‐President, the President‐Elect, Treasurer and the Secretary. All members will be eligible to hold office their first year of membership in the Academy.


C.    Board. The officers of the Academy and the chairs of standing committees shall together constitute the Executive Board charged with direction of the Academy’s mission. The Executive Board shall include representatives from at least three of the academic campuses.  Their duties include nominating slates of new officers and committee chairs.  To do this, the Executive Board will convene at least four weeks prior to the Spring induction and business meeting and submit a slate to the entire membership two weeks prior to that meeting.

D.    Committee Chairs.  Committee chairs will serve two years terms.  They will be nominated by the Executive Board and elected by the Academy Fellows at the Spring induction and business meeting.


E.    Duties of Officers. The President, or President‐Elect in the absence of the President, shall oversee all official meetings. The Treasurer shall provide oversight of the finances of the Academy, including an annual budget. The Treasurer shall manage all Academy funds, make disbursements under authorization of the Executive Board, and report financial statements at Academy meetings. The Secretary shall prepare minutes for each official meeting of the Executive Board and the Academy and distribute copies to all members of the Academy. The Secretary shall maintain an Archive of pertinent material from all educational conferences of the Academy. The Secretary shall maintain the vitae and other vital records of all members of the Academy.


F.    Election of Officers. Including the President, officers will be elected to a two (2) year term by majority vote of those present, including new inductees, at the Spring induction and business meeting. Nominations must be circulated to Academy membership two weeks prior to the meeting. Upon completion of such two (2) year term, the President‐Elect shall succeed to the office of President for a two (2) year term. In turn, the President shall succeed to the office of Past‐President for a two (2) year term. The terms of the officers will begin September 1.


G.    Vacancies. The President‐Elect shall become the President in the event of a vacancy in the office of the current President. The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, shall appoint an Academy member to fill any other vacant position on the Executive Board or any committee.


H.    Committees.


Standing committees shall include:


1)    Membership Committee
2)    Publication Committee
3)    Events Committee

Additional standing or ad hoc committees may be appointed by the President with advice and consent of the Executive Board. Additional standing or ad hoc committees may include, but are not limited to: 

1)    Governance and Nominating Committee
2)    Fund Raising Committee
3)    Communication and Website Development Committee
4)    Outcome and Assessment Committee
5)    Other ad hoc committees to address specific needs of the Academy

 

I.    Description of Standing Committees.


1)    Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is charged with developing member selection criteria and procedures to be agreed upon by all Academy members. This committee will also review nominations and recommend new Academy members annually. The selection criteria and procedures will be permanently presented on the Academy website.

2)    Publications Committee. The Publications Committee will be charged with producing and distributing publications that foster and promote the goals of the Academy. Once produced, all publications will be distributed to the eight academic institutions and will be permanently presented on the Academy website.


3)    Events Committee. The Events Committee is charged with conceiving, planning, promoting and running all Academy events including the annual new member induction ceremony event. The events committee will propose Academy events to the full Academy membership and all approved events will be advertised and presented on the Academy website.

The Executive Board will identify the need for new standing and ad hoc committees and shall formulate statements of charge for such committees. Non‐members may be appointed, as a non‐voting member, to ad hoc Academy committees. Committee chairs and members will be appointed by the President with advice and consent of the Executive Board, after consultation with the members. All committees will have a chair and representative members. The President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board will decide how many members will serve on each standing or ad hoc committee. 

V.    Meetings


The Executive Board will call all meetings of the Academy membership.  These shall be three in number. These meetings may take place by an electronic medium or in person.  The general purpose of each meeting may include selecting new members, selecting new officers and committee chairs, committee reports, new business, and strategic discussion of the Academy’s mission. The Executive Board may call a meeting after written petition from 1/3 of the active members of the Academy, or when the Executive Board deems appropriate or critical to the Academy’s mission.


VI.    Membership

 

A.    Criteria for Regular Members. Eligible members in the Academy will represent only the very best teachers in The University of Texas System academic institutions. The requirements for membership in the Academy will be of the highest order. The Academy is intended to be an elite organization, with membership based on excellence in teaching at the undergraduate or graduate levels combined with extraordinary contributions to the educational mission of the UT System.


B.    Detailed nomination and Election Procedures for Members can be found in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Academy and will be posted on the Academy website.


The Membership Committee will seek diversity in Academy membership. The Membership Committee will utilize criteria to ensure diversity in membership across all disciplines. Membership in the Academy will be lifelong. The Academy expects the members to continue to perform educational effort at or above the level which qualified membership in the Academy. Members will act as ambassadors of the Academy to promote educational excellence. The Academy expects members to participate actively in committees, formal and informal programs, and activities that promote the Academy’s mission.


C.    Categories of Membership.


1)    “Founding Fellow” ‐ members of the original cohort of academy members inducted in 2013.
2)    “Fellow” ‐ member who maintains active participation as reflected in the Bylaws.
3)    “Associate Fellow” ‐ member who fails to maintain active participation
4)    “Emeritus Fellow” ‐ member who has resigned or retired from a University of Texas institution.
5)    “Honorary Fellow” – member elected based on outstanding contributions to academics in general or the Academy.

At induction into the Academy, a new member gains “Fellow” status.  Academy Fellows will serve on committees and vote.  The Academy expects members to participate in activities that promote the Academy’s missions. A review of all Fellows’ Academy participation will take place every four years by the Executive Committee. Upon recommendation by the Executive Committee and a 2/3 vote of those present at the winter Academy meeting, inactive Fellows’ membership category will be changed to “Associate Fellow.” An “Associate Fellow” may be reinstated as a “Fellow” following two consecutive years of attendance at meetings or other events.  An “Associate Fellow” may serve on committees but may NOT vote in Academy meetings.  

D.    Criteria for “Emeritus Fellow.” A “Fellow”, “Associate Fellow” or “Founding Fellow” qualifies to become an “Emeritus Fellow” when he or she resigns or retires as a faculty member at a University of Texas institution, no longer meets the criteria for Academy membership, or applies for emeritus status. This honorific status must be requested by the member and confirmed by final approval of the Executive Committee. An “Emeritus Fellow” may not serve on committees but is encouraged to attend meetings, although not as a voting participant. The UT System will not reimburse an Emeritus member's expenses to attend Academy meetings. Members who transitioned to emeritus status because they left the UT System but later return to any University of Texas institution will be automatically reinstated as a “Fellow” upon their request. "Fellows" undergoing phased retirement need not apply for "Emeritus Fellow" status until that process is complete so long as they continue to meet Academy criteria by remaining active in Academy affairs.

E.    Criteria for “Honorary Fellow.” The Academy may elect individuals as “Honorary Fellow.” These individuals will have made outstanding contributions to the academic professions, and may have made outstanding contributions to the Academy. These individuals may hold appointment at a UT institution or another institution throughout the world. The election of an “Honorary Fellow” requires a 2/3 vote of those present at the winter Academy meeting. Honorary Fellows may serve on committees, but may not vote.