University of Vermont Environmental Council

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Type: Bylaws

Status: Adopted on 4/14/04

Source File:


UVM Environmental Council Bylaws

I. Mission Statement
The mission of the University of Vermont's Environmental Council is to support campus activities and programs that enhance UVM's environmental goals. These goals include "greening the campus" by improving environmental performance beyond regulatory requirements. To this end, the Council is committed to promoting excellence in academic programs, campus operations, and environmental culture as befits a leading "Environmental University". This commitment extends to collaboration with all members of the University community as well as the city of Burlington, the state of Vermont, and the world at large.

The Council does this work by:

1. Tracking the campus' use of facilities and land to assure that the University's "ecological footprint" is minimized as much as possible;

2. Recommending policies and processes appropriate to an institution where environmental responsibility is a top priority;

3. Supporting specific projects that enhance the environmental aspects of University and community;

4. Encouraging programs that increase environmental consciousness and literacy among the members of the university and broader communities;

5. Communicating UVM's environmental successes and challenges.

II. Council Membership
The business of the Environmental Council is accomplished by facilitating connections and coordination among various members of the campus community. At least annually, strategic Council decisions will be made by the voting members of the Council. In addition, the Council encourages participation in its activities by non-voting and ex officio members.

A. Composition of Voting Membership The voting membership of the Council shall consist of between sixteen and twenty individuals: five staff, five faculty members, at least three students, and at least three alumni and community members. Efforts shall be made to have Council members from as wide a representation of University constituencies as possible.

1. Appointments
Appointments as voting members of the Council shall be made by a vote of the Council from a pool of candidates recommended by the Membership Committee.
2. Terms of appointment for voting members
Students shall be appointed for a one-year term, with the option for reappointment to an additional term. Faculty, staff, and community members shall be appointed for a two-year term, with the option for reappointment to additional terms. All terms of office for voting members shall begin September 1 and end August 31. Voting vacancies that arise due to incomplete terms shall be filled as soon as possible by the Membership Committee.
3. Reappointment of voting members
The Membership Committee, with the assistance of the Council staff, shall contact each voting member before the end of his/her term to determine whether he/she wishes to serve an additional term. The Membership Committee shall recommend reappointment based on criteria of attendance and quality of participation.

B. Responsibilities of Council members

1. Participation
All Council voting members are expected to be active participants in the Council. An active participant attends and participates in regular and special meetings of the Council and represents their constituencies in Council discussions.
2. Attendance
If a member cannot attend a meeting, it is the member's responsibility to notify the Council Chairs, to stay informed about meeting topics, and to comment on Council activities. If a member consistently fails to participate in Council activities, the Membership Committee will consider recommending a replacement.

C. Ex Officio Members
Ex-offico members, by virtue of their position at the University, are invited to participate in Council meetings in general and will be included in official correspondence of the Council as distributed over the GREENUVM e-mail list. Ex-officio members of the Council shall include the following positions or their designee:

  • The President
  • The Provost
  • Vice-President for Administration
  • Assistant Vice-President for Administrative and Facilities Services
  • Athletics Facilities Supervisor
  • Dining Services Director
  • Energy Management Engineer
  • Environmental Safety Manager
  • Environmental Coordinator
  • Grounds Manager
  • Natural Areas Manager
  • Physical Plant Director
  • Purchasing Director
  • Residential Life Director
  • Solid Waste Manager
  • Transportation and Parking Services Director
  • University Planner

Ex officio members are eligible to serve as voting members for their appropriate constituency.

D. Other non-voting members
The work of the Council benefits from input and participation in projects from the greater UVM and Vermont community. Thus, at-large members are welcome to join the Council on a voluntary basis to participate in Council discussions and activities.

III. Co-Chairs of the Council
The co-chairs are responsible for exercising leadership by integrating the best thinking of the group and carrying forward the vision of the Council.

A. Selection and term of appointment
One faculty member and one staff member shall serve as Co-chairs of the Council. The term of appointment of Co-chairs shall be two years. Co-chair terms shall be staggered to provide consistency, one Co-chair being elected each spring, for a term beginning September 1.

B. Responsibilities of Co-chairs
Jointly, the co-chairs:

  • Oversee the setting of agendas and facilitation for regular and special meetings
  • Attend regular and special meetings.
  • Actively solicit input from other Council members, committee chairs, and special interest groups about the Council's work.
  • Oversee the work of standing committees, ad hoc committees, and special task forces.
  • Monitor the Council's progress with action plans and long term goals.
  • Supervise the development of all Council reports.
  • Represent the Council in public forums.
  • Supervise the Environmental Coordinator.
  • Oversee budget development and decisions.

C. Reappointment and Replacement
The Council may reelect Co-chairs to successive terms of service. If a Co-chair vacates office, a replacement Co-chair shall be nominated by the Membership Committee as soon as reasonably possible.

IV. Council Responsibilities of the Environmental Coordinator
The UVM Environmental Coordinator is a full time professional position responsible for pursuing greening opportunities at UVM. Their work is overseen by the Council.

The Coordinator, with the support of the Co-chairs and Environmental Council specialist, shall be responsible for coordinating and planning ongoing Council activities as well as appropriate publications, research projects, grant proposals, and communications with the University community and relevant outside organizations within the scope of the Coordinator's Position Description.

V. Council Committees
The Environmental Council appoints committees to pursue specific activities necessary to fulfill its mission. These committees are made up of volunteers and supported by the Council leadership.

A. Standing Committees
The Council will have three standing committees:

  • The Leadership Committee shall consist of the co-chairs, the chairs of the Council committees and the Environmental Coordinator. This Committee shall be responsible for ongoing strategic planning for the Council, including development of an annual work plan for each academic year to be reviewed and approved by the voting membership.
  • The Grants Committee shall consist of at least three people and the chair of the Grants Committee shall be a voting member who is not one of the co-chairs or the Environmental Coordinator. The Grants Committee coordinates the Council's mini-grants program.
  • The Membership Committee shall consist of at least three people and the chair of the membership committee shall be a voting member who is not one of the co-chairs or the Environmental Coordinator. The Membership Committee recruits and supports Council members with informational materials and oversight of Council processes.

Selection of the committee chairs will be done by the committees, with the approval of the voting members of the Council.

B. Ad Hoc Committees
Ad Hoc Committees may be formed as needed. All committees will submit a report at the end of the academic year or as the committee's cycle of activities dictates.

VI. Meetings
Council meetings are designed to provide opportunities for community learning about ongoing and new opportunities to move the Council's mission forward.

A. Conduct of meetings

1. Regular meetings shall occur at least once monthly during the academic year. The Council will decide in the spring of each year whether to meet during June, July, and August.
2. For voting matters, a quorum of 50 percent or more of the voting members shall be necessary.
3. All meetings are open to members of the campus or public. However, as needed, the Council may exercise the option of going into executive session.
4. Any attending members of a Council meeting (including ex-officio and at-large members), may make recommendations or resolutions.

B. Special meetings
The Leadership Committee may announce special meetings of the Council during any regular meeting or as needed. The Council staff shall notify members about a special meeting time and provide an agenda. Special meetings shall include, but are not limited to, Council meetings with the President and annual meetings for strategic planning purposes.

C. Executive session
During a regular or special meeting, provided a quorum is present, the Council's voting members may exercise the option of going into executive session to maintain confidentiality, while remaining in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

VII. Budget
The Environmental Council is base funded as part of the University's general fund budget. Additionally, the Council from time to time receives external support for specific projects.

The Environmental Council leadership shall review the annual Council budget as part of the regular University budget cycle. The budget will be apportioned between the Council's operating budget and its mini-grant program on an annual basis as part of the strategic planning process.

The Environmental Coordinator shall manage the operating expenses portion of the budget and external funding support.

The Council leadership shall approve program expenditures through the Mini Grant Program, as recommended by the Mini Grant committee.

VIII. Process for Amending the Bylaws
These bylaws will be reviewed and revisions proposed by the Membership Committee as needed.

The bylaws can be amended by the Council in whole or in part. A two-thirds majority of voting members must approve amendments. Changes in bylaws must be warned two weeks before the meeting in which the change is to be voted upon. Proxy votes shall be accepted.