Article I.  Name
The name of this organization shall be the University of Tennessee Black Faculty & Staff Association, hereinafter referred to as the BFSA.

Article II.  Purpose of the BFSA

Section 1. The formation of the BFSA is the result of the collective efforts of concerned Black faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee:

  1.  Provide a forum for association among Black faculty, staff, and students;
  2.  Function as an advisory board on behalf of the entire Black UT campus community.
  3.  Collectively engage in planning and advocacy for BFSA members who raise substantive issues of concern related to employment at UT, or directly or indirectly related to the Black community at large;
  4.  Work in cooperation with the UT Commission for Blacks and other UT organizations and entities, as well as the local community, to promote the interests and well-being of the Black community on and off campus;
  5.  Serve as a liaison between BFSA members and the general UT community when assessing identified problem issues and engaging in problem-solving;
  6.  Establish and maintain a consultative and working relationship with appropriate UT officials as it relates to identified BFSA issues, including but not limited to university policies and procedures, academic programs and curricular issues, campus diversity and civility, equal employment opportunity issues, the hiring and promotion of Black faculty and staff, and the general well-being of Black students enrolled at UT; and
  7. Support and maintain the cultural traditions of persons of African descent within the environmental context of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

Article III.  Seal and Logo

Section I.  The seal and logo of the BFSA shall consist of a flat-faced, rectangular design with “Black Faculty and Staff Association,” emblazoned on the right side. The design shall be that of an African kente cloth, representing the historical and cultural traditions of persons of African descent.

Article IV.  BFSA Membership

Section I.  Membership in the BFSA shall be open to all and any persons of African descent currently on the staff or faculty of the University of Tennessee, including faculty or staffs who are also enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students. All prospective members must complete a BFSA membership application, which includes name, home/work address, telephone number, email address (if available), employment classification, department or academic unit, and BFSA committee interest.

Section II.  Persons within the categories stated in Section I of this article may affiliate with the BFSA at any time during the calendar year.

Section III.  The BFSA membership roster will identify the active (dues-paid) body of the organization.

Section IV.  A BFSA member may terminate his or her membership at anytime by tendering his or her resignation to the BFSA chair verbally, or in writing. At the point, they will be removed from the active membership roster.

Section V.   Annual BFSA membership dues are $20 for faculty and staff, and $10 for non-exempt employees. Dues should be paid within forty-five (45) days of the academic year for current members. New members who join at other points during the calendar year should pay their dues at the time of the application submission.

Section VI.  Fifty percent of all dues collected will be transferred to a BFSA scholarship fund, and the remainder will be utilized for general BFSA expenses that may arise.

Section VII.  Dues paid by check should be payable to the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA). Applications and checks should be mailed to the address of the BFSA treasurer, which will be provided to the general body. Members who pay their dues in cash will receive an official receipt from the BFSA treasurer, or his/her designate.

Article V.  BFSA Officers and Officer Elections

Section I.  The elected officers of the BFSA shall be a chairperson, co-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer.

Section II.  The officers shall be elected by the membership.

Section III.  All officers shall serve a term of two years, which will begin on August 15 of the election year, and will end on August 14 of the second year of the term.

Section IV.  Officers may be re-elected to the same office only one time, for a maximum of two terms in any particular officer capacity.

Section V.  A separate election shall be held for each office by the last business day in May. Candidates shall be nominated (1) from the floor, one regular meeting prior to the election date, or, (2) by write-in to the secretary of the BFSA, at least five (5) business days prior to floor nominations.

Section VI.  Nominations shall be accepted and placed on the ballot only when the secretary has received verification by the nominee that the nominated person accepts the nomination.

Section VII.  A simple majority of ballots received shall be necessary to elect each officer. Absentee ballots will be allowed and counted if received by the secretary no less than twenty-four (24) hours before the election.

Section VIII.  Absence from three (3) consecutive meetings without notification of cause by any officer shall render that officer’s position vacant.

Section IX.  Vacancies may be filled by a majority vote of the membership at special elections.

Section X.  Duties of the BFSA chairperson:

  1. To preside over meetings of the BFSA.
  2. To coordinate the activities of the organization in accordance with the decisions of the membership.
  3. To call and preside over special meetings of the BFSA. 
  4. To designate committees and to appoint committee chairpersons.
  5. To represent the BFSA at public meetings, university sponsored affairs, and other authorized occasions.

 Section XI.  Duties of the BFSA Co-Chairperson.

  1. To assume the duties and responsibilities of the chairperson in the event of his/her absence.
  2. To assume the duties and responsibilities of the secretary in the event of his/her absence.
  3. To assist the chairperson in performing his/her duties.

Section XII.  Duties of the BFSA Secretary.

  1. To record, maintain, and distribute the minutes of each meeting and executive session.
  2. To handle, receive, and retain the administrative paperwork of the BFSA, including formal correspondence.
  3. To assume duties and responsibilities of the chairperson in the advent of the absence of both the chairperson and the co-chairperson.

Section XIIIDuties of the Treasurer.

  1. To collect and disburse all monies of the BFSA to the directives of the Executive Committee.
  2. To assume the duties and responsibilities of the chairperson in the  absence of the chairperson, co-chairperson, and recording secretary.
  3. To keep accurate records and accounts of all monies of the BFSA and present financial reports at every regular BFSA meeting.

Article VI.  Executive Committee

Section I.  The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the BFSA, and the immediate past chairperson of the BFSA, who shall preside over the above committee sessions, when present. In his/her absence, the BFSA chair shall preside.

Article VII.  BFSA Meetings

Section I.  The BFSA shall meet on the second Friday of each month from September through June. There will be no meetings in July or August. In the event of special meetings or a change in the regular BFSA meeting schedule, the members of the BFSA shall receive notification of the date, place, and time of said meetings.

Section II.  Votes shall be effected by a simple majority of active members present at the meeting. The chairperson does not vote on general issues, but shall vote in the event of a tie.

Section III.  All meeting protocols will be handled with appropriate Parliamentary procedure as outlined in Roberts Rules of Order.

Article VIII.   BFSA Issue Assessment Protocol

Section I.  Recognizing that the BFSA will be faced with a multitude of different issues year round, an issue assessment protocol has been established by the BFSA for use by its members.

Section II.  Use of the issue assessment protocol will promote order within the BFSA, maintain integrity and professionalism within the BFSA, and advance respect for the BFSA at all levels throughout the UT campus and external community. The issue assessment protocol will also provide methodical approach for assessing the credibility and facts of issues and taking steps toward their resolution, while concurrently addressing other BFSA matters.

Section III.  The individual desiring an issue to be addressed by the BFSA shall complete an appropriate BFSA form with identifying and contact information.  The following steps will be taken:

  1. Issue or concern must be reduced to writing and submitted to the BFSA Executive Board.
  2. Issue is placed on BFSA Executive Board monthly meeting agenda and discussed.
  3. Determine whether data exists to validate issue or concern.
  4. Schedule and conduct interview with BFSA Executive Board to clarify all pertinent details and ascertain the status of issue or concern.
  5. Summarize the situation in a written action document.
  6. Determine if BFSA action is appropriate, pragmatic, or possible, and develop a list of recommended actions to be presented at appropriate full BFSA meeting.
  7. If action is planned, ascertain logistics, including initial and follow-up contact plan, schedule, and assessment of outcomes of BFSA intervention.
  8. Outcomes of BFSA intervention, if taken, will be reported to the individual who originally presented the issue, then to BFSA at next full membership meeting after the intervention, if any.

Article IX.  Amendments and Official Procedure

Section I.  Two-thirds of the active members present when voting, providing at least fifteen (15) members are present, shall be necessary to approve amendments to the current bylaws.

Section II.  Proposed amendments to these bylaws shall be presented to the BFSA by active members only. Voting shall take place at the next BFSA meeting following the proposal and discussion of the amendments.

Section III.  The amendment procedure shall be followed for the abolition of these bylaws.

Article X.  Dissolution

In the event of formal dissolution of the BFSA, all funds shall be given to the Minority Scholarship Fund at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.
Updated: December 1, 2010.