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UXPA Chapters: Forming a Local Chapter

Develop the Chapter Bylaws

Forming a Local Chapter > Develop the Bylaws

Chapter Bylaws are the rules by which a Chapter functions. Chapter Bylaws exist in harmony with the UXPA Association Bylaws.

The group should begin its work by reviewing the Chapter organization, the UXPA Bylaws and the Guidelines for Creating Chapter Bylaws and the Chapter Bylaws Template. This review will help prevent possible conflicts between your Chapter bylaws and the UXPA Bylaws. After this review, you can determine if you want to adopt the bylaws presented in the Chapter Bylaws Template, or create your own, following the Guidelines for Creating Chapter Bylaws. The template Chapter Bylaws is part of this Chapter Guidelines. The template Bylaws have already been reviewed and approved by an attorney familiar with Association Management law.  

If you decide to follow the guidelines and create your own Bylaws, the UXPA Association office strongly recommends that you have the Bylaws reviewed and approved by such attorney.   This can be done after they have been initially submitted, with any changes being submitted at a later date.

As you work on your Chapter Bylaws, keep in mind that the best Bylaws are those pared down to describe only the rules under which your Chapter actually operates from one year to the next. Remember that anything you put in your Bylaws can be changed only by the standard amendment procedures you include in your Bylaws. Consequently, your Chapter's operations will be least inconvenienced and your Bylaws will function most effectively as a living document if you leave out information (such as on for ad hoc committees) likely to change or become outdated from year to year.  


UXPA Bylaws.

The UXPA Bylaws specify the responsibilities of the chapter council as a whole. A small chapter (fewer than 20 members) might decide that the UXPA Bylaws meet its needs and the chapter does not need its own bylaws. However, a large chapter needs its own bylaws to describe the duties of the officers and committee managers. Specifying duties, particularly those unique to the chapter, promotes continuity in your chapter operations.  


Other chapters' bylaws.

A chapter bylaws committee can get copies of other chapters' bylaws through the Chapter Sponsor. When you use other bylaws as a guide, remove out-of-date statements and those that do not apply to your chapter.


Section on chapter dissolution.

UXPA Chapters are chartered by the UXPA Board of Directors and thus can be dissolved by a two-thirds vote to dissolve the Chapter when it is satisfied that the Chapter is inactive and that there is no reasonable hope of its immediate revival, or when it is satisfied that such action is in the best interest of the Association. Your Chapter also has the right to to terminate the Charter between the UXPA Association and the Chapter, and, therefore, relinquish all association with UXPA and cease to exist as a UXPA Chapter.  


The Review Process

The bylaws developed by your Chapter Bylaws committee should be reviewed by the following groups:

  1. Your Chapter Council (the Chapter leaders.)
    Have your Chapter Council review the draft bylaws. Incorporate those comments and develop a second draft.
  2. Your Chapter Sponsor.
    Send the second draft of your Chapter's Bylaws to the Chapter Sponsor for review. The Chapter Sponsor will check to see that your Chapter's Bylaws do not conflict with those of the Association.   Incorporate comments from the Chapter Sponsor and develop a final draft. Otherwise, you can move to the next step of the procedure.
  3. Your Chapter's membership.
    Send the formal draft of the Bylaws to your Chapter members for review and approval. Be sure to give them ample time to review the Bylaws. If the vote for approval of the bylaws is taken at a Chapter meeting, make sure that absent members are given an opportunity to vote by absentee ballot.


The Finished Product

Once your Chapter Bylaws have been reviewed and approved by the UXPA Board of Directors and you've been granted Chapter status, follow this procedure:

  1. Ask your Chapter Secretary to maintain the formal Bylaws with the Chapter's official records.
  2. Have the Secretary maintain a supply for distribution to new members.
  3. Send a copy of your Chapter Bylaws to the Chapter Sponsor for inclusion in your Chapter's file.
  4. Regularly review the Bylaws (at least once every two years) to ensure that they correspond to your current situation, problems, and needs. When you consider substantive changes to the bylaws process, repeat the review process, including sending the revised bylaws to the UXPA office and the Chapter Sponsor.

Here are some tips to help you avoid conflict with the UXPA Bylaws:

•  When you refer to the UXPA parent organization, do not refer to it as “the national.” The UXPA Association is an international organization. Our headquarters should be referred to as the UXPA Association office.

•  Consult the current version of the UXPA Bylaws to make sure that you do not make provisions for depositing Chapter funds in inappropriate financial institutions.

•  Do not give your Chapter authority that it does not legitimately possess. For example, a UXPA Chapter may not determine its own geographic boundaries.

•  Do not identify Chapter services as being “for members only.” Because UXPA is a not-for-profit educational and charitable organization, we must make our services available to members and non-members alike. However, the local Chapter may charge non-members higher fees than charged to members for those services.

•  Consider including some sort of caveat that your Bylaws are, by definition, superseded by the UXPA Association Bylaws. For example: “Should situations not addressed in these Bylaws arise, the Bylaws of the Usability Professionals' Association are in force. Should the Association Bylaws be changed such that they conflict with these Chapter Bylaws, the Association Bylaws take precedence. Chapter Bylaws must then be amended as soon as possible to bring them into agreement with UXPA Association bylaws.”

Next: Develop the Chapter Bylaws

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