Presidents Corner Blog: Bylaws and governance changes

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Hello UXPA community, and welcome to the first Presidents Corner blog post.  Over the next two months I’ll be blogging once or twice a week on what is going on with UXPA.  Each post will feature a different area of our organization.  For the past few years we have been reinventing what UXPA is from the ground up.  It hasn’t always been easy or fun, but we are in a place right now where we can provide information on what this organization is, what our strategic vision is, and why being a member of UXPA is great for your career and for the UX profession as a whole.

This first blog post will focus on governance.  Basically, UXPA is a non-profit corporation formed in the United States.  That being said, we have anywhere from 40-50 chapters worldwide in various stages of maturity.  Some are just forming up, while others have member rosters and infrastructure that rivals that of the international organization.  We are not affiliated, in a strict business sense, with any of these chapters, but we do provide guidance and governance to them on how to form up, what constitutes a “member”, and general policies and procedures.  For more about Chapters, stay tuned on November 18th for a blog post on our new chapter engagement model.

At the international level, UXPA is governed first by its articles of incorporation, then by its bylaws, and finally by its policies.  Our articles of incorporation have not changed: they are the same as they have been for over 20 years (John, check me on this fact).  Our bylaws, however, had to be amended out of necessity: we changed our name, we changed our membership model, and we changed the governance structure for our leadership team.  We have worked with UXPA’s Executive Director, as well as our legal counsel, to follow the prescribed method for amending these Bylaws legally.

I’d like to highlight some of the changes to the bylaws that we have made:

  • We have replaced any references to UPA with UXPA, and any references to Usability with User Experience.
  • In relevant sections we have made reference to international laws and regulations to reflect our international presence and strategy.
  • We have made our Regional Directors full voting members of the Board, with three year terms.  These Regional Directors, who represent Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and North America, have had an increasing role and impact on our leadership team, and we felt it was time to formalize the role and give them the same level of responsibility and notoriety as our other Directors.  One difference is that, for now, the Board will appoint these Directors from a list of nominees provided by the Chapters.  This will ensure that we fill these roles with volunteers who we know to be active and engaged.
  • We have amended our procedures for removal of Board members, Officers, and UXPA members.  While its unfortunate to admit, we have had a number of instances where people were not fulfilling their commitment to our organization’s leadership, and removing them was a tedious and embarrassing process.  In order to avoid this, Board Members and Officers can now be removed by a simple 2/3rds vote of the full Board of Directors.  This is in line with best practices, and was actually copied from the bylaws of our UXPA Boston chapter.
  • We have updated the membership categories to reflect our new membership model.  That will be announced and discussed in my next blog post on Monday, November 11th.

I’d invite you to review the revised Bylaws.

Thank you, and keep an eye out for future blog posts.

Rich Gunther

President, UXPA

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