ADA/Section 504 Committee Bylaws

Article 1.  Name

The name of this body shall be The University of Southern Mississippi ADA/Section 504 Committee.

Article 2.  Mission Statement

The mission of this committee is to increase disability awareness in an outreach, grass-roots manner; provide feedback to Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA); offer ideas on ways to increase disability training opportunities and disseminate information about ODA; and disabilities.

Article 3. Membership and Terms of Service

Members shall be appointed to the committee.

  1. Appointment. Staff Members shall be appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA). Members representing academic departments or colleges shall be appointed by the Dean of the College. Students may be appointed by the ODA, the VPSA, the Deans or other committee members. Notifications of vacancies will be made by April 1st of each year, or in case of resignation, within a month of resignation. New members shall be appointed before July 1st each year. The VPSA may solicit a slate of names to fill the vacancies.
  2. Members. The committee shall strive to maintain diverse views from across the University’s colleges, divisions, and campuses, and to seek a balance in membership between administrators, faculty, staff and students. Composition of the committee shall include at least one faculty representative from each college, representatives from the Safety Office, Learning Enhancement Center, iTech, University Communications, Athletics, Parking Management, Residence Life, Admissions, Counseling Center, and a Coast campus staff and faculty representative. Students and persons with disabilities will be strongly encouraged to be part of the group. Ex officio members from various campus departments, including ODA and Safety Office staff, may serve to provide expertise of their area. Ex officio members are non-voting members.
  3. Terms. Faculty, administrators and staff members serve a three-year term and may only serve two consecutive terms (for total of six years). Ex officio members are not counted as part of the three- year term limit. Students serve a one-year term and may serve consecutive terms.
  4. Removal for Cause. Committee members who fail to attend meeting or to actively engage in the business of the committee may be removed by two-thirds vote of the remaining members.
  5. Rotation. One-third of the members’ terms will expire on July 1st of each year. Since it’s permissible for members to serve two consecutive terms, they may be reappointed for another three years. After serving six consecutive years, a member must rotate off by July 1st.

Article 4. Officers

The officers consist of a chair, a vice-chair and a secretary. Both voting and ex officio members can serve as officers.

1. Chair, Vice-Chair . The committee chair is appointed by the VPSA and may serve up to 3 years as chair. Duties of the chair include:

  • Preside at meetings
  • Set meetings’ agenda including time, date, location and topics to discuss
  • Notify members about meetings at least two weeks in advance
  • Appoint subcommittees when necessary
  • Submit annual report to the VPSA by June 1 of each year
  • Notify VPSA about upcoming vacancies by April 1 of each year

The vice-chair assists the chair in conducting meetings and assumes the duties of the chair when the chair is absent.

2. Secretary. The secretary is appointed by the VPSA and may serve up to 3 years as secretary. Secretary’s responsibilities include:

  • Record meetings’ minutes
  • Distribute minutes to members and post minutes online within 30 days of meeting
  • Maintain meeting attendance records
  • Maintain committee member lists and contact information and post online
  • Preside at meetings in absence of the chair and vice-chair.

Article 5. Meetings

Meetings will be held once each Fall and Spring semester. Meetings are open to the University community and are scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Faculty, professional staff and other University employees may request ahead of time to speak at a meeting. However, the Chair may limit the amount of time a non-member has to address the committee in order to facilitate the committee business. Non-members are not allowed to vote.

Article 6. Record Keeping.

Minutes from meetings should be available online within 30 days of a meeting and past minutes are kept online for minimum of five years. Member lists are maintained online for a minimum of five years. Committee by-laws are included on this website. The ADA Committee website can easily be accessed from a link on ODA’s home web page at www.usm.edu/oda . The secretary is responsible for relaying minutes and member lists to the ODA staff who will post it to the ADA Committee link.

An annual report, which provides a brief overview of committee’s activity for the past year, is prepared by the Chair and submitted to the VPSA by June 1 of each year. Once the VPSA has read and amended a letter of approval, the annual report should be forwarded to the Committee on Committee by July 1.

Article 7. Parliamentary Authority.

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Division of Student Affairs may adopt.

Article 8. Amendment of Bylaws.

The Bylaws can be amended or repealed, in part or whole, through a two-thirds majority of those committee members present and voting, provided that the amendment(s) have been submitted in writing to each committee member at least two weeks in advance of the vote.