Forum Bylaws

Revised January 2020


The name of the organization is University of Minnesota Communicators Forum, abbreviated UMCF. 


Section A. Definition. 

UMCF is a nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1988 for University of Minnesota communications professionals—people whose work involves the interface of words, images, and technology. University communicators' primary work is to communicate the activities and messages of their departments and the University as a whole.

Section B. Mission. 

UMCF's mission is to promote professional development opportunities for communication professionals - including programs, networking, and conferences - and act as a resource for individuals working in any communications capacity across the University of Minnesota system. UMCF is also open to student communicators and communications professionals in our greater community. UMCF is dedicated to advancing communications by:

  • Promoting professional development
  • Building a communicators' network
  • Encouraging high standards in communications work
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among communications professionals and through their work
  • Advancing the interests and concerns of communications professionals


Section A. Qualifications for Membership. 

Membership is open to all. The University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Communicators Forum shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 

  • Regular membership is open to people employed by and on the University payroll.
  • Associate membership is open to people not on the University's payroll.
  • Student membership is open to students enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

Section B. Membership. 

Members are those whose current annual dues are paid and who comply with the provisions of these bylaws.

Section C. Loss of Membership. 

Members lose their membership if they:

  • Do not pay annual dues
  • Misuse funds dedicated to the organization
  • Violate any other part of these bylaws or amendments to these bylaws

Members lose their membership benefits until they pay their dues or petition the board for reconsideration of other violations.

Section D. Privileges. 

Regular members may vote, hold elective office, and hold non-elected positions on the Board of Directors. Associate and student members may vote and participate on committees but may not hold a position on the board of directors.

Section E. Benefits. 

Membership benefits are established annually by the Board of Directors.


Section A. Fiscal year. 

UMCF's fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.

Section B. Membership year. 

UMCF's membership year is 12 months long and begins March 1. All members, regardless of when they join, are due to renew by March 1. Prorated fees will be considered on a case by case basis.

Section C. Chapter dues. 

The Board of Directors establishes dues and categories.

Section D. Use of funds. 

Funds are to be used only to accomplish the objectives and purposes specified in these bylaws.


Section A. Duties. 

The Board of Directors sets policies and procedures to administer the organization and maintain the bylaws, conducts strategic planning, helps plan Forum activities, provides guidance to the officers and committee chairs and co-chairs, and maintains the UMCF budget.

Section B. Board meetings. 

The Board of Directors meets monthly. Board meetings are open for all members to attend. A quorum consists of a majority of the board members. Committees with co-chairs should be represented by at least one chair at each meeting. 

Section C. Composition. 

The Board of Directors includes the following positions.

  • Officers, 1 year terms: Chair, Vice Chair, and Chair Emeritus.
  • Officers, 1-3 year terms: Treasurer, Recorder, and At-Large Director.
  • Committee positions, 1 year terms: Chairs of each standing Committee. Committees may be co-chaired. 

The Reporter will record term durations and election cycles.

Section D. Eligibility. 

All officers and committee chairs must be regular Forum members.

Section E. Installation.

Newly elected officers and committee chairs attend the June board meeting and assume their duties July 1.

Section F. Recognition. 

Outgoing officers and other board members are recognized at the annual conference.

Section G. Loss of Position. 

Directors may lose their positions on the Board if they:

  • Fail to meet the requirements of office or committee charge.
  • Abuse the power of their position or misuse Forum funds. 
  • Fail to appropriately rectify any significant conflict of interest. Board members are encouraged to remove themselves from potential conflict of interest situations.

A quorum of the board may vote to dismiss a board member for one of the above circumstances.

Section H. Vacancies. 

A Board majority vote fills Board vacancies.

Section I. Duties.

Chair: The Chair presides over all meetings of the Board of Directors, organizes standing and ad hoc committees as needed, works with other members to select committee chairs when needed, and generally supervises the activities of the organization. The Chair or designee represents the organization when needed. The Chair is responsible for signing all outside contracts on behalf of the Forum and will confer with the Treasurer and Forum sponsor University Relations’ and its finance officers, as needed, regarding financial commitments, including contracts for venues, catering, alcohol, associate fees, negotiated rates, and speaker contracts.

Vice Chair: The Vice Chair performs the duties of the Chair when the chair is absent or unable to serve, assists the chair in general supervision of the activities of the organization, oversees the annual election of officers, and performs such special functions as may be deemed appropriate by the Chair of the Board.

Chair Emeritus: During the year following service as Chair, the Chair Emeritus serves on a committee of their choice or works on another project, and assists with updates of the bylaws.

Recorder: The Recorder completes minutes of all board meetings, shares and stores minutes so they are accessible to all board members, and organizes program announcements, bylaws, printed materials of UMCF, clippings, and archives other historical material. The Recorder is responsible for compiling, editing, and sending the monthly newsletter. 

Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for all financial records and oversees financial functions such as collecting dues and fees, depositing income, paying bills approved by the board, and by providing necessary financial information for reports. The treasurer provides monthly reports to the board. The treasurer will be assisted by a financial professional in University Relations, paid by UMCF, who is responsible for entering all EFS transactions, paying bills, making deposits, and pulling together information needed by the treasurer or other board members. The board will review the assistant's fee annually.

At-Large Director: The At-Large Director attends board meetings and provides input into the activities of the organization. The At-Large Director serves on a committee of their choice or works on other Forum project(s). The At-Large Director serves a term for 1-3 years; the At-Large Director will provide a tie-breaking vote, when needed, on the Board of Directors.

Committee Chairs or Co-Chairs: Committee chairs or Co-Chairs, recommended by the respective members of their committees and appointed by the Board of Directors, are responsible for fostering the development of committee members, holding regular committee meetings, organizing committee activities, proposing their committee budgets, and serving on and making monthly reports to the Board.


Section A. 

The Vice Chair will oversee the nomination process to ensure that all vacant Board Officer seats and Committee Chair seats are filled for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1-June 30). If a Board seat or Committee Chair seat becomes vacant during the course of the year, the Vice Chair will also facilitate the filling of that position. 

Annually, a slate of nominees for positions up for reelection will be submitted to the board for approval at a board meeting prior to the annual conference. Once an individual(s) have been identified, the Vice Chair, Chair, or Board Officer will nominate that person for a vote by the Board. A quorum is needed to vote in a new Board Officer or Committee Chair. 

Upon Board approval, members will be notified via the newsletter and/or the Forum listserv, of the selected slate and announce the Forum-wide vote. 

After a member has been voted onto the board, their name and role will be announced in the following month’s newsletter and/or on the website.

Section B. Election. 

The new Board is elected by a majority online vote. The vote should be called by the outgoing Chair and can be called by any Emeritus Chair in the absence of the outgoing Chair. 


The standing committees are awards, conference, membership and marketing, programs, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and technology. Committee descriptions are listed below. Current duties are maintained on the UMCF website.

Awards Committee

The awards committee plans and implements UMCF's annual awards judging and ceremony. 

Conference Committee

The conference committee plans for UMCF's annual conference. The theme of the conference is approved by the board.

Membership and Marketing Committee

The membership and marketing committee is responsible for driving and retaining membership by welcoming new members and encouraging their involvement, actively recruiting UMCF members, and coordinating promotion of the UMCF. The membership committee is also responsible for designating individuals who can monitor membership numbers, respond to dues and membership registration questions, and who will report on membership at each monthly board meeting.

Programs Committee

The programs committee plans and holds a minimum of six programs each fiscal year on topics identified by surveying the membership and in consultation with the board. 

Technology Committee

The Technology Committee is responsible for administering UMCF communication tools including the website, newsletters, and social media. The Committee also manages annual registration and maintains the membership database in collaboration with the Membership Committee. The Technology Committee works to ensure that UMCF programming is available to all and follows University standards for accessibility. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee provides diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that offer professional development, opportunities for conversation and self-reflection, and guidance and resources for communicators. 


Section A. Method. 

Bylaws will be reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors. These bylaws may be updated or amended by a two-thirds vote of the board. Amended bylaws will be published to the Forum website and members will be informed that changes have been made in the next newsletter after the vote. 

Members may propose amendments to the bylaws. A proposed amendment to the bylaws must be signed by two regular Forum members in good standing and submitted in writing by email to all members.

Section B. Filing. 

Chapter bylaws are filed at University Archives, 218 Andersen Library.


Section A. Dispersion of funds. 

If UMCF is dissolved, any funds remaining will be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, or philanthropic organizations to be selected by the Board of Directors in accordance with University regulations.

Bylaws established July 1, 1993.