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Notice of Proposed Amendments to CEC’s Bylaws

CEC’s Bylaws require that members receive a summary of proposed amendments to the Bylaws and have a 60-day period to comment. Members wishing to comment on the two proposed amendments below should submit comments to or to the Council for Exceptional Children, ATTN: Sharon Rodriguez, 3100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA, 22201.

All comments will be provided to the Board of Directors. The deadline for input is 11:59 p.m. Eastern, September 28, 2021. 

Proposed Amendments

Revise Article VIII (Executive Director), Section 2. (Powers and Duties), item f. as indicated below:

  1. Serve as an ex‑officio non-voting member of all appointed bodies, except those making nominations or conducting elections, or designate a member of the staff to serve as an ex-officio non-voting designee.




By having the Executive Director (ED) serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the Leadership Development Committee (LDC), the unique insights the ED is able to provide would help ensure that the work of the LDC aligns with other CEC initiatives/priorities. As well, the ED, in addition to the Immediate Past President, who serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the LDC, could provide input on what might be considered the ideal board make up, based on the current realities of the environment, the strategic direction of the organization, and significant opportunities or challenges the board/organization will be facing over the next few years.


In their 2018 book, Recruit the Right Board, Texas A&M professor William A. Brown and Association Management Center partner Mark Engle, FASAE, CAE, lay out some best practices for board nominations. The CEO often plays a role. According to an ASAE Research Foundation survey, slightly more than half of associations said their executive staff provides a substantial amount of input on board candidates. Only 19 percent provide no input at all.


“Leading practices for the CEO during the nominating process are to provide information that aids in the decision-making process without unduly influencing the committee,” Brown and Engle write. “What associations do in governance, and particularly strategy-setting, should be informed by the CEO. What’s important is making sure the process is sound, transparent, and well-communicated.”

Revise the following requirement for applicants to the Leadership Development Committee from:


Must be an active member of CEC (other than thought leaders) for the past three years, with a minimum total of five years membership.


Must be an active member of CEC (other than thought leaders) with a minimum total of three years membership.




CEC Member Support staff has reported that, during the “lockdowns” due to COVID, many membership renewals were not received as they were mailed to schools, but staff was not there to process invoices. They also reported that, for accounting departments, purchase orders and membership renewals were not priorities for much of last year; consequently, because of the demands of switching to virtual instruction, many people did not realize their membership had lapsed.


Beyond COVID considerations, it is not uncommon for a membership to lapse for a short period of time for a variety of reasons; yet the individual has been a longtime member of CEC.  We do not want to penalize individuals who may have a deep interest in serving on the LDC but who have had a short lapse in their membership.

Posted:  23 July, 2021

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