Middlesex College Bylaws Task Force presented their finalized recommendations during the March College Assembly meeting regarding updates to job titles and divisional name changes to reflect the current organizational structure of the school, and reported on the status of the steering committee.
Assistant dean and chairperson of the Bylaws Task Force, Dr. Theresa Orosz, said that the recommendations were guided by the most recent organizational chart as a result of the standing charge “BL2021- 02,” which is to review the Bylaws document and make appropriate proposals for updates and changes.
“This year there were a lot of changes because there was a realignment of the divisions, there were new positions of the College changes in positions, job titles and things of that nature, and so we had to use the College organizational chart to look at whether or not the bylaws were aligned with the new structure of the College,” said Orosz.
She said the first change was focused on the division alignments that became effective July 1, 2020.
“It was a conversation that was initiated by Dr. Scherr when she became vice president in spring 2020. She brought all of the department chairs, deans and assistant deans together for a series of meetings to discuss a realignment of the divisions, which eventually resulted in the alignment that is currently in place,” said Orosz.
Chair of the College Assembly, Lakshmi Nagarajan-Iyer, said there are two academic divisions formerly called the Division of Professional Studies and Division of Arts and Sciences.
“The liberal arts division and the other division is now called business, STEM and health profession. We did a report last year, so that's why we had all this change,” said Nagarajan-Iyer.
Orosz said, “ The first thing that we did as a task force is we looked at the Bylaws and we focused on the College Assembly membership. We looked at the articles of membership for the College Assembly, and we looked at the methods of membership and wherever it said ‘the Division of Arts and Sciences,’ we changed that to the Division of Liberal Arts, (and) wherever it said, ‘the Division of Professional Studies,’ we changed that to the Division of Business, STEM and Health Professions.”
“The change between the two academic divisions was that the natural sciences department and the mathematics department moved from what was then the Division of Arts and Sciences over to the Division of Professional Studies, then they were renamed. Math and science moved to what (were) then professional studies because professional studies includes all the health technology majors: nursing, dental hygiene, radiography, allied health, professional public health; all of those health-related majors as well as engineering. There's a big math and science component in our health programs and our engineering programs,” said Orosz.
Orosz said, “Now all of the STEM departments are together. It just seemed to be a better fit.”
The Bylaws document contains articles of membership for each task force, which includes the quorum and specific titles to fill in each position of leadership.
Changes in the membership of the divisions were another prompt for the recommendation.
Orosz said, “There was a consolidation of enrollment, management and student affairs. Those were two divisions, but there were retirements over the last year or so and that division was combined and became the student and enrollment services division. So, we made that change.”
Faculty job titles were updated to reflect the name changes of task forces and divisions.
“We updated all the job titles, and then we looked at the task forces and we had to do the same for the task forces. Like the Task Force on Academic Standards refers to the vice president for academic and student affairs, so we got to change that to the vice president for academic affairs,” Orosz said.
The Bylaws Task Force is proposing an increase in membership for the Task Force on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.
Orosz said, “There were some changes in job titles in the human resources area. We wanted to update the membership of that task force to reflect that it's now the executive director of human resources, and then there is now a person who is director of labor relations.”
“We're recommending that we increase it from 17 to 18 because it used to be that the human resources director was also in charge of labor relations. Now, there's two people doing that, so we thought it's important that both of those individuals be on the task force; we noted both of them,” said Orosz.
Each task force has a standing charge to report on the status of a charge from the previous academic year.
Nagarajan-Iyer said, “Each of the task forces have general criteria of what kind of things they should be looking at, but they will be focusing on the charge that was submitted to them or assigned.”
She said that the recommendation for creating the steering committee was presented in March by the Bylaws task force, was approved in October’s College Assembly meeting, and formed in December.
Orosz said, “With the approval of the steering committee, we need to include the steering committee in the body of the Bylaws.”
The Bylaws Task Force created an article for the committee that will become the new Article 7, which the following articles in the Bylaws document will have to be renumbered, Orosz said.
Victoria Pepper, a student representative of the steering committee, said that task forces present their charges during the steering committee’s meeting.
“Some do get passed and some do not, (it) takes a while for it to be passed, but we do have a say in the matter,” said Pepper.
Orosz said, “I think the addition of a steering committee is critical, a nice addition to the College Assembly, (and) some assistance to the chairperson of the College Assembly in terms of reviewing and developing charges for the task forces because ultimately the charges should come from the community, but sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.”