We believe education is essential for realizing the fullest potential of each member of our society and that appropriate higher education should be available to all who can benefit from it. Though diverse in purpose, in type, in control, in size, and in geographic location, members of the Association share a singleness of concern and dedication to this educational mission.
Article I. Name
The name of this organization will be “American Association of Community Colleges.”
Article II. Purposes
The Association is organized and shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and shall not engage in any activity that is not permitted by an organization exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) and described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. No part of its net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private individual except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services actually rendered. No substantial part of its activities shall be for carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and it shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Pursuant to these purposes, the Association shall promote the sound growth of community and junior colleges and shall help create in them an atmosphere conducive to learning. It shall contribute in every practical way to the development of a better human environment in America by working for the extension of full educational opportunity to all Americans on an equitable basis, qualitatively and quantitatively, striving for the elimination of all forms of discrimination.
Article III. Membership
Section 1. The members of this organization shall be limited to community, junior, and technical colleges, and similar postsecondary institutions that are not private foundations by reasons of Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law). The membership shall consist of two categories: full and provisional. All members shall be approved by the Board of Directors (the Board). Membership dues shall be paid in full in order for an institution to participate as a member institution.
Section 2. Full Institutional Members: Institutional membership is open to community, junior, and technical colleges and similar postsecondary institutions that predominately offer an associate degree and are accredited by a one of the following regional accrediting associations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE); North Central Association of Colleges and Schools – The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges; Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC-WASC); Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASC-SCUC). Membership is open to the colleges and campuses of multi-college and multi-campus institutions and university branch campuses eligible for institutional membership; and to district offices and state administrative offices of state systems of community, technical, and junior colleges. Each institutional member is entitled to one vote. Institutions outside the United States will be considered eligible if they are accredited by one of the regional accreditors listed above. Institutions outside of the United States that are not accredited by one of the regional accreditors can become Educational Associate members of the association.
Section 3. Provisional Institutional Members: Provisional institutional membership may be granted to newly organized community, junior, and technical colleges and other similar postsecondary institutions that have not yet secured the necessary accreditation for institutional membership. Representatives of provisional institutional members are entitled to all privileges of the full institutional member of the Association except that they are ineligible to hold elective office. Provisional institutional members may hold this classification for 3 years.
Section 4. The CEO or top administrator of any full institutional member shall be considered the institutional member CEO and, as such, may vote or hold elective or appointed office.
Section 5. The Association may have affiliated organizations to advise and inform the Association.
Article IV. Associates
Section 1. Individual Associates: Any person interested in the work of the Association and acceptable to the Board may become an individual associate. Individual associates may not vote or hold elective office except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Section 2. Educational Associates: Any foundation, corporation, or other organization that wishes to support the objectives of the Association may become an educational associate. Representatives of educational associates may not vote or hold elective office except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Section 3. Honorary Associates: Individuals who have performed outstanding service in community and junior college work, upon nomination by the Board, may be elected honorary associates of the Association. Honorary associates may not vote or hold elective office except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Article V. Dues
Dues of members shall be fixed annually by the Board. Institutional dues may not be increased for a given year by a percentage greater than the national average percentage increase of members’ educational and general expenditures for the preceding year, without approval of the institutional membership at the annual business meeting or by electronic ballot. Institutional dues for campuses of member multicampus institutions will be the minimum institutional dues for colleges. Institutional dues for district offices and administrative offices of state systems of community, technical, and junior colleges will be set at the minimum institutional dues for colleges. Dues of associates shall be fixed by the Board.
Article VI. Board of Directors
Section 1. The governing body of the Association shall be the Board of Directors (the Board).
Section 2. The Board shall have authority to establish bylaws and policies for the Association that are not inconsistent with the constitution. The Board shall have authority to establish an executive committee.
Section 3. The Board shall consist of 32 directors. The CEO or top administrator of any full institutional member shall be considered the institutional member CEO and, as such, may vote or hold elective or appointed office. All directors with the exception of those individuals elected by the board to represent the general public shall be the CEO or top administrator of an institutional member college, district office or state administrative office of state systems of community, technical, and junior colleges; 3 of the directors shall be elected at large by the Board from CEOs or top administrators employed by institutional member institutions; 3 directors shall be elected at large by the Board from the general public; 6 directors shall be elected by the institutional membership from the recognized councils; 1 director shall be the chair; and 1 director shall be the immediate past chair of the Board.
Section 4. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business provided that a majority of those present are institutional representatives.
Article VII. Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a chair and a chair-elect of the Board, the president of the Association, and such other officers as from time to time may be elected by the Board.
Section 2. The president shall be appointed by the Board for a term not to exceed 3 years at such salary as the Board may determine. At the discretion of the Board, the president may be reappointed for additional terms, not one of which shall exceed 3 years, or on a rolling contract basis.
Article VIII. Duties of Officers
Section 1. The chair and chair-elect shall perform duties pertaining to their offices as may be defined by the Board. The chair shall preside at meetings of the Board.
Section 2. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the Association.
Article IX. Elections
Section 1. The chair-elect shall be elected annually by the Board for a 1-year term. The chair-elect shall assume the office of chair at the end of his or her term as chair-elect. Public at-large members of the board are not eligible to run for chair-elect. Any board member may be elected chair-elect who has at least 1 full year remaining in his or her term as a member of the Board.
Section 2. Six directors representing the institutional members shall be elected each year by the institutional membership to serve terms of 3 years each. Two directors who represent CEOs or the top administrator for an institutional member representing the recognized councils shall be elected each year by the institutional membership to serve for terms of 3 years each. One director at large representing the total institutional membership shall be elected by the Board each year to serve for a term of 3 years. One director at large representing the public shall be elected by the Board each year to serve for a term of 3 years. One director, the immediate past chair of the Board, shall be elected by the Board each year to serve a term of 1 year.
Section 3. Directors representing institutional members shall be elected by a vote of the official institutional representatives of members responding by mail ballot or by electronic mail ballot.
Section 4. Directors shall take office on July I of the year of their election and shall serve until their successors are designated in accordance with provisions of the constitution.
Section 5. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the chair, the chair-elect shall become chair and serve the unexpired term. If there is a vacancy in both the office of chair and chair-elect, the Board chair in consultation with the President and CEO shall elect one of the members of the Board to serve as chair for the unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy among the directors from the institutional member representatives or from the recognized councils, the Board may appoint a new director to serve the unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy among the directors at large, the Board shall elect a new director to serve for the unexpired term.
Article X. Meetings of the Association
Section 1. There shall be an annual meeting of the Association at such time and place as the Board may determine. Special meetings may be called by the Board.
Section 2. A minimum of 10% of the designated CEOs or top administrators of institutional members present in person or virtually at any meeting of which written notice has been duly given shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business.
Section 3. Each institutional member CEO or top administrator shall be entitled to one vote.
Article XI. Finance
At each annual meeting, the Board shall present a statement of financial condition of the Association and shall report on financial operations of the preceding year and financial plans for the succeeding year. No financial obligations shall be incurred by any officer or committee except as authorized within annual budgets, or under authority of special interim action, approved by the Board or its Executive Committee in interim action. The fiscal year of the Association shall be fixed by the bylaws policies.
Article XII. Amendments
Section 1. This constitution may be amended at an annual meeting of the Association Association or in February to coincide with annual board elections by an affirmative vote of a majority of the CEOs or top representatives of institutional and provisional institutional members voting. Amendments shall not alter the purposes of this Association to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and in a manner that makes this Association tax exempt and the donations to it deductible from taxable income to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Code. Written notice of any proposed amendment in the constitution shall be sent to all members of the Association at least 30 days prior to the date of the annual meeting.
Section 2. A referendum to the constitution may be authorized by an affirmative vote of the majority of the CEOs or top administrators of institutional and provisional institutional members present and voting. An affirmative vote of two thirds of the institutional and provisional institutional members shall be necessary to amend the constitution through a referendum, provided that at least two thirds of the institutional and provisional institutional members respond to such a referendum. The Board shall be responsible for conducting a referendum.
Section 3. The bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of all members of the Board at a meeting of the Board or, alternatively, by the unanimous written consent of all members of the Board.
Article XIII. Provision for Dissolution and Reference to Sections
Upon dissolution of this corporation if such ever should occur, the directors shall distribute all assets of the Association remaining after payment of debts and liabilities to such institution or institutions or association or associations as the majority of the Board shall elect, which are exempt from taxation under Section 501(a), are organized and operated exclusively for educational or charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and have purposes similar to the purposes of this Association. All references to sections of the Internal Revenue Code are to those sections as they are now enacted or hereafter amended.
Article XIV. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this constitution, the bylaws, and any special rules of order the Association may adopt.
Adoption and Amendments
Adopted March 4, 1965
March 4, 1971
March 1, 1972
April 15, 1975
May 1, 1979
April 6, 1982
April 3, 1984
April 25, 1988
February 21, 1990
March 25, 1991
July 8, 1992
April 6, 2001
September 30, 2008
March 19, 2012
April 18, 2015
February 28, 2022