Iowa Reading Research Center Advisory Council By-Laws

Article I: Nature of the Council

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Iowa Reading Research Center Advisory Council, referred to as the Council.  The Iowa Reading Research Center shall be referred to as the Center.

Section 2. The Council exists by authority of Iowa Administrative Code rule 281—61.7(2).

Section 3. The purpose of the Council shall be to advise and assist the Center with the development and implementation of literacy policies and services.

Article II: Membership

Section 1. The Council shall consist of representatives of the Iowa Department of Education (“Department”), school districts, area education agencies, accredited nonpublic schools, institutions of higher education, organizations representing reading and literacy teachers, community-based nonprofit organizations that are focused on literacy, statewide literacy organizations, and parents.

Section 2. Members who offer other perspectives may be appointed.

Section 3. Members may serve in more than one role.

Section 4. Members shall be appointed by the director of the Iowa Department of Education or the director’s designee.

Section 5. A term of membership shall be four years, except an appointment to an unexpired term.  A member may be reappointed for additional terms.

Section 6. A member’s position on the Council shall be vacant upon the member’s death, incapacity, or resignation.  Any resignation may be (a) in writing at any time, such writing being addressed to the director of the Center, the director of the Iowa Department of Education, and the president of the Council; or (b) orally during a meeting of the Council.  A member will be deemed to have resigned membership on the Council if the member misses three consecutive meetings.  Vacancies shall be filled pursuant to Section 4 of this article.

Section 7. A member may be removed by vote of the Council, more than two-thirds of the members present at a meeting voting to remove the member.  Grounds for removal include but are not limited to (a) conviction of a felony; (b) conviction of a crime involving dishonesty; (c) suspension or revocation of a professional license by a professional licensing board; or (d) conduct detrimental to the interest of the Department, the Center, or the Council.  

Section 8. If a member no longer has the affiliation described in Section 1 of this article, the member may be permitted to complete the member’s term, at the discretion of the director of the Department of Education or director’s designee.  In any event described in this Section, the Council shall have all members required by Section 1.

Section 9. Members shall serve without compensation; however, actual expenses for Council members and designees may be assumed by the Center.

Article III:  Duties of the Council

Section 1. The Council shall have the following duties.

(A) The Council shall recommend and continually review Center priorities, which shall be consistent with the administrative rules governing the Center (Iowa Admin. Code ch. 281—61).

(B) The Council shall provide input to the director of the Iowa Department of Education on the desired qualifications of the director of the Center.

(C) The Council shall advise and assist the Center in preparing the Center’s required annual report to the general assembly.

(D) The Council shall foster collaboration across the Iowa reading research and evaluation community, and serve as a facilitator in identifying additional research needs and ways to apply research to practice in Iowa’s schools and communities.

(E) The Council shall stay abreast of emerging trends, research, and effective literacy practices.

(F) The Council shall assist the director of the Center in reviewing proposals for quality, viability, and statewide impact.

Section 2. The Council may perform other duties, including such duties as may be directed by the Director of the Center.  Duties performed under this Section shall be consistent with the Center’s priorities.

Section 3. The Department shall consider the priorities established by the Council in determining which projects or activities to direct the Center to enact, consistent with the administrative rules governing the Center and the Center’s funding.

Article IV:  Meetings

Section 1. The Council shall meet at the call of the chair, and there shall be at least three meetings each year.  

Section 2. A majority of the appointed members constitutes a quorum.

Section 3. Meetings of the Council are public meetings subject to statutory open meeting requirements.

Section 4. Rules of precedence of motions and other parliamentary procedures not specified herein shall be governed by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 5. A member may name a designee when the member will be unable to attend a meeting of the Council.  A designee shall be entitled to participate in the business of the Council, but shall not be entitled to vote and shall not be counted toward determining the presence of a quorum under Section 2 of this article.  Attendance by a designee shall be considered an absence under Section 6 of Article II.

Article V:  Officers

Section 1. The Council shall elect from its appointed members a chair and a vice-chair, each for a one year term.  Officers may serve successive terms.

Section 2. Officers shall be elected upon adoption of these by-laws and shall serve until the following June 30.  Officers shall be elected for terms beginning July 1 thereafter.

Section 3. If the chair is absent for whole or part of a Council meeting, the vice-chair shall act as chair for the duration of the chair’s absence.  In the event that the office of chair is vacant, the vice-chair shall assume the office of chair for the conclusion of the term of office.  In the event that the office of vice-chair is vacant, the Council shall elect from its appointed members a vice-chair for the conclusion of the term of office.

Section 4. The chair shall preside over all Council meetings.  The chair and vice-chair shall assist the Center’s director and staff in meeting preparation and with other tasks of the Center.

Section 5. Either of the officers may resign their office by following the procedures set forth in Section 6 of article 2.  Unless otherwise indicated, a resignation pursuant to this section is from the office, not the Council.

Section 6. Either of the officers may be removed from office for misconduct or malfeasance, which as a minimum are the acts or omissions described in Section 7 of article 2.  Unless otherwise indicated, a removal pursuant to this section is from the office, not the Council.

Article VI:  Committees

Section 1. The Council may establish committees for the performance of its duties, such committees being either standing or ad hoc.

Section 2. If the Council establishes a committee, the chair shall appoint the committee’s members.

Section 3. The Center may establish an ad hoc non-member committee to advise and assist the Council.  Members of any such committee shall not be members of the Council and shall not have a vote at Council meetings.

Article VII:  Conflict of Interest

Section 1. No member of the Council may participate in deliberation on any matter in which the member has an interest, financial, professional, or otherwise.  At a minimum for setting priorities and recommendations that may result in the issuance of a contract, request for proposal, or request for information, a conflict of interest shall be as defined by Department of Administrative Services rules, policies, and procedures.

Section 2. Representing an interest described in Section 1 of article II shall not be considered as a conflict of interest.

Section 3. The Council may adopt additional procedures concerning conflicts of interest.

Article VIII:  By-Law Adoption and Amendments

Section 1. These by-laws shall be effective immediately upon a simple majority of the vote of Council members present at a meeting having a quorum.

Section 2. By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the appointed Council members present at a meeting having a quorum.  Proposed changes to the by-laws must be submitted in writing to all Council members a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the vote.

Section 3. Once adopted, these by-laws shall be of perpetual duration, unless rescinded by the Council following the procedures set forth in Section 2 of this article or the Council ceases to exist.

Section 4. These by-laws shall be construed to be consistent with all applicable state and federal law, including but not limited to the administrative rules governing the Center.  All doubts shall be resolved in favor of the validity of these by-laws.

Section 5. In the event that a portion of these by-laws are determined by a court or agency of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the remainder of the by-laws shall remain in effect, to the maximum extent possible.

Section IX:  Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Iowa Department of Education not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code sections 216.9 and 256.10(2), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. §§ 206 et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C.§§ 1681 – 1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.).

If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by the Iowa Department of Education, please contact the legal counsel for the Iowa Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146, telephone number 515-281-5295, or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 111 N. Canal Street, Suite 1053, Chicago, IL 60606-7204.