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OLLI at WMU Procedures


Section I: Name

The name of this initiative and program is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University, referred to hereafter as "OLLI at WMU."


Section II: Purpose and Goals

The purposes and goals of OLLI at WMU shall be:

  1. To encourage adults fifty (50) years of age and over to take advantage of learning opportunities offered through short term courses, events and travel programs offered by OLLI at WMU.
  2. To provide recommendations to Western Michigan University, referred to hereafter as "WMU" for educational courses, experiences, and social functions tailored to adults who wish to enhance their learning and interactions with other adults in Southwest Michigan.
  3. To support the creation and growth of a leading local, regional, and international institute of lifelong learning through the talent of its membership; active and retired faculty, staff, and alumni; community members; cross academic partners; and the resources of WMU.


Section III: Description of OLLI at WMU's Relationship

  1. OLLI at WMU is one of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes associated with colleges and universities to provide non-credit courses and activities specifically developed for adults aged fifty (50) or older who are interested in the joy of learning. The Osher Foundation has provided endowment funds to the WMU Foundation for the support of OLLI at WMU.
  2. OLLI at WMU is a collaborative and interdependent program within WMUx. OLLI at WMU includes WMUx staff, and a representative appointed by the WMU President, as well as a diverse group of individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to support and implement the goals and objectives of OLLI at WMU.
  3. OLLI at WMU is not a legal entity. It has no separate financial authority or legal jurisdiction. It coordinates and makes its recommendations to WMUx through the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board. Volunteers have no contracting authority to commit OLLI at WMU, WMU, or funds to any external entity or individual. Considering recommendations from the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board, WMU administers the program in accordance with WMU fiscal policy, contractual agreements, policies and requirements.


Section IV: Membership

  1. Eligibility for Membership: Membership is available to individuals who submit membership applications, pay membership dues, and support the goals of OLLI at WMU. Membership is granted after completion and receipt of a membership form and payment of annual dues.
  2. Dues: Any change in membership dues and course fees requires the approval of WMU and the Associate Provost of WMUx, the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board.
  3. Rights of Members: Each member is eligible to vote at the annual meeting of OLLI at WMU, participate in OLLI at WMU programs, serve on or nominate members to serve on the Advisory Board, serve on Committees of OLLI at WMU, attend events, and register for classes and trips with payment of applicable fees.
  4. Membership Term: The term of membership is for the fiscal year – July 1 through June 30.
  5. Personal Identifying Information: Databases that hold personal identifying information of the members of OLLI at WMU are the property of WMU. Except as required otherwise by law and as determined by the Director of OLLI at WMU, this information shall not be shared with any person or entity outside of OLLI at WMU. OLLI at WMU shall follow all rules and regulations set by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and other applicable laws.


Section V: Organization of OLLI at WMU

  1. Advisory Board: The Advisory Board offers advice and recommendations to WMUx. The Advisory Board serves as the interface between the Southwest Michigan community and OLLI at WMU.
    1. Composition: The Advisory Board members shall not be fewer than fifteen (15) or more than thirty-one (31) members.
    2. Voting, ex-officio members: The chair or co-chairs of each of the standing committees of OLLI at WMU serve on the Advisory Board, as well as a representative from the WMU Alumni Board, the Center for Gerontology and the Emeriti Council.
    3. Non-voting, ex-officio members: The OLLI at WMU Director, the Associate Provost for WMUx, a representative designated by the WMU President, the immediate past Chair and spouses of current and former WMU Presidents.
    4. Voting, At-large members: Must be members of the Southwest Michigan community. They are elected to two-(2) year terms by the membership.
      1. Recommendations for new Advisory Board members can be submitted to the Executive Committee by any active member of OLLI at WMU by June 30 of each year.
      2. Nominations for At-large members of the Advisory Board are made to the Advisory Board by the Executive Committee.
      3. At-large Advisory Board members' terms are for two (2) years and members may serve two (2) consecutive terms. Terms will begin at the first Advisory Board meeting following the Annual meeting.
      4. Advisory Board members must be members of OLLI at WMU and have a current membership during their term on the Advisory Board.
    5. Advisory Board Officers: The slate for Advisory Board officers shall be made to the Advisory Board by the Executive Committee. The slate is determined at the first Executive Committee meeting following the Annual Meeting. Advisory Board officers are elected by the members present at the first Advisory Board meeting following the annual meeting.
      1. Chair: The Chair shall preside over the Advisory Board.
      2. Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in the performance of their duties and shall perform the Chair's duties in their absence.
      3. Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes of all Advisory Board meetings.
      4. Treasurer: WMUx will designate the position of Treasurer.
    6. Advisory Board Vacancies:
      1. Vacancies of an ex-officio position will be filled by appointment.
      2. At Large vacancies will be filled by vote of the Advisory Board.
      3. If an elected officer is unable to fulfill their term of office, the Chair may appoint an Advisory Board member to the vacancy to serve until the next election.
      4. If an At-Large Advisory Board position becomes vacant before the end of the member's term, a new member may be appointed by a simple majority of current Advisory Board members.
  2. Executive Committee: The Executive Committee monitors the coordination and oversight of OLLI at WMU and makes recommendations to the Advisory Board for the administration and future direction of OLLI at WMU. It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to ensure that all such recommendations are in alignment with those of WMU.
    1. Composition: The Executive Committee comprises all standing committee chairs, and/or co-chairs, OLLI at WMU's Director, the Associate Provost for WMUx or designee and the Chair or Vice Chair of the Advisory Board .
    2. At the discretion of OLLI at WMU's Director, former members of the Advisory Board may be appointed to the Executive Committee and can serve up to two consecutive terms of one year each.
    3. Duties:
      1. Review and propose revisions to the Procedures.
      2. Make recommendations to the Advisory Board regarding WMU policies, procedures and finances as they relate to OLLI at WMU.
      3. Formulate strategic and tactical plans for OLLI at WMU.
      4. Assist WMUx and the Advisory Board to identify additional sources of funding for OLLI at WMU.
      5. Prepare, maintain and update documents for the effective operation of OLLI at WMU. These would include the curriculum, a general Procedures Manual, a Membership Manual, and appropriate guidelines - instructor guidelines, class liaison guidelines, evaluation/assessment guidelines, etc.
      6. Analyze internal and external trends and performances affecting OLLI at WMU.
      7. Act as a nominating committee for Advisory Board members and officers.
  3. Committees: Committees shall execute the work of OLLI at WMU. Chairpersons of the Standing Committees will be responsible for recruiting and engaging members in OLLI at WMU. The Standing Committees include the following:
    1. Assessment and Evaluation: Shall compile and review all class evaluations and make recommendations to the Curriculum Committee based upon the evaluations. Additionally, prepare surveys for trips and events (based on input from the committee chairs) providing the results to the travel and events committees.
    2. Curriculum: Shall recruit instructors and implement all courses and programs offered by OLLI at WMU to its members and the Southwest Michigan community.
    3. Events: Shall plan and schedule events to increase the visibility of OLLI at WMU to its members and the Southwest Michigan community.
    4. Development: Shall seek resources through partnerships, sponsorships and fundraising to advance OLLI at WMU.
    5. Membership and Marketing: Shall engage, build and sustain a strong, active OLLI at WMU membership and work with WMUx marketing staff to market all OLLI at WMU activities.
    6. Technology: Shall work with WMUx to develop technologies and programs that enhance OLLI at WMU offerings and operations.
    7. Travel: Shall develop, organize, and implement travel programs for OLLI at WMU.
    8. Volunteer Services: Shall recruit and train members to assist in activities of OLLI at WMU.


Section VI: Meetings

  1. Meetings and Notice:
    1. Advisory Board meetings are conducted regularly at an agreed upon time and place and are held at least four times a year. An official meeting requires that Board members be notified at least one week in advance. Meetings are open to all OLLI at WMU members. The Secretary ensures that minutes from each meeting are sent to Advisory Board members and the OLLI at WMU office.
    2. Executive Committee and all other OLLI at WMU committee meetings shall be conducted at an agreed upon time and place. Meetings are open to all OLLI at WMU members. Minutes are available upon request.
    3. Annual Meeting: An Annual Meeting of OLLI at WMU membership shall be announced in advance. Annual Meetings are open to all members. Annual Meetings are conducted once during each WMU Academic Year to:
      1. Present the Annual Report of OLLI at WMU.
      2. Elect Advisory Board Members
      3. Conduct other activities deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee, Advisory Board, and/or WMU.


Section VII: Advisory Board Quorum

  1. A quorum for a meeting shall be a majority of voting members.
  2. Advisory Board elections and passage of motions requires a simple majority of the Advisory Board members present at the meeting.
  3. Presence at Meetings and Distant Voting: Presence at Advisory Board meetings and voting are allowed via conference calls and/or video conferencing. Proxy votes, votes by mail or email or other electronic voting is not allowed for Advisory Board voting.


Section VIII: Amendments

These Procedures may be amended when necessary by a two-thirds majority of the Advisory Board members present and eligible to vote. Proposed amendments are submitted to the Secretary and sent out five (5) days before the Advisory Board meeting.


Section IX: Limited Liability for Volunteers

Except as otherwise provided by law and to the extent provided for in its liability and insurance coverage. WMU agrees to indemnify and hold harmless each volunteer of OLLI at WMU for claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and costs (including reasonable attorney fees, but excluding any settlement costs unless agreed to in writing by WMU) arising out of any decision, act and/or omission made by that volunteer within the scope of their service as a volunteer of OLLI at WMU, provided that such decision, act or omission was in good faith and in a manner s/he reasonably believed to be in compliance with the laws, these Procedures, and/or not opposed to the best interests of OLLI at WMU and WMU, including the depositing of funds in a WMU account on behalf of OLLI at WMU or WMU.

In any case which indemnification or legal defense is sought, the volunteer seeking indemnification, as a condition for indemnification or legal defense, shall (i) notify the Vice Provost for WMUx and WMU's Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel within seven (7) calendar days after receiving or being served with any claim, action, or lawsuit, (ii) afford the University the opportunity to defend such claim and control the litigation settlement and other disposition of such claim; and, (iii) fully cooperate in connection with such defense, litigation, settlement or disposition. The volunteer shall have the right, but not the obligation, to be represented by their own counsel, at their own cost and expense, but agrees that this representation and any decisions regarding settlement or disposition of the case must first receive the approval of WMU. Indemnification shall be expenses actually incurred by the person in connection with the defense of any action, suit, or proceeding in which the person is made a party by reason of being or having been such volunteer.

Notwithstanding the above, these obligations regarding indemnification and defense shall not apply with respect to matters as to which the person shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of a duty.

In addition, nothing in this section shall be construed to be a waiver of any governmental immunity defense, and WMU expressly reserves all its rights and defenses.


Section X: Governing Procedures

All governing procedures of OLLI at WMU shall be established by the Advisory Board of OLLI at WMU and be in conformity with WMU's policies and procedures. The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern meetings of OLLI at WMU, provided they are not inconsistent with these Procedures. WMU shall own all rights to the name, logo, and all lists generated by OLLI at WMU activities, such as the membership list, the class list, the marketing lists and the registration lists.


These Procedures have been approved by the OLLI at WMU Advisory Board and the Associate Provost of WMUx.