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California State Universities
University of California
Independent Colleges and Universities in California

Approved: October 26, 1990
Approved as Amended: May, 1991; April, 1996; October, 1999;
November, 2005; April, 2006; April 2008; April 2015, May 2022


The name of this Organization shall be The Organization of  California Counseling Directors in Higher Education.


The purpose of this Organization shall be to serve as a forum for California counseling center directors in higher education to share, discuss, advocate, and implement best practices related to collegiate mental health. We strive to include Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in all aspects of the Organization. Additionally, the success of the organization thrives on the participation of its members.

ARTICLE III: Membership

OCCDHE is composed of counseling center directors from eligible higher education counseling centers in California.
Section 1. Membership Criteria

a. Membership is attached to the institution rather than to an individual. Each eligible counseling center may designate only one director as its representative member.
b. The annual dues, payable at the beginning of each fiscal year, shall be determined and collected in a manner approved by the Governing Board.
c. To be eligible for membership, the Director will be:

1. recognized by their campus as holding a position commensurate with the role of Director (though given the range of campus structures some variability in language may be considered);

2. ultimately responsible for clinical decision making within their campus counseling center;

3. and a licensed or licensed eligible mental health professional in California.

d. The Director will oversee a counseling center that:

1. functions as a counseling and psychological services unit at an accredited four-year college or university in California;
2. is staffed by employee(s) of the university and is subject to university regulations and standards;
3. provides, within available resources, a range of counseling and psychological services; and
4. complies with legal and ethical standards of the profession.

Section 2. Eligibility for membership will be reviewed and determined by the Governing Board and exceptions to the membership criteria outlined above will be considered at the discretion of the Governing Board.

Section 3. Listserv membership is limited to dues paying institutions and only one person per institution is allowed on the listserv at any given time.

Section 4. Members leaving the organization are eligible to join the OCCDHE Former Directors Group. This group is separate from OCCDHE and functions to provide mentorship and support outside of the primary organization. Former Directors are non-voting and do not pay membership dues or attend the conferences. Former Directors have a separate listserv and are not on the main OCCDHE listserv. However, there is a section of the website dedicated to Former Directors who wish to mentor and support new members so that new members know who is available for them to reach out to at any given time. Former Directors do not attend conferences unless invited as guests by the Governing Board after discussion with the current Director and Caucus members that the Former Director represented.

ARTICLE IV: Caucuses

OCCDHE is comprised of directors at counseling centers located in California State Universities (CSUs), University of California (UCs) and private universities/colleges.

Section 1. Caucuses: As each university system has slightly different needs or requirements OCCDHE will have caucuses that are comprised of the following subgroups:

  1. California State University Counseling Centers
  2. University of California Counseling Centers
  3. Private Colleges and University Counseling Centers

Section 2. Caucus Meetings: Each OCCDHE conference will have time set aside specifically for caucus meetings. Each caucus will elect a representative at the spring meeting to run the caucus meetings for the following year. Each caucus meeting will include discussion on topics related to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

ARTICLE V: Governing Board

Section 1. The Governing Board shall be comprised of active members that include at least one member from each caucus. Care should be taken to ensure that all caucuses are represented on the Governing Board.

Section 2. The Governing Board of OCCDHE shall be comprised of the President, President-Elect, Past-President, Treasurer, Historian/Record Keeper, and the Standing Committee Chairs.

Section 3. Elections are to be held annually with nominations occurring a month before the Spring Conference and voting by electronic ballot the week before the Spring Conference. Confirmation of those elected to positions is done at the Spring Conference and the term begins at the Fall Conference.

a. The President-Elect is elected by the membership and serves for three years with one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Past-President. Should an unexpected vacancy occur in the presidency, the President-Elect, or their designee shall serve the term of the president.
b. The Treasurer is an annually elected position from the membership a term limit of three years.
c. The Historian/Record Keeper is an annually elected position from the membership with a term limit of three years.
d. Unless otherwise designated in this document, each Standing Committee selects their Chair.

Section 4. Description of Roles:

a. President: It shall be the responsibility of the President to function as the Organization’s executive officer, to preside at all meetings of the Organization, and to fill any vacancies in positions by appointing someone from the general membership, until the next regular election.

1. The President chairs the Conference/Meeting Committee to ensure coordination of events with leadership.
2. Every two years the President serves as the second signature on the accounts kept by the Treasurer. This is a rotating two-year term.

b. President-Elect: The President-Elect shall serve in the absence of the President. The incumbent will be responsible for such matters as are delegated by the President and the Governing Board.

1. The President-Elect chairs the By-Laws Committee to ensure annual review of the By-Laws.
2. Every two years the President-Elect serves as the second signature on the accounts kept by the Treasurer. This is a rotating two-year term.

c. Past-President: The Past-President shall provide mentoring and consultation on matters pertaining to the organization. They may serve as the delegated President or President-Elect in their absence.

d. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the business transactions of the Organization, including accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, and disbursements.

1. The books and records shall be open to inspection by the Governing Board and any Member.
2. The Treasurer shall deposit all monies in the name and to the credit of the Organization with such depositories as may be designated by the Governing Board.
3. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the Organization as may be ordered by the Governing Board, shall provide the President and the Governing Board an account of all transactions and of the financial condition of the Organization at the annual meetings, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Governing Board or the Bylaws.
4. The Treasurer shall bill for and collect dues annually from the Membership, and present a complete financial report at the annual meetings of the Members.
5. The Treasurer shall keep current records showing the names and mailing addresses of the Members of OCCDHE, and shall provide such list to Members upon request. The Treasurer’s term shall be established by the Governing Board.
6. The Treasurer serves at the pleasure of the Governing Board and may be removed by the Governing Board at any time. The second signature on the account will be a two- year term rotating by those who hold the role of President-Elect and President.

e. Historian / Record Keeper: The Historian / Record Keeper shall maintain minutes of meetings.
f. Standing Committee Chairs: See Article VIII for definitions of Standing Committee roles.

ARTICLE VI: Dues and Finance

Section 1. Dues. All Members of the Organization shall be obligated to pay the annual dues according to the schedule fixed from time to time by the Steering Committee. Members shall also pay such additional assessments as are approved by both the Steering Committee and the Members.

Section 2. Checks. All checks or demands for money and notes of the Organization shall be signed by either the Chair or the Treasurer or by such other officer as the Steering Committee may designate.

Section 3. Budgets and Financial Statements. The following financial statements and related information for the Organization shall be regularly prepared:

  1. Budget. A budget for each fiscal year consisting of at least the estimated revenue and expenses.
  2. Year-End Report. Within 120 days after the close of the fiscal year, a year-end report consisting of at least a balance sheet as of the end of the fiscal year.

ARTICLE VII: Conferences/Meetings

Section 1. There shall be two annual business meetings of the Organization held during the Fall and Spring Conferences. The annual meetings shall include the OCCDHE Membership.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the President of the Organization, by a majority of the Governing Board Members, or upon petition by a majority of the Members of the Organization.

Section 3. Each conference should include dedicated time to discuss issues related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

ARTICLE VIII: Committees

The Standing Committees of OCCDHE shall meet regularly throughout the year regarding aspects related to their committee. Each Standing Committee will have a JEDI representative whose role is to ensure that the committees are including a JEDI mindset in all decision making related to their committee charge.

Section 1. By-Laws Committee: The By-Laws committee shall be chaired by the President-Elect and volunteers from the membership in order to engage in annual review of the By-Laws to ensure these By-Laws stay up-to-date and reflect the current operations of the organization.

Section 2. Professional Development and Continuing Education Committee (PDCE): The PDCE Committee shall be chaired by a member elected from those on the PDCE committee and confirmed by the Governing Board. The PDCE Committee shall be composed of members of the organization who are interested in maintaining and furthering the professional development and continuing education of members of the Organization. PDCE Committee members are confirmed by the Governing Board to serve renewable one-year terms. The term of office shall begin at the start of the annual Fall meeting, following appointment at the Spring meeting.

a. It shall be the responsibilities of the PDCE Committee to:
b. oversee the professional development and training activities of the Membership of OCCDHE;
c. develop and plan for the continuing education units (CEUs) provided at the meetings;
d. help the Membership meet professional standards through education and training; and
e. support California training director/coordinator networks.

Section 3. Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee: The JEDI Committee is chaired by a member of the committee who has previously served as the JEDI role on another standing committee and is elected from the JEDI membership. It shall be the responsibility of the JEDI Committee to help the Organization maintain a focus on areas of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Section 4. Conference/Meeting Committee: This committee shall be responsible for planning the Fall and Spring Conferences for the Organization. It shall be the responsibility of the Conference/Meeting Committee to ensure that each conference has time for caucus meetings, a business meeting, and a JEDI discussion.

Section 5. Communications Committee: This committee shall be responsible for maintaining the Organization’s website, listserv, social media platforms, and accessibility. This committee sends the informational welcome communication to all new members.

Section 6. Advocacy Committee: This committee shall be responsible for helping the Organization know what areas we want to advocate on in regard to Collegiate Mental Health in California. It is expected that individuals on this committee are already advocating in other ways and can use that knowledge and experience to benefit our Organization.

Section 6. Other committees shall be established by the Governing Board as deemed necessary to carry on the work of the Organization.

ARTICLE IX: Advocacy

BUSINESS MEETING DISCUSSION Spring 2022 ONLY: Those in attendance at the business meeting agreed that we should have a focus on advocacy that helps us to be a voice around the issues related to collegiate mental health in California. Several members already engage in advocacy work in other areas of their life and we would hope that they bring this experience and knowledge to OCCDHE to help outline areas that we want to focus our advocacy around aka work smarter not harder on this topic by tapping into the knowledge we already have within the organization.
This article will be expanded on and discussed at the fall 2023 business meeting.

ARTICLE X: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of the meetings in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws. Any special rules of order adopted by the Governing Board or the Members shall supersede Robert’s Rules of Order.

ARTICLE X: Amendment of Bylaws

The By-Laws shall be reviewed annually by the By-Laws Committee and amended when necessary. These bylaws can be amended by a majority vote of the Members in attendance at the Business Meeting held during the annual Conferences. By-laws can also be amended by majority vote through electronic ballot.