Improving Access to Membership and Benefits Through Bylaw Changes

Published on : March 2, 2022

CSWE is asking members to vote for a set of bylaw changes put forth by the Board of Directors. Members of the Board hope to expand access to CSWE benefits to faculty, administrators, staff, and students with member support of several changes to the organization’s bylaws. 

“We hope the membership will support our efforts to add student voices to the Board of Directors and eliminate the need for individual membership. Everyone that teaches, works, or studies at an accredited program would become members of CSWE and be able to take advantage of our resources, benefits, and networking,” said Dr. Saundra Starks, LCSW, CSWE Board chair.

The proposed changes in membership structure and clearer articulation of the relationship between CSWE and its accrediting function will be brought to the membership for a ballot vote from May 2 until May 31, 2022. To participate in the vote, you must have been a full member as of April 15, 2022. At 10:00 AM (EDT) on June 2 the votes will be tallied during a special meeting of the CSWE Board of Directors at CSWE’s office at 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314. Full members are authorized to vote in one of three ways: 

  1. Fill out an online ballot between May 2 and May 31 that directs Dr. Starks to serve as proxy for you on June 2
  2. Attend the meeting and cast your vote in-person on June 2
  3. Have a designee or proxy (other than Dr. Starks) cast your vote in-person on June 2

“We know that social work programs include more than CSWE’s individual and member contacts and we want to change the very definition of who is a member in order to better represent and serve faculty, administrators, students, and staff,” said CSWE President and CEO Darla Coffey, PhD, MSW.

If you have any questions about the proposed bylaws changes or voting process, please contact [email protected].  

Summary of Proposed Changes

The following is a summary of the proposed changes. A red-lined version of the bylaws and a clean copy with changes incorporated can be found on our Membership page. An affirmative vote by two-thirds of the weighted votes cast by full members is required to amend or repeal these bylaws.

All faculty, staff, and students of accredited and candidacy social work programs will be full members of CSWE. (Article II, Sections 1, 2, & 4)

  • This change will encourage a greater diversity of participation in CSWE by all social work education stakeholders.
  • As full members, all faculty, staff, and students at member programs will have access to membership benefits, including the online Journal of Social Work EducationCSWE Compass (e-newsletter), discounted conference rates, educator resources, and other items only available to members. 
  • Programs will appoint two delegates to represent the program in CSWE voting for elected positions and bylaws changes.
  • Votes by full members will be weighted equally.
  • If this measure is approved, the changes would go into effect July 1, 2022.
    • Individuals who paid dues for the fiscal 2023 membership cycle between the vote opening and June 30, 2022, will be reimbursed.

Further clarifies the relationship between CSWE and the Commission on Accreditation (Article III, Section 5)

  • This change will strengthen the independence required by the Council for Higher Education between CSWE and its accrediting function with respect to all accreditation activities, reviews, actions, and decisions. 

Adds student representatives to the CSWE Board of Directors (Article III, Section 1B)

  • One student will be added per program level accredited by CSWE.
  • This change will add to the diversity of stakeholder voices on the CSWE Board of Directors.

Updates the language to reflect the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Statement issued in September 2021 (Article III, Section 1B)

  • This change updates the bylaws language to reflect the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy that was passed by the Board of Directors in fall 2021.

Proposed Bylaw Changes