DEAI Advisory Board Charter

Photo Caption: List of MCN Member organizations, 10/1/1981
DEAI Advisory Board Charter

Updated December 2019

MCN (Museum Computer Network) hereby creates an advisory group called “DEAI Advisory Board” (the “Advisory Board”) designed to support and guide the work of the Board of Directors of MCN (the “MCN Board”) in matters related to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. This Charter describes its governing protocols, parliamentary functions, and responsibilities for administering this group of community advisors.

1- Advisory Board Mission

The mission of the Advisory Board is to represent and advocate for the interests of the MCN community on matters related to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion, and therefore advise, assist, support as well as make non-binding recommendations to the MCN Board in these matters. Members of the Advisory Board are volunteers who share expert knowledge in the area of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

2- Advisory Board Responsibilities

The Advisory Board shall have a range of responsibilities, among them, but is not be limited to:

  • Advise the MCN Board on DEAI best practices and policies in general and in the museum sector in particular;
  • Offer recommendations to improve DEAI programs and practices for the MCN community;
  • Facilitate conversations and communication between MCN’s various programs or initiatives and the community on matters of DEAI;
  • Assist the MCN Board in recommending DEAI related policies and practices, advise on the strategy and help set priorities.
  • And any other action aligned with the Advisory Board’s mission and its consultative and advisory role.
3- Advisory Board Consultative Role

Only the MCN Board may enact policies that affect the overall affairs of MCN in all areas congruent to its mission and founding documents. As such, the Advisory Board fulfills a consultative and advisory role and may only offer recommendations for program improvements and provide information relevant to policies and practices that impact DEAI for the MCN community and the musetech community at large. The MCN Board shall have no obligation to adopt, or otherwise be bound to act upon, any recommendation of the Advisory Board, but shall, in its sole and absolute discretion, have the ability to take the Advisory Board’s recommendations under advisement.

4- Advisory Board Composition

4.1- The Advisory Board shall be composed of at least twelve and no more than twenty members. Members shall be appointed by the MCN Board or a Committee thereof through an application process managed by the MCN Board.

4.2- Each November, the MCN Board shall appoint from among its Directors, an MCN Board Liaison who shall serve as Chair of the Advisory Board. Each year, on its first meeting, the Advisory Board shall elect from among its members someone who shall serve as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board. The Vice-President of the MCN Board is de facto co-Board Liaison.

4.3- The MCN Board shall seek Advisory Board candidates who represent wide-ranging dimensions of diversity, with a view towards giving voice to under-represented groups, such as, but not limited to, candidates from historically marginalized or excluded due to race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, and age, as well as members from a wide range of cultural institutions and professional roles, considering dimensions such as subject matter expertise, organization size, and stage in career.

5- Advisory Board Members Term of Office

Advisory Board members shall be appointed annually to serve a two-year term, such terms to be so staggered that approximately half of the positions (together with any vacancies) shall be filled each year, and until their respective successor is appointed and shall qualify and take office.

6- Advisory Board Members Dismissal and Resignation

6.1- Advisory Board members who are absent without reasonable cause from three successive meetings shall be deemed to have resigned from their seat. The Advisory Board Chair and Co-Chair shall move to fill the position by appointing someone of their choice as they see fit.

6.2- The MCN Board shall have the authority, in its sole and absolute discretion, to remove any member of the Advisory Board at any time for any reason with cause or without cause.

6.3- Advisory Board members may resign at any time. Any resignation shall be in writing and shall take effect at the time specified therein.

6.4- In the event that an Advisory Board member is appointed to serve on the MCN Board while serving their term on the Advisory Board, they will need to step down from their role on the Advisory Board before the start of their term on the MCN Board (typically in November).

7- Advisory Board Meetings and Proceedings

7.1- The Advisory Board shall meet up to four (4) times a year, including one (1) time during the MCN Annual Conference, the meeting calendar being set by the Advisory Board Chair and Co-Chair.

7.2- A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of appointed members.

7.3- While members are expected and encouraged to discuss the MCN program of services within the community, members shall not report opinions expressed in meetings, nor shall they report independently on matters discussed in meetings of the Advisory Board.

7.4- The Advisory Board shall be governed in its proceedings by the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Decisions shall commonly be made by consensus. A formal vote shall be taken when a decision is required and it is to be documented for future reference as policy or in response to an action item, or if the decision requires referral to a higher authority.

8- Advisory Board Charter Amendments

This Charter may be amended, or repealed, and a new charter may be adopted, by a vote the MCN Board in its sole and absolute discretion.

This Charter was drafted by Eric Longo, Executive Director, with the support of Desi Gonzalez, board member, and other board members. It was adopted by a vote of the Board of Directors of MCN on February 7, 2019 and went into effect immediately following that vote. An updated version was adopted by a vote of the Board of Directors of MCN on September 5, 2019, and amended on December 16, 2019.