Bylaws of Bowie State University Board of Visitors


The Office of the Bowie State University Board of Visitors (hereinafter “Board of Visitors”) is to be located in Bowie, Prince George’s County, and State of Maryland.


Section 1. Mission: Invited by the President of Bowie State University, The BSU Board of Visitors (BOV) serves as an advisory group to the president and is committed to the advancement of the University’s Mission and Vision:

University Mission: Bowie State University, a regional comprehensive university of the University System of Maryland, embraces diversity, which includes its African American heritage, emphasizes its foundational heritage in teacher education , facilitates interdisciplinary learning, fosters research, and produces graduates who are technologically astute, think critically, and demonstrate proficiency in their chosen fields.

Vision: Bowie State University will be an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds who seek a high quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university will empower our students and improve our world through rising enrollments, improving graduation rates, and service to the community. We will do so while placing special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education.

Section 2. Purpose: The purpose of the Board of Visitors (BOV) is to partner with the President in leading BSU in the pursuit of its mission. Visitors learn about the university and provide feedback to the President on the university’s initiatives, strategic direction, and plans.

Section 3. Goal: The overall goal of the Board of Visitors is to facilitate, improve and increase the service, performance and perception of the University within the community.

Section 4. Structure: There shall be an executive committee of the BOV that shall consist of the elected Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the BOV. The BOV may also utilize committees to complete its work. Committees can be comprised of BOV members as well as members of the BSU Administration.

Section 5. Regular Meetings: The Board of Visitors will meet a minimum of two (2) times each calendar year, as appointments begin in the fall. It is expected that there will be a Spring Semester meeting and a Fall Semester meeting where the President will host the BOV. The agenda shall be set by the Chair in consultation with the President, but shall include but not be limited to an update on specific college or programs The BOV chairman (or designee) shall make an annual report to the Board of Visitors.

Section 6. Regular Meeting Notice: At least fifteen (15) days written notice shall be delivered to each Visitor or sent by mail, email, fax, conference call or any other means of communication to his/her home or business addresses.

Section 7. Special Meetings: The Chair may call a special meeting to conduct the business of the BOV, subject to the concurrence of at least two (2) other Visitors. Notice shall be delivered to each Visitor of the special meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

Section 8. Board of Visitors: Number, Quorum/Voting Term, Election/Appointments, Vacancies/Removal, Indemnification

(a) Membership of Board of Visitors: The BOV shall consist of not less than fifteen (15) and not more than twenty five (25) members.  Members shall reflect a wide spectrum of the BSU wider community to include::

a. Alumni

b. Friends

(b) Financial Commitment: Tangible support to the University as sustaining members of the 1865 Society may be in the form of an annual gift of  $2500 or a combination of a gift and/or in-kind contributions that would total $2500.  Contributions may include, but are not limited to, stocks, real estate, life insurance, equipment or professional services.  Visitors may seek and accept contributions totaling $2500 from alumni and others in their community in lieu of an annual personal contribution.

(c) Quorum and Voting: A quorum shall consist of the BOV members in attendance at a regular or special meeting.  If fewer than three (3) Visitors are present, those Visitors present may not take action on business items except to receive informational reports from the President and his/her designee.  An action taken by a majority of the Visitors present at a meeting at which the quorum is present, shall be the act of the Board of Visitors.

(d) Term of Visitors: A Visitor’s term shall be for three (3) years.  To insure stability two-thirds of the BOV will remain constant.  No Visitor shall serve more than nine (9) years consecutively.  A Visitor at the end of the three (3) consecutive terms may sit out for a year, and then be eligible for reappointment or re-election.  A term will expire on the annual date of June 30.

(e) Vacancies on the Board of Visitors:  Any BOV member may nominate an individual to fill a vacancy.  The nomination shall be directed to the Chair, and in consultation with the President, they shall evaluate and determine the suitability of the nominee to serve as a member of the BOV.  Once a determination has been made as to suitability, the nominee shall be referred to the Executive Committee which shall vote to determine whether to present the nominee for final consideration by the entire BOV membership.  New members shall be elected by a majority of BOV members.

(f) Removal: Any member of the BOV who misses two (2) consecutive meetings without prior notice to the Chair, or his/her designee, or who has not fulfilled their financial election contributions over two (2) years to the University may receive written notification of his or her removal from the Board of Visitors.

(g) Gifts and Donations: Any Visitor making gifts to the BSU Foundation may designate the purpose(s) for which the gift shall be applied and specify the terms and conditions for administration and distribution, which shall be known as a (restricted) gift; or any such person may make a gift to the Bowie State University Foundation without any such designation or limitation which shall be known as an (unrestricted) gift.

(h) Indemnification: The BOV shall indemnify its executive committee to the maximum extent required or permitted by Part 5 of Article 8 Chapter 55a of the General Statutes of Maryland as from time to time amended, and such officers and directors shall be deemed to have relied upon this part.

Section 9. Executive Committee/Other Committees:

(a) Executive Committee: It shall be comprised of the elected Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the BOV.  The Executive Committee shall serve as an advisory body to the Chair and shall act on all official matters (between BOV meetings as may be necessary).  It shall also meet to review and approve recommendations of nominations for new BOV members, as described in Section 8, subsection (e), and to discuss the recruitment of prospective members to join the BOV.

(b) Other committee(s) will be appointed as needed by the Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee and the President.

Section 10. Board of Visitors: Notwithstanding the provisions in Section 8, subsection (f), a BOV member may  be removed  for cause at any time by a two-third vote of the Board of Visitors.


Section 1. General: The officers of the BOV shall be elected by the majority of BOV members and shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, and a Secretary.

Section 2. Chair: The Chair shall exercise the usual functions of a presiding officer and shall have and perform other such duties of the office of Chair.

Section 3. Vice Chair: The Vice Chair shall in the absence or disability of exercise the powers and performs duties of the Office of the Chair, and shall complete the term of the Chair in the case of a vacancy.

Section 4. Secretary: The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceeding of the BOV, shall notify Visitors of meetings and perform all duties usually incident to that office.

Section 5. Term: The officers’ terms shall commence July 1 and shall be for two (2) years.

Section 6. Other Officers: Subject to a majority vote of the entire BOV and without the requirement for an amendment to these Bylaws, the Executive Committee may create additional officer positions to enable the BOV to carry out its mission. These officers shall be elected  in the same manner as the BOV officers, described in Section 1 of this Article.  Such terms shall commence immediately upon being elected and run through the remainder of the term of the existing officers.  


Section 1. Adopted, Amended, Repealed: The Bylaws may be adopted, amended, or repealed by a majority vote of the quorum after a proposed change has been offered in writing at a previous regular or special meeting, and notice thereof given in the call for the meeting at which the same may be adopted.


Effective Date:  6/20/2020