Constitution & Bylaws
Constitution of the Western Social Science Association
The goal of the Western Social Science Association is to foster a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary environment that nurtures professional study, advances research and service, and promotes the teaching of the social sciences in our institutions of higher learning. The Western Social Science Association ("WSSA", also referred to as "the Association") shall be guided by this constitution.
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
- Any person sharing the interests of the Association may become a member upon payment of such annual fees as are prescribed by the Executive Board.
- Honorary memberships may be approved by the Executive Board.
- All members not delinquent in their annual fee shall be considered as being in good standing and therefore entitled to attend, participate, hold office and vote in the Annual Business Meeting of the Association, which is held as part of the Annual Conference.
- The Executive Board has the authority at the Fall meeting to review and set annual membership and conference registration fees. Changes in fees shall be effective no sooner than the next cycle of fee collection.
- All dues shall be effective for a period of one year. The timing of the dues notification and annual cycle shall be determined by the Executive Director with the advice and consent of the Executive Council.
- No special assessments, other than annual fees established by the Executive Board, shall be levied against the membership of the Association.
ARTICLE II. OFFICERS AND COUNCIL MEMBERS (Terms of office, succession, and elections). The term "Council" shall hereinafter refer to the entire governing body listed in IIA; the term "Executive Board" shall refer to all of the voting members of the body (IIA1-5), and "Board" to the nine elected non-officer members (IIA5). “Ex Officio” members are non-voting members of the Council. Where the term "advice and consent of the Executive Council" is used, it is intended to mean the advice of the Council and the consent of the Executive Board.
- The Executive Council of the Association shall consist of:
- President-Elect/Program Coordinator
- Immediate Past President
- Board of nine members
- Executive Director (Ex Officio)
- Editor of the Social Science Journal (Ex Officio)
- Book review editor (Ex Officio)
- Communications Director (Ex Officio) (This position includes the positions of Conference Manager, Newsletter Editor, Web Manager, and Assistant to the Executive Director. The position may split off any or all of its subsidiary components, by decision of the Executive Director, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board)
- Student Grant & Award Coordinator (Ex Officio or Board Member)
- Terms of office
- President - One year
- President-Elect/Program Coordinator - One year
- Vice-President/Secretary - One year
- Immediate Past-President - One year
- Board Members - three years with one third of the nine members' terms expiring every year.
- Executive Director - at the pleasure of the Executive Board.
- Journal Editor(s) - Three years with possible one-time renewal of three years based on review and approval of Executive Council.
- Book Review Editor - Three years with possible one-time renewal of three years based on review and approval of Executive Council.
- Communications Director - Appointed by the Executive Director, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council.
- Student Grant & Award Coordinator – At the pleasure of the Executive Board.
- In accordance with our corporate charter and Internal Revenue Service rules for non-profits, no one person may hold more than one voting position on the Executive Council at the same time.
- All members of the Executive Council must be members in good standing at the time of the nomination and must maintain that membership throughout their term of office. The Executive Board may, however, exempt certain of the Council's members from paying dues based on actual duties or tasks performed for the Association.
- The Officers of the Association include the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President and Vice-President/Secretary.
- The President-Elect and Vice-President/Secretary shall be chosen by a majority of the members returning their ballots by the designated deadline.
- The President-Elect shall succeed automatically to the office of President upon completion of the retiring President's term.
- The Board shall consist of nine members elected at large from a list of nominees and/or write-in candidates.
- The terms of officers shall extend from the conclusion of one Annual Conference to the conclusion of the next. No incumbent officer shall be eligible for immediate re-election to the same office.
- The term of the Board members shall extend for three (3) years. One-third of the Board's membership shall expire each year.
- New WSSA Officers and Board members will assume their duties at the conclusion of the Annual Conference, during the Presidents' Reception or other appropriate venue.
- Terms for those leaving the Council end at the conclusion of the Annual Conference, during the Presidents' Reception or other appropriate venue.
- New Board members and officers will be invited to the concluding meeting of the Executive Council during the Annual Conference but will not vote.
- Nomination Process
At the annual Conference of the Association, the President, before leaving office, shall appoint a five-member Nomination Committee and present the names of the committee to the Executive Board at the concluding meeting.
- Members of the Association may offer additional nominations, for Officers and Board Members, by petition signed by five (5) members sent to the Executive Director, prior to the Fall meeting, postmarked no later than August 1. The Executive Director shall forward the list of additional nominees to the Chair of the Nomination Committee for consideration within one week.
- Consideration should be given to demographic, disciplinary and geographic representation in the construction of the committee.
- This Committee shall not include current members of the Executive Council.
- At the Fall meeting of the Executive Council, the Committee shall submit one or more nominees for each office to be filled.
- The Executive Board reviews the recommendation of the nominating committee and approves an election ballot at its Fall meeting.
- Upon ratification by majority vote of the Executive Board, the Executive Director shall send the approved ballot to the membership for voting. The Executive Director shall report the election results to the Council and to the membership, and they shall be posted in the WSSA News.
- All nominees for these positions must be members in good standing at the time of the nomination and must maintain that membership throughout their term of office.
- All ballots must be received by the date indicated on the ballot.
- In case of a vacancy in the office of President, the immediate Past- President shall be President for the remainder of the term. A vacancy in any other elective office or on the Executive Council may be filled by the Executive Board for the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE III. GOVERNING STRUCTURE and DUTIES
- The President of the Association shall be the Chairperson of the Council. In case of the President's absence, the Immediate Past- President shall act as Chairperson. In case of the absence of both, the Executive Board may elect a temporary Chairperson.
- It shall be the responsibility of the President, in consultation with the Executive Director and with input from the Executive Council, to prepare an agenda for each meeting of the Council.
- It shall be the responsibility of the President to call all meetings of the Executive Council to order.
- It shall be the responsibility of the President to review the Strategic Plan at both the Fall and Spring meetings of the Council.
- The President shall have other responsibilities described in the Operations Manual.
- The President-Elect shall be responsible for organizing the program portion of the Annual Conference. The President-Elect shall:
- Identify Section Coordinators.
- The President-Elect may proceed with the appointment of Section Coordinators for the Annual Conference with the advice and consent of the Executive Council and make other preparations as required by the Strategic Plan and/or as approved by the Council.
- In the event that a Section Coordinator should become unable to act as defined in the Section Coordinators' handbook, the President-Elect may appoint an interim section coordinator, with notification to the Executive Council.
- Organize and prepare the Program Book for publication, or delegate portions of that task to a designated Program Editor.
- During the year before succeeding to the Presidency, work with the Executive Director to plan, develop, and take other action necessary to prepare for the annual conference program of his/her year in office.
- Carry out other responsibilities as described in the Operations Manual.
- The Vice-President/Secretary shall:
- Serve as the recorder of the deliberations and actions of the Executive Council.
- Carry out other duties as described in the Operations Manual.
- The Immediate Past-President shall:
- Provide the incoming President with materials and mentorship to ensure continuity and a smooth transition of leadership
- Chair the Nominating Committee for the next year’s officers and Council members.
- Chair the Committee to select the winner of the annual WSSA Distinguished Book Award.
- Carry out other responsibilities as described in the Operations Manual.
- Job Description for Journal Editor
- The Journal Editor is selected by the Western Social Science Association, who will notify the Publisher of changes in editorship. The Editor is responsible for the overall editorial management and development of the Journal including coordination of refereeing and submissions. The Editor will work with the Journal to ensure timely review of articles, as well as timely publication of articles receiving final approval of the Editor and the Editorial Board.
- The editor, on an annual basis at the Fall Meeting of WSSA, will provide the WSSA Council with recommendations for a healthy rotation of members on the Editorial Board. Final approval of the Editorial Board rests on the authority of WSSA Executive Board.
- The members of the Editorial Board for the Journal will be selected on the basis of expertise and standing within the scientific discipline, knowledge of the subject matter, and reflection of the actual or anticipated geographic scope of the scientific discipline of the Journal.
- The Editor shall select an assistant of his/her choice at their institution to assist with the administrative duties associated with the Editorship of the Journal. WSSA will compensate such assistants for their time.
- Job Description for Book Review Editor
- The role of the Book Review Editor is to identify book reviewers and distribute books for review to qualified reviewers.
- Additionally, the Book Review Editor ensures timely review of books submitted for review by the Journal.
- The Book Review Editor will work with publishers including their third party representatives on a book display for the conference.
- The Executive Council has authority to make decisions on all matters of association business not specifically here reserved for the membership.
- The Board Members and ex-officio members shall be assigned duties relative to the Strategic Planning and Domain of Responsibilities document.
- Seven Executive Board Members shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those attending shall be required for all Council actions.
- The Council shall regularly meet in the Fall, usually in September, and in the Spring of each year. The Spring meeting of the Executive Council shall coincide with the Association's Annual Conference. Additional meetings may be called by:
- The President, or the Immediate Past-President, acting for the President: or,
- Written request to the President of five members of the Council.
- The personal liability of each member of the Executive Council and each uncompensated officer of the Western Social Science Association, for monetary or other damages, for conduct as a Council officer or member, shall be eliminated to the fullest extent permitted by law.
ARTICLE IV. WSSA FOUNDATION
- Composition of Board: The WSSA Foundation Board shall consist of the Executive Director and three members in good standing of the Association.
- Election to Foundation Board: The members of the Foundation Board shall be elected to the position by the Executive Council. Each member will serve a three-year term, one member being replaced each year on a rotating basis. The members of the Foundation Board may serve more than one consecutive three-year term.
- Duties of Foundation Board: The role of the Foundation Board is to ensure that the policies set forth by the Executive Council (See Appendix A), relative to the management of the Foundation investment portfolio, are carried out.
ARTICLE V. AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, STIPENDS AND GRANTS
- The Association, through the Executive Council, shall create such awards, scholarships, stipends and grants as it sees fit, to promote the Social Sciences. These benefits shall not need the approval of the membership; however, the membership can recommend both new awards and/or modification to existing awards. The current list of awards and their requirements, and the parties responsible for administering them, can be found in Appendix B.
ARTICLE VI. MANAGEMENT OF ACADEMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
- The membership has the highest authority for deciding the policies, and managing the affairs, of the Association. The membership is responsible for electing the officers and Board members of the Association, resolving policy questions presented to it, and confirming, revising, or repealing the actions of the Executive Council or of any officer of the Association.
- Attendance at the Annual Conference is not necessary for participation in the election of Officers and Board members.
- A simple majority of those members present and voting at the annual business meeting, or a majority of those returning votes or ballots distributed to the membership, shall be necessary for the decisions of the membership as described in this document.
- The Executive Council shall have charge of the general interests of the Association and shall possess the governing power to carry out the Constitution.
- The Annual Conference of the Association shall be held at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Director, in consultation with the Executive Council. The chief purpose of the Annual Conference is the exchange of information through the presentation of papers, posters, and discussions, but the Association shall also transact such other business as may be necessary.
- At the Fall and Spring meetings of each year the Executive Council shall:
- Receive reports from all officers and committees
- Conduct the business of the Association
- Address financial matters, and
- Make recommendations for issues (except the election of officers) to be presented to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
- The President, or in his/her absence, the Immediate Past-President, shall preside at the business meeting of the Association. Except as may be otherwise provided, the President shall appoint all committees of the Association and shall see that the business of the Association is faithfully transacted.
- The Vice-President/Secretary of the Council, or other appointed person, shall take the minutes of the Annual Business Meeting.
- The Executive Director shall:
- Be responsible for establishing and following a set of business practices that are in accord with federal, state and local law. These practices will be outlined in an Operations Manual.
- Carry out the directives of the Executive Council concerning the business operations of the Association.
- Make recommendations to the Executive Council concerning the business operations of the Association.
- Establish a record of the business transactions of the Association.
- Regularly review and approve the processes for the receiving, maintaining custody of, and disbursement of Association funds, and management of the Association's finances.
- Be responsible for reporting all financial records to the Executive Council at each meeting of the Council and on a quarterly basis to the Finance Committee, and at the Annual Business Meeting.
- Be the representative of the Council as the signatory on all contracts, and may be empowered by the Council to negotiate contracts on its behalf.
- Have the authority to hire staff, upon annual review and approval of the Executive Council.
- Contract with an insurance broker to purchase both liability and Directors/Officers insurance.
- In concert with the Communications Director, act as institutional memory for the Association.
- The Communications Director shall be:
- Responsible for conference duties not assigned to the Executive Director, President or President-Elect, including but not limited to maintaining the membership and conference attendee lists, hiring temporary conference staff, and acting as on-site conference manager.
- Responsible for all matters relating to conference registration, within WSSA policy
- Responsible for all matters concerning the WSSA News, within WSSA policy.
- Responsible for maintenance and oversight of the WSSA Website, and other WSSA electronic presences.
- Assistant to the Executive Director, in mutually agreed matters.
- Responsible for other duties as outlined in the Operations Manual.
- In concert with the Executive Director, the institutional memory for the Association.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
- Standing committees of the Association shall be established by the Executive Council in accordance with the Strategic Plan and/or to meet the long-term goals of the Association. Standing committees are required to report at each meeting of the Executive Council and the Annual Business Meeting. Such reports shall be memorialized as specified in the Operations Manual.
- Ad hoc committees may be established by the President, in consultation with the Executive Council, to meet the short-term goals of the Association. All ad hoc committees shall have a specific end date, at which time a final report will be due to the Executive Council. Ad hoc committees are required to report at each meeting of the Executive Council and the Annual Business Meeting. Such reports shall be memorialized as specified in the Operations Manual.
- Chairpersons of standing and ad hoc committees may be ex-officio members of the Council.
ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATES, ASSOCIATES AND SECTIONS
- The Association will strive to support other professional organizations of a similar disciplinary or interdisciplinary nature.
- The Section Coordinators Committee and the President-Elect shall have the responsibility of reviewing:
- The relationship of the Association to its Affiliates and Associates, and;
- Each section, making recommendations to the Executive Council concerning viability, leadership, function, quality, and connectedness to the mission of the Association.
- An affiliate is defined as a disciplinary group, whose meeting coincides with that of WSSA, that has its own Journal, business operations, and organizational structure.
- An associate is defined as a disciplinary group whose meeting coincides with that of WSSA, and that has its own business operations, and organizational structure.
- Sections are composed of members with a common disciplinary or interdisciplinary interest(s) that are not otherwise defined above.
ARTICLE IX. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS
- Changes to the Constitution shall take effect on the affirmative vote of a simple majority of those members present and voting at the annual business meeting, or a majority of those returning votes on ballots distributed to the membership.
- Any member of the Association may propose amendments to the Constitution. Such proposed amendments shall be referred to the Executive Council for consideration. The Executive Council may take the recommendations to the membership of the Association for their action at the next Annual Business Meeting.
ARTICLE X. DISSOLUTION AND FUND DISTRIBUTION
In the event that the Western Social Science Association shall cease to function or be unable to continue to fulfill its constitutionally-stated educational and scientific functions, any funds remaining in the treasury following settlement of all debts and obligations shall be awarded to an institution or institutions of higher education to be determined as the last act of the Executive Council. That decision shall be implemented as the last act of the Executive Director. The institution(s) to which the award is made shall be the steward(s) of these funds in accordance with their foundation policies and procedures relative to endowed scholarships. The scholarship(s) shall support students majoring in Social Science disciplines as identified by the section structure of the Association.
Operations Manual (Bylaws) as of 09/04/2018