By-Laws & Constitution
American Society for Ethnohistory Constitution
Article I – Name
This organization shall be known as the American Society for Ethnohistory.
Article II – Purpose
The purposes of this organization shall be educational and scientific: to encourage the study of ethnohistory; to exchange and disseminate information in this field; to hold periodic conferences to discuss problems of mutual interest relating to the study of ethnohistory; and to obtain the cooperation of the concerned disciplines for projects of research.
Article III – Powers
The Society shall have the power to receive, administer, and disburse, dues and other grants to further its ends; to assign the collection of dues on its behalf to other co-operating organizations through mutual agreement; to acquire, hold absolutely or in trust for the purposes of the Society, and to convey property, real and personal; to publish reports, newsletters, bulletins, journals, and monographs; to affiliate with other organizations in the pursuit of common aims, and to appoint delegates or representatives to such organizations; and to engage in such other activities as are in keeping with the purpose of the Society.
Article IV – Membership
Section 1. Membership is open to all individuals concerned with ethnohistoric research on application and payment of dues.
Section 2. Membership in the Society shall consist of Active Members. The category of Active Members recognizes Joint Membership by spouses under conditions set forth in Section 3.
Section 3. Each member of the Society other than Joint Members shall receive all of the Society’s regular publications for the fiscal year covered by the member’s dues. Spouses holding Joint Membership shall receive one copy jointly of all regular publications for the fiscal year covered by their dues. Active Members, including each party to a joint Membership, shall have one vote in the transactions of the business of the Society. Only Active Members shall be eligible for any elective or appointive office in the Society.
Article V – Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Society shall consist of a President, President-elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, Editor-elect, and four Councilors.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Society.
Section 3. The President-elect shall be elected for a one-year term, at the conclusion of which the President-elect shall succeed to the Presidency to serve a one-year term. The Immediate Past-President shall serve for one year in that office. The Secretary, Treasurer and the four Councilors shall each be elected to serve a term of two years. The Editor-elect shall be elected for a term beginning at the Annual Meeting and running through the next June. The Editor-elect shall then succeed to the office of Editor to serve a five-year term. Other officers shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting at which each is declared elected.
Section 4. The Editor, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be eligible for re-election for indefinite numbers of terms of office. A Councilor shall not be eligible for re-election to that office for two years following expiration of the term of office. The President-elect shall not be eligible for re-election to that office for five years following expiration of the term of office.
Section 5. In the absence of the President, the President-elect shall perform the President’s duties.
Section 6. In the event of a vacancy, through absence, death, resignation, or incapacity, in any elective office, other than that of President, the Executive Committee shall have the power to make interim appointment to the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Article VI – Duties of Officers
Section 1. President. The President shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Committee. The President shall have the usual appointive powers and shall see that all undertakings authorized by the Executive Committee are properly carried out. Acting on advice and consent of the Executive Committee the President shall appoint all necessary committees and define their duties. The President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall sign all written contracts authorized by the Executive Committee, except that basic contracts for printing and other matters necessary to Society publications shall also be signed or reviewed by the Editor. The actions of the President in exercising the duties and responsibilities of the office shall be subject to review and approval of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Secretary. The Secretary shall have general charge of administrative matters under the direction of the President; shall act as Secretary of the Executive Committee; shall keep complete records including minutes of all the business meetings of the Society and meetings of the Executive Committee; shall maintain the Society web site; shall act as Society representative to other co-operating organizations in matters pertaining to responsibilities of this office and transmit communications, reports, and other matters as necessary from such organizations to the Executive Committee and Membership of the Society; shall send notices of meetings to all members; shall attend to the ordinary correspondence of the Society; shall transmit to the Editors all information or correspondence that should be considered by them; shall submit reports of agreements with other co-operating organizations at the Annual Meeting; shall work with the prize committees to advertise the competitions, ensure timely choice of winners, notify winners, and prepare prizes for winners; and shall work closely with the Treasurer to ensure smooth functioning of the Society.
Section 3. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall administer the finances of the Society subject to budgetary and other regulations, which at all times shall be open to inspection by the Executive Committee; shall obtain approval by a majority mail or email vote the Executive Committee for expenditures over $5,000.00 USD; shall keep account of membership dues, maintain the membership list, and provide the mailing list for publications of the Society; shall be responsible for submitting tax returns and paying taxes as required and maintaining the Society’s non-profit charitable status, currently designated as 501(c)(3) by the United States Internal Revenue Code; shall arrange for occasional audits of the Society’s finances; shall maintain Society bank accounts and online payment services; shall be responsible for the Society’s long-term financial planning; shall submit reports of the financial condition of the Society, which shall include a balance sheet, a profit and loss statement from the previous year, and a projected budget for the following year; shall report on agreements with other co-operating organizations at the Annual Meeting that affect the Society finances; and shall work closely with the Secretary to ensure smooth functioning of the Society.
Section 4. Editor. The Editor shall have full charge of all publications of the Society under the direction of the Executive Committee. All bills relating to editorial office obligations shall be certified to the Treasurer by the Editor. The Editor shall render an annual report to the Executive Committee, which upon approval shall be presented to the Society at its Annual Meeting. The Editor may, subject to review and approval of the Executive Committee, appoint a Book Review Editor, Associate and Assistant Editors, and a Board of Editors. The Book Review, Associate, and Assistant Editors shall serve concurrently with and under the direction of the Editor, to whom they shall be responsible. The Board of Editors, containing from six to twelve positions, will serve in staggered terms of three years. The Board will assist the Editor in the preparation of the Society’s journal under the Editor’s direction and guidance. The Editor, along with the Secretary and Treasurer, shall consult and interact with co-operating organizations as directed by the Executive Committee in order to fulfill the publication responsibilities of the Society.
Section 5 . Editor-elect. The Editor-elect shall consult and interact with the Editor and Executive Committee in order to facilitate and to assure continuity during the transition of the Society’s editorial and publication responsibilities. The Editor-elect shall work closely with the Editor during the transition period, and shall assume full responsibilities as Editor beginning in July after the Annual Meeting when elected.
Section 6. Councilors. Councilors shall attend the meetings and participate in the business of the Executive Committee, serve on such sub-committees as may be established, and take on special assignments for the Executive Committee.
Section 7. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be the administrative body of the Society. The Executive Committee shall arrange for all meetings, plan the undertakings of the Society, organize such branches as may seem wise, enter into agreements with other, co-operating organizations to conduct business on behalf of the Society, authorize all expenditures subject to limitations set forth in this Constitution and By-Laws, and through the President make an annual report to the Society at its Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee shall also authorize issuance of the Society’s publications.
Article VII – Meetings
Section 1. The Society shall hold an Annual Meeting under provisions as specified in Article II of the By-Laws at a time and a place to be designated by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Special Meetings of the Society may be called by the President at any time at the direction of the Executive Committee. Any matter of business may be decided at a Special Meeting provided notice of such business is specified in the call. Joint sessions with other professional organizations may also be called from time to time.
Section 3. An annual meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held before the Annual Meeting of the Society. Special meetings of the Executive Committee shall be called by the President at any time upon the written demand of at least three members thereof. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of a majority of its membership. Questions shall be decided by the Executive Committee by a majority of the votes cast. In case of a tie vote the decision of the President shall be final.
Section 4. The President alone may, or shall at the written request of any member of the Executive Committee, ask the Executive Committee to vote on specific questions by mail or electronic ballot. Ballots shall be sent by the Secretary who shall specify on the ballots the date on or before which they are to be placed in the mail or cast electronically for return to the Secretary. This date shall be not less than thirty days or more than sixty days from the date they were placed in the mail or sent or posted electronically by the Secretary.
Section 5. All matters of business of the Society may be decided by means of a referendum vote by mail or electronic ballot under conditions specified in Article IX.
Article VIII – Official Organ
Section 1. The official organ of the Society shall be known as Ethnohistory.
Section 2. Ethnohistory shall be the immediate responsibility of the Editor working under the supervision of the Executive Committee. It shall be issued to all members of the Society four times yearly, viz. in the winter, spring, summer, and fall, unless otherwise provided for by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. In the event that the Society should enter into agreements with other co-operating organizations for the publication and production of Ethnohistory, then the Editor and a representative of the production organization shall jointly make decisions, subject to review by both parties, about the production of Ethnohistory.
Article IX – Referendum
A referendum vote may be held by mail or electronic ballot at any time upon the initiation of the Executive Committee or a signed petition to the Executive Committee by any fifteen members, provided they are Active Members. Ballots shall be mailed to voting members or posted electronically by the Secretary. In order that they may be counted as votes ballots must be placed in the mail or submitted electronically by members and addressed to the Secretary not more than thirty days after the date when they were mailed to members or posted electronically by the Secretary. A majority of votes received during the thirty-day period shall constitute the deciding vote. The Secretary shall certify the vote to the Executive Committee.
Article X – Disbandment of the Society
If for any reason the Society should disband, whatever funds exist in the treasury or accounts held by other organizations on behalf of the Society, after any outstanding debts are paid, as well as any other capital assets of the Society, shall be transferred to a non-profit organization whose purposes are educational and scientific, as recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Such an organization shall be named and agreed upon by two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
Article XI – Amendments
Section 1. This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at an Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting. The Constitution and By-Laws may also be amended by mail or electronic ballot provided that a proposed amendment is approved by a majority of the votes cast.
Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by any ten members of the Society. The proposed amendments shall be mailed or posted electronically to the members of the Society by the Secretary at least thirty days before the Annual Meeting or Special Meeting. In case of a mail or electronic ballot upon an amendment, members shall send ballots to the Secretary and place them in the mail or post them electronically not more than thirty days from the date they were mailed or posted by the Secretary. An amendment shall go into effect immediately upon approval unless otherwise specifically provided.
Section 3. The amendment and provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws shall be effective immediately upon its adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous amendments and provisions not mentioned herein.
Article I – Membership
Section 1. Application for membership in the Society shall be submitted to the Treasurer or an organization so designated acting on behalf of the Society, and shall state the name and address of the applicant. All applications shall be approved upon payment of specified dues.
Section 2. A member may resign upon written notification to the Treasurer. Two or more members of the Society may object in writing to the Executive Committee about the membership of any individual in the Society, and the Executive Committee shall review the objections. The Executive Committee may, by three-quarters vote, remove from the membership rolls any member whose acts are contrary to the ideals, objectives, and accepted standards of the Society, or who makes improper use of membership in the Society. Such action of the Executive Committee may be overruled by the Society at its Annual Meeting.
Section 3. Annual dues shall be fixed by the Executive Committee in consultation with representatives of the publication organization and subject to the approval of a majority of members present at the annual business meeting.
Section 4. Any individual or organization may subscribe to the Society’s official organ without the privilege of membership at a subscription rate to be set by the Executive Committee. Likewise, anyone may buy any of the Society’s publications individually at a rate set by the Executive Committee.
Article II – Annual Meetings
Section 1. The Annual Meeting will be under the overall direction of one to two, or more, persons serving with the knowledge and approval of the Executive Committee to oversee the Program and Local Arrangements.
Section 2. The organizers are empowered to collect pre-registration and registration fees from participants at the annual meeting that are to be used to meet expenses in program preparation and securing a facility for the meeting.
Section 3. The organizers shall maintain close contact during the organization period with the President, Secretary, and Treasurer in order to insure timely communication with the Executive Committee and all Society members about deadlines, scheduled dates, Society business matters, and program contents.
Section 4. The Annual Business Meeting of the Society will take place at the Annual Meeting and no other concurrent sessions will be scheduled to conflict with it. In all matters of order and business not specified in this Constitution and By-Laws, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the means of resolving disagreements and conducting the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 5. Within sixty days of the close of the Annual Meeting, the organizers will provide a brief report about membership participation, expenses, and all monies collected along with copies of the final program to the Secretary and Treasurer for Society files. In accordance with Article IV, Section 3 of the By-Laws, any surplus funds collected under the Society’s name will also be turned over to the Treasurer at this time.
Article III – Elections
Section 1. The Immediate Past-President will be chairperson of the Nominating Committee. Two others members of the Nominations Committee will be elected by the membership of the Society.
Section 2. For the offices of President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Editor-elect, the Nominations Committee shall nominate at least one and not more than three member candidates, in the years in which their respective terms expire. For the Councilors and for the two elected members of the Nominations Committee, the Nominations Committee shall nominate at least two and not more than three member candidates. All prospective nominees must indicate in writing to the Nominations Committee their willingness to serve. The list of nominees shall be mailed to the individual members of the Society in accord with the provisions in Article III, Section 4 of the By-Laws.
Section 3. The Secretary shall appoint without review by the Executive Committee, and whenever necessary, two tellers who shall act with the Secretary as an Elections Committee. The Secretary shall be the Chairperson of the Committee. Elections shall be administered by this Committee.
Section 4. Each member shall be entitled to vote for one candidate for each office. Voting shall be by mail ballot. No identification of the voter shall appear on the ballot. Ballots shall be mailed to the members or posted electronically by the Secretary least sixty days before the Annual Meeting. To be counted as votes ballots must be in the hands of the Secretary on or before a date specified by the Secretary but not less than ten days before the Annual Meeting. The results of the elections shall be announced by the Elections Committee at the Annual Meeting. The candidate for an office who receives the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to that office. In the event of a tie vote, the Elections Committee shall hold a run-off election at the Annual Meeting.
Article IV – Finances
Section 1. The fiscal year of the Society shall be from 01 November to 31 October.
Section 2. Annual dues shall be payable not later than the mailing date of the first issue of the new year (usually about 15 February) if members are to continue to receive the Society’s publications or to vote. Anyone accepted for membership to the Society any time during the year shall be regarded as a member for that year and shall receive the Society’s publications for that year.
Section 3. Any funds remaining after all the expenses of the Annual Meeting have been met shall be turned over to the Treasurer to be placed in the Society’s accounts.
Section 4. The income from annual dues, annual meetings, subscriptions, sales of back issues, royalties, investments, and other sources shall be held in various Society accounts, or on behalf of the Society by co-operating organizations, and such funds will be used for operation, publication, and current expenses under the direction of the Executive Committee.
Section 5. No financial obligations in excess of funds available in the treasury shall be assumed by the Executive Committee or by any officer in behalf of the Society except when approved by a majority vote of the membership of the Society present at the Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting; provided that for this section, estimated receipts from annual dues and other accounts receivable for the current year may be considered as available funds.
Section 6. The annual tax return shall constitute the audit for the Society.
Section 7. No part of the earnings of the Society shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, officers, or other private persons, except that the Society shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II of the Constitution. No substantial part of the activities of the Society shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Society shall not participate in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for political office. The Society shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an association exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ASE Constitution and By-Laws (October 2011)