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IASSIST Constitution

Endorsed by the Administrative Committee September 20, 2011.
Approved by the Membership December 19, 2011

Effective following the annual Business Meeting June 6, 2012, Washington, DC.

  1. Name
  2. Headquarters
  3. Objectives
  4. Activities
  5. Membership
  6. Finances
  7. Governance
  8. Meetings
  9. Elections
  10. Amendments
  11. Termination
  12. By-Laws

Article i
Name

The name of this organization shall be the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology / Association Internationale pour les Services et Techniques d'Information en Sciences Sociales, hereafter referred to as "IASSIST".

Article ii
Headquarters

The official headquarters of IASSIST will be located with the Treasurer.

Article iii
Objectives

The activities of IASSIST will be based upon the following objectives:

3.1 to encourage and support the establishment of local and national centers for social science digital data.

3.2 to foster international exchange and dissemination of information regarding substantive and technical developments related to social science digital data.

3.3 to coordinate international programs, projects, and general efforts that provide a forum for discussion of issues relating to social science digital data.

3.4 to promote the development of standards for social science digital data.

3.5 to encourage educational experiences for personnel engaged in work related to these objectives.

Article iv
Activities

To accomplish the objectives of IASSIST, the following activities may be conducted with the approval of the Administrative Committee on a national or regional basis, and with the submission of an appropriate report:

4.1 Committees and Groups

Committees may be established and groups of members organized to undertake specific tasks, to find solutions to specific problems, to develop and compile relevant material for specific projects, and to disseminate information on specific subjects.

4.2 Conferences, Workshops, Seminars, Training Sessions

Members may convene organized efforts on any subject consistent with IASSIST objectives.

4.3 Publications

Publications that support the objectives of the Association will be made available on a regular basis.

4.4 Cooperation with Other Organizations

Efforts will be made to cooperate with other organizations in joint projects and activities consistent with IASSIST objectives.

4.5 Other activities that advance the objectives of IASSIST may be undertaken from time to time.

Article v
Membership

5.1 The membership shall consist of regular and student members, and shall be open to such persons as are interested in supporting the objectives of IASSIST.

5.2 Membership in IASSIST shall include, but will not be limited to, access to communications through email lists, online discussions, or other media, which may be developed. Other benefits, in addition to participation in the IASSIST community, may be available to members, such as reduced conference rates.

5.3 Resignation of members should be sent in writing to the Treasurer, and will take immediate effect. Resignation shall entail forfeiture of any annual membership fees paid to IASSIST.

Article vi
Finances

6.1 The fiscal year of IASSIST shall begin January 1 and end on December 31.

6.2 Membership fees for regular and student members shall be paid annually to the Treasurer and may be paid in advance.

6.3 The rate of membership fees may be changed by two-thirds of those members voting. Membership fee changes, if approved, will go into effect after the Business Meeting of the General Assembly following the vote.

6.4 IASSIST may extend awards that include membership fees.

Article vii
Governance

7.1 General Assembly

IASSIST members shall make up a General Assembly composed of all regular and student members. The General Assembly will be organized by geographic regions. The establishment of a region must be approved by the Administrative Committee, which also has the authority to declare a region inactive.

7.2 Functions of the General Assembly

The General Assembly will establish general policies for IASSIST and elect the Members at Large of the Administrative Committee, as well as the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Association. Each region will, in addition, elect its own Regional Secretary.

7.3 Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee will be the executive body of IASSIST.

The Administrative Committee will be comprised of the following voting members: the Regional Secretaries; the immediate past-President; the President and Vice-President; the Treasurer and the Secretary; and at least 10 elected Members at Large who reflect the geographic distribution of the membership, based on the number of members in each geographic region.

The Administrative Committee will also be comprised of the following non-voting appointed officials: the IASSIST Quarterly Editor; the Web Editor; the Archivist; and the Chair of each Standing Committee as named in the by-laws of this constitution if they are not already members of the Administrative Committee. All voting and non-voting members of the Administrative Committee will be listed on the IASSIST website.

Members of the Administrative Committee are expected to contribute to the executive business of the Association. Removal of inactive officials, elected or appointed, may be made by majority vote of the Administrative Committee. Resignation of members should be sent in writing to the President, and will take immediate effect. If a vacancy occurs due to removal or resignation, and the position will be vacant for less than one year, that position shall remain vacant until the next election cycle. If the position will be vacant for more than one year, the Executive Committee shall appoint a member who meets criteria of the vacant post to complete the term. That appointment will be subject to approval of the Administrative Committee.

7.4 Functions of the Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee will implement policies, develop future directions, and coordinate activities for IASSIST. The Administrative Committee will organize the General Assembly into geographic regions, determine the number of Administrative Committee members from each geographic region, and call meetings of the General Assembly at least once every year. The Administrative Committee will also establish Committees and Groups as required.

7.5 Officers of the Association: President and Vice-President

The officers of the Association will be the President and Vice-President, elected by the General Assembly.

7.6 Role of the Officers

The Officers will be responsible for the conduct of business of IASSIST between virtual and in-person meetings of the Administrative Committee.

7.7 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the immediate Past President, plus other members of the Administrative Committee as required and designated by the Officers. Membership of the Executive Committee will be reported on the IASSIST website.

7.8 Role of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will facilitate the work of the Administrative Committee between the annual Business Meeting and the virtual and in-person Administrative Committee meetings as required. The Executive Committee will monitor the fulfillment of duties and reporting by officers, committees, and groups.

Article viii
Meetings

8.1 The annual Business Meeting of the General Assembly shall be held at a time and place chosen by the Administrative Committee and in conjunction with the annual conference of the Association.

8.2 Special meetings of the General Assembly may be called by the Administrative Committee.

8.3 Notice shall be given as to the time and place of the annual Business Meeting or special meetings of the General Assembly called by the Administrative Committee no less than three months prior to the scheduled meeting.

8.4 A quorum shall consist of 40 members. At the beginning of the annual Business Meeting, a quorum shall be established by the raising of hands at the request of the Secretary, or his or her designee.

8.5 All facts and minutes, including a record of votes and decisions, of the annual and special meetings of the General Assembly will be made available on the IASSIST website.

Article ix
Elections

9.1 An Elections Committee will be appointed by the Administrative Committee; members of the committee will be announced on the IASSIST website in advance of any call for nominations. The Chair of the Elections Committee shall be the immediate Past President, or his or her designee.

9.2 The Elections Committee shall conduct an election in each active geographic region for the President and Vice-President, the Members at Large of the Administrative Committee, the Secretary and Treasurer, and the Regional Secretaries. Only members within each designated geographic region shall be entitled to nominate and vote for the Regional Secretary in their home region. However, all members will be entitled to nominate and vote for the President and Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Members at Large of the Administrative Committee.

Article x
Amendments

The Constitution of IASSIST may be amended by two-thirds of the members voting, the results of such voting to go into effect immediately after the next Business Meeting of the General Assembly, provided that:

10.1 notice of the proposed amendments shall have been given in writing to the Standing Committee on Constitutional Review with the written support of the Administrative Committee or at least five (5) paid up members of the Association; and

10.2 two months' notice of the proposed amendments is given in writing to all members of the Association prior to the conduct of the electronic ballot or during the Business Meeting of the General Assembly.

Article xi
Termination

IASSIST may be dissolved by two thirds of the members voting, a quorum being present, via in-person or electronic ballot. All property and funds of IASSIST will be transferred to a branch of UNESCO to be determined by the Administrative Committee.

Article xii
By-laws

These by-laws may be amended by two-thirds of the members voting, a quorum being present, in-person at the annual Business Meeting of the General Assembly. Notice of amendment may be given orally at the annual Business Meeting so that the amendments may be immediately acted upon. Once having been adopted, an amendment goes into immediate effect unless the motion to adopt specifies a time for its going into effect, or the assembly has previously adopted a motion to that effect.

Alternatively, the by-laws may be amended by electronic ballot following notice of amendment sent via the IASSIST member listserv. Once having been adopted, an amendment will go into immediate effect upon confirmation of the vote by a member of the Executive Committee, unless the motion to adopt specifies a time for its going into effect, or the assembly has previously adopted a motion to that effect.

12.1 Elected Officials

12.1.1 Duties of the President (elected for a 2 year period)

The President shall:

(i) be the principal officer of IASSIST;

(ii) provide leadership and guidance in the realization of IASSIST'S objectives;

(iii) give notice to the membership of and preside at all meetings, in-person or virtual, of the General Assembly and of the Administrative Committee.

(iv) participate as a voting member of the Administrative Committee;

(v) represent IASSIST in its dealings with external bodies and agencies, particularly those at the international level; and

(vi) report on the state of IASSIST at each annual Business Meeting of the General Assembly.

12.1.2 Duties of the Vice-President (elected for a 2 year period)

The Vice-President shall:

(i) perform duties and exercise the powers of the President in the absence or disability of the latter;

(ii) assist the President in recommending measures to further the objectives of IASSIST when requested;

(iii) participate as a voting member of the Administrative Committee;

(iv) participate at the annual Business Meeting, all meetings of the Administrative Committee, and in any other business carried out via the Administrative Committee's email and/or online conferencing throughout the year; and

(v) in the event of the resignation, death, or incapacity of the President, succeed as Acting President for the duration of the President's term.

12.1.3 Duties of the Regional Secretaries (elected for a 2 year period)

The Regional Secretaries shall:

(i) be the primary officers of IASSIST in their respective regions, working closely with the President and Executive Committee of IASSIST;

(ii) provide engagement, leadership and guidance in the realization of IASSIST's objectives in their respective regions;

(iii) represent IASSIST in its dealings with external bodies and agencies, particularly those at the national level;

(iv) represent the professional interests of IASSIST members in their respective regions and advocate those interests to members of the Administrative Committee and submit an annual report to the General Assembly;

(v) serve as members of the Standing Committee on Membership;

(vi) participate as a voting member of the Administrative Committee;

(vii) participate at the annual Business Meeting, all meetings of the Administrative Committee, and in any other business carried out via the Administrative Committee's email and/or online conferencing throughout the year; and

(viii) work closely with the chairs of the program committee and/or local arrangements committee when the annual conference is to be held in their region.

12.1.4 Duties of Members at Large (elected for a 4 year period)

Members at Large shall:

(i) participate in the Business Meeting of the General Assembly and as a voting member of the Administrative Committee, and in any other business carried out via the Administrative Committee's email and/or online conferencing throughout the year;

(ii) provide input and support to IASSIST by providing ideas, feedback and interests from the point of view of their region;

(iii) participate in ad hoc working groups to address tasks delegated by the Administrative Committee or the Executive Committee;

(iv) work with the Regional Secretary in promoting IASSIST and its objectives;

(v) provide input into the annual regional report; and

(vi) support the work of the annual conference local arrangements committees and/or program planning committees to support the conference as feasible.

12.1.5 Duties of the Secretary (elected for a 4 year period)

The Secretary shall:

(i) attend as a voting member both in-person and virtual meetings of the Administrative Committee and meetings of the General Assembly; and

(ii) record all facts and minutes of all proceedings, including a record of votes and decisions carried out in-person or by email.

12.1.6 Duties of the Treasurer (elected for a 4 year period)

The Treasurer shall:

(i) attend as a voting member both in-person and virtual meetings of the Administrative Committee and meetings of the General Assembly;

(ii) have the custody of the funds and securities of IASSIST and shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to IASSIST and shall deposit all monies and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of IASSIST and in such depositories as may be designated by the Administrative Committee;

(iii) disburse the funds of IASSIST as may be ordered by the Administrative Committee;

(iv) render to the Administrative Committee at its various meetings, or whenever the members of the Administrative Committee may require it, an account of all his/her transactions as Treasurer and of the financial position of IASSIST;

(v) prepare a written report for submission to the General Assembly at its annual meeting;

(vi) provide the Standing Committee on Membership and the Elections Committee with an up-to-date report identifying members who have paid membership fees for the current year in each of the geographic regions; and

(vii) file all appropriate state and federal documents annually; and

(viii) perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by the Administrative Committee.

12.2 Appointed Officials

12.2.1 The Regional Treasurers shall:

(i) be appointed by the President with the approval of the Administrative Committee for a four year term which may be renewed;

(ii) assist the Treasurer in maintaining an up-to-date membership database for their region; and

(iii) perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by the Treasurer.

12.2.2 The Editor of the IASSIST Quarterly shall:

(i) be appointed by the President of IASSIST, on the advice of the Standing Committee on Communications and with the consent of the Administrative Committee, for a term of four years which may be renewed;

(ii) attend as a non-voting member both in-person and virtual meetings of the Administrative Committee;

(iii) serve on the Standing Committee on Communications; and

(iv) be responsible for the regular preparation, publication, and distribution of the IASSIST Quarterly.

12.2.3 The Web Editor shall:

(i) be appointed by the President, on the advice of the Standing Committee on Communications and with the consent of the Administrative Committee, for a term of four years which may be renewed;

(ii) attend as a non-voting member both in-person and virtual meetings of the Administrative Committee;

(iii) serve on the Standing Committee on Communications; and

(iv) be responsible for developing, maintaining, and providing access to the IASSIST website, web applications, and web based communications and publications.

12.2.4 The Chair of the Program Committee for the Annual Conference shall:

(i) be appointed by the President of IASSIST with the consent of the Administrative Committee;

(ii) set up a committee to organize the program for the designated annual conference in coordination with the Local Arrangements Committee;

(iii) be responsible for keeping the Administrative Committee regularly informed of all preparations; and

(iv) work closely with the Regional Secretary in the region in which the annual conference is to be held.

12.2.5 The Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Annual Conference shall:

(i) be appointed by the President of IASSIST with the consent of the Administrative Committee;

(ii) set up a committee to organize the local arrangements for the designated annual conference in coordination with the Chair of the Program Committee;

(iii) be responsible for keeping the Administrative Committee regularly informed of all preparations; and

(iv) work closely with the Regional Secretary in the region in which the annual meeting is to be held.

12.2.6 The Archivist shall:

(i) be appointed by the President with the approval of the Administrative Committee for a four year period which may be renewed;

(ii) attend as a non-voting member both in-person and virtual meetings of the Administrative Committee;

(iii) solicit and obtain records and other documentary materials from former and current officers and from the general membership in order to document the policies, procedures, and transactions of IASSIST;

(iv) maintain these materials in an archive or arrange for their orderly transfer to another archive designated by the Administrative Committee; and

(v) take action to promote the use of these materials.

12.3 Standing Committees

12.3.1 The Administrative Committee shall appoint and/or confirm Standing Committees and shall appoint and/or confirm Chairs and members of the said Standing Committees for a two-year term which may be renewed. Said Chairs shall serve as non-voting members of the Administrative Committee if they are not already members.

12.3.2 Standing Committees shall advise the Administrative Committee on matters of policy within their particular sphere. Descriptions of the scope and activities of each Standing Committee will be posted on the IASSIST Website.

12.3.3 The Standing Committees of IASSIST are the following:

(i) Constitutional Review Committee

(ii) Professional Development Committee

(iii) IASSIST Fellows

(iv) Membership Committee

(v) Elections Committee

(vi) Communications Committee

12.4 Action Groups

12.4.1 The Administrative Committee may appoint Action Groups and for every Action Group a Coordinator shall be appointed for a minimum of one year which may be renewed. If the establishment of an Action Group is made during the course of the fiscal year, the Administrative Committee shall determine the duration of the term at the time of establishment.

12.4.2 A minimum of three (3) members of IASSIST may make application to the Administrative Committee for the establishment of an Action Group.

12.4.3 Action Groups shall be expected to undertake specific tasks, to find solutions to specific problems, or to develop and compile relevant materials for specific projects. The mandate or terms of reference of Action Groups shall be clearly defined, including the resources and time required and the specific nature of the output or product.

12.4.4 Action Groups shall submit a written report to the Administrative Committee which will be made available to the membership and to the public as appropriate, at least once a year at the time of the annual Business Meeting, or as requested, on matters relating to their particular sphere.

12.5 Interest Groups

12.5.1 The Administrative Committee may appoint Interest Groups and for every Interest Group a Coordinator shall be appointed for a minimum of one year which may be renewed. If the establishment of an Interest Group is made during the course of the fiscal year, the Administrative Committee shall determine the duration of the term at the time of establishment.

12.5.2 A minimum of five (5) members of IASSIST may make application to the Administrative Committee for the establishment of an Interest Group.

12.5.3 Interest Groups shall be expected to disseminate information on specific subjects and to serve as a forum of discussion between as well as during annual meetings.

12.5.4 Interest groups shall submit a written report to the Administrative Committee which will be made available to the membership and to the public as appropriate, at least once a year at the time of the annual Business Meeting, or as requested, on matters relating to their particular sphere.

12.6 Nominations and Elections Procedures

12.6.1 Nominations

(i) The President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Regional Secretaries, and one-half of the Members at Large of the Administrative Committee shall be elected from a slate of candidates nominated by the membership and put forward by the Elections Committee. Every two years the Elections Committee will be responsible for managing the nomination, election, and voting processes. The Treasurer shall confirm membership status and supply email addresses for the election process. If a region has no members at the time nominations are requested, the Administrative Committee will declare that region inactive.

(ii) A public call for nominations will be sent out by the Elections Committee. Any member who has paid membership fees for the year of the election by the time nominations are requested, may submit to the Elections Committee the names of as many as seven (7) persons for the slate of candidates, excluding the position of Regional Secretary, regardless of the geographic region in which the nominees reside. Any member in a particular geographic region who has paid membership fees for the year of the election by the time nominations are requested may submit to the Elections Committee, the name of a person for a Regional Secretary who must reside in the same geographic region as the nomination.

(iii) The Elections Committee will compile a list of nominees which shall be reviewed by the Administrative Committee.

(iv) A nomination must be accompanied by a written statement from the nominee declaring his/her willingness to stand for election and an outline of the qualifications of the nominee. Nominees must be members who have paid their membership fees for the year of the election by the time nominations are requested.

12.6.2 Voting and announcement of results

(i) The Elections committee will compile lists of nominees and present appropriate ballots to the membership of each geographic region.

(ii) All members who have paid their membership fees for the year of the election by the time the vote is held, regardless of the geographic region in which they reside, shall be eligible to vote. All members in each geographic region who have paid their membership fees for the year of the election, by the time the vote is held, shall be eligible to vote for the Regional Secretary for that particular geographic region.

(iii) Voting will take place over a period of not more than one month during any election year, with the election process completed at least two months prior to the annual Business Meeting. If a vote for office results in a tie, a second ballot with the names of the candidates who have tied will be sent to members for a second vote for that office.

(iv) The results of the election shall be announced to the membership via email and on the IASSIST web site in every election year at least two months prior to the Business Meeting. All winners, acclaimed or elected, will be listed, but the number of votes will not be published. If there is a nomination but no votes cast from an active region, the Administrative Committee will declare the region inactive.

(v) Newly elected members of the Administrative Committee and Officers shall take office immediately after the annual Business Meeting of the General Assembly following the elections.

 

Previous constitution

ยป as revised in 2005

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