Constitution and Bylaws
ASSOCIATION FOR SOCIAL ECONOMICS
Originally Adopted May 14, 1947; Last Revised: December 15, 2019
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Constitution

ARTICLE I : Aims and Objectives.

The aims and objectives of the Association for Social Economics shall be:

1.   To foster research and publication centered on the reciprocal relationship between economics and broader questions of human dignity, ethical values, and social philosophy. The Association strives to encourage the efforts of all scholars who are dedicated to exploring the ethical presuppositions and implications of economic analysis.

2.   To consider the personal and social dimensions of economic problems and to assist in formulating economic policies consistent with a concern for ethical values in a pluralistic community and the demands of personal dignity.

3.   To meet annually and regionally at such times as are appropriate, to discuss and publicize current socioeconomic issues and scholarly achievements having to do with the objectives of the Association.

4.   The Association for Social Economics is formed to engage in scholarly research and in the dissemination of this knowledge to all interested parties. The organization is a scientific and educational organization within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America.

ARTICLE II: Membership.

Anyone interested in the aims and objectives of the Association shall be eligible for membership. Membership confers (1) a vote in the annual election of the Executive Council, (2) the right to propose non-binding resolutions at the meetings of the Executive Council, and (3) a vote on any amendment to the Constitution and By-Laws or on any referendum.

ARTICLE III: Meetings.

It shall be the objective of the Association to hold meetings of the members at least once a year and to supplement these meetings with regional meetings. On principle, annual meetings usually should coincide as to time and place with those of the Allied Social Science Associations. The President and the Executive Council shall determine the arrangements for the meetings.

At the annual meeting of the Association, time shall be reserved for a business meeting of the members. At such a meeting, ideas for improving the Association may be discussed and recommendations given to the officers. A majority of those attending such a meeting shall have the power to initiate proposals for a change in the Constitution and By-Laws.

ARTICLE IV: Executive Council.

Executive direction of the Association shall be vested in the President. The President shall be assisted by an Executive Council which shall be the governing body of the Association. The Executive Council shall be composed of the President, the President-Elect, and the Vice-President, all of whom are elected as voting members for a one-year term. Also serving on the Council are Regional Directors who are elected as voting members for three-year terms and ten directors (referred to as Trustees) who are elected as voting members for five-year terms. The Executive Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Program Secretary, are appointed by the Council itself as voting members for three-year terms which may be renewed. Past-Presidents serve as ex-officio voting members of the Council for two years following the year of presidency. Editors of the Review of Social Economy and the Forum for Social Economics are appointed by the Council itself for three-year terms that may be renewed, but only one editor from each journal will be a voting member of the Council. Co-editors, if a journal has multiple editors, will choose their representative to the Council.

ARTICLE V: Elections.

The President shall submit to the members of the Association, through the Secretary, the names of candidates chosen by the Nominating Committee. This ballot shall contain:

The name of one candidate for President; one for President-Elect; one or two for Vice-President; and at least four for Trustees (two to be elected). The name of the President-Elect shall appear on the ballot as a sole candidate for President the following year. Should the President-Elect for any reason be unable or unwilling to be candidate for President, the Nominating Committee may designate a single candidate for President and submit that person’s name to the members. The Regional Directors are to run unopposed.

Where only one name appears on the ballot, space for a write-in vote shall be provided. In the case of a tie vote, a majority vote of the retiring Executive Council, in secret ballot, shall decide the winning candidate.

All active members of the Association shall be notified of elections by email and shall be eligible to vote by electronic means (email or web). Active members shall be defined as those who have paid their dues during the previous twelve months.

The Executive Secretary, the Treasurer, the Program Secretary, the Editor(s) of The Review of Social Economy, and the Editor(s) of The Forum for Social Economics shall be appointed by a majority secret vote of the entire Executive Council, with all Council members polled by email.

ARTICLE VI: Duties of the Executive Council.

The Executive Council, with the President, shall have all powers necessary to conduct the affairs of the Association between annual meetings.

The President shall call meetings of the Executive Council at least once each year and preferably at more frequent intervals, such as in the Spring and in December. In calling meetings of the Executive Council, the President shall consult with the members as to a suitable time. Meetings may be held through the use of electronic communications equipment so long as members participating in such a meeting can communicate with one another at the time of such meeting. When a majority of the members agree on the time, the number actually attending the meeting shall constitute a quorum. Should a division of judgment arise at such meetings, and the majority favoring a given course be less than a majority of the entire Council, any minority member may appeal for an electronic ballot of the entire Council. The majority of those voting within fifteen days shall prevail.

The Council may also act by unanimous written consent in any case in which the President or President-Elect determines that circumstances require action on an issue by the Executive Council at a time when it is not possible to assemble a quorum. The President must give notice of the issue and the proposed voting procedure to Council members by email (or similar electronic means). Unanimous consent of those Council members responding within five days constitutes approval of the email voting procedure. A majority vote of the entire Council in favor of the motion in the email poll constitutes approval of the action.

Special meetings of the Executive Council may be called upon the request of the President or one-third of the Council. The consent of a majority of the members to such a meeting and the attendance of a majority at such meeting shall constitute this meeting as valid.

ARTICLE VII: Vacancies and Removals

Vacancies which may occur in the offices of the Association, or on committees, shall be filled by the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council. Should the President for any reason be unable to serve, the President-Elect and the Vice-President in order shall serve in the President’s absence or succeed to office, should the office of President be vacant. Any Council member, whether elected or appointed, may be removed, by a two-thirds majority secret vote of the entire Executive Council, with all Council members polled by email.

ARTICLE VIII: Editorial Boards and Editorial Policies.

The members of the editorial boards of The Review of Social Economy and The Forum for Social Economics shall be appointed by the Editors. Such appointments are not subject to the approval of the Executive Council. The Editors may also appoint Associate Editors, special issue editors, and/or deputy editors, at their discretion. The Editor(s) and Board members decide general editorial policy but the Editor(s) alone are responsible for selecting the manuscripts and other materials that are to be published. The Editor(s) may be replaced at any time by a two-thirds majority secret vote of the entire Executive Council, with all Council members polled by email.

ARTICLE IX: Amendments.

Amendments to this Constitution may be made by a two-thirds vote of the members responding to an electronic ballot. Members must have at least fifteen days to respond.

ARTICLE X: Dissolution

In the event of the dissolution of the Association, all assets, after the payment of any debts, shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes, within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, as shall best meet the objectives of the Association as enumerated in Article I. All temporarily and permanently restricted assets shall be transferred with the restrictions in place. No members of the Association shall have any rights to nor shall receive any assets of the Association.

Bylaws

ARTICLE I: Dues.

The Executive Council of the Association shall have the responsibility of drawing up the schedule of dues and rates for individual membership to the Association. The Executive Council may at its discretion establish special membership rates (e.g. low income, three-year, etc.)

ARTICLE II: Elections.

Ballots containing the list of candidates chosen by the Nominating Committee shall be made available to the general membership by email by December 1. Ballots must be cast no later than December 15. In an emergency, the time provisions may be altered by the Executive Council through a two-thirds vote. The Executive Secretary shall count the vote and shall certify the result to the members at the annual meeting. The newly elected officers shall assume their respective offices at the closing session of the next annual meeting of the Association.

ARTICLE III: Convention Program.

The program shall be the responsibility of the President-Elect who will report the theme of the convention at the annual meeting the year before the convention and the tentative program at the spring meeting of the Executive Council. It is desirable that the program concentrate upon the exhaustive treatment of a single topic.

ARTICLE IV: Committees

The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the person who two years earlier served as President. The chair shall select members of the committee reflecting a geographic distribution and with them prepare a slate of candidates for approval of the Executive Council at the spring meeting. The chair shall obtain the consent of all approved candidates before their names are placed on the ballot.

The Association also functions through permanent committees dealing with membership and outreach, finance, publications, and the selection of winners of grants and awards. The membership and duties of these committees are as determined by the Executive Council. Members of permanent committees may be removed by majority vote of the Executive Council.

Ad hoc committees appointed by the President shall function as soon as they are appointed. They shall function until such time as their duties have been fulfilled, their existence terminated by the President, or their reports submitted to the next annual meeting. Members of ad hoc committees may be removed by the President.

ARTICLE V: President and Executive Council.

  • The President shall preside at meetings of the Executive Council and membership meeting, or, in the absence of the President, other officers in the order named in Article VII of the Constitution. As chief executive officer, the President makes decisions for the Association between Executive Council meetings.
  • The President-Elect organizes the convention program, as described in Article III, and performs the duties of President should the President become unable to serve.
  • The Executive Secretary shall be ex-officio secretary of the Executive Council and membership meetings. In the absence of the Executive Secretary, the presiding officer may appoint a secretary. The Executive Secretary prepares agendas, minutes, ballots, and maintains all Association records. The Executive Secretary also manages membership records, updates the Association website, and maintains the regular financial accounts, including handling revenues and paying obligations.
  • The Treasurer of the Association is responsible for overseeing the overall accounting and financial affairs of the Association, including preparing budgets, supervising audits and tax forms, and maintaining the Association’s non-profit status. Both the Executive Secretary and the Treasurer shall be signatories on all accounts and assets of the association so that the Treasurer can assume responsibility for these in the event the Executive Secretary is unable to perform his/her duties. 
  • The Program Secretary coordinates with the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) and the President-Elect to arrange the annual meetings of the Association. 
  • Regional Directors organize, and promote participation of Association members in, sessions arranged with the various regional economics associations. 
  • The Vice-President, two Past-Presidents, Editors who serve on the Executive Council, and Trustees perform duties as specified in the Constitution and Bylaws. 
  • Additional duties for all Council members may be assigned by the Executive Council.

In amounts to be determined by the Executive Council, reasonable reimbursement towards expenses related to attending the ASSA meetings will be offered to the President, President-Elect, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Program Secretary, and Vice-President, if full funding is not provided by the individual’s host institution. The Executive Secretary will also receive a reasonable stipend, or negotiated reduction in teaching, as determined by the Executive Council, in compensation for managing the day-to-day operations of the Association.

Details concerning duties of Executive Council members and the policies adopted for the operation of the Association shall be recorded in a Policies and Procedures document. The Policies and Procedures document may be amended at any time by a simple majority vote of the Executive Council. The Policies and Procedures document may elaborate on, and shall not contradict, the Constitution and Bylaws.

ARTICLE VI: Conflicts of Interest.

Whenever a member of the Executive Council has a financial or personal interest in any matter coming before the Council, the affected person shall a) fully disclose the nature of the interest and b) withdraw from discussion, lobbying, and voting on the matter.

ARTICLE VII: Amendments and Suspension.

Amendments to the By-Laws may be made by a simple majority of the members in an email vote. A majority of those replying within fifteen days shall prevail. Amendments or change may be proposed at the annual business meeting, as provided in Article III of the Constitution, or by the Executive Council.

Amendments to these bylaws were last proposed by the Executive Council on June 6, 2019 and approved by a majority vote of the membership on December 15, 2019.