Bylaws

DRAFT AS OF 1/13/11

In the following text, "Society" shall signify the American Physical Society, "Council" and "Executive Board" shall signify the Council and the Executive Board of the Society, respectively; and "Annual Meeting" shall signify the principal meeting held once a year by the Forum.

ARTICLE I - NAME

This organization within the American Physical Society shall be called the Forum on Graduate Student Affairs and shall be referred to in the following text as "the Forum" or as "FGSA".

ARTICLE II - OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Forum is to enhance the Society's ability to meet the needs of physics graduate students, to offer them support services, and to provide them with an opportunity for increased inclusion and participation in the activities and decision-making of the physics community.

ARTICLE III - ENABLING CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

Article VIII of the Constitution of the Society, in its current or subsequently revised form, is incorporated in these Bylaws by reference. If the membership of the Forum does not meet the requirements to qualify to have a voting Councillor, a Council Advisor shall be elected in accordance with these Bylaws. If the membership of the Forum exceeds 2X percent of the total membership of the Society for two consecutive years, it shall qualify to have one voting Councillor to be elected in accordance with these Bylaws.

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

Any member of the Society who has indicated a desire to join the Forum and has met all requirements and procedures established by Council, can be a member of the Forum.

ARTICLE V - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  1. Governance. The FGSA shall be governed by an Executive Committee, which shall establish the policies and have responsibility for the affairs of the Forum.
  2. Composition. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Forum, the most recent Past Chair, the Forum Councillor or Council Advisor, and four Members-at-Large, elected to staggered two-year terms.
  3. Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a year. A majority of voting members, including at least two Officers, shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VI - OFFICERS AND FORUM COUNCILLOR OR ADVISOR
  1. Officers. The Officers of the Forum shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, all of whom must be members of the Forum.
  2. Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee at which his or her attendance is possible. The Chair shall prepare the agenda of Executive Committee meetings.
  3. Duties of the Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect shall serve as the Chair of the Program Committee. In addition, the Chair-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chair whenever the Chair is unable to perform them.
  4. Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain the records of the Forum including minutes of Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary shall distribute the minutes to each member of the Executive Committee and the Forum Webmaster within six weeks after each meeting; The Secretary shall work with the Webmaster to insure that the minutes are posted on the Forum Website within eight weeks. The Secretary shall notify the Chair of matters requiring Executive Committee action. The Secretary shall arrange for announcing, distributing, receiving and counting the annual election ballots from the membership, and for informing the APS Executive Officer, candidates, and Forum membership of election results.
  5. Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the FGSA, and shall authorize disbursements from these funds for FGSA expenses. The Treasurer shall present a financial report and an annual budget at the meeting of the Executive Committee
  6. Duties of the Past Chair. The Past Chair shall serve as the Chair of the Nominating Committee.
  7. Duties of the Forum Councillor or Council Advisor. The Forum Councillor or Council Advisor shall serve as a liaison between the Council and the Executive Committee of the Forum. Following each Council meeting, the Forum Councillor or Council Advisor shall report to the Executive Committee of the Forum regarding actions taken by the Council that affect the status and operations of the Forum.
  8. Duties of the International Student Affairs Officer. The ISA Officer shall chair the International Student Affairs Committee. The Officer shall serve as the principal point of contact between the Forum and similar organizations in countries outside the United States and shall act as a student advocate for international student issues to the American Physical Society. FGSA-sponsored international activities, including conferences and student issues, shall be reported annually by the ISA Officer to both the FGSA Executive Board and the APS Director of International Affairs.
ARTICLE VII - ELECTION AND TENURE OF THE OFFICERS, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, AND FORUM COUNCILLOR OR COUNCIL ADVISOR
  1. Qualifications. Officers, the Forum Councillor or Council Advisor, and Members-at-Large, must be members of the Forum for at least six months prior to nomination.
  2. Nomination and election of the Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Forum Councillor or Council Advisor and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee. Each year the Nominating Committee shall select at least two candidates for the office of Chair-Elect, four candidates for the two openings for Member-at-Large, and at least two candidates for Councillor or Council Advisor during the final year of the term of the current Councillor or Council Advisor. The Nominating Committee shall also nominate two candidates for the office of Secretary or Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current officer.
  3. Balloting. The Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Forum Councillor or Council Advisor, and Members-At-Large shall be elected by mail or electronic ballot by the Forum membership. Election notification and voting procedures shall be sent to all members by the Secretary by October 1 and all votes cast and counted by the Secretary by December 1. In the event of a tie, the current members of the Executive Committee shall determine the winner by ballot, conducted by email. The Chair shall not vote except in the case of a tie in the Executive Committee ballot.
  4. Term of Office. The Chair-Elect shall be elected to a one-year term, followed by a one-year term as Chair, and a final year on the Executive Committee as Past Chair. The four Members-At-Large shall serve staggered, two-year terms with two Members-at-Large elected each year. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall each serve one staggered, two-year term with either a Secretary or a Treasurer being elected each year. The Forum Councillor or Council Advisor shall serve a four-year term. All terms of office shall coincide with the calendar year.
  5. Vacancies in Offices. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair-Elect shall succeed and complete the term of the Chair and serve as Chair the following year. If the Chair-Elect succeeds to Chair due to a vacancy, the position of Chair-Elect shall remain vacant for the remainder of the term until the next regular election. If a vacancy occurs in the offices of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect, the Executive Committee shall appoint one of their members to serve the remaining term as Chair and both the offices shall be filled during the next election. If a vacancy occurs in any office, other than the Chair, the position shall remain vacant until the next regular election, at the discretion of the chair.
  6. Official Year. The Official Year of the Forum shall coincide with the Calendar Year.

ARTICLE VIII - APPOINTED COMMITTEES AND POSITIONS

There shall be two statutory committees of the FGSA, plus any deemed necessary for the operation of the Forum in the judgment of the Executive Committee. The statutory committees and positions shall be as follows:
  1. The Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the Past Chair of the Forum and shall also include four members of the Forum appointed by the Chair to staggered two-year terms, and one member appointed to a one-year term by the APS Council. The Forum Chair shall contact the Society Executive Officer for the identity of this member. The Nominating Committee shall solicit suggestions from the membership of qualified members from which to select a slate of candidates for elected positions. The Nominating Committee shall also advise the Forum Chair on suitable candidates for Society offices and committees.
  2. Program Committee. The Program Committee shall consist of the Chair-Elect and four members appointed by the Forum Chair to staggered two-year terms. , The Chair-Elect shall serve as the Chair of the Program Committee. The Program Committee shall assist in arranging sessions including symposia of invited and contributed papers sponsored by the Forum at meetings of the Society. The Program Committee shall cooperate with the Program Committee of any other unit of the Society that is interested in sponsoring sessions or symposia in areas of interest to the Forum.
  3. International Student Affairs Committee. The International Student Affairs Committee shall consist of four members appointed by the Forum Chair to staggered two-year terms. The ISA Committee shall assist the ISA Officer as the principal point of contact between the Forum and similar organizations in countries outside the United States. The Committee shall act as a student advocacy group for international student issues to the American Physical Society.
  4. Ad hoc Committees. The Chair may appoint other ad hoc committees, which shall serve only during his or her term as Chair. The terms of committee members appointed or recommended by an incoming Chair shall commence at the beginning of the year in which he or she assumes office.
  5. The Newsletter Editor. The Executive Committee shall appoint an Editor of the Newsletter to a two-year term. The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for collecting and reporting on issues and events in the interest of Forum members and producing at least one newsletter each year. Election and balloting information shall be included in one newsletter each year.
  6. The Webmaster. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Webmaster to a two-year term. The Webmaster shall be responsible for keeping the Forum website up-to-date and for posting the minutes of the Executive Committee in a timely fashion.

ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

Proposals for amendments to these bylaws may be made by the Council, by the Forum Executive Committee or by petition to the Forum Chair signed by not fewer than ten percent of the members of the Forum. If a proposed amendment originates within the Forum, it must be approved by Council before further action is taken. Following Council approval, the Secretary shall distribute copies of the proposed amendment to all members of the Forum not less than four weeks prior to the Annual Meeting, and opportunity for discussion of the amendment shall be given during the Annual Meeting. Voting on the proposed amendment shall be carried out by mail or electronic ballot as specified by the Secretary, providing that every member is given the opportunity to cast a ballot. The adoption of an amendment shall require the affirmative vote of not less than two thirds of the members voting. The amendment shall become effective on the first day of January, following the approval by the vote of the membership.