Approved September 7, 2011
ARTICLE I — NAME
This Topical Group of the American Physical Society shall be called the Topical Group in Gravitation.
ARTICLE II — OBJECTIVE
The objective of the Topical Group is to serve as a focus for research on gravitational physics including experiments and observations related to the detection and interpretation of gravitational waves, experimental tests of gravitational theories, computational general relativity, relativistic astrophysics, solutions to Einstein's equations and their properties, alternative theories of gravity, classical and quantum cosmology, and quantum gravity.
ARTICLE III — ENABLING CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
Article VIII of the Constitution of the Society, as said Article may be subsequently revised or amended, is hereby incorporated in these Bylaws by reference.
ARTICLE IV — MEMBERSHIP
The members of the Topical Group shall consist of members of the Society who have indicated in accordance with procedures established by Council their desire to join the Topical Group and who retain membership from year to year by the payment of designated dues or by other method established by Council.
ARTICLE V — EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- Governance. The Topical Group shall be governed by an Executive Committee, which shall have general charge of the affairs of the Topical Group.
- Composition. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Topical Group, the most recent Past Chair, six members-at-large elected to staggered three-year terms, and two student representatives elected to staggered two-year terms. One of the members-at-large will be designated by the chair as "membership coordinator" and will tend to all aspects related to the membership of the topical group, including recruitment and retention of members.
- Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each year and one meeting shall be held during the Regular Meeting of the Topical Group. Any member of the Executive Committee unable to attend a meeting may name a nonvoting alternate to represent him or her, subject to the approval of the Chair. The Chair of the Topical Group shall preside over the Executive Committee meetings. A majority of the voting members, including at least two Officers, shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VI — OFFICERS
- Officers. The Officers of the Topical Group shall be a Chair, a Chair Elect, a Vice Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer.
- Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Business Sessions of the Topical Group at which his or her attendance is possible.
- Duties of the Chair Elect. The Chair Elect shall act in place of the Chair if the latter is unable to perform his or her duties. The Chair Elect shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.
- Duties of the Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall act in place of the Chair Elect if the latter is unable to perform his or her duties. The Vice Chair shall perform such other functions as maybe explicitly provided in the Bylaws.
- Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the records of the Topical Group including minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions, Topical Group activities, and membership lists. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Executive Committee of matters requiring the decision of said Committee and, in collaboration with the Chair, shall prepare the agenda of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions. The Secretary- Treasurer shall prepare minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions and shall submit these minutes to each member of the Executive Committee. Following elections, such minutes are to include the results of the election and a roster of the current Executive Committee membership. Election results will also be sent to the Executive Officer of the Society as soon as all candidates have been notified.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the Council and Executive Officer of the Society informed of the activities and needs of the Topical Group.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the Topical Group and, with the concurrence of the Chair, shall authorize disbursements from such funds for expenses in a manner that is consistent with the general policies of the Society and the Topical Group. Financial records shall be kept on an annual basis consistent with the fiscal policies of the Society. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Committee and at the annual Business Session of the Topical Group.
ARTICLE VII — ELECTION AND TENURE OF THE OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
- Qualifications. Officers, Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee and the Student Representatives must be members of the Topical Group at least during the year of their nomination and during their tenure in office. The Student Representatives must be students at the time of their nomination.
- Ballot. The Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Members-at-Large and the Student Representatives of the Executive Committee shall be elected by mail and/or electronic ballot as here in after provided.
- Nomination and Election of the Vice Chair, Secretary- Treasurer, and Executive Committee Members. Each year the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the office of Vice Chair, for Secretary-Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, and for open positions of Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee and Student Representative. The Nominating Committee shall notify the Secretary-Treasurer of the results not later than sixteen weeks before the Regular Meeting, except under extraordinary circumstances. The Secretary-Treasurer shall inform the Topical Group members of the nominations made and shall invite these members to suggest candidates for the various offices and Executive Committee positions. If as many as five percent of the total Topical Group membership determined on 31 December of the year preceding the election suggests the same person for the same office, that person shall be deemed to have been nominated.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Topical Group membership by mail and/or electronic ballot, stating a closing date at least three weeks prior to the Regular Meeting. Ballots shall be returned to and counted by the Secretary-Treasurer or his or her designate. Election shall be decided by a plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair and the Executive Officer of the Society at least two weeks prior to the Regular Meeting and shall publish the results in the following issue of the newsletter of the Topical Group.
- Official Year. The official year shall extend from the close of one Regular Meeting to the close of the next Regular Meeting.
- Vice Chair, Chair Elect, and Chair. The member elected as Vice Chair shall serve in that office for one year, then for one year as Chair Elect, and then for one year as Chair. The Chair shall not be eligible for the office of Vice Chair in the year following his or her term of office.
- Terms of Office. The terms of office of the Officers, Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee, and the Student Representatives shall begin at the close of the Regular Meeting of the Topical Group following their election. The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve for a term of three years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The tenure of a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall be three years and shall terminate in the event of his or her assumption of a post as an elected Officer of the Topical Group, and the unexpired portion of his or her term shall be filled as here in after provided for a vacancy. The Student Representatives shall serve for a term of two years, and may not serve two consecutive terms.
- Vacancies in Offices. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair Elect shall succeed and complete the term and shall serve as Chair also in the following year. The Vice Chair shall serve simultaneously as Chair Elect during the remainder of the term and shall continue to serve as Chair Elect in the following term.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair Elect other wise than through advancement to Chair, the Vice Chair shall become Chair Elect. In this case, and also if the office of Vice Chair becomes vacant for other reasons, the office of Vice Chair shall remain vacant for the remainder of the term. In the next scheduled election, candidates for both Chair Elect and Vice Chair shall be nominated.
If vacancies occur in the offices of both the Chair and the Chair Elect, the Vice Chair shall become Chair and shall complete the term. In this case a special election shall be held to fill the offices of Chair Elect and Vice Chair. The members so elected shall continue to serve as officers in the normal succession order.
Vacancies in any other elected office shall be filled (or left unfilled) by the Executive Committee until such time as the vacancy can be filled by regular election procedures.
ARTICLE VIII — APPOINTED COMMITTEES
- Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of five individuals: a member of the Executive Committee appointed by the Chair, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, for a one-year term who shall serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee; and two members of the Topical Group, one of whom is not a member of the Executive Committee, to be appointed by the Chair of the Nominating Committee with the concurrence of the Chair for one-year terms; the Student Representative in the final year of his/her term; and a member appointed for a one-year term by the Executive Officer of the Society. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates for the positions of Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee and the Student Representative according to Article VII.3 of these Bylaws. The Nominating Committee shall advise the Chair on suitable candidates for Society committees, including relevant Society Prize and Award committees, and on candidates for Society offices. The Nominating Committee shall perform such other duties as determined by the Executive Committee of the Topical Group.
- Program Committee. The Program Committee shall consist of the Program Committee Chair appointed for a one-year term by the Chair with the concurrence of the Executive Committee; and any other members of the Topical Group whose assistance the Program Committee Chair chooses to obtain during the term of his or her appointment. The Program Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting the Executive Secretary, or his or her designate, in arranging the meetings of the Society. This activity shall include the scheduling of contributed papers within the areas of interest of this Topical Group, as well as the arranging, in cooperation with the Executive Secretary or his or her designate, of symposia and sessions of invited papers sponsored by the Topical Group for a meeting. For meetings of the Topical Group, including the Regular Meeting, the Program Committee shall be responsible for the solicitation and selection of invited and review papers and for the arrangement of the programs of such meetings.
- Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee shall consist of the Vice Chair and two additional Topical Group members. The Vice Chair shall serve as Chair of the Fellowship Committee and, with the concurrence of the Chair, shall appoint to one-year terms the other two members of the committee.
- Publications Committee. The Publications Committee shall consist of the Secretary-Treasurer, the Editor of the Topical Group newsletter, and up to three additional members of the Topical Group, if deemed necessary by the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Publications Committee and, with the concurrence of the Chair, shall appoint any additional committee members to one-year terms, renewable for two additional years. The Publications Committee shall interact with the editors of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters on matters of interest to the Topical Group, and shall serve as the Topical Group interface with editors and publications for the popular press.
- Terms of Office of Appointed Committee Members. 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.
- Ad Hoc Committees. The Chair shall appoint other ad hoc committees as necessary, which shall serve only during his or her other term as Chair.
ARTICLE IX — MEETINGS
- Regular Meeting. One meeting of the Topical Group, to be known as the Regular Meeting, shall be held annually at such time and place as shall be ordered by the Executive Committee, subject to coordination by the Executive Officer. Whenever it shall be feasible and not to the disadvantage of the members of the Topical Group, the Executive Committee may order this or any other meeting to be held conjointly with a Meeting of the Society or of another society, conference, or group, so long as such joint meeting does not conflict importantly with the schedule of Meetings of the Society as determined by the Executive Officer. The registration fee for the Regular Meeting, when not held jointly with a Meeting of the Society, shall be fixed after consultation with the Executive Officer. Non-members of the Society shall pay a surcharge equal to the society membership dues.
- Annual Business Session. Each year the Topical Group shall hold a Business Session which shall be a session of the Regular Meeting. This Business Session shall be devoted exclusively to the reports of officers and committees, election results, and the transaction of business affairs. No scientific program of the Topical Group shall be presented simultaneously with the Business Session. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Topical Group members of the agenda for the Business Session no later than three weeks prior to the Regular Meeting.
- Other Meetings. Meetings of the Topical Group, other than the Regular Meeting, may be initiated by the Executive Committee or by petition of twenty percent of the members of the Topical Group, subject to approval by the Executive Officer. Special conferences may be sponsored in whole or in part by the Topical Group, subject to the rules and regulations specified in the Society Constitution and Bylaws.
- Papers at Meetings. Programs of meetings of the Topical Group may provide for the inclusion of both invited and contributed papers. When a meeting of the Topical Group is held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the rules of the Society shall apply to submitted papers. When a meeting of the Topical Group is not held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the Executive Committee shall prescribe the subject and character of the meeting, which may include limitations on the subject matter of submitted papers. The Secretary-Treasurer shall fix the deadline date for receipt of titles and abstracts in consultation with the Executive Secretary and shall designate the place to which they should be sent. The amount of time to be allowed for the presentation of a paper at the Regular Meeting shall be determined by the Program Committee, except as otherwise directed by the Executive Committee. These allotments of time shall be consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society and with regulations of Council.
ARTICLE X -—- DUES
Dues for maintenance of membership in the Topical Group shall be established by Council.
ARTICLE XI — NEWSLETTER
The newsletter of the Topical Group shall be managed and edited by an Editor, who shall be appointed by the Chair with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. The Editor shall oversee the preparation and distribution of the newsletter. There shall be at least two issues per year; the frequency and timing of these issues shall be determined by the Editor in consultation with the Secretary-Treasurer. The Executive Committee may direct the Secretary-Treasurer to distribute complimentary copies of the newsletter to specified non-members of the Topical Group. The Editor shall be assisted in policy decisions by the Chair, as well as by the Executive Committee as a whole.
ARTICLE XII — OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Official announcements shall be made in the APS News, or in the newsletter of the Topical Group.
ARTICLE XIII — PROCEDURE OF AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
Proposal of an Amendment to these Bylaws may be made by the Council, by the Executive Committee, or by a petition to the Chair signed by not fewer than ten percent of the members of the Topical Group. If the proposed amendment originates within the Topical Group, it must be approved by Council before further action can be taken. Following Council approval, the Secretary-Treasurer shall distribute copies of the proposed Amendment to all members of the Topical Group not less than three weeks before the Regular Meeting and opportunity shall be given for discussion during the Business Session. The voting on the proposed Amendment shall then be as follows. If a special election is to be held, not later than twelve weeks after said Regular Meeting the Secretary-Treasurer shall again distribute copies of the proposed Amendment, accompanied by paper and/or electronic ballot forms. If a special election is not held, copies of the proposed Bylaws amendment shall be distributed to the membership and a vote on the amendment held as part of the next regularly scheduled election. Adoption of the Amendment shall require a two-thirds vote by those voting.