Bylaws

(In the following text, “Society” shall signify the American Physical Society, “Council” shall signify the Council of the Society, and “Executive Officer” shall signify that Officer of the Society.)

ARTICLE I – NAME

This Topical Group of the American Physical Society shall be called the Topical Group on Physics Education Research.

ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Topical Group on Physics Education Research (GPER) shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning the learning and teaching of physics. This knowledge is based on studies ranging from individuals to institutional practices, from neural and cognitive processes to social and contextual components of education, from basic research to educational practices in physics. The objectives of this research includes the integration of scientific knowledge and analysis methods across disciplines to address the dynamical complexities and uncertainties of learning and teaching physics.

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 GPER shall consist of members of the Society who have indicated in accordance with procedures established by Council their desire to join the GPER 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

  1. Governance. The GPER shall be governed by an Executive Committee, which shall have general charge of the affairs of the GPER including changes to the areas of scientific inquiry of the GPER.

  2. Composition. The voting members of the Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the GPER and two Members-at-Large elected to two-year staggered terms (one position expiring in each year). In addition, one representative from the Executive Committee of the American Association of Physics Teachers Topical Group on Physics Education Research (commonly known as PERLOC) and one representative from the Executive Committee of the APS Society Forum on Education (commonly known as FEd) will be non-voting ex officio members.

  3. Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each year. The Chair of the GPER shall preside over the Executive Committee meetings. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS

  1. Officers. The Officers of the GPER shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice-Chair, a Past Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer.

  2. Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Business Sessions of the GPER. The Chair shall notify the Executive Committee of matters requiring the decision of said Committee and shall prepare the agenda of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions. The Chair shall keep the Council and Executive Officer of the Society informed of the activities and needs of the GPER. The chair shall appoint members to the Program and Fellowship Committees, and shall form other ad-hoc committees as necessary.

  3. 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 chair the Program Committee. The Chair-Elect shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

  4. 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 oversee the regular Electronic Communication with membership of GPER and shall chair the Fellowship Committee. The Vice-Chair shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

  5. Duties of the Past-Chair. The Past-Chair shall chair the Nominating Committee. The Past-Chair shall perform such functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

  6. Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the records of the GPER including minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions, activities of the GPER, and membership lists. 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 and to the Executive Officer within four weeks after each meeting. Following elections, such minutes are to include the results of the election and a roster of the current Executive Committee membership.

    In accordance with Article VIII.1 of the Society Bylaws, The Secretary-Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the GPER and shall authorize disbursements from such funds for expenses in a manner that is consistent with the general policies of the Society and the GPER. Financial records shall be kept on an annual basis consistent with the fiscal policies of the Society. The approval of the Executive Committee shall be required for disbursements in excess of $1000 per expenditure unless otherwise specifically delegated by the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Committee and at the annual Business Session of the GPER.

    The Secretary-Treasurer shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

ARTICLE VII – ELECTION AND TENURE OF THE OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  1. Qualifications. After the initial election, Officers and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be members of the GPER and must retain membership throughout the period of election and tenure in office.

  2. Ballot. The Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall be elected by electronic ballot as hereinafter provided.

  3. Nomination and Election of the Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Members-at-Large. Not later than June 1, the Secretary-Treasurer shall invite all members of the GPER to suggest to the Nominating Committee candidates for election for Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, and for the open Member-at-Large position.

    Not later than September 1, the Nominating Committee shall submit to the Secretary-Treasurer nominations for each post to be filled on the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall endeavor to nominate a diverse set of candidates that includes female candidates and members from minorities as well as researchers representing various stages of career and working environments.

    The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the GPER membership by electronic ballot, stating a closing date of not later than December 1. 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 prior to December 15 and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.

  4. Official Year. The official year shall be the calendar year.

  5. Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past Chair. The member elected as Vice-Chair shall serve in that office for one year, then for one year as Chair-Elect, then for one year as Chair, and then for one year as Past Chair. The Past Chair shall not be eligible for the office of Vice-Chair or Chair-Elect in the year following his or her term of office.

  6. Terms of Office. The terms of office of the Officers and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall coincide with the calendar year, beginning January 1 and ending December 31. 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 two years.

  7. 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 otherwise 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.

  8. FEd and PERLOC Representatives. The PERLOC and FEd representatives will be chosen by their respective Executive Committees. Their term will be one year. Neither representative is required to be a member of the GPER and the PERLOC representative is not required to be a member of the APS.

ARTICLE VIII – APPOINTED COMMITTEES

  1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the Past Chair and shall include three members of the GPER appointed by the Chair and one member appointed by the Council for two-year terms. The Chair shall ascertain through the Executive Officer the identity of this member. If the Past Chair is unable to serve, the Chair may nominate a member of the Executive Committee as a replacement. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates according to Article VII.3 of these Bylaws.

  2. Program Committee. The Program Committee shall include three members of the GPER appointed by the Chair to two-year terms. The Chair-Elect shall serve as Chair of the Program Committee. The Program Committee shall be responsible, in cooperation with the Executive Committee for arranging sessions of Society meetings sponsored by the Group, and from time to time may organize special meetings and workshops. The Program Committee may also appoint members of the Program Committee to jointly co-organize meetings that are co-sponsored with other societies or organizations.  It shall also have the responsibility of assisting the Executive Officer in arranging meetings of the Society.

  3. Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee shall be chaired by the Vice-Chair or his or her replacement as selected by the Chair, if the office of the Vice‐Chair is vacant, and shall include three members appointed by the Chair, to two-year terms. The Fellowship Committee shall solicit nominations for APS Fellowship, shall review the qualifications of such candidates, and shall submit its recommendations to the Executive Officer.

  4. Terms of Office of Appointed Committee Members. The terms of committee members appointed or recommended by an incoming Chair shall commence on January 1 of the year in which he or she assumes office.

  5. Ad Hoc Committees. The Chair shall appoint other ad hoc committees as necessary.

ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS

  1. Annual Business Session. Each year the GPER shall hold a Business Session during one of the regular meetings of the Society. This Business Session shall be chaired by the Chair of the GPER and be devoted to affairs of the GPER. All transactions at the Business Session are to be considered as advisory to the Executive Committee. No program sponsored by the GPER shall be presented simultaneously with the Business Session.

  2. Other Meetings. Special scientific meetings of the GPER may be initiated by the Executive Committee and arranged by the Program Committee, subject to the rules and regulations specified in the Society Constitution and Bylaws. The rules of the Society shall apply to scientific sessions of invited or contributed papers held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society. The Program Committee shall have the responsibility for all arrangements concerning such sessions.

  3. Papers at Meetings. Programs of meetings of the GPER may provide for the inclusion of both invited and contributed papers. When a meeting of the GPER 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 GPER is not held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the Executive Committee shall prescribe the main theme of the meeting. The Program Committee Chair shall fix the deadline date for receipt of titles and abstracts in consultation with the Executive Officer and shall designate the rules for their submission.

ARTICLE X – DUES

Dues for maintenance of membership in the GPER shall be established by Council.

ARTICLE XI – REGULAR COMMUNICATION

GPER shall provide regular e-mail communications with the membership. These email communications will provide updates on the activities of GPER and the Executive Committee. The preparation and distribution of email communications will be overseen by the Vice-Chair. The frequency and timing of these communications shall be determined by the Vice-Chair, subject to approval of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE XII – OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Official announcements shall be made in the APS News, in special mailings to the membership, or in such other publications as the Executive Committee may direct.

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 GPER. If the proposed amendment originates within the GPER, 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 GPER not less than three weeks before the Annual Business Session and opportunity shall be given for discussion. The voting on the proposed Amendment shall be as follows. Not later than twelve weeks after said Annual Business Session the Secretary-Treasurer shall again distribute copies of the proposed Amendment, accompanied by ballot forms to the members of the GPER. Adoption of the Amendment shall require a two-thirds vote by those voting.