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Bylaws of the American Folklore Society
The Bylaws is the governing document of the American Folklore Society.  This version was most recently amended by vote of the membership in June of 2011.


ARTICLE I. Name

This Society shall be known as the American Folklore Society.

ARTICLE II. Purposes

The purposes of the Society shall be to stimulate and encourage interest and research in folklore in all its aspects; to aid in the dissemination of the results of such research; to promote responsible application of such research in the broad variety of settings in which folklorists work; to publish and distribute publications, reports and journals; to serve as a bond among those interested in the study of folklore; to advocate for and assist the teaching of folklore and the establishment of folklore curricula and programs at all age levels in all educational contexts; to enhance the professional well-being of the Society's members; and to engage in such other activities as are consonant with the foregoing purposes.

ARTICLE III. Membership

The Executive Board shall have the authority to create, change, eliminate, and set the benefits and dues for all classes of membership in the Society.

ARTICLE IV. Officers

Section 1. The officers of the Society shall consist of:

(a) The President-Elect, elected for a term of one year; to become

(b) The President for a term of two (2) years; to become

(c) The Past President, for a term of one year;

(d) Nine (9) Members-at-Large, elected for terms of three (3) years, three (3) beginning each year; and

(e) The Executive Director, appointed by the Executive Board and serving at the pleasure of the Board.

(f) The Executive Board shall also have the authority to appoint to the Executive Board, every three years or when the seat is vacant, one (1) Society member drawn from a group within the Society that the Board wants to ensure is represented on the Board, for a term of three (3) years.

Section 2. These thirteen (13) officers shall constitute the Executive Board.

Section 3. The terms for all officers shall be terminal in each position. Officers may be elected or appointed to other positions after the end of their terms.

Section 4. The President-Elect shall:

(a) Succeed to the office of President at the expiration of the term as President-Elect; and

(b) Assume the duties of the President in the event of the absence, death, resignation or incapacity of the President.

Section 5. The President shall:

(a) Serve as the presiding officer of the Society and exercise all the duties and responsibilities commonly associated with this office, except as limited by these Bylaws; and

(b) Appoint members of Society committees with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.

Section 6. The Executive Director shall manage the Society's financial, programmatic, and other administrative functions and implement its policies as determined by the Executive Board.

Section 7. In the temporary absence or incapacity of the Executive Director, the Executive Board may designate another person to carry out the duties of that office.

ARTICLE V. Nominations and Elections

Section 1. The Nominating Committee shall nominate two (2) Members for each elected office.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee's report shall be circulated to the Members at least two (2) months before the Annual Meeting.

Section 3. Ten (10) or more Members in good standing shall have the right, by signed petition received by the Nominating Committee within two months of the mailing of the initial Nominating Committee report, to add to that report nominations of Members for the various elected offices.

Section 4. The Annual Meeting shall provide an opportunity for a Candidates' Forum, which will include brief candidates' statements and a question and answer session.

Section 5. The Nominating Committee's final report, including nominees added by petition by the process described in Article V, Section 3, shall constitute the mail ballot, and shall be sent to the Members through the Executive Director within the month following the Annual Meeting.

Section 6. Elections shall be by a plurality of votes for each office.

Section 7. Newly elected and appointed officers shall take office as of January 1 of the new calendar year.

ARTICLE VI. The Executive Board

Section 1. The Executive Board is charged with governance of the Society, with oversight of the Society's finances and management, and with ensuring that the membership is represented in the committees and activities of the Society. The Board shall:

(a) Establish Society policies, respond to membership needs and concerns, and initiate actions;

(b) Approve budgets, meet its fiduciary responsibilities and safeguard the Society's financial resources;

(c) Appoint, and evaluate the performance of, the Executive Director;

(d) Appoint Editors and regulate the Society's publication program;

(e) Appoint the Archivist and regulate the Society's archival program;

(f) Fill vacancies in elected and appointed positions unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws; and

(g) Carry out such other functions as the governance of the Society may require.

Section 2. The Executive Board, after thorough consideration, may for just cause remove any elected or Board-appointed officer, editor, archivist or committee member from his or her position.

Section 3. The Executive Board shall hold at least two (2) meetings per year, one of which shall be at the time of the Annual Meeting of the Society.

Section 4. Only elected officers shall have a vote in the proceedings of the Executive Board.

Section 5. The business of the Executive Board shall be transacted by a simple majority of those voting.

Section 6. A quorum of the Executive Board shall be seven (7) voting members.

ARTICLE VII. Editors

Section 1. The Editors of the Journal of American Folklore and all other Society-sponsored publications shall be appointed by the Executive Board. The Editor of the Journal of American Folklore will be appointed for a renewable term of five (5) years.

Section 2. The Editors of Society publications shall submit written annual reports to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, not later than the end of the Society's fiscal year.

ARTICLE VIII. Archivist

Section 1. The Society's Archivist shall be appointed by the Executive Board for a renewable term of five (5) years.

Section 2. The Archivist shall submit a written annual report to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, not later than the end of the Society's fiscal year.

ARTICLE IX. Committees

Section 1. There shall be four (4) Standing Committees:

(a) The Nominating Committee;

(b) The Publications Committee;

(c) The Membership Committee; and

(d) The Cultural Diversity Committee.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall:

(a) Consist of three (3) Members elected for terms of three (3) years, one each year, and one Member appointed by the President from the Executive Board;

(b) Be chaired by the elected Member in the final year of his or her term; and

(c) Make nominations for elected offices and suggestions to the Executive Board for appointed positions.

Section 3. The Publications Committee shall:

(a) Consist of at least five members, to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board for staggered three year terms;

(b) Recruit and recommend to the Executive Board the appointment of Society editors, whose service is not otherwise provided for in these bylaws;

(c) Monitor the state of all Society publications in all media and suggest publication-related policies or actions to the Executive Board.

Section 4. The Membership Committee shall:

(a) Consist of at least seven members, including:

(1) Three (3) members of the Executive Board;

(2) At least three (3) other Members of the Society, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board for terms of three (3) years; and

(3) The Executive Director;

(b) Be chaired by the senior member of the Executive Board serving on the Committee; and

(c) Recommend policies or actions to the Executive Board that will promote recruitment and retention of members of the Society.

Section 5. The Cultural Diversity Committee shall:

(a) Consist of at least five members appointed by the President from the membership with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, and one member appointed by the President from the Executive Board, for staggered three-year terms;

(b) Undertake research and other activities regarding priorities and strategies to diversify the Society's membership and to keep the Society engaged with diverse communities, and, based on those activities, recommend policies and actions to the Executive Board.

Section 6. All Standing Committees shall submit a written annual report, including a list of current members responsible for the report, to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, not later than the end of the Society's fiscal year.

Section 7. Ad hoc Committees may be constituted at the initiative of the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board. Five (5) or more Members may also petition the Executive Board for constitution of an ad hoc Committee, said petition to specify the matters to be considered.

Section 8. Ad hoc Committees shall be constituted for only one (1) year. They may request continuation on the basis of justifications contained in their report.

Section 9. Each ad hoc Committee shall submit a written annual report, including a list of current Members responsible for the report, to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, who shall make it available to the Members.

ARTICLE X. Sections

Section 1. There shall be provision for Sections organized around areas of research interests or other aspects of professional folklore practice.

Section 2. Ten (10) or more members, by signed petition to the Executive Board, may request official recognition as a Section.

Section 3. Organization as a Section makes an interest group eligible for a meeting room at the Annual Meeting and for listing in the Annual Meeting program, but this eligibility is not to be construed as a right. The final determination rests with the Executive Board. A Section may also announce or report on its activities in the American Folklore Society Newsletter, as space permits, and maintain a web page on the Society web site.

Section 4. All financial affairs of Sections shall be administered by the Executive Director, in accordance with:

(a) Overall Society financial procedures; and

(b) Section budgets for the upcoming year, to be submitted to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, not later than thirty (30) days before the Executive Board determines the Society's budget for the upcoming year.

Section 5. Each Section shall submit a written annual report of its activities for the year to the Executive Board, through the Executive Director, not later than the end of that fiscal year.

Section 6. The Executive Board may revoke a Section's official status:

(a) Upon the recommendation of the Section itself;

(b) Upon the recommendation of the majority of the Executive Board, which shall show cause that the Section has been conducted in a manner contrary to the purposes of the Society;

(c) If the Section fails to meet at the Annual Meeting for two consecutive years; or

(d) If the Section fails to submit annual budgets or reports to the Executive Board as set forth in Article X, Sections 4 and 5.

ARTICLE XI. Annual Meeting

Section 1. The Society shall hold an Annual Meeting.

Section 2. The place and date of the Annual Meeting shall be communicated to the Members not less than 120 days in advance of the meeting.

Section 3. The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, shall appoint an Annual Meeting Committee to organize the scholarly and professional program of the Annual Meeting and make local arrangements for the event.

Section 4. The Society shall hold an Annual Business Meeting at the time of the Annual Meeting.

Section 5. Five (5) percent of the Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for transacting business at the Annual Business Meeting. The business of this meeting shall be transacted by a simple majority of those voting.

Section 6. Business conducted at Society meetings shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, newly revised.

ARTICLE XII. Fellows

The Fellows of the American Folklore Society shall be an honorary rather than an executive body. All criteria and procedures of the Fellows shall be subject to review and ratification by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE XIII. Annual Audit

The Executive Board shall make an annual audit of Society financial records, in which task it shall employ a certified public accountant.

ARTICLE XIV. Finances

All contracts must be approved by the Executive Board and signed by the Executive Director.

ARTICLE XV. Amendment

Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by the Members by mail ballot, provided that a proposed amendment is approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast.

Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Board or by three (3) percent of the Members in good standing. The Executive Board shall have the proposed amendment circulated to the Members and shall allow thirty (30) days for the return of ballots.

Section 3. The amendments and provisions of these Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous amendments and provisions.



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American Folklore Society
Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2602 USA
614/292-4715; fax: 614/292-2199; www.afsnet.org


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