Constitution of Southeastern Conference on Linguistics

updated 2007

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Article 1.  Name and Object

  1. This Society shall be known as the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics.  The official abbreviation shall be SECOL.
  2. The region of SECOL shall consist of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the islands of the Bahamas and the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.  Meetings will be held within this geographical area, but membership is not so limited.
  3. The object of SECOL shall be the advancement of the study of language in all its aspects.

Article 2. Membership and Dues

  1. There shall be eight classes of membership: regular, student, unemployed, retired, lifetime, honorary, emeritus, and institutional.
  2. Membership is open to those persons who are interested in the study of language.  Any person may become a regular member on payment of dues and shall so remain as long as payment of dues continues.
  3. Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the regular academic year as a degree candidate in a recognized college or university may become a student member on payment of dues.
  4. A professional linguist who is unemployed for six or more months of the calendar year involved will enjoy the rights and privileges of membership at a reduced rate of dues equal to that for student membership.
  5. Upon retirement, any member in good standing may continue to enjoy the rights and privileges of membership at a reduced rate of dues equal to that for student membership.
  6. On or before March 31 or the annual meeting, whichever comes later, each regular, student, unemployed, and retired member shall pay to the Treasurer an annual fee as dues (valid for the current calendar year) in an amount fixed by vote of the Society on recommendation of the Executive Committee.  If such member fails to pay dues within the time prescribed, the rights and privileges of membership, including the receipt of publications, shall be forfeited while default continues, but shall be restored on payment of dues.  An individual who joins after March 31 shall enjoy the rights and privileges of membership for that calendar year.  A member may pay dues in advance for one or more years, and such dues shall be considered paid in full regardless of any change in the amount of dues voted by the Society thereafter.  A member who pays twenty times the current regular membership dues amount in advance shall be designated a lifetime member and shall enjoy the rights and privileges of membership from that time forth.
  7. Honorary membership may be recommended to the Executive Committee by any SECOL member and awarded by the unanimous vote of Executive Committee members present at the annual meeting of the Society.  This membership shall recognize outstanding service to the region or to the profession or for other activity deemed meritorious.
  8. By nomination of three members and by vote of the Executive Committee, an individual who has made significant and noteworthy contributions to the Society may be awarded the special distinction of emeritus membership and have his/her name identified as such in the membership list.
  9. Only members may vote and hold office in the Society.
  10. Only members may present papers at meetings of the Society, except as invited by the Local Arrangements Committee or the Program Committee with the approval of the Executive Committee. If an abstract is accepted from an individual who has not paid current membership dues and who does not have an approved exemption, that individual will be informed by the Secretary that payment of dues must be made forthwith (typically within 10 business days), or else the projected presentation will be dropped from the final program. Exceptions can be made for individuals in foreign countries if it is determined that they are not able to pay dues in advance as a consequence of currency restrictions or monetary inexpediencies. Keynote speakers, invited panelists from disciplines other than those ordinarily represented in SECOL, and individuals conducting workshops who are not members of SECOL are not obligated to pay dues in order to present. Likewise, a general exemption will exist when, by prior agreement, special symposia (such as LAVIS) or special sessions sponsored by other professional associations (such as SAADS) are approved for joint meetings with SECOL. Presenters in such cases shall not be required to pay SECOL membership dues.

Article 3.  Officers and Committees

  1. The officers shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Journal Editor, and a Web Master.  Two (or more) of the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, Journal Editor and Web Master may be held concurrently by the same individual, if such an arrangement is deemed reasonable and appropriate by the Executive Committee.
  2. The officers and all committee members (except the Web Master) shall be resident in the Southeastern United States, as defined in Article 1, Section 2, except when temporarily on leave.  A move from this area shall automatically create a vacancy to be filled as described in Article 3, Section 7.3.  The President shall serve for a period of two calendar years and take office at the conclusion of the general business session of the annual meeting of the Society.  The President shall preside at meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee; shall appoint the members of the Program Committee except its chair (see Article 3, Section 4); shall appoint such other non-elective committees as may be required; shall represent the Society in appropriate official functions; shall have the responsibility to monitor whether the Society is functioning according to its Constitution, and shall coordinate the presentation of an annual report to the Society during its annual business meeting. The report shall usually include the following components: the annual reports of the Secretary (see Article 3, Section 5), the Treasurer (see Article 3, Section 6), the Journal Editor (see Article 3, Section 7), and the Web Master (see Article 3, Section 8), as well as a synopsis of the transactions of the meeting of the Executive Committee preceding the general business meeting. All of the components of the annual report shall be included in the minutes of the business meeting and posted on the Society’s website.
  3. The Vice-President shall be elected for a period of two calendar years and take office at the conclusion of the general business session at the annual meeting of the Society.  The Vice-President shall attend meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee and shall preside at these meetings when the President cannot be present; shall serve as chair of the Program Committee; and shall succeed to the Presidency after serving his/her term.
  4. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve a five-year renewable term of office (alternatively, a shorter term of office can be approved by the Executive Committee).  Secretarial responsibilities include recording the transactions of the Society and the Executive Committee and preparing minutes of these transactions, copies of which are to be made available to each member of the Executive Committee and posted on the Society’s website.  The Secretary shall coordinate plans for Society meetings, working with the Program Committee to facilitate the reviewing of abstracts and working with both the Program Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee to help organize the program and the schedule of events; prepare a yearly, written report for the annual Executive Committee meeting and annual business session; produce a periodic newsletter for distribution (electronically for the most part, by the Treasurer, who maintains the database of members’ addresses) and for posting on the Society’s website; publicize the Society’s annual meeting at appropriate electronic and other venues; monitor procedures for the granting of the Society’s awards (such as the Reza Ordoubadian award); and perform such other functions as may be assigned by the President and the Executive Committee.  The Secretary shall be expected to have institutional support in the form of access to departmental equipment, supplies, and space.
  5. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve a five-year renewable term of office (alternatively, a shorter term of office can be approved by the Executive Committee).  The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Society.  Fiscal responsibilities include collecting dues; updating the membership database; informing the Secretary of members in good standing whose abstracts are eligible for inclusion in the final program of the Society’s meetings; distributing the newsletters (made available by the Secretary) to the current membership; maintaining Society funds in an authorized financial institution; renewing the Society’s incorporation; dispensing funds as approved by the Executive Committee; and preparing a yearly, written financial report for the Executive Committee meeting and the annual business session at the Society’s annual meeting. The financial report should undergo periodic auditing.  The Treasurer shall be expected to have institutional support in the form of access to departmental equipment, supplies, and space.
  6. The Journal Editor shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve a five-year renewable term of office (alternatively, a shorter term of office can be approved by the Executive Committee).  The Journal Editor will be responsible for publishing the official Journal of the Society.  Duties include soliciting manuscripts for review; managing the review and revision of manuscripts in a timely manner; appointing and utilizing an Editorial Board and, if warranted, a Book Review Editor; assuring publication in a timely manner; editing and producing copy of articles, book reviews, artwork, cover design and advertisements for the Journal; working with the printer for all details of production (e.g., paper selection and binding); collecting copies of the Journal and mailing them; making arrangements for having bills and payments sent to the Treasurer; promoting the Journal to libraries and other potential subscribers; and answering all queries and correspondence regarding the Journal.  The Journal Editor shall be expected to make a yearly, written report to the annual Executive Committee meeting and the annual business session. The Journal Editor must have sufficient institutional support for the publishing of the Journal, in the form of a reduced teaching load, student assistants, and access to institutional equipment, supplies, and space.
  7. The Web Master shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve a five-year renewable term of office (alternatively, a shorter term of office can be approved by the Executive Committee).  The Web Master will maintain (or oversee the maintenance of) the Society’s website, soliciting information and contributions from the membership.  The Web Master may delegate the writing of code or other components of maintaining a high-quality website to someone else with appropriate expertise, provided that no cost to the Society is incurred.  The Web Master is expected to have institutional support for the Society’s website in the form of access to appropriate computer equipment, server space, and student assistant(s).  A Web Master may be appointed to office who does not reside in the geographical area delimited in Article 1, Section 2. In such a case the appointee will not be included as a member of the Executive Committee.
  8. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Journal Editor, Web Master (subject to the exception delineated in Article 3, Section 8), immediate Past President, and three other members of the Society residing in the geographical area delimited in Article 1, Section 2, one to be elected each year for a three-year term and, like other elected officers of the Society, to be ineligible for immediate reelection.  The Executive Committee shall act for and represent the Society at all times, except when the Society is assembled at its annual meeting.  It shall convene in person during the annual meeting and electronically at other times as specified by the President.  Executive Committee members who cannot attend a meeting of the Committee may exercise their voting privilege either by electronically submitting votes to the other members no later than the day prior to the scheduled meeting (this is appropriate when the wording of a motion is known or anticipated in advance of the meeting) or else by granting proxy voting authority to another elected or appointed SECOL officer (or former elected or appointed officer), preferably with specific instructions for voting on specific issues (carte blanche proxies are discouraged). Recourse to proxy voting shall be allowed only if the other members of the Executive Committee have been informed by the absentee member(s) of the proxy arrangement(s) in advance of the scheduled meeting.  The Executive Committee shall exercise final authority in the interpretation of the Society’s Constitution and have power to take any action that the Society itself can take, but all of its acts must be reported to the Society at the next annual meeting or in the next newsletter, whichever comes first.  The Secretary may, and shall at the request of any other member of the Society, ask the Executive Committee to vote upon specific questions (typically by e-mail); a motion passes or fails based on a majority vote of the Committee (a tie vote does not constitute a majority; after 10 business days have elapsed, if not all members of the Executive Committee have responded with a vote, the majority will be calculated in relation to those who voted, provided there is a quorum).  The Executive Committee shall appoint the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Journal Editor, and the Web Master. In the absence of an appointed Awards Committee designating the recipients of the Society’s awards (such as the Reza Ordoubadian award), the Executive Committee shall serve in that capacity.
  9. There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of three members, one to be elected each year for a three-year term.  The member whose term is about to expire shall act as chair.  The Nominating Committee shall in alternate years nominate one person for the position of Vice-President and one each year for the vacancy on the Executive Committee and on the Nominating Committee.  The slate shall be announced at the annual meeting and listed on the Society’s website.  Unless there are additional nominations by September 1, this slate shall be declared elected.  Any additional nomination(s) must respect the following procedure: At least five members should sign a nomination petition and give the petition to the Secretary during the annual meeting or else mail this petition to the Secretary before September 1.  The Secretary will then organize a vote, by electronically distributing a downloadable ballot to the membership, with the following instructions for anonymously mailing the ballot back to the Secretary by December 1: The ballot must be enclosed in an envelope that is entirely blank and is placed inside an exterior envelope bearing the name of the member in the upper left-hand corner or on the reverse side, for mailing to the Secretary at the address indicated. The Secretary will then be able to verify that the ballots come from members in good standing but will be able to maintain anonymity, when it comes to counting the ballots, by discarding the exterior envelopes before opening the blank envelopes containing the ballots.  The choice of the majority of the members voting prevails, based on all ballots returned by December 1.  Replacement of an elected officer or elected committee member who moves out of the SECOL area or resigns for other causes shall be governed by the following procedure: If the President must be replaced, the current Vice-President will immediately assume the office of the President for the remainder of the current term and then continue in that office for an additional two years, as originally projected.  If the Vice-President or an elected committee member must be replaced, the Nominating Committee shall nominate a willing replacement who must then be approved by majority vote of the Executive Committee.  If both the President and the Vice-President must be replaced simultaneously, the Nominating Committee shall nominate willing replacements who must then be approved by majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  10. There shall be a Program Committee consisting of the Vice-President and two other members appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee.  The tenure of members of this committee will be two years.  This committee shall judge the abstracts submitted for consideration at the annual meeting (the abstracts are to be made available to the Program Committee by the Secretary); assist the Local Arrangements Committee with the projecting of acceptable abstracts into sessions for the annual meeting; and inform the Secretary of the final program in a timely manner.  The Local Arrangements Committee is not formally appointed or elected by the Society, but is composed of those members who agree to take charge of the on-site organization of the annual meeting.

Article 4.  Meetings

There shall be at least one meeting of the Society each year, at which an Executive Committee meeting, a general business session, and one or more academic sessions shall be convened.  The time and place for meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee.  A quorum shall consist of those present at the general business session.  The annual meetings will be held within the Southeastern geographical area delineated in Article 1, Section 2.

Article 5.  Amendments

Any proposed amendment to this Constitution must be submitted to the Secretary in writing with the support (by letter or by e-mail) of at least ten members of the Society.  This will be distributed (primarily by e-mail) to the membership and posted on the Society’s website at least one month prior to the annual meeting.  Discussion will take place during the general business session at the annual meeting of the Society.  During that meeting, if a motion is made and seconded to submit the proposed amendment(s) (either in the original form that was posted or in an altered form resulting from deliberation prior to our during the business meeting) for general consideration by the Society’s membership, and if the motion receives a majority vote of those present, then the proposed amendment(s) shall be duly submitted to the entire membership for ratification, using the following balloting procedure: By June 1, the Secretary will conduct a vote, by electronically distributing a downloadable ballot to the membership, with instructions for mailing or e-mailing the ballot back to the Secretary by October 1, anonymous balloting not being required. To take effect, an amendment must have the approval of two-thirds of those voting.