Constitution and Bylaws
Article I: NAME
The name of the society shall be the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (hereafter, the Society, or the acronym EASSSR).
Article II: PURPOSE
- The Society shall be a non-profit organization. The purpose of the Society shall be to promote the academic study of religion through social scientific disciplines, including but not limited to sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, history, geography, religious studies, economics, and other interdisciplinary studies. The Society seeks also to promote dialogue among the sciences, humanities, and other disciplines that are engaged in systematic efforts to understand religion.
- The scope of the Society shall be considered to include religions and spiritual phenomena in all its social and cultural dimensions in all human societies, with particular interests in East and Southeast Asian societies.
- The Society shall serve as a medium of communication among scholars and researchers through the sponsorship of conferences and publications.
- The Society shall uphold and promote the highest professional and scientific standards for research and publication in the scientific study of religion.
- English shall be the official language of Society’s official documents and for conducting the Executive Council Meetings and General Business Meetings. For conferences hold in specific country, specific sessions can be organized in the language of the host country.
Article III: MEMBERSHIP
Membership is open to any person interested in the purpose of the Society. The forms, conditions, and dues of membership are set forth in the Bylaws of the Society.
Article IV: OFFICERS
- The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice President, a Past-President, a General Secretary, and a Treasurer.
- The first President and Vice President shall be elected by the Preparatory Committee members. Thereafter, a Vice President shall be elected by members from the Society’s membership. After serving as the Vice President for a term of two years, this person shall become the President. After serving as the President for a term of two years, this person shall become the Past-President for a term of two years.
- The President represents and speaks for the Society, may sign contracts and other documents on behalf of the Society, except as said duties are assigned to the General Secretary, Treasurer, or other authorized agent of the Society. It is the President’s duty to name the Program Chair of the Annual Conference, and with that person jointly, arrange for the program of the Annual Conference for the two years the President is in office.
- The Vice President shall become acquainted with the affairs of the Society and carry out any special assignments from the President or Executive Council. The Vice President shall prepare a list of nominees for all committees deemed necessary by the Executive Council, to be presented to the Council for appointment to serve during his or her term as President.
- The Past-President shall chair the committee responsible for nominations of officers, council members, and regional representatives, as well as carry out any special assignments from the President or Executive Council.
- The General Secretary shall be appointed from the membership by the Executive Council, normally for a period of four years. As the chief administrative officer of the Society, the General Secretary is primarily responsible for carrying out the decisions made by the President and the Executive Council and acting on behalf of the Society. The General Secretary shall also record the minutes of the Executive Council and the Business Meeting of the Society, and deliver such meeting minutes to the Executive Council or the membership.
- The Treasurer shall be appointed from the membership by the Executive Council, normally for a period of four years. In conjunction with the General Secretary and the President, the Treasurer is to prepare and to recommend to the Executive Council an annual budget, and to be responsible for recommending any major changes in fiscal policy.
- In the event of the President’s death, resignation, or inability to perform the duties of the President, the Vice President shall become President. If more than a year remains in the new President’s term, a special election shall occur immediately for the purpose of selecting a new Vice President. If less than a year remains in the President’s term, the office of Vice President shall remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled election.
Article V: EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
- The Executive Council shall have control of all affairs of the Society, with authority to interpret this Constitution and Bylaws, formulate policy, and conduct the general and fiscal affairs of the Society. The functions of the Executive Council shall be: (1) to arrange meetings and programs, (2) to control the relations of the Society with other learned societies, (3) to determine and control all publications of the Society, (4) to establish fiscal and budgetary policy for the Society, and (5) to establish and provide suitable mechanisms for awarding prizes and honors.
- The Executive Council shall consist of the officers named in Article IV, six council members at large elected from the membership, and regional liaisons appointed by the Executive Council. The number of regional liaisons in each region depends on the number of members in that region.
- Council members at large have no specific duties except to vote on matters brought to the Executive Council and to perform such other assignments as may from time to time be given them.
- At the time of initial establishment of the Society, one third of the council members’ terms may be designated for one year, and one third of the council members terms may be designated for two years. Thereafter, the term of the council members at large is three years. Each year, two new council members are elected to replace the two council members whose term is due to expire. In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacity of a council member in the first two years, a replacement is to be elected to fill the balance of that council member’s term of office; otherwise the position remains vacant until the next scheduled election.
- Regional liaisons are non-voting members of the Executive Council. A regional liaison is responsible for promoting the Society, including its conferences and publications, in his or her region, and facilitating the communication between the Society and its members in his or her region.
- The Annual Conference Program Chair shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Council.
- All members of the Executive Council shall be members of the Society at the time of their nomination and shall remain members in good standing of the Society throughout their terms of office.
Article VI: MEETINGS
- The Society shall hold an Annual Conference for the presentation of papers and general discussion of the scientific study of religion. The time and place of the Annual Conference shall be determined by the Executive Council. The Executive Council may authorize additional meetings.
- The Executive Council shall meet at least once during the Annual Conference. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum at all meetings.
- A Business Meeting open to all members of the Society shall be held during the Annual Conference for the discussion of the business of the Society, including the presentation of reports to inform members on matters of interest to the Society, and to permit response from the officers to questions and suggestions from the membership. All members of the Executive Council are therefore expected to attend the Business Meeting.
- The President of the Society shall preside at the Executive Council Meeting and Business Meeting; if he or she is unable to do so, the Vice President or the General Secretary, in that order of priority, shall preside. The presiding officer shall have the right to rule on any points of order raised at the Business Meeting. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or Bylaws, the Executive Council Meetings and Business Meetings of the Society will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised Edition.
Article VII: AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members voting on a referendum. The proposed amendment must be sent to each constituent member at least thirty days prior to the deadline for the return of the referendum ballots. An amendment may be proposed by a majority vote of the Executive Council or by petition of at least ten percent of the constituent members. An amendment proposed by members shall be submitted to the Executive Council, which shall submit it to a referendum of the members.
- There shall be two classes of membership, as follows:
(b) Student members: Individuals who are actively pursuing an academic degree. Student members receive all the publications of the Society, but do not have the right to vote or hold office. Each student member should pay US$30 per year as membership fee.
- There shall be two categories of committees: standing and ad hoc . The membership of each committee and the terminal dates of office of the members shall be published each year in a newsletter or other official publication of the Society.
- Standing Committees shall exist to perform the continuous or ongoing functions of the Society. All standing committees shall consist of at least three members; enlargement beyond six members shall require the approval of Executive Council. The normal term of membership on standing committees shall be three years, except that initial appointment made under these Bylaws shall be for one, two, or three years.
- The incoming Vice President will nominate a new member of each standing committee and nominate an existing member of the committee as the chair of the standing committee. The Executive Council appoints the standing committee members and chairs.
- In the event of resignation or inability of a committee member to complete his or her term, appointment to the unexpired term shall be made by the President with the approval of the Executive Council. Whenever a committee member fails to continue his or her membership in the Society, which shall be a prerequisite for committee service, that person’s seat shall be considered vacant.
- The following shall be recognized as Standing Committees:
(b) A Development Committee that shall work to advance the Society’s long-term financial condition (including investments and fund-raising) and generate financial support for the Annual Conference in its various locales.
(c) An International Liaison Committee that shall be responsible for promoting participation in the activities of the Society by scholars from in and outside East Asia, and coordinating activities of the Society with those of international associations or societies.
- The Ad Hoc Committees shall serve on an annual basis to aid the functioning of the President and the Executive Council. All members of ad hoc committees shall be members of the Society. The following shall be recognized as ad hoc committees:
(b) An Annual Conference Program Committee, whose chair will be the Program Chair named by the Vice President for the succeeding year, and which will consist of the chair, the President, and the General Secretary.
(c) Other committees as the Executive Council or the President, with the consent of the Executive Council, may deem necessary.
- Each standing committee and each ad hoc committee shall submit a written report each year to the Executive Council and the annual Business Meeting. The substance of this report shall be published in the issue of the Society’s newsletter following the annual meeting.
BYLAW AMENDMENT PROCEDURE
- The Bylaws may be amended by vote of two-thirds of those voting at the annual Business Meeting or by two-thirds voting on a mail or E-mail ballot, the choice of method to be at the discretion of the Executive Council.
- For an amendment of the Bylaws to be placed before the membership, it must either have the approval of the Executive Council or ten percent of the constituent members of the Society.