SSSR Bylaws

BYLAWS of the SOCIETY FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF READING     August 10, 1993

Updated: 8 July 2006

ARTICLE I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (known herein as SSSR).

Section 2: It is planned for SSSR to be incorporated as a non-profit, educational corporation under the laws of the State of Missouri.

Section 3: The purposes of SSSR shall be to promote the scientific study of reading and to disseminate information about reading and related areas such as language and literacy.

Section 4: Neither the name of, nor membership in, SSSR shall be used to promote personal benefit.

ARTICLE II: Membership

Section 1: Membership comprises three categories: active, voting, and student.

Section 2: Active members shall be persons interested in promoting the purpose of SSSR and who pay annual dues.

Section 3: Active members may apply for voting status. To achieve voting status, an active member must have achieved a standard of excellence as a scientist conducting empirical research in the field of reading. The Membership Committee (see Article VI, Section 6) shall review applications and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors (see Article IV) shall make the final decisions regarding who shall receive voting member status. Voting member status shall continue as long as annual dues are paid.

Section 4: Student members shall be graduate students (full or part-time) in fields related to the study of Reading, who are interested in promoting the purposes of SSSR, and who pay annual dues. Applications and renewals for student membership must be accompanied by evidence of graduate student status, e.g., by a certifying signature from a member of SSSR.

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ARTICLE III: Officers

Section 1: The elected officers shall be President, President Elect, Vice President, and Past President. The appointed officers shall be Secretary, Treasurer, Publications Chair, Conference Coordinator, International Coordinator, and Historian.

Section 2: The elected officers shall serve for a term of two years.

Section 3: The appointed officers shall be named by the President with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors for a term of two years, such office to start on the date specified at the time of appointment. An exception is the Conference Coordinator who is appointed annually, depending on the selected conference site. Officers may be reappointed. Appointed officers may be removed from office at any time by a vote of at least three quarters of the members of the Board of Directors.

Section 4: The President shall act as the chief executive officer, chairing meetings of the members and of the Board of Directors, and exercising general leadership and supervision over the affairs of the organization in implementing its purpose. The President shall be responsible for approving and signing all contracts and other instruments of SSSR and, along with the Treasurer, authorizing the disbursement of funds in accordance with the annual budget. The President shall fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors and shall assume the duties of any vacant office, until such time as the office is filled. At the expiration of the term of office, the President shall automatically become Past President.

Section 5: The President Elect shall be responsible for site selection, chair the Program Committee, shall organize the annual conference, and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President, the President Elect shall perform the duties of the President at any meeting of the members or of the Board of Directors. At the expiration of the term of office, the President Elect shall automatically become President.

Section 6: The Vice President shall serve as the associate chair of the Program Committee and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President Elect, the Vice President shall assume and perform the duties of the President Elect. At the expiration of the term of office, the Vice President shall automatically become the President Elect. In the event that the office of the President Elect becomes vacant, the Vice President shall immediately become President Elect and serve the unexpired portion of that term, thereafter succeeding to the office of President.

Section 7: The Past President shall serve as liaison officer between SSSR and other professional organizations or government bodies, Chair the Membership Committee, Chair the Nominations Committee, and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 8: The Secretary shall perform the duties necessary for the maintenance of records and correspondence of SSSR, ensure the recording of an accurate record of discussions and actions taken at meetings of the members and the Board of Directors, oversee the election process, keep abreast of and inform the Board of Directors of any necessary actions relative to incorporation, give copies of all minutes to all the members of the Board with an extra archival copy for the Historian, and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 9: The Treasurer shall ensure the maintenance of all fiscal records and reports, oversee the custody of all SSSR funds and receipt of all dues and other monies owed to SSSR, authorize the disbursement of funds in accordance with the annual budget approved by the Board of Directors, cooperate with the Executive Committee in preparing the annual budget, and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 10: The Publications Chair shall chair the Publications Committee (see Article VI, Section 5), and fulfill other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 11: The Conference Coordinator shall be responsible for planning the Annual Meeting. This includes arrangements with the host hotel, during, and after the meeting. All arrangements are subject to the final approval of the Board of directors and contracts regarding conference bookings should be signed by the President.

Section 12: The International Coordinator shall be responsible for promoting international participation and a periodic meeting held outside the U.S.A., as well as fulfilling other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 13: The Historian shall keep archival copies of the program from the annual meetings, the minutes of all Board meetings, and copies of incorporation records, Bylaws, and the Policy and Procedures Handbook. These archives shall be kept with the Association Manager. The Historian shall also be responsible for updating the Society website on current officers, award winners, Bylaws, Handbook, and archival copies of the programs of the Annual Conferences.

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ARTICLE IV: Board of Directors

Section 1: The Board of Directors shall be empowered to hold and administer all property and funds and to direct the affairs of the organization. The Board of Directors shall maintain an SSSR Policy and Procedures Handbook which shall be reviewed and updated annually by the Historian.

Section 2: The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, President Elect, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publications Chair, Conference Coordinator, Historian, and three additional Directors elected by the voting members. The three elected Directors shall each serve a three-year staggered term of office, with one ordinarily being elected each year. Directors may be re-elected.

Section 3: As designated by the President, each Director shall serve as a liaison to committees, in addition to other duties.

Section 4: The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year, normally at the time and place of the annual meeting. Additional meetings may be held at the call of the President or upon the written request of any four members of the Board of Directors. The time and place of additional meetings shall be determined by the President, or by the group calling the meeting, so long as all members of the Board of Directors are given reasonable notice of the meeting. Members of the Board of Directors are authorized to use other means of communication to conduct necessary business of SSSR.

Section 5: All meetings of the Board of Directors are open to SSSR members, except in particular situations when ethical or other personnel matters are to be discussed. In such cases, the Board of Directors may move into closed session, and results of these actions, will be reported to the membership in general terms only. The Secretary shall ensure the maintenance of a full set of minutes of all sessions, including closed sessions. The minutes of the closed sessions will be available for inspection by any member of the Board of Directors.

Section 6: A quorum shall consist of at least four members of the Board of Directors, two of whom shall be elected officers.

Section 7: If the position of any elected Director becomes vacant, the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall, by appointment, fill the empty position until the next election.

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ARTICLE V: Elections

Section 1: The Nominations Committee (see Article VI, Section 3), having sought advice and recommendations from the membership in general and the Board of Directors in particular, shall prepare, prior to the annual meeting, a list of nominations for each position to be filled.

Section 2: After securing the approval of the nominated individuals, the list of candidates shall be mailed to all voting members before the annual meeting (if possible). Other nominations may then be submitted by the written request of at least ten active members. Such additional nominations must include a statement of consent to stand for office from each nominee.

Section 3: Election ballots listing the names of all properly nominated persons accompanied by a brief vitae for each nominee shall be mailed to all voting members. The ballot shall include a deadline for its return to the secretary and the secretary's address.

Section 4: Voting shall be by mail or email. Only ballots received before the deadline stated on the ballot shall be counted.

Section 5: The Secretary shall be responsible for the counting of ballots. The Secretary, and at least two other members, shall certify the results to the President who shall report the results to the membership ordinarily at the annual meeting. Positions of elected officers shall be filled by those persons obtaining the highest number of votes. Ordinarily, tie votes will be decided by lot.

Section 6: Elections shall take place during the calendar year preceeding the January 1 date that elected officers shall take office.

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ARTICLE VI: Committees

Section 1: Members of committees shall be appointed by the President with the advice of the Board of Directors. Committees shall serve for the term of the President unless otherwise specified at the time of appointment. The Chair of each committee shall be appointed by the President, except for the Chair of the standing committees as specified in these Bylaws. Vacancies on committees shall be filled by the President as they arise.

Section 2: The Program Committee shall advise the President Elect on the planning and organization of the Annual Meeting and function as a review board for program paper proposals. The President Elect shall serve as Chair and the Vice President shall serve as Associate Chair of this committee. Other members of this committee shall be appointed at the discretion of the Chair.

Section 3: The Nominations Committee shall function as defined in these Bylaws. The Nominations Committee shall be composed of the four elected officers. The Past President shall serve as Chair.

Section 4: The Publications Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the publications of SSSR. The Publications Committee shall be composed of the Chair and six other members appointed by the President. In addition, the editors of authorized SSSR publications shall serve as non-voting members of the committee. The duties of the Publications Committee include (1) promoting the journal for the society, called the Scientific Studies of Reading, (2) promoting the submission of articles to the journal, (3) promoting subscriptions to the journal, including libraries, (4) recommending new editors for SSSR publications, (5) conducting periodic evaluations of SSSR publications, (6) facilitating the work of the editors of SSSR publications, and (7) appointing a Chair of a Principles Committee who would work on editing a periodic publication for educators and parents that would outline principles that could be used to guide reading instruction. The three members shall be appointed for three year terms, with one member being appointed each year.

Section 5: The Membership Committee shall deal with all issues involving membership; its primary function will be to make decisions regarding the conferral of voting status in SSSR. It will submit its criteria for voting status to the Board for its approval; the Board may review and change these criteria at any time. This committee will be responsible for informing members about criteria and about the form of applications. Each year the Committee will review applicants and make recommendations to the Board, who will make the final decision regarding each application for voting status. The Past-President shall serve as Chair of this committee.

Section 6: The Financial Advisory Committee shall provide nonbinding advice and oversight of the financial well-being of SSSR, including emergency funds, savings, and investments. It will be composed of three voting members, including the Treasurer and the Vice President as Chair of the committee, and possible non-voting financial advisor(s). The third voting member and the advisor(s) are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors for a term of two years and may be reappointed. The committee shall make recommendations regarding long term financial matters and shall provide oversight of investments to the Board of Directors, who will make final decisions.

Section 7: Ad hoc committees may be established and their members appointed by the President, with the advice of the Board of Directors, for special purposes and shall serve for such time as is specified at the time of appointment.

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ARTICLE VII: Finances

Section 1: The Board of Directors shall have the power to allocate funds to carry out the purposes of the organization.

Section 2: All receipts and disbursements shall be made through accounts authorized by the Board of Directors. The President or Treasurer shall be responsible for authorizing the disbursement of funds in accordance with the annual budget.

Section 3: The Board of Directors shall be responsible for adopting an annual budget; the Treasurer shall be responsible for preparing the budget for the Board's consideration.

Section 4: Membership dues, subscription rates, and conference fees shall be established by the Board of Directors.

Section 5: The membership year shall run from January 1 to December 31. Members are expected to pay their dues during the last quarter prior to the beginning of the membership year. Members who fail to pay their dues by February 15 of a membership year will be dropped from membership.

Section 6: The fiscal year shall run from January 1 through December 31, or as otherwise determined by the Board of Directors.

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ARTICLE VIII: Indemnification

Section 1: SSSR will indemnify any officer or director, former officer or director, or any agent or employee of SSSR against expenses actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the defense of any action, suit, or proceedings in which the defendant, having acted in the best interests of SSSR, is made a party by reason of being or having been an officer, director, agent, or employee of SSSR.

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ARTICLE IX: Meetings

Section 1: The Annual Meeting shall be (a) three days or less in length, and (b) held at a time and place designed by the Board of Directors. The annual business meeting of the members shall be held during the Annual Meeting at such time and place as shall be listed in the official program.

Section 2: Additional meetings may be called by the majority of the Board of Directors.

Section 3: The Program of the Annual Meeting shall serve as official notification of the Annual Meeting and no notification other than the mailing of the program to the full membership list will be given. In the case of special meetings, a written notice stating the date, time, and location of the meeting and indicating the purpose(s) for which the meeting is being called shall be mailed to the full membership list not less than thirty days before the date of such meeting.

Section 4: Ten members or ten percent of the active members, whichever is fewer, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the members.

Section 5: The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall govern the conduct of all official meetings.

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ARTICLE X: Amendments

Section 1: Amendments to these Bylaws may be initiated in two ways. The Board of Directors may formulate amendments and submit them, with any arguments it chooses, to the voting members for action by ballot. Or any ten percent of the voting members, as sponsors, may submit to the Board of Directors proposed amendments in writing and signed by the sponsors, along with any arguments they choose. The Board of Directors shall then submit the proposed amendments, with the arguments developed by the sponsors, along with any recommendations and arguments it chooses, to the voting members for action by ballot.

Section 2: Amendments may be adopted by the affirmative vote of three quarters of the voting members present at a regular or special meeting called according to these Bylaws, provided that the proposed amendments have been mailed to each voting member at least thirty days prior to the meeting at which the vote takes place.

Section 3: Amendments may also be adopted by ballots mailed to all the voting members and returned to the Secretary. When a mail ballot is used, only those ballots returned within forty-five days after the date of mailing shall be counted. The Secretary and at least two other SSSR members shall certify the results to the Board of Directors. Amendments shall be adopted if at least two-thirds of the ballots returned within the prescribed time are affirmative, provided that ballots are returned by at least twenty percent of the total voting membership.

Section 4: Amendments to these Bylaws become effective upon adoption unless otherwise specified. Amendments which might affect the Articles of Incorporation become effective only upon issuance of a Certificate of Amendment from the Recorder of Deeds or other proper authority.

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