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Constitution & Bylaws of the Association for Computers and the Humanities

Constitution of the Association for Computers and the Humanities

Approved December 1978; as amended November 1979, 1983, June 1987, December 1992, December 2002, December 2013, December 2014.

I. Name

The name of this organization shall be The Association for Computers and the Humanities.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the Association shall be to encourage the use of computers and related technologies in the study of humanistic subjects. The Association shall further this goal by sponsoring regular conferences on computers and the humanities, and by otherwise facilitating contacts and discussion among individuals interested in the goal of the Association. The Association for Computers and the Humanities is formed exclusively for educational, research, and advocacy purposes. It is a founding, constituent member of the international umbrella organization, the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO).

III. Membership

Membership shall be open, through the processes established by the Association and published on its website, to all persons interested in furthering the purpose of the Association. Classes of membership shall be established in the Bylaws.

IV. Management of the Association

A. The Officers of the Association shall be:

  1. The Immediate Past President, whose term of office shall normally be one year, coinciding with the first year of the President’s term.
  2. The President, who shall be normally elected by the general membership originally into the position of Vice President and whose term of office shall be two years, ending at the close of the annual summer Executive Council meeting or (in the event no Executive Council meeting is held in the summer) on August 1st of his or her final year in office. Following the expiration of his or her last term, he or she shall succeed to the position of Immediate Past President. The President, as the chief executive officer of the Association, shall:
    1. Preside at the General Business Meetings of the Association and of the Executive Council;
    2. Be a member or ex-officio member of all committees of the Association (or designate the Vice President to fill that role).
  3. The Vice President/President-Elect, who shall be elected by the general membership, and whose term of office shall normally be two years, ending at the close of the annual summer Executive Council meeting or (in the event no Executive Council meeting is held in the summer) on August 1st of his or her final year in office. Following the expiration of her or his term, the Vice President shall succeed to the position of President. The Vice President shall perform those of the President’s duties as shall, from time to time, be delegated to her or him by the President.
  4. The Executive Secretariat consisting of one or more Executive Secretaries, who shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Association. He, she, or they shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Executive Council. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Secretariat to carry out policies established by the Executive Council and perform such duties as are assigned by it.
  5. The Treasurer, who shall be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Executive Council. She or he shall:
    1. Maintain accurate and timely records of all income and expenditures of the Association;
    2. Be responsible for the safekeeping of all documents relating to the fiscal affairs of the Association;
    3. Safeguard all funds and income of the Association and keep them safely deposited in a chartered bank approved by the Executive Council;
    4. On authorization of the Executive Council, draw checks against deposited funds. For checks in excess of amounts to be determined by the Executive Council, the signature of a second officer designated by the Executive Council shall be required;
    5. Prepare, with the advice of the Executive Secretary, the annual budget for the approval of the Executive Council;
    6. Report at the annual meeting of the Executive Council, or as it shall require, on the collection and disbursements of the Association.
    7. Deliver copies of his or her financial records of ACH transactions to the Executive Secretary for archiving, at least once a year, usually at the annual general meeting.

B. The Executive Council

  1. The affairs and business of the Association shall be managed and controlled, subject to the provisions of the Bylaws, by an Executive Council consisting of:
    1. The Immediate Past President, the President, and the Vice President, ex officiis; these officers shall be with vote.
    2. The Executive Secretary, the Communications Officer, and the Treasurer, ex officiis; these officers shall be with vote.
    3. Twelve Members at large shall serve terms of four years, with one quarter of their number retiring each year, at the close of the annual summer Executive Council meeting or (in the event no Executive Council meeting is held in the summer) on August 1st. Members at large shall be eligible for immediate re-election.
    4. One editor from each of any ACH-sponsored publications as ex officio member with vote.
    5. Invited liaison members from allied organizations, and others invited by the Executive Council, without vote.
  2. The Executive Council shall be the basic policy making organ of the Association. The function and duties of the Executive Council shall be:
    1. To appoint the Executive Secretary, Treasurer, and Communications Officer;
    2. To approve the budget submitted by the Treasurer and to set the dues and other financial conditions of membership;
    3. To organize and conduct events sponsored by the Association;
    4. To establish and terminate Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups;
    5. To accept reports as required from such committees as it shall appoint;
    6. To maintain liaison with other professional associations in related fields;
    7. To elect representatives to appropriate federations and councils;
    8. To establish, subject to the approval of a majority of the membership, appropriate Bylaws;
    9. To ensure the preservation of documents related to the Association’s business in a reliable archive or repository;
    10. To transact all such other business which furthers the purpose of the Association and which is not subject to the approval of the General Business Meeting of the Association.

V. Conferences

  1. An annual conference shall normally be held at least once every year at times and places determined in partnership with ADHO.
  2. The Association may sponsor or co-sponsor, at the discretion of the Executive Council, similar conferences.

VI. Meetings and Voting Measures

A. Annual General Meetings

  1. An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in conjunction with the major annual conference sponsored under the auspices of the Association. In the event a vote is required, thirty members in good standing (attending in person, virtually, or via proxy) shall constitute a legal quorum.
  2. Other business Meetings may be ordered by the Executive Council and called by the President. At these, fifteen members (attending in person, virtually, or via proxy) shall constitute a legal quorum.
  3. Notice of the AGM will be by means of inclusion in the program for the ADHO conference. Written notice stating the place, day and hour of any other meeting, shall normally be given not less than twenty-one days before the date of the meeting (except as otherwise required by law), by or at the direction of the President or the Executive Secretary, or the persons calling the meeting, to each member entitled to vote. In the case of a special meeting, notice shall be deemed duly given to a member when it is either delivered in person, electronically mailed, or mailed, postage-prepaid, to the address of such member as it appears in the records of the ACH.
  4. The vote of a majority of the members entitled to vote that are present in person or by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be necessary and sufficient for the adoption of any matter voted upon by the members, unless a greater vote of the members is required by law or by the Executive Council.

B. Executive Council Meetings

  1. A regular Meeting of the Executive Council shall be held each year, on a date and at a location determined by the Council.
  2. Additional meetings may be convened by the President on his or her own initiative or on notice signed by seven members of the Council.
  3. A quorum shall consist of any seven members of the Council in addition to any two of the officers. If a quorum of the Executive Council is present and wishes to conduct official business, but the President and the Vice President are unavailable, the Executive Secretary may preside. If the Executive Secretary is also unavailable, the Executive Council may elect a chairman pro tem to preside.
  4. At any meeting of the Executive Council, other persons may be invited, at the discretion of the Council, to participate in Council meetings without vote.
  5. Written notice stating the place, day and hour of the meeting, and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called shall be given not less than fourteen days before the date of the meeting (except as otherwise required by law), by or at the direction of the President or the Executive Secretary, or the persons calling the meeting, to each member of the Executive Council. A notice shall be deemed duly given to a member when it is either delivered in person, electronically mailed, or mailed, postage-prepaid, to the address of such member as it appears in the records of the ACH. No public notice shall be required.

C. Amendments and Petitions

The Constitution or the Bylaws may be amended as follows:

  1. The Executive Council may approve an amendment proposal by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. Then a ballot shall be sent to the entire membership and at least 14 days allowed for return. The distribution and counting of the ballots shall be conducted as for elections. Ratification shall require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
  2. Any member in good standing may create and, with the obligatory assistance of the officers of the organization, distribute a petition, if seconded by at least five members in good standing, to fellow members. These petitions may propose and call for a vote to ratify changes to the ACH Constitution or Bylaws, or initiate a vote of no confidence in leadership and a special elections process.

VII. Dissolution

Upon dissolution of the Association, a matter which requires assent of three-quarters of the membership, the Executive Council shall, after paying or making provisions for payment of all the liabilities of the Association, dispose of all the assets of the Association exclusively for the purpose of the Association in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes or shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law), as the Executive Council shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the country in which the principal office of the Association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.


Bylaws of the Association for Computers and the Humanities

Approved August 1979, Amended 1983, 1987, 1992, 2002, 2013

I. Membership and Dues

A. The Membership of the Association shall consist of:

  1. Members. Any person may become a Member of the Association on the terms established by the Association and published on its website and in the categories of membership provided.
  2. Honorary Members. Honorary Membership may be conferred on any person, for life, upon the recommendation of the Executive Council. Such Honorary Members shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of a regular member in the Association.

B. Privileges of Membership

  1. Each Member in good standing in the Association shall receive, as part of the privileges of membership, a subscription to any publications of the Association, unless his or her chosen membership option states otherwise.
  2. All classes of membership, except as otherwise specified, shall be entitled to reduced prices on such publications as the Association may arrange, to reduced registration fees at the annual meeting, and to other benefits as may be negotiated or provided by the Executive Council.

C. Payment of Dues

  1. The annual dues for members shall be payable in accordance with the terms laid out on the Association’s website.
  2. Honorary Members shall not be required to pay annual dues.

D. Removal and Resignation of Members

  1. The privileges of the Association shall be withdrawn from any member whose annual dues are six months overdue.
  2. Any member may withdraw from the Association by notifying the Executive Secretary. No refund of dues will be made.

II. Elections

  1. At each annual meeting of the Executive Council it shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of an Executive Officer and four other members, who shall be current members of the ACH but need not be members of the Executive Council. Each year nominations will be made for Executive Council vacancies; every other year nominations will be made for President and Vice President/President-Elect (unless otherwise needed by a vacancy).
  2. At some time before 1 February the Nominating Committee shall transmit to the Executive Secretariat nominations of at least double the number of positions that shall become vacant on the Executive Council and/or for the Executive Officers at the next election, based on an email or Web nomination process managed by the Nominating Committee. This process should allow for self-nomination as well as nomination by another member of the Association, and should gather pertinent information about the candidate’s interests and background for inclusion on the ballot. The Nominating Committee shall ensure diversity in the candidate pool, and that all nominated candidates who willing to serve are included on the ballot. The Nominating Committee shall further ensure that all candidates on the ballot are ACH members in good standing or are willing to become such prior to the distribution of the election ballot.
  3. After receiving the list of nominations from the Nominating Committee, the Executive Secretariat shall distribute to each voting member a ballot listing all persons nominated to run in the election. Ballots may be distributed and collected electronically (by fax, email, Web, or other means) provided there is a mechanism for preserving the secrecy of the ballot while still ensuring that each member casts only one vote. The ballot must indicate the number of seats that are to be filled ( and therefore the maximum number of persons for whom members may vote). The ballot must also include the address to which it must be returned (unless it is to be submitted interactively, for example through a Web form), and the date by which it must be received in order to be counted. All ballots received by the specified deadline shall be opened and tallied by the Executive Secretariat, and certified by the President and Vice President/President-Elect. The results will be transmitted to the Executive Council, Officers, and all candidates for office; any of those people may request a formal recount before the next Executive Council meeting. Results of the election will be announced to the Members on or about 15 March. The Executive Secretariat will keep the records of voting, including physical or electronic ballots until the completion of the first meeting of the Executive Council after the election.

III. Vacancies

  1. In the event of the resignation of any elected member of the Executive Council, save in the last year of his or her term, the resulting vacancy shall be filled by electing one additional member at the normal annual election for the Executive Council. The member who receives the fewest votes of those elected on that occasion shall serve only during the residual term of the resigned member. This procedure shall also be adopted, mutatis mutandis, in the case of multiple vacancies.
  2. If the position of Immediate Past President becomes vacant for any reason, it shall not be filled until the President can assume this position.
  3. If the position of President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall assume the office and responsibilities of the President. Following the expiration of the original term, the new President shall stay on for another full term as originally intended.
  4. If the position of Vice President becomes vacant, an interim Vice President shall be elected by the Executive Council from among its ranks. At the next election cycle, a new Vice President shall be elected.
  5. The President and Vice President are charged with organizing the process to appoint or re-appoint other officers of the organization (with final approval by the Executive Council).
  6. Any officer in the organization who does not remain a member in good standing may be removed by vote of the Executive Council.

IV. Standing Committees

The Executive Council shall establish standing committees, appoint their members and chairpersons by vote, and accept their reports. The membership of these standing committees will be composed of Executive Council members and/or ACH members in good standing. Standing committees will be expected to submit regular reports at intervals established by the Executive Council. These committees shall include:

  1. A Committee on Advocacy and Outreach, normally chaired by the ACH Vice President.
  2. A Nominating Committee, as described in section IIA of the Bylaws, above.

V. Special Interest Groups

Members shall be encouraged to form Special Interest Groups. With the approval of the Executive Council, they may hold sessions during the annual meeting, distribute newsletters, apply for occasional funding support through established mechanisms, and in other ways further their particular concerns within the general framework of the Association.

VI. Council Representatives from Related Professional Associations

The Council may approve having an official liaison to any related learned society or professional association. ACH and the related association would agree upon a person named to be the liaison who would be a member of both organizations to serve as long as both organizations deem it appropriate. The role of the liaison is to encourage a broad exchange of information and to promote exchange sessions and panels at regular meetings of the related association.

VII. Affiliated Chapters

The Association encourages the formation of regional or thematic chapters, and is willing to negotiate cooperative agreements and mutually beneficial dues structures. A potential ACH chapter may apply to the Executive Council for start-up costs, and may also apply for more formal ties, to be specified in mutually-agreeable terms. In either case, the ACH chapter will determine its own governance structure and budget. The Council may dissolve its sponsorship for such an organization at any time, so long as it gives six months’ notice in writing to the leadership of that organization.

VIII. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Association shall be the calendar year.

IX. Rules of Order

In all matters not determined by the Constitution or the Bylaws, the proceedings for the Association shall be governed by the latest edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order.


5 comments on “Constitution & Bylaws of the Association for Computers and the Humanities

  1. […] For more information on the responsibilities and obligations of ACH council members, see http://www.ach.org/constitution#Bylaws […]

  2. […]  The three top vote-getters in the Executive Council race will be elected to four-year terms.  For more information on the responsibilities and obligations of ACH council members, see http://www.ach.org/constitution#Bylaws […]

  3. […] The amendments recently made to our Constitution and Bylaws by the ACH Executive Council have been ratified by the membership. The amended version is available on the ACH website. […]

  4. […] For more information on the responsibilities and obligations of ACH council members, see http://www.ach.org/constitution#Bylaws. […]

  5. […] the recently amended ACH Constitution (http://ach.org/about-ach/constitution/), the Vice President serves a two-year term and then becomes the President for an additional […]

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