Constitution and By-Laws
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ACJS Constitution and By-Laws
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
As amended with certification of the Constitutional Amendment Election December 2016.
This organization shall be known as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (hereafter Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, ACJS, or the Academy).
The purposes of this organization shall be to foster excellence in education and research in the field of criminal justice in institutions of higher education; to encourage understanding and cooperation among those engaged in teaching and research in criminal justice; to build cooperation between criminal justice agencies and related fields; to provide a forum for the exchange of information among persons involved with education and research in the criminal justice field; to serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information related to or produced by criminal justice education and/or research programs; to foster the highest ethical and personnel standards in criminal justice educational programs as well as in operational agencies and allied fields.
Section 1. The membership of the Academy shall be divided into the following categories: (1) regular members, (2) student members, (3) institutional members, (4) sustaining members, (5) honorary members, (6) life members, and (7) senior members.
Section 2. REGULAR MEMBERS: Regular membership shall include any individual paying regular or sustaining membership dues or designated as a regular member by an institutional member, who supports the purposes of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences as outlined in Article II, and does not fall within, or falling within does not choose to be included within, any other categories of membership as defined in Sections 3-6, below.
Section 3. STUDENT MEMBERS: Student membership shall be open to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at an institution of higher education who supports the purposes of the Academy as outlined in Article II, whose enrollment is certified by a regular faculty or administrative official of the institution.
Section 4. INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS: Institutional membership shall be available to any institution of higher education offering a bona fide two-year, four-year, or graduate criminal justice degree program or with a criminal justice research institute. Institutional members shall designate one member of their faculty or administration as a regular member. When a university’s organizational system includes multiple campuses, each campus must individually apply for institutional membership if it houses a separately administered program or institute.
Section 5. SUSTAINING MEMBERS: Sustaining membership shall be open to any person, company, corporation, or partnership committed to excellence in education and research in the field of criminal justice.
Section 6. HONORARY MEMBERS: Any individual who has served the Academy or the field of criminal justice with honor and distinction may be elected an honorary member upon the unanimous vote of the Executive Board and by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any Annual Business Meeting of the Academy.
Section 7. LIFE MEMBERS: Lifetime memberships shall be open to any regular member.
Section 8. SENIOR MEMBERS: Senior membership shall be open to any individual 65 years of age or older. Senior members shall be considered regular members of the Academy.
Section 9. APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Application for membership in the Academy shall be submitted on the form prescribed by the Executive Board and shall be received by the Executive Director.
Section 10. DUES: The annual dues for all categories of membership shall be set by the Executive Board and are due and payable to the Treasurer by a date determined by the Executive Board. The nonpayment of dues constitutes termination of membership, and such individual or institutions must be re-qualified for membership by the Executive Board.
Section 12. VOTING PRIVILEGES: Only regular members in the Academy who have paid dues for the current year shall have voting privileges on all matters presented to the Academy membership for a vote. Life members and honorary members, for purposes of this section, are included within those who have voting privileges.
Section 13. RESIGNATIONS: Resignations of membership shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Director.
Section 1. The officers of the Academy shall be a President, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, Immediate Past President, the Regional Trustees and Trustees-at-Large. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by this Constitution and By-Laws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Academy, as prescribed in Article IX. No officer or member of the ACJS Executive Board may serve concurrently as an officer or member on the executive board of another national or international criminal justice organization.
Section 2. The officers of the Academy, who must be regular members eligible to vote, shall be elected in accordance with the Election Code as adopted by the Executive Board.
Section 3. No officer except the Treasurer may serve consecutive terms in the same office.
Section 4. Nothing in Article IV, Section 3, shall preclude a person elected to fill the unexpired term of a Trustee from running for election to a full three-year term, provided that the unexpired term to which previously elected was of a duration of less than 18 months.
Section 5. Officers of the Academy shall hold office until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified.
Section 6. The President shall preside at Annual or Special Meetings of the Academy and all meetings of the Executive Board. The President shall automatically succeed to the office of Immediate Past President.
Section 7. The First Vice-President shall preside at Annual or Special Meetings of the Academy in the absence, disability, suspension or removal of the President. The First Vice-President shall automatically succeed to the office of President should the President be unable to complete the elected term of office. In addition, the First Vice-President shall serve as President for the year following promotion to the office of First Vice-President.
Section 8. The Second Vice-President shall preside at Annual or Special Meetings of the Academy in the absence, disability, suspension or removal of the President and First Vice-President. The Second Vice-President shall chair the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee. The Second Vice-President shall automatically succeed to the office of President should the President and First Vice-President be unable to complete the elected terms of office. In addition, the Second Vice-President shall serve as First Vice-President for the year following the election to Second Vice-President.
Section 9. The Secretary shall record the minutes of all Executive Board meetings and the annual Business Meeting of the ACJS membership; forward such minutes to the Association Manager for distribution to the Executive Board; prepare a summary of the Executive Board minutes and Business Meeting minutes for publication in ACJS Today; contact all criminal justice/criminology doctoral programs to obtain a list of the year’s graduates, contact the graduates and offer them a one-year free membership in ACJS; prepare a midyear and annual report of this activity for the Executive Board; transmit any policy changes to the Association Manager; prepare the ballot for constitutional amendments; when the balloting does not coincide with regular elections, convene a Teller’s Committee to verify the voting results for constitutional amendments/revisions and report the outcome of the vote to the Executive Board; chair the ACJS Today Editor Search Committee when necessary; serve as board liaison to committees as necessary; and perform all duties outlined in the Policies.
Section 10. The Treasurer shall receive, transfer, and disperse all monies; maintain fiscal records for the Academy and all Sections; and provide periodic financial reports at times to be determined by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall prepare and submit all yearly tax statements, as well as a written report at the Business Meeting during the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall provide oversight to the operations of the Secretariat, including evaluation of Secretariat personnel.
Section 11. The Trustees shall prepare for, attend, and participate in all Executive Board meetings and Academy functions; provide communication to/from the membership; serve as board liaison to committees as necessary; recruit new members; assist in Academy operations as necessary; and perform all duties outlined in the Policies.
Section 12. The Immediate Past President shall chair the Nominations and Elections Committee, select the members of the committee, solicit nominations from the membership, prepare a slate of candidates for the mid-year Executive Board Meeting, convene a Teller’s Committee to verify the outcome of the vote to the Executive Board, and perform all duties outlined in the Policies.
Section 13. Any officer may be suspended from office by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and may be removed from office by two-thirds vote of the regular members present and voting at an Annual Business or Special Meeting.
Section 1. ANNUAL MEETING: The site of annual meetings of the Academy shall be selected by the Executive Board. Meetings may be scheduled several years in advance. Exact dates may be set by the host institution(s) as approved by the Executive Board.
Section 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS: The Executive Board shall have the power to call a special meeting of the Academy at a date and place prescribed by the Board when same shall be deemed necessary. All regular members must be notified of a special meeting at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting.
Section 3. A quorum for an annual or special meeting shall be the number of regular members present and voting. However, no voting decisions affecting official policies of the Academy shall become operative until reported to the Executive Board, and referred by the Board to the voting membership of the Academy for consideration and approval. Such voting decisions shall become operative only upon approval by majority vote of respondents among the Academy’s voting membership.
The Executive Board
Section 1. The officers of the Academy as specified in Article IV, Section 1, of this Constitution and By-Laws shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Academy between and during its annual meetings, fix the hour and place of its meetings, make recommendations to the Academy, and perform such other duties as are specified by the Constitution and By-Laws. The Executive Board shall be subject to the orders of the Academy, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Academy.
Section 3. The President of the Academy shall serve as the Chairperson of the Executive Board.
Section 4. The Executive Board shall be the policy-making body of the Academy subject to the provisions of the second sentence of Article VI, Section 2. It shall fill all offices vacated between elections by whatever procedure it determines desirable. It shall prepare an annual budget for the Academy, and its Chairperson shall be responsible for the preparation of the program for the Annual Meeting.
Section 5. Any regular member may submit a proposed resolution, in writing, to the Executive Board, and it shall be mandatory that the Chairperson include it as an agenda item for consideration at the next meeting of the Executive Board. Such a resolution must be received at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled meeting.
Section 6. Minutes shall be kept of all meetings of the Executive Board, and its actions shall be reported to the membership after each annual meeting of the Academy via the ACJS website.
Section 7. A quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of one-half of the voting members plus one.
Regional organizations may be established and associated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in accordance with policies and procedures established in ACJS Regional Organization Policy Guidelines as adopted by the ACJS Executive Board. Each region will be represented on the ACJS Executive Board by a Regional Trustee chosen in accordance with the ACJS Regional Organization Policy Guidelines. A Regional Trustee may be suspended from office by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the regular members voting by electronic ballot.
Section 1. The Academy will maintain the following Standing Committees:
a. Academic Review
b. Affirmative Action
c. Constitution and By-Laws
e. Nominations and Elections
g. Student Affairs
i. Budget, Finance, and Audit
l. Public Policy
m. Committee on National Criminal Justice Month
n. Crime and Justice Research Alliance (CJRA)
Section 2. The President may establish various Ad Hoc Committees and appoint their members and chairpersons.
Section 3. With the exception of the chairpersons of the Ethics; Nominations and Elections; and the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committees; the President shall appoint the chairpersons of all Committees. The chairperson of the Ethics Committee is determined by procedure established in the ACJS Code of Ethics. The chairpersons of Nominations and Elections and the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committees are established in this Constitution, Article IV, Sections 11 and 7 respectively.
Section 4. The Immediate Past President shall serve as Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
Section 5. Upon assuming office, the First Vice-President shall appoint a member to serve as Chairperson of the Program Committee for the Annual Meeting following the First Vice-President’s succession to the office of President. During the interregnum between appointment and accession to office, the person appointed shall serve as a regular member of the Program Committee.
Section 6. Upon assuming office, the Second Vice-President shall appoint a member to serve as Chairperson of the Local Arrangements Committee following the Second Vice-President’s succession to the office of President.
Section 7. The First Vice-President, in conjunction with the deputy chair of each standing committee, shall appoint the members of the respective standing committee.
Section 8. Any member of any Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences committee must be a regular member of the Academy.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Academy in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution and By-Laws and any special rules of order the Academy may adopt.
Amendment of Constitution and By-Laws
The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active members of the Academy voting on the amendment. This vote must be taken in accordance with the Election Code as adopted by the Executive Board.
Interpretation of Constitution
In case of question on the meaning of any language in this document, the questions shall be referred to the Chair, Constitution and By-Laws Committee, for interpretation of the language and/or provision. This interpretation, upon formal filing with the Secretariat for inclusion as an appendix to the Constitution and By-Laws, shall be the official interpretation, subject to invalidation by action of the Executive Board by whatever method it chooses.
If the ACJS Executive Board decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Academy, it shall call for a dissolution vote among all members. Members shall be given at least thirty (30) days notice of the vote, including a statement of the terms of the proposed resolution. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting, the Executive Board shall have the power to realize any assets held by or on behalf of the Academy. This vote must be taken in accordance with the Election Code as adopted by the Executive Board. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given and transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objectives similar to the objectives of the Academy as the members of the Executive Board may determine, or failing that, shall be applied for some other charitable purpose. A copy of the statement of accounts, or account and statement, for the final accounting period of the Academy must be prepared by the Executive Board for any and all such purposes as may require it.
Adopted January 1975
Amended December 1976
Amended August 1977
Amended September 1981
Amended November 1982
Amended November 1984
Amended March 1988
Amended December 1989
Amended September 1993
Amended February 1995
Amended March 2003
Amended March 2004
Amended March 2008
Amended March 2009
Amended February 2010
Amended January 2013
Amended December 2014
Amended December 2016
Section 1. INCORPORATION INTO CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS: The Election Code, as revised and adopted by the Executive Board, June 23, 1978, and September 9, 1981, and further revised and codified by the Executive Board, March 31, 1985, is hereby incorporated into the Constitution and By-Laws and made an integral part thereof.
Section 2. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: The Second Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, Regional Trustees, and Trustees-at-Large shall be elected by electronic ballot by majority vote of those electors, as specified by Constitution Article IV, Section 2, casting valid ballots.
Section 3. TERM OF OFFICE: The Second Vice-President will serve one year in that capacity upon election, one year as First Vice-President, one year as President, and one year as Immediate Past President, the latter three offices being held by virtue of the original election as Second Vice-President without subsequent election.
Section 4. TERM OF OFFICE: Secretary: The Secretary shall serve a term of three years.
Section 5. TERM OF OFFICE: Treasurer: The Treasurer shall serve a term of three years. The Treasurer may serve consecutive terms.
Section 6. TERM OF OFFICE: Trustees-at-Large: The three trustees-at-large shall serve three-year staggered terms such that no more than one trustee shall be elected at any one time.
Section 7. TERM OF OFFICE: Regional Trustees: Regional Trustees shall be elected for three-year terms, determined by lot, according to the following schedule:
Region I 1983, 1986
Region II 1984, 1987
Region III 1984, 1987
Region IV 1982, 1985
Region V 1983, 1986
Elections for these trustees positions will continue in three-year increments in subsequent years.
Section 8. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE: (1) A Nominations and Elections Committee shall be appointed by the Immediate Past President, immediately after leaving the office of President, to conduct the annual election. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of at least five (5) Regular Members of the Academy and the Immediate Past President who shall serve as Chair. At least one appointed member shall be selected from each of the five regions of the country so as to make the Committee broadly representative of the diverse constituent interests of the Academy.
(2) The Nominations and Elections Committee shall canvass the general membership to obtain suggestions for candidates, and it may on its own initiative consider possible nominees.
All candidates shall be contacted by the Committee to determine their willingness to serve if elected and requested to provide such materials as the Committee requires for the electoral process.
It shall present to the Executive Board, at its regular mid-year meeting, a slate of candidates for all offices to be elected, such slate to include whenever possible two (2) and only two (2) nominees for each office. When, in the judgment of the Committee, such inclusion is not possible, the Committee shall explain the inability to the Board for its edification and concurrence.
(3) The slate presented by the Committee shall require approval by the Executive Board; the Board is the final authority on the names of candidates to be on the ballot for each office, except as provided by Section 7 (4), Article One below.
(4) In addition to the candidates approved by the Executive Board, any regular member may have their name appear on the official ballot if they have the written endorsement of at least seventy-five (75) regular members of the Academy. In order to be placed on a ballot additional petitions supporting the candidacy of a member must be received by the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee by June 15 in the calendar year of the election.
(a) Upon receipt of petitions in support of a member, the Chair shall examine and judge the authenticity of each petition to determine that the candidacy has the support of at least seventy-five (75) members.
(b) Upon determining that a member has the required number of required endorsements, the Chair shall report the name to the Executive Board for inclusion on the official ballot.
(c) The name of the member shall be included on the ballot, without action or approval by the Board, as an addition to those approved by the Board, as provided in Article I, Section 7 (3).
(d) All petitions shall be presented by the Chair of the Committee to the Executive Board and held until such time as the results of the election are officially promulgated.
Section 9. ELECTION PROCEDURES: (1) An electronic ballot shall be sent to all regular members qualified to vote. The ballot shall include the names of the candidates for each office and a space for write-in candidates. Election materials will be sent to the membership by December 31st of each year. Electronic ballot procedures shall carry out the intent and purpose of By-Laws Section 9.
(2) The National Office will create an electronic ballot and send access instructions to Academy members. At the end of the 30 day voting period, the National Office will send the voting results report to the Teller’s Committee, who will verify the election results.
(3) Thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the voting process, i.e., for the receipt of election materials and the submission of electronic ballots. In the instructions accompanying the election material, a deadline for receipt of the ballots shall be announced. No ballots received after this date shall be counted.
(4) The Teller’s Committee (Article I, Section 9) will then verify the results of the election and notify the entire membership of the Academy and report the results to the Executive Board.
(5) If no candidate for an office has received a majority of those valid ballots cast, a runoff election shall be held. Such ballot shall include only the two persons who receive the highest number of votes on the original ballot. A period not exceeding thirty (30) days shall be allowed for conducting the runoff election. The Chairperson of the Teller’s Committee shall retain the ballots and all other election material until the election has been certified at the annual meeting. The Executive Board may authorize the destruction of the ballots and other election material at its annual meeting provided there is no pending contest of the election.
(6) Anyone wishing to contest the election results must submit a formal, written petition to the Executive Board at or before its first session during the annual meeting setting forth all pertinent information. If this matter is not resolved by the Executive Board to the satisfaction of all parties directly concerned, it shall be presented to the membership during the scheduled business session for final disposition.
(7) If an election is held to be null and void by the Executive Board, the Board may authorize an election from the floor of the annual meeting. Article IV, Section 5, of the Constitution, applies.
Section 10. TELLER’S COMMITTEE: A Teller’s Committee shall be appointed by the Immediate Past President immediately after leaving the office of President. This Committee shall receive all ballots returned by members, validate them, and tabulate the election results, reporting to the entire membership the results. The official certification of the results, however, will be by the Executive Board using the existing email voting procedures established in existing ACJS policy.
Section 11. AMENDMENT OF THE ELECTION CODE: (1) Amendments to the Election Code may be made only by the procedure specified in Article X of the Constitution. However, nothing in these provisions in the Election Code or Article X shall be deemed to preclude modification of purely administrative or clerical procedures or details by the Nominations and Elections Committee, the Teller’s Committee, or the Executive Board necessitated by effective and efficient carrying out of the intent and purposes of the Code. In any such case, the decision of the Board shall be final, subject to the provisions of Article XI, Interpretation of the Constitution.
(2) Proposed amendments approved by the Executive Board shall be submitted by the Secretary to the membership using the same procedures provided for in Article I, Section 9, insofar as applicable. Amendments may be submitted at any time as determined by the Executive Board.
Amended December 2014
Amended December 2016
October 22, 2007
On September 10, 2007, President Ronald Hunter asked the Constitution and Bylaws Committee to study and respond to five Constitutional questions. The Committee hereby submits its response to these five issues. The questions and responses follow.
FIRST ISSUE. Can the Executive Board of ACJS restrict a member from holding a position on the Executive Board of the Academy and the Executive Board of a Section without a vote of the membership?
It is the opinion of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee that the Executive Board of the Academy can mandate that a member not hold a position on the Executive Board of the Academy and the Executive Board of a Section at the same time. No vote of the membership is needed to restrict a member from holding a position on the Executive Board of the Academy and the Executive Board of a Section because Sections are a creation of the Board and not Constitutional entities.
SECOND ISSUE. Can the Executive Board of ACJS email election ballots to members, require them to print the ballot, put the ballot with their printed name and signature in a #9 envelope, and then mail it to ACJS in a #10 envelope before the deadline without a vote of the membership?
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee believes that changing the method of voting requires an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws in accord with Article X. The Committee believes that changing the method of voting is a substantive change, not a clerical change in procedures or details as allowed by Section 11 Amendment of the Election Code. However the Committee strongly recommends that the Board not change the present method of voting.
THIRD ISSUE. The question at issue here is whether there should be no limit placed on the number of people on the initial ballot, so that the nominations and elections committee can still freely nominate persons regardless of how many self nominate through the petition process.
If the Executive Board of the Academy wishes to place no limit on the number of people on the initial ballot, so that the nominations and elections committee can still freely nominate persons regardless of how any self nominate through the petition process, a vote of the membership is necessary in accord with Article X.
FOURTH ISSUE. The question at issue is whether all members, including those with institutional memberships, have only one vote. Can someone vote as a regular member and also vote if s/he is the designee on the institutional membership? Can the Executive Board of the Academy institute the following policy without a vote by the membership: “All members, including those with institutional memberships, have only one vote.”
The majority of the Committee believes that the spirit of the Constitution and Bylaws is members have one vote, notwithstanding the issue of institutional designees. If the intent was for a member to have two votes, the Constitution would have provided for an “institutional vote,” separate and apart from a “regular member vote.” The majority of the Committee recommend that the Executive Board of the Academy remove the confusion and invoke Section 11 Amendment Of The Election Code which reads: “(1) Amendments to the Election Code may be made only by the procedure specified in Article X of the Constitution. However, nothing in these provisions in the Election Code or Article X shall be deemed to preclude modification of purely administrative or clerical procedures or details by the Nominations and Elections Committee, the Teller’s Committee, or the Executive Board necessitated by effective and efficient carrying out of the intent and purposes of the Code. In any such case, the decision of the Board shall be final, subject to the provisions of Article XI, Interpretation of the Constitution.”
FIFTH ISSUE. The question at issue is who appoints the chair of the Ethics Committee. The Code of Ethics specifies that the Ethics Committee selects its own chair. However, Article VIII Committees, Section 3 reads: “With the exception of the chairpersons of the Nominations and Elections and the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committees, the President shall appoint the chairpersons of all Committees.”
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee believes that a vote of the membership in accord with Article X of the Constitution and Bylaws is required to permit the Ethics Committee to select its own chair.
Furthermore the Constitution and Bylaws Committee recommends a modification to the Committee Section of the Constitution (Article VIII). Specifically Article VIII Committees, Sections 5 and 6 delegate appointment of various committee chairs to the First and Second Vice-Presidents. This is in contradiction with Section 3 that reads: “With the exception of the chairpersons of the Nominations and Elections and the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committees, the President shall appoint the chairpersons of all Committees.”
2007-2008 Constitution and Bylaws Committee
Frances Bernat, Damon D. Camp, Barbara Belbot, Greg Etter, and John Smykla/chair