Governance

Bylaws

In the following text, Society shall signify the American Physical Society, Council and Executive Board shall signify the Council and the Executive Board of the Society, respectively; Executive-Secretary shall signify that Officer of the Society; and Regular Meeting shall signify the principal meeting held once a year by the Division.

Article I - Name

This Division of the American Physical Society, existing in accordance with Article VIII of the Constitution of the Society as revised in 1991, shall be called the Division of Astrophysics.

Article II - Objective

The principal objective of the Division shall be the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of astrophysics and its relationship to the understanding of fundamental physical processes.

Article III - Enabling Constitutional Provision

Article VIII of the Constitution of the Society, as revised in 1991 and as said Article may be subsequently revised or amended, is hereby incorporated in these Bylaws by reference.

Article IV - Membership

Any member of the Society may become a member of the Division by making application to the Executive Secretary or to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division or by otherwise indicating, in accordance with procedures established by Regulation of the Council, his/her desire to join the Division and retain membership from year to year, and paying the designated fees and dues. Any member of the Division may resign from the Division upon notice to the Executive Secretary of the Society or the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division. Membership in the Division is contingent upon continuing membership in the Society.

Article V - Executive Committee

  1. Governance: The Division shall be governed by an Executive Committee, which shall have general charge of the affairs of the Division.

  2. Composition: The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Division, the most recent Past Chair, the Division Councillor(s), and four Members-at-Large elected to staggered two-year terms.

  3. Executive Committee Meetings: The Executive Committee shall hold at least one scheduled meeting each year. One scheduled meeting shall be held during the Regular Meeting of the Division, and the other, if required, shall be held approximately half way between Regular Meetings. Any member of the Executive Committee unable to attend a meeting may name a nonvoting alternate to represent him or her, subject to the approval of the Chair. The Chair of the Division shall preside over the Executive Committee meetings.

Article VI - Officers and Division Councillor(s)

  1. Officers: The Officers of the Division shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Deputy Secretary-Treasurer.

  2. Duties of the Chair: The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Business Sessions of the Division at which his or her attendance is possible. The Chair shall appoint any committees, other than the Executive Committee, which are necessary to conduct the affairs of the Division, and shall be an ex officio member of each such committee except the Nominating Committee.

  3. Duties of the Chair-Elect: The Chair-Elect shall act in place of the Chair if the latter is unable to perform his or her duties. The Chair-Elect shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

  4. Duties of the Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall act in place of the Chair-Elect if the latter is unable to perform his or her duties. The Vice-Chair shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.

  5. Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer: The Secretary-Treasurer shall send out necessary notices and announcements to the members of the Executive Committee and to members of the Division. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify all members of meetings of the Division at least nine weeks before the date of each meeting, and assist the Program Committee with arrangements for the meeting and for any publication of proceedings that may result therefrom. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions and shall submit these minutes to each member of the Executive Committee and to the Executive Secretary within four weeks after each meeting. Following elections, such minutes are to include the results of the election and a roster of the current Executive Committee membership. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the Council and Executive Secretary of the Society informed of the activities and needs of the Division.

    The Secretary-Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the Division and shall authorize disbursements from such funds for expenses in a manner that is consistent with the general policies of the Society and the Division. Financial records shall be kept on an annual basis consistent with the fiscal policies of the Society. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Committee and at the annual Business Session of the Division.

  6. Duties of the Deputy Secretary-Treasurer: The Deputy Secretary-Treasurer will serve on the Executive Committee for a term of two years overlapping that of the Secretary-Treasurer and will become the Secretary-Treasurer for the following two years. His or her duties will be to assist the Secretary-Treasurer in all tasks of that position. Because of the critical role of the Secretary-Treasurer in the functioning of the Division, it is beneficial to have such an overlap and learning period.

  7. Duties of the Division Councillor(s): The Division Councillor(s) shall serve as liaison between the Council of the Society and the Executive Committee of the Division. Following each Council meeting, the Division Councillor(s) shall report to the Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer regarding Council actions that affect the status and operations of the Division. Reports shall be made to the entire Executive Committee during their regularly scheduled meetings.

Article VII - Election and Tenure of The Officers, Executive Committee Members, and Division Councillor(s)

  1. Qualifications: Officers, Division Councillor(s), and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be members of the Division.

  2. Ballot: The Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Division Councillor(s), and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall be elected by mail ballot as hereinafter provided.

  3. Nomination and Election of the Vice-Chair, Deputy Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Committee Members: Each year the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for the office of Vice-Chair, for Deputy Secretary-Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, and at least two candidates for each open position of Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall notify the Secretary-Treasurer of the results not later than sixteen weeks before the Regular Meeting, except under extraordinary circumstances. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to obtain from each of their nominees a written statement of his/her readiness to serve if elected. Not later than twenty weeks prior to the Regular Meeting, the Secretary-Treasurer shall issue a Call-For-Nominations inviting the Division members to suggest candidates for the various offices and Executive Committee positions. Any such proposal shall be considered valid if it is received by the Secretary-Treasurer not later than sixteen weeks prior to the Regular Meeting. If as many as two percent of the total Division membership determined on 31 December of the year preceding the Call-For-Nominations suggests the same person for the same office, that person shall be deemed to have been nominated. However, each person so nominated must submit to the Secretary-Treasurer, not later than sixteen weeks prior to the Regular Meeting, a statement, signed by the proposed candidate, stating his/her readiness to serve if elected. Not later than seven weeks prior to the Regular Meeting, the Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Division membership by mail ballot, stating a closing date at least three weeks prior to said meeting. Ballots shall be returned to and counted by the Secretary-Treasurer or his or her designee. Election shall be decided by a plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair at least one week prior to the Regular Meeting and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.

  4. Nomination and Election of a Division Councillor: If a Division election is to fall during the final year of the term of a Division Councillor and when the Division has more than one Division Councillor, the Secretary-Treasurer shall determine from the Executive Secretary if the terminating Division Councillor position is to continue. Such determination shall be made by the Executive Secretary based on Division membership according to rules specified in the Constitution and Bylaws. If the position is to continue or whenever the Executive Secretary informs the Division that a new Division Councillor is to be elected, the Executive Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the open position. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to obtain from each of their nominees a written statement of his/her readiness to serve if elected. The Secretary-Treasurer shall include this position in the Call-For-Nominations for this election and shall invite the members to suggest additional candidates. Any such proposal shall be considered valid if it is received by the Secretary-Treasurer not later than sixteen weeks prior to the Regular Meeting. If as many as two percent of the total Division membership determined on 31 December of the year preceding the Call-For-Nominations suggests the same person, that person shall be deemed to have been nominated. However, each person so nominated must submit to the Secretary-Treasurer, not later than sixteen weeks prior to the Regular Meeting, a statement, signed by the proposed candidate, stating his/her readiness to serve if elected. The names of all, persons nominated for this position shall be placed on the ballot for the regular election of officers of the Division that takes place during the year prior to that in which the new Councillor assumes office but in no case shall the election be completed later that September 1 of that year. Election shall be by plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair and to the Executive Secretary before 1 September of the year prior to that in which the new Councillor assumes office and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.

  5. Official Year: The official year shall extend from the close of one Regular Meeting to the close of the next Regular Meeting.

  6. Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair: The member elected as Vice-Chair shall serve in that office for one year, then for one year as Chair-Elect, and then for one year as Chair. The Chair shall not be eligible for the office of Vice-Chair in the year following his or her term of office.

  7. Deputy Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary-Treasurer: The member elected as Deputy Secretary-Treasurer shall serve in that office for two years, then for two years as Secretary-Treasurer.

  8. Terms of Office: The terms of office of the Officers and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall begin at the close of the Regular Meeting of the Division following their election. The Secretary-Treasurer and Deputy Secretary-Treasurer shall serve for a term of two years and may not serve more than three consecutive terms. The tenure of a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall terminate in the event of his or her assumption of a post as an elected Officer of the Division, and the unexpired portion of his or her term shall be filled as hereinafter provided for a vacancy.

    The term of office of a Division Councillor shall begin at the beginning of the calendar year following his or her election. As specified in Article VII, Section 6 of the Constitution, Divisional Councillors shall serve for a term of four years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms unless otherwise specified by Council.

  9. Vacancies in Offices: If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair-Elect shall succeed and complete the term and shall serve as Chair also in the following year. The Vice-Chair shall serve simultaneously as Chair-Elect during the remainder of the term and shall continue to serve as Chair-Elect in the following term.

    If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair-Elect otherwise than through advancement to Chair, the Vice-Chair shall become Chair-Elect. In this case, and also if the office of Vice-Chair becomes vacant for other reasons, the office of Vice-Chair shall remain vacant for the remainder of the term. In the next scheduled election, candidates for both Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair shall be nominated.

    If vacancies occur in the offices of both the Chair and the Chair-Elect, the Vice-Chair shall become Chair and shall complete the term. In this case a special election shall be held to fill the offices of Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair. The members so elected shall continue to serve as officers in the normal succession order. Vacancies in any other elected office shall be filled (or left unfilled) by the Executive Committee until such time as the vacancy can be filled by regular election procedures.

    If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Secretary-Treasurer, the Deputy Secretary-Treasurer shall become Secretary-Treasurer and serve out the remainder of the current term as well as the following term. The office of Deputy Secretary-Treasurer will remain vacant during the remainder of the current term.

    If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Deputy Secretary-Treasurer, a special election will be held to fill the office.

Article VIII - Appointed Committees

  1. Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall consist of two members appointed by the Chair and one member appointed by the Council for one-year terms. The Chair shall ascertain through the Executive Secretary the identity of this member. No more than one member of the Nominating Committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer and the Executive Secretary shall be informed of the membership of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates for the positions of Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee according to Article VII.3 of these Bylaws. The Nominating Committee shall perform such other duties as described in the Bylaws.

  2. Program Committee: The Program Committee shall consist of the Chair-Elect and the two members of the Executive Committee who are serving their second year in office. The Chair-Elect shall serve as Chair of the Program Committee. The Program Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting the Executive Secretary, or his or her designee, in arranging the meetings of the Society. This activity shall include the scheduling of contributed papers within the areas of interest of this Division, as well as the arranging, in cooperation with the Executive Secretary or his or her designee, of symposia and sessions of invited papers sponsored by the Division for a meeting.

  3. Terms of Office of Appointed Committee Members: The terms of committee members appointed or recommended by an incoming Chair shall commence at the beginning of the official year in which he or she assumes office.

  4. Ad Hoc Committees: The Chair shall appoint other ad hoc committees as necessary, which shall serve only during his or her term as Chair.

Article IX - Meetings

  1. Regular Meeting: One meeting of the Division, to be known as the Regular Meeting, shall be held annually at such time and place as shall be ordered by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by the Executive Board. Whenever it shall be feasible and not to the disadvantage of the members of the Division, the Executive Committee may order this or any other meeting to be held conjointly with a Meeting of the Society or of another society, conference, or group, so long as such joint meeting does not conflict importantly with the schedule of Meetings of the Society as determined by the Executive Board.

  2. Annual Business Session: Each year the Division shall hold a Business Session which shall be a session of the Regular Meeting. This Business Session shall be devoted exclusively to the reports of officers and committees, election results, and for the transaction of business affairs provided that at least a quorum of two percent of the membership of the Division as determined on December 31 of the preceding year is present. The current edition of Roberts' Rules of Order, as interpreted by the Secretary-Treasurer, shall govern the business session. No scientific program of the Division shall be presented simultaneously with the Business Session. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Division members of the agenda for the Business Session no later than three weeks prior to the Regular Meeting.

  3. Other Meetings: Meetings of the Division, other than the Regular Meeting, may be initiated by the Executive Committee or by petition of twenty percent of the members of the Division, subject to approval by the Executive Board. Special conferences may be sponsored in whole or in part by the Division, subject to the rules and regulations specified in the Society Constitution and Bylaws.

  4. Papers at Meetings: Programs of meetings of the Division may provide for the inclusion of both invited and contributed papers. When a meeting of the Division is held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the rules of the Society shall apply to submitted papers. A paper submitted by any member of the Society for presentation on the program at such a joint meeting, and conforming to the required form and deadline date, must be accepted. When a meeting of the Division is not held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the Executive Committee shall prescribe the subject and character of the meeting, which may include limitations on the subject matter of submitted papers. The Secretary-Treasurer shall fix the deadline date for receipt of titles and abstracts in consultation with the Executive Secretary and shall designate the place to which they should be sent.

Article X - Dues

Dues for enrollment and maintenance of membership in the Division shall be as established by regulation of the Council.

Article XI - Publications

Official announcements shall be made in the APS News and in such other publications as the Executive Committee may direct.

Article XII - Procedure of Amendment of Bylaws

Proposal of an Amendment to these Bylaws may be made by the Council, by the Executive Committee, or by a petition to the Chair signed by not fewer than ten percent of the members of the Division. If the proposed amendment originates within the Division, it must be approved by Council before further action can be taken. Following Council approval, the Secretary-Treasurer shall distribute copies of the proposed Amendment to all members of the Division not less than three weeks before the Regular Meeting and opportunity shall be given for discussion during the Business Session. With the unanimous consent of those members present and voting, the voting on the proposed Amendment may be carried out at the Business Session. Without that consent, the voting on the proposed Amendment shall be as follows. Not later than twelve weeks after said Regular Meeting the Secretary-Treasurer shall again distribute copies of the proposed Amendment, accompanied by ballot forms. Adoption of the Amendment shall require a two-thirds vote by those voting.

The above version of Bylaws was last updated in May 2014, to reflect the changes voted in April 2008.