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 Officer” shall signify that Officer of the Society; and “Regular Meeting” shall signify the principal meeting held once a year by the Division.

Approved Dates: 

  • Sent to be Approved by Council: 11/15/2012
  • Approved by Council: 11/30/2012
  • Sent to be Ratified by Division Membership: 11/05/2013
  • Ratified by DBIO membership: 12/01/2013

Article I - Name

This Division of the American Physical Society shall be called the Division of Biological Physics and abbreviated as DBIO.

Article II - Objective

The objective of the Division shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of biological systems and of other aspects of the relationships between physics and biology.

Article III - Enabling Constitutional Provision

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

Article IV - Membership

The members of the Division shall consist of members of the Society who have indicated in accordance with procedures established by Council their desire to join the Division and who retain membership from year to year by the payment of designated dues or by other method established by Council.

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, and six Members-at-Large elected to staggered three-year terms.

  3. Executive Committee Meetings: The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each year. This meeting shall be held during the Regular Meeting of the Division. The Chair of the Division shall preside over the Executive Committee meetings. A majority of the voting members, including at least two Officers, shall constitute a quorum.

Article VI - Officers and Division Councilor

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

  2. Duties of the Chair: The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Business Session of the Division when possible.

  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 maintain the records of the Division including minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions, Division activities, and membership lists. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Executive Committee of matters requiring the decision of said Committee and shall decide with the Chair, the agenda of Executive Committee meeting and Business Session. 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 within eight weeks after each meeting, and publish the Business Session minutes in the DBIO Newsletter. 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 Officer 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 Division Councillor: The Division Councillor shall serve as liaison between the Council of the Society and the Executive Committee of the Division. Following each Council meeting, the Division Councillor shall report to the Officers 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 Councilor

  1. Qualifications: Officers, Division Councillor, and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be members of the Division for at least two years prior to nomination.

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

  3. Nomination and Election of the Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Committee Members: Each year the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the office of Vice-Chair, for Secretary-Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, for the Division Councillor during the final year of the term of the current Division Councillor, and for each open position of Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall provide the Secretary-Treasurer with a list of candidates not later than sixteen weeks before the Regular Meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer shall inform the Division members of the nominations made and shall invite these members to suggest candidates for the various offices and Executive Committee positions. If as many as five percent of the total Division membership determined on 31 December of the year preceding the election suggests the same person for the same office, that person shall be deemed to have been nominated.

    The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Division membership by paper or electronic ballot, stating a closing date at least three weeks prior to the Regular Meeting. Ballots shall be returned to and counted by the Secretary-Treasurer or his or her designate. 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 and to the Executive Officer at least two weeks prior to the Regular Meeting and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.

  4. Selection of Appointed Associates of the Executive Committee: The Chair may appoint other non-voting Executive Committee Associates as needed, with the approval of the Executive Committee. These Associates should include the Newsletter Editor and the Web Site Coordinator, who shall serve a one-year term each. These Associates may be re-appointed without term limits.

  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 for two years following his or her term of office on the Executive Committee.

  7. 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 shall serve for a term of four years. 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. The Division Councillor shall serve for a term of four years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms unless otherwise specified by Council.

  8. 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.

Article VIII - Appointed Committees

  1. Nominating Committee: The Past DBIO Chair shall chair the committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the DBIO Chair to staggered three-year terms and one member appointed by the Executive Officer for a one-year term. The DBIO Chair shall provide the Executive Officer with the names of two candidates for the one-year-term appointment, and the Executive Officer will select one. Not more than two members of the Nominating Committee shall be members of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates for the positions of Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Division Councillor, and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee according to Article VII.3 of these Bylaws. The Nominating Committee shall advise the Chair on suitable candidates for Society committees, including relevant Society Prize and Award committees, and on candidates for Society offices. 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, the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary-Treasurer, and three Members-at-Large appointed by the Chair, upon the recommendation of the Chair-Elect, to staggered three-year terms. The Chair-Elect shall serve as Chair of the Program Committee, with the Vice-Chair as co-Chair (with fewer responsibilities). The Program Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting the Executive Officer, or his or her designate, in arranging the meetings of the Society. This activity shall include (i) solicitation and selection of focus sessions, which combine invited and contributed talks; (ii) solicitation and selection of invited sessions; (iii) sorting contributed papers for oral and poster presentations; (iv) coordinating with other divisions and groups to co-sponsor invited sessions and focus sessions; and (v) scheduling DBIO invited, focus, contributed, and poster sessions. In addition, the Program Chair shall (vi) stimulate submission of contributed abstracts as talks in DBIO focus sessions, and (vii) remind invited speakers to submit their abstracts. The DBIO Chair-Elect and the Vice-Chair shall attend the APS Unit Convocation and the Program Committee Meeting. The Chair-Elect will organize and Chair the Sorters Meeting, which the Vice-Chair and Secretary-Treasurer will both attend. The DBIO Chair will solicit proposals for DBIO tutorials or workshops from DBIO members and the executive committee, then organize or co-organize one such satellite meeting to be held on the Sunday before the March Meeting.

  3. Fellowship Committee: The Fellowship Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chair and four other members appointed by the Chair, upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, to staggered two-year terms. At least two members shall be Members-at-Large. At least two of the four members shall be APS Fellows. The Vice-Chair shall serve as Chair of the Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee shall promote the nomination of candidates for Fellowship, shall review and rank the qualifications of candidates using pre-established criteria, shall themselves not be candidates, and shall report its rankings and recommendations to the Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer who will in turn report to the Executive Committee for the Division’s final recommendations and submission to the Executive Officer of the Society.

  4. 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 year in which he or she assumes office.

  5. Selection Committee for the Shirley Chan Travel Award: The Chair will appoint three members to form the Selection Committee for the Shirley Chan Travel Award. These will be selected among the longest serving Members-at-Large.

  6. Selection Committee for the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics Award: The Chair will appoint four members to form the Selection Committee for the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics Award. These will include the Secretary-Treasurer, the Vice-Chair, one Member-at-Large and another DBIO member not on the Executive Committee.

  7. 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 Officer. 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 Officer. The registration fee for the Regular Meeting, when not held jointly with a Meeting of the Society, shall be fixed after consultation with the Executive Officer. Non-members of the Society shall pay a surcharge to be set each year 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 the transaction of business affairs. No 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 Officer. 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. 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 Officer and shall designate the place to which they should be sent. The amount of time to be allowed for the presentation of a paper at the Regular Meeting shall be determined by the Program Committee, except as otherwise directed by the Executive Committee. These allotments of time shall be consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society and with regulations of Council.

Article X - Dues

Dues for maintenance of membership in the Division shall be established by Council.

Article XI - Official Announcements

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. Unless a special election is scheduled, the Secretary-Treasurer shall again distribute copies of the proposed Amendment to the membership at the next regularly scheduled election with adequate information regarding acceptable voting procedures. Adoption of the Amendment shall require a two-thirds vote by those voting.