Constitution of The Mid-America American Studies Association
Adopted by the MAASA membership on April 2, 2012
Article I: Name and Purpose
- The name of this organization is the Mid-America American Studies Association (hereinafter, MAASA).
- As a chapter of the American Studies Association, MAASA is formed by the merger of the Midcontinent ASA and the North Central ASA approved by the membership on April 28, 1984. Its purposes are to foster the study of American culture in all its aspects, to provide a forum for communication and discussion among its members and the general public, and to promote scholarship by the publication of the journal American Studies. These ends are to be achieved by the organization of regular meetings, by recognition of outstanding contributions to American Studies, and by cooperation with the national American Studies Association.
- MAASA is a not-for-profit educational organization incorporated in the State of Missouri.
Article II. Membership
- MAASA’s regional mandate is to serve members residing in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
- Membership in MAASA is open to any person interested in the study of American culture, upon payment of one year’s dues. The Executive Board is responsible for designating membership categories. Amount of annual dues for each category shall be established by the Executive Board, and a portion of the annual dues, determined by the Executive Board, shall entitle members to receive a one-year subscription to American Studies.
- Members of the American Studies Association who reside in the eleven-state region served by MAASA or who select MAASA membership in their annual ASA dues shall be considered members of the organization. Such members must subscribe separately to American Studies.
- Any not-for-profit educational or cultural institution that shares its interests may become an institutional member of the MAASA upon payment of one year’s institutional dues, amount of such dues to be established by the Executive Board.
- Only MAASA members may vote or serve on the Executive Board of MAASA.
Article III. Officers
- The officers shall be a President, a Vice-President (who shall be President-Elect), a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Executive Director, and the Editor(s) of American Studies. The President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary shall be elected by a majority of the Executive Board from the voting membership of the Executive Board for a term of office of one year. The Executive Director and Editor(s) of American Studies serve at the pleasure of and are appointed by the Executive Board to serve a five-year renewable term of office.
- The President: shall preside at all meetings of MAASA and its Executive Board. The President will formulate such policies and activities that, if approved by the Board, will carry out the chartered purposes and obligations of MAASA.
- In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall preside at all meetings. Should the Presidency become vacant, the Vice-President shall serve the remainder of the President’s term.
- The Treasurer shall ensure accurate accounting of all moneys of MAASA received or disbursed. The Treasurer shall have the power to endorse for deposit all notes, checks and drafts received by the MAASA, and to sign checks for disbursement. The Treasurer shall report on the financial condition of the MAASA on a quarterly basis and at all MAASA board meetings.
- The Secretary shall: (1) keep a written record of all meetings and provide a copy of that record in a timely fashion to the members of the Executive Board; (2) handle correspondence with the membership of the Executive Board; (3) handle matters related to improving membership, as instructed by the Executive Board.
- The Executive Director shall be responsible for the day-to-day business of the MAASA, including banking and disbursing funds. The Executive Director will also prepare a financial statement for the Board’s approval at least annually, and will be subject to such internal audits as the Board may deem necessary. The Executive Director serves at the pleasure of and is appointed by the Executive Board.
- The Editor(s) of American Studies shall be responsible for the editorial policies and day-to-day fiscal operations of the journal. The Editor(s) shall have authority for the format and content of the journal, subject only to the approval of the Executive Board, and shall work with the Editorial Board. The Editor(s) shall report on the editorial and financial aspects of the journal to the Board at board meetings or as needed to maintain journal operations.
- The officers shall serve without compensation. They may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in service to MAASA when such services and reimbursement are approved in advance by the Executive Board. If such expenses are incurred between meetings of the Board, reimbursement may be approved by agreement of the President and the Executive Director.
- Election of Officers. Officers shall be elected at the Spring Executive Board meeting for one-year terms that will begin on June 1 after the spring meeting. The President and the Vice-President must hold terminal degrees. The Treasurer and the Secretary can be any members of the organization.
Article IV. Executive Board
- The Executive Board of MAASA shall consist of six elected members recommended by the Nominating Committee, and four faculty representatives and four graduate student representatives from the American Studies graduate programs within the MAASA region. Each of these members of the Executive Board has voting rights.
The Executive Board shall also include the Executive Director, the chair of the Program committee for the MAASA annual meeting, and the Editor(s) of American Studies as ex officio non-voting members.
The total membership of the Executive Board may be as many as 14 (fourteen) and no fewer than 9 (nine) members. Each member shall hold office for two years beginning immediately upon election. Terms shall be staggered so that approximately one-half (1/2) of the Board is elected each year.
- The six elected members of the Executive Board shall be chosen by the membership at large in the spring. The Nominating Committee shall conduct the election and propose a slate of candidates, subject to approval by the Executive Board.
- Terms for elected members and terms for Faculty Representatives and Graduate Student Representatives from the American Studies graduate programs shall be two years. In case of vacancies in office, the Nominating Committee will oversee the election of a new elected member at the next regularly scheduled election at the annual meeting, or, in the case of graduate program vacancies, the graduate program in question shall appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
The Executive Board may appoint interim members to any of the six elected board seats which is vacant; these interim members may participate in board functions with full privileges until the next general membership meeting, at which time the membership will be asked to confirm or reject their appointment to the board.
- Any member missing two consecutive board meetings may be removed from the Executive Board. The Executive Board will vote upon the removal of any member failing to meet these attendance requirements.
If a member who is removed for attendance reasons occupies one of the permanent board seats held by the region’s graduate programs, the Executive Board may reallocate the seat to a new at-large member or it may leave the seat unfilled. In either case, the graduate program in question will lose its right to appoint a representative to that seat for the remainder of the removed member’s term, and it may regain this privilege only by applying to the Executive Board upon the expiration of the removed member’s term.
Article V. American Studies
- The journal American Studies is jointly sponsored by MAASA and a sponsoring university or institution, and the journal is copyrighted by MAASA. Joint sponsorship is the result of negotiated agreements between MAASA and the sponsoring university or institution, and such arrangements being subject to periodic review. The Editor(s) of American Studies and any Associate, Assistant, or Consulting editors serve at the pleasure of the Executive Board. Except for such subsidies as are provided by the sponsoring university or any other sponsoring institution, the MAASA, through its Executive Board, oversees the disbursement of funds for journal expenses.
- The Editor(s)shall recruit new members of the Editorial Board and submit their names to the Executive Board for approval. Members of the Editorial Board shall serve two-year terms, renewable upon recommendation by the Editor(s) and subsequent approval by the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board of MAASA shall conduct a review of the journal and its editorial staff at least once every five years.
Article VI. Committees
- Standing Committees are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Executive Board. Standing committees consist of: a Nominating Committee, a Program Committee, and an Awards Committee. The Executive Board shall annually at its spring meeting appoint all standing committees for the next year, with their terms to begin on June 1 after the spring meeting.
- The Nominating Committee shall submit annually to the Executive Board a slate of candidates for election to the Executive Board. The Nominating Committee shall conduct all elections, and ensure that notice of elections and names of candidates are circulated to the membership in advance of elections.
- The Program Committee shall be responsible for the program and arrangements of the annual meeting. It shall consist of a chair and a local arrangements coordinator from the host institution(s) who shall be approved by the Executive Board.
- The Awards Committee shall annually handle calls for nominations, evaluations of candidates, and announcements of winners for those prizes regularly awarded by MAASA. The Executive Board may designate that this committee be composed of several sub-committees, each responsible for an individual award competition.
- Ad hoc committees are appointed by the President and Executive Board as are necessary to accomplish specific tasks. They serve at the pleasure of the Board or the Board’s designated representative.
Article VII. Meetings
- There shall be an annual meeting of the membership. A quorum shall consist of those members in attendance.
- The times and places of all meetings of MAASA and the Board will be determined by the Executive Board. Members must be given public notice of scheduled meetings at least 60 days prior to the meeting.
- The Board will meet at least once annually. The Board may meet at such other times as the officers shall deem necessary. A quorum for conducting business shall be 50% plus one.
Article VIII: Electronic Voting
A quorum for electronic discussion and electronic voting via email shall consist of all voting members of the Executive Board with active email addresses. The President and/or Secretary shall set a specified time limit for discussion of the matter at hand and shall set a specified time period during which e-votes may be cast, which in no case shall be less than five business days. An e-vote shall be considered valid upon receipt by the President and/or Secretary within the designated time period. Votes will be tabulated via emails in which members use the “reply all” function. The President will send out a follow-up message detailing the overall vote and the President and Secretary will retain copies of all digital votes.
Article IX: Conflict of Interest
Neither MAASA nor its Executive Board members may enter any contract where a member or an immediate family member of a member, has a material financial interest; unless that interest is fully disclosed or known to the Executive Board, and the Executive Board authorizes, approves, or ratifies the contract or transaction in good faith by the affirmative vote of a majority of the board members (not counting any vote that the interested board member might otherwise have, and not counting the interested board member in determining the presence of a quorum).
Article X: Amendments and By-Laws
Amendments to this Constitution and any By-Laws of MAASA must be proposed in writing to the President at least one month before a meeting of the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consider all such proposals. The Executive Board vote on any such proposal may not occur at the same meeting as first consideration of the proposal. Final approval of such proposed changes or additions must be by a majority of those voting members present at a membership meeting.