Home » Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws of the AEJMC Law and Policy Division

Adopted at the Members’ Meeting in Boston on August 7, 2009

 

CONSTITUTION

 

Article I: Name and Organization

As part of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (“AEJMC”), the Law and Policy Division (“Division”) is organized under authority of and in conformity with Article 5 of the AEJMC Constitution and Article 5 of the AEJMC Bylaws.

 

Article II: Object

In accordance with the AEJMC Constitution, Article I, Section 3, the object of the Division is to support and advance teaching, research or academic inquiry, and public service in communication law and policy. The Division aspires to play a particularly effective role within AEJMC to “support[] freedom of communication consonant with the ideal expressed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” (See AEJMC Constitution, Article I, Section 2).

 

Article III: Membership

Regular membership in the Division shall be restricted to AEJMC members in good standing who are also dues-paying members of the Division. With regard to membership, programming and other pursuits, the Division is committed to inclusiveness and diversity in gender, race and culture. The Division will not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, physical disability or sexual orientation. (See AEJMC Constitution, Article I, Section 5).

 

Article IV: Officers

The executive officers of the Division are the Division Head, Vice Head/Program Chair, Research Chair and Clerk/Newsletter Editor. Executive officers’ terms begin October 1 and conclude September 30. The executive officers shall constitute the Executive Board of the Division and shall supervise the affairs of the Division, fix the time and place of meetings, make recommendations to the Division membership and perform other duties as prescribed in the Bylaws and as necessary and proper for the functioning of the Division.

 

After nomination and second, the Clerk/Newsletter Editor shall be elected by a majority of the members during the annual Division members’ meeting or business meeting at the AEJMC convention. Subsequently, the order of succession shall be: the Clerk/Newsletter Editor becomes Research Chair the following year; the Research Chair becomes Vice Head/Program Chair the following year; the Vice Head/Program Chair becomes Division Head the following year.

 

Should any executive officer be unable to complete a term of service or be unable or unwilling to succeed in the manner described above, the Division Head may appoint another member in good standing as a replacement.

 

Additional officers of the Division are the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair, the Teaching Standards Chair and the Webmaster. These officers’ terms begin October 1 and conclude September 30.

 

After nomination and second, the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair, the Teaching Standards Chair and the Webmaster shall be elected by a majority of the members during the annual Division members’ meeting or business meeting at the AEJMC convention. There is no automatic succession among these officers. An individual may serve multiple consecutive terms or non-consecutive terms as Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair, Teaching Standards Chair or Webmaster.

 

Duties of the executive officers and other officers of the Division are listed in the Division Bylaws, but officers may fulfill additional duties as necessary and approved by the Division Head.

 

Article V: Meetings

The Division’s annual business or members’ meeting shall take place during the annual convention of AEJMC for the purposes of electing new officers, receiving officer and committee reports, making presentations, holding discussions related to Division business, responding to queries from Division members and conducting any other Division business. A quorum at the annual meeting shall consist of those Division members physically present. Members may vote on any issue or election by proxy if they submit a typewritten statement on official school letterhead to the Clerk/Newsletter Editor prior to the vote.

 

In consultation with the Executive Board, the Division Head may call special members’ meetings as necessary.

 

The outgoing Executive Board shall meet at the annual AEJMC convention prior to the business or members’ meeting. The incoming Executive Board may meet at the annual convention after the business or members’ meeting.

 

Article VI: Committees

In consultation with the Executive Board, the Division Head may appoint ad hoc committees as necessary to the work of the Division.

 

In consultation with the Division Head, the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair, the Teaching Standards Chair and the Webmaster may constitute committees in their respective areas to assist with business in those areas.

 

Unless approved otherwise by the Division Head, members of Division committees shall be members in good standing of AEJMC and the Division.

 

Article VII: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Division in cases in which they are applicable and are not inconsistent with this Constitution, the Division Bylaws or any special rules the Division shall adopt. A majority of the Division at the annual business or members’ meeting shall have authority to adopt special rules.

 

Article VIII: Publications

The official scholarly publication of the Division shall be Communication Law & Policy. The editor of Communication Law & Policy shall be elected at the annual business or members’ meeting to a three-year renewable term. The editor of Communication Law & Policy shall have authority to select editorial board members and reviewers, and the editor shall have final authority over all editorial decisions and other business of the journal.

 

The Division newsletter is Media Law Notes, which shall be overseen by the Clerk/Newsletter Editor and published regularly.

 

The Division website shall endeavor to publish and archive relevant Division news and information.

 

Article IX: Amendments

The Division Constitution and Division Bylaws may be amended by a majority of Division members at the annual business or members’ meeting. Proposed amendments shall be submitted by members 30 days in advance of the annual business or members’ meeting to the Division Head, who shall promptly publish and distribute them to the Division membership for consideration prior to the meeting.

 

BYLAWS

 

Article I: Name and Organization

Division dues shall be established by the Executive Board and approved by a majority vote of the Division membership at the annual business or members’ meeting. The Division Head shall be responsible to work with AEJMC permanent staff to oversee the Division budget. Division funds may be expended for Division activities deemed appropriate by the Division Head and Executive Board, but the Division account must have a positive balance each October 1. Executive officers should seek to use Division funds wisely and keep funds in reserve for future activities of the Division.

 

Article II: Object

Through its teaching, research and scholarship, the Division seeks to support and promote the goal of freedom of expression. However, in conjunction with AEJMC Constitution Article I, Section 4, no substantial part of the activities of the Division shall consist of carrying on of propaganda or attempting to influence legislation. The Division may join or submit amicus curiae briefs in cases relevant to the objective of the Division.

 

Article III: Membership

Only Division members may vote in officer elections, submit amendments to the Division Constitution and Bylaws, serve as officers or journal editor, or (unless approval is granted by the Division Head) serve on committees.

 

Article IV: Officers

Officers of the Division shall not receive monetary compensation for their service, though they may be reimbursed for Division business in conjunction with AEJMC policies. Some travel costs for Division officers may be covered by Division funds in accordance with AEJMC policies. For example, Division executive officers required to travel to the mid-year programming meeting may request Division funds as approved by AEJMC and the Division Head.

 

All officers of the Division shall provide relevant information to the Division Head for the Division’s annual report.

 

The Division Head shall serve as the Division’s leader and administrator. Duties include but are not limited to presiding over the annual business or members’ meeting, attending the mid-year programming meeting of AEJMC to participate in convention program planning, writing official Division reports (including the annual report to AEJMC), arranging special events, coordinating among Division officers, appointing special committees, serving as director of the Executive Board and attending meetings of AEJMC’s Council of Divisions. The Division Head shall perform other duties as necessary.

 

The Vice Head/Program Chair shall stand in for the Division Head in any of the Division Head’s responsibilities if the Division Head is not available. The Vice Head/Program Chair’s duties include but are not limited to generating and coordinating the Division’s non-research conference programming (including soliciting panel proposals, finding co-sponsoring AEJMC divisions or interest groups, notifying panel proposers of panels selected, requesting funds from AEJMC for speaker travel, and writing program copy on panel sessions), attending the mid-year programming meeting of AEJMC to participate in convention program planning, seeing that all non-research panels at the convention run smoothly and that all presenters’ needs are met, and attending meetings of AEJMC’s Council of Divisions.

 

The Research Chair’s duties include but are not limited to organizing the research competition and research sessions for the annual national convention. This may include drafting and advertising the call for papers for the national conference, recruiting reviewers to judge the competition, assigning papers to judges, compiling the winning papers, and coordinating the research panels at the conference by organizing moderators and discussants. The research competition for the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium may be coordinated by a different person appointed by the Division Head, or it may be coordinated by the Division Research Chair.

 

The Clerk/Newsletter Editor’s duties include but are not limited to producing four editions of Media Law Notes during the Clerk’s term and recording the annual business or members’ meeting minutes. In order to produce Media Law Notes, the Clerk/Newsletter Editor may solicit, edit and publish articles from Division officers and members or others deemed appropriate.

 

The Teaching Standards Chair contributes to the Division’s discussion about the improvement of communications law and First Amendment education. The Teaching Standards Chair’s responsibilities include but are not limited to proposing and implementing teaching panel proposals for the annual AEJMC national convention, writing occasional teaching columns for the Division’s newsletter, Media Law Notes, and posting appropriate teaching resources (e.g., Web links, teaching ideas) to the “teaching” page of the Division’s Web site.

 

The duties of the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair include but are not limited to maintaining a high level of professional freedom and responsibility activity within the Division in accordance with AEJMC organization policy. Professional freedom and responsibility is defined by AEJMC as programming in the area of free expression; ethics; media criticism and accountability; racial, gender and cultural inclusiveness; and public service. The Professional Freedom & Responsibility Chair shall also assist with PF&R programming during the annual convention and during the year and encourage multi-division activity on this subject, report those activities to the Division Head for the Division’s annual report to AEJMC, and contribute to the discussion of professional freedom and responsibility in Media Law Notes.

 

The Webmaster’s duties include but are not limited to maintaining a current, attractive and useful website for the Division, uploading the quarterly issues of Media Law Notes to the site, adding and maintaining links on the “Resources” page and front page, and adding whatever content is requested by other Division officers.

 

Each officer of the Division shall be responsible, at the conclusion of his or her term in a particular officer position, to review and update the description of Division officer responsibilities. These descriptions may be transmitted from one officer to another in conjunction wi