BY-LAWS OF THE RELIGIOUS RESEARCH ASSOCIATION, INC.
As Amended June 2020
Sec. 1. Any person with an expressed interest in religious research shall be eligible for membership.
Sec. 2. The classification of members shall be:
- Regular – a person eligible for membership and paying regular dues.
- Student – a person enrolled in a full-time academic program.
Sec. 3. The rights and privileges of all individual members shall be the same.
Sec. 4. The membership year shall January 1 to December 31. Memberships are accepted only on an annual basis, beginning January 1.
Sec. 5. Upon payment of the annual dues, an applicant becomes a member. Members begin receiving the journal Review of Religious Research with the next issue published. Memberships received after October 1 shall be entered for the next full membership year.
Sec. 6. All dues shall be payable annually in advance of January 1 for the ensuing fiscal year.
MEETINGS OF MEMBERSHIP
Sec. 1. There shall be an annual meeting of the Association at a time set by the Board of Directors. This meeting shall ordinarily be held jointly with the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Sec. 2. The annual meeting shall include at least one business session at which business is conducted as necessary to further the objectives of the Association.
Sec. 3. Special business meetings shall be called upon the written request of five members of the Board of Directors or of twenty-five members of the Association; such requests shall be sent to both the president and the executive officer.
Sec. 4. A quorum for the conduct of business shall be twelve members present in response to a duly called meeting of the Association.
Sec. 5. A call to the annual meeting of the Association shall be issued by the Board of Directors to all members at least sixty days in advance of the meeting date. A call to a special business meeting shall be issued at least thirty days in advance.
Sec. 6. Business at meetings of the Association shall be conducted by the majority decisions of those members present.
Sec. 7. A secret ballot shall be used on issues where the chair rules for propriety’s sake, or when the motion for a secret ballot is sustained by a majority of those voting on the issue.
Sec. 8. At the annual business meeting. reports of work done during the year shall be presented by the officers and chairpersons of the committees.
OFFICERS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AND STAFF
Sec. 1. The officers of the Association shall be a president, a secretary, and a treasurer. Persons standing for any election shall have been members of the Association for at least one year immediately prior to nomination and, if elected, shall maintain their membership throughout their terms of office. If an officer is unable to complete a term of service, the president shall appoint a temporary replacement who will serve until a new officer is elected for the remainder of the term at the next regularly scheduled election.
Sec. 2. The president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary, treasurer, editor of the Review of Religious Research, executive officer, chairpersons of the standing committees, and elected directors-at-large shall constitute a Board of Directors. Officers of the Association and the executive officer shall comprise an executive committee of the Board between its meetings. The number of directors-at-large within the limitation of the Certificate of Incorporation (not less than five nor more than fifty) may be increased or reduced by a majority vote of the members present at any duly called business meeting.
Sec. 3. There shall be an annual election of officers as follows:
- The president-elect shall be elected in alternate years for a one-year term. After serving as president-elect for one year, this person shall succeed to the office of president for a two-year term and subsequently to the office of immediate past president for a one-year term.
- The secretary shall be elected for a two-year term in odd-numbered years.
- The chairperson of the Nominating Committee, and two members of the Nominating Committee, shall be elected for two-year terms in even-numbered years. Two other members of the Nominating Committee shall be elected for two-year terms in odd-numbered years.
- The president, president-elect, secretary, chairpersons of standing committees, and members of the Nominating Committee may not be elected to two consecutive terms in the same office, but persons appointed to complete an unexpired term of office may be elected to a full term beginning immediately upon their completion of the partial term.
Sec. 4. Two directors-at-large shall be elected each year, each for one four-year term. No director-at-large shall serve two terms consecutively in this office.
Sec. 5. a. The treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for a three-year term. The treasurer may serve an unlimited number of terms.
- The editor of the Review of Religious Research shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for a three-year term. The editor may serve an unlimited number of terms. The editor shall appoint all members of the editorial staff, who shall be responsible to the editor. These appointments shall be ratified by the Board of Directors. The editor shall become a member of the Board of Directors and shall present annual reports to the Board and to the annual meeting of the membership.
Sec. 6. Except as elsewhere provided in these by-laws, vacancies of unexpired terms shall be filled by appointment by the president. Positions for which no nominations are received from the Nominating Committee may be filled by appointment by the Board of Directors, subject to confirmation by the membership at the business session at the annual meeting.
Sec. 7. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year, normally at the time of the annual meeting of the Association. Additional meetings shall be held as needed. Its business may also be conducted by correspondence, conference telephone calls, or other communications media appropriate to the tasks involved. Board members shall be notified via other media of all such meetings, conference calls, or communications at least twenty days in advance of the meeting (excepting meetings conducted by email or correspondence). One-third of all Board members shall constitute a quorum.
Sec. 8. The staff of the Association shall consist of an executive officer, who may appoint a business manager.
- The executive officer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to a four-year term, which may be extended if the Board so chooses.
- Appointment of a business manager shall be approved by the Board of Directors and shall be for a specific term, which shall expire concurrently with that of the executive officer. The business manager is accountable to the Board through the executive officer and shall serve at its pleasure.
- If no business manager is appointed, all the duties assigned to the business manager elsewhere in these by-laws shall be the responsibility of the executive officer.
Sec. 1. There shall be standing committees, whose chairpersons serve on the Board of Directors. All chairpersons and members of standing committees shall be members of the Association. Committees shall submit annual reports to the Board of Directors and the membership at the Annual Meeting unless a greater frequency is indicated by the Board of Directors.
Sec. 2. The Nominating Committee, consisting of the chairperson and four other persons (two elected each year for two-year terms), shall be elected by the membership. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to present nominations of suitable candidates for officers, chairperson of the Nominating Committee, members of the Nominating Committee, and directors-at-large. These names shall be submitted to the executive officer for circulation to the membership for balloting not less than one hundred twenty days before the annual meeting of the Association.
Sec. 3. A Program Committee shall be established annually to prepare for the succeeding year’s annual meeting. Its membership shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president and such other members as the president and chairperson shall deem appropriate. This committee shall be responsible for the program content for the annual meeting of the Association.
Sec. 4. The Research Awards Committee shall administer the Constant H. Jacquet Award and such other awards as the Association may establish. The committee shall consist of three members who shall serve three-year terms. The president shall appoint one new member annually. The chairperson each year shall be that member who is in his or her second year of service on the committee. Awards shall be administered according to guidelines established by the Board of Directors.
Sec. 5. The Investment Committee shall be responsible for: (a) making investments, or selecting and monitoring an investment manager or managers; (b) monitoring adherence to investment policy; and (c) recommending changes in investment policies to the Board of Directors. The committee shall be chaired by the treasurer, and shall consist of the treasurer, president, and executive officer; the business manager shall be a nonvoting member of the Committee. The committee shall meet at least once a year to review investment policies and results, evaluating such results in the context of appropriate market index returns. Investment results will be included in the treasurer’s annual report.
Sec. 7. The Publication Committee shall set policy and provide guidance for all Association publications, including but not limited to the Review of Religious Research. The committee shall consist of three members who shall serve three-year terms. The president shall appoint one new member annually. The chairperson each year shall be that member who is in his or her second year of service on the committee.
Sec. 8. Other committees may be appointed by the president of the Association with the approval of the Board of Directors. Chairpersons of such committees shall be nonvoting members of the Board of Directors until action is taken at an official membership meeting.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sec. 1. The president shall symbolize the Association’s commitment to policy-oriented research, shall oversee the implementation of the Association’s goals, and shall provide leadership to strengthen the Association.
Sec. 2. The president’s duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following: presiding at all meetings of the Association and the meetings of the Board of Directors; selecting program chairs for the two annual meetings during the president’s term; selecting someone to give an H. Paul Douglass Lecture during the president’s first year in office and delivering a presidential address during the president’s second year, or when it is necessary or more appropriate, selecting colleagues to give the H. Paul Douglass Lectures during both years of the president’s term in office; serving as a member of the Investment Committee; appointing members for the Research Awards Committee and the Publications Committee.
Sec. 3. In the absence or incapacity of the president, the immediate past president shall serve as acting president and shall perform any functions assigned to the office of the president that the president is unable to perform. When there is no immediate past president in office, such duties shall devolve upon the president-elect.
Sec. 4. The treasurer shall have general oversight responsibilities for the financial policies and practices of the Association; shall review regular financial reports prepared by the business manager, including an outside financial review every three years; shall review the budget prepared by the executive officer. The treasurer shall also chair the Investment Committee.
Sec. 5. The secretary of the Association shall take and maintain the official minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors and minutes of the annual meetings of the Association.
Sec. 6. The Board of Directors shall have overall responsibility for developing policies and for guiding the activities of the Association between its annual meetings, including the specific responsibilities already stated herein. Furthermore, it shall guide and coordinate the work of the standing committees, resolve questions concerning membership qualifications or classification, and provide for the records and business management functions of the Association.
Sec. 7. The executive officer is responsible for the day-by-day functioning of the Association. He or she shall ensure that all of the Association’s mandates are performed and that recommendations for changes are brought to the Board of Directors’ attention as needed.
Sec. 8. The duties of the executive officer shall include, but not be limited to, the following: preparing an annual budget; overseeing all communication with members; arranging all Board meetings; conducting an annual membership drive; coordinating the annual meeting with Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s executive officer; working with SSSR’s publicity chairperson in relation to the annual meeting; facilitating the work of the program chairperson and all Association committees; conducting the Association’s annual election; signing all contracts; serving as a member of the Investment Committee; acting as a liaison with other professional societies and associations; and making a complete report on his or her responsibilities whenever the Board meets. In the absence of the president, immediate past president, and president-elect, it shall be the duty of the executive officer to call the Board or annual meeting to order and conduct an election of a chairperson pro tempore.
Sec. 9. The duties of the business manager shall include, but not be limited to, the following: the collection of all revenues; the payment of all bills; the maintenance of all records regarding income and expenditures; the preparation of monthly cash flow statements regarding income, expenditures, and investments for the executive officer and the treasurer;; working closely with all the Association’s officers, especially the executive officer and treasurer regarding the preparation of an annual budget; serving as a nonvoting member of the Investment Committee; and working closely with Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s executive officer regarding registrations at the annual meeting.
Sec. 1. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of nominations for officers, chairpersons, and directors-at-large in accordance with By-Law III, Section 3. Each slate of nominations shall include one or more names for each position. These shall be sent to the executive officer not less than one hundred twenty days before the scheduled annual meeting.
Sec. 2. On the ballot that members will use to vote, provision shall be made for a write-in nomination for each position.
Sec. 3. Nominations may also be made by petition signed by not less than five members of the Association, and sent to the chairperson of the Nominating Committee together with the statement required in Section 4 not less than one hundred days prior to the scheduled annual meeting.
Sec. 4. The slate of nominations forwarded to the executive officer shall contain, in addition to the names, a brief statement as to present position and background of the nominees.
Sec. 1. Elections shall be conducted by ballot made available by the executive officer to all individual members of the Association. The results of the election shall be certified by the executive officer, and communicated to all members.
Sec. 2. Ballots shall be made available to the members not less than one hundred twenty days prior to the annual meeting. Votes, to be counted, must be submitted by members not less than ninety days prior to the annual meeting.
Sec. 3. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes for each office to be filled shall be declared elected. In the case of a tie vote for any office, the Board of Directors shall break the tie by such means as it shall from time to time deem appropriate.
Sec. 4. The term of office, unless otherwise specified, shall begin upon the adjournment of the annual meeting. In the event an annual meeting is not held, those elected shall hold office through 31 December of the year in which their terms are due to expire.
Sec. 1. The fiscal year shall be from January 1 to December 31.
Sec. 2. Funds for special purposes may be solicited only with the approval of the Board of Directors, and the desired goal shall be specified. All funds so raised shall be paid to the treasurer.
Sec. 3. Obligations beyond the amount of one thousand dollars may be incurred only by the Board of Directors in consultation with the treasurer.
Sec. 1. The Association shall publish a journal called the Review of Religious Research.
Sec. 2. The Publications Committee shall have responsibility for advising the Board of Directors on the selection of an editor and a publisher.
Sec. 3. The Publications Committee shall provide guidance to the editor on journal policies and procedures.
The By-Laws may be amended only by the following steps:
1) The proposed changes are submitted in writing to the members of the Board of Directors not later than thirty days prior to a meeting of the Board.
2) The Board of Directors approves the proposed changes in the By-Laws.
3) The proposed changes are submitted to the individual members of the Association by a ballot, the ballot to be submitted by the voting member to the executive officer within sixty days.
4) The proposed changes are approved by a majority of those voting.
5) The results of the balloting are certified by the executive officer and reported to the president and president-elect. They also are reported to the individual members of the Association.