SCOLAS – Southwest Council of Latin American Studies
I. Name and Scope
This organization shall be known as the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies (SCOLAS). Its focus of activities shall be in Texas, the southwest region of the United States, and in Latin America, with a special emphasis on Mexico.
The purposes of SCOLAS are to provide a professional association to foster the interest and enterprise of scholars and future scholars in Latin American Studies, to encourage more effective teaching and research therein, to adduce a continuing dialogue among scholars and knowledgeable individuals both within and outside the organization, and to communicate by publications, and other means, with individuals concerned with Latin American life and culture.
Membership extends to all persons interested in the purposes and undertakings of SCOLAS, from the academic community, from business and the professions, from government service, and from other walks of life yielding serious concern for Latin American civilization and its confluence with that of North America. Membership shall be formalized by payment of dues. It is expected that all members will participate in the affairs of the association.
In addition to regular members, there are six other categories of membership: (1) institutional members who serve both as participants and patrons of the enterprise; (2) retired faculty members; (3) academics at foreign institutions; (4) student members; (5) life members, and (6) honorary life members as designated by the Executive Board.
The officers of the SCOLAS shall be a President, a President-Elect, an Executive Director and Editor of the Bulletin. The Executive Board shall be composed of the four officers, the immediate past president, the Mexican Membership Chair, the Scholarship Committee Chair, the Book/Article Award Committee Chair, the Cultural Anthropology Chair, the Business and Social Sciences Chair, the Literature and Arts Chair, Graduate Liasion and, when necessary, an In-Country and /or a Program Chair. With the exception of the In-Country and/ or Program Chair, all positions will be filled by a majority vote of the membership at the annual meeting of SCOLAS. All officers must be members in good standing of SCOLAS for at least the three years prior to assuming office. The Executive Director may be at the same institution as the president so long as the long-term investment accounts are maintained under the control of another SCOLAS member resident at another university and approved by a majority vote of the membership at the annual meeting. The officers will present a slate of candidates and also will entertain nominations from the floor before a vote is taken by office. If called for from the floor, a secret ballot is automatically granted. Should vacancies occur on the Executive Board, the president of SCOLAS can make interim appointments that shall be ratified at the next annual business meeting of the membership.
A. President. The President shall serve a term of two years. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board, business sessions of SCOLAS, and at all of its general meetings of a formal or social nature. In the event of incapacity, the President-Elect shall serve instead. The President shall have charge, assisted by the other officers of the Executive Board, and such committees as the President may appoint, of the planning and conduct of periodic meetings and programs whether annual or semi-annual, of the SCOLAS. The President may appoint any committees deemed necessary or desirable. In the case of a tie vote of the officers, the President’s wishes carry. Upon conclusion of the term of President, he/she will remain on the Executive Board for a period of two years as Immediate Past President.
B. President-Elect. The President-Elect shall serve a term of two years, and then succeed to the Presidency for a two-year term. The President-Elect shall be elected by majority vote at the annual business meeting of SCOLAS, and shall lend due assistance to the President in the discharge of the duties of that office.
C. The Executive Director. The Executive Director will serve as the head of the Secretariat, which will be housed at a U.S. institution of higher learning for a minimum of five years. The Executive Director shall keep membership records, make and keep accurate minutes of each business and board meeting, and maintain the SCOLAS official website. The website shall include a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws, a brief history and description of SCOLAS, proxy forms for voting at the annual business meeting made available in a timely fashion prior to the business meeting, letters from the President, the call for papers for the annual meeting, and a complete roster of the membership based on those who have paid dues for the current year plus life and honorary members. Other items on the website shall include minutes from the annual business meeting of SCOLAS, past Bulletins, conference programs, information on how to join or renew memberships, information on upcoming conferences, information on the application process for the scholarships and past recipients of the scholarship, information on the nomination process and past recipients for the book/article awards, information on the requirements for conference paper prizes and past recipients, a listing of the Executive Board and all committee members, a list of all Past Presidents, past programs from the annual meeting of SCOLAS, and any other material as directed by the President. The Executive Director will also collect dues, manage the permanent funds except in the case where the Executive Director and the president are resident at the same institution (see Section VI for clarification), send out the award certificates and prizes, make payments from SCOLAS as authorized by the President or the Executive Board, keep accurate records of all receipts and expenditures, file any required tax forms to maintain the SCOLAS 501(c)(3) status, and prepare an annual financial statement to be reported at the annual business meeting of SCOLAS. The Executive Director shall maintain a database of information of websites for publicizing the call for papers, the book and article prizes, and the scholarships as well as contracts signed for previous conferences to help the President in the planning and conduct of the annual meetings. The Executive Director also shall stand ready to aid the President and President-Elect when called upon for the annual meeting and any other duties required by those officers.
D. Editor of the Bulletin. The Editor of the Bulletin shall be part of the Secretariat and thereby approved by a recommendation of the Executive Board and approved by a vote of the membership at an annual meeting. The Editor shall be responsible for producing a Bulletin at least semi-annually. The Editor may name additional non-Executive Board, Bulletin editorial board members as he/she sees fit.
All new members of the Executive Board shall assume their offices at the close of the annual business meeting.
V. The Chairs and Liaisons
A. Mexican Membership Chair. The Mexican Membership Chair shall serve a term of three years. Duties include publicizing and encouraging participation in the annual meetings by Mexican academics in all relevant fields and other such duties as the President and Executive Board may request.
B. Cultural Anthropology Chair: The Cultural Anthropology Chair shall serve a term of three years. Duties include helping coordinate panels for the annual meeting, encouraging participation by academics in relevant disciplines, publicizing the annual meeting, serving as a liaison between SCOLAS and the American Folklore Society and the American Southwest Studies on Popular Culture and any other duties as requested by the President and Executive Board.
C. Art and Literature Chair: The Art and Literature Chair shall serve a term of three years. Duties include helping coordinate panels for the annual meeting, encouraging participation by academics in relevant disciplines, publicizing the annual meeting, and any other duties as requested by the President and Executive Board.
D. Business and Social Sciences Chair. The Business and Social Sciences Chair shall serve a term of three years. Duties include helping coordinate panels for the annual meeting, encouraging participation by academics in relevant disciplines, publicizing the annual meeting, and any other duties as requested by the President and Executive Board.
E. Graduate Student Liaison: The Graduate Student Liaison shall serve a term of three years. This position is to be filled by a faculty member who is tasked with outreach to graduate students with an interest in Latin America to increase graduate student participation in the organization and at the annual meetings. The Liaison will also sit on the Travel Grants Committee and will evaluate the applications that the committee receives from both graduate students and faculty members.
F. In-Country and/or Program Chair: Periodically, when appropriate based on annual meeting location and expected size, the President will appoint an In-Country Chair and/ or a Program Chair to serve as a liaison to academic institutions and scholars in the annual meeting country and/or to assist with organizing the program. The In-Country and/or Program Chair will serve a term as designated by the President, not to exceed two years.
G. The Bertie Acker Scholarship Chair and Committee: The Bertie Acker Scholarship committee shall be constituted of three members who serve staggered three-year terms. Each member will serve as Chair of the Committee in his/her third year of service. At the end of three years of service, the member will rotate off the committee. The members of the committee will review scholarship applications and award the Bertie Acker Scholarship, which will be announced at the annual business meeting.
H. The Harvey L. Johnson Article/Book Prize Chair and Committee: The Harvey L. Johnson Article/Book Prize Committee shall be constituted of three members who serve staggered three-year terms. Each member will serve as Chair of the Committee in his/her third year of service. At the end of three years of service, the member will rotate off the committee. The members of the committee will review the books and articles nominated for the prize and award one Harvey L. Johnson Article Prize and one Harvey L. Johnson Book Prize at the annual business meeting.
I. The Annual Meeting SCOLAS Prize Committee: The Annual Meeting SCOLAS Prize committee shall consist of the Past-President, the Chair of the Bertie Acker Scholarship Committee and the Harvey L. Johnson Article/Book Prize Committee. This committee will be chaired by the Past-President. The duties of this committee will be to award other prizes created for paper presentations at the annual meeting.
J. The Travel Grants Committee Chair: The Travel Grants Committee shall consist of the Chair of the Travel Grants Committee and a second member elected at the annual business meeting, and the Graduate Student Liaison. Each elected member will serve as chair in his/her second year of service. At the end of two years of service the elected member will rotate off the committee. The Graduate Student Liaison will always be a member of the committee, but will never serve as chair. The members of the committee will review the applications for the single graduate student and single faculty travel grants to the annual conference. Recipients of the travel grants must have had a paper accepted to the upcoming conference to be eligible for consideration. Further, the grant will consist of awarding SCOLAS membership for that year, conference registration and an award of a three-day stay in the conference hotel.
VI. The Executive Board
1. The Executive Board, comprised of the four officers, the immediate Past-President, and stipulated chairs and liaisons. The Board shall extend general assistance and advice to the President in planning and conduct of the affairs of SCOLAS. The Executive Board normally will meet each year just prior to the opening of the annual meeting of SCOLAS. Additionally, it will meet once in the fall. The President, or any four members of the Board, may call meetings of the Board—in addition to the meetings of SCOLAS. The assistance and advice of the Board shall normally extend to matters of appointment of committees, making nominations of candidates for office, planning programs, and the formulation of agendum for the business section of the SCOLAS at the annual meeting. In the event of unforeseen emergency, the Board, by majority vote, shall take appropriate action.
2. An Executive Board Member who must be absent from a Board meeting should appoint a proxy who is a member of SCOLAS and who is not currently a member of the Executive Board to sit in his/her place. The absent Board Member should notify the SCOLAS president two weeks in advance of the Board Meeting of the substitution (with the exception of an emergency), so that the president can forward the meeting agenda and other information to the substitute. The proxy shall have both voice and vote in the Board meeting.
SCOLAS will meet each year at a place decided by the President and the Executive Board. The times of the meeting shall be set by the President, traditionally a Wednesday evening through Saturday during a week in the spring. Additionally, other meetings may be called by the President for business or substantive programs of a scholarly nature as may appear consonant with the needs or wishes of SCOLAS.
The normal agendum of the business session at the annual meeting shall be as follows: (1) preliminary business, (2) discussion of matters of general interest to the membership, (3) consideration of proposals offered by any members, and (4) election of officers, chairs and committee members. Any active member, unable to attend the meeting, but wishing to vote on any SCOLAS business may do so by assigning a proxy to an attending member. Proxy statements may be obtained at the SCOLAS website. Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the standard reference on questions of procedure.
An amendment of the entire Constitution, or any part thereof, may be proposed in writing by any five members of the SCOLAS to the Executive Board for consideration 14 days prior to the board meeting preceding the annual meeting. Similarly five members of the Executive Board may make a proposal or by a committee appointed by the President for the purpose. The amendment shall be adopted upon a favorable vote of two-thirds of the members present at the annual business meeting.
Upon adoption, a copy of the amended Constitution and related By-Laws shall be posted and maintained on the SCOLAS website by the Executive Director.
We do hereby certify that the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies, or SCOLAS, a majority of whose members are citizens of the United States, forms a non-profit association organized exclusively for educational purposes and therefore qualifies as an exempt organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
No part of the net earnings of SCOLAS shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that SCOLAS shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article Two hereof. No substantial part of the activities of SCOLAS shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and SCOLAS shall not participate in, or otherwise intervene in (including the publishing and distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, SCOLAS shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Upon the dissolution of SCOLAS, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to any state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the SCOLAS Secretariat is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names this_____day of ________ of 2010.
Southwest Council of Latin American Studies
The Executive Board shall make nominations for the President-Elect and for new members of the Executive Board and SCOLAS committees. Any member who wishes to suggest candidates may do so in writing to the President at least fourteen (14) days prior to the annual meeting. At the annual meeting the opportunity shall be extended to any member to make additional nominations from the floor.
SCOLAS shall elect officers, additional board members, and committee members by majority vote of the members present at the annual business meeting.
Dues cover a calendar year. If not paid earlier, the amount assessed is due and payable at the annual meeting, or upon notice from the Executive Director. Non-members (those who are not current in their dues at the time of the annual meeting) cannot hold SCOLAS offices. Dues will be set by recommendation of the Executive Board and approved by a majority vote of the members present at the annual business meeting.
VI. Harvey L. Johnson Article/Book Award
To be eligible for either of the Harvey L. Johnson Awards, a person must have been a member of SCOLAS for the three previous years. Additionally, any person who has won one of the Harvey L. Johnson awards will not be eligible to win that same award for a period of five years. That person will, however still be eligible for the other Harvey L. Johnson Award.
Amendment of the By-Laws, or any part thereof, may be accomplished by the same process as specified in Article VIII of the Constitution.