ASR CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
As Amended 28 September 2019
Article I: NAME
The name of the association shall be the Association for the Sociology of Religion. The Association was founded in 1938 as the American Catholic Sociological Society.
Article II: PURPOSE
The purpose of the Association shall be to stimulate concerted study and research in the sociology of religion. The interests of the Association shall be considered to include religion in all its social and cultural dimensions. Through the sponsorship of meetings and publications, the Association shall serve as a medium of communication among sociologists working in this area and as a means through which the results of sociological research on religion may be communicated to appropriate organizations and to the general public. The Association subscribes to the Code of Ethics of the American Sociological Association [to read the ASA Code of Ethics click here], and it will be a purpose of the Association to promote the highest professional and scientific standards for research and publication in the sociology of religion. The Association shall be a non-profit organization as defined by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
Article III: MEMBERSHIP
The classes of membership, and dues for each, are established in By-Law II of the Association.
Article IV: OFFICERS
The officers of the Association shall be a President, President-elect, Secretary, and Executive Officer. The Executive Officer shall have responsibility for managing the affairs of the Association between meetings of the Executive Council and shall report to the Council at the annual meeting on his or her work and the overall condition of the Association. The duties of treasurer shall be performed by the Executive Officer, who may, with the approval of the Executive Council, enlist the assistance of a Business Manager. The Business Manager is not an officer of the Association, but manages the business affairs of the Association under the direction of the Executive Officer as determined by the policies of the Association.
The President and President-elect shall each hold office for one year and the Executive Officer for four years. However, in the event that an Annual Meeting is cancelled, the President and President-elect shall hold office for an additional year until the next Annual meeting. The officers shall be determined in the following manner: The President-elect and Executive Officer shall be elected by ballot. The office of President shall automatically be filled by the President-elect of the previous year. If there should be no President-elect, a new President shall be elected by ballot. In the event of the resignation or death of the President, the President-elect shall become President for the remainder of the previous President’s term as well as the term for which he or she was elected.
The Secretary shall record the communication of ASR and Council, and to perform other duties as Council may assign. The Secretary shall maintain and distribute Council meeting minutes. Consistent with the terms of other ASR elected leadership (President and Council Members), the Secretary shall serve a three year term.
Article V: EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
The Executive Council shall have control of all affairs of the Association between annual meetings. It shall consist of the officers named in Article IV, the immediate past-president, and nine members-at-large. Three members-at-large shall be elected by mailed ballot each year, each to serve a three-year term. If there are more than three candidates on the ballot, the three receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected. Electoral ties shall be broken by a coin toss during the first meeting of the Executive Council following the balloting. If a member or member-elect of the Executive Council resigns or is unable to serve, the candidate with the next highest number of votes in the same election shall succeed to the Council for the remainder of the member’s term.
The editor of Sociology of Religion shall be appointed by the Executive Council for a three-year term and shall make a yearly report to Council concerning the journal.
The Annual Program Committee Chair, the Executive Officer, and the editor of Sociology of Religion shall be non-voting members of the Executive Council.
All members of the Executive Council shall be members of the Association at the time of their nomination and shall remain members in good standing of the Association throughout their terms of office.
The functions of the Executive Council shall be: (1) to arrange meetings and programs, (2) to control the relations of the Association with other learned societies, (3) to determine and control all publications of the Association, (4) to establish fiscal and budgetary policy for the Association, and (5) to establish and provide suitable mechanisms for awarding prizes and honors.
Article VI: MEETINGS
The Association shall meet at least once a year at a time and place determined by the Executive Council. However, an Annual Meeting may be cancelled in the event of an emergency, such as a pandemic, and approved by Council. A Business Meeting open to all members of the Association shall be held during the annual meeting or at an alternative time if the Annual Meeting is cancelled. The President of the Association shall preside at the Business Meeting; if he or she is unable to do so, the President-elect or the Executive Officer, in that order of priority, shall preside. The presiding officer shall have the right to rule on any points of order raised at the Business Meeting. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or By-Laws, the meetings of the Association will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition.
Article VII: AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members voting on a referendum. The proposed amendment must be sent to each constituent member at least thirty days prior to the deadline for the return of the referendum ballots. An amendment may be proposed by a majority vote of the Executive Council or by petition of at least ten percent of the constituent members. An amendment proposed by members shall be submitted to the Executive Council, which shall submit it to a referendum of the members.
Article VIII: COMMITTEES
All committees shall be constituted as provided in By-Law I of the Association.
Article IX: DUES
The dues for each of the respective classes of membership, payable at the beginning of each calendar year, shall be in the amount determined by the Executive Council, which shall review dues levels periodically and make adjustments based on the financial needs of the Association.
As Amended 1 June 2016
Sec. 1. There shall be two categories of committees: standing and ad hoc. The membership of each committee and the terminal dates of office of the members shall be published each year in a newsletter or other official publication of the Association.
Sec. 2. Standing Committees shall exist to perform the continuous or ongoing functions of the Association. At each annual meeting, the incoming President-Elect will appoint a new member of each standing committee who will serve as a regular member of the committee during the first year of his/her 3-year term, as the chair of the standing committee during the second year (i.e., the year when the President-Elect who appointed him/her is President), and as the “past chair” during the third year of his/her 3-year term. All standing committees shall consist of at least three members; enlargement beyond six members shall require the approval of Council. The normal term of membership on standing committees shall be three years, except that initial appointment made under these By-Laws shall be for one, two, or three years, designated in such a way that the terms of not over half of the members of a committee will expire in any one year, which proportion shall be a continuing principle for committee appointments. In the event of resignation or inability of a committee member to complete his or her term, appointment to the unexpired term shall be made by the President with the approval of the Executive Council. Whenever a committee member fails to continue his or her membership in the Association, which shall be a prerequisite for committee service, that person’s seat shall be considered vacant. The following shall be recognized as Standing Committees:
(a) A Committee on Publications that shall be responsible for the official publications of the Association. This responsibility shall include the recruitment and recommendation to the Executive Council of candidates for the position of editor of Sociology of Religion, and the recommendation of general publication policies to the Executive Council.
(b) A Development Committee that shall work to advance the Association’s long-term financial condition (including investments and fund-raising) and generate financial support for the annual meeting in its various locales.
(c) A Membership Committee whose function shall include the recruitment of new members and subscribers, the retention of existing members and subscribers, and the review and recommendation to the Executive Council of membership policies and practices.
(d) An International Liaison Committee that shall be responsible for promoting participation in the activities of the Association by scholars from outside the United States, coordinating activities of the Association with those of international associations, and facilitating international communication among scholars in the sociology of religion.
(e) A Fichter Award Committee to provide competitive financial awards annually to members to assist them in pursuing sociological research. The topic area for competition shall be determined triennially by the Executive Council. The Committee will solicit applications, judge their merit, and allocate the funds available, within the guidelines established by the Executive Council. The Committee will also triennially review the topic area and make recommendations to the Executive Council. These awards shall be known as the Joseph H. Fichter Research Grants, shall be funded by designated income under the supervision of the Executive Council, and administered by the Executive Officer.
(f) A McNamara Award Committee to encourage, recognize, and support outstanding student scholarship in the sociology of religion by giving an annual certificate of honor and monetary grant for a paper in the sociology of religion submitted by a student. The Committee shall solicit submissions and judge their merit, within guidelines established by the Executive Council. This award shall be known as the Robert J. McNamara Award, shall be funded by designated income under the supervision of the Executive Council, and administered by the Executive Officer.
(g) A Distinguished Article Award Committee to encourage, recognize, and support outstanding scholarship in the sociology of religion by giving an annual certificate of honor and monetary grant to a member who has written an exceptional peer-reviewed article in the sociology of religion.
(h) A Lifetime Achievement Award Committee to recognize a member for his/her outstanding lifetime contributions in the sociology of religion by giving an annual certificate of honor and monetary grant.
Sec. 3. The Ad Hoc Committees shall serve on an annual basis to aid the functioning of the President and the Executive Council. All members of ad hoc committees shall be members of the Association. The following shall be recognized as ad hoc committees:
(a) A Committee on Nominations, to consist of three members: the chair, who shall be the immediate past president, and two members who shall be appointed by the President at the time she or he takes office. The Committee will propose a slate of names of at least a sufficient number of candidates to fill all elected positions that will become vacant at the end of its year of service.
(b) An Annual Program Committee, whose chair will be the Program Chair named by the President-elect for the succeeding year, and which will consist of the chair, the President, and the Executive Officer. The President-elect, in connection with the Program Chair and the Executive Officer, selects the Paul Hanly Furfey Lecturer not less than one year prior to its presentation. The Furfey Lecture shall be funded by designated income under the supervision of the Executive Council, and administered by the Executive Officer. The Program Committee will allocate funds for such travel grants as the Executive Council may from year to year authorize for the attendance of graduate student and foreign scholar members at the annual meeting, such grants to be known as Ralph A. Gallagher Travel Grants, to be administered by the Executive Officer.
(c) A Resolutions Committee for Annual Meetings, to which resolutions for action not originating from the Executive Council must be referred before coming to the annual meeting. The Executive Officer shall serve as chair pro tempore of that Committee until such resolutions are submitted, at which time the Executive Officer shall advise the President to appoint a Committee of no less than three members to consider the resolutions.
(d) Such other committees as the Executive Council or the President, with the consent of the Executive Council, may deem necessary.
Sec. 4 Each standing committee, and each ad hoc committee for which it is deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Council, shall submit a report each year to the Executive Council and the annual business meeting. The substance of this report shall be published in the issue of the Association’s newsletter following the annual meeting.
Sec. 1. There shall be two classes of membership, as follows:
(a) Constituent members: Those individuals interested in the Association and its objectives who have at least a graduate degree or its equivalent in the field. Constituent members receive all publications of the Association and have the right to vote and to hold office.
(b) Student members: Individuals who are actively pursuing an academic degree. Student members receive all the publications of the Association and have the right to vote, but they may not hold office.
Sec. 2. Annual membership dues shall be set by the Executive Council, which shall review dues levels periodically and make adjustments based on the financial needs of the Association. Persons paying at the full rate may pay as many years’ dues in advance as they desire; those paying at the discounted rate shall pay from year to year. Dues are considered delinquent if not paid by 1 March; a delinquency penalty may be assessed for reinstatement. Dues are quoted in and must be paid in U.S. dollars.
BY-LAW AMENDMENT PROCEDURE
Sec. 1. These By-Laws may be amended by vote of two-thirds of those voting at the annual business meeting or by two-thirds voting on a mail ballot, the choice of method to be at the discretion of the Executive Council.
Sec. 2. For an amendment of the By-Laws to be placed before the membership, it must either have the approval of the Executive Council or ten percent of the constituent members of the Association.