Constitution

CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE AND LEARNING
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

I. CONSTITUTION: NAME AND AIMS

A. Name: The name of the association shall be the CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE AND LEARNING, hereafter referred to as “the association.”

B. Aim and Spirit of Inquiry: The aim of the association is to provide a forum and common context for discussion, collaboration, and reflective inquiry in discourse and pedagogy in the areas of writing, reading (including the reading of literature), rhetoric, and language. This aim shall be achieved through:

  1. developing as much as possible a uniquely Canadian voice and providing an informed Canadian perspective on issues of literacy of national and international importance;
  2. serving as a forum for communication among various persons and organizations interested in discourse and pedagogy;
  3. providing a means of communication and cooperation for teachers of writing, reading, and language arts at all levels;
  4. sponsoring and supporting publications of sound academic and professional interest;
  5. encouraging and supporting research, collaboration, and investigation in the theory and practice of discourse and pedagogy;
  6. exploring radically the issues of literacy raised by its members, questioning the processes by which academic orthodoxies are established and become resistant to change;
  7. maintaining national and encouraging international networks for continuing conversations among teachers, researchers, and theoreticians of discourse and pedagogy;
  8. community-building with an emphasis on improving communication between groups and disciplines;
  9. valuing informality, sociability, self-reflexiveness, and interactive / transactive approaches to theory and practice;
  10. without being exclusionary, emphasizing social process over product, the humanist and rhetorical over the deterministic;
  11. questioning and challenging the privilege of the status quo and giving voice to marginalized groups;
  12. valuing a visionary approach to the disciplines and being responsive to change.

II. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES: The following procedures are intended to facilitate the spirit of inquiry outlined in the previous section. The language used in the administrative procedures section is by no means intended to curtail the spirit of inquiry laid out in the above section and should be implemented within that spirit.

A. Composition: The association shall be composed of the following:

  1. Full members who shall receive all of the publications of the association and who shall hold voting membership in the association. In order to qualify for full membership, a person must pay the full membership fee.
  2. Student members who shall have all of the rights and privileges of full membership described above. In order to qualify for student membership, a person must be a full-time student and pay the student membership fee.
  3. Institutional members who are institutions (e.g., libraries) who receive all the publications, reports and notices of the association, but who do not hold voting membership in the association. In order to qualify for institutional membership, an organization must pay the institutional membership fee.

Fees for each of the above categories shall be set yearly with the provision of an extended membership by a majority vote of the Board of Directors (see below) at its annual meeting. Membership will be from Inkshed conference to Inkshed conference unless otherwise provided for (as in the case of extended memberships). In case of dissolution of the association, the profits and liabilities of the association will be shared equally among all of the paid-up current voting members. Members may withdraw voting membership in the association at any time, but rebates for the residual period of the membership will be considered by the Board of Directors only in the case of members who have paid an extended membership fee.

B. Board of Directors: The Board of Directors of the association shall have the responsibility of carrying out the management of the association. This responsibility should be carried out with the knowledge and cooperation of the membership. The Board of Directors shall annually present to the membership its proposals for networks so that members of the association will have the opportunity to advise the directors. These networks should encourage the development and implementation of new ideas for organization, should provide for criticism and critiques of the operation of the association, and should invite a wide variety of initiatives from the members.

  1. The Board of Directors shall consist of seven members elected from the membership at large.
  2. The Board of Directors shall direct, when appropriate, members elected to the Board of Directors to carry out particular administrative tasks. At least every three years the Board will appoint one of its members to be its financial officer (for the purposes of incorporation) with full signing authority for the association/corporation. Normally, the duties of the financial officer will be to see that the accounting books of the association are maintained, and, in the event that the Board of Directors does not assign the following duties to another Board Member, to call meetings of the membership and the Board of Directors and to maintain the records (minutes, etc.) of the association. The Board of Directors shall appoint from among its own members to carry out all tasks save the financial ones.
  3. The term of office for members of the Board of Directors shall be three years (except as provided for in #5 below), and Directors shall be elected by the membership of the association either at its annual general meeting or by mail-in ballot, the means to be determined by the Board of Directors.
  4. Directors cannot be less than 18 years of age, must be individuals, must have the power under law to contract, and must be members in good standing of the association.
  5. During the first year in which this constitution is in effect, the membership shall elect two directors for a one-year term, two directors for a two-year term, and three directors for a three-year term. After that, each year, the membership shall elect two or three members (depending on the number of vacancies) of the association to serve as directors.
  6. A member of the Board of Directors may only be removed from office before his/her term is complete through a vote of the other members of the Board in which 5 members support the removal.
  7. In nominating and electing members to the Board of Directors, the association is committed to including representation from different geographical regions of the country, from different disciplines, and from different constituencies, as well as maintaining a gender balance.
  8. No member of the Board of Directors may serve more than two consecutive terms.

C. Committees of the Association: Much of the business of the association is to be carried out through committees and/or task forces which will report to the Board of Directors directly and to the membership through the association’s publications or newsletters. Except for the three committees outlined below, committees and/or task forces shall be created with specific terms of reference by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Committees and task forces may be proposed either by the membership or by the Board of Directors.

  1. There shall be three standing committees and committee chairs of the association: Conference, Newsletter, and Publications. The chairs of these committees need not be members of the Board of Directors. The conference chair/s will be appointed by the membership at the annual general (Inkshed Conference) meeting and will hold office for one year. The Newsletter chair/s and Publications chair/s will be appointed by the membership at the annual general meeting and will hold office for three years.
  2. From time to time, the Board of Directors or the membership at the annual general meeting may wish to establish appointed positions. These positions shall be non-voting, ex officio, and advisory to the Board of Directors, and shall be appointed by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Directors or by a majority vote of the members present at the annual general meeting. Appointed positions shall always have specific duties and time limits associated with the appointment and specific terms of reference.

D. Meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors: There shall be at least one meeting of the Board of Directors each year and at least one annual general meeting each year, the latter normally to be held in conjunction with the Inkshed conference. The Board of Directors may meet otherwise in whichever way(s) it deems appropriate, including electronic meetings as long as thirty days notice has been given to all directors. Meetings of the Board of Directors will be called by the financial officer unless the Board of Directors has appointed some other member of the board to carry out that function. All duly elected directors have the right to vote at all Board of Directors meetings at which they are present, either in person or electronically; mail ballots and proxy voting are not available. A quorum at a meeting of the Board of Directors will be at least three duly elected members of the Board of Directors. Quorum for the Annual General Meeting will be at least fifteen members of the association. Notice of Annual General Meetings must be given at least 30 days before the meeting. The membership at the Annual General Meeting must appoint an auditor each year for the purposes of auditing the accounts of the association.

E. Amendments to the Administrative Procedures: Submissions for amendments to the administrative procedures may come from the Board of Directors or from ten voting members. This submission will be placed before the membership through a mail-in ballot. A two-thirds majority of that vote is necessary for the amendment to take effect.

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