ARTICLE I: Purpose

The Northeastern Political Science Association (NPSA) is an academic association that promotes the study of politics and government by supporting the professional development of its members.  The Association is committed to upholding the highest standards for scholarship and research and to advancing the values of collegiality, intellectual diversity, and freedom of inquiry.

ARTICLE IIMembership

Membership is open to scholars of all disciplines from the United States and across the world at any stage of their careers.  Membership requires only that interested people pay the Association’s annual membership fee each year.  Membership confers voting rights for Association offices, a discounted registration fee for the Association’s annual conference, and a subscription to Polity, the Association’s quarterly journal.

ARTICLE III: The NPSA General Council

Section 1: Composition

The NPSA General Council consists of 11 members, who are elected by the general membership to two-year terms.  Of the 11 members, one seat is reserved for an untenured faculty member; one seat is reserved for a graduate student in at least the second year of an accredited PhD program; one seat is reserved for each of the four state or regional associations that constitute the geographical base of the Association for a total of four seats.  The remaining five seats are elected at-large from the general membership, and any NPSA member may seek election to the General Council.

Section 2: Meetings

The General Council will meet once each year during the Association’s annual conference. Meetings of the General Council are open to all Association members. The Executive Committee sits as ex officio voting members of the General Council.

Section 3: Quorum

To conduct official NPSA business, a quorum of the General Council shall consist of a simple majority of its members.

Section 4: Powers 

a) The General Council has the authority to act on behalf of the Association’s membership to establish policies and procedures for the Association. It may accept proposals from Council members, the general membership, and the Executive Committee.

b) The General Council elects the following members of the Executive Committee:  the president, the first vice president, who is also the program chairperson, and the second vice president, who is also the assistant program chair. Nominations may come from the Executive Committee and the general membership. Elections of the Executive Committee officers by the general council will occur in conjunction with the annual meeting.

c) The General Council confirms the appointments of the following officers, who are nominated by the Executive Committee:  the executive director, the treasurer, the secretary, the media director/web master, and the editor of Polity.

ARTICLE IV: The Executive Committee

Section 1: Composition and Meetings

a) The Executive Committee consists of the president, first vice president, second vice president, executive director, treasurer, secretary, media director/web master, the most recent past president, and the editor of Polity.

b) The Executive Committee will meet twice each year, once at the Association’s annual meeting and once in the spring following the annual meeting.

c) No member of the Executive Committee shall hold more than one executive office at any time. For example, the executive director cannot also serve as treasurer, and the secretary cannot also serve as the first vice president.

d) To conduct official NPSA business, a quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of five (5) of its members.

Section 2: Responsibilities and Powers

a) The Executive Committee is responsible for managing and overseeing the regular business of the Association.

b) The Executive Committee nominates the executive director, the treasurer, the secretary, media director/web master, and the editor of Polity; who are confirmed by the General Council.  Each of these officers serves one five-year term, with the possibility of renewal for a maximum of two full consecutive terms. Potential nominations for these positions may come from the General Council, the Executive Committee, or the general membership.

c) Executive Committee members can be removed for cause by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 2.1: The Executive Director 

The executive director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Association, subject to the direction of the Executive Committee

Section 2.2: The Secretary

The secretary is responsible for keeping the archival records of the organization, recording minutes at the annual business meeting, distributing the minutes to the general membership, recording minutes at all meetings of the Executive Committee and General Council and distributing these minutes to council members, and handling the general correspondence of the organization, as well as other appropriate tasks requested by the president or other Executive Committee members.

Section 2.3: The Treasurer 

The treasurer establishes and maintains the financial accounts for the Association, files all necessary tax documents, authorizes all expenditures on behalf of the Association, and presents two reports on the financial status of the organization to the Executive Committee, one during its annual meeting and one during the annual conference meeting.

Section 2.4: The Editor of Polity

The editor of Polity is responsible for all operations of the journal, including maintaining the quality of the content, the integrity of the peer-review process, the management of the journal’s operating budget, marketing and publicity. The editor appoints members of the editorial board and makes decisions regarding the journal’s paid support staff. He/she reports at least once a year to the Executive Committee on the journal’s activities and article submissions and publication data. The editor meets at least once a year with the executive director and the publisher of the journal to discuss the production, distribution, and promotion of the journal. In the case of the editor of Polity, applications are solicited by advertisements placed in national and regional political science association newsletters.

Section 2.5: The Media Director/Web Master

The media director/web master is responsible for the development and management of the association’s website and communication through social media. The media director/web master will work to help develop and use existing or new media and internet tools for the purpose of disseminating NPSA-related information and enhancing the presence and visibility of the association in and through the internet and social media. He/she is expected to keep abreast of emerging internet communication and social media trends and to recommend appropriate changes and upgrades in order to enable the association’s communication facility to be effective and prompt.  He/she may suggest the development and implementation of feedback systems to measure the success of the association and its public communication programs.

Section 2.6: The president, first vice president/program chairperson, and second vice president/assistant program chair

a) The Executive Committee nominates the president, first vice president/program chairperson, and second vice president/assistant program chair, and each of these three officers is confirmed by the General Council.

b) Each of these officers is elected for a three-year term during which the officer progresses sequentially through the following positions: second vice president/assistant program chair, to first vice president/program chair to president. Each office is a one-year term. For example, a person elected as second vice president serves for one year and may then be nominated and confirmed for the first vice president’s position at the end of the term, while the first vice president, who has served for one year, may then be nominated and confirmed for the presidency.

Section 2.7: Powers and Responsibilities of the President, First Vice President/Program Chairperson and Second Vice President/Assistant Program Chair

a) The President:  The president conducts all meetings of the Executive Committee and General Council, and serves as the liaison between the Executive Committee and General Council, as well as with the executive director. The president is the liaison between the NPSA and other professionals. The president also assists the first vice president/program chair as needed, and organizes the NPSA presidents’ panel and other events as warranted.

b) First Vice President/Program Chair: The first vice president assists the president as needed, and runs the meetings of the Executive Committee or General Council in the event of his/her absence. In addition, the first vice president serves as the program chair for the annual meeting. As program chair, the first vice president selects the section chairs for the meeting, works with the section chairs and the executive director to plan the conference and is the contact person for the general membership and others regarding the conference.

c) Second Vice President/Assistant Program Chair: The second vice president assists the program chair as needed, helps with scheduling panels, communicating with participants,  and arranging events as warranted.

Section 2.8: Vacancies

In the case of vacancies on the Executive Committee, the president shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy subject to the approval of the other Executive Committee members. The appointee shall serve the remainder of the existing term.

ARTICLE V:  Amendments

Section 1:

Amendments to this Constitution may be offered by any Association member.  An amendment must be presented in writing to the entire membership of the General Council four weeks prior to the Association’s annual meeting.

Section 2:

A majority vote of the General Council is required to place the amendment before the Association’s membership.

Section 3:

Amendments must be ratified, by a two-thirds vote of the general membership.  The vote of the general membership will be taken in a manner determined by the General Council.

ARTICLE VI:  Ratification of this Constitution

In order for this Constitution to take effect and replace the current NPSA constitution, each of the four original organizations comprising the NPSA on January 1, 2011 – the New England Political Science Association, the New Jersey Political Science Association, the New York Political Science Association, and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association – must vote to approve the new Constitution.  Upon reaching a decision, each organization must communicate its decision to the NPSA’s executive director and president, who will tally the decisions, communicate the decision to the executive committee, and announce the decision to the general membership.

[Note: Each of the original associations comprising the NPSA on 1/1/2011 ratified this Constitution by May, 2012.]