as amended June 1, 2015
ARTICLE I. Organization
The American Anthropological Association is a general membership organization.
The Association Executive Board
a. For purposes of advancing the Association’s missions and serving Association members, may create Interest Groups or Sections to be part of and governed by the Association.
b. Shall dissolve or reclassify any Interest Group or Section failing to meet the requirements set forth in Sections 3 or 4.
An Interest Group
a. May be formed around an important intellectual topic or professional concern(s), primarily for purpose(s) of networking and/or informal exchanges of information. The purpose(s) must fall within the scope of those specified in the Association Articles and these Bylaws.
b. Must have a statement of purpose stating
(i) the intellectual topic(s) or professional concerns around which it is to be formed,
(ii) the process for selecting a convener, and
(iii) a process for organizing information exchange.
c. May not assess dues, but may charge fees for services approved by the Executive Board, such as a newsletter, the collection and expenditures of which will be administered by the Association Executive Office.
d. May not create a general fund balance.
e. Must have a minimum of 25 Members.
f. Must meet such other requirements as may be approved by the Executive Board.
a. Must be organized around a broad and significant intellectual area within the broad definition of anthropology.
b. Must have a stated purpose
(i) Consistent with and supportive of the purposes of the Association, and which is in addition to the purposes of any existing Section.
(ii) Committed to advancing the intellectual areas around which it is formed.
(iii) Committed to reaching beyond the discipline in disseminating knowledge.
c. Shall be otherwise autonomous in all matters within its field that are not reserved to the Association, not inimical to Association interests, or prohibited by law.
d. Shall determine voting requirements on all Section matters.
e. Shall have an elected President or Chair and may have other elected or appointed officers whose qualifications and manner of election or appointment shall be determined by the Section.
f. Shall adopt and maintain Bylaws or Rules of Procedure, including the required statement of purpose, which must be consistent with Association Bylaws, approved by the AAA Executive Board, and filed with the Association Executive Office.
g. May assess dues and/or charges for particular services, and may establish special funds, the collection and expenditure of which will be administered by the Association Executive Office for purposes the Section may designate.
h. May engage in publishing and program activities appropriate to its purposes; it may appoint editors and other agents of the Section and set publication and program policies for the Section,
so long as the policies are not inimical to the interests of the Association.
i. Shall submit an annual operating budget to the Executive Board which, when approved, shall govern Section activities.
j. Must have a minimum of 225 Members to become and remain a Section. For the purpose of this clause, Section membership size is defined as the average of the peak membership number for the most recent three full calendar years.
To recognize and address conditions of historical marginalization and under-representation within the discipline, the Association of Indigenous Anthropologists (AIA), Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists (ALLA) , Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA), Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA), Association of Senior Anthropologists (ASA), and the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC) shall stand as permanent Sections of the AAA.
The purpose of the Charter is to specify those matters over which individual Sections shall normally exercise autonomous control except as stated below. These matters include:
1. Section publications;
2. Section membership criteria;
3. Decisions Regarding allocation of the Section’s resources; and
4. The initial ranking of submission for the Association’s scholarly programs.
Sections have the right to presume that their decisions will prevail, except in those cases where a decision clearly violates the legal responsibilities of the Association (e.g. actions prohibited by the Bylaws and matters reserved by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to the Executive Board or the Association as a whole) or where a decision constitutes a clear and present danger to the profession or the Association. A Section which believes its rights have been violated has the right to appeal its case to the Executive Board.
ARTICLE II. Membership
Membership in the Association, its Sections and its Interest Groups is open to all individuals and institutions upon payment of required dues.
There shall be three classes of members: Members, Associates, and Institutions.
a. Any person having a demonstrable professional or scholarly interest in the science of anthropology shall be eligible to be a Member of the Association. A professional interest in the science of anthropology is defined as a serious concern in the subject in accordance with the standards generally accepted in the profession, whether or not the interest is a source of livelihood. A Member in good standing shall be eligible to:
(i) Have one (1) vote in nominating and electing Association officers, in the transaction of business at the Annual Meeting of the Association, and in Association referenda; and
(ii) Hold elected or appointed office, subject only to limitations imposed by these Bylaws; and
(iii) Participate in annual meetings and receive the Association newsletter, other Association publications designated by the Executive Board and publications to which otherwise entitled by virtue of Section membership.
b. Any person who is not employed as an anthropologist in an academic institution of higher education and /or not employed (or self employed) as a practicing anthropologists in any of anthropology’s recognized sub-fields shall be eligible to be an Associate of the Association. Associates shall be subject to annual certification and may be required to send a letter to the AAA national office indicating their position to become eligible for or to continue their AAA membership at the Associate rate. They shall be required to hold comparable status in at least one Section and may join Interest Groups. Associates shall be nonvoting, but shall be eligible to:
(i) Attend the annual meetings and receive electronically the Association newsletter, other Association publications designated by the Executive Board and publications to which otherwise entitled by virtue of Section membership.
c. Any institution, such as a library, museum, or other scholarly or educational institution, shall be eligible for Institutional membership. Institutions shall be nonvoting, but shall receive the Association newsletter, and such other publications and benefits as the AAA Executive Board and/or the Section of which the institution is a member may authorize.
A Member who has made significant professional or scholarly contributions to anthropology may be designated a Fellow of the Association by the Executive Board. Fellows shall not be required to pay special dues.
For just cause, a Member, Associate, or Institution may be deprived of membership by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board, subject to appeal to the Members for reinstatement at the next annual meeting. The appeal must be in the form of a resolution.
ARTICLE III. Dues
The Executive Board shall set the annual dues of all membership classes and may establish different rates for special categories within classes. The Executive Board shall review the dues of the Association at least every three (3) years and report its findings to the membership.
The Executive Board shall be empowered to make arrangements for special membership and subscription rates with other professional societies and associations.
Upon paying the life member fee, as set by the Executive Board, Life Members shall have all privileges of Members and will be exempt from paying annual basic AAA dues and dues to one Section.
Any person or institution in arrears in the payment of dues shall lose all membership privileges.
ARTICLE IV. Governance
Governance of the Association shall be vested in an Executive Board and the Members.
The Members of the Association shall constitute the final authority of the Association and shall elect from their number the elected officers of the Association as provided in these Bylaws.
The Section Assembly shall consist of the heads of the Sections or designated Section representatives who may serve in the Section Assembly for periods not to exceed four (4) consecutive years, with each Section head or designated representative having one vote. The Assembly shall meet at least once a year and have the power to pass motions and resolutions and to make recommendations which must be considered by the AAA Executive Board. The Section Assembly shall have specific responsibility and authority to determine its own leadership structure and its own committee structure. The Section Assembly shall propose budgets to the Executive Board for the operation of its committees. The Section Assembly shall be responsible for preparing a slate of potential nominees for Section Assembly designated seats on the AAA Executive Board. The Section Assembly shall be a major source of materials for the Nominations Committee as it develops slates for the Association’s varied elective and appointive positions.
The responsibility for all matters of Association-wide governance rests with the Executive Board. Its governance obligations require participation by the 4 subfields and 2 dimensions of Anthropology. Therefore the Executive Board shall be composed of 17 members as follows:
a. Each member of the Executive Board will be elected at large for a three-year term, except presidential officers.
b. There shall be designated seats for cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, practicing/professional anthropology, a minority anthropologist, and a student anthropologist. In addition, there shall be three undesignated seats and three designated section assembly seats representing, small, medium and large sections. The President, President-elect/Vice President, and Secretary of the Association shall also be members of the Executive Board, elected by the Members. The Section Assembly Convenor, elected by the section assembly representatives, will also be a member of the Executive Board.
c. The student member must be a student at the time of election.
d. The practicing/professional member must be primarily employed outside the academy at the time of nomination.
e. The term of presidential officers shall be 2 years as President-elect/Vice President, 2 years as President. The term of the Secretary shall be 3 years.
f. The Executive Board shall conduct the business, manage the property, adopt the budget, set policy, and care for the general affairs of the Association. It shall fix the annual dues and the date any change in annual dues becomes effective. The Board may authorize, define duties of and receive reports of committees, commissions and/or task forces.
g. The Executive Board shall meet at least once annually and at such other times as may be necessary, on call of the President or one-third (1/3) of all members of the Executive Board.
h. The Executive Board shall fill any vacancy occurring on the Executive Board for any reason by the affirmative vote of a majority of the then-members of the Executive Board for the remainder of the vacant term.
i. The Executive Board shall establish and make known its rules and procedures.
j. The Executive Board shall be subject to the general directives and specific limitations of the Members of the Association.
k. The Executive Board shall appoint the Association Treasurer, Executive Director and the Editors of the American Anthropologist and Association special publications and monographs, other than publications whose editors are selected by a Section, and may appoint an Executive Secretary.
l. The Executive Board may appoint committees and representatives to other bodies, define their duties, and receive their reports.
m. The Executive Board shall authorize expenditure of Association funds within budget and may solicit, accept, and expend special funds for special purposes.
ARTICLE V. Officers and Executive Director
The Association shall have:
a. a President, President-elect/Vice President, and Secretary, elected by the Members;
b. Executive Board members, elected by the Members pursuant to Article IV; and
c. an Executive Secretary (optional), a Treasurer, and an Executive Director, appointed by the Executive Board.
The President shall be the presiding officer of the Association, a voting member of the Executive Board, and exercise all the duties and responsibilities commonly associated with this office, except as limited by these Bylaws. The President shall serve for two (2) years.
The President-elect/Vice president shall be a voting member of the Executive Board and assume the duties of the President in the event of absence, death, resignation, or incapacity of the President. The President-elect/Vice President shall serve for two (2) years as President-elect/Vice President and succeed to the office of President at the expiration of the President’s term.
The Secretary shall be the corporate secretary, shall be a voting member of the Executive Board, shall be responsible for minutes of Executive Board meetings, shall certify results of all Association-wide elections, and shall carry out such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Board. The Secretary shall be elected for three years.
An Executive Secretary may be appointed by the Executive Board to assist the Secretary to carry out such duties as authorized by the Executive Board.
The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Executive Board and, subject to the directives of the Executive Board, be custodian of all funds, receive all dues and other funds, and disburse all appropriations. The Treasurer shall be required to give bond.
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Executive Board and, subject to the directives of the Executive Board, shall develop plans and policies for the accomplishment of the Association’s objectives, manage the affairs of the Association, and serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member on all boards and committees. The Executive Director also may be the Executive Secretary.
The terms of newly elected officers, new Members of the Executive Board, and new members of all AAA committees and other appointed bodies shall begin at the close of an annual meeting.
The Executive Board shall have the right, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, to remove any officer it deems to have devoted insufficient time to the duties of office.
Conflict of Interest
a. It is the responsibility of the Executive Board, in their role of making nominations for officer positions in the Association, to be certain that no nominee holds a professional position which places them in a situation of conflict of interest with the obligations of officership in the American Anthropological Association.
b. The elected members of the nominating committee have responsibilities similar to those of the members of the Executive Board–namely, that none of their nominees hold professional positions which place them in a situation of conflict of interest with the obligations of officership in the American Anthropological Association.
c. It is also the responsibility of any group of individual members who wish to organize to place the name of another candidate on the slate also to be certain that their nominee holds no professional position which may place them in a situation of conflict of interest with the obligations of officership in the American Anthropological Association.
ARTICLE VI. Nominations for Elected Association Offices
Candidates for any elected Association office shall be nominated by the Executive Board or, with the exception of the three Section Assembly designated seats on the Executive Board, may be nominated by Members.
a. The Executive Board shall nominate two (2) persons for each vacant Association office.
b. A Nominations Committee of nine (9) Members elected by the Association’s membership for three-year terms shall prepare slates of potential nominees for each vacant elected Association office, except for those vacancies on the Nominations Committee itself, for the Executive Board’s consideration. The Section Assembly shall prepare slates of potential nominees for any vacant Section Assembly designated seat on the Executive Board, for the Executive Boards consideration. The Executive Board shall prepare slates of potential nominees for vacancies on the Nominations Committee, for the Executive Boards consideration.
c. The Nominations Committee shall consist of nine (9) voting Members, and shall consist of (a) six (6) positions, one each of which shall be designated for Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Practicing-Professional Anthropology, and a Minority Member, (b) two (2) positions which shall be non-designated, and (c) a Chair which shall be the Secretary of the Association.
d. Any fifty (50) Members in good standing may propose a candidate for any elected Association office, provided the proposed nomination is received in writing by the Secretary at least thirty (30) days before the deadline for filing statements of willingness to serve, as set by the Executive Board.
The Secretary shall inform all prospective nominees of the probable extent of the burden of the office. A nomination becomes effective only upon filing with the Secretary a statement of willingness and ability to devote such time to the affairs of the Association as necessary to the effective execution of office.
All effective nominations shall be made known to Members at least 42 days before the deadline for voting for the office.
ARTICLE VII. Referenda
A referendum may be conducted by mail ballot, electronic mail or any other means of electronic transmission approved by the Executive Board at any time upon initiation of the Executive Board or a signed petition of fifty (50) Members in good standing. A majority of votes received shall constitute a favorable vote.
ARTICLE VIII. Balloting
A Member in good standing shall be entitled to cast one (1) ballot in any Association election or referendum.
Members shall vote by mail ballot, electronic mail or any other means of electronic transmission approved by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall have the authority to examine the eligibility of any voter.
At least thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the return of ballots. Ballots must be received at the Association Executive Office not later than the stated return date to be counted.
The AAA Secretary shall certify the results of the elections.
The candidate receiving the most votes for a contested office shall be elected; the Executive Board shall hold a run-off election within ninety (90) days to resolve all ties.
ARTICLE IX. Quorum
Two hundred fifty (250) Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for transacting business at the Annual Business Meeting. A quorum must be present at the time of a vote for the vote to be binding.
The Executive Board, the Section Assembly and the Assembly committees must have a majority of members present to constitute a quorum for transacting business. A quorum must be present at the time of a vote for the vote to be binding.
The business of all governing bodies shall be transacted by majority vote of those present and voting unless otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws. Proxies shall not be valid. The Executive Board may make decisions by mail, or electronic mail ballots. Use of the electronic mail ballot method of voting must be by unanimous written consent of the Executive Board.
ARTICLE X. Finances and Property
The fiscal year of the Association shall be as determined by the Executive Board.
Payments previously made to establish Life Memberships and other designated moneys as they become available shall be regarded as a permanent fund, which may be invested in the interest of the Association. Sums of money may be drawn from the capital of the permanent fund, but at no time shall its total be reduced to less than an amount equal to the total payments of all living Life Members. Income from annual dues, interest from investments, and money from other sources may be regarded as a working fund, available for publication and other current expenses.
Only the AAA President or Executive Director may sign written contracts or agreements obligating the Association in any way. Any other persons purporting to represent the Association may be personally liable therefor.
ARTICLE XI. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Association may be called by the President, President-elect/Vice President, Executive Board, or upon written request of two hundred fifty (250) Members in good standing.
Written or printed notice stating the place, day, and hour of a special meeting and the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be delivered to Members not less than thirty (30) nor more than ninety (90) days before the date of the meeting by publication in a prominent place in the Anthropology Newsletter, mailed to each Member at the last address in the Association’s membership records, postage prepaid.
ARTICLE XII. Annual Meeting
The place and date of the Annual Meetings shall be approved by the Executive Board, acting on recommendations of the Association Executive Office.
Due notice shall be given to all Members.
The Business Meeting of the Association shall be open to Members in good standing and to such other observers as the Executive Board shall designate.
a. New legislation or resolutions proposed by Members for consideration at the Annual Business Meeting must be received in writing by the Secretary at the Executive Office of the Association at least thirty (30) days before the Annual Meeting to be placed on the agenda. A copy of the agenda shall be furnished to all Members upon registration at the Annual Meeting or twenty-four (24) hours before the Annual Business Meeting. Resolutions passed at the Business Meeting shall be subject to a mail ballot, electronic mail or any other means of electronic transmission approved by the Executive Board, of the Members as set forth in Article VIII of these Bylaws. A majority of votes cast shall constitute a favorable result.
b. Notwithstanding the preceding provision, if two-thirds (2/3) of the Members present at the Annual Business Meeting vote to suspend the rules, motions advisory to the Executive Board shall be allowed for introduction, deliberation and vote by the Members present. A majority of votes cast shall constitute a favorable result and a recommendation to the Executive Board for action. The action(s) taken by the Executive Board upon motions approved by the assembled Members shall be reported in the next issue of the newsletter of the Association.
Business conducted at Association meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised.
Members in good standing may present papers at the scientific meeting of the Association, subject to acceptance by the Program Committee.
Sections shall be allocated time on the Annual Meeting program according to a formula based on membership, as determined by the Executive Board.
Interest Groups having at least 100 members for three consecutive years shall qualify for time on the Annual Meeting program, as determined by the Executive Board.
There will be a Program Chair, appointed by the President or President-elect/Vice President with the advice and consent of the Executive Board or its designee; and a Program Committee, consisting of Program Editors appointed by each Section. The Program Chair and Program Committee will be governed by policies set by the Executive Board. The Program Chair may appoint an Executive Program Committee to assist in organizing the meeting.
ARTICLE XIII. Annual Reports
The President shall report the year’s activities of the Executive Board to the annual meeting of the Section Assembly and to the members through the Anthropology Newsletter.
AAA Sections shall submit annual written reports to the Executive Board and for publication in the Anthropology Newsletter. The deadline for submitting Section reports shall be set by the Executive Director.
Nongovernance AAA committees, commissions and task forces shall submit annual written reports to the Executive Board.
Editors of all Association publications (i.e., any publication carrying the AAA copyright) shall provide the Executive Board annual reports no later than January 31 of the following year.
The annual operating budget will be reported in the Anthropology Newsletter in a timely fashion.
ARTICLE XIV. Annual External Audit
The Executive Board shall employ a certified public accountant to make annual external audits of Association financial records. Results of the audit will be published in the Anthropology Newsletter and will be available upon request to any Member.
ARTICLE XV. Amendment
These Bylaws may be amended in whole or in part by the Members by mail ballot, electronic mail or any other means of electronic transmission approved by the Executive Board, provided that a proposed amendment is approved by a majority of the votes cast.
Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Board or by two-hundred-and-fifty (250) Members in good standing. The Executive Board shall publish the proposed amendment in the Association newsletter and circulate it to Members with the ballot, allowing not less than thirty (30) days for the return of ballots.
The amendments and provisions of these Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon the date specified in proposed amendments and shall supersede and nullify all relevant previous amendments and provisions.
Unless otherwise stipulated by the Executive Board, approved amendments shall become effective 30 days after the deadline for receipt of mail ballots, electronic mail or any other means of electronic transmission approved by the Executive Board on the amendments.