1. Membership Categories and Privileges
Membership in the Association shall be divided into the following classes:
(a) Life Member—Person who contributes $2,000 or more to the Association.
(b) Honorary Member—Person selected to this status by the Board of Directors.
The above two classes of members are exempted from payment of annual dues. They shall receive life subscriptions to the printed Journal of Asian Studies, so long as it is provided by the Association.
(c) Regular Member—Person who pays Regular Member dues.
Regular members shall receive all member benefits including the printed Journal of Asian Studies, so long as it is provided by the Association; in addition, they may receive other publications on terms to be determined by the Board of Directors.
(d) Associate Member—Spouse or partner of a Regular Member, whose membership is current during the same time frame. The fee paid by the Regular Member is to be based on the higher income of the two. Associate members have the same benefits as regular members but are not mailed the printed Journal of Asian Studies.
All members in good standing in classes (a) through (d) have voting rights in Association elections. “Good standing” is lost once the membership reaches its expiration.
Dues will be changed by a vote of the Councils and the Board of Directors.
3. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Association shall end on December 31.
(a) Income from dues, bequests to the Association, sale of periodicals, or other sources of income generated directly by the Association shall be regarded as a General Fund available for publications, salary obligations, and other current expenses.
(b) Specific grants or contributions may be requested and accepted by the Board of Directors for special projects.
(c) A revolving fund may be established in connection with the publication of monographs and related publications, and funds obtained for the publication of or from the sale of monographs and related publications shall be deposited in this revolving fund to be used only for such publications.
(d) The Board of Directors is charged to supervise the use of the Association’s funds.
Contracts or other obligations shall be signed by those officers of the Association, or its agents, to whom the Board of Directors has specifically delegated the authority.
6. The President
The President shall be presiding officer of the Association and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and shall exercise the duties and responsibilities commonly associated with the office.
The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President, holding the title of Acting President, in the event of the absence, death, resignation, or incapacity of the President; and in such case the Vice-President shall still succeed to the office of the President in the following year.
8. Executive Director
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and serve as the chief administrative officer of the Association. It shall be their duty, under direction of the Board, to direct the Secretariat, to oversee the affairs of the Association, and to have responsibility for the continuing operations of the Association. The Executive Director has charge of the records and general correspondence of the Association; keeps the membership and subscriber lists; collects dues and subscriptions; manages accounts; makes arrangements for the Annual Conference, maintains relations with other scholarly associations as appropriate; provides support to the Councils and Committees of the Association; advises on policies, programs, and procedures; and performs such other duties as may be specified in the Constitution or Bylaws or be assigned by the Board of Directors. The organization and management of the Secretariat shall be reviewed by the Board of Directors annually. The Executive Director serves as an ex-officio member, without vote, of the Board of Directors.
9. Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall consist of the Vice-President, the Executive Director, and other members to be appointed by the Board of Directors. The terms of office shall be staggered and one of the appointed members shall be chair. The Chief Financial Officer of the Association shall be the secretary of the Committee without vote. The Finance Committee shall review the budget of the Association and all of the Association’s investments, and shall advise the Board of Directors annually on the financial condition of the Association.
10. Nominating Committee
(a) The Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of nominees to include one or more persons for the office of Vice-President, at least seven persons for each of the area councils, and at least three persons for each of the electing regional conferences. The Council of Conferences shall submit to the Nominating Committee at least three candidates for each of the eligible conference slates as recommended by these eligible conferences. The Nominating Committee shall make its selection of nominees from the list submitted by the Council of Conferences. Each area council shall submit to the Nominating Committee at least seven candidates and at least five alternates. Before presenting their lists of nominees to the Nominating Committee, the councils shall have ascertained whether the nominees are members in good standing with voting rights. Members of the Association for Asian Studies are invited to submit nominations for any of these offices other than membership on the Council of Conferences to the Nominating Committee for its consideration.
(b) Subject to Bylaw 10 (d) below, it (the Nominating Committee) shall include among the nominees on the list it prepares the names of all persons nominated by petition signed by one percent of the membership in good standing with voting rights, but it may distinguish between its own nominees and those nominated by petition. Petitions for nominations must be submitted within 30 days after the announcement of its slate by the Nominating Committee.
(c) In drawing up the list of nominees, the Nominating Committee should seek to provide an equitable representation of the ages, sexes, national origins, disciplines, locations of residence, and geographical area of specialization as found in the membership, but is not bound by any particular formula.
(d) The Nominating Committee shall send the list of nominees to the Executive Director at least 120 days before the convening of the fall election. The Executive Director will contact nominees for permission to list them as candidates on the ballot.
(a) The list of candidates shall be distributed by the Executive Director to all members entitled to vote no less than 60 days before the closing of the ballot. Each member entitled to vote shall be provided access to an electronic ballot. The ballot shall be so prepared that it is confidential and yet will enable the Executive Director to prevent irregularities. The voting process shall be monitored by the Executive Director, or persons duly designated, and the results shall be announced after the conclusion of the election.
(b) Each member in good standing with voting rights is entitled to vote for one nominee for Vice-President, for three nominees for one of the four area councils (East and Inner Asia Council, Northeast Asia Council, South Asia Council, Southeast Asia Council), for one nominee in any of the other three area councils, and for one nominee for the conference of his/her choice for the Council of Conferences. The three persons receiving the highest number of votes for each area council shall have been elected to that council for a three-year term: and the person receiving the highest number of votes for each of the eligible conference slates shall have been elected to the Council of Conferences for a three-year term. However, area council election rules may be modified by the board, in consultation with the affected council, to ensure that a designated subarea will be represented by at least one council member.
(c) In case a position becomes vacant among any of the elected officers, directors, or council members, the position shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the person who received the next highest number of votes for that position.
(d) Persons elected to the Board of Directors or to the councils may not immediately succeed themselves for another term on the Board or on that council.
12. Area Councils
(a) The four major regions of Asia shall be deemed to refer to: East and Inner Asia; Northeast Asia; South Asia; and Southeast Asia.
(b) There shall be one council to represent each of the four major regions of Asia, designated as: the East and Inner Asia Council; the Northeast Asia Council; the South Asia Council; and the Southeast Asia Council.
(c) Each council shall be charged with promoting and developing the Association’s interest for the geographic area. Collectively, all four area councils and the Council of Conferences shall serve as the major policy body for the Association, and shall serve as liaison between the Board of Directors and the members at large.
(d) Each of the four area councils shall consist of nine members elected for three-year staggered terms so that three new members shall be elected each year, subject to the exceptions provided for in (e) and (f) in this section.
(e) Each of the four area councils shall elect a Chair every two years and a Vice-Chair annually. The Council Chair will serve for two years and may not be reelected; the Vice-Chair may be reelected for up to three terms. The Chair shall be a member of the Board of Directors.
(f) If a Council member is elected as Chair for two years and this would mean that this member would exceed the normal three-year term on the Council, the Council can allow this extension of service for up to two years, during which period the Council will have ten members at any given point in time (with some financial implications and need for cutbacks).
(g) Insofar as the electoral process permits, each council shall be constituted in such a manner that the several disciplinary and/or geographic interests of the membership concerned with that major region are adequately represented.
(h) A council may establish committees or groups for the study of particular countries, regions, or topics within the area of its specific geographic concern, or for the management of some part of the council’s program. Such committees or groups shall normally have a rotating membership, and will become recognized as a part of the Association upon approval by the Board of Directors. All persons serving on such committees or groups shall be members of the Association. The committee or group must meet the legal, financial, and reporting requirements of the Association.
(i) The Board of Directors shall consult the councils for advice on staffing and policy, and may request each council to designate a representative of that council to serve on any committee of the Association.
13. Council of Conferences
(a) The Council of Conferences represents the interests of the several regional conferences concerned with Asian studies.
(b) It shall be charged with promoting and developing interest in Asia and the encouragement of the scholarly and more popular understanding of Asia in the regions of its concern. The Council of Conferences shall serve as a liaison between the Board of Directors and participants in the various conferences.
(c) The Council shall consist of one member from each regional conference elected for three-year staggered terms so that new members shall be elected each year, subject to the exceptions provided for in (f) in this section.
(d) The Council of Conferences shall consult with the constituent conferences to assure an appropriate rotation of actual nominations for the council so that no constituent conference is unrepresented on the council. In case a position becomes vacant among the members of the council, the position shall be filled by the person nominated by the same regional conference who received the next highest number of votes for that position.
(e) The Council of Conferences shall elect its chairperson and vice-chairperson annually from among its membership. These council officers may be reelected for more than one term. The chairperson shall be a member of the Board of Directors.
(f) If a Council member is elected as Chair for two years and this would mean that this member would exceed the normal three-year term on the Council, the Council can allow this extension of service for up to two years, during which period the Council will have ten members.
(g) The Board of Directors shall consult the Council of Conferences on staffing and policy, and may request the council to designate a representative of that council to serve on any committee of the Association.
14. Annual Conference
An Annual Conference shall be held each year at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors. Announcements of the time and place shall be sent to members at least 60 days before the conference by the Executive Director.
15. Program Committee
The Program Committee shall arrange carefully planned sessions for the Annual Conference featuring papers, round tables, and discussions. A printed program shall be prepared.
Procedure in all meetings of the Association, its councils, committees, or agencies shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or Bylaws.
(a) Referenda are defined as the casting of votes by the membership in good standing and with voting rights on issues other than election, provided each member has been furnished access to an electronic ballot. Referenda may be initiated by the Board of Directors or by petition by three percent of the members in good standing with voting rights.
(b) The Board of Directors may present its opinion on a referendum-issue in writing at the time an electronic ballot is sent to the membership. If one or more members interested in a referendum-issue in timely fashion (1) tenders payment of all expenses and (2) furnishes the text of an opinion on a referendum-issue they want publicized to all members, the Executive Director shall present that written opinion on the AAS website or through other means. The result of the vote by members in good standing with voting rights shall be decided by a majority of those voting.
18. Periodical Publications
The periodical publications of the Association shall be the Journal of Asian Studies, Education About Asia, the Asian Studies Newsletter and any other publications the Board of Directors may determine to establish.
The editors of the periodical publications shall edit and manage their respective publications, prepare annual reports and budgets, and may have authority to make contracts and other necessary arrangements, subject to review or direction by the Board of Directors. They shall nominate for Board approval the editor and assistants who are to be associated directly with them in preparing their publications.
Organizations having scholarly interest in Asia and containing in their memberships a substantial number of persons who are members of the Association may be affiliated with the Association or one of its councils, subject to acceptance by the Board of Directors. Such affiliation would permit the Association to provide services and assistance as approved by the Board, but affiliates would not be part of the Association and not covered by AAS Articles of Incorporation, tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) or liability insurance. Affiliation shall be for three years and shall be subject to renewal upon notification. At least 90 days before its affiliation is due to expire, an affiliated organization shall be so informed by the Secretariat.
21. Diversity and Equity Committee
The AAS Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) shall advise the Board of Directors of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) on matters relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DEC will work directly with the AAS Board of Directors, and through the Board, liaison with the Councils, the Program Committee, the Editorial Board, and the Journal of Asian Studies. The responsibilities of the DEC will include proposing new programs that advance the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in Asian Studies, providing feedback on existing programs and initiatives, and representing membership views on these issues to the Board.
22. Executive Committee (EC)
(a) The EC will act, if necessary, on behalf of the full AAS Board, in the case of a crisis or other urgent circumstances, when it is extremely difficult to convene the full Board, subject to any specific policies, guidance, or instructions on any given topic given by the full Board.
(b) The EC shall provide counsel to the President and ED on any matters of importance on which they seek advice.
(c) The EC shall consider complex strategically important matters in-depth with a view to advising the full Board and/or making recommendations on a policy or course of action
(d) The EC shall coordinate, oversee, and deliver the results of the evaluation of the Executive Director and report these to the full Board.
(e) The Committee will not generally take decisions on the following matters: amending the AAS Bylaws; electing or removing Board members; hiring or firing the Executive Director; approving or changing the budget; or making major structural changes (adding or eliminating programs, approving mergers, or dissolving the corporation).
(g) The Executive Committee reports and is accountable to the full Board. The proceedings and any decisions of the Committee will be communicated as soon as possible after they have occurred. The Committee will provide the minutes of its meetings to the Board. The full AAS Board will always confirm the Committee’s decisions in its next meeting.
(i) Once a year, at a regular meeting, the Board will undertake a review of the functioning of the Executive Committee, to assess the value and efficiency that it has added and identify any issues or concerns.
The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of those members in good standing with voting rights voting in the manner provided in Article V, Section 1(e) of the Constitution. Amendments may be initiated by the Board of Directors, or by a petition signed by three percent of the membership in good standing and with voting rights.
Bylaws last updated November 15, 2022.