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Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Proposed constitutional amendments were posted here for members to review prior to the online ballot beginning 1 July 2012 and closing 31 July 2012 for AMS voting members.
Draft Constitution (PDF)
The proposed amendments to the AMS Constitution presented here were approved by the AMS Council at its 22 January 2012 meeting. As required by Article XIII of the Constitution, these proposed amendments are now provided to the AMS Membership. Brief explanations for the proposed changes are provided here, referring to the numbered changes presented formally just after this summary.
The change provided in item 1 is a simple change in language that allows the Council to delegate membership approval for all classes other than AMS Fellow and Honorary Member, which is proposed to allow faster action on member applications rather than having the application pending until the next meeting of the Council. Since the Council meets only twice per year, once at the annual meeting and once in the fall, formal approval can currently be delayed by up to nine months and that seems unnecessary.
The change provided by item 2 affects the criteria for AMS voting membership. It replaces the complicated proscriptive language that has been part of the Constitution for several decades with a much simpler description of the criteria for voting member. This language is the result of many months of discussion within the AMS Executive Committee and Council, with significant input from the AMS Membership Committee. It seeks to provide a much more inclusive framework recognizing that the interdisciplinary nature of the sciences covered by the Society draws from expertise of a wide range of professionals who should be considered full voting members of the Society. This change is consistent with, and an extension of, the stated objectives of the AMS articulated in the “Strategic Goals — 2007” document published in the March 2007 BAMS.
The proposed changes in the criteria for voting members depend on a definition of the “atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services” (which is used elsewhere in the AMS Constitution). To address this, the AMS Council approved, on 22 January 2012, the addition of the following new section 7 to Article I of the Bylaws:
The amendments proposed for Article VI of the Constitution, items 3–6, modify aspects of the election process for president-elect and Council members. They move the election a month earlier in the fall. This makes it easier to run the election coincident with the dues renewal process (which makes it far easier for members to vote since they can do so online at the same time the renew their membership) and also allows those elected to be notified with enough time prior to the annual meeting to allow them to have their travel plans include attending the Council meeting there.
The proposed Article VI amendments also give the Council more flexibility in setting up the structure of the ballot, allowing the candidates to be presented in groups with those receiving the highest number of votes in each group being elected. This option, if chosen by the Council in future elections, can be used to ensure better balance on the Council. The proposed changes do not impose a new structure for the ballot, they simply give the Council the flexibility to restructure the ballot in the future if needed.
The final proposed amendment, item 7, makes explicit that members are expected to behave in an ethical manner as they pursue their professional career. While the previous language certainly implied that to be the case, the Council felt this should be more clear and had agreed several years ago to include this amendment in the next set of Constitutional changes.
A redline/strikeout version of the AMS Constitution showing the impact of the proposed amendments is available below.
Draft Constitution (PDF)