SSA Constitution

as approved at the second annual meeting on October 25, 1992, in Portland, Oregon, at the Middle East Studies Association annual convention and subsequently amended on November 21, 1996, in Providence, Rhode Island, and on November 17, 2012, in Denver, Colorado, and on October 1, 2014.

Article 1: Name

The association shall be called the Syrian Studies Association (SSA).

Article 2: Objectives

The Syrian Studies Association is an international non-profit, non-political association. It is an association of scholars organized to encourage and promote scholarship, research and understanding of Syria during all epochs and in all academic disciplines. It is an affiliated organization of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).

Article 3: Activities

The Syrian Studies Association shall hold an annual meeting and publish a bulletin, which shall include a letter from the President, a report from the Secretary-Treasurer, and other officers' and committee reports as warranted. It will support the work of MESA and other academic associations by planning and/or sponsoring panels dealing with Syria at the annual convention of MESA and at meetings of other scholarly organizations, and maintaining an email list and website to publicize its activities. It will promote the publication of scholarship on Syria, facilitate research and study in Syria, and recognize the best academic publications on Syria.

Article 4: Membership

Individuals with a demonstrable scholarly interest in Syria are eligible to become members of the Syrian Studies Association upon payment of dues to the Secretary-Treasurer.

Article 5: Dues

Annual membership dues will be used to cover the operating expenses of the Syrian Studies Association, including the costs of organizing and holding the annual meeting, publishing the bulletin, maintaining the website, funding prizes, and bringing a Syrian Studies Association Fellow to speak at the annual convention of MESA when funds permit.

Article 6: Meetings

The annual meeting shall include board and business meetings. The annual meeting shall be held in conjunction with the annual convention of MESA.

Article 7: Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, also called the Board, shall include ten positions: President, Past-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Bulletin Editor, Book Review Editor, Webmaster, Prize Committee Chair, Graduate Student Representative, and two Members-at-Large. The position of Syria Liaison may be filled when possible. The Board may add, drop, or consolidate the number of members by a simple majority vote. At its meetings, the Board should follow accepted parliamentary procedure.

Article 8: Officers' Duties and Terms of Office

The President shall serve a nonrenewable two-year term. The duties of the President include policy initiation, coordination, management, and fund-raising, all in consultation with the Board.

The Past-President shall serve a two-year term.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve a once renewable two-year term. The Secretary-Treasurer will keep an accurate roster of the full membership, collect membership dues, disburse funds from the treasury to cover SSA expenses, schedule the board and business meetings, and take minutes at the board and business meetings.

The Bulletin Editor shall serve a renewable three-year term. The responsibilities of the Bulletin Editor are to edit and publish the bulletin and to appoint and support a Book Review Editor. When necessary the Bulletin Editor may seek assistance from the Board and membership with article ideas, editing, and proofreading.

Book Review Editor shall be recruited by the Bulletin Editor and shall serve a renewable three-year term.

The Webmaster shall serve a renewable three-year term. The Webmaster's duties are to maintain the SSA website and keep the website up to date.

The Prize Committee Chair shall serve a nonrenewable two-year term. The Prize Committee Chair shall publicize the various prizes awarded by the SSA and supervise the awarding of annual prizes on a rotating basis for best article/chapter, dissertation, and book on Syria. Each year, the Prize Committee Chair shall solicit at least two volunteers from the membership to serve on the committee.

The Members-at-Large shall serve nonrenewable staggered two-year terms. The junior Member-at-Large shall be responsible for assisting the Secretary-Treasurer in soliciting nominations for elections and preparing the ballot.

The Graduate Student Representative shall serve a nonrenewable two-year term.

Article 9: Elections

The election of all officers, except Past President and Book Review Editor, shall take place by means of a ballot or e-mail ballot distributed to the paid-up membership. Elections for President and Secretary-Treasurer shall take place in alternate years.

By October 1, if the Secretary-Treasurer is not up for election, then the Secretary-Treasurer and junior Member-at-Large will solicit nominees for all open positions and will shortly thereafter draw up a ballot that strives to include more than one candidate for each open position. If the Secretary-Treasurer is up for re-election, the junior Member-at-Large shall assume these duties with the help of another board member not up for election that year. Elections must have a quorum of at least one-third of the paid-up membership in order for the outcome to be valid.

All officer nominations will be solicited from the membership. Only the office of president will be restricted to past board members, in order to ensure continuity and institutional memory.

The Secretary-Treasurer and junior Member-at-Large will tally ballots received by mail or e-mail, keeping the names associated with the ballots in strictest confidence. Election results will be formally announced at the business meeting, and newly-elected officers will take up their duties on January 1 following the annual convention of MESA.

Article 10: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall run from January 1 to December 31.

Article 11: Finances and Fund Raising

TThe Syrian Studies Association is incorporated as an educational, non-profit organization under the terms of paragraph 501(c)3 of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code of 1954. Consequently, all dues and donations paid to SSA are deductible from US federal income tax.

Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

Article 12: Amendments

The constitution of the Syrian Studies Association may be amended by a one-third vote of the membership by e-mail, following formal discussion of proposed amendments at the annual meeting.

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