Proposed Constitutional Amendments Providing for "At-Large" Election of Council Members

Article excerpt

The Council, at its November 2008 meeting, passed a motion recommending to the 2009 annual meeting constitutional amendments having the effect that approximately one-third of the elected Council membership would, as soon as practicable, be elected "at large," by the entire membership, with the other two-thirds continuing as at present to be elected by and from their respective districts, with both types serving overlapping three-year terms. More precisely, the proposed amendments call for twenty Council members to be elected by and from districts (two from each of ten districts) and nine to be elected at large (three a year).

Hence there would be a change in the size of the Council, from thirty to twenty-nine elected members, and of the electorate voting for nine of those members; to avoid an imbalance in Council membership, no more than two of the at-large members could come from any one district. Aside from this, the proposed changes maintain the status quo regarding elected Council members in most particulars: the number of districts (ten), the length of terms (three years), me nominating process (through the Nominating Committee or by petition), the election criterion (plurality vote), constraints on reelection (twoterm limit), the definition of a Council quorum (ten directly elected members), constraints on election to the Executive Committee (no two from the same district), and the relationship of Council members to state conferences (nonvoting ex officio member of governing committees).

Because the Association's restructuring process, approved at the 2008 annual meeting, is still pending, the proposed change to Council elections presents language not only for the "current" constitution, but also for the prospective "post-restructuring" constitution, in order to keep the two compatible for the date when the latter becomes effective. The new pattern of elections would be phased in over a three-year period, beginning with the elections of 2010, and would become fully effective with the elections of 2013.

The parts of both constitutions that describe districts, Council membership, and elections all fall within Articles IV and V. In the specific constitutional language presented below, the entire text of those subsections where changes are proposed has been included. Proposed deletions are indicated by strikethrough and proposed additions are in bold.

Any comments should be addressed to the AAUP's Washington office, care of the Committee on the Organization of the Association, or sent by e-mail to jkurland@aaup.org.

Proposed Amendments to Current Constitution

Article IV - The Council

1. The Council of the Association shall consist of (a) the president, the vice-presidents, the secretary-treasurer, (b) the chair and immediate past-chair of the Assembly of State Conferences, (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) (c) the chair and immediate past-chair of the Collective Bargaining Congress, (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) (d) the former presidents for a period of three years immediately following their term as president (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.), and (e) twenty-nine directly elected (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) members, (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) who shall be elected (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) in the manner provided in this Constitution, to serve for three-year terms; that expire according to the provisions governing the terms of me officers.

3. As a representative of (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.) the Association (ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.), each member of me Council shall promote the exchange of ideas between the Council and the membership. …