Constitution of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
As Adopted by the Membership
February 21, 1983
May 1, 1993
June 16, 1997
February 25, 2002
October 31, 2004
February 27, 2005
February 25, 2008
February 27, 2010
February 22, 2014
February 26, 2021
ARTICLE I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the CONFERENCE OF SOUTHERN GRADUATE SCHOOLS.
ARTICLE II. Functions
Section 1. Graduate Study.
The CONFERENCE shall have as its primary purposes: the promotion of graduate education in and among the several states where member institutions are located; advocating on behalf of member institutions for policies, legislation, and funding that advances the mission of graduate education in and among the several states where member institutions are located; and the consideration of mutual problems among the member institutions relating to graduate study and research. It will cooperate with other organizations such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools, Southern Regional Education Board, and the Council of Graduate Schools, for the purpose of dissemination of information, promotion of standards, and encouragement of research and assistance to institutions embarking upon graduate programs. The CONFERENCE shall function in liaison with other national and regional educational bodies and may serve as a representative on graduate affairs for the institutional members.
Section 2. Academic Standards.
The CONFERENCE will take continuous interest in the activities of other bodies which concern themselves with the standards of graduate work. The CONFERENCE shall not assume the role of an accreditation agency.
Section 3. Special Studies.
Special studies in graduate education may be undertaken by the CONFERENCE upon authorization of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Gifts and Bequests.
The CONFERENCE, through action of the Executive Committee, may accept grants and bequests for the conduct of special studies in graduate education and for other purposes consistent with the objectives and functions of the CONFERENCE.
Section 5. Binding Actions.
Although the CONFERENCE may be regarded as a representative of and spokesman for its constituent members, no action taken by the CONFERENCE or any of its representatives is to be regarded as binding upon any institutional member, except for such dues and assessments fully approved as provided hereafter.
ARTICLE III. Membership and Dues
Section 1. Membership.
Membership in the CONFERENCE shall be by institution.
a. Any institution having regional or professional accreditation by agencies acceptable to the CONFERENCE, and now granting graduate degrees, and having a significant commitment to graduate study, is eligible to apply for regular membership. All applications for membership shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee, or such membership sub-committee it may appoint, with final action to be by the Executive Committee. Membership shall be completed by the payment of the regular institutional dues.
b. At the time of its election to regular institutional membership, an institution must be fully accredited by its appropriate regional or professional accreditation body.
c. Associate membership, carrying all privileges except those of voting, holding office, or being represented on the Executive Committee, may be extended to individuals and both profit and non-profit organizations with a significant commitment to graduate education, such as research institutes, testing and evaluation organizations, regional and state agencies, and government and industrial research and development organizations. Associate membership may also be extended to any institution contemplating the offering of graduate work but not fully accredited as defined above, for such period as determined by majority vote of the Executive Committee. Associate membership shall be completed by the payment of regular institutional dues.
d. If a member (institution) resigns, it must reapply for admission as specified in Section 1.a.
Section 2. Representation.
Each regular institutional member shall designate one official representative, who shall cast the member’s vote on all ballots and votes taken on official actions. A member institution may send as many delegates or participants to meetings as it desires.
Section 3. Dues.
Dues shall be collected on an institutional basis.
a. The amount of annual dues shall be established by the Executive Committee, and approved by a majority of the member institutions voting. The last voted amount of dues shall continue in effect until changed by formal vote.
b. Dues are payable to the Treasurer in January of each year, at which time any changes approved in dues will go into effect.
c. The fiscal year of the CONFERENCE shall correspond to the calendar year.
Section 4. Assessments.
Assessments upon the member institutions must be approved by two-thirds of the official member institutions voting.
ARTICLE IV. Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meetings.
There shall be an annual meeting of representatives of the institutional members. Annual meetings of the CONFERENCE shall be held in February unless otherwise determined by vote of the representatives on such time and place. Each annual meeting must include a business meeting. Upon written request of one or more representatives, a vote by mail may be authorized by the Executive Committee or a vote taken on the motion in any meeting of the CONFERENCE.
Section 2. Regional Meetings.
Subdivisions of the CONFERENCE are authorized and may meet for discussion at will, but actions taken at such meetings will not be binding upon the CONFERENCE.
Section 3. Quorum.
Twenty percent of all member institutions must be present to constitute a quorum. Should a quorum not exist, and it has been called for, matters of business may be resolved by an electronic quorum of official representatives of each regular institutional member, including but not limited to, email, web-conferencing, video-conferencing, and telephone conferencing.
Section 4. Business Meeting Minutes.
Within 14 days of the business meeting at the annual conference, the Secretary shall disseminate draft minutes of the business meeting to the members. Members shall review and offer corrections or comments on the minutes for 14 days following dissemination. After the window for corrections closes, the secretary shall edit the draft minutes according to the feedback that was received and disseminate the revised minutes to the members within 14 days. Once the revised minutes have been disseminated, the graduate dean of each member institution (or their designee) shall vote to approve the minutes within a 14 day window. The Secretary shall post the approved minutes on the website.
ARTICLE V. Organization
The CONFERENCE shall be operated as a non-profit organization.
Section 2. Powers.
Policy actions affecting the CONFERENCE as a whole shall be valid only when approved by a simple majority vote of the official institutional member representatives attending the regular annual business meeting, or by an electronic meeting including, but not limited to, email, web-conferencing, video-conferencing, and telephone conferencing. Other powers may be delegated by the official representatives as they see fit, except for duties specifically designated hereafter.
Section 3. Officers.
a. The President shall be responsible for coordinating all functions of the CONFERENCE, shall preside at, the annual meeting, shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee, and shall perform the other usual duties of a presiding officer for a term of one year. The following year the President will assume the office of Immediate Past-president.
b. The Vice-President/President-Elect shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of one year. The following year the Vice-President/President-Elect shall assume the office of the President, and the following year the office of Immediate Past-President. If the President-Elect in unable to assume the office of President, another member shall be elected following the provisions of Article V1.2.
The primary duties of the Vice President/President Elect are to:
1-advise the President and the Executive Committee on ways to enhance the organization and effectiveness of the CONFERENCE in meeting the needs of its members;
2-assist the President and the Executive Committee in establishing the theme and sessions of the annual meeting;
3-coordinate the content of the Program for the Annual Meeting;and,
4-print the final program of the Annual meeting In addition, Vice President/President-Elect shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the latter’s inability to serve.
c. The Secretary shall be elected for a term of three years at the annual business meeting when the previous term expires or is vacated. This term should be staggered from that of the Treasurer. This officer shall announce Executive Committee and Annual meetings; shall keep minutes of all meetings; shall conduct ballots as needed; shall maintain the official record of institutional membership and membership contact information; shall maintain the content of the CSGS Website; and shall perform other duties necessary for the execution of the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall be reimbursed for the ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out the prescribed duties of the office. The Secretary shall receive airfare and/or surface travel funds to attend either the CGS Annual Meeting when a CSGS Executive Committee meeting is also scheduled at CGS, or the CSGS Annual Meeting. In addition the Secretary shall receive a waiver of the registration fee, and reimbursement for lodging and meals to attend the CSGS Annual Meeting. The maximum amount of these expenses is to be determined by the Executive Committee
d. The Treasurer shall be elected for a term of three years at the annual business meeting when the previous term expires or is vacated. This term should be staggered from that of the Secretary. This officer shall be responsible for notices of dues, shall collect and disburse all monies of the CONFERENCE; shall keep full and accurate records of such transactions; shall submit dues invoices to member institutions in the fall; shall solicit requests for proposals of future meeting sites for the Annual Meeting and organize the site visit of such sites; shall maintain the registration of the Annual Meeting; shall serve as the primary liaison to the meeting site host hotel for contracting space, facilities, meals, etc; and shall perform other duties necessary for the execution of the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall be bonded, and the cost thereof and of auditing the accounts shall be defrayed by the CONFERENCE by action of the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall be reimbursed for the ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out the prescribed duties of the office, including a waiver of the registration fee, travel, lodging, and meal expenses related to the CSGS Annual Meeting. The maximum amount of these expenses is to be determined by the Executive Committee.
e. The Immediate Past-President shall serve as the CONFERENCE affiliate representative to the Council of Graduate Schools. If the Past-President is unable to serve or it is not appropriate for this officer to serve, the Executive Committee will appoint the affiliate representative.
f. The Executive Committee shall make an ad interim appointment to fill a vacated office until the next regular business meeting.
ARTICLE VI. Committees
Section 1. Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall be composed of twelve elected members plus the President (Chair), Vice-President/President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the immediate Past-President. The President, or the President’s designee, of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools is invited to serve ex officio, with vote, on the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall assist the Vice-President/President-Elect in planning the program for the annual meeting of the CONFERENCE. The Committee will also study and review issues and problems facing graduate education, particularly as these relate to the South, and develop appropriate position papers and recommendations for consideration by the membership. Provision shall be made in nominations for the Executive Committee to assume a broad representation from all of the constituent membership.
The term of office for the elected members shall be three years, with the terms staggered, providing for four new members each year. An elected member may not serve consecutive terms. The Executive Committee shall act for the CONFERENCE between meetings. It may authorize expenditures incidental to the general functions of the CONFERENCE, and take other actions necessary for the operation of the CONFERENCE. It shall assume the functions of liaison with other professional and educational organizations.
Section 2. Nominating Committee.
The President shall appoint a nominating committee composed of five individuals representative of the constituent member institutions. The nominating committee shall prepare a slate to be presented at the annual business meeting for the election of officers and Executive Committee members herein designated. Members of the Executive Committee (except for the Immediate Past-President) shall not be eligible for appointment to this committee. The committee shall be appointed early in the year and prepare its report in advance of the annual meeting as outlined in the next paragraph.
The slate for elections shall list candidates for the following offices: Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. In the event that the Vice-President-Elect is unable to assume the office of President, the slate will also include a candidate for the office of President. The slate shall include nominees for vacancies on the Executive Committee. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be made six weeks prior to the annual meeting. Upon receipt of the report, the Chair shall disseminate the report via electronic means, including posting on the CSGS Web site, email notices, and others as appropriate. Upon publishing the nominating committee report, the Chair shall accept any additional, qualified nominations from the membership via email or other digital submission processes for a period not to exceed two weeks. These nominations must be submitted with a statement of willingness to serve by the nominee and a biographical sketch comparable to those of the nominating report. The Nominating Committee will vet the nominee’s membership eligibility. If eligible, the committee will forward the nomination for posting on the Web. The entire additional slate will be added at the close of the nominating period, and a notice of additional nominees will be sent to the membership. The nominating committee shall be automatically dissolved upon the acceptance of these open nominations.
Election of officers and the executive committee members will be by simple majority vote of the official representatives of each regular institutional member attending the business meeting, either by acclamation or written ballot.
Section 3. Standing Committees.
Standing Committees designated below shall assist in the program of the CONFERENCE. Members of all standing committees, and their chairs, shall be appointed by the President for three-year terms, with terms expiring on a rotating basis. Each of the committees shall have at least three members.
Standing Committees of the CONFERENCE shall be as follows:
a. Auditing Committee. The Auditing Committee is specifically charged with auditing the Treasurer’s records and reporting the result of the audit at the annual meeting. No member of the Executive Committee shall serve on the Auditing Committee.
b. Awards Committees. The Awards Committees shall solicit, receive and evaluate nominations for established CONFERENCE awards and shall recommend the recipients of the awards to the Executive Committee.
c. Thesis Awards Committee. The Thesis Awards Committee shall solicit, receive, and evaluate nominations for two master’s thesis awards each year and shall recommend the recipients of the thesis awards to the Executive Committee.
d. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall have the responsibility of identifying and recruiting institutions eligible for membership in CSGS.
Section 4. Special Committees.
The President, upon advice of the Executive Committee, may appoint such special ad hoc committees as deemed appropriate.
ARTICLE VII. Adoption or Amendment of the Constitution
Section 1. Adoption.
The Constitution of the CONFERENCE shall become effective upon approval by two-thirds of the official representatives of all member institutions.
Section 2. Amendments.
Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee, and be made available for consideration by all member institutions prior to a business meeting. Formal votes may be taken by acclamation at a business meeting or by written ballot. Formal votes may also be taken between business meetings electronically, including, but not limited to, email, web-conferencing, video-conferencing, and telephone conferencing. A simple majority of the official representatives of member institutions voting is required for adoption.
ARTICLE VIII. Dissolution
In the event of dissolution of the CONFERENCE, all then existing assets of the CONFERENCE shall be distributed in equal parts to the institutions which will at the time be members of the CONFERENCE.
ARTICLE IX. Parliamentary Procedures
Conduct of the business meeting of the CONFERENCE and all other matters of the CONFERENCE not specifically addressed in this Constitution shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revision.