Note: At the business meeting during ALA 2001, certain changes to the Constitution were voted into effect. These changes appear in bold, and the text they have replaced appears in brackets. Explanations of the common standards and practices of the Society will appear as links.
Constitution of The Edith Wharton Society
I. Name the Organization
The name of this organization shall be the Edith Wharton Society
The purpose of the Edith Wharton Society is to offer Wharton scholars and other interested persons an opportunity to share in the study and appreciation of the life and works of this author. Through annual meetings, special conferences, and its journal, the Edith Wharton Society provides a forum for Wharton studies.
A. Membership is open to anyone interested in the study and appreciation of Edith Wharton's life work. Individuals become members upon payment of dues to the Treasurer.
B. Membership dues shall be set by the Executive Board.
A. An annual membership meeting shall be held for reporting to the membership and conducting business. The meetings shall take place concurrently with the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association of America.
B. Special meetings of the Society may be called by the Executive Board. Members shall be given at least sixty days notice of such meetings.
V. Officers and Their Responsibilities
A. The officers of the Wharton Society shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Editor and Associate Editor of the Edith Wharton Review.
B. The President shall serve as the head of the Executive Board, preside at the annual meeting of the Society and at special Society meetings, organize and chair the annual Edith Wharton session(s) at the Modern Language Association convention, and have general supervision of the Society, including the appointment of committee chairs and members as appropriate, and the assignment of tasks to other officers as needed. In consultation with the Executive Board, the President shall prepare an agenda for the annual meeting and any special Society meetings. The President or his/her designee shall act as representative of the Society to other organizations. If the President is incapacitated, the Vice-President shall perform these duties.
C. The Vice-President shall propose the topic(s) for the Edith Wharton session(s) at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association. The Vice-President may select the topic for one of these sessions from proposals made by any member at the annual meeting, in which case the proposer, in consultation with the Vice-President, may organize and chair that session.
D. The Secretary shall take and distribute minutes of the annual meeting of the Society and of the Executive Board meetings, communicate with others, tabulate election results, and chair the Membership and Nominations Committee.
E. The Treasurer shall collect membership dues, keep membership records, and chair the Budget Committee.
F. The Editor of the Edith Wharton Review shall prepare, publish, and distribute the Review.
G. The Associate Editor of the Edith Wharton Review shall help the Editor with the above functions.
H. [Officers and members of the Executive Board shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Edith Wharton Society. The Membership and Nominations Committee shall submit a slate of nominees that may be augmented from the floor.] Officers and members of the Executive Board shall be elected by mail-in ballot. The Election Committee shall prepare ballots, mail them to members, establish deadlines for voting, tabulate results, and announce results at semi-annual meetings [i.e., MLA and ALA] and, afterward, on the Edith Wharton Society website.
I. Each officer shall serve for a term of two years, excepting the Treasurer, the Editor, and the Associate Editor of the Review. To achieve continuity, other officers shall ordinarily succeed one another, the Vice-President becoming President, and the Secretary, Vice-President.
VI. Executive Board
A. The governing body of the Edith Wharton Society shall be the Executive Board. The Board shall be composed of the six officers, the Past President, and at least two at-large elected representatives who are also members of the Edith Wharton Society.
B. The Executive Board shall not exceed eleven members. A majority of the members of the Board shall be considered a quorum.
C. The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year.
D. The Board shall review the financial status of the Society at each annual meeting and be empowered to appropriate funds from the Treasury for Society business. The Board shall supervise the actions of the standing committees and exercise all powers not herein assigned to other parties.
E. Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Executive Board and the Society in all parliamentary situations.
VII. Standing Committees
A. The Executive Board on behalf of the society will create or dissolve standing committees as it sees fit.
[A. There shall be three standing committees formed from the Society membership.
1. Program: This committee shall plan, publicize, and organize Society activities that do not fall within the responsibilities of the Society officers and the Executive Board. Among these are conferences on Edith Wharton and activities such as the Spring Walking Tour in New York.
2. Membership and Nominations: This committee shall promote membership in the Society, encourage attendance at the Society-sponsored events, and prepare a slate of nominees for the annual election.
3. Budget: This committee shall prepare a yearly budget for the Society to present at the annual meeting.]
B. Members may nominate themselves or other members for committee appointments to be made by the President at least one month prior to the annual meeting.
A. Amendments to the Society constitution may be proposed by the Executive Board or by any Society member presenting a petition signed by at least five other members. All proposed amendments must be presented to the President at least one month prior to the annual meeting.
B. The Edith Wharton Society constitution may be amended by two-thirds of the members voting at the annual meeting.
Rev. Dec. 1995, May 2001
Please send comments and suggestions to D. Campbell.