Association for Interdisciplinary Studies
Oakland University - Macomb County
44575 Garfield Road (Bldg. UC2, Suite 103)
Clinton Township, MI 48038
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aisorg@oakland.edu

Constitution and History

Constitution and History

Constitution
Article I - Name
The name of this association shall be the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, Inc.

Article II - Objectives
Section 1.The Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, Inc., is a non- profit scientific, educational, and charitable corporation of the State of Ohio. The mission of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies is as follows: The Association for Interdisciplinary Studies serves as an organized voice and a source of information on interdisciplinary and integrative approaches to the discovery, transmission and application of knowledge. Its purposes are to:
  • Articulate the nature of interdisciplinary and integrative studies and to document their importance for higher education and for society;
  • Promote and pursue practices and standards for the conduct of interdisciplinary and integrative studies;
  • Maintain a communications network for the exchange of scholarly and pedagogical information on interdisciplinary and integrative study among faculty and administrators in undergraduate and graduate education in the arts and sciences as well as the professions;
  • Enhance research and teaching in interdisciplinary and integrative studies by promoting the development of relevant theory, methodology, and curricular design;
  • Serve as an organized voice and a source of information on interdisciplinary and integrative approaches to the discovery, transmission, and application of knowledge; and
  • Become a broad-based professional home for reflective interdisciplinarians.
Section 2. In order to accomplish these objectives, the Association may hold scientific meetings, publish a newsletter and a journal, co-operate with other national and international organizations which promotei interdisciplinary and/or integrative studies, and in general, participate in activities in harmony with the powers and objectives contained here and in its Articles of Incorporation.

Article III - Membership
Section 1. Upon application, individuals and organizations subscribing to the purposes and objectives of the Association may become members by payment of such dues as the Board of Directors shall set from time to time. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the right to vote, hold office, and sign referendum and nominating petitions shall be limited to members in good standing. Good standing shall be defined by payment in full of current dues.

Section 2. Classes of members shall include institutional, regular, and student members as well as any other classes the Board of Directors may designate. Dues for each class shall be set from time to time by the Board of Directors. All members in good standing shall receive the newsletter and any other publications the Board of Directors shall designate.

Section 3. A member may resign from the Association by notifying the Executive Director in writing. There shall be no refund of dues following a resignation.

Article IV - Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, President-Elect, Vice-President for Development, Vice-President for Relations, Immediate Past-President and Past-President.

Section 2. The President shall serve a term of office of two years. The President shall preside at meetings of the general membership of the Association, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee. Except as otherwise provided for by a motion adopted at any meeting of the Board of Directors, the President shall sign for the Association all formal documents and agreements; name all persons, including the chair, who are to start their terms on appointed committees or who are to serve as representatives to other scientific or learned societies during the President's term of office; and appoint the editors of the newsletter, the journal, and any other publications of the Association with the advice and consent of the Board.

Section 3. The President-Elect shall be elected for the President's second year in office and serve a one year term of office, and then serve as President the following year. The President-Elect shall succeed to the presidency in the event that office becomes vacant. The President-Elect shall be responsible for planning the program of the annual meeting to be held during the following year, though she or he may select a program committee chair at her or his request.

Section 4. The Vice-Presidents shall each serve a term of office of one year. The Vice- President for Relations shall serve as the Association's liaison officer with other organizations. The Vice-President for Development shall be responsible for the organizational development of the Association. One of the Vice-Presidents will also serve as the secretary for the Board of Directors.

Section 5. The Past-President shall serve for a three-year term after serving for one year as Immediate Past-President. Subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors, the Past-President shall have the custody of the funds of the Association and shall also have charge of the disbursement of its money. The Past-President shall deposit the funds of the Association in such bank or trust company as may from time to time be designated by the Board of Directors, or may invest part of the funds as approved by the Board. These financial responsibilities may be delegated to a business manager or other person, as designated by the Board.

Section 6. The Past-President shall, if called upon to do so, present an account showing in detail the financial status of the Association. The annual report shall be communicated to the members of the Association in such form as may be determined by the Board of Directors. The books of accounts shall be subject each year to an audit by a certified public accountant or other accountant appointed by the President. Every four years the books of accounts must be audited by a certified public accountant.

Section 7. The President-Elect and the Vice-Presidents shall be elected by mail or electronic ballot sent to all members in good standing of the Association in accordance with its by-laws.

Section 8. Terms of office for all officers shall begin at the annual business meeting.

Section 9. No person may hold more than one office at a time. A person may be elected more than once to an office, subject to the other provisions of this article.

Section 10. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President due to death, resignation, absence, or incapacity of the President, the duties of that office shall devolve upon the President- Elect. If the office of President-Elect becomes vacant, it shall be filled by special mail ballot of the membership. If the office of one or both Vice-Presidents becomes vacant, the Board of Directors shall fill the office.

Section 11. A person who assumes office by virtue of succession or appointment shall not be barred from nomination to the same office for that reason.

Article V - Meetings
Section 1. There shall be an annual meeting of the Association held on such days and times as the Board of Directors shall determine. The annual meeting shall include an annual business meeting which shall serve as a forum for open discussion of the affairs of the Association by the membership.

Section 2. Special meetings of the Association may be called at such times and places as determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Times and places of meetings of the Association shall be communicated to the membership at least six months in advance through an announcement in the newsletter of the Association and through any other means as the Board of Directors shall determine.

Article VI - Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the six officers of the Association, Information Technology Director, Fund-Raising Director, Office Manager Liaison, and four Directors elected at large from the membership. Two Directors at Large shall be elected each year for a two-year term. The Information Technology, Fund-Raising and Office Manager may not be additional members if one of the existing Directors is able to fulfill these roles. The Editors of the journal and newsletter and the conference liaison shall serve ex-officio as non-voting members of the Board. The current Executive Director will continue to serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member until he elects to retire. (Amendment adopted February 2006, creating conference liaison post.)

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year, during the annual meeting of the Association, and otherwise at the call of the President or upon written petition of a majority of the members of the Board.

Section 3. At meetings of the Board, a quorum shall consist of one half of its members. In the absence of a quorum, the members may adjourn from time to time until a quorum shall be present. Between its meetings, the Board may be polled by mail. Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or the by-laws, the Board shall act by a majority of those voting.

Section 4. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the custody and administration of the property and funds of the Association and shall have full management and control of its affairs.

Section 5. All actions taken by the Board of Directors shall be reported promptly to the membership of the Association through a regular publication of the Association or otherwise.

Article VOO - Executive Committee
Section 1. There shall be an Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, consisting of the officers of the Association.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall confer at times to be determined by the President, the President-Elect when acting.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall exercise all of the functions of the Board of Directors between meetings of the Board, except that it may not make a single financial commitment involving more than 2% of the current annual budget, ratify an amendment to the by-laws, appoint editors of publications, or dispose of ties in elections. Actions by the Executive Committee require an affirmative vote of a majority of the entire Committee.

Section 4. All actions taken by the Executive Committee shall be promptly reported to the Board.

Article VIII - Committees
Section 1. With the advice and consent of the President, the Board shall appoint at the fall meeting a Nominating Committee to serve for one year, consisting of from three to five Past- Presidents or others who have shown a serious commitment to the Association. The President shall also chair the Nominating Committee. The duties of this Committee shall be to nominate candidates for the at-large vacancy on the Board of Directors, for the offices of President-Elect, Vice-President for Development, Vice-President for Relations, and for any other positions the Board shall designate.

Section 2. There shall be an Elections Committee of two members appointed by the Board of Directors for a one year term. The President shall appoint one of them chair of the Committee. The duties of this Committee shall be to receive and count ballots for all elected offices and to transmit the election results to the membership of the Association in accordance with provisions in the by-laws.

Section 3. There shall be such other standing or temporary committees as the Board of Directors or the President shall deem advisable. The President shall appoint the chair for each committee. The duties of the committees shall be those assigned by the Board of Directors or the President. At all meetings a quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the committee. Each committee shall submit a written report of its activities to the Board of Directors within two months after the end of the calendar year and shall make progress reports at such other times as the President shall request. Brief reports of the activities of each committee shall be communicated to the membership of the Association through a regular publication or otherwise.

Article IX - Publications
Section 1. The Association may issue publications from time to time at the direction of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. The editor of any publication issued by the Association shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors for such term as they may establish.

Article X - Initiative and Referendum
Section 1. If the Executive Director receives, at least 30 days prior to the next meeting of the Board of Directors, a petition signed by at least 25 members of the Association, the subject of the petition shall be placed on the agenda for action by the Board of Directors no later than the next meeting of the Board. The Board shall inform the signers of the petition and the membership as a whole of the action taken.

Section 2. Any action by the Board of Directors that affects the policy or functioning of the Association shall be promptly communicated to the membership of the Association through a regular publication or otherwise. If within 60 days of such publication, the Executive Director receives a petition signed by at least 25 members of the Association asking that the matter be referred to the membership, a vote of the membership shall be solicited by mail ballot. The form and wording of such a referendum shall be the responsibility of the initiating group, and the mailing shall be accompanied by a statement from the Board of Directors. In such a referendum, a majority of those voting shall govern, providing a majority of the eligible voters have voted within 60 days after the ballots are mailed.

Section 3. Similar action may be taken with respect to any matter covered in the annual report of the Board of Directors.

Article XI - Bylaws
Section 1. Matters of procedure that require administrative flexibility such as membership dues and the method of conducting mail ballots shall be governed by the Bylaws, provided that these are not in conflict with the Constitution.

Section 2. New Bylaws or changes in existing Bylaws may be adopted by the Board of Directors.

Article XII - Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by petition signed by at least 25 members of the Association. A proposed amendment originating by petition shall be referred to the Board of Directors for their recommendation at least three months prior to the next general business meeting. Such proposals, with the recommendation of the Board of Directors, shall be published in an official publication of the Association or otherwise communicated to members at least 30 days before the next annual general membership meeting of the Association. The amendments shall be presented for discussion at the general membership meeting of the Association. Unless withdrawn by a majority of its sponsors, the amendment shall be submitted by mail within 60 days thereafter to all members in good standing, with a summary of the substance of the discussion at the general membership meeting. If approved by at least two-thirds of those voting within 60 days after the mailing, it shall become effective immediately upon ratification, subject to necessary action by the President or the Board of Trustees.

Section 2. Not more than 8 years after the adoption of this revised Constitution, the Board of Directors shall appoint a Constitution Committee for the purpose of reviewing the Association's Constitution and Bylaws and preparing a revision, if necessary, to be submitted to the membership not more than 10 years after the adoption of this revised Constitution.

Article XIII - Ratification
Section 1. A revised Constitution becomes effective as of January 1 following ratification by the membership.

Section 2. The Board of Directors is authorized to make administrative arrangements needed to effect the transition from operation under the existing Constitution to those under the new Constitution.

Article XIV - Finances
Section 1. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.

Section 2. No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, nor be distributed to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distribution in furtherance of the purposes set forth in this Constitution. No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation shall not participate it, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by any corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

Section 3. Upon dissolution of the corporation, the Board of Trustees shall, after paying and making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Board of Trustees shall determine. Any of such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

By-Laws of:

THE ASSOCIATION FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, INC. 
(effective October 2012)

Article I - Membership
Section 1. Membership in the Association shall correspond to the calendar year. Individuals or institutions who become members prior to July 1 of any year shall have their membership dated back to January 1 of the same year and shall be entitled to any publications regularly distributed to members during that period. Persons who become members on or after July 1 of any year shall have the option of choosing January 1 or the current or succeeding year as the initial date of membership. The anniversary of each membership shall be January 1.

Section 2. Notice of dues for the next calendar year shall be distributed in December, followed (when appropriate) by a second notice in February and a final notice in May to members who are still delinquent. Membership may be renewed upon payment of current dues.

Article II - Elections
Section 1. The Nominating Committee shall normally caucus during the annual meeting of the Association. Where appropriate the Nominating Committee shall nominate two candidates for an office. All nominations by the Nominating Committee shall be in the hands of the Executive Director by August 15. The Executive Director shall mail the ballots, including a brief biographical sketch of each nominee, by September 1 to all members of the Association in good standing.

Section 2. Ballots should indicate that they are to be returned to the chair of the Elections Committee by October 1. The Elections Committee shall count and tally the ballots prior to the annual conference.

Section 3. The nominee(s) receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared elected. In case of a tie, the Board of Directors shall decide who is elected. The election results shall be communicated to the membership through the next issue of the newsletter, and at the next business meeting of the Association.

Article III - Organizational Structure
Section 1. The Board of Directors has the authority to experiment with the governance structure of the Association for a period of no more than three years in preparation for proposing possible Constitutional changes.
History
The Association was born at the final session of a national conference on the Teaching of Interdisciplinary Social Science held at Miami University in April 1979 with Kenneth Boulding as keynoter. Fifty participants agreed the organization should welcome all disciplines and emphasize the key distinguishing feature of good interdisciplinary work, namely integration. Concerned about shoddy scholarship and teaching done in the name of interdisciplinary studies, they chose to call it the Association for Integrative Studies instead. A slate of officers was elected, and the new AIS members dug the initial dues out of their wallets.

Conference Participants
National Conference on "The Teaching of Interdisciplinary Social Science"
Association for Integrative Studies founding conference, April 19-22,1979
Keynote speaker: Kenneth E. Boulding
  • Forrest Armstrong, Dean’s Office/Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
  • Henry Bain, Policy Studies Graduate Program, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Ferne Baldwin, Sociology and Social Work, Manchester College
  • Guy Beckwith, History of Technology, Auburn University
  • Thomas Benson, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Arnold Binder, Program in Social Ecology, University of California-Irvine
  • Nelson Bingham, Human Development and Social Relations, Earlham College
  • Donald Brinley, Philosophy, Saint Joseph’s College
  • Gene Chenoweth, Program in Social Theory and Human Action, Bucknell University
  • Stephen Collins, College of Basic Studies, Boston University
  • Vernie Davis, Human Development and Social Relations, Earlham College
  • Alan Downes, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, St. Cloud State University
  • Leslie Duly, History/University Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Rex Enoch, International Studies, Memphis State University
  • George Galster, Economics/Urban Studies, The College of Wooster
  • William Gleason, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Louisville
  • Paul Haas, Economics/Little College, Bowling Green State University
  • Jeanne Hahn, Political Science/Academic Dean’s Office, The Evergreen State College
  • Ghulam Haniff, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, St. Cloud State University
  • David Hellwig, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, St. Cloud State University
  • James Hilty, History/Graduate School, Temple University
  • James Holmberg, History, Community College of Allegheny County
  • Barbara Hursh, Program in Interdisciplinary Education, Northeastern Illinois University
  • David Katz, Department of Social Science, Michigan State University
  • Ernest Keen, Program in Social Theory and Human Action, Bucknell University
  • Frederick Koss, College of Basic Studies, Boston University
  • Ivan Kovacs, Department of Human Development, California State University-Hayward
  • Jane Lichtman, Conference Planning, American Association for Higher Education
  • Joan Lind, Freshman Symposium, University of Louisville
  • Boris Mikolji, Sociology/Social Science I Group, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • John Molloy, Department of Social Science, Michigan State University
  • Michael Moore, History/Interdisciplinary Programs, Bowling Green State University
  • Thomas Murray, Western College Program, Miami University
  • William Newell, Western College Program, Miami University
  • Nancy Nicholson, Western College Program, Miami University
  • David Osterfeld, Political Science, St. Joseph’s College
  • Ronald Perring, Western College Program, Miami University
  • Jerry Petr, Economics/Centennial Educational Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Marcus Pohlmann, Political Science/Urban Studies, The College of Wooster
  • Thomas Rainey, History, The Evergreen State College
  • Eli Seifman, Federated Learning Communities, SUNY-Stony Brook
  • Allen Share, Division of Social Sciences, University of Louisville
  • George Stein, Western College Program, Miami University
  • Dana Stevens, Economics/Social Science Division, New College of USF
  • Paul Von Blum, Division of Interdisciplinary and General Studies, UC-Berkeley
  • Stanley Warner, Economics/Environmental Studies/Public Policy, Hampshire College
  • Frederick Weaver, Economics/History/School of Social Science, Hampshire College
  • Jeffrey Weiss, Behavioral Sciences Division, Keuka College
  • William White, History/Social Science Division, Lakeland College
  • Roger Williams, AHM Publishing Company

That conference set the tone for future AIS conferences. Perhaps because participants were selected for commitment to interdisciplinary education and not for institutional prestige, there was little attempt to impress each other with displays of erudition. People listened intently to one another and worked through issues collaboratively.

By 1983 AIS had established a pattern of annual conferences hosted by institutions with interdisciplinary programs, regular publication of the quarterly newsletter and annual journal, and member services such as a textbook survey, and lists of publishers and journals receptive to interdisciplinary scholarship. Over the next few years, discussions at annual conferences focused on the philosophy, pedagogy, and politics of interdisciplinary studies and its application to the fine and performing arts. Definitions of interdisciplinarity were debated, and exemplary works of interdisciplinary scholarship were analyzed.

Starting in 1986, AIS has sponsored the publication of books on interdisciplinary studies: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Programs: A Directory (1986/1996); Interdisciplinarity (1990); Interdisciplinary Studies Today (1994); Interdisciplinarity: Essays from the Literature (1998); Interdisciplinary General Education and Interdisciplinary Education: A Guide to Resources (1999); Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching and Interdisciplinary Education in K-12 and College (2002); Becoming Interdisciplinary (2005); Interdisciplinary Research (2008); and Disciplining Interdisciplinarity (2009).

In the 1990s AIS commissioned a decade of scholarly research into interdisciplinary assessment, culminating in the Interdisciplinary Writing Assessment Profiles, and issued a report on general education for AAC&U. It also established the INTERDIS LISTSERV.

In the new millennium a cadre of consultants was trained in interdisciplinary curricular and program development, and in 2005 AIS sponsored a North American teleconference on recent developments in interdisciplinary studies. The website has been steadily expanded to include directories of interdisciplinary master’s and doctoral programs, exemplary syllabi, and an electronic job market.

AIS has worked collaboratively over the years with a variety of national professional groups such as the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association for General and Liberal Studies, the Society for Values in Higher Education, and is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Efforts are underway to promote kindred associations internationally, including Australia and the EU.

After extensive consultation the Association changed its name from Association for Integrative Studies to Association for Interdisciplinary Studies on January 1, 2013. It was felt the new name more accurately reflects the mission of the organization in the contemporary context, especially to those outside North America.