Please review the proposed revision of the IWCA constitution and record your comments below. The Constitution Committee will review all comments when the comment period has closed.
Follow this link to download a side-by-side comparison of the two documents at http://writingcenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Constitution4_13.pdf .
Follow this link to download a typical set of bylaws (not open for comment): http://writingcenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bylaws_Sample_4_13.pdf
Proposed Revised Constitution
Article I: Name and Objective
Section 1: The name of the organization shall be the International Writing Centers Association, hereafter referred to as IWCA.
Section 2: As an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the IWCA supports and promotes the scholarship and professional development of writing centers in the following ways: 1) sponsor events and conferences; 2) forward scholarship and research; 3) enhance the professional landscape for writing centers.
Article II: Membership
Section 1: Membership is open to any individual who pays dues.
Section 2: Dues structure will be set forth in Bylaws.
Article III: Governance: Officers
Section 1: Officers will be Past President, President, Vice President (who becomes President and Past President in a six-year succession), Treasurer, and Secretary.
Section 2: Officers will be elected as stipulated in Article VIII.
Section 3: Terms of office shall commence immediately after the NCTE Annual Convention following the election, un- less the term fills a vacancy (see Article VIII).
Section 4: Terms of office for the Vice President-President- Past President succession will be two years in each office, non-renewable.
Section 5: Terms of office for the Secretary and Treasurer will be two years, renewable.
Section 6: Officers must maintain IWCA and NCTE memberships during terms of office.
Section 7: The duties of all Officers will be those set forth in Bylaws.
Section 8: An elected Officer may be removed from office for sufficient cause upon unanimous recommendation of the other Officers and a two-thirds vote of the Board.
Article IV: Governance: Board
Section 1: Elected Board members shall be seven At Large Representatives, and at least one representative for each special constituency: Two Year Colleges, K-12, Graduate Students, and Tutors.
Section 2: Elected Board member terms shall be two years, renewable. Terms shall be staggered; to establish stagger, term lengths may be temporarily adjusted as outlined in Bylaws.
Section 3: Regional affiliates are entitled to appoint or elect to the Board one representative from their regional.
Section 4: The President will appoint non-voting Board members from complementary organizations as outlined in Bylaws.
Section 5: Board members must maintain IWCA membership during term of office.
Section 6: The duties of all Board members, elected or appointed, are set forth in Bylaws.
Section 7: An elected or appointed Board member may be removed from office for sufficient cause upon unanimous recommendation of the Officers and a two-thirds vote of the Board.
Article V: Governance: Committees and Working Groups
Section 1: Standing committees will be named in Bylaws.
Section 2: Subcommittees, task forces, and other working groups will be commissioned by the President, constituted and charged by the Officers.
Article VI: Meetings and Events
Section 1: Under the leadership of the Conferences Committee, the IWCA will regularly sponsor professional development events as specified in Bylaws.
Section 2: Event hosts shall be affirmed by the Board and selected according to procedures outlined in Bylaws; the relationship between hosts and the IWCA shall be detailed in Bylaws.
Section 3: The General Meeting of the membership will take place at IWCA Conferences. Insofar as possible, the IWCA will also hold open meetings at CCCC and NCTE. Other general meetings may be held at the discretion of the Board.
Section 4: The Board will meet bimonthly if possible but no less than twice per year; a quorum shall be defined as a majority of Board members, including at least three Officers.
Article VII: Voting
Section 1: All individual members are entitled to vote for Officers and constitutional amendments. Except as specifically stated elsewhere in the Constitution or Bylaws, a simple majority of legal votes cast will be required for an action.
Section 2: Voting procedures will be specified in Bylaws.
Article VIII: Nominations, Elections, and Vacancies
Section 1: The Secretary will call for nominations; candidates may nominate themselves, or any member may nominate another member who agrees to be nominated. Effort will be made to insure voters may choose from at least three candidates for any position.
Section 2: To be eligible, candidates must be IWCA members in good standing.
Section 3: The elections timetable will be specified in Bylaws.
Section 4: If the office of President becomes vacant before term, the Past President will complete the term.
Section 5: If any other Officer position becomes vacant before term, the remaining Officers will make a temporary appointment effective until the next annual election.
Section 6: If regional representative positions become vacant before term, the president of the affiliated regional will be asked to appoint a new representative.
Article IX: Affiliated Regional Writing Centers Associations
Section 1: The IWCA recognizes as its affiliates the regional writing centers associations listed in Bylaws.
Section 2: Affiliates may relinquish affiliate status at any time.
Section 3: New regionals who apply for affiliate status are approved by a majority vote of the Board; application process and criteria are outlined in Bylaws.
Section 4: All regional affiliates are entitled to appoint or elect to the Board one representative from their regional.
Section 5: Regionals in good standing demonstrating need may apply to the IWCA for grants or other support for regional activities as outlined in Bylaws.
Article X: Publications
Section 1: The Writing Center Journal is the official publication of the IWCA; the editorial team is selected by and works with the Board according to procedures set forth in Bylaws.
Section 2: The Writing Lab Newsletter is an affiliated publication of the IWCA; the editorial team works with the Board according to procedures set forth in Bylaws.
Article XI: Finances and Financial Relationships
Section 1: Main revenue sources include membership dues and revenues from IWCA-sponsored events as detailed in Bylaws.
Section 2: All Officers are authorized to sign financial contracts and reimburse expenses on behalf of the organization according to conditions set forth in the Bylaws.
Section 3: All revenues and expenditures will be accounted for and reported by the Treasurer in compliance with all IRS regulations pertinent to nonprofit status.
Section 4: Should the organization dissolve, the Officers shall oversee the distribution of assets in compliance with IRS regulations (see Article XIII, Section 5).
Article XII: Constitution and Bylaws
Section 1: The IWCA shall adopt and maintain a Constitution outlining the organization’s principles and a set of Bylaws outlining implementation procedures.
Section 2: Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws may be proposed by 1) the Board; 2) by two-thirds vote of members attending an IWCA General Meeting; or 3) by petitions signed by twenty members and forwarded to the President.
Section 3: Changes to the Constitution are enacted upon a two-thirds majority of the legal votes cast by the membership.
Section 4: Adoption of and changes to Bylaws are enacted upon a two-thirds majority vote of the Board.
Section 5: Section 5: Voting procedures are stipulated in Article VII.
Article XIII: IRS Regulations to Maintain Tax Exempt Status
The IWCA and its affiliates shall comply with the requirements to be exempt as an Organization described in section 501( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code:
Section 1: Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify under section 501( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 2: No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organizations shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in section 1 hereof and in article 1 of this constitution.
Section 3: No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
Section 4: Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170( c )(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Section 5: Upon the dissolution of the 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 the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the organization 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.
I. Founded in 1983, the International Writing Centers Association, an NCTE Assembly, affirmed its purpose as fostering communication among writing centers and providing a forum for concerns.
II. Membership in the International Writing Centers Association will include directors and staffs of writing centers at universities, four-and-two-year colleges, and elementary and secondary schools, as well as those persons interested in writing center theories and applications.
III. The International Writing Centers Association will elect an Executive Board from its membership. Each board member will serve a two-year term, staggered. Nominations will be taken until the November NCTE meeting. Then, a ballot will be sent out by the Executive Secretary (see below) to International Writing Centers Association members. A majority mail-in vote (by December 31) is necessary to elect an Executive Board member.
A. Members of the Executive Board will have demonstrated interest and experience in writing centers as well as in the teaching of writing. The board will normally have 14 members, [a president, past president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, ex-officio members from theWriting Center Journal andWriting Lab Newsletter, and seven at-large members] in addition to regional, community college, and either elementary or secondary school representatives to ensure that each regional writing center association is represented and that each section of writing center association membership is represented.
B. The board will elect (by a majority vote) the following officers from the membership of IWCA:
- A president, initially elected as vice president, who will serve as president of the association and chair of the Executive Board. The president, or designee, will also serve as NCTE representative. The president will continue to serve on the Executive Board for two years as the immediate past president and will serve as NCTE representative as needed. Term: two years.
- A vice-president, who will serve as program chairs for NCTE and CCCC respectively. The vice-president, or designee, will also serve as NCTE representative. The vice-president will become president at the end of the term. Term: two years.
- An executive secretary, who will conduct mail ballots, maintain records of the International Writing Centers Association, take minutes at Executive Board meetings, assist with mailing for the International Writing Centers Conference, and maintain connections with professional organizations. Term: Two years, renewable
- A treasurer, who will be in charge of the membership list and the IWCA database, will be in charge of collecting dues and keeping financial records for IWCA and for the International Writing Centers Conference and Press. The treasurer will be responsible for communicating all subscription information to the journal and newsletter editors. Two years, renewable
C. Editors of the Writing Lab Newsletter and the Writing Center Journal will be ex officio members of the board. Neither publication, however, will be the exclusive organ of the International Writing Centers Association.
D. Executive Board members will have the following responsibilities:
- To meet annually at the March CCCC conference and/or the November NCTE conference and/or the International Writing Centers Association Annual Conference (see below);
- To sponsor the IWCA conference and to approve the site of the conference. The conference will be co-sponsored by the IWCA and a regional writing centers association. The regional WCA will petition the board to host the conference not later than 8 weeks after the annual International Writing Centers Association conference. The board will approve the petition after it ensures that the location of the conference represents the international nature of the membership. The board will also grant a stipend in the amount of $5 per conference registrant to the sponsoring regional writing centers association.
- To appoint from the membership a conference steering committee consisting of the IWCA Officers, a conference chair from the region holding the conference, the board representative from the regional, and three other members selected from the regional organization.
- To make Outstanding Scholarship and Outstanding Service Awards, as well as to make decisions on Graduate Student scholarships [and to administer research grants;]
- To set dues annually (fiscal year to begin at CCCC business meeting);
- To draft position statements;
- To assist the work of regional affiliates;
- To serve as liaison between the International Writing Centers Association and related organizations;
- To conduct the International Writing Centers Association business meeting, and report to members at the annual conference;
- To review and propose revisions in the constitution as needed.
IV. Changes in this constitution shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Board and must then be ratified by a two-thirds mail-in vote of the general International Writing Centers Association membership.
V. Members of the Executive Board must be members of the International Writing Centers Association.
VI. IWCA supports the NCTE statement on non-discrimination.