Bylaws

[Last updated November 2004]

Preamble

These bylaws outline the policies and procedures regarding the governance and operation of the International Society for Presence Research (hereinafter referred to as ISPR). They replace any bylaws or governing procedures that predate them.

1. Article 1. Name and Contact Information.

1.1. The name of this organization shall be the International Society for Presence Research (ISPR).

1.2. A warehouse of information regarding the organization’s activities and interests can be found at https://ispr.info

1.3. Interested parties may contact ISPR via email at ispr@ispr.info.

1.4. Interested parties may contact ISPR via postal mail in care of the president.

2. Article 2. Mission & Forms of Activity.

2.1. Mission. The International Society for Presence Research (ISPR) supports academic research related to the concept of (tele)presence, commonly referred to as a sense of ‘being there’ in a virtual environment and more broadly defined as an illusion of nonmediation in which users of any technology overlook or misconstrue the technology’s role in their experience. The society provides resources for those who conduct research, develop theory, write about, or simply are interested in, the concept of presence.

2.2. History. ISPR was created in January 2002 to coordinate the annual International Presence Workshops as well as a variety of research efforts related to presence.

2.3. Key Forms of Activity. The organization seeks to fulfill its mission via:

  • An annual conference
  • Mini-conferences
  • Conference panels
  • An organization website and listserv

2.4. Agenda of the Association. ISPR seeks to add to the study of presence research by:

  • Conceptualizing presence
  • Developing theory related to issues of presence
  • Locating empirical evidence of the existence of presence
  • Identifying the value of a theory of presence to the study of communication and psychological research.
  • Bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines and places

3. Article 3. Association Membership.

3.1. Eligibility for Membership. All those who approve the purposes and rules of the organization can become members.

3.2. Rights and privileges. All members shall exercise and enjoy such rights as the bylaws of the Association may prescribe.

3.3. Dues. Members shall pay such dues and assessments as the association’s Board of Directors has confirmed.

3.4. Membership Categories. The membership of the organization shall consist of individual members and institutional members.

  • Individual academic members are affiliated with (nonprofit) academic institutions.
  • Unwaged students are academic members and entitled to a special reduced membership fee that carries with it all privileges of full membership.
  • Individual corporate (or nonacademic) members are affiliated with for-profit institutions.
  • Institutional memberships are available to both academic and nonacademic institutions who wish to sponsor ISPR activities; individuals affiliated with institutional members of ISPR are entitled to a special reduced membership fee that carries with it all privileges of full membership.

3.5. Application for Membership. Applications for membership are available and accepted at the ISPR annual conference and the ISPR web site, where the form can be printed and mailed to the treasurer or submitted online.

3.6. Admission to membership. Upon payment and acceptance of first year dues set forth hereafter, the applicant shall become a member of the organization.

3.7. Membership rights. Members of ISPR shall be entitled to one vote on any matter presented to the membership. Regular members are eligible to be elected to any office in the organization. Regular members are eligible to participate in ISPR’s annual conference. Membership also allows access to all online resources and services developed by ISPR without charge, as well as special discounts on the association conference fee.

3.8. Termination of membership. Resignation of members shall be made in writing and shall be acted upon within thirty days of receipt of said resignation.

3.9. Suspension and Termination of Membership for Non-payment of Dues. In the event that any member shall fail to pay dues by the end of the third month from the due date, the membership of such person in the organization shall automatically be suspended. Suspension of membership results in forfeiture of all membership rights and privileges. Such suspension shall automatically be revoked, and all rights and privileges restored, upon payment by any such suspended members of all dues in arrears, provided they are paid within one calendar year of the due date. In the event that dues in arrears are not paid, the membership of such member shall automatically be terminated.

4. Article 4. Governance.

4.1. Board of Directors. ISPR is managed by a board of directors, selected by the voting members at the annual meeting or conference. The Board of Directors is made up of a minimum of five officers, consisting of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Student Officer.

4.1.1. President. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Call and preside at meetings
  • Appoint chairs of standing and special committees
  • Serve as the official representative of the Association
  • Act as one of the signing officers for Association bank accounts
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees
  • Contract for all goods and services necessary for the management of the Association, and delegate powers and duties to members

4.1.2. Vice-President of Administration. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assume the duties of the President in their absence
  • Act as one of the signing officers for Association bank accounts
  • Assist in the planning, scheduling and coordination of (1) legal matters pertaining to the Association, (2) public relations, (3) activities and events, (4) financial activities and events, and (5) other activities as necessary
  • Maintain an ongoing calendar of all organization activities and events
  • Execute any other duties assigned by the President

4.1.3. Vice-President of Development. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assume the duties of the Vice President of Administration in their absence
  • Act as one of the signing officers for Association bank accounts
  • Assist in the planning, scheduling, and coordination of (1) corporate development activities and events, (2) other fund raising activities and events, and other activities as necessary
  • Execute any other duties assigned by the President

4.1.4. Vice-President of Membership. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assume the duties of the Vice-President of Development in their absence
  • Assist in the planning, scheduling and coordination of membership activities and events; specific duties include maintaining membership roster and database, processing applications for new memberships and renewal memberships, corresponding with members regarding membership, and developing and implementing strategies to maintain and increase membership
  • Execute any other duties as assigned by the President

4.1.5. Secretary. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Conduct the correspondence of the organization
  • Give notice of all meetings
  • Publish on a routine basis a calendar for the organization
  • Review and approve all publications including newsletters, flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Maintain records of all non-financial transactions
  • Maintain adequate minutes of the proceedings and publish them on a regular basis
  • Give notice of all orders, resolutions, or proceedings affecting the organization
  • Call for nominations, oversee voting, and certify and report results for annual election of officers
  • Serve as the certifying representative for all elections, ballots and referenda
  • Call all special meetings

4.1.6. Treasurer. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Have sole responsibility for the receipt and deposit of all funds
  • Maintain a record of receipts, disbursements, and other financial transactions made by or on behalf of the organization, in a uniform set of books, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Present a financial report at meetings
  • Present financial statements annually
  • Serve as one of the signing officers for Association bank accounts
  • Preside at meetings in the absence of the President and the Vice Presidents
  • Commission a CPA to audit the chapter’s records and provide a report

4.1.7. Student Officer. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Represent the interests and perspectives of the student members of the organization in all Board meetings and electronic discussions
  • Assist in the planning, scheduling, and coordination of (1) student fellowship and award programs, (2) student outreach activities and events, and (3) other activities as necessary
  • Execute any other duties assigned by the President

4.1.8. Open seats. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assist other officers of the organization in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as outlined above

4.2. Terms of office. All officers are elected to single, renewable 2 year terms. The beginning and end dates for all terms are staggered such that half of the positions are subject to election each year. All members may nominate one or more members, including themselves, for executive office. Elections are conducted via anonymous online ballots.

4.3. Removal from office. Officers elected by membership cannot be removed from the Board of Directors except by vote from members in another General Election Meeting. In the event that an officer is removed, the position can be temporarily filled by the board’s appointment. However, no more than half of the Board of Directors may be non-elected members.

4.4. Eligibility for office. To stand for executive office candidates must be current members of ISPR, above the age of majority and be in good standing within the organization.

4.5. Board of Directors Meetings.

4.5.1. Frequency. The Board will hold meetings at least annually. Requests for additional meetings will come from the invitation of the President, or when the President is excused, the Vice-President, when they regard it needed, or when at least half of the Board members demand it. The invitation for a Board meeting should be delivered in letter or in email at least two weeks before the meeting.

4.5.2. Quorum. The Board has quorum and can make decisions when at least half of its members, including either President or Vice-President, are present. Votes are decided by majority rule. If the votes are divided evenly, the vote of the President or Vice-President as the chairperson of the board meeting is decisive. However, if votes are divided evenly in elections of persons, the choice shall be decided by lot.

4.5.3. Virtual meetings. The Board meetings can be organized virtually as online (chat) discussions or email discussions. In this instance being present in a meeting means that a member is not disconnected from his or her email or online access when a topic is being discussed and decided.

4.6. Additional bodies. The Executive Board may appoint non-standing Committees and ad hoc groups.

5. Article 5. Conferences.

5.1. Annual Presence Workshop. ISPR will host the annual international presence workshop. Dates, locations and the call for papers for the annual workshop will be announced on the website and via the membership listserv at least XX months prior to the conference.

5.2. Mini-conferences and Conference Panels. Throughout the year, ISPR may host mini-conferences or the Board and/or membership may organize conference panels to be held at other conferences. Information regarding such panels will be sent to the membership via the listserv.

5.3. Annual Meeting. A meeting of the general membership will be held each year at the Presence Workshop conference. Other meetings of the organization may be called at any time by the President upon the written request of at least three members of the Executive Board or upon written request by twenty-five (25) members or 10% of the members of a voting category.

5.4. Special General Meeting. The Board may, whenever it thinks fit, convene a Special General Assembly when the General Assembly so decides or when the Board or not less than four of its members consider there is need for it or when at least one tenth (1/10) of the Association’s members demands it in writing. The Assembly must be held within 60 days from the date when the petition has been received by the Board.

5.5. Notice of Meeting. Notice of the time, place, and business to be conducted at the Annual Meeting of the organization shall be posted to the listserv. No amendment, bylaw or candidate shall be voted upon unless included in the notice. The time and contents of notices of other meetings shall be as directed by the executive board.

5.6. Voting rights and the use of proxy. In the Association’s meetings, each member has one vote. The use of proxy is allowed.

5.7. Majority in vote. Unless otherwise prescribed by the Rules of ISPR, the vote of the majority of all the ordinary members shall decide any question. If two or more alternatives get the same amount of votes, the election shall be decided by lot.

5.8. Course of Annual Meeting. The ordinary course of the General Meeting shall be:

  • Opening of the meeting
  • The election of the chair of the meeting, the recording secretary, two scrutinizers of the minutes and, if needed, two counters of votes
  • Notification that the Meeting constitutes a quorum
  • Accepting the agenda of the Meeting
  • The Meeting is presented the accounts, the Board’s reports and the auditors’ report upon the transactions of the Association from the preceding financial year (in Annual Financial Meeting)
  • The Assembly decides about confirming the account and giving discharge from liability to the Board and to others in charge (in Annual Financial Meeting)
  • The election of one or two auditors and their vice persons (in Annual Financial Meeting)
  • Accepting the financial plan and plan of action for next year (in Annual Financial Meeting)
  • The election of President, Vice-President, and other members of the Board (in General Election Meeting)

6. Article 6. Standing Rules.

6.1. Standing Rules. Standing Rules may be adopted to regulate all matters for which further regulation is deemed desirable. Standing Rules may not contain any provisions in conflict with the law or these rules and bylaws.

6.2. Making Standing Rules. Standing Rules shall be adopted and amended by the general membership. Their verbatim text must be made available for inspection by the members at an appropriate location five days before the meeting in question until the end of the day on which the meeting is held.

6.3. Electronic availability. The appropriate location referred to above is the organization’s web site and listserv.

7. Article 7. Signatories.

7.1. Signatory rights. The signatories of the Association on all checks, drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and other negotiable instruments are the President, Vice-President and the Treasurer, or other two Directors together. In addition, the Board of Directors may grant a person the right to act as a signatory of the organization by making a separate decision about it.

8. Article 8. Financial Year.

8.1. Financial period. The financial period of the organization is one calendar year.

8.2. Terms for financial reports. The accounts of the organization and the board of director’s report must be given to the auditors at least three weeks before the General Meeting. The auditors must give their written report to the Board of Directors at least two weeks before the General Meeting.

8.2.1. The requirements for the auditor’s reports. In the auditors’ report, and in certifying to the accounts, the auditors shall state, whether they have obtained the information required by them; whether, in their opinion, the accounts are properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the financial position of the organization according to the information at their disposal and the explanations given to them and as shown by the books of the organization; whether, in their opinion, the accounts are properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the financial position of the organization according to the information at his or her disposal and the explanations given to him or her and as shown by the books of the organization; and whether the rules relating to the administration of the funds of the organization have been observed.

9. Article 9. Changing the rules and dissolution of the organization.

9.1. Changing the rules. The decision to change the rules and about the dissolution of the association must be done in an Annual Meeting of the organization by the majority of three fourths (3/4) of the given votes. The call for the meeting must mention changing rules or dissolution.

9.2. Dissolution and funds. In the case of dissolution, the funds of the organization shall be used to advance the purpose of the organization in the way that the Annual Meeting sees fit.

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