AACS Bylaws

Bylaws of The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
9-17-05; Amended 10-21-09, 2-14-2011, 4-11-14, and 12-18-15

Download  here :12-18-15 AACS Bylaws-with-board-approved-changes

Article 1: PREAMBLE

The name of the organization shall be the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS). Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including for such purposes, the making and distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

The rules and regulations in these Bylaws shall govern the activities of the Association.

The major purposes of the Association shall be:

  1. To provide a common meeting ground for individuals interested in the application    of sociological knowledge.
  2. To promote the application of sociological knowledge for beneficial social change     through scholarly, educational, programmatic, community, and policy activities.
  3. To enhance the understanding of the interrelationship between sociological   knowledge and sociological practice.
  4. To advance theory, research, methods, and training for advancing the use of sociological knowledge for beneficial social change.
  5. To promote the use of applied and clinical sociology in local, regional, state,             national, and international settings.


  1. General. Membership in the Association shall be open to all sociologists, sociology students, allied professionals, social scientists, and individuals and organizations who share an interest in the purpose of the association. A person or organization may become a member of the Association by submitting a membership application and paying dues. The membership year is from January 1 to December 31.
  1. Types of Memberships. The Board of Directors shall determine the various types of memberships and have final authority to approve the membership of individuals and organizations who submit applications.
  1. Membership Rights. Individual members have full voting rights in Association business meetings and elections. They may nominate candidates for office, be nominated for offices, chair and serve on committees, register and attend meetings, receive all official Association publications, and enjoy all other rights and privileges accorded individual members. Organizational members shall designate one person or representative to receive all the rights of an individual member with other employees entitled to register and attend meetings at member rates and receive member discounts.
  1. Dues. Members’ dues shall be payable annually at a time established by the Board of Directors. All dues, fees, and subscription rates shall be established by the Board. Only those whose dues are currently paid shall be considered members in good standing entitled to the rights and privileges of members. Non-payment of dues will terminate membership.


  1. Board of Directors. The Association is governed by the Board of Directors, all of whom will be members in good standing. The Board shall consist of elected, appointed, and ex-officio members. The governance and management of the Association shall be vested in the elected and appointed members of the Board, except for the student representative and liaison and where the Bylaws delegate functions and tasks to other Board members or committees. Elected members are:
  1. President
  2. President-elect
  3. Immediate Past President
  4. Vice President
  5. Vice President-elect
  6. Secretary
  7. Treasurer
  8. Members-at-Large (6)

Appointed members are:

International Board Members (3)

Graduate student representative

Undergraduate student liaison

Representative from the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology (CAPACS), recommended by CAPACS

Chair, Certification Committee

Ex-Officio members are:

Editors of AACS Publications (e.g. journal, newsletter)

  1. Terms of Office. The terms of office for the board members are as follows:
  2. President – one year
  3. President-elect – one year followed by one year as President
  4. Immediate Past President- one year
  5. Vice President – one year
  6. Vice President-elect – one year followed by one year as Vice President
  7. Secretary – two years
  8. Treasurer – two years
  9. Members-at-Large (6) – two years (staggered). Members-at-large are limited to two consecutive terms (four years). After two terms in this position, members can opt to run for another Board position or wait at least one year to run again.
  10. International Board Members (3) – two years (staggered); they may be re-appointed
  11. Student representative and liaison – 2 years; they may be re-appointed
  12. Ex-Officio Members – the Board of Directors may appoint ex-officio members who occupy specific positions in support of the organization, e.g., editors of AACS publications and Chair of Certification Committee. These appointments continue for the duration of the appointee in the support position.

When an incumbent does not complete her/his term of office, the Board of Directors may fill the vacancy established.

  1. Advisory Board. An advisory board will be appointed by the elected members of the Board of Directors. The role of members of the advisory board is to advise the Board of Directors on the management of the organization. Advisory board members may attend board meetings and advise on all matters. They do not have voting privileges or legal fiduciary responsibility. Advisory board members will serve for two consecutive years and may be asked to serve for another two consecutive years if they remain members of the Association in good standing.


  1. Duties of Board of Directors as a whole. The Board has the following duties:
  2. Interpret the Association’s Bylaws
  3. Formulate the policy and general direction of the Association
  4. Approve the Association’s annual budget and major expenditures not addressed in the budget and review Association accounts annually
  5. Approve appointment of president’s proposed international board members and student representative and liaison
  6. Establish membership categories and set dues and fee structures
  7. Terminate or suspend Association memberships as determined by two-thirds vote of board Members following investigation (including due notification and the right to appear) and recommendation by the Nominations and Governance Committee.
  8. Attend and participate actively in meetings, except when absences are excused by the President for illness or other extraordinary circumstances.
  9. Remove members of the Board of Directors after two successive absences not excused by the President for illness or other extraordinary circumstances from board meetings
  10. Remove members of the Board of Directors for not performing responsibilities outlined in the Bylaws of the Association as determined by two-thirds vote of Board Members
  11. Replace members of the Board of Directors when determined by two-thirds vote of Board Members
  12. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these Bylaws, execute all the corporate power, duties, limitations, and immunities, provided for in the General Not For Profit Corporation Law of the State of Michigan except as those powers are specifically denied by statute and the Bylaws of the Association.
  13. Duties of the President. The President has overall responsibility for coordinating the activities of the Association and performs the following tasks:
  1. Presides over Board meetings
  2. Presides over the Annual Business Meeting
  3. Sets the agenda for Board meetings and the Annual Business Meeting
  4. Appoints the chairs and members of standing committees in consultation with the Board of Directors where none are specified by the Bylaws
  5. Appoints ad hoc committees and task forces in consultation with the Board of Directors
  6. Presents, with the Treasurer, an Annual Budget to the Board of Directors at their post-conference meeting and reviews the budget with the Treasurer and Finance Committee quarterly reporting the findings to the Board of Directors
  7. Plans and organizes the annual meeting; provides overall supervision
  8. Serves as an ex officio member of all Association committees
  9. Acts as AACS official representative
  10. Appoints a Parliamentarian as needed
  11. Serves as or appoints AACS representative to the CAPACS
  12. Nominates international board members and student representative and liaison
  13. Informs board members when they have been removed from the Board of Directors.
  1. Duties of the Vice President
  1. Chairs the Program Committee for the Annual Meeting
  2. Plans and organizes the program for the Annual Meeting
  3. Prepares the preliminary program and final program for the Annual Meeting and arranges for their printing and distribution.
  4. Assumes the duties of the President should she or he not be able to hold office for any reason
  1. Duties of the Treasurer:
  1. Chairs the Finance Committee
  2. Invests Association funds with Board approval
  3. With the President, presents a budget at the post-Annual Meeting Board Meeting
  4. Reviews the budget with the President and Finance Committee quarterly and reports findings as provided in Article 8.
  5. Secures an independent review of Association accounts at the expiration of his or her term of office with the results published in the Association newsletter
  6. Signs checks for disbursements and makes deposits into Association accounts.
  7. Performs other relevant duties assigned to him/her by the President
  1. Duties of the Secretary:
  1. Records and distributes the Board meeting and business meeting minutes
  2. Insures Board meeting and business meeting minutes are placed in the Association newsletter
  3. Assumes the duties of Vice President, if the Vice President is unable to hold office for any reason
  4. In the absence of an executive officer, oversees the Association office and other permanent records of the Association
  5. Maintains records of the composition of the Board and Committees
  6. Makes an annual report to the Board
  7. Performs other duties as assigned by the President and/or Board
  8. Chairs the Communication Committee
  1. Duties of the President-Elect
  1. Chairs the Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements Committee.
  2. Performs all other duties assigned to him/her by the President.
  1. Duties of the Vice President-Elect:
  1. Serves on the Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements Committee.
  2. Serve on the Program Committee.
  3. Performs other relevant duties assigned to him/her by the President
  1. Duties of the Immediate Past President:
  1. Chairs the Nomination and Governance Committee and assists it in slating candidates
  2. Verifies the eligibility of nominees to office.
  3. Chairs the Awards Committee.
  1. Duties of the Members-at-Large and International Board Members
  1. Serve as committee chairs as detailed in the Article on Committees.
  2. Participate actively in at least one committee listed in the Article on Committees.
  3. Complete other relevant duties as assigned by the President.
  1. Duties of the Association Journal Editor:
  1. Solicits manuscripts
  2. Reviews manuscripts using the peer review process when appropriate
  3. Edits manuscripts accepted for publication
  4. Oversees the printing, publishing, and distribution processes
  5. Makes recommendations to the Publications Committee for changes and improvements as provided in Article 7.
  6. Serves at the discretion of the Board of Directors
  1. Duties of the Newsletter Editor:
  1. Solicits and writes news and feature articles for the newsletter
  2. Edits the newsletter content
  3. Oversees the printing and distribution processes
  4. Makes recommendations to the Communication Committee for changes and improvements as provided in Article 7.
  5. Issues the newsletter on a schedule determined by the Board, usually quarterly.


  1. Request for Nominations. The Nominations and Governance Committee will send an email or conventional mail document to all members by November 15 requesting nominations for the officers and Board Members who will be elected during the next year. Nominees must be members in good standing as defined in Article 2, section D, of these Bylaws.
  1. Elections. Elections shall take place by mail or electronic ballot that shall be sent to all current or past year paid members no later than April 15. Ballots must be returned in 30 days. For the positions of President-Elect, Vice President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, a candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared elected. For the Board Members-at-Large, the candidates receiving the largest number of votes for the open positions shall be declared elected. In case of a tie vote, the President shall decide by lot between them.
  1. Election Results. Election results will be announced by June 15. The chair of the Nominations Committee will announce the results electronically and/or in the Association newsletter.
  1. Terms of Office Begin. The terms of office of newly elected officers and Board members terms shall begin at the termination of the annual business meeting following the election.

Article 6. MEETINGS

  1. Board of Directors Meetings. The Board shall meet at least twice each year. The first meeting shall be held at the end of the Annual Association Meeting. A second meeting shall be held about six months prior to the next Annual Association Meeting. The Board may meet at other times as called by the President. Additional board meetings and actions may be arranged through methods of communication that are not face-to-face, as technologies permit. The actions of all Board meetings shall be printed in the subsequent issue of the Association newsletter or by other appropriate media as technologies permit. A majority of the elected Board members constitutes a quorum. A quorum is required for official Board actions. Board meetings are open to all Association members, however, the Board may vote to close meetings to address personnel or contracting topics requiring privacy or confidentiality. The Board proceedings shall be in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise determined by the provisions of these Bylaws.
  2. Annual Association Meeting. The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held at locations determined by the Board from recommendations provided to it by the Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements Committee. At each Annual Meeting, there shall be at least one business meeting at which the Board shall respond to questions from the members. Notification of this meeting shall be made to all members in a timely manner. The agenda of the business meetings shall be determined by the President.


All Association members are eligible to serve on committees. The President is an ex officio member of all committees. At the beginning of the term of a new President, the new President will ensure that all committees are properly constituted and will appoint or reappoint chairs and members and fill vacancies when they occur.

  1. Standing Committees. There shall be the following standing committees:
  1. Awards
  2. Communications
  3. Publications
  4. Finance
  5. Nominations and Governance
  6. Marketing, Membership and Development
  7. Program
  8. Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements
  9. Certification
  10. Student
  1. Awards Committee: Administers Association awards as described in Article 8. For all but the William J. Wilson Award and the Paul Wellstone Award, the Immediate Past President will chair this Committee. For the William J. Wilson Award, the executive committee will select the awardee; B.2. For the Paul Wellstone award, the local arrangements committee will select the awardee with the approval of the board.
  2. Communications Committee. Oversees the Association’s internal and external communications including but not limited to the Association’s newsletter and website. The Secretary will chair this Committee.
  3. Finance Committee: Advises the Board on financial matters, including investment practices, budget planning and review, and financial policies. The Treasurer shall chair this Committee.
  4. Nominations and Governance Committee. Oversees the Association’s organization and structure by:
  1. Securing nominees for Association elected offices and International Board Members and performing other election functions listed in Article 5;
  2. Investigating and making recommendations to the Board concerning any issues of professional ethics referred to it by Association members or that the Committee considers relevant to the Association, except in cases of conflict of interest, where affected Committee members will stand aside and be replaced by the Board for that investigation/issue.
  3. Proposing appropriate amendments to these Bylaws, as specified in Article 9,
  4. Overseeing Association archives.

The Immediate Past President will chair this Committee.

  1. Marketing, Membership and Development Committee. Oversees the advancement of the Association and the professional development of members by:
  1. Promoting communication and liaison among members and persons eligible for Association membership thereby encouraging the recruitment of new members
  2. Recommending to the Board initiatives for maintaining and expanding membership and for enhancing public recognition of the Association
  3. Raising funds other than dues and Annual Meeting fees
  4. Improving the quality of education, training, practice, and credentials of Association members and working with other associations and commissions to achieve these ends
  5. Regularly reviewing the status of Association membership.

The chair must be an elected Board member.

  1. Program Committee. Plans, develops and recommends to the Board the time, place and purpose of all conferences, workshops, seminars, interest section meetings, and other meetings held in the name of the Association. The Vice President will chair this Committee.
  2. Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements Committee.
  1. Identifies and recommends to the Board suitable locations and facilities to host the Association’s Annual Meeting
  2. Recruits local Association members in the region of the Annual Meeting to chair and serve on the Local Arrangements Subcommittee.
  3. Consults with the President on the coordination of events and local arrangements.
  4. Coordinates with the Vice President on the meeting rooms and facilities.

The Local Arrangements Subcommittee, as created by the Site Selection and Meeting Arrangements Committee, shall plan the social events of the Annual Meeting; consult with the chair of the Awards Committee in the selection and presentation of the Paul Wellstone Community Service Award as described in Article 9; and perform any and all other functions assigned or delegated to it by the parent Committee.

The Site Selection Committee and Meeting Arrangements Committee shall consist of the President-Elect, the Vice President-Elect, and the chairs of the immediate past, current, and next Local Arrangements Subcommittees. The President-Elect will be the chair of the Committee.

  1. Certification Committee. Plans, develops, and administers all aspects of the certification program as approved by the Board. The chair must be a certified Association member.
  2. Student Committee. Supports and coordinates student activities and serves as a liaison between student members of the Association and the Board. The President shall appoint a Student Committee Chair from eligible Association members.


The fiscal year shall begin on the first business day of each calendar year. At the Annual Business Meeting, the new President with the assistance of the Treasurer and Finance Committee will present a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year showing anticipated income and expenditures. Quarterly, the President, with the assistance of the Treasurer and Finance Committee, will review the budget and current financial state of the Association and make adjustments as necessary and report their findings to the Board. The Outgoing Treasurer will provide the incoming Treasurer with a full report of the financial affairs of the Association, including all necessary financial records and documentation. At each meeting of the Board, the Board shall review the accounts of the Association.

Article 9: AWARDS

  1. Awards Presented. The Association may present six or more awards each year at its Annual Meeting. The six listed awards will be based on specific criteria established by the Board of Directors. Additional awards may be presented at the discretion of the Board of Directors. The awards are:
  1. The Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contributions to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award, presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to applied and clinical sociology over a period of ten or more years.
  2. The Alex Boros Award for Contributions to the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, presented to an AACS member who has served AACS with distinction.
  3. The Robert Ezra Park Award for Sociological Practice, presented to an outstanding sociologist who has made a special contribution demonstrating how sociological practice (applied or clinical) can advance and improve society.
  4. The Paul Wellstone Community Service Award, presented to a person or organization in the community where the Annual Meeting is held. The recipient of this award will have made significant and noteworthy applied sociological contributions in the community.
  5. The William J. Wilson Award, presented to an individual or group whose work has been demonstrably effective in breaking the cycle of poverty.
  6. The Judith Little Student Problem-Solving Award, presented to the winning team of students and their advisor of the Judith Little Student Problem-Solving Exercise..
  1. Selection Processes. The Awards Committee shall issue a call for nominees for the four awards determined by the Board of Directors (Lester F. Ward, Alex Boros, Robert E. Park and William J. Wilson awards) in the first newsletter after the Annual Meeting, in subsequent newsletters, and on the Association’s website and in other media as appropriate. The Awards Committee will review, evaluate, and rank candidates and submit their written recommendations to the Board. The Board shall select the recipients in time for inclusion in the annual meeting program. The recipients will be announced at an appropriate presentation during the Annual Meeting.

The Local Arrangements Subcommittee, in consultation with the chair of the Awards Committee, shall select the recipient of the Paul Wellstone Community Service Award. The chair of the Local Arrangements Subcommittee shall prepare a citation and plaque and present it at the Annual Meeting. The winners of the Judith Little Problem-Solving Award will be determined by an adjudicating panel of applied/clinical sociologists.

  1. Recognition Process. The Awards Committee shall, after notifying recipients, publish information about the recipients of the individual awards and the Paul Wellstone Community Service Award in the Association newsletter, on the Association website and in other media as appropriate. The Executive Officer shall provide plaques to be presented to award winners at a presentation during the Annual Meeting.

Article 10: AMENDMENTS

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by the Nominations and Governance Committee, by a majority of the Board at any Board meeting, or by a petition of at least fifteen (15) members.

The Bylaws may be amended with the approval of a majority of individual members voting in a mail or electronic ballot.


Proposals to terminate the Association may be approved by the Board at any Board meeting. The Association may be terminated by a majority vote of all members in a mail or electronic ballot.


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 corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction in 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.


  1. The Association shall indemnify and hold each Board Member harmless from any and all monetary damages to which such Board Member might become liable on account of a breach of any of the Board Member’s duties to the Association, except each Board Member shall remain liable for any such damages arising out of (1) the Board Member’s breach of his/her duty or loyalty to the Association and its members, (2) acts or omissions not in good faith or that involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law, (3) a transaction from which the Board Member derived an improper personal benefit, and (4) an act or omission that is grossly negligent.
  2. Periodically, the Association may contract for the services of an executive officer.