You are here

Bylaws

Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD)

Bylaws of the Laboratory Astrophysics Division.

I. Name

This Division of the American Astronomical Society (hereinafter called “the Society”) shall be known as the “Laboratory Astrophysics Division”.

II. Object

The object of the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (hereinafter called "the Division") shall be to advance our understanding of the Universe through the promotion of fundamental theoretical and experimental research into the underlying processes that drive the Cosmos."

III. Enabling Authority

Article VII of the Society Bylaws, as revised in 2005, and as said Article may be subsequently revised or amended, is hereby incorporated into these Bylaws by reference.

IV. Membership

  1. Any member of the Society may become a member of the Division by making application to the Secretary of the Division and by payment of an enrollment fee. Any member of the Division may resign from the Division by notifying the Secretary. Membership in the Division is contingent upon continuing membership in the Society and payment of such dues as the Division shall assess.
  2. Affiliate membership in the Division is provided upon payment of an enrollment fee for persons who are not members of the Society, but who are members of another recognized professional organization with interests related to laboratory astrophysics. An application for affiliate membership shall be sponsored by at least two regular members of the Division. It shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Division for presentation to the Committee of the division for approval or disapproval. Affiliate members shall have all the rights, privileges, and obligations of regular members, except that they may not vote nor hold any office in the Division. Affiliate membership in the Division is contingent upon payment of such dues as the Division shall assess.
  3. Emeritus membership in the Division is provided for persons who are emeritus members of the Society. Emeritus members of the Division shall have all the rights, privileges and obligations of regular members of the Division, except they shall be exempt from payment of dues. Emeritus members of the Division shall be required to apply annually to the Division in order to maintain their status.

V. Officers and Committee of the Division

  1. The Committee of the Division (hereinafter called the Committee) shall consist of the Officers of the Division and seven Committee Members-at-Large. All members of the Committee shall be members of the Division of the Society. The Committee shall have general charge of the affairs of the Division, and through the Chair or Secretary shall report the activities and needs of the Division to the Council of the Society.
  2. The Officers of the Committee and of the Division shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and the available Past-Chair whose term has most recently expired provided this Officer has served the full term. In addition to the duties specifically assigned to them by these Bylaws, these Officers shall discharge the other duties usually incident to their respective office.
  3. The Chair shall call all meetings of the Committee and shall preside at all those meetings whenever possible. With the advice and consent of the Committee, the Chair shall appoint any special committees, which are necessary to conduct the affairs of the Division (with the exception of the Program and Prize Committees as described in Articles V.4 and V.5), and shall be an ex-officio member of each such special committee except the Nominating Committee.
  4. The Vice-Chair may act for the Chair at the latter's request and shall act for the Chair in the event that the latter is incapacitated. With the advice and consent of the Committee, the Vice-Chair shall select the Program Committee and, with the assistance of the selected Program Committee, be responsible for organizing the scientific programs of the Division. The Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Program Committee.
  5. The Past-Chair shall act for the Vice-Chair in the event that the latter is incapacitated. With the advice and consent of the Committee, the Past-Chair shall select the Prize Committee for the Laboratory Astrophysics prize awarded by the Division, as described in Article XI, and also serve as Chair of that Committee. The Chair of the Division shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Prize Committee.
  6. The Secretary shall send out necessary notices and announcements to the members of the Committee and to members of the Division. Announcements of the meetings of the Division shall be prepared by the Secretary and transmitted to the appropriate Officer of the Society for publication and distribution to all Society members at least nine weeks before the date of each meeting. The Secretary shall assist the Program Committee with arrangements for the meeting and for publication of the abstracts by the Society and for independent publication of the proceedings, if any, by the Division. The Secretary shall also prepare minutes of each meeting of the Committee, and of the Business Sessions of the Division, and submit these minutes to each member of the Committee and to the Secretary of the Society within three weeks after each meeting.
  7. The Society shall collect the enrollment fees and divisional dues set by the Committee, handle the funds and make disbursements in accordance with a budget approved by the Committee. The Treasurer shall submit to the Committee an annual financial report, which, after approval by auditors appointed by the Chair from the members of the Division, shall be submitted to the Council.
  8. The Committee shall meet at least once each year. A request in writing from at least five members of the Committee shall render convocation of an additional meeting of the Committee obligatory. Any member of the Committee unable to attend a meeting shall have the privilege of naming an alternate to represent said member at the meeting (without vote) subject to the approval of the Chair.
  9. At any meeting of the Committee at which members are physically or electronically present, the Chair or Vice-Chair and four other members shall constitute a quorum. Any action taken by fewer than five members shall be subject to ratification by a majority vote of the entire Committee. Business conducted otherwise (e.g., by non-contemporaneous e-mail, FAX, or electronic bulletin board postings) requires a majority (or 2/3 as required) vote of all members of the Committee. The Chair or, in his or her absence, the Vice-Chair may invite other persons to sit with the Committee without vote.

VI. Election and Tenure of Officers and Committee Members-at-Large

  1. The terms of office for Officers and Committee Members-at-Large shall be two years for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Past-Chair, three years for Secretary and Treasurer, and three years for Committee Members-at-Large. The Vice-Chair at the end of one term shall automatically become Chair for the following year. The term year shall be construed as running from one Regular Meeting to the next. Secretary and Treasurer are eligible for re-nomination to the same category of position. Neither a Secretary nor a Treasurer may serve more than two consecutive terms. Past-Chair is not eligible for nomination to Vice-Chair until having been out of office one year. All other Committee Members-at-Large are not eligible for re-nomination to the same category of position until having been out of office one year.
  2. At the discretion of the Committee, the positions of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined to form a Secretary-Treasurer position to be held by a single individual. Similarly, the Committee may split the Secretary-Treasurer position into two separate Secretary and Treasurer positions.
  3. Committee membership should, to the extent possible, represent the breadth of disciplines within laboratory astrophysics. This goal should guide the selection and nomination of candidates for election as Members-at-Large, taking into account those disciplines already represented by the Officers.
  4. Not later than sixteen weeks before each Regular Meeting of the Division, the Chair of the Committee shall, with the advice and consent of the Committee, appoint a Chair and two members of the Nominating Committee of three members to serve until the next Regular Meeting. No more than one member of the Nominating Committee shall be a member of the Committee of the Division. The Secretary of the Society shall be informed of the membership of the Nominating Committee.
  5. Not later than sixteen weeks before the Regular Meeting of the Division, the Secretary of the Division shall invite all members of the Division to propose via written or electronic reply, candidates for Officers and Committee Members-at-Large for the following year. Any member of the Division proposed as a candidate for a post on the Committee by not fewer than ten members of the Division at least seven weeks before the Regular Meeting shall be deemed to be nominated to the post, provided (a) that the nominee has stated to the Secretary a willingness to serve if elected and (b) that the nominee satisfies the requirements stated in Article VI.3.
  6. Not later than seven weeks before the Regular Meeting, the Nominating Committee shall submit to the Secretary nominations of at least one candidate for each vacancy for an Officer, and at least two for each vacancy for a Committee Member-at-Large. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to obtain from each nominee a written statement indicating a readiness to serve if elected.
  7. The Secretary of the Division shall prepare a ballot containing the names of all candidates nominated according to Paragraphs 5 and 6 of this Article. The Secretary shall distribute these ballots and instructions for voting to all members of the Division not later than five weeks before the Regular Meeting. A member shall cast not more than one vote for each position of the Committee to be filled, and shall vote via electronic means as announced to the membership by the Secretary. Voting will close not later than one week before the Business Session of the upcoming Regular Meeting. The Secretary shall submit the vote results to the Chair. Election shall be by a plurality of those voting, and the Chair shall not cast a ballot unless that vote is needed to break a tie.
  8. The Chair shall report the results of the election to the Division members during the Business Session and to the Secretary of the Society not more than a week later.
  9. The tenure of the members of the Committee shall begin at the close of the Regular Meeting at which they are elected.
  10. If a vacancy occurs in the Committee, the Committee may appoint a member of the Division to serve on the Committee until the next regular election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the regular procedure.

VII. Meetings of the Division

  1. A meeting of the Division to be known as the Regular Meeting shall be held each year. This meeting shall include a Business Session devoted exclusively to the reports of Officers and committees, and to the transaction of business affairs. No scientific program of the Division shall be presented simultaneously with the Business Session. The Regular Meeting shall be held at least every 3 years jointly with a meeting of the Society.
  2. Meetings of the Division, other than the Regular Meeting, may be scheduled by the Committee. Special conferences or symposia, when designated as being wholly or jointly sponsored by the Division, shall have the status of meetings.
  3. The dates and places of all the meetings of the Division shall be chosen in consultation with the Council of the Society or with an Officer designated by the Council.
  4. All meetings of the Division shall be open. The regulations applying to the selection of invited papers and to the restrictions regarding authors of contributed papers which are in force for meetings of the Society shall not have to be applied to meetings of the Division. The Committee shall be responsible for rules regarding the meetings of the Division.
  5. Announcements of the Divisional Meetings shall be prepared by the Secretary, as specified in Article V.5 above.

VIII. Appointed Special Committees

  1. The Chair, with the advice and consent of the Committee of the Division, shall appoint the Nominating Committee, which shall have such duties as are specified in Article VI of these Bylaws, and such other special committees as conditions may demand.
  2. The Vice-Chair shall appoint a Program Committee, which shall have such duties as are specified in Article IX.
  3. The Past-Chair shall appoint a Prize Committee, which shall have such duties as are specified in Article XI.
  4. All appointed special committees, unless otherwise terminated by the Committee, shall be considered to be automatically discharged at the close of the Regular Meeting next following their appointment.

IX. Programs

Meetings of the Division may include programs of invited papers, contributed papers, or such other format as designated by the Committee. The Committee shall prescribe the subject and character of such meetings. The Division shall hold joint meetings with the Society or with other Divisions of the Society, as well as with Divisions of other scientific Societies. When a meeting of the Division is held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society, the Program Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting the Committee on Meetings of the Society in fitting the sessions sponsored by the Division into the program of the general meeting of the Society. Abstracts of the papers given at a Divisional Meeting shall be transmitted in final form by the Secretary of the Division to the appropriate Officer of the Society and shall be published in the same way in which abstracts of papers given in meetings of the Society are published.

X. Amendment of Bylaws

Proposal of an Amendment of these Bylaws may be made by the Council of the Society, by the Committee of the Division, or by a petition to the Chair of the Division signed by not less than one-tenth of the members of the Division. After discussion of the proposed Amendment by the Committee at its earliest opportunity the Secretary shall distribute copies of the proposed amendment to the members of the Council, for their review and comment, not less than three weeks prior to the next meeting of the Council. The Secretary shall then distribute copies of the proposed Amendment, together with the comments of the Council, the Committee, and the petitioners, if any, to all members of the Division not less than three weeks before the next Regular Meeting. An opportunity shall be given for discussion and changes in the wording of the proposed Amendment during the Business Session. After this meeting the Secretary shall distribute ballots containing final wording of the proposed Amendment and instructions for voting to all members of the Division, who shall vote via electronic means not later than three weeks after the date of distribution of the ballots. The adoption of an Amendment shall require the affirmative votes of not less than two-thirds of the members voting. The Amendment if passed shall be transmitted to the Secretary of the Society.

XI. Award of the Laboratory Astrophysics Prize

The Division shall establish a prize “for significant contribution to Laboratory Astrophysics”. The Division shall award the prize, normally, on an annual basis. The prize will include a cash award, a citation, and an invited lecture by the recipient at a meeting of the Division. Each year the Committee shall decide the specific disciplines eligible for the Laboratory Astrophysics Prize and the deadline for submission of nominations for the prize. Not later than sixteen weeks before the deadline, the Secretary of the Division shall invite all members of the Division to submit nominations, consisting of a written or electronic letter of support. Nominations shall remain valid for a period of time to be determined by the Committee. Selection of the prize recipient will be made by the Prize Committee of the Division as specified in Article V.5.