Constitution of the History of Economics Society
Article I
NAME AND MISSION

1. The name of the Society shall be “History of Economics Society.”

2. The Society shall be an international organization, the mission of which shall be:

  1. to promote interest in, and inquiry into, the history of economics and related disciplines;
  2. to facilitate communication and discourse among scholars working in the field of the history of economics;
  3. to disseminate knowledge about the history of economics.

Article II
MEMBERSHIP

1. Any individual, institution, or organization interested in promoting the mission of the Society may become a member upon the payment of the appropriate dues.

2. The Executive Committee (see Article V) shall from time to time recommend a schedule of dues for each type of membership that will become effective immediately on approval of a majority of the members voting in an electronic ballot.

3. The Executive Committee shall determine the types of membership that are offered, except that no membership may be for less than the balance of one calendar year from the date that the dues are received.   Absent another determination by the Executive Committee membership shall be for one calendar year or shall date from the time of the receipt of the annual dues if paid after the 1st of January, and shall expire at the end of the calendar year.

4. Each individual, dues-paying member shall have the right to vote on all such questions as are placed before the Membership as a whole.   Organizational and Institutional members shall not vote in Society elections.

 

Article III
OFFICERS

1. The Society shall have the following elected officers: a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, an Immediate Past-President, and four elected members of the Executive Committee (see Article V).

2. All officers must be paid-up members of the Society during their entire terms of office.

3. The senior editor (or co-editors) of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought and the Manager of Electronic Information shall be non-voting ex officio officers of the Society. The Executive Committee (see Article V) shall appoint them and fix their terms of office.

4. The editor or editors of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought and the Manager of Electronic Information shall appoint members of editorial boards to advise and assist them. The editor or editors and manager shall be ex officio members and chairs of their respective boards.

 

Article IV
Trustees

Any past President of the Society not actually serving as Immediate Past-President shall be a Trustee of the Society.  Trustees may, at their own discretion, attend and participate in Executive Committee meetings as non-voting ex officio members and shall be entitled to receive communications regarding the business of the Executive Committee on the same basis as members and officers of the Executive.  They shall not, however, routinely be privy to communication about confidential personnel matters, but, at the discretion of the President or the Executive Committee, may be consulted on specific confidential personnel matters.

 

Article V
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1. The voting members of the Executive Committee of the Society shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past- President, and the elected members of the Executive Committee.  The President shall vote only in the case of a tie.  The nonvoting ex officio members shall consist of the Editor or Editors of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, the Manager of Electronic Information, and the Trustees of the Society. The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the President.

2. The Executive Committee may remove from office a member elected to the Executive Committee after two consecutive absences from regularly scheduled meetings unless he or she is able to justify the absences to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.

3. Any officer of the Society may be removed from office and any Trustee may be deprived of his or her privileges upon a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee, exclusive of any officer in question, or upon a two-thirds vote confirmed by a vote of the Membership.

4. Presence of more than one-half the voting members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

5. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be held electronically and individual members may attend any meeting through electronic means, subject to procedures established by the committee.

6. The Executive Committee may by a two-thirds majority adopt its own rules of order, except where countermanded by this Constitution.  Should the Executive Committee not adopt rules of order, meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

 

Article VI
STANDING COMMITTEES

1. The Program Committee shall consist of a chair and three additional members, serving for four-year terms with one member selected each year.  The chair shall normally be chosen from the members who have already served the first two years of their terms.  The duties of the Program Committee include:

  1. to select the location of the annual meeting of the Society, normally at least two years in advance of the meeting;
  2. to establish guidelines and policies for the conduct of the program at the annual meeting;
  3. to appoint, with the approval of the President, a separate ad hoc committee for each regular program, which
  4. shall comprise a number of members of the Society adequate to the responsibilities in the particular circumstance of the program;
  5. shall, under the general guidance of the Program Committee and in cooperation with the President, Secretary, and Treasurer, be responsible for the operational planning and detailed administration of the program to which it has been assigned.

2. The Investment Committee shall comprise three members – the Treasurer of the Society as chair and two additional members.  The duties of the Investment Committee include:

  1. to propose to the Executive policies and procedures for the management of the Society’s investments;
  2. to advise the Treasurer in the management of the Society’s investments;
  3. to monitor and report to the Executive Committee on any matters of concern affecting the general financial health of the Society.

3. The Executive Committee may establish other standing committees not inconsistent with this Constitution.

 

Article VII
MEETINGS AND CONSULTATION WITH THE MEMBERSHIP

1. There shall be one regular annual meeting (described as the “annual meeting”) of the Society, at a time and place to be designated by the President, in consultation with the Program Committee (see Article VI, section 1), for consultation with the Membership and the presentation of a program. All members shall be notified of the time and place of the annual meeting at least two months before the date of such meeting.

2. There shall be a business meeting at each annual meeting, chaired by the President. At the business meeting, the President who was in office during the year preceding the annual meeting, the Treasurer, the various Editors of society publications, and the Manager of Electronic Information shall make their reports, and the results of the election of the officers of the Society for the ensuing year shall be announced by the Secretary. The members present at the business meeting shall constitute a quorum. Members shall be permitted to question officers with regard to their reports and to the conduct of the Society and to raise and discuss any matters relating to the Society and its aims and purposes.  No votes shall be taken.

3. The Executive Committee shall meet at the annual meeting of the Society and at a time roughly midway between annual meetings (described as the “midterm meeting”).

4. If possible, the Society shall offer sessions at the time and place of the annual Allied Social Sciences Association meeting, and if possible the Executive Committee shall hold its midterm meeting at that time and place.

5. The Executive Committee may by a two-thirds majority adopt rules of order for the business meeting, except where countermanded by this Constitution.  Should the Executive Committee not adopt rules of order, meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

 

Article VIII
TERMS OF OFFICE

1. The Vice-President shall serve a two-year term of office; at the end of that term, the Vice-President shall become the President and shall serve a two-year term; and at the end of that term, the President shall become the Immediate Past-President and serve a two-year term.  The same member may be elected Vice-President more than once, provided that at least six years have elapsed since that member last served as Vice-President, President, or Immediate Past-President.  A member who, in extraordinary circumstances, assumes one of these offices without having first been elected as Vice-President is eligible to stand at the next regular election provided that the member has never been elected as Vice-President or at least twelve years have elapsed since the member’s last having been elected as Vice-President.

2. The Secretary and Treasurer shall each be elected to an initial four-year term, and may subsequently be elected to up to three additional two-year terms.  The Secretary shall be elected in even years and the Treasurer elected in odd years.

3. The Elected Members of the Executive shall serve four-year terms with one Member elected each year.

4. The terms of all elected officials shall begin with the first function at the regular meeting of the Society, whether that be registration, a business meeting, a meeting of the Executive Committee, or some other activity.

Article IX
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

1. The Nominating Committee shall nominate the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Elected Members of the Executive Committee.  Members of the Nominating Committee shall serve for a two-year term, beginning with their appointment and continuing until the end of the presidential term in which they were appointed.  The chair of the Nominating Committee shall be the former past President whose term as Immediate Past-President and service on the Executive Committee has just ended.  If that person is not available, the President shall appoint the chair. Within one month of the beginning of the regular meeting, the President shall appoint two other members of the Nominating Committee selected from the membership of the Society.

2. Members may submit suggested nominations for the various officers to the Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee may solicit such suggestions and may consult with whomever it wishes in identifying potential nominees.  It must consult with the President, Vice-President, and Immediate Past-President with respect to nominations for Secretary and Treasurer.  All nominees shall be members of the Society. The Nominating Committee shall present its nominees to the President for action by the Executive Committee at its midterm meeting on or before the 15th of November of the calendar year before the election.  The Nominating Committee shall make one nomination for each impending vacancy for Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  If there is one vacancy for Elected Members of the Executive Committee, it shall make two nominations; if there are more vacancies, it shall make nominations to a number at least two greater than, and no more than twice, the number of vacancies.  The Executive Committee shall approve or reject nominations and may substitute other nominees for those chosen by the Nominating Committee or make additions to them consistent with the provisions of this Constitution.

3. Additional nominations may be made by a petition of twenty or more members of the Society submitted to the Secretary on or before the 15th of November of the calendar year before the election.  The ballot shall provide the opportunity for members to cast a write-in vote for each office.

4.  Nominations should be made with due regard to the international character of the Society and to the geographical diversity of its Membership.

5. Elections and any other matters subject to voting by the Membership as a whole shall be conducted by electronic ballot by the Secretary in cooperation with the Manager for Electronic Information.  Majorities or supermajorities shall be determined as a fraction of the total number of votes actually cast by eligible members.

6. Regular annual elections of officers shall take place on or about the 1st of March each year.

 

Article X
FILLING VACANCIES

1.  In the event that the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall fill the unexpired part of the President’s term. In the event that the office of Vice-President becomes vacant, the Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee shall nominate a candidate to fill the unexpired part of the Vice-President’s term.  A special election shall be held within four months from the date at which the vacancy occurred or within six months if that allows the special election to be consolidated with a regular election.  If the special election occurs after the end of the regular Vice-presidential term, then the elected member shall immediately become President, and the vacant office of Vice-President shall be filled as previously described; although, if both the offices of President and Vice-President become vacant or if the process of filling a vacancy in the presidency by election would leave the office of Vice-President vacant, then the special elections for President and Vice-President may be held at the same time.  During any period in which the office of President is vacant, having not yet been filled either by the Vice President or by election, the most senior officer of the Society available shall temporarily assume the duties of the President.  The order of seniority is Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, most recent past president not currently serving on the Executive Committee (Trustee) who is willing to accept the responsibilities of the office.  No person shall become President except by first having served as Vice-President or by election to fill the unexpired part of a presidential term when no Vice-President is available to advance to the office of President.

2. In the event that the office of Secretary becomes vacant, the Treasurer shall temporarily assume the duties of Secretary in addition to his or her duties as Treasurer; and in the event that the office of Treasurer becomes vacant, the Secretary shall temporarily assume the duties of Treasurer, in addition to his or her duties as Secretary; in either case, temporary service will continue only until the President, in consultation with the Nominating Committee and with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall appoint an Acting Secretary or Acting Treasurer.  Such appointments will be made as soon as practically possible.  Acting Secretaries and Treasurers shall serve either until confirmed at the next feasible regular election or until another candidate is nominated and elected to fill the unexpired part of the original term.

3. In the event that the office of Elected Member of the Executive becomes vacant, the office shall remain vacant until the next feasible regular election when the unexpired part of the term shall be filled in the usual manner.

4. In the event of a vacancy not otherwise provided for in this Article, the Executive Committee may elect a successor to fill the unexpired term.

 

Article XI
DUTIES OF OFFICERS

1. It shall be a duty of all officers to promote the mission of the Society (see Article I, Section 2).

2. The President shall act as the general executive officer of the Society.  The duties of the President shall include:

  1. to administer the affairs of the Society, including supervision of Society staff, under the direction of the Executive Committee;
  2. to appoint the members of, and to fill vacancies that may arise on, any committee, except where otherwise provided for in this Constitution;
  3. to preside over the meetings of the Executive Committee and the Membership, except as otherwise provided for in this Constitution;
  4. to complete the planning and implementation of the program for the midterm meeting in the first full year of the regular presidential term; to provide opportunities for the membership and other persons to make proposals for sessions at that meeting and to be sensitive to such proposals but not bound to adopt them.

3. The duties of the Vice-President shall include:

  1. to act in the place of the President in the event of a temporary absence or disability;
  2. to succeed to the office of President in the event that office becomes vacant before the term is complete;
  3. to plan and implement the program for the midterm meeting in the second full year of the regular vice-presidential term; to provide opportunities for the membership and other persons to make proposals for sessions at those meetings and to be sensitive to such proposals but not bound to adopt them.

4. The duties of the Executive Committee shall include:

  1. to determine the types of membership and the appropriate dues for each type;
  2. to determine the general policies and activities of the Society, including the assignment of additional duties to officers and committees;
  3. to procure adequate funds for the Society and to make policies governing those funds, and to oversee the President and Treasurer in their management of those funds;
  4. to maintain and work to increase the membership of the Society;
  5. to establish the rules and regulations for the conduct of the Society’s business, not inconsistent with this Constitution and to adopt measures that are necessary to implement those policies;
  6. to exercise oversight of the financial and business affairs of the society through appropriate reviews of the records and actions of the Secretary, Treasurer, and Investment Committee;
  7. to determine whether or not to offer sessions, meetings or programs jointly with other organizations, and if appropriate, to decide the time and place of such meetings; and to appoint the organizers of the programs of the Society offered at such meetings other than the meetings held under the auspices of the Allied Social Sciences Association.
  8. to establish cooperative arrangements with other organizations for the promotion of the history of economics;
  9. to establish, and to determine the terms of reference for, standing and ad hoc committees other than those established in this Constitution;
  10. to establish rules and policies concerning the conduct of elections;
  11. to establish policies regarding the management of the records of the Society, including policies regarding posting records on the Society’s website consistent with the general principle that all final formal reports of officers and committees and a record of all actions taken and policies adopted, except for confidential personnel records, should be made available to the Membership as soon as practicable, consistent with the smooth and effective conduct of the Society’s business;
  12. to designate an appropriate permanent archive for the records of the Society, including records that are not to be publicly posted, owing to considerations of confidentiality;
  13. to establish prizes and honors not otherwise provided for in this Constitution and to establish criteria and guidance governing all awards given by the society.

5. The Secretary shall perform his or her duties under the supervision of the President. These duties shall include:

  1. to maintain an up-to-date list of members;
  2. to solicit actively, and to accept applications for, new memberships in the Society; to inform existing members with adequate notice when their memberships are up for renewal; and to diligently solicit the re-application for membership of any whose memberships have lapsed;
  3. to record the proceedings of the business meetings of the Society and the meetings of its Executive Committee, and keep (or cause to be kept) a record of the Society’s business that takes place electronically;
  4. to transmit to the designated repositories (archive and website) all records, minutes, ballots, and all other materials generated in the execution of the office of Secretary, including all reports and submissions made to the officers of the Society and the Executive Committee by any of the Society’s committees, and any other records directed to be retained by the policy of the Society;
  5. to transmit to the Manager of Electronic Information (or to a person designated by the Manager) consistent with policies established by the Executive Committee all minutes, reports, and other official records of the Society for posting on the Society’s website in a format accessible to the membership;
  6. to secure adequately the confidentiality of personnel records or any other records for which confidentiality is required under the policies of the Society or by law;
  7. to conduct the regular election electronically on or about the 1st of March each year; to conduct any special elections; and to report the results of all elections in a timely manner to the Executive Committee and the Membership;
  8. to arrange, if needed, for a room for the meeting of the Executive Committee at the midterm meeting of the Society each year;
  9. to assist the President, Vice-President, and the Executive Committee through the performance of such additional secretarial duties as may be assigned by the President, not inconsistent with this Constitution.

6. The Treasurer shall perform his or her duties under the supervision of the President. These duties shall include:

  1. to receive dues and other payments, maintain bank accounts in the name of the Society, and pay the Society’s bills;
  2. to maintain the financial records of the Society; to provide to the Executive Committee at the midterm meeting an interim report, and at the regular meeting a complete annual report, on the financial state of the Society and the activities of the Treasurer over the past year; and at the business meeting to present the annual report to the Membership;
  3. to file all appropriate forms and returns with the appropriate authorities and oversee reporting to insure and maintain the Society’s tax free status;
  4. to manage the Society’s investments, in consultation with the Investments Committee, and to report on these investments at each Executive Committee meeting;
  5. to sign contracts on behalf of the Society, and to maintain such contracts, as may be necessary, and to report promptly all such contract signatures to the Executive Committee;
  6. to perform such additional financial duties as may be assigned by the President, not inconsistent with this Constitution.

7. The Manager of Electronic Information shall perform his or her duties under the supervision of the President. These duties shall include:

  1. to develop, maintain, and improve the Society’s website in the interest of better communicating with the Membership and generally promoting the mission of the Society and the history of economics;
  2. to develop, maintain, and improve the Society’s communication with its members through email, social media, and/or other electronic or digital communications;
  3. to maintain electronic contact information on the Membership for the more expeditious conduct of the Society’s business;
  4. to advise and assist the Secretary and other officers of the Society in the most effective use of the Society’s resources for electronic or digital communications.

 

Article XII
DISTINGUISHED FELLOWS

1. The Society may designate Distinguished Fellows, who shall be living at the time of their election, and who may be so honored in light of their exemplary contributions to scholarship in the history of economics and/or to their exemplary contributions to the success of the Society.

2. They shall be nominated by a Distinguished Fellows Committee constituted of the most recent available three past Presidents of the Society not currently serving on the Executive and chaired by the most recent of them. The Committee shall provide opportunities for the Membership to propose candidates for nomination, and it shall be sensitive to such proposals but not restricted to making nominations consistent with those proposed.  The Committee may also choose not to make a nomination. Any nominations shall be presented to the Executive Committee on or before the 15th of November before the next regular meeting. The Executive Committee shall select the Distinguished Fellow or Fellows.

3. There shall be no more than two Distinguished Fellows elected in any year.

 

Article XIII
AMENDMENTS

1. The Executive Committee may propose amendments to this Constitution.  A petition signed by twenty or more members of the Society proposing amendments shall be accepted and reviewed by the Executive Committee at its next meeting and transmitted to the Membership with a positive, negative, or neutral recommendation.

2. The Membership shall be informed electronically by the Secretary of the proposed amendments at least two months in advance of the next regular meeting.  Discussion of proposed amendments shall be an item on the agenda of the business meeting.  An electronic ballot on the proposed amendment shall be conducted within two months after the regular meeting at which the amendment appeared on the agenda.

3. A constitutional amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of the Membership actually casting votes in the electronic ballot.

 

Article XIV
DISSOLUTION

Upon the dissolution of the Society, the Executive Committee shall, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities of the Society, dispose of all remaining assets of the Society. The disposition shall be made by the Executive Committee exclusively so as to further the purposes of the Society. The assets may be given entirely or in part to such organization or organizations selected by the Executive Committee that are organized and operated exclusively for educational or scientific purposes and that at the time of dissolution qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

Article XV
Constitutional History and Ratification

1. The original constitution of the Society was adopted at the first annual business meeting at Chapel Hill, NC, May 29, 1974. The revision adopted at the fifteenth annual business meeting at Toronto, June 19, 1988 appears in the History of Economics Society Bulletin, 11, no. 1, Spring 1989, pp. 155-60. The Constitution was amended on June 21, 1997 to reflect the change in the name of the Society journal from the History of Economics Society Bulletin to the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, and the addition of an archivist and of a manager of electronic information to the officers of the Society. Article V.2 was adopted on June 15, 1991 and Article IV.3 on June 20, 1998. The Constitution was amended on June 25, 2005 to replace the Secretary-Treasurer position with two officers of the Society, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The Constitution was further amended on June 27, 2009 to allow for more than one editor of JHET and to change how officers are nominated.

2. This Constitution supersedes entirely the original constitution of the Society as previously amended. The ratification of a two-thirds majority of the Membership at its regular business meeting, convened under the authority of the original constitution as amended shall be sufficient to establish this Constitution of the History of Economics Society.

 

Annex
Transition to the New Constitution

1. The purpose of this Annex is to ensure a smooth transition between the previous Constitution and this new Constitution.  All provisions of this Constitution become effective immediately upon ratification, except as specified in this Annex.

2. The President incumbent on the date of ratification shall complete the term specified under the previous Constitution, exercising the duties of the President as specified under the new Constitution.

3. The President-elect shall complete the term specified under the previous Constitution, but shall not automatically assume the office of President at the end of that term.

4. The incumbent President shall appoint an ad hoc Transitional President Nominating Committee (TPNC) consisting of himself as chair and two additional members drawn from Past Presidents of the Society.  The TPNC shall nominate a Transitional President, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee, to serve a two-year term beginning at the regular meeting of the Society in June 2017.  The Transitional President should be a senior member of the Society with substantial recent experience in its governance.  The Transitional President shall exercise all the constitutional functions of the President with the special charge to act to smooth the transition between the previous and new Constitutions and to ensure that the initial implementation of new constitutional provisions is as effective as possible.  On completion of the appointed term, the Transitional President shall become the Immediate Past President and a member of the Executive Committee.

5. The Vice-president incumbent on the date of ratification shall complete the term specified under the previous Constitution, exercising the duties of the Vice-president as specified under the new Constitution.  A Vice-president shall be elected in accordance with the new Constitution in 2017.

6. The Secretary and Treasurer incumbent on the date of ratification shall complete the terms specified under the previous Constitution.  A Treasurer shall be elected to a four-year term in accordance with the new Constitution in 2017.  A Secretary shall be elected to a one-year term in 2017; and a Secretary shall be elected to a four-year term in accordance with the new Constitution in 2018.  The incumbent Secretary and Treasurer shall each be eligible for nomination and election in accordance with the new Constitution, provided that their total continuous service under the old and new Constitutions does not exceed ten years.

7. The Elected Members of the Executive Committee incumbent on the date of ratification shall complete their terms in accordance with the old Constitution.  In any year, when the term of a member elected under the old Constitution expires, the first vacancy shall be filled by election to a full four-year term.  Additional vacancies shall be filled by election to the longest partial term consistent with establishing the rotation of terms specified under the new Constitution, in which there is one election to a full term each year and additional elections to fill the balance of a term whenever a member leaves office prematurely.  The recipient of the largest number of votes shall be elected to the full term; the recipient of the second largest number of votes to the longest currently vacant partial term; and so forth in descending order of votes and term lengths.  Once the Elected Members incumbent on the date of ratification all have completed their terms and new members have been elected, subsequent elections shall be conducted in accordance with the new Constitution.

8. The President incumbent on the date of ratification shall appoint the members of the first Program Committee:  one member each to a full four-year term, and to partial three-year, two-year, and one-year terms.  The Program Committee shall exercise its duties, as described in Article VI, Section 1 of the new Constitution.  It shall be responsible for the program at the annual meeting, starting in 2018.

9. When the last officer elected under the old Constitution is selected in accordance with the terms of this Annex, the Annex becomes moot and no longer a part of the new Constitution.
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Duly adopted at the 42nd annual meeting of the History of Economics Society at Durham, North Carolina on 18 June 2016.

© History of Economics Society 2016 Last updated: 18 June 2016