CHARTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF CHINESE PHYSICISTS AND ASTRONOMERS, Inc
The name of this corporation shall be the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers, hereafter referred to as OCPA.
- CORPORATION STATUS
This Association is a non-profit, professional organization.
The objectives of the Association are:
- to promote international understanding and mutual awareness of scientific achievements by physicists/astronomers all over the world;
- to promote physics/astronomy research and the dissemination of physics/astronomy and related knowledge through academic activities such as seminars, lectures, professional meetings, symposia, workshops, and publications.
- to promote greater awareness by the physics/astronomy community at large of the achievements by ethnic Chinese scientists in physics/astronomy and related fields in this country and abroad; and to offer awards, grants and scholarship to physicists/astronomers of Chinese extraction.
Any physicists, astronomers, and related scientific and engineering professionals interested in the goal of the Association shall be eligible for membership in one of the membership categories as specified in the By-laws.
- REGIONAL AND DIVISIONAL CHAPTERS
OCPA members residing within a certain geographical region or interested in a common subfield may upon consultation with and authorization by the governing body of the Association form a regional or divisional chapter and elect a representative to the governing body. All regional and division chapters shall be open to any interested member of the Association. Functions and activities of all chapters shall be subject to supervision of the governing body of the Association.
By-Laws shall be established to govern the Association. The By-laws shall not conflict with the Charter and shall require the approval by the voting membership.
This Charter and the By-laws may be amended by a 2/3 majority vote of the voting members. Amendments may be proposed by at least 10 in number, and must be signed and presented to the governing body of the Association according to the By-laws.
BY-LAWS OF THE OVERSEAS CHINESE PHYSICS ASSOCIATION, Inc
A. Membership Categories
Active members are all members who pay the annual dues or the life membership fees.
- Regular Member: Any dues-paying professional working in physics, astronomy or related fields.
- Life Member: Any Regular Member who pays life membership fee.
- Student Member: Any student enrolled at an institution of higher learning with a major in physics, astronomy or a related field.
- Institution Member: Any corporate or institutional representative supportive of the objectives of the Association.
B. Nomination and Election of Members
Any physicist, astronomer, related scientific and engineering professional, or physicist/astronomer working in business and industry who shares the goals of the Association can apply for membership. Membership application shall be submitted to the Membership Chairperson or the Treasurer for approval.
Membership lists shall be on public display on the Association website, and kept up to date by the webmaster in cooperation with the Membership Chairperson and the Treasurer.
Regular Members shall participate in discussions of Association related issues, be eligible to vote in an election or on other Association matters, and be eligible to serve as Association officers or as members of the General Council (defined below).
Student Members and Institution Members shall enjoy the same privileges as the Regular Members except for voting in a regular election or on Association matters, and are not eligible to serve as Association officers or as members of the General Council.
II. REGIONAL AND DIVISIONAL CHAPTERS
Members from a geographical region of proximity or subfield may, upon consultation with and authorization by the Executive Council (defined below), form a regional or divisional chapter.
Each regional or divisional chapter shall be represented on the General Council by a Regional or Divisional Coordinator. Activities of all chapters are subject to supervision by the Executive Council.
III. OFFICERS AND GOVERNING BODIES
The officers of the Association consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chairperson, Communications Chairperson, Awards Chairperson(s), Editor-in-Chief, Councilors at Large, and Regional and Division Coordinators. These officers shall themselves be regular members in good standing. The affairs of the Association shall be charged to two Councils, the Executive Council and General Council, both chaired by the President.
The Executive Council (EC) is composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chairperson, Communications Chairperson, Awards Chairperson(s), the immediate Past President, Editor-in-Chief and Councilors at Large.
The General Council (GC) is composed of members of the EC and all the Regional and Divisional Coordinators.
The Executive Council (EC) is entrusted with regular affairs of the Association. The General Council (GC) shall deal with important issues that are deemed to affect the Association in a profound way. The two councils shall seek ways to facilitate interactions between OCPA and other overseas Chinese scientific and professional organization.
Members of the GC, with the exception of the President, the immediate Past President, the Editor-in-Chief, the Award Chairperson(s) and the Councilors at Large are to be elected to serve a two-year term by a majority of the votes of the regular membership.
The EC shall be entrusted with the power to set up Regional and Divisional Chapters and appoint the Nomination and Ballot Committee. The Vice President shall chair the Nomination and Ballot Committee. The EC shall also be entrusted with the power to appoint special committees and study groups to deal with urgent needs and special problems that may arise.
The GC shall be entrusted, under emergency conditions, with the power of temporary suspension of certain rules defined in this Bylaws and seek the approval of the membership in changing the rules.
The Secretary shall assist the President to maintain a record of all Council motions and resolutions, minutes of all Council meetings, and shall periodically report to the membership on all new Council resolutions.
The Treasurer shall handle the financial operation of the Association and, together with the President and Vice President, make budget plans. The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting dues and, with the Communication Chairperson, maintain the membership directory. The Treasurer, together with the President and the Vice President maintain the Strategic and Operational Funds (defined below) of the Association. The Treasurer, with the Chair of the Strategic Fund (defined below) of the Association, shall submit an annual financial report to all members at the conclusion of a calendar year (December).
The Membership Chairperson shall be responsible, together with the Regional and Divisional Coordinators, for the membership recruitment.
The Communications Chairperson shall maintain the OCPA website homepage, distribute electronic news mails and, together with the Treasurer, maintain and update the membership directory.
The Regional and Divisional Coordinators shall represent the regions and divisions, coordinate and promote regional and divisional activities. They shall assist the Membership Chairperson to recruit new members in their regions or divisions. They shall coordinate communications with members in their own region or division, encourage participation of their members in OCPA affairs.
Important regional or divisional issues that mainly affect members of that region or division and require the action of OCPA are normally initiated by the Coordinator of that region or division, after consultation with its general membership, and proposed to the EC for consideration.
The Awards Chairperson(s), nominated by the President for a one-year term and approved by the elected members of the EC, shall be in charge of the Outstanding Young Researcher Awards (OYRA) and the Achievement in Asia Awards (AAA) programs, working with the screening committees in selecting finalists for the Selection Panels, and working with the Selection Panels for the winners. The tenure of an Awards Chairperson can be extended beyond one term by mutual agreement.
The Councilors at Large when whose services are needed can be nominated for up to a two-year term by the president and approved by the elected members of the EC. They advise the officers on all functions of the Association.
The President and Vice-President are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Association, represent the Association in external affairs, and assist the above mentioned Officers and Coordinators in carrying out all the functions of OCPA.
IV. NOMINATION & ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Election of new officers shall be entrusted to a Nomination and Ballot Committee appointed by the Executive Council and the election shall take place every two years. The terms of the officers shall expire at the end of December of the election year.
At each election, the new Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chairperson, Communications Chairperson, as well as Regional and Divisional Coordinators shall be elected. The new Vice President after the two-year term in the office shall succeed the out-going President as the new President.
Nominations of candidates for officers may be made to the Nomination and Ballot Committee by 10 or more regular members. The Nomination and Ballot Committee may in addition place qualified regular members as candidates for new officers.
Names of candidates of officers and their background shall be announced in October and released by electronic mail to the voting members prior to the election. Ballots shall be distributed and collected in November by the Nomination and Ballot Committee. Results of election shall be announced in December.
The Executive council is empowered to make appointment to fill vacancies of officers due to resignation, death, or other causes.
V. ELECTRONIC NEWS FLASHES AND ACTIVITIES
The Association shall send regularly electronic news mails to members. Important news items will be posted in the OCPA Webpage. The Editor-in-Chief, nominated up to a two-year term by the President and approved by the elected members of the EC, shall serve as the Chair of the Board of Editors composed of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Communications Chairperson. Additional Editorial Board members may be nominated by the Editor-in-Chief and approved by the EC as the need arises,. The Board of Editors shall be responsible for setting the policies for the distribution of the electronic news mails. The Board of Editors shall also be empowered to determine which items shall be so distributed.
VI. OCPA PHYSICS AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS
The Association shall establish OCPA physics/astronomy prize(s) to be awarded to young physicist(s)/astronomer(s) judged to be outstanding researchers by an Award Panel of prominent physicists/astronomers. Members of the Award Panel shall be invited to serve by the EC.
For each award a Screening Committee shall be appointed by the Awards Chairperson(s) to select no more than five (5) finalists to submit to the Award Panel for the final selection of the winner(s).
The money for the prize(s) is to be set aside as a line item in the annual budget.
The General Council shall seek to raise funds for a competitive fellowship program that recognizes and encourages excellence of physics/astronomy research. The recipients of the OCPA physics/astronomy prize and fellowship awards do not have to be members of OCPA.
VII. VOTES AND MEETINGS
Votes on and discussion of major issues of the Association may be proposed by the EC and shall be dispensed by E-mail and/or post by the Board of Editors.
The EC shall make effort to hold a general meeting once a year, at a location convenient to the majority of the members. The agenda for such meetings shall be sent to members by electronic mail at least three weeks prior to the said meetings. In the presence of a majority of the Executive Committee, decisions of important issues can be made, and be rectified by the General Council if necessary.
In the development of emergency situations, special meetings and special votes may be proposed to the EC by 25 (twenty-five) VOTING MEMBERS. Upon the adoption of the proposal by the EC, the convening of the special meetings and/or scheduled votes shall be announced in the electronic news mail.
VIII. ANNUAL DUES
The annual membership fee schedules of the Regular, Student, and Institution members and the one time due of Life members shall be determined by the Executive Council.
IX. OCPA STRATEGIC & OPERATION FUNDS
The Association Treasury shall consist of a Strategic Fund and an Operation Fund, in a ratio to be determined by the Executive Council in consultation with the General Council.
The Strategic Fund is to be invested in long term instruments in order to generate future income to be used to promote the objectives of the Association.
The Operation Fund is set aside each year for the annual budget of the Association to support day-to-day operation and the projected activities of the year. The General Council must approve the yearly budget, and set the ratio for the year.
Part of the Operation Fund that support the day-to-day operation shall be held in a bank checking account, with the Treasurer as authorized signatory, and with the President, and Vice-President as single signatory alternates.
The Strategic Fund shall be overseen by a separate Strategic Fund Overseers Board (SFOB), consisting of the Past Presidents, and with the current President, the current Vice President and Treasurer serving as ex officio members of the Board.
The Strategic Fund shall make an annual report to the General Council on the financial status of the fund.
The term of office on the SFOB of each Past President shall be six years from the expiration of the term of office of presidency.
The SFOB shall oversee the management and distribution of the funds. There shall be dual signatories on all disbursements over $5,000 from the Strategic Fund.
Officers may be impeached and removed before their terms by the affirmative votes of at least 2/3 of the members voting. The impeachment shall be based on misconduct, the existence of which would seriously interfere with the normal function of the Association: (a) inattention to the required duties of the office; (b) abusing the power entrusted in the position of the officer; and/or © conflict of interest.
A valid petition of impeachment to the Executive Council shall bear the signatures of 25 (twenty-five) VOTING MEMBERS or 15% of the total voting membership whichever is higher. The Executive Council shall appoint a special independent committee, approved by the General Council, to conduct an investigation. The officer under investigation shall not participate in the selection of the members of the independent committee. This committee shall report the result of their investigation to the General Council absent the official under investigation and shall recommend whether or not a special vote shall be held to remove the officer.
In the event that the special committee recommends against impeachment, the impeachment petition shall be considered withdrawn, unless (i) the petitioners resubmit the petition bearing the signatures of no less than 50 (fifty) or 30% of the total voting membership, whichever is higher; or (ii) the number of the initial signees of the petition already satisfies the requirement of (i); in either case, the petitioners may request and shall be granted a special ballot referendum of the general voting membership on the issue.
XI. AMENDMENTS OF CHARTER AND BY-LAWS
The Charter and the By-laws may be amended by the affirmative votes of at least 2/3 of the members voting. There shall normally be no more than one ballot each year on charter and by-law amendments.
Proposed amendments shall be announced in the Association electronic mails at least 60 days prior to the vote.
Amendments may be proposed, by at least 10% of the VOTING MEMBERS but not less than 20 (twenty) in number, to the President who shall refer the proposed amendment to the Executive Council for evaluation. The Executive Council shall present the supporting statement for the amendment provided by the petitioners in the Association electronic news mail prior to the vote. At the same time, the Executive Council shall present the result of its evaluation and its reasons for or against the proposed amendment.
The Association will be automatically dissolved if a majority of the new officers have not been elected to office 24 (twenty-four) months after such election is due by Article IV of the By-Laws so that the normal functions of the Association are ceased. Upon dissolution, the balance of the financial account of the Association shall be donated to the United Board for Higher Education in Asia.