Article I. Preamble
The associations that compose the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications believe in the importance of journalism and mass communications as vital forces in a democratic society and hold that sound intellectual training and competence are essential for those who practice them.
Article II. Objectives
The primary objectives of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications are:
- To stimulate and encourage sound programs of education in journalism and mass communications.
- To aid in coordinating education in journalism and mass communications with the needs of practitioners.
- To define and, insofar as possible, to gain acceptance of minimum standards for education in journalism and mass communications.
- To act as a voluntary accrediting agency for educational programs in journalism and mass communications.
Article III. Membership
The membership of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications shall consist of industry, professional and educational membership associations in journalism and in mass communications. Admission to the Council is subject to approval by a majority vote of the Council. A membership association is defined as an organization that has membership criteria, an open application process that allows any person or institution meeting the criteria to join, and collects dues on an annual and/or lifetime basis. This definition includes an association’s related foundation.
In determining eligibility for membership, the Council shall consider an applicant association’s philosophical support of journalism and mass communications education and the concept of accreditation, and its commitment to diversity. A Membership Committee of two educators and two industry representatives shall review applications for membership before consideration by the full Council..
Each member association shall have at least one representative on the Council. Any member association may increase its voting representation with the approval of a majority vote of the Council. Annual dues for all seats are $3,000 per Council member.
All educator members of the Council must be from accredited schools.
Terms of membership for representatives of associations shall be determined by the associations that they represent.
Each industry association shall be entitled to one alternate representative and each educator association to at least half as many alternates as it has representatives. Alternates shall serve at Council meetings in the absence of regular representatives.
The President shall appoint three members to the Council as representatives of the public. These members may not be directly connected with either journalism education or with organizations engaged in the practice of journalism and/or mass communications. The terms of public members shall be for three years, beginning on September 1. No public member may serve more than two consecutive terms.
Article IV. Officers and Duties
The officers of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications shall be a President and a Vice-President, both of whom shall be elected from the representatives of member associations. Both officers shall be elected for three-year terms. An officer may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. The election of officers shall take place at the spring meeting of the Council. All terms of office shall begin on September 1.
At least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting at which officers are to be elected, the Council President shall name a Nominating Committee of one industry representative and two educator representatives to prepare a list of at least one, and not more than two, willing candidates for each of the two offices. Any representative whose term on the Council covers the first year of office shall be eligible for election as President or Vice-President. Nominations from the floor must be solicited. In the event of an officer’s inability to continue in office, a successor shall be elected at the next meeting of the Council to fill the remainder of the term for which the officer was elected.
An officer may complete the term for which elected, even if his/her term as a representative of a member organization expires before his/her term as an officer of ACEJMC expires. In such event the officer shall serve as a representative-at-large and shall have the same voting status as public members.
Upon the election of the Council’s president, the president’s organization may select another representative to assume its seat on the Council until such time as the president’s term ends.
The Council shall elect an Executive Director to serve for an indefinite term, subject to annual review of job performance. The Executive Director shall be considered an officer of the Council.
The President shall be the chief elected officer of the Council and shall call meetings of the Council and its committees, preside at Council meetings, appoint committees, and, subject to the authority of the Council, shall direct all of its activities.
The Vice-President shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President and shall assume such duties as the President may assign.
The Executive Director shall be the chief staff officer of the Council and shall prepare the agenda and minutes of meetings, keep records, perform all duties incident to the office and the accrediting process, and prepare annual reports on the finances and the activities of the Council to be submitted to the Council and to each of the member associations.
The elected officers of the Council shall compose an Executive Committee, with power to transact Council business between Council meetings. Actions of the Executive Committee shall be reported to the Council at its next meeting. The Executive Director shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
Article V. Meetings
The Council year shall begin on September 1.
The Council shall meet annually or semi-annually, in the spring and/or in the fall, and on call of the President or a majority of the members. The place of meetings shall be designated by the President.
All meetings of the Council, except for discussions centered on personnel, shall be open to the public. When accreditation or re-accreditation of a unit is under consideration, the Council’s general deliberations shall be open. The Council shall go into closed session when the discussion centers on individuals. Discussions on individuals shall remain confidential. No official action shall be taken in a closed session, however, and all other discussions that do not focus on individuals shall be open.
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority in all meetings of the Council.
Article VI. Voting
All votes of the Accrediting Council and its Committee shall be taken in public session. A quorum is required for voting and shall consist of fifty (50) percent of the representatives to the Council or to the Committee.
The Council president and the Committee chair shall announce at the beginning of each meeting the conflict of interest policy.
Each representative shall have one vote. An alternate representative shall be entitled to vote in the absence of the regular representative of that association.
If an organization opts to have a substitute member under Article IV, the Council’s president shall not vote, except in cases of a tie.
To preserve parity in voting between industry and educational members at each meeting, any representative may call for a division of the house. When a division is asked, the chair will allocate votes to representatives with seniority of service on the Council as needed to provide parity in voting strength between industry and educational representatives present. The votes of public representatives shall not be considered in counting the division of the house.
Voting for officers and members of the Accrediting Committee shall be by paper ballot. Otherwise voting shall be by voice or show of hands, except that voting shall be by paper ballot on any question upon demand by any representative.
Article VII. Finances
The Council fiscal year shall begin on September 1.
The operation of the Council shall be financed by dues from member organizations, from institutions whose programs are subject to accreditation visits, and from such other sources as may be developed.
An annual budget and financial report shall be prepared by the Executive Director in consultation with the President and approved by the Council.
The Executive Director shall be bonded.
At the end of each fiscal year, an annual certified audit shall be conducted.
The President shall report to the Council both the results of the audit and any suggestions from the certified public accountant hired by the Council.
Article VIII. Accrediting Committee
The Council shall elect an Accrediting Committee, a majority of whose members shall be educators. Terms shall be for three years from September 1 and shall be staggered. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms. The Council President shall be a voting ex-officio member of the Committee. No one may serve at the same time on both the Council and the Accrediting Committee.
Educator representatives on the Council shall suggest to the Council Nominating Committee candidates for educator members and alternates, and industry representatives shall suggest candidates for industry members and alternates of the Accrediting Committee.
The Accrediting Committee shall recommend for election by the Council a Chair and a Vice-Chair from its membership for two-year terms beginning after the first meeting of the Accrediting Committee. The Chair and/or Vice-Chair may be re-elected.
Accrediting Committee meetings shall be open to the public, except for discussions centered on personnel. All Committee votes shall be taken in public session. The Committee shall go into closed session when the discussion centers on individuals. Discussions on individuals shall remain confidential. No official action shall be taken in a closed session, however, and all other discussions that do not focus on individuals shall be open.
If a member of the Accrediting Committee is unable to attend the Committee meeting and requests a replacement, the selection of the person to attend the Accrediting Committee meeting will be made in consultation with the President and the Chair of the Accrediting Committee.
Article IX. Indemnification of Officers and Council Members
1. Every person (and the heirs, executors and administrators of such persons) who is or was an officer or member of the Council, may in accordance with the second section of this article be indemnified by the Council against any and all liability and reasonable expense that may be incurred by him or her in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit or proceeding (whether brought by or in the right of the Council or otherwise), civil or criminal, or in connection with an appeal relating thereto, in which he or she may become involved, as a party or otherwise, by reason of his or her being or having been an officer or member of the Council or by reason of any action taken or not taken in his or her capacity as such officer or Council member, whether or not he or she continues to be such at the time such liability or expense shall have been incurred, provided such person acted in good faith in what he or she reasonably believed to be the best interest of the Council and, in addition, with regard to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful. As used in this Article, the terms “liability” and “expense” shall include, but shall not be limited to, counsel fees and disbursements and amounts of judgments against, and amounts paid in settlement by, an officer or Council member; but shall not include fines or penalties imposed or counsel fees or other expenses incurred in any criminal proceeding resulting in such person’s conviction. The termination of any claim, action, suit or proceeding, civil or criminal, by judgment, settlement (whether with or without court approval) or conviction or upon a plea of guilty or of nolo contendere, or its equivalent, shall not create a presumption that an officer or Council member did not meet the standards set forth in this article.
2. Every person (and the heirs, executors and administrators of such persons) referred to in the first section of this article who has been wholly successful, on the merits or otherwise, with the respect to any claim, action, suit or proceeding of the character described in said first section shall be entitled to indemnification as of right. Except as provided in the preceding sentence, any indemnification under such section shall be made at the discetion of the Council, but only if (i) the officers and Council members or the Executive Committee, acting as a quorum consisting of officers and Council members who are not parties to (or who have been wholly successful with respect to) such claim, action, suit or proceeding, shall find that the officer or Council member has met the standards of conduct set forth in such section, or (ii) independent legal counsel (who may be the regular counsel of the Council) shall deliver to the Council written advice that, in his or her opinion, such officer or Council member has met such standards.
3. Expenses incurred with respect to any claim, action, suit or proceeding of the character described in the first section of this article may be advanced by the Council before the final disposition thereof upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the recipient to repay such amount unless it shall ultimately be determined that he or she is entitled to indemnification under this article.
4. The foregoing rights to indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights to which the officers or Council members may be entitled according to law.
Article X. Amendments
These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of representatives at any meeting at which a quorum is present, provided that a copy of the proposed amendment shall have been submitted to each representative to the Council at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which it is to be considered.