Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE WESTERN NETWORK FOR DIGITAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (Draft)

1. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Western Network for Digital Education and Research (WNDER).

2. PURPOSES

The Western Network for Digital Education and Research (WNDER) is a Western University research group aimed at facilitating and promoting discussion of research and research-informed practices relating to any and all facets of “eLearning,” instructional technology, and blended and online teaching.

The purposes the Society shall be served by:

  • The promotion of excellence in online and blended teaching at Western.
  • The holding of regular meetings at which symposia, papers, workshops, and discussions that follow the purpose of WNDER are presented.
  • The production and publication of discussion papers in both online and print formats on various aspects of digital education and teaching.
  • The authoring of collective and collaborative discussion papers on policy in higher education as it relates to the above.
  • The promotion of sources of funding, employment, and service opportunities to support research-based innovations in digital education at Western.

3. MEMBERSHIP

WNDER voting membership shall be limited to teaching and research faculty of any rank, staff, and graduate students in the employ of, or studying at, Western University.

Undergraduate students at Western may become non-voting members of the group. Members of the general public may, upon successful application to the Board of Officers, also become non-voting members.

No application for membership is required. Admittance to the group, and participation in group activities of any nature, is open to any who fall within the broad categories defined above.

4. MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY

WINDER shall organize meetings at least twice every year, and more often as seems expedient and worthwhile. Each meeting shall include an appropriate program.

One General Assembly shall take place every year, at the last meeting of the group in the Winter term. Notice of the dates of the General Assembly shall be sent to all standing members at least 30 days prior to the scheduled date of the Assembly. All individual members are allowed to vote at the meetings.

5. QUORUM

A quorum for the General Assembly consists of at least 5 members.

6. BOARD OF THE SOCIETY

The governing body of the Society shall be composed of a Convenor, a Communications Officer, and an Advisory Group consisting of 5 elected members of the group, at least one of whom must be a graduate student. All members of the Board shall be nominated by a standing member of the Society and elected by a majority of the members present and voting at the Society’s Annual Meeting. The term of office of a Member of the Board lasts one year, from July 1 to June 30. With the exception of the Graduate Student member of the Advisory Group, which position must be held by a graduate student enrolled at Western, all of these positions may be held by any voting member of the group.

[Text in read marks amendments to the original draft constitution, as accepted by members of the group at the general meeting, 19 September, 2013.]

7. MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF OFFICERS

The Board shall meet at least once a year. The President shall provide at least one month’s written notice of each Board meeting to the officers, stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

8. QUORUM FOR MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF OFFICERS

A majority of officers shall constitute a quorum.

9. ACTIONS OF THE BOARD OUTSIDE BOARD MEETINGS

If Board action is necessary when the Board is not holding a meeting, the President may call for a vote of the Board by electronic mail, preceded, if necessary, by discussion via the same medium. In such cases, the votes of a majority of the officers of the Board shall constitute acts of the Board. The votes shall be recorded and announced to the Board by the Executive Director or the Chair of the Board.

If Board action is necessary regarding emergency and other time-sensitive issues when the Board cannot hold a meeting, the President may call for a vote of the Board by electronic mail, preceded, if necessary, by discussion via the same medium. In such cases, the votes of a majority of the officers of the Board shall constitute interim acts of the Board. The votes shall be recorded and announced to the Members by the Executive Director or the Chair of the Board.

10. LIABILITY

An officer of the Board, representative or member shall not be personally liable for monetary damages unless the officer or other authorized representative performed actions that constitute illegal or willful misconduct, or recklessness. An officer of the Board who performed actions that constitute illegal or willful misconduct or recklessness may be (i) asked to indemnify the Society or any individual affected by the misconduct upon decision of the Board, (ii) reported to the relevant legal authorities upon decision of the Board.

11. FUNDS OF THE SOCIETY

The Board of Officers, in consultation with, and the approval of, the General Assembly and membership, shall determine potential sources for funding for the group. Any and all such funding will be approved by a majority of the Board of Officers.

Funds of the Society shall be derived from membership dues, charitable contributions, and any other sources of funds consistent with the purposes of the Society. The Treasurer of the Society shall maintain accurate records of the receipts, deposits, and disbursements of the Funds of the Society. The authority for receipt, deposit, and the disbursement of funds shall be the Board acting in accordance with the following provisions. Funds designated for special purpose shall be disbursed only for those purposes.

12. AMENDMENTS

Amendments or additions to the Constitution may be proposed only by the Board, or by a petition bearing the signatures of at least 5 members. Proposals for amending or adding to the Constitution must be announced to the Regular Members at least one month in advance of the General Assembly at which it is discussed. Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be presented, for discussion or amendment only. After discussion, the proposed amendment must be submitted to vote. Passage of a proposed amendment requires a majority of the votes cast.

A proposal to replace the current constitution may be proposed as per the process above, but requires a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in order to pass.