constitution & bylaws
The American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry will advance medicine and the practice of psychiatry through:
- Strengthening its membership by enhancing the skills and effectiveness of leaders;
- Providing a forum for the development and exchange of ideas and information;
- Promoting excellence in psychiatric education, research, and clinical care;
- Advocating for health policy to create appropriate psychiatric care for all.
The AACDP is a values driven organization; responsive to and seen as a valuable resource for its members’ enhancing their ability to provide academic departmentally based clinical care, research, and education.
Through the development of strategic partnerships, the organization is recognized by its members as the source for strengthening programs in academic psychiatry. Through its commitment to improving members’ leadership skills, keeping members up to date on developments and innovations and its advocacy commitment to mental health, academic departments of psychiatry are well respected and supported in their schools and states. The AACDP is an international leader in advocating for better mental health policy. Through its work in advocacy and education, it improves the practice of medicine and improved mental health care nationally.
These are the values that bring us, and hold us, together. And these are the values that will guide our work. We are committed to:
- The preservation of the academic enterprise
- The growth and survival of academic psychiatry
- The importance of scholarship and research
- Providing clinical services that are on the cutting edge
- Advocacy on health issues
- The integrity of our departments
- Timely and accurate communication with members and interested parties
- Mutual support of each other
- Developing our faculty to achieve their fullest potential
- Fostering diversity within our organization and the organizations we represent
- Developing an organization that is an authority, visible, vocal, and influential regarding psychiatric disorders
- Excellence in all we do
The name of the Association shall be the “American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry”.
The objectives of the Association shall be: (1) The promotion of medical education, research, and patient care, particularly as these concern psychiatry. (2) To promote the growth and continuing development of the discipline of psychiatry. (3) To provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas among chairs of departments of psychiatry in medical schools of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. (4) To provide appropriate liaison between chairs and various individuals and organizations whose activities bear on the objectives of this Association. To have the power to take other action as is deemed desirable and necessary by the Association to accomplish its objectives fully.
Section 1. One psychiatrist representing each accredited medical school in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada is eligible for voting membership in this Association. The school must be accredited in the United States and Puerto Rico by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and in Canada by the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges. Chair members from Canadian schools shall have all privileges of membership. The psychiatrist must be the current chair or acting chair of the department of psychiatry or the one person designated by the chief academic/administrative office of the medical school (dean) as the administrative head of the department or division of psychiatry in the school.
In the event that the medical school chair is separate from the teaching hospital chair, both chairs would be eligible for membership with the approval of the medical school chair who has the primary relationship to the chief academic/administrative office of the medical school (dean).
Section 2. A psychiatrist becomes a member of this Association by being appointed chair of a department of psychiatry through an accredited school, with the endorsement of the Executive Council, and upon payment of membership dues. In the event of multiple chairs from a single medical school, each is required to pay dues to activate membership.
Section 2a. Current Association members who are in good standing may nominate vice-chairs or associate chairs from their department to become non-voting members of this Association.
Section 3. A member who ceases to be chair, acting chair, or person designated by the dean as the one administrative head of the department or division of psychiatry in the school automatically ceases to become a voting member and the person holding that position becomes eligible.
Section 4. Any member whose school loses accreditation forfeits all memberships.
Section 5. A member may be expelled on recommendation of the Council and on approval of that recommendation by two-thirds of the members attending a regular meeting. However, the Executive Council will not make such recommendation until after the member has been advised and given opportunity of being heard by the council at its next regular scheduled, or at a special, meeting at the Council’s discretion.
Section 6. Honorary Membership Amendment
Former chairs and other psychiatrists serving in senior academic leadership positions may be nominated for honorary membership by any active member in good standing. Upon approval by the majority of the Executive Council, their name will be presented at a general membership meeting. If then approved by the majority of those present, they will be invited to become honorary members.
Honorary members will be invited to and may attend any meetings of the organization, but cannot vote or hold office.
Officers and Councilors, Executive Council Defined
Section 1. The officers of this Association are a President, a President-Elect and a Secretary-Treasurer. Their duties are the ones usually associated with those titles and more fully described in the Bylaws.
Section 2. These officers together with three Past Presidents and three elected Councilors make up the Executive Council. Representatives to the Council for Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges also are ex-officio members of the Executive Council. The representative to the Governance Committee of Academic Psychiatry also is also an ex-officio member of the Executive Council.
Section 3. The Council has all the powers of the Association in the interval between meetings. The Council is required to meet at least once each year before the Annual Meeting. Other meetings may be held on call of the President. The President will call a meeting on receiving a written request signed by three or more members of the Council.
Section 4. All Officers and Councilors will be elected at the Annual Meeting unless a special meeting is called for elections. Candidates for office and Council positions will be nominated and elected in such manner and for such term as determined in the Bylaws.
Section 5. Each successful candidate assumes office at the close of the meeting in which he or she is elected and services until a successor is installed.
Section 1. The Association will meet at least once a year at such time and such place as will be designated by the Council. The program for the Annual Meeting will be the responsibility of the Council and assisted by the Program Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer will notify each member of the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting; such notices being sent out at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date.
Section 2. Special meetings will be held on call of the President.
Section 3. Any twenty members may, by signed petition, instruct the President to call a special meeting, indicating in the petition the reason therefore. On receipt of such a petition, the President will call the special meeting.
Section 4. No guests or substitutes may participate in the business meeting of the Association. However, the Council may invite nonmembers or guest speakers or contributors to the program portion of the meeting or to attend any other portion of a meeting.
The quorum is defined in the Bylaws
The amount of the Annual Dues will be determined by a Bylaw.
Amending the Constitution
This constitution may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members voting and present at any meeting or by mail by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership roster, provided that the amendment must be written and circulated to the full roster of membership at least a week before any vote is taken. Amendments may be proposed by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee or by petition signed by five members.
Amending the Bylaws
Section 1. The Association may amend a bylaw or adopt a new bylaw by an affirmative vote of a majority of those present and voting at any general membership meeting or by mail with the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership. The proposed amendment or new bylaw must be written and circulated to the full roster of membership at least three days before any vote is taken. Amendments or new bylaws may be proposed by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee or by any member.
Section 2. A bylaw may be repealed by passing a bylaw to that effect.
OF CHAIRS OF DEPARTMENTS
Handbook of Parliamentary Procedure, Second Edition, Henry A. Davidson, M.D., is the parliamentary authority of this Association.
Tenure of Membership
When a member ceases to hold the position, which qualified him or her for membership, or if the member’s school loses accreditation, he or she becomes ineligible for membership and for holding office or position as Councilor.
Attendance at Meetings and Quorum Defined
Meetings are to be attended only by members and guests invited with the approval of the President. The members in good standing present at a properly convened meeting constitute a quorum.
The amount of annual dues will be set by the Executive Council and requires approval by a majority of those present at the Annual Meeting.
Duties of Officers and Councilors
A. The President is the parliamentary head of the association and presides at all general membership meetings and prepares the agenda for all meetings. The President serves as the Chair of the Executive Council and is responsible for implementing all membership and Council decisions. As Chair of the Executive Council, the President is responsible for conferring with the Council in order to deal with the business of the Association throughout the year. With Council authorization, the President, in furtherance of the work of the Association, may expend funds and appoint task forces, committees, liaison representatives, and delegates in addition to those provided for in the bylaws.
B. The President-Elect becomes familiar with the office of the President and the work of the Association during his or her term as President-Elect. The President-Elect presides in place of the President in case of the absence or disability of the President.
The President-Elect is automatically installed as President when a new President-Elect is installed.
C. The Secretary-Treasurer records the minutes of all general membership meetings and all Executive Council Meetings; conducts correspondence; keeps a current roll of members in good standing; receives applications for membership and letter of resignation; collects dues; makes disbursements; keeps the books of the Association; and submits the books for review to the Executive Council prior to the annual meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer presides in the absence or disability of both the President and the President-Elect.
D. The Immediate Past President serves as Parliamentarian and as Councilor for the year after leaving the offices of the President, and will continue as a member of the Council for two more years for a total of three years past their year as President.
E. The elected Councilors, together with the current officers and Past Presidents serving out terms as Councilors, make up the Executive Council. The Association’s representatives to the Council for Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges are ex-officio members of the Executive Council.
F. The Executive Council will meet at least once prior to the annual meeting and may be at any time on call of its Chairman or on request of any three members. The Executive Council has all of the authority of the Association in the interval between general membership meetings. It makes all decisions, authorizes appointment of such additional committees and task forces and expenditure of such funds as may be desirable to carry on the work of the Association. The actions of the Executive Council are governed by this Constitution and Bylaws and are subject to review by the membership. Decisions made by the Executive Council in Council meetings will be made by a majority of those present. Those members of the Council who are present, but not voting, will be counted as voting no. A vote of the Executive Council may be taken by mail, in which case a majority of the eligible membership of the Council is required to pass a resolution or motion.
Nomination, Election, and Terms of Office for Officers and Councilors
A. Officers and Councilors are elected at the annual meeting, unless a special meeting is called to fill interim vacancies.
B. A President-Elect, a Secretary-Treasurer, and one Councilor are elected at each annual meeting. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President-Elect, a President will also be elected at the annual meeting.
C. Officers and councilors may be nominated by:
- Recommendation of the Nominating Committee appointed by the President.
- Petition, when the nominating petition is signed by five or more members in good standing.
- From the floor with the consent of the nominee.
D. Election is by written secret ballot unless there is only one candidate for the office or position, in which case the election may be by voice vote.
E. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes of those present and voting is elected.
F. The President-Elect is elected for a one-year term then serves the following one year as President, Vacancy in the office of President-Elect will be filled by special election or by election of a President at the next annual meeting.
G. The President is elected to a one-year term as President, and will continue as a member of the Council for a one-year term on the Executive Council as Councilor and Parliamentarian and will continue as a member of the Council for two more years for a total of three years past their year as President. A vacancy in the office of President is filled by the President-Elect immediately assuming the duties of the President for the unexpired term. In this case, the same person fills two offices, that of President-Elect and President, and no vacancy in the office of President-Elect occurs, so that the President-Elect serves as President for one unexpired term and is installed as President on the expiration of that term for a full term.
H. The Secretary-Treasurer is elected for a one-year term.
I. Each Councilor is elected for one three-year term and the same person may not be reelected for two consecutive full terms as Councilor.
J. The Association’s two official delegates to the Association of American Medical Colleges are ex-officio members of the Executive Council.
K. The Association’s official representative to the Governing Council of Academic Psychiatry is an ex-officio member of the Executive Council. The term of service is to be determined in conjunction with Governance Council and Editor-in-Chief of the journal.
All interim vacancies occurring among the Officers as a result of death, resignation, or incapacity shall be filled by the Council until the annual meeting of the Association, unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws.
A. One general membership meeting each year will be designated the annual meeting by the Executive Council. A report from the Executive Council, the Officers, and all Committees will be presented at this time. Officers and Councilors will be elected at the annual meeting. All decisions are made by a majority of those members present and voting.
B. Special meetings will be held on call of the President.
C. Any twenty members may, by signed petition, instruct the President to call a special meeting, indicating in the petition the reason therefore. On receipt of such petition, the President will call a special meeting.
Committees, Task Forces
Section 1. There shall be the following Standing or Constitutional Committees: The Executive Council, a Nominating Committee, a Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
Section 2. The Executive Council may propose and the President may appoint Task Forces and Committees as is necessary for the organization.
Section 3. The Past President shall serve as the Chair of the Communications Committee.
Executive Council Meetings
The Executive Council will meet at least once prior to the annual meeting and may meet at any time on call of its Chairman or on request of any three members. Decisions are made by a majority vote of those present. A member who is present, but not voting, will be counted as voting no.
Dissolution of Association
In consideration of the possibility that the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry be dissolved, the following procedure would pertain to the treasury and investments of this organization:
A. That for all member departments having a membership status of three years or less, the amount representing one year’s dues be returned to that department..
B. That for all departments with a membership of more than three years, they share equally in all monies, funds, and investments remaining after the membership dues have been paid out to the above.
ACCEPTED: May 2018
Download a PDF of the By Laws