Constitution & By-Laws

TCA CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS

Revised Spring 2022

ARTICLE I: Name.

The name of the organization shall be the Tennessee Communication Association, hereafter referred to as TCA.

ARTICLE II: Purpose.

TCA seeks the improvement of communication education at all levels in Tennessee, encourages research in communication, and fosters community recognition of effective communication.

Tennessee Communication Association is a 501 (c) organization. The fiscal year for the organization is January 1 to December 31.

ARTICLE III: Membership.

Membership in TCA shall be open upon application and payment of dues to any person interested in promoting TCA’s purpose.

ARTICLE IV: Executive Committee.

Section 1:

The voting officers of TCA shall be a President, President-Elect, Executive Director, Immediate Past President, and Journal/Newsletter Editor. These officers shall function collectively as the Executive Committee of TCA. The Webmaster shall also serve as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.

Section 2:

The President shall serve for a period of one year in that capacity. The President-Elect shall serve a year in that capacity and then serve a year as president. The Immediate Past President shall serve for a year in that capacity, immediately following his/her tenure as President. The Executive Director shall serve for a period of three years.

A. The Journal/Newsletter Editor shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and shall be a voting member thereof.

B. The WebMaster shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and shall serve as a non-voting member thereof.

Section 3:

The Executive Committee shall have the authority to fill any vacancy other than the Presidency, when necessary.

Section 4:

The Executive Committee shall retain ultimate responsibility for the work of the association and shall make policy and ad-hoc decisions, as needed, when the full membership is not in session (e.g. other than at the annual meetings), and in accordance with Constitutional guidelines.

Section 5:

A. President: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of TCA and of the Executive Committee, to appoint committees and committee chairpersons with the approval of the Executive Committee; to serve as a liaison between TCA and all related organizations; to serve as ex-officio member of all standing committees; to attend Southern States Communication Association’s annual conference; and to perform other duties usually attached to the office of President, including supervision of the annual nomination and election process.

B. President-Elect: It shall be the duty of the President-Elect to plan the program for the fall conference for the annual meeting following his/her election (e.g. elected in spring of 1999 to plan fall 2000 meeting); to attend the Southern States Communication Association’s annual conference; and to assist the President with the total work of TCA as the President may assign. The President-Elect shall become President at the fall conference, the year following his/her election (i.e. a person elected in spring 1999 ascends to the office of President at the annual business meeting in 2000), or when the President is unable to serve.

C. Executive Director: It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to receive and disburse funds, to prepare periodic reports on the financial condition of TCA and that are required as a result of 501(c) nonprofit status (Annual Report and a 990-N for the IRS) , to keep minutes of each annual business meeting for approval at the next, to perform other duties usually attached to the office of Executive Director, and to act at the request of the President and/or Executive Committee. It shall also be the responsibility of the Executive Director to attend the annual meeting of the Southern States Communication Association, and to schedule a TCA Executive Committee meeting annually at the SSCA conference.

D. Immediate Past President: It shall be the duty of the Immediate Past President to chair the Membership Committee; to undertake initiatives designed to increase membership; and to attend the annual meeting of the Southern States Communication Association. The Immediate Past President shall also chair a selection committee that will sponsor a competition among students and [solicit a panel of three judges to select] the outstanding undergraduate, masters, and Ph. D. level research papers submitted [and accepted for presentation at the conference.] These papers shall be recognized appropriately and presented in a special program at the annual conference.

E. Journal/Newsletter Editor: It shall be the duty of the Journal/Newsletter Editor to produce and distribute an association newsletter during the early spring and early fall terms in order to facilitate planning and attendance at the annual convention of the association and to publicize other information vital to the association and its members. The newsletter will be sent by the Journal/Newsletter Editor via electronic format to the Executive Director and the Webmaster. It will be posted to the Tennessee Communication Association website. Members will be notified of the publication date and/or the electronic link to the newsletter by the Executive Director.

F. Webmaster: It shall be the duty of the Webmaster to maintain and update the Tennessee Communication Association’s website as needed.

G. Committees: All committees shall make recommendations to the Executive Committee and shall exercise powers as authorized by the Executive Committee. Committees are:

Membership Committee, whose function it shall be to encourage persons interested in the purposes of the organization to become members. The Immediate Past President of the TCA shall chair and the chairs of the various Interest Groups shall serve as members of the committee.

Committee on Awards, whose function it shall be to determine recipients of the awards authorized by the Executive Committee. The Executive Director shall chair, and all past presidents active in the organization shall service on the committee. The chairperson shall provide guidelines and call for nominations from the members when the call for conference proposals is published, and the nominations shall be submitted electronically to the chairperson on the same date that the proposals are due. The nominations will be electronically forwarded by the chair to the past presidents and a vote will be taken after a period of time allowed for discussion.

Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee. Duties are outlined in Article III of the ByLaws.

H. Interest Group Chairpersons.

Interest groups shall be established to represent major specializations in communication, their activities to be directed by elected chairpersons. Standing interest groups are Argumentation and Forensics, Corporate and Organizational Communication, Curriculum and Instruction, Interpersonal and Small Group Communication, Mass Communication, and Rhetoric and Public Address. Interest group chairpersons are elected in the Spring and take office at the end of the Fall Conference each year. They are responsible for planning and proposing programs to the President-Elect for the next year’s conference. They also shall serve on the membership committee under the leadership of the Immediate Past President.

ARTICLE V: Amendments.

Section 1:

Amendments to the Constitution and/or By-laws my be initiated by a majority of the Executive Committee or by a petition submitted to the President by any ten members of TCA.

Section 2:

All proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for its consideration. If the executive committee approves the proposed amendment, then it must be submitted within thirty days of endorsement to a vote by mail of the membership. If the Executive Committee rejects the proposed amendment, then the President must submit the matter at the next business meeting of TCA. If a majority of those present and voting at the TCA meeting endorses the proposed amendment, then it must be submitted to a vote by mail of the membership within 30 days.

Section 3:

Final action on an amendment shall be taken by mail-in ballot. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required for adoption of the amendment.

Section 4:

Amendments shall take effect immediately following their adoption.

BYLAWS

Revised Fall, 2014

Article I: Dues.

Section 1:

There shall be five classes of membership in TCA: student (full-time high school, undergraduate, and graduate); adjunct (part-time faculty member and/or part-time employee); regular (full-time faculty and/or full-time employee); emeritus (member of retired status because of age or disability who has held membership or attended annual meetings for 15 years); and honorary (special member as selected by a majority of the Executive Committee). Annual dues for all membership categories shall be determined by the Executive Committee. The TCA membership year runs from Fall Conference to Fall Conference.

Section 2:

Membership fees will be established by the voting membership at annual conference on an as needed basis. Student and adjunct members will pay reduced membership fees as determined by voting membership.

Section 3:

Any other person may be admitted to regular membership.

Section 4:

Any member of retired status because of age or disability who has held membership or attended annual meetings for 15 years shall be granted, upon self-identification on registration form, an emeritus membership and shall be exempt from payment of dues and entitled to all privileges of TCA. Emeritus members shall be expected to pay conference meal costs.

Section 5:

Any person who by virtue of service or performance has contributed substantially to the purposes of speech communication in Tennessee may be elected to honorary membership by a majority of the Executive Committee. There shall be no dues for honorary members.

Article II: Meetings and Conferences.

Section 1:

The TCA shall hold an annual conference each fall at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Committee. In addition to instructional and research programs, a business meeting of all members shall be held at each conference. Additional business meetings may be called by the Executive Committee. Conference fees shall be approved by the voting membership as needed.

Article III: Nominations and Elections.

Section 1:

The President shall appoint a nominating committee of at least three persons and shall designate one of these as chair for the committee. The nominating committee shall name one or more candidates for the office of President-Elect and shall name one or more candidates for the office of chairperson of each interest group. Every third year the nominating committee shall name one or more candidates for the office of Executive Director. The nominating committee shall report its slate of nominees to the Executive Director by March 1 of each calendar year. Provisions shall be made to allow for “write-in” candidates for all officers and interest group chairs.

Section 2:

Voting for President-Elect, Executive Director (during every third year), and interest group chairs shall take place during the month of April. The incumbent Executive Director shall mail (electronic or US Postal Service mail) ballots to the entire membership by no later than April 1. Only ballots postmarked (electronic or US Postal Service mail) on or before May 1 shall be counted.

Section 3:

It shall be the duty of the incumbent Executive Director to notify the membership, by electronic or US Postal Service mail, of the results of the balloting by May 15. If the Executive Director announces a tie vote for any office, the names of the two candidates receiving the most votes shall be submitted to a run-off ballot by electronic or US Postal Service mail.

Section 4:

Installation of new officers shall take place at the business meeting of the annual Fall Conference following the balloting announced on May 15.

Article IV: Quorum.

Section 1:

A quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be a simple majority of its voting membership.

Section 2:

A quorum at any business meeting of TCA shall be those members attending.

Article V: Amendments.

Amendments to these by-laws shall be through the process described in Article V of the Constitution.

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