Article I. Organization

Section 1. Offices

The principal office of the Society for Medical Anthropology (hereinafter known as the SMA), a Section of the American Anthropological Association (hereinafter known as AAA), shall be at 2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201. The SMA may also have offices at such other places as the Executive Board may from time to time determine or the business of the SMA may require.

Section 2. SMA Relationship to AAA

The SMA shall function as a Section of the AAA with all the rights and privileges attached thereto.

  • 2a. Title to Assets. — Any special fund established by the SMA shall be administered by AAA exclusively for programs and purposes designated by SMA.
  • 2b. Governance. —The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the AAA shall govern the SMA.
  • 2c. Bylaws. —The SMA shall adopt and maintain Bylaws consistent with the Bylaws of the AAA. The SMA shall file with the Secretary of the AAA a copy of its current Bylaws and table of organization.

Article II. Purposes

Section 1. Purposes of the SMA

  • 1a. To promote the study of anthropological aspects of health, illness, disease, health care, and related topics;
  • 1b. To encourage communication and utilization of the results obtained from such studies;
  • 1c. To aid in the education of persons who are or will be involved in carrying out the above activities;
  • 1d. To operate exclusively for scientific and educational purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or corresponding provision of future United States Internal Revenue Law).

Section 2. Scope of Activities

The SMA may engage in any and all lawful activities incidental to the foregoing purposes, except as restricted herein.

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Eligibility

Membership in the SMA is open to any individual who wishes to pursue the above objectives, subject to this and all other relevant Articles herein.

Section 2. Membership Dues

The Executive Board shall set the dues of the SMA at a level required to carry out the business of the Society. In doing so, the Board may establish categories of membership with different dues levels, as deemed reasonable and necessary for the needs of the SMA. Individuals in all dues-paying categories shall have the same membership rights as established in these Bylaws. Individuals who have paid dues to the SMA shall be considered Members with all rights and privileges provided in these Bylaws.

  • 1a. SMA Members shall pay membership dues to the AAA as a prerequisite to SMA membership.
  • 1b. Membership dues to the SMA shall include a subscription to the SMA’s official publication.

Section 3. Rights of Members

A Member in good standing shall be eligible to:

  • 3a. Participate as a Member of the AAA to the extent provided in the Bylaws of that organization;
  • 3b. Participate as a Member of the SMA to the extent provided by the Bylaws of the SMA as a Section of the AAA.
  • 3c. A Member may request communications from the SMA by regular U.S. mail wherever communication (including voting) by electronic mail is specified in these By-laws.

Section 4. Institutional Subscribers

Institutions may subscribe to publications of the SMA; however, they shall not be entitled to vote.

Article IV. Meetings and Actions by the Membership

Section 1. Membership Meetings

There shall be an Annual Meeting of the SMA held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the AAA. At least 21 days before the scheduled date of such meeting, the President shall cause a notice of the meeting to be mailed electronically to all SMA Members at their e-mail addresses currently on file.

  • 1a. For purposes of determining the Members entitled to notice of membership meetings, or to vote on motions at any meeting, or to express consent to or dissent from any proposal without a meeting, or to receive any distribution or allotment of any rights, or to participate in any other SMA action, the Executive Board shall fix a date as the Record Date for any such determination of Members. Such date shall not be more than 60 or less than 30 days before any such meeting or any other action.
  • 1b. The quorum for taking official actions of the membership either at meetings or for electronic or postal voting shall be defined as 75 Members or 5% of the membership, whichever is less.
  • 1c. A membership roll showing the list of Members as of the Record Date, certified by the Secretary of the SMA, shall be produced at any meeting of the Members upon the request of any Member who has given written notice to the SMA at least ten days prior to the meeting. All persons appearing on such membership roll shall be entitled to vote at the meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the SMA may be called by a simple majority of the Executive Board or by 75 SMA Members.

  • 2a. At least ten days but no more than 30 days before the scheduled date of the meeting, the President shall cause a notice to be e-mailed to all Members at the addresses as they appear in the membership roll. The notice shall state the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting and by whom it has been called.
  • 2b. No other business but that specified in the notice may be transacted at a special meeting without the unanimous consent of all persons present at such meeting.

Section 3. Order of Business

The order of business at all meetings of the membership shall include: consideration of the Secretary’s minutes of the preceding meeting and the Treasurer’s report. These reports shall be made available to the membership on the SMA website at least 21 days before the meeting. At the discretion of the President, committee reports may also be considered at this point in the meeting. The President may request that one or more of these reports be delivered aloud to the membership. The order of business shall then continue with old and unfinished business, new business, and adjournment.

  • 3a. Annual and special meetings of the membership shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 4. Motions and Voting

Members may make motions from the floor, as provided by Robert’s Rules. In addition, motions may be made by mail to the President at least 30 days prior to annual or special meetings. The President will cause such motions to be forwarded to the full membership electronically at least ten days before a membership meeting and will be discussed and voted on at the meeting.

  • 4a. If a quorum is present at a regular or special meeting of the SMA, motions that receive a majority of the votes cast shall be considered an act of the SMA.
  • 4b. Questions or motions may be brought to the membership electronically by the Executive Board or by a formal motion from a Member or Members. Such motion must be submitted to the President in writing with a second, signed by another Member, and a statement explaining the justification for the motion. The President shall then present the motion to the membership via the SMA list-serve and call for discussion and a vote on the motion within 21 days. The President shall halt on-line discussion of the motion after 14 days and proceed to a vote. Electronic ballots must be dated no later than the 21st day after the President has put the motion to the membership. If a quorum of the Members has voted on the question, then the option that receives a majority of the votes cast shall be considered an action of the SMA membership. The President may shorten the time period for discussion in cases of an urgent motion.

Article V. Governance

Section 1. Management of the SMA

The SMA shall be administered by an Executive Board which shall consist of the Officers, as specified below, and nine additional Members-at-large, including one graduate student. The Editor(s) of the Medical Anthropology Quarterly and the Editor(s) of the SMA column in the AAA Newsletter shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Board.

Section 2. Committees

Committees of the Executive Board shall be constituted by the President to carry out the business of the SMA. These committees shall be chaired by a member of the Board, with additional members drawn from the general membership of the SMA and from other Board members, if needed.

Section 3. Officers

The Officers of the SMA shall be the President, President-elect, Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer, all elected by the SMA membership.

Section 4. Terms of Office

Elections of Officers and Members-at-large of the Executive Board shall be held annually.

  • 4a. Presidential Officers. —Every other year a President-elect shall be elected. The President-elect will serve in that capacity for one year and then assume the office of President, at which time the sitting President shall assume the office of Past President for one year. The President shall serve for two years, in the first year overlapping with the Past President and in the second year, with the President-elect.
  • 4b. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall each serve for three years. Elections for these offices should be held in different years, so that the two offices will not become vacant in the same year.
  • 4c. Members-at-large. —At each election three Members-at-large shall be elected to the Executive Board to serve for a term of three years each.
  • 4d. All Officers and Members-at-large of the Executive Board shall serve for the terms for which they have been elected until a successor has been either elected or appointed (under circumstances specified in Section 8c, below). All terms of office shall commence at the conclusion of the SMA Annual Meeting at the AAA.

Section 5. Duties of Officers

  • 5a. The President shall: (1) serve as the representative of the SMA to the Section Assembly of the AAA; (2) chair official SMA events (this duty may be delegated, as necessary); (3) organize and preside over all Executive Board meetings; (4) establish committees of the Executive Board as necessary to accomplish the goals of the SMA; (5) authorize, together with the Treasurer, all expenditures of the SMA; (6) oversee the smooth operation of the SMA, including the work of the other Officers, chairs of SMA committees, and auxiliary staff (e.g., the webmaster); (7) serve as the Board’s liaison with Editors of SMA publications and news columns and with the officials of AAA publications; (8) prepare and submit an Annual Report of SMA activities to the AAA; (9) exercise responsibility for all electronic communications to the SMA membership; (10) update and maintain the SMA’s Procedures Manual, which should include the responsibilities of every Executive Board committee, including an archive of their annual reports and actions, as well as those of the SMA officers; (11) manage on-going and unanticipated affairs of the Society.
  • 5b. The President-elect shall assist the President and may be assigned special duties by the President, in preparation for assuming the position the following year. In the absence of the President, the President-elect may chair meetings of the Executive Board.
  • 5c. The Past President shall aid and consult with the President, as needed. In the absence of the President, the Past President may chair meetings of the Executive Board.
  • 5d. The Treasurer shall: (1) prepare a budget report for distribution to the Executive Board at least two weeks before all meetings of the Executive Board; (2) prepare an annual financial report for the membership and post it on the SMA website at least 21 days before the annual meeting; (3) monitor the SMA budget and membership numbers throughout the year through frequent communication with relevant AAA departments; (4) authorize, together with the President, all expenditures of the SMA; (5) manage all disbursements of SMA funds; (6) keep all financial and membership records of the SMA and hand them over in good order to the next Treasurer; (7) prepare other financial reports, as needed; (8) develop fundraising plans, as needed; (9) attend all meetings of the Executive Board and the SMA prepared to discuss budget matters; (10) as an Executive Board member, perform committee duties and undertake special projects, as assigned by the President.
  • 5e. The Secretary shall: (1) attend and record minutes of all SMA meetings and, within one month, produce a written record to be posted on the SMA website at least 21 days before the next annual membership meeting; (2) attend and record minutes of all Executive Board meetings and, within one month, produce a written record to be sent electronically to all Executive Board members at least ten days before its next meeting; (3) assure that all SMA records, including agendas and minutes of meetings, committee reports and supporting documents, are retained and passed on to the next Secretary; (4) produce an official list of all SMA members, when called upon to do so; (5) act as liaison with the Smithsonian National Anthropological Archive concerning the SMA archive; (6) as an Executive Board member, perform committee duties and undertake special projects, as assigned by the President.
  • 5f. Members-at-large of the Executive Board shall: (1) assist the Officers in carrying out the duties of the Executive Board; (2) attend all meetings of the Executive Board and of the SMA, unless unable to do so for serious reasons; (3) chair and serve on Executive Board committees, as constituted by the President; (4) keep abreast of SMA business in preparation for participation at meetings of the Executive Board; (5) respond in a timely manner to e-mail queries and requests from the President or other Officers, including matters proposed for an e-mail vote; (6) perform other SMA business, as assigned by the President.

Section 6. Duties of the Executive Board

The Executive Board shall carry out the general business of the SMA by: (1) chairing and serving on committees that manage the affairs of the organization; (2) reviewing and approving the SMA annual budget; (3) approving special fundraising measures; (4) planning SMA special meetings and SMA participation in both annual meetings of the AAA and collaborative conferences with other professional societies; (5) approving all position papers to be circulated publically as official statements of the SMA; (6) overseeing the dues structure, including the creation of categories of membership for dues or other purposes; (7) appointing the Editor of the Medical Anthropology Quarterly and approving the journal’s statement of purpose but leaving editorial policy and management in the hands of the Editor and Editorial Board; (8) appointing the Corresponding Editor of the SMA column in the AAA Newsletter; (9) in collaboration with the President and the webmaster, approving the general content areas of the SMA webpage; (10) reviewing and approving committee recommendations for winners of the Career Achievement and Practice Awards; (11) encouraging and approving the establishment of Interest Groups that fall within the purview of the SMA’s statement of purpose; (12) each year establishing the Record Date for determining those Members eligible for exercising membership rights, as spelled out in Article IV, Section 1a; (13) considering and acting on any other business that comes before it.

Section 7. Operating Procedures of the Executive Board

  • 7a. Quorum of the Executive Board.–For purposes of ascertaining a quorum, the Members-at-large and Officers of the SMA (President, Secretary, Treasurer, and—in relevant years—President-elect or Past President) shall be counted. A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
  • 7b. Actions of the Executive Board.–Members-at-large and Officers are qualified to vote on all matters coming before the Executive Board. Each member present shall have one vote. However, the President shall vote only in cases of a tie. If a quorum is present, the vote of a majority of those present shall constitute an act of the Executive Board. In cases of electronic voting, the vote of a majority of the voting members of the Executive Board shall constitute an act of the Board.
  • 7c. Place and Timing of Executive Board Meetings.—The Executive Board shall generally meet twice a year: once, during the Annual Meeting of the AAA and again, at a time and place to be determined by the President or at least five members of the Executive Board.

Section 8. Nominations, Elections, and Filling Executive Board Vacancies

The President shall appoint an Elections Committee consisting of three members of the Executive Board and two members of the SMA at large. The President shall name the Chair of the Committee from among the three Board appointees.

  • 8a. The Elections Committee shall select the official slate of candidates for President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Members-at-large of the Executive Board. The Committee shall name two candidates for each office. By written petition signed by 75 SMA Members, additional nominees for any office may be placed on the ballot. Such petitions must be submitted to the Chair of the Elections Committee in sufficient time to be included on the AAA election ballot. The Committee will similarly prepare its slate of nominees in time to be included on the AAA election ballot.
  • 8b.Voting. —Electronic ballots for Executive Board elections shall be e-mailed to the membership as part of the annual AAA electronic ballot. The candidate who receives the plurality of the total votes cast for each office (including ballots marked improperly or for an ineligible candidate) shall be elected. In the unlikely event of a tie vote the winner will be determined by a coin toss by the sitting President, in the presence of at least one other Member of the SMA. The results of the election shall be announced at the SMA Annual Meeting and in appropriate publications.
  • 8c.Vacancies on the Executive Board. —In the event of the death or resignation of a member of the Executive Board, the Election Committee shall appoint a successor to serve until the following Annual Meeting. At the first election following the occurrence of a vacancy, candidates shall be placed on the ballot to fill the unexpired term.

Article VI. Amending the Bylaws and Dissolution Procedure

Section 1. Amendments and Dissolution

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by a majority of the Executive Board or by a petition signed by 75 Members. Proposed amendments shall be put to a vote by e-mail ballot. An affirmative vote by two-thirds of the Members voting shall be required for a proposed amendment to be adopted.

Section 2. Dissolution and Reconstitution

Provided at least 100 Members cast email ballots, the SMA may decide, through a simple majority vote, to dissolve in accordance with the Bylaws of the AAA, and having dissolved, to reconstitute itself either as an independent body or as an affiliate of another professional organization.

Approved 12/23/09