Constitution, Bylaws and Rules (Revised: July, 2017)
ASSOCIATION OF OVERSEAS CHINESE AGRICULTURAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND FOOD ENGINEERS (AOCABFE)
(NOTE: The Constitution will be followed by Bylaws and Rules arranged contiguously by subject. For convenient reference, corresponding article numbers are used in all three sections. The letters C, B, or R denote articles of the Constitution, Bylaws or Rules, respectively.)
ARTICLE C1, NAME AND GOVERNMENT
Sec. 1 The name of this association is the Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological, and Food Engineers (AOCABFE), AOC for short.
Sec. 2 The Association is established on July 31, 2001 in Sacramento, California, USA.
Sec. 3 The working languages of the Association are English and Chinese.
Sec. 4 The Association shall be governed by this Constitution, and by Bylaws and Rules in harmony therewith.
ARTICLE C2, OBJECTS
Sec. 1 The objects of the Association are to promote information exchange and networking among agricultural, biological, and food engineers of Chinese origin worldwide; to facilitate collaboration in research; to foster educational exchange; to enable technology transfer; and to encourage professional development.
ARTICLE C3, MEMBERSHIP
Sec. 1 The membership shall consist of Fellows, Members, Corresponding Members, Student Members, Honorary Members, and Institutional Members.
Sec. 2 Every person or institution admitted to membership shall be subject to the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of the Association.
Sec. 3 The distinguished members shall be awarded for their outstanding contributions to the research areas and the association. The awardee shall be determined by the award committee, which shall be chaired by the immediate Past President and consist of all current board members and President-Elect and Presidents in the past 3-5 years.
ARTICLE C4, QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION
Sec. 1 Qualifications and selection procedures for membership grades shall be provided in the Association Bylaws.
ARTICLE C5, FEES AND DUES
Sec. 1 The annual dues for membership shall be as provided in the Bylaws. The Executive Board may, by a three-fourths ballot vote of its members, change any then existing schedule of annual dues.
Sec. 2 The Executive Board may remit the fees or dues of any member for any special reason.
ARTICLE C6, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Sec. 1 The affairs of the Association shall be managed by an Executive Board chosen from its membership, that shall have (1) full control of the activities of the Association subject to the limitations of this Constitution and the results of letter ballots, and (2) power to enact, amend, or repeal Bylaws and Rules in harmony with the Constitution.
Sec. 2 The Executive Board shall consist of the President, the immediate Past President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Foundation Director, Student Advisor, Newsletter Editor, Web Manager, up to five (5) At-large members, and Directors of four (4) Geographic Units: America (North and South), China, Europe-Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
Sec. 3 The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year at the time as the Executive Board may select, and at the call of the President. A simple majority shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Board.
Sec. 4 The Executive Board shall provide for a complete yearly report of the business affairs of the Association, which shall be presented at and form a part of the proceedings of the annual business meeting.
ARTICLE C7, ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Sec. 1 Election of the President and members of the Executive Board shall be held annually by vote on the annual business meeting and electronic mail and the returned ballots shall be counted under the supervision of the Nomination Committee. The Nomination Committee shall be chaired by the immediate Past President and consist of the current President, President-Elect, and three Past Presidents immediately before the immediate Past President.
Nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary two months before the annual meeting. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be elected. In case of tie votes, the Executive Board shall take appropriate action to break the tie. If an election cannot be held by mail in advance due to any uncontrollable cause, the election may be also conducted at the annual meeting when at least 20% of the voting members in good standing are in
attendance. Election results shall be conveyed to the candidates and presented at the annual meeting for recognition.
Sec. 2 Election of the Director of each Geographic Unit shall be held biennially, one month before the annual meeting of the Association. The election shall be conducted by the incumbent Director of the Geographic Unit and the incumbent Secretary of the Association.
Each qualified voter shall be entitled to vote for a candidate for the Director of the Geographic Unit where the voter is residing. Nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Association three months before the annual meeting.
Sec. 3 The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Student Advisor, and Newsletter Editor shall serve for a one year term and Web Manager for a two year-term. The At-large members shall be elected with their terms staggered in such a manner as only two of the members shall be elected in any given year. At-large members of the Executive Board, and the Geographic Unit Directors shall serve for a term of two (2) years and may be re-elected for successive terms. The Executive Board shall have the authority to fill Board member vacancies by appointment until the next election.
Sec. 4 All members of the Executive Board shall assume their respective positions at the close of the last Board meeting.
ARTICLE C8, OFFICERS
Sec. 1 The officers of the Association shall consist of the President, Vice President, Past President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Foundation Director, Student Advisor, and Newsletter Editor of the Association.
Sec. 2 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Secretary for one year.
Sec. 3 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Treasurer for one year.
Sec. 4 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Student Advisor for one year.
Sec. 5 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Newsletter Editor for one year.
Sec. 6 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Web Manager for two years.
Sec. 7 The Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as Foundation Director for one year.
Sec. 8 Any vacancy in the office of Secretary, Treasurer, Student Advisor, Newsletter Editor, and Web Manager shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Board.
Sec. 9 President-Elect shall succeed the presidency at the end of the annual meeting one year after the election.
Any vacancy in the office of President, Vice President, President-Elect, and Past President shall be filled as follows:
Position to be filled Person to fill vacancy Person to fill vacancy
(first alternative) (second alternative)
President Vice President Executive Board Appointment
President-Elect Vice President Executive Board Appointment
Vice President One of At-Large Members Executive Board Appointment
Past President Most Recent Past President Executive Board Appointment
In the case of vacancy in the office of Vice President, the Board member succeeding the office of Vice President shall be selected by a simple majority of the Execution Board.
ARTICLE C9, MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Sec. 1 The annual meeting of the Association shall be held at times and places as the Executive Board shall appoint.
Sec. 2 There shall be an annual business meeting of the Association during the annual meeting. At business meetings 10 members shall constitute a quorum.
Sec. 3 An action of a business meeting of the Association shall be deemed an action of the Association as a whole. Any expenditure by such action is subject to approval and authorization by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE C10, PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL UNITS
Sec. 1 The Executive Board may authorize the organization of Professional and Technical Committees composed of members of any or all grades, which shall operate under the provisions of the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules.
ARTICLE C11, GEOGRAPHIC UNITS
Sec. 1 The Geographic Units composed of all members in the defined area shall operate under the provisions of the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules.
ARTICLE C12, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Sec. 1 At any business meeting of the Association any person entitled to vote may propose in writing an amendment to this Constitution, provided that it shall bear the written endorsement of at least five members.
Such proposed amendment shall not be voted on for adoption at that meeting, but shall be open to discussion and modification and to a vote as to whether, in its original or modified form, it shall be electronically mailed to Association members.
If the members present at the meeting, not less than ten voting in favor thereof, shall so decide, then the Secretary shall electronically mail to each member entitled to vote, at least sixty days previous to the next business meeting of the Association, a copy of the proposed amendment as so decided by the said vote, accompanied by any comment the Executive Board may elect to make.
The adoption of the amendment shall require a vote in its favor of two- thirds of the votes cast.
The President of the Association following the close of the ballot shall announce the result, and if the amendment is adopted, it shall thereupon take effect.
Sec. 2 This Constitution shall go into effect upon announcement of its adoption by two-thirds of the votes of members voting.
BYLAWS AND RULES
(Arranged contiguously by subject)
ARTICLE B1, GOVERNMENT
Par. 1 Every question that shall come before a meeting of the Association or of the Executive Board or of a Geographic Unit within the Association, shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules. Votes may be taken by mail or other communications, except on matters on which action in a meeting is specifically required.
Par. 2 Except where otherwise specified, a simple majority of any group within the Association shall constitute a quorum of the group; action will be determined by a simple majority of members present and voting.
ARTICLE B2, OBJECTS
Par. 1 The objects of the Association shall be accomplished by:
1-Establishing mutually benefiting cooperation and working relationship between the Association and related professional societies in China and other countries.
2-Encouraging joint research projects, sabbatical leaves, visiting scholarship, mutual delegation visits between Association members and agricultural, biological, and food related societies in China or other countries.
3-Sponsoring or holding scientific symposia or conferences to provide forums for presenting and discussing issues on education, research, and development related to Chinese culture.
4-Holding meetings for the presentation and discussion of original research, education, and technology transfer.
5-Publishing research and education materials presented by Association members.
6-Publishing newsletters of the Association in both English and Chinese languages.
7-Developing a Web site and host communication groups in mobile platforms for the Association.
8- Raising funds to promote AOC, and support scholars and students in China and abroad to participate in AOC activities.
ARTICLES B3, ORGANIZATION
Par. 1 MEMBER ASSEMBLY: The Member Assembly shall be the authoritative governing body of the Association. There shall be two types of Member Assembly: the Annual Meeting and the Special Meeting.
Par. 2 EXECUTIVE BOARD: The Executive Board shall consist of President, Vice President, Past- President, President-Elect, five (5) At-large members, and Directors of four (4) Geographic Units, one (1) Secretary, one (1) Treasurer, one (1) Foundation Director, one (1) Student Advisor, 1) Newsletter Editor and (1) Web Manager. The President, Vice President, and five (5) At-large members are elected by the voting members each year, Directors of Geographic Units are elected every second year, and the Secretary, Treasurer, Student Advisor, and Newsletter Editor are appointed by the Executive Board every year.
The Executive Board shall conduct the affairs and business of the Association between Member Assemblies.
Par. 3 PRESIDENT: The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Association, preside the Executive Board and Annual meetings, perform other duties and exercise other power as the Executive Board shall delegate him/her. The President may form special committees and appoint additional Secretaries and other staff during his/her term to assist the affairs of the Association.
The President’s duties are to ascertain that programs, meetings, and other activities of the Association are properly planned and executed, and to oversee the officers and each Committee in carrying out their functions.
The President shall serve for a term of one (1) year.
Par. 4 PRESIDENT-ELECT: The President-Elect shall assist the President, formulate plans for his/her presidency including appointing Committee chairperson for each Committee. The President-Elect shall succeed the presidency immediately after the annual Member Assembly.
Par. 5 VICE PRESIDENT: The Vice President shall assist the President in conducting the affairs of the Association, and usually serves as the chairperson of the Annual Meeting Committee and perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence.
Par. 6 AT-LARGE MEMBERS AND DIRECTORS: The At-large members and Directors shall represent members to serve in the Executive Board, assist the President in conducting the affairs of the Association, and be responsible for submission of matters on behalf of the members of the Association. The At-large members and Directors shall serve for a term of two (2) years and may be re-elected for successive terms.
Par. 7 SECRETARY: The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Association, maintain membership records, update the Association’s directory and perform all other duties pertaining to the office of the Secretary. The Secretary shall serve for a term of one year and may be re-appointed for successive terms.
Par. 8 STUDENT ADVISOR: The Student Advisor shall act as a liaison between the Executive Board and Student Activities Committee and provide any needed assistance to the Student Activities Committee in organizing student activities. The Student Advisor shall serve for a term of one year and may be re-appointed for successive terms.
Par. 9 NEWSLETTER EDITOR: The Newsletter Editor shall serve as the Chair of the Publication Committee and be responsible for the publication of the Association newsletter. The Newsletter Editor shall serve for a term of one year and may be re-appointed for successive terms.
Par. 10 WEB MANAGER: The Web Manager shall serve as the Chair of the Web Improvement Committee and be responsible for information updating and system upgrading of the Association web site. The Web Manager Editor shall serve for a term of two years and may be re-appointed for successive terms.
Par. 11 Foundation Director: The Foundation Director share serve as the Chair of the Foundation Division and be responsible for fund raising activities of the Association. The Foundation Director shall serve for a term of one year and may be re-appointed for successive terms.
Par. 12 Technical Committees shall be formed on an as-needed basis by groups of members with common interests in their professional activities.
ARTICLES B4, PROTOCOL OF NOMINATION
Par1. Nomination Committee shall solicit potential candidates from the membership in the Newsletter before a final list is compiled. Any member may suggest names of candidates for the President-Elect and other elected officers to the Nomination Committee by submitting a biographic sketch of each candidate along with a signed statement of the candidate that he/she is willing to hold office if elected. Qualification of candidates for the President-Elect shall include but not limited to: (1) having at least three-year Membership or being a charter member in good standing, (2) having a record of service to the Association, and (3) possessing good leadership qualification and administrative experience. Other candidates shall have at least one-year Membership in good standing and express sincere interest in serving the Association. After reviewing each candidate’s qualifications, the Nomination Committee shall prepare a slate of one (1) to three (3) candidates for each position with the ballot form, voting instructions, biographical sketches and nomination statements for the annual election at least two (2) months before the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE B5, MEMBERSHIP ADMISSION
Par. 1 Honorary Members shall be elected by the Executive Board. The number of Honorary Members elected in any one year shall not be greater than one.
Par. 2 An Honorary Member shall be a person of acknowledged professional eminence whose accomplishments in agricultural, food, or biological engineering have an international significance. Nomination and election to Honorary Member shall be made in accordance with rules prescribed by the Executive Board. Two negative votes shall defeat an election.
Par. 3 A Fellow of the Society is an honor conferred for exceptional achievement by a Member of the Association in any one or more of the following areas – research, technology development, technology transfer, teaching, extension, consultancy, senior administration and communication, which advance the profession of agricultural, food, or biological engineering in its broad application. The designation Fellow shall have honorary status, to which members of distinction may be elected, but for which they may not apply. There shall be no direct admission to the Association as a Fellow; admission shall be only by transfer after a minimum of 10 years as a Member. The honor of Fellow shall not be awarded posthumously except if a nominee’s death occurs after the nomination has been received. Nominations of known deceased persons shall not receive consideration. A nomination for election to Fellow membership shall be referred to a Committee reporting to the Executive Board, which shall review the nominations and make recommendations to the Executive Board. Final election to Fellow will be done by approval of the Executive Board. Nomination and election to Fellow shall be made in accordance with rules prescribed by the Executive Board. Two negative votes shall defeat an election. The number of Fellow elected in any one year shall not be greater than 2 percent of members.
Par. 4 The AOCABFE membership is open to any Chinese student, scholar, professional, or university faculty member who 1) has overseas educational or professional experience, and 2) is currently pursuing or holding an academic degree in agricultural, biological, or food engineering or other closely related engineering and science disciplines.
An individual not meeting the second requirement stated may be admitted as a corresponding member of the AOCABFE, subject to the approval of the AOCABFE Membership Development Committee. It is the current policy of AOCABFE that the number of corresponding members at any given time may not exceed 20% of the total AOCABFE membership. AOCABFE provides the same services to its corresponding members and regular members.
Par. 5 A candidate for election to membership shall file application on a form approved by the Executive Board. Any applicant may reapply at his or her discretion.
Par. 6 A Student Member shall be an undergraduate or a graduate student registered in an internationally recognized professional engineering curriculum.
Par. 7 A candidate for individual student membership shall apply on an approved special form. The applicant shall be accepted on competent certification of his or her eligibility and payment of the established dues.
Par.8 A student membership may be transferred to a membership upon completion of his or her educational program.
Par. 9 The AOCABFE Institutional Membership is open to any company, academic unit of higher education, or research institution that (1) has acknowledged programs or services in agricultural, food, or biological engineering, (2) has experiences in international collaboration, and/or (3) is in needs to establish or enhance programs of international collaboration with overseas professionals and institutions in agricultural, biological, or food engineering or other closely related engineering and science disciplines.
Par. 10 A candidate for election to the Institutional Membership shall file an application form approved by the Executive Board. Any applicant is encouraged, but has discrete choices, to reapply or not for the Institutional Membership when the membership term is expired.
Par. 11 The Institutional Members shall be approved by the Executive Board. There should be no limit on the number of Institutional Members admitted in any one year.
ARTICLE R1, QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION
Rule 1 A candidate for admission as a Member shall provide the necessary information requested on the membership application form.
Rule 2 A candidate for admission to the Association as a Student Member shall provide the necessary information requested on the student membership application form which shall then be endorsed by an appropriate department faculty member, preferably a member of the Association.
Rule 3 A nomination for Fellow membership shall include the following information: a) Complete biographical statement, b) Positions held and leadership responsibilities, c) Accomplishments having significance relative to agricultural, food, and biological engineering, d) Activities in professional societies, e) Written statements by each of five or more members supporting the nomination.
Rule 4 A nomination for honorary membership shall include the following information: a) Complete biographical statement, b) Positions held and leadership responsibilities, c) Accomplishments having significance relative to agricultural, food, and biological engineering and human well-being, including international significance, d) Activities in professional societies, e) Written statements by each of five or more members supporting the nomination.
Rule 5 A candidate for admission as an Institutional Member shall provide the necessary information requested on the institutional membership application form.
ARTICLE B6, FEES AND DUES
Par. 1 The annual dues shall be as follows for all members except Honorary Members who shall pay no annual dues or fees: Member- $20.00 (US); Student Member – $5.00 (US); Corresponding Member (in China) – 100.00 RMB, and Institutional Member–$3,000 for five years or $1,000 for one year.