Constitution of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs
Recognizing the influence of religion and spirituality on various aspects of higher education, several colleges and universities have assigned personnel and resources to guide, nurture, and enhance religious and spiritual affairs for the sake of their educational mission.
In November of 1959, some of those designated to lead religious and spiritual life within college and university settings gathered in Chicago, for the purpose of cultivating professional competence and relationships. By constituting themselves as charter members of a new organization, participants constructed and approved a Constitution and By-laws.
Our Constitution, updated in 2017, is as follows:
Article I – Name
The name of the organization shall be the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA).
Article II – Goals and Purposes
1. To assemble for consultation college and university faculty and staff members who are assigned institutional responsibility for matters related to religion and spirituality.
2. To clarify by discussion, conference, research, and publication the role of religion and spirituality in college and university life.
3. To advise and encourage student intercollegiate involvement in activities related to matters of religion and spirituality.
4. To seek relationships with other professional college and university personnel organizations.
5. To maintain and grow relationships with national organizations and foundations that relate to matters of religion and spirituality.
6. To foster the training of personnel for the administration of college and university religious and spiritual affairs, both on and beyond the campus.
7. To be available, when appropriate, as a resource for private and governmental agencies.
8. To encourage college and university research and prepare publications on matters related to religion and spirituality.
Article III – Membership Categories
1. Institutional Membership: Institutional Membership covers all staff employed by a college or university to support the work of religious/spiritual/ethical life on a campus.
- a. Each institutional member may send multiple faculty and/or staff to meetings.
- b. The Executive Committee may designate tiers of institutional membership based on the number of employees covered by that institutional membership.
2. Individual Membership: Individual Membership covers one individual who is employed by their college or university to support the work of religious/spiritual/ethical life on campus.
3. Affiliate Membership: Allows allow limited participation in the Association for individuals who are not currently employed by a college or university to support the work of religious/spiritual/ethical leadership in higher education, or others with a vested professional interest in the work of ACURA.
4. Uncommon Situations: Organizations, campuses, or individuals that do not fit into one of the above three (3) categories may consult with ACURA’s executive committee, which is empowered to adapt membership categories on a case-by-case basis when deemed to be appropriate.
5. The executive committee has the right to review all membership requests and categories on a case-by-case basis to ensure consistency with the goals and purposes of ACURA.
Article IV – Meetings
There shall be at least one annual meeting, to include a business session. The dates of this meeting are to be determined by the Executive Committee. Other meetings may be called by the Executive Committee when appropriate.
Article V – Finance
The organization shall be financed by membership dues, contributions from individuals, foundations and organizations, income from conferences and programs, and other sources that may become available.
Article VI – Executive Committee and Officers
1. The Association shall be directed by an Executive Committee composed of up to nine at-large members and four officers. The immediate past president serves as an additional at-large member for the year following their respective presidency. Only those currently enrolled as individual or institutional members are eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
2. The responsibilities of the Executive Committee and Officers include:
- a. Plan for annual meetings.
- b. Meet twice annually in person to conduct the work of the association. Additional phone and/or online meetings may supplement the in-person meetings.
- c. Regularly review and recommend changes to the by-laws for consideration by the association.
- d. Create ad-hoc committees and working groups as needed.
- e. Make necessary decisions for the good of the association.
- f. Administer any programs or resources of the association.
3. Executive Committee Categories
- a. At-large members shall be organized in three classes of up to three members each, each with a three-year commitment. At-large members may serve two consecutive terms as at-large members before being off the Executive Committee for at least one year.
- b. The four officers shall be:
- i. President (2-year term, plus one year as past-president)
- ii. Vice-President (2-year term)
- iii. Secretary (2-year term)
- iv. Treasurer/Membership Coordinator (3-year term)
- c. Immediate Past President (1-year term)
Article VII – Amending the Constitution
This Constitution may be amended, rejected, or altered in whole or in part by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting of the Association, when a 30-day notice of the vote has been given.
By-Laws of the Association for College and University Affairs
Section I- MEMBERSHIP DUES AND REGISTRATION FEES
1. The Executive Committee shall set the specific membership fees for each membership category as defined in the Constitution on an annual basis. The membership fees for the following academic year shall be presented at the annual business meeting and ratified by a majority vote of all members present at the annual business meeting as outlined in Section II.
2. The Executive Committee, in consultation with the hosts of the annual meeting, shall set the registration fees for the annual meeting no later than February 28 of the year in which the meeting shall take place.
Section II- VOTING RIGHTS
1. Individuals included in an Institutional Membership each receive one vote in the business of the Association.
2. Individual Members each receive one vote in the business of the Association.
3. Affiliate Members may not vote for the election of Officers or members of the Executive Committee, and are not eligible to run for such positions.
4. The Officers and Executive Committee may call for an online vote for any matter before the association that would be best served by not waiting for a future annual meeting. Such a vote will be publicized by the Association listserv, after which a 20-day period for consideration will be observed, after which voting will be open for 10 days.
Section III- AT-LARGE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. The structure and term of office of members of the Executive Committee and Officers are defined in the ACURA Constitution. All members of the Executive Committee shall be individual or institutional members in good standing.
- a. Actively participate in meetings, phone consultations, and email conversations to continue the work of the Association between Annual Meetings.
- b. Serve on committees and working groups as developed by the Executive Committee.
- c. Assist in consultation with Annual Meeting hosts.
- d. Advise, assist, and guide the Officers in their responsibilities.
- e. One or more of the At-Large Members of the Executive Committee shall be designated to coordinate the Association’s online presence.
Section IV- OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES
1. The President shall chair the Executive Committee meetings and the business meetings of the Association. They will coordinate with the other officers, the immediate past-president, and the full Executive Committee the basic work of the association.
2. The Vice President will serve as a back-up to and collaborator with the President. They will also coordinate the annual nominations process, and help coordinate any work groups and ad-hoc committees formed by the Executive Committee.
3. The Treasurer/Membership Coordinator shall receive and disperse funds of the Association. They shall collect membership dues and make a financial report at the annual business meeting. The fiscal year shall be from July 1 to June 30.
4. The Secretary shall take minutes of all Executive Committee meetings, Business Session meetings, and make both available to the membership. They shall also work with the Treasurer/Membership Coordinator to manage registration and marketing for the annual meeting. The Secretary will also collaborate with At-Large member(s) who have been designated to coordinate the Association’s online presence.
Section V- QUORUM
1. A quorum for annual and special meetings shall be one-third of the voting members.
Section VI- BY-LAW AMENDMENTS
1. By-law amendments may be proposed by institutional or individual members or the Executive Committee at any annual or special meeting and shall be adopted by a majority vote of those present.