Drafted at the workshop held in conjunction with the 35th North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International, November 10, 1988, Toronto, Ontario
Minor Revisions Made: April 18, 1989
Ratified by a mail-ballot vote of the North American Membership of the Regional Science Association International, 1989
Amended by two-thirds vote of the North American Regional Science Council at the 38th North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International, November 7, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana
Amended by two-thirds vote of the North American Regional Science Council at the 44th North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International, November 6, 1997, Buffalo, New York
Amended by two-thirds vote of the North American Regional Science Council at the 54th North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International, November 7, 2007, Savannah, Georgia
Amended by unanimous vote of the North American Regional Science Council by electronic vote during the week of October 5, 2020
Amended by unanimous vote of the North American Regional Science Council by electronic vote during the week of December 20, 2022
Article I. Name
The name of the body shall be the North American Regional Science Council.
Article II. Scope and Objectives
Section A. Scope of the Organization
The North American Regional Science Council shall represent the affiliated and common interests of the various regional science organizations of the North American Continent. The Council shall operate as an objective, scientific body without political, social, financial, or nationalistic bias. The Council shall support its objectives by promoting acquaintance and discussion among regional scientists and with scholars in related fields, by encouraging the publication of scholarly studies, and by performing services to aid the advancement of the field of regional science. The Council shall serve as the organizational body representative of North American interests with respect to the Regional Science Association International.
Section B. Objectives
The main objectives of the Council shall be:
(1) to foster the exchange of ideas within the North American scholarly community of regional scientists;
(2) to encourage the exchange of ideas between North American scholars and regional scientists throughout the world;
(3) to promote studies focusing in the region and the utilization of tools, methods, and theoretical frameworks specifically designed for regional analysis, as well as concepts, procedures, and analytical techniques of the various social and other sciences.
Article III. Membership
Section A. Eligible Member Organizations
Organizations which shall be eligible to become Member Organizations upon ratification of this Constitution per Article IX, Section B are the following five (5) North American regional science organizations:
- Canadian Regional Science Association
- Midcontinent Regional Science Association
- North East Regional Science Association
- Southern Regional Science Association Western Regional Science Association
Additional Member Organizations may be approved by the vote of at least two-thirds of the total number of voting Councillors currently authorized per Article III, Sections B, C, D and E.
Section B. Appointment of Voting Councillors by Member Organizations
Each Member Organization shall, through its own procedures, appoint one (1) of its members to serve as a North American Councillor. Each such Councillor shall have the right to vote on all matters coming before the Council.
Section C. Election of Voting Councillors-at-Large
Six (6) additional Councillors shall be elected by vote of the current membership of the Regional Science Association International resident in North America. Nominations for such Councillor-at-Large positions shall be solicited by the Nomination Committee. The ballot distributed by the Council shall contain, in a single list, sufficient names selected from the nominations so as to provide a variety of choices to fill all open Councillor-at-Large positions, as well as spaces for writing in additional names. Voters may vote for any number of individuals up to a maximum of the number of open positions as specified on the ballot. Elections shall be held annually, with normally two of the six Councillor-at-Large positions to be filled.
Section D. Election of Student Councillor
There shall be one student representative on the NARSC Council. The representative shall be elected by a vote of the current membership of the Regional Science Association International resident in North America. Nominations for the student representative position shall be solicited by the Nomination Committee. The student representative will be a voting member of the NARSC Council. This is an elected position, with a two-year term. The student representative is expected to serve for two full years, even if graduation occurs before the end of the term.
Section E. President as a Voting Councillor
The individual selected by the Council per Article V, Section A as its President shall serve as an additional voting Councillor during the term of office as President, unless that individual is, during the same time, a voting Councillor per Article III, Section B or C.
Section F. Nonsimultaneity of Terms of Office of Voting Councillors
No individual shall serve simultaneously as a Councillor appointed by a Member Organization (per Article III, Section B) and as an elected Councillor-at-Large (per Article III, Section C). In the event that an individual is appointed by a Member Organization and is also elected as a Councillor-at-Large for terms which would be concurrent, in whole or in part, the individual shall serve only the term as appointed Councillor per Article III, Sections B and G, and the individual receiving the next greatest number of votes for the position(s) as Councillor(s)-at-Large shall serve the term as elected Councillor per Article III, Sections C and G.
Section G. Term of Office for Voting Councillors
The term of office for voting Councillors is three (3) years, except for the President who serves, per Article III, Section E and Article V, Section A, for one (1) year. The term for the Student Councillor shall be two (2) years. All terms shall normally begin on January 1 of the year following election or appointment and end on December 31 of the third year of service. Councillors appointed by Member Organizations shall be eligible for reappointment to additional terms of service at the discretion of the Member Organization. In the event that an appointed Councillor is unable to serve out a full term, the Member Organization may appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired portion of the term. Councillors-at-Large may not be elected for two consecutive, regular three-year terms of office, but may be elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms if the first such term is a special term that includes only one Annual Council Meeting. In the event that a Councillor-at-Large is unable to serve out a full term of office for any reason, and such unexpired term of office shall include one or more Annual Council Meetings, a replacement shall be elected at the time of the next regular election for a special term to consist of the unexpired portion of the term. In a year in which such position(s) is (are) to be filled, the individual(s) receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected for the available full-term position(s) and that (those) individual(s) receiving the next greatest number(s) of votes shall be elected for the special term(s). If two or more special terms are to be filled, the terms shall be filled in descending order of length. In the event that the need for one or more replacement Councillors-at-Large becomes known subsequent to the printing of election ballots, but prior to an Annual Council Meeting, the provisions of this Article pertaining to the filling of special terms shall also apply.
Section H. Alternates and Proxies
Councillors-at-Large and the Student Councillor may not designate other individuals to exercise proxy powers. In the event, however, that a Councillor appointed by a Member Organization is unable to attend any meeting of the Council:
(1) the Member Organization may inform the Chair of the Council, in advance of the meeting, of an alternate Councillor to represent the absent Councillor; or
(2) in the absence of the appointment of such alternate, the regularly appointed Councillor may designate another member to exercise proxy powers by informing the Chair, in advance of the meeting.
Alternate Councillors and persons holding proxy powers shall be well-informed of current and past Council agendas.
Section I. Ex-Officio Councillors
Individuals holding the following offices, unless already voting Councillors per Article III, Sections B or C, shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting Councillors throughout their respective terms of such office:
(1) The Immediate Past-Chair of the Council (a position defined by Article V, Section C)
(2) The Executive Director of the Council (as defined by Article V, Section D)
(3) The Executive Director of the Regional Science Association International
(4) The Editor-in-Chief and North American Editor(s) of Papers in Regional Science: The Journal of the Regional Science Association International
(5) The Editor-in-Chief and North American Editor(s) of Regional Science Policy and Practice
(6) A representative appointed by the NARSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee
(7) A representative appointed by the NARSC Young Scholars Committee
Article IV. Procedures and Responsibilities
Section A. Procedures Rules governing:
(1) necessary procedures not specified in this Constitution, and
(2) the conduct of the policy and the affairs of the Council
shall be made by vote of the Council.
Section B. Responsibilities
The Council shall have full responsibility for:
(1) accepting new Member Organizations (per Article III, Section A);
(2) electing officers (per Article V, Sections B and D);
(3) selecting the Host, individual(s) to serve as Coordinator(s), and site of the annual North American Regional Science Meetings; the Host may be a Member Organization, a University or one of its subdivisions, an institution or other entity, or a combination of a Member Organization and a University, institution, or other entity; in selecting sites the Council shall strive to hold the Meetings in spatially separate portions of North America; normally, the same Host shall not be chosen for successive Meetings;
(4) specifying matters concerning the dates, organizational procedures, finances, and conduct of the annual North American Meetings;
(5) electing, with the consultation of the selected Meetings Coordinator(s), an appropriate, distinguished regional scientist or other distinguished scholar to serve as President of the Council;
(6) carrying out all other matters deemed necessary by the Council appropriate to its Scope and Objectives (as set forth in Article II).
Article V. Officers
Section A. President
At each annual North American Regional Science Meetings the Council shall elect its next President. The President’s principal duty shall be to deliver the Presidential Address at the Meetings. The President also serves on the Honors Committee. The President’s term of office shall be for one calendar year beginning on the January 1 following election. While in office, the President may serve as a voting Councillor, per Article III, Section E.
Section B. Chair
At each regularly scheduled Annual Council Meeting, it shall elect from among its current membership a person to serve as its next Chair. The term of this office shall be for one calendar year, beginning on the January 1 following election. In the event that the term as Chair extends beyond the individual’s tenure as a voting Councillor per Article III, Section F, the Chair becomes during such extension period an additional voting Councillor. In the event that an individual is unable to serve out a full term for any reason, this office shall remain vacant until the next Annual Council Meeting with the duties to be carried out by the Immediate Past-Chair. The office of Chair shall be a working, not a ceremonial, post. The Chair shall:
(1) serve as chair at meetings of the Council;
(2) approve and emend agendas of meetings in advance of distribution to Councillors;
(3) plan and chair the Annual Luncheon Program at the North American Regional Science Meetings held during the term of office as Chair;
(4) set directions for policy and provide leadership in all matters coming before the Council.
Section C. Immediate Past-Chair
Normally, following the completion of the term of office as Chair, the individual having served in such office shall succeed to hold the office of Immediate Past-Chair for a subsequent term of one year. In the event that the term as Immediate Past-Chair extends beyond the individual’s tenure as a voting Councillor per Article III, Section G, the Immediate Past-Chair becomes during this extension period an ex officio, nonvoting Councillor per Article III, Section I. In the event that an individual is unable to serve out a full term for any reason, this office shall remain vacant until the next regular succession from Chair to Immediate Past-Chair shall take place. The duties of the Immediate Past-Chair shall be to provide assistance and counsel to the Chair in the conduct of the affairs of the Council. In the absence of the Chair, the Immediate Past-Chair shall discharge the duties of Chair.
Section D. Executive Director
The Council shall elect an individual to hold the office of Executive Director, who also shall serve during the term of office as an ex officio, nonvoting Councillor. Candidates for selection shall not be limited to current Councillors. The Executive Director shall not, however, serve concurrently as a voting Councillor. In the event that a voting Councillor is so-selected, the remaining portion of the term as voting Councillor shall be filled per the appropriate portions of Article III, Section F. The Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Council for a term or terms as specified by the Council. Whereas the Chair of the Council shall serve as the lead agent in setting policy, the duties of the Executive Director shall be to carry out such policy and to provide continuity of advice to the Council and to the Hosts and Coordinators of the annual North American Regional Science Meetings.
The Executive Director shall discharge the duties normally associated with the offices of Secretary and Treasurer of a similar organization and shall be responsible for:
(1) drafting the initial agendas of meetings for approval and emendation by the Chair; distributing approved versions to Councillors;
(3) providing timely notification to Councillors of forthcoming meetings; preparing and distributing minutes of past meetings;
(4) coordinating the planning and conduct of annual North American Regional Science Meetings in concert with the selected Hosts and Coordinator(s);
(5) maintaining open channels of communications and coordinating Council activities with Member Organizations, and with the Regional Science Association International;
(6) performing all other duties as specified by, or consistent with, the actions or intent of the Council.
Section E. Nonsimultaneity of Terms of Office with Service as Meetings Coordinator
An individual holding either of the offices of Chair or Executive Director shall not be appointed by the Council to serve simultaneously as a Coordinator of an annual North American Regional Science Meeting.
Article VI. Meetings of the Council
Section A. Annual Council Meeting
An Annual Council Meeting shall take place in conjunction with the annual North American Regional Science Meetings.
Section B. Additional Meetings and Polling of the Council
In exceptional circumstances or upon agreement at the Annual Council Meeting, the Chair of the Council may call additional meetings or poll the voting Councillors to achieve necessary actions.
Section C. Attendance at Meetings
Meetings of the Council shall be closed to all persons except Councillors and those invited by the Council or its Chair to inform the Council regarding its affairs.
Article VII. Awards
Section A. Annual Presentation of Awards
The Council will present at least one award each year to a member (or past member) in good standing of the Regional Science Association International.
Section B. Awards and Criteria for Selection of Awardee(s)
The Walter Isard Award for Scholarly Achievement is named in honor of Professor Walter Isard, father of Regional Science, founder of the Regional Science Association, and a leading scholar in the worldwide Regional Science community. Established in 1994, the award pays tribute to regional scientists who have made significant theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of Regional Science throughout their careers.
The David Boyce Award for Service to Regional Science honors Professor David Boyce, a prominent figure in Regional Science who promoted the Regional Science Association for a number of years and was instrumental in its long term success. The award acknowledges the service contributions that members have made to Regional Science organizations.
The Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Award is named in honor of Professor Geoffrey J.D. Hewings who over the years introduced numerous graduate students to Regional Science and mentored them as young scholars. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to Regional Science research by scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies (within ten years of receiving a Ph.D.).
The Roger R. Stough Outstanding Mentor Award is named in honor of Professor Roger R. Stough. In addition to being a renowned scholar and contributor to the development of Regional Science, Roger Stough was an outstanding mentor to dozens of graduate students and junior faculty members. This award recognizes regional scientists who have been exceptional mentors to students, junior faculty members and underrepresented populations and communities over a lifelong career.
Occasionally, the North American Regional Science Council wishes to recognize the special contribution of individuals to the advancement and support for Regional Science through Special Recognition Awards.
Section C. Procedures for Selection of Awardee(s)
The awardees will be selected by an Honors Committee made up of the President and two most immediate Past Presidents and chaired by the Council’s Immediate Past President. The Honors Committee may receive nominations from any member of the Regional Science Association International. The exception to this is the Roger R. Stough Outstanding Mentor Award, the recipient of which is selected by the Roger R. Stough Outstanding Mentor Award Committee.
Section D. Nature of the Physical Awards Each award should be a plaque or medallion inscribed with the reason for the award (see Section B, criteria a or b), the date and the name of the recipient. The cost of the awards will be included in the North American meeting registration fee.
Article VIII. Standing Committees
Section A. Honors Committee
The Honors Committee has the charge of selecting recipients of NARSC Awards according to procedures set forth in Article VII, Section C.
Section B. Nomination Committee
The Nomination Committee is composed of the Chair and two Councillors. The Nomination Committee shall be responsible for:
(1) establishing a slate of candidates to fill Councillor-at-Large positions for terms starting the following calendar year;
(2) establishing a slate of candidates to fill the Student Representative position for terms starting the following calendar year;
(3) nominate for Council approval a Chair, a President, members of the Nomination Committee for the following calendar year;
(4) nominate for Council approval members of the Stevens Fellowship Committee;
(5) nominate for Council approval NARSC Representatives to the governing council of the Regional Science Association International;
(6) nominate for Council approval individuals to serve on the Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee.
Section A. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is composed of the Executive Director, the Chair, and the President. The Executive Committee shall set directions for policy and provide leadership in all matters arising between Council meetings and requiring immediate attention.
Article IX. Amendments
By a vote of at least two-thirds of the total votes currently authorized per Article III, Sections B, C, D and E, and the special provisions of Article V, Section B, the Council may amend this Constitution.
Article X. Ratification and Initial Implementation of this Constitution
Section A. Ratification Vote
This Constitution shall be considered to have been ratified, and the provisions specified herein to take effect, immediately upon approval by a simple majority vote of the current membership of the international Regional Science Association International resident in North America. This vote shall be conducted by the Secretary of the international Regional Science Association.
Section B. Ratification by Member Organizations and Initial Appointment of Councillors
To expedite establishment of the Council, it is requested that each of the five eligible Member Organizations listed in Article III, Section A establish procedures to act on ratification, and thus to activate its membership, prior to July 1, 1989. Upon ratification, the Member Organization shall inform the Secretary of the international Regional Science Association of its appointment of a North American Councillor. In order to achieve continuity and a desirable staggering of terms, the term of office of each such initial Councillor shall be specified as one, two, or three years by the Council at its first Annual Meeting.
Section C. Initial Election of Councillors-at-Large
An initial election for five (5) Councillors-at-Large, positions as defined in Article III, Section C, shall be conducted under the supervision of the Secretary of the international Regional Science Association as soon as feasible following the ratification vote specified in Article IX, Section A. Two (2) of these positions shall be considered as full, three-year terms, two (2) as special two-year terms, and one (1) as a special one-year term. These positions shall be filled in accordance with the regular provisions of Article III, Sections C, E, and F.
Section D. Initial Annual Council Meeting
An initial Annual Council Meeting shall be convened by the Secretary of the international Regional Science Association. The first agenda item at this Meeting shall be the election of an individual to serve as Chair for a special term that shall commence immediately upon election and shall continue until the conclusion of the Annual North American Meetings held during the subsequent year.