Adopted March 5, 1983
Revised March 1988, October 1990, March 1996


The name of this organization shall be the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar, hereinafter referred to as SERMEISS.

ARTICLE II. Purposes.

Section A. SERMEISS is a nonprofit organization which promotes opportunities for Middle East and Islamic scholars in the southeast region of the United States to share common concerns of research and teaching, which provides meetings of specialists with non-specialists teaching about the Middle East and Islam, which encourages understanding of these academic fields through seminars and outreach programs.

Section B. SERMEISS shall promote and disseminate information and materials solely for educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) and shall not seek to propagate any specific religious or political viewpoints of any kind but shall seek to advance scholarly knowledge and to improve inter-cultural understanding.

ARTICLE III. Membership and Calendar.

Section A. The membership of SERMEISS shall consist of individuals who have the qualifications established for membership, share the goals and purposes cited above, and pay the annual dues set by the Executive Board.

Section B. Dues shall be set for one calendar year, which shall also be the fiscal year of the organization.

Section C. The Executive Board shall call at least one meeting of the full membership annually. Members shall vote by mail prior to the annual meeting for the election of officers and other members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall determine whether votes on other issues raised in scheduled business meetings shall be by members present only or by both mail and attending members.

Section D. Full membership is open to scholars from the southeast region, defined as the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Section E. Membership and Voting.

1. Membership in SERMEISS is divided into the following categories:

A. Full: Faculty and staff members of accredited colleges and universities, and of centers of research, who are actively involved in Middle East and Islamic studies; pre-collegiate educators with a minimum of three college credit hours in Middle East studies; and graduate students in fields pertaining to the Middle East and Islamic Studies.

B. Associate: other pre-collegiate educators with professional interest in the Middle East, and other invited persons with a professional interest in the Middle East.

C. Institutional membership is established with a contribution of $200 annually for institutions with over 5,000 students; and $100 annually for institutions with under 5,000 students, school districts, and private schools.

D. Corporate sponsorship is established with a contribution of $200 or more annually.

2. Voting: Only Full members may vote in all elections and on all issues.

ARTICLE IV. Executive Board.

Section A. Composition and Procedures.

1. The Executive Board shall consist of no fewer than five (5) Full members. Board members shall be elected to staggered terms of two years each by a mailed ballot submitted to the membership.

2. Candidates shall be nominated by a Committee appointed by the Executive Board.

3. Additional candidates may be nominated by petition of at least three (3) Full members, said petition presented to the Nominating Committee at least six (6) weeks in advance of the announced date for the election. The Nominating Committee shall present, whenever possible, more candidates for the Board than there are positions to fill and at least two (2) candidates for President.

4. The quorum for decisions at Board Meetings shall be a simple majority of the Board Membership.

5. The Executive Board shall appoint an Executive Director who serves at the discretion of the Board. He or she will attend Board Meetings, ex-officio, and does not have a vote.

Section B. Officers and Elections.

1. The Executive Board shall consist of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Immediate Past-President, and no fewer than two (2) Members-at-Large, serving staggered terms.

2. No individual shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office.

3. The President shall be chosen by vote of the Full members and shall serve a term of two years. Nominees who have agreed to be candidates for President shall be so designated on the ballot. Members shall vote for the appropriate number of Board members and shall designate their preferences for President from among those willing to serve. In all elections, person(s) nominated for President shall have served on the Executive Board.

4. The Vice President and Treasurer shall be selected by and from the Executive Board exclusively.

Section C. Powers and Duties of Official and Ex-Officio Members of the Board.

1. President: The President shall prepare the agenda for each meeting, shall preside, report, and, with the agreement of the Executive Board, appoint, discharge, and fix the compensation of all employees and agents of SERMEISS.

2. The Vice President: The Vice President shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President during any absence or disability of the President, and shall serve as Program Chair.

3. The Treasurer: The Treasurer shall assist the Executive Director as needed.

4. Executive Director: The Executive Director shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the membership and of the Executive Board; attend to the correspondence of the organization; conduct elections; keep a membership roster and a record of all officers, Board members, and members of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, together with their current addresses. The Executive Director shall have the care and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities in the name of SERMEISS in such banks and safe deposit companies as the Executive Board directs. The Executive Director shall have the power to negotiate contracts, providing such contracts have approval from the Executive Board. The Executive Director shall report in writing on the finances of SERMEISS at the annual meeting of the membership as well as on the request of the Executive Board; prepare the annual budget of SERMEISS; and arrange for the annual audit of all financial records in the name of SERMEISS, which audit shall be approved by the Executive Board. Expenditures of funds shall be only for project costs and budget items approved by the Executive Board. When it deems necessary, the Board shall submit projects and expenditures for discussion and approval to the membership.

Section D. Replacement of Officers.

In the event of the temporary absence of an officer, another officer shall fulfill the functions of that office with the consent of the Executive Board. If any office is permanently vacated, the Executive Board shall by majority vote of the remaining members select another member of the Board to fill the office until the next annual election. If a Member-At-Large vacates the position, the Board may by majority vote of the remaining members make an appointment to fill the position until the next annual election.

Section E. Committees.

The Executive Board is empowered to create such standing and ad hoc committees as it deems necessary to implement the goals of SERMEISS, and to appoint members of SERMEISS to serve on these committees.

ARTICLE V. Amendment Procedures.

These By-Laws may be amended, altered, or repealed, or new by-laws may be adopted, by a favorable mail vote of two-thirds of those Full members voting. Amendments may be proposed by petition to the Board by any three Full members, including Board members themselves, and shall be considered at the next meeting following one month from the date of submission of such amendments.

Last updated: 4/26/2013