East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists


[Page updated 7/8/08]




AMENDED 2005, 2007 and 2008


 Section 1    “SPJ” refers to the national association of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Section 2      “Chapter” refers to the East Tennessee Chapter of SPJ, chartered by National Headquarters.

Section 3     “Meetings” means regularly scheduled or special meetings authorized by the Chapter’s Board of Directors.


Section 1     All SPJ members who live in the East Tennessee area are eligible for membership in the -Chapter. The Board of Directors may approve affiliation by SPJ members who live outside the area.

Section 2     Any Chapter member may propose new members. If the nominee is not an SPJ member, the Membership Chair determines the membership category for which the nominee is eligible under SPJ’s by-laws.

Section 3    The Membership Chair notifies National Headquarters of the affiliation of Chapter members.

Section 4    Membership categories and privileges in the Chapter follow those established by SPJ.


Section 1    The Board of Directors sets the rate for dues. Section 2   The Board of Directors sets fees for events.


Section 1    The Board of Directors is made up of 12 voting members who are elected by the membership.

Section 2   Officers

Section 2.1 The Chapter officers are the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2.2 The officers serve as the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and perform the functions customarily associated with their titles. The President is responsible for producing the Chapter’s annual report, and any other reports required by National Headquarters, with assistance from the other officers and the other members of the Board of Directors. In addition, the President appoints such committee chairs and/or committees as are required by National Headquarters and others he/she deems necessary; the First Vice President is responsible for the Chapter’s annual scholarship fund-raiser; the Second Vice President is responsible for the Chapter’s annual professional competition; and the Treasurer is responsible for cooperating with National Headquarters in all matters related to financial reporting.

Section 3    Other Board Members

Section 3.1 In addition to the officers defined in Article IV, Section 2.1, the Board of Directors includes the Membership Chair; the Program Chair; the immediate past President; and four Members-At-Large.  (If one person serves simultaneously in more than one designated position, the number of at-large members may be altered as necessary to make a total of twelve board members.)

Section 3.2 The Membership Chair maintains membership and attendance records and cooperates with National Headquarters in all matters pertaining to membership.

Section 3.3 The Program Chair is responsible for Chapter programs and specifically the professional development programs/projects required by National Headquarters.

Section 4 Terms of Office

Section 4.1 The term of office for Members-At-Large is 2 years; the term of office for all other members of the Board of Directors is 1 year.  Terms of the Members-At-Large will overlap as much as possible so that all do not come up for election in the same year.

Section 4.2 Members of the Board of Directors serve from August 1 until July 31 or until successors are elected.

Section 5   Annual Elections

Section 5.1 By April 1 each year, the Chapter President will appoint a Nominating Committee Chair and identify the Board of Directors’ positions to be filled. The Chair will select the Nominating Committee members.

Section 5.2 By June 1 each year, the Nominating Committee will present a slate of candidates at a meeting of the Board of Directors, at which time other nominations may be made. By June 30, the Nominating Committee will prepare the ballot and mail it to the members.

Section 5.3 By July 15, the Nominating Committee will count ballots; results will be certified at the next Board meeting. Immediately following the certification of the results, the Chair will notify National Headquarters of the names and addresses and terms of office of new members of the Board of Directors and chairs of standing committees.

Section 6    Other Vacancies

Section 6.1 Vacancies that occur during a Board member’s term of office will be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The Board may vote to leave a position vacant until the next annual election.

Section 6.2 Any Board member who misses three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings or five meetings in a year without an excuse approved by the Board of Directors will be considered to have resigned.


Section 1  There will be at least six Chapter meetings each year. The times and places will be set by the Board of Directors.

Section 2  The Board of Directors will hold at least six regularly scheduled meetings each year. The President may call a meeting of the Board of Directors when requested by a majority of Board members. The times and places for regularly scheduled meetings will be set by the Board of Directors; special meetings will be held with at least 48 hours notice.

Section 3  A quorum for transacting official business will consist of the votes of half the number of official board members, either present in person at a scheduled meeting, or by e-mail or cellular phone if they are unable to attend that meeting. The President shall e-mail the entire board a notice of issues expected to come up for vote one week prior to the scheduled meeting. Those unable to attend will either vote by e-mail to be received at least 24-hours prior to the meeting or will e-mail their proxy to a board member who will attend. Hard copies of all these e-mails must be brought to the meeting. Should an unexpected issue arise at the meeting itself where half of the members are not physically present, an attempt will be made to poll the others by phone. If the issue does not involve expenditure from the Treasury, the vote will be determined by a majority of those present plus those reached by phone. If the issue does involve expenditure, the Secretary will poll those not present by e-mail with a response due within 48 hours.

Section 4 All Board meetings are open meetings. Any Chapter member and others invited by the Board of Directors may participate in the discussions of the Board of Directors.


Section 1 The Chapter will be represented at each Region 12 Conference and each National Convention by a delegate(s) and alternate(s) elected by the Board of Directors from the membership.


Section 1 A two-thirds majority vote of the members who respond to a written ballot distributed by mail with a 2-week response period is required to disband the Chapter.

Section 2 Any funds that remain at the time the Chapter disbands, after all debts are satisfied, will be directed to National Headquarters for scholarships.


Section 1 Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed at any meeting of the Board of Directors or of the general membership.

Section 1.1 If proposed at a Board meeting, an amendment may be referred to the general membership by a simple majority vote of the Board members present or passed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board members present.

Section 1.2 If proposed at a general membership, meeting or referred to the general membership by the Board of Directors, an amendment may be put to a vote by mall ballot with a 2-week response period or voted on at a subsequent meeting of the general membership, called with at least a 2-week notice. When the vote is put to the general membership, a simple majority of those who respond by mail or those present at the meeting is required for the amendment to pass.


Section 1  Robert’s Rules of Order is the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not covered by these By-Laws.

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