At its November 2013 meeting, the board of officers proposed the following amendments to the association bylaws. View the current APA bylaws.
No members submitted arguments for or against these amendments during the 30 days provided in which to do so. As such, no summary of arguments will be provided.
If adopted, the following bylaws amendments would take effect for the membership year beginning July 1, 2014.
Voting is now closed.
Amendment 1: Membership and Dues Policies
The APA bylaws specify that members remain on the membership rolls for two full years after they last pay dues. Members who have not paid for the current membership year do not receive membership benefits (publications, discounts, voting privileges, eligibility for leadership positions) but formally remain members until the end of the second full membership year in which they do not pay dues. This falsely inflates the APA’s membership counts and costs the organization additional fees to partner organizations that set dues by membership totals. It also creates administrative difficulties in tracking members.
The bylaws further specify that members must pay back dues in order to be reinstated if their memberships lapse. The board waived this requirement beginning with the 1995-1996 membership year. With nearly two decades having passed since the fee was last required, the board proposes the language regarding back dues be removed from the bylaws.
- Delete Article 2.1.I.
- Delete Article 4.9 in its entirety. Replace with the following:
A. The APA membership year begins on July 1 and ends the following June 30.
B. A person is considered to be a member of the APA if that person has paid the current year’s membership dues. Any person who was a member in the previous year who has not paid membership dues by September 1 will be removed from the membership rolls.
C. Any person who elects and is eligible for emeritus status is considered a member of the APA as long as that person is living.
D. Any person who has paid lifetime membership dues is considered a member of the APA as long as that person is living.
Note: This article may be renumbered if amendment 2 below passes.
Amendment 2: Emeritus Status
The APA currently offers emeritus status to any regular member who has been a member in good standing for five (not necessarily consecutive) years who has retired. APA emeritus members owe no annual dues.
Comparable societies with retired or emeritus memberships require a minimum of 20 years, generally consecutive, to elect that membership status. Many of those societies also require retired or emeritus members to pay reduced dues. The APA’s emeritus status requirements are far from the norm among our peer societies.
Further, because the APA’s emeritus members pay no dues, the current emeritus eligibility requirements cause financial hardship to the association.
The board of officers therefore proposes that the APA adopt revised emeritus status eligibility requirements as follows.
- Change Article 4.3.B to the following:
Any person who has been a regular member of the APA for at least twenty consecutive or twenty-five non-consecutive years and has retired may elect to assume emeritus status for purposes of dues. This election is entirely at the member’s discretion. Emeritus members shall pay no dues, but shall otherwise continue to have the full rights afforded regular members of the association.
For the purposes of determining emeritus status eligibility, only years in which the member had good standing will count toward the total 20 consecutive or 25 non-consecutive years of membership required, even if amendment 1 is adopted, thus changing the membership structure to abolish the "good/bad standing” classifications for future membership years. If amendment 2 is adopted but amendment 1 is not adopted, the words "in good standing” will be inserted after "a regular member” in article 4.3.B.
All members holding emeritus status on June 30, 2014, will retain their emeritus status so long as they are living. All members qualified under the current emeritus status eligibility requirements (five years of membership in good standing) and who request emeritus status on or before June 30, 2014, will be granted emeritus status.
Amendment 3: Associate Membership
The APA currently provides for three types of associate membership in the bylaws: international, student, and teacher. There have often been calls for additional associate member types, but as the bylaws must be amended in order to change APA membership types or requirements, it’s been very difficult to make adjustments to the memberships the APA offers. To enable the APA to be more responsive in adjusting its membership offerings, the board of officers proposes that the bylaws be amended to specify a single general associate membership category. Specific types of associate membership will be determined by the board of officers.
- Change article 4.3.A to the following:
The annual dues of APA members shall be fixed by a two-thirds vote of the board of officers.
- Delete article 4.3.C.
- Delete articles 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7.
- Insert a new article 4.5 as follows:
4.5. Associate Membership
Associate memberships are offered in categories defined by the board of officers, with dues set by a two-thirds vote of the board of officers. Associate members are not affiliated with any division and may not vote at meetings of the members or of the divisions. Associate members may serve on APA committees but cannot hold any position that would require them to have voting rights within the divisions or the association. Associate members may attend and appear on the program of all regular meetings and receive all publications of the association.
- Renumber articles accordingly (including those added or revised by other proposed amendments).
Following the adoption of this amendment, the APA will continue to offer international, student, and teacher associate memberships. The board will also consider introducing an additional associate membership open to those who do not meet the qualifications for regular or other associate memberships but wish to retain an affiliation with the association and/or the discipline of philosophy, such as those working in related disciplines.