Constitution

European Association of Teaching Academic Writing

Constitution

1. Preamble

 

Mindful that there was a need for an international organisation to facilitate scholarly exchange on the subject of teaching academic writing in Europe, an informal association known as the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (hereafter EATAW) held its first international conference in Groningen, the Netherlands, in June 2001. Prior to being formally founded as a non-governmental organisation in 2007, EATAW existed as an informal organisation by agreement of its members. The seat of the organisation will be that of its current Chair. All aspects of its functioning not specified in this constitution are governed by the relevant sections of Swiss law. This constitution was revised in 2014 and verified by the General Assembly at the EATAW conference in 2015.

 

2. Aims

 

EATAW is a scholarly forum which seeks to promote the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education by bringing together those involved or interested in the teaching, tutoring, research, administration and development of academic writing in higher education in Europe. EATAW does not seek to make any commercial profit, and is independent from any commercial, political or religious organisation.

 

Its aims include:

 

  • Connecting teachers and scholars of academic writing through conferences, the Journal of Academic Writing, the web page (www.eataw.eu), forums and other means
  • Raising awareness, both among university administrators and lecturers in other disciplines, as well as among the general public, of the importance of academic writing to teaching and learning in university and therefore the importance of teaching academic writing
  • Developing European scholarship in the field of academic writing by initiating research and bringing researchers together for joint projects
  • Initiating projects to exchange experience and know-how on the teaching of writing, on writing programs and writing centers
  • Organising continuing education for writing teachers
  • Support writing centers writing programs and other forms of writing development provision in their work towards defining and securing quality standards in teaching, tutoring and researching writing and persuading institutions and administrators of the value of these standards
  • Connecting the teaching of academic writing with adjacent fields such as foreign languages, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, argumentation and rhetoric, professional writing, scientific and technical communication, pedagogy and didactics, and other related fields.
  • Promoting collaborative activity related to the role of writing across the university curriculum with subject specialists, departments and faculties

 

While the language of communication of the organisation is English, EATAW strives to promote and support good scholarship and practice for the teaching of academic writing, including conference contributions, in any European language.

 

For the purposes of achieving these goals in part, EATAW will hold a biennial conference at a European location, to which all its members are invited. Members may propose other initiatives for the further achievement of the goals, which will be considered by the Board and supported by EATAW wherever appropriate and feasible.

 

3. Membership

 

Membership of EATAW is open to individuals from all over the world whose principal function is as teachers, tutors, researchers, or administrators of academic writing, or who are otherwise interested in learning about, discussing and sharing in the development of academic writing in a European context. EATAW charges no membership fees and treats all members equally. To become a member, interested individuals are required to register their membership in writing with EATAW via the institution's website and to renew this membership biennially.

 

4. Financial matters

 

The main revenue source includes revenues from EATAW-related events or sponsors. Any assets of EATAW can be used by the Board to promote the aims of the organisation. This includes providing scholarships or travel grants at the discretion of the board based on two-thirds majority decisions. EATAW also maintains a website and membership database.

 

In respect of the biennial conference

 

  1. The EATAW organisation has no financial responsibility for the management of the biennial conference.

 

  1. If the host of the conference makes a profit, they are at liberty to keep it or to donate a part to the EATAW organisation to be used for future scholarships.

 

All assets and expenditures will be accounted for and reported by the Treasurer at the General Assembly. Should the association dissolve; the Board shall oversee the distribution of assets in accordance with item 8.

 

5. The General Assembly

 

The EATAW General Assembly will be held during the biennial conference. All EATAW members are entitled to attend this assembly. Members present at the Assembly (hereafter 'voting members') have the right to vote on issues presented to them by the EATAW Board.

 

Individuals may present issues for discussion at the General Assembly to the Board up to four weeks in advance of the date of the General Assembly. Given the limited time available for the General Assembly, the Board will decide on the priority of items on the agenda. A final agenda of issues to be discussed at the Assembly will be presented to the membership via the listserv no later than two weeks before the date of the meeting.

 

Issues brought to the agenda of the Assembly for discussion may include amendments to the constitution. These may only be approved by a two-thirds majority of the 'voting members' present at the Assembly. Proposals on other issues may be accepted by simple majority of voting members present.

 

The rights and duties of the General Assembly include but are not limited to:

 

  1. Approving the agenda

 

  1. Announcing the results of the election to the EATAW board

 

  1. Adopting and amending the Constitution as required

 

  1. Approving the annual report and financial statements

 

  1. The EATAW Board

 

The voting members of EATAW will elect an executive Board from among themselves at the EATAW conference. Voting may take place through an online system.

 

Nominations for election will be accepted up to four weeks in advance of the date of the elections. Candidates standing for election must have a demonstrated interest and experience in the teaching of academic writing, must have been associated with EATAW for two years, and must have attended at least one earlier EATAW conference. Members of EATAW working in countries outside Europe may stand for election. Under extreme or extenuating circumstances candidates can stand for the board in absentia. This would involve explaining in the presentation to the membership why the candidate is unable to attend the conference. Candidates standing in absentia must be able to attend the post-conference board meeting via online media.

 

The Board will have seven members, who will be the seven candidates for election who have received the largest number of votes. Board members will serve a two-year term and may subsequently stand for re-election. There should be no more than three representatives on the board of the same country or educational system. If four or more candidates from the same country or educational system get sufficient membership support to be on the board, only the three candidates with the largest number of votes will become board members. In the case that there are four candidates resident in one country or educational system but where one of those candidates is active in a different country or educational system and therefore able to represent that country or educational system, the candidate shall be deemed to be eligible for membership of the board, even though this means four of the board members will be resident in the same country.

 

Up to two places on the Board may be granted to members based outside of Europe, if these are among the seven candidates receiving the largest number of votes. For voting and board membership purposes, EATAW treats ‘Europe’ as constituted of those countries that are members of the Council of Europe (http://hub.coe.int/). If there are not sufficient candidates to form the seven-officer board, the remaining board members can fill missing positions by assigning ex-officio members for the required functions. The Chair has a casting vote in the board only if the number of board members is even for any specific voting procedure.

 

By agreement of the Board, EATAW members with special duties, such as organisers of the next conference, as well as ex-officio members representing other organisations with similar goals may be invited to share in Board discussions, but do not have the right to vote. If the editor of the Journal of Academic Writing is not on the board, the editor will nevertheless be an ex-officio member to the board.

6.1. Duties of the Board

 

The duties of the Board comprise:

 

  • Ensuring the successful occurrence of the biennial EATAW conference at a European location
  • Inviting bids for the hosting of the conference no later than four months after the previous conference and selecting an institution to act as host no later than six months after the previous conference
  • Providing support for the host institution, both prior to and during the conference
  1. Support involves discussing themes and keynotes for the conference, involvement in the review process for abstracts, and awarding scholarships to members if there are resources for that.
  2. Responsbility for all aspects of hosting the conference lies with the official host organisation
  • Discussing any issues related to academic writing that may arise or be presented by the members
  • Supporting any EATAW-endorsed local initiatives on academic writing teaching such as conferences, workshops or similar events
  • Communicating with and supporting as necessary the organisers of any EATAW-endorsed publications or research ventures
  • Reviewing and proposing amendments to the constitution should the need arise.
  • Liaison with other organisations concerned with writing issues and writing development
  • Any other steps essential for the running of the organization according the constitution and Swiss law.
  • Immediately following its election, the Board will choose a Chair from its members by majority vote. The Board will subsequently decide on and appoint from among its members a Deputy Chair, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a Membership Secretary, a Web Secretary, and any positions it agrees necessary for the smooth functioning of its affairs. Positions agreed on by the Board may be filled by a person nominated by the Chair and approved by the other Board members, or in the event of more than one person seeking to occupy the position, by a majority vote of the Board members.

 

6.2 Duties of the Chair

 

The duties of the Chair comprise:

 

  • Delegating the above duties to members of the Board as appropriate, and ensuring these are effectively carried out
  • Convening and chairing virtual (or where possible, face to face) meetings of the Board and ensuring that these are conducted in an effective and collegial manner
  • Supervising electronic communication and decision-making between Board members
  • Chairing the EATAW general assembly at the biennial conference
  • Reporting to the general assembly regarding the Board's activities at its biennial meetings.
  • Communicating general information from the Board to the membership via the EATAW listserv
  • Soliciting the opinion of the membership on issues being discussed or to be discussed by the Board, as necessary.
  • Representing EATAW towards other organisations. Where this entails financial commitments, the signature of the Treasurer is required

 

6.3 Duties of the Deputy-Chair

 

The duties of the Deputy-chair comprise:

 

  • Taking responsibility for soliciting bids for the conference and collaborating with the organizing team
  • Standing in for the Chair in the latter's absence or indisposition
  • Taking over as Acting Chair if the Chair is obliged to retire

 

6.4 Duties of the Treasurer

 

The duties of the Treasurer comprise:

 

  • Drawing up and monitoring the budget
  • Doing the bookkeeping
  • Setting up the income statement
  • Completing financial statements

 

6.5 Duties of the Secretary

 

  • Taking minutes at all EATAW board meetings
  • Writing up and circulating minutes of meetings
  • In collaboration with the Chair ensuring that the agenda for the EATAW board meetings is drawn up and circulated in advance of the meeting
  • On behalf of the EATAW Board, communicating with other associations and organisations with shared interest in the field of academic writing as appropriate to the development of EATAW and as guided by the board

 

6.6 Duties of the Membership Secretary

 

The duties of the Membership Secretary comprise:

 

  • Maintaining an up-to-date record of the current EATAW membership by processing membership requests received via the EATAW website
  • Adding new members to the EATAW listserv
  • Reminding existing members to renew their membership at two year intervals
  • Removing members whose membership has lapsed
  • Reporting to the Board and to the General Assembly on the state of the membership as requested

 

6.7 Duties of the Web Secretary (can be ex-officio)

 

The duties of the Web Secretary comprise:

 

  • Managing, maintaining and updating all aspects of the EATAW website, including ensuring the creation of new pages as agreed by the Board
  • Coordinating with the Membership Secretary regarding current members at regular intervals
  • Liaise with technical support where necessary

 

6.8 Duties of the Editor of Journal of Academic Writing (can be ex-officio)

 

  • Taking overall responsibility for organising and producing each issue of JoAW and for producing issues on a regular and sequenced basis
  • Taking responsibility for all stages of the production process, including liaising with potential authors, authors, reviewers, guest editors, section editors and copy and layout editors
  • Developing and maintaining JoAW as a scholarly journal
  • Reporting to the Board at its meetings

 

7. Communication with and among Members

 

All members will be prompted to subscribe to the EATAW listserv on becoming members. Between conferences, the Board and any individual members wishing to do so will communicate with the EATAW membership on any subjects directly relevant to the goals of EATAW, or on administrative or informational matters, using the EATAW listserv. The Board may solicit the opinion of the membership on important matters via this same channel. No other channel, group or mailing list will be used for official communications with and among the membership.

 

8. Disbanding the Organisation

 

EATAW as an organisation can be disbanded if two-thirds of its members agree on this. In this case, an organisation with similar aims to EATAW shall be identified to which the assets of EATAW will be handed over, and which agrees to accept those assets. The Board will decide as to which organisation this should be in the event of a decision to disband EATAW.

 

Approved June 16, 2015

 

Please download the constitution here.