By-Laws of the Psychological Association of Western New York

November 2021

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Psychological Association of Western New York, hereinafter referred to as the Association.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The Association is an educational, scientific and professional organization whose purpose shall be to advance the science and profession of psychology in Western New York, provide a basis for professional growth and association among practicing psychologists and to inform the public about the profession and the science of psychology.

ARTICLE III. GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

The geographical boundaries of the Association shall be those of the 8th Judicial District of New York (Counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming).

ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP

The Association shall consist of two classes of membership: Full Members and Student Affiliates.

1) Full Member Eligibility: Any Individual holding a Ph.D. in Psychology or a Psy.D. and/or is licensed as a psychologist in New York State.

2) Student Affiliate Eligibility: Any Doctoral Student in Psychology. Student affiliates shall have the privileges of full members, except the right to vote and hold office. However, student members are eligible to serve as Student/Early Career Committee Chair, in which case they would be able to vote as a member of the Association board on internal board matters, as well as on matters submitted to the membership at large.

ARTICLE V. DUES

Annual dues will be established by the Board of Directors. The membership year runs from July 1st through June 30th, corresponding to the Association’s fiscal year. Members who fail to pay dues by the advertised deadline shall be automatically dropped from the membership roster and will forfeit membership benefits. Anyone so removed may be reinstated by submitting an application, accompanied by the dues for the current membership year.

ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sec. 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of 15 voting members:

  • The 6 person Executive Committee consists of 5 officers who are elected by the Association membership (President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and 1 NYSPA Council Regional Representative who is elected by NYSPA. Chairpersons of the other 9 standing committees: Professional Affairs, Membership, Program and Education, Communications, Social, Community Engagement, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Student/Early Career and Nominations.

Sec. 2. The Board of Directors shall be the administrative body of the Association and shall exercise general supervision and control over the affairs of the Association.

ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS

Sec. 1. The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a President-Elect, an Immediate Past President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a NYSPA Representative. All officers shall:

  • Be members in good standing.
  • Be nominated and elected by members of the Association.
  • Promote the purposes of the Association.
  • Uphold the by-laws of the Association.
  • Be members of the New York State Psychological Association.
  • Begin terms on July 1st.

Sec. 2. The President shall:

  • Chair the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
  • Set the meeting agenda and preside at all meetings of the Association.
  • Ensure the smooth functioning of all business necessary to the survival of the Association.
  • Serve as ex officio member of all committees.
  • Serve a 1-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms. If there is a President-Elect on the board, the current president will step down at the end of their 1-year term.

Sec. 3. The President-Elect shall:

  • Attend Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  • Assume and perform duties in the absence of the President and Immediate Past President.
  • Meet with each member of the board of directors to familiarize themselves with their duties.
  • Work with the Immediate Past President on strategic planning.
  • Automatically assume the position of President for one year, immediately following their 1-year term as President-Elect.

Sec. 4. The Immediate Past President shall:

  • Attend Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  • Assume and perform duties in the absence of the President.
  • Chair the Nominations Committee.
  • Coordinate the scholarship program and awards.
  • Work with President and President-Elect on strategic planning for the Association.
  • Serve a 1-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms following their term as President.

Sec. 5. The Secretary shall:

  • Attend Executive Committee and Board of Director meetings.
  • Create and send links to virtual board meetings to all board members.
  • Record and distribute minutes of board meetings.
  • Oversee the maintenance of records.
  • Assist in creating announcements for social and educational programs.
  • Serve a two-year term with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

Sec. 6. The Treasurer shall:

  • Attend Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  • Oversee all of the Association’s financial and budgetary matters.
  • Receive dues and advise the Membership Chair of renewals.
  • Provide timely and accurate financial reports to the Board of Directors.
  • Serve a two-year term with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

Sec. 7. The NYSPA Representative to Council shall:

  • Attend all meetings required by NYSPA Council.
  • Report to the Association NYSPA activities and current legislative issues.
  • Coordinate and integrate local advocacy efforts with NYSPA.
  • Serve a 3-year term with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms.

ARTICLE VIII. NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS

Sec. 1. Nominations for all elected offices may be made by any member of the Association. Any nominated members will have the option to decline to serve prior to being presented to the membership. The Nominations Committee will prepare a recommended slate of nominees for elected offices including nominees solicited from the membership at large, and present the slate to membership for a vote on an annual basis.

Sec. 2. Officers shall be elected annually at the end of each fiscal year (June) and will take office at the beginning of the next fiscal year (July).

Sec. 3. In the event of a vacancy in an elected office or the inability of an elected officer to carry out the duties of the office or complete the term of the office, the Nominations Committee along with the Executive Committee will have the power to select another member to serve in that capacity until the next annual election of officers.

ARTICLE IX. COMMITTEES

There shall be 10 standing committees: Executive, Professional Affairs, Membership, Program and Education, Communications, Social, Community Engagement, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Student/Early Career, and Nomination and Elections. Chairpersons of standing committees must be members of the Association.

ARTICLE X. DUTIES OF COMMITTEES

Sec. 1. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors shall:

  • Manage and supervise the day-to-day activities of the Association.
  • Hold monthly Board of Director meetings.
  • Establish and carry out policy in accordance with the purposes of the Association.
  • Consider current and long-range policies of the Association and report interim decisions or make recommendations for action to the full Board of Directors.
  • Have the power to select a member of the Association to carry out the duties or complete the term of office of an elected officer who is unable to complete their term.
  • Solicit and process nominations for annual Association awards.
  • Engage the service of an Executive Secretary, if necessary, and specify duties and salary.

Sec. 2. The Professional Affairs Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and at least 3 additional members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee to represent PAWNY membership in the areas of Private Practice, Academics, Research, and Agencies/Institutions.
  • Serve as a point of contact to members for issues and questions pertaining to all aspects of psychological practice.
  • Promote communication and collaboration between the board and area psychologists.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as necessary (Chairperson only).

Sec. 3. The Membership Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and other members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.
  • Recruit, receive and review applications for membership.
  • Confirm eligibility for each applicant and payment of appropriate dues.
  • Send acceptance/welcome letter to new members.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 4. The Program and Education Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and other members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.
  • Plan, announce, and conduct programs including continuing education.
  • Maintain standards, collect yearly documentation, and facilitate re-application process to preserve NYSED CE Sponsorship status for NYS psychologists.
  • Share and monitor expenses and fees associated with programs.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to market and publicize planned programs.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 5. The Communications Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and other members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.
  • Take responsibility for print and electronic materials and publications.
  • Assist in the maintenance of the Association’s website and related networking and social media sites.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 6. The Social Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and other members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.
  • Organize and plan social gatherings for members.
  • Organize and plan the Annual Awards Dinner.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 7. The Community Engagement Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson and other members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.
  • Develop and coordinate resources, programs, and events that will improve communication and collaboration with the broader community.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 8. The Diversity/Equity/Inclusion (DEI) Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson selected by the existing Task Force Chairs and/or the Executive Committee
  • Consist of committee members that are comprised of those serving on related task force and/or subcommittee teams present and future (e.g., members of the Anti-Racism Task Force and LGBTQIA2+ Task Force).
  • Collaborate with other PAWNY Committees to promote DEI programming, the infusion of DEI principles into all materials developed by the board, the development of inclusive practices in recruitment, and the furthering of goals related to the PAWNY Racial and Ethnic Minority Scholarship Program.
  • Maintain regular contact and collaboration when possible with NYSPA’s DEI committee.
  • Meet regularly to obtain briefings from Task Force and/or Subcommittee Chairs (Chairperson to coordinate)
  • Attend board meetings and give a report as needed. (Chairperson only)

Sec. 9. The Student/Early Career Committee shall:

  • Consist of a Chairperson who is a doctoral student in Psychology or an Early Career Psychologist (who is no more than 3 years past licensure during their tenure) and an Alternate, both selected by the board from eligible applications to serve a two year term.
  • Consist of other committee members selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee who are doctoral students in Psychology or Early Career Psychologists.
  • Promote communication and collaboration between the board and these populations of developing psychologists.
  • Attend board meetings and give their report as needed (Chairperson only).

Sec. 10. The Nominations Committee shall:

  • ● Consist of a Chairperson who will be the Immediate Past President, a volunteer from the current board, and a third PAWNY member from outside of the board. All three members will serve for one year.
  • Determine, each year, the upcoming vacancies for elected officers of the Executive Committee (President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary).
  • Prepare a recommended slate of nominees on a ballot to be presented to the membership at large for open elected offices annually. Report the results of annual membership ballot vote for elected offices. New officers will be elected by the majority of submitted votes from the entire membership.

Sec. 11. Ad Hoc Committees may be selected by the Executive Committee and will perform only those duties for which they are created. The Chairperson of an ad hoc committee will be nominated and selected by the Executive Committee. These ad hoc committees will consist of members that are selected by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee. The voting privilege in the Executive Committee of the chairperson of each Ad Hoc Committee will be set each fiscal year by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. All ad hoc committees automatically expire at the end of The Association’s fiscal year.

ARTICLE XI. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Sec. 1 PAWNY Board meetings shall be monthly with the exceptions of December and July. Any PAWNY member is eligible to attend.

Sec. 2 Additional meetings may be held at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Sec. 3 Additional meetings may be requested in writing by any member or group of members. Such requests will be submitted to the entire membership by the Executive Committee and a meeting will be held whenever 25 percent of the total membership indicate their willingness to attend.

ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS

Sec. 1 Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in writing to the Executive Committee at any time by any member.

Sec. 2 Upon approval of the Executive Committee, proposed amendments will be presented to the full membership.

Sec. 3 An amendment will be adopted when a two-thirds majority of the total number of votes received are in favor of the amendment.

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