Revised Constitution of the
Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Article I: Title
This organization shall be known as the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Article II: Interpretation
In this Constitution "Institute" means the Institute of Social and Economic Research established under this Constitution; "University" means the Memorial University of Newfoundland; "Director" means the Director of the Institute; and the "Committee" means the Executive Committee of the Institute.
Article III: Purpose and Mandate
The purpose of the Institute shall be to undertake, sponsor and publish social and economic research within such disciplines and in such parts of the world as are deemed of relevance to Newfoundland and Labrador and the broader Atlantic world. Without limiting the generality of the above, research pertaining directly to social and economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador shall be of special importance.
Article IV: Structure
1. The Institute shall comprise an Executive Committee and an Administrative Staff, as set forth within the articles of this Constitution.
2. The principal officer of the Institute shall be the Director, whose mandate and method of appointment are set forth within the articles of this Constitution.
Article V: Executive Committee
1. Mandate: The ultimate responsibility for the affairs of the Institute shall be vested in the Committee which will take such action as may best further the purpose of the Institute. Without limiting the generality of the above, the Committee will:
a) accept funds from the University, Foundations, Governments, Industry and other organizations and individuals for the carrying out of research. Applications for external funding will be subject to approval of the Office of Research.
b) decide, on the advice of the Awards Panel, the levels of financial support to be awarded to successful grant applicants;
c) enter into arrangements with any person or organization for the carrying out of research and payment of same;
d) periodically review grants programmes and develop long-term plans for research funding;
e) oversee the publication, as a result of the Institute's research, inquiries, investigations or interests, of such books, documents, pamphlets, articles, monographs or other publications as it deems advisable;
f) authorize the purchasing of such material and equipment and maintenance of such facilities as it deems necessary for the conduct of its operations;
g) enter into arrangements with the University for the purpose of receiving and disbursing funds, maintaining financial records and preparing financial statements of the Institute;
h) make bylaws for regulating the affairs of the Institute and, in particular, governing the calling of meetings, the times and places of meetings, the procedures at meetings and defining the number of members that shall constitute a quorum.
2. Composition: The Committee shall comprise ten voting members and the Director who shall be non-voting. The nine voting members shall normally be the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University and eight tenured faculty members to be appointed as follows:
a) the faculty members will be appointed in the first instance by the President of the University on the advice of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences to serve terms of one, two or three years, so timed that no less than one vacancy will occur each year;
b) all subsequent appointments will be made by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences on the advice of the Committee. Members will be appointed to serve three-year terms, renewable for one further consecutive term;
c) the appointed members shall normally be chosen so as to represent different departments of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences;
3. Meetings: The Committee shall meet at least once each semester. Additional meetings will be convened at the request of a Committee member. Meetings of the Committee shall be chaired by the Director.
4. Decisions within the Constitution: These decisions shall require a majority vote of the Committee Members who are in attendance at the relevant meeting.
5. Decisions affecting the Constitution: These decisions shall require a majority (that is, five) vote of the Committee members and shall be valid only with the approval of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
6. Remuneration: No member of the Committee, acting in his or her capacity as such, shall receive any payment or emolument for his/her services but each member shall be entitled to receive such remuneration for traveling expenses and other expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the work of the Institute as the Committee shall determine.
Article VI. Director
1. Mandate: The Director shall provide leadership for the activities of the Institute, and in other ways act as to best further the purpose of the Institute. Without limiting the generality of the above, the Director shall:
a) report to the Committee and assume day-to-day responsibilities for the affairs of the Institute;
b) sign all agreements, orders, rules and other documents on behalf of the Committee;
c) submit recommendations for the engagement of research and other staff with budgets;
d) actively search for sources of funding for research consistent with the Institute's mandate;
e) identify and encourage potential grant applicants;
f) facilitate the production and circulation of working papers and research reports by ISER Books;
g) stimulate and promote publishing by the Institute in areas that fall within its mandate.
2. Appointment. The Director, a tenured faculty member, shall be appointed by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences following consultation with the Committee. The Director’s term shall normally be three-years and may be re-appointed. The decision to re-appoint shall be made by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences following consultation with the Committee.
3. The Director shall oversee, on behalf of the Committee, the production of an Annual Report of the Institute's activities. That report will be addressed to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Article VII: ISER BOOKS
1. Mandate: ISER Books is the publications arm of ISER. Its role is to publish original works whose subject matters clearly fall within ISER’s mandate and which are of scholarly merit. Such works will be subject to editorial evaluation including an academic peer-review process.
2. Appointments to ISER Books shall be made by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
3. ISER Books shall be guided by the policies and procedures as established by the Committee. Decisions to publish shall be made by the Committee following the recommendations of ISER Books.
Article VIII: Awards Panel
1. Mandate: The Awards Panel shall evaluate grant applications and make recommendations, through its Chair, to the Committee. These recommendations will include a ranking of applicants, the amount of financial support to be awarded, and a justification. The Chair, on the advice of the Awards Panel, shall be responsible for providing first drafts of letters outlining recommendations to applicants for submission to the Committee.
2. Composition: The Awards Panel shall normally comprise five tenured faculty members. Four members shall be appointed by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences on the advice of the Committee (normally chosen so as to represent different departments). The fifth member, who shall be Chair, will be a Committee member elected by the Committee. Neither the Director nor the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences shall be members of the Awards Panel.
Article IX: Research Appointments
1. Title: All persons who pursue research on behalf of the Institute or under its aegis, and who are so designated by the Committee, shall be known as Research Fellows of the Institute.
2. The Committee shall determine the tenure, remuneration, benefits and appropriate title for each research appointment it makes in pursuit of its mandate as set forth in the Research Guides of the Institute.
Article X: Administrative Staff
1. Mandate: The Institute shall maintain an administrative staff such as is necessary for the efficient conduct of its affairs. The staff, under the supervision of the Director, will pursue such tasks as are set forth in their separate letters of appointment and such other duties as are assigned by the Director.
2. Appointments and Remuneration: The staff shall be appointed on the recommendation of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences on the advice of the Committee and in conjunction with other appropriate officials of the University. The appropriate procedure shall be followed concerning remuneration, pension provisions and other conditions of service.
Article XI: Accounts and Audit
1. Accounts: The Director shall oversee the maintenance of accounts and records of all financial transactions of the Institute and shall submit to the Committee annual financial statements and a balance sheet for the Institute at the end of each fiscal year. The fiscal year of the Institute shall be the same as that of the University.
2. Audit: The annual audit of the financial statements of the Institute shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures which apply to the annual audit of the University.
Revised - April, 2013