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Operational Guidelines

Preamble

Article I: Mission

Article II: Membership

Article III: Host Institution

Article IV: Local AMICAL Representative

Article V: Governance

Article VI: Administration

Article VII: Members’ Financial Contributions

Article VIII: Standing Committees

Article IX: Ad Hoc and Other Structures

Article X: Annual Meeting

Article XI: Amendments

Preamble

AMICAL is an organization driven by the good will of its community and by principles of cooperation and collaboration in the pursuit of common goals. AMICAL aims to support consortial activities that:

These Operational Guidelines, however, provide a basic framework to guide members in the formalization and management of our organization’s structures, where that formalization is necessary.  

Article I: Mission

AMICAL is an international consortium of American-model, liberal arts institutions of higher learning. Our mission is to advance learning, teaching and research through the collaborative development of library and information services and curricular resources at member institutions. AMICAL is committed to sharing information and technologies across national and linguistic borders, using English as the primary language for consortial work.

Article II: Membership

  1. There are three categories of membership:
  1. Full Members:
  1. are institutions that meet the eligibility requirements in the Full Membership Agreement, have been endorsed by the Coordinating Committee, have been approved by the Members Council, have signed the Full Membership Agreement, and have paid their annual consortial contribution.
  2. are eligible to participate in all consortial programs, and have a direct role in the governance of the Consortium through their vote in the Members Council.
  1. Affiliate Members:
  1. are institutions that meet the eligibility requirements in the Affiliate Membership Agreement, are invited by the Coordinating Committee to join AMICAL, have signed the Affiliate Membership Agreement, and have paid their annual consortial contribution.
  2. are eligible to participate in all consortial programs, but do not cast votes in the Members Council.
  1. Network Members:
  1. are institutions that meet the eligibility requirements in the Network Membership Agreement, but may not meet all of the criteria for Full or Affiliate Membership (e.g. in terms of non-profit or degree-granting status). Network Members are invited by the Coordinating Committee to join AMICAL, have signed the Network Membership Agreement, and have paid their annual consortial contribution.
  2. are eligible to participate in selected consortial programs but cannot benefit directly from certain forms of consortial financial support, such as grants from non-profit foundations given in support of AMICAL. Network Members do not cast votes in the Members Council.
  1. Each member institution appoints a Local AMICAL Representative, whose duties are described in Article IV. The Local AMICAL Representative represents the institution in the Members Council, providing the institution’s input on discussions and, in the case of voting members, casting its vote.
  2. Membership can be suspended by the Coordinating Committee (acting on behalf of the Members Council) if a member does not uphold its responsibilities as outlined by the Membership Agreements and these Operational Guidelines.
  3. Any member can withdraw from AMICAL. Notice of an institution's intent to withdraw must be submitted to the Chair of the Coordinating Committee six months in advance.

Article III: Host Institution

  1. AMICAL's host institution is The American University of Paris.
  2. Should the American University of Paris withdraw as host institution, the Coordinating Committee will recommend to the Members Council (who will vote on same) the appointment of a new member institution as 'host.'

Article IV: Local AMICAL Representative

The Local AMICAL Representative plays a pivotal role in advancing AMICAL’s mission, and promoting the consortium and its spirit of collaboration as a group, by representing the member institution’s stakeholders, be they librarians, technologists, faculty, or administrators.

Duties:

  1. Encourage local participation in the consortium’s activities and networks.
  2. Maintain awareness about AMICAL, and their institution’s AMICAL-related activities, with their chief academic officer and other relevant campus leaders.
  3. Engage with and facilitate AMICAL-related communications, using AMICAL’s collaboration networks, social media and other channels. Facilitate input from local colleagues to AMICAL, and distribute AMICAL information to appropriate local colleagues.
  4. Participate in the annual Members Council meeting.
  5. Submit their member institution’s annual report.
  6. Keep records of AMICAL activities related to their institution, and make them readily available to their local colleagues and successors as AMICAL Representatives.
  7. Perform administrative tasks related to their institution’s participation in AMICAL, such as vetting/transmitting applications and requests for technical or financial support (Small Grants, conference/workshop participation, etc.)

Article V: Governance

  1. In the spirit of AMICAL, the organization attempts to operate through consensus and collaboration.
  2. Members Council:
    In matters that require such, each Full Member shall be entitled to one vote in the AMICAL Members Council, which is the overall governing body of the consortium. The Members Council:
  1. approves and amends the AMICAL Operational Guidelines
  2. approves long-term planning and other fundamental decisions proposed by the Coordinating Committee
  3. approves the addition of new Full Members and the suspension of members if necessary
  4. elects the members of the Coordinating Committee
  1. Coordinating Committee:
    Operational oversight for AMICAL is provided by the Coordinating Committee (CC), which approves policies and directions for the consortium's activities. The CC provides financial oversight, in particular concerning members’ consortial contributions, and may audit the Consortium Director’s financial records for the consortium.
  1. The full CC is comprised of:
  1. four elected officers (elected and voting), being from Full Member institutions
  2. the Consortium Director (ex-officio and voting)
  3. the chair of each Standing Committee (ex-officio and non-voting)
  1. In cases where the CC is voting on a question where a voting member stands to benefit directly from the outcome, that member should make the CC aware of this and abstain from voting.
  2. In order to ensure breadth of representation, no institution may be represented by more than one voting member on the CC.
  1. Officers:
    The officers of the Coordinating Committee shall be Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, Member-at-Large:
  1. Chair: convenes and presides over meetings of both the Members Council and the Coordinating Committee; with CC members, creates an agenda for meetings; in coordination with the Consortium Director, may act as official representative of AMICAL to external groups (other consortia, etc.).
  2. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: assists the Chair in the performance of her/his duties; serves as Chair when requested to do so by, or in the absence of, the Chair.
  3. Secretary: is responsible for maintaining the records of meetings of the Members Council and the Coordinating Committee; ensures the availability of AMICAL documents and communications to all members; assists with maintenance of official lists of member institutions, AMICAL Representatives, AMICAL committee memberships, and other types of contact information for persons and institutions involved with AMICAL.
  4. Member-at-Large: acts as a voice of membership, ensuring that interests of the general membership are represented in the Coordinating Committee.
  1. Terms of Office:
    The officers of the Coordinating Committee shall assume their duties on 1
    October after their election. All the officers shall serve a term of 2 years. In order to ensure continuity, however, the Vice Chair/Chair Elect during a given term will automatically become Chair for the following term. No officer may serve in more than one office at a time; no officer may serve more than six consecutive years on the Coordinating Committee.
  2. Nominations:
    Open nominations will start during the annual conference and will close shortly thereafter. AMICAL Representatives will nominate a slate of candidates for the consideration and vote of Members Council.  
  3. Elections:
    The Members Council will cast their votes electronically for the election of three officers (four in the 2015 election) shortly after the close of nominations. Each Full Member shall vote for one person for each of the elected seats on the Coordinating Committee (i.e. four people in the 2015 election, and three people in following elections). The candidates with the greatest number of votes shall be elected.
    In the event of a tie, a new ballot will be held for the tied candidates. The new officers will assign themselves the charges of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Member-At-Large (as well as the Chair in the first election).
  4. Vacancies:
    In the event of a vacancy before end of term for the Chair, the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect shall take the office of Chair for the remainder of that term and shall subsequently serve her/his anticipated 2-year term as Chair. Other vacancies shall be filled, for the remainder of their term, by appointment by the Coordinating Committee.

Article VI: Administration

  1. As necessary for the effective development and management of consortial operations, and insofar as AMICAL's resources permit, the Coordinating Committee may recommend to the host institution that they hire individuals to administer or assist with the consortium's operations. Such positions may be temporary for a fixed period as established, for example, by a grant to the consortium.
  2. In particular, a Consortium Director is employed (funds permitting) by the host institution and is charged with directing and managing the planning, operations, assessment and finances of AMICAL. The Director reports annually on the consortium’s activities and finances to the Coordinating Committee, to external funding agencies, and to Members Council.

Article VII: Members’ Financial Contributions

  1. Members’ consortial contributions should be set at a level enabling sufficient financial stability for multi-year planning of AMICAL’s programs. They are also influenced by requirements from major funding agencies that expect a significant level of co-financing on the part of member institutions. Contribution levels shall be approved annually by the Coordinating Committee.
  2. Member contributions are requested annually and are made on the basis of AMICAL’s fiscal year of 1 August through 31 July.

Article VIII: Standing Committees

  1. Standing Committees lead, manage and advise on active consortial programs and projects with concrete deliverables, and should be small enough to be agile and effective. Standing Committees should also be sharing with, and gathering input from, the broader membership, and they may wish to create an Interest Group (described below), or work with an existing one, to facilitate this communication.
  2. Standing Committees will choose their own Chairs. The Chair of each Standing Committee serves as a consultative member of the CC.
  3. Standing Committee membership may be comprised of colleagues from any category of AMICAL membership.
  4. The Coordinating Committee approves the creation/disbanding of Standing Committees. The CC establishes the requirements and procedures for creating/disbanding Standing Committees and makes these readily available to all AMICAL members.
  5. The Standing Committee officers commit themselves to dedicating a small amount of time to consortial businesses, including occasional Coordinating Committee meetings, sharing and publishing as widely as possible the results of their activities, and submitting an annual committee report to the CC.

Article IX: Ad Hoc and Other Structures

  1. From time to time and as necessary, the Chair of the Coordinating Committee may establish a task force or ad hoc committee to further the work of the consortium. Each such task force or committee will have a charge and an end-date for its work, and members shall be appointed in consultation with the CC.
  2. Interest Groups: Groups of AMICAL colleagues that need a forum for discussing a common interest related to AMICAL’s mission may create an Interest Group. As an Interest Group, they can make use of AMICAL’s communication tools and resources supporting this. The Coordinating Committee establishes the requirements and procedures for creating/disbanding Interest Groups and makes these readily available to all AMICAL members; as a general rule, however, Interest Groups may be disbanded by the CC if they have had no visible activity for more than one year.

Article X: Annual Meeting

  1. AMICAL shall hold an annual face-to-face meeting and conference where all member institutions must be represented. The event should include meetings for the Members Council and other committees, as well as presentations, workshops, discussions and other opportunities for peer-to-peer sharing, learning and collaboration related to AMICAL’s mission.
  2. As soon as possible after the designation of the annual conference host institution, a conference planning committee shall be established, including members from the conference host institution as well as other AMICAL institutions.

Article XI: Amendments

These Operational Guidelines may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Members Council. Any changes must be proposed by a Full Member to the Coordinating Committee for review. The CC may then propose the amendment for adoption, in which case it should share the amendment in writing (electronically) with the Members Council approximately one month before a vote is taken.

This document drafted 11 November 2006; adopted by AMICAL 1 December 2006.
Amended 28 May 2007.
Amended 17 August 2015.