The American Academy of Health Behavior

Academy Bylaws

 (Last Revision 10/16/2017)

Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be the American Academy of Health BehaviorTM, hereafter referred to as The Academy.

Article II: Mission

The mission of The Academy is to serve as the research home for health behavior scholars whose primary commitment is to excellence in research and the application of research to practice. Academy goals include:

·       Fostering the development and dissemination of knowledge through sponsorship of scientific meetings, symposia, and publications

·       Recognizing outstanding achievements in the area of health behavior research

·       Encouraging collaborative research efforts

·       Influencing health policy and allocation of resources within agencies, private foundations, and universities

·       Foster the research career of young scholars

 Article III: Individual Membership

The Membership Development Council is responsible for evaluating all applications for membership, establishing appropriate criteria for membership, reviewing allegations of unethical conduct of members, and discharging the procedures for membership revocation. By applying for membership, applicants agree to accept and support the mission and goals of The Academy. Any member who pays annual membership dues is considered an active member of The Academy. There are three membership categories in The Academy: (1) Student Member, (2) Affiliate Member, and (3) Full Member; and four membership distinctions: (1) Founding Member; (2) Charter Member; (3) Fellow Member, and (4) Emeritus Member. Application for membership assumes and implies support for the stated goals of The Academy.

A. Membership: The Academy is a multidisciplinary society of health behavior scholars and researchers.

Membership Categories

Student Member: Successful applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral program in a related field. Students must provide a letter of sponsorship from a Full Member of The Academy verifying student enrollment status in a doctoral program. The intent of the Student Membership category is to provide students an opportunity to become involved in The Academy as he or she works toward completing the requirements for Affiliate or Full Member status. Student membership is limited to a maximum of 7 years.

Affiliate Member: Successful applicants must have at least two refereed data-based papers (quantitative or qualitative) published in national or international journals that regularly report findings of original health behavior research. Manuscripts “in press” or “accepted” are not eligible for consideration; only published manuscripts are reviewed. The intent of the Affiliate Membership category is to provide beginning researchers an opportunity to become involved in The Academy as he or she works toward completing the requirements for Full Member status.

Full Member: Open to persons who have at least 10 refereed, data-based papers (quantitative or qualitative) published in national or international journals that regularly report the findings of original health behavior research. Manuscripts “in press” or “accepted” are not considered; only published manuscripts are reviewed.

B. Membership Distinctions

Founding Member: Limited to the original 33 people who accepted the invitation and challenge to establish The Academy. Founding Members do not hold any special privileges beyond that of a Full Member. This membership distinction is merely a designation.

Charter Member: Limited to the 18 people who responded to an open invitation to join The Academybefore January 1, 1999. Charter Members do not hold any special privileges beyond that of a Full Member. This membership distinction is merely a designation.

Fellow Member: The status of Fellow is a superior distinction conferred by The Academy on members in recognition of an outstanding contribution to health behavior research. Fellow Members are entitled to use the designation of FAAHB after their degrees if they are active members. This category is open to members of The Academy who meet the following criteria:

·       Must have been an active, Full Member of The Academy for at least three years.

·       Authored or co-authored at least 50 refereed research papers (e.g. original data-based [quantitative or qualitative] research, data-based literature reviews, research syntheses, research theory papers) published in national or international journals that regularly report the findings of original health behavior research.

·       In addition to the above, candidates must also meet one of the following criteria:

·       Presented at least 75 scientific papers at national or international professional meetings.

·       Received at least 25 external research grants as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator.

·       Received at least $1.5 million (or U.S. dollar equivalents) in external research grants as a principal or co-principal investigator.

·       Contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in health behavior through research conducted and disseminated of such magnitude as to equal any of the other categories above.

Fellow confirmation requires a two-thirds majority vote by the Board of Directors (8 of 12 members). The Academy will officially award the designation of fellow at The Academy reception held each year during the annual scientific meeting.

·       Fellow Members are entitled to use the designation of FAAHB after their degrees if they are active members.

Emeritus Member: Emeritus is a status intended for individuals who are retiring from full time employment  but wish to remain actively involved in the Academy. Emeritus status requires a minimum of 10 years of continuous membership as a Full member and certification of ‘retired’ status. Emeritus members receive a reduced annual membership dues ($80) and annual meeting registration at ½ regular cost. Emeritus members receive no journal and cannot hold office in the Academy. Emeritus Fellow members may retain Fellow designation as long as membership is current. 

C. Revocation of Membership.

Membership can be revoked by failure to pay dues. In addition, any member may be suspended for a period of time or expelled from The Academy for just cause including, but not limited to, violation of any of the bylaws or rules of the organization, or for public conduct prejudicial to the best interests of The Academy. Suspension or expulsion requires a 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors. A specific statement of charges shall be sent by certified mail to the last known address of the member so charged at least 30 days prior to the action of the Board. The statement shall also include a notice of time and place where the Board will meet to consider the charge so that the member has the opportunity to prepare a defense and refute the charge if he or she so desires.

Specific causes for expulsion shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: 

·       Representation of personal views or opinions to the media or to the public as official positions or policies of The Academy, in the absence of explicit authorization by the Board of Directors 

·       Conduct that contravenes the stated goals of The Academy, including but not limited to fraud, plagiarism, misrepresentation of research, and actions not in concert with the professional standards set forth by The Academy

·       Evidence of misrepresentation of information on the application form 

·       Proof of scientific misconduct

·       Conviction for a felony or serious legal offense (as determined by the Membership Development Council) while a member of The Academy

·       Other actions detrimental to the activity, vitality, or reputation of The Academy

Article IV: The Board of Directors

A. Functions: The governing body of The Academy shall be the Board of Directors, hereafter called the Board. The Board shall:

·       Establish policies to govern The Academy

·       Establish nomination and election procedures

·       Nominate the officers of The Academy

·       Adopt and amend the Bylaws

·       Identify issues and establish priorities for The Academy

·       Appoint, employ, and discharge an executive director, who shall be responsible for much of the day-to-day operation of The Academy, and shall administer staff operations, all subject to the general oversight of the Board

·       Coordinate strategic long term planning for The Academy

·       Exercise such other powers and functions as may be necessary for the best interest of The Academy

·       Delegate certain of its authority and responsibility to the Executive Board

B. Meetings

·       Annual Meeting: The Board of Directors shall meet a minimum of once per year. A meeting will be held prior to or in conjunction with the annual conference. Both the old Board and the new Board shall attend this meeting, but only the new Board will have voting privileges. This meeting will last approximately 3 hours.

·       Mid-year Meeting: The Board will meet approximately 6 months after the annual meeting at a location specified by the Board members. This meeting will last approximately 1½ days.

·       Monthly meetings: The Board will meet monthly by phone at a time specified by the Board members. These meetings will last approximately 1 hour

·       The President of The Academy shall preside at meetings of the Board, and in the President’s absence, the President-Elect shall preside.

·       A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.

·       Board members and staff shall make periodic written reports to the President, who shall report overall developments to the Board and to the membership.

C. Vacancies

When vacancies occur on the Board, the President shall recommend candidates to fill the vacancies. When vacancies occur mid-year, the current President recommends candidates to the Board. When vacancies occur as the result of completion of a term or as a result of a Board member taking on a different role on the Board at the completion of their current term, the incoming President recommends candidates to the Board. In either case, approval requires a two-thirds vote of the Board.

D. Removal from office.

Failure by any officer, council, or committee chairperson to carry out assigned duties or to attend two consecutive Board meetings will be grounds for removal from office and/or from the Board. Removal will be decided by a 2/3 vote (the Board member in question cannot vote) of the Board. Should informal discussions with the President or other representative of the Board fail to resolve the problem, the officer or chair in question will be given written notice of the Board's intention to remove him or her 30 days prior to voting for removal, so that he or she may prepare and present a defense.

E. Compensation

With the exception of the Executive Director, members of the Board of Directors shall not receive compensation for their services.

Article V: Composition of the Board of Directors

A. Composition and terms of office

·       The Board of Directors consists of the President, Immediate Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Member Delegates, and Chairs of the six Councils (Awards Council; Equity and Diversity Council; Marketing and Communications Council; Membership Development; Professional Development & Mentoring Council; Resource Development Council), Conference Committee Chair, and the Executive Director (non-voting).

·       The President Elect shall serve one year, then become President, and serve a third year on the Board as the immediate Past-President.

·       The Secretary and Treasurer are elected for 3-year terms, which are renewable.

·       Three delegates shall be elected to 3-year terms that are staggered so that one is elected each year.

·       The council chairs shall be appointed by the Board for 3-year terms that are staggered so that two are elected each year.

·       The Executive Director is appointed for a 3 year term.

·       Board members must be Full Members of The Academy.

·       Election procedures shall be in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Board of Directors.

·       The Board may vote to add additional Board members for specified terms.

B. Elections

·       Elections shall be held in the Fall.

·       Voting privileges are restricted to Full Members.

C. Board Member Job Descriptions*

·       Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings

·       Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work

·       Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time

·       Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports

·       Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus

·       Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts

·       Participates in fund raising for the organization

·       Provides monthly committee and office related reports

In addition to their membership on Board,

1. The President shall:

·      Serve as the chief executive officer of The Academy and be responsible in all matters, stated or implied, that are related to the welfare, stature, and proper operation of The Academy

·      Prepare the agenda for and preside at all meetings of The Academy, the Board of Directors and the Executive Board

·      Be a non-voting member of all committees

·      Provide leadership to the Board of Directors. Help guide and mediate Board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns

·      Encourage the Board's role in strategic planning

·      Review the election results with the president elect and work with the president-elect to jointly notify the candidates of the results

·      Monitor financial planning and financial reports

·      Formally evaluate the performance of the Executive Director and informally evaluate the effectiveness of the Board members, councils and committees

·      Annually evaluate the performance of the organization in achieving its mission

·      Perform the duties customary to the office and such additional duties as directed by the Board

·      Not hold any other position on the Board while in office

2. The Immediate Past President shall:

·       Serve as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee

·       Manage the selection of the Research Laureate

·       Carry out additional duties as directed by the Board

3. The President Elect shall:

·       Perform the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of the President as determined bay the Board of Directors

·       Serve as liaison with committees and appointees

·       Prepare a list of potential officer nominees for Board approval and recruit them to run for office

·       Solicit conference proposals and ensure that planning for future conferences are on track, particularly planning for the conference during which he/she will be president

·       Perform other such duties as designated by the President and the Board

4. The Secretary shall:

·       Record accurate and detailed minutes of the annual meetings, and meetings of the Board of Directors, and the Executive Board

·       Maintain official records of minutes, motions passed by the Board, and other Board actions

·       Be sufficiently familiar with legal documents (minutes, By-laws, etc.) to note applicability during meetings

·       Perform such duties pertaining to the office as the President and Board may designate

5. The Treasurer shall:

·       Serve as the chief financial officer (and chairperson of the Financial Committee)

·       Develop and submit annual budgets, including a conference budget, to the Board for approval at the annual Board meeting

·       Ensure that receipts, deposits, and disbursements are in accordance with established policies

·       Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures

·       Present semi-annual reports to the Board of Directors

·       Ensure that the internal controls are adhered to and the financial policies are implemented

·       Advise the Board of Directors on fiscal matters

·       Ensure that conference grants are submitted

6. Member Delegates (3) shall

·       Represent the broad-based interests of the membership

·       Address issues related to diversity and mentoring

·       Communicate membership concerns to the Board

·       Review and evaluate the official Academy webpage

·       Review, evaluate, and improve mechanisms for communicating with members and providing member benefits

·       Perform related duties designated by the President and Board

7. Council Chairs (6) and Committee Chairs shall

·       Carry out the committee related work of The Academy

·       Report committee progress to the Board verbally and in writing in preparation for the monthly and annual Board meetings

Article VI: Executive Board

A. Membership of the Executive Board:

 The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Immediate Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Director (non-voting)

B. Functions of the Executive Board

      The Executive Board may act in place of the Board of Directors between Board meetings on all matters except those specifically reserved to the Board by the Bylaws, pursuant to delegation of authority to such Executive Board by the Board of Directors. The focus of the Executive Board is on the day-to-day operation of The Academy between Board Meetings. Actions of the Executive Board shall be reported to the Board for ratification at the next Board Meeting. Another responsibility of the Executive Board is to identify candidates for election who are capable of gaining the support of the membership and advancing the purposes of The Academy.

The President shall call such meetings of the Executive Board as the business of The Academy may require or a meeting shall be called by the President at the request of two members of the Executive Board.

Article VII: Executive Director (ED)

The Executive Director is an employee of The Academy, reports to the Board and is governed by the goals, plans, bylaws, and policies of The Academy. The Executive Director receives a stipend and selected operating expenses as determined by the Board. The Executive Director is expected to function with a high degree of autonomy without daily supervision, but in close and regular communication with the President, Executive Board, and Board. The Executive Director works directly with other elected and appointed members of the Board to facilitate the accomplishment of specific activities and to improve functioning. The Board hires the ED for a 3-year term with a 6-month probationary period. The Executive Board will provide an annual evaluation.

The functions of the Executive Director include the following:

1. The routine responsibilities of the Executive Director include distribution of dues notifications; collection of dues, conference registration fees, and other fees; pay bills, taxes, and licensing fees; maintain financial records of expenses, income, investments; solicitation of donations (ads for the conference notebook or non-restricted donations); reporting financial state of The Academy to the Board; manage the annual and conference budgets; prepare tax information for an accountant annually.

2. The Executive Director orders supplies, maintains the membership list, facilitates updating of the webpage, and assists The Academy representatives with their activities.

3. The Executive Director attends Board teleconference calls and the midyear and annual meeting.

4. Conference Planning: The Executive Director is responsible for the logistical details of the annual and mid-year meetings, including but not limited to, the following details: identifying the facilities; negotiating costs for rooms, food, etc.; developing the conference announcement; collecting conference speakers audio-visual (AV) presentations in advance of the meeting; preparing the conference notebooks, handouts, registration materials, receipts, name tags, post-conference surveys, and table signs. The Executive Director also serves as the AAHB contact with hotel personnel, arranges AV for workshops and presentations; loads all conference speaker presentations onto laptop computer or other appropriate media; arranges CHES or other continuing education credit availability; reports results of conference evaluation to the Board; facilitates the work of the Conference Program Committee; and attends site visits to assist in the selection of future conference venues; promotes conference through web site and targeted mailings.

5. Communication and Coordination: The Executive Director works with the Board and committees to foster communication about Academy activities and provides coordination of activities within The Academy and with outside individuals and groups.

Article VIII. Councils

A. Composition of the Councils

·       There are six permanent Councils.

·       Each Council shall consist of the Council Chair and at least three members.

·       All shall serve a 3-year term of office and terms should be staggered to allow for continuity.

·       No Chair may serve successive terms of office.

·       The nomination of a Council Chair shall be made by the President-Elect and approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

1. Membership Development Council

This Council has these major responsibilities:

·       Building and maintaining the membership of The Academy

·       Screening and evaluation of applications for membership

·       Establishing appropriate criteria for membership,

·       Reviewing allegations of unethical conduct of members,

·       Administering the procedures for revocation of membership

·       Screening and evaluating of members as potential Fellows with The Academy.

2. Professional Development & Mentoring Council

This council has the following responsibilities:

·       Develop member benefits and services

·       Promote increased recognition of member accomplishments and contributions

·       Offer professional development opportunities for all levels of Academy members: students, early career, established career

·       Facilitate year-round linkages and interactions between Academy members

·       Develop and maintain opportunities for mentoring and collaboration among members

3. Marketing and Communications Council

This Council is responsible for the following:

·       Promoting and marketing the academy

·       Evaluating and updating The Academy website;

·       Developing The Academy Newsletter;

·       Conducting member surveys

·       Disseminating scientific information such as conference proceedings

4. Resource Development Council.

This Council is responsible for

·       Enhance existing and develop new revenue streams for the Academy

 5. Awards Council

This Council is responsible for overseeing all awards and recognitions given by the Academy

·       Solicitation and nominees for of each the annual awards including

·       Judy Black

·       Research Laureate

·       Lifetime Achievement

·       Conference Poster 

·       Responsible for coordinating the delivery of awards at the annual meeting by participating as part of the conference planning committee

6. Diversity and Equity Council

This Council has two major responsibilities:

·       Work with the Executive Board to facilitate adoption, integration, and maintenance of diversity and equity values throughout The Academy’s membership and its activities.

·       Interface with and provide support to other councils and committees to fulfill their responsibilities as it relates to diversity and equity issues.

Article IX: Committees

A. Committees

1. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee will be chaired by the Treasurer and will consist of at least four additional members: Past President, Secretary, Resource Development Chair, and the Executive Director of The Academy. This committee shall have the following responsibilities:

·       Recommendations regarding fiscal policy to the Board, including but not limited to proposals and recommendations regarding investment and management of The Academy reserves

·       Accounting and fiscal procedures

·       Annual and conference budgets

·       Review of expenditures

2. Strategic Planning Committee

·       The Strategic Planning Committee shall be responsible for anticipating problems, opportunities, and challenges that, though not immediate in impact, are vital to the interest of The Academy and for recommending courses of action and strategies that will protect and benefit The Academy.

·       The Committee will consist of the President, Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Director and the three member delegates.

·       The Immediate Past-President will chair this committee.

·       The Committee will be required to meet at least once a year (at the annual meeting) and to file a written report to the Board at the annual Board meeting. 

3. Conference Planning Committee: The Conference Planning Committee will be consist of the Conference Planning Chair, Chair-Elect, Academy President, Immediate Past Conference Committee Chair, Program Chair(s), Research Review Chair, Research Review Chair-Elect, the Chairs of six (6) Councils (Awards; Equity and Diversity; Marketing and Communications; Membership Development; Professional Development & Mentoring; Resource Development), and the Executive Director. The Committee shall be fully responsible for the planning and execution of the Academy’s Annual Meeting.

Article X: Dues and Fees

A. Membership Dues

Annual and multi-year dues and assessments shall be established by action of the Board of Directors.

B. Active Member

An active member is one who meets all financial obligations and meets other such criteria as may be established from time to time by the Board of Directors.

Article XI: Publications

Health Behavior Research  is the official journal and is solely owned by the American Academy of Health Behavior. The Board of Directors of The Academy are responsible for identifying and monitoring the performance of the Editor of Health Behavior Resaerch. Membership in The Academy includes a subscription to Health Behavior Research.

Article XII: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall be July 1 to June 30.

Article XIII: Business Affairs

A. Severable or Transferable Interest

No member shall have any severable or transferable interest in the property of The American Academy of Health Behavior.

B. Management

All property of The Academy shall be subject to the control and management of the Board of Directors.

C. Appropriation of Funds

·       The Board of Directors shall adopt an annual budget.

·       Appropriations of The American Academy of Health Behavior funds shall be made pursuant to the authority of the Board of Directors.

D. Policies and Procedures

The Board of Directors shall maintain supplemental policies and implementation guidelines.

E. Reports

Each committee chair and appropriate officers and directors shall transmit annual written reports to the President who shall report to the membership.


Article XIV: Nondiscrimination

There shall be no discrimination against any individual on the basis of ethnic group, color, sex, creed, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

Article XV: Non-Liability of Directors

The Board of Directors shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities, and other obligations of The Academy

Article XVI: Indemnification of Directors

The American Academy of Health Behavior shall indemnify the Board of Directors and each of its officers for the defense of civil or criminal actions or proceedings in a manner to and permitted by applicable law.

Article XVII: Amendments to the Bylaws

·       These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.

·       The proposed amendments must be presented at least 30 days prior to the vote.

·       Proposed amendments may originate with a member, the Executive Board, or the Board of Directors.

Article XVIII: Parliamentary Authority*

To allow everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion, the latest edition of Roberts' Rules of Order, Newly Revised (by Henry Martin Robert), shall govern the proceeding of The Academy except where otherwise specified in these Bylaws.

The Board shall appoint a parliamentarian to advise the presiding officer on parliamentary procedure and help him/her conduct meetings using the four basic principles of parliamentary law: courtesy and justice to all, consider one thing at a time, the minority must be heard, and the majority must prevail.

Article XIX: Membership Authority to Rescind Actions Taken by the Board or Address Member Concerns

A petition containing signatures (or their electronic equivalent) from 10% of the Full Members of The Academy is required to hold a referendum on any matter of interest to The Academy. The referendum will be put to a vote of the Full Members of The Academy.

Article XX: Membership Decisions

Dissolution of the Academy or a substantial change to the mission must be voted on by the entire membership. A two-thirds affirmative vote of those voting is required to pass such a resolution; at least 20% of the membership must vote for the ballot to be valid.

Sections adapted from Board Source materials.

Joanne Sommers, M.Ed.,CHES
Executive Director 
Phone: (419) 760-6020

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