Council of the AAS
The Council is the governing body of the AAS and is responsible for the management, direction and control of the affairs and the property of the AAS. The official record of Council actions and resolutions is kept in the AAS Secretary's Office.
Executive Committee: Acting for the Council between its meetings, the Executive Committee is comprised of the President, Past-President or President-Elect, the two most senior Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Officer, and other officers or councilors as designated by the Council.
The guidelines below, taken from our page on governance, detail when and how Council Resolutions may be adopted.
On AAS Resolutions
Adopted 24 May 2003
AAS Resolutions ordinarily should pertain to areas in which the Society has special expertise. In areas where the AAS lacks special expertise, but wishes to take a position, the President or their delegate should negotiate a joint resolution with a scientific society (or societies) having that special expertise, or consider an endorsement of a pre-existing position by another society (or societies).
Policy on Resolution Approval Process
Adopted 24 May 2003
- a) Draft resolutions may be submitted to the Executive Committee by AAS Committees or Council members at any time.
b) Draft resolutions may be submitted directly to the Executive Committee at any time by any full member if accompanied by four signatures of other full members.
- The Executive Committee should review the content of the draft resolution and refer the draft to the Committe on Astronomy and Public Policy (CAPP) for review or to any other appropriate AAS Committee(s) or Division(s) as necessary
a) CAPP should review the draft resolution specifically in regard to any specific benefits or potential harm that may accrue to the Society by the adoption of the resolution.
b) Other Committees or Divisions should provide expert advice on specific matters, e.g. planetary science, employment issues, education concerns, RFI mitigation as necessary.
- a) Once the opinion of CAPP and any other cognizant committee is received by the Executive Committee, it should either adopt the resolution or forward the resolution to the full AAS Council for discussion and review. The Executive Committee may modify the resolution prior to forwarding the resolution to the entire council.
b) Discussion by the full Council would be recommended for those resolutions that are deemed by the Executive Committee to be either controversial in nature, that require the broadest possible discussion and debate or that may require additional expert input or development prior to adoption.
c) A public comment period, of a reasonable length of time and made widely known to the membership, should be established by the Executive Committee during the consideration of all resolutions,so that AAS members may comment on any proposed policy statement.
d) In cases requiring rapid action, the Executive Committee may proceed to take action without allowing a public comment period, but should notify the Council of any action undertaken.
- a) The Council must (in accordance with the by-laws of the Society) in all cases vote to approve the actions of the Executive Committee taken between Council meetings, which may include the adoption of resolutions.
b) A super majority (2/3 of the voting members of the Council) shall be required for adoption of any resolution.
- a) AAS Resolutions should be reviewed by CAPP each year and a list of those resolutions recommended to be retained by the Society should be presented to Council at each summer AAS meeting.
b) Council should decide which resolutions to retain for the coming year at each summer AAS meeting.
- a) A list of the titles of the current AAS Resolutions and links to the full text on the AAS web pages should be published regularly in the AAS Newsletter or distributed to the membership by other means.
b) The AAS Press Officer should be consulted as to the best way to widely disseminate any newly adopted AAS resolution.
On AAS Policy Actions
Adopted 24 May 2003
From time to time the President or Executive Committee may decide to take some action, either in response to input from the Council, a committee or on their own initiative, that does not require the adoption of a Resolution. Examples include sending a letter to a government official or the media on a policy matter, joining other societies in signing such a letter, issuing Action Alerts to the membership, or thanking policy makers for taking some particular action. Activities such as these will be called Policy Actions and be reported to the Council in accordance with the by-laws. In the case of Action Alerts or Informational Emails, only the approval of the chair of the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy is required to allow distribution.