Constitution

1. Preamble

    1. 1. The Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards (hereafter, the Council) exists to promote the freedom to teach and learn within the law, without fear or hindrance, subject to public scrutiny; and to defend standards, personal, professional and institutional, which maintain that freedom.
    1. 2. To achieve these ends, a particular concern of the Council is its defence of individuals and groups of them in dispute with institutions over issues of academic freedom and of academic standards.
    1. 3. More generally, the Council shall campaign for equality of opportunity, fairness and openness in education; for greater transparency and accountability in the governance and management of schools, colleges and universities; and for independent investigation by outside bodies when there is a prima facie case that institutions have acted against natural justice.

2. Constitutional foundation and amendment

    2. 1. An establishing, general meeting of its members shall adopt a Constitution as it sees fit. This adoption shall be by a two-thirds majority of those attending or by a simple majority of all members through a postal ballot, as the establishing, general meeting shall decide through a two-thirds majority of those attending.
    2. 2. The amendment of the Constitution of the Council henceafter is within the sole jurisdiction of its annual general meeting. The annual general meeting alone has the authority to amend the Constitution subject to a two-thirds majority vote of those attending or to a simple majority postal ballot of all members, whichsoever the annual general meeting agrees to be appropriate for the amendment of the Constitution, subject to a two-thirds vote of those attending the said annual general meeting.

3. Meetings

    3. 1. The Council is an independent, self-ruling body, comprised of its members and subject to the general body of them called together in an annual general meeting, a general meeting or any extra-ordinary general meeting of all members.
    3. 2. There shall be the annual general meeting in the spring term of the academic year and also general meetings, once in each of the three terms.
    3. 4. Any extra-ordinary general meeting shall be called by a resolution of any ten fully paid-up members.
    3. 5. General or extra-ordinary general meetings shall approve the on-going business of the Council, except in regard to the election of the Council’s officers; except in regard to the annual approval of its financial affairs and also except in regard to matters relating to the amendment of the Council’s Constitution, all of which are under the sole jurisdiction of the annual general meeting.
    3. 6. Patrons shall be appointed from time to time by meetings of the Council from amongst those in public affairs who support the aims and objectives of the Council.

4. Committee arrangements

    4. 1. The annual general meeting shall elect officers responsible for the execution of the Council’s policy decided at its various general meetings and these officers will be accountable to that meeting, to general meetings and to any extra-ordinary general meeting.
    4. 2. Those officers will include a Chair; Treasurer; General Secretary (ies); Membership Secretary; Case Co-ordinator(s); Case Workers; Minute Secretary; Newletter Editor(s) and will also include other titled officers deemed appropriate.
    4. 3. All officers shall be honorary and they shall be recompensed only for working expenses (established by receipts) incurred on the Council’s business.
    4. 5. The Council’s Treasurer shall keep a record of its financial transactions and its financial accounts will be subject to an independent audit which will be presented to the annual general meeting for approval.
    4. 6. Officers will present a written report of their work for the Council to the annual general meeting and will report to the other general meetings as appropriate. Their annual reports will be published in the Council’s Newsletter.
    4. 7. Officers will meet in an executive committee(s) on a frequency effective enough to carry out the business of the Council. As a minimum, officers will meet one hour before general meetings and members are invited to attend as appropriate.
    4. 8. The dates, locations and business of any executive committee will be open to all members of the Council and its dates, location and business (and those of Council meetings) will be reported in the termly Newsletter devoted to Council business and sent to all paid-up members.

5. Membership

    5. 1. The Council seeks individual and corporate membership from all parts of the educational system and its annual general meeting shall set such conditions of membership and fees as it sees fit.
    5. 2. The Council shall end, suspend, postpone or amend membership as it sees fit. It shall affiliate to other corporate bodies as are deemed sympathetic to its general purposes.

6. The defence of those victimised

    6. 1. The Council is particularly concerned with the victimisation of individuals and corporate bodies exercising academic freedom and maintaining academic standards. To this end and in particular, its policies and resources will be so arranged as to support and defend these cases.
    6. 2. The Council will liaise therefore with such individuals and corporate bodies thought helpful in the defence, sustenance and protection of those victimised.
    6. 3. The work of Case Workers and their Co-ordinator(s) therefore attracts special regard by the Council at its meetings and at its executive committee(s).

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