Medals and Awards

Tutorial Lecture Program

Distinguished Lecture Program

Information for Sponsors Recommending Members for Advancement
to Fellowship in the Acoustical Society of America

Procedures for Addressing Grievances

(Approved by the Executive Council June 1998)

1. Introduction. From time to time a member of the Society or group of members may believe that they have been treated unfairly, improperly or unethically by an officer or committee of the Society, or by an individual acting on behalf of the Society. Such grievances may be disagreements on how the Rules of the Society are interpreted or administered, or may involve, for example, allegedly unethical action or behavior.

If direct and informal discussion between the parties fails to resolve the issue, an appeal may be made to the Society by the person making the complaint, as outlined below.

2. Scope. These Procedures for Addressing Grievances outline a series of actions to be followed by the Society and the Society's Committee on Ethics and Grievances in attempting to resolve grievances referred to it.

The scope of these Procedures does not include grievances within the purview of the Executive Council, the President, or the Society's legal counsel, such as:

  • a grievance that the Society may have against an individual or another organizations,
  • a grievance that another organization may have against the Society,
  • a grievance brought by a lawyer on behalf of an individual or organization.

3. Procedure. The following procedure for handling grievances shall be followed:

3.1 When the grievance involves procedural factors, the complainant should appeal in writing to the Office of the Society responsible for that area of activity (e.g., an appeal against the action of an Associate Editor should be made to the Editor-in-Chief, or on a matter involving standards to the Standards Director). A copy of the written appeal shall be sent to the Executive Director of the Society, who shall be informed of all subsequent developments during the resolution of the situation, and may advise either or both parties to the grievance. The Officer may either attempt to resolve the matter by discussion with each party individually or with both parties together as seems appropriate, or may refer the matter to the President.

An appeal received directly by the President, or at an office of the Society, that involves procedural matters shall be referred to the Officer responsible for the matter in question.

3.2 When the grievance involves broader issues or ethical factors, then the complainant shall be asked to submit in writing a complete confidential statement describing the details of the incident to the President of the Society (but note the provisions of 4 below). The President shall promptly acknowledge in writing receipt of the statement and indicate what, if any, further action is contemplated. Further action may range from a simple letter response within 30 days from the President indicating that no Rules of the Society have been violated and no action is appropriate, to referral of the matter to the Society's Committee on Ethics and Grievances. The President shall provide a copy of the initial written appeal, and all subsequent correspondence, to the Executive Director for confidential retention in the records of the Society (but note the provisions of Section 4 below).

3.3 The Committee on Ethics and Grievances shall ordinarily treat all matters referred to it as confidential. An exception is that confidential discussions may occur with, and advice may be obtained from, Officers of the Society when necessary. The Committee shall undertake one or more of the following actions, as appears to the Committee to be appropriate, no later than the next regular meeting of the Society following receipt of the grievance statement:

a) request direct interviews with either or both parties,

b) recommend appropriate actions to be taken by the President, such as meeting with the parties involved either individually or jointly,

c) recommend that the matter be referred directly to the Executive Council for disposition, or for the Society to obtain legal advice,

d) other actions as appropriate in the specific circumstances of the incident.

3.4 The Committee shall report its decision in writing no later than the second regular meeting of the Society after the issue was first referred to it. This report shall be made to the President, or to the Past President in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 below, who shall then request acceptance of the Committee's decision by the Executive Council. The parties shall be informed by the President of the decision of the Executive Council and any actions to be taken. The Society should not entertain an appeal of an accepted decision unless significant new information warrants it. [See Section 24 of the Rules of the Society.]

In addition to the Committee's decision on the issue referred to it, the Committee may recommend any changes to, or clarification of the Rules of the Society, or other actions which it considers desirable to avoid recurrence of similar incidents.

3.5 The Executive Director (but note the provisions of Section 4 below) shall be kept fully informed and monitor the progress of the Society's actions, shall ensure that the matter is treated in an appropriate and confidential manner, and shall ensure that advice is obtained from legal advisors and Society officers as required, as noted in Sections 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 above.

4 Contingencies. If the President is implicated in the grievance then the serving Past President shall fulfill the duties defined above for the President.

If the Executive Director is implicated in the grievance then the serving Past President shall fulfill the duties defined above for the Executive Director.

The serving Past President may serve in both roles if circumstances require it. When the serving Past President is implicated or unable to fulfill these duties, the President-Elect shall serve.

Procedures of the Medals and Awards Committee

This report has been prepared to help the membership understand the role of the Society's Medals and Awards Committee. All activities and procedures described herein conform with the Committee's Rules, as approved by the Executive Council.

A description of the Society's awards can be found by clicking here. The awards include the Gold Medal, the R. Bruce Lindsay Award, the Technical Area Awards (including the Wallace Clement Sabine Medal, the Pioneers of Underwater Acoustics Medal, the Trent-Crede Medal, the von Békésy Medal, the Silver Medal and the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal), the Distinguished Service Citation, and Honorary Fellowship. The Medals and Awards Committee also recommends American or Canadian nominees for the A. B. Wood Medal of the Institute of Acoustics (United Kingdom) in odd-numbered years, and may occasionally recommend the preparation of nominations for other non-ASA awards such as the President's National Medal of Science. The Committee is responsible for selecting candidates for all these awards, and for submitting to the Executive Council a final list of up to three nominees with indicated rank order. The Executive Council makes all final decisions concerning award recipients. The Committee works cooperatively with the Technical Committees to fulfill its responsibilities.

Nominating procedures vary for different awards. For some (Gold Medal, R. Bruce Lindsay Award, and A. B. Wood Medal), the Committee has sole responsibility for generating lists of candidates. Nominees for Technical Area Awards, in contrast, are proposed by the pertinent Technical Committees (many of which have appointed subcommittees to assume responsibility for this task). At least two Technical Committees must propose nominees for a multiple-area silver medal, the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal, for achievements overlapping more than one Technical Committee area. For the Distinguished Service Citation and Honorary Fellowship, any Member or Fellow of the Society may nominate candidates on forms available from the ASA Melville Office.

The nominating process for all awards involves compilation of a dossier for each candidate, using the required forms. Necessary components of each dossier include; letter of nomination, at least two seconding letters, complete vitae of the nominee following a prescribed outline, and the proposed Citation for the award. To the extent possible, the dossier should be completed without the nominee's awareness of the process. There are deadlines for submitting completed dossiers. The Committee Chair, Committee members, and the Executive Director can also provide information about submission deadlines; also, see Sec. 16.13 of the Rules of the Society.

Dossiers must be current with five years of the date of an award for which a nominee is being considered. If someone who has been proposed for an award does not receive it within five years, a revised vitae and a new nominating letter may be submitted to continue the person as a candidate for the award; otherwise the status of the dossier changes to inactive and the person's name does not reappear on ballots.

Guidelines for preparing nominating letters, seconding letters, and vitae are available from the ASA Melville Office. It is important that the guidelines be followed, since dossiers are the bases upon which the Committee conducts its voting. If all dossiers are arranged similarly and address similar topics, fair and equal treatment of all candidates is facilitated. It is the responsibility of the Committee member representing the relevant technical field to check dossiers to be certain they comply with these guidelines. Letters are expected to inform the reader of the nominee's contributions to the field acoustics what some have termed his/her "legacy" to the field and should be understandable to all Committee members (not only to those in related technical fields).

The committee consists of a chair and one representative from each Technical Committee. Committee members have two important roles. They are responsible for representing their own fields in the sense of suggesting candidates for awards, and for assisting Technical Committee subcommittees in preparing dossiers for Technical Area Awards. When voting, however, they are charged with studying all dossiers and voting for the best candidates regardless of the technical field involved.

Voting utilizes a ranking procedure. The Committee's ranking of the candidates is reported to the Executive Council, which may bestow an award on the candidate who received top ranking by the Committee or on another candidate; although the latter does not happen frequently, it has occurred.

Committee members must be Fellows and the Society and usually serve three-year terms. This is an activity that may bring much personal satisfaction when one sees a well-deserving candidate become an award recipient. The assignment, however, carries considerable responsibility. Members should expect to attend both Spring and Fall ASA meetings, to meet with the subcommittee of their own particular Technical Committee, and to spend a significant amount of time related to nomination and dossier preparation. When Committee members find that materials submitted for a dossier are not adequate or appropriate, they assist in the process of acquiring revised letters or vitae.

The Chair is appointed for a renewable one-year term and, prior to that, must have served as a Committee member and preferably have served on the Executive Council. The Chair's major responsibilities are coordinating the Committee's activities, making certain that all work gets completed on time and in good order, communicating with the ASA Melville Office which provides support to the Committee's work, and reporting the Committee's recommendations to the Executive Council. The Chair also arranges for the timely preparation of encomia, which are printed in the program of the meeting at which awards will be presented, and for insuring that the encomia are well and appropriately written.

As the Society's membership has grown, the activities of the Medals and Awards Committee have become more formalized. The Chair and Committee members welcome suggestions from Society members concerning ways in which this process may be improved even further.

[Based on an article by Lois L. Elliott published in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 79, 2096 (1986), with changes to account for new procedures effective in 2004.]

Acoustical Society of America Tutorial Lecture Program

1. A program on Tutorial Lectures and a Committee on Tutorial Lectures is established.

2. The subjects of the Tutorial Lectures are to be selected by the Committee on Tutorials from topics of current general interest to acousticians; the lectures are not be addressed to experts in the fields of the selected subject.

3. There shall be only one Tutorial Lecture at each regular meeting of the Society. The tutorial shall have a duration of about two hours and should be held on the evening of the first day of the meeting.

4. The Committee on Tutorial Lectures shall plan and organize the Tutorial Lecture and select the subjects and the speakers. The committee shall consist of six members of the Society appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Council.

5. The Committee on Tutorial Lectures will report on its activities to the Executive Council at each regular meeting of the Society.

6. The Society will provide an all-inclusive honorarium of $1000 for each Tutorial Lecture, to be shared equally among the lecturers if there is more than one. Each lecturer will also be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1000 for travel, subsistence and other expenses related to the lecture. The lecturers are expected to provide the Society with a set of notes on the Lecture suitable for duplication by the Society and distribution to attendees before the lecture. These notes may include the text or outline of the lecture, copies of the projected visual aids, and reprints of relevant published papers, at the lecturer's discretion.

7. The subject of the Tutorial Lecture will be listed in the Call for Papers of each regular Society meeting. There will be a registration fee for attendance at the Tutorial.

8. The Editor-in-Chief will determine the suitability of each Tutorial for publication in the Journal and will make arrangements with the authors if publication is considered desirable.

9. Deviation from the procedures described above requires approval of the Executive Council at least one Society meeting prior to the meeting at which the Tutorial is to be presented.

Acoustical Society of America Distinguished Lecture Program

1. On the recommendation of the Technical Council, an expert in a technical field relevant to acoustics may be invited to a present a "Distinguished Lecture" at a regular meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. The Distinguished Lecture will be scheduled as part of the regular technical program of a sponsoring Technical Committee, and will not be titled to honor any specific person by name. The Distinguished Lecture will be directed to an audience of people in the specific field of the Technical Committee which is sponsoring the event. Goals of the Distinguished Lecture are to attract non-ASA members who would have an interest in the specific topic, and to provide an opportunity to bring non-ASA experts to the meeting as lecturers.

2. Technical Committee Chairs will be expected to prepare proposals for Distinguished Lectures for consideration by the Technical Council. The Technical Council will rank order the proposal according to the need and quality of the proposals and will choose the one or two Distinguished Lecturers for the next meeting. Only two Distinguished Lectures per year will be authorized, normally one for each meeting. Remaining proposals may be resubmitted to be considered along with new proposals at a later meeting. The Technical Council Chair will report to the Executive Council at each meeting on arrangements for future Distinguished Lectures.

3. The relevant Technical Committee Chair is responsible for making all arrangements with the Distinguished Lecturer and, in cooperation with the local committee, in placing the Distinguished Lecture on the program.

4. Each Distinguished Lecturer will receive an all-inclusive honorarium of $1000, plus travel and subsistence expenses up to $1250.

5. The Distinguished Lecturer is expected to present the lecture in person. If he or she is not able to do so, the lecture will be cancelled and no honorarium will be given.

6. Any deviation from these guidelines must be approved by the Executive Council at least one meeting prior to the scheduled time for the Distinguished Lecture or by the President subsequent to that time if unusual circumstances require it.

Information for Sponsors Recommending Members for Advancement to Fellowship in the Acoustical Society of America

1. The bylaws state that any Member or Associate who has rendered conspicuous service or made notable contributions to the advancement or diffusion of the knowledge of acoustics or the fostering of its practical applications shall be eligible for election to Fellowship in the Society. A recommendation for advancement to Fellowship is appropriate any time after an individual has become a member of the Acoustical Society of America, depending on his or her contributions to the field.

2. Any full Member or Fellow of the Society may serve as sponsor of the member to be nominated for Fellowship. The sponsor should collect a professional history of the nominee and submit it, with an accompanying letter of nomination, to the Headquarters Office of the Society. The professional history should include the following:

•Education, including all degrees and awarding institutions

•Positions held

•Major professional achievements and awards

•Contributions to acoustics, including inventions and patents

•Publications including the initial and final page numbers for each publication. Please indicate also whether the publication is an article, letter, abstract, chapter in a book, etc.

• Details of the nominee’s involvement in the ASA including publication in ASA journals, attendance and presentations at ASA meetings, participation in ASA technical and administrative committees, service as ASA officer, technical session chair, journal Associate Editor, and reviewer for ASA publications.

3. The nominating letter should discuss why election of the nominee to Fellowship is appropriate and also propose a brief citation for the nominee. If the nominee is advanced to Fellowship, the citation will be published in the Acoustical News section of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The citation should be preferably six to twelve words in length, but it must not exceed twenty words.

Examples of Recent Citations

For contributions to acoustical design of performing spaces
For contributions to understanding the acoustics of marine mammals
For contributions to the acoustics of marine sediments
For contributions to therapeutic ultrasound
For contributions to microelectromechanical systems acoustic transducers
For contributions to ultrasonic signal generation and processing
For contributions to ocean acoustic instrumentation
For contributions to noise control and acoustic holography
For contributions to nonlinear acoustics and time reversal
For the application of ultrasonics to condensed matter physics
For contributions to neural encoding in binaural hearing
For contributions to fluid-structure interaction in sonar arrays
For contributions to vocal tract and speech modeling
For contributions to the mechanics of vocal fold vibration
For contributions to underwater acoustic reverberation and clutter

4. At least two supporting letters for the nominee are required, prepared by Fellows or full Members of the Society. Of the three letters regarding the nomination at least two of the letters must come from Fellows of the Society. The supporting letters should include support for the proposed citation. It is entirely the responsibility of the sponsor to solicit the supporting letters and insure their timely delivery to the ASA Headquarters Office.

5. Nominators and supporters should refer to the “Guidelines for preparing nominating and seconding letters for Fellowship nominations” in order to prepare letters that include the details required by the Membership Committee to evaluate nominations and the contributions of the nominees.

6. Of the three letters required, one from the sponsor and two from additional Members or Fellows of the Society, not more than one should be from a Member or Fellow employed by the organization which employs the candidate.

7. All documents related to the nomination, including the nominating and supporting letters and the professional history, should be sent to the ASA Headquarters Office. When all the required documents are received, they will be forwarded to the Membership Committee.

8. Nominations may be submitted by e-mail attachment provided that the letters appear on letterhead stationery and carry the signatures of the authors.

9. The Membership Committee will review the material, and, if it considers the nominee’s election to Fellowship appropriate, will recommend such election to the Executive Council of the Society.

10. The Membership Committee normally meets during the biannual Society meetings to act on nominations. To insure the availability of the required documents for review by the Committee members beforehand, all the documents must be received in the ASA Headquarters Office at least six weeks before the meeting at which action is desired.

11.  E-mail/postal mail address for submitting nominations:

Acoustical Society of America
1305 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 300
Melville, NY 11747-4300