The activities of the Society are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws, the rules and resolutions approved from time to time by the Executive Council in accordance with Article XIII of the Bylaws.
Procedures have also been established for the conduct of ASA operations, committee business and other activities, for example, for nominating fellows.
Information for Sponsors Recommending Members for Advancement
to Fellowship in the Acoustical Society of America
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, generation, promotion, or dissemination 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 or Associate of the Acoustical Society of America, depending on his or her contributions to the field.
2. Any full Member or Fellow of the Society in good standing 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 following items should be considered for possible inclusion in the professional history:
(a) Technical contributions to acoustics as evidenced, for example, by publications and presentations, patents, projects, significant work in acoustics and service to the Society;
(b) Participation in Society activities such as publication in ASA journals, attendance and presentations at ASA meetings, service as technical session chair, member of ASA technical and administrative committees, service as journal Associate Editor, reviewer for ASA publications, and service as an ASA officer. It is expected that a candidate approved for fellowship have an appropriate level of involvement in ASA. The definition of “appropriate” will depend on the candidate’s circumstances.
(c) Awards received from ASA or closely related societies;
(d) Contributions to the teaching or dissemination of knowledge of acoustics;
(e) Leadership activities in other acoustical societies;
(f) Standards activities;
(g) Consider including background information such as: Education (including degrees and awarding institutions) and positions held.
The format for the professional history is not specified although a vita may suffice.
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 Announcements and News section of the ASA webpage and announced at a plenary session of the Society. The citation should be preferably six to twelve words in length, but it must not exceed twenty words. Example citations can be seen on the Fellows of the Society webpage.
4. At least two supporting letters for the nominee are required. 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. Of the three letters required, at least two of the letters must come from Fellows of the Society, and the third must be from a Fellow or full Member. Also, not more than one should be from a full Member or Fellow employed by the organization which employs the candidate. In cases where an additional letter (or letters) might add important support to a case, it need not come from a Member or Fellow (although it can).
6. 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.
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 ensure 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
Procedures of the Membership Committee
This report has been prepared to help the membership understand the role of the Society’s Membership Committee. All activities and procedures described herein conform with the Committee’s procedures, as approved by the Executive Council.
The Membership Committee
The Membership Committee is responsible for reviewing applications for full Membership and Fellowship nominations, and for submitting its recommendations to the Executive Council. The Committee may recommend an election, deferral, or rejection to these grades of membership. The committee is also responsible for conducting studies as requested by the Executive Council about membership and membership trends.
The Membership Committee consists of a chair and one representative from each Technical Committee. Committee members must be Fellows of the Society and usually serve three-year terms with the preference that no member serves for more than two three-year terms. Members may not be current members of the Executive Council.
This is an activity that may bring much personal satisfaction when one sees well-deserving applicants elected to full Membership and nominees elected to Fellowship. The assignment, however, carries considerable responsibility. Committee members are responsible for reviewing and making recommendations for action on the election of applicants to full Membership and on nominations for Fellowship on a year-around basis. They are also required to attend all meetings of the committee, which are held at the spring and fall ASA meetings, to represent their own fields when presenting the nominees qualifications for fellowship, and to vote on all nominations.
The Chair is appointed for a renewable three-year term and, prior to that, should have served as a Committee member for at least one three-year term. A chair shall serve no more than two three-year terms. The Chair’s major responsibilities are to coordinate the Committee’s activities between meetings of the Society, communicate with the ASA Melville Office which provides support to the Committee’s work, preside at meetings of the committee to ensure fairness and consistency of decisions, and report the Committee’s recommendations to the Executive Council.
Application for full Membership is made by using the ASA application form which must include an applicant’s major professional experience, employers, duties and position titles, and his/her contributions to acoustics (publications, patents, service, teaching etc.). Applications are evaluated on the criteria for full Membership as stated in the ASA Bylaws as “Any person active in acoustics, who has an academic degree in acoustics or in a closely related field or who has had the equivalent of an academic degree in scientific or professional experience in acoustics. “
The evaluation process is primarily conducted between meetings of the Society and involves a review of applications and recommendations for action by a member of the Membership Committee in a relevant technical area and review of the applicants’ qualifications by the entire Membership Committee. The Committee then recommends that Executive Council elect, defer, or decline each applicant. Final decisions are by action of the Executive Council.
Advancement to Fellowship
Information for Sponsors Recommending Members for Advancement to Fellowship in the Acoustical Society of America can be found here. Guidelines for preparing nominating and seconding letters are available online.
The ASA 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.”
The Fellowship nominating process involves compilation of a dossier for each nominee. Necessary components of each dossier include: letter of nomination, at least two seconding letters, the professional history of the nominee, and the proposed citation for the fellowship. To the extent possible, the dossier should be completed without the nominee’s awareness of the process. The deadline for submitting completed dossiers is five weeks before the next meeting of the Society. It is important that the guidelines be followed, since dossiers are the bases of the Committee’s recommendations. Letters are expected to provide insight into a nominee’s most significant work in acoustics and the role that work has played in advancing the field of acoustics. Letters should be understandable to all Committee members, not only to those in closely related technical fields.
Factors that may be considered in approving or disapproving a nomination for fellowship include: (1) Technical contributions to acoustics as evidenced, for example, by publications and presentations, patents, projects, service to the Society; (2) Participation in Society activities; (3) Contributions to the teaching or dissemination of knowledge of acoustics; (4) Leadership activities in other acoustical societies; and (5) Standards activities. Due to the diversity of disciplines and activities of ASA members the relative importance of these factors will differ from candidate to candidate. As a general benchmark for approval, a fellowship candidate should be deemed to be approximately in the top 10% of the membership of the Technical Committee in his or her chosen area of interest. This benchmark would not be applied to candidates whose principal contributions are in the area of service to the Society. It is expected that a candidate approved for fellowship have an appropriate level of involvement in ASA. The definition of “appropriate” will depend on the candidate’s circumstances. For example, a candidate who publishes extensively should publish a reasonable fraction of his or her work in ASA publications and the candidate should participate in ASA meetings when practical.
The Membership Committee’s evaluation of fellowship nominations includes the following steps:
a. A nomination dossier is sent to the cognizant member of the committee not later than 30 days before the next meeting of the Committee. The review request includes an option for the committee member to decline due to a conflict of interest. If the Committee member reports a conflict of interest, the Chair will identify another member of the Committee to review the dossier.
i. Cognizant member reviews dossier in detail.
ii. Usually, committee members submit a written recommendation. While this is not required for a nomination to be considered, it is highly encouraged.
b. All dossiers are sent to all Committee members prior to the scheduled meeting.
i. Members review all dossiers prior to the committee meeting.
ii. At the Committee meeting, each member or surrogate presents his/her assigned candidates to the Committee.
c. Each nomination is discussed at the Committee meeting for as long as needed.
d. Vote is taken by a show of hands and recorded by the chair.
i. Vote may be taken to defer the decision pending additional information or further documentation.
ii. Vote may be taken to recommend for or against granting fellowship. The decision is advisory, final decision is made by the Executive Council.
iii. A simple majority of those present and eligible to vote rules.
iv. A quorum for voting shall consist of 2/3 of the members and surrogates.
v. The Chair votes only in the case of a tie.
e. Committee members are discouraged from nominating or seconding candidates for fellowship while serving on the committee.
i. In special cases (e.g., if no other suitable seconders could be identified) a member may ask the permission of the chair and be permitted to serve as a nominator or seconder for a fellowship candidate. In such cases the Committee member will not participate in the vote but may present the candidate. The request to serve as a nominator should occur in advance of writing the letter.
ii. Members of the Committee do not vote on candidates from their own organizations and shall not be present during the vote.
iii. Members of the Committee do not vote on or participate in discussion of any nominations where there may be an actual or perceived conflict of interest. A member with a conflict of interest should not be present during the discussion or vote.
f. After a vote for approval, the Committee discusses and, if necessary, modifies the citation.
g. Chair presents committee’s decisions, along with a record of the vote count, to the Executive Council.
h. After the Executive Director has notified the elected candidates, the Chair contacts nominators of deferred or denied candidates and informs them of the decision and the reasoning behind it and provides guidance for those nominators who wish to renominate the candidate.
The Chair and Committee members welcome suggestions from Society members concerning ways in which this process may be improved even further. The list of current members of the Membership Committee can be found here.
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 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.
ASA members who are interested in suggesting candidates for any award of the Society should contact the Chair or the appropriate member of the Medals and Awards Committee for information about how to submit their recommendations.
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, 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.
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).
ASA members are sometimes asked to prepare nomination dossiers which should be done in coordination with the relevant member of the Medals and Awards Committee.
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 of the Society and may serve for a maximum of two 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 up to a maximum of six terms 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 is 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 2016.]
Acoustical Society of America Tutorial Lecture Program
1. A program on Tutorial Lectures and a Committee on Tutorial Lectures Short Courses and Hot Topics is established.
2. The subjects of the Tutorial Lectures are to be selected by the Committee on Tutorials Short Courses and Hot Topics 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 Short Courses and Hot Topics 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 Short Courses and Hot Topics 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 and up to maximum of $1,000 for travel expenses for each Tutorial Lecture, to be shared equally among the lecturers if there is more than one. 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 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.
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 Officer 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 matter, 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 counsel 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.