EIR Policies & Procedures


American Academy of Religion, Eastern International Region Policies & Procedures

Contents:
I. Definition of EIR Membership
II. Policies and Procedures 
III. EIR Officer’s Responsibilities 
IV. Committees
V. Appendices: EIR Mission Statement, Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy

I. Definition of EIR Membership. All dues paying members of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) who reside in, attend, or are employed in the Eastern International Region (EIR) are considered members of the EIR through their membership in the AAR and are not required to pay additional membership dues to the EIR. The EIR region comprises Western Pennsylvania, New York State (excluding New York City), and the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Scholars, professionals, and students who reside outside of the region may elect to participate in EIR regional conferences, meetings, or additional programs as long as the hold current membership in the AAR. The EIR is working to represent in its membership and leadership the diversity of the region and to enhance its support of its membership with innovations to encourage collaborative work among members throughout the year.
A. Annual Conference. The EIR generally holds its annual conference in April-May in partnership with the hosting college or university where the current EIR President is in residence. Because the EIR is international with Canada, some annual meetings are held in Ontario or Quebec. All EIR members are invited to submit proposals to present papers or organize panels at the EIR Annual Conference. The EIR Annual Conference provides the opportunity to gather with colleagues, fellow students, and professionals from across the region to share research, share in conversations, and keep current on the field of religious studies in an atmosphere that is less formal than the AAR National conference. 
B. EIR Annual Conference: The annual conference of the EIR is managed by the EIR Executive Board. Registration fees are assessed and collected by EIR, the program ultimately directed and managed by the REC, and all of the conference arrangements such as meeting rooms and hotel discounts are made by the President and their team at the hosting institution. 
i. Timeline for Conference Planning is set by the REC and President (Timeline is included in the Appendix)
ii. The EIR Budget (see Appendix) will provide for REC and Student Director travel expenses, the Regional Travel Grant, and discretionary spending. AAR provides an annual subvention of $2500, plus a $300 travel grant, deposited to the EIR account in June. After budgeted expenses, accumulated savings, monies spent for discretionary expenses, there remain an indeterminate amount each from year to year. Preference for discretionary spending should be made for singular events that benefit the EIR membership in a substantive way.
C. Business Meeting. At the EIR Annual Conference, a business meeting will be held one of the two days of the conference. All EIR members are invited to vote on regional matters, if required. The purpose of the Business Meeting is to update members on actions of the EIR Executive Board of Directors, remind the membership of AAR Grants, particularly the Regional Grant, announce the results of EIR elections, present awards to the winners of the EIR Student Paper Competition, and communicate to the membership any proposed changes to EIR operations.


II. Policies and Procedures
A. Purpose of the Document: 
i. To function as historical record of the region.
ii. To be a living document revised annually to reflect how the Region actually functions.
B. Relationship of Policy and Procedures (P&P) to Operating Agreement: The EIR Operating Agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the governance of EIR, including its relationship to AAR National, lists the titles for all members of the Board (also known as the Executive Committee), lays out procedures for elections, discusses the restrictions and responsibilities EIR has as a non-profit entity, and the like. The Operating Agreement references the creation of a “Policies and Procedures” in Article 1, Definitions.
By contrast, the P&P is more operational, covering the details of managing the work associated with our primary responsibility, putting on the annual regional conference and supporting the scholarly and professional lives of our regional members. The Operating Agreement serves as our constitution and is revised or amended infrequently; the P&P is an evolving document we expect will be revised regularly.

The P&P will reference pertinent units of the Operating Agreement when laying out policies, and will include dates for policies, and who formulated them.

C. Responsibility for Maintaining and Publishing this Document is chiefly that of the region’s executive officer, the Regionally Elected Coordinator (“REC”), supported by the Past-Regionally Elected Coordinator. The Past-Regionally Elected Coordinator will revise the Policies and Procedures after the annual regional conference to reflect current region protocols, dating these revisions and signing them as author. The REC will incorporate the revised Policies and Procedures into the P&P document and distribute that to the current officers of the region to direct their efforts in the following year. The Multimedia Coordinator should ensure that a copy of the Policies and Procedures and its appendices, as well as the names and roles of all in current regional leadership, are available to any member via social media link. 
D. The Policies and Procedures can be updated as needed and saved as a new version annually with the author’s name and date to be kept in the REC files. The Policies and Procedures documents will be posted and accessible on the www.eiraar.net website. 


III. EIR Officers’ Responsibilities: Pursuant to the Operating Agreement Article IV, the Executive Committee (or “Board”) of the EIR comprises four offices and each of these officers must be a current member of the AAR in order to serve. Please see the appendix for the current leadership team names and email addresses.

A. Regionally Elected Coordinator (“REC”)
i. Serves the dual role of chief executive officer for the region and EIR representative on the AAR Regions Committee. 
ii. Ensures that the annual EIR Regional conference and business meeting takes place. 
iii. Attends as a voting member the annual Regions Committee meeting held the Friday before the national AAR conference in November. See https://www.aarweb.org/node/113
iv. At the 2019 EIR Annual Business meeting, a motion to support the expenses of the REC to meet the obligation of attending the national AAR meeting will be offered for a vote. The motion will propose that in the absence of institutional support, the REC’s attendance will be financially supported by an EIR stipend to cover travel to and from the meeting and one night hotel accommodation not to exceed the amount of $500. (AAR provides two nights’ hotel accommodation and three meals.) Receipts for all expenses are required (ultimately submitted to AAR in support of the annual regional report). These should be tallied and reimbursed by EIR check within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
v. At the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting, a motion to support the expenses of the REC to meet the obligation of attending the Regional EIR meeting will be offered for a vote. The motion will propose that in the absence of institutional support, the REC’s attendance will be financially supported by an EIR stipend to cover travel to and from the meeting and two night’s hotel accommodation not to exceed the amount of $300. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
vi. Chairs any EIR Executive Committee meetings. Chairs the EIR Annual Business Meeting at the annual Regional Conference and serves as a voting member. Attends as a voting member all AAR meetings as required by the AAR Regions Director at the National AAR Meeting held in November. Attends any additional meetings called by the AAR Regions Director. 
vii. As chief executive officer of the EIR, the REC keeps records of EIR proceedings, receives and disburses all EIR funds in accordance with policy and budget, presents at each annual Business Meeting a report of EIR financial transactions.
viii. As representative of the EIR to the AAR Regions Committee, represents the causes and concerns of the EIR to the AAR, serves as liaison between the regional and national organizations, fosters communication between the regional and national organizations, and prepares annual report of the EIR to the AAR. (See appendices.)
ix. Announces the Regional Travel Grant of $300 to be awarded by each region in support of travel expenses for members to attend their regional meetings. The Grant is deposited to the region’s bank account at the same time as the annual subvention. The REC chairs the EIR Travel Grant Committee, accepting applications for grant support and determining how the grant will be awarded. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
x. Manages the EIR election process of all officers except the REC, chairing the Nominating Committee, monitoring the election at the annual Business Meeting, and reporting its results to the EIR and the AAR.
xi. Nominated by the Executive Committee and approved by the regional membership at the EIR annual meeting to serve a 3-year, renewable-once, term aligned with the AAR fiscal year: July 1-June 30. May serve more than two non-consecutive terms.
xii. Communicates via email all members in the Region. (To submit a request form to AAR, found here: https://www.aarweb.org/membership/regions)

B. Student Director
i. Serves as EIR graduate students’ representative to both the EIR and the AAR
ii. Attends the Graduate Students Committee and Regions Committee meetings held on the Friday before the national AAR conference in November of each year
iii. At the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting, a motion to support the travel and hotel accommodation of the Student Director to the AAR National Meeting will be offered for a vote. (EIR provides registration and three meals.) In the absence of institutional support, attendance will be financially supported by an EIR stipend to cover travel to and from the meeting and one night hotel accommodation: $500. (AAR provides two nights’ hotel accommodation and three meals.) Receipts for all expenses are required (ultimately submitted to AAR in support of the annual regional report). These should be tallied, submitted to the REC, and reimbursed by EIR check within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. Receipts for all expenses are required (ultimately submitted to AAR in support of the annual regional report). These should be tallied and reimbursed by EIR check within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
iv. At the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting, a motion to support the travel and hotel accommodation of the Student Director to the EIR Regional Meeting will be offered for a vote. In the absence of institutional support, attendance will be financially supported by a regional stipend to cover two nights hotel accommodation: $300. (EIR provides registration and three meals.) These should be tallied, submitted to the REC, and reimbursed by EIR check within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
v. Attends EIR Business Meeting as a voting member and programs EIR Special Sessions for Graduate Students.
vi. Nominated by the Graduate Students and approved by the EIR membership at the EIR annual meeting to serve a 2-year, non-renewable term that begins at the conclusion of the EIR annual meeting in which elected. The Student Director may serve a 3rd year.

C. Multimedia Coordinator (Formerly the “EIR Secretary”)
i. At the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting, a motion to change the current Board member position and title of “EIR Secretary” to “Multimedia Coordinator” would be presented for a vote. (The current EIR Secretary did not have a clearly defined role (i.e., does not maintain EIR records or documents, or record minutes of meetings.) This transition will better serve the EIR for the purposes of advocacy and promotion of the EIR’s activities for the region and serve as the regional officer in charge of the EIR internet presence and communications. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
ii. Will maintain the EIR website, Facebook page, and/or other media that foster communication within the Region about business, events, and opportunities of interest and relevance to the Region’s membership. Updates Website upcoming events as needed [should be kept up to date monthly]. Supplies required Website maintenance and upgrading. Acts as administrator for the closed EIR Facebook Group Page by ensuring all posted content serves the Group’s intended purposes. 
iii. Ensures that each member of the EIR leadership, comprising the Executive Committee and the Program Chairs, has a current copy of the EIR Policies & Procedures.
iv. Attends the EIR Business Meeting and presents an annual Website analytics report.
v. Nominated by the Executive Committee and approved by the regional membership at the EIR annual meeting to serve a renewable 2-year term. Preferred Skills: (1) Word press/social media familiarity. (2) Basic digital photo editing skills and access to photo editing software. (3) HTML coding (not necessary, but useful).

D. President (The President and Vice-President constitute the minimum “presidential line” in the EIR.)
i. Serves a one-year, non-renewable term for the May-June year. . Term of Service: May-June.
ii. Presides over the EIR annual conference and business meeting.
iii. Determines the theme of the EIR annual conference and issues the Call for Papers.
iv. Oversees the EIR’s Program Units and Program Unit Chairs for the annual conference and business meeting. 
v. Along with the Vice-President, nominates a conference planning team drawn from Program Unit Chairs and EIR Executive Directors to create a Conference Planning Committee for the EIR annual conference and business meeting. Presides over the Conference Planning Committee at committee meetings.
vi. Plans the AAR Presidential Plenary at EIR. This may be an address made by the President or one made by another speaker or panel from the EIR or by the AAR Past President. Preference should be for a speaker from the EIR if possible. The President should introduce the AAR Presidential Plenary speaker to the EIR members gathered for the plenary, unless there is a compelling reason for another Executive Director  to do so. If the President is the speaker, the REC should make this introduction. 
vii.
viii. Chairs the Program Committee comprising the Program Unit Chairs, the Vice-Presdient/Program Director , and the Executive Committee to organize conference panel presentations at the EIR Annual Conference.
ix. Ensures that AV and other presentation equipment needs are supplied to conference speakers at the hosting college or university. 
x. Works with the AAR to secure a meeting translator and any necessary ADA services, the expense of which the AAR will pay.
xi. Serves on the EIR Board as a voting member.

E. Vice-President
i. Serves a one-year, non-renewable term on becoming President..
ii. Carries out the powers and responsibilities of the President if the President is absent or unable to act.
iii. Serves as co-chair of the EIR conference planning committee.
iv. Co-chairs committee in organizing panels for the annual conference. 
v. Provides procedural guidance to the EIR.
vi. Reviews the current Policies & Procedures documentation, updates the Policies and Procedures, works with the REC to update the documentation provided by AAR (Operating Agreement, Regions Handbook).
vii. Serves on the EIR Executive Board as a voting member. 


IV. Committees
A. Executive Committee: Comprises the four officers of EIR: the REC, Student Director, Multimedia Coordinator, President, and Vice President. Chaired by the REC and charged with decision making authority.
B. Conference Planning Committee : Comprises the four officers , the Program Unit chairs, and additional EIR Members nominated by the President and Vice-President. . Chaired by the  President and co-chaired by the Vice President.  Determines the location for the EIR annual conference. Coordinates and plans all aspects of the EIR  annual conference. .
C. Program Units. The Board of the President may establish or terminate Program Units, working groups, or other committees, juries, and task forces (collectively “working groups”). Beginning in 2020, Chairs of Program Units will be nominated to serve for the 2020 EIR annual conference. After the April 2020 EIR Regional conference, Program Unit Chairs may be appointed to a three-year renewable term by the Executive Committee from nominations received from Members. Members may self-nominate to serve as Program Unit Chairs. 
D. Nominating Committee: Appointed by the President, not fewer than three EIR members, at least one not serving on the Leadership Team, and directed by the REC. Charged with identifying Presidential line candidates and preparing a nomination for membership approval at the annual Business Meeting. A simple majority of those present is required to approve the nomination. 
E. Regional Travel Grant Committee: Comprises the REC as chair, the President, and the Vice President. Charged with disbursing the AAR Regional Travel Grant in adherence with AAR policies and regional needs. Shall advertise the grant, accept applications, and make decisions how to allocate the $300 allotted this by AAR. The grant may be awarded to one EIR member traveling to the meeting or divided among several. If the grant is not awarded in one year, the funds should roll to the next year to support more members’ expenses. The recipient(s) must be an AAR member, demonstrate need, and apply between November (after EIRCRS acceptances) and February (before the EIRCRS early registration deadline). The grant must be documented and submitted to AAR for oversight and reimbursement to the Region.
F. Student Paper Award Committee: Appointed and chaired by the REC, the committee shall advertise the award, accept applications, and decide which paper will receive the award. The intention of the award is to recognize superior scholarship among students and the awards will be announced at the EIR Awards Ceremony.
G. Election of Officers: The Nominating Committee presents its nomination for the Presidential line to the regional membership at the annual Business Meeting for 
approval. Nominees must be contacted for their agreement to serve. All EIR members must have active AAR membership.
H. Election of REC: The Executive Committee, exclusive of the REC though perhaps in consultation with the REC, nominates an EIR member to serve, who must be thoroughly apprised of and agree to serve the requirements of the office, and presents the nomination to the EIR members for approval at the annual Business Meeting. The current term of the EIR REC (Cynthia A. Hogan) ends in May 2021 but is renewable for one three-year term. 
I. Election of Multimedia Coordinator:  Currently, there is no multimedia coordinator. This position remains that of EIR Secretary (Christian Stakaruck, is stepping down as EIR Secretary in May 2019). On approval of the motion at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting, this Board position will revert to Multimedia Coordinator and for two-year non-renewable term beginning in May 2019. Motion approved at the 2019 EIR Annual Business Meeting.
J. Policies and Procedures: Additions, deletions, and changes to the EIR procedures and documentation shall be presented to the membership at the annual Business Meeting.
K. All nominations and proposals should be submitted 20 days in advance of the annual Business Meeting to the REC for inclusion in the Agenda. 


V.  Appendices: 
A. EIR Mission Statement
B. Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy

Appendix A

EIR AAR Mission Statement 
The Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion serves as a gateway into the academic study of religion for regional participants who reside in Western Pennsylvania, the State of New York (excluding New York City), and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Our main goal is to support AAR initiatives at the local level in our region. In support of the American Academy of Religion, the EIR fosters partnerships, collaborations, communications, and teaching in the field of religion through multiple lenses of critical engagement and in the spirit of free inquiry. The EIR is committed to upholding the highest level of inclusion, equality, respect, professionalism, and academic excellence in the academic field of religion. 


Appedix B
AAR and EIR Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy
[Aarti Patel, April 2019]
For more information on the American Academy of Religion Sexual Harassment Policy please visit https://www.aarweb.org/node/190 . 
The Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment of rigorous learning, research, and teaching in the field of religion. This includes a commitment to providing an environment that is free from sexual harassment and assault. Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace are not only discriminatory practices which are unethical, unprofessional, threatening to intellectual freedom, and a violation of professional ethics, but are also illegal under federal law. Members of the Academy each have the responsibility to behave in a respectful and responsible manner which fosters an amiable working environment free of harassment. 
In accordance with the sexual harassment policy of the American Academy of Religion, members of the academy are encouraged to file complaints about sexual harassment with the appropriate administrative offices of the institution where the harasser is employed or where they are enrolled, or with appropriate law enforcement authorities. The unfortunate nature of harassment makes it difficult to detect unless a complaint is made.
Sexual harassment includes:
Sexist remarks, jokes, or behavior
Sexual innuendos and unwelcome sexual advances, including unwanted touching, standing too close to or brushing up against a person
Sexual assault, including attempted or completed physical assault
The use of professional authority to inappropriately draw attention to the gender, sexuality, or sexual orientation of an employee, colleague, or student 
The use of authority and/or position to create a fear of personal or professional retribution (including, for example, conduct that adversely affects an individual’s current or potential future employment, standing within the institution, and/or reputation in the academic community) in the event the individual refuses or reports sexual harassment. Pressure to accept unwelcome social invitations
Insults, including lewd remarks or conduct
Visual displays of degrading sexual images or pornography
Giving gifts or leaving objects that are sexually suggestive

These behaviors have the effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, unsafe, and traumatizing academic environment. Such an atmosphere is not representative of the kind of environment the academy strives to create and maintain. Academic environments must foster intellectual rigor and trusting human relationships. Sexual harassment and assault have no place in the Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion
The American Academy of Religion Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure can be found at https://www.aarweb.org/node/190 .

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