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Bylaws

As amended September 2016

ARTICLE I - NAME AND NATURE OF ORGANIZATION

Sec. 1. The name of this organization shall be the International Hearing Society hereinafter referred to as the Society or IHS.

Sec. 2. The nature of this organization is that of an association of professional persons involved in the science of hearing.

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

The purpose of the Society shall be and is:

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

Sec. 1.   IHS will be comprised of the following categories of members.  All categories involving the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting,  and dispensing hearing instruments and counseling patients shall abide by the Society’s Code of Ethics.  The Membership Qualifications Committee (Article XII) will evaluate and pass on the qualifications in each category of membership.

a. Professional Members – Those individuals who are engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting, counseling patients and dispensing hearing instruments.  Professional Members shall have full voting privileges.

b. Associate/Affiliate Members – Those who support the purposes of the Society as defined in Article II.  Such individuals may include office staff, receptionists or any other support staff, educators, physicians, counselors or those employed by a hearing industry manufacturer or supplier.   Associate/Affiliate Members shall have no voting privileges.

c. Student Members Those who are pursuing an academic or vocationally based program of study in the practice of hearing instrument sciences or other related professions.  Student Members shall have no voting privileges.

d. Inactive Members Those who have been active IHS Members, who no longer are active in their respective fields, and who apply for Inactive Membership.  Inactive Members shall have no voting privileges.

  1. Upon approval by the Board of Governors, applicants shall thereupon become Inactive Members and shall be required to pay an annual fee beginning with the next fiscal year.
  2. If such Inactive Member shall become actively engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting, counseling patients and dispensing hearing instruments, he/she shall so notify the Board and apply for reinstatement as an active IHS Member.  The Board shall pass on such application at its next meeting, and if approved, such member shall again become an active IHS Member, and shall be required to pay full dues as imposed on each member, such payment to be due at once and to be pro-rated from the date of the granting of such an active membership to the end of the current fiscal year.  Failure to apply for reinstatement as an active member within 90 days of the date of again becoming active shall be reason for revocation of membership.

Sec. 2. Honors.

Honorary Fellows
Those persons whom the Board of Governors may from time to time deem suitable to receive the honor of membership shall be designated Honorary Fellows of the Society. Such members shall pay no dues or assessments and shall have no voting privileges.
Honorary Life Members
Those members or previous members whom the Board of Governors shall from time to time deem suitable to receive the honor of membership shall be designated as Honorary Life Members of the Society. Such members shall pay no dues or assessments and shall have no voting privileges.
Honors of the Society shall be awarded as follows: The President shall appoint a special committee to nominate and study the worthiness of such nominees for honors and special awards. Such selections shall be presented to the Executive Committee. Final selection shall be made by the Executive Committee and submitted to the Board of Governors for final approval.

Sec. 3. Dues.

a. All members shall be required to pay all dues or assessments as established by the Board of Governors.

b. All past presidents of this Society and its predecessors, the National Hearing Aid Society and the Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, shall have no obligation for the payment of dues or assessments.

 

Sec. 4. Delinquent Dues and Assessments.

Any active member who shall become delinquent more than three months in the payment of regular dues or assessments shall cease to be a member of the Society. The Board may fix such other penalty schedules for late payments of dues and assessments as it sees fit. Such member may be reinstated by making application as in the case of the original application, including the initial fees, to the Executive Director, accompanied by a sum equal to all past and current dues and assessments and upon approval of such application by the Board of Governors, such person shall again become a member in good standing. The Board may remit such portion of past unpaid dues and assessments as it may deem equitable.

ARTICLE IV - OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Sec. 1. No person shall hold any office in the Society or act as a member of the Board of Governors unless he/she shall be a Professional Member who is engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting, counseling patients and dispensing hearing instruments for a period of not less than three (3) years immediately preceding his/her election. The above prohibition shall not apply to the Office of Executive Director.

Sec. 2. The Officers shall consist of a President, Immediate Past President, President Elect, Secretary and a Treasurer.

Sec. 3. The Board of Governors shall consist of the Officers and nine (9) Territorial Governors and two (2) Governors-at-Large, one of whom shall be the Immediate Past President and the other, the President-Elect.

Sec. 4. The President and President-Elect.

The President-Elect shall be elected by the voting membership. The President shall serve a term of two (2) years. The President-Elect shall serve one (1) two (2) year term as a Governor-at-Large and may not succeed himself/herself. Upon completing one (1) two (2) year term as President-Elect, he/she will automatically become President for one (1) two (2) year term. At the completion of one (1) two (2) year term as President, he/she shall automatically become a Governor-at-Large for the succeeding two (2) year term.

Sec. 5. Secretary.

The Secretary shall be elected annually by and from the Board of Governors for a one (1) year term, excepting that such term will automatically terminate at the time the member ceases to be Territorial Governor. No Governor may hold this position more than a total of three (3) full one (1) year terms.

Sec. 6. Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall be elected annually by and from the Board of Governors for a one (1) year term, excepting that such term will automatically terminate at the time the member ceases to be a Territorial Governor. No Governor may hold this position more than a total of three (3) full one (1) year terms. The Board may appoint an Assistant Treasurer, who need not be a member of the Society, to serve for a period of one (1) year from date of such appointment, or any shorter period as determined by the Board.

Sec. 7. Territorial Governors

a. Nine (9) Governors shall be elected, one from each of the following territories:

The term of office for Governor shall be three (3) years, except as otherwise provided in Article IV, Section 7b. After a person has served three full terms as Territorial Governor, he/she may not be elected or appointed to the position of Territorial Governor until a period of four (4) years has passed since he/she has held any position on the Board of Governors, excepting that a member may be nominated by petition after a period of two and one-half (2-1/2) years has passed since he/she has been on the Board of Governors. The Governor may also be considered eligible to serve on the Executive Committee.

In the event the office of any Territorial Governor becomes vacant during any term, a new Governor will be appointed by the President, with the approval of a majority of the Board of Governors. Prior to making the appointment, the President will first solicit recommendations for that office from the President of the Chapters in that territory. Such appointee will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Sec. 8. Recall from Office.

If it should ever be deemed necessary to recall an officer from office for neglect of duty, malfeasance of office or physical inability to serve, the following procedures shall be followed:

ARTICLE V - DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Sec. 1. The President shall be the Chief Executive of the Society. He/she shall preside at all General Meetings of the Society, the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors. He/she shall appoint all committees with the approval of a majority of the Board of Governors. The President will have the right to remove any committee member for cause. The President shall see that all rules and regulations of the Society are enforced. The President shall vote at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors. Whenever a tie vote occurs, the issue will be decided by the President.

Sec. 2. The President-Elect shall attend and observe the General Meetings of the Society, the Executive Committee, the Board of Governors and other meetings, which the President shall suggest, and shall undertake such activities as the President might request for the purpose of familiarizing himself/herself with the operations and activities of the Society. The President-Elect shall function as a Governor-at-Large during his/her term and preside at all meetings of the Society, Board of Governors or Executive Committee, when the President is absent.

Sec. 3. The Secretary shall have charge of the official minutes of each meeting and keep accurate account thereof. He/she shall keep a complete and accurate roster of the membership and utilize the services of the Executive Director and the IHS staff in fulfilling his/her duties.

Sec. 4. The Treasurer shall collect and keep in a depository designated by the Board of Governors all dues and other monies received by the Society, approve and pay all obligations of the Society, make reports of the affairs of the Society to the Board of Governors and the Society, as often as shall be required by the Board of Governors, but not less than once a year. The Treasurer shall utilize the services of the Executive Director and the IHS staff in fulfilling his/her duties.

a. All persons handling funds of the Society shall be bonded. All annual reports made by the Treasurer shall be audited by a Certified Public Accountant.

Sec. 5. The Board of Governors shall transact the business of the Society and perform the duties as heretofore and hereafter defined in these Bylaws. The Board will meet on the days preceding and/or following each annual meeting and as often during the year as it shall be called into session by the President provided, however, that if any five (5) members of the Board shall desire a meeting of the Board, they shall notify the President of that fact together with their reasons for desiring such meeting. The President shall issue a call for such meeting within fourteen (14) days from the date of mailing such notice addressed to him or her at the Headquarters of the Society, such meeting to be held no more than twenty-one (21) days from the date of such request. A quorum of the Board of Governors shall consist of a majority of the Board members. A semiannual Board of Governors meeting will be held at a place to be recommended by staff and approved by the President.

d. The Board of Governors shall approve the annual budget.

ARTICLE VI - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Sec. 1. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary and Treasurer.

ARTICLE VII - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Sec. 1. An Executive Director shall be employed by the Executive Committee for such term and at such salary and under such contract provisions as the Executive Committee may set.

Sec. 2. The Executive Director shall carry out the day to day operation of the Society and may establish such policy as is necessary to do so, all subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. He/she shall assist the President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer in their duties. He/she shall collect all dues and assessments and deliver the same to the Treasurer, prepare all necessary forms, shall annually make recommendations to the Board of Governors, investigate and render written reports to the Grievance Committee or the Board of Governors concerning all complaints made against any member, and to that end, may require any member to appear before him/her in person, or in writing, and answer such complaint or give evidence under oath or affirmation concerning the same. He/she shall maintain liaison with other professional groups interested in hearing health care and shall attend any meetings of such groups which he/she shall be directed to attend by the President, the Executive Committee or the Board of Governors. He/she shall perform such other duties or requirements as are usual or customary for the office.

ARTICLE VIII - MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Sec. 1. Dates.

The Annual Meeting of this organization will be held each year at a time and place to be approved by the Board of Governors.

Sec. 2. Special meetings of the membership may be called by a majority of the Board of Governors, which call shall fix the time and place of such meetings, together with the purpose or purposes of such meetings (only such business as conforms with the announced purpose or purposes of the special meeting may be transacted at such meeting). Notice of any special meeting shall be mailed to the membership not less than thirty (30) days preceding the date fixed for such meetings.

Sec. 3. The presence of ten percent (10%) of the advanced voting registrants to any annual or special general meeting shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any such meeting.

Sec. 4. Notice of Annual meetings shall be given to all members not less than sixty (60) days proceeding the date of such meetings.

ARTICLE IX - NOMINATION PROCEDURE

Sec. 1. For President-Elect.

Sec. 2. For Governors.

The President will solicit from each Chapter President a recommendation of an IHS member from his or her Chapter for membership on the Nominating Committee.

ARTICLE X - VOTING

Sec. 1. Each member of the Society who is a Professional Member, in good standing, shall have voting rights. No member shall have more than one vote on any given issue. Members may exercise their voting rights in person or by proxy in all general meetings of the Society, except as otherwise provided herein.

Sec. 2. Forms of proxies shall be approved by the Board of Governors and furnished by the Executive Director who shall mail them to each voting member in duplicate at least thirty (30) days before the date of any general meeting. Only such proxies shall be valid. One copy shall be properly filled out and returned to the Executive Director for review, filing and recording, on or before twelve (12) o'clock noon of the third day immediately preceding the day fixed for any general meeting. However, proxies and/or packets containing proxies bearing a postmark seven (7) days prior to the meeting, shall be accepted up to twelve (12) o'clock noon of the day preceding the general meeting. The second copy of the proxy shall be sent to the person to whom the proxy is addressed. Proxies may only be addressed to voting members in good standing of the Society. Failure to comply with the requirements contained herein shall render a proxy invalid.

Sec. 3. Voting for the office of President-Elect and for members of the Board of Governors will be conducted only by mail-in ballot.

XI - CHAPTERS

Sec. 1. Chapters may be organized within various countries, states and provinces. These Chapters shall consist of individuals engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting, counseling and dispensing hearing instruments. If any Territory shall not have a Chapter within the Territory, the Governor of such Territory shall encourage the formation of such Chapter.

Sec. 2. Any group whose members are engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting, counseling and dispensing hearing instruments, located within a country, state or province having no Chapter, may petition for a charter as Chapter to the Board of Governors. If meeting by Constitution, Bylaws and organization qualifications for such, the petitioning group may upon a majority vote of the Board of Governors, be recognized as a local Chapter for the particular country, state or province in which the Chapter is located. Such petition shall include the name of the proposed Chapter (according to geographical location), list of its members, the names of its officers, a copy of the proposed activities, and a statement of agreement to submit, before March 31st of each year, a report of its membership and its activities for the past year.

Sec. 3. A Chapter of the Society shall continue in good standing upon fulfillment of the following conditions:

Sec. 4. The bylaws of IHS shall supersede the bylaws of a Chapter in any point where such would conflict.

Sec. 5. The Society's Board of Governors may, at any time and upon 2/3 vote, withdraw recognition of any Chapter of the Society.

ARTICLE XII - MEMBERSHIP AND QUALIFICATIONS COMMITTEE

Sec. 1. At the beginning of his/her term, the President shall appoint, subject to approval by the Board of Governors, a Membership Qualifications Committee, whose membership shall be comprised of five (5) active members, with one (1) alternate. Members of the Membership Qualifications Committee, including the alternate member, must be full voting members of the Society, and at least three (3) of the active members shall be members of the Board of Governors.

Sec. 2. Duties of this Committee will be to evaluate and pass on the criterion of qualifications in each category of membership as set forth by the Board of Governors and approved by the membership.

Sec. 3. All members of the Society shall be furnished with an appropriate certificate evidencing membership qualifications. The certificate shall remain the property of the Society and shall be subject to return upon demand by the Society.

Sec. 4. An individual convicted of a crime of Moral Turpitude shall not be eligible for membership in the Society. The Society defines Moral Turpitude as an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community; a quality of dishonesty or other immorality that is present in the commission of a criminal offense.   By way of example, and not in any way intended to limit the type of crime that would fall within this definition, a crime involving Moral Turpitude would include such crimes as theft, perjury, and/or vice crimes.

 

ARTICLE XIII - ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Sec. 1. The Board of Governors shall, from time to time, appoint an Advisory Committee to sit with the Board of Governors whenever the Board of Governors shall deem it advisable.

Sec. 2. The members of the Advisory Committee shall not have a vote on any matter considered by the Board of Governors.

ARTICLE XIV - ETHICS COMMITTEE

Sec. 1. The President, with the approval of the Board of Governors, shall appoint an Ethics Committee consisting of nine (9) voting members, one (1) from each Governor's Territory as such Territories are defined in Article IV, Sec. 7.

Sec. 2. It shall be the purpose of said Committee to review all questions arising under the Society's Code of Ethics, to render interpretations of said Code and to recommend any changes to said Code that it feels warranted. It will not be the function of the Ethics Committee to receive and/or hear any complaints against a member of the Society. Such complaints are to be directed to the Grievance Committee (see Article XV).

Sec. 3. The Committee will not be required to review any questions arising under the Society's Code or render any interpretations to the Society's Code unless it is presented with a formal written request from the Executive Director specifically outlining the issue or issues involved or the matter or matters upon which review is sought.

Sec. 4. The Committee, after due notice to the membership as to the matters that it has under consideration, will review those requests properly before it and render its interpretation thereof. The formal interpretations rendered by the Committee will be made available for examination by all members of the Society and such other persons having legitimate interest therein.

Sec. 5. All interpretations rendered by the Ethics Committee will be binding on all members of the Society and all persons who have pledged themselves to be bound by the Code of Ethics of the Society. No persons or bodies of this Society or any persons who have pledged themselves to be bound by the Code of Ethics of the Society shall have the right to disregard or overrule the interpretations rendered by the Ethics Committee.

ARTICLE XV - GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

Sec. 1. The President shall, with the approval of the majority of the Board of Governors appoint a Grievance Committee consisting of three (3) voting members of the Society. Such committee shall hear all complaints concerning members of the Society referred to it.

ARTICLE XVI - INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEARING INSTRUMENT STUDIES (IIHIS) COMMITTEE

Sec. 1.   The President shall appoint an education committee, the IIHIS, consisting of at least seven (7) members of the Society.  The education committee is created for the purpose of overseeing the society’s educational activities and programs, as well as liaison to IIHIS subcommittees.  This includes advising on matters that directly concern the society’s instructional programs and its assessments.

a. The IIHS committee shall oversee educational programs in setting priorities, including participating in ongoing planning activities of the programs, quality measures and continual improvements.

ARTICLE XVII - AMENDMENTS

Sec. 1. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by:

Sec. 2. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes, validly available to be cast at any annual or special general meeting, shall be necessary to amend these bylaws. Once motion to amend the bylaws has been brought before the membership for consideration, motions may be put forth to amend the proposed amendment providing they do not change the essence of the main amendment, and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes validly available to be cast for passage.

Sec. 3. All amendments to be proposed shall be sent to the Executive Director ninety (90) days before the time for the next annual meeting of the Society. The Executive Director shall notify the members of the proposed amendments at least thirty (30) days before the meeting.

ARTICLE XVIII - MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 1. The fiscal year of the Society shall be the calendar year.

Sec. 2. All files of the Society shall be confidential, and shall be available only to the Board of Governors and persons authorized by them in writing to examine the same.

Sec. 3. No member of this Society, other than the President, shall suggest or indicate to anyone that he or she is representing or may speak or act in an official capacity for and on behalf of this Society without written authority from the President or the Executive Committee, provided however that officers of this Society may represent the Society to the extent that these bylaws so empower them.

Sec. 4. These bylaws will be printed and available to all members of the Society.

Sec. 5. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order (newly revised) shall govern, to the extent practical, the Society at any annual or special meeting of the general membership to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt.