BY-LAWS
of the
Joint Space-Science Institute (JSI)

Prepared by
Chris Reynolds, Alessandra Buonanno
17th November 2011
(Amendment I : 6th June 2011)


PREAMBL  E:

The Joint Space-Science Institute (JSI) represents a voluntary association of participating University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) faculty, staff, and students, and participating NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) staff.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Maryland, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes the purposes of the Institute and is a general guide to its operations.  The JSI Fellows have developed and adopted the following by-laws, which provide a governance structure including the development of recommendations to the participating institutions, the awarding of titles, and the regular operations of the Institute.  These by-laws describe the governing rules for the JSI within the context of the MoU, which is the governing document of the Institute. These by-laws are subordinate to the policies in the MoU and to the regulations of the participating institutions.


THE DIRECTOR AND Co-Directors

There shall be one co-director from each of the participating UMCP departments (appointed by the Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences - CMNS) and GSFC Divisions (appointed by the Director of the Science and Exploration Directorate – SED, at GSFC).  Initially there shall be three co-directors, one from each of UMCP-Astronomy, UMCP-Physics, and GSFC Astrophysics Science Division.

One of the UMCP co-directors shall be appointed as JSI Director.   The appointment of the JSI Director shall be made by the Dean of CMNS in consultation with the JSI Fellows (see below) and the Director of SED.  The term of this appointment will be for a duration of 3-5 years (at the discretion of the Dean of CMNS). The Director is responsible to the Dean through her/his department chair for all University personnel and fiscal matters within the Institute, and will chair the Executive Committee and represent the interests of the Institute to the Oversight Board and external agencies/entities.

 

FELLOWS:

To be eligible for the title of JSI Fellow, a person must be either (1) a full time employee of UMCP holding the rank of Associate Professor with tenure or above, or (2) a full time civil servant at GSFC holding the rank of GS14 or higher.   Untenured UMCP tenure-track faculty and GSFC civil servants of rank GS13 or lower may be designated as JSI Junior Fellows.  JSI Junior Fellows shall have the same rights and duties as JSI Fellows, except on matters of promotions or appointments as appropriate.  A JSI Junior Fellow, on satisfying the requirements specified above, automatically becomes a JSI Fellow.

Hereafter in this document, the term “JSI Fellow” will refer to both JSI Fellows and JSI Junior Fellows.

Furthermore, to be eligible for the title of JSI Fellow, a person must be (or anticipate being) actively engaged in scientific research of direct relevance to the goals of JSI. In particular, the potential of active scientific collaboration between UMCP and GSFC will be an important component in assessing potential candidates for the title of JSI Fellow.

  • The basic responsibility for the furtherance of the scientific objectives including strategic planning and execution of the scientific work of JSI, and the carrying out of work of JSI rests with the Fellows.  Communicating to the participating institutions the JSI objectives of proposed research, directions appropriate to the JSI, or other statements of the policies and aims of the Institute is also part of the Fellows' responsibilities.
  • Governance of JSI will be carried out within meetings of the Executive Committee (defined below) or duly appointed sub-Committees of the JSI Fellows, although for major decisions the Executive Committee may wish to have issues discussed at a full meeting of the JSI Fellows. When considering matters that have a fiduciary relation to UMCP, the discussion and voting shall be limited to the UMCP Fellows, and the UMCP members of the Executive Committee. When considering matters that have a fiduciary relation to the Federal government, the discussion and voting shall be limited to the NASA-GSFC Fellows, and the NASA-GSFC members of the Executive Committee.  It is expected that decisions will be by consensus, but in cases where the Fellows and the co-Directors are unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable conclusion the Fellows may request that the matter be referred to the Oversight Board for resolution. The Oversight Board is composed of the Dean of CMNS, the Chairs of the participating UMCP Departments, and the JSI Co-Directors. The Director of the NASA-GSFC Science Directorate shall be a non-voting ex-officio member of the Oversight Board.
  • The JSI Fellows shall advise the co-Directors on the allocation and use of the assets of the JSI, and participate, in accordance with the appropriate UMCP and/or NASA policies in the selection of JSI administrative and technical staff. These responsibilities will be carried out at the request of the Director in consultation with the Executive Committee. Ultimate responsibility for fiscal and personnel decisions for UMCP resources and positions rests with the Director who is accountable to the CMNS Dean while for GSFC personnel and resources that responsibility rests with the Director of the NASA-GSFC Science Directorate.


Active JSI Fellows who retire while still associated with the JSI, may upon retirement be given the title “JSI Fellow Emeritus.”  The title JSI Fellow Emeritus will be considered an honorific lifetime title, and the title carries neither voting privileges nor guarantees of the use of JSI services and facilities.  However, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, Emeritus Fellows may continue in their JSI activities, have access to JSI resources and be permitted to submit publications and proposals with a JSI byline.  Conferring of the JSI Fellow Emeritus title requires a simple majority vote of the active JSI Fellows present at a Fellows meeting for approval.  The JSI Fellow Emeritus title can be revoked by a simple majority vote of the active JSI Fellows present at a Fellows meeting.  Upon request, the JSI Executive Committee can permit the use of services and/or facilities as deemed appropriate to the purposes of the JSI.

Scientists from UMCP and GSFC or neighboring institutions with interests appropriate to the JSI scientific program, and who are not appropriate candidates to be JSI Fellows, may be elected as JSI Adjunct Fellows by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee. The appointment is effective for a period of three years and may be renewed by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee. Such appointments may entitle the JSI Adjunct Fellow to use of JSI facilities, to submit scientific publications with a JSI byline, and to employ JSI students and JSI postdoctoral fellows as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.  JSI Adjunct Fellows do not have any voting privileges, and will not necessarily play any role in the administering of JSI.

The title, JSI Visiting Fellow, shall identify participants in the Visiting Scientists Program of the JSI.  JSI Visiting Fellows do not have any voting privileges.

The appointment or termination of JSI Fellows will be done by the Dean of the CMNS or the Director of Science and Exploration at GSFC, based on the recommendations of the JSI Fellows expressed through votes at a meeting of the JSI Fellows.  Following nomination of a JSI Fellow, recommendation for appointment shall require a two-thirds majority vote of all active JSI Fellows. A Fellowship may also be terminated by three-quarters majority vote of the active JSI Fellows.  In such a case, the reasons for this action will be conveyed to the individual in a letter from the Executive Committee. Except in the case of retirement, termination of appointment by the University of Maryland or GSFC shall automatically incur termination of the Fellowship.

When considering matters that have a fiduciary relation to UMCP, the discussion and voting shall be limited to the UMCP Fellows, and the UMCP members of Executive Committee. When considering matters that have a fiduciary relation to the Federal government, the discussion and voting shall be limited to the NASA-GSFC Fellows, and the NASA-GSFC members of Executive Committee.

MEMBERS

Employees of UMCP and GSFC who are employed to perform JSI work, and post-docs and graduate students involved in JSI projects, will be designated as JSI Members.  Members do not have any voting rights, except if selected to serve on committees - that is Members may vote in their committee, but not in a vote of the Fellows.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

The Executive Committee will have responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the JSI in a manner consistent with the MoU and the JSI by-laws.  At the current stage of development of JSI, the Executive Committee will have a total  membership of six JSI Fellows.  The GSFC co-director and the two -UMCP co-directors shall be voting members, ex-officio, and the JSI Fellows shall elect the three other members from among themselves by written ballot of all JSI Fellows.   The Executive Committee is subject to expansion based on the future enlargement of JSI’s activities.

The elected members of the Executive Committee shall serve for one year, from January 1 to December 31, but are eligible for re-election for no more than three continuous years of service. The election shall normally be held in the month of November.  When an election occurs with no current Executive Committee, the term shall be from the time of election until the next December 31.

The Executive Committee shall be chaired by the JSI Director, who is responsible for implementing the policies of the Executive Committee, and chairing meetings of the Executive Committee and of the JSI Fellows.  

The election of the Executive Committee shall be under the supervision of the JSI Director. The standing Executive Committee shall nominate at least three candidates for the Executive Committee and circulate this slate to all Fellows, at least two weeks before the election.  Alternate candidates may be nominated in writing before each vote by three or more JSI Fellows.  The JSI Fellows will vote by ranking all candidates. The three candidates with the highest average ranks will be elected.  In the event of a tie, a run-off election between the tied candidates will be held.   Vacancies on the Executive Committee shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Committee, subject to the advice and consent of the Fellows (simple majority vote of the active Fellows present at a Fellows meeting is required if the larger of five or 25% of the Fellows request it), to serve out the remainder of the term.

The JSI Director may temporarily replace members of the Executive Committee who are away from the JSI longer than two months, with such appointments to lapse automatically upon the return of the regularly elected member of the Executive Committee.  However, the member of the Executive Committee to be absent may choose to name his/her own replacement from among the other JSI Fellows, this choice to be honored by the JSI Director upon receipt of written notice from the prospective absentee.  A separate written notification will be required for each absence. A three quarters majority of the active Fellows is required to remove a member of the Executive Committee before the expiration of his/her term.

The JSI Director must designate an Acting Director if she/he is to be absent from the JSI for more than one month.  The Acting Director will normally be the other UMCP co-director, but another member of the Executive Committee can be asked to serve in this capacity if the UMCP co-director is also absent.   If the anticipated absence of the JSI Director is for a period of two months or more, the designation of the Acting Director must receive the approval of the Executive Committee.

If the larger of five or 25% of the JSI Fellows object to an action of the Director or of the Executive Committee other than on a personnel issue, a meeting will be called, and a simple majority of those present will be required for approval of the action.  If this process does not lead to agreement the issue will be referred to the Oversight Board, and from the Board to either the CMNS Dean or the Director of the NASA-GSFC Science Directorate if it is a resource question.

The Executive Committee will normally meet at least once each month.  Minutes of its meetings shall be circulated within two days to all JSI Fellows.  Except on matters of appointments, elections, and other matters that they specifically choose to retain to themselves, the authority of the JSI Fellows shall automatically be delegated to the Executive Committee.  If at any time no Executive Committee has been duly elected and installed, the body of active Fellows shall operate as an Executive Committee.

Meetings of the Executive Committee shall include a time period open to the Fellows, and the Executive Committee shall respond to any questions or concerns by the Fellows.

At meetings of the six-person Executive Committee, four shall constitute a quorum provided that there is at least one representative from each institution, and a simple majority of those present and voting shall carry a motion. In case of a tie the motion fails.  When the whole body of JSI Fellows is meeting as the Executive Committee, one half of all active JSI Fellows shall constitute a quorum and a simple majority of those present and voting shall carry a motion.

COMMITTEES

The JSI Fellows may establish and dissolve ad hoc and continuing committees from among the JSI Fellows and Members (defined below) for the formulation of strategic recommendations and to assist the Executive Committee in recommending the implementation of the policies established by the JSI Fellows and the participating institutions.  
All appointments to JSI committees shall be made by the Executive Committee, subject to the advice and consent of the JSI Fellows, and shall continue at the pleasure of the Executive Committee for terms not to exceed one year.  Appointments to committees may be renewed with the consent of the JSI Fellows. If the larger of five or 25% of the JSI Fellows object to an appointment, a meeting will be called, and a simple majority of those present will be required for approval of that appointment.

Committee chairs shall be appointed by the JSI Director in consultation with the Executive Committee.

TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENTS:

Except as otherwise specified in these by-laws, all JSI titles conferred by the JSI Fellows may be terminated by a three-quarters majority vote of all remaining active JSI Fellows, provided notice of at least two weeks is given before the vote is called for.

VOTING AND MEETINGS:

Meetings of the Fellows shall be called by the Executive Committee and shall normally be held at least once every two months.  All JSI Fellows must be notified at least one week in advance of a JSI Fellows meeting.   Meetings may also be called by written request of the larger of five or 25% of the JSI Fellows to the Executive Committee at a time and place specified in the request.  One half of all active JSI Fellows shall constitute a quorum. Except as specified elsewhere in these by-laws, a simple majority of all active JSI Fellows present at a meeting shall decide a question, including an appeal on a decision from the JSI Director.  At the request of the larger of five or 25% of the JSI Fellows present at a meeting, any resolution must be submitted without amendment to a written poll of all active JSI Fellows.  In cases of dispute, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be followed in all such cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws of the JSI and any other special rules of order the JSI may adopt.

As it is the intention that the JSI will be run in concert with the advice and recommendations of the JSI Fellows, it is incumbent on each individual JSI Fellow to attend JSI-Fellow meetings.

 

AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS:

An amendment to these by-laws may be proposed to the CMNS Dean by a three-quarters majority vote of all JSI Fellows provided that a written copy of the amendment is sent to all JSI Fellows at least one month before the vote. The CMNS Dean will consult with the Oversight Board, but has ultimate authority to approve by-law amendments.

AMENDMENT 1 : CREATION OF JSI SCIENTIST POSITION
Approved by an email vote of the JSI Fellows on 2nd May 2011
Final approval by Dean Halperin 6th June 2011

JSI shall create a new category of member known as “JSI Scientist”.  JSI scientists shall be PhD-level scientists at UMCP or GSFC who are engaged in research of direct relevance to the JSI Fellows but are not eligible for the title of JSI Fellow.   JSI Scientists are not eligible to vote on matters regarding governance of JSI or the allocation of JSI resources.   A person can be nominated for the position of JSI Scientist by any JSI Fellow; the appointment is approved by a two-thirds majority of those present at an Executive Committee meeting.   In the event that an Executive Committee is not defined, the appointment shall be made by a two-thirds majority of those present at a JSI Fellows meeting attended by at least half of the active Fellows.   The appointment as a JSI Scientist is for the shorter of (1) three years or (2) the duration of the employment at UMCP or GSFC.