Constitution of the AATF
(as amended to July 2015)
Click here for the French version.
The name of the society shall be THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS OF FRENCH. The Association is incorporated under the laws of the state of New York as of date February 25, 1936.
The aim of the Association shall be to represent the French language in North America and to encourage the dissemination, both in the schools and in the general public, of knowledge concerning all aspects of the culture and civilization of France and the French- speaking world. The Association shall by all means at its disposal support projects destined to advance the French language and literature.
It encourages reciprocal communication between all levels of the teaching of French in North America.
It shall publish the French Review, which shall reflect the interests of all members of the Association.
III. Membership: Chapters
Membership in the Association is open to all persons sharing the aims set forth in Article II (above). The annual membership fee shall be established in the By-laws. Members are customarily organized into chapters made up of at least fifteen members.
IV. Officers: Executive Council
The officers of the Association shall be: the President, three Vice-Presidents, and the Immediate Past President or President-Elect (when in office). The foregoing officers, the Executive Director, the Regional Representatives, the Editor of the French Review, the Director of the National French Contest, and the Editor of the National Bulletin, each selected for a term of three years, shall constitute the Executive Council. The Immediate Past-President shall serve on the Executive Council one year following his or her term as President and shall be succeeded by the President-Elect one year prior to his or her assumption of that office.
V. Endowment Fund
Provision shall be made for an endowment fund to receive gifts and legacies to the Association. The Executive Council may transfer available current funds to this fund at its discretion.
By vote of the Executive Council the Association may join in the work of other educational bodies of wider scope by means of official delegates by the Executive Council for the necessary term, or appointed by the President.
VII. Annual Meeting
An annual meeting shall be called by the President. Voting power shall be lodged in an Assembly of Delegates, composed of chapter representatives equivalent to the current voting strength of the chapters.
The Constitution may be amended as follows: Amendments may be offered by any valid chapter or by a member of the Executive Council; on a majority vote of the Executive Council, the amendments must be printed in the French Review, not later than the issue preceding the annual meeting; they may be adopted by the Assembly of Delegates by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present or represented. Proposed amendments as printed in the French Review may not be amended from the floor.
The Association may be dissolved only at an Annual meeting of the Delegates, the purpose of which shall have been published in the French Review, and in a manner prescribed by the laws of the State of New York, by a vote of three-fourths of the delegates, present and voting. Subject to compliance with the applicable provisions of such laws, upon any such dissolution of the Association, all its property remaining after satisfaction of its obligations shall be incorporated in the Endowment Fund of the Association which shall be administered by the then Trustees of the Endowment Fund for the specific purposes last approved by the Executive Council until such time as the Trustees shall unanimously deem it advisable to alter the methods of serving the best interests of the teachers of French. The Trustees shall retain the power to invest and to reinvest these funds. They shall have the power to replace any member who dies, resigns, or becomes unable to serve.
1. Active Membership
(a) Those who have paid their current membership fee for the calendar year shall be considered members in good standing, with the right to vote for national officers as provided in these By-Laws. Members are entitled to receive the French Review and other designated publications as one of the benefits of membership.
(b) The annual dues shall be fixed by the Executive Council.
2. Student Membership
Student membership for the period from January through December is available to bona fide students, i.e., below the rank of instructor and active during the academic year in a course of study leading to a degree, and who do not hold full-time teaching appointments; these members receive a fifty percent reduction in fees but enjoy full membership and voting privileges.
3. Chapter Membership
(a) There shall be no geographical restrictions on the jurisdiction of any chapter, nor upon the right of any member of the AATF to belong to the chapter of his or her choice, provided that he or she satisfy that chapter's requirement to pay chapter dues.
(b) Chapters are authorized to levy such additional annual dues from their members as they may see fit, provided that the dues statement issued by each Chapter clearly delineate the amount fixed for national dues and the amount of the chapter dues.
(c) Dues are collected by National Headquarters. Chapters receive 15% of the national dues payment for each Active Member affiliated with that chapter. This amount is reimbursed periodically to the chapters. Fees for At-Large members who wish to affiliate with a particular chapter do not entitle the chapter to a refund unless the member indicates to the Executive Director, before 30 June of the membership year, that he or she wishes to belong to a given chapter.
(d) The Association does not recognize Chapter associate members who pay only chapter dues without belonging to the national organization. Such persons may not vote on national matters, and may not be counted in establishing the chapter representation in the Assembly of Delegates.
4. Joint Membership
The Executive Council may approve joint memberships with other foreign language associations. Dues for this category shall be established by agreement with interested associations.
5. Life Members
Life membership may be purchased from the National Office for a sum equivalent to twenty times the regular membership fee. After forty years of regular membership, Life status will be granted upon request from the member.
6. Emeritus Members
After the age of fifty-five, a member who retires from teaching may upon request be transferred to Emeritus Membership, provided that he or she has been an active member for a minimum of ten consecutive years and is still a member at the time of application for such status. Eligibility for Emeritus Membership is to be established by direct correspondence with the National Office. Emeritus members pay one-half the regular membership fee and enjoy the full rights of an Active Member.
7. Family Members
Two members of a family living under the same roof may both be active members of the Association by the payment of a sum equivalent to 150 percent of the annual membership fee. Only one copy of the French Review and other designated publications will be sent to them.
8. Honorary Members
The Executive Council may elect Honorary Members to whom the French Review and other designated publications will be sent.
(a) Libraries and educational or professional institutions may subscribe to the French Review at subscription rates fixed by the Executive Council and may receive the magazine either by the volume or by the calendar year. Such subscribers may not be considered as members of the Association.
(b) The Editor, the Managing Editor and the Executive Director may jointly select Exchange Members to whom the French Review will be sent in exchange for other publications, but these Exchange Members shall have none of the usual rights of membership.
II. Duties of the Officers
1. The President
The President shall be responsible for the administration of the Association. He or she shall seek to increase membership with the assistance of the Regional Representatives, keep the members of the Association posted on its progress and needs, and propose new activities which might promote the interests of the Association. The President shall call an annual meeting and arrange for the program.
2. The Vice-Presidents
The Vice-Presidents shall oversee particular Association functions or undertake special projects as determined by the Executive Council.
3. The Regional Representative
It shall be the duty of the Regional Representatives, in cooperation with other officers, to promote the interests of the Association in their Regions and in particular to survey the possibilities for new chapters and individual memberships. They shall support the organization and activity of the constituent chapters in their Regions, encourage worthwhile projects, promote regional growth and cohesion, and cooperate in the execution of national policies.
4. The Executive Director
The Executive Director shall have charge of payments, subscriptions, printing arrangements, and records. He or she shall keep the President apprised of the state of the Association and cooperate with him or her in the promotion of its interests; assume general direction of the various bureaus of the Association and be responsible for those which are assigned to that office; maintain liaison with other associations of language teachers; implement projects authorized by the Executive Council, under the general supervision of the President of the Association; and make an annual audited report of the membership and finances of the Association in the French Review. The Executive Director shall determine rates for sale of back issues of the French Review, and is authorized to make contracts for the reprinting and sale of issues which are out of print or in short supply.
5. The Editor of the French Review
The Editor under the general supervision of the President shall ensure the publication of the French Review, and may appoint an Advertising Manager and Assistant Editors and nominate a Managing Editor. The Editor shall determine, in consultation with the Executive Director, the number of pages to be printed in each volume of the French Review.
6. The Managing Editor
The Managing Editor shall prepare manuscripts for the printer of the French Review and correct proof.
7. The Editor of the AATF National Bulletin
The Editor of the AATF National Bulletin, under the general supervision of the President, shall ensure the publication of the Bulletin and shall determine, in consultation with the Executive Director, the number of pages to be printed for each issue.
8. The Director of the National French Contest
The Contest Director shall be responsible for all aspects of the development, publicity, and administration of the annual Association contest, in conformity with policies and practices therefore as established by the Executive Council. He or she shall report annually on the results of the contest to the Executive Council and transfer receipts in excess of contest requirements to the general fund.
9. The Executive Council
The Executive Council shall elect such officers as provided under By-law III.1.(b). It shall appropriate money, initiate projects in the interests of the Association, and govern the Association under the chairmanship of the President. In the President's absence, the Council will be temporarily chaired by the senior Vice-President. It shall select the site of the National headquarters. All Executive Council members are expected to attend the annual meeting, including the scheduled Executive Council meetings and the full convention itself. Expenses will be reimbursed according to a policy set by the Council. In the absence of any member of the Executive Council from a meeting of the Council, a proxy may be filed by that member with another Council member for a directed vote on specific items on the agenda.
9. Steering Committee
There shall be a Steering Committee composed of the President, the senior Vice-President, the Executive Director, and two Regional Representatives appointed by the three previous members; one Regional Representative must be a senior member of the Executive Council. This committee may be authorized by the Council to expedite urgent Association business, and the President is empowered to call meetings of this committee when necessary. Its actions are subject to review by the Council.
1. The Officers of the Association shall be elected as follows:
(a) The President and the Vice-Presidents shall be elected by the members of the Association in good standing.
(b) The Executive Director, Editor and Managing Editor of the French Review, Editors of other Association publications, Director of the National French Contest, and delegates to affiliate associations shall be elected by the Executive Council.
(c) The Regional Representatives shall be elected by the members in good standing of the constituent Region.
(d) Commission Chairs shall be appointed by the President for a term not to exceed three years. The term may be renewed.
2. Terms of Office
(a) The term of office begins 1 January, except for the Executive Director and the officers responsible for AATF publications, whose terms will begin on 1 July.
(b) The President shall be limited to one elected term of three years. This restriction does not preclude the election for a three year term of a President who is serving out the incomplete term of a predecessor. The Vice Presidents and Regional Representatives are limited to two consecutive terms, or one term if over a year has been served just previously in filling a vacancy.
(a) In case of the death, resignation or disability of the President or President-elect, the Senior Vice President shall succeed to that office and complete the original officer's term, except that, should the vacancy of the office of President-elect be made known before May 1 of the year in which a presidential term ends, a new election shall be held following regular procedures. In case of a vacant Vice Presidency, for whatever reason, the President shall be empowered to appoint a replacement to serve until the end of the original term.
(b) In case of the death, resignation or disability of the Executive Director, the Editor of the French Review or other Association publications, Director of the National French Contest, or delegates to affiliate associations, the President shall name someone to take over the duties of such office temporarily until a successor shall have been elected to complete the balance of the original term.
(c) In case of the death, resignation or physical incapacity of a Regional Representative, the President shall be empowered to appoint a qualified successor to serve out the term.
4. Election of National Officers
(a) Each year by January 31 the President shall appoint a nominating committee of three members, none of whom shall be candidates for positions on the Executive Council.
(b) The committee shall solicit from all members of the Executive Council, as well as from the membership at large, nominations for the office of Vice-President due to expire at the end of that calendar year, or of President due to expire the following year.
(c) On approximately May 15, the committee shall designate two nominees and an alternate to stand for election to each such office. Such nominations shall be submitted to the Executive Council for approval or modification.
(d) No person shall hold more than one office on the Executive Council.
(e) The Executive Director shall prepare a ballot containing the names of the candidates for President and Vice-President, with space for a write-in candidate for each position. These ballots shall be mailed with the annual invoice of dues to every active member of the Association at a date to be fixed annually by the Executive Director.
5. Election of Regional Representatives
(a) Each year by January 31 the President shall appoint a nominating committee of five members, none of whom shall be candidates for positions on the Executive Council. The Committee shall be chaired by a senior Regional Representative not from one of the Regions where an election is to be held. Committee members shall consist of one current or former Chapter President from each Region where an election is to be held and a member at-large from another region.
(b) The committee shall solicit nominations for the office of Regional Representative due to expire at the end of that calendar year from all chapters in the Regions where an election for Regional Representative is to be held. Nominees must be members in good standing in the AATF; they need not be members of the chapter placing their name in nomination, but must be residents of the Region. No chapter shall be entitled to have one of its members as a Regional Representative for more than two consecutive terms.
(c) Eligible to vote in this election are all the members of chapters within a given Region, and all members-at-large residing in the state or states composing that Region, provided that such members are not members of a chapter in another Region.
(d) On approximately May 15, the committee shall designate two nominees and an alternate to stand for election to each such office. Such nominations shall be submitted to the Executive Council for approval or modification.
(e) No person shall hold more than one office on the Executive Council.
(f) The Executive Director shall prepare a ballot containing the names of the candidates for Regional Representative, with space for a write-in candidate for each position. These ballots shall be mailed with the annual invoice of dues to every active member of the Association at a date to be fixed annually by the Executive Director.
6. Election Rights
(a) Ballots for national officers and Regional Representatives may be returned to the chapter officer designated for that function, or to the Executive Director of the Association. To be valid, these ballots must be postmarked no later than a date to be specified on the ballot.
(b) The Executive Director shall compile the vote in the various contests and report the results to the officers of the Association, to the candidates in each election, and to the membership through publication in an early issue of the National Bulletin. The ballots shall be held for a period of six months in case there should be a recount.
(c) To be elected to office, a candidate must receive a plurality of the votes cast.
IV. Regional and Chapter Organization
The membership of the society affiliated with chapters shall be organized into Regions, the constituent chapters of which may be changed by the Executive Council as need arises. The regions shall be numbered and named as follows:
Number / Name
I. New England
ll. New York and New Jersey
III. Middle Atlantic
V. East Central
VI. West Central
VII. South Central
(a) Any group of active members sufficient to meet the necessary quota may organize a chapter with an appropriate name, elect officers (presumably a president, one or more vice- presidents, and a secretary-treasurer), and petition for a charter. The Executive Director is authorized to issue this charter, signed by the President and the Executive Director of the Association, upon the fulfillment of these obligations. Within two years of its charter a chapter must adopt a constitution to be filed with the National Office.
(b) Chapters must elect officers for the next academic and fiscal year before 1 June, so that the names may be printed in the annual report and an accurate listing of the Treasurers be available for the submission of dues. Elections to be valid must be certified to the Regional Representative.
(c) Should a chapter become inactive, cease to perform properly its functions, or conduct its affairs in such a manner as to jeopardize the reputation of the Association, The President of the Association, acting jointly with the Executive Director of the Association and the Regional Representative in whose area the chapter lies, is empowered to cancel or to suspend the chapter's charter, and to stipulate the measures which must be taken about restoration of its charter, provided that any such action be submitted to the Executive Council for approval.
(d) In case of cancellation or suspension of a chapter's charter, all remaining funds in the chapter treasury, after setting of all local accounts, shall be turned over to the National Executive Director. If another chapter is organized within three years to cover the same geographical area, these funds shall be reissued to the new chapter, otherwise they will revert permanently to the National treasury.
1. Fiscal Year
The Fiscal Year shall run from 1 July to 30 June. The membership year shall run from 1 January to 31 December.
Of the National officers only the Executive Director shall receive a salary, which shall be fixed by agreement with the sheltering institution when he or she is a faculty member of that institution. The Editor, the Managing Editor, the Advertising Manager of the French Review, the Editor of the National Bulletin, the Director of the National French Contest and his or her Assistants may receive compensation by action of the Executive Council. Each honorarium shall be determined individually and specified in writing prior to the beginning of the period of service.
(a) The Endowment Fund of the Association shall be administered by a Board of three Trustees, appointed without term by the Executive Council upon recommendation by the President and the Executive Director. One of these shall be named as chairman and designated as the Managing Trustee. The Trustees shall invest and reinvest the principal of the Endowment Fund, including any sums added thereto by the Executive Council, and any surplus income accruing on this principal. Any Trustee may be removed by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at meeting of the Executive Council called for that purpose. Any vacancy arising from the death, resignation, or removal of any Trustee shall be filled by the Executive Council. The Trustees shall annually make an audited report to the Executive Director at the close of the fiscal year, and this report shall be included in the annual report on the status of the treasury of the Association.
(b) The Executive Director and any member of the Association's National staff handling funds in excess of $500 annually shall be bonded at Association expense in such amount as shall be determined by the Executive Council. The President shall serve as co-signer with the Executive Director on any bank or financial accounts maintained by the National Office, and the Executive Director shall serve as co-signer for all accounts maintained by subordinate or sponsored agencies of the Association such as the Advertising Manager, the Endowment Fund, the National French Contest or the Societe Honoraire de Francais.
(c) Investment of available current funds in the checking account not needed in current Association business may be made by the Executive Director.
(d) A President's Fund of an amount to be established annually by the Executive Council shall be given the President for the needs of his office and for the promotion of the general welfare of the Association. The President shall make an annual report on this fund to the Executive Director and to the Executive Council.
(e) There shall be a Budget control Committee composed of the President, the Executive Director and the Senior Vice-President. Any proposed expenditure of more than $1,000 shall be submitted to this Committee for authorization before the debt is incurred, and shall require the unanimous approval of the committee; otherwise, it must be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration and action.
VI. Assembly of Delegates
At the Annual Meeting, the power to transact business, ratify amendments of the Constitution, and approve By-Laws and actions of the officers and the Executive Council shall be lodged in an Assembly of Delegates, consisting for each chapter of one delegate for the first fifteen members in good standing, and one delegate for each additional twenty-five members. If the full complement of a given chapter's representation is not present, the delegate or delegates present may cast an the votes accredited to the chapter. If no chapter delegates are present, the appropriate Regional Representative may cast the votes for that chapter.
Created: December 13, 2000
Last update: July 27, 2015