An Association for Users, Researchers, and Developers of Virtual Exchange in and around the Asia Pacific region and beyond
Constitution and Bylaws
Whereas, Virtual Exchange, both dual and single language (hereafter called “VE”, “SLVE” or “DLVE”, similar / the same as many other terms such as “telecollaboration” “online cultural exchange” “e-tandem”) is becoming an extremely popular and useful method of language teaching and collaboration amongst students and researchers in geographically diverse areas.
Whereas, VE users, researchers and administrators wish it to evolve and attract new funding. Academic institutions and other organizations are willing to contribute to the development of VE through a membership-based system of collaborative research and financial support.
Whereas, the international community of practitioners and researchers require access to information on the latest VE, both dual language VE and single language VE, available and research thereon.
Whereas, educators, administrators and developers throughout the world wish to learn more about VE and how to apply it in their institutions. Teachers are enthusiastic to share their knowledge peer–to-peer in conferences and workshops and are increasingly willing to share the courses and course materials they have developed.
Whereas, the UNICollaboration: A Cross-Disciplinary Organization for Telecollaboration and Virtual Exchange in Higher Education has been established at the global level. VE users in the Asia Pacific region should support this international organization in all capacities.
Whereas, there is no central, not-for-profit association in the Asia Pacific region to promote these aims, we, the user community of VE in the Asia Pacific, propose to unite in an effort of shared responsibility.
Constitution of the Asia Pacific Virtual Exchange Association
I. Name and Purpose
1. The name of the association is Asia Pacific Virtual Exchange Association (hereafter called APVEA) APVEA user groups in regions across the Asia Pacific may form chapters within APVEA.
2. The purpose of APVEA is to promote the research, education, and development of VE. It shall conduct activities for those interested in the improvement of VE in all fields of education and training, including schools, universities, and other educational institutions throughout the Asia Pacific region. For this purpose APVEA holds an international conference biennially. It shall be based on the spirit of shared and open contribution of knowledge, teaching materials, and methods.
3. The association shall be a not-for-profit voluntary association financially transparent in nature, and may adopt a formal Not-for Profit Organization (NPO) status in the future.
1. Membership is open to those interested in using, researching, developing, and learning about VE.
2. Memberships types may be institutional or individual. Institutional members include universities, schools, government agencies, and other organizations who use VE. Individual members include any person interested in VE.
3. Local VE user groups or regional VE chapters are encouraged to form independently and conduct educational activities. Persons who wish to attend the international conference should join APVEA as a member.
III. The biennial General Meeting
1. APVEA will hold at least one international conference every two years, at which its General Meeting will be held.
2. The General Meeting of APVEA is held during the biennial conference and all members are invited. At
the GM, the Executive Board will give a report on the state of the finances, programs, membership, research, and development covering the period since the last General Meeting. Officers for the coming years will be elected at the GM.
3. The General Meeting will be preceded by adequate notification to the membership. Members present at the General Meeting will constitute a quorum.
IV. Officers and Administration
1. APVEA’s Executive Board will consist of a minimum of seven officers, including one Chair and up to two co-chairs, a maximum of three Vice-chairs, a Treasurer (once funds are attained), a Director of Publicity, a Director of Programs, a Director of Research and Development, and a Director of Training. If sufficient volunteers are available to serve, additional officer positions to the required seven will be filled. More than one officer may share a specific position and the duties of that office.
2. Persons eligible to become officers shall include both individual members and designated representatives of institutional members. Each candidate and each standing officer and auditor shall provide a public disclaimer indicating all possible conflicts of interest. In principle, members who are employed in firms providing commercial services cannot become officers.
3. Executive Board business may be conducted online or face-to-face. For major financial or policy decisions, agreement by a minimum two-thirds majority of officers shall be necessary. However, whenever possible a consensus of all officers will be sought.
Major decisions include, but are not limited to, amendments to the constitution/bylaws, conference site selection, research grants, APVEA membership status and donations, change of officers, rendering of financial accounts and change of APVEA status.
4. The Executive Board will meet periodically to discuss plans for conferences and activities. The Chair and/or Co-Chair(s) shall prepare an agenda before the meeting, and minutes of the meeting will be provided to Executive Board members for confirmation before being posted for general member viewing. Electronic means shall be used when face-to-face meetings are not possible.
5. The Executive Board shall determine and announce the date for the General Meeting. At the GM, each officer will present an oral report and if necessary provide a written report covering operations for their area of responsibility to be distributed to the members present. All written reports will also be posted to the MAJ web site and all members informed by email.
7. A Board of Advisors composed of leaders in education may be formed to offer advice to the Executive Board of APVEA. Membership in the Board of Advisors shall be honorary, voluntary and appointed by approval of the Executive Board.
Amendments to this Constitution shall be proposed and agreed on by a two-thirds majority of officers in the APVEA Executive Board. Any such proposed amendments shall be distributed to the members before the General Meeting. To become effective, constitutional amendments must be approved by two-thirds of the members voting at the General Meeting.
Bylaws of APVEA
I. Membership and Dues
1. APVEA membership fees shall be determined by the Executive Board.
From the outset the annual fees shall be free of charge.
2. The international conference fees shall be determined by the Executive Board and based on the hosting institution’s requests. In principle they will be kept to a minimum such that the conference can be carried out and no profit made. Hosting institutions which offer their facilities free-of-charge can register faculty and staff members to the APVEA conference free-of-charge up to the number specified by the APVEA Chair.
II. Officer Duties and Committees
1. Chair: The Chair and Co-chairs shall have general responsibility for coordinating the activities of the Executive Board, directing and publicizing the affairs of the Association, and representing its interests. He/She shall preside at the Executive Board meetings, and at the General Meeting. With the approval of the Executive Board, he/she may appoint committees as deemed necessary to carry out the work of the organization.
2. Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair(s) shall have general responsibility for coordinating the activities of the Executive Board in the Chair’s absence or under appointment of the Chair. The Vice-Chair(s) will support the Chair(s) and all other members of the Executive Board.
3. Treasurer: At such time as the association begins to take in money, the Treasurer shall maintain all financial records, be responsible for collecting and disbursing all funds of the Association, accepting payments, reimbursing individuals for featured speaker expenses, submitting financial reports to the members, and providing an statement and projected budget at the General Meeting.
4. Director of Publicity shall be responsible for recruitment of members, publicizing events, and organizing any publications decided by the Executive Board.
5. Director of Programs: The Director of Programs shall be responsible for supervising the arrangements for the international conference, communication with speakers and recruitment of prospective speakers, and associated program documentation. He/She must also provide timely information to the Chair and Executive Board. The Director of Programs shall also promote and publicize regional workshops and programs related to APVEA.
6. Director of Research & Development: The Director of Research & Development shall be responsible
for coordinating and promoting collaborative research and development of new and or innovative VE methods. He/She shall pay particular attention to VE in the Asia Pacific region. If finances permit, the Director of Research & Development shall administer the vetting and awarding of development grants.
7. Director of Training: The Director of Training shall be responsible for organizing, staffing and promoting training workshops at APVEA sponsored conferences and regional workshops.
8. Webpage Administrator: The webpage administrator plans, designs, and maintains the APVEA web site.
He/She also listens to requests from membership for improvement and additional functionalities and implements changes based on advice from the executive board.
9. Director of Publications: The director of publications is responsible for editing and publishing APVEA-related publications, either online or paper. The publications include Newsletter, Proceedings, Journals, Workshop manuals, Guidelines, and PR documents such as posters and brochures.
10. Additional positions shall be determined by the Executive Board. In addition to the seven required positions, officer positions may be instituted to identify other important responsibilities. In addition, any number of volunteer officers may work together as a team using titles to reflect such sharing of responsibilities.
11. Membership on committees appointed by the Chair(s) is open to ordinary members.
III. Nominations, Elections, Vacancies, and Removals
1. Nominations for officers by members in good standing shall be solicited and accepted by the APVEA Executive Board, either in writing prior to the General Meeting or in person at the meeting.
2. Candidates must acknowledge acceptance of nomination, and provide relevant biographical information at the General Meeting. Each candidate and each officer shall provide a public disclaimer indicating commercial relations and all possible conflicts of interest.
3. The Executive Board members shall be empowered to poll the voting members in advance of the General Meeting.
4. If no officer positions are being contested among two or more candidates, the Executive Board may present the full slate of officers to the membership at the General Meeting for approval by the members present. If there are contested positions, elections will take place at the General Meeting or prior to the GM via the Internet, with the results subject to approval by the Executive Board.
5. The terms of office shall be for two years. The terms of office shall be from the end of the General Meeting up to and including the next General Meeting. Re-election shall not be prohibited.
6. If for any reason an office becomes vacant, the vacancy shall be filled by Chair appointment, subject to approval by the Executive Board.
7. If an officer fails to perform his/her duties under the APVEA Constitution and Bylaws, the Executive Board may remove him/her from office by a three-fourths vote of the Executive Board. Officers shall avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest, such as diverting of funds for personal use, using members' information for purposes other than APVEA activities, or any other issues raised by officers or members that may hurt the good standing of the organization and the good will of its relationships.
1. The Association shall hold a minimum of one biennial conference, at which the General Meeting shall take place.
2. Before the General Meeting, written notice of date, place, and agenda of the GM shall reach APVEA members one month preceding the event.
3. The Directors of Publicity shall prepare minutes of the GM, post them on the website.
V. Financial Operations
1. Financial Year: The financial year of APVEA shall begin on April 1st and end on March 31st.
2. Auditor: In order to ensure transparency and credibility, an auditor shall be appointed by the Executive Board to review, comment, and witness the any Financial Reports to the members. This will occur only after any monies are gathered.
3. Financial Report: At the General Meeting, if monies are gathered in that year, the Treasurer shall publish a report on finances for the members and make it available to the public. The report should report the operations of the previous and current financial years. It shall report all funding including any local development grants, conferences, training, and organizational maintenance and any other financial transactions relating to APVEA. The GM financial report shall be posted to the APVEA webpage.
Where the Executive Board has been explicitly granted the authority, they may amend the Bylaws. Other amendments may be proposed to the membership by a majority vote of the Executive Board. Any such proposed amendments shall be displayed and distributed to the members before the General Meeting. To become effective, proposed amendments must be approved by a simple majority of the members voting at the General Meeting.
VIII. Management of Meetings
The Chair shall recommend procedures for the management of APVEA’s Executive Board, the Chapter Meetings, and the General Meeting based on appropriate cultural norms of the country where it takes place. In case of objections to such recommendations, the Executive Board members present shall discuss and agree upon rules and procedures to manage the meeting, consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.
IX. Local Chapters
Any local group of VE users can establish a local chapter of APVEA. Local Chapter Rules are stipulated separately.
1. APVEA welcomes sponsor companies or organizations who are willing to financially support APVEA activities and events including conferences. By contributing to APVEA, sponsors also support the global development of VE through APVEA.
This preamble, constitution and bylaws was written and approved by the APVEA Founding Committee on May 6, 2016. Members of the Founding Committee are:
•Rocio Blasco Garcia