South African Society for Engineering Education

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE 1: Name and registered office

1.1 The registered name of this Society is the South African Society for Engineering Education and its abbreviated title is SASEE.
1.2 SASEE is an autonomous Society governed by the Board and its members.
1.3 Its registered office is determined by the Board.

ARTICLE 2: Mission of the society

Engineering education is the activity of teaching and learning engineering and technology, at all educational levels. The goal of engineering education is to prepare people to practice engineering as a profession, to spread technological literacy, and to increase student interest in technical careers through science and math education and hands-on learning.

The mission of SASEE is to foster excellence and innovation in engineering education.

This mission is accomplished by:

  1. exercising leadership in the field of engineering education in South Africa and beyond,
  2. promoting excellence in teaching and learning, research, engagement at universities and practice in the world of work,
  3. fostering the public understanding of technology in South Africa, and
  4. providing regular forums for discussion for sharing, networking and disseminating engineering education information.

ARTICLE 3: Objectives of the society

SASEE brings together people in South Africa and beyond who have an interest in engineering education which include engineering academics and educators at higher and further education institutions, academics from other disciplines who teach engineering students, engineering professional support staff, engineering librarians, professional engineers, certified engineers, engineering technologists, engineering technicians and industry.

The objectives of SASEE are to:

  1. advance engineering education in theory and in practice, and to promote research in the field of engineering education,
  2. encourage local, national and international collaboration through hosting forums in the field of engineering education,
  3. promote strategies to improve success of engineering students ( An engineering student is any student studying in an engineering program),
  4. promote the development of engineering curricula in South Africa by aligning them with national needs and international trends,
  5. promote the development and use of new teaching methodologies and measurement of teaching effectiveness,
  6. promote cooperation with the Engineering Council of South Africa and professional engineering related societies in South Africa,
  7. promote the development of a database on all aspects of engineering education within South Africa, and
  8. promote the understanding of technology in society as the application of knowledge, design, and production in the development and use of objects, systems, and processes to satisfy societal needs.

ARTICLE 4: Membership

Section 1: Categories of Membership

A candidate for election to any grade of membership shall be engaged in an activity and possess scientific knowledge or practical experience which qualifies the candidate to cooperate with educators and engineering practitioners in the advancement of engineering education knowledge and practice.

  1. Members shall have the privileges of representing themselves as Members and of wearing the emblem of membership, shall also have the privileges of nominating and voting for officers and the privileges that are common to all classes of membership. They shall also have the privileges of holding office and of voting on amendments to this Constitution.
  2. Honorary members can be appointed upon the proposal of the Board and approval at the Biennial General Meeting (BGM).
  3. Corporate membership will be for organizations.
  4. Institutional membership will be for educational institutions.

Section 2: Eligibility for Membership, Application and Selection

  1. The Board decides on the admittance of members.
  2. Any eligible person shall become a member of the Society on payment to the Society of the appropriate membership fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the BGM on recommendation of the Board.
  3. An applicant shall subscribe to the Constitution of the Society and to its Code of Ethics upon acceptance of membership.

Section 3: Termination of membership

  1. The membership expires when a member resigns of his/her own free will. Notification to the Board is necessary to leave the Society, one month before the cycle of the current year at the latest.
  2. The Society may suspend, take disciplinary action or terminate a member’s membership. The exclusion of a member occurs when:
    1. a member’s behaviour disrupts the mutual agreement, and acts in opposition to the statutes as well as to the resolutions passed at the BGM,
    2. a member disregards the interests of the Society and when the goals and reputation of the Society get damaged because of the member’s action,
    3. a member has been behind schedule with the payment of the membership fee for two years, or
    4. a member is removed from an office of trust by a court of law or is convicted of an offence for which the sentence is imprisonment without the option of a fine.

Section 4: Rights and duties of members

  1. Full members have the right to participate in the biennial general meetings with the right to vote.
  2. Members have the right to bring in proposals to assign to the Board.
  3. All members are obliged to respect the laws and bylaws of the Society, and to handle their goals to the best of their ability.
  4. The members are committed to the payment of a membership fee which is payable by the end of the current year.
  5. The Society’s financial year corresponds to the calendar year. New members that join after 1 July pay half of the yearly fee for the ongoing association year.

ARTICLE 5: Composition, Functions and Powers of the board

Section 1: Composition of the Board of SASEE

  1. the President who serves as the Chairperson of the Board,
  2. the Vice-President,
  3. the Treasurer,
  4. the General Secretary,
  5. the Immediate Past President,
  6. a representative of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA),
  7. a representative of the Centre for Research in Engineering Education (CREE), or any other appropriate centre for engineering education, and
  8. a senior student representative,
  9. an engineering industry representative, and
  10. two further members, The Board has the power to co-opt members as and when necessary.

Section 2: Election and Term of Office of the Board

  1. The Board of the Society shall be elected at the Biennial General Meeting for a period of two (2) years.
  2. A returning officer, who is not a candidate in any election, shall be appointed by the BGM for the election process.
  3. All members of the Society shall be eligible for election to the committee.
  4. Candidates for each position on the committee of the Society must be proposed and seconded by members of the Society at the BGM.
  5. All members of the Society shall be entitled to vote in the election of the committee.
  6. The election of members of the committee shall take place by secret ballot at the BGM.Where the votes obtained by any candidate exceed the votes obtained by any other candidate for that position, he/she shall be deemed elected to that position.
  7. Vacancies occurring on the Board shall be filled by vote of the Board members for any unexpired portion of the calendar year. The Board shall continue to fill any such vacancy until a successor can be chosen by regular nomination and elected as provided in Article 5. Section 2 (a).
  8. The General Secretary shall, by written notice, at least six weeks before the BGM, invite the members of SASEE to nominate candidates for the Board.
  9. Each nomination must be supported by at least two (2) members of the Society and countersigned by the nominee to denote his or her acceptance of the nomination.
  10. If not more than one candidate is nominated for one of the offices, the General Secretary declares such person to be duly elected. If more than one candidate is nominated for one of the offices, voting is by closed ballot.
  11. A candidate may only be elected to the office by a simple majority of the members present.
  12. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, successive rounds of voting are held.
  13. In each successive round of voting the candidate receiving the fewest votes in the previous round of voting is eliminated as a candidate.
  14. The officers are eligible for re-election.
  15. A member of the Board can be expelled by the board if a member is absent from three (3) consecutive ordinary meetings of the Board of the Society without prior apology for absence having been made to the General Secretary.

Section 3: Duties of the General Secretary

  1. The General Secretary shall keep the non-financial records of the Society, including the official membership list, managing the correspondence of the Society and submitting the biennial report of the Board.
  2. The General Secretary acts as an electoral officer at meetings of the Board.
  3. The General Secretary attends all meetings and keeps all relevant documents of the Board and Society.

Section 4: Duties of the Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer shall manage the financial affairs of the Society, and maintain the financial records of the Society.
  2. The Treasurer shall prepare and present the end of year audited financial report to the Board and at the BGM.

Section 5: Duties of the President

The President shall be responsible for execution of the Board’s decisions and for assuring the proper and effective functioning of the Society.

  1. The President shall serve as chairperson of all meetings.

Section 6: Duties of the Vice President

  1. The Vice-President shall support the President in the exercise of his/her duties and take the place of the President as the situation requires.
  2. The Vice-President shall serve as chairperson of meetings in the absence of the President.

ARTICLE 6: Meetings

Section 1: The Biennial General Meeting

  1. The Biennial General Meeting of the Society shall take place at a time that will be determined by the Board. A four week notice will be provided to the members.
  2. The number of meetings and the notice of the dates and venues of meetings of the Society for a particular year are approved by the Board at the last scheduled meeting of the preceding year; provided that at least one (1) ordinary meeting of the Board are held during a year.
  3. The BGM decides on:
    1. the approval of the minutes of the previous BGM,
    2. the approval of the biennial report of the Board,
    3. the approval of the biennial report of the President of the Society,
    4. the approval of the annual financial statements,
    5. the election of the members of the Board,
    6. the determination of the amount of the yearly membership fee upon the proposal of the Board,
    7. modification of the constitution,
    8. the resolution about proposals made by the members, and
    9. the decision about the exclusion of members.
  4. A quorum at the BGM shall be the number of members present at the time.
  5. The  resolutions  of  the  BGM  are  made  by ordinary  resolution.  Modifications  of  the constitution require two thirds of the majority of the members present at the meeting.

Section 2: Meetings of the Board

  1. One half plus one of the members of the Board holding office on the date of the meeting of the Board constitutes a quorum for such meeting. If, for any  meeting, there is no quorum the meeting shall proceed as a constituted  meeting but the minutes shall be approved by the next meeting of the Board.
  2. The General Secretary to the Board must, at least four weeks before any meeting, give notice in writing to each member of the Board, setting forth the business to be dealt with as well as the time and place of such a meeting.
  3. The President may at his or her own instance at any time convene a special meeting of the Board, and must convene such meeting at the written request of at least three (3) members, stating the purpose of the meeting in the request, provided that members are given not less than two (2) week notice of such  meeting, provided further that notice may be given in any manner convenient under the circumstances.
  4. No matters other than those for which a special meeting was called, may be transacted at such meeting, except with the consent of the meeting.
  5. In the absence of the President from any meeting of the Board, the Vice-president of the Board officiates as acting chairperson at such meeting.
  6. In the absence of the President as well as the Vice-president from any meeting of the Board, the members present elect one of their members to preside at such meeting.
  7. Leave of absence from meetings of the Board must be tendered in  advance  to the General Secretary

Section 3: Meetings procedure of the Board and where relevant to the BGM

  1. The Board members must participate in the deliberations of the Board in  the best interest of the Society.
  2. Except where otherwise provided in this constitution, all acts or matters authorised or required to be done or decided by the Board and all questions that may come before it are done or decided by the majority of the members  present at any meeting, on the understanding that one half plus one of the members present constitutes the required majority.
  3. The first act of an ordinary meeting, after being constituted, is to read and confirm by the signature of the chairperson the minutes of the last preceding ordinary meeting and of any special meeting subsequently held, provided that  the meeting may consider the minutes as read if a copy thereof was previously sent to every member of the Board and member of BGM, provided further that objections to the minutes of a meeting are raised and decided before confirmation of the minutes.
  4. The President, who presides as chairperson, has on any matter, a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, also a casting vote.
  5. The views of  a member of  the Board who is unable to attend a  meeting  may be submitted to the meeting in writing but may not count as a vote of such member.

ARTICLE 7: Committees

The Board may, if deemed expedient for the effective functioning of the society, appoint committees and ad-hoc committees of the Board.

ARTICLE 8: Finances of the Society

  1. The membership fee is approved by the BGM on proposal by the Board.
  2. No member of the Society shall receive remuneration from the Society, or  use their office for personal financial gain.
  3. The Board may decide to approve reimbursement of expenses.
  4. The expenses of the association are covered by:
    1. Fees from the members;
    2. Events; and
    3. Private and public grants, donations and sponsorships.

ARTICLE 9: Amendments to the Constitution

  1. Amendments to this constitution shall be made at the BGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society.
  2. Any proposed amendment by the Board, shall, after due consideration, be offered for discussion and approval at the BGM of the Society.

ARTICLE 10: Dissolution of the Society

  1. The Society may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority vote of its members.
  2. The Society shall fall into abeyance should it fail to validly elect a Board for two (2) years.
  3. On dissolution of the Society, its assets shall become the property of ECSA.