Last updated 13 August 2004
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1. Mission Statement
The NCAR Scientists’ Assembly (NSA) exists to foster a
community of mutual respect and cooperation within NCAR/UCAR, to
facilitate effective scientist participation in the management of NCAR,
to facilitate scientific interaction across NCAR/UCAR, to enhance
communication in matters of concern to NCAR scientists and management,
to engage NCAR scientists’ skills in the guidance of NCAR’s programs,
and to advise NCAR management and UCAR governance concerning scientific
policy and related matters affecting the institution.
2. NSA Membership
All members of the NCAR scientific staff (Scientists,
Associate Scientists, Project Scientists, Post-Docs and Visiting
Scientists) are members of the NCAR Scientists’ Assembly unless they
remove their name from the membership list. All members of the NSA have
full voting rights in the NSA, and these rights apply both to the
selection of the EC and to voting on issues raised by the NSA or the
3. Structure of the NSA
Executive Committee (EC)
The EC will consist of the head of the ECSA and one
representative from each NCAR Division (currently ACD, ATD, CGD, MMM,
SCD, RAP, HAO and ESIG) and the NCAR Science Advisor.. Changes to
Divisional representation in the EC that may be needed as the structure
of NCAR evolves will be made with a majority vote of the NSA EC.
- The EC organizes meetings of the full NSA.
- The EC must clearly delineate whether official
positions taken are those of the EC or the full NSA.
- The EC organizes scientific fora.
Early Career Scientists’ Assembly (ECSA)
The ECSA is a permanent standing committee of the NSA,
organized according to its own bylaws. The ECSA or its Steering
Committee has the right to issue position statements without the
approval of the NSA EC. The statements should include a standard
disclaimer that such positions are not necessarily endorsed by the NSA
as a whole or by the EC.
Aside from the ECSA, the EC can establish or
discontinue standing subcommittees. The members of a standing
subcommittee are NSA members, appointed by the EC. The Chair must be a
member of the EC.
The EC may establish or discontinue ad hoc committees
from time to time as deemed desirable. The membership of ad hoc
committees is determined by the EC
The EC meets monthly and more frequently if the need
arises. For routine (non-voting) EC meetings, a quorum exists if half
the members are present. For voting meetings, a quorum exists if
three-quarters of the members are present. A positive vote by more than
half of those present is sufficient to carry a motion. The NCAR
Directorate may provide agenda items for EC meetings that require EC
input or action.
The EC calls NSA meetings as the need arises, but the
NSA must meet at least once a year. The EC sets the agenda for NSA
NCAR Science Advisor
The NCAR Science Advisor is hired by the EC and holds a
joint appointment with the NSA and the Directorate. The NSA EC
co-chairs are the supervisors of the NCAR Science Advisor, with input
from the Directorate.
4. Responsibility of the Officers
NSA Executive Committee member and alternate
The Executive Committee member attends meetings or
selects an alternate if he/she cannot attend, reports the proceedings
of the EC to constituents regularly, ascertains the wishes of his/her
constituents and represents them on the EC, and takes minutes on a
rotating basis. The EC member will also organize the selection process
for his/her Divisional replacement and obtain EC approval before
initiating the process.
NSA Executive Committee Co-chairs
The NSA EC Co-chairs run the NSA meetings and the
monthly EC meetings, call special EC meetings, meet with the NCAR
Science Advisor on a regular basis, and set agendas for EC meetings.
NCAR Science Advisor
The NCAR Science Advisor is responsible for
communication between the NCAR Executive Committee and the NCAR
Directors' committee and both the EC and the NSA. The NCAR Science
Advisor represents the NSA at the NCAR Executive Committee and the NCAR
Directors' Committee meetings. He/she also provides advice to the NCAR
5. Selection of Officers
Executive Committee (EC) of the NCAR
Scientists’ Assembly – Division Representatives.
There is one representative elected from each
administrative unit (hereafter called “Division”)
Qualifications : Any member of the NSA can be
a Member or Alternate Member of the Executive Committee except for
senior management (any member with a title of “Director” (or
equivalent) or above in their job description).
Selection: Each Division may devise its own
process for selecting a representative to the EC, but the EC must
approve the Division process for selection of EC members.
Alternate: The EC member designates an
alternate who attends meetings when the member cannot attend. The
alternate will have full voting rights at the EC meetings. If an EC
representative fails to finish his/her term, a special election should
be held according to the Division process.
Terms : Members of the EC will serve for three
years, starting 1 October. The ECSA representative will serve a
one-year term since the head of the ECSA is a one-year rotating
Vacant seats: The seat of an EC member is
deemed vacant if the member has not attended EC meetings for six months
or longer. In this case, the Division selects a new EC representative
for the remainder of the term using the procedures specified above.
Rotation : Approximately one-third of the EC
should be selected each year.
For the first election, approximately one-third of the
members of the EC will rotate off this year, one-third the next year,
and one-third in the third year.
Recall procedure : An EC member representative
can be recalled by a petition signed by 2/3 of the home Division NSA
members. In this event an election for a new Division representative
follows according to Division procedure.
Co-chairs of the EC are
selected by the EC. The co-chairs must be members of the EC. The EC
determines the selection procedure. The term is one year, possibly
NCAR Science Advisor
Qualifications : The NCAR Science Advisor
should be a member of the NSA.
Selection : The NCAR Science Advisor will be
selected through an application process, with the selection committee
consisting of the EC.
Term: One year, renewable.
Head of the ECSA
The head of the ECSA is chosen according to ECSA
6. Voting on Issues
Calling for a vote
Any member of the NSA can call for a vote at an NSA
general meeting as long as there are at least 25 NSA members present
(which shall constitute a quorum). The process for calling for a vote
will be dictated by Roberts Rules of Order, i.e., a second is asked
for, the question is discussed and refined (if necessary), and those
present at the meeting vote whether to put the vote to the entire NSA.
A simple majority is required for the motion to pass.
The Executive Committee is authorized to put any matter
to a vote of the NSA, as long as a majority of the EC agrees to it.
A vote will be taken whenever the NSA and/or the EC
wishes to state an official position on an issue under consideration.
Voting will be done over the Web. Once a vote has been
authorized by the EC or the NSA, the full NSA membership will be
notified by email. The question to be voted on is then posted on the
NSA Website, along with a discussion of the issues to be decided. The
EC determines the interval of time and deadline for voting, posting
this information on the NSA web site.
Reporting results of the vote
The EC will report the results of the vote, including
the number of votes, to the NSA in a timely manner.
7. Relationship of NSA to ECSA
The ECSA will be a permanent standing committee of the
NSA, with the ECSA chair being a member of the EC.
The NSA EC will approve the ECSA by-laws and changes
8. Modifying the Constitution
The constitution will be considered
provisional during the first year. During this period, the EC will be
able to change the constitution by a majority vote.
Amendments to the Constitution
After the first year, any member of the EC may propose
changes in the NSA Constitution at a regular meeting of the EC. To be
approved, such changes must be the subject of notice provided to the
entire NSA at least two weeks prior to the next meeting of the EC. NSA
EC members are responsible for ascertaining the wishes of their
constituents. Adoption will require the affirmative vote of
three-quarters of the EC members or a majority of the NSA. The times of
approval will be documented.
1. Election of EC Representatives
A web-based voting procedure is recommended, but this
is not compulsory.
- Nomination: by Division NSA members, including the
- The nominee is informed of the duties of an EC
member and asked if he/she is willing to stand for election.
- Elections are held using a secret-ballot process.
2. Support Staff
The following positions are to support the efforts of
the EC, NSA, and ECSA.
NSA Secretary/Treasurer (staff member)
The NSA Secretary-treasurer is a staff member who
maintains the member database, posts the minutes on the web site, and
manages the budget.
Website manager (staff member)
The Web Site manager is a staff member who maintains
the NSA Web Site (possibly the same person who maintains the ECSA Web
3. NCAR Science Advisor (Half time funded
In addition to the duties described in the NSA
Constitution, the NCAR Science Advisor will also participate in
generating ideas for NCAR-wide science discussions, act as a science
ombudsperson, plan at least one scientific event (retreat, workshop,
etc) during his/her tenure, and write the annual report for the NSA.
4. EC Co-Chairs
The EC Co-Chairs have line management responsibility
over the NCAR Science Advisor. The EC Co-Chairs are responsible for
NSA’s budget, with the practical accounting tasks being delegated to
the NSA Secretary/Treasurer.
The EC will meet monthly or more frequently should the
need arise. It is expected that EC Members and Alternate members
represent the opinions of their constituents.
6. NSA Communications
Because communication lies at the center of the NSA
mission, a communications plan is outlined below. This is in addition
to face-to-face communications expected of EC members and in the
meetings described in the constitution.
The NSA Website will be the public face of NSA and
placed in the NCAR website at the same entry-level that the Divisions
are currently, or at the same level as the laboratories will be
Use of Email
Email will be used for internal direct communication,
1. Announcement of NSA meetings
2. Announcement of NSA-EC agendas, posting of minutes
(links to the website)
3. EC Policy positions (link to website for member
4. Other special announcements (NSA seminars, etc).
Maintaining Email List
The email list will be updated monthly. NSA members are
on the list by default. Any member of the NSA can be excluded by
request. Any member of the UCAR staff can be included upon request.
These requests should be honored when the NSA Secretary/Treasurer
updates the list.
7. Changing the By-Laws
The By-Laws can be changed by majority vote of all the
members of the Executive Committee of the NSA.