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ACE Constitution Bylaw B: 

Policies and Procedures Manual

The Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) is a diverse organization with a long oral, as well as recorded, history. A group of past presidents and coordinators prepared this document in May 1998 to record many of the unwritten policies and procedures that have guided ACE for decades.

Policies are defined as rules as stipulated in the ACE Constitution. Procedures are defined as guidelines, allowing for flexibility and innovation among the ACE leadership. The manual is a dynamic document that reflects the ongoing needs and ideas of ACE members and leaders.

I. Annual Manual Review

A. The ACE Policies and Procedures Manual will be reviewed and updated by the ACE officers each year prior to the fall board meeting.

RATIONALE: The Policies and Procedures Manual provides information that assists ACE leadership in managing and guiding the organization. When administrative procedures are changed and new methods for managing the organization introduced and put in place, the manual will be updated to reflect these changes. ACE officers include the president, president-elect, vice president, and past president.

B. The board approves updates of the Policies and Procedures Manual at the fall board meeting.

RATIONALE: The Policies and Procedures Manual was adopted as Bylaw B of the ACE Constitution at the 2000 fall board meeting. If the Policies and Procedures Manual is changed or revised, it must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the board. With acceptance by the board, the revised Policies and Procedures Manual will be posted on the ACE website.

II. Award Nomination and Selection Procedures

A. ACE rewards its members and leaders in communications related to agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences with an approved list of awards, as designated by the ACE board.

1. Pioneer Award (early career award, first 10 years of ACE membership)

PROCEDURE: Any ACE member may send one or more Pioneer Award nominations to the ACE executive director, who forwards them to the ACE board for final selection. Up to five Pioneer Awards may be given each year. The president writes letters to notify/congratulate Pioneer Award winners and letters to notify their administrators and their nominators, as well as nominees who did not receive the award.

2. Professional Award (recognizes excellence and professionalism – ACE's highest award given to its own members.)

PROCEDURE: ACE members send Professional Award nominations to the president, who forwards nominations to a panel (past Professional Award recipients and presidents of national agricultural communication organizations, such as the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, the Canadian Farm Writers Federation and the Livestock Publications Council) that will select the recipient. The president notifies the recipient, nominator and recipient’s administrator. The president also notifies those not selected for this award, usually through the nominator.

3. Awards of Excellence (exemplifies excellence in a specific Learning Community)

PROCEDURE: Learning Community leaders collect Awards of Excellence nominations and send final selections to the Learning Community director, who presents them to the board for approval. With board approval, the president writes to congratulate Award of Excellence winners and also writes letters to their administrators. The appropriate SIG leader notifies nominators of those not winning awards.

4. Service Award (honors service to ACE)

PROCEDURE: ACE board members submit nominations to the president; the board makes the final selection. The name of the recipient should not be revealed until the award is presented at the annual business meeting.

5. Journal of Applied Communications Article of the Year Awards

PROCEDURE: The JAC editorial board selects the Article of the Year Awards. The editorial board chair reports the selection(s) to the ACE president for confirmation and then notifies the winning author(s). The JAC Article of the Year Awards may include a professional development article and a research article.

6. Reuben Brigham Award (recognizes a non-ACE member in communication who has made a major contribution in the field of agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences)

PROCEDURE: ACE members send Reuben Brigham nominations to the president who presents them for final selection by the ACE board. The president notifies the recipient and invites him/her to the annual meeting. This award is given only when appropriate candidates are nominated.

7. Research Paper of the Year Award

PROCEDURE: The Research SIG chair is responsible for selecting the Research Paper of the Year Award, which is presented at the annual Research SIG business meeting.

8. ACE Development Fund Grants

PROCEDURE: ACE members apply for grants by sending applications to the ACE executive director, who forwards them to the Development Fund Committee. The committee sends a recommendation to the ACE board for final approval. The Marketing Director notifies the recipient(s), while the ACE executive director notifies those who did not receive grants.

B. The ACE board confirms recipients of all ACE awards. The SIG director and SIG leaders review nominations for the Awards of Excellence to ensure nominees meet the criteria before forwarding to the ACE board of directors. The board must also confirm recipients of the JAC Article of the Year as recommended by the JAC editorial board and recipients of ACE Development Fund Grants as recommended by the Development Fund Committee.

RATIONALE: The board members are the elected representatives of the members so they carry the responsibility to ensure recipients are qualified and deserving.

1. All award nominations should be made by a date selected by the president-elect, as he or she develops the Calendar of Deadlines for the coming year. The nominations are approved by the board.

RATIONALE: Setting a single date simplifies preparation and collection of nominations.

2. Members may not nominate themselves.

RATIONALE: Peer nominations elevate the credibility of the organization.

3. Members may receive the Award of Excellence in the same year they receive other awards.

RATIONALE: Members are nominated through different procedures honoring different achievements.

4. Those responsible for notifying the award winners, as outlined in the ACE Calendar of Deadlines, should notify the winners' administrators.

RATIONALE: Administrators should understand the recognized value of those on their staffs. They should also be encouraged to support their award winner’s attendance at the international conference where the award will be presented.

5. In rare cases, award winners may receive the same award more than one time, if appropriate.

RATIONALE: Although ACE wants to see many people win awards, it does not want to penalize someone who continues to excel professionally. However, it would need to be an exceptional case to show enough professional advancement to warrant another award in the same category.

6. An award can be presented posthumously to anyone who was a member in good standing at the time of his or her death and met the criteria for the award.

RATIONALE: Although ACE does not want to present awards simply as a memorial following a member’s death, it does not want to disqualify a nominee if he or she is qualified for the award.

7. For particularly prestigious awards, such as the Reuben Brigham or the Professional Award, the board should try to generate more and better nominations.

RATIONALE: ACE can raise its credibility through the quality of its award winners.

8. Any board or committee members who have a role in the selection process for awards are not eligible for these awards.

RATIONALE: The selection process must be perceived as honest and fair.

9. With the exception of the Reuben Brigham Award, ACE awards are not named to honor specific individuals.

RATIONALE: Award names should reflect the reason for the award.

III. ACE Board Members

A. Qualifications for the Office of Vice President

PROCEDURE: It is recommended nominees be current or past board members, Learning Community chairs, or standing committee chairs. Members must be informed of the desired qualifications when the call goes out for nominees.

Policy: The ACE Constitution states that candidates for vice president must have been members in good standing for four consecutive years.

RATIONALE: Having working knowledge of ACE leadership is essential to being a good officer.

B. Removal of Board Member for Cause

PROCEDURE: On recommendation of the ACE board, a sitting member or director-elect of the board may be removed for not performing his or her assigned duties or for no longer being eligible to serve. (This procedure is covered in detail in “V. Removal from ACE Offices and Leadership Positions.”)

RATIONALE: The ACE membership is not served well when its officers do not fulfill their responsibilities.

C. Directors Who Retire or Cannot Complete Their Term of Office

Policy: According to the Constitution, only active members may serve as directors (except in the case of the retiree director). Therefore, a director who retires while in office may serve out the calendar year(s) while he or she is still an active member.

PROCEDURE: If a director should be unable to serve and there is no director-elect, the president will appoint an interim director who will serve until an election can be held to select either a director or director-elect, whichever is needed.

D. President May Appoint Board Members under Special Circumstances

Policy: The president (or senior board officer) may appoint board members under unusual or compelling circumstances. The appointment may be up to a full three-year board term. The board will review the rationale for making such an appointment and will approve by simple majority vote at the next opportunity.

PROCEDURE: The president will identify and contact a qualified member and forward the name to the board and ACE executive director. The board should make the appointment in a timely manner and it will then become effective immediately.

RATIONALE: In some circumstances, the normal board nomination and election process fails to identify a candidate or leaves a position vacant for too long. The president needs to be able to take action to further strategic goals and objectives of ACE and to avoid the loss of critical input and perspective on the board.

E. Awards

PROCEDURE: None of the voting members of the ACE board are eligible for the Award of Excellence, Professional Award, Pioneer Award, Service Award, Development Fund grants, or any other award on which the board votes. Directors-elect, however, are eligible for these awards.

RATIONALE: Board members should not be eligible for awards on which they vote. Without this guideline, the board would be open to criticism from the membership.

PROCEDURE: All board members are eligible to participate in the Critique & Awards Program with the exception of the president-elect.

RATIONALE: Upon the recommendation of Learning Community Director, the ACE executive director and the president-elect select, instruct, and pay the C&A judges. Therefore, we want to eliminate any possible conflict of interest.

F. Duties of Officers

1. Past President

PROCEDURE: The past president will chair the Nominating Committee, which selects candidates for vice president and directors.

PROCEDURE: The past president chairs a meeting of the officers to review and discuss the policies and procedures section of the bylaws prior to the fall board meeting.

2. President

Policy: The president will follow “Robert’s Rules of Order” when conducting meetings, as stated in the ACE Constitution. This means the president will not vote on issues except to break a tie.

PROCEDURE: The president will, with approval of the board, take official positions on behalf of ACE on emerging public policy issues that affect our organization. For example, the president may write a letter to a member of Congress in support of legislation affecting funding for agricultural education and research. Another example is that the president may write letters to government or university decision makers in support of ongoing, effective communications.

The ACE president should consider joining other professional organizations to interact with other society presidents and have a broader voice on public policy issues.

RATIONALE: The president of an international communications organization should be able to offer support for effective, ongoing communications issues. ACE’s voice should be heard in public policy debates.

3. President-elect

Policy: The president-elect will serve as interim president if the president is incapacitated or unable to perform his or her duties.

PROCEDURE: The president-elect will chair the Critique & Awards Program. The president-elect also will coordinate changes in the C&A Program with the SIG director, who serves as liaison to SIG chairs.

PROCEDURE: The president-elect will serve as the presiding officer in the absence of the president, as stated in the Constitution.

4. Vice President

PROCEDURE: The vice president will serve on the Finance Committee. This role will provide the opportunity for the newly elected officer to gain a fundamental knowledge of ACE operations, resources, and financial management objectives.

PROCEDURE: The vice president will serve as the ACE parliamentarian, assisting the president in interpreting and enforcing Robert’s Rules of Order in conducting ACE business.

PROCEDURE: The vice president will lead organizational communication efforts as identified by the ACE board.

RATIONALE: By having the vice president serve as parliamentarian, this will eventually mean that all officers will have a firm foundation in parliamentary procedure, which should help in the conducting of ACE business.

Policy: The vice president will serve as interim president-elect if the president-elect is incapacitated or unable to perform the duties of the office.

5. Treasurer (not an officer)

PROCEDURE: The treasurer will be appointed by the officers for a three-year term. The treasurer will be indemnified by the organization.

PROCEDURE: The treasurer will serve as fiscal officer of the organization.

PROCEDURE: The treasurer will make a report at each board meeting. The treasurer will assist in the preparation of the budget, supervise the maintenance of records for the organization's operating budget, revenue, expenditures, and investment accounts, and make financial information available. The treasurer will work with the board to help align resources to initiatives.

G. Incoming Officers

PROCEDURE: All newly elected officers and board members are encouraged to participate in ACE board teleconferences or meetings as soon as elected. This includes serving on committees, joining in discussions, and performing other tasks as assigned by the president.

Policy: The vice president-elect and the directors-elect may not vote on ACE issues until they assume office.

RATIONALE: As stated in the Constitution, directors-elect are prohibited from voting on board issues. However, because they soon will be acting and voting as full board members, they should be as active as possible in board matters as soon as elected to gain a broad understanding of the issues coming before the board.

H. Past President from Previous Year

PROCEDURE: The person who served in the previous year as past president will mentor and advise the incoming vice president.

I. Directors, ACE has six directors:

1. Membership Director will be responsible for sustaining and growing the membership; retaining members; organizing orientation, mentoring and other services for new members; and working with state representatives and international members on membership and services issues.

2. Professional Development Director will be responsible for all forms of professional development, including conferences, workshops, institutes, online learning, and other professional training and development programs. The professional development director will serve on the annual meeting program committee.

3. Marketing Director will be responsible for working to increase positive visibility for ACE in the communications and IT professions and to seek partnerships with other organizations. This director also is responsible for new membership campaigns and oversight of the Development Fund Committee.

4. Learning Community Director will be responsible for ensuring that all Learning Communities are active and have effective leadership, and represent the needs and interests of Learning Communities before the board.

5. Research Director will be responsible for contributing to the advancement of ACE by conducting or commissioning research to address the organization’s priorities and needs. This director also will serve as the liaison between the Research SIG, Journal of Applied Communications (JAC) editorial board and JAC executive editor, and the ACE board.

6. Retiree Director will be responsible for ensuring that retired and life members are kept abreast of ACE happenings and encouraged to participate in and lead ACE activities.

Policy: Any active member in good standing is eligible to run for director. Any retiree or life member is eligible to serve as retiree director. The person elected will serve a one-year term on the board as a non-voting director-elect before assuming office as a director. Candidates must be informed of the duties, opportunities, and prohibitions of being a director-elect and director.

PROCEDURE: Directors will encourage members to recommend candidates for director. Two names for each office to be filled will be selected by a process designated by the director.

J. Elections

PROCEDURE: The past president chairs the Nominating Committee, which will consist of three to five past presidents. The committee may solicit nominations from anyone for vice president.

RATIONALE: A committee of past presidents would understand the demands of board membership and the necessary leadership qualifications. While our constitution provides for cases in which only one candidate can be found, the vigor of the organization is impeded when only one candidate runs for office.

PROCEDURE: The Nominating Committee should provide the board with two candidates for each vacancy.

PROCEDURE: All members vote in the election for vice president and directors except for the retiree director. Retired and life members vote for the retiree director.

K. Election Results

Policy: The ballots will be counted by the ACE executive director using an online voting system that can be reviewed by the officers. The results will be reported to the president of ACE, who will confirm the count.

PROCEDURE: The president will contact the winner of elections for vice president and directors as soon as the results have been tallied. Once all candidates are notified, the president will inform the ACE membership of the election results.

PROCEDURE: The chair of the Nominating Committee, the past president, will notify candidates for vice president and directors who did not win as soon as the president indicates he or she has notified the winner.

L. Conducting Board Business Electronically

Policy: Although official board business is normally conducted through face-to-face meetings and telephone conferences, business may be conducted electronically when rapid response is required, provided parliamentary procedure is followed and the rights of all board members are safeguarded.

RATIONALE: The board may need to respond quickly to a situation. It may not be possible or practical to hold some matters for the next scheduled teleconference or face-to-face meeting of the board. Such matters can often be addressed rapidly and expeditiously electronically. However, procedures for conducting board business by email must ensure that board members enjoy the same rights as they do in a face-to-face meeting.

PROCEDURE: When board business is conducted electronically, the president will use the ACE board listserv to announce the subject to be acted upon, making it clear in the subject line that the message pertains to official board business and requires a timely response. In presenting the matter, the president will specify the timetable for board action. All further messages from the president and from board members will be sent to the board listserv, not to the president or individual board members, so all members will receive them. Motions, seconds, and discussion will be conducted under the same rules as followed in face-to-face meetings, with the stipulation that the president must ensure that adequate time (usually at least 24 hours) elapses at each step of the process for board members to read and respond to email messages. All electronic votes must be included in the previous board meeting minutes.

IV. ACE Committees, Learning Communities, and Representatives

A. Definitions

1. Standing Committees: Ongoing work groups with specific tasks that may be modified over time. Members serve terms of office, usually three-year terms with members rotating off in different years. They are listed in the “Calendar of Deadlines.”

a. Membership

b. Development Fund

c. JAC Editorial Board

d. Professional Development

e. Finance

2. Ad Hoc Committees: Established for a specific purpose with a limited time of service, as stated in the ACE Constitution. Here are examples:

a. Annual Conference Program

b. Nominating

c. Strategic Planning

3. Learning Community Groups: Board-endorsed, self-assigned networks of members with interests in a particular communications subject or medium. Leadership and activities selected by the members.

4. Representatives: Individuals who serve as a liaison between the ACE board and members in each state, government agency, or country, or who are selected by the president to represent ACE to other organizations.

B. Membership of Standing Committees

Procedure: Current board members will provide leadership to specific committees. Leadership for standing committees is as follows:

a. Membership – Membership Director

b. Professional Development – Professional Development Director

c. Finance – Treasurer and Vice President

d. Journal of Applied Communication – Research Director

e. Development Fund – Marketing Director

As new committees are needed, the ACE board will determine leadership roles as needed.

RATIONALE: Officers and directors may not be aware of the extent of their duties relating to the board. By stepping down from committee membership and providing leadership, they open up opportunities for other ACE members.

In addition, committee work can often occur in a vacuum. By providing leadership to committees, board members can help guide the committee’s efforts, making sure committees stay on schedule and keep on track for the year.

PROCEDURE: Directors will appoint new committee members following the summer board meeting.

PROCEDURE: The ACE board should discuss the direction and goals of committees for the upcoming year at the summer board meeting.

C. Membership of Ad Hoc Committees

PROCEDURE: Membership on ad hoc committees is open to anyone appropriate for the task, including board members. However, efforts should be made to select members from the membership at large.

RATIONALE: Certain tasks may be most appropriately filled by sitting board members. These short-term duties should not detract from their regular board duties.

PROCEDURE: The ACE president appoints chairs and members of ad hoc committees. Generally, ad hoc committee members do not serve specified terms, but serve until the committee has completed its work.

RATIONALE: The ACE president will work with the leadership of the committees to ensure that committee members and chairs are selected equitably from among the membership.

D. Membership and Leadership of Learning Community Groups

PROCEDURE: Membership is open to anyone in ACE with an interest in the concerns of the Learning Community.

PROCEDURE: Leadership of a Learning Community is open to any Learning Community member.

PROCEDURE: Learning Community chairs are elected by the Learning Community membership. Each Learning Community decides its own leadership structure. However, the suggested procedure is to elect a vice chair-elect via e-mail or other means at some point before the annual conference. The vice chair-elect typically will serve one year, then advance to vice chair and chair in successive years. Learning Community officers may be elected to serve additional terms.

RATIONALE: This procedure provides training and consistent leadership for the Learning Community. Electing leadership before the summer conference allows incoming leaders to make plans to attend leadership training sessions at the conference and encourages continuity in planning.

E. State, Agency, and Country Representatives

PROCEDURE: State representatives serve as the conduit for ACE and local members by planning local professional development and networking opportunities and recruiting members within their states. State representatives are appointed by the Membership director, working with local members. Agency representatives may be appointed by the ACE president. Country representatives may be appointed by the Membership director. In countries with charter affiliate chapters, the charter affiliate representative generally performs these functions and it is therefore not normally necessary to appoint a country representative.

F. Journal of Extension Representative

PROCEDURE: The president will appoint the ACE representative to the Journal of Extension (JOE) board for a three-year term in December every three years. The representative will give a written annual report to the ACE board for its annual meeting. ACE will not provide any financial support. The person appointed must have authorization and support from his or her institution for travel to JOE board meetings.

PROCEDURE: The president may choose to reappoint a representative.

RATIONALE: It has been customary to have an ACE representative to the JOE board, since many of us work for Extension. The ACE board needs some accountability from this representative.

G. Committee Charges

PROCEDURE: Soon after the annual international meeting, the ACE board will communicate to committees any goals and specific directions given to the committees by the board at the annual international meeting. This is to ensure committee productivity and progress toward pursuing ACE priorities. Committee chairs will submit progress reports for the fall ACE board meeting and year-end reports at the next year's annual international meeting.

RATIONALE: Committee productivity is a perennial issue. Providing more direction from the board and more involvement via the board liaison will ensure continuity, progress and accountability.

RATIONALE: To provide guidance for committees and continuity in activities, committee charges need to be recorded and made available from year to year, especially because of the volunteer nature of ACE.

PROCEDURE: Once committees set goals, they should consider setting up working groups or subcommittees (with their own chairs) to tackle individual goals. Board liaisons work with them to ensure the efforts succeed.

RATIONALE: The most common issue year after year is lack of results from various committees. Setting reasonable goals and showing progress toward them are key factors. If this does not occur, the ACE board liaison needs to be ready to make suggested changes.

PROCEDURE: Names, locations, and terms of office of committee members will be listed on the ACE website.

V. Removal from ACE Offices and Leadership Positions

ACE has positions that are both elected and appointed. Guidelines for removal from office vary accordingly.

A. ACE Board Members

Board members are expected to attend all board meetings and conferences in person, via phone conference, or using other communication technologies. Any board member who expects to miss a meeting will contact the ACE president in advance.

The duties of officers (president/president-elect/vice president/past president) are outlined elsewhere in Bylaw B, Policies and Procedures. Other board members have duties as assigned by the ACE Constitution, Policies and Procedures Manual, and Calendar of Deadlines.

The ACE president will contact a board member who misses two meetings over the course of two years, for reasons unexcused by the president, or who otherwise is not fulfilling the duties of office. A board member's position may be vacated by a vote of the ACE board.

Interim vacancies will be filled using the following procedures:

For directors, vice president and president-elect, the ACE past president will gather together the previous year's nominating committee to seek candidates to hold a mid-term election. If no more than one candidate can be found, an election with no opposing candidates can be held.

For the ACE past president, the ACE president will ask a previous past president to fill that role for the remainder of the term.

For the treasurer, the president will appoint an interim to fulfill the remainder of that term.

B. ACE Committee Chairs

Incoming and/or outgoing committee chairs are expected to submit reports when requested by the ACE board.

They should meet regularly with their committee members. Minutes of their meetings will be sent to the president, ACE executive director, and to all other committees. Progress should be made during the year to fulfill expectations of the president and board in carrying out the committee’s work and goals.

Committee chairs that do not fulfill their duties, in the opinion of the president and the board liaison in coordination with the board’s officers, over the course of a three-month period, will be contacted by the president. Together, they will discuss whether the chair should step down from that position or be put on a probationary period to last no longer than three months.

The ACE president will appoint a new chair, if necessary.

C. ACE Learning Community Leaders

ACE Learning Community leaders are expected to attend Learning Community leader training and chair the Learning Community business meetings. ACE Learning Community leaders also are expected to attend all ACE Learning Community leader phone conferences. If they cannot attend, they will contact the Learning Community director in advance, and ask the Learning Community vice chair to represent the Learning Community.

Learning Community leaders who do not fulfill their duties by sufficiently representing and leading their Learning Community members, or working closely with the Learning Community director, will be contacted by the Learning Community director. Together, they will agree on a plan to increase Learning Community activity and/or improve their working relationship. If inactivity continues, or if the working relationship does not improve, the Learning Community director will contact the Learning Community leader and other officers of the Learning Community to determine a plan of action. The Learning Community director may recommend a change of SIG leadership.

D. ACE State, Agency and Country Representatives

ACE representatives are expected to participate in state representative training. If they cannot attend, they will contact the Membership director. Representatives also are expected to hold meetings, send e-mails, or otherwise keep their state contingent informed and active. They will keep the membership director informed of their activities and work on a plan to increase state level activity. If there is inactivity, the membership director may appoint a new representative.

VI. ACE Meetings and Workshops

A. ACE Workshops: Procedures

1. An ACE workshop is defined as a professional meeting, sponsored or co-sponsored by ACE that promotes growth in professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for a career in agricultural, natural resources, and life and human sciences communications. Workshops may be face-to-face or technology-based, and are open to all members and non-members with an interest in the topics at hand.

RATIONALE: ACE workshops are essential to the professional development and well-being of our members and for others such as administrators, subject matter specialists, and non-member communicators.

2. The ACE Professional Development Director oversees the process for initiating, planning, and carrying out ACE workshops.

RATIONALE: To best serve the interests of ACE members, the Professional Development director works with those who initiate workshops to identify critical topics, review requests for loans from the meetings and workshops account, and provide detailed information on workshop planning.

3. A member or group of members, a state, a region, a SIG, the Professional Development Committee, or any combination of the preceding may initiate an ACE workshop.

RATIONALE: Great ideas for workshops come from a number of sources and combination of efforts.

4. The “Meeting and Workshop Planning Guide” is available on the ACE website to anyone considering sponsoring a workshop.

RATIONALE: Workshop hosts need access to a guide for hosting a workshop. The guide should cover a variety of topics including workshop planning, finances and fundraising, program and presenter support, site selection, food and beverages, social events, transportation, equipment, promotion, registration, and evaluation.

5. Workshop registration fees should be higher for non-ACE members.

RATIONALE: Membership in ACE should provide the benefit of lower registration fees for ACE workshops. Higher registration fees for non-members should be used to encourage them to join ACE.

6. Co-sponsorship of workshops or meetings with other organizations will, on occasion, require negotiation and/or compromise between co-sponsors regarding ACE Policies and Procedures. Any potential conflict with ACE Policies and Procedures should be discussed as early as possible with ACE officers and any others deemed appropriate by the ACE president.

RATIONALE: Open and early consultations between meeting or workshop planners and ACE leadership will improve meeting planning and encourage sponsorship while respecting ACE policies, procedures, and values.

B. Annual Conference:

PROCEDURE: Conference registration fees should be higher for participants who are not members of ACE or other approved organizations. A complimentary room will be available to the president.

PROCEDURE: The program committee of the annual conference will prepare a report for the board within three months after the meeting to assist future meeting planners.

RATIONALE: Committee reports should cover topics such as fundraising, committees, equipment needs, timetable, and relationships with program committee, responsibilities and requirements, etc. This information would be valuable in planning future meetings.

PROCEDURE: When the coming year’s program committee chair is appointed, he/she will be asked to join the current conference committee planning discussions.

The president-elect will appoint the program committee for the annual conference in which he or she will be president.

The ACE board will work with its meeting planner to solicit bids for annual conferences.

RATIONALE: The constitution was changed in 2001, by a vote of the membership, giving the board the authority to approve the site of the annual conference. As part of that change, it was agreed that ACE members will be asked for their input before a site for an annual conference is selected.

C. Financing ACE Meetings and Workshops – Loans

The ACE executive director, working with the treasurer, maintains a separate account, called the meetings and workshops account, made up of profits from ACE conferences, workshops, and other professional development events. This account is used to support ACE-sponsored meetings and workshops, mainly in the form of start-up loans. The board, in consultation with the Professional Development Director, will approve any start-up loans made to planners of meetings and workshops.

RATIONALE: Start-up funds are crucial to planning a meeting or workshop. Often expenses are incurred before income from registration fees is received.

1. To request a loan, the host/planning committee for a meeting or workshop will submit a loan application. As part of the application, the annual conference committee also will submit a meeting/workshop budget. The Annual Conference Committee may apply for either a loan or a Development Fund grant, but not both.

2. A loan application is sent to the ACE professional development director, and then forwarded to the Finance Committee. The vice president and the Professional Development Director review the application to see if the event is consistent with the ACE mission and the needs of members. The treasurer and Finance Committee examine the event budget to ascertain whether the event is likely to break even financially. With few exceptions, meetings and workshops will be expected to break even. The board must approve all loans from the meetings and workshops account.

3. It is expected that loans from the meetings and workshops account will be reimbursed once all expenses of the event have been paid. Agreements for the division of profits should be formulated in advance of the event and described on the loan application. The ACE officers must approve such agreements.

4. If an event does not make enough profit to allow the entire amount of a loan to be reimbursed, the planning committee will reimburse the amount left after all expenses are paid. The remainder of the debt will be forgiven.

5. In the event a meeting or workshop loses money, the start-up loan funded by the meetings and workshops account will be forgiven and ACE will help assume responsibility for covering the loss.

6. If the ACE board determines that an event for which a start-up loan has been requested is not likely to break even, or for some other reason is not appropriate for funding from the meetings and workshops account, they may forward the request to the Development Fund Committee for consideration.

D. Financing ACE Meetings and Workshops – Sponsorships

1. Hosts/planners of meetings and workshops should seek sponsors and local funding to reduce expenses and make it possible to lower the event's registration fee.

2. ACE may periodically accept corporate sponsorship provided that certain conditions are met, and that such sponsorships do not conflict with the spirit of the organization.

VII. Criteria for ACE Charter Status/Affiliate Membership

A. Charter status is offered to countries where budgets and salaries make it difficult to pay individual dues. To obtain charter status, a designated representative of a qualifying country must submit an application and the current annual dues for one active ACE membership (at the “first-time member” rate the first year and the “renewal” rate thereafter). The ACE board must review and approve the application before charter status is granted.

a. Charter status is available to countries classified as either “low income” or “middle income” by the World Bank. These are countries to which the World Bank makes loans for development purposes. The annual World Development Report published by the Bank will be considered authoritative concerning eligibility. The report can be found in full text PDF form at http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/wdrpoverty.

Each charter country will designate one individual as its “charter representative.” This individual must meet the same eligibility requirements as other ACE members, will have the same voting and other privileges as other ACE members, and serve as the official liaison between ACE and the charter country. Charter representatives in the international region, if eligible, may be candidates for officers or directors.

b. In addition to the “charter representative,” each charter country must maintain a minimum of 10 “affiliate” members. There is no limit on the number of affiliate members a charter country may claim. Eligibility for affiliate memberships is the same as for other ACE memberships. Affiliate members are allowed to participate in ACE professional meetings and workshops and in the ACE C&A program at member rates, but are not allowed to vote or hold an elected position in the organization. This does not preclude individuals in charter countries from joining ACE as active members and running for elected office.

c. Charter countries may have active ACE members, as long as those individuals pay annual active membership dues.

d. Each charter country membership may organize itself to maximize membership benefits under its political and organizational system. However, certain minimal criteria apply

• Each charter country is expected to maintain a current affiliate membership list, updated at least annually, and provide a copy of the list to the ACE executive director each January;

• Affiliate members are expected to indicate that they wish to join the charter country organization, and that they are interested in their own professional development as communicators and information technologists in agriculture, natural resources, life sciences, and family, rural and community development.

• Charter country organizations are expected to find a source of revenue to support their activities. This may come from any combination of: (1) affiliate membership dues; (2) donor grants or other support; (3) organizational or company support; (4) public monies from government or other agencies; (5) specific earmarked funds from the ACE Development Fund or other ACE sources.

• Each charter country organization is expected to provide an annual report of its activities to the ACE board.

B. The purpose of charter country memberships is to develop the professional skills and networking of agricultural and rural communicators in the country, and to link affiliate members to counterparts in other charter country organizations and ACE members around the world. To fulfill this purpose, charter country organizations are encouraged to:

a. Adapt, translate, and distribute materials from ACE that are useful to charter country members;

b. Develop a charter country newsletter, journal or other publications that further the purposes of the organization;

c. Regularly contribute articles for possible inclusion on the ACE website, and journal submissions to the Journal of Applied Communications;

d. Provide professional training/improvement opportunities for charter country members.

C. Charter countries may form “chapters” to allow more active participation in areas remote from the core of affiliate members. Chapter leadership is acceptable.

VIII. Guidelines for Using ACE Funds

A. Source of Funds

PROCEDURE: Each year the ACE board with guidance from the ACE treasurer evaluates the organization’s budget situation and determines the feasibility of providing funds to support specific strategic planning initiatives.

B. Using ACE Funds

PROCEDURE: The appropriate director is responsible for managing and allocating funds designated for specific strategic planning initiatives.

PROCEDURE: The ACE board may hire services or contractors as needed (web hosting, accountant, meeting planner, etc.), and go through appropriate hiring procedures, for example, the use of Request for Proposals (RFP.)

C. Requesting and Allocating Funds for Specific Strategic Planning Initiatives

PROCEDURE: Members or groups can submit a request to the appropriate director, such as marketing, membership, or professional development, who will submit it to the ACE board. The request should detail the amount of funding needed, how the money will be spent, to whom the check should be addressed and mailed, and how ACE as an organization will be credited and promoted during the event.

PROCEDURE: The retiree director and director-elect receive a stipend to defray costs of attending board meetings and the annual conference. In addition, their conference registration fees are waived. Travel and lodging expenses for the retiree director to attend both the fall and summer board meetings will be reimbursed with submittal of expenses; registration to the annual conference is waived. A $600 reimbursement remains in the budget for the director-elect for the year he/she serves as director-elec

PROCEDURE: Within 60 days of completion of the initiative, the requestor will send a written report to the ACE board, which should include how the funds were used, the number of participants at the event, and how the activity benefited ACE within 60 days of the event.

IX. Guidelines for ACE Dues Payments

A. Dues Payment Schedule

Policy: The ACE membership year follows the calendar year.

B. New Members

Policy: You can only join ACE once at the new membership rate. New members whose dues payments are received before registration for the annual conference has closed will be credited with membership for the current calendar year and will be eligible for all member benefits.

X. Guidelines for ACE Seal of Approval

1. To qualify for the ACE Seal of Approval, programs/products must meet the following criteria:

a. Sufficient in scope to be applicable and easily duplicated in other areas of the country or internationally.

b. Address identified needs or growing trends regionally, nationally, or internationally.

c. Based on sound research, proven methodology, and evaluation.

d. Demonstrate innovation in addressing common needs or issues.

e. Include a needs assessment, program development plan, marketing plan, and evaluation instrument.

f. Be supported by program/product developers who agree to serve as consultants for other ACE groups that want to implement the program/product.

g. Developers are encouraged to submit their programs. The process for submission/acceptance is presented below:

1. ACE will develop and publish guidelines and an online submission form for programs seeking the Seal of Approval.

2. Leadership for the appropriate Learning Community will prescreen all submissions related to its area and will determine if the SIG endorses the submission.

3. Once a submission receives the endorsement of Learning Community leadership, the submission will be forwarded to the Professional Development and Learning Community Directors for vetting. The Professional Development and Learning Community directors will include the Learning Community chair of the subject area most closely related to the submission. The Professional Development director will develop a standard evaluation and scoring system with minimum standards identified and points determined.

4. Programs not receiving Learning Community endorsement can be returned to the submitting member with comments for improvement, or clarification and can be resubmitted within three weeks for reconsideration. If the Learning Community leadership to which the submission was made feels the program is better suited to the expertise of another Learning Community, the Learning Community chair can forward the submission to the Learning Community he/she deems more appropriate for consideration.

5. Approved programs will be announced at the ACE business meeting at each annual conference. Authors are invited to create an exhibit of their programs to be displayed at the ACE annual conference.

6. Approved programs will be added to the ACE website and the appropriate Learning Community site. Eventually, approved programs will develop into a catalog of programs.

XI. Guidelines for ACE Sponsorship of Other Meetings/Programs

Programs or organizations seeking sponsorship from ACE must submit the request in writing, with detail of the request and the program, including the agenda and invitation list. In addition, a list of other proposed or contracted sponsors must be provided.

The ACE logo may be used on programs/products that the organization endorses or otherwise supports. Use of the logo must be approved by the ACE board.

If the request is financial, the requestor must provide information about what the funds will be used for.

The organization that uses the logo will provide documentation of the product with the logo as a follow up to the event/activity. If program evaluations are available, the requestor should submit those to ACE as well.

The original version of this manual was prepared in May 1998 under the leadership of ACE President LaRae Donnellan. Her team included Jack Sperbeck, ACE president, 1989-90; Bonnie Riechert, ACE president, 1988-89; Dave King, ACE president, 1991-92; Janet Rodekohr, ACE president, 1996-97; Ashley Wood, ACE coordinator, 1990-97; and Julie Graddy, ACE coordinator, 1997-1999.

Revised and reviewed
June 1999
October 2000
October 2001
October 2002
October 2003
October 2004
September 2005
October 2006
October 2007
October 2008
October 2009
October, 2010
February, 2012
October, 2012, at the ACE Fall Board Meeting, Roswell, GA
October, 2013, at the ACE Fall Board Meeting, Fargo, ND
October, 2014, at the ACE Fall Board Meeting, Fort Collins, CO
October, 2015, at the ACE Fall Board Meeting, Manhattan, KS



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