The United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research, hereinafter referred to as USUCGER, is a non-profit organization of universities actively engaged in education and research in the field of geotechnical engineering. It is organized for the purpose of concerted action in whatever way may be desirable for the encouragement of geotechnical education and research.
The Council will:
- Foster cooperation, exchanges of ideas and findings, and dissemination of data among universities.
- Organize meetings from time to time, as may be appropriate, to discuss geotechnical research and educational issues.
- Provide a forum through which contacts may be developed with the purposes of stimulating increased interest in research and cooperation between universities, public and private research funding agencies, engineering societies, private companies, industries and other interested parties.
- Establish a mechanism through which the collection of views of the academic research community can be coordinated and expressed as may seem appropriate in the national interest.
- Foster cooperation and exchange of ideas among geotechnical engineering educators and researchers.
The scope of USUCGER includes all aspects of (a) basic and applied research in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering and geomechanics, (b) related interdisciplinary areas important for use and improvement of available theories and techniques as well as for any future developments and applications, and (c) educational programs at all levels (K-12 through Graduate Programs and including the general public) in geotechnical engineering.
Section 1: Qualifications
Academic institutions in the United States that have a program of research and/or education in Geotechnical Engineering shall be eligible for membership in the Council. Applications for membership are subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Application for membership shall be forwarded to the Executive Secretary under the signature of the contact member of the institution seeking membership and shall include a description of the institution’s present programs and future plans in undergraduate and graduate research and education in geotechnical engineering. Other relevant information such as course descriptions, number of students, research projects, and type of research (i.e., basic/applied or practice-oriented) may be described in the membership application.
Section 2: Delegates and Voting
Each member institution shall designate a delegate who has voting rights. The delegate can designate a proxy within their institution if they are unable to take part in voting.
Section 3: Voting
Each member institution shall have two (2) votes that will be exercised electronically by the delegate(s) or an alternate designated by one of the delegates. A single delegate shall cast votes for the institution represented. The voting delegate may cast one vote for a junior faculty candidate (who shall be an Assistant Professor at the time of nomination) and one vote for a senior faculty candidate (who shall be an Associate or Full Professor). No proxy votes shall be allowed.
Section 4: Affiliates
Foreign universities, corporations or individuals engaged in geotechnical engineering may be associated with the Council as affiliates upon approval of the Board of Directors. Affiliate status is non-voting. Each affiliate shall designate one representative who will serve as liaison representative with the Council.
Section 5: Withdrawal of Membership
A member may withdraw from the council upon written notice to the Board of Directors.
Section 6: Removal from Membership
An institution shall cease to be a voting member upon failure to pay dues by the end of the membership year.
Section 1: Council Activities
Functions of the Council shall include such activities as listed herein and other activities that may be approved by a majority of voting delegates. In performing its functions, the Council may use the services of any qualified person whether or not such person is a delegate of the Council.
- To represent the university community in activities aimed at encouraging the growth of research and education in geotechnical engineering on a broad, interdisciplinary basis.
- To provide and disseminate the information necessary for adequate understanding of the status of education and research in geotechnical engineering.
- To inform members of the Council on matters of importance relating to geotechnical engineering.
- To organize seminars, symposia, conferences, etc., from time to time as may be appropriate, to present the results of ongoing research and educational programs to the academic community and others, with a view of minimizing undesirable duplication of effort and optimizing the efficiency of academic research resources.
- To provide a forum through which industrial contacts may be developed with a view to stimulating increased cooperation between universities, engineering companies, and government agencies and increased private funding in the geotechnical research and education field.
- To establish an organization through which the collection of views of the academic research community in geotechnical engineering can be coordinated and expressed as may seem appropriate in the national interest.
- To establish a liaison with other bodies or groups which have research interests in areas having significance to geotechnical engineering, including rock mechanics, dynamics of porous materials, flow through porous media, mass transport, geological engineering, mining engineering, pavement analysis, geophysics, environmental geotechnics, ice mechanics, materials engineering and expert systems.
- To inform members of the Council on matters of importance relating to geotechnical engineering.
- To conduct programs for the purpose of encouraging students to enter fields of education and research related to geotechnical engineering.
- To serve as a clearinghouse for information on faculty vacancies and available personnel.
- To coordinate visits of distinguished foreign visitors.
- To establish standing committees by majority vote of the Council.
Section 2: Scope
It is understood that the Council will not:
- Act as an accrediting agency or make comparative ratings of member institutions.
- Attempt to standardize curricula.
- Act as a referee on research proposals or other requests for grants for other organizations.
- Solicit funds in support of research for disbursement to member institutions.
- Assume the responsibility for the publication of technical periodicals.
- Participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office.
- Expend a substantial part of its activities in attempting to influence legislation.
Section 1: Schedule
An annual business meeting of the council shall be held, with the date and place selected by the Board of Directors. Special meetings may be convened by the Board of Directors to consider matters of extreme importance. A meeting agenda shall be distributed prior to meetings.
Section 2: Location
The annual business meeting will typically be held at the annual ASCE Geocongress, sponsored by the Geo-Institute, so as to maximize attendance and minimize yearly scheduling, planning efforts and budget concerns. Holding the regular meeting at the Geocongress in the first quarter of the year will also be beneficial in terms of scheduling the nomination and election process as well as providing a clear start and stop to term limits. Other venues for the annual meeting may be considered, but priority should be given to events where the majority of the Board will likely be in attendance. In addition to the annual meeting, there should be at least one conference call (more if necessary to plan upcoming events) held during the year to keep the Board of Directors on tasks and moving forward.
Board of Directors
Section 1: Number, term, and qualifications
The Board of Directors shall consist of eight delegates elected for a term of four years each plus the Past-President as an ex-officio member without voting privileges. Four members of the Board shall be junior (untenured) to represent young researchers, and four senior. Directors will serve in rotation, two being elected each year to replace retiring members of the Board. Each year, one junior and one senior board member is elected. It is anticipated that the delegates will spend the first year becoming familiar with the organization and its activities, the second and third years in leadership positions, and then the final year transitioning the leadership to the newer members of the group. The change in Board membership will occur at the annual Board of Directors meeting, typically held in the first quarter of the year. A delegate may serve two successive full terms but may not be re-elected thereafter until the second annual meeting following his or her service as director. Only one delegate from any member institution may serve on the Board at any given time. Vacancies on the Board may be filled on an interim basis as described in paragraph 12, Section 4 below.
Section 2: Election
- A nominating committee (as specified in Section 4(13) of this Article) shall designate a minimum of four nominees chosen from among the delegates for each annual election of two Board members. Two should be junior and two senior members. Nominations shall be announced to the members by September 30th and additional nominations shall be solicited. The nominations will close on October 30th and the elections will be held. The Executive Secretary will then ask the member institution delegates to cast their votes on the nominees by December 1st. The votes will be tallied and the new Board members will be notified at least six weeks in advance of the first Board meeting of the next calendar year so as to make proper arrangements to attend, if the meeting is not by teleconference. The meeting is typically held in the first quarter of the year.
- Each member institution shall have two (2) votes that can be exercised electronically by the delegate(s) or the alternates in the absence of one or both delegates. A single delegate may cast votes for the institution represented. One vote should be for the junior faculty and one for the senior faculty position.
- The nominee for each position receiving the highest number of votes cast will be elected to the Board. Ties shall be broken by a secret ballot of the Board of Directors.
Section 3: Meetings
The Board of Directors shall meet at such times and places as designated by the President, including via teleconference. The President or any three members of the Board may call a meeting of the Board. Immediately following the annual meeting of the Council, the incoming and outgoing Boards shall meet in joint session.
Section 4: Functions
The Board of Directors shall have the following functions and such other functions as may be assigned to it by majority vote of all delegates designated by the member institutions:
- To elect a President from its membership for a term of two years. A Board member in their fourth year of a term is not eligible to be elected to the position of President.
- To appoint the chairman and vice-chairman and members of standing committees.
- To appoint a Secretary/Treasurer and to determine the conditions of their appointment. The positions need not be an elected Board member.
- To approve the appointment of other committees or subcommittees. Such committees or subcommittees will have a life of one year which may be extended annually as needed.
- To establish standards and criteria for admission to membership in conformance with Article III, Section 1, and to review and act upon applications for membership.
- To coordinate activities as proper functions of the Council.
- To call meetings of all delegates to the Council as necessary to conduct the business of the Council and to establish quorums and other rules for governing meetings.
- To prepare and submit to delegates to the Council at meetings or by mail ballot issues of policy which require a decision of the Council and to execute the decisions of the Council. Policies that impinge on pending legislation require a decision of the Council.
- To report promptly to delegates on important actions taken on behalf of the Council.
- To receive and disburse funds on behalf of the Council.
- To approve the employment of necessary staff, purchase of supplies and equipment and publication of such material as necessary.
- To make interim appointments to vacancies on the Board of Directors. Replacements made by reason of resignation or replacement of a member as a delegate shall be for the duration of the unexpired term of the Board member replaced. For Board members on leave, the replacement shall be for the period of leave.
- To designate a nominating committee to nominate candidates for regular vacancies on the Board of Directors and to make such other nominations as may be requested by the Council and Board of Directors. The nominating committee shall consist of five members, three of whom shall not be members or immediate past members of the Board. At least one member of the nominating committee shall be a junior faculty member. The nominees proposed by the nominating committee shall reflect the geographic distribution, research areas (e.g., basic research and practice-oriented research), and educational activities of the Council.
- To invite individuals to attend Council Meetings as observers.
- Approve the annual budget.
Section 1: Number
The officers of the Council shall consist of a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Comptroller, and a Webmaster, each of whom shall be elected or appointed by the Board of Directors, as specified by Article VI, Section 4(1) and (3). Such other officers and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary may be elected or appointed by the Board of Directors.
Section 2: President
The President shall be elected from among the Board members at the meeting immediately following the annual business meeting of the Council, by a procedure agreed upon by the Board members.
Section 3: Secretary/Treasurer
The offices of Secretary and Treasurer shall be filled by appointment of the Board of Directors and may be combined. If the Secretary/Treasurer is not an elected Board Member, they shall be an ex-officio non-voting Board Member. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget and financial statement for approval by the Board at the annual meeting.
Section 4: Comptroller
An elected member of the USUCGER Board, appointed by the Board, serving as the head accounting officer for USUCGER and responsible for financial oversight and planning.
Section 5: Webmaster
The webmaster serves at the request of the Board as an ex-officio non-voting Board Member. The webmaster is a paid position whose role it is to keep the website up-to-date, help facilitate web-based activities, such as dues payment and inquiries, and to ensure that the online presence of USUCGER is accessible and relevant. The Board shall decide compensation.
Section 1: Establishment and Membership
Standing committees of the Council may be established by a majority vote of the Board. The Board of Directors shall establish the membership of each standing committee. Members may be any qualified member of the Council.
Section 2: Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Appointments of standing committee Officers (Chairman and Vice-Chairman) shall be made by the President with the concurrence of the Board of Directors for a four-year period, with privilege of succession. The Chairman and/or Vice-Chairman serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Section 3: Management Group
A management group shall be established for each standing committee and shall include the Chairman and Vice-Chairman and three other members of the committee, and the Board contact person as an ex-officio member.
Section 4: Membership of Management Group
Prior to the annual business meeting of the Council, each committee will make recommendations to the Board of Directors for the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and members of the management group for the coming year. In general, membership of the management group will change each year with the old chairman going off and one new member coming on.
Section 5: Responsibilities
Standing committees shall provide continuous surveillance and review of fundamental aspects of university education and research in geotechnical engineering. They shall recommend programs for action to the Council or to the Board of Directors as appropriate and shall carry out such tasks as may be requested by the Council or the Board of Directors.
Section 6: Reports
Standing committees shall report to the Council at the annual meeting and at Board meetings at the request of the Board of Directors.
Section 7: Subcommittees
Subcommittees may be appointed by the standing committee subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
Section 8: Action
The Chairmen of the standing committees shall report to the Board of Directors concerning the activities of their respective committees. The Board of Directors shall arrange for a mail ballot on committee recommendations as may be required by Article VI, Section 4(8).
Section 1: Vote
These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds vote of the delegates voting.
Section 2: Propositions
Amendments may be proposed by any delegate to the Board of Directors or to the assembled Council.
Section 3: Approval
The Board shall circulate the proposed amendment to all delegates at least thirty days prior to a vote. In addition, all amendments must be discussed at a Council meeting prior to a vote by the delegates.
The Board of Directors shall establish annual dues for members with the concurrence of two-thirds of the voting delegates. Proposed changes of the annual dues shall be brought forth at the annual business meeting of the Council.
The Board of Directors shall report on the activities of the Council at the annual Business meeting issue special bulletins and reports as deemed necessary.