Article 1 — Purpose and Objectives

Section 1. Charter

The Society shall be called the Professional Communication Society (PCS).

PCS is dedicated to promoting a high level of technical and professional excellence among its members, with special emphasis on the pursuits and activities within its field of interest as defined in Article 2.

As an integral part of the IEEE and a member society of the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB), PCS seeks active collaboration and cooperation with other Institute entities and follows all IEEE regulations and procedures.

Section 2. Functions

To support its objectives, PCS advocates and promotes technical development and encourages close cooperation among its members, with other IEEE members, and with members of the engineering and scientific professions in general. This is achieved by fostering:

  • Advanced practices and theories for designing, developing, and delivering technical information
  • Research on how to ensure effective communication within the context of rapidly changing informa­tion and communication technologies
  • Applications of technical communication that encourage effective global engineering by bridging cultural and international boundaries
  • Methods for improving communication in contemporary engineering environments

Section 3. Activities

To achieve its stated objectives, PCS engages in numerous activities, including:

  • Holding conferences
  • Issuing publications
  • Producing products
  • Promoting and conducting research
  • Developing new techniques
  • Defining standards
  • Providing continuing education

PCS also cooperates with other IEEE societies as well as with other organizations and societies with similar interests.

Article 2 — Field of Interest

The PCS field of interest includes the study, development, improvement, and promotion of effective techniques for preparing, organizing, processing, editing, collecting, conserving, teaching, and disseminating any form of technical information by and to individuals and groups by any method of communication. It also includes technical, scientific, industrial, and other activities that contribute to the techniques and products used in this field.

The specific areas encompassed by the Society’s field of interest include all forms of communication related to engineering practice, including:

  • Electronic information (such as Web sites, CD-ROMs, interactive video, online help)
  • Technical proposals, reports, and documentation
  • Other printed and electronic publications
  • Specification and implementation of electronic publishing technologies and systems
  • Specification and implementation of collaboration technologies and systems
  • User interfaces
  • Usability evaluations

The Society’s field of interest also includes the research and development of new techniques, the definition of professional standards, and the fostering of continuing education related to these activities.

Article 3 — Membership

Section 1. Constituency

IEEE members of any grade, including students, may join PCS.

Section 2. Affiliates

Non‑IEEE members who meet the criteria established by IEEE may become Society affiliates. PCS affiliates have interests narrowly focused on technical, scientific, and professional communication but are not members of IEEE.

Affiliates are entitled to receive all the publications and meeting notices sent to Society members, to attend and participate in any function of the Society at member rates, and to receive any award bestowed by the Society.

PCS affiliates may not hold elective office or be chair of a standing committee, editor of a Society periodical, or chair of a major Society conference. Society affiliates do not receive benefits normally derived through IEEE membership except as specifically authorized by the IEEE.

The definition, qualifications, and rights of Society affiliates, as well as the privileges denied them, are defined by IEEE.

Article 4 — Organization

Section 1. AdCom

PCS is managed by an Administrative Committee (AdCom) consisting of elected members at large, as well as appointed ex officio members (that is, the appointed officers, the most recent past president, and chairs of standing committees if they are not elected AdCom members-at-large, the editors of the Transactions and Newsletter, and the Webmaster). Both AdCom members-at-large and ex-officio AdCom members must be members of IEEE and PCS.

New AdCom members-at-large are elected in the manner prescribed by the Bylaws of the Society.

Both elected and ex-officio members of the AdCom have equal voice in the governance of the Society in terms of discussion and voting on all motions before the AdCom, except for voting for new members-at-large and elected officers of the Society at the fall election meeting. Only elected members-at-large may cast votes for new members-at-large and for elected officers of the Society at that election meeting.

The term of office of AdCom members-at-large is three years, and begins on 1 January following the election. One third of the members are elected each year; within-term vacancies may be filled, only for the duration of the specific vacancy, by appointment of the president and approval of the remaining members at large.

Terms of office for appointed ex officio members are at the discretion of the president and the AdCom.

Section 2. Society Officers

The president and vice president are elected by AdCom members-at-large for one-year terms (1 January to 31 December). Only those who will be AdCom members-at-large during that year are eligible to stand for election to these offices, and only AdCom members-at-large at the time of the election are eligible to vote in the election of president and vice president.

The president appoints the following Society officers for one-year terms (beginning 1 January) with the approval of AdCom members at large:

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Specific duties of the Society officers are outlined in the Bylaws.

Section 3. Standing Committees

Standing committees with responsibilities for specific ongoing Society activities are defined in the Bylaws. The President appoints chairs of standing committee for one-year terms (beginning 1 January) with the approval of the AdCom mem¬bers at large and ex-officio members. The president likewise appoints editors of Society publications and chairs of Society conferences with the approval of the AdCom members at large and ex-officio members. The terms of editors of Society publications are set by the agreement negotiated between PCS and the editors. The term of a Society conference chair extends from his or her approval by the AdCom members-at-large and ex-officio members until the second AdCom meeting following the conference he or she chairs, at which time the final report (including the final financial report) for that conference is due.

All other committee members are selected from the membership by the committee chair, and serve at the pleasure of the committee chair. Functions and responsibilities of the committees and duties of the committee chairs are described in the Bylaws.

Section 4. Ad Hoc Committees

The president may establish ad hoc committees at any time with the approval of the AdCom. Ad hoc committees must be given specific responsibilities and duties. Each ad hoc committee must complete its mission within a two-year period, unless a shorter period is specified when the committee is established.

Section 5. AdCom and Committee Voting

Individuals holding more than one position on the AdCom or any committee of the Society shall be limited to one vote on each matter being considered by the AdCom or committee.

Proxy voting is not allowed.

Section 6. Other Appointments

PCS representatives, liaisons, and other functionaries are appointed, as required, by the president, with approval of the AdCom.

Section 7. Nominations and Elections

The chair of the nominating committee will be the immediate past president of the Society.  In the event of the incapacity or conflict of interest of the chair, the most recent past chair of the nominating committee available will be the chair of the nominating committee.  With extenuating circumstances, a different individual may be appointed to this position.

The nominating committee chair will not be eligible to be elected to the AdCom during his or her term of service.

At least two-thirds of the voting members of the nominating committee will be elected or appointed by the AdCom.

A member of the nominating committee may be nominated and run for a position for which the nominating committee is responsible for making nominations only if the nomination is made by someone other than a member of the nominating committee and if the member resigns from the nominating committee prior to its first meeting of the year in which the nomination shall be made.

The nominating committee will weigh nominations from the members of the committee and from individual PCS members in good standing equally in forming the slate for the election. The slate will include at least as many names as there are AdCom members-at-large to be elected plus at least one additional name. The slate will be publicized in the Society newsletter at least two months prior to the beginning of the election.

Half of the positions for AdCom members-at-large will be elected by the members of the Society. The other half will be elected by the AdCom.

For each elective office of the Society, individual voting members eligible to vote in such election may nominate candidates either by a written petition or by majority vote at a nomination meeting of the Society, provided such nominations are made at least 28 days before the date of election. The number of signatures required on a petition shall be determined in accordance with IEEE Bylaws as follows.  For all positions where the electorate is less than 30,000 voting members, signatures shall be required from 2% of the eligible voters.  For all positions where the electorate is more than 30,000 voting members, 600 signatures of eligible voters plus 1% of the difference between the number of eligible voters and 30,000 shall be required.

Election of half of the AdCom members-at-large by the members of the Society will be held at least one month before the AdCom meeting at which the other half of the AdCom members-at-large and the President and Vice President are elected.

Elections of the remaining half of the AdCom members at large and of the Society President and Vice President will be held at a designated election meeting in the last four months of each year. Announcement of this meeting and a call for nominees will be made to the entire membership at least three months in advance of the meeting, as defined in the Bylaws.

At the AdCom election meeting, election of AdCom mem­bers‑at‑large will be held first. Nomination and election of president and vice president shall follow.

Upon being elected, the president submits the names of the proposed secretary and treasurer to the AdCom members-at-large and ex-officio members for confirmation of their appointment.

For the members-at-large election, each incumbent AdCom member‑at‑large present at the election meeting shall be entitled to vote for the number of candidates required to fill the AdCom terms of office that begin in the following year. The candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected. Ties for the final position(s) shall be decided by a runoff vote.

Society officer voting shall be held individually, by position. Each incumbent AdCom member‑at‑large present at the election meeting shall be entitled to vote for a single candidate for each office. The winning candidates must be selected by majority vote.

Section 8. Removal from Office

An appointed member of the AdCom or a committee may be removed as a member of the AdCom or committee, with or without cause, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes of the members of the appointing body present at the time of the vote, provided a quorum is present, to remove such AdCom or committee member.

An officer or an AdCom member elected by the voting members of the Professional Communication Society may be removed from office, with or without cause, by a vote of the voting members of the Professional Communication Society who elected that person, within thirty days following either:

  • The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes of the members of the AdCom present at the time of the vote, provided a quorum is present, on a motion to remove such individual
  • The receipt by IEEE of a petition signed by at least 10% of the total number of voting members in the society moving for the removal of such individual, a ballot on such motion shall be submitted to the voting members of the society.   If a majority of the ballots cast by the voting members for or against such motion are to remove such individual, the individual shall be removed from such positions.

Section 9. Conflicts of Interest

An ad hoc conflict resolution committee consisting of a minimum of three Professional Communication Society members will be appointed by the AdCom when needed. If available, someone with mediation experience or mediation/conflict resolution training should be included. Additional members with expertise in the subject area may also be appointed. Other members can be added for other relevant reasons depending on the circumstances.

The committee may be augmented with the agreement of all parties involved.

The time frame for the resolution should be specified in the charge to the committee from the AdCom at the time of the committee’s appointment.

All members of the committee chosen should have no prior involvement in the conflict.

If the issue cannot be adequately resolved at the Society level, it will be escalated to TAB and then to IEEE if it cannot be resolved at the TAB level.

All discussions/information shall be handled in a confidential manner.

The committee should provide a short report documenting their findings.

Article 5 — Governance

Section 1. Meetings

PCS shall hold at least two business meetings (including the election meeting) each year. The president shall set all meeting dates and locations with concurrence of the AdCom. Meetings shall be scheduled sufficiently in advance to publicize the time, date, and location to the entire PCS membership. Business meetings shall be open to all PCS members. Between face-to-face meetings, business may be conducted by conference call, post, or e-mail as described in Article 5, Section 2. All business shall be conducted in accord with Roberts Rules of Order, except as otherwise stipulated in the Constitution or Bylaws.

Section 2. Quorum

A majority of members entitled to vote must be present to conduct a valid business meeting.

Section 3. Bylaws

The rules adopted by the Society for the governance of PCS and the regulation of its affairs comprise the PCS Bylaws, and shall be collected and maintained in an appropriate form. Additions or changes to the Bylaws require approval by at least two-thirds of the votes of the AdCom cast at a face-to-face or electronic business meeting, or by e-mail or postal poll.

Section 4. Actions of the PCS AdCom and Committees Thereof

The vote of a majority of the votes of the members present and entitled to vote, at the time of vote, provided a quorum is present, shall be the act of the PCS AdCom or any committee thereof.

The PCS AdCom or any committee thereof may meet and act upon the vote of its members by any means of telecommunication. The normal voting requirements shall apply when action is taken by means of telecommunications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time.

The PCS AdCom or any committee thereof may take action without a meeting if applicable (for example, e-mail voting).  An affirmative vote of a majority of all the voting members of the PCS AdCom or any committee thereof shall be required to approve the action.  The results of the vote shall be confirmed promptly in writing or by electronic transmission.  The writings and/or electronic transmissions shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the PCS AdCom or any committee thereof.  “Electronic transmission” means any form of electronic communication, such as e-mail, not directly involving the physical transmission of paper, that creates a record that may be retained, retrieved, and reviewed by a recipient thereof, and that may be directly reproduced in paper form by such a recipient.

Section 5. Finances

PCS may collect an annual fee from its members and affiliates in accordance with IEEE regulations. The PCS AdCom establishes the amount of the fee.

PCS may collect registration fees for meetings, symposia, conferences, and conventions that it sponsors. It may set charges for products such as journals and books that it issues and collect commissions on sponsored books and publications produced elsewhere. Other revenue sources consistent with IEEE guidelines also may be used.

PCS uses the services of IEEE Headquarters as bursar and manager of PCS funds. The PCS treasurer recommends annual budgets on the basis of information provided by IEEE. All PCS budgets must be set and approved by the PCS AdCom.

Section 6. Precedence of Regulations

All requirements and regulations set forth by the IEEE and the IEEE Technical Activities Board shall take precedence over all items in the PCS Constitution. Likewise, all requirements and regulations set forth in this Constitution shall take precedence over all items in the Bylaws. Other motions must comply with all the requirements of the IEEE as well as the PCS Constitution and Bylaws.

Article 6 — Amendments

Section 1. Proposed

An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by petition of any PCS member of IEEE Member grade or above, or by one or more PCS AdCom members-at-large and ex-officio AdCom members.

Section 2. AdCom/TAB Approval

An amendment may be put to a vote at a face-to-face or electronic business meeting, or by e-mail or postal poll of the PCS AdCom members-at-large and ex-officio AdCom members. If two thirds of the votes are in favor of the amendment, it is referred to TAB for approval. Results of the poll shall be recorded in the minutes of the face-to-face or electronic AdCom meeting at which the poll is taken, or in the minutes of the first business meeting held after an e-mail or postal poll.

Section 3. PCS General Membership Approval

After approval by TAB, amendments must be publicized to the general membership, either by post to all members, or by e-mail to those members for whom the Society has a valid e-mail address and by post to any members for whom the Society has no valid e-mail address. The text of the amendment must be presented along with the requirement for final implementation: Unless five percent of PCS members of IEEE Member grade and above object by post to the TAB secretary, the amendment takes effect one month after the objection period. Objections must be postmarked by the end of the month following the month of the mailing to the general membership.

Adopted 21 September 1996
Amended 7 September 1999
Amended 30 September 1999
Amended 27 October 2001
Amended 2 October 2004
Amended 10 July 2005
Amended 24 September 2005
Amended 6 November 2008
Amended 6 February 2009