Policies of the Botanical Society of America, Incorporated


Updated July, 2012


Table of Contents

Policy I.

Offices

Policy II.

Purpose

Policy III.

Members

  1. Classes, Benefits, Requirements
  2. Application
  3. Member Renewal
  4. Review of Member Status
  5. Suspension or Expulsion
  6. Appeal
  7. Reinstatement
  8. Honorary Memberships
  9. Member Privacy

Policy IV.

Dues & Fees

  1. Review of Dues
  2. Dues Rates
  3. Membership Year for Dues Collection
  4. Fees
  5. Pro-Rating Dues

Policy V.

Meetings of Members

  1. Annual Meeting
  2. Business Meeting(s)
  3. Notice of Meetings

Policy VI.

Election

Policy VII.

Officers

  1. President
  2. President-Elect
  3. Immediate Past-President
  4. Secretary
  5. Treasurer
  6. Program Director
  7. Job Descriptions
  8. Vacancy

Policy VIII.

Other Elected Officers & Appointed Positions

  1. Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany
  2. Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin
  3. Advisory Council Chair
  4. Al-Large Directors of the Board
  5. Student Directors of the Board
  6. Selection and Vacancy

Policy IX.

Board of Directors

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Conflict of Interest
  3. Non-Compensation of Directors
  4. Non-Performance
  5. Voting

Policy X.

Advisory Council

Policy XI.

Sections

Policy XII.

Committees

  1. Executive Committee
  2. Committees Review
  3. Annual Program Committee
  4. Development
  5. Education
  6. Election
  7. Financial Advisory
  8. Human Diversity in Botany
  9. Information Technology
  10. International Affairs
  11. Investment
  12. Publications
  13. Public Policy
  14. Awards and Honors Committees
  15. Committee Authority
  16. Committee Reporting
  17. Committee Records
  18. Committee Voting

Policy XIII.

Publications

  1. Publications
    1. American Journal of Botany
    2. Plant Science Bulletin
    3. Other publications
  1. Websites
  2. Open Access

Policy XIV.

Financial

  1. Account Tracking & Pro-Rata Share
  2. Contracts
  3. Endowment Funds
  4. Funding
  5. Competitive Bidding
  6. Fiscal Year
  7. Grants
  8. Expense Reimbursement
  9. Expense Reports
  10. Personnel
  11. Time Reporting
  12. Section & Award Allocation
  13. Use of Allotments

Policy XV.

General Provisions

  1. Ethics
  2. Anti-Harassment
  3. Non-Discrimination
  4. Political Activity
  5. Records Retention
  6. Whistleblower

Policy XVI.

Grant Management & Administration

  1. Compliance
  2. Participant Support Costs
  3. Accounting and Reimbursement
  4. Rebudgeting
  5. Expenditure Monitoring
  6. Record Retention
  7. Cost Transfers
  8. Accounting for Allowable Direct and Indirect Costs
  9. Sub-recipient Monitoring

Policy XVII.

Insurance

Policy XVIII.

Amendment

Supporting Documents - BSA Bylaws, BSA Procedures


POLICY I. Organizational Offices

The organization will maintain an office in St. Louis, Missouri, in conjunction with the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The organization, while maintaining its incorporation in the State of Connecticut, shall maintain 501 (c) (3) status and register as a non-profit in the State of Missouri in order to maximize the benefits to its members.


POLICY II. Purpose

The Society will support its Purpose, Objectives and Mission through program planning. As necessary, the Society will engage in strategic planning to support these core organizational goals.


POLICY III. Members

      Part 1.  Review of Classes, Benefits & Requirements - The Board of Directors will review the Classes, Member Benefits and Requirements for membership annually preceding the annual membership meeting and announce any changes at that time. (Bylaws Article III, Section 1)
            (a) Benefits for the Member Classes are:
All Classes of Members are entitled to receive the on-line subscriptions to the American Journal of Botany including the archives, and the Plant Science Bulletin, and may serve on volunteer committees.
Classes of Members from (a ) – (f) may publish in the American Journal of Botany.
Class (g) receives a discount on advertising.
            (b) Requirements:
Class (d) is required to affiliate with a Class (a) (b) (c) or (e) membership to qualify.
      Part 2.  Application –
            (a) The Society shall make applications available for all Classes of membership electronically and in print version.  It is the policy of the Society that all applications be processed within 30 days, and applicants notified of their acceptance or rejection on the basis of member criteria and payment of appropriate dues.
            (b) Class (f) Corresponding Members are elected by Society members as an honorary membership. Members or Sections submit nominations supported by credentials of proposed Corresponding Members to the Committee on Corresponding Members which reviews these credentials and forwards its recommendations to the Council. The Council evaluates these proposals and presents its selected nominees to the Society for election at an annual business meeting.
            (c) Class (I) Associate Membership offers an opportunity for BSA members to provide membership to fellow plant scientists working in developing nations (based on the Hinari stage 1 & 2 criteria http://www.who.int/hinari/eligibility/en/) who might not otherwise be able to join the Society. BSA members can recommend their colleagues for an Associate Membership.
            (d)  The Society supports gift memberships in all categories as a method of allowing individuals to gain access to the Society, its professionals and information about botany.
      Part 3.  Member Renewal – Members of the Society may renew by mail or through the Society website at www.botany.org.   All renewals are reviewed by the Membership staff before importing into the membership database.
      Part 4. Review of Member Status - The Board of Directors has the right to reclassify or disqualify members who do not meet the criteria of membership under the Bylaws or Policies.  This may include members who apply in an incorrect category, members who no longer meet the category of membership in which they are included, or members who do not meet the requirements of membership (i.e. the failure to pay dues). 
      Part 5.  Suspension and Expulsion of Member – The Board of Directors shall review the recommendations from management staff regarding any members who fail to meet member requirements at every meeting, and take the appropriate actions in suspending or terminating those members.
      Part 6.  Appeal Process - Members who are reclassified, disqualified, suspended or terminated from Society membership shall be notified 30 days prior to the action, and have the right of appeal. Appeal shall be to the Executive Committee, and shall be heard within 14 days of receipt. Appeal must be in writing.
      Part 7. Reinstatement of Member - Members reinstated through the appeals process are retroactive to the member’s original date of record. Members in arrears of dues payment may also be reinstated. Members are notified of reinstatement within 30 days.
      Part 8.  Honorary Memberships - In lieu of dues payments the Board of Directors may award memberships on a discretionary basis.
      Part 9.  Member Privacy – The Society protects member information of a personal nature collected by or submitted to owned and/or operated websites, through the mail, at meetings or at the office.
We do not collect, see or store credit/debit Card information used by members in making online transaction with the Society.  We use an accredited, certified and insured provider to conduct all transactions directly with our bank. We do collect member contact information for Society use through the member join/renew process, gift and donation process, our abstract submission process and in registration for meetings and educational program support. The types of personal information collected are: Name, Institution, Department, Address, Email, Phone and Fax number. We also collect information regarding membership type, sectional affiliations and the donations members make.
We use the information members provide about to support specific Society operations, including American Journal of Botany, Plant Science Bulletin and all other Society instigated mailings. We email addresses to communicate with members from the BSA office, including correspondence from the BSA sections. We also use member information on the Conference abstract page and in the online and print copies of the BSA Member Directory.
We do not share member information with outside parties. We do not sell or provide mail or email lists to anyone. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
The limited use of the list in partnerships and sponsorships is permitted so long as the organization retains control of the list.


POLICY IV. Dues & Fees

      Part 1.  Review of Dues - The Board of Directors will review the Dues rates for all membership classes annually preceding the annual membership meeting and announce any changes at that time. They shall review the recommendation of the Executive Director who shall collect budget information and present recommendations for rates on all classes. The President shall present the rates to the members at the Annual Meeting.  Rates go into effect with the new membership year.
      Part 2.  Dues Rates – Dues (which include access to electronic publications only) for the Member Classes areare reviewed annually and voted on by the board, then presented at the annual all-member meeting.
      Part 3.  Membership Year for Dues Collection- Annual dues shall be assessed on a calendar year basis.
      Part 4.  Fees – Fees are charged for publications, publishing and meetings on the basis of recovering expense. The Society supports an increased differential fee charged to non-members. The Society may waive fees in order to advance science.
            (a)  Publications - American Journal of Botany - subscription rates.
            (b)  Publishing - American Journal of Botany author charges:

 

BSA Members

NEW – 4 years = 12 pages per Volume, including free color figures
5 – 9 years = 16 pages per Volume, including free color figures
10+ years = 20 pages plus unlimited free color figures per Volume

Each printed page, in excess of the free page allocation, is assessed a mandatory page charge determined each year by the costs of publication.

There are mandatory cost recovery charges for more than five changes made on proofs resulting from mistakes made by the author(s).

If more than one author is a member, pages allocations may be shared amongst authors. Authors are asked to pay voluntary publication costs if they have funds.

 

 

 

 

Non Members

Page charges are determined each year by publication costs plus an additional fee for each color figure

            (c)  Author Support for Immediate Open Access Publication - per Article

 

The corresponding author is a BSA member and their institution holds a current American Journal of Botany subscription.

    $500

 

The corresponding author is a BSA member and their institution does not hold a current American Journal of Botany subscription.

 $1,200

 

The corresponding author is not a BSA member and their institution holds a current an American Journal of Botany subscription.

 $1,200

 

The corresponding author is not a BSA member and their institution does not hold a current an American Journal of Botany subscription.

 $2,800

      Part 5.  Pro-Rating Dues – There is no pro-rating of dues.


POLICY V. Meetings of Members

      Part 1.  Annual Conference and All Member Business Meeting – The annual all member business meeting shall be held during the annual botanical conference, arranged and administered annually by the Society. The Society also gives out the majority of its awards at the annual conference. The conference is at a new site each year.
      Part 2.  All Member Business Meeting(s) – The Officers and Executive Director shall be responsible for organizing the Annual All Member Business Meeting and any Special Meetings of the Society’s membership. They shall be responsible for providing adequate information so that members may understand information and make decisions.
      Part 3.  Notice of Meetings – The Society Office is responsible for coordination of notice to members for all meetings and for keeping a record of that notice as the date-of-record.


POLICY VI. Elections

Election and Appointment of Officers and Board members -- The President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director, Directors at large to the Board for Education, Publications, and Development, Council Chair and Student Directors to the Board are elected by the members of The Society according to the following procedures:
(1) After the annual meeting the Past President activates the Election Committee.
(2) The Election Committee through the Business Office canvasses each voting member of The Society for nominations for offices to be filled that year.
(3) The Election Committee prepares a slate of two names for each office. The candidates for each office shall be selected from a combination of persons nominated by the membership at large and selected by the Election Committee. Consent to serve, if elected, is obtained from all nominees.
(4) An election is carried out by the committee at that time each year which seems most expedient in the overall program of The Society. The Executive Director’s office is responsible for receiving, opening, and tallying the ballots. The candidate for each office who receives the largest number of votes is recognized as elected to that office. (5) In the event of a tie vote, the Executive Committee votes to resolve the tie vote. The chair of the Election Committee conducts the voting.
(6) Results of the election are reported by the Election Committee chair to the President and to the Secretary of The Society. The Secretary promptly notifies each candidate of the outcome of the election. The President invites each officer-elect to attend the annual meeting of The Society. Results of the elections are announced to the membership at the annual business meeting and are published in the Plant Science Bulletin.


POLICY VII. Officers

      Part 1. President – Chairs the Executive Committee, and serves in an ex-officio capacity on the Finance Advisory, Education, Human Diversity, Investment, and the Merit Awards Committees.
      Part 2. President-Elect –Serves on the Executive Committee, Chairs the Committee on Committees. Responsible for the presidential address at the annual conference.
      Part 3. Immediate Past-President –Serves on the Executive Committee, Chairs Election Committee and the Corresponding Members Committee. Responsible for the nominating and election processes.
      Part 4. Secretary –Serves on the Executive Committee. Responsible for the minutes of the Board of Directors and General Membership meetings. Responsible for the Membership Directory and coordination of awards.
      Part 5. Treasurer –Serves on the Executive Committee, serves on the Finance Advisory Committee, serves ex officio on the Development Committee and Investment Committee. Oversees the financial aspects of the society, including the financial reports and the budget.
Other Elected Board of Director positions
      Part 6. Program Director –Serves on the Executive Committee and Annual Meeting Program Committee. Responsible for actively collaborating with Sections and the scientific community to promote a productive experience through the presentations at the annual conference.
      Part 7. Advisory Council Chair – The Advisory Council Chair serves as liaison between members, sections, and the Board and will attend any meetings of the Board of Directors and shall maintain open communications in order to facilitate Section relations, gathers reports from the sections and submits requests from the sections to the Board, and oversees the Young Botanist (undergraduate) nominations.  
    Part 8. At-large Directors of the Board – The at-large directors shall represent the Mission, Objectives, and current Priorities and Programs of the Society and it shall be a policy of the Society to nominate three individuals who bring forward the diverse skills to represent those areas on the Board of Directors. As such, at-large directors shall represent the current priority areas of education, development and publications.  
    Part 9. Student Directors of the Board – The Student Directors shall represent the student members of the Society in relation to the Mission, Objectives, and current Priorities and Programs of the Society. Student Directors serve on Committees as requested by the President.
      Part 10.  Job Descriptions –The Society shall maintain job descriptions for the elected offices which shall be available to all members. The Board of Directors shall review and approve the job descriptions, which shall be developed by the Executive Director. Individuals holding the offices are responsible for reading, understanding and carrying out the responsibilities described.
      Part 11. Vacancy –
            (a) If the office of President becomes vacant, the President-Elect becomes President and serves out the term of the former President leaving a vacancy in the office of President-Elect. Whenever the office of President-Elect is vacant, during the next regular election both a President and President-Elect are elected, and the succession of President-Elect to President is reestablished.
            (b) If both offices of President and President-Elect become vacant simultaneously, the Secretary immediately calls for a Special Election by reactivating the most recent Election Committee to nominate both a President and President-Elect. The successful candidates for election assume office immediately and serve the unexpired terms of the vacated posts plus the next full term of office. For the second annual banquet, the President-Elect, having already presented one banquet address, is relieved of that duty and the Board of Directors arranges for an alternative event as appropriate.
            (c) If any other elective office becomes vacant, the President with ratification of the Board of Directors designates a successor to fill the unexpired term.


POLICY VIII. Appointed Positions

      Part 1. The Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany - Serves on the Advisory Council and the Publications Committee.
      Part 2. Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin – Serves on the Advisory Council and the Publications Committee.
      Part 3.  Selection & Vacancy –
            (a) Selection of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal is the responsibility of the Board of Directors. To fill a vacancy in this office, the President appoints a committee consisting of at least three members of The Society. This committee solicits nominations for Editor-in-Chief, evaluates the candidates and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, who then appoint the Editor.
            (b) Selection of the Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin is the responsibility of the Executive Committee. To fill a vacancy in this office, the President appoints a committee consisting of three members of The Society and the incumbent Editor, ex officio. This committee solicits nominations for Editor, evaluates the candidates and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, which then appoints the Editor.


POLICY IX. Board of Directors

      Part 1.  Confidentiality – The minutes of the meetings of the Board will be open for information to all members of the Society, unless personnel or sensitive issues are to be discussed. In these cases, the board may vote to go into executive and closed session  and all board members will keep confidential any and all information relating to discussions at closed meetings unless compelled by legal process to disclose such information, or as otherwise agreed by the board.  Board members acknowledge that any violation of this policy would cause harm to the Society and frustrate board deliberations.  Therefore, any board member who violates this policy shall be subject to termination of his/her board position pursuant to the Society’s Bylaws. 
      Part 2.  Conflict of Interest – A fiduciary obligation of a Society officer, elected leader, director and committee member is to avoid "conflicts of interest".  A "conflict of interest" is generally defined as a transaction in which, because the individual is, either directly or indirectly, a party to the transaction or possible beneficiary of the transaction, there is or may be a conflict between the individual's fiduciary obligations to the Society and the individual's personal or business interests.  Additionally, we see a "conflict of interest" in instances where an immediate family member “is, either directly or indirectly, a party to the transaction or a possible beneficiary of the transaction” and/or when "an organization to which an individual belongs will be a direct or indirect beneficiary of the transaction." To avoid potential conflict of interest problems, the Society implements the following procedures:
            (a)  In any transaction involving the Society and a Society officer, director or committee member, or Society and any corporation, partnership or other entity in which an individual is an officer or director has or expects or intends to have a financial or other beneficial interest, such individual, prior to any discussion or decision concerning the transaction, shall fully disclose to the Society board or the Society committee considering the transaction the material facts of the transaction and the individual's interest or relationship.
            (b)  Upon such disclosure, the individual shall take no further part in the meeting during which time the proposal is considered and voted upon.
            (c)  After receiving such disclosure, prior to approving the transaction, the Society board or Society committee must conclude that the transaction is "fair to the Society" and must approve the transaction without the participation or the vote of the interested individual.
            (d)  The interested individual's presence at the meeting may be counted in determining whether a quorum of the board or committee is present, but that individual shall not vote on the transaction.       
(e) At the start of each term of office and annually thereafter, officers will review and sign the acknowledgement that they are in compliance with the COI policy for the Society. This form is supplied as an appendix at the end of this document.
      Part 3. Non-Compensation of Directors – Directors and others serving in volunteer roles in the Society may not be compensated by the Society for service. The exceptions are the Editor of the American Journal of Botany and the Editor of the Plant Science Journal, who receive annual stipends of $3,000 and $1,500 respectively.  Directors and volunteers may receive remuneration from others (fees, honorariums, expenses) for other services which may be gained as a result of their position as representatives of the Society.
      Part 4. Non-Performance – Board members, including officers and other elected leaders, who do not fulfill their duties, may be removed from office. This may occur by formal complaint to the President who will conduct an investigation of the complaint.   Should the complaint be against the President, the President-Elect will conduct the investigation. The complaint may also be made to the executive Director who will forward the complaint to the appropriate Officer.  The complaint and the complainant will be held in confidence.  Complaints will be addressed within 60 days of receipt.

  • If there is substance to the complaint, the Board member who is the subject of the complaint will be addressed to correct the behavior. If the behavior is corrected, no action will be taken.  The Officer handling the complaint will notify the complainant of the action.
  • If there is substance to the complaint and no resolution, the Board member will be asked to resign or be removed from the position; the Officer handling the complaint will notify the complainant of the action.
  • If there is no substance to the complaint, no action will be taken and the Officer handling the complaint will notify the complainant of the result of the investigation.

      Part 5. Voting – Voting by the Board of Directors is by simple majority; the President abstains in all votes unless there is a tie. In that case, he/she votes to break the tie.


POLICY X.  Advisory Council

The Advisory Council represents the Sections as a whole, and shall make reports and recommendations to the Board of Directors throughout the year regarding the issues and concerns of the Sections. The Advisory Council Chair is responsible for coordinating and submitting these reports.


POLICY XI. Sections

      Part 1. Sections

  • The Board annually reviews the Sections for viability, including membership, activities and leadership. Section activity indicative of viability may include convening section meetings at annual BSA meetings, organizing sessions at annual meetings, having active officers who participate in annual meetings.  Inactivity over a two year period will normally be considered a basis for disbandment of a section. Recommendations to dissolve a Section will be communicated to Section members 60 days prior to any action, allowing Section members to appeal to the Board of Directors. Appeals should include a plan of action specifically addressing Section membership and activities. Sections now authorized in the Society are: Bryological & Lichenological, Developmental & Structural, Ecological, Economic Botany, Genetics, Historical, Mycological, Paleobotanical, Phycological, Physiological, Phytochemical, Pteridological, Systematics, Teaching, Tropical Biology, , Northeastern, , and Southeastern. New sections may be formed by presentation of a documented request from members to the board with goals of the section, numbers of members wishing to become members of the new section, proposed activities for the new section, and proposed section finances. The Board will review society resources required to support the new section, vote, and then inform the members of the action taken.
  • Section fees are discretionary as provided in Section bylaws and are used for dues, awards and Annual meeting related expenses. In addition, Sections may receive an annual Sectional & Award Allotment from the Society. If this allotment is not used during the current fiscal year it will revert to the general society funds. (See Finance - Section & Award Allotments)


POLICY XII. Committees

      Part 1. Executive Committee

  • Management & Finance: The Executive Committee (defined as the Officers of the Society) will work with the Executive Director to act in the stead of the Board when it is not in session. The Executive Committee reports to the Board of Directors. It will review quarterly financial statements, review the business of the Society and plan upcoming business. The Executive Committee works closely with the Executive Director, who is designated the Chief Staff Officer of the Society.
  • Meetings: The Executive Committee shall meet as needed to conduct the business of the Society. Meetings may be called to conduct special or emergency business. The Society Office is responsible for planning meetings in conjunction with the President, and for coordinating the information. Meetings may be called with as little as 2 days notice if a quorum can be obtained. Meetings may be held through the use of social media in order to obtain the most participation.
  • Personnel: The Executive Committee has the responsibility of personnel oversight for the Executive Director; and personnel authority for the Society.
    • Annual Evaluation: Annual Evaluation: Authorize a formal annual performance review of the Executive Director. The President, Past President, and Treasurer will serve as an evaluation committee to coordinate the initial phase of the evaluation, except in years where the Treasurer took office at the annual meeting the preceding summer. In those years the Secretary will serve in place of the Treasurer. The President will coordinate committee findings with feedback from the staff, Board members, and others concerning performance. The President also sends the recommendation to the representative at Missouri Botanic Garden who is in charge of personnel evaluations. Based on that review, the Evaluation Committee will present their employment recommendations including goals and salary adjustment to the Board of Directors.
    • Hiring: Form a search committee, solicit applicants, review candidates, and make a recommendation on the Executive Director to the Board of Directors.
    • Personnel Overall: Annual review of overall personnel recommendations with the Executive Director as related to management of the Society and future budget.

      Part 2. Committees

      Part 3. Annual Meeting Program – This committee consists of the program officer and staff members who work together to provide a program for the annual meeting and who work closely with the program officers of societies meeting with BSA that year. This committee works with the Student Committee of the BSA to coordinate student activities at the meeting.
      Part 4. Committee on Committees – This committee works with President-Elect to populate the committees with appropriate members. Society members may volunteer on an annual basis to serve on committees and the Committee on Committees with the President –Elect also solicit members for service on committees.
      Part 5. Development – This committee works with the Development Officer and the Board of Directors to develop and enhance resources for the Society to support its programs. It serves as the liaison between the society and the development officer and between the society and the Legacy Members. The committee provides society perspective on policy, potential foundations, businesses and society members to the Development Officer. The Development Representative to the Board serves as the Board liaison to the Development Committee.
      Part6. Education – The Education Committee studies and reports to the Board of Directors through the Education Board Member on all matters relating to teaching, training, and professional education in the plant sciences, including informal, K-12, undergraduate and graduate biology education and presents a resource assessment on the impact of any new activities for the society to the board. The Education Committee develops recommendations to the Board of Directors for specific initiatives. The committee works with sections of the society especially the teaching section, to promote education activities across the society, to encourage publication of education related articles in PSB or AJB as appropriate, to create or encourage appropriate educational material on the BSA web site, to create and maintain connections between research and education, and to enable collaborations and discussions among society members of BSA and between BSA and other societies.
      Part 7. Election – The Election Committee prepares a slate of names for each office. The candidates for each office shall be selected from a combination of persons nominated by the membership at large and selected by the Election Committee. Consent to serve, if elected, is obtained from all nominees. The committee carries out an election at that time each year, which seems most expedient in the overall program of The Society. The Executive Director’s office is responsible for receiving and tallying the ballots. The candidate for each office who receives the largest number of votes is recognized as elected to that office. In the event of a tie vote, members of the Executive Committee vote to resolve the tie. The Chair of the Election Committee oversees the voting.
Results of the election are reported by the Election Committee chair to the President and to the Secretary of The Society. The Secretary promptly notifies each candidate of the outcome of the election. The President invites each officer-elect to attend the annual meeting of the Society. Results of the elections are announced to the membership at the annual business meeting and are published in the Plant Science Bulletin.
      Part 8. Finance Advisory – This committee works with the treasurer on society finances and reporting of finances to the society.  The committee performs an advisory role for issues determined by the treasurer of the society and may provide advice to the Treasurer and the Board on the financial impact and value of various society activities.
      Part 9. Human Diversity in Botany – This committee works with the board to develop programs and avenues of support for members with diverse backgrounds and works to increase outreach to botanists of diverse backgrounds to make them aware of BSA and its activities. This committee arranges the Diversity Lunch at the annual meetings and any other meeting activities in this area. The PLANTS program for undergraduate/graduate students is under the purview of this committee.  The committee seeks and advises the board on new activities to promote human diversity and presents a resource assessment on the impact of any new activities for the society to the board.
      Part 10. Information Technology – Keeps the society informed regarding IT support needs of members, works with the IT staff to preview new programs or beta test new programs developed for member services, suggests ways BSA can better serve its members through IT support, and offer suggestions to improve the society’s web presence. In advance of the annual meeting, the committee should review the BSA web site as part of suggesting improvements for members.  In addition this committee will keep the society informed about advances in informatics in the botanical sciences, encourage researchers to publish informatics papers in AJB, work with sections on sessions, workshops, etc. at the annual meetings when requested and present a resource assessment on the impact for IT of any new activities for the society to the board.
      Part 11. International Affairs – Works with other botanical societies outside the U.S. to provide a link for those societies and the BSA to promote common goals. Keeps the BSA informed of international activities and events in botany and especially provides a link to the International Botanical Congress and keeps the BSA members up to date on announcements about this meeting. The committee seeks to support young botanists attending the IBC and other important international meetings. The committee informs the society regarding international activities impacting the study of plants, such as international regulation through the Convention on BioDiversity or other international agreements.
      Part 12. Investments – This committee oversees the investments of the BSA, particularly the endowment fund, works with the finance committee when advice is requested, and consults with the development officer and the development committee on proper investment and designation of funds raised through development activities. The committee is responsible for determining long-term investment strategy for the Society.
      Part 13. Publications – This committee provides the link between the various publication activities of the society, the staff and the board through the Publications Board Member. The committee seeks to elevate the BSA to be one of the most influential publishers of scientific content in plant biology, examines the role of all BSA publications such as AJB, PSB and the web pages and works with outside evaluators on assessment of the journals.  In addition, the committee will coordinate with the editors and associate editors on issues regarding their publications and consider and advise on new activities and initiatives, present a resource assessment on the impact of any new activities for the society, address issues impacting the publications, such as online vs. print copies, subjects to be covered, and other matters arising from the publications. This committee will interact with the Information Technology Committee to be sure the BSA web presence is representing the society publications appropriately.
Selection of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal is the responsibility of the Board of Directors, with the Publication Board Member acting as the liaison for this activity. To fill a vacancy in this office, the President appoints a committee consisting of at least three members of The Society, including the chair of the Publications Committee. This committee solicits nominations for Editor-in-Chief, evaluates the candidates and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, who then appoint the Editor.
      Part 14. Public Policy – The committee addresses issues of public policy to effect change, educate and influence decision makers, provides input from the BSA perspective on public policy documents, strategic plan documents from federal agencies and reports requesting input from plant biologists.  The committee works closely with AIBS and CSSP and other societies regarding public policy issues, advises the Board on public policy matters when response is needed from the society, encourages BSA members to become informed about presenting botany to the ‘public’ including legislators through programs such as the AIBS training for congressional visits, suggests ways for the members to become active across the public community, and presents a resource assessment on the impact of any new activities for the society to the board.
      Part 15. Student Activity Committee: This committee oversees student activities throughout the society by working with the Student Representatives on the Executive Board. Areas of concern for the committee are maintenance and oversight of the student listserv, input on various society issues and items commented on by the Public Policy Committee, collaboration on student activities at the annual meeting, efforts affecting students by the Development Committee and the Development Officer of the BSA, and soliciting students who are interested in serving on society committees. In addition this committee will solicit students willing to review nominations and make recommendations for the Undergraduate Research Awards and the Young Botanists Awards. The Chair of the Student Activity Committee will forward the names of these student volunteers to the Executive Director, as the overall review of these awards will be coordinated through the BSA business office.
      Part 16. Awards and Honors Committees – Nominations for the various awards and honors are solicited by the BSA President each year through a series of messages to the membership and through announcements on the BSA web pages, and in addition the individual committees overseeing the awards and honors seek nominees. The BSA Office coordinates all nominations received and distributes them to the various committees where appropriate.  The various committees are responsible for making the selection of the awardees, communicating these names to the BSA board, and preparing the statements on the awards to be presented at the annual banquet and/or published in PSB. The awards and honors committees will follow the guidelines for these honors as prescribed under the individual honor listed on the BSA web pages. These honors and awards are corresponding members, BSA Merit awards, BSA Graduate Student Research Awards, Charles Edwin Bessey Teaching Award, Darbaker Prize, Esau Award, Grady L. Webster award, Kaplan Lecture Presentation, Moseley Award, and Pelton Award
      Part 17.  Committee Authority – Any Committee shall have authority to act only to the extent provided in the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or in these Policies. Acts outside of a Committee’s authority shall be void. No individual or committee shall incur any financial obligations not included in the budget without approval of the Board of Directors.
      Part 18.  Committee Reporting – All Committees report to the Board of Directors.  Minutes of meetings including all actions must be sent with 30 days of the meeting date to the Society Office. Minutes are open to Society members.
      Part 19. Committee Records – All Committees will keep a written record of their actions, to be available in the Society Office within 30 days of the meeting date for review by members.
      Part 20.  Committee Voting – Voting by Committees is by simple majority.
      Part 21.  Committee Membership:
Unless otherwise stated, the Committee on Committees, whose chair is the President-Elect, appoints the members for the committees and the President-Elect appoints the committee chair.
Unless noted below, terms of membership for all committee members is three years.
Each committee may have student representation at the discretion of the committee and the Executive Board of the Society.
BSA Graduate Student Research Awards (including the J. S. Karling Award) – The committee consists of an appointed chair and five additional members with one or two new members appointed each year. Members should be drawn from different Sections of The Society.
Cheadle Award – Three members with one new member appointed each year.
Committee on Committees – There are six appointed members on this committee. The President-Elect serves as the Chair of the committee. The student member of the Board who is completing their two year term on the Board serves a one year term on this committee.
Corresponding Members – The committee consists of the immediate Past President as chair and the two preceding Past Presidents.
Darbaker Prize –The committee consists of a chair, who is the senior appointed member, and two to four other members with one or two new members being appointed by the President-elect each year. Appointments to the committee and the recipient of the award will be selected in consultation with the Phycological Society of America and membership on the committee may be drawn from either the BSA and/or the PSA in order to achieve a balance of expertise for the selection of the awardee
Development Committee – The committee consists of six members with a chair selected by the President-elect. The Development member of the Board, the Development Officer, Executive Officer and the Treasurer are ex officio members. Two new members are appointed each year.
Education – The committee consists of a chair appointed by the President and five other members all serving three-year terms with two new members being appointed each year. The Education representative to the Executive Board, Chair of the Teaching Section, Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin, and the immediate past chair of the Education Committee are members, ex officio, of this committee.
Election – The committee consists of the immediate Past President as chair, the Secretary of the Society, ex officio, and three appointed members selected after the annual meeting. The Committee on Committees recommends one new member each year to replace the outgoing member.
Esau Award - The committee consists of an appointed chair and two members, chosen by the President-elect in consultation with the Developmental and Structural Section chair, with one new member being appointed each year.
Financial Advisory Committee –The committee consists of three members and one student member selected from the membership of the Society who serve as voting members, the Treasurer and two ex-officio members who are the President, and the Executive Director. The chair shall be selected by the President-elect. One new member is appointed each year.
Grady L. Webster – The committee consists of a chair appointed by the President and two other members, each serving four-year terms with one new member being appointed every two years.
Human Diversity – There are six members of this committee with two new members appointed each year. The President-Elect, the Program Director, the staff person who oversees Membership and the Executive Director of the Society are ex officio members of the committee. There shall be one student representative appointed to the committee serving for two years.
Information Technology – Three members are appointed to this committee with one new member appointed each year. The Secretary and Executive Director of the Society and the IT staff members are ex officio members of this committee.
International Affairs – Three members of the committee with one new member appointed each year. The President, Program Director, and the Executive Director of the Society serve as ex officio members.
Investment – Three members serve on the committee with one new member appointed each year. Members may serve multiple terms. The President, the Treasurer, and the Executive Director of the Society are members ex officio.
Public Policy Committee: The immediate past President of the society assumes the chair of this committee for one year. Three committee members, including a student representative, are appointed to this committee with one new member appointed each year.
Merit Awards – The committee consists of an appointed chair and two other members with one new member being appointed each year. The President of The Society is ex-officio a member of the committee.
Moseley Award – The committee consists of an appointed chair and two other members, chosen by the President-elect in consultation with the Developmental and Structural Section and Paleobotanical Section chairs, with one new member being appointed each year. The committee chair informs the Society President and both sectional chairs of the award results.
Pelton Award – The committee consists of an appointed chair and two other members, with one new member being appointed each year.
Publications – The committee consists of a chair and five other members with the American Journal of Botany editor, Plant Science Bulletin editor, Publications member of the Executive Board, Managing Editor, Publication Editor, Webmaster and Executive Director as ex-officio. One or two new members are appointed each year.


POLICY XIII. Publications

      Part 1. – Publications –  All publications of the Society support its Mission and Objectives.
            (a) The Society publishes a peer-reviewed scientific journal called the American Journal of Botany;
Scope and Aims of the Journal:  The American Journal of Botany (AJB), a fully refereed journal founded by the Society in 1914, publishes significant, novel research of interest to a wide audience of plant scientists in all areas of plant biology (structure, function, development, diversity, genetics, evolution, reproduction, systematics), all levels of organization (molecular to ecosystem), and all plant groups and allied organisms (cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, and lichens). In addition to reports of original research, the Journal contains Brief Communications and Special Papers, which include reviews, critiques, and analyses of controversial subjects.
Method of Subscription: An online subscription is included in each annual membership fee. Apart from members, institutional subscribers (clients) also purchase the publication.
            (b)  The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter, Plant Science Bulletin;
Scope and Aims of the Bulletin: The Plant Science Bulletin is an informal communication published four times a year, which also accepts refereed articles with information on upcoming meetings, courses, field trips, news of colleagues, new books, and professional opportunities. It provides a means of advertising items or materials wanted. It also serves as a forum for circulating BSA committee reports, for distributing innovative teaching approaches and methods, and for discussing issues of concern to Society members such as environmental policy and educational funding.
Method of Subscription: An online subscription is included in each annual membership fee.
            (c) The Board of Directors may authorize other publications from time to time as need arises            
(d) The Society supports the availability of information to members through the internet in order to promote science and the interaction of scientists.  A nominal fee may be charged for cost recovery.
            (e) The Society supports an open access e-publication “Primer Notes and Protocols” which allows rapid publication of new techniques.
      Part 2.  Websites – The Society supports web presence for the organization including the operation of three websites which are managed by the Society: www.botany.org; www.amjbot.org; and www.PlantingScience.org. The IT, Publications, and Education Committees of the BSA will oversee the scientific/educational content of the BSA websites
      Part 3.  Open Access – As a scholarly, not-for-profit publisher, we affirm our commitment to innovative and independent publishing practices and to promoting the wide dissemination of information in our journal. Not-for-profit scientific, technical, and medical publishers are an integral part of the broader scholarly communities supporting scientists, researchers, and clinicians. We work in partnership with scholarly communities to ensure that these communities are sustained and extended, science is advanced and that research meets the highest standards. 
We continue to support broad access to the scientific literature through the following publishing principles and practices.
            (a)  As a not-for-profit publisher, we see it as our mission to maintain and enhance the independence, rigor, trust, and visibility that has established the American Journal of Botany as a reliable filter of information emanating from our members’ research.
            (b)  As a not-for-profit publisher, we reinvest the revenue from our journal in the support of science worldwide, including scholarships, scientific meetings, grants, educational outreach, advocacy for research funding, the free dissemination of information for the public, and improvements in scientific publishing.
            (c)  As a not-for-profit publisher, we have introduced and will continue to support the following forms of free access:

  • Selected important articles of interest are free online from the time of publication;
  • All journal authors have the ability to place articles free online in conjunction with the terms in Section X, Part 3, 5. ;
  • The full text of our journal is broadly available to everyone worldwide in a manner that ensures our sustainability;
  • The content of our journal is available free to scientists working in many low-income nations;
  • Articles are made available free online through reference linking between journals;
  • Our content is available for indexing by major search engines so that readers worldwide can easily locate information.

            (d) We will continue to work to develop long-term preservation solutions for online access to our journal to ensure the ongoing availability of the scientific literature.
            (e)  We will continue to work with authors, peer-reviewers, and editors for the development of robust online and electronic tools to improve efficiency of their important intellectual endeavors.
            (f)  We strongly support the principle that publication fees should not be borne solely by researchers and their funding institutions, because the ability to publish in our journal should be available equally to all scientists worldwide, no matter what their economic circumstances.
            (g)  As a not-for-profit publisher, we believe that a free society allows for the co-existence of many publishing models, and we will continue to work closely with our publishing colleagues to set high standards for the scholarly publishing enterprise.
      Part 4.  Immediate Open Access Support for Authors, AJB Terms and Conditions –

  • The corresponding author is a BSA member and their institution holds a current American Journal of Botany subscription - $500;
  • The corresponding author is a BSA member and their institution does not hold a current American Journal of Botany subscription - $1,200;
  • The corresponding author is not a BSA member and their institution holds a current an American Journal of Botany subscription - $1,200;
  • The corresponding author is not a BSA member and their institution does not hold a current an American Journal of Botany subscription - $2,800;


POLICY XIV. Financial

      Part 1.  Account Tracking & ProRata Share – Special fundraising & award accounts which have been set up to provide scholarships, awards and other benefits to both members and non-members, and have a minimum average balance of $1,000 or greater during the year (excluding Allotment accounts) will be allocated their pro-rata share of any investment increases or decreases that occur during the year including both realized and unrealized gains.
The following Special funds have specific directed donations that need tracking each year: BSA Unrestricted Funds. BSA Endowment Funds, BSA Educational Funds, BSA Botanical Friends Fund, BSA Planting Science Fund, Vernon I. Cheadle Fund, Michael Cichan Fund, Conant Travel Fund, Isabel Cookson Fund, Leasure K. Darbaker Fund  Katherine Esau Fund,  Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture Fund, John S. Karling Fund, Margaret Menzel Fund, Aaron J. Sharp Fund, Maynard Moseley Fund, Winfried and Reneta Remy Fund , Grady L. Webster Fund.
      Part 2. Contracts – All contracts will be maintained at the Society Office for five years. Contracts over $100,000 will be subject to legal review prior to signing.
      Part 3. Endowment Funds

  • The Society created an Endowment fund in 1993 with the purpose of increasing the monetary assets of the Society to provide income for funding major initiatives, travel grants, scholarships, and other activities within its Mission.
  • Investment of Endowment Funds - Funds shall be invested through the Financial Advisory Committee in accordance with the Board approved, BSA Investment Policy document. Withdrawal of Funds from Smith Barney (Endowment) requires two signatures, including the Chair of the Financial Advisory Committee and the signature of the President or Treasurer.
  • Reporting on Endowment Funds – The Executive Director shall provide quarterly and annual financial reviews to the Board; the Investment Committee provides recommendations regarding the placement or transfer of funds among investment vehicles, preserving capital and minimizing risk in the selection and balance of investment securities.

      Part 4.  Funding
            (a) Reserve Fund - The Society maintains a reserve fund balance of $100,000 in support of operating expenditures.
            (b)  Authority - The Executive Director may authorize expenditures up to $50,000 or $100,000 on matters of the American Journal of Botany or processing of payroll. Expenditures over $50,000 (with the above exceptions) shall also be authorized by an Officer other than the Executive Director.  Deposits and transfers below $100,000 in Reserve Funds; and capital expenditures under $25,000 may be approved by the Executive Director.  Transactions exceeding this amount must be approved by the President or another member of the Executive Committee.
            (c) Internal Control - All checks are signed by two parties and the Treasurer receives a general ledger monthly to review all expenditures.
      Part 5.  Competitive Bidding –
            (a) Purchases under $25,000: Competitive bid not required, but competitive pricing can be sought at discretion of the Executive Director and/or Controller.
            (b) Purchases over $25,000: Formal competitive bidding process is required. Bid package should be sent to a minimum of three qualified bidders. Controller can obtain three quotes verbally if approved by the Executive Director. A single purchase may not be divided for the purpose of avoiding bid procedures.
            (c) Exceptions to Bidding Requirements:

  • When the purchase is from the only known source (Executive Director approval required).
  • Existing contracts for the print and online publishing of the AJB (as the timely issuance of this product would be disrupted if subjected to the competitive bidding process).
  • When deemed necessary for the ongoing operations of the BSA (Executive Director approval required).

      Part 6.  Fiscal Year - The fiscal year of the Society shall be October 1 to September 30.
      Part 7.  Grants – It is the policy of the Society to seek out granting organizations which match our Mission and Objectives, Strategies and Programs, in order that we may most fully achieve the criteria and enhance the reputation of the Society. The Society fully complies with all granting agent policies and procedures and produces all required reports on time and to the detail requested.
The Society operates separate accounting classes for the exclusive tracking of grant monies. Payments issued against these grants are tracked in the accounting records and the funds are transferred from the grant account to the general operating account to reimburse only actual expenses incurred (following the specifications of each grant).  
The Society’s policy is to incur the costs and to pay vendors/sub-recipients upon receipt and review/approval of invoice. We then request reimbursement of those costs from the granting agency.
The Society’s policy is to submit cash requests to all granting agencies on a monthly basis.
      Part 8.  Expense Reimbursement – The Society provides payments for the reimbursement and/or the costs associated with a 1.) The Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, including the student members of the board, and the Chair of the Council, 2.) BSA and/or Section sanctioned activity, 3.) travel awards sanctioned by the Society and/or a Section, 4.) Society and/or Sectional Awards (non-travel), and for the 5.) payment of BSA and/or Sectional sanctioned honoraria. The Society requirements, in line with IRS requirement, for each class of payment are as follows:
Expenses may be reimbursed for committees or individuals when pre-approved by the Board of Directors. Expenses must be submitted to the Society Office within 90 days of travel and must follow the Travel Policies as follows: All reimbursed expenses must be for Society business, be necessary, be of a reasonable nature, and be properly submitted and approved in accordance with the requirements of this policy.  It is the responsibility of the traveler to adhere to the specifics stated in this policy.
            (a) Airlines: Travelers must make travel arrangements as soon as the details of the trip are known since lower fares often require early reservations. All travelers are to book reservations with the airline offering the lowest, reasonable, and prudent fare class. Travelers are to make arrangements for obtaining passports, medical examinations, immunizations, and visas as required for foreign travel.
Travelers are required to book discounted fares when available.  This includes penalty fares when the cost savings is greater than the potential penalty for cancellation.  Saturday night stay-over often generate significant savings in fares.  If these savings are in excess of the cost for meals and lodging, the Saturday night stay-over is encouraged.
            (b) Car Rental: A rented car must be justified as a business need and not as a matter of personal convenience. The rental car should be in the compact or economy range.  Domestic renters should decline the optional insurance coverage offered by the rental car agency, as the Society has adequate domestic insurance coverage. Proof of insurance is available from the Society Office.
            (c) Personal Auto: The Society reimburses authorized travelers for business use of their personal automobile in keeping with IRS regulations. The rates are established annually by the U.S. Government and these will apply.
            (d) Tolls & Parking:  These expenses should be listed separately on the Expense Report; Receipts should be included.
            (e) Other Transportation: Travelers will be reimbursed for the receipted cost of taxis, buses, and other means of public transportation while on Society business. Airport shuttles and hotel transportation should be used when consistent with traveler's business plans.  Receipts are to be obtained.
            (f) Hotels: The Society will pay the reasonable and necessary lodging costs while on Society business.  A single room in a business class/economy hotel is the standard.  Hotel bookings may be guaranteed for late arrival.  However, hotel charges resulting from the traveler's failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation will not be reimbursed.  Detailed bills itemizing hotel expenses charged to a personal credit card will be reimbursed through an Expense Report.
Only Society-related telephone calls are to be submitted on your Expense Report.
            (g) Meals: The Society will provide meal reimbursement for approved travelers on Society business that vary with travel destinations.  Daily maximum amounts are not to exceed the M&IE (meals and incidental expenses) rate shown in the IRS’s “Maximum Federal Per Diem Rates” as described in Publication 1542 “Per Diem Rates” available on the internet at www.irs.gov or from the Controller.  Reimbursement is by receipt, subject to the daily maximum. Per diem rates are not paid.
Requests for meal reimbursement from the Society must include the purpose of the luncheon meeting as well as the names of those who attended. 
The Society does not reimburse for bar tabs unless entertaining for business purposes. 
            (h) Non-Reimbursable Expenses: Personal telephone calls, mini-bar charges, in-room movies, cleaning charges for clothing, fines for parking and/or moving violations, and other charges for personal items are not considered reimbursable. Charges of personal items must be clearly marked and deducted from bills submitted with your Expense Report.
            (i) Misc. - When personal travel is combined with business travel, the traveler will be reimbursed for only the business portion of the trip. Spousal and family travel expenses will not be reimbursed by the Society.
      Part 9. Expense Reports -- Requests for reimbursement must be submitted on an Expense Report Form provided by the Society Office, or a reasonable substitute form with the same accounting information. Expenses must be submitted within 90 days of the end of travel, or expense date, to be eligible for reimbursement.
      Part 10.  Personnel – Society staff are employed through an HR/Payroll relationship with the Missouri Botanic Garden (MOBOT) and fall under the MOBOT umbrella for fringe benefits, including retirement, workers compensation coverage, and sick and vacation time. The BSA reimburses MOBOT for their out-of-pocket costs on these employees.  One employee is grandfathered under an agreement with Ohio State University. The Executive Committee performs the function of a personnel committee (See Executive Committee).
      Part 11.  Time Reporting – All Society staff and contract workers will provide a detailed monthly breakdown of all activities to ensure full compliance with and adherence to BSA Grant Management Policy. The Society Office will maintain time and activity records for all staff. Activity records will represent an account reflecting a reasonable allocation of time associated with any/all activities, programs or grants and will be kept in conjunction with time reports supplied to the payroll office.
All staff will complete a time allocation sheet reflecting a reasonable allocation of time associated with any/all BSA activities, programs or grants. The sheet will be recorded on a monthly basis. An electronic copy will be returned to the office for assessment, distribution across programs and payroll evaluation by the 5th of each month. A signed paper copy of the time allocation summary page, accurately reflecting the electronic form, will be signed and returned to the BSA office.
Variances between the electronic and signed forms must be reconciled before approval. The Executive Director must approve any amendments to the signed or electronic forms and place a discrepancy report alongside the signed copy.
The signed time allocation summary and electronic form will be compared by the BSA Finance and Administration office. The summary sheet must be approved and signed by the Executive Director. Summary activity reports outlining any/all activities, programs or grants will be provided to the Board on a monthly basis.
The Society Finance & Administration Officer collects the time and activity records and the timesheets. Our records are based on after-the-fact activities. Records are compiled, reviewed and final copies are submitted to the Executive Director for review and approval. Time sheets are forwarded to the Missouri Botanical Garden for payroll purposes. Allocation is then made across any/all Society activities, programs or grants. Any adjustment beyond this point must be approved by the Executive Director and reported to the Board. All documentation must be entered into the specific program or grant file.
Time Usage Tracking Sheet - http://www.botany.org/governance/reports/BSATimesheet.xls
      Part 12.  Section & Award Allocation – Sectional allotments were established to place a greater emphasis on the annual meeting and to provide Sections with more resources to support their activities. Allotments are in increments of $1,300 and $400, with each amount determined based on the Section’s activity at the last annual meeting. $1,300 is allocated to disciplinary Sections organizing one or more full contributed paper sessions (approx 10-12 presentations). The remaining disciplinary and regional Sections shall be allocated $400. Since the activity of some Sections at the annual meeting is variable and dependent upon the presence of a co-convening society, the allocation may vary from year to year. In an effort to keep funding and participation synchronous, in those years when a co-convening society (e.g. but not limited to, Association for Tropical Biology, American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Phycological Society of America) meets with the BSA the allocation for the affiliated Section will be $1,300 for that fiscal year. If the co-convening society does not meet with the Society in the following year, the allocation to the appropriate affiliated Section will return to the lower level. The Executive Director will notify Sections of their allocational status and available funds and clarify that these allotments are for the current fiscal year only. Unused funds will revert to the general society funds at the end of the fiscal year.
If an allotment is unused for two years, the funds will revert to the Society, and the annual allocation will cease until the Section petitions the Society Treasurer for an allocation by presenting a proposed activity and budget (invited speaker, social, symposium, etc.) for fund use. Allocational funds will not be transferred to any other Sectional accounts or societies.
      Part 13.  Use of Allotments -- Allotments are administered by the Executive Director in accordance with policies established by the BSA Board of Directors. Direct payments of awards and honoraria are made to the recipient Sections. Officers of the Section or chairs of the award committees must provide the name of the award recipients, name and address of the awardee to the Business Office prior to the 5p.m. on the day of the BSA banquet for the awardee to receive their award at that time. Expenses may be billed directly to the Business Office ith prior notification by a Section officer. All other expenditures are handled as reimbursements supported by receipts. All payments to non-society members should be submitted by a Section officer.
For accounting purposes, these monies are never given directly to the Section, are only for the current fiscal year, and may not be carried over for use in the future. If an allotment is not spent during the fiscal year in which it was given, the allotment reverts to the general society fund.  Dues and donations are accounted for as part of the normal dues collection process and reported in the financial statements. Section expenses are submitted to the BSA office and paid from the general operating account.


POLICY XV.   General Provisions

      Part 1.  Ethics – The Society holds to a set of Guidelines for Professional Ethics, which shall be considered guidelines for the professional behavior of its Members. In conducting their research, teaching, and service, botanists often must confront difficult ethical issues related both to their field of specialty, data collection needs and methods, and to the dissemination and use of their findings both in research and teaching. Because botanists are a diverse group with varying scientific backgrounds and professional affiliations, their ethical problems are both diverse and complex. The Guidelines set out measures for responsibilities to the public, to the research community, to host governments and host institutions, and to the profession. The Society promotes ethical practices and shall distribute the Guidelines for Professional Ethics to its membership and the scientific community.
      Part 2.  Anti-Harassment – The Society has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination and all forms of unlawful harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment.  This policy means that no form of unlawful discriminatory or harassing conduct by or towards any employee, member, vendor or another person in our workplace or meetings will be tolerated.  The Society is committed to enforcing its policy at all levels within the Society.  Any Officer, Director, employee or member who engages in prohibited discrimination or harassment will be subject to discipline, up to and including immediate discharge from employment or removal from leadership for a first offense.
This policy absolutely prohibits harassment or discrimination based on sex, age, disability, perceived disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic.
This policy protects against sexual harassment including offensive and unwelcome sexual invitations, and particularly when spoken or implied quid pro quo for sexual favors as a benefit of employment or continued employment; offensive and unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including sexually-graphic spoken comments, offensive spoken comments, offensive comments transmitted by email or other messaging systems, or the possession/use of sexually suggestive objects; offensive and unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature including touching of another’s body, the touching or display of one’s own body, or any similar contact.
Any individual who believes she/he has been subjected to unlawful harassment of any kind has the responsibility to report the harassment immediately to the Executive Director. If, for any reason, the individual is uncomfortable with reporting to the Executive Director, the incident must be reported to the President.
The Society will make a reasonable effort to promptly and impartially address and resolve the issue, with every effort to maintain confidentiality. The complainant and the accused will be informed of the results of the investigation. If the Society finds that its policy has been violated, it will take appropriate corrective action, up to and including discharge, and/or similarly appropriate action towards offending vendors, contractors or members.
No Society employee will be retaliated against for reporting harassment. This no-retaliation policy applies whether a good faith complaint of harassment is well-founded or ultimately determined to be unfounded.
No Officer, Director or manager is authorized or permitted to retaliate or to take any adverse employment action against anyone for reporting unlawful harassment or for opposing any other discriminatory practice in the workplace.
      Part 3.  Non-Discrimination -- The Society shall not discriminate in any manner against a person by reason of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religious or political affiliation, disability, familial status or marital status.
      Part 4.  Political Activity – The Society may engage in efforts intended better to inform the public on issues pertaining to plant science and the influences of plants on people as an element in the biosphere. The Society may not allow any part of its activities to become those of lobbying or espousing particular political or religious doctrines or dogmas. The Society shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office.
      Part 5.  Records Retention - All membership, check disbursement and banking records shall be maintained for a minimum of 7 years.
      Part 6.  Whistleblower – The Society is committed to high standards of ethical, moral and legal business standards.  In line with this commitment, the Society provides protection to its employees, Board members, members, vendors or other persons who might seek to raise concerns. The Society provides protection from reprisals or victimization for whistle-blowing.  This policy is intended to cover protections regarding incorrect financial reporting unlawful activity, activities that violate Society Bylaws or Policy, or activities that amount to serious improper conduct.


POLICY XVI.   Grant Management & Administration

It is the policy of the Society to seek out granting organizations which match our Mission and Objectives, Strategies and Programs, in order that we may most fully achieve the criteria and enhance the reputation of the Society. The Society fully complies with all granting agent policies and procedures and produces all required reports on time and to the detail requested. The Society will...
      Part 1.  Compliance – The Botanical Society of America will comply with all grant requirements and these must be referenced/included in all contracts/subcontracts, in specific we note the following for Federal Funding Agencies:

  1. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars (see all)
  2. Flowdown Provisions
    • Debarment
    • Civil Rights
    • Equal Opportunity

      Part 2.  Participant Support Costs – Definitions - What are participant support costs?
If a grant supports a conference, meeting, workshop, seminar, symposium, or training program, then the direct costs associated with an individual’s participation in these activities may be allowed under the sponsoring agency’s program guidelines as participant support costs.  A number of grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education allow budgeting for these costs.
Participant support costs are direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees, paid to or on behalf of, participants or trainees (but not employees) in meetings, conferences, symposia, workshops or training projects. 
This budget category is not used to request funds to pay for the costs of the project staff to travel to a conference, the costs of bringing collaborators together in one location to work on a project, or the costs of the PI to attend a seminar.  These payments are not to be confused with payments made to research subjects as an incentive for recruitment and participation in a research project.   Students and project staff members who are participating in a grant-funded training program and who are receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the grant typically cannot also be reimbursed for participant support costs.  Moreover, in the case of federal grants, individuals may not be reimbursed for participant support costs if they are receiving compensation from any other federal government source while participating in the project.
Who is a participant?
A participant is defined as a non-Botanical Society of America employee who is the recipient, not the provider, of a service or training associated with a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium, or other short-term instructional or information sharing activity.  Participants are not required to provide any deliverable to the university and they are not subject to Botanical Society of America employment policies (e.g., they cannot be terminated for failure to perform).  Participants may include students, scholars, and scientists from other institutions, representatives of private sector companies, teachers, and state or local government agency personnel.  A person classified as an intern would be paid as an employee and not as a participant, because the intern, while receiving certain training, is also providing services to the organization, to the grant sponsor, or to a third party.
What costs can be included in participant support costs?
Participant support costs include the direct costs for items such as the following:

  • Stipend - A stipend is a set amount of money to be paid directly to the participant. Certain agencies of the federal government specifically restrict participant stipends.  Botanical Society of America Finance Director will assist the PI to determine if the sponsoring agency for a particular project restricts the stipend to be paid to a participant.
  • Travel - Travel includes the costs of transportation and associated costs and must follow BSA policies and guidelines. The sole purpose of the trip must be to participate in the project activity. If a training activity involves field trips, the costs of transportation of participants may be allowable.
  • Subsistence allowance - The cost of a participant’s housing and per diem board expenses necessary for the individual to participate in the project are generally allowed provided these costs are reasonable and limited to the days of attendance. Although they may participate in meals and snacks provided at the meeting or conference, participants who live in the local area are not entitled to subsistence payments.
  • Other costs and Participant Materials - Certain other costs borne by the participant may be allowable, including training materials, laboratory supplies, and insurance.
  • Fees - Fees paid by a participant in connection with meetings, conferences, symposia, or training projects are generally allowable costs.  These fees may include laboratory fees and registration fees.  A sponsor may also allow the costs of tuition and fee charges that are required to be paid for the individual to participate in the training project.

All costs that are reimbursed to or paid on behalf of participants must be incurred within the project period and specifically allowed by the sponsoring agency.  Participant support costs are budgeted in a separate line and must be accounted for separately.  Funds provided for participant support costs that are not spent cannot be rebudgeted for use in other categories except with the prior written approval of the sponsor.  In most cases, unspent participant support costs must be returned to the sponsor.
Participant support costs do not include the following types of payments:

  • Honoraria paid to a guest speaker or lecturer.
  • Conference support costs such as facility rentals, media equipment rentals, or conference food.
  • Sub-award to a provider for multiple training events (i.e. an ongoing contract with specific terms and conditions).
  • Agreements with employers to reimburse the employer for the costs related to sending its employee to a conference or workshop.

It is recommended that the PI inform participants prior to the initiation of the project about any costs associated with their participation in the project that are not covered.
Are incentive payments to research subjects considered participant support costs?
An incentive payment to encourage an individual to participate as a human subject in a research study is not a participant cost and must be budgeted differently in the project proposal. 
Can participant support costs be included in a subcontract with another institution?
If a PI will collaborate with colleagues at another institution to serve as a subcontractor to provide training services to participants, then participant support costs can be included in the subcontract with the collaborating institution.  A subcontract proposal must be prepared and routed with appropriate approvals to BSA for submission to the prime contractor. In all cases, the guidelines concerning participant support costs from the original funding agency (i.e., the sponsor of the project, not the collaborating institution) must be followed.
Can participant support costs be included as direct costs for the calculation of F&A cost recovery?
Most federal agencies do not allow participant support costs to be included as direct costs for the calculation of F&A cost recovery for a sponsored program.  This is an agency-specific rule, however, and not a general rule for all participant support costs.  For example:

  • NSF guidelines state that F&A costs cannot be recovered on any participant support costs, but does allow administrative cost recovery of 25% of participant support costs for its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
  • NIH – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) allows F&A recovery at 8% of modified total direct costs of a training project including trainee stipends, but excluding tuition and fees, health insurance, and equipment.  NIH policy does not permit any F&A in conjunction with conference grants.
  • NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) does not allow F&A cost recovery.
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR) does allow F&A cost recovery on all participant support costs. 

Because practices vary from sponsor to sponsor and from program to program, BSA will check sponsor guidelines carefully to determine whether participant support costs can be included in the project budget as direct costs for which F&A costs are recovered.
How are participant support costs paid and accounted for?
When the proposal is developed for a sponsored program that includes the payment of participant support costs, these costs should be separately identified within the proposal budget.  A grant award that includes participant support costs will be established by BSA and the determination of F&A cost recovery on these costs will be made at that time.  All expenditures made against this budget category will be identified as participant support costs in the financial reports provided to the sponsor. 
BSA “Guidelines for Disbursement of Funds” are followed.  The disbursement guidelines can be found at http://www.botany.org/governance/procedures.php#IIAccountsPayable
To make participant support payments to an individual, the PI’s department should prepare and submit requests to BSA Finance Director for processing.  The Principal Investigator approves the participant payments to the individuals before payments are made.  Checks are made payable to the participant and mailed directly to the participant’s mailing address (P.O. boxes are not acceptable).
If the participant support payments are made as a reimbursement of allowable participant expenses, the PI’s department should submit a voucher that itemizes expenses together with copies of receipts to BSA Finance Director for review and processing of payment.  In such cases, no 1099 reporting is required.  If the participant support payments are made as a stipend or allowance (e.g. without receipts), BSA will report participant support cost payments to the individual on IRS Form 1099-Misc at the end of each year according to policy.
      Part 3.  Accounting and Reimbursement – The Society operates  separate accounting classes for the exclusive tracking of grant monies. Payments issued against these grants are tracked in the accounting records and the funds are transferred from the grant account to the general operating account to reimburse only actual expenses incurred (following the specifications of each grant).  
The Society’s policy is to incur the costs and to pay vendors/sub-recipients upon receipt and review/approval of invoice. We then request reimbursement of those costs from the granting agency.
The Society’s policy is to submit reimbursement requests to all granting agencies on a monthly basis.
      Part 4.  Rebudgeting – The Society as the grant recipient (and/or the PIs) may determine that for efficient performance of the project, it is wise to rebudget funds from one budget line or category to another. Most federal agencies have delegated authority to approve these changes or modifications to the grant recipient (BSA). A guide called the "National Science Foundations Research Terms and Conditions Prior Approval and Other Requirements Matrix" can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rtc/priorapproval_oct08.pdf.
Some federal awards and sponsors require that the Society formally submit a budget modification to the sponsor with an explanation of the need for the budget modification and the anticipated impact, if any, on the conduct of the work. The Society will notify the project sponsor as a courtesy in all instances of rebudgeting,
Guidance on applicable rebudgeting and prior approval procedures is presented in the "Sponsor Regs" summary document included with the award materials. The PI or his/her designee should first check the sponsor’s award documentation to see if the sponsor has specific guidelines for when a revised budget for rebudgeting is required. When required, it should be submitted to the BSA Board and Executive Director for review. The Executive Director will work with PI/program staff as necessary on the revision and submission of budget modification to the sponsor. 
      Part 5.  Expenditure Monitoring – Detailed policy coming soon.
      Part 6.  Record Retention – All grant payment, check disbursement and banking records will be maintained for a minimum of 7 years.
      Part 7.  Cost Transfers – The Society/PIs/project directors are expected to review regularly their award's expenditures to ensure that all costs are correctly described and posted.  Errors can result from transpositions of numbers during data entry or the  misunderstanding or miscommunication of instructions given to those processing expenditures.  Errors are to be corrected in a timely manner.
Cost transfers are expected from time to time. However, excessive cost transfers or those that occur predominantly at the end of a project are suggestive of lax oversight or 'spending down' an award, which is expressly not allowed under the federal regulations. 
How to Correct Errors in Charges Posted to Sponsored Awards
A journal entry is a way to record a transaction in a financial system.  Journal entries are also used to correct previously recorded expenditures.

  1. Identify the expenditure(s) you need to move.
  2. Identify the account line/code you want to credit (take the charge from) and the account line/code you want to debit (move the charge to).
  3. Provide the appropriate parties (PIs/Sponsor/Board) with a detailed explanation of why the charges need to be moved, how you discovered the error and what corrective action(s) will be taken to avoid the error in the future.

      Part 8.  Accounting for Allowable Direct and Indirect Costs – The Society follows OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-122 Revised May 10, 2004. To assist, the Society will use the following form: http://www.botany.org/Forms/NSFNonAllowables.pdf
Allowable costs are perhaps most easily defined by what is unallowable. The federal government identifies specific activities or transactions that are not allowed to be charged to sponsored research, either as a direct cost or an F&A* cost. The following costs have been specifically identified by the government as unallowable on government grants and contracts. The list below is not all-inclusive. Individual agency and program requirements may list other “unallowable” costs. When in doubt, adhere to the federal government’s OMB* Circular A-122 “Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations”
This payment does not include any of the following unallowable items:
__ Advertising for general promotion of the Society
__ Society or fundraising activities
__ Alcoholic beverages
__ Gifts, prizes, and awards
__ Entertainment/Social events
__ Fines and penalties
__ Antiques
__ Decorative objects for private offices
__ Fine/original art
__ Flowers
__ First-class/business-class air travel differentials
__ Commencement expenses
__ Bad debt write-offs
__ Goods or services for personal use
__ Charitable Contributions
__ Lobbying
__ Member and exempt staff salary in excess of base rates paid by the institution
__ Memberships in civic, social, community or commercial organizations/clubs
__ Selling or marketing products or services of the Society
      Part 9. sub-recipient monitoring – As a condition of its acceptance of funding from sponsors, the Society is obligated in its role as primary recipient to undertake certain stewardship activities as well as comply with federal, state and local regulations. When the Society assigns responsibility for conducting a portion of the work sponsored by an award to a subrecipient, it remains responsible to the sponsor for management of funds and meeting performance goals. Thus, the monitoring of technical and financial activities associated with a subrecipient is an integral part of the University stewardship of sponsor funds. This policy applies to all subawards issued under sponsored awards made to the Society and without regard to the primary source of funding.
This policy seeks to:

  • promote stewardship of funds used to pay subrecipient organizations;
  • promote appropriate unit-level and individual responsibility and accountability for contractual subrecipient relationships;
  • promote compliance with federal, state, and other legal requirements related to subrecipient monitoring; and
  • ensure that the Society and its sponsors receive value for funds expended.

This policy does not apply to consultant agreements or procurements of goods or services from vendors.
The Society monitors the programmatic and financial activities of its subrecipients in order to ensure:

  • proper stewardship of sponsor funds;
  • that performance goals (scope of work or specific aims) are achieved;
  • The terms of the subrecipient relationship shall be documented in a negotiated agreement for the Society by the Executive Director, PI and Administrations Officer and by the authorized representative(s) of the recipient organization.

All Society agreements must be approved by the BSA Board. Compliance with the terms and conditions of all agreements will be monitored during the life of the agreement. When a Principal Investigator has an interest in or a relationship with the subrecipient entity, it shall be disclosed and, where appropriate, managed by the Society’s Conflict of Interest policy.
Definitions
Subrecipient means a non-Federal entity that expends Federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a Federal program, but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such a program. The term may include not-for-profit corporations, institutions of higher education, for-profit corporation and foreign or international organizations (such as agencies of the United Nations) at the discretion of the Federal awarding agency. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency. It is assigned to the legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the Society for the use of the funds provided in carrying out a portion of the its programmatic effort under the sponsored project.
A subaward (also referred to as a subgrant if the prime award is a grant or subcontract if the prime award is a contract) is financial support from the Society to a qualified organization for the performance of a substantive portion of a program funded under the prime award. The term also includes awards made by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. It does not include procurement of goods and services funded by a prime award, i.e., vendors are not considered subrecipients.
Pre-Qualification of Subrecipients
The Society will assess the subrecipient organization’s financial status and internal controls and will establish terms and conditions in the subrecipient agreement consistent with the level of perceived risk.
The Society will perform the following stewardship activities (refer to Subrecipient Monitoring Procedure for specific monitoring activities) with regard to subrecipients of its sponsored awards:

  1. The Society will identify and recommend the means to eliminate or manage any conflict of interest arising from a proposed subaward by the Society to an entity in which it or a board member, committee member, acting member or staff member has a financial interest or fiduciary relationship.
  2. Advise subrecipients of requirements (including but not limited to financial and non-financial reporting) imposed on them by federal laws, regulations of the flow-down provisions of the prime contract or grant agreement and any supplemental requirements imposed by the Society dependent on the assessed level of risk.
  3. The Society will provide the best information available to describe a federal award to each subrecipient including the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) title and number, award name and number, award year, the type of award, and the name of the federal sponsor as required by OMB Circular A-133.
  4. Monitor the costs and activities of subrecipients as appropriate, to confirm that funding provided to the subrecipient is used for purposes authorized in the negotiated agreement and that performance goals (scope of work or specific aims) articulated in the scope of work are achieved.
  5. Upon recipient of an unfavorable audit report from a subrecipient, the Society will confirm that the subrecipient has taken appropriate and timely corrective action. If a material weakness or other reportable condition exists, monitoring of the subrecipient will be more frequent and management actions will be taken as appropriate.
  6. Consider whether subrecipient audits necessitate adjustment of the Societies financial records.
  7. Require each subrecipient to permit the sponsor and/or the Society and its auditors to have access to the subrecipient’s pertinent records and financial statements, as necessary. Where it is not possible to obtain this access, alternate solutions may be devised but generally would require the approval of the primary sponsor.
  8. Confirm that subrecipients expending $500,000 or more in federal awards during the subrecipient's fiscal year are compliant with OMB Circular A-133 audit requirements. Identify any material weaknesses or reportable conditions that result from the A-133 audit.


POLICY XVII.   Insurance

The Society may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is a Director, Officer, employee or agency of the Society or is serving at the request of the Society against any liability asserted against that person and incurred by that person in any such capacity.  This insurance will include Directors and Officers liability insurance at the level and employment practices liability at a level of $5 million.  The Society will not be responsible for a person or persons acting in bad faith.  Commercial general liability coverage shall be $5 million.


POLICY XVIII.   Amendment

The Board of Directors can amend these Policies at any time through a majority vote. A vote to amend requires a quorum of no less than two-thirds (9). Any change must be communicated to the full membership within 30 days. Notification may be though mail, fax, internet, newsletter or any electronic means. The Board of Directors is responsible to the membership of the Society for enforcement of the Policies which shall be enforced reasonably and without discrimination. The policies should be reviewed regularly (optimally every 3 years) for changes needed.

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