International Association for Lichenology

Constitution of the IAL

§ 1. Name – The name of the Association is the International Association for Lichenology (IAL).

§ 2. Goals – The purpose of the IAL is to promote the understanding of lichens and lichenology world-wide. To achieve this, the IAL shall: a) encourage the study of lichens, b) advocate lichenological interests in the international arena, c) stimulate communication and discussion among those interested in lichens, d) organise symposia, field meetings, conferences, etc., and e) support the conservation of lichens. The IAL is affiliated to the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and the International Association of Botanical and Mycological Societies (IABMS).

§ 3. Membership – Members of the IAL are those, whose dues have been paid. Any member who is more than two years in arrears in payment may be suspended by the Council.

§ 4. Power to raise Money – The IAL exists only for non-profit status. It has the power to raise money by dues or other means as approved by the Council, but only for scientific purposes, awards and the administration of the Society.

§ 5. Dues – Membership dues will be determined, upon advice of the Council, by a vote by the membership via electronic or paper ballot as described in § 10.

§ 6. Council Officers, Auditors and Nominating Committee – The elected Council Officers of the IAL are a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer, an Editor, and three Council members-at-large. These Council Officers form, together with the organizer of the next IAL Congress, the Council of the IAL. The Auditor and Vice-Auditor are elected non-Council members. The Nominating Committee is composed of three elected non-Council members, and they elect a chair among themselves. The term for Council Officers, Auditors and Nominating Committee is four years. The maximum period for any Council Officer, Auditor and Nominating Committee member is two consecutive terms. Council Officers, with the sole exception of the Editor, cannot serve more than one consecutive term in the same position.

§ 7. Nomination and election of Officers, Auditors and Nominating Committee – The Nominating Committee must publish a call for nominations reaching the membership at least six months prior to the general meeting or other voting event. Any member of the IAL may submit nominations or be nominated (including selfnominations), and the call for nominations should encourage diversity and a balanced representation of the membership. The Nomination Committee is to strive for having at least two nominations per post. Nominations, to be valid, need the written consent of the nominees, and need to reach the Nominating Committee at least two months prior to the general meeting or other voting event. Nominations from the floor at general meetings are allowed only when no nominee for a given post is elected. Elections will be made by majority vote as described in § 10. Voting will take place irrespective of the number of nominees for a post.

§ 8. Duties of Council, Auditors and Nominating Committee, and replacement of Council Officers – The Council administers the affairs and funds of IAL and shall meet or in other ways communicate, as decided by the President or at the request by Council Officers. The President, or in her/his absence the Vice-President, or any member of Council designated by the President, shall preside at all meetings of IAL and the Council. The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings, and shall conduct correspondence as requested by Council. The Treasurer, or in her/his absence the Assistant Treasurer, shall keep an account of all receipts and expenditures and have a statement presented at general meetings and as requested by Council. The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer as requested by the Council. The Editor shall prepare the International Lichenological Newsletter, whose content and format shall be at her/his discretion subject to review and recommendation of Council. To be valid, decisions of Council—held by a majority vote—require that all Council members have been informed and that at least six of them participated. Council may temporarily fill positions vacated between elections. If at any time less than seven elected Officers remain on Council, a new Council must be elected at an extra general meeting or other voting procedure as outlined in § 10. The Council nominates IAL representatives to the IUBS and the IABMS, when needed. The Council may designate Committees that shall manage topics of particular relevance for lichenology. Such Committees will last until the next Council takes over or until the topic is resolved. The Auditor, assisted by the Vice-Auditor, will review the financial records of the IAL on behalf of its membership, and present a report at the general meeting. In her/his absence, the Vice-Auditor will act as Auditor. The Nominating Committee is responsible for organising the nominations and voting procedures as described in § 10. If for some compelling reason the IAL Congress is postponed (and therefore the voting procedure), the current Officers, Auditors and Nominating Committee will continue to serve until a voting procedure has taken place.

§ 9. General Meetings – The IAL shall hold its general meeting at the IAL Congress, a major international congress covering all aspects of lichenology, to be organized every fourth year. Announcements of additional meetings must reach the membership at least six months in advance. Any member can address topics for discussion to the Secretary at least four months prior to the general meeting, so that these will be disseminated to the membership before the meeting. Decisions on changes in dues, changes to constitutional rules, as well as election of new Council Officers, will be taken by a vote of the membership, as described in § 10. Additions to the agenda require a two-thirds majority of those present at the general meeting.

§ 10. Voting procedures – Voting procedures will normally take place at or before the IAL general meeting, via electronic or paper ballot. The Nominating Committee will organise the voting procedures for the election of Council Officers, Auditors and the Nomination Committee, in discussion with Council. The Nominating Committee will oversee ballot counting for these elections independently. Other voting procedures are organised by Council. Decisions will be taken by a majority vote; a tie vote shall be resolved by Council and if still necessary by the President. To be valid, a vote requires the participation of at least 10% of the membership. All results from voting procedures including elections will be announced at the general meeting, or via email, as well as in the IAL Newsletter; all changes voted upon come to effect directly after the announcement, including newly elected Council Officers.

§ 11. Awards – The initiation of IAL awards is decided by the general meeting. IAL award recipients are decided on by the Council. The IAL has currently the following six awards:
1) The Mason Hale Award recognising excellence in research by young lichenologists for outstanding work resulting from doctoral dissertations or similar studies.
2) The Acharius Medal recognising the life-work of distinguished lichenologists.
3) The Sylvia Sharnoff Education Award for an outstanding web page devoted to lichens.
4) The Dharani Awasthi Award for a prominent young researcher working and living in a low income country, who has completed a Ph.D. within five years prior to the submission deadline.
5) The Aino Henssen Award for a prominent researcher early in their career, who has completed a Ph.D. within five years prior to the submission deadline.
For the above awards, a call for nominations must reach the membership at least six months in advance of the next general meeting.
6) The Margalith Galun Awards for outstanding student contributions at an IAL meeting (best oral and poster presentations).
These awards will be decided by the Council, and presented at an IAL meeting.

§ 12. Change of Constitutional Rules – Proposals of changes must be sent to the Secretary at least four months prior to the general meeting or other voting event, so that they may be disseminated to the membership before the voting. Changes in these rules may be made only upon approval by not less than two-thirds of the members present at the general meeting or other voting event, as described in § 10. No rule change shall be allowed which will change the non-profit status of the IAL.

§ 13. Dissolution of the IAL – A motion to dissolve the IAL must be approved by at least two-thirds of the whole membership. If the IAL is dissolved, any funds remaining after all outstanding liabilities are discharged shall be used for scientific purposes in the field of lichenology as agreed by the last Council.

— Approved at the online General Meeting of the IAL9 in Bonito, Brazil, 5 August 2021.