Council of Editors of Learned Journals


Constitution of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

I. NAME. The name of this organization shall be The Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

II. PURPOSE. The aims of the Council shall be to provide an organization of editors of learned journals devoted primarily but not exclusively to the study of language and literature and related humanistic disciplines for the purpose of:

1. discussing common editorial concerns, sharing editorial expertise (especially with new journal editors), and offering counseling service and advice to editors of troubled journals;

2. providing a mechanism for the achievement of a consensus of editors on public issues related to journal publication and for the dissemination (as the official representative body of editors) of that consensus;

3. serving to publicize and advertise journals of members through display booths at the annual meeting of the MLA and at the various regional meetings of the MLA;

4. providing guidelines for editorial procedures and for contributors to scholarly journals through newsletters and a proposed Handbook for Journal Editors and Contributors;

5. offering recognition for outstanding achievement through awards of certificates of merit for distinguished issues, superior scholarly content, service to the profession, format, design, innovation, etc.;

6. establishing liaison (through the initiative of the Executive Board) with editors of journals in other disciplines.

III. MEMBERSHIP. Membership is open to all editors and others involved in scholarly publication upon payment of annual dues, the amount to be determined by majority vote of members responding by email (five percent of members in good standing will constitute a quorum).

IV. ADMINISTRATION. The administration of the Council shall be in the hands of elected officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Past President, and eight elected Regional Directors. The President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer shall constitute the Executive Committee. The President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Past President, and Regional Directors shall constitute the Executive Board.


1. The President shall serve a two-year term following his or her election, by email ballot, in December of odd-numbered years.

2. The Vice President shall serve a two-year term following his or her election, by email ballot, in December of odd-numbered years. The Vice President will normally be elected to succeed the outgoing President.

3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected by email ballot to serve a three-year term.

4. Six of the eight Directors shall be elected by and from members in each of the six regions of MLA meetings. The seventh and eighth Directors shall be elected by and from members in Canada and from abroad, respectively. Nominations shall be open in April of even-numbered years and elections shall be conducted by email in September of even-numbered years. Members eligible to run and vote must be paid up as of 31 December before nominations. Directors shall serve two-year terms beginning with the annual meeting during the year of their election.

5. The Executive Board may appoint non-voting ex-officio members to the Board for renewable two-year terms.


1. The President shall be chief executive officer, chair the annual meeting and board meetings, and be ex-officio member of all committees.

2. The Vice President shall assist the President, chair the membership committee, and fill out the remainder of a presidential term if the President resigns or dies.

3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep all financial and membership records, record the minutes of annual and board meetings, and keep all records in readily useful form.

4. The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year, receive grants, advise the President on appointments, serve as the nominating committee for the election of officers and directors, and assist the President in preparing the agenda for the annual meeting.

5. Each Director shall be responsible for planning and organizing appropriate activities of the Council for his or her represented group.

6. The Executive Board shall be the Editorial Board for all publications of the Council, and shall appoint the Editor of Editors' Notes for a renewable three-year term.

7. The Past President shall serve as Chair of the Mediation Committee. In case of a mediation conflict, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Chair to serve pro tem from among the Regional Directors.

8. The Executive Committee shall have sole authority to make contracts over $500.00.

VII. MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE. Meetings of the Council shall be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the MLA. In addition to the business meeting, the Council will usually sponsor two additional sessions devoted to issues and problems of interest to the membership. Similar sessions for editors at regional meetings will be provided as the opportunity or occasion presents itself.

VIII. AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed to the Secretary no later than two months prior to a vote by email ballot. Any amendments so proposed shall be presented by the Executive Board to the active membership with recommendations for action. Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted only after receiving two-thirds of the vote of responding members in good standing (five percent of members in good standing will constitute a quorum).


If the CELJ dissolves or terminates, the Executive Committee, upon the advice of the Executive Board, shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the CELJ, dispose of all the remaining assets of the CELJ to such institutions of higher learning, operated exclusively for educational purposes, as shall at the time qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

X. RATIFICATION. This Constitution shall be in effect when it is presented to the 1980 annual meeting of the Council and ratified by two-thirds vote of members in good standing attending.

Adopted at Houston, Texas, 28 December 1980

Amended at Washington, DC, 28 December 1984

Amended at Washington, DC, 27 December 1989

Amended at Chicago, Illinois, 28 December 1990

Amended at Washington, DC, 27 December 2005

The Council of Editors of Learned Journals (c) 1997–2017

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