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About EGU Best practices for the management of the Union

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European Geosciences Union

Best practices for the management of the Union

10 February 2023

Table of contents

  1. Best practices for the management of the Union
    1. EGU Council
    2. EGU committees
    3. EGU divisions
    4. EGU budget

2. Best practices for the management of the Union

2.1. EGU Council

The Council is the decision-making body in the Union. The EGU recommends that the composition of Council is representative of the diversity of the scientific community. Council consists of the president (chair), vice-president, general secretary, treasurer, division presidents, and the executive secretary as an ex-officio member. Chairs of the EGU committees, the Early Career Scientists (ECS) Union Representative, and office staff members are normally invited to the Council meetings as ex-officio members. The incoming division presidents and the incoming Union ECS Representative are invited to participate in one Council meeting as ex-officio members before their terms start.

The Council can vote by simple majority either by an open vote at its meetings, by a closed vote at its meetings (on request), or through electronic voting between Council meetings (circular or parallel procedures). The Council has a quorum requiring that at least 50% of the voting members are present.

Elections of Council members are carried out through an electronic voting system.

The EGU Council members may meet in person or virtually. The agenda for Council meetings is made available to Council members at least two weeks in advance. Key information is also made available to Council members one week prior to the meeting.

The EGU President

The term of the president is four years: one year as vice-president (president-elect), then two years as president, and the final fourth year as retiring vice-president. The president is not eligible for re-election.

The president is the chief elected officer of the Union, and as such shall:

The president may delegate responsibilities to other members of the Union.

The EGU Executive Secretary, the EGU General Secretary, and the EGU Treasurer

The terms of the general secretary and the treasurer are two years and renewable.

The EGU executive secretary is proposed by the president and approved by Council. Their term can be terminated at any time.

The EGU Executive Board

The EGU Executive Board consists of the president, vice-president, general secretary, treasurer, and the executive secretary as an ex-officio member. The executive board is responsible for managing the association pursuant to its statutes.

2.2. EGU committees

The EGU has Union-wide committees that are in charge of organising selected Union activities. The EGU recommends that the composition of committees is representative of the diversity of the scientific community. Committees report to the Council. The terms of the chairs and the committee members appointed by Council are two years renewable once. An exception is the Publications Committee, where the term of the chair is three years renewable once, and the terms of the members are defined by their editorial duties.

The EGU committees are:

Selection procedure for vacancies of members of committees, including chairs

The composition of the various committees is defined in the by-laws, and further details are given in the best practices of each committee below. Members of the Outreach Committee, Topical Events Committee, and Education Committee share the same selection procedure for their members, which is organised as follows:

(A) EGU committees open to EGU Council members only

When there is a vacancy in an EGU committee composed of only EGU Council members, either due to an early resignation of a committee member or the end of their term of office, the committee chair informs the EGU executive secretary about this open position. The committee chair may also indicate possible successors for this position and/or required qualifications. The executive secretary then informs the EGU Council about this vacancy and the required qualifications via the Council forum. The committee chair then works with the executive secretary to collect/solicit applications and propose nominations to the Union president for Council appointment at the following Council meeting. A similar approach is taken if the chair of a committee resigns or reaches the end of their term of office; in this case, the Union president nominates a candidate after following the above procedure.

(B) EGU committees composed of both Council and non-Council members

When there is a vacancy in an EGU committee composed of both non-Council and Council members, a two-way approach can be taken to replace the outgoing member. If the EGU Council decides that the member to be elected should be part of the Council, the approach described in (A) should be followed. Vacancies for non-Council members should be publicly announced on the EGU website, and EGU should actively solicit and review applications from the broader EGU community. The committee chair and the executive secretary collaborate to collect the applications and seek feedback from the respective committee members to evaluate the incoming applications before the Union president nominates potential candidates to Council, which votes on the new composition of the committee. The outcome of this selection process should be publicly announced on the EGU website. It is recommended that the procedure should be completed within a time frame of six weeks.

2.3. EGU divisions

EGU has divisions that represent a scientific area or discipline. Divisions can be created and terminated by Council decision as needed. The EGU recommends that division officers are representative of the diversity of the scientific community.

Division presidents are each elected for a two-year term and can be re-elected once. The maximum duration of a term is thus four years. Each division president-elect serves as the division deputy president until the start of their presidential term. Candidates for division president are sought according to the following procedure:

The internal structure of the divisions can be decided by each division and does not need to be similar between divisions. However, each division should have a named contact person for (1) the General Assembly (the programme group chair), (2) EGU journals, (3) outreach activities, (4) division medals and/or awards, if any, and (5) ECS activities. In addition, divisions must have at least one deputy president and may have scientific secretaries and other officers as they see fit. The division officers and their roles within the division are publicised on the EGU website.

The internal organisation of each division is decided by the division at the annual division meeting during the General Assembly.

The division officers are selected to serve for two years and presented for approval at the annual division meeting. Positions are renewable. Division medal committee members are also selected to serve one year renewable three times. They are presented and approved at the annual division meeting. Council is then informed for the final approval of the composition of medal committees.

Division meetings are organised annually during the General Assembly and presided over by the division president or their delegate. Division presidents, or persons designated by the division president for this purpose, should advertise the division meeting before and during the General Assembly. Division meetings are open to all interested General Assembly participants. The agenda of the division meeting should consist of, at a minimum:

Division meeting reports are submitted by the division presidents to the EGU executive secretary within two weeks after the end of the General Assembly.

2.4. EGU budget

The EGU budget takes into account the foreseen incomes generated mainly by the membership fees and by cooperation and license contracts with third parties. The EGU budget distributes funding for activities that are in line with the EGU strategy as defined by the Council.

Budget items could include, but are not limited to: