CAS Constitution

Approved at the CAS AGM in Toronto on 28 May 2023.

Constitution of the Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS)
Constitution de l'Association canadienne des slavistes (ACS)


1] The Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS) is an organization of teachers and scholars in the field of Slavic and related studies in Canada for the purpose of improving and advancing such studies.

a) The activities of the Association shall be carried out without purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or other accretions to the organization shall be used in promoting its objectives.

2] The CAS will use various methods to achieve these goals, among which may be:

a) General meetings of the CAS at which ideas will be exchanged, experience pooled, textbooks and other teaching aids considered, teaching methods expounded, papers on learned subjects read, etc.

b) The issuing of a publication or publications, which will include articles on learned subjects pertaining to Slavic and related studies contributed primarily by members of the CAS but, by decision of the Editors, also by other writers. Surveys, reports, book reviews, etc. on matters of interest may also be published.

c) Radio broadcasting, public speaking, representation at meetings of other societies, etc.

d) Concerted effort in soliciting funding from government agencies, foundations, private individuals, etc. for promoting the aims of the Association.

3] English and French are the official languages of the CAS.

4] Associations pursuing scholarly aims related to those of the CAS may become affiliated with the CAS by a motion passed at the annual general meeting. Members of affiliated associations must also be members of the CAS.


5] Membership shall be open

  • – to any bona fide teacher on a regular institutional appointment in Slavic and related studies at a recognized educational institution in Canada or abroad, of university, college, or secondary school standing,
  • – to recognized scholars and persons professionally engaged in research in Slavic and related studies,
  • – to professional librarians in Slavic or related fields,
  • – to all persons interested in the aims and activities of the CAS.

6] Membership in the CAS exists in the following categories:

a) Regular membership

b) Student and underemployed membership

c) Retired membership

d) Joint membership – available to any two members who wish to carry only one subscription to Canadian Slavonic Papers and receive only one copy of the CAS Newsletter (if the newsletter is distributed in print form), while retaining the right of each to vote, hold office, present papers, and be eligible for grant assistance

e) Life membership

f) Joint Life membership – under the conditions described in d)

g) Dual membership with an affiliated association

h) Sustaining membership

7] Any member may resign, if so desired, by writing to the Secretary-Treasurer. Membership fees will not be refunded.

8] The Executive may suspend the privileges of any member for cause until the next general meeting of the CAS, at which time a two-thirds majority vote will decide whether the membership should be cancelled.

9] Membership (aside from life membership) is on a calendar-year basis, and benefits shall be automatically cancelled if membership is not renewed each year by the end of February. Individuals whose membership has lapsed may rejoin at any time.


10] The Executive of the CAS shall consist of one member ex officio and at least fourteen members elected by a majority vote at the general meeting, as follows.

a) President – elected every two years

b) Immediate Past President – ex officio, with office tenure of two years

c) Two Vice Presidents – elected annually

d) Secretary-Treasurer – elected for three years

e) Chair of the Program Committee – elected annually

f) Local Arrangements Coordinator – elected annually, as necessary

g) Editor of Canadian Slavonic Papers – elected for a term of three to five years. In exceptional circumstances, the editor’s term may be shortened or extended, as needed, and the new terms will be negotiated with the Nominating Committee in a given year. The Editor shall normally be elected in the year prior to the time
when he/she begins his/her term of office, to allow for necessary
advance planning. The Editor is responsible to the Executive for the good management of the journal.  To that end, the Executive empowers the Editor to appoint such associate and assistant editors and
other editorial staff as he/she deems necessary from time to time.

h) Four Members at Large – elected annually and eligible for re-election. As far as is possible, these should be nominated with due consideration for the balance of different disciplines and geographical areas on the Executive as a whole.

i) One MA student and one PhD student representative – elected annually. All bona fide students shall be eligible for nomination, and in the event that a student representative graduates during the term of his/her mandate, he/she shall complete his/her term of office.

j) CAS Representative to the International Council for Central and East European Studies (elected for a term of five years).

k) CAS Representative to the International Congress of Slavists (elected for a term of five years).

11] All conference attendees and individuals nominated to the Executive must be members in good standing by April 30.

12] The general meeting is empowered to appoint an Honorary President/Presidents for a one-year term.

13] In case of death or resignation of a member of the Executive, the President will fill the vacancy ad interim until an election by mail or in person can be held. In case of death or resignation of the President, the Vice Presidents in collaboration and consultation assume the President’s duties until the next annual meeting.

14] The President is further empowered, as the need arises, to appoint representatives for the Association on outside bodies or to substitute for himself/herself – with the proviso that he/she shall report on such appointments to the general meeting.

15] In all matters not specifically covered by constitutional clauses, the President and the Secretary-Treasurer may take provisional action until the next meeting of the CAS.


16] Executive meetings of the CAS may be called at any time by the President. If it is impractical to hold such meetings, the business of the CAS may be conducted by correspondence; the President and the Secretary-Treasurer shall be empowered to take action on all routine matters.

17] General meetings of the CAS are called by the President as the need arises, except that one general meeting must take place every calendar year. The President must ensure that notice of such meeting is sent to all members at least one month prior to the meeting. Annual general meetings of the CAS will normally take place in the same locality and time period as the meetings of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which is organized by the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. If circumstances prevent the holding of an in-person annual general meeting, it may proceed in other formats, provided advance notice is given and structures are in place to ensure that all CAS members may participate.

18] A two-thirds majority vote of members present at the annual general meeting is required to amend the Constitution.

19] When possible, reports to the annual general meeting should be made available to the membership in advance of the meeting.

20] In special cases papers and reports may be presented in languages other than the official ones.

Standing Committees of the Association

21] Nominating Committee:

The Nominating Committee shall consist of the immediate past President and two other members elected annually for the coming year. Where practicable, the committee shall publish its slate of candidates in advance of the annual meeting. (Additional nominations may be made from the floor at the business meeting.) The Nominating Committee should also encourage members who may be interested in serving on committees of the Association to make their names known to its Chair.

22] Program and Arrangements Committee:

The Program and Arrangements Committee shall consist of the Program Chair and the Local Arrangements Coordinator, elected annually. It is preferable that the Local Arrangements Coordinator be a member of the university at which the next annual meeting will be held.

23] Advisory Board:


The Advisory Board consists of the three immediate past Presidents of the CAS and the two immediate past Editors, with the senior member as chair.


1) The members of the CAS Advisory Board are NOT members of the CAS Executive unless they are serving on the Executive in another capacity. They will, however,

a) be sent all material distributed to the CAS Executive,

b) be invited to comment in advance on all issues scheduled to be discussed by the CAS Executive, and

c) be invited to attend all CAS Executive meetings as non-voting participants.

2) The Advisory Board will periodically (normally once every three years) prepare a “State of the Association” brief for discussion by the Executive of the CAS. This brief should outline the board’s perception of the current status of the Association and perspectives for future development. For the purposes of preparing and collating such a report, the Board may elect an ad hoc coordinator.

3) The Advisory Board will act, as and when appropriate, individually or collectively, as a lobbying group for the Association in its relations with Canadian governments, various Canadian government and professional agencies, and individual universities, in accordance with guidelines to be developed by the Advisory Board and approved by the Executive of the CAS.

24] Finance Committee:


The Finance Committee shall oversee the use of CAS finances so as to further the interests and objectives of our Association as a whole.


The Committee shall consist of five members, including ex officio the President (Chair), the Secretary-Treasurer, and the Editor of Canadian Slavonic Papers. The Nominating Committee will appoint the two remaining members from among the following: the immediate past President, the immediate past Secretary-Treasurer, and the immediate past Editor. If an insufficient number of these individuals is able to serve, the Nominating Committee will fill the committee with another member or members of the Executive.


Members of the Committee shall:

a) invest CAS monies for maximum reasonable yields in accordance with an Investment Policy Statement approved by the Association,

b) report annually on the state of the portfolio to the Executive in advance of the annual general meeting,

c) review the Investment Policy Statement annually and provide advice to the Executive as necessary,

d) recommend to the Executive disbursements of income from investment in accordance with Revenue Canada guidelines for registered charities,

e) complete and file annual tax reports with Revenue Canada,

f) organize fund-raising campaigns among members of the CAS, various foundations and charities, financial institutions, and businesses, and seek other possible donors and sponsors,

g) co-ordinate and adjudicate grants awarded by the CAS.

The President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Editor will serve as signatories for the CAS bank accounts. In addition, the President may appoint the immediate past President, the immediate past Secretary-Treasurer, or the immediate past Editor as a fourth signatory.

Approved by the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Association of Slavists on 28 May 2023. This version of the Constitution supersedes previous versions.