NSPRA Policy Manual

Articles of Incorporation

Bylaws

Section 1 – Association Foundations

100. Legal Status

105. Mission

110. Goals and Beliefs

115.1 Non-Discrimination

115.2 Equality in Public Relations

120.1 NSPRA Code of Ethics

120.2 North American Public Relations Council Code of Ethics

120.3 Code of Ethics Violations

125. Membership

130. Primary Activities

135. Commitment to Accomplishment

140. Recognition for Accomplishment

Section 2 – Association Governance

205. Officers – Powers and Duties

210.  Executive Board

225.  Committees and Advisors

230. Board/Executive Director Relationship

235. Annual Meeting

240. Association Policy Development

245. Association Memberships

250. Evaluation of Operational Procedures

255.1 Association Public Positions

255.2 Use of Association Name & Insignia

255.3 Executive Board Member Endorsements of Seminar Exhibitors, NSPRA Partners & Sponsors

260.1 Chapters – Purpose and Formation

260.2 Chapters – Reports

260.3 Chapters – Suspension/Revocation

260.4 Chapters – Leadership Development

260.5 Chapter – National Seminar Opportunities

265. State/Province Coordinators

270. Council of Presidents

Section 3 – Association Administration

300. Primary Functions

305. Executive Director

310. Policy Implementation

315. Absence of Executive Director

320. Administrative Reports

325. Association Annual Report

Section 4 – Operational Services

400. Goals and Objectives

405. Budget

410.0 Annual Seminar – Purpose and Fees

410.1 Revenue – Dues

410.2 Sale of Products & Services

410.3 Grants and Contracts

410.4 Investments

410.5 Gifts and Bequests

410.6 Borrowing

410.7 Reserve Fund

410.8 Sponsorships/Partnerships and Resource Development

415.1 Depository of Funds

415.2 Depository of Funds – Signatures

420. Bonded Employees

425.1 Fiscal Management – Financial Reports

425.2 Inventories

425.3 Audit

430. Purchasing Procedures

435. Payment Procedures

440.1 Payroll Procedures – Pay Periods

440.2 Salary Deductions

440.3 Expense Reimbursement

445. Insurance

450. Marketing, Production and Pricing

455. Office Closing

460 Record Retention

460.1 Copyrights

Section 5 – Personnel Policies

500. Goals and Objectives

505. Equal Opportunity Employment

510. Categories of Employment

520. Personnel Records

525. Staff Positions/Job Descriptions

530. Recruiting and Hiring

535. Probation

540. Orientation/Professional Growth

545. Assignment and Transfer

550. Reclassification & Promotion

555. Staff Dismissal

560. Evaluation

565. Staff Complaints & Grievances

570.1 Compensation Plan – Salary

570.2 Compensation Plan – Overtime

570.3 Compensation Plan – Compensatory Time

570.4 Compensation Plan – Holidays

570.5 Compensation Plan – Other Fringe Benefits

570.6 Compensation Plan – End-of-Year Financial Enhancements for Staff

575. Leaves of Absence

580. Vacation

585.1 Time Schedules

585.10 Electronic Mail Use

585.2 Travel Compensation

585.3 Health and Safety

585.4 Participation in Political Activities

585.5 Solicitation/Acceptance of Gifts

585.51 Staff Endorsements of Seminar Exhibitors, NSPRA Partners & Sponsors

585.6 Release of Credit Information

585.8 Outside Employment

585.9 Staff Involvement in Decision-making

590 Anti-Fraud and Whistleblower

Section 6 – Public Relations

600. Goals and Objectives

605. Members’ Right to Information

610. Public Statements on Behalf of the Association

615. Association Endorsement

620. Use of Membership Lists

625. Complaints about the Association

630. Relations with Other Organizations/Agencies

 


ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION of the NATIONAL SCHOOL PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSOCIATION

(Amended November 1993)

We hereby associate to form a non-stock corporation under the provisions of Chapter 2 of Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia and to that end set forth the following:

(a) The name of the corporation is NATIONAL SCHOOL PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSOCIATION.

(b) The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is organized are:

The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational or scientific purposes, and including for such purposes the making of distribu­tions to organizations that qualify as exempt organiza­tions under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

The primary purposes of the organization shall be to serve the citizenry of the nation by promoting a better understanding of the objectives, accomplishments, and needs of public education. The Association seeks to accomplish its purpos­es: (1) by developing materials that will assist education leaders in building both an increased public understanding of the role of educa­tion and increased awareness, knowledge, and under­standing of current management practices and educational development; (2) by placing before the public facts and viewpoints which will lead to a better understanding, appreciation, and support of public education; and (3) by encouraging the use of sound public relations procedures by all those at work in education.

In general, to carry on any other business connected with or incidental to the foregoing objects and purposes, and to have and exercise all the powers conferred by the laws of Virginia upon corporations formed under Chapter 2 of Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia.

(c)        The corporation may have classes of members as specified in its bylaws. At least two-thirds of the total number of members must have the right to cast one vote upon any proposed bylaw, upon any proposed merger or dissolution, and in any election of an officer, except that with regard to Vice President, the member shall have the right to cast one vote for the Vice President representing the member’s geographic area.

(d)       The corporation shall have an Executive Board whose membership, terms of office, and    methods of selection shall be specified in the Bylaws.

(e)        The post office address of the initial registered office is 1801 North Moore Street, Arlington, Virginia 22209. The name of the county in which the initial registered office is located is the County of Arlington. The name of its initial registered agent is Roy K. Wilson, who is a resident of Virginia and a director of the corporation and whose business office is the same as the registered office of the corporation.

(f)        The number of members constituting the initial Executive Board is ten (10) and the names and addresses of the persons who are to serve as the initial directors are:

Name

Address

Joy Reese Shaw

Dade C­o­u­nty Pub­lic Schools

 

1410 N.E. Second Avenue

Miami, Florida 33132

James C. Lee

State Department of Education

 

714 Capitol Square

St. Paul, Minnesota  55101

Larry Ascough

Dallas Independent School District

 

3700 Ross Avenue

Dallas, Texas  75204

Del Harding

Jefferson County Public Schools

 

809 Quail Street

Lakewood, Colorado  80215

William E. Henry

Ohio Education Association

 

225 E. Broad Street

Columbus, Ohio  43215

Kenneth K. Muir

Montgomery County Public Schools

 

850 N. Washington Street

Rockville, Maryland  20850

Robert R. Luse

New Jersey School Boards Association

 

407 W. State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08605

Howard Jay Friedman

Florida Department of Education

 

Capitol Building

Tallahassee, Florida  32304

Judith K. Curran

Intermediate School District 110

 

100 Crockett Street

Seattle, Washington  98109

Roy K. Wilson

National School Public Relations Association

 

1801 N. Moore Street

Arlington, Virginia  22209

 

(g)        Provisions for the regulation of the internal affairs of the corporation, including provisions for distribution of assets on dissolution or final liquidation:

The corporation shall be strictly a non-profit, non-stock, and non-political organization whose mission and policies are contained in bylaws adopted, and from time to time amended, by a majority vote of members. The policy direction of the corporation is provided by an Executive Board which is elected by a majority vote of members. No part of the income or assets of the corporation shall inure to any member, officer, or member of the Executive Board, except as compensation for specific duties performed under the direction of others in authority.

Upon dissolution of the corporation, the Executive Board shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Executive Board shall determine.

Dated March 27, 1973

Commonwealth of Virginia

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BYLAWS

National School Public Relations Association

Article I – Mission

Section 1.  The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) is a professional organization dedicated to building support for education through responsible public relations that leads to success for all students.

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Article II – Membership

Section 1.  Membership in the Association shall be defined as follows:

Member – A person who has responsibilities in educational public relations is eligible for NSPRA membership. Members have the right to vote and to hold office, and to apply to become candidates for Universal Accreditation.

Associate – A person who is interested in and supportive of educational public relations may become an associate member. Associates may not vote, are not eligible to hold office, and are not eligible to become candidates for Universal Accreditation. Associates include student members, retired members, honorary members and other categories that the NSPRA Executive Board may deem appropriate.

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Article III – Executive Board

Section 1.  The Executive Board of the Association shall consist of the President, President-elect, and ten (10) Vice Presidents. All shall be Association members.

Section 2.  The Executive Board of the Association shall be charged with the duty of doing whatever may be necessary for the furtherance of the purposes of the Association, the attainment of the purposes of the Articles of Incorporation, the study and teaching of its ideals, its ethics, and its unique features or organization.

Section 3.  The Executive Board shall assist the President in preparing programs for the Annual and other meetings of the Association, shall authorize appointment of all committees, and shall formulate policies for the program and services of the Association.

Section 4.  The Executive Board may direct the Executive Director in the depositing or investing of such moneys as the Association may receive, and may direct the Executive Director in all business arrangements made on behalf of the Association.

Section 5.  The Executive Board of the Association shall meet at such times and places as may be determined by action of the Board, by call of the President, or by written request of a majority of the Board. A written notice of the time and place of all meetings of the Executive Board shall be sent to each Board member by the President not less than ten (10) days prior to said meeting. Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall be posted in advance on the Association website.

Section 6.  The agenda for each Executive Board meeting shall include a time to receive communications from members and/or chapters, either in person or in writing. The Executive Board shall consider these communications and shall communicate its action on such matters to those presenting them and, through its minutes, to interested members.

Section 7.  A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business, except in cases where a larger vote is required under these Bylaws.

Section 8.  The Executive Board may remove any elected officer from office: a) if he/she fails to attend two consecutive Board meetings; b) if in the Board’s judgment the officer’s actions have caused serious damage to the Association or its reputation. Such removal shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board.

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Article IV – Officers

Section 1.  Officers of the Association shall be a President; a President-elect (who shall become President after one year’s service as President-elect); a Vice President for Diversity Engagement; two Vice Presidents at Large; seven Vice Presidents distributed geographically in the Northeast, Mideast, Southeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest sections of the United States, the Territories and Canada; and an Executive Director.

Section 2.  The seven regions shall consist of the Northeast, Mideast, Southeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest and Southwest sections of the United States, the Territories and Canada.

The Executive Board will conduct a formal review of the regional alignment every ten (10) years, the first review to be completed in 1995. The Executive Board may authorize a formal review at any time.

The Northeast area shall include: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Eastern Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

The Mideast area shall include: District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Southeast area shall include: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.

The North Central area shall include: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.

The Northwest area shall include: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Yukon.

The South Central area shall include: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Southwest area shall include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Section 3.  The President shall hold office for the period of one year. It shall be the duty of the President to preside or to arrange for presiding officers at all meetings and, in conjunction with the Executive Board, to prepare programs for the Annual and other meetings of the Association, and to appoint all committees not otherwise provided for. The President shall be chairman and a member of the Executive Board and shall call meetings of the Board on not less than ten (10) days notice whenever he/she deems it necessary or whenever he/she is requested to do so by a majority of the membership of the Board. The President shall be a nonvoting ex-officio member of all committees and shall perform all other duties commonly associated with this office.

Section 4.  The President-elect shall hold office for the period of one year, beginning the first day of October following his/her election as President-elect and shall become President one year later, beginning on the first day of October. In the event of the President’s temporary disability or absence from meetings, the President-elect shall perform the President’s duties.

In case of vacancy in the office of President, the President-elect shall at once succeed to the office of President to fill out the unexpired term, and shall continue to serve as President for the full term to which he/she has been elected.

Section 5.  Regional Vice Presidents and the Vice President for Diversity Engagement shall hold office for three years, beginning the first day of October following their election. Regional Vice Presidents are responsible for furthering two-way communication with chapters and members; furthering the mission and goals of the Association at the regional, chapter and local level; and communicating needs/desires of chapters and individuals to the Association.

Regional Vice Presidents from the Northwest and Southeast areas shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1976-79; Regional Vice Presidents from the Southwest, Mideast, and Northeast areas shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1977-80; and Regional Vice Presidents from the North Central and South Central areas shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1978-81.

A Vice President for Diversity Engagement shall be elected by the membership from among the Association’s racial and ethnic minority members to serve a three-year term beginning in 1999.

Section 6.  Vice Presidents at Large are appointed by a majority vote of the elected members of the Executive Board to two-year terms that begin the first day of October following their appointment. The first Vice President at Large will be appointed in Spring 1999; the second in Spring 2000. The purpose of this position is to provide the Executive Board with membership representation or expertise that is not provided through the election process.

Section 7.  No elective officer shall serve in the same capacity for more than one consecutive full term.  Any Regional Vice President who has been or will be elected to a one-year term as Regional Vice President shall be eligible to run again for this office.

Section 8.  Vacancy in the office of Vice President for Diversity Engagement or Regional Vice President shall be filled by the Executive Board until the next regular election, at which time a successor shall be elected to fill the unexpired term. Vacancy in the office of President-elect, caused by the succession of the President-elect to the Presidency shall remain unfilled. In all cases, a vacancy in the office of President-elect shall be filled by a special election conducted in the same manner that is provided for holding the annual election of officers. Vacancy in the office of Vice President at Large shall be filled by the Executive Board for the remainder of the term.

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Article V – Elections

Section 1.  The election of the President-elect, Vice President for Diversity Engagement and Regional Vice Presidents to succeed those whose terms are expiring shall be conducted by sending a paper or electronic ballot to eligible voting members of the Association.

Section 2.  The Regional Vice Presidents shall be elected only by members within their respective geographical areas. A resident of any state which had one of its members serving as a Regional Vice President for the immediately preceding term of office shall be ineligible for election as a Regional Vice President except as provided in Article IV, Section 7.

Section 3.  The Executive Board Search Committee shall seek out, encourage and secure at least one qualified candidate to run for each elected Executive Board position that will become vacant the following year. The Committee shall report the results of its search to the President and Executive Director by May 1. The official slate of candidates will be announced in the next issue of the Association’s primary member publication and posted to the Association website. The Committee shall introduce the slate of candidates to the membership at the Annual Meeting of the Association.

Section 4.  The ballot shall be sent on or before August 15 and returned not later than midnight of the fifteenth working day from that date. On or before September 30, the Board of Tellers shall officially certify and announce the results of the election. The person who receives the plurality in the balloting for each office shall be declared elected by the Executive Board.

In the event of a tie vote, ballots shall be resent to the membership (as designated in Sections 1 and 2) within five business days. Completed ballots from members must be postmarked or received electronically not later than ten (10) business days from the date ballots were resent. The Board of Tellers shall reconvene as soon as possible to officially certify and announce the results of the second ballot. The person who receives the plurality in the balloting for the contested office shall be declared elected by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board has the authority to waive or modify an election deadline if necessary and appropriate to facilitate a swift resolution of the tie vote.

In the event that a candidate runs uncontested, the Executive Board may affirm the candidate by acclamation and no election will be held for that office.

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Article VI – Meetings

Section 1.  Meetings of the Association shall be held at such times and places as shall be determined by the Executive Board of the Association. One of these meetings shall be designated by the Executive Board as the Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting, the President shall report on the significant activities and actions of the Association and the Executive Board. Members shall have an opportunity to discuss Association activities and plans with the Executive Board and/or Executive Director and to present matters for the future consideration of the Executive Board. Notice of this meeting shall be posted on the Association website at least ten (10) days prior to the date of such meeting.

Section 2.  The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern in all business meetings of the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and policies of this Association.

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Article VII – Committees

Section 1.  Standing Committees engage in activities that are continu­ing in the program of the Association. With the exception of those specifical­ly listed in this Article, they may be created or dissolved as the need indicates by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board.  Chairpersons and members of standing committees shall be appointed by the President except as set forth in this Article, Section 1(a), (e), and (f).

  • (a)  Executive Board Search Committee.  There shall be an Executive Board Search Committee comprised of seven Association members representing each of the seven Association regions, and one Association member who is a racial minority. The Executive Board shall appoint the members of this committee and specify their terms of office. Each year the President-elect shall appoint one member to serve as their chair. The Executive Board Search Committee annually shall seek out and identify a slate of one or more candidates for each elected office that will become vacant the following year.
  • (b)  Audit Committee.  There shall be an Audit Committee of at least three members, comprised of Executive Board members and at least one NSPRA member-at-large. The Audit Committee shall make its report at the Annual Meeting following its appointment.
  • (c)  Board of Tellers.  There shall be a Board of Tellers of not fewer than three persons which shall be responsible for certifying the results of all elections.
  • (d)  Accreditation Committee.  There shall be an Accreditation Committee consisting of accredited members of the Association. Members shall be appointed by the President with         terms of office specified by the Executive Board. The President shall annually designate one member of the Committee as its chairperson. The Committee shall encourage all Association members to invest in their professional development by becoming accredited, thereby strengthening NSPRA and the public relations profession.
  • (e)  Executive Committee.  There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the President, Present-elect and one member of the Executive Board elected by the Vice Presidents to serve in an official capacity with the Executive Director.
  • (f)  Finance Committee.  The Executive Board shall elect a minimum of three of its members to serve on a Finance Committee, whose chair shall be the President-elect. The Committee shall review financial reports with the Executive Director prior to each Executive Board meeting, discuss the proposed budget prior to its annual adoption by the Executive Board, and meet with the Audit Committee at its Annual Meeting with the auditors.­

Section 2.  Special committees may be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board which shall designate their powers and the term of the committee’s appointment.

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Article VIII – Dues

The dues of the Association shall be established by the Executive Board. Any changes in dues shall include an effective date.

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Article IX – Chapters

NSPRA Chapters serve as a link between the Association and its members. Chapters shall be established to carry out programs and provide services which respond to members’ needs and reflect the mission and goals of the Association; to articulate the needs and concerns of members to the Executive Board; and to alert the Association to emerging public relations problems.

Section 1.  The Executive Board may establish Chapters of the Association on petition of ten (10) or more members in good standing in a given area. In each instance, the exact territory of chapter jurisdiction shall be determined by the Executive Board.

Section 2.  Chapters may establish dues for their members in addition to the dues members pay to the national Association. Chapters shall elect their own officers.  By September 1, 2002, the Chapter President, President-elect (or other officer who succeeds as President), Treasurer and one other elected chapter officer shall be members of the national Association and all other chapter officers and members should be encouraged to be members of the national Association.

Section 3.  Bylaws of each chapter shall be approved by the Executive Board of the Association before adoption by the Chapter. Amendments to the Bylaws of a chapter must be approved by the Executive Board of the national Association to become effective.

Section 4.  Effective October 2005, members may belong to and vote in more than one local chapter, but may not hold elective office in more than one chapter at a time. Membership may be transferred from one chapter to another if approved by the latter chapter.

Section 5.  Upon evidence of chapter inactivity for a period of two consecutive years, the Executive Board of the Association has the authority to revoke the chapter charter.

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Article X – Amendments

Section 1.  These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of members voting by mail or electronic ballot, provided the proposed amendments shall have been approved by the Executive Board or presented by petition of at least ten (10) percent of the members to the Executive Board for submission to the membership no later than thirty (30) days following the next regular meeting of the Executive Board. All amendments must be submitted to the membership at least thirty (30) days prior to sending the ballot and must include the effective date of the amendment if different from that specified in Section 2 of this Article.

Section 2.  Proposed amendments shall be published at least thirty (30) days before the ballots are sent to eligible voting members. Members shall have at least fifteen (15) working days from the date the ballot is sent in which to return their ballots. The Board of Tellers will meet to certify the results, which will be announced not later than thirty (30) days following the ballot deadline. The effective date of any amendment shall be thirty (30) days following the ballot deadline unless otherwise specified on the notice and the ballot containing the amendment.

Amended: December 2001; October 2004; September 2005; September 2006; September 2007; September 2008; September 2010

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SECTION 1 – ASSOCIATION FOUNDATIONS

100. LEGAL STATUS

The National School Public Relations Association is a non-stock corporation under the provisions of Chapter 2, Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia.

The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, education or scientific purposes and qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

See: Articles of Incorporation

Adopted: March 1973

Amended: November 1993

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105. MISSION

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) is a professional organization dedicated to building support and trust for education through responsible public relations that leads to success for all students.

Adopted: July 1994

Revised: July 1996; July 1998; July 2002

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110. GOALS AND BELIEFS

Goal 1.     NSPRA will be the professional organization that is indispensable to school public relations professionals and other education leaders. 

  1. NSPRA members will have the skills they need to plan and implement an effective public relations program valuing inclusion and diversity.
  2. NSPRA members will be recognized and valued as trusted advisors and members of school/district leadership teams.
  3. School communication professionals, superintendents and other education leaders will use NSPRA products, services and resources.
  4. NSPRA members will exhibit commitment and dedication to the Association.
  5. NSPRA will regularly assess needs and feedback of membership in determining professional development offerings, support resources and networking opportunities.

Goal 2.     NSPRA will be the recognized leader and authority on school public relations.

  1. NSPRA (staff and members) will be visible throughout the educational community. 
  2. NSPRA will be the primary source of expert information and knowledge on school public relations.
  3. School communication professionals, superintendents and other education leaders will understand the positive impact of effective public relations in creating educational environments that are accessible and welcoming to the diversity of students and families they serve.
  4. NSPRA members will use new and emerging communication technology to expand outreach and engage all stakeholders, including students, parents, staff and community members, in the schools. 
  5. NSPRA will have beneficial relationships with other organizations.
  6. NSPRA will advocate for effective public relations in education organizations, and factual and accurate reporting on the nation’s schools.

Revised: July 2002; March 2006; March 2008; March 2016; July 2019

BELIEFS

NSPRA believes public relations:

  • Is a crucial leadership function essential to the success of education.
  • Is rooted in integrity, transparency, accuracy and ethical behavior, and always serves the public’s interest.
  • Serves as the conscience of the organization.
  • Strives to build consensus and reach common ground.
  • Is a fiscally responsible investment.
  • Provides counsel and services to all segments of the staff and community.
  • Is the shared responsibility of everyone in education.
  • Develops trust through two-way communication and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Requires continuous professional growth to meet the accelerated pace of societal and technological change.
  • Forecasts issues and trends to position organizations for continued success into the future.
  • Brings diverse schools and communities together to support success and equity for all students.
  • Serves the public accountability function for the school district.
  • Builds understanding and consensus around diversity and equity conditions facing public school communities.
  • Creates a culture of transparency and trust that positively impacts student achievement.

Adopted: July 1994

Revised: July 1996; July 1998; July 2002; March 2006; March 2016; July 2019

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115.1 NON-DISCRIMINATION

The National School Public Relations Association shall treat all persons equally without regard to race, color, religion (creed), national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, age, marital status or disability unrelated to the function to be performed. This commitment relates to membership practices, employment practices, materials produced by the Association, and relations with other organizations and the public.

Specifically, the Association shall:

  • Elect, appoint, employ and promote persons solely on the basis of their qualifications and without regard to the characteristics outlined above, recognizing that special efforts must be made to offset the appearance of de facto discrimination.
  • Maintain an atmosphere in all activities in which all persons can develop attitudes and skills for effective, cooperative living, including respect for:
    • The individual without regard to the characteristics outlined above;
    • Cultural differences;
    • The right of others to seek and maintain their own identities; and
    • The economic, political and social rights of others.
  • Develop publications and materials which accurately reflect the makeup of today’s world both in terms of physical characteristics and cultural and work ethics.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994, November 2019

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115.2 EQUALITY IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

Public Relations professionals around the world are continually involved in counseling and advising organizations on the importance of equitable treatment of employees, customers and other publics. Increasingly, the diversity of our organizations, our workplaces and our societies present new challenges and opportunities.

The National School Public Relations Association is dedicated to fostering excellence in the public relations and communications professions and to promoting an understanding of diversity within our associations, professions and the organizations with which our members work.

Therefore, NSPRA adopts the following goals:

  1. Increase and support diversity within our membership, reflecting the increasing diversity   of our workplaces, organizations and societies;
  2. Heighten awareness and understanding of diversity among the leaders and members of NSPRA and its chapters; and
  3. Actively support equality of opportunity and equitable compensation for all men and women in our field.

Adopted: November 1994

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120.1 NSPRA CODE OF ETHICS

The National School Public Relations Association shall have a Code of Ethics for members, as follows:

The education public relations professional shall:

  1. Be guided constantly by pursuit of the public interest through truth, accuracy, good taste and fairness; follow good judgment in releasing information; not intentionally disseminate misinformation or confidential data; avoid actions which lessen personal, professional or organizational reputation.
  2. Give primary loyalty to the employing organization, insisting on the right to give advisory counsel in accordance with sound public relations ideas and practices; cooperate with other groups while avoiding conflicts with primary responsibilities; object to untenable policies or activities.
  3. Be aware of personal influence, avoiding promises or granting of unprofes­sional advantages to others; refrain from accepting special considerations for influences on organizational decisions; avoid unauthorized use of organiza­tional facilities, resources or professional services for personal gain or for promotion of the candidacy of aspirants to elected offices; forego derogatory acts or utterances against other professionals.
  4. Recognize that effectiveness is dependent upon integrity and regard for ideals of the profession; not misrepresenting professional qualifications; give credit for ideas and words borrowed from others; cooperate with professional colleagues to uphold and enforce this Code.

A member shall, as soon as possible, sever relations with any organization or individual if such relationship requires conduct contrary to the articles of this Code.

Adopted: July 1981

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120.2 NORTH AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNCIL UNIFORM CODE OF ETHICS

A member shall:

1.         Conduct his/her professional life in accord with the public interest.

2.         Exemplify high standards of honesty and integrity while carrying out dual obligations to a client or employer and to the democratic process.

3.         Deal fairly with the public, with past or present clients or employers and with fellow practitioners, giving due respect to the ideal of free inquiry and to the opinions of others.

4.         Adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth, avoiding extravagant claims or unfair comparisons and giving credit for ideas and words borrowed from others.

5.         Not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information and shall act promptly to correct erroneous communications for which he/she is responsible.

6.         Not engage in any practice which has the purpose of corrupting the integrity of channels of communication or the processes of government.

7.         Be prepared to identify publicly the name of the client or employer on whose behalf any public communication is made.

8.         Not use any individual or organization professing to serve or represent an announced cause, or professing to be independent or unbiased but actually serving another or undisclosed interest.

9.         Not guarantee the achievement of specified results beyond the member’s direct control.

10.       Not represent conflicting or competing interests without the express consent of those concerned, given after a full disclosure of the facts.

11.       Not place himself/herself in a position where the member’s personal interest is or may be in conflict with an obligation to an employer or client, or others, without full disclosure of such interests to all involved.

12.       Not accept fees, commissions, gifts or any other consideration from anyone except clients or employers for who services are performed without their express consent, given after a full disclosure of the facts.

13.       Scrupulously safeguard the confidences and privacy right of present, former and prospective clients or employers.

14.       Not intentionally damage the professional reputation or practice of another practitioner.

Adopted: July 1988

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120.3 CODE OF ETHICS VIOLATIONS

The National School Public Relations Association declares that the practice of public relations is endowed with the public trust. High standards must be maintained. Adhering to the NSPRA Code of Ethics safeguards the profession and proves to the public that members of NSPRA conduct themselves in a manner deserving that public trust.

Reports of alleged violations of the Code of Ethics will activate the following steps:

1.         When NSPRA Headquarters receives a written complaint from an NSPRA member of an alleged violation of the NSPRA Code of Ethics, the NSPRA Executive Committee will establish an ad hoc National Judicial Committee. A copy of the complaint will be sent to Judicial Committee members, and sent to the reported member by registered mail, within 15 days after the complaint is received.

2.         The National Judicial Committee will begin an investigation of the alleged violations of the NSPRA Code of Ethics within 30 days after its appointment. It will invite the member who is under investigation to submit a written statement about the alleged violations, and to provide supportive statements from other people. Within 60 days after receiving the complaint, the National Judicial Committee will send a written report and recommendations to the Executive Board and to the member under investigation.

3.         Upon receiving the National Judicial Committee’s report, the NSPRA President will write to the member under investigation and invite that person to send his or her reactions to the NSPRA Executive Board. At its next regularly scheduled meeting, which must be at least 30 days after receiving the National Judicial Committee’s report and recommendations, the NSPRA Executive Board will meet in executive session to review the committee report and recommendations and the reactions of the member under investigation. The member will be invited to appear before the Executive Board, if desired, and/or to submit additional testimony or statements from other people that are relevant to the alleged violations.

4.         All deliberations of the National Judicial Committee and the Executive Board relating to an alleged violation of the NSPRA Code of Ethics will be conducted to ensure confidentiality for the member under investigation. If the Executive Board finds no violation of the Code of Ethics, the member under investigation will be so informed in writing.

5.        If the National Judicial Committee and the Executive Board determine that the member has violated the NSPRA Code of Ethics, the Executive Board will so notify the member, revoke his or her membership in the Association, and refund a pro-rated portion of his or her dues. After a one-year revocation, the former member may reapply for membership if his or her request is supported in writing by another member in good standing who can attest that the former member has performed ethically since the original violation of the Code of Ethics.

6.         If an accredited member of the Association who is found in violation of the NSPRA Code of Ethics, the NSPRA President will notify the Universal Accreditation Board that the individual’s membership has been revoked.

Adopted: November 1994

Revised: November 2006

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125. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Association shall be defined as follows:

  • Professional Member – A person who has responsibilities in educational public relations is eligible for NSPRA membership. Members have the right to vote and to hold office, and to apply to become candidates for Universal Accreditation.
  • Associate Member – A person who is interested in and supportive of educational public relations may become an associate member. Associates may not vote, are not eligible to hold office, and are not eligible to become candidates for Universal Accreditation. Associates include student members, retired members, honorary members and other categories that the NSPRA Executive Board may deem appropriate.
  • Institutional Membership – Any education organization shall be eligible for Institutional Membership and receive services or benefits as defined in the Association’s procedures and membership materials.
  • Student Membership – Any student enrolled in a college or university, with an interest in education public relations, shall be eligible for Student Membership as defined in the Association’s procedures and membership materials.
  • Retired Membership – Any person retired from full-time employment and interested in education public relations shall be eligible for Retired Membership as defined in the Association’s procedures and membership materials.
  • Honorary Membership – The Executive Board, at its discretion, may bestow lifetime Honorary Membership. Honorary members shall not pay dues nor have the right to vote or hold office.

See: Bylaws, Article II

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 2010

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130. PRIMARY ACTIVITIES

The National School Public Relations Association shall conduct the following primary activities.

Professional Development

The Association shall provide professional development opportunities for members, other education personnel and the public.

A National Seminar shall be conducted annually to provide a wide range of professional development and information. The Executive Director shall be responsible for developing the agenda and selecting the geographic location and facilities for each Seminar. Sites shall reflect the intent to move the Seminar to various parts of North America to provide easier access to all members.

Regional Vice Presidents shall be encouraged to support chapters in offering statewide or joint conferences with other educational groups or neighboring chapters. Regional seminars must be approved by the Executive Director and shall not be held in the same region as the National Seminar during the same calendar or fiscal year.

Other national and regional conferences may be developed to fill a variety of needs.

All seminars or conferences are expected to be self-supporting, except in the case of a national conference where funds have been provided in the annual budget.

Publications and Products

A primary activity of the Association shall be the development, production and marketing of publications and other materials. The purpose and content of all such products shall be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Association.

All additions to or eliminations of Association products or services shall require Executive Board approval upon recommendation of the Executive Director.

The Executive Director shall be responsible for determining subject matter, titles, pricing, and all other details of production and marketing.

Development

The Association shall attempt to secure grants from public and private sources to promote and enhance school public relations. The Executive Director, with the guidance of the Executive Board, shall be responsible for development activities.

Foundation for the Advancement of Education

The Association maintains the Foundation for the Advancement of Education as a separate 501(c)(3) to build support and understanding of education in a democratic society. The Foundation accepts and administers funds that provide for: research furthering the role of communication and school public relations; special professional development projects; scholarships to the annual NSPRA Seminar; and other projects as designated by the Foundation Board. The Foundation also administers the NSPRA Leaders Memorial Scholarship funds.

The Foundation is administered by a Board comprised of current Executive Board members.

Funds for the Foundation are maintained in a separate interest-bearing account. Donations to the Foundation are accepted from members or other interested persons or organizations.

Group Insurance

As a service to members, the Association shall maintain membership in the Trust for Insuring Educators and through it provide voluntary group insurance to those members who are eligible and apply.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; March 2006; June 2009

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135. COMMITMENT TO ACCOMPLISHMENT

The Association Executive Board is committed to accomplishment, and expects its Executive Director to:

  • Set annual goals and objectives;
  • Strive toward achieving those goals and objectives; and
  • Report accomplishments and failures to the Board and the membership.
  • Develop methods to evaluate Association services and products; and
  • Use various methods to report to the membership on Association plans, activities, accomplishments and concerns.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994

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140. RECOGNITION FOR ACCOMPLISHMENT

The Association shall provide the following opportunities for members and chapters to gain recognition for their achievements and for the education public relations profession.

Accreditation

The Association shall participate in or provide an accreditation program for the purpose of raising professional standards, improving the practice of education public relations and providing an incentive for members to broaden their knowledge and improve their skills and performance.

Contests

The Association shall conduct annual contests to recognize excellence in education publications and electronic media, communication services, public relations/communications/marketing programs and/or other informational materials.

Awards

The Association shall sponsor awards to honor Association members and others for outstanding contributions to the field of education public relations.

Chapter Recognition

The Association shall sponsor an annual recognition program for chapters to recognize outstanding efforts to build support for education and the importance of effective communication, promote the school public relations profession and professionalism of members, and support the goals and objectives of the Association.

Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Association shall maintain an NSPRA Leaders Memorial Scholarship Fund, administered by the Foundation for the Advancement of Education, to enable families and colleagues to honor deceased members.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 2001; July 2006; November 2008; June 2009

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140.1 ACCREDITATION

The Association considers accreditation as the hallmark of the school public relations professional and all professional members of the Association are encouraged to become accredited.

Beginning January 1, 1999, the Association shall participate in the Universal Accreditation Program. Members of the Association who have earned the ASPR designation from NSPRA are designated as APR.

The Association shall adhere to the Bylaws, Policies and Procedures adopted by the Universal Accreditation Board, and beginning January 1, 1999, it shall:

  • Provide a lapel pin to each member who earns accreditation and who does not automatically receive a lapel pin from the Universal Accreditation Board and/or the Public Relations Society of America;
  • Provide a subsidy to members who take and pass the UAB written accreditation exam in an amount equal to any subsidy provided for this purpose by the Public Relations Society of America to its members; and
  • Appoint one or more representatives to the Universal Accreditation Board, each for a three-year term. Representatives shall be appointed by the Executive Director, must be accredited, and whenever possible, one shall be an NSPRA staff member.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 1995; March 1997; March 1998; March 1999; July 1999; November 2001; November 2019

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140.2 CONTESTS

Three programs are conducted annually by the Association to recognize excellence in publications and electronic media productions (Publications and Digital Media Awards), public relations activities (Golden Achievement Awards), and public relations programs (Gold Medallion Awards).

Publications and Digital Media Awards

  • The Executive Director shall be responsible for determining contest categories, establishing criteria, selecting judges, determining the fee and advertising the contest.
  • Entries in each category shall be judged against criteria and be eligible for any of three awards: Award of Excellence, Award of Merit, or Honorable Mention.
  • Winning entrants shall be notified by Association staff.
  • Winning entries shall be announced to the membership by Association staff.

Gold Medallion and Golden Achievement Awards

  • The Executive Director shall be responsible for establishing criteria, selecting judges, determining the fees, and advertising the awards programs.
  • Entries shall be judged against criteria.
  • Winning entrants shall be notified by Association staff.
  • Winning entries shall be announced to the membership by the Association staff.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 2019

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140.3 AWARDS

Presidents Award

The NSPRA Presidents Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Association. It is given to recognize a (living) individual NSPRA member for outstanding professionalism and integrity throughout a career as an educational public relations practitioner. In addition, it recognizes the member’s active involvement in and substantive professional contributions to NSPRA as well as the profession of educational public relations.

To be eligible, nominees must:

  • Hold a professional membership in NSPRA.
  • Be a member of their state chapter (unless nominee’s state has no chapter).
  • Hold (or have held during their career) a full-time educational PR position (with a district, school, educational agency or association) for a minimum of ten (10) years.

The following NSPRA members may submit nominations for the award:

  • All past members of the NSPRA Executive Board.
  • All current-year chapter presidents.
  • All past recipients of the award.

The President-elect, along with two other members of the Executive Board appointed by the President, will screen nominations to three finalists. These finalists, or the members who nominated them, will be asked to submit additional information for consideration. A selection committee comprised of the President and two most immediate Past Presidents shall select the award recipient. If no candidates meet the desired level of criteria, no award will be given. The selection committee will make its decision by May 1.

The award recipient and nominator will be notified by the President. Notifications will be followed by an announcement of the recipient in an NSPRA publication. The award will be presented at the NSPRA Seminar.

Learning and Liberty Award

The NSPRA Learning and Liberty Award reflects the symbolism of the Education Flag of Learning and Liberty, and is given in recognition of outstanding efforts to build collaborative partnerships among schools, business and community, and the home, and to foster respect, understanding and civic cooperation between people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

The Learning and Liberty Award is a special purpose recognition that may be used by the Association to honor individuals deemed to embody the tenets and symbolism of the Award and who demonstrate a deep commitment to education and strong support for effective communication and the mission of NSPRA.

Recommendations of deserving candidates are made by NSPRA Executive Board members and NSPRA staff and approved by a majority vote of the NSPRA Executive Board.

Once approved by a majority vote of the NSPRA Executive Board, the individual will be contacted by staff to determine their availability to receive the award. Recipients are asked to not send representatives in their place. The presentation of the Award will be made at an appropriate session of the Association’s national Seminar. The award will only be given as deemed appropriate.

Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award

The Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award recognizes a practicing superintendent of schools or CEO of an education agency, service center or intermediate unit for outstanding leadership in school public relations.

Any member of NSPRA may submit one nomination for this award on the official entry blank.  A selection committee, composed of two NSPRA Executive Board members, one NSPRA member, and a practicing or former superintendent will be appointed by the President and review the nominations. The committee will make its selection by May 10 of each year.

The award recipient will be notified first, followed by an announcement of the recipient in an NSPRA publication. The award will be presented at the NSPRA National Seminar. NSPRA will provide complementary seminar registration and two night’s lodging, double occupancy, for the award recipient.

Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award

The Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award recognizes a practicing school public relations professional for outstanding efforts in mentoring colleagues new to school PR, providing counsel and advice on job success; and assisting colleagues in their professional development by creating or providing programs and activities designed to improve PR skills and knowledge. The recipient will be allowed to designate a mentee of their choice to receive a scholarship to the following year’s NSPRA Seminar.

To be eligible, nominees must:

  • Hold a professional membership in NSPRA.
  • Be a member of their state chapter (unless the nominee’s state has no chapter).
  • Hold (or have held during their career) a full-time school PR position for a minimum or five years.

Any professional member of NSPRA may submit one nomination for the award on the official application form.

A three-member subcommittee of the Executive Board, chaired by the President-elect, will serve as a screening committee for nominations. Three nominees will be recommended for final selection by the Executive Board at the Spring meeting. The award recipient will be notified first, then the mentee who will receive the Seminar scholarship. Notifications will be followed by an announcement of the recipient in an NSPRA publication. The award will be presented at the NSPRA National Seminar.

Criteria for Creating a New Award

Any request to create a new award to honor a member must meet the following criteria:

  • The honoree must have been an NSPRA member for at least fifteen (15) years;
  • The honoree must have made a significant contribution to NSPRA as a staff member, Past President or past Executive Board member, and must have contributed in numerous ways to the school public relations profession;
  • The purpose of and criteria for a new award must be different from the purpose and criteria of any existing NSPRA award; and
  • A proposal for a new award must establish a source of funding to cover the annual costs of making the award.

A proposal to create a new award to honor a member must be submitted in writing, provide a rationale for the award, meet the above-stated criteria, and be supported by at least three past presidents. The Executive Board will consider the proposal at its next meeting.

Criteria for Renaming Existing Awards

Any request to consider re-naming an existing award to honor a member must meet the following criteria:

  • The honoree must have been an NSPRA member for at least fifteen (15) years;
  • The honoree must have made a significant contribution to NSPRA as a staff member, Past President or past Executive Board member, and must have contributed in significant ways to NSPRA throughout their career;
  • The honoree’s contributions should have a logical connection to the purpose of the existing award, and the individual is not honored by any other award or distinction.

A proposal to rename an existing award to honor another member must be submitted in writing, provide a rationale for changing the name of the award, meet the above-stated criteria, and be supported by at least three past presidents. The Executive Board will consider the proposal at its next meeting.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 2001; July 2003; November 2005; March 2006; July 2006; June 2009

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140.4 CHAPTER RECOGNITION PROGRAM

The Association shall sponsor an annual recognition program for chapters to recognize outstanding efforts to build support for education and the importance of effective communication, promote the school public relations profession and professionalism of members, and support the goals and objectives of the Association.

  • The Executive Director shall be responsible for determining criteria for the chapter recognition program at the start of the fiscal year and announcing criteria to chapter presidents.
  • The Executive Director shall be responsible for determining appropriate recognition incentives to be awarded to chapters.
  • The Executive Director shall be responsible for selecting judges to evaluate chapter recognition program entries.
  • Chapter Recognition Program entries shall be judged against established criteria.
  • Presidents of chapters earning recognition shall be notified by the Association staff.
  • Chapters receiving recognition shall be announced to the membership by the Association staff.

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: March 1994; November 2008

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140.5 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

NSPRA Leaders Memorial Scholarship Fund

The NSPRA Leaders Memorial Scholarship Fund is created to enable families and colleagues to honor deceased members.

Contributions by chapters or individuals must total at least $500 to have the deceased member named in the Annual Memorial Scholarship. The decedent’s name will continue to be part of the Memorial Scholarship list of honorees even if contributions are exhausted through grants.

If contributions total $2,000 or more, a separate scholarship in the honorees name will be created and maintained so long as the contributions exceed the cost of a seminar registration. If contributions are exhausted through grants, the separate scholarship will be discontinued and the decedent’s name added to the Memorial Scholarship list.

Separate scholarship funds could be designated by the donors to provide grants for:

  • The registration fee for the annual NSPRA Seminar;
  • The registration fee for the New Professionals Program; or
  • The registration fee for a pre-seminar workshop at the annual NSPRA Seminar.

Cash contributions to the NSPRA Leaders Memorial Scholarship Fund may be made by:

  • Family members, chapters, other individuals or groups;
  • By chapters or in lieu of an honorarium to a Board member for speaking at a chapter event; or
  • Individual contributions that are solicited annually by NSPRA for the scholarship fund.

Adopted: July 2006

Revised: November 2008

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SECTION 2 – ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE

OFFICERS – POWERS AND DUTIES

205.011 PRESIDENT

The President of the Association shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and of the Association, or arrange for a presiding officer. He or she, in conjunction with the Board and the Executive Director, shall prepare programs for the Annual and other meetings of the Association, shall appoint all committees not otherwise provided for in the Bylaws, and shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of all committees.

The President shall chair the Board and shall have the same right as other members to discuss questions and to vote on resolutions and motions.

He or she shall call meetings of the Board and shall perform such other duties as are commonly associated with this office.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 1 and 3.

Adopted: October 1979

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205.012 PRESIDENT-ELECT

The President-elect shall assist the President and shall assume the duties of the President in his or her absence.

The President-elect is also encouraged to: (1) work with NSPRA Regional Vice Presidents to promote NSPRA with the state chapter leadership; (2) develop a network of resources for chapter leaders; and (3) periodically update chapter leaders on NSPRA activities.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the President-elect shall at once succeed to the office of President to fill out the unexpired term, and shall continue to serve as President for the full term to which he or she was elected.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 1 and 4.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: July 1997

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205.013 VICE PRESIDENTS

Vice Presidents shall be members of the Executive Board, and in that capacity, shall work for the good of the Association as a whole.

Regional Vice Presidents are directly responsible for communications contact and activity between the Board, the Executive Director and national office, and the chapters, state/province coordinators, and individual members in their respective regions. They shall keep chapters and members informed of Association activities, policies, and other pertinent information, and will bring the region’s concerns to the Board.

The Vice President for Diversity Engagement shall bring to the Board the perspectives of the Association’s racial minorities and urban, majority minority, and increasingly diverse school districts.

The two Vice Presidents at Large are appointed by a majority vote of the elected members of the Executive Board to two-year terms. The purpose of this position is to provide the Executive Board with membership representation or expertise that is not provided through the election process.

VICE PRESIDENT JOB DESCRIPTION

As a member of the Board:

  • Attends all NSPRA Board meetings and the National Seminar.
  • Makes policy decisions to further the purposes of the organization.
  • Works with the Executive Director and the Board to set future direction of NSPRA services and to strengthen NSPRA as a membership organization.
  • Stays informed about NSPRA organizational and financial matters in order to make policy decisions.
  • Evaluates the Executive Director.
  • Serves on ad hoc committees of the Board as needed.
  • Serves as liaison to national committees as requested by the President.

As a Representative:

  • Serves as liaison between chapters and the national office.
  • Develops and maintains communication with chapter presidents and other leaders about national, regional and chapter issues.
  • Keeps abreast of national education issues and articulates the position of NSPRA on issues related to education.
  • Serves as resource person about the organization and the school public relations profession for chapter leaders and NSPRA members.
  • Works to strengthen chapters and develop new leaders.
  • Promotes NSPRA membership, activities, products and services.
  • Promotes school public relations as a profession within the education community.
  • Provides counsel and assistance to members on request.
  • Promotes the accreditation of members and encourages individual and chapter professional development activities.

As a Regional Vice President:

  • Represents the region’s concerns and opinions to the NSPRA Board.
  • Helps staff stay informed of communication trends and issues.
  • Informs NSPRA members in the region about issues and activities of the national association.
  • Works with the Vice Presidents at Large to achieve goals.
  • Communicates regularly with all NSPRA members in the region, especially the Chapter Presidents at least once every six weeks, including talking points from each of the three Board meetings.
  • Actively promotes the value of NSPRA membership to the region’s state chapter members, their superintendents and prospective new members.
  • Works to demonstrate the value of a national network for addressing local and regional issues.
  • Attends chapter seminars and conferences in the region as time and funds permit.
  • Assists regional chapters with their efforts to be successful, either through direct assistance or by helping chapters make connections with people and resources that can provide support.
  • Leads a project (in second or third year of term of office), as identified by the President or President-elect.
  • Welcomes new NSPRA members from the region to the association.
  • If possible (when made aware and provided contact information) sends a welcome letter to superintendents beginning a new superintendency at a district in the region, reminding them of the resources and support NSPRA and chapters have to offer.
  • Presents to each chapter at least once during their term of office (in person, or via Skype or other video or audio conference format).

As Vice President for Diversity Engagement:

  • Represents the interests and concerns of diverse audiences and members of color to the NSPRA Board.
  • Represents the interests and concerns of urban and increasingly diverse and minority-majority school districts.
  • Assists NSPRA officers and staff in identifying and developing a more diverse group of leaders.
  • Assists in developing and facilitating specific training opportunities on cultural competency for NSPRA leaders and members.
  • Leads and facilitates dialogue and professional development opportunities that enhance communications to diverse school stakeholders.
  • Identifies and spotlights communication and engagement best practices specifically targeting communities of color and English language learners.
  • Cultivates and mentors NSPRA members of color.
  • Works with regional vice presidents to enhance diversity goals and/or strategies in their work.
  • Facilitates ongoing discussions with NSPRA members on issues of diversity and equity through various communication channels.
  • Facilitates the development of new products and services that will assist members in their work to effectively communicate with diverse stakeholders.
  • Develops and implements plans designed to provide significant learning opportunities and create more synergy between urban and suburban school district communications professionals.
  • Works with expert external organizations to provide professional development opportunities for NSPRA leaders and members in the areas of providing more effective and authentic communications to stakeholders of color and understanding and embedding equity in day-to-day work.
  • Attends chapter seminars and conferences as time and funds permit.

As Vice President at Large (appointed):

  • Represents the concerns and opinions of the specific member group (i.e., superintendents, urban educators, school board members) to the NSPRA Board.
  • Informs specific member group about issues and activities of NSPRA.
  • Works with Regional Vice Presidents to achieve goals.
  • Identifies and recruits members from the representative professional group.
  • Assists in developing professional development activities in public relations and communications for the specific member group.
  • Communicates regularly with all NSPRA members about issues.
  • Attends chapter seminars and conferences as time and funds permit.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 1, 5 and 6.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: July 1991; March 1999; November 2005; July 2007; July 2012; July 2013

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205.014 PAST PRESIDENT

The Immediate Past President shall serve as the chair of the Past Presidents’ Council and is encouraged to (1) keep the Past Presidents’ Council informed of the state of NSPRA; and (2) work with Past Presidents’ Council members on projects beneficial to NSPRA members.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 1 and 5

Adopted: November 1993

Revised: July 1997, March 1999

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205.02 TERMS OF OFFICE

The President, President-elect, and all Vice Presidents shall begin their terms on the first day of October following their election or appointment.

The President shall hold office for one year.

The President-elect shall hold office for one year and shall become President one year later.

The Vice President for Diversity Engagement shall be elected beginning in 1999, and shall hold office for a period of three years.

Regional Vice Presidents shall hold office for a period of three years. Vice Presidents from the Northwest and Southeast regions shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1976-79. Vice Presidents from the Southwest, Mideast and Northeast regions shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1977-80. Vice Presidents from the North Central and South Central regions shall be elected in the same calendar year beginning with the term 1978-81.

One Vice President at Large shall be appointed by the Executive Board in Spring 1999. A second Vice President at Large shall be appointed by the Executive Board in Spring 2000. Each shall hold office for a term of two years.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: April 1981; November 1993; March 1999; November 2001; November 2005

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205.03 ELECTIONS

The election of officers shall be conducted either by paper or electronic ballot. Ballots shall be sent to all eligible voting members (those holding a current professional-level membership) by August 15 and completed ballots from members must be postmarked or received electronically not later than the fifteenth working day from that date.

Professional members shall be eligible to vote for the President-elect, Vice President for Diversity Engagement and for the Vice President representing their region.

On or before September 30, the Board of Tellers shall officially count the ballots and certify the results of the election. The person receiving a plurality for each office on the ballot shall be elected.

In the event of a tie vote, ballots shall be re-sent to the membership (as designated in Sections 1 and 2 of Bylaws Article V – Elections) within five (5) business days. Completed ballots from members must be postmarked or received electronically not later than ten (10) business days from the date ballots were resent. The Board of Tellers shall reconvene as soon as possible to officially certify and announce the results of the second ballot. The person who receives the plurality in the balloting for the contested office shall be declared elected by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board has the authority to waive or modify an election deadline if necessary and appropriate to facilitate a swift resolution of the tie vote.

In the event that a candidate runs uncontested, the Executive Board may affirm the candidate by acclimation and no election will be held for that office.

See: Bylaws, Article V

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: October 1990; March 1999; November 2001; November 2005; March 2008; November 2010

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205.04 VICE PRESIDENTS AT LARGE

At the fall Executive Board meeting, prior to the end of the term of a Vice President at Large, the Executive Board will discuss and decide upon the area of membership representation or expertise that is needed on the Executive Board.

Board members may suggest candidates to the Executive Director who will recommend a candidate for approval at the Spring Executive Board meeting. The Executive Director may recommend a one- or two-year extension of the term of a Vice President at Large if that person has not completed specific goals that benefit the Association. A majority vote of officers present at the Executive Board meeting is required for appointment of the Vice President at Large.

Upon his or her approval by the Board, the President shall notify the appointee. If that person is unwilling or unable to serve, the Executive Director will submit another candidate to the Board Executive Committee for their approval, with ratification of the full Board at the July meeting.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Section 6 and 8

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: April 1981; November 1993; March 1999; July 2001; March 2006; March 2007

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205.05 RESIGNATION OR REMOVAL

Any officer who no longer meets the qualifications for his or her office, according to the Association Bylaws or policies, shall resign. The resignation shall take effect when a replacement is appointed or elected.

If any officer other than the Executive Director fails to attend two consecutive Board meetings, or he or she, in the Board’s judgment, causes serious damage to the Association or its reputation, an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Board may remove that person from office.

See: Bylaws, Article III, Section 8.

Adopted: May 1980; November 1996

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205.06 VACANCY

A vacancy in the office of President will be filled by the President-elect, who will serve the unexpired term and for the full term to which he or she was elected.

A vacancy in the office of President-elect caused by succession to the presidency shall remain unfilled until the next President-elect takes office. If the President-elect resigns, or is otherwise unable to continue in office, the vacancy will be filled by a special election conducted in the same manner as other elections of officers.

A vacancy in the office of Regional Vice President or Vice President for Diversity Engagement will be filled by the Executive Board until the next regular election, at which time a successor will be elected to fill the unexpired term.

A vacancy in the office of Vice President at Large may be filled by the Executive Board for the remainder of the unexpired term.

See: Bylaws, Article IV, Section 8.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: March 1999, November 2001, November 2005

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205.07 ETHICS

Members of the Executive Board of the Association shall endeavor to:

  • Devote time, thought and study to the duties and responsibilities of Board membership in order to render effective and creditable service.
  • Work with fellow Board members in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences of opinion that may arise during debates.
  • Base decisions on all available facts; vote with honest conviction in every case; and thereafter, abide by and uphold the decision of the Board.
  • Resist temptation and outside pressure to use Board membership to benefit either individual Board members or any other individuals or agencies apart from the total interest of the Association.
  • Bear in mind, under all circumstances, that the primary function of the Board is to establish the policies by which the Association is administered, but that the administration of the Association is the responsibility of the Executive Director and his or her staff.
  • Encourage the active cooperation of members and chapters in establishing Association policies on current operations and proposed future developments.
  • Refrain from publicly endorsing any candidate for Association office other than himself/herself.
  • Strive to enhance the communication concept and expand the activities leading to more effective interpretation of the objectives, accomplishments, problems and needs of education.

Adopted: October 1979

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205.08 ORIENTATION

Each year, candidates for office will be invited to attend the Executive Board meeting prior to the Annual Meeting at their own expense to observe the Board in action.

Orientation will be provided for new Board members prior to their first Fall meeting.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: November 2001

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205.09 COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES

Executive Board members shall serve without compensation.

The Association’s annual budget will provide an amount for Executive Board members’ communication with chapters and members.

Executive Board members will be reimbursed for:

  • Travel, hotel accommodations and a per diem expenditure for meals in connection with Executive Board meetings in November and March.
  • Hotel accommodations and a per diem expenditure for meals in connection with the Executive Board meeting in July.
  • For any other official travel approved by the President and Executive Director.

See: Policy 440.3

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: April 1992; November 2019

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205.10 TRAVEL INSURANCE

When traveling on official business for the Association, Executive Board members are covered by a travel accident policy that provides accidental death and medical expense benefits.

Travel commences when the Board member departs from home or office for the approved travel, and ends when he or she returns from the official function.

Adopted: October 1979

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205.11 CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION

Certificates of appreciation shall be given to Executive Board members at the end of their term on the Board, and letters of appreciation shall be sent to their employers and boards.

Adopted: October 1979

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205.12 ELECTED OFFICERS – QUALIFICATIONS

Officers of the Association must be Association members who are eligible to vote and to hold office. They should meet the Association’s Standards for School Public Relations Professionals. They should have demonstrated interest in and commitment to the goals and objectives of the Association and the activities necessary to the achievement of those goals.

Officers are expected to attend regular and special Executive Board meetings as well as other necessary meetings and appearances on behalf of the Association. They should have the approval of their employer to run for office.

A. To be eligible to be a candidate for an NSPRA elective office, members must:

  1. Have maintained a professional membership (individual or school communication service I, II or III) for the past five consecutive years;
  2. Be a member of their state NSPRA chapter, if one exists;
  3. Have attended at least three of the last five Annual Seminars;
  4. Comply with Association policies on elections and campaigning for NSPRA office; and
  5. Sign a Commitment to Service Agreement to fulfill the responsibilities of the office.

B. A member may not run for office if:

  1. They reside in the same state as a Regional Vice President whose term is expiring (See Article V, Elections, Section 2 of NSPRA Bylaws);
  2. Another employee of their district or organization is an elected or appointed officer of the Association; and/or
  3. They are a paid employee/representative of an NSPRA chapter.

C. It is preferred that a candidate for NSPRA President-elect be Accredited in Public Relations.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: March 2000; November 2001; July 2012

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205.13 OFFICERS – NOMINATIONS

The Executive Board Search Committee (EBSC) annually shall seek out and identify a slate of one or more qualified candidates for each elected office that will become vacant the following year.

A Call for Candidates shall appear annually in the Association’s primary member publication and be posted on the website. Information should be sent to all chapter presidents in January to inform them about the nominating process and to ask them to encourage strong candidates to seek NSPRA offices.

Candidates’ nomination materials must be submitted to the EBSC on or before April 1 for NSPRA offices that will become vacant in October. By April 25, the EBSC will complete its work of securing candidates. By May 1, the EBSC chair shall report the results of its search to the NSPRA President and Executive Director. The official slate of candidates will be announced in the next issue of the Association’s primary member publication and posted to the Association website. The EBSC shall introduce the slate of candidates to the membership at the Annual Meeting of the Association.

See: Bylaws, Article V, Section 3; Policy 225.13

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: January and April 1984; November 1993; March and November 1994; November 1997; March 1999; March 2000; November 2001; November 2005; November 2010

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205.140 CAMPAIGNING FOR OFFICE

A. General Campaign Practices

  1. Executive Board members and Association staff will remain neutral during the campaign process. They may not wear or distribute campaign materials or endorse candidates. Staff and Board members’ names or photos may not be used on campaign materials. Activities by Executive Board members and Association staff perceived as endorsement of a candidate are no longer restricted after an uncontested candidate is affirmed by acclimation during the Annual Meeting or a candidate is duly elected.
  2. Candidates may not use the NSPRA logo, letterhead or any materials or resources of the Association for campaign purposes, except as stated in A3.
  3. The Association will provide candidates with an electronic list of voting members (a regional list for Vice President candidates; a complete list for President-elect and Vice President for Diversity Engagement candidates) to be used for campaign purposes only. A set of mailing labels may be purchased from the Association for a minimal fee upon request by the candidate.
  4. In the event of a contested election, following the annual Seminar, the Association will send members a special electronic publication featuring candidates for office. Each candidate has the option of including a one paragraph bio, a photo, and an e-mail or website link. 
  5. In accordance with NSPRA Bylaws, the Association sends election ballots to members by August 15. Information on each candidate shall include a photo, a one paragraph bio, and answers to questions posed by the Executive Board Search Committee.
  6. Any additional campaigning, within the policy guidelines set by the NSPRA Executive Board, is at the option of each candidate and is solely their responsibility.
  7. A current officer of the NSPRA Executive Board may continue to perform the duties and responsibilities associated with that position, even after declaring his/her candidacy for President-elect. However, while acting as an official representative of the Association, the candidate may not distribute or wear campaign materials or request support for his/her candidacy as part of a speech or presentation.
  8. Any member serving the Association in an official capacity (i.e., committee member, auditor, consultant, workshop presenter or keynote speaker) may not distribute or wear campaign materials or request support for their candidacy or that of another member while representing the Association at a specific event or assignment.
  9. Only candidates for elected offices may campaign. (Vice Presidents at Large are appointed.)
  10. Candidates who run uncontested for an office will be affirmed by acclamation of the NSPRA Executive Board and do not have to campaign. However, they are encouraged to share information about their platform with members.

B. Campaign Practices at the NSPRA Seminar

  1. Candidates and their supporters will ensure that public displays of support for a candidate for office will not delay or disrupt sessions or impede the natural flow of the Annual Seminar. Candidates will ensure that campaign materials do not distract from the Seminar or cause damage to the hotel. Candidates wishing to conduct campaign activities away from the designated campaign table provided by the Association (see C, below) must first gain permission from NSPRA and the Campaign Oversight Committee.
  2. Five minutes will be provided at the Annual Meeting for speeches from each President-elect and Vice President for Diversity Engagement candidate, and five minutes will be provided at Regional meetings for speeches from Regional Vice President candidates. Uncontested candidates also are expected to give a speech.
  3. Candidates for President-elect and Vice President for Diversity Engagement may distribute campaign materials at the Annual Meeting only. Candidates for Regional Vice President may distribute campaign materials at their respective Regional Colleague Connections meetings only. All candidates may distribute materials at their assigned tables (see C, below). No materials may be distributed at any other event that appears on the official Seminar program. A candidate is responsible for funding and promoting any hospitality suite that advocates his or her candidacy. Executive Board members and Association staff may only attend such hospitality suites or events for uncontested candidates after they have been affirmed by acclimation during the Annual Meeting.
  4. Presenters at the Seminar are encouraged not to wear campaign insignia during their presentations.

C. Campaign Tables

At the request of a candidate, the Association will provide a designated space and table at the Annual Seminar from which to conduct his/her campaign. Candidates must pay for any electrical, AV support or other materials they wish to use.

Adopted: November 1993

Revised: March 2000; July 2002; November 2004; November 2005; July 2008; July 2010; November 2010; November 2019

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205.141 CAMPAIGN COMPLAINTS & ENFORCEMENT

A. Filing a Complaint

If a voting member of the Association alleges a violation of NSPRA Policy 205.140, Campaigning for Office and files a formal complaint against a candidate, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. Only voting members of the Association may file a complaint.
  2. The complaint must be submitted in writing on the official NSPRA complaint form and signed by the complainant. The form is available from NSPRA headquarters.
  3. The complaint must be submitted to the NSPRA President within 15 days of an alleged violation or learning of such violation.

B. Enforcement

Each year, the President will appoint a committee composed of two members of the Executive Board and the chair of the Executive Board Search Committee. This committee will be responsible for monitoring the campaign process, reviewing complaints and making recommendations on any sanctions.

C. Complaint Process

  1. The committee will review all election campaign complaints and any evidence within 30 days of its receipt and prior to mailing Association ballots. Any candidate charged with an alleged violation will be notified and given an opportunity to address the complaint.
  2. The committee will make a recommendation to the Executive Board to sustain or deny the complaint. If the Board votes to sustain the complaint, the candidate’s name may be removed from the ballot.
  3. The candidate and complainant will be notified of the Board’s decision and an announcement made to the general membership that the candidate has been withdrawn from the ballot by Board action.

D. Confidentiality

All complaints will be kept confidential unless the investigation or eventual remedy may reveal the source. If confidentiality cannot be maintained for these or other reasons, the President shall notify the complainant of the circumstances and offer the complainant the opportunity to withdraw, sustain or amend the complaint.

E. Sanctions

Failure to comply with or violations of NSPRA Policy 205.140, Campaigning for Office and/or the candidate’s Campaign Pledge may result in actions ranging from an oral or written reprimand to disqualification. A candidate found to be in violation will be notified immediately of the consequences.

Adopted: March 2000

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205.15 CONFLICT OF INTEREST

It is Association policy always to maintain an ethical environment. To that end, NSPRA has developed this policy to assure that Executive Board members, committee members, employees, and others in positions of trust have a mechanism to disclose existing or potential conflicts of interest (or the appearance of conflict) and that the organization has a process to determine appropriate actions as necessary.

Among the purposes of this policy is to protect NSPRA’s interests when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an Executive Board member, committee member, employee of NSPRA or another individual or entity.

This policy is intended to supplement, but not replace, any applicable federal or state laws governing conflicts of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable corporations.

While serving on the Executive Board, NSPRA members shall not be paid any financial remuneration for services rendered to the Association.

A.    Conflict of Interest

Any Executive Board member, committee member, employee, or others in positions of trust have duties to NSPRA of honesty, good faith, and fairness. If not disclosed, a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest breaches these duties.

Defined broadly, a conflict of interest can refer to any situation in which a decision-maker is influenced in an organizational decision by personal, financial, business, or other concerns unrelated to NSPRA’s best interests. A conflict of interest may exist in any instance where the actions or activities of an individual on behalf of NSPRA also involve an improper gain or advantage for the individual, or an adverse effect on NSPRA’s interests.

Following are some explanations of the types of activities that may cause conflict and that should be fully reported to NSPRA. It is not an inclusive list

1. Outside Interests - Outside interests that need to be fully disclosed are:

(a) Directly or indirectly holding a position or a material financial interest in any outside concern from which the individual has reason to believe NSPRA secures goods or services (including the services of buying or selecting stocks, bonds, or other securities) or that provides services competitive with NSPRA.

(b)Directly or indirectly competing with NSPRA in the purchase or sale of property or property rights, interests, or services.

2. Outside Activities - Outside activities include rendering directive, managerial, or consultative services to any concern that does business with, or competes with, the services of NSPRA or rendering other services in competition with NSPRA.

3. Family Interests and Activities - A conflict of interest may be considered to exist relative to the interests or activities of a member of an individual’s family if the actions or activities involve an improper gain or advantage for the individual, or an adverse effect on NSPRA’s interests. For the purpose of this policy, “family” includes spouse, cohabitant partners, children, parents, siblings, stepparents or stepchildren, grandparents, dependents or persons residing in the same household as the individual’s decisions and/or actions on behalf of NSPRA.

4. Gifts, Gratuities, and Entertainment - If an Executive Board member, committee member, employee, and others in positions of trust accepts a gift, excessive entertainment, or other favors from any outside concern that does business with NSPRA, seeks to do business with NSPRA, or who is a competitor of NSPRA, it could be inferred that the action was intended to influence the NSPRA individual in the performance of his or her duties. This does not include the acceptance of items of nominal or minor value that are clearly tokens of respect or friendship and not related to any particular NSPRA transaction or activity.

5. Information - Executive Board members, committee members, employees, and others in positions of trust have a duty not to disclose or use confidential or proprietary information relating to NSPRA’s business for personal profit or to the advantage of individuals or entities other than NSPRA, and have the duty to disclose any instance where such conduct has occurred or could be perceived as having occurred.

B.    Conflict of Interest Procedure

A detailed procedure has been developed that outlines the annual conflict of interest disclosure process, duty of disclosure, and the process for review, and to addresses conflict issues arising in Board or committee meetings.

The procedure allows for both retrospective and prospective disclosure. Retrospective disclosure is satisfied through completion of the annual Conflict of Interest (COI) Questionnaire, as described in A. Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Process below.  Prospective disclosure occurs when an Executive Board member, committee member, employee, or others in positions of trust recognizes the potential for an actual or perceived conflict of interest as defined in A. Conflict of Interest (above) and reports the issue to his or her supervisor for review and approval as outlined in B. Duty of Disclosure below.

A.  Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Process - NSPRA will annually require Executive Board members, committee members, employees, and others in positions of trust as determined by the Executive Board to provide a complete written disclosure of all transactions, interests, or associations of such person and the family of such person that are the subject of any doubt concerning the possible existence of a conflict of interest. To that end, these people will receive a copy of this policy and the NSPRA-approved COI Questionnaire to be completed and returned. Any new Executive Board member, committee member, others in positions of trust or selected staff members must participate in a similar procedure immediately upon assumption of his or her responsibilities. If a potential conflict of interest is known, the individual must obtain prospective review before assuming the responsibilities of the position.

  1. Information Processing - The information on the questionnaires will be reviewed confidentially by the Executive Director and the Business Manager of NSPRA. These offices will report confidentially to the Executive Committee the review process and results, including all requested data, and the resolution of any identified conflicts. Information in the report and in individual disclosures may be shared with others as it relates to their functions.
  2. Failure to Disclose - Failure to complete the requested disclosure or inadequate completion will be addressed by the Executive Committee which, depending on the circumstances, may recommend action to the Executive Board, up to and including termination from employment or other position held.

B. Duty of Disclosure - Any Executive Board member, committee member, others in positions of trust or selected staff members must disclose any situation or circumstances involving a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. Further, no such person may undertake any employment, investment, or other action that represents a potential conflict of interest without first fully disclosing the matter and obtaining approval.

The process for disclosure and review includes:

  1. Prospective reporting by the involved individual to his or her direct supervisor in the organization. The supervisor reviewing the potential conflict will request and review all information pertinent to the issue, applying the principles set forth in this policy. If the reviewer is uncertain or if the reviewer believes the issue needs to be reviewed at a higher level, the reviewer will refer the decision to his or her direct supervisor. For the Executive Director and members of the Executive Board, the reviewer will be the President of the Board.  For the Chair of the Board, the reviewer will be Executive Committee.
  2. Prospective resolution within NSPRA. Any potential conflict identified by an individual who is subject to the conflict of interest policy must be disclosed to and reviewed by the individual’s supervisor and resolved with the internal reporting hierarchy. Any transaction identified by the Business Manager, Executive Director or Executive Board of NSPRA may be referred to the NSPRA Executive Committee for review.
  3. Resolution in the context of a Board or committee meeting. In addition to disclosure, each Executive Board member who has an interest in any transaction may not vote on nor participate in any deliberation relating to the transaction, unless for special reasons the Board or administration of NSPRA requests information from the person or persons involved. The fact that the interest was disclosed and that the director or officer refrained from voting must be noted in the minutes of any meeting of the Executive Board or officers at which the transaction is considered. In the event the President of NSPRA determines that information regarding a particular transaction or course of action is of a highly sensitive confidential nature, the President will announce the determination, and each interested Executive Board member or officer will be advised that he or she must not be present during the portion of any committee or Board meeting involving such highly sensitive confidential information. This determination by the President and the fact that certain Executive Board members or officers were not present during a portion of the meeting must be reflected in the minutes.

C. Violations of the Conflict of Interest Policy - Identified or alleged violations of the Conflict of Interest Policy must be referred to the direct supervisor of the individual involved, as well as to NSPRA Executive Committee for monitoring. If the Executive Committee is not satisfied with the report of the direct supervisor regarding the matter, the Committee may request additional information or explanation. If after review, the Committee determines that the individual has failed to disclose and/or otherwise satisfactorily address an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall recommend to the Executive Board disciplinary and corrective action. The Executive Board will determine, by majority vote of disinterested members, the action to be taken, up to and including dismissal.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: April 1981; March 2009

Download NSPRA Conflict of Interest Questionnaire (PDF), provided in accordance with NSPRA’s Conflict of Interest Policy 205.15

Adopted: March 2009

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210.1 EXECUTIVE BOARD – POWERS AND DUTIES

The Bylaws outline the powers and duties of the Executive Board as follows:

  • Doing whatever may be necessary for the furtherance of the purposes of the Association, the attainment of the purposes of the Articles or Incorporation, the study and teaching of its ideals, its ethics, and its unique features or organization.
  • Assist the President in preparing programs for the Annual and other meetings of the Association; authorize appointment of all committees; formulate policies for the program and services of the Association.
  • Direct the Executive Director depositing or investing Association funds and in all business arrangements made on behalf of the Association.

In addition, the Executive Board shall:

  • Formulate and adopt policies governing the Association, including annual goals and objectives.
  • Approve the annual budget, major expenditures, the annual audit, and other aspects of the financial operation of the Association.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of Association programs and activities; annually evaluate the performance of the Executive Director; and annually evaluate its own perfor­mance.  Regarding this self-evaluation, the President shall send an appropriate form to each member, collect and tally the evaluations, and share the results with the Board and Executive Director.
  • Interpret the activities of the Association to members and to the educational community, and represent the needs and desires of members and chapters in Association matters.

Official decisions of the Board can be arrived at only at duly constituted meetings, or in an emergency, through a telephone conference call or approval by the Executive Committee with full ratification of the Board at its next scheduled meeting. Individual Board members or groups of members do not have authority to speak for the Board or make any commitments on behalf of the Board, except as provided in the Bylaws or by specific Board direction.

See: Bylaws, Article III, Sections 2, 3 and 4.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: March 2006

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210.2 MEETINGS

The Executive Board of the Association shall meet at such times and places as may be determined by action of the Board, by call of the President, or by written request of a majority of the Board. One of these meetings shall be designated by the Executive Board as the Annual Meeting.

A written notice of the time and place of all meetings of the Executive Board shall be sent to each Board member by the President not less than ten (10) days prior to the meeting. Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall be held according to a calendar approved at the Board meeting immediately prior to the Annual Meeting of the Association. Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall be posted in advance on the Association website.

All meetings of the Executive Board shall be open, except that upon request of a Board member, the Board may agree to meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters, finance or litigation.

See: Bylaws, Article III, Section 5; Policy 235

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: November 2010

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210.3 MEETING AGENDA

The agenda for Executive Board meetings shall be prepared by the Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Committee. Items may be submitted by Board members to the Executive Director or to the Executive Committee for placement on the agenda.

Agenda items that do not require discussion or action shall be indicated as Consent Items. If a member wishes the Board to discuss or act on a Consent Item, the member should offer a motion to do so as part of approving the agenda. Items for discussion or action may be added to the agenda during a Board meeting at the request of the Executive Director or any Board member upon unanimous approval of those members present.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: April 1988; July 1997

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210.4 VOTING

A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business, except in cases where a larger vote is required by the Bylaws.

Any member may request that his or her vote be changed, if that request is made prior to consideration of the next item of business. The individual vote of any member on any motion will be recorded if the member so requests.

See: Bylaws, Article III, Section 7  

Adopted: October 1979

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210.5 RULES OF ORDER

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern in all business meetings of the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and policies of the Association.

See: Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2

Adopted: October 1979

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210.6 MINUTES

The Executive Director shall keep, and distribute promptly, a record of the official acts of the Executive Board which shall be signed by the President and the Executive Director.

The minutes shall record all motions, the name of the maker and seconder, and the result of the vote.

The minutes of the preceding meeting, with any changes made by a motion properly made and carried, or as directed by the President without objection, shall be approved by the Board.

The official minutes shall be in the custody of the Executive Director. They shall be available to Association members for inspection during regular office hours.

Periodically, minutes will be placed in a Corporate Minutes Book as required by law for associations incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Adopted: October 1979

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210.7 MEMBER PARTICIPATION

The agenda for each Executive Board meeting shall include a time to receive communica­tions from members and/or chapters, either in person or in writing. The Executive Board shall consider these communications and shall communicate its action on such matters to those presenting them and, through its minutes, to interested members.

The Executive Board welcomes attendance by members, staff, members of allied organizations, and invited guests at its meetings. It also encourages the expression of opinion on matters under consideration by the Board.

See: Bylaws, Article III, Section 6.

Adopted: October 1979

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COMMITTEES AND ADVISORS

225.1 STANDING COMMITTEES

Standing Committees engage in activities that are continu­ing in the program of the Association.  With the exception of those specifical­ly listed below, they may be created or dissolved as the need indicates by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board. Chairpersons and members of standing committees shall be appointed by the President except as set forth below.

  • Executive Board Search Committee.  See Policy 225.13.
  • Audit Committee.  There shall be an Audit Committee of at least three members, comprised of Executive Board members and at least one NSPRA member-at-large. The Audit Committee shall make its report at the Annual Meeting following its appointment.
  • Board of Tellers.  There shall be a Board of Tellers of not fewer than three persons which shall be responsible for certifying the results of all elections.
  • Accreditation Committee.  See Policy 225.11.
  • Executive Committee.  There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the President, President-elect and one member of the Executive Board elected by the Vice Presidents to serve in an official capacity with the Executive Director.
  • Finance Committee.  See Policy 225.12.

The Board shall annually consider the list of standing committees, except those required by the Bylaws, and upon recommendation of the President, determine which should be added, continued, or abolished.

See: Bylaws, Article VII, Sections 1 and 2.

Adopted: October 1979

Revised: March 1999

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225.11 ACCREDITATION COMMITTEE

There shall be an Accreditation Committee consisting of accredited members of the Association.  Members shall be appointed by the President for two-year terms of office. The President shall annually designate one member of the Committee as its chairperson. The committee shall encourage all Association members to invest in their professional development by becoming accredited, thereby strengthening NSPRA and the public relations profession.

The NSPRA Accreditation Committee can serve important roles in:

  • Identifying and encouraging potential APR candidates among the NSPRA membership.
  • Serving as the local/regional coordination arm for NSPRA in scheduling Readiness Review panels for member candidates for accreditation.
  • Serving on Readiness Review panels at the Seminar and at the local/regional level when possible.
  • Assisting in coordinating and presenting the APR Prep pre-seminar workshop.
  • Preparing and implementing an annual marketing/public relations plan to market the Accreditation Examination to members (per UAB policies and procedures).
  • Serving as a resource to NSPRA chapters and provide advice and assistance in offering accreditation preparation opportunities for members.

See: Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1(d).

Adopted: July 1979

Revised: April 1991; April 1992; March 1999; March 2001; November 2001; November 2004

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225.12 FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee is composed of a minimum of three Executive Board members elected by the Board, and the President-elect who shall serve as chair. The three elected members shall include a first-year, a second-year, and a third-year Board member to ensure continuity of membership.

Purposes:

  • Provide a mechanism for some Board members to become knowledgeable about and to oversee the Association’s finances.
  • Become acquainted with Association finances in enough detail to provide other Board members a knowledgeable resource for making financial decisions.

Duties:

  • Review financial reports with the Executive Director prior to each Executive Board meeting.*
  • Meet with the auditor at the time he or she meets with the Audit Committee.*
  • Act as the Board’s representatives in asking the “tough” finance questions.
  • Follow-up to be sure answers are secured and/or action taken on any finance matters addressed by the Board.
  • Review and make recommendations to the Board regarding the Executive Director’s proposed budget.*
  • Closely monitor income and expenses as they relate to the Board-approved budget.
  • Follow-up on recommendations made by the Audit Committee and in the auditor’s management letter to ensure that recommended changes are made.

* Task required by NSPRA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1(f)

See: Bylaws, Article VII, Sec. 1(f)

Adopted: November 1992

Revised: March 1998; November 2004

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225.13 EXECUTIVE BOARD SEARCH COMMITTEE

There shall be an Executive Board Search Committee (EBSC) comprised of seven Association members representing each of the seven Association regions, and one Association member who is a racial minority. The Executive Board shall appoint the members of this committee and specify their terms of office. The term of office of each member of the EBSC expires in the same year as the Vice President from his or her region (or the Vice President for Diversity Engagement). When possible, EBSC members should reside in the same state as their current Regional Vice President. The President-elect shall appoint one member to serve as their chair.

The EBSC shall encourage members to consider running for the Executive Board and provide information about the nomination, campaign and election process. 

The Executive Board Search Committee annually shall seek out and identify a slate of one or more qualified candidates for each office that will become vacant the following year.

The appointment of new EBSC members will be approved by the NSPRA Executive Board at its November meeting.

See: Bylaws, Article V, Section 3 and Article VII, Section 1(a); Policy 205.13.

Adopted: November 1993

Revised: March 1994; March 1999; November 2004; November 2010

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225.2 SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Special committees may be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board which shall designate their powers and the term of the committee’s appointment.

The President shall appoint special committee members with the approval of the Board. Special committee members shall serve for one year unless otherwise authorized by the Board

The President and Executive Director or their respective designees shall be members ex-officio of all special committees. A special committee shall report recommendations to the Board for appropriate action.

The function of any special committee shall be advisory and, while they may make recommendations to the Board, they have no authority to act on behalf of the Board.

See: Bylaws, Article VII, Section 2

Adopted: May 1980

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225.3 LEGAL COUNSEL

An attorney may be employed to serve as the legal advisor to the Executive Board and the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

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230. BOARD/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RELATIONSHIP

The development and adoption of policies for the Association is a function of the Executive Board. The execution of those policies is the function of the Executive Director.

The Executive Director will keep the Board and its Executive Committee informed about Association operations. Board members, individually or collectively, will promptly refer to the Executive Director for investigation and recommendation, any criticisms, complaints or suggestions which come to their attention.

The Executive Director is the principal contact between the Board and the staff. He or she shall speak for the staff insofar as Association operations are concerned.

When it may be necessary to make exceptions to an established policy, that matter shall be submitted to the Board for discussion and decision.

The Executive Director shall assist the Board in reaching sound decisions and in establishing policies. He or she shall bring to the Board, as needed, information concerning the welfare and progress of the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988

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235. ANNUAL MEETING

Meetings of the Association shall be held at such times and places as shall be determined by the Executive Board of the Association. One of these meetings shall be designated by the Executive Board as the Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting, the President shall report on the significant activities and actions of the Association and the Executive Board. Members shall have an opportunity to discuss Association activities and plans with the Executive Board and/or Executive Director and to present matters for the future consideration of the Executive Board.  Notice of this meeting shall be posted on the Association website at least at least ten (10) days prior to the date of such meeting.

The agenda for the Annual Meeting shall include a report by the President on the activities and actions of the Association and the Board, a report by the Audit Committee, member discussion of Association activities and plans, and presentation of matters for future consideration by the Board.

See: Bylaws, Section VI, Section 1

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: November 2010

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240. ASSOCIATION POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Proposals for Association policies or changes to existing policies may be initiated by any Executive Board member, by the Executive Director, or by any member of the Association.

The formal adoption of policies shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board. Only those written statements so adopted and so recorded shall be regarded as official Board policy.

The Executive Director shall establish an orderly plan for preserving and making accessible, printed copies of the policies adopted by the Board. The official copy of the Board Policy Manual shall be maintained in the office of the Executive Director.

The Board shall strive to keep its policies up to date. To this end, the Executive Director shall call the Board’s attention to policies that are in need of revision. The Board shall evaluate periodically the results of its policies and consider whether any modifications are required.

As new members are elected to the Executive Board, they shall be sent a copy of the official Board Policy Manual.

Each section of the Board Policy Manual should be formally reviewed by the Board at least once every two years to ensure that policies remain current and relevant. A time for considering recommendations for these proposed policy changes should be set aside on the Executive Board meeting agenda.

Adopted: May 1980

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245. ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS

The Executive Board may maintain an Association membership in any association or organization that it deems relevant and helpful to the conduct of the Association’s business.

Renewals of all memberships are subject to annual review.

Adopted: May 1980

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250. EVALUATION OF OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES

The Executive Director will evaluate all phases of Association operations, using appropriate instruments. The results of these evaluations will be shared with the Executive Board. All operations and procedures will be evaluated and reviewed at least once every two years.

Adopted: April 1982

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255.1 ASSOCIATION PUBLIC POSITIONS

The Executive Board may adopt resolutions stating Association positions on educational issues.  Any positions will be developed through procedures adopted by the Board.

The Executive Director and Board members are authorized to articulate Association policy positions as set forth in the officially adopted goals and objectives and in educational issue resolutions.

The Executive Director will bring position statement recommendations to Executive Board meetings as appropriate.

Proposed position statements will be received for a first reading at an Executive Board meeting and subsequently printed in an Association membership publication. Members will be asked to comment on the position statement prior to the next Executive Board meeting, when Board action may be taken.

In urgent situations, the Executive Board may take action on a position statement and report that action to members at the earliest opportunity in an Association publication. The Board may take action to modify the initial position statement as its next meeting. A summary of current position statements will be included in each new member packet and summarized at least once each year for all members in Network.

Adopted: January 1981

Revised: April 1988

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255.2 USE OF ASSOCIATION NAME & INSIGNIA

The Association recognizes that its brand assets, when used as prescribed, are an invaluable asset to the Association in:

  • Maintaining the Association’s reputation for professional excellence;
  • Maintaining a sense of unity between state/regional chapters and the Association; and
  • Modeling best practices for Association members.

The Association's brand guide outlines how its brand assets – including logos, name, tagline, colors and typography – are to be used to ensure visual and brand consistency across various print and digital applications. The guidance in the brand guide pertains to all Association-branded materials produced by the Association as well as to those produced by Association members, chapters, partners/sponsors, vendors or other outside groups.

Any use of the Association name and/or brand assets requires a written request to and the written approval of the Executive Director.

Association chapters or regions that are granted approval to use the Association name and/or logo must clearly state the name of the region or chapter.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: November 2019

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255.3 EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER ENDORSEMENTS OF SEMINAR EXHIBITORS, NSPRA PARTNERS & SPONSORS

The Association actively seeks out sponsors, partners and Seminar exhibitors to help support its mission, programs, product development and member resources through non-dues revenue, grants and in-kind contributions. (Ref. Policy 410.8 Sponsorships/Partnerships and Resource Development). Executive Board members are charged with representing the Association and furthering its purposes through building relationships with members and others who bring value and support to our mission. While Executive Board members are encouraged to express appreciation of the contributions of sponsors, partners and Seminar exhibitors, they shall not officially endorse any company in their official capacity as an Executive Board member.

In that light:

  1. This policy pertains to any company that sponsors or exhibits at the NSPRA National Seminar or sponsors or partners with the Association on any year-round activity, program or award. Endorsements include:

a. Testimonials (written or video);

b. Photos;

c. Inclusion in list of supporters/endorsers (does not include lists of active clients);

d. Representing the company/product at an NSPRA Marketplace exhibit;

e. Representing the company/product at an NSPRA Chapter conference, meeting or exhibit booth;

f. Representing the company/product at a trade booth exhibit at another education conference while identified as a presenter or participant using an official Executive Board officer title

  1. Executive Board members shall not serve as presenters for Seminar Corporate Showcase sessions.

Adopted: March 2016

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260.1 CHAPTERS – PURPOSE AND FORMATION

Chapters serve as a link between the Association and its members and as a networking opportunity for education public relations practitioners in a state or other locale. Chapters shall be established to carry out programs and provide services which respond to members’ needs and reflect the mission and goals of the Association. Chapters provide an opportunity to articulate the needs and concerns of members to the Executive Board and to alert the Association to emerging public relations problems.

The Executive Board may establish Chapters of the Association on petition of ten (10) or more members in good standing in a given area – generally a state. The geographic region of the chapter shall be determined by the NSPRA Executive Board.

Chapters may establish dues for their members in addition to the dues members pay to the national Association. Chapters shall elect their own officers.

Bylaws of each chapter shall be approved by the NSPRA Executive Board before final adoption by the Chapter. The Bylaws shall require the Chapter President, President-elect (or the elected officer who succeeds as President), Treasurer, and one other elected officer designated by the chapter (preferably one responsible for national membership recruitment) to be members of NSPRA. All other chapter officers and members are encouraged to be members of the national Association. If a chapter believes that these membership requirements are a hardship, it may write to the Executive Director to request a temporary waiver of the requirement.

Approval of a chapter’s Bylaws by the NSPRA Executive Board shall be followed by the issuance of an official charter to the chapter. Amendments to the Bylaws of a chapter must be approved by the Executive Board of the national Association before adoption by the Chapter to become effective.

By April 30 of the year following the granting of its charter, a chapter must complete its application as a Non-profit Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as specified in Policy 260.2.

A member may belong to and vote in more than one local chapter, but may not hold elective office in more than one chapter at a time. Membership may be transferred from one chapter to another if approved by the latter chapter.

If a chapter, by majority vote of its membership, wishes to be assigned to a different NSPRA region, it may make that request in writing to the NSPRA President. Any change should maintain the contiguous nature of all regions and should reduce any disparity in membership numbers among regions.

The President will bring the chapter’s request to the NSPRA Executive Board for discussion and action. If the Board approves a region reassignment, it shall propose a change in the NSPRA Bylaws for a vote of the membership at the next election. Changes in the structure of any region, made as a result of a Bylaws change, shall become effective on October 1.

See: Bylaws, Article IX, Sections 1-4.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: March and July 1995; July 1996; November 2001; November 2004; March 2007; November 2019

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260.2 CHAPTERS – REPORTS

To remain in good standing, each chapter must submit reports annually as required by this policy, or as requested by the NSPRA staff.

Every NSPRA chapter must obtain certification from the Internal Revenue Service that it is a Non-profit Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code. The chapter may obtain that certification on its own, or it may join with NSPRA in obtaining a Group Exemption. If a chapter chooses to become part of the NSPRA Group Exemption, it must:

  1. Secure a Federal Employer Identification Number.
  2. Authorize NSPRA to include it, along with other NSPRA chapters, in applying for a group exemption as a Non-profit Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
  3. Establish a Fiscal Year of September 1 through August 31.
  4. Submit to NSPRA an annual statement of compliance with the conditions required of tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3).
  5. File a Form 990 Information Return for Non-profit Organizations electronically if the chapter has less than $50,000 in revenue during the fiscal year or jointly with NSPRA if the chapter has $50,000 or more in revenue during the fiscal year.

Initially, NSPRA chapters must comply with steps 1-4 by April 30, 1995. Any chapter that is chartered after that date must comply with these steps by April 30 of the year in which its charter is granted, or by the following April 30 if the charter is granted after that date.

By October 31 of each year, each NSPRA chapter must:

  1. Complete and submit a Chapter Cash Flow Report for the most recent fiscal year.
  2. Submit a Chapter Membership List containing each chapter member’s name, professional title, credential if applicable, and contact information, identifying those who are officers.

If any chapter fails to meet these or other reasonable reporting requirements established by NSPRA policy, the NSPRA Executive Board may act to suspend its charter.

Adopted: March 1995

Revised: November 2001; November 2019

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260.3 CHAPTERS – SUSPENSION/REVOCATION

In the event that a chapter chartered by NSPRA fails to:

  1. Maintain the requirements specified in NSPRA policy 260.1, including having at least ten (10) NSPRA members among the chapter membership;
  2. Submit the reports required in NSPRA policy 260.2;
  3. Adhere to its own Bylaws; or
  4. Meet at least once during its fiscal year,

The NSPRA Executive Board may suspend the chapter’s charter for a period of up to one year.  The chapter’s last known president or other available officer will be given at least thirty (30) days written notice of the Executive Board’s intent to suspend its charter.

If the condition which resulted in the charter suspension is not corrected during the year of suspension, the Executive Board will revoke the chapter charter. At least thirty (30) days written notice of the Executive Board’s intent to revoke the charter will be given to the chapter’s last known president or other available officer.

If a chapter which has had its charter revoked wishes to reestablish affiliation with NSPRA, and corrects the problems that led to the initial charter revocation, it shall be encouraged to do so, meeting all of the requirements of NSPRA policy 260.1.

See: Bylaws, Article IX, Section 5.

Adopted: July 1995

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260.4 CHAPTERS – LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

NSPRA will offer leadership development for chapter leaders who will serve their chapter in the school year following the seminar.

Leadership training opportunities may be offered at various times during the year and may include workshops, audio/video conferences, electronic discussions/interactive sessions, or other activities as the Association deems appropriate and executable depending on staff and budget resources.

Adopted: November 2001

Revised: July 2004; July 2006

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260.5 CHAPTERS – NATIONAL SEMINAR OPPORTUNITIES

NSPRA will offer chapters the opportunity to participate as “hosts” when the National Seminar is held in their home state. Recognizing the commitment it takes in terms of volunteer time and potential costs, serving as a “host chapter” is optional and not required for chapters to remain in good standing.

For those chapters that welcome the opportunity to host, the following guidelines explain the role of chapters in both the year prior to and the year of the Seminar in their state:

The Year Prior

  • Deliver a preview presentation and/or video at the Closing Banquet highlighting the Seminar city and sites to see, and inviting participants to attend.
  • Assist NSPRA in marketing the Seminar to educators, members and colleagues in the state throughout the year.
  • Recommend local speakers NSPRA should consider for keynotes or special sessions.
  • Assign a key contact for NSPRA to work with and communicate regularly about the chapter’s plans.

Optional

  • Develop a host chapter theme and logo reflective of the Seminar city for use in conjunction with NSPRA’s official theme and logo.
  • Provide a preview table at the Seminar (if space is available) with visitor and promotional information about the city/state to encourage member interest in attending.
  • Create a page on the chapter’s website promoting the Seminar and city venue that NSPRA can link to in publications and messages throughout the year.

At the Seminar

  • Provide a “hospitality” table with information about local sites, restaurants, etc.
  • Gift bags and other items are up to the chapter’s discretion.
  • Assign a chapter member to co-present with another assigned NSPRA leader the “How to Make the Most of Your First NSPRA Seminar” session.
  • Designate a chapter leader to give a host chapter welcome at the Annual Meeting.
  • Offer Sign-Up Dinners for interested participants (Dutch Treat) following the Opening Reception.
  • Assign a chapter member to accept a host chapter recognition certificate at the Closing Banquet.

Optional

  • Provide an icebreaker activity or background entertainment at the Opening Reception.
  • Coordinate nightly “hot spots” for interested participants to go to and connect with other Seminar participants.
  • Offer a chapter-sponsored evening social event for Seminar participants. (See Policy 410.8 Sponsorships/Partnerships and Resource Development, Section III. Guidelines for Hosting/Sponsoring Social Events for National Seminar Participants)

Social Events at the Seminar

There will be no single NSPRA-sanctioned evening social event at the National Seminar in recognition of rising costs and equity of access for all participants and guests.

Sponsors, exhibitors, partners and chapters that wish to offer social events, entertainment activities, meals or other opportunities for clients, prospects or Seminar participants in general, that are extracurricular to the Seminar program shall adhere to the guidelines outlined in Policy 410.8 Sponsorships/Partnerships and Resource Development, Section III. Guidelines for Hosting/Sponsoring Social Events for National Seminar Participants.

Any chapter that wishes to hold an event or activity at the National Seminar may do so with the understanding that there may be multiple and/or competing events/activities on any given day and time. Chapters will be responsible for all costs, coordination and liability for such events and the event must be branded with the chapter’s name and logo.

Adopted: September 2016

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265. STATE/PROVINCE COORDINATORS

State/province coordinators may be appointed by the Association President upon recommendation of the Regional Vice Presidents. They shall serve for one year.

Appointment of state/province coordinators will generally be made only in states/provinces where there are no chapters, but may be made in any other state/province where the Regional Vice President and local chapter(s) agree it is appropriate.

State/province coordinators are responsible for:

  • Promoting the establishment of new chapters where appropriate.
  • Promoting Association membership in the state/province.
  • Interpreting and promoting Association services and programs to persons or groups related to education.
  • Informing the Association through the Regional Vice President and Executive Director about educational developments and public relations trends in the state/province.
  • Submitting an annual report to the Regional Vice President and Executive Director by June 15 each year.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: January 1984

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270. COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS

There shall be a Council of Presidents which shall serve as a continuing advisory group. All former presidents of the Association who are still dues-paying or honorary members of the Association are members of the Council.

Members are to receive copies of Executive Board minutes and other appropriate material to keep them informed of Association problems and progress. The current President shall seek the Council’s advice, when appropriate, to aid the Board and/or staff in decision-making or planning.

There shall be an opportunity for Council members who are present at the Association’s National Seminar to meet. The Council of Presidents shall be chaired by the Immediate Past Presi­dent.

Adopted: May 1980

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SECTION 3 – ASSOCIATION ADMINISTRATION

300. PRIMARY FUNCTIONS

The primary functions of the administrative staff of the Association are to manage the Association and carry out a quality program set forth in NSPRA’s Mission, Goals and Objectives. The administrative staff shall:

  • Manage the respective programs assigned to them.
  • Provide leadership to the staff and Association members.
  • Develop procedures to facilitate the implementation of the Association’s Mission, Goals and Objectives.
  • Follow Board procedures for review and revision of the Mission, Goals and Objectives.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988

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305.1 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECRUITMENT AND APPOINTMENT

The Executive Board is responsible for recruiting an Executive Director when a vacancy in this position occurs.

The Board, when selecting a new Executive Director or reappointing the incumbent, shall provide the freedom of leadership appropriate to the responsibilities of the position through an explicit contractual agreement.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: March 1998

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305.2 QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES

The Executive Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Association. He or she shall be Accredited in Public Relations (APR) or will successfully complete the accreditation process within 18 months of being hired by the Association. He or she may delegate responsibility for various Association operations, but is ultimately responsible and will be held accountable for the success or failure of all phases of the operation.

The Executive Director shall perform such duties as are described in his or her job description and others as delegated by the Board.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988; March 2007

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305.3 JOB DESCRIPTION

The Executive Director is responsible for:

1. Serving as the secretary/treasurer of the corporation.

2. Conducting the business of the Association as provided by the Articles of Incorpora­tion, Bylaws, and NSPRA policies.

3. Implementing all Board policies, and offering recommendations to the Board and staff for new and/or revised policies.

4. Overall financial planning and administration of the Association; preparing and implementing the approved annual budget; submitting monthly financial reports to the Board.

5. Preparing proposed Association goals and objectives for Board review and approval; managing and directing all functions and activities necessary to implement the goals and objectives; reporting progress regularly to the Board and membership.

6. Preparing Board meeting agendas in consultation with the Executive Committee, and submitting recommendations on all matters requiring Board action; keeping an accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Board and of the Association.

7. Employing, directing, promoting, demoting, evaluating and terminating all employees.

8. Seeking recommendations from the Board for new Association product lines and services or changes in existing products and services.

9. Communicating regularly with the Board and key Association leaders; maintaining regular communication with Association members.

10. Acting as the Association spokesperson.

11. Developing and implementing administrative procedures to carry out Board policies.

12. Performing such other duties as may be specified by the Board.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988; March 1998

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305.4 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Executive Director shall be encouraged to maintain memberships in appropriate professional organizations and to attend meetings, conferences or workshops which contribute to his or her professional development.

The Executive Board shall annually consider the cost of such activities in determining the budget.

Adopted: May 1980

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305.5 CONSULTING ACTIVITIES

The Executive Director shall serve, when appropriate, as a speaker, consultant, or resource person at the national level. He or she shall consider all such opportunities in relation to the benefit which may accrue to the Association, keeping in mind that his or her primary responsibility is to operate the Association.

Fees or honoraria shall be charged when appropriate and shall be payable to the Association for any engagements which come about because of the Executive Director’s position with the Association.

The Executive Director may accept an honorarium or stipend for an unrelated assignment if he or she takes vacation time or otherwise accomplishes the assignment on his or her own time. The Executive Director should not accept any such assignment if it would conflict with his or her position or keep the Executive Director from fulfilling all of his or her responsibilities to the Association.

Adopted: October 1980

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305.6 EVALUATION

The Executive Board will evaluate the Executive Director annually.

The Executive Director will be evaluated on his/her effectiveness in:

  1. Making progress toward achieving the Mission, Goals and Objectives of the Association as established by the Executive Board;
  2. Carrying out the Primary Functions of Administration and Job Description as specified in NSPRA Policies 300 and 305.3, and making the Administrative Reports specified in Policy 320; and
  3. Achieving elements of the NSPRA Operational Plan for the fiscal year.

The Executive Director’s evaluation period, with respect to Items 1 and 3 and any amendments to policies specified in Item 2, will begin following the July Executive Board meeting.

Each July, the Executive Committee will agree upon an instrument or form by which to evaluate the Executive Director according to the criteria stated above, and send that instrument/form to each member of that Executive Board. Those Executive Board members will return the instrument/form to the Immediate Past President prior to the Fall Executive Board meeting.

The immediate Past President will summarize the evaluations and send the summary to each Executive Board member and to the Executive Director prior to the Fall Executive Board meeting. Time shall be provided on the agenda of the Fall Executive Board meeting for a closed session with the Executive Director to discuss his/her evaluation.

Adopted: January 1981

Revised: January 1983; January 1987; July 1994; November 1996; March 19; March 2001

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310. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

The staff of the Association is responsible for supporting and carrying out the policies adopted by the Executive Board. The Executive Director shall specify required actions and design the procedures necessary to carry out Board policies and operate the Association.

In the absence of Board policy guidelines, the Executive Director shall take whatever actions are necessary. He or she shall report those actions to the Board and make recommen­dations for any needed policy action.

The Executive Director shall request staff recommendations and suggestions when administrative procedures are developed.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988

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315. ABSENCE OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

In the event of a planned absence of the Executive Director, he or she shall designate a staff person to act for him/her.

In the event of an incapacity or unavailability, the Executive Committee of the Board shall designate a person to be Acting Executive Director.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988; March 1994

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320. ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

Reports on Association operations shall be given by the Executive Director at all Board meetings.

The Executive Director shall report on the progress toward Association goals and objectives in conjunction with a proposed revision to the budget and shall present a final report on such progress with the proposed annual budget.

Adopted: May 1980

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325. ASSOCIATION ANNUAL REPORT

The Executive Director shall prepare, in cooperation with the President, an annual report on the progress and operation of the Association. This report shall be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association and made available to all members.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988, November 2016

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SECTION 4 – OPERATIONAL SERVICES

400. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Adequate financial support is necessary to operate the Association and fulfill the goals and objectives that are adopted annually by the Executive Board. To make that support effective, the Board will operate on a fiscally sound basis within a balanced budget, and require efficiency and effectiveness in the expenditure, accounting and reporting of funds.

Adopted: May 1980

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405.1 BUDGET – FISCAL YEAR

The Association’s fiscal year shall be from September 1 through August 31.

Adopted: May 1980

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405.2 BUDGET – PLANNING

The Executive Director shall prepare a recommended budget for the next fiscal year and send it to all members of the Executive Board at least two weeks prior to the Board’s summer meeting.

The recommended budget shall include an estimate of actual to budgeted revenues and expenses for the current year, and an explanation of budget changes proposed.

The Board shall adopt a budget for the next fiscal year at its summer meeting, and may make amendments to that budget at any subsequent regular or special meeting.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1988; July 1994

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405.3 BUDGET – IMPLEMENTATION

The Executive Director shall:

  1. Follow an adopted budget.
  2. Assure that revenues exceed expenditures throughout each fiscal year.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: April 1988; July 1994

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410.0 ANNUAL SEMINAR – PURPOSE AND FEES

The Association’s major professional and leadership development activity shall be an annual Seminar, held at a time and location determined by the Executive Director. The Executive Director will develop a Seminar program that encourages the professional development of all participants and a portion of the program will be devoted to developing Association and chapter leadership. NSPRA members will be encouraged to make presentations and share their expertise with their colleagues.

The Executive Director will determine a structure of registration fees which ensure that the annual Seminar is self-supporting. To express the Association’s appreciation for services rendered to it and to its chapters, the following shall be granted a 50 percent reduction in the fee for the annual Seminar applicable at the time of their registration:

  1. Current members of the NSPRA Executive Board;
  2. Those who no longer actively practice public relations but who retain Retired Membership in the Association.

Adopted: November 2000

Revised: November 2006; March 2007

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410.1 REVENUE – DUES

The Executive Director shall bring a recommendation for an increase in membership dues to the Executive Board on the needs of the Association.

A membership dues increase will be announced at least one month before implementation.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: November 1992, November 2016

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410.2 SALE OF PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Revenue from the sale of products and services shall become part of the general fund to support the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

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410.3 GRANTS AND CONTRACTS

The Association may pursue and accept revenue from grants and/or contracts as appropriate.

Adopted: May 1980

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410.4 INVESTMENTS

The Executive Director is authorized to invest revenue that is not required for current operations.  Proposed purchases of land or buildings shall require Executive Board authorization after recommendation by the Executive Director.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: March 1999

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410.5 GIFTS AND BEQUESTS

The Association may, by action of the Executive Board, accept gifts, donations or bequests.  Only those gifts that the Board deems consistent with the policies, programs and best interests of the Association will be accepted.

All gifts shall be accepted on behalf of the Association and become its property. Where installation is required, the gift shall be installed under the supervision of Association personnel.

Adopted: May 1980

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410.6 BORROWING

The Executive Director shall obtain authorization from the Executive Board to borrow money for the Association. Authorization may be granted by the Executive Committee in emergency situations.

Adopted: May 1980

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410.7 RESERVE FUND

The Association shall set aside money to build a reserve fund. The purpose of the fund will be to protect the financial stability of the Association and to invest in special needs as recommended by the Executive Director and approved by the Executive Board. In emergency matters, approval can be made by the Executive Committee of the Board.

The goal for the fund will be an amount equal to at least six months operating costs for the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: July 2007

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410.8 SPONSORSHIPS/PARTNERSHIPS AND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

The Association may seek sponsors and/or partners to provide non-dues revenue or in-kind contributions to support its mission, programs, special events, resources or efforts on behalf of education and student success. To do so, the Association must function in the commercial marketplace and be able to provide meaningful and valuable opportunities and access to our members, education colleagues and business partners in a manner consistent with our mission.

Terminology

Sponsorship/Partnership – For the purposes of this policy and NSPRA operations, “sponsorship/partnership” refers to arrangements under which an entity other than NSPRA pays the Association a monetary fee or other valuable consideration and/or collaborates with the Association in return for the opportunity for special recognition and/or special display of the entity’s name or logo in association with an event, activity, program, service, publication or product produced by or on behalf of the Association. Acceptance of a sponsorship does not include, indicate or imply an endorsement, recommendation or assurance of quality of the sponsor’s products or services, and is simply an opportunity for the sponsor to obtain exposure to NSPRA members. Acceptance of a partnership will be based on the entity’s relevance to the mission of the Association and education and its reputation in the marketplace. A sponsorship or partnership arrangement may include a variety of exposure opportunities and associated benefits or services, and can be exclusive or non-exclusive.

Resource Development – For the purposes of this policy and NSPRA operations, “resource development” refers to arrangements under which an entity other than NSPRA enters into an agreement with the Association to provide in-kind services or contributions, or a joint revenue-producing program, product or service that serves the needs of members in return for the opportunity for special recognition and/or special display of the entity’s name or logo in association with the program, product or service developed by or on behalf of the Association. A resource development agreement shall include exposure opportunities directly related to the specific program, product or service developed and, if applicable, specifics related to how revenues will be shared. NSPRA shall retain the right of final approval of the program, product or service design and content as well as the right to administer or distribute said resource.

I. General Policies and Guidelines

A.   The Executive Director shall be responsible for approving all sponsorship/partnership, funding and resource development opportunities with identified sponsors/partners, member benefits providers and for-profit companies. All additional non-dues revenue opportunities, donations and in-kind contributions shall be subject to the Executive Director’s review and approval.

B.   In developing and entering into sponsorship/partnership and resource development agreements, the Executive Director and staff shall adhere to the following guidelines in order to enhance the Association’s mission, safeguard the value and credibility of the NSPRA name and brand, and obtain outside revenues that appropriately reflect the market value of the sponsorship/partnership or resource development opportunity:

  • The sponsoring/partnering entity offers reliable products or services that address the needs of NSPRA members and their school systems and otherwise complement the Association’s mission.
  • The sponsorship/partnership will not have the effect of promoting positions that conflict with any policy, goals, ethics or interests of the Association or of promoting a partisan political viewpoint.
  • The sponsorship/partnership does not entail any financial liability on the part of NSPRA, nor require the Association to put any investment of funds at risk, except to the extent specific expenditures are authorized by the Executive Director.
  • Fees for sponsorship/partnership opportunities shall be determined in consideration of the estimated value of the special recognition, name association or other exposure to the sponsoring entity, as well as the degree of exclusivity of the arrangement, and will not be based solely upon the cost of the event or other activity or product being sponsored.
  • Consideration for resource development agreements can include providing NSPRA and/or NSPRA members with goods, services, discounts, goodwill, or other useful or valuable items relevant to improving school communication, public relations, marketing and engagement efforts. Joint-revenue opportunities that follow the guidelines stated in this list may also be considered at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • NSPRA is not aware of any reason to believe that the products or services offered by the sponsoring/partnering entity are of less than acceptable quality or that the entity would be unlikely to live up to its agreements with patrons.
  • NSPRA shall never enter into sponsorship/partnership or resource development agreements that involve sales techniques or marketing approaches that exploit children. This does not preclude the sponsor/partner from using child actors in advertising and promotions.
  • NSPRA shall never enter into sponsorship/partnership agreements with entities whose commercial interests involve the sale or manufacture of alcohol, tobacco, firearms or gambling.
  • The sponsoring/partnering entity does not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability or other unlawful basis.
  • There are no other factors present or anticipated that would make the sponsorship/partnership inappropriate or not in the best interests of NSPRA or its members.

C.   The Executive Director shall establish and implement staff procedures for ensuring appropriate ongoing review of suitability and return on sponsorship/partnership and resource development opportunities, and for ensuring that contractual terms provide NSPRA a reasonable ability to terminate sponsorship programs or partnerships that may no longer provide a reasonable return or otherwise no longer meet the foregoing criteria. Contract agreements shall include the following:

  • Description of the terms of the relationship between NSPRA and the sponsor/funding source/resource development partner.
  • Language to protect the Association’s name, logo and copyright.
  • Language to protect the Association’s membership list, if appropriate.
  • Language to indemnify the Association.
  • Language providing for the Association’s approval of any materials, program content or services.
  • Language to define ownership of materials or content produced.
  • If appropriate, language to explain third-party involvement and responsibilities.
  • If appropriate, language that specifies how revenues with be shared.

D.   The sponsor/partner’s product or service shall be identified as “Proud Sponsor (or Partner) of NSPRA.” NSPRA shall not endorse any product, service or supplier and the phrase “Official product, service or supplier of NSPRA” shall not be used.

II. Guidelines for NSPRA National Seminar Sponsors

NSPRA offers a Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities program for interested exhibitors, sponsors and partners each year at the National Seminar. The program provides a variety of options at different price points for businesses and organizations that serve education to showcase their products and services to members and others who attend the Seminar. Entities interested in underwriting additional Seminar programs or functions not currently offered may contact the Association to submit a proposal.

National Seminar sponsors must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • NSPRA maintains a clear separation between sources of income and editorial content.
  • The collaboration or information expands what is available to NSPRA members.
  • Sponsored items (i.e., pens, tote bags, lanyards, portfolios, etc.) must be available to all Seminar participants and imprints may include only the sponsor’s name, address, phone, website and logo/tagline.
  • NSPRA is free to solicit other viewpoints and organizations to ensure there is balance on issues as appropriate.
  • NSPRA reserves the right to refuse or reject any specific information as inappropriate to disseminate to members or Seminar participants.
  • NSPRA maintains the right to review and approve all sponsor-related marketing, such as advertisements and special promotions, related to the Seminar.
  • Sponsors may only distribute materials as outlined in their specific sponsorship package and agreed upon in the contract.
  • Sponsors should not solicit clients to endorse their product or service as part of a Seminar session unless approved in advance by the Association as part of a contract or partnership agreement.
  • All communications related to the Seminar program and site location should be conducted directly with the designated NSPRA staff contact.
  • NSPRA reserves the right to decline sponsors or advertising if it deems the material unsuitable for Seminar participants.

III. Guidelines for Hosting/Sponsoring Social Events for National Seminar Participants

Sponsors, exhibitors, partners and chapters that wish to offer social events, entertainment activities, meals or other opportunities for clients, prospects or Seminar participants in general, that are extracurricular to the Seminar program should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • NSPRA will have no responsibility (fiscally or staff-wise) or liability for coordinating any hosted/sponsored event that is not offered as a component of a direct partnership agreement with the Association.
  • Social events/activities may not be branded with NSPRA’s name or logo. Promotions may say the event is offered “for NSPRA Seminar participants” if it is available to all and not restricted to an invitation-only list.
  • Social events or activities may not conflict with the scheduled Seminar program day or the Closing Banquet.
  • There will be no “exclusive” evening events. Sponsors, exhibitors, partners and chapters that wish to hold an event or activity may do so with the understanding that there may be multiple and/or competing events/activities on any given day and time.
  • A Seminar participant list will only be provided as outlined in the Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities brochure or contract.
  • Sponsors, exhibitors, partners and chapters opting to hold a social event or activity during the Seminar are asked to notify NSPRA by June 1 with event details as a courtesy. (No approval is required.)

IV. Criteria for Developing Sponsorships and Resources

The following criteria shall be used when considering potential sponsorships and resource development partnerships:

  • The sponsorship/partnership aligns with NSPRA’s Mission, Goals and Beliefs.
  • The sponsorship/partnership furthers the Association’s mission and demonstrates a return on investment.
  • The anticipated and actual outcomes of the sponsorship/partnership are meaningful, quantifiable and mutually beneficial. The sponsorship/partnership adds value or a benefit that could not otherwise be provided by NSPRA. 
  • The sponsorship/partnership improves the value of the NSPRA brand or significantly increases awareness of the Association among influencers.
  • The sponsorship/partnership maintains a non-partisan approach and does not jeopardize the Association’s 501(c)3 status or oppose any advocacy efforts.
  • Sufficient staff capacity and funding exists to support the sponsorship/partnership. 
  • The sponsorship/partnership has a positive impact on member needs.
  • The sponsorship/partnership is ethical in nature and does not have any third-party sponsors or partners that may devalue NSPRA.
  • The sponsorship/partnership increases the Association’s credibility and supports NSPRA’s position as a leader in communication.

Adopted: November 2009

Revised: September 2016

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415.1 DEPOSITORY OF FUNDS

Association funds shall be deposited in financial institutions as determined by the Executive Director.

Adopted: May 1980

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415.2 DEPOSITORY OF FUNDS – SIGNATURES

The Executive Director and two persons designated by him/her shall have the authority to sign checks.

One signature is required for checks up to $1,000; two signatures are required for checks of $1,000 or more.

A check made out to any of the signatories shall be signed by another signatory.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1988

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420. BONDED EMPLOYEES

Fidelity Insurance covering every employee shall be included in the insurance program, with adequate limits as approved by the Executive Board.

Adopted: May 1980

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425.1 FISCAL MANAGEMENT – FINANCIAL REPORTS

The Executive Director shall provide the Executive Board with monthly statements showing the financial condition of the Association as of the last day of the preceding month.

The monthly statements shall include all Board-approved budget items and such other information that will assist the Board in reviewing the financial condition of the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1988; July 1994

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425.5 INVENTORIES

An inventory of the Association’s furniture, equipment and products shall be maintained.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1984

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425.3 AUDIT

At the close of each fiscal year, the books and accounts of the Association shall be audited by an independent certified public accountant in conformance with prescribed standards and legal requirements.

A complete and detailed written report of the audit, along with the auditor’s management letter, shall be provided to each Executive Board member and to the Executive Director. The Board may request the auditors to appear at a Board meeting to discuss the report and/or provide additional information.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1988

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430. PURCHASING PROCEDURES

Purchasing decisions should be based on:

  1. The quality of the product or service;
  2. Price;
  3. Prompt delivery; and
  4. Payment terms.

For items costing $2,000 or less that are needed very quickly, oral quotations or catalog prices may be used to make purchasing decisions. For items costing more than $2,000, written bids are required, from two or more vendors if possible.

All responsible bidders shall receive equal consideration. There will be no discrimination on account of color, race, nationality, religion, age, gender, or sexual preference.

Any furniture, equipment or software purchase of $500 or more shall be depreciated according to the requirements of the IRS Code.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1983; October 1988; July 1994; November 1997

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435. PAYMENT PROCEDURES

All expenditures must be approved in advance by the Executive Director or his/her designee.

Accounts payable shall be kept current. The Executive Director shall report at each regular meeting of the Executive Board the total amount of accounts payable which are 90 days or older.

Adopted: May 1980

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440.1 PAYROLL PROCEDURES – PAY PERIODS

Salaries shall be stated on an annual basis and paid in 26 bi-weekly pay periods.

Adopted: May 1980

Revised: October 1983; July 1988

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440.2 SALARY DEDUCTIONS

In addition to salary deductions required by law (including Social Security), the Association shall make salary deductions for salaried staff members at their written request for the following:

  • U.S. Savings Bonds
  • Credit Union
  • Retirement Fund
  • State Income Tax
  • United Way
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tax Deferred Annuities

Employees shall hold the Association harmless against any and all claims, suits, demands or liabilities which may arise from compliance with this policy, provided that deductions have been made properly by the Association.

Adopted: May 1980

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440.3 EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT

Employees and Executive Board members shall be reimbursed for expenses while on official business for the Association. All travel must be pre-approved by the Executive Director, and receipts are required for reimbursement. Reimbursement will be based on the following:

  1. Air coach fare.
  2. Train travel – coach for daytime travel; Pullman for overnight travel.
  3. Automobile mileage reimbursement at the current rate for business travel permitted by the Internal Revenue Service, plus tolls and parking fees. Reimbursement for use of a personal car shall not exceed the cost of air coach fare. Rental cars may be approved when needed for travel.
  4. Taxi and airport limousine or bus service.
  5. Lodging – the actual cost of standard hotel/motel accommodations and reasonable tips.
  6. Meals – the actual cost of meals and reasonable tips up to a maximum of $50 per day.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1981; October 1988; April 1992; March 2006

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445. INSURANCE

The Association’s insurance program shall be comprehensive and economical, consistent with sound insurance principles. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, a single broker shall be used to ensure that there is no overlap or gaps in coverage.

The Association shall carry the following types of insurance:

  • Comprehensive property
  • Travel while on NSPRA business
  • Liability – general, convention, and non-owned automobile
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Group hospitalization and medical
  • Group life
  • Any other types required by law, or which protect the Executive Board and staff from liability for torts.

Adopted: October 1980

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450. MARKETING, PRODUCTION AND PRICING

The Executive Director shall determine the subject matter, pricing, and all other details of the production and marketing of Association products and services.

Adopted: May 1980

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455. OFFICE CLOSING

The Executive Director is authorized to shorten the work day or close the office for a full day when hazardous weather or other emergencies threaten the health and safety of the staff.  Generally, the Executive Director will be guided by the decisions of the Office of Personnel Management regarding Federal Government workers in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.

Adopted: May 1980

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460. RECORD RETENTION

Law:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act addresses destruction of litigation-related documents. The law makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document (or persuade someone else to do so) to prevent its use in an official proceeding (e.g., federal investigation or bankruptcy proceedings). The Act turns intentional document destruction into a process that must be monitored, justified, and carefully administered.

Common sense dictates that as a nonprofit organization, NSPRA must regularly shred or otherwise dispose of unnecessary and outdated documents and files. NSPRA needs to maintain appropriate records about their operations. For example, financial records, significant contracts, real estate and other major transactions, employment files, and fundraising obligations should be archived according to guidelines established by the organization. Because of current technology, electronic files and voicemail can become complicated as we come to understand the relevance of the delete button as a permanent method of file removal.

This policy is to help limit accidental or innocent destruction.

The document retention policy includes guidelines for handling electronic files and voicemail.  Electronic documents and voicemail messages have the same status as paper files in litigation-related cases. Our policy covers back-up procedures, archiving of documents, and regular check-ups of the reliability of the system.

If an official investigation is underway or even suspected, nonprofit management must stop any document purging in order to avoid criminal obstruction charges.

Policy:

It is the policy of the National School Public Relations Association to assure the appropriate preservation of all records of permanent value, to destroy records not warranting further preservation, and to follow a record retention program that will serve as a guide for the maintenance and/or destruction of records.

Procedure:

The Executive Director will be responsible for the maintenance and destruction of all records as outlined in this policy. The Executive Director will be responsible for continuously monitoring all records, both business and program, for the appropriateness of preservation and for following the timetables set forth by the government and/or NSPRA for destruction when necessary.

Guidelines for Records Retention:

Records shall be maintained in an adequate space with protection against fire or water damage.  The records shall be accessible in order to provide for the need to review, file, or retrieve the records. Records may be stored in the following media: paper, microfilm, or computer storage.  The period of retention listed below is the minimum required retention that the Institute must keep listed documents; records may be kept for longer periods of time.

Recommended Retention Period for Records:

Record Suggested Period of Retention Comments
Administrative Offices    
Corporate Articles of Incorporation permanent  
By-laws permanent  
Board Minutes permanent  
Legal Matters permanent  
Incident Reports permanent electronic record  
Complaints permanent electronic record  
Closed suit/settlement files 7 years  
     
Business Office    
5 year plans of accounting and financial projection 7 years  
5500 reports permanent  
Accounts payable check registers permanent  
Accounts payable checks (cancelled) 7 years  
Accounts payable invoices 7 years  
Accounts receivable Aging (monthly balancing) 7 years  
Accounts receivable billing 7 years  
Audit reports permanent  
Balance Sheets (Annually Year End) permanent  
Bank deposits support 7 years  
Bank Statements 7 years  
Board financial reports 7 years  
Board investment reports 7 years  
Budgets 3 years  
Cash receipts journals 7 years  
Contracts 7 years beyond termination date  
Communications-postage reports or logs, telephone allocation reports and photocopier logs 7 years  
Donor Funding Records permanent  
Endowment records permanent  
Escheats records permanent  
     
Record Suggested Period of Retention Comments
Financial statements (year end) permanent  
General ledger permanent  
General ledger reports (departmental) 7 years  
Grants & contract files 7 years  
Fixed assets 3 years beyond disposal  
Fundraising 7 years  
Income & expense statements (annually year end) permanent  
Insurance policy 7 years  
Insurance correspondence 3 years  
Internal Revenue Service correspondence permanent  
District of Columbia correspondence permanent  
Inventories 3 years  
Journal entry records 7 years  
Magnetic backups 3 years  
Payroll earnings record permanent  
Payroll check registers permanent  
Payroll checks (cancelled) 7 years  
Payroll W-2's, Quarterly Taxes, etc permanent  
Plant Records of Fixed Assets 7 years  
Procurement & purchasing data budget 3 years  
Public Inspection of records permanent  
Space allocation records 3 years  
Tax filings (990's and 990-T's) permanent  
Travel expense reports & records 7 years  
     
Human Resources    
Request for personnel current plus prior 2 years  
Job descriptions 10 years  
Revised job descriptions 10 years  
Candidate resumes 3 years  
Employment applications 3 years  
Confidentiality Statement 3 years  
Background checklist 7 years beyond termination  
Employee application 7 years beyond termination  
Orientation checklists & Acknowledgements 7 years beyond termination  

I-9 employment eligibility

1 year beyond termination Dept of Homeland Security
Direct Deposit authorization 7 years beyond termination  
Employee health records 7 years beyond termination  
W4 initial +7 years beyond termination  
Rate increases 7 years beyond termination  
     
Record Suggested Period of Retention Comments
Deduction authorizations 7 years beyond termination  
Name/address change 7 years beyond termination  
Performance reviews 7 years beyond termination  
Disciplinary action original form 7 years beyond termination  
Employee Complaint Investigation 7 years beyond termination  
Resignation Notice 7 years beyond termination  
Termed contract personnel 7 years beyond termination  
Last performance appraisal 7 years beyond termination  
Retirement/pension information 7 years beyond termination  
Timesheets, leave requests & personal activity files 7 years  
     
Program    
Financial and performance reports permanent  
Request for funding - approved permanent  
Request for funding - not approved 3 years  
Products development 7 years  
Advertising-layouts, manuscripts & Photos 4 years  
Security 4 years  
Printing & duplicating negatives 4 years  

 

Adopted:  March 2009

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460.1 COPYRIGHTS

Copyrightable materials that are developed by employees during the course of their normal work activities become the property of the Association. When such materials are to be copyrighted, they shall be registered in the name of the Association and any further disposition of the copyright (transfer, reassignment, etc.) or any royalties resulting from it shall require approval of the Executive Board.

Adopted: January 1981

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SECTION 5 – PERSONNEL POLICIES

500. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

A dynamic and efficient staff, dedicated to creating and improving the best services for the members and the educational community, is an essential element in the successful operation of the Association. The Executive Board desires to secure and retain such a staff, and is interested in each individual as well as in the welfare of the total staff. The personnel policies of the Board attempt to reflect this concern.

In formulating specific policies, the Board’s goals for the Association are:

  • To recruit, select, and employ the most qualified personnel.
  • To provide appropriate in-service training for all employees.
  • To insure that employees are utilized as effectively as possible.
  • To conduct an employee evaluation program that will contribute to the continuous improvement of staff performance.
  • To develop the quality of human relationships conducive to maximum staff performance and satisfaction.

Adopted: October 1980

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505. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT

The Association shall continue to take affirmative action to make opportunities for employment and promotion available to every individual solely on the basis of the person’s qualifications and without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion or marital status, handicapping condition, or national origin.

Adopted: October 1980

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510. CATEGORIES OF EMPLOYMENT

Regular employees are those who work full- or part‑time in continuing positions.

Temporary employees are those working on an hourly basis in jobs for which a task or time limit is designated at the time the position is authorized.

Hourly employees are those hired on a work‑needed basis. They are paid an hourly rate determined by the Executive Director.

Contract employees are those employed for a specific project and are paid based on a contract agreed to with the Executive Director.

Full‑time regular employees are eligible for Association fringe benefits as specified in the personnel policies.

Part‑time regular employees may be included in group benefit plans such as medical and insurance on payment of the entire cost of their coverage.

Part‑time regular employees are eligible for vacation and sick leave pay on a pro‑rated basis.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1983; October 1986; January 1988

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520. PERSONNEL RECORDS

A personnel file shall be maintained in the Association office for every person employed on a regular basis. The file shall include the following:

1. Employment information

a. Application form

b. Tax withholding forms

c. Service record (assignments, salary, etc.)

d. Employment letter and pertinent correspondence

e. Pre-employment recommendations

2. Evaluation information

a. Supervisory evaluations signed by the evaluator and the employee

b. Any written and signed commendations and/or complaints, copies of which have been furnished to the employee, and any response from the employee

All personnel records are confidential. An employee may review the material in his or her file with the exception of confidential letters of recommendation or credentials from placement agencies. The employee’s right to access includes the right to make written objection to any information contained in the file. Any written objection shall become a part of the personnel file.

Adopted: October 1980

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525. STAFF POSITIONS/JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Every staff position will be designated as clerical, managerial or executive. The Executive Director will recommend, and the Executive Board will approve, the designation of any position as managerial or executive.

Every position will have a job description approved by the executive director. Job descriptions will be reviewed and updated periodically. Any changes must be approved by the Executive Director.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: December 1989

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530. RECRUITING AND HIRING

The Executive Director is responsible for the recruitment and selection of personnel. The Association shall hire the most qualified personnel consistent with budget requirements and staffing needs.

Members of the immediate families of Executive Board members or executive staff shall not be appointed as regular employees by the Executive Director. For purposes of this policy, immediate family is defined as parents, spouse, brother, sister, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, parent‑in‑law, brothers- or sisters‑in‑law, and legal guardians.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1983

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535. PROBATION

The probationary period for regular employees shall be 180 calendar days. During this period, employees will be informed in writing of progress made and of areas needing improvement.

If an employee’s performance is not satisfactory, or if sufficient progress is not evident, the employee’s service may be terminated at any time during the probationary period.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1988

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540. ORIENTATION/PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

The Executive Director shall provide an orientation for new employees to acquaint them with the Association’s policies and functions, and the responsibilities of their position and its relationship to the Association’s mission, goals and objectives.

Employees are encouraged to recommend improvements in job procedures to their supervisor or to the Executive Director. They are also encouraged to maintain and improve their skills by attending workshops, seminars and other training opportunities.

Adopted: October 1980

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545. ASSIGNMENT AND TRANSFER

Employees are employed by and for the Association. Assignment to specific responsibilities is the responsibility of the Executive Director.

Adopted: October 1980

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550. RECLASSIFICATION & PROMOTION

A position may be reclassified if there is a substantial change in duties and responsibilities.

An employee or a supervisor may make a written request to the Executive Director to study reclassification of a position. The Executive Director will make a decision on the reclassification within two months.

Promotions to jobs of a higher classification will be based on qualifications and ability to perform the functions of the position. In filling vacancies, priority will be given to current employees who meet position qualifications.

Adopted: October 1980

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555. STAFF DISMISSAL

The Executive Director has authority to dismiss any employee under the following conditions.

The first six months of employment is a probationary period. During this period, the supervisor or Executive Director will provide instruction about job responsibilities and periodically review job performance with the probationary employee. If job performance is unsatisfactory and recommended improvement is not made, the probationary employee may be terminated at any time.

All regular and contract employees who successfully complete the probationary period will have an annual job performance review with their supervisor and/or the Executive Director. If a person’s job performance becomes unsatisfactory at any point, and verbal suggestions for improvement do not result in satisfactory performance, the employee will receive a written performance warning.

A written performance warning will state how the employee’s job performance is unsatisfactory, make specific recommendations for improving performance to satisfactory levels, and establish the dates for a 30‑day probationary period. At the mid-point of this 30-day period, the employee and the supervisor and/or Executive Director will have a performance review conference.

If satisfactory job performance is not attained by the end of the 30‑day probationary period, the Executive Director may extend the probationary period for an additional two weeks, or may dismiss the unsatisfactory employee.

If a regular or contract employee feels he or she has not been treated fairly during the probationary period, he or she may use the employee complaint procedures.

If, in the opinion of the Executive Director, the best interests of the Association require that an employee must be dismissed immediately or on shorter notice than is provided in this policy, the Executive Director has the authority to do so.

If an employee’s position is abolished and there is no other appropriate position for him or her, the employee will receive written notification of dismissal at least thirty (30) days before termination.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: December 1989

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560. EVALUATION

The Association shall maintain an employee evaluation program. The purpose of the program shall be improvement of performance and the growth and development of employees.

Employees shall be evaluated by their immediate supervisor. Evaluations shall be completed at least annually and shall be in writing.

At each evaluation, the supervisor and the employee will discuss and set specific performance goals. Wherever applicable, these will be related to the goals, objectives and activities of the Association. The supervisor also will review the employee’s performance and progress in achieving the goals and objectives set at the previous evaluation.

Evaluations will be in writing and signed by the supervisor and the employee. The employee’s signature does not imply acceptance of the evaluation. The employee may add comments as an addendum to the evaluation. The evaluation and addendum, if any, shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Adopted: October 1980

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565. STAFF COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCES

A complaint is an employee’s expression of discontent with a working relationship or working condition.

Complaints shall be made to the employee’s supervisor or the Executive Director, who will work with the parties at interest in an effort to resolve the complaint.

A grievance is an employee’s allegation that NSPRA policies or procedures have been violated or not fairly applied.

Initially, the employee should discuss the alleged grievance with the supervisor or Executive Director to seek an informal resolution of the matter.

If a grievance cannot be resolved informally within five days, the employee may file a written statement of the grievance with the supervisor and Executive Director.

Within ten (10) working days after receiving a written grievance, the Executive Director will meet with all parties at interest. The Executive Director will render a written decision to all parties at interest within thirty (30) working days after receiving the written grievance.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: July 1995

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570.1 COMPENSATION PLAN – SALARY

The Executive Director will recommend to the Executive Board an average percentage increase for employee compensation that is included in the next year’s annual budget. The Executive Board will establish any salary increment for the Executive Director. The Executive Director will establish any salary increments for all other regular employees.

Salary increments will be based on each employee’s productivity and increased value to the Association.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: July 1995; March 2007

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570.2 COMPENSATION PLAN – OVERTIME

Whenever possible, work will be organized to avoid overtime. Any overtime must have the prior written authorization of the Executive Director.

Eligibility for overtime pay will be based on Fair Labor Standards Act regulations.

Employees eligible for overtime shall be paid at one and one‑half times their hourly rate for all approved work in excess of 40 hours in any week. Eligible employees who are required to work on any Association holiday shall be paid twice their hourly rate for time worked on that day.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: July 1995

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570.3 COMPENSATION PLAN –COMPENSATORY TIME

Whenever possible, work will be organized and scheduled so that excessive employee overtime is avoided. However, there will be times when some employees will have to work extra hours and/or days.

Executive employees are not eligible for compensatory time. Employees who are not eligible for overtime, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, will be granted compensatory time as follows:

  1. An employee must work ten (10) hours overtime (to be accumulated in time blocks of no less than one hour) in a 30‑day period to be eligible for compensatory time. The overtime must be approved in writing by the Executive Director. After working the ten (10) hours overtime, the employee’s compensatory time will include the original ten (10) hours.
  2. Notwithstanding the requirements in 1(above), compensatory time will be given when an employee is required to work on a legal holiday.

Compensatory time will be on an hour‑for‑hour basis and must be used within forty-five (45) days.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: July 1986; December 1989

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570.4 COMPENSATION PLAN – HOLIDAYS

Paid holidays for all regular employees are:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
  3. President’s Day
  4. Memorial Day
  5. Juneteenth
  6. Independence Day
  7. Labor Day
  8. Veteran’s Day
  9. Thanksgiving Day
  10. Friday after Thanksgiving
  11. Christmas Day

If a holiday falls on a weekend, Saturday holidays will be observed on Friday, and Sunday holidays will be observed on Monday. NSPRA holidays will be on the date established for the Federal government observance.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1983; January 1986; July 1995; August 2020

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570.5 COMPENSATION PLAN –OTHER FRINGE BENEFITS

Retirement Plan. A 401K retirement plan for regular employees shall be provided by the Association for employees who have completed three months of service. Each fiscal year, the Association will provide a Safe Harbor Contribution for all eligible employees. The NSPRA Retirement Plan will also offer employees the opportunity to invest in their 401K. The Association may also provide a matching fund designation each year as outlined in the Association’s 401K Plan and the enrollment package provided to all eligible employees. Matching contributions provided by the Association are subject to a 2-6 year graded vesting schedule. All elements of the Association’s 401K plan will follow the legal requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning 401K plans.

Social Security. The Association participates in Social Security and the retirement plan is based on that participation.

Hospital and Medical Insurance. Association employees are covered by a health benefits plan. A portion of the individual coverage is paid by the Association. Employees may choose family coverage and pay the difference between the cost of individual and family coverage.

Association employees who retire may continue coverage under the group plan by paying the premiums, contingent upon the insurance carrier’s policies.

Employees who leave the Association may elect to continue coverage under the group plan for up to eighteen (18) months by paying the premiums and conforming to the Federal COBRA requirements.

Travel Insurance. A travel insurance policy covers all staff when traveling on official Association business.

Moving Expenses. Moving and transportation expenses shall be paid for executive staff members who live outside the metropolitan Washington area at the time of employment. The amount to be paid toward these expenses shall be determined by the Executive Director at the time of employment.

Adopted: October 1980

Revised: January 1982; October 1986; October 1987; January 1988; July 1995; November 1999; July 2010; July 2014

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570.6 COMPENSATION PLAN – END-OF-YEAR FINANCIAL ENHANCEMENTS FOR STAFF

The end-of-year financial enhancements for staff, when granted, are part of a mix of total compensation, designed to attract, motivate and retain a highly qualified staff, and are granted in recognition of outstanding effort and accomplishment on the part of individual staff members.

In an effort to attract, motivate and maintain a quality NSPRA staff, the Executive Board may, following a financially successful year, determine the total amount of an end-of-year financial enhancement for staff. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will consider the following guidelines to determine whether end-of-year enhancements will be granted:

  • Amount of revenue exceeding expenses for the previous fiscal year.
  • Overall financial health of the Association.
  • Overall growth and development of the Association.
  • Employee contributions to growth and development of the Association.
  • Extenuating circumstances affecting the Association, but not reflected in the end-of-year fund balance.

The Executive Director will make a recommendation on end-of-year enhancements to the Executive Board. If the Executive Board decides to allocate end-of-year enhancements to employees, the enhancements shall be allocated based on the following:

  1. The total amount of the enhancement shall not be determined until the audit report for the previous fiscal year has been received by the Executive Board.
  2. The NSPRA Executive Board shall determine the total amount of the enhancement and shall determine how much of the total shall be granted to the Executive Director.
  3. The amount allocated for end-of-year enhancements shall not exceed $50,000 for a fiscal year.
  4. The Executive Director shall determine how the remaining enhancement amount shall be allocated to individual staff members.
  5. Any end-of-year financial enhancement that is awarded is a one-time cash benefit, not a salary payment, and will not reflect a cumulative salary increase.
  6. Any allocations for enhancements shall be added as a budget transfer from the Association’s reserves to the current year’s budget as a budget adjustment.

Adopted: November 2006

Revised: March 2007; July 2016

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575. LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Only regular employees shall be eligible for a leave with pay.

All leaves without pay will be granted only with the prior written approval of the Executive Director.

A new employee may not take a paid leave of absence during the first ninety (90) days of employment.

Sick Leave

Employees accrue sick leave at the rate of 4.0 hours per pay period.

Accumulated sick leave is not reimbursed upon termination. However, it may be used for credited service at the time of normal, early, or disability retirement or death in active service for the purpose of determining benefits under the retirement plan. One additional month of credited service is allowed for each 162‑1/2 hours of unused sick leave up to a limit of one additional year of credited service.

Accumulated sick leave may be used for the following purposes:

  • Personal illness or disability.
  • Medical and dental examination and treatment.
  • Serious illness or disability of others in the immediate family or household.
  • Immediate family includes a parent or parent‑in‑law, spouse, child, resident stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister. Household includes a relative domiciled with the employee (leave for this purpose is limited to fifteen (15) days in any one year).
  • Absence caused by an accident covered by Workman’s Compensation if the compensation received from the insurance is endorsed to the Association.
  • Special circumstances authorized by the Executive Director.

The Association may request a doctor’s certificate verifying an illness whenever an employee’s immediate supervisor deems it necessary.

If an employee is on sick leave over a holiday, the employee will not be charged sick leave for that day. Sick leave is not accrued when an employee is on leave without pay.

The Executive Director may grant a leave of absence without pay for reasons of health for up to 4 calendar months to a person who has been employed by the Association for at least two years if the employee has used all accumulated sick and vacation leave.

Court Leave

Leave for jury duty or to appear as a witness in any local, state or federal court shall be granted in any necessary amount. Employees may be paid on court leave if there is compensation and that compensation (less transportation expenses) is endorsed to the Association. Or, the employee may take vacation or leave without pay and keep any compensation received from the court.

Court leave is not applicable when the employee is a party to a law suit. In such cases, employees shall take vacation or leave without pay.

Bereavement Leave

An employee shall be allowed up to three days of absence without loss of pay upon the death of a child, parent (natural, foster, or in‑law), spouse, stepchild, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, or a relative domiciled with the employee. The Executive Director may authorize bereavement leave for other family members, or for unusual circumstances, not to exceed three days.

Military Leave

An employee who is a member of the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and who is required to report for active duty shall be eligible for military leave. The employee must present a copy of the training orders to his or her immediate supervisor.

The employee may take leave with pay for up to ten (10) working days if his or her training compensation is endorsed to the Association. Or the employee may take vacation (or leave without pay if there is insufficient vacation accrued) and keep the compensation received from the military.

Administrative Leave

The Executive Director may authorize administrative leave when the office is closed for hazardous weather or other emergency, or for other special circumstances.

Employees shall be paid for administrative leave, except that hourly employees are not paid if the administrative leave is granted for an entire day that the employee was not scheduled to report for work, or if the administrative leave is granted for a portion of a day during which the hourly employee normally does not work.

If administrative leave is authorized while an employee is on vacation or sick leave, he or she shall not be charged with such vacation or sick leave.

Professional Leave

With advance written application, approved by the Executive Director, employees may be granted leave with pay to attend professional meetings (e.g., conferences, seminars) as a participant or observer.

Child Birth/Adoption Leave

Regular employees who have completed at least one year of service may request leave for the birth or adoption of a child. This leave may not exceed twelve (12) weeks. An employee who is approved for Child Birth/Adoption leave may use a combination of accrued sick, vacation and compensatory leave. If more time is needed, the remainder of the leave will be without pay.

NSPRA will pay benefits for an employee on approved Child Birth/Adoption leave for up to twelve (12) weeks. No sick or vacation leave will accrue for any period of this leave that is without pay.

Adopted: January 1981

Revised: January 1985; January 1986; November 1997

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580. VACATION

NSPRA encourages its employees to use all vacation days. However, to accommodate individual employee needs and schedules, employees may carry the vacation earned during the fiscal year (Sept. 1 to Aug. 31) to the end of the calendar year (Dec. 31).

In effect, the employee has sixteen (16) months to schedule vacation earned during a 12-month period. At the end of sixteen (16) months (the calendar year), the Executive Director may authorize payment for half the value of any earned vacation from the previous fiscal year that has not been taken. The remaining half will be forfeited. An employee must request this payment in writing to the Executive Director prior to November 1. The Executive Director will approve or deny the request based on the employee’s anticipated workload for November and December.

Employees terminating their employment shall be paid for any accrued vacation leave, but not to exceed the amount of leave that could be accrued in six months.

Regular full‑time employees shall accrue vacation leave according to the following schedule:

  • Two weeks for the first three years (2.88 hours per pay period)
  • Three weeks for years four through ten (10) (4.33 hours per pay period)
  • Four weeks after ten (10) years of employment (5.77 hours per pay period)

Executive and Managerial Staff:

  • Four weeks from the date of employment (5.77 hours per pay period). (Executive and Managerial staff hired prior to 1993 and earning 7.5 hours per pay period shall continue to do so.)

Part‑time regular employees will be eligible for vacation leave based on the number of hours worked in a pay period, classification and years of service.

Vacation may not be accrued while on leave without pay.

Vacation may not be taken during the six weeks prior to the national Seminar, except for special family events (i.e., graduations, weddings, etc.). Vacation leave for these special events must be requested in advance and approved by the Executive Director.

All vacation must be requested in advance and approved in writing by the immediate supervisor.

The minimum amount of vacation that will be charged at one time is one half day.

Vacation will not be charged for a holiday that occurs during an employee’s approved vacation leave.

Adopted: October 1980; 1983; 1986

Revised: January 1989; December 1989; November 1992; November1997; November 1999; July 2008

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585.1 TIME SCHEDULES

The Association offices shall normally be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Regular employees work 37‑1/2 hours per week.

Adopted: October 1980

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585.10 ELECTRONIC MAIL USE

The Association maintains an electronic mail system (e-mail) and a worldwide website on the Internet solely for the purpose of communicating with its members and customers. These systems are the property of the Association and are to be used only for the conduct of its business.

The Executive Director is authorized to provide for monitoring the use of the Association e-mail system, and employees’ use of it periodically will be monitored. The purpose of monitoring is to help protect the Association from liability for fraudulent practices, employee harassment, and misuse of employee time. All Association e-mail messages may be stored on the computer back-up system.

Each employee will be informed of the adoption and existence of this policy, and their use of the Association e-mail system constitutes his or her consent to the Association’s recording and monitoring of all e-mail messages.

Adopted: November 1999

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585.2 TRAVEL COMPENSATION

Employees shall be reimbursed for expenses while on official business for the Association, according to the provisions in policy 440.3.

Adopted: October 1980

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585.3 HEALTH AND SAFETY

New employees may be required to furnish evidence of physical fitness. At any time, the Association may require an examination of any employee to determine the person’s physical or mental fitness to perform assigned duties. Such examinations shall be performed by a licensed physician who may be chosen by the employee but must be approved by the Association. Expenses for such an examination will be paid by the Association.

Adopted: October 1980

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585.4 PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

An employee’s partisan political activity shall be of no concern to the Association so long as it does not prevent the employee from properly performing his or her job, does not violate the law, and is conducted outside office hours and off Association property.

Adopted: October 1980

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585.5 SOLICITATION/ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS

No staff member may solicit a gift of property, services, or money for promising or providing NSPRA business to a vendor.

No staff member may accept a gift with a value of $25 or more that may be offered by a vendor as a normal business practice.

Adopted: December 1989

Revised: July 1995

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585.51 STAFF ENDORSEMENTS OF SEMINAR EXHIBITORS, NSPRA PARTNERS & SPONSORS

Staff members shall not exclusively endorse any company that sponsors or exhibits at the NSPRA National Seminar or sponsors or partners with the Association on any year-round activity, program or award.

Staff members shall support all business sponsors and partners of the Association equally in promoting products and services to members and Seminar participants.

In the interest of fair and equal treatment, staff members may not:

a. Represent the company/product at an NSPRA Marketplace exhibit;

b. Serve as presenters for Seminar Corporate Showcase or other Seminar sessions featuring a company and/or product.

c. May not officially endorse or promote a product or service without the approval of the Executive Director.

Adopted: July 2016

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585.6 RELEASE OF CREDIT INFORMATION

When a request for credit information about an Association employee is received, the only information to be released is whether or not the person is employed by the Association unless the employee requests otherwise.

When a credit complaint is received by mail, all copies of the complaint shall be given to the employee. The complainant shall be informed in writing that the credit complaint was forwarded to the employee and no further action will be taken by the Association.

Adopted: October 1980

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585.8 OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT

No employee may hold outside employment that adversely affects his or her NSPRA job performance.

NSPRA employees may engage in and receive compensation for consulting or writing for publication, provided that:

  • The employee performs the service on his or her own time or, with the approval of the Executive Director, takes vacation leave or leave without pay.
  • No NSPRA equipment or supplies are used in performing the service.
  • The employee does not claim to represent NSPRA.
  • The service or product is not offered or planned to be offered by NSPRA.

Adopted: December 1989

Revised: July 1995

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585.9 STAFF INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

Appropriate staff involvement in the decision-making process of the Association is encouraged.

Adopted: October 1980

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590. ANTI-FRAUD AND WHISTLEBLOWER

Fraud is defined as any unsafe, dishonest, or illegal act or the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of misleading another to act upon it to cause harm to NSPRA (the “Association”) or to employees of the Association. 

As stewards of the financial and other resources of NSPRA, each employee has the responsibility for preventing fraud and safeguarding those assets. It is the policy of NSPRA that each employee is responsible for the prevention, detection, and reporting of fraudulent or potentially fraudulent activities. Whistleblower protections are in place to maintain the confidentiality of the reporting employee and to guard against retaliation.   

Fraud Prevention

The prevention of fraud requires each employee to be alert and vigilant in the performance of his or her job responsibilities. Each employee is expected to:

  • Act with honesty, integrity and the promotion of ethical behavior.
  • Believe that fraud is possible and that you can identify it.
  • Become familiar with Association’s system of internal controls and the policies in place to ensure the safeguarding of assets and to understand your role, such as:
    • Signature authority limits, which relate to Requests for Proposals, contracts, purchase orders, invoices, expense reports, and any documents that obligate Association’s resources – both financial and human
    • Technology and Equipment Use Policy
    • Copyrights, Royalties, Patents Policy
    • Transportation Expenses and Travel Expenses Policy
    • Consulting Policy
    • Other policies in the Employee Handbook
  • Identify assets for which you have responsibility including budgets, intellectual property, office supplies, computers, petty cash, amounts collected as revenue, inventoried items etc.
  • Ask yourself questions, with regard to the following:
    • If these assets were to be misused or misappropriated, how would I know?
    • What controls exist to prevent or detect inappropriate use or loss?
    • What additional controls are necessary to safeguard these assets?
  • Ensure adherence to the background check (i.e., criminal, financial, and professional) and other hiring policies and procedures of NSPRA and support the Association’s efforts to hire honest employees.
  • Establish a positive control environment by ensuring that all employees are aware of your attention to potentially fraudulent activities and aware of their responsibilities to prevent fraud.
  • Ensure that the following actions are taken:
    • Maintain a positive work environment, Report and account for all revenues generated and all expenditures incurred in the financial accounting system of Association.
    • Make no false or artificial entries in the accounting records for any reason.
    • Make no payments in the name of Association for any purpose other than that described by the documents supporting the payment.
    • Do not use Association funds or assets for any personal or unlawful purpose.
    • Do not use Association identification, stationery, supplies, equipment, etc. for personal or political matters.
    • Use good judgment when expending Association funds for reimbursable travel costs, etc., to ensure value received for each expenditure.
    • Do not engage in false advertising, deceptive marketing practices or other misleading representations.
    • Do not establish any bank or investment accounts in the name of Association without express permission from the Deputy Director and Executor Director.
    • Record all transactions for accurate financial statement preparation.

Fraud Detection

To detect fraud, each employee must be aware of actions constituting fraud, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Forgery or alteration of any document or account belonging to Association.
  • Dishonest reporting, on NSPRA timesheets, of NSPRA activities.
  • Forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft, or any other financial document.
  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or other assets for non-Association use or for personal use.
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions, including the handling of customer credit card information, check copies, etc.
  • Fraudulent financial reporting, billing for services not performed or for goods not delivered.
  • Participation in private inurnment (using Association’s name or resources for personal gain).
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside parties, accepting or seeking anything of material value (i.e., in excess of $100) from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services/materials to Association.
  • Destruction, removal or inappropriate use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment without the appropriate permission.
  • Any similar or related inappropriate or dishonest conduct.

If there is any question as to whether an action constitutes fraud, contact either the Business Manager or Executive Director.

Honorariums:

NSPRA staff may accept honorariums for services provided external to NSPRA sanctioned activities. It is expected that all time spent on such activities shall not be charged to NSPRA, or NSPRA projects.

Fraud Reporting (Whistleblower):

In the event of an alleged incident of fraud, each employee is responsible for acting as a whistleblower by immediately bringing the information to the following confidential resources:

  1. His/her immediate supervisor; or
  2. Business Manager or Executive Director; or
  3. The President of the Association; or
  4. A suggestion box located at the receptionists’ desk.

Employees must exercise caution and sound judgment to avoid baseless allegations, which are those made with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. In addition, employees who are aware of fraud and fail to report it may face personal action up to and including dismissal.

The whistleblower should NOT contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution. The whistleblower should NOT discuss the case, facts, suspicions, or allegations with anyone, unless specifically asked to do so by the Executive Director. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate management officials are charged with these responsibilities.

  1. The party receiving the information will treat it as confidential, but will share it with the Executive Director or the President to ensure prompt action. The following actions may then be taken by Association’s management as the situation warrants: Notification to the Association’s President and Finance/Audit Committee.
  2. Investigation by the Executive Director, the Business Manager and the Board President.

Based upon the results of the investigation, the Association may:

  1. Contact legal counsel.
  2. Undertake appropriate personnel action which may include restitution, suspension, or termination.
  3. Implement/enhance relevant control systems.
  4. Conduct training of NSPRA staff as appropriate.

The member of Association’s management performing the investigation shall have full access to:

  • All company records and premises.
  • All or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities on the premises without prior knowledge or consent of any individual who may use any such items or facilities.

Dishonest actions will not be tolerated and violators may be discharged and/or referred to the appropriate authorities. Restitution may be required. This policy will be applied, as appropriate, to all employees regardless of position/title, length of service, or relationship to Association.

Whistleblower Protections

Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas – confidentiality and against retaliation. Insofar as possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower will be maintained. However, an employee’s identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense.

The Association will not retaliate against a whistleblower. This includes, but is not limited to, protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as harassment, termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower who believes he/she is being retaliated against must file a written complaint with the Executive Director or the President immediately. A proven complaint of retaliation shall result in a proper remedy for the person harmed and the initiation of disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against the retaliating person. The right of a whistleblower for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.

Contacts

Questions related to the interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Executive Director or the President of the Association.

Adopted: March 2009

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SECTION 6 – PUBLIC RELATIONS

600. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The National School Public Relations Association shall maintain a public relations program to support the programs and services of the Association. The program shall rely on a comprehensive, two‑way communications process involving both internal and external publics with the goal of stimulating a better understanding of the role, objectives, accomplishments and needs of the Association. The public relations program shall assist in interpreting public attitudes, identifying and helping to shape policies and procedures in the public interest, and will involve activities which earn public understanding and support.

Adopted: April 1981

Revised: April 1985

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605. MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Members are guaranteed access to information about Association policies, financial reports, and Executive Board actions.

The Executive Director will make every effort to keep members informed about actions and the general condition and progress of the Association through publications and at the Association’s Annual Meeting.

Adopted: July 1995

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610. PUBLIC STATEMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE ASSOCIATION

Statements regarding Association policy, positions or activities that are made in response to inquiries from the news media, other associations, or attorneys are to be made only by the President, Executive Director, or their designee.

Adopted: July 1995

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615. ASSOCIATION ENDORSEMENT

Any NSPRA endorsement of the activities, projects, or policies of other individuals or organizations must be approved by the Executive Board.

The Executive Director may approve the sale of others’ products when it is in the Association’s financial interest and the product would be helpful to NSPRA members.

Any endorsement or joint project must further the Association’s Mission, Goal, and Objectives.

Adopted: April 1981

Revised: July 1995

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620. USE OF MEMBERSHIP LISTS

Association membership lists shall not be distributed to outside agencies or individuals except as approved in writing by the Executive Director. In all such cases, the criteria for approval shall be that use of the lists shall be in the best interests and for the benefit of the NSPRA membership as a whole.

Adopted: April 1981

Revised: July 1995

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625. COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION

Complaints about Association materials, products, services or personnel should be addressed to the Executive Director. Executive Board members who receive complaints should encourage direct communication with the Executive Director and inform the Executive Director of the complaint.

Adopted: April 1981

Revised: April 1983

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630. RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS/AGENCIES

Formal relationships between the National School Public Relations Association and other organizations/agencies shall be approved by the Executive Board.

Adopted: April 1981

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