Bylaws of the sPHENIX Collaboration
I. Collaboration Membership
Institutions (universities or laboratories) shall be admitted to the Collaboration by the Institutional Board (IB) upon recommendation of the Spokesperson. Each institution is responsible for its list of members and for designating a contact person who will receive and disseminate collaboration information within that institution. In addition, each institution will ensure that its members participate in experimental operations and service work as determined by the Institutional Board.
Scientists, engineers and students making a significant contribution to the sPHENIX collaboration are eligible to be members of the Collaboration. Members in good standing are those individuals who are associated with an sPHENIX institution and who have contributed significantly to the sPHENIX experiment.
All individual Members should actively participate in the scientific and technical work of the Collaboration. It is expected that individual Members will participate in all Collaboration activities in a collegial manner, respecting the integrity of their sPHENIX colleagues and the diversity within the Collaboration, and will uphold standards of scientific integrity and ethics. All individual Members are expected to abide by the sPHENIX Bylaws and other established policies, including but not limited to policies described below.
II. Institutional Board
The Institutional Board shall deal with general issues that concern the Collaboration. Examples include the organization and the governance of the Collaboration, adoption of bylaws and amendments thereto, admission of new institutions to the Collaboration, and publication policies. In addition, the Institutional Board is responsible for election of the Spokesperson and for approval of Deputy Spokesperson appointments. Two or more members of the Executive Council shall be elected by the Institutional Board every year.
Membership shall consist of one sPHENIX member from each collaborating institution who shall represent the collaborators from that institution. Each institution shall select its representative. Substitution of representatives at meetings shall be allowed.
Meetings of the Institutional Board shall be held at least twice per year, normally in conjunction with collaboration meetings. The meetings shall be open and chaired by the Spokesperson(s) or by their designated representative.
Consideration of proposed changes to these bylaws and the adoption of a list of nominees for the position of Spokesperson and for members of the Executive Council shall take place at scheduled meetings of the Institutional Board. Notice of at least four weeks shall be given indicating the time and place of the meeting and the nature of the issues to be considered. The draft agenda for the meeting and any associated documentation should be made available to IB members at least three weeks before the meeting so that members have the opportunity to add items to the agenda. The final agenda shall clearly state those issues requiring a vote. Votes on admitting new member institutions, amending these bylaws, or modifying the Collaboration’s publication policies must be announced two weeks ahead of time, as must details of how the voting will take place.
The Spokesperson shall ensure that minutes of meetings are taken and published within two weeks of the meeting date. The Spokesperson may appoint an Institutional Board Secretary to record and circulate the minutes and to distribute announcements of IB meetings.
The Institutional Board shall make decisions based on a simple majority of voting members with a quorum participating. Proxy voting shall be allowed provided that the Spokesperson and/or IB Secretary is notified in advance of the meeting. Electronic voting on issues and candidates presented for a vote shall be allowed. Scheduled meetings of the Institutional Board shall always allow remote participation with votes cast by IB members or proxies.
III. Executive Council
The Executive Council shall establish scientific priorities for the experiment. It shall review and advise on recommendations and concerns of the Spokesperson(s) and/or sPHENIX Management regarding all issues of major importance to the Collaboration. The Executive Council shall be the primary body for deliberation regarding violations of Collaboration Bylaws and policies, in consultation with the relevant governing committee for such policy, as outlined in Chapter XI.
The Executive Council shall have 12 or more sPHENIX members. The following members of sPHENIX Management shall be members of the Executive Council: Spokesperson(s), Deputy Spokesperson(s), and Project Director.
- Two or more members shall be appointed by the Spokesperson(s) and shall serve at their discretion. Appointments by the Spokesperson(s) shall be approved by the IB.
- Four or more members shall be elected by the Institutional Board.
- Two or more members, at least one of whom should be a graduate student, shall be elected by the junior members of the collaboration. Junior members comprise all graduate students and those with no more than six years post-Ph.D. experience. Candidates for these positions can be either self-nominated or nominated by other junior members of the Collaboration after a call for nominations by the current junior members of the Executive Council. The election will be conducted by a committee that is appointed by the current junior members of Council.
- All elected members of the Executive Council shall serve for a period of two years.
Meetings of the Executive Council shall be held at least once every two months and shall be chaired by the Spokesperson(s), or by their designated representative. The Project Director shall report on the technical progress and financial state of the sPHENIX project at each meeting of the Executive Council. Minutes of the Executive Council shall be made available to the collaboration.
The Spokesperson (or Co-spokespersons) functions as the scientific leader of the Collaboration. The Spokesperson will be the representative of the Collaboration in scientific, technical, and managerial issues involving the design and construction of the detector and operation of the experiment. The Spokesperson is responsible for the publication of scientific results in a timely and responsible fashion.
2. Selection of candidates
The Spokesperson shall be elected by the Institutional Board for a three-year term.
Candidates for Spokesperson may be nominated by any member of the collaboration. The Institutional Board will establish an ad hoc nominating committee at least 12 weeks before the election of the Spokesperson. The committee will actively seek candidates and solicit nominations. The nominating committee will present the list of candidates to the collaboration at least 4 weeks before the election. Further nominations may be made by any individual member of the Collaboration until the closing date for nominations that will be two weeks before the election. Both single-person tickets for Spokesperson and paired-tickets for Co-Spokespersons are allowed in the same election, but the same individual may not be a candidate on more than one ticket. The nominating committee will prepare and oversee the voting process when the election takes place.
Voting for Spokesperson will be carried out by a secret ballot. A minimum of 75% of Institutional Board members must vote in the Spokesperson’s election for a valid vote. A candidate for Spokesperson or a paired-ticket for Co-Spokespersons can be elected only if the ticket receives more than 50% of all votes cast, including abstentions. If no candidate obtains this absolute majority, runoff rounds will be conducted for the top vote-getters until one candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes cast, not counting abstentions.
V. Deputy Spokesperson
One or more Deputy Spokespersons shall be proposed by the Spokesperson and shall be approved by the Institutional Board and Executive Council.
VI. Physics Working Groups
1. Formation of Physics Working Groups
Physics Working Groups and their Conveners and Co-conveners shall be proposed by the Spokesperson(s) and approved by the Executive Council. Termination or significant restructuring of any Physics Working Group shall be proposed by the Spokesperson(s) and approved by the Executive Council.
The Physics Working Groups shall develop, certify, and prepare for presentation and publication all official sPHENIX physics results. The Physics Working Groups shall also provide advice to the Spokesperson and Executive Council on scientific issues affecting the experiment.
Meetings of all Physics Working Groups shall normally take place at least once per month at the discretion of the respective Conveners and/or Co-conveners.
VII. Adoption and Revisions
Proposed changes to the Bylaws shall be brought up during the semiannual Collaboration meetings and voted on by IB members present or in absentia requiring simple majority vote for adoption.
VIII. Additional Collaboration Structure
1. Task Forces and Review Committees
The Spokesperson(s) and/or executive council may appoint temporary task forces and review committees to accomplish specific goals on an as-needed basis, and such task forces shall be dissolved upon completion of their charge.
2. DEI Committee
A committee of at least three members, including one chair, dedicated to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (the “DEI committee”) shall be maintained at all times. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the spokespersons.
IX. Publication Policy
1. Documentation and adoption
The Publication Policy is accessible via the sPHENIX website, and is fully incorporated by reference into these Bylaws. In recognition of the need for flexibility, updates to the Publication Policy shall be proposed as needed and adopted by a simple majority vote of the IB whenever deemed necessary.
All Members of the sPHENIX Collaboration are required to abide by all aspects of the Publication Policy. Any failure to abide by the Publication Policy is subject to disciplinary action per Chapter XI of these Bylaws.
X. Community Values and Expectations
1. Documentation and Adoption
The Statement on Community Values and Expectations (referred to herein as “the Statement”) is accessible on the sPHENIX website, and is incorporated fully by reference into these Bylaws. Updates to the Statement shall be undertaken by the sPHENIX Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee on an as-needed basis and shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of the IB.
The DEI Committee shall furnish training to all Members of the sPHENIX Collaboration, either in-person or online, depending on the circumstances. Training is required for all Members of the sPHENIX Collaboration. Additional training is required for leadership positions, which must be completed within 6 months of the start of the leadership role.
All Members of the sPHENIX Collaboration are required to abide by all aspects of the Statement. Any failure to abide by the Statement may be subject to disciplinary action per Chapter XI of these Bylaws. Any suspected violations of the community values and expectations should be reported to the DEI Committee; in response to such reports and in consultation with the Spokesperson(s) and/or EC, the DEI Committee may appoint independent investigatory committees as needed. Upon completion of an investigation, an investigatory committee is expected to make a recommendation on the appropriate course of action to the Spokespersons, Executive Council, and DEI Committee.
XI. Compliance with Bylaws and Policies
Individual Members or Institutions who are in contravention of these Bylaws and/or other sPHENIX Collaboration policies, including but not limited to those incorporated by reference into these Bylaws, may be subject to sanctions. The sanctions applied will vary depending on the severity of the violation, and may or may not require the involvement of the Spokespersons, the Executive Council, and/or other appropriate committees. In the event sanctions are contemplated, the Member for whom the sanctions are contemplated shall be given notice of the sanctions and an opportunity to be heard by the Spokesperson, Deputy Spokesperson(s) and/or Executive Council and/or any appropriate committees who will be rendering the final determination as to the sanctions.
Tier 1 Sanctions. In cases of minor transgressions and/or cooperation of the accused, one or more sanctions may be applied by the spokesperson and/or appropriate committee, but without EC approval and without substantial deliberation. Examples of Tier 1 Sanctions include but are not limited to:
- No sanction, but a maintained record of the incident
- Verbal discussion of the incident
- Written warning;
- Voluntary no-contact order;
- Voluntary recusal from deliberations;
- Voluntary hiatus and/or resignation from leadership role(s).
Tier 2 Sanctions. In cases where voluntary action on the part of the accused is impracticable or impossible, one or more sanctions may be applied only after deliberation among the Spokespersons, the Executive Council, and the appropriate committee, subject to a simple majority vote of the Executive Council. Examples of Tier 2 Sanctions include but are not limited to:
- Involuntary no-contact order;
- Involuntary recusal from deliberations;
- Involuntary hiatus and/or removal from leadership role(s).
Tier 3 Sanctions. In very serious cases, one or more sanctions may be applied only after deliberation among the Spokespersons, the Executive Council, and the appropriate committee, subject to a supermajority vote of the Executive Council. Examples of Tier 3 Sanctions include but are not limited to:
- Suspension or permanent exclusion from in-person Collaboration events;
- Suspension or removal from e-mail lists;
- Suspension or permanent exclusion from giving talks on behalf of the Collaboration;
- Expulsion from the Collaboration with the right to reapply after a fixed duration;
- Expulsion from the Collaboration with no right of reapplication.