Mobile Communication

(Amended May 2019 at the ICA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC)



Article 1: Name


Section 1. INTEREST GROUP. The name of this section shall be the Mobile Communication Interest Group, hereafter referred to as “the Section” in these Bylaws.


Section 2. DIVISION. When it achieves Division status within the International Communication Association (hereafter referred to as “the Association” in these Bylaws), the Section shall automatically become the Mobile Communication Division. This change shall take place without any need for a vote by members.


Article 2: Purpose


The Mobile Communication Section intends to focus on the phenomenon of mobility in communication – thus being placed at the intersection of mobility, technology, and culture in human communication. While including a wide array of approaches in communication scholarship from historical perspectives to studies on future media innovations, from ethnographic to quantitative empirical approaches, from journalism studies to media effects research the common ground of the Mobile Communication Section is state-of-the-art theorizing on mobile communication as well as rigorous methodology.


Article 3: Membership


Any member of ICA who expresses interest in, and subscribes to, the purposes of the Section is eligible for membership in the Mobile Communication Section. Membership requires payment of the dues for the Section when membership to ICA is initiated or renewed. The official membership roster will be maintained by ICA central administration. Only Active Members, i.e. those whose ICA and Section dues are current, shall enjoy voting privileges, or be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to office in the Section, and for travel grants and Section awards.


Article 4: Officers, Nominations, and Elections


Section 1. OFFICERS. Officers of the Section include a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, an International Liaison, and an Early Career Representative. The Vice-Chair shall be elected in even numbered years and automatically succeeds the Chair for a two-year term, beginning on the last day of the next ICA Annual Conference. The Secretary shall be elected in odd numbered years for a term of two years beginning the last day of the ICA Annual Conference. The Internationalization Liaison shall be elected in odd numbered years as part of the ICA elections, for a term of two years beginning the last day of the ICA Annual Conference. The Early Career Representative is elected in odd numbered years as part of the ICA elections, for a term of two years beginning the last day of the ICA Annual Conference. No officers may immediately succeed themselves in office. Only members of the Section may hold office.


Section 2. ADDITIONAL ELECTED POSITIONS. In addition to a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, the Section will elect whatever other officers its membership deems necessary and desirable.


Section 3. NOMINATIONS. A slate of nominees will be solicited via the Section’s listserv, which is composed of Active Members of the Section. Self-nominations are accepted.


Section 4. ELIGIBLE VOTERS. The election of any officer shall be by vote of only the Active Members of the Section.


Section 5. VOTING PROCESS. Elections shall be by electronic vote on a ballot that is incorporated with the ballot for election of officers of the Association. Such ballots shall be processed and counted, and the results reported according to the procedures employed for the election of officers of the Association.


Section 6. VACANCIES. Unusual vacancies shall be filled by appointment of an Active Member of the Section by the President of the Association. If the unexpired term is for a period of more than six months, the Section may initiate through its regular channels a special ballot for the election of an Active Member in the Section to fill the unexpired term.




(a) The Chair shall preside at all Section business meetings. In addition the Chair shall create and appoint such temporary committees as deemed necessary; prepare and submit the Section budget to the Executive Committee; represent the Section and provide necessary Section reports at Association Board of Directors Executive Committee and business meetings; submit columns for the ICA monthly newsletter; review and provide recommendations for maintaining the quality of convention programs; and generally perform those duties usually associated with this office.


(b) The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair in administering Section business meetings; participate with the Chair in evaluating the quality of Section convention programs; administer the selection of competitive and noncompetitive papers/programs for conventions and notify contributors and the Association of papers/programs that are selected. The Vice Chair shall also assist the Chair when requested, and assume the duties of Chair in the event of the latter’s absence, disability, or request.


(c) The Secretary shall maintain, distribute, and obtain Section approval of minutes for Section business meetings; manage the Section space on the ICA website and other external communication; distribute messages via the Section listserv as appropriate; assist the Chair in administering business meetings; and participate with the Chair in evaluating the quality of Section programs.


(d) The immediate Past Chair shall assist in the work of the Executive Committee, offer advice when requested by the Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, and work with other members of the Executive Committee to make a smooth transition between outgoing and incoming officers.


(e) The International Liaison shall advise the Executive Committee on matters of geographical inclusivity, and shall seek new Section members especially in under-represented parts of the world.


(f) The Early Career Representative shall assist the Executive Committee with planning Section activities and initiatives, and shall seek new Section members especially among scholars at an early stage of their careers.


Section 8. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS. Any elected officer may be removed from office by the following procedure: at least one-third of the listed members of the Section must sign a petition to the Executive Secretary of the Association requesting a special election, and including nominations for the office in question. The Executive Secretary arranges an extraordinary election within 60 days at the expense of the Section, with the challenged officer(s) on the ballot. The result of the election becomes effective immediately.


Article 5: Committees


Section 1: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and immediate Past Chair will comprise the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will:

A. Assist in the conduct of business related to the Section.

B. Recommend members of the Section to serve on designated Association committees.

C. Recommend members of the Section for ICA awards.


Section 2: AWARDS COMMITTEE. Each year the Executive Committee shall appoint a committee to review the papers with the highest aggregate numerical scores from reviewers. The Executive Committee shall select one member of the committee to present the awards at the annual business meeting.


Section 3: NOMINATING COMMITTEE. Each year, the Executive Committee shall appoint a nominating committee to develop a slate of candidates for Section elections. This committee will solicit nominations and self-nominations from Section members, and is charged with recruiting candidates with the highest qualifications and professional standing for elections.


Section 4: AD HOC COMMITTEES. The Chair is empowered to establish and appoint members of ad hoc committees to assist in the conduct of the affairs of the Section.


Section 5: ASSOCIATION COMMITTEES. When requested by the President of the Association, the Section Chair is empowered to recommend members of the Section to serve on designated Association committees.


Section 6: TERM OF OFFICE. The term of office of any appointed committee member shall not exceed the term of office of the Chair. Committee members may be reappointed when the new Chair assumes office, with their consent.


Article 6: Dues and Finances


Section 1. ANNUAL DUES. The Executive Committee may propose to the members an annual dues charge for the classes of membership. If approved by the Board of Directors of the Association, this charge shall be adopted upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the responding Active Members of the Section, voting electronically. Nonpayment of such dues shall be a basis for termination of membership in the Section, but shall not affect the individual's status as a member of the Association.


Section 2. DISTRIBUTION OF NET ASSETS. In the event the Section is dissolved, the elected officers shall transfer the net assets of the Section to the Board of Directors of the Association, to be used for the work of the Association.


Article 7: Annual Meeting and Reports


Section 1. BUSINESS MEETING. An annual business meeting of the Section shall be held at the time and place of the annual conference of the Association. A simple majority of the Active members at the business meeting determines approval on motions before the Section.


Section 2. OFFICERS’ REPORTS. No less than one month prior to the Association’s annual conference, the Chair shall circulate a written activity report providing a summary of all activities by the Executive Committee and other committees of the Section. At the annual business meeting, the Chair and designated committee members shall present a summary of these activities and answer questions from members who are present.


Section 3. RECOMMENDATIONS. Any action recommendations shall be presented to the Board of Directors for vote.


Section 4. MINUTES. The Secretary shall prepare a written report of the annual business meeting for transmission to the members of the Section.


Section 5. PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS. The Section may plan and hold professional meetings at the time of the annual conference, under the general coordination of the President-Elect of the Association.


Section 6. ADDITIONAL EVENTS. The Section may organize and hold a preconference, joint events with other Association sections, or local or regional meetings that serve the mandate of the Section, upon notifying the Board of Directors of the Association. The Executive Committee will establish the fees for any such events.


Section 7. VOTING. At annual business meetings, the passage of resolutions will not require a vote of the membership at large. Motions approved at the annual business meeting involving (a) a change in Bylaws, (b) election of officers, (c) creation of standing or permanent committees, and (d) Section dues adjustments will require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the responding Active Members of the Section, voting on a mail or electronic ballot.


Article 8: Program Proposals and Selection


Peer review shall be the basis for annual conference program development. The Vice Chair, in consultation with the other members of the Executive Committee, shall recruit qualified members of the Section to review the papers/panel proposals submitted for review. In special cases requiring particular knowledge or expertise, the Vice Chair may recruit individual reviewers who are not Section members.


Article 9: Awards


The Section shall present awards at its annual business meeting.


Section 1: TOP PAPER AWARDS. Four papers which receive the highest numerical score from peer reviewers shall be sent to the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee shall select 1-3 top papers, and the Executive Committee shall select one member of the committee to present the awards at the annual business meeting.


Section 2: TOP DISSERTATION AWARD. This award, offered in odd-numbered years, honors a dissertation whose topic falls within the mandate of the Section (as defined in Article 2 of these Bylaws). The dissertation must have been completed (defended) in the two calendar years preceding the nomination deadline. The award is open to all ICA members who are also members of the Section. The review committee judges each nominated dissertation on several criteria including the importance of the problem/topic it addresses, the strength of evidence it presents, and the significance of its conclusions. The committee also considers the overall contribution of the research to the field and the relationship of the submission to the mission of the Section.


Article 10: Bylaw Amendments


Section 1: INITIATION. Amendments to these Bylaws may be initiated by petition of any three members of the Section, including the members of the Executive Committee. Texts of revisions must be made available to the Chair of the Section two months before the annual business meeting, to enable their timely distribution to the membership.


Section 2: ADOPTION. A two-thirds majority of those members voting in the electronic vote administered by the Association shall be required for adoption of an amendment to the Section Bylaws.


Article 11: Parliamentary Authority


In the absence of any provisions to the contrary in these Bylaws, all business meetings of the Section shall be governed by the parliamentary rules and usages contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.


Article 12: Enabling Clause


These Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon approval by a majority vote of the members voting in the electronic vote administered by the Association in fall 2016. If these Bylaws are approved, the Executive Committee is authorized to make any additional minor stylistic changes consistent with the intent of the articles proposed. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for formulating necessary policies, procedures, and documents needed to facilitate the functioning of these Bylaws.

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