Revising IS-MPMI Election Bylaws
Roger Innes, Sonali Roy, Patricia Baldrich, Dennis Halterman
The International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI) is a community of researchers dedicated to advancing our understanding of plant-microbe interactions. To ensure the society’s leadership is inclusive and representative of its membership, a group of four members worked on revising the bylaws, which were last modified almost a decade ago. The society’s bylaws determine the framework for leadership positions and the direction of the society. The proposed changes to the bylaws aim to make the Board of Directors more inclusive and representative of the society’s membership by identifying capable candidates from a variety of backgrounds, ensuring that the society’s policies and decisions reflect the needs of all members, not just a privileged few. The group, comprised of Roger Innes, Patricia Baldrich, Dennis Halterman and Sonali Roy, incorporated suggestions from the society members, MOVEMENT training group, and SciSoc staff, worked on revising the IS-MPMI organisation’s bylaws, which now require approval from current board members.
In their ‘capstone’ presentation, the group presented their findings to other societies and suggested three major changes, amongst others, to ensure diversity and inclusivity in IS-MPMI.
First, they established a newly defined Elections Committee, composed of the President, the President-Elect, and four additional non-Board members representing each of four geographic regions (North America/Europe, Africa, Central/South America, and Asia/Oceania), to prepare a diverse slate of candidates for the Board election.
Second, they added two junior member positions on the board of directors to allow early-career scientists, including Ph.D. students and postdocs, to become involved in the decision-making process. Junior members will be selected by the board every two years after requesting nominations or self-nominations from the membership base.
Lastly, they established a defined timeline for the nomination and election process, ensuring timely decision making, transparency, and fairness for all nominees and society members.