International Field Directors and Technologies Conference

Originally Adopted, May 19, 1993
Amended May 22, 1996; May 20, 1998; May 19, 1999, and May 17, 2010

The purpose of the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) is to provide an opportunity for survey research personnel to meet and openly share information on all aspects of survey data collection and survey operations management. IFD&TC hosts an annual conference to encourage such exchanges and may support other ways of sharing information supported by the membership.

The members of the IFD&TC shall be persons involved in survey research and/or those who have responsibility for field direction, technological aspects, or management of survey data collection, and who are associated with academic institutions, government agencies, or other nonprofit organizations. For the purposes of this Charter, the ‘field’ shall not be construed to exclusively designate in-person interviewing, but may also include other modes of survey data collection, including, but not limited to, telephone, mail, and internet. While founded in the United States of America, membership is open to eligible persons from all nations.

The active membership of the IFD&TC during a conference shall consist of all those eligible persons who registered for and are in attendance at that conference. The active membership between conferences of the IFD&TC shall consist of all those eligible persons who attended the most recent annual conference plus any others already registered for the next conference. A mailing list consisting of a minimum of all eligible individuals who have attended either of the two most recent annual conferences of the IFD&TC will be maintained.

The IFD&TC plans to have a relatively small and homogeneous membership. Restrictions on membership and attendance are intended to foster intensive interaction and an informal, collegial atmosphere. To achieve this, the membership may establish bylaws limiting attendance. The IFD&TC
Governing Board, acting in the best interest of the IFD&TC, may deviate from attendance limits for any given conference.

Unless or until revised by bylaws, the rules governing attendance of the IFD&TC shall be as follows:
In order to limit overall conference attendance, and to assure representation from a greater number of organizations, the recommended maximum number of registrants from any organization is sixteen, with a target of one-half or more of the attendees from organizations sending more than one representative participating on the program. In other words, the preferred ratio of participants to attendees from any one organization sending two or more representatives is one to one. Conference program participation may include: program or site chair, session chair or discussant, presenter, discussion leader, panelist, and such other responsibilities as established by bylaws or in the absence of bylaws by the IFD&TC Governing Board.

Persons from organizations not eligible for IFD&TC attendance may be invited to attend by the
IFD&TC Governing Board when deemed in the best interest of the IFD&TC.
Continued membership is allowed if a person who has been an IFD&TC attendee for at least five (5) years leaves an eligible organization (typically because of retirement) and does not become a fulltime employee of an ineligible organization. In addition, registration costs would be reduced to one-half for emeritus members. Emeritus status is granted by the organizers of the conference upon request of an eligible member.

The conference registration fees shall be set by the Governing Board and shall reflect only: a) direct conference costs; b) group meal functions at the conference; c) mailing and office expenses of planning and announcing a conference and of maintaining a mailing list; and d) any other function established by bylaws.

The intent of the IFD&TC is to provide a forum for informal communication of a type not usually available in professional conventions or through professional journals between field director, field technology, and survey management personnel. The sessions shall focus on exchanging information, practices, and opinions on relevant subjects of common interest, including current issues and challenges. These may include work in progress or recently completed. Finished papers ready for publication, public distribution, or production in official formal proceedings are not required.

It is also the intent of the IFD&TC to arrange an annual conference program that includes opportunities for separate sessions on the more specialized interests of its members, specifically on: 1) field direction, supervision, and management; and 2) the technological aspects of survey data collection. The conference program shall also have sessions on topics of common, shared, and mutual interest.

The officers of the IFD&TC shall consist of two site chairpersons, two registrar/secretaries, two program chairpersons for field directors’ interests, two program chairpersons for field technologies interests, and two treasurers. These officers shall constitute the IFD&TC Governing Board. Terms of service for all Governing Board positions shall be staggered to ensure a sustainable training and succession model is in place.

The members of the Governing Board shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members during the business meeting held as part of the annual conference. Whenever possible, the in-coming program chairs should be from an organization of comparable size of the outgoing program chairs (with the goal of having representation among the two chairs of the small/medium and large organizations).

The term of office of each program chairperson shall be two years, staggered so that one person from each pair of offices is elected each year. Each year the newly elected chairs shall assist the second-year chairpersons, who shall be primarily and jointly responsible for planning the following year’s conference. The term of office of the site chairperson, the treasurer and the registrar/secretary shall be four years with a renewal of an additional four years, staggered so that one person from each pair of offices is elected every two years..It is the responsibility of incumbents to train the newly-elected individuals to ensure smooth transition at the time of future election or replacement.

Any Governing Board member may resign at any time by submitting a written notice to the Governing Board members. In the event that any officer is unable to complete his or her full term, a replacement may be chosen by a majority vote of the IFD&TC Governing Board. No person shall hold more than one position on the Governing Board. An incumbent who is elected to another position on the
Governing Board, upon election shall resign his or her former position. Any Governing Board member may be removed, either with or without cause, by the vote, at any annual meeting of the members, of at least two-thirds of the members present.

The Treasurer shall oversee the receipt and disbursement of IFD&TC funds. The Treasurer shall report the status of the organization funds to the membership at the business meeting of the annual conference and file all necessary papers and forms for the organizations required by law. The site chairpersons are responsible for coordinating the selection of conference sites and serving as the primary points-of-contact with conference site staff. The registrar/secretaries are responsible for all conference registration activities and performing all administrative functions of the Governing Board.

The Governing Board may operate as a group of equals or may select one of their members as
General Chairperson. All decisions of the Governing Board (other than replacement of officers unable to complete their terms and conference arrangements) shall be by consensus. Failing consensus, decisions shall be deferred to the next annual business meeting. The Governing Board may appoint additional ad-hoc officers and subcommittees, as they deem necessary or as established in bylaws.

These additional ad-hoc officers and subcommittees shall be appointed with an explicit charge and established duration by the Governing Board and must report to the Governing Board regularly on their activities.

Each annual business meeting shall provide active members with an opportunity to express their general preference on the location and timing of future conferences, additional sanctioned events, and related activities. The Governing Board shall choose the place and date of each future conference/sanctioned event sufficiently in advance to obtain suitable accommodations, while adhering as much as possible to member preference. Historically, the annual conference has been aligned with the American Association for Public Opinion Research Annual Conference in order to provide added IFD&TC participant benefits. Traditionally, it has been scheduled to start on a Sunday afternoon and end mid-day on the following Wednesday.

Bylaws may be established covering the general nature of the IFD&TC conference sites, its annual conference programs, restrictions on membership, supplementary offices or committees of the IFD&TC, and allowable uses of funds. Bylaws may be established, revised, or rescinded by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the business meeting of the annual conference. Proposed changes to the bylaws must be made available electronically (for example, e-mail, Web) to all eligible members at least one month prior to the annual business meeting.

This Charter may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active members present and voting at an
annual meeting, provided that the text of the amendment has been sent to the active membership at least one month prior to the annual meeting