KNUST ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA
We, the alumni of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) domiciled in North America, on whose behalf this Constitution is signed:
Being grateful for the privilege of having shared in that institution's ideals;
Mindful of the enrichment and opportunities brought to our lives through our association with the University;
Being aware of the significant role that the Alumni Association have to play in the growth and development of the University;
Having regard to the advantage to be derived from the effective and continuous exchange of information and co-ordination of activities in the field of higher education especially as regards Science and Technology and
Recognizing that the creation of an Alumni Association of North America would best serve these purposes;
Do hereby constitute ourselves as KNUST Alumni Association of North America and pledge to continue to support KNUST and the KNUST Alumni Associations through giving of our time, talents and resources.
ARTICLE I: Establishment Of The Association
SECTION 1: The Name
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Alumni Association of North America, (hereinafter referred to as “the National Association”) is hereby established and shall operate and be governed according to the provisions of this Constitution.
SECTION 2: The Authority
The National Association shall operate in conjunction with the parent body in Ghana, viz: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Alumni Association. For the purposes of this document and related by-laws, the word 'National Association' shall be defined as the entirety of its constituent members.
ARTICLE II: National Associations
SECTION 1: The National Association, as established, shall be the umbrella entity under which all regional chapters will operate and through which the services and activities of the Association relating to its chapter members shall be considered, channeled and coordinated.
SECTION 2: The National Association shall also act as the centre for information about the activities of its constituent chapters and shall be the mouthpiece of KNUST Alumni members in North America.
ARTICLE III: The Office
The principal office of the Association shall be at 15 Rockford Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut, 06514, USA. Any other offices of the Association shall be located at such places within or outside the State of Connecticut, United States as the National Executives of the Association may from time to time determine.
ARTICLE IV: Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the Association shall be:
i: to mobilize the full strength of the organized alumni in support of the educational
programs of KNUST consistent with its mission
ii: to promote the welfare of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the University and its alumni;
iii: to establish a medium through which members of the Association will offer meaningful contributions and assistance towards the progress of the University;
iv: to establish and promote academic and social brotherhood among its members as well as the staff and students of the University; and
v: to establish and maintain a central endowment fund from which assistance to the University including special research grants and bursaries to students could be given.
ARTICLE V: Membership Of The Association
Membership of the Association shall be open to:
i. all Graduates and Diploma certificate holders of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and its affiliate institutions, Kumasi College of Technology (KCT) and the University of Science and Technology (UST);
ii. all former students who have completed at least a semester from the institutions listed in (i) above; and
iii. all friends of KNUST who have demonstrated interest in promoting the ideals and educational objectives consistent with those of the University.
ARTICLE VI: Categories of Membership
SECTION 1: Full members
Full members shall consist of all former students who have received a degree or a Diploma certificate from the University as defined by Article V supra, and who have registered with the association and paid their annual dues as set forth by the National Executives.
SECTION 2: Fellows
Full members of the Association who have made exceptional contribution to the Association or the University may be conferred Fellows of the Association by the National Convention upon the recommendation of the National Executives.
SECTION 3: Honorary Members
Former lecturers, professors and staff members of the university or an outstanding individual in the community who has made significant contribution to the Association or to the University may be granted Honorary Membership on the advice of the National Executive Committee. Such membership shall be decided and approved at a general meeting of the National Executives. Honorary members shall not be eligible for election and shall have no voting rights.
SECTION 4: Associate Members
A spouse of a full member who is not an alumnus may be made an Associate Member of the Association, by application to the Chapter of which the spouse is a member. Associate Members shall not be eligible for election and shall have no voting rights. An Associate Member shall be recommended by, and admitted only with the consent of his/her spouse.
SECTION 5: Resignation and Termination
A member may resign at any time by giving notice to the Secretary of the National Association fourteen (14) days prior to the resignation, however, such resignation shall not relieve the member of the obligation to pay any accrued dues or other charges.
The President, in consultation with the National Executives, and on the advice of the National Executive Committee, may suspend or terminate a member of the Association of his/her voting rights for cause. The member shall be advised of the complaint at least twenty one (21) days before the action is scheduled to be voted upon. The member shall have the opportunity to present a defense prior to the vote for removal, and may appeal the decision of the Executives at the next general Executives meeting, provided that notice of intent to appeal is provided to the Secretary at least ten (10).
ARTICLE VII: Officers of The Association
SECTION 1: The National Executive Committee
The Officers of the Association shall constitute the National Executive Committee, and shall comprise:
1. The President
2. The Vice President
3. The General Secretary
4. The Assistant General Secretary for Publicity
5. The National Treasurer
6. The Financial Secretary and
7. Ex-Officio (the Immediate Past President)
ARTICLE VIII: Terms of Officers
The National Executive Committee members shall be elected simultaneously every other year at the biennial convention.
ARTICLE IX: Nominations And General Discussion Forums
SECTION 1: Nominating Committee
Prior to the biennial convention, a Nominating Committee appointed by the President and composed of at least three members of the Executives shall compile a list of nominations to the voted offices of the National Executives and communicate those nominations in writing to the general membership through the general communication media as described in Section 2 of this article, at least twenty-eight (28) days prior to the next convention. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the immediate Past President.
SECTION 2: Information Dissemination
The alumni website and the yahoo group email platforms shall be the primary media for communication, general business, and dissemination of information.
ARTICLE X: Nominations And Election Of Officers
SECTION 1: Nominations of National Executives
Nominations for the officers of the National Executives shall be solicited from the full membership of the association. Solicitation of nominations shall be made through the media provided for in Article IX, Section 2 of this Constitution.
SECTION 2: Election of Officers
Election of Officers shall be by a majority vote of the membership tallied at the Biennial Convention of the Association. Votes may be cast in person while in attendance at a meeting of the Association or in absentia ahead of a meeting of the Association using methods determined by the National Executives.
SECTION 3: Term Limits
The Officers of the Association shall hold office for a two-year term, but shall be eligible for reelection at the Biennial Convention of the Association. Elections shall be conducted under the supervision of an Electoral Commission appointed by the National Executives of the Association.
ARTICLE XI: Convention Of The Association
SECTION 1: The National Convention
There shall be a National Convention of the Association, hereinafter called the Convention, and shall consist of all members of the Association as specified in Articles V and VI of this Constitution.
SECTION 2: Meetings
The Convention shall meet every other year during the Independence Day (July 4th) weekend or as may be determined by the National Executives. At least twelve (12) months’ notice of such a meeting and the location shall be given to all members.
SECTION 3: Quorum
Any thirty (30) full members of the Association (including the President and any other officer(s) representing at least two (2) of the Chapters, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of Convention.
SECTION 4: Decisions of the Convention
The decision of the Convention shall be by simple majority of members present and voting and shall be binding on all members of the Association.
SECTION 5: The Convention shall:
a) determine the general policies and adopt rules and general direction of the Association;
b) consider and approve the annual reports and the Financial Statement of the Association;
c) consider and approve the draft biennial programs and projects of the Association;
d) consider and adopt rules and general directions governing the activities of the Association, its chapters and its sub-committees
ARTICLE XII: Regional Chapters
SECTION 1: A Regional Chapter may be formed or established in any region or state of the North America with the approval of the National Executive Committee and shall be subject to this Constitution and its bylaws or regulations for its efficient operation.
SECTION 2: A Regional Chapter shall be the organ of the National Association through which the services and other activities of the National Association relating to the chapters shall be considered, channeled and coordinated.
SECTION 3: A Regional Chapter shall consist of the KNUST Alumni members, as defined by Article IV of this constitution, residing in a geographic region, a state or states within the continental United States of America.
SECTION 4: A Regional Chapter shall elect its officers and prescribe its own rules of procedure, provided however, that the rules and procedures shall not conflict or be inconsistent with those of the National Association;
SECTION 5: Where any provision in the constitution or bye laws of a Regional Chapter of the Association is inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution, the former shall be null and void.
SECTION 6: A Regional Chapter shall among other things:
a) oversee the implementation of the decisions and policies of the Convention concerning its chapter;
b) establish such subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary for carrying out of its functions
ARTICLE XIII: Obligations Of Regional Chapters
Regional Chapters shall operate under the National Association to assist it in achieving its objectives. They shall in particular:
a) channel all communication to the University through the National Association
b) submit all necessary report and information to the designated office of the national Executives (at least two financial report and one annual report from the regional president);
c) pay their annual contributions as assessed by the Convention and such special contributions as may be determined by the Convention.
ARTICLE XIV: Committees
SECTION 1: Committees
The President, in consultation with the National Executives, shall appoint such committees as he/she finds necessary. Initially, three permanent committees will be established. These committees will carry the principal functions of the Alumni. The committees shall be (i) Educational Committee, (ii) Special Events Committee and (iii) Audit and Finance Committee.
SECTION 2: Educational Committee. The Educational Committee shall engage in organizing formal annual lectures, which will seek to educate the alumni community on current topics of interest in Ghana in particular and Africa in general. The committee shall also coordinate with the University and mobilize alumni professionals in the Diaspora interested in teaching courses on campus during summer times
SECTION 3: Special Events Committee. The committee shall be responsible for organizing the Biennial Conventions, banquet and picnics of the Alumni and other entertainment activities and educational trips for members.
SECTION 4: Audit and Finance Committee. The committee shall be responsible for fundraising programs for the association. The committee shall audit the finances of the National Association, the Regional Chapters and report same to the National Executives at the Annual Executives meeting.
ARTICLE XV: The Secretariat
SECTION 1: Permanent Secretariat
The National Convention shall establish a permanent Secretariat of the Association within a maximum period of twelve (12) months from the date of the promulgation of this Constitution and prescribe its functions.
SECTION 2: The Functions
The Secretariat of the Association, when established, shall have such other functions and responsibilities as the National Executives may determine.
SECTION 3: The Principal Office
The Secretariat shall be headed by a General Secretary assisted by such other officials as may be determined by the Executives. Until such a Secretariat is established, the principal office of the Association at 15 Rockford Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut, 06514, USA shall serve as the Secretariat of the Association.
ARTICLE XVI: Finances of the Association
SECTION 1: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Association shall end on July 31 of each year.
SECTION 2: Bank Accounts
The National Association and Regional Chapters shall keep Bank Account(s).
SECTION 3: Bank Signatories
There shall be two primary signatories to the Association's Bank Account(s) - the President and the Treasurer; with the General Secretary serving as backup in the absence of the President.
SECTION 4: Deposits
The monies of the Association shall be deposited in the accounts of the Association at the financial institutions as may be designated by the Executives or the President..
SECTION 5: Budget
The National Executives shall adopt an annual operating budget covering all activities of the Alumni within 60days of the new fiscal year. Within thirty (30) days following the closure of the fiscal year, the Financial Secretary shall furnish the membership with a financial report for the fiscal year just concluded.
SECTION 6: Dues and Donations
The finances of the Association shall be derived from membership dues, levies, donations, collections, bequeathals, and any other subscriptions or sources as may be determined by the Executives.
SECTION 7: Contracts and Checks
Except as the National Executives may otherwise prescribe, all checks, drafts and other instruments on the account of the Association for the payment of money and all instruments of transfer of securities shall be signed in the name and on behalf of the Association by the Treasurer or by such other officer, agent or employee of the Association, as may, from time to time, be designated by the National Executives. All instruments of transfer of personal property other than securities, all instruments of conveyance of real property and all contracts and agreements shall be signed by such officer(s) as the National Executives shall from time to time prescribe.
SECTION 8: Gifts
The National Executives may accept on behalf of the Association any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for general purposes or for any special purpose of the Association.
SECTION 9: Audit
The Accounts of the Association shall be audited at the end of every fiscal year (i.e. July) by Auditors appointed and approved by the Executives. The audit committee shall coordinate the auditing of the books of the local chapters.
SECTION 10: Expenditures
The finances of the Association shall be applied solely in a manner prescribed by the Executives, and no portion thereof shall be paid, transferred either directly or indirectly by way of dividends, bonuses or profits to any person or persons whatsoever without approval of the Executives.
ARTICLE XVII: Vacancies
In the event of the absence, disability, resignation or indisposition of the President, the Vice President shall fulfill the role of President until the end of the current term of office; otherwise the National Executives can appoint a replacement to fulfil the remaining term. The president may fill other vacancies in consultation with the executive committee should they become available for the same reasons as listed above.
ARTICLE XVIII: Constitutional Amendments
SECTION 1: Voting/Quorum for Amendments
The Constitution of the Alumni Association of North America may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership tallied at any duly convened convention of the Association. Votes may be cast in person while in attendance at a convention of the association. The National Executives shall determine the feasibility of voting by proxy.
SECTION 2: Notice for Amendment
Any proposal to amend this Constitution shall be included in the Notice convening the Convention. The National Executives may propose amendment(s) to the constitution assuming quorum requirements in Section 1 are met
SECTION 3: Validity of Proposed Amendment
Any proposal(s) for amendment emanating from any Chapters shall be supported by at least two (2) of the Chapters and shall be submitted in writing to the General Secretary at least (10) ten weeks before the Convention of the Association for study by Executives.
ARTICLE XIX: Indemnification
SECTION 1: Right of Indemnity
The Association shall indemnify any person who is serving or has served as an officer or member of the National Executives of the Association (and his/her executor, administrator, and heirs) against all reasonable expenses (including, but not limited to judgments, costs and legal fees) actually and necessarily incurred by him/her in connection with the defense of an litigation, action, suit, or proceeding, civil, criminal or administrative, to which he/she may have been made a party by reason of being or having been an officer or Executives member of the Association, except he/she shall have no right to reimbursement for matters in which he/she has been adjudged liable to the Association for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his/her duties.
In addition, the National Association may pay for or reimburse the reasonable expenses of a Director, Officer, employee, or agent of the National Association who is a party to a proceeding to the extent and under the circumstances permitted by Connecticut State law.
SECTION 2: Other Rights
The right of indemnification shall be in addition to, and not exclusive of, all other rights to which such an officer or Executives member may be entitled.
ARTICLE XX: Conflicting of Interests
All members of the Association shall comply with the provisions of Sections 1127 - 1130 of Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, regarding "conflicting interest" transactions, and shall engage in no transaction that would constitute an “excess benefit” transaction under Section 4958 of the Code. The National Executives may adopt appropriate policies and procedures to implement this Section, and such policies and procedures may only be amended by the same vote required to amend these Bylaws. .
ARTICLE XXI: Arbitration
SECTION 1: Any dispute arising
a) within the National Executives,
b) within and between member chapters,
c) between The National Executive Committee or the Executives and any chapter, or a member or members concerning any provisions of this Constitution shall be settled in accordance with Section 2 this article.
SECTION 2: Ad Hoc Committee
In the event of any dispute arising as a result of Section 1 supra, The President in consultation with the Executives shall appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the dispute, resolve and report to the President.
ARTICLE XXII: Byelaws
The Chapters may adopt bylaws not inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution on any matter of concern to the Association.
ARTICLE XXIII: Final Provisions
1) This Constitution may be subject to ratification by the National Convention. The Instruments of Ratification or Accession shall be deposited with the General Secretary of the Association.
2) This Constitution shall formally come into force upon signature by the President and the General Secretary and upon ratification or approval by the Convention.
3) Upon ratification by the Convention, every member of the Association, referred to in Article V of this Constitution shall accede to this Constitution upon acceptance of its provisions.
4) The General Secretary of the Association shall transmit copies of this Constitution, Instrument of Ratification or Accession to all Members and to the parent association in Ghana
IN WITNESS HEREOF the undersigned being authorized by this Convention have signed this Constitution on the dates appearing under their signatures.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall come into effect from the 30th day November, 2014 after it has been ratified by THE CONVENTION and Executive leadership, and signed by the persons currently encumbering the positions of National President and The General Secretary.
NATIONAL PRESIDENT GENERAL SECRETARY
Yao Ababio, PhD Leslie Mills, PhD