SEAA constitution

ratified January 1997




1. Name  1

2. Objectives  1

3. Membership  1

4. Structure  1

5. Meeting Cycle  2

6. Executive Board  2

7. Elected Regional Representatives  4

8. Council 4

9. Nominations & Petitions  4

10. Elections & Voting  5

11. Non-Council Appointed Officers  5

12. Disenfranchisement 6

13. Treasuries  6

14. Funding  7

15. Local Branches  7

16. Constitution  7




1. Name

The name of this organization shall be THE SOCIETY FOR EAST ASIAN ARCHAEOLOGY (SEAA).


2. Objectives

The objectives of the Society shall be:

  • To promote and stimulate worldwide interest and research in the archaeology of East Asia: East Asia here refers to the territories of Mainland China and the island of Taiwan, Japan, Korea, as well as Mongolia and eastern Siberia;
  • To hold triannual SEAA Members conferences as one of the central activities of the organization;
  • To provide opportunities for direct communication among archaeologists working in the area;
  • To encourage interdisciplinary and inter-regional communication among archaeologists and the practitioners of related fields; and
  • To enhance outreach efforts to the general community.


3. Membership

Membership of this Society shall be composed of professional and avocational individuals worldwide who are interested in East Asian archaeology. There shall be three classes of Membership: Honorary, Regular, and Reduced Fee (e.g. student, unemployed, retired). Membership shall be contingent upon payment of appropriate dues for each category as determined by the Council. The fee is for three membership years. The membership year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 and lasts for three years from January 1 of the year in which the membership fee was paid.

     Privileges of membership shall include:

     •   Participation in the decision-making process of the Society through voting by postal and/or electronic ballots when necessary;

     •   Eligibility to hold elected and appointed offices of the Society; all such officers must be full-paying SEAA Members;

     •   Participation in the Worldwide SEAA Conferences, as presenters of papers and posters, and as session discussants or chairs;

     •   Access to the Members’ area of the Society’s website; and

     •   Contributing to the flow of information among Members.


4. Structure



Executive Officers:







CHAIR: President


Executive Officers (4)

Past President (1)

Regional Representatives (7): Europe, North America, Australasia, China, Korea, Japan, Northern Asia



Web Editor

Social Media Coordinator

Public Relations Officer

Conference Organizer

Working Group Members

Regional Treasurers



5. Meeting Cycle

SEAA aims to hold Worldwide Conferences every three years, with the locus shifting among major world locations. General Business Meetings for the Members attending the conference will be held at the Worldwide Conferences. They will be prefaced by an Executive Board meeting to compile and discuss an Agenda, followed by a Council Meeting at which the Agenda, circulated to Council Members by the President through the Secretary, will be discussed and proposals agreed for presentation to the Members attending the General Business Meeting.


6. Executive Board

The Executive Board shall consist of four elected Executive Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer).


The Executive Board shall:

     •   Act as the primary decision-making and administrative body of the Society. Decisions by the Executive Board shall require a three-quarters majority. In the case of important decisions where the required majority cannot be reached, the Council will be consulted to act as tie-breaker.

     •   Approve initial, non-routine, or large expenditures by the Treasurer.

     •   Issue invitations to individual Non-Council Appointed Officers (see Article 11) or any other person to attend a Council Meeting as an observer.


The Executive Officers:

     •   Shall be elected to the Council by online nomination and ballot;

     •   Shall serve as the Executive Board; and

     •   Shall also sit as Members of Council.


President. The President shall:

     •   Represent SEAA externally;

     •   Serve as the presiding officer of the Society and sit as a member of the Executive Board at Council Meetings;

     •   Serve as the Chair of the SEAA Council;

     •   Produce an Agenda for the Council Meeting and chair the General Business Meeting; (permanent scheduled items on the Agenda include reports from the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, Website Officer, and an interim report from the Local Conference Organizer);

     •   Submit to the General Business Meeting a President’s Report for presidential activities since the previous Worldwide Conference, to be mounted on the SEAA website within two months following the Worldwide Conference;

     •   Have powers and authorities usually vested in the President of a learned society; and

     •   Perform such other duties as are necessarily incident to the office of President.


Vice President. The Vice President shall:

     •   Succeed to the Presidency automatically when the incumbent President’s term expires or in the case of the President’s resignation;

     •   Perform such duties as are delegated or assigned by the President or the Executive Board;

     •   Perform the duties of the President in the event that individual is unable to serve;

     •   Sit as a member of the Executive Board at Council Meetings;

     •   Submit to the General Business Meeting a Vice President’s Report for vice-presidential activities since the previous Worldwide Conference, to be mounted on the SEAA website within two months following the Worldwide Conference;

     •   Schedule, publicize, and oversee the running of the Worldwide SEAA Conference organized by the Local Conference Organizer; act on-site as the conference trouble-shooter; and write a Conference Report to be mounted on the SEAA website within two months following the Worldwide Conference.


Secretary. The Secretary shall:

     •   Assist in the scheduling and preparing the Board, Council, and General Business Meetings, and keep Minutes of their proceedings and submit them to the Web Editor for publication on the SEAA Membership area within two months of the meeting;

     •   Submit to the General Business Meeting a Secretary’s Report for secretariat activities since the previous Worldwide Conference for publication on the SEAA website within two months of the meeting;

     •   Collect the reports by President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Conference Organizer to submit to the Web Editor for publication on the SEAA website within 2 months of the meeting;

     •   Sit as a member of the Executive Board at Council Meetings;

     •   Coordinate the nomination and voting procedures for all elected position. Tasks include:

         •  Sending out the nomination announcement;

         •  Collecting the names of nominees;

         •  Confirming the eligibilities of nominees and their seconders;

         •  Running the elections;

         •  Announcing the results to the membership;

     •   Archive all main SEAA documents and pass those along to the next Secretary.


Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:

     •   Be in charge of the Central Treasury (see Article 13) and oversee the activities of appointed Regional Treasurers;

     •   Sit as a member of the Executive Board at Council Meetings;

     •   Submit to the General Business Meeting a Treasurer’s Report for treasury activities since the previous Worldwide Conference for mounting on the SEAA website within two months following the Worldwide Conference.

     •   Make all payments upon approval by the board;

     •   Maintain and administer the database of Members; generate mailing labels; accept Membership Dues, Conference Fees, and Subscriptions as necessary; issue dues notices; make approved payments;

     •   Seek bequests, endowments, and special project funding from corporations or funding agencies to further the mission of the Society;

     •   Distribute remaining SEAA funds upon dissolution of the Society as directed by Council.


7. Elected Regional Representatives

Regional Representatives shall be elected by online nomination and ballot to sit on the Council. Regional Representatives shall consist of seven representatives, one from each of the following regions from Europe, North America, Australasia, China, Korea, Japan, and Northern Asia (i.e., Mongolia, Central Asia, and the Russian Far East).

     Regional Representatives shall:

     •   Sit as members of the Council Meetings;

     •   Bring to the attention of the Council regional concerns in Society activities;

     •   Be encouraged to establish local branch societies and to host local meetings in order to encourage communication among SEAA Members in their respective areas;

     •   Be responsible for Membership and Subscription Drives in their respective areas;

     •   Communicate regional news to the Web Editor, Social Media Coordinator, and Public Relations Officer.


8. Council

The Council shall consist of 12 Council Members: the four Executive Officers, seven elected Regional Representatives, and one Past President (usually the most recent President or one of their predecessors if the most recent President is unable to do so). The President serves as Council Chair.

There will be quarterly Council Meetings held online or in person at which the Executive Board and other Council Members report on their work and votes are cast on major decisions. One of the Council Meetings will take place at every SEAA Worldwide Conference prior to the General Business Meeting. The Quorum for decision-making at Council Meetings shall require the presence of a simple majority of current Council Members and must include at least two Executive Officers and one Regional Representative each from East Asia and the West. Decisions will be based on simple majority vote. In the event of a tie, the council chair will make the final decision.


The Council shall:

     •   Act as the policy-making body of the Society;

     •   Assist and support the Society broadly speaking, and the Executive Board more specifically;

     •   Perform various functions, such as serving as an advisory body when asked to do so by the Executive Board;

     •   Plan for, execute, and support membership engagement and membership drives;

     •   Shall vote on issues put forward by the Executive Board.


Council Members shall:

     •   Be dues-paying Members;

     •   Be accountable to the Council for carrying out their duties;

     •   Report on their activities at the Council Meeting.


9. Nominations & Petitions

     •   The Council shall entertain nominations from the General Membership for appointments to new or elapsed terms. Current officers or representatives may be challenged by petition put forward by at least ten SEAA Members for re-consideration. Petitions which challenge a sitting elected official shall be discussed by the Council for resolution.

     •   Self-nominations are not permitted for any elected position.

     •   Vice President nominations require a separate nominator and seconder, both of whom must be Council Members; other posts require a separate nominator and seconder from the General SEAA Membership.

     •   Nominations, Seconds, and Petitions shall be sent by email to the Secretary, who will share these with the Executive Board. The Secretary will contact all Nominees by email to confirm their willingness to serve; positive replies will ensure inclusion on the ballot to the General SEAA Membership for a vote.


10. Elections & Voting

Except in the case of extenuating circumstances, the election of Officers shall take place in the spring before a world-wide conference. Nominations and voting will be conducted electronically, with the tasks divided between the Secretary and the Web Editor. Each SEAA Member is entitled to one vote, and plurality among the votes cast shall determine the winner.

Non-election business requiring voting by the Membership can be carried out by electronic ballot conducted by the Secretary as determined feasible by the Executive Board.


•   Should Nominees stand for election without opposition, the Executive Board may declare them elected by acclamation without the need for a vote.

•   The length of term for elected positions is 3 years.

•   The President will usually serve for only one term of three years. The Vice President automatically becomes President after their first term as Vice President. Should the Vice President not want to become President, and neither Secretary nor Treasurer want to take on the role, then the President may continue for at most one more term of three years.

•   The Secretary and Treasurer may serve in the same position for a maximum of two terms of three years each, or six years altogether, although the second term must adhere to normal election or appointment procedures.

•   There are no set lengths of term for the appointed positions. People in appointed positions serve at the discretion of the Board for as long as the Board deems suitable as long as the appointed person is able and willing to fill the position.

•   Nominations to the Vice President position require a supporting nomination and second from separate Council Members (including Executive Officers and Regional Representatives). Other officers, including Executive Officers and Regional Representatives, may be nominated and seconded by any separate SEAA Members (including Executive Officers and Regional Representatives). In all cases, self-nomination is not permitted but requires nomination and seconding by separate Members.

•   Should the Vice President be unable or unwilling to assume the Presidency when their term ends, the position will be offered, in order of seniority (numbers of years of service on the Executive Board) to the other Executive Officers. Should one accept, their own position must be filled by appointment by the Council on a temporary basis until elections can be held.

•   Should none of the other Executive Officers wish to assume the Presidency, the Council Chair will convene an emergency Council meeting without the participation of the other three Executive Officers to discuss and vote on a solution. Possible solutions include appointing one of the Council Members (but not a previous president) as acting president for a period determined by the Council; appointing a non-Council SEAA Member as acting President for a period determined by the Council; or asking the President to remain in his/her position for a period determined by the Council.

•   Early resignations of Executive Board Officers may be filled by Council appointment to serve until the next round of elections.


11. Appointed Officers

The Executive Board appoints to these positions, which may be filled by existing Council Members or other persons it deems suitable. Appointed Officers not already sitting on the Council may be invited by the Executive Board to attend Council Meetings as observers, but they shall not be eligible to vote in Council Meetings. The Executive Board may appoint SEAA Member(s) to act in various capacities on a temporary basis in various Working Groups when the need arises. Appointments to the following positions should be made by the Council with a three-quarters majority vote. The number and nature of the appointments may be changed by the Council on the recommendation of the Executive Board, similarly with a two-thirds majority vote.


Conference Organizer. The Local Conference Organizer shall:

     •   Be responsible for organizing the next Worldwide Conference, in collaboration with the Vice President;

     •   Install a Conference Organization Committee and regularly communicate with the Vice President about issues pertaining to the conference;

     •   Plan and organize the academic content and scheduling of Conference activities and other logistical aspects (booking facilities and equipment, local transportation and events, arranging payment, etc.);

     •   Liaise with the Treasurer about Conference funding;

     •   In collaboration with the Vice President prepare and disseminate the Call for Papers for the conference;

     •   Provide an interim report on the current conference for the Business Meeting and a finalized report (together with the Vice President) to be published on the SEAA Website within two months following the Business Meeting.


Web Editor. The Web Editor shall:

     •   Maintain the website, keep it updated, post information as requested by the Public Relations Officer, Social Media Coordinator, and members of the Executive Board;

     •   Work closely with the Social Media Coordinator to manage the SEAA blog;

     •   Liaise with the Technical Web Support Vendor as necessary;

     •   Help SEAA Members with any issues they may encounter on the SEAA website.


Public Relations Officer. The Public Relations Officer shall:

     •   Oversee the promotion of SEAA and its activities through various channels;

     •   Be familiar with and explore opportunities to promote SEAA, such as ensuring the presence of SEAA Members (including the Public Relations Officer) at various conferences;

     •   Oversee the work of the Social Media Coordinator;

     •   Work with the Social Media Coordinator on the production of a regular newsletter.


Social Media Coordinator. The Social Media Coordinator shall:

     •   Work with the Public Relations Officer and the Executive Board;

     •   Run the official SEAA twitter account, the SEAA Facebook page, and other public SEAA accounts;

     •   Work closely with the Web Editor to manage the SEAA blog;

     •   Work with the Public Relations Officer on the production of a regular newsletter.


Liaison-Officers. Liaison-Officers:

     •      may be appointed as needed to liaise with academic and other organizations as per the need to represent SEAA and promote its mission.


12. Disenfranchisement

This is a decision taken by / voted on by the Executive Board. If any elected or appointed officer fails to pay their SEAA Membership Dues or is agreed by three quarters of the Council to have failed to perform their duties to the Society, that Officer may be temporarily replaced by an appointment of the Executive Board until the next scheduled vote/ballot. Any SEAA Member in good standing may initiate a removal process by bringing the possibility to the attention of the Council.

  1. a SEAA Member has substantially violated the interests of the Society, he/she may be excluded upon a decision of the Executive Board. Before such a decision is taken, the Member must be informed about the proposed exclusion and its reasons. The Member should then be given the opportunity to justify their behavior personally or in written form to the Board within a reasonable period of time. Any written statement by the Member concerned must be read out aloud during the Board meeting. The decision of the Board, including the reasons for it, must be sent to the member in writing. The Board’s decision can be overruled by a decision at the General Business Meeting.

Any SEAA Member may resign their Membership in the Society at any time, but they will not be eligible for a refund of any portion of their Membership Dues.


13. Treasuries

The Society shall have a Central Treasury for collection of SEAA Membership dues and conference fees. Additionally, the Executive Board may appoint Regional Treasurers on a temporary basis if needed.


14. Funding

The basic income of the Society shall consist of SEAA Membership Dues, Conference Fees, and Institutional Subscription Fees. These are expended on conference organization and website maintenance; in addition, a student award has been funded since 2016. Bequests, endowments, and special project funding from corporations or funding agencies shall be solicited to further the objectives of the Society.

No financial obligation in excess of funds available in the Treasuries shall be assumed collectively by the Council or individually by any Member on behalf of the Society, especially in the case of libel suits brought against any Society publication. Every SEAA Member shall be indemnified by the Society against all expenses and liabilities, including legal fees, reasonably incurred or imposed upon them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made a party or in which they may become involved, by reason of being or having been a SEAA Member, except in such cases wherein that Member is adjudged guilty of willful misfeasance or malfeasance in the performance of Duties. The liability for such indemnities shall not exceed the funds available in the Treasuries. No Member of the Society shall be personally liable for debts incurred by the Society.

No part of the Funds of this Society shall be distributed to SEAA Members except under conditions of commissioned work, reimbursement, or grants given. On dissolution of the Society, any funds remaining shall be distributed by the Treasurer to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations to be selected by the Council.


15. Local Branches

Branches of the Society may be established by Regional Representatives in their country or area in order to host local SEAA meetings and encourage communication on a residential basis among SEAA Members. However, local branch societies may not charge a separate Membership fee in competition with the Society’s Membership dues; funding for local activities must be generated through other means, and such activities may be subsidized by the Central Treasury at the discretion of the Executive Board.


16. Constitution

The Constitution shall be reviewed for changes and amendments every three years at the Worldwide SEAA Conference Business Meeting, when amendments are proposed by the Council on its own initiative or upon petition by 10 or more Members. A new draft Constitution incorporating the suggested changes shall be circulated to the Council first, and then presented to the Membership and voted upon electronically; approval of the changes shall require a 60% majority positive vote among the votes cast; veto will also require 60% of the votes cast with explicit reasons for rejection. The Executive Board may establish a Working Group to collate suggestions for constitutional amendments, and the Working Group can be called upon to provide a new constitution draft after a veto.

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President's Message

Welcome to the website of SEAA, the Society for East Asian Archaeology. Established in 1996 and now counting some 500 international members, SEAA is the preeminent organization devoted to the promotion of the field of East Asian archaeology and the facilitation of scholarly exchange among archaeologists of the region.