APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)

Bylaws of the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics

The institutional home for the Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) within the American Physical Society (APS) is the Department of Education and Diversity, as a program under the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics.

A National Organizing Committee (NOC) provides support for the organization of the annual Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. At each host institution, a local organizing committee with strong student participation plans and organizes the detailed program for the local conference and is responsible for local fundraising. The NOC works with the APS to provide national coordination of conference organizational efforts, to provide information and documentation to facilitate local organization, to coordinate national and long‐term fund raising for the conferences, and to receive and review proposals from prospective host institutions for future conferences.


The National Organizing Committee consists of the following members:

  1. A three‐person Chair line (officers) of Chair‐Elect, Chair, and Past Chair, who typically have each led the organization of one of the past CUWiP.
  2. The chair (or designee) of the local organizing committee for each of the most recent conferences in the series.
  3. The chair (or designee) of the local organizing committee from each institution hosting one of the next conferences in the series.
  4. A current member of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), designated by the CSWP, who serves as liaison to the CSWP.
  5. A representative from the APS Education and Diversity Department.
  6. One undergraduate or graduate student who has been active in helping organize a CUWiP in a recent year, and selected by the NOC during the annual meeting.

All members of the NOC are voting members.


All chairs (or their designee) of local organizing committees from previous years of CUWiP, chairs (or their designee) from approved future CUWiP sites, and interested parties who have contacted APS to remain informed on the progress of CUWiP form the Constituents. The list of constituents is maintained by APS staff. Constituents who wish to be removed from the list can submit an email request to the APS administrator for the NOC.

Meetings of The National Organizing Committee

The NOC meets regularly throughout the year, with one meeting designated as the Annual Meeting of the National Organizing Committee. The Annual Meeting is typically held shortly after the CUWiP have been held each year, usually in March or April, and is open to all constituents. At regular meetings of the NOC, a quorum consists of six voting members of the NOC, including at least one member of the chair line and representatives from at least four upcoming sites.

Duties of The Chair of The NOC

The Chair presides at all meetings of the NOC at which his or her attendance is possible. Following consultation with the NOC, the Chair makes all appointments necessary to conduct the affairs of the organization and serves as a voting member of any committee other than the Nominating Committee.

Duties of The Chair-Elect

The Chair‐Elect acts in place of the Chair if the latter is unable to perform his or her duties and serves as Chair of the Site Selection Committee.

Duties of The Past Chair

The Past Chair provides institutional memory for the NOC and provides guidance for the Chair. The Past Chair coordinates the nomination and election process for the next Chair­Elect and serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee. If the Past Chair is unable to perform her or his duties, the Chair line may choose to select a previous Past Chair to fulfill these duties. The Past Chair prepares a yearly report of the activities of the organization to be presented at a meeting of the NOC before the September following the conferences and to be made available to the NOC and constituents.

Nomination Procedure

Not less than four months before the Annual Meeting, the Past Chair invites all Constituents to suggest to the Nominating Committee candidates for election to Chair‐Elect. Any member proposed as a candidate by at least three constituents not later than three months before the Annual Meeting is considered to be formally nominated. Not later than three months before the Annual Meeting, the Nominating Committee submits to the Past Chair nominations of at least two candidates for Chair‐Elect.

Voting Procedure

No later than two months before the Annual Meeting, the Past Chair invites members of the NOC to vote by electronic means, stating a closing date at least one month prior to the Annual Meeting. The results are tallied by the Past Chair. The election is decided by a plurality of those voting; i.e., the candidate who receives the most votes wins. If there is a tie, the Chair line votes to break the tie. The Past Chair communicates the results of the election to all constituents at least two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.

Terms of Office

The tenure of the members of the NOC begins at the close of the Annual Meeting. The Chair‐Elect is elected for a one‐year term and successively becomes Chair and Past Chair in the following years for a total of three years. The Chair is not eligible for the position of Chair‐Elect for two years after service as Past Chair.

Vacancies in Office

If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the Chair‐Elect succeeds and completes the term of the Chair and serves as Chair the following year. If the Page 2 of 3 Chair‐Elect succeeds to Chair due to a vacancy, the position of Chair‐Elect remains vacant for the remainder of the term until the next regular election. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair‐Elect, the Past Chair takes on the duties of both Chair‐Elect and Past Chair for the remainder of the term. The offices of both Chair‐Elect and Chair are filled during the next election. If an officer is absent from three consecutive meetings of the NOC, that position is declared vacant.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee consists of the Past Chair, and two members appointed by the Chair (other than officers) not later than five months before each Annual Meeting. The two members appointed by the Chair must be constituents, but not necessarily members of the NOC. The APS CSWP is invited to appoint one member to the Nominating Committee. The Past Chair serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee. The term of office for members of the Nominating Committee lasts until the election is complete .

Site Selection Committee

The Site Selection Committee consists of the Chair­Elect and two former site leader chosen by the Chair line.

Other Committees

The Chair may choose to appoint subcommittees to focus on specific tasks relevant to the business of the NOC. Appointed subcommittees may include members of the NOC and constituents outside the NOC.

Communicating With APS

The NOC, through the Chair, will inform the CSWP liaison and the representative from the APS Education and Diversity Department of significant changes to policies, and any policy changes that will have financial implications.

Procedure for Amending The Bylaws

A proposal for amendment of these Bylaws may be made by the NOC or by petition to the Chair signed by no fewer than five constituents. The Chair‐Elect distributes electronic copies of the proposed amendment to all constituents not less than two weeks before an upcoming NOC meeting. Opportunity for discussion is given during the NOC meeting. With the unanimous consent of those constituents present and voting, the voting on the proposed amendment may be carried out at that meeting. Without that consent, the voting on the proposed amendment is as follows: not later than six weeks after the proposed amendments are distributed, the Chair‐Elect again distributes to all constituents electronic copies of the proposed amendment, to be voted on by electronic means. Adoption of the amendment requires a two‐thirds vote by those voting.


The CUWiP NOC can sever its agreement to work with the APS after a two‐thirds vote by the NOC on each of two successive annual meetings. APS can sever its relationship with CUWiP after a vote by the APS Council of Representatives. In all cases, the NOC and APS representatives (including the APS CEO and the CUWiP officers) must meet to discuss the dissolution, and the discussion and reasons for dissolution will be communicated to the CSWP, the APS Council of Representatives, and the CUWiP constituents at least three months prior to any dissolution vote.

NSF logoUS Department of Education logo These conferences are supported in part by the National Science Foundation (PHY-1346627, PHY-1622510, and PHY-2012033) and by the Department of Energy (DE-SC0011076). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Department of Energy.