By-Laws of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences

Amended October 2016.

The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences


By-laws embodying the Constitution of the Academy by the State of Connecticut, the Act of Incorporation of October 1799 as amended by Special Act of the Legislature approved May 23rd 1949 and as further amended by amendment filed November 16th 1983 and further changes adopted by the Academy in 1988, 2004 and in 2010 and 2011and in 2016.

The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (CAAS) became a Tax Exempt Organization as an Agent of Yale University in 1934 with exemption confirmed in an Exemption Letter dated 

1954 under Section 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) or its predecessor code section.


The object of this Academy (herein labeled CAAS) is to cultivate every art and science that may tend to advance the interest and happiness of a free and virtuous people.


There shall be a President, one or more Vice-Presidents (of whom one shall be elected for each affiliated Connecticut institution of higher learning; a Secretary for credentialing new members; a Recording Secretary for archiving Academy activities; a Treasurer; and a Librarian.


There shall be an Academy Council consisting of the President; the sitting Vice-Presidents; the Membership Secretary; the Recording Secretary; the Treasurer; the Librarian, and at least four other elected members, whose election to the Council shall be confirmed at the Annual Meeting of the Academy by a majority of ballots of those members present or by voice vote. The Librarian shall be the University Librarian of Yale University and/or a designate. The Connecticut State Librarian will also be offered membership on the Council. 

General Responsibilities

The CAAS Council may constitute, appoint and discharge any and all committees and consultants deemed necessary or desirable. Regular meetings of the Academy Council may be held at the Yale University Office of the Academy in each season, except during the summer academic recess.  During these meetings, the Council will receive reports from the Treasurer, the President and any other appointed committees.

The President with approval of Council shall appoint Legal Counsel. The President with the approval of Council may also appoint a Manager for Publications and a Financial Advisor. In addition, the President may independently appoint a Publications Committee from within the Council Membership.  The President may also independently appoint a Manager of the Academy’s website.

An Executive Secretary will handle all business matters as designated by the President.  This Secretary shall be a paid position with salary determined by University Standards. This Secretary will maintain membership records both paper and digital.  The Executive Secretary may participate in Council Meetings but will not be a voting member on any salary or other budgetary issues.

The President, at his discretion, may appoint an Advisory Committee to guide him in the conduct of his duties.  Members must come from the Academy Council. 

Terms of Officers

The President, each Vice President, the Secretary for Membership, the Recording Secretary, the Treasurer, and each Council member shall be elected by the Academy Membership for a term of 3 years. All appointments may be renewed. The President shall, at his pleasure, serve as an advisor to the Council for one year after retirement from that post. Past Officers or other long-term members may be given Emeritus Status upon recommendation of the President.  Those so honored will be expected to continue to pay membership dues unless released from this duty by the President and Treasurer.        

Term Limits

No officer or council member can exceed 4 consecutive terms of 3 years.  An officer may be reappointed after a 2-year absence from a Council post.

Selection of Officers

The President when necessary shall appoint a nominating committee for succession. This committee must include a chairperson who shall be a member of Council and four other members of the Academy in good standing who need not be members of Council. This committee shall become active prior to the expiration of an officer’s term limit or upon resignation.


In case of a sudden vacancy in any of the Academy’s offices, the President may immediately fill such vacancy with subsequent approval at any regular meeting of the Academy or by the Academy Council whichever comes first.


Acquiring Membership

Persons desiring membership in the Academy may be nominated by any member in good standing or may apply for membership to any officer or member of CAAS. Two members of the Academy must support the nomination.  Following these two nominations, the name and resume shall be circulated to the President, the Membership Secretary, and the Executive Secretary. The new member may be elected at any Academy or Council meeting. All resumes will remain confidential with access limited.  New members shall be charged the usual annual fee upon being elected although membership dues may be prorated upon late entry.

Regular Members

The Academy shall consist principally of regular members who pay annual dues.  Life Membership has been discontinued. Those members who paid Life Membership will forever be entitled to all privileges of membership without further assessment.  All other regular members shall pay annual dues as set by vote of the membership at the most recent Annual Meeting.

Honorary Members

Speakers to the Academy will be honorary members and may upon request be elected to regular membership.  Honorary Members will receive all notices from the Academy but will not have voting privileges.  Long-term dues paying members may be elected to honorary membership when infirmity of the member or a relation creates hardship and/or catastrophic economic burden.  Dues will not be solicited from this type of honorary member though voting privileges will remain.

Promoting Membership

The President shall appoint a Membership Committee to promote all membership issues and to pursue the recruitment of suitably qualified new members. This committee shall have a chairperson who is a member of Council and two or more members of the Academy. The chair or a representative may report to the Council at its meetings although reporting is not required at each Council meeting.

Membership Meetings

The President with assistance from the Vice-President for Yale and in consultation with the Executive Secretary and Membership Secretary shall arrange monthly meetings of the Academy at a designated Yale University or neighboring site. The Vice-Presidents in consultation with the Executive Secretary may arrange meetings at the other institutions of higher learning in Connecticut.

Business Meetings

The first regular Academy meeting after the summer recess shall be the Annual Meeting. At a general business meeting of the Academy, duly called, fifteen members of the Academy shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, provided two members of the Executive Council are present. For meetings of the CAAS Council fifty percent of the members need be present to enact business. No business involving unusual expenditure or otherwise affecting important interests of the Academy shall be transacted at any meeting unless notice thereof shall have been given at the call of the meeting.


The President or in his or her absence a member of the Council present shall preside at meetings and regulate the proceedings of the Academy and shall summon all meetings of the Council and all extraordinary meetings of the Academy upon any urgent occasion, shall execute or see to the execution of the Statute of Incorporation of the Academy as amended; and shall draw upon the Treasurer for such sums of money as the Academy shall direct. In all meetings of the Academy the presiding officer shall have a vote.

Academy Transactions

The Executive Secretary in consultation with other Academy officers shall have custody of records and papers belonging to the Academy. The Executive Secretary shall communicate to the Academy all letters addressed to officers and members and shall transmit such answers as the Academy shall direct, copies of which shall be kept on appropriate paper and/or digital files in the Academy office at Yale University.  The Academy’s calendar and minutes of meetings organized by the Recording Secretary will be posted on the Academy’s website.

Financial Records

The Treasurer shall optimally but not necessarily be a member of Yale University as well as a member of the Academy.  The Treasurer shall rely upon principles of accounting, handling income and disbursement as performed by the Department of Finance and Administration of Yale University. The Treasurer shall supervise the finances of the Academy using the best technologies available and shall officially supervise all monies or sums of money handled by the Executive Secretary, due or payable and all bequests and donations that may be made to the Academy and, by order of the President, or in his or her unavailability, of a Vice-President, shall pay such sums as the Academy shall direct and shall make no disbursements of money otherwise; and shall keep a particular account of such orders, receipts and payments.

The Librarian, who shall also be the University Librarian of Yale University or his or her designate, shall have the discretion to offer free use of all the University’s libraries to dues-paying non-Yale members. The details of the offer will lie within the discretion of the librarian.

Manager of Publications

The Academy since 1810 has published books and manuscripts as part of its mission of disseminating scholarly information. These publications consist of memoirs – monographs or book length publications, Transactions – essays in the humanities and science and Manuals as well as Dictionaries. For sale of these materials, there shall be a Manager for Publications appointed by the President with Council Approval.  The Publications Committee and the Manager for Publications will jointly recommend publication of new materials to the Council.

The Original Incorporation Act

As published in Volume 1 of the memoirs of the Academy. 1810, and retained in the State records.

An Act to incorporate the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Science-passed, October 1799.

Whereas Literary societies have been found to promote, diffuse and preserve the knowledge of these Arts and Sciences, which are the support of Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce and to advance the dignity, virtue an happiness of a people, therefore—

l.  Be it enacted by the Governor and Council and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, That

Timothy Dwight, James Dana, Zephania Swift, John Allen, David Daggett, Jessie Root, John C. Smith, Isaac Beers, Nathanial Smith, Elijah Munson, Jisiah Meigs, Enoch Perkins, Jeremiah Atwater 4th, John Barker, Elias Shipman, Noah Webster Jr., Theodore Dwight, Abraham Bishop, Ashur Miller, Stephen Titus Hosmer, James Hillhouse, Jeremiah Wadsworth, Pierpont Edwards, Isaac Mills, Eli Whitney, John Davenport, John Bowdon, Bela Hubbard, Jonathon O.Moseley, Jonathon Sturgiss, Elizur Wright, Jeremiah Townsend Jr., Jared Mansfield, John Marsh, Nathan Perkins, Levi Hart, John Treadwell, Oliver Ellsworth, Jonathon Trumbull, and Eneas Munson and their associates, be, and they hereby are formed into, constituted, and made politic and corporate, by the name of “The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences”; and by that name they and their successors shall and may have perpetual succession, shall be capable of suing and being sued, pleading and being impleaded, in all suits of what nature so-ever; may have a Common Seal and may alter the same at pleasure; and may also purchase, receive, hold and convey any estate real or personal, provided that the annual income of such estate shall not exceed one thousand dollars.

ll. And be it further enacted, That

The said Academy may, from time to time, elect a President and a Keeper of Records, which keeper of records shall be sworn to a faithful discharge of his trust; and such other officers as they might find necessary or convenient; may elect additional members, provided the whole number of members resident in this State shall never exceed two hundred, nor ever less than forty; and the said Academy may make bye-laws respecting the number, qualifications and duties of their Officers; the mode of election and admission of members; the time, place and manner of holding their meetings; and the number necessary to make a quorum and all other bye-laws which they may deem necessary for the regulation of said society, not repugnant to the laws of this State, or of the United States; and may annex reasonable pecuniary fines and penalties for the breach of such bye-laws, not exceeding one dollar for one offence.

lll.  And be it further enacted, That

The first meeting of said Academy shall be held at the State house in New Haven, on the fourth Tuesday of instant October.

lV. And be it further enacted, That

This act, or any part thereof, if found inadequate, or inconvenient, may be altered, amended or repealed.