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The Constitution

Article 1: The Name, Seat and Objectives

  • The name of the Association is Businet – Network for the Development of Business Education Programmes, hereafter referred to as the Association.
  • The registered office of the Association is in Belgium.
  • The Association shall be subject to Belgian law.
  • The Association is non-political and non-profit making.

Article 2: Aims

The aims of the Association are:

  • To promote the development of an International curriculum for all students undertaking studies in the field of business education.
  • To provide opportunities for the staff employed in its member institutions to further their professional development.
  • To assist members in achieving their organisational aims and objectives associated with transnational activities.
  • To meet the needs of the International labour market for employees with appropriate business knowledge and linguistic and work related skills.
  • To work in cooperation with national and international agencies in promoting transnational programmes and projects. 

Article 3: Objectives

The Association will seek to achieve the aims expressed in Article 2 by means of a range of objectives.  These objectives include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • To develop, promote, administer, validate and award certificated European business qualifications.
  • To facilitate European and international student exchanges and inter-institutional activities for business students of Businet members.
  • To develop the curriculum undertaken by business students in full or part-time programmes as well as distance learning.
  • To promote the acquisition of skills in other European languages for students and for staff.
  • To assist members in setting up and operating networks of international work and study placements for their students and their staff.
  • To promote and support the use of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
  • To identify and disseminate examples of good educational practice.
  • To work with European business organisations.
  • To co-operate closely with the European Commission and its educational initiatives – Socrates-Erasmus, and Leonardo da Vinci programmes.

Article 4: Membership

  • The membership of the Association shall consist of ordinary members and associate members.
  • Applications for membership must be made in writing to the President of the Association. Such applications must be approved by way of an ordinary resolution at the next Annual General Meeting following the application.
  • Ordinary members – definition

Ordinary membership shall be available to any educational institution delivering a business curriculum to full-time and/or part-time students from the age of 16.  Such institutions should normally be those recognised by the relevant national or regional education department for the state in which they are situated. They may also include those private institutions that Businet accepts as offering equivalent education and training programmes.

In the case of ordinary membership, a member has the following rights and obligations, namely;

  • to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Association, and to receive written notice of this meeting at least four weeks before it is due to be held;
  • to propose resolutions for consideration at the Annual General Meeting. Such resolutions must be received by the President of the Association in writing at least two weeks before the Annual General Meeting, using the Form A, which is contained in the Annex to the Constitution;
  • to vote on any resolution presented at the Annual General Meeting through its nominated representatives present at the Annual General Meeting;
  • to receive all publications, and other communications published by the Association;
  • to register its students on programmes leading to the award of qualifications validated by the Association;
  • to withdraw from the Association at any time by giving four weeks’ notice of the intention to do so in writing to the President of the Association. Membership fees are due and payable for the year of the member’s resignation.
  • to pay the annual membership fee in accordance with Article 8.3;
  • to act in accordance with the aims and objectives as well as the spirit of the Association;
  • the membership rights of an ordinary member shall cease automatically:
    • when the member serves notice to withdraw under Article 4.3.6. at the expiry of four weeks from the receipt of such notice by the President of the Association; or
    • where the annual membership fee due from the member is in arrears, the member has received notice from the Association in writing of the arrears, and the member has failed to make payment in full within four weeks of the notice of the arrears. In such an event ordinary membership may be re-established by reapplication for membership under Article 4.2.
  • Associate members-definition

Associate membership shall be available to any enterprise, either public or private, which supports the aims and objectives of the Association.

In the case of associate membership, a member is entitled to enjoy all the rights contained in Article 4.3 with the exception of Articles 4.3.2, 4.3.3 and 4.3.5.

The membership rights of an associate member shall cease automatically on receipt by the President of a notice in writing of the member's intention to terminate its membership.

  • An associate member is not liable to pay a membership fee.
  • Any ordinary or associate member has the right to include on its official documents reference to its membership of the Association, and to use the logo of the Association on such documents. A member wishing to exercise this right is required to seek the prior approval of the Board in writing.

Article 5: Management

  • Subject to Article 6.15 all powers of management of the Association shall vest in the Board of Management.
  • The Board of Management shall consist of the President of the Association, the General Manager and three Board Members.
  • The Board of Management shall meet at least once each year, and may meet at such other times as it deems appropriate for the conduct of the business of the Association.
  • The President, who shall also act as the Chairperson, shall convene meetings of the Board of Management. At least one months’ notice in writing of such meetings must be served on the other members of the Board by the President of the Association, such notice to contain the agenda for the meeting.  Members of the Board may present items to be included in the agenda up to one week before the notice of the meeting is sent out.
  • The quorum for a meeting of the Board of Management shall be four.
  • When a member of the Board requests that a vote be taken on any matter to be decided by it, the decision shall be carried by a simple majority. In the event of an equality of votes the President shall have the casting vote.
  • Minutes of all Board meetings must be kept by a designated Board Member, such minutes to be approved as a true record by the Board at the next subsequent meeting of the Board. The designated Board Member for these purposes will be appointed by the Board at its first meeting following the AGM each year. In the absence of the designated Board Member, a substitute agreed by the Board members shall assume the responsibilities of the minute taker.    It shall be the responsibility of the  designated Board Member to maintain a record of all the minutes of meetings of the Board, and these records must be made available for inspection by any ordinary member of the Association on a request to inspect made by such a member.
  • The Board may invite other persons to be present at its meetings for the purpose of advising it.
  • In the event of a board member being unable to attend a meeting of the Board, the Board shall be entitled to nominate a substitute to attend on his/her behalf. The substitute shall enjoy all the powers of a board member for this meeting only. The nomination of a substitute must be made in writing to the President of the Association no later than one week before the meeting is to be held. Only one substitute may be present at a meeting of the Board.  In the event of the President of the Association being unable to attend a meeting of the Board, the President shall appoint one of the other board members to chair the meeting.  In such circumstances the board member so appointed will be required to appoint a substitute for him/herself using the procedure stated above 
  • In the event of the President of the Association being unable to continue to act in this capacity, the General Manager shall automatically assume the role of President until the next Annual General Meeting of the Association.
  • The responsibilities and functions of the President of the Association, the General Manager, and the Board Members, are those identified in Appendix 1 to this Constitution.

Article 6: The Annual General Meeting

  • An Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association shall be held no later than November in each year.
  • The Board of Management shall determine the date and place of the AGM, and the members shall be advised at an AGM of these details for the next AGM.
  • All members shall receive written notice of the AGM and its full agenda at least four weeks in advance of the meeting.
  • Ordinary members shall have the right to submit resolutions for consideration at the AGM in accordance with Article 4.3.2.
  • Each ordinary member shall receive with the notice of the AGM and the agenda, voting cards to be used at the AGM for the casting of votes on resolutions put to the AGM. Votes cast without using issued voting cards shall be invalid.
  • An ordinary member may be represented at and vote through another ordinary member provided the President has received a written notice of the intention of the non-attending member to transfer representation and voting rights and identifying the name of the transferee. Such transfer shall be validly exercised up to twenty-four hours before the commencement of the AGM. Each ordinary member can only represent one additional, non-attending, ordinary member.
  • The quorum of an AGM shall be half the ordinary membership. In the event of the meeting not being quorate after thirty minutes have elapsed from the time the meeting is due to commence, the members present may, by simple majority, vote to waive the quorum requirement to conduct the business of that AGM.
  • Ordinary resolutions shall be carried by a simple majority of the voting members present at the meeting voting in favour of the resolution. In the event of an equal number of votes being cast, the President of the Association shall have the casting vote.
  • Special resolutions shall be carried by two thirds of the voting members present at the meeting voting in favour of the resolution.
  • A special resolution shall be required to:
  • make any alteration to the Constitution, or
  • remove any member of the Board of Management whose term of office has not yet expired, or
  • dissolve the Association and determine how its assets should be distributed.
  • All other matters requiring a formal decision at the AGM shall be determined by means of an ordinary resolution.
  • The President of the Association shall act as the Chairperson of the AGM and shall enjoy all powers associated with the chairing of a meeting arising under custom and practice.
  • In the event of the President of the Association being unable to chair the meeting, the General Manager shall automatically assume this role, and the powers associated with it.
  • The Administrative Officer shall keep minutes of the business of the AGM, which shall be circulated to all members within four weeks following the date of the meeting.
  • The business of the AGM shall be to:
  • receive the annual report of the President of the Association on the work and activities of the Board of Management and of the Association since the last AGM;
  • receive a financial report on the financial condition of the Association prepared by the Administrative Officer, copies of such report to be sent to all members at least one week before the AGM; and to receive audited accounts;
  • receive and approve a draft budget for the period up to the next AGM, to include a statement of the proposed membership fees for the forthcoming year, to be distributed at the commencement of the Annual Conference;
  • appoint auditors for the year;
  • make appointments to fill any vacancy in the Board of Management arising from retirement from office, or removal from office under Article 6.10.2;
  • appoint the Administrative Officer;
  • consider any resolution put to the meeting under the terms of this Constitution and to vote thereon.
  • Approvals and appointments arising under Articles 6.15.3, 6.15.4, 6.15.5 and 6.15.6 shall be made by way of an ordinary resolution

Article 7: Board of Management Membership

  • Only representatives of ordinary members, or Fellows of the organisation shall be eligible to be appointed to the Board of Management. Should membership of the Association cease under the terms of Article 4.7, the term of office of any board member who is a representative of that member shall only continue until the next AGM.
  • The term of office for a member of the Board of Management shall be three years.  A member of the Board may be re-elected to the same or an alternative position, but no board member shall be able to remain in office for more than two consecutive terms. A member who has served two consecutive terms may be re-elected after the expiry of three years following the second term of office for one further three year period. Board of Management membership posts will operate on a three year rotational basis, with a single post falling vacant each year. Transitional arrangements to achieve this model are specified in the attached appendices.
  • The representative of any ordinary member may be nominated by two other members, whether ordinary or associate, for a Board of Management vacancy arising at the next AGM. Such nomination must be in writing and identify the post to which the nomination relates.  The President of the Association shall receive the nomination no later than one week before the AGM.
  • The names of those persons who have been nominated for a position on the Board shall be presented at the AGM and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Article 6.15.5. In the event of more than one person being nominated for a position on the Board, the names of each of the nominees, and the position for which they are standing, shall be included on voting papers to be distributed at the AGM.  Each member shall be entitled to a single voting paper. 
    The nominee receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.  In the event of an equal number of votes cast, the President shall have a casting vote.
  • Membership of the Board shall cease:
  • at the expiry of the three year term, or
  • on the resignation of the Board member, or
  • when a resolution under Article 6.10.2 is put to the AGM and carried.

Article 8: Financial Management

  • It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Management to manage the financial affairs of the Association.
  • The Board shall identify and present before the AGM under the terms of Article 6.15.4 the name of a suitably qualified auditor who shall, on appointment, carry out an annual audit of the accounts of the Association. The audited accounts must be presented before the AGM in accordance with Article 6.15.2.
  • The Board shall determine annually, and present before the AGM in accordance with Article 6.15.3 the membership fees for the forthcoming year.
  • The Finance Manager shall be responsible for the financial administration of the Association, and be accountable to the Board of Management in respect of this function, and in respect of all the other functions of the position as detailed in Appendix I of this Constitution.
  • The Board shall have the power to open a bank account in the name of the Association, and the President, or the General Manager and the Finance Manager shall be joint signatories.  In the event of either or both of these signatories being unable to act, the remaining board members shall be entitled to act as alternative signatories by way of a resolution of the Board.

Article 9: Notices

  • All documents notices and correspondence sent by the Association to a member shall be effectively served by posting them to the business address supplied by the member at the time of receiving membership or as advised thereafter, or by electronic mail to the email address of the designated first co-ordinator.

All documents notices and correspondence sent by a member shall be effectively served either by posting them to the Administration Officer at the address contained on the website of the Association. New Replacement Appendix contained below

 

The members of the Board of Management shall have the following responsibilities:

The President of the Association

  • to provide strategic direction for the Association;
  • to act as the representative of the Association in its dealings with external bodies and individuals;
  • to monitor the activities of the Association;
  • to chair the meetings of the Board of Management;
  • to organise and preside over the AGM and Annual Conference of the Association.

The General Manager

  • to promote the Association internally and externally;
  • to recruit new members for the Association;
  • to organise and maintain a communication network linking members;
  • to consider and promote new business initiatives;
  • to act as the representative of the Association in its dealings with external bodies and individuals.

The Board Members

  • to act as representatives of the working groups on the Board of Management;
  • to co-ordinate the activities of each of the working groups;
  • to keep under review and to develop the qualifications offered by the Association.

The Administrative Officer shall have the following responsibilities:

  • support the work of the Board of Management;
  • provide support to the working groups;
  • financial administration;
  • general administration;
  • those specific responsibilities identified in the Constitution.

. The proposed structure is as follows:

 

Appendix

 

Roles

The President of the Association

  • to provide strategic direction for the Association.
  • to act as the representative of the Association in its dealings with external bodies and individuals, and with members.
  • to monitor the activities of the Association.
  • to chair the meetings of the Board of Management.
  • to organise and preside over the AGM and Annual Conference of the Association.

The General Manager

  • to promote the Association internally and externally.
  • to recruit new members for the Association.
  • to organise and maintain a communication network linking members.
  • to consider and promote new business initiatives.
  • to act as the representative of the Association in its dealings with external bodies and individuals, and with members.

The Board Members (Three posts)

  • to act as representatives of the network on the Board of Management.
  • To contribute to the strategic goals of Businet
  • To have an active input in the management of Businet
  • To promote the best interests of Businet
     

Each member to be given specific roles. Those roles would be;

  • Qualifications (to keep under review and to develop the qualifications offered by the Association)
  • Working groups (to co-ordinate the activities of each of the working groups)
  • New initiatives and positioning of the organisation (specifically in terms of financial control and marketing. This would involve liaising with the General Manager)

The term of office for a Board member would be three years. The periods of office would operate on a rolling programme, so one Board member would be elected each year. A plan to achieve this is attached as an appendix.

The Finance Manager, appointed by AGM, and with same contractual arrangements as currently are in place for the Administrative Officer shall have the following responsibilities:

  • support the work of the Board of Management.
  • financial management (bookkeeping, invoicing, bank account management and preparation of financial data)
  • those specific responsibilities identified by the Board and within the Constitution
  • production of monthly reports for the Board
  • the initial line manager of the Finance Manger is the General Manager

The Administrative Officer (appointed annually by Board / General Manger)

  • provide support to the working groups.
  • general administration of the organisation
  • website updating
  • point of contact for members
  • Newsletter Production
  • Connection to Communication Networks

Terms of Office

The terms of office for a Board member are restricted to 2 x 3year periods. After a period off the Board a member can be re-elected to return in a new capacity. 

The President of the organisation should under normal circumstances have previously served as a Board Member.