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Council Job Description

Updated: April, 2002

The Secretary and Treasurer are three-year terms (renewable), while the Councillors and Graduate Student Representative are two-year terms (renewable). The Editor of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science is a member of Council for a three-year term.


  1. Performs the duties of and exercises the powers of the President in the absence of or during the inability of the President to act.
  2. Member of the Finance Committee.
  3. As incoming Council member attends last meeting of old Council as non-voting member.
  4. Chair of the Awards Committee with duties as follows:
    • Prepares a ‘Call for Nominations and Awards’ for the CSSS February Newsletter to cover the following CSSS Awards: Fellowship, Honorary Membership, and Travel Awards.
    • Contacts CSSS Treasurer to determine funds available to cover travel and book awards.
    • Chairs an Awards Committee [President-Elect, plus two past-presidents of CSSS appointed by the President]. Receives nominations documents and award applications, compiles and provides copies to other two members of the Awards Committee. Oversees evaluation of nominations/applications.
    • Presents Awards Committee=s recommendations to CSSS Council for approval at least two months before CSSS annual meeting. Once approved, invites the first nominator of successful Fellowship and Honorary Membership nominees to informally notify their candidates of the award (President writes the official letters). Notifies Travel Award applicants about the Awards Committee’s decision.
    • Arranges preparation of the Fellowship and Honorary Membership certificates (template with Business Office and Secretary) and selects a suitable frame.
    • Prepares a report of the Awards Committee for the CSSS annual meeting.
  5. Oversees and organizes the Student Awards (Book, Bentley and President’s Award) at the annual meeting.
    • Contacts universities (Soil Science, Land Resource, Environmental departments) to select the recipients of the CSSS Undergraduate Student Book Award. Prepares book plates (template with Business Office and Secretary). Orders books (if CSSS sponsored publication) or requests university department select an appropriate book (up to $120) . Informs CSSS Treasurer of costs and reimbursement.
    • Checks that registration form for the annual meeting includes a request for students to indicate if they intend to compete for the Bentley and/or President’s Award.
    • Prior to the annual meeting, selects judges for the Bentley and President’s Poster Award (e.g., five judges for each award). Appoints one of the judges to chair the evaluation process (Score cards and evaluation procedure on Web Page) for each award.
    • Prior to the Annual Meeting, liaisons with the Program Chair of the Local Organizing Committee to ensure that student presentations for the Bentley Award are so scheduled to allow each presentation to be judged by all the judges. All student presentations should be completed early in the afternoon prior to the Banquet to ensure adequate time to evaluate scores and select winners.
  6. Oversees Awards Banquet of the Annual Meeting.
    • Prepares and arranges printing of Awards booklet for the CSSS Awards Banquet (template with Business Office and Secretary), to include the following: short table of contents; updated Fellows list; photograph and short write-up for each new Fellow and Honorary Member (usually prepared by first nominator); list previous year Bentley and President’s Award winners (names and affiliation); list current Undergraduate Book Award awardees (names and affiliation); list all those receiving Travel Awards (names, affiliation, and amount of travel award); list members of Awards Committee; and list members of new CSSS Council.
    • Arranges with the Annual Meeting organizers to set aside complimentary banquet tickets for the new Fellows and Honorary Members, and for the winners of the Bentley and President’s awards.
    • Arranges for someone, usually the first nominator, to present citation at the Awards Banquet for each new Fellow and Honorary Member. Suggests that the citations and replies be limited to approximately 10 minutes for each award.
    • As in-coming President (installed at CSSS AGM) serves as Master of Ceremonies for the Banquet. Presents all awards (Fellows, Honorary Members, Bentley, Poster, and Travel awards) at the Annual Meeting banquet.
    • On behalf of CSSS, extends thanks to the Annual Meeting organizers and volunteers for their work and efforts at the close of the Banquet.


  1. Chief executive officer of the Society.
    • Presides at all meetings of the Society and of Council and has general and active management of the affairs of the Society.
    • Sees that all orders and resolutions of Council are carried into effect.
  2. Chair of the Rules Committee.
  3. As Chief Executive Officer:
    • Arranges for and conducts the first meeting of the new council (if required) after the Annual Meeting, and is Master of Ceremonies for the Annual Banquet.
    • Arranges and conducts via CSSS Secretary E-mail Council meetings as required throughout the year.
    • Appoints committee members to standing committee, makes recommendation for the position of Editor of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science and the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) Chair for the upcoming CSSS meetings and indicates CSSS financial and other support available to LAC.
    • Arranges for and conducts the annual meeting of CSSS council, and the Annual General Meeting of the CSSS.
    • Updates, as required, CSSS Council job descriptions.
  4. Public relations contact for the Society and communicates with the membership (e.g. in the newsletter).
  5. Writes official letters to the successful nominees of the Fellowship Award and Honorary Membership.
  6. After Annual Meeting (before October) appoints two Past Presidents to serve on the Awards Committee (these two members serve alternating two year terms).


The general purpose of this position is to provide for a certain level of continuity in the functioning of council.

  1. Member of the Rules Committee.
  2. Receives list of lapsed members (from all regions of Canada and elsewhere) from Business Office and initiates correspondence/contact to encourage them to rejoin the society.
  3. Promoting and initiating the nomination of members for awards and other forms of recognition from institutions and organizations other than the Society itself (e.g., Manning Award, AIC awards such as fellowship in AIC, Soil Conservation Canada and election to prestigious groups such as the Order of Canada). Deadlines for nominations are most often the end of October or November. To meet these, action must be taken in August not later than September.


(Three-Year Term)

The Secretary of the Canadian Society of Soil Science records the activities of the Society and assists Council to carry out the objectives of the Society according to the Bylaws. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring the scientific community is aware of the location and date of the Annual Meeting. The Bylaws require that the membership be notified by the Secretary of the time and place of the annual convention at least 15 months in advance.

  1. Custodian of the Society’s Corporate Seal and also the Award Certificates.
  2. Responsible for general correspondence of the Society.
  3. Responsible for the collection of committee reports prior to the meetings of council, distribution of reports to Council as well as the recording and distribution of the minutes of meetings of the Council.
  4. Chair of the elections committee. Responsible to ensure that the call for nominations for vacant positions is issued to members before March 1, and that the time period to receive nominations, after the call for nominations, is at least six (6) weeks. The Secretary must arrange for the preparation of ballots by the Business Office for the election of new Council members and for voting on any proposed bylaw changes. Election Committee (Secretary plus two CSSS members appointed by the President) counts and records the ballots.
  5. Proposed bylaw changes for the year must be received by the Secretary from the Rules Committee prior to April 1.
  6. Prepare articles for electronic news services and the AIC Bulletin after the Annual Meeting.


(Three-Year Term)

  1. Responsible for day-to-day management of the financial affairs of the Society. This includes but is not limited to the following.
    • Collecting dues from members.
    • Paying for purchases of goods or services on behalf of the Society.
    • Making banking arrangements.
    • Making financial investment arrangements.
    • Keeping the financial record of the Society.
    • Filing required reports to Revenue Canada and Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada.
    • Meeting provincial government reporting requirements.
    • Chairing the finance committee.

Some of these duties are completed by the Treasurer. Others are completed by contractors at the direction of the Treasurer.


(Two-year Term)

The Councillors of the CSSS are involved with membership and communication/publicity concerns of the society. Councillors prepare and present reports to CSSS Council and the Annual Meeting on membership and publicity issues. They liaise as needed with CSSS members: The Eastern Councillor covers Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada, while the Western Councillor is responsible for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

  1. Membership issues.
    • Cover concerns of members within respective region.
    • Both Councillors cover the concerns of international members as needed.
    • Correspond as needed to new and interested members within respective region.
  2. Communication/publicity issues.
    • Eastern Councillor prepares three Newsletters (generally September/October, January/February, June/July) to include society reports and news, information on CSSS Awards, and Election information/results.
    • Western Councillor oversees CSSS WebPage and ensures information correct and up-to-date. Interacts with WebMaster to co-ordinate revisions.


(Two-year Term)

The Graduate Student Representative (student studying in some aspect of soil science), provides liaison between the Society and active or potential graduate student members of the Society. The position will alternate between candidates from eastern and western Canada.

  1. Participate in Council activities and vote on all motions brought to Council.
  2. Promote and maintain communications (e.g., e-mail network) between the Society and Canadian academic units involved in soil science education. Provides information on CSSS Awards and Annual Meeting to students.
  3. Help to co-ordinate and plan student activities at the Annual Meetings.
  4. Provide student news for each publication of the CSSS Newsletter.
  5. Provide input as needed to Society publicity material.


(Three-year Term)

The Editor of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science (in the role as a member of CSSS Council) provides liaison between the Society and the activities and editorial aspects of the CJSS.

  1. Participate in Council activities and vote on all motions brought to Council.
  2. Promote and maintain communications between the Society and CJSS, the science arm of the society.