About GADE - Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work



Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE). The GADE tag line and logo shall indicate that this is a social work organization.

Article II - Purpose

GADE is a private, non-profit voluntary professional organization the meaning of section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (Federal Tax ID: 43-1222852). The purposes of the organization are to:

  • promote excellence in doctoral education in social work;
  • advance the quality of research conducted by doctoral students;
  • represent and promote the interests and concerns of social work/social welfare doctoral programs within academic departments, schools, universities, and in the larger profession;
  • provide opportunities and structures for networking and information exchange among members regarding curriculum development and all aspects of educational administration and program implementation;
  • stimulate the development of effective and innovative educational strategies;
  • support the success and professional development of diverse doctoral students and promote recognition of their achievements and contributions;
  • identify and publicize existing or potential funding sources and infrastructure support for doctoral education;
  • provide guidance and support to new or developing doctoral programs including international programs; and
  • collaborate with other social work organizations to support the continuum of social work education and advance the profession with all constituent groups and funding sources.

Article III - Membership

Section 1 - Eligibility

All institutions with established social work/social welfare doctoral programs located in an accredited university or college that offers a Master Degree in Social Work (MSW) or Social Welfare that has been fully accredited by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in the United States, Canadian Association of Social Work Educators (CASWE) in Canada, or a comparable national professional accrediting body in other countries, shall be eligible for membership in GADE. Established programs are those in departments, schools, or colleges of social work/social welfare located in universities or colleges accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting body. Accredited colleges or universities that are developing a social work/social welfare doctoral program are eligible for affiliate membership status. Each member institution will designate a representative to GADE, usually a director or chair of the school’s doctoral program, who votes on behalf of the member institution and who will be the conduit of communications between GADE and the member institutions.

Section 2 - Type of Membership 

Full members: Institutions with doctoral programs in social work/social welfare that meet eligibility qualifications and that are current in the payment of their dues are full members. Each full member institution will have one vote.

Affiliate members:  Universities or colleges developing doctoral programs in social work/social welfare that meet membership qualifications and which are current in dues may become affiliate, non-voting, members of GADE.

Section 3 - Membership Dues

The Board of Directors determines the amount of annual dues owed for all institutional members. The dues will be the same for both full and affiliate institutions. Eligible institutions that have paid annual dues are active full or affiliate members of GADE. Institutions pay dues once each year regardless of the number of doctoral programs they offer. Annual dues shall cover the period from September 1 through August 31. The Treasurer shall endeavor to disseminate the dues invoice as close to September 1 as practical. The invoice shall state that payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. 

Beginning November 1, the Treasurer shall send at least one reminder invoice to all institutions whose dues have not been received, with a copy to the President of GADE; this reminder invoice shall include the following statement: “Failure to pay dues within 60 days of the reminder invoice will result in removal of the institution from the GADE webpage (both the listing of member institutions and any banner displaying photographs of member institutions) and removal from the GADE members listserv. In addition, institutions that have not paid dues after 2 years will not be allowed to attend the annual GADE conference until arrears and current dues are paid in full. The Treasurer shall send to the President the names of institutions in arrears, and the President shall take the necessary steps to enforce the penalties stipulated above. Institutions may be reinstated to active full membership upon full payment of dues plus payment of a $100.00 reinstatement fee.

Article IV   Administration - Board of Directors

Section 1 - Structure

The Board of Directors (“Board”) shall serve as the administrative body of the organization. The Board shall consist of ten persons elected by the voting membership of the organization. All members must be directors of doctoral programs in member schools/colleges at the time of their election to the Board.

Section 2 - Elections

The officers of the Board shall consist of the President, President (elect), Immediate Past President, Treasurer, Treasurer (elect), and Secretary. The election of Officers and Members At-large to the Board shall occur at the business meeting at the annual GADE conference. The Board (or a delegate Nominations Committee) will solicit nominees for election to the Board at least 4 weeks before the annual meeting. The solicitation will emphasize the importance of achieving diversity in areas of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, perspectives, experiences, program foci, and geography among the nominees. The Board shall generate a slate of candidates from the nominees to be presented to the membership for voting consideration at least 2 weeks before the annual meeting.

Section 2.1 Term of Office

The terms of office begin with election at the annual meeting and will be staggered to assure continuity. All Board Members shall serve a 3-year term, and they may be re-elected for one consecutive term. All terms shall be staggered. 

If members of the Board (including officers) leave the directorships of their doctoral programs prior to completing their terms, they shall remain on the Board until the next regularly scheduled election. If they choose not to remain on the Board, the GADE President, in consultation with the Board, shall appoint a person from the general GADE membership as an interim Board member until the next general election. 

The Board members elected as officers to the Board shall serve a 3 year-term and may be re-elected for one additional term. The first year of the 3-year term for President and Treasurer will be in the role of elect that for that respective office. At the end of the term of President, the President remains on the Board as Immediate Past President for a term of one year. 

 If an Officer to the Board leaves office for any reason, the Board will elect another person to serve as an interim for the vacant office until an election for this office is held at the next business meeting held at the annual GADE conference.

Section 2.3 - Voting

Each Member serving on the Board shall have one vote.

Section 3 - Board Functions

The Board of Directors shall have the following functions:

  • serve as the administrative body of the organization;
  • collect membership dues and prepare annual budget and financial reports;
  • adopt and adhere to appropriate financial policy for the smooth operation of the fiscal affairs of the organization and the maintenance of the organization's bank account;
  • maintain an updated membership roll;
  • at the request of the GADE membership, including members of the Board, prepare and draft bylaws for membership approval;
  • record and distribute all constitutional changes to doctoral program directors;
  • sponsor the GADE Annual Conference:
    • solicit the GADE membership for school/program’s interest in hosting the annual GADE conference via written solicitation
    • select the host site based on evaluation of the following selection criteria: a) interest letter submitted by the school/program; b) institutional membership in GADE for at least two years; and c) viability consideration regarding geographic location, accessibility and transportation;
    • plan jointly with the host school/program the annual conference, with the President serving as Program Chair and the host school/program serving as Co-Chair, assuming responsibility for registration, identification of lodging accommodations, and other on-site conference arrangements; and
    • notify doctoral program directors of conference and invite the dean/director of the host school/program.
  • distribute GADE-related information to doctoral program directors and other individuals and entities, as appropriate;
  • promote research on doctoral education; and
  • represent the goals and advocate the concerns of GADE with other organizations in the professional, public, and private sectors (e.g., the National Association of Deans and Directors, the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, government agencies) including those that fund doctoral education and engage in legislative activities that are necessary for the funding of research and doctoral education.

Section 4 - Duties of Officers

The President shall officiate at the business meetings of the membership and of the Board and shall normally represent the organization within the professional and other external organizations. The President is responsible for all contracts entered into by GADE with approval from the Board. The President convenes regular meetings of the Board during the year to attend to the needs and business of the organization. The President may nominate chairpersons for standing and ad hoc committees as needed. The President is Co-Chair of the Annual Conference. 

The President (elect) works closely with the outgoing President to learn the roles and responsibilities of the position. The President (elect) may substitute for the President when needed. 

The Immediate Past President may substitute for the President when needed. 

The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for the organization, execute financial transactions for the organization, and monitor and report on the organization’s finances annually. The Treasurer will oversee the bidding process for a certified public accountant and prepare all materials for an annual “agreed upon procedures” audit. The Board shall select a certified public accountant after reviewing at least three (3) bids submitted to GADE for consideration. The Treasurer will confer with the chosen certified public accountant on an annual basis to ensure compliance with fiduciary requirements. 

The Treasurer (elect) works closely with the outgoing Treasurer to learn the roles and responsibilities of the position. The treasurer shall maintain the official list of the organization’s membership and of the Board membership. 

The Secretary prepare and keep the minutes of the business meetings of the membership and of the Board, track terms of Board members and officers, and organize the annual Board elections and the election of the Board officers. The secretary makes the approved minutes of meetings available to the membership.

Section 5 - Standing Subcommittees

Standing Subcommittees include Awards, Program, Constitution, Finance, and Marketing/Website. Each subcommittee is chaired by a member of the Board and includes additional volunteer members. Each subcommittee may elect a co-chair. The President shall appoint chairs to all standing committees subject to the Board advice and consent and serves as an ex-officio member of all standing subcommittees. Committee chairpersons are responsible for soliciting members for the subcommittee. Membership of each subcommittee is posted on the GADE website on an annual basis. The Subcommittee Chairperson will keep an accurate record of subcommittee meetings and decisions and be prepared to present the subcommittee report to the Board as required. The Subcommittee Chairperson shall provide regular updates of the subcommittee’s work the Board either in writing or through the Board conference calls or meetings.

Article V - Meetings

Section 1 - General Membership

Section 1.1 - Regular Meeting

GADE shall hold an annual business meeting of its membership each year to occur during the annual GADE conference. The date of the meeting and its agenda shall be determined by the Program Subcommittee in conjunction with the Board.  

Section 1.2 - Special Meetings

Special meetings of the membership may be called by the Steering Committee upon the request of one-third of the Committee members.

Section 1.3 - Quorum  

One-third of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may convene a meeting for discussion of organization business.

Section 1.4 - Voting

Each full voting member institution that is current in GADE dues shall have one vote. Members with more than one program or more than one director of the doctoral program will formally designate their representative on each vote.  Affiliate members have no vote.

Section 2 - Board of Directors

Section 2.1 - Regular Meetings

The Board shall meet quarterly with at least one being in person at the annual GADE conference. Other meetings may be in person at another conference or via electronic means.

Section 2.2 - Quorum

One half of the Board’s membership shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may convene a meeting for discussion of organization business.

Article VI - Inurnment of Income

No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers or other private persons except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable expenses for costs incurred in conducting organization business.

Article VII - Legislative or Political Activities

The organization shall not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office, including the publishing or distribution of statements.

Article VIII - Operational Limitations

Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt for Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

Article IX - Dissolution Clause

Upon the dissolution of the organization, the Steering Committee shall, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of the organization, dispose of all of the assets of the organization exclusively for the purposes of the organization in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Steering Committee shall determine. Any of such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Circuit Court of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Article X - Governance

Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern all meetings. These rules may be suspended and consensus governance applied upon a majority vote of the members present at the beginning of any GADE meeting.

Article XI - Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by an approval of two-thirds of the voting members present at the annual business meeting or two-thirds of voting members polled by mail or e-mail, providing that said amendments have been sent out to all members at least three weeks prior to the meeting.


(As Amended, March 22, 2016; Approved March 31, 2016)