Dear OSA members and supporters,
This is a follow-up to our statement that was released to the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) community on October 10, 2006, titled: "OSA Must Continue to Function as an Independent Scholarly Oromo Voice." In that statement we registered our grave concerns regarding the destructive, unscholarly, and anti-democratic developments in OSA since August 2005 in general and the sham election of new officers during the July 30th, 2006, business meeting conference that has put the future of OSA in a grave situation. The statement underscores our serious concerns and the eminent ramifications to OSA's credibility as well as the adverse implications to its scholarly mission. Our statement can be accessed from Oromia Online home page at the following link: http://www.oromiaonline.com/tkbo/Osa-appeal-1.htm.
We presented three specific categories of irregularities: OSA bylaws including OSA membership recruitment procedures; the flawed elections of officers at the 2006 OSA business meeting; and the unjustifiable OSA award bestowed on Obbo Leencoo Leta. We provided sufficient evidence for and warned that unless immediate action is taken to rectify these problems, it will have far reaching ramifications to Oromo scholarship and the Oromo society at large.
Subsequent to the release of our statement, many OSA members have responded. The vast majority of those who have responded agreed with the issues we have raised, our analysis of the situation, and with our recommendations. Many agreed that OSA has been damaged by the actions of its 2005/2006 officers and that OSA's neutrality from any political influence should be protected at all cost if the association has to remain credible. (By the 2005/2006 officers, we mean the President of OSA and the Chairman of the BDs.) Those who agreed with our statement have also provided more evidence that supports our concerns and made the case we presented much stronger. Some of the issues were clarified, and wrong statements were refuted. Most important of all, useful and crucial evidence was uncovered to substantiate or illustrate the points that were made.
Yes, there were also those who disagreed with our statement; most of them being the very individuals we had identified as the culprits who politicized OSA. In their response, Drs. Asefa Jaleta, Asfaw Beyene and Baisa Lemu denied that the Association has been damaged by their actions. Instead, they chose to dismiss our concerns outright as nothing more than a politically motivated ploy and resorted to personal bout. Then there were the silent majority. Unfortunately, the majority of OSA members chose to be silent, leaving OSA in a very precarious situation. We found this to be an incredible let-down by Oromos, to yet another important issue pertaining to the survival of Oromoness.
Once again, we want to assure all OSA members and friends of the Oromo people that our interest in this mater emanates exclusively from the desire to defend and preserve the sanctity of OSA as a scholarly association. We have no other personal stake whatsoever in this matter, or any political motive. We would like all reasonable members to know that our commitments remain un-wavered to the cause of the Oromo people's struggle for freedom.
In the following few paragraphs, we wish to summarize our points and bring this issue to its logical conclusion.
The 2006 OSA Membership Drive: We have argued that the 2005/2006 membership was more aimed at putting OSA under the control of a political wing than promoting its scholarly missions. We have seen how a few individuals swelled the membership with political cadres. It is also clear that the majority of these political cadres were lacking the basic qualifications necessary for understanding the responsibilities underlying membership to scholarly associations. In this issue, we stand by our previous statement that the 2005/2006 membership drive was much different. Many of the new members neither meet the basic qualification nor have the knowledge of the ethical standards of learned societies to resist being used as tools by those who wanted to control OSA. In fact, the negative consequences that resulted to the election of so called new officers at the 2006 OSA business meeting was the result of using unqualified recruits as members.
For example, we now know, at least, two weeks before the OSA conference, that Obbo Beyan Asoba had dispatched an e-mail message in Afaan Oromo to his OLF-splinter group distribution list instructing political cadres when he said: "(1) Comrades who are not yet registered members of OSA, please do so; (2) be present at OSA business meeting which will take place after panel discussions are over, and make use of your rights as members. If you are not present at this meeting, you cannot have influence over election of officers and decisions made." See Obbo Beyan Asoba's email of July 12, 2006 attached as Attachment I. We believe this occurrence alone is a good enough response to Drs. Asfaw Beyene, Asefa Jalata, and Baisa Lemu's denial that there was no evidence of any conspiracy to take over OSA by any political organization.
On Election of Officers: We argued in our statements that there was a pre-planned conspiracy to take over OSA by a political party long before the OSA 2006 conference. As the result of that conspiracy, several top OSA leadership positions are taken over by new recruits who have no history of any scholarly contributions in OSA or other similar associations, but are individuals well known for their divided loyalties between their official OSA duties and political views. (Here we are by no means against having a political view, or even belonging to a political party for any OSA officer. All we are trying to underscore is that individuals must not let their political views influence their duties while performing as OSA officials ). We concluded that OSA's credibility is significantly diminished by these actions. As reflected by the outcome of the 2006 election, the new recruits have overwhelmingly voted along party line. As a result they now control most of the leadership positions. Therefore, we stand by our statement.
The 2006 OSA Award Given to Obbo Leencoo Leta is unjustified: We pointed out that Obbo Leencoo Leta did not get the necessary majority vote to win the 2006 OSA award. We argued that Obbo Leencoo Leta received only two affirmative votes from the total of six voting and, therefore, should not have been given the award. Dr. Asafa Jalata, asserted that Obbo Leencoo received three of the "six" votes cast. We disagree with Dr. Asafa Jalata's figures. Dr. Asafa Jalata includes Dr. Asfaw Beyene's and Obbo Beyan Asoba's votes, and we have explained that these two could not vote according to OSA constitution and the amended bylaws 2002/2006-bylaws submitted on July 30, 2006 at OSA business meeting Article IV Section 4.9. According to the amended constitution, Obbo Leencoo received only a minority yes votes -- 2 votes in favor ( Drs.Asafa Jalata and Mohamed Hassen) while 3 voted against.
A number of intentionally misleading statements were made in order to justify Obbo Leencoo Leta's award. The argument presented relied on an outdated version of OSA's bylaws, the 1996 OSA bylaws. Yet, all official activities since the amended bylaws became effective, including election of President, President-elect, board members, other officers, etc., have been conducted pursuant to them.
According to the 2002 amendment, the President is an ex-officio member without voting rights (see attachment, Article IV Section 4.9). Therefore, Dr. Asfaw Beyene's vote would not count according to the governing bylaws. Obbo Beyan Asoba's name was listed as a member of the board in 2005/2006, but he cannot be member of the board because he was elected to the Board in absentia, which is a violation of the OSA bylaws. We understand that Obbo Beyan Asoba's improper membership on the Board was not an oversight, but a deliberate course of action aimed at tampering with the composition of the board on behalf of the President and the Chair of BDs, see series of email communications attached as Attachment III. Therefore, our conclusion that Obbo Leencoo did not receive the necessary majority votes to be awarded still stands.
Some Final Rumination: As long standing members and past officers of the OSA, we take great pain to watch the position OSA has been placed in during the last two years and the wrong path the organization has headed as a scholarly association. OSA was a crown jewel for any self-respecting Oromo, and like many of you, we have put our hearts and souls in making its holly scholastic mission stayed unmolested during the last 15-20 years. Therefore, witnessing the destruction of this precious institution by an unprincipled but failed political group is one of the greatest tragedies for any self respecting Oromo. It is in this light that we stepped up to the plate and spoke against the irregularities of the 2005/2006. It was and still remains the fact that our objective is about setting precedence for Oromo scholarship and for future generations. Unless the situation is corrected immediately, this is the end of an era for OSA as a scholar association. That is the basis on which we called upon our community to take charge, join hand in hand and save the only Oromo organization in existence dedicated to Oromo studies -- Oromo history, culture, language, and everything that defines Oromoness and gives us our identity in the community of nations.
Many well-meaning and credible individuals have written extensively since the release of our statement. Additional points have been raised, and new evidence has been produced to substantiate our points. This additional evidence has strengthened our concerns. We thank these individuals for their honesty, integrity and scholarly contributions. We understand that the majority of the OSA community wants an OSA that upholds and lives by the ideals universally-recognized by all scholarly associations. But as important as these contributions are, they have yet to materialize into action. What is required to save OSA is action! Remember, it's only the OSA community who can constructively act.
Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence described above, the 2005/2006 OSA officers have taken no responsibility whatsoever for their actions that have added to the demise of OSA. Worse, each one of them denied that there were irregularities. Instead, they have characterized our genuine concerns as nothing more than a politically motivated ploy. Most unfortunate of all is the global paucity of intellectual honesty and forthrightness that underlie the responses of our scholars, even in the wake of overwhelming evidence that shows otherwise. We will list a couple of examples:
- It is taken for granted that the members of a scholarly association, in general, come from a pool of highly educated people within any particular field. It is implied in the name. Scholarship is nothing more than the advancement of knowledge-the discovery and creation of new knowledge in a disciplinary specialization. But yet, OSA 2005/2006 leadership labeled us as "elitists" at the suggestion to limit OSA membership to only those who have good grasp of scholarship as well as make proper contributions to the mission of OSA. This is distorting the obvious, disingenuous, at best.
- More recently even the definition of what a scholarly association would be is being convoluted for the convenience of OSA officers. For instance, Dr. Asafa Jalata reveals his understanding of what a scholarly OSA meeting should be when he writes, "In some sense the OSA meeting is an annual expression of the Gumii Gayoo for all Oromo. Consequently, OSA has been the union of the Oromo community in the Diaspora, an academic society, and the forum of political discussion." Others present OSA as an occasion where Oromos "… connect their children with the rich culture of the Oromo nation. ….the OSA meetings are so uniquely Oromo, a reenactment of the Gumi Gaayoo and gadaa festivities as lived out by Diaspora Oromos." Gada is an Oromo democratic political system to which great many of us draw tremendous pride, love and respect. The squander of this highly regarded and uniquely Oromo democratic political system for political expediency -- to mislead and to justify devious actions on OSA -- is dishonorable, and quite unscholarly.
In the last two instances above, the writers tried to tell us OSA is a scholarly association, but "a unique" scholarly association which encompasses the association of Oromos in Diaspora. But we know that OSA's status is clearly defined in its bylaws and OSA does not need to reinvent the wheel in defining the role of scholarly association-- OSA is no different from other similar associations. We understand, the group is conveniently "broadening" the definition of OSA in order to fit into their specific agenda. Such trickery has been tried before and this reminds us of the story in the book "Animal Farm", by George Orwell, where the constitution of the Farm kept on changing one by one by the passing day, all under a cloud of conspiratorial secrecy protected by the nightly darkness, until it became completely different in the end.
To our colleagues who have questioned before why wash OSA's dirty linen in public, we offer the following response: Condor, truthfulness, and accurate reporting are the benchmark of any scholarly dialogue. Under normal conditions, a situation like this would not have posed a major problem for non-Oromo scholars. This is so because the rules governing intellectual honesty and condor are revered and faithfully obeyed. The rules work because of the willingness, the commitment, and the determination of members to police themselves. For instance, when irregularities are identified, they are openly admitted, problems are rectified, and errata swiftly published to inform the curious and vigilant community. And most important of all, perpetrators are reprimanded with firmness. This is the modus operandi of all scholarly associations. The system has served great institutions in many ways around the world, including the preservation of institutional credibility and corruption deterrence within the rank and file members. Therefore, we believe scholarship is more to benefit than to lose from open public discussions of issues.
Please be reminded that many OSA scholars are members of scholarly associations in their respective disciplines, and are enjoying the fruits of true scholarship unmolested by demagogues. The question one would like to ask is, if the people who politicized OSA were given a chance to be in a leadership positions in non-Oromo associations, would they try to do the same idiotic thing and try to defend it?
Some Concluding Remarks: We are convinced the cardinal rules of scholarship were grossly violated by our 2005/2006 officers and caused debacle within OSA. The matter is so delicate in essence and unique only to scholarship that it cannot be resolved via the ordinary conflict resolution methodology, involving a give and take approach common to the political world. The statement we released on October 10, 2006, underscores this pivotal fact when it calls upon OSA to abide by the rules of scholarly code of conduct, if the organization was to remain credible as a scholarly association.
Since that statement was issued, we have not seen any plausible alternative presented, which will bring OSA back on its scholastic track. Realistically, OSA will likely remain perpetually hostage to the one political group that now purports to claim itself as OSA leaders if the situation is left unchallenged. As we have discussed before, the group employed inappropriate means to win elections for its political supporters. Therefore, we believe it has no legitimacy to lead OSA, or to be involved in matters concerning our organization. In short, the problems confronting OSA cannot find solution from this group. Lasting and credible resolution to the OSA problem can only stem from persons/groups that not only have conflict of interest issues to deal with, but also the deep conceptual appreciation for scholarship issues and impeccable credentials in the subject area. To illuminate on these points a little more, we call again the reader's attention to the email sent by Obbo Beyan Asoba on July 12, 2006, dealing with membership recruitment issues for controlling the OSA leadership, see Attachment I. As it turned out, Obbo Beyan Asoba's strategy paid off for him, as misguided as it may be: It got him and many of his political party members elected and entrenched in the OSA leadership, all this while excluding genuine scholars. Even worse is the sweeping approval of this unholy politicization of the OSA by Dr. Asefa Jalata when he writes, "…they are disappointed because many unqualified ordinary people from different backgrounds and sectors of Oromia were recruited by the OLF in order to control OSA leadership. Had the OLF actually done this, I would have congratulated it since one of the cardinal principles of democracy is mobilizing people for action."
The question is how would this irresponsible and shameful tragic declaration of war on scholarship promote OSA credibility as a scholarly organization? The answer is clear. And the reality is, metaphorically speaking, that OSA scholarship under the leadership of this group is just as much guaranteed as is a minor's well being is guaranteed when placed under the custodianship of a pedophile. The OSA community is on its own; it is at a crossroad today, and has to make the hard decision immediately: either to capitulate and forfeit OSA scholarship, or to step forward and to save it. Given the full determination of a well financed dubious political group to keep the association under its control, the odds that OSA can be reinstated back to its scholastic stature any time soon, unless we rally genuine OSA scholars to intervene is virtually impossible. For us personally and as we declared before, membership in OSA remains no longer an option so long as the association lives outside the limits of universally accepted code of scholarly conduct. Therefore, we write to re-affirm our position that the only way to bring OSA back on track as a scholarly organization is to implement our seven-points recommendations reproduced below:
- The July 30, 2006 sham election must be declared null and void. The previously elected members have failed in their responsibilities and the new ones were not elected democratically.
- Current OSA officials who were elected improperly and who believe in the sanctity of OSA scholarship and its independence should disavow and resign from their current positions immediately.
- Transitional OSA EC and BD to serve for the reminder of the year must be elected and put in place at the earliest possible time.
- The transitional officers must organize the 2007 OSA annual conference.
- OSA constitution must be amended in terms of membership criteria and requirements.
- OSA members who were in OSA leadership positions and are found to be directly responsible for politicizing OSA and allowing a political organization to control OSA must be reprimanded and denied to assume official positions within OSA until they issue public apology, and promise to uphold the professional code of conduct of the OSA in any future professional activities.
- OSA must withdraw the improperly given OSA award to Obbo Leencoo Leta. OSA award given to Obbo Leencoo Leta was illegitimate and must be receded.
Caaltu Dheressa, (Ph.D.)
Bahiru Gametchu (Ph.D.)
Mr. Abraham Mosisa
Attachment - I ( Email message from Obbo Beyan Asobaa to his political party group. Source: OromiaNet, Oct. 22, 2006)
This e-mail message, written in Afaan Oromoo, was forwarded on July 12, 2006, and urged the said political group to: (1) Register and become members befote the upcoming OSA 2006 meeting; (2) Be at the 2006 OSA business meetings, when elections of officers would be held, to vote for their political group and to take over OSA leadership.
From: email@example.com on behalf of BEYAN ASOBA
Sent: Wed 12/07/2006 10:24 PM
Subject: [ABO/OLF-net]Dhaamsa - WQO Laalchisee
Ololota diigoo ABO fi Hoggana ABO irratti fareen QBO deemsisanii fi shira kana dura dhaabbachuu fi kolaasuu irratti dirqamoota nu hunda irraa jiru laachisee yaada jaal Odaa deeggaraa, barbaachisummaa WQO/OSA keessatti qooda fudhachuu/miseensomuu laalchisee yaadachisa Jaal Odaa irratti dabaluun barbaada.
Imaammata humnoota farra ABO fi Hoggana isaa keessa tokko, dhaabbattoota Oromoo kan akka OSA dhunfatanii tumsa qabsoo farraa ABO godhachuu dha. Akkaataan ABO itti dadhabsiifna jedhanii abjootan keessaa tokko hoggana WQO dhunfachuu dha. Bara dabre qooda fudhannaa miseensonni ABO guddinaan WQO keessatti argisiisaniin, hawwiin QC abjuu tahe akka hafu taheeti jira. Baranaas humnoonni diigoon farraa ABO fi Hoggana ABO tumsa jaaratanii WQO dhufachuufi gama uleee farraa ABO fi Hoggana ABO jijjirachuuf qophaayaa akka jiran oduun madda amansiiftuu irraa baate ni himti. Nuu moseensonni ABOtis OSA keessatti qoodaa fudhannaa humna farreenii caalaa qabachuun qofa shira kana fashalsuu dandeenya.
- Jaallan hamma ammaa WQO keessatti himmisoonsomin, miseensomaa.
- Walgahii OSA Business Meeting jedhamu kan Sambata Guddaa (Sunday) erga panel discussions raawwatame booda tahu irraati argamuun mirga miseensummaa keessanitti dhimma baha. Walgahii kana irratti yoon argamin. murtiilee WQO dabarsuu fi filmaata qondaallota WQO irratti dhiibbaa qabaachuun hindandayamu.
Yeroo silaa waa'ee mootummaa Wayyaanee ummata Oromoo gabroomsaa jiruu irratti qabsaauu mari'achuu qabnu itti, dhimma akkanaa kun nu irraa fudhachuun gaddisiisaa dha. Hatayuu ammoo, akkaa wallisaan tokko sirbe itti, "We did not start the fire." Rukuttaa bakka fedhee taatus nutti dhufte, uf irraa faccisuun dirqama qofa oso hintahin morgaasi. Qabsoon farroota ABO fi Hoggana ABO kan gargaartu diinota QBO qofa.
Roga kanaanis hamma common sense irraa aanee moohannu itti qabsoo teenya cimsuu malee, filmaata biraa hinqabnu.
Gadaan, Gadaa Bilisummaati.
Attachment - II (OSA Constitution as amended in 2002 and presented to OSA general Assembly at the 2006 OSA business meeting.)
The document as presented at July 30, 2006 OSA meeting had some spelling mistakes, these errors are highlighted in brackets ().
THE CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE OROMO STUDIES ASSOCIATION (OSA)
ARTICLE I: Name and Address
1.1 The name of the Association shall be the Oromo Studies Association (OSA).
1.2 The mailing address of OSA shall rotate annually to a venue selected by the incoming President, and announced to the membership within one month of the President's election to the office:
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES
2.1 The Oromo Studies Association is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary organization established to promote and foster scholarly studies in all fields pertaining to the Oromo people.
2.2 To realize its objectives the Oromo Studies Association guides, develops and promotes scholarship on the history, economy, culture, health, education, politics and law of the Oromo, in addition to biological and bio-medical sciences, physical sciences, social welfare and other disciplines as they pertain to the Oromo by
2.2.1 Providing a forum for well-informed intellectual exchange
2.2.2 Expanding Oromo studies by inviting non-Oromo [scholars] to engage in the development of research related to the Oromo
2.2.3 Organizing programs that encourage nurture and aid the development of scholars whose goals are to contribute knowledge and data related to Oromo studies,
2.2.4 Seeking and coordinating financial and other support and assistance from public and private sources for the advancement of Oromo studies.
2.2.5 Promoting interaction and mutual understanding between Oromo, their neighbors and people who encounter common issues of concern
2.2.6 Promoting the culture of democracy, the rule of law and the study of indigenous forms of governance such as the Oromo Gada system and its legacies
2.2.7 Undertaking all reasonable means to implement its objectives.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
3.1. Membership in the Oromo Studies Association shall be open to anyone who accepts and adheres to provisions of the Constitution and by-laws o the Oromo studies Association and agrees to participate in the activities of the Association and pays an annual membership fee
3. 2. To remain in the good standing a member shall pay annual membership fee, participate in the activities of the Association.
3.3. An OSA members shall have the right to vote on all matters brought before the general membership meetings, to elect OSA officers and to be elected and/or appointed to positions within the Oromo Studies Association.
3.4. An( 1) OSA member, in good standing, shall receive the Journal of Oromo Studies, and the OSA Newsletters.
ARTICLE IV: THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BD)
4.1 OSA shall have a board of Directors composed of members who are qualified to advance the Associations objectives, elected by, and accountable to the general Assembly.
4.2 OSA board of directors governs and (the) regulates the association's affairs.
4.3 The Board of directors shall determine the policies of OSA and take all necessary actions to realize OSA objectives, including assumption of primary responsibility for fund-raising.
4.4 The board of directors shall have the power and authority to supervise the management of all OSA properties and review the books of the Association on regular basis.
4.5 The term of officer of a member of the Board of Directors will be limited to 3 years.
4.6 A member of the Board may be re-elected once and then must take a hiatus of two years before standing for re-election to the Board.
4.7 To insure the continuity of the work of the Board of directors, the terms of BD members are staggered with at least one member elected each.( year ?)
4.8 The board shall have at five least( least added) members, including a Chairperson and a Secretary.
4.9 The President of OSA shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board of directors.
4. 10 A Board member when unable to attend meeting may give his/her written proxy to another Board member.
4.11 The Board of Directors shall have written by-laws, consistent with the OSA Constitution that regulates its business meetings, decision-making process and other internal matters.
ARTICLE V: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
5.1 The OSA shall have an Executive Committee elected by the General Assembly (Assembly inserted) for a three years term.
5. 2 The Executive Committee shall implement the decisions of the General Assembly and the directives of the Board of directors.
5.3 The Executive Committee shall be accountable to the Board of directors and ( and inserted) Assembly.
5.4 The OSA Executive Committee shall be composed of: the President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the treasurer, and the Public relations Officer.
5.5.1 The OSA President shall be elected by the General Assembly to serve a two year term; the first year as the President Elect and the second year as President.
5.5.2 The OSA President shall be the Chief Executive and Public Representative of OSA.
5.5.3 The President of OSA shall convene and chair all meetings of the Executive Committee, prepares its agenda, organize and coordinate the OSA conferences.
5.6.1 The President elect of OSA shall serve the first year as Vice president.
5.6.2. The President-Elect shall perform duties given to him/her by the President, oversee the production of conferences Proceedings and, when the President cannot discharge his/her duties, shall execute all duties and responsibilities of the OSA President.
5.7.1. The Secretary of OSA shall be elected by the general Assembly to serve for a two year term.
5.7.2. The Secretary shall keep records of all actions of the Executive committee, the minutes of all membership meetings, the reports and recommendations from the Association's various committees; keep current all files of the association's records prepare all mail ballots and refredndiums; and notify the Executive Committee all meetings convened by the President.
5.8.1 The treasurer of OSA shall be elected by the General Assembly.
5.8.2 The Treasurer of OSA shall record and account for all incoming funds of the OSA as well as their expenditures according to the directives of the Executive Committee and in keeping with the policy of the Board, and shall establish a Bank account in the name of OSA, keep up-to-date financial records of the association, open the financial records to the Auditors as requested.
5.8.3 The treasurer shall have the authority to withdraw up to $500 for miscellaneous expenses.
5.8.4 A withdrawal from OSA account that exceeds $500.00 shall require written approval of the Executive committee.
5.8.5 The President and the President elect shall be authorized signators on the OSA's account when the...unable to sign the OSA check.
5.9.1 The Public Relations Officer of OSA shall be elected by the General Assembly to serve a two year term.
5.9.2 The Publications Officer shall be responsible for the management of OSA Web site and publications except for the Journal of Oromo Studies
5.10. The Executive Committee of OSA may form an ad hoc( an ad inserted) committees and determine their duties and responsibilities and term of office in so far as the activities do not contravene directly or indirectly any provision in this Constitutions.
ARTICLE VI: Editor of the Journal of ORMO Studies
6.1 The Editor of the Journal of Oromo Studies shall be elected by the General assembly for a two years term and shall be accountable to the Board of Directors.
6.2 The Editor shall solicit publishable articles and oversee the process of their review, acceptance for inclusion in Journal of Oromo Studies, final preparation for publication, and shall be responsible for the distribution of the publication.
6.3 The Editor shall nominate and recommend Editorial Advisory Committee members to the Board of Directors for approval.
ARTICLE VII: OSA Web Sit
7.1 OSA shall have( have left out) a web site with address of : www.oromostudies.org
7.2 The OSA board of directors shall set guidelines for the management of the OSA web site.
ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS
8.1 OSA shall have annual conference and a business meeting of the membership
8.2 OSA shall hold one or more mid-year conferences for purpose of fulfilling the mission of the association.
8.3 A quorum of the annual business meeting shall be 25 % of members in good standing.
8.4 Decisions by the OSA membership at the annual business meeting shall be carried by a simple majority vote.
8.5 The OSA General Assembly may override a policy decision made by the Board of Directors by a simple majority vote of members in good standing present at the business meeting.
ARTICLE IX: ELECTIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS OF OFFICE
9.1. No member shall hold more than one elected office in OSA at one time.
9.2 To stand for election a candidate must be in attendance at the annual business meeting.
9.3 Term of office of all elected officers shall commence at the close of the OSA annual business meeting.
9.4 Elected OSA Officers shall receive all records pertaining to their office no later than 30 days, a (a inserted) month after their election, receiving from out-going officers all records and information.
9.5 When matters requiring decision by the membership arise between the annual business meetings a vote may be taken by mail ballots.
9.6 All OSA elections shall be conducted by secrete ballot.
9.7 (9.6) Member will submit mail ballots to an ad hoc elections committee appointed by board of directors for counting.
ARTICLE X: FINANCE
10.1. The OSA shall operate a non-profit organization.
10.2. The Executive Committee, with the assistance of an ad hoc Budget and finance Committee, if present, shall prior to the Annual business meeting, prepare a proposed budget for the forthcoming fiscal year.
10.3. The budget proposal prepared according to Section 10.2 (8.2? should be 10.2)) shall be reviewed by the Board of Directors prior to submission to the annual business meeting for approval.
10.4. The budget adopted by the Annual business meeting shall be binding for all officers and members of the OSA.
10.5. ( 8.5 ?) An independent Auditor, approved by the General Assembly of OSA, shall audit the accounts of the Association and present an Annual Audit Report to the General Assembly of the OSA.
10.6 (8.6 ?) The Board of Directors of the OSA may request an audit report from the Auditors of OSA, prior to the Annual Membership meeting of the OSA.
ARTICLE XI: RELATIONS WITH OTHRER SOCITIES
11.1. The OSA may affiliate itself with other professional research and educational bodies.
11.2 The affiliation of Section 11.1 shall be decided by the Board of Directors and be approved by the General Assembly of OSA.
ARTICLE XII: MISCELANEOUS
12. 1 The OSA is organized exclusively for Scientific and educational purposes as specified in Section 501 ( c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
12. 2 The OSA shall not carry on any activities not permitted for tax exempt organizations under 501 ( c ) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1986, as amended.
12.3 In the event of dissolution , all remaining assets of and property of the OSA after obligatory and necessary expenses thereof, shall be distributed to such organizations as shall qualify under section 501 ( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended , or another organization(s) which may best accomplish the purposes for which OSA was formed.
12.4 Every attempt shall be made to reach ( to reach repeated)consensus for decisions and actions of the committees and boards that conduct the business of OSA. Failing that, Robert's Rules of Order, the newly revised in the latest edition shall govern the OSA, provided it shall not contravene the OSA constitution, or special rules of order of the Association.
ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENT
13. 1 Amendment proposal (s) to the OSA constitution may be submitted to the Board of Directors or to the General Assembly by any member if supported by petition of twenty members in good standing.
13.2 The Board of Directors may propose amendments to the OSA Constitution.
13.3 Amendment to the OSA constitution shall be made by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members voting within posted deadlines.
Amended and Adopted by the OSA General Assembly on:
August 5, 1996 and July 28, 2002, Washington, D.C.
By -laws Report submitted on July 30, 2006, Minneapolis, MN
Guluma Gemeda, Coordinator
Attachment - III ( A series of email exchanges among concerned OSA members and the 2005/2006 OSA officers concerning the impropriety of Obbo Beyan Asoba's election to the Board of Directors in abstentia. Sounce: OSA mailing list. )
Attachment - III.A. August 6, 2005 - Email Sent To Drs. Asfaw Beyene and Dr. Mekuria Bulcha by Dr. Benti Getahun
Dear Dr Asfaw and Mekuria,
During our election of 2002 in Washington, D.C., some one nominated a member who was not in the meeting. The nomination was rejected on the ground that OSA bylaws do not allow election in absentia. And the rejection was absolutely legal and it is clearly stated in Article VII, sub-article 7.3 of OSA constitution. ...
During the 2005 election, this article was violated in a broad daylight and someone who was not at the meeting was elected to the Board of Directors. As you all remember, the person left a note to a friend indicating that he is willing to stand election should he be nominated. No one (OSA member) should be allowed to manipulate OSA constitution and organization that does not enforce its own laws technically makes itself illegal.
Before I take this issue to general membership, I decided to bring it to your attention. Therefore, as an outgoing President, and a President who just got elected, it is incumbent upon you guys to clear this issue as soon as possible. Any suggestion that says "it has happened once and we will correct it in the future elections" will not be a solution.
Thank you for your understanding.
Attachment - III.B. August 6, 2005 - Email Sent To Drs. Abebe Adugna And Gudata Hinika By Dr. Mekuria Bulcha.
Dr. Bulcha write:
"We have made a serious mistake while acting as 'Election Committee' at the OSA business meeting. Dr Beyan Asoba was elected by mistake to the Board of Directors in absentia. One OSA member has reminded me and the current OSA President, Dr Asfaw that this was not legal. And he is right. Dr Beyan Asoba's nomination and election had breached Article 7.3 of our organization's (OSA's) constitution. Normally, it is the responsibility of the Election Committee in consultation with other members to correct mistakes committed during such elections. I don't think there is a need for another election. The nominee who got the third highest vote replaces Dr Beyan on the Board. However, we need the advice of the Board and the Executive Committee members regarding the procedures of correcting the mistake which should be done immediately."
Attachment - III.C. Email Sent To Dr. Benti Getahun From Dr. Asfaw Beyene
Dr. Beyene writes: ,
"Obbo Banti, I am writing to let you know that I have consulted with OSA Ex.C. regarding the subject matter below. The Ex.C. believes the issue is beyond its jurisdiction and should be passed to OSA Board of Directors for their deliberation and appropriate action. Accordingly, I have passed the matter to OSA Board of Directors."
Attachment - III.D. Email sent to the Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Asafa Jalata, By Dr. Bulcha.
Dr. Bulcha writes:
On 6 August 2005, I wrote a letter (see below) to some of the members of the current OSA executive committee regarding the fact that Dr. Bayan Asoba was elected in absentia to the OSA Board of Directors at the OSA meeting on 31 July 2005. It was Dr Banti Getahun who alerted me and Dr Asfaw about the illegality of Dr Beyan's election on the occasion. In an e-mail to Dr Banti Getahun (and copy to myself) Dr Asfaw, the current OSA president stated that the case was referred to the OSA Board of Directors. But I haven't heard the decision you have reached at concerning the matter. Please can you inform me? As the person who presided over the OSA business meeting when the election took place as well as an ordinary OSA member I have both the responsibility and the right to have the mistake rectified. My problem is not that Dr Bayan is member of the Board (he has been that for a long time and come be elected also next year) but that electing him in absentia was a breach of the OSA constitution. And as you may agree with me, if we do not respect our constitution we cannot claim that we have an organization. Please let me know the steps the Board has taken to rectify the mistake. Also all OSA members ought to be informed."
Attachment - III.E. September 23, 2005 - Email Sent To Dr. Mekuria Bulcha by Dr. Jaleta
Dr. Jaleta writes: ,
"This matter was returned to the executive committee of OSA. Since it is in its jurisdiction, this committee must take care of it. Please contact this committee, if you are interested to follow up the issue".
Attachment - III.F. September 26, 2005 - Email Sent By Dr. Beyene To Dr. Bulcha Responding To Dr. Bulcha's Followup Inquiery.
Dr. Beyene writes:
"OSA is deliberating on this matter and should pass its final ruling at its own pace. As before, I will notify you of any decision promptly, and no further personal inquiry is needed on your part"
Caaltu Dheressa, (Ph.D.) served as OSA Treasurer 1991-1995 and has been OSA member since its founding.
Bahiru Gametchu (Ph.D.) served as OSA Board member 1992-1995 and 2003-2006. He has been a member of JOS Editorial Board since 1993 and OSA member for the last 15 years.
Mr. Abraham Mosisa served as OSA President 2003-2004, OSA Vice President/President-elect 2001-2002 and has been OSA member since its founding.