About The Academy


The Academy of Leisure Sciences was founded in 1980 with its central purpose as the intellectual advancement of leisure sciences.

This purpose was carried out by recognizing outstanding scholars elected as Fellows within the Academy, establishing meetings and activities to exchange ideas and advance the intellectual understanding of leisure, and to promote research and the scholarly study of leisure among individuals [Fellows] who demonstrated interest, potential, and competence.

The Academy began with 30 Fellows and by 2011 included over 100 individuals who had been inducted as Fellows.

In 2011, the mission of the Academy of Leisure Sciences was expanded to include all interested individual members in addition to Fellows.

This larger organization aims to bring together people from diverse backgrounds who share a mutual interest in better understanding the roles of leisure in life, including various contexts of recreation, parks, tourism, outdoor adventure, health, therapy, and sport.

All members are invited to take responsibility for the academy’s growth and development by volunteering to serve on committees, standing for its governing offices, and otherwise helping to create the Academy’s future.

The goal is to build a caring and connected professional community focused on the importance of leisure in society.


The central purpose of the Academy is the intellectual advancement of leisure sciences. This purpose is carried out in three ways:

  • First, the organization invites all interested individuals to become members of the Academy by joining a network that promotes the intellectual advancement of leisure sciences. In addition, the Academy continues to induct outstanding scholars, referred to as Fellows, to promote the scholarship of leisure sciences.
  • Second, through meetings, scholarship, and other activities, the Academy establishes forums for exchanging knowledge and ideas to advance the intellectual understanding of leisure.
  • Third, by the activities of committees, individual members, and Fellows, the Academy encourages and promotes the scholarly study of leisure among those who have demonstrated interest, potential, and competence.


The Academy operates under a Constitution (revised and adopted in October 2013) that provides for the election or appointment of a Board of Directors and Officers (a 13-member Board).

The President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four Directors-at-Large are elected by the membership via appropriate balloting procedures.

An Historian and two Directors-at-Large are appointed.

The Fellows elect a Fellows Representative as a voting member of the Board. Members of standing committees (on-going) and President's Committees (single-purpose and temporary) are appointed by the President each year.

Business is conducted at the annual business meeting. Between meetings, the Board of Directors, including all constitutionally elected and appointed individuals, conducts business and acts on behalf of the Academy. Academy members and active Fellows pay annual dues.

Fellow Membership

Names of candidates for Fellow membership are placed in nomination by a formal letter from a current Fellow.

This nomination is accompanied by a biographical summary, submitted with the ballot to all active Fellows. Election requires a two-thirds majority of votes cast.

Suggested criteria for nominating and electing new Fellows are:

  • direct engagement in the leisure sciences professions
  • demonstrated competence for a period of not less than ten years, as evidenced by quality as well as quantity of contributions to the scholarly literature of the field
  • recognized leadership and extensive, significant participation in professional associations and organizations
  • acknowledged outstanding performance as a teacher, leader, administrator, practitioner, or researcher in the field of leisure
  • willingness to further the goals of the Academy and participate actively in its affairs.