Section XI: Official Representatives to External Groups

List of Official Representatives to External Groups

A. Purpose and Criteria for Representation

  1. As part of the effort to serve its members, the archival profession, and users and creators of archival records, the Society of American Archivists maintains formal communications with a wide variety of groups engaged in archival, library, curatorial, research, and other educational work. These formal ties play a critical role in enabling SAA to generate action, to determine policy and standards, to provide information and counsel on archival matters to related groups, and to keep abreast of developments in fields relevant to the archival community.
  2. The following criteria provide the rationale for SAA’s appointment of a formal representative to an external group:
    1. The external group’s mission must relate to SAA’s mission as stated in SAA’s governance, policy, and/or planning documents.
    2. The external group must be a government agency or a nonprofit organization.
    3. Representation on the group is not funded, unless specifically indicated in the Council-approved charge.
  3. The process for requesting a representative to an external group comprises the following:
    1. A formal request for representation must be made from either the external group or an SAA body. The request should use the Council Report Template and must include the following information formulated as a charge for the representative:
      • External group name.
      • External group mission.
      • Number of representatives and length of terms.
      • Duties of representatives,
      • Specific areas of expertise that representative(s) should have.
      • Reporting requirements to the external group. SAA reporting requirements are specified in this Governance Manual section.
      • Group mechanics (number of meetings, locations, etc.).
      • Relationship to standing SAA bodies, including the reporting relationship of the representative to Council or a specified Council-appointed group.
      • Group contact information.
    2. Requests for representation must include a charge and must be approved by the Council before a representative can be appointed and representation initiated.

B. Appointment and Expectations for Representatives

  1. The SAA vice president/president-elect appoints representatives, who must be SAA members in good standing, to external groups as part of the annual appointments process, unless otherwise specified in the representative's charge.
  2. The vice president/president-elect, acting in consultation with the Executive Committee as appropriate, appoints replacement external representatives outside of the normal appointments process when necessary.
  3. Official SAA representatives to external groups report to the Council, or to Council-appointed groups, as specified in their charge.
  4. The following expectations must be met by external representatives:
    1. Attend meetings of the external committee/body if feasible.
    2. If unable to attend a meeting, inform the chair(s) of the SAA group to whom the representative reports, as specified in her/his charge, and discuss whether a substitute attendee should be designated.
    3. In all cases the appointed SAA representative is responsible for obtaining information about the meetings of the external group on which she/he represents SAA and including that information in any reports compiled and submitted.
    4. Representatives typically are expected to fund expenses relating to representation. Exceptions to this are noted in the charge of the specific representative.

C. Consultation and Reporting

  1. All reporting requirements here specified are the responsibility of the appointed SAA representative, regardless of whether she/he is able to attend meetings of the external group.
  2. Appointed SAA representatives to external groups must complete an annual report, using the Council Report Template provided on the SAA website, and file it with the group to which the representative reports by the specified deadline each year.
  3. From time to time issues may arise that will have a long-range impact on SAA policy or a significant portion of the profession, or about which SAA will be asked to take a position. In such cases, representatives will seek the advice of the SAA president and/or the executive director prior to any anticipated action on the issue. Representatives whose charge specifies reporting to a Council-appointed group (e.g., Standards Committee) should include the chair(s) of that group in any communications with the SAA president or executive director. The president and/or executive director may in turn wish to bring such issues before the Executive Committee or the full Council for consideration and advice or direction to the representatives.

D. Council Review of Representatives and Charges

  1. The success and continued benefits of each external representation are reviewed at the end of each appointment cycle prior to making a new or renewed appointment of the representative.
  2. The review process draws on assessment of the annual reports submitted by the representative under review, input from relevant SAA component groups, and input from the incumbent representative. The review includes a review of the official charge for the representative and recommendations to the Council for necessary changes.
  3. The vice president/president-elect may conduct the review her- or himself, or involve the Executive Committee.
  4. Each year the vice president prepares a list of external organizations whose representatives’ terms are expiring, including those with representatives who report directly to SAA groups. That list, along with the vice president’s recommendations, developed in consultation with relevant SAA groups where appropriate, will be presented to the Council before the call for volunteers opens. The Council will determine whether new appointments should be made or the representation should be discontinued.
  5. New appointments or reappointments are made by the vice president/president-elect as part of the normal appointments process.

Approved by the Council: June 1988
Revised: January 1991, August 2012, May 2013