Section VIII: Task Forces

A. Purpose

  1. The SAA Council establishes task forces to deal with matters of special concern to the Society and the profession. Task forces are given specific charges to study and evaluate certain issues, prepare reports and study documents, and, when deemed appropriate, make recommendations for action by the Council.
  2. The work of task forces usually occurs within a prescribed period of time specified by the Council in charging the task force, such as from one Annual Meeting to the next. The duration of the task force may be extended by Council action as needed to ensure that the work is completed.
  3. When a task force is disbanded, existing SAA bodies such as committees, sections, and roundtables may continue attention to the area it addressed. In some instances, a new SAA body may be formed to follow up the work of a task force.

B. Membership

  1. Members of task forces, including the chair(s), are appointed by the vice president / president-elect, and generally serve for the term of the task force. Membership on task forces is open to all SAA members. In making appointments to task forces, the vice president / president-elect gives special consideration to section and roundtable leaders and members who may have a particular interest in the matter of special concern. 
  2. Members of the Council may serve on task forces when their expertise is useful in the matter of special concern. Council members should not typically serve as task force chairs unless a compelling reason exists for them to do so. Task forces will have a Council liaison appointed to the task force when the task force membership does not include at least one Council member.
  3. A minimum of one half of the members of any task force are appointed from SAA members or others who are not currently serving on the SAA Council.
  4. As needed, individuals who are not SAA members but who have specific knowledge or skills may be appointed to an SAA task force.
  5. Generally SAA staff members do not serve as task force members, but they may be assigned to provide staff support to task forces.
  6. To encourage participation in the work of a task force by those who seek to gain expertise in that area, interns may be appointed to task forces generally for the duration of the task force, but not to exceed 18 months. Interns, who are appointed by the vice president / president-electt in consultation with the chair, serve as nonvoting members for a term of one year, and are expected to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and assist in the work of the group throughout the year.
  7. The process for the removal of a non-participating task force member is specified in the Policy for Removing a Non-Participating Member from a Council-Appointed Group.

C. Consultation and Reporting

  1. Task force are expected to communicate with other SAA bodies engaged in similar undertakings. In the course of their investigations, task forces ordinarily are expected to communicate by direct means, or to use the Society’s electronic announcement lists and website to alert section and roundtable leaders, or the membership when appropriate, of special matters that they are considering that may affect SAA policy, organizational structure, or new program initiatives. Member comments will be considered by task forces and reported to the Council.
  2. Task forces work closely with their Council liaisons and the Executive Director to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of the Society as outlined in their charge. Communications with the Council are directed through both Council liaison and executive director.
  3. Each task force is expected to report progress towards fulfilling its assigned charge for every Council meeting during the term specified for the task force. Task force chairs must meet the timeline specified by the executive director for submitting agenda items and supporting documents for each meeting of the Council. All task force reports must use the Council Report Template.  A task force’s final report should be identified as such.
  4. Because of the limited term of appointment, task forces are not expected to submit annual reports to the Council on the schedule specified for other SAA component groups.

D. Meetings

  1. Funding for task force meetings, if available, is typically stipulated in the Council’s charge to the task force. The standard expectation is that the bulk, if not all, of a task force’s work will be done utilizing emails, conference calls (supported by the SAA Office), and free tools. A task force whose term extends over an Annual Meeting is encouraged to request space (on a timetable established and publicized by the executive director) and hold an in-person meeting at the conference hotel, travel and accommodations for which are the responsibility of task force members.
  2. SAA funding for additional in-person meetings not specified in Council’s charge to a task force is not typically available, but requests for such funding may be discussed with the task force’s Council liaison and the executive director.

Adopted by Council: June 1991
Revised: June 1992, August 2007, July 2013, November 2014

Index of Past Task Force Reports