Since its inception in February 2009, the task force assigned to developing a "Statement of Core Values for Archivists" has scanned other professional associations’ statements and solicited member feedback on its various drafts. That work was concluded at the May 24 – 26 Council meeting as "Core Values of Archivists" was adopted as an official statement of the Society of American Archivists.
"In his 2008 presidential address, Mark Greene challenged SAA to follow the lead of many other professional associations by adopting a statement of values that define our profession,” said SAA President Helen Tibbo. "We’re delighted that this carefully crafted statement of core values, viewed in conjunction with SAA’s Code of Ethics, clarifies the core purposes of archival practice. And we’re very grateful to task force members Rand Jimerson, Rosalye Settles, Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty, Rebekah Kim, and Shawn San Roman for their good work on behalf of the profession."
To address its long-standing strategic goal of providing education and training "to ensure that [archivists] are aware of relevant standards and adopt appropriate practices for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to electronic records," the Council adopted a set of Committee on Education recommendations to expand SAA’s offerings to include a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) curriculum and certificate program.
The DAS curriculum, which was created by a group of digital archives experts and focuses on born-digital records, encompasses a four-tier course structure (foundational, tactical and strategic, tools and services, and transformational courses) that guides the learner to choose courses based on specific knowledge, training, and needs. After completing required coursework and passing appropriate course and comprehensive examinations, participants will earn a Digital Archives Specialist Certificate from SAA. The curriculum, which includes both face-to-face workshops and Web seminars, will launch in October 2011. More information is available via the SAA website.
The new DAS curriculum is just one of many factors that the Council considered in its discussion of the proposed FY 2012 budget. The adopted budget projects revenues of $2,418,961, operating expenses of $2,406,122, and expenditures of $1,855 for the 75th Anniversary Project and $10,000 for "replenishment of Council-directed funds," for a projected bottom-line net gain of $984.
"We’re grateful to the SAA Foundation for awarding grants that will support research and development of the DAS program and our Archival Fundamentals book series in FY 2012,” said SAA Treasurer Aimee Felker. "The Council’s decision to budget for ‘replenishment’ of our Education, Publications, and Technology R&D funds is an important step in ensuring that the organization can continue to grow – and it’s consistent with the membership’s decision in 2010 to approve a three-year stepped dues increase."
In other actions, the Council:
The Council members who do not serve as officers elected Scott Cline to be their representative on the Council Executive Committee in 2011-2012. Tom Frusciano and Deborra Richardson will serve on the 2011-2012 Nominating Committee.
To view the May 24–26 Council meeting agenda and materials: http://www.archivists.org/governance/agendas/0511-I-A-AgendaPublic.htm. Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the SAA website no later than 60 days after the meeting (i.e., by Monday, July 25).
The Council will meet again on Monday, August 22, and Saturday, August 27, in conjunction with the 2011 Annual Meeting in Chicago. A call for agenda items for the August 22 meeting will be issued in mid-July, with a deadline of July 22. Submit your agenda items to SAA President Helen Tibbo (tibbo[at]email.unc.edu) or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (nbeaumont[at]archivists.org).
Gregory S. Hunter, PhD, CA, CRM, has been appointed Editor of The American Archivist, for a term of January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014. Hunter will succeed Mary Jo Pugh, whose second three-year term ends in December 2011. His selection by the SAA Council at its May 24 – 26 meeting in Chicago completes a five-month process that included broad distribution of a call for applicants.
Hunter is director of the Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies program at Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science, where he also serves as Professor and Director of the Certificate in Archives and Records Management program. He is president of Hunter Information Management Services, Inc.
His professional background includes stints with the Chase Manhattan Archives, the United Negro College Fund archival programs, and the ITT Corporation. From 2004 to 2009, he served as principal archivist and records manager on the team that designed and built the Electronic Records Archives for the National Archives and Records Administration.
Hunter was elected the first president of the Academy of Certified Archivists in 1989. A 2004 Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, he received the SAA Preservation Publication Award in 2001 for Preserving Digital Information and the 2004 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of superior excellence for Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives, Second Edition.
"Greg Hunter possesses the skills and talents that we were looking for in the next editor of The American Archivist," said SAA President and Search Committee Chair Helen Tibbo. "His vision for the Journal, together with his demonstrated ability to collaborate and motivate teams, will be critically important as we build on Mary Jo Pugh’s many accomplishments."
At its May 2011 meeting, the Society of American Archivists Foundation Board of Directors approved a motion to adopt Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and to take "all measures necessary to cause the existing Society of American Archivists Foundation, an unincorporated association, to be established as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation…." The Foundation will remain a 501(c)(3) organization; consistent with that designation, it "shall operate to support and benefit the Corporate Member and the achievement of any charitable and educational purposes thereof." SAA is the sole "corporate member."
The Board of Directors will take a new form upon filing of the legal papers. The Board will comprise 11 members, including the four individuals who serve on the SAA Executive Committee, the immediate past president of SAA, and six directors selected by the corporate member (i.e., SAA). The SAA executive director and director of finance and administration serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the Board.
During its meeting, the Foundation Board awarded grants to SAA for the following purposes:
Proposed Constitutional Amendments: VOTING METHODS
The SAA Council proposes the following two amendments to the SAA Constitution (with accompanying Bylaws changes) for consideration by SAA members at the Annual Membership/Business Meeting on Saturday, August 27, in Chicago.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1: VOTING METHODS
THAT the SAA Constitution, Articles IV., IX., and X., be amended as follows (underline indicates addition, strikethrough indicates deletion):
A member shall be enrolled upon the first payment of dues and shall receive benefits during the period for which dues have been paid. All dues shall be payable in advance. Membership in good standing shall cease when dues are 28 days in arrears. Changes in membership dues shall be determined by a majority vote of those members present and voting
at the annual business meeting in a referendum conducted according to the bylaws of the Society.
The Council is authorized and directed to prepare, adopt, or amend such bylaws as may be desirable to regularize the administrative practices of the Society. Adoption or amendment of bylaws may be made either by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the Council or by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of those members
present and voting at the annual business meeting in a referendum conducted according to the bylaws of the Society. Amendments to the bylaws may be recommended by a majority vote of the Council or proposed in writing by at least 5% of the eligible voting members of the Society. All amendments must be filed with the Executive Director at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting. Copies of the proposed amendments shall be distributed by the Executive Director according to a method approved by the Council to eligible voting members at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be presented. A copy of the current constitution and bylaws shall be published in the Society's membership directory on the Society’s website and shall be available to any member upon request to the Executive Director.
Amendments to this constitution may be recommended by a majority vote of the Council or proposed in writing by at least
twenty-five (25) 5% of the eligible voting members of the Society. All amendments must be filed with the Executive Director at least one hundred (100) days prior to the Annual Meeting. Copies of the proposed amendments shall be mailed distributed by the Executive Director according to a method approved by the Council to all eligible voting members at least sixty (60) days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be considered presented. If approved by the Council, amendments may be adopted by a majority of the members present and voting at the annual business meeting of the Society. If not approved by the Council, amendments Amendments may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the those members present and voting at the annual business meeting in a referendum conducted according to the bylaws of the Society.
Support Statement: Forwarding recommendations on dues changes and amendments to the Society’s Constitution and Bylaws to member referenda constitutes a practical and well-balanced approach to increasing member participation in SAA governance. It is within SAA’s means, both financially and organizationally. Details regarding the administration of member referenda are specified in proposed amendments to the Bylaws. Other procedural changes affected by this recommendation include: more consistent notification requirements; explicit provisions regarding proposal of bylaws amendments; and modification to the number of members required to propose amendments (due to the recent growth in members).
In practice, proposals for dues changes and amendments will be generated as they are now and will be presented for discussion at the Annual Membership/Business Meeting. However, the quorum at the business meeting will no longer be empowered to amend, approve, or decline such motions. In addition to debate at the Annual Membership/Business Meeting, the Society would provide members with an electronic forum via which all eligible voters would be able to debate the motion(s). Electronic referenda would be conducted following the Annual Membership/Business Meeting according to a schedule that would be specified in the Bylaws.
Fiscal Impact: SAA staff has negotiated an option with SAA’s e-ballot vendor to add, upon demand, an additional asynchronous voting event at the cost of $1,500 per year.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2: VOTING METHODS
THAT the SAA Constitution, Article VI.2., be amended as follows (underline indicates addition, strikethrough indicates deletion):
Resolutions passed at the annual business meeting or submitted in writing and signed by 1% of the eligible voting members which request the Council to take a specific action must be formally considered and voted upon by the Council in a timely fashion. The membership shall be notified of the results of that deliberation in the first
mailing communication sent to the membership following the Council's vote. If ten (10) percent of the membership disagrees with the Council's decision and files a petition to that effect with the executive office within ninety (90) days of the U.S. Postal Service postmark of the Council's notification, to that effect with the executive office, a mail ballot special referendum shall be conducted through the next mailing to the membership within one hundred and eighty (180) days and the results of a majority vote of the members voting on in this ballot referendum shall be binding provided that at least thirty (30) percent of the eligible members shall have voted.
Support Statement: The proposed revisions seek to bring this language up to date with modern methods of communication and provide staff with the option to utilize electronic balloting in the case that a special referendum is required.
Fiscal Impact: None.
Proposed Bylaws Amendments: VOTING METHODS
The SAA Council proposes the follwoing two amendments to the SAA Bylaws (in support of the two proposed constitutional amendments) for consideration by SAA members at the Annual Membership/Business Meeting on Saturday, August 27, in Chicago.
PROPOSED BYLAWS AMENDMENT 1: VOTING METHODS
THAT the following amendments to SAA’s Bylaws, Section 10, “Rules of Business Meeting,” be presented for consideration at the Society’s August 2011 Membership/ Business Meeting (underline indicates addition, strikethrough indicates deletion):
h) All resolutions to be brought before the business meeting for action shall be submitted in writing to
a Council Resolutions Committee the Executive Director no later than noon of the day preceding the business meeting and shall be available to members in writing at the meeting. Resolutions from the floor may be considered by majority vote, except as required by the Constitution. i) Amendments to the constitution that have been approved by the Council in advance of the business meeting may be adopted by a majority vote. Amendments to the constitution that have not been approved by the Council may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote. All amendments to the constitution must be filed with the Executive Director at least one hundred (100) days prior to the annual meeting and mailed by the executive director to all members at least sixty (60) days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be considered. j) Adoption of, or amendment to, bylaws of the Society may be made by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of those members present and voting at the annual business meeting. k) i) At the beginning of the meeting the President will announce the agenda, call for additions or amendments, and call for a vote to approve the agenda. After the agenda has been adopted by the majority of the members present and voting, it can be departed from only by the general consent or by two-thirds vote if any members request a vote. l) j) Proxy votes are not permitted. m) k) Aside from the rules above, Sturgis' Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (latest revised edition) will govern the business meeting.
Support Statement: The draft constitutional amendments recommended by the SAA Council stipulate that constitutional and bylaws amendments be approved by member referendum. There is no provision for amendment by the quorum at the Annual Business Meeting. These revisions are necessary to maintain consistency between the Constitution and the Bylaws. In addition, because the sole function of the Council Resolutions Committee is to convey motions to the President, and because this duty can be more effectively fulfilled by the Executive Director, the amendments help streamline governance procedure.
Fiscal Impact: None.
PROPOSED BYLAWS AMENDMENT 2: VOTING METHODS
THAT the following amendment to SAA’s Bylaws be presented for consideration at the Society’s August 2011 Membership/Business Meeting:
11. MEMBER REFERENDA
Member dues changes and resolution of motions filed with the Executive Director in accordance with Article IX or Article X of the Constitution shall be determined by member referendum. The Council Executive Committee shall review and approve a briefing paper prior to the constitutional notification date. Copies of proposed amendments and briefing papers, prepared by the proposer(s) and/or by the Executive Director in accordance with Council guidelines, shall be distributed in accordance with Articles IX and X of the Constitution and shall be presented at the business meeting or at a special meeting called by the Council. Notice of the referendum, copies of proposed member dues changes, constitutional amendments and/or bylaws amendments, and briefing papers shall be distributed by the Executive Director according to a method approved by the Council to eligible voting members no more than thirty (30) days after the meeting at which the motion is presented. All members shall be given the opportunity to participate in discussion and debate on items presented for referenda. Ballots shall be distributed to eligible voting members according to a method approved by the Council no fewer than sixty (60) days and no more than ninety (90) days after the meeting. Approval of motions shall be determined by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of those members voting in the referendum, provided that at least ten (10) percent of the eligible voting members shall have voted. A member may obtain the vote count from the Executive Director.
Support Statement: The amendment specifies provisions that are necessary for the effective administration of member referenda, including notification, scheduling, quorum requirements, and review, approval, and dissemination of briefing papers. These provisions are consistent with principles of parliamentary procedure and will facilitate informed voting by the members.
Fiscal Impact: SAA staff has negotiated an option with SAA’s e-ballot vendor to add, upon demand, an additional asynchronous voting event at the cost of $1,500 per year.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment: ELIGIBILITY TO HOLD OFFICE
The SAA Council proposes the following amendment to the SAA Constitution for consideration by SAA members at the Annual Membership/Business Meeting on Saturday, August 27, in Chicago.
THAT the SAA Constitution, Article III.A.4., be amended as follows (strikethrough indicates deletion):
Institutional membership shall be open to institutions or agencies responsible for or substantially interested in the custody, study, teaching, control, or use of records, archives, and/or private papers. Institutional members are eligible to receive the publications of the Society. Each institutional member may identify a primary contact person, who is eligible to vote
, hold office, and serve on appointed groups.
Effect of the Amendment: Primary contacts of institutional members would no longer be eligible to hold elected office (i.e., President, Vice President, Treasurer, Council member, Nominating Committee member) in SAA without first joining as individual full members. Individual membership may be obtained at any time, which immediately confers eligibility to be elected to office in SAA.
Click here for a briefing paper on the proposed constitutional amendment on eligibility to hold office.