Taronda Spencer, Candidate for Council

Employment History: College Archivist and Historian, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, 1997–present. Project Archivist, Cooperative HBCU Archival Survey Project, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1992–1997. Archivist II, Wayne State University, 1991–1997. Processing Archivist, The Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1985–1991.

Education: MA, History/Archives Administration, University of New Orleans, 1985. BA, History, Spelman College, 1980. Archival Leadership Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, June 2008. Certification: Academy of Certified Archivists, 1989–2012.

Professional Service: Society of American Archivists: Committee on the Status of Women, 1994–1997; Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award Committee, 1997–1998; Chair, Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, 2000–2001; Nominating Committee, 2003. Society of Georgia Archivists: Awards Committee, 1999; 1st year Director, 2005 Annual Meeting; 2nd Year Director, 2006 Annual Meeting. Archival Consultant: UNCF/Mellon Archival Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, July 2010; Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, DC, 2009; Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, North Carolina, 2005. Publication: “The Evolution of the Cooperative Historically Black Colleges and Universities Archival Survey Project” Provenance 17 (1999): 67–84.

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Question posed by Nominating Committee: SAA is not only growing in numbers, but also in constituencies—students and new professionals, diverse communities, emerging functional needs—all clamoring to be recognized and have specific needs addressed.  What challenges are posed for the association and how do we best address them?

Throughout its history, the Society of American Archivists has been characterized as a dynamic and transformative organization. The Society has been a leader not only in the technical aspects of records preservation, but also in the development of the archival profession. The mission articulated by the organization and its activities reflect a deep commitment to building a broad membership base. SAA has been progressive in revising and instituting new policies and programs to meet the changing needs of its members.

To serve its growing constituent base, SAA must continue to be proactive in meeting the needs of its membership, particularly those needs that are not being met elsewhere. To be effective, SAA must understand the interests and issues of their constituents and as appropriate, help to address their concerns. SAA’s ability to manage these concerns and issues and to provide tangible benefits to their new and growing constituencies will require time, money, and other resources. This will necessitate SAA revising its goals and establishing or modifying objectives to determine new priorities. Overall, the Society will have to be strategic in its planning to insure that they are not only responsive and committed to the needs of new and growing groups within the organization, but also to all constituents. A commitment to finding innovative services and programs to fulfill constituent needs can only foster a stronger relationship between the organization and the membership and sets a firm course for the future viability of SAA.