Brenda Gunn, Candidate for Council

Professional Experience: Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin: Director for Research and Collections and the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Archivist, 2014–present. Associate Director for Research and Collections, 2007–2014. Assistant Director for Research and Collections, 2005–2007. Head of Archives and Manuscripts, 1999–2005. The State Bar of Texas: Assistant Archivist, 1996–1999.

Education: BA, History, MA English, The University of Texas at Tyler. MLIS, The University of Texas at Austin.

Professional Activities: Archives Leadership Institute: Steering Committee, 2012–2018; Participant, 2010. Society of American Archivists Foundation: Board Member, 2014present; Grant Review Committee, 20162017; Development Committee, 20142016; National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives Grant Committee, 20112014. Society of American Archivists: Appointments Committee, 20152016; Program Committee, 20102011; Student Program Subcommittee, 20102011 (Chair); Host Committee, 20082009 (Chair); Preservation Section, 20072008 (Chair); Awards Committee, 20062008 (Chair); Hamer Kegan Award Subcommittee, 20022004, 20042005 (Chair). Society of Southwest Archivists: President, 20052006; Executive Board Member, 19992002; Nominations Committee, 200405 (Chair); Program Committee Member, 20022003, 20042005 (Chair); Distinguished Service Award Committee, 20052006 (Chair); Local Arrangements Committee, 19981999 (Co-chair). Academy of Certified Archivists: President, 20112012; Recertification Petition Team Member, 20152016; Regent for Nomination, 20122013; Role Delineation Statement Update Team, 20082009; Regent for Examination Development, 20062008; Examination Development Committee Member, 19992002, 20042006; Nomination Committee Member, 20022003, 20032004 (Chair).

Selected Presentations: “Swimming in Primary Sources: Undergraduates, the Archives, and the Development of Humanities Core Research Skills,” SAA Annual Meeting, 2016. “Inside the Archivist’s Studio: A Master Class in Archival Leadership,” Society of Southwest Archivists, Annual Meeting, 2013. “Out from the Shadow and into the Spotlight: Outreach as a Means to Increase Profile and Standing Within an Archival Institution’s Community,” ICA Section on University Records Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, 2011.

Awards: Society of Southwest Archivists: Distinguished Service Award, 2009; Movers and Shakers in Archives Award, 2009. Society of American Archivists: Certificate of Commendation, 2008.

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Question posed by Nominating Committee:

How would you leverage your role on the Council as a liaison to various SAA groups to support their initiatives and encourage the general membership to present new ideas to the Council and be more engaged with SAA leadership?

Candidate's Response:

Indeed, it is an honor to be asked to run for the SAA Council, and I’m enthusiastic about the role and responsibilities that come with this position. Council members work with multiple groups, and communication channels are in place to facilitate these relationships already. However, I would look forward to discussing any alternate or additional methods of communication with the groups that would best meet their needs. Additionally, I would want to bring together leaders of the SAA groups for which I would be responsible in order to have a wider-ranging discussion of the needs of these groups. I believe it is important as a Council member to facilitate this trans-group communication regularly and have the groups reinforce each other on issues of mutual concern as well as support each other even when the issues aren’t germane to all.

Working with SAA component groups is mandated by SAA bylaws and is at the heart of the Council’s work. Given SAA’s size and continued growth, now might be an opportune time to establish a specific liaison position that would focus on the general membership. In the way that a newspaper has a public editor, in the way that a hospital has a patient advocate, in the way that a university campus has an ombudsman, SAA could have a Council member whose duty would be specific to the membership—to encourage and to receive ideas from the community at large. Would this be a newly created Council position, or could it be a redistribution of the current work of the Council? The possibilities are worth exploring, I believe.

Serving on the Council would be an honor and I would approach the responsibilities with a commitment the organization and the membership deserve. To encourage participation and engagement with SAA leaders, it would be incumbent upon me as a Council member to create those opportunities of engagement. As a member of Council, as a representative of SAA, I would look forward to attending regional and local meetings, talking with and listening to members of those organizations, not all of whom may be members of SAA. It is important for SAA leadership to keep in mind that not all archivists are members of SAA. I believe that SAA should be interested in engaging with these professionals since our core organizational values take a broad perspective on archives and archivists. To advance the public standing of archives, we need an inclusive outlook that goes even beyond member/nonmember paradigms. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working on behalf of archives and archivists.


Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2017 election:

Vice President/President-Elect

Council (Three-year term)

Nominating Committee