Kris Kiesling, Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect


Kris Kiesling

Director of Archives and Special Collections,
University of Minnesota

“It boils down to the actions we all take, locally and globally, individually and collectively.”



  • Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections, University of Minnesota, 2005–present.
  • Associate Director for Technical and Digital Services/Head, Manuscripts and Archives, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 19902005.


  • MILS, University of Michigan.
  • BS, History, North Dakota State University.
  • Leadership Training: Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellow.


  • Society of American Archivists: Council (20152018), Executive Committee (20172018); Technical Subcommittee on EAD, Member (20112015); Encoded Archival Description Working Group, Chair (19952009), Member (20092011); Committee on Education (20032009), Co-Chair (20052007); Program Committee, Co-Chair (2002); Standards Committee, Member (19982002), Chair (19992001); ALA/SAA Joint Committee on Library-Archives Relationships, Member (19982002), Co-Chair (20002001); Committee on Archival Information Exchange, Member (19941998), Chair (19961998).
  • RBMS: 2008 Preconference Program Committee, Chair (20062008); Task Force on Core Competencies, Member (20052008).
  • Minnesota State Historical Records Advisory Board: Member (20072012).
  • Consulting: Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies; University of Illinois Libraries; Indiana University Lilly Library; Texas Tech University Library; Baylor University Library; Carlton College Library; King Ranch Archives.


  • Putting Descriptive Standards to Work, Trends in Archives Practice series (SAA, 2017).  (co-editor)
  • EAD Tag Library Version EAD3 (SAA, 2015). (co-author and co-editor) 
  • Describing Archives: A Content Standard (SAA, 2004). (co-author)
  • EAD Tag Library Version 2002 (SAA, 2002). (co-author)
  • EAD Application Guidelines Version 1.0 (SAA, 1999). (co-author)
  • EAD Tag Library Version 1.0 (SAA, 1998). (co-author)
  • SAA Distinguished Fellow, 2000.
  • SAA Council Exemplary Service Award, 1998.


  • Society of American Archivists: Nearly 100 workshops on EAD/stylesheets, 19962012; "All Together Now,” Under One Roof: Reorganizing and Merging Archives," 2009. 
  • ALA: “GLAMonomics: The Economic Impediments and Incentives to Collaboration across Libraries, Archives and Museums,” 2018.



SAA is a consortium of diverse individuals and communities facing diverse concerns on the future of the profession in the 21st century. As President, what will be your key themes to ensure that SAA meets the needs of a changing community addressing a wide range of concerns and topics, including technology, diversity/equity/inclusion, labor equity, and climate change, while upholding SAA's Core Values?


I believe SAA’s Core Values are an excellent platform from which to launch efforts to address member concerns as they relate to archives and the work of archivists. Members have been and will continue to be concerned about many societal and workplace issues.  As a relatively small professional organization, there are limited actions SAA can take to directly address labor equity, technology, and climate change beyond advocating, whenever possible, for needed change. And any action taken has consequences. For example, efforts to make it possible for members to attend the annual meeting virtually, while having a positive impact on our carbon footprint, have a negative impact on members’ ability to network and feel like they are part of the community. Remote access is very expensive, and registration fees for the annual meeting make up a large percentage of SAA’s budget. Are you willing to pay higher dues to make it possible to continue to provide or expand remote access? My point here is that there are going to be trade-offs. Sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.  

Can SAA address the themes and concerns called out in the question? When technology impacts archives, SAA leadership will consider the situation and issue a position statement calling attention to the problem. The data gathered by the Ad-hoc Working Group on Archivist Salary Transparency and the creation of the Archivist Compensation Task Force will indicate to employers that there are workplace inequities that SAA seeks to address. Collaboration with allied professional organizations on this issue and the creation of a toolkit for archivists to use in negotiating compensation are steps in the right direction. 

DEI is an issue that SAA has and will continue to address. At the University of Minnesota, the Office for Equity and Diversity’s mantra is that equity and diversity are everybody’s everyday work. I wholeheartedly agree with and support this focus. It is paired with the acknowledgement that we are all learning and that we’ll make mistakes. Goals 1 and 4 in SAA’s Strategic Plan outline ongoing actions for addressing DEI, but if you believe there are other actions SAA should take as an organization, I encourage you to make suggestions. Remember that the work of the Society is accomplished primarily through member participation and accomplishments, and many of the ideas for action come from grassroots efforts.  It boils down to the actions we all take, locally and globally, individually and collectively.



Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2020 election:

Vice President/President-Elect


Nominating Committee