Working with the SAA Council

The SAA Council meets three times per year. In 2017-2018, meetings are scheduled for:

  • Mid-November in Chicago (November 5-7);
  • May in Chicago (specific dates TBD); and
  • August 13 and August 18 in conjunction with the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Reminders about upcoming Council meetings – and associated deadlines – are sent to the SAA Leader List and to all members via the website and SAA’s bi-weekly e-bulletin, In The Loop, several times before each meeting.

If you have recommendations for the Council’s consideration, following is a general schedule.

Just remember 4-3-2-1….

  • (4) Four weeks before the meeting: Recommendations for Council action or discussion should be submitted 4 weeks in advance of the meeting start date. This is the point at which agenda items are being gathered and the agenda takes shape. Share your recommendation(s) with your Council liaison, who may be able to help you craft language and who will ensure that your item is considered for the agenda. The SAA President, as the presiding officer at Council meetings, approves all agenda items.
  • (3) Three weeks before the meeting: Materials are due. To simplify the preparation of materials – and to ensure that the Council has adequate background to understand the purpose of the agenda item – SAA uses a template for action and discussion items and reports. Check out SAA’s Leader Resources page, under “Templates and Forms,” to download a template that will help you prepare a recommendation for action, a discussion item, or a report for the Council.
  • (2) Two weeks before the meeting: The agenda is set and all materials that are ready for Council members’ review (i.e., the first batch of Council materials) are posted to the Council’s website. The materials are available to all members at the same time that they are available to the Council.
  • (1) One week before the meeting: The second and final batch of Council materials is posted to the website and is publicly available.
  • Two months after the meeting: By vote of the Council, minutes of Council meetings are made available to members via a website post within 60 days after each meeting.

Within a week of the end of each Council meeting, the SAA office releases via the website and/or In The Loop a summary of actions taken at the meeting. (If your component group had an item on the Council agenda, you should also expect to hear from your Council liaison, via phone or email, during or soon after the Council meeting with the results of the Council discussion of your item.) A summary article also appears in the next available issue of Archival Outlook, even if the minutes have not yet been adopted. (Council meeting minutes since January 1994 are available via the website at; previous minutes are available via The American Archivist.)

Some items can’t wait!
If you have an action or discussion item that is time sensitive, please contact your Council liaison, 2017-2018 SAA President Tanya Zanish-Belcher (, or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont ( to discuss placing it before the Executive Committee or Council for online discussion and vote. Frequently the Council is able to take action between face-to-face meetings.  

And remember: Council meetings are open to all members. We encourage you to attend!