Standing Rules

Society of American Archivists
Issues and Advocacy Section



I. Mission

Provides a forum for discussion on critical issues that the archival profession faces that are not the primary focus of another SAA group.

II. Governance

A. Bylaws and Standing Rules

These standing rules of the Issues and Advocacy Section shall serve as a supplement to the SAA Section Bylaws, which govern all SAA sections. Please refer to Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual for information on membership, section election procedures, reporting requirements, and more. 


B. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is composed of between six and eight members willing to serve, including the officers (a Chair and a Vice-Chair).  

The Steering Committee directs and coordinates the activities of the section and approves appointments made by the Chair and the Vice-Chair if vacancies occur. Committee members establish projects to work on through the year, help to plan the annual business meeting, and endorse SAA program sessions presented to the section. A member of the Steering Committee shall serve as secretary at the annual section meeting and take minutes.

C. Officers

The Chair and the Vice-Chair serve as joint officers of the section. Only individual members of SAA and the Issues and Advocacy Section may hold these positions.  

The Chair and the Vice-Chair direct and report the activities of the section, organize and conduct the annual meeting of the section, chair the Steering Committee, act as liaisons for the section to other bodies, appoint section committees as needed, and handle administrative matters, including, but not limited to, annual reports to the SAA.

D. Committees and Taskforces

Committees and special taskforces may be appointed by the Chair and the Vice-Chair upon recommendation of the Steering Committee or by action of the membership at its annual meeting.

E. Website Editor

A Website Editor shall be appointed by the Steering Committee as needed and will serve as a member of the Steering Committee. The website editor should not serve concurrently as either Chair or Vice-Chair of the section.

The Website Editor is responsible for maintaining and updating the section website as needed and for negotiating all website matters with the SAA office as appropriate. 

F. Endorsing Proposals for the Annual Meeting

Endorsements may be given to sessions submitted to the SAA’s Program Committee and the Issues and Advocacy Section by the appropriate proposal deadline dates. Rules and guidelines for endorsement from the SAA shall be followed. Priority will be given to proposals submitted by section members or those sessions dealing directly with the section's mission. The Steering Committee members will review the proposals and respond with either a yes or no vote for endorsement. The proposals receiving the most affirmative votes will be endorsed. In the event of any ties the Steering Committee will reconsider. If the tie is not broken, the decision will be made by the Chair and the Vice-Chair. The Chair will forward the endorsement of the section to the SAA by the appropriate endorsement deadline.

Members of the Steering Committee who are participating in the proposals are not eligible to vote on the endorsement. 

G. Elections and Terms

Elections shall be conducted online with the assistance of the SAA staff and in accordance with guidelines for section elections as specified in Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual. Availability of the online ballot and deadline for voting shall be announced by the Chair to all section members via the section’s official email discussion list and website.

The Chair and the Vice-Chair solicit candidates for the next year’s Steering Committee and/or Chair/Vice-Chair positions as needed, using the section’s listserv and/or website, and receive the names of volunteers or persons recommended. They then prepare an appropriate slate of candidates and their statements for general section membership to vote on.

Section Chair, Vice-Chair, and Steering Committee members are elected via electronic vote by the general membership of the section two to four weeks prior to the week of the SAA Annual Meeting.

As officers, the Chair and the Vice-Chair serve terms that total two years each. Upon completion of his/her term as Vice-Chair, that officer succeeds to the office of Chair for the next term. Their terms are to be staggered such that no year will bring in two brand new Chairs (i.e. 2010-2012 and 2011-2013), so that an experienced Chair or Vice-Chair will share leadership at all times.

Each officer is expected to attend the Annual Meeting.

Steering Committee positions are two-year terms and will be staggered such that no year will bring in an entirely new Steering Committee (i.e. two members will serve 2016-2018 and two members will serve 2017-2019). Steering committee members may hold their position for two consecutive terms of two years (four years total), and then may not be re-elected for a minimum of two years.  Steering committee members who wish to run for Vice-Chair must do so at the end of their first term or must wait for two years following the end of their second term to run.  Each Steering Committee member is expected to attend the annual meeting or be involved virtually as needed.

The Steering Committee will ensure that there is at least one nominee for Chair, one nominee for Vice-Chair, and two nominees for Steering Committee. All candidates for election must be individual members of SAA and the section and must provide a statement for their election. It is recommended that Steering Committee members be present at the Annual Meeting but it is not required. The Committee will publicize the candidates on the section website and via the Issues & Adovcacy and Archivists listserv at least one month preceding the Annual Meeting. Candidates with the highest number of votes shall be elected. New leadership assumes office at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Section.

Section Elections

1. Sections will conduct annual elections via an online ballot system provided by the SAA staff. Members must vote via the online ballot.

2. Formal calls for nominations will be issued by the section leadership and collected by June 1.

3. Basic ballot information (e.g., introductory message to voters, listing of offices, number of vacancies for each, names of candidates, and links to candidate statements) will be submitted to the SAA staff by June 15.

4. Supplementary ballot information (e.g., candidate photos, biographies, and statements), if desired, will be posted by the section leaders to the section website by July 1.

5. Online ballots containing basic ballot information will be prepared by staff and made accessible during the first week of July and will remain open for at least two weeks.

6. Section members who are in good standing on June 30 are eligible to vote. Members who join after this date will be eligible to vote during the following year.

7. Ballot results will be reported by staff to the section leaders in order to be announced at the Annual Meeting.

The Steering Committee shall appoint any other vacancies to fulfill unexpired terms of elected positions, after which a normal election shall occur.

III. Meetings

The I&A Section will meet at least once during the Society of American Archivists’ annual meeting and at other times as deemed appropriate by the Steering Committee.

Meetings of Issues and Advocacy Section members – and those interested in the concerns of the section – are encouraged at regional archives meetings.

IV. Communication

The I&A Section will submit information to the SAA’s publication, Archival Outlook, the Issues and Advocacy Listserv and the Archives Listserv. The section will also disseminate information about its work through its website. 

V. Section Leadership & Council

As appropriate, I&A Section leadership may meet with SAA Council Representatives to discuss matters of mutual concern.

VI. Enactment and Amendments

These bylaws were first approved and enacted by a majority vote of the membership in December 2010. These bylaws shall be reviewed at least every three years by the Steering Committee.

To ensure alignment with SAA’s governance documents, any amendments to the section’s standing rules should be reviewed by the executive director (or her/his designee) and the section’s Council liaison by May 1, before they are put forward in a referendum for vote by the section membership. Proposed amendments to the section’s standing rules will appear on the section’s annual election ballot for a final approval by a simple majority of the section’s membership. Any adopted amendments should be posted promptly to the section’s official microsite and be noted in the section’s next annual report to the Council. Any revisions to the section’s name or mission/description must be submitted to the Council for final approval. For more information on amendment procedures, see Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual.


Adopted by the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable membership on 08/30/13; approved by the SAA Council on 9/30/13. Updated Section F (Elections and Terms) approved by SAA Council and I&A Membership in August 2015. Updated per the member affinity group transition approved by the Council, August 2016.  

Bylaws_2015.pdf81.21 KB
Bylaws_2013.docx17.8 KB
Bylaws_2010.docx14.73 KB