Calendar of Duties


  • After the ballot closes and results have been tabulated, the Executive Director notifies all candidates (via telephone) about the outcome of the election.  Of the three candidates elected to the Nominating Committee, the candidate who garners the most votes becomes Chair. 
  • The outgoing Chair contacts the incoming Chair to offer assistance and to pass on relevant information and suggestions on the process and responsibilities. 


  • Two second-year Council members are selected at the Council’s spring meeting to serve on the Nominating Committee. The Council meeting typically is held between mid-May and mid-June. This brings the total number of Nominating Committee members to five, which is the full complement. The Nominating Committee is now ready to begin its work.
  • The SAA office confirms which positions are to be filled (e.g., the Treasurer position is filled every third year). The office provides to the Chair a list of individuals who have stood for office and those who were elected to office in the last 10 years. This document is useful in identifying prospective candidates. The office also sends to the Chair any names (and background information) that were submitted via the online nomination form (for which the deadline for submission typically is June 15).
  • The Chair welcomes all Committee members using the Nominating Committee discussion list, sends them a copy of this procedures document, and reminds them of the general schedule for their work.  It may be useful at this point for the Chair to discuss how s/he envisions the Committee communicating and doing its work.  For example, the Chair may wish to establish a schedule for periodic conference calls and a protocol for online sharing of documents. 
  • The Chair contacts the immediate past Chair to discuss whom s/he thinks might be considered based on information gleaned during the course of the previous year’s investigation. The past Chair may also share any lessons learned about how to manage the work of the Committee.


  • The Chair compiles nominations submitted via the online nomination form (deadline is June 15), lists of those who previously stood for office but were not elected, and suggestions from the previous year’s Committee, and sends this compilation to the Nominating Committee members. 
  • The Nominating Committee members conduct research on prospects. This research may include looking for information about the prospects on the Web and talking with other archivists. The SAA staff can point Committee members to information available on the SAA website.  Bios found in the SAA Member Directory and related information from local and regional archival organizations also may be helpful.  The Committee also may choose to ask a potential candidate for a résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • The Nominating Committee drafts questions for nominees.
  • The Nominating Committee finalizes questions for nominees.
  • The Chair arranges with the Executive Director for time slots and meeting space during the SAA Annual Meeting.  The conference provides the best opportunity for face-to-face discussions and prospecting. The Committee may meet as often as needed during the conference.
  • The Executive Director makes arrangements for meeting space during the Annual Meeting.
  • The Nominating Committee may also consider drafting a list of prospective candidates (i.e., a candidate pool) and contacting them prior to the Annual Meeting to verify their willingness to serve. (See “Be very clear in solicitations” above.)  This step can maximize the efficiency of the process during the conference itself.


  • At the SAA Annual Meeting:  Nominating Committee members meet as a committee, finalize lists of prospects (note that many or even most of the nominees may not be derived from the compiled lists), and approach as many prospects as possible during the conference to discuss the various offices. When speaking with prospects, it is critical to make clear that the Committee is determining interest, but is not yet offering a definite slot on the ballot. Also, the Committee should set a deadline by which prospects must provide a final response for being included in the initial pool of candidates from which a final slate will be developed. Many prospects will need more time to decide, but it is wise not to leave this an open-ended process.  It is very important to be clear with potential candidates about the stage of the Committee’s deliberation. The Committee should meet periodically throughout the conference to discuss its progress.
  • It is rare for the Committee to finalize the slate at the conference; a follow-up effort typically is required. Patience is a virtue while prospects make their decisions. Remember to point them to additional information about the position, if they need it, and suggest that they talk to current or past office holders to gather information and perspectives. Be prepared to be rebuffed.  Many folks will say “No.”  Don’t take it personally!
  • After the conference, follow up with prospective candidates who have not yet given a definite response. Remind them of the deadline by which a decision is needed.
  • Once a prospect says “Yes” to being included in the initial pool of candidates from which a final slate will be developed, indicate that s/he will next hear from the Nominating Committee Chair or a Nominating Committee member about whether s/he has been included on the final slate.
  • NOTE:  The immediate past Chair, or another representative of the previous year's Nominating Committee, is required to provide a final report on the completed election at the Annual Business (Membership) Meeting that follows the election cycle.


  • Nominating Committee finalizes the slate. The Chair (or designated Committee member) contacts the nominees to invite them to run for office.  If a nominee declines the formal invitation, the Committee returns to the pool and selects another nominee.
  • By October 31:  The Chair sends to the Executive Director the final slate and the questions to which candidates are asked to respond for publication.
  • By October 31:  The Chair communicates (preferably by phone with an email follow-up) with all individuals who have been slated to thank them for agreeing to run and to let them know that the SAA office will be in touch with them shortly.  The Executive Director should be notified when this process is ongoing (by copying her/him on the messages) or complete (by, as above, sending the final slate). The slate should be shared with all candidates at this time.
  • By October 31:  The Chair (or designated Committee member) communicates with all of the individuals who were contacted during the Committee’s deliberations but were not slated to ensure that they are aware of that fact and to thank each for considering serving. (See “Be very clear in solicitations” above.)  Ideally this should be done by phone to ensure that the individual has received the information. This concludes the process.


  • The Executive Director shares the slate with the Council and staff.
  • The SAA office sends election materials via email to the candidates by the end of November. The due date for returning materials to the SAA office is the first week in January. Candidates supply a brief bio, a response to the question posed by the Nominating Committee, and a digital image for posting on the SAA website.
  • Information about the upcoming election—the slate of candidates, questions posed by the Nominating Committee, the voting period, and a link to the online nomination form for the next year—is posted on the SAA website.  Also included is information about how an eligible member of SAA may be placed on the ballot by submission of a petition signed by 50 individual members. (Such petitions must be received at the SAA office by February 10). Click herefor an example of election content on the SAA website.
  • The slate of candidates, questions posed by the Nominating Committee, and the voting period is noted on the SAA website, which also includes information about how an eligible member of SAA may be placed on the ballot via petition. The slate is also published in Archival Outlook (either the November/December or January/February issue, depending on when the Nominating Committee submits the slate), in In the Loop, and via SAA’s social media channels.


  • First week of January: Candidates return election materials (bio, response to Nominating Committee questions, and digital image) via email to the SAA office.
  • SAA staff post the candidate statements and images to the SAA website. This material is reviewed and approved by candidates before it goes public. Once approved, additional announcements are made via various communication channels to alert the general membership about the availability of this information.


  • February 10:  Deadline for returning a petition.
  • Staff prepares online ballot.
  • All individual members, student members, and primary contacts of institutional members who are in good standing on February 28 are eligible to vote in the election. Members who join on or after March 1 will be eligible to vote in the next year’s election.


  • Voting is conducted online using a secure external software product (VoteNet). The ballot is open for one month, typically from mid-March to mid-April.


  • Once balloting closes, tabulations are done electronically and are verified by three member-volunteers who have been appointed to serve by the SAA President. The election results are shared with the Executive Director.
  • The Executive Director contacts all candidates who stood for office and apprises them of the election results.
  • The results are posted to the SAA website and announced via other SAA media after the Executive Director has made direct voice contact with all of the candidates. 


  • The election results are published in the May/June issue of Archival Outlook. 


  • The Chair presents a brief report of the election results at the SAA Annual Business Meeting. The report includes the names of the other Nominating Committee members and those of the newly elected leaders—Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer (if appropriate), Council members, and Nominating Committee members.   


QUESTIONS?  Contact SAA Chief Executive Officer Jacqualine Price Osafo or call 866-722-7858, ext. 212.