Questions Posed to Candidates for SAA Office (2003-2024)

Compiled here are the questions prepared each year by the Nominating Committee, posed to the candidates, and included on their candidate statement pages. See below for the history of questions posed to each candidate type since 2003. 

VICE PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT-ELECT
COUNCIL
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
TREASURER 


VICE PRESIDENT / PRESIDENT-ELECT

2024: As the Vice President/President-Elect, your responsibilities include addressing the strategic needs of the membership, ensuring representation of professional diversity, and actively recruiting skilled, dynamic, and decisive leaders within the archives community. What is your vision for the Society and the archival profession, and what specific strategies do you envision employing to guide them toward a future that aligns with its mission and strategic priorities?

2022: The SAA Council recently approved the SAA Work Plan on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, with the goal of incorporating DEIA and cultural competency into all aspects of SAA’s work, taking into account the SAA Strategic Plan (2020–2022) and informed by existing goals and strategies developed by component groups. Please identify one of the four areas in the work plan that you see as a priority and discuss how you would implement that area and align it with SAA’s Strategic Plan.

2021: Among SAA’s strategic goals is to meet members' needs by delivering outstanding service, fostering a culture of inclusiveness and participation, and being proactive and responsive. Identify one factor that undermines diversity, equity, and inclusion in SAA and describe what programs and/or projects you would implement to overcome this barrier.

2020: 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?

2019: At its November 2018 meeting, the SAA Council reviewed and reaffirmed SAA’s strategic plan, indicating a strengthened commitment to Goal 3 (Advancing the Profession). Looking ahead to 2019–2021, please discuss what you see as the strengths of the current strategic plan, two or three ways in which you might seek to advance the profession, and the rationale for your suggestions.      

2018: At its November 2017 meeting, the SAA Council reviewed SAA’s strategic plan, looking ahead to 2018–2020.  Please discuss what you see as the strengths of the current strategic plan, two or three ways in which you might modify it, and the rationale for your suggestions.

2017: Question 1: According to SAA’s Mission Statement, “SAA promotes the value and diversity of archives and archivists.” As president, what would be your plan for fulfilling this mission? What concrete steps or strategies would you use to implement your vision for the organization?
Question 2: One of SAA’s Core Values is its commitment to “social responsibility and the public good.” Using this as a framework, please expand on how, under your leadership, SAA will engage in public discourse about events and issues pertinent to the archives profession. 

2016: The last several VPs/Presidents-elect have developed and promoted initiatives that tie into SAA’s strategic plan. For example, Kathleen Roe’s “Year of Living Dangerously” promoted SAA’s advocacy agenda. If you were the successful candidate, what initiative(s) would you promote during your tenure as president? How would you help SAA fulfill its mission of “promot[ing] the value and diversity of archives and archivists” and inspire the membership to do likewise?

2015: Describe your vision to raise the profile of archives and archivists and how you would leverage the strategic plan to move this forward.

2014: One of the goals of SAA’s Strategic Plan is advocating for archivists and archives. What role does SAA play in advocating for the archival profession to institutions, communities, and the American public?

2013: How well positioned do you think SAA is to serve the needs of its members in the 21st century? What are its key strengths and weakness? As President, what would you do to address those weaknesses?

2012: Describe your vision for accomplishing the strategic goals of technology, diversity, and advocacy/public awareness as outlined in the Strategic Priority Outcomes and Activities document.

2011: Describe how SAA’s draft “Core Values of Archivists” fits with your vision for the Society and how you would implement that vision.

2010: What is your vision for the Society of American Archivists? Describe how you will help SAA achieve this vision, who you will work with, and what specific objectives you feel we must achieve, particularly in terms of the Society’s top three strategic priorities.

2009: How would you work toward fulfilling the Society’s top three strategic priorities?

2008: What is your vision for the Society of American Archivists and what steps would you take towards promoting your goals? Discuss how you would work with the national and international archival community to promote that vision.

2007: SAA serves the strategic needs of its membership, strives to represent the diversity of the profession, and actively seeks out knowledgeable, dynamic, and decisive leaders from the archives community to provide crucial guidance and influence public policy. What do you consider to be SAA’s most crucial role on behalf of the archives profession for the next three years? Describe what you believe are the core responsibilities of the position of vice president acting on behalf of SAA’s membership and the profession, and outline your ideas for ensuring the health and well-being of SAA and the national and international archives communities.

2006: How would you describe the current state of SAA as an organization that serves as the most important voice of the archival profession, and what changes would you like to see occur?

2005: What do you see as the number one problem that SAA faces today?  What programs and/or projects would you advance to solve that problem?

2004: Which issues pertaining to our cultural heritage should the president of SAA respond to and how can the president effectively represent the organization’s interests to legislators, the scholarly community, the media, allied professionals, and other constituencies?

2003: What is your vision for the Society of American Archivists and what steps are you prepared to take to ensure that the organization realizes your vision?


COUNCIL

2024: Council members’ most important responsibility is to govern the Society thoughtfully and with an eye to the future of the profession, including supporting SAA’s financial stability and growth and developing and implementing the Society’s strategic priorities. Can you outline specific goals or initiatives you would prioritize during your term to address current and emerging needs and challenges facing the archival profession?

2022: The tragic and thought-provoking events of the past year and a half have indelibly impacted the world and our profession, and carved out a space for projects and initiatives that challenge and amplify the historical record, and foreground the urgency of equity and inclusion. How would you bring this growing investment in social justice to bear as a Council member and support diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within SAA, the Council, and among the general membership? How would you help promote and implement the SAA Work Plan on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility?

2021: SAA has the following core organizational values: 

  • Being committed to advancing the public standing of archivists;
  • Ensuring the diversity of its membership and leaders, the profession, and the archival record;
  • Fostering an open and inclusive culture of creativity, collaboration, and experimentation across the association;
  • Providing excellent member service; and
  • Ensuring transparency, accountability, integrity, professionalism, and social responsibility in conducting its activities.

Select two of the core organizational values and describe how you will work with SAA groups and members to move them forward.

2020: In the past, the SAA Council has had to face situations that challenge the strategic priorities and values of the organization. How would you balance the need to support members’ needs and the archival community with the financial needs of the organization?

2019: As a governing leader of SAA, how will you use your three years on the SAA Council to provide value to SAA members, to increase opportunities for participation for all members, and to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment in which SAA members can share, learn, and grow together?

2018: Council members’ responsibilities include providing collaborative leadership and direction for the Society and its component groups to ensure achievement of SAA’s goals. Please describe how your leadership experience will help you balance engaging the general SAA membership while being responsive to SAA’s strategic goals, including but not limited to the objectives of diversity, inclusion, and transparency.

2017: 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?

2016: SAA is a member-governed organization that is composed of dozens of constituent groups with a variety of viewpoints. In recent years, SAA’s governance structure has strived to be more transparent and responsive in addressing member concerns. If elected, how would you help insure that the Council continues on this path and represents the broad interests of our diverse profession in a transparent manner?

2015: How would you utilize your skills and experience to help make SAA thrive in an environment that expects more communication, collaboration, and demonstrated action?

2014: What are your priorities for advancing SAA’s Strategic Plan? How do we create an organization that nimbly embraces change, including changing member needs, yet is stable enough to advance the profession?

2013: SAA is not only growing in numbers, but also in constituencies—students and new professionals, diverse communities, emerging functional needs—all clamoring to be recognized and have specific needs addressed. What challenges are posed for the association and how do we best address them?

2012: Taking into account SAA’s strategic priorities, in which specific initiatives would you take a leadership role? How would you go about implementing these given the competing priorities of the organization while remaining responsive to members and their needs?

2011: SAA has developed three strategic initiatives: technology, diversity, and public awareness/advocacy. If elected to Council, how will you work with SAA groups and members to move these forward?

2010: Transparent decision making is vital in representative governance. How would you make the SAA Council’s activities more transparent to the SAA membership?

2009: What factors should a Council member consider when evaluating specific proposals that aim to put the Society’s strategic priorities into action?

2008: As a member of Council how would you identify and advocate for member needs?

2007: SAA’s success as a professional organization depends on meeting the diverse needs of its membership through creative and engaged leadership that will thoughtfully consider complex issues. Describe what you believe is SAA’s most crucial role in the next three years with reference to Council’s responsibilities to the profession, and consider your ideas in light of the ongoing need to ensure the financial stability, diversity, and strategic objectives of SAA.

2006: What three crucial issues should SAA address to ensure the strength of our profession?  Do you have any specific suggestions on how to best address these issues?

2005: What is the most pressing concern for Council today?  What will it be in 2010?

2004: SAA will soon learn more about our profession through a major national survey of archivists.  How could SAA use this information to strengthen both the profession and its services to members?

2003: If elected to Council, what specific effort(s) would you take a leadership role in and how would you go about implementing that (those) effort(s) given the competing priorities of the organization?


NOMINATING COMMITTEE

2024: The Nominating Committee plays a crucial role in shaping the pool of candidates from which the elected leadership of SAA will emerge. What motivates your desire to become a part of the Nominating Committee? What traits and backgrounds do you consider important when selecting potential candidates? Share your strategies for inspiring members to participate, and discuss how you plan to create a candidate slate that enhances diversity and inclusion. 

2022: The primary role of the Nominating Committee is to identify rising and experienced leaders from within SAA and the archival profession who can bring fresh and diverse perspectives to SAA leadership. Describe how you interpret this core responsibility and how you will work to identify candidates who demonstrate commitment to the SAA Strategic Plan and SAA’s robust commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA).

2021: According to the SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives, "The labor of dismantling white supremacy and structural racism in archives, and beyond, does not rest solely upon our Black membership and other people of color. White archivists, who comprise a vast majority of the field, have a responsibility to disavow racism daily in society and in our profession." How do you interpret the Nominating Committee's role in decreasing structural racism in the field to make it more equitable for BIPOC archives workers?

2020: The work of the Nominating Committee is critical to the success of SAA as an organization. Describe how you would identify and recruit potential candidates who represent a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives and who demonstrate commitment to SAA’s Strategic Goals.

2019: Although Nominating Committee members serve for just one year, their work has a lasting impact on SAA and its members through the selection of Vice Presidential, Council, and Treasurer candidates, as well as selection of the Nominating Committee slate that determines the next set of slates. Given the long-term reach of the Nominating Committee, what will be your approach in developing a slate of candidates that 1) demonstrates commitment to SAA's strategic goals and 2) facilitates the organization's mission of promoting the value and diversity of archives and archivists?  

2018: An essential component of the Nominating Committee’s work is identification of rising and seasoned leaders within SAA and the archival profession who embody the varied facets of professional diversity. Describe how you interpret this core responsibility and how you will identify candidates who represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives and who demonstrate commitment to SAA’s strategic goals.

2017: An essential component of the nomination and election process is identification of new leaders within SAA who embody the diversity of the archives profession. Describe what you believe to be the core responsibility of the members of the Nominating Committee, and outline your ideas for identifying the next generation of SAA leaders to ensure that new or distinctive voices and perspectives contribute to the future of the profession.

2016: SAA’s strategic plan emphasizes the importance of diversifying the profession using a broad definition of diversity (race, culture, geography, institutional type, sexual orientation, age, constituent group, etc.). How is SAA currently cultivating a diverse group of future leaders for the organization, and how would you strive to represent this diversity within the slate of candidates?

2015: What will be your criteria for choosing a slate of nominees, and how will those help SAA in its mission?

2014: Define your vision of diverse leadership for SAA and describe how you would select candidates to make this vision a reality.

2013: Nominating Committee members are responsible for identifying candidates for leadership who represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as a passion for and commitment to advancing the profession. What would be your strategy for identifying qualified candidates?

2012: An essential component of the nomination and election process is identification of new leaders within SAA who embody the diversity of the archives profession. Describe what you believe to be the core responsibility of the members of the Nominating Committee, and outline your ideas for identifying the next generation of SAA leaders to ensure that new or distinctive voices and perspectives contribute to the future of the profession.

2011: As SAA celebrates its 75th Anniversary, what does it mean to be a SAA leader in the 21st century?

2010: How might the Nominating Committee best identify a generation of new leaders from a wide range of backgrounds to move the Society into the more diverse, technological, and interactive 21st century? What strategies and tactics should the Society undertake to cultivate a new generation of leadership?

2009: What qualities are necessary for service as an elected officer in the Society how would you help develop a qualified and diverse slate of candidates for the 2010 election?

2008: What qualities are necessary for leadership in SAA? How could the nominating committee put together a representatively diverse slate of potential leaders with those qualities?

2007: One of the essential components of the nomination and election process is the identification of new leaders within SAA who embody the diversity of American society and the archives profession. Describe what you believe to be the core responsibility of the members of the Nominating Committee, and outline your ideas for identifying leaders who not only are competent and representative, but who also bring new or distinctive voices and perspectives on the future of the profession.

2006: SAA faces demographic changes in the near future as a generation of professional leadership begins to retire.  What strategies should the Society take in order to cultivate a new and diverse leadership?

2005: What qualities are necessary for leadership in SAA?  How would you go about identifying individuals with those qualities in order to create a strong slate of candidates for office?

2004: Please explain how you would participate in developing a slate of candidates that is balanced geographically and also reflects the increasingly diverse nature of archival work as represented by SAA’s committees, sections and roundtables?

2003: What qualities, both personal and professional, do you believe candidates must bring to their jobs to ensure that the Society meets the needs of its members strengthens the profession?


TREASURER

(every three years)

2024: One of SAA's core organizational values is "ensuring transparency, accountability, integrity, professionalism, and social responsibility in conducting its activities." SAA treasurer supports the financial good standing of the organization, while balancing investment in member needs, short-term opportunities, and long-term sustainable initiatives. As treasurer, what measures would you take to support good financial standing and how would you communicate with SAA members about SAA's current financial situation and its impact on decision-making?

2021: One of the treasurer's responsibilities is to communicate financial information to the Council and to the membership through financial reports, financial statements, audit results, and presentations at various meetings. As treasurer, how would you communicate with current and prospective SAA members about SAA’s current financial situation and its outlook for the future?

2018: One of SAA's core organizational values is to foster a culture of creativity and experimentation across the association. How can the position of Treasurer incorporate that core value while ensuring the following outcomes: 

• Continuation of SAA’s good financial standing;
• Meeting members’ needs;
• Encourage investing in sustainable ways; and
• Financial transparency.

2015: How could you as treasurer help simultaneously ensure the financial well-being of SAA and bring more value to members?

2012: What actions should the treasurer take to ensure that SAA remains fiscally strong and solvent while pursuing its strategic priorities and responding to opportunities and proposals that may exist outside of the strategic priorities?