Responsibilities of SAA Elected Positions and Guidelines for Selection of Candidates

SAA’s elected leaders make critical contributions to the Society’s success.  All positions require energy, talent, and the willingness and availability to perform whatever work is required, and each position carries particular responsibilities. Nominating Committee members should bear this in mind when identifying candidates for these positions and should share the following information with prospective candidates.

Below you will find a brief description of each position, followed by a contact name. These contacts are individuals who previously have held or currently hold the office, and they can give you a good idea of the specific responsibilities for each position.

PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT-ELECT
TREASURER
COUNCIL
NOMINATING COMMITTEE

You may also wish to contact any member of the current Nominating Committee for additional information about a position or for general information about the candidate selection process.


President

All SAA terms of office begin at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting that follows the election.

SAA’s president serves a one-year term of office following a one-year term as vice president/president-elect. In addition the SAA president serves as a "Class A" member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors. (Note: The role of "Class A" member follows the individual while vice president, president, and immediate past president of SAA.) 

As the chief presiding officer of SAA, the president must be available to perform the work of the Society as it develops. Tasks may include representing SAA to, or negotiating on behalf of SAA with, a variety of related regional, national, and international organizations (e.g., the Midwest Archives Conference, the Academy of Certified Archivists, the American Library Association, or the International Council on Archives).  Although much of this work can be performed by phone, e-mail, or other electronic means, travel may be necessary to perform these tasks. The president should expect to be in close contact with the SAA executive director, the Council (via the Council discussion list), the Vice President, the SAA Executive Committee, and the SAA Foundation Board on a regular basis.

The president must be willing and able to attend all meetings of the SAA Council and the Executive Committee, including a fall meeting in November (funded by SAA), a spring meeting in May/June (funded by SAA), and two meetings during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAA). In addition, it is highly desirable that the president attend the SAA Foundation's annual Board meeting in November (typically scheduled back-to-back with the Council meeting and funded by the SAA Foundation) as well as a brief meeting during the SAA Annual Meeting.

As a member of the Council, the president is required to complete and file with the executive director a conflict-of-interest statement.

Responsibilities and Tasks:  The president’s responsibilities and tasks include the following:

  • Direct and coordinate the affairs of the Society.
  • Preside at all business meetings of the Society and of the Council.
  • Perform such duties as may be directed by the Council.
  • Serve as chair of the Executive Committee.
  • Preside over the Council.
  • Serve as a "Class A" member of the Board of Directors of the Society of American Archivists Foundation. (In addition, the vice president and immediate past president of SAA serve on the Foundation Board.)
  • Write a column for each issue of Archival Outlook, SAA’s bimonthly newsletter.
  • Speak and make presentations at the SAA Annual Meeting at which he/she takes office and the Annual Meeting at which he/she presides.
  • As necessary, appoint chairs and members of SAA standing committees, boards, and task forces and appoint Council members to Council working groups. Note: The bulk of the responsibility for appointments rests with the vice president/president-elect.

Time Commitment: The president’s position generally involves a time commitment of 4 to 6 hours per week, at weekly and sometimes daily intervals. The time commitment may be considerably more at some points during the year (e.g., in preparation for and during Council meetings, at the Annual Meeting).   

Suggested Prerequisites/Traits: Candidates for SAA vice president/president-elect should have 1) considerable prior leadership experience in SAA; 2) demonstrated leadership and administrative abilities; and 3) the ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing. Candidates would benefit from prior service on the Council. The individual should be proactive, energetic, and an effective communicator.

For more information or perspective, contact the current SAA President at president[at]archivists.org or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont at nbeaumont[at]archivists.org.


Vice President/President-Elect

SAA’s vice president/president-elect serves a one-year term of office, followed by a one-year term as president. In addition the SAA vice president serves as a "Class A" member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors. (Note: The role of "Class A" member follows the individual while vice president, president, and immediate past president of SAA.) 

The vice president/president- elect remains in close contact with the SAA president, the SAA executive director, the SAA Executive Committee, the Council, and the SAA Foundation Board of Directors. Candidates for vice president/president-elect must be aware of issues that arise from SAA’s component groups, task forces, and representatives.

The vice president/president-elect must be willing and able to attend all meetings of the SAA Council and Executive Committee, including a fall meeting in November (funded by SAA), a spring meeting in May/June (funded by SAA), and two meetings during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAA). In addition, it is highly desirable that the vice president attend the SAA Foundation's annual Board meeting in November (typically scheduled back-to-back with the Council meeting and funded by the SAA Foundation) as well as a brief meeting during the SAA Annual Meeting.

In addition, it is highly desirable that the vice president attend the SAA Foundation's annual Board meeting in November (typically scheduled back-to-back with the Council meeting and funded by the SAA Foundation) as well as a brief meeting during the SAA Annual Meeting.

As a member of the Council, the vice president/president-elect is required to complete and file with the executive director a conflict-of-interest statement.

Responsibilities and Tasks:  The vice president/president-elect’s responsibilities and tasks include the following: 

  • Perform the duties of the president in case the president is absent or incapacitated.
  • In case of a vacancy in the presidency, assume that office and hold it for the remainder of the term.
  • Serve as a member of the Executive Committee.
  • Serve as a member of the Council.
  • Serve as a "Class A" member of the Board of Directors of the Society of American Archivists Foundation. (In addition, the vice president and immediate past president of SAA serve on the Foundation Board.)
  • Appoint the chair and members of the Appointments Committee that assist the vice president/president-elect in the appointments process.
  • Appoint the chair(s) and members of the Program Committee and Host Committee for the Annual Meeting over which he/she will preside.
  • Appoint chairs and members of SAA committees, boards, task forces, and representatives, and appoint Council members to Council working groups.
  • Communicate regularly with the SAA office.

Time Commitment: The workload is variable, often depending on tasks resulting from Council discussions and actions. Note:  A major responsibility of the vice president, in conjunction with the Appointments Committee, is to fill the many vacancies on committees that occur annually as well as those resulting from creation of task forces or transitions on working groups. The number of vacancies can vary, but most recently has totaled between 50 and 70. Completion of this task may require a commitment of 4 to 6 hours per week, or perhaps more, in March and April.

Suggested Prerequisites/Traits: Candidates for SAA vice president/president-elect should have 1) considerable prior leadership experience in SAA; 2) demonstrated leadership and administrative abilities; and 3) the ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing. Candidates would benefit from prior service on the Council. The individual should be proactive, energetic, and an effective communicator.

For more information or perspective, contact 2019-2020 Vice President Rachel Vagts at rachel.vagts[at]gmail.com or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont at nbeaumont[at]archivists.org. 


Treasurer 

The treasurer serves a three-year term. In addition the SAA treasurer serves as a "Class A" member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors. 

The treasurer is the financial officer of the Society and therefore is responsible for 1) assuring accurate and complete financial records; 2) working with the executive director and staff to prepare and present annual budgets for approval by the Council; 3) making recommendations to the Council concerning budgetary and other financial issues; 4) monitoring SAA funds placed in various financial institutions; and 5) preparing formal financial reports as appropriate and communicating financial information effectively to the Council and to the membership. The treasurer is the official signatory on certain financial and tax documents.

The treasurer must be willing and able to attend all meetings of the SAA Council and Executive Committee, including a fall meeting in November (funded by SAA), a spring meeting in May/June (funded by SAA), and two meetings during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAA, except for one night's stay in the conference hotel). In addition, it is highly desirable that the treasurer attend the SAA Foundation's annual Board meeting in November (typically scheduled back-to-back with the Council meeting and funded by the SAA Foundation) as well as a brief meeting during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAAF). 

As a member of the Council, the treasurer is required annually to complete and file with the executive director a conflict-of-interest statement.

Responsibilities and Tasks: The treasurer’s responsibilities and tasks include the following:

  • Serve as the chair of the SAA Finance Committee.
  • Serve as a member of the SAA Council’s Executive Committee.
  • Preside at meetings of the Council in the absence of the president and vice president. 
  • Prepare an annual treasurer's report for presentation at the annual business meeting.
  • Recommend an annual budget to the Council in consultation with the Finance Committee, the executive director, and the director of finance and administration.
  • Analyze all SAA financial statements.
  • Report financial status, trends, and problems at each Council meeting.
  • Consult with the director of finance and administration to assure that an annual audit is performed.
  • Consult with the director of finance and administration and the Finance Committee to review the Society’s investment portfolio and investment strategy.
  • Analyze annual audit results and report conclusions to the Council.
  • Review the Society’s membership dues structure and, in consultation with the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, and the executive director, recommend changes.
  • Serve as a "Class A" member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors. (Note: The SAA Foundation treasurer is elected annually by the Foundation Board and there is no requirement that the SAA treasurer serve also as Foundation treasurer.)

Time Commitment: Although the office’s workload is quite variable, it averages approximately 3 to 5 hours per month and can require extensive time commitment leading up to each Council meeting, especially the annual spring meeting focusing on the budget. If a dues increase is proposed, additional time will be required. See a detailed schedule below:

October – November: 5-10 hours to complete thorough mid-year budget review, meet via conference call(s) with Finance Committee and staff, and prepare Council meeting report(s). Two to three days to attend Foundation Board, Executive Committee, and Council meetings.

April - May: During the budget development process, 10-12  hours to complete thorough review of draft(s), meet via conference call(s) with Finance Committee and staff, review section funding requests. 

May:  6-10 hours to prepare Council meeting report(s) (including budget materials) and review and comment on other reports. Two days to attend Executive Committee and Council meetings.

July - August:  6-10 hours to prepare Council meeting report(s), review and comment on other reports, and prepare and present annual report to the membership. Additional time to attend the two Council meetings, the SAA Foundation Board meeting, a Finance Committee meeting, and other meetings as appropriate.

Suggested Prerequisites/Traits: Candidates for treasurer would benefit from experience in managing or analyzing large budgets and/or financial, accounting, or investments experience.

For more information or perspective, contact 2015-2018 Treasurer Cheryl Stadel-Bevans at afitch[at]rockarch.org or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont at nbeaumont[at]archivists.org.


Council

The Council is the elected governing body of the Society of American Archivists. Three Council members are elected annually for terms of three years.  

Council members’ most important responsibility is to govern the Society thoughtfully and with an eye to the future. Together with the Society’s officers and the executive director, the Council is responsible for SAA’s governance, management of its affairs, annual budget and program cycle review, and regulation of its procedures. The Council proposes, deliberates, reviews, and approves all SAA policies and procedures.

All Council members are assigned to serve as liaisons to various committees, working groups, and sections. The second-year Council members serve as the review body for the Governance Manual. Of the three Council members entering their third year of service, one is elected by the nine Council members to serve as their representative on the Executive Committee and two are selected to complete the Nominating Committee. The Executive Committee member also serves as a "Class A" member of the Board of Directors of the Society of American Archivists Foundation.  

Members must be willing and able to attend all meetings of the SAA Council, including a fall meeting in November (funded by SAA), a spring meeting in May/June (funded by SAA), and two meetings during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAA, except for one night's stay in the conference hotel). In addition, it is highly desirable that the Executive Committee members attend the SAA Foundation's annual Board meeting in November (typically scheduled back-to-back with the Council meeting and funded by the SAA Foundation) as well as a brief meeting during the SAA Annual Meeting (not funded by SAAF). 

Council members are required annually to complete and file with the executive director a conflict-of-interest statement.

Responsibilities and Tasks: Council members’ responsibilities and tasks include the following:

  • Establish policies for the Society.
  • Vote on constitutional amendments proposed by membership petitions.
  • Prepare for and participate actively in Council meetings and online discussions.  
  • Participate actively in developing, reviewing, and approving SAA’s strategic priorities.
  • Oversee the work of SAA’s standing and ad hoc appointed groups.
  • Serve as liaisons to the Society’s component groups.
  • Serve on the Governance Manual review group during their second year in office.
  • Serve on either the Nominating Committee or the Executive Committee during their third year in office.

Time Commitment: Service on the Council takes time throughout the year. Council meetings occur in November, May/June, and at the Annual Meeting. Members should expect to spend a fair amount of time preparing for Council meetings (i.e., contacting liaison groups regarding agenda items, drafting or reviewing agenda items, reviewing all reports in advance of the meeting) in the month before.  Between meetings, members will regularly spend time participating in timely discussion on the Council e-mail list and liaison groups’ lists. Also, members may need to put forth extra effort to work on a special report or assignment.  The time required will vary according to the tasks that must be completed.  Members may expect to spend a minimum of two hours per week engaging in online discussions or working to complete Council tasks. 

Suggested Prerequisites/Traits: Candidates for the SAA Council should have some prior experience with SAA issues and governance, such as could be gained through membership on a committee, task force, or working group or by serving as a section or roundtable leader.  

For more information or perspective, contact 2017-2018 Executive Committee Member Kris Kiesling at kiesling[at]umn.edu or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont at nbeaumont[at]archivists.org.


Nominating Committee

SAA’s Nominating Committee is composed of five members who serve for one year. Three members are elected each year by the membership. Additionally, two of the three Council members entering their third year of service are selected at the spring meeting of the Council to complete this committee. The person receiving the most votes in the election by the membership serves as the Committee chair. 

Nominating Committee members are responsible for creating the slate of candidates from which SAA’s elected leadership will be determined. Given this responsibility, it is preferred that candidates for the Nominating Committee 1) be at least broadly familiar with SAA and its membership; 2) have been active members for a number of years; and 3) have attended more than one SAA meeting. 

Nominating Committee members must be completely conversant with the SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion and should use it as a basis to fulfill its charge: To present a slate of candidates that is fully representative of the diversity of archivists and archives among the Society's membership.

Nominating Committee members should be willing and able to attend the Annual Meeting (not funded by SAA).

Responsibilities and Tasks: Nominating Committee members’ responsibilities and tasks include the following:

  • Review nomination submissions from SAA membership.
  • Select a slate of candidates to present for membership vote.
  • Provide information about the slate of candidates for publication in Archival Outlook and on the SAA website.
  • Draft questions for inclusion in the candidates’ statements.
  • Prepare a final report of election results for the August Council meeting and the Annual Business Meeting.
  • Report the election results at the Annual Business Meeting. 

Time Commitment. Although the Committee’s workload is quite variable, it averages approximately 1 to 2 hours per week and can require an extensive time commitment during the weeks leading up to the SAA Annual Meeting (July/August), at the Annual Meeting (August), and again in the late Fall when the slate must be presented.

Suggested Prerequisites/Traits. Candidates would benefit from having served within SAA component groups (sections, committees, etc.) and thus being exposed to SAA members, events, processes, and procedures. In addition experience within a regional archival group may assist the Committee in identifying potential candidates who have gained leadership experience outside of SAA.