SAA Council Adopts FY16 Budget, Approves Member Referendum on Dues Increase

At its May 28-30 meeting in Chicago, the SAA Council approved a Fiscal Year 2016 budget that projects $2,752,778 in revenues, $2,733,902 in expenses, and a contribution of $18,876 to fund a Council-designated reserve for technology.

In presenting the budget, Treasurer Mark Duffy emphasized the need for continued support for the technology reserve: “SAA’s ability to succeed in key areas of advocacy, education, knowledge dissemination, and member services is highly dependent on staying current with communication technology and information management systems. Unlike most other strategic priorities, large technology investments cannot be accommodated within normal operating budgets. The FY16 budget overall represents a realistic work plan that continues to place appropriate emphasis on maintaining operations at a sustainable level while addressing SAA’s strategic priorities.”

The Council agreed to put forward to the membership in the fall a referendum to approve a three-year stepped increase in dues, effective July 1, 2016. President Kathleen Roe noted that, “SAA has set itself on a growth-oriented path that supports member-expressed interests and concerns. We have an ambitious five-year strategic plan; our membership numbers are healthy but leveling; our education program, which supports SAA’s core mission, is in high demand; our Foundation is still young and is moving forward; and we have commendable staff leadership. The Council must ensure that SAA has the resources to sustain this growth strategy. We must continue to strive for a good balance between more predictable revenue sources – such as membership dues – and the less predictable contributions of such products and services as publications, workshops, and the Annual Meeting.”

Per a Council-recommended bylaws change in 2011, all dues changes must be voted on in an all-member referendum conducted between 60 and 90 days after the Annual Business Meeting. The 2016 meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 22, in Cleveland.

In other actions, the Council:

  • Adopted a revised Public Policy Agenda drafted by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy, as well as an issue brief on State Freedom of Information Laws.
  • Approved a recommendation by the Committee on Education that SAA proceed with development of an Arrangement and Description Curriculum, and asked for further analysis of the committee’s recommendation that a certificate program accompany the curriculum. That analysis is due for the Council’s August meeting.
  • Referred the Committee on Education’s proposed revision of “Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies” to the Standards Committee for implementation of the standards review process, which ensures the opportunity for public comment.
  • Discussed with SAA Diversity Committee Chair Tywanna Whorley the sustainability of the Association of Research Libraries/SAA Mosaic Program, currently funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and charged staff to submit a grant proposal for further funding in the next grant cycle.
  • Agreed that SAA will continue to host the Archives and Archivists discussion list and that proposed revisions in the Terms of Participation should be fielded for member and A&A List subscriber feedback, with a report to the August 2015 Council meeting.
  • Reviewed an extensive report prepared by Council members Mark Duffy, Lisa Mangiafico, and James Roth exploring options for simplifying component group structures while preserving the advantages and services provided by existing sections and roundtables. The report will be fielded for member comment before and during the Annual Meeting.
  • Approved the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable’s “Statement of Mission, Vision, and Core Values.”

In response to the Council’s strategic discussion in November 2014 of enhancing archivists’ cultural competence, Council member Helen Wong Smith presented an outline of a full-day workshop on cultural competence that she will provide to the Council and staff in November 2015 and at the 2016 Joint Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

The nine Council members who are not officers elected Lisa Mangiafico to represent them on the 2015-2016 Executive Committee. Tim Pyatt and Helen Wong Smith were selected to serve on the 2015-2016 Nominating Committee.

All materials presented at the May meeting are available via the meeting agenda. Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the SAA website no later than 60 days after the meeting. View agendas and minutes.

The SAA Council will meet again on Monday, August 17, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm; on Tuesday, August 18, from 8:00 am to noon; and on Saturday, August 22, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in conjunction with the Annual Meeting in Cleveland. The deadline for proposing agenda items for all Council meetings is four weeks prior to the start of the meeting. Forward your agenda items to SAA President Kathleen Roe (president[at] or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (nbeaumont[at]