SAA Council Affirms Strategic Goals, Creates Research Committee

November 9, 2018—Affirming the goals laid out in previous strategic plans, the SAA Council took action at its November 2-3 meeting in Chicago to address Goal 3 (Advancing the Profession) proactively in SAA’s Strategic Plan 2019-2021 by creating a new Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment whose principal charge is to “provide access to significant and useful data and research about SAA, American archives, and their users that evidence the value of archives for society and help us improve our services to SAA members and to our consumers.” 

A task force led by SAA Vice President Michelle Light had studied options for a standing committee on research and that group’s recommendation was approved by the Council.  A call for volunteers for the nine-person committee was issued on Monday, November 5; the deadline for volunteers is Friday, November 30.  See the SAA home page for the Call for Volunteers.

The Council also approved creation of a task force to pre-plan the next iteration of A*CENSUS (Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States), which was last conducted in 2004. SAA President Meredith Evans noted that, “Both the profession and the association will benefit significantly from having updated information on archivists’ work settings, salaries, education levels, and more. We’ll begin pre-planning now for conduct of 'A*CENSUS II' by early 2020, and then coordinate transfer to the new committee (CORDA) for implementation of the survey.”

In other actions, the SAA Council:

  • Agreed to disband with thanks the Cultural Heritage Working Group. CHWG was created at a time when the Council had decided not to endorse the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. With endorsement of the Protocols as an external standard in August 2018, the Council may wish to form one or more groups based on needs identified in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. 
  • Approved a minor revision of the Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives.
  • Revised the Standards Committee’s description to note that the committee is responsible for ensuring that the SAA Standards Portal is maintained and updated on a timely basis.
  • Approved a change in the name of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award to the Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award. The change was suggested by the Archivists and Archives of Color Section.
  • Approved merging of the Visual Materials and VM Cataloging and Access sections. The Visual Materials Section will create a standing committee to address issues of cataloging and access.
  • Discussed “Petition to SAA Council for Ethical Sponsorships” and noted that a response to the petitioners would be forthcoming.

Complete minutes of the November 2-3 Council meeting will be available via the SAA website within 60 days.  The next meeting of the SAA Council will take place on May 20-22 in Chicago. Agenda items for consideration at that meeting are due four weeks in advance (i.e., by Monday, April 22). Send your agenda item(s) to or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont at nbeaumont[at]