ASA President Sastry Pantula led the board through a full agenda of policy matters during its April 16–17 meeting at the ASA office in Alexandria, Virginia. Following are the highlights:
Board of Directors
Sastry Pantula, president
Nancy Geller, president-elect
Sally Morton, past president
Nat Schenker, third-year vice president
Christy Chuang-Stein, second-year vice president
Rod Little, first-year vice president
David Banks, third-year Council of Sections representative
Jeri Mulrow, second-year Council of Sections representative
Jessica Utts, first-year Council of Sections representative
Susan Hilsenbeck, third-year Council of Chapters representative
David Marker, second-year Council of Chapters representative
Tom Short, first-year Council of Chapters representative
Geert Verbeke, international representative
Karen Kafadar, publications representative
Keith Ord, treasurer
Ron Wasserstein, executive director
The board endorsed an ASA statement on risk-limiting post-election audits and Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, a report by the National Academies (see ASA Endorses Recommendations to Improve Forensic Methods).
Iain Johnstone presented the report of the Accreditation Committee. The board approved the detailed plan for moving forward with the accreditation program (see Board Approves Accreditation Guidelines and the ASA website).
The board heard reports from the four strategic plan working groups currently at work. In addition, President-elect Nancy Geller presented her ideas for strategic initiatives for next year.
The board held a creative session with the Public Awareness Workgroup to discuss development of a tagline for the ASA and a brief description (an “elevator pitch”) for the association. The session was an important part of the working group’s efforts to develop a comprehensive public awareness plan for the association.
The board heard proposals for developing a statistics portal, a “one-stop shop” for a variety of statistical content. Discussions about the concept continue.
As always, the board heard a report from ASA Treasurer Keith Ord. He noted that investments are up, but still below their 2007 values; that membership and subscription revenues held steady because of rate increases, but numbers were down; and that the 2009 audit was concluded successfully. He emphasized the importance of paying close attention to revenue sources.
The board approved a revised development policy for the ASA. The policy governs aspects of the ASA’s fundraising activities.
Michelle Dunn, a National Cancer Institute program director, discussed the importance of the statistics community’s involvement in the Biostatistical Methods and Research Design (BMRD) study section of the National Institutes for Health and ideas for increasing the number of grant applications to the section.
Vice President Christy Chuang-Stein, chair of the Membership Council, and Holly Shulman, council vice chair, presented the first report of the newly formed council. Chuang-Stein provided an impressive list of the major accomplishments of each committee in 2009, as well as an assessment of the progress of the committees to date. She also noted some issues for the board to consider for some of these committees.
Geller, also chair of the Leadership Support Council (LSC), presented the council’s first report. The LSC, the cornerstone of the committee restructure approved by the ASA Board of Directors last year, is fully under way. The early results of this reorganization are positive. The primary reasons for creating the new structure were to improve the function of committees and the communication between committees and the board. The whole organization is more effective when its committees are operating in concert with the board to implement the strategic plan. The time and effort of volunteers, the lifeblood of the association, is better spent when we operate effectively and efficiently.
The LSC recommended a change to the bylaws (see below), requiring, with certain exceptions, that all members of ASA committees who are appointed by the ASA be full members of the association during the term of their appointments.
The Advisory Committee on Teacher Enhancement (ACTE) was dissolved at its own request. This request was reviewed by the LSC before being considered by the board. The ACTE felt its functions were being fulfilled by the new Education Council.
Karen Kafadar, publications representative, presented the annual report of the Committee on Publications (COP). The COP has been active and engaged under the leadership of its chair, David Scott, handling a variety of matters and providing valuable advice and guidance to the board.
One specific recommendation of the COP was that editors of the ASA’s wholly owned journals be required to be members of the ASA during their terms of service. The COP believes these editors serve an important role and occupy a visible place within the association. The board agreed that this requirement should apply to all future editorial appointments, those beginning in 2011 and beyond.
The board reviewed proposals for the Member Initiative program and selected some of them for funding.
David Judkins, JSM 2011 program chair, presented the results of the 2009 JSM Presenter Satisfaction Survey. The survey, sent to JSM presenters, addressed the subject of satisfaction with the presentation experience, but had tailored questions for the various session types and presenter roles. This survey was in addition to the standard satisfaction survey sent out to registered JSM attendees.
The board, as it does at each meeting, heard about issues and concerns related to chapters and sections from the respective council governing boards.
The board next meets on June 18 in Alexandria for its annual budget meeting, then again in late July at JSM in Vancouver.
The Leadership Support Council and ASA Board of Directors recommend the following change to the ASA bylaws, Article IX (Committees), Part 2 (Membership):
From: “All members of Standing Committees, as well as the chairs of Continuing and Ad hoc Committees, shall be full members of the Association.”
To: “All members of ASA committees who are appointed by the ASA shall be full members of the association during the term of their appointment. Exceptions for certain committees or committee positions can be granted by the Leadership Support Council when appropriate for the function of the committee.”