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Leadership Support Council? What’s That?

1 February 2011 1,180 views No Comment
Nancy Geller


Many of you may not have realized there was a big change in the coordination of ASA committee activities in 2010. The Committee on Committees was replaced with the Leadership Support Council (LSC). This new structure divided ASA committees among four councils (education, membership, professional issues and visibility, and awards), each representing between eight and 13 committees, as well as certain sections and outreach groups.

The purpose of the LSC is to connect the committees to the board of directors, and this was done by having each council chaired by a vice president or the past president. The chair of the LSC is the president-elect, who also appoints the vice chairs of the councils. One additional member of the LSC is responsible for coordinating sessions at the Joint Statistical Meetings that are proposed by the committees. This member represents committees on the JSM Program Committee.

The LSC was recommended by a workgroup resulting from one of 2009 ASA President Sally Morton’s initiatives. Perhaps the major accomplishment of the LSC in 2010 was implementing this fundamental change in the ASA’s operations. Our start was not stellar: Washington’s second large snowfall converted our first scheduled, face-to-face, all-day meeting into a two-hour phone call!

During 2010, the LSC met by conference call three times and in person at JSM. Members agreed to follow operating procedures drafted by the executive director. Members of the LSC made several recommendations to the board of directors that have now been approved. One recommendation was that, beginning with appointments made in 2011, members of ASA committees should be members of the ASA, with exceptions being permitted for joint committees with other organizations and committees requiring outside expertise, such as the Energy Statistics Committee (requires economists) and the Law and Justice Statistics Committee (requires criminologists). The rationale for this is that those on committees serve a leadership role and represent the association.

Another accomplishment was devising a procedure for removing nonfunctioning committee members. This procedure attempts to reconnect inactive members with their committees prior to removal. Members of the LSC also began deliberations about procedures for proposing new awards to be presented at JSM.

The ASA committee structure is vast, and the council structure is meant to be flexible. Oversight of committees by the LSC allows for such flexibility. At its request, the Advisory Committee on Continuing Education was reassigned to the Membership Council. The Advisory Committee on Teacher Enhancement and the Membership Survey Committee were sunsetted, because their charges overlapped with the charges of other committees. Two ad hoc committees became permanent: the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and the Conference on Statistical Practice Organizing Committee. A new award committee also was established, the Best Journal of Statistics Education Paper Award Committee.

The LSC was instrumental in helping me make the committee appointments for 2011, the major job of the president-elect. As of this writing, I have made more than 170 committee appointments. Many were of people I did not know, and I could not have done this without the recommendations of the LSC vice chairs (and through them, the committee chairs), ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein, and the able record-keeping of ASA Committees Coordinator Jim Dickey. The ASA is fortunate to have a large group of active members who volunteer their time and effort to the organization.

This year, the LSC is chaired by Bob Rodriguez, president-elect and author of the document that created this structure. He will find the LSC a pleasure to work with, as did I. I look forward to hearing about this year’s achievements.

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