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Highlights of the November 2015 Board of Directors Meeting

1 January 2016 99 views No Comment
2015 Board of Directors

David Morganstein, President
Jessica Utts, President-elect
Nat Schenker, Past President
Mingxiu Hu, Treasurer
Jim Rosenberger, Third-Year Vice President
Jeri Mulrow, Second-Year Vice President
Rob Santos, First-Year Vice President
Mary Kwasny, Third-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Dan Jeske, Second-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Wendy Lou, First-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Dick De Veaux, Third-Year Council of Sections Representative
Cyndy Long, Second-Year Council of Sections Representative
Anna Nevius, First-Year Council of Sections Representative
Ming-Yen Cheng, International Representative
David van Dyk, Publications Representative
Ron Wasserstein, Executive Director and Board Secretary

2016 Board of Directors

Jessica Utts, President
Barry Nussbaum, President-elect
David Morganstein, Past President
Mingxiu Hu, Treasurer
Jeri Mulrow, Third-Year Vice President
Rob Santos, Second-Year Vice President
Kathy Ensor, First-Year Vice President
Dan Jeske, Third-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Wendy Lou, Second-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Paula Roberson, First-Year Council of Chapters Representative
Cyndy Long, Third-Year Council of Sections Representative
Anna Nevius, Second-Year Council of Sections Representative
Eileen King, First-Year Council of Sections Representative
Ming-Yen Cheng, International Representative
David van Dyk, Publications Representative
Ron Wasserstein, Executive Director and Board Secretary

ASA President David Morganstein welcomed the board to the ASA’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, for its final meeting of the year. He especially welcomed incoming 2016 board members, who participated as part of their orientation. The highlights of the meeting follow.

Discussion Items

ASA statement on graphical displays: The board received a recommendation from the Scientific and Public Affairs Advisory Committee for a statement on graphical displays, prompted by two well-publicized bad examples of graphics. The committee received feedback from the board for future drafts of the statement.

Increasing international membership: The board discussed a possible program for reaching out to international members in collaboration with the International Statistical Institute.

ASA statement on p-values: The board reviewed a draft statement and made suggestions that will be addressed in a final draft expected soon.

Data science: The board discussed when and how to mention data science (scientists) in the ASA’s many communications venues to be appropriately inclusive as the “Big Tent for Statistics.”

Ethical guidelines: Howard Hogan, chair of the ASA’s Committee on Professional Ethics, reported on the progress of revising the ASA’s Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice. A final recommendation for revisions to the guidelines will come to the board during 2016.

Action Items

The board created on a pilot basis a new role, the ASA K–12 Statistical Ambassador. Christine Franklin of the University of Georgia will serve as the first person in this role, beginning in the fall of 2016.

The board endorsed in principle a white paper on good clinical practices, delegating final approval to the executive committee. The paper, which is being developed by a committee jointly appointed by the ASA and Drug Information Association, spells out elements of the body of knowledge needed by statisticians to ensure they meet the ICH standard E-6 for good clinical practice.

The board approved the annual report of the ASA’s Strategic Plan Review Committee. The report calls for the development and implementation of a plan to systematically update the strategic plan during 2016.

The Advisory Committee on Forensic Science was changed from an ad hoc committee to a continuing committee.

The name of the Committee on Gay and Lesbian Concerns in Statistics was changed to the ASA LGBT Concerns Committee.

The board recommended the creation of an “external nominations and awards advisory committee” (official name to be determined) to help get statisticians appointed to high-visibility positions (e.g., National Science Board) and nominated for general science awards (e.g., National Academy of Sciences members). Details will be worked out soon.

Reported Items

Associate Executive Director and Director of Operations Steve Porzio reported on the 2015 ASA financials as the end of September. He reported that JSM 2015 set another attendance record, eclipsing the record set at JSM 2014 in Boston. He said the ASA is in good financial condition and that 2015 net income is expected to be well in the black.

ASA Director of Development Amanda Malloy updated the board on the ASA’s development program, including the membership giving campaign, planned giving, and corporate partnerships. She reported on the formation of the Helen Walker Society to recognize lead donors and the 1839 Society to recognize donors of planned gifts. Both of these societies will be launched at JSM 2016. Malloy also announced the creation of a new scholarship for students or new professionals to attend the Conference on Statistical Practice. The scholarship is funded by an endowment created by John Bartko.

ASA Director of Science Policy Steve Pierson updated the Board on the ASA’s advocacy efforts. He pointed out the status of various federal statistical agencies with respect to the FY2016 budget and reported that the ASA continues to play a lead role in educating House members on the issues associated with making the American Community Survey voluntary.

ASA Vice President Jeri Mulrow reported to the board on the activities of the committees and sections that make up the ASA’s Education Council. For each, she reported on its major accomplishments of the past year and its anticipated activities for the coming year. Regular communication between the board and the various committees is essential to efficient operation of the association.

Equally important to the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASA are the chapters and sections, so, as it always does, the board heard detailed reports from the governing boards of both groups and their respective activities. The annual report of chapters was summarized for the board. The board approved revisions to the charter of the Council of Sections.

The board was updated on the status of President Morganstein’s four strategic initiatives for 2015: (1) further developing mentoring programs and recognizing outstanding mentors within the ASA; (2) Stats 101; (3) the JSM docent program; and (4) the Stats.org collaboration. All these initiatives have gone or are going well.

President-elect Jessica Utts reported on the progress of her strategic initiatives for 2016. (All initiatives of the ASA presidents are based on the ASA’s strategic plan.) The four initiatives are: (1) getting information about careers in statistics into high-school statistics classes; (2) prioritizing the statistics education research agenda (as a help to funders); (3) developing media training for statisticians; and (4) creating a “statistical ambassadors roundtable.” Groups have been formed to address each initiative, and the work of these groups is solidly underway.

The ASA Board meets again April 8–9 in Alexandria, Virginia, for its first meeting of 2016.

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