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Highlights of the August 2013 ASA Board of Directors Meeting

1 October 2013 No Comment
Ron Wasserstein, ASA Executive Director
2013 ASA Board of Directors

  • Marie Davidian (President)
  • Nat Schenker (President-elect)
  • Bob Rodriguez (Past President)
  • Mary Mulry (Third-Year Vice President)
  • David Morganstein (Second-Year Vice President)
  • Jim Rosenberger (First-Year Vice President)
  • John Bailer (Third-Year Council of Sections Representative)
  • Janet Buckingham (Second-Year Council of Sections Representative)
  • Dick De Veaux (First-Year Council of Sections Representative)
  • Bonnie LaFleur (Third-Year Council of Chapters Representative)
  • Nick Horton (Second-Year Council of Chapters Representative)
  • Mary Kwasny (First-Year Council of Chapters Representative)
  • Ray Chambers (International Representative)
  • David Banks (Publications Representative)
  • Keith Ord (Treasurer)
  • Ron Wasserstein (Executive Director)

ASA President Marie Davidian led the board through an agenda based, as always, on the ASA’s strategic plan during the August 2–3 board meeting prior to JSM in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

Davidian welcomed Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, and Christian Leger, past president of the Statistical Society of Canada, to the board meeting. In recent years, it has been the practice of the board to invite leadership from partner societies to attend its meetings to foster understanding and collaboration among statistical societies. Both Shah and Leger reported on the activities of their respective societies and joined in the board discussions on many topics of mutual interest.

Scott Evans was appointed editor of CHANCE for 2014–2016, to replace Sam Behseta, whose term as editor is complete at the end of 2013.

Martha Gardner was appointed as ASA vice president for 2014 to fill the remainder of Vice President David Morganstein’s term. Morganstein will become ASA president-elect in 2014.

Mingxiu Hu was appointed as ASA treasurer for 2014–2016. Keith Ord’s term as treasurer is complete at the end of 2013.

The board gratefully received another cash gift from Ray and Carolyn Waller to establish a second ASA education award. Ray Waller is a former executive director of the ASA. He and his wife, Carolyn, established the Waller Education Award in 2002 to recognize the work of outstanding statistical educators who are early in their careers. This new gift will create an award for outstanding longtime statistical educators.

The board conducted policy and planning discussions on a wide range of important topics, including the following:

  • How to develop a national public relations campaign to increase the visibility of the statistics profession and attract people to careers in statistics
  • What’s after the International Year of Statistics
  • How to maintain and grow our position as the “Big Tent for Statistics”

The outcomes of these discussions will provide policy and implementation guidance for the board and staff over the coming year.

The board adopted in principle a “welcoming environment policy” at the request of the Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences. The proposed policy encourages members of societies to take responsibility for ensuring that everyone feels welcome at the events and also to help members become aware of aspects of their behavior that may make others feel harassed or unwelcome. Details of the implementation policy will be worked out with JSM partners.

The board officially endorsed the fifth edition of “the purple book,” Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency. The book, developed by the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council, sets forth four principles and 13 practices for a federal statistical agency.

The board also endorsed a request from the Committee on ASA Archives and Historical Materials to encourage each of the ASA’s committees, sections, chapters, and representative bodies to create or update its history.

In actions during and subsequent to its meeting, the board agreed to a proposal from the editorial board of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining to add the subtitle “The ASA Data Science Journal” to the name of the journal.

The board approved in principle a proposal to collaborate with the societies that founded the International Year of Statistics (IBS, IMS, ISI, and RSS) to create an organization that would eventually award an annual International Prize in Statistics. (Details about the organization and the prize will be available later this fall, once they are adopted by all five societies.)

Treasurer Keith Ord and Associate Executive Director and Director of Programs Steve Porzio made their regular reports about the state of ASA finances and investments. ASA membership is growing, Porzio reported, and the attendance at JSM 2013 was expected to be quite good. (NB: In fact, it was the third-largest JSM, second only to 2012 in San Diego and 2009 in Washington, DC.)

The board approved the ASA’s roughly $8.8 million annual budget for 2014.

The councils of sections and chapters made their reports to the board. Both councils have been active in support of sections and chapters, entities of critical importance to the ASA.

The board heard the annual report of the Professional Issues and Visibility Council, presented by Morganstein. The report helps the board stay connected with its network of committees, helping the organization to be more efficient and make the best use of the volunteer time that is so critically important to the success of the ASA.

The board next meets November 22–23 at the ASA office in Alexandria, Virginia, for its final meeting of 2013.

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