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Highlights of the March 2015 ASA Board of Directors Meeting

1 June 2015 No Comment
2015 Board of Directors

David Morganstein, President
Jessica Utts, President-elect
Nat Schenker, Past President
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

ASA President David Morganstein welcomed board members to the ASA office in Alexandria, Virginia, for its first meeting of 2015. He noted that much of the agenda would be devoted to board discussion of future directions for the ASA and encouraged thinking and dreaming big. The highlights of the meeting follow.

Discussion Items

  • Led by Donna LaLonde, ASA director of programs, the board discussed frameworks for the development of mentoring programs by the ASA and its component entities. Mentoring is a major current initiative of the ASA.
  • ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein led a board discussion about ways to bridge the gap between student membership and regular membership. This is one aspect of a board discussion theme for 2015 regarding growing and sustaining ASA membership.
  • The board spent several hours in a vigorous discussion regarding how the ASA should position itself with respect to data science. Morganstein led the discussion, which produced a number of threads for staff and board follow-up.
  • The ASA will be the lead society for the 2016 Mathematics Awareness Month. The board discussed possible theme ideas. Based on those ideas and other post-meeting discussions, the theme will be “The Future of Prediction” and will focus on the myriad ways mathematics and statistics serve in prediction and forecasting matters of importance in our daily lives. (Click for more information about Mathematics Awareness Month.)

Action Items

  • The board approved the recommendations put forward in the Statistical Education of Teachers (SET) document, a report prepared by a committee of ASA members chaired by Chris Franklin. These recommendations spell out the preparation needed for students preparing for careers in teaching statistics in grades K–12. SET was a strategic initiative of the 175th anniversary campaign.
  • New journal editors for 2016–2018 were appointed following recommendations from search committees and the Committee on Publications.
    1. Stephen Buckland, University of St. Andrews, Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics
    2. Montserrat Fuentes, North Carolina State University, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Applications and Case Studies and Coordinating Editor
    3. Dianne Cook, Iowa State University, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics
    4. Jun Shao, University of Wisconsin, Journal of Nonparametric Statistics
    5. Soma Roy, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Journal of Statistics Education
    6. Dan Apley, Northwestern University, Technometrics
  • Seven proposals submitted for support through the Membership Initiative Program were funded by the board.
  • The board set pricing for journal subscriptions for 2016, with a modest increase in price.
  • A proposal by the Chicago Chapter to establish a joint award with the ASA, the Harry V. Roberts Statistical Advocate Award, was enthusiastically approved by the board.
  • The ASA agreed to partner with the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistical Education (CAUSE) on the Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition.

Reports

  • ASA Treasurer Mingxiu Hu reported on ASA investments, which had a year-end market value of about $16.6 million. ASA assets are managed by an outside firm in accordance with board-approved investment policy and under the eye of the treasurer and Finance Committee.
  • Associate Executive Director and Director of Operations Steve Porzio reported on the 2014 ASA financials, noting a net operating income of $967,000. Higher-than-expected revenue from JSM and publications led to this positive result.
  • The board accepted the audit report for 2014, congratulating the staff and especially Porzio for another clear audit.
  • ASA Director of Development Amanda Malloy briefed the board on the ASA’s development program, including the membership giving campaign (formerly the “annual fund drive”), planned giving, and corporate partnerships.
  • ASA Director of Science Policy Steve Pierson brought the board up to date on a wide array of ASA advocacy and informational efforts. A specific focus of Pierson’s report was on the ASA’s concerns regarding efforts to inform U.S. House of Representatives members about statistical issues associated with proposals to make response to the American Community Survey voluntary.
  • ASA Vice President Jim Rosenberger reported to the board on the activities of the many committees that make up the ASA’s Membership Council. For each committee, he reported on its major accomplishments in 2014, compared them to the previously reported planned activities, and then looked ahead to activities for 2015. 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 board was updated on the progress of four strategic initiatives for 2015: (1) further developing mentoring programs and recognition of outstanding mentors within the ASA; (2) Stats 101; (3) JSM docent program; and (4) Stats.org collaboration. All these initiatives are moving along as scheduled.
  • President-elect Jessica Utts discussed with the board potential strategic initiatives for 2016. These initiatives will be finalized over the next few months and ready for announcement by JSM. All initiatives of the ASA presidents are based on the ASA’s strategic plan.

The board meets again June 12 in Alexandria for its annual budget review. Its next regular meeting is in August, before the start of JSM in Seattle.

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