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Nominating Committee Report, 2023-2024

Submitted by Ronnie Ancona and Pramit Chaudhuri

February 22, 2024

Co-Chairs: Ronnie Ancona, Pramit Chaudhuri

Members: Ronnie Ancona, Pramit Chaudhuri, Scott McGill, Elizabeth Mercier (ex-officio), Arum Park, Matthew Santirocco (ex-officio), Zoé Thomas (ex-officio), Chris Waldo, Nancy Worman.

In 2023-2024, the Nominating Committee held three virtual meetings to nominate individuals to serve as President-Elect (two candidates to elect one); VP for Professional Matters (two candidates to elect one); VP for Program (two candidates to elect one); VP for Publications and Research (two candidates to elect one); Junior Financial Trustee (two candidates to elect one); Directors-at-large (five candidates to elect two); Graduate Student Director (three candidates to elect one); Contingent Faculty Director (three candidates to elect one); and as members of the Nominating Committee (four candidates to elect two); Program Committee (four candidates to elect two); Goodwin Committee (four candidates to elect two); Committee on Professional Ethics (two candidates to elect one).

Committee members were asked to prepare for each meeting by suggesting individuals for each position (twice the number of names on each ballot), supplying their institutional or personal websites for further information, while giving special consideration to representing the SCS membership across type of institution, geographic area, gender, race and ethnicity, career stage, and academic specialization. In addition, they were asked to review several supporting documents provided by the Executive Director, including a summary of responsibilities, a list of current officers, a list of historical officers, a list of current SCS members, and a list of volunteers for SCS service. Information for each suggested individual, including brief notes about eligibility or past SCS service, were recorded on a collaborative spreadsheet and reviewed by all committee members before the conference calls. The virtual meetings provided an opportunity for committee members to discuss the candidates. After discussion, committee members ranked their top candidates (generally fifteen to twenty-five) and the ranked lists were then tallied. The committee co-chairs then contacted individuals via email on the various lists in the order ranked with an invitation to stand for election and an offer to discuss the position or answer any questions, if desired, via Zoom, phone, or email. The emails contained job descriptions for the specific position. In addition, those being invited to stand for a Board position or a position on the Committee on Professional Ethics were supplied with the SCS Policy for Board of Directors and Members of the Committee on Professional Ethics re social media. Individuals were given one week to respond. Some potential candidates did have questions and discussed the position with the co-chairs before deciding. Most decided either to stand for election or not based solely on the email invitation.

For those who declined, the co-chairs replied with an invitation for those individuals to fill out the volunteer form should they want to serve SCS in some capacity in the future. The committee thinks it would be good to have the volunteer form displayed more prominently on the website. In addition, the committee suggests SCS run periodic features on what it is like to serve in both elected and appointed positions, as this might encourage more volunteers and more individuals accepting invitations to stand for election. It might also be useful for individuals to be able to submit names of others, in addition to themselves, who might become potential volunteers. Individuals are sometimes hesitant to self-nominate and this would allow members to broaden the pool of potential volunteers examined by the Nominating Committee and those who make committee appointments.

As they review the slate, we remind SCS members that there are many reasons why an individual might agree to accept or decline an invitation to stand for election. The Committee therefore has only a limited ability to determine the final composition of a slate. We are grateful to those who have agreed to stand; we’re also grateful to those who considered our invitations, but who found themselves unable to stand at this time.

We thank Helen Cullyer, former Executive Director, for her patience and thoroughness in preparing materials to support the committee’s work and in answering our many queries through December, and John Vitali, interim Executive Director; Alison Keith, President; Matthew Roller, Past-President; and Matthew Santirocco, past Past-President for answering some questions for us after Helen’s departure. Finally, the co-chairs thank all the members of the committee for their time and their extremely helpful contributions.

The nominating process frequently served to remind the co-chairs of the SCS’s dependence upon the time and support of its membership; we encourage members to consider volunteering for any position in which they feel they can contribute.