Report of 2011-2012 Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee met for two full days this year, first at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton on November 12, 2011, and then again on January 5, 2012, at the APA annual meeting in Philadelphia.  The committee's deliberations and subsequent conversations of the co-chairs with potential candidates yielded a slate of twenty-seven candidates to fill thirteen vacancies in eleven offices to run in the 2012 elections.  Four of the candidates self-nominated and were deemed suitable for their preferred positions.  The slate is appended to this report.

The Committee sought to identify qualified candidates who would reflect the diversity of the Association in terms of type of institution, region, gender, research interests, and rank.  We were also attentive to the current composition of the committees, particularly the stated need of the Program Committee for specialists in ancient history and philosophy.  As in the past, the Committee made an effort to reach out to younger or mid-career candidates who might not have yet had the opportunity to participate in the governance of the APA.

We have also sent to the President, as has been customary over the past several years, a list of individuals who should be considered for appointment to various APA committees.  We hope in this way to give members with limited experience in the organization the chance to become more involved and to gain the background and exposure to stand for an elected office in the future.

In its deliberations, the Committee followed procedures established in previous years.  As we conferred to develop lists of possible candidates for each office, all self-nominated individuals and all names suggested by committee members were considered.  After lengthy deliberation of the viability of suggested candidates, a final list was compiled of around fifteen to twenty names per office.  Each committee member then ranked the candidates individually.  The final rankings were determined by the cumulative scores assigned by the entire Committee.  After the voting, we discussed possible conflicts and imbalances, such as contests between two individuals from the same department or between members who have a recognized conflict.  In so far as possible, we attempted to balance gender, research specialization and/ or institutional affiliation where relevant.  The cumbersome nomination process has been somewhat streamlined in the past couple of years by the use of excel spreadsheets that are then projected to display and tabulate the rankings of all candidates.

After each meeting, the co-chairs contacted individual candidates in the order of their ranking.  Many of the scholars contacted during the fall round expressed reluctance about running, particularly for the more demanding offices such as President and Vice President.  The second round went more smoothly, with the majority of individuals contacted agreeing to add their names to the ballot.  The committee believes that the final slate is a strong one and expresses reasonably well the Committee's efforts to balance the roster of candidates for the individual offices.  The most common reasons for declining, this year as in the past, were heavy administrative service loads at home institutions, followed by pending research deadlines.  Some of the retired members cited the exorbitant expense of attending the annual APA meetings without institutional support.

As in the past, all self-nominated members received careful attention and we continue to encourage individuals to put their names forward.  To that end the Committee would like to see a memo sent out to all department chairs or APA members inviting them to self-nominate for the 2013 elections.  An increased number of viable self-nominations would greatly expedite the work of the Nominating Committee by helping to identify potential candidates willing to serve.

The Committee spent quite a bit of time discussing ways to make the nomination process more efficient.  While many expressed a strong preference for just one meeting a year, given the exigencies of travel during the academic semester, in the end we concluded that one meeting would be insufficient to complete all Committee business.  Indeed, if the co-chairs are unable to fill the first half of the slate in the fall, the second meeting provides an opportunity to generate additional names.  Another option, delaying the start time of the meeting at the APA until the afternoon to allow same day travel to the conference and therefore save hotel charges, was also deemed impracticable.  Committee members also agreed on the need for better records to be maintained from year to year.  To that end, a list of potential candidates and their reasons for declining has been forwarded to the 2012 co-chairs, Richard Martin and Paul Allen Miller.  In addition, Committee members now have access to password-protected Excel spreadsheets containing the 2011 ranked lists of potential candidates, thanks to Donald Mastronarde. 

A perennial challenge is the organization of the thick black binder full of information collected by the APA staff, including a list of all current and past office holders, and a list of all unsuccessful candidates for office.  It would be helpful if these lists could somehow be combined in order to save the Committee members the time it takes flipping back and forth between the sections.  Ideally, all information on participation, membership status and previous election results would appear under each person's name.  However, we realize the APA may not have the resources at present to compile such a list.  This year for some reason the list of office abbreviations were difficult to find; it would be very helpful if that list could appear at the front of the section of historical magistrates, where it would be most consulted.

Another ongoing conversation involves the composition of the Program Committee.  Four members cannot adequately cover the number and diverse range of the abstract submissions.  It is suggested therefore that the Association consider either adding two additional members to this committee or explore the possibility of creating disciplinary subcommittees staffed by appointees to handle the large number of submissions.

The Co-Chairs and the Committee members –Paul Allen Miller, Richard Martin, Donald Mastronarde, Ruth Scodel and Dee Clayman (ex officio)—owe a special debt of thanks, as always, to Adam Blistein and the staff at the APA office for their work on the logistics of transportation, housing and food, for the documentation provided on the offices and candidates (present and past) of the Association, and for prompt and helpful replies to queries about the responsibilities and functions of APA offices.

Respectfully submitted,
Laura McClure and Peter Rose, Co-Chairs

Slate of Candidates for Election in Summer 2012

President-Elect
Kathryn J. Gutzwiller
James Tatum

Financial Trustee
Ralph J. Hexter
Barbara A. Shailor

Vice President for Professional Matters
Gregson Davis
John F. Miller

Vice President for Publications and Research
David Blank
Michael Gagarin

Board of Directors
Sarah Iles Johnston
Nita Krevans
Robin Mitchell-Boyask
Ralph M. Rosen
Harvey Yunis

Nominating Committee
Sharon L. James
Joshua T. Katz
Charles Platter
Jennifer T. Roberts

Committee on Education
Lora Holland
Sally W. Morris

Goodwin Committee
Barbara Weiden Boyd
Alain M. Gowing

Committee on Professional Matters
Christopher J. Nappa
Lee T. Pearcy

Program Committee
Emma Dench
Grant R. Parker

Publications Committee
Eric Rebillard
Phiroze Vasunia

Share This Page

© 2017, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy