Report of the 2012-2013 Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee held its initial meeting on November 17, 2012 at the Tremont Chicago Hotel and concluded its business on January 3, 2013, at the APA annual meeting in Seattle. After each meeting, the co-chairs approached the relevant potential candidates, 25 of whom were eventually persuaded to run in the 2013 election cycle, in order to fill 12 vacancies (in two officer positions, on the Board of Directors, and on six committees). The resulting slate is posted here.

The Committee worked to ensure that candidates represented the broadest range of the Association’s membership. Close attention was paid to creating slates that reflect diversity of age, gender, region, type of institution, and scholarly interest. We were also acutely aware of the different skills and preparation needed for particular committees and sought as far as possible to match such needs with the achievements and profiles of the nominees. In many cases, an abundance of identified talent meant we had more than enough names to ponder; as has become customary, we are forwarding further lists to the President for consideration for appointed offices. This is particularly the case when otherwise excellent potential nominees did not have previous APA experience.

The Committee made only slight modifications to the procedures developed over the previous years.  This year, members were asked to submit, a week in advance of each meeting, their lists of the possible candidates to be discussed for each position. Individual lists were then consolidated, names were tagged with the initials of committee members who had proposed them, the lists were circulated by email, and all information was finally entered onto Excel spreadsheets, which were projected during the live discussion sessions. This innovation considerably increased the amount of time available at the actual meetings for discussion of the merits of potential nominees and for final ranking. After the rankings were determined, Committee members had instant access to password-protected, emailed versions of the spreadsheets. Thanks are once more due to Prof. Donald Mastronarde for expert handling of the software.

As in the past, the names of all self-nominated individuals were entered into discussion, alongside the names generated by individual committee members. Depending on the number of candidates needed, lists ranged from 15 to 20 names. All Committee members were given the opportunity to comment on each name; each member then declared his or her rankings of the entire list, and these were compiled to arrive at a final rank order. In the case of ties, where two persons ended up with the same rank assignment, relative ranking was adjusted through attention to the "balance" factors mentioned above (gender, region, etc.).

Soon after each meeting the co-chairs split the task of emailing and telephoning individual candidates, rolling down the lists where necessary. We were pleased that, in most cases, the top-listed candidates quickly expressed a desire to serve. (The lengthy discussions leading up to our rankings perhaps eased this process, as Committee members had already voiced their awareness of each individual's known obligations.) In cases where potential candidates declined, the most commonly cited reason was the press of other administrative duties--as can only be expected, when one seeks out talented and committed scholars.

Thanks to the efforts of previous co-chairs, this years Committee had available a record of those who had previously declined which offices, and why, thus enabling us to avoid fruitless re-visiting of some names. We will continue to forward on such records. In a related aspect, the Committee has been aided by having electronic versions of the many documents necessary for its work (rather than a binder full of paper). In this regard, further improvement can be envisioned: for example, APA staff might ideally provide a consolidated list containing, in one place, under each APA member's name, his/her participation record, offices held, current membership status, and previous election involvement (e.g. how often someone had been nominated before and lost).

The Committee continues to believe that two onsite meetings are necessary to carry out its business most effectively (one in November, one in January), although squeezing the Autumn meeting into members' schedules is difficult. Given the time-saving innovation of pre-circulating our choices, however, it was thought that the time allotted for the January meeting might be reduced to four hours (say, 9 am to 1 pm) , rather than the seven (9 am to 4 pm) traditionally scheduled for the day before the APA sessions begin. 

The Co-Chairs and the Committee members-- Ruth Scodel, Donald Mastronarde, Jennifer Roberts, Joshua Katz, and Kathleen Coleman (ex officio)—owe profound thanks to Adam Blistein and the staff at the APA office for arranging transportation, lodging and food, as well as for immediate answers to the Committee's many queries. 

Respectfully submitted,

Paul Allen Miller and Richard P. Martin, Co-Chairs

March 18, 2013

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