In the summer of 2021, the Society for Classical Studies endeavored to find new ways to strengthen our data gathering mechanisms. Internally, data collection has been largely unstructured, baring the triennial census and recent Placement Service data collection efforts. The field, in order to best understand its needs, requires a stronger, more robust data collection effort, one that could be sustained by the SCS over time. This came in the form of a proposal by Del Maticic (NYU) to SCS Executive Director Helen Cullyer and Communications and Membership Services Coordinator Erik Shell for a new Data Committee in the Professional Matters Division of the SCS. This committee would function much like other SCS governing committees, but with the singular purpose of data collection, analysis, and publication for the Society. The idea for the Committee was approved, with a one-year lead-in period in which a working group (WG) would consider the structure and purpose of the Data Committee before it became an official body in the SCS governance structure. The constitution of a standing Data Committee was approved by the Board in June 2022. Committee members will be appointed in Fall 2022 and begin their work in January 2023.
Composition of the Committee
The Data Working Group proposes that the committee be composed of 9 members who serve three-year terms. The Chair of the Committee will be selected from the members of the committee, and upon completion of their three-year term will serve an additional two years. We recognize that five years is a considerable commitment for a service position, but we recognize that the nature of data gathering work is such that it requires considerable long-term planning.
Chair: The Chair will be tasked with managing the overall work of the committee. They will oversee communicating externally with SCS leadership and staff. They will be tasked with writing reports summarizing the committee’s work, with overseeing the organization of annual panels organized at the SCS and will be first author on any publications of the committee. One of their research projects will be given priority in the committee’s agenda over the two years of their term.
Vice-Chair of Strategic Planning: This person will oversee the medium-to-long-term scheduling of research projects by the Committee. They will receive all requests for data from within the SCS and its membership, will lead discussion of which projects should be overseen when, and will ensure that the schedule set by the Committee is followed.
Vice-Chair of Research: This person will oversee the work of data gathering. They will work with the Committee to craft surveys and other research processes. They will also correspond regularly with a Data Liaison Network. This person should ensure that research methods of the Committee are consistent, effective, and in-line with all laws and policies.
Members: The rest of the Committee members will contribute to all this work, generating ideas, engaging in research, contributing to and producing publications, organizing panels, and working on data visualization.
The Committee may also find that is useful to designate other positions, such as a statistician, a demographer, or a data visualization expert.