Governance Changes at SCS

In response to problems and needs, some long-term and others exposed by events at San Diego, the SCS Board of Directors has voted to add an Equity Adviser to the SCS board as an advisory member, with voice but without vote. This will be a three-year appointment made by the President, upon approval of the directors. The position will replace on the board, as of January 5, 2020, the current chair of the Strategic Development Committee, who currently serves as an ex officio board member with voice but without vote. The Strategic Development Committee itself is being wound down as part of an attempt to rationalize our governance structure. This change will not affect the 16 elected board positions.

The main roles of the Equity Adviser (hereafter EA) will be to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity in all SCS activities, looking especially at elections, governance, publications, and the annual meeting.  The EA will consult with the Committee on Professional Matters to obtain an accurate understanding of topics and data relating to diversity, inclusion, and equity across the organization. This would be particularly important in the first year of an EA’s appointment, as the adviser assesses historical trends in diversity relating to:

1) our Board of Directors and our committees;

2) the program of our annual meeting, and its actual realization; and

3) the SCS publication, TAPA, both in terms of articles published, and in representation on the Board of Editors.

The EA will not take the place of, or work at cross purposes to, the Committee on Professional Ethics. Complaints of harassment and discrimination will still go to that Committee for resolution. The EA will not oversee complaints arising at the annual meeting, which will be addressed to the Ombuds and the Joint AIA-SCS Rapid Response Team and Joint Committee for that meeting.

We consider the EA as performing valuable functions that include:

  • ensuring communication with the Board of concerns for diversity, inclusion, and equity;
  • encouraging discussion with the Board about these concerns;
  • ensuring that all relevant committees themselves regularly and comprehensibly collect and transmit data to the Board;
  • ensuring that there is a dedicated person, identifiable to all, to work with diversity, inclusion, and equity.

SCS is seeking volunteers and nominations for the position of EA. If you are interested in serving as EA, or have a nomination for the board, please contact the Executive Director (helen.cullyer@nyu.edu). The EA should be available to attend the annual meeting in Washington DC. The deadline for volunteers and nominations is Monday October 21.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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