Comments

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  • Paul F Williams

    I don't know if this is the appropriate place for this, but I would suggest that the President's term be extended from one year to two.  All of the former presidents just fainted, but let me explain.  One year is not enough time to implement an agenda, i.e., to actually make something happen.  Judy Rayburn had her theme of diversity, Shyam Sunder was Imagining New Accountings, Sue Hakka's was Tipping Point.  All these themes were based on recognized problems that needed to be addressed but a one year term only allows a president to present it as a theme, not as an agenda to be carried out leading to some actual changes.  The way it stands now, those resistent to anything the president may suggest can simply hunker down knowing that the president will be gone in a year.  But with two years, that person is going to be around.  Two examples:  Had Joe Schultz had another term, some of these bylaw changes would have been made years ago, but he ran out of time.  Gary Previts effort to open up the Doctoral Consortium to more points of view.  He could do it once, but never have a chance to institutionalize those changes because he was gone in a year and it was back to business as usual.  If we are going to have a leader then we need to give them time to lead.  Nothing changes very much in a year (that is why it has taken the AAA nearly a century to have a dues structure like that of every other professional organization).  If a person is going to endure the exhaustion of being president. let that exhaustion allow for the prospect of a legacy, which the current one year terms do not permit.  Perhaps they wouldn't be so exhausted if they knew they had two years to get it done.  Let me pose this thought experiment: name me one president and what major thing that person accomplished to change the AAA for the better.  A one year presidency is highly risk averse so perhaps that's why we have become so ossified.

  • Paul F Williams

    P.S. Since TAR is so important to careers and what the academic standards are for every member of the association we should elect this person, too.  This is one of the major bones of contention on diversity and the selection process now seems to be one based on selecting people who have been good at what the previous editors and the editorial boards they selected thought was good.  That's a formula for ossification -- TAR reproduces itself year, after year, after year.  How else do you explain the explosion in journals coming from the sections?  Universities are organized around colleges that contain departments.  We have every department publishing its own journal when perhaps we should be thinking about publishing our research along the line of colleges.  NC State has 66 departments, but only 10 colleges, so there is somemerit to thinking about that.  The TAR problem over the years has been the reason for the explosive inefficiency by which we get our research out to the public.  It has to be fixed.

  • Paul F Williams

    For the election of the President-elect I suggest we have contested elections.  At least two people should be nominated for this position and they should be required to prepare and post a statement outlining what they plan to do for their term as President.  If we had a choice maybe more than 50 people would vote.  Observing a succession of choices between agendas is informative in its own right because it gives a reading on where the members "are at."  For a group that is part of the "information industry" we seem rather reluctant to create situations where we might actually find out what each other wants.

  • Paul F Williams

    I would prefer there be no past presidents on the nominating committee, but that won't happen so I propose we reduce the number to two.  With three only one other member has to be intimated by the stature of three past presidents to constitute a majority.  With only two PPs it takes conversion of two other members to create a majority.  I presume the purpose of these by law changes are to accelerate the responsiveness of the association.  Historically there has been a path to the presidency that required one not rock the boat for 15 - 20 years.  The less of that old institutional practice that remains in these bylaws, the better.

  • Paul F Williams

    As Dan Stone indicated there will have to be changes to section bylaws.  Until these bylaws are finally adopted sections can't amend theirs.  I would ask that a transition period would allow for ad hoc processes for Council representation until the section can officiall amend bylaws.  A definite time for the grace period should also be set (e.g., you have  a year to become compliant).

  • Paul F Williams

    Though wordsmithing is probably not what you want, in the section titled "Filling of Vacancies" there is some awkward construction.  This sounds a little better:

    "In the event that a member of the Board of Directors, other than the President,  is unable to serve their full term, the duties shall be assigned to another person selected by the Board of Directors.  When the President ...rest reads as is.

  • Paul F Williams

    There is something I am confused by and maybe others out there can explain it to me.  The management team includes a "President - elect nominee."  How long a period is it that we have both a President elect and a President-elect nominee?  It would seem that the duration of time one is a nominee would not be long enough that that person could function on the team.  Do we actually plan to have our presidents designated two years in advance?

  • Paul F Williams

    Bravo!!  Some of us on Council proposed a graduated dues structure when Gerhardt Mueller was president.  It was met with little enthusiasm.  This is how every professional association "taxes" its members and is a very positive change.

  • Paul F Williams

    In the statement of purpose, delete "thought" before leadership.  Leadership is sufficient.  Thought leadership is "business speak" and is pretensious.  What, pray tell, is a thought leader?  WE are only inviting ridicule by our colleagues in other disciplines.  Thought leadership sound too much like branding of a particular kind of snake oil.