Shakespeare Association of America

Duties of the Trustees and Officers of the SAA

To introduce newly elected officers to the work that they will be doing during their terms in office, past trustees have produced this document and several others, “playbooks” about the responsibilities entailed by office-holding.

At the outset, elected officers should also educate themselves about the SAA by

  • familiarizing themselves with every page of the Association website,
  • reading the June and January bulletins posted immediately before their election,
  • planning to maintain currency with the website and bulletins throughout their terms in office.

Duties of the persons elected Trustee of the SAA

The term of office for an SAA trustee is three-plus calendar years, requires attendance of four SAA conferences, and involves four years of board meetings, committee work, and occasional deliberations conducted throughout the service years. Service begins immediately upon election and includes participation in the program planning that takes place in the month prior to the conference. For the first three years a Trustee serves, s/he is expected to attend all of the board meetings from Wednesday through Saturday. During the fourth year, as outgoing trustee, s/he attends the board’s business meetings on Wednesday and on Saturday afternoon, but not the program planning meetings that may be held on Wednesday, on Thursday, on Friday, or on Saturday morning. For the purposes of transition, outgoing Trustees attend a Saturday luncheon debriefing and brainstorming session in an advisory and non-voting capacity. Trustees share dinner on Wednesday evening and are expected to attend the Graduate Student Breakfast on Friday morning; moreover, they should attend as many public events and be as available to the membership throughout the conference as their schedules allow.

During each year in service, every trustee should expect to serve as a chair of one of the standing committees (Program, Travel Grants, Nominating, Digital Strategies, Paper Selection) and/or any ad hoc committees that may arise. These appointments, which for standing committees are year-long, involve work outside the conference. Trustees may also be canvassed at any time throughout the year for their input and approval regarding procedural changes and new proposals. All Trustees are expected to contribute to the SAA Annual Fund to the best of their abilities.

Duties of the persons elected Vice-President of the SAA

The job of presiding over the SAA begins with election to the office of Vice-President. The Vice-President is elected to a three-year term of office serving sequentially as Vice-President, President, and Immediate Past President, a term that involves four years of board meetings, committee work, and organizational deliberations conducted throughout the year. Service in these roles means being a member of the SAA’s Executive Committee for four years. The Executive Committee is comprised of the President, the Vice-President, the Immediate Past President, and the Executive Director.

As with the other new trustees, once elected, the incoming Vice-President participates in preparations for the conference and program planning in the period immediately before the annual conference. Transitions of office occur at the end of a series of meetings on the Wednesday of conference week. By the end of Wednesday, the Incoming Vice-President will be formally recognized as Vice-President. His or her election will be publicly announced at the conference’s Friday Luncheon. During the week of the annual conference, the Vice-President attends not only the meetings described above (for persons elected trustee) but also a Tuesday late-afternoon meeting of the Executive Committee. In the fall, the Executive Committee holds a one-day meeting (usually in Washington, D.C.). The meeting provides an opportunity to review financial and staffing developments, to consider the ongoing work of the organization, and to engage in more in-depth planning for the year to come.

During January and February, the Vice-President oversees the review of Dissertation Prize submissions and leads the committee to its conclusion.

At his/her second annual meeting, the Vice-President again attends all meeting of the Executive Committee and the board. S/he will take the chair for all program planning meetings for the following year’s conference. S/he will briefly address the membership as Vice-President at the Friday Annual Luncheon in order to announce the dates and location of the upcoming conference, and s/he will continue as Vice-President for the final board meeting of conference week, a Saturday luncheon debriefing and brainstorming session chaired by the President who is thereafter designated the Immediate Past President. Before or during this meeting, in anticipation of his/her becoming President, s/he appoints chairs of the following standing committees for the upcoming year: Nominating, Program, Travel Grants, Digital Strategies, and Paper Selection, as well as any ad hoc committees.

From that point forward, s/he will assume the presidency. The duties of the President include being available for consultation with the Executive Director on matters of policy and to help address any emerging urgent issues. The President may develop a list of priorities and action items for his/her term; if not earlier, s/he may wish to address these in the fall when s/he will chair the one-day meeting of the Executive Committee as President. S/he will compose solicitation letter(s) for the SAA’s fall Annual Fund drive (for circulation in November) and will prepare a presidential letter to the membership (due on 1 November) for the SAA’s January bulletin.

In his/her third annual meeting, as President, s/he will chair the Tuesday meeting of the Executive Committee and the Wednesday meetings of the board. At the end of the Wednesday meetings, s/he will cede the chair to the Vice-President/new President for program planning purposes (while attending the discussions) and will be internally recognized as Immediate Past President. S/he will complete the public presidential year by delivering a presidential address and making a series of announcements at the Annual Luncheon. S/he will be called back to the chair for the Saturday debriefing and brainstorming session at the end of conference week.

That fall, s/he will participate in the one-day meeting of the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President and in January and February will be a member of the Dissertation Prize Committee.

In his/her fourth annual meeting, the Immediate Past President takes part in the Tuesday meeting of the Executive Committee and the Wednesday meetings of the board. S/he chairs the conference’s Friday plenary session, after attending the Graduate Student Breakfast. S/he does not take part in program planning meetings for the following year’s conference; however, s/he will be called back for the Saturday debriefing and brainstorming session in an advisory and non-voting capacity. His or her service to the Shakespeare Association ends with this meeting. S/he will serve as mentor to the Vice-President.

Adopted 4 April 2015