Special Referendum Results
ASA Voting Members Send Clear Message of Support
With a solid turnout of over 2,300 for a special referendum held in October, ASA voting members supported both resolutions recommended by ASA Council. The first action addressed a change in the ASA dues structure to make dues more affordable and to facilitate a more dynamic publications program. Better than 90 percent of voting members supported this change. The second action item concerned the reestablishment of a restructured Committee on Committees (COC) to provide, as Council saw it, more member participation in the governance of the Association in improved form. This resolution too received overwhelming support—better than 92 percent of the voting members.
Journals Required of All Members at Low Price
The modification to the dues structure goes into effect in 2002 for all renewing and new members. The key features of the change are as follows:
• All ASA members must subscribe to at least one journal. Except for Emeritus members who can continue to take no journals, the no-journal dues option is otherwise eliminated, and members previously in a dues category requiring two journals are now only required to take one.
• Student members will receive subscription rates substantially below that for all other categories of membership (initially set at $20 for all ASA journals, instead of $30 for quarterly and $35 for bi-monthly publications).
• Dues increases will be contained through annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) being assessed only on the base dues fee and no longer on member subscription rates.
By eliminating the “no journal” dues category, this change affirms that all members of ASA need to support journal publishing by selecting at least one journal. The change also aims to retain members in the higher progressive dues categories by encouraging, but no longer requiring, that they take more than one journal. Also, by visibly featuring the low cost of journals, the restructuring encourages members in a one-journal category to select more than one journal. In addition, the new structure encourages students to read widely across the discipline by setting subscription rates for them well below other member rates. Finally, the change aims to attract new members and retain old members by applying COLA increases only to the base dues and not the costs of subscriptions.
Members to Regain Input on Committee Appointment Process
Council recommended restoring the Committee on Committees based on a report received in February 2001 from a task force chaired by Myra Marx Ferree (University of Wisconsin-Madison and a former ASA Vice President). After consideration of the report, Council unanimously urged members to reestablish COC. While the restored COC is modified in composition and scope, like prior COCs, it has the responsibility to recommend to Council persons to serve on committees. Council believed that restoring COC as an elected committee expands the opportunities for members to be involved in the governance of the Association and to influence appointments to committees. Also, Council believed that, as restructured (a more focused charge and smaller, yet more diverse composition), the new COC could more effectively do this work.
The reestablishment of the Committee on Committees also goes into effect in 2002. By virtue of this vote, Article V, Section 8 of the By-Laws reads:
(a) The Committee on Committees shall be responsible for making ranked recommendations to Council for appointments to all Award Selection Committees and Status Committees. Additionally, the Committee on Committees shall make ranked recommendation to Council for appointments to the Awards Committee, the Committee on Professional Ethics, and the at-large portion of the Committee on Sections. The Committee on Nominations will have the responsibility of nominating the candidates for the Committee on Committees.
(b) The Committee on Committees shall be composed of eight members each serving two-year terms. Four are to be elected at-large and four in seats reserved for specific institutional constituencies (one seat each for members employed by PhD-granting institutions; by MA and 4-year institutions; by 2-year schools; and by non-teaching institutions and in self-employment) with two at-large and two reserved seats up for election each year.
Members will vote on COC nominees as part of the ASA ballot in spring 2002. Those seated on the Committee on Committees will begin work immediately, meet at the August 2002 Annual Meeting, and provide recommendations to Council on committee appointees.