FOOTNOTES September/October 1999
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ASA Council Appoints Five Task Forces
ASA Council appointed five Task Forces to address important issues of the profession. Council slated these Task Forces drawing primarily from ASA member volunteers. Each Task Force held an initial organizing meeting during the ASA Annual Meeting. As part of an effort to restructure ASA governance, Council established a system of task forces to address issues in a more flexible, timely, and focused manner.

In the first round of the task force “model,” Council identified five Task Forces to work on key topics suggested by the membership. The Task Forces, their charges, and their composition are listed below.

Task Force on the Implications of Assessing Faculty Productivity & Teaching Effectiveness

The purpose of this Task Force is to examine the measures used by universities, colleges, and various external agencies to assess faculty productivity and to determine if these measures threaten the freedom of faculty teaching and research. Over the past decade, such factors as the application of a corporate model to academia and pressures from external agencies such as state higher education commissions have resulted in increasing demand for faculty to be assessed at even greater levels. Measures such as post-tenure review, outcome assessment, and evaluation of faculty teaching loads are more commonplace and could either provide useful information or could be used to diminish the freedom and flexibility of faculty to be effective scholars and teachers. This Task Force will examine these issues and report to Council, with information on “best practices” and any recommendations appropriate for ASA action. They will provide a progress report to the ASA Chair Conference in 2000 as well.

  • Peter Meiksins, Cleveland State University, Chair
  • David Gordon, SUNY Geneseo
  • Clarence Lo, University of Missouri at Columbia
  • Scott Long, Indiana University
  • Caroline Persell, New York University
  • James Pitts, University of North Carolina-Asheville
  • Mary Senter, Central Michigan University
  • Theodore C. Wagenaar, University of Miami-Ohio
  • Task Force on Articulation of Sociology in Two-Year and Four-Year Sociology Programs

    The purpose of this Task Force is to examine sociology programs in community colleges in light of current guidelines for sociology in the undergraduate curriculum and to develop curriculum guidelines that would be useful for community college programs as well as for linking two-year and four-year programs. Community colleges are the most rapidly expanding part of higher education with national policy pressing for associate arts (AA) rather than high school diplomas as the minimal degree. Students pursuing such degrees frequently intend to transfer to 4-year programs. Models and guidelines can enhance sociology in two-year institutions and facilitate the continued study of sociology in four-year institutions. This Task Force would be comprised of eight members, four from community colleges and four from BA granting colleges or universities. A draft report of the Task Force would be considered by the Chairs and by ASA Council in August 2000, with a final report to Council no later than August 2001.
  • Rhonda Zingraff, Meredith College, Chair
  • William Camp, Luzerne County Community College
  • Gary Crester, California State Polytech University
  • Harriet Hartman, Rowan University
  • Penelope Herideen, Holyoke Community College
  • Lyle Hallowell, Nassau Community College
  • Tina Martinez, Blue Mountain Community College
  • Pamela Stone, CUNY Hunter College
  • Task Force on Current Knowledge on Hate/Bias Acts on College & University Campuses

    The purpose of the Task Force is to examine the existing empirical literature (including that available from institutional studies and reports) and prepare a report about what is known about the scope and nature of hate/bias acts on campuses, successful preventive strategies and response mechanisms, and model programs. The document should be based on extant research materials and should usefully inform sociologists and the broader academic community on that knowledge. Also, the report to Council in August 2000 should serve as a valuable companion to the teaching materials developed by an initial ASA task force on this subject.
  • Susan Silbey, Wellesley College, Chair
  • Jose Calderon, Pitzer College
  • Leonard Gordon, Arizona State University
  • Valerie Jenness, University of California-Irvine
  • Dennis Rome, Indiana University
  • Stephanie Shanks-Meile, Indiana University Northwest
  • Matthew Snipp, Stanford University
  • Lori Suddereth, Village for Families and Children
  • Task Force on the International Focus of American Sociology

    The purpose of this Task Force is to provide the Association with a comprehensive review of the international focus of the Association. The American Sociological Association has a long and strong commitment to international sociology. In recent years, the 1997, 1999, and 2000 Annual Meeting themes have a strong international focus. The role of this Task Force is to undertake specific activities that reinforce this commitment. The Task Force will review the ASA teaching materials and propose any additional materials that might be developed. The Task Force will also examine the overall content of the Annual Meeting Program beyond just the sessions designed by the Program Committees to evaluate the international content. In addition, the Task Force will generate a list of Web sites that can serve as data resources and also seek long-term, external funding in order to enhance the presence of non-US scholars participating at the Annual Meeting.
  • Michael Micklin, Center for Scientific Review, Chair
  • Cathy Rakowski, Ohio State University
  • James McCartney, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago
  • Brent Shea, Sweet Briar College
  • David Wiley, Michigan State University
  • Task Force on ASA/AAAS Relations

    The purpose of this Task Force is to consider how the representation of sociology and the American Sociological Association can best be advanced within the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Task Force would be comprised of nine persons, the four outgoing ASA representatives to sections K (Social and Economic), Q (Education), U (Statistics), and CAIP (Consortium of Affiliates for International Programs) and the four incoming representatives and one at-large member from the former ASA-AAAS Committee with considerable interest in and organizational experience with AAAS. This Task Force will provide Council with a report and specific recommendation by its mid-winter meeting in 2000.
  • Douglas Kincaid, Florida Atlantic University, Chair
  • Karl Alexander, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Kenneth A. Bollen, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Christopher Chase-Dunn, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Barbara Laslett, University of Minnesota
  • Edward O. Laumann, University of Chicago
  • Joanne M. Nigg, University of Delaware
  • Judith Tanur, SUNY-Stony Brook
  • Pamela Walters, Indiana University