September/October 2014 Issue • Volume 42 • Issue 7

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New Major Department Affiliate Benefits Launched

First-Year Graduate Students' Free One-Year Membership Is Among Other Benefits

The goal of the ASA Department Affiliates Program is to provide a meaningful connection between sociology departments and the ASA, supporting departments and chairs in their teaching, research, and service roles. The higher education landscape in which departments exist has shifted significantly in recent years, with the proliferation of online instruction, Internet resources, and sweeping economic challenges. In light of this, the ASA Academic and Professional Affairs Program staff, with the assistance of other Executive Office staff from ASA members, embarked on a process to explore options and opportunities for better serving sociology departments at every level. Laura Kramer, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Montclair State University and long-term ASA Department Resources Group member, conducted a series of interviews with Department Affiliates chairs in as well as chairs whose departments are not part of the ASA program. Based on the data collected, a series of new benefits for Department Affiliates have been developed and added to existing benefits. The new benefits are below.

Free One-Year ASA Membership for First-Year Graduate Students. This benefit begins with the 2015 membership year and includes all regular benefits of membership—and online access to all ASA journals.

ASA Undergraduate Student Newsletter. Timed to coincide and connect with the quarterly release of new online content from Contexts, each newsletter will also feature media coverage from around the world of research that was published in ASA journals, as well as advice and professional opportunities relevant to undergraduates.

ASA Department Portal. This web-based location on the ASA home page will have archives of past webinars, Chairs Conference materials, back issues of Chairlink, as well as the Directory of Members, Directory of Departments, Teaching Sociology feature articles, a curated set of Footnotes articles related to department-level concerns, helpful information to assist departments embarking on self-studies and program reviews.

Chairlink. Sent monthly between September 2014 and June 2015, Chairlink isa sociology-specific newsletter designed to help department chairs stay up-to-date on key events in higher education and anticipate and effectively respond to the challenges of department leadership. Temporarily Chairlink went out of circulation when the ASA Department Affiliate webinars were launched, but is returning at the request of department chairs.

Department Affiliate Webinars. Faculty and students in Department Affiliates will have access to 10 webinars covering topics related to department leadership and management, professional development, and teaching and learning in sociology. The schedule includes topics such as “Strategic Planning and Planning Strategically: Positioning Sociology Departments for the New Normal,” “Conflict Management for Department Chairs,” and “Making Large Classes Feel Small: Building Dynamic Interactions to Support Active Learning with Classes of 50-500.” A special evening webinar will be offered, “Building Your Career with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology: A Webinar for Undergraduate Majors, Those Considering a Major, and Their Advisors.” Departments are encouraged to host pizza parties around this special web event on October 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. EST.

Opportunity for Increased Department Visibility. All Departments Affiliates are listed on the ASA website, with active links to the departments’ own websites. The ASA website receives more than 25,000 unique page views per month, so being included on the ASA Department Affiliates list represents an opportunity for departments to increase their national visibility.

Help with Faculty Searches. Department Affilliates will soon receive complimentary use of Interfolio’s ByCommittee system to manage faculty searches.

TRAILS. Department Affiliates receive up to a 50 percent discount on subscriptions to TRAILS (the ASA Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology). TRAILS is a fully searchable online interactive repository of sociological teaching materials. TRAILS also provides an opportunity for faculty and graduate students to submit their own teaching resources for peer review and possible publication.

Guide to Graduate Departments. Department Affiliates receive the newest edition of the Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology free of charge as well as 30 percent discounts on listings.

In addition, Footnotes, is sent to the department nine times a year. Department Affiliates also receive discounts on the annual Department Chairs Conference, the Director of Graduate Studies Conference, and Job Bank postings.

To join or renew your departments’ membership in the ASA Department Affiliates, go to


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