American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
May/June 2016

American Sociological Association Council Meeting Highlights

ASA Council held its mid-year meeting on March 12-13, 2016, in Washington, DC. Pending Council approval and online posting of the minutes, the following is a snapshot of key decisions and discussions.


The minutes for the summer Council meetings on August 25-26, 2015, and the telephone conference call on November 3, 2015, were approved and are now posted at


  • Approved the general operating budget and the Spivack budget for 2016.
  • Approved the MFP budget for 2016-2017 with an allocation from the American Sociological Fund to support two additional Fellows.
  • Approved an allocation from the American Sociological Fund to support the Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD) small grants program.

Annual Meetings

  • Asked the Executive Office to look into how to make paper submissions available to session organizers for review when the submission system opens in November.
  • Affirmed that information about the location of the Lactation Room should be available in the meeting app, and that appropriate signage be used on-site to identify the room.


Approved a recommendation from the Committee on Awards that, as a condition of receiving the ASA Dissertation Award, the author must agree to archive the dissertation on the ASA website.

Committees and Task Forces

  • Approved the proposed members for the new Task Force on Contingent Faculty in Sociology.
  • Accepted the report of the Social Media Toolkit subcommittee of the Task Force on Engaging Sociology and approved the materials for posting on the ASA website.
  • Accepted the report of the Standards and Evaluation subcommittee of the Task Force on Engaging Sociology, approved posting that report on the ASA website, and directed Executive Office staff to publicize the report in appropriate ways.
  • Disbanded the Council Subcommittee on Ethnography, with thanks for its work.

Executive Office

  • Approved recommendations from the Committee on the Executive Office and Budget for the selection of the new ASA Executive Officer. A formal announcement was made on March 30 that Nancy Weinberg Kidd will succeed the retiring Sally T. Hillsman as the Association Executive Officer in September.
  • Approved by acclamation a resolution giving special recognition to ASA Secretary Mary Romero for her outstanding work in the past couple years, especially in leading the search for a new Executive Officer.

High School Sociology

Approved establishment of a permanent ASA High School Sociology Program.

Job Bank

Approved expansion of the questions asked about employers’ hiring policies when employers place listings in the Job Bank. Employers will be asked to indicate whether their institution has policies to protect against discrimination in hiring decisions based on age, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Answers will be part of the Job Bank posting.


  • Appointed a subcommittee to develop a proposal for Council’s review in August aimed at establishing a task force on membership outreach, including ideas on how reach sociologists who are not ASA members.
  • Approved the proposed bylaws for the ASA Opportunities in Retirement Network (ORN) for placement on the election ballot.


Postponed making a decision about potential changes the nominating process used by Council Members-at-Large to develop the slate of nominees to be elected to the Committee on Nominations (CON) until further information is collected. Council thanked the subcommittee of past Council members for its work and agreed to establish a new working group to review additional information and develop recommendations for Council’s consideration next year.


  • Selected new editors for two ASA journals:
    • Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Richard M. Carpiano (University of British Columbia) and Brian C. Kelly (Purdue University)
    • Sociology of Education, Linda Renzulli (University of Georgia)
  • Discussed potential ramifications of the SciHub website, now located outside the US, where illegal downloads of scholarly journal articles are being made publicly available.
  • Received an interim status update from the Committee on the Future of Contexts.


  • Sent a request to the Committee on Sections for further exploration about the activities of small sections, sections that are not very active, and the incentives that influence problematic efforts to increase the size of sections.
  • Reviewed and approved proposed bylaws amendments for 17 sections to be on the ballot: Body and Embodiment (#48); Collective Behavior and Social Movements (#20); Community and Urban Sociology (#10); Comparative and Historical Sociology (#22); Consumers and Consumption (#52) Environment and Technology (#13); Global and Transnational Sociology (#49); Human Rights (#46); Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility (#50); Methodology (#2); Peace, War, and Social Conflict (#12); Racial and Ethnic Minorities (#21); Social Psychology (#11); Sociology of Development (#51); Sociology of Law (#32); Sociology of Mental Health (#19); and Sociology of Population (#16).

Status Committees

  • Reviewed recommendations from the Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People in Sociology for provision of all-gender or gender-inclusive restrooms at the Annual Meeting site. Council approved listing the locations of these restrooms in the meeting app and advised the Executive Office to make every effort to work with host facilities to designate at least two restrooms as gender-inclusive in each venue.
  • Expressed thanks to the Committee on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Sociology for its recommendations to change the race categories on ASA’s membership form, and indicated Council’s intention to wait for the results of ongoing Census Bureau research on these issues before making a decision.

Support of Diversity and Inclusion

Empowered the ASA President to write a letter to the governor of Tennessee, with signatures of other ASA officers as appropriate parties, stating the Association’s view on the importance to higher education of offices on diversity and inclusion.