Each Chapter will find it beneficial to designate committees to assist the Chapter officers in the organizational and administrative aspects of running a successful Chapter. In their areas of concern, these committees will consider objectives, discuss options, make recommendations, and implement Chapter decisions when called on to do so. Service on committees can also identify Chapter members who have special skills that may make them good officer candidates.

Purposes and Types of Committees
The Executive Committee
The Program Committee
The Membership Committee
The Nominating Committee

Purposes and Types of Committees

There are two basic types of committees: standing and ad hoc. Standing committees are formed for matters that demand constant attention and are of continuing vital concern to the Chapter. Ad hoc committees are formed for handling one-time special projects. Once the special project is complete, the committee is disbanded. According to most Chapter constitutions, a Chapter will have the following standing committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Program Committee

It is highly recommended that these committees be formed, as attention to these areas may well be the difference between an active, effective Chapter and a passive, mediocre Chapter. Other standing committees may be formed depending on Chapter needs. For example, a Publications Committee may be responsible for the Chapter newsletter and other publications. Similarly, an Electronic Communications Committee may be responsible for maintaining the Chapter’s web site and other forms of electronic communications between the Chapter and its members.

Examples of ad hoc committees are the Nominating Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee for a national, regional, or local meeting. Ad hoc committees might be used for revising Chapter constitutions and bylaws. The number of Chapter members to be placed on each committee is determined by the Chapter. The appointments of committee chairs will normally be made by the President but some Chapters have designated officers serve as the chairs of Program or Nominating Committees. Committee members will be selected by either the President or the committee chair with the approval of the President. In most cases, a small committee of three to five members will find it easier to assemble and achieve agreement than a larger committee.

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the administrative and policy-recommending body for the Chapter. Its membership consists of the Chapter officers and the chairs of the various standing committees. Ad hoc committee chairs may also be members or be asked to attend committee meetings to report on their recommendations. It is the role of the Executive Committee to:

  • Set the Chapter goals for the coming year.
  • Provide broadly based direction on matters brought before it by the various committees, especially membership growth and the annual program.
  • Establish Chapter policy for providing professional input into statistical problems in the local area.
  • Determine annually the fiscal soundness of the Chapter and take steps to provide the necessary funds for carrying out Chapter programs, either through the annual membership dues or other means.
  • Support national and local ASA activities. For example, if the annual Joint Statistical Meetings are to be held in the Chapter area, the Executive Committee will take the lead to name the members of the Local Arrangements Committee.
  • Shortly after the election of Chapter officers and the naming of the chairs of the standing committees, the Executive Committee should meet to discuss Chapter plans for the coming year, to establish a strong working relationship within the committee, and to delegate responsibilities. The Executive Committee should meet as often as deemed necessary; quarterly is appropriate for some Chapters, but many meet more often. Meetings will usually be called by the President but might be requested by a majority of the committee members.

The Program Committee

The planning and implementation of the annual Chapter program is so vital to a Chapter that it will usually be handled by a standing Program Committee (except in large Chapters that have many multiple committees handling different program areas). The members of this committee should be representative of the employment and geographic characteristics of the entire Chapter membership.

This will facilitate the planning of programs which appeal to the diverse interests of Chapter members. At the beginning of each Chapter year, the Program Committee should meet to explore program possibilities consistent with the Chapter’s financial status and make program recommendations to the Executive Committee. Once the annual program has been approved, various members of the Program Committee assume the responsibility of making the program arrangements (contacting speakers, reserving a location, selecting menus, coordinating publicity, etc.). It is appropriate for the chair of the Program Committee to report to the Executive Committee regarding the success of each program event and to the general membership at the annual business meeting at the end of the Chapter year. The Program Committee should also consider taking surveys to determine the speakers and topics, types of programs, and meeting times and sites of interest to the Chapter membership. In particular, if one segment of the membership fails to attend Chapter programs or meetings, that segment should be contacted to develop a satisfactory program arrangement that would gain their attendance. The tenure of the Program Committee will generally coincide with the Chapter year, but provision should be made for some continuity of leadership. Effective program planning will usually require planning beyond the tenure of the committee. Many Chapters are now using rotating assignments to be sure that some program planning expertise is always present.


The Membership Committee

Of concern to each Chapter must be the maintenance of its present membership and the attraction of new members. Consequently, it is recommended that each Chapter establish a standing Membership Committee to maintain the current Chapter membership list, if not handled by the ASA office, and to formulate and carry out an annual action plan for attracting new members. The number of members on the Membership Committee and length of term is determined by each Chapter. At the beginning of each Chapter year, the Membership Committee should meet to discuss current membership status and make recommendations for Chapter growth to the Executive Committee. Other activities in which the Membership Committee may wish to engage are:

  • Sending a letter of welcome to new Chapter members and inquiring about their interests.
  • Determining reasons why former members decided to drop Chapter membership and summarizing those for possible use.
  • Providing follow-up (telephone, letter, email) contact with members who have not renewed as a Chapter member but have not dropped their ASA memberships.
  • Writing a brochure describing Chapter activities and the benefits of Chapter membership for distribution to prospective members.
  • Making ASA and Chapter membership information available at all Chapter programs.
  • Participating in local Career Days.

It is appropriate for the chair of the Membership Committee to report to the Executive Committee at the end of the Chapter year regarding Chapter growth and to the general membership at the annual business meeting. The Membership Committee should meet as often as deemed necessary. The time of service of this committee will generally coincide with the Chapter year but some continuity across years is advisable.


The Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is an ad hoc committee charged with providing candidates for the election of Chapter officers at the annual business meeting. The manner in which this is done will depend on each Chapter’s constitution and by laws. The Nominating Committee chair and its members are generally selected by the President, but some Chapter constitutions designate the Past President or some other officer to chair the committee. The number of members on the Nominating Committee will be determined by the Chapter; three is generally sufficient.

Approximately two months before the scheduled election of officers, the Nominating Committee should meet to discuss potential candidates. Preference should be given to candidates with strong leadership ability, interest in Chapter affairs, and sufficient time available to devote to the office. The Nominating Committee must provide at least two candidates for each available office.

Generally, the chair of the Nominating Committee will conduct the election of officers at the annual meeting or by mail. Once the elections are over and notes and suggestions for the next year’s committee are prepared, the duties of this committee cease.