News

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in February 2014

The Executive Committee held its February meeting by conference call on February 19th from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the February meeting were:

- Tim Johnson, Chair of the Program Committee, is making final preparations and finalizing the agenda for the Annual Meeting. There are a number of participants signed up for the Second City and Chicago Bus Tour events, and if members have not signed up for those but would like to, they should contact Tim (timj@uic.edu) to see if there are remaining spots available. The Greeting Committee suggested that an overview of the AASRO website be added to the Annual Meeting program and Tim will add this to the program. This year, we will be trying something new at the Thursday dinner. A table will be set up for each AASRO committee and members will be able to express interest and talk with Committee chairs about possible participation for the upcoming year. We think this will be a great way to kick start strong participation in our committees for the coming year.

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth reported that we have 43 member organizations who have paid dues for 2014 (UPDATE: As of 3/4/2014, this number is 51). Jolene is reaching out to past members who have not renewed and will make a membership recruitment push for known academic survey centers that are not yet members following the Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee also discussed whether to develop full international capability in accepting credit card dues payments or to limit credit card payments to the US and Canada. Since we have no indication of international interest in AASRO beyond the US and Canada at this time, it was decided to limit credit card payments to the US and Canada. Jolene will work with Jake Gaylor, our programming consultant, to develop the capacity to accept Canadian credit card payments for 2015.

- Incoming Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra is making final changes to the 2014 budget and will present it at the Annual Meeting. As noted in our last update, Stripe (the vendor used for online processing of credit cards for membership renewal) takes 3.1% out of each transaction for a processing fee. The Executive Committee decided that in 2015 the transaction fee will be added to the dues amount for those who pay online by credit card, so that AASRO can recover the full dues payment amount. This will not affect membership renewals for 2014.

- Shirley Huck, Chair of the Awards Committee, reported that the Committee expects to have the press releases for the Kennedy Award and Tarnai Scholarship ready shortly. These will be released this week in conjunction with presentation of the awards at the Annual Meeting.

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, reported by email that his Committee is pulling together the last of the member survey data and is preparing a report to be presented at the Annual Meeting.

- Susan Willis, Chair of the Mentoring and Peer Review Committee, briefed the Committee on the status of various upcoming requests for Center peer reviews. Susan highlighted the great value of this Committee in being able to quickly mobilize a team to meet an urgent need for a review from one of our centers.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in January 2014

The Executive Committee held its January meeting by conference call on January 15, 2014 from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the January meeting were:

- Larry Hembroff, Chair of the Nominations Committee, sent an invitation to participate in the AASRO Executive Committee elections to all voting delegates. Voting will close on midnight this Thursday (January 30th) and we encourage all members who have not voted yet to please do so.

- Online registration for AASRO’s Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago on March 6-8, 2014 was launched on January 24th (www.aasro.org/meetings). We encourage all of our members to register for the Meeting which is packed with informative sessions and group discussions and to sign up to attend the exciting social events on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Some members have already been sharing information about hotel rates on the AASRO listserv which is encouraged. As mentioned in the invitation to the Annual Meeting, all AASRO members are also invited to the University of Illinois at Chicago Survey Research Laboratory’s 50th Anniversary Symposium to be held Thursday prior to the start of AASRO. The Symposium will feature presentations by Richard Warnecke, Jon Krosnick and Norbert Schwarz.  

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth is sending a follow-up postal mailing and email to encourage directors who have not renewed their AASRO membership to do so. AASRO will be working on developing a solution for future years for our Canadian members who currently cannot use the online registration system due to international restrictions.

- Treasurer Stephanie Kane provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. The Executive Committee expects to approve its 2014 budget which will be presented by Bistra Anatchkova (who is assuming Stephanie’s Treasurer duties) at the February meeting.

- Shirley Huck, Chair of the Awards Committee, reported the Committee’s nominations for the Kennedy and Tarnai Awards. Both nominations were approved. The Committee is excited to recognize these fantastic recipients at the Annual Meeting in March. We thank Shirley for her excellent leadership and the Committee members for their wonderful service.

- John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, reported that the online membership renewal system and the AASRO listserv (members@aasro.org) appear to be working well. We ask that members no longer use the Collab listserv but rather send messages to the members@aasro.org address, since it reaches the most up-to-date listing of members and friends of AASRO. Jake Gaylor who developed the online membership renewal system will be providing ongoing support each month to maintain and upgrade the AASRO website. He will also be working with AASRO to develop a “Donate Here” capability for making donations to the Kennedy and Tarnai Awards on the AASRO website.

- The Greeting Committee (Patty Maher - University of Michigan, Chair) and the History and Archives Committee (Rich Clark - Castleton State College, Chair) provided updates on committee activities by email. Due to lack of time, the Executive Committee will need to consider them at the next meeting.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in December 2013

The AASRO Executive Committee held its December meeting by conference call on December 18, 2013 from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the December meeting were:

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth sent an email to the AASRO listserv on December 19th opening AASRO’s new web registration site to all members. We thank members who have renewed for their continued support of AASRO and encourage those who have not to renew using the new system. Please let us know if you experience any issues or have questions about the registration process by contacting Jolene at jsmyth2@unl.edu. We thank Jake Gaylor at Mississippi State and David Chearo at the University of Chicago for all of their hard work in making this new registration site possible.

- Larry Hembroff, Chair of the Nominations Committee, shared the nominations received for the open AASRO Executive Committee positions. The Executive Committee approved Larry proceeding to contact the nominees to see if they would be willing to serve. We encourage all members to vote in the elections which will be held this month. Larry is also contacting organizations that have expressed interest in the past in hosting AASRO’s Annual Meeting to see if they would be willing to host next year’s meeting.

- Shirley Huck, Chair of the Awards Committee, reported that her committee will meet after the holidays to review the John Kennedy Achievement Award and John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship nominations. She will bring their recommendations to the January Executive Committee meeting for approval. The Executive Committee also plans to set up a capability on the AASRO website for individuals to make donations to the Kennedy Award and Tarnai Scholarship funds. We thank our members for their continued support of these funds.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Member Survey and Data Sharing Committee, reported on the current response rate for the AASRO Member Survey. To those who have participated, we extend our sincere appreciation. There are still many nonresponding organizations and we encourage them to complete the survey. The information from this survey provides a unique, highly valuable resource for AASRO member organizations and the broader research community.  

- Program Chair Tim Johnson continues to finalize preparations for AASRO’s Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago from March 6-8, 2014. Online registration will go live in January. The program includes sessions that span a variety of highly relevant topics, including one on conducting and publishing methodological research to be presented by Jon Krosnick from Stanford University on Friday from 9:15-10:15 and a Saturday morning session on developing a standardized interviewer training program (an initiative that has involved collaboration among several AASRO member centers) that will be led by Beth-Ellen Pennell from the University of Michigan. In advance of the annual meeting, Susan Willis, incoming AASRO president, will also be reaching out to current committee chairs to see if they are willing to continue in their role and, if not, chair assignments will be determined at the annual meeting.

- Treasurer Stephanie Kane provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Stephanie is continuing to work closely with Bistra Anatchkova to transition treasurer duties. Stephanie and Bistra are working with the Executive Committee to finalize AASRO’s 2014 budget.

We also want to inform you that AASRO continues to support efforts to ensure funding for the large-scale surveys that are carried out by our federal statistical agencies. In late December, we co-signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to support the President’s budget request for the US Census Bureau. 

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in November 2013

The AASRO Executive Committee held its November meeting by conference call on November 20, 2013 from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the November meeting were:

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth updated the Committee that membership renewal will occur later this year (planned for early December) due to the development of online membership renewal that will include a credit card payment option. Once the online renewal capability is functional, Jolene will send a message to all members with information on how to renew. She will also send a postal mailing to all current member and non-member academic survey research centers to encourage them to renew or join AASRO for the first time. If members have ideas on how we can continue to strengthen our organization through the addition of new academic survey research centers, please let Jolene know (jsmyth2@unl.edu).

- Shirley Huck, Chair of the Awards Committee, reported that the Calls for Nominations for the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award and John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship have been sent. Please consider nominating an outstanding colleague for one of these awards. The deadline for nominations is December 15, 2013. More information about the awards can be found here: www.aasro.org/news. The Awards Committee will present its recommendations to the Executive Committee in January with an official announcement of the award recipients to follow shortly thereafter.

- Program Chair Tim Johnson continues to finalize preparations for AASRO’s Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago from March 6-8, 2014. As part of the Thursday evening dinner, AASRO’s incoming president Susan Willis will be meeting with committee chairs about recruiting committee members and developing committee charges. Please be thinking about your interest in serving on an AASRO committee this upcoming year. The list of committees can be found here: www.aasro.org/committees. After the New Year, Tim will solicit the membership for any additional topics for this year’s Annual Meeting. Online registration will go live in January and Tim will provide a list of recommended hotels near the conference location at that time.

- Larry Hembroff, Chair of the Nominations Committee, updated the Committee that Bistra Anatchkova (University of Wyoming) has agreed to serve as interim AASRO Treasurer with Stephanie Kane stepping down from the position due to a job change. We thank Bistra for her willingness to serve in this role. Bistra will be nominated as a candidate for the treasurer position in the upcoming January election. The call for nominations for the treasurer and vice president/president-elect positions was sent to the AASRO membership. Nominations are due by December 11, 2013. Please consider nominating a colleague. Voting will open in early January and results will be tabulated in February with official announcement of our new officers at our annual meeting in March.

- Treasurer Stephanie Kane provided her monthly financial report by email. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Stephanie is working closely with Bistra to transition treasurer duties over the next couple of months.

- Finally, we thank you for your patience as the Mississippi State website team worked to transition AASRO’s listserv to Google Groups. Please use the members@aasro.org email address to email the AASRO membership from this point forward. 

John M. Kennedy Achievement Award

The JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be awarded not more than once each year to academic survey researchers (individuals, groups, or organizations) that have demonstrated one or more of the following criteria:

  • meritorious service or help to AASRO or to its member organizations;
  • accomplished leadership in public opinion research that promotes the value of survey research, enhances public understanding of survey research, fosters advances in survey research methods as a science, improves delivery of survey services, or otherwise promotes quality in survey and public opinion data collection;
  • advancement or innovation in developing or improving the capabilities of an academic survey research organization (for example, improving client interactions, respondent experience, project management, staff training, quality of survey data collection, fiscal or personnel management); or
  • promoting or improving the understanding, within their own institutions, of survey research conducted by academic survey research organizations.

To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the educational attainment, profession, specific discipline, or tenure status of individuals who are or have been affiliated with an academic survey research organization. The JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD may honor AASRO member directors, leaders, field leaders, AASRO advocates, academic survey organization professionals, innovators, translational social behavioral scientists, or any other individuals, groups or organizations with distinguished accomplishments that meet the award criteria.

Each year, a five-person selection committee appointed by the AASRO President, with advice of the Executive Committee, considers the above criteria when determining the winner of the JOHN M. KENNEDY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The committee will solicit nominations and self-nominations in writing. Members of the nominating committee will not be eligible for nomination or receipt of the award while serving on the committee. The committee may decide in any given year not to make an award. As a recipient of the award, the winner or one person from the winning organization will serve on the selection committee as a voting member the subsequent year. Committee members (other than the prior-year recipient) will serve staggered two-year terms.

The official presentation of the award will normally be timed to coincide with the annual AASRO Directors Meeting.

The nomination form for the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award can be found here:
AASRO Achievement Award Nomination Form 2013-2014

 

John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship

The JOHN TARNAI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP will be awarded annually to selected staff members of academic survey organizations to cover expenses associated with attending the annual meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) or the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&FTC) or both.

Nominations for the award will be made by directors of academic survey organizations. The nominee should be early in their career, be pursuing a long-term career in survey work, and demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:

  • commitment to producing quality survey data and related work products;
  • commitment to learning and implementing best research practices;
  • commitment to advancing knowledge about best research practices;
  • commitment to sharing and disseminating knowledge within and/or outside the survey organization; or
  • commitment to advancing the goals, mission, stability, and longevity of the survey organization.

Each year, the AASRO Awards Committee will solicit nominations for the JOHN TARNAI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP in writing. Members of the committee will not be eligible for nomination or receipt of the scholarship while serving on the committee. Once nominations are received the Awards Committee will determine the winner or winner(s) considering the above criteria. The number and amount of scholarships to be awarded in a given year will be determined by the Awards Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee based on the availability of funds.

The recipient(s) of the scholarship will be informed in late winter or early spring to allow time for the winner to plan for attendance at AAPOR or the IFD&FTC accordingly. An announcement of the winners will also be placed on the AASRO website.

The nomination form for the AASRO John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship can be found here:
AASRO John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Nomination Form 2013-2014

 

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in October 2013

The Executive Committee held its October meeting by conference call on October 16, 2013 from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the October meeting were:

- Earlier this week, Program Chair Tim Johnson circulated to the Executive Committee the latest draft program for AASRO's Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago from March 6-8, 2014. Recently added sessions include sessions on engaging students in the work of academic centers and effective leadership of centers. Tim has put together an exciting program and we look forward to a great meeting! Online conference registration is slated to go live in January.

- Larry Hembroff, Chair of the Nominations Committee, discussed the upcoming AASRO elections cycle. The call for Executive Committee nominations will be sent to all AASRO members in November along with a request for nominations for the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award and the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship. We encourage you to think about possible award nominees and candidates that you would like to nominate for the Executive Committee. Voting will open in early January and results will be tabulated in February with official announcement of our new officers at our annual meeting in March.

- John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, provided an update on his committee's activities including solicitation of bids for an RFP and website updating. The Executive Committee approved moving forward with a bid from Jake Gaylor in response to an RFP to design the online membership renewal system for AASRO that would include a feature to allow payment by credit card through a third party vendor. The work will begin immediately and should be in place for the opening of membership renewal in November. The Executive Committee also asked the Website Committee to seek a Drupal programmer who could help with maintaining and updating the AASRO site. If any of our members has a Drupal programmer who could assist AASRO, we ask you to please contact John Edwards (je@ssrc.msstate.edu).

- Treasurer Stephanie Kane provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Stephanie is in the process of vacating her position due to a job change and the Executive Committee is working with the Nominations Committee to appoint a new treasurer who can work with Stephanie to transition into this position over the next few months.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in September 2013

The AASRO Executive Committee held its September meeting by conference call on September 18, 2013 from 2-3 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the September meeting were:

  • Secretary and Membership Chair Jolene Smyth has followed up on several inquiries regarding AASRO membership. If you know of organizations who might be interested in AASRO membership, please contact Jolene who would be happy to follow up with them. We are excited to welcome the University of Notre Dame Center for Social Research as a new member!
  • Treasurer Stephanie Kane was unable to attend and in her absence provided her monthly report to the Committee by email. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Stephanie is in the process of relocating to a new job and will be leaving her role as treasurer but will remain the voting delegate for the University of Idaho and will continue to serve as treasurer until a new member has been appointed. The Nominations Committee has identified possible candidates for the position and Chair Larry Hembroff will be sending these to the Executive Committee for review. An interim treasurer will be selected by the Executive Committee and this person will then be nominated for a new full term in the upcoming elections.   
  • Earlier this week, Program Chair Tim Johnson sent a save-the-date reminder and solicitation for ideas for the program for AASRO’s Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago from March
    6-8, 2014. Plans for a Chicago architectural bus tour for Saturday afternoon following the meeting and a Second City outing on Friday evening are underway. Please plan to join us for a fantastic program and exciting local events!
  • Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey and Data Sharing Committee, reported that his committee is reviewing the current version of the AASRO Membership Survey and is planning to launch the 2013 survey in mid to late October. Please participate in this important effort! The Committee plans to have the analysis report written by the end of the year so that it can be shared at the annual meeting in March. It was decided that the Survey and Data Sharing Committee would be responsible for writing the report from this year forward and that the Education and Advocacy Committee which has held this responsibility in the past will focus their efforts on education and advocacy efforts based on the survey findings.
  • Committee chairs should have received an email in late August from Communications Coordinator Ashley Bowers on behalf of AASRO President Danna Moore asking them to verify that the list of their committee members was up-to-date. We will be resending this email to those who have not responded.
  • To facilitate committee assignment and development of committee charges moving forward, the Executive Committee decided that tables will be set up for the Thursday dinner at the annual meeting to provide members with information about each committee and to allow members to sign up at a time when nearly all attendees are likely to be present. This information would then be used to make committee assignments with the goal of finalizing them by the end of each annual meeting. The incoming AASRO president would also meet with the committee chairs on Thursday evening to discuss and finalize their charge(s) for the year.
  • The Executive Committee voted to support Ron Langley representing AASRO at the Consortium of Social Science Associations meeting. The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is an advocacy organization that promotes attention to and Federal funding for the social and behavioral sciences and the Executive Committee believes it is important to have an AASRO voice at this meeting. Ron Langley is the Director of the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center and has represented AASRO at COSSA meetings in the past.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in August 2013

The Executive Committee held its August meeting by conference call on August 21, 2013 from 2-3:30 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the August meeting were:

  • AASRO’s Treasurer Stephanie Kane reported that the organization is in sound financial shape. Stephanie will be working to set up a PayPal account that will allow AASRO to accept dues payment by PayPal for future membership renewal cycles. Sadly for AASRO, Stephanie will be changing employers and will have to resign her position as AASRO Treasurer. Please join the Executive Committee in thanking Stephanie for her outstanding service to our organization. She will be greatly missed. The Nominations Committee will seek a replacement who will work with Stephanie as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition.
  • AASRO’s President Danna Moore will ask AASRO committee chairs to recontact their current list of committee members to confirm that they still wish to serve in order to finalize committee assignments for this year.
  • AASRO’s Secretary and Membership Chair Jolene Smyth is continuing her efforts to recruit possible new member organizations and will work with her Membership Committee to develop strategies to identify new member organizations and to document outreach efforts for future reference.
  • The Nominations Committee will be meeting in September to prepare to solicit nominations for vacant Executive Committee positions and to conduct voting in January. The Awards Committee will be preparing to solicit and accept nominations for AASRO’s John M. Kennedy Achievement Award and John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship. We encourage you to begin to think about nominating an outstanding colleague.
  • A full report from the 2011 AASRO Membership Survey has been completed by Education and Advocacy Chair Ed Freeland and has been posted in the Members Only Section of the AASRO website.
  • The AASRO website development team at Mississippi State is preparing a “how to” document for logging in to the Members Only area of the new AASRO website. This document will be sent to all members shortly. The Website Committee and Executive Committee are also in the process of securing a contractor to build a component of the website for online membership renewal and a feature for the Executive Committee to share and store its documents.
  • AASRO’s Program Chair Tim Johnson will send a save-the-date announcement soon and solicit ideas for the program for AASRO’s Annual Meeting to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago from March 6-8, 2014. Jon Krosnick has already agreed to speak on opportunities and strategies for publishing in survey methodology. There will also be a panel on practical issues in evaluating and reviewing survey research from a human subjects perspective.
  • Please check out the News section of the AASRO website which will be updated regularly with highlights of recent AASRO initiatives. The monthly email summaries of the Executive Committee meetings will also be posted in the News section.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in July 2013

The AASRO Executive Committee held its July meeting by conference call on July 17, 2013 from 2-3:15 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the July meeting were:

  • The AASRO Executive Committee and the Website Committee would like to provide the following update on the transition from AASRO’s UVa Collab website to the new Drupal site (http://www.aasro.org/):
    • There has been a successful transfer of all files from the old site to the new site. All AASRO postings and documents are now being posted to the new website. The Website Committee and select members of the Executive Committee have been trained on how to make content changes and upload files to the website. The Collab site will be shut down shortly and the site will be archived and available for documentation purposes.
    • As one final step before the old site is shut down, all persons currently on the old AASRO Collab list (aasro@collab.itc.virginia.edu) will be sent an email to ask them to look for a message that will be sent from the new AASRO site (members@aasro.org) to ensure that everyone from the Collab list who would like to be included on the new site has been included there. Please look for these upcoming messages.
    • Please be sure to see exciting new website postings that include John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Winner Alycia Cameron Reflects on AAPOR 2013 and Michael Link’s AAPOR Conference AASRO luncheon presentation on How Emerging Technologies are Changing the Game in Academic Survey Research Organizations. For the first time, presentations from AASRO’s Annual Meeting held in Durham, New Hampshire have also been posted to the site for member reference.
    • The Executive Committee wishes to thank Tom Guterbock and Kurt Johnson for all of their efforts in building and maintaining the original AASRO Collab site and John Edwards and Izzy Pellegrine at Mississippi State along with the Website Committee for their hard work in developing the new site.
    • The next phase of website development will involve establishing a place for the Executive Committee to share documents, an online membership renewal feature, and a user’s manual.  
  • AASRO’s Treasurer Stephanie Kane reported that the organization is in sound financial shape and she will be contacting some survey centers shortly who have been unable to pay their AASRO dues to determine whether PayPal will work for them. If so, this option will be made available for future AASRO dues payments.
  • AASRO’s Executive Committee and the Education Committee will be working to make available to members valuable information and analyses from recent AASRO member surveys (please see post on the AASRO home page).
  • AASRO is a participant in the International Year of Statistics (2013), an initiative that was founded by the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Biometric Society, International Statistical Institute (and the Bernoulli Society), and Royal Statistical Society to increase public awareness of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society; nurture statistics as a profession, especially among young people; and to promote creativity and development in the sciences of probability and statistics. We believe it is important to be part of an initiative that highlights the value of the data that we as survey centers produce and we encourage our members to sign up as participants as well (via the following website: http://www.statistics2013.org/iyos/join.cfm). There are no obligations associated with participation.
  • The Survey Research Newsletter is a wonderful AASRO member benefit. Please contact Tim Johnson (timj@uic.edu) if you are not receiving your organization’s copy. Also, please feel free to contact Tim if you have ideas for short or long articles to be included in future Newsletter editions.

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