News

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in July 2014

The Executive Committee held its July meeting by conference call on July 31st at 1 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the July meeting were:

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, discussed the AASRO brochure that his committee developed and submitted to the Executive Committee for review. This brochure will be sent to top-level university administrators at AASRO member and non-member institutions to convey the value of academic survey research centers and AASRO. The Executive Committee liked the brochure and approved a print run of 1,000. Thank you to Ed and his committee for this great work!

- Tim MacKinnon (representing Marc Weiner, Program Chair) reported on preparations for the 2015 AASRO Annual Meeting to be hosted by Rutgers University’s Bloustein Center for Survey Research. The conference team has secured a group of 30 hotel rooms for $79/night with no tax and no parking fees. They will work on overflow accommodations. They are currently working on plans to have Cliff Zukin and Joe Lenski as part of the conference program.

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report by email. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape.

- The EC is working with a few AASRO committees to fill leader and member positions for the year. Thank you to our members for serving the organization in these important committee roles!

We are also happy to provide the link (please see sanityandsocialjustice.net/audio/AlbertSchorschIII_GrowingasaResearchCenterLeaderManager_AASROtalk_030714.mp3) to one of the excellent talks at our 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago. The talk was entitled “Growing as a University Research Center Leader and Manager” and was given by Albert Schorsch, Associate Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in June 2014

The Executive Committee held its June meeting by conference call on June 18, 2014 at 2 pm Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the June meeting were:

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, reported that AASRO membership is at 62. The Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has joined as a new member. Welcome!

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, will summarize ideas for the Annual Meeting program that he has received thus far and circulate those to the Executive Committee shortly. Later this summer, he will formally solicit ideas from the broader membership.

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that she has completed disbursement of $5 from each annual membership fee to the Kennedy Award Fund and $5 to the Tarnai Memorial Scholarship Fund.

- The Executive Committee approved the appointment of Christy Storey (Kennesaw State University) to the Awards Committee. Danna Moore, Past President, will chair the Nominations Committee this year. We thank them for their willingness to provide this valuable service to AASRO! 

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in May 2014

The Executive Committee held its May meeting by conference call on May 28, 2014 from 2:30-3:45 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the May meeting were:

- The Executive Committee thanked Marc Weiner (Program Chair) for his work in organizing an excellent AASRO lunch at AAPOR. There was a request from an attendee to have more time for informal conversation at the lunch and the AASRO annual meeting. There is little time available at the lunch due to the AAPOR schedule but a morning meeting of academic survey research organizations at the AAPOR conference could be revived. Two possible ideas for the annual meeting were to have small group discussions around common themes/issues that would be suggested by members just prior to the meeting and taking some time at the Thursday dinner for folks to introduce themselves and identify what they would like to get out of the meetings/current challenges. If any of our members have feedback on these ideas or additional suggestions for the upcoming annual meeting, please contact Marc (mdw@ejb.rutgers.edu).   

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that she has completed annual filing of federal tax documents for AASRO.

- Jolene Smyth, Secretary/Membership Coordinator, is following up with two academic research centers who expressed interest in becoming new AASRO members at the AAPOR conference.

- Ed Freeland, Chair of the Education and Advocacy Committee, received approval from the Executive Committee to move forward with a next draft of an AASRO brochure. This brochure would be sent to potential members and presidents/provosts at member and nonmember centers’ institutions as well as posted on the AASRO website.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Member Survey and Data Sharing Committee, will be working with Ed and Ashley Bowers (Communications Coordinator) on a plan for disseminating the AASRO member survey results. Kurt will also prepare an executive summary of the findings for posting on the AASRO website.

- The Executive Committee has been working with John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, to determine how best to ensure continuity in maintaining the website and to share documents with members. For now, we will continue to use the website for sharing documents with members.

- We are excited to report that the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research will host the 2017 AASRO Annual Meeting to coincide with celebration of their 50th Anniversary.

- Please be sure to check out the AASRO website (aasro.org/meetings) for the final agenda and great photographs (Thank you, Tom Guterbock and Tim Johnson for the photos!) from our 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago as well as information and photographs from earlier meetings.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in April 2014

The Executive Committee held its April meeting by conference call on April 16, 2014 from 2-3:15 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the April meeting were:

- Tim MacKinnon who was representing Marc Weiner, Program Chair, informed the Committee that a reminder will be sent to the AASRO listserv with the date, time, and location of the AASRO lunch once Marc has confirmed all of the details on-site in Anaheim. Members will use their regularly provided AAPOR lunch ticket for this event. Tim and Marc have also recently solicited AASRO members to identify centers who might be interested in hosting the 2016 AASRO Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee will review potential sites for 2016 at its May meeting.

- President Susan Willis reported that Ron Langley (University of Kentucky) will be taking over chair responsibilities for the Human Subjects Committee from Mary Ellen Colten (University of Massachusetts Boston). On behalf of the AASRO membership, we thank Mary Ellen Colten for her wonderful service in this role. The Human Subjects Committee will meet on an as needed basis to address specific questions or issues.

- President Susan Willis is also continuing to work with other committees to finalize chair and member appointments for this year.

- John Edwards, Chair of the Website Committee, will be working with the History and Archives Committee and the University of Michigan on a plan for archiving of AASRO documents.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey and Data Reporting Committee, will be working with the Education and Advocacy Committee and Communications Coordinator to disseminate 2013 Survey Results to members.  

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that soon the number of membership payments that will have been processed for this year will reach 60.

AASRO Executive Committee Meets in March 2014

The Executive Committee held its March meeting by conference call on March 31, 2014 from 2-3:15 Eastern Time. Key actions and items of note from the March meeting were:

- Treasurer Bistra Anatchkova provided her monthly financial report. AASRO continues to remain in sound financial shape. Bistra reported that 57 membership payments had been processed for this year as of the date of the call. AASRO uses $10 of each organization’s membership dues to support the John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship and John Kennedy Achievement Award. The Executive Committee voted to change the current allocation of $8 to the Tarnai Scholarship and $2 to the Kennedy Fund to $5 to the Tarnai Scholarship and $5 to the Kennedy Fund in order to provide sufficient ongoing funding for the Kennedy Award.  

- Secretary/Membership Coordinator Jolene Smyth reported (via email) that she has updated the current members list on the website so that it reflects the most up-to-date information. She is also making sure that all new members (voting delegate and non-voting delegates) have access to the members-only area of the website and are on the listserv.

- Kurt Johnson, Chair of the Survey and Data Reporting Committee, has sent the 2013 Member Survey Report to the Executive Committee for review. President Susan Willis will review the report. Based on a discussion about low participation in the annual member survey that occurred at the Annual Meeting and a subsequent discussion among Executive Committee members in our monthly conference call, the Executive Committee unanimously voted to conduct the survey every two years rather than every year. The cost savings, burden, potential compromise of the data due to low response rates, and limited need for annual data given how the information is used were all drivers in this decision.

- Marc Weiner, Program Chair, provided an update on planning for the AASRO Lunch to be held on Saturday, May 17th, at the AAPOR Conference. The speaker will be Mario Callegaro from Google who will be speaking on the exciting topic of "The Challenges of Surveying in a Multi-Device World”. If you have not RSVP’d for the lunch or need to make a change to a current RSVP, please let Marc know (mdw@ejb.rutgers.edu) as soon as possible. Marc is also continuing preparations for next year’s annual meeting (please plan to join us in New Brunswick, NJ from March 5-7, 2015!) and will be soliciting ideas for sessions after the AAPOR Conference. Please start thinking about sessions you’d like to see at next year’s meeting.

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

 

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