The Three-year ASPB President’s Experience
President-Elect (PE) President (P) Past President (PP)
The three years of service is an elected position, currently selected by the membership in an annual vote from a slate of two candidates. All terms start on 1 October. The President is the face and voice of ASPB, and provides strategic leadership.
Communications among leadership:
President elect (PE) and President (P) have standing phone calls with the CEO (typically scheduled for one-hour, weekly, sometimes bi-weekly), and monthly or more frequent calls with each other. Past-President (PP), P and CEO have discussions as appropriate, typically bi-weekly.
- Comprehensive vision for the future of ASPB
- Experience in leadership positions and advisory capacities: the president does both and these sometimes conflict
- Excellent communication skills
- Persistence and outstanding organizational skills to complete tasks in addition to your day job
- Willingness to dedicate time to address the ASPB community’s needs
- Capacity for big-picture, long-term thinking
- Balancing need for confidentiality on sensitive matters with transparency and openness
- Sensitivity to the needs of the broad membership
- High-level experience with budgets and budgeting
- Experience in science management, team science, and/or developing policy
- Awareness of the national and international scientific communities
- Broader work and institutional experience; for example, outside of academia/R1 institutions
- Institutional support, including formal or implicit release time from local institutional activities. For example, being relieved of some responsibilities and work.
Commitment: Approximately 5-10h/week
Roles and activities:
- Board of Directors (BoD), Chair
The BoD provides formal advice, oversight and approval regarding activities of ASPB. Currently, there is a standing schedule of conference calls every other month, which can be augmented/removed as needed. Additional email correspondence occurs as required on items that require timely action. Two in-person approximately 2-3 hr. meetings at the annual meeting (one prior to and the other late during the meeting). Additional in-person meetings are convened with the Board of Trustees, ASPB staff, and/or external stakeholders as needed. As Chair, the PE works with the CEO to organize agendas, communicate with BoD members and run the meetings.
- Council member
Council meets virtually bi-monthly (alternating with BoD conference calls). Immediately prior to the annual meeting, Council holds an in-person daylong meeting. The PE also serves on the ~20-person ASPB Council, which provides vision and advice to ASPB staff and the Board of Directors regarding all activities of ASPB.
- Nominations Committee, Chair
The PE leads the process for assembling ballots for Pres-elect annually, and for Secretary or elected BoD member – these are in alternate years. The PE notifies award winners, including Corresponding members. In consultation with P, PP, committee chairs and staff, the PE is responsible for standing and awards committee membership appointments, identification of new members and chair succession.
- Program Committee, member.
Duties include two in-person meetings (one in fall and one in winter) and evaluation of 100-200 abstracts. As a member of the program committee, the PE is involved in planning of the scientific program for the upcoming annual meeting.
Roles and activities:
- Six newsletter articles per year, with solicitation and editing of attendant Plantae collections as desired.
- Organizer of President’s Symposium at that year’s annual conference
- Emcee of awards ceremony at annual conference
- Host of varied events at annual conference
- Board and Committee Roles:
- Board of Directors (BoD), member: There is a standing schedule of conference calls every other month, which can be augmented/removed as needed. Additional email correspondence as required on items that require timely action. Two in-person approximately 2-3 hr. meetings at the annual meeting (one prior to and the other late during the meeting).
- Council, member: There is a standing schedule of conference calls every other month (alternating with BoD conference calls), in addition to one in-person daylong meeting immediately prior to the annual meeting.
- Nominations Committee, member: Support the PE as needed
- Member of ad hoc committees supporting publications (e.g. EIC searches), or groups exploring new opportunities or needs (e.g. fundraising or responsible conduct)
- Partner, mentor and evaluator of CEO
- Interactions with staff
- Miscellaneous activities that may vary from year to year:
- Dealing with emergencies, generally collaboratively with other community leadership and CEO.
- Responding to staff requests, leading by communicating with staff in a positive and supportive way.
- Attending one or more regional ASPB meetings upon request and based upon availability
- Attending other ASPB-sponsored or -centric activities
Commitment: 5 hours/week, travel to annual meeting
- Council, Chair: Together with CEO, BoD and chairs of committees develop and distribute agenda, run meetings. Meetings scheduled as bi-monthly conference call (alternating with BoD conference calls), in addition to one in-person daylong meeting immediately prior to the annual meeting. Communicate with BoD items from Council that need BoD approval/discussion.
- Nominations Committee, member, Supporting the PE as needed
- Science Policy Committee, member, Includes monthly calls, input on policy priorities, and a 2-3-day trip to DC for in-person meeting and Congressional visits
Appendix, more detailed document:
ASPB President’s and President-elect’s Roles and Responsibilities
This document outlines the regular duties and responsibilities of ASPB presidents. As such, it’s more a set of guidelines than it is rules, and presidents are always welcome to consult with their fellow presidents – current and former – as well as with pertinent staff on any of the points it contains. You are also more than welcome to ask any other questions that you may have.
President – Ongoing Throughout Presidential Term
- The president plays a key role in the positions taken by ASPB on public affairs and science policy issues. She/he works closely in coordination with the chair of the Science Policy Committee, other committee members, as well as the Director of Legislative and Public Affairs and employees of Lewis-Burke Associates (ASPB’s external advocacy firm) in reviewing and approving ASPB comments, letters and positions on public affairs issues, many of which require prompt turn-around. The president determines whether ASPB’s name will be signed on to documents, including those generated and/or circulated by advocacy coalitions that ASPB is a part of, in the area of science policy.
- Contributes a President’s Letter to the bimonthly ASPB News. For example, deadlines for submissions during the 2018-2019 ASPB governance year were:
Newsletter: Due date
November/December ~October 5, 2018 [Just after you assume the presidency!]
January/February ~December 5, 2018
March/April ~February 5, 2019
May/June ~April 5, 2019
July/August ~June 5, 2019
September/October ~August 5, 2019
- The president typically holds regular (e.g., weekly) phone conversations with the CEO.
- As necessary, is part of the Search Committee for new Editors-In-Chief
- The President is an ex officio member of all governance committees and may elect to attend in-person and/or virtual meetings of any committee. Most presidents opt to attend Board of Trustees meetings, although this is not an absolute requirement. The summer committee meetings take place during the annual Plant Biology conference, and presidents often share responsibilities for attending them.
President – Third quarter of calendar year- first quarter of term
- 1st Presidential term begins.
- ~Oct. 5th deadline for Nov/Dec President’s Letter for the bimonthly ASPB News (see above).
- ~Dec. 5th deadline for President’s Letter Jan/Feb ASPB News (see above) – president should address ASPB awards and election nominations.
President – Jan-March First quarter of calendar year
- Liaise with Sylvia and PE to galvanize the nominations process.
- Attend in person or online any winter committee meetings, such as Board of Directors or Council (as scheduled).
- ~Feb. 5th deadline for President’s Letter to March/April ASPB News (see above) – could address “election voting”.
President – April- June Second quarter of calendar year
- ~Apr. 5th deadline for President’s Letter to May/June ASPB News (see above).
- ~Jun. 5th deadline for President’s Letter to July/August ASPB News (see above).
- Announces the results of the election no later than the annual meeting.
President – July – September Third quarter of calendar year, last quarter of presidency
- Attends committee meetings during the Annual Meeting (Note: the three presidents typically share these responsibilities – at least one president attends each meeting/event. Bolded events are obligatory for the president.)
Board of Directors/Board of Trustees meeting
Opening Address & Awards Ceremony
Perspectives of Science Leaders announces/introduces the Leadership in Science Public Service Award winner
Informal reception in President’s suite (aka “the Saturday night party”)
Early Career Member Reception (initiated in 2018 in Montréal)
Minority Affairs Committee
International Affairs Committee
Women in Plant Biology Committee
Science Policy Committee
Program Committee (As president-elect in 2018)
Annual Town Hall/Business Meeting
Presidents Meeting- In recent years, the president has also organized an informal gathering of any current, former, and future presidents who are attending the annual meeting. Staff will work with the president to arrange the space and any necessary catering.
- Oversees CEO’s annual evaluation and compensation review. CEO shall submit to the President a self-appraisal by Oct. 31; based on this self-appraisal, conversations with other presidents and members of the Board of Directors, and other necessary information, the President writes a written appraisal of the CEO’s performance during the preceding year and determines mutually agreed measurable performance metrics and goals for the CEO for the following year. This should be completed before Dec. 31.
President-Elect – Oct-Dec Third quarter of calendar year- first quarter of term
- 1st President-elect term begins.
- Assume leadership of BoD and conduct BoD business as required
- Begin to assemble/discuss candidates for election
- Begin to work on new appointees (ongoing throughout tenure- see below)
- Attend fall Program Committee meeting as a member
- Lead in-person joint BoD/BoT meeting with Treasurer, if scheduled
President-Elect – Jan-March First quarter of year, second quarter of tenure
- Completes the election slate. The President-Elect is the lead officer in the nomination and election processes, but generally consults extensively with the President and Past-President at this time. Deadline for completion of election slate: March 22, 2019
- Begins to identify potential successors to committee members who will be completing their terms on Sept. 30, 2019. This process is initiated by Sylvia sending the president-elect a list of committee members whose terms are scheduled to end and typically starts in earnest with consultations among the presidents and between the president-elect and current committee chairs. Staff liaisons may also be consulted as necessary.
- Is invited to attend the Science Policy meeting, typically in late March.
- Attends the winter Program Committee meeting
President-Elect – April-June second quarter of year, third quarter of tenure
- Recruits committee members and chairs, including the Awards committees (deadlines: September 1st for most – but late May for those that need the Board of Director’s approval). NOTE: Members of the Publications Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and Board of Trustees, must have the approval of the Board of Directors. These appointments are typically presented as an agenda item before the Board of Directors via an email vote or at the Board of Directors meeting that is held during the annual meeting. Also, as necessary, recommends appointment of a Treasurer for a 3-year term, with approval of the Board of Directors.
- Certifies election votes along with two other members of the society appointed by the president. (Since elections have moved online, this by-laws requirement has generally been relaxed to the extent that a single DC-area ASPB member approved by the President-elect provides the certification.)
- Notifies Election winners (headquarters will then send letters to the winners).
President-Elect – July-September third quarter of year, fourth quarter of tenure
- Focus is on preparing for meetings at annual meeting.
- Attend committee meetings at annual meeting – splits responsibilities with P and PP (see above under P).