AACRAO is currently accepting applicants to serve as Parliamentarian, a role
that acts as an impartial arbiter of the AACRAO Bylaws and Robert's Rules of Orders. In light of this, we've put together a breakdown of the who, what, and why of AACRAO's Board of Directors to serve as a resource for new and existing members alike.
Each year, AACRAO members vote for four board members to sit on the board and 12 members to form the N&E (Nominations & Elections) Committee (nine committee members and three alternates). The President, President-Elect, and Past President
all serve one-year terms, and the Vice President positions are all three-year terms. The External Board Member position is a two-year term with the possibility of an additional two-year term if the Board votes to extend the term.
Board of Directors Responsibilities
The AACRAO Board of Directors consists of 13 members, made up of the following categories:
Vice President for Admissions & Enrollment Management
Vice President for International Education
Vice President for Access & Equity
Vice President for Information Technology
Vice President for Leadership and Management Development
Vice President for Records & Academic Services
Vice President for Finance
Vice President at Large (2)
External Board Member
With the exception of the External Board Member, the Presidential Trio (Past President, President, President-Elect), and the two Vice President at Large positions, all the other board positions are assigned a portfolio. View the full list of Board position descriptions. Collectively, the Board works together with the AACRAO Executive Director and the Executive Team to ensure that AACRAO is advancing in its mission, values, goals,
and strategic priorities while addressing membership needs and concerns.
The Board of Directors is also responsible for reviewing and approving the annual budget before it gets presented to the membership for a vote at the Annual Meeting.
Any association business that requires a member vote, will occur at the annual Business Meeting. The President is responsible for ruling over the meeting and any items of discussion that are up for a member vote will be brought forth by the President.
In addition to serving as an impartial arbiter of AACRAO bylaws and rules of order, the Parliamentarian may also be called upon for advice or counsel by the President or any voting member to make determinations or recommendations on procedure-related
questions. Though the role may seem intimidating at first, most AACRAO members will have at least some relevant experience in the area, as past Parliamentarian, Julia Pomerenk, commented when asked about her experience in the position:
Many of us have lots of experience in committee meetings with motions and discussion and votes. That’s parliamentarian experience. In my years with motions made, discussed, and votes taken in university committees and community boards, most of the process is clear—even when discussion of the topic is passionate. For AACRAO business meetings, almost everyone in the meeting shares the experience of (simple) rules of order, so the role of the parliamentarian is seldom difficult. Many of the motions that come to the AACRAO business meeting are non-controversial. Those straight-forward motions give us all shared examples of the rules of order.
Don’t be afraid to step into the parliamentarian role. You likely know all you need to know already. If you were selected, you have time to refresh your knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order. Considering serving as AACRAO parliamentarian can provide an added reason to pay particular attention to the rules of order when you participate in committee meetings and/or observe parliamentarians in your professional life.
Additionally, the Parliamentarian serves as a crucial component in ensuring fair and equitable meetings and sessions. Past Parliamentarian Scott Dittman recounted a few interesting highlights during his tenure saying:
Most of the votes were non-controversial, but one – having to do with allowing for including a member of the Board in the deliberations of the Nominations and Elections Committee – was razor-thin: 162 in favor, 81 opposed, and 7 abstaining. The question of whether abstentions should be counted as "no" (since they weren't "yes") or ignored (as noted clearly in the Rules) meant the difference in that particular vote of approval.
The 2020 Annual Meeting had to be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, but the Annual Business Meeting was held for the first time online. One of the first actions was to vote on a suspension of the rules to allow electronic voting using Zoom which was approved, ironically, by the first electronic vote at a business meeting (unchallenged but technically not "legal"). The Association was advised before and afterward that the possibility should be codified in the Bylaws for the future.