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News & Press: AAALetter

From the Past President: The Immediate Past President’s Role

Wednesday, December 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kathi Bailey
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What exactly does the Immediate Past President of AAAL do? This is a question I wondered about when I first agreed to run for office in AAAL. Fortunately, our Standing Rules provide clear information about several specific roles for all four years of service in the presidential line. The year of being Second Vice President is a period of enculturation and learning. Then the role of the First Vice President is hectic, with all the time-sensitive issues of planning and running the annual AAAL conference. Just when that responsibility is at its most frenetic, the First Vice President must appoint committee members and chairs for the coming year. Then, as President, he/she has numerous predictable duties as well as the responsibility of dealing with all sorts of unexpected issues that arise.

So is the Immediate Past President like a senior statesperson, who can relax and rest on his or her laurels? Hardly. Here are some of the duties of the Immediate Past President.

First, according to the AAAL Standing Rules, the Immediate Past President serves on the Executive Committee and supports the President in any number of roles. In the absence of the President and first Vice President, the Immediate Past President presides over Executive Committee meetings.

The Immediate Past President is also a member of the Budget Committee, along with the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and the Director of the Business Office. This important committee convenes before every meeting of the Executive Committee. In addition, he/she also helps the Secretary-Treasurer and the AAAL staff members to select a future conference site.

The Immediate Past President is a nonvoting member of the Nominating Committee and the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award Committee. With regard to the Nominating Committee, the Immediate Past President helps the other committee members see the big picture of leadership within AAAL He/she serves as a liaison to the Executive Committee and oversees changes to the Nominating Committee Procedures Manual.

In addition, the Immediate Past President serves as an ex officio member of the new Public Affairs and Engagement Committee. This group works to identify non-AAAL members who raise public awareness of language-related issues.

In each of these roles, the Immediate Past President provides guidance and some institutional memory. I want to acknowledge the support and guidance given to me by Aneta Pavlenko and Paul Matsuda, the two Immediate Past Presidents with whom I have worked most closely over these past few years.

As I approach my last four months in this position, I must acknowledge what a wonderful experience it has been to serve AAAL in the presidential line. I want to encourage AAAL members who are interested in leadership opportunities (and have sufficient time to dedicate to AAAL) to consider expressing an interest in serving on the Executive Committee or in some other leadership capacity. Doing so leads to amazing opportunities for growth and networking.

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