Officer and Board Member Duties

Second Vice President

It is the duty of the Second Vice-President to set forth the conditions for submitting papers to be judged for the annual student prizes. He or she must make sure submitted papers were presented at the annual meeting of the Society. The Second Vice-President is also in charge of the judging process, which entails asking for volunteers to serve on the judging committee and chairing the committee.

First Vice President (Program Chair)

The primary responsibility of the First Vice-President is to organize the annual meeting. This involves working with a Local Organizer, and with the Board; to select the meeting site, setting a deadline for abstract receipt, issuing the call for abstracts, accepting the abstracts, organizing the abstracts into sessions, and scheduling the sessions. Special events and activities during the meeting include: the CSAS Board meeting (typically on Thursday night, with a light dinner provided), the distinguished lecture (typically a Friday night, with or without a banquet or reception and/or entertainment before or after), the annual members’ meeting (typically a Saturday reduced-price luncheon. Other events usually co-organized with the Secretary/treasurer and/or other Board members include the book exhibit, the Anthro Bowl and other special receptions, workshops, or side trips. The First Vice-President and/or the Local Organizer should also seek sponsorships from local institutions. It is important to identify a Local Organizer as early as possible. The First Vice-President can also reach out to other AAA Sections to consider a joint meeting.


The primary role of the president is leadership. He or she should make sure that the machinery of the society is running well. The president has few specific duties other than to represent the society to outside people and bodies The President should keep in mind that the buck ultimately stops with him/her, so vigilance and dedication to the needs of the society are paramount in this office.

The president is the primary point of contact between the CSAS and the AAA and should make sure the AAA receives new officer information (these days the Secretary/Treasurer takes care of this task). While for most sections the President is the section’s representative to the AAA Section Assembly, CSAS has a Section Assembly Representative (a Board position) to provide continuity in communications with AAA. Both the SA Representative and the President attend Section Assembly meetings during the AAA meeting in the fall. The SA Representative presents reports about Section Assembly activity to the CSAS board.

The President should encourage the CSAS members to run for open positions on the AAA Board, to participate in the annual meeting, and to submit papers for CSAS to review for the AAA meeting.

The President receives and reviews financial reports from AAA and assists the Secretary-Treasurer in preparing the annual budget each June.

The President serves as the AAA program reviewer, which entails working with the AAA Program Committee, recommending CSAS invited sessions and reviewing any sessions and/or papers submitted to AAA for CSAS review. Whomever is president needs to get onto the AAA Program Committee listserv, attend AAA Program Committee meetings at the Fall AAA meeting during which he/she is CSAS president, and be prepared to organize, invite, or otherwise suggest appropriate CSAS panels for the following year’s AAA program.

The President arranges and runs all Board meetings of the Society. In general, there are two meetings of the Executive Board each year: a luncheon meeting (or a morning meeting followed by an off-site lunch at a nearby restaurant) during the AAA Fall meeting (this usually gets scheduled on a Saturday morning), and a Thursday evening dinner meeting during the CSAS Spring meeting. Additionally the President chairs the CSAS business meeting at the CSAS Annual (Spring) meeting; this is generally a Saturday lunch meeting. The President is also responsible for any CSAS special events (such as a reception) during the Fall AAA meeting.

Immediate Past President

The primary function of the Immediate Past President is to act as advisor to the other officers. As you have been through the full presidential cycle, your experience and acquired wisdom are valuable.

The Immediate Past President oversees the White and Dillingham Awards process following the annual spring meeting. This involves asking for volunteers to serve on the committee and chairing the committee. Once you have chosen winners, notify them informally by email, with ccs to the Secretary/Treasurer and President. Ask each winner to contact the Secretary/Treasurer to confirm the address where they want to receive their award checks. Remind the President to write congratulatory letters on letterhead to each winner. You can also write congratulatory letters on letterhead and should include any (anonymous) comments made by reviewers. Next write to the non-winners thank them for having applied, and send them any (anonymous) comments that reviewers may have made on their applications. Finally, announce the names and university affiliations (and possibly even the title of their research projects) on the CSAS listserv, website, Facebook page, AN column, and (if still appropriate) Bulletin. The Bulletin Editor may want to contact the awardees for photos and brief blurbs on their research so send the winners’ email addresses to the Bulletin Editor(s). The Immediate Past President assists the Nominations Committee by suggesting nominees for Second Vice-President and for the Executive Board.


The Secretary/Treasurer keeps the records of the Society. Responsibilities of the Secretary/Treasurer include taking, circulating and keeping the minutes of the Board and Annual Members’ meetings of the Society; financial reporting and management of the Society; and preparing the budget. The Secretary/Treasurer works with the President of the Society and with the Treasurer of AAA to ensure proper fiscal management and reporting. Minutes of meetings and financial reports should be presented for approval at each Board meeting.

Responsibilities of the Secretary include correspondence of various sorts. In practice, the President and First Vice President have shared this responsibility. The Secretary should receive copies of all correspondence. Currently the Secretary/Treasurer is also the listserv manager for the society. The members’ listserv is open to all and can be joined or abandoned individually. The Board listserv, however, can only be joined or left by action of the Secretary/Treasurer.

The Secretary/Treasurer also works with the First Vice-President and other conference organizers to make sure registration for the annual meeting goes smoothly and, in particular, that all participants have registered and that they have registered in the proper category. He or she also oversees on-site registration and keeps tabs on the conference budget.

Executive Board Members

The six members of the Executive Board provide a broader range of opinions and experience in making Board decisions. They are expected to be generally supportive of and involved in the activities and issues of the Board and Section during their terms. Executive Board positions are staggered, with two new members elected each year.

In recent years, Board members have been particularly helpful as readers for the Dillingham, White, and Student Paper Competition awards. Others have volunteered to assist the webmaster or the Bulleting editor(s). Another good contribution is drumming up, or even organizing, panels and workshops for the Annual Conference.

Nominations Committee Members

The Nominations Committee consists of two members who serve as voting members of the Board. The term of service on the Nominations Committee is two years and the terms are staggered, one new member being elected each year. Unlike other terms on the Executive Board which begin and end at the Annual (Spring) CSAS conference, the terms on the Nominations Committee begin and end in August each year. The most senior member on the committee serves as the chair of the committee.

Ideally, the Nominations Committee prepares a slate of at least two candidates for each open position on the CSAS Board each year, though often there is only one candidate for positions. Candidates for the Presidential track should to serve for the entire presidential cycle.

The Nominations Committee also assists the President in encouraging qualified CSAS members to run for AAA offices open each year.

Most of the work of the Nominations Committee takes place from September through February. In the fall, candidates must be identified and a slate must be prepared for approval at the Fall Board meeting. After the AAA conference, the candidates’ slate materials must be gathered, edited, and prepared for submission to AAA for the Spring Ballot; the deadline is usually February 15.