President's Message August 2020

Hi Everyone!

I am writing to update you about some challenges facing the organization and some decisions that the incoming and outgoing Board members made yesterday.

First, a brief update about this year’s conference. As you know, the September 2020 meeting in Chester, UK, had to be cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. This year we will meet virtually on October 3, 2020. (See details on this website) At first the board considered trying again to hold the conference in Chester in 2021. However, due to continued uncertainty about travel restrictions, risk of contagion, and financial cuts by Universities impacting international travel, the Board decided against this possibility.  Next year’s conference may be held in person in the United States (place TBD) or done virtually once again, depending on the situation. We hope that by 2022, we will be able to meet in person for our annual conference in Lexington, Kentucky (rescheduled for that date).

The Board also voted to host a series of webinars, titled “Talking History 2.0” during the Spring of 2021.  To that end, I formed a subcommittee of the Program committee, to be chaired by Donna Curry (Second VP for Programs), to plan the programs for these zoom calls. We are seeking volunteers to help with that endeavor. Please contact Donna at [email protected] if you are interested in participating on that committee. Stay tuned for more information on these!

In order to ensure continuity on the Board, we had to change the terms of service for the First VP to a one -year term for this year. So, April Matthias’ term will end in 2021, with the option of her running again for a second term then. Likewise, we extended the Second VP’s term to a three-year term, ending in 2022.  This ensures that the President and First VP do not step down at the same time.  (I know, this is a technicality, but just wanted you to understand the reasoning).

In light of our goal to increase diversity and inclusion throughout our organization, the Board also decided that all decisions regarding programs, membership, and board nominations be “run by” the Diversity and Inclusion committee, chaired by Andre Rosario.

Our biggest challenges are financial.  Due to decreasing membership, losses on the last two conferences, aging of our members, and our inability to host an auction this year, the Association has a deficit of close to $5000.00 in operating funds. (Some funds are restricted.) We simply must increase our membership and while Shannon Perry has initiated several innovative ideas to do so, we still need members to recruit others and become actively involved in promoting the organization.  We are also asking for donations to the operating funds.  Please consider giving back to an organization that has helped you attain your personal academic goals.

On another note, the new Bylaws was passed by the membership; the awards committee is continuing their work (to be announced in October); the Research committee is reviewing applications received.

Overall, the joint Boards are working for the Association, doing their best during these challenging times. 

Please contact me for questions, concerns, comments:  [email protected].

 Stay safe.

 Arlene W. Keeling PhD, RN, FAAN