Summary of the July Board of Directors Meeting

By SRAI News posted 08-11-2021 03:40 PM


Summary of the July Board of Directors Meeting

The Board of Directors met in mid-July. Here is a peek behind the curtain.

The Board of Directors met online during the weekend of July 16th and 17th. When the Board last met, COVID vaccines had just been approved and the monumental task of mass vaccination had begun. In the intervening five months, a significant proportion of the country has been vaccinated and infection rates are much reduced (although creeping upward again). The result of this amazing effort is that an in-person Annual Meeting is not only a possibility, but is well on its way to becoming a reality. More on that later.

President Debra Schaller-Demers opened the meeting with a discussion of SRAI’s goals. Our present strategic plan is nearing its conclusion and planning for the future is in full swing. Three classes of strategic goals will dominate this work: Outreach, Engagement and Inclusion; Education and Professional Development; and Innovation.

The work to revitalize and redefine the SRAI Divisions also made great strides. Involvement by representatives of predominately undergraduate institutions (PUIs) marks a significant outreach to a previously underserved segment of the research administration community. As the role of the Divisions continues to evolve, your input is needed more than ever. Consider joining the discussions in New Orleans.

On a broader front, Board Members Domenica Pappas and Gloria Greene participated in the conference of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS). A new collaboration effort called the International Sister Association Research Benefit Scheme (ISARBS) was introduced. This program offers reduced cost membership in research administration societies outside the individuals home regions. Check out the details on the INORMS website for more details (

Planning for the 2021 Annual Meeting is in full swing. Registration and the hotel room block are open. Registrations are running a little behind 2019, our last in-person meeting, but positive considering the travel and budget challenges that remain. The meeting has a robust program and attendees will have an excellent conference experience. Early planning has begun for next year’s Annual Meeting to be held in Quebec, Canada. The conference location and city are outstanding and follow in SRAI’s tradition of providing excellent educational content and selection of after-meeting activities.

Immediate Past President Kim Carter reported on the continuing work of the Diversity, Engagement, and Inclusion Task Force. The Task Force has been meeting over the past year. Several Coffee Talks have generated considerable interests and more such events are planned in the coming year. A survey of members was distributed, but the response has been disappointing. Another survey is being considered. Your society can improve its outreach and better serve your needs only with your input.

Despite the myriad challenges of the past year, the Society remains in strong financial shape. The Treasurer and Executive Office team have done an amazing job of managing the Society’s resources. The LevelUP program has maintained strong interest among institutions and training intensive workshops continue to sell-out the available registrations soon after opening. This brisk activity bodes well for the future of the Society as a premier source of education and professional development.

A new recognition program, Future of the Field, was launched this past year. Forty-one SRAI members were selected for recognition from more than one hundred candidates. They will be honored at the Annual Meeting.

Closing Thoughts

Throughout the pandemic, SRAI has been the premier source for education, training, and networking. SRAI members and staff developed more online educational programs and professional development training than at any time in our past. Our combined knowledge and collegial collaboration allowed us to meet the challenges put before us. As we emerge from the distancing, masking, and travel restrictions, remember that nothing compares to meeting with your colleagues, renewing old and making new friendships, and sharing the successes and challenges of the past 18 months.

Remember that the Board meetings are open to all members (with the exception of brief in camera sessions). The Board welcomes the engagement of the membership at its meetings and hopes you will accept the invitation.

I hope to see you all in New Orleans in October.

Stay well and be safe,

Bruce Steinert, PhD, CCRA


Authored by Bruce Steinert, PhD, CCRA, Clinical Research Regulatory Manager
Medical College of Wisconsin
SRAI Secretary