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Board of Directors Update

By SRAI News posted 11-10-2021 03:14 PM


Board of Directors Update

The SRAI Board of Directors met twice during the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Read on for a peek behind the curtain ... 

It was with much anticipation that SRAI once again met in person in New Orleans, Louisiana and attendees were not disappointed. The conference was smaller than our previous journey to the deep South, but it was nonetheless an unqualified success. Of note, this meeting was not only SRAI’s return to in-person education, but we were also the first conference for the hotel in more than 18 months. But I digress. The Board of Directors convened twice, as it usually does, during the Annual Meeting.

President Debra Schaller-Demers opened the meeting by presenting the framework for the new strategic plan centering on three broad initiatives: Outreach, Engagement, and Inclusion; Education, Professional Development, and the Regulatory Landscape; and Innovation. Teams will be recruited over the next few months to begin defining the processes and metrics to measure the success of the plan. Additionally, Debra announced the Co-Chairs for our 2022 Annual Meeting which will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 31-November 4, 2022. Tonya Edvalson, Terry Campbell, and David King will shortly begin planning that meeting. Those wishing to volunteer their services and expertise to plan and conduct the conference should let them know.

Immediate Past President Kim Carter announced the results of the recent elections. Gloria Greene remains on the Board and will transition from At Large Board Member to President-Elect. Dominic Esposito was reelected as Treasurer. Newly elected At Large Board Members are Pamela Montgomery and Jennifer Woodward. Congratulations to the new and continuing board Members and best wishes for continuing success. The election of Gloria to President-Elect left an opening on the Board. [Spoiler Alert] Domenica Pappas, whose term as At Large Board Member officially ended at the Annual Business Meeting, was nominated and confirmed to fill that opening at the Wednesday Board Meeting. Kim also presented the report of the Diversity, Engagement, and Inclusion (DEI)Task Force. During the past two years, the DEI Task Force has worked diligently to raise awareness, identify concerns, and recommend ways to improve SRAI’s educational programs. The Task Force confirmed what many of us already knew, that SRAI is a welcoming organization. That is not to say that there is not also room for improvement. The first strategic goal (see above) will ensure that the principles of diversity, engagement, and inclusion are woven throughout our future meetings and educational program offerings. Many thanks are owed to the Task Force for its commitment, determination, and hard work to improve our Society.

Treasurer Dominic Esposito reported that the financial health of SRAI remains strong. Changes implemented more than a year ago to our investment strategy and the rapid adapting of educational programs to online venues yielded significant growth in spite of the cancellation of in-person meetings and fluctuations in the investment markets. Thanks again are owed to Dominic as well as the Development and Finance, and Investment Committees for their leadership.

Last year, the Board charged the Governance Committee to begin a review of SRAI’s organization and governance structure. The Committee surveyed numerous current and past Board Members on a variety of management topics. Overall, the size and composition of the Board were found to be appropriate. Discussion surrounding Executive Committee and administrative processes suggested that changes could make managing the Society more efficient. Those changes will be further developed and tested over the coming year.

Floris van der Leest, Ad Hoc Board Member representing the International Section, announced a virtual conference to be held in early March targeting the 103 countries that do not have an identified research administration society. Program development along four educational streams is well along. Look for more information and announcements on SRAI’s communication outlets.

The Educational and Professional Development Committee reported that registrations for educational events were 25% above expectation, demonstrating both the need for continued programming and the desire of members to take advantage of the opportunities. Many of the webinars and training intensive courses sold out soon after registrations opened. A course to train the next generation of presenters is in development. Interest in SRAI’s LevelUP courses remains very strong. Two micro-credentialing modules are ready for release in the coming months.

Among the more novel aspects of the conference was the presentation of the initial class of the Future of the Field awards. The Board was encouraged by the new program and elected to continue it for at least the next few years. The goal of the program is to nurture the next generation of presenters and leaders of the Society.

The second Board Meeting, following the Wednesday session, concentrates on orienting and training the incoming Board Members, appointment of committee chairs, and approval of the budget for the new fiscal year. Dara Little was nominated and confirmed as the At Large Board Member on the Executive Committee.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, many thanks to all who made our return to in-person meetings such a successful event. I hope to see you at the Section Meetings in the Spring and at our next Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

Authored by Bruce Steinert, Regulator Manager
Cancer Center, Medical College of Wisconsin
SRAI Secretary