Guidelines and Operating Procedures for the 2004 Nominating Committee
The primary objective of the SSAR Nominating Committee is to
identify and nominate enthusiastic candidates to stand for
election to SSAR offices. Historically, SSAR officers are expected
to be individuals who will work for the Society while in office.
Article IV of the SSAR Bylaws describes the appointment of the
Nominating Committee and the procedure for the election.
Article IV. Elections of Officers and Directors
Section 1. The President shall appoint five members of the Society
to serve as a nominating committee, except that not more than one
member of the Board of Directors may be appointed to the committee
in any one year.
Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of at
least two candidates for each office to be filled, except that at
its discretion, the committee may offer only one candidate for the
position of Secretary and one for the position of Treasurer. The
slate must be presented at the annual meeting, at which time
nominations may be made by the membership.
Section 3. The Nominating Committee, or a member of the Society
proposing a nominee, shall obtain the consent of the candidate to
serve if elected.
Section 4. The Slate of Nominations shall be prepared in ballot
form and circulated to the entire membership by the Secretary not
later than one month after the annual meeting. Ballots, to be
valid, must be returned to the designated recipient within a
three-week period of the date printed on the ballot.
Section 5. The President shall appoint an Elector from among the
membership who will receive and count the ballots, and inform the
Secretary of the results. The results of the election shall be
communicated to the membership by the Secretary via the
Section 6. The Secretary shall inform the elected candidates of
their election. Newly elected persons will take office on the
first of January of the year following that of the election.
Availability and Experience of Candidates
An SSAR Officer or Director should not serve as an official in any
other society (i.e., ASIH or HL) if his or her attendance of that
society’s board meeting will conflict with the attendance of the
entire SSAR Board meeting. SSAR officials who accept a conflicting
position after their election or appointment shall forfeit their
position in SSAR.
The Chairperson of the SSAR Nominating Committee will determine if
such conflicts exist early in the nominating process. Candidates
must express willingness to attend Board meetings during their
term of office.
Nominees for President-Elect ideally should have served as a
member of the Board of Directors. Ideally, nominees for Director
should have served as a Chairperson of an SSAR
committee. Candidates should be selected who have demonstrated a
willingness to work for SSAR. Highly desirable qualities for SSAR
officers and Directors include being: (a) a prompt correspondent,
(b) an innovator, and (c) a regular attendee of SSAR annual
meetings. Persons standing for election must be familiar with
Normally, the incumbent SSAR Secretary and Treasurer are
re-nominated unopposed. The Nominating Committee should consult
extensively with the current Society officers when nominating a
new individual to either of these offices, since the search for
appropriate candidates will be critical and time consuming, and
the offices are exceptionally important.
Three Director’s positions on the SSAR Board are reserved for
representation of (1) conservation, (2) regional herpetological
societies, and (3) non-U.S. members. These positions will come up
for election in a regular order, and the current SSAR President
and Secretary should be diligent in notifying the Nominating
Committee which position is up for election. Each Director’s
position, as with other offices, requires two candidates, except
Secretary and Treasurer. Beginning with the 2004 mail ballot, the
Board will have 5 regular members, in addition to the three
reserved positions listed above.
Report of the Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee Chairperson will submit an annual report
to the Secretary. The report will include the list of candidates
and a concise paragraph about each candidate including name,
current position, educational background (university level only,
if appropriate), research interests, and previous service to SSAR
and other herpetological societies. The report must reach the
Secretary no later than one month prior to the annual meeting. It
will be distributed to the Board of Directors and discussed at the
annual meeting of the Board. The Nominating Committee Chairperson
is expected to attend the Board meeting.
Composition of the Nominating Committee
The SSAR Nominating Committee consists of at least five SSAR
members and includes at least one member of the current SSAR Board
of Directors (preferably the SSAR Secretary) to assure
continuity. A five-member Nominating Committee is an SSAR
Mechanism for the Committee’s Work
The Chairperson of the SSAR Nominating Committee initially should
establish the mechanism by which candidates are selected. The
following procedure has proven to be reasonably successful:
The Committee Chairperson should first determine whether the
incumbent Secretary and Treasurer will stand unopposed for
re-election during the coming year. If they are willing, the
other members of the Committee should be informed. If not,
consult with the current SSAR officers for nominations to these
While informing the other members of the Committee of the
willingness of the Secretary and Treasurer to continue to
serve, ask for their votes to nominate both candidates and
request that Committee members additionally submit two names
for each of the other positions that need to be filled. The
Committee members should also be informed of the criteria of
availability and experience presented earlier. This procedure
will, potentially, leave the Chairperson with a pool of names,
provided there is no duplication.
The Chairperson should go over the pool and eliminate those
not available or lacking experience (see above). Inform
appropriate Committee member(s) why his or her proposed
candidate(s) was rejected, and request a replacement
name(s). The President, President-Elect, and Secretary are to
be consulted concerning the list of potential candidates and
their suitability for a particular position in the
Society. This consultation must be done prior to step 4.
After a final pool of names has been established, the
Nominating Committee Chairperson should list the candidates
for the various positions in alphabetical order. The Committee
members should numerically rank the list for each office and
return their rankings to the Chairperson by a specified date.
After establishing the rankings of the candidates, the
Committee Chairperson should distribute these rankings to the
Committee members and SSAR officers and, at the same time,
inform them of his/her intent to contact the proposed
candidates (starting with the top-ranked individuals on each
list) until a sufficient number of proposed candidates have
accepted nomination, thus completing the preparation of a
slate of nominees.
The Committee Chairperson should inform the Committee members
of the completed slate of nominees.
The Committee Chairperson should, finally, request concise
paragraphs with the information described above (under Report
of the Nominating Committee) from each nominee for inclusion
on the ballot, and should submit the names of the nominees and
their biographic information to the SSAR Secretary as soon as
possible, but no later than one month before the annual
meeting, in the Committee’s annual report.
The Nominating Committee is appointed by the SSAR President as
soon after the annual meeting as possible. The Committees should
file their annual report with the Secretary several months before
the annual meeting.
These Guidelines were prepared originally by Joseph T. Collins in
1981 and have been modified subsequently by James S. Jacob, SSAR
Secretary, August 1986, and Janalee P. Caldwell, SSAR President,
March and August 2003.