Guidelines for Officers and Committees

SAWH Guidelines

(approved as of 2003, updated 2021)

 OFFICERS

THE PRESIDENT

  • The President assumes responsibilities for their term on January 1.
  • The President, in consultation with the Executive Council, plans and executes policy, appoints chairs and committees (including ad hoc committees to undertake special projects), appoints delegates (where applicable), and represents the interests of officers, elected council members, and the general membership where appropriate.
  • The President shall appoint chairs and members of standing committees to the appropriate terms. Members of all committees must be members in good standing with the organization. Committee appointments should be made and reported to the Secretary by February 1, and published in the Spring newsletter of the organization. The terms are as follows:
    • Membership Committee, Graduate Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Finance Committee members serve staggered three-year terms.
    • Nominating Committee members serve for a one-year term
    • Taylor Prize Committee, Rose Prize Committee, and Spruill Prize Committee members serve for a one-year term. A Scott Prize Committee is appointed every other year in even years, and members serve a one-year term.
  • The President will prepare three Messages from the President, to be published in the Winter newsletter, the Spring newsletter, and the Fall newsletter.
  • The President shall attend or appoint delegates to attend the Coordinating Committee on the Status of Women Breakfasts at the annual AHA and OAH meetings on behalf of the organization.
  • The President will work with the Secretary to prepare the agenda, collect annual reports, and circulate the committee reports prior to the annual council meeting to be held during our annual meeting at the SHA. The President will preside at the annual executive council meeting, invite a speaker for the annual lecture, and run the business meeting for general membership before retiring from office. The President may be reimbursed for costs associated with the duties of the office.

THE FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT

  • The First Vice-President is expected to attend all board meetings as a voting member, attend the annual business meeting, and work with the President to transition into the Presidency by the end of the calendar year leading into their presidential term.
  • The First Vice-President assumes responsibility for assisting the President in any capacity requested and is in charge of fundraising for, planning for, and coordinating the reception to honor the President at the annual meeting. In consultation with the President, the Vice-President solicits donations from the President’s and the annual speaker’s home institutions and presses, and from local institutions in the city where the conference is being held and where the SAWH has ties.
  • All sponsors of the annual reception should be secured by a May 15 deadline. The First Vice-President will prepare an ad for the SHA annual conference program, inviting conference attendees to attend the annual SAWH address and reception. Preparing this ad should be coordinated with the SAWH Secretary and the SHA Secretary and must meet deadlines set by the SHA. A poster based on the ad and promoting the SAWH events during the SHA conference may also be prepared for display during the SHA meeting. Sponsors of the reception should be thanked in all promotional materials.
  • During the summer, the First Vice-President is responsible for following up with letters requesting that pledges be sent directly to the SAWH office before the annual meeting (preparing an invoice if necessary, to be enclosed with the letters). The First Vice-President should forward a list of contact persons, sponsors and addresses to the President by the annual meeting.  The First Vice-President may relinquish the task of thanking the sponsors to the President, or may assume this duty.
  • The First Vice-President must prepare a report and forward it to the President and Secretary by October 1.

THE SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT

  • The Second Vice-President is invited to prepare for their upcoming term by attending the annual meeting of the executive council and the SAWH business meeting. Once their term begins on January 1, the Second Vice-President is expected to attend all board meetings as a voting member and to attend the annual business meeting.
  • The Second Vice-President is available to assist the President in any capacity.
  • The Second Vice-President is responsible for coordinating the Member and Grad Student Breakfast, held on the Saturday morning of the SHA annual meeting. They will work with the Secretary and Treasurer to set a budget, arrange for catering, and manage ticket sales. Graduate Students will attend for free.
  • The Second Vice-President must compile and provide to the Secretary a list of the service of members in a given year, including all officers and committee members and all presenters at SAWH meetings or conferences.
  • The Second Vice President will review the SAWH website quarterly to be sure it is up to date. If she identifies outdated information, she will contact the Secretary who will consult with the website editor to provide the updates.
  • The Second Vice President will submit a report of activities to the President and the Secretary by October 1.

COUNCIL MEMBERS

  • There are three Executive Council Members and two Graduate Student Representatives.
  • Council members are elected to three-year terms that begin on January 1.
  • They are elected six months prior to taking office and are invited to attend the annual executive council meeting immediately following their election as a non-voting member.
  • They are expected to attend annual council meetings as voting members for the three years of their service.
  • Council members may be called upon during the year to advise the President and to vote on pending matters.

PAST PRESIDENT

  • The Past President shall chair the Nominating Committee and serve on the Executive Council during the year following their service as President.

SECRETARY

  • The Secretary remains the mainstay of the SAWH, the person at institutional headquarters who oversees day-to-day operations, including membership, and the person who coordinates with officers, committee chairs, and executive council members. The Secretary also provides announcements to the SAWH communications team (Social Media, Newsletter, and H-SAWH) as needed.
  • The Secretary is available to advise and assist members and officers of the organization.
  • The Secretary undertakes the role of publicist as well, sending out calls for prize nominations to presses and journals and issuing press releases about the prize winners.
  • The Secretary makes sure that prize committee members have given mailing addresses (that can be distributed online) for books/articles.
  • The Secretary administers the details concerning membership, including mailing lists, the service book, and welcoming new members. The Secretary should coordinate with the Membership Committee to complete this work.
  • The Secretary reminds officers and chairs of deadlines, which must be strictly maintained for the smooth operation of the organization.
  • The Secretary assembles committee reports and other materials for the annual meeting and is the chief link between the organization and committees.
  • The Secretary also pays SAWH bills, makes deposits of all funds received, and handles all routine bookkeeping for the organization.
  • The Secretary works with the SAWH Treasurer to maintain financial records.
  • The Secretary shall submit a report to the President and Secretary by October 1 each year.

TREASURER

  • The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the finances for the organization, monitoring the account books and bank accounts and investments.  The Treasurer will work closely with the Secretary to oversee matters concerning membership dues and other important matters of financial administration.
  • The Treasurer will advise the President and other officers on all matters concerning long-range financial planning; work with the Finance Committee on the organization’s financial health; and be concerned with fiscal responsibility and financial growth. The treasurer works with the Secretary to draft the proposed operating budget and makes recommendations on investments.
  • The Treasurer shall submit a financial report to the President by October 15.

NEWSLETTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA

The SAWH maintains a website (thesawh.org) and a listerv through H-Net (H-SAWH). These two media sites serve different functions, with H-SAWH serving primarily as a forum for announcements and some discussion, while the website contains bylaws, lists of current officers and committee members, an archive of past newsletters, and information about annual meetings, prizes, and the upcoming triennial conference. The SAWH also has a Twitter account (@SAWH1970) and a Facebook page (Southern Association for Women Historians). The SAWH also publishes a newsletter three times a year.

STANDING COMMITTEES

NOMINATING COMMITTEE

  • This committee of three to five members, chaired by the Past President, is responsible for submitting a slate of officers to present for election to the SAWH membership.
  • Members of the committee are appointed for a one-year term by the Past President.
  • A call for volunteers and nominations for officers and council members will be published in the fall newsletter. From this pool of potential candidates, the committee will select one person each for the positions of Second Vice-President, Executive Council member, and Graduate Student Representative to recommend to the President and the Executive Council.
  • The proposed slate and a ballot, which will permit members to vote for these candidates or others that may be written in, will appear in the spring newsletter. The deadline for submitting ballots will be June 15 each year.
  • The Nominating Committee chair must forward a report to the President and Secretary, by October 1, which includes information on the nominations, including nominees who might not have appeared on the slate, but might be appropriate for future years.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

  • According to the bylaws, this committee consists of a chair and five members who serve staggered three-year terms.
  • The chair and members of this committee must make every effort to seek renewals of membership (as dropouts continue to be an annual plague, offset every three years by the boost in membership at the annual conference). Vigilance is extremely important. New members must be sought out. Also, recommendations on ways to recruit new individual and institutional members are welcomed.
  • This committee is expected to coordinate efforts to renew members whose memberships have lapsed for two years or more. The committee should also seek out new members in other venues, perhaps at the SHA annual meeting, with reminders on various H-Net lists, and at other professional associations. It would be perhaps advisable for the chair to subdivide the labor—putting one person in charge of renewing lapsed members and another in charge of recruitment or designating regional sub-chairs. Receipts may be turned in to the Treasurer for reimbursement for expenses associated with membership drives. Any expenses exceeding $50 should be approved in advance by the Executive Council.
  • The chair of the committee must submit their annual report to the President and Secretary by October 1.

 GRADUATE COMMITTEE

  • According to the bylaws, this committee consists of a chair and five members who serve staggered three-year terms.
  • The chair of the Graduate Committee will provide leadership on how the organization might better serve the needs of our graduate members. The Graduate Committee is expected to be an outreach group within the membership.
  • Also, graduate student members of the committee are often asked to volunteer at our annual meeting.
  • In a conference year, the Graduate Committee will plan and host a reception for graduate students during the conference and will select winners of the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Prize (awarded every three years for the two best papers delivered by a graduate student at the conference).
  • The chair of the Graduate Committee must submit a report to the President and Secretary by October 1.

 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

  • According to the bylaws, this committee consists of a chair and five members who serve staggered three-year terms.
  • The chair of the Professional Development Committee will provide leadership on how the organization might better serve the needs of members. The Professional Development Committee is expected to be an outreach group within the membership.
  • The Committee is encouraged to put together a session for the annual meeting of the SHA.
  • In a conference year, the Professional Development Committee will plan and host a workshop for members.
  • The chair of the Professional Development Committee must submit a report to the President and Secretary by October 1.

 FINANCE COMMITTEE

  • According to the bylaws, this committee consists of a chair and two members who serve staggered three-year terms.
  • The chair of this committee must work in close contact with the Treasurer to provide advice on all matters pertaining to funds and financial operations. The three-member Finance Committee will provide support and advice to the SAWH Treasurer on financial and investing policies.
  • The chair of the Finance Committee must confer with our financial institutions annually to make sure our accounts and financial reports match.  This committee will assist the Treasurer in finding an auditor for the organization each time the institutional home moves.
  • A report confirming our bank deposits and holdings and summarizing the long-range financial picture to anticipate the need for adjustment must be submitted to the President and Secretary by October 1.

 PRIZE COMMITTEES

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  • Prize committee chairs should issue firm guidelines to committee members in writing (preferably a point system or ranking system for evaluating nominations), distribute these guidelines in advance, and provide a clear outline of procedure, responsibilities, and deadlines.
  • The chair of each prize committee may contact the winner of the prize at the discretion of the President, but in any case a member of the organization will contact the winner no later September 15 to encourage the winner to attend the annual meeting and collect their prize. Deliberations for the prize must be held in the strictest confidence, and results are released by the President in consultation with the Secretary. Any inquiries may be forwarded to the President.
  • Prize committee chairs must submit their selection to the President by August 15. They must submit their final report, including data on submissions and a press release concerning the winner of the prize, by October 1. The chair is expected to attend the annual SAWH session during the SHA annual meeting and present the prize to the winner.

 ELIZABETH TAYLOR PRIZE COMMITTEE

  • The Taylor Prize is given annually for the best article on a topic in southern women’s history published during the previous year in a journal or anthology.
  • The Taylor Prize Chair is in charge of distributing copies of articles to other committee members.
  • The chair and committee members work closely with the Secretary to ensure that all pertinent published essays from journals as well as presses (individual pieces in anthologies are also eligible) are nominated, and they should nominate pieces themselves as well as seeking out as wide a range of work in southern women’s history as is possible.
  • It is recommended that submissions be closed by June 1 for articles published in the previous calendar year. The chair of the committee must forward the results of the committee’s deliberations to the President and Secretary by August 15.

 JULIA CHERRY SPRUILL PRIZE

  • The Spruill Prize is awarded annually to the best monograph on southern women’s history published during the previous year. Notices concerning the prize will be distributed by the organization. Committee members and the chair especially are encouraged to solicit nominations from individuals and presses. Prize committee members’ mailing addresses will be published on the website, and the publishers will mail the submissions to each committee member individually. Submissions will close on April 15, for books published in the previous calendar year.

 WILLIE LEE ROSE PRIZE

  • The Rose Prize is awarded annually for the best monograph in southern history authored by a woman. Notices concerning the prize will be distributed by the organization. Committee members and the chair especially are encouraged to solicit nominations from individuals and presses. Prize committee members’ mailing addresses will be published on the website, and the publishers will mail the submissions to each committee member individually. Submissions will close on April 15 for books published in the previous calendar year.

ANNE FIROR SCOTT MIDCAREER FELLOWSHIP

  • The Anne Scott Mid-Career Fellowship is awarded every two years (in even years) and runs for one calendar year from the time of the award. Applicants must be SAWH members who hold a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree. The proposed project must focus on southern and/or gender history and should be intended to produce a second book or equivalent work that will make a significant contribution to one or both historical fields. Historians working at colleges and universities, particularly teaching institutions, as well as independent scholars and public historians are encouraged to apply. The Scott Fellowship cannot be used to revise a dissertation for publication.
  • Mid-career scholars are those who have achieved associate professor status, those who have taught for at least five years, established public historians, or published independent scholars.

TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEES

CONFERENCE COORDINATOR

  • The holder of this key position must be a member who volunteers to organize the triennial Southern Conference on Women’s History in their town and at their home institution with wide local support and major institutional commitments. It is advisable that the location of the conference be secured within the year following a conference.
  • Once the coordinator is in place, a Local Arrangements Committee must be formed to work in conjunction with the Conference Coordinator.
  • The Conference Coordinator must work closely with the Presidents as well as the Secretary and the Treasurer of the organization for roughly two and a half years to assure a successful conference. Fundraising and grant applications must be pursued as early as possible.

 CONFERENCE LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS

  • This committee must be appointed as early as possible to secure a strong plan of arrangements for the conference. The chair must work closely with the Conference Coordinator.
  • This committee must work to assure nationwide advertisement of the upcoming conference and include local appointment to ensure regional publicity of upcoming events. The committee is encouraged to work with the SAWH media team as well as other media outlets.

 CONFERENCE PROGRAM COMMITTEE

  • The chair of the Program Committee should be chosen by the President in consultation with the Executive Council and Conference Coordinator.
  • A Program Committee of between five and ten members should be appointed and assembled two years before the conference so that the Chair and committee members can solicit proposals one full year in advance of the conference.
  • After submissions are collected and assigned, the committee must meet at least once to determine a complete program, preferably at the SHA annual meeting several months prior to the Conference in order to meet program publication and other deadlines.