Secretary post open to proposals

On the retirement of Guus Lange, the post of Secretary for CAA International will be open to proposals at the CAA 2014 AGM in Paris. The job description is detailed below.

One issue that concerns the appointment of a new secretary, and one that the existing CAA Officers have been considering, is that of paying expenses to attend meetings. The current situation is that Officers do not receive any expenses for attending meetings although these are often abroad (this is inevitable given the international make-up of CAA and its Officers). The Officers feel that this financial imposition is likely to inhibit applications for the Officers’ posts and would be particularly difficult for young scholars and those in low income posts.

To reduce this burden and encourage applications from a wider and more diverse field, the Officers will propose an increase in the CAA Membership fee at the AGM in Paris. To cover the expenses of the five Officers (plus one Student/Low Income representative) to the December meeting we would need to increase the Membership fee from 60/15 to 75/19 € (full/concession) (these figures are based on the Treasurer’s analysis of costs to attend the Paris meeting in December 2013). The other full Officers/Steering Committee meeting takes place at the conference and this is not included in this proposal as attendance at the conference is considered to be normal academic activity and funding is usually obtained from various sources (including CAA bursaries for students/low income attendees).

The CAA membership has already agreed that CAA International will become a membership organisation from 2015 with fees being paid separately from the conference on an annual basis starting January 2015. The Officers feel that this would be an appropriate time to introduce the increase.

Anyone wishing to stand for the post of Secretary should inform an Officer of CAA before the AGM so that we can allocate the appropriate time during the meeting ( If more than one person is proposed we will ask each one to give a short verbal presentation to the AGM supporting their case and the decision will be made by a vote of the membership present at the meeting.

Secretary Job Description

The Secretary’s main task is preparing and reporting on the Annual General Meeting (AKA ‘CAA Business meeting’) and organizing, preparing and reporting on the Steering Committee (SC) meetings and Officers’ meetings.

The Officers’ meetings are several (3-4) each year, mostly online (Skype). One meeting (usually in December) is the SC meeting together with the organisers of the coming conference. This is usually at the venue and town where the conference will be held, when that is scheduled in Europe. The other SC meeting takes place during the annual conference.

Together with the Chair and the other Officers, there is also regular ‘daily business’ to attend to. When the date of the conference is approaching, the daily business becomes considerably more.

Although the workload is split among the Officers and is certainly not extreme, the time to be spent is not insignificant. One should count on perhaps 2 weeks each year, including the time devoted to actual meetings.

The secretary should be a proactive and highly communicative person who has a track record of attending CAA conferences. The business of CAA is conducted in English and the secretary should be fluent in spoken and written English. As CAA provides no funds for travelling and/or subsistence the new secretary must be sure to be able to cover the costs of attending meetings twice a year, maybe abroad (but see above, this may change).

From the Constitution

The Secretary shall act as Chair in case the Chair of CAA cannot attend a meeting of the SC or the AGM. Each member of the SC may only hold its post for up to 2 terms (maximum 6 years). It is however possible to then be elected for a different post in the SC after the maximum number of years for another post.

The election of Officers shall take place at the AGM, normally by show of hands. If at least 10 members of CAA wish the election to be held by paper ballot, the SC has to organise such an election. The request for a paper ballot has to be submitted to the CAA Secretary at least 24 hours before the AGM. Every candidate has to demonstrate her/his willingness to stand.