Role

The LSA Constitution, Article IV (Committees) states:

1. There shall be an Executive Committee, composed of the above officers [the Vice President, the President, and the Secretary-Treasurer]; the immediate Past President; six members of the Society, two of the six being elected each year to serve for three years each; a student member who serves for two years; and the Executive Director, who shall serve ex-officio without vote. The Executive Committee has ultimate responsibility and authority for all policy decisions.

The Executive Committee shall nominate the Secretary-Treasurer and the Editor of Language for election by the membership.

The Executive Committee shall nominate the Executive Director for appointment by the President.

The Executive Committee shall meet before the Annual Meeting of the Society and shall have at least one additional meeting each year. The meetings of the Executive Committee, except for executive session, shall be open for observation, but without the right to speak or vote, to any member of the Society.

The Secretary-Treasurer may ask the Executive Committee to vote upon specific questions by mail, postal or electronic, and shall do so at the request of any other member.

All acts of the Executive Committee must be reported to the Society.

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Responsibilities

Members of the Executive Committee (EC) serve a term of three years. The Committee meets twice a year: once in May, and once in January immediately prior to the annual LSA meeting. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory.  EC members receive some reimbursement for travel and accommodations. 

The Executive Committee serves as the governing Board of the LSA. As such, it provides oversight and governance for the LSA's operations as a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. A major responsibility of the EC is to ensure effective implementation of the LSA's Strategic Plan, which will be updated during the next year. The EC also works to ensure the financial sustainability of the LSA, and each member is asked to make an annual charitable contribution to the Society.

Issues that the Executive Committee is expected to face in the coming years include:

  • Advocating for the value of linguistics scholarship to elected officials and policy makers, within the broader context of the liberal arts and sciences in the U.S. and internationally, in particular in response to threatened cuts to major funders of linguistics research and to policies and programs perceived as detrimental to the free exchange of ideas.
  • enhancing the effectiveness of the LSA in meeting the needs of the membership, increasing member participation in the Society, and attracting new members, particularly student members, international members, and minority members;
  • addressing issues of civility, bias, power dynamics, and harassment within the LSA and its associated events and publications;
  • harnessing technologies in new ways to serve the linguistics community;
  • identifying strategies for increasing revenue and decreasing expenses;
  • increasing the visibility of linguistics to our academic colleagues outside the discipline, to the news media, and to the general public.

Factors relevant to potential service on the Executive Committee include contributions to the discipline, past administrative experience, evidence of commitment to the LSA based on past service to the Society, leadership skills, and a record of effective and active committee service, among others.