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Lore & Practices - Program Committee

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IV. Program Committee

A. Committee Chairs

The Vice President persuades a Program chair and co-chair to undertake this arduous task. The co-chairs should be balanced by gender and by discipline.

B. Committee Members

1. Selected by the co-chairs, usually in consultation with co-chairs and network representatives of the previous year’s program committee.

2. The fields of the committee members reflect the networks of the Association, although Program chairs may add new areas or additional members (e.g., for local arrangements) as they wish. Current networks represented on the Program are Criminal Justice/Legal, Culture, Economics, Education, Family/Demography, Health/Medicine/Body, Historical Geography, Labor, Macrohistorical Dynamics, Migration/Immigration, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Rural, States/Society, Urban, and Women/Gender.

3. Co-chairs should strive for discipline and gender balance in selecting the Program Committee.

C. Call For Papers

1. Chairs draw up the Call for Papers, including date and place of meeting, deadline for submission of papers and panels, committee members with addresses and telephone numbers, and other pertinent instructions.

2. Program chairs, President and Program Committee may decide on a particular emphasis or theme for special sessions.

D. Call For Papers Distribution

1. The Call for Papers is sent to the Executive Director who mails it to membership, and posts it on the Association’s website.

E. Chairs’ Responsibilities

1. Chairs should meet with committee members during the annual meeting preceding their year of service and encourage committee members to go to network meetings to get panel suggestions.

2. Program Committee members frequently chair network meetings, discuss panel suggestions, and create a mailing list for future network communications.

F. Deadline for Submission of Panels

Is usually early-mid February.

G. Program Materials

1. Co-chairs set deadlines for committee members’ submissions of completed program materials to them, ca. March 15.

2. Co-chairs create an electronic list to facilitate communication among members of the Program Committee during the planning process.

3. Co-chairs should make initial decisions about the starting and ending times of the program and the number of time slots, and thus total number of panels, to be included. (In the past, ca. 120-170 panels were scheduled, with ca. 150-170 panels in 1999 - 2001; starting times have been earlier and later Thursday afternoon, with program concluding shortly after noon on Sunday.) This means 9-12 panels per network.

H. Proposals

Committee members receive proposals for papers and panels, complete incomplete panels (in consultation with co-chairs and with each other), rank completed panels, and send to Program chairs complete information about panels and participants.

I. Program Database

Program co-chairs use the program database created by the University of Minnesota/IPUMS group, arrange with the Conference Bureau to construct the program, arrange with the Conference Bureau to notify participants, provide information about housing and conference-registration, and prepare both preliminary and published versions of the final program. In recent years the program database is used to generate mailings and printed programs.

1. Care should be taken in scheduling panels in time slots to avoid

overlapping subject matter or participants. As program size has increased in recent years, networks may be represented by as many as three panels in each time slot.

2. Times for network meetings (two slots of one hour each) must be accommodated in the Program.

3. Nothing should be scheduled in competition with the Annual

Business Meeting /Lunch/Presidential Address which is usually held Saturday at noon. Additionally, officers, editors, and elected Executive Committee members hold a business meeting Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning and so should not be scheduled for a panel in the last time slot on Thursday or the first time slot Sunday morning.

4. The Program co-chairs will consult regularly with the IU Conferences over such matters as number of meeting rooms available, hotel registration procedures, scheduling of panels into hotel meeting rooms of various sizes, provision of audiovisual and computer equipment, and pre-registration of participants for the conference. The Program co-chairs should also reach agreement with the Executive Director about an approximate budget for audiovisual and computer equipment; the costs for this support have risen rapidly in recent years.

J. Registration for Program

1. In order for a panel member to be on the Program, she/he must register in advance and become a member of SSHA.

2. Program chairs work with the Conference Bureau to send acceptance letters to all participants, accompanied by conference and hotel registration forms.

3. Non-attending co-authors of multi-authored papers, invited speakers on plenary sessions, and chairs/commentators recruited from nearby campuses may be exempted from the pre-registration requirement. All other paper-givers, chairs and commentators must register without exception.

4. Follow-up letters, phone calls and E-mail messages to non-registrants may be necessary. Participants who fail to register will be removed from the printed program, normally in early Fall. Those who subsequently register will be listed in an addendum to the published program. While an annoyance to the co-chairs, this kind of follow-up and then purging of non-registrants is necessary to meet the Association’s requirement that Program participants MUST be registered. Prior to the imposition (by the Executive Committee) of this rule, no-shows and non-registrants caused the Association to lose money on its yearly conference.

K. Preparing the Program

1. The Program co-chairs generate the program from their database, and provide a copy to Indiana University Conferences (IUC).

2. Preliminary program is produced as an online document.

3. Deadline for delivering the final program to IUC is late August. IUC handles the printing and delivery (at the conference site) of the final program.

L. Funding

1. The Program co-chairs receive **$2,000** from the Association to cover many of the costs of Program committee work.

2. Program co-chairs will also need financial support from their departments, either in the form of student or secretarial assistance or as phone, mail and FAX support.

3. It is important to consult early and regularly about budgetary matters with previous co-chairs (who can give some indication of costs in previous years) and with the SSHA Executive Director, who oversees the financial status of the annual conference as well as of the Association as a whole.