Pacific Sociological Association
Position Description for the Executive Director
The Pacific Sociological Association (PSA)
Established in 1929, PSA is the oldest and largest regional sociological association in the United States. PSA promotes networking and professional development by providing a venue for sharing research, teaching practices and applied work. The annual spring meeting hosts a slate of 200 sessions that attracts sociologists from the Pacific coast, Transmountain West, Canada, Mexico and beyond. PSA members note the informal and collegial culture that includes faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students from a range of higher education institution types, as well as professional sociologists working in non-academic settings. PSA is also known for its quarterly journal, Sociological Perspectives, one of the top regional general sociology journals.
PSA Executive Director
PSA’s Executive Director (ED) provides strong, collaborative leadership for the association, while taking direction from and reporting to the member-elected PSA Council. The ED is the primary administrator for the association managing its day-to-day operations, organizing its annual meetings, facilitating association self-governance and managing an annual budget of approximately $115,000, with an endowment of approximately $280,000. The ED initiates creative and timely solutions to challenges that arise in the association, while fostering an organizational culture that supports core values of diversity, inclusion, professionalism and collegiality.
The ED collaborates closely with others in paid and volunteer leadership roles: an office assistant (a part-time hourly position supervised by the ED); PSA’s Secretary (who assists with support of governance); PSA’s Treasurer (who assists with budget and finance responsibilities); the Program Chair (who leads the processes of submission, review, and assignment of presentations for the program of the annual meetings); the Officers (Current, Past, and Elect Presidents and Vice-Presidents); PSA’s Council (officers and other elected Council members) and many other members who volunteer their service on PSA’s Committees. In addition, the ED identifies and communicates with external parties to contract for and monitor additional services required to meet association needs: hotel and hospitality services, conference management online systems vendor, online registration system vendor, host institution, journal publishing house, webmaster and newsletter editor. An ED with the appropriate skills set may negotiate taking full responsibility for some of these roles (e.g. webmaster and newsletter editor) in the negotiation of a contract and fee.
The ED is responsible for a range of association functions listed below and developed in detail in organization documents that support to this position description:
- Managing ongoing operations and communications
- Managing PSA’s budget, finances and contracts
- Conducting outreach and expanding membership
- Planning and coordinating the annual meetings
- Supporting and facilitating associational self-governance
The ED averages 20-30 hours per week. Over the course of one year, the workflow is highly irregular and peaks in the months of January through March given the timing of the annual spring meeting. The first quarter of the year requires heavier work weeks in preparation for and facilitating the annual meeting. The second and third quarters involve lighter work weeks that include post-meeting tasks and securing a hotel contract for the meeting two years ahead. The fourth quarter begins the more intensive meeting planning and coordinating. Longer work weeks are expected when an ED contracts to perform web management and newsletter production responsibilities instead of outsourcing those functions.
MA in Sociology or related Social Science field. Evidence of experience and skills in the areas of responsibility described. Excellent oral and written communication, collaboration and organizational skills, and financial management and office information systems proficiency. Evidence of comfort and ease in learning new information management systems. Access to office space(s), furnishings and communications networks through which the work of the executive office can be administered.
PhD in Sociology or closely related field or nonprofit management experience. At least three years of active engagement with the Pacific Sociological Association. Affiliation with an institution of higher education and/or an applied Sociology/Social Science research organization. Experience with online survey administration and social media.
Term of Employment
The Executive Director shall be appointed by Council for a three-year term pending positive annual evaluations, and shall be eligible for reappointment by Council for additional three-year terms. Annual evaluations will be conducted in the spring, after each annual meeting. At the close of the Executive Director's term, he or she shall remain in office after the Annual Meeting until accounts of the Association have been audited and transferred to the new Executive Director. The retiring Executive Director shall serve on Council for one year beyond his or her term of office.
Compensation for an average of 20-30 hours/week
The ED is contracted as an independent consultant to deliver the position as described above. With annual negotiated compensation from $25,000 to $45,000 depending on skills, experience and contracted responsibilities, PSA will make equal monthly payments to the ED who is responsible for securing their own healthcare and retirement plans.
Accountability and Evaluation
The ED will prepare and submit to the PSA Council and post on PSA’s website the following reports: Annual Meeting Report (June 1); Budget Summary, Proposal and Auditors Report (March 1); Membership Report (March 1); and Governance Report (March 1).
PSA’s Council will formally evaluate the ED within six months of first contract date and annually thereafter. In developing that evaluation, the Council will solicit feedback around key areas of responsibility from leadership noted above.
Create a single .pdf file that includes 1) Cover letter, 2) Curriculum vitae or resume and 3) Three letters of references. Email file to: [email protected] no later than May 16, 2014. The new ED will commence duties on or before July 1, 2014.
PSA is an equal opportunity employer. PSA is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that values diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. It is PSA’s policy to provide equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation and veteran status. This policy prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation and extends to all employment practices.