ROLE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADVISOR
Members of the Association (Directors, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, equivalent administrative officers), and Department Heads/Chairs are appointed by the Chair or Chair-Elect as Administrative Advisors (AAs) to activities including the following:
- Advisory Committees
- Development Committees (DC)
- Multistate Research Projects
- Southern Coordinating Committees
- Task Forces
- Southern Extension Research Activities
Administrative Advisors are normally identified by the Chair-Elect as part of the annual review of appointments made in the summer. These appointments are harmonized across all members of the Association, with concern both for individual and state workload and interest. Appointments are usually made as an initial action of the incoming Chair, but can be made by the Chair at any time.
The Administrative Advisor is the linkage between the Association and the multi-state faculty that are involved in regional activities. During the establishment of new activities the AA provides administrative leadership; whereas, the participants provide the scientific leadership. The AA must provide the driving force to get the activity started. Thereafter, the principal role of the Administrative Advisor is to facilitate the activity to make it possible for the technical group to function easily and to assure that their administrative needs and responsibilities are met.
The Administrative Advisor is expected to be familiar with the administrative procedures of the Association and related activities at the state, regional and national level for the activity to which he/she is appointed. The AA is expected to provide an interpretation of the Five Year Plan and the deliberations of the Association on the plan and resulting activities, especially the activity to which he/she is appointed.
Each activity described above involves multi-state faculty and a Technical Committee Chair that provides leadership for the function. It is important to recognize that the Administrative Advisor is a facilitator, not the leader of these activities. However, all communications between the activity and the Association flow through the Administrative Advisor. The Administrative Advisor should assure that the activity is effectively carrying out its functions as authorized by the Association and that the group is familiar with procedures and expectations of the Association. The Administrative Advisor has an ongoing responsibility to provide guidance to the technical committee on administrative matters and to maintain an ongoing evaluation of the level of effort and quality of the activity.
The Administrative Advisor is responsible for assuring that appropriate reports are made by the activity in a timely and meaningful way. He/she is responsible for assuring that adequate lead time is provided for action on requests for approval of administrative action sought by the group, especially for extension of duration of the activity, and requests for Association actions in initiating or modifying the activity. During the lifetime of the activity, the Administrative Advisor provides the office of official record for the activity. Such records will be transferred if the appointment changes, and on termination, such files should be edited and those files deemed necessary for permanent storage be sent to the Office of the Executive Director. The Administrative Advisor links the activity with the Association and its constituent members in seeking approval for publications and obtaining identifying numerical designations for such publications from the Office of the Executive Director. Department Heads/Chairs may serve as administrative advisors for all activities except federally funded multistate research projects, where federal guidelines preclude such service.
The Administrative Advisor must authorize in advance (preferably at least six weeks) any meetings of the activity and notify members of the activity, participating agency heads, Southern Directors, and Directors of participating states outside the region. Notification is best handled by e-mail distibution to all Directors within the region collectively and to those outside the region individually. It is also acceptable to use the national distribution list collectively for one authorization notice. Because of concern for cost and public perceptions, travel outside the region, except for border cities such as Washington, DC, should be carefully considered, but may be approved by the Administrative Advisor.
SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE ADVISORS’ DUTIES:
- Notify chair (or Executive Director’s Office) of acceptance of appointment.
- Acquire files from previous AA if appropriate.
- In the case of new activities:
- Contact SAES directors and collaborating agencies for interest in participation.
- Assure appropriate consideration of multi/interdisciplinary mix of those invited to participate in Technical Committee.
- Arrange first meeting, including election of officers, review of charge and review of procedures.
- Maintain linkage with CSREES and CSREES’ representative to the project when applicable.
- Maintain communication with collaborating agencies.
- Approve and announce subsequent meetings.
- Provide guidance and administrative support.
- Maintain ongoing evaluation of the activity.
- With assistance of the technical committee chair and other members, prepare the Annual Accomplishments Report.
- Assure annual reports and/or minutes are posted in a timely fashion as indicated in activity descriptions.
- Prepare and submit proposal for continuing activity, if appropriate.
- Represent the activity to the Association and vice versa on a continuing basis.
For duties specific to the various SAAESD activities, see “Activity Descriptions“.
KEY REFERENCES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ADVISORS
- By-Laws of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
- Rules of Operation of ESCOP/Experiment Station Section
- Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities
- SAAESD Guidelines for Multistate Activities