VIII. The SSSP Schedules and Cycles
SEPTEMBER: This is the first month of the SSSP organizational year. All new officers and committee members assume their duties. Revise letterhead and update Society’s web site. Write letters of appreciation to the outgoing President, Local Arrangements Committee Chair, Program Committee Chair, Hotel Convention Services Manager, and Audio-visual Company. A slate of potential nominees is turned over to the Elections Committee to secure permission to place their names on the general election ballot. All committees begin their work. The reports of the sessions being organized by the divisions and the Program Committee arrive in the Administrative Office for assembly into the Call for Papers for the next Annual Meeting. Request next year’s student paper competition and outstanding scholarship award information from Division Chairs. The C. Wright Mills Committee begins to seek nominations for the award from members and publishers. Follow-up begins on the decisions made at the Annual Business Meeting and by the Board of Directors. Reports presented at the Annual Meeting are posted on the Society’s web site. Distribute attendance reports (cumulative and by division), summary of Annual Meeting evaluations, and attendance figures to the outgoing and incoming Board of Directors, Division Chairs, and Program Committee. This information will also be posted on the Society’s web site. A contract is signed with the Local Arrangements Chair for the next Annual Meeting. Work with the President regarding the Annual Meeting artwork: Call for Papers/Student Paper Competition Poster; Preliminary Program Cover; Final Program Cover; and Registration Bag/Web site Image.
OCTOBER: The fall membership renewal campaign begins. Current members and lapsed members receive an e-mail renewal notice requesting that they renew their membership. Life members, Emeriti and sustaining members receive a request to verify their contact information and update their membership preferences. The first renewal notice is mailed two weeks later to members who have not renewed. The Call for Papers poster is posted on the Society’s web site and distributed to all members and Ph.D. granting departments. The roster of officers and committee members is completed and posted on the Society’s web site and a link is sent to those listed in the roster. The Elections Committee completes its work and sends the full slate of candidates to the Administrative Office. Candidates, who have agreed to run for office, are asked to complete an online candidate form. The Administrative Officer processes and mails the Author Payment checks. Final accounting for expenses associated with the Annual Meeting occurs and the third quarter financial statements are prepared and sent to the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee and the Board of Directors. Prepare announcements and update the masthead for the November issue of Social Problems. Generate mailing list of members who requested a paper copy and send to publisher. Send an appreciation e-mail to previous officers and committee chairs/members (everyone listed in previous roster). Design the Annual Meeting registration form for next year. Review and update the operations manual.
NOVEMBER: Inform those requesting an e-mail link that the November issue of Social Problems is available online. Newsletters from divisions are distributed electronically to members. Renewals from the membership renewal mailing are returned and the database files are updated accordingly. The Site Selection Committee visits potential sites for the meetings up to three years from the current year. The Administrative Officer in consultation with the Executive Officer renews the contract with the hosting institution(s). The President, Meeting Manager, and the Local Arrangements Chair will conduct a site visit to the next year’s Annual Meeting location. Division chairs are contacted regarding their online mission statements, divisions that need to hold an election, and the deadline date to submit a newsletter before the holidays. The Administrative Office and the Membership and Outreach Committee work on next year’s promotional campaign. The Administrative Officer works with the publisher to revise the membership brochure, if needed. E-mail is sent to members informing them that the November issue of Social Problems is their last issue, unless they renew.
DECEMBER: Send e-mail to membership announcing upcoming deadlines no later than December 5: General Election, Membership Renewal, Call for Papers submissions, C. Wright Mills Award, Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship, and Student Paper Competitions. The slate of nominees must be posted on the Society’s web site by December 15. All reports of the expenditures of division or committee funds for the year are due in the Administrative Office. Any reimbursement of expenses for Society authorized activities must be in the hands of the Administrative Office no later than December 15. A contract is signed with the Meeting Manager for the next Annual Meeting. Renewal e-mail notices are sent in mid-December. Files are prepared for the following year. The Administrative Officer reviews all accounting entries made during the year for accuracy. Publishers are contacted and missing books for the C. Wright Mills Award are requested and sent to committee members. The Administrative Officer works with the President to select registration bag type and color to lock in pricing. Make Annual Meeting registration form live for next year. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
JANUARY: Renewal e-mail notices are sent in early January. The second renewal notice is mailed two weeks later to members who have not renewed. Updating of the database with new membership information continues. The Membership and Outreach Committee launches its recruiting campaign through promotional web sites, direct mail, reserving space at professional meetings, advertising, working with departments with graduate programs, person to person contacts, and other new recruiting ideas. The deadline for submission of papers/proposals to the Program Committee Chair and Session Organizers is January 31. The Administrative Officer prepares the 1099 miscellaneous tax forms. Prepare announcements for the February issue of Social Problems. Generate mailing list of members who requested a paper copy and send to publisher. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed.
FEBRUARY: Inform those requesting an e-mail link that the February issue of Social Problems is available online. Send e-mail to membership on February 1 announcing: Preview the General Election ballot, Travel Funds deadlines, Nominations for the Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award, Nominations for the Joseph B. Gittler Award, Nominations for the Lee Founders Award, Call for Nominations for the following year’s General Election, Register for the Annual Meeting, Make your hotel reservation, Renew your membership and Recruit members, and Join the SSSP Listserv. On February 15, an e-mail is sent to all members announcing the opening of the general election from February 15-March 15. The Meeting Manager continues discussion with the hotel staff about special arrangements for the Annual Meeting. The Local Arrangements Chair continues to work on the Annual Meeting. The Program Committee and session organizers screen papers and complete arrangements for their sessions. Session organizers must accept or refer all papers/abstracts by mid-February. Session/paper titles and contact information for each author must be in the Administrative Office by March 1. The Administrative Office continues to work with Division elections and newsletters. The Administrative Officer schedules the annual audit and begins the year-end budget preparation. If appropriate, the Permanent Organization and Strategic Planning Committee reviews the performance of the Administrative Office, Executive Officer and work of the committee structure of the organization. Submissions of application materials for the Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship are due to the committee by mid-late February. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
MARCH: Renewal e-mail notices are sent in mid-March. The third renewal notice is mailed two weeks later to members who have not renewed. Updating of the database with new membership information continues. End of the year financial statements are e-mailed to the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee and to the Board of Directors. The Administrative Officer lays out the Annual Meeting program. Registration and verification materials are e-mailed to all persons listed in the preliminary program. The Administrative Officer begins working on the contents of the preliminary program. The Administrative Officer retrieves the election results and shares them with the Elections Committee Chair, President, Executive Officer, and Board of Directors. The candidates are informed of the results and the results are posted on the Society’s web site. The Administrative Officer works with both President-Elects regarding their committee appointments. The Membership and Outreach Committee continues its campaign to recruit new members throughout the spring. Submission of applications for the Erwin O. Smigel Award, Lee Scholar Support Fund, and the Lee Student Support Fund are due to the committees. The Administrative Officer begins planning the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee meeting. Division Chairs are requested to submit budget revisions for the current year and to project their budget for the following year. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed.
APRIL: The first quarterly financial reports are completed and e-mailed to Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee and the Board of Directors. The Meeting Manager makes hotel reservations for the officers and VIPs. The Administrative Office prepares committee lists (current members) who are interested in serving on appointed committees for the Committee on Committees. The Administrative Officer obtains the name, e-mail address, and award amount of the Erwin O. Smigel Award, Lee Scholar Support Fund, and the Lee Student Support Fund recipients. Newsletters from divisions are distributed electronically to members. An independent public accounting firm conducts a full audit of the Society’s books. Prepare announcements for the May issue of Social Problems. Generate mailing list of members who requested a paper copy and send to publisher. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
MAY: Inform those requesting an e-mail link that the May issue of Social Problems is available online. Requests for funding from committees and officers should be sent to the Administrative Office by May 1 for assembly for the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee’s mid-year meeting. The draft of the preliminary program is completed and distributed for review. The preliminary program is posted on the Society’s web site and a link is e-mailed to the membership and all program participants on May 15. The Administrative Office contacts publishing companies and Ph.D. Granting Departments and urges them to advertise in the final program. The work of divisions and committees continues. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed and all program participants should register by June 1. The Board of Directors requests that program participants receive at least three notices prior to the June 1 deadline for registration. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
JUNE: Send e-mail to membership on June 1 announcing: Call for Nominations for the next General Election, Call for Resolutions, Register for the Annual Meeting, and Make your hotel reservation. The Meeting Manager continues to work with the hotel and the Local Arrangements Chair on arrangements for the Annual Meeting. All Award Committee Chairs report to the Administrative Officer so that arrangements for recognition at the Annual Meeting may be planned. The Administrative Officer contacts the registration workers and informs them of their arrival/departure dates, roommate, and work schedule for the Annual Meeting. The stipend/honorarium checks are processed and the letters of appreciation are sent to the Social Problems Editor and Associate Editors. The Administrative Officer works with the Executive Officer, President, and President-Elect and prepares agendas for the Board of Directors Meetings and the Business Meeting. Once approved, distribute to the appropriate committee chairs and request a copy of their committee report. The Administrative Officers works with the Executive Officer and prepares an agenda for the following committees: Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee and the Membership and Outreach Committee. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed. The Administrative Office orders Annual Meeting supplies; designs tour tickets; communicates with those interested in the roommate matching service, childcare matching service, and those who identified themselves as working outside academia; creates the Annual Meeting survey; and works on the ribbon list. The Administrative Officer works with the Lee Student Support Fund Committee Chair regarding the meeting mentor program. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
JULY: The draft of the final program is completed and distributed for review. Once approved, it is prepared for printing. The second quarter financial statements are completed and sent to the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee and the Board of Directors. All reports from officers and committee chairs are due in the Administrative Office by mid-month. The Administrative Officer compiles various reports and distributes them via e-mail to the Board of Directors; Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee; Editorial and Publications Committee; Membership and Outreach Committee; Permanent Organization and Strategic Planning Committee; Program Committee; and the Council of Division Chairpersons. The final preparations for the Annual Meeting are finalized by the Meeting Manager, Administrative Office, Executive Officer, and the Local Arrangements Chair. The Administrative Officer works with the Vice-President to finalize the proposed resolutions. Once approved, they are posted on the Society’s web site and distributed via e-mail to current members and registered program participants. The Administrative Officer assists the President-Elect and sends a Welcome Memo to Division Chairs regarding next year’s program. Those participating in the Meeting Mentor program are contacted regarding their placement. Prepare announcements for the August issue of Social Problems. Generate mailing list of members who requested a paper copy and send to publisher. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are processed until the registration deadline. Updating of the database with new membership information continues.
AUGUST: Inform those requesting an e-mail link that the August issue of Social Problems is available online. The Annual Meeting is held. All committees and Divisions hold meetings. The Meeting Manager staffs the meeting and provides support. The Board of Directors meets and makes all relevant decisions. Following the Annual Meeting, the Administrative Office is closed for one week. The Administrative Officer contacts the publishing company of the C. Wright Mills winner and requests a camera ready ad. The Administrative Officer distributes the online Annual Meeting survey to attendees; reviews the hotel bill for accuracy; prepares final counts for Annual Meeting registration, tour ticket sales, and raffle ticket sales; updates the sleeping room pickup report; sends an appreciation e-mail to the registration workers; reviews and edits the Annual Meeting minutes; and assists the outgoing President with writing letters to the various winners recognized at the Awards Ceremony.
Any proposals that would involve SSSP in activities (e.g., special projects, networking with other organizations) that go beyond one presidential term must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. Any such proposals must be clearly specified, including what is to be done and what group (e.g., division, ad hoc committee, etc.) will provide the planning and implementation labor to carry out the proposal. The cost implications of the proposal must be explained and submitted to the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee prior to Board review. Projects that entail significant costs should include specific plans or commitments for supplemental funding from outside organizations and granting agencies.
The By-laws specify a three-year, renewable term for the Editor of Social Problems. The person appointed becomes a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and the Editorial and Publications Committee. The Board of Directors makes the appointment on the recommendation of the Editorial and Publications Committee. Because the term is three years in length, this means that a properly functioning Editorial and Publications Committee is constantly working to either appoint or assist in maintaining a functioning Editorial Office.
1. During the first full year of an Editor’s term, the Editorial and Publications Committee will solicit applications for the next editor. An invitation will go out to all members and all Sociology Departments and other participating interdisciplinary programs. Advertisements will be posted in all SSSP information documents (newsletter, journal, web site, etc.), in ASA Footnotes, newsletters of other national and regional professional organizations (e.g., Association of Black Sociologists, Sociologists for Women in Society, American Society of Criminology, regional sociological societies), and other appropriate venues to ensure a broad and diverse pool of applicants. These advertisements should refer potential applicants to the detailed description of the Editor’s position and duties in the SSSP Operations Manual posted on the SSSP web site. The detailed description will include a minimum level of institutional support and a maximum budget SSSP will cover as determined by the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee. Editorial and Publications Committee members are encouraged to seek applicants and to assist them in preparing applications. The Editorial and Publications Committee will invite applications from candidates with strong histories of academic scholarship and publishing consistent with the goals and traditional content of Social Problems. Membership in SSSP is required for application. A history of involvement with SSSP and Social Problems will be appreciated. Applicants may apply by submitting a letter of interest, CV, a proposed budget for operating the Editorial Office, and a letter of support from the applicant’s Department Chair, corresponding Dean of the prospective host institution, or appropriate official with budgetary authority. The names and complete contact information of three other references must also be provided. The letter of interest should include a statement of goals that the Editor might have for the journal during his or her term of office and any comments on how the philosophy of the Editor coincides with and/or departs from previous scholarship reflected in the journal and what financial and other support the host institution is willing to provide for the prospective Editor and the Editorial Office. Institutional support should be corroborated by letter(s) from the Dean, Department Chair, or appropriate official with budgetary authority. Under ordinary circumstances, the deadline for submitting applications should be February 1 of Year 2, that is, the year of the Annual Meeting at which the top 2-3 applicants will be interviewed and the new editor selected. Applications will be submitted to the Editorial and Publications Committee Chair.
2. The Editorial and Publications Committee, working in consultation with the Board and the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee, will screen the applications. Every effort will be made to identify candidates from underrepresented racial and ethnically groups and women and extra weight will be given to candidates whose institutions provide substantial financial and other support to the editing and production of the journal. Members of the Editorial and Publications Committee may contact applicants and request additional information.
3. Prior to March 1 of Year 2, the Editorial and Publications Committee will recommend up to three applicants to the Board for review and approval. At the same time, the Board should receive a list of all applicants for the position. If the Board is not satisfied with the three recommended applicants, they may request the Editorial and Publications Committee to reconsider its recommendations until agreement between the Committee and Board is reached on a list of up to three finalists. These finalists will be notified by the Editorial and Publications Committee that they will be interviewed at their home institutions by a subcommittee of 2 committee members no later than June 15, and by the Committee as a whole at the upcoming Annual Meeting. The subcommittee will submit a report to the Committee and the Board no later than July 15 that includes the site visit and interview protocol used, a detailed assessment of each candidate as the potential editor of Social Problems, an assessment of the institutional support of the candidate based on interviews with relevant officials, and the subcommittee’s recommendation(s).
4. Arrangements will be made by the Administrative Officer and Meeting Manager so that the committee can interview the finalists during the Year 2 Annual Meeting. (The Administrative Officer may be called upon throughout the entire process for assistance in coordinating the various activities.) The Editorial and Publications Committee will use the subcommittee’s report and recommendations, as well as the information obtained from its own interviews, to make a final recommendation to the Board.
If the Board of Directors accepts the committee’s recommendation, the chair of the Editorial and Publications Committee will then notify the candidates of the decision. The Editor opens the new Editorial Office on June 1 of the following year, Year 3. This enables the receiving of manuscripts at the new office. The retiring Editor finishes out the third year with the November issue. This means that during the third year of any Editorship there will be two Editorial Offices open for a period of three to six months, depending on the length of time taken by the retiring Editor to finish the November issue. The goal is to close the retiring Editor’s Office by September 30 of the third year.
During the third year of the Editor’s term, the retiring Editor sits as a member of the Board of Directors for the meetings before the Annual Business Meeting. The new Editor sits on the Board for the meeting after the Annual Business Meeting.
First full journal year of Editor’s term: The committee solicits and collects applications for the new Editor. 57
Second full journal year of Editor’s term: The committee reviews applications, recommends up to three finalists for the Editor position to the Board, conducts site visits, interviews finalists at the Annual Meeting, and recommends the new Editor to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting.
Third full journal year of Editor’s term: The new Editor opens the Editorial Office in June and begins to receive manuscripts. The retiring Editor completes the November issue and closes the office by September 30.
Social Problems Editorial Transition
Note: Subsequent transition notices will amend the indicated years as appropriate.
New Manuscripts: As of June 1 of the transition year all new manuscripts will be sent to Editor-Elect (to be designated). The new Editor will make editorial decisions on all new manuscripts submitted after June 1.
Revised Manuscripts: As of June 1 of the transition year, all revised manuscripts, including those solicited by the previous Editor, will be resubmitted to Editor-Elect (to be designated). The new Editor will make editorial decisions on all revised manuscripts submitted after June 1 of the transition year.
Conditional Accepts: As of June 1of the transition year, all manuscripts that have been conditionally accepted by the outgoing editor will be the responsibility of that editor. Conditional accepts are understood to be accepted with minor revisions that are intended to satisfy conditions specified by the outgoing editor who will be the only person to review the paper after said revisions are complete.
The outgoing editor will be responsible for the production of the August and November issues during the transition year.
The Editor-Elect will be responsible for all issues beginning with February of his/her first full year. It is understood that the outgoing editor should forward 6-8 accepted manuscripts (this number might include conditional accepts) to the new editorial office at the time of the editorial transition. It is anticipated that the number of such accepts will generally not exceed seven or eight which is the typical number appropriate for one issue of the journal.
Social Problems Policy – Administrative Office
The Administrative Office will keep one complete set of Social Problems. In addition, they will keep two copies of the previous four years and ten copies of the current volume year.
Social Problems Forum: The SSSP Newsletter was a publication produced by the SSSP from 1963 to 2013. The newsletter provided essays, commentaries, letters to the editor, book review proposals, photo essays, and announcements of interest to SSSP members. In 2011, a new interactive section of the newsletter, the Feature Articles, was launched. The Feature Articles allowed SSSP members to make comments and participate in discussion related to social problems highlighted in these articles.
In the 2013 General Election, the SSSP membership voted to discontinue the newsletter. The last issue was Fall 2013. Information that historically appeared in the newsletter is now readily available on the SSSP website, as well as through e-mail blasts sent to the membership throughout the year.
The Society remains flexible in the type of contract written between it and the host institution. In some instances, the adopted budget of the Society serves as the budget used by the host institution with the supplements provided invisible to the Society but not to the Editor. This is acceptable as long as those expenditures are not in any way transferred to the Society – either by being covered with funds from the approved budget or by being added later as expenditures to the approved budget. It is important that budget categories of expenditures be approved by the Society when the Board of Directors takes action on the budget. Modifications in requested amounts must come to the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee if they can be anticipated in advance of expenditure. The Society understands that a final accounting may reveal over and under expenditures, but recognizes the value of a budget that accurately estimates income and expenses. While the Society understands that a final accounting may reveal over and under expenditures, total SSSP expenditures should not exceed the Publisher’s contracted amount allocated for editorial office expenses. Hence, if there is uncertainty in a submitted budget, it should be sufficiently below the contracted amount so as to prevent additional expenditures. The support offered by the host institution must be sufficient to assure that the Journal will be published at a high level of quality, which means host institution support must be a part of the submitted budget.