The President is elected one year prior to their term and serves first as the President-elect. The President-elect sits on the Executive Council and participates in important decision-making and strategic planning for the AAS. He/she is a full voting member of the Council and therefore, can have a significant input into the future directions of the organization. She/he can bring new ideas forward, volunteer to serve on Ad Hoc Committees, and contribute to program development. The primary responsibilities of the President-elect are two-fold.
First, the President-elect coordinates the awards selection processes for the AAS and AASF. These awards include but are not limited to research scholarships for students, residents, and faculty, as well as travel awards for visiting international professors. The President-elect coordinates the requests for proposals, the Councilors’ review and evaluation process, and the decisions (in conjunction with the Executive Committee) on the overall winners. Secondly, the President-elect, together with the co-chairs of the Education, Basic and Translational Science and Leadership Committees, coordinates the AAS Fall Courses. This involves assisting with developing the curricula and soliciting speakers for the Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course and the Early Career Development Course.
The following year, the President takes office at the conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting. For the next year, the President leads the Executive Council and is responsible for the conduct of the Executive Council Meetings and for the conduct of the Annual Business Meeting. The President assumes the leadership of the organization at this time and is responsible for making decisions, in conjunction with the EC, that regulate day-to-day business. In this regard, the President is charged with representing the membership as accurately as possible. Most commonly, these decisions include business with regard to the Annual Meeting (e.g. generating the Request for Proposal for the Academic Surgical Congress) in conjunction with the current SUS President. The President is expected to take a leadership role with regard to fundraising.
Probably the most significant work involves the Strategic Planning for the Summer Retreat. The President is responsible for guiding the activities of the Executive Council during the Strategic Planning Retreat and for imparting a vision for the future of the AAS at that time. There is a significant amount of planning and preparation involved in this process. Over the course of the year, the President is also able to make a number of appointments. For example, the President appoints new members to the Program Committee and also is able to appoint Chairs of the Ad Hoc Committees. Finally, the President is responsible for giving the keynote address at the Annual Meeting.
Requirements: Per the AAS Constitution, anyone interested in serving in officer roles, should have served on the Executive Council for at least one year previously. Exceptions to this rule can be considered by the Nominating committee when necessary. The President must not have been an active AAS member for more than 10 years at the time of his/her election.
The President is required to attend the Annual Meeting for its duration and to attend and run the Executive Council meetings (at the Annual Meeting in February, at the summer retreat, and at the American College of Surgeons meeting in October). Attendance is mandatory. There may be one or two phone conferences throughout the year with the Executive Committee. Additionally, the President needs to be available to the other officers and to the Executive Director for day-to-day decisions, and for bi-weekly conference calls with the Executive Director
In the AAS Constitution the following description is given for the Secretary:
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep an accurate record of the proceedings of all scientific and business meetings of the Association with the assistance of the Executive Director. The Secretary shall prepare, with the President, the agenda of the Executive Council meetings and attend to such other business as the Executive Council and the President may direct. The Secretary shall oversee the correspondence of the Association and be reimbursed for such expenses as may be encountered in the proper execution of the duties of the office. The Secretary shall be a member of the Nominating Committee and awards/fellowship committees.
Other specific functions of the Secretary are listed below:
- The Secretary keeps a file of the Constitution and By-Laws, and serves as a reference for all issues that involve interpreting the constitution and bylaws.
- The Secretary oversees the process of amending the constitution and changing the bylaws, including drafting the changes and presenting them to the Executive Council and Membership (at the Annual Business Meeting) for approval.
- The Secretary works with the Chair of the Committee on Technology and Communications to run the AAS blog, the “Academic Surgeon”; this role includes soliciting articles, from officers, committee chairs, representatives, and other AAS members and non-members; and editing and approving the content prior to posting on the blog.
- The Secretary reviews records of all proceedings of the Council and committee meetings and ensures that ongoing action items are followed to completion.
- The Secretary sends notices of all meetings of the Executive Council to members of the Council.
- The Secretary obtains the reports of each of the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees prior to all meetings of the executive council.
- The Secretary and Executive Director keep an accurate list of all members with their dates of admission and places of residence.
- The Secretary notifies members of any reprimand, suspension, or expulsion ordered by the Executive Council.
The Secretary must attend the Executive Council meetings. The EC meets three times a year, at the Annual Meeting in February, at a summer retreat (usually held at a mutually agreed time in June or July), and at the American College of Surgeons meeting in October. Attendance is mandatory.
- The Treasurer will be the custodian of the funds, securities, and other properties of the Association.
- The Treasurer will work with the management firm to ensure a true and accurate account of all financial transactions are kept in the name of the Association. The Treasurer will review all expenses to be paid. He or she will sign checks, except when it is not possible due to vacation or illness, in which case the Secretary will do so. On a quarterly basis, the Treasurer will review the expense and income statements provided by the management firm for accuracy.
- The Treasurer will submit an Annual Report of the financial condition of the Association to the Executive Council and to the membership.
- With the Executive Director, the Treasurer will develop the Association’s operating budget, with the Executive Director.
- The Treasurer will ensure that the management firm retains a list showing the dues status of all members.
- The Treasurer will work with the management firm to ensure all Active, Candidate and Senior members are mailed bills for the succeeding year’s dues. This will occur in the month of September each year. Immediately after April 1st of each year, the Treasurer will ensure that a notice of arrears is sent to each Active, Candidate or Senior member who has not paid his or her dues.
- The Treasurer, with the management firm, will prepare a list of members in arrears and present this list to the members of the Executive Council for their action.
- The Treasurer will be a member of the Nominating Committee.
- The Treasurer will sit on all award/fellowship review committees.
- The Treasurer will assist with an annual audit.
- The Treasurer will perform any duties assigned to him or her by the President that do not conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association.
In the AAS Constitution, the job of Recorder is described as such: “It shall be the duty of the Recorder to manage the entire program for the annual meeting, in conjunction with other participating societies. The Recorder will be a member of the Program Committee. The Recorder shall be a member of the Nominating Committee.” In essence, the job of the Recorder is to chair the Program Committee and to put together the ASC program.
As Chair of the Program Committee, the Recorder presides over the formal meetings of the Program Committee, which consists of approximately 25-30 members of the AAS. It is the job of this committee to review and score all abstracts submitted for the Annual Meeting. The Program Committee then selects the abstracts to be presented, and creates the program venue for which these abstracts are presented. This is done in conjunction with the Society of University Surgeons Publications Committee.
In addition to selecting the scientific abstracts for the meeting, the Recorder’s job is also to create the remaining portions of the program. The Recorder is a focal point, and the person who communicates with all parties who participate in the Annual Meeting. This would include, but is not limited to, organizing the awards presentation with the President-Elect, inviting moderators and discussants for the program, coordinating the State of the Art, Presidents Session, and Hot Topics sessions, coordinating the Education Session with the Education Chair, coordinating the Issues Session with the Issues Chair, coordinating the Outcomes Session with the Outcomes chairs, and arranging the New Members Breakfast with the Chair of the Membership Committee. The Recorder also has a role with all social events.
Furthermore, the Recorder organizes all the formal competitions and awards for the best papers, best presentations, and best abstracts, which are awarded at the Annual ASC.
As mentioned in the duties listed above, the Recorder also serves on the Nominating Committee, is an officer, and will be involved in all officer calls and decisions. The Recorder may also review grant applications.
It should be noted that the AAS Recorder works closely with the SUS Publications Chair. The Recorder and Publications Chair alternate years taking the lead organizing the joint Publication Committee and running the meeting, so that when the Recorder is in their first year, the SUS Publications Chair is taking the lead. In addition, when the Recorder is in the lead, he or she is also responsible for developing the agenda and chairing the monthly core committee calls. This process helps foster a seamless transition from year-to-year. Thus, in the first year of the position, the Recorder is learning from his/her SUS counterpart.
This is probably the most time-consuming officer position in the AAS. Just the abstract review and selection requires a significant amount of time. For instance, during the abstract review, the Recorder handled over 1100 abstracts for the 2015 ASC. The Recorder handles all of the scoring, and then organizes these abstracts into separate sessions. Therefore, for those interested in this position, you should be prepared to commit a significant amount of time to the job. It is not recommended that you have any other significant service positions during this two-year period.The CORE Committee meets monthly and there are also regular internal calls with staff, in addition to a heavy email schedule.
Some rough deadlines for the Recorder include the following:
March – Correspondence with all of new members of the Program Committee. During this time, the Recorder needs to figure out the expertise of the individual members of the committee to help organize the review of abstracts.
April – Organize the formal Program Committee Meeting, which is usually held at the American College of Surgeons Meeting in October.
May – Develop a preliminary program for the Annual Meeting to be presented at the Executive Council Meeting in June. The Recorder should also have the abstract submission site under review and ready to start within the next few months.
June/July – Abstract submission site opens.
August – Review all abstracts submitted to the ASC. Coordinate all of the reviews of the Program Committee.
September – Assemble all final scores for abstracts and start to preliminarily create the scientific portion of the program.
October – Meet in a one-day session with the Program Committee at the American College of Surgeons. Finalize all abstract selections.
November/December – Select moderators and discussants for the main meeting.
January – Manuscripts associated with the ASC will be due to the JSR website for review. The publications chair will assign reviewers.
February – Annual Meeting