From the SPSSI Past President, Dr. Chris Crandall (continued)
Money Matters....SPSSI is embarking on two important changes to our financial status. Our Society’s operating expenses come from our journals, dues, conventions, and savings and investments. For many years, our investments have grown, and we have not touched either the principal or the earnings. In Council discussion, we agreed that our responsibility as a Society was not to sit upon a growing fund of stocks and bonds, but rather to provide programs, offer education, fund research, and further SPSSI’s goals. As a result, Council voted to shift 2.5% of our savings into the annual budget—this will increase our reach and impact. In the first year, this money will probably cover some of the one-time expenses associated with moving buildings, but in the future it will be dedicated to programs.
The second change may seem merely technical, and I suppose it is. SPSSI Council vote to move its funds from an actively managed stock fund with comparatively large fees and expenses, to an index fund, without active management, and significantly lower fees and expenses. Because most actively managed funds are both more expensive and rarely outperform index funds, this change should improve our financial position.
Extending SPSSI....We are exploring ways to grow SPSSI’s reach in a variety of ways. One longstanding initiative is called the “mega-committee,” which is really just that facilitation of communication among many of SPSSI’s standing committees (e.g., membership, internationalization, teaching and mentoring, early career scholars), with an eye toward expanding membership.
A new initiative will be a series of two-minute videos for SPSSI (e.g., for our YouTube channel) that will appear biweekly and describe research from SPSSI members and our journals. The financial cost of these videos will come from financial support given to us by our publisher, Wiley-Blackwell.
Journal Editors....And finally, in the last year, we will see new editors at the helm of each of SPSSI’s journals. At Social Issues and Policy Review, we are pleased to welcome Profs. Jolanda Jetten and Naomi Ellemers. At Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP), we’re excited to have Chris Aberson as our new Editor. And at the Journal of Social Issues, we are happy to have Carey Ryan step in as Editor.
I personally want to thank the departing editors Ann Bettencourt, Heather Bullock, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Lou Penner for their excellent stewardship of our journals during the past few years.
And I want to personally thank Melissa Bayne for her service to SPSSI as Editor of The Forward, SPSSI’s newsletter, who served during difficult times.
Envoi....SPSSI is a wonderful organization. It’s populated by a terrific membership, committed leaders, sophisticated and hard-working, a dedicated Central Office staff, and hundreds of volunteering professionals. Our journals publish important work and are widely distributed. We make educational and policy materials available at no charge to educators, policy makers, and journalists. We educate Congress, and train scientists in the ways of policy. We give awards to deserving professionals and students, we give money to students and faculty for research, we have a friendly conference that welcomes students, faculty, and guests alike. We’re poised to do more, and I hope you join us for the future.