The nomination period for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors (BOD) is now open. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to the BOD election slate, please be aware of the AST Bylaws, which are explicit:
- Nominees must have become AST Members prior to August 17, 2016 and contiguously since then
- All nominations must be seconded by another member of AST
Additionally, we are looking for the following in effective board members:
- Nominees must have demonstrated a track record of supporting the mission of AST
- Candidates should not own or operate conferences or initiatives that compete with AST programs
- Participation in regular calls (executives)
- Attending three in person board meetings in North America per year (one held at CAST)
- Involvement in the day to day operations
- Involvement in current and future projects
Five slots are up for election this year. First through fourth place will elected for two-year terms. The fifth-place vote-getter will serve for one year in order to fulfill a resigned board member’s term. It is likely that either two or three incumbents will run for second terms.
There will definitely be at least two new board members next term, and we are excited about the infusion of energy and ideas. Nominations must submitted through this Google Form by 12:00 p.m. GMT on Friday, June 2, 2017.
We welcome questions for the candidates from any of our members. We will publish all serious questions, and choose a shorter list to submit to the candidates.
To submit a question for the candidates, please use this Google Form.
About Serving on the Board
We would like to share our experience being on the board in order to help you make your decision about whether to run. Remember, running for the Board is a public service to your profession and your fellow testers. It requires dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. If you get elected, someone else will be turned away. Make sure that you are willing and able to serve. Read on for more.
Ideas and New Initiatives
Everyone thinks they have ideas of some new thing the AST should do. We’ve collected dozens. In fact, there are already far more good ideas than we could ever get started, and the overhead of sustaining current initiatives is substantial. Consider this if your goal in getting elected is to start new programs for the AST.
Barely or never started initiatives are not only not helpful, they are detrimental to the organization, as they take our scarcest and most precious resource – time – away from other initiatives. People who want to start something should understand it will be more work than they think, they must be committed to seeing things through, and they must convince the board they are not going to let it fizzle.
What we do have a shortage of is time and effort. There is a significant amount of work necessary just to keep the lights on – BBST, CAST, Grants, the website, etc. Serving on the board is a duty and a responsibility to the membership and the people who brought the organization this far.
For Directors, there are three to four in-person board meetings (including CAST) each year. At a minimum, board members are expected to attend all of these, monitor and participate regularly in our Slack instance, and write a few blog posts. Some do more. There is no geographic restriction on being a board member, as long as you can attend all the meetings and do the work. For executive committee members, including all officers, there are monthly conference calls and additional responsibilities attached.
Ethics and Conflicts of Interest
People who run other conferences (outside of program roles) will find themselves in a difficult ethical position – and place the rest of the board in a difficult position as well. After experiencing the awkwardness created by trying to segment board discussions around conferences, we’ve concluded that these ethical conflicts are extremely difficult to work with.
Board members are also expected to forego any grant requests, speaking slots at AST events, and any other activities that mean their involvement in AST business could create motivations or the perception of motivations other than representing AST membership.
Our bylaws do not permit us to exclude candidates based on our assessment of their ethical conflicts. We can only urge potential candidates to reflect on their other activities before deciding to run, and ask our membership to take a close look at any perceived conflicts of interest and vote accordingly.
Outline of Election Proceedings
April 24: Open Nominations, ask membership for Candidate Questions
June 2: Close of Nominations, 11:59PM (UTC/GMT -7)
On or around June 16: Announce Eligible Candidates, question reminder
July 15: Close of Questions, 11:59PM (UTC/GMT -7)
On or around July 19: Send Candidate Membership-Sourced
On or around Aug 5: Publish Candidate Questionnaire Answers
Aug 15: Start of Voting. All eligible members will be sent a link to vote electronically for up to four candidates.
Aug 17: Voting closes, 6:00PM (UTC/GMT -7)
Aug 18: 2017-2018 AST Board Announced at CAST