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Elections Process

Candidates can self-nominate or nominate others by sending materials as described below directly to the Chair of the Nominations Committee. The Chair collects the names of proposed candidates. The Chair then meets with the rest of the committee in late winter to discuss the slate of candidates (both submitted by the general membership and by Nominations Committee members).

Candidates are chosen for each position that is coming up for election that year. Three or four candidates are chosen at first, ranked 1–4. The Chair of the Nominations Committee works down the slate by contacting the candidates to see if they are willing to stand for election. Once two candidates agree to stand, the Chair sends the final slate to the AAR Executive Office for presentation to the Board of Directors at the Spring Board meeting, to be approved by a vote of the Board of Directors.

Once the slate of candidates is approved, the AAR Executive Office contacts the candidates to request a photo, bio, and statement for inclusion in the election materials. These materials are printed in the October issue of RSN and are mailed to all members who do not have an e-mail address in the membership system. For those members who do have e-mail addresses, they receive an e-mail announcing the start of the election period with a link to the election slate. They also receive reminders to vote in both the September and October E-bulletins and in personal e-mails.

The elections period varies from year to year, but is usually thirty days in length. In 2010, the elections will be held from Monday, September 20 to Monday, October 18.

The day after the elections close (October 19, 2010), the AAR Executive Office tallies the electronic and mailed ballots and reports the results to the Executive Director.

The Executive Director first contacts both the winning and losing candidates, and then announces the election results to the Board via e-mail.

Once the candidates have been contacted and the Board informed, the election results are posted on the website. A further announcement is printed in the March issue of RSN and is mentioned at the Annual Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting.

Candidates take up their positions at the end of the Annual Business Meeting.

Vice President – Serves a one-year term, so candidates run for election every year. The Vice President will be in line to be confirmed President-Elect in 2010 and President in 2011 and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as Immediate Past President, for a total of four years of service. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, the Vice President serves on the Executive and Program Committees. During his or her tenure, the Vice President will have the opportunity to affect AAR policy in powerful ways; in particular, during the presidential year, the incumbent makes all appointments of members to openings on committees.

Secretary – Serves a three-year term, so candidates run for election every third year. The next election for Secretary will take place in 2010. The Secretary is responsible for recording and verifying the official records of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Program Committee, and the Annual Business Meeting.

Student Director – Serves a two-year term, so candidates run for election every second year. The Student Director position will be up for election in 2009 and again in 2011. The Student Director is a member of the Board of Directors, representing the particular concerns and issues of AAR student members at large. In addition, the Student Director works with the Graduate Student Committee.


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.