Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pension payable but never yet claimed

Call for nominations for the AEA Board of Directors arrived this morning.
It says, in particular, that the "proposed candidates must agree to be fully available for Board work during their term. More specifically, each candidate will be asked to sign a letter of agreement stipulating his/her:
  • Availability and willingness to attend three Board meetings each year of the three-year term,
  • Availability and accessibility by phone for periodic Board conference calls during the three-year term,
  • Understanding that he/she is not eligible to receive an AEA-sponsored award during the three-year term,
  • Agreement to abide by AEA Governance Policies related to responsibilities of the Board member".
This is a great opportunity and honor to serve on the AEA Board and I deeply appreciate AEA Board members for contributing their time and effort to run this outstanding association. Their commitment goes far beyond the above mentioned points. I used to be actively involved with 4 professional associations' governing bodies and can witness that it is exciting but often overwhelming, which reminded me of Parkinson's approach to inviting candidates. He suggests that advantages and drawbacks should be balanced so that the only one ideal candidate will show up:

"Wanted — An archaeologist with high academic qualifications willing to spend fifteen years in excavating the Inca tombs at Helsdump on the Alligator River. Knighthood or equivalent honor guaranteed. Pension payable but never yet claimed. Salary of £2000 (or $6000 U.S.) per year. Apply in triplicate to the Director of the Grubbenburrow Institute, Sickdale, Ill., U.S.A".

Here the advantages and drawbacks are neatly balanced. There is no need to insist that candidates must be patient, tough, intrepid, and single."

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