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From the President | Michael R. Stinson
 A Year in the Life as ASA President
Summer seems to have arrived, finally, in Ottawa. I still have three weeks and the upcoming Acoustical Society of America
(ASA)/European Acoustics Association (EAA) meeting in Boston remaining in my term. It is a calm, sunny morning as I begin to write this editorial, a sharp contrast to the whirlwind of activities that I expect to face at the upcoming ASA/EAA meet- ing. In a way, this typifies my year as ASA President: periods of intense activity interspersed with periods of relaxed chores.
Acoustics Today Editor Arthur Popper suggested that a topic of interest might be a discussion about my year as president. This sounded like a fun concept to me, so I am giving it a try. A lot could happen in the meantime, some maybe good, some maybe not so good, so a bit of ex- trapolation is necessary. When this editorial appears later this fall, it will be interesting to see if I assumed correctly.
When I began my term, I anticipated that there would be some big jobs, a lot of little tasks, a few tough decisions, and a few difficult situations throughout the year along with strong support from ASA headquarters and the volunteers through- out the ASA. I was right on all counts.
The biggest of the big jobs is chairing the Executive Coun- cil (EC) at the biannual meetings of the ASA. There are two nearly all-day meetings of the EC: one to start the ASA meeting, the other to conclude it. It is here that the affairs of the Society are managed. I found that a cou- ple of weeks of effort are necessary to get prepared for the EC meetings and a couple of weeks afterward to deal with the actions arising from the decisions made.
The president also sits on several committees (Technical Council, Investments, and the College of Fellows) and at- tends the Administrative Council meetings at which repre- sentatives report on committee activities. In recent years, the president has also overseen the Strategic Plan “Champions Meeting” where the four Task Forces get together to review progress on the implementation of the strategic plan. In be- tween all these meetings, there are informal and impromptu discussions with various groups of people. So, busy, busy! I
can count on one hand the number of technical papers that I have heard at recent ASA meetings.
The president also has social responsibilities at ASA meet- ings. The Plenary Session gives us a chance to recognize the outstanding contributions of our members. I look forward to these occasions. I am, though, still trying to figure out how to shake hands, smile, and look natural for the photographs. At the June ASA/EAA meeting in Boston, there is also an Open- ing Ceremony and a Closing Ceremony. Actually, the previ- ous joint ASA/Acoustics Society of Japan (ASJ) meeting in Honolulu had a similar lineup of social events. (On thinking about this, it occurs to me that I am the only ASA President who will have had two joint international ASA meetings dur- ing his/her tenure.) The president hosts an evening reception (usually Wednesday evening) to which chairs of committees, associate editors, and special guests are invited. Regrettably, although this gathering is always friendly and interesting, it usually conflicts with the ASA Jam Session that I love to attend.
In between ASA meetings, the officers and managers of the Society get together to review progress on various initiatives. This gathering, known (surprisingly) as the Officers & Man- agers (O&M) meeting, also consumes time in preparation and fall out.
In between ASA and O&M meetings, the work load does ta- per off. This brings me to the “little tasks.” There is something nearly every day. I wake up each morning wondering “what will Elaine Moran (our director of operations) send me to- day?” Sometimes it is to review and approve an email broad- cast to be sent out to members; often it is a reminder of a chore I have forgotten. The president cosigns, with the execu- tive director, all contracts for $50K or more. This brings me into negotiations with meeting hotels, for example. I have put considerable effort into updating the ASA rules to accom- modate the many changes over the last couple of years, par- ticularly the creation of two new Administrative Councils to which committees dealing with publications, standards, and finance will report. There are ASA certificates that need to be signed, such as those for new Fellows of the Society. There are reports to be read, questions to be fielded, and decisions on meeting details to be okayed. And there are Acoustics To- day editorials to write; this is my second such article.
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