From the President
Report of the President to the AGM
June 4, 2018
This report summarizes the major activities of the SSC over the past year.
1. Respectful SSC: The #metoo movement has heightened awareness of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. These issues affect all professions, and statistical societies are taking steps to develop appropriate responses. I’m pleased to report that the Committee for a Respectful SSC has been formed and will be chaired by Erica Moodie. The work on a respectful SSC is as serious as it is important, and it will not be easy. But it is an opportunity for the SSC to be a society that is supportive and welcoming, professional and respectful in how our members interact with each other and broader society.
2. Fundraising: The members of the society have continued to donate generously in the past year. Donations in 2017 totaled \$13,893. With all previous donations and additional donations in 2018, we are approaching a total of \$60,000 raised. In March the Board approved the establishment of an endowment with \$20,000 of these funds, and after an open call for proposals, three projects were funded: 1) International Data Science in Schools Project; 2) Canadian website for the International Statistical Literacy Project poster competition; 3) Enhancements to StatSpace, an online platform for statistics learning resources. Previously, fundraising contributions have supported prizes for winners of the StatCan “Telling Canada’s Story in Numbers” Canada 150 contest, Census at Schools and student travel to the SSC Annual Meeting.
3. Membership in our Society is stable, with annual fluctuation due to the size of the meeting. As of last year, participants can attend the meeting as a nonmember, although this costs $20 more than the joining the SSC and then registering for the meeting.
4. Electronic Newsletter: Over the last year, Liaison has completed the transition to an electronic-only newsletter, under the leadership of Public Relations Officer Dave Campbell and with assistance from Jill Weldon, who continues to work on production. The new workflow is settling down and 6 bimonthly issues are planned for 2018-19. Larry Weldon completed his 10-year term as Editor of Liaison in December. Thank you, Larry (and Jill) for chronicling the SSC for a whole decade!
5. International issues: The SSC and its members supported statistics internationally in several ways:
- Signing a statement of support for Andreas Georgiou and his colleagues
- Signing a statement of support for the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics
- Individual contributions supporting the legal expenses of Andreas Georgiou
- Individual donations of 1,925 statistical methods books to the library in Alexandria, Egypt
6. Financial processes: The SSC is working to improve transparency and oversight of its financial processes. Over the last year, the society has moved to requiring 2 of 3 signing officers (Treasurer, Secretary, President) for approvals and payments, refreshed its account codes for financial tracking, and is developing new policies (e.g., financial payments and travel claims). The SSC is making efforts to have more regular financial reporting (ideally quarterly) to the Board.
7. Executive Assistant: In early April, Larysa Valachko informed the SSC that she would be stepping down as Executive Assistant. Larysa played a formative role in the development of an independent SSC office as the first Executive Assistant. On behalf of the SSC, I thank Larysa for her outstanding work and wish her all the best for the future. She will be missed. Miaclaire Woodland has been serving the SSC as Executive Assistant since October 2016. She has made significant contributions to all aspects of office operations, including additional electronic services responsibilities and support of the annual meeting.
8. Sponsorships: The Society receives requests to sponsor conferences and workshops periodically. Each request is first sent to the Program Committee, which makes a recommendation to the Executive for a final decision. When support is provided, it is sometimes financial and sometimes in-kind (for example, use of the SSC logo).
- 2018 NISS Writing Workshop for Junior Researchers
- 2018 CUMC (Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference)
- “Advances in Finite Mixture and Other Non-regular Models” conference to be held in China, August 12-16, 2018.
Additionally, the SSC sponsored several other activities in the past year:
9. Appointments: Several SSC officers were appointed over the past year. Jason Loeppky was reappointed as Electronic Services Manager. Richard Lockhart was reappointed as SSC Executive Editor of Statistics Surveys.
The following members agreed to serve as chairs of the associated committees:
- Accreditation Services: Sunita Ghosh
- Bilingualism: François Watier
- Census at Schools: Lorna Deeth joined Alison Gibbs as co-chair
- CJS Award: Louis-Paul Rivest
- Fundraising: Mary Thompson
- Impact Award: Shelley Bull
- Lise Manchester Award: James Hanley
- Membership: Gemai Chen
- New Investigators: Nathaniel Stevens
- Research: Paul McNicholas
- Statistics Education: Sohee Kang
- Student Research Presentation Award: M'Hamed Lajmi Lakhal Chaieb
- Student Travel Grants: Saman Muthukumarana
Additionally, three ad-hoc committees were formed:
- Accreditation Task Force, chaired by Kevin Keen
- Financial Procedures, chaired by John Koval
- Respectful SSC Committee, chaired by Erica Moodie
10. Transitions: Several individuals who have served the SSC in major roles, completed their terms over the past year.
- Jack Gambino completes his three-year cycle as President-Elect, President and Past-President
- Larry Weldon completes 10 years as Editor of Liaison (first issue February 2008).
- Peter Macdonald completes 5 years as Electronic Communications Manager.
The following members completed their term as chairs of their respective committees:
- Accreditation Services: Fernando Camacho
- Bilingualism: Geneviève Lefebvre
- CJS Award: Richard Lockhart
- Fundraising: Christian Léger
- Impact Award: Rick Routledge
- Lise Manchester Award: Naomi Altman
- Membership: Mireille Schnitzer
- New Investigators: Michael McIsaac
- Research: Éric Marchand
- Statistics Education: Jeremy Balka
- Student Research Presentation Award: Duncan Murdoch
- Student Travel Grants: Lawrence MacCandless
These individuals deserve our heartfelt thanks for their excellent and invaluable service to our Society.
Having served as President-Elect and President, I now realize, more than ever, how many of our members give so much of their time to enable the SSC to reach its goals. It has been an honour for me to serve as the president of an organization with such devoted members.