Karen Soldatic, Thematic Groups Portfolio Leader:
The number of thematic groups has grown significantly over recent years, and we now have more than 25 groups. When the first groups were established, the TASA Executive resolved that conveners should hold office for no more than three years. There were two reasons for this. First, it was to avoid the temptation for convenors to hold onto their positions over an extended period of time. While this provided consistency in leadership, it limited the opportunities for group members, particularly postgraduates and Early Career Researchers, to undertake a leadership role within their disciplinary area. Second, the need to change conveners regularly provided an opportunity for members to evaluate whether a group should continue. If no members of a group are interested in convening, then the group is disbanded.
For administrative convenience, all groups run on the same three-year cycle and we are now at the transition point where new convenors are required for most groups from January 2017. If you are a convenor and have not yet identified someone to replace you from January 2017, please start emailing your membership now to garner interest and arrange a handover meeting at the TASA Annual Conference in November.
This does not apply to thematic groups that were formed in the last 18 months or so, or to groups where a new convener only recently took on the role. They will continue as is until the next three-year cycle commencing in January 2020.
Further details can be obtained from Sally Daly, TASA Executive Officer.