WiSPS Officers – Job Descriptions

By Bea Caballero • • 15 Sep 2012

WiSPS Officers – Job Descriptions

WiSPS President

  • Elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Serves for three years.
  • Chairs the AGM, which takes place during the annual conference, Executive Committee Meetings (at least one per year).
  • Acts as figurehead of the Association. Liaises with the Presidents of similar associations and represents the Association when consulted, or if invited to meetings (any expenses to be approved previously by the committee).
  • Oversees and supports activities organised by the Association.
  • Promotes the general welfare of the organization, including implementation of decisions taken by the membership at the AGM.
  • Promotes the Association at conferences and events where prospective members are present.
  • Represents the Association on the Selection Panel for the Dorothy Sherman Severin Early Research Fellowship.
  • Acts as a signatory for cheques.

WiSPS Vice President

  • Elected at the AGM. Serves for three years (co-terminous with the President), after which the Vice President normally becomes President.
  • Assists the President in all her tasks. Stands in for the President, if necessary.
  • Should another member of the Executive Committee take a six-month leave of absence, the Vice President will cover their role for this period.
  • Organises study day in collaboration with local organiser(s).
  • Together with the Postgraduate Officer, instigates recruitment drives and makes sure the Association is promoted at conferences and events where prospective members are present.
  • May act as a signatory for cheques.

WiSPS Secretary

  • Act as a main contact point for the Association.
  • Ensure meetings are run efficiently. Minute meetings and pass on the minutes to the web officer to go on the web. Archive the membership forms. Collate and update the member interests for the web page.
  • Record membership renewals and ensure members are added to the mailing list.
  • Update the mailing list once a year. May act as a signatory for cheques.

WiSPS Treasurer

  • Maintain the accounts. Bank cheques received from subscriptions.
  • Run checks on the accounts to ensure that there are no fraudulent activities.
  • Receive membership forms and renewals.
  • Forward details of new and renewed members to the secretary and web-officer.
  • Act as a signatory for cheques.
  • Manage the funding for postgraduate bursaries.
  • Manage the conference payments and bank the proceeds. Pay out the outstanding balance to the organizing institution.

WiSPS Postgraduate secretary

  • Acts as a main point of contact for postgraduates joining WiSPS.
  • Ensure postgraduate’s views are adequately represented at committee meetings.
  • Be proactive in suggesting activities that postgraduates would like to see as part of the WiSPS profile.

Web Officer

  • Is responsible for maintenance and updating the site when necessary.
  • Posts members news on the site.
  • Keeps the site updated with information on the annual conference.

Member without a portfolio

  • This member should preferably be from a linguistic/geographic area not covered by the executive in order to ensure that the interests of the members in this area are supported by the Association.


Conference Secretary

Division of responsibilities between the Conference Secretary (academic organisation) and the Conference Organiser (administrative organisation).

Conference Secretary Conference Organiser
  • In consultation with committee seeks out organisers to host conference.
  • Formulates ‘Call for papers’
  • Visits host venue
  • Liaises with local organizer to prepare conference programme (for web and distribution in hard copy)
  • Liaises with local organiser on plenary speakers
  • Liaises with Spanish Embassy/Instituto Cervantes for publicity/funding purposes
  • Receives postgraduate bursary applications
  • Liaises with publishers re. sponsorship (leaflets, stands etc); arranges material to be sent to Conference Organiser
  • Advises in production of material for conference pack (programme, abstract booklet and list of delegates)
  • In collaboration with conference organiser formulates ‘call for papers’
  • Liaises with conference secretary to prepare conference programme
  • Sets up conference account through host department
  • Secures details of costs for venue from local conference office (if possible using any available leverage to secure discount!); incl. hire of room, A/V equipment, refreshments and meals, accommodation
  • Secures venue for dates of conference (incl. 3 or more seminar rooms, registration areas and appropriate venue for plenary and conference dinner)
  • Arranges for payment of any relevant deposit
  • In collaboration with Conference Secretary, calculates conference fee and accommodation costs and establishes conference budget
  • Formulates booking/registration form
  • Receives conference bookings directly from delegates (incl. booking form and payments). Pays these into account and keep log
  • Sends receipts to delegates
  • Deals with all queries regarding venue (incl. accommodation. Special requirements and travel).
  • Provides local info for conference pack (on places to eat/ bookshops etc) and details of travel to venue for website
  • Copies material for conference pack (programme, abstract booklet and list of delegates)
  • Receives publishers’ material
  • Makes final booking (usually 2 weeks before conference)
  • Secures help of postgraduate students as local helpers during the conference
  • Settles account after the conference and produces final statement of conference account
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