Task Forces, Advisory Groups, Working Groups

VRA Strategic Plan Task Force

Jolene de Verges, Southern Methodist University
Elaine Paul, University of Colorado, Boulder
Heidi Eyestone, Carleton College
Sarah Gillis, Worcester Art Museum
Beth Wodnick Haas, Princeton University
Billy Kwan, New York School of Interior Design
Meghan Musolff, University of Michigan
Molly Tighe, Chatham University

The charge: Beginning with a review of the 2008 VRA Strategic Plan, the data gathered by the ARLIS/NA – VRA Joint Task Force on Professional Standards Criteria, and the 2016 final report of the Professional Status Task Force, the Task Force will provide a status assessment and proceed to make recommendations for initiatives going forward. The Task Force will focus on the areas of: programs and services, membership, technology, financial structure, organization and governance, and leadership in the field.
Initiatives will be developed according to the following criteria:

  • achievable within a 5 year period to commence in January 2018
  • include measurable activities and tasks
  • provide an estimated chronology of events

Online Learning Task Force
Marsha Taichman, Cornell University
Betha Whitlow, Washington University
Stephen Patton, Indiana State University
Marie Elia, University of Buffalo
Jasmine Burns, Cornell University
Chris Strasbaugh, Ohio State University

Charge: Beginning with an environmental scan of online learning approaches in similar organizations, such as the Art Libraries Society of North America, the Music Library Association, the Special Library Association, a review of the 2016 Professional Status Task Force report, and a brief report from the President’s April 2016 leadership webinar, the Task Force will identify the various factors for consideration relating to VRA’s pursuit of online professional development opportunities. These will support the professional development needs of our members, provide new benefits of membership, serve as outreach to potential new members, offer a potential source of Association revenue, and further establish VRA as an authority on a variety of digital content issues. In its investigations, the Task Force will confer with various stakeholders, including the Education Committee, the VRA Foundation, the Executive Board in general and the Vice President for Conference Program in particular, as well as the VRA membership. The Task Force will offer at least two additional pilot webinars, from which it can assess and document successes and challenges. In its final report, to be delivered to the Executive Board by January 31, 2017, the Task Force will provide a set of recommendations for proceeding with this initiative. The factors addressed will include:

  • technical considerations for the GoToMeeting platform and other potential complementary software
  • mechanisms for soliciting and selecting relevant content and instructors; frequency of offerings; low-cost budget models with potential fee structures, if any
  • means of assessment
  • methods of coordinating educational content within VRA and VRAF, such as annual and regional conferences, regional workshops, and SEI
  • recommendations for models of ongoing Association oversight

OLTF Final Report

Slide and Transitional Media Task Force
Jacob Esselstrom, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Maureen Burns, IMAGinED Consulting
Lesley Chapman, Colgate University
Nancy Duff, Carleton University
Dawn Feavyour, Rollins College
Louise Putnam, University of Massachusetts Boston
Jenni Rodda, New York University
Andrea Schuler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jackie Spafford, University of California, Santa Barbara
Christopher Spedaliere, Boston University

Charge: To develop online guidelines and informational resources on the appropriate assessment, weeding, digitization, preservation, storage, dispersal, and/or disposal of analog image collections, including descriptive metadata, with a focus on 35mm slide collections, although other analog formats will be considered as need be. The group will advocate for preservation plans for 35mm slides and other analog formats, as well as the importance of visual resources collections and services. It will explore collaborative opportunities to work with the VRA Intellectual Property Rights Committee and with other professional organizations, such as the affiliated Society of Architectural Historians, which is currently exploring the digitization and preservation of legacy slide collections, and make recommendations to the VRA Board on potential plans of action.

Task Forces, Advisory Groups, and Working Groups Dissolved Upon Completion of Charge

Professional Status Task Force
Jen Green, Plymouth State University
Virginia (Macie) Hall, Johns Hopkins University

Ana Cox, Phoenix Art Museum
Liz Gushee, University of Texas at Austin
Amy McKenna, Williams College
Rebecca Moss, University of Minnesota
Greg Reser, University of California, San Diego

Charge: The VRA Professional Status Task Force is charged with investigating current professional status issues within the field of image and media management. The task force will administer a comprehensive survey of current Visual Resources Association members to investigate employment factors such as job duties; types of units to which positions report; levels of education; years in the profession; institutional rank; salaries; and other factors of the task force’s choosing. This survey will also gather information on members’ digital and analog image and media collections, including but not limited to content; usage statistics and analytics; staffing levels; administrative policies; patron groups; collection development; and changes in facilities’ physical space. Additionally, through a broader survey instrument the task force will investigate employment factors of professionals it identifies in the field of image and media management but who are not members of the Association. The task force will analyze these survey data, together with recent VRA membership data; the report from the previous Professional Status Survey Task Force; the findings of the ARLIS/NA-VRA Joint Task Force on Professional Standards Criteria; and any additional information it finds relevant. It will present its findings, along with its analysis of the implications for the Association, in a final report to the Executive Board.
2015-16 VRA Report on Professional Status

Joint VRA and VRAF Task Force on Development and Fundraising
Billy Chi Hing Kwan, New York School of Interior Design (VRAF)

Marie Elia, University at Buffalo (VRA)
Barbara Brenny, North Carolina State University
Chris Strasbaugh, Vanderbilt University
Christine Hilker, University of Arkansas
Linda Reynolds, Williams College

Charge: Develop a strategy and a road map for identifying, planning, and implementing a portfolio of fundraising and developing initiatives for both VRA and VRAF.
Formed: September 2015
Final Report

ARLIS/NA-VRA Joint Conference Implementation Team (Seattle, 2016)
Alan Michelson (ARLIS/NA Co-Chair), University of Washington
Joshua Polansky (VRA Co-Chair), University of Washington

Archives Task Force
Marcia Focht, Binghamton University
Brian Shelburne, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Stephanie Beene, Lewis & Clark College
Marie Elia, University at Buffalo
Molly Tighe, Chatham University
Emily Vigor, University of California, Berkeley

Charge: To develop a set of recommendations for establishing an archive for managing and making accessible born digital VRA records. The recommendations should address policies, procedures and schedules for retention, standard archival best practices, including format and submission guidelines and resources required for the management of the archive. The 2006-2007 Archives Task Force report should be used as a starting point. The first priority of the Task Force is to address an archive of born digital or digitized materials, with a lower priority given to the current physical archive contained in a storage facility. The Task Force will become informed about the archives programs of other organizations. Additionally, the Task Force will recommend the scope of work for a paid consultants or interns to advise the Association on policies and to develop a step by step working plan to implement the archive. Options for hosting and managing the VRA Archive will be included in the recommendations. Decisions for implementing standards, guidelines, and systems will require board approval.

ARLIS/NA-VRA Joint Task Force on Professional Standards Criteria
Allan T. Kohl (VRA Co-Chair), Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Gregory P. J. Most (ARLIS/NA Co-Chair), National Gallery of Art
Linda Callahan, Mount Holyoke College
Megan Musolff, University of Michigan
Margaret N. Webster, Cornell University
Dissolved: September 2015

Charge: To develop in conjunction with the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) an updated revision of the professional standards document titled “Criteria for the Hiring and Retention of Visual Resources Professionals” (originally adopted 1995; revised 2002).

Constitution and Bylaws Review Task Force
Allan T. Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Kayla Logan, Simmons College
Amy McKenna, Williams College
Elaine Paul, University of Colorado Boulder
John Taormina, Duke University

Charge: To conduct the periodic review of the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws, as required by those documents; to recommend proposed amendments to the Executive Board for further review; and to submit proposed amendments to the membership for ratification according to the procedure specified in Article VIII, Section 1 of the Association’s Constitution.

Images Newsletter
Marlene Gordon, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Charge: The Images Editor is responsible for the production of the VRA on-line newsletter Images.
Associate Editors
Trudy Levy, Image Integration
Anne Rosseter Norcross, Kendall College of Art & Design
Technical Advisor
Trudy Levy, Image Integration
Contributing Editors
Elizabeth Meyer, University of Cincinnati

International Task Force
Vicky Brown, University of Oxford
Vicky Bleick, Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar
Marta Bustillo, National College of Art & Design, Dublin
Lavinia Ciuffa, American Academy of Rome
Jodie Double, University of Leeds
Yamuna Ravindran, Royal Academy of Arts
Catherine Worrall, University College Falmouth

Charge: The VRA International Task Force has been charged with exploring the potential for collaboration and a free exchange of information and experience amongst visual resources professionals and institutions outside of North America. It will also try to determine better ways to support international participation in the activities of the Association and increase VRA’s international membership.

Joint Conference Task Force between Art Libraries Society of North America and Visual Resources Association
Ann Whiteside, Harvard University
Greta Bahnemann, University of Minnesota
Elaine Paul, University of Colorado Boulder
Mark Pompelia, Rhode Island School of Design
Elizabeth Schaub, The University of Texas at Austin

Charge: The Joint Conference Task Force will be responsible for establishing a framework within which future joint conferences between the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association (VRA) will be undertaken. Specifically, they will be responsible for determining the broader outlines of future conferences, including shared responsibilities and expectations, while leaving the more subtle details to future local conference planning teams. They will not be responsible for resolving financial concerns which is the purview of the Boards, though they may draft points of concerns for their attention. The Task Force will submit a written report containing specific recommendations to the Boards of both organizations for their ratification.

Publishing Advisory Group
Chair: Betha Whitlow, Washington University in Saint Louis
Maureen Burns, IMAGinED Consulting
Jane Darcovich, University of Illinois-Chicago
Robb Detlefs, Gallery Systems
Leigh Gates, Harrington College of Design
Marlene Gordon, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Jennifer Green, Plymouth State University
Mark Pompelia, Rhode Island School of Design
Elizabeth Schaub, University of Texas-Austin

Charge: To assess the Visual Resources Association’s (VRA) current publications, advise on potential new publication formats, and consider how they will operate within an overall communications program. With an eye to ongoing developments, the Publishing Advisory Group (PAG) will provide counsel and oversight to guide the future course of the VRA publications program. Responsibilities include: using recommendations in current VRA Strategic Plans to create and sustain a comprehensive, flexible, and forward-thinking VRA publications program; recommending changes in existing publications; and pursuing new modes of communication in light of technological advances and the efficient use of organization resources. The PAG will work with the VRA’s Public Relations and Communications Officer as well as collaborate with individuals and committees involved in Association publication activities. All changes to the VRA Publications program will require VRA Board approval.

Strategic Plan Task Force

Virginia (Macie) Hall, Johns Hopkins University
Betha L. Whitlow, Washington University in St. Louis
Leigh Gates, The Art Institute of Chicago
Jennifer Green, New Hampshire Institute of Art
Elizabeth M. Gushee, University of Virginia
Christine E. Hilker, University of Arkansas
Greg Reser, University of California, San Diego
Eric Schwab, Ontario College of Art & Design

Charge: Beginning with a review of the 2003 VRA Strategic Plan, the Task Force will provide a status assessment and proceed to make recommendations for initiatives going forward. The Task Force will focus on the areas of: programs and services, membership, technology, financial structure, organization and governance, and leadership in the field. Initiatives will be developed according to the following criteria:
– achievable within a 5 year period to commence in January 2010

- include measurable activities and tasks
- provide an estimated chronology of events

Recommendations will take the form of a written report that will be delivered to the Executive Board at their mid-year meeting in 2009. The report will then be presented to the Membership at the annual conference in Atlanta in 2010.

Website Migration Task Force
John M. Trendler, Scripps College
Jacqueline Spafford, Web Editor
Betha Whitlow, Chair, Publishing Advisory Group
Jennifer Kniesch, Web Technology Coordinator
Krystal Boehlert, Social Networking Contributor
Teodora Bozhilova, Communications Technology Advisor

Charge: To investigate the migration of the VRA website, including various website migration techniques, platforms, costs and time required, including less expensive alternatives to each of the major components of the project. Assess current content on the site and recommend its reorganization to function as a communications and marketing tool, allowing for multiple editors, which would relieve much of the burden currently placed on the Web Editor, and implementing a more visually appealing and dynamic look. The group will build from the 2009 Strategic Plan and the 2011 Publishing Advisory Group’s VRA Website Report’s recommendations and will report findings and progress to the board.

White Paper Task Force

Maureen Burns, University of California, Irvine (retired)
Contact the White Paper Task Force
Rebecca Anne Moss, University of Minnesota
Meghan Musolff, University of Michigan
Alex Nichols, Michigan State University
Henry Pisciotta, Pennsylvania State University
Elizabeth Schaub, The University of Texas at Austin
Betha L. Whitlow, Washington University in St. Louis

Charge: To develop an organizational statement assessing the ongoing importance of visual resources collections, services, and personnel in helping academic and cultural heritage organizations to fulfill their missions and goals.

VRA White Paper: Advocating for Visual Resources Management in Educational and Cultural Institutions