Duties of the President


Under Article VI. of the bylaws of the Botanical Society of America, the President shall be the chief elected officer of the Society. Subject to the direction and control of the Board of Directors, the President may convene and shall preside at meetings of the Society and of the Board of Directors. He/she shall also, at the annual meeting of the Society and at such other times as is deemed proper, communicate to the Board of Directors or the Society on such matters and make such suggestions to promote the welfare and increase the usefulness of the Society, and shall perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board of Directors and membership from time to time.

Committee AssignmentsCommittees & Committee Officers

As President-Elect you took part in the activities of the Botanical Society of America’s (BSA or the Society) Executive committee and interacted with the President and the officers of the BSA for the past year. By now you will have a good feel for the office of President and how you might continue or modify BSA activities during your term. At some point in your term, you should visit major funding agencies for the Society, like NSF, USDA, etc., to keep the Society abreast of changes and initiatives at funding agencies, and to keep them informed on the Society's goals and interests.


Lead the post-Conference Executive Committee meeting.


Write official letter to new committee members appointing them to their positions.

Write President's letter to be included in the Fall Mailing. Fall Presidential Letter letter details and an example.

Check with the Executive Director to ensure dues notices are prepared and that the Fall Mailing is in proccess.

Make connections with the Canadian/Mexican Botanical Associations for joint meetings three years in advance of any possible joint meetings.

Begin to contact the Executive Committee to inquire about items of business for the Society during your term of office. You will need to organize the agendas for the Spring Executive Committee meetings as well as the Executive Committee, Council, and Business meetings and Annual Banquet for next summer.


Work with the "Plant Science Bulletin" Editor to see that everything is running smoothly. Contact all of the committee members. Write a letter to each Committee Chair that includes a well-focused and specific charge. Send copies to each member of the committee as well. Be specific and speak about issues and action that you expect the committee to undertake.

November, December & January

Attend the meeting of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents along with the President, Past President and the Executive Director. This is used as a planning meeting as well as an opportunity to meet with Washington based sister organizations (AIBS, ASPB...). This may also be a good time to meet with funding agencies.

Keep people talking within the Society and work on basic issues and initiatives. Work with the Executive Director, Secretary and other officers. Begin to discuss plans for the Executive Committee Meeting. Solicit items to be discussed at the meeting. Work with the Executive Director to organize the logistics of the Spring Executive Committee meeting.

February, March & April

Organize and hold the Executive Committee Meeting. Follow up with action on the activities of the Executive Committee Meeting.

Write a letter to be included in the Spring Mailing.

Be sure everything is in place for the Conference and that the Committees for the Society are active.

Attend Executive Committee meeting. Report on activities.


Work with the Secretary, Executive Director, and other officers to organize the Executive Committee, Council, and Business meeting agendas and the agenda and logistics for the "Annual Banquet for All Botanists."


Iron out any details about the meetings.

Take stock of what has been accomplished the previous year and what direction the Society is moving.

Write the "Report of the President".

Make sure the Banquet is organized and that you know the seating, the order of business at the dinner, etc. (Secretary usually makes these arrangements).

Write a revision of the President's timeline and duties if necessary and send to the BSA Executive Director for updating all relevant resources.

Annual Meeting

Saturday night - Hold Executive Committee meeting to plan next day's Council Meeting and deal with appropriate issues.

Sunday - Run the Council Meeting. Collect thoughts after Council Meeting for the Business Meeting.

Tuesday - Run the Business Meeting.

Wednesday - Preside at the banquet (introduce head table, announce awards, introduce the President-Elect, etc.)

Thursday - Attend post-Confernece Executive Committee Meeting

Ongoing Duties

The President-Elect performs any duties assigned by the President. In addition, at the annual meeting in the year before he/she assumes the presidency, the President-Elect delivers to the membership assembled at the annual banquet a botanically-oriented address. If unusual circumstances prevail, the President-Elect and the President in consultation with the Executive Committee may arrange for an appropriate alternative event.

Represent the Society or find appropriate individuals to represent the society at various functions. Promote Botany in the broadest context to benefit your colleagues and members of the BSA, including visiting granting agencies such as, N.S.F., U.S.D.A., etc.

Continue contacting the Committee Chairs to see that they are initiating actions. Especially see that the Membership committee is active and working with the Treasurer. Contact individuals and other societies in the name of the BSA to promote cooperation and botanical science.

Mail out new-member letters when lists come to you from the business office. Work closely with the Business Manager to be sure the Society’s activities are coordinated and running smoothly.