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American Association for Public Opinion Research

A Year of Success

by Roger Tourangeau, President
This will be my last column as AAPOR’s President and it’s been a terrific year for our organization.  Here are some of the highlights from my vantage point.
  • Membership is up. We have 76 more members than we did at this time last year, almost a 5 percent increase. We have made new efforts to reach out to sectors of the survey and opinion communities that are currently underrepresented in AAPOR.
  • The budget is balanced. Although we were projecting a deficit at the beginning of the year, brilliant financial management (and a rising stock market) have put us in the black.  We achieved a surplus of $87,000 at the end of 2016
  • Fund-raising has gone exceptionally well. AAPOR received more than $20,000 in gifts this year, more than double what we raised last year. 
  • Because the fundraising was so successful, we’ve doubled the number of student travel grants that were provided for the 2017 AAPOR Annual Conference in New Orleans.
  • The annual conference in New Orleans is likely to be the biggest ever. The hotel rooms are already sold out and we’ve had to arrange two overflow hotels. The program features many innovations and is chock full of great sessions.
  • We have carried out internal reviews of the AAPOR awards, of our standards procedures, and of a particularly dicey issue — how to deal with court orders to turn over respondent identifiers in litigation settings without violating the AAPOR code. Recommendations are forthcoming on all three fronts.
  • We have initiated an ambitious long-term effort to increase the diversity of AAPOR’s membership. A new coordinating committee formed to enhance diversity activities throughout AAPOR programs will be announced soon, along with their incredible scope of work.
  • We have launched two new task forces, both of them joint efforts with the American Statistical Association. One is charged to develop recommendations regarding data falsification, including best practices for detecting it and standards for reporting it. The other is charged with making recommendations for improving the climate for surveys in the United States. Stay tuned for more from these task forces. 
  • And two other task forces are nearing completion of their work. A final report from the Task Force on the Future of U.S. Telephone Survey Research is due in mid-April. And an initial draft of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on 2016 Election Polling is also due in about a month.
As you can see, Council has had a very busy and productive year! My thanks to everyone on Council for their hard work. You’ll hear more from us at the Business Meeting. We look forward to seeing you there!