Report From the March 2021 ESA Governing Board Meeting

April 1, 2021

The ESA Governing Board meets at least four times per year to discuss strategic initiatives, oversee the work of staff and volunteers, and advance new ideas to benefit the Society. A summary of activities is published after each meeting to inform members about board activities and decisions.

The ESA Governing Board met via video conference on March 25, 2021. Below are highlights from the meeting and actions taken.

  • Stacie East, ESA membership and diversity program manager, gave an overview of recent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and suggested additional approaches the Society could consider. Discussion included pursuing a strategy day focused on DEI and a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant opportunity.
  • The Board discussed a recommendation from the Committee on Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms (CNI) to make the process for approving new common insect names more inclusive. A separate task force that includes members of staff, the ESA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the CNI Committee has been formed to further explore this topic.
  • ESA staff members Matt Hudson and Josh Lancette provided an overview of ESA’s publications, including a recap of recent governance changes that had been recommended by the Publications Task Force and implemented by the Board in 2020. Submissions and usage have increased, while time-to-publication has decreased. The Board also discussed peer review and open access models and encouraged staff to explore the appropriateness of a cascade or tiered model for ESA’s portfolio.
  • The Board reviewed a series of task force recommendations related to the Fellows nomination and review process, including a new scoring rubric, new rules on renominations, and new rules for conflict-of-interest recusals.
  • The Board discussed the Early Career Professionals (ECP) Committee’s request for a dedicated seat on the Governing Board. After considerable discussion about Board size and leadership strategies, the Board approved the committee’s motion, which will put the question of adding an ECP seat on the board up for vote by the full Society membership this summer. This led to a broader discussion about governance models, with the Board supporting the idea of exploring this more in the future.
  • The ESA Committee on Science Communication proposed a new science communication award to replace the YouTube Your Entomology Award, which had been sunset last year. After discussion, the board approved the motion.
  • ESA Executive Director Chris Stelzig provided an overview of the Society’s activities, including a personnel update and status checks on the Summer Strategy Day and the new certification program. A task force will be created to support the Summer Strategy Day.
  • ESA President Michelle Smith and Rosina Romano, ESA director of meetings and membership, discussed the upcoming Entomology 2021 conference, which will be held virtually and in-person in Denver, Colorado. Romano provided planning updates related to the coronavirus and noted that Dr. Joseph Graves, an evolutionary biologist, had been selected as the keynote speaker.

The Governing Board took the following actions:

  • Approved a proposal from the Committee on Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms (CNI) to modify the Rules and Guidelines for Proposing a Common Name and the Proposal Form for New Common Name or Change of ESA-Approved Common Name to meet more inclusive standards.
  • Approved motions to adopt a new scoring rubric for Fellows evaluations and to adopt new renomination rules and a new recusal process for conflicts of interest.
  • Approved the Early Career Professionals (ECP) Committee request to put the question of adding a dedicated ECP seat to the ESA Governing Board on the ballot for ESA members to vote on this summer.
  • Approved a motion to create a new ESA Science Communication Award to honor impactful and innovative communication projects or programs.
  • Approved the consent agenda after a brief discussion.

Members with questions about the outcomes from the March 2021 Governing Board meeting can contact ESA Executive Director Chris Stelzig at

See past news and updates from the ESA Governing Board.

Minutes from past Governing Board meetings are available online following Governing Board approval.

For more info, visit the ESA Governing Board page.