SAA 2017 Candidate Interview: Mike Bullington

This post is part of the 2017 Candidate Interview series, presented in preparation for the 2017 SAA Election (March 13-March 31). Candidate statements will be posted daily through March 13. Read more statements from 2017 candidates here or check out our previous election series.

Mike Bullington
Senior Archives Manager, McDonald’s Corporation
Candidate for Council
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.

1.     What role should SNAP Roundtable play in SAA?

SNAP needs to be engaged with SAA leadership in advocating the concerns of this constituency group. Its members have fresh ideas and new perspectives that can enhance the benefit of the profession and SAA.

2.     How can SAA leaders, and your role in particular, better engage SNAP constituents?

Through communication and becoming engaged with its membership. I would welcome the opportunity to be invited to participate in a SNAP Twitter chat! As a new archivist I regretted being unable to attend the SAA annual meeting due to financial constraints. I would like to see SAA develop additional meeting scholarships or internships that would provide SNAP members opportunities to attend the meeting. SAA leadership also has a responsibility to be active in regional and local archival associations making themselves available to members.

3.     How can SAA improve archival education?

SAA through its Strategic Plan and its Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies (2016) continues to advance archival education. It offers certificate programs, continuing education and the annual meeting. I would like SAA to explore continuing education opportunities with allied professionals to expand the knowledge base.

4.     What do you feel is the most pressing issue in the archival profession today?

I am concerned that salaries have not kept pace with the investment and knowledge archivists bring to employers. This is particularly true for archivists entering the field. Recent graduates frequently have high student loan debts and are challenged to make ends meet. The profession is fortunate to have individuals enter into it—yet who have elected to enter alternate fields because of this?

5.     What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?

One of the most rewarding experiences that I have had as an archivist was serving as a mentor to a new archivist. This relationship formed many years ago continues today as we discuss the many facets of his archival career. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to listen, share my learned experiences and provide counsel. I have learned even more than I have shared. I was honored to be asked and cannot recommend it highly enough for a newly minted archivist—find a mentor.

Lastly, future SAA leadership will come from your ranks. Be involved. Ask questions. Do not settle for the status quo.

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