2015-2016 Professional Status Task Force Report on Professional Status

2015-2016 Professional Status Task Force Report

  • Macie Hall Johns Hopkins University
  • Ana M. Cox Phoenix Art Museum
  • Eizabeth Gushee University of Texas at Austin
  • Amy McKenna Williams College
  • Rebecca Anne Moss University of Minnesota
  • Greg Reser University of California, San Diego
  • Jen Green Dartmouth College


The 2015 Visual Resources Association (VRA) Survey on Professional Status marks the third investigation of the visual resources profession. In 1996, an ad hoc committee was charged to survey the VRA membership to determine levels of education, years in the profession, institutional rank, salaries, and detailed information on the collections members managed. A second survey was conducted in 2007. The 2007 Professional Status Task Force developed a survey based on the 1999 VRA-ARLIS/NA Professional Status Survey and the 2004 ARLIS/NA Compensation Survey. The concept was to provide VRA with information on professional trends and shifts by comparing the visual resources profession to related disciplines.

In the fall of 2014, the VRA Executive Board appointed a new Professional Status Task Force to undertake a third survey of the profession. The specific charge and more detailed information about the survey methodology will be found in the following sections: 2. Charge and 3. Methodology.

Preliminary results of the survey were presented by the 2015 VRA Professional Status Task Force members Macie Hall and Greg Reser on March 10, 2016 at the annual meeting of the Visual Resources Association in Seattle, Washington.

This report summarizes the data from all of the survey questions. The responses to all of the questions can be found in de-identified form in a PDF of the Qualtrics Report generated from the survey instrument. The Qualtrics Report may be posted on the VRA MemberClicks and on the VRA website along with this final report, as the VRA Executive Board deems appropriate. In addition, the Task Force has asked the VRA Executive Board to archive the Basecamp space used for collaborative work. Documents to be retained include minutes of all meetings and conference calls, reports to the VRA Board, a complete list of survey questions, this report, the Qualtrics report, the PowerPoint presentation to the membership on March 10, 2016, and relevant documents received from the 2007 Professional Status Task Force. The Task Force will also send a print copy of this report to the VRA Archives.

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