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Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB)

What is SAAB?

The Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB) of Lewis & Clark College is a very unique body, possibly the only of its kind on an American college campus. SAAB is composed of one student representative from every academic department. The Board meets weekly to discuss issues of academic concern to the student body: curriculum matters, the academic calendar, senior capstone experiences, faculty retention, general education requirements, etc.

As a part of LC’s student government, SAAB submits and procures recommendations to and from faculty and administrative boards regarding the aforementioned issues. The chair of SAAB, acting as Vice President for Student Academic Affairs, holds positions on the Curriculum Committee, Board of Trustees, and the Student Executive Council, thus acting as a liaison between students, faculty, and administration. In addition, Board members engage their departments in dialogue on current issues and communicate these discussions to SAAB.

SAAB was created on February 22, 1982, by a vote of the student body. The student council felt that SAAB would foster more student-faculty interaction, inspire students to become more actively involved in their education, and promote student initiated independent projects. Students, faculty, and staff helped to make SAAB beneficial to all.

Since its creation, SAAB has become a well-respected board campus-wide. It has fostered departmental unity by sponsoring departmental meetings, solicited useful student input on faculty retention and senior experiences, and created programs unique to SAAB.

In order to promote student-initiated research and student faculty interaction, SAAB allocates a portion of the annual student fees to fund student projects through grants. Applicants may apply for one of four different types of grants:

  • Student-initiated research, performed either in the U.S. or overseas;
  • Attendance at academic conferences either as a participant or a presenter;
  • Visiting scholar programs to address new ideas and contemporary issues;
  • Performances in music, art, theatre, communications, or wherever one’s imagination leads

SAAB functions much like a nonprofit organization within LC. Students present their proposals before the Board, which then reviews the applications and determines funding. Not only does SAAB allow students to conduct cutting-edge research, but it also gives them real-world experience by emulating the grant processes used by many nonprofit organizations. In almost two decades, SAAB has awarded over $1 million to over 1000 projects.

In order to promote transparency, see below for a link to the most current edition of our Bylaws: 

SAAB Bylaws

Here is the Database of all the SAAB grants funded from 1983:

SAAB Database

Examples of SAAB Grants

  • Study of gecko movement in Australia
  • Research on Irish traditional music and the origin of the banjo
  • Presentation of a paper on micro-credit loans in India to the Eastern Economics Association
  • Lecture by a UN representative of the former Afghan government, the Taliban
  • Performance of original student compositions inspired by a trip to Ghana

About SAAB Tutoring

Even though Lewis & Clark offers such services as writing and math skills centers, some students find that they need additional help to sort through that tough calculus problem, translate a difficult foreign text, or understand just what that philosopher was saying. Thus, in 1985, SAAB created one of LC’s most popular student programs: SAAB tutoring. Students can go to SAAB to get a peer tutor for any academic department on campus; if there is not a tutor for a specific area, SAAB will work to find one. The tutors are all approved by their respective departments and are paid by SAAB for their services. The program is mutually beneficial: students receive additional help with their classes while tutors get paid for helping their peers.

The SAAB tutoring program is run by a student director, hired annually by the SAAB chair. These two individuals work together closely to ensure that SAAB and its programs run smoothly and that student academic concerns are being addressed.

SAAB and the future

Like the college itself, SAAB constantly evolves to better serve the student body. In addition to expanding current services, SAAB aims to encompass other areas, such as:

  • Resources for students thinking about graduate work
  • Increased promotion of student projects, theses, and performances
  • Offer peer academic advising for first year students through our Tutoring Program
  • Celebrate almost 30 years of academic advocacy, grant making, tutoring, and more!