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Background and History

In 1983, at the annual meeting of the Academic Practice Assembly of the Medical Group Management Association, a small group of surgical administrators began discussions that led to the formation of the Association of Academic Surgical Administrators (AASA). Organizers realized that a professional organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge of individuals working within academic surgical administration was essential for their professional and personal development. This group of approximately 50 charter members has grown to well over 200 active members, representing over 80 academic surgical practices in 40 states. The AASA is a membership organization incorporated in 1999 in the State of Wisconsin. 

Mission Statement

To cultivate a thriving  community of successful academic surgical leaders by inspiring members to contribute, learn and network.

Purpose and Objectives

AASA serves its membership of university-based and other academic surgical professionals by meeting the following objectives:

  • To promote the leadership capabilities and visibility of academic surgical administrators; 
  • To present focused educational programs in order to share the knowledge of issues and practices specific to surgical administration; 
  • To gather and disseminate useful information which is relevant to academic surgical administration; 
  • To provide ongoing opportunities for networking and sharing of ideas, common problems and solutions among colleagues in academic surgical administration; 
  • To facilitate optimal job performance by surgical administrators; 
  • To interact with other related professional associations to further promote the objectives of AASA, as well as the surgical administrative perspective on issues common to academic medical centers; 
  • To maintain a vital professional organization with an active membership through controlled growth and continuing opportunities for member involvement in AASA programs and initiatives; 
  • To maintain a sound financial structure to fund new programs and/or special projects as identified by the Executive Board and/or the general membership. 


Click here to view the AASA Bylaws

Educational Activities

The AASA prides itself as a national leader in providing educational programs. Specifically the AASA holds its national meeting in partnership and in conjunction with the Society of Surgical Chairs and the American College of Surgeons national meetings. This enables the AASA to develop some joint programs with the Chairs and Administrators, as well as to have our own independent sessions and business meeting. 

In addition to the national meeting the AASA also provides two regional retreat meetings each year. Typically these include a Midwest/Western Retreat, as well as a Eastern/Southern Retreat. Over the years these have evolved from round table discussions to elaborate, well thought out meetings with superb guest speakers and the opportunity for meaningful exchange of ideas.

The AASA has also added webinars to its educational offerings via the AASA website. These sessions are an excellent and efficient way for us to share ideas and innovative concepts with one another leveraging technology. These will be scheduled throughout the year and will be advertised on the website.

AASA's periodic newsletter, The Cutting Edge, and the annual AASA Membership and Resource Directory are available to members. Special projects such as the Compensation Survey, reports of research activities, and the Surgical Administrator Recruitment Brochure are conducted periodically and made available for distribution to members.

The AASA also awards funding for approved research projects. The results or findings of such research are subsequently reported to the AASA membership.

Historical Events

The AASA has two major historical events that take place annually at the National Meeting. These include the Celia King dinner and reception. This dinner and reception is in memory of Ms. Celia King who was a former member of the AASA until her untimely death at the age of 41 on December 25, 1990. She had been the Administrative Officer in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. This event is held as a way to remember and celebrate the memory of Celia King

The other historical event is the Richard Serwell Endowed Lecture, which is in honor of Mr. Richard Serwell who was the first elected President of the AASA in 1984. He is considered by many to be the first person to articulate the vision of the AASA based on integrity, friendship, and social community. This lectureship is awarded annually to a speaker of considerable stature who would address issues of importance, substance, and broad interest to the membership.

Listing of Presidents 

2018 — Megan Berlinger
2017 — Teri Keeler
2016 — Stephanie Farmer
2015 — John Hundt
2014 — Jamie Meyer
2013 — Bess Wildman
2012 — David Kaplan
2011 — Fred Borrelli 
2010 — Mary Marshall 
2009 — Virginia Roberts
2008 — Barbara Pettit
2007 — David Noel
2006 — Steve Demers
2005 — Jim Kidd
2004 — Carol Pace
2003 — Anna Milne
2002 — Jane A. Shapiro
2001 — Michael A. Herbert
2000 — Linda Christianson
1999 — Kevin McMahon
1998 — David W. Clayton
1997 — Judy L. Duncan
1996 — Robert M. Duca
1995 — N. Rick Erekson
1994 — N. Rick Erekson
1993 — Kenneth R. Hammann
1992 — Julie A. Hagan
1991 — Jill Ridky
1990 — William R. Nicholas
1989 — Patricia A. Ramsey
1988 — Jeffrey Mossoff
1987 — Gary S. McLaughlin
1986 — Henry F. "Hank" Rakov
1985 — Richard Serwell


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