June 2012

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June 2012

News & Notices

Board Reports on Meeting

Sherry Wagner-Henry USITT Secretary

While official minutes of the meetings take a while to transcribe, compile, and be approved, it was suggested that the membership might be interested in the "unofficial" highlights and actions taken at the most recent meetings of the Board of Directors, March 27 and 30 in Long Beach, California.

Members who wish to participate in the next Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, June 5 just need to sign up here. The meeting will be called to order by President Joe Aldridge at noon Eastern time. All meetings of the Board of Directors are public.

Call to Order, Intro of Guests

Just as it sounds, the meeting is called to order and guests of the meeting (anyone not serving on the Board) are introduced. Remember, unless the board goes into Executive Session, all meetings of the Board of Directors are public — guests and members of the Institute are welcomed!

Corrections and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings:

All meetings begin after the call to order and introduction of guests with a request to correct and approve the minutes of the previous meeting of the board. You can see the minutes of the January 20, 2012 electronic-board meeting, by clicking here.

Consent Agenda

A consent agenda is an action item that has been discussed previously and thoroughly by the board, or has policy or protocol surrounding its action that makes it viable to submit in quick approval form. Unless a board member feels that an item should be discussed and requests the removal of that item ahead of time, the entire package is voted on at once without any additional explanations or comments. The following items were presented and approved on the Consent Agenda in March:

  • Bylaws Changes: The board has been working during the last 18 months along with an adhoc committee to separate policy and procedures, thus creating grammatical changes and changes necessitating the synchronization of policies.
  • Vacancy appointment for Dan Culhane: The election of Mr. Culhane as Treasurer beginning on July 1 necessitated his replacement on the board for the remainder of his director term. Jack Feivou was appointed by the board to finish that term, based on his finish in the election results from 2011. Mr. Feivou will begin serving the remainder of Mr. Culhane's board term July 1.
  • Internal Control Policy, Scripps Fund, Kook Fund, and USITT Fund: All policy and procedural changes discussed by the board and finance committees previous to this meeting.


Officers of the Board (President, Secretary, and Treasurer) give brief reports on business of the Institute that has transpired since the last meeting of the board.

President: President Aldridge reported on the survey return, created by the Make It So ad hoc committee, with additional appointees from the board. While results are being tabulated and will be reported at the June 5 board meeting, the board was pleased that there were over 600 responses to the survey, about 18 percent of the active membership. President Aldridge also gave a brief update on the status of the Policy and Procedure Compendium (PPC) work that the board and ad hoc committee have been working on and thanked the board for its service during his two-year term.

Secretary: presented an action item (approved) to make the Grants & Fellowships Committee a standing committee as per the bylaws of the organization and responsible for oversight, administration, and reporting of all grants, fellowships, and scholarships, both current and future, given by the Institute. Secretary Wagner-Henry also talked about plans to implement improved board orientation and training into the work of the board starting with a board mentorship assignment rolled out at the March meetings. Orientation (which happened with new and returning members in Long Beach) will continue with financial and governance training at the August Board retreat.

Treasurer: The Treasurer gave an update to the investment policy, updates on the health and procedures surrounding investment funds, and presented the 2013 budget for board approval. The budget, as well as all actions surrounding fund updates, were approved.

Operations Of The Institute

Operations of the Institute is a report, collected and assembled by the Executive Director David Grindle, which describes in great detail the activities of the National Office, as well as the operational aspects of the Institute, as submitted by the President-Elect, Immediate Past President, and Vice-Presidents. The report is over 70 pages long and will be made available online by the June board meeting. Many of the issues and actions discussed were already shared with the membership in the Annual Report of 2011.

Unfinished Business

Discussion revolved around the continuous work of the Policy and Procedure Compendium (PPC). Great progress was made, with only two areas of the Institute remaining for discussion and approval. The board hopes the final pieces of the PPC will be finished and approved by the June or August board meetings, and will then be made available as an online publication of the USITT website by the end of 2012.

New Business

Discussion centered on the crafting and approval of a letter advocating that California Community Colleges recognize the MFA degree as a terminal degree for promotion and tenure of its faculty. ATHE has apparently already written a letter of support. It was decided that a small working group of the board would draft a letter for board approval.


Resolutions are proclamations of achievement and thanks to outgoing officers of the board as well as members who have given extraordinary service to the Institute. This year, the board read proclamations to outgoing officers President Joe Aldridge, Treasurer Travis DeCastro, and Vice-President for Programming Michael Mehler. In addition, Jean Montgomery was honored for her ongoing work as the chair of the ad hoc committee for the PPC, (link to the story in the MAY Sightlines) and Tim Kelly was honored for his 20-plus years of service in leading the Grants & Fellowships Committee.

Final Announcements and Adjournment

President-Elect Asbell-Swanger announced that the fall board retreat will take place this year in August (time of year change) and be held in Orlando as guests of Disney on the Boardwalk (venue change). The decision to move the meeting off the LDI conference timeline centered on the difficulty many folks had in traveling during that time of year (October/November) because of their work or production schedules and because of conflicts for board members who were trying to both work/attend LDI and contribute actively to the board meetings of USITT. Past Presidents Lefko and Aldridge started a new attendance rotation for fall board retreats that includes a retreat in Syracuse at least once every three years. An August retreat will make travel during Syracuse years much more accessible as well.