John S. Uthoff
Goal: USITT will continue to strengthen the organizational operations of the Institute and the National Office.
To accomplish this goal we will:
- Project and monitor long-range financial goals and objectives for USITT.
- Research and evaluate improved or new data management software to integrate all information systems such as membership, conference, etc.
- Maintain and continue to develop the USITT Web site.
- Develop and implement a short and long-term plan for giving.
If you look at the USITT Mission & Goals page on the website, you find that one of the things we try to do is to constantly monitor and improve USITT's operations. This benefits all members of the Institute, since it allows us to supply better service and may reduce cost. We have made significant progress on this goal during the last year.
We have worked to improve our database management software. Our previous system was really a group of databases. Conference information was one place and membership another making it very difficult to track everyone we normally work with in our USITT world. In November, we moved our membership information and registration information to a new, person-based database. This allows us to keep track of everyone who interacts with USITT. We continue to add other parts of our operations to the database, but it has already demonstrated that it allows the office to function more efficiently.
Carol B. Carrigan, USITT Office Coordinator, has hired two new staff members for the USITT Office. We recently welcomed Carrie Boyce as a full time Clerical Assistant, and just this month we added Fabian Campbell as a part-time Content Technician to help us deal with the increased load of electronic communication and publication. If you call the office, welcome these new staff members to the USITT family.
When volunteer positions become vacant, the Personnel Committee always takes the opportunity to evaluate whether the VP structure of the Institute should be modified. A recent review led us to the conclusion that it made more sense to tie membership to VP-Sections & Chapters and keep all membership issues under one person. Another change is that the evaluation of our applicants for the YD&T awards should lie with VP-Commissions so that the awards can be evaluated by the appropriate Commission. A third is that we need to have a VP responsible for both development and promotion of the Institute.
The Board of Directors approved a resolution to create a Vice-President for Promotion & Development and a Vice-President for Members, Sections & Chapters. We are in the process of appointing an Interim VP for Promotion & Development, and the position will be going through the Nominations Committee at the 2006 Conference. Holly Monsos is already hard at work incorporating the Membership activities into her position.
With the staffing changes in the office, the additional material from publications, material stored for the Conference, and the office's expanding functions, we have outgrown our facilities at 6443 Ridings Road. Our current lease expires on June 30, 2006. The Executive Committee has asked our Office Coordinator to explore other options in Syracuse. We hope to sign a contract for a newly remodeled and larger space in a nicer neighborhood. Watch Sightlines for future announcements and developments as this move is considered.
As you can tell, we will soon make or already have made several changes in the daily operations of USITT. There also have been extensive changes on the financial side of the Institute. Thanks to the tireless efforts of USITT Treasurer Larry Hill, the Finance Committee, and everyone who has donated, the USITT@50 gifting campaign, announced last year in Toronto, is going well! Several of the YD&T Awards, as well as the Rising Star Award, have been fully endowed. We have raised more money in the last year to support the projects and operations of the Institute than at any other time in our history. This ensures that members will continue to be supported by grants and awards, and the Institute can sponsor such unique events as World Stage Design, the PQ 2007 Exhibit, and the OISTAT World Congress. It helps us continue to maintain USITT's restrained operating expenses.
These gifts, along with the hard work of the office staff, the many volunteers, and the support of all the members of the Institute, have permitted USITT to expand operations, and meet the vision and operational goals of the Institute. Not only have we met those goals, but along the way we have set records in conference attendance, Stage Expo space sold, and memberships. With this support USITT has been able to expand programs and increase the principal of our supporting programmatic funds at the same time.
USITT is about allowing the members of USITT to share ideas with each other, help develop standards, interact with other organizations, maintain a record of Institute activities, encourage research, and recognize those who do theatrical work well. If you have an idea for other activities that USITT should be undertaking, please suggest it to any of the volunteer leadership of the Institute and then roll up your sleeves and dive in and help make your project and all the others a reality.
I'll see you all in Louisville! Soon!