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Brent Hales

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Changes to the Byla

I am writing to express my concern for the proposed change to the bylaws impacting the Board of Directors. As a past board member and president of CDS, I have deep concerns for the changing of the structure of the board. Given recent history where the conferences were not planned ahead of time, where sites for future conferences have not been identified, and where structural problems with the conference have been a major issue, this is not the time to be making changes to the board structure. It is in fact a time for the board and general membership of CDS to call upon the Executive Committee (EC) to make sure that the roles of each executive are being accomplished. Rather than throw the position away, it would seem to me that the board is enhanced by having all three positions on the EC. When done right, there is enough work to warrant having all three EC positions. Simply removing one because of the past lack of performance by ineffective members makes no sense. Rather, the expectations of performance should be raised.
 
Here are a few thoughts of why we need a complete EC. The following are my perceptions of what each office should be responsible for. 
 
The VP of Operations should focus on: 
  • Getting conferences scheduled for the next several years
  • Nailing down contracts
  • Working with the future local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
  • Removing barriers to conference success
  • Working with committees to increase their viability and performance
  • Increasing programming opportunities
  • Building connections with other organizations
  • Working with the Managing Director to ensure that the CDS is meeting all of its obligations
  • Working with the membership committee to seek innovative ways to recruit new CDS members
The VP of Programs should focus on:
  • Working with the current local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
  • Working with the Managing Director and conference hotel to prepare for the conference
  • Preparing for hosting the mid-year board meeting
  • Issuing the call for papers early enough for international visitors to come
  • Preparing the conference program with the program committee
  • Scheduling the night out and MLWs
  • Ensuring the sufficient funds are available through sponsorships and contracts to support the conference
  • Addressing all conference concerns
  • Running the conference
The President should focus on:
  • Fund raising for the Society
  • Building bridges with additional groups
  • Identifying innovative collaborations
  • Recruiting members
  • Increasing the sustainability of the organization in all facets
  • Oversee the VPO and VPP to make sure that they are achieving their mandates
  • Addressing all other concerns
As it is written out, if carried out, there are more than enough tasks for the EC. We don't have enough built in paid staff to adequately carry out these functions. This is particularly true given the change in management. I think Justin is doing a good job but I am concerned with the lack of institutional knowledge. 
 
I now oppose and will vocally oppose at the business meeting changes to the board structure. 
 
I sincerely appreciate the difficult task that the board faces. I appreciate your individual and collective service to CDS. Know that you have my support in other matters and in the success of CDS. This is my home and I will do all that I can to protect it. 

 

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