The Fiftieth Council Meeting

Renaissance Quarterly, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

The Fiftieth Council Meeting


GRAND HYATT NEW YORK

THURSDAY APRIL 1, 2004

The Council Meeting was attended by the RSA executive board, discipline representatives, affiliate representatives, and other distinguished members of the Society.

President Ronald G. Witt officially called the meeting to order at 12:15 PM. He welcomed all and then turned the meeting over to the new President, Jessie Ann Owens.

There was a moment of silence for our recently departed members.

President Jessie Ann Owens announced that Michael J. B. Allen had been elected by Council members as the Society's new Vice President in the election that took place by mail ballots this past January and February. She then put forward the following nominations of the Executive Board for elected positions on the Executive Board:

     George Labalme, Jr., for a new term as Treasurer
     John Monfasani for a new term as Executive Director
     Ann Moyer for a first term as Chair of Constitutions & Bylaws
     Deborah Parker for a second term as Chair of Membership
     Ronald Witt for a first term as Chair of Development (while also
     serving as Past President)

The Council voted to approve all the nominees.

The reports were presented by the chairs of the individual committees.

The Treasurer, George Labalme, Jr., reported that despite losses in the Society's portfolio in the bear market of 2001-03, the Society remains in sound financial condition and that its operating income and expenses are in line with each other.

The Executive Director, John Monfasani, indicated that this was the largest meeting ever for the Society, with nearly 1400 registrants. Because of this success, the cash flow to the Society has been excellent over the last year. He announced that the meetings for 2005 in Cambridge, 2006 in San Francisco, and 2007 in Miami are all on track.

Nancy G. Siraisi, Chair of Constitution and By-Laws, reported on the changes suggested to the Constitution and By-Laws by the Executive Board and proposed that they be approved by the Council.

(1) Change in the procedure for electing the Vice President of the RSA, proposed by Patricia Fortini Brown and Paul Grendler. The necessary changes to Article IV, Section 4 are specified in the proposal as submitted.

As a result of our experience as members of the nominating committee that chose three candidates for vice president (and president-elect), we would like to propose three small changes in the procedure. Two of the changes would simply codify procedures that we followed but which are not in the constitution. The third would help give the nominating committee a little more direction and dispatch. Article IV, Section 4, now reads as follows:

     "The Vice President of the Society shall be elected by the Council
     of the Society on the basis of candidates named by a nominating
     committee. The nominating committee consists of five members and
     the Executive Director, who chairs the meeting but does not vote.
     Three of these members are to be elected by the Council and two by
     the Executive Board. The Council chooses its three members at the
     annual meeting in alternate years. The Executive Board chooses its
     two members in the subsequent October meeting of the Executive
     Board. The nominating committee is charged with preparing a slate
     of three candidates for Vice President. The election will be held
     early in the following February by mail ballot. The results of the
     election will be announced at the next annual meeting when the Vice
     President assumes office."

The proposed changes would make Article IV, Section 4, read as follows: (The changes are indicated in capital letters and deletions with parentheses.)

     "The Vice President of the Society shall be elected by the Council
     of the Society on the basis of candidates named by a nominating
     committee. … 

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