Inside AAFCS

Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, January 2007 | Go to article overview

Inside AAFCS

Timing is Everything Message from President Dixie Crase and Transitional Executive Director Carolyn Jackson ... Timing is everything, especially in the performing arts. A pause at just the right moment can communicate more than any spoken word. The gifted comedian Jack Benny famously made good use of the "pregnant pause" in his delivery of jokes.

Likewise, timing was a major consideration at the recent AAFCS Board of Directors Meeting. In discussing some of the agenda items, the Board felt that "now is the time to act." In reviewing others, they reached the conclusion that better decisions could be made "at another time" further down the road.

With a focus on timing, the Board made decisions for action on the following items addressed at the October Board Meeting:

Transforming AAFCS: New Era of Action Revised Mission Statement-As called for in the motion passed by the 2006 Senate, the revised mission statement was posted on the AAFCS website for public comment. The comments were summarized and presented, and as a result the revised mission statement will be sent again, with slightly different wording, to the 2006 Senate for an electronic vote.

Business Plan Work Group-The Board accepted the group's recommendations for: an immediate decision regarding office space; responsibilities of the newly restructured Finance Committee; and the continuation of the work group to address the Association's programs and member services in relation to purpose, niche within the FCS field, function, and mission.

Coalitions and Partnerships Work Group-The Board accepted the report and asked the work group to continue refining their recommendations.

Committee Configuration Work Group-The Board accepted the recommendation that most of the current committees be retained, but asked for consideration that the Body of Knowledge Taskforce become a Community of Interest/Practice, just as the work group had recommended that the History & Archives Committee become a Community. The Board also accepted the work group's following recommendations that:

* Each committee receive an orientation/ training at the beginning of each fiscal year;

* Each committee provide an end-of-year report to the Board and Senate and a mid-year report to the Board;

* The President annually appoint a board member as a liaison to each committee, with staff liaisons assigned to committees as advisors, and with committee members carrying out the activities and functions to every extent possible;

* Each committee identify a vice chair (Board suggested the term "chair-elect" instead of "vice chair") and suggest to the president-elect that this person become the chair the following year.

* The Board commended the work group for the position descriptions they developed, which clearly define the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for committee members, committee chairs, and staff liaisons. The Board also suggested the work group develop one for the board liaison.

Form of Governance Work Group-The Board accepted the following recommendations:

* Retain the Senate as it currently exists for the time being, while simultaneously developing a mechanism for members to vote directly on selected Association issues;

* Give members adequate time to accept and become comfortable with changes in governance;

* Re-examine (after members have become accustomed to shaping the Association's direction through voting directly on issues) potentially more effective and efficient ways to conduct official business of the Association, while maintaining member representation and moving to a more democratic system of governance;

* Develop specific pathways for deliberately and systematically seeking grass roots input from members;

* Provide for focused and open dialogue at every possible opportunity;

* Utilize electronic communications such as email and the website/internet, as much as resources allow, to provide more opportunities for members to be heard and involved in decisions about issues as well as governance;

* seek the perspective of experienced members of the staff about governance issues; and

* Ensure that the Association's leaders demonstrate the leadership skills necessary to bring about effective governance changes that will be supported by members and that will support the Association's relevance to the issues that affect individual and family quality of life. …

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