March 14, 2013
Fellow AACRAO Members,
I write to inform you of the proposed changes to the bylaws the Board of Directors will present for a vote at the annual meeting in San Francisco. After the discussion and vote on a broader set of changes proposed last year, the board considered carefully both the support and the concerns voiced by members. Board members reached out to members at state and regional associations, solicited feedback from individuals and groups, and discussed at the December leadership meeting the direction that would strengthen AACRAO’s governance structures to better reflect the mature and complex association AACRAO is today.
The changes proposed this year are narrower in scope, and enable AACRAO to continue to assess the most effective governance structure for our second century. These changes to the bylaws embrace the goals of increased accountability, a greater focus on strategic direction, the involvement of more members in association leadership, and greater engagement by the membership in voting for leadership.
On AACRAO’s governance website is a copy of the bylaws with changes marked, and a copy of the bylaws that will result if all of the changes are approved. Also on the website is a document that briefly discusses the rationale for each change, and identifies the line numbers attendant to each change. It is important to note that we have identified a series of changes that standardize the language across the bylaws, and incorporate changes to the bylaws required by the laws of the District of Columbia, where AACRAO is incorporated. These are identified separately.
In January, the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors presented a webinar for the membership to discuss the changes the board anticipated proposing, and received helpful feedback from members who participated in that webinar. That feedback was shared with the board in advance of its vote on the proposed changes. You may view the webinar at http://webinar.aacrao.org/bod_governance/ and see a summary of the questions and answers from the webinar here. The committee will host another webinar on Wednesday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. I encourage members to register for this free webinar to learn more about the proposed changes, and to ask questions of the committee members. Members can also pose questions on the governance website, and I welcome member engagement in that discussion.
At the annual meeting there will be discussion of the bylaws at the town hall meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, April 15. Additionally, members of the board welcome questions from members at any point either before or during the annual meeting.
The board believes this proposal ensures that AACRAO’s governance structures will continue to meet the needs of an evolving organization situated in a constantly changing external environment. I encourage you to visit the governance pages to learn more about the proposal and I welcome your questions and suggestions. See you in San Francisco!
Jeff von Munkwitz-Smith