2009-10-12: Duties of Board members

  • Each board member should visit the annual IFESS conference and join the Board meeting
  • Each board member should support the reviewing process for the conference
  • Each board member has to join one standing committee or a working group
  • Each board member has to join the telephone conferences (every or every two month)
  • Each board member has to read and respond to eMails and/or Blog entries with IFESS discussion points
  • Each board member is also an IFESS representative and should take PR for IFESS serious. It should be considered when visiting other conferences or organising sessions at other conferences to do this in collaboration with IFESS.
  • Each board member should do his or her best to promote IFESS and help the society grow.

Comments

* Each board member should visit the annual IFESS conference and join the Board meeting

[GMD] Agree, but if it is possible. Sometimes financial pressures do not allow the attendance at every meeting. Also medical conditions (eg. my wrecked back this year) do not permit

* Each board member should support the reviewing process for the conference

[GMD] Agreed

* Each board member has to join one standing committee or a working group

[GMD] Fully agree

* Each board member has to join the telephone conferences (every or every two month)

[GMD] Fully agree

* Each board member has to read and respond to eMails and/or Blog entries with IFESS discussion points

[GMD] I was unaware that the blog had that much "action"

* Each board member is also an IFESS representative and should take PR for IFESS serious. It should be considered when visiting other conferences or organising sessions at other conferences to do this in collaboration with IFESS.

[GMD] yep.

* Each board member should do his or her best to promote IFESS and help the society grow.

[GMD] Agree

*Too much?

[GMD] No, quite reasonable actually

Hi Manfred and all I agree with all these - they should all be considered to be within the remit of Board members. My problem though is how it can be effected. For example, we cannot insist that members attend the Annual conference without funding their expenses. I think a few of us were unable to come to Korea for this reason. It is good to have these definitions of role made explicit and I think we should consider how we apply them. What are your thoughts? Maybe a signed agreement of intent / understanding / awareness?

> * Each board member should visit the annual IFESS conference and join > > the Board meeting This is a good suggestion. Unfortunately this year many of our members were unable to do so due to financial reasons. I used to attend IFESS regularly but this year I could not afford it. This has to be taken into consideration because if this is made mandatory, IFESS has to be prepared to help a BOD member fund his/her trip, which I do not think we are able to do at the present time.

Dear Manfred, Thank you for putting together this proposed list. Physical attendance to every meeting may not be possible for all board members every year, either due to financial constraints or time conflicts (this year both these factors kept me from attending) or illness. However, in this age of electronic connectedness it should be possible to hold web-based board meetings, as we had considered doing during the Korea annual meeting, or afterward (do we have a target date/time for this?). Having IFESS pay travel expenses for all board members would be too expensive for such a small society. However, a contribution to board members' expenses may be possible, such as a) waiving the meeting registration fee (this should come from the Conference budget) and b) something like a $500 allowance toward board members' travel and lodging costs might be possible from the IFESS budget. Thoughts? The rest of the suggested list of duties is reasonable. Thanks again for taking this initiative. Best regards, Andy

Dear Manfred, The suggestions are very reasonable. RE: the annual meeting. I echo what is being said about the meetings. I too normally would attend the annual meeting, but this year, the meeting came at a bad time of the year, the beginning of term and very distant. I could not afford the time or the finances to make the meeting. I also agree with Andy that if it is not possible to physically be at the BoD meeting, then an online meeting should be setup. It is some infrastructure that has to be considered. Ken

Hello Manfred, Jane and all,

Thanks for taking the initiative, Manfred, for defining the duties of the Board members.  I have followed everyone's comments with great interest.  The first thing that comes to mind is: what do other societies do (i.e., their terms of reference) regarding Board membership? 

I agree with all your suggestions regarding the responsibilities but just as Jane has pointed out, I am unclear on how they will be enforced.  The most problematic clause has been the mandatory attendance of the Board members at the annual IFESS meetings.  This clearly is very difficult given the many reasons that were brought up by others.

However, it is unclear why virtual attendance at any Board meeting cannot be enforced.  Perhaps it is more difficult in some countries to set up videoconferencing?  If so, that needs to be taken into consideration as well when articulating the final duties of Board membership.

I very much support the idea of having regular Board meetings throughout the year.  The frequency of those should be perhaps quarterly instead of every other month.  If an urgent matter is to be discussed in between scheduled meetings, an ad hoc meeting can be called.  Skyping is perhaps one of the better and least expensive methods for the meetings.  One thing that would need to be reconciled is the time zone differences between the various Board members.  The dates of the regular meetings should be set well in advance to accommodate everyone's schedules and ensure having quorum.  It may not be a bad idea to set those dates right away.

Blogging may not be the best method for interaction especially with the various login difficulties some of us have been encountering.  Nonetheless, email can do the job just as effectively for the time being.

These are my thoughts...

Thanks again for all the efforts in making IFESS a viable and influential society.

All the best,
Vivian

 

Hi Vivian and ALl!

Thank you very much for your response, and raising an important topic, namely communication.

Let me quickly comment on few things ...

> The most problematic clause has been the mandatory attendance of the Board members at the annual IFESS meetings

As you might have noticed, I put in the call for nominations already a modified statement about the conference attendance.

Blogging may not be the best method for interaction


Blogging, as it is set up at our website is a wonderful way to keep track of a discussion and to have automatically a perfect (and soon searchable) documentation about dicussion points. It can be print out as pdf in a structured way.
Documentation of thoughts can be used even if all of us have left the board!! (an no one has access to older eMails; i.e. who knows in 4 years something about the Olinjyk award?)
That is the most easy way to build an IFESS history!

> especially with the  various login difficulties some of us have been encountering.

 ... I was not sure whether I should comment this ... but I cannot resist.

You mean, we have to use ONLY eMail because BoD members are not able to log in to the IFESS website??????
That sounds like an argument of my students why they have not been able to send in homework in time ;-)

Please ANYONE who has not been able to access the Board of Directors page contact me! I am more than willing to help! Willing to improve log in strategy, to improve how to find the BoD page etc.... Just let me know and give feedback.

Nonetheless, email can do the job just as effectively for the time being.


As you might assume from the above ... I do (absolutely) not agree on this.

It might be easy in the moment to put in some comments - but have someone ever tried to conclude an email discussion or find out half a year later how the discussion ran? That is extremely painful.

The timeline is a problem too. Example: I raise a point ... the folks in the east are still awake and respond immediately, some answers from Europe, answers from Australia. US: East Coast wakes up, first comments on the comments, then comments to the orignal questions. West coast drops in .... ;-)

Anyway, I continue to put email comments in the blog but would appreciate very much it if we could agree to use our website.
(Btw: I am working on a notification feature that all of us are informed as soon as a new topic is raised or a comment is added.)

I am really trying to find a way to make communication between us more efficient and more well-arranged. If you have any suggestions how to improve AND minimize workload - I am very glad to implement whatever is needed.
Any help is appreciated!

I wish all of you a very nice weekend, Manfred