MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
OCTOBER 15, 2005
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Irwin Gratz presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, 2005, at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In addition to President Gratz, the following were in attendance for all or a portion of the meeting: President-elect David Carlson; Secretary-Treasurer Christine Tatum; Immediate Past President Mac McKerral; Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs Jim Highland; Directors at Large Jim Parker and Sally Lehrman; Advisers at Large Mead Loop and Neil Ralston; Campus Representatives Sonya Smith and Callie Martell; Regional Directors Carl Corry, Ann Augherton, Holly Fisher, Richard Roth, Dave Aeikens, Ron Sylvester, Travis Poling, Deb Hurley, Scott Maben, Jamie Gonzales, and Clint Brewer; Executive Director Terrence G. Harper; and Deputy Executive Director Julie Grimes.
Some of the guests present for portions of the meeting were: Robert Lystad, First Amendment legal counsel from Baker & Hostetler; Gordon Govier, candidate for Region 6 Director; Meg Tebo, Chicago Headline Club; Mark Scarp, Membership Committee chairman; Le Templar, Valley of the Sun chapter; Todd Gillman, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation President; Betsy Ashton, Foundation Vice President; Bruce Cadwallader, candidate for Secretary/Treasurer; and Josh Renaldi, intern from The Working Press.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Upon proper motion and second from Parker and Hurley, the board approved as presented the minutes from the April 30, 2005, meeting.
Gratz reviewed the Executive Committee's decision to present a Sunshine Award to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The committee is confident in its decision to present the award to Madigan for her efforts to improve openness in government in Illinois.
Upon proper motion and second by Roth and McKerral, the board affirmed the position of executive committee in this matter.
CHAPTER STATUS REPORT
A proper motion and second was made by Aeikens and Fisher to accept the recommendations of Chapter Doctor Mark Scarp as outlined below:
• Move Detroit Pro from probationary to active status
• Place the following chapters on probationary status: Keystone Pro, Maine Pro, New England Pro, Triangle Pro, Greater Tri Cities Pro, Mid-Florida Pro, Northwest Ohio Pro, Pittsburgh Pro, Cardinal States Pro, Michiana Pro, Kansas Pro, Austin Pro, Farthest North Pro, and Inland Northwest Pro
• Extend probationary status for Mid South Pro and Mobile Pro
• Revoke the chapter charters of East End Pro, Augusta Pro, Indiana East Pro, Northwest Indiana Pro, Nebraska Pro, Brazos Valley Pro, Dallas Pro, and Montana Pro
Upon proper motion and second by Parker and Carlson, the board divided Montana Pro from the chapters for consideration.
Upon proper motion and second by Poling and Tatum, the board divided Dallas Pro from the chapters for consideration.
Upon proper motion and second by Corry and Aeikens, the board divided New England Pro from the chapters for consideration.
After these divisions, the initial motion was approved as amended.
Upon proper motion and second by Parker and Roth, the board extended probationary status for Dallas Pro Chapter and Montana Pro Chapter.
No action was taken concerning the New England Pro Chapter, so it continues with full, active status.
Board members asked to receive future updates about work done for each chapter. They also asked to see more information about communications between chapters and the national office.
PROFESSIONAL CHAPTER REQUIREMENT REVIEW
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Ralston, the board revised the Graduated Professional Chapter Requirements as follows:
"Establish as part of the overall graduated chapter requirements guidelines that "no chapter that files an annual report past the posted deadline will receive a four-star ranking (any deadline extensions must be approved prior to the deadline.)"
PRO CHAPTER AWARDS
Scarp reviewed the recommendations for changes to the outstanding professional chapter awards program, as outlined in the board packet.
Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Tatum, the board adopted the following change:
Eliminate the large and small regional, professional chapters of the year awards. (Regional campus chapter of the year awards would continue.) Establish a new recognition system, selecting up to three large and three small chapters for national recognition, with one in each category being chosen as chapter of the year.
REGIONAL DIRECTORS MEETING REPORT
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Sylvester, the board created a regional service fee as outlined below, effective October 1, 2006. The following board members were opposed to the motion: Parker, Lehrman, Smith, Carlson, McKerral, Ralston and Loop.
Professional chapters will be assessed a regional service fee based on chapter membership. The fee provides revenue for the regional director fund. The funds would be used for: planning the regional conference; Mark of Excellence expenses; and regional-related projects and programs.
Assessment per member
• Fee based on Oct. 1 membership
• National office creates a uniform invoice
• Regional Director must have a bank account in the region's name
• Regional Director must create a two-person account oversight committee made up of presidents of largest professional and campus chapters.
• Regional Directors can choose not to collect the assessment.
The 2005 issue of The Journalist is being distributed at this conference. Financially, the project will lose about $30,000. The Executive Committee met in September and decided to proceed with a 2006 edition. Cost-cutting and reorganization measures include bringing the publishing of the magazine in-house. SPJ will attempt to maintain the current editorial and design staff. Staff will oversee publishing the magazine.
Board members expressed concern about staff time dedicated to this project as well as the need for a budget and a vision before proceeding.
A proper motion and second by Brewer and Martell to cease publication of The Journalist failed with four people voting in favor of the motion (Brewer, McKerral, Martell and Maben).
FEDERAL SHIELD LAW
Lystad updated board members on efforts to create a federal shield law for journalists. He encouraged SPJ volunteers to talk personally with their congressional representatives. Baker & Hostetler will draft a letter that individuals can use when contacting congressmen.
Gratz reported that he has created the committee to head up the 100-year celebration plans. Gratz will lead the committee.
Past President Paul Davis reported that the organization's partnership with the Foundation for American Communications has been very positive this year. FACS has completed 11 programs and one regional conference, which were co-branded with SPJ. FACS is interested in having a representative from SPJ attend the program and share the benefits of SPJ membership and recent activities. FACS continues to seek out a partner to fund a larger joint project.
DATABASE OF JOURNALISTS
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Tatum, the board endorsed the purchasing or development of a database of journalists and recommended that staff seek funding for the project from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.
Upon proper motion and second by Tatum and Maben, the board accepted all committee reports as submitted.
CHAPTER PETITION: UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
Upon proper motion and second by Parker and Highland, the board unanimously approved provisional chapter status for the University of Idaho chapter.
CHAPTER PETITION: UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS
Upon proper motion and second by Parker and Loop, the board unanimously approved provisional chapter status for the University of Nevada Las Vegas chapter.
MARK OF EXCELLENCE CONTEST
The Regional Director Caucus Mark of Excellence subcommittee led by Hurley will be evaluating the structure of the Mark of Excellence Awards contest. They will submit a proposal to Awards and Honors Committee Chairman Guy Baehr.
NEW BUSINESS: URSULA DUBIN RESOLUTION
Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Aeikens, the board unanimously approved the following resolution honoring Ursula Dubin.
WHEREAS, those who serve on the boards of SPJ and the SDX Foundation commit much time, energy and financial contributions, and
WHEREAS, the time, energy and moral support provided by those board members' spouses and relatives is less widely known, and
WHEREAS, a great example of this support is Ursula Dubin, who has been a stalwart for all of the 24 years of her husband Howard's service as a regional director, treasurer and Foundation Board member and officer, and
WHEREAS, Ursula has joined with Howard in making significant financial contributions to SPJ and the Foundation, and
WHEREAS, Ursula has attended many Conventions, regional conferences and other meetings throughout the years, and
WHEREAS, she has provided hospitality at the Dubins' home in Evanston, Ill., and been supportive on both public and private occasions, and
WHEREAS, while not a journalist herself, Ursula has taken on the important causes of journalism and the Society, making them her own, and
WHEREAS, Ursula has shown great patience and fortitude with Howard's commitment of time and energy to SPJ and the Foundation, now
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the boards of SPJ and the SDX Foundation and the Convention delegates express their great gratitude and thanks to Ursula Dubin for all that she has done in behalf of the organizations.
Gratz expressed his pleasure at working with board members during the past year and throughout his time on the board. Gratz recognized all departing board members. McKerral expressed his pleasure with the organization's current position and thanked board members for allowing him to serve during the past several years. Highland thanked all campus task force members to their work.
There being no further business to come before the board, President Gratz declared the meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.