MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
OCTOBER 7, 2007
HYATT REGENCY CAPITOL HILL
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Clint Brewer presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 8:02 a.m. on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
In addition to President Brewer, the following were present for all or a portion of the meeting: President-Elect Dave Aeikens; Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Smith; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Neil Ralston; Directors at-Large Sally Lehrman and Bill McCloskey; Campus Advisers at-Large Sue Kopen-Katcef and Mead Loop; Campus Representatives Taylor Rausch and Melissa Patterson; Regional Directors Carolyn James, Ann Augherton, Darcie Lunsford, Jeremy Steele, Richard Roth, Gordon Govier, Ron Sylvester, Travis Poling, Deb Hurley, and Sonya Smith. Staff members present included Executive Director Terrence G. Harper; Associate Executive Directors Chris Vachon and Julie Grimes; and Editor Joe Skeel.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT
With Kevin Smiths election to the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the Society, a vacancy was created for the director of Region 4. Smith reported that he had recruited Jeremy Steele, business reporter at the Lansing State Journal and immediate past president of the Mid-Michigan Pro Chapter, to serve the remaining year of his term.
Upon proper motion and second by Kevin Smith and Sylvester, respectively, the board appointed Jeremy Steele as the Region 4 Director.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ELECTIONS
Brewer opened the floor to nominations for the two at-large seats on the executive committee, joining the officers and immediate past president.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Hurley, respectively, Sylvester was nominated to serve on the Executive Committee.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Roth, respectively, Lehrman was nominated to serve on the Executive Committee.
There being no further nominations, Brewer called for a vote. Sylvester and Lehrman were unanimously elected to serve on the executive committee.
REGIONAL DIRECTORS SWORN IN
Brewer administered the oath of office to new regional directors Jeremy Steele, Region 4, and Sonya Smith, Region 11.
SIGMA DELTA CHI FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The SPJ President may appoint as many SPJ board members to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board of directors so long as the majority of the Foundation directors are independently elected by the Foundation board. Brewer announced the following one-year appointments to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board of directors: Brewer, Aeikens, Kevin Smith, Ralston, Tatum, Augherton, Katcef and Hurley.
Brewer also asked the board to ratify the elections of the officers and directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Officers elected to one-year terms were:
Vice President Robert Leger
Secretary Irwin Gratz
Treasurer Howard Dubin
Foundation directors elected to three-year terms, expiring in 2010, were:
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and McCloskey, respectively, the board approved Brewers appointments to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board of directors, and ratified the elections of the officers and directors to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.
COMMITTEE CHAIR APPOINTMENTS
Brewer appointed the following committee chairs:
Bylaws: Bob Becker
Convention 2008 Programming: Holly Fisher
Diversity: Pueng Vongs
Ethics: Andy Schotz
Freedom of Information: David Cuillier
Generation J: Michelle Maskaly
Legal Defense Fund: Molly McDonough
Membership: John Ensslin
Professional Development: vacant
Project Watchdog: Stephenie Overman
FINANCE COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Brewer appointed Roth and McCloskey to the Finance Committee and asked for the board to ratify the appointments.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Lehrman, respectively, the board ratified the appointments of Roth and McCloskey to the Finance Committee.
SPRING CONFERENCE EVALUATION COMMITTEE
Brewer appointed a committee to evaluate SPJs spring/regional conference structure and to make recommendations to the board for improvements. The committee members are: Lunsford, Hurley, Poling, Sylvester, Steele and Govier.
Bill Culbertson, Baker & Hostetler, conducted an orientation session for the board of directors where he reviewed their responsibilities and duties.
Brewer inquired as to the status of the SPJ Film. The board voted in May 2006 to fund a film that was going to be made by the University of Florida. The film is not going to be produced.
COMMITTEE TO REVIEW PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Brewer appointed a committee to review the Societys arrangements for professional services (e.g. accounting, legal). Committee members are: Brewer, Kevin Smith, McCloskey, Roth and Harper.
Brewer requested the group to give some thought to the Project Watchdog program. He posed the question What should we do with this program in the future?
STRATEGIC PLAN RECOMMENDATION
Brewer asked the board to review a recommendation, from diversity chair Sally Lehrman, for additions to the inclusion section of the strategic plan. Brewer indicated that the board would discuss and vote at a later date. Lehrmans recommendation:
In Broad Goals - Add:
4. Educate journalists on and promote the tenets of inclusive journalism.
5. Ongoing assessment of professional development and other content to support the goal of inclusive coverage.
In Master Document - The description of objectives would change to:
Objectives for this area will integrate and institutionalize inclusiveness in all Society efforts so they are relevant to the diverse individuals (both in terms of demographics and discipline) represented in the profession and in news audiences.
4. Educate journalists on the promote the tenets of inclusive journalism (2007-8)
a) Incorporate diversity in all SPJ training and professional development
b) Market and maintain the Rainbow Source Book and Diversity Tool Box
c) Highlight connections between the SPJ ethics code and inclusion in content
d) Collaborate with other organizations on content and staffing issues
e) Participate in advocacy for inclusive newsrooms
f) Participate actively in the industrys Diversity Week
g) Promote our Source Book to journalism schools and other journalism organizations and encourage more links
A motion was made by McCloskey and Ralston to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 a.m.