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more USEA meeting: 'power-grab' or 'continuity'? Or Lizard People?

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  • more USEA meeting: 'power-grab' or 'continuity'? Or Lizard People?

    From the Chronicle's updates:

    An apparent printing error left a portion of the proposed changes off the handout distributed to meeting attendees, so USEA President Kevin Baumgardner did his best to explain changes in the association’s leadership structure: Beginning in 2011, the USEA will name a president-elect one year before the end of the sitting president’s term. In addition, the retiring president will serve in a non-voting emeritus position for one year after retiring.

    These changes weren’t palatable to everyone in the Hyatt Regency’s Grand Ballroom, however. Karen O’Connor was the first to stand and question the proposed post-term advisory position, making the analogy that George Bush was not invited to stay in the White House to advise Barack Obama throughout his first year of his term as president.

    (.... but really, you should read the whole thing)

    Baumgardner, whose term will be up by the time these changes take effect, stressed that the proposal was not a power-grab. There were two ways to say “potato;” where some saw an overreach, he saw a move towards cooperation and continuity.
    Is this or ? or both?

    Printing error? Potato? Power grab?

    Anyone like to clarify?
    Last edited by JER; Dec. 8, 2009, 04:36 PM.

  • #2
    Hard to say. Everyone has their own personal agendas in these organizations.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment


    • #3
      It's the way a lot of organizations do it.
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        It's the way a lot of organizations do it.

        yes...and it is a NON-voting position. Basically...they are there to give their advice but the current VOTING members and Pres can choose to listen to it or not. In the business world...only advantage is that they would be able to attend the meetings and have their costs covered for attending the meetings. It is only for one year. Having the Pres-elect appointed a year in advanced gives them a chance to get up to speed on the issues and how things work before they are in the position of power and on the hook for actually making decisions.

        clearly not a power grab if it is a non-voting position.

        Honestly, doesn't sound all that bad but I don't have all facts
        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 6, 2009, 02:59 PM.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmmmm.... without all the information (and without being there), it probably isn't fair to comment but...............

          If I to choose between Kevin Baumgartner and Karen O'Connor as to who is looking out for the interests of the membership (versus their own), I'll take Kevin.

          Comment


          • #6
            As a former ARea Chair, I like it. It helps to sit in and understand the issues before you are thrown to the lions, likewise, it is helpful to have someone to provide you with a bit of history. Doesn't seem like a power grab to me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Since the President continues to select the Nominating Committee (which is waht REALLY controls how easy it is to hold on to power), I don't think the pre- and post-term preseidential roles will make much difference in any potential "power-grab".
              Janet

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                As a former ARea Chair, I like it. It helps to sit in and understand the issues before you are thrown to the lions, likewise, it is helpful to have someone to provide you with a bit of history. Doesn't seem like a power grab to me.
                I also got the impression (or it might have been a direct statement, can't recall) that the emeritus position was not required, but an available option if desired by the board/exec committee.

                It's basically what goes on today informally. I suspect any in-coming position looks to their predecessor for guidance from time to time. I know the Area Chairs certainly do!
                "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I was hoping to learn something more about the specifics here.

                  1. Why, if this is a 'good idea' or 'the way many organizations do it', wasn't the membership (or voting membership or committee, etc.) aware of the changes? In other words, even if it was a 'printing error', usually there's some redundancy in these things -- like it's been discussed previously and everyone is aware of it -- but that didn't seem to be the case here.

                  2. Why is there -- apparently -- some opposition to this among the membership? What is this faction, why do they feel this way, and what would be their preference?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very valid questions. It seems like whatever discussions were done on this matter, before the announcement, they were done behind closed doors and public input was not intended. Hence Karen's voiced displeasure about it which slyly infers that she was one of the individuals against the idea if she was in fact privy to it's planning which she likely was.
                    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JER View Post
                      I was hoping to learn something more about the specifics here.

                      1. Why, if this is a 'good idea' or 'the way many organizations do it', wasn't the membership (or voting membership or committee, etc.) aware of the changes? In other words, even if it was a 'printing error', usually there's some redundancy in these things -- like it's been discussed previously and everyone is aware of it -- but that didn't seem to be the case here.
                      It was included in the printed version that was mailed out with the proxy voting stuff to all the membership. It was omitted from the single page hand-out provided at the actual meeting. I suspect that if it had been on the single sheet, which would have precluded it being specifically called out, there would have been very little if any commentary (but I could be wrong.)

                      Originally posted by JER View Post
                      2. Why is there -- apparently -- some opposition to this among the membership? What is this faction, why do they feel this way, and what would be their preference?
                      There were very few people who commented in opposition, only 7 votes against. Not sure why the opposition, other than an inherent suspicion of crony-ism (sp?) No one specifically mentioned their opposition preference (that I can recall) other than "don't change", even though as I said before the change merely formalizes what is already done informally today, and provides a much clearer succession plan which is common in business/corporations.

                      Hope that helps. It's just what I heard. Any other attendees have a different take?
                      "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just to make folks aware - there was redundancy here. The proposed change regarding permitting, upon confirmation by the Board, a non-voting President Emeritus WAS on the proxy statement that was distributed to all members prior to the meeting, and was specifically approved by the Board. There was a typographical error that inadvertently caused that paragraph to be omitted from the extra copy of the proposed rule changes that was distributed in the open meeting. When several members of the Board noted the typographical error during the meeting, we worked to make sure it was specifically explained to the membership again prior to opening the floor for comment/discussion.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for the explanations. But I'm still curious about this...

                          Just to clarify, my interest in this only comes from not being able to parse the Chronicle's coverage, which always leaves the possibility that this was a non-issue that received disproportionate coverage by one reporter.

                          But if I look at the written account, it seems that Karen O'Connor objected to Mr. Baumgartner's continuing on in an emeritus position. Which leads various BoG members to comment on the threat of cronyism, although they appear to be speaking on both sides -- pro- and anti-the emeritus position.

                          So perhaps 'cronyism' just depends on whose crony you are?

                          And this brings be back to my earlier questions -- who/what are the various factions and whose/which interests do they want the USEA to serve?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            JER - one additional note. Kevin made clear during the meeting, and it was listed on the proxy, that the President Emeritus provision does not go into effect until 2011, so it will not apply to him. He also recused himself fully from all discussion of and voting on the provision during the board meetings in which it was discussed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              sounds to me like a reporter was grasping at straws to make a meeting sound interesting


                              As for the no votes...it isn't unusual. A lot of people have a knee jerk sort of reaction to any change.

                              To me, these really don't sound like bad changes....and if I'd read my proxy....I wouldn't have had any issues with them. But I work with BODs and advise them on matters all the time...so these sorts of concepts are not new to me.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JER View Post
                                But if I look at the written account, it seems that Karen O'Connor objected to Mr. Baumgartner's continuing on in an emeritus position. Which leads various BoG members to comment on the threat of cronyism, although they appear to be speaking on both sides -- pro- and anti-the emeritus position.
                                JER, where are you getting this information because I don't recall any BOG members speaking during that part of the meeting other than Kevin and Kaiti Saunders who was asked by Kevin to explain the missing part of the amendment? The only people I heard voice an opinion about the amendment were Karen O'Connor, Sue Hershey, and Roger Haller, none of whom are members of the BOG.

                                If I were a gambler, I would definitely place my money on a bet that the opposition voiced by two of the three mentioned above did not originate with them. For some odd reason, the words "puppet master" come to mind.
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                If the Number 2 pencil is so popular, why is it still number 2?

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by canterlope View Post
                                  JER, where are you getting this information
                                  canterlope, please read my first post at the top of the thread. It quotes the relevant section from the Chronicle's report and also provides a link to that report.

                                  (It's not like I'm making up this stuff. I was just reading the coverage provided.)

                                  And 'puppet-master'? Huh?

                                  But once again, if this is a non-story, then it's a non-story. I was just going off the Chronicle's coverage and wanted clarification. Kat Netzler's report made it sound like a big deal.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Got it.

                                    Definitely a non-story.

                                    As to the puppet master remark, I just can't see Karen and Sue being all that bothered by the amendment. However, they have a mutual acquaintance who has expressed a less than supportive opinion about the amendment, but was not in attendance. I suspect he did a bit of pot stirring before the meeting took place.

                                    Just my very humble personal opinion and not an official stance of the USEA.
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    If the Number 2 pencil is so popular, why is it still number 2?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      TAKEOVER, TAKEOVER!!!!!!

                                      Anyone who reads any ulterior motive into this harmless amendment must be a conspiracy theory junkie.
                                      http://www.tamarackhill.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by canterlope View Post
                                        Got it.

                                        Definitely a non-story.

                                        As to the puppet master remark, I just can't see Karen and Sue being all that bothered by the amendment. However, they have a mutual acquaintance who has expressed a less than supportive opinion about the amendment, but was not in attendance. I suspect he did a bit of pot stirring before the meeting took place.

                                        Just my very humble personal opinion and not an official stance of the USEA.
                                        That's the explanation I heard from several sources CL. I found the whole thing a bit bizarre.

                                        flutie

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