AAUW of Vermont Board of Directors
Minutes of the September 20, 2008 Leaders Meeting
The Chandler Theater Gallery -- Randolph, Vermont
Leaders present -- Bennington – Andrea Weisberg, Gudrun Hutchins; Brattleboro – Susan Stein, Jenifer Ambler, Louise Luring; Burlington – Diane Telford; Middlebury – Peg Galgano, Dot Rand; Randolph – Kathy Corrao. Recorders: Gudrun Hutchins and Louise Luring
State President Andrea Weisberg opened the meeting at 9:30 am with a quote from Carl Sandberg –
Nothing happens unless first we dream.
State Convention 2009
Susan Stein reported on plans for the state convention. The convention will be Saturday, April 25, 2009, and will be hosted by the Brattleboro Branch. The location will probably be the School for International Training in Brattleboro. Brattleboro has suggested the topic of immigration and its effect on Vermont (agriculture, tourism, education, health care, refugees, overnight camps). Brattleboro members will be asked to offer home hospitality Friday night, with a potluck. Regional Director Patricia Ho has requested a one-hour time segment to discuss the new Bylaws to be voted at the national convention in St. Louis.
The state will mark its 90th anniversary in 2009. A celebration will be incorporated into the state convention. Those with old AAUW Vermont banners will drag them out. Past presidents could also be recognized. (Additional research indicates that the first organizational meeting was in April 1920 and the first official meeting in July 1920. Thus the anniversary is actually in 2010, but we will begin our 90th year in 2009)
Educational Foundation 50th Anniversary
It was noted that 2008 is the 50th year of EF. Andrea will remind branches to include an observance in their programming. Gudrun will check to see if there are any EF Fellows in Vermont or nearby states. (There are two international fellows at the School for International Training; numerous fellows in Massachusetts.)
Legal Advocacy Fund New Directions
In the future, LAF will not be restricted to supporting individual discrimination cases in higher education but will support major cases of women in all working environments. The new focus will be on “friend of the court” briefs and publicity for cases that will have a major impact for all working women. Case support will continue through December 2008 for all current academic plaintiffs. The new focus is consistent with the AAUW value promise: By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so all women have a fair chance.
Diane Telford reported on mission based programs and encouraged us to use this terminology. She also suggested that we include the AAUW mission statement in opening remarks at all meetings. Diane has created and distributed an impressive booklet (AAUW Working Together: Mission-Based Programs) of all the programs Vermont branches have presented that are related to the mission. Diane also highlighted program ideas available on the national Website, especially “Program in a Box” which gives background information and implementation help for specific mission-based programs that can be downloaded.
Louise Luring, Kathy Corrao and Gudrun Hutchins were appointed to a nominating committee to develop a slate of officers by March 1, 2009. The most important office to be filled is that of State President-Elect for 2009-2010. This person will take over as State President for a two-year term from 2010 to 2012. There was a discussion on potential candidates for this office and what it involves. The position of State Chair for College/University Partners is currently vacant, and Andrea was asked to contact Barbara Sirvis as a possible candidate to fill this position.
Vermont Public Television
There was a short review of the on-line “Primary Tracker” program sponsored by VPT under a grant. There were eight weekly Web chats, with 125 registered users and an average of 75 participating each week. The largest age group was 50 – 64.
Treasurer Jenifer Ambler reviewed the finances for 2007-2008. We had a surplus because the budgeted stipends for the National Convention in Phoenix were not spent, most officers did not request reimbursement for expenses, and newsletter costs were less because many are now sent as email attachments. So far, a total of 149 members have paid national and state dues. A budget totaling $2,015 for 2009-2010 was approved. It includes $250 for the Vermont Convention if it should be needed for honoraria or travel expenses. Stipends for attending the St. Louis convention are also available. The total net worth of the state at this time was reported as $7,948.44.
Louise reported that the Vermont Women’s Commission will be doing a study of women in the Vermont health care system this year. They will host a Visibility Day January 14 that will feature the advisory partners. We will be able to have a table. PBS’ NOW recently aired a story on women as leaders, including Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire, Pres. Bachelet of Chile and female government leaders in Rwanda.
Gudrun handed out a draft version of the State Leadership Directory and several corrections were made on the spot. Gudrun requested lists of branch programs so that they can be posted on the Website. She explained that the AAUW national board has requested the use of a new logo consisting of the W and the letters AAUW with no other text. She is looking for help with the newsletter which she has edited since 1987.
Peg Galgano spoke about web resources available in the International Corner of the national Website. They include books, program suggestions and reports of UN meetings. Peg called our attention to the International Museum of Women and that AAUW has status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council. EF has awarded 2,200 international fellowships in its 50 years. We are partnering with CARE, One Shared World. Susan Stein informed members about the new IFUW-affiliated organization Women Graduates – USA (WG-USA).
Candidates for National Office
Dot Rand, who serves on the national nominating committee, urged Vermont leaders to consider running for national office or to recommend other New England leaders. She encouraged potential candidates to read the position descriptions on the national Website and submit their vita electronically or by hard copy on candidate forms she handed out. Dot will be moving to Massachusetts in October but promised to keep in touch with Vermont leaders and members.
New National Bylaws
Gudrun summarized the main provisions in the July draft of the new bylaws to be voted at the national convention in St. Louis. Pros and Cons were discussed.
The new AAUW would be one corporation that will include EF and LAF. There would be no degree requirement for national membership. Elected officers would consist of a president, a vice president, and 7 directors-at- large. The elected board members would appoint 6 additional directors-at-large. There would be much more flexibility for branch and state organizations in structure, officers, and bylaws. Only a national contact and a treasurer would be required. National dues would be set by a two-thirds vote of the board of directors. Dues would be paid directly to AAUW with a portion sent back to branches and state. A later briefing stated that branches could implement this system on a voluntary basis. There would be one member-one vote. Votes could be taken by e-mail, telephone or FAX. Voting would not be limited to the convention. A quorum of five percent of the total membership (20,000) would be needed.
The draft bylaws are on the AAUW website, and an updated version will be published in the issue of Outlook mailed prior to convention. The convention dates are June 26 – 28, 2009, and Vermonters will be entitled to vote at this convention only if they are physically present.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 pm.