AAUW of Vermont Board of Directors

Minutes of Leadership Meeting on September 27, 2003
Langevin House, Vermont Technical College

Leaders Present
Barbara Whitehouse, St. Albans; Kathleen Corrao (state LAF), Judith Alonso, Randolph; Dorothy Hart (state president), Joan Allen (state program), Margie Randall, Middlebury; Sylvia Robison, Kathleen Balutansky (state C/U), Burlington; Jenifer Ambler (state treasurer), Louise Luring (state membership), Brattleboro; Judy Murphy, Andrea Weisman (state EF), Jennifer Kern, Gudrun Hutchins (state communications), Bennington. Missing: Raylene Lissor (state public policy), MAL.

As Dot Rand had requested, leaders introduced themselves by summarizing their teaching experience or educations focus. Some of our leaders are experienced educators; even those of us who worked in different fields have at various times “educated” individuals or served on school boards. Teaching experiences have ranged from regular class room instruction to instruction of colleagues, providing assertiveness training, tutoring, and Junior Great Books discussions.

Education Focus
Joan Allen summarized a number of potential education projects and we discussed those that might lend themselves to state-wide implementation and visibility for AAUW. The projects fell largely into two categories – hands-on activities and creating awareness or public policy. A list of the potential projects is posted as a separate document.

After discussion, it was agreed that a Forum on School Choice in several areas of the state would give AAUW visibility and disseminate information on this loaded topic. The month of January is the preferred time period because it is early in the Vermont Legislative session. The following branches committed to holding a forum: Bennington, Brattleboro, Randolph and St. Albans. Middlebury and Burlington will seriously consider holding a forum after assessing branch support. Each branch will seek coalition partners.

Next year’s operating expenses are expected to be similar to those of the previous year. The largest single expense items are the necessary communication tools: the state newsletter and the state website. Although the state organization depleted part of its financial reserves to create $300 convention stipends for four state officers and four branch officers, there is sufficient money to finance a project if we choose to do so.

Vermont AAUW Bylaws
Draft B of the proposed bylaws for the state were approved by the board with two minor grammatical changes. They will now be submitted to the Association Bylaws Committee for approval.

Convention Report
Dot Rand summarized the failure of the membership amendment at the Providence AAUW Convention. A resolution was passed to continue a structured dialogue on membership eligibility within AAUW. Dot Rand explained that the dues increase was passed and national AAUW dues will increase $2 per year until 2009.

Dot passed on our EF fundraising award to Andrea Weisberg. Andrea reported that $3025 was given in Mariafranca Morselli’s memory in contributions ranging from $10 to $500.

First time convention attendees were asked to give the highlights of some events or workshops that we might take back to the branches. Jennifer Kern reported on a workshop in which young members discussed their needs. Judy Murphy said that a 3 hour workshop on “Living the Mission” by New York State Leaders generated many ideas. Others discussed specific speakers. Kathy Corrao will order the videotape of the Legal Advocacy Fund dinner for the state; it will be available for branch use. The Randolph Branch also intends to buy the video of the opening session.

College/University Partnership Program
Kathie Balutansky spoke about the reconfigured C/U program which is now viewed as a real partnership between AAUW Branches and States and institutions of higher learning, rather than a one-sided relationship in which the institution received very little in return for its AAUW membership. In approaching an institution within their community, branches need to do their homework to determine some specific needs of the institution that AAUW can provide, for example: an internship learning experience for students. Most institutions are also interested in strengthening community outreach in which AAUW can play a part. The institution in turn can supply space for an event, a speaker for a presentation, and collaborate with AAUW in conferences and projects. Both AAUW and the institution must get something of perceived value out of the relationship. Kathie is a member of the national C/U committee and was a co-presenter of a workshop on the new partnership program at convention. For additional information contact Kathleen Balutansky at 802-654-2640 (H)  kbalutansky@smcvt.edu

Pro-Choice March in Washington on April 25, 2003
Judy Murphy suggested that AAUW gain visibility by sponsoring buses and publicity and networking with college students to support the Pro-Choice March. Members voiced concern about the potential financial commitment and wondered whether colleges would sponsor their own buses. In the past two days Judy has contacted Vermont leaders of NOW, Planned Parenthood and NARAL who will jointly sponsor buses. Tickets for the roundtrip by bus will be $60. AAUW members are encouraged to recruit college students and other interested individuals to attend; the goal is to have 4000 people from Vermont participate. For additional information, please contact Judy Murphy at 802-442-8816 (H) murph@sover.net

Leadership Development Workshop or Conference
Noting the difficulty of finding branch presidents, Dot asked whether there was enough interest to hold a workshop designed to develop branch leadership, possibly with the help of a leader on loan from the Association. There was discussion about holding it in a nice place to boost attendance but no firm commitment at this point.

Next Board Meeting
The winter board meeting will be held at Middlebury College on Saturday, February 7, 2004 with a snow date of February 14.

State Convention
The state convention will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2004 at the School for International Training in Brattleboro. A number of possible program options were discussed. Ellen Kahler, who studied at the Kennedy School of Government on an EF career development grant, wants to speak to us this year. Kathy Corrao will apply for a travel grant for an LAF litigant.

Gudrun Hutchins

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