The UUA Presidential Search Committee met 3/14/14 via conference call.

The PSC discussed the document on the topic of proposed campaign finance reform, prepared by Wayne and Matthew for submission to the UUA Board.  We clarified that the intent of the document is to offer the Board an option whereby the General Assembly doesn’t need to be involved in setting the exact numbers of campaign finances, as these might change over time.  Also discussed was making clear in the proposal our motivation in being involved with this topic: our concern in having the broadest possible pool of qualified candidates.

PSC members checked in on our progress on interviews and surveys for creating a Presidential job description; deadline for interview responses is April 18.

The PSC GA Workshop is scheduled for Thursday at 12:30pm.  Discussion was held concerning the content and the details (e.g. Powerpoint, who will bring the projector, etc.)

In May, the PSC will be meeting in Houston at Northwoods UU Church. Discussion was held concerning logistics.

Discussion was held concerning transparent communication and any publicity needs so that those who are interested can know what the PSC is doing. Members agreed to promote the Facebook PSC page; Matthew is also talking to UU World about a possible story.

The process check noted that we were able to move briskly but inclusively through the agenda.

The UUA Presidential Search Committee met 2/14/14 via conference call.

PSC members checked in on the assignments we took on at our last meeting, particularly the calls/emails that have been made with individuals and groups to gather feedback about the job description of UUA president. Deadline for all responses and interviews is April 18.

Members discussed the Policy Governance briefing; all present felt that it was extremely helpful, as was the introduction to the UUA Governance Manual.

We have not yet formally heard back from Jim Keys and the UUA Board regarding campaign finance and practices other than to acknowledge our letter.  It was reported to be on the agenda for one of their telephone meetings soon.

Elandria has submitted workshop information for General Assembly and requested an AV cart.

Matthew sent out some info on estimated costs and budget and reported that we are in good shape for our budget re: GA and our May meeting.

Once we have a firm time for the GA workshop, we will work out the schedule for when we will be meeting. It was noted anecdotally that it will be important to openly address rumors and assumptions at our GA workshop, as we are already seeing evidence of such. In addition to the public blog, members discussed inviting denominational press to cover our process a little bit to help dispel rumors and introduce our committee and our process.

Our in-person meeting will be May 16-17 in Houston; members are checking available flight times.

Liz covered the process observation for this meeting and checked in with quieter members.


The Presidential Search Committee met on 1/10/14 via conference call.

Present: Wayne Arnason, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, Matthew Johnson, Liz Jones, Michael Tino, Jacqui C. Williams

Absent: Elandria Williams (work emergency)

Process Observation: Jacqui

PSC discussed the Process-Job Description, making edits and additions. This will be used in interviewing current/former UUA presidents, moderators, and some UU organizations. Questions will be sent in written form to the people we’d like to interview, requesting written responses as a preferred mode of response, noting that we are open to having a phone interview instead of the written response or to augment the responses.  The list of persons and groups to contact was divided among PSC members. We will ask for responses back by April 18.

The next step will be to prepare the survey that will be used for other individuals and groups.  We will consider questions for the survey before next meeting.

There will be a policy governance briefing for PSC members on January 21, led by PG expert Laura Park of Unity Consulting. Materials concerning this will be sent to members before the meeting.

It was decided that the research done on campaign finance reform will be forwarded to the UUA Board for them to process the possibilities. The proposal crafted by Matthew and Wayne (with different possible campaign finance reforms) will be sent to the Board with an invitation to have a conversation about this.

We received an official acceptance for a GA workshop slot.

The next in-person meeting of the PSC will be in May, in Houston. Joanna is taking care of arrangements and Matthew will sent out info on booking flights, etc. before the Feb call.  We will start 11am on Friday, so many of us will need to fly in on Thursday.  We will be done by 3pm on Saturday.

The Presidential Search Committee met via conference call December 13, 2013. Present: Liz Jones (facilitator), Wayne Arnason, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, Matthew Johnson-Doyle, Jacqui C. Williams, Elandria Williams

Elandria Williams led the team in training on Zoho, a group management online tool that we will be using for internal communication, research, and timelines.

Elandria then went over the process report she and Michael sent out to the PSC before the meeting. There are two processes currently at issue: research and election. Key questions include:

For research: method of determining who receives surveys and interviews, how to collate information, how to do this all in a transparent manner, how to present information results from the research and to whom? It was noted that needed elements include consistency in what we ask people, and attention paid to how things are weighed. Methods of research will include interviews, open-ended surveys, and a short survey with closed-ended questions placed on the blog for anyone.

Discussions with Board members given us this caution: there is a danger of “job creep” in terms of the questions we ask. A broad range of questions is fine, but there is a limit to our job description. We are not a committee in charge of the election process. We may get information we can’t necessarily use, but we can pass on to someone else/some other committee.

On the question of whether the committee can put forward more than 2 candidates, it was discussed that there are rules already in place about an instant run-off if necessary.

Issues Related to the Job Description: Matthew will contact an expert about consulting with us about policy governance and how it affects the job description of President.

Campaign Finance and election Practice:

UUA Board Meeting: Agenda is full; we will not be at that meeting, we will aim for April meeting.

Wayne reported that they had a difficult time obtaining any official reports of campaign spending. Anecdotal memories of campaign spending should be adequate for considering a need for campaign reform. Wayne will contact previous presidents (or their campaign managers) for this information.

Main two issues:

* Escalating total amount spent on campaigns

* Individual cap on donations

One big argument against reform: that the president is responsible for fundraising and the campaign is “boot camp” to prove they know how to work with big donors.

No updates on GA – the list of approved workshops has not been released.




The Presidential Search Committee met via conference call November 8, 2013. Present: Liz Jones (facilitator), Wayne Arnason, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, Matthew Johnson-Doyle, Michael Tino, Jacqui C. Williams

The Election/Campaign Practices task group has begun work on a draft of proposed rule changes. Campaign Finance Statements from the past 4 campaigns have been requested from the UUA Secretary, and the task group has been communicating with regional leads to get a sense of whether there will be regional meetings in the 2016-17 timeframe, in order to understand how to streamline candidate appearances. The task group has begun consulting with UUA Board members. The PSC believes a conversation with the Board about the job description of President and how it affects campaigning will be valuable.

A Workshop request has been submitted for GA; notification should be in December.

The Job Description task group presented their report of all mentions of President in the UUA by-laws and rules and a rough sketch of a process/timeline for developing the job description. There was discussion about the process and assignments for interviewing past-UUA presidents and others. It was agreed that a pertinent question in creating the job description is “What cannot be delegated to others?”

Arrangements for the December meeting and technical issues about the platform for sharing information internally and for conference calls were addressed.

Presidential Search Ctte

On October 25 – 26, the Presidential Search Committee (PSC) met in Chicago. Attending were committee members:

Wayne Arnason
Joanna Fontaine Crawford
Matthew Johnson-Doyle
Liz Jones
Michael Tino
Elandria Williams
Jacqui C. Williams

Additionally, Rev. Emily Gage met with the committee on October 25 as facilitator. Rev. Gage led the PSC through teambuilding discussions and covenant development.

The PSC put together a timeline for the work they will do over the next six years.  Notable dates include:

  • 2013-2014: Collect Data and Feedback about the position of UUA President
  • GA2014: Drafts of Job Description and Process of Nomination
  • Fall 2014: Collect Feedback
  • Dec 2014: Finalized Job Description and Process
  • GA2015: Last possible date for G-rule changes on election practices
  • July 2015: Applications Due
  • Feb 1, 2016: Nominations Due
  • GA2017: Election
  • GA2018: Present Final Report

It was decided that leadership roles should rotate in two year blocks. Roles for the first two years:

Co-Chair for Outside Liaison & Budget: Matthew Johnson-Doyle

Co-Chair for Team Facilitation: Liz Jones

Communications Coordinator for External Communication: Joanna Fontaine Crawford

Recorder: Michael Tino

PSC members also were assigned a role on a task group:

General Assembly: Jacqui Williams

Election/Campaign Practices: Wayne Arnason and Matthew Johnson-Doyle

Job Description: Liz Jones and Joanna Fontaine Crawford

Process: Elandria Williams and Michael Tino

Meetings will continue monthly through conference/video calls. Next in-person meeting: May, 2014.

In June 2010, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations voted to create a Presidential Search Committee, composed of 5 elected members and 2 members appointed by the UUA Board. In Section 9.5 of the UUA Bylaws, they are charged:

The Presidential Search Committee shall submit no fewer than two nominations for the office of President for an election at the end of a presidential term or for a special election. The report of the Presidential Search Committee shall be announced by February 1 of the year before the General Assembly at which there is to be a presidential election, except in the case of a special election, in which case the report of the Presidential Search Committee shall be announced by December 10 of the year before the election.

Appointed or elected in 2013, the Presidential Search Committee members are:

Rev. Wayne Arnason

Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson-Doyle

Liz Jones

Rev. Dr. Michael Tino

Elandria Williams

Jacqui C. Williams


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