The Presidential Search Committee met September 12, 2014 via conference call.

Next firm meeting will be in person October 24-25 in Atlanta. Oct. 10 is being held as a possible conference call if needed.
Meeting in Atlanta will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. Tentative plans for a Spring meeting in San Diego were discussed, pending outcome of Atlanta meeting and confirmation of process timeline.

Jacqui C. Williams will represent the PSC at the UUA Board meeting October 17. We are on the agenda for 45 minutes to invite the Board into a conversation about the draft job description. The draft process outline will also be shared for information purposes. Additionally, there is still the open question of the campaign finance rule change that needs to be placed on the GA2015 agenda.

Elandria Williams and Michael Tino submitted a draft of a process, including application and interview questions. This will be discussed at our Atlanta meeting to finalize it.

Also discussed: the need for criminal background checks for finalists. Minister and DRE credentialing and UUA employment require it. If we do this, we need to have a clear understanding of what would disqualify someone from the position. Matthew Johnson will research what the UUA does for employees to have as a reference point.

Rough draft of application was discussed, especially around providing links to items referenced in application, e.g. Ends Statements. Process for nominating someone was discussed.

Question for Fall meeting agenda: What are the standards by which we will judge candidates (what is our rubric)?

Update on President as Spiritual Leader: We followed up on the suggestion that the GA had voted years ago to limit the President’s role as spiritual leader, but could find no reference to this. Unless someone is willing to dig through the archives for GA minutes from the 1970s, we’re at a loss with that.

Prior to Atlanta meeting, the PSC will study in detail the results of the job description survey results.

In our published Values Statement, the Presidential Search Committee has said:

“We are committed to a process that is as open and transparent as possible, given the demands of confidentiality required for a personnel matter.”

This statement is intended to unpack these demands of confidentiality. The minutes and blog statements of the PSC are reviewed and approved by all members. The PSC speaks with one voice, and individual members do not make public or private statements on behalf of the Committee without authorization.

The members of the PSC will share with each other the information gathered in private and individual conversations with potential Presidential candidates and their references.
We promise that:

  • We will not release outside the PSC membership any transcripts, notes, or recordings of conversations with individuals we contact about a possible candidacy.
  • We will not release outside the PSC membership any transcripts, notes, or recordings of conversations with any references we are asked by potential candidates to contact, or any individuals we decide to contact for discussion about any possible candidates.
  • We will ask for and expect that people we talk to about potential candidates will hold our conversations with them confidential. For members of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, we will request in advance the same standard of confidentiality that ministers observe in counseling situations. In conversations with people who are not UUMA members, we will ask that our conversations remain confidential.

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) met August 15, 2014 via Conference Call.

Confidentiality: We discussed the confidentiality statement, previously drafted. There was consensus on adopting it. This will be posted separately on the blog for easy dissemination via social media. It was agreed that we will not discuss with people outside of the committee who has and has not been suggested or who has and has not applied for consideration. We will begin reference checks with one agreed-upon statement around expectations both of us, and of the person providing the reference.

General Assembly 2015: MJ will confirm that the PSC is on the agenda. At our meeting in October, we will discuss details such as the need for a workshop, booth or suite, etc.

Resolution on President as Spiritual Leader: Someone outside the committee informed us that there was a resolution in the 1970s that was passed by the General Assembly, saying that the President was not the spiritual leader of the Association. We are further researching this, but have not yet found any substantiating documents.

Future meetings:
September 12: phone. Viewing draft of nominating process.
October 24-25: in person, Atlanta. Main agenda: Finalizing job description and process.
Spring: San Diego

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) met June 13 via conference call.

The PSC had a conversation about confidentiality in our search process. We are in the position of needing to balance transparency to our denomination with the confidentiality that is naturally required in personnel issues. We decided to try and always articulate our expectations of one another and of those we engage in conversation with, e.g. references. The expectation should be that anything with a name on it should be explicitly confidential, and other things that we expect to be confidential should be explicitly flagged as such.

GA Workshop:
Presidential Search Committee Hearing
Thursday 12:30 pm Omni Narragansett AB

The PSC discussed the upcoming General Assembly and reviewed the agenda and the PowerPoint presentation for our workshop. EW is making handouts and cards and we will be sharing a booth with the Commission on Social Witness. MJ will have buttons so that we are easily identifiable. We discussed our plenary report and set times for when we will meet at GA.

Our next phone call: Friday, July 11. Next in-person meeting: October 24-25, Atlanta GA

We solicit feedback on the following job description through this survey:

President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

The President of the Unitarian Universalist Association is the public, spiritual, and executive leader of the UU movement and our association of congregations.

The President:
• Serves as the Executive under Policy Governance, with responsibility for interpreting the Association’s Ends as set by the Board.
— Accountable to the Board, which is the designee of the General Assembly, in relationship to Executive Limitations policies.
—  Acts as head of the UUA Staff.
—  Effectively manages and deploys the resources of the Association in service of the Ends.

• Serves as ex officio member of the UUA Board.

• Acts as the prophetic voice and face of Unitarian Universalism.
—  Speaks to Unitarian Universalists and on our behalf.
—  Represents Unitarian Universalism in the public square and with other faith leaders.

• Extends and strengthens Unitarian Universalist institutions.
—  Inspires generosity rooted in Unitarian Universalist values and relationships.
—  Provides a pastoral and ceremonial presence in support of beloved community.

• Provides leadership for the Association’s Ends of transforming power, privilege and oppression.

Our ideal candidates will:
• Be able to authentically and accountably represent and embody the whole of our movement and its diverse members.
— Have a broad, intersectional cultural competence and a commitment to grow and develop it.
— In personal and professional relationships, embody standing on the side of the love.

• Live a liberal religious spiritual life in word, deed, and personal practice.

• Be resilient with a strong sense of self and an established support network.

• Be capable of engaging with power, money, and people who hold them.

• Be passionate about Unitarian Universalism, its institutions and covenanted communities.
— Have a vision for the growth of our movement.

• Be a faithful risk-taker in service to a compelling vision

Potential nominees must be:
• A member in good standing of a UUA member congregation.
• Able to travel extensively.
• Able to spend a significant amount of time in Boston.
• At least 18 years of age.

Our ideal candidates will possess the following skills, knowledge and attributes:

• Excellent written and oral communication.

• Impressive leadership skills, including especially the ability to manage a complex organization, delegate to others, and assess and plan for effective work.

• An understanding of systems theory and organizational development
— Understands both the explicit and implicit ways the Association works

• Ability to inspire others, including (but not limited to) staff, donors, and leaders.

• Emotional and pastoral intelligence and good listening skills.

• Talented ordained or lay preacher.

The members of the Presidential Search Committee are stewards of a process, and not advocates for a particular outcome.  We acknowledge that there is a value in diversity of leadership, and we also maintain that in our process, we will consider people with regard to their qualifications.  We are committed to engaging in the conversation about what kind of leader our time calls for.  We invite people to nominate diverse candidates for this position in the context of our commitment to becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural Association.

We are not limiting our qualifications to a particular type of leadership, but we expect that successful nominees will have been involved at some level in Unitarian Universalist leadership. We will be relying heavily on Unitarian Universalists to be the “eighth member” of our Committee, helping identify qualified leaders and encouraging them to apply.

We are committed to a process that is as open and transparent as possible, given the demands of confidentiality required for a personnel matter.  We also seek a process accountable to communities of people whose identities marginalize them in our society.  We intend that the criteria we use for selection will be public and that every member of the committee will review every application.


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