General Assembly: PSC private meetings were set for Thursday morning and Saturday morning during the plenary sessions.

We are also arranging times when persons who are considering applying may meet with some of the PSC to ask questions to help in their discernment. The purpose of these meetings is solely to answer questions of potential applicants; as such, it is not necessary for every PSC member to be there. We will attempt to have at least 3 PSC members present for each meeting.

We will have a booth in the exhibit hall. There, we will have information cards giving the links to information about the application process. Additionally, those interested in meeting with members of the PSC as part of their discernment will be able to sign up for meeting times.

The PSC will present a report at Plenary. Michael Tino and Elandria Williams will send out a draft to PSC members. Report will focus on where we are in the process and making sure people apply.

Timeline: Discussion was held around potentially changing our timeline to accommodate the fact that ministers will need time to tell their congregations if they are nominated. We expect to make a decision by December that will be made public on Feb. 1.

We also discussed moving our Sept 30-Oct 2 meeting to a more central location for interviews, and perhaps expanding the length of time. We deferred a final decision until all PSC members have reviewed this new information.

Applications and Interest: No formal applications have yet been received (nor were expected.) Several people have indicated an interest in talking to us at General Assembly.

Rubric: A rubric document outlining the job description was sent out by Matthew Johnson. At GA, we will assign primary responsibilities for each area of attention.

Social Media: Joanna Crawford will post a link to the proposed interview questions and invite readers to suggest additional questions for applicants.

Budget: Budgets were cut mid-year. We are projected to slightly exceed our budget this year; members were requested to try to keep GA expenses limited.

Conversations: We shared about conversations we’ve had with people interested in the Search process, at various UU events. One topic has been on the possibility of more than two candidates. In our May meeting, MT will offer a primer on instant runoff voting, per the UUA bylaws, so that we may better answer the questions of potential candidates and others.

Recommendations and Applications: One new suggestion (a few repeats) since last meeting (total is now 46). All people suggested have received invitations to apply. No one has yet formally put their name in yet as an applicant.

General Assembly: Meeting space is lined up. EW will follow up with the GA Staff to get a list of times that we can book people for conversations in that room, also to get the number and location of that room. Our plenary report will be scheduled for early in the General Assembly; EW and MT will give the report.

Ad deadline is Monday for program book—JW will take care of this. Pertinent information:

  • there is a new process that involves a nominating committee
  • our timeline (applications due July 15, nominations will be announced Feb 1)
  • nominating committee is available to talk with people considering applying
  • visit our booth for more info or to sign up for an appointment

Rubric: We talked about a process that WA knows to look at the job description and decide which things are most important to us—individually and collectively.

Campaign Finance: The Board is recommending to the delegates campaign finance limits, both for individual donations ($5K) and total fundraising ($100K), with no limit on in-kind donations but a requirement to report it.

Committee Budget: We talked about our budget. We spent more on the Atlanta meeting than we had anticipated. MJ reported that we might go over our budget. We should be careful with spending at GA, and we can still come in at budget.

Next Meeting: Our next phone meeting will be Friday, May 8, skipping an April meeting (noon Eastern/11am Central/9am Pacific).

Conversations: MJ and WA scheduled a meet-up at the UUMA Institute at Asilomar.  It was a small group and a good conversation.  One person talked with WA about potentially applying, and 4-5 people in different places of discernment talked with MJ.

Recommendations and Applications: No new suggestions since last meeting (total is now 45).  All people suggested have received invitations to apply.  No one has yet formally put their name in yet as an applicant, though many people have indicated that they will do so, or are still in discernment about it.  A number of people have responded to MT with thanks for being included.

General Assembly: We will have a suite at General Assembly where interested applicants can have a private conversation with members of the PSC, ask questions, etc. We will have a booth in the exhibitor hall. At the booth, we’ll have our identifying banner, a postcard with links and deadlines, information about the suite “office hours” and a private way to sign up for them, probably a Google doc shared only amongst the PSC members.  At our next meeting, we will schedule office hours times, and our private PSC meetings. PSC will have time to give a plenary report; exact time not set. We should also be present for the rule amendment re: presidential financing.

Background Checks: The UUA HR department will administer the background checks.  MJ will include the cost of this in our budget request. The PSC will ensure that there privacy of both the identity of the potential candidates and the results of the checks will be assured.

Blog Report January 2015

Methods of meeting: We need different ways of meeting according to the needs of the meeting. We will make a decision month by month – the default will be meeting via conference call. We will use Fuse if we need to look at documents at the same time. If we feel that we will be discussing something controversial within the committee, we will look at using Google Hangouts or another way to see each other’s face.

Status of list of recommendations and any applications: looks like 53 entries on spreadsheet, seems like around 39 names. No applications yet.

Contacting people we interviewed: We will each contact the people or groups we spoke to when creating the job description to point them to candidate recommendations and the application process.

January UUA Board Meeting: Matthew will be meeting with them online to discuss campaign finance rules. He will also request that they give us guidance about the compensation range, and encourage them to submit suggestions and/or apply.

General Assembly: Jacqui needed social media information, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Matthew will send logo. She will request that our booth be near the nominating booth. Jacqui has requested information about reserving a suite for PSC use.

Background checks: criminal background checks will be done in last stages of nominating process. We’ll need to have a separate conversation about what information would disqualify a potential candidate.

Any other Business: Matthew and Wayne will have “meetup” conversations with people at the UUMA Institute.

The Presidential Search Committee met November 21, 2014, via conference call.
Ad and booth reservations for General Assembly are will be done by January deadline.

Disseminating information about the presidential search process:

Forms were created with specific URLs:
• Suggestions:
• Applications:
• Job Description:
• Process Description:

Information has been shared on our blog and Facebook page. Additionally, LREDA has received notice, Michael and Matthew will be on The Vuu December 11, and there will be an article in the retired UU Ministers’ newsletter in January. We will each contact the people/groups we contacted in the first round of information gathering interviews to share the information with them, Wayne and Matthew will try to organize a conversation at the UUMA Institute, Matthew will notify UU World and Districts/Regions for their newsletters. Jacqui will investigate using the “event” option on Facebook.

The content of the letter that will be sent to those whose names were/are submitted for consideration was approved. We reviewed suggestions that have been made and added a few names to the previous list.

We had a discussion concerning overheard/seen conversations concerning desired demographics for the candidates and whether a statement in addition to the one we released last spring was called for. This will be further discussed at the December meeting. The statement from last spring:

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 only to their qualifications. We are committed to engaging in the conversation about what kind of leader our time calls for. We encourage people to nominate diverse candidates for this position in the context of our commitment to becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural Association.

Due to time limits, we tabled some items to the next agenda, including the rubric as well as discussing what (if anything) we would say to a potential candidate about the other people running.

Finalized 10/25/14

Applications and Suggestions

On November 1, 2014, we will begin accepting applications from people who wish to be considered for our nomination. In addition, we will publicly solicit suggestions of people whom we should invite to submit applications. In collecting these suggestions, we will ask for names and contact information of the potential applicants. All people suggested to us will be sent information on the application process.

We encourage those who suggest names to talk directly with the people they would like to run. Members of the committee will also directly encourage people to apply; all applications will be treated equally once they are submitted.

Application (Due July 15th, 2015)

We will ask for basic information in a web-based form. In addition, applicants will be required to do the following:

Submit a resume, with a cover letter describing why you are applying and why you believe you are qualified for the position. Please include contact information for three references who know you from a variety of settings. Please also submit a sermon you have given (both written and audio/video if possible).

In addition, please answer the following questions (four pages maximum, total):

  • What do you see as the optimal relationship between Unitarian Universalist congregations/covenanted communities and our Association headquarters?
  • How would you be a prophetic, public voice of Unitarian Universalism?
  • What is your vision for achieving the Association’s Ends concerning transforming power, privilege and oppression?
  • Describe your personal spiritual practice and sources of resilience.

Guidelines for Applicants

Applicants will be asked to agree to the following guidelines:

The Presidential Search Committee believes that our charge and process were part of an effort to create a different kind of democratic process and election for President of the UUA, one that is less expensive, more transparent, and more accesible than those in the past. Therefore, the Committee discourages candidates from public electioneering of any kind before release of our nominations on February 1, 2016, notwithstanding the current provisions of Rule G9.13.7. Failure to observe this expectation will be detrimental to one’s application for nomination.

The Committee, per UUA By-Laws, is obligated to nominate at least two candidates for the 2017 UUA presidential election. Potential applicants should enter this process with the understanding that nominees will need to run a campaign for election.

The Committee will have opportunities for potential applicants to discuss with us their discernment regarding submitting an application, including at General Assembly 2015. Involvement in such opportunties will have no bearing (positively or negatively) on the consideration of one’s application. Once applications are submitted, Committee members will not discuss applications outside of the formal process.

Interview Questions

We will give our finalists these questions ahead of time, and conduct video chat interviews that are recorded for all of the committee to look at.

  • Why do you want to be the President of the UUA?
  • How would you deploy Association resources to best serve potential Unitarian Universalists and those who identify as UU but are not members of congregations or covenanted communities?
  • Describe a time in which you had to inspire people to overcome a difficult situation.
  • What would you say to a potential major donor to convince them to donate to the UUA?
  • How would the diversity of our movement be reflected in your priorities as President?
  • We’re looking at the many ways in which the UUA President needs to relate to power—from advocacy to fundraising to ceremonial and positional power. Given that, how do you claim power for yourself? How do you engage with people who themselves hold a great deal of power?
  • Describe a healthy organizational culture and something you’ve done to help create one.
  • Have you engaged in personal or professional behavior that is in significant opposition to contemporary Unitarian Universalist ethical standards? If so, what does the Search Committee need to know?
  • Understanding that the role of President makes you a public religious figure, is there anything in your past that you feel the Search Committee needs to know about?
  • Plus 1 or 2 others that will be individualized for the candidate

Timeline and Process for Making Our Decisions

  • Completed applications must be received by the committee on or before July 15, 2015. We will confirm receipt of applications when they are complete.
  • Before our August, 2015 conference call, PSC members will rank their top 5 and bottom 5 applicants based on the rubric to be developed.
  • At our August, 2015 conference call, we will decide which candidates to do initial reference checks on.
  • Initial reference checks should be completed by our September, 2015 conference call.
  • At our Fall 2015 meeting (October, 2015), we will choose people to interview. Interviews will be conducted by video chat that can be recorded so that all PSC members can watch all interviews. We will also do a deeper reference dive on interview finalists (contacting people not on their reference list).
  • Finalists will be asked to submit to a comprehensive background check.
  • January 2016: In-person meeting, possibly to include live interviews with several top finalists, in order to finalize nominations.
  • We will attempt to reach a consensus among committee members on nominating each of the final candidates, using modified consensus process. If that process does not result in at least two nominees, we will vote yes or no on the remaining finalists and nominate any candidate with 5 of 7 yes votes. If we still do not have at least two nominees, we’ll discuss.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.