Monthly Archives: May 2014

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.

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) met in Houston on May 16 and 17 in Houston, TX at First Unitarian Universalist Church – Museum District.

May 2014 UUA-PSC-FB-Cover

Liz Jones, Michael Tino, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, Wayne Arnason, Matthew Johnson, Elandria Williams. Not pictured, Jacqui C. Williams.

The meeting agenda had both open public and closed times. During the open times, guests could observe the committee at work and a time was also set aside for public comment/questions. During the public times on both Friday and Saturday, there was one (different each day) observer.

LJ and JFC compiled things mentioned in interviews for the job description; the committee discussed these at length. Based on those interviews, a draft of the Job Description and Committee values around selecting candidates was created. The job description first will be shared publicly on Thursday, May 22, on the online UU webcast “The VUU,” and on; it will also be included in the content of our workshop at GA. Anyone wishing to offer feedback on this draft should fill out the survey which will also be published on the Presidential Search blog.

EW prepared a summary document about the proposed selection process based on responses from the interviews. This was discussed and a rough outline was agreed upon. EW and MT will create a detailed process which will be shared publicly online and at General Assembly 2014. This will include our timeline, how to submit nominations, the application process, and when potential applicants can meet with the PSC.

Plans were made for General Assembly 2014. Our workshop is at 12:30-1:45 on Thursday in Omni Narragansett AB. We will ask for time during a plenary session for a report to the Assembly. We will also have a table outside of the exhibit hall for materials. These materials will include postcards with the ways to connect with us (survey link, hashtag, facebook page, blog address), and handouts with the job description, values statements and timeline/process.

Everything printed will also be available on the blog and Facebook in digital format.

We discussed ways to get out our information in an effort to encourage as many nominations and applications as possible. Ideas include a video, district and regional newsletters, a scheduled collegial conversation at Professional Days before GA 2015, a plenary report, a suite/time to meet with interested people, and a GA booth shared with the nominating committee.

Fall 2014 In-Person Meeting: Oct 24-25 in Atlanta.

The Presidential Search Committee met via Conference Call on April 18.

The PSC discussed issues around making our meetings open to the public. Liz shared an email from the Open UUA committee and her response, which was that we are in process with this, and operated somewhat analogous to the way a search committee in a church would work. Liz also shared the Moderator Search process with the PSC; theirs involved no public meetings.

Due to the need for privacy, especially on behalf of potential candidates, the PSC will set aside times in our meetings that are open for public observation. At this time, only “in person” meetings will be open to the public.

Our next “in person” meeting will be May 16-17 in Houston. Meetings will be held at First Unitarian-Museum District. Schedule:

Friday 9-5 with a lunch break. 3:00 – 5:00 open to public, with 10-15 minutes for public comment/questions.

Saturday: 9:00 start. 9:30 – 11 public observation.

Campaign Finance and Election Practice: The UUA Board’s suggestion is for campaign finance reform to be done as a rule, not a bylaw; they suggested this happen at GA 2015, not this summer.

The PSC reported on the research interviews about the job description. Most have been completed and the files will be shared so we can read them before the May meeting. At that meeting, a job description will be put together so that it may be shared at General Assembly for feedback.