Meeting Report October 2014

October 24-25, 2014, In-Person meeting
Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta, GA
Present: Wayne Arnason, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, Matthew Johnson, Liz Jones, Michael Tino, Elandria Williams, Jacqui Williams.

UUA Board Meeting Report

Jacqui gave us an update on her report to the UUA Board last week.  They discussed the Board’s concerns about working with a president who will be charged with implementing Ends policies that they did not create.  We will need to be intentional about how we put the job description and application out, understanding that it describes an ideal candidate and encouraging people who come close to it to apply.

Susan Ritchie found the resolution brought to the General Assembly, and sent it to Matthew.  What actually happened was that a motion was made from the floor at the 1976 GA saying that the President is the spiritual leader of our Association, and it failed.  We see no implication for our work in this.

Here is what Susan sent us:

“We know that Conrad Wright published a statement that the 1976 GA rejected a proposal to define the President as the spiritual leader of the Association.  I therefore imagined I had this resolution, given I have all the GA minutes.

“Yet the 1976 GA Minutes show no such resolution.  Those minutes do show the rejection of a proposal to eliminate both the position of Moderator (so that the Board could appoint its own chair) and that of President (so that the Board could appoint its own CEO).  This proposal was not a part of resolution coming from the delegates or congregations, but was the result of a report of a subcommittee of the board.  The board itself, in presenting to GA, endorsed the subcommittee recommendation regarding Moderator, not the President.  Apparently a compromise was suggested from the GA floor that would define the President as the Spiritual not Administrative leader (still allowing the board to have a CEO).  And apparently that conversation got rather bogged down in humanist concerns about ‘spiritual.’  Anyway, all proposals were struck down.”

Survey Results

We discussed the results of our job description survey and highlighted things we need to discuss.  We received 65 responses to our survey.  We are very appreciative of all of the thoughtful responses.  We noted that a lot of the comments came from a small handful of respondents.

Job Description

We discussed the job description, focusing on the items highlighted in our discussion of survey results.

We noted that some of the concerns are beyond our control, mainly because they’re in our By-Laws.  This included President as CEO, necessity of President to be a member in good standing of a UUA member congregation, and the location of our Headquarters in Boston.

Some notes we made: we should hyperlink the Job Description and application to things like the Ends policies, the By-laws and other hard-to-find documents.

The finalized job description will be posted on separate from this report.

Conflict of Interest Policy

We were asked to sign the UUA Conflict of Interest Policy to indicate our understanding of it.  We discussed the policy and how it relates to our work.

We agreed that we would internally disclose all personal and professional relationships with applicants and, as a committee, discuss whether those relationships would make us biased, as per the policy.  In such a case, we would report that relationship to the Moderator and ask for permission to consider the candidate (with or without the conflicted person recused).

We agreed that in the earliest stages of considering candidates we would rely on recusal as an effective method of avoiding conflicts of interest.
We expressed concerns about the confidentiality of the process as well as the public perception of the process, and intend to hold ourselves to high standards with respect to both of those.

Presidential Pay

Harlan Limpert will get us the pay scale for President, a piece of information that several people requested.

Selection Process

We discussed the selection process, beginning with questions about the behavior of applicants between when they apply and when nominations are made and about appropriate campaign practices and guidelines.  Several of us had received questions about these things. Our finalized process and guidelines will be posted on separate from this report.

We will ask the Board to propose amendments to Rule G-9.13.7 that bring its timeline into agreement with the charge of our committee, disallowing fundraising or public campaigning before February 1 of the year preceding election. We should make sure that our nominees have the ability to create events and have booths at GA2016 if the deadline is Jan 31.


We need booth, a suite and a program book ad for GA2015. New guidelines mean we cannot share a booth, so we’ll need our own.

Upcoming Meetings

Phone: We moved our next phone meeting to Friday, November 21 at Noon EST/11am CST/9am PST.

In-Person: We decided to cancel our in-person meeting for April and go to San Diego next fall instead.  Tentatively scheduled for October 1-2 (arrive on September 30).

Next Steps In Application Process

Elandria Williams and Michael Tino will create the online form and submission process by November 1.

Communication from This Meeting

MJ and MT are willing and able to go on The VUU to discuss the application process.  Date TBD.

We will also disseminate the information from this meeting through the blog, Facebook, email lists, and personal channels.  Matthew Johnson will talk to UUA (website, UUWorld).  The rest of us will contact the people and organizations we interviewed.



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