A Message From SLA President Deb Hunt

I’d like to update you on the recent Joint Cabinet motion to survey members about their interest in an association name change.

At the Joint Cabinet meeting in San Diego in June 2013, the Public Relations Advisory Council (PRAC) presented a recommendation to the Joint Cabinet that called for a survey of the SLA members regarding their interest in changing the association name. Cabinet members moved and seconded the PRAC recommendation at that meeting; however, there was insufficient time to have a meaningful discussion and call the question. The item was therefore set aside for future consideration. The Joint Cabinet reconvened virtually in late July 2013 and proceeded to discuss and vote on the original motion and a proposed amendment to the motion. Note that the Cabinets had to vote side-by-side as individual Cabinets, instead of as a single aggregate group, per our Parliamentarian.

The Division Cabinet passed the following recommendation to the Board with the original language (substituting Division for Joint, since it was a single-cabinet action):

“The Division Cabinet recommends to the SLA Board of Directors, to send a short survey within 60 days, to the SLA membership, as to whether or not they are in favor of a change in the association name (yes; no; not sure but willing to discuss), with no specific name being proposed at this time.”

The Chapter Cabinet amended the original motion in order to gather more information and, after losing quorum and reconvening a week later, ultimately passed the modified resolution (substituting Chapter for Joint, since it is a single-cabinet action):

“The Chapter Cabinet recommends to the SLA Board of Directors, to (1) send a short survey within 60 days, to the SLA membership, eliciting their opinions about the association name, and (2) create an ad hoc committee of members of the SLA Board and Joint Cabinet to compose at least two questions for the survey within 30 days and circulate them to the Joint Cabinet and SLA Board for input. Those questions should be designed to gauge the full range of current member attitudes about the SLA name itself as a benchmark, and to ascertain member willingness to discuss changing the name, including a full range of response options regarding desirability, time frame, and priority level for the organization.”

The result was that both Cabinets favored conducting a survey; half the Division delegates and most of the Chapter delegates preferred a survey that gathers a bit more context than the original proposal.

The two recommended actions were forwarded to the Board and discussed at the August 14 board call. (You can read the document here OM0813-A04.) After Board discussion, I appointed three board members (Ann Koopman, Tara Murray and Kama Siegel) and suggested three Joint Cabinet members (Philip Gust, Stephen Phillips and Chris Vestal) to work with PRAC to develop draft survey questions, conduct the survey and prepare a report for the Board and the Joint Cabinet by November 1, 2013.

Deb Hunt

SLA President