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April 06, 2007

Be Heard on ASAE's Proposed Governance Model

About a week ago, ASAE emailed its members to request their input on proposed changes to ASAE's governance model. I strongly encourage members of ASAE & The Center to review the recommended changes and weigh in.

For whatever its worth, here is the feedback I sent in:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on changes to ASAE & The Center's governance structure and procedure. I commend the task force for their work in this important endeavor.

I have two areas on which to provide feedback. Please consider my comments in the manner in which I intend to give them, which is to be of help. My comments are based on my personal experiences, and my conversations with many fellow members and strategic thinkers in the association community.

1. Change in Board Composition & Size: Reducing the size of the board by over half, from thirty-eight to fifteen, seems a drastic reduction. This action may be perceived by many members as an attempt to close ranks and make becoming a board member more than twice as difficult as it already is. In my opinion, the process of becoming a board member is far less transparent than the process of volunteering for a committee or section council. My feelings are reflected by others with whom I have had conversations about ASAE's board. The difficult problem faced by the governance task force is to appropriately balance the need to have a reasonably-sized board and the need to be perceived by members as inclusive and transparent in the board appointment process. I feel that cutting the size of the board by over 50% does not reflect a balanced solution to this problem.

2. Create Strategic Alignment With Other Volunteers: I strongly encourage the task force to develop additional recommendations to encourage better alignment. An annual leadership conference alone will provide only marginal improvement in this area. Developing reporting processes will not necessarily provide for a substantial improvement in this area. Doing more to encourage continual dialog between ASAE & The Center's members, committees, sections, boards, executive committees, external stakeholders and staffs will.

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