2019-04 From the President: Strengthening our effectiveness

During its March meeting, the UMRA Board of Directors recommended a change in our by-laws that is intended to help us retain and leverage the experience and institutional memory of immediate past presidents. This proposal will be presented for approval at UMRA’s annual meeting on May 21. Because the change may seem a little complicated, the board suggested a detailed explanation from me might be helpful.

In our current structure, UMRA members can serve up to six years on the board (i.e. two three-year terms). The by-laws also state, somewhat vaguely, that the president shall hold office for a period of one year and shall not be elected for more than one full consecutive term.

It often happens that a president-elect is either chosen from the board, prior to completing a three-year term, or is selected from outside the board without having served any prior term. When the latter occurs, it means the president will serve just three years on the board—one year each as president-elect, president, and past president.

Therefore, to help ensure that we do not lose the expertise and experience of such a key UMRA leader, the board is recommending a change to the current by-laws that will offer the immediate past president the opportunity to remain on the board until she/he has completed a full six years of service. 

Council of Past Presidents
I believe this change will also strengthen the link between the Council of Past Presidents and the board. The Council of Past Presidents serves as a think tank for UMRA, considering both overarching issues such as our relationship to the University and more specific concerns; for example, the council was a primary driver in the effort to secure better space for our monthly meetings. Having as members of the council up to three past presidents who are still current board members should help facilitate communication and effectiveness.

Please feel free to contact me or any of the current UMRA Board members if you have any questions of suggestions.

—Jerry Rinehart, UMRA president