24:4 (2009:12) President’s CornerDecember 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Posted in President, President's Corner | Leave a comment
Rick Anderson, NASIG President
The colder it gets here in northern Utah (I’m having to bundle up more and more for my early-morning run), the more I find myself thinking about Palm Springs and our upcoming conference there – and I’m having a hard time believing that it’s now only seven months away. We had a very productive Executive Board meeting at Rancho Las Palmas this past October, and I was impressed again by the quality of the facilities, the beauty of the setting, and the great bargain we’re getting for such a great hotel in such a desirable place. It’s going to be a fantastic location for our 25th anniversary – here’s hoping we’ll see all of you there!
Thinking about Our Anniversary
I want particularly to encourage everyone to look at the update from our 25th Anniversary Task Force, whose members have been working hard this past year to help prepare an extra-special program of events for the meeting in Palm Springs. Videos, DJs, quizzes and commemorative DVDs are all part of what the 25ATF is either considering or actively developing for the event, and your input will be essential to making it all a success. Check out the report in this issue, and then sort through your old photos and send some in. Also, please be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities – the more people get involved, the richer the results will be.
Organizational Sponsorship of Awards
Money continues to get tighter for all of us, and NASIG recently instituted a program of organizational sponsorships in order to help keep our conference costs reasonable and help position the organization more strongly to ride out the uncertain times ahead. The program has been successful so far, and starting in 2010, we will also be offering the opportunity to sponsor specific awards. Details on how to do so can be found on the NASIG website at http://www.nasig.org/conference_sponsorship.cfm. I warmly encourage anyone interested to consider sponsoring (or encouraging your institution to sponsor) one of these awards.
John Merriman Award
I’m especially excited about this new program. Named for a man who was instrumental in the founding of both UKSG and NASIG, the John Merriman Award will be presented every year to cover the expenses for one member from each of those two organizations to attend the other organization’s annual conference. Look for more details in this issue of the Newsletter.
Changes to Nomination & Elections Procedures
In October, following up on Brainstorming Session discussions at the Asheville meeting, the Nominations & Elections Committee polled the NASIG membership to find out whether and how we would all like to see the nomination process change. For years there has been a mix of opinions about the vetting process – should there be a vetting process at all, or should the membership as a whole select a final slate of candidates by means of a primary election? If we want to stick with a vetting process, then should it involve a long profile form, or could that form be replaced by the submission of a résumé or a CV? The general feeling seemed to be that the vetting process is too valuable to give up, and in October N&E sent out a survey asking the members to weigh in on the process question. The majority of respondents – and there were a gratifyingly large number of them – voted for a modifed version of our current process: soliciting résumés for the initial vetting, and then requiring only those who are slated to fill out the standard form. As of this writing the necessary bylaws change has not yet been put to a vote, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the vote goes.
New Discussion Forum – Mentoring
Are you new to NASIG? Do you know someone who’s new to NASIG and may be floundering a little bit or feeling overwhelmed? The Mentoring Group has instituted a new discussion forum where people can both ask and answer questions about NASIG, how it works, how to get involved, how to either become a mentor or find one, and about the mentoring program itself. Point your favorite newbie (and your favorite oldie) to the forum and encourage them to contribute to the discussion there.
Citations and Continuing Education Opportunities
There are some pretty impressive publications listed in this issue’s Citations column, and by the way, please also note the announcement from our Continuing Education Committee about their efforts to organize “unconferences” and webinars as low-cost alternatives to traditional conferences attendance. These events are not only useful for their content, but can also help NASIG members with scarce travel funding fulfill their service and professional development responsibilities.
Stay warm and think happy thoughts of spring in Southern California! It’s going to be a great conference and a rare opportunity to look back on an amazing quarter-century for NASIG.