Chair / Vice-Chair Discussion
Hi LITA Board,
I want to bring to everyone's attention that there have been some concerns raised around the implementation of appointing Vice-Chairs to committees. If you remember, we discussed this topic at one of our Midwinter Board meetings, and we all verbally agreed to proceed with this model. But because of these concerns, I have consulted with Cindi as President, Thomas as incoming Vice-President, Mary Taylor, and Jason Griffey as Chair of Bylaws, and a couple LITA Board members. I will most likely be talking with Zoe, Past-President, this afternoon.
The concern is around the interpretation of a statement in the Bylaws about the Vice-President making appointments (Chairs and membership) to LITA Committees, and if the Vice-President makes Vice-Chair appointments, he/she is no longer making Chair appointments. Both Cindi and Thomas are in agreement with me in that it doesn’t matter to us if we are appointing future Chairs instead of Chairs when we are President. What’s important to us is that we have the best person in the position and who wants to help advance LITA and its initiatives.
There was also concern that this model was practiced in the past, and I talked with Cody about his appointment to the Education Committee as a Co-Chair. This happened many years ago, and having Co-Chairs was challenging because no single individual was responsible, and if people didn’t work well together, there was a lot of potential for things to fall apart.
I am not proposing that we implement the Co-Chairs model that was previously attempted, but rather a Chair/Vice-Chair model. I think it will be crucial for me to work with the incoming LITA Committee Chair Coordinator (Lauren Pressley) and Thomas Dowling to establish some guidelines and expectations for this new model. As Cody pointed out to me, it will be essential for Vice-Chairs to be familiar with what is expected of them and not just emulate what their Chair did. I realize that also that it could be easy to slip into a pattern of “no action” or have a weak leader, but this is the case in any situation. And this is why it is SOOO important that we, as Board Liaisons to all these committees, communicate regularly with them, help them with establishing their own strategic directions based on the directions the Board has set, and be as supportive as possible.
Anyway, I have asked Jason to talk with the Bylaws Committee about this issue, as I don't want to go against the Bylaws, and I hope to hear from him later this week or early next week. If it is decided that I am able to proceed with making Vice-Chair appointments, I’ll then work with Mary to get this set up within the ALA appointment system and finish wrapping up the appointment process.
Feel free to share your thoughts here in ALA Connect.