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Susan Hornung-IL (staff)'s picture

Are you satisfied with the plan to replace the RUSA Vice-President as outlined by RUSA President Joe Thompson in his message to the board on Friday, June 12, 2015? Please feel free to comment.

This poll has no expiration date set.
100% (10 votes)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 10
Susan Hornung-IL (staff)'s picture

This is an unofficial poll. This is not an official board vote. The final plan to replace the RUSA Vice-President will be discussed and voted on at the annual conference board meeting.

Joseph Thompson's picture

From: Thompson, Joseph
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2015 9:41 AM
Subject: RUSA Vice President Transition Plan Proposal - please provide feedback
Importance: High


Good morning members of the RUSA Board, including those of you who will be joining the Board in July,


As I’d noted in my message to you a week ago, Friday, Susan Hornung and I received an email from Liane Taylor on Thursday, June 4th making us aware that she needed to resign as our current RUSA Vice President/President Elect.  Susan and I immediately began reviewing our RUSA Bylaws and Susan contacted ALA’s parliamentarian, Eli Mina, for his interpretation and advice regarding our options. 


Here’s the link to our RUSA Bylaws:



The focus of our attention is primarily on Article IV, Section 2, part b (TERMS OF OFFICE/VICE PRESIDENT); Section 3, part a (DUTIES/PRESIDENT); and all of Section 4 (VACANCIES OF OFFICE).  While the bylaws are clear that the Vice President performs the duties of President in the absence of the President, the absence of only the Vice President is not clearly defined. 


Eli’s overarching advice to us is that we be extremely transparent with our membership in letting them know our options through a strong communication plan.  This email that you’re reading now is a part of the larger communication process that we’re undertaking.  These are our key options:


Option #1: Following a strict parliamentary view, the first option that Eli recommends is that Anne Houston and I split the responsibilities for the position of President over the year of the vacancy, which is 2015–2016.  As a reminder, Anne was elected just this spring to a term as RUSA Vice President/President Elect for 2015-2016 and as RUSA President for 2016-2017.  My term as RUSA President is 2014-2015, meaning that my term as President is scheduled to end July 1, 2015 (or at the conclusion of ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco) at which time I become RUSA Past President.


Anne and I have discussed this option and have found that we are both in similar situations at the jobs we are employed.  Anne has a major renovation project at her library this fall that will demand her attention.  Likewise, I have many responsibilities at my library system that I’ve been able to delay just long enough for my term as RUSA President to come to a close.  Though Anne and I are both ready and happy to provide active support to the RUSA President over this coming year, neither of us is in a position to be able to adequately take on the full responsibility.


Option #2: Though not technically covered by our Bylaws, is the more practical option.  It would have us appoint someone to serve out the term.  We would need to be sure to be very clear in our communications with the membership that appointing a member to this office is not technically in our bylaws, but that it is the most practical solution since Option #1 is not viable due to Anne’s and my existing work commitments.  We also have at least two examples in recent years at the section level where a vice chair stepped down prior to their taking office as chair, and where an appointed individual successfully served out their term.  This occurred in BRASS in 2004, then again in MARS in 2011.


Following the reasoning described in option #2, I have approached Celia Ross to ask if she would allow herself to be nominated and appointed by the RUSA Board to serve out the final days of Liane’s Taylor’s Vice-President/President-Elect term (2014-2015), President term (2015-2016), and Past President term (2016-2017).  I’m very happy to report that Celia has agreed.  I feel very confident that Celia is in an excellent position to be able to assume this responsibility and make it a smooth transition for RUSA.  Celia has served as a successful chair of a RUSA section (BRASS), was nominated and ran as a qualified candidate in a close election for RUSA Vice President/President Elect in winter/spring 2015, and is currently serving as an active and engaged RUSA Director-at-Large on the RUSA Board.  She listens to members and is respected by them for her positive attitude.  She is also willing to try new solutions to problems and is always eager to pitch in and do the important work of RUSA with enthusiasm.  She has the full support of both Anne and I.  We feel that this option allows for a smooth transition, makes the best use of a very short timeline, and positions RUSA to be able to immediately begin doing the work to support our new Strategic Plan.


Susan has prepared a straw poll to ask  you, the RUSA Board members, if you agree with this plan and consider it viable.  The poll also allow for comments.  This straw poll will not be part of an action to be voted on, but doing this will allow us to get a feel from you about what you are thinking.  The link to the poll can be found here:




We appreciate you taking just a moment to complete the poll and provide comments.  If the feedback is supportive, that will provide us helpful guidance and allow us to know whether we are on the right track to seek a formal vote to approve Celia’s appointment at the RUSA Board I meeting on Saturday at ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.


Once we have this information we will be able to begin making arrangements for the transition.  This will set us on a good course to also begin resolving other questions about carrying out responsibilities at ALA Annual and the coming year.


Thanks so much, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you soon in San Francisco!





Joseph Thompson

RUSA President 2014-2015



Senior Administrator - Public Services

Harford County Public Library

1221-A Brass Mill Road

Belcamp, MD 21017


410-273-5601 x2249 (office)

Joseph Thompson's picture

<p>I tried accessing the survey.&nbsp;</p>
<p>I agree that Celia Ross is an excellent choice to fill the roll of RUSA Vice President/President elect.</p>
<p>BRASS Vice-chair/Chair-elect</p>
<p><br /><br />Paul Brothers<br />Business Reference Librarian<br />Angelo Bruno Business Library<br />University of Alabama<br />205-348-1097<br /><a href="mailto:pbrother@bruno.cba.ua.edu" target="_blank">pbrother@bruno.cba.ua.edu</a></p>

Joseph Thompson's picture



The plan sounds good to me


Ed Garcia

Bryna Coonin's picture

Joe, Anne --

Plan sounds good. Grateful to Celia for her willingness to serve --


Sarah Hammill's picture

This is a sound plan.  For some reason, I am not able to vote in the poll.



Ann Brown's picture

As I'm not a member of the Board I can't vote either.

But I support the choice to appoint Celia.



Kate Kosturski's picture

It doesn't look like I can vote either but I support this choice as well. 



Kate Kosturski


Susan Hornung (non-member)'s picture

it's because you're not a member of the board member group, but you can make comments. Just one of the Connect protocols, I guess, but comments are encouraged!

Best Wishes, Susan Hornung Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA American Library Association 50 East Huron Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: (800) 545-2433 x4395 Direct: (312) 280-4395 Fax: (312) 280-5273 Email: shornung@ala.org ALA: www.ala.org ASCLA:

Elizabeth Stephan's picture

I think it's a great solution. I wholeheartedly support Celia as vice-president/president/past-president. 



Susan Hornung-IL (staff)'s picture

Subject: Re: RUSA Vice President Transition Plan Proposal - please provide your feedback!

I feel comfortable with the options laid out and would be happy with the appointment of Celia Ross.  However I would like it to be transparent, but all of the suggestions so far seem reasonable to achieve that end. 

Nancy Huling's picture

I applaud Joe and Susan for their quick and thorough in seeking a solution.  I support the proposal to appoint Celia, and appreciate her willingness to assume the responsibility.

Janet OKeefe's picture

I also cannot vote, but I support this solution. Like others I am grateful that Celia is willing to serve.

Donna Brearcliffe's picture

Great job working this to a successful resolution so quickly.  Thanks to Celia for her willingness.



Margaret Ellingson's picture

The plan to appoint Celia to fill the rest of Liane's leadership terms in RUSA sounds good.  Many thanks to Celia for being willing to take on these roles with very little lead time. 

To be sure I/we have the whole picture going forward: If/when appointed, Celia completes all of Liane's terms & Anne Houston takes office as VP/Pres Elect, as usual.  The lineup then becomes:

2014-15 (rest of June)

  • Pres: Joe Thompson
  • VP/Pres-Elect: Celia Ross
  • Past Pres: Kathleen Kern


  • Pres: Celia Ross
  • VP/Pres-Elect: Anne Houston
  • Past Pres: Joe Thompson


  • Pres: Anne Houston
  • VP/Pres-Elect: To be elected, as usual
  • Past Pres: Celia Ross

We'd technically be operating with one less Dir-at-Large in San Fran but that shouldn't be a problem.  Also, since Celia would have completed her term in that role as of June 30th, anyway, we're OK going forward.

Correct?  Whew! -- Margaret





  • Margaret Ellingson
  • Interlibrary Loan & Reference
  • R. W. Woodruff Library
  • Emory University
  • Atlanta, GA, 30322-2870 USA
  • 404-727-6893


Joseph Thompson's picture

Hi Margaret, I couldn't have explained the timeline better!  Yes, this is exactly what's being proposed.


Joseph Thompson's picture

Yes, since Celia's term as Director-at-Large ends on June 30, 2015 anyway, once our two new Directors-at-Large (Mary Mintz and Ed Garcia) begin their terms on July 1, 2015 we'd be back at having a full board.


Mary Popp's picture

Hi!  As many chairs have already noted, this seems a well-thought out plan and it will serve RUSA members well.  Special thanks go to Celia for her willingness to serve.  Thanks also to Joe, Anne, and Susan as well as the full Executive Committee for all their hard work in getting the new plan in place so quickly.


Mary Pagliero Popp

David Murray's picture

As vice-chair of the History Section I too cannot vote, but support Option #2.