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My Summary of CD 37.1 the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group report

  • 1.  My Summary of CD 37.1 the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group report

    Posted Jun 23, 2021 10:10 PM
      |   view attached
    Hi all,

    For some background, please see the the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group (FT-FAWG) report, CD 37.1 (dated June 23) here:


    My back of the envelope "if all FTRWG resolutions passed as written and as reviewed by FT-FAWG" calculation says:
    • ALA would "cut" $788,074 from its current expenditures 
    • ALA would "add" $780,204 to its future expenditures 
    • Estimated net difference: $7,870
    ~Aaron
    :-)'

    Here's a table from the attached spreadsheet that I used as my envelope:

    Resolution Item  "cut"   "add"  Notes
    ALA Core Values TF Establish TF minimal fiscal impact
    ALA Core Values TF Charges (2)     regular review should be assigned to a standing committee
    Round Tables  Affirmation minimal fiscal impact
    Round Tables  150 minimum no RT reductions, no correlation to ALA membership numbers, as more RTs are added (or increase activity without increasing membership) costs will increase
    Round Tables  Common Bylaws Template standardized bylaws (minimal variance) would result in reduced support time
    Round Tables  Standard Dues     reduction in dues complexity would result in lowered costs of business
    Board of Directors Dissolve Exec Bd  $420,063 see: VIR MW 2021 CD37
    Board of Directors Create new Board of Directors Likely will have to do everything EB does now, necessitating similar support
    Board of Directors Board Membership  $458,738 230,738 direct, same 228,000 staff support, not including A/V for official Board events , nor including room costs (if not "comp"ed) 
    Board of Directors Board members serve on Council     This adds 17 (13?) additional members to a reimagined Council from the Council Resolution
    Council ALA Members can bring resolutions negligible fiscal impact
    Council Fiduciary and Administrative oversight assigned to new Board Suggests that the new Board will need similar (possibly more) support as(than) EB
    Council Dissolves current and creates new Council Policy review does not have direct fiscal impact. Retaining some form of Council creates support cost implications. Fiscal efficiencies could result from Council elimination.
    Council Council Membership  $368,011 Current vs Smaller Council does not change the numbers much; fully physical meetings vs hybrid meetings does not change the numbers much; move to all-virtual Council meetings significantly reduces costs (see boxed numbers below)
    Council Board/ Assembly/ Committee memberships No fiscal implication
    Council 12 at large direct elections smaller number of positions should reduce costs of election
    Council Council develops in-depth review schedules will require commitment of additional support
    Council Council meets 4x per year    $  45,183 1 day hybrid meeting cost estimate (not counting $152,000 staff time)
    Council Council meets 4x per year    $  64,857 2 day hybrid meeting cost estimate (not counting $152,000 staff time)
    Council Council meets 4x per year    $  68,238 3 virtual meetings and a 2 day hybrid meeting cost estimate (not counting  $152,000 staff time)
    Council in-person requirement eliminated     Positive impact for member budgets, impact on ALA budget less clear
    Assemblies creates 4 assemblies will increase support costs for these entities
    Assemblies requires ALA/Unit membership No fiscal implication
    Assemblies standardized governing documents standardized bylaws (minimal variance) would result in reduced support time
    Assemblies each assembly elects reps for 2-year terms     Reducing Board terms from 3 to 2 years increases election costs
    Structure of Assemblies elect 15-80 representatives per Assembly Adds complexity to elections, increases election costs (increases support for recruiting/ nomination, too)
    Structure of Assemblies elect leadership team in each Assembly Adds complexity to elections, increases election costs (increases support for recruiting/ nomination, too)
    Structure of Assemblies elect 5 members from each Assembly to Council     Adds complexity to elections, increases election costs (increases support for recruiting/ nomination, too)
    Committees Need more info 2 of the 6 standing committees proposed present separate fiscal concerns
    Committees Leadership Development Committee New Committee, will need staff support. Depending on scope and activities budget development will vary.
    Committees Nominating Committee     Expanded scope of activities. Currently NomCom recruits/selects 55 candidates. Proposed NomCom recruits/selects ~150 candidates the first year or 2, then selects ~84 candidates once staggered terms are established. Additionally, it is unclear if Assemblies will be within NomCom responsibilities. 
     "cut"   "add"   Notes 
    Estimated Costs  $788,074  $458,738 The "add" column is the sum of all items except the 3 Council options - see breakout below:
     $332,732 4 1-day hybrid Council meetings @ $45,183 + $152,000 staff costs
     $411,428 4 2-day hybrid Council meetings @ $64,857 + $152,000 staff costs
     $220,238 3 virtual meetings and a 2 day hybrid meeting @ $68,238 + $152,000 staff costs
           $321,466 Average cost of the 3 Council meeting options
    Grand Total Estimated Costs  $788,074  $780,204 The "add" is the average of the 3 Council options plus the cost estimates shared in CD 37.1 (the FT-FAWG report for Annual)

    Attachment(s)

    xlsx
    FT-FAWG summary.xlsx   15 KB 1 version


  • 2.  RE: My Summary of CD 37.1 the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group report

    Posted Jun 25, 2021 02:10 PM

    Hi all, I'm in the  BARC/F&A meeting which is discussing the proposed FT reorganization.

    The table I included in my previous message on this thread does not reflect the likely new costs related to the Assemblies & Committees. Per the FTFAWG discussion, the Assemblies are proposed to have between 15 and 80 elected members, the Committees could add an additional 90 positions. The FTFAWG chair shared that the WG anticipates  significant additional costs related to Assemblies and Committees and noted that the proposed reorganization increases, rather than reduces, ALA governance complexity.

    I feel I should emphasize that my "grand total estimated costs" line in my previous message on this thread could be misleading. It does not include anticipated Assemblies and Committee cost increases. Please do not be tempted to see the approximate parity in costs as an accurate reflection of anticipated costs.

    -Aaron
    :-)'



    ------------------------------
    Aaron Dobbs
    Scholarly Communication Librarian
    Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
    He/Him/His,They/Them/Theirs
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: My Summary of CD 37.1 the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group report

    Posted Jun 26, 2021 09:30 AM
    Aaron, I appreciate that you stepped in to acknowledge your error in these calculations. All, stay tuned for a fuller response from the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group later this weekend. 

    Cordially,

    Karen G. Schneider
    ALA Councilor at Large
    Member, Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group





  • 4.  RE: My Summary of CD 37.1 the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group report

    Posted Jun 26, 2021 07:08 PM

    Hi Aaron,


    Thank you for posting the clarification of your summary of Council document 37.1.  As members of the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group (FT-FAWG) we were concerned that your original posting of June 23 might be misleading and we really appreciate your effort to provide more information.


    The numbers we are not able to provide in our report are just as important as the numbers we are able to provide.  Given the compressed timeframe in this phase of Forward Together for one workgroup to generate these complex resolutions and then another workgroup to provide stringent fiscal analysis, and the open-ended and sometimes ambiguous nature of some of the resolutions, it was not possible to fully assess the fiscal impacts of all of the resolutions. 


    As you mentioned, the Assemblies resolutions and the Standing Committees resolutions are especially problematic from a fiscal perspective.  


    The resolutions on the Standing Committees provide for "allocating" certain existing committees to each of the new Standing Committees.  There will then be a one-year "reconstitution" process.  We were able to find a description of the reconstitution process in EBD 10.1., ALA Executive Board Fall 2019.  This provides for the existing committees to examine their roles and potentially seek to be reconstituted as advisory groups, working groups or other types of entities.  The end result could be the new standing committees comprising 90 members and many of the existing committees continuing in some reconstituted form.


    The resolutions on Assemblies provide for four Assemblies:  Divisions, Round Tables, Chapters, and Affiliates.  Pursuant to the resolution, these assemblies can range in size from 15 to 80 members.  If the Assemblies are populated to the maximum permitted in the resolutions, they will add 320 people into ALA's governance processes.  The resolutions do not specify how often or in what manner (face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid) the Assemblies will meet. 


    We regret that we are unable to clearly quantify the costs of the overall package of Forward Together resolutions.  However, we are confident that taken together, the resolutions will have significant fiscal impacts and raise the cost and complexity of governance.


    The FT-FAWG was given a narrow charge: to analyze. Using data provided by ALA offices and other sources, our working group produced observations designed to help Council reflect on the resolutions that would come forward. Our WG was not asked to provide recommendations or opinions and that charge was  respected.  As member leaders, there are some big picture issues we would like to address.


    The focus of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) was to respond to the findings of the Avenue M study -- which itself reflected concerns some engaged member leaders already had -- that ALA needs to focus on member engagement in part by making ALA easier to access and engage with. Governance, while essential for a member organization, is one small piece of member engagement, and the Avenue M report made it clear that governance is not the way the vast majority of our current, past, and prospective members see themselves in our association.  A subtext there is that ALA should prioritize this member engagement, not by making governance more complex and therefore more expensive, but by putting members first. 


    The question in front of us is whether the resolutions on the table are member-forward. In a 52,000 member association, do these resolutions put members first? Are resources used toward that end? 


    We also note that ALA is in a period of fiscal recovery.  For five fiscal years, from 2017 to 2021, our Association has not generated sufficient revenue from annual operations to cover annual expenses.  ALA entered the pandemic with a multi-million dollar deficit which subsequently grew larger as revenue from publishing, conferences, and membership tumbled. ALA has met  its fiscal obligations by using reserve funds, loans, staff furloughs, and currently, Paycheck Protection Plan funds from the federal government.  During COVID, liquidity (access to cash on hand) has been an issue at times, making it challenging to meet current obligations. As we emerge from COVID, the situation remains serious. The Executive Director and ALA staff have told BARC that containment of costs, fiscal discipline, and a focus on current and emerging revenue streams are absolutely necessary for improving ALA's financial situation.  Expansion of ALA's governance structures represents real costs to the Association and are not investments that will generate revenue.


    Our own back-of-the-napkin analysis is this: if an organization is too complex, adding more complexity will not make it less complex. Complexity requires resources that could be better directed toward improved products and services for members, as well as toward developing new revenue streams. 


    We all want what is best for ALA and its 52,000 members. SCOE, and then Forward Together, have given members rich opportunities to think about how we are structured as an organization. We respect the process and wish to acknowledge the excellent stewardship of Jack Martin and Christina Rodriquez during this phase of Forward Together, but we believe it is important for Council to ask whether the proposed resolutions are fully ready for their approval. 


    John A. Lehner, Chair, Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group and Member, Budget Analysis and Review Committee


    Karen G. Schneider, Member, Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group, Member, Executive Board, and Member, Budget Analysis and Review Committee