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Board of Directors Takes Important Steps at Midyear Meeting

Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017

The ICA Board of Directors held their Midyear Board Meeting in January 2017 in San Diego, taking action on several important issues. Several of the decisions have been or will be covered in depth in their own newsletter articles; however, a synopsis of major decisions is below. 

On the recommendation of the Publications Committee, the Board approved the appointment of Rich Ling (Nanyang Technological U), as the new editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (JCMC). Congratulations to Rich, and many thanks to Shyam Sundar (Pennsylvania State U), to whom we are grateful for his four years of service as editor of JCMC!  For more information on this transition, please see last month’s newsletter article.  
The Board of Directors created a Task Force on Visual Identity to begin the process of a visual identity refresh in advance of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the association’s identity as “ICA” (coming up in 2019), and a Task Force on Ethical Considerations to review and possibly revise ICA’s mission and ethics statement and to create a white paper on these topics (any proposed changes will be submitted for membership approval to become official). The Task Force on Division/Interest Group Coordination/Mentoring was converted to a standing committee to oversee the five-year review process for divisions and interest groups, serve as a clearinghouse for best practice information regarding group governance, and develop methods for cross-divisional collaboration.  
In addition to approving President-Elect Paula Gardner (McMaster U)’s proposed 2017 Nominating Committee, chaired by Gianpietro Mazzoleni (U Degli Studi de Milano), the Board of Directors also created an Urban Spotlight Standing Committee to handle the organization each year of the Urban Spotlight panel that Gary Gumpert (Urban Communication Foundation) (who will also serve on the committee) created and has long overseen, and resurrected the ICA Tellers’ Committee (comprised each year of the Executive Director, the President, and the Nominating Committee Chair) to officially oversee election procedures and certify the results of ICA elections.  
Due to some technical difficulties posed by the transition to ICA’s new website and new back-end member management system, the Board approved a small change to the way ICA handles division memberships. Put simply, ICA had long offered a discount whereby each member could receive US $3 off his/her “first” division or interest group, as a means of encouraging all members to join at least one. Unfortunately, in the new system, coding for this on the back-end was extremely complex (which division should be discounted if the member picks more than one, for instance, and the fact that many divisions cost more than US $3, were complicating factors). It was no longer possible to implement that particular discount. The simplest solution that benefited the greatest number of members, the Board agreed, was to simply reduce the cost of ICA membership overall, at all member types and across all Tiers, by US $3. That way, every member receives the “discount” automatically, without having to do any extra steps.  
The Board also approved two proposed bylaws changes, which will need to be ratified by the membership in the October election before becoming official. One is a change recommended by the Student and Early Career Advisory Committee (SECAC) to make appointing a SECAC representative an official position for every Division/Interest Group. The other change will institutionalize the role of Treasurer and convert the role of “Finance Chair” to that of “General Secretary.” ICA’s treasurer role has traditionally been filled concurrently by the Executive Director, which is not in line with association best practices. To work towards rectifying this, ICA appointed an interim, de facto treasurer—ICA Past President Peter Monge (U of Southern California)—a little over two years ago, to try out that function and iron out reporting relationships. It has worked so well that the Board of Directors (and the Executive Director!) thought it should become a permanent position. With the creation of the treasurer role as a separate and distinct person from the ED, the Finance Chair (a role played during a Past-Past-President’s last year on the Executive Committee) becomes somewhat redundant, as the Treasurer and the Executive Director work together on finances to report to the larger group. We therefore propose that the role of Finance Chair role will change to “General Secretary.”   
The Board also approved our conference location for Europe in 2022, an exciting choice I will make public as soon as the contract is signed. Stay tuned! In addition, the Board reviewed and approved many standard agenda items, including the minutes of previous meetings and reports from various committees and task forces.   
This was a highly productive meeting covering a wide range of issues of importance to all ICA members. The next Board of Directors meeting will be our Annual meeting, which occurs on the afternoon of Thursday, 25 May 2017, the day before the Annual conference begins. Action items/proposals to be considered by the Board of Directors in May must be submitted to Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director ( no later than 14 April 2017. Please note that action items/proposals typically arise from the work of Divisions, Interest Groups, task forces, and committees. If you have something to propose outside of those mechanisms, please contact me far before the deadline so that I may assist you in following the proper format.  

See you in San Diego!
Laura Sawyer
ICA Executive Director

Tags:  April 2017 

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