The Annual Board of Directors Meeting was held during the two days prior to the 2018 annual conference in Prague (Czech Republic), 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 most decisions is below.
On the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, the board approved the candidates for the 2018 Election. The Presidential candidates—Karin Wilkins (U of Texas – Austin) and Claes de Vreese (U of Amsterdam)—will be featured, along with their candidate statements, in the September issue of this newsletter. Candidates for Treasurer, student and early career representative, and board member at large were also ratified (their statements will be imbedded in the ballot). The election will take place in October 2018.
The board also approved several measures designed to provide additional financial resources to several groups. Conference fee waivers were designated for both SECAC representatives on the board in recognition of the massive amount of work they do to enhance the student experience at ICA and make up for the lack of funding from their universities. At the recommendation of the chairs of the LGBTQ Interest Group, the board also awarded two additional conference registration fee waivers to each of the 32 division/IGs to use in attracting new attendees specifically from the student population and from Tier C countries (for each division/IG, one of the new waivers is to be used for a student exclusively, and the other is for a Tier C or B attendee exclusively). This brings the total number of fee waivers funded by ICA to five per division/IG.
In addition, the board approved an annual allowance of US$2,000 in reimbursable expenses for each of the three Board Members at Large (BMAL) to do tangible work in their regions—attending smaller conferences to make connections for ICA and create synergies. Coupled with the new job description developed by the BMAL last year, this is a strong step towards tangible results from this important contingent of our board, and for our continuing internationalization efforts.
The Board also approved the creation of a Mission Statement Task Force, the continuation of the Ethics Committee to develop several white papers and positions related to conflict of interest and professional behavior, and a task force to tackle the issue of sponsorships.
The board also heard an in-depth presentation on the hotel contracts for the coming years from Anthony Stewart from Experient and from ICA Executive Director, Laura Sawyer. ICA has a reputation in the hotel industry for selling out on day one and then cancelling over 50% of the rooms booked that day later in the process (once the conference schedule is released in March). Eventually ICA find rooms for everyone when the original bookers pare down their reservations, but this phenomenon causes unnecessary stress to our attendees. After being presented with data from a decade of ICA hotel reservation reports, the board agreed that the process needs a change.
The board agreed unanimously that ICA should not release the room block booking link until the actual schedule is released, so attendees know exactly when they need rooms and will only book the nights they actually need.Therefore, the acceptance letters will go out in January 2019 as usual, and at that time you may register for the conference to get your early bird rate, and if you wish, you can book your airfare (since many of you do really come for the whole conference and your schedule is less important to know before making plans).
On 1 March, which is a Friday, we will release the schedule so that you know what days you will present. You will be given information on the hotel locations, prices, and amenities—you just won’t be able to book it yet (as usual, you may not book directly with the hotel). You will have the weekend to talk to colleagues and your family to determine what you really want to do without the stress of having to click the button instantly before things sell out. The next business day—Monday, 4 March—we will release the link for booking within the hotel block and everyone may then book the rooms they actually need. The board is hopeful that this change in the process will lead to less stress and to more accurate bookings, requiring little adjustment as conference draws nearer.
In addition, the Board reviewed and approved many standard agenda items, including
the 2018-19 committee rosters; publishers' reports and reports from each of ICA’s
journals; reports from each of ICA's standing committees and task forces; reports on
communications and membership efforts; the 2018 Fellows slate (congratulations, New Fellows!); the investments report; and the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year (FY19).
This was a highly productive meeting covering a wide range of issues of importance to
all ICA members, attendees, and partners. Many thanks to the 2018 board for taking the time out of their extremely tight schedules at conference (particularly surrounding preconferences) to engage in a day and half of in-depth discussions for the good of the association!