American Reading Forum – Sanibel Island, Florida

Minutes ARF Board Meeting 12-5-07




Members Present:

            Beth Frye (Chair)

            Gary Moorman

            Jill Lewis

            Enrique Puig

            George Hruby

            Sarah Dowhower

            Michael French

            Cheryl McClean

            Joyce Fine

            Lynne Miller

            Cassandra El-Amin

            Brenda Townsend


Beth Frye called the meeting to order at 5:05.


Introductions: Beth welcomed all board members in attendance. Introductions were made.


Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve minutes. Second. Approved.


Secretary: Motion to approve Devery Mock as secretary. Second. Approved


Treasurer Report: Sarah gave treasurer’s report. $7,636 in the red. Reasons--Paid speakers more. Web site high due to paying grad students for two semesters.  Sarah asked board to indicate the amount to be kept in reserve. Motion to accept. Second. Passed.


Committee Reports:


Membership   None



Michael French reported. 100 ballots sent out, 42 returned. Dr. El-Amin came in first with two candidates tied for second. Michael recommended that in future ballots could be available via the web to increase voter response.

Nominations accepted for chair and vice-chair. Beth nominated. Motion to close nominations. Enrique nominated for vice-chair. Second. Motion to close. Beth and Enrique elected by board to take office at business meeting.


Conference 2007   George Hruby made report.


Publication George delivered report written by Jonathan. Jonathan wanted to know whether board would like yearbook to become a proceedings. Discussion followed. Question was raised—How many scholarship recipients submitted publication last year. Questioned whether part of scholarship required submission of manuscript. Clarified that this was not a requirement. In past, editors have had the task of re-writing. Suggestion made to have an ARF session on writing for publication. Members recalled this topic being discussed in previous year, but found no record in minutes. Beth inquired about research abstracts and asked whether George had received any. Discussion followed. George indicated that instructions for yearbook submissions were available on the web.

The yearbook has a 95% rate of acceptance for the current yearbook. Cynthia raised the question that if quality of the submissions is low, should the yearbook be continued. Suggestion was made the ARF members could submit manuscripts even if they had not been presented at the conference itself. Discussion followed. Suggestion made to encourage people to continue to submit manuscripts. Suggestion made to put statement on Table of Contents identifying the acceptance rate for the yearbook. Discussion returned to whether scholarship recipients were required to submit a manuscript. General consensus was that this would be difficult to police. Discussion moved to whether reactors received papers before presentation. Suggestion that proposals be sent to reactors once reactors chosen. For upcoming conference, statement will be published that upon acceptance, proposals will be sent electronically to reactors. A concern was raised that two graduate students submitted a manuscript previously presented at ARF. The manuscript was rejected for failing to be scientific research. Discussion regarding the types of manuscripts appropriate followed. Suggestion made to email all members a document containing requirements for submission. Suggestion made to do this a link contained in email. Suggestion made that individuals interested in submitting look at current issues.  George will email members with this link.


Membership Report--Brenda gave the membership report. Total membership is currently at 61 and expected to increase if all individuals on program attend conference. Brenda proposed that ARF directory be kept in PDF and mailed to members.


Bylaws   Jill gave report from Bylaws committee. Recommended changes were handed out. Committee asked for feedback regarding two issues:

Whether access to on-line journal be restricted to members: Discussion followed and included the goal of the ARF yearbook as to increase exposure. First year Yearbook published the cost was $7000. The online version is far less costly. Motion made to move first reading. Second. Passed. Motion made  change “item” to “membership” in Article II . Hendricks/GH second.  Passed.


Discussion as to whether voting by proxy be eliminated. Brenda questioned whether this was a legal requirement called for by incorporation in FLA. Discussion then proceeded to the benefits of the proxy provision.   Jill motioned change be made pending investigation of FLA statute. Point of order from Joyce related to the issue of quorum. Passed.


Article 5 Section 3 Jill made motion to include information about Elections Committee. Hendricks amends Jill’s motion to include all Article 5. Jill accepts with the addition of friendly amendment from Michael. Vote to accept all of Article 5 passed unanimously.

Article 6 Jill makes motion to accept addition. Discussion follows. Sarah states that state or federal regulations prohibit us from having employees. Sarah also states that an audit has not been conducted in 15 years. ARF is lacking funds to pay for audit. Currently we are not in compliance with By-Laws. Sarah asked for help with this problem.  Discussion continues about the words “agent” and “employee”. Sarah raises the question of audit. Suggestion is made to change audit schedule to every 10 years or change in treasurer. Hendricks amends motion. Board moves the concept.  Unanimously accepted.



Budget Sarah gave budget report. She asked members to read letter submitted regarding costs for the 2006 conference. Sarah explained changes in this year’s conference that will eliminate going beyond budgeted amounts. Sarah made recommendation that conference fees be raised to $130 or delay raising dues and spend from reserves.  Hendricks asked that program chair be compensated with housing fee. Brenda noted that the IRS would then consider the program chair to be an employee. Gary suggests that conference registration be waived for the program chair. Discussion returned to 130 conference fee.  Brenda suggests that board write down food protocol for president. In discussing overspending  that occurred in 2006, the point is made that the decision making process for food/beverage purchases is unclear. Cindy makes motion to raise conference fee to $150. Enrique seconds. Cindy withdraws. Enrique withdraws second. Sarah makes motion to raise conference fee to $130. Called to question. Unanimously passed.


Cindy moves that a committee including chair, program chair, and treasurer be assembled for food/conference decisions. Second Lynn. Unanimously passed.


Graduate Student Mentoring

In Lynn’s absence Joyce reported. Three students will be receiving scholarships.


Call to Forum Chet submitted written report in his absence. Discussion tabled.


International Project Sharon Cossak submitted written report in her absence. Sharon needed to step down due to illness. Beth appointed Cheryl chair of the committee.


Service Award Joyce reported that no one was nominated for this award.


Website Gary gave report. Website needs an upgrade to be ADA compliant. Estimates suggest a 1000-2000 cost. Gary recommends that we budget and spend money for administrative assistants, technical support, and graduate assistant. The total cost will be 5000.Gary recommends we budget 5000 for website. Passed unanimously.



Conference Program 2008 Gary will chair the 2008 conference.


Conference Program 2009 Enrique and Nancy will chair.


Conference Program 2010 Lourdes college can chair if they can get another university to partner.


Old Business None


New Business


Sarah will resign as treasurer at the end of next year.  Brenda suggests that we find someone to work with Sarah in this upcoming year to transition.


Meeting adjourned at 7:30.





                                                                                    Minutes prepared by Devery Mock