NMRT Board Member Final Report
1. Office Name: Member Services
2. Office Term (Date: Ex. 2002-2003): 2003-2004
3. Discuss/summarize your involvement with your committees this year:
The Committees within the Member Services (MS) Director purview generally were lead by NMRT members who took initiative and completed tasks without much handholding. Many committee members also showed a great deal of leadership of their own. Chairs had an understanding of tasks and delegated specific responsibilities as necessary. I would say most were responsive to my requests for updates and to recommendations and/or guidance I gave via email or the MW Conference (e.g. the Resume Review Service and Membership Meeting (MM) collaborated to create an appropriate handout for MM's Annual program). Despite overall success with my involvement (i.e. I knew what was going on and could assist those who presented issues), I think some confusion existed with keeping me within the discussions between committee members and their chair; lacking communication with some made supervision a bit difficult. However, I did make myself available to all via email < firstname.lastname@example.org > or by phone for support.
4. Based on your year's experience in this office, what future directions do you see your office or NMRT needing to take this year or the following year?
Overall, I think the office should maintain supervision of its current committees because they actively provide a variety of sponsored events/programs and resources to assist, encourage, and educate those who are new to the profession. Because NMRT committees will be collaborating more frequently, I believe the MS Director will need to facilitate that. There are a few committees such as Resume Review Service, Web, and Footnotes that all continue to provide some of the most visible work for NMRT; Chairs have streamlined and documented (or will) workflow as noted in their Final Reports. Unlike these, Publicity needs to assert its role in gathering information about NMRT to publicize and the Director should help move the committee and NMRT towards this in the future. There is still a lot of duplication of publicity that comes from various committees onto listservs, etc; we might want to see if Publicity can contact committees to develop a list of contacts that many NMRT committees already use (this has been haphazardly maintained) to save in a database for the publicity committee to get to. A possible solution to publicity is adding those contacts to a permanent NMRT Publicity email address that that committee has access to streamline NMRT publicity to its Publicity Committee.
5. What tips or hints do you have that might help your successor carry out the duties of this office?
I recommend reading each Final Report for the Committees within MS. There is or will be updated documentation, which will answer questions to some of the less obvious aspects of the committees. Understand the role of the Web Committee (as opposed to and in relation to the Archives and Handbook Committees.). Despite these hints, most MS committees are chaired by “veteran” NMRT members; they have a high regard and respect for their committee work and truly understand the process; most will not need constant supervision. However, for the committees with newer chairs, I advise communicating with them often. As I mentioned earlier, communication lines did at times get crossed. I maintain that communication is crucial to establishing good working relationships and thereby getting committee work done, so I would advise the next Director to contact the Chairs at least once a week, subject to deadlines or questions raised, via email, but also by phone.
6. Please address the role of the board member as coordinator. For example, with student outreach split among three committees reporting to three directors, somebody will need to take the initiative to make sure things are going smoothly. Another example would be projects between membership, alumni, and student outreach which need to be coordinated. How might activities such as this be handled by board members efficiently and smoothly? Your thoughts here will be most helpful for future boards.
As I mentioned in a previous report, early communication is necessary since committees need to work together. Overall, the Board needs to facilitate communication between committees and give committees the heads up on overlapping issues. When a Director first reviews the committees within his or her purview and determines the particular goals and tasks to complete for the year, the Director should identify at the outset which projects will involve other committees. Then the Director should talk to the appropriate Board members who supervise those affected committees to let them know what you have in mind and find out if those committees have time to work on it as well; in that initial contact with the other Board members, you can determine the goals of a project and generally how the project is to be handled. In some cases, this should be done before the Director sends out to the affected committee the email that lays out expectations for the year. In others, where the committees have continuing members or Chairs, this project discussion should be cc:ed to them as well. Whichever the case, by the time work gets started by the committees, these plans should be communicated to all affected Chairs and Board members, letting them know who their committee contacts are, who must be cc:ed on all correspondence, etc. But understanding the role of the Board is not to do the work for the committees, carbon copying allows the Board to follow progress and make recommendations if necessary, while also ensuring that the work is being appropriately shared between committees.
7. Date of report: July 10, 2004
8. Submitted by: Marilyn Ochoa mnochoa@ ufl.edu